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Ever feel there’s not enough hours in the day or days in the week? Yeah, me too. It’s been a busy week around here, but with a little flexibility and a little compromise on sleep, I hit 67.5 miles last week, a new high for this training cycle. This last week I’ll aim to hit 70 and then it’s taper time!

But it’s been an exciting week so far, so here’s the highlights. Spoiler: it includes delicious birthday food and a cool announcement.

I ran 20 miles in the middle of the day last Wednesday. Some at marathon pace!

Have I mentioned how thankful I am that my job promotes a bit of flexibility? Very thankful. To offset the 2.5 hours of ‘me’ time I took to do this long run in the early afternoon, I simply started my work day a bit earlier and ended it a bit later. Since I was traveling Thursday-Saturday for work, I knew I wouldn’t find the time to squeeze in 20 miles over the weekend. Gotta make it work.

I’ve missed bridge running, so decided to head down the WSH, over the Brooklyn and back over the Manhattan bridges, and back up the WSH to my apartment. Despite eating a substantial breakfast, my stomach felt empty about 3 miles in so I stopped to buy a water and a Kind bar. I never eat ‘real’ food while running, but knew I needed something other than a Gu to stop the hunger. Luckily it sat well.

Long run, 3/14

20 miles of splits are pretty boring, I know. But, I was feeling good after coming back over the Manhattan Bridge and decided today would be a good day to attempt marathon pace at the end of a long run. I was bored around mile 13 so decided to pick it up then to make the time go faster. After 4 miles, I started feeling extremely light headed and dehydrated but spotted a vending machine and chugged a water while jogging easy again. It was the 1st 70 degree day in a while and I was hot. I figured I’d just jog easy to cool down home, but felt 10x better after the water so attempted another marathon pace mile. And it was quick!

I went to Atlanta!

As I mentioned, I went to Atlanta for work Thursday through Saturday. The Chobani CHOmobile was at the Georgia Marathon expo, and part of my job is to go to these events to interact with consumers, media and capture content to share online. I didn’t get to see much of the city, but did wake up extra early both mornings to get in my run before the expo started. Including a nice little run to Piedmont Park!

I spectated the NYC Half-Marathon!

The NYC Half-Marathon is one of my FAVORITE races. I don’t care how ridiculously overpriced the entry fee is. It holds a special place in my heart as it was my first post-collegiate race in 2010 and where I set my PR in 2011 on my 24th birthday. I really, really wanted to race it again this year, but I knew I wouldn’t be getting back from Atlanta until late Saturday night and after being on my feet all day, likely wouldn’t be a successful race. So I dragged my overtired self out of bed early to spectate while getting in some miles with other CPTC peeps along the course. It was a blast, though part of me was a bit bummed since I think I would have had a good shot at a PR. Oh well. I got to see two of my other friends from college who ran the race, too. And then I drank pretty much all day on Sunday.

I turned 25!

Yep, Tuesday was my birthday! And the first day of Spring! So, pretty much the happiest day of the year. On Monday night I started the celebrations early with a trip to the new 16 Handles near my apartment with Terence. Having froyo within a 4 block radius is going to be dangerous this summer, I already know.

I kicked off the actual birthday with a sweaty 10 mile run and a doctor’s appointment…fun? After work, I enjoyed fancy cocktails outside at Public with my coworker Emily, followed by a late dinner at Gentleman Farmer with my cute guy friend :)

Gentleman Farmer is such a quaint restaurant! It only seats 20 people in the cozy space, and we ordered really unique dishes like bison tartar with quail egg, prosciutto and fig stuffed quail with risotto, ostrich steak, and creme brule- complete with a birthday candle! Highly, highly recommended for a special occasion dinner. Everything, including the wine, was extremely delicious. We cleaned our plates!

The birthday celebrations continued over a work lunch complete with wine & dessert yesterday at Il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, and I arrived home to cupcakes from my old college roommate Emily. I’m not a huge birthday person, but I do appreciate getting to feel a bit special for a day (or two…or a week). Thanks, everyone :) I wonder why my jeans are a bit tight today.

