Where’s Kathleen?

Where’s Kathleen? The question Tim asks just about everyday lately.  Sometimes, I have to reference my calendar to ensure I am where I need to be on the right day at the right time. Have you ever felt like that?

You have probably figured out by now that I must be busy or something since I haven’t posted a peep in long time.  My silence does not mean that I don’t wont to say anything, it just means that I am having a hard time finding a chunk of time to write a blog post.  And I am not going to throw pictures of my food diary with one line captions out there just to say I posted something.  I would rather not post anything than to publish that kind of fluff.

It seems like that in the blink of an eye, I went from having chunks of free time to a jammed packed schedule with little or no time to blog.

Here’s the scoop about what I have been up to.  Three weeks ago I started a brand new half-time job and full-time college school schedule all in the same week.   I was really psyched to land this job because it is in dietetics (the reason I am back to school as a full-time student) and I will be working with an experienced Registered Dietitian.  The job I am doing is a job that I have no prior work experience, so I needed to be trained from square one.  I’m finally feeling acclimated to what my primary responsibilities are so now I can take a deep breath.

On the school side of things, I am at school 2 full days and 3 nights.  I know, crazy.  It was the only solution I could come up with to accommodate the job I wanted and the classes that I needed /wanted to take.  Seriously, most of my courses are necessary because they are the final pre requisite undergrad classes I needed before I can move on to the Master’s program.

Digital photography is my own doing.  I’ll be honest, I started to hem haw about dropping it to free up one evening.  In fact, my intention on the first night of class was to make a decision on whether or not the class was a go based on the workload and amount of out of class time commitment.  In the end, I didn’t drop it….photography is going to be fun and I am learning how to use the crème de la crème of photo editing software, Adobe’s Photoshop.  And who cares about the grade, right?

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Our assignments so far have been fun and have forced me see things and think about the camera in a whole new light.  With light, of course, being the operative word.  Another bonus is that Tim and I are spending time together with these assignments so it’s a win win.  Soon, I will share some of the pics and you can tell me what you think.

Other than that, I have been running sporadically.  Sporadically only because it was my decision not to lace up and head outside. I don’t know what happened to me but if it is really cold,  snowy, windy, icy, and just plain nasty, I take a complete rest day.  There was one week not too long ago that I ran only one day.  I admit it, I have turned into a wimp!!  After falling on the black ice last year and being sidelined for a year, I’m not going to chance it.  I also decided that running is not the most enjoyable thing to do when the wind chill factor is below zero and the winter wind is whipping at your face.  Even with my jason mask, the wild wind still finds a way to seep through the neoprene crevices.

I am still planning on signing up for the Tipperary Hill’s Shamrock run for only fun this year and I am still on the fence about a spring half marathon.  I have to wait and see how my life settles down.

One day at a time, right!

Do you have any races in the near future you are training for? Are you ready or not to toe the starting line? Share, share in the comments.

 

 

Boilermaker Record Sell Out

I can’t believe that the 2013 Utica Boilermaker 15k & 5k races are closed.  Registration opened for the 15k race on Saturday, January 12th at 12:01am and was to full capacity with 14,000 registered runners by Monday, January 14th some time around 8pm.  I think the 5K had its 4,500 runners by Tuesday.

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I have run this race approximately 20 times and never thought that the day would come that I would have to worry about getting in.  Boy, I was wrong and I am so glad that Tim insisted we register on opening day.  Last year, the race sold out some time in March which I thought was record pace for sell out but c’mon now I have to mark my calendar every year with a reminder to sit by laptop with fast fingers to ensure a spot. Oh well, that seems to be the trend with road races and triathlons.

I am happy for the city of Utica and the organizers of this race because IMO it is one of the best 15K’s in the country.  Boilermaker is near and dear to my heart and is one of my favorite races of all time.  This is the race where I PR’d in the 15K and received an age group award which is probably my favorite award of all time.   In case you were wondering, my former last name was Iacuone and this is my finishing time and place in 1994.  I was 29 years old when I ran this race back in 1994 and if a miracle happened and I ran this same pace this year, it would place me in approximately the same overall standings (450-550th overall).  I would have to kick up my running pace a couple hundred of notches again to see those mile pace numbers is the 6’s and I don’t foresee that happening.    A girl can only dream!

