My WTF Injury

Last week was a pretty great week as far as running goes.  Or should I say, it started out great.  I had two stellar days of 7 mile runs and was feeling like this might be a really solid 40+ mile week for me.  On Wednesday I took off for an easy 7 miles in Central Park and to avoid hills I went up to the North Meadow, my favorite area to do loops when I was doing speed work last year.

Five miles into my run, I left the park to do an easy two home and my calf suddenly cramped up.  It was so random and so painful that I let out a WTF (without the abbreviations) and started stretching at every stop light.  At first, this was helpful. However, by the end I was basically limping home.

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I walked up stairs in tears and told Rock what happened.  I was honestly at a loss for what was going on with my body.  I had been feeling great.  I wasn’t doing anything difficult on my run, and suddenly my calf turned into what felt like a stinging rock.

I had some signs of dehydration and made a note to up my intake of both water and electrolytes.  Besides that, there was no indication of any other issue.

After a nap, I woke up and could barely move.  I started freaking out.  WTF was going on?  How the heck was I going to get Mary down five flights of stairs?  Rock was at work and we couldn’t just spend all afternoon in this tiny little apartment!

We hobbled our way downstairs and I shuffled to the park.  My leg slowly loosened up and there were signs that it might be just a temporary issue.  But when I woke up the next morning, and every time I would get up from sitting down, my calves screamed at me.  Every step felt like my muscles were trying to pull me backward.  It was incredibly frustrating.

Saturday was a washout.  It rained all day and I stayed inside on the couch.  I massaged my leg, continued to compress it, and tried my hand at self ART massage.  The results were fantastic.  By Sunday morning it felt almost normal and I went for a really slow four mile run.  I was overly cautious and stopped every half mile to stretch and check in with my body.

Everything felt great!  After the run I had some tightness, but I figured that was to be expected after any injury.  I also spent the rest of the day on my feet as we went to the zoo and wandered the park.

However, by Sunday night I went to massage my leg and was shocked to see how swollen it was.  I couldn’t even see my shin.  The muscles had also tightened back up and I was back to WTF.  I was really starting to get down on this situation and myself.

I’ve done some pretty stupid things over the years.  I’ve over trained.  I’ve run when I knew I was injured and was in self-doubt, and I’ve pushed my body when I knew I really should have given it a break. In the past several years as I have been busy coaching other runners, I have been much smarter.  I listen to my body.  I stop when it needs a break.  Over the past few weeks I have even been taking an extra day off because my pregnant body was feeling a bit more tired.

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This injury left me dumbfounded.  Where did it come from?  What the heck was it?  The frustration of not knowing what it was or how it happened was driving me nuts.  Rock recommended I call my trusted massage therapist.  I was hesitant because most therapists won’t work with pregnant women after the first trimester and I am now 19 weeks into this.  Fortunately, he is certified in perinatal massage.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again, Howard is a magician when it comes to running injuries.  He is a runner and a very speedy and accomplished marathoner.  He took one look at my calf, poked around, and listened to my story and told me I had a minor tear in my calf.

One hour later, I was a sweaty mess.  He put my leg through the wringer and I am pretty sure I ground a few teeth down as he dug into my leg.  I left feeling almost like new and relieved to know what the heck is wrong.

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He recommended I give it a few days and explained a new rule of thumb to me that I will be following:  When you have an injury such as this, work on slow stretching.  Only stretch to the point where it starts to hurt and do not go past that point.  Each day you will start to notice that you can stretch the muscle a bit further.  Once you get to a point where it no longer hurts to stretch, it is okay to give running a try.

I asked Howard how this could have happened out of nowhere and he also had some sound advice on this one too:  Sometimes muscle tears just happen.  However, dehydration can play a very large role in muscle strains.  Pregnancy requires a lot of hydration and pregnant women are at a greater risk of dehydration.  All runners should focus on upping their hydration as the weather gets warmer and do not neglect the electrolytes.  With warm weather we sweat more, and if we don’t replace electrolytes, we won’t absorb water efficiently.

I plan on touching upon my pregnancy and running a bit more in coming weeks, and I will also follow up some more on hydration.  In the meantime, I am happy to report that I feel 90% better already.  I’m icing my leg as I type this post.  I will continue to stretch and take it easy until my body tells me it is time to get going again.  I sure hope that is sooner than later!

Have you ever had a WTF injury?