I also realized I’ll never again race in the 20-24 age group. 25-29 is hard! Goodbye, age group awards.

I was chosen as one of Boston.com/Polar Gear’s wear-tester for the Boston Marathon!

Guys, I never win anything. When my cute guy friend told me about the call for entries on Boston.com to apply to wear-test Polar gear (RCX5 watch/system) in the month leading up to the Boston Marathon and on race day, get to guest blog about it, and then keep the gear, I immediately applied. But I really didn’t think I’d have a chance. I don’t have a super compelling backstory, personal ties to the Boston Marathon, or anything. I just like to run and blog about it. But, both he and I were selected and the introductory post went up today. I should get the watch any day now and will be posting at Boston.com every Monday! I’m honored and really, really excited to see what the watch & system can do compared to my dinky Garmin 110.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to the past week or so. All good stuff. What’s the highlight of your week so far?

I am so excited tomorrow is finally Friday! Despite taking a sick day on Monday to rest up and do basically nothing, I still felt as this week was moving exceptionally slow.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, I met up with Megan, Ali, Kelly and Elyssa bright and early (like, I left my apartment before 6:00am early…) to get in my long run for the week, 13 miles. If you take a look at my training log, you’ll see most weeks I’ve been doing my long runs during the middle of the week versus the weekend. I’m an advocate of the mid-week long run for a few reasons:

  • Since it’s kinda early in Marathon training, my long runs have just been 12-13 miles. Totally manageable distance before work if you want it to happen. I’ll probably continue mid-week long runs until my long runs reach 15-16 miles.
  • It allows me to travel on the weekends (or just sleep in…) without having to worry about squeezing in a long run.
  • Planning a run-commute is a great way to do a mid-week long run, as you can either run a few extra miles (in lieu of taking the subway/driving to work) or get some extra sleep. Unfortunately, my work does not have a shower but my gym is a few blocks away. If I am planning a run commute, I’ll bring a change of clothes and my shower stuff the day before and end my run at the office to grab my stuff and head to the gym. Don’t worry about scaring the front desk security when you enter your office building soaked in sweat; they’re probably just amazed at how bad ass you are.

I highly recommend mid-week long runs if you’re traveling for the weekend, too busy, or want to get a bit more R&R. It’s also good prep (for me), as I’ll shift my long runs to the weekend as the mileage goes up, but I’ll likely still look to get in 10-12 on Wednesdays as a weekly ‘short-long’ run. I did many of those as run-commutes last year and it was great being able to wake up at 6:45 and still squeeze in 12 miles before work!

Tonight’s workout called for 5 miles at half-marathon pace, a very brief recovery, and 1K basically giving whatever you had. The one downside to mid-week long runs is feeling a bit lethargic heading into Thursday workouts, but I’d probably be tired no matter what.

Soooo it was a bit longer than 5 miles. Also, my time for 5 miles was about 15-20 seconds faster than I actually raced during the Club Champs 5M race, whoops. This workout had us starting on W72nd street, heading counterclockwise south on the lower loop, coming up cat hill on the east side, cutting across the 102nd street transverse, and coming down the west side. I wanted to start conservative, as I really felt zonked at the end of last week’s workout, and I was happy I was able to bring down the pace a bit each mile. Mile 4 always gets me with the rolling hills on the west side heading south. Hills are not one of my strengths, never have been and never will be, and rolling hills are the worst.

Nonetheless, I felt like I was able to really push at the end and I felt really strong mentally. Although I had to continually repeat a mantra of “You. Can. Do. It.” and “Strong. Steady. Smooth.” in my head, and maybe outloud once or twice as I gasped for air. Hey, whatever works.

My 1K time was exactly 4:00; which is 6:27 pace. At that point, I was just lucky to be moving. Oof.

