Tuesday. Good weekend. Nice celebration for my birthday — lots of wine and a day to recover before I had to do my 18 mile run.
Saturday went to see my friend Rob do his Crossfit Fight Gone Bad competition. Grueling to say the least. Crossfit is a circuit training workout where they emphasize strength and speed over endurance. There are five stations — throw a heavy ball up at a box on the wall, jerk-pull a humongous weight that I don’t think I could have rolled across the floor, jump up on a box about two feet (maybe more?) off the ground, lift weights over your head and then do rowing. You have to do each station for 1 minute and then run to the next station. At the end of the five stations you get a one minute break and then you have to do the entire circuit two more times for a total of three. The goal is to get as many reps in during the 1 minute. I’m not even sure I would have been able to do 1 rep never mind the 30+ people were doing. I’m not sure I could have crawled up onto that box never mind jump up on it.
This was a competition (for charity) so there were six teams with five people on a team. One person was at each station facing off against a competitor from the other team. At the end of each circuit all ten competitors fell to the floor to rest. By the end of the last circuit they were just heaps of sweat panting on the floor. Oh my God, that looked so hard, I would rather run 9 million miles than have to do that. (I was proud of myself for walking up the flight stairs to get into the gym.) The event was a clear demonstration of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Here is a link to their blog and you can see pictures of the event. If you click on the forward picture button real fast it kind of looks like the real event. Chaotic and sweaty!!! http://crossfitbrooklyn.typepad.com/ Ugh, I need a nap just watching it.
After that exhausting morning of watching them do a lot of grueling work I set out on my little hike around Brooklyn. Oh about 1 mile or so through the farmer’s market (found a tofu sandwich stall!) and to the Brooklyn Museum. I walked the stairs in the museum though does that count? (No!) It was my birthday weekend and I wanted to do something just for me and not for working out so I went to see the Judy Chicago’s exhibit called “The Dinner Party” at Brooklyn Museum in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Loved it. I’ve known about this exhibit since the late seventies, have the book and have seen pictures but never the full installation. I was very happy to have finally seen it in person. Brooklyn Museum is its permanent home. http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/dinner_party/
Sunday was back to the grind of getting ready for the marathon. I signed up to do the 18 mile run in central park. I had one goal — beat the clock. They were only giving credit if you finished in under 4 hours. Seemed reasonable until I started running. I didn’t have it. I was walking every hill. It was humid but that wasn’t really the problem, my legs felt tired. I had done a 1:45 run on the trails in CT on Thursday and had a GREAT run. Didn’t stop for 1:45 up and down rolling hills and was really picking up the pace. Maybe I worked too hard on Thursday and too much birthdaying on Friday, but on Sunday I was just trying my best to keep the jog alive and I had to walk every hill. (I had some patella scraping going on because I missed my acupuncture appointment this week.) By the end of the run I was literally racing the clock and ended up doing it in 3:58:40 which is not very good for me but it was all I had that day. At least I made the 4 hour cutoff because I wanted credit for the run. If I do that pace for the marathon my time predictor says it will be a 6 hour marathon. Oh yuck, but what can I do? Just keep trying.
I had to take Monday as a day of rest because I was too sore and I got some lovely blisters for the first time in a long time (socks?). So I just stretched. My plan had been to stack up the early days of the week with extra mileage because I’m off to do the Tour de Pink on Thursday. So now I have to stack today, Wednesday and early Thursday morning and be on the bus by 9 a.m. I’m going to try to do 8/10/5 miles (with a run/walk formula for today) and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday it will be 80/80/60 miles on my bike. If my hip flexors don’t give out I think I can do this. I can only focus on one thing at a time so right now I am focussing on getting my mileage in. Then I will focus on the Tour de Pink. Then I will focus on the marathon.
I’m looking forward to the Tour de Pink but I am not looking forward to all the work I have to cram into 3 days. This won’t be easy, but sometimes it seems the more you have to get done the more you can do. It’s like running. Tell me I have to run 6 miles and that’s all you’ll get. Try to tell me to run another 6 after I’m done and I’ll say I can’t do it. Then, the next day tell me I have to run 12 that’s what I’ll do. It’s like my capabilities shrink and expand to assignments. You have to get 18 miles in under 4 hours — that’s what I do. If you told me I could take as long as I wanted to it would have taken me 4:20 easily because I would have walked even more. Deadlines are good that way. Get this project finished by Wednesday or you’ve lost a client. Amazing how you get the work done quickly when you’ve been shuffling that file back and forth across your desk for a week.
Unfortunately making up fake deadlines doesn’t work on me. There has to be something that will happen if I don’t get it done. I’m not a self-motivator despite what everyone thinks about me. I need the fear factor to get my butt going. If you don’t finish in 4 hours you won’t get credit for this race and you’ll have to do another one to qualify for next year’s marathon (if I even want to do it.) If you don’t get up and swim some laps in the pool there is a possibility you won’t make the swim cutoff at your next race. If you don’t track your food you will gain another 2 pounds and you won’t fit into any of your clothes and you’ll have to suffer the humiliation of everyone seeing you get fatter and fatter and fatter. If you don’t get two long runs in for the marathon there is a possibility that you’ll have to walk the end of the marathon and be out there until midnight and you’ll miss your ride home. I respond well to the fear factor. It’s my number one motivator. I know I should be doing all of this for the love of fitness but frankly I love the couch and chips too. A coach of mine once said to me “Fear is your Friend” and I think that’s what she meant. Take your fear and embrace it because it will get your arse moving!!!
So right now I am off to do the Tour de Pink. I’m definitely undertrainedfor this as far as distance rides go (I’ve only done 1 ride to Nyack since Ironman) but it’s a tour and I have been doing weekly loops in the park. It’s about endurance not speed and if there is one thing I have it is endurance. I’ll give myself that. I can stay out there and suffer for hours with the best of the them, lol. I may not be able to throw a ball up a wall 20 times in a minute or jump up and down on a box a kabillion times, but if it is about slogging up one more hill after they told you there were no more hills or riding another 20 miles even when you don’t want to, I’m your gal. Whatever it takes to get the job done, I’ll do it.
This weekend is a chance to be grateful that we are strong enough and healthy enough to participate. The marathon, the Ironman, the races, the long rides, the circuit training. This is by choice. We like doing this. We suffer for fun which is a weird thought. I’ll admit we are a strange breed that seeks the pain to find the joy but there is joy in the experience. For me, at least, there is a distinct awareness of being alive when doing these activities and there is also a constant reminder of how blessed we are to be able to do these events. So many people are not able to participate. Every time we go out for a run or a walk, a swim or a bike it is a reminder that we are blessed to be able to do it no matter how fast or slow we are. Getting up and moving is a celebration of life. I’ve got a lot of celebrating to do this week.
“It’s been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Every day that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast,
If you ask her why she is still running,
She’ll tell you it makes her complete
I run for hope, I run to feel
I run for the truth for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life”
So far I’ve raised $2,480 so far for breast cancer for the Tour de Pink. I am still trying to reach the $5,000 goal and am collecting donations at http://www.active.com/donate/Hersheystourdepink/CCarpen48
Donations expand to expectations?