NYC Marathon Map Illustration giveaway winner!

And the winner of the NYC Marathon Map Illustration giveaway, as selected by the random thing where I just a button, is…

random winner illustration

 

Susanne! Congrats!! I’ll be giving Phil your email address and you should be hearing from his soon!

—-Comment happily: you won’t be asked to create an account!

FREE. THE. NIPPLES.

Hey friends, I try to not judge, but lately, I’ve seen a few things I think we need to change. I know, it’s tough, but let’s see if we can do this. It is running-related, I promise.

I am lucky that I have gotten rid of most of my shame. I was the girl that put on a bra at 10 and didn’t take it off for many years. I was seriously proud that I even slept in those wire-padded-mounstrosities. Yes, wires. I have small (A) chest so the point was to make them look bigger or hide them. I really did sleep on those things.

Time went by, and a few years ago, when I realized that in NYC you can walk around bare-breasted, my brain started to rebel. My nipples did too. Of course, I get that I don’t need any sort of support, so if you do, that’s a quite different thing. But, you can literally walk out in NYC with your boobs out and it’s ok. I started seeing it in the park, girls sunbathing, or in the randomest places and started wondering WHY oh WHY so many of us go through so much to hide them. I was one of them for the longest time. Yes, we all hide them.

No, you can’t say you don’t hide them because sometimes you are trying to be provocative and show cleavage: you’re sexualizing them boobs! But, can we be ok with our boobs not being a sexual object either? We’re either hiding them or using them to get attention!!!WTF! I am ok now not wearing any wires or padding or OR cleavage. My boobs are there, for no reason apparently as I don’t plan on having children, so until I figure what they’re good for, I am gonna leave them alone just like my elbows or my chin (though those two are good for supporting me in some positions!). My boobs have no purpose -besides Juan’s amusement of course.

Now, you know me,  when I go running I will wear as little as possible. I just like it better that way. For a while, I tried to wear extra, even if I didn’t need it, because as I was falling so often, the extra layers would pad my skin a bit.It didn’t stick, I don’t like it. Ugh clothes.

So, many of you have seen way too much of my nipples on my bras. In pictures all over the internet. Everywhere. It’s my thing I guess. I started this a long time ago when not many people in Central Park were running in a just bra. My friends can tell you how I forced them. Once, a team-mate said how she was going to try to run shirtless “next year, when I have abs and a good body to show“, looking straight at my pouchy stomach. Honey, THAT is not the point. AT ALL.

I really don’t care what I look like. My stomach can be big, bloated, full, gross. It’s mine. I own that. If you don’t like it, you can just look away. Same goes for my boobs. They’re small, they’re sweaty, they’re cold and they point, there’s two of them. They’re mine (and probably Juan’s). They are okay. Ps: my eyes are up here.

One picture is the same as million: my nipples always look like this.

One picture is the same as a million: my nipples always look like this.

Anyway, how about we all stop making women a sexual object that needs to look perfect and skinny or be ashamed of their bodies? Yeah? Can we? How about we let the hairy men run shirtless without weird looks? how about we let everyone enjoy running freely the way they were born?

This all came to mind because, in the hot weather, this past weekend, I saw two lovely ladies, on two separate places, working hard on a run out there, and they were so hot, so hot, they had lifted their top to put it under their bra, or folded over their bra, and were also wearing long tights. I wanted to go over, hug her, and tell her it was ok if she wanted to get rid of her top. And that she didn’t need to hide her legs in long tights, I DON’T CARE WHAT SIZE YOU ARE!!!! There is no need to be ashamed. It’s not about how you look. After all, we’re all quite insecure. It might be hard the first few times, but you’ll get used to it. The more you put what you are out there, the more you’ll get to know it, and the more you’ll love it. And if someone has a problem with it, just send them my way.

Why is it that men can run shirtless and we can’t feel ok with it? Why is it they sometimes wear shorts so short, or tights or tight we can see everything yet WE are supposed to be ashamed? EH? My husband the Ironman only wears tights and is often embarrassed about how the tights profile “everything”. SO WHAT? NO ONE needs shorts over the tights!!! Let’s stop the body shaming.

Come on people!!! this is 2014. I think it’s time we all start being more supportive of each other’s bodies, whatever they look like. Just think all our bodies have helped us accomplish, slow or fast, or even that first glorious mile. This is how we were born, and it’s OK. We don’t all need to look the same, or cover some bits that are not illegal! Free the nipples. Free Yourself.

