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, April 30, 2008


There is really not much else I can say. Life interrupted my blogging, fitness, mental and physical health in a major way...and I kept meaning to put up a brb or bbs message and never got around to it. Needless to say, you have missed no exciting exercise, fitness or inspirational news of any kind from me.

While I'll spare you my sob story, it's sufficient to say that between finals, health issues in my family, making a major life changing decision that has kept me up many a night--that I am finally accepting and hoping for the best, I fell off the well-balanced, gym-junkie, reliable blogger wagon.

BUT I'm Back! Done with classes for two glorious months, so fitness and a healthier diet will work their way back up the list of priorities. Just in time for a last minute summer shape up too!

Sadly, my dvd broke, which of course, only makes me sad because I can't do my workout dvds, so here is my favorite workout while watching tv routine:

Jogging in place 2 minutes

Squats for one minute

Jumping jacks-1 minute

Running in place with high knees-2 minutes

Front lunges with over head press-1 minute

Push ups-15

Jumping rope-1 minute

Shadow boxing-1 minute

Running in place-kicking your butt--1 minute
(11 minutes)


The Hundred

Leg Drops-20

Ab Ovals-Crunch left move to center with out dropping, then move to the right-10 in one direction, then 10 reverse

About 5 minutes

3 Sun Salutations (google for directions please :))

About 5 minutes

So the whole routine is about 21 minutes, give or take. You can rest on the commercials, or just go straight through.

I repeat this 1-3 times depending on energy and whether the show is 30 minutes or an hour.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Today's Workout

Okay yesterdays workout, but for the sake of tagging, today's.


30 minute elliptical

600 crunches-different variations. My favorite: plank position, alternating touching your knees to the ground quickly--or jogging it out as they say at Physique--then touching both knees down together, then touching hips to the ground, right then left. This one REALLY works the obliques.

I walked about 30 blocks to where I was having dinner.

So I managed to stay out way too late with friends Wednesday and Thursday, and ended up not getting to yoga either morning! Boo. I wake up early enough, but I don't have the energy!

Tonight I am just planning a regular running, elliptical combo with at least 25 minutes of strength.

This weekend I will take you on a virtual run through my favorite battery park city route and resume my rock your body challenge with a great workout to do while watching tv!

Oh Hungry-Girl isn't always my fav, but today she has a GREAT post!

Happy Friday!
I felt like I needed a picture, and one of my favorite things about the beginning of spring in the city is seeing the cherry blossoms open up. It is always a serendipitous surprise!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

workout updates!

I have been meaning to include my workouts daily, but I always forget!

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 1 hour vinyasa yoga
Wednesday: 20 minute run @ lunch, 1 hour run after work

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

So you want to be a runner? Join the Club

Running alone is not fun, especially for non-runners. However, running with people IS fun.

This translates to all endurance sports, I will touch on triathlons and century rides too. It's like a great spinning or aerobics class, the energy of your classmates, along with the screaming, hyper-active instructor makes it easier to get through than most 45 minute solo workouts.

The one part of my running story that I left out in part 1 of "So you want to be a runner," was my moment of decision.

I went to watch my best friends--and a few other acquaintances--run the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006. After listening to his training stories and how marathon training had really changed his life, watching him cross that finish line was the moment I truly knew I wanted to do the same.

We couldn't have had more distinct running pasts, he had been a very fast high school runner, and I had muddled through a few 5K's.

Despite the fact that he and our other friends barely made it through the very tough, windy 26.2 miles, all swearing it was their last marathon, something inside me knew that I had to prove to myself that I could be part of this elite 1.5% of long distance runners that crossed the 26 mile threshold.

I knew I couldn't do it alone and I didn't have any running friends, so on my third Team in Training info meeting, I conjured up the courage to sign up. My cousin had done two marathons with TNT, and even as a self-declared "non-joiner," she couldn't say enough about the experience.

What makes running groups, like TNT so special--but I'll give you links to many others--, so much better than training on your own?

I touch on this in early posts, and while I could go on and on (as you know I like to do), I will try to keep this short, sweet, and speedy!

1.) You get unparalled coaching that makes running idiot proof, safe and 100% effective. 100% of NYC TNT runners that make it to the start line, cross the finish line. Everything from shoe clinics to nurtrition clinics to terrain training is covered. And let me tell you, there is NOTHING like having coaches on the course with you the day of the marathon. I literally felt like P.Diddy or Oprah. I will never forget the last 150 yards of my marathon. Coach Ramon was running by my side, ringing the cow bell widely, he whispered in my ear, do you know those guys over there? I looked to the side line and saw my team mates screamming like crazy for me. The entire 4 hours and 50 minutes up to that point were instantly worth it.

To reinforce this point, I was dancing around the night of my marathon. My DC friends could barely walk. Before I ran, my coach went over every foot of the course, telling us exactly what to do to have a great, strong run. The TNTer who came in 4th in the Nike SF run, said that training with a team was so much better than on his own. He couldn't compare the two!

