Sunday, June 29, 2008

Norwalk 5 miler -June 28, 2008

with Meredith's run, I almost forgot to post some photos of the Norwalk 5 miler -a low key Norwalk summer series race put on by our friend Don --these races are great workouts and are also a good social venue with local runners (Frank, Rob, John, Kate, Marty, my college friend Frank) and friends showing up.
The morning started auspiciously --first I got Frank and I lost to race I'd been to at least 10 times!! I was looking for the Wilton diner to take a right and couldn't find it --found out later it was now a bank. Then, was jogging to the start and the gun went off -that has never happened to me!!! I think it was because mentally and physically I was not into pushing it. But it turned out to be good as the first mile was slow and it was hot and humid!!! I turned out to feel good the last mile..and finished in 34:20.

photos from meredith's 100K

well, Meredith endured 62 miles of heat and humidity and wisely stopped at 100K -about 11:15 at night!! I paced her for about 4 hours -from 7:20 to 11:15. Here are some photos from her run at Rockefeller park (the parking lot was aid station 1!!!)--congrats, meredith, in finishing 100K in 89 degrees and 100 percent humidity!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Meredith's 100 mile fun run -june 28-29, 2008

well, I better get to bed early tonight (easy because my kids are gone and I have rented 'the namesake' to watch now) --am volunteering at the Norwalk 5 miler and then will spend 4 hours in car (2 alone) getting hank from camp -then will go over to Rockefeller state park around twilight. Our friend Meredith Murphy, who was going to run in this weekend's canceled Western States 100 mile endurance run, will run 100 miles in Rockefeller park and the surrounding area. The western states endurance run was cancelled due to forest fires and dangerous air quality and Meredith still wants to complete the challenge. She has completed 2 100 miles so far this year -rocky racoon and Umstead! Westchester county will not be California but she will go the distance just the same, hopefully, with the support of her running friends who can make it.
So she will start off sat a.m. at 7 with Anthony, wayne, Kristn and her husband Eddie.
I will join her for some night miles and report back on sunday. I don't know how much I am good for but have every confidence that she will make the 100 miles in fine shape!

Monday, June 23, 2008

2 Fairfield 1/2 marathon photos

flowers along course --and the finish with giant flag pole!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fairfield 1/2 marathon photos -June 22, 2008

well, as Rob Ingleterra said 'I haven't run this half marathon in 4 years and it's still the same hot and humid weather' -and, he should add, still the same hills. After some great socializing I lined up with Frank and Craig (from RW forums) and off we went --I knew we were working too hard to run a 7:16 first mile (after the 50 miler in the heat and on pavement which wiped us out) --Frank wisely dialed it back while I pushed on, only to feel that i wanted to drop out at mile 5 --I had just had it. I walked,had some water, got my breathing back, and continued --it had to be 99 percent humidity! So with the conditions the way they were, it was not about time but about survival, and making it to the finish line in one piece -I can usually hold it together but this was bad --a couple miles were 8 minutes or so --mile 10 was up a big hill --but Marty was pacing some girl who I was determined to beat!! and then the last 2 miles were straight. Soaked with sweat, I saw John at the finish -we waited for Frank, Becky, Joe, etc. --no one had a good race, but who cares??? It is over:)
I just happened to win the 50-54 (1:37) so that was OK for my first 50s race, and John won 2nd in the 65-69 age division!!! and Frank got to run with Ultra friends Becky and Joe...they yelled at him that he was walking up the hills (as did I) and that he wasn't in an ultra...Pam came very close to breaking her PR on a miserable day...good job Pam!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


last night I took the ferry over to island beach with Hank and Ike, to drop off Hank on a camping night with boy scouts --it poured for a few minutes and an enormous rainbow came up in the sky -I tried to get photos but it disappeared quickly...when running in the trails on Thursday -late afternoon I felt an achilles pain come up and it is still bothering me after 2 days of not running. I have been lucky since my calf pull this january and have run pain-free since March ---it's very frustrating because I feel as if I am so conservative --easy 5-7 mile runs and alot of rest -even the day after the 50 miler. So we'll see how my body does on the pavement tommorrow.

