Race Ready: What Not To Do Before a Marathon

Nike-Starting_Line

In April I ran my first ever race! It was Nike Women Half Marathon in DC. Leading up to the race was one hell of a roller coaster  ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I do wish I was a little better at prepping during race week. I did not understand how crucial those last days leading up to the race were. And with that, I learned some pretty hard lessons that week…

Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do The Week Before a Race:

  1. Doing your longest run during the same week of your race
  2. Drinking alcoholic beverages ( the key is to stay hydrated, and alcohol is not only a suppressant, but it also causes dehydration)
  3. Poor dieting (your body needs nutrients and carbs to help sustain you through the run, and protein to help repair all the muscle tissue before, during, and after)
  4. Not drinking at least 10 or more glasses of water a day
  5. Trying something new (Like a new fitness regimen, activity, or diet)
  6. Not preparing your race gear (worse thing to realize when you’re at the starting line is that you forgot your iPod, or hair tie, or even your fuel packs!)
  7. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep during the week(or worse less than 4hrs the night before the race like me. Warning: Race jitters may keep you up all night)
  8. Wearing new running shoes that you have not done a proper test on as yet
  9. Not training adequately months before the race (could be weeks, depending on the length of your race)
  10. Not having faith in all the training and work you’ve put in!

I know these things are rather obvious to some, and I have read countless health and fitness articles leading up to my race, but I didn’t truly realize the  importance of these tips until  I went through it myself. Now that I know better, I feel a lot more confident going into my next race, and can’t wait to set a new personal record.

 

20140503-150134.jpg

 

Luckily, thanks to the months of prepping, I was not only able to finish, but surpass my personal record. Although I did way better on this race than I anticipated, I will say that I could have done even better had I followed all those rules. I could avoid  the cramps that came on earlier than I expected because the lack of hydration, exhaustion from lack of sleep, and technical difficulties with some of my music apps. All of those factors can affect your time and make you lose concentration. This is something I’ll take into serious consideration as I begin training again and getting ready for Race Season in Fall.

 

Hope that Helps,

 

Kay W.

Advertisements

How To: Make It In America?

I came across this pretty old blog post that I did on one of my favorite shows call How To Make It In America, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was feeling a little down on my luck with my current situation in NYC. And quite frankly my drive has definitely taken a major hit. It seemed like no matter how much work I was putting in, I just wasn’t getting back what I reaped. What’s a girl to do? Pack up and move home to where it’s safe and dependable, have a gigantic emotional break down, or the least likely, suck it up, brush it off and get my butt back on the saddle! The post reminded me of why I moved up here and what got me some of the unforgettable stories I have so far. Hope you find a little help in it too.


 

We’re all tryna make it somehow. Everyday we get up, do our routines, and prepare ourselves for the day ahead of us. Whether we are off to work, school, or whatever it is that you tend to do with your day. I’m pretty sure it’s all towards trying to achieve something, right?

Here are a group of guys, like you and I, just trying to make it. Ben and Cam are best friends hustling their way to the rich and famous life style that they’ve always dreamed. The only difference between them and I, is that they’re actually working hard and taking risks to achieve their dream. We all have dreams, but have different ways of wanting to achieve them. I have started applying for writing jobs/internships again. This is a pretty big deal for me, because I have always thought that I would be working in the Medical Field. That’s what I’ve been pushed to do, all the while ignoring my true passion for writing and telling stories. Kinda like the main character Ben, who’s an amazing artist/designer, but no matter what hustle he tries to do, the artist in him just keeps resurfacing. The thing is, art/designing is his niche and working in retail or a regular 9-5 cubicle was just not gonna cut it for him.

I realized that it’s only by getting out of your comfort zone will you be able to bring your niche out of hiding. Not everyone is the same, so not every niche can be coaxed out the same way. Some people, like one of my best friends for example always knew what her niche was. She has been drawing most of her life and took the risk of going to her dream Ivy League school and getting her BA in Interior Design. Her risk of going there against all odds has gotten her an amazing internship in Japan and she now lives in San Francisco, Cal.

