Archive for the ‘ Exercise ’ Category

marathon eve

I think I am nearly ready. My gear is all laid out. (Who knew I’d need so much stuff! And yes, candy IS my fuel of choice.) My number is pinned to my shirt. I am drinking Gatorade. Is the marathon really tomorrow?!

26.2 miles. 5 hours. 5 boroughs. 40,000+ runners. 1 million spectators. It should be an incredible day!

Right now, I am curled up on the couch surfing the web and trying to keep my mind off of my 4 am wake up call tomorrow morning. Travis has run about four thousand errands for me so that I can stay off my feet. (He is truly the best.) It seems impossible that the marathon is finally here. My brain is numb. I have been prepping and training so intensely over the last few months, it seems strange that it will all be finished in 24 hours. I am as prepared as I can be, and mostly, I just want to have fun and take in the city tomorrow. It will be one huge, long party, right?

More than 160 people donated to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through my Team in Training page, which helped me surpass my fundraising goal of $5,000. I feel so blessed to have the support of so many people and am thrilled to have met that goal. It seemed so daunting at the beginning of the season. Thank you so much to everyone who donated. Your generosity has truly touched me and I promise to pay it forward.

Overall, the full New York City Team in Training raised over 1 million dollars for the LLS this year! Awesome. Three hundred TNT peeps will be running the NYC marathon tomorrow. Look for us in our purple shirts! Or better yet, come out and cheer with the team!

Tomorrow, I leave home at 5:30 am. I will get to Staten Island (the race start point) by 7 am. I don’t start running until 10:40! I will try to stay calm while also enjoying the crazy race atmosphere… then, I will line up on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge… and then, I will run!!

If you want to follow along with my adventure, I will be “live-tweeting” as much as I can. (Yes, including during the race!) Follow @rljart on Twitter for all the updates, or check out my Facebook page for only the most juicy stuff.

Lastly… I’ve been thinking about the fact that running a marathon is sort of a pointless endeavor… I mean, I am not going to win. ha. Not even close. There are many reasons I could give as to why I am doing this – exercise, to support the LLS, camaraderie – but I think the main reason is that I enjoy setting big goals. And, why not? Like Travis said, we will most likely remember November 7th, 2010 for the rest of our lives because of this crazy event. I don’t think I could say the same thing if I wasn’t running a marathon tomorrow. I just hope it will be remembered fondly!

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I will be resting for the next 36 hours. Do not disturb. (With things of a stressful nature.) (Well wishes are welcome.)

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important marathon prep

marathon singlet

These are just some of the supplies I’ve gathered to use in decorating my marathon singlet (tank top) for the race. Some of my teammates are coming over tonight to join in on the fun. Basically, everyone recommends putting your name on your race shirt so that spectators can cheer you on as you pass. I am taking things a step further and adding some rhinestones! I’ll try not to over-do it, but I have a feeling that the spectators will see #56908 (me) coming!

More NYC Marathon Stuff:

Any other marathon links I’m missing?

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What an icky Saturday! As usual, I had a long training run this morning, but since we are tapering leading up to the marathon on Nov. 7th, it was fairly short. If you can call 11 miles short. I felt awful. Sick stomach, racing heartbeat, heavy legs. Ugh. It is probably my own fault. I went out to dinner with some lovely Eugene friends who were in town last night (hi, Eric & Chandra!) and probably ate too rich of food and got too little sleep. This has also been an insanely busy week, which doesn’t help. Plus, my travel friend (hi, Becca!) and I were running late to practice this morning. It all combined to equal a pretty sucky run. It is so discouraging because I assumed I would have fun with the shorter distance. At least the weather was really nice. And we ran over the 59th Street Bridge (seen above) and through Harlem, which are both new running locales for me. I guess in the end, I survived, but I sure hope I feel a million times better on marathon day!

I had grand plans of catching up on all sorts of important work today. The list feels a mile long, but I haven’t tackled one thing. I zonked out and took a nap after the run. Now, I feel totally brain dead and ready to turn into a tv zombie. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day!

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hair help

I need your help! Because I am pretty much ridiculous, one of my biggest concerns about the day of the marathon is how I am going to do my hair. I need a hair-do that is totally secure, but also (hopefully) somewhat cute. We get official photos during the marathon! I want to look presentable at the very least.

