Monday, April 26, 2010

I hate to say it but...

I'm done. No, not done as in I've completed my 75 miles, but done as in I need to hang up my hat for the next couple of days. Yes, I'm "giving up" so to say, but I actually feel really good about it. I made the mistake of allowing myself to postpone some of my running days (way back when I went back to college for the weekend), and it messed me up for the rest of the month. Once I did it one time, I told myself I could do it more often than I really should've. So now I'm left with my last week of April, and 38 miles to go. On Saturday night, I planned out how many miles I was going to do for the next couple of days in order to reach my goal, and it required me waking up every morning at 530 to run at least 4 miles, plus going to the gym after work to run another (at least) 3. I told myself at first that I didn't care what it took, I can hurt myself now because I can recover later, but I wasn't going to fail at this. I was so determined to not let everyone down that I literally would run more than my body is capable of in a day. When I got home from work today, I seriously thought about what I was going to be putting my body through in the next week and I realized it just wasn't worth it. Am I a little sad that I didn't make my goal? Of course. But I still ran more miles this month than any other month this year.

So, I'm going to start fresh on Saturday (May 1st) and do my 75 miles, the right way. But for now, I'm going to enjoy going to the gym to do things other than run. I'm going to do whatever I want tomorrow, go back to cardio kickboxing on Wednesday (yay!) and I'm going to do spinning on Thursday. I'm going to take the DAY OFF on Friday without feeling guilty, and will start nice and fresh on Saturday morning.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

That's What Friends Are For..

I was going to write this whole post about the different smells of New York City and basically how sick they make me feel during a morning run before I've eaten anything and before anyone sane is awake and functioning, but I decided to go the sentimental route today. I have been posting and talking about my rut for the past week and a half, and I know it's kind of like beating a dead horse, but I really didn't know what to do with myself! I was pretty much convinced that I wasn't going to make the goal that I set for myself, and I was getting nervous (although now I have a freakishly close connection to the kids in my class with behavior plans that get down on themselves when they don't reach their goals...). Slowly though, I realized the people around me have been helping me along this journey, whether they realize it or not.

When I posted my challenge and shared it with my near and dear Facebook friends, most of which I haven't spoken to, um ever, it, to my surprise, inspired some people to start challenges of their own. I slowly realized that I was having more and more conversations with people about working out, and they started reporting to me daily about what they had done at the gym or on their runs. I've been receiving little notes that I had inspired people to start goals of their own, which was not my intention at all. I've been inspired, too, by all of the connections I've been making along my journey. I understand that my rut is normal, that other people have them too, and that there really is every excuse in the world to not go for a run. That when people check in on me they genuinely want to hear about my successes, they aren't trying to nag me or get on my back because they think I'm not doing as much as I should (which I previously thought). I love hearing about what other people are doing, what events they are training for, and any type of advice they may have.

I can't thank everyone enough for the support and the funny stories that I've been getting along this (very bumpy) ride :)

I'm back on track though...I didn't run at all this weekend, or yesterday for that matter, but I ran this morning and again tonight, with a total of 6 miles today. I feel great, but I am definitely going to sleep in tomorrow. I usually get out of work earlier than normal on Wednesdays, so it is the perfect time to go for a nice long run.

37 down/38 to go!

Friday, April 16, 2010

In Need of Some Serious Help

This rut is not ending. If it weren’t for this blog and all of the people that I talk to on a daily basis on how far I’ve run, there is no way I would still be doing the challenge. There are a variety of factors that I think are going into this lack of motivation. The first one is that I am so unbelievably tired. I’m not sure if it’s because of allergy season or the fact that I’m still trying to catch up from last weekend, but all I ever want to do is come home and go to sleep. It also doesn’t help that I’ve had to stay at work later than usual lately, and by the time I get home I’m starving and just ready to relax. The weather also hasn’t been great (cold and cloudy), so I’ve been stuck on the treadmill all week and I don’t really have the chance to mix things up. My knees are starting to hurt too, and I’m just all over achy.

I know I have every excuse in the book right now, and I know that I need something to help me through the next two weeks. Before my run today, I had 48 more miles to go in exactly 2 weeks, which means 24 miles a week. I did 20 miles my first week, so what’s 4 more miles, right? I decided that instead of just allowing myself to go to the gym without a goal for the day, I am going to map out the rest of my month so I can ensure to get my goal completed by April 30. Here it is!

