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Carissa Liebowitz

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Everything posted by Carissa Liebowitz

  1. Booyah!!! Those are some purdy looking splits for not doing much in the way of training!!
  2. This is so fun - those kids must have the best time when you come visit!!
  3. Carissa Liebowitz

    Look! I'm Running!

    Looks like things are coming together nicely!
  4. I'm with you on winter! And loving where you live. And appreciating the day-to-day. See you soon! 💕
  5. Only in this group of weirdos could you make it sound as though running a 5K at the end of the month and a 13.1 in April sound like a consolation prize. I know you've run further countless times before, but it's so easy to forget to proud of what you CAN do. Hope the road ahead is sunnier, I'm rooting for ya!
  6. She is adorable! What a fun memory to share with her when she's a little older.
  7. Carissa Liebowitz

    The quest.

    But, could they not ship the dress??
  8. I'm still waiting on the summer version of the Snowbuster.
  9. When you feel like a weight has been lifted, I think that indicates you are making the best choice!
  10. Excited to read what's been happening between that first week and now!
  11. Carissa Liebowitz

    Snow Busted

    Seems like those rest days/easy running week really help hit the reset button. Glad you are feeling like you again!
  12. Wahoo! That one has got to have you feeling really good about going into the last few weeks of training.
  13. Two weeks ago, it rained Monday through Friday and I was over running in the rain. If you live within a 6 hour radius of Atlanta, you probably feel my pain. So. Over. The. Rain. I took my speed workouts to the treadmill and cranked it up to speeds that were close to what I had been running on the track. I noticed after my Tuesday workout I had a bit of soreness in my foot (the same one that wore a boot last year) and then again after my Thursday workout. I had one of my biggest training runs scheduled that Saturday and went in filled with trepidation. Running had been going so well since last August and I had just a few weeks left before toeing the line at Georgia Death Race, my goal race for the spring. I told Chantal and John I was a bit nervous about my foot as we climbed up and down Coosa and the DRT, but the off and on soreness was manageable and I was relieved when we made it to John's car parked at Skeenah Gap, 6.5 hours and over 7,000' of climbing later. However, the pain intensified through the evening and after texting with my coach, we decided it would be best to give it a few extra days rest. I ran again on Wednesday and it seemed to be okay enough. I finished up the rest of my workouts as planned for the week and ran 2 hours at Sawnee Mountain with Steve, who was visiting from Michigan. That evening, the soreness was back again and I was feeling really frustrated. My coach gave me a pep talk, filled my workout calendar with swimming and cycling, and I tried to keep from panicking. Somehow, the week off of running wasn't too bad and aside from the boredom factor, I was actually feeling good about giving my heart and lungs a good workout, but keeping my foot happy. As it got near to the end of the week, my foot was feeling better, but I was full of nerves wondering if I was going to mess something up by even running a few miles over the weekend. And I was signed up for a trail marathon with over 4,000' of elevation gain. After conferring with my coach, we ultimately decided that I could just do the 5.7 miles out and back in the beginning and pull the plug if it felt terrible or go up to 2 hours and just have a planned DNF. I was actually okay with the planned DNF. I thought I'd have more fear about it (and spoiler alert: maybe I did?), but it actually seemed like it was the right thing to do so I wouldn't ruin the rest of my spring. I stopped early at Hinson this past year and the sun still came up the next day so maybe somewhere in my head, I knew the only person that would even remotely care would be me. Thursday night, my plans came together thanks to Dan and I was going to be riding with him, Gary, and Jeremy on Friday. We all met at my house and Jeremy graciously made the drive to Charlotte in heavy traffic and rain. Everyone agreed on burgers at a place in downtown Charlotte and I wolfed mine down in minutes. Though I wasn't particularly tired, I managed to fall asleep somewhere between 9:30-10 and slept really well. We got to the starting area just