Born to Run & barefoot running.

April 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Posted in running | 7 Comments

Since my real book club was this week, I thought I’d have a mini-book club on here too. I’m reading Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Chris McDougall.

I’m obsessed! The thought of this book and the runners profiled in it is literally what got me out of bed and on my feet all this week. I’m only just past halfway through, and I’m riveted. McDougall follows the Tarahumara, a group of extraordinary ultrarunners living in Mexico’s CopperCanyon, and the elites of the American ultrarunning circuit. They are all amazing athletes who can run for literally days on end, and it seems that the one thing they all have in common is that they just love running. It’s a joy for them. They don’t stress about training schedules – they just go out there and pound the pavement until they feel like stopping.

Also, there’s quite a case made for barefoot running. McDougall cites a lot of research proving that runners who run barefoot or in thin soled shoes are approximately a bajillion times less prone to injury than runners who wear cushioned, “corrective” sneakers. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that buying a pair of Vibram FiveFingers is at the top of my to-do list this weekend. But I know that the jury is still out on the safety of barefoot running, so if I do get one of those things, I know I have to start very, very slowly. As in, walking.

I still have a bit left in the book, so I’ll give you my full report when I’m finished.

Confession: I didn’t do strength today. I was wrapped up in some must-see TV (come on, you were watching too) and prepping for this move (which is way more work than we realized we were in for). Oh well – as long as I get in the runs on my schedule. And I swear I’ll find time for strength over the weekend.

Did you read Born to Run? Have you tried barefoot/semi-barefooot running? What do you think?


The great outdoors.

April 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Posted in running, strength, Thursday group | Leave a comment

I dragged my butt out of bed to run this morning because I knew it was supposed to crazy rain after work, and we’d have to cancel the Thursday evening group.

I had 4.5 miles on the schedule and the thought of doing that on the treadmill…ugh. No.

So, I ventured outside!

The sky was already looking pretty ominous.

But it felt good to be out in the world.

I ran from my apartment to the West Side Highway, and then down through Hudson River Park to Laight Street, where I turned around and retraced my steps.

It’s been a long time since I’ve gone for a run at good ol’ HRP. It really is so lovely, and being there brought back fond (???) memories of training for the first marathon. But I don’t like out-and-back runs. That’s why I prefer Central Park – there are a million loop combinations available, and you never really have to retrace your steps. However, it is hill-o-rama up there! HRP is flatsville, which is a nice break.


I covered 4.8 miles in about 50 minutes, which included stops for traffic lights and photography, so I’m pretty happy with the time.

Tomorrow, I must do strength! I have been skipping it all week and it can’t wait any more. I’m saying it here because that makes it a promise. I WILL DO IT. Okay. That’s better.


April 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Posted in running | Comments Off on Quickie.

Quickie run, quickie post.

This morning was the bi-weekly interval workout – my favorite. I did 8 x 400 m at 7:30/mi pace. I really cranked up the speed from last time, and I felt it. But it was awesome! It’s so much fun to feel really fast once in a while.

That’s all I’ve got for today. See you tomorrow!

At least I showed up.

April 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Posted in running | 2 Comments

It’s a slippery slope, you know. You skip one run. You skip another. Next thing you know it’s been a week and you’ve forgotten how to tie your shoes.

It was sooooo hard to get out of bed this morning, but I had to do it. I knew if I waited one more day I’d really lose steam. So I dragged myself to the gym and cranked out 3 miles. I was so tired I forgot to increase the incline at all. But at least I showed up and did the work. Now I can get back into the swing of things.

And anyway, soon I’ll have no excuse for skipping runs. We are doing some minor (or so I thought) work on our apartment, and we have to vacate for a month! So, we are going to be living in an apartment that’s super close to Central Park. As in, fall out of the front door and land on the loop close. I am ecstatic that I will get to run there in the morning! Where we live normally is great and central and fun, but we’re not really near a good running spot – it’s almost a mile walk to get to Hudson River Park, which is closest – so this will be a real treat.

Do you live near a park or are you stuck in the middle like me? If you’re stuck, do you usually cave and go for the treadmill or do you make the effort to run outside?

Photo credit.

Let it go.

April 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Posted in running, weekend | 1 Comment

I didn’t run this weekend. At all. I tried to wake up to run on Sunday morning, I did. But being in Rhode Island just exhausts me for some reason. We are always moving and never seem to have a moment of real rest. So I let myself sleep in.

I felt pretty bad about skipping the run for a while, and even tried to figure out if I could squeeze it in somewhere else, but then I had to just let it go and move on. Missing it is not the end of the world, and probably won’t affect my training. That said, it was definitely my one and only free pass on a weekend long run, so I have to be sure to do them all going forward.

In other news, I looked at a beach again.

