Header

Long Run Down Memory Lane

September 19th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts | Uncategorized - (14 Comments)

I did a pretty good job of seeing most of Montclair (and the surrounding areas) for my long run this weekend.

I slept in until around 10:45 (felt.so.good), drank coffee and ate a bowl of cereal with blueberries and digested until I finally hit the roads around 12:45. It was a cool, crisp fall day which meant running in the early afternoon wouldn’t be a problem.

As I looped through town, memories flooded back... as they always do when I’m back in Montclair. I’ve mentioned this before, but Montclair was my home from when I was just six months old until I was 10. Even though I was so young, I loved the town, my friends, my school, my house…everything. I remember being devastated when we moved to Basking Ridge, about 45 minutes away.

Slowly but surely, Basking Ridge became my new home. I formed new memories, and loved the town, my friends, my school, my house…everything. However, when my parents split last year, we sold the house in Basking Ridge. That house I lived in from 10 to 23 was gone, and that wasn’t home anymore. Even though I had been in my NYC apartment for over a year, and hadn’t fully lived in that house since I went to college, where was home supposed to be, now? It was really difficult to manage that change and loss of ‘home base’. Interestingly, my mom moved into a condo back in Montclair. So now, my old home is my new home. Following?

It’s strange to see how a town has changed and how it remained the same. Also different to remember things through a 10 year old’s eyes. I ran past the park I played soccer in (I wasn’t good), past the church I hated going to because we had to dress up, past the old store that used to be home to Carvel. I wound through my old neighborhood and past my old house, remembering riding bikes around the island and how I once fell into a thorn bush there and had to get stitches.

I ran past the old park where I watched the fireworks each fourth of July, and the other park where I once fell into the duck pond when I peered in a little too close. I went past the third park (okay, there are a lot of small parks apparently), which housed the annual ‘Arts in The Park’ festival and where I used to walk with my pet hamster in a little pillow (I was also really cool).

I went past the school parking lot where I used to get dropped off to go to sleepaway camp at Frost Valley during the summers, and the Krauzers where we used to stop and buy candy after my mom would come walk us home from summer day camp. I went past the school where my mom used to teach, and past the office where my dad used to work.

I went past the town pool which I used to think was huge (it’s not), where I used to get annoyed whenever they had adult swim and I had to get out. It was across from the Iris Gardens, where I once won a drawing competition for my flower depiction. I ran past my childhood best friend’s home, recalling the sleepovers we had in her attic.

I also explored some new areas of town I had never seen before, never before taken by foot. While Montclair is not where I currently reside, it’s (hopefully) going to be where I go when I go ‘home’ for the foreseeable future. I get extremely nostalgic when remembering my childhood in Montclair, but I am so looking forward to creating new memories in this place, too.

Saturday’s memory: a kick ass 17 mile run, up and down hills (seriously, I thought Montclair was mostly flat. I was wrong.), being able to drop the pace and finish strong. What a nice (long) run down memory lane.

After a failed ice bath (thought I could use the automatic fridge ice machine to get a ton of ice easily…I was mistaken), my mom and I headed out to the outlets for some shopping. I love a good deal! It was nice to keep my legs moving a bit. Around 7, the run-ger hit and I was ready for some good eats.

Kobe Beef Burger with cheddar, mushrooms and avocado from Zinburger. Side of zucchini fries.

FroYo from Cups! Pomegranate and original tart with brownie bites, mochi and dark chocolate raspberry

On Sunday morning, we headed back into the city for brunch at The Smith. This vanilla bean french toast with caramelized bananas was the perfect way to round out the weekend. Creating memories in my new home, New York City.

Do you still call ‘home’ the childhood home you grew up in, or have you moved or adjusted to call your new town home? What’s your favorite childhood memory? What was the best part of your weekend?

Marathon Monday

September 12th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (16 Comments)

Marathon Monday is synonymous with the Boston Marathon.

Turns out, Marathon Monday now isn’t just about the actual running of the race, but simply registering for the race itself.

This morning at 10 a.m. EST, the first round of registration opened for runners who have met the Boston Qualifying standards by 20 minutes or faster. Over the next few days, the registration system will open up for runners who have met the Boston Qualifying standards by 10 minutes, 5 minutes, and so on. Do I think this is a fair system that will work? I’m not sure. In my eyes, a 2:39 marathoner and a 3:39 marathoner equally deserve to run this race.  Dropping the qualifying standards may be the next best way to avoid shutting out those who run the times, but then the 3:40 standard that has become universal with a ‘BQ’ for so many people for so long will change.

