Monday, May 21, 2012

The Broad Street 10-Miler!

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the race that started this blog happened almost 3 weeks ago and I am just getting around to writing about it. Oops!

These last couple of weeks have been filled with not a care in the world, which most likely explains why I've been so MIA. My one goal after the race was to relax, and I've definitely been doing just that. Between lots of brunching and drinks with friends and shopping galore, I think it may be about time to get back on track, but maybe I just need a few more days of goofing off.

So, remember that race, that 10 mile race that I was training for for 10 weeks. Well, I did it. 

In 1:44:46!!

I guess I should start from the beginning of the weekend...

Saturday morning, Jenn and Neesha picked me up at my apartment and we drove down to Philadelphia. We went straight to Lincoln Financial Field to pick up our bibs and t-shirts and other goodies to ensure that we were ready for the race! Alexis met us there, and after buying lots of Cliff bars and Gu Gums we all felt like we were ready for the race.

After relaxing in the hotel for a few hours we headed off to Kara and Ryan's apartment for a pasta party! What better way to prepare for a race than to carbo-load with some of your favorites! Some great company and delicious baked ziti was the perfect way to spend the night before the race. We were all a bit anxious for our early rise the next morning, that we headed back to the hotel and to bed.

Sunday morning, the start time of the race was set at 8:30am. It was recommended that we were there by 7:30am and well, with our over eagerness we got there a bit too early and had an hour and a half to spare. We walked around and looked at everyone stretching and getting ready and I was just truly amazed at the number of people that were there. Turns out, there were 42,000 people there. I've definitely been in big crowds before, but at sporting events or concerts, never running down a street for 10 miles, so I wasn't quite sure what it was going to be like.

In races like this one, where there are so many people, they have corrals so that there are staggered start times. This mean that the 8:30 race start time was going to be more like 9:00 for me. The closer I got to the start line the more nervous I became. I had gone to the bathroom twice before lining up and thought I had to go again, but thankfully it was just nerves.

We finally started at about 8:50 am and Jenn and I did our best to run together. We always say that if one of us is just feeling the adrenaline, then to just go. We don't want to hold each other back, but at the same time it's always nice to have a running buddy.

I think I lost Jenn at around mile 3. We were only running a few seconds off of each other, but with the sea of people, it just became more and more difficult and I didn't want to slow her down. I was really feeling great as I started my run and there were such great spectators all along the route. As we were running through Temple there were people with signs that said 'Most races would be done by now' and other funny lines. It made me smile to think that these people were on the streets just to cheer us on and be amazed by this feat we were taking on.

By the time we were past Temple, and into Center City, I was getting a bit tired, but I kept trucking along. I think it was around this time where Rachel's 'Run Dana Run' mix played me the Whitney Houston 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' mash-up. If you know anything about me, you know that's my karaoke song, so it made me just want to keep on keeping on! As we ran around City Hall and back onto Broad Street I knew I needed to stay to the right so I could keep an eye out on Miriam. I told her what time I would be passing by and she told me what corner she would be at and wouldn't you know, that after 6 miles of running, I found her! I stopped and gave her a big hug and kept on running. If I'm being honest, I started to tear up. I had been working so hard for this and I know all of my friends and family were supporting me through it, but to have someone there, meant the world to me. Also, the fact that I had another 40 minutes of running ahead of me, meant I needed the reminder that people were thinking of me.

Once I hit about mile 7, I was in South Philly. This was a great part of my run, because while I was so tired and still had a few more miles to go, this was the place where my dad grew up. And I grew up coming down there and visiting my family. I knew the street names and it just felt a little bit familiar. I kept thinking, maybe someone will be waiting on one of the corners for me, but I knew that they were just waiting for my phone call at the end of the race!

I can honestly say, that once I hit mile 8, I thought to myself, okay, I did well, I think it's time to go home. :)

I had never run more than 7 miles at a time, so even hitting 8 miles was such a milestone. The fact that I still had 2 more miles to go was just an absurd thought to me. I know that I was slowing down a bit at that point, but I also knew that I had to keep pushing myself. I was so close to reaching my goal of finishing this race! I think site at this point was a group of people all wearing shirts that said '0.5 to go'. It was such a relief, I think I must have started sprinting at that point. I knew that I was so close to finishing, finishing something that I worked so hard to achieve.

As I crossed into the Navy Yard, I just kept wondering where my cousin Jackie might be. She had told me that she would be at the finish line to see me and while I was beyond excited, I was also so anxious. How would I find her? With 42,000 finishers there had to have been at least 42,000 people waiting for them to finish or maybe more like 80,000 people! I kept one eye on the prize (the finish line) and one eye on the side lines! And as crazy as it sounds, about 2 seconds after I crossed the finish line, I spotted Jackie and Gianna. It was such an amazing feeling, finishing the race and seeing family that is so proud of you and what you've done. If my parents and my brother couldn't be there, Jackie and Gianna were the next best thing. We hugged as I tried to catch my breath and take in the fact that I just completed a 10 mile race!  I kept walking around the finish to pick up my medal and some food and then re-unite with Jackie and Gianna.

It was truly a ridiculous site. Thousands upon thousands finishing this amazing race and then having that moment with whoever their special someone was to acknowledge, that they actually did this!

