A New Routine With No Options

Hello friends! It’s great to be writing again, even if writing at this hour of the morning means only one thing: I am up and I’m not running.

Why?

Because it’s pouring rain. I know, I know, I should just go out and run. But it’s pouring cats and dogs, supposed to add lightning to the already nasty mix, and it’s super-dark out there. Not my idea of a good idea to go out. And I’m still awake! I didn’t go back to sleep! Booooooooooo rain.

Gross.

Gross.

Treadmill after work it is. Sigh.

And work — WORK! is at the hospital. I help treat, evaluate, and advocate for patients from the minute I walk in to the minute I walk out. It’s exhausting, hence why I prefer to run in the wee small hours of the morning.

Student PT Abby at your service!

Student PT Abby at your service!

This whole work-all-day-and-exhausted-at-night thing is new for me. I’m used to having my day severely broken up with clients and classes so that if I miss a run in the morning, I can grab a quick loop around the park that night.

Not so anymore.

Dawn run or bust!

Dawn run or bust!

I’m bummed about my lack of workout options on days like this. Pouring rain in the dark makes for scary city running and my neighborhood at work isn’t exactly safe for me to get a lunchtime jog in (plus, we don’t have employee showers and,well, YUCK).

And since I’ve been falling asleep at 8:30 (yup, I’m cool like that), an after work workout doesn’t seem like it’s even possible.

Soooooooooooo tired.

Soooooooooooo tired.

What’s a girl to do? Whatever I can.

Options:

  1. Run in the morning
  2. Run at lunch and use baby wipes (you’re welcome, patients)
  3. Run home from work
  4. Run at home after I get home from work
  5. Run on the treadmill (with everyone else in the free world) after work

Option #5 is obviously the last option. I hate running at 6pm at the gym on the treadmill with all of Manhattan. Talk about claustrophobia. 

It's not the treadmill I hate, it's the overcrowded gyms.

It’s not the treadmill I hate, it’s the overcrowded gyms.

Regular working people of the world, I feel your pain. I have never had “regular” working hours and now that I do, I hate it. I want my 6am start time back so I can work out at the gym when no one else is around.

Pretty please?

These 4.5 more weeks are going to crawl by. Should be interesting since I pick up training for the Chicago Half this weekend. Ruh-roh.

Speaking of Chicago…you can still get in on the raffle to win a stay in Acapulco for you and 10 of your friends by donating to the CCFA. $20 donation gets you 1 raffle ticket. Sand, sun, and fun with friends sounds pretty good right about now.

This is a real place. A real place where you could be going with your friends if you donate $20 or more to my fundraising page. Seriously.

This is a real place. A real place where you could be going with your friends if you donate $20 or more to my fundraising page. Seriously.

How do you Normal Working Hours people do it? Do you work exclusively in the morning or at home or on lunch? Share your wisdom with me!!! How do you stick to your workouts when Mother Nature conspires against you?

Now go out and run!

(Or, if you’re like me, run after work!)

Workout Recovery

This past year I have recovered from two major surgeries and started running all over again TWICE. It was slow-going. I was frustrated A LOT. In the end, I respected my body’s need to rest and fought back, week after week, month after month, and was back to my usual running self relatively quickly.

Feeling better = running farther

Feeling better = running farther

The same should go for being sick, but we runners are an unforgiving people of ourselves. I am trying to be more Jedi-like and learn from 1. my mistakes & 2. the Obi-wans.

So I only ran 3 miles today.

I am still snotty and only a week from when I was experiencing symptoms. I’m not 100% yet but I felt pretty antsy so I went for a run.

Yes, it was on the treadmill. Avert your eyes, outdoor running purists.

Yes, it was on the treadmill. Avert your eyes, outdoor running purists.

Speaking of snotty, the weather in NYC today was misty and cold so I kept my run indoors. And even though 3 miles felt good and I could have done more, I want to also feel energetic tomorrow so I met my 3 mile goal and stopped.

Surgery or the flu, you gotta respect the rest.

You miss exactly no days of training when you’re sick. Training while sick actually makes your recovery take longer. You bank more days by staying home, taking care of yourself, and getting better faster than pushing your body to do what it can’t handle.

How do you know you’re ready to get going again?

  1. You have energy throughout your day.
  2. Walking with your backpack doesn’t make you winded.
  3. You do a short EASY trial run (2-3 miles) and feel good both during and after.

If you meet this criteria, welcome back! We missed you. If you don’t, go home and crawl under the covers til your yuckyness goes away. We will send soup.

This first week of school is brought to you by DayQuil.

This first week of school is brought to you by DayQuil.

Tell me: How do you know you’re ready to run again? 

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Alternatives

Welcome back from the long weekend, everyone! What did you do with your 3 days off? Sleep in? Throw in an extra long run? Stay in your PJs all day long? Ahhhhhh, I absolutely looooooove a 3 day weekend!