2.) You meet GREAT people and lifelong friends--that you instantly have something in common with. I feel that the people I met at TNT were true kindred spirits and we hang out all the time. Plus, I can not imagine running 10 miles without chatting the minutes away with my girl friends. Now I can run on my own, but when I started I needed friends to push me through. Plus everyone is the same boat, so you help each other. We would actually plan not to talk during the week, so we had 18 miles of stories saved up for our long runs.

If it's boys your after, don't sign up for a women's marathon like me--lol. But people joke that Team in Training is actual Team in Dating. There are a lot of love stories. While my training was pretty much all women, the triathlon team had lots of cute boys!

3.) You are committed to a greater goal. While not all of the running clubs I will mention have a service component. Raising money for cancer turned out to be the best part of team in training for me. Having a focus, a mission, a goal that goes beyond yourself, your body, but spills over to the good of society, is a motivating and rewarding experience like no other. I am not an emotional person (at all!)and I am probably more uncomfortable asking for money than anyone in the world, but damn did hearing the mission moments at the beginning or practice bring out a new side of me. I would weep as cancer survivors would tell their triumphant stories or hear from family members who had lost their loved ones or run next to someone who had just had chemo but was chatting happily beside me. These moments, these stories touch you on so deep a level, you can't help but feel like you want to save the world one mile at a time!

Not only are you helping so many people, but it really gets you in touch with how fortunate you are! Your personal gratitude for life, health and happiness really shines through when you are helping those less fortunate. Even if you decide not to join a group, take a moment before you runs or rides to think about how lucky you are, I guarantee your workout will be better for it.

So where do you find these great groups?

Just about everywhere!

I just discover this amazing magazine called Metrosports. There are versions in many cities (scroll to bottom metrony home page) and they have amazing articles on all types of endurance and outdoor sports in urban settings. They had a particularly great article, "Running the Gamut" on the many free running clubs in NYC. I mentioned Urban Run and Run NYC in my Get Fit for Free post, but there are many more: Powered by Dim Sum (gotta love that title) and RunUrban through Urban Athletics are just a few of many.

Every YMCA probably has a running club of some kind.

For a more comprehensive list of sportsclubs in your area checkout

Road Runners Club of America
The Running Network
The Running Page
Biking Clubs of the USA
Triathlon Meetup

New York City Clubs:

If you are visiting a new city, you can take a running tour through City Running Tours
If you want to run a marathon on every continent check out the Seven Continents Club
Road Runners Club of America

If you like to run and drink check out Drinking Groups with the Running Problem

You see there is truly something for everyone.

If you want more guidance, but aren't necessarily ready for a full-fledged marathon, try one of the many athletic stores that have clinics and classes.

Jack Rabbit Sports has a great mix of running, tri, and yoga clinics. They even have this great indoor tri series where you race to see how far you can swim in 10 minutes, bike in 30 minutes and run in 20 minutes. Sounds like the perfect tri to me!

Also, Wellsphere has great information on training for half-marathons.
If none of these sound fun to you, branch out! Take advantage of the free kayaking offered around the city, a sunset ride from the Socrates Sculpture Garden along the skyline is a great, healthy way to spend an evening.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I am off tomorrow, but if you have post ideas, send them my way!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The French Paradox

Lately I have kind of felt that my daily diet has gone from decent to disaster. But not totally in a bad way. I still get my 7+ servings of fruits and veggies in, but the amount of refined flour, sugar and even the occasionally product with corn syrup or hfcs (gasp) has made an appearance. Innocently enough, the one treat a day turned to 2 or 3. More of the exception became the rule.

However, this hasn't really seemed to influence my weight or energy level. In fact, when I have found that I am more in tune with my body and hunger levels, and really only think about food when I am hungry. Then I eat whatever delicious or healthy food I am craving and stop when I am satisfied. Some days I can't stop eating and some days I am not very hungry. It's nice not think, oh, I better make sure I some protein, healthy fat and fiber to keep me satisfied for hours. Not that I normally do this everyday anyways. But the less I think about it the more organic eating only when hungry seems to become. Some foods I used to love, like nutritious creations cookies, taste like cardboard and I crave a Red Delicious. Other times, I NEED ice cream and skip the salad.

I mention the French Paradox because two of my friends just got back from Paris, where they really indulged on the fabulous cuisine. One of them had just started weight watchers and was really nervous about all the chocolate, bread and wine, but came home to find she had lost 7 pounds. The other had been on weight watchers for 15 years, and had never exceeded her point allotment, but for the first time in YEARS when way over, more than tripling her normal point intake some days, and still didn't gain an ounce. hmmm. Yes, the US does not have the freshness or food quality of France, but it does make you think.

On the flip side of the coin, I wonder what putting crap in my body will do long term. A 110 calorie frappacino light is a tasty will satisfy me for a long time, but I wonder if anything with so much artificial crap can truly be a treat. Is my no chocolate or cookie left behind mantra going to rob me of the clarity, radiance and ability to change the world down the line?

It's hard to know what to do. I think it would take quite a bit of deprivation and borderline food policing to clean up my diet, and to see if I feel like a health rockstar or superwoman if my body is only filled with pure, nutrient-rich food. However, I guess after a month or two it would feel like a lifestyle not a "diet." And it could be worth it, although there is something so freeing about sharing a 1,000 calorie Crumbs cupcake and not feeling a hint of guilt. Obviously, I don't go to town at every opportunity, but when I feel like it, I do not deny.

