Skinny Mountain Air

“Worst run ever,” I posted on Facebook last Sunday. And it was. I felt like a beginner and the time on my Runkeeper app agreed. I set out for a simple 5k. I say simple, because I’m not a beginner and I had completed a 10k race only a week before. One week! Twice the distance. And I sucked. It felt like sand bags were tied to my legs and a Sumo wrestler was sitting on my chest. I’m at my fittest since my book came out! (Thanks friends, tour and hotel bar for the good times, but I’m happy to shed you!) How can this BE?!

“Amazing how quickly I fall out of the practice of running in the mountains,” I continued. “I’ll try again tomorrow. Oof.”

Typing that felt like a copout. I mean “mountains”? Really? Sure, I can see amazing mountain ranges in the distance as I run. Vistas that offer something beautiful, different, interesting with every run, every season. Flocks of wild turkeys, a cornucopia of colors, fuzzy caterpillars crossing the road not realizing they’re in mortal danger…so much to see, things to photograph, moths-in-the-making to save. Mountains are what I see off in the distance.

I did go the next day as I publicly declared and it was worse. I only went 1.47 miles and was slower. SLOWER! Granted I was with Griswold, but even he was dragging! Usually he flies along, excited for the adventure, fresh air, wildlife and the best part: running back home. But he still trailed behind me, huffing & puffing.

This required some research.

So I scoured my Runkeeper history about when I last ran up here, when did I run here consistently, and just how high up are we? Which is why I can’t switch to Map My Run…I’ve got too much stored on Runkeeper and if theres one thing I love, it’s STATISTICS! I might even make an Excel spreadsheet of all the info, that’s how much I love examining each and every nuance. Is it too late to become a statistician for a living?

Turns out we’re 1,247 feet above sea level. The race I ran the week before was at sea level or barely above/below. Hmm, interesting. While it’s not Machu Picchu where we had time to acclimatize, it’s still a significant difference from home.  Turns out, athletes regularly train in higher altitudes before races! Not 10Ks on Roosevelt Island but, still…

I’ve always remarked that even though I workout less up here, I lose weight and tend to eat and snack less. And that’s a thing, too! Check out this article I found: Can Thin Mountain Air Make You Slim?

Aha! So I’m not making it up! It’s harder to run up here and I take in fewer calories. I KNEW I LOVED THE ROCK HOUSE!

Bolstered by my new knowledge –I don’t suck entirely, I just need a day or two to acclimatize– I ran two more short runs (5Ks) followed by 20-minute Bob Harper workouts. (Short but great. The hour long workouts are killer! I highly recommend them.)

Based on these runs, by this time next week, all will be normal. Fascinating! (To me, anyway.)

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Run, Baby Run!

I was so happy to accompany my pal Liam on his first race, a 5K on Roosevelt Island. I ran a 10K soon after his race started and we met up at the finish line to walk home for a celebratory brunch. He’s been following the Couch to 5K program that so many people swear by. Judging by how well he did –never stopping and clocking in at a 13 minute mile pace — I’m endorsing the program, too.

He was beaming afterward and we’ve already signed up for the next race. (I dare you to run a race and NOT want to recapture the feeling ASAP.) He and I will be running a 5K & 10K again on Memorial Day and welcome any and all to join us. It’s an ice cream social, too!

Eye of the Tiger!

I’m back in fighting mode…well, let’s be honest, I’m moving at a pace faster than a sloth. Geez, who are you my mother? So, anyway, I’m running again after over a year-and-a-half of book publishing bullarkey and the ensuing tour which I loved. Loved a leeeetle bit too much say my jeans that split apart at the ass crack during the most inopportune time ever — as if there’s ever an opportune time for flabby white cellulite to poke out like sausage escaping its casing, but that’s another story.

To put my money where my mouth is (Wait! My mouth was on food…hmmm. Flawed cliche.) and to meet my 2012 New Year’s Eve goal to “always have a race” I signed up for two in NYC. I’m not a fan of the NYRR (they make terrible PR choices and their very well-paid top management is to blame, plus their races are damned pricey), but the first race is relatively affordable, a good warmup for my 2nd race, and for a good cause (who doesn’t hate butt cancer?). The second race is an exciting course in Brooklyn which needs the love as its shoreline was damaged from that bitch Sandy.

I promise I won’t post all of my training and bore you with stats or make you feel bad if you’re not feeling like moving right now or ever. Instead, if you want to follow (a/k/a stalk) me on Runkeeper.com, I’m letting it all hang out…sausage casing be damned. My profile is here and, yes, I’m at 158 pounds and aiming for 145. I’m already down 12 pounds since last fall (My tour was THAT good. Damn you, Madison, WI! And I didn’t work out or diet from November till late January so I’m pretty stoked that I stayed steady for the holidays!)

I perform better when I’m in “put up or shut up” mode. Hell, that’s how I wrote a book. I told everyone “I’m writing a book!” and then had to manifest that shite.

So yeah, I’m running some races, bitches! Catch me if you can!*

Because I’m at the cabin for the weekend and am afraid of getting complacent while holed up in front of the fire and ice & snow outside, I decided to do some other type of cardio workout besides running. Enter Bob #$%&*@! Harper. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD I HATE/LOVE HIM FOR WHAT HE DID TO ME. I highly recommend these two DVDs, but unless you’re in really fit shape start out with his 25 minute workout. TRUST ME. I’m hobbling around like a $10 hooker on 8″ platforms. I. Am. WRECKED.

