Fitness, Reviews

Nike Run Club Part Deux… Brasil!

Last night’s Nike Run Club held a pleasant surprise (which hopefully we’ll continue to see from time to time…) Perks!

When we arrived at the store, all runners (it was a big turnout, despite the ominous clouds) were given Brasil shirts, flags, whistles, facepaint, and a raffle ticket to win two tickets to Saturday’s game. We were already psyched up by the gear and excited by the pack of blue shirts as we stretched together, punctuated by cheers and exclamations as (nike) cameras and videographers snapped shorts of the runners.

20120608-114010.jpg

20120608-114023.jpg

(Above: the blue mob stretching, no idea what we’re in for)

This was my first “speed workout” with the club– 1/2 mile repeats with an option to run 4, 5, or 6 miles. We split into our respective groups, and the pacers encouraged us to run one group faster than normal, given that the “repeats” were only 1/2 mile, and then we would have another 1/2 mile to jog/recover before sprinting again. My usual pace is around 8:30 so I ran with the 8s, which turned out to be a zealous 7:45… and well… i’ll just tell you.

It was awesome! You can’t do an Indian run (when you run in a single file line, with the last person sprinting to the front) without a team, you probably wouldn’t keep your base pace at 7:45 without a front pacer, and you certainly wouldn’t have as much fun without all the Brasil hype and a(n extraordinarily talented) videographer skateboarding alongside you the entire way. I eeked out out 3 repeats which turned out to be about 5 miles (we ran to and from our “repeat” spot on the UES) and could practically feel myself adjusting to the faster base pace.

Sold! I’m into it.

*I’ll post the video footage if I can figure out where they’re using it…

Dorkestry

World Science Festival

I’ve been a huge fan of Lawrence Krauss since seeing him earlier this year at AMNH, where he was promoting his newest book, “A Universe from Nothing.” In it, Krauss, a theoretical phyisicist (which is what I decided I’d love to be, if I could do math) essentially assuaged my emerging-athiest philosophical doubts about how the universe could have possibly come into existence without the help of a capital H-i-m.

20120607-115205.jpg

(Above, Krauss on stage at Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Needless to say, I was psyched to learn about the World Science Festival this week and bummed that most of the lectures were sold out, but relieved that there would still be a chance to hear Krauss speak at Brooklyn Bridge Park at sunset on Saturday (see above). Not to mention live music and stargazing through telescopes pointed at the Moon and Saturn (which looks just like cartoon Saturn through a telescope, by the way). The basis of his brief chat this time was the upcoming transit of Venus and its importance for astronomy, and mankind— specifically the search for prospective life on other planets. Kind of important.

I’ll be watching the transit of Venus at AMNH on Tuesday. It’s not happening again for 105 years. Will you watch?

Also, find out how you can still catch more of the World Science Festival on 6/3.

Fitness, Reviews

Believe the Hype – Nike Run Club

I’ve heard mixed reviews of New York’s infamous Nike Run Club, and as someone who (especially when it comes to athletics) will try anything once, I jumped at the chance to join a friend who wanted to give it a shot.

We showed up to our first run ten minutes late (Tuesdays and Thursdays they meet at the nike store at 6:30 pm… it’s called work, people?!) and I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the Yelp reviews about it being “cultish” which is exactly what I’d heard through friends. In fact, I experienced the opposite. There seemed to be a good mix of regulars and first timers, everyone was super friendly— before the run even started I’d struck up a conversation with a stranger.

20120608-100511.jpg

(Above: The view from atop the Queensboro Bridge.)

The running benefits have been measurable as well. My first run with the club was paced faster than I’ve been running in months— and since then the varied weekend routes (routes in the past few weeks have included up and around Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem and back and forth across the Queensboro Bridge— a snap from today’s run is pictured above) have progressively spurred my long-run mileage from 5k to 10k at race pace in just 2 weeks.

Not to mention, one of the pacers introduced me to the *FREE* Nike+GPS app for iphone and android, an incredible tool that maps your pace and time and will be a game changer for any runner with a competitive spirit (read: EVERYONE).

Overall, the club is a great drop-in motivator for those of us who like group running and are looking for a challenge but don’t want the commitment or expense of a full time club.