It took me years to get to this stage, and I have relished my love and respect for food and my body for quite some time. I would hate to compromise this by becoming obsessive, which is so easy in our society. Men and women alike are so conscious of their appearance. Many, many years ago, I took every comment about my body to heart. I still remember comments about my thighs made in 8th grade. This eventually led to a 40 pound weight loss, devastation of my self-esteem, and years of body, soul, image and happiness rebuilding.

It is hard to find balance--and the definition of balance. Is balance something like the 90/10 plan, where 10% of your intake is whatever you want? Or is balance allowing yourself treats only if they are made from 100% natural unrefined, high quality ingredients? Or is it not worrying about any of this and just eating intuitively?

So those are my thoughts for today. I will still have plenty of less intense posts, including "So You Want to Be a Runner Part 2"

Just for Fun

This Eat This, Not That tool by Women's Health Mag is pretty great! I am really good with knowing/guessing calories, but a few of these actually fooled me! For shame, Melissa haha.

I only tried the breakfast one, but there are lots of other categories to play with in your free time. Try it out:

This week I am going to focus a bit more on food, as I have some questions/ideas I want to explore.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekly Workout Wrap Up 4/13/08

I mentioned earlier in the week that I have been a little bored with my workouts lately. This week almost every workout required significant conjuring of motivation. And that motivation came in many forms. Typically, I am actually anxious to get to the gym. Just knowing how fabulous it feels to during and AFTER the workout is enough to motivate me to exercise! But sometimes it takes more than the pure love of fitness and health to get to the gym.

Monday: Motivating factor: TV! 1 hour on the elliptical. 30 minutes reading for class. 30 minutes relishing every delicious minute of the Hills!

Tuesday: Am workout video Zumbanda Dance Video Pm Workout Video. I half-heartedly Tae-boed through Billy's Ultimate Bootcamp:Favorite Moves.

Wednesday: 45 minute DIY spinning, 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes core work.
Motivating Factor 2: Gisele. No, I do not plan on ever having a body even remotely close to Gisele's. She is widely regarded as the hottest woman on the planet! Not only am I not that conceited, but let's not forget, I'm 5ft tall! But I am going to Brazil (her homeland) for 3 weeks this summer for a course--not a bad place to get 6 credits. Well at least that is the plan, however, with the Dengue outbreak in Rio, I am nervous it will get cancelled. Nevertheless, when I was really fading during the last ten minutes on the elliptical, I thought of the cute bikinis I bought in Naples last summer: two-piece motivation and dreaming of Brazilian beaches helped me eek out those last few minutes.

Thursday: Crunch Bikini Body Boot Camp Video and half of Claudia Schiffer's Perfectly Fit Legs.c
Motivating Factor: Hot Jeans
I was very close to taking Thursday off, but then someone made me realize that my hot jeans require dedication, so I did some leg and butt work before hitting the hay.

Friday: 30 minute morning run outdoors

Motivating Factor: New Itunes

The only time I had to workout on Friday was in the morning. Thursday night I downloaded 4 Minutes, Touch My Body and Bleeding Love, so the only thing that got me out of bed at 6:30 was the excitement of some new tunes. (I am not a Madonna or Mariah fan, but I couldn't find anything else.) To be honest, I hit the snooze from 6 to 6:30, but when I finally got my butt moving I was on the sidewalk by 6:37, which gave me time for about 30 minutes of quick running before I jumped in the shower and got ready for work.

Saturday: Let me tell you that Saturday was my most productive day in weeks! Upon reflection I think it was due to the fact that it was the first weekend day I have woke up with no hangover whatsoever. I am a super light weight! Friday night I only had a glass of wine with dinner thinking that I would probably open one of our many bottles when we got home, but by that time I had totally forgotten about it! Maybe this one drink thing is the way to go.

Anyways between a nice stroll through the city, shopping at Macy's, brunch, hitting the library, spa manicures and coffee with a friend, a trip to trader joe's and more homework, I managed to sneak in about 30 minutes of run/walking and 30 minutes on the elliptical. The running I did as follows: 1 song walking at 4.5 and reading for class, 1 song running at 7.0 and 1 song running at 6.2, repeated 3 times. The last ten minutes on the elliptical sucked! But I kept thinking of Physique 57 where they always say, that without challenge there will be no change. So I figured this was really the most important part of my workout, and I suffered through!

Sunday: 9 mile run

Motivating factor: great friend!

I was registered for the Run as One 4 miler this morning. My original plan was to do the race and then run an additional 6 miles. However, I got to the park really early (as I do for everything), and I had almost an hour before the race started. So I decided to do a four mile loop before the race. I am so glad I did because I am not sure I could have done 6 miles after!

It was a Team in Training Reunion event, so I got to hear Coach Ramon give his pep talk. Highlight: "We are only as fast as our slowest runner, so everyone start out at 5 minute miles and then hold back a little bit!" Haha!

I was so excited to run with my friend Rev. She just finished the Paris Marathon last week and she is already back on her half iron man training regime! After the run, she is biking 50 miles!

