CSI: My couch

May 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m sorry I’ve been gone! I was out sick on Wednesday and Thursday and unable to extract myself from the couch for anything other than refilling my water glass. I watched 415468135 episodes of CSI, consecutively.

I didn’t run on Tuesday night and our group run last night was cancelled because of the weather (not that I would have gone anyway). I feel a bit better now, but tonight will be another night of rest.

Maybe a little running tomorrow, like 3 miles, and perhaps a bit more when we are at the shore on Sunday. It’s hard not to feel guilty about not running (or about not doing anything at all), but rest is important, especially when you’re sick. No need to make it worse. That’s the mantra!

I hope you all have super duper totally amazing long holiday weekends! Enjoy the weather, do something active, relax, have some fun!


Working 9 to 5

May 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I chose yoga last night and even though I’m glad I did, it kind of messed up the evening. I stopped for groceries on my way home, dropped them off, changed, and headed right back out to the studio. My class was 6:30-8, but my teacher was a bit all over the place and the class ended up going until 8:15. I know it was only 15 minutes, but it sent me all off kilter. (And knowing we were running late kind of undid the relaxation of the class; I was antsy all through savasana.)

Having a 9 to 5 job means the hours outside of work have to be really carefully scheduled, and even 15 minutes makes a big difference: dinner and bed are both 15 minutes later.

It makes me feel really uptight to admit that I’m so obsessive about these things. I swear, I am just a regular person with a not-so-interesting life, but I find it difficult to squeeze in everything I want to do in the non-working, non-sleeping hours. (The list of things I want to do is pretty small and basic: run, do yoga, see friends, eat homemade meals, occasionally try new things, etc. Not so much to ask, but sometimes so impossible to achieve.) So I carefully pack things in. I fail often, but having a schedule and a plan does help. I just need to be a little more flexible when I lose 15 minutes here or there.

We ended up eating dinner at 9:30. It was a spinach and mushroom quiche and it was pretty good, despite the fact that I forgot to add the salt and the pepper before it went in the oven (something’s gotta give). I tried to stay up until at least 11 for digestion purposes, but I fell asleep on the couch at 10:30.  

This morning I did a little bit of weight lifting with the hand weights and kettlebell I have at home. I did it yesterday too, but I figure if Jillian says I can Shred every day then I can lift every day as well. Anyway, these are pretty light weights.

I want to run tonight, but I’m not feeling too well. I had my usual breakfast plus a mini carton of OJ for some vitamin C power. Next stop: green tea. It won’t be the end of the world if I can’t run today, but it would be nice if I could at least get in 3 or 4 miles on the treadmill. Just to get my legs going again.


May 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The race was good! Mine wasn’t a heroic performance, but it wasn’t a bad one either, and ultimately, I’m happy with the results.

I tossed and turned a bit Friday night. I had a lot of dreams about bring late and missing the race. I woke up at 4 am Saturday and never really fell back asleep. We were supposed to get up at 5 anyway, so it wasn’t much of a loss, but it was disorienting. We snoozed ‘til almost 5:30 and then finally got up, gathered our stuff and headed out to meet our friends and get a cab to Brooklyn.

The first cab didn’t know how to get to Prospect Park! What? We got out of that one and got in another one. ALSO didn’t know how to get to Prospect Park! But we decided that we couldn’t waste any more time so we guided him there as best we could. We made it just in time for our friends to check bags and for us to meet up with Chuck’s aunt so that we could give her her race bib.

She and I started together (Chuck is speedy so he was in a corral closer to the starting line) and ran the first two miles at a comfortable pace, probably just under 11 minutes/mile. After mile two we split up because I had to stop to go to the bathroom. There was a line and I wasted a lot of time. When I got back on the course (the first 7 miles are inside Prospect Park, and then the last 6 are a straightaway down Ocean Parkway and the finish is on the boardwalk in Coney Island), I sped up to make up lost time. The next three miles were probably at a 9 minute/mile pace. Then I had to stop. Again. To go to the bathroom. Again. I know this isn’t a lovely story, but it’s the truth. I’m really annoyed with myself, but nature calls. Whatever.

