I Really Want to Fall in Love

Before a run, I wake up—excited… Usually it’s about 4 a.m. and I begin forcing myself to eat some oatmeal and a spoonful of peanut butter. I am anxious to leave the house, but I take my time filling up my water bottle, eating my breakfast and dressing for my big run. My mind wonders over every laborious bite of food. Is today the day that I will fall in love?

Okay, I am going to be honest. Please forget what I am about to say after you read it. I am so embarrassed to admit, I do not like running, not one bit! Even so, every time I tie up my laces and head out; I am hanging on to a glimmer of hope. Today will be the day that I magically turn into a real runner!

I see real runners every time I go out for my runs…

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Running for the Cure: Fundraising 101

With the start of the Fall 2012 semester this week, those of us who took the summer off are quickly reminded of the juggling we will need to do in order to maintain our family responsibilities and jobs. Schedules need to be re-arranged, social outings declined or cancelled, and sometimes we have to ask others for help. I’ve already had to ask my brother to spend time with Athena, my daughter’s Chihuahua, because we are both keeping long days with work and school, and in my case, training for the marathon too.

Asking for help has become a new talent of mine. It is how I have been able to raise over $2,500 for the American Cancer Society and how reaching the goal of $3,500 is attainable. Since the CUNY School of Professional Studies has an opportunity to fundraise for Komen’s Race for the Cure, I thought it would…

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10 Minutes and 10 Miles

10 MINUTES AND 10 MILES

In early June, on my very first group run with the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team, I ran for 10 minutes and wanted to cry. Not even 3 months later, through practice and DetermiNation, 10 minutes turned into 10 miles.

Last Sunday, I ran for 10 straight miles for the first time through my participation in the Jack Rabbit Battle of Brooklyn race in Prospect Park. The course consisted of three laps around Prospect Park. Each loop was just a little over 3 miles making the total course 10 miles. It was generally a nice course, mostly in the shade with only one doozy of a hill.

While the change “on paper” seems miraculous, there is no miracle about this great accomplishment. Getting here took practice, persistence and preparation.*

*Please note: This is a personal account of my experience and would like to recommend that…

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Don’t Turn the Page!

Remember the book “The Monster at the End of This Book” where Grover implores the reader to please please stop reading and to stop turning the pages because he doesn’t want to see the monster at the end of the book?

That’s me right now. Please stop reading this blog. If you keep reading, another post will appear after I’ve completed Jack Rabbit’s “The Battle of Brooklyn” 10-miler -and I am really scared, just like Grover in this book! Please stop reading, immediately 🙂 You are forcing me to the Battle of Brooklyn…, which will truly be a battle!

Race info here:
https://jackrabbit.webconnex.com/battle

Okay, in all sincerity, I do want you to read. I do want to do this race; but I would be lying if I didn’t let you know – I am scared! Please support me with comments! Also, please note, I am selling my 10 miles for $25.00 each. So far, I’ve already sold miles 1 and 2. 8 more are left. Can you support me by buying a mile or leaving a positive “go-get-em” comment? I appreciate you!!!!

PS – follow me live during race day (8/19 @ 8am) by adding me as a friend on the MapMyRun app, @xahndra

Ex-Smoker Finds Support in Runners

I am an ex-smoker
It’s hard to believe that just over 3 months ago, I was a heavy smoker. I used to love smoking. I smoked on and off from the time I was 17. I really didn’t want to quit. I believed that there was no hope for me to ever find the desire to quit.

That changed in January of this year. A colleague of mine was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It jarred me that this active and healthy young woman was facing such a scary illness and was now forced to fight for her life with every ounce of energy in her body. At the time that she was diagnosed, quite a few of my colleagues immediately joined Team in Training to run the NYC Half Marathon and raise funds in her honor. I contributed to the team, but completely shied away from participation. I was a smoker…

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More HILLS and New Shoes

Head Coach, Ramon, says BEHAVE!

Yesterday was FABULOUS! I pushed myself up hills, for strengthening instead of focusong on technique. It was amazing. My second time up the hill, my Coach Anthony ran along side me – helping motivate me to push even harder than I’ve ever done before. It was actually thrilling when I made it to the top.

A teammate and I were chatting – we love hills. We came up with a consensus – hills are really truly fun not only because they make us stronger; but there is a goal in site. The top of the hill is like an imaginary finish line. It’s a feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top.