Run, Sun, And Mother’s Day

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  Ours started out with a soaker as a Nor’easter slammed NYC.  We did something we rarely do, and stayed in pretty much all day, minus a trip to Target and Costco.  Even if we had wanted to venture out, the rain was so heavy it pretty much made doing anything outside impossible.

We slipped out in the early evening to grab some takeout.  Mary loved wearing her rain boots, raincoat, and new umbrella from the Easter Bunny.  She just needs to learn to walk with the umbrella above her and not in front of her face.  Apologies to everyone she ran into on our walk.  Come to think of it, she fits in nicely with most New Yorkers in the rain.

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Sunday was much brighter and we got out for a run.  This was a welcome change for me as I have been dealing with a random injury.  I didn’t run far, but it felt great to break a sweat.

Mary and Rock treated me to a handmade card, a gift card to Lululemon (because I am dealing with a serious need for pants as my belly grows), and an awesome collage with pictures of us.  It was so thoughtful of them!

After naps we decided to hit the Central Park Zoo again.  Rock had never been and he had most of the day off from work.  We had a great time and Rock was just as surprised by the zoo as I was last week.  We both agreed this is a perfect place to go with the family when we just need to get out and explore for awhile.

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We finished the weekend off with dinner and Pinkberry’s Meyer Lemon frozen yogurt.  I’m telling you, this is so good, I promised Rock I would be happy to have just that for dinner all week when the temps creep up close to 90 degrees!

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Saturday night I was laying in bed and having trouble falling asleep (probably from my lack of doing anything all day).  As I laid there, I was reflecting on being a mom and had a funny flashback from when Mary was born.  I was laughing enough that I had to wake Rock up and ask him if he remembered.  His response?  “Of course!”

Mary was due on August 30th and being responsible parents, we scheduled a session to go over car seat installment and safety on August 5th.  We met our instructor on the first floor of a parking garage and after a quick Q&A session she invited us to get out of the car and come look at some car seat examples.  As we stepped out of the car, something happened.

When we returned to the car for our car installation, I insisted that Rock hop in the back with the instructor and I would wait in the front seat.  From the back Rock gave me a funny, “Are you okay?” face.  I mouthed to him, “I think my water broke!”

I honestly didn’t absorb much of anything the instructor showed Rock after that.  Fortunately, he is a responsible parent and paid attention.  We kept our cool and waited until we pulled onto Lake Shore Drive to freak out a bit.  I quickly called my doctor’s office and they insisted that we go straight to the hospital.

A few minutes later, Rock let out a shriek.  As we were driving, he looked in the rearview mirror and there was a baby in our newly installed carseat, staring back at him.  Turns out the instructor left the dummy in the car seat when she taught “us” how to buckle in.  So there we were turning back around to return a doll before we headed to the hospital.  It was the start of quite an adventure.  On the bright side, we got that car seat installed just in the nick of time!

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Pretty much like that.

How was your weekend?  Any funny Mother’s Day stories?

Thanks Kiddo

It is hard to believe that I have been a Mother Runner for almost 2 years now (21 months to be exact and we are 4.5 months out from meeting our next one!).  A lot has changed in those 21 months and I believe I have changed quite a bit myself.

Being a parent isn’t always easy.  There is no way to prepare for the true toils of becoming a parent.  First there are the sleepless nights.  I knew we would be up.  But I had no clue just how little sleep we would be living on during those first few months.

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I’ve spent a lot of time with children over the years.  We teach sports and activities for a living and I have had plenty of babysitting gigs.  Regardless of the amount of experience, you quickly realize just how clueless you are.  Getting to know your little baby and their personality, riding the random illnesses and sick days, and just plain figuring out how to juggle everything, takes time and patience.

I’d like to think we have figured out quite a bit so far, but every day has it’s changes and challenges.  In any given day I have moments where I think our little girl is the most incredible ever, and five minutes later I’m ready for a break.

New milestones bring new challenges.  Right now we are dealing with the start of those Terrible Twos.  Tempers are starting to flare.  The piercing screams and shouts this little munchkin can make are mystifying.  I’ve done my share of Googling and reading parenting sites lately.

But the truth is, being a parent and being a Mother Runner has made me a better person and also a better runner.  Sure, I have learned to live on a heck of a lot less sleep.  I have also learned to let go of a few things.  I love a clean house and a set schedule.  I have learned that things aren’t always perfect and sometimes a little mess or a bit of randomness can lead to a great time.

