Rounding off the Summer in running style: A 50K, Speed Runs, and Views to Run for.

Selfie stop @ Vineyard Haven Harbour

It’s been a helluva busy last couple of weeks let me tell you. In fact, I’ve been stretched so thin ( no one’s doing but mine) that I haven’t found the time to get on here and post anything! Excuses, excuses, I know, but the truth is hellishly the same I’m afraid. I’ve run around trying to keep the end of summer at bay by trying to fit in one too many activities to tide me over once it’s well and truly gone. As it is, Labor Day has come and gone and as of this past weekend we’re heading into Fall territory. Ouch! What have I been up to then!

Smart Ass Trail Mix-Up – 50K – 5th Place

Well two weekends ago, I did some impromptu running and ended up with a 50 K trophy for 5th place after running a 31 miler. Yes, my very first ultra! And it happened so by the way that it’s not even funny. Turned out a few runners I know happened to have mentioned that there were two races: 30K and 50K happening in my neck of the woods and I felt challenged to give it a shot – just to see if I was capable of going beyond 26 miles. As it happened, my running was great for the 30K (ie. 18 miles) and got progressively worse as the miles advanced. It didn’t help that I started out with the idea to treat it as a long run – it’s marathon season after all – and I had never run more than 22 miles for a long run. In addition to which I did little to no race preparedness and got all of four hours sleep the night before. I figured this was just to see if it was possible, no big thing really..I wasn’t planning on racing or anything..and just wanted to gauge my ultra running potential. Big mistake of course but two lessons well learnt. I am never one to do laid back running in a competitive setting (or laid back anything for that matter) and trail running requires a different set of running prep – a different strategy for sure – and will not be as easy as road running just because I enjoy it more. It might have been the smarter thing to cut it off at 18 miles but who says I am (LOL), I actually made a decision then that I was going to finish no matter what. I ended up having to run/walk for a few miles, when common sense prevailed. But I did finish, though with a pretty slow time and way below what I would have ever expected to get a trophy for. I guess with just 100 entrants for the entire thing and with just about half of that choosing to go on to do the ultra that didn’t place me in any stellar field of athletes, but hell, in light of the circumstances, I was fine with that.

Part of our lulu run group

A day later I was back in the gym and the following week I joined up with my running group for some speed work in Central Park. I have a standing Wednesday group run with some fine folks at one of the athletic stores in the city and ideally we meet up once a week, twice bi-weekly during summer, to do some speed runs and drills. Ideally, because really I haven’t been fastidious about meeting up, though I have managed to make it count when I do. These speed runs help me work on my pace, running efficiency, and breathing technique as we vary workouts to include speed drills, hill repeats, 1-mile intervals, and Yasso 800s’ among others. Still, I would like to do more and up my training some. Between work, the gym, and getting about this summer, I may have run my lowest record of miles for the month of August.

Bike Trail to State Beach, Martha’s Vineyard

I’m jumping headlong into September though and already have a few runs down. It all started with a Labor Day weekend trip to the Cape where I spent a lovely 2 & 1/2 days on Martha’s Vineyard. A serene- picturesque-tiny-town-old-harbour-countryside feel. It was amazing and way too short. But, I managed to get a run in through the town of Vineyard Haven and along the water with amazing views of the sunrise, the marina, and the endless ocean. Found myself some hills too heading into some winding countryside of sorts and even shared them with a few other runners. We for went running on one of the days and opted to bike to the beach and explore a bit. Needless to say it was great and exhausting fun. It had been a while since I’d been on a bike for that long. When it was all over I felt even more in need of a holiday than I did before the trip had begun. But hey… memories and experiences cannot be bought only lived and enjoyed one day, or one run at a time. I like to say, I will rest when I die! ūüėĀ

Summer Runs – New York City

Summer Runs – Martha’s Vineyard

Summer Runs – Queens, NY

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Summer’s Running, So Should You!

Wow..Summer huh! Who can explain this crazy weather! There have been few really hot days so far but a lot of others; everything from a drizzle and overcast skies to torrential downpours and thunderstorms, all under a thin veil of humidity. Overall though, it’s been a runner’s paradise so yours truly is not complaining. Wait a minute! I’m actually raving about the weather! Now that hasn’t happened in recent times, so it must be making me crazy as well! Whatever though, if I get to run to the tune of its randomness and have fun while doing it then that’s quite a feat these days.

