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(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?

There’s No Place Like Home

December 4th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (15 Comments)

After a whirlwind of travel the past few weeks, I’m finally home in NYC! Aside from last night, I’ve slept in my own bed a total of 1 night since November 15th. Last night, I slept like a rock even though I didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m.

So, where oh where have I been the past few weeks? Let’s see…

  • Chandler, AZ

Yes, I even got to ride in a hot air balloon!

  • San Francisco (for Thanksgiving!)

  • Toronto

Unfortunately, we didn't do much exploring in Toronto

  • Dallas

White Rock Marathon Expo

One day, I will take a fabulous and exotic vacation with all my hotel and airline miles. Just you wait.

While I was at the Dallas White Rock Marathon expo for work, it was pretty much a runner’s paradise. I love marathon expos and exploring all the neat running stuff! Usually, I find the gear at most expos limited and expensive. This expo was awesome, as there was a whole section of discounted running gear, with an extra 20% off! Here are some of my finds:

Nike Pegasus 28: $72

Nike Capri Spandex: $22

Brooks tank: $13; Brooks shorts: $15

Nike tank: $4; Under Armour Thermal LS: $24

$1 throwaway gloves? Genius!! I went crazy and bought two pairs.

There is no such thing as too many running clothes. Whoops.

I’m really looking forward to being home for the rest of the month, with no plans (yet!) to travel until I go away for New Year’s. I’m headed down to Miami December 28th through January 2nd with college friends and could not be more excited for some sun and fun.

———

So, what’s been going on with running, you ask? I’ve probably run a total of 7 or 8 times since the marathon a month ago, mostly around Thanksgiving when I had a bit more time since I was on vacation. While traveling for work there was little free time between events, hanging with the team, and more work.

While exercise helps keep me sane and less lethargic (especially when traveling), I didn’t mind not having time to run as I’m not training for anything right now and I want to focus on the job. I might have to get a bit more creative, or simply wake up earlier, during Boston training when my travel schedule gets crazy again. I’ll definitely have to be a lot more flexible, that’s for sure, but I think that’ll be a good thing for me.

After thinking about my training for NYC, I realized I’m a bit OCD and controlling. Maybe to a fault. While my training plan was pretty flexible in that I only had a goal weekly mileage and 1 set workout and 1 long run ‘preplanned’, I rarely strayed off my routine and often found my thoughts too obsessive for my liking. Have to squeeze in 3 miles tonight to meet my mileage goal. Have to get to bed at this time to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Have to run this exact route because I like the terrain this way. Sometimes I can be a pretty unpleasant person if I don’t do things my way (my inner 6 year old), and that’s no way to live.

Being busy and traveling while training for Boston is going to be a challenge, but a welcome one. It’ll teach me to relax. I still want to run a fast race and gun for a PR since I’m overly competitive with myself, but I also don’t want to drive myself (or anyone else) crazy if I just can’t do it all. Maybe my long runs will have to be on Tuesdays or I can’t get to Thursday night team workouts, but I can do them solo on Friday morning. Once I have a good portion of my travel schedule, I’ll start to map it out and go from there. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’d really like to start running 4 days a week or so for the month of December, just to get my base up a bit before the end of the month. No stress and no plan, just running when I feel like it. While I snuck in a morning run with Nicole, Megan and Jacqui between San Fran and Toronto, I miss the bridle path and am actually pretty excited to reunite with Central Park!

And now, I’m off to catch up on everyone’s blogs since I feel out of the loop and settle back into the apartment. Enjoy your Sundays!

Where’s the best place you’ve traveled to lately? Good finds at running expos? How do you balance sticking to a training plan while remaining flexible?

That title pretty much sums it up. Going into the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon, I had two goals.

  1. Have fun and enjoy the ‘vacation race’!
  2. Practice marathon pace for the first 10K, then work on gradually bringing down the pace.

Welp, I only met one of these, but at least it was the more important one :) My time was actually new PW- personal worst-but I had a blast doing it! In fact, it was about 7.5 minutes slower than my half-marathon PR, and about 2.5 minutes slower than the first half-marathon I ever ran. Yowza.IMG_1180

I finished in 1:32:09. I was 24th out of 16,423 half-marathon finishers, and 6th in my age group. Pretty cool!

Let’s rewind. I landed late on Friday night and my sister picked me up from the airport and took me to her house to stay for the weekend. We headed to the expo in Union Square on Saturday, but the crowds were kinda intense, so we pretty much just picked up my bib and walked around before going to a few shops in the area.

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My aunt and uncle also live near San Francisco in a suburb south of the city, so they came in and took us out to dinner on Saturday night at a restaurant called Spork. It was soooo good, we shared a few appetizers and I had the seared scallops with coconut rice for dinner, along with a sampling of just about every dessert on the menu. Sweets=great race fuel!