It was great to get a break from the ipod to chat a bit. Rev got me through every long run in marathon training practice, and she was nothing short of angel on this 4 miler!

Like the Scotland Run, it was packed. Every mile of the way Rev gave me advice and encouraged me to push myself. We took the first mile easy, chatting with a couple of 11 year olds running the race. We stopped for a second to recover at the water breaks. The second mile, she speeded us up to a tempo pace, which required a lot of bobbing and weaving to stay together with the thick crowd.

Mile 3 was hilly, so she instructed me to keep my arms low and my knees up, flicking my feet back and stepping lightly like a hot potato. Then lean into the downhills.

Mile 4 To push through it, she told me to pump the arms and push off the balls of the feet. She even counted down the last 30 seconds while chanting pump pump pump!

She was a darling to run slow with me. I know she was really holding back. Our first mile we ran around 11 minutes maybe, but by the last I would guess we were at 9 minutes or under. My overall pace was 9:37 minute miles.

I was really cold at the end of the race, so I didn't take on the extra 2 miles I had planned. But did jog the 12 blocks each way to and from the subway, so I am giving myself an extra mile!

Rev and I at the end of the San Fran marathon in October.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Day After the Marathon

My friend who just ran Paris sent me this. As she said, bloody hilarious!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

DIY Spinning

Since none of the spinning class times were working out, I decided to give myself a class. I have always wanted to get certified, one of my one thousand life goals.

I have to admit that this is a pretty lame spinning playlist, I just put my recently played songs on random and figured out a different spinning theme depending on what came on. I'll have to put together some spinning playlists with the classic spin songs like, I'm sorry miss jackson and I'm Gonna Be (500 miles).

But before I get to the workout, hear are some spinning tips. Sorry, even wannabe instructors have to include them :)

Bike setup:
1.) You bike seat height is right if your legs are ever to slightly bent
2.)Your arms should be parallel to the ground at a right angle (the higher the handlebars, the easier it is)
3.) Your seat should be far enough away that you are reaching slightly, but you can comfortably form a right angle with your forearms and upperarms.

General tips:
1.) To maxime your workout keep your arms on the handlebars and in proper form at all times. This means don't sit up with your hands on your waist during rests, stay in position one, but slow down if you need to.
2.) Push down and pull up on the petals, this way you work hamstring and quads, feet parallel to ground.
3.) Straighten your back to engage your abs.
4.) Push yourself harder than you think you can, you can always slow down later. Resistance feels hard at first but your body quickly adjusts.
5.) Always have some resistance on the petals, otherwise you are wasting your time.

My workout: (This is really aimed at people who have taken classes. Also push yourself!)

1.) Warm-up: What Would You Say-DMB-just flushing out the legs and warming up

2.) Position change intervals: Don't Stop the Music-Move through the positions starting with 16 counts the 8,4,2,1, (two times each before reducing, uping resistance after each set) The positions, seated first, standing second, standing second butt back, same position hands under handlebars, move forward to third with butt back hands under the handlebars, same position hands on top of handlebars, standing in third, standing second. Repeat.

3.) 100% Pure Love-The above workout lasted two songs because I came back up from 1, 2, 4, 8. Second song faster.

4.)Seated Climb-Like a boy-peddling, half turn every 30 seconds

5.)Jumps-Perfect Lover-seated to standing second position-starting with 8 rotations repeat twice, then 4, 2, 1. Then move back up the ladder, 2, 4, 8. Dance the chorus: move diagonally from right third to left second, left third to right second.

6.) Climb-Toy Solider-1/2 turn every 20 seconds, seated to standing

7.) Fingers-Feedback-So this test balance. Start with 5 fingers go down to 4,3,2,1. Starting with 8 rotations per finger, so 8 with five fingers before moving to 4 fingers. Then 4, 2, 1. You move from position to position starting in Standing Second, then standing second butt back, same position underhand grip, standing third butt back, standing third. I know this is confusing, you change position after you are down to one finger. moderate resistance helps.

8.) Sprint-99Luft Balloons-I just did three sprints when the music speeds up.

9.) Standing Third to Standing Second-Breaking Dishes-Move forward and back while stand on the bike. Third, second, second butt back with hands on back of seat. high resistance

10.) Steady Pace-Help-Concentrating on form, pushing down and pulling up and then using one leg at a time.

11.) Cool down-Dice

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Workout Cravings

aka boredom...

I think I am over the treadmill/elliptical monotony. I love to do classes and try new things, but schedule-wise I seem to always be busy when there is a spinning class. Now that I don't belong to NYSC, I don't have access to free classes. Technically I have to register and pay for all the classes offered, and very few fit my schedule. I am pretty sure I could get away with crashing, but all the great spinning and hip hop classes I would like to take seem to be at the same time I have class. But taking classes is a great way to stay excited about working out.

Out of the blue I have been wanting to go swimming for weeks. Despite access to a nice pool, getting organized enough to go swimming has eluded me. It's a lot of work, the suit, the cap, the goggles, the towels, the serious need to dechlorinate afterwards (although I do LOVE the smell of chlorine), and perhaps what I dread the most--having to shower before going in the pool. I understand it from a hygiene stand point, but having to be cold and wet for the 50 feet from the shower to the pool kills me. Plus, there is nothing like the feeling of diving into a pool, the point of entry is spoiled if you start out soaked.

