Category Archives: Bloggers

Could I Become a Yogi?

Happy weekend! I cannot tell you how happy I am that the weekend is finally here. I had a very stressful week and found myself basically passing out at 9:30 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday nights. I was completely drained and needed to rest.

And after all my big talk about sticking to my marathon training plan “to the T” this time around, I failed big time as the week progressed. I didn’t run five miles on Thursday night or Friday morning. I had to take Mr. Murph to the vet Thursday night (he’s okay), and then was way t0o tired to get my lazy butt out of bed on Friday morning.

So now it’s Saturday, and I just finished my long run (saw Ali in the park running too), and typically Sunday would be a lovely rest day. Not for me – I have to squeeze in four miles at some point tomorrow. Darn it! Oh well, I’ll just suck it up.

This week was actually a cut-back week in training. So I only had an 8-mile run on the schedule for a long run. I headed out to Central Park around 11:00 a.m. with some light snow falling for a full loop. I went out with a few co-workers for drinks on Friday night, and after about four beers, I wasn’t feeling all that fast and furious this morning. But I knew that I would probably feel decent by the end.

I ran my loop and was actually kind of surprised by my splits:

I ran 8.8 miles in 1:16:20 and was averaging a pretty decent pace. I definitely think the 7:02 pace is totally wrong, but the 8:11 might be right, and that’s pretty good for mile 6 into a long run. Dare I say that I MIGHT be getting back in shape finally?!!

I stopped on my way home at the post office to pick up a pretty exciting little package:

Yes, I am officially addicted to nuun. I will finally admit it. I tried it for the first time before the 2011 Mohawk Hudson River Marathon, and while I can’t say that it was the only reason I was able to finish, I do think it played a part. So as I creep along into week four of my spring training, I was getting nervous to see my nuun tubes disappearing. Drastic action needed to be taken. And now that it is here again, I feel much better.

Ok – so what is it right? I’m sure a lot of other runners out there know about nuun and this is nothing new, but for others here’s the gist:

“Nuun’s special formulation of electrolytes helps increase the amount of water that’s absorbed into the blood stream. That means more of the water you drink is actually used to hydrate you instead of being eliminated because the electrolyte balance wasn’t right. Nuun is not energy. We designed Nuun just for hydration. “

That is the very basic idea from the nuun website – which you should check out if you want more info.

And no, nuun hasn’t asked me to blog about their product or anything like that. I simply really like these little tablets.

Giving Yoga a Shot
I recently got a LivingSocial deal for New York Yoga, which has a location right near our apartment, so I decided today was as good a day as any to go check out their Vinyasa Basics class.

And away I went…

I hate being the newbie to a gym or class and having no clue where to go or what to do. But everyone was very nice and pointed me in the right direction. I found the locker room, put my stuff away, found the room and unrolled my mat. Then a lady next to me said that I should pick up two blocks, a blanket, and a rope thing. Thanks random lady for being so nice to the clearly clueless new chic. Check, check, and check – I was ready to get my yoga on.

The instructor was really great. He was very calming and took things really slow for us. There were only a few poses here and there where my legs or arms would start to shake a bit. But otherwise, I felt like I was pretty in control for it being really only my second classes ever – and the first was YEARS ago. There were a lot of people, but we managed to all find a place.

I REALLY enjoyed the class. Especially after my run in the morning, I could feel my legs and muscles just completely stretching out and breathing. I think it will be good for me to add one or two yoga classes a week to my training to keep my muscles loose.

So, it looks like maybe, just maybe, I could be converted into a Yogi (is that even a term, the right term?).

What about you – do you take yoga? What kinds? Who does the hot yoga?

As part of my deal, I have access to the yoga place on 86th and Lex that has hot yoga – but that is totally intimidating me. Should I give it a shot?

Advertisements

Guest Post: First Marathon with a Sub 3 Hour Goal

Since I’m not running a fall marathon this year (sadness), I decided to check in with my friend’s husband to see how his training for his very first marathon is going. He is running it in October in my hometown and he has a BIG goal – sub 3 hours! Just between you, me (and the blog world) – I’m pretty sure he’s got this goal in the bag. He is super speedy and I can’t wait to see him crush his goal. Anyway, here is a fun guest blog from Bob on training for his very first marathon. Welcome Bob!

