Archive of ‘Friends’ category

10 Things I’d Like To See Happen in 2014

There are lots of blog posts this week about resolutions, goals, year-end recaps, etc. While I outlined some resolution-type things last year (here’s how I did) and wrote a Year in Review in 2010 and 2011, I don’t feel like doing anything so official or so time consuming this year. I already wrote my Year In Running and that took a lot out of me.

Instead, I’m going to make a list of things I’d like to see happen in 2014, whether or not they are actually realistic or attainable. They aren’t resolutions or goals because some of them are not possible. This is more like a wish list, with some things that can or might happen and some things that won’t.

1. Run a sub-4 Eugene Marathon.

There, I said it. It’s out here, in words, on the internet. Is this attainable? Without a knee injury, yes I believe it is, even though it is terrifying. I was on track to get really close to 4:00 in Richmond before my knee took over my race. I know I can do it and I intend to train even harder and smarter than last time.

I got myself a new running coach: Abby. She absolutely loves and ‘gets’ Refine, so she will know better how to work it into my plan (and maybe help me figure out a way to go more than once a week during training?), she is a personal trainer and — here’s the real gem — she is in school to become a physical therapist.

This is HUGE. She understands injury and how the body works and I really believe she is the best person to help me get through my training cycle safely. I’ve struggled with a few injuries this past year (only one related to running) and I really needed more guidance and advice when it came to exercise. If something hurts, I know I will trust her advice on what to do, and I am committed to doing whatever she says.

2. On that note, find a flight to Eugene that costs less than $600.

I had no idea it would be this tough. It actually was $522 and I thought that was too much so I waited and now it’s up to $561. I’m going to wait and hope it gets a little better.

3. Become a stay at home mom to my dog Larry.

All I want in my life is to devote every second of every day to making sure this little boy is as happy as possible. Unless I buy a lottery ticket (which I never think to do) and then also win, this won’t happen. But a puppy mommy can dream.

Dori with puppy Larry

4. Finish writing my wedding thank you cards.

Please don’t be disgusted with me. Yes, I got married a in June. Yes, that was a long time ago. Yes, it is closer to next June than last June. I promise I will make myself write the rest by our anniversary. It’s just . . . Reading books! Binge watching The Good Wife! All things I’d rather be doing and I’ve always had a really tough time getting myself to do shit in my down time. I’ll gladly go to Refine or run or go to whatever appointment I have, but once I’m home . . . I just can’t bring myself to do anything.

5. Hang up all my wall things.

Speaking of being unable to bring myself to do anything. Not only did I get married in June, I moved in June too. No, not a single thing has been hung up. This actually prevented us from having our birthday party for Larry on January 1 (the anniversary of the day we got him) this year, something I was really looking forward to. I just can’t get my shit together, same as the thank you cards. And I don’t want anyone seeing my house without everything hung up. It will happen within the next month though. This one I promise.

6. Have my next birthday celebration at my favorite restaurant ever, the place that perfected the pizza: Razza Pizza Artigianale.

Not only did Razza perfect the pizza (the margherita pizza to be exact; as much as I’d like to try the others, I can’t bring myself to risk missing out on what I know is pizza perfection when I am there), they also perfected the chickpea and the bread. To force people who would not normally visit Jersey City (which is closer to Manhattan than many parts of Queens and Brooklyn, so fuck you), I will have my next birthday be a dinner party here. Then my friends can finally understand just how spectacular this food is.

Razza margherita pizza


7. Have a party at my house.

Invite people over so they can see our awesome townhome and drink the leftover booze from the wedding. There’s a lot. Plus, I can wear a dress even if it is in the winter because I won’t have to go outside. This is all dependent on #5, but it’s looking possible.