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Oh the messes!

When I was pregnant the first time, I worried a lot that my running would never be the same.  I watched as I got bigger and my pace got slower.  The good news for Mother Runners and Mom’s To Be, is that you can actually become a better and stronger runner than ever before.

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Having a child is no easy feat.  I once read that the act of labor takes you to the brink of where you think you cannot make it any further.  It is one of the biggest physical challenges you will ever face.  Being pregnant is a challenge in itself; 9 months of an evolving body is something else!

If there is a theme to this post, it is patience.  Pretty much anyone who knows me would tell you I fit the bill of a Type A personality.  Patience isn’t always my strong suit.   Being a new parent and a Mother Runner requires a lot of patience.

To come back from being pregnant and having a baby, takes a special kind of patience.  I needed to allow my body to adjust and relearn a few things.

I had to learn balance.  Finding the time to get a run in most days requires some skill (especially when both parents are runners).  Sometimes I have to do a shorter run.  Other days I have to hit the treadmill during nap time or after Mary goes to bed.  There is no time for messing around!

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For all the lessons, adventures, ups and downs, I am forever grateful to Mary for making me a mom and a Mother Runner.  She teaches me new things daily and brings joy to our family that we never could have imagined.  She’s hilarious and exhausting and I wouldn’t change a single moment.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  What are your best and most difficult adventures?

Tourists In Our Part-Time City

Who stole our spring?  Last weekend we had wonderful temperatures in the 80’s and this weekend it was chilly and even rainy.  I want my warm spring back!

Friday was a total wash out.  We were stuck inside due to the weather and when it finally passed, Mary put on her rain boots and jacket and went for some splashing in puddles.  To say she loved it would be an understatement.  Fortunately, Rock planned ahead with a full set of extra clothes.  By the time she was done, we had to dump water out of her boots and wring her clothes!

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It rained so hard, part of the promenade along the East River where I run, collapsed!

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Saturday was at least a little sunny and I overdressed for a 7 mile run.  Does it bug anyone else when you wear sleeves and then end up out in sunny weather?  I prefer running without sleeves.  Back when I was a competitive figure skater, I never wore dresses with any type of arms attached.  I prefer bare arms.

It ended up being a really nice run and I was grateful for the sweat.  If I was a better blogger, I would have taken a picture, but this weekend I only snapped pics of the little girl.

I even had a celebrity sighting in Central Park. I walked past Ryan Seacrest and actually recognized him.  This is rare as I would normally not be able to pick a celeb out of a lineup.  Why I noticed him of all people, is beyond me.

After nap time, I woke up inspired to try something new.  We headed to Central Park and went to the Tisch Children’s Zoo.  This is part of the Central Park Zoo and I thought they might have a reduced rate for the smaller portion.  I was wrong.  But when I went to pay, Mary’s admission was free and mine was only $12.

My plan was just to take her to the children’s portion because I figured she was too young and wild to appreciate all of the other animals.  But as soon as we stepped inside, I knew we were going to check out everything.

At the children’s portion she loved the farm animals.  She ran in and cried, “Sheep!”  We’ve been working on animals with her and their sounds, so this was a perfect opportunity to see everything.

It is hard to believe that I have lived in NYC to some extent for 15 years, and I have never once set foot in the Central Park Zoo.  I walk through the gates almost daily and worked next to it for over a decade.  I have to say that I really have missed out.  This zoo is far nicer and bigger than I had realized.  However, I think I had a far greater appreciation seeing it from this 21 month old’s eyes.

We had fun walking through the tropical room full of birds and flora.  Mary loved watching the monkeys jump around all of the rocks. The snow leopards stayed hidden, but she loved looking for them.  The bears would have kept her interested for an hour if I had let her.  She adored the seals and sea lions and once she got over her fear of the dark room where the penguins and puffins were, she was mystified.

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For $12, it was an afternoon well spent.  We finished it off in true tourist style by grabbing a pretzel and a churro from a cart outside and parked ourselves on a bench for a little bit.

The zoo was absolutely the highlight of our weekend, our week, and our stay so far this spring.  I am almost certain we will be back again in the next few days.  I don’t think I can keep her away!

How was your weekend?  Do you or your kids enjoy the zoo?