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All this hard running deserves a good treat! I’ve been meaning to check out the Soft Serve Fruit Company for a while, and yesterday just happened to be their 1 year anniversary! In celebration, they were offering $1 Kid Size treats with all the toppings you wanted. Since I’m a sucker for a good deal, I stopped by after a late-ish night at work.

I got banana and raspberry swirl since I couldn’t decide between the two and almost every topping under the sun. It’s no 16 Handles (my true love<3), but it’s actually a tasty and healthier alternative– just real fruit, sugar cane and water. Yum!

Since evening workouts leave me a bit parched and sweaty (yum), I decided to try to re-create my own ‘soft serve fruit’ when I got home, with a twist.

Based on the classic recipe of ‘soft serve banana‘; simply whipping up a frozen banana in a food processer though I add a bit of soymilk to make it blend easier. But, I knew a bit of protein would probably be good for my muscles post-workout and make it a bit more filling, I added a scoop of protein powder along with some frozen berries for flavor.

Yum! Who knew bananas + berries could turn into something so creamy! It’s no Soft Serve Fruit Company, but it’s pretty darn good for homemade.

I’ve got a busy but exciting weekend ahead as I’m headed out to NJ to spend some time with college friends Friday night, then back into the city Saturday morning to do the Great Urban Race (should be interesting!). Afterwards, I’m headed out to Long Island on Saturday night and Sunday for a relaxing weekend with Dan; I bought a Living Social Escapes deal for a quaint hotel and we’re going to go celebrate his birthday a weekend early!

Do you ever do your long runs during the week, or are you strictly a weekend long-run kinda person? If you do weekends, do you prefer to knock it out Saturday or save it until Sunday? What’s the best recipe you’ve made this week?

One of my favorite easy week night dates is the “Whole Foods Picnic”. Grabbing food to-go and heading to the park for a picnic is much cheaper (and healthier?) than eating out at a restaurant, and allows for a bit more conversation.

Usually I hit up the UWS Whole Foods since it’s closer to my apartment, but since I was coming from an event in midtown, Dan and I headed to Columbus Circle on Tuesday night and took our food down to Riverside Park. We enjoyed the scenery and nice cool river breeze with made the hot temps bearable.

I <3 Riverside Park

The only downside to date nights is when Dan’s alarm goes off at 5:15 am, since he gets into work around 7. Not so pleasant. I’m usually able to fall back asleep (or half-asleep) until my alarm goes off, but I was just not feeling it. On Wednesday morning around 5:45 am or so, I tweeted:

All the sudden, replies popped up!

It was like MAGIC! I had a longer run planned for the morning anyways since I am going away this weekend, so I was thrilled to have company. I <3 Twitter for reasons like this. I met up with Susan, Megan, Ali and Kelly for some easy miles, and ended up at 11 miles for the day with an average of around 8:00/mile. Perfect!

Tonight, I headed to Central Park for a CPTC workout. Only my second week of workouts back, I didn’t know what to expect from the 4-mile tempo run at half-marathon pace and wanted to go off feel. I aimed for 6:45-7:00 miles but got caught up with my group and ended up a bit faster than that. Whoops!

It was a tad longer than 4 miles, but an average pace of 6:25. YIKES! This was a pretty hard effort, particularly struggling in mile 3, but the workout was completed at my exact half-marathon pace so I suppose I nailed the task at hand.

I am trying to make an effort to not go too hard in these early weeks of training, as I’m building up my base and I want to have enough in me to rock workouts in later weeks. I suppose it’s a fine line I’m dealing with from not wanting to burn out or peak too early, to really pushing myself beyond where I’ve been to get to the next level.

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Backing it up to the weekend, I wanted to share some recipes I made this past weekend for “cooking club” with my friends. And, they’re healthy and delicious!

