Marathon Weekend

NYRR's Athlete Alert is up and running! Be sure to log on and track your favorite athletes as they run the ING NYC Marathon this Sunday, November 1st! While I deferred my entry this year (so that I can run next year with a friend), I'll be keeping tabs on my friends :)

Fingers are crossed for cool, dry weather and speedy feet!

Mother May I

Kids' meals ROCK.

I managed to eat well not only at Disney, but at the San Diego zoo as well :) My secret?

Kids' meals.

Yup, you heard me - I walked up to the counter and ordered a kid's meal!

In Disneyland, I wound up ordering a "Kid's Power Pack" for dinner. Comprised of a non-fat yogurt (4 oz, like you get at a hotel's continental breakfast), string cheese, .75 oz of Goldfish Crackers and a bag of apple slices. Perfection.

In San Diego the offerings were a bit less nutritious, but the child's size meal kept everything under control. There, my kid's meal came in a souvenir bucket (yay!) and was made up of 3 chicken strips, a 1 oz bag of Sun Chips, a bag of animal crackers (oddly disturbing to eat animal shaped foods at a zoo) and a beverage in a souvenir cup. The chicken strips and beverage were consumed for lunch, the chips on the plane home and the animal crackers were used to keep my 1 yr old niece happy during the flight. A win/win situation.

So the next time you're faced with acres of fast food - remember that bigger isn't always better, and embrace the kid inside. You might even walk away with a toy :)

Mouse Traps

Contrary to popular belief, the enormous turkey leg sold in the Disney parks is NOT a healthful choice. Luckily for me, Disneyland is a mecca of fruit stands.

I'll be keeping an eye out for the most interesting food offering in the park today. And I'm not going to lie to you - there is most likely ice cream and a treat from the Main Street Candy Store in my future.

Mile High

It's the crack of dawn, and I'm on my way to the airport.6 hours on a plane.

Anyone have any good suggestions for an airborne WOD?

Weebles Wobble but they don't Fall Down

I need structure. Like a multi-vitamin (neccessary but not life threatening if absent). Without structure, I just...flounder. Things get accomplished, but not particularly well (or in a timely manner). Work or working out - doesn't matter. Without a set plan of action that is consistent from day to day, I simply don't thrive.

In 2007 I made immense gains in my running speed and endurance. I was getting out on the road by 4:30 every morning, running a few miles with a neighbor and then continuing for another hour on my own. In the month of October I averaged 60 mpw, was injury free and virtually flying on my feet. The alarm went off, and without hesitation I rolled out of bed, into my gear and out the door.

Last summer, I was CrossFitting 4 days a week. I'd take a 5:45 am bus into the city to train at 7 am. 4 days a week, without fail. Again, alarm went off and without hesitation I rolled out of bed, into my gear and out the door. And again, I saw increases in strength and endurance.

But crack of dawn workouts don't lend themselves to a lucid remainder of the day, so in time the workouts moved later and later. The later in the day the workout was planned, the more likely something would come up to interfere (work, dishes - you name it and it needed to be done). Before long, workouts became the things I needed to squeeze into my day.

Logically - workouts (running or lifting) are NOT important. They don't pay my bills or put food on the table. In the grand scheme of life, they are nothing more than an accessory to a full, balanced life.

But that's logic. In real time, without the structure I find in physical activity, the fluidity in the rest of my day....drowns me.

OK, that's entirely too melodramatic. But I'm sure you get the gist of it.

So the struggle continues to find the right balance of activity in the right time slot. And keep it there. I guess at least that's consistent :)

Ring around the Rosie

We are just under 3 weeks away from Operation Pull for Hope, and I am on a mission.

Gillian is working towards a million dollar fundraising goal. She's going to do 1oo muscle-ups in under one hour.

Me, I'm working towards reclaiming my pull-up and performing one, unassisted, on the rings.

I'm trying to be positive here, but I think you have to admit that it's incredibly amusing that in all likelihood Gillian will accomplish her goal with far more ease than I will accomplish mine.

1 million dollars + 100 muscle-ups vs. 1 unassisted ring pull-up
Stay tuned :)

Mountain Madness

I'm sitting here in my office, obsessively checking for the latest updates on tomorrow's weather in Ringwood, NJ. Hoping against all hope that it will miraculously clear up, and be anything other than cold and wet.

Cold, I can do.

Wet, I can handle.

Cold and wet - ick.

