Category Archives: Weekend Runs

How to Run with a Hangover

Step 1: Sit on the couch and feel the pain

Step 2: Chug cold water like it might instantly cure you

Step 3: Regret how much you drank the night before

Step 4: Immediately delete step 3 after reading and move directly ahead to step 5

Step 5: Debate if it is a good idea to run in this condition

Step 6: Realize that you’re probably very dehydrated, will get nauseous 5 minutes after you start, crumble, and start directly back at Step 1.

Step 7: Skip the morning run and wait until the afternoon or evening. mm hm.

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The More Out of Shape Your Are, The Better You Can Become. Win!

Shortly after sharing my new workout schedule challenge yesterday, I embarked on day 1. The workout planned was 2 miles of cardio + Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred DVD (if you’re not familiar with this DVD just imagine a 20 minute total body workout class).

I of course treated my 2 miles as a run (wahoo! finally!) and donned my fail-proof cold weather workout gear. I headed out around noon and it was surprisingly warmer than I remember it being last time I ran this month. It was 35 degrees–funny how everything’s relative.

The 2 miles weren’t that bad. On the last half mile I began to get that ocean in your lungs, pain in your teeth feeling which really indicates how much I need to work on my cardiovascular system. My lungs are pretty weak right now. But I was really happy I made this plan, and stuck to the 2 miles. Without it I know I would’ve tried for more, and felt too much pain. Also by keeping my mileage low to start I’m avoiding a bout of runner’s knee which I get every time I come back too hard. And it felt SO FREAKIN’ GOOD to be running :).

Once back at my place, I walked up and down the block a few times to catch my breath and then headed in and got out my weights.

That’s when level 1 of the Shred DVD kicked my ass. Seriously. From the first strength move I was shaking. Specifically my shoulders, biceps, and triceps were all maxed out from the reps she instructed (an average doable amount). And I was only using 4 lb. handweights. My butt muscles also strained with the side and static lunges. It wasn’t nearly this challenging last time I did this workout months ago.

I was really surprised how out of shape I am! But you know what? I’m actually excited that I’m weak and at the bottom right now. Let me put it into perspective for you. When I’m in peak shape, running 4 miles a day, 5 days a week–that’s where I feel pretty good–I wonder “How am I ever going to get better? What else can I do?? Run more miles? Run twice a day? Eat more protein??”.

Right now, knowing I’m at the bottom of my physical condition means every little thing I do will have a result. Even a short 2 mile run. Score. More of a reason to stick to it.

The Return to Running Butterflies

Aaah! I’m lacing up my sneaks, getting ready to head out for my return to running run. I need to remind myself of all the comeback runs I’ve had in the last year, and how I’m thankful after each one.. because I’m always apprehensive (ahh!) before I get outside.

What am I scared of? The same as usual: that I won’t be able to handle the distance, I will be as slow as a turtle–a very good looking turtle–and the runners of Brooklyn will all gather in front of my apartment when I return to laugh at me. Guys, don’t gather, really.

I woke up at 6am, had a bowl of oat bran for breakfast, a cup of instant coffee… and waited about two and a half hours. I told myself I have a date with destiny at 9:30. It’s 9:15 and I’m eating chocolate chips from the bag with one sneaker on.. thinking.. about.. every possible thing that can delay my getting outside. Maybe I’ll check my email one more time? Am i dressed warm enough? Should I charge my ipod a little more? .. why am I a crazy lady? At least I’m not a cat lady.

Okay. Go time. My goal is to get three miles in. Walking is allowed if needed. If anyone passes me by, please stop to give me a high five. I like high fives. Especially if your hands are warmer than mine on this cold morning. Bullocks.

NYC Marathon Ran, And I Did Too

I somehow managed to wake up sans hangover this morning, the day after Halloween. Go figure. I decided to stop the no-running bullshit and get out there again. I needed it.

So, at about 9am I made some coffee, had a piece of toast for a little pre-run fuel, and left. I started running down Driggs Ave this morning instead of Nassau for a change of pace (that might have been a pun) and noticed that every block to my right had a blue barricade.

Of course. THE NYC MARATHON!

Last year I left my place to get a cup of coffee and all of a sudden came up upon the race out of nowhere. I can’t believe I almost forgot it again. Mel, get with it.

nyc marathon in brooklyn

I ran over to Bedford just as the wheelchair athletes were passing by. I watched these men and women rockin it at mile 12 and thought to myself, I can’t believe I doubt my ability to run sometimes. Am I kidding? Talk about inspiration. I had the chills running past these people, and smiled the whole time. This is what running is all about.

In true Brooklyn style, local musicians hit up the sidewalks to provide some tunes for the runners and crowds. Love it.

I rounded out with a 3.6 mile loop here. It felt very, very, good. I’ve also been ravenously hungry all day. That always happens when I get back into it.

After getting home and showering, I went right back out to cheer the runners through. Hundreds of people poured past me. And you know what? I think I can do this one day :).

Retaliate With a Run

You know, I thought that once I graduated college the partying lifestyle would die down, and I’d spend my weekends walking in the sunshine and sipping a glass of wine or two at night.out in nyc

This is not the case.

There is always a reason to get messy, and it’s just so appealing! Dammit! It’s pretty clear that hangovers aren’t unusual for me, hence my need to revisit this hangover post constantly, but I really do not like myself in the morning.

Mel- I don’t like you.

How do I make it up to myself? I run it out. I feel like a good, hard, run will un-mess my weekend mess and dissolve all the alcohol/2am pizza decisions that were made. Do I really this one run will fix this? Yes, one run will fix this.

Just kidding.

I’d like to blame my current couch position on Blockheads ($3 margaritas!) and The Hill(nice bartenders=free drinks, but otherwise very lame bar). Damn you both. I will retaliate with a run attack at approximately 4pm.

