Thursday, October 29, 2009

Born To Run(ning) For Love

The streets and sidewalks of New York have become a running track. The New York City Marathon is this Sunday and over 37,000 runners from around the world will be running the 26.2 mile course that winds through part of each of the city’s five boroughs.

I’ve always been a spectator, standing with amazement along First Avenue, cheering the crowds as they enter Manhattan from the 59th Street Bridge. Despite a recent New York Times article that questioned if you can truly call yourself a marathoner if it takes you a longer time to finish this amazing race, I’m such in awe of their accomplishments. For the throngs of everyday people, some of whom are my friends and colleagues, I applaud you!

It’s always been a dream of mine to run a marathon. At least since I ran my first 6 mile loop in Central Park. But my knees had other ideas and I never got around to it. I still run, but I still need to increase my mileage to take this goal into a reality.

The 26.2 mile course of the NYC Marathon

According to an article in Runner's World magazine, slowly adding distance to your running routine is the best way run longer distances. It also improves fitness, builds endurance and burns calories. Who doesn’t love all that?

Here are some tips to help you build miles without running the risk of injury or fatigue.

* Slow down. Taking your speed down a notch or two gives you energy to go longer. Add about two minutes to your usual pace. For example, if you usually run three miles in 30 minutes (10 minutes per mile), expect to run four miles in 48 minutes (12 minutes per mile) or longer.

* Build gradually. Adding miles too quickly can lead to burnout and injury. So increase your long run by no more than 1 to 1.5 miles at a time.

* Run long every other week. This gives your body time to recover, which reduces injury risk.

* Take walk breaks. A six-mile run with walk breaks still gives you six miles of endurance. The benefit? More energy for your run and a faster recovery.

Besides all the physical and mental benefits running, my friend Jessica is running for another reason. This sassy chic is running this year’s marathon in the hopes of finding love along the way.

Jessica has never had trouble getting dates with guys, even great guys. But never THE ONE. She had a wake up call after she broke up with her last boyfriend back in June, who she described as a good guy, but just not right for her. “After I broke up with him I thought I could go back to do what I was doing (going out to bars, online dating, friend setups), but I felt I needed to do something different,” she said. But between work, friends, family, volunteering and staying in shape, the time for meeting Mr. Right wasn’t there any more. “It’s not like I’m in my 20s anymore,” she said.

Jessica is Running For Love

So in an effort to meet Mr. Right in her very busy schedule, this energetic entrepreneur decided to combine her passion for staying in shape with dating. Smart move! She set her goal to train for this year’s marathon, and at the same time, to find love. “Every year I watch the marathon and there are always so many guys running. Good looking guys, guys who had ambition, who set goals. That’s the guy I wanted to meet,” she said.

Over the course of the past five months, Jessica has participated in a number of running charity events, races and has even taken her story to NBC’s “Today in NY”. As a result, she said she has found her calendar packed with dates. “All of a sudden guys were coming out of the woodwork,” she said. NOTE: Jessica doesn’t require the dates to be runners and still enjoys a good glass of wine or two.

Though Jessica still hasn’t found her Prince Charming yet, you can catch her on Marathon Sunday sporting her favorite running tee in green that reads: “JESSICA” on the front and “Running Slow So He Can Catch Me” and her email” on the back.

I’m rooting for you Jessica!


  1. Great story, I just started back at the gym and so happy I can actually run for 2 miles straight. An accomplishment I never thought I would see. Now I am hoping to increase that slowly but surely. At 46, that's not too shabby and my butt is happier too!

  2. I loved this post. One of my favorites. I'm terrified of running a marathon b/c I don't think I'd be able to finish. Maybe it's time to rethink...

    I'm also inspired by Jessica's reason for running. Who wouldn't want to date a guy willing to run 26.2 miles?

    Love it. You're a rockstar.


  3. Really good article, thank you for sharing, I will always look at the future, too talented.