Earlier this fall, I registered for the Mountain Madness 50k. Yes, I know - a 50k 6 days after a marathon? I never claimed to be sane, people! But how could I pass it up? It's less than half an hour from home, has a humane start time (9 am) and if I'm going to tackle a 50M race this winter I need to shore up on my trail running. Plus, how bad could the weather possibly be in mid-October, right?


Currently, tomorrow's forecast calls for low 40s with a real feel of about 30. Did I mention it's supposed to rain ALL DAY LONG?

OK, I can handle it. Not ideal, but doable.

The 50k also has an 8.5 time limit -not generally an issue (well, unless you count Bear Mountain, but that was a monster of a course). However, having just run the marathon on Sunday I'm most likely going to be slower than usual. There is a soft cut off at the 14.75 mile mark (runners will have until 12:30 or 3.5 hours) and a formal pulling from the race at the 17.5 mile marker (after 1:30 pm or 4.5 hours).

The smart thing for me to do would be to switch to the 7.77 mile fun run. My right quad is being funky (that's what I get for bounding up the stairs last night), and my left hip is tweaky (yay for sitting at a desk from 9 am - 9pm the past few days). By doing the fun run I'd still get out on the trails to stretch my legs, while minimizing the possibility of turning tweaks to injuries.

So now, all that remains is to decide if I'm going to be smart, or if I'm going to be Staci.

I wonder..

If perfect health and fitness came in a pill, would you take it? More importantly, if you could have the physique of your dreams by doing so, would you continue to run/lift/bike/swim?

Pull For Hope comes to NYC

Some updates on Operation Pull For Hope:

The location has been moved to NYC, to be held at CrossFit Long Island City on November 14th.

The doors will open at 4:30 pm, and the benefit will kick off at 5 pm with the National Anthem (sung my yours truly). By 5:15 pm Gillian will begin her 100 Muscle Ups, and she invites attendees to join her!
For a minimum donation of $25 to Hope for the Warriors, anyone is welcome to
join Gillian for one of the muscle-ups. There will be several sets of rings
and she welcomes all kinds of muscle-ups (strict, kipping, jumping, spotted
by a coach, a pull up on the rings) - it is the effort that counts!

Personally, I'll most likely be doing a spotted pull-up on the rings (cut me some slack, I'm a late bloomer). Did I mention that I'll be wearing a dress and heels?

That's got to be something worth coming out to giggle at :)

Tuesday's Tip, October 13th

"If you feel really good during the first half of a marathon, slow down." - Coach "do as I say, not as I do".

Steamtown Marathon race report to be posted at some point this week, once the bruises on my ego don't hurt quite so badly.

Packing for Pennsylvania

On Sunday, I'll be running the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA.

I'm heading out tomorrow afternoon, and of course I have yet to pack :) Well, I guess I know what I'll be doing this evening!

My Packing List:

Essential Day-of-Race Gear
• Running sneakers - PACKED
• Socks (2 pair) - LAUNDRY
• Short sleeve shirt• Tank Top• Long Sleeved Shirt - prepared for all weather :) LAUNDRY
• Sports Bra and undies (of course) - LAUNDRY
• Gloves (disposable) - PACKED
• Hat or Visor, sunglasses - HAT PACKED
• Sweatshirt – disposable N/A
• Post-Race pants, shirt and comfy shoes - PACKED

• Power Bars
• Snack/Pre-race Items (e.g., Bagels, Muffins, Fruit, Luna Bars etc.) PACKED
• Sports Drinks and Bottled Water for hotel - PACKED

• Body Glide -PACKED
• Foot Powder - DON'T HAVE
• Toilet Paper (ah, the joys of the Porto-Potty)
• Band-aids -PACKED
• Plastic Bag for race bag (in case of rain) -
• Race Confirmation (to receive race number, if applicable) - PACKED
• Ibuprofen/Tylenol (USE SPARINGLY) -PACKED
• Safety Pins (a runner can never have enough) - PACKED
• Sweat-band for wrist (Garmin hurts after a while) - PACKED
• Analgesic Crèmes (e.g., Ben-gay, Tiger Balm, etc.)
• Garbage Bag (in case of cold or wet weather) - PACKED
• Sun-Block - N/A
• Rain Jacket (in case of freak rain storm) - N/A
• ID Tags (Runner ID for me, Luggage Tag for my bag) - RUNNER ID MIA, LUGGAGE TAG OK
• Emergency Contact numbers (place in Baggage and written on back of race bib)

Have I forgotten anything?? TOILETRIES :)

Operation Pull For Hope

You may have noticed the enormous banner at the top of the blog today.

