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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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Maybe They All Escaped From Ward Island?

I simply couldn't get out of bed this morning to go run with T. I had a headache and I wanted to sleep. Not going at 6am meant that I would be running in the heat later on, but it was a sacrifice I had to make. I couldn't bring myself to run Central Park alone this morning. It takes so much effort to get there, that unless I have company, I have little motivation to get there. I'm in love with the East River Esplanade and I just can't help myself. Today I ran up to the top, turned around, and then doubled back somewhere in the middle. I didn't actually go all the way back up to 120th because the crazies were out in full force today. I love to run, but not enough to be attacked. Where are all the pleasant homeless people when you need them to fight the schizophrenic fishermen? Apparently they're sleeping.

At one point, this elderly man ran by me and he holds up his index finger. I read way too much into things, and spent the rest of my run trying to figure out his ominous message. Did he mean I should only run with one earbud in? I took it out for a while, but I'm generally pretty good about removing it when I run past strangers so I put it back in. Did he mean I should run only one loop? I was carrying one water bottle - maybe that had something to do with it. I even entertained the idea that I was about to be raptured and he was signaling towards the heavens. I ended up more freaked out than after a Criminal Minds marathon, and kept looking around for dangerous and suspicious characters. I found a few.

I ran 6.3 miles in 54:55. I'm getting better at slowing down my pace, but this was too fast for a slow day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

School's Out for Summer

On my first day of summer vacation I was up and running by 6:44am. My new neighbor-running partner and I met by the entrance to the East River Esplanade, and took off at a good pace towards 120th Street. I felt like I was sleep-running. Working two jobs for the past two weeks has been killer. I know that so many people have to do this on a regular basis to make ends meet, and I have so much respect for them, because I am exhausted.

The neighbor is a faster runner than I am on a good day. The neighbor's pace nearly killed me yesterday. My legs felt like lead, my brain felt all fuzzy, and my lungs begged for oxygen during our quick rest at 120th. The thing about running outside is that you can't just stop moving when you're tired like on a treadmill - you have to get back home. I certainly wasn't going to walk back home, so we turned around and ran back. Nike+ GPS says we completed 4.45 miles in 36:38. I never know if I should pause the thing when I take a break. It seems a little unnecessary, but then the thing averages the "pace" it records while I stand around stretching and gasping for air.

With my workout completed by 7:30am, I spent the rest of the morning showering, napping, watching All My Children, and getting a pedicure. I hung out with a friend on his roof deck and worked on my tan. I took another nap and watched some more AMC. Then I headed over to Bikram NYC Upper East for ninety minutes of voluntary abuse. It was glaringly apparent that I need more yoga in my life since I started running more often. My goal is to get there twice a week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Run Through Gun-Wavin' New Haven

So I was in New Haven last weekend for a little visit. After an intense week of teaching all day and working most of the night, I was exhausted by the time I arrived Friday evening. Saturday morning I tried to hide under the covers, feign deafness, and outright refuse, but I was somehow coerced (forced?) into going for a run. This was a Vibrams-only run, so the boy and I looked like one of those obnoxious yuppie couples running around the ghetto. At least I was wearing a cut-off t-shirt... We lasted a mile and a half before shin injuries and a raging headache sent us home. I also put a hole in the right toe of my Classic Vibrams! I've been eying the KSOs, so this may be a sign. Despite our weak performance, a nice morning running cures most ailments, and I felt substantially better by the time I showered up for brunch.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Taking Advantage of the Track

I can't go that many days without exercise. Just can't function without the endorphin rush, and if I'm suffering, everyone I come in contact with suffers too. To avoid spreading feelings of unhappiness, I hit up the university track after work tonight. It was super simple to change into shorts and a t-shirt after my shift. I had stashed my Vibrams in my bag with my change of clothes, and was all set to run by 8:50pm. I decided to run 2 miles on the track before heading home. Everything is great. I've got my iPod, I've got my toe-shoes, I've got some good weekend plans to think about... and then I spot the child on the bicycle. And then I spot her parents. I smile, she's cruising, they're being weird. Now I'm not the only person running on the track. This is a track, mind you. Meant for running. I notice that the family has chosen a lane without a runner, so I go back into my fantasy, and take off. I'm good to go until a snoozefest of a tune comes on, and I go to change it, and the next one sucks too, dear lord, this is my iPod? And then I glance down and there is the toddler literally 8 inches away from my foot. I am going to take her out. I did the only thing I could: I used her as a hurdle.

