Tag Archives: NYC Marathon

Out of Whack

Helloooo, Friday!

mean-girls-october-3Had to do it #sorryimnotsorry

Even though I’m inclined to say “it’s been one of those weeks,” it really hasn’t. But it kinda has. Let me explain.

Earlier this week, we undertook a renovation project of sorts at work. This meant about 2,000 pairs of running sneakers had to be moved from the shoe room on the ground floor to the basement downstairs. And this relocation displaced our buyers, marketing folks, editorial gurus, etc. Somehow, my workspace became the new garbage location (I don’t ask questions), so I’ve been working remotely.

It’s been a productive, but surreal week. Nearly all of our “downstairs” people have been working from home, so when I stopped in Wednesday afternoon to take care of a few things, it felt like summer camp—a.k.a. hanging out with your friends without adults. (This doesn’t mean people are not responsible adults; the atmosphere was just different because our corporate contingent wasn’t there.)

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Action shot from our Marathon FAQ Panel.  See the sneakers on the left?  Direct result of the renovation project.

Working from home has its positives and negatives: Woohoo for wearing glasses, camping out on the couch, and blasting Maroon 5 all day (and OneRepublic and Sara Bareilles too.) Boo for going stir crazy, experiencing Girls’ Club withdrawal, and having no one to talk to. Gotta take the good with the bad, right?

On a related note, I’ve felt totally out of whack this week.

My routine changed because working remotely means I can start doing my thing earlier. This week has actually reminded me of Honors Week during my senior year of college. Basically, students undertaking Honors projects had five days to write at least 50 pages of a dissertation of sorts; and since I’m a morning person, I’d wake up early, crank out words for five hours, and then take a break. There’s no drafting and revising now, but there have been similarities like days blurring together and taking 30-minute power naps.

nailed-it

Also, thank GAWD season six of Parks and Rec is on Netflix Instant

During Honors Week, I shut myself off from everyone, put my blinders on, and basically only did one of three things: wrote, ate, or slept. Thankfully, I lived with my BFF who was also doing Honors, so we felt some solidarity in our zombie statuses: ‘Are you alive? What page are you on? Nice, ready, break!’

That rigid intensity hasn’t been replicated this week, but that sense of distance feels familiar. Since I spent my Honors Week waking hours dialed in, there was virtually no socializing. Granted, it was only five days, but still. Not ideal. This week has felt like that too: It’s tough when you know exactly what’s going on in someone’s life—including the nitty gritty stuff—and then you don’t see or really talk to them for a week. Again, not ideal, but normally, this wouldn’t be an issue; as a type-A person, I’d cling to and find comfort in my routine, but since my day-to-day has changed too, well, it’s been a long week.

2014-zelda-boat

Miss you, Zelda!

There’s no concrete end date in sight—just the vague, “sometime next week”—and since we’re in full-fledged marathon season, we can’t let up either. It’s the most wonderful (and crazy and stressful) time of the year!

Speaking of, two quick PSAs: First, for you NYC folks, JackRabbit is holding our Four Jacks Run tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. If you need one last long run (20 miles) before the marathon, then this is perfect!  Second, I’m doing Bike MS Sunday with some coworkers. This has become a personal cause—you may remember I did MuckFest Boston last year with my aunt—and every donation helps.

All right. It’s back to Sara B. until further notice.

What are you up to this weekend?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of November 3

Wow, has it really been two days since the ING NYC Marathon?

jackrabbit-nyc-marathon-cheer-zone3

Yeah, JackRabbit Cheer Zone!

Watching friends, coworkers, and teammates rock out, put their training to the test, and cover 26.2 miles was very inspirational.  I snapped a few pictures from the cheer zone that I’ll post later this week.  As you tell from my blog absence, I’ve been busy, and the creative juices haven’t been flowing.  Hopefully my marathon pictures will help this change!

