Posts filed under ‘Ooh Racy!’

Where have your buns been? Multisport World Conference 2012 edition

Active people: Stop being so rigid, loosen up, and enjoy the ride.

That was my takeaway from this year’s MultisportWorld Conference and Expo, held Saturday at Columbia University’s Dodge Fitness Center. (A free fitness conference practically in my backyard? Total score.) Courtney (one of the cool chicks who frequents this blog) and I attended some of the morning seminars, which focused on “Becoming a Happy Triathlete.” After hearing some very inspiring and helpful advice from the presenters, I was pretty damn happy—and the info they shared applies to any active person. What stood out for me:

The inactivity epidemic is far worse than the obesity epidemic. After acknowledging that he was preaching to the choir, Dr. Robert Sallis, former president of the American College of Sports Medicine, started out simple: No matter the population studied, “People who are active and fit live longer, happier, healthier lives,” he said. However, his insistence that being overweight yet fit is better than being at a “healthy” weight but inactive blew my mind a little bit. “Quit using the scale as your barometer for health,” he implored the crowd, suggesting that we use minutes of activity per week instead and shoot for more of those rather than a lower weight. Even a few minutes more of walking each day can make a difference. If you get and stay active, he said, “There’s no reason at 50 you shouldn’t be doing what you were doing when you were 25.”

Triathlon training and racing is a game—it’s okay to have fun with it. Figure out who you are, whether it’s a knee-knocking newbie triathlete or a semi-pro racer, and then have fun with your training and racing. Otherwise, why the heck are you doing any of this in the first place? “If you want to be happy in this sport, your focus should be on the process,” said Dr. Paul Weiss, a sports psychologist and the chief program officer at Asphalt Green in New York City. He added that mini-goals, such as “I’m going to get to that tree… now I’m going to get to the 10-mile mark… etc.” are the best way to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed at any point in your tri. “If you hit those [mini-goals],” he said, “the race just happens.” Also? It’s okay if you get a little competitive, even if you’re so new that you need a five-minute pep walk just to put on your goggles. The competition is part of the fun. Weiss suggested, “If someone has your age written on their calf, try to catch them.”

Performance starts in your stomach, so eat something. Sports nutritionist and author Nancy Clark—her name may be familiar if you read Runner’s World or SHAPE—made a point that nearly knocked me over with its simplicity: “No weight will ever be good enough to do the enormous job of creating happiness.” BAM. Anyway, I was hooked on Clark’s very straightforward yet incredibly kind way of talking about food and weight and body image. (Disclaimer: I am a girl who has had some bad experiences with nutritionists. More on that at another time.) Who wouldn’t love someone like Clark, who makes fueling yourself sound like such a loving part of training and who reassures you that “On rest days, you won’t get fat or lose fitness?” I later bought her book, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, at the expo.

If your bike doesn’t fit YOU, nothing else matters. Triathlon coach (and my awesome swim coach, hi Mike!) Mike Galvan made it clear that proper bike fit takes hours, not minutes, and it’s far more involved than tweaking your seat and handlebars. And make sure you go somewhere with a super-attentive staff. “The main thing they should do is listen to you,” he said. Galvan used a real cyclist riding on a trainer to point out the do’s and don’ts of proper form. A big deal: Make sure that your sit bones, not the meaty part of your tush, are on the saddle. Galvan also confessed to keeping six bikes in the one-bedroom apartment he and his wife share. I think that makes the two that Mr. Haul Buns and I stash in our studio seem positively Spartan in comparison.

We're not quite this bad... yet.

 

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March 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm 2 comments

White girl running

This all began more than a year ago, as I sat in the audience at a Social Media Week event about fitness blogging that was hosted by Beautiful Athlete‘s Tina Shoulders. Ashley Hicks was on the panel to talk about Black Girls Run! Ashley seemed cool and fun and had started BGR!, a running blog (with co-founder Toni Carey) that was gaining a ton of fans. Naturally, I seethed with envy. And curiosity. So when I got home, I checked out their site and became a fan myself. But a closet fan. Because although I really liked everything they were saying and doing and promoting—and their VERY cool pink-black-and-white branded gear—I kind of felt like I was interfering. Hanging out somewhere I shouldn’t. Trying to horn in on something (an identity? I don’t know) that doesn’t belong to me.