Dear parents,
I don't run in your kid's playground. Don't let your kids play on my track.
In Shape Out of Mind

Monday, June 20, 2011

Runner's World Training Log

I froze my Equinox membership. It is for the best. For the next three months I am on my own in my fitness endeavors, and I think I am up to this daunting challenge. I am going to get lean and actually train for my races. ING NYC Marathon 2011 - here I come!

Since I am obsessed with tracking and data, I signed up for the Runner's World training log. This free service can be accessed here. I am super excited to see my running in graphs and tables, but I am a nerd and I do not deny it. You can also record your favorite routes, your sneakers, your weight, and your heart rate. The sneaker thing is awesome. You log when you bought them and it will keep track of the mileage you put on them. You can even input the mileage a pair has already endured. Sadly, I have no idea, but the next time I buy sneakers, I'm logging them pronto. Vibrams are not an option yet, but I logged mine under other. Come on Runner's World - get on the quasi-barefoot movement!

I got a nice little run in today. My right calf started bothering me though. I blame the ridiculous amount of stairs I am asked to climb each and every day. No day is a rest day when you're acting like a sherpa. I walked a good portion of the route back and put some ice on my calf before dinner. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

NYCRUNS Lousy T-Shirt Race

A big thank you goes out to Steve and the rest of the great people at NYCRUNS for putting on last night's awesome race. NYCRUNS is a website that connects New York City runners, and is my go-to website for upcoming race information. Steve also sends out a pretty nifty weekly email blast.

Yesterday was NYCRUNS' first race ever. I felt like I was a part of history in the making. The Lousy T-Shirt Race was held on a USATF certified 5K course in Riverside Park, and about one hundred runners showed up for this inaugural event. We got off to a late start because Steve was making sure the volunteers were in the right places. I must admit that the extra waiting around did a number on my nerves, and I began to get antsy. Speaking of numbers - My bib number was 21, which is my lucky number. I knew good things were going to happen when I saw it.

I decided to race in my Vibrams for the very first time. I've been thinking about making the transition for a while, but I've always chickened out. I  worried that if something went terribly wrong, it would haunt me on the New York Road Runners website for eternity. I left my Nike Frees at my parents' house, so my decision was heavily influenced by my desire to avoid my clunky Lunar Glides. Those things suck to race in because they are so heavy. This laid-back race was the perfect opportunity to experiment with quasi-barefoot racing.

The race officially began around 7:30pm. We took off and tackled the worst hill in the first half mile. Some legit runners showed up for the Lousy T-Shirt race and I wanted to keep them in my sight. I didn't wear a watch or carry my phone, and the race didn't have any markers, so I was running blind. As long as I could see those short-shorts ahead, I knew I would be good. Let me tell you, racing in the evening, with humidity and pollen is a lot more difficult than racing on a clear fall morning near the water. I was huffing and puffing right away.

I noticed that I felt lighter in my Vibrams. I found it easier to run, until I thought too much about my form. I had to consciously think about not thinking. The downhills felt awkward out of my traditional running shoes, and I definitely need some practice to become more comfortable with that experience. I wasn't sure if I was landing properly. Highs-stepping the hills was a breeze and I felt like I had a greater range of motion. I have blisters on my feet from wearing flip flops constantly, and I could feel them getting tender towards the end of the race. I think they would've popped had I been running in my Nikes.

The course was beautiful, taking us through and around the park, along the highway and the river. We had to double-back at one point, which threw off everyone's judgement of the distance. We veered off the main path right before the finish line, allowing me to mentally prepare for my beastly finish. I was able to pass a runner that had been in front of me for the entire race, and as I pulled ahead I saw the clock. I could see that it still said 21 minutes. Didn't I say 21 was my lucky number, and that my bib was going to bring good luck? The seconds were still in the twenties. My PR was 21.55 - I could set a new PR! I let out a war whoop and took off, leaping across the finish line at 21.36! I came in 3rd place for women, and shaved off 38 seconds from my last 5K.

