Winners! Nemo! Pet Peeves!

Thank you to all who participated in the Sparkly Soul Giveaway! As you know, I’m a big fan and love to shout their praises near and far. Bonus: they’re sold at Flywheel, where you can find me at least once a week.

My poor wallet.

Addicted. What can I say?

Addicted. What can I say?

Drumroll please…

2, 5, 17 are winners! I mean, you're all winners but they won the headbands :)

2, 5, 17 are winners! I mean, you’re all winners but they won the headbands :)

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Most of you love a nice, long run but I’m glad to see one speed workout represented in the winners circle. Yay for speed demons!

Please email me with your name and address so that I can send you your fabulous prize. Can’t wait to see how you sport your sparkle on your next run.

How did all of you fair with Nemo? I know some of my friends in Connecticut are still underneath several feet of snow (yikes).

"Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow! Snoooooooooow!" ~How I was woken up on Saturday morning.

“Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow! Snoooooooooow!” ~How I was woken up on Saturday morning.

Hopefully, the rain is helping to clear some of that away. Some of you ran. Wow. I did not run. Instead, I went out to play in the snow in my new boots.

New boots! = fun snow day

New boots! = fun snow day

Most people will cringe when they read what’s next. I did my “long run” on the treadmill on Friday as the nasty sleet was falling from the sky. It was only 7 miles since I’m doing the half marathon in May, not the full, and I ran it alongside Birdie.

While treadmilling, Birdie and I decided that there comes a limit to our ability to run on a treadmill at any one stretch. Also, we witnessed some seriously terrible trainers actually injuring clients and decided that it was no longer the treaddie that would keep us from running indoors, but seeing bad trainers hurt people.

I feel like this is how everyone thinks it has to be. Thanks, Biggest Loser.(Image courtesy of MuscleMag.com)

I feel like this is how everyone thinks it has to be. Thanks, Biggest Loser.(Image courtesy of MuscleMag.com)

That has to be my #1 pet peeve: watching terrible trainers do dangerous things. You feel me, right? And here are the others, in no particular order:

  1. Needlessly dropping heavy weights
  2. Flexing into the mirror
  3. Inappropriate gym attire (more cheeks than I need to see)
  4. Spitting into the water fountain
  5. Spitting in the pool
  6. Blowing one’s nose in the pool
  7. Bogarting a machine
  8. Circuit training on every machine in a 15-foot radius 
  9. Singing along to your iPod
  10. Smelly gym clothes
  11. Coffee
  12. Not putting weights back
  13. Putting weights back in the wrong spot
  14. Bad form
  15. Loud trainers/training partners
  16. “That guy” who gets on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT to yours when there are 15 others available
  17. Know-it-all gym patrons
  18. Trainers who hit on patrons
  19. Dirty gym equipment
  20. Showers without hot water

…and many, many more.

What are your workout pet peeves? Did you run in the snow this weekend? I went to Danielle’s spin class instead and ROCKED it out with JB. Just writing about it is making me hungry…mmmmm, pancakes.

Now go out and run!

Making {runner} Friends

There have been times in my life when it’s been difficult for me to make friends.

  1. Camp, when I was a couselor.
  2. College, when I was an RA.
  3. School in general.
LittleMe 017

I can’t imagine other camp counselors thinking I’m uncool based on this picture alone.

I always ended up making the best friends in the end, but it was not an easy road and it was often lonely.

Moving to a new city or graduating from school can really mess with your running buddy lineup. I know it did mine!

First marathon trained & run allllll by myseeee-eeeelf.

First marathon trained & run allllll by myseeee-eeeelf.

I tried a few running groups but ran into the same problems as before:

  • Everyone else already had friends in the group.
  • No one wants to hang with the overly chatty new girl.
  • I do not come off as “cool”, even on my best days.

I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but I had to be someone’s.

FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!

FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!

Enter Twitter and the blogging world.

New friends? Check! New running buddies? Check! New studios to get my sweat on? Check!

Some of my newest and most exciting goals are coming straight from my Twitter friends.

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200+ miles in 24 hours with 12 teammates in 2 vans? I’m in!

And the Twittersphere and Blogosphere have given me the opportunity to not only meet fellow runners and sweat-a-holics like myself, but it has introduced me to some of my favorite fitness gurus ever whom I love (and miss–WHY DOES EVERYONE LEAVE ME?!?!) dearly.

Ambassador Buddies forever!

Ambassador Buddies forever!

Steven, DON'T GO!!!!!!! I mean, I guess it's a great opportunity and all but we will miss you!

