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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grumpy Run

So while I was on the Cape this weekend I decided I needed to use at least one set of the workout clothes I aggressively packed. The group wanted to grab brunch at Grumpy's so I offered to run the half mile there so we could take one car. Dressed in my favorite black running shorts, my awesome day-glo Champion C9 sports bra, and a black C9 technical tank top, I took off down the road. I tell my companions they need to leave immediately because I will be there in 4 minutes. I do my little run with a flaming hangover, my hairclip pulling at my scalp, sure I'm going to boot all over Route 134. I get to Grumpy's, salivating over my future breakfast sandwich (I hadn't eaten since lunch the day before!), and sit down on the bench in the parking lot. Seventeen minutes later those boozy Susies roll up. What part of a 7 minute mile didn't you understand?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Jonathan Carroll's RESULTS! class at the Great Neck Equinox should be marketed as a runner's conditioning class. I went to this forty-five minute class on Monday and we did every exercise I knew I should do to strengthen and stretch my legs, but usually won't do on my own. We also worked our core and did some upper body work.

I love Jonathan's classes because he uses the step. The step is an old-school and under appreciated tool. My legs always look the best when I've been at step class. You can do lunges off the back, lunges off the side, repeater lunges, hamstring curls... and everything is more effective because of the change in levels. Jonathan had us do a bajillion (okay 56) calf raises. My legs were killing me!

If you're like me, and you tend to avoid your conditioning exercises, find a class like this to enhance your overall fitness while you continue to run.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mile 22 Bags

I just discovered Mile 22 Bags. This Missoula, Montana based company will make you custom-made bags out of your race bibs, t-shirts, pictures, and other memorabilia. How awesome is that? They are also strangely affordable. The Finish Line Bag, a classic tote that comes in small or large, is priced at $70 and $80 respectively. I'm eyeing the messenger bag that is currently in development.

I think these bags have a lot of potential. They would be especially cute if you chose a theme, such as marathons, races run in a given area, or maybe the bibs from the same race but different years. Another idea would be to pick items of a certain color - I'm always partial to blue.

Check out the different Mile 22 Bags at

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Recovery Runs

I've been reading a lot about running and the science behind running. The recovery run is a short and easy run that is meant to allow your body to recover (clever name, huh?) without sitting on the couch. Runners struggle with the recovery run because it doesn't really feel like you're running. I totally get that. Why do I want to slowly run when I know I can pound the pavement like a beast in search of blood and glory? Well, apparently I want to because it's going to make me a better runner.

Today I set out to run a fartlek, but it quickly became clear that I wasn't feeling a speed workout. I included a few bursts of energy, but I mostly stayed between 8 and 9 minute miles. The stress fracture in my foot started to ache, but I aimed to run 3 miles in under 27 minutes, which I did. I think this is a recovery run, but to be honest, I'm not really sure. I think it would be beneficial to wear my heart rate monitor next time to accurately measure how "easily" I am running.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wall Street Run and Heart Walk

Tuesday was the Wall Street Run and Heart Walk. New York Road Runners insisted there was nothing they could do about changing my walker bib to a runner one, so I ran the race unofficially. It wasn't that big of a deal, and I wasn't the only person wearing a green bib running, but I didn't have a d tag. I timed myself from the moment I crossed the starting line to the second I crossed the finish line, and I ran the three miles in 22 minutes even.

The course was a lot of fun. We ran all around the Financial District, taking over the streets and even the sidewalks. I've never seen the running of the bulls, but I imagined I was one of those bulls as I barreled down the road, jumping and weaving around pedestrians and slowpokes. I considered trampling a few but I figured it might negatively affect my time.

The first mile was pretty solid, if a little curvy. I ran it in 7:40, which isn't too bad for the number of people I had to pass. Mile 2 seemed to take forever, but I beasted (yes, it's now a verb) it in 7 minutes. The last mile was just absurd. We were directed towards the water, and then the course narrowed. Suddenly we were being funneled into this narrow pathway that has cement blocks to prevent vehicles from entering. I definitely almost took out my kneecap. It was nearly impossible to get around people as we approached the finish line. The potential to shave 10 seconds of your time is diminished when you're boxed in on all sides.