Okay… I know need to hear it… what do you think? Are you with me on this??????

cheering in a bikini

The day I did this, I run 3 miles in that outfit, back and forth to cheer. The boobs were fine, but the bottom kept giving me a wedgie. So, apparently, some of us don’t even need a bra!!!!!

2014 NYC Triathlon in Pictures.

 

 

I had run Saturday (Summer Streets!!) because I had work on Sunday!!! wohooo, there’s a whole weekend of waking up early! ;-)

Great thing was that Juan was volunteering at the finish line so we both took out early as we had to be within a few blocks from each other at the same time. When we left the apartment, it was pouring. We walked almost 2 miles, trough a deserted Central Park. It was so romantic!

The whole finish area was all set up quite early on.

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Soon, by 7 am, I was all set up at my cheering. Very soon after, still in pouring rain, with very few cheerers still, the leaders go by.

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That’s the first woman and men til that point. Soon they were trickling in and by 8 am it had stopped raining. Nothing worse than wet jean, ugh.

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In a bit, I had a few of my athlete’s there, and their families had come to join me (I had promised them lots of cheering supplies!!!), so it was a lot of fun. Also a lot of my team mates and friends came by. This area is great to watch because you walk 3-4 blocks and you can see them again, and the finish line is right there, pretty convenient!

 

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Finally we started to dry off and soon we had everyone running by us. I spotted many but I only managed to get pictures of just a few. I get so fricking excited that I start yelling and I forget to shoot, OR… I remember and I press random buttons (I deleted a few apps thinking I was taking pictures…). I am a mess. But I scream a lot!

GO SIMON GO.

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Another Whippet go by fast, Patricia, who looked so super happy!

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Erin, one my Team Up athletes had also a super fun time. She put together this fabulous video if you’re interested in seeing more of the NYC Tri.

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Below is Xavi, another team mate. This was his first tri. funny thing is, most of the Whippets you see racing the tri, did a hard 5 miler the day before, the Team Championships. I am not sure how my body would handle back to back racing, but more kudos to all of them!

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And then Kino!

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Super-star Sarah Reinertsen!

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Part photographers, part cheering squad, fully soaked, over excite band!

From left: Daniela, Christine, Linda, Ken, Jason and Rob.

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Then I got closer to the finish line, to see if I could double spot some people, soon I saw Jason again by the finish turnaround!

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And the hubs was there working… he had to monitor the crossing… people would cross the course right when you had 150 meters to the finish and were on full sprint-on mode. that’s one crazy spot to have a crossing.  Juan had to do 5 hours of that. I would have been dead-exhausted after 1 hour of that…

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By then, I realized I needed a sip of something, so I went towards the VIP area right on the finish, got some water and a banana and a yogurt, got some shots and kept going!

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That’s one comfortable way to be close to the finish line!

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Back at the 72nd transverse, there’s Kino again! And Juan’s arm.new york city triathlon pictures nyc tri 2014 (27) new york city triathlon pictures nyc tri 2014 (28)

I had spotted one of my athletes so I went to the finish chute. Found Kino first with a friend.

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And Xavi with his medal and his flag!

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The other side of the finish line!

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I followed another one of my athletes, Sam and her family and two friends, to the finish festival, which was bopping!!! Found the other Sam and Jason, eating ice cream and discussing the water in the Hudson, of course. Congrats guys!

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So… I snagged one of these, salted caramel, and it was delicious. I just thought it was hilarious it had the same name of my boyfriend Bart!

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So, now I had to wait for Juan to be done with his volunteering, 5 hours of it, so we sat down. I think I had an apple. Aaron and Sam.

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Soon enough the husband was done and reported back to service! I think that’s Michael in the back!

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We decided to hang out a bit more as three of our friends were getting a prize award for the co-ed relay team! Congrats Simon, Katie, and Michael!!!!

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Well, that was a fun day! And probably the best weather they’ve had IN YEARS… the current was strong and saved everyone a few minutes and the rain kept everyone cool during the run, but the bike portion was a bit messy. Still, for what I heard, everyone had a great time out there!

 

Summer Streets. Rain. 14 Miles. YEAH.

 

 

 

Hey friends! Someone is in a GREAT running mood… I was dreading last week though.

