favorite running gear

Interview with a Runner

What can we say about Rob? He's funny, witty, convinced an awesome girl to marry him, runs, is really good at stick figure drawings and oh, likes to complain about things. He lives in Tribeca NY and plans to get famous via the internet. He's a recovering lawyer who tutors High School kids. He's a 3 time NYC Marathon deferrer - we are getting him to run it this year - look out 2013! Check out his blog and Facebook page for insights and laughs.

How do you know us - Hot Bird Running?
I own a BBQ Chicken establishment in Brooklyn, NY.  Every day, Meghan and Jessica run by and wave.  I thought we were friends.  In 2010, they stole the name of my business and used it as their own.  I recently initiated a high stakes law suit to bar them from diluting the "Hot Bird" brand.

OK, fine. I went to Hamilton College with them. (note from the Hot Birds - and he thinks our biz name is VERY clever!)

What are your current running goals? Are you training for anything?
A HORRIBLE toe injury put me on the shelf for several months. It happened during a yoga class. I'd share pictures with you, but I put them on facebook and a lot of people flipped out. Apparently feet pictures are a "thing" for some people (not in a good way).

Now that I have recovered enough to run with only mild pain, my running goals are:

a) Run at least 2 days per week;

b) Increase to 3 days per week after I complete goal "a" once; and

c) Run the NYC Marathon (I’m now a three time deferrer).  I just can’t get over how hot it gets in August.  I sweat a lot.  Everyone’s all like “Oh, you just have to run at 5 am.  It’s not so hot then.  Yeah, it’s not so hot, but it’s 5 am.  That’s insane.  No one does that.  Plus, it’s still hot.  And 18 miles is really far. 

Who or what inspires you to run?

What is your favorite running route/place to run?
The bagel run I do every weekend morning.

Who is your favorite person to run with and why? 

I love to run with other people.  So if I picked a specific favorite, I'd have to deal with “how come you don’t like running with me the most??????” conversations.  I don’t want that.

Instead, here is a list of characteristics of my ideal running buddy, taken from actual traits that I admire in runners.  

An ideal running partner: 

-        Talks A LOT.  Like non-stop.  

If I have to do the talking, then I get winded too fast.  Then I get tired and want to stop.  So I like to run with someone who does all the talking for me. Like a live podcast.  

 One friend literally recounts stories from the New Yorker to me on long runs.  Why is that great?  Because every one else hates reading the New Yorker and doesn’t have the patience to slog through a whole 30-page article.  When a friend takes the time to read it, AND remember the fun details, AND tell them to me like a little story, I almost forget how hot I am on mile 2.  It’s like running with Malcolm Gladwell.

- Is faster than I am, but only a smidge.

If your friend is too fast, then you feel like an ass for ruining their run.  If they are way slower than you are, then you get antsy.  So the ideal running partner runs a little faster, but not so fast that you have to tug the back of her shirt when she pulls ahead.  

Running with someone faster means that sometimes I get tired and huffy puffy and bitch a lot.  But it also means that when we train together, I’m forced to work harder than I probably want to, which isn't a bad thing and gives me plenty to complain about at the time.  

- Doesn’t let me stop when I want to.

I warn everyone up front that I'm going to complain a lot.  The best running partners tolerate my complaints, but do nothing to accomodate them.  

Like when we're running and there's a big hill, I’d be all, “this is hard, I don’t want to go up that hill, I’m tired, Running is stupid, can’t we just stop, I hate you, why did you make me do this, it’s 5 am in the morning and August, I’m sweating so much, did my heart just stop beating?  I think it did, do I look pale?  Why aren’t you sweating?”  

The ideal running partner just says, "Shut up, Rob."  

Then I shut up and berate my running partner in my head.  When I finish my imaginary rant, we’d be at the top of the hill and I’d say, “That was easy.”  We'd laugh.  Then I’d collapse and an ambulance would pick me up.  It was fun for everyone.

- Is organized and motivated.  

I won't negotiate how far we’re going to run, what time we’re going to run, or where we’re going to run.  But if someone else has a plan, I'll just do it.  It's especially helpful when someone else puts together a calendar and emails it to me. 

But the best running partners never cancel.  Once someone cancels, then it's allowed.  I try to come up with any excuse I can muster to get out of a run if I'm feeling lazy.  If the other person has never canceled on me, then I know I can't cancel because I'll get in trouble.  However, once there's been a cancellation, it becomes allowed and expected.  Like stopping at a water table during a race.  If you go by the first ten tables without stopping, you don't think about water.  Once you stop and drink and your legs take a break and realize how magical it feels to stop and rest, then ever water station becomes a little panacea of awesomeness. 