———

Thanks, Lindsey, for encouraging me to make my first foray into the world of blogging.  Hopefully this will be a bit more interesting than the usual stuff I write for work (I’m an engineer, so most of my writing material could be used as insomnia treatment).

The Mohawk-Hudson marathon in October will be my first marathon, but I’m no stranger to running.  I ran cross-country and track in high school and college and have trained moderately since then, mixing in the occasional summer road race. 

When I was younger, I figured that I would run a marathon within a couple seasons of finishing my eligibility (I finished my eligibility in ’96).  Unfortunately, the competitive side of me has been a hindrance to getting that first marathon under my belt (ironic sounding, since most people who know me outside of running would not use the word “competitive“ to describe me unless it was prefaced by the word “not“).  I’d always said to myself and others that if I was going to run a marathon, that I would do it “right” and put in some serious training.  Now that my definition of serious training has changed (I no longer feel the need to train like I’m 22), I’m finally ready.  Nonetheless, because I know that competing keeps my motivation to train higher, I’ve decided I want to not only finish my first marathon but shoot for a personally challenging time.  I want to break 3 hours.

Right now I’m a few weeks into my serious training for the marathon.  I’m actually following a workout schedule for the first time since college (I got the schedule off of the Runner’s World website).  I‘m not traditionally a huge fan of schedules and to-do lists (ask my wife), but I view it as a necessary evil.  Every week has a couple of easy runs and three tougher runs.  The tougher runs are: an interval workout on the track at paces well ahead of goal race pace, a 6-9 mile tempo run at about 20-40 seconds ahead of goal race pace depending on the distance, and a long run (14-22 miles) at a pace that is a little slower than goal race pace.    

The workouts are going okay for the most part, but there have been a couple of hiccups.  It’s been pretty easy to meet my time goals on the track workouts.  I’m usually well ahead of my goals, and I always feel pretty good at the end of the workout.  The tempo runs haven’t been too bad either.  I’m generally either at or a little better than my time goals for those.  The long runs have been the biggest challenge to date.  I’ve done five of them so far; three went well, and two went poorly.  On the two that went poorly, I finished the last few miles way slower than I had planned.  Both runs were on hot days where I didn’t pace myself very well early in the run, so mostly I chalk up the poor results to stupidity on my part for running too fast, too early in hot weather.  There is some doubt that creeps in though…maybe my 3 hour time goal will be too challenging?  Maybe I’m better at middle distances than I am at long distances (1500 meters was my best event in college)?

So far my body is holding up okay, but I do have one major annoyance.  I’ve had chronic Achilles tendon problems on my left leg for several years now.  It makes the first mile or so of every run a bit painful and gimpy (the first hundred yards, I run more like someone who’s 67 rather than 37).  Fortunately, it always loosens up. 

To make sure that my tendon doesn’t get too stiff overnight, I’ve been wearing a night-splint to bed.  The sight of me sleeping in my monstrous night-splint really makes Jess (my wife) think that I’m a lunatic for even putting myself through all of this.  Our cat, Desmond, is not a big fan of it either, since it has been the direct cause of his involuntary ejection from the foot of our bed a couple of times when I rolled over. (Similar splint/boot below in photo)

I guess there’s not too much else…I haven’t changed my diet at all really, except that I eat a little more.  It hasn’t been too tough to find time for the runs so far (Jess has been very accommodating on this front).  Running with a water belt for long runs felt a little weird at first, but I’m getting used to it now.  I like my Garmin Forerunner 405 watch.  Plus, I am definitely looking forward to the weather cooling down (especially for those after-work runs during the week).

I plan to send Lindsey a follow-up after the race with my thoughts on how it all went.  It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out.  I’m sure it won’t go exactly like I expect, but that’s part of what makes this exciting.

 ———

Thanks for your guest post Bob!! Best of luck to you on your first marathon. I can’t wait for your race recap and Jess’s pictures of you running! 🙂 I’ll be running the half marathon that goes along with Bob’s marathon, so I should hopefully get to see him finish – although at his pace, he might pass me and finish first!

