Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Runner Army

I’m sure I have nothing new to add to the chorus of writers, bloggers, commentators, and people the world over who have expressed their shock and disbelief over what happened yesterday in Boston.

Our community has been violently attacked for reasons beyond all comprehension and innocent people’s lives have been taken and forever changed by an act of pure hatred. Runners and non-runners alike are struggling to come to terms with this senseless tragedy on one of our most hallowed of running days.

I am personally heartbroken and cannot fathom the devastation many of you witnessed in person on Boylston Street. It’s difficult to put into words how I feel so I won’t even try except to say I continue to pray for everyone affected in any way by yesterday’s events.

It is my sincere hope that you will keep running, keep cheering, and keep supporting each other the way that so many fearless people did yesterday. I take great comfort in seeing my friends out running yesterday and today, hugging and crying and smiling as they pound the pavement. We truly are a Runner Army.

I will be toeing the line in Jersey next month and Chicago in June. I hope you will join me in my resolve to show up and run in spite of this new reality we live in.

We are the Runner Army and we will not be stopped.

And that is a whole Hell of a lot Better Than the Alternative.

#ForBoston

#ForBoston

Now go out and run.

An Open Letter

Today the running community experienced and unimaginable tragedy in Boston.

It was a senseless attack on my community and friends.

As the details unfold and the story comes together in the days and weeks and months ahead, the running community will do what it does best in the face of such devastating adversity–we will come together and we will run.

I am sending my prayers to those in Boston and around the world affected by today’s events, especially the victims and their families who were there to run and cheer and celebrate.

Run strong, friends. We are with you.

All my best,

Abby

 

Friday Fitness News: Kick Ass 5K

There is no news to report this week except for all of YOU who kicked SO much ass on Tuesday for the Kick Ass Virtual 5K.

Some stats:

  • 1: number of haikus
  • 2: number of siblings (can you spot them?)
  • 3: number of continents covered
  • 4: number of times I cried on 4/9/13 (happy tears)
  • 7: number of miles I covered
  • 8: number of ways people participated in the 5K (crutch, run, walk, bike, elliptical, swim, horseback riding, wheelbarrow–see pic)
  • 20: number of miles covered by another runner
  • 158: number of people who have donated
  • 6830: number of dollars raised ($6930 so far!)

Of course every race needs a commemorative shirt. These little gems will be going on sale in two weeks. 100% of proceeds go to Team Challenge!

I'll probably need one of each.

I’ll probably need one of each.

My sincerest thanks to all who donated and participated.

And now, without further ado, I’d like to present to you the finishers (who sent me their photos!) of the Kick Ass Virtual 5K to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Stacey Kim Hillary Deb Diane.png Jim&Michelle Colleen Chris Youssef2 Christine HaikuKat JenG AshleyB Lauren PPW Tara Elizabeth LaurenC Danielle Sarah Jill&Linda MeganGBM Jackie Becca Lulunatics Cyanne Karen&Paul Karen LaurenM KristinAstoria Jen Michelle Jenny Paige Emily Greg Kat Sandy Gina&Scout NicoleR Lesley&Minion Cassandra ChristineM Heidi 43513AE4-DBE9-4DAF-924D-7C7C5DEC354F KristenC VeggieRunner MelissaB JennyP AmandaS Heather

Did you spot my two siblings? There are also 3 classmates in there, one Lulunatic run club, and several IBD sisters and brothers. Thank you, thank you, thank you all. It was a blast.

Don’t forget to keep your eye out for the t-shirt sale the last week of April! Limited time only. Remember, you can still donate and be entered into the Acapulco trip raffle! Tickets are $20/each–donate here to be entered!

Now go out and run!

Top 5 Signs of Runner Burnout

Twitter is a funny world. I guess I should say, “world”. Complete strangers (mostly) share their lives, workouts, interests, secrets, fears, and triumphs on the Internet in 140 characters or less.

People follow each other's every virtual move. AKA stalk.

13,699 tweets? What the hell do I have to say that’s so important?

You can link your Facebook, blog, FourSquare, Vine, Run Keeper, Nike+ running, Daily Mile, MapMyRun, My Fitness Pal, and oodles of other apps to your Twitter feed. People can track your every move if you let them.

I actually like Twitter. The people I follow aren’t serial users or obsessive (at least, I don’t think they are) and I genuinely enjoy their quips and updates. As we approach Boston Marathon weekend, I’m seeing a trend in runners that I’ve noticed before, but not quite as much as right now.