Frank 'tagged' me with these 5 questions:
1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Summer/fall of 1998 was one of my best seasons -I had just turned 40 and had a nice break of one year from racing and pounding (see -breaks are good) when had my 3rd child in Nov. 1997...was still running 6:20s for 5Ks and 4 milers, and 6:30s for 10Ks, and 1:27 1/2 marathons -I ran 3:12 at Hartford, 3:10 at NYC, 3:14 at Boston (1999), and 3:08 at VT (1999)...I raced myself into oblivion. I was also leaner in the hips and thighs and maybe 110-112 pounds. In a few years I would develop exercise-induce asthma which stopped me cold.
2. what is your worst/best race experience?
my worst races were ones that I got injured in --I have a tendency to pull lower calf muscles as run on my toes. The coast-to-coast 1/2, when I tore a muscle, knocked me out for 1 month...the Boston build up 25K where I also pulled a muscle, left me limping for 6 weeks. and have only pulled out of one race because of pain -Joe Kleinerman 10K (also had to stop running for 4 weeks)--I have had plenty of miserable marathons, where I was tired after 3 miles and wanted to drop out --but i always stuck with it. Boston 2004 with the 87 degree heat was pretty miserable!!
My best race experience include Umstead 2008 as it was my first 100 miler, pacing Frank in the Vt 100 miler, Highland sky 40 miler as it was my longest-ever ultra, Finger lakes 50 miler -my first; running 1:06 for 10 hilly central park miles in winter 2007 and Shamrock marathon 1992 where I set my PR and ran 3:00:29 --I felt good that day and everything clicked. And of course the first big race that I won in Ct was the 1992 Westport Minuteman (29:59) -in a streak i won 5 races in a row.

3. why do you run?
It is for both my mind (keeps me sane and happy) and body (for energy to spare and for weight control) --also, it is so easy -just put on running shoes and go!
4. what is the best and worst advice you've been given about running?
best? listen to your body and run your own race
worst? I hate it when I line up at a race and am told 'you can beat so and so; you'll probably come in 3rd behind xyz; you can run a PR today; you can win' --people are well-meaning but they have already written the race script for me and I never race other people --that is out of my control and it's also out of my control how I'll feel that day:)---what if I just want to take it easy???
5 tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I was a ski racer in high school and college; I won a state science fair when was in sixth grade with a ocea display and always wanted to be an oceanographer; I was a fine arts major in college and love museums and art.
I will tag
laura and

Thursday, June 19, 2008

middle and high school graduation photos

2 Graduates! Middle school and high school -June 18, 2008

I had 2 graduations yesterday --my 8th grader Hank graduated from Middle school and Andrew from High school --in between, my parents took us to lunch and visited so it was a busy day -and we went out to dinner after and didn't get home til 11. Hank played the trumpet for his 9 a.m. ceremony so he sat in the front, which didn't thrill him as the Principal kept yelling at the boys not to slotch and to smile and sit up straight! After giving out special awards, the Principal handed out diplomas to all 8th graders and we had a reception in the courtyard, where I thoroughly embarrassed Hank by taking lots of photos. His grandmother came also, all the way from Paris! (She is headed to Vermont with my step father-in-law). Hard to believe that my almost 14 year old will be headed to high school next year. Then, at 3 p.m. the high school announced that Graduation would be inside the gym (and it did pour rain at 7:30 p.m.)! so we only had 3 tickets --I would have to sneak all the grandparents in --everyone else was in the same boat. I dropped off Andrew at 6:15 with his cap and gown and went to pick up my parents from their small hotel at the top of Greenwich ave. -we walked down the hill to the high was a mob scene but fun and festive (i had to pull some strings to get 6 people in). All the seniors came in to traditional music and Andrew said it was like being a Star with all the parents standing up front taking photos. The speakers were great, then diplomas were handed out --I stood with running friend Hugo Mrjica who was watching his boss's daughter graduate (how did he get in, anyway???). Finally at 9 p.m. all the diplomas had been handed out and the seniors tossed their caps in the air!!!
High school was officially over. The speaker, who is a GHS graduate and famous film producer (Jason hackman) said to follow your passion and find something you are excited about and love to do, and pursue it. and out we went to take more photos!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Queens Unisphere '100K' (50 miler) -June 14, 2008