Steven, DON’T GO!!!!!!! I mean, I guess it’s a great opportunity and all but we will miss you!

Plus, they tweet-cheer you on when you hit up their class or kick butt on a run!

So, if you’ve just moved or want to get into a fitness community or need a running buddy, take to the Internet! Hit up Twitter and make new friends. You’ll be surprised by how warm and welcoming everyone is. And, hey, you might meet your BrFF: Best running Friend Forever. I’m off to run with a new friend right now.

Now go out and run!

What Marathon?

Hello from post-Sandy New York City! JB and I are just fine, have power and no flooding. In other words, we are the luckiest people on the island of Manhattan.

Just outside our apartment building.

Down the block.

As I walked around my part of town and surveyed the damage, I became even more appreciative of our good fortune. Many of my friends and classmates are without power, cell phones, and all the amenities that go along with that infrastructure. And there is no end in site for them, as Con Ed works to get the power back on.

Pumping out one of the basements in Stuy Town.

This was washed ashore A FULL CITY BLOCK and demolished a car. Thankfully, it wasn’t a person.

This storm was no joke. People were killed. People are now homeless. NYU Langone Medical Center lost power and had to transport more than 200 patients to other hospitals in the middle of the night last night. Thankfully, we have a massive team of First Responders here to help.

Ready to go.

Thankfully, we still have a President who believes FEMA is important enough to fund.

Our city is trying desperately to hold it together and help one another. Downtowners, come on uptown. We got you. Our beloved Central Park is being cleaned up. Our Rivers are still washing stuff onto running paths. We have a lot to do to bring our city back to normal.

The sirens have been going all day and night. I’m just glad they’re responding to emergencies.

Debris under the FDR.

The clean-up effort has already begun and is tremendous. I high-fived a sanitation worker over on Avenue C today who was kind enough to smile at me as I passed by his job site (a massive tree that had toppled over). The city services are out in force!

The scene from Broad St. into a below ground parking garage this afternoon.

One of the tunnels that merges with the FDR downtown.

But we have a long, long way to go before things are back to where they need to be in order for us to get back to school and work and life. You know what the last thing on my mind is?

The New York City Marathon.

Yes, I am part of the Medical Team. But right now, my efforts and energy are elsewhere.

Both Bloomberg & Wittenberg say the marathon will happen and I believe them. There is far too much money in it for them to cancel such a main event for the city. It will turn into some “enduring spirit of New York-ers” sort of PR event and the city will make lots and lots of money.

I don’t care.

I feel for you who have trained for it and would be so, so disappointed if it were cancelled. I do. I’ve been there. But you know what? Let’s put things into perspective and quit bombarding the {New York} Road Runners Facebook page and Twitter account with your panicked messages.

It’s going to happen. Come as planned. Quit your bitching.

Yada, yada, yada, the bleachers are up. Quit freaking out.

That’s two days in a row that I’ve sworn on my blog. I supposed hurricanes bring out my saucy side.

As for my New York neighbors, there are plenty of places to volunteer now that we are all out of work and school for a few days:

Our NYC Marathon Medical Team needs more volunteers since so many docs were pulled away because of Sandy. Email me: runstrongereveryday{at)gmail{dot)com if you are a medical professional or student who would like to volunteer on Marathon Sunday.

Please, give of your time, your talent, and your resources to help those who are in need and those who are helping to get our fairy city back on her feet. If anything, just be thankful it wasn’t you. And quit bitching about the marathon.

(There I go again…)

Now go out and run!

PS. I will see all of you at Flywheel Sports (11:30am @ JCC), luluelmon E 66th St., and the Javits Center tomorrow. Sweating, hugging, and volunteering. Hope to see some of you there! 

Endurance Without the Mileage

The Marine Corps Marathon is a little more than 7 weeks away.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!!!!!!!

Ready to rock my Team Fisher House gear & get my medal!

But I’ve only been back running for 3 months now. That whole surgery thing in May set me back a ways in my marathon training. Soooooooo, what’s a gal to do when she’s committed to running a marathon, for a charity no less, in 7 very short weeks? Suck it up and train smart.

Starting back, I started slow and short. My friend took me for my first jog around the block when I felt ready. I broke exactly zero records on that and just about every run to follow for the past 2 months or so. Only in the last few weeks have I started feeling like myself.

Slow. Heavy. But more like Abby Who Runs instead of Abby Who Just Had Surgery. Progress!

Run, run, run as fast as you can! Can’t catch me, I’m the cupcake woman! Admittedly, I don’t really have cupcakes all that often, which is sad but true.

