That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fast Facts-New York needs to catch up

New Yorkers may be the fastest walkers in the US, but not in the world. I was kind of disappointed to learn that we are number 8. However, the I think (not 100% sure) the study excluded people wearing ipods, and that is a lot of New Yorkers. Lord knows I walk much faster with my ipod on.

May 4, 2007, 12:40 pm
The 8th Fastest Walkers in the World
By Anthony Ramirez
For most out-of-towners fond of a porch swing, a beach blanket or a wandering Sunday stroll, the phrase “New York Minute” has come to mean a peculiarly local delirium of impatience that results in the shrinking of time itself.Moreover, the natives take unembarrassed pride in it.
What then to make of a vertiginous study out of England earlier this week that seems to say that New Yorkers are not all that?

Positing that walking is a physical measure of urban frenzy, a University of Hertfordshire researcher released a study that found that New Yorkers ranked far down on a list of quick-steppers around the world.

In a sample of 32 cities, New York ranked 8th.

Its residents, on average, took 12 seconds to cover 60 feet, or some 3.4 miles per hour. (Michael Johnson’s world record for the 200-meter dash is equivalent to 23 miles per hour.)
But, in what some are taking as a blow to hometown pride, the Hertfordshire study of “the pace of life” found that the residents of Berlin; Curitiba (a city of 3 million in Brazil); Dublin; Guangzhou (formerly Canton, a city of 6 million in China); Madrid; and Copenhagen all out-hustled New York.

And the fastest walking city? Singapore, with a population of 4.5 million, was clocked at 3.9 miles per hour, some 15 percent faster than New Yorkers.

In the walking study, researchers in cities around the world observed walkers on Aug. 22, 2006 between the hours of 11:30 am and 2:00 pm local time.
With a stopwatch, they recorded the time it took 35 men and women to walk along a 60 foot stretch of pavement. They left out people carrying packages or luggage, walking with other people or talking on cellphones.

By comparing the results to those in a similar 1994 experiment by Robert Levine, a psychology professor at California State University, Fresno, Mr. Wiseman concluded that the pace of urban life, as measured by walking, had increased 10 percent.

Professor Wiseman noted in an e-mail interview that the New York walking speed had stayed flat over the years — 12 seconds in 2006 compared with 12.03 seconds on 1994 — but other cities had quickened their tempo.

“It is the huge increase in the other countries as they have caught up and, in some cases, overtaken” New York that accounts for the rankings, Mr. Wiseman wrote.

For the record, the slowest walking city is Blantyre in Malawi, in southern Africa, at the escargot pace of one-fifth of a mile per hour.

Here’s the full list (courtesy of ITV):
1) Singapore (Singapore); 10.55 seconds
2) Copenhagen (Denmark); 10.82
3) Madrid (Spain); 10.89
4) Guangzhou (China): 10.94
5) Dublin (Ireland); 11.03
6) Curitiba (Brazil); 11.13
7) Berlin (Germany); 11.16
8) New York (US); 12.00
9) Utrecht (Netherlands); 12.04
10) Vienna (Austria); 12.06
11) Warsaw (Poland); 12.07
12) London (United Kingdom); 12.17
13) Zagreb (Croatia); 12.20
14) Prague (Czech Republic); 12.35
15) Wellington (New Zealand); 12.62
16) Paris (France); 12.65
17) Stockholm (Sweden); 12.75
18) Ljubljana (Slovenia); 12.76
19) Tokyo (Japan); 12.83
20) Ottawa (Canada); 13.72
21) Harare (Zimbabwe); 13.92
22) Sofia (Bulgaria); 13.96
23) Taipei (Taiwan): 14.00
24) Cairo (Egypt); 14.18
25) Sana (Yemen); 14.29
26) Bucharest (Romania); 14.36
27) Dubai (United Arab Emirates); 14.64
28) Damascus (Syria); 14.94
29) Amman (Jordan); 15.95
30) Bern (Switzerland); 17.37
31) Manama (Bahrain); 17.69
32) Blantyre (Malawi); 31.60

From NY Times

While I was in Europe I really got a kick out of the exit it signs. They definitely imply more hustle than US exit signs.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Queens Grand Prix 1/2 Marathon

Hills! Thank you sir, can I have another?