I was starting my long runs, I was slated for 14 on Saturday and you well I can’t run long by myself… the week before I had run 12 with team mates but this past Saturday EVERYONE I knew (EVERYONE!!) was doing the Team Championships so I had no one to run with. So sad-Elizabeth face all over the place. What am I gonna do?? I can’t do 14 by myself!!! I moaned around for days.

I even thought of running the 5 mile race, adding a few before. But, after the tempo we did last Tuesday I knew I wasn’t mentally ready to race and that also I didn’t want to miss Summer Streets!!! Summer Streets!!! In case you don’t know, we get a whole street blocked for us, just 3 Saturdays a year, Park Avenue in the Upper East Side all the way downtown, 7 to noon. I can’t miss it. Look at the wonderful pictures I took last year. It’s just the THE BEST.

Anyway, Jessica, told me she and her friend were doing also a similar amount of miles at a similar pace, so we decided we’d meet early to beat the crowds and be at 72nd (where it starts) St at 7 am.

Saturday 6:21 rolls around it’s  pouring. Jessica and her friend bail and I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t do it later as I had a whole day planned (Cirque du Soleil included) and working at the NYC Tri the next day. It was then or never. I pout. The rain didn’t scare me but running alone for so long did. Ugh. I kept pouting. Poor Juan was trying to motivate me like he was on commission!!

He was doing Team Championships too so he was having breakfast, I kept pouting. 5 minutes later we both dozed off!!!!! Eeeeek, we woke up at 8:20!!!!! We had to rush to make it to the race start (he barely did!! had to start at the back!), I threw shorts on and headed out. F this! I am going anyway!

wow, it was PERFECT!!!!!!!

There was no one there. I had the whole Park Avenue for myself. The rain felt nice too and after a couple of miles it had stopped. I was barely wet and very comfortable!

By the time I hit Grand Central, I decided to check out the Park Avenue Tunnel. There is usually a loooong looooong line and I hate lines. No line!!!!

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The complete darkness was so amazing. I love running in zero vision, it’s the best feeling, it makes you feel like you’re flying. FUN.

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Back out on the other side. I just love these sights. Mostly when it’s all empty.

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Getting to Union Square

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Soon I was all the way downtown, by Foley Square. I forget how short the city is. it’s probaby 4.5 from 72nd to the Brooklyn Bridge. I tried the bridge but it was, as usual, too crowded for my taste. So I headed back up!summer streets nyc 2014 run running (12)

These water stops are my favorite, I love that I don’t need to bring anything! A girl at Bicycle Habitat gave me nuun pills, a guy a bottle water: ha! magic!

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As soon I got all the way back up to 72nd I noticed I still needed 4 more miles so I went back down again. Weather looked perfect now on Park Avenue.

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Running back on the Upper East I noticed there were people trumpets on EVERY BLOCK. Sometimes 2 or 3 per block… all playing one note. It was the weirdest thing… As soon as one of the would not be playing, I’d ask them what the deal was but none of them would tell me what the deal was, they’d just point to their hats that read “trumpet city”*, after a bit they started playing. It was so cool to have a soundtrack at MY speed… ah nyc!!!

Anyway, the main thing here is that:

1- I did IT. I run all 14 by myself

2-  I had a FANTASTIC time (thanks NYC for being so OSOM!)

3- I was so happy after, and barely sore compared to last week’s 12 (it was ugh).

YEAH ME!!!!

things are going well… ;-)

 

*Found it:Trumpet City. Trumpet City is a 60 minute live-installation of 18 or more trumpets performing outdoors in a public space. Next Realization: Saturday, August 2, 11:30am-12:30pm | Part of the NYC Department of Transportation’s Summer Streets Program | 91 trumpetsline Park Avenue from 46th Street at the Helmsley Building to 72nd Street..

Giveaway: A NYC Marathon Map Illustration!

Some great marathon related art out there!!! I still need a big piece for above my couch if anyone is feeling generous, but came across these amazing prints… from this site: Cape Horn Illustration nyc marathon marathon mapPhil, the artist, is also a marathoner, who just did Chicago last year, so I see where all this inspiration came from. He offered to give me a print to giveaway, the NYC Marathon one, 12×18, in quality paper, signed and all. I think it’d make a fantastic addition to any wall or a fabo gift!! If you go to the site, you can see all the detail, the images zooms in!

Anyway, giveaway is HERE, feel free to share the love and enter all you want. We’ll pick someone randomly on August 18th, at noon. You have many many options to enter, so don’t be left out! One thing: if you don’t live in the US, we’ll ship it to a friend of yours in the US to hold it for you, ok?