Maybe on a weekend I can make it happen. It will allow me to truly clear my mind since I can't use an ipod!

There is such a debate out on swimming for exercise and weight loss. Bob Greene says in Get with the Program that swimming is not effective for weight loss because your body never heats up. Plus it is anaerobic not aerobic.
I have read studies saying that the body keeps a layer of fat on your body to protect you from swimming in cold waters and others that claim swimming makes you hungrier than other sports.

As a former competitive swimmer and a lifeguard for many many years, I don't really care what Bob G. or studies say. I love swimming, I think it is a great to get defined muscle tone and it's great if you have any injuries. I just thought I would put the info out there for discussions sake.

Other strange cravings:

Yoga. I never really craved yoga until recently.

Also dance classes, I read this great article on dance classes in NYC, and I have been dying to take a Masala Bhangra class. It an indian dance class that is a great workout and so much fun! It is the class I am most looking forward to at Self Workout in the Park. Here is a schedule of classes in nyc, but you need to belong to NYSC or Clay for most.

Finally, striptease. My hot coworker takes it, and I have been dying to try...although super nervous too.

Anyways, I am going to try one of the three this week, so I don't have to start dragging myself to the gym!

Oh, I am going to start posting my workouts everyday, and tagging them "today's workout," so you can see them all together. I'll still do the weekly wrap up with comments.

Monday, April 7, 2008

How to prepare for long runs

This post is inspired by my poorly planned long run on Saturday. It was the second in my half marathon training schedule, and boy was I a mess.

So before I tell you the story, here are tips for a stellar long run!

Plan ahead, like 3 days ahead.

For the first two months of my marathon training, I would get so nervous before practices that I would actually feel nauseous. So a few days I ahead, I would psych myself up, envision a great run and try to get excited.

Drink extra water days ahead of time, once you are out there it is too late!

Check the weather and plan your outfit accordingly.
The night before find out what kind of weather you are in for, and select the proper outfit.
-If it is going to be windy, have a wind resistant jacket or top.
-If it is going to be hot, make sure you have fabrics that don't trap sweat in, and hopefully keep you as cool and dry as possible.
-If it is going to be chilly, dress in layers. Good options include a short sleeve top under a long sleeve top with a shell, jacket or vest on top. These won't be so bulky that it will be annoying to run with them around your waist. Dri-fit is a fabric that is designed to keep moisture away from the body. I shop mainly at the Nike clearance website, Jack Rabbit Sports, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Road Runner Sports.

Have all of this ready to go for the morning clothes, hairband, sunglasses/sunscreen, ipod, keys, fuelbelt, lip balm, money, socks, shoes, etc. Figure out how you are going to carry everything, in your fuelbelt, raceready shorts, jacket, or pinned to your clothes in a little pouch.

Plan your fuel.

Depending on how much you will be running, you may want to consider shifting a larger percentage of your total calories to carbohydrates, but not necessarily eating more food. My coach always said, if you usually have chicken with rice, have rice with chicken.

Have your breakfast planned, and ready to go if possible.

Pack all your gus, shot blocks, powergels or anything you use for workout fuel in your fuel belt or race ready shorts or pinned to your pants or where ever you carry them.

If you are using a fuel belt, fill it the night before with water or a sports drink, or half and half.

Look at your route in advance-become very familiar with your route so you know where there are water fountains, bathrooms, and places to stop if you need to. If you have never run the route, really take it in so you don't get lost or confused.

Long runs are always best with friends, but if you are flying solo make sure your playlist is hot!

The preparation is a little bit of effort, but you will be rewarded by a far more enjoyable run.

Case in point.

Saturday I knew I had to do a long run. I knew I couldn't run 7-8 miles on the treadmill, and going to Central Park seemed like a lot of effort, so outside in Queens it was. My normal route in Astoria is about 6 miles, and as I creature of habit, I couldn't figure out how to extend it. So I logged onto and used the find a run feature to view other runs around 8 miles in distance in my area.

It was pretty funny to see the route people had created. There was actually a "Pinkberry" route, which I assumed involved running into Manhattan, getting Pinkberry, and running back. For some reason, tackling the 59th Street bridge by myself just didn't seem groovy. However, I saw a Roosevelt Island loop that looked pretty good. Roosevelt Island is kind of the weirdest place on earth, it is technically part of Manhattan County, but it is secluded between Manhattan and Queens accessible only by tram or the F train.

Anyways, I liked the idea of running by the water, so I kind of just headed out the door. Bad idea. Instead of putting on real running clothes that would have aided in temperature control, I went out in sweatpant, a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt, and decided to just carry my keys (a set with just two keys to keep it light) and ipod in my hand. I didn't bring any water, money or my metrocard in case of emergency.

It was a very windy but very sunny day, so it was very hot at some points, and freezing cold in the wind at other points. Sweatshirt material doesn't really adapt to this, so I was fairly uncomfortable through most of the run. I finally got annoyed with taking my sweatshirt on and off, and decided to just be cold.