Overall a great evening. And if you are the attractive young guy I almost took out at the corner of Water and William, please send me an email.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Frozen Banana Stand

If you find yourself with bananas that are about to over ripen, you can make banana bread. Or you can cut them in half, store them in a baggie, and stash them in a freezer. Make sure you peel them first. (Learned that the hard way.) You can use the frozen bananas in protein shakes. I have found that frozen bananas make shakes creamier, and you don't have to use as much ice.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The NYRR Website

The New York Road Runners registration website drives me nuts. It seems very simple to use, until you realize that accurately signing up for a race is near to impossible. Maybe it's just me. Between my annoyingly long first and last names, the different billing addresses I use for different credit cards, and the fact that I sign up for races when I should be doing something else - I never seem to get my information right. The first time I ended up with a bib claiming I run 11:21 minute miles. Yeah, that's right: RUN. This time I ended up with a bib claiming I'm an eighteen-year-old walking a 3 mile race.

NYRR claims there is nothing they can do to fix this and that the race is closed. If I'm allowed to walk it, I think I should be allowed to run it. I think I'm just going to run it anyway and time it myself.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Seeing Clearly

On Thursday I wore my eyeglasses to go running for the first time. I was so tired I just couldn't bring myself to shove my contacts into my poor self-deprived eyes. I see people do it all the time, but I never workout without my contacts. About two tenths of a mile into this run, the obvious occurred to me: I run in sunglasses all the time. Why would eyeglasses be any different?

I wear rimless frames, and by the end of my quick run I was noticing the sides, but I'm pretty sure I would notice sunglasses that small too.

I'm still not sure how people wear eyeglasses to plyo-intensive fitness classes though.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Race Shirts: Good Luck Charm or Bad Omen?

Most races distribute t-shirts to the participants before the race happens. You typically pick up your shirt when you pick up your bib number. Sometimes I pick up my race packet in advance, but if I'm driving, I'll just arrive a little early, pick up the swag and store it in the trunk.

Some runners wear their race shirt for the actual race. I would never. I think that wearing a shirt for a race I haven't completed is tempting fate and will result in a DNF next to my name. The dreaded Did Not Finish will never be next to my name unless I am forced off the course by medical personnel, or I'm dead. If I'm dead, please just drag my body across the finish line.

I've formed a nice little collection of race shirts. The Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) gave out sick technical t-shirts for the 25K and 50K I did. Of course one is orange and the other is Grey Poupon yellow, essentially unwearable colors. Hands down, my favorite shirt is the large cobalt blue sweatshirt I got for running the Oyster Festival Town Supervisor's 5K.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saved By the Strap Part 2

Awesome run tonight! I ran from my apartment to the F train at 63rd Street. Took that down to West 4th and met the Professor on Varick and Houston. We ran along the West Side Highway until 55th Street and then cut east and north to Columbus Circle. We ran through Central Park until parting ways so the Professor could go to his gym. I continued on until 72nd Street, where I exited the park and continued running until my Nike+ said 5 miles. I actually ran closer to 5.5 miles, but I forgot to start the run on Houston. I hate when I do that. I walked the remaining distance back to my apartment as a nice cool down. Guess what? I covered 7 miles today and knee doesn't hurt at all! Thank you Pro-Tec!

Check out Pro-Tec's products at

Saved By the Strap Part 1

Yesterday I went to the Super Runner's Shop in Huntington and bought a Pro-Tec IT band compression strap. It's the best $20 I've ever spent. I was able to walk to and from the subway, up and down the stairs from my classroom, and I've already run 1.38 miles with it. I'm on my way downtown to meet my running partner. Part 2 of this post will be post run.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

One Person's Fat is Another Person's Fit

This morning, while standing on line at the local Stop and Shop, a woman asked me if I ran every day. I explained that I did not, however I had finished my first 50K the day before. I really don't think she understood what that meant, because she didn't look impressed, shocked, or incredulous. She did tell me that I looked amazing, so I told her that spinning and kickboxing were my mainstays and that she should look into them.

