Off the wagon

October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Posted in not-running, running, yoga | 4 Comments

I can’t believe I went missing for almost two months! One day of not blogging so easily turns into two, which becomes a week, and then a month, and then… here we are.

This fall has definitely been over-the-top busy (in all good ways!), but even though I haven’t been here, I have certainly been running with Team Run to Remember. The New York City Marathon is only 17 days away! How did that happen?

That said, I’ve otherwise abandoned fitness. I’m making really bad excuses about how there aren’t enough hours in the day, but the truth is, I’m just lame.

So, I signed on for a 30 day yoga challenge for the month of November that I hope will get me going. And I want to sign up for a race. A small race (I’m thinking 10K but I could maybe be convinced to do a half marathon). Any ideas?

Glad to be back. Hope to catch you here again soon.

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It’s official! (ish)

August 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Posted in running | 8 Comments

I waited until the very very very last minute to take the coaching test – it was due before midnight tonight! I was waiting because I was scared. I looked at the 100-question test for the first time on Monday (typical) and it was HARD! Even though it was open-book, open-internet, open-ask your friends who have already taken this test, some of the questions were so vague and some of the answers so similar that I was second-guessing myself like crazy. And if I didn’t get 80 out of the 100 questions right, I would have to take the whole CLASS over again. Not just the test!

But I guess I didn’t need to freak out after all. I passed! With an 89. I would have rather had an A but I’ll take what I can get 🙂

Now there’s just one small step left in the way of being “official” – I have to be certified in CPR. I’m taking the class next Thursday night. Almost there!

All wrong.

August 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Posted in running | 6 Comments

Sometimes things just go all wrong. Yesterday was that kind of day through and through, R2R practice included. What can I say? We do our best.

(What’s up with the lack of enthusiasm from the left side?! Come on, guys!)

The team had a speed workout, and on speed days, I don’t run with them – usually my job involves timing and taking pictures. Yesterday I was responsible for both but it turns out I only have the skillz to do one at a time, so I stuck with timing. But once all of the runners were out on the course, I did do a little running on my own – around in circles near Tavern on the Green for 10 minutes. Then, once I timed their first lap, I ran around for 5 minutes more. After I timed their second lap, I ran over to the East side…and ultimately back to the West side. Maybe I ran for 30 minutes all together? I have no idea how far I went. But it was my little something for the day. And a little something is quite an accomplishment on a day that’s all wrong.

Lesson one: increasing aerobic capacity.

August 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Posted in running | Leave a comment

Aerobic capacity is your body’s ability to bring oxygen into your bloodstream, which, in turn, gives you the energy you need to exert yourself (running). When you increase your aerobic capacity, you are able to run faster, longer, and stronger.

Many people (including me, until recently) believe that the only way to build aerobic capacity is to do speedwork. But I’ve just learned that that’s not true! While speedwork (intervals, pace runs, repeats – more on those later) can certainly help, the best way to build aerobic capacity is to simply run greater distances. You are doing the most work when you push yourself just a bit more past the moment when you think you can’t go any longer. During that extra mile or half mile, you’re teaching your body to deal with the added stress so that it is able to handle it better next time.

Naturally, when training for a marathon, you do this every week as you increase the distance on your long run. But remember that your overall weekly mileage counts too, so be sure that you’re getting in all of your weekday miles. If you can only run four days a week instead of five, try to tack the missed miles onto your other runs.

A few from Tuesday’s practice:

See you tonight? 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park. All are welcome.

The hardcore group.

July 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Posted in running, Thursday group | Leave a comment

As Coach Jeff recalled last night, on the 2009 marathon team there were a handful of people we called “the hardcore group” after they ran the 18-mile tune-up in freezing, pouring rain, even when the coaches told them to stay home and stay dry.

Well, there’s a new hardcore group.

These crazies came out in 97 degree (heat index 107) temps for their weekly Thursday run. Clearly, they mean business.

We shortened from the standard 5 miles to 3.5 and took a gatorade break between loops, but we still cranked it out, and at a clip, I might add. I was very impressed with everyone! (Myself included :))

On that note, though, PLEASE don’t run outside today. A day off won’t kill you, but a run might.

Have a safe, fun, beachy, cold-beer-filled weekend! And good luck to everyone doing the NYRR Long Training Run tomorrow. Drink lots of water and gatorade!

Making up for lost time.

July 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Posted in running, strength | Leave a comment

Well! THAT was a workout. Covered a few days worth, if you ask me.

This handsome group gathered for team R2R’s Tuesday Technical Run.

(Like how there are more and more of us each week?)

We started with a light jog around the littlest loop – 1.7 miles. Then Coach Ali threw us right into a core workout: warmup (high knees, butt kicks, jumping jacks) followed by balancing exercises (sort of like Warrior III), lunges, squats, mountain climbers, push ups, and planks.