 

1994 Utica Boilermaker 15k

 

Utica, NY

 

July 10, 1994

 

536 Kathleen M. Iacuone Syracuse        NY

 

8/182:F25-29 F#  47 1:03:32  6:49

 

Besides the awesome fans lining the entire 9.3 miles cheering all the runner’s on with festive music blasting, where else can you find a race that puts on the most amazing post race party serving kegs of beer at 9am on a Sunday?  Anywhere? Anywhere? Bueller?

Last years Boilermaker race was a joke for me and I had no business running or should I say walking most of it.  I did finish and paid the price for my idiotic decision to run this race by not being able to run for 3+ months after.  BIG mistake!

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks back that I am happy to be running consistently again.  I am consciously restricting myself from too much too soon and too fast mentality.  Therefore, I have no race expectations for myself besides finishing.  I will tell you that I am running/jogging or walking the Boilermaker, duh! and the 4 mile Tipperary Hill Shamrock – Run -duh because I’m Irish and haven’t missed one of those races since inception.  I have contemplated a half marathon late March but will not make any decision until closer to race day.

Part of me wants redemption in the finishing time category for both the Boilermaker & Tipp Hill races because of my disappointment with both of them last year.  I am not sure if I posted anything on this blog after the Tipperary Hill race; but this is the race when I first experienced the inability to run or walk another step at mile two of the race (literally- my legs did not move for minutes). I managed to finish but my time was nothing to write home about.

I decided that I will make up my mind of what my body will do come race day.  I’m definitely not going to jinx myself by proclaiming any lofty time goals to the world. If I feel great and just run, I will be happy.   I just have to accept the fact that I may not post times like I used to and certain runner’s that I used to place in front of will run right by me.   More on that topic in another post – can you tell that I’m still coping with the finishing time issue.. but every day it gets better.

Making strides is where it’s at for me now.  Can’t say if my mentality will change in the next couple of months on the racing forefront but we’ll have to wait and see.

Please let me know if you are running Boilermaker this year?  Did you make the final cut? What about your thoughts on all these good races selling out like there’s no tomorrow.. love it or hate it?  Love to know your thoughts.

 

 

Happy New Year!

I hope all of you have enjoyed the holiday season and are off to a happy and healthy 2013.   Boy how time flies.  Another year, another day, and it seems like every retailer is in the process of preparing for the next holiday on the calendar, Valentine’s Day. Cupid, conversation hearts, heart-shaped peeps, and heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate treats have replaced the colorful ribbon candy and candy canes on the supermarkets shelves.

Maybe it’s just me, but the last thing I want to think about right now is another holiday.   Wouldn’t it be nice to take a moment and enjoy today, New Years Day without all of these reminders that it’s time to start thinking about another day of celebration that’s over a month away.

I’m not going to bore all of you with any self-improvement, organizational or weight loss resolutions that I have set for 2013. Besides, why would I want to set myself up for failure when it is a well known fact that most resolutions are broken within the month of January.  If you don’t believe me, check out how easy it is to secure a treadmill without waiting at your local gym come February.

Every day is a new day and for me, and my personal, professional, ant athletic goals are constantly being set and modified as life goes on.

With that said, I will tell you that I am psyched about the goal I accomplished today.  I ran a 5 mile Resolution Run and that it felt really good to safety-pin a bib number to my running jacket. It’s taken almost a year to get to this point of running without any walking breaks so to say that I was excited is an understatement.   The weather this morning was typical for Syracuse, NY this time of year… cold, windy, snowy, and slushy roads.  And the 5 mile course was a lot of ups and downs and it was a great feeling to be able to jog down those downhills.  Although there is no official timing for this run, I know that my watch recorded the fastest pace per mile that I have run since the infamous fall on the ice last year.

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Goal accomplished for today and I will have to wait to see what challenges I can tackle tomorrow.

Have a wonderful New Years Day! Take time and enjoy the moment.

As always, comments are always welcome.

 

Your pace or mine?

There are many benefits of running or exercising with others.  It’s a great way to build friendships with people who have common interests.  Running with a group can be beneficial to your race performance when you are running with individuals that are faster or the same pace as you.  But, it also can be frustrating if the groups pace is out of your league.

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During my mid 20’s to mid 30’s, I ran just about everyday with a group of ladies that I met through one of the two running clubs in Syracuse.  All of us had a passion for running and were experiencing the triumphs and trials and tribulations of our careers, relationships and running goals.  The weirdest thing about this group was that we all worked in some facet of the healthcare industry.  Our healthcare running group represented one executive from the health insurance industry, a physical therapist, a research guru for Upstate Medical University, a professor for Upstate Medical University and me- a medical practice administrator/consultant.  You probably can guess that our conversations included some heated discussions involving the health care crisis.  Yes, that topic has been around for a long long time.