Here's the good, bad and ugly of yesterday's Broadway Ultra Society Queens 100K (a last long training run for VT 100): The good was that the race was shortened, because of 88 degree heat and 99 percent humidity to a 50K/50 mile option. The bad was that the top runners dropped out --have never seen Phil McCarthy, an elite ultrarunner, more depleted. The ugly was that we had to do 21 2.3 mile loops of shadeless pavement!!! No hills like Pittsfield peaks or trails with beautiful vistas.
I drove to the race at 6 a.m. with Frank and Rob and we were way too comfortable at the start. I had questions about completing 62 miles in the heat and on pavement in a God-forsaken park in Queens (running while dodging boy scouts, bikers, dive-bombing birds, and strollng families and picnic-ers). At 7 a.m., we were off. About 100 runners started, 50 percent of whom were training for the VT 100 miler or some 100 mile venture. Crazy Bob told me that he ran 70 miles of Old Dominion last weekend in 100 degree heat -these people are crazy!!! I took my time on the first 6 loops, and stomach didn't feel super from the champagne and cake the night before! I started to get uncomfortably hot and actually felt dizzy ---I stopped at each aid station and got a cold sponge -the volunteers were great, and they had a hose on the course also. We had little shade on the course. Frank took off (he had felt good) and I didn't see him. At about mile 18, I started to lap slower runners who were laboring --I passed Rob who was taking a walk break. I started to want to walk more and more myself!! I passed the woman's leader Alicia (an elite ultra marathoner) who told me she had debilitating listes and also didn't feel mile 26 I really wanted to stop, and each time I passed the start tent Ritchie (he race director)yelled out that he was thinking of stopping the race so for us to stay tuned!! I ran into Fran who had passed the marathon mark in 4 hours? and we ran/walked the next 3 loops together and passed the 50K mark. Both of us was just 'toast', as Frank said, with the sun beating down.
Pretty soon Ritchie yelled out that he was shortening the long course to 50 miles (yeah) and would giving finisher awards to everyone, regardless of their miles..he also offered a 50K option. Rob then decided to stop at the 50K. Frank and I were at mile 38 and I truly didn't think I could go past 50 miles anyway so was thrilled -alot of people did not look good. As it was my 50th b-day, and as Frank was stubborn and we both wanted the Grand prix points, we continued. At some point I felt better and cranked out the last 8 miles in a 10 minute pace --I think it was because I knew I would finish first by just finishing!! (only 3 other women continued -Alicia dropped out). and I would set a PR if broke 9:38...I passed Frank walking, and then he rallied to hammer the last 2 loops. I finished in 9:10 , good enough for that day -Frank came in in 9:47 --soon after we finished, the heavens opened up and we had torrential rain. Friends Lydia, Al, Ruth and at least 10 others were out in the rain!
What a day. despite the weather, the commeraderie at the race was great and we got alot of tips on the 100 from Nick and Grant, plus some good heat training.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

cook your buns 3 miler --June 13, 2008

well, it turned out to be the best birthday for a runner --I got to go to a race on birthday and see all my friends -Francoise, amy, john, christine, lynn and chris, sharon and joost, frank and katie, yuen, kate and tom, mickey and jim ---whoever was around came over for cake, champagne and water after the race! It was really fun.
Today i ran 50 miles in 9:10 with frank and rob --lots of people dropped out but I was proud of Frank running 9:47 in the 90 degree, humid shadeless heat...and rob finished the 50K...s many people were laboring that the race director, Ritchie, shortened the 100K to either 50K (a sane option) or 50 miles..everyone got a trophy, no matter how many miles they finished. more on monday -here are some 'Cook your buns' 3 miler photos!

Friday, June 13, 2008

friday the 13th --

today is Friday the 13th so I am posting a few photos of my cats (my little black one died on January 20th)...hard to believe that I was born on friday the 13th 50 years ago...if I wasn't resting for the 100K tommorrow would have biked 50 miles for my 50th but have been having a wonderful day just the same...even though I tossed and turned last night!! I am going later to the 'cook your buns' 3 miler as a social run, and will take lots of pics...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

art show at cos cob library -month of June

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I have 28 paintings on view for the month of June at the local library --I was asked by my artist friend Susie if I would share the space with her! At first I was hesitant as I consider my paintings and drawing amateurish, but then I figured it would be motivation to get some of my work finished and framed --and it was fun going through my portfolio and deciding what works to use (from 3 classes I take)--we even had an opening on June 7 in the afternoon and I showed some of my unframed work and pottery pieces. It was such a busy afternoon, no one in my family could make it but Susie's 4 girls and husband came and her mother! I had about 12-13 art friends and some school friends and even Linda Putnam (my local running friend) came --so it was fun. Francoise's daughter Mia is modelling in front of my work.
My parents are coming nex week for high school graduation so they will see it...and I hope my drawing teacher will stop by. Had we had the opening at night and with wine, we would have gotton more than our 50 people -but it was good.

