Back from a communication black out- my laptop was on vacay. It got some R&R; a few margaritas on the beach, a little sunburn, and a whole new motherboard. Apparently I have a habit of riding that thing hard and putting it away wet, so I need to be nicer to it in future. Laptop...girl – I am sorry for treatin’ you so wrong. Don't leave me ever again, lady.
Last week’s otherworldly run is still pretty unbeatable, but last night’s run was a pleasant surprise that brought me back to giddy, 8 year old levels of happiness.
I’ve been going hard the past two weeks – training 6 days/wk doubling up workouts 3 days of the 6, extra weight training, lots of bike work and my first speed workout with the Boss and his pirate crew of stoopid fast runners (more on that later). I’ve been hurting and my muscles are wound up so tight, I’m afraid if I don’t take a break, there will be trouble, so I considered taking yesterday off and picking it back up again for Thursday/Friday. Humidity was on the books for the next two days, and humidity is definitely NOT fun to run in, so I decided to take it easy on a 4.5 mile loop and see how it went.
No Garmin watch today, I ran by feel. I cruised up the path, and saw a huge crowd of runners at the Donna Summer Playground/Team For Kids meeting area. I slowed down to see who was there, and my friend Mark came jogging over to greet me. He reminded me it was National Running Day and he was there to volunteer for the NYRR group run. Mark’s subway luck was against him that evening and he did not make it in time for his pre-race greeter job, so he joined me for my easy loop. We talked about training and discussed possibly going back to train with TFK. I would really love to, but the Boss sets my schedule and I’ve been so busy getting in my training for my first triathlon (oh yeah, did I mention that yet?), I didn’t know if I could fit another team in. We went back and forth a bit, and after a while we had looped back to the KC & The Sunshine Band Playground where I saw two of my former coaches; Sid Howard and Frank Handleman!
I felt like I was about 8 years old as I ran over. I almost shouted ‘Lookit me! Lookit MEEEEE! I’m RUNNING!’ I got big hugs from both and they introduced me to the third person standing with them; none other than Mary Wittenberg. Frank had me give her the saga of my injury and how I managed my recovery, all the while Sid kept interjecting ‘I love this story! Mary, listen to this! This is great!’. Since I am the biggest running nerd EVER, I went a little shy when I was talking to her (c’mon, its MARY WITTENBERG! If you are a runner in NYC, its like meeting the Queen!), but for reasons I still can't fathom, she was super interested in hearing my story and said she was very impressed with my discipline and focus. Sid asked me about my times on my recent runs and then grabs Mary and tells her ‘Watch this one, her progress is going to be interesting to see and she’s gonna get FAST’. Seriously, again...I’m 8 years old! It was as if I had been given a gold star on my book report, extra tater tots at lunch AND the honor of taking Sniffles the class guinea pig home for the weekend. All of last fall/winter I had been so depressed about missing out on all the team runs/parties and working with coaches like Sid. It was the best feeling to know that training time was here again and that I had more experience and the people on my side to help me see it through to the end.
I left the park not knowing my pace or my run time, but I didn’t care. It was awesome to come back and know that I wasn’t forgotten and that people were glad to see me again. For a long time I was pretty down on myself about my ability, so having people so respected in the community tell me that they admired all the work I put in on my downtime and all the progress I have made in the past 2 months was pretty huge for me.
I still don’t know if I will have time to train with TFK this year, but seeing Sid and Frank reminded me why I missed them so much. I’d like to rejoin the team and I’d like to raise as much money as I can for the charity because I really believe in the work they do. I may have to wait until after my triathlon before I can do a any runs with them, but my earlier decision to skip the team this year is back up for debate.
To go from having no choices to having too many...its a nice problem to have. Its going to be decision time soon!