Sorry I've been delinquent in posting some race results, but I'll try to keep up from here. (If I haven't posted your result, it's not because i don't love you – it's because I'm lazy.) There was a City Coach road trip to scenic Randall's Island and the Icahn Stadium track on Tuesday for the NYRR Speed Series. Here are the highlights.
You never heard of a mind as perverted as mine–Eminem
There was a time in my life when I wasn’t interested in having kids but was absolutely obsessed with the pregnant belly. I thought/think they are incredibly beautiful, plus the whole thing seemed to be a tremendous athletic feat. I secretly wanted to be a surrogate just to experience the workout. One friend asked, “Do you just like sex without the orgasm?”
Well, now that I am with pregnant belly and experiencing the joys of pregnancy, I wonder, “What the F*** was I thinking?”(not about having the kid…) You know how some women love being pregnant and wish they could be this way their entire lives? Well I am not one of them. While the pregnancy has not been difficult (Dear God, please no bed rest!), this experience has been pretty tough for me. But I remind myself that billions of women have done this before and it is the most ordinary thing.
Here are the joys I had to contend with: all day worrying, all day nausea without vomiting, all day nausea with vomiting, insane fatigue, exaggerated disrupted sleep, itchy skin—hives all over my legs and back. There are more, but so far, this is the stuff that felt unbearable. So this next one just hurts the ego. I feel as if I am on a battlefield being attacked my mortars and grenades of cellulite .The enemy is targeting my legs so as to maim me. The last time my legs were this “smiley” I was eating the one-pound bag of peanut m&m’s and the large bag of nacho Doritos and reading Moby Dick. I’d be so disgusted w/ my nutrition that I’d toss both half eaten bags in the garbage, only to fish it out and finish it. (Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode about this?) As the snacks/meals were still in their respective containers, I reasoned they were not contaminated. I wish I could say this is an exaggeration, but no. This really happened. And this is why I no longer read great works of literature. It gives me cellulite.
In terms of working out, I am lucky enough to still be able to do most activities. I work out 5-6 days a week, but there is NO intensity to it. Every now and then I do a check (I won’t call it time trial anymore because it upsets the husband) just to see where I am. Of course it means nothing. But I am so fascinated with the increased level of effort when nothing else has changed (other than the fetus in my uterus sucking out all the life and energy out of me). Don’t I sound like a wonderful mom?
Here are the things I miss: the commiseration of tough workouts, racing, feeling like I could scale a mountain any day of the week.
Here are the things I don’t miss: the anxiety of racing, the packed schedule of training (then again, it is summer break).
Here are the things I have embraced: having boobs, having it not be about me (My husband begs to differ. He says it’s about me in a different way now), having boobs, and finally, having a miracle in my belly.
Allen Iverson and I are kindred spirits apparently.
Triathlon is a very honest sport. In order to succeed, you must train your weaknesses more than your strengths in order to have a good overall race. Unfortunately…….I find this very difficult, and last weekend's Philadelphia Triathlon was a great example of this fact (and a great kick in the pants for the rest of the season).
I've done Philly the previous four years, and it is by far my favorite race of any distance or discipline. I guess helps that I know every turn, hill, and pothole on the course since I've ran or ridden parts of it hundreds of times. Even without my homecourt advantage, the organization is phenomenal and it's a great venue, so I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a well-run and fast Olympic distance race in the future.
The swim is point to point in the Schuylkill River (bonus points if you can pronounce it correctly!). While it's not the cleanest river out there, it's still a huge improvement over the Hudson. I was fortunate enough to be seeded in the Elite wave, which started right after the Pros and meant I'd have an open first lap of the bike. I knew within a few minutes of starting the swim that it was going to be a tough race (I'm currently in the middle of moving and had a few late nights the week before the race living the musician life). So it wasn't the most rested I've been before a race, but as they say in Japan, "c'est la vie".
I exited the water in 22:45, which was a bit faster than I expected considering how un-fast I was feeling. The swim was not wetsuit legal, so T1 was quick, and I was on my bike (fancy mount included) in about a minute and a half.
The bike begins with about a mile of flat and then turns uphill for the longest climb on the two loop bike course. Ugh. I knew I was in for a pummeling after that first hill. The course for the most part is pretty fair though, and there's always a downhill for every uphill, so there's really no reason to complain. I slogged through the bike with that dead-leg-it's-freaking-impossible-to-turn-the-crank feeling. I managed a faster second lap by over a minute, but overall it was a slower-than-expected 1:09 for the bike leg (a demoralizing 4 minutes slower than last year).
