2013: Lucky Number 13

Happy new year to you all. I hope this new year is filled with great moments that you will cherish for years to come. Be safe and warm this day. And remember this feeling of jubilation, reflection, and celebration. Remember this exact feeling because this is exactly how we are to live our lives not just on holidays, but each and every day.

I spent the evening sipping champagne at 6 pm with my friends Liz and Elizabeth, and then running the Emerald Nuts Midnight Runs in Central Park. There’s no greater feeling than starting 2013 with cocktails, fireworks, and a 4 mile PR. I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a good one. Lucky number 13.

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Race Recap: Join The Voices 5 Miles

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I always have a mix of emotions on Race Day: one part excitement with two parts laziness. Let’s be honest, I love running but on a cold, foggy Sunday morning after a long Saturday, the last thing I wanted to do was race. But it’s no surprise that afterwards, I’m always glad I did.

The Join the Voices 5 mile race supports the Voices Against Brain Cancer’s search for a cure. It was an uplifting day as runners and non-runners were out in honor of loved ones. Runners may not actually be the ones to find a cure for cancer one day, but our spirit of empathy and love is more powerful than medicine, test results, or doctors visits. We run because we wish we could fight the cancer for you! We run because running is the only way we know how to fight.

After watching the Kansas City Chiefs press conference and running yesterday, I’m reminded that we are our brothers and sisters’ keeper. Even when there is a cure for cancer, it means nothing if those folks don’t have a life worth living filled with love.

Make sure to love someone this week and think of them the next time you run. It will definitely fuel your workout.

Happy Monday!

Scene On the Run: No Marathon

There was no marathon. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Mayor Bloomberg canceled the race on Friday afternoon (5:30 pm) saying the race was “divisive” and building animosity towards runners and the event itself.

Of course I’m bummed but I’m not disappointed. While I said I would run if the race would’ve happened, this was the right call and it should’ve made earlier. I was selfishly relieved because I, and many runners, were torn and heavy hearted while we also believed the race would be good for the city. Alas, it’s over and done. There will be other years and many other marathons. Unfortunately others can’t say that. I count my blessings.

I’m still raising money for the Red Cross through Crowdrise. While I can no longer give you a cut of my heat sheet, I now offer to run a mile for each person who donates. Equally, if not more important…please donate blood, batteries, blankets, food, diapers, pet food. I know it’s a bit overwhelming so if you’d like more info on how you can get involved (even if you’re not in the NY/NJ area) please leave a comment or email me and I will help you get plugged in. Unfortunately the needs will not go away after this week. Many of those affected will be dealing with the Sandy aftermath for months, even years. So donate whatever you can and I will run a mile for you too…I’d love to be challenged to run 100 miles 😉

Scene on the run this weekend…

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Notice I went on a mini food tour. Yeah, I basically read “marathon canceled” and immediately grabbed all the white sugar I could find and ate everything I’d given up for 40 days in about 40 minutes.

Happy Monday.

Why I Will Run the NYC Marathon Post-Sandy

I, like many runners, have been torn about whether to run the marathon. Whether we like it or not, this race is happening with or without us.

I mean no disrespect to those who are still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy. If anything, I pray for you and our city and have already sought opportunities to volunteer in the coming weeks.

While I am originally from Virginia, I consider myself a New Yorker. I always have been and always will be. I was here the weekend after 9-11 and I remember witnessing the resiliency, strength, and community that New Yorkers shared and I wanted a part. I cheered for the Yankees in the 2001 World Series because the city needed a reason to cheer (I have been rooting for the Yankees ever since). For the record, Hurricane Sandy is not 9-11; however, the people and their hearts are the same.

To quote Bart Yasso from My Life On the Run, pg 184:

“We had started the journey as Russians, Germans, Canadians, French, Americans, Irish, and Inuit, but we ended as athletes. Running does that to people. It brings unlikely folks together and fosters a fellowship like no other sport.” 

That is exactly what the Marathon does. Those who are normally divided by borough, race, economic status, neighborhood, street, creed, etc. are one on Marathon Day. And isn’t that what we all need in this time of distress? A little unity. There is no other day when you’ll see a kid from the projects hi-five an old Hasidic Jew. It’s one day where people put aside their differences to support and cheer for another human being. It’s a glimpse of Heaven.

The conditions aren’t perfect and I wish the circumstances were different, but I support New York City and will run for it this Sunday.

Today I am asking friends, family, and any other good Samaritans:

-OR-

  • If you cannot donate $, please donate blood or volunteer your time to one of the many great organizations working to help families affected by Sandy.

