Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Marathon pictures :-)

Here are just a few pictures from the marathon!

new workouts!

Once again, I apologize for the long hiatus!

This past month I have been trying to get back into a workout routine. I have been dealing with laziness and lack of money, which is a bad combination when I need a lot of motivation to workout and push myself! At times like these I miss having a trainer.

At the beginning of the month, I took advantage of an introductory week of yoga at Bikram Yoga Union Square. I always enjoy doing these intro week specials (I have also completed them with Bikram Yoga NYC and Bikram Yoga Harlem) because you can do yoga as much as you want for only $20! What a deal!

Bikram Yoga Union Square had a completely different vibe than the other studios. I referred to it as "Bikram Yoga Bootcamp." It was realllly hardcore. I felt like it was much more of a workout than other classes I've taken. It was also kind of scary. The instructors clapped loudly when they wanted us to change postures! and they kept us in the postures wayyy longer than I was used to. The heating system was also different than the other Bikrams I've done, so it took me a few days to get used to the heat. In other words, I was on the floor a lot. I am really glad I did this intro week (especially because I got to explore Union Square), but I will probably not go back fora while. It is pretty expensive compared to what I'm used to, and is slightly more pretentious than other yoga studios I've been to. But I did enjoy getting my butt kicked!

Another workout I tried this month was "Crossfit NYC." I was traveling to Kentucky the week after the marathon (to visit my friend and former roommate Kate and her wonderful family), and this guy I was sitting next to on the plane highly recommended it. I decided to check it out, and signed up for a free beginner workout. This studio is located on 26th and Broadway, and the first thing I noticed when I entered was how empty it seemed! It was not full of machines like most gyms I am used to, but an interesting assortment of weights and block type things. The 2nd thing I noticed was the girl working at the front desk- my friend Sara, who played horn with me in brass quintet last year and graduated from MSM in the spring! She was formally a trainer at Crunch gym on the upper west side and recently converted to the Crossfit studio. What a pleasant surprise!

My beginner class consisted of two 20-something year old sisters without much workout experience, this other guy (who looked like he worked out) and myself. This "workout" was more of an introduction to what Crossfit is, but our trainer promised us that even with just the two 4-minute workouts we were going to do, we would be in agony the next day. Bring it on.

The first workout we did involved squatting down to a medicine ball (so you couldn't cheat; you had to squat down alll the way). We had to squat as many times as possible in 20 seconds (ouch) then had a 10 second recovery time. We repeated this eight times so it added up to four minutes. Our "score" was whatever the lowest number of squats in any of the given sets was. (For example, I started out with 16 squats in the first 20 seconds. By the 8th set, I was down to 12. My score was 12). We needed a LOT of recovery time after this one. Especially the guy in the group...his score was 19! And he was feeling it.

The second workout was similar to the first workout, except it involved push-ups instead of squats. I am pretty out of shape, especially in my upper body, so I did the girly knee push-ups. I ended up with a score of 8 (which was pretty happy with. These got very difficult very quickly).

My body hurt more the next day than it did the day after the marathon. It was awesome. I LOVE feeling sore because that means my body is changing. Unfortunately, I can't afford to do this quite yet, but as soon as I can afford a package, I am in. I want to be buff and in shape. I bet this will help with the running too!

In running news- I have gotten back on the treadmill. I haven't really gotten past two miles yet...but it feels good to push myself and really sweat like my old treadmill days. Soon I'll be back up to my 5K treadmill workout (which is really made me lose weight a few years ago).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

a busy month of travel!

I'm sorry it has been so long since I've posted, especially since so many exciting things have happened! Like A MARATHON.

Two weeks ago, I headed out to San Francisco (my first time on the west coast!) to run the Nike Women's Marathon. I was nervous, excited, relieved and sad (all at once!) for that weekend. Nervous, because I knew what I was getting myself into. Excited, because team in training is an AWESOME group and I knew I'd have an incredible time. Relieved, because I knew that come Monday, I wouldn't have to run for a VERY long time. And sad, because this incredible group I've been running with for five months was reaching the conclusion of its time together.

San Francisco is a great city. I would love to be able to explore the city (and not on foot. for 26.2 miles). I feel like I really associate with the laid back vibe of the city. People are friendly. The food is good. The only aspect I didn't really like was the HILLS. My friend Lauren had a great idea for exploring the city without tiring our legs out before the race. We took one of those double decker tour buses and got to see everything without wasting any energy! I felt very much like a tourist.

The race was very hard. It was a much tougher course than I imagined, and the hills kept coming. I was, however, proud that I completed it no matter how miserable I felt the entire time. This is what I wrote in my journal the morning of the race as kind of a pep talk:

"Marathoning is a microcosm of your life- the strength and effort you use to push through this achievement is the same willpower used to fight through hard situations in life.

I can do this. And I'm going to have fun.

Think about what I am running for. Think about life and what I want to do.

It's just running. I just need to make it from the start sign to the finish. Easy :-)"

This is why running is so emotional for so many people. It becomes much more than just running- it becomes your self. When you devote so much time to one event, your success or failure can really mess with your mind and spirit. Coach Ramon insisted that the achievement of an endurance event is not about race day- it's about the training and hard work you put into it. That being said, the person who starts a marathon is not the same person who finishes one. While running, you have so much time to think about giving up, and that makes it so much more rewarding when you cross ths finish line. This particular marathon was a very teary-eyed one for many- I'm sure our coaches were very relieved when they didn't have to deal with our emotions anymore :-)

From now on, fall will always equal marathon season for me. And New York City is the place to be to experience the marathon magic. This weekend, New York was a very exciting place. Not only was it Halloween weekend (on a Saturday no less!) but it was also marathon weekend. For the first time, I actually got to be a spectator at a race and witness (instead of experience!) the true emotional sport marathon running is.

Have a wonderful week! I'll post more about the marathon(s) soon.