Friday, April 16: 4 miles/44 to go

Saturday, April 17: 3 miles/41 to go

Sunday, April 18: 3 miles/38 to go

Monday, April 19: 4 miles/34 to go

Tuesday, April 20: 3 miles/31 to go

Wednesday, April 21: 5 miles/26 to go

Thursday, April 22: 3 miles/23 to go

Friday, April 23: 3 miles/20 to go

Saturday, April 24: 4 miles/16 to go

Sunday, April 25: 2 miles/14 to go

Monday, April 26: 4 miles/10 to go

Tuesday, April 27: 3 miles/7 to go

Wednesday, April 28: 4 miles/ 3 to go

Thursday, April 29: 3 miles/0 to go

Friday, April 30: Leftover day

The way I’ve mapped it out, not only will I be done before the 30th, but if something comes up now I will know that I have that extra day in case I need to make up any miles! This doesn’t look too hard…I think I actually may have found some motivation to finish this challenge!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Warning: This Post May Have Too Much Information!

The gym that I belong to now is the first one that I have worked out in other than the gym at college. Now I went to a very small school, and the gym was definitely a reflection of how small my school really was. We had 4 treadmills, 5 ellipticals, and 4 bikes, and there was no guarantee that they would all be working on any given day. We were lucky enough to have a track indoors, but overall, this gym was not ideal. However, I didn't know any different, because I had never been to any other gym in my life.

Moving to New York City, of course the gyms are going to be a lot bigger. So when I joined the gym closest and most convenient to me, I was extremely overwhelmed. The one I belong to is one of the top 3 biggest gyms by this company in the city. Although it is nice to have so many options of machines, it has taken me a very long time to get used to all this gym has to offer, and all of the different types of people that I have encountered.

I think the one thing that I haven't gotten used to yet is the locker room. Now, boys, I know that in the movies it portrays girls' locker rooms as places where women walk around naked or with towels barely draped over them...well guess what...that's exactly what the locker room at my gym is like. It is completely disturbing to me. I am not one to walk around naked anywhere, even in my own apartment when my roommate isn't around, so it is crazy to me that women can so openly walk around with everything hanging out. Let me backtrack for a second though. Even though women are walking around naked, it doesn't mean that these women have "perfect" bodies that you see in the movies. A lot of them have stomach rolls, cellulite, and various other imperfections that at first I was kind of thrown off, and disturbed, to see. But after really thinking about it, they are saying a big "f you" to the media and magazines saying only a certain body type should be shown off. So at the risk of getting too sociological on you all, as disturbing as this is to me to have naked women walking around in front of me, if they are confident enough in their bodies then power to them!

Today was every man's fantasy though. I walked into the locker room and there were about 4 very skinny women openly changing in front of each other. Most of the time I just go on with my business, put my stuff in my locker and head out for my workout. This time, one woman did something that I actually couldn't believe. She put on her underwear, and started walking around the locker room topless. She then approached a mirror, and began applying makeup, TOPLESS! She stood at the mirror for about 5 minutes, looking at her face and applying makeup appropriately, almost as if she was fully clothed. Then she walked over to her clothes and put the rest of them on. Now that right there is where I draw the line. Do you really think your boobs look that good that you feel the need to flaunt them in front of an entire room of women? I am not okay with this.

Once I got over (what I felt was) an extremely offensive locker situation, I got on my treadmill and got started with my run. I just recently bought a new pair of shorts that are a size too big, so I was actually pretty nervous that they were going to be uncomfortable while I ran. I made sure to tie them very tightly, so there was no possibility of them falling down. I got about .15 of a mile into my run, when all of a sudden (here comes the TMI part), I realize that my underwear are slowly falling off of me. I try to subtly pull them up and try to save them from completely falling off, and it works for about a minute before they start to slip down again. It got to the point where my underwear had completely come off of my butt and were basically just hanging out on my legs. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by mirrors so I could tell that no one else knew what was going on, but I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to finish my run in this way. I had to stop after running .25 of a mile so I could go to the (now dreaded) locker room to take off my underwear. So yes, I had to finish my run going commando, and couldn't help but think how ironic it was that I had just criticized someone in the locker room for not having on undergarments, and here I am, running sans panties.

Despite the wardrobe malfunction, I was able to run my 3 miles, and I am now getting back on track. I think I'm going to start making myself do "double sessions" in the morning and at night to get my miles in and really get back to where I should be. We'll see if that actually happens, but it's a thought!

