Marathon Fever!

April 18th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (7 Comments)

Happy Monday!

Delicious treats from a co-worker to kick off the week

Maybe it’s the spring weather or maybe it’s the 115th running of the Boston Marathon today, but all I’ve been thinking about lately is planning my racing (and thus, marathoning) schedule. There are so many races I want to run, it’s getting a little bit out of hand.

Let’s start with the race I’m planning this around, the NYC Marathon.

Accepted! I was lucky enough to bypass the lottery with a guaranteed entry time from my race this past November (3:04), and I am pumped to do it again this year and work towards my goal of breaking 3:00.

Then there’s another race I am currently contemplating entering: the Nike Women’s Marathon! (and Half-Marathon)

Reasons running this race could be great:

  • My sister is finishing her senior year of college in San Francisco next year, and thus, I would have a free place to stay!
  • A few friends have done it in the past and say great things
  • There is also a half-marathon option
  • Tiffany’s finisher gift. Enough said.
  • San Francisco is awesome
  • A women’s-only race is unique
  • If I do the marathon, it could be a last long run before my taper. Same with the half, and adding on a bit.

Reasons running this race could be a bad choice:

  • It’s 3 weeks before the NYC Marathon. Start of the taper, but need time to recover
  • San Francisco is h-i-l-l-y, meaning sore legs
  • It’s pretty pricey…plus travel costs
  • 26.2 miles is a bit too long to justify as a last long-run, even if I run it easy
  • If I just run the half-marathon, I feel like I am missing out on the full experience

I need to decide this week if I want to run it, because the lottery closes. I could enter and not even get in! I am leaning towards just running the half, to stay on the cautious side. Better safe than sorry if I want to rock NYC in November.

There are a few more races on my ‘bucket list’. I know I have years and years to run these all, but I want to do them all right now!

There’s of course, the Boston Marathon. A must-do for a marathoner, the ultimate ambition once you’re able to “BQ”!

Then there’s the Big Sur International Marathon.

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to enjoy views like these for 26.2 miles? I really want to do this as a ‘fun run’ since I’d want to take in all the scenes and enjoy the moment rather than dying (or feeling like it).

And lastly there’s the Chicago Marathon! Flat, fast, and part of the World Marathon Majors,  could be a great course to set a new PR!

I don’t know how I turned into a crazy marathon runner but I kinda like it :) I am curious to see how my body would handle doing two marathons a year, one was hard enough for me. Though, not every race needs to be an all-out, intense PR effort, which could ease things a bit and keep racing a bit fun! Page is doing the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge (run Boston and two weeks later run Big Sur), and I could be up for the challenge in 2012 if all stays well with my health and motivation :)

What’s on your marathon or race bucket list? Any I should definitely look into? What was your favorite race? So far, nothing has compared to the NYC Marathon, but I can’t wait to do different races in different cities!

Happy Friday, everyone! I wish I was outdoors drinking margaritas or enjoying this gorgeous 70 degree day we had here in NYC, but alas I’m indoors resting up for the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday! I did enjoy coming home, cooking myself a great dinner, and finally having time to catch up on the finale of The Bachelor. Because I don’t live under a rock, I know who wins, but I am still excited to watch it all! :)

Because I am trying my best to stay positive before race day, I’m going to make a quick list of the best things about this week!

1. Hosting “Cooking Club” at my apartment

I talked a bit about cooking delicious treats for cooking club earlier this week and pulled off hosting 8 other people in my tiny NYC apartment successfully! I had enough room for everyone to sit, and more impressively, enough dishware, plates, glasses, utensils, etc. I had never actually hosted a dinner or entertained at my apartment and it was a fun treat :)

2. Daylight Savings Time!

With daylight savings time taking effect, it has actually been light outside when I leave the office between 6-7! Even though it may be the same time, there is something more uplifting about seeing daylight when I step outside. This makes it 10x easier for me to want to do things after work instead of heading straight home and changing into sweatpants and eating dinner on the couch.