Learn To Relax For Easier & Improved Running

While we were away over Easter weekend, I had the chance to do a few lovely runs on a rail trail in the Hudson Valley.  Then on Easter morning, Mary and I took a walk while Rock got to do a solo workout.  Usually when I am on a trail or path, I am busy running or working with clients, so it was a nice change to just take my time.  I was also able to take notice of a few trends that we often forget about when running.

Loosen Up:  I noticed that a lot of runners tend to get tense, especially in the shoulders and the arms.  This can make running not only uncomfortable, but also constrict your air intake; a bad combination!

Whether you are new to running or have been doing it for awhile, there is no argument that it isn’t always easy and it certainly can be uncomfortable.  The first few minutes of a run are always a bit more difficult than the rest, so make sure you set yourself up for success by checking in occasionally.  Make sure your shoulders are down and relaxed.  Keep your hands loose and unclenched.  Take in nice even and deep breaths.  Remember that after the first few minutes, your body will adjust and it will feel a bit easier.

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Slow Down:  During my walk, I saw so many runners who were struggling to keep pace.  Whether you are training for your first race or just aiming to get some time in on your feet, there is no rule stating how fast you must go.  In fact, slower running has huge impacts not only on improving your running, but also for cardiorespiratory efficiency, weight loss, and even speed.

If you find that running feels difficult or uncomfortable, take a breath and slow down.  It is far more important that you enjoy your time and stay healthy than getting it over a few minutes faster.  And don’t worry, if you stick with it, your pace will naturally start to improve.

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Dress For Success:  Unlike going to work in some offices, you don’t have to break the bank to dress for success.  When I see someone trying to run in shoes that are not meant for running, it makes me cringe.  Proper footwear is the first step to an enjoyable experience.  Running shoes come in all shapes, sizes, and price points.  Just as you wouldn’t wear baseball cleats to play in a tennis match, you don’t want to wear basketball shoes to go for a run.

While we are at it, ladies you will want to wear a comfortable sports bra.  All of us want to keep our assets tucked and tight when we are out there logging our miles.  If you are chafing and uncomfortable, it won’t be an enjoyable experience.

And gents, I’ve mentioned it before but find some nice fitting running clothes.  Your chafing issues can cause some ugly nipple bleeding, and nobody wants to see that!

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Just slow down and have fun.  Running can be tough at first.  But if you are patient with your body and yourself, it will eventually feel like second nature (or at least much more fun).  Give yourself the grace to go nice and slow and make sure you keep your body relaxed.

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What are your tips for making running easier?

Weekends Are For Running And Chocolate

Happy Monday and Happy May!  Here’s hoping that those April showers are a thing of the past now.  We had some rather rainy and muggy weather here this past week.  However, on Friday everything made a change for the better and we had two lovely days in the 80’s with sunshine too.

I was lucky enough on Friday to snag an hour to get a hilly 7 mile run in during the afternoon.  I was a little nervous about running in the heat, but ended up having a really great sweaty run.

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Saturday we got up as a family and made sure we first enjoyed some NY bagels and cream cheese.  This has become my weekend routine and I am really loving this one.  It’s all for the baby, of course!

Then we headed out as a family and got a great 8 miles in together.  Mary loves going over to Randall’s Island and checking out all of the other runners, dogs, and boats along the way.  The island is always packed on the weekends with soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and cricket games.  There is plenty to keep her occupied over there.  We even spotted a few of our students playing in lacrosse games and had a chance to stop and cheer.

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Post run refreshments.  Someone also enjoys my pregnancy cravings!

Mary and I went down for afternoon naps and Rock left to teach lessons in the park.  He texted me and requested that we meet him at the end of his last lesson because his students had an Easter present for Mary.  He said it was a huge chocolate bunny.

I thought maybe it was one of the big bunnies you see at the drug store, but when we arrived, even I was blown away.  This bunny was almost as big as Mary!  She immediately gave it a hug and proceeded to semi-decapitate the poor guy.  Nothing like leaving a ton of chocolate in front of a pregnant woman to test her self control!

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Our freezer looks like a hare-y crime scene!

The weather was a tad cooler on Sunday but that didn’t stop us from taking a long walk on the East River (after more bagels of course).  We stopped in our old neighborhood to do some shopping at Target and then ended up at the playground.  The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying more delicious food and family playtime in the park.

