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.

7 miles? CHECK!

I took this picture on my run!

Today I woke up late. There was no way I would be able to eat, let my stomach settle and make it to the group run with the American Cancer Society team. For a mili-second, I thought about how nice sleeping in would be. Ahhhhh *stretch*

NOPE! I got up and decided that TODAY would be the day that I hit 7 miles. On the training calendar today, for beginners, today is 6-7 miles. I’ve always done exactly the minimum that I am required to on the training calendar. But today, I had a different plan in mind 🙂

I ran in my own neighborhood, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn today. It was a beautiful run and really beautiful weather for a run. I ran on the promenade near the Verrazano Bridge. While running, I thought about what it might feel like to run OVER the Verrazano… Soon enough!

When I hit 6 miles, I was tired – ready to stop…. Ironically, as I hit 6 miles – I was passing my apartment. But I was determined! I passed my house and kept going and hit my 7 miles with a decent pace (considering parts of my run were up and down stairs).

Anyway, so there you have it… I hit 7 miles today. That’s something I never dreamed I would be able to accomplish. I feel as though I was just inducted into the crazy-running-hall-of-fame. In just 3 more miles, I will be in the double digits! Yipeeeee!

PS – during my run today, on the dock by the water, some guy flung his fishing line back and stuck my leg and then laughed about it. It was mile 4, so I was a little grumpy about it… But, he didn’t throw my game lol!!!

by Alexandra Hertel on Sat, Jul 28, 2012 @ 10:46 AM

Sometimes training STINKS!

Last night was a hard night for me, training-wise. It was hot, Central Park was crowded and my body was still exhausted from the 10K on Saturday. I actually broke down and was beating myself up over my slow pace and my exhaustion. Thank goodness one of my coaches ran with me at exactly the right time. She helped me realize a few things:

Getting ready for a group workout with the American Cancer Society DetermiNation team in Central Park

– My training is my own, I don’t have to compare myself to others (this includes team mates and strangers in the park)

– Weather in general plays… in other words, if it’s bloody hot outside like it was yesterday, I may not be able to run as well.

– My health plays (i.e., the fact that I ran a race on Saturday and my body was tired). If I am tired or sick, I may not be able to run as well.

Most importantly, I learned that my training is my own and I will have a lot of little and big victories along the way. My coach encouraged me to put every victory – no matter how big or how small – in my pocket and carry them with me to the finish line at the NYC Marathon. I can do this! Even though I broke down yesterday, I have to say I am here to stay. There is not an ounce of quitter blood in me at this point. I am all in!!!

By the way, if you are in the NYC area, I have two happy hour “drinks for a cause” where 100% of the proceeds will go toward my fundraising. Please check out the events on facebook and come!

Brooklyn, August 12th:

Manhattan, August 23rd:

My first 10K and the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge just as I was about to run over…

Last week, I went to San Francisco for work. I was excited to go for a successful event with my business; but equally as excited to do a quick run while there. When I travel, I am always super anxious to map a run in a new place. While in San Francisco, I actually did a run over the Golden Gate Bridge. I woke up at 5am and got to the bridge just in time to run before I had to report to work. All went well, except for the fact I got lost in the Golden Gate National Park after exiting the bridge. I had to text pictures to my cab driver in order for him to find me. It was pretty funny and a “one-of-a-kind” experience.

This past Saturday (7/21), I did my first 10K. I effectively kicked my butt as a result. Watch this video at 0:32 seconds, this is how I felt after. Just imagine the sunburn is my muscles:

Seriously though, the good news is, I completed it! I wasn’t last either… I actually placed decently. In fact, my time was just about 7 minutes longer than it took me to do 5 miles less than a month ago! So, I’d say it’s a personal best and a milestone. I can’t wait to hit my next milestone.

I really hope that my fundraising picks up. I’ve stood at the same amount for the last month… What to do, what to do? Any suggestions?

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10 weeks? PSYCHE!

Today I was all excited when I woke up. After all, it’s my 10 week anniversary of quitting smoking…. Until the calendar set me straight. It’s been 11 weeks! Almost 3 months smoke-free!

I am so excited to hopefully run tomorrow. My ankle is still a little sore, but I am babying it today so that I can try to do 7 miles tomorrow. I really want to hit that magic number 7!

