Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Classic recap and end of the year summary

I worked on my costume for about a month. I constructed a curved body and bottle top hat out of cardboard and styrofoam and even some metal frame work for the body. I covered it in shiny metalic green paper to look like glass and then designed and sketched a label for the front of the "HOLIDAY CHEER" bottle.On one of my long runs I came up with a witty warning for the back of the bottle. I even drew a barcode and Santa in his sleigh. I was pretty proud of my costume creation.
Race day finally arrived. I drove into Cambridge ready to spread holiday cheer. I got to the race a little early, walked around to scope out the competition. There were a lot of santa hats and elf costumes and some fun socks and tights. A guy in a speedo and one guy dressed as Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, but no one had a costume as creative as mine. The volunteers loved it, the race officials loved it, the race photographer loved it, and the other runners loved it. Even the cops directing traffic chuckled when I walked by.

I lined up with the other runners and the race began. It was pretty tricky to run in the costume and the wind made keeping the hat on really tough. At the first mile marker I looked at my watch and I had managed to run it in about 9 minutes. Not bad for a bottle of booze. I kept on running and smiled as I passed runners and could hear them reading my label and laughing. I figured no one could beat me in the costume contest - my costume was homemade, original, witty, and holiday themed.

I crossed the finish line in just under 30 minutes, a little slow for me, but wicked fast for running in costume AND the course was long - 3.4 miles not a 5K. People were pissed because it was a fast course and some of them might have PR'd if it was measured correctly, but all I wanted to know was when were they deciding the costume prize. I asked around and found out the awards would be done at around noon. The race was at 10:00am and I was done by 10:30. What the heck was I suppose to do for an hour and a half.

I walked around, got some water and a frozen bagel. Then I went to the bar that was hosting the awards ceremony. Let me tell you, if you were there with friends having breakfast and beers it was a hopping place to be, but if you were there sweaty and cold and dressed as a bottle of "holiday cheer" it lost it's spirit pretty quickly. I was bored, irritated, uncomfortable, and I just wanted to know if I won the costume contest and I wanted to go home. After waiting for two hours because they did the age group prizes and then took a break before announcing the costume prize, the time had come to find out if I won $250. The race director began by saying he didn't pick the winner and it might have had a different result if he did, and my hopes and dreams of a little extra holiday cash were shattered. I was beat by a friggin girl dressed as...............a LOBSTER!

Needless to say I was devastated and all my "holiday cheer" evaporated instantly with the announcement of the Lobster winning the $250.

Anyway, that race sucked and ruined what little holiday spirit I had just a week before Christmas, not my favorite time of year to begin with. I'm sort of a grinch when it comes to the holidays. I hate holiday music, I hate all the TV ads, I hate all the decorations that seem to go up in stores earlier and earlier each year. But, I'm on vacation so at least I don't have to listen to every one at work talking about last minute shopping and family feuds and I don't have to participate in a lame holiday gift swap of stuff no one wants given to people no one really likes. Instead I spend the last 3 weeks of the year doing what I love to do - RUNNING.

Almost everyday, I get up whenever I want and eat a good breakfast and then go for a run and occasionally in the evening when friends get out of work I go for another run with them. I've been racking up miles as if I'm only a few weeks out from a marathon, except this year I'm not running Disney in January. I'm not training for anything in January. Just have Boston in my sights and it's in April. So, for now I can just relax and enjoy running and slowly ramp up my mileage after the new year.

2010 has been a pretty epic year, Goofy challenge, Boston marathon, Maine marathon, a bunch of triathlons, and I even had a near death experience with a garbage truck somewhere in the middle. I will finish out the year with just shy of 1500 miles logged. I could get 1500, but I'd have to run 42 miles in the next 5 days and we just got hammered with a bunch of snow so it'll be near immpossible to do that. I'm just amazed that I logged over 1000 miles in a year. Can't wait to see what I can accomplish in 2011.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And so the training for Boston begins again......

I'm in "officially" now. I made my excel spreadsheet for training 2011. Started with a 26.2 on the week of April 18th and worked my way back to January carefully planning my long runs in cycles to build in recovery weeks and ramp up my mileage over the next 20 weeks including time for taper at the end. Good news is the training is actually stretched out more than it was last year because I'm not doing Goofy this year. So, I can ease into the training and enjoy the mid-long distance runs (12-14 miles) and get in a few extra really long runs (16-20 miles). The 16 and 18 milers are my FAVORITES! I have a beautiful loop I LOVE to run full of hills just like Newton.

I think I might be a little excited to start the training because last week I logged a total of 45 miles and I am only at the BEGINNING of the training!!!! That's more than I logged at the peak of my training last year. I did two long runs last weekend, an 11 miler on Saturday and a 12 miler on Sunday. So, I decided this week will be a recovery week and I'm taking it down a notch.

In the last few months I've been analyzing my nutrition in an effort to get to the best body composition for me. I crunched the numbers for about 4 months worth of data and turns out I'm very consistent. I eat 55% carbs, 30% fat, and 15% protein almost exactly without even trying. I've had my body composition measured and I'm at a very lean 17% body fat. I've been able to maintain my weight for the past 3 years while continuing to build lean muscle mass and lose fat. I think when I started at my current weight I was ~24% body fat. I'm having my resting metabolic rate tested again to make sure I'm eating enough and fueling my body right. Basically, I'm in tip top shape and should be able to train hard and run strong in April.

Only a few short fun runs coming up in the next few weeks. The Winter Classic 5K is giving a $250 cash prize to the best costume so I'm going to try and win it. I'll post pictures after the run so you can judge if my creative idea is prize worthy. Then on January 1st I'll be running the 1st Run 10K in Lowell. It was my tune up race for Goofy last year, this year I can just run it for fun.

I really hope the weather continues to behave as it has up 'til now. A mild winter makes for nice training runs. Snow is pretty, but not fun to run in. Happy Holidays! Find your happy pace!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Santa came to my house early......

One of my friends left this on my desk Monday:

It’s a really good thing that I get to work before anyone else and it’s bright and early and super quiet in the office because when I saw it I SCREAMED and then proceeded to jump up and down and do a little “I’m running Boston, I’m running Boston, I’m running Boston” dance. I’m sure it would have been very funny to see if you were a fly on the wall.

I don’t really like the holidays, not big on family, don’t have kids or a significant other and don’t really exchange gifts with anyone so all the commercials and d├ęcor every where I turn is really just annoying. I have everything I really need – a roof over my head, food in my fridge, a car to get me from point A to B, a job that pays my bills. Anything I WANT above and beyond those things I can’t really afford so I live simply with what I have and I’m happy with that.

The most valuable thing to me in life is and always will be my friends. I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for the awesome friends I have met through running. They truly are the greatest gift I have ever received; although, the invitational entry to Boston is a close second. ;)