On the workout front, here’s what I did last week:

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

Tuesday – a.m. swim

Wednesday – a.m. run with some FTE teammates

Thursday – a.m. swim; p.m. run and strength train

Friday – a.m. run

Saturday – Pilates

Sundaycheering and drinking off

Hmmm, no biking again.  Whoops.  There are several reasons/excuses for my lack of saddle time (it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s not as much fun riding by myself, etc.), but bottom line, I need to put on my trainer tire.

On the bright side, swimming and running have been going well.  I read an article from Triathlete magazine that recommended swimming three times per week during the off-season and increasing running frequency (i.e. going from three runs per week to four) before adding miles.  With this principle in mind, I’ve been logging shorter (30-45-minute) runs, but hitting the pavement more often.

I really need to get that trainer tire on, though.

And this week’s Write It Down, Do It Up plan looks similar to the one from last week:

2-3 swim workouts

2-3 bike workouts

3-4 run workouts

2-3 strength training workouts

1 yoga/Pilates session

How have your workouts changed since the arrival of the off-season/cold weather?

New York Runners in Support of Staten Island

There are many types of running—running recreationally, running a marathon, running off the bike—and whether you’re a weekend warrior out for a quick jog or a devoted runnerd training for a new PR, it’s all about moving forward.  On Sunday, I joined a group of 1,300 fellow athletes to run through the streets of Staten Island and distribute supplies to those in need.  Through this literal act of putting one foot in front of the other, we helped the borough symbolically move forward post-Hurricane Sandy.

It was only after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the cancellation of the world-famous ING NYC Marathon on Friday evening that New York Runners in Support of Staten Island, a grassroots initiative, began to form.  Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports-medicine physician at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery, planned to run the 26.2-mile endurance event—as did 47,000 other runners—but used its termination as an opportunity to organize a runner-led opportunity to lend a hand.  He created a Facebook page that detailed the plan:  send runners—both those who trained to run the marathon and those who wanted to help—to the hardest-hit areas of Staten Island with non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets, batteries, and other items.  By Saturday afternoon, the webpage received more than 3,000 hits, and it now boasts more than 5,000 “likes.”

Word of the event also spread thanks to Twitter, which is how I discovered it on Saturday.  When the tweet appeared in my newsfeed, I knew joining this initiative would be the perfect way for me to help Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. (After my power was restored Friday evening, I started researching ways to lend a hand, but it seemed like a lot of the groups had enough people-power for their specific goals.) I’m grateful to have the passion, endurance, and physical capability to be able to run; running is a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted, and if I can use my privilege to help others, then it’s a no-brainer–pay it forward.  After doing some research and filling out the survey—in which I signed up to run 8-10 miles and bring granola bars, toothbrushes, and tubes of toothpaste—I packed everything in a drawstring gym bag, laid out my running clothes, and set my clocks back an hour.

At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, I arrived at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.  According to the Facebook page, organizers wanted volunteers to arrive between 8 and 8:30 a.m.  Even at the early end of the meet-up timeframe, I couldn’t believe how many people poured into the terminal.

Around 8:30 a.m., Dr. Metzl discussed the general game-plan and identified some of the noteworthy donations:  600 garbage bags; 1,500 Home Dept gift cards; and 6,000 KIND Bars.

As he relayed this information, I met Christine who flew in from San Francisco to run the marathon.  Since we both signed up to run 8-10 miles, we decided to be buddies for the day and met Valerie, our of the team leaders. (When filling out the online survey, runners had the option of signing up for different mileage ranges:  6-8 miles; 8-10; 10-12; and 12-14 miles.)

Throughout the next hour, team leaders and lead organizers continued to pass along information and answer questions.

I also met Jessica, Robin, and Rachel; both Jessica and Robin are runners-turned-triathletes like me, and Rachel was training for this year’s marathon.  It was really nice getting to know all the ladies, and thanks to our running backgrounds, we had so much in common. (As the day progressed, I learned how much overlap there is between the NYC running and triathloning communities, which is awesome.) As we chatted away, the first wave of runners and walkers boarded the 8:30 a.m. ferry, and before long, it was 9:30 a.m. and time for us to head over.

[Jessica, Rachel, me, and Christine en route to Staten Island.]