I breezed through T2 and was out on the run feeling surprisingly fresh, questioning whether these were the same legs that had just trudged through the bike. The run in Philly is very flat and very fast. I had a fair amount of athletes in front of me, so I focused on relaxing and picking off as many people as I could. The best part about the Philly Tri is that my mom comes out to watch me race, so it was nice seeing her twice on the run (especially the second time promised there'd be pancakes waiting for me at home). Considering how poorly the bike went, I was shocked to finish with a 36:03 run, which is the fastest I've run a 10k in any situation.
So while there were bright spots (the run, pancakes), the lack of preparation on the bike (hello, four minutes slower than last year) is a more glaring weakness. If this coming weekend (moving and a three day recording session) doesn't kill me, I'm ready to get back to work and put in some serious time on the bike. Next up is the NYRR Sprint Tri, and there's juuuuuust a bit of pressure there to do well, so it's time to go to work! It's time to…….PRACTICE!
BRUNCH PICTURES HAVE BEEN REMOVED BECAUSE I DON'T BELIEVE MY READERS ARE MATURE ENOUGH TO PROCESS CONTENT.
So let's talk about brunch.
Brunch has a special meaning to the athlete. It implies a reward for hours of hard work. To an athlete, brunch is sacred. We do it at ihop in sweats. We talk about athlete things. It probably involves little if any alcohol. However, there are pots of coffee, pancakes, eggs and endless fresh water. In the end you leave all carbed up for your 30 hour bike ride the next day.
For a NYC social butterfly brunch is also sacred but it resembles very little of the athlete brunch. It starts a little later, say 4pm instead of 10am. It sops up hangover instead of sweat and typically involves lots of alcohol and far less food. Food would just get in the way of the new alcohol battling the old. People typically gossip about the night before – no they weren't sleeping like us at 9pm. A PR is something you take post ruffies.
So, today I made a mistake. I assumed that I could do a social brunch instead of an athlete brunch. One of my favorite people was back in town from LA – and I do own one pair of casual non-sneakers. Why not? I'll tell you why not. Like an athletic event, these things require months of training. First, everyone was more beautiful than me which is just so annoying. They didn't have to 'win' pretty and gregarious – they just were. Could I mop up my self pity in pancakes? Hmm..didn't see any. I saw lots of pink drinks, a drag show and a burlesque show. There were no pancakes. Pretty, scantily clothed people without a single pancake or yard of spandex.
Don't get me wrong, it was all I could do not to hop out of my seat and sing the show tunes that I of course know EVERY word of. But no pancakes? I also gave away my true self when I expressed my amusement at one of the entertainer's elaborate nipple guards. Yeah, I know, they are only called that if you are a guy and running.
So, I never got any pancakes. It was too late when I got home. Oh well, I love you anyway llama – even if you don't like ugly people(says you). Welcome back to NYC. Maybe I'll bring you to athlete brunch next weekend. Is your bike in the city?
Chris Solarz climbed 33,000 feet in 11 hours 57 minutes to break the Guinness World Record™ for the “Greatest Vertical Height Climbed in 12 Hours.” The 32-year-old climbed the stairs from the 2nd floor to the 50th floor a total of 55 times in Three Logan Square (formerly known as the Bell Atlantic Tower), taking the elevator down each time. From 7am – 7pm, Chris covered a total of 2,640 floors or 58,080 steps. Chris’s record attempt was dubbed the “Urban Everest Challenge” because his plan was to surpass 29,029 feet, the height of Mount Everest’s peak above sea level. The previous record was set in 1994 by Russell Gill, who scaled the Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus, Ohio, 53 times for a cumulative vertical height of 26,712ft. Chris has considerable experience in both endurance events and stairclimbing races. He has run nearly 200 marathons and ultra marathons in 30 countries around the world. He has also run dozens of stair races around the world, and has won 6 stair races hosted in Philadelphia’s Mellon Bank Center and Three Logan Square.
Chris climbed to raise money for the American Lung Association. Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.LungUSA.org.
Most of you know that I injured myself and won't be doing IMLP. I don't even want to talk about it, so let's not. Instead I'm going to provide my updated race schedule for the year:
Race Date Comments
Stars and Stripes 7/09 Doing this for laughs. Have you seen me swim?
GORUC 9/09 Doing this for laughs. Have you seen my upper body?
Syracuse 70.3 9/18 It's my birthday, so they have to let me win my AG.
