Category Archives: UES

Run As One Race Recap: Awesome PR!

Week 14 of training went okay. I was supposed to run 34 miles this week and I managed 32.66. I ended up running more of my runs later in the week (Friday and Saturday) than I originally wanted. I like to give me legs a little bit of rest before I actually “race” a race on the weekend.

And that was my plan for today. I was going to push really hard in this race and see what happened. I always get a little more nervous when I know I’m actually racing a race and not just working it into my long run as a training run.

I left the house around 7:45 this morning and logged a few miles before the race. I was aiming for four miles before the race, but ended up only getting in 3.25. Then I headed into my corral because things were getting pretty busy.

Run As One – 4 Miles
It was a brisk morning – 48 degrees for the start of the race. I wasn’t sure what to wear, so I went with capris and a short sleeve shirt. It was the perfect combination. It seemed like a lot of people were in the race, although NYRR doesn’t have the number of finishing runners posted yet.

I listened to the starting announcements and was again surprised by what I already knew – lung cancer (which this race was run to raise money and awareness for) kills more people in the United States than any other type of cancer. And approximately 50% of the people who get lung cancer do NOT smoke. I actually know someone from college who was diagnosed with lung cancer and she is one of the healthiest people I know. She beat it, but catching it early is SO important. So I was very happy to support and run this race.

Source

So back to the race. I was in the green corral, so a little far back, and that worried me about trying to race this race hard. The start is always so crowded if you’re not right up front. But so be it. And the race began.

I managed to get moving pretty quickly right from the start and tried to stay toward the inside as much as possible. In my head, I was really hoping for a sub 7:30 overall pace. The first mile went by quickly even though we were going up Cat Hill. I ran it in 7:29. A little too close for comfort…

So then I really started to pick it up during mile 2. Things started to clear out a bit and I pushed my speed pretty much to the max. As I reached the second mile marker, I was shocked to see my time was 7:01!! Holy fast.

So that was kind of amazing, but then I got really scared that I pushed too far and was going to lose steam. For mile 3, I knew that the rolling hills were coming and my goal was just to try to maintain a pace under 7:30. I tried to tackle the hills hard, but as always, they were rough. As I passed mile 3, my split was 7:18.

The final mile is here – time to push. I pushed hard. I love this last mile of the course. It is almost entirely downhill and you can really watch your speed increase. My mile 4 beeped before I hit the finish and it showed my pace was 6:59. So the last few seconds, I just pushed super hard. Here are my splits:

My official NYRR time on the site is: 29:07!! Average pace was 7:17!!! Woohooo – that is SUCH a major personal record. My previous best was 30:35 with a 7:38 best average pace. I am pumped!!

And as I was walking through the finish area, an older gentleman next to me wearing a team singlet congratulated me on my hard finish. He said I “flew right by him” at the end. Who knows, maybe I even had more to give?! Although, all day today after that race, I’ve felt pretty pooped, so I’m not so sure.

It was a great race and I’m happy to finally crush that PR that has been lingering around for sooo long. Also, this is my last race before our marathon on May 27. I am feeling pretty ready!

Happy Sunday!

 

Advertisements

20 Miles to Remember

I’ve had some ups and downs this training go-round. I had a run-in with strep throat that slowed me down and made me feel super tired, I had some moments where I lacked motivation and chose to go out drinking for St. Patrick’s day rather than run a long run (oops), and every now and then I’ve had some ITB pain.

However, today’s long 20 mile run made everything better. It gave me a renewed sense of trust in my training and my strength, and it was really, really needed. I know not every run can be a good run and I accept that I need to have some bad runs to appreciate the good ones. So I am going to appreciate the heck out of this run. It was pretty much perfect.

20 Mile Run
So the run was great, but it didn’t start off well-planned at all. I was originally supposed to head upstate this weekend and run 20 miles there, with a short 5k plugged in the middle. At the 11th hour, Hubby and I decided not to go, which meant we were both planning on doing our long 20 mile runs in Central Park.

