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She Runs Kansas

17 Jun

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City watching the ABC Family Channel from a king size bed. This is interesting for a few reasons:

  1. I’m in Kansas?
  2. I don’t have a TV in my apartment.. ohmygod… tv
  3. Just straight chillin.. in a hotel room.

hotel, motel...

Okay, I’m not really just straight chillin. I’m here on a business trip doing some work in between meetings. I’ve been on a great running kick lately, so while packing for this three day adventure, I threw a pair of sneaks and workout clothes in my suitcase in case the hotel had a gym I could use. Once I got here though, I realized I could just run outside!

Yesterday and today I set my alarm for 5am Kansas time–less crazy than it sounds since my body is on NY time which would be 6am–and set out to run from the hotel. I ran down a street called Nall Avenue, and I’m going to estimate I did a 2.5 mile loop. The avenue is more like a highway to me, as it’s very wide and traffic moves fast, but there were traffic lights which was helpful.

#1 most notable thing from a New Yorker running in Kansas: THE AIR. Holy man, the air. It smells sweet and fills up my lungs like an ocean. It’s times like these that make me wonder what growing up in Staten Island and running there, Brooklyn, and Manhattan have done to my lungs. This is fresh, clean air. Hit me like an acme piano over the head (I could’ve said ‘like a ton of bricks’ right there, but that’s so boring).

Also, for some reason i assumed Kansas would be completely flat, but apparently I’m a naive New Yorker because I hit two hills on these runs. Not monster attack hills, but in comparison to flat Manhattan, my calves and lungs were burning. I also packed old kicks I have because they were a little less bulky than my newer ones, and that was definitely a bad idea. Never run in old, worn out sneakers. You will kill your shins and more.

So, off to find Dorothy and Toto back to my Family Channel tv viewing. Yes, I also like chick flicks and the bravo channel.

The Garbage Truck Run Battle

9 Jun

I woke up exhausted this morning. Last night I went to an impromptu concert with my brother (Circa Survive at Highline Ballroom) and got home past the time I’m usually asleep during the week.

I pulled through with a strong cup of coffee and the Simon and Garfunkel song Cecilia to pump me up–then I was out the door. My initial plan was to run to the track and do some tempo running again to 1) minimize the length of my workout and 2) still kick some ass. That didn’t happen though.

Somewhere around mile 1 I started to feel awesome, and decided to turn my run into a 3 mile loop. SWEET! It’s a Miracle! I thought. Until.. as I stayed on the pavement.. I began to run into garbage trucks.

the enemy

The first one attacked me from behind. It was a cruel game; stopping long enough that I could get ahead, then moving up right next to me again to repeat the cycle. Holy man, what a stench. The smell that radiates from those garbage trucks is just rude. Can a smell be rude? If you’re a runner getting trapped behind it, definitely. Imagine an odor that’s a mix of hot sour milk and rotten meat following you as you gasp for deep breaths. If you just winced, then you get it.

post-run reenactment. accurate expression.

Every other block I turned down there was a garbage truck. Could it have been the same garbage truck looping around? Maybe. Was there a garbage truck brigade out to sabatoge my miracle run? Also, maybe. Is it just garbage day in my neighborhood? No. They were out to get me.

Outrage.

Speed Work For Any Runner

8 Jun

I went to bed last night confident that I would wake up and get in a kick-ass run. I was right. I’ve never pinned down what the ingredients are for an awesome morning vs. a tired one during the week, but I got it right today. When thinking about the variables, the most notable change in my routine yesterday was a second cup of coffee at 4pm, which I rarely do anymore I’m now down to 3/4 cup in the morning, and a large tea when I get to work. HUGE progress for this coffee addict. But I don’t know how more coffee could help me the next day.. isn’t that counter-intuitive?

I completed 3.7 miles, and felt really good. Great, actually.

shyeah

On the way back I did 4 pick-ups (running at a fast pace for 2 blocks or so) to get in a little speed work. You might ask yourself why I’m “getting in speed work” when I’m not training for a race. It’s because after 10 years of running and reading about running, I know that distance stamina and  quick-speed sessions work your muscles in different ways, a collaboration that makes you even stronger.

Here’s a quote about speed work from Runner’s World:

“Speedwork doesn’t just make you run faster. It makes you fitter, increases the range of movement in your joints, makes you more comfortable at all speeds, and it will ultimately help you to run harder for longer.”

My pick-ups–also known as a tempo run–are definitely not traditional training speed work by any means, but it’s somethin’(always better than nothin’) and I like it. If you’re really looking to get into this kind of training, you can read the full article at Runner’s World for some workout tips.

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