Wednesday, November 2, 2011

let's do this

so i'm the worst blogger ever. let's face it - i can post on facebook daily, blog for work, and even tweet when necessary. but when it comes to my - i'm a mess. a few posts at best.

but i guess this journey hasn't been about blogging. it's been about running. and run i've done!

i've overcome some injuries, some internal "oh-shit-i-don't-think-i-can-do-this" demons and here i now sit, less than 4 days until the big day. and i haven't burst into flames. so i guess i'm ready??

in terms of the gear - check. i know what i'm wearing. in terms of the training - check. it started off rough but i made it through and will no doubt make it through 26.2 miles on sunday. it might not be pretty, but i'm determined to make it through. in terms of inspiration - double check. i'm not lacking in that department at all.

have i even mentioned why i'm running? yes, marathon, bucket list - and all that jazz. but i'm running more so for my dad, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, and this marks his 10th year fighting. and i'm running for all of our TEAM FOX runners, and members, and those with Parkinson's who they support. i'm privileged not only to be a TEAM FOX member, but i also get to work with our members daily, working for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. our members remind me daily that they can overcome obstacles, and so can i. 26.2 will be nothing at the end of the day when i compare my aches and pains to someone who's battling PD.

there's this great quote that i'm always drawn to - "tough times don't last, tough people do" (gregory peck). this marathon won't last more than a few hours, and my sore muscles will last a few days, but the fight to end Parkinson's won't end in just a few days. we're going to need to be tough, and experience pain, but we will keep fighting. and we will find a cure.

to see more on my TEAM FOX efforts, check out my fundraising page. i'll be out there on sunday giving it my all, and i can't wait to see my family who will be at mile 23. i'm going to be tired, and probably cranky, but i know they will give me the boost i need to finish with a smile.

also, here's a fun interview that my friend and colleague kristina did the other day. enjoy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

getting there

This past weekend I was in Chicago for the 2011 BoA Chicago Marathon and it was a wonderful experience! Team Fox had 70 runners who have collectively raised over $100,000 for Parkinson's research.

I love the opportunity to finally meet many of the runners that I've been emailing and talking to leading up to the race. Everyone has their own story of why they are running, and why they've chosen to run specifically for Team Fox.

I was inspired by all the stories and seeing our runners whiz by and greeting them at the finish. While there were a lot of aching bodies and sore feet, everyone was so happy to be done and so proud of their accomplishment. It reminded me that all the pain, physical therapy, time, sweat and tears that I'm putting into 11.6.11 will pay off. And I can't wait.

Monday, September 19, 2011

fight gone bad (back)

i love crossfit. crossfit by definition is "constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity." it's a combination of a variety of workout elements - from gymnastics movements to olympic lifting, running to rope climbing, push ups to pull ups and everything in between. most workouts are quick, some can take as little time as 3 minutes, but the intensity is high.

i've been crossfitting at crossfit south brooklyn for just over 3.5 years, on and off (more on than off). some of that "off" time was because of rugby, and some has been partly due to injury. but the south brooklyn community is phenomenal - and each time i have to go through an "off" period, i'm excited to come back. i'm so lucky to call these folks my friends.

pictured above is after the annual "Fight Gone Bad" fundraiser workout that was held on september 17. crossfit gyms around the country pull together to fundraise prior to the event, this year for the special operations warrior foundations. our gym makes a day of it - creating teams of five to compete against each other in a friendly competition. the workout is as follows:

3 rounds of:

1 minute wall ball
1 minutes sumo deadlift high pulls
1 minute box jumps (shown here)
1 minute push press
1 minute of rowing (for calories)
1 minute rest

every rep counts and your score is your total added up.

i've had to miss the past 2 events due to other commitments, so i was really excited to participate this year on team "Victorious Secret". the unfortunate reality though, was that i probably shouldn't have been competing. my back/hips/hammies have been an issue, and with training for the marathon, i should have been playing it safe. but i love crossfit, and i love this workout, so i went for it anyway. well, i managed to tweak my back, most likely doing the sumo deadlift high pulls, so it's been a rough few weeks.

doc was able to put my back back in alignment but i'm still not at 100%. unfortunately for this girl, i've been told to lay off crossfit until the marathon is over. so i guess i'm back in a short "off again" period but it won't last forever. it'll just make it that much more fun and challenging when i go back. cause i'll get my ass kicked, repeatedly!

Monday, September 12, 2011

where to begin... running update!

i'm probably the world's worst blogger - and i'm ok with that. i'm just going to try to update as much as possible now that we are less than 2 MONTHS away from race day! holy crap is all i can really think at this point.

the runs have gotten longer, and last weekend's outing left me feeling very discouraged and nervous. i went out to run 10 miles and after 8.5 with multiple stops, i couldn't go any further. i know that there will always be good and bad running days, but i am already behind in my mileage and this was a big blow to my running confidence. after kind words from great running friends, i realized that i just needed to move on and not worry about it. well, that i did.

this weekend, up in old orchard beach, maine for the new england parkinson's ride (more on that later, i promise), i set out on a 12 mile run sunday morning. i'm almost positive that the energy from the amazing event is what helped me through (along with a fairly flat route, cooler temps and a clear mind) and pushed me to even get 13.5 miles (that and i miscalculated the mileage!).

my hamstring is feeling great but my hip/hip flexor aren't too happy today. i was lucky enough to have the entire ocean as my ice bath (see below) and was able to enjoy a great meal (named "the big breakfast") after my run before having to leave to come back to ny.

definitely feeling more positive!