There is really no one fair way, and I feel extremely fortunate and grateful to have run a fast enough time to be able to register today without stress, knowing that after verification of my time, I will be running the streets of Boston on April 16, 2012. Others will have to wait nervously to see if they’re even afforded the opportunity to register before the race is maxed out. Thoughts and fingers crossed for you, friends!

I’m having some doubts about signing up for yet another marathon right now, especially given my training for NYC isn’t going as well as I want it to. Why would I want to put my body through this, just mere months later? In the winter, nonetheless. Fun? …or crazy? or stupid? I always knew Boston is like the mother of all marathons, the ultimate goal for many. It’s an exclusive club. I figured it’d be nice to run it at some point in time. I didn’t realize how much I really wanted to do it until today. I woke up and did an easy 3 mile shakeout in preparation for an evening run. My mind was consumed with pros and cons of registering this morning. The more I ran, the more excited I became. I felt a bit reinvigorated and my feet took on a life of their own. I knew then I was ready for the challenge. It’s not a dream goal anymore, it’s a real goal.

Another reason I want to do Boston is because I’m registered for the Big Sur Marathon, and I want to do the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge.

April 16: Boston

April 29: Big Sur

Hopefully I’ll be able to walk (or waddle) afterward. Go big or go home, right? I’ll be turning 25 on March 20th, and this challenge is a gift to myself. I’ve been making a more conscious effort to spend more time discovering more about who I am and what I’m capable of.  Sometimes I’m really unsure. Running, I’ve found, helps me become a bit more introspective in this journey. In a way, I want to challenge myself to complete Boston 2 Big Sur to show myself that I’m capable of anything, and I know I’ll be happy and proud of myself upon completing the journey. So while I still plan on celebrating the big 2-5 like a normal person with booze, cake and friends, April will mark the real celebration of myself, as crazy as that sounds.

————–

On a completely unrelated note, I’m newly obsessed with figs. I’m not sure why I’ve never really tried them before, we just never had them in our house growing up and they seemed like a foreign food when I passed them in the store. I didn’t really know how to prepare them, or what to make. After reading how others enjoy them so easily, I decided to take the plunge. SO DELICIOUS.

I’ve been enjoying them simply sliced up over greek yogurt:

In salads with sliced peaches and feta (thanks for the salad tumbler, Megan!):

And mashed up to create a jelly-like spread, grilled on Ezekiel toast with a slice of swiss cheese. Mmmm, melty sweet and savory goodness.

Tell me: Thoughts on Boston registration? Did you register or are you planning to register if you’re able? What’s your favorite use for figs?

 

This week really wiped me out, despite cutting back my mileage. Perhaps it’s the fact I got less than 5 hours of sleep on Tuesday night to kick off the work week? Yep, that could be it, but I didn’t mind one bit since I spent the night (and morning) hanging out with fun running/blogging friends.

The lovely Megan invited a few ladies over to her new apartment in Brooklyn on Tuesday night for a dinner party ‘sponsored’ by Wish Bone. Basically, she got some salad dressings and created a few awesome dishes, and we brought wine and desserts. Everyone wins! It was nice to see some old faces, Ali and Susan, and meet some new friends: Sofia, Leslie and Danielle!

And we got cool tupperware gifts. Yay salad shakers!

My plate with a medley of salads. Both of those wine glasses may as well have been for me.

The conversation flowed, as did the wine, and it was really enjoyable how something like sitting in a living room in Brooklyn, chatting with people I met through blogging/running, could make me so content.

I touched on this a bit about a month ago (how runners rock a Thursday night), where I did a nice tempo run with my CPTC teammates, went to Ali’s fundraiser at the Jackrabbit store, and then got 16 Handles with Jamie. I felt so comfortable and happy spending time with like-minded people, something I haven’t really felt in a while.

Even though I’ve lived in NYC over 2 years now, sometimes it doesn’t feel like home. Only a small handful of friends from college actually live in Manhattan, and none of my high school friends do. I have college friends (and my boyfriend) outside the city in Hoboken, Westchester, or further out in New Jersey, but I miss spending time with those kind of people you feel close with on a more regular basis. Maybe I’m just nostalgic because I loved how all my friends were in one place in college, and they were mostly all runners. I’ve got a great group of friends I’ve met through work, who I definitely enjoy spending time and going out with, but it I feel guilty when I need to call it an early night at happy hour (like, 9 pm early), explain why I’m not drinking a month before the marathon but still want to hang out, or why I just snapped a photo of our dessert at dinner :)

And that’s why I love nights like Tuesday, where we can get a group together and discuss anything and everything from rehydrating from too much wine by drinking Nuun out of a measuring cup, to online dating and creepy text messages, to mmmsauce, to stresses of jobs and upcoming races and everything in between. And, taking 2 subways home from Brooklyn after midnight is a great way to bond, as is waking up at 6am the next morning to meet up for a run in the rain (thanks, Ali and Kelly!). Hope I’m not creeping any of you guys out, especially the ones I just met, since I think you’re all awesome and we should hang out again soon. Thanks.