Steve announced that NYCRUNS would be hosting a biweekly summer series, every other Wednesday. Get excited for more races!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Message from JackRabbits

I received an email asking me to pass along this information. I have plans June 29th and it's my birthday August 21st, but otherwise I'd be all over these races.

Anyone Can Win 5k - June 29th - Prospect Park
This is a unique prediction race format that's a nice change from just running as hard as you can. How well do you know your own pace? How often do you run with no watch and no sense of time? The winner of this event won't be the fastest runner, but the runner who knows their own pace best. When you register, you specify a "predicted" finish time -- and the winner is the person who is closest to this time. No watches can to be worn and there will be no time clocks on the course. Last year, the winner came in within 1 second of her predicted time, and the top 30% came in within 1 minute! There's no race tee shirt -- all proceeds go towards projects in Prospect Park to benefit the running community. Are you up for the challenge? For more information and to register visit
Are you interested in being a part of this event but don't want to run? Come volunteer! We are looking for people to help with day-of registration, bag check, course marshaling and more. Sign up to volunteer at or for more information.
2nd Annual Battle of Brooklyn 10 miler - August 21st - Prospect Park
This is a race that JackRabbit is really trying to develop; we greatly appreciate your help getting the word out and helping to boost registration before July 4 when the price goes up! 
Join us on Sunday August 21st to make history by running the 2nd Annual Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler in Prospect Park! The race commemorates the largest battle of the Revolutionary War, which was fought on the soil of Brooklyn 235 years ago.  Participants will have the option of racing the entire 10 miles individually or as part of a 3-person relay team. The race course will be three loops of Prospect Park, taking you past several of the sites where the original Battle of Brooklyn was fought. 
This year we're adding a new element: "Time your climb" sponsored by Garmin.  Each runner will not only receive their splits for the three loops, but they'll also receive splits for climbing Prospect Park's big hill.  In each age/gender category, there will be a "Time your Climb" winner for the fastest combined time up the hill, *and* for the most consistent times up the hill.
The course features two water stops with water, energy drinks and energy gels from Powerbar.  All race participants will receive a snazzy JackRabbit "Circle Skyline" technical tee shirt (mens or womens).

Registration is just $20 if you sign up before July 4th, $25 after that, and $30 on race day.  Relay teams of 3 can register for $55 before July 4th, $65 after July 4th.  (No race day relay team registration.)

Register now at early bird prices by visiting:

Sippy Cup Optional

I am anti-juice, so much so that it's banned from my classroom. Juice is not a necessary part of a healthy diet for children or adults. Juice is full of sugar and calories - especially fruit juice cocktails. You are much better off eating a serving of fruit than you are drinking 8 ounces of sugared juice product.

Although I rarely drink juice, I occasionally drink water-diluted 100% pure cranberry juice. Sometimes I feel dehydrated but can't stomach anymore plain water. Other times I crave something tart. Yesterday I thought my kidneys might have finally gone on strike and began the process of shutting down.

I love breakfast sandwiches, and I have a gluten intolerance. I drink too much alcohol, and I get horrible hangovers. I wake up at 5, and stay up until 11. I work out intensely, and then go out even harder. Last week combined all of the above, and it was definitely taking a toll on my body. I knew I needed more water, but drinking any made my stomach hurt. I had a pain behind my eye and a dull headache all over. I entertained the idea of eating a stick of butter.

It took only about 20 ounces of pure cranberry juice, but I feel human! I pour about 4 ounces into a large tumbler and then top off the rest with ice water. Remember to only use 100% pure cranberry juice. Take a lesson from Regina in Mean Girls.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cheating on My Running Partner

After busting my ass at Titan Method tonight, I met up with my best friend's roommate's older brother who just happens to be my neighbor (got that?) for a run. I'm always looking for someone to go running with because I find that it helps to keep me motivated, varies my running distances and paces, and distracts me when I might decide to stop early in favor of soap operas and beer. The new neighbor made for a good running partner. I have to admit though, I felt a little guilty. I felt like I was cheating on my other running partner. This new one was faster, better, and had new stories to share... It was like test driving a new car while worrying about your current one sitting alone in the parking lot. Fortunately, running partners are like rich people's cars - you can have one to suit your different needs. This gets back to my point about varying your pace.