Yesterday, Urban Athletics kindly gave American Cancer Society runners a 40% discount on the entire store. I used it as an opportunity to buy my second pair of Brooks running shoes, and another pair of red running shoes (Saucony) that will be very nice for me to use during the marathon. I also got a new water bottle and some “goo” and most importantly, BODY GLIDE to avoid the chafing.

It was a great day yesterday. I wish all training days were like that 🙂

I love these!

9 Miles

Yesterday I did 9 miles (or just a little over, I don’t 100% have faith in my mapmyrun app).

I ran from Prospect Park in Brooklyn to the Williamsburg Bridge (went about 1/3 of the way over) and then back again to Prospect Park. It was quite a run with hills and humidity. I actually felt great up until about 6.5 miles.

At 6.5 miles, I started feeling the chafing under my left arm (boo) and had to rest my arm on my hip to avoid further chafing. At that point, chafing was also beginning under my right arm. As a result, for quite some time – I was running with both my arms on my hips. That really made me incredibly tired. I learned, in a way I will never forget, how important arms are while running! Not being able to use them to help guide my stride really exhausted me.

My coach, Jen, joined me on the last portion of my run. God love her for dealing with my whining, moaning and my desire to quit the last miles back to the park. She really exercised great patience with me and kept encouraging me to work on my mental game. “Don’t say you can’t do it, tell yourself that you are doing it!” I really did have to hug that thought tightly in order to get back.

I was so grateful when this run was over… but now, I know I can do it… so the next 9 miles I run, there will be no excuses and no whining! Yesterday was great preparation for my 10 mile race next weekend….

Oh, and regarding the chafing. I have received recommendations for Body Glide and Aquaphor. You slather it on your “problem chafing” areas prior to a long run. I will be giving that a try before the long run next weekend.

Side bar!!! Tonight I am having a happy hour fundraiser in Brooklyn. I am hoping I have a turnout so I can boost my fundraising thermometer. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/137033306437415/

Thanks for visiting my page. Until next time 🙂

SPS Joins the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

On Sunday, September 9th, we at CUNY School of Professional Studies will participate in our first Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure in Central Park. We are honored to run and walk among over 21,000 breast cancer survivors and supporters to build awareness for this very important cause.

To prepare the CUNY SPS team for Race Day, we’ve summoned the help of our marathon runner correspondent and current student, Alexandra Hertel. Throughout the next month, Alexandra will serve as our official Komen Race for the Cure blogger during which time she’ll share her personal experiences and tips about race training. Remember, you can join the CUNY SPS team at any time from now until September 6th by visiting www.komennyc.org/race.

We look forward to seeing you there!


I am grateful for my life.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have in my life. Because of opportunities like schooling…

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HILLS!

I spent 4 miles yesterday working on my “hill technique” with Cat Hill in Central Park. Even though my body was sore from the 8 miles I had done the day before, I loved every minute of it! Thanks American Cancer Society & Team DetermiNation. You’ve already given me more than I could ever give you!

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8 Miles

8 miles was hard, but I got it done yesterday at the gym… 8.03 miles, in fact. The only problem was that I didn’t eat enough or drink enough water before hand, so I got sick afterwards.

A couple of pointers I am going to remember before my next long run:
– It’s obviously time to start with some sort of boost (goo or whatever it’s called) during my running
– I ran out of water mid-run and didn’t want to stop to get more… Next time, I will stop to get more or bring more water to start with
– I didn’t eat anything after lunch and before my run at 6pm… so next time, I am going to have an afternoon meal at around 3:30 or 4.

Hopefully those adjustments will save me to trouble next time.

As far as the run goes, I really wanted to quit after 6 miles – BIG TIME! My coaches explained to me that a lot of running is a mental game. I finally figured that out to be extremely true last night. My body could handle the miles but my mind kept telling me how proud it was of me and how I would be fine if I stopped once I hit that 6 mile mark. I had to keep myself in check and keep mentally pushing myself so I wouldn’t stop.

One thing that helped me keep going was my music. Yesterday, I posted a request to all my friends on facebook requesting their suggestions for “power” songs for running. I got some great input and I am going to be downloading those songs for my next race. Hopefully the playlist built by my friends will help me feel supported and motivated to keep going. This next race is called, “The Battle of Brooklyn” and it’s 10 miles.

Oh – more exciting news! I’ve signed up to do the Race for the Cure with my college, CUNY School of Professional Studies. They’ve asked me to be their weekly correspondent now through race time and I am thrilled! Follow me @xahndra if you would like to stay updated.