Tag Archives: running

Reach The Beach: Legs 2 and 3

Hello! I greet you from Miami! Tomorrow I am going to attempt to do my first sprint triathlon–so help me god.  But I’m not here to talk about that today, I wanted to recap the rest of my RTB experience a few weeks ago.

While the first leg is all fun and games, things get tough in legs 2 and 3.  We had to run in the dark in the middle of the night and then we had to run again on tired legs with little sleep or food.  But the running is manageable, we are “runners” after all. The hard part is being in the van, I kind of think society breaks down a little bit after 30 hours in a van.  This is why the race is actually intended to be finished in 24 hours but how anyone is fast enough to accomplish this is beyond me!

On a side note, Reach the Beach reminded me a little bit of one of my favorite MTV shows from back in the day–Road Rules!  Does anyone else remember that show?  Honestly mad respect for all the time they spent in the winnie.

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In any event, we had a fair bit of time before our night legs which was spent organizing the van, napping and just hanging out.

Then it was time to send Jess off once again!

The night legs started off with a beautiful sunset. Temperatures had really dropped, so we were all bundled up in the van.  While I really had fun driving during the day, I was not able to drive at night because I am just not a good enough driver to feel comfortable driving in the dark on small side roads.  But we managed.  My night leg started at 11:30PM.  The first half was great, it was through a cute little town well lit by street lights.  The second half was basically a 2 mile climb uphill.  The uphills were tough, but the night leg might have been my favorite after all. I knew my team wanted to sleep, so I tried to run hard when it wasn’t straight uphill and not completely die when it was.

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After my leg, we all attempted to sleep at the next transition area.  Unfortunately, I was freezing and still damp from my run, so I wasn’t able to sleep.  Instead, I quietly willed my stomach issues to settle down.  We were all thrilled when it was morning because it meant we’d be able to start our third leg soon.

It was the first time we were able to meet up with van 2 for any significant length of time.  Marissa and Allie seemed pumped and ready to go.  It was actually really inspiring since I think Van 2 has harder times of day to run.

The 5th and 6th van legs were shorter than the first four for most, totally around 50 miles total.  Jess was off and had a brutally hilly last leg, but being the unwaveringly strong runner she is, she finished strongly and even wanted to go further due to a strange wild card transitions.

Side note: a wildcard in Reach the Beach is when you can decide where you want to transition between two legs.  So if leg 1 is 8 miles and leg 2 is 3 miles, you can transition any point after mile 4.5 of the first leg, to more evenly distribute the miles if needed.

Everyone powered through the last of the never-ending hills until it was my turn once again. I felt super lucky I only had 3.1 easy miles for my last leg.

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My legs were sore and I felt like I was really hobbling along and being passed by every runner on the course.  But when I saw the finish line ahead I was able to really power it out. I almost ran smack into Allie!

Thanks to Theodora for taking pictures of my finish!

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After finishing we drove to a cute little town called Exeter. Theodora, Christine and I grabbed lunch at a little diner. I was famished by this point and greasy diner food was kind of appealing. I ordered an omelette platter and 1 chocolate chip pancake. I wish I had taken a picture of the feast. I hadn’t had much more than a clif bar and a handful of animal crackers since lunch the day before, so I enjoyed the omelette and a few bites of the pancake sans guilt.

After stopping into the local shops it was time to meet Van 2 for a glorious finish!. We soon met up with the rest of our team at the finish area and our amazing NB liaison Mary.  We found  a prime spot on the beach to watch the teams come into the finish. Lorraine came in with all kinds of swagger. My hat’s off to her for finishing a large portion of the run on sand—so tough on tired legs.

We all finished and were super excited to proudly hold up our medals for the cameras.

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Unfortunately, the celebration was cut short by a huge rain shower. We all piled in our vans and took off for Boston. I had originally had a really late train that would get me in to NYC at 2:30AM, but we were able to change it to 6:30PM. We made it to South Station with just minutes to spare thanks to Mary’s amazing van driving skills.

