Drew posted this to his blog, so I thought I would do the same. I snapped this picture last Thursday in Union Square with Drew’s Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. You can check out Drew’s pictures on Flickr or follow along with his blog’s Photo of the Day feature.
Alright, I may be violating every single rule of Tumblr Tuesday by not recommending a Tumblr blogger, but I highly recommend that everyone take the time to check out the awesome blog of the fantastic Jess at www.halfofjess.com.
My boyfriend suggested I check out Jess’s blog a few months back. She is an absolutely amazing running/fitness/food guru who is also completely grounded in reality and has a “real life.” I admire her passion for her Vibrams and barefoot running, her dedication to running and fitness, and her candor and sense of humor about her journey.
So, I was going to completely scrap my post from last night because while my thought process and the connection I made during my run seemed so crystal clear, I’m concerned by the lack of clarity I showed in my writing. I’m disappointed with my inability to fully capture what it was that I went through. Ultimately, I decided not to do it because Drew reminded me last night, “you only get one 100th post.”
Drew is right,* so I thought I would try to explain myself now that I’m back from cloud nine. The stuff I wrote about the book is all fine and dandy, it’s a fantastic read and I did think about it while I was running, but what I really meant to get to in my post last night, was the more personal discovery I made. The run was completely ordinary and yet, completely spectacular. I think it was the opposite of “the wall” that runners always describe. It was a door that swung wide open to my understanding of my body and my mind. It was my first real run. A “real run” in the sense that my lungs weren’t fighting my legs, and my legs weren’t fighting my mind, and my mind was so on board with what both my legs and lungs were doing that when the three miles were finished, they screamed as a collective whole for more. Last night’s run was a much needed re-commitment to my goal of running 13.1 miles on October 2nd and the realization that I’ve been completely changed by this process - and not just physically. Sure, I’ve dropped a few pounds. My face is thinner, my stomach is a little bit flatter, my legs more toned, but I have become a force to be reckoned with mentally and I’m most proud of that change.
*He’s almost always right, but don’t tell him I said that.
This is my 100th post, so it’s fitting that during my training run this evening, I had an absolute moment of clarity. Well, really it was more like 3 miles of clarity. As I posted a few days ago, I’ve been reading Born To Run by Christopher McDougall and it occurred to me just how true some of the things I’ve been reading in this book really are.
My run tonight started out like any other run would - a hot, sunny New York day, my iPod and Nike+ software primed to tell me my time and mileage while keeping me pumped up, and tourists and locals filing down Wall Street totally cramping my style as I weaved in and out of the strollers, cameras and briefcases. I got to Battery Park and immediately noticed that as I entered the park, I was flanked by two other runners, and then two more appeared heading the opposite direction, and then another. I swear I saw more runners out today than I ever have. (The ridiculous number of runners out and about today makes complete sense: the weather was perfect.) And then it hit me - the Running People are not just the Tarahumara mentioned in this book. New York has its own tribe of Running People and they run the gamut of shapes and sizes and abilities. The amazing thing was that I felt a kinship, and like I was part of this tribe. I’ve just been telling myself “fake it ‘til you make it,” and ohmygod, I think I’ve made it! I think I finally understand what it is to be a runner, and to engage in such a basic behavior and then to understand why I am doing it. I run because I was built to run, and I’m meant to run.
In one of his chapters, McDougall outlines the Neanderthal Riddle. The problem is essentially this: how is it that the Neanderthal, who was superior to Homo erectus in nearly every way, died out and our weaker, inferior species proliferated? Throughout the chapter, McDougall outlines the years of work done by David Carrier, Dennis Bramble and numerous others that proposes that the reason our ancestors were able to outlast the Neanderthals was because we had evolved to run. Now, I would like to be brief, so I’m not going to outline the chapter in its entirety, you should go ahead and get the book, but this concept really struck me. Our running morphology has more in common with other “running species” (i.e., horses, dogs, etc.) than with our most closely related “walking species” primate relative, the chimpanzee. While I haven’t bought it hook line and sinker (working in science has taught me to always be a skeptic), I think it is an extremely compelling argument and I would like to believe that it’s true. Humans were built to run - we run when we play, we run when we’re scared, we run to tell people good news, basically, after we’ve learned to walk, we start running (and I don’t plan to stop.)
"Don’t Block The Box, Volume 1" is the new mix tape (and coincidentally, my new favorite run soundtrack) from my friends in the incredibly awesome NYC-based electro/pop/dance band, Great Tiger. It’s an awesome collection of their fun and catchy originals with some well-known techno, pop and hip-hop acts. You can download their mix tape for FREE here.
These guys are phenomenal live and if you’re in NYC, you can check them out tonight at Trash Bar in Williamsburg at 8:00pm - you won’t regret it!
That is so typical New York. Cool* out (still humid but not oppressive) and I’m supposed to crosstrain tonight… I will be in the sweaty, steamy gym - why my building refuses to air condition the one place it’s most needed is beyond me - I won’t be out enjoying the much more comfortable running conditions.
