Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birthday Run

Lately it's been hard to get out the door to run. My hip has been acting up since the Turkey Trot and there's been chiropractor drama. As a result I've been in some pain even while just sitting around and walking. That combined with short cold days has made it very difficult for me to run regularly. 

Sometimes when I'm not following a specific program if something goes wrong it becomes too easy to come up with reasons not to run. One day it's the throat. The next day it's the low temps. Then it's a faulty alarm clock. Or the rain. And before I know it, days go by and it gets harder and harder. I find it better to not think about whether to run, but just run.

But to switch that back on sometimes I need a reason to run. Without a race in the calendar, I found that reason in a birthday party brunch run.

It was my birthday yesterday and these lovely ladies helped me start celebrating my birthday right.  

Birthday run, not in our birthday suits.

It was very cold and the loop felt rough. I felt very out of shape and almost can't believe how I managed the Jingle Bell Jog just last weekend. But it was great being out there with some of my favorite running buddies.

The plan started low key and grew naturally. I bumped into Jess while commuting and we both wanted to get together and run on a weekend and the first available weekend was my birthday. Then I met up with Lindsay at the Jingle Bell Jog. Add Jess and we had a party. The four of us hadn't run together since Summer Streets and I was very excited about running with them. Then a couple of days ago Samantha asked Linna and me if we wanted to go for a run that evening. That didn't work, but how about run & brunch?

Brunch not pictured. Gone. There was an amazing sweet potato waffle, though.

People who run in groups used to baffle me. When I started running part of what I loved about it was the simplicity of it. Lace up and go. Whenever, wherever. The idea of running with others and having to coordinate schedules, hurry to meet, wait for someone to show up, seemed like an unnecessary complication. One I most definitely did not want to deal with. I was happy to run alone. 

What I didn't realize then was that running, like so many other things in life, becomes even better when enjoyed with good company.

Thank you for a lovely birthday!

Friday, December 16, 2011

NYRR Jingle Bell Jog Recap

Runners looking fierce in their Jingle Jog best.

It's hard to take themed races seriously. Particularly one where runners wear jingles in their shoes. This was my third year running the NYRR Jingle Bell Jog in Prospect Park. The first year I ran it in icy weather in a snow man hat and knee high red socks with white trim.

I was very happy with my festive outfit combining form (cute hat and socks) with function (running top & tights.) Then I started running. The socks were uncomfortable and the puffy ball at the tip of my hat was not so fluffy as it bounced against my head with every step I took.

The second year I wore an elf hat which I'd stuffed high with packing paper so it wouldn't bounce against the back of my head. It rustled, but it allowed me to run. It also made me very easy to find since it stood about two feet high over my head. According to unsubstantiated reports, it looked very funny  bobbing above the crowd as I ran.

This year I wanted a PR. I couldn't find my elf hat, so I wore the santa hat to the park but checked it before the race.

NYRR made PR'ing easy by changing the race from a 4M to a 6k. I didn't beat my Turkey Trot pace, but  I did manage to beat my NYRR time and got under 9:00min/min. I'm excited about my next bib with a lower best time listed. That might be one of my favorite things about NYRR races - watching the listed best pace go down.

Another win: my brightroom photo. I've been working on my breathing and, through it, in perfecting a focused emotionless stare. Working on it.
See? Getting there!
Other fun stuff: got to hang out with Idiot Runner and Lindsay before the race, I got to say hi to Michelle during, got a post race bagel and a quick hello from Lauren, and brunch with Don after.

NYRR races for Jan-March are now open for registration so I got to register with my new and improved time. Unfortunately, since I waited until after I had a chance to lower them I got shut out of the Manhattan Half. So go sign up for races right away if you want to make sure you get your spots.