I ran the second race of the nine I’ll have to run to get guaranteed entry in the NYC marathon in 2015 and I finally shaved almost 30 seconds off my official pace time. Wooo! I just went from a snail’s pace to tortoise pace!
Anyways, I did something a little different this time after reading Sally’s NYC Half post. I knew it was time to get in a longer run and I hadn’t run more than 4 miles in one go since the NYC Half so I decided to run the 5 or so miles from my apartment to the start line. I ended the morning with a 9 miles before I hopped on the train home to start the rest of my Sunday. It’s sometimes hard to get out of bed but I just love early mornings and that feeling of accomplishment of getting things done before most people (including me) have had breakfast. Well technically, my breakfast was the the two shot blocks I had just before the actual race. I didn’t want to start the race already pooped, so I gave Clif’s shot blocks a try and I gotta say, the Margarita flavor is AWESOME. I never knew race fuel could taste so good. Maybe I can use it to fuel my real life….
Not gonna lie, this morning was not that fun. After a long and brutal winter, NYC is now plagued by wet, dreary skies constantly threatening to pour and demanding your constant preparedness. It also makes for gray mornings where you just want to stay under the covers. Forever.
I fought the sloth and dragged myself onto the treadmill for another two mile warm up (because that’s my thing now). I switched it up a little this morning though. One mile at 6mph at a 4-4.5% incline because I read somewhere that that’s one way to do speed work without actually running fast (sign me up!!). The second mile was done at 8mph because there is always this girl at the gym in the morning who runs a bajillion miles at 8mph and if she can do it, I GOTTA try. Sheesh it’s always a competition with me, ya know?
Two mile warm-up with intervals (in the esteemed company of the folks at Law and Order Criminal Intent), followed by triceps pulls, rows, assisted pull-ups, assisted dips and abdominal work. And then of course, some play time on the leg press. The leg press is always the sugar on top of my workouts, inspired by Madeline Albright (random, I know). I went to see her at a Q&A at the 92Y about two years ago and she shared that she can leg press 400 lbs, on account of all the years she spent stomping all over the world. I’m not doing any stomping but I’m determined to be at least a little bit as awesome as Madeline Albright, so I hop on the leg press every chance I can. I’m at about 150lbs now so I’ve got a long long way to go.
Last week, I happened upon a new gym in my neighborhood and I positively went nuts. I’ve been gym hopping these past few months, from NYSC to Equinox to the dinky gym at my apartment complex. I made this last move because $180 a month just wasn’t working out. The downside was that my dinky apartment gym was seriously bad news. It’s taught me that my excitement for working out goes in hand with how excited I am about my environment. It got so bad that I was missing workouts and I didn’t even mind all that much! So I understandably went nuts when I discovered a huge new gym just steps away from my apt. Check this out:
And to top it off: my HUGE news-I found a yoga class I actually don’t hate!!
I realize how ridiculous that sounds but it’s a pretty big deal for me. I’m not a big stretcher when I work out and that usually isn’t a problem but when I start running more, I’ve found that my muscles will rebel and pull in weird ways if I don’t stretch. Except I’ve always hated yoga, and I don’t quite know how to stretch on my own so I’m stuck. And I’ve given yoga many many chances. I’ve given a month to bikram, endless class credits to vinyasa and made countless voyages to Yoga to the People. I’ve always left feeling anything but zen and mostly just angry that someone had dripped their gross sweat on my mat. But not today! I ended my hour long class feeling stretchy and 10 times less sore than when I had walked in. Score 1 for yoga! (Finally.)
My last post was super serious (and I am super not) so on a much much lighter note, here are the highlights:
– I ran my first half marathon!! This was actually my second attempt at a half — last October, I was supposed to run the Diva Half Marathon in Long Island but….. I couldn’t find my passport. So this was it, my first half and I couldn’t have picked a better race, although there were a number of factors that made it a less than ideal race for me. First off, it was 30 degrees. 30. I really should’ve had a stern talk with Mother Nature acting out like this. And second, I was at the peak of the most terrible head cold of all of winter. But despite it, I had a blast and I really wouldn’t change a thing. I decided not to follow a training plan because I’m not that serious a person and I really hate thinking I have to run a set number of miles on a specific day. It just takes all the fun out of running. I came in at 2:02:49, which I’ll happily take.
– After the NYC Half, I swore that I would never do more than a race or two per year, and I would NEVER run a marathon. 26.2 miles? I am not that crazy. And then about a week later, my very twisted logic kicked into gear. I logged into NYRR to find that I had sort-of-accidentally signed up for the UAE Kidney 10K (long story, for another time). And since I had already also signed up for the Brooklyn Half, I was going to be 3 races in for the year. The NYRR guaranteed entry for 2015 requires 9 races and 1 volunteer commitment to qualify. So my obvious next thought was, WHAT’S ANOTHER SIX RACES? I must’ve been feeling REALLY ballsy that day because I’m signed up for five more races in the next three months. All this to say, Operation NYCM2014 is a go – starting this Sunday.
-And finally, I’ve decided to blog more to hold myself accountable to my workouts. I’ve also started a photo workout diary to give myself a good push on lazy days. The collage style works two fold – it allows me to delete all the other random sweaty workout selfies I take and the dates help keep me extra accountable.
A lot has happened since last time and I’ve been terribly delinquent in writing about them, but I’m sure you’re all just DYING to know why. And I’ve got a good reason. I’ve been trying to sort myself out. Who knew it would be such a huge endeavor to figure me out? Gosh, I wish someone would write a manual.
I guess these are questions that are generally pretty straightforward for most people: What are you about? What are your hobbies? What inspires you? I really should know these things about myself but after graduation and after switching from life-consuming job, I found myself at a complete loss at how to allocate my free time. Sleep got pretty old, as did reruns of Law and Order. (Just kidding, Olivia Benson could never get old. Have you seen her lately?)
I was starting to feel like I should define myself a little better — I am more than my job, my school, my social calendar. But, who am I? It’s been a ordeal in trial and error and a crazy roller coaster at that. I’ve tried pole dancing, bouldering, hiking (ew, nature), running, exercise (whoa, where’s the couch?), biking, mentoring, jewelry making, cooking, pottery, painting, and more. And all of it has been absolutely fantastic.
I’m nowhere close to figuring all of me out, and I suspect I’ll never finish, but I’ve never been so excited to be a work in progress. I suspect this blogosphere will bear witness to much of this journey. But these are my twenties and this is my commitment to me. Just bear with me!
Okay, just kidding. Spring is probably a long long time away, if that groundhog has anything to say about it. But by the grace of god and global warming, we got our first warm day in really really long time and to celebrate that, I ran 15.32 miles (a personal record, distance-wise). My Nike app was wonky the whole time and I was too impatient to wait for my Garmin to find it’s stinkin satellites (I turned it on about ten-fifteen minutes into running) that I was never sure how far I had gone. Mapmyrun has set me straight.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that today’s run was made possible by my friend Edgar. Edgar is a true distance runner (he’s going for fifty miles next!) and he plans his long runs for Saturday morning, so I just tagged along for part of his run. I’m always looking for new routes in Manhattan so I’m always game if someone else is planning one.
I’m hoping to do a couple more longish runs before March 16. I’ll be running my first half marathon — the NYC Half. I’m so excited!!
Next up: experimenting with miso glazed eggplant, bootlegging from the B-flat menu and unveiling the BEST nut butter to consume straight from the jar.