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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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Outdoor Office

The Internet is out all over the North Shore of Long Island. My cell phone has no service at my house. The only place I can access my emails is the beach, so I'm forced to sit here in my polkadot bikini in order to keep up with work-related correspondence. Boo-flipping-hoo, life is hard. I've also read three books, watched four movies, and ran five miles in 70 degree weather. Jealous much?

There are a lot of new posts on my server that I cannot access until the Internet returns. Hopefully this knowledge keeps you content until they are available for your reading pleasure. Until then, get outside and get active.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


One way to stay committed to reaching a goal is to put it in writing. Another way to stay committed to reaching this goal is to tell other people. So I'm tell you all in writing: My goal is to make it on the pages of Oxygen magazine in its Fat Loss: Success Stories section.

Now I know that I'm not fat. I'm actually in pretty awesome shape, but I do have a pretty high body fat percentage and I'm not as muscular as I used to be. By eating clean and committing myself to a regular strength training routine, I think that I could be chosen to be in my favorite magazine. (After GQ that is. No really. My favorite magazine is directed towards men's fashions and picking up chicks. Yes, I know I'm not a guy, but it's my dream in life to be interviewed by that magazine for an article about why I am so awesome. This fantasy has gotten me through about maybe 97 miles of running over the years.)

The next time I decide to make a sopressata and prosciutto sandwich right before bedtime even though I'm stuffed, I will think about this goal and how I have publicly announced it. Hopefully it will help me say no to the sandwich, even though it was delicious and is still sitting in my stomach.

What goals have you set for yourself? What type of fitness goals do you want to reach? How do you hold yourself accountable?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing for Hurricane Irene

Today I fully intended to camp out on my couch, and then I received a text message inviting me to workout and then eat lunch at Piping. Well who am I to say no to a sweat sesh and lunch with a good friend? So I changed out of my Hurricane Chic attire and got ready to get my gym on.

Since I had finished my eighteen mile long run a mere fourteen hours earlier, I couldn't spend the entire time on cardio machines. I went through my collection of Oxygen magazines and decided upon a workout from the February 2011 issue. Now the article said to choose one muscle group and do the three sets of each exercise. I was feeling creative so I decided to do one set of each exercise in each muscle group.

After fifteen minutes on the treadmill of sprints and speedwalking at different inclines, I was sweaty enough to start lifting. I proceeded to do the following with 10 lbs weights:

15 reps stability ball bench press
15 reps stability ball chest flye
15 reps standing dumbbell press
15 reps stability ball bent-over flye
15 reps (each arm) one-arm overhead triceps extension
15 reps stability ball lying dumbbell extension
20 reps dumbbell front squat
12 reps (each leg) dumbbell lunge
20 reps dumbbell stiff-legged deadlift

Then I switched to 15 lbs weights:

15 reps dumbbell deadlift
15 reps bent over two-arm row

Before switching back to 10 lbs for:

15 reps seated hammer curl
15 reps standing reverse curl

I also did ten side-plank push ups, 20 of those things when you sit on your butt and raise your legs and twist with a medicine ball (12 lbs ball, twisting to each side counts as 1), and some good, old-fashioned weighted crunches.

I moved onto the abductor/adductor machine. I can still put 200 lbs on it and easily perform the abduction exercises, i.e. the outsides of my thighs are monsters. However, I went from being able to do 200 lbs for adduction to a measily 125 lbs. What this means is that I can no longer fully support my own weight while having sex standing up. This is an issue.

I did about 5 minutes on the bike before succumbing to intense boredom. This is when I pulled my shock and awe move and performed burpee push-ups with a BOSU with a nice little lift in between each rep. This attracts attention. It's also a good workout. Then I did cardio lunges off the BOSU for 1 minute. I finished up my light workout rolling around on the foam roller praying for mercy. I hate that thing but I know it's good for me.

After a shower, I enjoyed a delicious curry chicken salad and a pretty good Bloody Mary. Now I'm back in my Hurricane Chic awaiting the Storm of the Century.

In case something happens to me during Hurricane Irene,
I want to be found wearing this.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Long Run Through College

I know what you're thinking... "THREE POSTS from In Shape Out of Mind in ONE DAY?! How did I get so lucky?" Ritalin. Thank the makers of Ritalin.

