From the Little Acorn to the Big Apple

friends, food, and fitness

I did it again! August 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 12:05 pm

Yesterday I went to Central Park for another long run. I had set out to complete 10 miles (my max) and set my minimum distance for 7 miles.  I set my course to the same 2-5 mile laps of the park – which makes it harder not to complete all 10 miles.

My run was amazing! I think I had a great combination of cooler weather, low humidity, I drank tons of water all day in preparation and had a small snack beforehand. I felt great! It wasn’t until the last half mile that I was starting to struggle. This is a huge improvement from last time where I hit a wall around 7 miles. I also tried out some Gu for the first time which definitely boosted my energy.  I was nervous to try it because I have heard of some people’s horrible experiences, but I’m happy to report I was fine!

My only issue is drinking enough water throughout my long runs. I like the CamelBak becuase it saves me time by not having to stop at every single water fountain along the path – which really wastes a lot of time and energy. I can’t get enough water at one time and really struggle getting it through the tube. Any suggestions?? I might try and look for something like this:

 

 

bottle

Hopefully I can find one this weekend, I want to be able to test it out before the race and I’m afraid if I order it online it won’t arrive in time.  I would be easier to carry nothing but I feel so naked running empty handed. I like having a pocket to keep my keys, some cash and possible my phone just in case.

I plan to go on a 5-mile run this weekend. I’ll be visiting my friend in Pittsburgh but she says there is a gorgeous path around a lake near her house which we plan to run Saturday morning. Other than that I’m going to take it easy. I feel MUCH more confident after last night’s run and am going to try to repeat everything I did yesterday.

This link will bring you to the course of the race ( I can’t get the image to upload for some reason). It’s one lap of the park (7miles) then you run through Times Square all the way south to Battery Park. It’s an amazing course – I think I’ll be very distracted by the scenery and the crowd – hopefully there will be one at 8am! I’m really counting on adrenaline to push me through the last few miles. I’m super excited to run with my sister and her husband (although I’m sure he’ll be WAY ahead of us).  Now, I just want race day to be here!

 

 

 

 

Double Digits! July 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 4:30 pm

I knew I wanted to do a long run this week but realized I didn’t have time to do it other than last night or tonight – its pouring rain today so yesterday afternoon I decided to just suck it up and do 10 miles. There was no rain, I had no plans, and basically no excuses not to!

 

As soon as I got home from work I put on my running shoes and hurried out the door before I had a second to think about it. I set my goal at 10 miles, but I usually set a “maximum” goal, and a “minimum” goal. This is because sometimes my body just can’t handle the distance I have set out to run that day, so as long as I set a slightly shortly distance then at least I have accomplished one goal and not completely bailed. So last night my max was 10 and min was 7. I haven’t run 10 miles since my half marathon, and while training for that race my longest run was 8 miles.

 

Heading out for a run that’s going to take an hour and a half is pretty intimidating. After running the first mile I just kept thinking over and over “I can’t believe I still have 9 miles to go”. The entire time I ran last night it was all mental. Aside from the last 2 miles, my body felt fine but my mind kept telling me to stop. It was a definitely tough but I completed 10 miles! I had to walk a few times and stop and stretch but that was about it! I was so proud that I actually accomplished a goal that I had set. I would like to do at least one more 10 mile run before the half and then take it easy the week before the race.

 

Lately, after these long runs I get home and feel extremely sick. I drink water while running and drink countless bottles when I get home but I always feel nauseous for at least an hour after these runs. The heat is definitely getting to me and it might be that I haven’t eaten enough before my run. I need to experiment on these next few runs to see how I can solve this problem! Any suggestions??

 

Stretch, stretch, stretch. July 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 6:15 pm

Over the weekend I realized how quickly the half marathon is approaching… I also haven’t completed a long run over 8 miles. My goal was to complete a 10 mile run before the race, but unfortunately I will be out of town the 2 weekends prior to the half. I may have to figure out a way to do it after work. It does help that I am out by 4:30, yet it’s still extremely hot at that time and I am still struggling with the heat.