After finally finding some of the rest of my friends, finishing numerous bottles of water, eating lots of fruit and granola bars, it was time to head out to eat more!

While my body didn't want to move, it did want to eat more food. So we headed off to Silk City for a delicious brunch with some of the same people we carbo-loaded with, and more! After eating more food that I thought I could stomach, we headed off to shower and head back to NYC.

It was truly an amazing day, that I will never forget. I will never forget my amazing biff and the kick-ass playlist she made me to keep me running for almost two hours and I will never forget Miriam standing on a street corner waiting for me and allowing me to give her the sweatiest hug ever and I will never forget, crossing that finish line and seeing two of my favorite cousins ever.

But now I have to decide, do I want to run a half-marathon? Do I want to set a new type of goal for myself? What's next for me? I guess you'll just have to wait and see!

For now, the next step in getting through this week so that I can head to Martha's Vineyard to see my very dear friend Erica tie the knot!

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Last Time...

I tied my sneaks for one last time in NYC and hit the ground running. It was just a simple two miles but it reminded me how far I've come. Ten weeks ago two miles was a lot, come Sunday, two miles will just be one fifth of my day.

There are a lot of crossed off days which can only mean one thing, I'm ready!

Off to Philly bright and early to pick up our race packets and have a great pasta dinner with some wonderful friends.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's the Final Countdown!

Happy Hump Day!

Or is it? Wednesday means it's just a few short days until the big race. I'm currently feeling every emotion under the sun, from energized, to excited, to scared to anxious to thankful.

So, let me elaborate...

After feeling overwhelmingly sore after Saturday's "challenge", I just wasn't sure how this week was going to shape up. Add in the fact that I had a lot of things planned socially, I also wasn't sure when I would have time to round out my training. After going to happy hour yesterday (and not drinking), I rushed home in hopes I would get a good run in and that's exactly what I did! I had a great 3 mile run that I finished in just over 27 minutes. 27:14 to be exact. It felt great to hit the road, and helped me to become energized that I'm still in this and I'm ready!

I had the chance to sneak out of work on Monday and head over to the new REI store in SoHo. After an unsuccessful shopping trip on Sunday for work out clothes, I knew that was still on my to do list. I found a great top that I know I'll look good and feel good wearing during the race. Not only am I excited for my outfit, but I'm excited to be with friends! Right now we're in the process of planning our pasta party for the night before and planning brunch for after the run. There's no better way to celebrate and prepare for a race than with friends.

Scared AND Anxious
I think these two go hand in hand. I'm still scared at the number 10. It just seems like A LOT! I know that I can do this, so I keep reminding myself that, but some days, it's still scary. In the same sense, I'm just anxious about the number 10. I'm anxious for what it will bring and how I'll feel as I'm running along to the finish line. I hope that I can keep my nerves in check for the next couple of days, so keeping my mind off the race is important.

I am SO incredibly thankful for my amazing friends and family that have been and continue to support me through this journey. While it may not be a marathon, or even a half marathon, it's still a big goal that I'm trying to achieve for myself. I'm thankful that I'll see some friendly faces during the race and at the finish line and I'm also thankful that I will definitely be armed with the best playlist of any of the runners out there.

For now, it's off to my boxing class for my last "cross-training" workout before the race!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The High Rock Challenge

My running buddy, Jenn, and I decided it would be fun to sign up for an obstacle course race in Staten Island as a good way to prepare us for Broad Street. Fun is the operative word here.

Leading up to the race all we knew was that we would be running about 8 miles through trails with a number of 'mystery' obstacles along the way. It couldn't be that hard right?! Wrong!

We showed up Saturday morning and while we waited for our start time we were surrounded by athletes that looked like they were ready to do battle. Apparently we had no idea what we were in for as we donned our hot pink and green spandex and sparkly shirts.

* Note to self: Always do a rehearsal run in whatever costume get up you expect to run at least 8 miles in.

The race started with us crawling through mud on our hands and knees under some netting. It continued with what I suppose you could call a run through the woods but it was really more a walk for fear we would trip over one of the many roots or rocks in our path. The next obstacle we came across was 'Mount Moses' which was basically a very large cliff that we had to climb up with the help of a single rope. After slipping a few times I finally made it to the top. A little more 'running' lead us to a lake which we had to kayak across. Just picture it, two small girls with not a lot of upper body strength attempting to paddle! We must have been quite the sight to see!

After we finally made it to the shore, sopping wet, the run continued through the mud. And more mud and more mud until we found ourselves running for a half a mile through a stream.

I think it was around this time where I noticed that the coolness I felt on my butt was not because I was wet but because my pants had split. Thus the reason for the note to self. Thankfully with some quick thinking I turned my shirt into a skirt and ran in just my sports bra on top. While it wasn't the best solution it was the only solution.

But, back to the stream, which wasn't a dried up stream, it was freezing cold water up to our ankles that made us numb! And just when we thought we were done with the stream we were lead to a drainage pipe that we had to shimmy through on our hands and knees. Once again the water was freezing and the cement was hard (we have bruises on our knees to prove that!) but we made it through to find out we had to continue to run through the water! At this point we were about halfway through the race and I think Jenn and I both wanted to cry.

