Moonshot: Camp Week 0 and Week 1

This Fall I’ll be running my 4th and 5th marathon – Chicago & NYC!

I’m particularly excited because this season I’ll be training with Nike’s Project Moonshot 2.0 ~ Class of 2018!

Having finished 3 Marathons already, I really needed to revisit my focus and motivations for running one again. Don’t get me wrong – I love running – but contrary to popular belief that runners are crazy and insane people, we each have a story for running. Race day can give us that runner’s high, but the training behind it can still be long and hard.

Nike is my favorite sports brand because of the message behind it – anyone can be an athlete. With Project Moonshot, this is true. I’ve never seen myself as an athlete – running is a social thing for me. Camp Week 0 has us thinking about our goals – something I’ve never really thought about before.

This year my goal is to discover the best runner in me. For the past 2 training seasons, I’ve trained with the occasional running group, but mostly by myself. For the next 15 weeks, I have a new family to run with, to push me further, and to test my limits. I may or may not get that BQ time but I hope to find the best running me.

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3rd Annual NYRR Mini 10K

I ran my slowest race yesterday but it is and will always be the most memorable and funnest one. Why? Because I ran the entire thing with my favorite twin Christine. We even crossed the finish line hand in hand!

Although I’ve started with my sister in her corral for every race this year, I’ve always “ditched” her after the start, ran my own pace, and met up with her at the finish. But since this was my and her first race since we started running NYRR races (my third / her second mini 10K), I decided to make it special and run the entire course with her.

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And….I had a blast! We took snaps, selfies, and boomerangs. It was so much fun, although I felt bad that I might have pushed her a bit hard in the beginning.  We actually didn’t PR by her standards compared to last year’s race (finished 1:00 minute slower). We think it’s because we went out too hard and she was so tired by the end.

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I can’t say that I didn’t benefit from it too. Ever since my on-again-off-again hamstring and calf pain, I’ve had a hard time getting fast again. I would still run through the pain but pay for it afterwards. My recovery time has increased from 1 day to 2 days. I felt pretty good after the race today, which was a plus since I have another one next Saturday.

 

Donuts for Days

I’ve got a major announcement!

I made DONUTS!

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I know it’s a bit late but this post is in honor of National Donut Day, which I just found out is the first Friday of June. I knew my birthday month was awesome for a reason!

This weekend I made homemade donuts from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook. I love yeasted doughs. They smell so good, even before they’re baked. The donuts took two days to make. The first for making and resting the overnight and the second for baking.

The donuts are supposed to be fried but I wasn’t about to use a whole pot of oil for frying, so I baked them. After a quick 10 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees, they were done! I made a quick sugar glaze and chocolate glaze and decorated as I wanted. They would be probably be better fried but they still turned out great! Another sweet treat that I’ll definitely make again!

Let’s Talk About Running

Happy June!

On again and off again injury has me thinking about running. I’ve taken 11 days of rest from running since completing the Brooklyn Half two Saturdays ago on May 20. That’s a lot of days for me! I’m just sorta, kinda happy that it was rainy last week and I haven’t missed out on good running weather.

During this time, I’ve found other ways to fit running in my life, including listening to Ali Feller’s podcast Ali On The Run. This rambling of mine is actually a response to her post of the same title. One of the most resonating podcasts I first listened to was Episode 10: The Worst Mistakes I’ve Made as a Runner because I could relate to a number of them. Here are the ones I’ve been through too:

1. Not taking enough rest days – (if any)

Hence the injuries I’ve had on and off since last year. Tendonitis jumping from one leg to the other because I don’t fully rest and recover before running again.

2. Losing brain cells on worrying about taking a day off from running, and feeling guilty when others were completing 10+ miles

My family can attest to this. There would be 10 minute conversations and convincing me that no running for a day was okay.

3. Running through pain – (and not the sore-after-a-good-workout kind)

See lesson #1

4. Obsessing over numbers – (and not truly enjoying running)

Running just to see the numbers on my Nike app increase and reaching the next goal level.

5. Running without getting stronger – (I have no upper body strength and super not flexible)

Stretching and foam rolling seemed to slow and time consuming. Yah – I’ll rethink that.

I wasn’t always a runner. In fact, like Ali, I didn’t grow up an athlete. I got clobbered in basketball, kicked in soccer, ran away from the ball in dodgeball, and stood in out-outfield in kickball. The only sport I did was swimming, but I wasn’t fast at all. I started running in high school as part of a class called Polar Bear. I don’t remember what possessed me to sign up for a class that required me to run outside in the dead of winter but I figured it was a sport I could do. We ran along the West Side Highway for 30-40 minutes.

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Mini 10K: one of my first 9+1 qualifying races for the 2016 NYC Marathon

I really enjoyed running, especially in the city. I love people watching; it’s always so interesting seeing what people are doing on the streets. Sometimes I create stories of where these people are going! The West Side Highway is a great running path – so many out and about, especially during the warmer months. In college, I started running almost everyday, usually starting my day at the gym or outside running. As my mileage increased, I started using my watch to track how far I went. Later when I got a data plan, I used the Nike app for tracking. While it’s an amazing app, I found myself focusing more on the numbers and not how I was feeling during my runs. I was still aware of my surroundings, and observed the places I ran, but I didn’t really truly enjoy it. There were days I felt so tired but still ran anyway. I guess I was what you could consider burnt out or overtrained.

Listening to Ali has inspired to revisit what running means to me because listening to someone talk out loud about the same issues I experience with running makes it so much more easier to accept. I was so focused on running for the numbers that I was forgetting what I loved about running. I was afraid that I would “forget” how to run if I didn’t run every day. For those of you who know me, I don’t have a very active social life. I only know 3 things: work, running, and food. Running is basically 1/3 of my life.

Taking 11 days off from running (and not trying to sneak in a run or light jog in between) has helped a lot. I’m finding new interests, and I don’t feel like I’ve lost my running. In fact, I’ve started to enjoy the stationary bike (somewhat). One of my goals this summer is to learn how to ride a bike really well (biking in a crowded city, or at least controlling it well enough to bike on the West Side Highway).

In honor of Global Running Day next week on June 7, I’ve decided to try a new running goal for this month: running naked as Ali says. I’m ditching my numbers and running based on how I feel. I’ll use the app to look back at my miles in the future but I won’t run based off of it. No more running 2:46 minutes more to make it a round 5.0 miles. In fact, there’ll probably be more photos and snaps and Insta-stories to record all my running miles. Ali Feller – you’re such an inspiration!

 

Running Goals Revisited

The new year is already more than 3 weeks in, but it’s the first day of the lunar new year so I think it’s still a good time to rethink my running goals. I’ve given some thought on what I want to do with my running. Now that I’ve completed the NYC Marathon once, I need something else to achieve. I’m definitely running it this year, through the 9+1 program, and next year with my sister. There are some people who run it every year and that’s good for them, but I need something different.

Of course, running the same race each year brings about a different experience. Even if the course is exactly the same, the weather, your physique, your training, and your mental strength will always be different. There are some people who run the NYC Marathon every year and kudos to them. But many marathons are in the Fall season and running NYC every year will leave me with no energy with other races. I’m not a professional runner so training for one marathon is exhausting enough.

So I’ve decided on 5 goals:

Short term –

  1. Run NYC 2017 and 2018
  2. Run 2020 and every 5 years after that

Long term –

  1. Travel to other places for functions
  2. Strengthen my muscles and build flexibility to be a better runner
  3.  Run for charity at least once