While I never would have anticipated so many hills on the Queens Grand Prix half, it was certainly a great way to prepare for the San Fran. Some people said it was actually worse than the San Fran, hill wise. However, the elevation charts on beg to differ.

Nevertheless, there was an incredible amount of hills! I woke up at 4:50 to leave for the race. We got there around 6:00, so I had a diet coke in the car to get me ready.

After spending the entire week in complete confidence. I actually felt really nervous all morning. A race is totally different than a practice run. So before I knew it, we were off. About 3,600 of us. And we were racing through a very unscenic suburban area of Queens. Seriously they could have done so much better. The World’s Fair Globe, the Hall of Science, Flushing Meadow Park, Jackson Heights, Shea Stadium…we saw none of it. Just fairly ugly streets with an occasional smattering of mansions.

So anyways, the two miles were by far the worst. I was so unused to running without talking and my without usual running buddies. So I struggled for the first four miles, mostly with whether or not to cave and put on my ipod. By mile 4 and a half, I decided that I better put it on and stop torturing myself, clearly there was no view to enjoy.

The race got much better after that. I actually got the hang of drinking on the run down pretty well. At least I wasn’t choking, soaking, or blinding myself like last time. So that was good.

As far as pace, I kept it pretty slow, around 10 minute miles. This was for a few reasons:

1.) I didn’t know the course, so I didn’t know what to expect
2.) I didn’t want to burn out
3.) There were a ton of hills

But the miles slowly ticked away. I felt strong the whole way. By mile 11 I started to really push myself. A couple of times I thought of missed the mile 12 marker because 11 went on forever, but finally 12 came around, and I picked up the pace even more. However, there were 2 huge hills in mile 12 that slowed me down, but I kept plugging. Hi-fiving little kids along the way.

I waved to the team as I approached mile 13 and then smiled for my parents who were both taking pictures.

After the race we made our way back to the car, which was parked like a mile away. Then four of us squished into the backseat, all nice and sweaty.

However, the day improved with a nice sunny brunch and a great afternoon at the Beer Garden. Go team.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

When the going gets tough part 2...turn to quotes

Great quotes that will keep your wussy butt moving!

"Pain is weakness leaving the body"--my fav spinning instructor

"There will be days you don't think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have." -Unknown

"Enjoy your pain, you've earned it"

"Man imposes his own limitations, don't set any" -Anthony Bailey

"Some people run to get in shape......we get in shape to run!"

"Some people run to get in shape......we get in shape to run!"

"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired."

"That that don't kill me, will only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, 'cause I can't wait much longer."

"Nothing feels worse than stopping before you have to." My very own!

When the going gets tough: inspiration, Hills, and more!

It is pretty crazy that I am now excited about having an "easy weekend" only having to run 13 miles. It's the Queen's half marathon. But after 20, I am not too nervous. Besides running lots of miles, we have also been focusing on doing as many hills as possible. My coaches favorite seems to be Cat Hill. We get to run up and down it...over and over.
But it is a pretty exciting jaunt. There is the CP Boat then a weird Cat Sculpture, followed by a strange plane area, views of the back of the Met and Cleopatra's Needle.
I have to say, as scary as hills are, I much prefer them to sprints. At least what goes up, must go down. Yesterdays practice was cross training and sprints, and it was the first practice where my body was in "I give up" mode.
In any case, there are a few options.
-First, if you have a friend or two to talk to you probably won't need help, just make sure you save up a good four hours of conversation
-sort out your life---this one doesn't work for me. I need full concentration to sort, but obviously a lot of people like to clear their heads while running, so if you are one of them, props to you!
-Recall a childhood favorite, such as "The Little Engine that Could."
-Listen to a great song. Lately I have been listening to Stronger by Kayne West on repeat. But see the list on my main page for other ideas.
-Do everything in your power to forget you are running. Examples, think about that great dress on Sale at Club Monaco
or...Try to remember something with intricate details, such every store on 14th Street between 3rd and 6th avenues.
or...take a mental tour of Henri Bendel or Crossgates or substitute your personal shopping house of worship.
or...remember every song on the first Green Day album in order, then mentally sing every word of Basketcase.
-Plot out your domination of the world, and how you will "be the change, you wish to see in the world"
Finally, stock up on a few good quotes. I felt quotes needed their own post, so check it out!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More on exactly who you are helping!

