Happy 1st Blogiversary!

Life is crazy.

It’s cliche to say it, but I never NOT IN A MILLION YEARS would have predicted the events of this past year. That’s right. I started this blog exactly one year ago today. And today is the day that I start my first day of my doctoral program at NYU.

Nah, we don’t wear scrubs every day. These are for lab. But they look cool. You’re gettin that whole “Doctor” vibe from me now, right?

My first blog was kind of a mess. It took me a while to get the hang of this whole blogging thing and find my voice. There are so many bloggers out there who write 2-3 times a day, photograph their food and dog and husband and family, report their workouts and generally share their days with their readers. I am amazed by their commitment.

I am not that blogger. I am far too lazy to blog more than once a day. I prefer to use that hour to sleep, honestly.

I am a championship sleeper. You didn’t know this about me, did you?

I wanted to write about running, training, and my journey. I didn’t see many blogs out there that were written to help the average runner. I wanted a place where people could find new workouts, get inspired to run and maybe find a community where they could belong. That’s where my Life With UC page came from. Having Ulcerative Colitis has changed my world. Strike that. It’s turned my world upside down and sideways. Who knew?

Blogging at Dr. Boz’s office became a weekly event.

This year I:

Yaaaaay! I finished! And had some of the bestest cheerleaders along the way 🙂

Ambassador Buddies forever!

  • Led my very first BRick workout (Next stop: a triathlon!)

Such a badass group of BRick-ers.

  • And became an aunt for the very first time

   

It’s been a great year with all of you. Apparently, you all are most interested in having stronger hips, weight loss/gain during marathon training and reading words of wisdom from Obi-wan.  Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting. I have loved getting to know all of you and even meeting some of you!

I’m really looking forward to the next year and all of the adventures it holds for me. I hope you are, too, and that you have taken something of value from our time together. Hope to see you next year for my 2nd Blogiversary!

Another 1st for me this weekend: 1st ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram!

Now go out and run!

PS. For one night only this summer, I will be coaching the lululemon Run Club THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT in Central Park. We leave from the E. 66th St. store at 6:45pm and meet on the 72nd St. Transverse at 7pm. We’re doing a Cat Hill workout. Hope to see you there!

My little rock star (I couldn’t help myself)

The “Hills Make You Fast” Workout

I talk about it a lot, speed work, and I think most people are cool with Mile Repeats, Yasso 800s and Tempo Runs. What most runners shy away from are HILLS. Oh yeah, those dreaded HILLS.

But why? Well, to be honest with you, no workout in the world makes me want to vomit than a good old fashioned hill workout. Pushing your body on a flat surface is only about one thing: speed. Pushing your body on a hill is about speed AND power. It’s brutal but worth it.

So, how do you go about putting together a hill workout? I’ll share my most brutal favorite one with you.

There is this hill in Central Park called Cat Hill. Why is it called Cat Hill? Because there is a very large cat on the hill. You have to see it. Anyway, the hill is about a quarter of a mile (.25 mi) from the Boathouse to the stop light at the top of the hill. Here’s what I do on Hill Day:

  • 1-1.5 mi easy warm up
  • Sprint up the hill, jog slowly down (4-6 times)
  • 1.5-2 miles at race pace

The warm up is an absolute necessity with this type of workout. If you don’t warm up, you won’t be able to reach your max speed on the hills. The idea is to run each hill repeat in the same amount of time as the one before. Don’t forget to find a hill that is at least .15 mi long so that you get more than a minute on each hill. I think I did 5 last time before I was sure I couldn’t do anymore. I was totally trashed. Those last few miles are to stretch your legs out, find a comfortable breathing rhythm and let your muscles relax before you stop dead in your tracks and collapse on your couch.

It may feel like you didn’t run all that far–and you didn’t. However, distance isn’t the goal here, intensity IS. If you are hitting those hills with everything you’ve got, you will see an improvement in your distance running. If you are loafing about and phoning in your hill workouts, you will see no improvement whatsoever.

Got guts? Hit the hills. They will rock your *running* world.

Now go out and run!

Friday Fitness News: We Have A Winner!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner in my first every giveaway! First, let me thank all of you who nominated your friends, Moms, sisters and workout inspirations for the giveaway. I loved reading how these women bring sparkle to your life and inspire you to keep on keepin’ on.

Sarah nominated her friend, Lindsay. Read her nomination below:

Sarah, please email me at runstrongereveryday@gmail.com so we can coordinate the shipping of the sparkle! Again, thank you everyone for sharing and entering your friends. Did you have fun? Did you like nominating others or would you prefer to win yourself? We’ll have to do it again soon.

Onto this week’s Fitness News!

  • Is this the Hospital Room of the Future? Not sure if I want my baby in a bubble.
  • Spinning looks like a heart attack…in a good way.
  • This is genius and I cannot WAIT til I can eat salads again!
  • Air pollution has less of an effect on runners. Well, mice who run anyways.
  • For the love of your own sanity, watch this hilarious video:
  • It’s a shame that youth fundraising efforts were punished in Omaha. Bad form.
  • This man lived on his bike for 382 days. Ouch.
  • Sprinting may cause more injuries. Or is the overall load?
  • Think stars are just in it for their health (or yours)? Think again.
  • I recently saw Chariots of Fire for the first time and loved reading the back story.
  • On a personal note, the Israelis are working on kicking IBD butt! Thanks, guys!
  • And finally, Facebook (& Twitter, I imagine) are like being in middle school. I totally agree. For your own sanity, pare down those “friends” people. That is, unless you are a narcissist who needs to have 900 friends to feel better about yourself, in which case I recommend you maybe seek some professional help.

On that note, be nice to yourself and have an AWESOME weekend! Any runs planned? Snow in the forecast? Valentine’s Day stuff? What’s news in YOUR world?