After the second bathroom stoop my pace evened out around 10 minutes/mile. I wanted to make up the additional lost time but I was worried about burning out so instead I just focused on maintaining my pace. We made the transition out of the park and onto Ocean Parkway, and even though it was nice and flat, it was also really boring. There were hardly any people cheering – hardly any people at all, really – and the scenery basically didn’t change at all for the full 6 miles. So I just waited for each water station and each mile marker to keep me going.

At the 10 mile mark I spotted another Run to Remember shirt ahead of me, and I caught up with my buddy Sara. We ran the next mile together and the company was much appreciated. At 11 we split again. At this point, as usual, I just wanted the race to be over. I tried to concentrate on even breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. I was hoping to finish in 2:15 despite the lost bathroom break time, but when I saw that I was already at 2:05 when I passed mile 12, I knew it was over. I finished in 2:17. Not excellent, but certainly not terrible. I like to think I could have come in as fast as 2:10 if I hadn’t had to stop twice.

I met Chuck after the race and we sped back to Manhattan. And speaking of speedy, Chuck finished in a whopping 1:50! A full 14 minutes better than his last half. Pretty impressive, eh? I’m so proud.

I’m debating between yoga and running tonight, and I have a sneaking suspicion yoga is going to win! I need a good stretch and a little relaxation.

Run report: The night before the night before

May 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Just four of us ended up making it out last night, but it was a great group – all former Team R2R members. It has been a long time since we had a R2R-only run! Perfect timing since things are about to kick into gear for the 2010 team.

We did the 5 mile loop in about 53 minutes. It’s nice to be in a small group sometimes, because all four of us were able to chat together for most of the run. We spent a lot of time bonding over The Biggest Loser (oh yes, I love it, and I’m not ashamed) and vegetarian snacks and race t-shirts. It helped the time slip by. We were all drenched with sweat when we finished. It feels like it was just yesterday that we were wearing thermal pants and gloves for runs, and now we’re already back in tank tops. And it’s only going to get hotter!

(I forgot the Garmin! What the heck is wrong with me lately?!)

After the run Chuck and I went to dinner in celebration of the fact that he doesn’t have to work today and that I love going out to dinner. We went to Le Singe Vert and I had fried artichoke salad with a side of mushroom and pea risotto (both of which were labeled as vegan on the menu and arrived covered in cheese). Yummy and not tooooo unhealthful, especially for a french restaurant. Oh, and we shared a bottle of wine, naturally!

After dinner we both fell asleep on the couch and now I’m a bit concerned that I didn’t get a proper night’s sleep. They say that it’s the night before the night before a race that really matters in terms of quality sleep, and if that’s true, I definitely blew it. Luckily I am not planning on breaking any records tomorrow.

Today I am going to eat all the carbs I want. But I started with the standard breakfast:

Perfect as always.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back Monday with a full race report. Brooklyn Half, here we come!

Hungry? Why wait?

May 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Do you want to see what I eat?

I am still struck by the fact that the most read posts on this blog are the ones I wrote when I was doing the juice cleanse. Does this mean you want to see more food? (Yes, I know juice isn’t food, but you know what I mean.)

Fueling is an important part of running and I try to be aware of the foods that make me feel good when I’m working out. As you know, I don’t eat meat (sometimes, rarely, I eat fish – mostly shellfish), so I have to be really conscientious about getting a good balance of nutrients. I’m no expert but I think I do a decent job.

I didn’t take a picture of my breakfast because I ate it too fast. I can take a picture of it tomorrow, though, because I eat almost the exact same breakfast every weekday: one slice of seven grain toast with almond butter and a banana with almond butter for dipping. Sometimes if I’m feeling wild (and today I was!) I’ll also have a hard-boiled egg, but just the white, because I don’t really love the texture of the yolk. So, almond butter = good fat and protein (and creamy deliciousness; also, it’s very filling and keeps me going throughout the morning); seven grain toast = whole grains and good carbs; bananas = potassium. The egg white has some protein, but mostly I eat it because I like it!