I slept most of the way home. I was pretty sleepy when I was exiting Penn station will tons of bags hoping to find a cab quickly, but suddenly I heard my name being called. It was Frank.   Sometimes he is just the best. I couldn’t have been happier to see him waiting for me—and I quickly gave him my bags to carry.

Overall, it was RTB #2 was a really great experience. The  New Hampshire course is longer (207.8 miles!) and more challenging, but also more scenic. Check out a great quick video recap here:

I’m proud that I finished my 17.5 miles, I was not really sure I was ready and I have to thank my team for the amazing support and New Balance for being so amazing in sponsoring my travel, registration, gear and food. I can’t thank you enough.

I’ll be sharing my favorite pieces of apparel and footwear, as well as soon tips for packing and organization soon.

Happy Monday folks, I hope the week is off to a great start.

Reach the Beach: Leg 1

After the New Balance Factory tour, I was pretty pumped for the race.  Definitely nervous about my legs (8.6-very hard, 5.8 hard, 3.1 easy), but excited for the weekend ahead.

We arrived at an adorable townhouse set in the most magnificent mountainside.

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It was rustic and charming….

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And as all good cabins in the woods should, it had a wind up gondola in the stairwell.

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After setting down our bags, we met up with about a dozen other new balance teams for a delicious team dinner.  As I had worked until midnight the night before then had to be up at 5am for my flight in the morning, getting sleep was high on my priority list, I crashed like a baby at 10PM. I actually felt refreshed when I woke up and put on my pre-packed outfit for leg 1:

Leg 1 included a New Balance Racerback Tank Top and long running pants that had these great zippers on the ankles.  Remember when jeans had zippers at the ankle? Plus a long sleeve pull over that matched the tank top.  I am obsessed with grey and baby blue color palette!

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Probably the most clutch items of clothing of all was the lounge wear.  Never underestimate the importance of your down time clothing when doing a reach the beach relay.  You’ll immediately want your wet clothes off and warm, soft clothing on.  Not that I ever need a reason to don sweats and leggings.  My pumped up kicks were the New Balance 1260s, which are stability shoe that are great for overpronaters like me!

These went on over my race clothes since it was chilly at 5am.

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The morning was hectic to say the least.  We were all rushing to get out and on our way but that was easier said the done.  Things went further downhill at registration.  It’s a 5 step process of which the team completed about 3.5, but somehow after several laughable fails at the security table, we were passed on to orientation. Carrie and I sat for while the rest of the team made sure Jess got to the starting line.  It was already past our original start time, which meant we skipped the team photo. But we did get to see Jess off and into a trail in the mountains.

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Once Jess was off, leg 1 was a lot of fun, all smiles and positivity.

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Here is Carrie ready to take the snap bracelet from Jess (who FLEW through leg one). Carrie destroyed her hilly 9 mile beast of a leg.

Gia was flawless on her run.

Then Theodora killed her tough leg and finished with gusto

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This part of the race was so stunning. I can’t even describe other than to say it was breathtaking.

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Christine also had a tough leg and made it through like a champ.

I was next and last in my van. I had an 8.9 leg that was deemed very hard by RTB–mostly due to the length.Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 10.17.29 AM

It had a few hills at the beginning but the real tough part was that the shoulder narrowed to just an uneven dirt path.  The first 4.5 miles went okay. I was just more bored than anything on the last 4.4, which I struggled through. The beautiful mountain landscape was gone  I was running through a tiny town with only railroad tracks for scenery. I met quite a few people along the way, everyone was super friendly and encouraging.  I really just felt like the leg would never end. But end it did and all was well again.  Not going to lie, I was elated to see Allie waiting for me at the transition area. We were also outfit twins, which was a nice little bonus.

Reach the Beach exchange 6 RTB Jess Carrie Melissa Gia

Most of van 1 happy for a break.

We all celebrated the end of our legs with a delicious lunch at Flatbread Company.  The flatbread seemed the same as pizza and that was fine with me. This post is getting long, so I’ll stop here, but stayed tuned for more RTB recaps!