27 down/48 to go!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I know, I know, I'm sorry...

I've clearly been very busy which is why I haven't been posting lately. Although I must admit, I really do appreciate all of the people that told me they missed reading what I have to write. It makes me realize that I really do have to finish my 75 miles no matter I guess the advice that I should say my goal publicly really does work!

I went back to college this weekend...and to be completely honest I debated on whether or not I should even do 75 miles this month because of this weekend, and how unproductive, and self destructive, I knew I could potentially be. But because I committed to it on April 1st I decided that I was going to do as much as I could to keep up with my goal, despite the upcoming weekend of complete ridiculousness. I woke up at 530am on Friday to go for my run, knowing that I was going to be leaving work to drive to school as soon as I could. It actually felt really good to wake up so early. When I got outside, I realized it was pouring rain, which is my favorite weather to run in. I ended up doing 2 miles, and came back completely soaking wet. I managed to not only go for a run, but shower and do my hair and get to work on time. It makes me realize that if I know I have a busy day after work I can make the sacrifice and wake up early to get my run in :)

I got to college at around 10pm, and canceled out all of the hard work I did that morning by partying with my friends. Not the best of ideas, but hey, if you're going to go back to college for just a weekend, there's nothing wrong with pretending like you can still party like you're in college...right? Needless to say, waking up on Saturday morning wasn't fun, but I ran a mile nonetheless. The mile was actually so easy that I checked the treadmill 4 times, the time, how many laps I had done, and the distance off to the side, and it all said a mile. Still not believing the treadmill, I checked my phone and the clocks around me to see if it was possible to run a mile in the amount of time that I did. It ended up that I had indeed ran a mile, and I then knew that running Sunday morning shouldn't be that hard either.

Well, I was wrong. I partied a little bit harder on Saturday night, and Sunday morning a treadmill run was not happening. Because we were checking out of our hotel at 11am, I promised myself that I would run outside at some point before I went to bed. Well, ladies and gents, my streak is over. I felt so bad all day, and when I was at the point where I finally felt good enough to run, it was dark out and cold out, and I didn't have the proper clothes, so I made the executive decision to not run. I felt okay about it, and I know that the streak part of my goal isn't as important to me as making my milage. HOWEVER, I didn't run on Monday or Tuesday either. So now I'm in a rut. And I know I need to get out of it. In order to make my goal I need to run at least 3 miles a day for the rest of the month...and I will do just that...promise!

I also am making a goal for myself to treat my body a lot better than I did this weekend...including eating right and not drinking as much as I have been...looks like it's time to grow up and get my priorities straight!

Until tomorrow...

24 miles down/51 to go...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So Wednesday is my cardio kickboxing day. I started taking classes at college, tried them out at my gym here, and now I am completely hooked. When I was in class today though, I noticed that there are a couple of different types of people that take these large group gym classes.

1. The person with the "I'm better than everyone here" attitude. That's usually the girl who is front row center, and is over exaggerating every move to try to prove that she is tougher, better, and more coordinated than everyone else. She is constantly trying to make it known that she has been to this class before, either by going one step ahead of the instructor or being the "model" when the instructor is trying to explain the next move, even without being asked.

2. The girl that is at the class so she can look at herself in the mirror. You can usually point these people out before you even walk into the exercise room. They are the girls with the perfectly straight hair put into a perfect pony tail, with the tight pink workout shirt and black leggings who make sure they are showing just enough stomach to show everyone how skinny they are without just wearing a sports bra. The second they walk into the room they look at themselves in every mirror and at every angle. During the class, not only do they watch themselves in the mirror, but they make pouty faces (think Paris Hilton) at themselves while they work out.

3. The 2 girls who came together to try a new work out, but don't actually want to be there. These girls were the most annoying in my class today. For the last 5 minutes of class, we did a couple of strength training things to help work out our legs a little more. Everyone in the class was silent, exhausted from a long workout and trying to concentrate on their form. But of course there are the two girls next to me who have decided to basically give up on the class and talk about their plans for this weekend...a little too loud to be comfortable. It would be one thing if the music was loud or other people were talking, but the instructor put the music low for a reason, and to be honest, I don't really care what bar you want to go to so that you will "coincidentally" run into your crush.

