Susan Sagan-Levitan

Susan Tries to Beat Treadmill Boredom

Susan joined  with editor in chief Betty Wong for a Fitness "Fast Track to a Better Body" workout this week.

Susan joined Editor in Chief Betty Wong for the Fitness "Fast Track to a Better Body" workout this week.

It was another cold one here in NYC. Not only did we get hit with snow, this time we got ice too. Fun! The frozen rain and icy conditions turned the city into an ice skating rink and it was impossible and dangerous to walk outside during the work week–let alone run. Therefore, I did all of my weekday runs on the treadmill. It was warm and precipitation-free at the gym, but running on the treadmill is so boring for me. I covered up the the front of the treadmill with a towel so I couldn’t see  the remaining time  and listened to a great running mix on my iPod, but I was going out of my mind. Does anyone have any suggestions to make treadmill running more enjoyable?

Since the treadmill and I aren’t the greatest of pals, I woke up early on Saturday, even with the wintry mix of rain and snow, and did my long run outside. While I was running, I enjoyed it and even felt invigorated in the cool precipitation. But after I returned home, I realized I was soaking wet and chilled to the bone! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do my long run on Sunday when it was 50 degrees and sunny. Let’s hope next week brings us some better weather!

I still felt rushed before and after my runs and didn’t feel like I did enough stretching. My goal this week: Figure out how to fit flexibility work in.

It was fun to squeeze in a strength training class this week. I joined FITNESS Editor in Chief Betty Wong for a 30-minute “Rear View Rescue” class made up of all the best butt firming exercises that are supposed to make me look better from the behind! The class was challenging and definitely helped to strengthen my glutes and hamstrings–which will be so helpful with my running. The moves we tried (and other tips) are featured in Betty’s new book “FITNESS Fast Track to a Better Body.”

I expect another really busy week ahead, so I’m trying to plot out when to do my workouts now. I feel a bit tired just thinking about it!

Do you prefer running indoors or outdoors? How do you beat training boredom?

Susan Tackles a Hectic Week

Susan's early morning training has her on the right track for race day success.

Susan's early morning training runs have her on the right track for race day success.

Brr! It’s cold here in NYC! Well, I survived my first official week of training. I am typically  very busy, but this week was really packed full (the regular routine of balancing work, my life and my mom chores coupled with a major snowstorm, girl’s night out, client entertaining, hosting out of town family for the weekend, an emergency visit to the doctor with a sick child and hosting a big birthday party for my son at our apartment). I found it challenging to get my training runs in, but I did it!

My favorite run of the week was my long run in Central Park. It was super cold and icy/slushy, but the fresh air was invigorating and the park looked like a winter wonderland.

I followed the Fitness training guide and completed all of my runs. However, I was really tired because the only times I could fit in runs were at 5 a.m. during the week and 6:30 a.m. on the weekend. I was glad that I was able to get the mileage in, but with little sleep at that hour I just didn’t have the “umph” to push myself to do speed training, hills and intervals as suggested on the training guide… Read more

Categories: The Half-Marathon Diaries | Tags:
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Meet Susan, Our Half-Marathoner Giving Back

Susan hits Central Park for a run even after a big snowstorm!

Susan hits Central Park for a run even after a big snowstorm!

I’m Susan, I have a full time job and I’m a mom to two very young boys, and I’ll be running the More/Fitness Half Marathon on April 3rd. I’m active and love to exercise, but up until a few years ago, I really disliked pounding the pavement. Right after I had my second son, I decided to give running another shot to help get me back in shape. And I was hooked! Now I run as often as I can, but I’m not fast—and the funny thing is that I still don’t consider myself a runner.

Goals keep me on track. Shortly after for my 40th birthday, I was determined to run a half-marathon in honor of this big milestone. I squeezed in training, as prescribed by the helpful FITNESS beginner plan, whenever I could. During the workweek I had to use the gym treadmill, although I prefer to run outside, since it was too dark at 5:30 a.m.—the only time I could squeeze in my runs before work. On the weekends, I ran very early in Central Park so my training wouldn’t take away from my family time. Race day was cold and pouring rain—and I’m not going to lie, I almost decided not to run. However, after all of my training, I realized I had to do this no matter what. Despite the wet, cold weather, I had a great race and it was an empowering experience.

Although I’m nervous about fitting the time into my busy schedule to train properly once again, I’m excited to train for the More/Fitness Half Marathon for these reasons:

  1. I’ll stay in shape over winter instead of hibernating and gaining weight.
  2. I’ll become a better runner. Instead of just running the race, I want to do it with better form, push myself to improve my time and enjoy myself more during both the training and the race. Last year, I got all of my runs in, but didn’t do as much stretching and cross training as I should have. This year, I’m aiming for a well-rounded approach for increased strength and injury prevention.
  3. I’ve decided to help raise money for an amazing charity, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. My efforts will help a child cancer patient to attend summer camp. Helping others is a huge boost for my motivation.
  4. Overall, I aim to finish and have fun throughout the process! I‘m excited to start training this week. If you need an extra boost of motivation to get up and run or fit running into your schedule, continue following me on the blog—and we’ll cross that finish line together!