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!

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From A Newbie Marathoner

Tonight, I am shamelessly going to direct you to my blog friend Ali’s recap of her very first marathon that she completed on Saturday in the Hamptons. You might think, “oh, the Hamptons sounds like ann exciting place to run…maybe I’ll run right into J. Lo or Alec Baldwin.” Can I tell you, it is no small feat that Ali #1. completed her first marathon and #2. did it out in the Hamptons. The Hamptons is the boonies, people. I mean, farmland and deserted roads with scattered mansions along the beach. The season of everybody going out and partying in the Hamptons ended Labor Day weekend and that place is a ghost town these days. No small feat at all for her to have slogged through late miles with few crowds to cheer her on (though her family gets and A++ for cheerleading). It’s not like the New York Marathon where there are crowds everywhere. So, mad props on both fronts, Ali!

Ali’s journey to the marathon was part of the Run For The Rabbit campaign sponsored by my favorite running shoe store here in the city, JackRabbit Sports. Ali has Chron’s disease and her charity of choice was the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation of America. She finished second in her fundraising efforts (amazing!) and raised over $20,000 for CCFA. This charity is close to my heart, too, because I was diagnosed and am learning to live with Ulcerative Colitis. I’d like to thank Ali *very* publicly for all of her efforts to help researchers discover more about our collective diseases and work towards a cure. *sniff*

Marathons (or any races at all) always mean more to me when I’m running for someone besides myself. Don’t get me wrong, I run for me, too. But when I’m struggling through a tough part of the race, what gets me through is not my vanity or my desire to be a better runner, it’s the idea that I’m out there for people who can’t be out there for themselves. Ali ran for herself, but she ran for me, too. And I will never forget that. *sniff*sniff*

Imagine the impact you could have on someone’s life just by choosing run for a charity…

Consider this next time you sign up for a race. Did you know you can always raise money at any race for any charity? Just contact them and find out how to set up a donation page. Simple as that.

Anyway, her recap is worth reading. It made me cry, which is apparently not too hard to do today. Ali’s hard work and dedication to her training is both admirable and inspiring. She is also to blame for my current addiction to 16 Handles.

Now go out and run, friends!

Maybe share a little about who/what inspires you these days???

A Day Off

Yeah, it’s been stressful around my household lately. My poor gorgeous husband has been talking me down from the ledge daily about school and grades and GREs and applications to PhD programs. He may as well just switch careers to be that guy they send up when someone is standing on the ledge of a building threatening to jump. Poor guy.

Anyway, with my exam done and appointments and work and a fundraiser tonight (more on that later…) keeping me busy all day, I can’t work out today. No really. I started work at 6:30 this morning and went straight from there to school, straight from there to an appointment, straight from there to work, straight from there to home (need a change of clothes for said fundraiser tonight) where I currently find myself wolfing down leftover roasted chicken and some bruschetta before I bolt out the door to continue on with my evening.

No running today. But that’s ok. I did other important stuff today, like this:

Nothing like a visit to the salon to make me feel a little bit better

Lots of goop everywhere, but I LIKE IT!

 

Final result! Nothing makes a girl feel pretty like getting your hair done! (Ignore the tired look on my face...it's been a loooooong week)

Because, hellloooo!, if I am going to have the day off from running (and sweating!), I need to take advantage of it and have my hair done all pretty.

Days off are so important. That down time allows your body to rest, recuperate and otherwise ready itself for the next workout. I know a lot of runners who complain that they run “all the time” and they don’t feel like they’re getting any faster. Well, no wonder. If you don’t give your body a chance to heal, it will not grow and adapt and you will not get faster. In fact, I predict a crazy workout schedule will have quite the opposite effect on your running times.

That’s not to say that you should loaf around all week and expect a miracle come race day, but you cannot expect your body to perform at its top level if you run yourself into the ground day in and day out. What’s worse is that if you do too much too soon or for too long, you put yourself at risk of developing serious injuries that might sideline you for weeks or months. Something’s gotta give and that something will be you.

A good rule of thumb is 3-4 on/1 off. 3-4 days of workouts followed by one day of rest. If you are looking to build up the amount of workouts you have in a week, add 1 new workout every 3-4 weeks. For example, if you want to add a yoga class to your routine, take one class a week for 3-4 weeks and then add a second class. Maintain two classes a week for 3-4 weeks, and so on and so forth.