4. "Space Invaders"- These people are the worst. Absolute worst. The instructor for the class I take is so good that we have to sign up a day in advance in order to get a spot in the room. There are 35 spots, which gives people more than enough room to have some space to move around. Not only do we have to move around, but there is kicking involved in a KICKboxing class. However, there are still those people who decide to stand a little too close to you so you feel like every move you make you are either going to punch them in the face or kick them in the groin. I always have to do that awkward move-while-doing-jumpingjacks so that I can have my own space, and thats never easy. So if you're going to take a class that involves a lot of moving around, look around you and make sure you have enough room to kick and punch the air without risking knocking someone out. Thanks. :)

5. The girl that's always one step behind. Now this isn't awful, and I've definitely been that person before because sometimes the combinations that the trainers decide to teach aren't the easiest, but in this case I'm referring to that one girl that is ALWAYS one step behind. Either that, or she is using the wrong foot or hand. Look around for a second, and think about what you're doing. If you see everyone else using their right hand, use your right hand. If you can't figure out your left from your right, put your thumbs out and your index fingers up. The hand that makes an L is your left hand, the one that doesn't is your right. Study that for next week. Thanks.

6. The girl that just doesn't listen. Now this is hard as well because a lot of times the music is pretty loud and the instructor isn't always that articulate, but that's another reason why this guy is so good. He yells at everyone and keeps it fast paced so that we're never resting and we're always moving. However, there's always those people who aren't paying attention to what we're actually doing and they either dance in place the entire hour or are still doing jumping jacks when we are working on a combination. Pay attention! It will only benefit you in the long run!

Although these types of people annoy me at group classes, they definitely make the class interesting and keep me thinking about things other than the fact that my legs burn and I can't wait to eat some ice cream :) I'm hoping for a good story about one of them next week!

I ran 2 miles after my class today, and I must admit it was completely brutal, but I was completely determined to get to 20 miles today, and I did it!! I know that this coming week I probably won't get to 20 because I have a lot going on, but I will definitely try my best to run as much as I can :)

20 miles down/55 to go!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


WARNING: I'm going to be completely boring tonight. I went back to work today and I am absolutely exhausted. So exhausted that I took the escalator out of the subway instead of the stairs, which I think is only the 2nd time I've ever done that. After relaxing on the couch for a little bit, I waited until Biggest Loser time and went to the gym. I thoroughly enjoy watching The Biggest Loser while I work out, mostly because I pretend like Jillian is talking to me when I'm starting to slow down. I remembered to use a towel to cover my time and milage today so that I was concentrating more on the TV than my treadmill, and it worked wonderfully. The first time I looked at my milage I had already run over 3 miles! I decided to go for 4 miles today, and although the last mile was rough, I did it and got off the treadmill feeling very accomplished. I've run 18 miles in 6 days and I feel really good about myself. I signed up for a cardio kickboxing class for tomorrow night so I'm already anticipating a short run before I head to the class. My goal is to run 2 miles so that I can run a total of 20 miles in 7 days! If I keep up this trend I'll end up running MORE than 75 miles in April...but let's not get ahead of ourselves....

Anyway, it's off to bed. Told ya it was going to be a boring one ;)

18 down/57 to go!

Are there prescriptions for R&R?

I know I'm late with this post, but I had a pretty busy day yesterday. Knowing my day was going to be jam-packed, I made sure to wake up and run first thing in the morning. However, since my run, I have been trying to look for information about how long it takes the body to recover between runs. I haven't found much information that is relevant to my situation, but I did find some interesting facts. I found this website ( that talks a little bit about the different types of recovery (long term and short term) and also factors that would affect a person's exercise performance. It's worth looking into for anyone that needs some tips on how to feel good day after day, and also how to avoid injury. They outline 10 ways to recover quickly after injury, including: rest, stretch, cool down, eat properly, replace fluids, try active recovery, have a massage, alternate hot and cold showers or baths, get lots of sleep, and avoid overtraining. I think that I really need to start to keep these tips in mind in order to allow my body to be prepared for this challenge in the long run. Especially the part about replacing fluids. :)

Anyway, what made me look up ways to help your body recover was the way my body reacted to my run Monday morning. Remember, I decided to give myself a break Sunday and waited to run at night, and then it was about 13 hours later that I went for my next run. Although I was feeling really good about my night run, my morning run did not give me the same result. I chose to run outside again because it was beautiful out. I was dragging my feet, huffing and puffing, had many urges to stop, and felt sore all over my body. I powered through the 2 miles that I was planning on doing, but I did not feel good about myself. If I had looked in a mirror the same way I did a couple of days ago while I was running, it would've looked like I was going backwards. THAT'S how slow I was going. I thought about stopping, walking, and turning around about every 3 blocks.