What about you (readers) – what was your biggest running goal? Did you accomplish it? How did you feel? And if you’ve run a marathon before, how was your first one? Did it go as planned?

Finally, Here Are My 7 Links

So this was kind of a time-consuming post–hence it took me a while to get it all together and up. It involved going back through the past almost two years of posts to select the ones I thought fit best into the 7 categories. I’m just going to jump right in…

Most Beautiful
I don’t know that I would really call any of my posts “beautiful.” I don’t really get very sentimental or poetic on my blog. It’s all pretty cut and dry, with maybe a dash of cynicism and humor. That being said, there is a tie for this category. My Relfections on 2009 post was surprisingly touching to re-read over a year later. It was really nice to look back on 2009 and see all the amazing times we had. You forget about all the events, anniversaries and family moments that were very special.

The second one would be my “Back from Ireland” recap post because the pictures were absolutely gorgeous and we had a beautiful time. I kind of skimped on the recap because I was too exhausted to go through each and every day. But the overall photo recap was amazing.

Most Popular
So this one was immediately evident to me. It was my Poconos Marathon Race Recap. I started my blog just after finishing my first marathon and I quickly decided to run another one and announced it to the blog world. I also announced my HUGE goal that I wanted to try to qualify for Boston. EEK! But once I put it out there, I was more determined than ever. Over the course of the next 6 months, I received so much advice and encouragement from a ton of people online that I kind of knew that my race recap would be my “grand finale” and culmination of all my hard work. The thought of all these people who tried to help me and inspired me really made me push to my limit during the race. And thankfully, I did it. My Poconos Marathon Race Recap was by far my most popular post on my blog to-date. And I still look back to read all the wonderful and supportive comments.

Most Controversial
This one was tough for me. It was a toss-up between my “To Eat Meat of Not to Eat Meat” post and my “Yucky Yogurt” post where I said that I was not a fun of the Yoplait Greek Yogurt–neither the taste or ingredients. In the end, I guess I’ll go with the yogurt post because Yoplait actually contacted me with a coupon to try their new redeveloped and relaunched yogurt a few months later. And if a blog post can get the attention of a company, then I’ll go ahead and dub that controversial.

Most Helpful
Easy one to pick. My “How I Got My BQ” post is without a doubt my most helpful post. People consistently find my blog through this post and have contacted me to thank me for my advice and candid words on the topic of qualifying. I talk about working on speed, tracking your pace, increasing your mileage and paying attention to your food, among other things. I still look back at this post when I find my endurance and speed decreasing and need to pick things up a notch.

Surprise Success
There have been a few posts that received a lot of comments and feedback that have surprised me. I guess the one with the most comments was the “Where Did All The Food Go?” post, where I talked about how shocked I am by the amount of food my husband and I consume in a short timeframe and how much it costs! A lot of people could relate. This post also included a recap of “Angela’s Ashes” so there were a lot of comments for that as well. Overall, it seemed to be a post that many people could relate to and were interested enough to comment.

Not Enough Attention
I don’t know about this one. Who am I to say that I think any of my posts really deserve more (or any) attention? I’m not going to get all serious with this one. Instead, I am going to say that my post “You Know You’re a Winter Runner When…” deserves more attention because I thought it was kind of funny and I really wanted to hear other people’s “you know you’re a winter runner” stories and commentary. I love these kind of posts that point out the hysterical but oh-so-true and ridiculous things about ourselves. I should write more of them… 🙂 Do I see a new blog post forming?! 🙂

Most Proud
I’ll say it yet, again, easy – my “2011 Boston Marathon Race Recap” is the post I am most proud of. I started this blog basically because I had this goal in my head and didn’t know how to get there. I think writing this blog really helped me get there and kept me on track and accountable. It helped me achieve one of my life goals and I am forever grateful. This post also marked my “return” to the blog world after a long hiatus, so I’m doubly proud and thankful I wrote it.