Everyday between 5:00-5:30am we would all gather outside K’s house in the Syracuse University neighborhood and run at least 8 miles at a pace faster than my current race pace.  Usually Tuesdays was dedicated for speed work which was a double workout with track in the am and tempo run in the pm and the dreaded long run saved for Sundays.   It was a perfect mix of runners with marathon pr’s from 2:45 ish to 3:15ish.  I always felt like our group was a balanced mix of runners all trying to have fun with the goal of improving our finishing times.  We all ran at a comfortable talking pace for our daily workouts and respected each others PR’s and race goals.  However, when it came to speed work and the last two miles of the long run, it was fair game to run your heart out with no regrets or questions asked.

I’m not exactly sure when our group began to dwindle but career obligations, family, kids, moving out of the neighborhood impacted our daily get together.

Slowly but surely our group disintegrated and we were down to 1-3 of us meeting randomly on the weekends for the long run.

Fast forward a few years and I was running with Tim on a regular basis.  Tim was so kind to take up this crazy sport so I wasn’t running by myself in darkness during the middle of our grueling winters.  Trust me, it took us awhile to find our running groove and I must admit that I was not the best running partner.  Often, I would run ahead of him and circle back to him and offer words of encouragement like “c’mon you can do it! your almost finished”.  Please take note that I realized that the zigzagging back and forth is not a nice thing to do to someone who is just starting to run or with a person that is much slower.

Now that I am slowly but surely getting back into somewhat of a regular running schedule, I  have opted to run by myself until I am confident I can keep pace.  First of all, I don’t want to hold back Tim or another runner from their regular training pace schedule. And secondly, I don’t want my competitive side to tack over and run too hard and reinjure myself.

For the time being, it is my pace right now and I can only hope to be your pace (whatever that is) later.

Have you ever ran with someone much slower or faster than you out of pressure or obligation?  Tell me, do you find it difficult or energizing to run with a group? I would enjoy to read your thoughts and comments on this topic.

Coach Potato

OMG I’m posting two days in a row!

No, I didn’t misspell the first word in the title to all of you who were wondering.  It’s actually what I became when I was sidelined with my mysterious running injury in January.

For those of you who know what it is like to be forced to take off an extended period of time from the sport you love to do can relate to how much not running really sucked for me.  However, after a few months of pushing my body to its limits and thereby making matters worse, I finally came to my senses and told my body enough was enough and it was time for it to take an extended vacation.

At first, the time off with absolutely no exercise was excruciating for me.  It seemed like the whole world around me was training so much and running race after race and I was just a spectator cheering them on.  More specifically, the main reason I was even at these running events was to support Tim.  He was racing week after week and setting new PR’s at about every distance imaginable. Just because I wasn’t racing was no reason that he needed to waste all of his hard training miles.

Then something miraculously happened to me.  I realized that I started to enjoy my new role as a cheerleader/ pseudo photographer at races.   I don’t know why I came to terms with it .. perhaps not having to race in 90 degree temperatures with 100% humidity,  no pre race nerves, or simply because I could eat and drink whatever I wanted the night before had something to do with the revelation.

Toward the middle to the end of the summer I started asking Tim if he was planning on running a fall marathon. Tim was consistent with his non-committal “we’ll see” response every time I asked him about the marathon up until a week before the actual event.  I know, frustrating.  That is when this coach potato started to exercise her mouth that was still injury free.

My remarks and suggestions were innocent at first. I started critiquing his training plan and offering my .02 of what he should do knowing that there was a good chance that he was secretly thinking about running the Empire Marathon.    It’s not like I am any kind of  real coach or anything, but my gut and running experience knew what his training program needed in order for him to break away from the hovering 4 hour barrier he has run for several marathons.

Tim and I would often joke about me being his coach from time to time.  In fact, I recall a few times that he called me Coach K instead of Kathleen or Roo.

Just so you know, Tim didn’t and doesn’t need a lot of motivation, guidance or coaching when it comes to running.  He is diligent and consistent when it comes to his weekly mileage and needed to work only on his long runs and speed.

On November 11, 2012, Tim’s hard work paid off by running a PR of 3:42 at the Harrisburg Marathon.  I like to think that I had something to do with his amazing time but it was all Tim.

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I do continue to establish running goals for Tim and have started the process of researching spring marathons.   Coach K is plotting for a BQ time.   shhh – don’t tell Tim.

Have a great weekend!