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‘Tis the Season

December 16th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (5 Comments)

Although Christmas is just 8 days away (what!?!) I’m only just now feeling in the spirit. It hasn’t been terribly cold or snowed, I haven’t thought much about Christmas shopping, work has been crazy busy to even think about a break, and I don’t have any big holiday travel plans to look forward to besides home in NJ.

My new couch and little Manhattan christmas tree brings joy, too.

But yesterday, I donned my holiday best and joined thousands of others to roam the city in festive garb for Santacon. It’s my fourth year doing Santacon (whoa, time flies) and my fourth year being a reindeer. Ho ho ho! And all the sudden, Christmas started to feel a little closer.

Despite barhopping yesterday for 12 straight hours (seriously how did I last that long?), I woke up this morning feeling not-too-terrible and decided a hangover-clearing run would make me feel a little less gross. It was misting/raining and I didn’t have any mileage/time in mind, just wanted to sweat it out.

A few minutes in, my mind wandered and I started feeling pretty crappy about myself and my running. I still feel off and I’m tired all the time. While it’s starting to get easier to get in my mileage especially when I meet up with friends to run, I just want to feel like my old fit competitive self. I know it’s still early and I don’t need to start killing myself, but I do need to start sucking it up and getting in some basic workouts and pushing myself on runs a bit more.

So I headed into the park and to my favorite trusty solo workout, Central Park’s lower loops. (No really, I’ve professed my love here, remember this awesome workout last winter, and here’s one of the 1st times I ever did this workout, early blog/pre-Garmin days.)

Consistency is my strong suit. While the pace was nothing special for me and actually I thought I was going to die or my legs were going to fall off, I’m proud that I completed it all without stopping short. It felt good to push, even though I wasn’t really able to drop the pace at the end.

Still, doubt creeped into my mind at the end. “How are you going to run 13.1 miles under 6:25 pace in just 3 months?” Honestly, I don’t know. That felt hard, guys. But I need to start somewhere; this is where I am today, but it doesn’t have to be where I am in a few months.

What else have I been up to? This past Thursday was our company holiday party. Even though it was just at our office, it ended up being a blast! The highlight was by far the food and drinks (oh, maybe too many drinks…), talent show, and watching this amazing Rock Center with Brian Williams segment live, alongside Hamdi himself.

Click to watch!

If you know me personally, you know I can talk about yogurt for days and days and think my job is the coolest. BUT I really encourage you all to just watch this video. And then you’ll get it. The company went from startup to a $1 billion business in only five years. It’s a crazy story, but really not so crazy when you get to know Hamdi. He’s an incredibly humble yet visionary Founder and CEO, and sharing the moment to watch the clip alongside my colleagues was truly special.

And last weekend, I kept busy through friends’ holiday parties on the Upper West Side and Brooklyn, a friend’s bridal shower in NJ, and volunteering at the Girls on the Run 5k on Randall’s Island.

Ely, in the middle, is getting married 2 months from today!

This was my first time volunteering as a running buddy, and it was amazing. My girls finished strong and happy, with a bit of a ‘sprint as fast as you can and then get too tired and walk’ pacing strategy, often linking arms to run 3 across. They were both too cute (and knew the Gangnam Style dance, whaaaa?), and one said “I never thought I’d actually be doing this. I just thought it’d be a dream! But this is real!” She repeatedly called us ‘Thunder and Lightning’. Girls on the Run is an incredible organization and I really wish I could commit time to coach. I hope I’m free to volunteer for the Spring 5K, too!

And now, I’m going to go curl up on my comfy couch, bask in my Christmas lights, and try to fall asleep at a ridiculously early hour to get ahead of a busy week. Sunday funday.

How are you getting in the holiday spirit?

I know it’s a bit belated, but (obviously) I’m back from spending Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara, CA and still can’t get over how amazingly relaxing and fun it was. I turned off my work email the second I boarded the plane on Wednesday (at 6:30 a.m. OMG early) and didn’t turn it back on until Sunday night right before I took the redeye home. I didn’t set an alarm the entire vacation, and slept the best I’ve slept in… a long time. Feeling rested, tuning out and truly being ‘present’ really allowed me to destress and turn off my brain for a bit. It was lovely.

For the third year, we stayed at the Hotel Oceana which is located right on the beach. I began each morning with an easy run along the beach path, usually around 30 minutes, and ate a leisurely breakfast outside in the sun. I just wanted to kickstart my day with a little sweat, but mostly just to take advantage of these gorgeous views.