That my friends is the first problem. Central Park and I have had a love/hate relationship for a while. I love CP when I have to do a short run (8 miles or under), and I love that a lot of the NYRR races are held there–so convenient to my homestead, and it’s always been a big part of my marathon training. But that’s where the hate part comes in–sometimes I get pretty bored with Central Park pretty quickly during training. I feel myself dreading running there because I always know what comes next and where the hardest parts are.

So you are probably asking why I don’t just suck it up and try running over to West Side for a bit and then finish in Central Park? Fabulous idea–except for the fact that today I really needed to be close to water fountains because I decided to ditch my waterbelt.

What? You’re probably saying: “Girl, you’re crazy!” And Hubby looked at me the same way when I left the house. But I managed to pull off this long run without the belt…and it was pretty freaking awesome. Here goes:

Miles 1-7: Running to the park and one loop around. Easy breezy! Don’t follow my example here, but I didn’t take any water this first loop. The air was cool, I was moving fast and feeling great. I held off on water but formulated my plans.

Miles 7-13: Now I was heading into my second loop, which meant enjoying Harlem Hill another go ’round. Surprisingly, I still felt pretty strong and was cruising and pretending to be speedy. As I reached the top of Harlem Hill, I decided it was time for water. I missed the first water fountain after HH, but beelined it to the second one. I had to wait for two people to finish up, then I gulped down some heavenly water and headed back out.

Apparently the water tasted so good when it hit my lips that my body screamed for more. So I pulled over again after finishing the three rolling hills on the West side and gulped some more. I was on my way and still feeling okay.

I decided to actually buy a bottle of water and carry it around mile 12. I was on the East side, running past the stinky horse area and I was drawn to the vendor ahead. Two bucks later, and after possibly cutting in front of some tourist who couldn’t make up her mind, I had my delicious overpriced water in my hand and was back on the road. As I finished up my second loop, I sucked down a chocolate Gu and prepared myself for the last loop.

Miles 13-20: Third and final loop. Here we go. Things got tough for a little bit. Harlem Hill on the third try REALLY kicked my a$$ pretty good. But I pulled through. I finished my bottle of water as I reached the top and then made the wisest decision of my run: to not throw it out, but refill it instead. BOOM. How DID I get so smart? I refilled at the next water fountain on the West side and shuffled along. Actually – I really wasn’t moving that slow. I was kind of impressed with my pace throughout the whole run.

I made my way around the lower loop and headed back up the East side. I chucked my water bottle around mile 19, cleared out of Central Park and headed home for my last mile.

So here are my mile breakdowns:

I crept into the 9’s a few times, but most were when I was buying water, stopping for water, or refilling my bottle at a water fountain. And here’s how three lovely loops in CP looks on the map:

You’d think it was only one easy loop if I didn’t tell you!

And lastly, a few of my random thought during this run:

  1. I am pretty sure I saw Tim Tebow running the CP loop…carrying a football under his arm. Or it could have been a Tebow look alike that was trying hard to convince people he was Tebow. If the latter is the case, the imposter did a good job – or I was just moving too fast and a person walking wouldn’t have been so easily fooled.
  2. How the heck were people wearing winter sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts in 70 degrees? I did not get it. But I saw so many people who were waay over-dressed.
  3. I found my running pace twin. She doesn’t know we’re twins, but we ran about mile 11-18 pretty near each other. She kept stopping for water too or stretching or whatever she was doing, and I would pass her, and then she would pass me, etc. Normally, I might find this annoying. But this chick wasn’t all up in my space or anything and it took me a while to even notice it. But she was cool. We were running friends…even if she didn’t realize it. See ya around soon new friend – a.k.a. girl with the gray shorts and pink t-shirt.
  4. Throw your stuff in the trash, not on the ground. So I understand in a race if you’re taking a Gu, you might just fling the wrapper on the ground. You’re in a freaking race and you gotta move it – understood. But when you’re running during your free time in CP, have the common courtesy to hold it until you pass a trash can or something. Geesh people. Earth Day – ever heard of it?

