Thursday, February 18, 2010


The bad news is I'm still really congested. The good news is I can breathe through one nostril and didn't feel like crying when I woke up.

That means I'm going for a run on the dreadmill at lunch. No set goal. Just going to take it easy and see how I feel.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Old Man Winter

What a jerk. Seriously, Winter, what did I ever do to you? You were my favorite season for years and years. Are you really that angry that I've turned my attentions to Autumn these last few years? Are you really so spiteful that you blanket us with snow repeatedly and give me, not one but TWO, respiratory infections, this latest one complete with glands a-poppin'? Was all the phlegm really necessary? Was the sore throat? The body aches?

Whatever, Winter. Spring is totally gonna kick your ass. You just wait.

(In the meantime, I'll be here... probably not running for another day or two... allworkandnorunningmakeSharongocrazyallworkandnorunningmakeSharongocrazy

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Jai Guru De Va Om

Last night, I hiked (courtesy of the D train) to a part of New York City I'd never been before; a part of the city for which my only experience has been viewing Saturday Night Fever and marathons of The Honeymooners. Yes, I I went to Bensonhurst.

Why would I go there, you ask? Well, the answer is fairly simple. Have Beatles, will travel.

Anyone who's known me for more than a minute is very aware of the fact that the Beatles are, and always will be, one of the greatest influences in my life (see what I did there?). I've actually met many of my dearest friends and my husband because of the music of the Beatles. I have traveled across the country for years to attend a convention for Beatles fans. So, when I heard from a colleague at school and Bensonhurst native that there was a yoga class in her neighborhood that was set to the music of the Beatles, clearly I had to check it out.

I went to the instructor, MacKenzie's website and saw that the class I'd be attending was called "Let it Be," and was focused on Restorative Yoga. After the half-marathon and the personal training sessions, I've been quite sore, and have had some stiffness in my hips and have taken it easy with the running, so this sounded like it was EXACTLY what I needed.

I arrived at the exercise studio early and met MacKenzie, who was immediately warm and delightful. I grabbed a mat and sat my creaky muscles down. We began in silence, with some gentle breathing as MacKenzie explained that the class would be a series of gentle poses, held for several minutes and breathing with an emphasis on inward focus and relaxation. Yes, please.

The soundtrack for the evening included Here Comes the Sun, selections from Cirque du Soleil's Love show, an early recording of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, Hey Jude, Across the Universe and many other wonderful songs. As we concluded the class, MacKenzie reminded us that the Beatles said it best when they said, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." And then we held our final pose for the evening, listening to John Lennon's Imagine. It was really a lovely experience, one for which my achey muscles and joints were incredibly grateful. The joy was only deepened by the experience of listening to such wonderful music, which has meant so much to me for so many years, and has brought so many wonderful people into my life as a result.

My biggest failing as a runner is my tendency to be undisciplined when it comes to nourishing the inner aspect of my running. Not nutritionally, I mean, I'm pretty good about that. But I mean just taking CARE of myself, stretching, remembering to breathe during the day, strengthening myself. More often than not, I forget that simply running isn't enough to make myself the best runner I can be. I get so caught up in going forward, faster and faster, that it can be really easy to forget to just be where I am sometimes. To... you know... Let it Be.

MacKenzie's class reminded me of that. And for everything else that it offered me, and for how wonderful I felt when I left, I'm really very grateful.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Too late for me! I have the muscle fever! Can't! Go! On!

Ow. Mostly just ow. And also, ow.

Yesterday, I had my second (of two) sessions with a personal trainer at my new gym. I love my new gym. It is clean and organized, the staff is friendly and helpful, and it is beautifully free of hairballs in the shower, rat traps in the bathroom and bugs in the locker room (all things my old gym had lots of). My trainer, Yesenia, was really excited to work with me. When she asked me what my goals were I said, "The New York City Marathon in 4:15." Her eyes lit up.

We spent most of the first session doing an evaluation of where I'm at fitness-wise. The second session, though... daaaaaaaaayum.

The leg strengthening exercises started out fine, but then we got to deadlifts.


It felt fine at the time. Absolutely fine. But today, my hamstrings are screaming. Actually, literally screaming. They have grown mouths and are screaming. And I refust to type what it is they are screaming at me. I'm thinking of the children.

Then, we started a killer ab workout, in the hopes that I will develop an ab. I did planks, with my arms on a balance board, and I held it for 2 minutes.

Sure, my whole body was falling victim to the Shake of Truth, but I was fiiiine!

And then we did burpees. It sounds funny. It is not. It is not funny at all. It is the stuff of nightmares.

During my third set of burpees, Yesenia said, "I know you're tired, and I know you want to quit..." I replied (through the panting), "No! I can't quit! I'm too tough to be tired!" She laughed and clapped and I cried and finished my goddam stupid burpees. And then we did more ab stuff.

Today, it kind of hurts to breathe. In a good way. Except not really.

*Note: I know this will all benefit me. And for that, I kind of love it. Even when I hate it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just chillin'

Wombat, Bonorong Wildlife Park, Tasmania, Australia

Like this here adorable wombat, I've been taking it a bit easy with the physical activity for the past few days. Since the half-marathon (and if I'm being perfectly honest with myself, even a bit before), I've had a bit of tightness and soreness in my hips. It's finally feeling a bit better, and after yesterday's 3.5ish mile run and several miles of walking around New York City with my friend Nico, who is in training to walk the L.A. marathon, I'm doing okay.

Today, I'm having my second meeting with a personal trainer at my new shmancy gym. I suspect that I will not continue paying for the trainer, but in our first session, she showed me some great endurance and strength building exercises that I can begin to incorporate into my regular routine.

I'm really looking forward to getting out and doing some running this weekend.
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