 

New Balance Factory Experience

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to run a Reach the Beach Relay on behalf of New Balance.  I was part of their blogger team a few years ago and you can read about that experience here, here, here, here and here.  While I was super excited to run the race again, I was just as excited to visit the New Balance Factory again.  Maybe I’m a nerd, but I just love how inspirational it is to visit where baby new balance sneakers are born.  The factory is also super inspirational, there are motivational quotes everywhere, walls of innovation, and you can tell every single employee is proud to work at New Balance–in fact, they will tell you so themselves.  New Balance is hands down my favorite athletic outfitter and they have a level of integrity that is unparalleled in the industry.

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Snoopies in sneakers. I die.

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We got to see how the New Balance 990 is made. It’s so shocking to see just how much work goes into making 1 sneaker.

To make one sneaker it takes:

  • 35 people
  • 2.5-3 hours
  • 50+ individual steps

Every step is 100% guided by a person.  A person makes sure that the holes to lace your shoes are punched in the exact right place.  It’s truly incredible.  As a side note, New Balance makes 100% more of their shoes in the USA than any other major shoe brand.

Here are just a few of the steps that goes into make the NB990…

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After the factory tour we got to see some of the new things coming out of the innovation lab! New Balance is using 3D printing to test out products in amazing ways.  By 3D printing the soles of shoes, athletes and consumers can test shoes much faster and New Balance can make adjustments overnight.

Check out some of these 3D printed shoes…

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I took these babies out for a job….just kidding, these were made for an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Pretty cool.

 

 

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Then we went to the smash lab where machines put shoes through the ringer to test stability, flexibility, durability and much more.

 

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Then Carrie got to see her stride in real time using a complex configurations of cameras and sensors on her shoes.

 

 

 

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Shoes, shoes and more glorious shoes.

 

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And here’s the all star team:

Team picture at NB factory

 

From left to right: Theodora, Caitlin, Carrie, Jess, Gia, Christine, Melissa, Marissa, Alli, Melissa, Lorriane and me.

After the tour, I went to the factory store to pick up gifts for the hubs, plus a few things for myself.  I bought him a pair of his favorite NB sneakers, and he had them on so fast, I didn’t even get to take a picture.  If you live in Boston, I’d definitely recommend taking a trip out to the factory store in Lawrence, MA for some great deals!

Next up, you’ll hear about my 2nd RTB experience.  It was the New Hampshire course, which was very different from the MA course. It was colder, hillier, longer (yes, really), but also much more scenic, IMO! Stay tuned.

UAE 10k and Brooklyn Half Recap!

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For the last 5 years, a fair number of of my spring, summer and fall weekends have included an NYRR race–the last two weekends were true to form.

Last weekend, we ran the UAE 10K.   This race is always fun and festive. When your race has a rich sponsor, you know you are in store for sway–like tech shirts and medals!

It also happened to not start until 9AM, which is always a win!  It was a gorgeous morning for a race.uae

This 6 miler was supposed to be my taper run for the Brooklyn Half, but my training fell off somewhere along the way and it turned into more of a build run to supplement my two longest training runs, which topped off at 8 miles each.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I felt that I had certainly trained enough to successfully complete a 10K without much effort. Or not.   The gun went off and my legs felt like lead. I’m sure most people know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you start a run and have great fresh legs and sometimes  you feel like you are wearing invisible ankle weights.  I plodded along, around mile 3 things got better for a while.  By mile 5, things were bleak–I was feeling a bit nauseous and the lead feeling had returned.  Somehow I rounded the bottom of Central Park South and the end was in sight–sort of. The 800 meters to go, 400 meters to go, 200 meters to go signs seemed just plain mean.   But finally I finished.

Clearly, I made a rookie mistake–no hill training.  The Great Hill seemed somehow greater and the rolling hills on the west side seemed to never end.

I have to be honest, I left the UAE 10K feeling pretty defeated. I wasn’t sure how I would even finish the Brooklyn Half, as it the distance is more than twice as long.