Kale Quinoa Goddess Salad

(based off Angela’s Weekend Glow Kale Salad)

  • Kale (I used 1 large bag from Trader Joe’s– removing the stems)
    • Tip from Angela: massage your dressing directly into the kale before adding other ingredients and let sit for about 15 minutes to absorb!
  • Quinoa (1 cup, cooked)
  • Feta Cheese
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Chopped Zucchini
  • Walnuts
  • Orange Bell Pepper
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Baby Tomatoes

Mix it all together, and top with your favorite dressing! I love Annie’s Goddess dressing, it goes perfectly with any vegetable and added a great flavor to the (kinda) bitter kale.

I have only tried to make kale chips, but I’ve never had it in a salad! I never knew what went well with it, until I saw Angela’s recipe and figured it’d be the perfect veggie-packed salad. It was so flavorful with the feta, the quinoa added a bit of substance and texture, and I love tomato and zucchini in anything.

Yum!

I also made dessert this weekend. I’m not going to share the exact recipe since I made some tweaks given what I had on hand and it didn’t turn out as well as I’d like. It was still good, but the original recipe looks and probably tastes better– so make this instead! Deep Dish Cookie Pie by Chocolate Covered Katie

Ready to go in the oven...

This recipe was appealing to me because it uses a secret ingredient: chickpeas! Coincidentally, I’ve had about 6 cans of chickpeas sitting around waiting to be used. This recipe called for 2 cans, so maybe I’ll be making a few more batches.

Everyone really enjoyed the taste of the cookie pie (which I cut into bars), and nobody could guess the secret ingredient! They agreed they tasted ‘healthified’ but not in a bad way. They were super gooey and chocolatey considering I used about double the amount of mini chocolate chips. Yum!

I am headed to my friend’s lake house this weekend, so running may be at a low but fun and drinking will be at a high and I can’t wait to get out of the city and enjoy the great outdoors :)

Have you tried any new recipes this week? What do you have planned for the weekend?

 

I can’t wait for this weekend! Tomorrow after work, I am planning to head down to the Jersey Shore (cue jokes) to stay with my college roommate Emily for part of the weekend. On the docket: Spring Lake 5 Mile Race (just running as a solid effort, not all out), going to the beach and getting a tan, going out with other friends and lots of delicious drinks! But Sunday is the main event- my friends Casey and Matt are getting married! I can’t believe the day has come, it was just about this time last year I got her excited phone call telling me the news.

But before the weekend comes, let’s recap the week. With cheesecake and a track workout!

I woke up on Monday and my legs felt surprisingly good after Saturday’s Brooklyn Half. So, I decided it was time to finally make it to the East 6th Street Track for a CPTC workout to work on my leg speed. I have not done a real track workout in….a long, long time. I survived the workout, but it wasn’t pretty. My breathing was really labored, and my splits definitely weren’t where they should have been. It was 6×600 with 200 recovery, and 6×200 … I only did 2 200′s at the end and called it a day.

  • 2:16
  • 2:17
  • 2:17
  • 2:17
  • 2:16
  • 2:12
  • 40
  • 41

Yikes. This was not my favorite workout, but a workout nonetheless. I took off Wednesday for my weekly rest day, and it felt great! I am kinda excited to go to more track workouts to improve on my speed, definitely a weak point for me right now and it’ll just make me stronger no matter how much it sucks, right? Right.

Enough running, let’s back up. On Sunday, my friends and I met at Dayna’s apartment for cooking club. The theme was Italian, and I was (of course) making dessert! I hate cannolis and can’t think of any other real italian dessert, and have been on a cheesecake kick lately, so cheesecake it was! Only, I had never made it before so prepared for an experiment. Especially since I wanted it to be low(er) fat.

Lindsay’s Reduced-Guilt Cheesecake (adapted from this Food Network recipe)

I made this in a glass 8×8 baking pan because I don’t have a round pan or springform pan. Worked fine!