Now go out and run!

 

STOP

You’re fat.

You’re not a “real runner”.

You’re ugly.

You’ll never be as skinny/built as her/him.

You’re a loser.

You’re stupid.

You’re not fast enough to qualify for Boston.

You suck.

Now replace every “you” with “I” and tell me how many of these statements you made out loud or to yourself today. Go on, admit it. You’ve made at least one of these statements in the past 24 hours, haven’t you?

STOP PICKING IN MY FRIEND!

Would you ever, EVER let someone say those things about a friend of yours? Then why say them about yourself? It doesn’t make it ok just because it’s you saying it about you, in fact it’s worse!

Abby: The Awkward Years Where I Was My Own Biggest Bully

Words are powerful. Words turn into beliefs and beliefs are not something you part with easily. The words that people say to us can hurt, yes, but the words that we say to ourselves are more important than anything.

I don’t want to turn all of you into vapid narcissists (I happen to know one of those and let me tell you, it’s a fascinating/frustrating personality disorder) but do yourself a favor and start boosting yourself up instead of beating yourself down.

I am awesome, even when I'm a sweaty beast with no PR!

You’ve heard it said before and I’ll say it again just for good measure, running is mental. If you keep telling yourself you’re going to bonk at mile 5/10/22, chances are you will, regardless of how you trained. However, if you stay positive, don’t panic and remain calm, you give yourself a much better chance at grabbing that PR at the finish line.

If you go through life saying, “Oh, it’s just my unlucky lot in life that XXX will happen to me” then I promise, XXX will probably happen to you. STOP. NOW. Stop beating yourself up. Stop putting yourself down. Stop being the biggest bully in your own life.

STOP.

Start by loving who you are, being proud of what you’ve accomplished, and looking forward to where you are going.

Now go out and run!

Getting To Know You

First off, GO BIG BLUE!!! The Giants win again! You should have heard the city from my apartment last night as the game ended. Wow. So loud!

Second, I hope everyone in Denver has managed to shovel their way out of the 2 feet (!!!!) of snow from this weekend. I spent my weekend showing The Golden Child and Ginger around our fair city. So much fun!

Speaking of fun, have you nominated your favorite workout buddy, an inspiring athlete you know, or your Mom/sister/daughter/trainer/crazy running buddy in my Sparkly Soul giveaway yet? Pay it forward and tell them how they add sparkle to your world by entering them in my contest.

So, I was tagged by Katie recently with this little blogger game that’s going around. I’m supposed to tell all of you 11 Random Things about me and answer 11 Questions from Katie and then tag 11 other bloggers. I like games and figure it doesn’t ever hurt to share weird things about myself with perfect strangers, so here goes!

The Rules:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tagging section like “you are tagged if you are reading this”. You (the blogger) legitimately have to tag 11 (or so) people.

11 Random Things About Me:

  1. I have 40 first cousins.
  2. I have run marathons in 5 different states.
  3. My left foot is exactly 1/2 size bigger than my right (makes shoe shopping interesting…).
  4. I don’t have cable TV.
  5. My favorite guilty pleasure is vanilla cake with vanilla frosting from just about any bakery in NYC.
  6. I have never owned a car.
  7. This is my 17th semester of college.
  8. I can sing the ABC’s in French.
  9. I run faster now than I ever did as a competitive runner in my youth.
  10. I can wiggle my ears.
  11. I have been pooped on by pigeons twice in my 10 years of living in New York. I look at it as being baptized a “New Yorker”.

11 Questions from Katie:

I have always loved monkey-ing around.

  1. When did you start running? When I was 10 years old on the track team. The next Fall my friend asked if I wanted to run cross country instead of joining volleyball. I said “yes” and the rest is history.
  2. What monopoly piece do you always pick? I like the top hat.
  3. What is your favorite pre-race meal? I usually make my own: Chicken, zucchini, squash, spinach and rigatoni pasta sautéed in garlic and olive oil with salt and pepper.
  4. Disney or Nickelodeon as a kid? Disney. We were big Kids Incorporated/Mickey Mouse Club fans.
  5. What is your favorite race fuel? I’ve tried them all and found I love the strawberry Clif Shot Bloks.
  6. What did you want to be when you grow up as a kid? Abby, age 5: Favorite class? “Gym.” Abby, age 15: “Something in sports medicine.” I guess I was destined to be a physical therapist.
  7. What do you want to be now? Physical therapist and philanthropist.
  8. What is the best place you’ve ever lived? “Best” is a relative term. New York City is my home. Colorado is where I think of my family as being. Chicago is my childhood.
  9. What is the best route you’ve ever run? I have always loved that when I move to a new city that my first run is a mystery. I go out and get lost and find my way back home. I love those runs.
  10. What TV show is your guilty pleasure? I just powered through the entire first season of Downton Abbey. I could NOT stop watching it. Such good writing, acting, just everything! 
  11. What is your favorite non-running blog? This is probably more of a “guilty pleasure” than any of my TV choices, but I love the gossip blog Lainey Gossip. Such smut but extremely entertaining.

Anna Karenina = Old School Smut

As for my fellow bloggers, here are your 11 Questions:
  1. What was your best race (for whatever reason)?
  2. What is your favorite place to go for retail therapy?
  3. What is your favorite color?
  4. If you could go anywhere for a vacation, where would you go?
  5. Best piece of advice you ever received?
  6. What would your friends say is your most redeeming quality?
  7. How did you start blogging?
  8. Twitter or Facebook?
  9. What is your pre-race ritual?
  10. Woody Allen movies: Yay or Nay?
  11. Favorite book you’ve read in the last few years.
So, there you have it. Now it’s your turn. Answer one (or more!) of the above questions in the comments and tell me about yourself! OR, ask me anything.
Now go out and run!