I like to be over prepared in any given situation.  I cook enough for 20 when 10 people are coming over. I make 14 copies for a meeting with 12 people. I triple check work documents before sending them out. I don’t like to leave room for error.  It causes me a lot of anxiety.  But somehow, come half marathon week, I was struggling to complete a 10K.  While I hate to be unprepared, I also hate giving up.  So after much agonizing (which is always helpful), I decided to try and make it through the BK Half, even if I had to walk most of it.

On Wednesday, I went to pick up my race packet at the Half Pre-party.  It was actually a good way to get in a more positive mindset!

Brooklyn Bridge Park is so cute!

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The pre-party was sponsored by New Balance, and they had lots of great promotions going on. There were also other vendors, lots of food trucks, live music and plenty of general merriment to enjoy, which I did. I may not finish the race, but I am going to pre-party with the best of them. Damnit.

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Before I knew it, it was the night before the race. I went out to dinner with friends and then went to bed early, as we had a 5:00AM alarm set.

Race day morning was a flurry of activity, but we were out the door in 20 minutes to catch the subway. While it seemed to go by pretty quickly, it took about an hour to get to Prospect Park.  We went through security and got in the corrals.  Each corral had a ton of port-potties, which was a nice bonus.  I was pretty nervous in the corral, but three things helped cheer me up:

1.) A bunch of girls that were wearing shirts that said, “If found, please drag to the finish.”

2.) When the announcer said, “Brooklyn, are you ready?” and several people yelled no.

3.) When the announcer said, “Are you ready to run?” And a guy said, well, we are here, so I guess we have to.

It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only nervous one there! After what seemed like forever, off we went.  My legs didn’t feel great, but they didn’t feel bad.  The first part of the race is an out and back around a round-a-bout. I saw Frank coming back on my way out.  I knew the out and back was almost 2.5 miles of the course, so I was happy when it seemed to go by fairly quickly.  I saw fast runners zooming out of the park as I entered, and soon after I put on my headphones and just decided to enjoy the nice lushness of Prospect Park.  There was a big meadow with tons of dogs frolicking during off leash hours.  My goal was to at least make it through the park before I decided whether I would need to walk.  Fortunately, Prospect Park is pretty flat, and I was still feeling good when we left at mile 7.   While my favorite part of the race is the park, it’s nice to be on Ocean Parkway, so you can finally stop running in circles start to get where you are going–Coney Island.

Around mile 9, I was starting to feel fatigue in my legs.  I decided to walk for 20-60 seconds at every mile marker to give my muscles a chance to lose some tension.  While there were some moments where I thought I would never make it to mile 12, overall I felt way better than I did at the UAE.  Everything was going much better than expected even though I was probably running 12 minute miles.

As we rounded Surf Ave, I could smell the popcorn and hotdogs.  Soon we were on the boardwalk running the last 200 meters on the sandy planks.

For being a large race, the exit area moved really quickly and I soon found Frank in the finisher’s area.

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We enjoyed Coney Island for a bit before taking the long train ride back home.  We went to a great Yankees game in the afternoon and by the time we got home, I was totally spent.

While my only goal for the half was to finish, I was shocked that I actually finished around my usual half time, 2:14. It certainly wasn’t a PR, but I  guessed I had ran it in closer to 2:35, so I was pretty happy to find out I finished 20 minutes faster than my estimate. I was worried about the 3 hour cut off time for nothing!

I’ll definitely run Brooklyn again. I love that it’s flat!

I hope all the other BK half runners had a great race!

 

Jingle Jog and Ted Corbitt 15K

Finally, my 9 qualifying races for the NYC Marathon 2014 are complete! It was hard to squeeze those last ones in, but let me tell you, it feels good.

Last weekend I ran the Jingle Jog 4M.jingle jog

I tied bells on my shoes and jingled all the way to Brooklyn.  For some reason, I didn’t give myself very much time to get there and ended up in a corral with only 4 minutes to spare.  I didn’t even bother trying to move my way up to my assigned corral. I was surrounded by elves, reindeer and snowmen–it was clear that this race was meant to be more fun than competitive.

