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Summer Day Adventures

June 25th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

It’s the weekend! But for me, my weekend began a day early. During the months of June, July and August my company lets us pick one day off per month to take as a ‘summer day’. With no real plans, I decided to take Friday (yesterday) off to relax!

Thursday night felt like an adventure; since I didn’t have to wake up early for work or get in a run, I was happy to stay out and do whatever. I went with a group of friends to Mercury Bar in Murray Hill post-work to grab some food and drinks. We left around 9:30 and started walking back to the subway to go our respective ways. It was a nice night out, not too humid or cool, so I decided I might want to walk home. Yes, from 34th and 3rd, to the UWS. We just kept walking up 3rd and eventually hit 52nd street, where Obama’s motorcade was heading out of the city! We got held up for about 10 minutes, and kinda snuck a shot of his limo!

Obama, is that you?

At this point, two of my friends got on the subway to head back home. Three of us continued walking up 3rd, and decided that the beers and fried bar food weren’t enough. We needed ice cream! We made it our mission to walk to the 16 Handles on the Upper East Side. We finally arrived at 10:59, to find out they close at 11! They almost didn’t let us in, but we luckily were the last customers.

Enjoying our froyo creations, we ‘dropped’ my friend off at her apartment a few blocks away, and cut crosstown through Central Park to the west side (yes, we walked through after 11pm at night, in the dark, two girls with froyo.. totally safe. Hope you’re not reading this, Mom!)

I finally made it home around midnight and passed out full and happy after walking over 60 blocks uptown and from 2nd ave to Riverside Ave. I just mapped the entire evening was about 5.75 miles worth of walking. Felt good to just get out there and walk!

I kicked off my summer day off by sleeping in until 11:30am (amazing!). It was not the nicest day in NYC, kinda rainy, humid and overcast. I had originally planned to lay out in Central Park with a book and get a tan, but that was not in the cards today. It ended up being for the best, because I didn’t feel guilty in the slightest for sleeping in and laying in bed a bit.

After breakfast in bed, I decided it was time for a run. I headed to Central Park for a favorite weekend route, a full outer loop of the park- plus some add ons to/from my apartment is about 8 miles. Despite the humidity (I was so sweaty it may as well have been raining), it was an awesome run!

I felt really strong and was able to pick it up at the end, and was my longest run since the Mini 10K! The only thing I’ve noticed with my Garmin is that my first mile is always a bit off because of the poor satellite reception amidst the tall buildings until I get into the park. See how my pace is all wacky?

Does this happen to any other NYC-ers? I always wait to start my run until I find a good satellite reception, but this happens quite often and it frustrates me since I know I am running faster and I’ve gone more than a mile by the time it hits the mile mark. I know tall city buildings are likely the cause, but…annoying.

After my run, I refueled with breakfast part 2!

New fave combo: Kashi Go Lean, Banana, Blueberries, Almond Milk and Protein Powder (makes milk a little creamier/thicker)

I spend the rest of the day lounging around the apartment more, and finally decided that one night at 16 Handles was not enough. I had to return!

The Upper West Side store was celebrating their ‘Grand Opening’ (even though they’ve been open about 2 months now) with 16% off!

This delicious creation may or may not have cost about $8.

I also decided I didn’t quite do enough walking last night, so I walked all the way across town to Target, fueled by the sugary goodness of 16 Handles.

By the time I arrived at 116th and Pleasant, my legs were kinda tired. I guess running 8 miles and walking so much will do that. I mapped I walked a total of 6 miles between my trip to 16 Handles and Target and home. In flip flops. At Target, I had some stuff to return, and then of course found $100 worth of more stuff I ‘needed to have!

What can I say, Target is a city girl’s wonderland. Now if I only had a car, so I didn’t have to carry it all home. :) Okay, I took the bus most of the way home because the bags were heavy and my feet were tired.