As we continued to run we came up to our next obstacle which entailed us having our arms tied together while we carried a 25lb bag of sand. We were given a map of this wooded area with 5 checkpoints. Three of these checkpoints would give us a number for the combination of our lock. Of course we weren't lucky enough to find our combination in the first three checkpoints and had to go to all five! Once we finally navigated out of the woods and unlocked our lock we were unlocked from each other and left the bag to some other sorry team to carry around for 30 minutes. If we weren't drained before, we were completely spent after that one.

About 3 miles and a couple of brain teasers later the finish line was in sight! I'm not sure which of us was happier but very quickly that happiness vanished as we found out we had one more obstacle to complete. We had to climb up a wall and then get across some netting to then climb down the other side.

As we finally made it across the finish line we hugged and laughed and said NEVER AGAIN!

It was great to experience something different and maybe if we were more prepared it would have been a bit easier on us, but for now we may just stick to road races. We ended up finishing in 2 hours and 44 minutes which put us 314 out of 634 total teams and 56 out of 184 female teams. Not too shabby especially with a hole in my pants for more than half the race!

Now I need to focus on restoring my muscles and my energy to Broad Street! Only 6 more days til the race that I've spent 10 weeks preparing for!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Personal Records

I'm currently sitting on a train on the way to Boston for a very special friend's bachelorette party. Knowing that I was going to be away for the weekend and that it was two weeks before my big race I decided to take a half day so that I could get a run in. Once again it's all about making the time. I know some of my friends aren't training like I am for this race and that's fine, but this training is keeping me motivated and helping me to see that I can do this!

Since last Saturday I wasn't able to complete my 7 miles I put that in mind as my goal. I knew that if I can run 6 miles, I can definitely run 7 and if I can run 7 then I can hopefully run 10!

Well, I pushed myself more than ever and am proud to say I killed my 7 mile run today. I ran my regular route but found that 3.5 miles from my apartment leads me right under the Brooklyn bridge! I really wanted to keep running across to the West Side but time was just not in my favor so I swiftly turned around once I got to the bridge. Thankfully there are water fountains along East River Park so about every two miles I was able to hydrate. I'm going to have to remind myself that I need to stop at all of the water stations even if I'm feeling fine!

My first two miles were super fast coming in at about 8:50 and then 9:10. I knew that I was moving too fast and that if I wanted to accomplish my goal I was going to have to slow down! So eventually I got into my grove and finished my 7 miles with an average pace of 9:49! I mean how freaking amazing! My goal for Broad Street is to maintain a 10 minute mile so it looks like I'm right on track.

After my run I picked up a salad and a jumbo Zico water to hydrate and quickly got ready to head off to Penn Station.

Tomorrow we're having a spa day so I'm treating myself to an hour long deep tissue massage. I think I've deserved it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Everyone loves some sunshine!

Last week was another busy yet productive week.

If any of you out there are Biggest Loser fans you know that this season is the season of no excuses. Well that's exactly the mindset I was in this week. I didn't want to sacrifice my social life but as we're getting closer to the race I need to make sure I am on schedule with my training!

Last Tuesday I had dinner plans with the girls I volunteer with because one of them sadly (but happy for her!) left us for Florence for the next year. While dinner was a 10 min walk from my office I decided to make things difficult for myself. I brought my running shows and tied up my laces and ran home from work! Of course I ran the long way home! I thought I knew the path I was taking but I actually shot a little off and ended up running 3.85 miles instead of 3! I guess I can't complain since it was a beautiful night and I didn't mind keeping my legs moving! I swiftly showered and ran to catch the bus and was only about 5 minutes late to dinner! No bad for getting in a workout!

Thursday night I was off for another run but this was a little less enthusiastic. I had been out late Wednesday night for happy hour and combined with the wonderful Passover diet I just didn't have the energy needed. I ended up with a normal 3 mile run that a normal person wouldn't complain about, but of course I wasn't too thrilled.

While Friday is supposed to be my off day I decided to get some yoga in. Since I'm of the new mindset that yoga the day before a run helps me I thought, why not! I tried a new studio near my office and the teacher was great. She helped adjust me in a few positions and even convinced me to try a few poses I didn't think I could handle. Overall I left feeling rejuvenated with some extra flexibility especially in my hips.

Saturday I woke up to beautiful blue skies and couldn't wait for my run. Sarah and I had planned to go to Central Park to get our workouts in and we couldn't have asked for better weather. She's training for the 40-mile 5-borough bike tour so her goal was to do 3 of the big loops while mine was to do one which is about 6 miles. Well, I'm not sure if it was the heat, Passover or just the hills but my 6 miles was anything but spectacular. I had to walk a fair amount and was hydrating like crazy but I did finish it in less time than my last 6 mile run so I guess that's a positive. It was still great to be out and about and of course I was feeling it in my hips once I was home! I decided to treat myself to a manicure/pedicure afterwards and boy was that a treat. Nothing like someone rubbing your feet after you've pounded them into the ground!

This week isn't as busy but I am headed to Boston for a bachelorette party this weekend so still not sure when I'll get my big run in.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weather as much as I am! As well as the hundreds that flocked to the park this week. Oh I can't wait for summer in the city!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Reservoir

Today was deemed 'Family Fun Day' by yours truly. While the weekend already consisted of a lot of family time, it's always nice to try something different! Oddly enough, 3 out of the 4 of us have never been to the Reservoir even though it's basically in our backyard.

