5 Things to Remember at the Start Line

For those of you headed to Sweet Home Chicago this weekend, I wish you all the very best of luck (and sunshine!) on your 26.2 mile journey. (Go LeticiaBernadetteAliKrissy, & Jess!)

Do yourself a favor while you're in Chi-town, go to Portillo's and get a hot dog and a milkshake. Just do it and thank me later.

Do yourself a favor while you’re in Chi-town, go to Portillo’s and get a hot dog and a milkshake. Just do it and thank me later.

Quickly following Chicago are Marine Corps, New York, Philly, and California with dozens of smaller marathons sandwiched in and around the upcoming weekends. Translation: all my friends are getting into race mode!

Training for any race, especially a marathon, is an accomplishment in itself. And when you get to that start line, just remember just 5 things:

  1. You survived training (aka the hardest part!) & made it to the start line, ENJOY THE RACE!
  2. Today’s run is just a really, really long run, like any other weekend long run.
  3. It doesn’t matter what your time is, be proud of your accomplishment (I’m proud of you!).
  4. It’s going to hurt. Get over that and you’ll be ok.
  5. You are ready for this, trust your training and stick to your plan.

Good luck! Have a great race and be proud of yourself!

I'm cheering for all of you and I totally think you're all awesome!

I’m cheering for all of you and I totally think you’re all awesome!

Now go out and run.

Blank:Cancer

It’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My family and I have been touched by cancer too many times.

That's right. We're Keeping Our Boobs.

That’s right. We’re Keeping Our Boobs.

And not just breast cancer. Cuz cancer don’t care.

As a person with Ulcerative Colitis, I was at high risk of developing colon cancer just by having a diseased colon. I was at higher risk of developing other fun cancers from all the chemo drugs I was taking, too. Fun times.

But now, no colon = no colon cancer. No drugs, either! Yahoooooooo!

Holla.

Holla.

Today I am healthy. My baby is healthy. We are lucky.

Not everyone is so lucky.

Through fellow sweat enthusiasts here in NYC, I was recently introduced to Will Lanier. Will is an exercise beast who works and trains at CrossFit’s Brick New York and is a fellow lululemon Ambassador. Like me, Will has UC and has sought out the best doctors in the city (ahem, holla Cornell!) to treat him. But, in a super-fun double whammy, Will was also diagnosed with cancer.

Being sick sucks. And cancer is a lot of things, not the least of which is $$EXPENSIVE$$.

Will needs our help.

Team Lanier, with the help of Saxon/Hart, lululemon, Stonehenge, Dane PCG, and some of NYC’s top fitness instructors, will host a FREE day of sweat this Wednesday.

BlankCancer.png

Click here for details.

Click here for the latest updates on Facebook.

Click here to read Will’s story in his own words, from the beginning.

I did say it was free, but please consider donating to Will’s medical fund (which, once it has paid his bills, will accept applications for others having difficulty paying their medical bills).

And it’s not just about cancer, it’s about UC, Crohn’s, and all the other horrible auto-immune diseases that try to take us away from the lives we want to live.

Go Team Challenge!

Go Team Challenge!

Donate here.

Get a shirt here.

Get a free body tattoo here.

If you aren’t in NYC and want to show your solidarity, print out a Blank:Cancer sign, fill it in, and post it on social media with the hashtag #BlankCancer #TeamLanier.

Outsmart:Cancer

Outsmart:Cancer

Get a sign here.

You guys have always been so supportive of my fundraising endeavors for IBD and I deeply appreciate you considering helping Will out. If you post a picture with a Blank:Cancer sign, please tag me or send it to me so I can compile them for a post at a later date.

You guys rock.

Now go out and run.

Realism and Running

Have you read The Sports Gene by David Epstein? Go read it and then come back to this little blog post.

As we get heavy into marathon season, runners will be scrutinizing their training plans and performances, analyzing the data to explain the outcome of their chosen race. Blame will be placed on Mother Nature, hydration, lack of training, overtraining, injuries, illness, food, and the Man on the Moon.

(Image courtesy of davegranlund.com)

(Image courtesy of davegranlund.com)

Does it matter?

Your performance on any given race day is not necessarily indicative of your ability to perform at a certain level. Even the pros have a bad day when their training has been “perfect”.

