I’ve been running since I was thirteen. I’ve led multiple running groups throughout my career in the fitness industry. And yet, I still feel intimidated when joining a new running group.

By nature I’m an introvert. I’m most comfortable doing most things alone and I treasure my solo time out on the road. However, despite my social anxieties and awkwardness, joining a group of runners for workouts always enhances my love of the sport.


I truly believe that running with like-minded people is why I was able to cross qualifying for the Boston Marathon off my bucket list. Without the supportive group of women I ran with for over a year while training for Boston, I don’t think I would have been able to actually hit my goal. They inspired me to keep digging deep day after day.

If you’re intimidated by a joining a running group, like I was (and sometimes still am) here are my suggestions on how to let go of your anxieties and just have fun!

  1. Remember, no one is judging you! You are the only person who cares how slow or how fast you run.
  2. If runners in the group are faster than you, don’t worry about keeping up with them. Focus on the fact that you’ll have people to high-five at the end of your run.
  3. Runners are some of the most supportive and encouraging people on the planet. Join the group to give and receive support.
  4. We’re all in this together. Everyone who joined the group was once a newbie who was probably just as intimidated or nervous as you are.
  5. Don’t be afraid if you don’t know anyone. Runners are friendly and welcoming so introduce yourself and next thing you know, you’ll be chatting the miles away.

My goal for the month is to do a workout with a new running group. I’ll check in on Instagram to let you know how it goes!


NYRR Bronx 10 Mile Race

For the past two years I ran the NYRR Bronx 10-Mile race as a part of a long training run. It’s been one of my favorite ways to mix up my long run route. This year, I’ve stuck to my word and I am not running a marathon (admittedly, I broke down and signed up for a marathon, but I am NOT actually running it after all).

If you are running the New York City Marathon and are running the Bronx-10 as a part of the long run, you’ll easily be able to incorporate parts of the NYCM into your long run route.

This route follows mile 16 – 20 of the marathon route and is a great way to run miles before the race.

This route follows miles 20.5 – 26.2 of the marathon route and is a great route to run right after you cross the finish line in the Bronx. You’ll get to experience the incline that runs from 110th street to 90th street on Fifth Avenue.

Both of these routes are easy to follow and fun to run!


2015 NYRR 5th Avenue Mile Recap

by Jess on September 15, 2015

Yesterday, I ran my fourth New York Road Runner’s 5th Avenue Mile. It’s the second time I’ve ran it all out. The other years I was coming off of an injury, but ran it for fun because I had signed up for it.

The first year I ran the race, I had zero expectations. I ran as fast as I could and pulled out a super random 6:06. It was definitely the fastest mile I’ve ran as an adult. The problem with unexpectedly running a fast race when you weren’t very fit is that it puts a lot of pressure on that race distance the next time you run it.

For a few years now, I’ve really wanted a sub 6:00 5th Avenue Mile. There are several problems with this goal. For starters I’m old. I’m not training specifically for a one mile race. And I’ve only raced one mile twice since high school (HS definitely doesn’t count when you’re about to turn the big 4-0!).


The Course

The course starts at 80th street and runs straight down 5th Avenue to 60th Street. The first 1/4 mile is downhill. The second 1/4 mile is a bit of an uphill. The third 1/4 mile is flat, while the last 1/4 is a slight downhill full of agony.

The Warm-Up: 

The corrals for this race are age-based, not time-based. While I know there are several thousand NYRR racers who are faster than I am, I also know that I didn’t want to waste time dodging slower runners. This meant I knew I had to be done with my warm-up and in my corral with at least 15 minutes before gun time to make it to the second or third row at the start line. I figured the longer my warm-up was, the longer it would take me to cool-down. I ran 3 miles and probably 5-6 strides before getting into my corral.


The Race:

Just after I lined up, Liz jumped in to the corral beside me and convinced me to move to a different spot at the start line to join a few of her Dashing Whippet teammates. This might have been the best thing to happen at any race I’ve run this year. Two of her teammates said they were hoping to run a 6:15. To which I replied “Oh, I’d like to run that!”

They seemed to be just as nervous as I was, which made me feel less crazy. We chatted a bit before the gun went off and agreed we needed to run in a straight line to avoid losing precious seconds. I really had no idea what I was capable of doing for this race, but I knew I wanted to try to hang on to those speedy ladies.

The gun went off and those two ladies took off so quickly! Based off how far ahead of me they were, I assumed I was running a 6:40 or slower pace.

I vowed to not look at any course clocks and maintain an effort level 9 until I hit 400 meters to go. At 400 meters I kicked it into my highest gear and for a brief foolish second I thought my goal was in reach. I caught up to one of the ladies from the Dashing Whippets, but definitely did NOT run a sub 6:00 mile.

While I felt like I was going to trip over my feet or that my legs were going to give out, I also gave up a teeny little bit and didn’t give it 100% all the way through the finish line.IMG_0927

After thoughts:

I finished with a 6:14, which was almost exactly the time I spoke about before the race. I wonder if that’s why I ended up with that time? Either way I finished with my highest age graded performance percentage ever! My 6:06 is from five years ago, so maybe age is playing a part here. Either way, I can’t help but be slightly disappointed with my time.

What’s next:

I know it’s already September and it’s been a really long time since I’ve set a real PR but I’m hopeful I’m able to pull one off this fall. Next up I have the Bronx 10-mile race.


5 Great NYC Running Routes

Running in NYC is great. There are tons of routes available to run and if you’re visiting NYC or live here and want to know what routes to take your friends on, here are some great routes that showcase some of the best landmarks in NYC. The best thing about these routes, you don’t have […]

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My Fall Race Schedule

Supposedly this is the last official week of summer. On my run today in Central Park I noticed a few leaves are already changing colors. My initial thought was the first tree I saw must be dying and then I noticed other trees that were transforming as well. Fall always leads to winter, so I’m […]

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Fuel School

If you’re training for a fall marathon or half marathon, it’s likely you are upping the mileage and ready to add some mid-run fuel to your routine. Finding a fueling option that works well for you is super easy for some runners and rather complicated for others. If you are trying mid-run fuel for the […]

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2015 NYRR R-U-N 5k Recap: PR, Maybe?

How long ago did races begin posting race results online? However long ago that began was the last time I ran a 5k as fast as I did last Thursday night. I have mixed feelings about this race and these results. For one, I didn’t run a smart race. For two, I haven’t truly raced […]

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My Summer Training Credo

Run in the heat. Run up the biggest hill. Run with a faster friend. Run in the rain. Run when you don’t want to. Run when the going gets tough. Run faster even when you feel like you can’t. Run without attachment to the outcome. Run without limits. Do the hard thing now so that […]

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Running App Round-up: Our Running Buddies Share What Apps They Love & Why

With marathon training season kicking off for so many runners, Jess and I thought this would be an ideal time to provide everyone with some extra resources that could be helpful for training. We checked in with some of our running friends to see which apps they recommend. Let us know in the comments section […]

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Exciting Announcement!

I’m super excited to announce something I’ve been working really hard on this summer. For a long time I’ve tried to come up with ways I can coach more runners and add value to your training for free in a way that’s different from what you can find in other places. In mid-June a light bulb went […]

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