Travis conquered the NYC Marathon 2013

Nov 7th 2013 09:04:59 pm

travisnyc

Travis did it! He ran the NYC Marathon and got his goal time of under four hours – 3:55:12, to be exact.

We were both supposed to run NYC last year. We trained with Brooklyn Team in Training, raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and even went to the event expo with our friends… only to find out that the race had been cancelled. We were bummed, but quickly focused on helping with hurricane clean up. Plus, we got to run the Philadelphia Marathon two weeks later, so it was still a successful season… but the NYC Marathon is special and Travis wanted his chance to run through the city. He transferred his registration to 2013.

nyccheer

Since I already ran NYC in 2010, I decided to take the refund. That way, I could focus on cheering for Travis just like he did for me in 2010. I tried to make it to three spots on the route – mile 7 in Brooklyn near our place, mile 18 on 1st Ave in Manhattan, and mile 23 on 5th Ave in Manhattan. It was awesome seeing Travis in Brooklyn, even though it was incredibly crowded! I made it to the next two locations, but somehow I missed Travis at mile 18. Bummer. I was determined to see him at 23 — I kept my eyes on the runners obsessively — and I did! He was tired, but powering through.

I got to cheer with many friends – Becca, Sarah, Lawrence, Amanda, Joel, Matt – and I got to see many members of the current Brooklyn Team running, but not all of them. I couldn’t stay out on the course all day like we did in 2011. I hustled to the finish shortly after I saw Travis for the final time. I had all of his warm clothes and didn’t want to be late!

travisnycmedal

The security at the marathon was incredible! They had blocked off almost all of Central Park West and all of Columbus Circle. Giant dump trucks blocked the streets. There were police officers and canine units everywhere! The security seemed excessive (and cost $1 mil!) but it paid off, because the race went off without a hitch. Which is amazing. Especially considering that the 2013 NYC Marathon was the largest marathon in history, with 50,304 finishers. Wow!

It was a trek to get myself to a meeting place near the finish, but I made it! Travis arrived in his marathon poncho and medal. He was cold, but happy.

Travis ran a strong race and I am very proud of him. He trained extremely hard for this race. He is much more dedicated and disciplined than I. There are many more fast races in his future!

Check out all of my photos from the event in my Flickr set.

5 Comments » Categories: Exercise, New York, running, Travis

so many running updates

Oct 31st 2013 04:02:43 pm

Happy Halloween!! But this isn’t a Halloween post… it is about running. Of course. It is always about running.

solorun

I completed so many races in the beginning of 2013 that I really burned myself out… spring and summer were not great running seasons for me, but I’ve gradually been working myself back into the groove. Recently, I’ve been surprised to realize that I am actually feeling pretty good. And, I have been doing some fairly successful marathon training on my own. I completed two solid long runs this month, including a solo 20 miler that went exceptionally well… and not just because I made pit stops for a donut AND a cupcake.

I am feeling unexpectedly excellent. Running is on my good side for now. Which is handy, because there is a lot of fun, running-related stuff happening…

sarahlawrence

Early this month, one of my best and sweetest running friends (and Warrior van-mate), Sarah, got married to her equally sweet (he got me a signed photo of Patrick Stewart!) boyfriend-now-husband, Lawrence. It was a beautiful, fun, huge, family wedding and it was such a thrill to be invited. The food was amazing and the entire event was full of cute, personal touches. Sarah and Lawrence made race bibs for their table seating cards! So clever and fun! Such a great night. Travis and I made good use of the party photo booth with our fellow running Warriors.

dadhalfmarathon

My dad ran his first official half marathon on October 19th. Very cool! With the covert help of my brothers, I flew home to surprise him on the course. Aaron, Seth, Mom, and I had signs and we were yelling our head’s off, but somehow we missed Dad at the start of the race. Good thing we saw him at Mile 3 near the Liberty Memorial. He stopped and gave me a hug. I think he was genuinely surprised to see me. Success! I met him again at Mile 11 and ran the last 2 miles with him and his kind friend, Todd. Dad was tired at the end, but he ran a very strong race. Now he has his sights set on a full marathon!

