Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun Run Sun

As a human, I love love love summer. Two of my favorite words in the English language?

Heat. Wave.

who could be unhappy in such conditions?
While others complain about sweating through their clothing, smelling like a sasquatch, looking like a very shiny tomato, I am happy as a little clam. Sweaty, happy, little clam.

*side note: where did that phrase come from? are clams happy? how could anyone possibly know this?*

As a runner, however, the heat is not always my friend. I'm not averse to running outside in the heat, as some are, but I am aware that it can slow me down in a race capacity. Several weeks ago now, I partook in the Women's Mini 10K in Central Park as one of my friends (and fellow Luna Chick!) happened to have an extra bib number the day before the race.

I was so excited and was looking forward to improving on my time, as I had really enjoyed my first 10K and felt sure that I could go faster.

A few miles into the race, a combination of recent over-training (another issue altogether) and that darn heat and humidity started really messing with my mind and really, really messing with my speed. I slowed wayyyy down. Ordinarily I like to run negative splits and enjoy passing people as it keeps my competitive edge engaged. During the last two miles of this race, I actually allowed people to pass me. Many, many people. UGH.

As it turns out, although I felt like I ran terribly, my time was less than a minute slower than my first 10K. I was still disappointed, and I still learned my lesson.

1. Be sure that your legs are rested and ready to go. I am not Kara Goucher, I do not need to, nor should I, run 6 days a week.

2. Stop being so crazy competitive with yourself - it's great to push yourself, but you are still a worthwhile person and athlete if you don't PR in every. single. race. 

3. Heat (or any difference in climate!) WILL affect you, and you need to be prepared! Since this event, I have encountered several articles on running in the heat (you know when you never hear of something, and it is then brought to your attention, and suddenly it is EVERYWHERE? like that.), so don't take it from me, take it from the experts:

Runner's World - one of my favorite sources for running tips and *free* training schedules

Fit Sugar - definitely a good one to follow on twitter for fun fitness updates! (reading about fitness makes me feel like I'm working out...weird? fine.)

But I think that the main thing I learned, in addition to the obvious of drinking lots of agua (welcome to the bilingual portion of this blog), is not to hold myself to the same standards of performance in different climates, and to give myself the opportunity to adjust to a new season before I start beating myself up about my times.

I mean, let's get real, I am not setting out to win the race (...or am I?!? ;) and as long as I give my all through every mile, and escape injury-free, what have I really got to be complaining about? Nada. (see, totally bilingual over here.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I discovered Luna Bars not longer after their inception (1999, in case you were wondering) as a junior high student in the early 2000's. Eating them made me feel like an athlete, although in real life I was that girl who was consistently picked last for kickball teams and still get a mild panic attack anytime someone suggests a pick-up game of football in the park. [side note: at a recent staff retreat day, I somehow blacked out and signed up to play softball and one of my teammates noted that I 'looked athletic,' causing me to laugh so hard that I struck out....three times]

Fast forward approximately a decade (eek!) later and I am continuing to fuel my "athletic" side with Luna bars - except this time, sort of for real.

One of my girlfriends from my American Cancer Society DetermiNation running team contacted me about joining an all-girls running club called Team Luna Chix. The premise is that, sponsored by Luna's Corporate Responsibility department, we run, we giggle, we gossip and we raise money for breast cancer research and awareness.

who could say no to these faces??

Really didn't need to twist my arm on that one.

they somehow bribed me to get myself to the starting line
The other bonus is that we get literally thousands of free mini-Luna Bars to munch on and share with other runners as a promotional tool for our running club. First of all, the mini bars are unbearably cute. Second of all, I live for free samples. Literally cannot get enough. I think I have a special radar in my brain that seeks out free samples high and low, and then devours them.

the REAL reason I joined....also, yes, please do check our website!
Anyway. The one con is that we do not get to pre-select the flavors of our free food. Hey, beggars can't be choosers. But turn that frown upside down, because some of the flavors (I'm talking to you, Lemon Zest) that previously made me feel like this:

now make me feel like this!!!

YAYYY broadening taste buds!

We run every Wednesday evening, so if you're in the NYC area and you're a chick and you like to run and also eat miniature snacks.....e-mail me! We are runners of all levels and typically split into two groups so that one group runs a long loop and one group runs a short loop. And we are so. much. fun.

If you are not in the NYC area, dry your tears as Luna's corporate responsibility arm has a long reach and there are Luna-sponsored running clubs nationwide. I'm told that the Orlando team is the model after which all other Luna teams aspire, but that won't last long now that we have a team here - nothing happens casually in New York City.

This is why you're fat.

As I was tooling around on the internet during my lunch break yesterday, I stumbled upon this little tweet, which sparked my curiosity and led me to follow the link:

Yes, I follow peanut butter on twitter, okay? I also have at least two jars of peanut butter at home waiting for me at all times (I like to have a jar of Trader Joe's classic creamy as well as a fun flava like THIS!). I also once ran out to buy a jar of peanut butter in the middle of eating an apple with peanut butter as my jar was running dangerously low - nothing says "pb addict" like a mid-snack grocery run. Also, in light of the title of this post, I feel that I should clarify that my point here is not that I'm fat because I eat a lot of peanut butter (although maybe it should be...).

My point is this: this NPR blog, documenting outrageously and grotesquely unhealthy sandwiches enjoyed (or not...) weekly in their office, is hilarious. Read it. Don't eat what they eat. That's all.