It's really nice when random people give you a sincere compliment. This lady was a slightly heavy but active woman, and to her I look great. I think I look a little shoddy, but I was reminded that one person's fat is another person's fit, and that I should appreciate myself a little more. On that note, the guests brought something in a bakery box. I'm going to go investigate. 

Why My Mom is Awesome

I have a great mom. She's put up with quite a lot over the years, and for some reason my key still works whenever I come home. She always comes to my races and washes my icky workout clothes, even at the last minute, so I look stylish when I sweat. She is such a good sport that she showed up at yesterday's 50K finish line three hours early (she didn't believe me when I said I wouldn't finish before 3pm) and stayed until I came in. Everyone should be as lucky as I am in the mother department. She's not perfect, but she's pretty close. Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Humbled by the Trail

My knee did freak out. I ran, walked, loped, and hobbled my way through my first 50K (which was actually 34 miles... hmmm?) in 8:02:40. I'm not ready to talk about it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Officially Nervous

In ten hours and four minutes I will begin running my first 50K. I am officially nervous. I can't find my second pair of WrightSocks. I don't think I'm hydrated. I ended up eating popcorn for dinner... again. I need to make my breakfast. What if I don't wake up? What if it rains? What if my knee freaks out again?

My goal is to finish under six hours. Call me at 2:30pm EST.

Vibrams at Kickboxing

In an attempt to keep my posts about kickboxing fresh for you, I decided to wear my Vibrams to class last night. This is actually the second time I have worn them to kickboxing, but the last time was several months ago. As you know, my tight hamstrings have been messing with my knees. I have been nervous all week about hurting myself before tomorrow's 50K, and have even worn sneakers to work. (This is entirely acceptable at my place of employment. I just think I look like a tool wearing sneakers with a skirt.) Last week my knee was killing me after Coco's kickboxing class. I wore my favorite pair of Nike crosstrainers instead of my Frees, but still no dice. Maybe the extra cushioning was the problem? Was I willing to risk a knee problem to get my kickboxing fix this week?

My knees felt awesome throughout the entire kickboxing class and into Zumba. This morning I woke up pain free. Maybe I should wear my Vibrams to the gym more often.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

EQ 360: FIRE

Equinox has added some interesting new classes to the schedule. I attended EQ 360: FIRE, which stands for Fast Integrated Reactive Exercise, this evening.The EQ 360 classes use the new Step360™ Pro. This thing seems to be the lovechild of a traditional step and a BOSU. A flat surface (like the top of the step or the 
underside of a BOSU) is placed on top of two inflated rings of plastic.

Assia Winfield is one of my favorite instructors. She split the class so we spent half an hour doing cardio conditioning and dance moves on the floor, and the last half working on the Step360™ Pro. I wish we had spent some more time working with the Step360™ Pro, but it was a good class just the same.

 Like the BOSU, the Step360™ Pro promotes improved balance and stability. You are going to see results more quickly from doing lunges and squats on an unstable surface than on the floor or on a traditional step. The Step360™ Pro seems easier to use than the BOSU, and is probably safer. Someone always fell off the BOSU during group fitness classes. I've rolled my ankle on it more than once. I did like the little pads on the bottom that kept the BOSU from moving around. The Step360™ Pro has nothing underneath the inflatable chambers, and I don't care what the website tells you, it does move around.

Can I Get a Buddy for This?

I have recently become obsessed with trail running. This 11.03 mile race takes place on Saturday, September 17th in Prince William County, Virginia. I'm fun to travel with and there's going to be a festival afterwards.

