Pyongyang Marathon

I’m planning on running a marathon in every country that has one. I found a list of races with about 70 countries represented on it, which seems like a very doable goal considering it took just under 11 years to do the 50 states. I didn’t start out with the goal of running each state so in the first three years I only did four marathons and I took a full year off for an injury too.  Countries will be more expensive and have more travel time, so I can expect this to take longer, but I’m so excited about it.

When I told other people about my goal, they would ask about going to war torn countries but I explained many don’t have races. It did inspire me to look at races that have a challenge to get there and North Korea was one of the first ones researched. When I first looked up the Pyongyang Marathon, only elite international runners were allowed in. Now I saw “every day runners” (but arguably elite for women) are allowed in with a sub 3:00 time. For the half-marathon they don’t have this time restriction. I did some more research and came across this tour info. I would LOVE to do this so much!! Normally a half-marathon wouldn’t get me to travel somewhere, but for this, ABSOLUTELY!

I met Anders (an avid traveler, tour guide, writer for Swedish Runners World) in North Dakota. North Dakota was state 43 for both of us. Since then he’s finished his 50 states and finished an incredible amount of countries. I won’t tell you how many because I’m incredibly jealous. Anyway, I’m sure when I’ll do this, he’d be a willing travel companion. He may even beat me to it.

Slow start

It took me until today to get to another spin class. Blah.

Sunday I worked all day so I couldn’t find a class. I had downloaded the app Cycle Coach so tried it in the gym in my building. The problem was it was an upright bike but not a spin bike and when I would go into third position the wheel would lurch. I gave up after 5 minutes because I didn’t feel like peddling as fast as I could on my tush. I ran on the treadmill instead.
Monday was a rest day. Tuesday I played tennis for two hours and then worked upper body with Jehina. Wednesday was a hard leg workout with Jehina. Thursday I played tennis and then went to a vinyasa class. Today I played tennis and finally went to spin again. I got there early so I ended up being on the bike for 70 minutes.
I enjoyed today’s class more than the first but it took me about 35 minutes to start feeling good. I have that happen when I run too. Most of the time it takes seven or eight miles to feel warmed up and ready to give 100% effort.

This coming week I’m going to put more effort into going to classes since that was my plan for the month. I won’t set the bar high- maybe just three classes instead of this weeks measly two.

Spinning with G

Gary and I took a spin class at Asphalt Green this morning. It was my first since 2010 so I only had a vague idea how to set up my bike. I had to attach clips, which took longer than it should have since I didn’t do it properly. The class itself felt pretty cramped, bikes were in close proximity to each other. I imagine most classes in NYC will be like this since space is at a premium. At the beginning I was very sensitive to the crowding because I prefer some distance and it was reminding me of a corral at a race or Britney Spears in Vegas concert. I also didn’t want to be pelted with sweat or bodily fluids by anyone near by – it happens in full Bikram yoga classes.
The total ride time for the class was 50 minutes. At 15:40 I started sweating but kept thinking, “running is way harder.” I was in control of the intensity of my workout but because I’m so used to endurance races I kept finding myself settle at a comfortable pace and I would really have to push myself to ride harder. The positives were I sweated for most of the class and I was done with cardio early in the day, next time I’ll push harder.
Tomorrow I work most of the day and I haven’t been able to find an evening spin class in my neighborhood. I’m going to keep looking because I would like to take a class every day until the race. I downloaded three different spin apps so I’ll go to the gym and do one on my own if I end up not finding one.
Lastly, here’s my calf before my month of spinning next to Gary’s. We didn’t really get a good photo because all our running group agrees Gary has the most defined calves and should be a Shape-up model.

Gary's Shape-up calf

Gary’s Shape-up calf