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Miles.... Half-Full, or Half-Empty ~ NYC Marathon Training HALFWAY POINT!


Miles.... Half-Full, or Half-Empty ~ NYC Marathon Training HALFWAY POINT!

I'm halfway through marathon training, as are most folks who are doing a 16 week program for the NYC marathon. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised it's already halfway done. Sort of sneaky how time goes by that quickly!! How are others feeling out there?? I find that when your focus is literally just on what you need to get done this week (or, just even, today), time has been moving quickly. I've been able to stick to my plan pretty closely, and although I'm tired and my legs are having all sorts of feelings..... I generally am feeling okay about training so far. So, I guess, one could say.... optimistic, glass half-full sort of outlook. Or, well, miles half-full. This is most definitely NOT all days. There have been days that have been hard..... hard getting the miles in, hard doing what I know I should be doing to help support my training (foam rolling, strength work), hard getting out of bed (but then reminding myself that my muscles need sleep, and trying not to be too hard on myself for sleeping in). It is a struggle. I think that's probably half of the reason I like signing up for challenging races and training. It is a struggle and a challenge, but if you put the work in... it is always completely attainable. Following small steps and goals, you can slowly get there..... then, BAM! you're done, and you have to start all over again :P haha...

So, that's just a quick note & check in about my training journey so far. 

Coupled with this, I am continuing to work and diversify my business and private practice. After taking a bit of a break this summer (hmmm.... maybe that's why there have been no blog posts since June, oops).... it's time to re-focus.  I have had a lot of interest in my Walk In the Park  aspect of my business and am working to figure out how to expand this and also how to incorporate running into some outdoor therapy sessions. More to come soon on that. 

In the meantime, happy running! And happy training to all those with their sights on the TCS NYC Marathon in LESS THAN 8 WEEKS! 


(picture from this Sunday's 5th Avenue Mile- getting ready to start...!)


Mental Strength Training: STEP ONE = FOCUS

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Mental Strength Training: STEP ONE = FOCUS

So, I am under 6 weeks out from my next race (New Orleans Rock and Roll Half Marathon), and coming to my own realization to start kicking into full gear with training. Sure, I’ve been training (technically) for the last couple of weeks- following fairly closely to the schedule I outlined at the beginning. I think, physically, I’ve been on point. I’ve been getting my long runs in, crosstraining (rowing) and strength training (bootcamp!), but I haven’t started to take the time to focus on mental training. I’ve been THINKING a lot about it, about things that are important to me and what I want to share with the general extended world of amazing people who might end up reading this.

So, here goes… my 6 week Mental Strength Half Marathon Training plan. (sure this could go for other races as well: 5k/10k, full marathon, triathlons, etc.—but I also plan on in the future making some more specialized plans for each different endurance race).

Week by week, I'll focus on 6 key steps for Mental Strength Training for runners. This week, we'll start with #1 FOCUS.

Focus: Define Your Goal

This week it’s time to clarify your focus and truly define what your goal is with your upcoming race. Perhaps you signed up weeks ago, and that initial rush and surge of excitement and commitment has since passed…. It’s time to get that back. Time to re-focus on your intention. Let’s start with 5 simple questions:

o   Who? (YOU!!! Any friends, family, running buddies joining you? Or are you tackling this one solo?)

o   What? (Race info, distance. Is this your first race of this distance? A milestone? Celebrating something?)

o   Where & When? (Race info, again. But think about climate and the course…. Do you need to travel to get there? What will that entail? Is it a new race or a new city to you, or happening in your background and on roads you run every day)

o   Why? (this is the big question………. )

 Why did you decide to sign up for this event (just to run another race, because a friend convinced you to, or did you have a clear wellness and mental strength goal from the beginning- to run your first half marathon, to celebrate a birthday, proving to yourself that you can come back after ___________________ (fill in the blank: injury, illness, a breakup, having a baby, etc). Are you raising money for a cause that’s important to you? Challenging yourself at a new distance, or trying to get a PR?

Whatever your reason for signing up for this race, clarify it and remind yourself of it OFTEN. Think about your answers to all the questions above… recognize all the thoughts and feelings that come up (the good ones AND the bad, negative, self-doubting ones). Most importantly, WRITE IT DOWN.

Try the following exercise!

Fold a paper into 4 quarters (any which-way will do, just make 4 sections).

·         In one section, write your goal out in big, BOLD letters.

·         In your second section, put your reasons WHY you are running this race. (could be bullet points, sentences, random words, essay-format…. Doesn’t matter).

·         In the third section, write out all the feelings that are brought up. (this is where you can add in your anxieties and self-doubts, but make sure to include the positive feelings too!).