All in all, a relaxing (and pretty productive!) day off just for some me time. I love keeping busy and going out and doing things with friends and family, but sometimes a day entirely to myself is just what I needed. Now off to start the rest of the real weekend– which will be full of spending time with friends (a winery tour on Sunday!) and not quite as much ridiculous walking :)

How do you spend your days off from work/school/etc.? Do you tend to be super productive, or lounge around and do nothing?

And, if you have a Garmin in the city, do you have any issues with satellite?

Good Things This Week

June 21st, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

This week has been full of good stuff.

Cute finds at a neighborhood street fair

Animal pencils! I swear I'm 24, not 4.

Cousin’s bridal shower

Cousins! Me, Lauren, Kira, Kelly (Bride-to-be), Ali and Carrie

Delicious desserts!

A fun day in Long Island for Father’s Day. This is the north shore of Long Island at Dan’s uncle’s house. We even got to go out on the boat.. so much fun!

And, enjoying my ‘break’ from regular running!

Last week, I ran 3 times for a total of 11.5 miles. And it was the perfect amount for me that week! Between a busy week at work and catching up on rest, I needed it. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was actually excited to get out the door and put a few miles under my belt. Also, I was home for the bridal shower which meant I got to do my favorite loop in Montclair which goes through two small parks and past the childhood home I grew up in until I was 10! Kinda like a jog down memory lane…harhar.

I took off Sunday and Monday since I got a Brazilian Keratin Treatment done to my hair (a post on that coming soon!) I love it so far; what I didn’t love was not being able to shower for 48 hours after the treatment on Saturday afternoon!! Whoops, hope nobody noticed my lack of hygiene at work today…I swear the straight hair is worth it.

I woke up this morning ready to run, but more importantly, finally shower! I logged 5.75 miles along the bridle path and felt better than I have in a while. My pace (7:42) was nothing special, but I wasn’t completely drained at the end. Success!

I’m continuing to see that my body did/does need a bit of a break, and I am starting to get really excited about increasing my mileage, doing workouts, and setting on my marathon training plan in just a few weeks. I have a few areas of focus I want to work on this time around, and I’m looking forward to it.

Tonight I came home from work and didn’t feel entirely drained (this is rare). I wanted to head to the gym to do some quick lifting and core work, but my stomach was growling! I knew it’d be a distraction while at the gym, so I quickly whipped up a healthy and filling dinner that wouldn’t sit too heavy.

My version of a ‘healthy’ stirfry. I spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray, crisp chicken gyoza dumplings from Trader Joe’s (so good!), add in stirfry veggies (edamame, carrots, broccoli, snap peas, etc.), and mix with egg whites. Finally, topped with some sauce. You must try this TonTon Hibachi sauce; it’s a great sauce for stirfries but also tastes great topped on veggies or meat by themselves!

After dinner was done, I popped a load of laundry in and headed to the gym during the wash cycle (gotta love multi-tasking!). I did some arms and abs, didn’t get too fatigued but felt good to get some work in. Strength training is an area of massive improvement for me, so I have to hop on it during those rare moments I feel motivated to do it!

Time to take my clothes out of the dryer!

What is your favorite quick go-to dinner on a busy or time crunched night? Stirfries always feel so easy to me because you pop a bunch of frozen stuff into a single pan, top with sauce, and enjoy! Typically healthy as well!

How do you get amped up to start a major training cycle? For me, I need to take time inbetween training for major races to ‘compartmentalize’ each. I like resting and recovering after a big race or training period, rather than training nonstop year-round. While it takes a bit to get back to fitness, I think it keeps me healthy both physically and more important, mentally!

“Rest” Begins!

June 15th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Thanks for the comments on my recap of the NYRR Mini 10K. Yes, I was majorly down on myself but actually helped hearing everyone had a pretty rough day out there. Thanks, 96% humidity!

