Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Running Start

I have many "rules" when it comes to shopping. "Never pay retail, unless you're shopping at H&M, Forever 21, or a similar type of store." "A sale isn't good until the item is marked 60% off or more," but I also have another type of rule: A cute outfit is always exciting, even if it is for working out. Yes, I just said working out...running to be exact. I bet your mouths just dropped to the floor because you know that I hate working out. To be fair, it is the gym that I hate, and as a child I was never one for athleticism. I may have played a little soccer, had a brief stint horseback riding, and took tennis lessons, but all this fell by the wayside in high school. I dropped out of the tennis team before the season started, and in fact, I didn't even run the mile in phys ed. For anyone to think that I would ever take up running, there would have to be pigs flying or winter in hell.

But the girl who moved to New York without a job, the girl who overcame her silly fears (being scared of answering the phone, for one), has now taken on another challenge: running. It all started when my dear friend Antonia ran the New York City Marathon in November 2010. It wasn't her first marathon, and certainly not her last, but seeing her trek up 1st avenue at mile 16, I had an epiphany: I wanted to run. I don't know what it was, but the challenge excited me.

I ran my first mile on November 30, 2009, and in the first three months I increased to 8 miles. The first few times I ran, I wore old running shoes (the cheapest I could find at DSW), Hard Tail yoga pants and a cotton t-shirt, hardly the appropriate outfit I soon learned. To be a true runner, one does have to dress the part, and I was excited for my new running gear. After my first week of running, I went out to purchase the essentials: CWX pants, a Nike long sleeve Dri Fit, a Saucony running jacket, and new running shoes. I learned that I over-pronate, so I needed some stability shoes. I settled on the Pro Grid Guide and I love them.

CWX Stabilyx Tights image from

My first race shirt and bib! Fred Lebow 5 Miler

My second pair of Pro Grid Guides. Pretty in teal!

I ran in the freezing cold, I ran 4 races ranging from a 4 miler in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, to a 10k in Central Park. I would look forward to the alone time and I loved it when the temperatures were frigid (I overheat easily, so the colder, the better). I had been bitten by the running bug...and I was bitten hard. But when the temperatures warmed up, and I had a bad run at the April Scotland 10k, I took a way too long hiatus and gave up running for 6 long months. I was back in it in November, training for my very first half marathon, wondering why I had allowed myself to take such an extended break. I loved running. I had missed it.

Antonia and I at the Al Gordon Snowflake. My best time because she paced me!

So there I was, training for one of the hardest New York half marathons, the Manhattan Half, two loops of Central Park, in one of the coldest winters in years. The day of the half it was FOURTEEN degrees, not including wind chill. But I was decked out in my compression tights, long sleeve tee, jacket, hat, and free gloves I got from running with Nike a few nights a week the prior spring. If I didn't have the proper gear, not only would I have been freezing, but I may have injured myself more so than I did. Yes, despite all my proper gear and training, I came away with a pretty severe calf strain that sidelined me for a month. But now I'm back, training for my second half, the Brooklyn Half, on May 21st.

My shirt and bib for my very first half marathon!

Pic from the finish line. This was the best one taken, and it still sucks.

So what do I expect to be wearing in May? It will be my first time to brave the summer heat, and I plan to be prepared! I have my newly purchased CWX compression shorts, a variety of Nike tank tops (okay, I have two, but hope to buy a few more), and of course my trusty running shoes. And WATER, plenty of water. (I actually really hate water, so this one is going to be tough for me.) When it comes down to it, I may feel like I'm going to die, but that is okay as long as I look cute doing it!

This morning I had my 6 mile training run which I did by running the Scotland 10k. I had to erase the memory of last year's time and I came away with a new PR. 10:05/mile! Just makes me look even more forward to May 21st. Check out my time progress below (if you can read it, I couldn't figure out how to make it not so tiny, any ideas?)

Now if I can just figure out how to avoid looking like a red faced sweaty mess...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good job! I still am afraid of running, I should just do it.