On November 14th, 2009 Gillian Mounsey will attempt the personal goal of completing 100 Muscle Ups in less than one hour. Support her effort as she raises funds and awareness for Hope for the Warriors™. All donations should be made directly to Hope for the Warriors™ by clicking here. When making your donation, please type "Operation Pull For Hope" in the Comments/Remarks box for tracking purposes.

She has set a goal of $1,000,000 dollars. All donations are welcome, no matter how big or small.

The mission of Hope for the Warriors™ is to enhance quality of life for US Service Members and their families nationwide who have been adversely affected by injuries or death in the line of duty. Hope for the Warriors™ actively seeks to ensure that the sacrifices of wounded and fallen warriors and their families are never forgotten nor their needs unmet, particularly with regard to the short and long-term care of the severely injured.

Since I can't do even ONE Muscle Up (yet), my goal is to get this information out to as many people as possible in order to help Gillian in her endeavor. So Copy, Paste and Forward this information to your friends. Link to my blog, link to Gillian's website, link to the Hope for the Warriors™ website.

Consider it a chain letter - if you pass this along you'll be blessed with a triple bodyweight dead lift, great abs and a tight tush :)

Food For Thought

Recently, a trainer I respect resigned his affiliation with CrossFit. His reasoning behind it is compelling (and colorful), and good reading. Regardless of your own personal feelings towards the CrossFit methodology, the current state of the CrossFit machine, or even your local affiliate -there is a lot of wisdom to be found within John's article explaining his resignation.

Why I Resigned my Affiliation with CrossFit

There is an inherent danger in growing too big too fast. This applies not only to business (as in the case of CrossFit), but to personal relationships and even your own training. In the pursuit of "more" or "better" we too often make compromises that, while seemingly beneficial, are ultimately detrimental to long lasting results. Fad diets, extreme workout plans, shoddy business plans and bad judgement with men/women - in the end, all you wind up with is lost time and a harder (longer) road to get to your goal.

There's a smarter way to eat, a great girl or guy waiting for you, and there are good affiliates out there - do your homework, be patient, be smart. Don't just train with someone because they are an affiliate, or they have their Level 1 cert. Shop for a coach as diligently as you'd shop for a car, a home, a spouse.

Quality always comes first.

Tuesday's Tip, October 6th

He that can have Patience, can have what he will” - Benjamin Franklin

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Gotta love the week before a goal marathon - your training is done, you're running minimal mileage just to keep sane, and yet you can't help but look back and over analyze your training. Ah, the "Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda" of tapering...

On Sunday, I'll be running the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA. My training has been good, but not stellar. I'm strong, but not fast. I'm heavier than my ideal racing weight. I haven't been drinking the official race drink during training runs. I didn't get up 3 hours earlier for my long runs, testing my breakfast choices. My race clothes aren't already packed up, my Luna Moons aren't already in the bag.

But I am ready. More than ready, I'm excited! It's a new race for me, which is always fun. It's a small race with just over 2000 runners, an assistant race director who sends out the FUNNIEST email updates, and a reputation for being fast (the race, not the asst. race director).

It'd be great if Steamtown yields a PR. But as long as I cross the finish line with a good story, 26.2 miles of memories and a smile on my face I will consider the race a success.

Now if only I could figure out where to eat the night before, and what my post- marathon treat will be. Suggestions?

Food Find, October 2nd

I actually found this in my local supermarket - it's a blend of Extra Virgin Avocado, Olive and Flaxseed oils.

From their website:

2 teaspoons per day of this delicious oil will give you the minimum daily requirements of Omega 3, 6, & 9 fatty acids, all in the correct balance in an easily digestible and metabolized form. Also contains Vitamin E, Chlorophyll, Lutein, and Beta Sitosterol.

Olivado Omega Plus Blended Oil

Flax seed oil breaks down under high heat, so be sure not to use this oil for cooking or sauteeing. It's best used as a condiment over steamed veggies, in a salad dressing, or you can add it to smoothies (if you're into that sort of thing!).

One Stop Cyber Stalk!

Senator Brett found a new toy, and was kind enough to share with me:

Now you can cyber stalk all your favorite ultra runners with one easy click!