I also really appreciated reading your comments that I’m on the right track, training wise. Saturday’s race has me rethinking my training. I have not run any PRs since I started group workouts with CPTC; my races have just gotten slower. I feel like I should be improving, no? Part of me started second guessing it all. But, I know (and just needed a bit of time to snap out of my funk) that group workouts will ultimately make me a stronger runner, and I love being part of a team again. It’s just an adjustment, and I’ve been doing workouts/racing a bit more than I had been. I know it will pay off on November 6th, I just need to trust in the training. Plus, new runner friends are fun :)

My ‘break’ from regular running luckily corresponds with (another) extremely busy week at work! My plan the next two weeks is to run 2-3 days a week for as long or as little as I want. I want to keep some fitness so I don’t start from scratch at the beginning of July, but 100% need a mental and physical break to begin fresh and amped up to train!

On Monday, I was up bright and early at Grand Central Station at 7:15 am to catch a train to Stamford, CT to go to a client meeting. That night, I passed out at 9:30– I couldn’t even make it to the rose ceremony in the Bachelorette! :) Definitely my body telling me I need more sleep. I was happy to finally have the chance to rest up, and not worry about squeezing in any miles.

On Tuesday, I had to be at an event at 8:30 am, and by the time I got home around 7, I was feeling good and felt like heading out for a quick run. I did an extremely easy 2.25 miles around Riverside Park (the 5 pm office ice cream sundae social was a bad delicious choice-ugh!) and ended at the gym, where I did about 30 minutes of weights/core. It was just the perfect amount.

This morning, I woke up and felt like running again! The weather was beautiful and cool but after a bit, my body was just not feeling it. I did about 4.25 miles total, but had to stop and stretch/catch my breath in the middle. I’m really not sure what’s wrong, but glad I am not worrying about mileage now.

No plans to run the rest of the week, perhaps if the mood strikes me I will, but I think I need to listen to my body and rest up a bit more. And, take my liquid iron supplement a bit more regularly than I have been- whoops!

I bought a lot of produce this weekend at Trader Joe’s, and needed to use it up before I’m at another event tomorrow (hooray for free catered lunches & dinners!), and go home Friday night/Saturday afternoon. So, tonight’s dinner was fresh, fast and healthy so nothing spoiled.

Baked tofu topped with TJ’s white bean hummus and feta; corn on the cob; snap peas; mango and blueberries!

I am headed home to NJ on Friday night and am going to a family member Kelly’s bridal shower on Saturday! I am so excited for more wedding festivities. Then, I’m headed back into the city for a friend’s birthday party on Saturday night. I also have an appointment to get a Brazilian Keratin Treatment on my hair on Saturday! I was really excited about this, it basically smooths and reduces hair frizz, but then this morning the Today Show was talking about the dangers and toxic side effects of the treatments from some salons and I got a bit nervous. I’m still going to do it, so fingers crossed my hair comes out fine and I am still alive :)

What do you have planned for this weekend? When you have a break from racing, do you typically rest completely, or do you still run or crosstrain regularly or lightly?

NYRR Mini 10K Recap

June 12th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Race Recaps - (0 Comments)

I honestly don’t even know what to write about this race. At first I didn’t even want to do a recap, but I decided I needed to write it down (or type it, whatever) to put it behind me. Also, I know the reality of racing and running is that every race cannot be a PR, and every race won’t be great. With the good, inevitably comes the bad. And this was bad.

This whole week, I’ve felt a bit tired and off. I feel a bit sleep deprived still from wedding/fun Memorial Day weekend and weekend trip to Villanova. I cannot remember the last time I just let my body sleep and not wake up without an alarm! I found myself drifting off around 9 pm this week, which is not typical. This should have been a sign that I needed more shut eye. Also worsened by the fact I had to be offsite for a work event at 7 am on Friday morning, the day I always try to sleep the most pre-race.

Most race days, despite the earlier-than-normal wake up, I feel amped and ready to go when the alarm goes off. I’ve always found this a bit surprising and lucky how good I usually feel race day. Well, yesterday I felt like I could have easily slept another 5 hours. I felt groggy and foggy as I made my coffee and breakfast, instead of fresh and awake.