A training update is coming soon. Right now I am in full fundraising mode. But as a preview, I ran 20 miles this weekend! Yeah, in a row.

Here is a great article about Kate Davis, my honored teammate!

(Photo: Isa Wipfli)
KATE DAVIS, 5, was diagnosed with leukemia sixteen months ago. Because the medication has wiped out her immune system, she leaves the house only for doctor’s appointments and weekend trips out of the city, where she can ride her bike outdoors.
When I was 3, I got bruises. Too many. I looked the same, I just had hair. We went to the hospital nearby. And another hospital. Then we found the right one. It’s all kids there. I pray about everyone there who is sick. Sometimes I feel sad that I have cancer, but not angry. I want to go to school. I can’t because there are germs there. But it’s not bad anymore. I don’t have to get a back check. A back check is when you go to the doctor and you have cancer. And you can’t feel anything because you fell asleep! It doesn’t really hurt. Sometimes you wake up angry after—or happy. I wake up happy! But one time I woke up angry—like the Incredible Hulk. Mommy always says, “Are you going to wake up like a princess, not the Incredible Hulk?” And I say, “I’ll try, Mommy, I’ll try, Mommy, I’ll try, Mommy!”

Monday, September 3, 2007

Marathon Shopping

Take the title literally! I have put off buying anything for running until this week, so I had some serious shopping to do. I felt kind of guilty spending any money on personal items for this marathon because I wanted all my money to go toward my fundraising goal, but I knew that I would have to buy new sneakers at some point, and sooner would be better than later.

So with about two months to go, I broke down and bought everything I could possibly need to during the rest of my training and on race day.

I started out a total bargain shopper, Dad you would be so proud, with a $3 TNT race tank and a $1 TNT bracelet at the Connection to the Cause breakfast.

Next I bought something I swore I would never buy. A fuel belt. I always thought they seemed so cheesy and pretentious. Part of the beauty of running is that it is such a no frills sport. I am sad to say, my previous no frills system of training is to be no more.

I was pretty much the only person on the team without a fuel belt. Despite trying to hold out, I was eventually worn down by the popular trend. Kind of like giving into the Crocs phenomenon. In any case, carrying a 20 ounce water bottle and safety pinning power gels to my shorts gets a little old around mile 10.

So here it is, my new bright and shiny Fuel Belt:

I purchased mine at the New Balance Store on 7th Ave and 49th. On a side note, I also snagged a small bag of free M&M's at the M&M store a few blocks down. I guess that's thrifty.

Next I moved on to the most important purchase of all...sneakers! I decided to go to Jack Rabbit, as it is known as the running store in the city. It is on 14th St. between 5th and 6th. I have to say it did not disappoint.

The staff was really friendly. If they can put up with me through indecision, questions, returns, and trying on 7 pairs of shoes, they can handle any customer.

The coolest thing is that they have you run on a treadmill and videotape your stride. I wasn't totally prepared for this, and I happened to be wearing a dress...ooops. In any case, I learned that I run very turned out, so I need a supportive shoe to help prevent injury. That information alone was worth the cost of the shoes. After several runs on the treadmill, I settled on Asics GT 2120s by the way.

The second cool thing about the store is that they have an unparalleled assortment of energy gels, shots and blocks in more flavors and brands than I have seen anywhere else. I stocked up on more than enough to get me through training. I am especially excited about the Margarita Flavors Shot Blocks!

So I hope I have everything I need...and so does my wallet!