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Monday, December 27, 2010

New Team President

This may change the face of Team Joe for the Winter. Luckily the name of our team isn't Joe Runners. Now Team Joe may well be Snowshoeing Club.

Treadmill Much?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jingle Bell Run this Saturday

Who wants to jingle their way around Prospect Park with Team Joe this Saturday?

Weather says cool but dry! I recently bought the best Winter running clothes from Jackrabbit. Now I am kind of psyched to get out there.

Cleanse is over, but the memory lives

Last note about the cleanse, then I promise to move on to other topics. I am, a month later, still feeling the positive effects of Dr. Scott's magic elixirs and diet. My acid reflux completely disappeared! My digestion in turning on a dime.

While on the cleanse, I said I would never put myself through it again, but now Anthony and I both are willing to do it once a year.

Did I mention someone's Cholesterol went down 50 points?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cleanse. Day 13. Love Thy Veg.

Most of you probably already know about this cleanse that I and Anthony are doing right now. To quickly fill everyone else in, I'll just tell you that Scott Jurica is a Team Joe runner and is a Nutritionist, Chiropractor and all-around natropath doctor. He hosted a Happy Hour at his apartment (with a sweet back yard) a month ago. His wife, Lisa was telling me about how she had done this cleanse which had been amazing for resetting her digestion and for losing weight, getting out toxins, etc. I, who has never done any sort of cleanse in my life, was intrigued. I always thought cleanses involved only drinking water with cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple, or just juices. However, Scott's recommendation was to do a special cleanse whereby one eats only fruit, veg, along with protein shakes and then cleanse supplements which help clean out the toxin-expelling liver, kidneys, skin, etc.

Now, I eat a lot of veg. Most of my diet is vegetables. Roasted, steamed, raw, I love 'em! This will be easy for me, right? Well, when you stop consuming alcohol, dairy, meats, nuts, seeds, sugar, beans and grains, you certainly get hungry more often.

For the first 7 days, I found it tough and began to obsess and stress about the 21 days of denial. I would snack all the time. Kind of nasty protein bars became a delicacy. Then, we were allowed to add a little fish, and that changed the game for me. Now, I am on Day 13 and really feel great.

What's been happening in our bodies?
Anthony: looks like he lost 10 pounds, skin in glowing, has more energy. Sexier(that could be just my interpretation though)
Me: look and feel like I've lost 5 pounds. Skin clearer, more energy. Need a stiff drink. Also, I do see the effects of toxins leaving my body. For instance, the bags under my eyes were darker than usual for a week, and now are subsiding. I felt hung over for also the first week.

Finale: I think this cleanse, while kind of extreme, is very healthy for someone who really wants to start over and reset. I think that even if you don't think losing a few pounds as being enough of a reward, there must be some reward that has more far-reaching results. For instance, just giving your liver a break from alcohol and sugar can probably reduce risk of liver problems. Eating all those anti-oxidants in fruits and veggies can help slow your body's aging because anti-oxidants stop the oxidization of the cells, which age the body and lead to cancers. Just a few little things.

We're not done yet, but have reached the last week, the final countdown. Next time I blog, I will add a couple recipes which have helped to get us through.

I'm SOOO Back, Baby!

Just so glad that this trial has ended for me. There will always be more, but I am going to enjoy the next year or 2 of healthy running until the next time I decide to go trail running and twist my ankle or get a stress fracture because I look so cute in gladiators!

Last weekend, I ran both days! I was slow, but I was steady. It felt great!

I'll be running this weekend also, both days, so please come out and join me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Foot is healing!

I went to Dr. Minicapelli today and he is certain that the bone is all but healed! I'll take 2 more weeks off of running, then I am back, Baby!

Good Lord, do I miss running! Especially when Fall is the best running weather. Take today, for instance: 66 degrees right now and sunny. I'm drooling.

Tonight is the special Happy Hour and Nutrition meetup at Team Joe runner Dr. Scott Juric's place in Chelsea.

It's not too late to RSVP. Just email me at and I'll give you the address!

Yay Foot!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Great Minds...

So, Eapan(spell check please!), one of my runners, happens to have blogged about Bob's knife grinding service several years ago when he moved to Brooklyn! Check it out!

I had felt kind of sad for Bob as I walked by; he was tolling his bell, hoping for knives to sharpen. I thought, how can this man possibly make a living? Does anybody come out of their homes with knives at the sound of his forlorn bell? What does he charge $2, $3?! Poor dear!

Well, I ran (or hobbled) home and grabbed 5 Globals and went back out. I handed him my knives and offhand asked him how much he charged. $8 a knife. Ten minutes and $45 later...hmm...could it be that maybe I could have invested in a stone for $10 and probably used it for the rest of my life? That would be a yes.

However, I did get some solid advice from Bob: you can use a stone or a metal pike to sharpen your blades, but do not use one of the crazy thingamabobs that you stick your knifes into and pull. They leave chips in the knives.

Bob also complimented me on my Globals. Sharp knives, he said!

As Gordon Ramsey said - not to me directly, but on Hell's Kitchen - "Dull knives make dull chefs! Now F-off out of my kitchen!"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So, I broke my foot and had an axe to grind.

It may be that our brains don't get sharper as we age, but my knives sure do!