Ingredients

  • 10 whole graham crackers, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 8-ounce packages of reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated splenda (you can definitely use 1.5 cups regular sugar and nix the splenda, I just wanted to lighten it up a bit. It’d probably taste better with all real sugar.)
  • 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs and 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until crumbled. Add 2 tablespoons water and the melted butterand pulse until combined and soft. Coat the inside of the pan with cooking spray and press the crumbs onto the bottom. (In hindsight, I would have made a bit more crumb mixture and also pressed onto the sides, so the edges would have crumb goodness as well). Bake until browned, about 8 minutes. Let cool while mixing the other ingredients.

If you have an electric mixer, now’s the time to use it. I don’t, so I just used good old elbow grease. Beat all cream cheese and the sugar and splendauntil smooth, then add the greek yogurt. Lightly whisk the 3 egg whites in a bowl, then add to the mixture along with the 2 whole eggs, flour, vanilla and lemon juice. Stir until smooth and pour over crust.

Bake until the cake is set but the center still jiggles, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn off the oven; keep the cheesecake inside with the door closed for 20 minutes. Let chill 6 hours (I only chilled it about 30 minutes and then popped it into the fridge to speed up the chilling. Whoops? I had places to be!).

In all, I probably ended up overcooking this. The edges were a bit browned and firmer, not as tasty as the center parts. It actually doesn’t look that appetizing to me from the pic below. So, judge me! All in all pretty easy and I’ve been enjoying leftovers all week! It’s no restaurant cheesecake, but an easy sub in when you want to make it yourself and feel a bit less guilt :)

Do you enjoy healthy-fied baked goods? Sometimes I sub out apple sauce for butter or oil, splenda for real sugar, etc. Most of the time I can’t tell, and wonder if others can. I do admit, I have made a fair amount of funky healthy cookies and cakes before that my family wouldn’t touch! Hehe.

Perfect NYC Weekend

May 9th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Finally, a nice weekend in NYC! Happy to say I spent most of it outside enjoying myself :)

On Friday night, a lot of hard work (and late nights) finally culminated with a media event at the Thompson LES hotel. This place was the perfect event venue– swanky and looked out onto the pool. Soooo downtown NYC ;) After the event wrapped, my two coworkers and I were searching for a bite to eat and stumbled upon this cute paella/tapas bar in Nolita, Socarrat. We shared some tapas and glasses of wine, and it was delicious! Sadly my feet were killing me from being in heels, and I called it a night after that. I was wiped!

I woke up Saturday morning and got in an easy 8 mile run in Central Park around the outer loop. The sun was shining but I was still a bit annoyed most of the water fountains weren’t on. What’s up with that? Afterwards, Dan came over and we embarked on an adventure over the Brooklyn Bridge!

Once we crossed, we walked down to Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was perfect, with great views of the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridges.

We finally set up shop on a blanket and soaked in some sun and views.

Not too long after, we got a bit hungry and braved the 30 minute line for the original Grimaldi‘s. A large regular pie with garlic and onion hit the spot! I ate my entire half :)

And of course no day is complete without dessert! The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory only serves 8 flavors, which is a clear indication they do ice cream, and they do it right. My strawberry cone hit the spot!

After all that food, I woke up on Sunday morning ready to go for my last long run before the Brooklyn Half-Marathon. I logged 14 miles through Riverside, Morningside, and Central Parks. I’ve enjoyed running with my iPod when going solo, especially for a long run to keep me entertained, but I awoke to find I hadn’t charged it! So, I headed out the door sans iPod and it was actually pretty nice to be alone with my thoughts.

7:42 pace overall; not bad considering the inclines! After my little tour of all of uptown NYC’s parks, I quickly showered and headed to another one of my NYC favorites for Mother’s Day, Norma’s!

My mom and I came here last year for Mother’s Day brunch and quickly decided it had to become a tradition. Can you tell why? Check out the french toast and belgian waffles!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! You’re the best :)

After brunch, we walked and window shopped on Madison Avenue, then walked across Central Park back to my apartment. All in all, a relaxing Sunday! It was nice to spend the entire weekend home, and enjoy such nice weather outdoors.

