Tag Archives: run

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.

My Body is Rebelling. Stop it, Body.

New York City has finally been getting some beautiful weather with its first inklings of Spring, and I’ve been trying to take full advantage of it and run, run, run (run). Usually when I’m getting back into it, it’s hard to get out there mentally, but the run itself feels great and I’m pumped up.

This is not the current situation. I feel like this:

inner mel.

For some reason my past 3 runs have felt really weird. As in it doesn’t feel like my body is made for running. Like the past 10 years haven’t existed. I’ve taken long interval breaks in the past, but it never really had this effect. My stride doesn’t feel natural and my breathing doesn’t really find a rythm. This is all very strange to me… it’s never happened before.

I tried thinking of reasons why, but came up empty. I mean, 2 weekends ago I ran a 4 mile race in Central Park and felt great. What could’ve happened in the past 2 weeks? I don’t really know.. but I decided I’m going to stick through it and re-acclimate my body to this stress.

Today and yesterday I completed this loop here. Perhaps 2.6 miles 3 days in a row is too much, too soon? My plan is to take tomorrow off to let my knee chill out and avoid runner’s knee. Maybe I need a day off to let my body recover and get it’s shit together.

C’mon bod, what is the deal. Let’s be friends.

Winter Running Gear Doesn’t Mean Success

On Sunday morning, determined to get my running mojo back (the winter is an evil, evil, mojo stealer), I went to Paragon Sports in the city and spent a large sum of money on technical winter running gear. The items? An Asics Thermopolis long sleeve top (below) and a Brooks windbreaker type jacket. I argued: this is an investment in my health, as I handed the cashier my credit card. I told him this theory and he agreed. I felt good.

After a fun, silly, long brunch–there’s no other way to do it–with two other NYC bloggers Leslie and Sofia, I planned an afternoon run. I got back to Brooklyn, digested for a hot minute, and donned my new gear. I have a tendency (bad habit, laziness, impatience.. whatever) to buy clothes without trying them on. The thermopolis shirt in a size xs fit perfect, the Brooks jacket in size xs = not so good. The sleeves landed just at my wrists which doesn’t lend well to ‘end-of-the-sleeve-grabbage’ while on a cold run. I know you know what I mean.

I made due with my shopping ignorance by pulling the shirtsleeves through the jacket and over my hands. Score.

All this effort was for nothing though. I got outside, started down the block. And stopped. It didn’t feel good! wtf? It always feels good. I was confused. I walked for one block then started up again. Negative. Still not good. I repeated the walk one, run one twice more and went in. LAME LACEY. Yeah. Bullocks.

I am going to return the jacket, but keep the shirt and hopefully try again soon. Note for winter gear buyers: the shirt kept me warm, but the thin, windbreaker (one-freakin-hundred-dollar) jacket wasn’t good. It held the wet that the other technical shirt was trying to wick away right against my skin. Lose.

In more news: no running or activity means bad sleeping. I am just not tired at night. So I figured, what the hell, and went to the gym (gasp!) after work today to have some fun. Yes, have some fun. I was actually looking forward to just wingin’ it.

First back to the gym workout (lists always make the workout look hardcore):

  • 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill at 5mph up to 6mph
  • 3×12 on a machine that works back + biceps–i should’ve looked at the name
  • 1×8 on a chest press that wasn’t set up for my height and I almost pulled a muscle in my chest so I stopped. I definitely looked like that girl who doesn’t know a thing about weights. Truth.
  • 3×10 bicep curls with 10lb weights
  • 3×10 shoulder raises with 5lb weights
  • 3×8 push ups
  • 2×30 bicycle crunches
  • 10 minute cool-down on the treadmill at an incline at 6mph down to 5mph
  • 5 minutes of walking jammin’ out to my ipod cuz it felt good.

I dug the gym. It was different. Maybe I’ll get stronger and avoid twenty degree weather windburn and hypothermia. Okay, I’m being extreme. But still.

P.S. To help me fall asleep lately, I’ve been reading a poem anthology book. This quote is from a poem called “Frost at Midnight” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It captures an essence of NYC for me:

“This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,

With all the numberless goings-on of life,

Inaudible as dreams!”

