Running the Night Shift

I’m in the middle of an exhausting 5 day stretch of working the grave yard shift in the ER.  The last time I worked 11pm-7am was a few yrs ago while working at a hospital back home during breaks from undergrad.  I forgot how much it upsets your sleep patterns and your running.  When you get home at 7 am when the rest of the world is waking up and sleep until noon or 1 pm, you’ve lost a chunk of your day.  When I get motivated to run, it’s during the gym rush hour (it’s been raining a bunch out here lately) so you have to keep the motivation going through 7 or 8 pm when you can actually get on a machine to actually do anything.  The best way to describe how I feel is this:

Runners Lost

Over the past few weeks, the running world has lost two running greats:

Grete Waitz, 9 time NYC marathon winner and the Silver Medalist of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics (behind Joan Benoit Samuelson) died of cancer last month.  Note, she didn’t just win 9 NYC marathons over the course of her career, she won 9 STRAIGHT NYC marathons.  Grete was someone who after pacing her first marathon, swore to her husband she’d never do it again.  Cancer can show its ugly claws in anyone, no matter how healthy or how active a person is.  For awhile, it seemed as if her demon was in remission, however, it managed to reappear.  the NYRR has dedicated the women’s only Mini 10K for Grete this June.

Earlier this week, Kenyan runner Sammy Wanjiru died after a fall off the second story balcony of his home.  Sammy won the 2010 London Marathon, the Chicago Marathon last October and the 2008 Olympic Marathon in Beijing.  This is someone who had so much going for him in his young career, but since last November, had numerous family and legal issues that overshadowed what he’s done.  There were police reports filed for domestic violence against his wife, threatening to kill his wife and him coming home drunk.  On May 15th, his wife reportedly caught him at their home with another woman.  What happened next isn’t clear- whether his wife left the house and he thought jumping from the balcony would be the quickest way after her, if he was trying to commit suicide or if he was pushed.  No matter what you think happened in his personal life, you must admit that a young talent was lost too soon

May Grete and Sammy RIP

Cleveland Marathon or Bust! [And I Busted :-(]

What. A. Weekend.  I was signed up for the Cleveland Marathon and had every intention of running all 26.2 miles of it.  However, it wasn’t meant to be.  On Friday after work, I ended up driving about 5 hrs of my drive to Cleveland and ended up in Monroeville, PA.  I decided I didn’t want to do 7 hrs of driving the day before a race and wanted to make sure I got to the expo in time and get into my hotel, etc.  I got to Monroeville around 11 pm and was able to find a hotel right off of I-76.  It was there that I realized I had forgotten a few things when I packed- like long running tights, Body Glide and Advil.  Some of this was no problem as I can find some at an expo or CVS.  Saturday Morning, I checked out of the hotel and made it to Cleveland by 9 AM.  I tried to check in early, but the hotel was still booked from the night before.  I headed over to the expo and volunteered at the number pick up until 2.  I was finally able to check into the hotel but had to change to a smoking floor because no non smoking rooms were available.  I went to take a shower and realized I only had 1 pair of underwear.  How, I have no idea.  I bailed on the shower and ended up going into Cleveland (since I was staying 20 min or so away) to go to mass at the Cathedral.  It was nice because it was said by the Bishop of Cleveland who said a prayer for the runners.  I was able to find a store to get some underwear and then headed to find some dinner.  Lucky me, enter Steak n Shake!!  Now, PA for some reason doesn’t believe in Steak n Shake.  Don’t know why- when I lived in Chicago, there were some and there were at least 7 on the way from Chicago to Lancaster, OH.

Anyways, after taking dinner back to the hotel, I went for a quick 2 mile run in the hotel fitness center which was ridiculously hot and humid.  Got my shower in and got my stuff together and laid out for the next day.  I got a phone call from my mom who said she was going to drive up from Lancaster (yay!) to meet up with me for the morning.  Apparently my dad was going to be mulching and planting all day and seeing me was more fun (and, they had missed me when I attempted to see them in NYC after the Broad Street Run).  I laid down to bed around 11, but never got a real good night sleep.  The walls were thin so I heard the neighbors talking the whole night and I never really felt like I fell into a complete sleep.  5 am rolls around and I get up after hitting the snooze button a few times.  I headed into Cleveland and parked in a garage about a 10 min walk from the start.  It was also where I realized I forgot my wallet which had cash/credit cards in it (apparently you need cash to get out of the parking garage- who knew?).  It was cold and misting the entire weekend and today was no different.  The start/finish was at Browns  Stadium so we at least had indoor bathrooms (wait time: 4 minutes).

I made my way to the start and we were off at 7 am.  I was doing ok and keeping with the 4:30 group but my foot felt off and something was nagging at my knee.  The first 3 miles were on Highway, not in Cleveland at all.  4-4.5  miles in I decided to switch to the half.  I just felt so off and was cramping up and didn’t want to suffer through another 22 miles.  (It was also a hint to get higher than 14 miles on training runs).  The main goal was to just get through it.  I saw a Team in Training Gorilla, a guy outside a bar dressed up like a hot dog and a few other costumes.  One of the better signs I saw was “The Kenyans are behind you!”  I was able to make it through and turned off at the 1/2 marathon split around mile 12.5.  I appreciated the marriot hotel bell hop out giving high 5s in the middle of the road.