I was told it was about 3 miles around the red loop so my mom, dad and Josh set out to walk one loop while I was going to run two in order to hit my 6 miles. Little did I know the loop was just like one big hill! As we all know I don't really run many hills in NYC so I wasn't sure that I was totally up for the challenge.

After about 2 miles I thought I was going to give up. I kept telling myself I could push through each hill but they just kept winning. I decided to run back and find the family. About a half mile later I found them and my water bottle and handed off my zip up. I told myself to suck it up and get a move on. So move on I did and found myself running another 2 miles before getting to the beginning of the loop. At that point I had run 4.6 miles and I knew that I could finish this run strong!

I ran back to find my family (and my water!) and by the time I did I hit 5.4 miles. I quickly grabbed my bottle and ran back to the beginning of the loop finishing my 6 miles in just under 66 minutes with a 10:58 average pace. It definitely wasn't my best run or my most graceful, but I was ecstatic that I finished!

The scenery at the Reservoir is breathtaking both literally and figuratively! Overall it was a great weekend with the family and I was so proud of my run. Next week is 7 miles!

Only 4 more weeks til race time.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Well, my plan of being accountable by blogging has clearly failed. Today is the first day that I am actually sitting and doing NOTHING. It's been a hectic last couple of weeks but thankfully now life is going to slow down a bit!

If we rewind back to before Italy, I made the decision not to go to volunteering the day before my trip. I needed extra time to pack and I wanted to get into a relaxation mode so I found myself at yoga. It was a great class where I found myself really getting in tune with my breathing.

Tuesday was travel day! Our flight wasn't leaving until 6:30pm, but I took the entire day off so that I wouldn't be stressed out. I woke early and laced up my shoes for a 4 mile run. I've been finding lately that every time I follow up a yoga class with a run my run is better than ever. I finished in under 40 minutes which is always reassuring! After my run I enjoyed a delicious sushi lunch with Derrick and finished some last minute packing before we were off.

In one word, Italy was amazing. After meeting my aunt and cousin Orit in the airport, we were all off to my cousin Eli and his wife Idit's apartment in Rome. They've been living there since September and have another year and a half in their jobs before they'll be back to Israel. We spent 4 nights in Rome and 2 nights in Florence. I was definitely partial to Florence though as it was just such an intimate city. It was so easy to get around and I felt like I knew it within just a few hours. Rome was also nice but there was just something about it that made it feel overwhelming. The public transportation was a bit difficult to get down and there were just do many people every which way you turned that it was too much. Overall though it was a beautiful country and I hope that one day I'll get to go back to explore more of it.

Of course while I was in Italy exercise was not on my mind. Instead the gelato was! I excitedly ate two scoops a day and enjoyed many a glass of wine and a cappuccino. While I may not have been running, I was walking! I wish that I had been counting my steps because I'm sure that I had done a few miles a day. So at least I was still moving!

Our vacation came to an end too soon as most vacations do and it was back to reality. Jet lag reared it's evil head and I wasn't able to do much those first couple of days back. By Friday I decided to head to yoga to get myself back into the swing of things. I definitely limbered up and spent the rest of the night curled up with a salad and catching up on some TV.

Saturday morning I woke up with the gloomy clouds of NYC. I was scheduled to run 5 miles and didn't want the weather to get in my way so I got myself dressed in the best rain proof gear I had and set out. It was more windy than rainy and at first I was extremely discouraged but I just kept telling myself I could do it. After about 3 miles I started to get a bit tired since it was my first run in 10 days so I took a minute to walk. Then what came on my iPod but Ke$ha! I love when a song pops on that I have a personal connection to because it drives me more. So I started to run again and I finished my 5 miles in just under 51 minutes. I was a bit bummed I didn't keep at least a 10 minute pace but I kept reminding myself I hadn't run in 10 days and the conditions were anything but ideal!

Saturday night I was rewarded with a girls night out! It was such a fun and random night with some of my favorites! We were out too late, danced a lot and laughed even more!

Sunday turned into a lazy day. Dominika had spent the night since headed off to brunch and then my afternoon was spent with Christian Grey. If you haven't been reading the Fifty Shades trilogy, get going! I'm into the third book and keep wondering what am I going to do when I'm finished!!! Sunday night I finally got to see The Hunger Games. It was enjoyable but not amazing. I'm not sure there has been a book turned movie that really lives up to its written version so I wasn't expecting anything amazing. It was fun to see it come to life though.

Monday started my regular weekly routine. It was so great to go back to volunteering. It's really amazing how it sets the tone for my week. Without it, I really get lost and sometimes think its still Monday when it's really Tuesday! I was still a bit tired so headed home right after and finally got a good nights sleep.

Tuesday I had a couple drinks with an old coworker. It was good to catch up and here what had been going on at FactSet, just continues to reassure me that I made the right decision to leave. After drinks I made the smart decision to go for a run. I was honestly craving one and so at 8pm after 2 Bud Lights I ran a great 3 miles in 28:48. Not too shabby!

Wednesday was back to boxing for me and oh what a work out that was! If possible, I'm still sore today. It was another moment this week where it felt great to be back in my routine. I still have 7 more classes which excites me because I truly love these workouts!