I got all dressed in my workout gear this morning, realized that the beautiful weather was perfect for a beach day, got undressed, folded workout clothes on my desk chair for later, put on my bathing suit, and went to the beach. Many hours later I put my workout clothes back on and headed out for my eighteen mile training run. If you haven't heard, a hurricane is on its way and I'm not missing my weekly long run for anything short of a boozed up vacay with the guy I've been sweating. He's away, so running it is.

I tried out a new route today that took me west along 25A and then south on 107 to the SUNY Old Westbury Campus. It was pleasant and overall I enjoyed it. It was a little less than seven miles from my house to the entrance of SUNY Old Westbury, and then I did a nice run up the never-ending hills they call their driveway. By mile 9 I was questioning my ability to do an 18 mile run. By mile 10, I was feeling delirious, and that's when I saw it: the Concrete Jungle.
This Concrete Jungle was three times the size of ours.
A drunk girl could get lost in there for weeks!
This is what a person looks like after she's run 10 miles
and knows she has to run 8 more.
Never have I been so happy to see a maze of concrete stucco, bridges, stairs, and walkways. I was home! In college I had the (dis)pleasure of living in the Concrete Jungle not once, but twice. I have such fond memories of trying to figure out how to get from my dorm room to my friend's dorm room without breaking a heel in the piles of snow, or wondering what was the most efficient route between me and the nearest liquor store. I drove my Saab 92X Heidi (may she rest in peace) past the restricted access signs and illegally parked her next to any entrance I pleased. Of course living in the Jungle wasn't without conflict. There was the time my roommate made me cry right before sorority composite photos and they had to digitally touch up my puffy eyes, and the morning my RA couldn't understand why I needed to take a chair into the shower with me. Um, hello? Staying up all night drinking and then taking off for a road trip first thing in the AM is taxing. Sitting down was helping me to shave my legs without getting the spins. There was also that year when I had a Fatal Attraction-level obsession with my on-and-off boyfriend that ended with an intervention from my nearest and dearest drinking buddies telling me that I was cut off if I spoke to him again. My cat died soon after that, and that's when I lost my last bit of humanity. I haven't cared about a person or a thing as much as him (the cat, not the boyfriend) since. If I ever do, I will ask the guy to marry me immediately.

Fast-forward and I had reached mile 14. God bless the Concrete Jungle and all of its memories. Without it, I'd be sitting on the sidewalk waiting for my mom to come pick me up. By then I had run out of water (how do I go through 1.5 litres of water so quickly?!) and I was praying that the Gulf Station was right around the corner. ABBA came on, finally getting rid of the playlists I should have titled Depressed, Really Depressed, and Suicide Watch (I was an angsty little drunk, wasn't I?), followed by Daddy Yankee and then I was inside the air conditioned goodness of the gas station market. I bought a 32 ounce lemon-lime Gatorade and hit the road. My spirits picked up after I chugged down my delicious treat and I found the strength to truck it once the sun set and I was convinced that if a car didn't get me, a sexual sadist hiding in the bushes would. I watch Forensic Files and Criminal Minds. I know what's up.

Lessons for Next Time
  • Figure out how to carry more water
  • Make a playlist in advance
  • Check the time of sunset
  • Bring a reflective vest
Things that were Awesome
  • Going back to college
  • The hot runner I spotted running on the opposite side of 107. I definitely was interested in seeing what was underneath his running shorts. Ow ow.
This is what a person looks like after 18 miles. Effff.

My Secret is Out - I Am Not Naturally Hairless

I received a question asking if I knew anything about eyebrow threading. Psshhht... what don't I know about eyebrow threading? I am extremely knowledgeable about many forms of hair removal because I suffer from chaetophobia - an irrational fear of hair. I am repulsed by body hair in particular, but head hair detached from the head makes me just as nauseous. My chaeotophobia is primarily directed towards women's hair. I happen to like facial hair on many men, and couldn't care less about their arm hair, leg hair, or chest hair. Nobody likes back tufts so that's not a symptom of my problem. The only thing that really creeps me out is exceptionally straight pubic hair. Like really? Did you use a hair straightener? If your nether regions look like they are covered by chemically-treated, razor-straight hair, do us all a favor and take a razor to it.