after 7:00 a.m., picked up our bibs, and dropped off our food donations. I saw a few familiar faces like David, Jenster, and Laurie and got a few photos with friends before we got started. At the race start, a bunch of people took off down the fire road and I tried to settle into a comfy pace. I didn't have any dog in the fight and wanted to just run some miles without pain. After a week off of running, I felt really, really fresh. My legs were poppy and I felt like while I putting in some effort, I was also super comfortable. I cheered everyone on as we saw each other through the 2.8 mile turnaround and then started chatting with Kent who had been keeping nearly the same pace as me from the beginning. We had a few miles for me to briefly explain I had been contemplating bailing at the first aid station, but I was feeling so good (and pain free!) that I wanted to try to make it the 2 hours instead. We hopped onto the single track at mile 5.7 and I was surprised to find the next section very, very runnable. The miles ticked off and I barely looked at my watch. Kent and I talked about any and everything runners talk about it - races, running, family, jobs, etc. He was keeping the pace conversational and it was exactly what I needed. As we neared the 90 minute mark, I took a moment to try to text my coach to ask what I should do because I was feeling so well that I wanted to run more than 2 hours. Unfortunately, I didn't have any service and I kept checking every 10 minutes or so hoping I could get something to him quick. We came up to the 11.7 mile aid station at almost exactly 2 hours and I let the devil and angel on my shoulder hash it out as we grabbed aid. The smart, good, angelic runner would have dropped at the point and begged off a ride to the start. The dumb, bad, devilish runner prevailed and I guiltily felt like I stepped off the high-rise diving board as I knew this meant I was 99% committed to finish by opting to go on. There would still be a chance to drop at the other aid stations, but I knew it would tough to make that call. The next section to furthest aid station is considered one of the gnarliest. Sasquatch Summit is full of boulders and hand-over-hand climbs and is followed by the Soul Crusher, another gnarly climb with steep grades. I was loving this part of the race and all my vertical training made it seem really, really doable. When we got near the aid station around 17 miles, I was still in great spirits. Jeremy looked surprised to see me still running and gave me a double high-five and Dan, not surprised at all at my dumbassery, also gave me a high-five. I grabbed a pickle and a handful of chips and topped off my soft flask with a mix of Gatorade and water. Kent told me the next section was kind of boring and while I wasn't looking forward to boring, I was happy to be cruising comfortably and not in any pain. We got passed and passed people a fair amount in this section and added another runner to our caravan who is also running GDR (& Western States!), Brett. The three of us navigated to the last aid station together and then took off down the trail, fists full of pickles, Oreos, and chips. The mud was extra sloppy in the final miles, but I have been running in mud all winter. I just plodded right through it and laughed as splattered across my legs. The rain had held off, I was just a few miles from finishing a race I thought I'd DNF, and I was having so much fun just running happy. Even Hallucination Hill didn't phase me. I was just plodding along between Kent and Brett, yapping away and swapping stories (and maybe taking a few selfies). Brett decided to hammer out the last 2ish miles solo and took off towards the finish. Kent and I continued along and though our conversation quieted a bit, we still were in good spirits as we came into the final stretch. Once we saw day hikers and heard whizzing cars on the highway, we knew the finish line was close. I came in with the biggest smile, happy my devilish move paid off and that I could go home with my heart full. I gave Kent a fist bump and then swapped war stories briefly with Gary and Jeremy while we waited for just a short time for Dan to come in. Everyone was happy, exhausted, and caked in mud. The rest of the day sealed the deal on a really fun 32 hours. Some things will have to remain like they do in Vegas, but let's just say I'm never sorry to have another adventure to say remember that one time....
  14. Love this Gwen! What a fun way to get in your Snowbuster - minus the boogeyman.
  15. Carissa Liebowitz

