I am a Rock Star

How is this for entirely too cool?

This Sunday, NYC officials will be closing streets throughout the 5 boroughs so that I can run in them, unencumbered, and tour the boroughs as only a runner can.

Not only that, but 10s of thousands of people have traveled from all over the world, just to keep me company while I run!

And, not to be outdone, throngs of locals will hang out along the sides of the roads just to watch me go by and offer up a cheer.

All this to the soundtrack of countless bands situated along the way, making music for my feet to keep time to.

I am a very lucky girl.

The Pursuit of Un-Success

I am the actor you've most likely never seen on stage, the singer you've probably never listened to. I am the runner who places in the middle of the pack on a good day, and brings up the rear on a bad. I am the CrossFitter you'll be cheering on to finish the WOD, rooting for me to get that first pull-up.

What compels me to pursue these things, when for all intents and purposes I never succeed at them? What can it be that pulls me back audition after audition, race after race, disappointing workout after workout? Is it a masochistic sense of denial that these accomplishments are beyond me? Or could it be a deeper understanding; that the pursuit of these goals is truly the challenge that fulfills me, and not the achievement?

I wish I could honestly say that it's the latter explanation that drives what I do. However, I honestly think it's more that I'm a stubborn little devil, and I hate to not get my way! Put it this way - if doing all of this work is getting me nowhere, then how could NOT doing anything possibly achieve more for me?

It's not really that I'm discontent. I just want more for myself, and that I ask more of myself.

To the outside observer, it seems rather pointless. Somewhat as though I spend my days chasing my own tail. Perhaps I am running around in circles.... Perhaps within each of these pursuits I am missing something key. Maybe I just need someone to stretch their hands out, grab a hold of my tail and wait for me to grab on.

Until then, I'll sing my audition songs. I'll line up in my designated race corral and finish when I finish. I'll work on those negatives, use my assisted pull up bands and keep working on my kip in the hope that today it will propel my chest to the bar.

And I will try to keep a smile on my face and remind myself that I choose to do these things, regardless of how much I may suck at them :)

Top 10 Reasons to Run Marathons

Who am I kidding? I don't need 10 reasons to run a marathon, and neither should you.

Running can be the purest form of meditation if you allow it to be, and translating that "me time" into 12-16 weeks of focused training intent on accomplishing one goal is immensely gratifying. At the very least, it is an absolute testament to what you can accomplish with nothing but your body and mind, no assembly required.

So if you want to run a marathon, RUN A MARATHON. Be smart, be safe and run strong.

As for the nay-sayers and their "Top 10 Reasons NOT to Run Marathons" - pretty soon they'll be 3,626,997 feet behind you.

Just see if they can catch up.

Remember When...

With the NYC Marathon just over 2 weeks away, I thought it was time to revisit a post I made on Kickrunners.com back in March of this year. A little mental reminder if you will...

1. Why do you run? Initially, I started running as a way of changing up the cardio in my gym routine. I started the Couch to 5K program (from the CR site) with the goal of running my local Women’s Distance Festival 5K the following July. As a kid, I’d never managed to pass the President’s Physical Fitness Test. You had to run a mile in something like 12 minutes, and I always failed. But when time came to run the 5K, I did it! And from there, I just kept going. As my running got stronger, I realized that I enjoyed running, and it ceased to be rooted in fitness. There is so much in my life that is ultimately beyond my control – most prominently, my career. As a performer, I can become the best singer and actor I can be, and yet it will often have no correlation to how much work I get. It took a very long time to accept that. But as a runner, I can get faster. I can get stronger. I can challenge myself, push boundaries, grow. What I get out of running is dependent upon what I put in. It has given me such a feeling of empowerment, and I am forever grateful that I laced up a pair of sneakers and stepped out of my comfort zone and onto the roads.

2. What is your greatest accomplishment? I hope that my greatest accomplishment has yet to be accomplished :) But if I were to pick something…I just don’t know. Everything that comes to mind seems somewhat superficial.

3. What is your motto/theme song? I don’t have one. I kept trying to think of one, and then I realized that if I had to put that much thought into it, I probably didn’t really have one.

4. How do you deal with bad runs? I don’t know if I’ve ever really had a bad run. I have runs that aren’t easy, runs that aren’t as fast as I’d like, or as comfortable as I’d like – but in the end I’m always happy that I ran them. I think the fact that I can run, at any given time, is incredible. The other week, I was debating whether or not it were really smart to run the Caumsett 50k without having done any recent long runs. I knew I could run it, but was it a prudent decision, and should I actually try to race it? Then it hit me- the idea of going out and running 30 miles wasn’t the issue, it was a question of optimum performance. So for me, how can any run be bad? My body gives me what it can give me at any given moment, and that’s all I can ask for.

5. Do you reward yourself for good runs? How? Not really. Unless beer and pizza after a 22 mile training run counts as a reward ;)

6. Who do you admire most? I’m sure that it sounds clichéd, but that would have to be my Mom. She stayed home with us when we were younger, and then once we were all in school for a full day, she went back to work. From there, she finished her Associate’s Degree, got her Bachelor’s AND her MBA – all while working full time, and taking care of 3 obnoxious kids and my Dad. She’s a great woman, and I probably don’t tell her that enough. In fact, I’m sure I’m usually short tempered and snippy with her. I’m a lucky girl – I have wonderful parents and two younger brothers whom, much as I want to strangle them most of the time, I love.

7. What is the greatest advice you have ever received? If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. In other words, you can’t expect a different result if you keep putting forth the same effort.

8. What do wish you had learned younger? That you can’t make everyone happy all of the time.

9. What do you wish you could do but can't? Reach things on the top shelf without using a step-stool! In all seriousness, I wish I could be nicer to myself. I’m trying, and as time goes on I find that I have more successful days than unsuccessful ones. But it is so difficult not to be a critic.