It may be a lost cause, but here are my current options:

  • Ponytail, no headband – easy, but can get messy as I run.
  • Ponytail, thin headband – pretty cute, but the headband isn’t 100% secure.
  • Visor – nearly ruled out because I can’t wear sunglasses with it.
  • Pontytail, thick headband – I recently bought the matching purple headband with high hopes, but I’m not sure I love the look.
  • [Not Pictured] French Braid – Untested and difficult, but potentially very secure and cute.

What do you think? I will most likely be wearing my sunglasses (which sadly make my ears stick out in an unattractive way), so any hair situation must be able to accommodate them. Right now, my mind is set on a french braid, maybe with the thin headband. But that option is dependent on my braiding skills and I will need to get some extensive french braiding practice in before now and the marathon. Plus, I need to test it on a long run… so… it may not be a realistic option. Ugh. Decisions, decisions!

Which is your favorite look? Do you have any other hair-do suggestions?

UPDATE: I tried out the french braid last night. It stayed in throughout my whole run, but it got a little too fluffy and the braid started to come apart and look messy. I think it will be too stressful to try to perfect the french braid before marathon time… boo.

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a solid half

Yesterday was my marathon dress rehearsal. I ran a half marathon on Staten Island, which also happens to be where the full NYC marathon will be starting. I was up at 5 am, out the door on my way to the Staten Island Ferry by 5:40, and on the island by 7… which turned out to be a bit early since the race didn’t start until 8:30. Oh well, the waiting was probably good practice. (On marathon day I will arrive earlier and start a lot later – not until 10:40!) Plus, we had time to flag down the official NYRR photographer and get the photo above taken – it made it to the event website! (From left to right: Sarah, me, Brian, Becca.)

Even just a day later, it is hard to remember exactly how the race felt. If I wasn’t so sore, I would probably have already forgotten how much I pushed myself. The race traveled along the water and under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, with Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. I ran with my friend, Lauren, and we wanted to try to improve our time. Our last official Half was in August in the Bronx and we completed it in 2 hours 30 minutes (about an 11:30/mile pace). This time we started off trying to keep up with a couple of our faster friends. We didn’t manage to stay with them, but we were pretty pumped at around mile four when we realized we’d been running 10:20 miles. We decided to try to stick with that pace… It got difficult for me at around mile 10. My hips were oddly sore. (I blame the high heels I wore on Saturday.) Lauren was a super motivator and stuck with me, even when I was dragging at the end. Check us out “sprinting” it in at the finish line…

Lauren is urging me to go faster and I am grinning like a crazy person even though I was hurting. Our friend, Sarah, took the photo. She and Brian were cheering for us at the end (having finished about 30 minutes earlier, those speed demons). It is hard not to smile when you have friends cheering you on!

We ended up finishing in 2:16:23, a 10:24/mile pace. That is a really strong pace for me, especially for that distance. It felt like an accomplishment! It isn’t a Personal Record, since my younger self already conquered all of these distances, but we could call it my old-lady PR. I don’t think I can run quite as fast during the full marathon, but I am still aiming for under five hours – that truly would be a PR!!

Only 26 days until the main event!

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marathon of yesteryear

I know this blog has been Running Central lately, and I apologize if I have gone overboard on the exercise-theme. I had wanted to scan the pages from this old scrapbook, but my scanner was sacrificed in the move to NY, so I took photos instead. They are a little wonky, but will have to do. I am running out of time before my current marathon adventure will be ending… so, without further ado, let’s travel back in time to a marathon long, long ago…

2010 marathon scrapbook cover

It was the year 2000. I was 19. I had just finished my first year of college and simultaneously trained for a marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. My friend Jody joined the team with me. Well, I think I actually joined it with her…

We went to college in Lamoni, Iowa, but the closest TNT team was in Des Moines, over an hour away. Jody was kind enough to drive us there for our meetings and Saturday practices. That is us above at the very first info meeting on February 17th, 2000. (Fun fact: There is a bag sitting next to me in that photo that I still take to practice today!)

