Archive for May, 2009
Warm weather means race season, kids. This time of year, there are events every single weekend. So lace up your kicks and get out there!
The Walk To Defeat ALS: June 7, Saddle River Country Park, Saddle Brook, NJ, 5K (3.1 miles). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
New York Road Runners Mini-10K (6.2 miles): June 7, Central Park, New York, NY. Sorry guys, but this one is women only!
Montclair YMCA Run: June 7, 2-mile and 10K (6.2-mile) races, Montclair, NJ. Call 973.744.3400 for more info.
Tenafly 5K (3.1 mile) Run and Rolo Dog Walk: Tenafly, NJ. Contact email@example.com for more info.
NYRR Dash And Splash: June 13, Central Park, NY. 10K (6.2-mile) race followed by a pool party at Lasker Pool — before it opens to the general public!
NYRR 10th Annual Father’s Day Race Against Prostate Cancer: June 21, Central Park, NY. 5 mile race, plus kids’ races.
Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 Mile: June 28, Central Park, NY. Run with disabled runners of all kinds and see what true grit is really all about.
I’m loving The New York Times’ online Running Voices series, in which ordinary people share their thoughts on running. And by far, my favorite observation posted to the series’ comments section so far is this pearl by a viewer named Allison, who describes herself as going “from couch potato to runner:”
“Always remember that Dead Freakin’ Last is better than Did Not Finish which is way better than Did Not Start.”
File this under Stuff We Know But Don’t Want To Acknowledge: Recently published research finds that greater numbers of Americans are choosing not to follow a healthy lifestyle. It’s not that we don’t know how to eat and what to do, doctors at the Medical University Of South Carolina find. We just don’t wanna do it.
Investigators in the university’s Department of Family Medicine followed a large group of people in the U.S. from 1998 to 1994 and then from 2001 to 2006. (The research is published in the June issue of The American Journal of Medicine.) Their body masses and alcoholic intake went up, their exercise rate and fruit-and-veggie consumption went down. A lot.
So what does this mean for the rest of us? This is my take: I’m sure the people involved in this study didn’t just wake up one morning, decide they suddenly didn’t want to be healthy, skip the gym and order a calzone for breakfast. But when you let little things slide — you go a few days without making yourself sweat, you ask for extra dressing on your salad — it becomes even easier to let the big ones go, too. I’m a big believer that keeping yourself on the right path is all about little choices. I saw a quote recently that I just love:
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” — Robert Collier
What small efforts are you going to make today? Post a comment and make your commitment for the whole world to see!
The American College of Sports Medicine just released its annual ranking of fittest U.S. cities, with Washington, D.C. in the top slot. (Looks like Michelle Obama and her super-toned arms are in the right place.) The index looked at the country’s 50 most populated ciites and ranked them using a number of criteria, including the percentage of people who exercise regularly and the availability of parks and routes to walk on. Some of the cities are surprising — check out the full list here.
Tuesday: 6:30 p.m. Body Sculpt and 7:30 p.m. Cardio Mix at ExCel
Wednesday: Intro Step/Step I class at 7 p.m. at Feminine Fitness
Memorial Day weekend in review:
Desserts I don’t usually eat? Check.
A fun, relaxing weekend of not doing much of anything? Check.
The need to get back to non-vacation-style eating pronto? Check… check check check.
To help me even out the balance for my holiday indulgences, I’m going to make some gazpacho. It tastes good. It’s all veggies. It’s easy to make. It’s filling. And it’s served cold, which feels so nice in this balmy weather we’re having in the northeast.
Here’s a good recipe, courtesy of the Food Network, but you can really change it up any way you want:
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped If you don’t have a food processor, an immersion blender will do the trick. But don’t overprocess! After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
Hey all – here’s a heads-up regarding various north Jersey gyms and their Memorial Day schedule changes:
Feminine Fitness: Closed Monday
Excel: No classes Monday
Palisades Sports And Fitness: Gym open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, but no classes
New York Sports Club Parisppany: No 9 a.m. step Sunday (for other schedule changes, call the club: 973.971.0303)
New York Sports Club Butler: Regularly scheduled classes (but it’s always good to check, so call the club: 973.838.1140)
Have a great holiday!
It’s never a bad time for an inspiring story. So when you have a minute, check out Team Hoyt. This father-son team participates in marathons and triathlons and turns in awesome times. So it’s an extra kick in the head when you realize that the dad, Dick, pushes or pulls his adult son, Rick — who can’t walk or talk — along every inch of every course.
I’m a big fan of Team Hoyt and I’ve sung their praises in the past, so I’ll just point you toward their site and let you see for yourself. Because everyone needs a little inspiration every now and then…
Part of what I love about great group fitness classes — the really good ones where everyone puts out positive energy, you get a good sweat going and you’re proud of yourself when you’re done — is their inclusive nature. It doesn’t matter if you’re new. It doesn’t matter if you’re klutzy. It doesn’t matter if you’re skinny, round, ugly or broke. Everyone supports each other and we all end up happier in the end.
So I’m not sure what to think about the practice described in this New York Times story. There’s a growing niche of yoga studios that cater to heavy people — which is awesome — but some of them won’t allow anyone BUT overweight people into the classes. Their argument is that people of a certain size feel more comfortable when everyone around them looks like them, and that the instructors are better equipped to teach the modifications that these plus-size yogis need.
As someone who has definitely been the biggest girl in the room during yoga classes, I understand the embarrassment that comes from huffing and puffing your way through a pose while the wet noodle on the mat next to you effortlessly ties herself into a pretzel. But I think part of the whole deal is getting over yourself by focusing on the movement and the good stuff you’re doing for your body instead of what size shorts the person next to you is wearing. By choosing to make classes for plus-size students only, doesn’t that hinder arrival of the “it just doesn’t matter” moment?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, faithful Haulers…
The Associated Press today has a story about the growing popularity of gyms in Iraq. My favorite quote? One gym owner’s advice to his pistol-packing clientele. “I tell them no firearms in my gym and ask that they immediately take them out. They can keep them in their cars, but not in my gym.”
(That’s pretty good advice in any health-club, FYI.)