1 canceled flight to Jamaica +
1 phone call to another airline+
1 overworked credit card+
2 much happier travelers =
7 days in Jamaica

7 days in Jamaica +
1 group of Bareass Buccaneers +
24 hours of fun -
1 Tropical Storm Gustav =
no running and 395 burpees to make up.


Race Report - The Self-Transcendence Marathon

If "lovely" were a term one could use to describe 8 3/4 laps of a 2.96 mile paved path around Rockland Lake without being called a crack-pot, I'd tell you that the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Marathon was.....lovely.

I chose to run this marathon not as a race, but rather as a training run before heading off to Jamaica for a week (where running will be the last thing on my list of priorities). As the marathon was scheduled for the day before my departure, it seemed like the perfect way to get some quality miles in, while letting someone else worry about schlepping the water :)

26.2 slow miles later, I am left with a profound respect for the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

It was an incredibly organized race, with plentiful aid stations that NEVER seemed to be low on anything - Cytomax, water, bagel quarters (buttered or with cream cheese), potato chips and m&ms. The volunteers were cheerful and supportive, and hailed from all over the world. The cacophony of language was overwhelming!

As I ran the loop, I came upon a man reciting poems (you had the option to "Pick Your Poem" as well), a sitar player, a quartet singing and playing drums, an accordionist, and a violinist.

As for the race itself...for me, it was painfully slow. I forced myself to treat it like an ultra, taking walk breaks as I went through the aid stations. Since my training this summer has been sporadic at best, it would have served no purpose to push the pace and actually race - plus, I'd have been incredibly sore and uncomfortable for the plane ride to Jamaica! Keeping a steady 11 minute mile pace staved off the quad pain, leaving me with just a bit of hip tightness from going so slow. A amenable trade :)

I made peace with the loop course over the winter with my first foray into the ultra world - even so, this was the first real loop race I have run solo - totally different beast. I found myself repeating the number of remaining laps in my mind as I ran (they don't keep track, you're on the honor system here). If not for my GPS, I would have been lost in regards to how much further I had to math skills seems to fly out the window once I start running.

By mile 20, the idea of being done with my long run was incredibly tempting! But, since the plan had been to run the entire 26.2, I stuck it through 'till the end, finishing slightly over 5 hours. A personal worst for me, marathon-wise, but probably the most beneficial training run I've ever done.

Post-race, they offered massages (oh, so nice!) and a lunch buffet with hearty pasta, tabbouleh and hot dogs (all vegetarian I believe).

I left Rockland Lake with a quality training run under my belt, a pampered post-marathon body, and one hell of a sunburn.

If ever you're looking for a late summer event - keep this one in mind. It had to have been the nicest marathon I've done - had much more of an ultra-community feel to it. I know I'll be there next year (hopefully to take advantage of the pancake flat course - and get a nice sub 4 hour)!

Now I can head to Jamaica guilt free - a girl's gotta take it easy after a marathon, right?

Because it's not always just about me...

Sometimes in life, if you're lucky, you cross paths with someone truly inspiring. Two weeks ago at the CrossFit Level 1 Certification in Virginia Beach I had the opportunity to train beside Kyle Maynard, a man who truly personifies grit, guts and gumption.

Check him out.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work...

What happens when you take 5 people, 1 car, 362 miles, 7.5 hours and add them all together? Sugar shock!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of driving down to Virginia Beach to attend the Level 1 CrossFit Certification Seminar. I was accompanied by my training partner-in-crime Lisa, my favorite paparazzi Dan, the ever patient Coach Mike and the always fabulous Gillian. I picked them up in midtown Manhattan, crammed them into the car (poor kids, they never complained once about the cramped quarters), and we were off!

4 states and one speeding ticket later, we crossed into Virginia, made our way to the oh-so-glamorous Econo Lodge, checked-in, refreshed and headed out to dinner. This would be the theme for the weekend....go, go, go! Dinner was fun - we had the opportunity to meet up with our head trainers for the weekend - Jeff T and Maggie from CF Fairfax, Drew from CF Quantico, Pat from CF Va Beach, Tony B from CF HQ and Bobbi (I apologize, I'm not sure with whom she's affiliated with - but she's great!), as well as some of the other attendees for the weekend (including Dan(2), on leave from Iraq).

After dinner, we shot over to the supermarket to pick up snack supplies for the weekend: water, cheese, turkey, ice cream and Nerds on a Rope. Yes, you heard me - Nerds on a Rope (notice I'm glossing over the ice cream....). Gillian was disturbed to find out that none of us had experienced this sugar confection, so she insisted on buying us all some Nerds on a Rope, which are exactly what the name implies - Nerds stuck to a licorice rope. Sugar stuck to sugar. My poor teeth.

After 26 nasty hotel carpet burpees, ice cream and the Olympic opening ceremonies, we all settled into bed (no worries, the boys had their own room!).

The next morning we dropped Mike and Gillian off at the training center for their trainer meeting and set off in search of breakfast. Surprisingly, we were able to find pretty good bagels (scooped, of course, as we were all very health conscious, lol). Satiated, it was time to hit the cert!

