Alumni Spotlight: Christie Crowl

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What events have you ran with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is the Lafayette Reservoir, close to my home in Walnut Creek, California, which is about 25 miles outside of San Francisco. There is a 3-mile paved loop just around the water as well as a 5-mile trail with significant inclines and amazing views of the east bay.  And plenty of other dogs for our yellow lab, Posey, to meet along the way!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I am a big country music fan, so I use my running time to listen to my favorite country songs.  A lot of people like to change up their workout music frequently, but for me there is something comforting about knowing exactly where I am in my run once I hear Tim McGraw start to play!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I always try to have a good mix of carbs and protein after I run, and since I do most of my weekday runs after work, I generally have dinner post-run.  But I for my long runs on the weekends, I have been known to park my car close to a local doughnut shop so that I can look forward to a maple old-fashioned when I return!  Sometimes my husband will even run with me for a bit and turn around early so that it’s waiting for me when I get there!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My mom has been a P.E. teacher at our local elementary school for almost 23 years and has dedicated her career to instilling a love for running, fitness, and healthy habits in thousands of students, including me!  She helped me start running and playing sports at a young age, so daily movement has always been part of my life.  I think that one of my dad’s proudest moments was when I was the fastest kid — girl or boy! — in a timed run around the bases at our city’s youth baseball league tryouts.  Fast-forward about 20 years and my mom and I are still running together, and she’ll be waiting for me at Mile 18 in NYC!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I don’t have any real superstitions, but I always like my shoes to match my race outfit — it’s an excuse to have way too many pairs of running shoes!

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?
I was thrilled to be fulfilling a lifelong goal to run the New York City Marathon, and I am so proud to have run with Team for Kids.  To get the chance to run through all five boroughs with a million people cheering you on is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and raised in Walnut Creek, moved to Los Angeles for college (go Bruins!), and came back to San Francisco for law school.  After living in San Francisco for a few years, my husband and I moved back to Walnut Creek, so I’ve really come full circle!  And now I can join my mom on runs again and get to enjoy her company as well as the company of my family’s adorable yellow lab, Posey, who loves to head out for a run just as much as we do.

What excited you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
As I said earlier, my mom is a P.E. teacher and two of my best friends are teachers as well, one of whom actually teaches in the Bronx (shout out to Bronx Success Academy 1!).  All of those educators have stressed the importance of their students’ health and fitness, and have also indicated that students’ academics and confidence levels directly benefit from the types of programs provided by NYRR and Team for Kids.  Being an athlete and having access to sports programs when I was younger has made me who I am today, and I know that the funds that I have raised will help build after-school running programs and enrich the lives of students in New York City and around the country.

Are you currently training for any events with TFK or do you plan to run any in the future, if so which events?
I am not currently training for any events, but I spent some time in London last summer and I would absolutely love to do the London Marathon someday!

What would you tell someone who was considering running with Team for Kids?
Running with Team for Kids will absolutely make your marathon experience incredible.  From the training plans to the coaches’ advice to the team huddle before the start gun, you always have someone encouraging you.  And knowing your fundraising efforts are helping to produce some amazing tiny athletes will keep you going when those runs get tough!

Site Spotlight: M.S. 577 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Site M.S. 577 is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is enrolled in both Mighty Milers and Young Runners. Coach Heather Darling-Cortes was inspired to coach the Young Runners program to help youth develop healthy habits. In addition to the physical benefits of the program, Heather shared how Young Runners is building a healthy culture at the school. “Young Runners and Mighty Milers are incredibly important programs for our kids. These programs bring students together for positive experiences in addition to rewarding efforts of the students and teaching them the importance of goal setting and perseverance.”

Tip of the Week: Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the most important topics we will discuss this season. It is essential that each one of you “experiment” during your runs (especially your long runs) to learn what foods, liquids and supplements (gels, blocks, bars, etc.) work best for you before, during and after exercise. We are all unique individuals so what works best for your friend may not work best for you. TFK recently hosted a nutrition clinic provided by a local nutritionist, Lauren Thomas of Nutrition Energy. Lauren covered the basics of nutrition for endurance athletes. The primary focus of her talk was on the importance of nutrition and hydration before and during exercise. Please review the handout, linked here, that Lauren provided so you can begin to learn more about the importance of sports nutrition. Please reach out to one of your coaches ASAP if you have any additional questions by emailing tfkcoach@nyrr.org.

Member Spotlight: Dorothy Evans

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running the Big Apple Challenge (United Airlines NYC Half and TCS NYC Marathon) and the AirBNB Brooklyn Half with Team for Kids!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I often run in Astoria, because I live here, but I love how Team for Kids had us run in many different areas in preparation for last year’s TCS New York City Marathon. This year I need to beat those Harlem hills, so I practice a lot in Central Park.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I like to run with people, so I normally don’t use music. If I run solo I use a mix of music such as Rap, Rock and top 40.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Depends on the length of my run, but I always have a coconut water. I eat protein (eggs, chicken, or steak) and veggies. If I’m on the road, I do a Gluten-Free protein bar.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I really only started running last year. I was turning 50 in August and always wanted to run the NYC Marathon. Since I had an ACL replacement, I didn’t think I could run. I absolutely hated the DREADmill, so I had no love for running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The night before I pack my bag and eat Steak Frittes from Fattys cafe in Astoria.