    Six Weeks to Boston

    You are going to be so ready Boston!
  16. Enjoy the journey! And enjoy being the newbie if you delve into trails/ultras. I still feel like a poser FWIW. If you haven't read it already, I highly suggest The Happy Runner by Megan & David Roche. I feel like a broken record telling people to read this book, but it's just so good for runners who have had success, have high expectations of themselves, who love running, but sometimes forget they love it.
  17. Runners are not often rational people. And a sub-2 with minimal training? 🙌
  18. The RD told me (after the race) that he was given instructions multiple times, but still went the wrong way.
  19. Is it still a snowbuster if our high is 70°?
  20. 2-11-19 If Jen and Angie were not coming into my hometown to pace a half marathon, I would have never found myself at the start of the Suwanee Half Marathon on Sunday morning. They both signed up to pace in 2018 when I was freshly out of the boot and unsure of my running future. Sidenote: Jen ran a 100 miler the prior weekend. Angie ran a 100 miler 3 weeks ago. Both had run races already since! My friends are badasses. The weekend snuck up on me and I realized as it got close, I needed to touch base with my coach about running it. A road half marathon is not particularly ideal in the midst of training for a vertically insane trail ultra, but it could serve as a good workout nonetheless. I was going to be spending the morning with Jen & Angie anyway, so I might as well race and get some miles in. He was on board and told me to run the first 10 miles easy and the last 5K at 10K pace. Recovery from the 50K seemed to be going well at first. I took most of the week off of running following the race, just doing some easy walking as part of active recovery. But the whole week after that just felt kind of off. I blame hormones, not-quite-recovered-from-a-50k, and pollen in that order. All of it left me with a really negative mindset all week. At the starting line on Sunday, I should have felt pumped to come full circle after spending last’s race standing on the sidelines in a boot. But, I was just swarming with negative thoughts. I had psyched myself out of wanting it to be enjoyable in any capacity. I should have been excited to test my fitness and possibly snag a PR as I’d run faster half marathons in full marathons! Instead, I was feeling dehydrated, battling cramps, and just generally blah. My original plan was to stay with the 1:40 pacer through 10 miles and then press on the gas. However, in talking with the 1:40 pacer while Jen & Angie were getting their pacing sign, I became skeptical of his tactics and decided to just do my own thing. I did a short warm-up in the parking lot - just 5 minutes or so and then waited a few more minutes for the gun to go off. I was pretty close to the start line which felt really strange in a road race. Keith was running too (bunch of ultra weirdos on the road, watch out!) and it was good to see another familiar face. We took off with the lead pack and were diverted the wrong way about 300 meters into the race. The lead bike made a left turn when we were supposed to go straight and the swarm of runners gummed up the edge of the sidewalk. It was only about 10 seconds in the wrong direction, but it added to my already funky mental game. After getting back on course, we ran down a hilly residential street before popping out onto Peachtree Industrial. It was cool and windy, but I tucked in behind a few people and was just happy it wasn’t hot. I forgot my Mighty charger at work and hadn’t charged it prior to the race so it was not surprising that it crapped out by the 3rd mile. Goodbye motivational mix…. We turned onto Tench and then Brogdon and the field really started to separate by mile 4. Then, I was back and forth with a few other runners as we tackled the hills leading into George Pierce Park. I’d chuckle to myself as I came to a hill thinking about how if this was a trail race, I’d just walk. But alas, it was not, and I had to shorten my stride and work to not lose too much time climbing. Once we got along the Greenway sections, I started to feel a little better with the more even terrain. Plus, I realized I was perking up with each water station - apparently, I was pretty dehydrated. I brought along a Clif gel to take somewhere mid-race and decided to slurp it down near the halfway point. When Adam and I first moved into our house, I used to run at the Suwanee Greenway all the time. It was my bread & butter 7-mile route. So, I knew all the of things to expect - the up and down near the covered bridge, the zigzag to McGinnis Ferry, and the switchbacks near the park. In some ways this was good because I knew to conserve, but in other ways, I was dreading what was to come. I passed a couple of guys in this middle section as I clipped off some lower 7s and hoped that it wouldn’t come back to haunt me in the end. As we neared the turnaround near mile 10, I could start to see the leaders. The male leader was waaaaay out front by at least a mile, but then the next few runners seemed to come at regular intervals. I saw there were 2 women ahead of me and 6 men. With 5K left to go, I didn’t feel like I had much left extra to give other than the pace I was holding so I just tried to maintain as much as possible and not give any back. As I doubled-back myself, other runners (especially other women!), started shouting that I was the 3rd female. I berated myself for not smiling back more when they were clearly cheering me on. The funk just would not shake! I saw Jen & Angie and gave them high fives and that lifted my spirits a bit. From then on, I had just 2 miles left and so I just tried to just tell myself I could hold on for 15 more minutes. At that point, I really wasn’t thinking about a race PR or my own placement. Once I came off the Greenway and headed up the last hill to the finish, I felt spent. Somehow my final kick shows a 6:35 pace, but I swear I felt like I just dragged myself in. There was no celebratory finish chute feel. Just happy that it was over with. At first, I was pissed at myself for not being happier about my “PR” or my 3rd OA female standing. And for racing with such a negative mindspace. It just wasn’t like me! But in retrospect, I am glad that it all happened. Sometimes it needs to be hard to make me appreciate the easy. Sometimes I need to know I can get through a race that doesn’t go my way or I don’t feel great or that my head is in the right place. In this case, I just trusted my legs to do the work while I battled with my head. And I should be so happy that nothing felt painful or bad, I just wasn’t happy with myself. If you’ve been running or racing long enough, maybe you relate. I’ve had this happen before - Boston 2016 comes immediately to mind. Its part of the process and I’ll be stronger for it the next time. And no doubt, there will be a next time. It’s about recognizing it, finishing what I’ve started, and not letting it be a defining moment. A few hours later, brunching with Jen, Angie, & Adam, it didn’t matter at all.
  21. Chicken and waffles....drooooooooollllllls 🤤🤤
  22. So, all the beloved dead shoes end up with our pets, waiting for us to collect them all on the way to the afterlife? I'm going to need a trailer for all my original (actual original) Clifton 1s and Boston Terriers....
  23. Carissa Liebowitz

    Grinding it Out

    Strava says you ran 2 MPish runs totaling 24.5 miles in the prior days. I'm guessing your legs are tired for a reason...
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