We’d then go over to my aunt and uncle’s house, spending some quality time hanging out with the whole family, and (regrettably) teaching my Grandma how to use Facebook and Instagram on her iPad. Yup, needed a few glasses of wine during and after that lesson…

The whole family

Now that my sister and cousins are over 21,we enjoyed a fun night out in Santa Barbara on Friday…followed by a tipsy walk home along the beach.

Yes, I am short. I also think I was the only one not in heels.

We had an incredible Thanksgiving, followed by 2 days of leftovers. Which basically meant a full Thanksgiving 3 days in a row…and it was amazing. I think I could eat turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie and drink wine 365 days a year and be perfectly happy.

But now I’m back to reality in chilly NYC, trying to get back into the routine of getting myself out the door to run most days. Since it’s been a while since I’ve followed any sort of ‘plan’, I’m kind of struggling with running 5-6 days a week again and getting my mileage up. Lately, I’ve been doing around 4-5 days a week but at least 1 or 2 of those days is something easy like 2 miles before I pretend to lift at the gym. Somehow I can’t even seem to get to 30 miles per week, a relatively low number that always has been pretty easy to exceed.

Quite honestly, it’s just so much nicer to sleep in or be lazy or let early mornings/late nights at work get in the way. I need to remind myself that generally, I feel better after starting my morning with a few miles. It’s true, I rarely regret getting up and out the door. I’m more awake and feel better throughout the day. But my runs have been really slow and drag on, and I sometimes wonder how I’ll get back to the point where hitting 50+ mpw with workouts and long runs ain’t no thang.

Most of my runs have been pretty unremarkable, hovering around a comfortable 8:00 min. pace (which I’d like to work on bringing down), but there have been a few good days here and there!

The day before I left for Thanksgiving, I worked from my house in NJ and went for a nice mid-afternoon run to break up the day. I ran one of my favorite routes through a few parks and started pushing the pace without realizing it. 8 miles later, I hit an average of 7:21 pace with the last 3 miles at 7:09, 7:08 and 6:55. It was hard, but in that awesomely-uncomfortable way that I haven’t felt in a while.

And on Thursday of this week, I decided to attempt a solo workout just to get my legs moving a bit. It was nothing special, I just did 2x 1 loop of the Central Park reservoir (~1.58 miles) with .5 jog between. I hovered around 6:45 and 6:40 pace, which is a bit depressing since I used to be able to maintain that for 8 mile tempos (lolz) and I wanted to die after just 1 loop, but any easily-digestible workout is good right now.

And today I did my longest run in quite a while! I started out with Veronica and Meredith, then hopped back on the bridle after they peeled off, running into Nicole and Sarah for a few more miles. The run ended up flying by, ending up at my apartment 11.25 miles later. Running with people will always beat running solo.

My goals for this upcoming week include:

  • Unpack my suitcase from last week (I know, I know…)
  • Get my couch delivered (Friday!) and find a coffee table
  • Buy a real Christmas tree and lights, and decorate my apartment
  • Run at least 30 miles and rest up before a busy weekend that includes not one but TWO! friends’ Christmas parties, Ely’s bridal shower, and volunteering as a running buddy at Girls on the Run 5K!

(Belated) Happy Holidays!

December 27th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (10 Comments)

Even though I’m 24 (25 in <3 months!) I still feel like a little kid when I go home for Christmas. I want to sleep in, relax, be carefree, have mom take care of me, etc. Similarly, I still feel like I’m a kid and need to have 2459235 presents under the tree.

But alas, part of growing older and no longer dependent on your parents means Christmas presents turn from “I want that!” to “I guess I need these…”

Case in point: My ‘big’ gift this year was a new carry-on suitcase. Score.

Exciting? Trendy? Lustworthy? Nope. Practical & necessary for the traveling I’m doing? You bet!

I got a few other ‘fun’ items (like my Hunter rain boots & teal fleece liners!), a laptop & iPhone case, gift cards, etc. so I suppose growing up still isn’t half bad :)

It’s been a busy few days since I got home on Friday, hanging out with friends from college/home, hitting up not one, or two, but three malls (gotta love NJ), going out to eat, sleeping, and running I feel like I haven’t had much time to just relax. But, it’s been nice to have a bit of a mental break from the craziness of NYC and enjoy the suburbs.

As much as I <3 running in Central Park, I actually love running in the suburbs. On quiet streets, with sidewalks and parks and no cars or people. I suppose it reminds me of running in HS and College, and sometimes it’s nice to get a break and just zone out on the streets without stopping at traffic lights or dodging crazy bicyclists.

On Saturday, I left my friend Casey’s house around 9:30 am or so and drove home to hit the roads for a run before heading back into the city with my mom & sister for Christmas Eve dinner with relatives. Despite drinking the night before, (Orange Whipped Vodka? Delicious.) I felt great! Also fueled by the Dunkin Donuts I got on the way home (through a DRIVE-THRU! Amazing!)