Take a day to rest. Enjoy the sunshine. Get a pedicure. Meet a friend for a movie. Sleep in. Get your hair done. Oh, and maybe you want to join me tonight up at Jackrabbit Sports on the Upper East Side for a Chron’s and Colitis Foundation of America fundraiser to support Ali’s quest to the Hamptons Marathon? Maybe? Cool t-shirts (they say I ♥ SWEAT, so obviously I need one), booze, prizes (Flywheel!!! 16 Handles!!!) and all in the name of finding a cure for the diseases Ali and I live and run with! Come on out. I’ll see you there 🙂

If it’s not a rest day for you, go out and run!

Exercises To Do This Week: Everyone Can Do A Pull-Up

Woo-hoo! Time for some cross-training, you fabulous runners. I know, I know, you don’t wanna. But you gotta! Let’s mix it up and work it out with two total-body exercises. GET PUMPED! Disclaimer: the plyometric ski jumps are not for newbies. If you are new to exercising or strength training, master the basics from previous posts for now and move up from there! If you’re ready for the challenge (admit it, you probably are!) then check out these awesome moves. Oh, and I’m going to show you how to do a pull-up even if you can’t do a pull-up. Read on.

Ok, first I have to admit something: I can’t do an honest-to-God pull-up. Never could. Not when I was 9, not when I was 19, not when I was 29…you get the picture. And I’m not talking about those so-called pull-ups where people are swinging their legs all over the place and using momentum to heave their bodies up. I can do those (but I don’t because I am the Form Police, thanks to Obi-wan) but I could never do a proper pull-up. Wimpy? Not on your life. Anyone who calls me a wimp for that has never challenged me to a 90 minute hot vinyasa class. Or a 15K. Nor have the worked out with me. I will dominate! You will cry and apologize. End of story. At any rate, I see the benefit of the exercise and have found a modified way to do it (without swinging around like a monkey)!

Big hand to Rainbow Bright who is the fabulous model today!

1. Modified Pull-ups

    

Grab a Smith Machine and sit underneath the bar so that your arms can straighten, but your bottom only grazes the floor. Keep your hips underneath your shoulders and your rear end hanging down as you pull yourself up towards the bar. Bring your collarbone close to the bar and slowly lower yourself down. Do 10-15 reps, 3 sets. To build up to using less weight, lift one foot. Sexy shoulders, here you come!

2. Ski Jumps

    

Fine a line or place something down that you can easily jump over on the ground. Bend your knees slightly, reach your arms back and jump over your object. Land with both feet on the ground and stop for one second, stabilizing yourself. Repeat: Jump, land, stop, jump, land, stop for 20-30 seconds. Great for strengthening your quadriceps and the tendons and ligaments around your knees. When done properly, the lateral motion and force it takes to push and land forces your glutes to get involved. Gets your heart pumping, too!

The reason I like these two exercises so much is that they hit all the muscles groups at once. Pull-ups are the quintessential upper body exercise that calls upon every muscle to get involved at some point in the motion while requiring balance and stabilization in your core. Ski jumps challenge the control of the quadriceps to land without bouncing, while requiring the push of the hamstrings, glutes, and the often-forgotten calves to propel your body up and over to the other side. Oh, and you hit that core again (if you’re keeping your back straight!). I just love it.

So, next time your in the gym (today, tomorrow?) give these a shot and see how they feel. Let me know how you do! In the mean time, what are you waiting for? Go out and run!

WAIT!!! LISTEN UP, NYC READERS! (This is the corrected version: the event is on Thursday, August 11th at 6:30pm)

I almost forgot! You know how I have ulcerative colitis and how much is sucks? And remember when I met Ali who has Chron’s disease (and how much that sucks–Chron’s, not meeting Ali. Ali’s awesome!) and how she’s is running for the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation of America? Well, she’s having fundraiser on thursday, August 11th at the Upper East Side JackRabbit Sports on Lexington Ave. between 84th and 85th Streets at 6:30pm. Raffles, prizes, games, food, booze! What more could you ask for? 15% of all merchandise bought tomorrow night goes to CCFA on behalf of Ali’s fundraising efforts. So, if you think I’m awesome and my disease sucks, come on out and grab some new running shoes or a hydration belt or some Shot Bloks and support us all! Or donate to the CCFA on Ali’s website. And thanks!