Archive for September, 2010

Bernard Lagat and the Fifth Avenue Mile: What If?

Bernard Lagat celebrates his second place finish at the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile on Sept. 26, 2010. Photo by Phil Hospod.

How many times have you set a goal, only to come this close? How many times have you asked yourself “What if?”

Yup, that was me on Sunday at the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile. It’s easily my favorite race of the year. Running down Fifth Avenue in New York City as fast as you possibly can is a unique thrill. It’s about 20 city blocks straight down one of the most storied stretches of one of the most famous streets in the world. And then after running yourself, you get to watch some of the world’s fastest milers—Olympians and World Champions among them—duke it out.

One of those milers is Bernard Lagat. I’ve seen him race at the Fifth Avenue Mile a few times now, and I also witnessed his historic eighth win in the mile at the Millrose Games. He’s a four-time World Champion and he owns Olympic silver and bronze. He also taught me a very valuable lesson at Sunday’s race. Read the rest of this entry →


Sep 2010

ING New York City Marathon: Charity Entries Available

Runners cross the ING New York City Marathon finish line. Photo by Matthew Hutchinson.

Want to run the 2010 ING New York City Marathon on November 7? You still can.

The ING New York City Marathon may be the largest marathon in the world, but it’s also one of the hardest to get into. A record 120,000 people applied to the lottery for the 2010 race.

But if you didn’t get one of the coveted spots earlier this year, you can still be among the 42,000 runners at the start on Nov. 7. Many of the race’s charity partners still have entries available for runners. Read the rest of this entry →

New York City Marathon: The Power of Yes and No

Photo by Christy Hourihan

Nine weeks down, seven to go.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Training for a marathon is like riding a roller coaster. After the high of scoring a personal record at the OASIS Montreal Half-Marathon, I was due for a little deflation. You can’t sit on top of the roller coaster forever. At some point, it’s going to roll down.

And roll down it did. The last two weeks of training for the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7 have been full of shenanigans that forced many a change of plans. In the process, I learned the power of saying yes and no. Read the rest of this entry →


Sep 2010

Boston to Austin: 2,000 miles for charity

Rhys Jenkins, Scott Jenkins and Rusty Tolliver aren’t professional athletes. But that’s not stopping them. The three friends have set out on a potentially world-record breaking run from Boston to Austin. Over the course of 2000 miles and 75 days, they’ll run at least a marathon a day while raising money for charity.

They departed on Sept. 15 from McGreevy’s Bar on Boylston Street in Boston and will run through New York City, across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas to Austin, Tex., covering 26 to 40 miles per day.

All three are planning on running at all times, barring any injury, and aim to average about five miles per hour.

“We’ll all be running and suffering together,” Scott Jenkins, 29, said.

“Every step of the way,” Rhys Jenkins, 22, added. “With a lot of trial and error and exhaustion.” Read the rest of this entry →


Sep 2010

New York City Marathon: Tune-up Races Help Training

Running a tune-up race is a great way to prep for a marathon. Photo by Sergis blog.

Running a tune-up race is a great way to prep for a marathon. Photo by Sergis blog.

Seven weeks down, nine to go.

Training for a marathon is long process. Much like my training for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, most runners spend at least 16 weeks, or the better part of four months, agonizing over every detail—longs runs, speed workouts, tempo runs, strength training, cross training, stretching, nutrition, sleep, avoiding injuries, avoiding illness, you name it, all for a few hours of agonizing glory. As the old U.S. Marine Corps adage goes—which my boyfriend and fellow marathoner-in-crime loves to quote—“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

While all that weakness is busy leaving our bodies, we’re hoping that what we’re doing actually works. That come race day, we’ll be in our best shape to conquer 26.2 miles. All that pain better mean some gain.

But how do you know if your training is serving you well? There’s nothing like a big tune-up race to check in with your training. Running a race before your big marathon gives you an intermediary goal to work toward, and will let you know if your training is working, what marathon goals you should be targeting and what potential race-day problems might pop up. Read the rest of this entry →


Sep 2010

New York City Marathon: Sunny Days Sweeping the Clouds Away

Photo by Marzanna Syncerz ©

Photo by Marzanna Syncerz ©

BRISTOL, R.I. — Six weeks down, 10 to go.

Today’s column is brought to you by the letter ‘P’ and the letter ‘R.’

I earned a pair of them on Sunday. It was a fantastic week of training for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7; a week that reminded me what it feels like to be a kid on summer vacation, and made me grateful for all the running I’ve enjoyed.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love vacation. Who doesn’t? I love to travel and explore—as I child I used to pretend I was like Bert and Ernie searching the vast African jungle for Dr. Livingstone.

But my vacation this week felt a bit more like summer vacations of yore—running around the neighborhood, buying ice cream, hitting the pool, watching movies at night, and generally killing time in the most pleasing ways imaginable; basically, by doing a whole lot of nothing.

But remember what the end of summer felt like as a kid? A new school year is quickly approaching, and you know you have to make every single day count. You’ve got to run and play and swim hard. Because before you know it, you’ll be sitting in a stiflingly hot classroom staring out the window at a sunny patch of grass, remembering better times. And I was a kid who actually liked school. But I still liked unfettered summertime better.

Running a race in Rhode Island reminded me of those old summertime days. It was in fact a sunny day that swept all the clouds away. The air was sweet, the sky was an unbroken streak of blue, and not even a temperature of 80 degrees could slow me down. Read the rest of this entry →


Sep 2010

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