Once I got home, after the nausea went away and I finally caught my breath, I checked my cell phone to see if I had any messages when I was out. I had a message from one of my co-workers, who I spend all day every day with at work. It said, "Hey! I just happened to look out the bus window and saw you running! Nice Job! See you tomorrow!" Really? Really? REALLY? On the day that I felt like I was going to turn over and die right on the sidewalk, on the day where I was convinced that walking 2 miles would've been faster, on the day that I had to consciously make sure the lady with the walker wasn't beating me down the sidewalk?! THAT'S the day that someone sees me run? Just my luck. So I of course felt the need to defend myself, and tell her that that was not my best performance and I was actually kind of embarrassed that she saw me, but in all honesty, I'm sure she didn't know the difference. However, right there just shows the kind of luck that follows me around. Gotta love it.

I have to go back to work after a 17 day Spring Break. I am nervous that it is going to affect the quality and length of my runs, and I'm going to be so tired that I'm not going to go to the gym. My streak is at 5 days now though, so I can't give up now!

14 miles down/61 to go!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Funday

Its Sunday. Which means yesterday was Saturday, and last night was Saturday night. This particular Saturday night was spent at one of the monthly "girls' nights" that my college friends and I participate in. To explain these nights simply, we all get together, and each of us brings some sort of food (mostly unhealthy, carb overloaded items), and one to two bottles of wine. We then all sit in a living room of someones apartment and proceed to drink all of the alcohol (usually at least 10 bottles of wine) and eat all of the food. By the end of the night we are all comfortably drunk, and uncomfortably full. Last night's girls night was no different, and I woke up this morning with a very strong reminder of everything that I had done the night before, in the form of both a head, and stomach ache. I told myself that I was going to be easy today and I would wait to go on my run until later in the day. Until then, I was just going to enjoy myself, and have confidence that I will run at some point, just not yet.

7:30 rolls around, and the last thing in the world that I want to do is go for a run. I've already eaten far too much matzah to be healthy, and I was feeling a food coma coming on. I decided that I was going to look up some ways to keep myself motivated, because of course I knew that today wasn't going to be the only day that my bed seemed so much nicer than running through the streets of NYC. So I simply googled "ways to stay motivated" and clicked the first link I saw, entitled "20 ways to stay motivated", simply enough. I hoped that it would give me some sort of insight as to what I can do to keep myself going for the next 26 days.
  1. Make a big public commitment. Be fully committed
  2. Create a friendly, mutually-supportive competition
  3. Keep a daily journal of your goal
  4. Make it a rule never to skip two days in a row
  5. Have powerful reasons. Write them down
  6. Break it into smaller, mini goals
  7. Give it time, be patient
  8. Make it a pleasure
  9. Just get started
  10. Get a workout partner or goal buddy
  11. Chart Your Progress
I particularly like the idea of making running a pleasure, not something I feel like I have to do, because then I will (hopefully) just get out there and go, instead of making it feel like a chore. I also liked the idea of "just getting started"...instead of sitting around and thinking and planning about what I'm going to do. I'm the queen of making pretty calendars and filling in each day with what workout I should do and for how long. Then, when I only end up following it for a couple of weeks, (if that), all I'm left with is a pretty calendar and unfinished tasks. Not good.

Anyway, after I finished reading about ways to motivate myself, I got my stuff on and walked out the door of my building. My goal was to just run 2 miles today, nothing too crazy because I knew I didn't really want to be there anyway. I started running, and I felt good. Really good. I wasn't even paying attention to the street signs until I had already run 15 blocks. I decided I was just going to run until I felt like it was time to turn around and then I'd start running back.