I jogged my typical 2 miles or so from my apartment to the starting line as my warmup, and I was just about spent by the time I got there. The humidity (96%!) , my legs, my breathing, everything was bad and I just wanted to stop and go back to bed. Nonetheless, I checked my bag and made my way to the first corral. There was really no adrenaline as I stood around the starting line, I just was not ready to go.

My plan was to start conservatively, despite the flat first mile on Central Park West, and pick it up after 5K. I went out exactly as I wanted, but it felt extremely difficult. I kept trying to get into the groove but never really did. I saw my Central Park Track Club teammates ahead and knew I should be up with them, but I couldn’t really change gears to move up. Around the 5K mark I knew this race was not going to play out as I wanted to. Around the 4 mile mark I seriously just considered stepping off the course. My breathing was really heavy, I was gasping, my legs were lead, my head was in a fog, I wasn’t even racing. Why was I even bothering?

I guess the only thing I am proud of about this race is that I didn’t drop out. I am proud of sticking it out even though my time wasn’t going to be near my best, and I felt flat. I have never DNF’ed a race (except one high school track meet where I passed out..whoops). I am afraid that if I begin to think it’s okay to drop out when things don’t go well or as planned, it’ll just become a crutch.

My final time was 42:32, just about 2 minutes slower than I ran at the Healthy Kidney 10K about a month ago. I was pretty hard on myself after that race, knowing I am capable of breaking 40 minutes. Yesterday was even worse.

As much as I know everyone has bad races, honestly I was really disappointed and upset. I have been doing more track/speed workouts to get used to a good 10K race pace, took my runs easy this week to freshen my legs, but guess I just wasn’t fully rested and ‘on’. Again, after over 10 years of racing and running, I KNOW bad days happen. Still doesn’t make it easier to handle when those bad days do come around.

After the race, I was happy to spend more time with my CPTC teammates as we got food and ‘brunched’ at the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle. This helped take my mind off the bad race for a bit, and reminded me that the reason I love to run is to have fun, and now, to be part of a team again! Still, I called my mom on my walk home and couldn’t help but tear up a bit as I explained how awful I felt.

I took a bit of a nap post-race, and finally stopped moping in time for a huge dinner at Mel’s Burger Bar with Dan! We got wayyyy too much food, but it was delicious! Spinach dip and chips, brisket chili, burgers (mine on toasted sourdough-yum!), fries, and chicken meatballs. OMG. Definitely walked home with a big food baby :)

Today, I got about 12 hours sleep (much, much needed) and need to run some errands: grocery shopping, returning a movie, cleaning, and going to a total body conditioning class at the gym. 16 Handles may or may not also be in the plan :)

While I wanted this race to be a big ‘bang’ before taking the next few weeks easy with running before starting my build-up for the NYC Marathon, it just didn’t happen. And I’m disappointed, but it’ll be okay. I’ll keep chugging along, and ensure I am well-rested and amped by the time November 6th rolls around.

How do you deal with a disappointing race or experience? Do you tend to dwell on it, or accept it and move on? I am generally really hard on myself, often much more critical than I should be. I definitely need to do a better job at moving onward and upward after a bad experience, but still learn from what went wrong. Note to self– as much as I can function without much sleep, it won’t make for a good race!

Exciting Work News & A Love/Hate Relationship

June 8th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (9 Comments)

Today was a pretty good day. While it started off a bit sweaty (more on that later), I’ve been looking forward to today for a few weeks now. I made sure to wear my cute new navy skirt, my favorite sassy gold heels, and be in a great mood. Why?

