Friday Fitness Links: No Run-Off

I will never understand why Jeneba Tarmoh pulled out of the run-off against Allyson Felix for a spot on the Olympics team. Never. I mean, it’s her decision and all that but MAN! What a decision to make. What would you have done?

This week has been kind of a study blur for me. As it turns out, next week will be, too. And the week after that until the end of August. Oh well. So, here’s what I missed this week. You guys are probably totally caught up. Bear with me. There’s some cool stuff happening around town.

(Image courtesy of Runner’s World & your inner child)

AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST: Ali’s awesome boyfriend Brian (who owns his own ad agency) put together this AWESOME display in NYC’s Rockefeller Center for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to bring awareness to our crappy disease.

The shark is Crohn’s & Colitis, raising hell in my GI tract. Way to go, Brian!!!! (Picture shamelessly stolen from Ali’s blog because it is so awesome. Hope she doesn’t mind…)

There is also a really cool contest where you could win tickets to Newsies and dinner by taking a picture with the shark and posting it to Twitter with the hashtag #CCFAShark. If you win and can’t go, I will happily take your place 🙂 This raises so much awareness for my disease, one that affects 1 in every 200 Americans, and I am thrilled that this display will be in Rockefeller Center for the month of July. If you stop by, tweet me (@Abby_NYC) so I can give you a shout-out!

Have a great weekend everyone! Good luck to Maggie (who is racing her first tri) and all the athletes at the NYC Tri this weekend. Who else is running? Has marathon training kicked off for you? How’s it going? The heat. Oh, the heat!

Now go out and run!

The Sucky Part

Wow. I am in a craptastic mood today. Sorry in advance for the venting.

I am not normally bummed out about running these days. Sure, my organs devoured my muscles to fix themselves. And yeah, I have no discernible muscle definition. So what if I lack strength just about everywhere in my body. Can’t be all bad, right?

Not the face of someone who is pissed off.

These days, I am normally all “Hey, world, I can run! Outside! 7 weeks post-surgery! Boom!”

But sometimes, it sucks. And sometimes, the sucky part hangs around for a while. Like only being able to do 3 miles because it’s so freaking hot outside. And realizing that my idea of speed work is kind of a joke. And being passed in Central Park.

Super annoyed.

I hate being passed by people I KNOW I used to be able to keep up or pass like they were standing still pre-surgery.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of where I am and how far I’ve come. I made a new friend who actually ran with my slow ass a couple of times and reminded me that it’s actually pretty cool that I’m running at all, given what my body has been through. She’s smart. I’m going to start listening to her.

Hooked up to 5 separate lines. Who knew I’d be running in 4 weeks? Not bad.

But I can’t catch my breath. Or find a rhythm. My legs always feel like lead. It seems as though my muscles are on vacation. It sucks. It is NEVER easy. My body just doesn’t feel like it used to.

I guess that’s the point. It never will.

I will get faster and stronger and, one day, be able to lift more than 20 pounds. Until then, I just have to muddle through the sucky part as best I can, I suppose.

Having to study all day every day is definitely not helping my sucky attitude. 7 more weeks!

Sound off! What’s the sucky part of your runs/workouts these days? Hot summer days sucking your will to live? Weight room jammed with summertime meatheads? Vacation/work/people getting in the way of your workout? Let’s all talk about the sucky parts together 🙂

Now go out and run.

(Or, for me, shuffle on down 2nd Ave. Ugh. I will be more cheerful tomorrow. Promise.)

Workout Wednesdays

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you and your families are enjoying a relaxing day at the beach/BBQ/picnic/block party/rooftop lounge. The fireworks are set to begin here in NYC very soon. It is always a spectacular scene on the rivers. Be safe, everyone!

Red, White & Sparkly Soul Blue while I study!

In the spirit of letting freedom ring, when was the last time you gave yourself the freedom to just run for the sake of running? The freedom to go for as long or as short as you like, to make a turn onto a different street, to go clockwise instead of counterclockwise.

Now that marathon training season is underway (so says Twitter), runners are holding fast and tight to their prescribed workouts, terrified to deviate lest they ruin their chance to PR or simply finish. But don’t you have days when you just can’t get through six miles? When an easy four sounds more doable and more enjoyable?

I say LET FREEDOM RING.

Peanut representin’ the US of A!

The freedom to change your workout if you want to. The freedom to run farther than your schedule says to go that day if you’re feeling it. The freedom to turn around at two miles because today just isn’t the day. The freedom to go at night after work instead of at 5am when you need that extra hour of sleep.

The freedom to dress up like a Civil War veteran in a midtown Manhattan hotel. We don’t judge.

The freedom to choose a new running path.

The freedom to choose any new path.

Let {running} freedom ring, friends. Ring loud.

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Not My Area

Last week, a favorite writer of mine died. Nora Ephron was known to many of us as a rom-com female writer who created quirky, lovable and often hilarious characters for us to travel with for two hours in a dark theater. She wrote countless articles and several non-fiction books that speak so truthfully about life, and life in New York, in such detail that you felt as though you were walking with her on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to hit up Zabar’s.

Possibly her most famous scene.

I loved her movies and her writing and her honesty.

So true. And also, is there a legs firm called That’s Mine, This Is Yours? If not, there should be. Maybe that’ll be my next business venture.

But today is a Better Than the Alternative Tuesday and this is not the obituary section of the Times.

You guys, school is hard. I mean, reeeealllly hard. There’s so much information being thrown around and not enough time to study it. I study every day, all day on days when we don’t have class, and work hard to commit to memory the tiniest details about the cell matrix and which proteins do what despite the fact that I want to run screaming from the building sometimes.

It’s {decidedly} Not My Area.

(Couldn’t find a scene with him saying, “It’s Not My Area” but trust me, he says it a lot. And also, who doesn’t love pie?)

And then there are the kids who seem to never study. They are out til 4am drinking, taking the night off from studying, going away for the weekend. I just…can’t. I spend my “extra” time studying and getting back into marathon shape. I guess my goals and priorities are different.

Word.

I came to realize something.

They might get a better grade on the exam than me. They might only study 2 days a week. But this is their area. Facts, memorization, Biology, test-taking. They excel here. I don’t. It’s Not My Area.

I don’t need to get drunk to pass out, Histo notes will do the job.

My Area is people, hands-on, treatment, problem-solving and analyzing difficult situations. I may not get an A in Histology, but you can bet that I’ll get high marks on my clinicals. And I will strive to be the best overall student I can be. And though I might not have the highest GPA, I will be known as a leader, a worker and someone who can put to use what we are learning from our books.

So true.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. I’m glad memorization is Not My Area. I’ll take practical skills over regurgitation any and every day of the week. You can teach someone to memorize facts but you can’t teach them to be personable. THAT’S my area. And feeling good about that certainly makes being here better than not.

What’s your area? What’s your gift? If it’s memorizing medical micro-biology, you probably shouldn’t tell me. Oh, what the heck, go ahead and brag!

Now go out and run.