For instance, last Saturday amidst the annual summer streets event held here in the Big A, we had the fortune, or misfortune, depends on which side you’re on, of running some 15 miles in an epic thunderstorm. I was so hopping glad it wasn’t in 90¬į sunshine that even with the prevailing humidity, when the rains eventually let up some, I couldn’t complain. Additionally, the Saturday prior we also got caught in a torrential downpour out in Brooklyn. Before and since then, I’ve had many rain-run encounters leaving me sodden (as the Brits would say) but quite the happy runner. In case you haven’t already guessed, I love running in the rain – thunderstorms are a favorite of mine.

So whilst there has been that enjoyable element added to the summer of 2018, the standard marathon training is in full swing. For many of us racing in the Fall or those with early September runs, now is the time to hop back on the training wagon. And if ever there was a time for an impromptu run, now is the time. Quick, before summer, and free time, and nice weather, and get-out-of-your-box adventure runs are gone. Living in New York is pretty amazing on its own but it’s doubly so because of the amazing opportunities for getting out of one’s comfort zone. A gazillion chances exists to push oneself to try new things. I’d wager that wherever you are there are similar opportunities for those with the urge to make something meaningful of what’s left of these summer days.

Here are some slightly off-beat suggestions to help you to that point:

  • Tag a friend for an extreme racing event – for example; a mud run, an obstacle race, or a slightly tougher warrior race and get your fun-o-meter up there.
  • Run a 5K – it requires minimal training.
  • Do a charity run or walk and make an impact¬†– there are various good cause events hosted throughout the summer, like the Susan Komen Walk to Fight Breast Cancer.
  • Sign up for a sporting or exercise event that incorporates a form of exercise and something fun or relaxing, like a yoga retreat or a surfing workshop. Make sure running is part of the deal..kidding. Or not.
  • Run a half-marathon, a marathon, or an ultra. You knew it was coming! Just be sure training is part of the plan. The goal is to have fun while pushing those perceived limits, not getting injured.
  • Make any of the above a destination race/ experience by traveling somewhere new to add a slightly different -maybe cultural- twist.

I’m just saying. Why should summer just roll on out of here without you putting your stamp on it. All to often, we are so caught up in the day-to-day drudge, barely getting by, and not fully living and engaging with life and those around us. Wouldn’t it be something if this summer was the summer we decided to live out loud.

Summer Running, World Cup, & Birthday Shenanigans

July has to be my favorite month of the year. Quite apart from the heat, which is well and truly underway and, which I always declare is 100% more appreciated than the freezing cold days of winter, it’s my birth month – let the celebrations begin – lol, there was World Cup (an entire month of football games), and beach trips. Additionally, I have no races planned but sunset and sunrise runs to include speed work mid-week, a mid-long run on weekends, and a lot of Cross Fit everywhere in-between.

Source: cbssports.com

The World Cup, a favorite of mine, wrapped up on Sunday with France, not too surprisingly and my pick upon Brazil’s exit, walking away with the coveted title. Gotta say, I’ve always been a big football fan, a byproduct of my Caribbean heritage, but this time around was pretty amazing. We enjoyed 32 days of wild and unforgettable football; some of the best moments, memories, teams, players and their talent, and surprises we won’t soon forget. I happened to be travelling back to New York on world cup Sunday from Myrtle Beach, SC where I spent my birthday weekend knee-deep in sand, sea, and sun. Of course that didn’t stop me from plugging in to get in some screen time when the playoff for third place was on and pulling up the Fox App and taking in the game where and when signal was available for the finals. While not a very impressive performance by France, Croatia was pretty outstanding on the attack, they were able to score 4 goals and secure a 4:2 win against Croatia. Suffice it to say, I was pleased with the result.

