Sunday, October 30, 2011

1 Week Until Race Day

Bart Yasso at City Sports October 26th.
Last week was a pretty great week in my book. I attended a fantastic group run on Wednesday night at City Sports sponsored by Mizuno and Runner's World. Bart Yasso ran with us, gave marathon advice, and read from his book. Mizuno brought shoes and clothes for us to try on while we ran and Runner's World put together a great goodie bag with both their November and December issues, Bart's Book, Mizuno gloves and arm warmers, and water bottles.
Bart Yasso reading from My Life On The Run.

For the run itself we had the option to run either 3 or 5 miles in Central Park with group leaders. I ran 2 miles to the store and was planning on walking home so I went with the shorter option and am so glad I did. I ran with Bart for most of the run and got to hear more of his stories and general running advice. He spoke about races he's attended, how he fuels, and how he loves running at a slower pace since he ends up running with the ladies! I had to laugh when we were talking about fueling during a marathon. He said he always tells people "nothing new on race day" but that its generally harmless to have a piece of candy or two from the little kids along the course. Then after a few seconds he added "if someone is offering you a warm philly cheesesteak at mile 24 and it looks good, go for it. At that point in the run its not going to ruin you and if it tastes good you'll be so happy the rest of the race!" I know he was just joking around but it was funny to hear a guy like him suggesting a cheesesteak!
Saw this on my walk home.

They've already started putting up fences and bleachers!

I'm so glad I was able to attend the event and have my eyes open of other great marathon related events coming up in the next week.

On Friday I was on facebook after work and saw the Nissan Leaf tour was making a stop at the nyrr offices. They have a Breathe Easy tour going on throughout the city this week as they are the offical pace car for the race. Each day they stop somewhere new in the city and have giveaways as well as a chance to signup and win a car. They posted that for today's giveaway, the first people to show them that they downloaded the marathon app would get a NYC Marathon edition Magic Bullet. I've been debating getting one for a year or so now and when I saw this I instantly wanted one. I threw on my running clothes and jogged over to nyrr. I was a little too excited and was the first one there! It paid off though as a few minuted later I was walking back home carrying my orange and blue marathon edition Magic Bullet! Now I just have to decide what to make!
My new toy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Yesterday the NYC Marathon hosted a live facebook chat with three experts, Bart Yasso (who I ran with last night!), Tish Hamilton, and Jeff Dengate. They gave so many great tips but overall were telling people to relax, rest, and enjoy the race.

Runner's World posted the transcript almost immediately after and I thought I would share part of it with you . Enjoy!

Coming from FL I am a little apprehensive about the bridges and 1st Avenue (from what I hear), I have been training with hill repeats. Any other tips?
Jeff Dengate: No one hill is too bad, but there are a good many of them in this race–starting with the first mile. Be sure to stay relaxed in that first mile up the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It’s your biggest hill of the day.
What’s the best way to stay on pace when dealing with the crowds and bottlenecks on the NYC Marathon course?
RWTish: To stay on pace, try to stay focused. And don’t freak out if you slow a little–better a little slow than a little fast! Don’t waste energy trying to weave around crowds.
I’m the most worried about waiting 5 hours to start. Any suggestions on how to stay warm?
RWTish: I wear a down jacket and stuff it in baggage check at last moment.
Bart Yasso: Dress warmly and bring lots of extra clothes you can leave at the start. Bring something to read and something dry to lay down.
For a first timer, what is a good pacing strategy for the first 5 miles, given the bridge and crowded field?
Bart Yasso: I suggest running about 10 seconds per mile slower than goal pace for the first 5 miles.
Jeff Dengate: Your best bet is to stay relaxed. Don’t worry if you’re a little slow of your goal pace. It’s better to be slow in the early miles than too fast.
What are the biggest mistakes first timers make?
Bart Yasso: Running the first mile to fast, it’s all uphill & picking it up a mile 16 when the crowd goes crazy.
I live in the Dominican Republic I have no idea how I should dress.
Bart Yasso: Depends on the weather it could be 38 to 58 at the start. Bring a hat & gloves and a few layers.
Jeff Dengate: The weather can really vary in early November in NYC. Best bet is to be prepared with a hat and gloves to stay warm, and pack a garbage bag to wear before the start in case it’s damp.
RWTish: I always wear gloves! Take them off when get too warm, put back on when get cold again.
At what point in the race would you pick up your pace? Mile 16 is too early, but I may not be able to in the latest (22-26) miles.
Bart Yasso: Don’t pick it at mile 16 its uphill from 16 to 19. I would wait until 21ish.
What’s the best area to ask friends and family to spectate?
Bart Yasso: 1st Ave and 5th Ave, very easy walk to each section.
Is there any one tip that is most important for first timers?
Bart Yasso: Just enjoy the journey and don’t worry about your time.
RWTish: Yes, soak up every minute! You only have your first marathon one time, and NYC is a great one for your first time! :)
Jeff Dengate: If you feel good, do NOT speed up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

