Iron Strength Workout Recap

I’ve been expanding my horizons lately and trying different types of workouts in the past few weeks other than running. For example, last Thursday, I went to a Hip-Hop dance class with my sister for the first time.

As much as I love running, I also love other variations of exercise that challenge me to utilize different muscles in my body.

Earlier this morning, I participated in an Iron Strength Workout that was held in Central Park at 6AM by the well-known Sports Medicine Physician, Dr. Jordan Metzl. This event was held in conjunction with my team at Runner’s World due to the high demand of participation for this type of workout.

I have never done a workout like this before, so I was curious as to what was in store for me. A colleague of mine had warned us, prior, that it was not to be taken lightly, and for him to say that definitely rattled my bones a bit.

I woke up this morning at 5AM on the dot. My first thoughts were, “I can’t believe I’m waking up this early for a workout” (I’m more of night owl when it comes to exercising) I got ready in only a few short minutes and headed over to Central Park.

When I got there, the sky was still dark and my eyes were still heavy. As the sun began to rise, more people started coming in waves and I was finally waking up. Once it turned 6:15AM, Dr. Metzl made an announcement, introducing my colleagues from Runner’s World and myself. Shortly after, we dove right into running.

I had no time to loosen up, so I just had to shake it out during the run.

Below was the structure of the entire workout:

  • Hill Sprints

– Skip up, jog down, sprint up, jog down

– Skip up, jog down, sprint up two (2) times, jog down

– Skip up, jog down, sprint up three (3) times, jog down

  • Plyometrics

– 6 sets of 15 jumping squats, rotating abs in between

– 3 sets of 15 hill climbers, rotating push ups in between

– 3 sets of 10 burpees, rotating one-legged toe touches across (5 on each leg)

– 3 minutes of planks (1 minute plank on the left forearm, 1 minute plank on your the forearm, 1 minute on both forearms)

(Iron Strength Video Feature on the Runner’s World website)

I’d say that I was feeling the burn right after the 3rd set of jumping squats.

My overall assessment of the workout is an A+ rating. This workout incorporated all parts of the body with enough rest in between for recovery. It included cardio as well weight training, balance, and flexibility.

I was extremely satisfied with how I felt afterwards because my muscles were in pain (which is a good thing) I always love testing my limits and breaking new barriers. I was able to evaluate my current fitness level through this workout and I know now what I need to work on to become a better runner and overall athlete.

What I have taken away from this is the following:

Never be afraid to try new things. You never know if it might be something you fall in love with. And if it’s not, at least you learned something new. Knowledge is power. Expanding our horizons helps us grow.

The Runner's World Team in New York City
The Runner’s World Team in New York City
Group Photo
Group Photo

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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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Running into the NYC St. Patty’s Day Parade

Long Run Saturday. That’s my thing now.

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I was actually planning on changing up my schedule this weekend and getting my long run completed tomorrow, but then I realized that tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day as well as the NYRR New York City Half-Marathon, so I figured that today would be my best bet. I also happened to end up at Artichoke Pizza last night; For those of your who have never been there, one slice is twice the size of my face and it’s very rich with a cheesy, deliciousness.

Anyways, my long run today was a success. The more good long runs I have, the more terrified I am of encountering a bad one. I’m still crossing my fingers that we never have to meet.

I’m a creature of habit, as most humans are, and I run the same exact route basically every time I’ve been doing my long runs. I run from my apartment uptown to the Central Park entrance at 90th street and do the 6-mile loop around the perimeter of the park. I also go at the same time, so I’ve started recognizing some familiar faces.

The major flaw in this habit that I’ve fallen into is that it gets a little boring and tedious after a while.

Luckily for me, the one thing that I didn’t realize when I chose to do my long run today is that today is the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

And I ran right into it.

It was sea of green up and down the streets of 5th Avenue. Some people had very creative costumes, and so did a few dogs. The banging of the drums and bagpipes echoed so loud that I couldn’t even hear the music coming out of my earbuds.

I have to admit though, it was pretty cool. It definitely entertained my long run before I actually entered the park. I also can’t complain that it was a relief to have Central Park be so empty today.

Once I passed the parade and was able to actually focus on my run instead of the calamity around me, I focused on my stride and form.

My legs felt great today and I was really working the uphills. I finished strong and once again, felt extremely satisfied with my performance.

Total Distance: 12 Miles
Total Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

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A pie of pizza and 10 miles to go

So, my Friday night went a little something like this:

I had been putting off doing my laundry for about 2 weeks. Of course, it was only until I had plans to go out with my friends when I actually decided to get it done.

I did laundry for about 2 hours; I really underestimated how many loads I had to do. At that point, I was so frustrated that I just decided to stay in for the night.

Last night was a bit of a depressing night for me. It ended up being exactly what I needed though- a night to myself where I could relax and catch up on Season 7 of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. I haven’t done that in a very long time. Oh, and did I mention that I also ordered myself a personal pie of Papa John’s pizza which I finished by myself…in a matter of about 10 minutes.

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Thankfully, I knew that I was going to run that pie off today.

My night in ended up being a late night, ironically. I stayed up watching How I Met Your Mother episodes until around 4AM, so I woke up a lot later than I wanted to for my long run this morning.

When I woke up, the sunlight was beaming through my light blue curtains. The brightness woke me up which automatically put my in a great mood. My first thoughts: I’m going to run.

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I stepped outside and couldn’t believe how perfect the weather was. It was ideal conditions and I started my run a lot faster than I normally would. I’d usually take it out slow, but I just couldn’t contain my excitement, knowing that Spring was just around the corner. Subconsciously I knew that going out too fast on a long run is never a good idea. After about 3 miles, my calves started tightening up and feeling sore. I clocked in at about 25 minutes for my first 3 miles. Immediately, I was nervous that this run was going to go sour, but the minute that I turned into Central Park and saw the packs of runners everywhere, the soreness in my legs went away. I was able to maintain my 8:30-minute pace throughout the rest of my run.

I was aiming for 14 today, but I cut myself off at 10 because I wanted to leave off feeling great. I also really had to go to the bathroom.

Total Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Total Miles: 10.20 miles

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After today, I fear for a bad long run.

After today, I also absolutely can’t wait for Big Sur as it’s getting closer to April.

I still haven’t hit the mileage that I want to, but I know that I’ll get there (even though I’m really running out of time)

As mentioned in a past blog entry, factors play a significant role in the way our days pan out. You should never regret the decisions you make- only learn from them and grow.

Looking at it from a different perspective, I know that my decision to do laundry and stay in and relax was the most favorable for what I had to get done in my marathon training. This time right now, I just need to make sure that my body is in the best condition that it could be- especially for my VERY FIRST marathon.

I may have already also said in a past blog entry, but sacrifice is key when you want to accomplish a goal. Your time is precious and the way that you allocate your time makes all the difference in the long run (nice play on words there, right?)

In closing, think before you do.