These are photos from our first 20 mile practice run on April Fools Day, 2000. I ran with a woman named Carrie at most of the practices. My 19-year-old self thought all of the women on the team were so old… ugh. They were probably all younger than I am now…. teenagers are so judgemental!

On April 29th, 2000, we ran the Drake Relays half marathon. I think that was the best race of my life. I finished in 2:07 (you can still find my results here under Rachel Lamble) and got 5th in my age group. Nice. Then, on June 3rd, we left for San Diego for the Rock N Roll Marathon!

That year, Team In Training raised $12.5 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (I just learned that the NYC marathon team alone has raised over $1 million in 2010.) The pasta party the night before the race was inspiring!

These are photos from the morning of the race. All I remember is being extremely nervous and not wanting to finish a full bagel because it had too many calories… but I did it anyway and ate a banana. I was so dumb when it came to food. I don’t think I ate anything at all during the race…

I carried a disposable camera with during the race – a disposable FILM camera. (These were the days before digital. I didn’t even HAVE a cell phone.) I was so glad that I had the camera with me, though. I remember being blown away by the number of people in the race. The group of runners stretched for miles! (There were 21,000 runners in that race – there will be twice that number in the NYC marathon this year!) We ran along the ocean, on the highways, and through Balboa Park. It was beautiful.

This is my bib and official portrait. I carried a photo of Travis with me while I ran (we were so in love!) and people thought he was my honor patient…

Finally the finish line. I had broken down at about mile 22. I stopped and cried and had to walk. It was disappointing. One of my teammates found me (I can’t even remember his name now, isn’t that awful?!) and we ran the rest of the race together. Having a team out there with you really makes it so much more fun. I don’t know if I could do a marathon without Team in Training.

It was so awesome to cross the finish line! They give you medals and blankets and bags of loot. I remember I was most impressed by the giant size bottles of Fiji water that they were handing out. (Designer bottled water was new to me.)

I finished the marathon in 5:09:11. (You can search the official results here.) I was disappointed because I had wanted to get in under five hours, but finishing the race still felt like a huge accomplishment!

So… that is the story of my first marathon. In some ways it feels so long ago, and then in other ways the memories feel so vivid. It was definitely one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Just thinking about how much fun it was makes me feel even more excited about running the NYC marathon!

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break through

new running shoes

Running is a mystery. At times it is the worst punishment in the world, and then at other times it is a miraculous moment of peace and triumph. Triumph is probably too strong a word, especially if you could see me run. I am so slow and so non-athletic looking. The good news is that I actually think I may be getting better! (Have I said that before? Well, this time I really mean it!) I had a great time at our speed and hills practice on Tuesday (amazing because those practices usually fill me with dread) and yesterday I had the most awesome solo 6-mile run. It felt great. I had new shoes (see above), the weather was perfect, and I felt strong for the whole two loops around Prospect Park! I think this week has been a break through in my training…

I didn’t want to write about my long run on Saturday because immediately following it I felt totally discouraged… again. We ran 16 miles and I was in pain for a good portion of it. (The video above was taken during the good, pre-pain time at about mile 6.) I was so mad at the end! I was thinking, why must this continue to be so hard?! I was also angry that the long runs wipe me out for the whole day afterward and take forever to recover from. I took an ice bath just to cover my bases, but was resigned to the fact that I was going to be sore for another week. BUT, then something pretty cool happened. I felt better on Sunday! Travis and I took our trip to Queens and I walked around a bunch without trouble. Nice. By Monday I was feeling totally fine! Miracle!

Training is truly getting hard at this point. We are tackling a lot of mileage and many of my Team In Training members have been nursing some injuries. At practice this week a friend asked how I have kept from getting injured. I think a lot of it is luck and my lack of ambition when it comes to my pace and time, but I joked that it was because of my thick and sturdy legs. I come from solid and hearty lineage… and man, have I fretted about that my whole life. Probably every day of my existence, I have wished for the long, lean limbs of a super-model (how pathetic is that?!), but maybe I should cut myself some slack. My “sturdy” body has taken me this far and I plan to use it to do a lot more cool stuff in the future!

