Gush Etzion Night Run: a decent kickoff for a big year ahead

….and we’re back!

Last night I had a ‘milestone’ run:

  • first official run since baby
  • first (part) trail run
  • beat my PR
  • if had been a proper 10k, it would have been under an hour

All things considered, I’m in better shape than I thought. It was definitely tough to trail run, especially when I didn’t know what to expect. That’s something I can work on though.

As far as the night run itself – I’m learning again that Sportweb makes a less organized effort than Shvoong, and details like – hey, starting times – can change at any time. So lower your expectations if you’re going for a Sportweb event.

It had been promoted as a memorial run in honor of the three Israeli teens kidnapped and killed this past summer – except at the event, there was no mention. It was a nice thought though.

Can’t wait till the next one…

 

lizrael update: 4 facts till I reunite with coherent thought

Happy March! Since it’s been quiet around here, I’ve provided a few quick facts:

  1. Fifty-Two Frames isn’t the only thing going on in my life, but I have felt uncharacteristically quiet for a long while now.
  2. I haven’t been working since beginning of February. More on that another time.
  3. Sometime in the next few weeks we plan to get a baby out of me. Pretty much as ready as.
  4. I miss running! It’s the season and every time I see a Tzur Hadassian making their rounds, I really miss it. I’d like to do the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem half marathons in 2015.

There. I hope that unblocks things a bit.

The Color Run, Israel: A rainbow of running happiness (kinda)

Milestone accomplished! As in, the ‘doing an activity you love with your kid who expressed interest’ milestone!

On Friday, Koala and I ‘ran’ our first race together. I was so  pumped because after the Jerusalem marathon last year, he told me he wanted to run with me one time.

We got our chance with the first-time-in- Israel Running With Color – NATAL’s Run for PTSD in Tel Aviv.

UPDATE (18/11/13): I just became aware that this run was not related to the official The Color Run organization… this whole time I was under a totally different impression, which is probably a PR problem somewhere. So below is what I was expecting, and might explain why I was disappointed. 

The Color Run is ‘the happiest 5k on the planet!’ – a branded global organized run where you get to run a moderate distance for the sake of having totally colorful fun while doing it. Are they coming to your city? Check out this video to get super pumped about it:

The idea is you run through the course in white, while at several points you have ‘paint’ (in our case corn flour and food coloring) tossed on you in happy rainbow clouds.

So Koala and I had been counting down from a month before. I signed us up for the 1.5km ‘Fun Run’ track. We ‘practiced’ on the way to gan in the morning. We cheered when we got our cute white shirts.

He’s a 4 and a half year old boy, so I knew he might get put off by the color-being-thrown-at-you aspect. And he was, because he didn’t like the idea of someone slapping it on, but ‘lo nora’ – he walked around the paint stations and watched me tutu dance my way through the colors.

My color run self!

Here’s what I loved about the rainbow unicorn happiness run:

  • I got to run with my kid! There were so many kids. A great opp to get yours into running.
  • Themed runs are a nice break from the sporty ones… well, at least now at the moment when I can’t do the major sporty ones.
  • Lots of people got really into it! I made tutus for Koala and I to wear; he didn’t wear his in the end but I wore mine. A few other adults/kids wore tutus too and I think we made a lot of folks warm and fuzzy!
  • Tzahal got really into it, which makes sense given the cause (Natal). Actually, all three male winners of the 5k were Tzahal guys. There was also a big Yachad contingent.

A ‘color run’ or ‘running with color’ is an awesome idea. The problem was, in this case, there wasn’t much color… Here’s what I want the organizers to keep in mind for next year:

  • MORE PAINT.
  • Were they supposed to be tossing it on us like in the video, or slapping us on the back with a handful?
  • Maybe less apathetic paint throwing staff?
  • MORE PAINT STATIONS. The whole 1.5km had three, two close to each other at the end. The whole 5km had more but there were long stretches with nothing to keep you going… maybe more signs, music, cheering crowds might have been more the atmosphere you’d expect?
  • The 1.5 was so incredibly anticlimactic that my brother and I joined the 5k starting right after to get our fill. Maybe that’s our problem for being ‘real’ runners trying to make a kid happy, but still… it wasn’t as exciting as it coulda been.
  • Granted I was towards the end of the 5k as I walked half of it, but lots of people ended up rolling on the floors of the paint stations to actually get some color, and many had to take the paint from the buckets for themselves… Maybe having those shakers like in the video would have given more of the cloud effect we expected?

