Posts tagged ‘running’

July 13, 2010

The Gang on the Path

I ran in Albany. I was worried, not because of the heat, but because of the unpopulated nature of the Hudson River walk. A runner had recently been attacked along my route in Riverside Park. Yes, Albany is not New York City (in fact it’s probably more crime-ridden), but I did wonder if it was such a good idea to run alone.

But this walkway/runway is historic American-a. I loved running along the Mississippi River in St. Louis. And I wanted to run along the Hudson in Albany, right where the Erie Canal, that awesome American achievement, begins (or ends?).

I just love running beside a rivers that runs.

I was right to be afraid. Fifteen minutes into my run, there was a gang on the path. About eight of them. They were bored. They were mischievous. They seemed to be daring me to cross their little standing-around party. I hesitated. I took out one of my ear buds in case they started squawking. Or pecking. But they didn’t do a thing. I ran around the big one who stood in the middle, unwilling to move. I was so glad to pass them without an incident.

Those Canadian Geese can be very scary. I wanted to take a picture of the geese to post on this blog to show you just how scary this little gang was. But I’ll admit it, I just wanted to run away from them. You’ll have to take my word for it.

June 30, 2010

Country Road

I always walked the same loop in the mornings from my husband’s Big House. It starts with an uphill dirt road, moves to the paved Dudley Road, past the 1812 School House (my graphics of my girls doing headstands is photographed there); down a dirt road, through the field at the Stable Inn, across some brush, along the unpaved Cold Spring Road, through a whisp of a path in an old Cedar woods, across the lawn, and back home. 

“I’m back!” huffing and puffing. Arrived at the Big House. No one missed me, no one knew I was gone.

The path is lovely, if not a bit treacherous. Lots of challenges – the cars on the paved road, the steep downhill to the field, the German Shepherd that barks in front of the seemingly abandoned Stable Inn cottage, the possibility of Poison Ivy in the brush. Not to mention the loose rocks on the uphill horsetrail, the creaking trees about to topple on me in the woods, the spongy wetness of the Big House lawn. 

So I figured this trail, which takes me about 30 minutes to walk, was about 3 miles or so. I don’t know why I thought that. But this weekend, I used the free app that I downloaded and love, Cardio Trainer, and discovered to my utter dismay, the loop is 1.8 miles and it took me (in my run 5 mins./walk 1 min. method) 25 minutes, which the app informed me was about a 14:04 mile pace.

Okay I did stop and chat with the neighbor, Fran, for, I don’t know, maybe two minutes.

It’s just so disappointing. All these years, I thought I was walking for miles only to discover, I’ve not gone as far as I’d thought. At least I’ve overcome all of the above-mentioned obstacles as I walk or run. And for sheer beauty, I don’t think you can beat it. There must be a lesson in this. Enjoy the beauty; pay no mind to your app. Keep running. Keep walking.

June 2, 2010

When Will I Learn?

I got the kids together — all 8 of them (kids, cousins, friends, nephew) — and set out for a run on Camp Dudley Road on Memorial Day. I just got this new app for my droid — cardio trainer. Will not only tell you how long, how far, but will map our your run for you as you’re running. All righty. All set. Got everything. Except the kids are not into the run. Hayden was going to try barefoot running but did not last with that. (And the other shoes he had in hand were his Mets slippers which work for lounging, not running.) Some of the girls kind of hung back, chatting. The boys gave it a good go of running to the 1819 School House.

The view there is just too delicious. The tree is right there for climbing, as is the creaky fence. Who wants to run when you can lay in the grass? or turn cartwheels by the School House?(See the picture above.)

I know I’ve said this before. I should stick to running alone. Or run only with adults. Liz and I ran on Friday. We did the 5 sets of 5 minutes of running then one minute of walking all the way to the Riverbank park from Riverside Church. Really fun.

Last week, I also went on Runner’s World website and learned about fartlek running. I don’t know if it’s fun to do — short bursts of full out running — but it’s super fun to say. It’s a Swedish word. I think it means “Never run with children. Run alone.”

May 23, 2010

4.5 K in 39 mins.

around my corner

Today I ran for about 39 minutes and I made it about 4.5 K. Last weekend in Miami, I did 4.5 K in like 36 minutes.

Today I was hampered by running with my Number One Son. We were running him to baseball practice at 10:30 am.

Hayden complained that his joints ached every morning for the first half an hour after he woke up.
I wondered, “Maybe it’s growing pains, but honey, keep running.”
“I can’t. I’m tired.” He’s 13! How tired can a 13 year old be! I’m tired and I’m a million years old. I must say I feel proud of myself.
My friend tells me, if you give to your body, your body gives back. If you run, your endorphins kick in. You feel good.
When I’m running I don’t always feel good. But I can’t believe how energized I feel the rest of the day.
I’m trying to give to my body, so that I get back.
May 16, 2010

On my way to 5K

Jen, the gorgeous lunchtime exercise teacher, told me all I really need to do to achieve my 5K goal in a couple of months is carve out six out of seven days of 20-minutes everyday of cardio. So no problem that was Mon. Jen’s walking class got my heart rate up as we walked in Riverside Park. That night the girls and I did our usual Monday night work out of swimming lackadaisical laps and synchronized swimming at Open Swim at the JCC.

On Tuesday, I did lunch-time yoga/pilates/exercise. Okay maybe it’s not as cardio as the walking class but Shane (equally beautiful and inspiring as Jen) does make us do five series of 15 Jumping Jacks. That counts.