 

I went on a quick run Friday night after work. It was mainly to test out my new shoes! I had been getting serious shin splints from my other shoes which I love dearly, but it was time to retire them. The only problem was, they were $140! In case you don’t remember, I’ve always had a serious issue with finding the right running shoes so the last pair I had (Asics Kayano 15) were AMAZING. However, my wallet does not allow a new pair of $140 running shoes every few months. So, I went to my favorite running store in Grand Central (surprising, I know!) and told the salesperson I loved my old shoes but needed a cheaper pair. Without hesitation, he grabbed a pair of shoes that were perfect! I swear, the people that work there are geniuses. They know so much about shoes and what works for you and the best part it – they don’t waste your time! They must be used to people who are short on time and have to make a train because I have never spent more than 20 minutes in the store. I ended up buying Asics GT-2140, and they were under $100 which is much more manageable. There wasn’t a serious difference either compared to my old shoes when I went to test them out. I’m so happy!

 

shoe

 

Sunday morning I geared up for an 8 mile run. I even took it easy the night before so I would have no excuse as to why I couldn’t run. I went on the same path as the weekend before, but was not nearly as successful… Even though it was 8 in the morning, the humidity was out of control! Practically unbearable. I couldn’t believe that it could still be that hot without the sun. I sucked it up and continued on and drank as much water as possible while running (love my camel back!)  The past few days I have had pain in my left foot that I had actually experienced while training for my first half marathon. The doctor had told me it stemmed from my extremely tight hamstrings and Achilles and recommended that I go to physical therapy. Unfortunately, physical therapy didn’t fit into my budget and she showed me a few stretches I could do at home. Of course, I did them for a few weeks and felt much better so I stopped. BAD IDEA. Now I have the same pain all over again and once I hit mile 4 on my run something in my foot popped and I had such bad pain I couldn’t run anymore and had to take a cab back to my apartment. I felt pretty pathetic but didn’t want to run in case something was seriously wrong. I went home and iced it and felt much better. I need to get better about stretching! You’d think I would have learned from my last injury, but of course not. I plan to stretch at least twice a day EVERY DAY until the race. No excuses! I’m being foolish my not stretching like the doctor recommended, and will regret it when I get seriously hurt.

Other than that, I’m getting super excited for the race! I feel very confident and am happy that it starts so early so that the heat will be bearable. Let’s pray for good weather! I’m going to go stretch 🙂

 

Article: Can’t Stand the Heat? July 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 5:56 pm

I found this  great article yesterday in Runner’s World right after I wrote my post about how much I struggled running in the heat. The entire article is great, but here are two things he mentioned that stuck out in my mind:

1. The current recommendation on hydration is that you should drink for thirst, and only for thirst. You don’t need to start pounding down the water just because it’s hot.

2. You’ll have to slow your pace in the heat. Your heart is pumping blood to your skin to keep you cool, which increases your heart rate, and the means that your pace must slow down.

These may seem obvious, but make so much sense as to why one cool evening after work I can run 4 miles at a 9:00 pace but could barely stick to a 10 min/mile pace during my long run on Sunday.   I am trying to acclimate myself to running in the heat for the half but need to remember to be careful! Luckily, the race starts at 7am, meaning I should (hopefully)  be finished by 9:00am right before the heat is unbearable!

The half is only a few weeks away, I can’t wait!

 

Allison: Back at it! and biking? July 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 6:33 pm

I have definitely been more accountable with my training over the last week. On Sunday I decided to test myself by going out for my first long run in months – 8 miles! It went much better than I was expecting. I used a camel back for the first time and it made such a difference! It was HOT outside and I honestly don’t think I would have made it without it.

hudson

I love living by the Hudson because there is a path along the entire river. You can run as long or as short a distance as you want. I decided to run towards Battery Park which was about 4 miles from my apartment. The only drawback was there was ZERO shade on the path for the entire distance, aside from a few trees along the way. I was lazy on Sunday morning and didn’t leave for my run until 2pm so it was extremely hot. I made it the first 4 miles with no problem and once I got to Battery Park I sat in the shade, stretched and walked around for about 10 minutes. I know I could have run the whole time but didn’t want to take any chances in the heat, especially when I still had 4 miles to go. Miles 4-7 were no problem but I really struggled on mile 8. I was just way too hot and felt like I couldn’t go any farther so I ran/walked the rest of the way. Overall, the run was great. Next time I need to get my butt out of bed earlier in the morning and take advantage of the shade! I feel much more prepared for this half marathon than my last, and if I just do a few more longer runs on the weekends I’ll be fine. Now that I have the perfect place to run, I have no excuse not to!