While our male readers are busy taking a peek at their junk, I will give a rundown on hair removal for the ladies.

I am a big fan of threading, especially during the summer because it won't remove your tan the way waxing does. You have to go to a reputable threadist because you can end up with irritated skin, ingrown hairs, and wackily shaped eyebrows. I like threading for eyebrows, upper lip, and the sides of your face if you have an uneven or overly grown hairline. 

Where to Go: Perfect Brows, Meena Threading Place, Thread

I love waxing. There is something so satisfying about having your hair yanked out of its follicles by strips of muslin. Again, you can't go to any backroom waxist and expect to look good. I have tried out hundreds of waxing salons. Currently my favorites are Angel Tips Nails in East Norwich on Long Island and Perfect Brows on the Upper Eastside of Manhattan. I get my eyebrows or upper lip waxed instead of threaded sometimes. The Brazilian bikini waxes at Perfect Brows are fast and thorough. You can show up at 7:30pm and be out in time for a 7:45pm spin class. I used to have my legs waxed, but I can't spend five weeks waiting for my leg hair to grow long enough. Every so often I will get an underarm wax because it get rid of that unsightly five o'clock shadow months of shaving can cause.

Where to Go: Angel Tips NailsPerfect Brows

I shave my legs almost everyday. If I know I want a particularly smooth leg, say right before an event, I will go one day without shaving but that just about kills me. I use a Gillette Fusion razor (the kind they make for men's faces) and Gillette Foamy for Sensitive Skin. Everyone comments on my smooth legs. I own a Fusion Power and a ProGlide. I don't care for the Power's battery function and never turn it on anymore. I don't think it helps to get a closer shave.

Where to Go: Gillette products can be found at any neighborhood drug store.

Hair Removal Creams
One morning at sleep-away camp, I awoke before my bunk and decided to Nair my arms because I was bored. I've been removing the hair on my arms ever since. I've tried a few methods (including waxing), but the most convenient way of removing the hair is with a cream. I switched from Nair to Veet a few years ago, and Veet is the superior product. Veet comes in many forms, but I prefer the Hair Removal Cream Pump. It comes with a spatula, but I prefer to pump two squirts into my hand, slather up an arm, and then switch. I leave it on for approximately one song (3-5 minutes) and then use a wash cloth to remove it. After so many years, I can actually feel when it's ready to come off before it can burn me. You can also tell when all of the hairs on your arm lie flat at an unnatural angle. The Spray-On can be tempting, but I wouldn't recommend it for your arms. I ended up awkwardly covered in the stuff around my midsection and I made a mess of the bathroom. I've been doing this for thirteen years - I assure you that the pump is the way to go.

Where to Go: Veet products can be found at any neighborhood drug store.

So there you go - I admitted, in writing on a public forum, that I have an overwhelming disgust of body hair and remove it many different ways. I'm a quarter Chilean and a quarter Spanish; I can't help that I have dark hair, but I can figure out how to get rid of it. If you have any questions, or would like recommendations in your area, I probably know the answer. Post them below.

The Cut Off T-Shirt

There are times when I'm digging through my drawer of workout gear and I realize that it is a cut off t-shirt day. I own performance tank tops, and technical sweat-wicking t-shirts, colorful sports bras, and too many race t-shirts to count. I have all my old sorority gear and tanks I used to wear out until they were washed a few too many times. I have more shirts than I could ever need, so why am I wearing a ratty old Hanes t-shirt with the sleeves cut off? Because something about a cut off t-shirt makes me feel badass.

For most of my life, I never owned a cut off t-shirt or knew others who owned cut off t-shirts. The only time I saw them was on trips to the beach, and you'll see a lot of styles you wouldn't want to repeat on the south shore of Long Island. Then I went to high school (an over-priced, out-of-state prep school) and suddenly everyone and their coach was cutting the sleeves off of a school t-shirt. I preferred to wear t-shirts I had collected from aquariums in child sizes, with the sleeves still attached. Cut off shirts weren't my thing. They sell sleeveless shirts. Why would I want to cut mine up?