One of my favorite things about Summer is running at sunrise, sunset, and in the night. Another is going to the beach. Back when I lived in Trinidad this was a natural almost weekly occurrence; however, living in New York lends a bit of novelty to the idea because the ocean here is always freezing and is neither clean nor clear. Sure, I sound like a spoiled beach brat but it’s hard when you know what’s out there to settle for less. And so, I mostly wait until I am able to head south to enjoy the beach life. I finally got to do that this past weekend and it was amazing! The water, the beach runs, the beach house, the sunshine, the shopping, my girlfriends, and the cocktails! I promise I didn’t go too crazy with the eating..I also haven’t eaten out so much in a couple of years at least! Going to bed in the early morning and getting up to run on the beach and see the sunrise was the highlight of the trip..well the running on the beach part anyway. The consignment and outlet shopping wasn’t too bad either, and my birthday dinner hangout was super fun at the notorious Senor Frog with their signature special litre of margarita, sombrero, music, dancing and tasty Mexican food. Through it all it’s hard to say I rested but I certainly enjoyed it and got to hangout and catch up with my favorite folks so it wasn’t a hard up for me at all.

Summer comes around but once a year and it’s oftentimes really hot. So far this year it has been near-perfect. You want to take advantage of this beautiful weather to run some and fun some: to get a lot of travel, adventure, friends, beach and memories. These are the kind of moments that give meaning to life and will go on to last a lifetime. My advice y’all is to treasure these summer days; they’re pretty awesome already!

Hello Summer, Runners

source: welland good.com

source:
welland good.com

I’m probably the most excited runner you’ll meet for the entire summer. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard, “are we there yet?” It’s finally safe to say we are! Gone are the coats and heavy jackets and reels of scarves etc. Bring on the hats, sunglasses, shorts, tanks and well.. gallons of sunscreen. It’s all good; as long as we’ve got trees, breeze, trails, dusk, dawn and the gym, we’ve got this.

source: she knows.com

source: she knows.com

Some may argue that summer is just about the hardest time to get yourself motivated to exercise – it just being so hot and all. I beg to differ. Summer implies a time of adventure, frolicking, fun and getting out and about. Many of us grab some time off to go on vacation, whether for a week or a month, what better time to get and stay active giving all the running around that entails. Some of you may know of my penchant for destination marathons, I try to get at least one good adventure run in during these months, but there are so many more runs going on, whatever your style it’s out there. Add to that some exciting activities one can get up to and man.. you’re talking three months of endless fun.

source: indiatimes.com

source: indiatimes.com

Summer fun activ-ities include hiking, camping, trail running, obstacle racing, surfing, kayaking, roller blading, biking, dancing, cross fit and yoga and its variations. There are many other options for the average runner or person to add some variety to their regular schedule; summer provides the opportunity to do away with routine and shake it up, to wring from these sunny days all the fun they’re worth. Regardless of how you choose to do so, it’s¬†a bonus¬†when you look and feel better as a result of actively engaging those muscles to stay fit and strong. An important point to remember is to try to run at the sun’s lowest point to minimize heat & sun exposure. This means early mornings or late evenings as well as sticking to the shade when necessary. Couple that with lots of fluid to stay hydrated and loads of sunscreen and you’ll have a summer to run for. ¬†Beach bodies you’re welcome!

summer-fun

Summer Fun Runs Allowed

source: healthista.com

source: healthista.com


One of the best things about Summer and nicer weather for us running folks is the mix of wild and crazy runs out there. Time enough for the serious long races; summer is about getting out; adventure, travelling, and discovering the free spirit within. All the better if you can do it while running and in a group; just add some color, mud, friends and obstacles and what you are promised a summer you’ll remember for some time.

Based on my experience and a bit of digging around, I’ve put together a list of eight of my favorite races for some of the best fun running around these United States. Here are my “easy” (wink) running picks. Hmm decisions, decisions…

(1) Rugged Maniac 5k & Obstacle Race, Brooklyn New York, June 25. A combination of about 26 obstacles including Piromaniac, Leap of Faith and the Warped Wall.

(2) Wicked Wine Run, Houston, El Paso, Fresno CA, Louisiana just to name a few this Summer with many other locations in Texas and a few other cities all the way through Fall.

(3) Tough Mudder, Long Island NY, July 23, 24. Option for 10-12 miles, 20+ obstacles or 5 miles, 14+ obstacles. Obstacles include the block mess monster, swing arm, electroshock or cold shock top and a lot more.