So those were my random thoughts during today’s almost 3-hour run. And here’s what a happy runner looks like after finishing a fabulous 20-mile run:

And now it’s time to foam roll, roll with the marathon stick, shower, and EAT!

Happy weekend!

Stupid Sickness and Lead Legs

Hi there – I’ve been MIA for a bit, but that is not so unusual for me. This time thought, it was not just because I was lazy or busy, or feeling busy even though I could probably squeeze some blogging in. This time I was SICK. Sick like I haven’t been in years. I pride myself on being a pretty healthy person…and may even be a bit unsympathetic to people who are  out sick often. “Take your vitamins, eat right, exercise and you probably won’t have those problems” – I’m often known to think in my head. Yeah – I can be harsh. And probably unduly so.

But after this past week of suffering, I will certainly try to be more sympathetic and understanding when other people are ill.

So what got me down? Strep throat. EEK! Yes, I tend to run away from people when I hear this too. It’s contagious, it’s obnoxious – in short – it’s the pits. And that’s exactly how I felt for almost a full week. The symptoms started coming on last Saturday night when we were in Utica, NY visiting the in-laws. I had finished my 13-mile run earlier in the day (it went pretty well) and was feeling all legit and athletic…and then my throat got scratchy.

Like a true stubborn Taurus, I refused to believe anything was wrong and continued on in the same manner – running 6 miles in Utica on Monday when we had the day off. We headed back to NYC later in the afternoon on Monday and as I chatted with my mom on the phone, I admitted my throat issue. She saw the warning signs. She told me to go to the doc ASAP, but I kind of just listened and pretended that she was overreacting. I was NOT sick.

But then I was. I made it to work on Tuesday and through the entire exhausting day (we had an all-day video shoot that required running around and coordinating). And then on the way home I crashed. I thought about stopping into urgent care, but once again my stubborn side won out and convinced my better judgement that a good night’s sleep was all I needed.

Again – WRONG. I went to bed at 7 p.m. and woke up for work with nausea, a raging sore throat, and overall weakness. To the doc I went, and he told me what I knew but didn’t want to know – I had Strep Throat. Blah. Back to bed I went.

And so the rest of the week for running was shot. I feel like I slept for five days. From Tuesday through Saturday, I was pretty much a mess. And then just when I started to get really upset and convince myself that it wasn’t strep throat, but something more serious – like mono or cancer – I awoke on Sunday feeling…better! I wasn’t 100% and actually still don’t think I am yet, but I could swallow without wincing, I didn’t need to sleep 18 of the 24 hours in the day, and I even had a little appetite.

So I ran. Yes, I know it’s probably not the best thing to do. But I needed to get out of the house, and I went SUPER slow. And I felt better afterward. I ran 5.5 miles at an unbearably slow pace to top out at a whopping 11.5 miles for the week! So sad, but what are you gonna do?

But now it’s a new week and I have been attacking it head on. I ran last night after work and was so excited for what I hoped would be a fabulous run….and it sucked. I felt like I had lead strapped to my legs the WHOLE time. It was kind of ridiculous. I was sad after I finished the short but painful 3.5 miles and tried to cheer myself up by watching The Bachelor. Only to find myself cursing at the t.v. and telling said Bachelor how dumb he is. And so I went to bed with high hopes of a fabulous morning run.

Strike two for the fabulous run happened at 6:05 this morning when the lead legs returned. In full force. Seriously – what the heck?! It was awful yet again. I have never felt so heavy and slow in my life. Within the first few steps, I knew I was in for a tough run, so I had that conversation with myself where I try to justify cutting the run short. And then my willpower tried to overtake my fear and it was an all-out fight the entire time. When I managed to finish 4 miles (feeling still sooo crappy), my willpower won out and convinced my fear that two more miles wouldn’t be that bad.

I powered through those 6 miles this morning (it was a gorgeous morning btw), but it was a sad finish. I felt heavy and soggy and defeated…but also the slight twinge of runner’s high. And that’s why I’ll suffer through the next lead run and the next and the next…until hopefully I shake the lead out. Because at the end of the day, no matter how crappy I run, I still feel better than if I hadn’t gone at all.

