“Always be kind…”

Something I have constantly have to remind myself, especially since living in New York City

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Nike Run Club Recap

Last night, I went to Nike Run Club at the NikeTown Store (on E. 57th Street in Midtown) for the first time in a few months. Judging from my last entry, I seem to be getting back in touch with things I haven’t done in a while.

(Brief Overview: Nike Run Club is held every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30PM for runners of every experience level. It’s free and anyone can sign up to run with the Niketown pacers . On Saturday mornings, they do long runs with the route varying)

I’ve only gone to Nike Run Club 2 or 3 times before. A co-worker convinced me to try it out a few months back and I really enjoyed it the first time, but it just never stuck. Last night happened to be the first time I ran outside in over 2 weeks. After my 39-day running streak, I took a break for 6 days, then started running again, but only used the treadmill due to the overwhelming heat wave that hit New York City.

I was nervous about how I’d perform running with other people. I’m typically a lone runner, but it’s nice to run with people so that they can push you.

I dove right into the 5-mile distance and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to last- After all, I had taken a short break and have recently only been logging 2-3 mile runs on a machine.

To my surprise, I kept up with the 8-minute pace group and clocked in at 44:50 for a total distance of 5.4 miles. The people in my pace group definitely made the impact on how fast I went. To be honest, that day my shins were hurting and my legs felt overall tight

However, I ended up feeling great afterwards and was happy to connect with other runners from around the city.

This, along with my singing, I hope to keep myself busy for the rest of the Summer.

Practice

Last night,  my sister and I performed at an open mic at Caffe Vivaldi in the West Village. This was the first time we sang in public together since around February. After months of sporadic rehearsals, we finally chose a time and place. At first, I was pretty confident since we had just practiced the night before and sounded on point. Of course,  it’s always the last few minutes prior to the actual performance that really shakes my nerves.

Open Mic Night @ Caffe Vivaldi (July 22, 2013)
Open Mic Night @ Caffe Vivaldi (July 22, 2013)

Once we got on stage, I could feel my voice starting to tremble. We made it through the first song with hardly any flaws, but I became gradually more nervous as I  looked around at the audience.

The second song was our downfall, which didn’t make sense because it was a song that we had performed together a handful of times before in the winter

After our set was done, I kept re-playing the second song in my head, nit-picking every mistake that I knew I had made. At that point, there was nothing I could really do except tell myself that it was already over and we just have to practice more for next time.

Singing isn’t a priority for me. If anything, it’s basically at the bottom of my to-do list. It’s just something I do for fun to take my mind off of the more important things in my life.

After hearing the other performers play and sing their original songs, I was envious of just how good they were. Then I thought, “These people probably spend hours upon hours constantly writing music, practicing, and playing open mics on a weekly or probably daily basis”

My friend, who came to watch and support my sister and I, said to me “You know, for a while Amy [a mutual friend] used to come here every single Monday night just get practice performing on stage”

I thought to myself, “Well I don’t really have time for that”

Then I realized, it’s really just a matter of making time for it.

I do love music and singing, but there are also things that I care about much more (and here is where I start talking about running again)

I know that if I spent half as much time practicing making music as I do running and exercising, then I could be as good as the other performers who played at the open mic last night.

I’m currently not training for a specific race at the moment, so I decided that I’m going to try distributing my time into other areas of my life (singing and writing) and see just how far I can go with it. I’ll continue to run and go to the gym of course, but I want to become better at other things as well. After all, that’s how you grow.

Routine

After a mini-hiatus from blogging and running,  I’m now refreshed and ready to get back into a routine again.

It’s interesting how intertwined these two areas of my life are. It always seems that the amount of miles I run heavily impacts that amount of writing I produce (More miles = more blog entries)

I recently ended a 39-day running streak, courtesy of the Runner’s World Run Streak, that I participated in.

For the past few weeks, I was counting down the days until I could stop my legs from moving that fast. Once July 4th hit, I wrapped up my last day of the running streak with an easy 4-miles in Central Park. The next day, I relaxed more than I have in the past few months. This continued until the following Wednesday.

Taking a step away from running and writing gave me the time I needed to break out of my routine, kick up my feet , and not worry about logging any runs, re-arranging my schedule, or missing out on events due to my running streak.

It was nice to take a breather.

Alas, I’m back and in the right mindset again.

I’d say that the longer I stay away from running, the more chaotic my life seems to get. It’s definitely the glue that holds everything together for me.

Happy Miles 🙂

RACE REPORT: FRNY 5-Mile Pride Run

This is a tad bit overdue, but not so much to the point where I have completely lost the impact that this race had on me.

This past Saturday, June 29th, I ran my first race since the Big Sur Marathon back in April. I ran the 5-mile Front Runner’s New York Pride Run in Central Park. I signed up with my sister, which is automatically sentimental to me because anything I do with my sister has a great deal of significance. This was the longest distance race that she has ever entered and I couldn’t be more proud of her for completing it.

This race also greatly affected me in terms of realizing how far I have come with the hard work that I have put in throughout this past month. I am still in the midst of the Runner’s World Run Streak from Memorial Day, May 27th, up until this very day.

On Saturday, it was brutally humid and I just wasn’t in race mentality. Once the clock started, my legs felt like lead weights. In all seriousness, I had even considered walking at mile 3. I was tired, hot, and frustrated. I convinced myself that I wasn’t going to run a decent time. Miraculously, approaching mile 4, I began picking up my pace because I just wanted the race to be over already.

I crossed the finish line with the clock reading somewhere around 40:01 (give or take a few seconds)

In my head, I just kept repeating to myself, “I’ll take it. It’s not the best time, but it’s not the worst” and considering how I felt, I was amazed to even run anywhere near that time.

Upon finishing, I looked around in a complete daze and saw so many smiling faces. This race meant a lot more than what I perceived it for myself. It was a celebration for others. Then, I saw my sister running through the chute and I didn’t care an ounce about my performance. I ran alongside her to the finish line and was just happy.

Later that day, I searched in Google for results from the race. When I checked my chip time, I saw that I had actually PR-ed. I felt instant gratification and couldn’t believe that I had PR-ed after feeling like I had just ran the worst race of my life.

I looked back and thought about how much training I had invested for this race, without even realizing it.

I have been running for 36 consecutive days now.

To be able to run a race and PR after never getting one day of rest truly amazes me.

Every day, I surprise myself with the infinite possibilities that can be created from hard work, dedication, and perseverance; not only in myself, but everyone.

We all have a capabilities beyond our wildest dreams.

From what I have learned after all of this run-streaking is that we can create our own miracles. All you have to do is set a goal and make it happen, and it surely will.

Now here are some photos from this past Saturday:

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