When I looked up again, I realized that I kind of recognized where I have ended up. I look around at the street signs and I see "St. Marks Place". I look around a little bit more and I see "Astor Place". All of a sudden my heart starts racing a little bit more (not because I was running, but because I realized where I was). I was in the East Village. (Which explained why there was a man dressed as Tigger playing the tambourine on the sidewalk). Now let me explain how I feel about the East Village. It scares the crap out of me. The streets aren't numbered anymore and I can't easily figure out which way is north and there are too many hipster people around that I feel like I'm going to get accosted for wearing too many bright colors. One of my best friends from college lives in the East Village, and although I've been down there numerous times, I can never find her apartment without getting lost. It either takes me twice as long to get there because I am trying to figure out where I am using the small map on my Blackberry or I have to call her and say, "Okay, I'm on the corner and I'm looking at a McDonalds, a Starbucks, and there's a gym right here." (Really helpful, right?) My friend usually manages to get me to her apartment, or has had to come meet me where I am standing on a couple of occasions because she realizes I'm a lost cause. Just this weekend I met her near her apartment and she had to tell me about three times that I was walking the wrong direction, when we were basically down the street from where she lived. You'd think I would've learned by now, but no.

Anyway, back on topic. When I realize that I have basically entered what to me is equivalent to The Labyrinth, I immediately turn around and start running back. Once I get to about 14th street, I breathe a sigh of relief and feel instantly better that I am securely in the numbered part of the city. Although I'm proud of myself for going outside my small square of running space, I had had enough for the day and was ready to go back home, having run one more mile than I had originally planned!

12 miles down/63 to go!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It'sa Mario!

I grew up in the suburbs of New York City. My dad worked near Times Square so every time my family and I would come visit him at work we would have to dodge through the tourists taking pictures, the people that were lost in the middle of the sidewalk looking at a map, and the dozens of people who were forced to stand outside their work, rain or shine, handing out pamphlets about a comedy club or a sightseeing tour that we just HAD to do. Not only was getting to my dad's work a hassle, but any time my family decided to spend the night in the city it was a very typical "let's go to dinner and then a broadway show and then home" night. Now I am not the kind of person that enjoys being in large crowds, and I especially don't like walking somewhere where I'm surrounded by people and I need to stay on my toes to figure out what the person in front of me is doing, where they are going to walk, and if they are going to stop dead in their tracks at any moment. As you can imagine, Times Square is not my favorite place in the world. But, because every time I went into the city I was basically in or around Times Square, I grew up thinking that all of NYC was exactly like that. That there were always people everywhere, and my job would be to dodge all of them. So when I started looking for where I was going to live after graduation, I said that living in the city was absolutely out of the question. I knew how I felt all of those nights when I was frantically trying to get somewhere, anywhere, where I could have my own personal space and a place to breathe, and I was not about to live my life the way I lived so many nights of my childhood. Low and behold, come September, I was moving into my new apartment in Midtown. And you know what I learned? Not all of New York City is like Times Square.
Even though I quickly realized that I could enjoy a nice stroll in my neighborhood without being attacked by someone dressed as Elmo (a huge fear of mine), I did tell myself that there was NO WAY I would go for a run on these streets. I see people do it every day, and I definitely thought it takes a certain type of concentration and attention span to be able to do it. Even though it's not Times Square, there are still people walking on the sidewalk, most likely not paying attention to anyone but themselves or who they are walking with, and there are lights everywhere! How can I possibly have a successful run when I need to constantly be paying attention to if a light tells me to walk or not? I am the queen of zoning out and thinking about whatever I feel like when I run, and using my concentration on whether or not I'm going to fall in a sewer or get hit by a car didn't sound appealing to me. However, something happened to me today, and I tried it out. I actually ran through midtown on a Saturday morning at 9am and I am here and alive to tell the tale.
Not only did I survive what I thought would be a stressful workout, but I now know what it's like to be in a video game. What I experienced this morning has to be exactly how Mario feels in the original Mario Bros. I got out to the sidewalk, put my headphones in, and just went. I had a plan of action, I was going to run a mile uptown, then turn around, run two miles downtown on another avenue, and then run a mile back uptown to my basically one large 4 mile square. Once I started going, I realized it was kind of fun to run with all of the distractions. I concentrated so hard on dodging the people, dogs, and strollers around me that I didn't even realize I had already run a mile until I almost ran past my first destination point. Not only did I have to beware of the people, but there was an extra challenge to my game. I had to see how many blocks I could run without having to stop to run in place to wait for the light to change, and let me tell you, it is not easy to do. I think I only made it three blocks before I had to wait, but it made it that much more fun to try to get to four. I had an overall great experience today. I also felt like I had a secret bond with the other people around me that were running. It took everything in my power to not stick my hand out and high-five everyone I saw, but I told myself I couldn't be that girl and I had to contain my excitement.
As a conclusion to my overly positive post about my experience running outside, I would like to leave the people of NYC a couple of words of wisdom regarding their life choices.