Unfortunately, between my soreness and Passover I haven't had another run since Tuesday, but I have big plans for tomorrow. And this time I promise it won't be 2 weeks in between my posts!

Pictures from Italy will be up soon and I plan on taking a lot of pictures tomorrow! Just wait!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Ides of March

I can honestly say this week has been one of the most fun-filled yet stressful weeks I've had in quite some time.

After an amazing weekend in AC with some of my favorites I got thrown right back into the swing of things in the city. Monday I headed off to volunteering after work and we had a really great, smooth night. I've officially hit one year of volunteering which has just blown my mind. I feel like I've been volunteering for years! I honestly can't imagine what my week would be like without it. I'll be sad to miss it the next two weeks for vacation, but I suppose everyone needs a break now and then!

Tuesday night I was supposed to run 2 miles, but because of dinner plans, I knew I couldn't go boxing Wednesday and didn't want to miss a week. So instead of running I chose to go to boxing class. I had a great chat with Alberto before class who is the owner of the gym, about my fitness goals. I told him all about the race I was training for and he told me parts of my boxing techniques that I should focus on that will help me with my running. After a ridiculously intense class I headed home and Sarah and I made another great quinoa recipe. This was passed along to me by Dominika and was a delicious version of a Mac and cheese. We sautéed some broccoli with garlic while cooking the quinoa and then combined that with cheese, milk and egg and baked in the oven. It was the perfect clean, healthy meal after a good workout!

Wednesday night I had dinner plans with the volunteer girls. After one of my last debacles of attempting a run and shower before dinner (that did not end well for anyone) I decided to go with a non-sweaty event, yoga. This particular instructor teaches his classes around a different theme each week. One week we focused on our necks and this week it was our breathing. While a lot of yoga is all about monitoring our breathing this took it to a whole new level. I truly could feel the connection with my body and hope that I can take those lessons and use them in my running. After yoga I headed to dinner around the corner at a delicious Mediterranean restaurant with 6 of my favorite ladies. We had great food, drinks and company all night and are already planning next month's dinner! And, I'm looking forward to trying Bikram yoga with one of the girls as yet another way to challenge my body.

As the week progressed the weather got gloomier and of course I chose Thursday to run outside. I only needed to run 2 miles and finished in 19:40. It was a great short run so I really can't complain. After my run I had a quick shower and then went off to dinner with Derrick at a small Brazilian restaurant. We had one of the tastiest meals we have had in a while with a whole trout cooked to perfection!

Unfortunately my 'day of rest' was anything but. It was the most stressful day I've had a work in a long time that lead to me having to stay in the office until 7pm and miss my train home to CT. In the end everything worked itself out as it always does in the end, but it was quite a rough day. I finally made it home after taking the commuter rail and having my brother come get me in New Haven and he did what any good brother would do, took me for a drink!

After drinking about 32 ounces of a raspberry margarita I was still able to pull myself out of bed for a run this morning. I guess I had originally thought it would be warmer outside so I didn't have the best running clothes with me. Luckily my parents have a treadmill so I was able to run a solid 2 miles on that. I finished in just under 20 minutes which again is a great run for me. I was a bit surprised at the training schedule for this week since it didn't have me increasing my mileage today but Tuesday I am due for a 4 mile run. The rest of my Saturday was filled with celebrating one of my favorite people! It was Erica's bridal shower so my mom and I spent the afternoon in Framingham. It was nice to have some quality time in the car with my mom and spend time with Erica and of course Lauren.

Tomorrow I'm back to the city and it's crunch time! Only three days left until Italy so I need to start packing and getting everything in order!! I know I won't be adhering to my training schedule while I'm there but I'm sure I'll be doing an insane amount of running!

I think that's about all I've got for this crazy week. Onto the next one!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

No More Sleeping In

I remember the days when I would go away for a weekend and be so excited to sleep in! Well those days have passed. Not only am I not sleeping in, but my bags are filled with sneakers and workout clothes. Who am I?!

In all honesty, I was really excited to wake up Saturday morning and go for a run. The boardwalk in Atlantic City was the perfect place for it. The whole boardwalk is about 7 miles but the part in AC is about 3. Saturday's run was supposed to be 4 miles and I accomplished it in just under 40 minutes. When I first got up and my two best friends were still cozy in bed I just kept thinking, 'What on earth am
I doing!?'. But after 39:21 I felt better than ever and it helped remind me why I got out of bed!

I was not only proud of the awesome run I had, but I was also proud of the fact that I really am committed to this training.

The rest of the weekend was a blast. How can you not enjoy a weekend away with all of your girlfriends celebrating one of the best's birthdays! We danced and eat and drank and gambled and all I can say is I've got the best friends a girl could ask for!

Now I'm looking forward to cozying up with my new book Fifty Shades of Grey and enjoyed the rest of my Sunday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quinoa is a Girl's Best Friend

Last night was my first night of paying full price for a boxing class. I bought 10 sessions after my deal ran out and I'm definitely happy that I did. I went back and forth for days about whether or not I should do it, but in the end I did. The fact that I have boxing to look forward to for the next 9 weeks actually makes me smile. So I'll say this again to anyone reading, once you find a work out that you enjoy, just stick with it! After feeling like I wanted to die, I enjoyed a nice sushi dinner. Not a bad reward!