While I was not running last weekend, I was limping around my neighborhood when I came across this truck. It reminded me of the good old days - though those days were before my time - and I thought, hey! why not have my knives sharpened. So I did. End of story.

Just wanted to share.

Monday, September 13, 2010



Please comeback for the rain date: Monday, September 27th.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Red Hook: Off The Hook!

Baked. Yum.
Seriously. The view at the end of the road.

Red Hook. I love you.

How has it taken me 15 years to discover you? You are a natural beauty, only wearing few adornments. Your streets are cobbled, your history is long. Verily, few people come to you as tourists or in Jimmy Choos looking for action. I never really understood what obsession was until I was sent by chance to your shores.

Red Hook, how I love to caress your cobbles with my Asics. Your streets are flat and empty. To get to the end of your limbs takes only 20 minutes from my home. To you I run with a full heart, sick of Chain Stores and in need of the freshness of businesses like Baked, The Good Fork, The Dry Dock, Hope and Anchor, and other lovelies with a nautical theme.

May you never get a subway which would destroy your isolated charm.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Streets Make Me Feel Fine

Go for giving the streets to the people! I was honestly a little ferklempt by it all. The beautiful city streets, the skyline, the water stations, the volunteers and the free hugs. It felt like a cheesy utopian movie. Take me with a grain of salt because I also get ferklempt during tv commercials.

Anyway, Anthony and I ran from home, over the Brooklyn Bridge which never loses its shine, and took Summer Streets to Waverly where we picked up folks and continued up Lafayette to Park and all the way to the end at 72nd street. Then, we doubled back to Grand Central to Joe for a Granita.

Next Saturday, I encourage you to take to the streets. Meet us at Waverly at 9:30AM and experience Utopia for yourselves.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday's post-run tally

Shoes: three Brooks, two Asics and one Nike (you rebel, Chris).
Drinks: four iced coffees, one granita, and one small latte. Because I think the latte art is pretty.
Miles run: five at five miles, and one at six. The NYRR Long Training Run was going on, so we passed lots of people who were running twenty miles this morning.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Run and Micro-Loan!

I am running in the following race. Lysa Price volunteers with this organization, and it's pretty awesome. Micro-lending is such an amazing way to fix the world, one entrepreneur at a time.

The Kiva New York Team is a team of lenders that are on Kiva, an organization that connects people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Each of their loans, when added up, can make a huge difference. As of 2010, Kiva has facilitated loans totaling more than $100 million - all through peer-to-peer loans. The beauty of Kiva is that once the loans are repaid, each lender has the choice to reinvest that money or remove their funds from

Join them in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York for our first everRun4Kiva 5Kon Sunday, August 29th at 10:00am, in collaboration with the Brooklyn Road Runners Club. Sign up here:

All proceeds go to support Kiva entrepreneurs through the non-withdrawable New York Team Fund. Any question - talk to us

Only $20 to sign up now.

For every non-
Kiva lender that signs up, a loan will be made in your honor by one of our lenders, Vin Vajjhala, to the New York team on This supporting more entrepreneurs around the world and empowering them to get out of poverty. Sign up today:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday's shoes

Five of us braved the heat and humidity on Sunday to run from Joe on Columbus. That makes it sound like we were running away from a guy named Joe, which was not the case. You knew what I meant, right? Afterwards, I noticed that the shoe line-up consisted of three pairs of Brooks and two of Asics. Anyone care to offer any analysis on that?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Not All Writers Drink Themselves to Death

Running is a fairly popular hobby among writers. It's easy to understand why. Writers live inside their heads; must be sitting for the majority of their working hours; and are frequently very poor. Running is entirely physical; must be performed standing up; and is cheaper than yoga or a gym. Hello, life balance!

For the past two years, I've spent many of my non-running hours in a dark, silent cubicle one flight above a sketchy massage parlor on West 14th Street writing essays for an MFA in writing program. Earlier this month I graduated, and one of the few things I'm professionally prepared to do as a newly minted mistress of fine arts is give readings of my work.

If any of you fellow runners are curious about what I've been working on -- and are not already booked on a Jitney headed for a beach weekend -- I'm reading next Friday night, July 30 at KGB.

The reading starts at 7pm. I'll be reading along with two other women, including a fabulous novelist friend. The other writer I don't know, but she sounds funny from her bio and hey, at least she's not a poet. (Kidding! Writing joke! We love poets!)

KGB is located at 85 East 4th Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue. Info on the bar and the reading is on the website:

Oh, and it should go without saying, but yes, there will be drinking.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Anyone For A Wednesday Night Run?

Liane Montesa, One of our team members, wants to start a group on Wednesday evenings at 6PM from the Chelsea Joe, located at 405 west 23rd street. It is in close proximity to the Hudson and the running path. This would be in addition to Saturday and Sunday mornings and is even more casual than the weekends. I believe Liane is a 10 Minute miler, but depending on who shows, there can be 2 or even 3 pace groups.

If interested, please email Liane directly! I may make some of the runs, but will not be in charge of them.

Drinks would still be on me after the run, but please tip the baristas!!!!!!

NYC Triathlon This Sunday!

And no, I am not doing it this year. For those of you who missed last year's little misadventure, here's what all happened.