On the other hand, there is me. I like to write and have been doing so most of my life, but I’m still uncertain if that’s my niche. I’ve taken a couple of great risks over the past year that has led me to London, a few concerts, and an awesome job. Those are great and all, but even those risks were a bit safe.  I’ve risked everything else in my life, but writing. It’s about time that I really risked it. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to quit their day job and gamble on their dream like Ben, so I’m gonna keep mine while making a few gambles on the side. All I know is that I am finally ready to gamble in hopes of making it. So I’m looking for my niche and seeing if it’s worth the risk.

Just trying to Make It in America on my own terms, doing what I love. After all, isn’t that what we all wish for.

And on that note, back to writing till these wheels fall off! Lol

Don’t Stop Trying,

Kay

Stranger Inspirations

Kinda strange and almost cinematic at the conversation I found my self in with a complete stranger today. What started out as simple stroll through the High Line in New York City, turned into a little photo opportunity, which turned into a moment of inspiration.

I stopped for a minute to take a few shots over looking the traffic under us, when a gentlemen with an accent I’m far too familiar with complimented me on the photo I’d just captured. I turned and thanked him humbly and went back to taking more photos. He then decided to introduce himself and join me on my stroll through the High Line.

We made light conversation of our origins and shared our New York stories. He then caught me off guard when  he asked, “so what are you doing now?” I paused for a minute quite puzzled, because I thought I had thoroughly explained to him my reason for being in New York. Catching the look on my face made him laugh. “I know  why you are here, but are you doing it now?” I looked down and said, “kind of, I’m working on it. Got a bit more planning to do.”

“Just do  it! Stop hesitating. You’re here now, so don’t sit still. Planning is done now give yourself something to write about,” cheering me on emphatically with fisted hands in the air. I couldn’t help but laugh at his enthusiasm and optimism. His randomness was  contagious and so refreshing.

It suddenly dawned on me. I spend a majority of my time planning, just planning! Not that planning is necessary, but that’s only the first step. Plans are nothing without action, and faith without works is dead. So I can sit here and plan and hope all day long, but sometimes you just need to dive in and do it. Waiting for a good time to start could have me sitting on the sidelines for the rest of my life if I’m not careful. And you certainly don’t get memorable experiences just planning things out.

 

High Line Experience

High Line Experience

Umberto may be a humble mechanic back in Brazil, but he’s lived one hell  of life so far and never let his circumstances dictate his outcome. He’s been to nine different countries, surfed in Australia, and still makes sure he’s in Portugal to see his family for the holidays. Most of his most memorable adventures came from the things that he didn’t plan and to no surprise, he has no regrets. I’ve made tons of new plans this month for the future, time for step two, the doing.

Sometimes it takes a complete stranger with a different perspective to give you the clarity that you’ve been needing. Now, by no means am I encouraging you to run around your city or neighborhood talking to random people.  I’m just saying sometimes it’s good to  listen and let yourself be inspired. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from some grand light in the sky. It could be something as simple as a random stranger.

And with that, back to my writing and adventures in The City. I would hate to miss out on another inspiration.

Be inspired,

Kay Wanderz

New Adventures & Endeavors

It’s official, this little lady is writing for a real website. I’m so excited to share with you guys my new project. I just submitted my second post for a website called Firstklassbreakfast.com

20131028-092922.jpg

I’m the new writer for the Pop Culture Round Up. Meaning I’ll be posting some major things that happen in pop culture every week on Sundays. Everything from the government shutdown to Kim and Kanye’s engagement. This was almost too perfect, because I tend to read about all these things every morning online as a breakfast ritual anyways.

This will be the first time that I have ever written anything under my real name. The fear that I had towards being criticized is no longer gonna hold me back. Putting yourself out there is always a hard thing to do, because our pride is one of the most difficult things to let go. This is such an exciting and scary moment in my life, but I’m going full steam ahead. I came to New York with a mission, and this project is taking me one step closer to getting there.

Keep chasing, keep dreaming, keep wandering,

Kay Wanderz

PS. You can now follow me on blog spot. The link is below.

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/10690931/?claim=z2ff8mdm9tu”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

The Race Must go on…

Right now I should be at Prospect Park gearing up for my Rock & Roll Race and doing some last minute stretches/warm ups. Or depending on what time you’re reading this, my feet should be swiftly pounding the pavements. Instead, I am at work.