8. Take more Refine while marathon training.

I mentioned this above in #1, but it is really important to me to incorporate more Refine while training for Eugene. Last year was a little tough because I got my rib injury as soon as we got back from the honeymoon. This meant no Refine for about a month, so I went into marathon training without all my strength and muscles. While I will definitely go into training with a much stronger base this time, I’d like to do Refine more than once a week while training. If this means that I occasionally have to do a two-a-day workout (ugh, not a fan) or run one fewer day a week to make it work, I’ll do it. It doesn’t have to be every week, just a little more than the last time I trained. I just feel really certain that it will only help me prevent injury and run a stronger, faster race.

Bonus: I really love Refine a lot. Also, it makes me look hot, and this marathon overlaps with summer.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="413"]Refine Method NYC Photo:

9. PR the 5K, 10K and half marathon distances

I basically unofficially PRd the 10K during the Newport Half Marathon in September (6 miles in 51:55; my current 6.2 mi PR 53:55). That means I can run an actual 10K race even faster than that. I need to make this official!

And my 5K PR came on a day I had already run four miles and was struggling with both neck and rib injuries. As happy as I am with my time, I know can do better.

Then there is the half marathon. This is a race I’ve PRd every year since I started running it. My half marathon PR was a tough race effort-wise, but as long as my Eugene training goes smoothly I see no reason why I can’t run this distance even faster.

10. Figure out what I want to do with my life.

No pressure there, right?

BONUS: Make Ellen my best friend.

Creepy! That’s what Andy said when I told him this one. But Ellen loves Refine and Bloody Marys and hates all the same things and people I do. I really wish I knew her better when I had my bachelorette party at Refine because she would have loved this private instructor-Lonnie party even more than I did. On that note, I want to be a good baby friend to Ashley Runningbun’s little girl when she is born. That means getting in my car and driving to her house so that her baby grows up knowing mom’s funny (looking) friend Dori.

Unless I’m not living in New Jersey anymore, in which case maybe I’ll be living in Seattle, and speaking of babies and Seattle, I’d really love it if my one-year-old nephew Harrison could learn to say Aunt Dori this year. I’m on it!

[caption id="attachment_11192" align="alignnone" width="480"]harrison bday Photo:

Tell me one unattainable goal (like my being a stay at home puppy mom) that you have for 2014.

Richmond Marathon Training: Week 6 – Green Mile Outreach 5K WINNER

Spoiler alert: I had a really tough running week and then I ran the Green Mile Outreach 5K and PR’d and also won my age group and came in second woman overall.


I’ll recap this race in detail, but first, here’s how my training was last week:



Week 5: August 12– August 18

  • Monday – OFF
  • Tuesday – 15 min w.u., 8 x 400m {was supposed to be at 10K pace but I forgot that part and basically sprinted the 400s and wanted to die} with 90 secs rest, 15 min c.d. (5.5 mi)
  • Wednesday – 55 mins easy (5.4 mi) + 13.42 mi bike ride
  • Thursday – OFF (sports massage)
  • Friday – 40 mins easy (4ish mi)
  • Saturday – 35 mins (3.1 mi)
  • Sunday – 12.5 miles = 4 miles + 5K race (24:20) + 5.5 miles (2:05 total running)

Total miles: 30.5

It was a really tough week of training. After the difficult time I had at the Falmouth Road Race, I was concerned about my overall health and my ability to continue marathon training. I ran twice more at the Cape that week — my interval run where I stupidly forgot the “10K pace” aspect of it and basically sprinted for 8 rounds of 400m and thought I was going to die. My rib was not happy. I also did a 55 minute “easy” run which felt really challenging.

Then Andy and I went bike riding for an hour. Afterwards, my neck exploded.

Something about cycling clearly aggravates my neck. I wonder if my indoor cycling instructing career is permanently over.

I canceled Refine for the following day and booked a sports massage with my genius healer. She made my neck feel so much better and she cured my calf injury. I haven’t felt any leg pain since and it is really nice to stop accusing my self of being dumb.

