Friday, May 22, 2009

To the PAIN.

I mentioned at the end of my last post that Luc, Audrey, and I were preparing for our next adventure: the Philly 1/2 marathon in September. Well, plans have changed slightly since then. Our cheerleader, Meg, is joining us in our crazy running pursuit. Sweet. But...that's not all.

3.1 miles (5k). 6.2 miles (10k). 13.2 miles (1/2 marathon). What comes next? 26.2 miles, of course! YES. All four of us have our sights set beyond half marathon in September to a full marathon in January. Which marathon? As Luc said...if you're gonna run one, it might as well be in Disney World!!!

Luc and I at Disneyworld in 2007 during the APS DPP meeting:
Luc and Jess in Epcot, Nov 2007

The Disney World Marathon takes you from Epcot, through the Magic Kingdom (and Sleeping Beauty's Castle!), down to the Animal Kingdom, over by MGM, and back to Epcot.


***Luc, Audrey, and I are running to benefit children's cancer research. Hop on over to our Team Kinematic race site to read more!******


I don't anticipate problems with the training (ie not doing it or getting bored), because we made it through the 10k, and learned that adding a mile or so a week is really not bad, once you get up to about four miles. HOWEVER, prayer for health would be greatly appreciated: this very week I hurt a tendon in my hip and can't run until next week. Lord willing, with proper rest and careful training we'll be STRONG!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Newport 10k, May 9, 2009

"I hate math" was a constant declaration of mine as a child. Then I became a math major.

"I hate running" was another frequent statement of mine. Then I went and ran a 10k. And smiled. Most of the way.

After spending about two years "training" for a 5k (3.1 miles), I finally ran one. Then I thought, "hmmm, that's not so bad. I could do more!" So, I started training for a 10k (6.2 miles). As I love to do stuff with people, I convinced Luc to train for his first 10k, too! Audrey, our marathoner friend, needed very little convincing to join us, and Meg, our amazing in general friend, offered to drive, cheer, photograph, and sherpa for us!

We drove up to Jersey City, NJ, for the Newport 10k bright and early (6am early). We got nervous. Really nervous. We signed in, got our numbers and free (sweet long-sleeve tech) tshirts, jogged a bit to warm up, and bopped around with nervous energy.

Finally, it was almost time!! Time for a pre-race cheer, that is:

Finally, soon after 8:30am, we were OFF!

This is right after Audrey ditched us, and right before Luc ditched me:

I set into my rhythm, once the crowd thinned out, pleased that there were in fact a lot of people staying behind me. There was so much excitement and so much to watch, that I didn't even get a little bored. I kept pace with mostly the same group of runners the whole way, and enjoyed passing people who started out too fast and had to stop to walk. :P I didn't have to walk at all!

My first mile was 9:19, and three miles 28:52--the fastest I've timed myself. :)

Meg staked out the 3 mile marker, but sadly only Luc noticed her there. She did get each of us going by!
Audrey focuses on water and doesn't see Meg.
LUC sees Meg at the 3 mile mark!
I focus on rounding the corner and miss Meg. :(

We ran through sketchy, run-down neighborhoods with dirty mechanics leering at us on the corner and pretty, flowered neighborhoods with father and babies smiling at us from porches; we ran over the highway and industrial buildings; we ran by rows of cars held back by police officers until the 650ish runners made it through the intersections.

The best view though, was on the last 1.5 miles. [Thankfully. One needs a good view then. Then one is only running because one WILL NOT STOP. (One wants to blog about how one didn't stop.)] We ran along the pier and looked across the water to Manhattan. It was just gorgeous.

Meg set up camp at the finish line...and watched Audrey breeze in with 43:38:

Luc fist pump in at 50:54:

And me stroll in at 1:00:39:



One reason to love races: there's FREE FOOD afterward. We munched on the best bagels and bananas ever, drank water, and Strange drink for post-race, but they only served it in 1/5 cup sizes, and that was even too much. Water's the way to go.