(Oooooo, sorry to those of you who didn’t have the extra day off this weekend)

Anywhoodle, I do not really consider myself an optimist. I’m more of a realist. But lately, I’ve been seeing Alternatives everywhere in my life, which leads me to believe that I’m leaning toward conversion to optimism. Uh-oh.

  • I can’t run outside these days. Too many horribly embarrassing variables. Alternative? The gyms at my university. On the treadmills. Go ahead and judge me if you want, tell me I’m not a “real” runner anymore. Whatever. I’m still running.
  • Yesterday I wanted to run 10 miles on the treadmill at school. They were packed! I guess hooray for the active NYU community on a day off from school but BOOOOOO for me. Alternative? I called JB and we took a long walk on a nice day.
  • I get up at 4:30 for work almost every day. It’s not ideal but someone’s gotta keep the world working out! It means I’m super-pooped at about 8pm and dead to the world by 9pm. Bummer? Nah. Alternative? I work out early and *BONUS * it always gets done.

See, what’d I tell you? Lemonade out of lemons. Who am I? Pollyanna! Nellie Forbush!

Alternatives!

I do not always feel like this, believe you me. Some days I just wanna throw in the towel, go home, and eat the 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that currently reside in my freezer (Girl Scout cookies delivered the day before Lent begins? It’s a cruel, cruel world). Sometimes I do. Most of the time I do not.

There’s too much good in the world to obsess over every single thing that’s going “wrong” in my life. Hell, if I got bummed out by every bit of bad news that came my way, I’d be suicidal. Or dead. Seriously, though, there are good things out there. You just gotta have the right attitude and see the Alternative in the situation.

“I’m stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can’t get it out of my heart!
Not this heart…”

Happy BTAT, friends.

Now go out and run!

Putting Out 100%

A common question I get from runners is, “How can I get faster?” My answer is always the same, “Run harder in practice and you’ll run faster on race day.”

Most newbie runners are given the same advice when they take up running, which is to run slow because the miles are what count, not how fast you do them. They get stuck in this pattern of running a slow-to-moderate pace for every single run and then they wonder why they feel so fatigued in the middle of their race and don’t meet their goal time.

Run Clubbers put out 100% together and get faster together.

HOW FAST you run your runs is just as important as HOW FAR your runs are.

You gotta put out 100% every time.

Me, putting out 100%

When you train slow, you will run slow in your race. If you want to get faster you have got to start by being honest with yourself. You’re not putting 100% into every single workout, are you?

Confession: I’m not. There. I said it. It’s out there. I put out about 80% of the time. I know where I need to put more effort and I’m working on it. In fact, my doctor and I are both working on it. You see, we’re putting our heads together to do everything possible for my body so that I will some day soon go into remission. Drugs, diet, resting, but most importantly, staying on top of all of it.

I am scared of my disease taking over every single workout, so I don’t always put 100% into every single minute because it makes it all the more frustrating when I have to stop dead in my tracks and take care of business. Problem is, this is a lousy way to set a PR and I’m getting nowhere with it. So I’m adapting.

Treadmill = Adaptation. Treadmill haters, you can suck it.

Today I put out 100%. I could have stopped, slowed down, done an easy run instead of a tempo run. But I didn’t. And I feel awesome because I didn’t.

I put out 100%.

Did you? Or did you do the same old thing at the same old pace for the same old repetitions at the same old weight?

Testing your limits and exploring your edges is the only way to get better at your sport. You have to push harder, run faster, run longer in order to see a change in your body and in your time. That is the only way. Speed work, hard hills, challenging weights, one more mile, a longer yoga class. Start now! Push. Put out 100%. I bet you surprise yourself with what you can do. Go ahead, give it a shot and watch the changes roll your way.

Now go out and run.

When was the last time you really put out 100% in a workout? How often does that happen? Do you put out in your runs but not in the gym? Tell me about it.

Drop Sets

People hem and haw about treadmill running, but it’s a big part of my training because, well, sometimes I need to be indoors. I won’t gross you out bore you with the details. Anywho, I’m always trying to come up with different ways to pass the time on the Spinning Devil and while on vacation in Colorado on my parents’ treadmill, I came up with this one:

Lots of thinking (and running!) went on in this gym over Christmas

Drop Sets

How to do them:

  1. Warm up for a mile
  2. Find your 10K pace
  3. Every .10 mile on the treadmill, increase your speed by .10 until you’ve run a mile
  4. Recover at moderate pace for 1/2 mile
  5. Repeat two-four times
  6. Cool down 1/2 mile

I like this workout. First of all, the workout makes the time FLY on the treadmill, which is no easy feat.

Time flies = Abby flies!

The other part I love is that I can push just a little bit more each time and it’s always do-able. I don’t even feel the .10 increase in speed but the accumulation of going from running a 7-minute mile to a 6 minute mile over the course of a single mile really adds up and makes me feel super-speedy (even if I’m not…). Runner ego boost!

It’s also a great way to test your speed limits and go for it in a safe environment.

Not quit whining about how running on a treadmill is soooooo boring and try these Drop Sets.

Now go out and run!