The cert was....interesting. Two days, about 14 hours (at least 3 of which were physical) and mostly a lot of sitting around and listening. It was basically an interactive rehashing of the information available in the CrossFit Journals. Very informative in regards to CrossFit itself and the application thereof, but it left me feeling a bit empty. Maybe it's because I have the advantage of personalized training here in NYC?

Saturday's lectures were focused on CrossFit, Fitness, and learning the 9 essential movements. We would break up into smaller groups for some individualized coaching, and it was there that we had the opportunity to ask the most questions and get feedback if we so desired. We rounded out the day with Fran, which I completed in 4:10 (though I had to scale to 45# due to cleaning from the floor, and subbed jumping pull ups since I am still a weakling). Lisa rocked it out, using the rx'd weight and jumping pull ups, and Dan kicked butt as well even though he was favoring a knee injury.

Saturday night after the cert, Lisa, Dan, Dan(2) and I hit the beach (oh, so gorgeous) before meeting Adam (our favorite local) for dinner on the water. Before we knew it, it was late in the evening and we returned to our home base before reverting into pumpkins again. We wound down with some more Olympic madness and neglected to do our dirty-carpet burpees before hitting the sack.

Sunday morning found us at our bagel shop again for breakfast, after packing up and checking out of the motel. Bellies full, we returned to the CrossFit Training Center and took our seats in the front row. Today's lectures focused on the evil GHD, nutrition and programming, and then we spent most of the day being fairly active. After a pre-lunch WOD of AMRAP in 10 minutes: row, box jumps and wall ball (the wall ball and I are not friends, btw), we broke into 4 groups to get technique coaching in the rower, kipping pull ups, the muscle up and the snatch. Again, I felt as though it were too little :( It was almost like a tease...

Before long, it was time to gather our things and head home. Pat's parting words were "Go home, break the handle off your broom, knock on your neighbor's door and start training!".

5 people, 1 car, 362 miles, 9 hours, 1 massive thunderstorm, 1 nasty burger and entirely too much sugar later I dropped everyone off in the city and made my way home, a newly certified Level 1 CrossFit Trainer.

Click here to view the entire set of Dan's pictures from the Cert.

Squat 'em if you got 'em!

I'm off to Virginia Beach for the CrossFit Level 1 Certification....

Here's to a weekend of squats, sweat and sweaty squats!

I Hear You Knocking, But You Can't Come In...

It was a dark and stormy morning, but this itty bitty Diva had places to go and people to see! Braving the rain, I stood and waited for the bus to pick me up at 5:42 this am so I could catch the 6 am bus to Midtown for my 7 am coaching with Coach P and my partner in crime Lisa.

Luckily, I snagged a solo seat on the bus, spread out (as much as someone my height can spread out) and closed my eyes for the duration of the trip. Hopped off the bus at 41st and 6th, and made my way to The Black Box, looking forward to working with some heavy weights.

As I turned up 38th, I saw Coach P loitering in a doorway (ok, fine - he wasn't really loitering, but doesn't that sound dark and mysterious?). Apparently, the key broke off in the lock to the metal security door outside CFNYC, and we were quite effectively locked out. He'd attempted to contact me, but being the good commuter Diva that I am, my phone was on silent and I hadn't gotten the message. Even if I had, Coach P would have missed saving me the trip by 9 minutes (by the time they gave up on their attempt to break in, I was already en route).


So, there I am in the city, with oodles of time to run!! Raining out, which I LOVE to run in, but I don't have a hat (my only real requirement for inclement weather running). I resigned myself to running on the dreadmill, catching up on world news (because, really - what else is on at 7 am?). But do I hit the gym closer to CrossFit, or to my office? Decided on the one closest to CrossFit, as I'll have to walk past it anyway. Plus, their entertainment system is far more reliable than the one by my office.

I walked into the gym, deposit my belongings in a locker and head to the treadmills. Wouldn't you know it - none of the TVs will recognize my headphones and turn on. The overhead TVs are showing static, and there is no music playing over the PA system. Now, I may be spoiled or I may be weak-willed, but there is no way I can handle an hour of staring silently at a wall. Sigh. I headed downstairs to the stairmill. (Meri is jealous) and gave that sucker a shot for a 5 minute speed interval workout while watching sports (I didn't want to press my luck by changing stations).

Ouch. I'm not sure what was worse - the pain in my quads, or the feeling that I had to look at my feet the entire time or else I'd trip up the stairs!

Next, I made my way to the mats and pound out my 24 burpees for the day. Okay, that's out of the way. Now I felt a bit more productive.

I practiced some pistols and box jumps, some assisted pull ups and dips (I much prefer using my bands), wandered around some more trying to remember today's WOD (not a lot of recall when you look at the CrossFit site at 5 am), or come up with something that would be the most beneficial in light of this weekend's Level 1 Cert. Finally, genius strikes! I decided to head upstairs to practice my rowing technique. I can always use some more practice on that machine!!!

Apparently, I am the only person since 1985 who has bothered to sit upon that poor, neglected, Concept II PM rower. After a very unsatisfying 500 meters I came to the realization that it was time to hit the showers, head to the office and pretend that my morning never happened.

Maybe I'll have better luck this afternoon at the gym.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

22 miles scheduled
3 days in Kansas
2 running outfits packed
o miles run

Finally getting a little sister - well worth it!