3. Change of Pace: Running After Work

The week before a race, I like to keep my schedule a little lighter and not really make plans after work or stay too late at the office if I absolutely don’t have to. I also like to get a little extra sleep, so instead of waking up at 6:45am to get my run in, I sleep in that extra hour and run after work. Being light out after work has helped tremendously, too. On Thursday, instead of binge drinking green beer, I met up with my friend Terence for a nice 6 mile run along the East River, and then did a pilates class at NYSC with my friend Angela. It felt so good to be a bit more active after work; though I love my morning miles, it was nice to catch up with Terence for a nice run (in shorts!!) as the sun slowly set (how romantic!) ;)

4. Tortilla Wraps & Quesadillas

I recently stocked up on a few packs of whole wheat tortillas, so lately I’ve been on a tortilla frenzy making up wraps and quesadillas every day. Here are my two favorites from this week!

Seafood Medley Wrap with Avocado, Mango & Tomato Salsa

  • Trader Joe’s Frozen Seafood Blend (Shrimp, Scallops, Calamari)- or any meat you’d like!
  • Olive Oil
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Dollop plain greek yogurt
  • Whole wheat tortilla

Makes 2, plus a little extra “salsa”

  1. Sautee the frozen seafood blend (or just shrimp, or chicken or meat of your choice) in a pan with olive oil, garlic and cilantro until cooked through
  2. In a food processor or blender (or hand chop), slowly blend together a sliced mango, sliced avocado, and sliced tomato to create a fruit salsa
  3. Place fruit salsa into tortilla and mix in seafood, and top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt (or sour cream) and ENJOY!

Black Bean, Mushroom and Cheese Quesadilla

  • 1 cup black beans, canned or cooked
  • 1/4 cup shredded mexican cheese
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Whole wheat tortilla
  1. Sautee mushrooms in olive oil
  2. Place black beans and cooked mushrooms into tortilla, sprinkling cheese on top of mixins
  3. Fold over tortilla in half to create half circle shape and melt ingredients together in pan over stove, browning tortilla in pan
  4. Once cheese is melted, remove from pan, cut in half and enjoy!

This recipe was super easy, and really delicious! I am loving how versatile tortillas are for quick dinners or lunches.

5. A sunny forecast for race morning!

Though it’s a bit chillier than I’d like, at least it’ll be sunny without a hint of rain! Now the only dilemma: what to wear…I wanted to wear shorts and a dri-fit shirt but am afraid I’ll be too cold!

What are some of the best things about your week? What do you love to put in wraps? I’m always looking for different things, mine always seem to have a mexican twist…

NYC Marathon Recap: 3:04:32!

November 10th, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Race Recaps - (8 Comments)

It’s taken me a while to write this post. Part of me didn’t want to write this because a recap would mean that it’s really over! But the real reason it took me so long is because the night after the race, I headed back home to NJ and left early Monday morning to drive down to Maryland for my grandmother’s funeral. Needless to say, it’s been a tough few days between the race and this sad news, and I’ve been a bit emotionally (and physically!) drained. I finally returned back to work today, though, and really enjoyed sharing my race story with all my coworkers and thought it was about time to put it in writing!

First things first: I FINISHED!

I did it!!

And I rocked it with a 3:04:32 finish time!

Overall, the day was one I hope I’ll always remember. It started bright and early, around 5:15am when I headed down to the NYPL to catch the bus to Staten Island. To my surprise, 3 other people were also trying to catch a cab on my block so we all split one down- the camaraderie begins! Two guys came from England to run, and one girl’s mother lives in the building next to mine– the girl and I rode next to each other on the bus and since she had done NY last year, shared stories and tips. It was a nice start to the morning, and got me excited to race!

I had a nice breakfast on the bus of hot oatmeal with blueberries (which I microwaved for like 10 minutes and wrapped in my blanket to keep it piping hot to eat later–it worked!) and a small bit of Gatorade. When I got to the start village, I had my banana and two Clif Shot Blocks because, why not? I also drank a TON of water! I also had a hot cup of coffee in the cab to the bus– hey, I need my caffeine!

