Categories
Races

Mama Mia

What did you inherit from your mother?

  • Your affinity for peanut butter?
  • Your sun-kissed complexion?
  • Your entrepreneurial spirit?
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Anne & Claire say DRINK THE KOOL-AID.

In my case, all of the above, plus something practically guaranteed to extend the length and quality of my adult life: my dedication to health.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t think I’d have been able to maintain the new healthy lifestyle I adopted in 2011 all these years if not for my mother’s influence. A woman who hits the gym several days a week, gets enough sleep, eats well and still understands the importance of a glass of wine, my mama is just the kind of balanced and sustainable fitness role model a young woman needs.

Of course, it took 25 years of me being out of shape to realize that, but better late than never, right?

At 60 years old, my mom is in the best shape of her life (and she was a leggy 16 year old), and I attribute her success to something most of us forget to prioritize in fitness: variation. That is, she doesn’t always go to the gym and always get on the same machine and always log the same 30 minute cardio routine. She shakes it up, from the elliptical to BodyPump, and her most recent routine shake-up was one particularly near and dear to my heart: she trained for and raced a half marathon.

Game time.
Game time.

The race, the More/Fitness/Shape Women’s Half Marathon, took place last Sunday in Central Park, and it was a mother-daughter success. I logged a 1:52:54 time, or exactly where I wanted to be given a winter off the race course, and my mom finished in 2:21:22, or ahead of more than 3,000 other runners who were surprised to see a speedy 60 year old runner picking them off one by one.

Bragging rights: My mom’s faster than your mom, unless you’re a Benoit Samuelson. Or one of my siblings.

As mother’s day fast approaches, how are you celebrating your mom this year?

Categories
gear Running

Leaving Your Mark

Hey there, injury prone comrades! Shout if you’ve ever had any of the following sidelining ailments:

  • The one where pain on the underside of the kneecap flares when sitting still or walking down stairs (i.e. runner’s knee)
  • The one where the ligaments along the arch of the foot feel tight and achy (i.e. plantar fasciitis)
  • The one where you appear to have a giant hickey for several weeks straight because your new long-sleeved running shirt rubs your collarbone in exactly the wrong spot?

Oh, that’s just me? Awesome.

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The culprit was a long-sleeved white running top that I treated myself to at Christmastime as part of my traditional “one gift for you, one gift for me…” purchasing pattern. The brand? None other than my pals over at Asics whose praises I just sang. I guess we all have bad days.

I’d worn the shirt once right after buying it for an easy 2-miler and thought the skin near the neckline felt kind of raw afterwards, but I shrugged it off as a one-time inconvenience that would disappear after I’d put it through the wash. I didn’t pull it out again until late March, when I needed something lightweight for an early morning 10K. I threw it on, pinned on my bib and shot out of the starting gate. It’s sunny, it’s crisp, it’s not that crowded, I thought to myself as I rounded mile 2. Nothing can stop me now.

And then the pain began. It’s amazing that something so minor — the slight, rubbing pull of a synthetic fiber against the collarbone for 51 minutes — could cause so much pain, but, my God, I would have sold out my own sister by the time I crossed that finish line to make it stop. I don’t think I’d hold up well in a hostage situation.

Sorry, Claire. I'm weak.
Sorry, Claire. I’m weak.

As anyone who has ever had a clothing-induced running injury knows, you only really know how bad it is once you get in the shower. The neighbors who heard me yelp can attest to the fact that it was bad. Over the next several days, the red chafing turned into a bloody scab, then a dark red splotch, and then a light red splotch, where it’s sat unchanged now for several days.

And all this time, it’s just looked like I’ve had a giant love bite on the side of my neck. I’m so glad I had meetings with the new editor in chief several times these last few weeks. First impression? I’m a lothario.

I was understandably ready to toss the offending shirt to the curb, but then some book club friends gave me the idea: why not torture it right back cut out the neckline using a pair of fabric scissors?

DIE, SHIRT!
DIE, SHIRT!

So I watched a video online about how to cut a neckline off a shirt (spoiler alert: If you know how to use scissors, you don’t need to watch this rather obvious video) and then went about hacking.

In the battle of Anne Vs. Shirt, Anne was won!

But I still have the hickey.
But I still have the hickey.

Have any of your running clothes ever left their mark on you?

Categories
gear Running

Gear Up

I’ve been off the grid blogwise for three weeks and counting, and I know I’ve left you with all sorts of unanswered questions. I’ll plow through them quickly, as I have something much more important to address.

  • Did we choose to renew our apartment lease? Yes.
  • Did we book our summer trip to Greece? Yes.
  • Did Ben find me weeping upstairs last night after I read the final pages of ‘Of Mice and Men’ because I so badly wanted Lennie to get to raise the rabbits? I’ll never tell.

And now onto the real purpose of today’s post, a subject near and dear to my heart: shoes.

No, I’m not talking about the shoe rack I so painstakingly organized last weekend in an exuberant bout of spring cleaning that I already instagrammed the hell out of and am clearly going to make you admire as well:

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All together now: “Ooh ahh.”

 

I’m talking about a shoe matter even more significant: the Asics Warehouse Sample Sale. You’re welcome, New York.

I learned about this sale — which goes through Sunday — when a running friend sent me a link suggesting it sounded right up my alley. And boy, was it. Asics trainers? Neon colors? Discount prices? Weird abandoned warehouses? What’s not to love?

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I stopped by the pop-up shop today in hopes I’d be able to find a new pair of Gel Cumulus 15s, my favorite shoe since the original Gel Neo 33s were retired. Unfortunately, no dice. Still, I wasn’t prepared to leave empty handed. Enticed by the $59 price tag and — let’s be honest, the vibrant colors — I decided to choose another unknown pair instead, the Gel Evate 2s.

I know, I know, that’s exactly how you’re not supposed to pick new running shoes. But I could tell they were multi-functional, neutral shoes with a similar weight to my existing line-up and by a brand I trust, so I figured I’d take the plunge. I googled the fit as soon as I got home to find out how the reviews hold up. The only con listed on RunRepeat? “The vibrant hues of the shoes may be too much for some runners who only want a simple style for running.”

I think I have chosen… wisely.

Of course, shoes weren’t the only items in stock. The sale was also full of leftover New York City marathon gear, from $30 zip-up jackets to $14 racer-back tees. I grabbed several, plus some socks for good form, and left with just $140 in damage. Not bad, considering the shoes alone cost $145 new.

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Behold: My haul.

I try not to overly covet earthly possessions, but these new pieces are going to be crucial as I race my two spring half marathons and gear up for November’s 26.2. Besides, I’m pretty sure the big guy’s a fan of neon running gear, too.

What’s on your gear wish list this spring?