Saturday, 12/24

On Christmas morning, I woke up “early” (9:30 a.m.?) ready to open presents! However, my sister who is home for college is still on West Coast time and has been sleeping until noon. I knew I had time to kill before getting her up, so I laced up for a Christmas Day run!

Christmas Morning Run! 12/25

I love that loop because it goes through three different parks in Montclair, and by the old house I grew up in until I was 10. Memories!

Yesterday, I was feeling a little sore and tired from running twice in a row (or I’m lazy) so decided to hit the gym for some core/lifting work. Conveniently, there is a NYSC located right next to my mom’s apartment and my passport membership enables me to use it for free. Either I was really tired, really weak, or both, but I was pretty beat after about 30 minutes so called it a day.

And today, I wanted to head out for another 7-8 mile run. I ran to a park reservation with trails I’ve explored once before, but this time I got a bit turned around and exited the trails at a totally different point at which I entered.

I’m not super familiar with Montclair & the main roads, and was totally lost. I don’t run with a phone so I couldn’t use a map, so tried to keep the trails in the distance and follow roads that might lead me back home. I was actually kinda nervous since there weren’t many cars or people, and no other way of getting home besides my own two feet- or hitchhiking with a stranger. Running seemed the better option.

Today, 12/27. Ooops I got lost?

After going down (and back up and up) a few roads, I finally recognized a road from a long run I did this summer! 7-8 miles turned into 11.5, but I felt really good and pushed the pace at the end to get home ASAP since I was going to be late to meet a friend for lunch. Miles 4-6 were in the rocky/hilly trails & jumping over rocks, branches and streams- hence the slower splits.

I’m proud to say this is the most I’ve run since the NYC Marathon! I sure have enjoyed my down time from not running, but it’s almost 2012 and I can’t push off training for Boston too much longer. Womp womb. Still need to map out that training plan.

Tomorrow morning, I’m headed down to Florida(!!!) to spend New Year’s Eve in South Beach with a group of college friends and couldn’t be more ready to escape the cold and hit the beach! While my running streak has been pretty impressive (to me) these past few days, I predict another few days with minimal running and sleep, tons of relaxing and laying on the beach, a whole lot of drinking and dancing, and a fantastic New Year’s Eve. 

Hooray!

Honestly, I can’t wait for 2012 :)

How were your holidays? Plans for New Year’s Eve? Worst time you ever got lost on a run?

Will Run for Red Velvet

February 14th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I am actually off work today, taking an extra “rollover” vacation day from 2010 before the end of February. And what a perfect day to take off…it’s 50 degrees outside and I pushed my long run to today to take advantage of the weather and free time.

Last week I hit 55 miles total for the week, complete with a 14 mile long run Sunday and a great tempo run on the treadmill on Thursday:

  • 1 mile warmup @ 7:30
  • 2 miles at race pace @ 6:40
  • 1 mile recovery @ 8:00
  • 3 miles at race pace @ 6:40
  • 1 mile cooldown @ 8:00

8 miles total. This run was a bit of a confidence booster because I’ve been doing tempo/speed work around a 6:45 pace, and had originally just planned 2×2 mi segments. I was feeling not-as-bad during my 2nd interval, so pushed to make it 3 miles instead. Must have been the new Lady Gaga song on my ipod :) My legs also felt a bit looser since I did an easy 2.75 mile shakeout in the morning. I find short shakeout runs can help get the blood flowing before a hard effort, and is a good way to bump up mileage.

55 miles has been my highest mileage week so far preparation for the NYC Half-Marathon. Think I’ll get in another week or so around this level and then drop down so my legs feel fresh for race day on March 20th! After all that running, I had a fun food-filled weekend.

On Saturday, Dan and I went to go see “No Strings Attached” (so good!) and then headed to Whole Foods to get ingredients and toppings for “Make Your Own Pizza Night” This was such a fun and easy dinner, though my tiny NYC kitchen needed a bit more counter space to accommodate us both. I forgot to take pictures of the actual hot pizzas (did I mention we drank about 2 bottles of wine, too?) so the leftovers have to suffice.

Dan's Pizza: Chorizo and Mango Jicama Salsa!

My Pizza: Breaded chicken, herb mushrooms, spinach and onion!

 

This was so easy and fun! We bought whole wheat pizza dough and went to town on the toppings. One big dough ball was more than enough for the two of us, I only ate half of mine and now have leftovers for lunch this week!