But still – I want to get the lead out. How do I get the lead out? Help!!

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?

Fabulous Weekend and Superbowl Win!

So yes, I know it’s already mid-week and this post is pretty late, but I’ve been a busy woman the past few days. How it is already the END of Wednesday is truly beyond me.

But anyway, last weekend after my long-ish run, the Hubby and I met up with some of this family who were in town. We checked out their fabulous room at the Waldorf Astoria, then walked to Central Park to check out the iceskating, and finally headed to P.J. Clarke’s for a relaxed quick bite to eat. I had a very delicious turkey burger and the tater tots. If you are ever at P.J. Clarke’s, the tater tots are a must. So good.

After dinner we walked just a few blocks downtown to O’Neill’s, an Irish pub that was having live Irish music playing. I enjoyed a Blue Moon and a Smithwicks, and we all had a really good time.

Here we are, I’m in the pink…

And suddenly it was Sunday and it was the Superbowl! Hubby and I decided we wanted to stay home this year and just have some appetizers and snacks while we watched the game.

We started with a fruit and veggie platter – yum!

And we also snacked on crackers and cheese with pepperoni.

And then for the main event – homemade nachos! I have a serious nacho obsession…

At first I had shrimp cocktail on our menu as well, but the store Hubby went to was all out of shrimp, so we scrapped that plan and we were both worried about having enough food. It was MORE than enough. We feasted.

And then just as suddenly it was Monday (don’t you hate how that happens) and it was back to the grind. And back to training. I was able to squeeze in 3.3 miles on Monday night outside, 5 miles last night outside, and 3 miles on the treadmill tonight at the gym. Somehow, I need to get in 5 miles tomorrow morning, which pretty much means I need to plan a very early morning run – it’s going to be painful. But, knock on wood, I’ve stuck to the training plan almost to the “T” this time around.

What about you – do you TRY to stick to your marathon training plans or really just use them for overall weekly mileage?

I like being able to log my numbers and see them match what was planned…or even exceed it…which is rare. And then again, it feels like every training session is different. Things one is feeling particularly hard – even though I’m managing to stick with it.

One new twist is that I’m going to start adding in Yoga! I got a LivingSocial deal at the Yoga place right down the block, so I hope to take two classes this weekend. I think I’ve taken only one yoga class in my life (more a Pilates gal), so it should be interesting. I will be that girl in the back who is completely lost and falls all over the place. At least I’ll be entertaining. 🙂

What about you? Yoga, pilates, hot yoga – do you take any of these classes? What’s your favorite?

Happy hump day!

Oh What a Productive Sunday

Happy Sunday all! I wish the weekend wasn’t over already. It really flew by. Hubby and I both got our long runs in yesterday, I got a hair cut, and then we went to dinner and a movie.

We tried out a new place about a block away from our house called Felice 83. It’s a new wine bar located in a very tiny space. I felt kind of cramped right away when we sat down. I hate feeling like I can’t really have a conversation with my husband when we’re at a restaurant because the people next to us are basically eating with us.

I got over the tight quarters and checked out the menu. There were some pretty interesting selections on the menu, and I finally settled on the quinoa dish. Hubby and I started off by sharing a salad (overpriced at $15), and we each had a glass of Cabernet. The negative was that, for a wine bar, our glasses of wine were very small. And at $8 and $15 a glass, we were expecting a decent-sized goblet. Not so.

The salad was very good, and my quinoa was delicious. I tried some of Hubby’s dish and it was good too. Overall, I’ll say the place is decent. It offers organic and local selections, so I guess I can see why the prices may be a bit more. However, I think we will be trying some other local places before we go back to this one again.

After dinner, we went to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

(Source)

I was a little hesitant about this movie because I knew it would be tough subject. But it wasn’t focused solely on 9/11 – it was really more of a close look at a family who lost a father/husband in one of the buildings. The boy in the movie was so good. He was pretty amazing. It was a very emotional and heart-wrenching movie, and I probably cried for most of it. But I certainly wasn’t the only one – I heard people all around me sniffling too. It was a good movie, but you have to be prepared for it, and in the right frame of mind to watch it.