Here are some more alternative views of the event…

The hair:

The hand:

The victory:

The token Israeli flag among Tzahal runners:

The car:

All in all, I’m happy Koala and I did it. I told him after there is an occasional Tzur Hadassah race… he was immediately interested and asking “Ima when are we doing the Tzur Hadassah run?!”

To be continued…

Here are more pictures from the רצים בצבע site and lots more on Facebook.

My first dog run.

My run this morning got a little messy – but way more fun – when my running partner joined.

If you live in Tzur Hadassah and this is your dog, man, you are lucky. I hope you’re a runner too! It’s such a thrill running with a dog (even if it was just for a kilometer or so).

I fall in love with dogs way too easily. Doggie affairs? It’s actually not the first time I’ve ‘hung out’ with a random dog who decided to follow me for a while.

One day.

What I learned running 21 kilometers in the 2013 Tel Aviv Marathon

Last Friday, I did a highway practice run in preparation for the Tel Aviv (half) Marathon, and experienced an epiphany.

It started around kilometer four, and I fully appreciated it after completing all 16km.

By 4km, jogging uphill under a warm 7am sun, I was done. I really was ready to slow to a trot, turn around, get in my car and give up. I had my phone on me; I’d call my husband on the walk back and vent about not having what it takes.

But I didn’t. A tiny tiny part of me was moving my feet. A voice I couldn’t really hear clearly was forcing me to keep going.

The epiphany is not that running – or any physical challenge – is 90% mental. I knew that from four previous 10k’s in the last year and a half.

It’s how brilliantly amazing athletes are at combining the powerful self talk with any level of fine physical ability and empowering chemical reactions.

Running is a 360° high, and all at once, I understood there is always a place in the self talk for achieving that.

This was a week after spontaneously registering for the Tel Aviv Half Marathon; after Jerusalem, I literally said fuck it and knew the only thing stopping me from running a half was saying to everyone and myself I wasn’t ready to run a half. After each of my last three 10k’s, I knew I could have done more. A lot more.

This past Friday, I ran the Tel Aviv Half Marathon. There were a lot of excuses available, offering several respectable outs: The forecasted heat wave, which postponed the full and pushed our starting time up an hour. The fact that my furthest distance in my two-week training was 16km, and I had done it just once. The four hours of sleep I ended up getting the night before.

But I arrived at the starting line at five minutes to 6. It was already hot, but I felt prepared. I was watered well from three days of binge drinking, well-fed, had read an excellent article about keeping an elite state of mind, and told myself over and over I had absolutely nothing to lose.

I felt free as soon as we started. By kilometer 5, I knew I would finish the race. By kilometer 10, I knew I would finish it running. It felt great to have that confidence and control. It wasn’t an ego thing; it was knowing my body, being familiar with my preparedness and most of all, feeling totally at ease with my self talk.

After reaching 16km, the excitement really kicked in. I was passing my furthest distance and I felt fresh. Then something totally new started to take place after 17.  I don’t really know how to express it other than I had this totally emotional response with every new marker I passed.

I literally felt so good about each kilometer achievement, I had an overwhelming emotional desire to cry every time. I was overcoming some enormous challenge every time I saw a new number – 18, 19, 20. After a year and a half of procrastinating and making excuses, I was here and just doing it.

To be honest, it’s probably part of the ‘high’ I was on; like any other high, feeling the world in the palm of your hands… But that’s what it was. I looked around at all my running peers, and could hug every one. We were all together – most of us not pros, maybe a lot of us doing this for the first time – and we were each doing this to feel amazing, to achieve something personal, to just do it. There was a freedom in its meaningfulness and meaninglessness, and the world was a better place because tens of thousands of people had made the same decision to do something big within their own personal lives.

It was powerful, empowering, and between 20 and 21, I was flying.

It’s obvious that most of us don’t allow ourselves to take big leaps all that often. Maybe it’s wise to keep it at a moderate pace.