A few years ago I bought a package of men's Hanes t-shirts from Target. They fit nicely, look good with jeans and shorts, and you don't care when you accidentally spill your Slurpee all over the front of them. Basically they are perfect for me when I'm rolling casual. I wore them a lot, and then like most things in my life, totally forgot about them. Until one morning before boxing, when I just happened to be cutting tags off my new gloves. A few snips and I suddenly looked a lot like that aggressively tomboyish girl from day-camp who used to ditch arts and crafts to go to street hockey with the boys. Everyone knows that you ditch nature class to go with the boys to extra swim and tennis, duh.

Before you ruin your own t-shirts, remember to cut on the outside of the seam and leave a little extra because this will curl up in the wash.

Hopefully this t-shirt will get me through
the EIGHTEEN MILE run I have to do today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dancer's Delight

I removed my own splint yesterday morning because I couldn't figure out how to take a shower alone with it on and my hair looked greasy. I took a performance art video of me doing this. If you're interested, I guess you could arrange to have it emailed to you.

The weather was beautiful all day yesterday but I was still in a Percocet fog that didn't lift until 10 PM last night. I woke up after 12 today and assessed my life. If I didn't do something active, I was going to start being destructive. I decided a 4 mile run in the rain was a better decision. I couldn't get a momentum going, mostly because I was afraid of falling and I was keeping my right arm glued to my side.

After binge-eating a bag of Skinny Pop (my popcorn addiction is getting ridiculous), I finally opened my birthday presents. Hooray for Day-Glo and leopard print! I picked everything out, but was still excited to have my new C9 gear for Yves' Dancer's Delight class tonight.

Best 90 minutes of ass-kicking dance ever, even with a bum wrist. I got my groove on, especially when we bent over backwards and did some oh-so-classy hip thrusting. I do have to admit that I was embarrassed by my love handles. How did my once-washboard flat abs turn into this jigglethon? Alcohol, that's how. Oh, and day-after hungover Chinese food binges. GROSS. While I had a blast, and finally ditched the tank top to show off my new sassy hot pink C9 compression bra, this was an eyeopener to say the least. Eating disorder Diet starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why Is He Located So Far Away When I'm Dislocated?

I dislocated my wrist. On Sunday I hit up Dylan Murphy's to pick up my credit card from the night before, had a few drinks, and then someone (who shall remain nameless) grabbed my feet causing me to topple to the ground. I iced my arm right away but it ended up looking like this (see below) by dinner.

I wasn't going to go to the hospital until my bff Oliver scared me into going. Obviously he lives in California so he couldn't accompany me. Thankfully my first roommate Hoebag lives in NYC and met me at Lenox Hill for a super fun evening of medical care. She even helped the doctor make my splint.
Since I don't have to go to work during the day, and I can't do anything active like workout or run, I have been super bored and depressed.
I'm prescribed a bunch of painkillers. Percocets plus no exercise has really affected my sleep pattern. I know I say I don't cuddle, snuggle, or spoon but that's changed over the years. I'm willing to make exceptions for when I like a person. Of course I like someone when I can't sleep and he's away from New York for the next bajillion months. I'll admit it: percs make me affectionate and I want to be affectionate with someone who's waaaayyyy out of the UES zip codes. 

Good thing I discovered MTV's new show Awkward. I'll take teenage angst and DTR (Determine The Relationship) conversations as a consolation prize. LOVE this show.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Ran to Another County, NBD

Today I did my first long training run. I've been following my schedule (as much as possible) but today was the first day I had to run a distance longer than any of my road races. I set my alarm for 6 AM, but obviously woke up at 4:30. I had this dream where I was trying to move my dad's car before Larry David came to yell at him for his over-the-line parking job. This old man was boxing me out around the garage and somehow I ended up with a $1,000 parking fee for my efforts. Oh, and wait, the dream was almost entirely in Spanish. Fun fact - I can still occasionally dream in Spanish and I can even speak it when blackout drunk. It's been videotaped in Mexico, I swear.

I set out sometime between 6:30 and 6:40 AM... yeah, I never hit start on my Nike+ GPS and didn't notice until close to 3 miles into the run. By studying the data from previous runs, I have determined that I ran a little more than 2.75 miles, but I decided to round it down to 2.5 to account for inaccuracies and the amount of walking I did to avoid being hit by cars. Those white lines on the road aren't guidelines drivers! You need to stay within them!