11 days, 12 hours...I will get there

With less than two weeks to go I find myself constantly googling nyc marathon and reading tons of blogs and facebook posts about the race. I'm taken my obsession to a whole new level and can't contain my excitement! I had a 5 mile run on my calendar for today so I decided to switch up my normal route. I ran a lap and a half of the resivior then ran south on east drive from 90th, I went down cat hill, around the lower loop and up that last hill to what will be the finish line. I stopped for a few minutes to look at the bleachers and tent they've already put up and started to visualize what it will look like in a few days. I still had half a mile to go so I jogged north toward home then walked a bit as I made some phone calls. 

I loved this run. I felt strong. My pace was faster than usual and I'm not tired or worn out. I feel so great that I'm actually considering heading to the gym for a bit but I know I'm suppose to be taking it easy so maybe I'll just curl up on the couch instead. 

One of the wonderful posts I read was "I'm not running to win, I'm running to honor" written by a member of Team Up! with Autism Speaks who is the father of a child with autism. This sums up what so many people in the autism community feel and struggle with. I especially loved these two points:

I’m running to acknowledge children at all ages who, like ours, spend months/years learning how to simply hold a fork, or speak a word or learn to put on their clothes by themselves.  The 5 hours or so it is likely going to take me to complete the 26.2 miles is nothing next to the 40 hours of therapy my son needs every week just to fight for bare basic skills. If these kids can do that, I can push myself to the limits to do this.

I’m running for parents whose children with autism are now becoming adults with autism. Between now (when my oldest son is 9 years old) and when my family faces this transition, today’s parents who are addressing this will have done so much to benefit families like mine and I want to honor them now, and always.

I’m running because the human body is not meant to run 26.2 miles but autism makes us go beyond our limits.  I’m running because it’s hard, because it takes me out of my comfort zone, because I feel awkward doing it, because it hurts, because it takes leisure time and sleep from me: all things that our families face every day and it is a small gesture by comparison.

Please check out the rest of his post and cheer on all the Team Up! runners on race day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sometimes Online Quizzes Are Too Accurate


Personality Quiz
You're  Business Savvy
Entertainment is important to you. Whether it's the on-screen action of a live game or a classic piece of theater, you love the thrill of a great performance. Something of a traditionalist in your attitude to life, the perfectionist in you is constantly seeking the ideal blend of formality and pleasure-seeking. There's a strong, thoughtful element to your character that means you love anything with a sense of intrigue to really get your heart racing.
You're not one to let a challenge pass you by and your thirst to close the next big deal is what makes you tick. You're straightforward, self-disciplined, thoughtful and hard working. Once established in a post, you are very difficult to unseat. You're not just an idea-oriented individual, but also an achiever. Rarely do you get ahead through advantage or nepotism, as you are more likely to come out of nowhere with unusual talents and take the field by storm. When called upon in a time of crisis, you often come up with highly creative and practical solutions, winning the appreciation of your superiors. Above all, you're very realistic about the positions you hold and shrewd enough to guarantee survival in the job market. Keep up with the latest in business on, must-reads for you are DealBook, Media Decoder or You're the Boss.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jillian Michaels Podcast from 10/14

Jillian talked about the change of seasons and how hard it is it stay motivated in the fall and into the winter. She called us New Yorkers crazy for dealing with the temperatures but she was right, we get it done. She suggested utilizing your gyms fitness classes, stocking up on your fitness dvds, and using an xbox connect. 

"Identify your why and the how doesn't matter

What's the why? If you have that why to live for, you can tolerate any how. So why do you keep working out? Why do you force yourself to get out of the house? Why do you force yourself to try new things? Why is it important to you to stay healthy and be in shape? 

What does it mean? Is it better karma? Is it more self esteem? Is it waiting for summer to come around? Hitting the Bahamas? What is it? Write it down that list of motivations and post it everywhere so you stay focused. Then try to celebrate the things about the fall that are fun. "

Love her!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

20 days to go...This is really happening

Guess what they've put up around the park! 
While walking the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer course I saw the marathon banners!