(4) Rock n’ Roll Chicago Half-Marathon, July 16-17. Fun Option: run the 5k on Sat & the half-marathon or 10k on Sun and you earn the spinning guitar remix challenge medal.

(5) Reebok Spartan Tri-State New York Sprint, June 18-19, 3-5 miles, 20-23 Obstacles. Vie for the fastest finish time.

(6) ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge), June -NYC, June РSoCal, July РNoCal  and August РWashington DC & New England. A fun, untimed race with 12 larger than life obstacles.

(7) Warrior Dash, from May 14, till early September from Maryland then New York to Colorado and everywhere in-between. 3-4 fierce miles featuring 12 extreme obstacles including leaping through flames and over the vertical vicious valley. You could earn a spot to compete in the world championships for the grand prize of $100,000.

(8) The Color Run; June, July & August at various locations in Pennsylvania. It’s the original paint run dubbed the happiest 5k on the planet. Of course they’re all over the country throughout the year but it’s happening in PA.

There’re a lot more summer races: for fun, bragging rights, competitiveness, challenge and yes, prize money too. For almost every one of them, you can pitch in for a good cause, which is super worth it. The way I see it, running can at times be not about the marathon, summer is the reason, plus more often than not it’s way too hot for that sort of distance anyhow. The rest of the year is all about training and racing so if I can get a couple runs in, for variety sake, heck yeah!

A quick disclaimer: races appear easier than they actually are and though fun can be grueling and extremely challenging; a slighty above-average level of fitness is required. Be prepared in most cases to get down, dirty and bruised. And finally, race at your own risk but always with company as that’s a big part of the fun.

Summer’s Running Don’t Get Left Behind

Gothamgirlchronicles.com

Gothamgirlchronicles.com

If this Summer came with directions it’d be “ENJOY!” We know so many clich√©s that could tell us exactly how to do that – tomorrow’s not promised, live for today etc., – ¬†but all too often, come Fall, we find ourselves wondering what the hell happened with the time and why didn’t we do “that thing” we promised ourselves we would do.

magazine. fox news.com

magazine. fox news.com

Last evening, I went running as I’m wont to do – shocker, and imagine my surprise to find myself running for consecutive days in the mid-seventies with a forecast of much of the same or even lower in the succeeding days. ¬†Mind you, it was perfect running weather, I, more than anyone else, appreciate that, but it got me to thinking how much I’m truly thankful for these summer months. Effortless months I call them, that time in life when you let go and go a little crazy and it’s ok because you’re not alone. You’re not alone in running two times a day..just because; in committing to as little clothes as possible, in going to the beach every weekend, in keeping some crazy ass hours which leave you with a hangover like the worst drunk, not alone in taking on adventures like a marathon, an endurance or fun extreme racing event, or some such challenge that will cause you to remember this summer with glee and a what-the-heck-was-I-thinking-but-I’m-glad-I-did feeling. The rest of the Summer world salutes your ingenuity, your sense of adventure, your crazy passions, your desire for challenge, your wanton disregard for the boring and ordinary and your limitless craving for sunny days and warm and starry nights.

theodysseyonline.com

theodysseyonline.com

As it presses on, so do we; searching out our next thrill. What form will it take? A city cruise, boat ride and party, street festival, summer concert, rooftop fashion show, smorgasbord and drink fest, ¬†outdoor exercise and activity on summer streets, a mountain hike, swimming in the lake, volleyball on the beach, surfing, a day trip to the lovely Hamptons’, horseback riding, biking the boroughs, picnics, water fights or soccer in the park, an outdoor movie and/or a play at sunset or a Yankees game? With so much yet to do, will there ever be enough time? I don’t know but I promise to do as much as I can and I know you will to. Runner’s honor.ūüėä

Cool Running

Source: active.com

Source: active.com

Eighty degrees plus days are here! Whether you’re up early or running late, the challenge is to find a time that’s right for you and run with it. The life of a person with a typical nine to five job reduces opportunities for running to early morning, late evening or night and weekends. Practically speaking, who wants to engage in daytime running anyhow as it can easily get up in the hundreds and there would be no chance of keeping your cool then. Of course there’s the option of the gym and anytime running on the treadmill but there’s no fun in that. Summer calls for fresh breeze, swaying trees, the scent of a million nondescript things amidst the colorful voices of chatter and laughter and chirping and buzzing in the glow of sunrise or the aftermath of sunset.