In exchange for your donation, I will mail you a cut of my heatsheet (it’s the aluminum thing marathoners get wrapped in after a race), will etch your name on my race day shirt, and sing your praises on my LeanGirlsClub blog. For one day, we can all be marathoners and New Yorkers.

This race is not about me, never has been. It’s for New York.

 

Sandy

They say that Sunday’s marathon is still happening. Sure, New Yorkers are resilient and the show must go on. On one hand the race brings over $350 million to the city, especially during a time when small businesses need it. On the other, it also seems wrong to shut down the city and take medical professionals and rescue officials away from recovery and rebuilding efforts. I’m conflicted.

I am one of the lucky ones to have power, heat, food, my home and no personal damage done. If I run on Sunday, I will run with a greater purpose. I will run for my great city.

I couldn’t get to Manhattan but here are some shots of the Sandy aftermath from Astoria.

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Marathon Countdown: 33 Days

I realized the other day that I had 40 days ’til the ING NYC Marathon. Little did I know I miscounted and had 38 days. Now I have 33.

I ran 20 miles this weekend. Actually, I ran, came home and realized on Map My Run that I only ran 18 so I went back out and ran another two. My body hurt. Literally locked up. And while I wanted to lay on the couch, I heard my physical therapist’s voice in my head reminding me to ice my Achilles. She made me look her in the eye and promise so I got my butt up and waddled to the freezer. I pay too much money for PT twice a week for me to screw it up over some ice.

Same thing with food. While I had the urge to inhale a beer and pizza (carb loading at its best) because I “deserved” it, I knew that a pizza wasn’t going to make me feel better. I needed something to restore and repair, so I opted for some fresh fruit, fish, and leafy greens. I’m so glad I did because I seem to have recovered faster than other long runs.

These are such simple things, but they made a huge difference.  I work too hard, you too, to mess it all up with malnutrition (or not icing). Like I’m training my body to run great lengths, I’m having to train my body what to do afterward for optimal recovery and what to eat. It’s equally important. It just got serious. 33 days!

 

Race Recap

 

 

 

FITNESS Mind, Body, Spirit Games – 4 Miles – September 15

The FITNESS Mind, Body, Spirit Games 4 mile race didn’t go as planned this weekend. My hamstrings were extremely tight from my workout with Justin and I felt like I was going to vomit. I’m pretty sure the nachos I had the night prior didn’t help. It was good reminder that food is fuel and if you put junk into your body, it won’t run as well.

While my time wasn’t what I was going for, I still set a personal best for a 4 mile race. Can’t be too mad at that!

 

NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile Presented by Nissan

The Fifth Avenue mile is my favorite race of the year…because it’s a mile. For some reason though, it’s the hardest as well. Maybe because everyone is running at their fastest pace and one feels like she’s going to vomit? I was determined to beat my time from last year , but alas, it didn’t work out. I missed it by FIVE seconds. There’s always next year.

On another note, this race reminded me that Lisa at Early Morning Run and I have been friends for a long time. She’s the reason I started running and I appreciate all that she’s done to influence my life in such a positive way. Check us out just one year ago! I hope you have a friend in your life who encourages you to be fit and healthy, but also pushes you to be a better you.

 

Lessons Learned from My First Mud Run

As a consolation prize for being her maid-of-honor, Kara invited me to run the first annual Lovettsville Fire and Rescue Mud Run with her and her cousins. Since it was our first mud run our goal was not to set a world record, but rather to have fun and let loose after a year of wedding planning. Needless to say, we had a great time getting down and dirty and even surprised ourselves with how many of the obstacles we could do.

As always, I learned a few things for the next time I do a mud run.

  1. Travel Wisely – It’s safe to say that most mud runs are not taking place in your neighborhood. I had to drive an hour towards West Virginia and got completely lost. Leave early, have a GPS with you, or print several different maps. Most likely you’ll be in an area where there’s poor reception too.
  2. Pack a bag – After the race, you’ll likely be hosed down and not have access to a shower. Fill it with: two towels (one for you to immediately dry off with and one to lay on your car seat), a plastic bag for your shoes and other dirty items, extra clothes if you can change, a zip lock bag for your keys and cell phone, and a make up remover cloth. The make up remover cloth will help you freshen up immediately afterwards until you get to a shower.
  3. Wear clothes and shoes you never want to wear again. Even after a wash cycle, my clothes are still slightly muddy.
  4. Wear form fitting clothing. The baggier the clothes, the more likely you’ll be weighed down after a run through the mud pit.  You’ll need all the energy for the obstacles.
  5. Allergies – For those who are allergic to almost everything, take a Zyrtec or any other anti-histamine. I had a nice allergic reaction and rash afterwards 🙂

Have you ever done a mud run? Do you have any tips to share?