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Long story short, I jogged my way through four nice miles.  Prospect Park is nice and flat other than one gradual hill during the first mile of the race.  The miles kind of sailed by and suddenly the finish line was right in front of me and I didn’t even have enough room to pick it up for the end.

I really enjoyed the Jingle Jog. If I did it again, I would definitely wear a costume. However, I’m not sure I would pay $50 to run it again.  When I registered for my last 3 races, they were literally the only open races left in 2013, so if I wanted to qualify, I had to complete them no matter the cost or distance.

That leads me to Ted Corbitt 15K.  When I registered about a month  ago, I had no business running a 15K.  But the 5 miler I wanted to register for sold out suddenly and I was left with no choice.

I’d like to say that I used those 5 weeks to train and prepare the best I could.  But alas I can not. I really didn’t train at all. My training consisted of 1 Barry’s Bootcamp and two 4 Mile NYRR races.  Between the weather, the fact that it’s dark at 5PM and my absolutely loathing of the treadmills at the gym, I let myself pretend that the elliptical and spinning were just as good as actual running.  FALSE.  While I don’t think you need to run everyday.  I think running a couple times a week should be a core  component of race preparation.  Mind blowing, I know.

Anyways, all week long I was dreading this 15K. I obsessively checked the weather hoping it would be canceled. I checked for updates on the NYRR website hoping that the expected snow would convince them to have the race be unscored. I woke up several times throughout the night and looked out the window hoping for a white out. None of that happened.  So at 7:15AM yesterday morning, I BUNDLED UP  and hopped in a cab to 102nd St and Fifth Ave.  It was pretty cold waiting for the race to start. I had many layers on, so as other runners pranced around in just tights and a long sleeved shirt, I wondered how they weren’t turning into icicles.

The race started and my friend Laura and I jogged along for a little while, before she sprinted on ahead.  My original plan was to run the first 6 miles and then run walk the last 3.3.  I hadn’t run more than 4 miles in months, so I wasn’t sure what my body would allow.  For how cold and snowy it was, the weather was kind of nice.  Central Park looked lovely, and somehow I really wasn’t cold at all. I don’t think I would have run in this much snow had this not been my last possible opportunity to qualify, but I’m so glad I did.

Despite how unprepared I was to run 9 miles, the familiarity of the park really helped me get through the miles. I know pretty much every inch of the lower loops, so I just focused on the next landmark and the next mile marker. I kind of like when a course has multiple looks because when I saw the 1 mile marker and the 5 mile marker next to each other I thought:

Wow I’ll feel great when I’m back here again.

I can’t wait to be back here again.

I just need to get back here again!

Landmark by landmark and mile marker by mile marker, I made my way through the course.  When I hit mile 6, I decided to see if I could run to 7.  When I got to 7, I tried to walk a few steps, that felt terrible, and I knew I had to shuffle my way through the last 2.3 miles.  But it was only 2.3 miles!  I waved hello to the Boathouse, said my second and final hello to Cat, chugged past Cleopatra’s Needle and focused on getting to the reservoir entrance at 90th.  The last mile really went by pretty quickly, I felt great at the end.  I knew I could have actually pushed a little harder, but I was just glad I had been able to make it to the end.

I actually laughed when I saw the water cups at the finish! Look at all the snow on the top!

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9 qualifiers done! I am excited to actually train for the NYC Marathon.  Most of my qualifiers were run at very slow paces and I know I have a lot more in me.  Hopefully, 2014 will be my running year!

If you are still with me, I saved the best for last!

Barry’s Bootcamp is on sale. Today is the last day, so act fast!  Sadly, these deals don’t come around often enough. Here are the details:

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All NYC classes are priced at $27. (Reg. $34) Classes will never expire and there’s no limit on purchasing. However you only have 60 hours to cash in on this amazing deal: Friday, December 13th to Sunday, December 15th. Classes are available for purchase online or in-store at our Chelsea or TriBeCa studios.

