April 25, 2011

My First Bike Fall!

Posted in Biking at 2:01 pm by Lisa

And of course, it involved a dog.

Pretty much recovered from the marathon and now that the weather is nice, I’ve been trying to get some long (for me) bike rides in on the weekends. I’m just trying to build up my mileage so that eventually I can join a group that does long rides with a car riding alongside with them (this is the only way I will feel safe out on the roads).

Until then I’m stuck in the park. And it’s a choice of one of two loops – the 1.49km or 1.89km. Both have their downsides (and very few upsides) but what can you do. That’s what’s available at the moment.

Anyway, today I had a late start and didn’t get to start riding until 8:20. I changed my sneakers to my bike shoes and clipped into the pedals. Rode 22km (around and around), occasionally yelling at someone about their unleashed dog in the wrong lane (bikers/walkers). And at one of the corners where people join the park, a woman was standing right in my path with her dog, who was on a leash. However the leash extended about 6ft because the dog’s off sniffing who knows what. I have no place to go and try to get unclipped to stop in time and lo and behold, I can’t.

Crash! I’m on the ground with a bloody knee and a sore hand because I put all my weight to stop the fall. And there’s a bike on top of me because my second foot is still clipped into the pedal! Finally I untangle myself and I think she may have apologized (at least she asked if I was ok). I moved over to the side of the path to assess the damage. I think I was more shaken up than anything so I drank some water to steady my nerves and than climbed back on and continued for another 20km. (All the while, yelling at more people and dogs along the way.)

This was the 1.89km loop and even though it’s longer and mentally a little easier to do, I think I’m going to have stick with the shorter loop – less people and wider paths. So what if I have to go around more than 30 times to get to 50km?

I think that my second ride this week is planned for the gym – that at least is fall-proof and I get to watch ESPN for an hour. Score! (so to speak!)

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Marathon Recap

Posted in Running at 2:00 pm by Lisa

Here are some pics of me from the marathon – this year I tried to smile for the camera so I ended up doing the same pose every time I saw a photographer – not sure exactly why I didn’t just wave – maybe next year!

The above were at the 8km point – I have the worst form ever! It doesn’t even look like I’m running but I am. Need to work on that technique! You can see the ground’s wet from the rain just a few minutes earlier (and of course, there’s the tissue in my hand that I carried for about 15 kilometers or so!)

At the 41km-ish point. Don’t I look happy? Trust me, the smile left as soon as we passed the photographer! Strangely enough, even though I was really beat up at this point, kilometers 41 and 42 were not only my fastest of the entire race, but my times were what I normally do for a speedy (for me) 10k. Not quite sure what that means – either my pacing was way off and I could have done the whole race faster, my training was off (cause I really felt exhausted around the 35-37km point), or I was just ready to be finished and sit down and this was the fastest way to make that happen! Either way that second wind pushed me to my limits and when I finally made it to the finish line, I was done!

Finish line! Right above my head there are 2 guys on bikes – Lior is the white guy in the white sweater. He met me in the park (around 29km point) and rode with me to the end. If he wasn’t there, I probably would have been about 10 minutes slower than I did! And no pics, but Tamar was hanging out at the 31km point with a second, much appreciated bottle of Gatorade – thanks! Also out of the frame are Hila and Ohad who had finished their half marathon (or “veneton” as Hila says, trying to start a worldwide movement to rename the half, calling on her Italian heritage and using the Italian word for 21) but hung around waiting for me to come in and cheer me on at the end!

In general, the race was great – I saw so many people I knew! A few parts of the course are out and back segments so it was cool seeing everyone and shouting them on (of course I was heading “out” while they were heading “back” – I hope next year I can pick up the pace a bit!). I received an email from Dror who’s in Etgarim who was running with Karen. I saw him twice on the way and yelled for him both times – he wrote that although he couldn’t see me, he could tell by my shouts that I had a smile on my face and was enjoying myself! So true – I was even cheering on people I didn’t know!

Even though the big marathons (like NYC, London, Paris, etc.) are amazing in scope, I think that there’s something so cool and fun about seeing so many friends on the course. Definitely one of the things that makes the TA marathon special for me. So I’ll be back next year!

And truthfully? Because of that “second wind” I think that I have a much faster time in me. My training was really not great this year – I started way later in the season than I would have liked and in the end only managed to get one long run in (and it was a really short, long run!). My nutrition was all over the place as the gels weren’t working for me and I didn’t make the connection until nearly too late, so I didn’t give myself enough time to try other options besides bananas (which were ok, but I’m not sure they really gave me the calories I needed) and Gatorade. On the plus side, I know my water intake was perfect – 2 stops along the way, thank you very much, and checking over the weekend, everything looked good (gross, but you know what I mean. What can I tell you? You gotta think about these things!)

Anyway, all in all I had a great time and have already started to think about next year.

And one last thing: one of the few downsides* of the race is that everyone gets the same t-shirt no matter what distance they run. I am shallow enough to care about this (I’m not knocking someone running a 10k but hey, I did the full 42.2 and why do I have the same shirt? Granted my “medal” was larger but who walks around with that?) So yesterday I took my shirt to one of those printer places and got 42.2 printed on both the back (huge) and front (a little less huge).

Such a nerd! 🙂

*Another downside? No food left for me by the time I finished! So sad. Next year I’m definitely packing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

April 8, 2011

42km? Done and Dusted!

Posted in Training at 4:52 pm by Lisa

I’m going to keep this short because I can’t believe it’s almost 5pm – I’ve been up since 3:45am and am exhausted!

So short version and tomorrow I’ll have time to search some sites to find pictures, etc. to post – hopefully one or two will be ok!

I crossed the finish line at 4:57:56. My goal was to better my previous time (4:59) so despite being really, really tired, I’m very happy!

Thanks to all for your good wishes and support! It means a lot to me and helped get me to the finish!

More to come tomorrow… I’m off to bed!

April 6, 2011

Final Countdown

Posted in Training at 7:40 am by Lisa

Just a really quick update on the last few days leading up to the marathon. This is turning into a huge event in Tel Aviv – more than 18,000 people are participating in one of the 6 available races (full marathon, half marathon, 10k, 4.2k, 21k for handbikes, and 21k for rollerblades). It should be an amazing day.

I, of course, am swinging back and forth between feelings of excitement and terror. I’m really nervous because I just don’t think that my training was on point. But I’m determined to finish and do my best to better my time of 4:59. Maybe by keeping an eye out for dogs and keeping the pit stops to a minimum, I’ll be able to do it.

I’ve written out my pre- and post-race lists and finalized my running gear, down to the exact pair of underwear I’ll have on. As for the food, I’ll be shlepping a few cut-up bananas and managed to blackmail Tamar to wait for me at kilometer 30 with an extra bottle of Gatorade. Hopefully the nutrition will be ok.

I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Lior convinced me to go on a diet and really watch what I eat for the past 21 days. I’ve been off sugar and finally seem to have “detoxed”. I’m feeling good and lost a whopping 600 grams! I just read a blog the other day that one of the most important aspects of race nutrition is eating right in general so hopefully everything will go ok from that point.

I’m planning to get up at 4am and be at the site by 5. The race starts at 6:30, hopefully I’ll be finished before 11:30 and I’ve already got my 3pm appointment lined up with my Chinese guy for a massage!

I’ll post my race report and times as soon as I can crawl up the stairs to my computer! Wish me luck!!