Then we did some short funny runs to wake up some muscles we don’t normally use while running – sideways runs, high knee runs, butt kick runs, skipping, and backwards runs.

This was all accompanied by some delightful music.

If anyone wants to volunteer to play at all of our practices, we would gratefully accept!

We finished with a surge run – another time around the 1.7 mile loop. This time, we were to start slow and gradually increase speed, finishing with a burst of sprinting at the end. We were all pretty exhausted by then, so there wasn’t much in the way of increasing speed, but I did manage to sprint it out at the end.

Even though I was sweating like a hog and ready to pass out, I felt great when we finished! It was quite a well-rounded workout.

Oh, and remember our friend who was struggling a few weeks back? She was amazing last night. She did absolutely everything and didn’t fall behind at all. Now that’s progress. My heart swells!

If you’re out running this week, please be careful. It is so hot and humid. HYDRATE and take it easy!

Sweaty striders.

July 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Posted in running | Leave a comment

My deodorant was working overtime last night.

It was HOT and HUMID as Team R2R gathered for its Tuesday Technical Run.

Coach Ali taped my ankle – I’ve been having a little pain, so I’m trying to nip it in the bud. Ali held her breath and tried not to pass out from my foot odor.

This kindly cop popped by to see if we needed any help. We told him we were a-ok.

The team jogged up to Engineer’s Gate, which is at East 90th Street and exactly 2 miles from where we depart at Columbus Circle. It also happens to be one of the only spots in Central Park where there’s an extended flat surface. Ali and Brian set up orange cones there to mark a distance of 100 meters, and the team was to sprint that distance 12 times with full recovery between each sprint. (This is the moment where I ecstatically remember that as a coach, I don’t have to do the workout!) In the interest of surviving the extreme weather, we cut the 12 sprints back to 8. (I did one just to test it out and I can affirm that we would have taken a group trip to the hospital if everyone had done 12.)

These sprints are called “striders” and are a short, quick run, starting out slow and increasing speed. The goal is to increase your leg turnover, maintain correct form and lengthen your stride.

It was actually a kind of fun workout (says the person who didn’t do it), though perhaps would have been better on a slightly less disgusting day.

What’s your favorite speed workout? Know any fun ones?

The hills are alive.

July 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Posted in running, weekend | Leave a comment

Coach Brian is a funny guy. He told us that Team R2R’s long run this Sunday would be a “very light jog” around Central Park.

Very light jog indeed! I think we went up and down every hill I never knew existed in CP.

It was actually an incredibly beautiful run. We were really off the beaten path and for the most part, I had no clue where we were – which was awesome.

To be completely honest, though, I had a little bit of trouble keeping up. I guess that’s what I get for not running at all for 10 (!) days, and really only running a handful of times in the whole month before that. Marathon training is in full swing now, and though I’m not likely to run myself, I need to be able to keep up with the team on our runs.

(That said, the hills were so killer that Coach Ali cancelled our planned post-run cross training, so I know I’m not the only one who was exhausted :))

P.S. Found an awesome new post-run rehydration drink: chocolate coconut water. So delicious.

If at first you don’t succeed…

June 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Alzheimer's, running | 3 Comments

If the day starts with T, I’m running in the park with Team Run to Remember.

An even bigger crowd than last Thursday. The more, the merrier!

Last night I had the opportunity to run with a true newbie – someone who, like me, was not an athlete or a runner at all before joining the team. She has only been running on the treadmill to date, so she struggled a bit with finding her breath – it was, after all, a hot and humid day, and the rolling hills of Central Park can be quite a shock to the system!

We probably started out too fast, and about a mile in, she needed a break, so I walked with her. I know she felt discouraged, and maybe a little overwhelmed. I told her I’d been there myself, and that with a little time and a little faith (in herself, in the training), she’d get to where she needs to be. Luckily, she has a great attitude, and I think she believes.

We ended up cutting the route short and run-walking the entire way. The important thing is that even though she needed breaks, she always came back to running, and we finished strong.

It takes time. You don’t wake up one day and become a marathoner. You have to work really hard, and it’s physically and mentally exhausting. But anyone can do it. Just keep trying. You’ll get there.

Edited to add: Remember what I was thinking at this point when I was training for my first marathon?

Simple math.

June 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Alzheimer's, running, Thursday group | Leave a comment

I love love LOVE this team already!

It was sticky and nasty, but seven members of Team R2R 2011 edition came out for a 5 miler in Central Park last night. I ran with a Junior Committee Member prepping for her first marathon. Prior to last night, she had only run 4 miles in training; now she has 5+ under her belt. See how that works? Meet team, run together, push yourself, achieve greater distances. Simple math!

I hope everyone has a fabulous, run-filled weekend! I’m doing both races in the park – the Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride run on Saturday, and the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5-miler on Sunday (the most amazing, inspiring race of the year). Anyone else going to be out there?

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