10K Swim to Red Thing 9/24 More laughs. Blame the dream on Ms. Cox.
Tough Mudder 10/11 If my coworkers can do it so can I.
Tough Mudder Again 10/12 I'm waaay tougher than my coworkers
Philadelphia Marathon 10/18 I will break 3. I will break 3. I will break 3.
Miami Marathon 01/29 Just in case I hit the wall in Philly. I'll break 3 here.
That's what I've got so far. I'm sure I'll come up with a few more stupid things to do. I did sign up for IM NYC 2012. That should be interesting. I'm thinking of launching a reality tv show called Jersey-Mob-Tri Wives. I think its a good blend. Plus I'll get to show off my Italian roots.
Are any of you familiar with Gypsy? I'm guessing not enough of you. I have spoken to no less than 10 people in my work, personal, and personal-work life this week where I really just needed to sit them down with these strippers:
Everyone wants to be special. In fact, I was just reading a book the other day that suggested the main reason people get married is because they need someone to think they are special – and marriage made that more likely long-term. What book? Hmm… Tangent.
But anyway, that's not what I'm really talking about. Living "globally" as we do today, you will be hard pressed to find someone who can't do everything you can do BETTER. That's right! My guess is no one reading this blog is that special. Luckily, the key to being successful in life really has more to do with being unique than it does being good at anything.
We have a whole clown car here at City Coach with athletes who run stairs, win subway riding records, athletes that break world records on treadmills, athletes who ride their bike 100 miles in circles once a year. Ultra-marathon runners, ultra-ultra marathon runners in costume.. The list goes on. Are they special? Heck yes. Why? Because they realized someone else was better at everything else they did. So, they found a different way to do some of those things. They made themselves special. Here's a quick cheat sheet on how to become special yourself:
1. Pick one of your favorite activities.
2. Recognize that you're just not that great at it. Maybe you're good – but you're not the best. If if you were the best at one time. You aren't now.
3. Consider all the different elements that make up that activity.
4. Change or enhance one or two elements. Play with some combinations. Think about it mathematically.
5. Find entertainment, celebrity, or monetary value in making those changes.
I swear this will help you at work, racing and everywhere you want to be special.
As I sit here complaining about the office chair here in the business center at the Pleasanton, CA Marriot, Chris Solarz – the man who has run almost 200 marathons and ultra marathons, owns two world records and has won six Philadelphia-based stair races – is in the midst of attacking a third record. Chris is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the "Greatest Vertical Height Climbed in 12 Hours."
Chris will spend his day racing up the stairs of Three Logan Square in Philadelphia to beat the 1994 record set in Ohio: 26,712 ft. If he meets his personal goal, Solarz will surpass 29,029 ft., the height of Mount Everest's peak above sea level.
So far Chris is 3:28:00 into the climb and has done 21,120 steps and 12,000 vertical feet, putting him ahead of world record pace. We'll keep you posted in his progress.
I cling to it like a wet t-shirt whenever something like last week happens.
Last week, I managed to kill two races with one swim workout. In all fairness, if it had just been this one minor injury with an otherwise stellar training streak there would have been only one dead race. But that was not the case. As it was, I lost two more 100+ mile rides resting my jacked calf – and that was the final nail in the Ironman Lake Placid coffin.
I know someone is wondering if I did it on purpose. To them, I ask this.. Would you sleep outside overnight, stand in line 6 hours, Pay $4,000 with lodging…and just think 'screw it' I'll drop this race. Yeah, no… not on purpose.
Unfortunately, I'm being a bit more careful with things since the 2 years of PT weren't my finest. I've just made the life of some EMT much easier and spared Sejal months of Emily brain throwup.
So while I'm a heal'n I've got a bit more blog time. And I do still have races. My next big show will be Stars and Stripes. It should be hilarious since I'm a really terrible swimmer.
I also have some "non-grownup" races coming up this fall alongside my "grownup" races. I'm going to do GORUC 9/9 and a double installation of ToughMudder in November. If you know me you know, given my upper body strength, I couldn't possibly do these things right now. I fatigue carrying laundry from my apartment to the elevator. So, that's why I'm doing them. I got myself a personal trainer (though I won't be featured on lifetime) and we're going to 'do this thing together.' I'm just kidding, she doesn't say that. But they do at SoulCycle…not that I'd know.
Okay, waaay too much disjointed info for one blog. I'll save some for tomorrow. It will include boxing, progress on my calf and why I want to be Florence Welch. Not in that order.