I did my short runs on Friday and Saturday slow and easy. My rib didn’t hurt much during my run on Friday, but I felt it afterwards. I wasn’t sure if I should skip Saturday’s run or not — I wanted to be at my best for the 5K on Sunday, and I wanted to be able to complete my long run — but the weather was gorgeous and I decided I’d go very slowly and if I felt ANY pain at all I would stop. I also decided to skip the 4×100 meter strides at the end of the run. I didn’t want to do anything that would aggravate my rib.

I didn’t feel pain, which was amazing, but it did feel precarious. It was a weird sensation where I felt just on the edge of pain, and I worried that if I sped up at all it would have hurt. I decided there was no way I could PR the 5K on Sunday and I was fine with that.

I figured Miranda and I could still place and I wouldn’t have to PR to get there. I was still hoping to magically keep up with her, but I would be totally fine if I didn’t given my situation.

Now, onto the good stuff:

Green Mile Outreach 5K Race Recap

As I mentioned, I didn’t expect to PR. I registered for this race hoping to, but then my entire body became injured and I decided to just run the strongest race I can. And because it was a really small race (174 participants), I hoped I could place. We checked the results from the year before and felt confident about our abilities to be among the top finishers. And I needed to stop bragging about placing second in my age group at the last small 5K I ran in Liberty State Park. It was over a year ago!

I recruited my new Jersey City running buddy Miranda to join me. She’s faster than me and I hoped she could pace me. Plus, it’s always more fun to run with a friend. (Also, thanks to the Twitters and Ashley Runningbun‘s retweet of me for connecting us).

The look of determined winners

The look of determined winners

Originally, my training plain said to run 12-14 miles that day but after I told my coach about the 5K, she changed it. Instead, I could do the race + 6-8 miles if I felt up to it.

I know that Steph is my elite coach and if she isn’t worried about where I am, then I shouldn’t be. She knows better than me and that is why I pay her the big bucks/ But I feel like I’m behind in my training and I decided I’d go for 12 if I felt OK. If not, no big deal.

Before the 5K, I ran 4 easy miles. My rib felt fine and I was relieved, but worried it would act up during the race. Miranda and I picked up our bibs and stood at the start line — on the ACTUAL start line, small races FTW!

I wanted Miranda to pace me because my big mistake at that last 5K I did was starting out way too fast (6:53 mi that day, ummmm…) and suffering through the rest. I always wondered if I could have performed even better if I held back in the beginning.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know.

And we're off!

And we’re off!

Mile 1: 7:13

I didn’t mean to do that. I had grand plans of holding a 7:50-8:00 pace the first two miles, then breaking free and running a strong, fast final mile.

dori and miranda

Me and Miranda during the first mile. NICE CITY VIEW. Next four photos courtesy of Green Mile Outreach Facebook page.

While I’m really happy with my Nike+ GPS Sportwatch (I get faster and more accurate GPS than my Garmin-wearing friends), it lacks a few features I’d really like to use:

  1. The ability to change interval parameters from the watch
  2. The ability to program a warm-up and cool-down into an interval run
  3. A virtual training partner

If I had a virtual training partner, I would have had my watch alert me if I was going too fast. It’s just so HARD to hold back when you’re at the front of the race!

Miranda and I realized our error and tried to slow down. “I’m definitely not going to PR,” I told her. She turned her head to look back and said, “We are the leading women by far.”

dori and miranda 2


I should also mention that I put contact paper over the face of my watch. I didn’t want to constantly look down and bemoan how many tenths of miles I had left. I didn’t wear my watch when I PR’d at the Richmond Half Marathon and it was so freeing. I don’t plan on using it during the marathon. And I just read this Runner’s World article about how our technology can hold us back and our bodies know how to pace ourselves for any given distance.

I didn’t want to think about my pace or my abilities. I wanted to run as strong a race as I could without overthinking.

At the same time, I needed my watch for the long run so I couldn’t just leave it at home. And since I had it, I might as well use it! Covering the face seemed like the best option.