10. How would your friends describe your personality? Outgoing, practical, weird and sarcastic.

11. What do you wear running? Favorite outfit? In summertime, I prefer to wear shorts and a tank. I have been known to wear shorts and just a sports bra, as well (eh, it was in Jamaica). But I generally stick to Nike Tempo shorts and a tank. And they always match.

12. What has been your favorite race? Team Slug Fattest Ass 50k this past January – it was my first foray into the world of ultras, and I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people.

13. Do you have a goal race right now? I’m going to tackle The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K at Bear Mountain. I’ll beat that mountain down in 9 hours, or stub my toes trying! *please note - it took me close to 11 hours to complete this race. For gory details, see the very first blog post on this site*

14. What makes you happy? Spending time with my family, the times my boyfriend randomly gives me a kiss on my forehead and calls me Pretty (which is generally when I’m half asleep on the couch and trying in vain to pretend that I am awake), and when my cats decide to curl up on my lap instead of his ;)

15. Tell us one interesting thing about you that you haven't said (at least not often) on this forum in the past. I have cooked a meal in a 4 cup Mr. Coffee coffee pot. And I was in a movie once. Pretending to do unmentionable things in the back seat of a car ;) AND I had a body double, too….well, a back of head double.

16. Tell us one interesting thing about another user of this forum that has not been posted (at least not often) on this forum in the past. I don’t actually know anything about anyone here that you all wouldn’t know already. But give me some time :)

100 Reasons I Run, #100

  • Running through a street fair on 8th Avenue in NYC, and passing a man with his cat on a leash. A man with his cat on a leash sitting atop his head.

RunningInNYC in Chi-town!

Glitter Photos

Sending fleet feet and a happy heart to RunningInNYC! She'll be running the Chicago Marathon October 12th, 2008 (this Sunday).

To all of you who'll be running alongside her, have a great time this weekend!

Racing Nude

Saturday, I ran a half marathon naked.

No GPS. No watch. I ran 13.1 miles (2 loops clockwise around NYC's Central Park) with nothing but the mile marker clocks to tell me where I was in regards to time and distance. Nothing but my own body to tell me if I was running too fast or too slow, if I needed to pick it up or relax the pace.

It was frightening at first, to be so naked out on the road. My left arm felt strangely light. I kept wanting to adjust the band on the phantom watch - the same way I always want to roll my ring when I forget to put it on. I had no way to determine how much further to the next fluid station, how much closer to the finish, how much further from the start.

I simply ran.

And the result was wondrous! I ran a nice, easy training run. Exactly what I set out to do. I picked up my pace when I felt like it, took it down a notch when I needed to, and just ran. It was easy, relatively slow, and it didn't hurt. Just a nice run with a friend.

And, most surprisingly, I didn't mind running in the clockwise direction (I'm sure you've heard me bitch and moan previously about how much I detest running the park in that direction). In fact, I kept waiting for the hills I hate (not nearly as steep as what I run at home, but somehow more annoying) - but they never came.

It is truly amazing what happens when we step aside and get out of our own way.

For those of you who are technophiles like myself - I challenge you to go for a naked run. Place your watch in the drawer, coil up your headphone cables and leave the Ipod on the counter. Go outside and run.

Run strong, run free, run nekkid!


I have fairly fine hair. Blessed with a widow's peak and two cowlicks up front, the 80's in particular were a terrible time for me (I was never able to get that tall bang thing going). For the longest time, I prided myself on being a "wash and wear" kind of girl. No product, no styling - and sadly, no pizazz. But hey - at least I wasn't one of "those girls". You know the type - they take forever to get ready in the morning, their significant others waiting impatiently at the front door, tapping their feet and getting aggravated. Not me. Low-maintenance to a fault (I hear you laughing. You can stop now).

And then I met Kristan. Ah, Kristan, how I adore thee. For the first time in my adult life, I have great hair. Many of you don't realize it, as you only see me gross and sweaty - but I have an amazing haircut, and I'm damned cute to boot. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm downright hot.... If you have a penchant for short, muscular girls with piston legs and a healthy amount of "junk in the trunk" :)

But, I digress. The point is that my amazing haircut would be nothing without hairspray. Once I broke down and realized that the widows peak and those cowlicks weren't going anywhere, and that I needed help to achieve the style I wanted, a whole new world opened up to me. A world where people daily compliment my hair. A world where I don't feel the need to put my hair in a ponytail 10 minutes after I walk out the door. A world of good hair days.

OK, so now that I've told you all about how hot I am, and how I've got a great tush and amazing hair, you probably want to know what this has to do with grits, guts and gumption......well, here's the thing. It has everything to do with it. I would still be fighting with my hair, constantly searching for that perfect cut/color/etc. if I had never admitted that I needed help. Help. Help in the form of the once vilified hairspray. Don't worry, I don't use aerosol...too much a child of the 80's for that (although I hear that it's no longer the kind that kills the ozone...). Just A Spritz. Help.

How many areas of life do we struggle with, never opening ourselves up to the possibility that we might just need a little help? Just a little spritz might make a big difference. It might mean the difference between a 4 hour marathon and a 3:50. Or perhaps it's that fine line between stringing two double-unders together, and doing a set of 10. For some, maybe it's even the difference between planning and doing.

So as I sit here on my adorable tush, with my enviable coif - I open myself up for help. Help budgeting my time so that I can achieve everything I want to do, without sacrificing the things I have to do (I miss being a mileage whore). Help setting goals for the upcoming months so that I have a purpose, a driving force behind my physical activities. Help nailing down the optimum way to fuel my machine. Help in becoming the monster I know I can be, the athlete I desperately want to be.

I'm just looking for the right bottle of hairpsray.