I did manage to remember to take a picture of my lunch. This is a really weird lunch for me, so it’s funny that this is the day I decided to start showing off my food. Normally I get a salad or a sandwich, and sometimes I get soup. But there’s one thing that I can’t resist if it’s on the hot food bar: mac and cheese. It is my ultimate weakness.

I paired it with lots of veg to make up for the unhealthfulness of the m&c. Honey glazed carrots and roasted squash, cauliflower and broccoli. Broccoli is so insanely good for you! If I’m having a sandwich or a soup for lunch, I usually add a few pieces of raw broc from the salad bar for the nutrients. It’s a superfood!

Some of you might be thinking broccoli before running?? Won’t that lead to bathroom issues?? Lucky for me, I haven’t had a problem yet. But I will definitely avoid greens and cruciferous veg at dinner tomorrow night (the last supper before the Brooklyn Half). Not taking any chances!

Tell me if you like the food stuff (you don’t have to tell me in the comments, though comments are warmly welcomed and often make my day; you can just click away and that’s how I’ll know). Obviously we’re still mostly talking about running here, but sometimes there’s only so much you can say about that!

Speaking of running, run club is tonight! 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park for the 5 mile lower loop. ALL ARE WELCOME. Don’t be afraid of 5 miles if you think you can’t go that far. You can! I’ll stick with you.


May 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh, how I wish I could go to yoga all the time. Sometimes I forget how wonderful it is, especially with good instruction.

My college roommate and long time friend Melissa recently got her certification to teach Anusara Yoga, and last night she was subbing a basic class at Yoga Montclair. Our other roommate, Ami, and I took Melissa’s class together.

It was so AHHHHHH! It was just what my legs needed after 10 miles. I had nothing at all to worry about – the stretching felt so good. I especially enjoyed the hip opening poses. At the end, instead of doing savasana, we reclined in goddess pose – it was heavenly. It was totally relaxing like savasana, but it was also a deep stretch and it felt amazing. Melissa is such an excellent teacher – she explained everything thoroughly without going over our heads or dumbing it down. The perfect balance.

(I can’t believe I forgot to take my own pictures! Next time.)

I’ve been doing yoga on and off since college (which is a really long time but I won’t get into exactly how long!), and I so wish it was a bigger part of my life. It so happened that on Monday there was a yoga Groupon and I was able to purchase a one-month unlimited pass at ISHTA Yoga for just $30, so I hope I will be able to work it into my schedule more in the coming weeks.

Last night we went to dinner after yoga, and we chatted and chatted and next thing I know I’m getting home at 11:45 pm! Oops. So, needless to say, I did not get up and Shred this morning. Ah well. According to my new philosophy, there’s always tomorrow.

***that photo is not me. I got it from Google images. I don’t know what the rules are and I hope I don’t get arrested.

I get by with a little help from my friends

May 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

With t-minus 5 days ‘til the Brooklyn Half, I was planning on running 4-5 miles last night. And then I got an email from one of our teammates:

“We’re doing 10 tonight! Want to come?”

So I emailed Chuck and said, “They’re crazy! 10 miles just 5 days before the race! Isn’t that too much?” And he said:

“I think I’m going to do 8 tonight. Maybe a little more.”

Well, if they’re ALL going for a long run tonight, then I am too. I can’t be the only one chickening out and doing 5!

So I joined my teammates for 10 miles up and down the East side – from 33rd Street to 125th and back. It was an “easy” run, if you can call it that; we took frequent and generous walk breaks and finished just under 10 miles in just under two hours. I’m glad I got in the long run, and I’m really happy I got to do it with my teammates and friends. It wouldn’t have happened without them.

I had the Garmin on but I hadn’t really figured out how to use it, so I didn’t track the first mile and I don’t know if I’ll be able to see a map of the run. But it was nice to know our mileage as we were going. It was awesome, actually. So I’m going to spend some time with the instruction manual before our run on Thursday.

On another note, I ran last night in my new thrivnp t-shirt, which I won in a contest at Eating Bird Food!

I loved it! It’s super soft, like a regular cotton t-shirt (actually, it’s better than a regular cotton t-shirt), but it’s technical, so it didn’t get weighed down with sweat. It was comfortable and cozy the whole way. Usually I wear Under Armour shirts, and I like those too, but they’re a little rough – the thrivnp shirt was definitely softer. The only problem was that it was white, so I didn’t want to wipe my face with it for fear of getting leftover makeup on it! But I’m sure they come in other colors and I’ll be testing those soon.