Schedules-smedules, it really dictates your pace. For my part, I’m stuck with evenings and night-time runs; not too bad really, but for the fact that I prefer early-morning runs. For one thing, it’s way cooler then as the sun hasn’t warmed up the day as yet. It’s also perfect quiet time. If you’re aesthetically inclined then you’ll appreciate this aspect of early-morning: the quiet and solitude, the just-there fresh dew upon the ground, plants and trees, the apparent newness of the day and the clean and sharp feel to the air. There’s nothing quite like waking up to greet a day that embraces and invites you to place your mark on it. Other advantages to running at this time include: a minimal amount of traffic but a prevailing sense of safety, air pollution is at its lowest, it’s not necessary to run with fuel if you’re heading out for a short run and there’s no need for extra cover and/or sunblock. It’s an added bonus that an early- morning run opens up your appetite and leaves you feeling pumped and ready to sieze the day.

If you’re a late-evening runner like myself chances are you run into night often enough and I’m talking big-moon-starry-night. For me, that’s the best part: the stillness the night carries inspite of the traffic and noise, the scatter of city lights against the darkness, the illusion of aloneness in the city parks even with other runners on the course, the opportunity to literally run the issues of the day away juxtaposed to doing an internal review of your day and planning for the next, it’s also easier to meet-up with a running group or a buddy since most people share a nine to five schedule and running after work is pretty popular, which provides you with motivation and accountability. Of course minimal wear and minimal or no sunblock is par for the course which leaves you with the only real disadvantage being wrapping up late and getting to bed then. But after a while of doing this, your body learns and it becomes part of your routine. A heads up on hydrating during these runs since it’s still pretty warm and often humid, you need to fuel up beforehand, during and after running.

Another option for cool running in the summer is running in the rain. It’s actually a favorite of mine around this time. Lots of thunderstorms hanging around and it’s the fiercest feeling you get while running through one. Go figure..it’s you against the elements. We know who wins. Ideally if it would thunderstorm during the day, on weekends, those would make for some perfect runs but you really take it when you can get it. Afterall, our goal this Summer is simply to stay running and stay cool.

Tips for your Best Running this Summer

source:123rf.com

source:123rf.com

We’ve entered the official phrase of Summer, and without much fanfare I might add. Given the circus of a weather we’ve been having, it is no wonder. In any event, now that’s it here I encourage you to milk it for all that’s it worth and strive to derive the maximum pleasure allowed while running. Here’s how:

  • Run either early mornings before the sun rises or late evenings after it sets. While we love the sun, it’s only the extremely adventurous or crazy who run in it.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Nothing screams newbie as ¬†one who goes for a run in clothing made of non-breathable material in summer!
  • It follows, you should wear proper running shoes. This is a strict rule for runners, as we value staying injury-free above all else. Plus, it fits right in with that “dress for success” saying.
  • Hydrate well. Practicing proper hydration during summer is valuable not just for runners but everyone who’s concerned with pursuing good heaIth. It can determine your efficiency & effectiveness out on the track or roads as well as save you time and a hospital bill should you collapse from heat exhaustion or the like. Plus, it’s pretty affordable to keep water on hand at all times.
  • I maintain that variety is the spice of life. Mix it up a little and get adventurous in your running this summer. Why not try some trail running. Download a trail app and discover running trails in your area you never even knew existed. Something new, something different, something that will add a twist of fun to your running routine. Running during the day is an option here, as trails come with trees and lots of overhead cover.
  • Talking about variety: What’s summer without an extreme racing experience! Ever tried an obstacle race, a mud run, the Spartan experience, a color run or any one of the dozens of races geared at thrill seekers? I promise it’s a must-have experience, even if you only ever do it just one time, though I’m betting you’ll be back for more.
  • Finally, running and friends go hand in hand. Though it can have its solitary moments, running is a social sport. Runners love people and this summer is the perfect time to hook up with a running group of some kind. Hint: I’m a meet-up kinda girl myself and I’ve met some really awesome people through those groups, so here’s another opportunity to try something different. It comes with an almost money-back-guarantee you’ll be pleased with the outcome.