For many years, I’ve also enjoyed Jennifer Kries’ pilates workouts. They’re much less strenuous but no less effective when it comes to toning and core conditioning. For me right now, though, I’m working on getting my stamina and cardio health back up to being able to run. Enter this S.O.B.:

  

*You can. Please don’t hurt me for the smack talk. I promise, I’m just kidding and trying to PUMP US UP!

P.S. I don’t care if you think I didn’t need to lose weight or if you think I’m fine how I am. My clothes don’t fit and haven’t for a long while…since Comix closed, I’d guess. I have nice clothes, and I’d like to fit into them again.

My 1st Half Marathon

I just ran 13.1 miles!

I feel pretty good, physically, and like a million bucks, mentally. My morning didn’t start well. We drove our new car — my first time ever riding in it! — and parking was already full. We knew we should have left sooner, but whatcha gonna do. So, we drove around looking for street parking which was harder than it should have been. All the street closings and pressure to find a spot made us go the WRONG way on a freeway exit ramp! GAH! Cars were flying towards us honking, trying not to have a head on collision. Luckily it was 6:30 AM on a Saturday and traffic was light. We managed to turn around, find a spot and high tail it to the starting line.
Being late and shaken up, we didn’t get to stretch or buy bananas. That said, it went well. It was hot & humid to be sure, but there was a nice breeze in some spots. I stopped at every water station as recommended by a few articles I read for 1st time half-marathoners. My shoes were SOAKED by the end so my feet felt mushy & gross. It wasn’t painful, just a distraction.

The best part was seeing all the new sites of Flushing Meadow Park where much of the race was held. (Photo set here.) I ran past the Unisphere, an Aquatic Center, the Queens Zoo, Citi Field, Arthur Ashe Stadium and lots of lovely marsh land. Who knew it was all down the street from me?

I came in 2435th place overall and 115th in my age/gender group. Finished in 2:20:22 at a 10:43 pace. Christian did well, too. Came in 999th place overall and finished in 1:56:56 at a 8:56 pace.

Here are the stats for you running nerds:
Distance: 13.1 Miles, 21.1 Kilometers
Date/Time: July 24, 2010, 7:00 AM
Location: Flushing Meadow, NYC
Weather: 86 degrees, 63% humidity, wind 12 mph
Course map

Kambri

Back in the Saddle

Memorial Day has come and gone. I was *supposed* to be in Los Angeles running a half marathon with my cousin’s wife and her brother. Instead I spent it moping around my NYC apartment wishing I were there. They ran it without me and did quite well. I’m so proud of her and her incredible transformation. Since October ’08 to date she’s gone from a 213 pound woman who couldn’t walk a mile to a woman who is fit and can run a half marathon!

I was so frustrated and disappointed to not be there to see her cross the finish line and, damn it, I wanted to cross it, too. Why wasn’t I there, you ask? Because I’ve let work take over my life. I feel at the fed up point she did back in ’08 when she said, “Enough. I’ve had enough.”

No, I don’t have weight to lose and, yes, I already run (I ran 10.75 miles today, in fact), but the small things in life are passing me by. I am, by nature, a workaholic. I’ve actually had days when I never saw the sun because my office is in the basement and I don’t come up for air. I haven’t seen my dad in 3 yrs, for crying out loud.

Kambri
Enough. I’ve had enough. It’s time for a change.

Work & Working Out

The past few weeks I’ve been lax about going the the gym, opting instead for burgers & beer & friends. But today I went and ran a 10K in 68.52 minutes. It felt GREAT! I know it should be a priority for me but when work calls, running is the first thing that gets shoved to the side.

And work has been running me ragged. One thing I’m excited about is further movement on the “Life’s Tough. Laugh More.” ad campaign I developed three years ago. It’s finally seeing more action than just the sole TV commercial that aired last year. (Click here to watch. I wrote, directed & appeared in it, but wish we had a 30 second spot instead of the 60 sec. spots Time Warner gave us). I was able to get an amazing deal on as at a PRIME location in the NYC subway system (the N/R/W stops at the corner of 49th & 7th Avenue) and in the mall at South Street Seaport. So I got photographer/designer guru Kirill to shoot some spots with  Scott Ramsey (my BFF & Tex in the City partner) and Ophira Eisenberg. I have two more shoots up my sleeve but since we’ll have a FOUR month presence, I have some time to work those out.  Facebook users can check out a few of the behind the scenes shots taken at the shoot here on our Fan Page. I can’t wait to see what hoodlum New Yorkers draw on their faces! HA!

Then there’s the upcoming Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival for which I am helping publicize. All the famous celeb chefs have sold out their shows, of course, so I’m working to help bring attention to Alicia Silverstone‘s demonstration. She is coming to Comix Oct 10th to showcase recipes from her first cookbook “The Kind Diet.”  Tickets & info here: http://tinyurl.com/nt3kyu
I’m still plugging away on my book (I’m in the midst of doing an annotated scene list so my editor can wrap his head around the whole thing), we had a road trip to Boston for a wedding, my mom is coming for a visit in October as is an old high school friend and Tex in the City is resuming its First Friday Roundups beginning September 4th. Phew! My head spins. Now you see why it’s so easy to beg off the gym. But man I do feel better, less stressed and happier when I’m at my fittest. I’m not 20 any more so it’s easy for fatigue and bad eating habits to show up on my face and butt.

Sometimes I wish I could check myself into “rehab” so I’ll take care of myself. There’s got to be a better way!