Friday Fitness Links: Eugene

Guys, the Olympics are almost here. Our teams are nearly complete. Have you been watching what’s been going on in Eugene? And, oh my goodness, I had almost forgotten how hot Ryan Lochte is. I love watching swimming and diving but he makes it that much more of a must. I’m married, not dead.

Anyway, these P & G commercials dedicated to Moms everywhere are killing me. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for my Mom (& Dad). Mrs. Obi-wan is fierce, much like Kerri Walsh-Jennings’ mom, and I hope to be half the mom she is someday. I can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Well, we went from Olympics to babies in 2.4 seconds. Let’s get back to the Olympics. Are you caught up?
  • Lochte isn’t just a pretty face, either. He beat Phelps in the 400IM.
  • Galen Rupp broke Pre’s 40 year-old record in Eugene. He’ll compete in the 5,000 & 10,000 meter races in London.
  • The dead heat for third place in the Women’s 100 meters and how the tie is going to be broken.

11.068 seconds (Image courtesy of usatf.org)

(Image courtesy of Runner’s World)

What else? What’s going on this weekend in the racing world? Anyone doing the Firecracker 10K on Roosevelt Island on Wednesday? Do you have a Fourth of July run in your town? Send me pictures!

Have a great weekend everyone. I’m off to school!

Now go out and run.

 

What You Deserve

I hear it all the time. People say it to me all the time.

“You ran X miles, you deserve to have that cupcake.”

No. No, I don’t.

I love cake. I love frosting. Thus, I love cupcakes. 

I hate the idea that running has become a means to and end regarding eating and drinking. We so often overeat during our training that we un-do a lot of the good effects that running has on our bodies.

I do enjoy eating delicious meals and desserts. But looking at food as a reward is like jumping on and sprinting down the Yellow Brick Road to Disordered Eating.

Trust me, eating like crap does NOT lead to the Emerald Palace.

Food is fuel.

Plain and simple. Food can, AND SHOULD, be delicious and nutritious. Your diet should be built around your body’s needs and the performance level your are pushing it to achieve. Anyone who says healthy food doesn’t taste good has no imagination and needs to take a cooking class tout de suite.

If I want a cupcake I don’t say, “I deserve a cupcake.” I say, “I want a cupcake.” I take ownership of the action so that it doesn’t become a habit.

I am sensitive about the food I eat because it’s so ridiculously limited. Ridiculous that the very foods which make my body healthier are exactly the ones I have to avoid. Yet another fun aspect of IBD. I miss salads. And raw green beans. And apples. And nuts with raisins and just a little bit of chocolate–oooooooo, TRAIL MIX!

Steel cut oats and yogurt with fresh berries? Nope. French toast and turkey sausage. Win some, lose some.

Here’s the thing. After every workout you deserve to feel awesome about what you accomplished. You deserve to strut a little taller in your skinny jeans knowing you worked hard to get into them. You deserve to admire your athletic physique in the mirror just a little bit longer. You deserve a high-five from someone who knows how hard it is to get ‘er done.

I obviously have no problem celebrating after my workouts. Nope, not one bit.

 

You deserve to look exactly the way you want to look and feel good about it. 

And rewarding yourself with food after every workout is NOT going to get you there.

Tell me, do you struggle with regarding food as fuel? How do you get around it or avoid falling into the trap of food as fun? Share your story and ideas here with your fellow runners/athetes!

Now go out and run.

Workout Wednesdays: Hard & Fast

I have said it probably 763,229 times: If you want to run faster, you have to train faster. Apparently, last night was a “train faster” night for me, which is stupid of me. I was running my 3 miles at a 7:40 pace. Ummmm…definitely NOT a recovering-from-surgery pace, stupid. Note to self: next time, shoot for 8:00 minute miles. Oy.

What can I tell you? The music got to me.

Who can resist running fast while listening to “Born to Run”? I ask you, show me this person!

There are so many workouts to do that will test your anaerobic capacity, but my supreme favorite is a good ‘ol track workout. You may be a track newbie, so here’s the skinny.