I ran from the Vernon School up 106 to 25A, and then headed east. And headed east some more. I ran from Oyster Bay, through Laurel Hollow, to Cold Spring Harbor. Then I started spotting other runners enjoying the sunrise and sea air. Is anyone else wondering how "historic" Cold Spring Harbor does any business with the stores they're offering these days? The Window Box (a small boutique where I purchased most of my Eliza B, CK Bradley, CJ Lang, and Milly items over the years) is now closed and at least three other places are under construction. I continued on to the town of Huntington.

It's seriously weird to see Huntington early in the morning before anything besides Starbucks is open. There were a few disgruntled homeless people milling about and some folks walking their dogs, but overall it was deserted. I haven't seen it like that since the summer we were all partying in Northport until the wee hours and I was sneaking back home before my parents noticed. I ran down to the Huntington Y, doubled back and went down near the hospital, and then returned to 25A for the return run.

Nothing sucks more than the return run. I prefer to run loops that don't take me back along the same route. This way I don't fully understand how much farther I need to go. I made it back to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in one piece and attempted to cut through its parking lot to avoid fighting traffic for running space. Unfortunately this took me up a massive hill with no end in sight. I doubled back and saw an entrance to a Stillwell Trail. I heard cars so I decided to run on that, realized I could see a road through the trees, and bushwacked my way down the hill. Obviously this wasn't the road I wanted, and I almost got hit by another car trotting back to 25A. Sheesh. And I had only ran thirteen miles by this point.

I turned my Nike+ GPS on at Yellow Cote Road, so I promised myself that I would keep going until I saw the East Woods sign and figure out how much farther I needed to run. My GPS clocked in at 12.58 miles, so I figured if I could make it to 13.5 miles I would be golden (13.5 + 2.5 = 16). I chose Sugar Toms Lane as my next goal, and chanted Sugar Toms to myself to keep going. I was in serious pain for a while, but then my legs seemed to lighten. My stride had gotten much shorter, but my turnover was pretty good. My GPS said 14 miles when I stopped it at Sugar Toms and I walked the rest of the way back.

In the future, I am going to walk a half-mile before I start running. This will 1. give me a chance to warm-up, 2. remind me to start the dang GPS, and 3. allow me to cool down and pick up a cold beverage to drink on the way home. I killed a 1.5 litre bottle of water by mile 9. Not cool. Does anyone have any suggestions on staying hydrated during a long run? Does anyone else get that thirsty?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fresh Like Bounce Sheets

I really like the smell of Bounce dryer sheets, like willing to sniff strangers like it. I also really like when I'm excited to workout, and lately I've been feeling like everything I do is stale. I really miss kickboxing and spinning, but alas my gym membership is frozen.

I was pretty psyched when I woke up this morning raring for a run (this might have something to do with the Lipo 6 Black Hers pills I've started taking again), but I didn't want to do the same old run through town. My marathon training plan said to run 3 miles today so I decided to put on my Vibrams. I can't handle much further in them, but 3 felt reasonable. I also wanted to run with some music, but after nine hours in the car this weekend, I am absolutely sick of my iPod. Did you know that you can run Pandora and Nike+ GPS at the same time? Nike+ GPS will bitch about a low GPS signal at first, but I chose to ignore it and it worked perfectly fine. I chose a Dion station because I love doo-wop, especially for running. Really, you should try it.

I found this hill in town last week that looked like a really pain in the ass to run. Apparently my sister has known about Capitol Heights Road for five years but neglected to say anything about it. It was one of those extremely difficult, sucks so bad that I love it experiences. I must admit that I was scared that I was going to end up in the road during the descents. I really should get used to running downhill in my Vibrams. I am going to return to this bad boy later this week.

I ended up running 5.1 miles today because I was having such a good time. Don't let your workouts feel like work. They should be hard (sometimes painful) and take a lot of effort, but doing laundry shouldn't sound like a better idea... unless you like to huff dryer sheets.

Workouts shouldn't feel like work until you're passed out on your front doorstep.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mahlon Mayhem to Massachusetts

T and I took off for Oak Ridge, New Jersey on Saturday morning. We made good time, arriving with over an hour to spare. Good thing too as we took a wrong turn 500 feet away from the parking lot and ended up on some random backroad where we saw a bear, yes a BEAR, in someone's front yard. We're literally driving down the road, when I stop and say, "Dude, there's a black bear eating those people's plants." Obviously we took a bunch of pictures while discussing what to do if we encountered a bear during the race.

