Tag Archives: nyc

The Perks of Living in a Walking City

15 Nov

I don’t know if I’ve said this here, but I love living in New York. It’s awesome.

From the garbage on the streets to the guy peeing in the corner of the subway, it’s truly an enchanting, quaint little town.

My favorite thing is that you can get anywhere by foot. Manhattan, where I reside, is 32 miles around the island. If you’re training for a marathon, you’re set.

The best part, though, is just walking. I’m a wanderer. I often have no plan of attack, except perhaps finding a nice cafe or a wine bar. Usually I’m just out exploring new neighborhoods. I will trek from the Brooklyn Bridge to the meat packing district and will have only stopped for a cup of joe at Joe. I’ll take a stroll on the High Line and end up walking to Macy’s at Herald Square to buy a new ‘fit.

A lot of exercise is just taking that first step. When I began my weight-loss journey, all I could do is walk. I was living in Atlanta and would get my morning exercise at the park around the corner. In the beginning, I could muster just three miles an hour walking. Now, I cringe at that rate, but I had to start somewhere.

The first step is the hardest. You have to will yourself into taking it. What do you want to learn about yourself during the process? Always have a goal in mind, but you need motivation for that first step.

When I backslide, which happens more than I’d like, my motivation to get up and walk around the city is that I don’t want to be how I was before: sedentary. There’s so much to see and do here that I’ve walked for hours without noticing. And I’m burning calories in the process. I’m learning more about the city and what I enjoy about it.

But that comes from living in a city that encourages walking. I was born and raised on the north side of St. Louis where walking around is OK, but you’ll still get the occasional side-eye. So on my visits back, I have to find places to go. Forest Park is perfect for seeing some beautiful aspects of a great historical city. The park offers so many sights, and as a native St. Louisan I can’t stress this enough: pretty much everything in the park is free. Parking, the zoo, the science center, the museum—they’re all free.

These are a few suggestions on how to get moving during a lull. Maybe it will motivate you to do a little more to burn a few more calories. Moving can be motivating.

What are some of the best walking routes in your city?

I Did It: Asics Treadmill Challenge

4 Nov

“I Did It” is a feature post running on I’m Skinny, Now What where I will tackle a new workout or diet and give you my opinion. Wish me luck, because I don’t like changing my routine.

The ING New York City Marathon was this weekend and the entire city was abuzz with action. One of the marathon’s sponsors is sportswear maker Asics, which also sponsors runner Ryan Hall. Ryan take about 4.8 minutes per mile, or about 12.5 miles per hour. I’ve never even thought of going that fast. I average at about 10 minutes per mile, or about 6 mph.

For the past week, Asics had a treadmill truck roaming about the city, challenging New Yorkers to keep pace. I knew I couldn’t keep up for long, but what really drew me in what the harness and bungee cord attached to the truck. When you run out of steam, you just sit back in the harness and kind of float off the treadmill. If anything it would just be fun to do.

So, I did it. I found the truck on its last day before the race and signed up. I was the first woman to participate. The announcer kept saying they needed more women, but I was the one who took the bait. The first guy to try it stayed in the treadmill for more than three minutes, the longest of anyone Asics had seen all week. The following guys all stayed on for about a minute.

A minute? Psssh, I can do that. Right?

Um, not so much. While I had the distinction of being the first woman, I had honor finishing in 22 seconds 😦

treadmill challenge

What I learned

I’ve never seen myself run; I’m usually outside when I do it. Imagine my surprise to see I run like a velociraptor. Also, I might want to start looking up. But the guy who strapped me in was super nice and supportive. He kept telling me to just keep running. He was like my Jenny. And, like I suspected, floating off the treadmill was all kinds of fun. If it comes back next year, I’ll definitely try it.