These were along Central Park West in the high 70s, low 80s. I didn't spot Manhattan or Brooklyn but I might have missed them.

Oh! I see Manhattan! This is Central Park South which we will be running in just 20 short days. Now all we need are the Marathon Route flags and then I'll know its crunch time. 

After my walk through the park I headed to St. Patrick's Cathedral for a noontime mass. I admit, its been months since I've been to church. I keep meaning to go but just haven't made it there. Today I lucked out and they had Mass just as I was wondering through the neighborhood. 

St. Patrick's is gorgeous!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How Cute

Walking around the Upper West Side last night I saw this adorable restaurant. It looks like their almost ready to open and I can't wait to give it a try.

I think it uses to be a steakhouse so I wonder if it will still be or if there are new owners.

The bright blue walls are awesome. I've always wanted to use bold colors and they did it perfectly.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Working in a school has many benefits. One of which is having all sorts of holidays off. Luckily school was closed yesterday and again today. I love spending this uncommon holidays enjoying the city as its so much quieter than weekends.

Yesterday I took a different approach and decided to get in my 20 mile long run so I could have a normal weekend with friends. I got started later than I wanted to but made it to the park just after 9:30. The first two miles were though. My body was sore and the weather was not ideal. A light mist with occasional heavier rain. None the less I toughed it out. After 2 full loops of Central Park I needed to change it up. I contuned around the loop but after passing lasker rink I exited the park on 110th st and headed over to 5th ave to tackle the hill that killed me during last year's marathon. Let me say, it wasn't much easier this time. I was hoping I to get up the hill with ease and use it as a confidence booster during the race in November. I guess I should have done it earlier in my run instead of waiting until mile 17, oops!

Just after mile 18, my head started pounding. I was determined to push on but I just couldn't shake this sudden killer headache. On my way down cat hill I started seeing major spots and knew I was in trouble. I was so close to 20m but I just could risk it so I say myself on a bench at the Boathouse, put my head between my knees, and call my mom. I figured I would chat with her while my body relaxed then I could walk home. 20 minutes later I wasn't feeling any better and wasn't really sure what to to. I was just over 2 miles from home and   I didn't have any money or my metrocard with me. I always pack both but today it just slipped my mind, go figure.

I called my sister to chat with her a bit and see if she had any suggestions since she's a nurse. She more or less told me I over did it and that I just had to rehydrate and rest. Great, I'll rest as soon as I get my butt the 2 miles home. When I stood up to walk to the water fountain I completely lost vision on my right side. I could see fine looking ahead and to the left but everything to the right was so blurry that I couldn't make anything out. She was still on the phone and thought maybe it was time to call my doctor. Stubborn old me didn't want to so she just staid on the phone with me until I made it home. Thankfully halfway home my vision came back but I still felt awful.

While chatting about work, her upcoming GRE, boys, and life in general we came to the conclusion that I'm an idiot. I wanted to get my long run out of the way but didn't prep for it. I just put on my shoes this morning and went out the door. I didn't hydrate properly throughout the day before nor did I eat my normal pre long run dinner.

When I left my apartment I thought I was doing a great thing but now I realize there's more to a long run than simply pounding the pavement. I've definitely learned my lesson and will be ready for my next one!

On a lighter note, here are a few things worth reading from some other great blogs:
How To Run 18 Mile Before Work - I wish I was fast enough to do this
It's Ok! Marathon Edition - I love the It's ok... lists people right and this one was perfect

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

24 days 12 hours

Let's take a midweek look at my workouts. This has been an ok week. Not bad since I actually got out the door but not great since I took today off. I know we all need rest days but I just wasn't planning on today being my day off.

Sunday: 7.5 mile run in Central Park

Monday: 7.5 mile run following the same route as Sunday. I wanted to go longer but it was already pitch black out at mile 7 so I just jogged home. I had that the sunsets early in the winter!

Tuesday am: Wanted to do a run in Central Park but it was too dark at 5am so I went to the gym for a 2 mile run which my legs didn't love so I finished up with 35 mins on the elliptical then some stretching and abs. I walked by the park on my home at 6:30 because I'm trying to figure out what time people start running in the park. I want to get in morning runs outside but I want to be safe and not running alone. It was packed at 6:30 so I'll try 5:45 or 6am later this week. I did some pushups and triceps dips on a bench and the headed home which sore arms.

Tuesday night: I really wanted to get in my miles for the day so I hit up the gym for a fast 5k on the treadmill. Every worked together perfectly tonight and I felt like I could go on forever but wanted to same something for the morning. 