But then, two things happened. In April, BGR! featured a post called “White Girls Run, too,” in which one of the ladies (not sure if it’s Ashley or Toni) talked about how her BGR! shirt got a weird reaction from the white, female desk clerk at her local YMCA. The end of that post read:

So for all the white women who follow us (or would like to), you don’t have to stand on the sidelines and watch from a distance. We want and need your support. Be a part of the movement!

I wish I could say that right then, I made a decision to show my support. But still, I hesitated, feeling like a big dork. Cut to months later, when after seeing so many New York-area runners decked out in fierce BGR! gear at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New York 10K in Brooklyn, I finally fired off this tweet:

Black Girls Run! tweet 1

Sad but true: Though my conscience poked at me to do something earlier, it was fashion that finally pushed me to actual action. How psyched was I when they responded?!?

Black Girls Run! tweet 2

YES! I sent them my address, they sent me this shirt:

Because of the holidays, travel, and some Achilles’ woes, I didn’t race much at the end of last year/beginning of this year. But this past Sunday, at New York Road RunnersCoogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K, I wore the shirt with pride.

Pretty fly for a white girl?

All this to say, Black Girls Run! are some pretty awesome people. I love what they stand for, and I love anyone and everyone who wants to run as a way to be healthier, happier, and better. If it’ll have me, this WG would love to be a proud part of #BGRnation.

March 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm 104 comments

Belle of the ball

I like to think that I have good ideas. It’s just that sometimes, I have them far too late. Like just before our wedding, when I decided that instead of a traditional guest book, I wanted to scan photos and mementos from my 11-year relationship with Mr. Haul Buns, artfully arrange them in a custom photo book, and have it printed in a week’s time. (P.S. — That didn’t happen.) Or when I came up with the plan, a week before the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, to run the race dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Not so hard, you’re probably thinking. After all, it IS October, Halloween is just around the corner, and with the Interwebs these days, getting a costume at any time of the year isn’t that much of a chore. True, but I didn’t want to be any old tale-as-old-as-time-Belle-in-the-yellow-gown. I’ve done Disney races before, and there are always about a million Snow Whites, Tinkerbells, and yellow Belles. I wanted to be different.  I wanted to be Belle as you first see her on screen, skipping around her small, provincial town in a white-and-blue frock.

Go ahead, sing along. You know you want to.

Before I go any further, let’s address a couple of things:

I’m not a huge fan of running in costume, unless I am in Disney World. Then, all bets are off. I’m also not a huge fan of gnawing on giant turkey legs or waiting in line next to a deodorant-challenged South American tour group for 40 minutes to take part in a two-minute recreation of Peter Pan’s flight — unless I’m somewhere with “Magic” and “Kingdom” in its name. Then, I do these things with a zip-a-dee-do-dah in my heart. It should be noted that Mary, a friend who flew in from Arizona to run with me, had zero desire to do wear anything other than what would keep her going until she crossed the finish line. And that’s a totally respectable POV.

When I do run in costume, I don’t want my costume to look like yours. Sorry, but it’s true. That usually means I have to make it from scratch. Which is a problem, because …

I don’t sew, craft, knit, crochet, weave, embroider or hot glue gun. I’ve been working on a cross-stitched advent calendar for my mom for FOUR YEARS. Bottom line: I’m not skilled in the domestic arts. So for my first costume a few years ago — Pocahontas, which I wore in Disney’s inaugural Princess Half Marathon — I manhandled a khaki crewneck tee shirt until it turned into an asymmetrical buckskin tunic and hoped no one noticed the wildly uneven stitching, which looked like it had been done by a palsied crazy person. Still, from a distance, and with the addition of a necklace and a ribbon bicep tattoo attached to my iPod holder, not too bad methinks.

