Monday, February 23, 2009

I AM a runner

I run to loose weight. Pretty straight-forward. However, there are plenty of other ways to loose weight. Why run?

Here are my reasons:

  • Running forces me to focus on simply breathing. Because I'm very analytical, I have such a hard time with getting my mind to simply stop. Running helps me to just breathe.

  • Running is hard. So when I make any progress, it feels amazing! It's a real boost to my self-confidence. I'm confident but I'm also critical of myself. When I see progress in my running, it gives me the boost I need to keep going and not let the bad days get to me.

  • Something about my feet pounding down against the surface. It feels good.

  • I love that after a run, bad or good, my body pulsates. My face is red and I can literally feel my blood pumping through my arms and legs. It's a sort of high. Maybe runner's high? I don't know but it feels incredible. In that moment, there is nothing I can't do!! ... except take another step ;-)
  • I love that seasoned runners look and move like well oiled machines. They look unstoppable. I aspire to look and move like that one day.

I am only getting started in this sport so I really didn't consider myself a runner. I think you can call yourself a runner the day you realize you can't go too long without lacing up. Well, I realized this today. I AM a runner. My knee feels better and I'm eager to lace up again.

I have been wanting to go for a run all week but couldn't. In these past two weeks, I've been paying for my rookie runner mistake: Training too hard too fast.

I had been pushing myself so far beyond my comfort level that I hurt my knee on my last run. I've had muscle soreness since I started training but I thought that it would pass and I would soon feel stronger. However, I noticed to my horror that instead of making progress I was getting weaker! I had no energy and I could barely do half a mile several days after my weekly long run. I was getting very frustrated!

Last week, I was limping through Barnes and Nobles and came across this book:
Runner' World - Complete Book of Woman's Running, The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance

As I read through it, I realized I was approaching all this backwards. My 'All or Nothing' mentality was putting me in a very bad situation. I was doing everything they suggest not to do to prevent injury.My favorite quote from this book so far: "One of life's little paradoxes is that sometimes when we strain hard, we accomplish less. This is certainly true in running."

Since, I decided to start over with my training but a little wiser this time. I will be doing their suggested 8 week plan for beginners. I really don't want to hurt myself.

Those of us with an 'All or Nothing' mentality, we often take on more than we should and grind through it instead of admitting we're in over our heads. This is me.

I have learned the hard way that it's better to readjust my goals at the expense of my ego than to grind through it and cause real physical injury. I did this with kickboxing a few years back. I LOVED kickboxing and trained 6 days a week for several months...until I just couldn't do it anymore. All those intense workouts with no real rest in between took it's toll on my knees.

I had a sharp pain behind my knees weeks after I had stopped. My knees finally healed but it took so long that I worried I might have done permanent damage.

Hurting my knee last week was the reality check I needed. I don't want to make that same mistake again. This rookie is a runner... in the making.

Monday, February 16, 2009

An infatuation with produce

produce deandeluca

Yesterday after my run, I dipped into the local Dean and DeLuca (1150 Madison Ave, between 85th and 86th street) for a steaming hot cup of coffee to warm myself up. I always love to take a look around because they have an amazing variety of everything: meat, fish, bread, cheese... you name it and they probably have at least 5 varieties of it.

I turned a corner and came across this vision. Yes! The produce section! Isn't it beautiful?! My eyes look fondly at the Shaki Mushrooms first (SO YUMMMY!) and then the Portobellos. The cherry tomatoes, snow peas, green beans and yellow summer squash are exquisite! I'm in love with this whole arrangement of vegetables. So beautiful!

Comon'! Fess up! I doubt that I'm the only one who feels like this about produce. Maybe it's the foodie in me that is so infatuated. Whatever it is, it's awesome to be me in the produce section. Like a kid in a candy store.
Photo by a babe in the making

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beauty in Blue

sunday runs

Running in Central Park has been my new Sunday ritual for the past several weeks. I had done the 6 mile loop around the park previously but this week decided to take the 1.5 mile around the reservoir. The 6 miles are doable but I would be in pain for the rest of the week. I'm scaling back and working up to the 6 miles again. My shins and calves are grateful for this decision.

Today the dirt track around the reservoir was now mud. Gross but challenging. I was so focused on not slipping that I could barely make the silly 1.5 miles around. It is so much harder to run in mud! Seems obvious now but I had no idea how much harder it would be. Plus I was freezing.

I'm such a baby. I like to think I'm so hardcore but really - not so much. Still working on it I suppose ;-)

Midway during my run, I stopped for a few seconds to catch my breathe and snap this shot. This is why it's such a joy to run in the park despite the freezing weather. I hope to capture more views of Central Park on future runs.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Birthday, My New York

Dsc_0016- nails nobel

This is where my day began - Nail's Noble (1484 3rd Ave, between 83rd and 84th). I went in for a quick manicure but this place gives your hands the spa treatment with their hot cream hand message. I also decided to splurge for a back rub while I waited for my nails to dry... lets just say it wasn't as great as the hand message. I couldn't wait for it to be over.

After my manicure, I walked down 3rd Ave and came across the
Super Runners Shop (1246 3rd Ave at 72nd Street). The perfect place to shop for my birthday present! I got myself a fancy pair and The Runner's Map of Central Park! I can't wait to break them in!

Dsc_0019- soho

All that shopping made me hungry! So I headed further downtown - SoHo to be precise! I love it's architecture among other things! Here I'm drooling over the large, tall, arched windows of this building.

Dsc_0021- Ideya outside

Soho is also where my favorite restaurant of all time is located: Ideya Latin Bistro (349 West Broadway, between Broome and Grand streets) . I've been coming to Ideya for my birthday every year for the past 4 years, ever since I discovered it! They serve latin food with flair. I think of it as a perfect piece of Miami in New York.


I really love this place and don't come often enough. I love how minimal everything is.

Dsc_0024- lunch

We had their Medio Dia sandwich served with a perfectly dressed side salad. Perfectly delicious.

DSC_0030 bday cake

And to finish my birthday lunch, a slice of heaven! Tres Leches cake! Perfection!

We caught the "He's just not that into you" movie after lunch. Funny, cute and alot more insightful then I thought it would be. No, I did not read the book but now I just!

Photos by a babe in the making

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Marathon Training Week 5 and 6

Week 5: 10 miles total; feeling pain in my shins
Week 6: 2 miles; Shin pain nearly unbearable on short run. Did weight training this week to give shins a rest.

They were painful to the touch. I found a way to stretch and message them to relieve the pain. Reading and advice from an experienced runner suggests that I need better shoes. I have a pair of cross trainers and I've had them for a while now. My birthday gift to myself will be a pair of fancy running shoes =o)

Oh and one more thing - I'm adjusting this marathon goal to half-marathon. Yep, shin pain is also an indicator of over training. Sometimes you don't know until you know, you know? But there is no shame in half-marathon for this rookie runner. No shame at all.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


As you all may already know, I'm no longer engaged and in fact back on the single scene. I don't know what life has in store for me. I did not expect to be here so I'll probably be surpised again with what happens next.
I wanted to start a new blog that is less about becoming a bride and more about becoming a woman who I respect and love. Lets see what happens tomorrow.
Thanks for reading ;-)