Tonight I was scheduled for a simple 2 mile run. It's funny because when I tell some people 'Oh yeah, I'm just running 2 miles tonight' the response is always 'JUST?!'. A couple of years ago that might have been my response as well. But these days, 2 miles can be done in under 19 minutes! It was so beautiful out today besides a bit of wind, so even though it was dark I decided to run my regular route. I held a great pace of 9:26 per mile and was home before I knew it! I'm really looking forward to daylight savings this weekend because not only does it mean spring is really coming it also means my runs after work will be done in the light!

After my run, it was home to start making dinner. Sarah and I decided to be super healthy tonight and make quinoa with edamame and corn along with a broccoli slaw salad with homemade dressing. We are always looking for simple, easy meals we can make after our workouts since it tends to be somewhat late. I mean, who wants to cook a gourmet meal at 8pm! I've recently been experimenting with quinoa and then Sarah and I were given about a lifetime supply of it from her friend Arielle. Hopefully we will continue to find some fun renditions and make some more delicious and filling meals!

Tomorrow I'll be traveling down to AC with my best friends to start a weekend of celebrating for Rachel's birthday! Don't you worry though, my sneakers are already packed!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What do you call cheese that isn't yours?

Nacho Cheese!!

Lame, I know. But if you know me at all, you know that this is exactly the type of joke I burst into laughter over.

The age old issue that has me fighting internally with myself is the fact that I will work out and burn a whole lot of calories to just eat them right back with the next meal. Sometimes I feel guilty doing this but other times I think, no big deal, why else do I work out? So I can eat the food I enjoy! Throughout this training period should I be making healthier decisions? Will that benefit my running in the long run? I'm sure it will to some extent but it is worth passing up that delicious plate of nachos?!

I headed out of work a bit early today to get my 3 miles in. A very dear friend of mine was visiting from out of state and I wanted to make sure that I had as much time to visit as possible! My run was a rough one on that stupid treadmill but I attempted to make it a bit lighter by changing the interval and pace throughout the run. One thing I learned from my run in CP this weekend was that I really need to focus more on my hills. I finished the 3 miles in just shy of 30 minutes at 29:40 which felt great.

After my run I rushed home to shower and get ready to head out to see Andy. We had a great night filled with a few beers, a heaping plate of nachos, tons of basketball and a lot of catching up.

So I leave you with this question, is my run worth a plate of nachos or should I have stuck with a salad, dressing on the side of course.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A New York Kinda Weekend

Well it was officially the first weekend of March and my only weekend of March that I'll be in the city so I set off to enjoy every last inch of it!

Friday was the perfect night. I got home from work and didn't move from the couch until it was time for bed! The only part of me that didn't rest was my wallet. I purchased a new package of yoga classes as well as a new package of boxing classes. I knew that after Thursday night's meditation class I wanted to get back into yoga, so I took the plunge. I really missed that time to myself so I'm looking forward to starting that back up this week!

Saturday morning Jenn and I had a date to run in Central Park. It was raining when we got up but very lightly so we decided to give it a go. Needless to say maybe it wasn't the brightest idea. It ended up being a very cold, very wet run. But don't worry we were not the only crazies out there. The NYC half marathon is coming up in a couple of weeks so the park was packed! We set off to do two loops around the lower loop which is about a 5K and was what our training schedule called for but we didn't make it. We had a solid 2 miles and then walked the third finishing the full three miles in just under 35 minutes which is right on par. I know part of the issue was the rain but the other is the fact that both of us normally run of the FDR which is just a flat, fast run. My goal for this week is while running the treadmill to mix it up a bit. Add some inclines and some speed to my runs to try to simulate more of a real run in the park. After our run we enjoyed a nice greasy breakfast and then were off on our separate ways.

Saturday night was a night on the town with the All Souls gang. One of the volunteers is an actor so a group of 50 of us went to see his play Hand to God as a fundraiser. It was hilarious to say the least. Almost like Avenue Q on crack. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the city looking for a good off broadway show! After the show everyone headed to a bar nearby for drinks and drinks were had. It is always enjoyable to get to spend some time outside of the kitchen with everyone as each of us comes from such different walks of life. You have your hedge fund kids, your professional singers, photographers and even those that work in cancer research. Needless to say its never a dull moment and I'm so glad to have found this group.

We were out pretty late so today was spent mostly lounging around. Then this evening Derrick and I ventured off to the west side. Last night the bar we were at was next to a restaurant called Empanada Mama which everyone raved about so I knew I would be heading there eventually, I just didn't think it would be so soon! Everyone was right and we had a delicious dinner with empanadas galore! After dinner we headed to Le Parker Meridien to our favorite coffee bar and enjoyed some cappuccinos (mine with a shot of amaretto) and the stylings of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and more of the greats. About an hour of relaxation later we made one last pit stop before heading home. Magnolia Bakery. I indulged in a vanilla cake and chocolate buttercream cupcake while Derrick stuck to his favorite; an oatmeal raisin cookie. At this point I needed to be rolled home so I knew that the night was coming to a close.