See all my photos from my Kansas City trip HERE.

bktntesswinter13

Above is my current Brooklyn Team in Training. We are all participating in the “Endless Summer” (winter) season and training for either the Bermuda or New Orleans Half Marathon. I’m Social Captain again this season, and although our group is small, it is awesome. Last night we had a “Socktober” costume contest and a 5k test. I ran (maybe) my fastest 5k ever (sub 9min/miles, but still didn’t break 28 minutes – boo) and felt great. Travis was sweet and paced me the whole way. I run my best races when he helps me.

brooklynmarathonblog

With the successful 20 mile run and the strong 5k under my belt, I feel confident enough to publicly admit that I am running the Brooklyn Marathon on November 17th. The race is entirely in Prospect Park and it will be challenging… but I think I am going to take it seriously. I have no idea whether I can PR, but you never know what will happen… perhaps it will be MY race.

travisnyc

In even BIGGER news… Travis is running the NYC Marathon on Sunday! Wow. It his first NYC, but his 6th marathon. He has been training extremely hard and I think he is going to have an amazing race. I plan to cheer for him at three points on the route. He is Bib #22006 (starting in Blue Wave #2, Corral #22). You can track him by downloading the free iPhone app.

NYC Marathon Day is one of my very favorite days in the city. I was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last year and the cancellation of the race. What a sad time… But this year is going to be great! I am volunteering at the Team in Training booth at the Expo all afternoon tomorrow – come see me! – and I am an official #INGNYCMarathon Social Reporter. You can follow me as @rljart and @SCBkRunners on Twitter and as @rljart on Instagram. Be prepared for a LOT of marathon updates! (You can also search for the #ingnycm hashtag to get the newest marathon-related tweets.)

Will you be watching the NYC Marathon? What other fall events are you excited for?

1 Comment » Categories: Exercise, Family, Friends, running, Travis, weddings

summer run streak success

Sep 4th 2013 03:28:08 pm

Success!! I completed the Summer Run Streak. I ran from May 25th, two days before Memorial Day, through Labor Day, September 2nd. That is 101 straight days of running! Whew.

I am really happy that I decided to do the streak. Originally, I committed to the Runner’s World Run Streak which was supposed to last only through the 4th of July. But I got ambitious and decided to keep going. The only rule was that I had to run at least a mile each day.

Other summer 2013 numbers:

  • I ran 310 miles during the streak.
  • My longest run was 16 miles.
  • I ran in 4 states: New York, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon
  • I ran 5 organized races.
  • I used 4 different pairs of running shoes.
  • I swam 10 miles (at the Red Hook public pool).

I am so happy that I kept moving this summer even though I’m not training for a specific fall race. It felt good to give myself permission to do shorter workouts. And, I think it actually helped keep me in pretty good shape!

Even though a few of my friends are keeping it going, I decided not to continue the streak through the fall. 101 days feels like a really solid number for a streak. Plus, I don’t want the streak to become a thing that I must continue for the rest of my life… so I took yesterday off! It felt good to finally rest… but I am heading out for a quick run today! I can’t rest for too long…

See all of my Run Streak photos here.

6 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Health, running

running the city

Aug 28th 2013 11:41:12 am

The only event I have on my upcoming race schedule is Reach the Beach in two weeks, so long run training isn’t a necessity, but Saturday I set out on a New York City running adventure anyway. I covered three boroughs (Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens), crossed five bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Queensboro, Pulaski), checked out 5Pointz (a graffiti art site in Queens), and covered 16 miles. I really enjoyed running solo all over the city and documenting it on Instagram (see all the photos here). And the donut ice cream sandwich at the end was more than sufficient motivation to keep me going. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I kept thinking to myself, “I’m back!” I felt strong, like I could run forever. I had fun.

But then I woke up on Sunday and felt icky. Sick and sore and sluggish. It is for more reasons than the long run, but it is still a bummer. I am nearly done with my daily summer run streak — almost 100 days straight!! — but discouragement is still my constant training companion. I’m not sure how to shake it…

In other running news, South Central Brooklyn Runners (our totally casual local running club) has finally placed an order for team singlets! I based the design on a Nike style, but tried to keep it simple so that it would appeal to as many people as possible. Of course, we had to include VOLT! (Volt = neon yellow.) More than 60 people ordered them — we are going to make a scene at our fall races!

And in even more running news… want to run a half marathon in Bermuda or New Orleans in January?? Come join Brooklyn Team in Training! I am the team social captain for our Winter (or Endless Summer if you want to feel fancy) season and I know we are going to have a lot of fun. Team in Training is a supportive way for anyone (beginners to marathoners) to prepare for an endurance event while fundraising for a very good cause. You already know that I highly recommend it. Join us!

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I’ll post more about the Summer Run Streak soon… but tell me, what has been your exercise plan or motivation this summer? I need more inspiration!