 

Running Playlist Winter 2013

What a sunny, snowy Saturday we have in NYC!  It’s always so bright when in snows, it makes me forget how short the winter days are!

This morning we had a date with Barry!  We got there about 15 minutes early, but true devotees apparently arrive much earlier.  I told Frank that it was probably best to do the treadmills first to get the running over with, apparently that is a popular strategy because the treadmills were gone instantly.  Hello, strength.

I grabbed 8 pound weights, in hindsight 10s would have been better.  Frank took 25s, which is just insane. This was only my second time (first time recap here), so I was expecting 15 minutes strength, 15 minutes running, 15 minutes strength, 15 minutes running.

However, after several sets of lunges with the booty bands, lots of arm work and some ab work, I started thinking, those people have been on the treadmill a LONG time.  Is this a 90 minute class?  A few minutes later, Joey announced it was a 30 on 30 off day!

Initially I wasn’t thrilled about this news, I think it’s easier mentally to get through 15 minutes on the treadmill, even if you know you have to do it twice.  However, it really wasn’t too bad.  Don’t get me wrong, there were several occasions where the last 15 seconds took everything I had and maybe a little more, but we didn’t have to go up to crazy insane speeds, topping out at 9MPH for no longer than 90 seconds. The structure was something like this…

DIY Treadmill Bootcamp (similar not identical BB):

  • 2 minute warm up at  6MPH
  • 5 minute climb (start at 7MPH and increase by .5 every minute until 9.0)
  • 1 minute recover
  • 5 minute ladder (start at 7MPH and increase by 1 MPH to 9.0 and then back down)
  • 1 minute recover
  • 5 minute climb (start at 7MPH and increase by .5 every minute until 9.0)
  • 3 minute sprint with incline (run at your top speed and increase incline to 3.0 at minute 2 and 6.0 for minute 3) x2
  • 1 minute recover
  • 90 second spring at incline of 8.0
  • 30 second recover
  • 30 second sprint

I’m definitely getting why people love Barry’s, you feel so accomplished at the end!

So back to the playlist, here is my latest. I’m definitely in love with it.

Warm Up:

Take a Walk-Passion Pit (who I saw at the Garden last night!)

Workout:

Sweet Nothing–Calvin Harris

Locked out of Heaven--Bruno Mars

Don’t Stop the Party–Pitbull (really love this for a good push)

C’Mon-Ke$ha

Thrift Shop–Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Scream & Shout–Will.i.am (can I just say, thank god for Britney Bitch?)

Don’t You Worry Child–Swedish House Mafia

I Knew You Were Trouble–Taylor Swift <–Favorite T Swizzle song of all time

Beauty and a Beat–Justin Bieber feat Nicki Minaj

Ho Hey–Lumineer

Cool Down:

Suit and Tie–JT

 

Running is All Around Me!

I feel like the late spring/early summer running season is in full swing! Running related info is filling my inbox, my mailbox, my twitter feed. I love it!

In case you missed it, NYRR is offering a free workshop for marathoners next week:

GET MARATHON TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS

Join NYRR and Hospital for Special Surgery for a FREE Learning Series on June 19 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. EDT. Experts from Hospital for Special Surgery will be sharing their best tips on training, injury prevention, and nutrition for beginner runners and anyone considering a future marathon.

If you can’t be there in person, you  can Register for the Webinar. You will receive an e-mail prior to the event with the webinar link and login information.

In addition, this lovely surprise arrived in my mailbox yesterday:

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I love books about running. I enjoy reading about running as much as actually running. I can’t wait to dive in and see what Runner’s World recommends in their latest book, The Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training.  Run Less, Run Faster is one of my favorites, so it’s exciting to have a new runread.

Despite all my running excitement, I am actually dealing with a minor (I hope) injury.

I ran the Bolder Boulder and was fine…

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Or so I thought.  I flew home that night, got off the plane and bam, there was a pretty significant pain at the top of my right quad.  I was still hobbling the next day.  Over the past two weeks, I have had this pain on and off and have had to limp a bit, especially after sitting for long periods.  I stopped running,but felt fine for UFX, Refine and the elliptical. It’s mainly walking that is the issue.