We arrived at our destination and caught a ride up to the Mahlon-Dickerson Reservation. A 100K, a 75K, a 50K, a 25K, and a 12.5K race were being offered. We had signed up for the wimpy 12.5K, but with two marathons looming, we decided not to risk severe overuse injuries. The other races had already begun and we waited for 10 AM to roll around. Soon it was our turn to take off into the woods.

I started out in the lead, but a woman who looked like an experienced trail-runner quickly passed me. I know my own abilities and decided it wasn't worth it to try to keep up. I held second place for a while until Annoying Guy in the Red Shirt came up behind me. I allowed him to pass. One of the weirder things about running while multiple races are taking place is trying to remember who you are competing against. When you see incredibly fit people moving at a slow pace or evening walking, you have to remember that they might be running over 60 miles while you are running under 8.

The course was different from the Greenbelt Trail. It was mostly flat and much more rocky. There was one stretch that was covered in small, sharp rocks that I could feel through the sneakers I am wear testing. I wish I could tell you more about these shoes, but I'm under contract to keep my mouth shut. All I will say is that they look awesome but I don't recommend them for technical trail. The course was a lollipop loop so we got to cover this lovely rocky stretch TWICE, and by the end of it I was begging for the tree roots and steep inclines of Long Island.

There was a good crowd out there, which you tend to find at trail races. T commented on how different the atmosphere is than at a road race. People are laid back and friendly, even though they must possess a certain kickass attitude to subject themselves to long-distance trail runs. I saw a guy I had seen earlier on walking part of a hill. I decided to walk too, and as I approached him he told me that there was only 1.5 mile left in the loop and to get going. I took off and knew I could come in strong. I had forgotten to eat my KIND bar so I tried to gag down as much as I could before I hit the pending wall.

As I cruised down through the remaining trail, I came across Anthony, a runner who was attempting his first 100K. I had noticed him because of his tattoos and his sick Salomon trail shoes. He was fading but I guess I inspired him to kick it up a notch because he said he was going to use me to pace him. We went hard and fast until we approached the trail head. I threw down my water bottle and my hat (which I hadn't worn since mile 1 - it was incredibly annoying!) and sprinted in across the finish line. I completed the 12.5K loop in 1:12:22, beating my goal of 1:20:00. I finished second place for women and third overall.

I waited for T to come in at 1:34:34. Her time was creepy considering her bib said 134, but sometimes bib numbers are signs of things to come. Let's remember when I wore number 21 and PR'd a 5K at 21:36. We both won beer glasses for placing. Sadly we could not stay to barbecue with the other runners because we had a ferry to catch in Rhode Island.

After lunch and shopping in Westport, we finally beat the traffic and made it to Quonset Point for the 5:30 ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Much joyous debauchery ensued. I woke up the next morning to a half and half screwdriver and things quickly deteriorated from there. We spent the day boating and beaching before heading back to the mainland. We arrived back in New York at 1 AM on Monday morning and I can honestly say I have suffered from a debilitating hangover since then until this evening. I am not as young as I used to be and this morning's 6.6 mile run almost killed me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Scenic Tour of Long Island via 25A

I've had kind of a crazy idea (this blog is called In Shape Out of Mind, what did you expect?), and the more I think about it, the more feasible I think it is. Route 25A is a highway that runs from Queens to Calverton. The entire thing is 72.91 miles. Now I live near 25A and run on it pretty often, but never for more than 5.25 miles in any direction. My grand plan is to run from my house and head east and see how far I can get.

Since 25A runs through many major towns, I don't need to drag a bunch of gear with me. If I need something, I can buy it. It would be nice to have some people along the way to cheer me on, so I'll give you a heads up if I'm running through your town. There's also no way in hell I am making the return loop, so I imagine I should call ahead and make sure I have a ride back.

If you are interested in participating in or supporting this crazy idea, let me know. I have a few 20 mile runs I need to do to train for my marathon. If things are going well, I'll just keep going.

