Category Archives: Exercise

Last time I ran a Half Marathon was earlier this year in the beginning of April, I think. It was the More (Magazine) Half Marathon. I ran it without training, although I was hoping to get back into running. My time was pathetic, but I finished under the 3 hour cut off. I was planning on running the Brooklyn Half, but it fell during my (not really) honeymoon. (I was in Portland with my husband’s family.)

20130608-205310.jpgGoing in a totally different direction, I decided to take up the Russian kettle bell swing. My husband was reading “The Four Hour Body.” Although I’m not a complete devotee, I liked what I read about the move, beings full workout. Also, my good friend Denise recently got certified (and she has an amazing body through kettle bells) to teach, and she raves about its effects (an she’s a real life transformation).

We picked up a 25lb and 35lb kettle ball to start. I’ll report my progress. I’m trying to go in a different direction. I’ll continue running shorter distances (5k-15k). This is really attractive to me, since the time commitment is much less.

I’m also going to try to pick things up here at this blog.

On Wednesday, I finished the Chase Corporate Challenge race. (For a moment, I actually thought it was last week. This week has gone by so SLOWLY.) For the first time, I got out there with my Vibram Five Fingers: Bikila. I have to say, my left foot’s arch was aching afterwards. That was a bit annoying and discouraging, except it was fine the next day. My calves aching is usually a given. I’m slowly trying to transition into them and have been running on the treadmill for 3-5 miles on them. Now, running on the treadmill is pretty different than running on terrain, and I’ve been meaning to go for a smaller jog. I expected to hurt more, given the pounding my arches, ankles and calves are going to get. And really, I thought this 3.5 mile race was pretty perfect. For the last couple of months, since my terrain runs were longer, I just didn’t want to break out the five fingers.

The Chase Race was in Central Park and started past west 72nd st., looped around 110 st. and ended on the 72nd st. traverse. It wasn’t a bad course, especially since you are going down on Cat Hill to the finish. The only annoying thing was that it was from 7pm and I’m never a really strong runner at the end of the day. I usually feel the best in the mornings running, and the heat was getting me down.

I am so used to NYRR races running like clock-work that this race was SO disorganized to me. The volunteers were few and the ones that were there were clearly not used to running races. 1) This race was over crowded and a cluster fuck. 2) It wasn’t spectator friendly towards the start line (There wasn’t even a clear way for people in faster corrals to get through all the slower ones). 3) They ran out of water in the first 2 water stations and the attendants were quickly trying to keep up, instead of waving people towards the later tables. That was ridiculous. 4) Once you passed the finish line, they herd you for another half mile away from the race site to return to get your baggage, meet up with your party, etc… Uhg. Ridiculous. I lost my mother in the shuffle, my party missed me crossing the finish line, and I had to just meet everyone away from the action at Columbus Circle. Race wise, it wasn’t my strongest race and i definitely didn’t PR. I got pushed 3 times, and elbowed once. Race/common sense etiquette was clearly lacking. Overall, was it worth my $40? No. It would have been more fun had more people in my department signed up.

Ryan was initially super excited about them. Now, after he’s heard my complaints, he’s trying to get me off of them. Haha. I’m really still reserving my final judgment, since I haven’t had time to fully integrate them. And I am sort of convinced that my stride is lighter and lower with these shoes. And I can certainly feel the shoes giving my feet and calves a work out. And I’m ok with that.

Tangent: When I first got the Bikila’s, the store attendant was SUPER enthusiastic about them. He said he wore them EVERY SINGLE DAY and the only reason he didn’t wear them that day was because it was raining (I believe him and it was raining). I was sold on the Bikila’s, although I tried on the KSOs as well. The Bikila was comfier and I didn’t expect to do any heavy extreme sports type running in them. Then, he showed me these other Vibrams Five Finger shoes, meant for yoga and just lounging. It was kind of like these Classic, but everything was soft faux leather, and kind of like a slip on ballet flat version of these shoes. And he was like, “these are on sale now, and you are NOT GOING TO WANT TO TAKE THESE OFF EVER.” Obviously the attendant didn’t know the extent of my vanity. I was just like, “No.” (Kind of “Hell, to the NO.”) Seriously. I am willing to run in these shoes for the benefits they are suppose to offer (less strain on your joints, lighter stride, etc…), but I am not going to start to wear these things all the time. No. They are not a fashion statement. Sorry! And I’m probably not going to stop wearing my boots or heels.

The one thing is, running in them feels great, because they encourage you to be a forefoot striker. However, walking in them is another thing. Not really comfortable for someone who is used to walking in heels, since the soles conform to your feet, you feel like you’re walking on an incline.

So anyway, I’ve been giving these baby a shot and haven’t been able to completely transition into them, since I’ve been running mostly 10K races.