Since I had a green bib, I wandered over to the green village, assuming the Local Competitive Start would be there. I was wrong. The local competitive start area was nowhere near the green village, despite us all having green bibs. Weird. I hung out there for a little bit and chatted with two guys I sat nearby along the fence. One had done 26 marathons, his first was 20 years ago to the day. The other had done NYC once.

I felt like a total novice. How did I get into this local competitive start, anyway? I wasn’t affiliated with a local running club (“Yeah, I just run by myself…”), I had never run a Marathon (“Actually, I’ve only done one half-marathon in my life…”), and barely had done any road races (“Um, the NYC Half, and the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge? We didn’t do any road races in college…”) Oh, and I’m only 23 and have no idea what I’m doing!

I checked my bags around 8 (all the way in the green village…) and tried to keep warm until we were allowed on the bridge. A guy gave me an extra heat sheet he had, which was so nice! I needed it once the winds started getting stronger! Luckily I was in the 1st wave and just had to get to 9:40am to start.

I think the rest of my story is best told through my mile splits.

Mile 1: 7:25. The guns go off- unfortunately, we were on the lower level of the Verrazano, so I couldn’t really see any of the starting “fanfare” that I had heard so much about. I also missed the views off the bridge. It was completely shaded on the lower level, so it was freezing, and I didn’t take in any views. Instead, I tried to draft off people as much as I could but it was SO WINDY! Tried to stay steady here.
Mile 2: 6:21. WHOA, this was a fast one. The entire mile is just about downhill, going down the bridge, so I didn’t think too much about it because I knew it wasn’t real. Oh, and my feet were SO COLD they felt like blocks of ice, numb, until I got off this bridge.
Mile 3: 6:52. Good, I started easing into my pace. I shed my longsleeve shirt around this point, so I was just in shorts, tank top, and gloves. I didn’t expect to keep the longsleeve on for 3 miles. It was chilly.
Miles 4 and 5: 13:23 total. I missed a mile marker here, 6:42 average between the two miles. Probably a mistake.
Miles 6: 6:38Fourth Avenue was MY FAVORITE part of the course. BETTER than First Avenue in Manhattan. The crowds were great, and I was feeling good. TOO good! I was rocking out to the bands, high-fiving spectators, and had a smile plastered on my face. At some points I actually laughed, especially when I saw funny signs or people cheered “Go Girl!” because I was in a sea of men. Then I realized I needed to start reigning my pace in a bit if I was ever going to finish this race. But I was having SO MUCH FUN!
Mile 7: 6:42. I tried to slow down, but not by much, apparently.
Mile 8: 6:50.
Mile 9: 6:55. This is the pace I should have been at! I felt comfortable here.
Mile 10: 6:42
Mile 11: 7:00
Mile 12: 6:55
Mile 13: 6:57. This point was a scary point for me. When we hit 13.1, my time was 1:29:36. WHAT? When I raced the NYC Half-Marathon last March, my finishing time was 1:29:35 and I was zapped at the end. Why am I running sub-3:00 pace?! But today, I knew I was in better shape and I felt comfortable. Nonetheless, I still had another half-marathon to go and I knew the earlier pace would come and get me. It was just a matter of when…
Mile 14: 6:56
Mile 15: 7:14. Got a little slower going up the Queensboro bridge. This was a long, gradual incline that had very little spectators on it. It wasn’t as hard mentally as I thought, but the quiet and the cold got to me.
Mile 16: 7:11. Think some of this was still uphill on the bridge. Coming down the bridge, my left quad started hurting and my thoughts started getting a tad more negative.
Mile 17: 6:57. This was the first mile on First Avenue. I tried to reign myself in not to get too caught up with the crowds. Truthfully, I felt myself having to work much harder to keep up this pace than I had.
Mile 18: 6:55.
Mile 19: 7:02. Right after the huge crowds ended, almost approaching the Bronx. It got much quieter up at this point, and I felt my calves really starting to tighten here
Mile 20: 7:15. WOW, did anyone know how deceptively long this gradual incline up the Willis Avenue Bridge was?! I certainly didn’t know. Or maybe it just felt worse because I was starting my slow, slow decline in pace.
Mile 21: 7:11. The Bronx, I’m sorry, was uninspiring. Probably my least favorite part, especially the weird “add-on” we did circling some empty chain-fenced parking lot.
Mile 22: 7:18. At this point, I had to really really start working to keep it together.
Mile 23: 7:19. As soon as I clicked the watch for the end of this mile, I hit the wall.
Mile 24: 7:47. WTF Fifth Avenue Hill why did you crush my soul? This was a low point. I tossed off my gloves to my dad, ripped off my 3:10 pace bracelet, I suddenly had the weird urge to get everything excess off me. Like it would make me faster, really?
Mile 25: 7:25. Probably only a little quicker because part of this is downhill in Central Park. I don’t recall much of this mile. I really didn’t enjoy the Central Park portion as much as I thought I would. I couldn’t even muster the energy to take a water cup. I had tunnel vision, just needed to get to the finish. Like 2 miles ago.
Mile 26: 7:33. I don’t remember exiting Central Park. I don’t remember any of the crowds on Central Park South. I think I was crawling at this point. I remember people walking and wanting to kick them and tell them to finish. You probably could have confused my shuffle with a walk. I don’t remember the song the band was playing as you re-enter the park. I remember the re-entry path being a sharp turn and quite narrow, and pitying the runners who would be much more packed up later.
.2: 1:37. A very, very, slow, painful crawl towards the finish. In my head, I had visions of kicking into high-gear and powering home. I may have well been going backwards at this point.

