Trying New Things the Runners Way

“The greatest failure is the failure to try.” ~ William Ward

I’m an advocate of trying new things and doing those things that scare you the most. Sometimes “new things” can be as simple as small changes in a routine; and facing a fear doesn’t have to always mean moving across the country alone, we all have the opportunity to face small fears in our every day life.  In order to spice up my running routine this week, I applied the “trying new things” theory to my runs.

After  3 days of rest (Labor Day Weekend = lazy weekend back at home in NJ), I kicked off my first day of Philly Half Marathon training on Tuesday. When I woke up the clouds were out, making pulling myself out of bed somewhat of a challenge.

View from my apartment Tuesday Morning

Despite the blah weather, I knew I needed to make it out. I did my standard 4mile out and back loop along the East River down to the Williamsburg Bridge (def not new), but I did something slightly different on this run — I ran without headphone! Now this is not completely new for me, as I have run without headphones before. However, I’ve never gone out without even carrying my headphones with me for “security” incase boredom hit me (yes this is a valid fear thank you). I also wore spandex shorts, which I haven’t worn in YEARS. I found them at the bottom of my drawers at home in my parents house so I decided to was time to bring them back out. So again, small changes to my running routine, but these small changes made my typical run feel new. I enjoyed running along the East River music-less — I’ve run that route a zillion times, but I observed more in this one 4mile run than I ever had before. When I run with music I’m in my own zone, but when I ran without headphones, I felt more like I was part of a team with all the other runners I passed. When I got home, I was syked to successfully have run #1 of my training done:

1 run down, many more to go!

Now, if you live in NYC you may remember that it was quite a rainy week. Ever since March when I started running outside, though, I can’t seem to bring myself to get back on a treadmill. My next run was scheduled for Thursday and Wed. night it was obvious to was going to continue raining Thursday morning. I was mad at the rain for getting in the way of my training, but then I was my at myself for LETTING the rain get in the way of my training. I’m not sure why the idea had never crossed my mind that “hey it’s possible to run in the rain, it’s just water,” but it hadn’t until I read Kelly’s post on her wet runs that week. I felt inspired with the knowledge that running in the rain is an option and figured, why can’t I? So I did! Not before I consulted twitter, though and got some great recommendations for running in the rain:

1) Wear a hat with a hard brim

2) Don’t wear cotton

Thank you Gia and Katie!

Thursday morning I woke up excited and invigorated to tackle the rain! I was only planning a short 3mile run, so the added obstacle of the rain made this mundane run more of a challenge to shoot for — I really like the sense of accomplishing something :-)…and accomplish I did! I did a little over three miles along the East River. It was fun to see that I was not the ONLY crazy person out running in the rain and realized once again how hard core runners can be. Honestly, with a hat on the rain didn’t bother me one bit. I think it may have been different if it was super windy and the rain was blowing in my eyes, but I lucked out. Seriously, though, after spending the summer sweating my ass off running in temperatures from 75 degrees to 105 degrees, a little water didn’t bother me. What’s the difference between dripping with rain or dripping with sweat? When I was done, I was happy that I had conquered my fear of running in the rain.

I wanted to get my final and long run of the week over with on Friday so I could sleep in and make pancakes all weekend, but my body disagreed. Thursday evening after work I went to the tiny gym in my building and did some strength training. Squats, lunges, and some more dynamic exercises later and I was sore Friday morning. Lesson learned: the best way to prepare for a long run is NOT buy doing strength training the night before. So instead of getting up to run, I decided to sleep in, prepare for a long run the right way on Friday and try again Saturday AM. I tweeted Shannon on Friday to see if she wanted to meet up to run together Saturday to double ensure I’d get out of bed. 

Saturday’s run “new thing” – I ran North along the West River! Again, this isn’t a completely new event since I did run along the West River the previous week with Ashley. BUT it still feels new to me. I met up with Shannon around 70th Street and the West Side:

Hudson River path around 70th Street

Hudson River path around 70th Street

And we ran downtown to W. Houston:

Hudson River

We took a quick photo/stretching/fueling break:

….and then we headed back north. I parted ways with Shannon midtown-ish to head East, while she went on to complete her 14miles.

I ended up running 9miles at about a 10:40min/mile pace. My plan was to start off my training for the Philly Half Marathon by working my way up from a 6mile long run, but obviously that didn’t go as planned. I was feeling good during the run, we were taking it slow and my injury wasn’t acting up, so extending my run from 6miles to 9miles was OK in my book. My “plans” are more of suggested guidelines anyways.

Later in the day I met up with a bunch of other bloggers for an AMAZING Vitality class on Equinox, graciously organized by Ashley. Stay tuned to hear more about this class/event, but again I conquered another ity-bity “fear” of group classes – the idea of being stuck in a room and forced to do a set exercise with other people for an hour or so kinda scares me — as you can see from my description it’s more of my outlook on group classes that are the problem. Maybe this is why I took too running, I can set my time/distance/pace and start and stop whenever I want to. That being said, I do actually love a good group class, it just takes me getting out my negative “what if I can’t do it?” mindset and getting to the class.  To top it off, Vitality was a new class to me (and one I’d definitely go back to!)

Sunday night = nothing new for me and I think it’s time to go park myself infront of the TV…but stay tuned for more on the Vitality class, a time consuming failed trip to Queens (boo MTA) and a yummy restaurant 🙂

QUESTION: What “new” things do you do to spice up your running routine?? What new things did you do this week either in fitness, food or life? Anyone else have a fear of group exercise classes, a strange fear of sorts, or an I am a lone-freak here? 



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9 Responses to Trying New Things the Runners Way

  1. Kelly says:

    running in the rain FTW! I love trying new routes to spice up my routine – last week I did my long run down the WSH and around the souther tip of Manhattan and it was awesome! Such a nice change from Central Park. Don’t be skirrred of group classes! Try an easy one, like yoga 🙂

  2. I’ve done the very lower half of that route before – I love how you’re literally looping around from the East to the West side (or vice versa) on that one. One day I want to make it up to River Side Park.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. so glad we accomplished this together!!!!

    love your outlook on trying new things and showing our fears who’s boss.

    hats are the best for the rain!

  4. lryamin says:

    I love that you are trying new things!

  5. PorcelinaTweets says:

    I am just starting half training too – exciting times! I look forward to reading all about your progress. Is this your first half?

    Running is a great time to experience new things – this week I ran without my polar so I didn’t know my time or cals burnt or anything and it was very liberating, just running for the sake of running (I couldn’t resist though and got the time and distance from one of the other runners but just to check against my training schedule!)

    Happy blogging!

    • Hi!

      It’s going to be my 3rd Half, I started running back in Jan 2011, did my first Half in April and got hooked 🙂

      Yes, it’s nice to run without stressing over time/distance! What Half are you doing? Good luck with your training!

      • PorcelinaTweets says:

        3rd half! Wow! Superwoman!

        I am doing the Bedford half in the UK, but going to the NYC half (money depending!) in March 2012! Woop!!

        If you ever find yourself in the UK, running or otherwise, let me know! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Fun Filled Saturday | sweatpassionandtears

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