I will not pretend here, I was pissed when they told me I had to work today. I had been conditioning my body about a month for this. I even paid for the non-refundable registration in advance, because I had no doubt that I would be able to do the race.

But as life would have it, I planned and things didn’t go my way. Being upset about my current situation would get me nowhere. So instead of just being upset about it. I tried to salvage my efforts.

The race was for a good cause and I happened to know quite a few people who love doing races. So I sucked it up, took a bite of humble pie, and gave my registration to one of them.

All in all, I’m happy that I helped the cause, my friend owes me one big time, and I’m still in good standing at work.

What can I say, life hands you lemons, you hand it back the best damn Lemon Cake it’s ever eaten!

Hope you all are doing well,

Kay Wanderz

M.I.A For A Little

Sorry about being MIA. I just flew home to be with my loved ones because someone near and dear to me is having surgery. Luckily, things are looking good and they are pretty optimistic about a speedy recovery. At least he has a great view t cheer him up and his lovelies by his side.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Anyhow, while I’m here I will share a little bit of my city, Miami with you in the next post.

Hope you all are doing well.

With love,

Kay Wanderz

Run for Goodness Sake!

I like running. It’s something that has slowly become apart of my life and helped me to achieve a few fitness goals. Lately, I have been in a bit of a running slum. It’s getting progressively harder to lace up and pound the pavement.  This year, ninety percent of my runs have been on a treadmill. Which would explain why it has become increasingly difficult to run at the parks.

The gym membership was great for when it was cold, or raining, or at a late hour after work. And the treadmill was a convenient place to run because I work in the city, which is far from home, but my gym membership soon became my excuse for any major outdoor activity. The gym became my safe haven, not for convenience or reliability, but because of comfort.

I have read countless articles about people who run through every climate imaginable. The only difference between them and myself, is  they have a purpose that drives them to push through discomfort. My fear of looking ridiculous is where my discomfort lies. It’s why if I do ever run outside, it’s through a park or on trails in the woods. Where the only thing that can see me huffing and puffing every mile are the little woodland creatures and other runners who are too absorbed in the war of  man versus distance.

This fear has been keeping me from my full potential of being the runner that I have always inspired to be. I envied runners for their amazing bodies, look of purpose when in motion, and athletic abilities. I’m from a family of athletes. I’m an only girl and all my brothers play basketball plus another sport. My father has been playing soccer since diapers in Jamaica and my mother played Netball for her school. And even all of these reasons couldn’t get me to run a lap around my own block.

So I’m biting the bullet. I have signed up for a 10K race. Not just any race, but one that is for charity. If there’s anything that would put fire to my heels, it’s a charity. Now, not only am I running for my own personal development, but for benefit of others. Not to mention I find it hard not to stick to something that I’m paying for.  I’m challenging myself to run 3-4 times a week outside leading up to the race which is in a little less than three weeks. Running outside is MANDATORY, especially since the race is around Prospect Park and the treadmill just isn’t gonna cut it.

 

Here’s a clip for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon NYC, which is the race that I’ve signed up for.

 

And on that note, off for my first morning run of the challenge.

Keep challenging yourself,

 

PS.  Any running tips or advise on running a 10K in an hour would be greatly appreciated!!

Kay Wanderz

Now What….

It’s been nearly a year since my last post, nearly a year since I have published anything in my own name, and nearly a year since I have done anything that would make me uncomfortable. Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t just been sitting on my arse for the past year. I have gone on a few of random trips and adventures, met new people, and even started a fitness challenge. Despite having done all of those things, I have still kept it pretty safe. Being safe is really starting to get to me, but nothing has shaken me more out of my comfort zone than with the sudden news of a loved one’s sickness.

Though the situation is sad and is currently being dealt with, it has also reminded me of how short life is. Not to mention, how precious each moment.I would truly be a fool if I continued going along my life as is. The restless wanderlust in me has been dormant for way too long.

I need to take a risk on my dreams. I crave the discomfort, mixed emotions, lump in your chest feeling you get when you’re being challenged to your limits. Because only then do you discover that the limits you thought you had weren’t actually your limits at all. That you can survive.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to take a page from Shameless Maya and I’m going to put myself out there. I mean really put myself out there. I’ll be challenging myself to actually put my writing out. Where it can be publicized, scrutinized, and critiqued by the masses. If not for myself, then for the ones that I love.