This Saturday I am going to attempt to run 18-20 miles. I really hope for 20, but I want to be flexible in order to avoid injury. On October 10th, I’ll be running the Staten Island Half Marathon. I have never been to SI, so I am looking forward to checking it out. I am also looking forward to the “short” 13.1 mile race! Then, I will attempt one more super-long run (20 miles, I hope), and then it’s time to taper down my mileage… the marathon is just 40 days away! wow!

Team in Training Brooklyn

This photo is from two weeks ago after another tough 16 mile run. (I even had to walk a bit at the end of that run. ugh.) I was dead, but so happy to be hanging out with my team. It is so much more fun to share the suffering and successes with others.

(p.s. You can still help support my marathon adventure and help find a cure for Leukemia & Lymphoma at the same time! Donate to the cause via my Team In Training fundraising page. Your support truly means so much and I will be thinking about all of my generous donors as I pound out 26.2 miles on November 7th!)

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I have a new obsession: lululemon athletica.

Lululemon is a Canadian athletic clothing company that I was aware of before but always dismissed as being too fashion and yoga-centered. Also, living in Eugene, Oregon, the birthplace of Nike, meant that I was exclusively loyal to Nike for all of my running apparel needs. I have a sizable collection of Nike running tights, sports bras, etc, but it has all been heavily used and some of the gear has gotten way too thin and stretched out from endless washing. Pretty gross. This season I really needed some new shorts and tights (plus a few new shirts wouldn’t hurt), but the Nike love isn’t as prevalent here on the East Coast. I had to broaden my athletic apparel horizons…

Lululemon athletic clothes

My running friend (and near twin), Lauren, always has super-cute running clothes on at practice, so I thought I would copy her and give lululemon another chance. I first visited the Soho location for shorts and was amazed with the selection – lots of styles (maybe a dozen) and colors all divided by size. I chose two pairs: the speed short (seen above) and the reverse groove short, both in grey because I am practical like that. Both pairs have wide waist bands which make them super-comfortable, and they have secret pockets for keys/money/food. The tighter reverse groove shorts worked great on a 12 mile run, but the speed shorts are better for my cross training workouts. I really love both pairs and I think they look very cute. That is the amazing thing about lululemon – the balance of technical performance and good looks. The prices are definitely NOT low, but I was sold on their running gear!

So… on Friday I went a little crazy. I decided that it was imperative that I get a new pair of running tights for my long Saturday run. The weather was going to be a little cooler on Saturday and I was convinced that my two trusty pairs of short running tights had become way too stretched out and loose to even be considered “tights” anymore, so I headed to the Park Slope lululemon “show room.” I ended up loving just about everything I tried on and bought most of the stuff pictured above:

I definitely broke my budget and wearing a brand new outfit on my longest run of the season was probably a horrible idea, but it was all worth it!! I wore the tights, tech tee, and new socks on the run and they were all amazing! No chaffing, no shifting around, no problems at all. I love the cute tee and cute socks, but I most highly recommend the tights! They were nice and tight, but totally comfortable. Plus, they had a perfect pocket for my phone and two pockets for my food (sugar goo). I was truly blown away by how well they worked out and am determined to purchase another pair. I am a lululemon convert!

Do you wear lululemon athletic apparel? What are you favorites? I’d love suggestions for cold weather gear…

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ice bath recoveryToday is a Saturday, which means it is long run day with Team in Training. You may not believe this, because I barely believe it myself, but I ran 18 miles today! It was about four hours of running, jogging, water re-fueling, more jogging, and eventually hobbling, but I completed it… and even had some fun in the process. We ran through Brooklyn down to the water near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Staten Island. Running all over the city has really helped me come to appreciate it more and more, and I couldn’t help but think about how amazing it is that I have the extreme luxuries of both health and time that allow me to take on this challenge. I am very grateful. (I am also grateful for my sweet husband who set me up in a recovery ice bath to sooth my sore muscles!)

Today is also September 11th, which makes it heavy and sad… but also hopeful. Not that I intend to, but you can’t really ignore 9/11 in NYC… Many of the fire stations here (if not all) have permanent 9/11 memorials, but one we ran by today had a special memorial with framed photos set up outside for the anniversary… I can’t really even write about it without crying, and I am not very eloquent anyway, but even through the sadness there are infinite reasons to be hopeful. The love in people far outweighs the hate. That is where I put my faith. That is my religion.

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