1. to the parent with the 50 pound kid still in the stroller: I think it's time to let him start walking.
2. to the 20 something man walking the little white poof ball dog: every once in a while make your girlfriend get out of bed to walk the dog. She was the one that made you buy that thing in the first place.
3. to the people on the sidewalk who feel the need to walk just far enough away from each other that they take up the whole sidewalk, but close enough that no one can get by: there are other people in the world besides yourselves.
4. to the overdressed girl walking in high heels: are you walking home from your one night stand's apartment, or do you really feel the need to get that dressed up for a Saturday morning? If it's the latter, trust me, wearing flats is acceptable.
5. to the girl wearing the white shorts and tank top: it's only the beginning of April. Stop trying to push for it to be Summer. It will come, I promise, just be patient.

Looks like I'll be running outside again tomorrow! My gym's closed anyway because it's Easter, and if the weather's nice, why not!

9 miles down/66 to go!

Friday, April 2, 2010

At least I did something, right?

Oh my god I am sore. I woke up this morning and my hips are killing me. I’m definitely regretting not pushing myself harder over these past couple of months, because my lack of time at the gym is definitely showing right now. Last year I bought “the stick” ( which helps with sore muscles, and it was luckily right next to my bed when I woke up. After spending about 10 minutes using it on each leg, I decided I was definitely not ready to go to the gym, and was going to be lazy for another half hour.

3 hours later, I got myself out of bed and got dressed for the gym. On my walk there I felt like I was walking lopsided. I felt 64, not 24, and I am not proud of it. All I kept telling myself is I have to run through this soreness or it will never go away, and I also have a lot more miles to run and can’t give up on my streak now! I got on the treadmill expecting to run 3 miles today. I ran one mile and had to stop. My breathing was off, my legs hurt, and I just knew today was going to be one of those days where I don’t feel successful with my work out. Worst of all, I got on a treadmill where the TV didn't work, and I forgot a towel again. This workout was doomed from the get go. I tried to walk a little bit more, put on an upbeat song and think positive thoughts. I ended up running ½ a mile before stopping again. In order to not feel like a complete waste, I made sure my workout was a total of 30 minutes and got off the treadmill. I'm not exactly proud of today, but at least I did something and I knocked some more miles off. I need to look up a good stretch for my hips, and try to drink as much water today as possible. If not, my workout tomorrow will be shortlived as well.

5 miles down/70 to go!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And It Begins...

To get myself motivated for this upcoming challenge, I went to the running streak website that my second friend had introduced me to ( In big letters at the top of the page it says CAUTION: THE DANGERS OF STREAK RUNNING. I actually laughed out loud at this, interested in what brought on the all of a sudden “fine print” to go along with what seems like a relatively healthy way to stay in shape (I mean a mile a day isn’t asking THAT much). It ended up that the article on the other side of the link was interesting and actually pretty helpful. It recommends not running the same amount of miles every day or at the same pace/intensity, and that I can still have rest days, but they will just be in the form of running at a slower pace. It also said to find different ways to make running new and fresh so I don't feel like it is a chore. I think having the 75 mile goal is a good way to keep me motivated, and I'm sure once I get to 10+ days I'm not going to want to skip a day and potentially ruin my streak. So although the link scared me at first, it gave great advice and makes me even more excited to get started.

I had plans to meet up with friends that I assumed was going to turn into a day, and possibly night long event, so I knew I had to get to the gym early. Since I'm on Spring Break (best part of being a teacher), I have the luxury of having pretty much any choice of treadmill that I want...which is a big deal to me. I like to pick the treadmills where the TV is already on, so this way I can watch what's on the TV without having to plug my headphones in, and also listen to my music at the same time. If I don't have anything to look at, my workouts end up being significantly shorter and I get bored pretty easily. So not only did I get a treadmill where the TV was on, but I also got one that was as far away from people as possible, and I was ready to get in the zone.

So after spending a week in Costa Rica doing everything but running, I wasn't really expecting much, but I'm hoping that my motivation and the excitement of starting another challenge will get me through. I set my speed to 6.0, and start going, feeling good, listening to some tunes. I then realize that I can probably go faster than what I’m running, so I decide to up my speed. For every .1 of a mile I go, I make my speed .1 faster. So at 1.1 miles, I’m at a 6.1, at 1.2 miles, at a 6.2, etc. This is something I used to do all the time last year, I’d do a full mile moving up my speed, and then another mile reducing my speed. It's a good way to keep things interesting and it also helps me not get bored. However, one mistake I did make was not bringing a towel or a magazine or something to cover up the treadmill display. Yes, I'm one of those that doesn't like to see how far I've gone or how long I've been on the treadmill, because if I have the chance to look, I will spend my ENTIRE run staring at the minutes and distance slowly move on.

