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I've always self-identified as a runner - I ran in junior high and high school, but it wasn't until college that I really got into distance running. I think that's when I learned about the true "runner's high" - when running is not a chore, it actually feels good.
coolest pavers ever. most tired legs ever.
Sadly, I have not been there enjoying that runner's high for a while now. So many excuses - work, kids, weird tetanus side effects, blah, blah, blah. To add insult to injury, this long, cold winter and all of New York's tasty food offerings have not been very kind to my waistline. So, I've recently re-committed to running again.
My uber-fit friend, Nichole, wrote about her secret to running success here and I've been trying to follow her lead. She calls her technique the Cardio Sandwich - a great way to get in a toning and cardio workout quickly and efficiently. Basically, if your goal is to run three miles, run two of them at 100%, stop and do a toning workout as hard as you can, and then jog out your last mile. It sounds simple, right? I actually love it for how simple and quick it is - but I'm telling you, I've never been so sore. There is really something to that last mile on the end of the workout! And as for the toning part, I usually do a mat series from Tracy Anderson's 30 day method book and lately I've been doing this quick routine (that everyone's been talking about) when I'm in a hurry. Have you tried either of these? (OUCH - hurts so good).
I still have a ways to go, but I'm feeling great about this new routine. It feels really sustainable, which is about as much as I can hope for at this point! :)
Here's some of the gear I've been using and loving this year:
Brooks PureConnect - My mom, who is a great runner, recommended these shoes to me. They are light, but feel very supportive on my ankles and arches. They are sort of meshy all over, so they breathe really well. Nice and cool for the summer months.
Nike GPS watch - Makes it a breeze to gauge your pace and mileage! And how can you not love the clean, bold font?
Spanx Compression Pants - Don't let the brand throw you off. These pants are spectacularly comfortable for a compression line. The slightly higher waistline is super flattering too. Especially great for all you post-partum mamas out there.
My favorite socks - Cute, so comfortable and soft. And, oh how they breathe!
Extra thick yoga mat - I use this extra thick mat for doing the floor exercises between runs. Sort of necessary thing on hard wood floors.
The perfect-fitting earbuds - I have pretty small ear canals, so most earbuds are driving me nuts by the end of just a subway ride, let alone after an entire workout. These are divine.
iPhone armband - A necessity! iPhone in sportsbra or in waistband is not a viable option! :)
Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method - My sister, Heather and I often do Tracy routines together. We like to call her bad names while she is torturing us with her genius, killer moves that manage to make me sweat hard about 3.5 seconds in.
THE Tank - Surely you've experienced Target brand Merona's famous tank top line? These tanks are universally flattering with their long and lean cut. And they wash so well! At $6-8 a pop, you might as well get them in every color.
So, I'd love to hear what you're doing to stay in shape. What's the latest product or routine that's working for you? Also, if you're a runner, do you prefer outside running or the treadmill? I have a really beautiful 4 mile route I like to run around my neighborhood. I used to think nothing could beat running along the Charles River back when we lived in Cambridge, but the Brooklyn Promenade takes the cake for me. Want to join me for a little (slash very long!) photo tour?...
I start my workout with a slow jog down Clinton to Atlantic Ave and then I head east toward the river.
Past one of our favorite parks...
And on to the waterfront.
Where the view is spectacular.
The Piers along the Brooklyn waterfront are mostly new or currently being built. These soccer fields are new and are a pretty amazing place to meet up for our AYSO games.
If you're looking for THE best ice cream in New York, head to Ample Hills in Prospect Heights, sort of by the Museum. There's a little outpost on the waterfront that holds us over between trips. If you'd like your mind to be blown, try a scoop (or three) of the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake flavor. (wait. wasn't this post about working out? This ice cream is so worth an extra mile. Or three.)
The path winds around the waterfront. There are cute footbridges that span the Expressway, art installations, more playgrounds and gardens. So many fun things to see while I jog my little heart out.
Straight out of a scene from Hook, am I right?
By the time I've reached the Brooklyn Bridge, I'm passing my third ice cream shop! Not fair!
DUMBO! (And the famous Grimaldi's pizza just to the left)
I run a loop around the park here on the waterfront and then turn back around toward the Heights. Which means a little bit of a climb.
Not San Franciscan by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm fully out of breath by the time I've sprinted to the top.
Right at the top of the hill (and about three miles into my run) is a little playground area, perfect for the seven minute work out.
To finish up the last mile of my Cardio Sandwich, I like to meander through the streets in the Heights. This neighborhood is so unreal.
A few minutes later, I'm home and stretching out on my front stoop. Our simple building is not fancy, but it's a treat to get to live and run in such a beautiful neighborhood. :)