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!

Finish Lines

If you haven’t noticed already about me, I am BIG with finish lines.

Medals. I like Finisher’s medals.

I like to train for races, but I like to finish races. I don’t really enjoy training for nothing at all so I am always looking for my next goal. It was really frustrating to train for this year’s Marine Corps Marathon and not run it.

Surgery > Marathon. Sadly.

I mean, Sandy happened and all that so I’m not sure we would have made it down for the marathon even if I was healthy, but you get the idea.

I like to train. I like to race. I like to finish.

This translates literally to my non-running life.

I like to get certificates, diplomas, little monikers that say, “You did it! You finished!” If there’s no piece of paper for me, did it really happen?

Yeah baby!

I don’t think anyone is handing out certificates of completion for surgery these days. I mean, they should but my surgeon didn’t include that in my discharge papers.

It’s important to me that I commemorate this and other massive milestones in my life. Anniversaries, birthdays, the end of massive medical interventions…they’re all the same to me.

A dinner. A party. A vacation. Something. A finish line that says, “I did it! I made it through Hell and back!”

No more surgery = party time! Hats, sunglasses & all!

Between JB and me, we like to celebrate moments in our lives. There’s something to be said for working toward a goal, meeting it, and celebrating the journey AND the finish!

Celebrate these finish lines, too, not just the ones that come with medals.

My first marathon medal. I wore this all day the NEXT DAY!

Be proud of what you have accomplished, large and small. Celebrate your victories and finish lines.

Oh, and if you see me running around this winter, know that it is solely for the celebration I will be having on a beach! No bag included 😉

Now go out and run!

Strength Season

I like to think of the winter as Strengthening Season. I don’t really do much more than a 15K during the winter. Partially because I’m pretty grumpy when I get cold and partially because there just aren’t a lot of longer races in the Tri-State area during the freezing months of the New Year.

Me in the cold. Do I look happy to you?

So I cross-train more in the winter. I like hitting the gym and Flywheel so I can avoid the blistering wind on the East River. You will find me (begrudgingly) in Central Park or on the Rivers, trudging along wishing for Spring.

Anywhoodle, between recovering from surgery and getting my (less than 20 pound) lift on, I’m a big fan of strength training. One of My Team members and Physical Therapist, Dr. Karyn Keating has invited me to spread the word about an awesome opportunity for NYC runners!

Karyn is awesome, trust me.

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Join Karyn & Sarah Dimmick from Physical Equilibrium for a strength training seminar for runners. Seriously, who among us couldn’t use more strength training? Oh, and it’s FREE!

Details-

  • Where: Cynergy Physical Therapy, 145 West 57th Street, 10th floor
  • When: Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm

Bonus!

Check out Cynergy PT’s fancy new Alter-G Treadmill! You know how I feel about the Alter-G (hint: I think it’s awesome!) and this is a great opportunity to see what they’re all about.

Like running on a cloud.

Karyn will probably be my boss some day so you’d do well to get to know her. She’s wicked smart. Let’s Run Stronger Every Day together. See you there!

Now go gout and run!

Gift Guide 2012: The Lady Runner

I’m a big fan of holding out til holidays to ask for big ticket items. Then again, I love a stocking stuffer, too.

Ok, I just like presents.

Correction: I like nicely wrapped presents.

And I LOVE Christmastime. It’s my favorite time of year. Everything is prettier in lights, we always get a REAL Christmas tree, gift-giving is almost as fun as gift-getting, and I love getting Christmas cards in the mail. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Speaking of gift-giving, some of you might be wondering what to get the lady runner/athlete in your life. Here are a list of my favorite things. Click on the image to go to the website.

Note: Do not attempt to buy workout stuff for someone who doesn’t already workout or who has not expressed a desire to own workout stuff. This could be extremely insulting and ruin your holidays. Trust me.

1. Garmin Forerunner 10: $129.99

It’s got all the basics for half the cost: pace, time, distance, personal bests. It’s great if you don’t need/want all the stats. And it’s pretty and small!

2. I am in love with my Saucony Kinvara 3s: $100.00

Hello, gorgeous! They’re a great lightweight shoe for those of us with higher arches and, again, SO PRETTY!

3. Race Bib Coasters: $22.00

What a creative way to commemorate a great run! What will those geniuses over at Etsy think of next?!

4. Sugoi Women’s MidZero Tight: $55.95

AKA my favorite winter running tight EVER. Seriously, these are cozy and they breathe. I don’t know how they did that, but they did.

5. lululemon What the Fluff Vest: $158.00

I’m a HUGE fan of a running vest. My arms get freakishly warm in the winter. This one is especially warm and, duh, pretty to boot!

6. Erica Sara Designs Love Note: $78-98

Write your friend/running buddy/wife/daughter a note to take with her on her runs. Erica will engrave it for you (in your handwriting) and put it on a beautiful charm. A good luck charm for the lady runner in your life.

7. Oiselle Indigo Melange Arm Warmers$32.00

The perfect way to stay warm but have options. And they’re so on-trend!

8. Cross-training Gift Cards: The sky’s the limit!

   

It’s cold out there and sometimes even the most dedicated runners want to head indoors! Plus, it’s a great way to stay in good physical health. These are my favorite places to sweat in NYC, in case you are my Secret Santa 😉

There are so many other fabulous gifts out there, if you run into a problem and need a woman’s advice, feel free to holler at me. I love to shop. If all else fails, a day at the spa is always in order.

Get going, everyone! Only a few more hours til Cyber Monday is over.

Now go out and run!

From Zero to Fartlek

Welcome to the holiday season when everyone wants to lose 10 pounds, eat their faces off, join a gym, live at the open bar, and party like it’s 1999.

In the running world, this means a whole lotta Newbies. For me it means a whole lotta questions.

No worries, Newbies. I got you.

Some people will tell you to run as far as you can every day and you’ll build up to whatever distance you want to run. Eh. Not so much.

You’ll likely feel like this if you just go out and run as far as you can until you can’t anymore. That’s no fun.

When you start a running program, you’re better off working at speed and strength first and distance second.

What’s that you say? Isn’t it all about getting to that golden 26.2?

26.2 or bust?

You gotta get stronger before you can go longer. Guess what makes you stronger? Fartleks. No, it’s not a dirty word. Yes, it does make everyone giggle when someone says it.

But, seriously, it gets the job done.

Speed play.

…and you should too!

Running fast for short periods of time at your maximum speed will make you stronger. It will make your body work more efficiently to get oxygen to your muscles. It will help make those longer runs easier.

It doesn’t have to be all structured or anything. You don’t need a fancy Garmin to track your distance and pace, any distance at your max pace will do.

So. True.

In the winter, I do a lot of these types of workouts on the treadmill because I’m the girl that slips and falls all the freaking time. Add ice to the mix and I’m a gonner for sure.

So, yeah, get a long run in once a week and an easy one, too. But make the majority of your first two months of running shorter bursts. Increase the distance and time of the bursts, add a few more in every other week, and do some on hills. These drills will make you a stronger runner faster than just plodding through mile after mile day after day.

Oh my god, does that sound boring. Running is fun, I swear!

Happy runner, even in the beastly heat of a NYC Summer. It’s weird how I long for those days.

And if you haven’t experience that “runner’s high” yet, don’t worry. I’ve been “back” to running for about three weeks now and I haven’t had one run that was easy and felt good, either. It takes time.

Now go out and run/fartlek!