In conclusion – thank you again for tagging me Katie. It was a very nice trip down memory lane. Now I know the rules state that I have to tag other bloggers to post their 7 links, but let’s cut me a little break – ok? I am just returning to blogging, hardly anyone is reading my blog, and the chances that anyone will see this and then post their 7 links is slim to none. So instead, I will say – if you are a blogger and you have NOT been tagged to do this yet, then consider yourself tagged – courtesy of me. But don’t blame me when you lose half your day working on this post. 🙂

Question of the Day: If you’ve done your 7 links, how much time did you spend on it? And did you enjoy your trip down memory lane? Can’t imagine those bloggers with years and years of posts – how did you choose?!!

NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon Recap

Let me start by describing this race in one word: freezing! When I woke up at 6:15 this morning and checked the weather, I knew it was going to be a tough race. The temperature was hovering around 14 degrees and it was only supposed to climb to about 17 degrees by the end of the race.

While this sounds absolutely ridiculous to most people, I had run 12 miles in less the 5 degrees the weekend before, so I knew that a) it was not impossible to run in 15 degrees and b) it wouldn’t be too painful if I dressed appropriately.

Running attire for the race: my Sugoi arctic tights (these thing are freaking fantastic and I highly recommend them to any and all winter runners), compression socks (first time wearing them), Nike base layer, Under Armour long-sleeved shirt and then another long-sleeved zip-up over top, gloves, a hat and a neck warmer. Again – can not stress what a major help the neck warmer is. I pinned it to my hat again and it covered my face and mouth for the majority of the race.

I left the apartment around 7:30 and got to my corral just as they were shutting them up. I hopped in the back and jumped around a bit, waiting for the start.

Finally the race began and I started out at about an 8:27 pace. I started to pick things up in the next two miles and then, true to form, I went up and down in pace throughout the race. Those rolling hills in the park really mess with my pace.

I had a few tough spots during the race. Around mile 5-6, I felt a little dejected by the amount of miles I  had left and my legs felt heavy. After passing the mile 6 marker I had a burst of energy that carried me for a bit. But, by the time I hit around mile 9 at the very north part of the loop and I knew that the huge north hill was coming my way, I experienced some major fatigue. I made it up the hill, but watched as almost everyone passed me. It was kind of disheartening.

After making it up the last major hill, I gained a little momentum back. However then miles 10-12 happened and it hurt. I slowed down quite a bit. As I was reaching the 12 mile mark I started to pick it up again and was able to run the last mile faster than the previous few.

I finished and looked down to see icicles/frost/snow on the tips of my gloves, as well as some tiny icicles on my eyelashes. I grabbed two gatorades and then ran a cool-down home. It was FREEZING! Once my pace slowed and I was jogging, I felt the cold chilling me to the bone.

My official time was 1:49:12 (my time last year was 1:49:17). Here are my splits:

I got home, stretched a little, rolled out my legs, hopped in the shower and then headed to Yorkville Creperie for some well-deserved crepes with Kelly.

We recapped our respective races and tried to warm up over some delicious crepes and coffee. I had the country crepe with banana, strawberry and nutella. It was delicious and I ate it in about 15 seconds.

And now I plan to watch Easy A and relax for the rest of the night.

How has your weekend been? Did you brave the cold for a run?

Running, Racing and Baking!

Hello all. It’s been a few days since I last checked in. So here’s a brief recap of my week:

Things started off reasonably calm on Monday at work and then proceeded to progress to crazy and hectic by Friday. I had dinner with some girl friends on Wednesday night at Galway Hooker. I thought the space was really warm and friendly, unfortunately the waitress not so much. She was kind of cold and seemed like she really didn’t care about whether we were happy or not, and didn’t really want to be there. The food was also just meh – nothing to write home about. I turned a salad into a wrap and it was just okay. They were also changing all the beers out, so my craving for a Blue Moon went unmet. I had wine instead.

On Thursday night, I headed to O’Hara’s for a goodbye happy hour for my supervisor. Her last day is next week, hence some of the recent hectic days and higher levels of stress. This bar did have Blue Moon available, so I fulfilled my craving a day late. However, after having three Blue Moons without any dinner, it was definitely time for this lightweight to head home. Thankfully Hubby met me out and drove my tipsy butt home.

Finally, on Friday Hubby and I headed to Wicker Park, a local bar in our neighborhood for a 1-hour free happy hour. My friend who lives upstate had won the happy hour a few weeks ago when he was in town and wasn’t going to be around to take advantage of it, so he passed it on to me (thanks Neil!). So we met up with a few friends for some free drinks and made it back home around midnight.