Today, my office ‘officially announced’ my promotion! I say that because my manager told me the exciting news a few weeks ago and the promotion was effective June 1st on my starting anniversary, but they were waiting until today’s staff meeting to share the news with the entire agency. It was killing me not to be able to share it with all my team members and friends at work, but I kept the secret well and only shared my excitement with  family and non-work friends ;)

I am now a Senior Associate, which basically means I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, but with a new title and a few more responsibilities. And my lovely co-workers Jamie and Anjelica were so sweet to make me a cute card and bring me a huge Crumbs cupcake to celebrate! How cute are they!!

And I just ate the entire Crumbs cupcake in bed while writing this post. #WINNING is right!

In running news, summer weather has really hit NYC in full force. With highs in the mid 90s today, I’ve been reminded just how much summer running takes out of you! This morning I struggled through 4 easy miles along the Hudson River, and was a sweaty mess by the time I finished around 7:30 am. And so begins the love/hate relationship I have with summer running.

I love…

  • When you wake up in the morning, it’s light out! So much easier to get out of bed.
  • That you can run decently late at night and it’s still light out!
  • That there are tons more runners, walkers, and bikers out in the park
  • Getting a sweet sports bra tan (kind of badass, but not really attractive)
  • Sports bra runs, though I feel a bit awkward in the city streets until I get into the park.
  • The feeling after a good, sweaty run. Somehow I think more sweat=more hard work
  • That cold showers can actually feel refreshing!
  • Seeing fireflies on night runs
  • That my favorite trails are not covered in snow :)

I hate…

  • Feeling constantly dehydrated, and having to make frequent water fountain stops
  • Needing to squeeze in runs either early morning or late at night; no more leisurely weekends to sleep in, eat, and run around 1 or 2
  • Thick, humid air making runs feel a bit harder than they should and not being able to breathe well
  • Getting so super sweaty you can actually wring out your tank top and/or shorts (really, it’s gross), or the stinging in your eyes when sweat drips down your face

Well, I guess all in all there are more ‘loves’ than ‘hates’ on this list. I expect the hate list to grow a bit more as we get into July and August :) Just have to remind myself to not get too dramatic: I’ve survived summers past, and will survive this one as well. Imagine that?!

This weekend I am racing the NYRR Mini 10K, which will actually be my last race this ‘training cycle’. After the 10K, I am going to take 3 weeks to run what I want to, when I want to, but not stick to a schedule or weekly mileage plan. Basically, I want a bit of a mental and physical break after this race while continuing to run ‘for fun’ until the beginning of July when I will start slowly building up my mileage and kick off my training plan for the NYC Marathon on November 6th!

Gearing up for a race 4 months in advance might seem like a long time, but you really need it to get ready for a marathon. I want to get in a good base slowly and work on upping my mileage for this year’s race. Last year, I ran the highest mileage I’ve run in my life up to that point: I hit around 45-55 miles per week most weeks and barely a few weeks in the low 60s (see my full training schedule here), and found I responded really well to higher mileage training. I could actually notice my fitness levels increasing run by run, despite not too many or too long tempo workouts.

As I look to break 3:00 this year, I want to bump up the average weekly mileage a bit by 5 or 10 miles per week on average, and try to get in at least one workout per week. This will be so much easier (and more fun!) with the Central Park Track Club weekly workouts and all the new running friends I’ve met! I still need to work on mapping out my plan, and will post it when I figure it out, but those are my initial goals.

Which brings me back to Saturday’s Mini 10K. I am aiming to break 40 minutes in the 10K this time around. After my 40:36 at the Healthy Kidney 10K and 32:06 at the Spring Lake 5 Miler,  I know this is within reach if I keep it steady on the first 2-3 miles and save a bit for the end. Hopefully knowing it’s my last true race effort for a while will help me out!

What’s your favorite season for running? What do you love and hate about summer/hot weather running? I love running in the fall. Give me short sleeves and capri spandex, and a trail with leaves turning and falling and I am happy! Fall also reminds me of cross country season and the kick off of a school year, which always meant excitement about running and getting miles in.