  1. Tracks are 1/4 mile around or 400 meters, 4 laps = 1 miles (1600 meters)
  2. They run counterclockwise
  3. Fast people on the inside, slow people on the outside
  4. Don’t spit your gum on the track

These rules all apply to the Warning Track at Yankee Stadium. You could do your speed workout here, too, I suppose. I mean, some people get to do that (AWESOME!). I don’t know your life.

 

That’s all you need to know about tracks to do this workout. Ready? Go!

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 4 x 400 meters @ max pace, 1 minute rest in between
  • 2 x 800 meters @ max pace, 1 minute rest in between
  • 1 mile (4 laps): 200 meter (1/2 lap) sprint, 200 meter (1/2 lap) slow jog
  • 1/2 – 1 mile cool down, slow jog

The Great Lawn is actually my favorite place to do speed work. In the light, though. I trip a lot when I try to run fast (or at all) in the dark.

 

Should be a fast workout that doesn’t take all day. Be specific about your recovery times so that your body doesn’t cool down to much in between sets. This is all about pushing your body to it’s limits, which will teach it to become more efficient during longer, slower runs. What are you waiting for? Find a track or measure out 400 meters in your neighborhood. HIT IT!

Just a pretty picture of the Reservoir. Not that I would EVER try to do speed work there. So. Many. People.

Now go out and run.

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: New {Old} Milestones

Are you sick of me talking about my post-surgery life/changes/milestones yet? No? Good.

And happy Better Than the Alternative Tuesday to you!

I was chatting with a friend last night and when she asked me how I’m feeling these days, I immediately went to how my runs are going. What can I say, I’m happy to be back! Anyway, I was telling her how hard it is to run just 3 miles when a little over a two months ago I was knocking out 8 or 10 like it was nothing.

*sigh*

I don’t get down on myself about this. Trust me, I celebrate running 3 miles as though I had just run 26.2.

You might think I’m kidding about the dancing part. I am not.

What my friend and I chatted about was how NEW it felt to run/workout again. It’s like my body has never done it before, except it has. FOR 22 YEARS!!!! I don’t even remember my first run being as hard on my poor hamstrings as any of these last week’s runs have been.

The last time I remember feeling like death on a run was my first practice as a freshman on my high school’s cross country team. I went from running 2 mile races to doing 5Ks. That may not seem like a big leap to you, but the warmup was 1 1/2 miles.

In August.

In Chicago.

In cotton.

*shudder*

It was torture. I was the last one in on the entire team and the coach turned to one of the captains and said, “What do you think of the newbie?” Thankfully, he said, “She’ll do fine.” So I stayed. Imagine if he said something different.

My face probably would’ve looked something like this. I make the same face for disappointing Christmas present wrapping as I do for when I don’t make the cut on the cross country team. 

I remember my first race with that team. It was my first 5K. 3.1 miles, which was “long distance” running to me. I was so proud of myself for training, for finishing, even if I didn’t place. It was such a milestone for me. On Sunday I ran 3.1 miles for the first time post-surgery and hit a New {Old} Milestone and felt that same feeling of accomplishment.

Yesterday I blasted through another New {Old} Milestone and finished my first Flywheel class post-surgery. It was HARD. Harder than the original first one I took. But I was so pumped to have been there, working hard with my favorite teacher, that my numbers didn’t matter. Just being in the classroom and sweating like an animal put a smile on my face.

Pretty sure I wasn’t this smiley after yesterday’s class. More like, half-smile *gasp* “No pictures, please.”

I have celebrated a lot of New {Old} Milestones since surgery. Walking. Showering. Washing my own hair. Walking by myself. Dressing myself. Making my own food. Walking as fast as my fellow New Yorkers (I definitely called the Obi-wans when this one happened!). Running. Spinning. Staying awake all day without a nap.

(Ok, that last one is more out of necessity. I kinda miss my mid-day naps.)

I do soooooo love a nap.

Some of these may seem silly to you, but I remember doing many of them for the first time. And now I remember hitting these New {Old} Milestones a second time, which is even sweeter.