TOTAL TIME: 3:04:32. When I crossed the finish line, the woman who put the medal on my neck told me I was the first girl she “medaled” and that she was so proud of me. That was awesome! I hobbled the long, slow mile to get my bag. It felt like an eternity and I tried my best to stomach an apple and some Gatorade Recovery drink.

In the end, I am so ecstatic with my finishing time, but looking back on my splits see I did not run a smart race. I had absolutely nothing to give at the end. I think if I had run some of those earlier miles closer to 6:55 pace, I definitely would have had more gas in the tank and found another gear at the end. I should not have been going SO much slower at the end. But then again, the last few miles will probably feel tough no matter what, so at least I gave it what I could.

I was also the 78th female finisher overall, including professionals and elites, and 1206th overall. I think that’s pretty awesome for a first marathon! Do I dare think I can break 3:00 on a flat course, or next year in NY with more experience and fitness? Frightening. Compared to my times in college, which were decent but not too competitive, my marathon time is so much better. I guess I have found my niche. Also happy to report my shin that I thought was sort of a stress fracture didn’t hurt at all during the race, and is pain-free post race. Strange…

So, what’s next? Firstly: walking without waddling and being able to get down stairs. HA! But I’ll probably take some good time off running and start doing some other things I’ve wanted to, like pilates, walking, etc. And sleeping in! And rejoining society and being able to go out and have FUN on a weekend and not wake up hungover having to run 20 miles.

Maybe I’ll do some more road races in 2011. But for now, I’m already signed up for the NYC Half-Marathon on my 24th birthday, March 20th. I will probably also register for NYC Marathon again, but I need a few days to rest first :)

Hope you all enjoyed reading this long-winded post, and CONGRATULATIONS to all the finishers on Sunday! I’ve had a blast training for this and reading others’ blogs as well. Now I need to figure out what to write about, if not my training for the big day.


November 6th, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Can you believe it’s November 6th already? I just got in the door from my last shake out run before the big day tomorrow! Stretching out a lot and hoping my legs feel fresh in the morning! Weather looks a little chilly tomorrow, sunny & 45 degrees when running with a bit of wind, but it should be fine! Could be downpouring or not sunny!
Yesterday I went to the expo to pick up my bib and, of course, buy tons of Marathon gear! Needless to say, I got wayyy too much stuff but I love it all! :)

Got my bib!

After the expo, I went to a fabulous dinner at Becco where they have a special of unlimited amounts of 3 of the chef’s daily pastas– of course I got it! Farfalle with marinara, linguine with arugula and shrimp, and best of all- pumpkin ravioli! That was so good, I did get a 2nd bit of that, but I was stuffed! Hope my carb stores are ready to go tomorrow!