*I realize that “cool” is a stretch, but it sure beats the 100 degree sauna NYC has turned into.
I’m baaaa-aaaack! My legs are a little upset with the return to reality. (They’ll get over it on rest day.) Coming off of my vacation I was in a bit of a running funk. After completing my first race and enjoying the sunshine and Lake Michigan, and family/friends, and good food (so much good food - TOO much good food) being back in the steamy NYC summer and back at the daily grind was a hard pill to swallow. With a little determination, a tear or two, the extra push and confidence in me that I lacked for a moment, and sweat, lots and lots of sweat, I’m back on course with my TrainingPeaks training schedule.
Despite my quads being a little sore, some minor blisters, and sweating non-stop, I’m feeling good. My lungs don’t exactly agree with the humidity, but I’m not going to become a better runner if I can’t battle the elements.
“You pretended the snooze button didn’t exist. You dragged your butt out of bed while others slept. While others ate their pancakes, you had a feast of protein, glucose and electrolytes. You double-knotted. You left the porch light on and locked the door behind you. You ran. 5ks, 10ks, 26.2 miles. Some days more, some days less. You rewarded a long run with a short run. And a short run with a long run. Rain tried to slow you. Sun tried to microwave you. Snow made you feel like a warrior. You cramped. You bonked. You paid no mind to comfort. On weekends. On holidays. You made excuses to keep going. Questioned yourself. Played mind games. Put your heart before your knees. Listened to your breathing. Sweat sunscreen into your eyes. Worked on your farmer’s tan. You hit the wall. You went through it. You decided to be a man about it. You decided to be a woman about it. Finished what you started. Proved what you were made of. Just kept putting mile after mile on your internal odometer. How much farther will you go? As far as you can.”—Best motivational Nike quote ever… |via Brian Z (via bananza) (via imoverweighting) (via deghanmay) (via runcaitierun) (via moveyourbooty) (via carpe-omnious) (via eatprayrun)
“It takes patience to become the best runner you can be. Top athletes realize that running is a long-term sport. It is set up for people who value delayed gratification and who like hard-earned success.”—Anthony Famiglietti
it feels like home to me. it feels like i'm all the way back where i come from...
It’s been a busy few days (hence my lack of update about the run on the 4th, but I’ll provide a thorough update tomorrow when I get back to the city, complete with pictures.)
I’m getting ready to leave Michigan and as I was printing off my plane tickets, my mom came down to say goodnight/goodbye*. She cried and I cried, which is pretty standard for us really. I kind of can’t believe I’m leaving tomorrow. This vacation has completely flown by. I didn’t even make it to Kalamazoo to see my friends there! :( I always feel wayyyyy over-extended when I come home. (It’s a good thing — REALLY!) There is just always so much to do, and enjoy, and celebrate. I really have no idea where to start and end with this trip. I only hope that all of my loved ones can make time to visit me in Manhattan. I don’t consider myself a homesick New York resident, but there are definitely those inherently Michigan things that I miss while I’m away (Coney Islands, calling soda “pop”, Ann Arbor, driving, Lake Michigan, real gardens and fresh produce.) Thank you everyone for the wonderful stay in Michigan, and for those I missed, I’m so sorry and I can’t wait until I make my way back to catch up with you (or until you are in New York and I get to show you my world there!) I love you all! xoxo
I will be kicking my 4th of July off the right way with 3 miles on the most beautiful course (with waterfront views of Little Traverse Bay) that Northern Michigan has to offer! Right now, I’m kicking my first race off the right way with plenty of water, and bed time soon. I’m so excited and a little nervous for tomorrow, but I’m sure my training will pay off and the adrenaline will do the rest!
I’ll be sure to update you after I’m finished and even provide a picture or two (I’ve recruited my boyfriend to drive me to the course and snap a few photographs. He’s the best!)
So, I have been home for a week. The trail I’ve been running for the week is gorgeous and makes me miss having so many trees and green things around. Not to mention, the Midwestern charm is just so… charming. Everyone says good morning on the trail! And it even feels genuine! All that aside though, I feel as though I’ve been awful about getting my miles in. BUT when I looked at my TrainingPeaks account with my scheduled running and the amount of running I’ve actually done, somehow I’m coming out ahead. I was supposed to run 13 miles this week (the week being Monday - Sunday) and I have 9.36 miles already completed! Throw the 5k I’m running on Sunday in the mix and I’m doing just fine! I would like to go and walk the course Saturday to familiarize myself and maybe snap a few pictures. I’m so excited to do this 5k!
Anyway, I went from feeling awful about the training (or lack thereof) that I was doing, and found that I’m not in bad shape after all. Now I need to put away the computer and Tumblr, pack up, run some errands, and then Drew will be here to pick me up for our drive northward. :)