Wednesday am: woke up at 4:45 to get ready for the gym but wasn't feeling like it so I hit snooze. When the alarm went off at 5:15 all I could hear was the wind outside so I called off my gym trip :( Looking back I know this was dumb. I can find any excuse not to get out the door and need to do better next time.

Wednesday pm: I bought junk food on my way home from work which caused my night to derail a bit. I've been good about not eating sweets and indulging tonight gave me the worst stomach ache so I didn't get the gym tonight either. Overall, Wednesday was an epic fail! 

Tomorrow is a new day and I will do better. My plan for the rest of the week is a mid distance run tomorrow and maybe a group class, going for my long 20 mile run on Friday, a short recovery run on Saturday, and who knows for Sunday. This is just the plan, I'm sure I'll change things up a bit.

Here a a few links to things that have caught my eye:
The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge - extra motivation to stay fit and eat well during the holidays
25 Ways to Get Psyched For Your Fall Marathon - I agree with everyone one of these


I finally had a chance to watch Five tonight. I recorded it on my dvr and haven't had much time to sit and down to watch it. I've been seeing it advertised for weeks and have been intrigued by the concept of 5 short films blended together. Oh and the all star cast and directors didn't hurt either.

From the Lifetime website:

The groundbreaking original movie “Five” is an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives. “Five” highlights the shared experience each short film’s title character endures from the moment of diagnosis, through an interconnected story arc that uses humor and drama to focus on the effect breast cancer and its different stages of diagnosis have on relationships and the way women perceive themselves while searching for strength, comfort, medical breakthroughs and, ultimately, a cure. 

About Each Film
Directed by Demi Moore and written by Stephen Godchaux, “Five’s” opening film, Charlotte, takes place the night in July 1969 when man first walks on the moon, and when a young Pearl (Ava Acres) is more concerned about why her family is not letting her see her mother, Charlotte (Ginnifer Goodwin), who lies in her bedroom dying from breast cancer. When she sneaks in to see and ultimately say goodbye to her mother, Pearl develops a lifelong passion to help others afflicted with the disease and eventually opens an oncology clinic where she will treat the women we meet throughout “Five.”Charlotte also stars Jeanne Tripplehorn, Josh Holloway, Annie Potts, Jennifer Morrison and Bob Newhart. 
In Cheyanne, directed by Penelope Spheeris and written by Howard Morris, sexy young stripper Cheyanne (Lyndsy Fonseca) and her handsome newlywed husband Tommy (Taylor Kinney) struggle to redefine their passionate relationship, as well as who they are as individuals, when Cheyenne is shocked with a breast cancer diagnosis. Looking at a severe prognosis, Cheyanne’s aggressive treatment ultimately results in the removal of both of her breasts, which have defined her life physically, financially and emotionally. 

Lili, directed by Alicia Keys and written by Jill Gordon, follows Lili, a fiercely independent, career-minded woman (Rosario Dawson), who recruits her sister (Tracee Ellis Ross) to help tell their hard-nosed mother (Jenifer Lewis) that she has breast cancer. As they work through their past issues, Lili’s mother and sister ultimately become her strongest allies when she needs her family the most. Lili also stars Jeffrey Tambor as a male patient diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Directed by Jennifer Aniston, written by Wendy West and told in a series of humorous and dramatic flashbacks, Mia is a survivor’s tale that highlights all of the highs and lows of Mia’s (Patricia Clarkson) two-year journey from diagnosis with breast cancer. During this time, she gives away all of her worldly possessions, holds a hilarious mock funeral while still alive and enters into a second marriage to Mitch (Tony Shalhoub), the new love of her life. Mia also features Kathy Najimy as Mia’s friend Rocky. 

In Pearl, directed by Patty Jenkins and written by Deirdre O’Connor, Pearl (Jeanne Tripplehorn), the successful oncologist we have followed from childhood, suddenly finds herself in the patient’s seat when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Through this process, she finally understands what her parents experienced that night in 1969 and finds the strength to tell her young daughter that everything is going to be OK … something she never heard as a child. Pearl also stars Patricia Clarkson, Tony Shalhoub, Jeffrey Tambor, Bob Newhart, Rosario Dawson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jenifer Lewis.