It definitely says "Princess Kimberly" on my bib.

This year, though, I needed true talent on my team: Enter Momma Buns, crafting queen extraordinaire. I sent her this:

And this: (Don’t be alarmed that my model seems to have lost about 15 lbs. between the front and back views. She’s fine.)

Jason Wu, look out.

If this were one of those awesome, crafty blogs that I love to read (Future Girl, CraftyPod—I’m looking at you), I’d have step-by-step photos and easy-to-follow directions for you to make your very own Belle apron. It’s not. I showed up at Momma Buns’ house on Saturday afternoon, and the apron was ready to go. “In the future,” she said in pretty much the same tone she used when I was in sixth grade and forgot about a science project until the night before it was due, forcing me to stay up all night drawing pictures of bird beaks and her to spend the wee hours scanning stacks of library books for the perfect profile view of a scarlet macaw, “a little more notice would be helpful.”

In my opinion, Momma did a pretty rockin’ job. I added a plastic rose and some blue ribbon to tie back my ponytail, and we got this:

With Mary at the start

Be our sweaty, funky guest

Not too bad, right?

As for the race and the rest of the weekend, I think I shall sum it up in photos:

The rental place gave us a minivan. Mary ruled the back seats with an iron fist.

At the expo, Mr. HB and I re-enacted a scene from Fantasia. Yeah, I'm the hippo.

Our bed at the hotel. As Mr. HB put it, "It looks like a City Sports threw up in there."

My legs, hoisted high at the pool during a mid-afternoon sun session, in a vain attempt to make them feel rested for that evening's run. All it got me was weird looks from Mr. HB ...

... who maybe shouldn't have been so quick to judge. (I kid! I kid!)

Post-race, with my biggest fan/personal cheering section/logistics manager, and our pal, Richard, who took this great shot! Now, let's hit Epcot for the after-party!

Changed and chillin' with Dopey and Snow White after the race. In the cosmetics aisle of an Orlando Walgreen's the night before, Mary and I hatched a hee-larious plan to wear ridiculous Nicky Minaj-type fake eyelashes to the party. One of us carried through with this plan. One did not. I'll let you figure out who's who.

October 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm 4 comments

Marathon Monday

Running a marathon can be an awesome, life-affirming experience.

Watching one is nearly as good.

For the past few years, Melissa — one of the cool chicks who reads this blog — and I have cheered ING New York City Marathon runners at mile 21 in the Bronx. We usually stand at a spot right before the course rounds a corner and spits the runners out toward the Madison Avenue Bridge.

We usually arrive around 1:30 p.m., when those who’ll finish in 4:20 or longer are cruising by. Invariably, some runners are still going strong and smiling as they pass. Some are grimacing and limping. The longer we’re out there, the slower the pace. By the time we leave around 4 p.m., most marathoners are walking. Some of them are leaning on friends or volunteers or each other. They’ve got five miles and change to go, and it’s getting dark and cold.

But they keep on going. And that is a fantastic thing to see.

Now before I get all Chariots of Fire on you, let’s recap some other cool ING New York Marathon weekend stuff:

Friday fiver: I took part in the NYRR 5, a five-miler held in Central Park on Friday at 8 a.m. I was surprised at how many marathoners did the race, too; if I have to cover 26.2 miles on a Sunday, you’d better believe my feet will do as little as possible in the days before. At the finish line, I saw Jared Fogle, of Subway fame, who was there to promote his own run in the marathon. In my post-run euphoria, I yelled, “Jared, you’re awesome!” He responded in kind. Say what you will, but anyone who runs and loves Subway is fine by me.