I was kicking asphalt on the swim and the bike ride, UNTIL the ride back from "All The Way Uptown Past The Bridge and Toll" and was just telling some young woman I had heard her tire blow, when lo and behold, MY tire blew! In fact, tires were biting the dust right, left and center! This is a NYC highway folks! There's glass everywhere!

I can only blame myself in the fact that I never learned how to change the inner tube on my tire. So, an hour and a half after being stranded, the emergency tire-changing vehicle came to my rescue and I was able to finish the race. Very much last.

My poor boyfriend(at the time, now husband) was freaking out because I had no phone to call him. My friends had left. It was not good.

Of course at the end of the race, the good cheer returned for me, as it does with the post-exercise high, and I almost forgot al the pain and suffering. ALMOST. I remembered as I was about to sign up yet again on the eve of November first of last year.

So, this weekend, if you want to see the drama, the love, the sweat, blood and tears, go root for the men and women who swim, bike and run like hell to prove themselves to themselves.

72nd street between the river and the park is the best place to cheer the last leg of the tri on.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Destination: Opera

Norma at Caramoor
July 10th and 16th
Katonah, NY

This summer, I've been immersed in the Bel Canto tradition as an Apprentice Artist at Caramoor. I'll be singing in the chorus of the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini.

Well worth the trip to Westchester, Caramoor offers a great escape from the city. Order a picnic and enjoy pre-opera concerts and lectures on the beautiful grounds.

By Train - From Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division of the Metro-North Railroad to Katonah, New York. Taxi service from the station to Caramoor (five minutes away) is available by calling Sam’s taxi at 914-232-4949 or Katonah Taxi at 914-232-5772.


July 10th & 16th, 8:00pm

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Link for Tickets

Norma- Angela Meade, soprano
Adalgisa- Keri Alkema, soprano
Pollione- Emmanuel di Villarosa, tenor
Oroveso- Daniel Mobbs, bass-baritone

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crider In Kenya

Adam Crider was a great Joe customer. Anthony and I used to see him in the mornings at Waverly on his and our way to work. We'd also see him later at Grand Central Joe for his late-afternoon break. Always happy, always friendly, always caffeinated.

Adam is a fast fast runner. In spirit he was always Team Joe. He received the weekly newsletter and we talked about running. I believe he even read my blog. Sadly, Adam never did make it out for a run with Team Joe.

No, Adam is not deceased; he is in Kenya with The Peace Corps for the next 2 years! A lifelong dream for him, now realized after years of wearing a suit and tie and working in mid-town.

I always wanted to join the Corps myself, but if I ever do, it will be as a retired person. I'll be one of those cool, funky older women with a long white poneytail, hiking shoes and knee length khakis running up mountains faster than women half my age.

Since that number on my bucket list may never happen for me, and since maybe you, oh readers, also wanted to join the Peace Corps, the Circus or be a Cowboy, now you have the amazing opportunity of reading the blog of someone who had the guts, and no strings, to pull it off.

Cowboy-hats and clown-noses off to you, Crider! I'll be following your blog for the next 2 years as you learn the local language, run in the Kenyan hills, tend to menopausal chickens and have the most amazing time doing good.



Saturday, July 3, 2010

Holiday Run

While Gabby and Anthony are living it up in Cleveland, I just wanted to give a shout-out to the three newbies that showed up on a holiday weekend Saturday morning! Welcome David, David, and Caitlin.

6 miles, 70 degrees, sunny, and breezy. A great start to the 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

shelter Island 10K

Diana, Tony C., Doc Danielle, Lysa Lee, and me in purple sports bra.

Shelter Island is heaven. Rolling hills, large old mansions that speak to a different, slower era in a more genteel world, and a very relaxed place. I, myself, am NOT genteel, slow or relaxed. However, for this one race, I decided to do a "when in Rome" and slow the heck down.

Firstly, I decided to run slower. What is the benefit of running fast in a race outside NYC that is NOT a qualifier (and even if it were, I am officially retired from Marathons anyway)? Plus, it is so beautiful there that it's a shame to miss the views of the water and the homes and a chance to chat up the locals as you are jogging by!

Now, I am going to share something with you, my readers - if you exist - that I probably shouldn't tell anyone. I drank my first mid-race beer! I didn't even slow down (further). Someone handed me a Coors Lite, and I made a split-second decision to take it. It was way tastier than it would normally be because I was thirsty. Thanks Guy Who Handed Me The Beer!

I hope this little blog entry will inspire you to the Shelter Island Race next year, and 2. do something crazy in the middle of your next race! We, runners, tend to be such goodie-goodies! We're generally nice, well-behaved people-people, squeaky clean tax-payers. Well, I say rebel once in a while! The best part is, whomever you piss off, you can probably outrun.

Deep thoughts.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Joe to the End of the Isle

Not run-related, but while Gabbs n' Tone were jogging relatively nearby at Shelter Island this weekend just gone, Team Joe were represented crosstrainingly on the Ride to Montauk by Judge Stephens and this Joeshirted lout:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Athlete's Palate Cookbook

Yesterday I found out some exciting news! A new cookbook just came out for athletes! Runner's World Magazine published a compilation of every Athlete's Palate column from every one of their mags since they started the column in 2004.

Inside there are amazing recipes that are delicious and healthy! Some of the chefs are celebrities like Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Dan Barber, and my favorite cooking show reality star Gordon Ramsey. Other chefs are more regional. All of them are athletic, from Iron Men to 5K-ers.