Monday, August 22, 2011

breakfast of champions, take two

good run, bad run

so i'm finally getting the mileage up there. but i'm WAY behind in comparison to where i should be. i ran 7 miles yesterday at just about a 10:15 mile pace. i was scheduled to run a few more miles than that, but between the crossfit competition saturday (and a few celebratory beers) plus the heat and humidity PLUS my stupid hamstring, 7 is what i got.

it was good in the sense that i got 7 done, but was bad for, as you can see, a multitude of reasons. hurumph.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

new kicks!

i know, i know - i need to post more. and i want more pictures. for you to see.

here are my brand new mizuno running sneaks. i really love them - they are keeping me inspired even when - after weeks of non-training - a 3 mile run sucks. also keeping me inspired, pitbull and ne-yo. thank you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

michael conlon: physical therapy god

after running away from "sports" pt last week - i ran right into the arms of michael conlon at finish line physical therapy. now when you hear "finish line" you should automatically think of a race, and getting to the finish. well, lets just say that is the right name for his practice. he is devoted to getting athletes back on their feet, and really assessing what the issues is.

other guy: "your prescription is for your hamstring, so i'm going to work on that."

michael: "your right hip is all locked up, lets work on hip mobility and hamstring flexibility." (ok, so that was paraphrased - but you get the idea)

two sessions in and i am feeling better (definitely not 100% just yet) but i'm on the road to recovery. he still thinks i have plenty of time to get my training in before november 6, which made me feel a lot better.

tonight: 30 minute run, not worrying about speed or distance. will report back!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

you call yourselves "Sports PT"??!!?!

well yesterday the long road of PT started, and boy was it a train wreck right out of the gate. i was referred to a place called "Sports PT" which has branches all over, including one just up the street from my office. this is how yesterday went:

8:30am: show up and check in. give my name and they don't have me down for an appointment

8:32am: woman tries to make up for not having my appointment down and gives me some paperwork that i'll need to fill out anyway. asks if i can come back at 1:30pm, apologizes again.

1:30pm: show up for round two. there were people everywhere. people being worked on, people doing their own exercises, people waiting, people coming, people going... it was kind of a mad house.

1:35pm: introduced to my therapist, who sits down with me and gets my back story. i start at the beginning - from my herniated disc 3 years ago to my more recent injuries. i mention that i'm training for the NYC marathon, but that overall i haven't yet really upped my number of miles since training just started. i also mentioned that i worked out over the weekend and my hamstring didn't feel too bad, but that now my calf is really tight.

1:45pm: he interjects, "now, how long is the marathon?" at which point i should have just gotten up and ran out the door.

1:50pm: he looks over my chart, and my prescription, and mentions that since the prescription is only for my hamstring, that's all he'll even look at/work on.

1:50:05pm: i had made up my mind that i was never setting foot back in that place.

the rest of the appointment wasn't awful - he did ok work on my hamstring, but i wasn't blown away. AND it ends up that while they do "take my insurance" i still have a rather hefty co-pay, so it's definitely NOT worth it.

tomorrow is PT take 2. i'm going to a real physical therapist, one who has a great track record and is an overall great guy too. michael conlon of finish line physical therapy not only knows what he's talking about, but is an experienced ironman and marathoner himself, so will not only get me better but will help get me to race day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

breakfast of champions

since i can't really train right, at least i can eat right. paleo: take 578, act 1, scene 2

today is day two of trying for the millionth time to get back on track with my diet. traveling, vacationing, and partying have all lead me astray (but hey, i can't complain too much!)

yesterday was a good day and today has started off well. 2 hard boiled eggs, grilled peppers with chicken/apple sausage, a few pineapple chunks and iced coffee, black. more on "paleo" to come...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


so i've been off the grid for the last week - in not-super-sunny-because-it's-rainy-season Costa Rica. it was gorgeous, even when raining. it was like i didn't mind that it was raining on me, it made the surroundings greener, and more peaceful. i couldn't complain one bit. and the sun did shine, it just came in small doses - enough to give me a nice glow.

i surfed, relaxed, ate amazing food, soaked in hot springs, went white-water rafting, made new friends, and enjoyed the entire trip. at the end of many vacations, i'm usually ready to go home - ready for the big city once again, and to sleep in my bed and get back to a routine. not so much this time. there was so much i didn't have time to see, so much to explore, so many waves still left to surf! but alas, i'm back.

the vacation was great, and greatly timed. i've been mentioning my pesky right hamstring and before going away i got the coach's advice to stay off it and let it rest for the week. so i didn't have to pack my running clothes (although i did want to!) and i was ok with taking a step back from training - even though it just started!!

well, now i'm back and unfortunately still feeling the same tension in my right hammy. was able to get in to see doc bartoli this morning ("can you be here in 10 minutes?" i sure can be! - usually takes days if not weeks to get into see doc) and it's strained and i need to take it easy. no hills, no speed work, just easy running as long as i don't feel pain. crossfit very modified to not bother the hammy. and lastly, swimming. i think i'm going to bite the bullet and head to the red hook pool tomorrow morning. and physical therapy (pt) - how i have a love/hate relationship with you! it's time consuming, and sometimes painful and sometimes annoying, but will hopefully get this hammy back on track, literally!

today marks week 3, day 3 and i'm feeling very behind. i know there's nothing i can do about the hammy, but listen to my coach and doc and my body and cross my fingers a little that i'll still have enough time to prepare for eleven six eleven.