Planting Fields Arboretum Woodland Trails

Today I decided to run over to the Planting Fields Arboretum. I haven't been there in years, but I used to volunteer there and it's absolutely beautiful. The last time I tried to run up there (and this was like five years ago) there was some misunderstanding about entrance fees and I didn't have any cash on me. To avoid this nonsense again I looked up their website before I left. That's when I found this map. Five miles of trails and I don't even have to get into the car?

I ran the three miles from my parents' house over to the arboretum on the road. The very nice man at the gate said runners do not have to pay the $8 car entrance fee (just as I had thought!) and I ran over to Coe Hall. I used to be a tour guide at this Tudor-style mansion. You're jealous, I know.

Obviously I neglected to bring the map I had found, but I ran along different paths (and through some grass) until I saw a marked entrance for the Beech Path trail. The Beech Path connects to the Oak Trail. Very pleasant running and not too many technical obstacles. At one point I got a little nervous that I was going to get lost so I pulled out my phone and brought up the map. This is why you should run with a smartphone if you're going to run alone. I realized I was quite close to the Boundary Road and kept going.

Once I exited the trail, I assumed that I was back on one of the arboretum's many lawns. That's when I saw a building that looked vaguely familiar. Then I realized I was standing behind a driving range. You can see on the Mill River Country Club marked on the trail map. Yeah, my family used to be members there. (Apparently we could no longer justify a full club membership so that I could eat a salad by the pool three times a year.) Now there I was in sweaty spandex covered in dirt. I waved to the staff and hightailed it down the driveway, back to the road, and back to my house.

This brings me to my next point - what shoes do you wear fo a multi-terrain run? I wore my Brooks Adrenaline 11s today. Sure, I would've preferred my trail sneakers on the trail but I was on the trail for less than a mile; I spent over 5 on roads. If I was planning on running all of the trails, I might suck it up and wear my trail shoes on the road. I've done it before and it's really not so bad. That's why Salomon created the XR Crossmax. One shoe from door to trail!

I covet these shoes. Size 8.5 please.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Preparation for Saturday's Trail Race

I invited my friend T to come out to Long Island for some trail running before our big race on Saturday. The Huntington line leaves from Penn Station (not the most convenient for us Eastsiders) and delivers you in Syosset without any transfers (if you read the schedule correctly). I picked T up at 8:46 AM and we were off to the Greenbelt Trail head in Cold Spring Harbor.

We ran to Stillwell Lane and back, which is five miles total. We're running the Mahlon Mayhem 12.5 K on Saturday (7.78 miles), so this should help prepare us. My goal is to finish the race in 1 hour 20 minutes. I haven't seen the course, so this might be unrealistic, but right now I'm thinking it's an ambitious yet attainable goal.

When you invite someone to Long Island in the summer you have to bring them to the beach. T and I completed our day with some quality PTH (peak tanning hours) at TOBAY followed by dinner at Point Lookout Clam Bar.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Frozen Golf Balls

I read about this tip in Runner's World and tested it out today. Put two golf balls in the freezer and leave them overnight or all day. Take them out and roll a ball under each foot. I stood on one foot and rolled the other foot over a frozen golf ball and then switched for a while, but I found that sitting down and rolling both feet simultaneously gave me the right amount of pressure. My arches have been bothering me lately and this was a great way to give myself a foot massage without having to touch my own feet, and the coldness helped with some of the discomfort I've been feeling. I actually tried this out this morning before I put the golf balls in the freezer, and it didn't feel nearly as good.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Miscalculations and Uncertain Situations

I don't handle uncertainty well. I like to know things, even if I don't like the outcome. Either I don't have a job or I do have a job. Or I got hired for the new job or not hired for the new job. The new job exists or it doesn't exist. The same goes for my personal life. We are in a relationship or we are not in a relationship. You are my friend or you are not my friend. What the heck is this "in limbo" crap? People need to start making decisions.

I was pacing around my house this morning, trying to figure out my next steps, when I realized I was getting nothing accomplished in my pajamas. I got into my running gear and hit the road. My training plan said six miles and I promised myself I would do six miles even if my feet hurt and my body felt like it was running on diluted whisky fumes... oh wait, it probably was.