I cannot believe this, but it's true. I hate to brag, but there is a 2-page spread of your very own Team Prez, me. heehee. I was as shocked as anyone! There're my recipe for Espresso Granita and for Cold Brew Iced Coffee.

If you want to buy a copy(I am telling you, it's awesome!), I'll be happy to sign it for you. Just don't email Gawker immediately after till I've left the building.

p.s. This weekend the runs start at 9:30 AM until the Fall.

Achilles Hope and Possibility Race

Achilles International and Trisha Melili (author of I Am the Central Park Jogger) would love if you join us at The Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 miler race.

ACHILLES Hope & Possibility – 5 miler

WHEN: Sunday June 27, 8:30am (regular start)

WHERE: Central Park – West 67th & west drive

If you needed any other reason to sign up for the GREATEST race in the world. There is another reason…
For the first time ever ACHILLES – Hope & Possibility is an ING New York City MARATHON – QUALIFIER!!!
You heard that right! This race will count as one of your 9 races for the marathon….

I, Gabby, your fearful leader, am running this race. Don't make me have to run it alone.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

5 1/2 Weeks Married

How does that affect my running, you may ask? I have no idea, but I do notice my mind thinks about different stuff now that I am not a Single Lady anymore. I realize that before, I would think about drama having to do with who I was dating, or not dating, where I was going to meet someone to date, interspersed with deep and meaningful thoughts, of course...I mean really!

But it's a little different now. Since I have no drama or complaints with my husband(at least for now, and hopefully not ever), I find the world of thought is now open unto me. I can now think deep thoughts the ENTIRE time I run. Mostly I think about who I can set up with whom, when the White Stripes will put out a new album or what I might cook for dinner.


Hey, I was brutally, and sometimes fabulously single for 36 years. As traumatic as that CAN be, it also gives you moments of wonderful fantasy and yearning that make you feel alive; that you know something's coming for you.

SINGLE LADIES out there, he's coming. For now, enjoy the deep thoughts, the fantasies, and the knowledge that the love of your life is out there. He's just jogging on a different path...until he runs into you.

Marathon Spots Available through Teenok Heart Foundation.

If you are interested, contact Marc Lessner at Marc is the founder of Big Heart Racing Team.

To see more about Teenok Heart Foundation, check out the Facebook page. They seem like very nice and fun individuals!



Monday, May 24, 2010

The NYTimes Wedding Story

This has to be the best non-traditional wedding photo ever. It really captures exactly the spirit of our wedding. Even more importantly, my arms look super buff.

If you want to read the story and see the pics, click on the link below.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Joester Kelly sprinting in to finish Leg 9 of the 185-mile NY Ragnar Relay from Woodstock to Dobb's Ferry:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coffee Cantata

It's finally happened! I get to sing about coffee!

Bach's Cantata No. 211 satirizes the
alarming popularity of coffee in 18th century Leipzig. Coffee is still alarmingly popular, and Bach's music has withstood the test of time. NYMVAE presents this staged version paired with a contemporary opera The Art of Eating, by Jeffery Leppendorf.

I (Mary Thorne) sing performances May 21 & 23, and fellow Team Joe member Elizabeth Munn sings performances May 20 & 22.

Thursday-Saturday, May 20-22, 8pm
Sunday, May 23, 3pm

The Bernie West Theater
Baruch Performing Arts Center
17 Lexington Avenue (between 21/22 Streets)
9th Floor

Free Coffee = LOVE

After about 4 years I'm finally convinced that free coffee can lead to love. It was that small sign at Joe Waverly that got me, it that read "Joe Saturday runs and free coffee to follow".

I’m Lysa, Gabby’s running partner, travel companion and best friend. Even from that first day we met years ago, I knew s he was the one for me. The one who could convince me to order steamed veges over fried food, the one who convinced me to run through rain and snow because it was ‘good for us’, and the one who always sees the good in people. She saw that in me, the girl who wanted to run better and earn that iced vanilla latte.

Over years of Saturday runs followed by brunch with the girls, a movie and shopping, one of those 'girls' became much more. I am so amazed at how Anthony went from being just another Joe Runner to the love of Gabby's life. I truly saw their love grow from being each others running partners, to best friends, to soul mates. I'm blessed to not only have witnessed all this, but be a part of it. I now have a best friend who always gives me free coffee, with or without a run. I'm also lucky to have Anthony in my life, my new best friend who no matter how many times I ask, is willing to meet for a burger and beer ;-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy to Serve You

It's been a hard few weeks for fans of local icons. First we lost Alberto Arroyo, aka, the self-proclaimed Mayor of Central Park and Reservoir Running Dog. On Thursday, it was Leslie Buck, aka Laszlo Buch.

Unlike Arroyo, Mr Buck's face would not have been recognized by many New Yorkers. He wasn't, to my knowledge, a runner. And he didn't even live in the city. But though anonymous, his contribution to NYC culture is so widespread it's hard to imagine the city without him. He was the creator of what is perhaps the most potent symbol of the city: the blue and white coffee cup. It's a testament to how powerful an icon the cup is that despite the fact that Starbucks cups now outnumber the "Anthora" (yes, the cup does have a proper name) roughly 6 million to 1, it's the blue-and-white Anthora that movie directors and Law & Order prop scouts flash in front of the screen when they want to signal an authentic New York attitude. The Anthora—which was introduced in 1960—is the granddaddy of to-go caffeination, a beloved if slightly old-fashioned relic among younger, spiffier receptacles such as the ones we quaff our excellent (and - thanks Gabby! - free) coffees from each week post-run.

