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.