One run will not undo a weekend of debouchery and tomfoolery. But. It helps.

I attempted to preempt this feeling last night, and set out on a 4 mile run here, which felt awesome. I left at around 7pm, and it was already half-way through the sunset. The air was about 65 degrees and kind of humid, and Dave Matthews started off my playlist. It was a sweet vibe. I really like running in the dark. It makes you appreciate your thoughts (if you’re a pensive runner) even more so.

How to Be Productive on Saturday

There are two key steps to follow to set up a kickass Saturday:

Step 1) Don’t get drunk Friday night

Step 2) Wake up the same time you do during the week. If you can get your butt out the door to work for someone else, damn straight you should give the same attention to yourself.

Saturday morning I opened my eyes at 7:15am and rolled myself (somewhat painfully but I knew I wanted it) out of bed. Mike 1, Mike 2, and all of Greenpoint, Brooklyn was still asleep. So the morning was all mine. Small victory for mel.

I started the morning with an old standby breakfast: 1/2c oatmeal made with 1c water, blueberries, walnuts, and a drizzle driz of honey. Then I positioned it on the floor of my room to present you with proper lighting in this photo. Yes, I did feel strange arranging it on the floor.pre-run oatmeal breakfast

About 2 hours later I set out for a run. I was running short on time due to plans to meet my friends for an apple picking excursion (woohoo!) so I decided on an Ewald workout to kick more ass in less time. I hit up the McCarren Park track and felt really good about it. I only had 1/2 cup of the coffee also which is noteworthy. Mel – 1, coffee – 0.

Saturday morning workout:

  • .5 miles to the McCarren Park track
  • 8 pushups
  • 40 bicycle crunches
  • 10 reverse crunches
  • 4×100 sprints with 100 recovery in between
  • repeat steps 2 through 5
  • finish with another round of pushups and crunches
  • .5 miles back
  • stretch in front of my apartment while the old lady on the first floor watches me through her window and then says “i like watching you”. note to self: bake her some cookies and/or never get old.

I was surprised that the oatmeal kept me goin’ from 8am – 1pm. Nice. I then met up with my friends Sam and Hayley for a New Jersey apple picking adventure. It was glorious!

serious. business.

serious. business.

There were endless rows of apple trees. I kind of wanted to run through them like that scene in the Sound of Music and sing with the VonTrap family.

 

apple tree rows
We taste tested until we felt sick, naturally.

eating an apple

My basket of applefruits:

just picked apples

I arrived home exhausted and happy. It’s sad that September is already peacin’ out! Now I’ve got about 3 lbs of apples, and a pie waiting to be made. I hope. Someone call me and ask me where it is tomorrow so that I feel guilty. Otherwise there’s a good chance it aint happening.

At night I headed out to Staten Island to get wacky with some friends. In which 3 margaritas and an unknown amount of beer was drank went missing. Went to sleep at 3am. Woke up at 11.  And that, my friends, is how not to have a productive Sunday. :).

NYC Fall Weekends Mean Good Running

One thing that cannot  be taken for granted in NYC is the weather. Seasons come and go like traffic (quick, erratic, unpredictable) and perfectly sunny + breezy days invite swarms of people out to the streets to soak it up.

Planning ahead to take advantage of the cool weather for some serious running, I was successful in my party/alcohol management this weekend and didn’t get a visit from Hangover Harry once. If he came to your house instead, I’m so sorry I let him loose.

Friday night after work I met my friend Amanda for some Mexican food and drinks at a random restuarant we walked past in Chelsea called Salsa Y Salsa. I sipped on a mojito while she got the sangria happy hour special:

she was successful.

she was successful.

The drinks and food were both weak (mad wack, yo). I would recommend you don’t try this place.

Saturday morning I woke up naturally at 6:30am (victory!) and ran a sweet 4.5 miles here from my place down through South Williamsburg and back. Warning: TMI ahead. I started out feeling like a rocket, but somewhere around mile 3 I really had to go to the bathroom. Every step I took I felt my bladder dying inside. I tried to trick my mind and focus on the scenery, but you just don’t get used to the feeling. Bouncing up and down–bad idea all around. I ran frantically in search of a coffee shop that might let me use their restroom but it wasn’t even 8am yet, so NOTHING was open. I ended up slowing down to a walk for maybe 6 blocks to give my bladder a break from the pressure. Eventually I starting running again (very fast) and jetted straight home. Internal mutiny?

Also- I ran before eating anything and I definitely noticed a drop in energy during the run. If I have time in the future I need to eat breakfast first.

Sunday morning I did have time to eat breakfast first (apple, yogurt + granola) and holy moses it made such a difference. I don’t know where this run came from. It was glory. I haven’t had one of these in a while and it was the final proof I needed that I’m back. My 5 run comeback theory was right on.

The motion in my body felt so natural I wasn’t even thinking about how far or how fast I was going. I just let the run guide itself, and mapped it when I came home. The result was 4 smooth miles here, after which I did a victory dance that included the running man*.

I’d also like to note that my calves were very sore both Saturday and Sunday after my runs. I don’t know if I’ve ever really been sore in that area and I’m not sure why all of a sudden now? My best theory is that I’ve been wearing high heeled boots in the cooler weather + no running for 2 weeks = my calf muscles got tight. I was hobbling around all night last night. I probably looked awesome.

Today I’m taking a rest day because I don’t want to overwhelm myself, and I’ll also give my calf muscles time to heal the ef up (heal the ef up guys!). I’ll leave you with a picture of this morning’s sunrise in Union Square:

7:30am, NYC

7:30am, NYC

Total week 1 miles: 14.7. On to comeback week 2!

* I made a running man instructional video if you’d like to learn. Email me for details.

** No, I didn’t.