Dennis Kimetto at the Boston Marathon in 2014. He dropped out. On Sunday he ran 2:02:57 and broke the Men's World Record in the Marathon. (Via Luke Maher @LWarrenMaher on Twitter)

Dennis Kimetto at the Boston Marathon in 2014. He dropped out. On Sunday he ran 2:02:57 and broke the Men’s World Record in the Marathon.                                                     (Via Luke Maher @LWarrenMaher on Twitter)

But what if it keeps happening race after race? No matter how you adjust your training, your fuel, your gear, your PT, you just can’t seem to get there with your running.

What gives?

Everyone has the capacity to run, it’s part of our mechanics as human beings. BUT everyone’s body also has a speed threshold, even the pros. We all top out at a certain speed, a certain distance. It depends heavily on our genetic make up. Within that genetic component is your body’s ability to respond to training.

Basically, some people have it, some people don’t.

(Read the book)

From a physical therapy standpoint, some people’s body mechanics are perfectly designed for running. From the top to the bottom, their alignment, weight distribution, and gait are perfect. When body mechanics are messy and asymmetrical, that’s where the wheels come off.

Asymmetry and less than perfect body mechanics wastes energy, uses muscles and joints in the wrong way, and put you at greater risk for injury with every step you take. Most important to the majority of runners, it will greatly affect your ability to hit certain paces.

Except Priscah Jeptoo. Her form is crazy but she still smokes the field. 1% anomaly.  (Image courtesy of iaaf.org)

Except Priscah Jeptoo. Her form is crazy but she still smokes the field. 1% anomaly.
(Image courtesy of iaaf.org)

We are not the 1%. The 1% is Dennis Kimetto, Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, Usain Bolt, Shalane Flanagan, Jenny Simpson. These people are genetic anomalies whose bodies operate at a completely different level than 99% of the population.

So should you be really disappointed that you haven’t qualified for Boston? Absolutely not. Should you keep trying, year after year, through injury after injury, training cycle after training cycle? That’s up to you.

If you hate it, stop. Don’t torture yourself trying to achieve some goal you think everyone else in the world has met. Run shorter distances. Stop running. Try swimming. Take up yoga. You might be awesome at boxing, I don’t know.

Point is, there’s nothing wrong with you just because you can’t run a sub-4:00 marathon. Nothing at all. And if you want to keep going, rock on. But if you want to take a break, do it.

Join me at Refine Method!...or the bar :)

Join me at Refine Method!…or the bar :)

Now go out and run.

(I received no compensation whatsoever from Penguin Books, David Epstein, or anyone else involved with The Sports Gene. I just really, really liked the book and science in general. You should read it.)

You Might Be a New York City Runner If…

I moved to New York after having lived and run in the Denver and Chicago suburbs.

I mastered the head nod or itty bitty wave for the early morning trails on the Highline Canal, where I would invariably acknowledge every other human being I passed on my morning run.

I learned to run against traffic so there are two sets of eyes looking out for me, not one. I also waived to the drivers as they slowed down to pass me.

I dutifully passed on the left and hugged the right side of whatever sidewalk I chose to pound my cross country miles on that day.

New York City is a different animal, and entirely different beast all together. We have our own rules and our own quirks. Here are my Top 10 “You Might Be a New York City Runner If…”

1. You see the same person every time you run but neither of you ever acknowledge the other’s existence.

2. Your run includes multiple boroughs. Or states.

Where Brooklyn at?

Where Brooklyn at?

3. You bring cab fare or a Metro card with you when you long run.

4. You know the run routes through boroughs that you don’t know how to get to by train or car.

5. You are more paranoid of being hit by a bicyclist than a car.

6. Your runs regularly include going over at least one bridge.

Bridges!

Bridges!

7. You run through neighborhoods you would never consider walking through.

8. On any given day in Central Park, you might see nuns on roller skates, a guy juggling while running, and Meb Keflezighi all on the same run.

9. You accidentally crash the JP Morgan Chase Challenge and audibly groan when you realize what you’ve done.

10. People say “The Park” and you know they mean Central Park.

What are your “You Might Be a New York City Runner If…” moments? Or maybe your city has its own little quirks. Tell me about it in the comments and I’ll feature my favorites on Friday!

Now go out and run.