Scenes from the weekend.

August 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Thursday group, weekend | Leave a comment

Kicked it off with 5 miles in Central Park with R2R and a special guest appearance by my friend Meredith.

Friends, food, and glorious sunshine on Friday and Saturday.

And went for my first Middletown run on Sunday! It was really beautiful. I wanted to do 3 miles but went 4.2 because I got a little lost. Better to do too much than not enough, I guess!

How was your weekend? Any adventures, in running or otherwise?

 

 

 

Weekend part one: Warriors!

August 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Posted in races, weekend | 4 Comments

I tried not to really learn anything about the Warrior Dash before we headed up to Windham Mountain on Saturday so that I wouldn’t get freaked out. But I did know that it’s an adventure race where participants run a 3.2 mile course that is littered with crazy obstacles on a mountsinside. Chuck and I were convinced to sign up for this one by our friends back in January (when August seemed so so far away!).

I should have known better than to worry about the obstacles; the real torture was running UP the mountain! We started with a little jog before quickly realizing that we would have to just walk/hike most of it. It was steep! There were only two obstacles on the way up, and those two were nothing compared to the hike itself.

On the transverse and on the way down, though, there was a lot more excitement. We went through a giant puddle/mini-lake where we had to climb over four logs that had been suspended in the middle (we were chest high in water so this was no small feat). That was followed by a balance beam, a 19 foot high rope wall (I was so scared at the top!) and the biggest slip and slide ever (among many other things that I have already managed to block out). We ended by leaping over two walls of fire and scurrying on our bellies through muddy water under barbed wire.

The truth is, it was totally awesome and I would definitely do it again! I mostly liked the obstacles, but my favorite part was the trail running in the woods between the obstacles. It was beautiful on the mountain. Plus, we got t-shirts, medals, and awesome Viking hats. And we had a lot of fun doing the whole course together.

I am a sore bruised mess now, but it was worth it.

Cooling down.

August 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Thursday group, weekend | Leave a comment

Finally, it was under 80 degrees for a run. Some of us did five miles and some did six. Then we drank grape gatorade. It was a good night.

Summer Streets starts tomorrow! Park Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic from the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd Street and there will be tons of vendors and fun stuff along the way. You can go for a walk or a run and there are FREE bike and rollerblade rentals! Enjoy it.

Inconsistency.

August 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Posted in not-running, Thursday group, weekend | Leave a comment

Lately, inconsistency is the theme of my life. I’m an erratic runner, yogi, and blogger. (Not to mention wife, daughter, employee, friend, cat mommy, housekeeper, businesswoman, cook, etc. etc. etc.) Sometimes I get around to things; more often, I don’t.

So, for the moment, I’ll just offer you some pictures from last week and hope to be back tomorrow with the first part in my series on what I learned in my coaching certification course.

See you soon!

Information overload.

July 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Posted in not-running, weekend | Leave a comment

I spent this whole weekend cooped up in a basement conference room at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.

I was taking a course to be certified as a running coach!

I learned SO MUCH. We covered everything from how the body creates energy to nutrition to injury prevention and treatment to building training plans. It was incredibly overwhelming to have so much information condensed into such a short period. But it was also extremely useful. Starting next week, I’ll share a series of posts on the various things I learned here on the blog. In the meantime, I’ll tell you the major thing that I took away from the program (which may be obvious, but kind of hit me like a ton of bricks):

The most important thing is miles.

The more miles you run, the better runner you will be. Yes, there are many other factors, but the bottom line is that you can add up all of those other factors and they won’t mean much if you’re not getting in the miles. So, I’d suggest that you lace up your sneakers and get out there!

Here and there.

July 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Posted in not-running, strength, weekend, yoga | 6 Comments

This has been a crazy summer. In addition to fixing up our apartment, we also…

Bought a house in Rhode Island!

My family lives there, and we’d been dreaming of a place where we could “get away” for a while, and now we’ve finally found our spot. (Remember when I was posting pictures of the beach in the winter? That was because we were house hunting near the ocean!)

Anyway, it’s a dream come true, but it also means that I’m stretched thin. More and more, my only workouts are runs with R2R. That’s great, but I only see the team once or twice a week at the most, which is not enough. So, I’m trying to find ways to squeeze in mini workouts here and there.

