Friday, March 31, 2006

cherry blossoms, here again

So the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is two days away. I have trained myself silly with speedwork and long runs (peaking with a 13 miler two weeks ago). I ran that 8K three weeks ago to get a sense of my speed ability -- and was on track to run sub 1:20 for the 10 miler.

Now I have been sick all week -- as has Iz. (Abraham seems to have skipped the whole snotty nose, low-grade fever, coughing fit thing. No fair! He has no race to run!) I wasn't deathly ill or anything, and I am getting better and was hare-brained enough to wake up at 5:30 am to get a little 4 mile run in ("a little" 4 miles because I am supposed to be tapering, after all).

But there is no way I will be at peak strength on Sunday morning. And I am really disappointed. Maybe I am being silly -- I can run it just fine at a slower pace. Barring something extreme, I have no fears about not finishing. But I actually took my training seriously. I had aspirations! Sure, I'm no world-class runner. At my best, I am a front-of-the-middle of-the-pack runner. So why should I care? Ah, because I do.

Okay, the goal now is to enjoy the race, right? Just kick back... I can talk myself into this... maybe... After all, it's not a marathon (which is much more involved and daunting).

Actually, I ran fast last year, but I was uncomfortable much of the time -- I wanted to do the same speed, but have fun doing it...

Monday, March 13, 2006

St. Patrick’s Day 10K (8K), March 12, 2006

What issue (or issues) does Washington, DC, have with races?

Sure, the Marine Corps Marathon remains untouched, but it seems like almost every other race has been modified, eliminated, or moved to Haines Point (and who wants to run every 10K on Haines Point?). Some have been affected by security concerns, others by complaints about road closures, and yet others by sponsor issues.

I have run the St. Patrick’s Day 10K almost every year since I moved from New York City to Washington, DC. (I didn’t run it in 2004 when I was eight months pregnant with Iz.) This year, just a week and a half before race day, the race organizers were forced to change it to an 8K. I don’t know the full reasons, and these race organizers are fantastic (The Capital Running Company). But they said that they couldn’t get permission for the course – a course that has gotten permission for 18 years in one form or another.

I had a great race – my fastest time in years (37:16 – imagine what I could have done with a 10K…) – and at least the race actually took place, unlike the Jingle Bell 10K, which was eliminated (and it followed the same course as the St. Pat’s, hmm…).

But the troubles and changes got me thinking about other races that have been messed with:
  • The Georgetown Classic 10K course, which started on M Street and went up into the residential neighborhoods, had tough hills but was interesting, different. Then Georgetown residents complained about road closures (I can’t help but think the wealth of those rusty wheels made them more effective), and the course was changed in 2001 to go into downtown DC, which was fine. As of 2003, the race has disappeared.
  • The Sallie Mae 10K, which used to make a nice, flat loop around downtown, now goes out and back along Haines Point. Sure, it is fast, but so boring.
  • The half-marathon that used to be held downtown in September is gone, too. (I never even got to run it!) I don’t remember its name or the reasons for its disappearance.
  • The Washington DC Marathon was held one year and cancelled the next. But this was the fault of the organizers, who were a for-profit entertainment company and s*ucked – they didn't care about the runners.

So, are DC races cursed?

At least the Capitol Hill Classic 10K still covers a fantastic course that actually goes down and up Capitol Hill.

I hope the Army 10 Miler (which was affected in 2005, but I hope that was not an omen) and the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (which I’m running in three weeks) stay the same – those courses kick a*ss.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

angst and what happened to February?

I guess it is a short month. So March... March!?!

I am feeling so angsty. Why? I don't really know. But my stress seems unusually high (and I am a pretty anxious person -- so I function on a daily basis with eleveated stress).

Things I have been thinking about (again and again-- taking turns in the front of my mind):
  • Doing creative things: even writing this blog seems creative, an outlet, and I have not done so for over a month; I have a painting I want to do (imagine that, a painting, me!), but I have only begun sketching it out in pencil and rough paint strokes. It will be of a very cool house in Sydney (see photo at right).
  • Whether or not to have another child: My friends who have many children seem crazed, and I have been put off of the idea of more than one. But I just realized that those who have two kids seem sane enough for my tastes. Those with three or more exist on another, rather unappealing, plane.
  • My list of "relatively unimportant things to do" (these have been on the list for months, at least, and are only a sample of all that is on the list): Alphebetize CDs; move clothes that are too small for Iz to the "to be saved" bin or to the donation box; clean my office (which I now have fled to work at the dining table instead -- the baby gate blocking the office door seems to make it seem even more overflowing with crap than maybe it really is).

(Perhaps cleaning my office should be on a more important list, but finishing my work, caring for Iz, eating, and exercising push it to the bottom, or to the top of the unimportant list. I think I would feel better if it were clean...)

I remain angsty. And I have almost no patience for the husband, child, or dog at this point. (Iz probably gets the most leeway in the midst of my angst.) I have to fix this, but I don't really know what the problem is. (Maybe I should do something creative, decide to have a second child, and clean my d*amn office.)