New {Old} Milestones make me feel like I’m making progress. Actual, tangible progress. Every time I hit–and blast through!–one, I feel more and more like myself. Surgery can take away that feeling of self. So can injury. Or any other life change. Meeting these New {Old} Milestones reminds me that it’s just a matter of time and patience before I feel like me again. 100% me.

And that feeling makes being here any day so much Better Than the Alternative.

Have you ever hit a New {Old} Milestone due to a change in your life? How did it feel? Did you do a dance like I did? Share your story in the comments 🙂 Also, did anyone run this morning? It’s 57° in NYC!!!!  

Now go out and run!

Pay It Forward

Confession: I have a lot of workout clothes.

A girl needs a variety of colors.

Shocker, I know.

I bet you do, too.

You might expect this from me since I work out a lot, am a personal trainer (aka it’s my job to wear workout clothes) and a lululemon Ambassador. I mean, if I worked at Vogue you would expect to find Christian Louboutins and Marc Jacobs in my closet, right? Right.

Not that I would mind wearing that stuff…

                     

Being a lululemon Ambassador means I am free to come up with ideas for our community and get the full support of the company to execute whatever hair-brained activity I come up with. This has led to some seriously fun activities with my fellow Ambassadors and lulu friends city-wide.

Remember my BRick workout with fellow Ambassador Aleah

1 45 minute spin class. 1 5K run. 2 Ambassadors. 45 BRickers. Awesome.

and how I rode a spin bike in the middle of Madison Avenue on the same day?

Yep. We had a spin class on Madison Avenue. Just another day in NYC!

And then there’s the fabulous Sports Bra Challenge dreamed up by my lovely Ambassador friend Jenny Gaither.

The sky’s the limit with us and we love giving back to our community!

My store is at it again! The E. 66th St. lululemon athletica, inspired by Ambassador and yoga instructor extraordinaire Lauren Harris, is proud to present our very first Workout Clothing Drive! From July 1st-August 1st, we will be collecting gently used workout clothes of all brands, sizes and colors.

Let’s be real, that sweat-ring stained yellow-when-it-used-to-be-white t-shirt is not what we’re after, but those shorts that are in good shape (but maybe are too big for you ‘cuz you lost those 10 pounds–hooray!) are exactly what we want!

Our team ♥s to sweat and bring sweat opportunities to YOU!

For an entire month, we will be collecting these clothing items at the E. 66th St. lululemon store on 3rd Ave. in NYC. The clothes will be assessed, washed and then donated to the Lineage Project.

The Lineage Project is a non-profit organization that brings yoga and meditation to at-risk youth in New York City’s detention centers and alternative-to-incarceration centers.

“I think meditation is a good way to relieve stress. Before I started taking the class I would have a lot of problems because of my temper. But, now I can control my temper thanks to the yoga class. When I first started taking the class, I didn’t like to go. Now I look forward to my Thursday meditation. Speaking from my experience, I think meditation can help a lot of uptight people if they give it a try.”

 — JOSE, 17, LINEAGE STUDENT

If you are somewhere else in the country/world and you would like to send your clothes to the drive (before August 1st), please email me: runstrongereveryday<at>gmail<dot>com and I will send you the shipping information to make this happen. The USPS has these great Flat Rate boxes that you can stuff full of clothes and still only pay $11.35 to send a Medium box or $15.49 for a Large box.

How many pairs of shorts can YOU fit in a box and send to us?

I think back to when I was wearing hideously uncomfortable cotton gym clothes, made for boys and not girls, that made working out torture even though it’s all I wanted to do. I think of how many miles I didn’t run, how many poses I didn’t try because my clothes were uncomfortable or didn’t fit quite right or held onto so much of my sweat that my tank top would sag around my knees mid-class.

Everyone who wants to change their life with fitness deserves to have clothes that will help them do just that.

These kids need an alternative to what their life is now. Help me make it a little bit more comfortable for them to give yoga a try.

Yoga for everyone! Workout clothes for everyone!

I want your old gym clothes. GIVE ME YOUR CLOTHES. Especially you MEN out there. Don’t be shy. We need all shapes and sizes. Bring it on.

Now go out and run!