Go for it! Good Luck!

And… we’re BACK!

I guess I hadn’t told many of you so when people see me running and they haven’t seen me in weeks or months, they are perplexed: “you’re running now?“.

I am. It all started back again, out of nowhere, with July, and I’ve been doing around 25 miles a week consistently, even some enthusiastic speedwork. Slow, and frustrating, yes, but back on the horse. Mid-July I made myself a NYC Marathon training, program, the exact same one I’ve been using for all my NYC Marathons, since my first in 2008, I know it works for me, and so far so good.

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Mind you, that plan, where I am mostly hitting all the workouts, says I can do a marathon in 3:32, which would not be a PR but a bit better that the miserable Boston race I did (untrained!!) at 3:49! A 3:32 marathon translates into a 3:37 in NYCM.

I am so excited about the speedwork though, that I somehow convinced Daphne and Kettia to move this week’s tempo to today. And instead of the prescribed 8:03 pace we did: 8:03 (nailed it), 8:09 (still yeah!), 7:44, and 7:32. Plus, these were on hills and dirt, so you can safely take at least 10 seconds off of each.

workoutFinishing Speedwork Feels good.

Feels really good to be able to feel the come back.

It’s not easy. I don’t always still have the motivation. But having good friends with me just make it A LOT easier. Daphne should start getting paid to pace, she’s a natural rabbit. No matter what sort of run it is, she’s ALWAYS keeping it honest. It’s exactly what I needed. Kettia tends to push my buttons pace too, but as neither of us are 100% committed I sometimes convince her to back off, boo me.

It’s going well. I did 12 last weekend, my longest in a long time, and it felt like I was doing 20, during and the whole day after. I was so exhausted. Not sore or in pain but overall tired. 14 this weekend… and on and on hopefully. Good thing is, it’s Summer Streets already, which has me so excited!!! Everyone I know is doing Team Champs so I’ll have to find someone to run with (anyone? 14 miles at 9:30 pace? I promise I’ll chat so much you won’t even notice the miles!) but things are moving. And I am already over 100 miles this month, that is the first time this year!!!!! Yeah, I’ve been quite lame with the running for a WHOLE YEAR. That included two marathons (plus a million medical things!) but that just proves you that anyone can finish a marathon!

My big lesson is that it’s all in your head. In the good times, and in the bad times.

Do you “like” to run hard?

I really don’t.

I always knew I run my easy runs too slow, my long runs too too slow and I do my tempos and intervals with very little enthusiasm. I realized this morning, when a friend was dragging me through a fast half mile (which was probably at 9mm) that I just don’t like pushing! Ever!!!

Two weeks ago, when I was in Florida, I run with two coworkers that were, as they said, slower than me. Compared recent times, and I felt safe, it’d be a fun easy run… and then they took off at a “can’t talk” pace for what was an easy run for them. I run with Kettia often, and even years before when there was a gap in our race times, she’d make me cry in training runs. Even this past winter, I run with her group in training for the NYC Half, and even though I ended up racing faster than them, I was crying and dragging during the long runs… Kettia says I show up for race day. I know I don’t like pushing hard, so I limit myself to the races for that.

I DO NO LIKE RUNNING HARD.

I DO LIKE WHEN MY “EASY” IS “FAST”, that’s what I would call a good performance. But that, obviously, takes a lot of work to achieve… I’d even say that my fastest times were easy, and I was completely relaxed. It felt nice.

Right now I am at SLOW AND EASY, meh. And I know that I need to run hard to get fast… it’s gonna be tough. Or slow.

I know some of you go hard (at “can’t chit chat” pace) even for easy runs. My husband, for example, doesn’t even know what slow or easy mean. He goes all out in every run. I call him “one-speed-Juan”. He’d go out at the same hard pace whether he was doing 7 miles or 18, to end up just walking back (suicide pace works?). I’d measure my effort by heart rate, or by the talk test… I can go fast, only when it feels easy… Most of the people I know are the opposite though, they take off, always, like it’s a race. Ugh.

Am I alone here? Or do you also prefer to go out hard, have a better workout, train like an animal, get stronger/faster; if so, did you always enjoyed it or is it something that you learned to like over time?

I just like to do a running tour and watch people and birds and trees and bop to my music! I wonder if there is a way to wake up the beast in me or the competitive in me? I have ZERO of that!