Running when one clearly hates running right now.

What happens when it becomes YOUR punishment, too?

What happens when it becomes YOUR punishment, too?

More than one runner who is headed to Boston this week has confessed that their head and heart just aren’t in it. They’re all seasoned-ish runners who have surely defined themselves as RUNNERS, but they clearly no longer enjoy running.

What do you do when you just don’t feel like running anymore?

Even Snoopy feels like this sometimes.

I would say this person is experiencing complete and total burnout.

Top 5 signs of burnout:

  1. Running feels like a chore
  2. Every run feels hard & there’s rarely a “runner’s high”
  3. You come up with any excuse to drop out of races/workouts
  4. Races give you anxiety (more than usual, that is)
  5. Your heart isn’t in it anymore…and you know it
...at least, it should be. (Image courtesy of Runner's World & your inner child)

…at least, it should be.
(Image courtesy of Runner’s World & your inner child)

I want to say this to all the runners out there:

IT’S OK TO TAKE A STEP BACK FROM RUNNING.

Did you hear me? IT’S OK. It doesn’t take anything away from you or change anything you’ve done. If you aren’t feeling it, don’t force it. Forcing it will only make you resent it more.

Take a step back. Do something else. Try something new.

Don't be afraid you might like something else better.

Don’t be afraid you might like something else better.

You are not defined by only being a “runner”. You are so much more and can be anything you want to be, just don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to walk away from it until you miss it. Don’t be afraid that you might find something you like better.

You can always come back to it.

If you don’t love it, don’t do it. Life is too short to waste your time and energy doing something you hate.

Just a thought.

Now go out and run (or not).

PS. Pictures from the Kick Ass 5K must be received by me via email (runstrongereveryday@gmail.com) by midnight tonight to count toward the raffle. Get ’em in–I am loving all the ones I have so far!

Workout Wednesdays: Doubles?

First off, thank you so much to all of you who participated in yesterday’s Virtual Kick Ass 5K! Remember, send me a picture of you and your race bib and you get another entry into the seriously amazing raffle I am hosting.

Today closes the race raffle. From here on out, raffle tickets are $20 per ticket and you donate on my fundraising page. Don’t forget to email me that you donated so I can make sure I get all your information correct in case you win!

Can you picture you and 9 of your friends here? I can.

Can you picture you and 9 of your friends here? I can.

Fitness trends are a dime a dozen, especially here in NYC. Part of the reason I love living in the city is that we get all the best workouts, oftentimes before everyone else. One of the recent trends that has received some attention are doubles.

From a purely physiological standpoint, most doubles are fine. In fact, I’m a big fan. I’ve been known to run to and from the gym or yoga studio and even host BRick workouts with Flywheel.

We ride and then we run!

We ride and then we run!

Two-a-day runs are something I love to do in the summer when it’s too hot to get a lot of morning miles in or I’m busy, busy, busy. I’d actually love to swim outdoors in the summer but outdoor pools are in short supply in midtown.

Here are a few guidelines for doubling up for beginners:

  • One workout should be easy
  • Don’t double back-to-back days
  • Gradually add doubles into your weekly routine
  • Try to break it up to morning & evening workouts, not back-to-back
  • Cancel doubles at any sign of overtraining

I cannot stress enough how quickly these kind of workouts can lead to overtraining. 

Why? Because you fatigue your muscles doing one exercise and then ask them to go and do another. Your body can only do so much. Something’s going to give: your form, your muscles, your strength, your blood sugar, and then you’ll really be in trouble.

Haha. So funny...until this is you.

Haha. So funny…until this is you.

Also,

I do NOT recommend doing a weight training/strength training workout the same day as a long run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yoga, bootcamp, weight lifting, pilates, anything! If you are a runner, long run days are sacred. Run, stretch, foam roll, ice, relax. Your body will be too tired and too depleted to have a productive strength training session.

And form is EVERYTHING where gaining strength is concerned.

Don't be this guy(Image courtesy of vector.rs)

You don’t wanna be THIS guy, do you?
(Image courtesy of vector.rs)

By all means, give a double a shot. But listen to your body. If your form is going to pot or you feel lightheaded or nauseous, go home, eat something, and call it a day.

Be smart. Train hard, but be smart about it.

Now go out and run!