Urban Nights

I opted to slow down last night and get some much-needed work done instead of going out in the city. Unfortunately,the WordPress App and I had a bit of disagreement on the matter. Nonetheless the Urban Outfitter and Lomography party was pretty cool.
As expected there was an eclectic crowd of people. Everything from your usual hipsters to the college nerds just looking for what’s happening tonight. I was able to snap a few photos before the drinks got into my system and distracted me entirely. The DJ was on point that night and as I looked around I realized not a single could refrain from bobbing or your ever discrete finger tapping.
 
 
 
 
 
As expected New York City has a great night life and something for everyone. I’ve been to a few bars and clubs now and have never been disappointed by the music, the setup on the other hand is a different story. Goes to show that no matter how great the music and drinks are, ambiance is everything. And I think the Lomography store was the perfect setup for the party. I hate to say it, but it had the classic hipster vibe written all over it. Kinda hard to deny it, when you look around and notice the retro vibe from the old school photos, Ray Ban glasses, grandfather cardigans, and high-waisted everything.  All in all it was just another Urban night in the city. On the plus side, I was able to do some networking and meet some pretty interesting people and got a cute little gift for my best friend. These cameras are a perfect gift idea for friends that are obsessed with Instagram and all those photography apps. 
 
Anyhow, I’ll be sure to post the pics from the other bars/clubs that I actually remembered to take photos of for you. Also, I’m almost done with the update post and should be sending them out this week. I’ll be posting them at work of course, I think I’ll use the app for quick short post only. I would hate for it to have to actually be useful and turn out a post as expected. 
 
 
Much love,
 
Kay W.

Still Adjusting

I’m finally in the city that I’ve always dreamed of, working towards my dream job, and pursuing the life that I’ve always dreamed of having. So why such a terrible case of writer’s block and an undeniable spirit of procrastination?

Unfortunately, this is the reason for my absence from blogging. I’ve been living in New York for about a month now and have only applied to a handful of writing jobs and haven’t blogged a single bit (until now of course). Luckily, I have friends who are just as stubborn as me and wouldn’t stop badgering me about blogging again until I actually posted something.

So I left the house today determined to find inspiration and resume blogging.

20120829-171317.jpg

 

The weather today was too perfect to spend it all in a building and I was in need of a little nature. Since I currently work right across the street from Central Park, I thought I’d set out to a new one. And since I didn’t want to journey all the way to Brooklyn( coming from Queens), I settled for the still very well-known Bryant Park.

And would you believe it?! A little good weather, sunshine, and eclectic crowd of people really did help get me out of my rut. I definitely need to walk around and just take in the city more often. There’s a reason why the people here inspire such unforgettable characters. 20120829-171338.jpg

20120829-171413.jpg

And because I’m a bookworm, I had to head over to the infamous New York Public Library. You can’t help but be inspired when you’re surrounded by so many great works of Literature. Libraries tend to have an ambiance of creativity and purpose to me. It’s almost impossible to not be productive when I’m in one, much less in the same five-mile radius of one.

Consider this a prequel of my ‘Updates’ post that I’m working on. New York is everything that I thought it would be and then some. If you thought I wasn’t posting because of the lack of inspiration, you’ll find yourself terribly mistaken. If anything, this city has not only been inspirational, but deviously distracting as well. For instance, I got an invite to an Urban Outfitters Party tomorrow which I know will be a blast. Sounds great, and it is, but I must inform you that I have to head over right after a 9hr shift. The party doesn’t end till to 10/11pm, it’s an hour commute to get home, I have work 7am the next morning, and I must be up by 5am.

Anyhow, enough of my ramblings for now. The overpowering grumbles from my stomach are starting to distract the fellow library goers and myself. I’ll be sure to fill you guys in on the shenanigans that I’ve gotten into so far in the next post.

Distractedly yours,

Kay

PS. I’m posting from an App on my phone, because I still don’t have Internet at home. Not quite sure how this looks on a computer and I apologize if it looks a bit off!