Saturday, April 23, 2011

Celebrity Skin

When I became editor of the Syracuse New Times 11 years ago, I told my children--who were 10 and 8 at the time--that I would be more accessible to them, while at the same time working more hours a week (by virtue of sitting at a desk instead of working in the field). I explained that the job was more high profile than reporting. @Will Keene responded by asking if I was famous. I doubt that, but my position certainly garners attention, if only because it's listed No. 2 on the masthead.
I love just about every aspect of my job--it's one of the most interesting jobs I've ever held. Part of the not-at-all-dull aspect of it is that I have been asked, because the job is high profile, to participate in some interesting promotions.
I have golfed at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, and received some constructive coaching from a golf pro. I have played street hockey with and against the Syracuse Crunch, even scoring an assist and watching @Wayne Mahar get incredibly frustrated at breaking his expensive goalie stick.
For many years I participated in the Girl Scout cookie eating contest, downing a record three thin mints in a minute. Not my strongest suit, I'll grant you that. It was fun having @Amy Robbins introduce me by saying, "She may be little, but she's tough." In fact, after Amy introduced me thusly, my son caught me before I got on stage and said, "See! I told you you were famous!"
Today I officiated at the most unusual event yet, an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for simultaneous changing of cloth diapers. Zoo public relations director @Lorrell Kenney Walter recommended me for this task because of my so-called fame. Um, OK. This was an Earth Day event, one that called attention to the needless use of disposable diapers. Think about that word: "disposable." These days it's more important than ever to use cloth diapers, what with shrinking landfill space and an invigorated appreciation for our environment. In fact, both @Georgia Keene and her brother survived babyhood wearing cloth diapers.
While 60 babies and their diaper-changers were registered for this event, 35 participated, including fellow triathlete @Jennifer Bakerville-Burrows and her cutie-patootie baby. At 12:30 p.m., almost three dozen diapers were changed and, it is hoped, Syracuse is now in the record books for something other than snowfall and basketball.
I can't wait for the next adventure my celebrity brings me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Decade, Not Decayed

Today, at 10:17 p.m., I turn 50 years old. In the life of a runner, it's a big deal to enter a new age group. In the life of a woman, 50 is just a big deal. Still, I feel better today than I did at 30; I'm sure it has a lot to do with child-rearing sleep deprivation and lack of any time to exercise adequately and eat properly. I emerged from the funk when I turned 40 and, frankly, things have improved ever since. Herewith, in no particular order (because who can prioritize such things?), are the milestones of my 40s, both good and bad.
1. I saw my two children through graduation from high school and into college.
2. I ran my first, and then my second, marathon, coming tantalizing close to qualifying for Boston the second time around.
3. I broke my left foot and had surgery on my right foot, the former revealing that, not only do I possess an incredible tolerance for pain, but osteopenia is a problem I have and there is little I can do about it--I am white and small-boned after all.
4. After many niggling injuries, I concluded that I needed to stop training exclusively for marathons and diversify. As a result, I discovered the joys, challenges, aches and pains, and ultimate triumphs of triathlon. After two years of training, I completed the Syracuse 70.3 Half-Ironman an hour faster than I thought I would.
5. I drank too much wine.
6. I met and married my incredibly supportive husband, who stands at the finish line, camera in hand, at all of my races. Being a stepmother is a challenge I have yet to master, but I haven't given up!
7. I found a cyst in my right breast that, after a sonogram, was deemed to be benign. Phew!
8. I developed some incredible friendships with women who have seen me through my fitness challenges and goals; among them: @Jade Barth Mills, @Patty Hendry and @Mary Fitzgibbons Klee.
9. I became a grandmother twice; OK, a step-grandmother, but still. . .
10. I ran a 6:59 mile three years ago in the Festival of Races.
11. After losing 30 pounds in 2004, I uncovered the muscles I had worked so hard to sculpt in my 30s. I had finally learned portion control.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pain, No Gain

It's remarkable how tolerant of pain I have become. I don't know if the ability to zone out when things hurt is the mark of a successful endurance athlete, but I have many friends who experience the same effect. Still, I'm not sure that's so good either--I turned a stress fracture into a full-blown second metatarsal break from ignoring the pain.
Here's what I'm talking about: This morning I went to the track. I detest track work in the moment, but once I'm done and then when I experience the benefits of around-and-around I'm glad I did it. Because it had been awhile (and I'm still technically recovering from foot surgery), I went easy: 4 x 400, with 400 recoveries, after a mile warmup, and then a half-mile cooldown. My goal was to complete each fast lap in under 2 minutes, and I reached that goal--1:58, 1:58, 1:59 and 1:54. It felt good to be done!
When I returned home to log my workout I was curious to see the last time I had been to the track. It was June! But there was a notation in that log entry about my toe hurting so badly that I was going to call my ortho about enduring a second cortisone shot. Uh-oh. I had forgotten how much that second toe had really started to hurt me, but considering I eventually laid off the track for nine months, my sensible self was clearly trying to protect my foot from even more pain.
The point is that even though pain tolerance is a strength of mine (though not something really to brag about), I clearly had had enough a full six months before I finally got that foot and toe fixed (and this would be the right foot, not the left foot I broke in 2007). I guess the lesson is to listen to yourself, even if you don't like what you have to say.
And now for something sort of different: The folks at have asked me to link some of their products from my blog to their website. My daughter tells me she has done the P90X workout and it kicked her butt, but that it's a quality workout all the same. I urge you to check it out (and the other workouts) for yourself--it's never too late to get into shape. They include the P90X2, the Tai Cheng and the 10 Minute Trainer.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday, Sunny Day

Today is a beautiful and sunny day, with still some early-spring chill in the air. It's only 40 degrees or so, but the sunshine goes a long way toward lifting the mood.
Today was also the third training run in the Mountain Goat Race series of trainers. It's been terrific watching 700 or so runners invade downtown Syracuse at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday to practice running up some of the toughest race hills to be found anywhere.
The Museum of Science and Technology graciously hosts all of us runners, and two Syracuse police officers help control traffic. A shout-out to them especially.
Today was also the longest run I've attempted since probably before Thanksgiving. About mile 5 I started to conk out, but I kept at it for the full 7 (ongoing congestion issues didn't make things any easier).
Then it was breakfast with my husband at one of our favorite diners before returning home to all the usual Saturday stuff--laundry, cleaning, etc., etc. Still, Saturday is by far my favorite day of the week.
I am also nearing the end of my 10-week session of yoga classes. I will continue to practice, as they say, at home, especially since I'll be 50 in nine days. Flexibility is fleeting, but it's also vital to my continued performance as an endurance athlete.
Anyway, now that it is April 2, time to post the training numbers for March.

Bike: 2h 07m 27s - 27.72 Mi
Run: 11h 19m 36s - 71.05 Mi
Swim: 3h 01m 51s - 11646.98 Yd
Strength: 9h 39m
Kettlebell: 45m
Stability Ball: 55m
Yoga: 5h 34m