Along this path there are also a ton of bikers and I have definitely become interested in the sport! It seems like great cross training and amazing exercise. I would love to start but know nothing about it and would like to test out some bikes before spending $1000 on a new bike. Any suggestions?

On another note… Joanna has officially left me. The good news is that I now work 7:30-4:30 so have much more time to exercise after work. The bad news is, I MISS HER TERRIBLY! Here is a picture of us at the NYC Philharmonic in the park last week.

DSC00617

 

Allison: Lacking Motivation… again July 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 9:01 pm

Hopefully a pattern is not forming… I hit a wall about a month before my first half marathon and completely lost all motivation to train or exercise and it’s happening again. I’m not sure what the cause is, but I simply cannot get myself out of bed in the morning to go for a run. Even on the most beautiful days I come up with endless excuses as to why I should stay in bed.

I’m not sure if it’s the monotony of my training routine – my recent discovery of the path along the Hudson River is no longer enough to distract me from my exercise. I have researched countless training programs and tried to find the one that I truly knew I could handle – not one that was too challenging that I knew I would give up on after only a few days.

I’ve attempted to add strength training (Caitlin and Kath’s program) which I have really loved, as well as various Yoga podcasts I have found online but nothing is sticking. The thing is, that after my run I feel amazing and have never regretted a single workout – I just can’t seem to my butt out the door.

So how can I fix this? I am falling way behind on my training for the half in august, having completed only one four mile run since Saturday. I would like to do at least a 10 mile run before the race but don’t want to push myself too hard. I think I just need to suck it up and lace up my running shoes before I even have time to think about it. Even if I end up walking for half of my run that’s better than no exercise at all. I think laziness and the fact that I finally have a living room that I can relax in along with endless cable stations (2 things I did not have at my old apartment) are pathetic contributors to this extreme lack of motivation.

I’ve said this before but this time I mean it, I’m going to really get my butt into gear and focus! I have absolutely no reason as to why I am not exercising. I take for granted the fact that I have the ability to even get out and go for a run, there are so many people who would give anything to be able to put on a pair of sneakers and go for a jog or compete in a race and here I am complaining about it. So, this is my new found motivation: I am have a body that allows me to exercise so rather than wasting it I am going to USE IT!

 

One more thing…. July 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 9:57 pm

I forgot to mention in my last post is that Joanna will be leaving me in a few short weeks to move to San Diego. Although I am so incredibly happy for her, I’m going to miss her like crazy! Although we rarely actually ran together, she has been my motivator and partner through everything for the past few months! So not only will this blog be used to update everyone on our (lack of) training for races, but also to keep in touch while she is across the country. Hopefully there will be future posts of us jogging along the boardwalk in San Diego when I am out there to visit 🙂

 

Allison: 4 on the 4th

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 9:53 pm

This weekend I will be participating in Chester, CTs annual 4 on the 4th race. I am excited because I will be part of Team Emma – fondly named after my niece who will be pushed by her dad in a jogging stroller. My Dad, sister and other brother in law will also be running. My sister (Emma’s mom) had to sit this one out because she is pregnant again! There will definitely be competition now as to who the team is named after next year.

But now back to running…I was slowly working my way back into training and was caught off guard when I realized the race was only a few days away. I’ve found my best runs are in the morning before work, there is an amazing path new my new apartment that is along the Hudson River which is a great change of scenery. I have found that I need to eat something small yet substantial before going out or else I get lightheaded and tire easily on my run.

I’m kind of nervous about the 4 on the 4th course because it is all hills – extremely steep uphills, long drawl out hills, steep downhills – basically a runner’s worst nightmare. It will definitely help to have my family members running along with me to keep me moving on the course!

After this race, I am hoping to run in a few smaller races in the city to further prepare me for the half marathon in August. Now that I’ve gotten back into training, I have to start incorporating longer runs into my routine – I’m including that in this post to hold myself accountable! The change of scenery along the Hudson has definitely gotten me out of my funk – I am excited because the half marathon course follows the Hudson down to Battery Park – an area which I will be very familiar with by then.

