Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sunday Morning Central Park

 "Twenty two degrees out.  And the wind chill make it feels like 16."  That's what the newscaster reported before I started out for a run in the most famous park in the world.  The sun was out, but the icy chill in the air made my legs tingle and my fingers turn to icicles.  But there was no way I was turning back -- this was Central Park!

So I headed due north from the Theater District and could see the bare trees just a few blocks in front of me.  Traffic was light on a Sunday morning.  A few taxis here and there, but mostly one-way open roads that cut through skyscrapers.  I ran past Radio City Music Call, the Ed Sullivan Theater, Rockefeller Center onto the paths of the most amazing acreage of Manhattan and directly into --oncoming runners!  Today was the Manhattan Half Marathon!  Thousands of runners spending their morning in 16 degrees, running 13.1 miles.

I will never complain again about dipping desert temps in Arizona.  New Yorkers are tough.  I was amazed at their determination and spirit.  Nothing stops a New Yorker.  My morning was awesome.  My run, spectacular.

I love NY.

The dogs were loving the snow banks
The runners kept coming and coming

The freezing temperatures just added to the ambiance

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Man In The Mirror

"If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at your self and then make that change."

These lyrics remind me of my friend Phil Lowry, who will be running as a VIP in this year's Phoenix Marathon.  I asked him to share his story.  Here it is....

Phil Lowry returns to his roots with this year's Phoenix Marathon.  A graduate of Westwood High School, he and race director Lorie Tucker both swam for Westwood on the swim team, and activity Phil took up because he "hated running."

After putting on 15 pounds in undergraduate and law schools, he looked for a way to get fit after taking a job as an attorney in Utah.  He started out hiking (remember, he hated running), and then caught the brand-new mountain bike craze.  A year later he met some extraordinary people who actually would run 100 miles through the Utah mountains every year in the Wasatch Front 100-Mile Endurance Run.

This was back when Wasatch was only one of five 100-milers in the country and less than 100 people would participate.  Phil vowed to finish, and did so in his first ever organized footrace, an hour under the 36-hour cutoff.  Battered by the distance but not defeated, he has come back virtually every year to conquer the Wasatch course.  In 2010 he finally broke the 24-hour barrier to earn the coveted Crimson Cheetah award.  Since then he has finished 32 100-milers, finishing under 24 hours at Wasatch, the Bear 100, the Black Hills 100, and the Rocky Raccoon 100, and under 20 hours at the Pony Express 100.  He has run the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in 9:41 (2012).

Along this journey Phil has volunteered to help Wasatch with its GPS mapping, and has also helped direct the Bear 100 in Utah and Idaho since 2001.  He also assists other races across the country with his substantial geospatial equipment and knowledge, measuring distance and creating maps.  He loves both running and directing races, both activities giving him particular meaning.

Two of the years he has missed the racing season have been because of his military service as a judge advocate in the Utah National Guard.  Phil just returned from Afghanistan, where he served as a military lawyer to the Special Forces.  This has given his life further meaning, and also taught him that it is possible to run 130 miles per week on a treadmill for months on end.

Supporting Phil in all that he loves is his wife, Kristina, and eight children.  His eldest son is a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, and ran his first marathon with Phil last May, the week before Phil left for Afghanistan.  His second daughter Sophia and second son Phillip III also finished their first marathon that day.  Later, last fall, Sophie, Phillip III, and Phil's eldest daughter Maria finished another marathon, dedicating their run to Phil while he was deployed.

Phil practices law in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is the judge advocate for the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne).  He runs for the Utah National Guard marathon and ultramarathon teams, and is an active Army paratrooper.

Phil, I'll see you in a few weeks at the Phoenix Marathon!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Gloves Are On! ... (bc they don't have to come off)

I am a glove wearer when the weather turns frightful.  My fingers are usually the first things to go when temperatures dip.  Plus, my nose ALWAYS runs as I run ... TMI?  That's why gloves are essential for the chilly willy mornings.  That being said, I am big a fan of  Lululemon Running Gloves.

When a friend gives you a gift like these gloves, you know they are a true friend.  They're looking out for your well being.  They don't have to actually push their style onto yours.  They've taken care to get you something in your size.  I mean, THAT's the sign of a true friend and a perfect gift.

I've been running in these "Brisk Run" gloves for awhile now, and there are several reasons I enjoy them.  Number one, they're just the right balance of warmness yet breathability.  Number two, super soft and even reflective to oncoming cars.  But number three is my favorite:  the pads on the index and thumb of these gloves are made from a different material that allows you to text and turn on your phone without taking the gloves off.  Ingenious, right?  I mean, who want to expose their fingers to  frigid morning winter temperatures? Not me.

Basically, I'm having a hard time NOT finding something I like at Lulu.  But for now, these babies are at the top of my FAVORITE THINGS chart.  Oh, and the ear covering headband is a close second. But I'll save that for another day. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True