However, I was signed up to run the JP Morgan Challenge last night, and so I did!  It was fun to see all the different companies in their shirts.  The 3.5 mile race in Central Park was pretty painful, but the real pain happened after I finished.  This morning I had a serious limp. I am going to stretch, ice, tiger balm, rest and hope for the best. From basic googling, it could be a hip flexor sprain or a quad tear.

If it doesn’t feel better in a week, to the doc I go.  Fingers crossed for recover before the Queens 10K.

Queens 10K

The Runner’s Literary Diet

The next best thing to actually running may be reading about running, or perhaps, writing about running.  Reading about running always excites and motivates me to actually run.  Maybe that’s why I devour so many blogs!  In addition to blogs, I have a number of books about running that I keep on my shelf and reread before any big race!

This week I have a few new books to read!

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Vintage)

Born to Run I just started this, and it’s very different than I expected. I am still getting into it, so I will let you know what I think!

Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster, Revised Edition: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program

I just received a review copy of Run Less Run Faster . I have the original version of this book. which I bought a few years ago. I actually based my running plans on their 3 day a week philosophy. I am excited to check out the revised edition and see what new tips it has in store.  Again, more thoughts coming!

The Physique 57(R) Solution: The Groundbreaking 2-Week Plan for a Lean, Beautiful Body

While it may not be specifically about running, barre classes are my favorite form of cross-training!  I also just received the Physique 57 Solution!  I love Physique’s studios and workout DVDS, so I am excited to learn a little more about their nutrition ideas and to have a go anywhere way to do the workout!

I hope you are all having a good week so far!  Tomorrow I am going to Athleta to pick out my More Half Marathon Race outfit!  Any recommendations on what I should get?

In Full Bloom

Spring is here!  Believe me, my sinus’ won’t let me miss it!  However, the beautiful blooming cherry trees all over the city make all the congestion worth it!

This morning I had a slow start.  I mulled around for a bit before getting ready for my first double digit run of the year.  My spibelt was nowhere to be found, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with my phone before I finally just put it in my jacket pocket and tried to ignore the bouncing.

My first few miles were through the city, there was a lot of stopping and starting, and to be honest, it wasn’t that fun. However, everything changed when I reached Central Park.  Before I entered the park, I had to take off my jacket (completely unnecessary in 60 degrees weather), so I found a nice spot across from this beautiful sight:

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With my jacket was off, I once again had to figure out what to do with my phone.  Finally, I decided to tie the jacket around my waist, knot it, and then slip the phone up my sleeve and through a complicated series of knots (I was a girl scout after all) secure it in my jacket sleeve at my waist.  Then I turned my ipod off shuffle, so that I could listen to Girl Talk in the way Gregg Gillis intended.

Everything felt right once I entered the park, I could just cruise along and take in the scene.  I did get sidetracked by all the gorgeous blooms, so rather than stopping for lights, I was stopping to take pictures. This meant I was holding my water in one hand and my phone in the other. I generally avoid this because more than once I have tripped and fallen flat on my face with no way to break my fall, but today it couldn’t be avoided.  Fortunately, somehow, falling was avoided.  No bloody knees today.

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I wasn’t the only one, check out all these picture takers.  Trees are pretty exciting around these parts…

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Taking some advice from a co-worker, I decided to check out the bridle path because apparently, “the bridle path is where it’s at.”  I actually tend to hate the bridle path, but today it was lovely!  It was the perfect day and not too many people.

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After one loop around the BP, I did one around the reservoir.  I think I might have seen Ali, but without leg warmers, I couldn’t be sure.

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I finished up by running up to and across the 102 st transverse. This morning, Frank reminded me that I had to “invite the hills to the party,” so while I certainly didn’t pick the hilliest route, from 102 to 72nd St on the west side is pretty darn hilly! Not soul sucking hills, but definitely enough to know that you are running on a decent incline. Thank god for girl talk! I finished 10 miles just before 72nd street and cooled down for a few more minutes.

