Archive for the 'Running' Category

2011 NYC Half marathon

Registration is now open for NYC’s half marathon in spring 2011. A friend who ran this year said it was fantastic. Because there are always more applicants than vacancies, there’s a late November lottery for runners.

Qualifying time for women 18-39 is 1:37:00 and men is 1:23:00. I’ve never ran a half so I don’t have any times, much less a 1:23. Qualifying marathon times, by the way are 3:23:00 and 2:55:00 for women and men respectively.

I prefer non-city races, but I get why so many people love this race.


Motivation Bruce Lee Style

Motivation for runners, writers, and anyone who intends to do anything.

Via Reddit.

Statue of Bruce Lee

(Photo by BRUCELEE3 via Wikicommons)

a sign of too much spring cleaning

I’ll be thirty in less than a month and there is an extensive list, Things To Do Before I’m 30, in a notebook from high school.Yes, I loved my lists.

Why did ‘run a marathon’ have to be #1?

Why did I have to make a two page list?

I could put the notebook back in its dusty box in the corner of a room I may not go in again until I’m 30. Hmmm.

Running with Stitches

I know this isn’t interesting to non-runners, but I have to share a tip that’s helping me build endurance:

I’m perpetually reading The Complete Book of Beginning Running by Amby Burfoot published by Runner’s World. The book is laid out similar to a magazine with extremely outdated pictures of runners and bullet points of useful information about everything relevant to beginning runners from nutrition to injury prevention. I love this book for what it is and usually flip through when I’m dreading a race or run.

The other day I read a section about runners’ mind games. Sometimes, to get through a difficult run you just have to shut off the brain and keep going. Then there are those precious days when running feels like something I just happen to be doing while talking with my buddy and looking at New Jersey across the river from the west side running and bike path. Other days it feels like every possible obstacle falls right in the middle of a narrow path or twists your muscles from the inside until walking is the only way to stop the pain and breathe, a.k.a. stitches.

Stitches are the most common reason I hear why people don’t run, as in ‘I can’t run, I get stitches’. I sympathize, but not really. Everyone gets them and if you have to stop you stop. As far as I knew, the only way to figure out what causes them is to pay close attention to what you eat before a run, slow down, or run them off. (Getting stitches is no reason not to exercise, sister of mine)

But here’s something I never would have considered. According to Beginning Running, people who get stitches probably exhale when landing on the right foot. Doing so puts additional pressure on the lungs, which could cause a stitch (I don’t have the book in front of me to site the page in detail).

So now when I feel a stitch coming on, I try exhaling on my left foot. While I noticed that I do exhale on right out of habit, I’m finding it hard to completely exhale on the left. I exhale slowly over three strides, but I’m trying to start the exhale on my left foot.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to turn off the brain when you’re choreographing exhales to strides. So much for mind games.

Happy 2010

Just a little note to say Happy New Year.

The New York Road Runners organized the 31st annual midnight fun run through central park and I can’t think of a better way to start the year than running 4 miles with over 4000 people, including Olympians and other elite runners. The best part: I ran my fastest 4 miles of 2010.

It took us over two hours to get ourselves out the door for the race, busy debating the weather. Ultimately, we knew we’d regret not going so we went, did our best, and took a bunch of blurry pictures of Central Park at night coated by a fresh layer of snow.

The course through Central Park was slippery thanks to a day of freezing temperatures and a light ‘wintry mix’ that ceased on cue with the fireworks at the start of the run. Non-alcoholic champagne, chocolate bagels at the end of the course, and high-fives from the crowd kept runners from obsessing about the cold. A high-five from a stranger is a wonderful thing when you’re running; I suspect they supply a jolt of energy to both sides.

Here’s a high-five to you and any goals you may have for 2010.

running the moment midnight strikes

Just registered for the New York Road Runners New Year’s Eve 4 mile fun run. Party starts at 10pm with a constume contest and parade, and the fun run begins through Central Park at Midnight beneath fireworks.

New Year's Eve Central Park fun run

Oy. What have I done?

4 miles may not seem like much to a lot of runners, but I am going to be eating a lot of dust. It’ll be fun though, and I can’t say I’ll miss dressing up.

on the bright side

Last night, while stretching with my running buddy, we’ll call him RB, I nervously broke our too-exhausted-too-speak silence and said, as inaudibly as possible: Do you want to run a marathon in 2010?

When you ask a runner this question, you better mean it because it is the question. Have you ever- Would you ever- Could you ever- and, finally: Do you want to? or if you’re brave: Let’s go for it. or if you’re realistic: Are we that crazy?

Running a marathon has always been on my list of big goals, but always with the unwritten footnote of ‘when I’m older’. Now I am older, and with the doctor’s orders in mind, we’re running longer distances every day anyway. It helps to have a tangible goal. In 2008, we ran 500 miles and our first 5k with the intention to run a marathon in 2009, but that didn’t happen. In fact, we avoided the topic of marathons all together until picking up 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days — and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance! by Dean Karnazes.

I have much hesitation and doubt that I can run a marathon, but I really really really want to try, and so does RB, really really really deep down. I’m taking a beginner’s approach to training, after painfully accepting that my endurance first plateaued and then plummeted.

With 11 months to train, panic attacks are pushed to the side for now.

Also for health reasons, a change of diet is in order. The new diet is fancy, if by fancy I mean conflicting and confusing. Sugar and cholesterol are out. Then goes wheat and dairy.

If anyone has any recommendations of nutrition books or cook books for people who can’t eat anything good, you now know where to send them.

On the positive front, running boosts my mood big time. The bouts of grumpiness I think I may be entitled to haven’t hit. Perhaps they lurk beneath that first warm chocolate chip cookie that won’t be cooling on my oven this season.

Off to continue my list of tasty foods I no longer eat.