While I didn't have the most amazing run Saturday and my cross training today consisted of walking from one food establishment to the next, I can honestly say this weekend was right up my alley. It's not often that I have weekends to enjoy the city and its sounds and smells and passion, so when I do, I live it up.

I also finished my book for book club which is 3 weeks away! It's called Room by Emma Donoghue. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good book! And if you have any recommendations for me I'm all ears!

I know this week will be filled with yoga and running and some boxing so I'm looking forward to that. Throw in a few hours of work each day along with some volunteering and a night out with friends and you have the recipe for a great week!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Tonight was quite the night. I went from one extreme to another with a great friend in the middle.

Tonight I set out to do a two mile run. Since it was pretty gloomy out I was off to the gym to run on what my friend Margaret calls the 'demon treadmill'. (Check out a link to her blog!) I decided I would push myself a bit further so I set the mph at a 9:40 pace. I thought it would help me if I was hitting a pace that I usually have outside but with the poor air circulation and the heat blasting it wasn't easy. Thankfully I pushed myself and while I did drop my pace at some points I ran at an 8:34 pace for the last quarter mile. So overall I finished my two miles in 19:17. Not too shabby.

After my run I headed to Le Pain to meet Dominika before the next adventure. After a delicious salad and catching up with Dom we headed off to a meditation class. Neither of us had ever been to one but wanted to give it a try.

After running and working up quite the sweat, sitting still for 20 minutes was quite an interesting feeling. While I did get antsy after the first 10 minutes it truly is an amazing experience. It's not very often that we take time out of our busy lives and breathe in and breathe out. I can't say that I will be back to the meditation class but I can say I enjoyed it for what it was and what it gave me. A break from life and a look at within for even just that one hour.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One, Two, Hook...

Imagine having someone scream at you one, two, hook over and over and OVER again until you're blue in the face. Well, that about sums up my evening. Tonight was my last boxing class in the package that I got and it was like Alberto (the instructor) knew that. He pushed me further than I felt I had gone before and trust me, I'm already feeling it!

As much as I wanted to throw up at the end of class from the amount of energy I exerted, it is still one of the best workouts I've ever done. I can honestly say that I feel myself getting stronger with each class I take. Turns out the deal I wanted to buy last week was for new clients only, so I think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a package of classes. It's not every day that you find something that you enjoy doing yet also makes you feel like you're going to die.

For anyone that is a slave to their gym, I highly recommend quitting! I was so sick of mediocre teachers at NYSC pretending they were yoga instructors and kickboxing instructors and decided it wasn't worth my $90 a month. Since then I found a gym that is $20 a month with no commitment that has more treadmills and ellipticals then you could imagine. The trade-off is, there are no classes, but that's ok! I've been exploring yoga studios and now found a boxing studio, both of which I would never have done if I hadn't quit NYSC. So if you're sick of the same boring workout routine, take a chance, you never know, you could be the next Muhammad Ali.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Everyone Needs a Kelso

Every single morning, my colleague Kelso runs 5 miles. 5 miles! Every day! Every SINGLE day! I've always marveled at this (for the last 5 months that I've known her) and have been trying to get her to sign up for races with me but to no avail. Kelso runs for herself. She doesn't need to show anyone that she can run further or faster than them or that she can finish a race. She knows she can.

It's always made me think - why am I running these races? Why don't I just run every day and be done with it. The truth is, I used to do that, and at some point along the way, it no longer became fun for me. I needed something to work toward, which is where these races have come in and more importantly it is just a race against myself. I'm not trying to come in first or even try to finish before one of my friends I'm racing with. I'm just trying to finish. To do better than my last race and to feel the sense of accomplishment that I was able to finish something.

I knew that I wanted to run this morning since I have dinner plans after work, which meant waking up at least an hour earlier than usual. Woof. But, thankfully - I have Kelso. I told her to text me when she was leaving to go running and text me she did. So again, it made me accountable. I got up, brushed my teeth, stretched a bit and off I went! I couldn't have asked for better weather this morning. Today was supposed to be a 3 mile run which I did without any problems. I finished the 3 miles in 28:21 which was better than I could ask for. My goal for my Saturday runs is to run in different parts of the city. I think that I'm so used to my regular path that it has almost become to easy for me. So if I add some twists and turns in Central Park or on the West Side Highway, maybe it will challenge me more.

With 3 miles under my belt before 8 am, the day was off to a great start. Looking forward to a nice meal tonight, and it will have been worth one hour less of sleep this morning!

Monday, February 27, 2012

All Souls

Raise your hand if Monday's always feel like the longest days ever!

While it's always hard to get out of bed on Mondays, I always look forward to them. For over a year now, almost every single Monday night of mine has been spent at All Souls Church on the Upper East Side. Monday nights are 'Hospitality Nights' which can only be described as a restaurant for homeless and low income people.

So my Mondays are spent waitressing. Serving soup, salad, coffee, tea, juice, milk, bread and entrees to close to 275 people most nights. Oh right, can't forget the desserts! I enjoy almost every moment of my Monday nights, running around, getting people more bread and butter or hot coffee. It's one of the most rewarding things I've done and when I miss a night because of work or vacation, my whole week just feels off!