If you are serious about running this race with me, send an email to

Monday, May 2, 2011

Proud to be an American

Today I am even more proud to be an American than usual. I have been listening to Darryl Worley's Have You Forgotten? (absolutely not!) and remembering that red, white, and blue are the colors that don't run. In honor of this momentous occasion, here are some pieces that a proud American can get sweaty in.

 K-Swiss makes the K-Ona S in American flag. The K-Ona S is a lightweight shoe perfect for fast days, races, and triathlons. I've been dying for a pair for MONTHS. They're $100 and my birthday is in August.
 K-Swiss also makes these bike shorts. There's a version for triathlons as well.
I recently received these supersick Knockaround sunglasses as a gift. I've been wearing them everywhere! I desperately wanted to wear them for my last race, but alas, it was pouring rain. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Sneakers for My First Ultra

This morning I went to Eastern Mountain Sports in Carle Place to get a pair of trail running shoes and some special socks for this Saturday's race. EMS moved across the street last November (I had no idea; I asked), and the new store is located across the street at 204 Glen Cove Road.

I was promptly directed to a shoe guru named Jason who was very helpful (and cute!). He gave me a pair of Brooks and two pairs of La Sportiva trail running shoes to try on. The La Sportiva shoes felt the best, and we decided the all-purpose pair were better suited for my needs. Slight problem. They are grey and orange. Grey is practically my favorite color, but I hate the color orange. I hate it almost as much as I hate clowns. I think I hate the color orange because I hate clowns. I almost asked if he had them in any other colors, but I figured he would've told me if he did, and I was slightly embarrassed to admit that I have a clown-phobia-caused disgust of a color. Otherwise, the shoes are sick!

Jason helped me pick out double-layer synthetic WrightSocks. The Dri-WRIGHT II fabric wicks moisture and the double-layer offers padding for the 31 miles I will be covering next week. As much as I love my Old Navy cotton fitness socks, they have a time and a place, and an ultra is not one of them.

I hurried home to throw on some shorts and a tank. I couldn't wait to try out my new socks and shoes on the trail in the woods across the street from my house. The weather was 68 degrees and sunny, perfect running weather in my book, and I ended up getting a nice tan on my face and arms today.

Now I'm not scared of many things; I'm scared of mediocrity and clowns. I don't care for rats, and they make me kind of nauseous, but it's only mediocrity and clowns that terrify me. But I kept on getting nervous while running on the small trail in the woods... What if I accidentally stepped on a den hidden beneath a pile of leaves and I was attacked by disgruntled animals? What type of animals live in the woods of residential areas on Long Island? No one knew I was out there, and I don't think death by angry skunk is the way I want to go.

I ran around the trail for a while, before heading out into Oyster Bay and down to Roosevelt Beach. I ran along the beach, and then headed back up Mill River Road. Yesterday my IT band freaked out after a mile and a half. Today I ran over 3 miles without a problem, and then only after pounding pavement. After that, I stayed on sand or the embankments on the sides of the road, and my leg felt much better. Hopefully a sensible approach to exercise this week will prepare me for Saturday's 50K.

Kayaking on the Long Island Sound

Today I was invited to go kayaking with a friend from college. I love kayaking! When I was at the Island School in high school, we went on 3-day and 10-day kayaking trips during the semester. Those are still some of my most fondest memories. I also went kayaking in Canada when I was at whale camp as a child. (I was a strange, marine mammal loving child.)

I drove up to New Rochelle to see Lis, and we headed over to the beach club where her kayaks are stored. We had a nice paddle along the coast up to Larchmont and back. The weather was absolutely beautiful today, and it was so nice to be out on the water. We were paddling against the wind on the way out, but the way back felt more difficult because of the waves. I'm hoping my arms feel sore tomorrow because I remember kayaking being a great arm workout.

I love outdoor exercise, especially the kind you can do with friends. If anyone would like to buy me a kayak, I would love them forever. Hint hint.
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