It was actually so windy that for the first few blocks, I wasn't sure if I was actually moving forward, I almost went home!

Besides being hot or cold and thirsty. I only spent a few seconds looking at the route. So once I got onto Roosevelt Island, I was incredibly confused. I thought I would just follow the path around the island, but it stopped abruptly a few times leaving my fairly confused. I actually did a decent amount of walking to find my way back to the path.

On the bright side, the scenery was fresh and it was and probably will be the only nice day for a while. However, I didn't even think to wear sunscreen, so I got a little bit of a burn. ooops.

The run itself started out quite painful, but I let myself run very slow and listen to slow, relaxing music, like the fray, the plain white-t's, common, and dave matthews, so it was a mentally quieting journey in a way.

The suggested route was 6.75 miles, but from my house I figured it was a little longer. When I logged my route in when I was done, it came to 7.98 miles. Right on target!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weekly Workout Wrap up

This week I was CRAVING yoga! Maybe I am unconsciously addicted? I noticed I felt unusually sore and inflexible all week...but I am a lazy-ass stretcher, so many yoga helps make up for that. Anyways, I didn't really have time to get to class, so I pulled out my trusty New York City Ballet Workout Book (I have had it for 9 years; it is almost falling apart at this point.) to do the warm-up and stretch sections upon rising. These exercises get me limber in a matter of days, it's amazing!

Morning Stay slim on the Road workout
Evening 30 minutes elliptical,
25 minutes in weight room. I did 2 sets of 12 reps on the 6 leg machines. Adductor, Abductor, hamstring press, hamstring curl, quad raiser, seated leg press.
On the stability ball: 25 crunches, 25 oblique crunches (each side), 25 lower ab crunches by getting in push up position with legs on the ball and rolling ball into my stomach by bringing knees in.

Morning: 10 minutes stretching for NYC Ballet Workout Book
Lunch hour: 30 minute run, mini version of stay slim on the road workout
Evening: 30 minutes elliptical

Morning: Stay Slim on the Road Workout
Afterwork: 30 minute run, 20 minute elliptical, 5 minutes rower.

Morning: Master the Treadmill with OKGO workout
(basically 30 minute interval run, with 7 speed intervals: after warmup (sprint 30 seconds, 2 min recovery, sprint 60 seconds, 2 minute recovery, sprint 90 seconds, 2 min recovery, sprint 2 minutes, 4 minute recovery, sprint 90 seconds, 2 minute recovery, sprint 60 seconds, 2 minute recovery, sprint 30 seconds, 2 minute cool down)
Evening: Shape Bikini Body Bootcamp Redefining Part 1 (need to get others in this series)

Morning: Shape Bikini Body Bootcamp Redefining Part 2
Lunch hour: Master the Treadmill with OKGO, 10 minutes rower, stretch

Saturday: 8 mile outdoor training run, very slow!

Sunday: hope, hope hopefully :)
Yoga at Laughing lotus
30 minute treadmill run, 8 minute rower, 20 minute elliptical, 8 minute rower reverse grip.
I'll modify with the actual!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

About Me

Now that I am over 100 posts, I thought it was time for an "About Me" Page/Post.

So welcome to my life outside the gym...

Favorite activities/interests:
Flower shopping at Union Square Markets, crocheting and craft projects of all kinds, volunteering the the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, Team in Training, shopping, playing with my niece and nephew when I am back in my hometown, spending hours pouring over books and magazines for free in Barnes and Nobles, visiting art museums, home decorating, riding on Vespas in Napoli, traveling, reading blogs and walking around the city.

Things I miss now that I live in the city: hiking, skiing, singing to the radio in the car, starry skies, sunsets.

A very limited list of my favorite places on earth: Martha's Vineyard, Barcelona, Madrid, Positano, Naples, Blue Mountain Lake, 71 Irving Place, and Saratoga Springs (no place like home).

My a few of my favorite things: my ipod, Versace sunglasses, my Vineyard Vines bag (not quite as chic as a Louis Vuitton, but I love it), and my Blackberry, my massive make-up and perfume collections.

One store that defines my fashion sense: Club Monaco, unfortunately most of my wardrobe comes from the more work appropriate and affordable Gap/Ann Taylor Loft--kind of depressing :).

Things I can't deal with: littering, people who don't recycle/use Styrofoam, people who take the elevator at the gym, really smelly bath and body stores, apathetic employees in NYC drugstores, Flavor of Love.

Things I wish I was: neater, as close to 100% earth friendly as possible, a perfect grammarian.

What you might not know about me: I inherited a level of punctuality unattainable by most people.

Guilty pleasures: The Hills, Gossip Girl and Stuff White People Like.

Favorite Movies:
Breakfast at Tiffany's, Two for the Road, American Beauty, A Beautiful Mind, You've Got Mail, Bridget Jones Diary, Devil Wears Prada, Mean Girls, and Match Point.