Faces in the crowd: Meliss dubbed me a “celebrity runner spotter” because I picked out buzzed-about marathoners, such as the aforementioned Jared (who was an easy get, as he was running surrounded by four or five dudes with SUBWAY on their shirts), and Today hosts Meredith Viera (who looked genuinely excited when we cheered her name) and Al Roker (who was in pretty rough shape when he passed us). And let us not forget Chilean miner Edison Pena, who was going strong despite knee issues when he ran past. All of them wound up finishing the race.

Gazelles: Before I headed up to the Bronx, I watched the elite runners do their thing on NBC. Edna Kiplicat took first place for the women, and Gebre Gebremariam broke the tape for the men. I tried to explain to The Fiancé why watching them do their thing moves me in a way that watching other pro athletes does not. “I don’t know how tough it is to play baseball or football, not really. But I know how hard it is to run, no matter who you are, and they make it look effortless and beautiful.”

Double duty: This chick, a documentary filmmaker, strapped a camera to her hat and filmed the entire race. WARNING: If you get motion sick easily, you may not want to watch.

Next year, in Staten Island…: So all of this ING New York Marathon fever has gotten to me, because I’m making plans to do it myself in 2011. If I complete four more New York Road Runners races before the end of the year, I’m guaranteed entry through their 9+1 program. (Very cool; tri-state area runners, check it out.) And yes, I’m still likely going to have problems with my feet next year. And yes, the last time I did New York I walk-ran the last few miles because of a tight IT band. But if the insanely inspiring athletes I saw in wheelchairs, on prosthetics, without sight and/or hearing can make the commitment, so can I.

Doesn’t hurt, of course, that Tiffany is now offering a line of ING New York Marathon commemorative items. You hear that, TF?

November 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm 2 comments

Haul On

If you’re looking for a reason to haul, look no further!

48A Spin To Remember: This Spinning (indoor cycling) benefit will benefit the Feal Good Foundation, a charity that helps Sept. 11 first responders and their families. Michael Grassi, a New York Sports Club Spinning instructor (and Ironman athlete, not too shabby!) will lead six 45-minute Spinning classes back to back at the Mahwah NYSC on Friday, Sept. 11. You don’t have to be an NYSC member to participate. Donations can be made online at the foundation’s site and also will be accepted the day of the event. Refreshments will be provided. For more information or to reserve your time slot — you don’t have to ride all six classes! — call the club at 201.848.0015.

bigstockphoto_Kids_Running_on_Track_781902[1]
Mahwah 2k9 10k race/5k run/2k walk: This run/walk event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 4, at Darlington County Park in Mahwah. Proceeds will go to Mahwah schools. Sign up online at www.active.com or at www.themsf.org.

And when you’re done, don’t forget to let us know where your buns have been

September 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

Do Or Not Do: This Is My Tri!

Barefoot and dripping, I peeled off my swim cap and speedwalked to the transition site where Bertha awaited. “Have some water! Wash the Hudson out of your mouth!” volunteers cheerfully shouted, handing my fellow racers and I cups as we made our way to our bikes. I was smiling, laughing, giddy for no other reason than the fact that I hadn’t drowned in the river.

And despite the fact that I was jogging in a bathing suit.

I dried off as best as I could and donned my running shorts and tank top. It felt so weird to have my clammy suit stuck to my skin underneath everything, and I gave myself a few liberal swipes of Body Glide in an effort to avoid chafing and blisters. It should be noted that triathletes generally try to get in and out of the transition area as quickly as possible; good transition times can make up for slowness during the legs of the race. But I just really didn’t care. I wasn’t drinking mimosas and lounging around, but I also wasn’t freaking out when I temporarily couldn’t find one of my socks (like a woman was in the next row over).

So many bikes!

So many bikes!