I’m starting with the yoga I mentioned last week – I got an off-line recommendation for a DVD with several 20 minute workouts (perfect!). While I wait for the Amazon order to arrive, I’m faking my way through 15 minutes of sun salutations each morning to hold me over.

I’ve also dusted off my weights. I have the least elaborate set of all time – two 7-lb dumbbells and a 10-lb kettlebell – but they get the job done when there’s nothing else. I can run through 3 sets of bicep curls, overhead lifts, squats, lunges, and calf raises (and those are all equipment-free!) in 15 minutes.

Then, if I’m feeling really wild, I’ll throw in some true torture – planks. I try to hold for 30 seconds and the rest for 20 seconds and repeat 5 times. (On the fifth one I am literally groaning.) This gets me sweating bigtime, which means it’s working. You really use your whole body staying up, so it’s pretty unbeatable for a quick workout.

(Source.)

Any other good ideas for quickie workouts?

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.

I love a long weekend.

July 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Posted in food, not-running, Thursday group, weekend | 2 Comments

Thank you to everyone who came out to run on Thursday! It was great! 

I spent the long weekend not running, not doing yoga, not doing anything much but eating like a wild animal. This morning I stepped on the scale and received my punishment.

I’m SURE running + yoga is the magic formula for me (assuming, of course, that I actually go running and do yoga), but to stay the size I want to be, I need to be more careful about food. I ate absolutely anything and everything I wanted this weekend (in great volume), and I just can’t do that. I don’t want to be restrictive in general – I can’t ban myself from cheese, for without it I would have no reason to live – but I do need to be selective. So, while a holiday weekend is a fine time to indulge, I have to remember that I don’t need to indulge at EVERY meal (hello, donuts).

Anyone have good tricks for staying on track over holiday weekends? Or…weekends in general?

Hope & possibility.

June 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Posted in races, weekend | Leave a comment

Yesterday I ran the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 mile race in Central Park.

It was a beautiful morning. I went to the race by myself, and I wasn’t planning to meet anyone, which was nice – I could just watch and think and enjoy. (I did end up seeing my father-in-law, and we ran the first two miles together, but after that he left me in his dust!)

I wasn’t interested in running a fast race. I wanted to be totally in the moment and not rush to the finish. So that’s what I did. I moved at a pace that felt comfortable and tried to be grateful with every step that I have two strong legs to run on.

Achilles International is an organization whose “mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self-esteem, and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life.” It’s so incredible to see the way this group has empowered people who might otherwise have given up because of their injuries or other issues. I saw countless wheelchair racers, plus a number of people with prosthetic limbs – including one very young war veteran missing both legs and one of his arms – and several blind runners. All of these people could stay home and feel bad for themselves, but they choose to participate, and they are an inspiration.

So, every time I complain about it being too hot or cold or an ache or not having enough time, I will try to think of them and remember how lucky I am that I can run.

Sweaty yoga.

June 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Posted in weekend, yoga | 2 Comments

This weekend, while home visiting my family, I finally went to the one and only yoga studio in my hometown for a class. It’s called Synergy Power Yoga and they practice the Baron Baptiste vinyasa style.

Little did I know that that meant HOT vinyasa!

I started getting nervous when everyone walking into class came armed with towels and multiple water bottles (I had none of either). I knew it wasn’t Bikram yoga (which is practiced in a room heated to 104 degrees), but I still thought I might be in over my head.

In the end, I did wish I had a towel and a water bottle (or seven), but I actually loved it! Somehow, when I’ve heard people talk about hot vinyasa, I assumed it was more of a gym class than a yoga experience, but I was really wrong about that. This was super challenging but still featured all of the wonderful things I love about yoga: I felt calm, relaxed, and able to get away from the real world.  And it was kind of fun to be sweating like crazy all over the place. Refreshing, almost. I will definitely be back to this studio, and I’m also going to seek out a hot vinyasa studio in the city.

I do have one gripe, though, and I’d love to hear what people think. There was one person in this class – quite young, perhaps not even in college yet – who just did whatever she wanted the entire time. I know that yoga instructors encourage students to take more challenging poses if they are able, but this girl just seemed to be doing acrobatics that were completely unrelated to what the rest of us were doing. To me, that was kind of distracting and rude, but maybe I’m wrong. (Also, why bother spending $15 to be instructed if you’re just going to do what you want anyway?) I’m not sure what the proper etiquette is since I have no acrobatic skills myself. What do you think?

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