I absolutely loved it! I am not a person who cries or gets emotional in life or during movies but this one got to me. Part of why I wanted to see it so badly was because a doctor told me over the summer that she thought I had breast cancer. I told everyone I was fine. Looking back on those few weeks of endless dr's appointment, I think all I ever said was "I'm fine", "It will be fine" or "Its nothing" when really I was terrified. Lili's story really got to me because she did the same thing. You really do need people to lean on. I am stubborn and strong willed so I never told a soul I was scared but how can you not be when someone says they think you have cancer. After getting an ultrasound and running tests we found out it was a false alarm but ever since my ears perk up whenever breast cancer is mentioned. 

If you have a chance to watch it, please do! It's being re-aired all weekend so check the website. The stories are simple yet so moving. It isn't one of those super depressing or unrealistic lifetime movies. This felt like real life and I will be recommending it to everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

26 days, 12 hours...

We're getting closer to the start of the marathon and I'm feeling less and less prepared. I know I can do it but I just wish I had pushed harder during training. I'm going to go hard the next two weeks then be smart about tapering so I can rock this race on Nov 6th!

While perusing the NYRR website the over the weekend, I read more about the New Year's Eve run and decided I want to do it. The past two years I looked into it but never signed up so this is the year for me. I can't think of a better way to ring in 2012 than with fireworks and a fun run through Central Park!

Of course I couldn't sign up for just one race but I think I went a little over board and have added 4 more to my calendar! My parents really wanted me to do the Dash to the Finish 5k the day before the marathon so I said why not. I need to do a short run that day anyway and they're so excited to see me cross what will be the marathon finish line.

My other two races will be the Race to Deliver and Join the Voices. Both are in Central Park and being just 4 and 5 miles, I think I'll survive.

Here's to some good fall races and a fantastic marathon!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

29 Days...

29 days from today I'll be crossing the start line and making my way across the Verranzano Narrows Bridge as Old Blue Eyes sings "New York, New York"

Just me and my 43,000 closest friends

Perfect NYC Weather

I couldn't have asked for better weather for a Saturday afternoon in October. 77 and sunny, I'll take it! The park was packed and it looks like everyone was having a great time.

How cute is this birthday party! 

I found this spot when I was running on Wednesday night and wanted to swing by again today.
It is so quite here even though just over that hill is the 96th st tennis courts. 

Another shot of my new favorite hill near the tennis courts. 

There is no better place than Central Park.

So many people soaking up the last summer rays. 
Its hard to believe that 50 and even 40 degree temps are just around the corner. 

I had to get one more picture of the birthday party before I left the park. Not only were there balloons everywhere but they had trains the kids were riding and activity tables all over the lawn. So precious! These kids are so lucky. 

I hope you're enjoying your Saturday!

Just Move

My mind wonders quite a bit when I run and today was no different. Generally I think a lot about my day ahead, mentally draft any emails I need to send, think of old friends I should call, plan outfits for dinner/drink dates, etc. The littlest things send my mind on tangents and there isn't a topic I haven't pondered as my feet hit the pavement.

There is one thing that finds a way into my train of though almost every run. Its a moment that leaves a smile on my face the rest of the day but also has me scratching my head. It happens when I see something truly beautiful and reminds of how lucky I am to be here in this moment. I have the privilege of living in the greatest city on earth, I have amazing friends and the world's best family but I don't always take advantage of it. I don't know why but I seem to get in my own way over and over again.

I come up with awesome things to do but never make plans to do them or I let friends get distant instead of making plans to catch up. Take Friday for instance. I had been looking forward to my favorite zumba class all day. I had planed my meals around it so I wouldn't upset my stomach before class. I got dressed and left my place with plenty of time to get there but halfway to the gym I took a right and ended up in a store instead of the gym. I love that class. Why did I get 95% there yet not make it?

Its time to make a change. I am going to challenge myself to be better. I want to spend the rest of October living life I can have. The one that's right in front of me but that I just can't seem to grasp. Wish me luck!

Welcoming the Night from Oct 4th

There is no better place to watch darkness come across the city than from the Central Park Resevoir. If you time it just right you can watch the sunset and the colors splash across the sky over the west side of the city as you run up the straight away along east drive between 88th and 94th st. As you turn to and run across the northern edge of the water you can see the colors reflected in the water as the light of the city turn on and slowly get brighter. The glow of Times Square becomes visible to the south and the buildings on the East side glow the color of the sunset as you make your way south along the West side of the resevoir. If I can't be relaxing on a boat when the sun starts to set than your better believe I want to have my sneakers on my feet and my earbuds in my ears as I take in the city as I realize for all the dirty, smelly, unwelcoming things that happen in nyc, this moment is perfect.