I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled that it is May.  I love spring and summer and can’t wait to see the warmer temps headed our way.  Beach time and summer runs are the best!

Any weekend highlights for you?

What I Am Loving Right Now

Happy Friday!  For some reason, this week flew by.  We started with fabulous weather, got really chilly in the middle, and are just hanging on for the weekend now.

Today I thought it would be fun to share some of my recent favorites.  Spring is in the air and it has me feeling all sorts of fabulous.

Pinkberry Meyer Lemon

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If you live anywhere near a Pinkberry, run there now and try the new lemon flavor.  I know the frozen yogurt craze has been done and most of it is just okay.  But Pinkberry is the real deal.  They only have a few flavors at a time, with their original tart being the standout, in my opinion.  Real, fresh, tart yogurt without all of the sugary extras, it leaves you feeling far less guilty about this delicious splurge.

Lemon is the perfect spring-like flavor.  I tried it once with fruit on top and fell in love.  In fact, I skipped dinner the next night, ran six miles instead, and ended up at Pinkberry for a delicious serving of……well calcium. Right?!

Knockaround Sunglasses

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I lost my Oakley running sunglasses during our move.  Major bummer.  I know they are around, but I couldn’t find them in time for our trip to Florida.  I figured I would be fine without them, but the first time I tried running on the beach, I knew I had made a big mistake.  The glare off of the sun and sand was not a good combo on my eyes.  All of us runners should practice proper sun care and that includes wearing shades.

Rock loaned me his Knockaround’s and it was love at first run.  Most of these glasses will cost you about $20 and are polarized.  They are light, fit comfortably, and don’t bounce around when you run.  One of my biggest pet peeves with shades is if they fall off when you lean over or place them on top of your head.  These stay put but are light enough that you won’t even notice they are there.  At $20 a pair, you can afford a pair, or maybe even two!

Just Salad

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When the weather gets warm, I crave salad. During pregnancy I try to make sure that I eat a big bowl of veggies at least once each day.  Just Salad is my daily go-to place in NYC.  I love going down the line and picking different combos.  I also really like that they use as many local ingredients as possible from organic kale to fresh made bread, and cheeses.

Decent Fitting (Non-Mom) Maternity Jeans

H&MWhat is it with ugly maternity clothes?  Just because we are pregnant doesn’t mean we need to wear a box or a bag over our growing bellies.  I have been having serious jeans envy as I wander NYC.  Can’t an expecting mom get a decent pair of denim without breaking the bank?

I happened to check out H&M’s maternity section and snagged a great pair of boyfriend jeans for under $40.  And can we talk about how awesome the elastic panels are on maternity jeans?!  I seriously think everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of a little elastic to hold them in!

Nice People

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It seems these days that everyone is in a rush and looking at their phones or worried about something else.  It can really start to get you down!

The other day I was running a loop of Central Park when a cyclist cut me off, and without looking crossed over into the pedestrian/running lane to stop.  I had to jump over their bike and just barely escaped an accident.  I was really annoyed and almost shouted at the person.  Instead, I hopped over the bike and tried to keep running.

A gentleman run up alongside me to check on me and we ended up having a really great conversation.  I had been struggling the last mile or so and was dreading a big hill that was coming up.  Instead, we chatted all the way up and I almost kept going with him.  To the minimalist runner from San Diego who was in town on business, thanks for reminding me that runners are a really great bunch!

What are your recent favorite things?  Does spring have you craving all sorts of new goodies?

Giving New Shoes A Go- Harmony Road by Reebok

**Please note that I received Harmony Road shoes by Reebok to try and am being compensated for this post.  However, all opinions are always my own.

A few weeks ago, Rock and I were out shopping for running shoes and it turned into a deep discussion about how expensive our taste has become and how frustrating it can be to find the right shoe.  Rock commented that it should’t be this difficult.  It is great that there are so many different models out there for runners, but essentially, a shoe should be a shoe. (Many of you know that I am a certified running coach but I don’t often mention that Rock is also a RRCA certified coach as well.  Together we have coached hundreds of runners.  We have also coached thousands of athletes from hockey, to lacrosse, baseball, football….you name it)

It was interesting that we had this conversation, when a few days later I received an e-mail from Reebok, asking if I would be willing to try out their new running shoe “Harmony Road.”  I was intrigued because it was essentially everything Rock and I had just discussed.

