Comeback Setback

No, the hurricane wasn’t the setback. I actually went running through my beloved city quite a few times post-hurricane to get an idea of what downtown looked like. It wasn’t pretty.

What a mess.

No matter the setback specifics, it just sucks. This last surgery and the following ridiculousness has set me way back in my getting-back-to-me journey.

Oh, back to the surgical floor again? Terrific.

I want to run and lift and spin and flow and get back to racing. It just seems that every time I turn the corner, there’s a wall. Mentally and emotionally, it’s exhausting and depressing.

Have you ever tried and tried and just not been able to get a freaking break? That’s what it feels like now.

I guess this is just where I am.

It’s not easy to feel like my body is fighting me at every turn. It sucks. Yeah, I’m pretty positive most of the time and I feel positive most of the time. But how do I get myself going again? Dammit.

I signed up for a 10K. There’s hot chocolate at the end of it and it’s in 6 weeks. That’s a challenge for me since 3 miles gets me going right now. I don’t anticipate any great speed, but I’ll give it a go.

Mmmm…chocolate.

I also am planning on logging a few miles with a fellow recovering gimp. It will be fun since we’ve never actually met except for virtually through an old friend. Fun!

When I’m all healed up, I’m going to let this man kick my butt.

Ladies & gents, if you want to kick your a** get to Steven’s class. Game changer.   (Image courtesy of Flywheel Sports)

 

I don’t want pity. I’m just saying that sometimes even the most positive, internally motivated people get the blues. Instead of wallowing, I’m fighting back.

I’m signing up for races even though I’m not ready to race, per se. That is, not in tip-top shape. But it’ll be FUN! I’m signing up for spin classes not because my numbers are gonna be awesome but because I know I’ll feel better when I leave class. I’m planning my spring running adventures and making sure I tell people so that they *secretly* hold me accountable.

Do what you know you need to do. Get out there. Go workout with a friend (or in my case, a stranger), force those workouts back into your schedule.

That’s what I’m doing. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now go out and run!

Advertisements

One Family At A Time

It’s hard to look at the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Just one picture of the devastation on Staten Island

It’s always heartbreaking when people lose their homes and loved ones as in Katrina and 9/11. And Sandy is no different.

The marathon didn’t happen. You can read everyone’s opinions and reasons elsewhere because I’m tired of talking about it. What I want to acknowledge are the approximately 1,000 runner volunteers who took the train and ferry to Staten Island bright and early on Marathon Sunday (many in their organe marathon shirts) to go door-to-door on their feet with supplies, helping hands, and open hearts.

I couldn’t be there with my fellow runner volunteers (recovery + fever = stay home, dummy). But I did what I could to share the story on Twitter with news outlets and show everyone what these people were doing and how they, too, could help.

Lending a hand wherever they could.

Going on foot with only the supplies they could carry and a willingness to help.

Brings tears to my eyes.

This is how runners do it. I can attest to having fallen during a race (Philly Marathon ’11) and being picked up immediately by three large male runners before I knew I was on the ground. We pick each other up, it’s just the way we role.

But this is just the beginning.

And my friend Jen lost everything.

We’re runners, so naturally all of our meet-ups revolve around food. Jen is directly above me on the top right.

Jen is a runner. She was supposed to be running the marathon on Sunday. Instead, she and her husband were sifting through the wreckage of their home on Staten Island for whatever was left to salvage. It’s not much. They lost everything. They have two small children (boy, age 7 & girl age 2 going on 3) and no home, no belongings, no clothes, no nothing.

I can’t rebuild houses. I can’t physically help people clean up. I can’t run and raise money at the moment. But I can help Jen’s family.

And so can you.

One family at a time, we can help.

Jen, Pedro, & their beautiful family.

So, I’m asking my Run Stronger Every Day community to help. There are a lot of ways you can help Jen’s family.

  1. You can donate directly to Jen’s family.
  2. You can buy something on the Target registry Ashley created to help Jen & Pedro rebuild their home.
  3. If you are in NYC, you can drop linens, kitchen supplies, household supplies, and clothes at my apartment until Tuesday (tomorrow) night. A car is going down on Wednesday with what we collect. Email me: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com for details and sizes.

One family at a time, we will rebuild after Sandy. Do what you can. Give what you can of your time, talent, and resources.

There is also an amazing giveaway goin

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for so many. JB and I are lucky that we have our home and each other and we will never forget that.

Now go out and run!

(And give your family and friends a hug while you’re at it)

 

What Marathon?

Hello from post-Sandy New York City! JB and I are just fine, have power and no flooding. In other words, we are the luckiest people on the island of Manhattan.

Just outside our apartment building.

Down the block.