But when you’re fresh enough, fortunate enough, focused enough to hear that tiny tiny insistence that you can make this happen… know there’s an all-powerful high at the other end, waiting to blend your sweat with your tears.

————————————————————-

The following are some pics and details from Tel Aviv Marathon day. Earlier in the week, the full was postponed due to the predicted heat wave. We started earlier, at 6am, when it was reportedly 26°c. The aim was for everyone to finish by around 8:30am, when it was 29°c.

Set out early to make it for the new start time – 5am Tel Aviv:

5am Tel Aviv, Marathon morning

Tragically, the marathon ended with one death – a 29-year-old half marathon runner who collapsed. Out of 35,000 runners, 50 were in need of medical care of varying degrees – from first aid to critical hospitalization.

I do think the marathon organizers were very well prepped throughout – giving warnings, broadcasting tips, pushing up the starting time, adding majorly to the water supply, providing rinses.

But walking towards the starting line, I’ll admit it was daunting to pass such a fleet…

Ambulances lined up pre-Tel Aviv marathon

It was already pretty exhilarating while lining up with thousands of my peers.

Lining up the morning of the Tel Aviv marathon 2013

And just to drive the point home a little harder… While stretching my legs at the starting line, I spot this guy:

Running amputee.

See you at Rishon Letzion on May 3?

 

Jerusalem Marathon: Crossroads, crossing cobblestone roads, and more

Success all around! Running the 10k for charitable fundraising was a great way to put a new spin on something I’ve done three times before. And my peeps managed to more than double the sponsorship amounts from what I initially pledged. Thanks so much to the friends and family who supported me in supporting Crossroads!

I also shocked myself by doing the 10k in 63 minutes, just a minute over my last challenge (and record), with minimal prep and in the hilliest Jerusalem terrain as opposed to flat Tel Aviv.

There are three things I learned this time:

  1. It doesn’t feel good watching homeless/poor folks watching us chug 23793847594238 bottles of water and then chuck 23793847594238 bottles of still-full water.
  2. Running on cobblestones is SCARY.
  3. The coffee culture here is so hilarious that after – and even before – a marathon, you’ll find throngs of people jonesing for a quick cup of Elite Turkish coffee samples. Ok, myself included. Which had nothing to do with the fact I took part in a Harlem Shake for Elite Coffee to warm up.

Starting line!

Faster than the light rail at least…

Aaaand that was quick.

Another serious thank you to the peeps who donated to Crossroads: Shara, Leah, Jill, Harry, JMC, Susan, Judith, Vicki, Matt, Yosef, Lisa, Aaron, Sarina.

By the power of Kanye… (Nike Night Run 2012)

So I’ve run full circle; last year, at this time, my two colleagues were raving about how awesome the Nike Night Run in Tel Aviv was. I was curious and jealous and looking for a personal fitness program so I started running.

The first 10k I could do was the Jerusalem Night Run. Then I did the Tel Aviv Gillette Marathon‘s 10k track. And last night I finally got to do the Nike.

I invoked the power of expectation management since a big downside to these giant public runs in Tel Aviv is the crowd; a lot of didging out of the way, passing through clusters, and avoiding being pushed or knocked over. So I didn’t think I’d beat my personal best which was 10k in 65 minutes (as of last Saturday night).

But there’s something about the adrenaline mixed with actually drawing inspiration from the crowd – I made it across the finish line in 62 minutes!

Thanks goes out to Kanye, who, (don’t interrupt me now) of all people on my running playlist (I like to run to rap apparently, and also rap to running) pushed me to speed up for the last 2.5 kilometers, when I realized I could crush my old personal record.

Now I’m debating going for a half marathon (22.1 km) in March, at the next major Tel Aviv marathon event. We shall see.

Fifty-Two Frames: Running

The theme was running last week, and what I really wanted was to capture another snail and caption it, ‘sorry buddy, as usual, I’m running a little late.’

But alas, no rain, no snails, and my next choice was to capture my own training for the Nike Night Run in Tel Aviv October 30th. It’s a 10k and it was the reason I got motivated to start running last year, when a bunch of friends were doing it.

But alas, it’s a tough thing to photograph your own training (and come out with a photo interesting enough) so I went a third route…

Week 41: Running

Boy runaway.