Monday, June 9, 2008

photos from the 'Need for Speed Relay'-June 8

The need for speed relay (52 miles through westchester on June 8) seemed a fun idea --my friend Anthony was on a team and they needed 2 runners so I asked Frank if he'd be interested -mainly because the route goes right by his house! I was assigned leg 5 --5 miles from North white plains train station to scarsdale ---Frank would run leg 6- scarsdale to new rochelle. Well, no one could have predicted the hot and humid temps.
Our teammates ran behind, understandably, by one hour, and the relay was stopped because of heat and thunder as I finished my leg. what a bummer. Frank and Pam, our team captain,did not get to run. We didn't even get to fnish. The photos show Pam and I and Pam with the EMT guys!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

NY Mini Marathon --June 7, 2008

quick report of this 10K road race (check out photos on Frank's blog --Frank was the reporter for the morning and will post a race report from my friend Susan Branche. Anyway, I drove in to the East side at 7:30 and miraculously found a parking spot on 72nd and walked over to th park, where I found the Taconic ladies -Lee, Barb Cathy, and Debbie -bummer that I turn 50 next week so could not help them out on the ladies' 50s team. The next team race is July 19 and I will be in VT. In any case, bumped into Bea going to the start -we met her and her fiancee at the Boy scout 5K -they are fellow ultrarunners and are going to Comrades ultra next weekend. It was hot already -70 degrees -and very humid. I had forgotton my inhaler in the car. I almost didn't run this 10K as it is really tough to re-focus your mental energy on running as fast as possible after focusing on running as slow and long as possible!! This spring I have combined ultras with tempo runs and am getting tired of trying to be master of all trades!!! It just doesn't work -This fall my goal is to get my 10K times back down to the 6:50 pr mile range, but for now don't want to get injured. So didn't really care how I did in the mini. The start was fun as Frank came with me and brought my camera and we too some pics at the start --he took photos f the elite start after the race began. After they introduced the elite runners, and we sang the national anthem we were off --the first mile is uphill on th west side. I felt tired but OK and passed thru the first mile in 6:53 -but knew this was way too fast for my fatigue level --then the next miles were sub-7s --also rolling uphill -by then my lungs tightened to the point where I just couldn't breathe and to my embarrassment (Susan and marie went by me)I had to walk ---then struggled in --the last mile I felt better and finished in 44:16 -disappointed as wanted 43 -something, but it was over and I scored first for our team -I got a medal, bagels, and flower and watched some of the thousands of women finish on this miserably humid morning -great job everyone!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

mini/art show opening

today I wore 2 hats --ran in the womens' mini marathon (44:16 -7:08 pace -I guess not bad for doing a 50 miler and marathon last 2 weekends) ---the most fun thing about the morning was seeing my running friends and having Frank take pics of the lead women...
then I had a reception for an art show that I am having with a friend of mine -more tomm...but here are some photos of the day (us setting up the reception)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

running shoe fetish

well, I have always liked buying running shoes and now trail running shoes. I bought some Brooks Cascadia as Meredith, wayne, anthony and kristen all recommended them. But the toe box hurts me after 4-5 miles and I can't quite figure out why. I do like my Mizuno wave Elixirs...but trail shoes are still a mystery -too many brands...
New Balance models seem flexible and lightweight, as do Merrill Continums..BUT
so many ultra-trail runners love Inov8s -flexible, responsive, long-lasting, and just great-fitting. So I finally took the plunge today while in Threads 'n Treads (my local running store) and got some of the new roclite 308s --can't wait to try them.
I'll just have to resist a few races (and dinners)to make up the $90.
Then ironies of all ironies, got home at 4 p.m. and opened the mail --a curious letter from Trail Monster running ---At Pineland Farms, Maine Running Company had a raffle for some Inov8 shoes --I won a free pair!!! Now, to return the new shoes or not?? Maybe it's best 2 have two pairs:) Thank you, thank you, trail monster!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Waveny runners --last workout -June 3, 2008

here are some photos of my tuesday a.m. running group -the Waveny Park Runners.
I don't attend that much, as if I run a long race on Sunday, on Tuesday a.m. am beat:)
Coached by Jim Gerweck, we meet at New Canaan's waveny park and typically d 3 mile warm-up followed by 3 miles of intervals on the track. It's fun even if I just jog.
The group includes some of the speediest runners like sharon and Erica! but also beginners. Our token men include Paul and Bob. Bob brought champange for after this a.m.'s workout.