Originally, our group planned to go to Susan E. Wagner High School, which was turned into a shelter, but there was a greater need for us farther inland at the Midland Beach Distribution Center.  After we disembarked the ferry, Valerie relayed this news and told us that running to this location would increase our total mileage from 10-ish to at least 12 miles roundtrip.  No one thought twice about it; we needed to go where we were needed the most.

Leaving the terminal and beginning to run led to an immediate sense of heaviness and desertedness.  There’s no doubt jogging with an extra 5-7 pounds caused this fatigue—which wasn’t that much compared to the 25-pound backpacks others lugged—but as our group headed farther and farther inland, this weight went from physical to emotional.  Trees were ripped from the ground, side streets were still flooded, and homes were completely destroyed.

At one point, we stopped to regroup, and I talked to a resident who asked why we were wearing orange and wondered what we were doing.  After I told him about our group and the initiative at large, he said where we were standing would’ve been the start line of the marathon.  Instead of sleek banners, there was a rack of discarded clothes with a sign:  “Take what you need.”

I don’t know how to articulate this juxtaposition and do it justice; I don’t know how someone could stand at that street and talk to these people and still hold the marathon and have zero guilt.

Eventually, we arrived at the Midland Beach Distribution Center, which spanned an empty parking lot.

At this point, Valerie told us to help in whatever way we could—distributing meals, sharing information, or simply talking to residents.

The girls and I went to the food area, grabbed cups of hot soup and bags of fresh bread, and started walking farther inland.

During the next three hours or so, I didn’t take any pictures.  I’m usually not shy about snapping photos, but yesterday, it felt like an invasion of privacy; these were homes and lives destroyed.  Seeing families faced with the daunting task of cleaning up their homes and rebuilding their lives served as a humbling experience.  These individuals will spend the next days, months, and years dealing with and recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath.

At 1:30 p.m., our group reassembled and ran back to the ferry.

Even without the extra weight from our backpacks, it was still a heavy run back.  Although I was able to talk to Jessica, Valerie, and Robin about NYC triathloning, I also reflected on how extremely lucky I am:  to be part of the runner/triathlete community, to be unharmed by Hurricane Sandy, and to be able to help others.

Hurricane Sandy—Keep on Keepin’ On

Greetings from Starbucks!

(Can we please note the festive cup?  When I camped out here yesterday, Starbucks didn’t hand out these holiday ones.  Maybe Nov. 1 marks the start of winter festivities?  Too soon?)

Friends, thank you so much for your texts, tweets, and comments; I feel so loved and lucky you’re concerned about me and my fellow New York City Hurricane Sandy warriors.  So how are things?  Well, I’m keepin’ on—still no power, but luckily, there’s a vacant apartment in my building that has running water, so my grunginess has been resolved. (City officials say power should be restored Friday, so keep your fingers crossed!) I’ve also been enjoying some romantic candlelight dinners.

Taking food photos hasn’t been a high priority at this point, but I am working on a couple “upbeat” Hurricane Sandy-related posts.  Oh, and my workouts have also fallen to the wayside—Chelsea Piers is closed indefinitely, and I haven’t been running since Monday—so I’m not sure if I’ll do Saturday’s Dash to the Finish Line 5-K.  I hope to run this afternoon, and I plan to make a decision regarding the race Friday night/Saturday morning.  Actually, holding the NYC Marathon has been a hotly debated topic.  Hurricane Sandy successfully destroyed the city’s marathon fever, but according to race officials, Sunday’s 26.2 mile event will go on as planned.  Even though I don’t have power, I still want everyone (who can) to run the marathon.  After all, they’ve trained hard and logged the miles, so as long as the city and course pass safety precautions, I say take on the 26.2 trek!  That being said, though, I think race officials should offer runners the option of transferring their registration to next year (if that’s logistically possible, of course).

Updated to edit:  I just found out Saturday’s NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5-K has been cancelled.  Race officials want Sunday’s marathon to be their “sole focus,” which is totally understandable.

Given Hurricane Sandy’s damage, would you run a race on Saturday?  How about the marathon on Sunday?