Yesterday I took advantage of the warmer weather and headed out for an easy 6 mile run. I had an appointment down in Soho so ended up wandering around the Village afterwards, and met up with my friend Dayna for Frozen Yogurt. As much as I love Pinkberry, I LOVE Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt places 1000x more! You can choose between tons of different flavors and toppings and design your own creation.

We went to Phileo Yogurt, not as good as my fave 16 Handles or Yogurtland [please come to NYC!] and I had a wild mix of Cupcake Batter / Cheesecake / Lemon Tart yogurt topped with Cheesecake bites, gummy bears, mochi, rainbow sprinkles, skittles, and mango. Random. Delicious!

I came home and got started on a bit of Valentine’s Day baking. Because what’s Valentine’s Day without heart-shaped desserts?

My mom had given me Sprinkles Cupcake mix a while back so I figured I needed to make the red velvet ones!

This mix called for mass amounts of butter which I was extremely happy about.

I also had to make them in heart-shaped cupcake tins :)

Topped with cream cheese frosting!

I had to sample a cupcake (or two) of course…just to make sure it wasn’t poisonous ;)

If you’re looking for a cupcake mix, your taste buds will thank you for picking up Sprinkles. These were the most fluffy and moist from-a-mix cupcakes I have ever had. I think you can find them at Williams Sonoma. I also have a tin of the lemon flavor which I think I will make for a wine tasting party I have coming up this Friday. MMM.

Well, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine and get in 14 or 15 miles. Hope I work up an appetite for dinner tonight at The Melting Pot tonight (get in my belly, fondue!)

How are you spending Valentine’s Day?

Seasons Traditions

December 25th, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

First and foremost, Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you all had a great time celebrating with family and friends for the holiday.

I certainly did, though our family’s Christmas celebrations seem to vary year to year. We have some traditions, sure, but some years we’ve spent Christmas in CA, last year in Mexico, other years just home in NJ, and this year- at a new home in NJ. My mom has moved back to the town we used to live in till I was 10, so it feels a bit nostalgic calling Montclair home again, while feeling off that Basking Ridge is no longer home. We’re certainly starting new memories and traditions and while different, are good.

And with a new place to call “home” outside of my NYC apartment, comes new places to run! I never ran here since I was much too young. I had previously written a post about how one of the reasons I love running is that it affords the opportunity to really explore new places, and that rings true whether that new place is on a business trip in Maine, while studying abroad in London, or a new town in NJ!

I was a bit apprehensive at first since I’m a creature of habit. I already missed my routine loops around Central Park’s bridle path or my standard 7miler around Basking Ridge. I don’t want to run too astray, what if I get lost? But what if I don’t go far enough and end up repeating the same loop to add on repetitively?

So, I turned to my good friend www.mapmyrun.com and looked at loops others had shared online. It was a lifesaver! Yesterday, I had planned to try a longer route around a reservoir someone mapped out, but came across a trail system and decided to fearlessly see where they’d take me, since I LOVE TRAILS and needed to get off the road badly, if even for a mile

Another way I’ve been channeling my inner-runnerd lately is my new Garmin Forerunner 110. I got it for Christmas and have had a week and a half or so to play with it so far. I didn’t need any fancy heart-rate bells and whistles of higher-end models, and quite honestly didn’t want them. I had even posted before about how my Nike+ was perfect for me since I don’t care if I run 6 or 6.14 miles. Well, through training more seriously for the marathon by myself, I decided itd be nice to have a better judge of pace, particularly for tempo and long runs.

For example, I used to do a 5.1 mile tempo around CP’s lower loops-3 times around. I’d only figure my pace out after I went back and used a pace calculator online tool. There wasn’t a way to adjust it mid-run, I went more off feel. There is definitely a benefit to training of feel and not getting caught up inhibiting yourself with numbers, but I think it’ll help me as I further transition from having a college coach and training group dictate pace and effort level to controlling it all solo. I am extremely competitive internally, which probably explains why I’m driven to running, but I could use some help gauging my actual vs. perceived effort level. Some days I think I’m running 8 min pace, and I’m actually going 730, and other days I think I’m running 730 pace and I’m doing 815.

In any case, I am still working on building up a stronger base for the NYC Half-Marathon on March 20th (also my 24th birthday, shots at the finish line?) I hit 29.5 and 30.5 mpw my first two weeks and 34 this past week. Aiming for another 35 this upcoming week but I’m going skiing tuesday thru sunday so squeezing running amidst the fun, skiing, drinking and eating sounds pretty unlikely. But, enjoying the season and I am more than happy to skip a few days in lieu of fun with friends!

Well, that’s about all my random ramblings for now. I am working to make it a goal in 2011 to write more frequently, because I really do enjoy it.