This is the Year

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 24/52 recap

6.5 – 4.4 hill – 8.2

Aspar14Last June, as I mentioned in Waiting for the Asparagus, this is not only the year I will run the NYC Marathon but the year we can start harvesting our asparagus! Look at those healthy spears breaking the ground!

I am hoping my patience to harvest it properly might also reflect the care I have taken in building a strong base for running the marathon too. Two years ago we had a very warm late winter then a hard freeze that ruined a lot of the spears that had shot up. We worried whether or not to harvest them before they froze but let nature ruin them in hopes that it would send the nutrients of the frozen spears back underground to their crowns. There was very little written on what to do for young asparagus, not ready for harvest yet going to be ruined by freeze. Crap happens and, just like recovering from an injury, you just have to try to be smart about giving time even when it feels like a waste.

Soon we will harvest these lovely spears and they will fuel me for my training for the NYC Marathon, THIS is the year.

Focus on Overall Progress

photo#52toNYCmarathon
Week 23/52 recap

3.58 trail – 1 warm up – 3.1 Juniata Valley BPW 5k

My back started the week with a minor back slide. I am realizing carrying heavy bags (or helping family move) all around the NYC is part of what has been the problem every time it acts up. On and off cross town buses, down and up steps to the subway and always embracing that need to hurry in the city. Arron was very kind in lugging my bag to my departure bus on Monday but I wasn’t feeling like running Tuesday.

Wednesday I wanted to start working in my cross training and got the ol’ bike out for it’s first go of the season. I decided to bike to the base of Nittany Mountain then “run” up and around and down on the white loop. My back wasn’t even happy with biking, especially the 400′ elevation gain to the trail head. I followed that with 600′ gain over 1/2 mile up Nittany and I thought I would change my plans and come right back down.

After stretching out I decided to keep going and turned to the right and did the rocky 2.5 mile loop on top of the mountain. That and the rest went ok but it may have all been too much after my trip. Some long poses on the modeling stand added into the mix have been making my back a bit crabby this week.DadRelease

I did a hard core workout on Friday before going to help my parents move Dad back into his home. He has come a long way since his stroke and hadn’t been home for almost 2 months. From a life flight transport to Danville, a surgical procedure for complications after a kidney stone removal and the stroke that happened at the same time; Dad has battled back and is as witty as ever. He still has a lot of work to do and isn’t what he was months ago but his progress has been amazing. They had a small ceremony for his release from Health South. I will miss running there to have breakfast with him in the morning.TerriAG

The move went pretty well, even in the rain. He is settling into re-learning how to navigate the home he was born in. I am realizing that is what we have to do ever day, reinvent what is right for the given moment. I wasn’t pleased with coming in 38 second slower in the same Juniata Valley BPW 5k I ran last year but need to remember that I am actually running again. Set backs can be disappointing and when compared to years prior can be disappointing. “Unrealistically disappointing” is a better way to describe it.JimmyAG

Jimmy-the-eye and I both came in second in our age groups. Jim ran a 5k PR 24:02 and I ran 27:47. It was a nice run, everyone was as friendly as always and Tracy stopped by to cheer us at the finish line. We both came away without injury and my back feels really good today. I am run down with some kind of upper respiratory issue that could be related to pollen or maybe a slight cold but I can’t blame my race time on that. I am a different person each day, a child of the universe being born each moment, and I need to focus on overall progress.

Run for the Parks

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 22/52 recap

4.2 – 4.2 – 7.79 (warm up, cool down and 4 mile race in the middle)

The weather last week was bliss compared to the week before. Instead of 14 – 17° for my morning runs it was actually above freezing. I have been running out to Health South to have breakfast with Dad and kept the same routine last week. Progress was made on both of our parts; he has graduated to solid food and I got my pace under a 10 minute mile on Thursday.

Thursday was crazy for me because I later caught a bus to NYC. I spent the day planning and packing all I would need. This trip would include the weekend thus provide an opportunity to run again in Central Park.

I have made the mistake of trying to run in the park on mornings they have scheduled races and it is just madness. I went onto the NYRR Webpage to check the schedule and was dismayed that there were races both Saturday and Sunday. I saw the Sunday race was a 4 miler and still open so I went ahead and registered for the Run for the Parks! I would have a couple miles warm up from staying with family then a couple miles cool down going back. I was able to pick up my packet the next day and my weekend running plans were set!

I was in the city to attend MoCCA Fest, a convention of cartoon and comic artists. I had been wanted to attend for years and this year I put aside other conflicts and scheduled the trip.