Wednesday, I joined the Global Ministries Walking group. For 30 minutes we walked down from 120th to about  106th. Nice group, fun.

On Thursday, I did four intervals of running for five minutes and walking for one. Felt I could’ve gone more but I was taking a Comp Day and needed to get on the Communications Conference Call.

Friday was the most strenuous of exercises, one hour of tennis after work with Dan. Even with the generous handicap Dan gives me, it was exhausting and I lost.

Saturday may have been equally strenuous. Dancing Salsa at the PS Dual-Language Fiesta Latina. I got a little choked up at that party, remembering that I’ve been celebrating Fiesta Latina for eight years. I worked the drinks table this year. In previous years, I’d emceed the performances. Tough crowd. Doesn’t matter how I contributed. The point is I always dance at it. And this was my last Fiesta dance.

So there you have it — six out of seven days of cardio. So point me in the direction of the Finish Line. What? Hunh? You have to run a race before you grab the trophy? You can’t just run through the tape and call it a day?

In other words, I have no idea (although I have my doubts) whether I could really run a 5K in a couple of months. People say you can walk for a few minutes in the middle.

And the other night when my bro Brendan and I were walking together in Riverside Park, he suggested that I not start in the front of the pack.

But hey I’m not doing this exhausting training just to cakewalk the 5K or launch my race with the riff-raff in the back of the pack. I am in it to win it. Just cue up the Salsa music, please.

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May 8, 2010

St. Louis Run

In St. Louis I ran to the arch. It was only like a ten-minute run from the convention center. I knew I should get to the Press Room. (This is a common theme in my blog posts about St. Louis — always running to or from the Press Room. See my blog at about my walk on the Labyrinth on my way to Press Room.)

Any way, back to my run. It was kind of clammy that morning. But I really wanted to run. I tried to do the interval training that I was so excited about last week. I ran for five minute and walked for one. I did this about three times. Then I stopped to take a picture of the arch. And I kept walking. I didn’t feel like running again. But I saw a guy in a yellow shirt ahead of me. And just seeing someone else run makes you feel a little guilty if you’re not running. So I ran one more interval.

Then I took my headphones off and listened to the music coming from the riverboat casinos. It was like 9:00 in the morning on the Mississippi.  A school group was heading into the arch. The teachers were permissive and let the kids jump off a bench into the air. I liked that.

I thought about how hungry I was. This seems to be a theme in this blog. I start running and then I start thinking about eating. I wonder if the pros get sidetracked with thoughts of food. Maybe it’s just the boredom of running.

So I did get a run in. But then I stopped for an egg sandwich. And a homeless guy chatted me up — he told me “With some cream and sugar, honey, you’d sure taste good.”

People in St. Louis were very friendly.

April 23, 2010

Interval Training

Wow! I think I know everything. I don’t. I.e., interval training.

Today at lunch time, I met up with a friend. She introduced me to running in intervals. We ran for 5 minutes and walked for 1 minute. Then we ran for 5 minutes and walked for one. And so on. We did about 7 of these bursts of running for 5 and walking for 1. You get the idea.

It was way fun. It was way better than just trying to push myself to cross my 13-minute barrier of running. That’s my usual routine — run for 13 minutes, then walk home, dejected that I couldn’t run longer or farther.

This interval training extends the work out. My friend figured I ran about three and a half miles for 45 minutes. We ran from 120th to Riverbank State Park at 144th Street. This park is genius — an awesome track and other facilities over a sewage treatment facility. It is, actually, lovely. Lilacs blooming around the track’s perimeter. (Flowering trees make me weak in the knees.)

Only problem with interval training is that after 1 minute of walking, it would just feel so good to keep walking. I think this kind of running for me will work best when running with a friend.

You totally get the endorphin rush of running. And that, of course, is why I run.

April 10, 2010

Lakeshore Run


Haven’t run in a while so this morning, in Chicago, I told myself you don’t have to run for long, you just have to run for 12 minutes and I did.

I slowed down to take this photo. I walked for 2 minutes. And then I ran for 10 minutes until I found the Dunkin Donuts. Just like in the TV commercial, the idea of a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with butter and a hazelnut coffee really inspired me. That goal made the morning run fun. And I am not a paid sponsor.

March 7, 2010

so psyched

I ran 16 minutes without stopping this morning.

I saw a Red-Tailed hawk near the playground at 83rd in Riverside Park — the River Run Park. I had to stop running to take a picture of him (why is it a him? Why not a her?)

The day was so warm and I had been trailing this father and teenage daughter. He was sort of racewalking. Yes, that’s how slow I am — I run as fast as an old man racewalking.

I don’t care. At least I got out there.

I have to admit I was inspired last night to run today. I read the girls “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.” Sometimes I think the Berenstain Bears are so sexist. Why is Dad always the buffoon and mother so wise, as she darns his socks or whatever? But then again, there is a lot you can learn from children’s literature. If you’re open to the message and you can overlook the household gender stereotypes.

February 21, 2010

Sun, Snow and Ice

I ran 13 minutes without stopping. I ran from the apartment to the pier to the boat basin. I kept checking my watch to see if I’d broke my 13-minute barrier. It was a little cold and very sunny.

At one point an older woman was running slowly towards me. She looked like I might hope to look in 25 years – fit, a little wrinkled, game. She told me, “Be careful. It’s icy ahead.”

Yes, it was icy ahead. So I took small steps on the patches of glassy ice. I felt like a prize fighter warming up. I did not stop.

I felt good. I felt proud. I am like that older woman along the path by the Hudson River. I might run slowly, but at least I run. And I watch for those icy patches.