Also, I don’t care if ‘meeting people through the internet‘ sounds geeky or weird (sometimes it does to me, and probably to my mom, too), because the people I’ve met through blogging and CPTC make me happy and are totally normal, awesome and even more fun in person. And we can even run together sometimes. Win!

COUNTDOWN:  Less than 2 months to the NYC Marathon. Yikes! I’m still not feeling so hot, but will save that whining for another day or two.

Do you struggle with having your home-away-from-home feel like home? How have you made a new town or city feel more like home? Do you like making new friends and want to get together and eat delicious food and drink wine with me? :)

So Long Sweet Summer

September 1st, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (15 Comments)

Hello, September! Nothing like taking my third and final ‘Summer day‘ on Tuesday to remind me that summer has come to a close. Our office lets us pick one day each month as ‘Summer days’ to take off during the months of June, July and August. I didn’t really have any long weekends planned in August, so made the last minute decision to take off a random Tuesday. Because, why not?

After sleeping in (felt. so. good), drinking coffee in bed, and online shopping (whoops), I decided to head out for this week’s long run: 15 miles. Since I’m headed away this weekend, I figured I’d knock it out of the way and take advantage of the free day.

Luckily, Tuesday was one of those perfect days where it’s clear and sunny, still a bit warm but with a hint of fall crispness in the air. It’s very atypical to be able to begin a long run in August at 11:15am and not die of heat or humidity. Well planned, Lindsay.

I did around 3 miles in Riverside Park before heading over to Central Park where I zoned out and did a few Bridle Path loops, went up and around Harlem Hill, did a few lower loops, and headed back home. I started out pretty easy, and felt smooth throughout.

Overall, 7:34 pace. I’m pretty pleased with this effort, and was trying to just zone out and hit a groove without looking at my watch. I felt really smooth for the majority of the run, until I started fatiguing pretty badly the last 4-5 miles. My arms were heavy, legs even heavier, and I was feeling more and more drained. It started to become a mental battle counting down the minutes. I tried to slow the pace and just finish relaxed.

Yet, the miles kept clicking away under 7:30 even though I felt like I was going much slower. I wanted to go slower. I tried to go slower. My breathing was getting more labored and I could tell I was getting dehyrated, but I just couldn’t slow down, even after stopping at a water fountain. It was strange, and probably sounds really stupid. ‘You’re complaining about not being able to run slower?’ Yep, I am. It really confused me because my body wasn’t listening to my cues to relax; it was just running on autopilot and I finished feeling completely spent when I didn’t want to. And I didn’t like it.

———

Enough running talk. While I’m sad summer is just about over, there’s been some pretty good things going on this week, and good things to look forward to! 

Source: http://www.chinagrillmgt.com/restaurants-and-bars/asia-de-cuba-morgans

In my ongoing quest to enjoy NYC Restaurant Week (or, months) as much as possible, I headed to Asia de Cuba on Monday evening with some lovely lady friends. Since we were a party of 5, we got to split basically everything on the menu and left stuffed and happy. Yep, calamari salad, beef dumplings, chicken, salmon, coconut rice, tofu, boatload of desserts, and a few glasses of sangria is perfect long run running fuel.

<3 Calamari Salad Appetizer. Sadly, I didn't take this picture. Source: http://www.chinagrillmgt.com/images/phocagallery/gallery_adc_food04.jpg

Desserts <3 Lovely camera phone quality.

And then there’s the simple pleasures.

 

The latte from MacchiatoI had this morning. De. lic. ious. And I’m a sucker for cute heart foam art.

One time I went to Stone Harbor and hung out with an inflatable Uncle Sam.

Heading down to Stone Harbor, NJ for the weekend. Well, actually we’ll be staying in Wildwood because every hotel in the small town of Stone Harbor was booked by the time we got around to calling. But we’ll be beaching and drinking in Stone Harbor! Dan was a lifeguard there for two summers so it’s nice to return, and we’re going down with his twin brother Sean and his girlfriend Nicole.

I <3 Beef

Sale on Ground Grass-Fed Beef at Whole Foods on Friday! I love Whole Foods, but tend to just buy specialty items or 365 Organic Brand there since it’s a bit $$$ for my everyday groceries. I also don’t tend to buy fancy grass-fed beef, but for $4.99 I’ll stock up on the good stuff and pile up the freezer before heading out of town! Here’s more about grass-fed beef from Whole Foods.