 

V for Villanova

June 7th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

This past weekend was a trip down memory lane: Dan and I headed back to Villanova, our alma mater and the place where we met! We actually met on the first day of freshmen orientation, but were also both on the XC/Track teams during our four years. I loved Villanova and haven’t been back in over a year, so it was great to go back for the weekend.

In front of the Villanova church, beautiful!

We made a stop to Whole Foods on our way into campus and enjoyed a nice picnic on the grass to start the walk around campus!

The we visited South Campus and Stanford, our freshman year dorm. Stanford was the largest of all the freshmen dorms, and housed most athletes.

We then walked up to the Athletics facility, and made a trip to the track. I wonder how many miles of laps were run around this track? Seriously scary when I look back to all the workouts over the years: being nervous, wanting to die, wanting to just hang on for dear life, wanting to numb my mind, wanting to chop off my legs, and even the occasional awesome workout thrown in for good measure.

We typically started and ended our runs at the track most days, unless we drove to Haverford, Valley Green or Valley Forge for runs. So many hours spent striding, stretching, doing core, drinking gatorade, listening to coaches, talking with the team, wow. I definitely missed it.

I missed it so much I went for a run right there! Just kidding, I just wanted an action shot.

Villanova has a very prestigious Cross Country and Track history, and they recently redesigned the awards to reflect the team championships (2009 and 2010–woo!) and Hall of Fame inductees.

After that, we stopped by the coaches office and said hi for a bit– a few athletes are headed to the National championships out in Des Moines later this week so they’re around practicing.

Then we headed back to main campus, and visited Austin, our Sophomore year dorm!

I loved Austin because it was right smack in the middle of campus, but featured single dorms. I lived right next door to my three best girl friends, and most of our guy friends were right upstairs. It was quieter than the “party dorms” down in the quad, but that meant we could always hang out at the quad and walk about 2 minutes home for a nice night’s sleep afterwards.

Then we walked over to West Campus, where we lived Junior and Senior years. Villanova only grants on campus housing for 3 years, so most all seniors moved off campus. Athletes, Nurses, and Female Engineering majors were eligible to get on campus housing their fourth year, which meant getting to classes and practices was a lot easier.

I loved living on West, which featured apartment-style dorms; I lived with my 3 best friends and we each had our own rooms and a living room, half kitchen, and two bathrooms! They were relatively new and clean, and all my other friends were pretty much all athletes so staying on campus senior year was awesome. I liked going to other friends’ apartments off campus from time to time, but it was really nice not having to drive to and from class and fight for parking every day!

The rest of the weekend was spent eating and running! We went to Hibachi, one of our favorite restaurants in Philly with views over the Ben Franklin Bridge:

And to Fellini’s an Italian restaurant in Ardmore that’s BYOB and so delicious!

I get the same thing each time. Chicken with zucchini and spinach, topped with melted mozzarella cheese and aurora (like vodka) sauce and a side of pasta. YUM!

And, of course, got in a bit of running while we were there! On Friday, we went to Haverford and did one loop around the trail there for a leisurely 2.5 miles. Could have done another loop, but was pretty content with just doing one for old times sake. On Saturday morning, we went to Valley Forge, which was (and still is) one of my favorite spots to run. We did about a 9 mile trail loop, which was one of my favorite Sunday long runs along the Schuylkill River, Mount Joy, Covered Bridge, etc.

All in all, it was a great weekend back! It was a bit nostalgic going back and not really being at ‘home’ there any more, but it still made me happy I had such fond memories and such a great experience there. I miss being there with all my friends, hanging out and getting to see each other all the time, and definitely took the 4 years we had together for granted at times, but all and all feel I got so much out of my time there.

How do you feel when you return back to a familiar place? What do you miss most about college, or home if you’ve moved away? Mostly, I miss the extra free time and my friends being around 24/7; we’re all over the country now and it’s just not the same as walking down the hall barefoot to watch Gossip Girl together! Also, I miss my XC/Track teams and the competitive atmosphere and feelings of accomplishment (and sweat) after a shared hard workout or long run.