Like a Virgin: A Bunch of Firsts

Like a Virgin: A Bunch of Firsts

Hi, remember when I used to post to this blog several times a week? I haven’t meant to neglect you, li’l blog. I’ve spent the past two months making some big changes in my life – moving out of one home and into another; adjusting to new running, eating, dog walking, and commuting schedules; figuring out how the old pieces of my life fit into the new. It’s been a strange but mostly good time, and something I never would or could have predicted happening a few years ago. I’d like to fall back into posting here more regularly, especially now that summer has arrived and official marathon training is staring me in the face.

First, I’d like to recap the past several weeks. It recently dawned on me that May and June were months of trying things for the very first time, stepping out of my comfort zone, and taking risks. A time of firsts. Here’s some more about that.

I BOUGHT MY FIRST PAIR OF BROOKS

The last time I purchased new running shoes was October. I had been having some calf soreness recently and, while I could probably attribute some of that to increased mileage and a lack of decent stretching, I knew I was due for a new shoe (luv 2 rhyme).

I’ve read so many positive things about Brooks. I like the fact that the company only makes running gear. Plus, people who wear Brooks just look more like runners to me. People in Nikes look like people wearing sneakers; people in Brooks look like runners. #sorrynotsorry.

So when it was time for new sneaks, I hit the local Super Runners Shop and tried on a few different brands. Sure enough, the ones I liked best were the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18. So I bought them. The next day, I took them for a 7 mile run and they felt great. I’ll still wear my Saucony Kinvaras and I might even buy another pair of Sauconys at some point to alternate. But I’m happy I got the Brooks. I’m even happy with the color, and they’re not even gray!

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I TRIED GU

Yet another thing I’d heard a lot about but never purchased. I bought this at the Super Runners Shop when I bought my Brooks. I ate (drank?) it on the 7 mile run, somewhere in mile 5. Normally I eat Clif Bloks on longer runs and the only other time I’ve tried a gel-like substance was a few weeks earlier when I had one made by PowerBar that was so sweet, it was straight up like eating vanilla icing. Which was delicious but also disgusting? This Gu was good, though. Not too sweet. I’m not sure how much stronger and faster it made me in the moment, but it tasted good. But at $1.50 a packet, I’d rather find a way to buy it in bulk.

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I RAN 16 MILES

This was my longest run to date. It happened about a month ago, and due to a couple of minor soreness issues as well as scheduled races, I haven’t run that distance since. I plan on working up to it again soon. After I finished that run, I had a truly emotional moment (as I’m sure is obvious by my very blurry face here) as I realized I had just run for two and a half hours without stopping.

For a very long time, I didn’t think I was capable of running for more than an hour. I didn’t think I had the “right” body for it, or that I had much natural running talent. Realizing I had been very wrong about those things has been one of the most amazing things that’s happened to me in recent years. If you also think those things about yourself, I urge you to stop right now.

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I RAN WITH FRED’S TEAM

Named for running legend Fred Lebow, Fred’s Team is the organization I’m fundraising for in this fall’s NYC marathon. Just one of the perks of doing this is that I get to join other Fred’s Team fundraisers on runs all over the city (where they provide COMPLIMENTARY SNACKS AND DRINKS!) and get tips from coaches. I also get a private shuttle bus to the marathon start, woo-hoo! (p.s. here’s my fundraising page.)

Recently I joined 30-40 other Fred’s Team runners for an 11 mile run in Central Park, and it was a really fun experience. I didn’t bring headphones and pretty much ran by myself, although I tried in vain to keep up with a few of the faster runners in the beginning. I lost them around mile 3 or 4, as they were probably going around an 8:00-8:30 pace, and I could only muster an average 9:12 pace for the 11 miles. Which was actually faster than my usual long run pace, so I credit them and other clumps of faster runners along the way for unknowingly helping to push me. It was interesting running without headphones or music but not as bad as I thought it would be. It turns out my brain still knows how to be active, either with or without music.

I’m very happy to be a part of the team and hope to run again with them soon.

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The Fred’s Team coach’s dog knows how to dress

I JOINED A RUNNING CLUB

I wrote about this recently. This was a major accomplishment on my part, only because I’ve been thinking about doing this for years, and spent so much time checking out various NYC running clubs online before finally settling on the Harriers to meet first. Turns out I liked them so much, I didn’t even want to meet anyone else. I felt like they were my people. So I joined the club.

So far I’ve done three speed workouts with the Harriers and hope to join them soon for a tempo run and a long run. I haven’t hung out with any of them socially yet, but I’ll find a way to work that in soon. I’m so excited to be a part of a club – and a respected and storied one at that – and can’t wait to wear one of their signature shirts in a race.

harriers workout 6-20-18
Just a few of the Harriers after a recent morning speed workout. Yes, the dog is a member.

I RAN TWICE A DAY

I started doing this a few weeks ago. Only two days a week so far, which I think is all I’ll do for the time being. Running twice a day is surprisingly not exhausting. When I do it, I only ever run about 4 miles in the morning, and the run home from work is about 3.5, provided I walk to Central Park and just start there. (At first I started running before the park, but found it too annoying to navigate the foot and car traffic, plus my Garmin is totally out of whack when I do this.) The two runs are about 12 hours apart, so I have plenty of time to rest in between. And I’m not going super far or super fast either time. I just have to make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard. I know the elites run twice a day all the time, but I often have trouble remembering that I am not one of them.

I GOT A SPORTS MASSAGE

This was very nice. I wrote about it in a recent post. I hope to get another one soon!

I WORE CALF COMPRESSION SLEEVES

These are great. They don’t cure sore calves, but they do make them feel better during the run. Plus they make me look tan.

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I got white because that’s what Gwen Jorgensen wears.

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I AM LIVING BY MYSELF

It’s pretty fucking great. Not to knock anyone I’ve ever lived with, because honestly they’ve all been cool and good (except for the guy who cheated on me a bunch) but there is something nice and very “adult” about being in my own space with my own stuff doing my own thing. Like I’ve finally made it over some proverbial hurdle. Like I am finally a woman. Like that song “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” which is actually really gross if you think about it, except if you think about it in terms of the fact that maybe she will be a woman soon because she will be living by herself in a nice one bedroom in a pre-war elevator building, then I guess the song isn’t that gross.

I HAVE DOGS NOW

I guess I’m not really living by myself. But it’s close – they don’t have much input as far as how I decorate or what I watch on Netflix. They are pretty cool dudes.

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I AM FINALLY WATCHING THE GREAT BRTISH BAKING SHOW

British Baking Show

THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD! I LOVE IT! I WANT TO TAKE BAKING CLASSES NOW!

2 thoughts on “Like a Virgin: A Bunch of Firsts

  1. I use Huma gels, which I love because they taste like real fruit spread and aren’t too sweet. My fave flavor is lemon. I don’t care for the apple cinnamon but I know several who do. It tastes just like applesauce.

    Liked by 1 person

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