Monday, July 11, 2011

birthday run!

this saturday i turned the ripe old age of 29. to mark my birthday, and get my long run out of the way, i signed up for a 10k in central park with dar. note to self: a 5am wake up on your birthday isn't so great, but i did get to embrace the day with an early start.

of course i threw on my TEAM FOX jersey and headed up to central park (thanks again cristina for the ride, and to chachi and luka for some birthday kisses!)

my warm up consisted of a dunkin iced coffee, a photo shoot, trip to the port-o-potties and some light stretching. i'm obviously the best at warming up. it was a hot morning and the gun went off at 8 and we were on our way. it was a rough race. my hamstring was really bothering me (even with my oh so hot neoprene sleeve on) and running just. felt. hard.

luckily dar and i stuck it out together, finished, and my run was out of the way so i could enjoy the rest of my birthday - which included brunch with my folks and then a few (or a few too many depending on how you look at it) cocktails with some friends. overall great day!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

when six became three

last night was supposed to be 5-6 miles, easy. i took off with a six mile loop in mind, heading up to prospect park from my apartment. i quickly realized that i was not feeling great and i ran just over 3 of those six miles. i think there were a few factors that contributed to my crappy run:
  1. my hamstring. it's definitely not a new problem, but it's creeping back and i need to start getting it worked on again. i wasn't anticipating that it would give me problems a) this early on and b) this badly.
  2. food! i don't think i ate enough yesterday, and with the heat i just don't think i was nutritionally prepared. note taken.
  3. sleep! i was also really, really tired. i hadn't gotten a good amount of sleep wednesday night so i was really tired from the get-go.
blah, blah - i don't want to make excuses, and i know there will be great running days and shitty running days. i want to use this as a learning experience for my runs to come. the hamstring i'll need to work with, but i can alter my nutrition and sleep (and i know from past games/races/workouts how much it can affect performance).

today's a new day - and thankfully a rest day!

first days of training

i really want to keep track of all my training so i can look back in four months and go "wow, i'm such an amazing runner now - i can't believe how hard it felt back in july" or something to that effect...riiight.

anywho - tuesday july 5 kicked off my training. i'm using a program designed by an amazing marathon coach, michael conlon, with some modifications so that i can continue to do my beloved crossfit. tuesday consisted of:

1.5 mile warm up to red hook park.
6x400m sprints with 400m recovery after each
1 mile cool down run home

total of 4 miles running w/ 1.5 miles of recovery

my right hamstring, which i'm sure i'll talk about a lot, really started bothering me not so much during the 400m sprints, but during the recovery. i'm taking as much care of it as possible and hopefully it doesn't become a bigger problem.

side note on red hook: the park there is really nice (shown below) with sports fields, a really nice track, and a community pool that has free lap swim! the downside...while running there as a warm up is a good use of time, it's really smelly! the summer months are going to rough, running through streets that stink like garbage. the trade offs of living in nyc....

wednesday july 6: crossfit! my schedule had me working on "lower body strength" - so bring on the front squats! kept it light because i'm still coming off of a back injury (if it isn't one thing it's another...) and then did a short WOD (workout of the day) with double unders (jumping rope w/ the rope passing through twice on every hop) and pull ups. since i've been out of the gym for a while, it felt good to move again!

today: i have an easy 6 mile run lined up, and it looks like the sun is coming out after a brief downpour! hopefully it has cooled off a bit and the weather will be nice this evening for a run in prospect park.

here we go!

this is a long time in the making. for the last few years, i would step outside my apartment in brooklyn and watch the nyc marathon runners make their way down 4th ave, on their way to 3 other boroughs and roughly 19 more miles. each year, i am inspired and cheer for the runners who have their names written on their jerseys or who are in singlets supporting the cause they run for.

each year i get the "i really want to run the marathon" feeling, and each year a few days later it has seemed to disappear. not this year.

i had actually hoped to run the nyc marathon in 2010, but a new job - getting to actually work WITH the TEAM FOX members that i so greatly admire - kept me from running. i wouldn't change a single thing, though, about being able to cheer on and support the 185 TEAM FOX runners on that day last november.

this year is my year. i'm going to be cheering for and supporting the almost 200 runners that will dedicate their time and energy to training and fundraising for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, but i will also be among them.

this blog will be a way for me to share my stories of training and what keeps me motivated. eleven six eleven is the day i'm working towards, just shy of 4 months from today.

so, here we go!