Find out more about Barefoot Running.

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve finished my 9 races to get guaranteed entry into the 2012 NYC ING Marathon! I’m volunteering on the 25th for the Front Runner’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Race for my “+1.” I’m pretty excited. After the really hot months, I’ll start training exclusively for long distances. I’m considering running the Bronx Half Marathon in the end of August.

The Races I’ve Done:
NYRR New York Mini 10K (June 11)
Brooklyn Half-Marathon (May 21)
UAE Healthy Kidney 10K (May 14)
Japan Day Run For Hope 4M (May 8)
Japan Day Virtual Run 5.18M
NYRR 4 Mile (April 23)
Run for the Parks 4M (April 17)
Scotland Run 10K (April 10)
NYRR Gridiron 4M (Feb 6)
NYRR Fred Lebow Classic 5M (Jan 8)

The Chase Corporate Challenge (3.5Miles – June 15-16) isn’t included, because it’s not a Marathon qualifying race. I’m also considering running the Warrior Dash in August (if my coworker is still interested in doing that with me), which is also a non-qualifying race. (Only issue is that it’s 3 hours outside of NYC, so either my coworker is driving, or we need to make a weekend of it.) It’s also an obstacle course race, so it’s not a traditional straight run. On the upside, YOU GET A VIKING HAT if you participate! And that’s probably my motivation. (I’ve become a race swag addict, and I admit, I’ve been a little obnoxious about it. “Why is this a regular cotton T-Shirt?! I should get a Tech-Shirt for the $40 I put in!!!”)


So, the last time I went hasn’t exactly been a year, which is quite frustrating. I started Bikram yoga again, since it’s what I am comfortable with and i felt a little stir crazy this long weekend.

I should preface this by saying that I AM COMPLETELY out of shape. I don’t want to get too deep into it here, but in terms of stamina, size, and general fitness… all FAIL. When I started bikram in Fall of ’08, I was in much better shape. I still got sore, but it was nothing like yesterday.

I went in to a hot yoga session for the first time in around … 8 months? What a difference it makes! And it isn’t completely the hot yoga. I haven’t been moving or jogging and I’ve been eating whatever the beau eats. Yeah. This consists of me riding the subway to work 40 minutes, sitting in front of a computer for 9am-7pm, and finding the energy to cook/look/buy food. Then I would vegetate. Bad! Or sometimes I would go to a concert and that would get me out at 9-10pm.

Either way, I am terribly out of shape. Yesterday, after class, I felt like DEATH. Last time I started it up, it was tough, but I loved it. I really did leave it feeling exhilarated and stretched. I completely admit that this time… I FELT ILL. I went to their noon class and came out at 2 feeling dizzy, blurry visioned, and headache-y. I thought it would go away if I drank gallons of water… but it didn’t. I ended up just needing to lay down in the dark at 4pm, when it didn’t go away.

I feel like some loon might tell me that it’s the toxins leaving my body (not necessarily the instructors – I have met pretty practical instructors that I really like). I think I just pulled something or a muscle tense in my neck. I think it was during all those “thyroid” poses that ask you to tuck in your chin and put your forehead to your legs.

I was told that this is probably because I was trying to do what I used to do… whereas when I started for the very first time, I wasn’t straining myself in that fashion. That probably might be true. I work hard at these classes, but yesterday was definitely a disappointment. For example, I used to be able to do a great bow pose by the end of my bikram run. Awesome bow pose, and now, I can hardly stay in it for the first set. That was a little ego crushing.

I can’t go like I used to. (I can neither afford it or have the time…) I used to go 5 times a week, seriously. I don’t think i would make progress in leaps and bounds. I don’t know if I can get all those “holistic” benefits they talk about in class. I don’t really even think it’s a good source of cardio.

I think I might stick with it for a while, once to twice a week, and see if it might be worth it.

When I first started, I felt sore in the back of my thighs and the front of my stomach all the way down. This time, though, I feel sore on my upper back (probably from the locust post), front of my thighs, and MY CHIN. How does the underside of my chin hurt? What is wrong with me that my chin is out of shape? (haha, i don’t think I want to know the answer to that) Seriously, I didn’t even know that was possible.

I’ve realized something very disturbing.

I was always bottom heavy and top light. My butt was the bane of my existence. I was always pretty active with things that engaged my lower half, I guess. I don’t know what this is about.

I have been pretty sedentary ever since the weather has gone bad. I used to jog in snow, but I’ve been quite lazy. AND I went on vacation. Either way, I am getting a little bit of a tire. I find that my shape is changing. I always thought it was genetics, but in fact perhaps it’s my age or because I am not walking all that much anymore. And I’m a little horrified… quite frankly.