When the first mile beeped I did take a peek to see the pace. When I called out to Miranda (who knew not to tell me any data she saw on her own watch) to say “I PEEKED!”, she was already too far ahead of me to hear.

Good for her! And I was on my own. My goal was to keep her in my sight for the rest of the race.

Soon after, a man ran up to me and said, “Nice pace.” Then he asked if we passed the 1-mile point and I didn’t want to be rude so I engaged him in conversation, all the while thinking “DOES HE UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH I AM SUFFERING RIGHT NOW??” He ran ahead after a minute, and I was glad for that!

My neck exploded again. The spasm went from the top of my shoulder up the entire side of my neck. It was really intense, and I pushed through the pain.

Right before the halfway turnaround, the new Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop passed me. He is an Ironman.

What up, Mayor! Can you please fix the traffic lights so they SOMETIMES let people walk?

What up, Mayor! Can you please fix the traffic lights so they SOMETIMES let people walk?

I had some water at the turnaround and continued on my way.

Mile 2: 8:06.

I felt like crap. I wanted to be done. I remembered how miserable 5Ks are.

They are the worst. RUNNING IS SO HARD.

Running alongside Lady Liberty

Running alongside Lady Liberty

I knew I wasn’t achieving my goal of negative splits or a super strong, fast finish, but I figured I could maybe speed up a little for this last mile.


That ended up being my slowest mile. By this point I was just keeping my eyes straight ahead for signs the finish line was close. I saw Miranda but there was no way I was getting anywhere near her. I was just happy I kept her in my line of vision the entire time. I kept pushing through.

As I approached the finish, I saw Andy and Larry waving at me and I smiled. That gave me the boost I needed to pick up the pace in those last seconds.

Almost done!

Almost there! I felt the WORST but I saw Andy and our pup. That made me smile.

Mile 3: 8:21

Final .1:  6:45

And then I was DONE!

dori crosses finish

PR! Also, shirt, shorts & shoes found in my Favorite Running Gear post.

As soon as I crossed Miranda came up to me and said “We are first and second women!”

I couldn’t even care for that first few seconds; I was so relieved to be finished.

And to reunite with my puppy.

dori and larry

My #1 spectator

I’m not sure when I realized I PR’d. It might have been as I crossed the finish line or even a little before, but I knew it for certain when I stopped my watch.

I have two official times on the site, 24:19 and 24:20. That is a 7- or 8-second PR, and I am thrilled!

5k leaderboard

dori certificate

After the 5K Miranda and I ran a mile and then went to the awards ceremony to receive our awards. Last time I placed, I left because I didn’t expect to win anything. This time, I did. Except that they only awarded first place — and since Miranda and I are in the same age group and she won women’s overall, I got to win our age group.

Awards for everyone!

dori accepting prize

Accepting my award


Age group winners

Age group winners

I got a certificate and Miranda won a plaque!

dori and miranda with prizes


After we got out awards, we ran another 4.5 miles and by the end I was struggling to breathe. But I finished my longest training run this year — a total of 12.5 miles — and I feel ready to tackle even longer distances in the coming weeks.

I know that many of you reading can and have run faster 5Ks than me. I’m not (that) dumb. I don’t think I’m some amazingly talented runner. But a small local race is an amazing way for a middle-of-the-packer like myself to get a major confidence boost! I highly recommend it. I feel awesome and I love being able to tell people, when they asked how my weekend was, that I won a race. And I have been saying that. A lot.

I also think that in better circumstances (no injuries) and more training, I could break 24. That is my next 5K goal.

Not only did this race boost my confidence for the day, it boosted my confidence about the entire marathon. I kept wishing I was in the same running shape as last year, and then I beat last year’s time. My rib didn’t kill me, I don’t think my injury is too serious and I do think I can get completely past it if I am smart about the rest of my training. Not only will I take my easy runs easy, I will ice and rest as needed.

Have you ever placed at a race? Do you use small local races to help you feel better about yourself? Has your mayor ever passed you in a race? I NEED ANSWERS.

1 2 3 37