As I walked around my part of town and surveyed the damage, I became even more appreciative of our good fortune. Many of my friends and classmates are without power, cell phones, and all the amenities that go along with that infrastructure. And there is no end in site for them, as Con Ed works to get the power back on.

Pumping out one of the basements in Stuy Town.

This was washed ashore A FULL CITY BLOCK and demolished a car. Thankfully, it wasn’t a person.

This storm was no joke. People were killed. People are now homeless. NYU Langone Medical Center lost power and had to transport more than 200 patients to other hospitals in the middle of the night last night. Thankfully, we have a massive team of First Responders here to help.

Ready to go.

Thankfully, we still have a President who believes FEMA is important enough to fund.

Our city is trying desperately to hold it together and help one another. Downtowners, come on uptown. We got you. Our beloved Central Park is being cleaned up. Our Rivers are still washing stuff onto running paths. We have a lot to do to bring our city back to normal.

The sirens have been going all day and night. I’m just glad they’re responding to emergencies.

Debris under the FDR.

The clean-up effort has already begun and is tremendous. I high-fived a sanitation worker over on Avenue C today who was kind enough to smile at me as I passed by his job site (a massive tree that had toppled over). The city services are out in force!

The scene from Broad St. into a below ground parking garage this afternoon.

One of the tunnels that merges with the FDR downtown.

But we have a long, long way to go before things are back to where they need to be in order for us to get back to school and work and life. You know what the last thing on my mind is?

The New York City Marathon.

Yes, I am part of the Medical Team. But right now, my efforts and energy are elsewhere.

Both Bloomberg & Wittenberg say the marathon will happen and I believe them. There is far too much money in it for them to cancel such a main event for the city. It will turn into some “enduring spirit of New York-ers” sort of PR event and the city will make lots and lots of money.

I don’t care.

I feel for you who have trained for it and would be so, so disappointed if it were cancelled. I do. I’ve been there. But you know what? Let’s put things into perspective and quit bombarding the {New York} Road Runners Facebook page and Twitter account with your panicked messages.

It’s going to happen. Come as planned. Quit your bitching.

Yada, yada, yada, the bleachers are up. Quit freaking out.

That’s two days in a row that I’ve sworn on my blog. I supposed hurricanes bring out my saucy side.

As for my New York neighbors, there are plenty of places to volunteer now that we are all out of work and school for a few days:

Our NYC Marathon Medical Team needs more volunteers since so many docs were pulled away because of Sandy. Email me: runstrongereveryday{at)gmail{dot)com if you are a medical professional or student who would like to volunteer on Marathon Sunday.

Please, give of your time, your talent, and your resources to help those who are in need and those who are helping to get our fairy city back on her feet. If anything, just be thankful it wasn’t you. And quit bitching about the marathon.

(There I go again…)

Now go out and run!

PS. I will see all of you at Flywheel Sports (11:30am @ JCC), luluelmon E 66th St., and the Javits Center tomorrow. Sweating, hugging, and volunteering. Hope to see some of you there! 

Hurricane Sandy: DON’T PANIC!!!!

Oh man, I’m already hearing about people deferring and registering for a Spring marathon. While I totally get this kind of panic, I want to warn against it.

The weather isn’t really a sure thing until the night before.

Weather people often overstate for dramatic effect. See: Hurricane Irene.

Damage from Hurricane Irene in NYC. Staggering.

The decision to defer or to just not run is a very personal one.

On the one hand, you’ve trained for this for months and  to have Mother Nature screw you at the last minute just plain sucks. One of my friends said she’d run another one that is also nearby but is two weeks later. That’s one way to go.

Uh-oh, spaghetti-o’s!

On the other hand, if the race coordinators are going to hold it despite a little rain (read: not during a hurricane, but a rain storm), I’d run as long as I felt safe. I mean, we train in the worst conditions over very long, hot summer days. Why should a little rain stop you?

You’ve battled the heat (you sweaty beast, you!), why not the rain?

Get a hat. Wear fitted gear. Make sure your shoes have good tread. Smile.

This is what I would wear. Fitted tank, fitted shorts (both made of Luxtreme), rain resistant lightweight jacket (if it’s lower than 55 deg), and a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes.

The choice is, obviously, yours. But remember, you can’t predict Marathon Sunday weather, which is why we don’t abandon a long run just because the weather isn’t optimal during training.

If you’re not obsessed with getting a PR or hitting a specific goal (anyone left?), give it a shot. Have some fun. Be the badass who ran a marathon in the rain and lived to tell the tale.

My last two marathons, I was just happy to finish feeling good. No PR. No BQ. But I was really proud of my performance and felt seriously awesome for powering through.

I earned that medal. I’m proud of that medal. And I didn’t PR, not even close. Totally worth it.

Just a thought.

Now go out and run!