Today I’m just relaxing, going out to lunch soon with my dad, and then dinner with my mom and aunt who is in town from San Francisco! Looking forward to some more yummy food and time relaxing! Of course, I laid out my gear planned for tomorrow…

Race day outfit!

And of course, tried it on!

Don't judge me, it was early...

If my alarm clock goes off (I’m deathly afraid of getting screwed up with daylight savings time!) I’ll be at the bus bright and early tomorrow (5:30am–ughh) which made me nervous since online they had told me I was to go to the Staten Island Ferry at 5:45, but my bib says the bus. Either way, I’ll get there. I am planning a race day breakfast of a big bowl of oatmeal and a banana, which will probably be cold by the time I get to eating it in the start village, but yum!

Signing off for today, when I next report I’ll have good news to share of finishing and (hopefully) running a good time! To all of those running tomorrow, good luck!

Marathon Week!

November 2nd, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (4 Comments)

I’ve made it…it’s here: MARATHON WEEK!

I’m excited and nervous and scared and confused and prepared an unprepared all at the same time. I’m sure many are feeling the same way. I spent the last 4+ months building up for this race and now its finally here. In 5 days, around 12:50pm (fingers crossed!) I will become a member in an exclusive club: I will be a Marathoner. Unreal.

On Saturday afternoon, I ran the last 10 miles of the course, led by the orange flags lining the course to the finish line. A few observations/tips:

  • First Avenue is generally flat! There is an extremely minimal incline (in the 80s I think?) But followed by an equally minimal decline
  • The Willis Avenue Bridge, leading into the Bronx, is under construction and I think we’ll be running over the new bridge on race day. It was hard to tell much about this bridge because I had to walk up the pedestrian stairs and such. Its pretty short.
  • You’re in the Bronx for like .2 seconds before heading back into Manhattan. Make a few turns as you can see on the course map, but nothing bad. Seemed pretty level.
  • The turns around Marcus Garvey Park could be a good place to exercise running tangents? I felt like I was back in high school doing annoying laps/turns around a basketball court in gym
  • The incline on 5th avenue heading up to Central Park is going to be a PAIN. It started around 108th st, and I really didn’t think it crested until like 92nd/91st. The worst part seemed around 104/102 st, I think. After you’ve hit the wall (or hopefully, not!) this is more of a challenge then I thought…
  • Once you enter Central Park on 90th street, you’re just about golden. Just have to remind myself how many countless times I have run down Cat Hill that direction before and how familiar it is
  • Once you exit the park, Central Park South going towards Columbus Circle did feel like a tiny incline. Or maybe I was just tired from dodging pesky NYC tourists. Probably will have lost all circulation to my brain at this point and the path to the finish line will be a blur!

In the end, running the last 10 gave me a good indication of the end of the course, leaving no unknowns when I start to struggle.

This week I’m trying to relax, rest my legs, and get pumped! A busy work week is making the relaxing part hard, but I’m off Friday to de-stress and visit the expo to get all my goods!

Sunday I did 6 miles kinda split while I was watching my friend/old Villanova teammate Frances win the Poland Spring 5 miler race in Central Park in the morning. It was good to see her again and I got in some easy miles while she cooled down, and then ran home!
I took Monday off, ran 6 this morning, and have planned for rest of week: Wed: 5; Thurs: 4; Friday off; Saturday easy 3 to shake out + easy strides. Total of 24 miles for the week, and then 26.2 on Sunday!

I was planning to run after work all this week to get some extra sleep, but with the colder weather,  longer hours at work, and desire to just go home and eat a good dinner, I’ve found it’s so much easier to just bang it out on the morning and attempt to get to bed a little earlier than normal. Dare I say I’ve fully transitioned to a morning runner? I used to hate running in the morning, like could barely do 20 minutes, but I think it definitely takes a while to get used to. Now I love it because it makes the rest of my day easier, and I feel more awake. Really!

In the meantime, I’ll be obsessively stalking the weather forecast (which looks like 50 and sunny, by the way!) and visiting www.ingnycmarathon.org at least 50 times daily.