Sunday
So after our busy Saturday, one might think Sunday would be a relaxed day. Not so. Before I got down to business, I fueled up with a delicious french toast breakfast.

With both of us in training now, we have more stinking (literally) laundry than ever before. It was overflowing and I knew it was going to be a big project. Four loads of laundry (up and down five flights of stairs about 20 times), and it was all finally gone.  So now we can start our second week of training off with clean clothes and an empty laundry basket.

The rest of my Sunday was filled with cleaning, running errands, and then making a delicious veggie lasagna.

Here is the recipe:

Vegetable Lasagna (6 servings)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 of a bottle of tomato basil pasta sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) carton of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 6 hot cooked lasagna noodles (halved)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used skim)

Pre-heat the over to 374 degrees. Cook the noodles and then saute the mushrooms through the red onion for 5 minutes. Then add the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Then spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture, then lay 4 noodles on top. On top of the noodles place 1/2 of the ricotta cheese and then 1 cup of the tomato mixture on top of it. Repeat the layers and end with noodles. Then put the last remaining tomato mixture in a thin layer over the noodles and sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese.

Then bake it covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake it for another 20 minutes. Then take it out and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

This is the second time I made this lasagna and it has come out really well both time. And I now have lunch for about four days this week. I love leftovers!

Okay – time to watch the rest of the SAG Awards and head to bed. Week two of training starts tomorrow!

How was your weekend? Anyone training for a spring marathon too?! What races?

Restaurant Review: V-Note (Vegan)

I remember that about a year ago I was very excited to try the new Blossom Restaurant that had opened up on the UES. But my plans kept changing and I kept pushing things back, so that finally when I had a day figured out, the restaurant was CLOSED!! Sadness. I still plan to make it to one of the other Blossom sites in NYC, but imagine my excitement when I found out that another vegan restaurant was opening on the UES. V-Note!

And as fate would have, this new restaurant is owned by the same owners of Blossom. Who knows what happened to the one on the UES and why it left so quickly, all I care about is that they brought in a new place!

And then a few months back, I happened to see a Groupon for V-Note and I pretty much HAD to buy it. Last weekend I was finally able to use the Groupon when I went with a few friends to V-Note for the first time. I made a reservation the day before – yes, they do accept them. And we arrived at 7 p.m.

We were seated pretty much right at the front in a nice little booth spot, but I wish I had explored the location a little more. The three of us ordered the Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Gnocchi for an appetizer, along with a bottle of the Pizzolato Cabernet, while we waited for our fourth.

She arrived just as our appetizer and wine arrive and we all dug in. The appetizer was delicious, as was the wine. I forgot to snap a photo of our app. We were all very excited for the next course.

For my main meal, I ordered the Chile Relleno – a baked poblano pepper stuffed with vegetable ratatouille and cheese, spinach citrus rice, tomato coconut cream, and pineapple salsa. It was seriously AMAZING!! I was thrilled with my choice and think if (and when) I go back again, I may order it again!

Everyone else also enjoyed their meals – I believe they ordered the Mushroom Walnut Ravioli, Medallione Au Poivre, and I can’t recall the last one. But I had a taste of each one and they were all good! Here is mine: 

As we were eating our dinner, we saw a couple order a delicious looking dessert and we all decided we had to have it.

Mmmm Dark Chocolate Fondue – very nice!! The dipping choices were mainly fruit. Surprisingly, I really like the pineapple with the dark chocolate, but not the melon. Overall they were ALL yummy!

All in all, this restaurant was delicious. The service was a little bit slow, but we weren’t in a rush, so it didn’t really matter. The atmosphere is also posh and more upscale than I expected. I’ve been to a few vegan restaurants, so I was expecting a more casual mish-mosh of design. I would completely recommend this restaurant to vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters. It was that good! Enjoy!!