Then, there were the prizes. The top male ran it in 28:53, 4:39 min/mile pace. He was from Kenya. The top female ran it in 32:19, 5:12 min/mile pace. She was from Ukraine. Crazy people.

The big surprise and excitement of the day: AUDREY GOT 3RD PLACE IN HER AGE GROUP!!! (In the open level section--the registered 'elite' runners didn't count. She was 7th overall in her age group.) YAAAY!!!
Audrey won 3rd in her age group (open level division)!!!!!!!

Whew. We had a TERRIFIC time, and are pumped for our next adventure!

I guess the moral of the story is, if I hate something, give me a few years--then I will passionately embrace it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You know summer is approaching when...

Macho Men.
Originally uploaded by moosicalmath's 90 degrees on April 26th and you go to Point Pleasant:
We're excited, cause we smell like SUNSCREEN.

...the trees turn pink:
Spring blooms outside my door. can sit on your patio and listen to windchimes:
Windchimes make me happy. don't freeze when you climb the GC Tower at sunrise:
Campus in the wee hours
Old GC

...the geese start attacking:
(these two pairs live at PPL and hiss at each other. And us.)
...this pair!
Two pairs of geese live at PPPL.

...and you finish classes! I turned in my final project for German 102, so jetzt bin ich fertig. Ja. Sicher.

The rest of the pictures from these sets can be found heeeere!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mayday Relay!

A few weeks ago, my friend invited me to run with her department (psych) in the Mayday Relay, a seven-leg relay race from Rutgers to Princeton on the towpath alongside the D&R Canal. I said, "Oh man, how awesome!!" and then "Oh hey, I could get my own department to do this, I bet!" So I did. Luc, Dan, and Dave from PPL joined Colin from Physics and Amanda, Dan's wife, with me to create a completely awesome relay team.

We drove up to New Brunswick early Sunday, May 3rd, in time to start the 10am race. Excitement was buzzing in the air, despite the misty rain and impending doom of downpour. The eleven teams were representing several graduate departments from Rutgers and Princeton.

I started the race for my team. I was SO nervous and somewhat dreading it. My fears did come true. We all started together, and immediately, everyone pulled ahead of me. Oh well. I kept pace for a while, and then just enjoyed the peacefulness of the misty towpath, which, up near Rutgers, was nice and gravely, and not muddy. My 3.7 miles ended with a less than graceful hand-off to Martin:

I am SO pleased with my time though: the official claim is that I ran 3.7 miles in 33:20, which amounts to about a whole minute faster than I train! I'm not sure I believe that! :)

We left Martin to run his four miles, and drove to the next exchange. The rain came down harder, and the trail got muddier, the farther south we traveled. This was a typical scene at the exchanges, although the crowd thinned the closer we got to the finish (as the runners spread out more):
Wet racers waiting eagerly for their runners.

We enjoyed getting to know more parts of the state park, including the many locks:
Jess and Amanda enjoy the locks.

Martin made great time and passed it off to Amanda:

A street ran through the next exchange, so Amanda came in one side:

and Dan left on the other:

At this exchange, one team's next runner ran...back the way we came. Huh. No one could figure out why she thought she should do that. Hey, we didn't complain--this means we moved from last to second to last!!!!

Isn't New Jersey pretty?
Pretty canal.

We got a bit bored at some exchanges. And wet. Luc was SO excited to find an umbrella:
How excited was Luc to find an umbrella?

Dan came in triumphantly:

and we said goodbye to Dave, one of the two serious (like half/full marathon) runners on the team:

Two horses rode by at one exchange...

...the one where Dave passed it off to Colin:
Dave passes off to Colin!

Colin did super well for us: he passed someone, moving us up to 3rd from last!

Sadly, I missed the last leg, as I had to shower and change for another event. Meg took this fabulous photo of Luc finishing the race:
Luc runs the final leg!

Luc passed ANOTHER person, and sprinted to the finish, giving us a team time of 3:31:43, and 8th place overall (4th from last!).

The relay ended at Princeton with a BBQ (indoors):
The Tired PPL Team

See official results here.