Favorite Books:
There are so so many, so a very abbreviated list: The Awakening, The Bell Jar, The Fountain Head, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Rebecca, Wasted, Anne of Green Gables series, the Audacity of Hope, Eat Pray Love and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Fitness/Diet/Beauty/Self-help related books:
Runner's World Complete Book of Running, Ultramarathon Man, Swimming to Antartica, The Raw Food Detox Diet, Raw Food Lifeforce Energy, The Secrets of Skinny Chicks, Feel Good Food: A Guide to Intuitive Eating, Skinny Bitch, Joy Bauer's Food Cures, Making Faces, Bobby Brown Beauty, and Audrey Style, Simple Abundance, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Favorite Cookbooks:
Many of these are my roommates, but my favs are Everyday Italian, RFRW, Eat Smart Lose Weight, Chez Panisse Vegetables, Instyle Parties, and the Friends Cookbook are mine.

PS If I could be any chef, it would be Nigella. Watching her show is as relaxing as going to the spa.

Favorite Quotes:

"We already have perfect compassion, perfect wisdom, perfect joy; we need only to settle our minds so they can arise from deep within us."

"Happiness is never decreased by being shared."

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

"If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, if we aren't willing to make some sacrifices in order to realize them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all" Barack Obama

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”

"The only thing holding you back from the living the life of your dreams is you."

"Whatever you are seeking in the universe is also seeking you."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Rock Your Body Chellenge: Increase Your Max Vo2,

First off, what is max Vo2?

Max Vo2 is the maximum amount of volume that your body can transport to your muscles. The higher your max, the more oxygen your muscles receive and the greater your endurance. (from Runner's World Complete Book of Running.)

This workout from my coach was the one I was most nervous about, but also one of my favorites. It challenges you to run fast for a long period of time (1 mile) several times in a row. This technique forces you to have a very high intensity workout, which is the kind of workout necessary to improve your Vo2 max.

Ultimately this workout will help improve your Max Vo2, endurance and speed. Giddy up!

Here is the workout description and some great tips from my coach. Who not only finished his 50 mile race, but came in 2nd overall! You can read more about him and get some great tips at Inside Nike Running!

Here's the treadmill version, be sure to read the methodology below.

Treadmill workout:

Warm up 8-10 minutes

Do 3 x 1 mile @ 1 incline with 6 minutes recovery between.

Challenge yourself !!

You should see smoke coming out of the treadmill !

Goal and description of the workout :

Central Park, but easily transferable elsewhere:
You'll run from the start to the 1 Mile mark (around west 68th street-lampposts are marked with the streets) at a 'good speed' (we'll cover that ) and then recover really slow by running across 72 nd street and south to the Star (basically you'll run lower loop) .

You will do this 3 times. (that means you will run 3 x 1 mile fast , yahhoooooo !!)

How to run this Test?

This workout it's all about how fast you can run 1 Mile, simple as that !!

Of course, most of you never tried to run a fast mile, so You need to understand that when I say "1 mile as fast as you can", doesn't mean SPRINT for 1 mile, there's no way you can sprint for 1 mile.

You will need to figure out how far a mile is, and find out what's the effort you can maintain for that distance. And that brings us again to our 'breathing' use your breathing as your guide. You should not be able to talk.

You have 3 attempts to get a good mile. Use you first mile to figure out things a bit. If during the 1 st you died/slowed down/crawled , the second one a little slower, on the other hand, if you are not breathing heavy by the time you cross the finish, push harder on your next one.

Personal note, the last one should actually be your fastest! You know you are done afterwards, so go for it, take off like a jet engine and don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

About me

In honor of my 100th post, I am going to finally have an "About Me" Page/Post.

So welcome to my life outside the gym...

Favorite activities:

Flower shopping at Union Square Markets, crocheting and craft projects of all kinds, volunteering the the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, Team in Training, shopping, traveling, playing with my niece and nephew when I am back in my hometown, spending hours pouring over books and magazines for free in Barnes and Nobles, visiting art museums, skiing, hiking, riding on Vespas in Napoli, reading blogs and walking around the city.

Random other interests: history, starry skies (I miss them so), beaches.

A very limited list of my favorite places on earth: Martha's Vineyard, Barcelona, Madrid, Positano, Naples, Blue Mountain Lake, and Saratoga Springs.

Favorite Movies:

Breakfast at Tiffany's, Two for the Road, American Beauty, A Beautiful Mind, You've Got Mail, Bridget Jones Diary, Devil Wears Prada, Mean Girls, and Match Point.

Favorite Books:

There are so so many, so a very abbreviated list: The Awakening, The Bell Jar, The Fountain Head, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Rebecca, Wasted, Anne of Green Gables series, the Audacity of Hope, Eat Pray Love and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Fitness related books:

Ultramarathon Man, Swimming to Antartica, What I Talk about When I Talk About Running

Favorite Quotes:
"We already have perfect compassion, perfect wisdom, perfect joy; we need only to settle our minds so they can arise from deep within us."

Happiness is never decreased by being shared.

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, if we aren't willing to make some sacrifices in order to realize them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all" Barack Obama

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”

The only thing holding you back from the living the life of your dreams is you.

Whatever you are seeking in the universe is also seeking you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

So you want to be a runner? Part 1

Running is a very intimidating sport. But don't be put off! For anyone who ever commented or thought, I could never run a mile, let alone 3, 6, 26, or more. Fear not, you can.