Morning of…wrap my knee with K.T. tape.

Why did you choose to run this event?
To continue my journey with the TFK family.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor who believes in being a positive role model.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Knowing that I have a team of amazing coaches and teammates working together to help children throughout America.

Connect with Dorothy via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dorothy.y.evans
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dorothyevanstrainer/

Tip of the Week: Pacing

Now that you all are experienced runners and have a few weeks of training under your belt, it’s time to talk about pacing. Over the past few weeks you have been introduced to a variety of workouts, such as easy runs, long runs, recovery runs and speed or hill repeats. These workouts have hopefully taught you that there is more to running then just lacing up your shoes and running as hard or as long as you can every time you run. Each workout has a purpose, and it’s critical that you understand the variety of paces (efforts) sooner rather than later to ensure a healthy and productive training season.

Let’s start with a brief description of each workout that you will encounter throughout the season:

1- Easy: This is a conversational-pace effort in which you should literally be able to carry on a conversation with your running buddy (or yourself) from start to finish. The primary purpose of an easy run is to build a base for more intense workouts and to assist with recovery between hard workouts. Most of your training runs this season will be completed at this effort. These type of workouts typically utilize a 3:3 breathing pattern.

2- Long: The focus of these workouts is to get your legs used to running for a prolonged period of time. The effort is similar to an EASY run and also utilizes a 3:3 breathing pattern.

3: Recovery: The sole purpose of this workout is to do exactly what the title of the workout says: RECOVER. It gives your body a chance to run on tired and fatigued legs (very useful for endurance athletes). The recommended breathing pattern for this workout is a 4:4.

4: Threshold (Tempo): The purpose of these workouts is to raise your lactate threshold, which is the ability to cope with, and minimize, lactic acid in the blood. These workouts are typically described as “comfortably hard” (slightly faster than your half-marathon pace) and utilize a 2:2 breathing pattern.

5: Repeats: The purpose of these workouts is aimed at improving speed, strength (hills) and running economy (efficiency). These workouts are completed at HARD efforts and utilize a 1:1 breathing pattern.

To provide you with a little more assistance in learning and understanding your individual pacing, here’s a great calculator you can utilize from legendary coach Jack Daniels and The Run Smart Project; https://runsmartproject.com/calculator/

For those visual learners, here’s a quick example of a runner who wants to complete the NYC Half Marathon in 2 hours:                                              

1- Click here: https://runsmartproject.com/calculator/
2- Enter distance:
Half Marathon
3- Enter your half marathon time (goal): 2:00 (9:09 pace/mile)
4- Record (and observe) the following training paces:

                a- Easy: 10:35-11:11

                b- Threshold (Tempo): 8:51

                c- Repetition: 200m (58 seconds), 400m (1:55) and 800m (3:50)   

In this example, one key thing to note  is just how “easy” the easy pace is compared to the half marathon pace. The easy pace is approximately 1.5 to 2 minutes slower than the goal half-marathon pace. How fast is your easy pace? On average, most runners complete their easy and long runs TOO fast, which leads to increased stress and overuse injuries. Remember, there is a purpose for every workout so when instructed to run easy, slow down, and well, run easy.

Please let your coaches know if you have any questions or need further assistance with your pacing.

Member Spotlight: Tomas Nochta

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 United Airlines NYC Half!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Most of the time I run on the Saddle River County Park path in NJ. It is close to my house so I don’t have to drive. When the weather gets warmer and will have more time on the weekend I will definitely do some trail runs with the members of the Facebook Group “Runners of Bergen County”.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I usually run without music but like to listen podcasts. My favorite one is This American Life. If I don’t listen to anything I love to enjoy he nature around me.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I do not have any favorite post run meal, but I do like to refuel with some energy bars and Gatorade. I do enjoy a good and nutritious meal like chicken or salmon.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running in May 2015. Actually I started before, but never really make it for longer than a day. Many times I gave up and turned back at the end of the block. I started running to lose weight and keep in shape. My inspiration is my mentor, Rachel Pratt, who I admire on her success of running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I only ran few races and haven’t developed any ritual yet :)

Why did you choose to run this event?
I choose to run the United Airlines NYC Half because I want to run thru Manhattan. Crossing Times Square with cheering fans all over and to run along the West Side Highway is priceless.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am originally form Slovakia and came to New York in 2006 and fell in love with the city. Life was rough in the beginning, but thanks to my friends support, I adapted to the new environment quickly. I am currently working in the hospitality industry. My career started from an entry level position where I learned a lot from my mentor, and has evolved to my current management position. Thank you to my wife being my greatest supporter. I love to travel, ski and run. Living in NJ and working in NYC make it difficult to find time for running especially in the winter because it gets dark early. However, I do not give up and still run even when it is dark and cold as I really enjoy running. My goal is one day to run a Marathon in a foreign country.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am inspired by the mission of Team for Kids. I like the impact Team for Kids has on our youth. I am also excited about the crowd and hopefully to see my awesome team of co-workers cheering me on when I run by them.

Connect with Tomas via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.nochta
Instagram: https://instagram.com/TheTomasN
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-nochta-033a484b