Here's something I love about this story: Mr. Buck wasn't a graphic designer. He actually worked for the cup company. Having worked with many designers in my career - some that were legends; none that took design lightly - it definitely made me giggle to think that this iconic artifact was conceived an executed not by a creative professional but by a guy in sales. Vignelli*, eat your heart out.

I'm also tickled by the fact that this monolithic local icon carried on it a phrase most would not associate with NYC: "We are Happy to Serve You."

Fierce loyalty, surprising twists. "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" attitude. That's New York in a nutsh--er, disposable coffee cup.

*From Wikipedia:

Massimo Vignelli (born 1931 in Milan, Italy) is a designer who has done work in a number of areas ranging from package design to furniture design to public signage to showroom design. He has said, "If you can design one thing, you can design everything," and this is reflected in his broad range of work.[3]

1957 to 1960, Vignelli visited America on a fellowship, and returned to New York in 1966 to start the New York branch of a new company, Unimark International, which quickly became, both in scope and in sheer number of personnel, one of the largest design firms in the world. The firm went on to design many of the world's most recognizable corporate identities, including that of American Airlines (which forced him to incorporate the eagle, Massimo is always quick to point out). Vignelli also designed the iconic signage for the New York City Subway system during this period.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Running In Buenos Aires

Usually when I travel I do loads of research about everything. I make a plan of action for each day. I never want to miss anything, especially if it includes munching. However, this time around I was too busy planning a certain party which involved getting hitched. It was a big project which barely left time for going to work, running, and staying sane.

That said, Anthony and I only planned the following for our honeymoon: 1. flights 2. Hotel Home (amazing!) 3. 1-day culinary tour (yesterday...still full and hung over from that lunch) and 4. San Telmo on Sunday for the antique market.

We did bring our Asics, however, with a loose plan to jog at some point. As we prepared to hit the airport, we realised we were both getting a cold. It was a full-blown mess by the time we touched down in BA. When we got to Home, we went right to bed. At 12p.m. We barely got ourselves out of bed for a measly hour before hitting the sack again for 12 hours. Some newlyweds spend whold days in bed, but I can assure it's not blowing their noses and popping cold meds.

Luckily, 3 days in, we are starting to feel better, and decided to pound pavement for an hour or so this morning. We ran with only a map and matching rings. We found a park much like Central Park, but only about 1 mile around. Lots of runners, a small lake with boats..we felt very much at home. We also saw at least 2 casual running teams. They looked a lot like Team Joe.

When we returned to our hotel, just in time for the amazing breakfast, of course, and feeling much better, we had a renewed energy. Although we still don't have much of a plan, we are ready for the adventures of the day.

It's just like I always say: running is a cure-all...except for bone spurs, that is.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Drink for Girls on the Run

A few of you have met my friend Marit, who has come to the Sunday Joe run a bunch of times, and the Saturday run a few times over the summer. During the school year, she can't make it to the Saturday run because she volunteers on Saturday mornings coaching 8- to 12-year-olds for a group called Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run is a health and wellness program that introduces girls to the fun of running and paves the way for an ongoing active lifestyle and healthy self-esteem. The meet weekly during each school semester for a session that includes warm-ups, stretching, running, and games -- culminating in a 3-mile run at Asphalt Green.

As someone who 1) grew up in Manhattan and 2) until a year ago, hated running, this concept seems pretty cool. There are lots of great things about growing up in New York, but at least when I was a kid, running was not one of them. Unlike basketball, soccer, or softball, it wasn't activity that could fit neatly in a gym or on a playing field. Also - and this isn't specific to New York, of course - compared to team sports, running didn't seem fun to me. Soccer and softball were games; running was what you did when you were late or being chased by something.

Obviously, I've come around to running in my old age. But as much fun as I'm having with it now (thanks to the Joe running team!), it does make me think how much sooner I could have come to it if it had been more accessible to me and appealing when I was a kid.

Anyway, enough about me. And running. Let's talk about drinking! Girls on the Run is having a fundraiser next Wednesday, and you're all invited. Come by on April 28th, 6-8 PM at Lugo (1 Penn Plaza/Eighth Avenue at 33rd Street; 15% of all food and drink sales will be donated to the Manhattan chapter of Girls on the Run. There will also be a charity raffle, which, according to the email I got, includes "cool accessories from the Bikini Thief." Not sure what that is, but clearly, it's not to be missed.

For more information on Girls on the Run, visit

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pope is More Like It

Yesterday, the Central Park Conservancy dedicated the path around the reservoir to Alberto Arroyo -- aka, the Mayor of Central Park -- who died on March 25th. Arroyo claimed to be -- and was lauded as -- the first person to run around the reservoir. He made his first loops around what was then a maintenance path in 1937, after being kicked off the bridle path for disturbing the horses.

Arroyo was both beloved Central Park runner and a champion New Yorker. In 2001, he beat out Ed Koch, George Plimpton, and even Dr. Zizmor (!) for the cover of this book called New York Characters. I love this quip from a 2005 NYT article on his view of the afterlife: "You just go from one apartment to another." Only in New York, right kids?