Today is a “rest day” – I’m going to a yoga class that my friend is teaching. I’m excited to finally be able to do some yoga but also a bit worried because my body is all tied up in knots from 10 miles last night! Not sure how that’s going to go. But I’m looking forward to it anyway.

A bientot!

I'm challenged enough

May 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week two goal mileage: 25

Week two actual mileage: 15.5

Well, it’s better than last week. But obviously I didn’t run at all this weekend.

Yesterday I was just so exhausted. I don’t know why I thought I was so superhuman that I could basically work out twice a day for a whole week and then go for a 10 mile run on Sunday evening. Trying to Shred daily and run 25 miles a week in addition to the ol’ regular full time job and squeezing in a little enjoyment is just too much. I don’t need to challenge myself any more. I’m challenged enough.

So, I’m going to Shred when I can and run when I can and try not to freak out about either. I don’t want these things to feel like terrible chores, and right now they do.

This week I’ll only be able to run tonight and Thursday, but I think that’s just right for the week before a race. I feel unprepared because I haven’t done a long run since….well, I guess since the NYC Half! That’s not good. But I only need to finish, and I know I can.

Run report: The sound of silence

May 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last night was perfect for running. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t too cold. We had a nice little group of six running, and I am pleased to report that we all had one thing in common: no headphones.

I love that! We don’t need music when we have the sights and sounds of the park to enjoy – and the company of each other.  (Laugh all you like at my cheeziness, but it’s true!)

After our run we chatted about an article in last month’s Runner’s World about a woman who went to a sort of running and meditation camp in Colorado, where her mission was to embrace running without headphones. Even though it sounds hard, that’s definitely something I’d like to do too. I never wear headphones on group runs, but I do when I’m alone (you might remember from last year that I prefer podcasts to music) and when I’m on the treadmill. But I so prefer the idea of being totally in the moment and concentrating on my breath and my body. I’m not sure I’m ready to dive in yet, but it’s something I’d like to work towards.

We did 5 miles in 55 minutes. I always think the treadmill is so hard until I get outside and remember that hills are much, much harder! But I still had a good enough run and a great time chatting with the team.

(We didn’t get the Garmins going yet – it’s kind of complicated! I’m hoping to have them ready for a run over the weekend.)

I’m at 15.5 for the week so I’m going to go for 9 + on Sunday. Next week I can only run on Monday and Thursday, but that’s fine as it’s a “taper” week before the Brooklyn Half (!!!!!).

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Under the towel

May 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Tuesday night, I mentioned to a friend that I always wonder about the people who throw towels over the display on the treadmill. How can they not know where they are in the workout? Don’t they need to see that they’re getting closer to their goal in order to keep it up?

And then, out of the blue, last night I decided to try it. I wasn’t really achieving anything by staring at the seconds tick by. So a few minutes in, I threw the towel over the display. I didn’t know exactly what time it was, but I knew it was before 6 pm, so I told myself that I wouldn’t uncover it until after 6:30, which I’d determine by the TV schedule. (King of Queens. Again. Why?)

When I got closer to 6:30 I realized that I might only be about 35 minutes in at 6:30, and that would mean that I still had almost 10 minutes left of my workout (to do 4 miles). I decided to go through until the first commercial break of (YET ANOTHER EPISODE OF) King of Queens. Those last few minutes were hard, but when I finally got to tear off the towel, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I went 4.25 miles! I exceeded my goal for the day. And I think I really like the towel system after all. There’s no need to obsess over every minute. Just run.

So, 4.25 miles in 46:20. That brings me to 10.5 miles for the week. I’ll add 5 more tonight…and either squeeze in a short run tomorrow and 6 or 7 on Sunday, or go for the full 10 then.

On the Shredding front, day 3 in a row = success. I’m getting in a good morning rhythm. I just hope I can do it on the weekend.

Run club is tonight! Please come if you’d like to jog with us. We’re really, really fun. 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park.

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