-  Carries one of those idiotic looking fanny backs with water.

My friend Jess does this.  I didn't want to mention names, but she wears one of those tool belt things and it looks ridiculous and I mock her for it relentlessly.  Goddamnit, though, I love that thing when I'm thirsty and she lets me have a sip.

What is the best piece of running advice you ever received and who was it from?
In 1980, my dad ran the NYC Marathon in 3hr 19min (suck it, Meghan). I was two. To commemorate my dad's race, my mom bronzed one of his disgusting, smelly sneakers. My friends thought it was stupid to have a golden shoe in the living room.

So when I first started running, and was feeling particularly lazy and unmotivated, my good friend Ryan said, “Hey, if your dad can run a marathon in that heavy bronze shoe, you can do half in those shitty Brooks. So I did.






 What is your favorite running gear/piece of clothing?
Body Glide. Second favorite is this hideous yellow Fred LeBow shirt (the combination of the mustard yellow and the face picture is a real winner):


Interview with a Runner

Jaema Berry, is a dancer and choreographer in New York living in the greatest borough [her words!] - Brooklyn - in the Prospect Heights neighborhood.  During the last couple years as the assistant manager for the lululemon athletica Brooklyn Showroom, she turned into an awesome runner willing to try out any running or cross training workout we throw her way! 

How do you know us - Hot Bird Running?
I met the Hot Bird ladies through work at lululemon. Meghan and Jessica led the run club at the store, and after months of me protesting, saying "I'm not a runner," they got me to hit the park with them. That was almost two years ago!

What are your current running goals? Are you training for anything? 
Last year I ran my first real race - a half marathon in Vancouver [the SeaWheeze Half Marathon]. It was a blast! Right now my goals are to keep up consistent moderate running (10-12 miles a week) all through the winter, and to ramp up and run another half in less than two hours. My first one was a 2:09:56, so I just gotta get a bit faster!

Who or what inspires you to run?
When I started, running was about the personal challenge. I HATED running growing up. As an adult, I still hated it - I'd try to run every couple years and my knees would swell, my joints would be painful, etc. My efforts never lasted more than a couple days. Learning how to use my body effectively in running was so inspiring to me personally, and what a fantastic challenge after 20 years of refusing to take it on!

Now, though, what keeps me going is the opportunity to be outside! I have never been for a run indoors - the longest time I've spent on a treadmill is the five minutes of intervals in a Barry's Bootcamp class - and I want to keep it that way! I grew up skiing and playing outdoors, and running is a way to get out, see the city, feel the sun (with sunscreen, naturally!), and breathe some fresh air.

What is your favorite running route/place to run?
I like to switch it up! For a longer run, I love running the bridges - over the Brooklyn Bridge and back on the Manhattan Bridge. Especially if it's first thing in the morning and I've beat most of the traffic. It's challenging on the inclines and the view is incredible. I also love a run in the park with some trails mixed in - the northeast part of Prospect Park is fun to get lost in, and the bridle path on the north end of Central Park was one of my favorite training spots when I lived up there last summer.

Who is your favorite person to run with and why? 
The Hot Birds, of course! (For real!) Other than those ladies, I love running with my fiance in Prospect Park and stopping for a cup of coffee after at Sit and Wonder on Washington Ave. My brother, Ivor, is a fantastic running buddy, too. He lives in Seattle so we don't get to run together very often, but when I visit we take his Labradoodle for a run. Ivor was my partner in crime during the Sea Wheeze in Vancouver - he ran ten miles of it with me without training! He's a tough cookie.... but he was much more sore than I was the next morning!

What is the best piece of running advice you ever received and who was it from?
Don't start too fast. This was such a game-changer for me, and it's hands-down the advice that got me started on a running routine that lasts. This is what Meghan told me during my first runs - run/walk, run slowly, keep it comfortable and build strength. Even now, if I'm having a tough running day, it's liberating to know I can just slow down and keep going. I may slow down, but I don't stop!

What is your favorite running gear/piece of clothing?
My lulu bright yellow "What The Fluff" pullover! I love that its light enough to not be bulky and warm enough that it kept me running outside all winter. And I will run every race I do in my Inspire Crops. :)