Friday’s festivities started with a casual yet vibrant party for women called Drink and Draw like a Lady. I took my hydration bottle, Nuun tablets, a plate of vegan cheeses and meats as well as my drawing stuff. I was pretty reserved when it came to chatting with other women comic artists but met a few nice gals. Mostly, I sat drawing my journey to the party. It was a crazy challenge transporting a plate of vegan nibbles on a crowded subway during rush hour to Grand Central Station.

image-2

The next couple of days were filled with a cornucopia of comics! Women who had seen me at Drink and Draw Like a Lady but hadn’t had time to talk were anxious to connect with me. I swapped comics with many of them and made some purchases too. It was inspiring to see their work and helped me realize the direction I want to take with mine. I have no desire to market my work, to try to make it something to sell but I would like to get more finished pieces. I don’t care for digital comics and do not believe print is dead. It may cost more to make a finished mini-comic but I would rather give away a hard copy than something just floating in cyberspace for free.charlie

It was by walking amongst the tables of fresh young faces, jaded older egotists and attending panels if discussion of comic art that helped me solidify my goals and vision. There is a LOT of great stuff out there right now but that doesn’t mean I can’t do my work too.

Sunday dawned bright and just a bit crisp. My warm up jog to the start line put my Bia Sport to the rest as I ran down the urban canyon toward Central Park. I glanced at the data to see it recording my mileage about two tenths if a mile in. What shocked me was after a few more blocks it still read the same. When I got to Central Park, the readings had caught up with me and I knew I would be excited to see how the map looked for that lapsed reception time. Sure enough, the recorded path bounced me way North as I was deep between tall buildings but it recovered at intersections when I crossed the wide avenues. photo

I got to the start line in plenty of time and went way back in my pink corral. I reset my watches for the start and was off. I have to say that I passed WAY more people than passed me so it was odd they put my pace back there. The course started up Cat Hill then turned left before Harlem Hills. We came down the West Park Drive and cut in at about 72nd. I pushed pretty hard the whole way only checking my Bi Sport for distance at the mile markers and it was spot on. I crossed the finish line trying to keep up with an awesome indigo shirt in front of me and aced a 9:01 MM! My legs felt really responsive the whole way and although I am no where near beating any of my PRs, I actually feel like I am “running” again.

That afternoon I went back to MoCCA Fest, heard my favorite author/comic writer/graphic novelist speak and was bold enough to give her a sample of my own work. I am not certain but think that nailing down my 9MM earlier in the day may have empowered me to make such a bold move.photo 1

2014 Capital 10-Miler

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 21/52 Recap
4.2 – 4.2 – 10 race

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Another busy week has delayed this post but the best thing to follow up with is that we both came off the race this past Sunday with no injuries!

The photos above are mostly from Bill Bonney Photography because there was no getting our camera wet for even a quick photo outside of the car.

The weather was about as bad as it possibly could be other than heat. Harsh winds, driving rain and even some sleet hit us hard as we ran the 2014 Capital 10-miler. Jim and I laughed and stayed together for the first half of the race.

After 4 miles, we turned back into the wind and I ditched the trash bag I was wearing because the wind was whipping it so hard. Jimmy the Eye kept his on the whole way. We both got pretty cold on the Harvey Taylor Bridge, Jim couldn’t feel his feet after about mile 8.

The second half of the course was changed this year because there was still ice on the lower river walk. I felt the changes were well thought out and didn’t cause me any confusion. The volunteers were very helpful in knowing which way to go. Kudos to Mary Lou Harris for putting together such a wonderful race!

We kept pushing hard and crossed the finish line about 3 minutes apart. Although it wasn’t a PR for me I still came in under 1:40:00 and beat the first time I ran in 2011. I was thrilled to do so well after building back from hardly being able to walk in November.

We piled into the car, cranked the heat and got changed as fast as we could. Neither of us felt worse than sore muscles and are pretty proud of our medals and shirts. I left my medal with Dad at his rehab hospital until he gets out (next week?).

The Capital 10-miler, a run for the arts, what a race. We will never forget the first year we ran it together, the year it rained!

NYC Marathon Lottery – Who’s In?!

TCSNYC

I delayed writing my week’s recap until today to encourage anyone who got into the NYC Marathon via the lottery to comment below. The drawing is today – sound off in the comments section when you get your acceptance or rejection!