For many years -- and well into artificial-part-age -- Arroyo ran the 1.6 mile loop up to ten times daily. By his own he count, he figured that he'd run around the reservoir more than 200,000 times -- more than enough to bring him from here to the moon.

Arroyo was known as the mayor of Central Park, a self-proclaimed title that not even greedy Giuliani could get his grubby mitts on. I have to say, though, this guys sounds less like a democratically elected official than divine leader of Her Lady of the Urban Joggers. No offense, Jackie O., but this guy ran circles (sorry! couldn't resist the pun!) around your eponymous reservoir. He hung out at the reservoir yelling "looking good" to runners as they made their way around the path. He let the Parks Department know when something needed fixing. Though he himself took a vow of poverty and lived on a single meal a day, he managed to raise $100,000 for an organization that helps disabled runners.

And he gave footrubs to runners he met in the park. The guy was totally running Jesus.

Let me end with noting -- should there be any unbelievers among us -- Mr. Arroyo lived until the age of 94.

Can I get an Amen?

Further Cross-Country Joejogging

Just to add a couple of other Joesters-Running-Around-the-Country recent race tales since a full race calendar means I've been absent from weekend Joe runs recently....

I recommend the Richmond, VA 10K - a fun, fast 6 miles through the city centre with plenty of musical entertainment and costumed runners along the way.

The 13.1 series half around Flushing Meadows Park (OK, not really 'out of town'...) - the course is a bit repetitive, but it's flatflatflat and hence speedy, and you get to circle the Worlds Fair Globe etc.

And thirdly, the Danbury Half Marathon - a small and very hilly (jeyzuz, them hills) 13.1 miler in western CT. Good spring marathon training if nowt else. And they give you tasty pizza at the end.

Monday, April 12, 2010

From Tacos to Cherry Blossoms: A Tale of Two Cities, and Two Measurement Systems

My story of my - yay! - very first ten mile run, DC's Cherry Blossom Run, starts, as I'm sure many good stories do, in Denver. To be more precise, it starts on the carpeted floor of the city's convention center next to an outlet as I simultaneously juice the iPhone and call the husband in between panels on Thursday, the first day of the American Writers & Writing Programs annual conference, known as AWP. (Writers are good with words; not so good with acronyms.)

"I think if I run tomorrow, then I can take Saturday off when I'm in DC, so I'll be fresh on Sunday," I say to Alex, briefing him on my ad hoc training plan. "And it's so beautiful here - maybe I can run to the mountains!"

"Caitlin, are you INSANE? Why do you think they call it the Mile High City? If you tried to run outside tomorrow, you'd probably pass out, Miss Altitude Training."

It is then that I realize that the chronic headache I've had since getting off the plane the night before isn't from bad soave in the JetBlue terminal but from the great heights of the city. So I bag my training plan, and instead focus my efforts on energy -- specifically, eating enough good Mexican food to power me through an Iron Man -- with a quick stint on the treadmill in the Marriott fitness center for good luck on Friday morning. Then it's bye-bye Mile High, hello Potomac!

I spend the day on Saturday walking around with the friend I've recruited to this race with me, alternately worried about the blister I'm sure I'm developing from my ballet flats and excited for this challenge I've inadvertently gotten us into. In DC, apparently, there are lots of ten-mile races. Here in New York, at least as far as I've seen, it's 5ks, 10ks, and half-marathons. So when I convinced my friend to do the race with me last fall after I finished my first 10k and she finished her first 5k, I thought I was signing us up for a 10k -- not a 10-mile run. My friend, being French, was, to her credit, extremely gracious when I corrected my metric mistake.

The morning of the race -- Sunday -- is much warmer than the day before. We powerwalk to the start line, picking up another (French) friend of hers along the way. I down this energy shot thing she gives me even though it taste like super concentrated Tang. We giggle nervously as we wait for our wave (actually, we couldn't figure out how to get to our wave, so we started with the last wave, which I nicknamed "the Rainbow Tribe"). I run the first mile with the Frogs, and start to pull away - slightly - when we make it to the bridge. I turn around a few seconds later and they are gone. Totally vanished in the crowd. Guess I'm running the next eight and a half miles myself.

And you know what? It was FANTASTIC. I thought I would be bored, or in pain, or just pissed that I had lost my friends, but instead I had the best time watching the other runners, the crowd, and the scenery
(though not the cherry blossoms - they'd all been fried in the previous week's heat wave), and thinking about - really! - my run. When I got to mile 8, I felt like I still had a lot left, so I sprinted for the last two miles, which just felt amazing. My time was 1:35:46 - way faster than I would have guessed.

1sts are good places to draw lessons from, so here's what I learned:

1) There really are hills in Central Park! Who knew?! I didn't realize what a difference a totally flat course would make.

2) Running sunglasses are cheap and awesome.

3) Those energy/electrolyte beans are a good choice for someone like me who would absolutely gag on goo, but even those are not as easy to eat while running.

4) DC is a great place to do a big run like that because there are tons of hotels so it's very easy to avoid the port-o-potties.

5) Starting with a slower wave is annoying in the beginning but psychologically great during the race because you pass EVERYONE.