I don't like to run with music that often, especially when I have thinking to do. Focusing on the run and my surroundings helps clear my mind, and around mile four, I started getting into a groove and was able to make some decisions. I had a plan of action for the rest of the day. I no longer felt like gnawing through my fingernails and pulling out all of my eyebrows (I'm weird. Get over it.) I was feeling ready to conquer the world when I finished up the six mile run, but low and behold, I was still 1.5 miles away from home.

What do you do when you finish your run and you realize you have miscalculated the distance? Obviously you have to get home somehow. These are some options:
  1. Keep running. 
On days when this is just not going to happen:
  1. Find the closest public transportation. This is probably most convenient if you live in a major city.
  2. Pause your Nike+ GPS and use your iPhone to call someone to come pick you up.
  3. Use the remaining distance to get your cross-training in.
Number 3 explains why motorists on 25A saw me doing walking lunges down the highway. I followed these up with some butt-kicks. Then I alternated for a bit. Never underestimate the power of an audience on your form.

* Things are looking up on the employment front.
** I still have commitment issues.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Coconuts Gone Wild: Blue Monkey Pure Coconut Water

You can spot Mr. Coly Cat Mink in the background.
Today I woke up in my apartment, underneath all of my decorative pillows. I was still wearing my contacts and my tube top. And I broke my left pinky toe. Come to think of it, I was wearing the same shoes the last time I drunkenly broke one of my toes. Marathon training is sure going to be fun.

After watching two weeks worth of Degrassi while sucking down a Slurpee, I rolled up to Whole Foods. I spotted a new brand of coconut water while standing in line to pay for my sushi. Drawn to the coloring of the pretty aluminum can, I grabbed one and hoped it would help my hangover.

Blue Monkey is 76 calories and 10 grams of sugar for 8 fluid ounces. The container I bought is 17.6 fluid ounces. It's a lot sweeter than O.N.E, Vita Coco, and Zico. I'm not sure if I like it. It tasted more like the fresh coconut I had in Chinatown, but not as refreshing. To be fair, my taste buds have been overwhelmed by scalding 7-11 coffee and whisky. I might pick up a smaller can this week after a workout to see if my reaction changes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ice Baths

I'm wearing Turquoise and Caicos by Essie on my toes.
So I'm taking my first ice bath - yup, I'm blogging from the bathtub - and it's not as bad as I had feared. Ice baths help your legs recover after races, as well as long or difficult workouts. I also learned tonight that they can be helpful prior to races (thanks Miami!) and I plan on taking some before my marathons.

Making an ice bath is rather simple. Buy a bag of ice, dump it in your bathtub, and add enough cold water to cover your legs. Then get in for twenty minutes. I'm wearing a bikini bottom to protect my lady bits from frostbite, but that's up to you.

Helpful tip: If you have a faucet with a cold only handle, one bag of ice should suffice. However, if you have a temperature control handle, get two because the slightly warmer water is going to melt the ice.

Fountain Fun

I've been run crushing on my coworker since I met him at the end of June. He's run Boston (twice) and Miami. My Facebook stalking of him tells me he ran a 6:50 pace, for a marathon. Um hi, yeah, can we be friends? And don't even get me started on the time I showed up for work just as he was taking off for a run, and I stared enviously at his long, lithe runner's legs as they pranced down the asphalt. He reads this by the way. I wonder if he feels awkward yet?

We'll call him Miami since that is where he teaches. After seven weeks of bringing up running every time I saw him, I finally coerced him into running with me. This is actually a lie - he came willingly, but I'd like to think that my powers of persuasion and my insistence on wearing day-glo running gear to work helped out. After a long day at the office (where I got to drive a cargo van by the way), we hopped in Petunia and drove over to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I am obsessed with this park now.

Miami and I had a nice leisurely 8 mile run around the park, as I tried to remember where everything was located. It's much easier to see the sights when there are orange cones guiding the way, but eventually everything worked out. We saw many soccer games, ran through the zoo, and enjoyed long stretches of path along the water. It's a lot of fun to run with someone new because you get to learn all sorts of nifty things about them. They get to learn that you're probably a sociopath with a sneaker fetish. Win-win situation.

I apologize to Miami who had to put up with my insanely slow hobble, but as he said, I did just run a half marathon. To complete our extremely fun evening, we ran through the fountains under the Unisphere.

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