Thursday, December 22, 2011


Today was my last day of work for 2011. I can't tell you how excited I am to be on vacation. Its been a crazy month so far and no having work tomorrow is a huge relief. I still have tons of Christmas shopping to do tomorrow before I pack up and head to Florida to spend the holidays with my parents, siblings, grandparents (all 4! I'm so lucky), cousins, aunt and uncle. I couldn't be happier to be heading south for a relaxing week.

It isn't going to be laying around or partying though. Running has been almost no existent this month and that is the one thing I'm looking forward to most this vacation. I got myself back to the gym last night and got in a quick 3.5 miles before my bf called from Cali. He's there with his family for the holidays so I ended my run 1.5 miles early to catch up with him.

Training for the Country Music Marathon was suppose to start a week and a half ago. Yeah, that definitely didn't happen. I've been feeling really guilty about not getting up at 5 to fit in my run but with all the holiday craziness, parties, jury duty, and being sick, I just knew sleep was more important. Last night's run gave me my confidence back. I'd been so afraid that I wouldn't be able to just hop on the treadmill and go. I thought for sure I'd have to cut back both my pace and distance. My world didn't fall apart and I was able to to do exactly the same run I did a month ago before my hiatus.

Tonight will be another interval run for me then I'm thinking a long run tomorrow, a mid distance before my flight Saturday morning, then just seeing how I fell while away. I'm not going to get number goals for my vacation runs but simply say that I want to run every day even if only for 3 miles.

Merry Christmas from the Funky Chicken

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Instead of saying tomorrow, I said today

With the cold, rainy weather we've been have here in new york, I've struggled to find the motivation to get to the gym. Yesterday I went so far as to put on my workout clothes only to decide that my sneakers would be soaked by the time I got to the gym and I didn't feel like wearing boots and carrying my sneakers. Talk about lazy!

That all changed tonight! There was an explosion of drama among my sorority sisters tonight. While I care deeply about the outcome and about each woman, I decide that instead of checking facebook everyone 30 seconds for updates or worse contributing to the drama by posting my frustrations, I'd take to the treadmill and pound it out. Let me tell you. I'm back on my couch and I can say I've totally cleared my head and now as I read facebook posts I can recognize that everyone is over reacting.

Now to my workout. I jogged the half mile to the gym and immediately hopped on the treadmill. I'm going to take effort levels instead of pace here so bare with me.
Ran 1.5 miles at an 8(hard but comfortable, my current 4 or 5 mile race pace)
Walked a recovery half mile
Ran another 1.5 miles at an 8
Walked a recovery half mile
Ran at a 9 for a mile (might have lasted another 1/4 or 1/2 mile)
Walked a recovery quarter mile
Ran at a 10 for half mile (ready to die at the end)
Walked a recovery quarter mile
Ran at a 10 for half mile 
Walked a recovery 1/3 mile
Jogged home 1/2 mile

Total: 5 mile run, 1.8 mile walk, 1 mile jog to and from

For years I've heard people say that working out your emotions helps you center yourself. I've experienced the runner's high before and felt like a rock star but I've never truly used running to take a step back from a frustrating situation. I've run to think things over and I've run because I'm sad and even to celebrate but tonight was different and I kind of liked it.

Wishing you wonderful miles!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ways to Lead a Better Life

Saw this in a post by the Blue-eyed Runner and thought it was nice way to reflect on how you are living and what you can do better. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

NYRR's Join the Voices 5M

Fantastic run this morning! I truly enjoyed every step of nyrr's five mile Join the Voices race. I don't know if it was challenging my friends to the Gridiron Classic in Feb or the inspiration I've taken from Kristin Armstrong's Mile Markers. This book has completely changed my attitude towards running and made me appreciate the time I'm able to dedicate to something I love so much. I'll write my review of the book soon but don't wait for it. Just know I think everyone should go pick up a copy!

Back to the race. I left my apartment 5 minutes late and walked down to the start at 67th and West Drive. I arrived and walked into the corrals just as they were giving the race instruction and moving people forward. I didn't have time to get a signal on my garmin before we started so my watch didn't pick up the full distance but that's not the biggest deal.

I picked up two different groups of people I wanted to stay with. I used to pick one but usually fell behind them so now I pick two and try to stay in between them or at least near the slower group. My groups were both wearing neon pink so I had no problem spotting them each mile to check in and see how I was doing. I tried to stay aware of how my body was feeling and my effort level instead of worrying about the numbers on the timing clocks or on my watch. I am so proud of myself for not looking at my watch even once during the race!

I like to set mini goals for myself even during these shorter races. My first goal was to make it "up and over" (as Kristin Armstrong's running coach Cassie reminds their running group) Cat Hill. It came about a mile and a half into the race and I was quiet feeling loose yet but I wanted it so bad today. Up, up, up and suddenly I was over! I think Coach Cassie would be proud that I didn't just run up the hill then take a walk break but instead kept running right on over.

As we made our way up the East side the course was flat and easy until we hit 96th st. Then came a slow and steady incline up to the 102nd St Transverse. I love this hill and feel so strong every time I get to the top. Round the corner at the top and we were already 3 miles into the race. More than halfway and my body was feeling controlled and ready for more. Good thing too because up next were the hills of West Drive.

The first hill right around 100th st is always a killer. For what ever reason this hill beats me mentally every time I run it! About a quarter of the way up I was already feeling its wrath and fighting for it when a gentleman changed the entire race for me.

"Enjoy this hill!" cheered a volunteer with his British accent, "It's a lovely hill!" He said this at the exact moment I needed a little push and it instantly became my mantra for the rest of the race. Each remaining hill I approached I looked up to the top thinking, "it's a lovely hill" and as I climbed I repeated, "enjoy this hill, enjoy this hill." Not only did I climbed every hill without needing my usual walk breaks but it kept a smile on my face for each hill!

Suddenly we'd finished all the hills and were running along the lake between 79th and 72nd. The finish line was just around the corner and my legs were strong. I had enough left for a quick sprint to the finish and "through" the finish line I went. Another Coach Cassie saying it to run through your end point instead of to it.
They're so fast!

A 5 mile PR and a run that I truly loved. I couldn't ask for a better Sunday morning!