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Monday, April 27, 2009

I love running, and sometimes I love NOT running

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, I FELT like not running, so I had a "sleep-in" spree! 

Okay, not the best rendition to that song, but I wanted it to rhyme. 

A while ago, I promised a friend I would run the More Half-Marathon with her and her new girlfriend. It sounded so great at the time, sitting at my computer having a cup of tea and a cookie. It was so far in the future. Surely April 26th was a long way off. 

On April 23rd, my birthday, I realized that my weekend was not to be the super-relaxing downtown sleep in and brunch extravaganza it was meant to be because I would have to wake up by 6 a.m. to drink some coffee, eat some cereal, digest, get uptown for the starting horn(anyone remember the gun that used to begin the races? Good riddance..).

By chance, I got a call that day from my friend gail, that she would be unable to run with me because her girlfriend was a little nervous, etc.. and yada yada yada, I was off the hook! 

Best birthday present to myself ever. Slept in till I could sleep no more (even with the eye patch from Jet Blue), brunched at Cafe Gitane(coffee not so bad), schlepped around, sat in Central Park, ran an easy 5 miles at 7pm, enjoying a gorgeous sunset and a silhouette of Lady Liberty.

The moral to my story is this. We make a lot of promises to ourselves and to others, and as good little rule followers, we don't want to fail at anything, cut any corners, miss any opportunities. However, sometimes we must all take care of ourselves, know our limits, give ourselves a break. 

Skipping that race was a great birthday present to myself. What will you skip to give yourself some space to breathe? Don't feel bad. Call in a personal day at work sometime, skip the gym once in a blue moon, cancel that coffee with cousin It and take a nap.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The dangers of running

When I first started running with the Team Joe, I was amazed at the number of injuries that were often presented by my fellow runners. Why is running such a burden on our poor bodies?

In the past year, I have suffered from a stress reaction in my right leg (a precursor to a fully blown stress fracture) and runner's knee (also know as patellofemoral pain syndrome). There have been visits to the sports doctor (Dr.Klion on the UES), an MRI, physical therapy and many hours of ice packs and gym work.

Click on the link to take you to Dr Pribut's Sports Pages - a fascinating read on the types of injuries you too can get from running. Have I turned you off running? Fear not, in fact, there are many runners (including many in Team Joe) that go a lifetime of running without injury. Just make sure you take the necessary precautions - get a good pair of running shoes, stretch before and after......etc etc.

So mates, keep on running. See you out there at Team Joe.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pirate Running!

Ran the 4 Mile Run As One race Sunday. Ran fast, too. 

If you look it up on the NYRRC site, you will notice my name is not among the finishers. That is because I forgot to sign up but didn't realize it until Tony C. tried to pick up my number. Oops.

I thought about getting to the race early and signing up, but then I thought, what would it be like to just crash the party, do something not quite kosher, be a rebel runner? More than that, I just wanted to sleep till the last possible moment. Story of my life. Plus I'd save $17, and I didn't need another t-shirt.

These are the results for the actual rule-followers, the squares, the do-gooders:

Jeremy ran a 6:54 pace, 27:38 for 4 miles. 
Anthony ran his fastest race with an 8:05 pace, 32:21 
Christopher ran a great race also, 9:47 pace, 39:11

Me? I ran something like an 8:35ish pace, finishing in about 33:35 or thereabouts. Would have been nice to have an actual score I guess...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Runners Bourde

It looks like spring is finally upon us, which means one thing: hordes of runners. Ah, such a life affirming time of year with the beautiful colors, warm long days, and temperate nights. Life is grand. I (heart) NY.

Then it happens. Just like last year and the one before that (sigh). It is inevitable.