What was the best part of your weekend? What’s your favorite brunch item? This weekend, I loved walking around (and eating my way through) Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was great, I’d definitely go back! For brunch, I am totally a ‘sweet’ vs. ‘savory’ person. Give me fruity, sugary, decadent waffles, pancakes, french toast, crepes, oatmeal, yogurt– yum! I like eggs, but they are more ‘meh’ to me since I do not enjoy the taste of egg yolks and I can make egg whites any day at home.

Interesting title to say the least :)

First and foremost, after 3 long years with my once-loved and then loathed Blackberry Curve, I finally upgraded to the Verizon Thunderbolt HTC.

So far, I love it. I don’t quite know how to work it, and there was a slight glitch where no text messages went out (wonder why is nobody answering me?!) but it’s super speedy and doesn’t freeze every time I try to do something web-based like my blackberry did. It’s a whole new world- welcome to the 21st century!

Sunday night was the 2nd meeting of “Cooking Club” with some friends. I was in charge of desserts and was a bit stumped as to something easy to make that was “mexican-themed”. I am not a huge flan or tres leches cake fan, and I didn’t want to resort to baking a cake with a mexican flag designed on it :)

When I went to Mexico, one of my favorite parts was the fresh cut fruit cups they sold in the town. It was only $2 and so fresh and delicious!

Yummy fruit! Ignore my sweaty face...

So, I took that inspiration and made rum-infused fruit sorbet in 3 flavors: mango, pineapple, and watermelon.

They turned out much better than I expected!

Pineapple & Mango

Watermelon

It was really easy, and involved very few ingredients which really helped the fruit flavors shine through. This recipe would probably taste even more like fruit sorbet you’d find at the store if you added sugar or simple syrup, but I (surprisingly) don’t have real sugar in my apartment, only splenda!

Rum-Infused Fruit Sorbet

  • Chopped up fruit (As I said, I used mango, pineapple and watermelon but would also like to try this with berries, peaches, etc.)
  • Splashes of rum
  • Juice (preferably complimentary in flavor to your fruit, I used mango juice for all of mine)
  • Sugar/splenda to sweeten
  1. Chop up 1 whole mango and add to blender (or food processor), with a splash of fruit juice to get it to blend without being too watery.
  2. As the fruit and juice is blending, pour in a splash of rum or other alcohol. You can probably bypass this step if you prefer a virgin sorbet, but I read that the alcohol keeps the mix from freezing entirely and helps contribute to the softer, sorbet state.
  3. Pour liquid into shallow dish or tupperware to place in refrigerator.
  4. Let freeze, and stir every 60-90 minutes to prevent any solid chunks/blocks from forming. This helps make it more ‘sorbet’ and less ‘italian ice’. While stirring, add in sugar (if desired) to taste. After about 4 hours, should be ready to serve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat with as many flavors as you want!

This went perfectly with our mexican-themed fiesta and was a nice, light dessert after a few margaritas and fajitas!

Running has been so-so as of late. I took a week entirely off running after the NYC Half, which I needed and loved, and have been building back into the mileage slowly. Some days I’ve had to stop and walk/stretch because I’ve felt so awful and drained! My runs have all been a bit slower in general too, but I’m just continuing to chug along until this ‘building’ phase passes.

  • Week of 3/27: 19 miles (on vacation half of the week)
  • Week of 4/3: 31.5 miles

I’ll work to get to around 35 miles or so this week. I tend to run about 30-35 miles per week when I’m not training for any race in particular, just running, and increase it accordingly as races get closer. I am going to work up towards maxing around 55 mpw before the Brooklyn Half Marathon, just as I did for the NYC Marathon.

Any advice/must-have apps for this Android newbie? Have you ever made ice cream or sorbet from scratch? Now that it’s feeling like spring here in NYC I am definitely going to make the recipe above more often as I am a HUGE fruity dessert fan.