Perhaps a half-marathon is next? Or a 13k?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

So, why didn't I run the New York Half?

Because I was busy running the Canyonlands Half Marathon. As part of my project to run 25 half marathons in 25 states, which is the subject of a whole other blog post, I was in Moab, Utah that weekend, running along a canyon that was completely different from our more urban canyons.

The race began at 10, but they started busing us from town to the start, 13.1 miles away at 7:30. The first 11 miles of the course follow the Colorado river, which is nice, because the course is quite flat compared to, say, Central Park. And when I say nice, well, here's an idea of the scenery:

No cars, no buildings, no distractions. Since we had to wait for the start, they did have the most scenically situated row of Port-a-Potties in the world:

You'll notice that the sun had not reached the bottom of the canyon, which meant that we were all standing around, freezing, despite the coffee and hot chocolate that were being handed out. By mile three, however, we were running in sunshine, and did I mention that the scenery was glorious?

It wasn't my fastest race, but I think you'll agree I look happy at the end of it:

If you're tired of running past sky-scrapers, you should definitely consider the Canyonlands Half. Keep in mind that entry is by lottery (just like the New York Half), and hotel rooms book up fast.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shape-Ups. I am in fashion hell.

Do these shoes make my feet look fat? That would be a resounding yes.

These are my new look. Apparently, they can be worn with jeans, shorts or cocktail attire.

One thing's for sure: this look will separate my true friends from the hangers-on.

I used to make fun of people who wear these. Then my podiatrist told me I need to wear them to take the pressure off of my arthritic toe. I put them on in the store today and Anthony, who is now stuck to me for life(poor dear), burst out laughing. I joined in. I mean, hey, if we can't laugh at ourselves, we have no right laughing at others!

P.S. I was running the Scotland 10K today with Laura and Mary, and they started calling me Bone Spur. I like how it sounds. It reminds me of an old Western. The outlaw Bone Spur meets The Sherif at High Noon for a shootout. Bone Spur gets 2 bullets to the toe.

The End.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Have Arthritis. In My Toe.

Really?! Could I feel any older?

This is what I get from running for 14 years, 2 marathons, many half-marathons, working on my feet, running to catch lights, etc.

I went to a podiatrist with pain in my right big toe. There was also a strange clicking. I was assuming it was a broken toe or metatarsal bone. That would have been okay, minus the fact that I have to dance at a wedding in 3 1/2 weeks; my wedding.

X-Rays revealed that I have a bone spur in the smaller joint on the toe. Doc says it's not new and must have been cooking for a long time. I guess I have a high tolerance for pain.

Here is what I found on WebMD,

"What is a bone spur?

A bone spur (osteophyte) is a bony growth formed on normal bone. Most people think of something sharp when they think of a "spur," but a bone spur is just extra bone. It’s usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear or pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, or nerves in the body. Common places for bone spurs include the spine, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and feet.

What causes bone spurs?

A bone spur forms as the body tries to repair itself by building extra bone. It generally forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time.

Some bone spurs form as part of the aging process. As we age, the slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of the bones within joints breaks down and eventually wears away (osteoarthritis). In addition, the discs that provide cushioning between the bones of the spine may break down with age. Over time, this leads to pain and swelling and, in some cases, bone spurs forming along the edges of the joint. Bone spurs due to aging are especially common in the joints of the spine and feet."

My new doctor advises icing, advil after runs, and wearing Sketchers Shape-Ups that mimic the heinous Boot that doctors tend to make patients wear.

The one good thing to come out of this is that I have an excuse to wear slippers at the wedding after the ceremony!

So who's doing the Scotland 10K Saturday? I am!!! It will be the only run I do this week, but I'm not missing it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Great Half-Marathon Times

Joe is a non-competitive running club. We don't judge people based on time, endurance or gear. We generally don't like those people. However, I must brag just a bit about "my" runners. They kicked concrete last sunday in the NYC Half-Marathon.

Before I reveal their names and times, let me preface by telling you that a) I have run this two times before, and b) it was so hard and unpleasant I vowed there would be no repeat performance.

And now, the names:

Mary Thorne, running an 8:13 pace, came in at 1:47:31
Chris Gwiliam, running an 8:10 pace, came in at 1:46:51..(by the way, his first half-marathon.)
Simon Bird, running an 8:50 pace, came in at 1:55:37


Now back to being non-competitive, non-gear-heady runners...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nike NY Half Marathon

Good luck to our friends and Team Joe runners for tomorrow's Nike NY Half Marathon:

Chris G - running his first half marathon. Lets hope it's the start of a long future of running half marathons!

and our seasoned runners: Mary, Simon and Alice.

Remember - run hard or go home!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coffee + Running = Love and Better Running

Okay, the Coffee and Love thing may be b.s, although I met my fiance while running in the coffee house team...but, for those of you who missed
this article last year, click on the link to read about how coffee (caffeine, really), improves your workout.

Here's a small snippet:

"Exercise physiologists have studied caffeine’s effects in nearly every iteration: Does it help sprinters? Marathon runners? Cyclists? Rowers? Swimmers? Athletes whose sports involve stopping and starting like tennis players? The answers are yes and yes and yes and yes".