En masse runners in horrendous garb. Try as I may I can’t find an excuse for the deplorable attire that I am seeing out there. Let’s get this straight guys: it is not cool to wear black socks with your tennies and shorts. And ladies it’s not cute to sport those clam diggers with your boyfriend’s oversized t-shirt. Other atrocities that I have observed: sweats (never ok- not for running, not anywhere, not anytime- got it?), swishy pants (seriously?), wife beaters for men, mid-riffs (either sex), silky shorts that periodically expose it all to the world (there are definitely better options to avoid overheating), and finally the spandex grippy things you see some guys wearing to make them more “aerodynamic”.

These are the major infractions but I assure you they are not the only ones.

So what is one to do? I would like to preface this by saying it’s not necessary to spend an absurd amount on your workout wardrobe. A few key pieces can make a big difference.

Let’s start with the ladies. For the summer, try a pair of lycra capris paired with a form fitted wicking t-shirt or a tank top. Less conventional but totally acceptable are the butt shorts but only if they are humorous or motivating to fellow runners. Something like ‘bye-hater’ is hilarious, therefore acceptable. Avoid the logo variety as they are way passe.

For guys, stick with medium length shorts and a fitted t-shirt to show off those nice pecs you have worked so hard on.

For both sexes American Apparel has made in the usa shorts that are great for the summer. They also have the 70’s style tube socks and terrycloth headbands & arm bands, all of which I find exceptionally rad. Also, graphic t-shirts completely unrelated to sports are always a favorite. Runners tend to wear athletic brands. Boring. Be more expressive. Wear shirts that are funny, entertaining, or interesting. I like super hero shirts in particular. Why? It makes me run faster.

As far as running shoes go, unfortunately they are hopelessly hideous. If I could redesign them I certainly would. In the meantime I’ll be on standby for that call from Asics.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Scotland 10K

Scotland brought it's weather here to NYC just in time for the race Saturday. I know April showers bring May flowers, and I am so glad for those flowers, believe me, but the freezing cold down-pouring mess that was the race Saturday made me dream of deserts. There were 7603 people crowded into the park, all wearing blue freebie ponchos, huddling for warmth and silent as a tomb. In fact, it was the quietest of races. Just the squishsquishsquish of little wet Sauconys, Adidas, and Asics.

Our group that went up together parted ways immediately, each to wallow/run alone and as quickly as s/he could.

Check our times in the link above. Go to Latest Results and look under JTC. Fast running! Kurt? You ran fast! I don't even know if we've met! I don't believe you regularly come to our Saturday runs, but I thank you from the bottom of my still-soggy Sauconys for running a 7 minute mile for Team Joe! Anthony, 8:24! That's fast, mate!

Next Sunday is the Run As One 4 Miler. Registration is open and it's a Qualifier. See you there.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cherry Blossom Festival Race Results: Live Blogging

These are official results. It was a great race today!

This was a 10 mile race. Everyone had great times!

Kryssie: 1:11:01, 7:07 pace
Kristine: 1:14:49, 7:29 pace
Ani: 1:16:25, 7:39 pace
Anthony: 1:26:22, 8:39 pace
Jen "Jenkins" 1:29:35, 8:58 pace
Gabrielle 1:29:35, 8:58 pace

From the 5K, Lysa ran a 33:34, 10:48 pace.

Gorgeous day here in DC! Cherry Blossoms everywhere. Race started at the foot of the Washington Monument.

I highly recommend doing this race, as there are many things to spend a weekend seeing, mostly free, and some great food!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I ran 10.5 miles with Gabby and Ani on Sunday in the park and suffered a major nipple bleed, despite putting lubricant on them. I had to run the last 20 mins holding my shirt so that it wouldn't come into contact with my nipples anymore. It was a bloodbath. Not to mention the excruciating pain in the shower.

For those of you unfamiliar with the nipple bleed, it can occur because of the constant rubbing of the running shirt over your nipples when you run. Women don't really have this problem as they generally wear a sports bra which effectively protects them against nipple chafing. Usually on short runs there is no problem at all. However, over longer distances, the constant rubbing can result in your nipples bleeding. Runners use bandaids, vaseline, bodyglide, nipguards to help prevent nipple bleeding.

Why am I putting myself through all this? Just to eat?