3 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Exercise, New York, running, Team In Training

camp ironman

Aug 5th 2013 03:42:57 pm

Summer is so much fun. And I’d argue that one of the best ways to enjoy summer is to go camping with friends.

Remember how I volunteered at the NYC Ironman last year and loved it? I definitely wanted to volunteer again, and with no NYC event this year, the Lake Placid Ironman was the nearest alternative. Plus, Lake Placid is located right in the center of the beautiful Adirondack mountains. A wonderful place to camp. Thank goodness Ironman Joel planned ahead and booked us awesome campsites for the event weekend about 40 minutes from Lake Placid at Lincoln Pond. (Campsites 34 & 35 R, for the record.)

Our campsites were considered “rural” in that they were a drive from the main campgrounds with showers and ice and firewood. But we had two outhouses, our own exclusive lake beach, and lots of privacy.

We cooked over the fire, slept in tents (Travis and I are still using our tiny two-person tent that we bought in Oregon), went for runs, swam in the lake, and basically just relaxed for four days.

Travis and I decided sort of at the last minute to bring Crusher along. I am so glad we did! He was less of a hassle than I was expecting and it was so much fun to see him swimming in the lake in his doggy life vest. He hated the vest, but he would voluntarily swim into the lake when he was wearing it. He also liked riding on the inflatable rafts. He was a crack up and he loved being wild and free for the whole weekend.

The Ironman race was on Sunday. Our more hardcore friends woke up early to go see the swim start, but I was worried about trying to keep Crusher in the car all day, so Travis and I got a later start. I was pumped that we ran into the bike course when we went out to find breakfast in the super-cute town of Keene. We stumbled upon the excellent ADK Cafe and got to sit on their porch eating pancakes as the cyclists zoomed by. We got to see nearly all of the racers, from the pros with their crazy alien helmets, to the more average racers (as average as Ironmen can be) at the back of the pack. It was exciting!

Our Ironman volunteer shift didn’t start until 8 pm, so we spent the day exploring the region a bit, searching out free internet, and hiking one of the many mountain trails. In the evening we went into Lake Placid to spectate the run portion of the race. The Ironmen run a full marathon as the final portion of the event, and the Lake Placid marathon is not easy. We joined the crowds at the top of a particularly steep, long hill near the finish (and middle, since they run a 13 mile course twice) and cheered on the runners.

By the time our volunteer shift time came, Crusher was exhausted. He was totally fine hanging out in the car while Travis and I joined our friends at mile 24 of the marathon course. We manned the final aid station during the final hours of the race. We handed out water, CocaCola, chicken stock, pretzels, fruit, Gu, and electrolyte drink. Most of the athletes were very tired, but nice and responsive. The chicken stock and Coke were the most popular items. I had maybe too much fun cheering and calling out our items to the athletes. As it got later, the runners sort of trickled off. It was heartbreaking to know that a few of the last runners would not make it to the finish in time for the 12 am cut off. One woman collapsed near us and had to be taken away by medical staff. It was all very dramatic and inspiring.

I really want to do an Ironman some day. Volunteering at the event entitles you to priority sign up for the next year’s Ironman. Our friends Joel, Jon, Louis, and Yvonne all signed up for the 2014 event. I was tempted, but I don’t think 2014 is my year… I DO plan to be there to cheer and volunteer again!

Monday was the best camping day! We slept in a bit, I had a great trail run early in the day, we hung out for hours in the water, laughed too much, wrestled an inflatable shark, drank from “floozies” (a trademarked floating koozie invention), roasted little smokies and lots of fruit, discussed lumens, and took many panoramic photos of the sunset. It was a good time.

Crusher was totally exhausted by the time we departed on Tuesday. He slept for almost the entire drive back to the city. The weather and the sky were so beautiful while we were driving that I started daydreaming about buying a “summer home” in the Adirondacks… and a car to get us there… and triathlon bikes so that I can train for my Ironman…

If you live in the NYC area, I highly recommend getting out of the city to camp in the Adirondacks. It is easy! We rented a car from the Enterprise Rent-a-Car near our place in Park Slope (it is cheaper than ZipCar for longer trips) and you can reserve your campsite easily through ReserveAmerica.com. Lincoln Pond was a wonderful location, but I am sure that any of the campgrounds in the region would be great. Bring a tent, sleeping bags, pillows, firewood, water, hotdogs, S’more makings, bug spray, and sunscreen… and plan to have a great time!

See more photos from our trip on Flickr.