Where I’ll be in 5 days! Along with 45,000 other of my closest friends :)

Bib #887, Check Me Out!

October 30th, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Tomorrow marks the 1 WEEK COUNTDOWN until the BIG DAY! It’s hard to believe that I was once doing 100 day countdowns, 50 days, 1 month…and now, just about a week!

The negative thoughts are now converting into energy and excitement. I really rested up last weekend and enjoyed my runs this week, and the springiness is back in my legs! Some days I was tired, but it was my typical “ughh, i’m running at 6:45-am”-tired, not “my entire body and soul feels drained”-tired. Great improvement.

The excitement has been bolstered by constant Marathon reminders around the city…posters in the subway, bus wraps, commercials on TV, everywhere! Flags along the Marathon Route in Central Park give me an extra boost, and seeing the bleachers around the finish area propel me up the ‘hill’ that is the final .2! This is probably stupid, but I don’t know exactly where the finish line is, just the general ex-Tavern on the Green area. Oh well, by that point I’m pretty sure I’ll have entered a state of delirium so it doesn’t really matter.

On Thursday night, I got an email declaring I was accepted into the Local Competitive Start! This is a special start area at the very front of the Green Corral 1 reserved for local-NYC runners who have met a certain time. My 1/2-marathon qualified me, but I’m not attached to any local running club so I didn’t think I’d get in. Nonetheless, moved from Green Corral 3 to Green Corral 1 in Wave 1. And moved from Bib #33XX to Bib #887! Woo! And I hear there is a special warm-up/stretching area with portapotties in the LCS area. I’ve heard the stories of people urinating anywhere and everywhere (hey, running is not a glamorous sport) so I am certainly looking forward to not peeing in public. Yep. It’s the little things.

I’ve also been quite pleased with my cooking skills lately. With more free time/forced relaxed time (read; not spending my Friday nights drinking  and Saturday mornings hungover) I’ve been making more trips to the grocery store and getting a little bit more innovative in my recipes.

Last night, I made a healthy Mexican-Fiesta creation: Seasoned shrimp and ground lean turkey, roasted tomatoes & onions with black beans over brown rice. I sprinkled with some low-fat shredded mexican cheese, and put a dollop of 0% Greek Yogurt mixed in (just like sour cream!) and everything got creamy and gooey and tasted like Qdoba (<3!) but 100x healthier and more delicious! My batch made 3 servings so I froze 2 more easy and healthy dinners for next week. Protein, fiber and carbs triple punch!

This morning, I tried my second attempt at healthy pumpkin pancakes and waffles. I made pumpkin pancakes last week, and while tasty, the consistency was all wrong. I used oatmeal instead of flour, and this week blended the oatmeal to make oat flour and think that made a huge difference. So, I used: oatmeal flour, canned pumpkin, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, 0% greek yogurt, small spoonful of protein powder, baking soda and egg white. I don’t really have measurements because I kinda just eyed it into the bowl.

I poured the batter into my waffle maker and prayed it didn’t become a sticky mess that I would have to scrape off. I used the extra to make two mini pancakes. Luckily, they all came out! Still not as pretty as I’d like- the pancakes get super cooked and browned on the outside but the insides are still a little goopy. The waffle was excellent! I topped it with some maple syrup, cinnamon, and crushed ginger! (Yes, I’m newly obsessed with ginger). They were SO good and will fuel me through the day Extremely low in fat, full of good carbs, and protein!

Sometimes I wish I had more people to cook for (i.e. I want to be a stay-at-home mom who gets to cook delish dinners every night for her family!) since cooking for 1 is hard because things go bad so quickly if you don’t use them, and making larger portions is so much easier. Well, since my dream of being a stay-at-home mom luckily won’t happen for a good decade, I’ll enjoy cooking for myself for now :)

After I finish digesting breakfast in bed, I am off to run the last 10 miles of the marathon course! I’ve heard this is a good way to get to know the end of the course well when my body starts hurting most. Also, I have never even run (or been to?) 1st avenue, let alone the Bronx, so it’ll be a cool experience. No surprises on race day, and I can think back to how awesome this run was (*fingers crossed*)

Happy Saturday to all!