My first concern was Rosebud. After that, it’s hydration. Then it’s my legs. And finally, my endurance.

My mental game is there. I struggled mentally with my first marathon back in 2003 but kinda got the hang of it after that. My game is primarily about endurance. And since I haven’t had much time to build endurance, I’m doing it in a rather unconventional way.

I’m running, yes, but I’m spinning. Like, twice a week and on days that I’m running and the day after a long run. And I’m lifting twice a week in addition to the 4-5 days a week of running.

Lord help me, it’s been a beastly hot summer! Check the “glow” (= massive sweat).

I’m doing this for several reasons:

  1. One of my favorite Flywheel instructors is finally back from the Hamptons. Finally.
  2. I need to train for the time, but not necessarily the mileage, to increase my endurance without getting injured.
  3. I want to get stronger but I really can’t afford to add more run workouts.
  4. I feel safe to push hard on the bike and in a gym.

A typical week looks like this:

Sometimes I decide not to run and I take a nap. It happens.

The spinning and the track workouts have definitely made a HUGE difference in my ability to add mileage in short period of time.

The other thing I do is mandatory take-down weeks once a month. I add mileage to my long run every week and then, after the third week of adding, I drop down. For example, the past 4 weeks have gone like this:

  • 8/19: Battle of Brooklyn 10-miler
  • 8/27: 14 miles
  • 8/3: 16 miles
  • This weekend: 13 miles
  • Next weekend: 18 miles

This allows my body to take a break from all the adding on and have an easier, shorter long run every few weeks. We’re all about finishing here! No records being broken.

Well, maybe the shortest time from colectomy/ileostomy to marathon? Nah. Probably not.Anyway, if you’re in a hurry to go from nada to marathon (and have done a marathon before), this is a good way to add the mileage without breaking your legs. Works for me!

Now go out and run!

What I Did With My Summer Vacation

Hello friends. How are you?

Summer is officially over. Well, not “officially” officially since the Summer Solstice is actually the official end of summer. But Labor Day weekend certainly marks the end of summer for most of us in the working/school world, to be sure. So, Summer is over. Welcome to School Year 2012-2013!

What did you do with your Summer? Beach? Vacation? Sleep? BBQs? Trips? All-around fun stuff?

That’s nice.

This is what I did:

Studied.

Studying. Every day.

I got dressed up in scrubs day after day for 4 weeks of Anatomy cadavar lab. My scrubs weren’t comfy. How do those gals on Grey’s Anatomy look so darn cute in theirs?! Oh, btw, there are official Grey’s Anatomy scrubs for sale. Oh yes.

Not the best fit.

I studied every day. Seriously. Every. Day.

Studying…sort of.

And here is what I did with my Summer Vacation:

Immediately after passing my last class, I ate at one of my favorite restaurants with my study buddy and JB.

All dressed up and someplace to go. Finally!

And there were drinks. Lots and lots of drinks. And I was home and in bed by 9. Lightweight.

Mmmmmmm…you know how I love a mojito.

 

I read a non-school book.

I read this on the plane to and from Chicago. I want those 4 hours of my life back.

I ran. A lot.

I’m not real fast but I am BRIGHT!

I went to Chicago where I kayaked down the Chicago River and learned that the Great Chicago Fire jumped the river. Yup. Fire jumps. No pictures from the kayaking, but I did get pretty wet, no thanks to JB constantly paddling water into my back. We did stay at a nice hotel that had chairs that had chairs that made me look like I was in Alice In Wonderland.

GIANT CHAIR!

And then I slept. A lot. And napped. Every day. And walked around my fair city with JB. And had my favorite cupcakes. And slept some more. And ran with JB. A lot. And went to one of my favorite places in the city.

It’s like coming home.

And watched movies. Snow White & the Huntsman was alright. I still don’t get all the Hunger Games hype. Anchorman is still hilarious. We had both Law & Order and Misfits marathons. I slept so much that the bags under my eyes, previously feared to be age lines, are now gone. It’s amazing what sleep and relaxation will do for a person’s youthful glow. Perhaps I’m not old yet……well, except for that my baby brother turned 30, hence the Chicago trip.

All in all, my Summer Vacation, short though it was, was refreshing and just what this doctor (-al candidate) ordered.

Up next, the Marine Corps Marathon!

What about you? Did you run any fabulous races? Achieve any Summer goals? Have the most savage tan on the beach (you really should wear your sunscreen)?

Here’s hoping you feel refreshed and ready for marathon season to kick off!

Now go out and run!