What was the best run you had this week? What was your favorite thing this week? Are you happy summer is coming to a close, or would you rather turn back time and have it be June again? While I’m a bit sad that it’s not nearly light out as late, and I didn’t get to do as much rooftop drinking this summer as I’d like, I’m kinda ready for fall. And pumpkin spice lattes. And the NYC Marathon, I guess…

You know those times growing up when you cross your fingers, wear your PJs inside out, do a dance in front of your freezer, and stay up kinda late in the hopes school will be cancelled for a snow day? (Or was that just me?) Well, this weekend was one of those times, but the grown-up/Hurricane Irene version. On Saturday, NYC braced itself for Hurricane Irene by shutting down the entire subway system at 12 noon, with “reports service wouldn’t be restored until late Monday afternoon” and preparations made for mass power outages. Excited by the chance of no subway service, I crossed my fingers and mentally prepared for the day off work Monday, or at least the day working from home.

Thankfully, NYC wasn’t hit bad by Hurricane Irene at all. I’m so glad we’re safe and sound here, but thoughts are with the hundreds of others who are left without power or stranded with damages to home. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for NYC,  this also meant subway service was restored early this morning so Manhattan-ites were expected to be in the office, doing business as usual. I kind of felt like a kid whose dreams were crushed, but there are worse things in life than being safe and going into work. And, I randomly have a ‘summer day’ tomorrow which means I can still sleep in and eat breakfast in bed tomorrow…which I was so looking forward to today.

While Irene was a nice chance to stay inside, complete my blog self-hosting activity, do laundry, clean my room, and drink a few bottles of wine, by Sunday afternoon I was a bit stir-crazy. My legs actually felt weird from laying in bed and on the couch for so long, which I didn’t think was possible. Since it didn’t look too bad outside, I ventured to Riverside Park for a leisurely run!

Hurricane Irene <3s Sweat.

I made my way down to the Hudson River Bike Path, which was packed! Much more so than on a typical, nice weather weekend. Strangely enough, despite being just feet away from the Hudson River, there was no flooding along the path—barely even a puddle. I covered 7 miles total, and I was extremely thankful to have the tail wind at my back on the way home…the gusts and spitting rain really picked up on the latter half of the run.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and night relaxing, watching trash TV, and cooking up some lunches for the week. I prepared a batch of quinoa to make 4 servings, and put the cooked plain quinoa into different tupperwares to dress up with different ingredients throughout the week for variety. For today’s lunch, I mixed quinoa with zucchini ribbons, feta cheese, walnuts and sliced Garlic Chicken Sausage. This meal took less than 30 minutes from start to finish, including cooking the quinoa and rinsing all my dishes. And now, I’ve got a great lunch base for the rest of the week. Easy!

Quinoa is a very versatile ‘ancient’ grain, and can be found at most grocery stores (even Trader Joe’s!). It is a ‘complete’ protein, meaning it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids our bodies need. It has a slightly sweet and nutty taste, is pretty quick to prepare, and 1 serving has around 170 calories with 3 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 5 grams of protein, along with 10% of your daily iron. I’m not a big refined pasta/rice person, so quinoa is a great way to get in healthy carbs and iron, which is extremely important during marathon training.

Quinoa with Garlic Chicken Sausage, Zucchini, Feta and Walnuts

  • 1 cup quinoa (makes 4 servings of quinoa)
  • Toppings for 1 serving:
    • 1 Trader Joe’s Garlic Chicken Sausage (or any protein of your choice)
    • 1/3 zucchini, peeled into ‘ribbons’ with peeler
    • ¼ cup feta cheese
    • ¼ cup walnut halves
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, for 4 servings of quinoa it’s usually 1 cup quinoa boiled in 2 cups water for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy
  2. While quinoa is cooking, microwave or grill chicken sausage. Peel skin from zucchini using peeler, and continue peeling insides to create ‘ribbons’. Alternatively, you could also slice/chop the zucchini.
  3. Once quinoa is done cooking, split into 4 serving sizes. To your single serving, add in sliced sausage, zucchini, feta cheese, walnuts and mix. Store remaining cooked quinoa in tupperwares, or add more toppings to save for later!
  4. Enjoy! This is also portable and can be re-heated for about 1 minute or more in the microwave, and eaten from a Tupperware at your desk like I did today :)

East coasters, are you back in work today? Have you ever tried quinoa, and what’s your favorite way to make it? I’ll need ideas for the next few days…

 

 

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.

————

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?