5 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Friends, running, Travel

currently // July 2013

Jul 23rd 2013 10:48:13 am

making… the best ever chocolate chip cookies. No Crisco and they still turn out fluffy and soft. Don’t over-cook them. They get eaten really fast!

practicing… Swimming! My swim lesson came to an end, but I’ve started going to lap swim at the local public pool. I have a goal to swim 25 miles by the end of summer… that is a lot.

watching… Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. We actually already finished the full series. It is funny and poignant and complicated and weird. All of the actresses are amazing, but I especially love Kate Mulgrew (previously known as Captain Janeway).

listening to… Emeli Sandé.

looking forward to… camping this weekend! And volunteering at the Lake Placid IronMan. My friends and I are manning a water table during the run portion of the event. I’m excited! (I had such a great experience volunteering at the NYC IronMan last year.)

//

Summer is half over and I am already mourning its passing. I’ve been packing this hot season too full of fun and fitness! What have you been enjoying?

3 Comments » Categories: Currently, Exercise, Food, music, Television, Travel

summer run streak

Jul 2nd 2013 11:49:00 am

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you are already aware that I am participating in the Runner’s World Summer Run Streak 2013. My coach, Lisa, told me about the streak right after I completed the Trail/Road Challenge in the Berkshires. The rules of the streak were to run at least one mile every day from Memorial Day to July 4th. Thirty-nine days of consecutive running.

I have made it successfully to day 37. I’ve run in upstate NY, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Kansas, Oregon, in parks, on streets, bridges, and trails. I’ve done plenty of one-mile runs, but also a few longer excursions. I did nine miles with my dad, a quick jog with my brother Seth & Flike (the dog), the Color Run with my family, a long run to Doughnut Plant with Travis, the Pride Run with my cousin, and a few group training sessions with my Brooklyn team. It’s been a good running summer!

I’ve been recording my run streak by posting a photo each day to Instagram and Twitter. (You can use the hashtag #rwrunstreak to find streak-related posts.) I know that my friends and followers are probably slightly annoyed with all my running tweets and photos… I can see how it could look like bragging. But that is not at all my intention! The social media documentation has been a strong motivator. Knowing that I “need” to make a post each day has gotten me out the door when I didn’t want to. Encouraging comments on my posts make my day. And I love my collection of Run Streak photos!

I’ve really been enjoying this type of lower mileage daily fitness… so, I’m going to keep it going!! My friend Alison and I have challenged ourselves to continue the streak through the end of summer. We are calling the second leg of the summer streak: The Summer Heat Streak, July 4th – Labor Day. It will be 61 more days of consecutive running. And still, the only rule is that we must run at least one mile a day. You can join us! I am going to be tagging my related social media posts with #summerrunstreak.

One last thought… running hard every day and not taking breaks can be dangerous. I do NOT run hard every day. During this streak I’ve taken many “rest days” where I do my one mile run at a very easy pace and let my body recover. I actually feel like this lower mileage streak has been healthier for me than the sporadic, super-high mileage I was attempting earlier this year. Always listen to your own body and do what is best for YOU… no matter what your friends are posting on Twitter and Instagram. xoxo

4 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Health, running, Shoes

currently :: may 2013

May 22nd 2013 05:15:49 pm

eating… broiled grapefruit. A delicious, but very healthy breakfast or dessert. I followed this recipe, but you can easily modify it and use whatever fruit or nuts you have on hand.

playing with… the A Beautiful Mess photography app. If you like Instagram, but want to add a bit more to your photos, you will love this app. It allows you to add text and doodles and novel borders and then share your creations via Instagram or other social networks. It is a lot of fun and totally worth the .99 cents!

prepping for… the Trail/Road Challenge next weekend. I’ll be running a 15k trail run on Saturday and a 5k road race on Sunday. In between, I’ll be partying with my Brooklyn Team in Training in the Berkshires!

trying something new… swimming! I am taking a weekly lesson with my friend Suzy. It is a beginner lesson geared toward triathlons. I have always known how to swim, but swimming competitively or for long distances is totally new. I think I am making progress…

::

What are you currently up to?

1 Comment » Categories: Currently, Exercise, Food, Friends, running, Team In Training

running, now & forever

May 16th 2013 12:00:51 pm

So. Running.

I am still at it, running races and training for my upcoming Trail/Road Challenge next weekend… but I have also been trying to take it easy.

So far in 2013, I’ve run three full marathons and five half marathons (if you count the Brooklyn Half I’m running on Saturday), plus assorted smaller races and trail miles. I am not bragging. When listed out, that race count looks obnoxious and dumb. I am still paying for over-doing it. I am sluggish and slow.