You shouldn't run the same distance at the same speed every day. You're not doing yourself any favors. You need fast days and slow days, short runs and long runs. I am horrible about planning my runs - I like 5-7 miles at 7.35 minute miles, and no matter what I say I will do, that's what I end up doing if I'm on my own. I'd rather rotate my running partners and improve.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

NYRR Mini 10K

My missed call log tells me I went to bed sometime around 12:43am... with my contacts in and in my clothes. I woke up around 4 and tried to remedy that situation. At 6:40am I got out of bed and realized I was making rice and Ezekiel English muffins in the middle of the night. I shoved my contacts back into my eyes and got dressed. Then the nicest thing happened - this boy that I kind of like called me at 6:57am on a Saturday to make sure that I got my drunk ass out of bed for my race. Who does that? Oh wait, that's something I would do. #finallyappreciated?

Today's Mini 10K started on the westside of Central Park. No me gusta. Despite this annoying inconvenience, the 40th Mini 10K rocked. I'm not normally into girl power, or any of that nonsense, but I was pretty damn proud to be running with those women today. It was a feel good race... except I didn't feel so good. I'm actually kind of embarrassed to admit how much I had to drink last night. By my calculations, I had 1 bloody mary, 4 vodka martinis (not allowed to drink gin anymore - I get violent),  3 vodka sodas, and 3 Thayers (vodka soda with pineapple juice). I have absolutely no idea if I had any shots, but I bet I did simply because that seems like something I would do. Despite all my drunken midnight cooking, I skipped breakfast because I was sure I would boot if I ate anything.

I finished in just under 50 minutes. I wanted a bagel so badly; I would've done anything to get to that finish line. Today was the first day I tried to run a race with music. I dropped my phone and had to dive down around runners to get it back. Never doing that again.

When I got home I found two bags of popcorn and a package of Tate's cookies sitting on my kitchen table. Why was I cooking if I purchased this? Where is my credit card? Why can't I be civilized before NYC races?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Barefoot Fitness

Last night I had a training session with my trainer Morgan. Morgan recently got his first pair of Vibrams, although I think they irritate his (mildly) webbed feet. I told him I was going to tell everyone I could about his foot condition, and what better way to do this than post it on the Internet? I've been hesitant to wear my Vibrams since I got my new tattoos, but they really do give you superior grip and stability while lifting. I showed up to the gym in a pair of Nike Lunar Glides, which Morgan promptly made me take of. I worked out in my socks.

I think Morgan has it in for me because we did squats, dead lifts, shoulder presses, and pull-ups (double-assisted, it's okay). It's difficult to remember to keep the shelf on your shoulder blades, draw your shoulders back, keep your abs tight, push your knees out, and keep your weight in your heels. Sometimes I miss the body bar...

I have another training session tonight and I packed my Vibrams. They were easier to fit in my bag than my sneakers. I just hope they don't mess with my tattoos.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Love Yves Maco. Will Travel.

I woke up on Sunday morning with all intention of going for a run, but then Coco Loco kept appearing on my newsfeed. I needed to get my Yves fix and knew I'd be kicking myself if I didn't get my ass kicked at this 90 minute master class.

The class was held at Life Fitness down in Lawrence. Now I once dated a guy whose parents have a membership at the Lawrence Beach Club. LBC is beautiful and I don't remember driving through any unsavory neighborhoods to get there. Any illusions I had were dashed by my GPS's direct and dirty route - I recognized the area and realized I was uncomfortably close to my place of work!

Life's facility is quite lovely despite the nearby bodegas. The staff is friendly, the floor is equipped with new Cybex machines, and the locker room is clean. The juice bar appeared to be well-stocked and attended. If I lived anywhere near there, I would consider joining.

Our class was held on the racquet courts. It was weird to kickbox without mirrors! I was just so happy to be back, I didn't care where we were. I wish more of my Great Neck Equinox friends had shown up, but the crowd from Fusion, Life, and Lifetime were pretty cool. I felt extra special because Yves gave me a big sweaty hug. I felt like the prodigal son coming home, even though Yves was the one who left this time.

90 minute master classes are a mash-up of Yves' kickboxing, Dance Fusion, and boot camp classes with Coco's Zumba expertise. These classes are fun, intense, and burn tons of calories. Check out regularly to find upcoming events.