At a price point of $120, this shoe doesn’t break the bank for runners.  With ample midsole cushioning, a lightweight build and heavy shock absorption, this is basically anything a runner could ask for.  While many of us walk into a shoe store and are overwhelmed by the plethora of models to choose from, Reebok keeps it simple.  The Harmony Road is a thoughtfully created shoe that is meant for just about anyone.  It was also the winner of the Runner’s World 2017 best debut shoe.

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I was thrilled to get the chance to try these out, but admittedly, a little nervous as well.  The last time I switched shoes/models was when I unknowingly went from a stability Asics to a neutral of the same brand.  Dumb mistake for a running coach, and I paid the price with a bout of tendinitis that left me unable to walk normally for weeks.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that this caused a bit of hesitation to try something new.  I am a strictly loyal Asics fan (who only wears the stability models these days).

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As soon as I received my shoes, I took off for a loop of Central Park.  This was when I realized I made a few really stupid mistakes.  You should never go out in a brand new pair of shoes and do 7 miles of hills on the first run.  Second, I realized I forgot to put my Super Feet insoles in.  Ever since I experienced debilitating plantar fasciitis years ago, I have needed these to run comfortably.  Recipe for disaster!

Or was it?

Just a half mile into my run, I realized that I completely forgot that not only did I have on new shoes, but also a brand I had never worn on a run before.  It surprised me to notice that even on hills, the arches of my feet were feeling just great without my trusty insoles.  The entire run was a really great surprise.

The biggest test would be how I felt days later.  While a run in new shoes might feel great initially, it is even more telling how your body and feet feel in the days to follow.  When I ended up with tendinitis in the past, it took me forever to realize what had caused this because it takes time for the issues to present themselves.

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I did something I wouldn’t normally recommend, and wore these shoes all over New York City for one full week.  During that time I ran 45 miles and logged approximately 25,000 steps each day.  Not only did I run in these shoes but I also walked everywhere and taught classes in them.  The end result?  My pace was great, my feet felt fantastic, and my body didn’t notice a thing.

The verdict:  Am I a total convert?  Yes and no.  I’m not quite ready to hang up my beloved Asics.  But I am not tossing the Harmony Road’s to the side.  I still love the brand I am loyal to, but I also really like how these new shoes feel.

As a running coach I am a big fan of alternating shoes.  However, I know that isn’t always a feasible option for everyone.  At $120 per pair, these shoes are a bit more affordable than the ones I currently train in.  I am much more likely to purchase a pair of these to alternate with.  The Harmony Roads are also meant to be a long lasting shoe.  I foresee these sticking around in my current rotation for quite a long time.

As a coach I would absolutely recommend that new runners and any runner who is looking for a great enduring shoe with plenty of cushioning give these a try.

Want to give the Harmony Road a try or find out more?  Click here!

Our No Boston Weekend

Happy Boston Marathon Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We took advantage of the holiday and some fantastic weather and left New York City for one of our favorite places.

Rock had to work on Friday, so we loaded up the car and I did something I have never ventured to do before.  I drove Mary and I out of New York City (my first time driving there) and up to Fishkill about 90 minutes north of the city.  We discovered this area in Dutchess County several years ago and just fell in love.  Anytime we have had a weekend off from work, this is the place we typically like to head for.

As soon as we arrived, Mary and I had a second breakfast at Panera and then hit the rail trail.  While she generally doesn’t sit still very well, she is usually really awesome on a run in the city or anywhere that she can be entertained.  The weather was fantastic (in fact, I over dressed) and the path was busy with families, dogs, and cyclists.  Mary had a blast saying hi to all of the dogs and passersby.

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The Dutchess County Rail Trail is one of my favorites.  Just over an hour outside of NYC, and you are surrounded by beautiful wooded areas, lakes, streams, and bridges carved into the rocks and foothills of the mountains.  Eight miles later I felt refreshed and Mary hopped on her scooter.  This is her new favorite activity.  She loves to wear her “hel-meat” and shout, “I scoot!”

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Later in the day we picked up Rock at the train station in Cold Spring.  This is one of my absolute favorite towns.  If you didn’t know any better you would think you were walking down “Main Street USA.”  Unique shops, antique stores, and eateries line the hilly streets.  Commuters, and tourists piled off of the train.  Local inns and bed and breakfasts were busy this weekend with those looking to relax and others who came specifically to hike the many traills (including the Appalachian Trail) just dow the road.