After finishing, I met up with my mom who got to the finish right before I came across.  We walked to her car and she drove me over to where I parked (after we got on the right street) and drove to my hotel.  I was able to shower and then we relaxed for half an hour.  I was getting abdominal cramps due to that time of the month (one of the times I hate being a woman) so I was sprawled on the bed for a bit.  We checked out and headed to IHop for brunch and caught up on Lancaster OH news.

By 1, I was on the road back to Philadelphia.  It rained the whole time! I felt like I was in a fight with my windshield wipers the entire time.  At one rest stop (which I was stopping at every 65-100miles because of what long runs due to your bladder), some Pittsburgh Marathons were there and we all knew what each other were thinking.  I pulled into my apartment a little after 7 and managed to collapse on the couch for a bit.  I checked this morning and found I spent $51 in tolls round trip.  It doesn’t help 90% of drive was tolls…it’s murder!

Cleveland=bust.  Maybe it’s a sign I should run the Columbus Marathon where I can at least stay at home

5K for Mother’s Day

On a whim, I picked up a 5K yesterday.  It was something I found Saturday afternoon and it involved a Nike Dri fit shirt.  Yes, I drove 40 min and paid race day registration for a Nike shirt (but that’s besides the point).  The race started at 2 pm which made it even better.

The 5K for Mother’s Day had it’s second annual race in West Chester with about 750 women.  All of the proceeds benefit the Mommy’s Light Foundation which helps kids who’ve lost their mother keep traditions alive that they use to do with mom.  The course itself was a loop course that you went around twice.  I somehow was able to run a 9:15 mile and finished 138/550 or so 5K runners (there was also a 1.5 mile walk).  My last 5K was in December (and before that, was in undergrad 3 yrs ago).

A good race to run and I’m sure it’ll continue to grow!! (definitely tired so no big long write up for this)

Broad Street Run 2011

It’s almost 10:30 pm and I’m just getting more than 30 seconds to write about Broad Street 2011.  I was determined to get as much sleep as possible so I didn’t wake up until 615 or so.  I ran last year and got to the start way too early.  It was one of those I don’t know what to wear in terms of weather for whatever reason and left the house with multiple long sleeve shirts on over a dry fit.  It took 15 minutes to get to the Sports Complex where I parked in the V lot closest to the 76W exit (as I was going to be bolting pretty quickly when I got done).  I left one of my long sleeve shirts in the car because it had warmed up (or maybe it was because the sun was out) and caught a shuttle down the start and was there by 8.  We all know port a potty lines are ridiculously long at these things so I ducked into a gas station where indeed there was a bathroom that required all of 3 minutes of waiting (instead of 20 like last year).  I was in the Gray corral this year but decided to jump in the Green corral (one ahead) because I had an 1137 AM train to NYC and wanted to make sure I got out on time.

Come 830 AM (and an awesome new running playlist later), the gun sounded and corrals started moving.  It took about 10 minutes for me to get over the start and off to the races with 30,000 other people.  About 1/4 a mile in is a church where, last year, a priest and his congregation were out cheering us along.  This year, they were out in full force again.  I made good time with my first mile, however didn’t appreciate the “You’re Almost Done” sign at around 1.25 miles.  I ducked into a McDonald’s (with 5 other people behind me for a second bathroom break and then went back to work.  For some reason, BSR felt so much easier this year.  Last year we were fighting 85+ degree heat and humidity.  Additionally, my feet were killing me because I didn’t train right with my Vibrams (and ended up with an IT band injury because of it).  The fans were out in full force which is always a good thing since this is also a good race to watch.  I never hit a wall with this race like I have with other long runs and that was a major plus.  Around mile 5.5, I (along with a few other runners) saw a guy go down.  Not sure if he fell or was a little on the dehydrated side but we talked to him until medics came over- fingers crossed he was ok.  At around mile 7, a bunch of people at the water station were dressed up in tutus/skirts and crowns.  I’m guessing they were in London this weekend.

I loved the last mile where fans were in full force.  People from Jimbo’s Squad, Student’s Run, and friends and family.  I was thrilled to see the Navy Yard Gate as that means only 1/4 mile left!!  I was picking people off left and right and ended up running a new 10 mile PR of 1:38:52.  This beats my Cherry Blossom time by 3 minutes and my BSR time from last year by 14- YAY ME!!  I was able to make it through the shute, get my medal and food all by 10:23 (note there’s an 11:37 train) and started weaving my way back to my car.  I was there by 10:40 and on the road in no time.  Since there was no traffic, I had enough time to get home and have a luxurious 3 minute shower before scurrying over to 30th Street Station at 11:30.  I had my tickets printed out at 11:33 and was on the train with (no joke) 2 minutes to spare.

I spent most of the afternoon with my grandparents as my parents were doing the Td Bank 5 Borough Bike ride, but there was some sort of back up where they ended up stuck on a bridge for an hour, had to walk another hour and then had to wait an hour to get on the Statan Island Ferry back to Battery Park. My grandparents and I went out to dinner with a friend of mine from Ohio who lives in NYC and then I showed my grandparents down to the theater where they were meeting up with my parents for a 7 pm show (which they finally got to at 703 pm).  I saw my parents all of 1 minute and then decided to head back to philly a few hrs early do to being worn out.  Hope BSR treated everyone well and glad the weather cooperated!!

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