On Saturday, I picked up my race packet, cleaned the apartment, watched the news about Tuscon, made dinner and made cookies (more on those below).

Running Week in Review
I’ve also been pretty successful with running this week, despite all the craziness. On Monday and Tuesday,  I hit the gym for a quick 4 mile run each day on the treadmill. On Wednesday morning I ran another 4 miles along the city streets (which stunk, literally, because of all the huge piles of garbage), on then on Thursday morning I ran 6 miles pre-dawn with Kelly and Megan. I was supposed to run my long run on Saturday, but because of the snow forecasted, NYRR changed the race from Saturday to Sunday.

Race Recap: Fred Lebow Class – 5 Miler
On Sunday morning I woke up around 6 a.m. and began my prep process. While the race was going to be 5 miles, I wanted to run a total of 11 miles for the day, to stick with my training plan. So I headed out around 7:15 to get a few miles in beforehand as a warm up. I got in about 3.5 miles, met up with Kelly, and we headed into our corral. It was COLD. Once we stopped running, all my warm-up quickly slipped away. We jumped around to try to stay warm and then finally we started.

Kelly and I managed to stay near each other for a few minutes, but then the crowds engulfed us and we were split up. My legs felt a bit heavy throughout the race, but especially between mile 2-3. It seemed to take forever. At one point, I also could not manage to get away from a man who was grunting and snorting like an angry dog. It was sort of distracting.

I don’t really have my splits because I left my Garmin running during my warm up miles and the race, so things were a little off. Mile 3 felt slower than normal and mile 4 was rough. However, then all of sudden we were almost done! So  I tried to kick it in harder and power through the finish. According to NYRR’s results page, I ran it in 38:49, which is a 7:45 minute mile average pace. I just can’t seem to get below a 7:41 average pace!

How have you increased your speed? Or what do you tell yourself during a run to make yourself push harder?

After the finish, I caught up with Kelly again and we ran a few additional miles. My total mileage for the day was 11.16 miles. Total weekly mileage was: 29.29 miles. Hit my target again!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Rewind just a bit…on Saturday night, while Hubby watched the Jets, I decided to make some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I used this recipe, but  substituted white flour for wheat flour.

They were very chewy and yummy. I actually almost ate one as pre-race fuel, but waited until after the race. 🙂

How was your weekend?! Do you run outside during the winter or do you stick to the treadmill?

Hope you had a great one!!

Eggland’s Best Blogger Brunch & Happy B-Day Hubby!

So I’m a bit behind on my blogging. I meant to blog about this past Sunday’s Blogger Brunch yesterday, but that just didn’t happen.

But before I get into that, I have to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUBBY!! I miss you and can’t wait to see you soon. I hope you are having a great day.

[source] I wanted to take a Happy Birthday picture with Murphy to send to you, but he’s up at my parent’s house already. But I think this cat accurately captures what Murphy’s attitude would be about taking said photo with me. 🙂

Anyway, after the race on Sunday, I went back home for a quick shower and then headed out to the Gramercy area for a Blogger Brunch hosted by Ashley.

I arrived just a group of local bloggers were heading inside and knew right away that this was going to be a fun brunch. Ashley welcomed us into her home graciously, gave us a little tour (she has a closet any NYC resident would die for) and filled our hands with mimosas. We also got a chance to meet her hubby before he headed out. A special thank you to Bo for letting us ladies take over his apartment for a bit.

After some brief introductions where I met, Rebecca Theodora (we have the same last name – well my maiden name – and think we might somehow be distantly related), MarissaCaronae, Robyn, Ali (yay for these last two Upper East Siders!), Deidre and Amelia, Jocelyn and Shannon for the first time. I also got a chance to catch up with Megan a bit – we’ve previously met at a few blogger outings and I wanted to says congrats to her in person on her great run at the NYC Marathon, we got down to business with some delicious eats!

Eggland’s Best was kind enough to sponsor our brunch to help spread breast cancer awareness. They also provided some helpful handouts with breast-cancer related information. Ashley started off the presentation and then the discussion kept moving right along.