I noticed my sister's nearly perfect manicure at the Quarterfinals two weeks ago. The polish looked immaculate. The only indication that these nails were not freshly painted was the gap between the polish and the nail bed. As UVA took the field, I couldn't help but ask about this manicure.

The answer is Shellac. Shellac has been out for a while, but I'd always dismissed it as a damaging gel manicure. This is not the case. Shellac is a gel hybrid that stays on for at least two weeks with minimal damage to your natural nails.

Last Wednesday I went to Angel Tips and asked Amy for a Shellac manicure. I chose a buff pink color that would go with everything and camouflage my "I sat in traffic on the Bourne Bridge for an hour" bite job. Six days later and still no chips! This is particularly impressive because I am responsible for all the heavy lifting around the classroom. I have noticed the polish edge is lifting as they grow out and this gets snagged on my hair. The same thing happens with a regular manicure, but instead chips the polish. I would recommend using an orange stick to push back the cuticle as this happens to avoid ripping your hair out.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Running Company

Today I decided to walk from the East 80s to 36th and 8th for a meeting. It was beautiful out, and if I couldn't run because of said meeting, I was going to enjoy a nice leisurely stroll. My local JackRabbits epically failed me today, and I was forced to figure out another place I could purchase particular running accessories. Conveniently, The Running Company is located on Third Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Street.

So I'm bopping along (literally - I have a very distinctive way of walking) and I spot the store, and head on in. I find one of the items I'm looking for, but I have a question about the other, so I go to the counter to talk to the cashier. I am going to give this man, who shall remain nameless although the website has a nifty Meet the Staff section and I could easily identify him, the benefit of the doubt. He was probably just crabby because he was stuck inside working on such a beautiful day, but - he was really snarky. The reason I had so many questions about these items is that they are gifts, and I do not want to give gifts that suck. I think he interpreted my questions as ignorance about running. Perhaps he would've been nicer had I worn my running clothes. Instead I came dressed in my puppy skirt!
After about 3 minutes with this guy, I start getting annoyed. Who does he think he is? I may look super adorable in my pooch-covered silk skirt, but I am a badass runner. I've completed 34 miles of trail - with a bum leg! I won my last 5K! I wake up at the crack of down, spend all day battling for control of my small nation, work out for two hours, and then still greet everyone I see with a nearly glow-in-the-dark grin. My hair looks like that from sleeping on it! Clearly he did not understand he was in the presence of greatness... so I signed my receipt, wished him an awesome! afternoon, and left.

The Running Company has a sick store with awesome-looking inventory. We haven't decided if we are going back yet.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

16th Annual Bayville 5K

I determined that my tattoos could withstand a little sneaker action and decided to run the Bayville 5K. The course is very similar to the Michael Trauma course, but instead it began and ended at West Harbor Beach. The weather was beautiful, and we couldn't have asked for better racing conditions.  I decided to do things a little differently this time and started up at the front of the pack. I think this was a good decision as I finished my first mile in 6 minutes and 43 seconds. Miles two and three didn't go by as quickly as I would've liked, and the run from the police booth back to West Harbor beach felt like it took forever. I finished in 22:14.7 - nine seconds longer than the Michael Trama race. I think my extra weight is slowing me down.

I won my age group (it's actually not that hard considering very few 19-24 year old girls run these races) and received a spiffy medal. This guy Chris came up to me after the race to thank me for beating his friend. This guy had pulled ahead of me between miles 2 and 3, but he didn't bring enough to the finish line. I easily passed him with 500 yards to go. This just proves that every little bit counts, especially at these Long Island races where there is room to move around.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Can't Run on National Running Day

Today is National Running Day, and I'm not allowed to put on my sneakers. One of my oldest friends (we went to Nursery together in 1989) is a very talented tattoo artist and he is back on Long Island for a few weeks. Luckily, Luke had an opening and was able to fit me in this week.

Now I have winged feet like Hermes/Mercury. Unfortunately I cannot cover these with socks or sneakers for at least five days. Seriously considering running barefoot.

Luke is working at Station 1 in Huntington Station for a couple of more weeks. Call the shop at (631) 935-1008 if you're interested in scheduling an appointment.
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