My favorite recent race was the Nike Women’s Half in DC on April 28th. I ran it with Chelsea and I felt good the entire race. Our time was not overly impressive, but it was much better than what I struggled to do at both the NYC Half the month before and the NJ Half the week after. Plus, the Tiffany necklace at the finish and lots of treats in Georgetown made it a fun weekend.

So, I’ve had a few fun races, a few terrible races, and some low key, relaxed training runs in between. Where do I go from here?

I still love Team in Training. My Brooklyn team is just a few weeks away from finishing up our summer season. I say it all the time, but it is the truth, TNT people are the best people. So fun! I mean, look at this gorgeous group! And these lovely ladies. We run for Boston. We run for equality. We train in storms and in the dark. Oh ya, and we all raise money for cancer research. It is a win, win, win. (hint: Join TNT!)

Some of my most fun and rewarding experiences ever have been with TNT… but I am tired. I need to pull back a bit and re-group. My running enthusiasm is injured and I’ve discovered something about myself: I’ll never be hard core about running. Sometimes I think I want to be, but the truth is, I don’t want to put in the work. I’ll never qualify for Boston or win my age group in anything. I’m into running for the fun, fitness, and friends… which are all great reasons, but they are difficult to shape into concrete goals and motivations. Do I want to run more fulls? Try a triathlon? Train for an ultra? I’m not sure.

My short term goal: focus on general fitness, listen to my body, and enjoy it! It might mean walking, hiking, doing more swimming, more cross training… or even running. I don’t have a plan… and that is the best part! I can do whatever I want!

1 Comment » Categories: Exercise, running, Team In Training

march malaise

Mar 19th 2013 09:12:16 am

The first day of spring is tomorrow… but you’d never know that in Brooklyn. It snowed yesterday! It is rainy, cold, and overcast today. The cloudy coldness is bringing me down, but I really can’t place all of the blame on the weather. I need to make some changes, to my life and to my attitude.

My spring cleaning goals:

  • running – Running is discouraging. It is not fun, not energizing, not empowering. It is only discouraging. I know that it is my fault for over-doing it — three marathons in two months, plus the NYC Half on Sunday, was NOT smart — but my bad attitude is deeper than merely being burnt out. I have this unrelenting feeling that running is completely unfair and no one understands how difficult it is for me. Boohoo. I shouldn’t have such angry feelings about a freakin hobby. I am scaling back. I plan to only run two days a week (with Team in Training) and cross train a few days a week. I usually enjoy exercising, but I need to find a new activity that makes me feel fit and powerful, not sluggish and discouraged.
  • food – I have already been on a bit of a health kick. (Flax seed oatmeal with raisins and bananas for breakfast this morning!) But I want to stay committed. I have not quite decided how I feel about Mayor Bloomberg’s “soda ban”, but I know that for myself, I will always limit my refined sugar intake. I’ll never say that I am cutting out any type of food completely because I want to be a flexible and adventurous eater, but I certainly don’t need sugary beverages or processed junk food. I plan to cook at home more. Healthy dinners and lots of fruits and veggies!
  • swap-bot – Swap-bot is my constant companion and an unrelenting source of never-ending work. I don’t mind. I’ll keep working on it forever if users keep swapping… but I need to reframe my focus. I want to work harder on improving the site for ALL users, not just tread water trying to put out all the many tiny daily fires. I have said this before and I still believe it: art + community = a better world. I want to work more purposefully toward the goal of fostering creativity and friendship around the world via Swap-bot. And I want to make the site look and function better. There is a lot of work to do.
  • self – I plan to focus more on my own feelings and desires. I want to stay home more. Work on projects that improve my quality of life. Watch some tv. Make a quilt. Take it easy. I love socializing (probably too much) and I know it sounds crazy for someone who works alone everyday at home to want more time to myself, but I do. I love going out with friends, but I love hanging out with my husband more. I need to rest and recharge and remind myself that my priorities and ambitions may be different than others, and that is totally ok.

Once the sun comes out, I am sure I will be feeling more upbeat. Until then, I am going to take it easy on myself and do my best to foster my own happiness. What changes do you have planned for spring?

6 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Feeling Sad, Food, running, Swap-bot, Thinking, Work

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Hello.

I'm Rachel. I run websites and run marathons. I live in Brooklyn and write about art, crafts, design, food, fitness, fashion, my daily life, and New York City.

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