Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm Not a WIMP!!! I'm a ...

(and quite modest about it, too, as you can see:-)

Things I learned today:
  • AccuWeather is definitely less-than-Accu-Weather! It was nowhere a "real feel" of 9 degrees this morning! Fortunately, it actually felt warmer than it did last night!
  • If you do the absolutely most hated, "I can't deal with this" part of your training workout first, everything else is downhill - in some cases quite literally!
  • One reverse upper loop up the West Side of Central Park in the freezing cold makes you a bad-ass. Two reverse upper loops up the West Side of Central Park in the freezing cold makes you a SERIOUS BAD-ASS! The added bonus is that nothing else in the park is anywhere near as torturous and the rest of the workout is a piece of cake!
  • Even after walking over 14 miles, I am still faster than half the tourists on Fifth Avenue! Holy crap, those people walk SLOW! Amazingly, I did not mow anyone down, although I came close on more than one occasion.
My walk coach, Barb, was very helpful during my "meltdown moment" yesterday. The "staying in the park instead of going up Riverside to the Little Red Lighthouse" idea was a good one and it really worked out well for me. It went so well, that instead of my usual walk to the subway station at Fifth Avenue and West 59th, I walked all the way down to Fifth Avenue and West 42nd Street! Total miles on my pedometer at the end of it all was...

17.25 miles!!!

Another interesting by-product of all this is that "The Great Broccoli Mystery", which I originally wrote about here has been SOLVED!!! It grows on the trees in the area! No joke! If you look at the picture below, you can see round objects on the tree branches in the lower left, and upper middle sections. (They're a bit larger up close - about the size of a tennis ball.)

Those aren't nuts or apples or cherries. They are broccoli-like things that are look like the thing in the center of this picture:

Had we not been doing a reverse loop this morning, we might never have solved the mystery!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Being a Wimp, Not a Bad-ass

I think I've probably hit the worst part of my training, at least mentally.

I am freaking out, in tears and panicking about doing a 16-17 mile walk tomorrow in the freezing cold. I don't think it's about the weather or the distance, though. I think it's more of a mental thing. I've e-mailed one of my coaches for suggestions. In the meanwhile, I'll write about it here so that at least I can get it out of my head and onto "paper".

I am scared to death about getting through tomorrow's long walk. We're supposed to walk up Riverside to the Little Red Lighthouse and back, and then some. It's supposed to be 26 degrees out at 8:00 AM, with a "real feel" of 9 degrees! After my 9/11 volunteering, and my more recent trip down the West Side Highway and back last week, I know it feels about 10 degrees colder along the water and it's usually really windy. But, at least walking down the West Side Highway is familiar. I know where things like clean restrooms are. I have no familiarity with walking up Riverside. I also know that, as a walker, chances are I'll be walking at least part of the way back alone. So, the thought of being in unfamiliar territory, in the freezing cold all by myself is kind of scary. I don't think the thought of doing it would bother me as much if the weather was warmer. The combination of the two, though, is more than a bit intimidating and overwhelming. We have the option of doing our miles in the park, which may be what I'll end up doing if no one else is going to be walking up Riverside and back with me.

The other thing that's overwhelming me a bit is the thought of then having to commute back home in the cold. I have a change of clothes packed, so I have something warm and dry to change into once I'm done, but I think I'm having flashbacks from last weekend, when I was wet and chilled to the bone and waiting for a bus in the rain. I didn't get really warm and dry for over 2 hours after the actual walk was over. I really don't want to go through that again. I think being chilled and cold on the trip home is worrying me more than being cold during the actual 16 mile walk, if that makes any sense.

Like I said, I'm being a wimp, not a bad-ass right now:-) I'll survive, I'm sure. Nothing I could possibly face in the Walt Disney World Marathon next month could ever be this bad weather-wise!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Made it Through the Rain...

Riverside 8:45am

Yesterday was a 15-miler from West 72nd Street in Central Park, down the West Side Highway to Chambers Street, across Chambers Street to the Brooklyn Bridge, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and then back. Everything was fine up until the return trip over the Brooklyn Bridge. That's when the rain started.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate walking in the rain? Especially so when it's only around 45 degrees out or less, along the windy West Side Highway with the rain blowing my face! We're not talking a sprinkle or a bit of drizzle, either! It was pouring! So much so, that I was soaked even with my hat, GoreTex jacket and "Emergency Rain Poncho" on! My pants were so wet that they started to stretch out at the bottom, and they were dragging along the pavement. Both pairs of socks were completely soaked through, as were my shoes. Amazingly, I was still more or less a happy camper as I trudged up the West Side Highway towards my pit stop goal of Christopher Street, which would be about the 10.5 mile mark. I felt like George Clooney in "The Perfect Storm". But, I made it to the wonderful restroom at Christopher Street, and decided to check my Blackberry while I was there. I had a voice mail from one of my coaches, who was walking down the West Side Highway, looking for me, in the hopes of meeting me to walk back with me.

We met up at 14th Street, and continued uptown until we hit West 34th Street, which was about the 13 mile mark. At that point, it had started to turn into pouring freezing rain, and my coach decided it was time to detour off the windy West Side Highway, and head over to Penn Station to take the C train the rest of the way to West 72nd Street. The walk to Penn Station was easily at least another quarter mile, and by the time we made it back to bag watch, changed into dry clothes and got to the subway at 68th and Lexington Avenue, walked from the bus stop to my apartment, etc. I figure I hit the 15 miles easily.

You can see some pictures of yesterday's training walk at Be sure to check out the one of me in my oh-so-fashionable "Emergency Rain Poncho"!

Aside from feeling like I wanted to go to bed at 7 o'clock, I felt pretty good once I got into warm, dry clothes and put my big fluffy robe on.