When will it be time to actually enjoy one? In a bathing suit, drinking cold iced tea and eating watermelon? Summer, I need you.

Fast friends.

April 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Posted in running, Thursday group | Leave a comment

Last night we met an old Run to Remember teammate for a chilly 5 mile loop in the park. She’s quick, by my standards, and though I tried my hardest to control our speed at the beginning, we ended up floating to a pace that was pretty fast for me. We finished in 47:30, which is 9:13/mile – and that’s actually right around the speed that my tempo run would have been on Wednesday. Makes me feel better about skipping that day! And I love being pushed to be faster. The miles went by quickly while we were chatting and catching up.

Then I went home and ate a giant burrito and it was awesome.

We’re off for the weekend for Easter. I’m so bummed to be missing the Jack Rabbit Running Show! I wish it hadn’t been planned for a holiday weekend. Is anyone able to go? If so, please let me know what you think! I am particularly disappointed to miss Scott Jurek, the vegan ultramarathoner, and I would love to hear all about his talk.

Have a great weekend!

All you need to know is this.

April 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Posted in running | 4 Comments

The 115th Boston Marathon was this past Monday, and because it is one of just a few major races that has qualifying requirements, there was a lot of press this week about just who should be running marathons. Needless to say, runners on the slower end of the spectrum bore the brunt of the negative commentary.

I got really fired up and wrote an angry post in response.

Then I deleted it.

Because, in the end, all you need to know is this: running is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are tall or short or skinny or fat or a man or a woman or FAST or SLOW. If you can put one foot in front of the other, you can be a runner. Period.

Join us tonight. 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park, near the loop.

Photo credit.

Day of rest.

April 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Posted in not-running | 1 Comment

Last night I stayed out past my bedtime, ate obscene amounts of tortilla chips and salsa, drank more wine than I care to admit, and won a very exciting round of bingo, taking home two t-shirts, a shot glass, a key chain, a Corona piñata, and an unbreakable holiday ornament autographed by all of my friends and the bingo caller himself.

Today, an unplanned day of rest.


Happens to the best of us!

Off schedule.

April 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Posted in strength, yoga | 4 Comments

Yoga was good last night, but not amazing. It was very slooooooow. More like an extended stretch. I’m sure it still did lots of good for my legs, though. (I need all the help I can get – Chuck’s trainer said that he and I are the two least flexible people he’s ever met. Awesome.)

I went to Integral Yoga on 13th Street. It’s so peaceful there. Doesn’t it look super warm and cozy?

This morning I veered off my training schedule! GASP! It’s just that it’s calling for longer and longer runs on Tuesdays, which is a day when I run in the morning. And I realized that it always calls for 3 miles on Thursdays, which is when I meet my group for 5 miles anyway. So, going forward, I’m switching the days. I’ll do 3 + strength on Tuesday mornings, and 5 miles on Thursday evenings (5 miles is what the schedule maxes out at anyway).

Whew, that was FASCINATING, right?! Right. You love hearing about the dirty details of my day. Tomorrow, I’m going to tell you all about my tooth-brushing schedule. Stay tuned!

Race report: Run for the Parks 4M

April 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Posted in races, weekend | Leave a comment

Saturday was pretty nasty, and I was in a time crunch, so I revised my weekend plan: instead of 8 on Saturday and the 4 mile race on Sunday, I would do 3 at the gym on Saturday, and run home from the race on Sunday for a total of about 8 miles.

It worked!

Three miles were easily checked off at the gym on Saturday. I am getting more comfortable with treadmill running.

Sunday started off gorgeous. When I arrived at the park, the sun was shining and the air was cool. Excellent running conditions.

I tried to take it easy in the race, knowing that I still had to get through another 4 miles after it was over, but I couldn’t help giving a little oomph. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling great – I had a cramp for the first couple of miles – and I just wanted it to be over. I finished in 37:42 (9:26 pace).

The race ended on the 72nd Street transverse, so I walked over to Central Park West. From there, I jogged to the West Side Highway. My legs felt strong and I was confident about the next 4 miles. But as I approached the water…

Holy WIND!

All of a sudden the sun was hidden behind lots of clouds and the wind was so strong I thought it was going to rip the race bib right off my shirt. My eyes were watering and my ears were burning! It was nasty.

By the time I got down to 18th Street, I was exhausted. The last time I ran more than 6 miles was… at the Marathon in November. So, my body was a little surprised. I finished the second half of the run, 4.41 miles, in about 45 minutes, which, considering the wind and having to wait for traffic lights, is not shabby at all.

There’s no running on the schedule today, but I am much overdue for some yoga. I’ve honestly been trying to go for weeks, but I’m constricted by a 9-5 work schedule, and I’ve found that there are very few level 1 classes after work. Alas. I know I have to make it work. I think yoga is a key to running injury-free. Plus, it’s good for the soul!

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