In any case, Mondays are supposed to be stretch and strength days but they really are more of a cross training with all the running around I do! I'm pretty sure I'll eventually switch my Sunday and Monday workouts but for now my tired feet are up on the couch catching up on some TV.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Shopping Workout

Sunday's are supposed to be my second cross training day of the week. I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to do as such in the coming weeks so I may have to swap the Sunday and Monday workouts certain weeks.

Does outlet shopping count as cross training? While walking is technically a way to cross train I'm not sure this kind counts. :)

So what does one do if they miss a work out? Do I just try to do better next week? Monday's are meant to be stretch and strength training but since I volunteer Monday nights (by running around like a chicken with its head cut off) unless I work out in the morning before work I know I'll never get it done. That's why maybe if I swap days I'd be better off.

I may get home too late tonight seeing as I'm still on a train (and have an hour left of Braveheart) but if not maybe I can do some yoga in my room before bed.

Otherwise, I had a great first week and know that the coming week will be even better!

So I'll leave you with the wise words of Mel Gibson 'They may take away our lives but they'll never take our freedom!'

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Crisp New England Weather

One day it's 60 degrees in NYC and the next it's 30 degrees with 60 mph winds outside of Boston! Oh Mother Nature how you confuse me!

I laced up my sneakers and put on my head warmer and got the courage to go running this morning before Karen and I started our day! I never really know what to do before I run in the morning. Do I eat? Do I not eat? How long do I really need before my body is awake? So many questions! Top that off with being in a different city and you have just a normal run.

I did 2 miles in exactly 20 minutes which is fine with me since I was so cold and it was so windy tears were streaming down my face! I think overall it was a great run and shows me that I can run anywhere. I hope that running in different cities will be beneficial to my training so I get used to different terrains and such.

Anywho after running two miles I treated myself to a few tasting beers at the Sam Adams Brewery. Not a bad day in Boston!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Day of Rest

It only makes sense that Friday is the one day of rest during the weekly training program. After a long week at work, Fridays are always my lounging nights. Oftentimes they are also my travel nights, which tonight just so happens to be!

Right now I'm on the train to Providence to spend the weekend with my beautiful best friend Karen! So thankfully I didn't need to squeeze a run in before my 4 hour train ride!

The coming weekends are filled with travel to Atlantic City, Framingham, Italy, Connecticut, Boston and more! So while I'll have my Fridays to travel, you can bet my bags will be packed just a bit more full with all of my gear to get my Saturday runs in!

Only an hour and 20 minutes left on the train! Guess its back to reading for now.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Warm February Nights

When I walked out of my apartment this morning I knew I would be taking advantage of this beautiful winter weather. Unfortunately we haven't 'sprung' ahead yet so it's pretty dark after work still. I didn't want to let that get in the way of my run though so I left work a little early in hopes to have a little sunlight. Well, even at 6pm - its pretty dark. On the bright side only 2 more weeks of this!

I don't know how it happens, but every time I run outside I'm like a speed demon! I ran 2 miles in 18:50! That's a 9:25 pace! When just two days ago on the treadmill I finished in 19:54. It seriously amazes me! I was feeling so good and wanted to keep going but I'm trying my hardest to stick to the training schedule. So I ended up doing 2.25 miles total in 21:11 which ended up being a 9:20 pace, can't complain!

Now that my tummy is full after a delicious avocado pasta and stuffed chicken dinner, time to relax and read the latest book club book; Room.

Recipes if you're interested: (thanks to Dom)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Work Train Fight

A few weeks ago I bought a deal at a boxing gym near my office. Once I finally made the move to quit NYSC at the beginning of this year I felt like I could finally explore other outlets to workout.

The deal offered 4 boxing classes for $35 and when one class is normally $35 how could you pass this up!

Tonight was my third class and I wish that I more than one left. This workout leaves you physically and mentally drained. It's a lot of core and A LOT of arms which I don't get as much of as I would like, so I know it's worth it!

Wednesdays are supposed to be 'cross training' nights which typically means some form of cardio other than running. I think boxing class definitely counts as my heart rate was racing!

One of the girls in the class tonight mentioned there was a deal on a different site today for 6 classes for $44 but by the time I got home it was sold out. :( They do have another deal for personal training sessions so I may consider buying that since I'm sure that it couldn't hurt my training process.

So, day #2 and I can say that hopefully all of this work will pay off.

If you're interested here is the link for the gym:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Adventures

Today began my first day on my newest journey.

I'm officially training for the Broad Street 10 Miler! I'm hoping that this training will turn into training for the Brooklyn Half-Marathon if I can register. Setting these goals for myself has really gotten me excited about the coming months. It's been a while since I have had a goal for myself outside of my professional life.

I printed out a 10 week training course and have it taped up to my door in my room as well as being engrained in my mind!

I know it's not going to be easy and I'm going to need to continuously push myself, but I hope this blog will help. It will help me to be accountable to myself and it will help that my friends and family read this and continue to push me even when I don't think I can be pushed any further.

The training program has me running 3 days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays with the longer runs on Saturdays. I know those will be tough since I have a lot of weekends away in the coming months, but I'll do my best to get the runs in!

Today was a simple 2 mile run. It was a bit windy outside so I headed to the gym. While it was hot and sweaty and the air was barely circulating, I had a good solid run finishing in 19:54.

Hopefully it sets the tone for the next 10 weeks!