Training in the heat has been another challenge. It’s taken a lot of getting used to but I’m trying to run in all different temperatures before this half marathon. The race this weekend starts at 9am and looks like it will be a pretty warm day. Hopefully I will be more prepared for the extreme heat in this half marathon than the last! I’ve also started including yoga in my daily routine to increase my strength and flexibility. Now speedwork is all that’s left! Any suggestions??

 

Allison: Running Hiatus June 15, 2009

Filed under: Allison,Uncategorized,Vacations — flavprice @ 8:55 pm

After the half marathon, I decided to take some time off from all forms of exercise. Not only had I burnt myself out training, but I felt like I had really forgotten the real reason I was running. Because I had made running a chore, I no longer enjoyed it as I had before. Running in central park used to be something I did for fun and for myself, not because I HAD to get in a 4 mile run that day.

So after a few weeks of little structured exercise, I’m ready to get back into it! But first, I should recap my experience from the half!

Overall, it was great! I was extremely nervous at the start as I have never raced before in my life, and my first race was a half marathon. Of course, there was a freak heat wave and it was almost 80 degrees at 6:30 in the morning on my way to the race. I was completely unprepared to run in the heat, but knew the key was not to push it. Looking back on my training, the only thing I wish I could change was going on more long runs. They were part of my training schedule, but always fell on the weekends where I was traveling or simply didn’t have the time to devote to a 10-mile run. I didn’t realize how important those long runs were, and had only done one, 8 mile run prior to the race.

This time around I’m not going to constantly make excuses for not going on my long runs because 6 miles into the half, I was hurting. Had Joanna not been there to push me along I know I wouldn’t have made it in the time I did.

Although the race was both physically and mentally challenging, the feeling of crossing the finish line after all of your training and hard work is like nothing I’ve experienced before. I now know how people can become addicted to racing. Seeing all of my friends and family at the finish line made it even more worth it.

In the days following the race I felt lost with no training or any sort of long-term fitness goal in my future. I decided to sign up for another half marathon – the NYC half – on August 18th. i’m approaching this race very differently. I’m going to incorporate cross training and speed work into my routine, which I had included in my last training schedule – but skipped over just like my long runs. But I also want to make sure that this time it’s for me and my love for running, and not made into a chore.

The jump start to my (re)training for the next half was the JP Morgan corporate challenge last week. I thought running a 5k would be simple, considering I was in decent shape, but running 3.5 miles after not running for almost 2 months was definitely a challenge. However, Nolan decided to let me run with him for the first time (!!!) in this race, so that was definitely what kept me going.

I’m excited to train for this next race and am not going to let myself get burnt out. I have realized that although running is definitely physical, a major percentage of it is mental. It’s definitely not as easy as it looks!

I’ll be posting more frequently as my training gets more intense, and also writing about some major transformations I’ve made to my diet over the last few weeks!

I’m also posting a few photos of Joanna and I from the half that her wonderful husband took before the race!

half1

half2

 

The Day After Tomorrow… April 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 1:03 pm

And no, I don’t mean the movie with Dennis Quad and Jake Gyllenhaal.

At this time, the day after tomorrow, Joanna and I will (hopefully) be half way through our half marathon! I can’t believe it’s so close! This week we’ve both taken it easy and have kept up with shorter, easier runs. We are running another short run tonight and taking tomorrow off.

I’m anxious for Sunday to see what racing is all about, considering I’ve never done it before. It will be a lot more exciting running with 5000 other people and sidelines packed with people cheering you on than my casual jog in the park after work. Hopefully all of our hard work will pay off and we are able to finish in a decent time. Although we’re not set on time, our goal is under 2 hours. I feel confident we both can do that and we have each other for encouragement! For preparation I’ve made an awesome playlist to keep me going and plan to stretch every second between now and the start of the race to keep my shin splints from making an appearance during the race.

So now all we have to do is wait… we’re getting our race packets and numbers tomorrow which will means it is actually happening! We’re trying to design some sort of t-shirt to wear, but of course, Nike shut down their t-shirt making machine until June – perfect. Let’s hope we can get something made tomorrow!

Wish us luck!!!!!