My pace was kind of all over the place, but I was fairly happy with it when I wasn’t starting and stopping for lights and pictures.  My Nike Sports Watch is being a brat and refusing to upload my workout and show me my splits (again), so we are going to have a stern conversation later.

So the moral of this post is, I need to run in the park more.  A lot more.

I don’t have much on tap for this afternoon, but I do plan to download some of the Hunger Games soundtrack!  I loved the song that came on at the beginning of the credits! Plus, there is some Arcade Fire,  The Decemberists, Maroon 5 and T Swizzle to boot!

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Happy first weekend of spring everyone!  Get out there and run, if it’s nice where you are!

Spring/Summer Races to Put on Your Calendar

My whole running “career” has been based on races. Races give purpose to my running.  I don’t know how often I would run just for fun (or even for exercise) if I didn’t have a date and distance goal attached to that running.  I am not one to really worry about time, finishing is generally my objective ;). 

Race envy…I was pretty bummed when I didn’t get into the NYC Half, but things work out and I am beyond excited that I am running the More Half Marathon on behalf of Athleta and the Reach the Beach Relay with a fantastic team, Off Balance.

However, these are just a few of the many amazing races this spring and summer.  The right race is always motivation for me to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, and these are a few of the races that excite me this spring.   I can’t run all of them do to schedule conflicts, but I do recommend them for anyone looking for an interesting and exciting running challenge.

Spring Concern Run 5k  April 14th

This run is in Central Park and it’s cool because it’s a 5K!  I’ve never run a 5K in the park!  It’s also benefits impoverished children in Haiti, helping to bring them education.  Running for a cause is always win win.

Lake George Half Marathon April 29th

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As an upstater, I have always wanted to run the Lake George Half!  Lake George is so beautiful and the course hugs the water, so it has to be fairly flat.

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Every year I tend to be away, and this year is no exception, but someday I will finally run it!

Brooklyn Half  May 19th

I will be at RTB, but the Brooklyn Half is a classic!  I ran it a few years ago, and I think every NYCer should do it at least once.  Of the Five Borough Halfs, I think people tend to rank this one #2, right behind the NYC Half (Manhattan).  The course begins with two laps of Prospect Park before you take off down a highway for many miles before finishing with a sprint down the Coney Island Boardwalk.  It’s pretty flat once you get out of the park, so it’s a good half to race for time.   You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

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Boulder Boulder (10K)  May 28th

10Ks are actually one of my favorite distances.  They are long enough for a challenge and long enough to consider a workout, but don’t take ages to train for! This Colorado race is one of the largest 10Ks in the country with around 60,000 runners.  Not unlike the race I ran last year, it’s got the spirit of a marathon in a much shorter distance.

NYRR Women’s Mini 10K  June 9th

This is one of the few women’s only races hosted by the NYRR, so it has a little extra girlyness!  It also takes you out of the park and along the Central Park West for a bit before you enter the park, which is a nice change of scenery.  The feminist inside me is annoyed that this was started as the women’s alternative to a full marathon.  But apparently, back in the day, people were actually concerned that if a woman ran a full marathon, her uterus would fall out.  I’m proud to say, I haven’t lost a uterus yet! Anyways, I hope to join the Women’s Mini party again this year!

Peace Tree Road Race (10K) July 4th

While I know this requires logistics aligning, little things like being in Atlanta for the Fourth of July, it’s such an awesome race! It’s another one that I think everyone should run once! I ran it last year and it was SO.MUCH.FUN.  Great crowds, awesome sponsors along the way, bands, djs, a huge post race festival in the park. The course runs straight through the city, so it’s almost like a running tour of ATL! It wasn’t an easy 10K–lots of hills–but the energy all around gave me a huge boost!  Hurry, registration closes on March 22nd!!!

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That’s all I’ve got for now! 

 What races do you recommend or dream of running this year?