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 20/52 Recap
6.52 – 4.3 – 9 LSR

My middle run this past training week was probably the most memorable. I ran 4 miles to have breakfast with my Dad at a local rehab hospital. My Dad is a pretty private man but has now stated that he doesn’t mind if people know so I am finally mentioning something that happened weeks ago. He is recovering from a pretty significant stroke and is in a rehab hospital just up the road from where we live.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 7.30.07 AMThe tricky part for my run there was making certain I was allowed to run past the grounds of the state correctional institution. I called both townships that the road is on plus the state police to make certain that I wasn’t doing anything wrong by running or biking in front of the prison. I was told just not to hitch hike and it would be fine.

The nights at the rehab are really long for Dad so having me show up bright (albeit sweaty) and early helped break up the day. Mom doesn’t make it over until lunch time so a friend to join him at breakfast is pleasant for him as well as me. I stayed until just about the time he finished eating and I hopped a bus home.

Backing up to my first run of the week, it was to be the first time my Bia Sport could record one of my regular routes but the Go Stick DIED WITH 2 MILES TO GO! Granted, this time I got a little message on the screen of the watch warning me to “make it fast, less than 2 hours battery left”. Ok, I knew my route would take about an hour and was resigned to the fact that it might fail. Sure enough, 43 minutes into my run, the battery died.

NOT my watch. This was posted on Bia Sport Facebook page.

NOT my watch. This was posted on Bia Sport Facebook page.

I decided that 5 hours or less battery life on a product that had just bragged on FaceBook (see photo right) about extending the Go Stick battery life to over 19 hours was a real problem. I had a terrible time navigating the trouble shooting and help desk web pages (it wouldn’t let me log in no matter what I did) and finally resorted to a little chat/email function hidden at the bottom of the page.

On Friday, I wrote:

Bia Go Stick battery life
Sent Friday, March, 21, 2014.

I am having a difficult time navigating the zendesk for help so I will use this function. My Go Stick has yet to give me more than 5 hours battery life over a week. I have been ending the runs properly (not pausing as far as I can tell). I thought the first time was because it was in the city but this past time I had barely used it (after fully charging it) and (for the first time) got an alert that I had under 2 hours battery life. It lasted 47 {sic} minutes to total less than four hours usage for the week. I have fully charged it 3 -4 times since I received it. Thanks for your help.

That evening I did get a response:

Hi Terri!
I apologize for the difficulties with Zendesk. It is on our plate to integrate that page’s log-in with your Bia account log-in, and it is coming just as soon as we can make it happen. We are very anxious to turn that page into an interactive forum. In the meantime, this is the perfect place to touch base.

What you are seeing is about right. The GoStick battery right now has no more than 6 hours of workout time, even in the lab, and the max 5 hours you are seeing is probably much more real-world realistic. Some of the reasons for this shorter battery life is that we are currently running everything in the GoStick every on maximum power and we are running a lot of background debugging and diagnostics that are eating up power as well. We are currently doing a lot of in-house testing on low power modes and extended battery life and those tests are looking very good. We should have the 17 hour battery life rolling out within the next 3 or so weeks, and with that, we all will be much freer of those charging cables.

If, however, you see that your GoStick’s battery life/function is degrading significantly, definitely continue to keep us posted–we will want to catch any bugs or hidden battery issues if they come up and fix them.

I hope this helps–please let me know if there is anything else you need.

Thanks and have a great day!
Rebecca

With my current state of recovery running pace the Go Stick battery life would probably not last through the whole NYC Marathon. I am hoping that it gets ironed out soon, I am already getting tired of running with double watches, the Go Stick and my iPod Nano all just to record a run. Understandably, it will be the less reliable gear I leave on my dresser when I finally reach my limit of tolerating extra stuff. My Wal-Mart watch has never left me down and my iPod Nano recorded my first marathon without a hitch. The jury is still out for a few months on whether my Bia Sport or Wal-Mart watch will go to the NYC Marathon on my wrist but the lottery for runners is today!

So… who’s in!? The drawing for the TCS NYC Marathon will take place all day. Runners will be accepted into the race in waves throughout the day, so some runners may find out their status before others. If you are accepted to run this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, here’s what will happen:

• Your credit card will be charged the Marathon entry fee.
• An alert will appear in your MY NYRR account. If you’ve been accepted, the alert in MY NYRR will say, “You have been accepted into the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon.”
• Your registration status for the TCS New York City Marathon will change in MY NYRR. If you’ve been accepted, your registration status will change to “Accepted.”
• You will receive a confirmation email that you have been accepted.

Sign into the comments section below when you know if you are accepted from the lottery or not.A pitiful moment for me 3 years ago, I took my first NYC Marathon lottery rejection with sadness in 2011.