December 19, 2007

Tree and House

Sunday the kids and I made a Christmas tree from plywood... Yesterday Emma made a Gingerbread house (with yummy yummy candy attached!) at school...

I love this time of year!

December 18, 2007


It's 0415 in the morning and I should be getting toasty warm in bed but I have a kind of nervous energy for some reason, and I'm not sure what it is.

Yea, Christmas is just a week away, and it is my FAVorite holiday. Plus I managed to get at least a few gifts purchased yesterday, so I'm mayb 30 or 40% done with holiday shopping. I know, I know... I ALWAYS wait to the last minute...

But it's not Christmas that has me excited...

My trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado is just 8 days away, and I'm super-stoked about it. It'll be the troupe's first ski trip, Aidan's first every flight, and my first time on skis in 10 years. We almost have everything together for it, with just a few more coats to find and kids' ski lessons to book.

But it's not skiing that has me excited...

I'm running stronger and faster now than ever before, which I'm attributing to a concentration on hip/thigh strengthening over the last couple months and an emphasis on speed and less on distance (for now).

But it's not the running that has me excited...

I'm just not sure exactly what it is... There certainly will be more to this story to come...

Until then, thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

December 13, 2007

Run or Tri?

So I'm looking ahead at the 2008 multisport season and I'm not sure what to do.

I want at least 1 long distance event as my A race.

The two options are 1. Comrades and 2. Ironman France.

Comrades marathon is the oldest (and many say toughest) ultramarathon in the world, a 50+ mile road race over the hills/mountains of South Africa. The race attracts dozens of thousands of runners each year, making it also the biggest ultramarathon. It alternates courses each year, with odd years being a "down year" and even years being a "up year." The up years add many thousands of feet elevation gain to the challenge of the 50+ miles.

I want to do Comrades, I really do. This race is legendary, and I want to be a part of it. 12 hours after the start, the race director walks to the finish line and fires a gun into the air marking the finish. Cross the line at 12:01 and you have not officially finished the race. The stories of people who slip in immediately before or after the 12 hour mark have become legend, and the first person each year to finish after the 12 hour mark is a national 5 minute celebrity.

Now 12 hours to cover 50 miles seems pretty damn easy. barely over 4 minute miles? Piece of cake. Of course I wouldn't want to finish in 12 hours, I'd want to finish in 11 or 10 or faster. So my goal would be to run, if not all then most, of it. And therein lies the issue - I haven't done an ultra yet, and quite frankly I'm nowhere near sure that my body will hold up to the necessary training to do the miles needed. I struggle to get in the prep miles for 26.2 - how will I get the miles for a 50 miler?

But it's Comrades...

The other option still under consideration (and no, I couldn't do them both) is Ironman France. It's amazing to me how quickly and consistently IM races sell out. I mean, last year IM Switz didn't sell out and this year sold out 6 months ahead of the race. Well IM France as of today still has spots.

Since my inaugural IM in June I've wanted to do another. I was trained and signed up for Wisconsin, but had to cancel because of a required court appearance the day after the race a thousand miles away (that - yes I'm bitter - was cancelled 2 days prior to the race...). And I'd like to do one this year, but I'm not deadset on it - I could wait until next year.

One of the advantages of doing the IM instead of Comrades would be the familiarity. I know what it takes to IM train, and I know I can do it. I honestly don't know if I can stay healthy and consistent enough to train for Comrades. If I'm injured Comrades training and can't do either, I'm doubly screwed... But on the flip side, I've already done an IM and, although I do want to race IM again, I also like new experiences.

Decisions decisions...

What do you think? Should I do Comrades or IM France?

December 11, 2007


Sometimes no matter how hard you try to understand them, things just won't make sense.

It's funny the difference in machines and humans. A machine will perform a function based on a strict algorithm and set of capabilities programmed and (hopefully) never veer from its expected function and outcome. A human, on the other hand, will perform a function based on an infinite number of variables that can never - I believe - be completely and accurately predicted.

And sometimes those variable won't be tangible, and sometimes they just won't be understood.

Like now. I don't understand.

I know, this doesn't make sense. Yea, I'm being vague.

Sometimes just putting letters on paper makes concrete to me even the most vague assertions, and when what is thrown at you all seems to disappear when you grab it sometimes something firm is exactly what you need. What I need.

Then again, maybe this is what I need. Or not.

Who knows...

December 7, 2007

To Live Long

Overheard at the gym this morning from one of our fittest octagenarians:

"To live long, eat lots of fish and rice and try not to ever think..."

Fish and rice - check.

Now if I could just cut out all the thinking...

December 4, 2007



The new computer is up and running and I am officially reconnected to the outside world! Kinda cool actually 'cuz I'm using a 42" plasma for the monitor so I feel super techno-savvy when really I'm anything but.

Lots of stuff has been happening, both with family and with training/racing.

The troupe and I spent the weekend Christmas decorating. I love Christmas! We went Saturday to the tree farm an hour north of home where we've gone for the last few years and the kids picked their favorite tree. My mom, who was in town to watch the kids for me while I ran the Jinglebell 5k that morning, got to go with us to the tree farm. It was the first time she had gone with me to get a tree, and I think she was enjoying the novelty.

Anyway, Saturday was spent decorating the tree and house, and Sunday we set up our Polar Express train and Christmas village scenes in the breakfast room, which has yet to be used for breakfast despite 3 months in the new house. The kids love to make the whistle blow. OK, I admit it, I love to make the whistle blow too.

So the Jinglebell Run marked the 3rd race I've done in the last month - 2 10ks and a 5k. I continue to have occasional pains in my left lateral knee that seem to come randomly. I initially thought the IT was flaring but I've pretty much ditched that theory. Sometimes it will happen 4 miles in, sometimes 10 miles into a run. I've religiously stretched and strengthened my IT over the last year and NEVER have pain with stretching or lifting exercises.

Anyway, since I've been getting the occasional pains that I cannot run through, I have backed off the long runs and done more frequent shorter runs. I think this next multisport season will consist of mostly shorter to medium distance duathlons and maybe a couple tris. I've grown to love swimming, but for now it is such an impediment to me actually having any competitive results. So to satisfy my need for competitive results I'm concentrating this year on the du.

Back to the Jinglebell - I cannot get to 20 minutes for 5k. I wanted so badly to do it Saturday, but the Highland Avenue hills had other plans for me. I finished in 20:57, good enough for 3/30 or 40 in my age group and 26/500ish racers. The 2 10 ks this month were consistent if nothing else - 44:14 in the Vulcan Run and 44:21 (44:15 by my watch) in the JCC Montclair Run.

This weekend is the Village to Village 8k. Although it's hilly I'm going to try hard to get close to a 36 minute race.

Well, that's enough for now. I'm excited to finally be back in the blogging saddle, and thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.