Be Your {Running} Self

Birdie and I were chatting a few weeks ago. Have I mentioned she’s wicked fast and WINS races? Yeah, she does.

Remember how I ran the 10K? She ran the 5K. Ahem, she WON the 5K.

Remember how I ran the 10K? She ran the 5K.

I was proud of my 10K, just 10 weeks after surgery. 47:19:00, 65th place, 6th place in my Division (Women 30-39 in the 10K), and 20th of the women overall. She won. She WON the race. And ran 19:58. I mean, really. She’s a rock star.

Anyway, she’s fast and I’m…respectable. She said I should go run at Thursday Night at the Races, an indoor track meet held on Thursday nights in NYC. Fast people run there. I’m a fast people groupie. And a running nerd.

I buy my 16 month old niece matching running shoes. Cuz that's how I roll.

I buy my 16 month old niece matching running shoes. Cuz that’s how I roll.

I was flattered, but declined to hold up the events by making people wait til I finish my 7:30 miles for 3 miles. Sounds fast, and I’m proud of my time!, but I know those girls are running 5 minute (or less!!!) miles.

Yikes!

This would be me always.

This would be me always.

I’m not the target runner for that venue. Nor am I anywhere near elite, sub-elite, whatever comes after sub-elite status. I’m a middle-of-the-road gal.

I don’t pretend to know how to be or be a lead-pack runner. I also don’t pretend to be a cool runner. I fully burst out into song when I see someone I know at a race. I cheer like a wild banshee for my runner friends when they truck on by. I probably embarrass some people, but I don’t care.

Oh yeah. I bring the cowbell & drums to cheer.

Oh yeah. Me and my friends bring the cowbell & drums to cheer.

And so I feel good about my races and times. I don’t compare myself to people I have no business comparing myself to. I don’t get mad that Birdie runs 3:10 marathons and my best is a 3:46. I don’t covet other runners’ 40 marathon medals in 4 years cuz my body would never tolerate that.

And let’s be real. No matter how many blowouts I get at The Dry Bar (why aren’t you making an appointment with them right now??), I am a curly girl.

Straight hair, sleek and pretty though it may be, is massively time-consuming. Wild child curls it is!

Straight hair, sleek and pretty though it may be, is massively time-consuming. Wild child curls it is!

When you know who you are, what your strengths are, all the amazing things you have to offer the {running} world and all your fabulous {running} friends, you can be happy for them instead of pining after their medals and times and brand ambassador opportunities.

It’s so much more fun to be happy for friends, isn’t it? Ugh. Jealousy is soooo time-consuming and lame. Be proud of your achievements, whatever they may be!

Now go out and run!

Wednesday Workout: I Don’t Wanna

I usually enjoy my workout days. I like working hard. I like short, fast workouts.

Not today. Maybe I should have taken the Deathly Hallows-looking park entrance as a sign.

Weeeeeird fog at the park entrance this morning. Ominous side or just cool air + warm park lake? You decide.

Weeeeeird fog at the park entrance this morning. Ominous side or just cool air + warm park lake? You decide.

I felt ok warming up and getting to the park but not my usual ready-to-go self after a mile warmup. I blame last night’s 2 mile plus weights at the gym. And sleeping like crap on Sunday night. And I was running on rolling hills, not a flat track. And I am still building back up, not maintaining.

Or maybe it was just a crappy workout.

Craaaaaazy humidity this morning! Not that this matters so much in my pace but, who knows.

Craaaaaazy humidity this morning! Not that this matters so much in my pace but, who knows.

I loved the weather and could not be happier to have my runs done in the morning instead of the afternoon. I just couldn’t get going on my mile repeats. I didn’t bring a watch (thank God) but I definitely was working hard regardless of my pace.

I did 2 repeats with a mile in between to catch my breath. So I met my mileage for the day but didn’t complete all 3 mile repeats. Sigh.

I just didn’t wanna.

I was tired and weighed my options. I could push through the third repeat and probably go so slowly that it would no longer be a benefit to increasing my speed OR I could jog out between sets, give the 2 my all, and head home.

I chose the latter. Because tomorrow is another day and I got stuff to do.

Beastly. Sweaty. Happy to be done.

Beastly. Sweaty. Happy to be done.

And that’s what it really comes down to for me. If one workout sucks, I cut my losses and move on. I got my mileage. I worked hard. I knew I was done.

Know when you’re done. The likelihood that the one repeat I didn’t is going to majorly affect your race time is absurdly non-existant. Get over it. Be done. Try again tomorrow.

How was your Workout Wednesday? Did you rock it or was it a struggle like mine? I hope you guys are all enjoying this Indian Summer and getting outside. Have you ever thrown in the towel during a workout because you were just done? Please tell me I’m not the only one…

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Table Buddy

Happy Tuesday, y’all. I really like Tuesdays. There’s momentum from Tuesday that rolls into Wednesday that takes you into Thursday which is only one day away from Friday.

It’s like when you’re finally warmed up and running 15 more miles doesn’t seem that bad because you’re getting into your zone. Right?

I gotta tell ya, after 11 hours of school yesterday I am FULLY warmed up for this week.

Passing out on my books on the regular. NBD.

Passing out on my books on the regular. Everybody’s doing it.

And here we are and it’s Better Than the Alternative Tuesday!

You know those 11 hour school/work days when you have to suffer through pay attention to teachers/customers/bosses/co-workers/classmates and you just want to pull your hair our and scream, grab your chair, throw it out the window and jump?

(or am I a whiny baby?)