 

We took a pizza back to the hotel and ate in the lobby.  Mary then proceeded to scoot all around the building, to the amusement of the staff.

Our personal alarm clock was up and ready to go on Saturday at 6:00am.  After a quick breakfast, we hit the trail again and logged another eight miles as a family.

We took a quick drive to Bear Mountain.  Years ago Rock and I ran a North Face Enudrance Challenge there.  We’ve also spent several weekends enjoying Oktoberfests, hiking up to the top of the mountain, and wandering the historic Revolutionary War grounds.  This time we took Mary to see the Merry-Go-Round and the zoo.  It was a perfect family adventure.

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We finished the evening off at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Maya Cafe.  After way too many chips and some delicious street tacos, we left with a special gift.  The owner brought Mary a tiny purse to take home.  We absolutely love that place.  If you are ever in the area, you must go!

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We woke up on Sunday to beautifully warm weather.  Rock hit the rail trail and Mary and I took a nice long walk together.  She also spent some time scooting around and playing on the “choo-choo.”

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I have to give a major thanks to the Residence Inn of Fishkill.  This hotel just opened up three months ago and the place is fantastic.  From the huge gym full of top of the line cardio equipment, to the full breakfast and family board games in the giant lobby, this place really takes care of it’s guests.  We had a lovely one bedroom suite and they kindly gave us a late check out.

We arrived back at our room earlier than expected, so Mary and I went to let the front desk know they could clear our room.  The manager offered for Mary to partake in an Easter Egg hunt.  It was actually her first real egg hunt and I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness of the entire staff!

I would by lying if I said that I wasn’t bummed about not running Boston.  Seeing all of the buzz and excitement on social media this weekend definitely made me realize just how close I got to running this year.  I typically have a race scheduled for this time of year and I just love training for something.  While I am a little sad to not be running today, it was really wonderful to spend a special weekend with my family.  When the time is right, we will go for Boston again.

Happy race day to everyone running Boston.  We will be cheering you on from New York City today!

It Doesn’t Matter How Far. It Doesn’t Matter How Fast.

A friend of mine mentioned the other day that she has a hard time convincing people who run, that they are runners.  As a runner myself, I find it really hard to imagine that someone would want to be in denial that they are so bad ass!  But seriously, this is a topic I have touched upon before and one that tends to pop up frequently.

Merriam Webster defines a runner as a) one who runs and b) one that smuggles or distributes illicit or contraband goods.  

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I can certainly understand why you wouldn’t want to be defined as the latter.  But according to the good old dictionary, the only thing you need to do to be a runner, is simply run.

While we runners are often pretty damn proud to be a part of this little club, there really isn’t much you need to do to make the cut.  There are no rules about how fast you need to go, nor is there anything that dictates how far you must run.

Truth be told, there is a very large portion of runners who specifically follow run/walk plans.  Many of the full and half marathoners I have worked with use run/walk their entire races.

That definition of a runner never mentions a particular pace you must hold.  So please, stop apologizing for your pace.  No more, “I run but I only do a X-minute mile.”  If you run, you are a runner!  If you run and walk, you are still a runner!

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You will not find a definition of running that dictates how far you must go.  Indeed, if you would like to call yourself a marathoner you will need to run 26.2 consecutive miles.  But if you like to throw on your shoes when you get home and run a few blocks around your neighborhood, then you are a runner!

One thing I think you will find as you continue running is that the people who comprise our sport, are pretty spectacular.  We are a nerdy bunch who love to see other dorks join our team.  We know that this isn’t always easy, and we appreciate anyone who is willing to lace up and push through the sweat, snot, and occasional blisters or missing toe nails.

Just like with anything else in life, you will find a snobby runner or two.  There will be the trail runner who turns their nose at those of us who pound the pavement.  You might meet the speedy marathoner who claims anything over 6 hours doesn’t count.  By the way, this article in the NY Times still burns me up; especially the last line.

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As a coach, I have worked with hundreds of runners. Some are speedy and some go at a much slower pace.  Some runners have a shorter training route, while others will see 22 mile training runs.  One thing I know for sure, is that the struggle is real.  The passion is real.  And the running is real.

So please, stop apologizing about your pace.  Don’t shrug off your runs.  Nod, smile, and proudly proclaim that you are a runner!