I know some people are wary about drinking coffee before a run. Maybe they will need to "use the bathroom", or have stomach cramps. My advice to them, drink some coffee early enough to digest and have to "use the bathroom" before your run. Anyone who runs races, especially long ones, knows that you must "expell" before the race starts. Once you've done a couple dozen races, you will no longer be squeamish about talking or reading about expelling. I apologize to those who haven't gotten to that point and are squeamish now, reading this...

The point is this: get the benefits of the caffeine AND the quick expellation (Not a word, I know), and then have the Best Run Of Your Life. Especially when I am offering it you free at the Team Joe runs (no pun intended) every weekend.


Heaven Is NYC Today!

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love this weather. It's currently 63 degrees and sunny. It hardly gets better for running weather. I went today and yesterday, and will try to run every single nice day. Based on the forecast, my next day of rest will be next Monday.

I may have to break out my running shorts tomorrow. I hope people will forgive my pasty swarthy skin tone and all the black and blue spots on my legs: I tend to walk into furniture.

This weather makes me sign up for too many races. So far, I am in for the Scotland 10K April 3rd, The Healthy Kidney 10K May 15th, and the Brooklyn Half May 22nd.

I know, I know....I promised last year that I would NEVER ever run the Brooklyn half again. I also said it the year before when I ran it. I guess I am an oath breaker....

oh well..

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Scotland 10K

Now that we have our first Scotswoman to call our own on Team Joe, Mrs. Laura Gwilliam, we will proudly will be running the Scotland 10K April 2nd!

We actually ran it last year and I think the year before, but now we ARE Scottish, sort of!

The Scottish people are a great people. They have added so much to the world. Some of my favorites are Scotch whiskey, especially Balvenie, Haggis, men wearing kilts, and bag pipes.

More about Scotland's great history if you click on the Wiki link below.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Speed Socializing

I truly cannot believe how cold this winter has been! It's been so so hard to get out of bed lately. Running early during the week? Out. Getting up on Saturdays to join my Team Joe friends...?

Well, that's the joy of running with a team. I would NEVER get out there alone. In fact, I almost never run alone anymore. It's just too bleak and chilly. And after going alone for the first 10 years I was running, I just got bored with music and my own dull thoughts.

Team Joe still gets me out the door on the weekend. I consider it the height of multi-tasking to exercise and socialize at the same time. Think of all the time we would save if while we were running, we were also having a staff meeting, shopping at Whole Foods, getting our nails done! It could put new meaning in the concept of Speed Dating (if you can catch me, you can have my number). But alas, my ideas will have to remain ahead of their times, and I will stick to my basic version of multi-tasting.

Anyway, I will be seeing you, probably jumping over drifts of snow from tomorrow's storm, Saturday at 10 a.m. from the new and much-improved Waverly Joe. Sunday at 10 a.m. at Columbus Ave. Joe.

Run For Haiti

Lysa, Anthony and I all signed up for this NYRRC race. Join us! All the money is to be donated to reputable aid organizations. It's a whopping $40, but for a good cause.

Without preaching, I just want to say that yes, we all gave when the initial destruction hit Haiti, as we did for the Tsunami and countless other tragedies. However, it will be years before Haiti is rebuilt, so we need to continue to give when we can. Thus the race.

Plus, I bet there will be good t-shirts! And it's a qualifying race.

9a.m. February 20th in Central Park.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Concert February 4th

Virgil Thomson: A Portrait In Song
Mary Thorne, Soprano
Elizabeth Hastings, Piano

Thursday, February 4th, 2010
1 pm
Concerts At One
Trinity Wall Street Church
(Broadway at Wall Street)

I am singing a wonderful program of art songs reflecting the musical life of composer Virgil Thomson. Songs by Bowles, Cage, Citkowitz, Copland, Hundley, Rorem, Satie, Wheeler, and Virgil Thomson.

If you work downtown this will make a wonderful lunch break or if you can't get away from the office you can listen to it on webcast. No tickets necessary, a donation can be made at the door.

Friday, January 1, 2010

How the Marathon became 26.2 miles

Ever wondered why the marathon distance is 26.2 miles (or 42.195 kms)?

Originally the marathon distance was around 25 miles (or 40kms).

But for the 1908 London Olympics, it ended up being 26.2 miles.
Here's a brief summary I found on wikipedia:

For the official Trial Marathon on 25 April 1908, the start was on ‘The Long Walk’ – a magnificent avenue leading up to Windsor Castle. For the Olympic Marathon itself the start was on the private East Terrace of Windsor Castle, with the permission of King Edward VII, so that the public would not interfere with the start. Shortly before the Games opened it was realized that the Royal Entrance could not be used as the marathon entrance—it was raised to permit easy descent by the royal party from their carriages, and did not open onto the track—so an alternative entrance was chosen, diagonally opposite the Royal Box. A special path was made just outside the Franco British Exhibition ground so that the distance to the stadium remained 26 miles.

The finishing line was left unchanged, but in order that the spectators, including Queen Alexandra, could have the best view of the final yards, the direction of running was changed to "right-hand inside" (i.e. clockwise) and the total distance became 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km).

Why the history lesson?

Gabby and I recently went to Windsor, and of course, as a runner (and especially for Gabby as a marathon finisher), it wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Long Walk. For those of you who run marathons, as you run past the 26 mile marker and curse as you run another 0.2 miles, you now know it was all so that the royal family could get the best view.