… aaand goodnight.

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.

Night Run Cause and Effects

Tonight I was angry.

Some personal shit went down, and there was smoke seeping out of my body as I left work. I had to run to midtown and pick up tickets for a broadway show, and noticed I was speedwalking through the crowds at a furious pace. Bam tourists, out of my way! …

I decided a night run was in order. And continued my furious pace back down to the subway into Brooklyn. I got to my place around 7:00, it was already completely dark outside (sunset appeared to be at 5pm today.. wtf?), and prepped for go time. Then out the door at 7:30.

Immediate lesson (that I already knew and ignored): Do not wear ALL BLACK while running at night. Especially in Brooklyn. Especially when running in the street. With cars. We are breakable. The first loud honk scared me onto the sidewalk for the rest of the night.

Going up Bedford Ave was a breeze, and then when I hit the Williamsburg bridge I stopped and walked for a block. I didn’t interpret this as weakness, I just wanted to walk and think. I didn’t want to get back home so quickly and the movement was good for my head.

After the short walk, I turned and headed back home along the BQE. This is when the speed kicked in. My pace reminded me of a cruise workout like I used to do in high school (hitting race pace for a set period of time). My lungs were burning beautifully, and my breathing was heavy but consistent. My legs were strong and my pace stayed steady. All this even after taking some weeks off; I was amazed. I think this was a combo effect from hyped up adrenaline and fuel.

Another thing I learned (and already knew, but also ignored): Fueling properly before a run really DOES improve performance. I wasn’t planning on this run, but I had a package of cashews and an apple at work just before leaving, and I definitely felt stronger than usual. No dropoff in energy towards the second half, and no empty stomach. When I run in the morning it’s either an empty stomach or a piece of bread because I don’t have time to sit and digest. Not sure if I can eat more on morning weekdays, but at least I know.

Total distance was 3.6 miles. Inner fire down to a smolder. When I’m pissed off, I run well. I bet it’s true for a lot of runners. I like it, though I prefer to not be angry. But I think I found the silver lining.

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.


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 :).

Sometimes Workouts Are Good, Sometimes They Are Bad

This workout was good: I ran Tuesday morning

My alarm was set for 7:20, but someone emailed me at 5:55am (why?!) and the buzz of my blackberry was enough to wake me. I am clearly a very light sleeper. Not a log.

I thought to myself “what the hell? let’s go for it”. I made some instant coffee–sorry coffee friends, can’t brew that early–and threw on my gear. The weather forecast said rain later in the day, temperature about 50 degrees. I wore tights, a tee shirt, and a zip up sweatshirt (I recommend no hood that way it’s not bouncing behind you as you run).

I got outside, and dammit you lying weatherman, it was raining. Once again I thought “what the hell? keep goin’ for it”. I ran a small 2.6 mile loop here, and it felt good. Well, good as in yes, I like running, but I’m definitely out of shape due to 3 weeks off.

This workout was bad: I went to yoga Wednesday night.

running mel scowls at yoga

running mel scowls at yoga

Yesterday was an overwhelming day from start to finish. Work has got me in a tizzy–I can’t believe I just said tizzy–due to very big projects, and a need for very big results. I had an excel sheet party all day long and at 6:30 my eyes fell out. Plus a truckload of personal antics that are eating away at me.

Warning: Yoga doesn’t always relax you. If you think it will calm down a shitstorm, that is false.

I went in there with negative energy, so maybe I threw off the whole zen of the room? But during the whole practice I wanted to scream and run out of there. Everyone around me was totally peaceful and I couldn’t even get a good inhale/exhale flow goin’. I knew right at the start it wouldn’t be smooth. And then I was trapped. Trapped in yogacity without a map. That was horribly cheesey. I’m aware.

Lessons learned*: Don’t be a menace to south central while drinking your juice in the hood.

Real lessons learned: If I’m freaking out, call someone to talk, don’t go to yoga. And running always rocks.

* that’s a movie. i swear.