Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beating the Heat

Although I've now considered myself a runner (as opposed to a swimmer) for the past two and a half years, somehow, this is only the first summer I've beeen running 25+ miles per week.  I was battling a hammy injury last summer so I had to take it easy, and the summer before that, I think the elliptical became my best friend when summer heat presented itself.  

Boy have I learned quickly how tough it is to run in the summer - not so much because of the heat, but the humidity!  I know I live in New York, so I can't complain as much as those in the South.  I understand it could be much worse :)  But hey - we have both extremes up here - I was doing 9-10 mile runs this past winter in single digit temperatures, and in white-out conditions.  I still don't know which extreme I prefer...

Winter (from brrrr!!

Summer (also from

I try to make smart decisions when going on my summer runs.  During the week, I wake up at 5:15 to get out there before the sun is up.  Note: it is still terribly humid at 5:30am -- I'm talking 90% humidity -- yuck!  I have a few dri-fit shirts and shorts, and I think those help too.  I'll be ordering some more apparel this week!   Does anyone have any suggestions?  I'm also thinking one of those water belt thingy's could be good for when I start my long runs in August... I found these hot weather running tips, too.  Looks like I am doing some of the right things!

Question time!  Would you rather run in extreme heat/humidity, or freezing cold/snow? 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When Work Travel Interrupts Training / Always Pack Underwear!

All of us athletes know how to make sure we get our workouts in when we're traveling for work.  Pack your running shoes.  Ask the front desk where to go running.  Head to the hotel gym.  Easy enough, right?  But what about when you were only expecting to be gone for ~15 hours, and that 15 hours suddenly 35 hours?  What do you do then?...

In anticipation of my 4am alarm Tuesday, I did a double workout Monday.  I ran 7 miles in the morning, and then did 30 minutes on the elliptical and lifted weights at night.  So when I left my apartment yesterday morning at 4:30am, I thought I was going to enjoy a nice recovery day.  Boy was I wrong. 

Here was the original plan: fly to JFK airport, go to a couple hours of meetings, head back to JFK to kill a few hours before my 6pm flight home.  Home in time to see the series finale of the Hills ;)

Here's what actually happened...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Little Bitty Cycles?

I swam my whole life, through college.  Since college, I've become a runner.  Naturally, people often say to me, "You should do triathlons" adding that "you've already got the hardest parts down."  Well, despite the fact that my brother and sister have become avid triathletes themselves, I've done a good job maintaining my role as a spectator.  You see, when I swam in college, I had serious issues at swim meets.  I got so nervous.  Luckily, I got had to longer races, so I had a few minutes to get rid of the pre-race jitters and relaxAnyway, I've enjoyed my relaxing active life post-college. 

Anyway, now that I am living back upstate in the land of open roads, I drive past people all the time riding bikes.  It looks like fun, in a relaxing but healthy sort of way.  And it would be a nice way to exercise on my rest days from running.  And now that I'm not paying $900 a month to share a railroad apartment with a roommate (flashback to Hoboken days), I have the money to buy a bike.  And (because I haven't said the word 'and' enough in this paragraph), most importantly, my sister found me this bike.  I am a sucker for anything turquoise/aqua...

 So this bike.  I think it might have my name on it.  It is usually $949 but on sale for $599.  Hmm.  Do I do it?  I don't want to feel pressured to do triathlons by buying a bike.  Well, let's face it, I won't be pressured.  :)  But what do you think?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Destination Running

We've heard of the destination wedding.  Travel someplace - typically a warm-weather beachy location - to get married.  I actually intend to do this someday, because I think it'd be more fun than a regular old wedding.  And it won't put me in debt too much debt.  And I'll get a nice tan.  Ok, back to topic posted above.  Destination Running. 

I think there are two types of destination running:

Type 1:  Travel to a location to then go running at that location. 
Type 2:  Run to a location of interest.  Then run back. 

I've never done Type 1 Destination Running, but I bet it'd be fun.  Imagine traveling to Florida or California to do some beach running.  Or to the mountains to do some good altitude training.  Note to self: add Type 1 Destination Running to the bucket list. 

I have however done plenty of Type 2 Destination Running.  Sometimes, in the various places I have lived in the past few years, I have run from my apartment to the gym, and then back.  But that is no fun, so let's talk about a better destination run.  Like these...

When I lived in Hoboken/NYC, some weekend mornings I would run to Central Park.  The run paused at Whole Foods in Columbus Circle, where I would get a blueberry bagel.  Mmm, blueberry bagels.  Then I'd run back to Hoboken.  Or, when the weather got warmer, I did a couple ice cream destination runs.  Yep.  Mister Softee himself.  Mmm, I miss Mister Softee.  Just a warning though - sometimes it's kinda tough to run after you eat ice cream.  Walk it off a little first.  

Whew, now to the present.  This past week, we had some oppressive heat here in NY.  We are not used to this sort of thing up here.  I mean, it snows in May here.  So when the temperature surpassed the 90 degree mark a few days in a row, I knew what I was doing.  A Type 2 Destination Run to 7-Eleven.  For a slurpee!  Yay!!  


Does anyone else out there every do destination runs?  Which type?  Where do you go?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Famous People Run, Too

Don't worry, I'm not about to blab about how my favorite singer ever Justin Timberlake goes running.  Or how I watched the NYC Marathon when Ryan Reynolds ran.  Or how our beloved Governor Paterson ran the Boilermaker two years ago when I ran it.  But those are all neat things.  Right?

I just want to share this article.  You see, in the winter, on those mornings where there is just a bit too much lake effect snow to battle, I run on the treadmill at 6 in the morning.  And I watch Morning Joe on MSNBC while I run.  That way not only do I feel energized after my run, but I feel enlightened and in the know.  So when I read this interview with Mika Brzezinski, I was just really happy.  It made me want to go for a run.  Which I will do, tomorrow morning.  Perhaps on a treadmill, so  I can watch Morning Joe.  :) 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Running on Location

You know it, you love it.  Sure, you like the comfort of running in your neighborhood.  Knowing every turn of your route before you even take your first step.  But to me at least, there is nothing more exciting than trying out a new route.  Especially when it's on location.  You name it, I love it.  Sometimes it's visiting my sister or brother.  Or a nice vacation (running on the beach in Florida, anyone?).  Or, if you're lucky like me, you might be able to take advantage of the occasional work trip.  A great example of this:  Santa Monica, CA.  

I could run here every day.  I went to Santa Monica last fall for work, and squeezed in a couple runs to take in the scenery.  This particular picture above was taken on an evening run, which was awesome.  A nice breeze from the ocean, the perfect temperature, and a great sunset.  What's even better about running along the ocean in Santa Monica?  The bluffs that separate the beach from the 'real world'.  And the stairs you can climb for the ultimate heart rate workout (I took this picture after climbing what seemed like 500 stairs).  And the sand you can end your run on.  Before you proceed to take your shoes off and cool down in the ocean.  Darn it - now I want to go back!  Until then, I guess I'll have to hope for another run on location soon!

The birth of a new blog!

I was just having so much fun with my main blog, Little Bitty Bakes, that I decided to start a second!  I think it will help keep me focused as I begin training next month for my first marathon.  What will this blog consist of?  That's a great question!  I'm not sure I can give you an answer.  I may share some of my own training ups and downs.  But that could get boring pretty quickly ("I ran 5 miles today... I ran 10 miles today...").  So don't worry, I will keep things fun and interesting with any running-related content.  Or health-related content for that matter.  Let's think of this blog and my other as a yin and yang type of thing.  I am excited.  I think this will be fun!