The people who save those days for me are my Table Buddies. We sit at two person tables ALL. DAY. LONG. so it’s crucial to share your space with an awesome buddy.

Pretty regularly, I get to share it with my super-speedy friend, Birdie.

Birdie lets me cast her leg. I mean, THAT'S an awesome Table Buddy if there ever was one.

Birdie lets me cast her leg. I mean, THAT’S an awesome Table Buddy if there ever was one.

Birdie lets me tag along on her slow runs and laps me when we do track workouts. She also collects notes for me when I’m sick and shares my love for Two Boots Pizza whilst studying for finals.

We’re basically twins.

Coffee, water, computer, notes, pencil case.

Coffee, water, computer, notes, pencil case.

Different choice of caffeine but pretty much the same. And one of us ALWAYS has gum.

Different choice of caffeine but pretty much the same. And one of us ALWAYS has gum.

Table Buddies make looooooooooong classes tolerable. It’s hard to get everything every professor is saying and Table Buddies catch what you don’t and vice versa.

Sometimes Table Buddies make treats.

I mean, how cute is this?

I mean, how cute is this?

And sometimes my Table Buddy and I shop online side-by-side…or try to keep one another from shopping online. And sometimes my Table Buddy is way better at understanding things than I am and he/she explains it to me in words that my little brain can understand.

Sometimes school is hard. Sometimes school is boring. Sometimes it’s just such a long day that you feel homicidal.

Table Buddies are the first line of defense when it comes to talking you off that ledge of crazy. Maybe your office-mate is that for you. I know that my crazy is far less because of my awesome Table Buddies.

So, yeah. Long days suck. But Table Buddies make them better.

Who makes your long days better? Do you have a work buddy who just rocks your socks off? I hope when I start working that I have a partner-in-crime who understands that getting a Flywheel bike > finishing paperwork that very moment. Priorities. Tell me about your day buddies!

Now go out and run!

Foam Roller ≠ Doctor

I love that people are taking their {running} health seriously by stretching, cross training, yoga-ing, foam rolling and being generally awesome, responsible runners.

You go.

CT  CTH rollerfit.jpg

Pink devil.

I’m proud of all of you.

But we need to talk about something. Like, how the foam roller isn’t a doctor. I know all the articles are telling you that if you foam roll til you can’t walk anymore and stretch all day every day that your IT Band syndrome will miraculously disappear.

Wrong.

Just…wrong.

But why? Well, because injuries are complicated. It’s not just confused, pissed off muscle fibers that tangle up for no reason. There are lots of reasons.

Like opposing muscle weakness.

Like funky foot patterns.

Like terrible running form.

Like tightness somewhere seemingly unrelated (but it IS related ‘cuz everything’s related!)

Like misaligned structures in your foot…

…or hips…

…or head or neck or ribcage or scapula.

You get the picture, right? There is no amount of foam rolling and stretching and icing that can realign your pelvis by joint manipulation of your hip flexors and activation of your glutes.

See? That’s a lot for someone who’s NOT a physical therapist to diagnose and do. First of all, you can’t manipulate most of your own joints. It’s just not happening. Second, you can’t watch yourself run from all angles to diagnose imbalances. And third, you can’t treat yourself.

Just 'cuz I wear the scrubs doesn't mean I treat myself. I have a whole list of professionals I see for my bod.

Just ‘cuz I wear the scrubs doesn’t mean I treat myself. I have a whole list of professionals I see for my bod.

Let me ask you a question? Did you go to school for an extra 2-4 years of grad school and get licensed by the state and are you considered an expert in the field of musculoskelatal movement? No? Oh.

THEN WHY ARE YOU DIAGNOSING AND TREATING YOUR INJURIES?????

I get it. You know a lot about your body and running. You’ve maybe “fixed” this problem before (but did you if it came right back when you ramped up your mileage?).

But you’re not an expert. You’re not a doctor.

Yo. Bad form.

Yo. Bad form.

If you have a problem, see a doctor. Most physical therapists these days are doctors of physical therapy. They are experts. This is their thing. Go see them.

The foam roller is not a doctor, nor is it a cure-all for running injuries. Get it taken care of before it keeps you from your next PR.

Now go out and run.

Friday Fitness News: A Smörgåsbord

It has been bitter cold in NYC this week. I’m one of the crazy runners who hit the pavement for a few cold runs and pretty immediately regretted it. What an idiot.

Frrrrrrozzzzzen Abby.

Frrrrrrozzzzzen Abby.

Thank goodness for the sunshine that kept my exposed face warm. By the way, I’ve been sporting my Run: Bundle Up Jacket all week and I am loving it for the sub-30° runs.

So what’s happening in the fitness world this week? Well, the fallout from the ING New York City Marathon 2012 comes to a relative close, as today is THE LAST DAY TO CHOOSE YOUR RACE CANCELLATION RESOLUTION or you lose everything. Mind you, runners only get entry into one of the races offered, they still have to pay the fees associated with the race itself. Wah-wah.

These are the options. Choose wisely, friends.

These are the options. Choose wisely, friends.

(I say get your money back. Who wants to pay $500+ for a marathon?)

Good morning, Vermont!

Good morning, Vermont!

Run with me!

Run with me!

PSA: If you’ve ever benefitted from physical therapy, consider running the NYU DPT 5K this March. Portions of race entry goes to raising money for research and I’ll be there running with my classmates. Join me! It’s in Prospect Park. Details here.

Don’t forget our lululemon Long Run Team meets tomorrow at 9am at the E. 66th St. store (temporary location during renovation: 1142 3rd ave, between 66th and 67th Sts.

Now go out and run!