Thank you Eggland’s Best! It was so nice to meet everyone and hear about their blog, what got them involved in blogging and the topics they talk about. I’ve got a whole new list of bloggers to catch up on!

Here’s a group shot of us (photo borrowed from Ali’s blog)

Hopefully this is just the first of many NYC blogger meet-ups! I also hope that some NYC bloggers might want to join my book club when I start it in January. 🙂 A big thanks again to Ashley for hosting!!

Is it vacation time yet? I’m working a full day today (Tuesday) and until 3 p.m. tomorrow. What are your Thanksgiving plans? I’m heading up to Utica for Thanksgiving at the in laws!

Tag, You’re It!

So it’s Wednesday night right now and I’m about to sit down to eat this…

Yum to a grilled cheese with apple. Love it! I just got home from work a little bit late and didn’t make it to the gym for a run.  Last night I didn’t make it either, but it wasn’t work stopping me.

Alright, I’ll fess up and tell you what I did last night instead of hitting the gym like I had intended. I got on the subway yesterday evening after work and cracked open my current book: The Girl Who Played with Fire. I proceeded to fly through about 40 pages on the ride home and then promptly got off the subway and beelined it home to read more instead of going to the gym. I know – I am officially a nerd. I then proceeded to eat an entirely unhealthy dinner because I couldn’t tear myself away from the book.

Ok, I’ll tell you what I ate – 1/4 of a bag of tositoes and a few white oreos with milk. Sick I know. They were within reach and did not require putting my book down. Bad healthy living blogger – bad!

I then ignored all the shows on t.v. and buried my nose in my book from about 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. when my eyes began to close against their will.

Just as I thought the book had released its grip on me, I spent the rest of the evening tossing and turning in a fitful unrest. I blame the book for this unrest because, well, it’s kind of disturbing at times and I think I subconsciously brought my fear to sleep with me. But it is certainly a gripping book.

Tonight I did better as far as eating a decent dinner. But…the book is calling my name. Once this dinner is done, all bets may be off and I may find myself curled up in bed reading until 1 a.m. I really hope not because I have some serious plans to get up early tomorrow morning.

Anyway – that’s my big unhealthy confession for yesterday. Now, before I succumb to the call of the book, I’ll answer a few questions that Katie tagged me to respond to…

1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Back in upstate NY. I know it’s so boring, but I miss our families and upstater friends. I’m hopeful that things might work out so that we can head back that way someday.

2. What has surprised you the most about blogging?
That many times it comes easily, but other times not at all. Some days I can sit down and write a post in 15 minutes and feel extremely pleased with how everything came out. Other times, I’ll sit there for hours and the final post is anything like I had hoped it would be.

3. What food could you not live without?
Oh man, such a tough one. I’m going to go with cereal on this one. I’ve been better about switching things up for breakfast, but I think if someone banned cereal completely I might have a break down.

4. You have a Saturday all to yourself.  How would you spend it?
Get up around 8, go for a nice long run with my friend Lauren. Come home, shower and then eat at the Creperie. Go shopping for a bit and find tons of  amazing size 5 shoes on sale! Have a lovely lunch. Spend the evening with Hubby and friends for a nice dinner and drinks. Bed by 12-1 a.m. I’m sooo boring.

5. What is/was your major in undergrad?
English!

6. Are you in the field that you thought you would be when you were younger?
Not exactly. I thought I’d be a journalist or a novelist. I’m in communications – so it’s not too far off. Maybe there will be a novel someday…

7. How often do you blog?  Why?
A good week, I blog about 5 times a week. I have had some slumps and slower months, but I try for about 4-5 times a week. It also depends if anything interesting is going on.

Now I tag Kelly, Jocelyn, Britt, Ashley, Holly, Megan and Dori to answer these questions if they so choose:

1. Why did you start your blog?
2. Salty or sweet food? You can only pick one.
3. What’s your favorite time of day to workout? (morning, lunch, night, etc.) And why?
4. You have to recommend a favorite book to a friend – what do you suggest?
5. Do you think you’ll be blogging in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? Why or why not?
6. List 3 of your favorite blogs (I know everyone has many more than 3, but I challenge you to list only 3)?
7. What was your very first job?