Ironic how my lull in running is matched with a lull in my fundraising. I haven’t had any movement since I hit the $1,000 mark. Any suggestions out there on how to rev it back up?

A Setback

Difficult week…

On Monday evening, I twisted my ankle coming up the subway steps. I am such a clutz! As a result, I couldn’t go to group training Tuesday night and worse, couldn’t run all week. My ankle is starting to feel better though, so I am hoping I will be good to go for Saturday’s group run.

Now that I’ve completed my first race (481 out of 496 lol), I am even MORE anxious to be a part of my training and preperation for the NYC Marathon. I went to join 2 more races that are in the next few weeks -but both of them were already sold out. Who woulda thunk it? So, I am debating whether or not to join a bronx 10-miler in September and I’ve joined a 10K in October (Rock-N-Roll). If anyone has suggestions for 5 miles up to half marathons between now and Oct, let me know 🙂

Glad that I’ve come to the end of what I consider a difficult week not being allowed to run. Come Saturday, I am back in it!

First Race, Take Your Base

At the Start

Today was my first race EVER!

It was a 5-mile run for the ACS called “Take Your Base” starting and ending at the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium in Coney Island.

It was on the boardwalk, near the ocean. It was honestly an incredibly beautiful run, but it was also incredibly hot. I was dripping with sweat and the ocean taunted me! I wanted to jump right in the cold Atlantic waters.

At the start, I thought I kept my pace incredibly slow – but I think I overdid it. I did almost my fastest mile ever. Maybe it was because I was so energized and excited for the race. Then, I was forced to slow down for the remaining miles….but I never stopped completely…

After the initial mile, I kept my place incredibly slow, but even so – after 3 miles I wanted to stop so bad! I pushed through, walking a couple of times to catch my breath…

Coach Ant & Andrew

It was just when I thought I would have to quit (at about 4 miles) that my coach Coach Ant and teammate (Andrew) came back for me after they ran the race. Along my side, they encouraged me and got water for me. Their support as team mates helped me get through that last mile. I was so grateful for them…. and grateful to be a part of the DetermiNation team.

What was really nice was the team spirit with all the racers, even strangers. I met a woman who was “queen of the back of the pack” with me; and together we helped motivate each other. Strangers would cheer me on and tell me to keep going. It was at points, incredibly emotional.

I am so happy that I am doing this. I wish everyone could do this. I am not going to lie, it’s hard work – but the rewards are incredible. Thanks so much to Anthony, Andrew and Helen! (Oh, and thanks for reading – please share my blog with others… I have a long way to go to meet my fundraising goal!)

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Race Results:
5 miles
1 hour, 17 minutes, 48 seconds
481st place out of 496 runners. At least I wasn’t last! 😉

3 weeks in, last Saturday’s Group Run

On Saturday, I joined the third group run. Compared to the very first group run three weeks ago, I did doubly better on time and distance without stopping. I can’t believe the improvement already. It is keeping me motivated. Also, what’s really keeping me motivated is the unbelievable support from my friends and colleagues. Thank you so much everyone! I’m going to keep on keeping on! 🙂


Tomorrow marks 8 weeks since I quit smoking. Now, I am replacing that horrible habit with EXERCISE! I am excited – I am staying focused and committed to my training.
On Tuesday, it was raining hard – so I went home instead of going to practice… I wasn’t sure if it would be cancelled or not. I didn’t let that stop me from my Tuesday workout though! I did my own work out which was over 5 miles of walking and running.
More good news – I finally joined a gym…! So now, on my days off of running, I will enjoy swimming and other cross-training opportunities.

First Group Run

The Loop @ Prospect Park, Brooklyn

So today, I got up early to meet the Brooklyn runners at Prospect Park for a group run. Most everyone was so much more experienced than I am, but everyone was incredibly nice. One of my coaches, Jen, stayed with me for the entire run even though I wasn’t fast enough to stay with the group. I can’t believe I did it! The entire session lasted just over 40 minutes. I just need to do the same thing for about another 320 minutes lol 🙂

Even though I have a long way to go before I am ready for the marathon, I realized after today that I can do this! Completing today’s group run was exhilarating and exciting. I am so grateful and humbled with the support of my friends, family and the American Cancer Society. Today is the beginning of the rest of my life!