That's my girl (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

That's my girl, Bertha Blue. (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

Helmet on, I walked Bertha out onto the course and hopped aboard. In the next two hours, I had one of the most fun bike rides of my life. I charged up a hill and sped out onto the 79th Street entrance to the West Side Highway. With the Hudson on my left, I pedaled north on a road normally reserved only for cars. (The city had shut it down just for us.) The uphills weren’t horrible, and the downhills were heaven. I felt like I was flying, going faster than I’d ever gone before with no turns or traffic to slow me down. People passed me, I passed people. Just like the swim, it didn’t matter. My only concern was not beating up my legs too much; I still had a 10K to run when the biking was done. I breezed through the tolls at the Henry Hudson Bridge — no EZ-Pass required — and continued north to the Moshulu Parkway exit, the turnaround point.

I saw people of all body types on bikes of all price points just doing their thing. I tried to keep my shoulders loose and made a mental note, as I stood up and stretched during a flat section of the course, that next time I’d wear shorts with a chamois in them. When I spotted race photographers out along the road, I sucked in my gut and grinned.

And then it was over. We turned again and re-entered the transition area, where I traded my helmet for a cap and basted myself with sunblock before bidding Bertha adieu. I started the run with legs that felt so heavy and feet that felt like they were barely moving. I followed all the other participants onto 72nd Street, also closed to traffic just for us. And when I crossed Broadway, The Boyfriend was right where he’d promised he’d be.

Meeting my man at the corner of Broadway and 72nd Street (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

At the corner of Broadway and 72nd Street (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

It was humid and sticky. It was still early. He’d been up as long as I had, and he’d been waiting in his spot for a while because we had no idea how to gauge my time. His face was so happy, so proud, so genuinely excited for me as he snapped photos of my approach.

I love this man.

I stopped to kiss him, and he did what he always does in this situation: He asked how I was feeling and then told me not to waste time with course-side PDAs. So I was off again, doing a slow lope into Central Park. The course snaked north through the park’s hilliest section, and I told myself that it was just a little more than six miles, a distance I’d run many times before. So I focused on picking up one foot and putting the other down. I thanked as many volunteers as I could at the water stations. And I laughed out loud when a random woman on the sidelines, after seeing that I happened to be running among a pack of men, sang out, “You just stay strong, sister!”

The beautiful thing about a 10K is that just when you want it to be done, it is. And when I crossed the finish line, I felt like I did at the end of my first marathon. I can’t believe I did this. It’s impossible that I did this.

Dazed but happy at the finish (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

Dazed but happy at the finish (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

And then, the best prize, better even than the subway token medal placed around my neck as The Boyfriend hugged my sweaty, sandy, salty self tight: I totally did this. I am a triathlete.

IMG_6510

Little did I know, half of the Hudson's mud was still in my bathing suit... (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

Oh, and lest I forget…

This is where my buns have been! (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

This is where my buns have been! (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

August 14, 2009 at 7:11 pm 3 comments

In Your Off-Hours…

Hmm… When it’s rainy and blech outside — as it is at this very moment in northern New Jersey — how does a Haul Buns girl pass the time? After all, you can’t be running/walking/swimming/biking/dancing/sculpting/group fitnessing every moment of the day…

Shopping can provide something similar to that exercise high, especially when you take advantage of the fabulous online discount Reebok is offering to its friends and family until Sunday. And since you’re all my friends, go ahead and use code REBOKFF at discount to receive 30 percent off your entire order PLUS free shipping! I may or may not have been checking out their hot pink yoga bag, or this classic blue number…
reebok-gym-bag

If you’re looking for a little inspiration,  watch Spirit Of The Marathon, which is now available for free online at Hulu.com. This awesome documentary is all about the Chicago Marathon and a few runners — some amateur, some elite — who are preparing for it. Really cool, totally inspirational. And best of all, it’s free!

spiritofmarathon

A good diversion at work way to spend your time is to calculate your health footprint at the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield site. Answer a bunch of questions about your lifestyle and your fitness routine, and the site will tell you how many people you affect through your healthy choices and activities — similar to a carbon footprint, but this one won’t make you feel guilty for opting out of the work carpool. Even The Biggest Loser’s Trainer Bob is doing it!

That should keep you occupied until the sun shows its rays again…

August 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

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