So, first I try to just watch TV, but the Today Show was on and it was kind of hard to follow when I couldn't hear what they were saying and it was just a bunch of women sitting on a couch. I also wasn't in a channel surfing mood, I just wanted to get running. Bored with the show, I start looking in the mirror near me, I check out my form and realize that I look like I'm running a lot slower than the speed I feel like I'm running. That in itself was kind of depressing, but I knew there was no way I was going to up my speed, being that I was already huffing and puffing at about a 6.3. Then, my eyes wander to the people who are stretching and doing abs in a corner near the mirrors. I lock eyes with some middle aged man that's stretching and I quickly look away and remind myself to concentrate on my running. So I try again to watch TV, but the same thing happens, my eyes start wandering to the mirror, and before I know it, I've locked eyes with the guy AGAIN. So I turn around and tell myself that okay, that happens, I'm sure it was just a coincidence, but I hope he doesn't think I'm trying to check him out or I'm just being a creeper, or maybe he's being the creeper? Who knows. So I'm concentrating EXTRA hard this time on my running, and low and behold, for a THIRD time I lock eyes with this guy. I'm at the point where I know that I can't look at him again or he's going to really wonder what I'm doing. So, my eyes lock to my mileage and my speed and I spend the rest of my workout trying to get it all over with, hoping this guy either leaves the gym or goes somewhere out of my sight. I finished my workout 1/2 mile shorter than my goal for the day, but I'm overall pretty happy with day 1. Best of all, when I got off the treadmill the man was gone and I avoided what could've been an awkward exit from the gym. I'm ready to spend the rest of my day suntanning, and excited for another couple of miles tomorrow!

3.5 down/71.5 to go!

Why Would I Put Myself Through This?

I guess an explanation is in order as to why I have decided to put myself through running 75 miles in 30 days. At the end of January last year, I was about to begin writing a thesis that would determine whether or not I would get a Master’s degree, and needless to say, I was stressed. I had no idea what was in front of me, but what I did know was I planned on tackling it head on, knowing I’d be spending hours writing and editing and rewriting. I also knew I was going to have time for very little other than writing. I started up a conversation with one of my long-time friends about running and working out, which is usually what we talk about when we happen to both be online every couple of weeks. This time, my friend was telling me about these “running challenges” that he’s started to do, where he picks a number of miles, and he plans to run that number of miles in a month. He said he had just finished running 100 miles in January. Now this friend of mine is someone that I just LOVE to be competitive with. No matter what, I want to be better than him at whatever he is doing and more. Mostly because he’s the cocky type that rubs things in your face if you don’t do something correctly or if he does it better. So of course, I tell him I want to try it, momentarily forgetting about this soon to be 80 page paper I was going to be bombarded with in the upcoming months. Once I said it, it was over. He challenged me to run 75 miles in February, and I knew once the challenge was set I was going to have to do it, thesis or not.

When I brought this idea up to one of my other friends, he mentioned that he had just been reading about these people who do “running streaks”, where people literally go years without ever missing a day of running. All they had to do was run at least one mile a day without walking. So of course, feeling completely overly ambitious, I decided to try that ON TOP of my 75 miles. Piece of cake right?

I ended up completing the 75 miles, and continued my running streak for another couple of weeks, resulting in running 41 days straight. Then I went to Puerto Rico for Spring Break, and tequila clearly took precedent over my runs. However, looking back on the time I spent doing these challenges, I saw that overall I was a lot less stressed, I didn’t get my usual winter time blues (or sniffles) and I was definitely in the best shape I had been in since my field hockey preseason days. It was also a great break from my thesis writing, which I managed to do successfully, and surprisingly with little stress. Since moving to New York City, I’ve lacked the motivation to get myself back in gear, and have decided to try these challenges again. This time, because I don’t have someone breathing down my neck every day and checking how many miles I ran (gotta love those competitive friends) I decided to blog my every day, and every run, to see if a year later, I can do 75 miles in 30 days. Nonetheless, it should be interesting.