·         For your forth section, write out what will keep you going throughout training and to get you to the finish line. THIS IS YOUR FOCUS! (part why, part feelings…. What you think about when things will get hard that will keep you going and on track).


Then, hang it up!!! On your fridge, next to your training plan, in your bathroom, above your kitchen sink… wherever! Somewhere, ideally, where you can check in with it daily and/or weekly to re-focus your training and remind yourself of your original goal. Revisit it whenever you’re feeling sidetracked or unmotivated.

Here’s what mine looks like for my upcoming race. Feel free to share pictures of yours, or comment about the process below or on Facebook.


Running (and any physical challenge) is very much a mental activity, requiring strength, practice and training. Next week we’ll start visualizing our success. But for now….. focus!!!


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Staying Active and FIGHTING BACK against Winter!

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Staying Active and FIGHTING BACK against Winter!

Today was/is cold. The first brutally cold day in NYC. (Though an appropriate seasonal reminder of what the weather should be like). Winter sucks. The days are short. It's cold. And most people are either crankily hustling around the city or are hibernating (and social gatherings and interactions become increasingly rare). Winter can be isolating and depressing. It's supposed to be a time of year when people make New Year's resolutions and plan a fresh (productive) start to the new year..... but it's hard, very hard. Today, for me, the deep bone-chilling wind had me (momentarily) questioning my next goal-race on my calendar.

Each and every year (for the past 3 years) I have signed up for a half marathon in the early spring. If I don't have a race planned, a clear goal, and a training calendar as my guide- I'm worried I just won't keep running or stay active in the winter. (because, let's be honest, who wants to run in the winter?? Not me! that's for sure). Staying motivated in the dead of winter can feel impossible.

Signing up for races keeps me accountable and active, especially in the winter (when most mornings I really just want to stay in PJ's-- or in bed-- a bit longer, and enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the warm surroundings of my Brooklyn apartment). But with my goal set, I somehow am much more likely to get up when I should and head outside to log some miles. The problem is..... it's cold, super cold.

So, it's time to FIGHT BACK. 

My top 5 tips for surviving winter and staying active:

  • Set a goal- as I shared, I typically sign up for a half marathon in March (this year, it'll actually be in February). Your goal doesn't have to be so crazy. But it should be something to hold you accountable and keep you focused short-term to get through these hard months. Tell your friends and family about it- and don't just tell them about the race (or goal), but tell them about your PROGRESS. Each and every little step, share it! Be proud of the hard work you're putting in, and find cheerleaders in your life who will support you.
  • Reward yourself- staying active in the winter is HARD WORK. You should most-definitely be rewarded for this. Think of some possible rewards that might help keep you on track. Treat yourself to something nice. After doing something active for x-number of days (whatever # works for you? After 3 days? 5 days? 10 days?), allow yourself a treat. Do you like shopping? For each mile logged (or each 15 minute increment at the gym), allow yourself $5 in a fun shopping outting. [25 miles completed this week.... $125 shopping spree!]. Is ice-cream more your style? Or a nice bottle of wine?  Sleeping in on the weekends? Set a reward, stick to your criteria (NO CHEATING), do what you need to do.... and then enjoy what you earned! 
  • Be flexible- I am a strong proponent of rest-days. I find them helpful scheduled into my training schedule in advance, but also allow many “flex days” which can easily be switched to an off/rest day. If there’s an insane blizzard outside or even if it’s a wonderfully warm winter day (which we’ve had a few of) that would be oh-so-perfect for running/going outside, but you just don’t feel like it…. Allow yourself a day off. Don’t feel bad about it. Just get back out there the next day!
  • Positive self-talk- it helps. When you are doubting yourself, think of your goals. Think of how strong and incredible you are, and that you are more than 100000% able to do this one thing. Repeat a mantra that works for you. Visualize the end result of your goal (finishing a race, getting stronger, feeling more confident). Buy shower crayons and write notes to yourself in the shower (i do this, true story). Whatever you can say (aloud) or think/visualize or write down that is positive and reassuring and motivating. DO IT. 
  • Get a buddy- If you can, get a friend to join you. Maybe they'll join you and sign up for a race too! Even better. Or perhaps you can only get them to commit to a day at the gym, or even a walk through the park or along the waterfront will do. Search for your local running clubs (or club of interest). If group runs aren't your thing, and you can't get a friend to join you... consider indoor classes at one of my favorite spots in the city, Mile High Run Club (where you get to run indoors, surrounded by people of all paces/abilities, and with a coach encouraging you along throughout the full workout). And lastly, you could consider alternate routes to finding a new jogging buddy :) :


If you need further inspiration, or have questions/comments. Please reach out! You can contact me anytime. 

Stay Warm. Stay Active. Stay Happy!

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