So this is the story of the little runner that thought she couldn't...

Beginning in the early elementary school days, American Physical Education mandates that students run "THE MILE." As if enduring one mile is a the hallmark of physical health and ability. Every year I suffered through the dreaded fall day, I would have to run until my little lungs were sore from the bitter cold air.

Every year I muddled through running and walking on the narrow dirt path that served as our course. By junior high we had to run the mile 4 times! My friend refused to run next to me because I wheezed horribly whenever I ran. For some reason, the only asthma-like symptoms I ever experienced were during running. My father, how is an incredible athlete, and at 65 plays on two golf leagues, a soft ball league and a tennis league, happens to be a horrendous runner. Even though he played soccer and baseball in college, he insists can't jog more than 200 yards without stopping.

So I was happy to have running out of my life after high school. But I was annoyed that after running a quarter of a mile I was completely winded. However, I decided to leave well enough alone and enjoyed biking, swimming, spinning and so forth.

But then I read about the Revlon Run Walk for Women. Several celebrities would be speaking, plus you got a free t-shirt and raised money for cancer. I was in! The catch--its was a 5k (3.1 miles). So I recruited a friend and we signed up for the Revlon Run/Walk for Women. I figured I could always walk if need be. So I started by alternating 3 minutes of walking with a minute of running. Then 3 minutes of walking with 2 minutes of running. Then 3 minutes of walking with 3 minutes of running. Then 3 minutes of walking with 4 minutes of running, until I reached 3.1 miles.

If I was outside I counted driveways or street blocks.

Once I reached 3.1 miles. I started to alternate one minute running at 5.2 miles per hour with one minute of running at 6.o miles per hour. Slowly I began bumping up those speeds, until I could run a steady 6.o.

The race came and went successfully, and we have done it every year since. It seemed like such a major accomplishment back in 2003. 3 whole miles. I never ever dreamed I would run 26 miles. Who would want to?

I think the run/walk model is very sound and time tested.

Run/Walk Tips

*If you make yourself walk at a very fast clip, like 4-5mph, you will probably find that jogging is actually easier than walking. So you might just decide to forgo the walking thing and just keep jogging.

*On the flip side if you walk to slow, you might feel so comfortable that your body may not want to run. So pick it up, recover if you need to, but don't be afraid of a little challenge. Pain is weakness leaving the body--lol.

After the initial race, I would run/jog occasionally. Especially one summer when I didn't have a gym membership. But never more than 3-4 miles. Nevertheless, I had proved to myself that I could run. Maybe I grew out of the minor running induced asthma, or maybe it was all in my head. So if this sounds like you, try again things may have changes since the days of PE and sweaty pinnies.

So how did I end up a runner (of at least a person who runs)? That is part 2: So you want to be a runner: join the club.

PS If the post wasn't enough inspiration, maybe this cover will be. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stupid Mistake Turned Tour de Soho

I tend to forget my university id about once every three months--and always on the worst day possible. Without it, you basically don't exist. I can usually get into my office, if the nice security guard is on duty. But I can't take the stairs (grr) or enter any other building without serious explaining, pleading or flirting, depending on the particular case.

I realized I left my card in my jacket when I was heading to the gym at 7:30am. Damn. I knew there was no way I could convince the gym staff to let me in sans ID, so I had to come up with an alternative plan. The A.P. turned out to be power walking.

I dropped my stuff off at the office and cranked up my ipod. I tried to walk as briskly as possible, swinging my arms, abs engaged. I aimed to look like a busy New Yorker on a mission rather than a power walking granny.

It was the first nice day in a long time, so that was fabulous.

When I first moved to the city I lived way way downtown, so it was nice to be back on the Soho streets I used to know so well. Plus, there are far fewer stop lights to hold you up!

I wound my way back and forth from West 4th to Canal, weaving up and down Mercer, Greene West Broadway and Wooster, avoiding the bastardization/commercialization of Broadway. Old Navy and H&M have their the mall.

It was pretty soothing on the eyes not to have to see a Starbucks every two blocks. Instead I roamed the quiet cobblestone streets, almost all to myself so early in the morning. I said almost, I happened to see Whoopi Goldberg on Grand and Wooster!

I love the industrial, cast iron buildings and the "don't fuck with me" individuality this neighborhood of the city lends. It's how I imagined New York would feel: proud, cool, and detached, but accepting and charming. I find Soho to be especially this way with its little hidden gems studding the streets, waiting to be discovered.

The fabulous designer boutiques were much better eye candy than I could get at the dungeon gym. Since all the stores were closed it was easy to keep trucking past the tempting windows of Te Casan, D & G, Besty Johnson, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Catherine Malandrino, and Kate Spade. Maybe someday.

Since my niece was born, I now pay close attention to the amazing baby stories that I used to ignore. I was delighted to see Oilily, Scoop Kids (OMG), and La Perla. Okay La Perla isn't really a baby store, but my niece has a ridiculous la perla onesie collection.

So while I didn't really work up a sweat, I got fresh air, cleared my head, and (if you couldn't tell) fell head-over-heels back in love with lower New York.

If you want to take a virtual walk through SoHo, as it is this very minute, you can use google street view!