Summer is all about having fun and exploring new opportunities. It carries a feeling of all-that-you-can-do-before-the-good-days-are-gone; but you want to enjoy yourself and have fun doing it all. If you try a few of these, your running is sure to be fun -which is the main goal – hell, try them all and you’re sure to have your best summer of running yet. Runners honor!

Summer’s Running Away

 

image

Consider that Winter seems like it was just a few months ago..when we were talking crazy-cold-how-do-I-get-my-run-on weather and now we’re running through August, no stop signs in sight. To use my, of late, favorite expression – “What the hell!” Whatever happened to slow down, take time to smell the roses and all that cute stuff? Maybe, I’m just complaining cause I’m preempting what follows summer (to which I will not give a name so as to delay it as long as possible) but really the wisest course to follow would be to abstain from such thinking and do as much running damage as possible, which brings me to the matter at hand.. Summer runs rock!

I don’t know when was the last time we’ve had or even if we’ve ever had such amazing running weather in the summer in New York City! I mean this is the time to run and if you happen to be lucky and you’re in NY, then this is the place to run, and you totally lucked in cause we also have the company to get you out and about in this summer city. Some may complain of the crazy-weather-days where the highest we’ve seen so far is just about 89 and that we have lows in the 50s but this right here is runner’s paradise. It just doesn’t get better than this. And so you want to take advantage of it cause..well..hell, you never know.

Here are some ways to get running in the city that never sleeps for the visitor and New Yorker alike:

Run Central Park. You’ll never find a place more likely to make you into a runner. Running enthusiasts, visitors, sightseers, any and everyone active can be found here..Central Park is New York in action and home to everyone.

Run City Streets. Every summer for about one month, the city opens up some of the busiest ¬†and most popular streets so that runners, joggers, cyclists, walkers, skateboarders and rollerbladers can do their thing. Yep..that’s right. No cars. The road is yours. Where else in the world can you stop traffic at your fancy?

Run with company. The Running Company is just one of the running stores that hosts free runs for running enthusiasts throughout the city. Nike, Paragon Sports, Lululemon and North Brooklyn Runners are some others to name a few. With just a click, join them and you’re in. These groups usually pace out into sub groups so everyone fits in never mind your level. It’s on to keep you fit and fab.

Run official. Do what I did; join a running club or organization that provides days, times and run workouts. Whether it is to train, to get you to your goal or to assume competitive level, such organizations exists with your purpose in mind. These clubs have an annual membership fee upon registration and acceptance; Central Park Track Club, Brooklyn Road Runners, Jack Rabbit and Dashing Whippets are among a host of others that provide the “athlete” runner with the impetus for racing.

Run with Meetup NYC. Throughout the city there are meetup groups happening for runners of all persuasions. For those who don’t know, Meetup.com exists with the sole purpose of bringing like-minded people together so that they can be passionate about whatever they care about. So of course running. And of course in NYC. Get online, join a group, reserve a spot for a suggested meetup run and voli√°. You get to run all over this beautiful, crazy city for free.

Run with NYRR (New York Road Runners). Here is the mastermind behind the New York City Marathon, which is run by thousands from all over the world each year. NYRR is a running community that hosts races throughout the year in the five boroughs of New York. Most races can help with your eligibility for the ” big” race but ideally all runners are invited to belong to a community of runners that run and share the New York we know and love. Races are priced for members at a lower rate while non-members can run for a fee, though not all the races. Why not be a New York Road Runner?

Run for fun, for charity, for personal satisfaction. Whatever you decide, you have to take it to the next level. There are so many fun and charity races all over the five boroughs and beyond you couldn’t hide..but why would you want to? Summer in New York, especially this summer, is a time to make a difference in your and someone else’s life. You just wouldn’t be able to wrap it up come September and call it a great summer if you didn’t. There are color runs, mud runs, obstacle races, 5ks for Cancer research, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Kidney research and so much more. Whichever you decide, in any and all of them you can make a donation and make a difference. You’re running anyway right?

Do you doubt that we, runners, have it made? To not only live in the greatest city in the world, but to run the show. New York is not only about The Arts and Broadway and Wall Street and the Stock Market and Fashion and Times Square and Sightseeing and Tall Buildings. New York is about Running. Runners RUN this Empire State.

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