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Luckily because of the time zone change, I had no problem falling asleep very early on Saturday night. We awoke bright and early and my sister dropped me off near the starting line. It was a madhouse. The bag check buses were so disorganized and it took me about 20 minutes, squeezed against dozens of others, just to get my bag on the bus. I then realized I should have just left my bag with my sister to hand to me at the finish. Durrr.

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Because of all the time I spent and the massive crowds, I couldn’t even find the starting area. I finally weaved my way through people and found myself in the 9:30/mile pace group. There was literally no way to get any closer. I missed the NYRR corral system. I wanted to be near the front. I was surrounded by people who were clearly going to be walking or jogging, and I wanted to set out at 6:50 pace. Seriously?! The gun went off. I panicked. My Garmin wasn’t getting any signal. We were barely moving. It took me just about 4 minutes just to cross the line. As soon as I saw a clear path, I darted. I was running on the sidewalk, weaving, being ‘that’ rude runner doing anything to get people out of my way! I didn’t even see the 1 mile marker. I was getting really angry, annoyed and frustrated. It was not good.

Finally, around the 2-mile mark, I looked down and saw my time. My pace was fine (fast, almost). The crowds were easing up and I could get into my rhythm. My legs weren’t feeling so hot, but they weren’t awful, either. I finally shifted my focus to the positive. I was running in a gorgeous city, on a fun course, amongst thousands of other women, and I was going to enjoy it. Plus, it was only a half-marathon. After three 20-milers, this was going to be a breeze.

Screen shot 2011-10-18 at 9.33.43 PM

A breeze? Not so much. The course was probably the hardest I have ever run. I knew San Francisco was hilly, and I studied the elevation profile, but nothing could have prepared me for the massive, continuous, steep, never ending inclines. In general, hills are not my strength. I always lose my stride up hills, and I always fall off the group a bit whenever we hit hills in workouts or races. Always been this way. So, this course felt especially cruel, preying on my weaknesses.

Screen shot 2011-10-18 at 9.55.47 PM

Seriously? Look at that elevation profile. Those aren’t nice, normal hills. Those are straight inclines.

Screen shot 2011-10-18 at 9.57.37 PM

My splits don’t really make a ton of sense given I missed some markers and my Garmin didn’t pick up satellite for quite some time. Split 1 is really miles 1 and 2 combined, pretty quick given the crowded start so I think my anger fueled the (too fast) splits as I wasted a lot of energy. Split 6 (mile 6-7) was all uphill. Mile 7-8 was about half uphill. Mile 11-12 was a long, slow incline. Up and up and up! I also didn’t see the 13 mile marker, so the last split is really 1.1, meaning at least I finished strong.

Screen shot 2011-10-18 at 10.16.58 PM

Screen shot 2011-10-18 at 10.26.04 PM

But the views. Oh, the views. In the middle of the race, as we were up in the Presidio, we had breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and bay. It was a bit of a foggy, warm morning, which made the scene quite serene. The climbs were 110% worth the views. I remembered why I was doing this race (for fun!), threw my pride out the window majorly (seriously, thought I had a shot at being top 10 given previous years’ results), and tried to run in the moment.

Screen shot 2011-10-18 at 10.25.20 PM

Before I knew it, I was powering down along the Pacific Ocean towards the red carpet finish line.

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My cheering squad, Aunt Deenie and my sister, Marly!

Honestly, as much as I enjoyed the race (and I did, I really did!), I am a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to practice my race pace/negative splitting and use this as a gauge of fitness for the marathon. Had I really known how hard this course was, I definitely may not have had that plan or expectation. All things considered, I still gave a hard effort, and the experience was even better.

After the race, we headed home to shower and rest up a bit before heading to lunch at Umami Burger, LA’s ‘trendy burger spot’ that just opened in San Francisco. I was starving, and the signature Umami Burger hit the spot.

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And, what would a celebratory meal be without frozen yogurt? One of my sister’s roommates suggested Yogorino, which has super light/fluffy/creamy plain frozen yogurt. Delicious!

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We spent the rest of the weekend walking around the city, eating, and relaxing. I flew back home last night on the red eye, landed, ran 4 easy shake out miles (oh.my.god.im.sore), and went to work. Which means, I’m just about ready to pass out now. Luckily, this week is week 1 of the taper. After weeks and weeks of hard effort, bring it on!

What was the highlight of your weekend? Are you a good hill runner? Hardest course you’ve ever run or raced? Ever done the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon or Marathon?

Girlfriend Getaway in Chicago

September 28th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (13 Comments)

Thanks everyone for the great comments on my NYRR tune-up. Glad to hear I’m not the only crazy one :) My legs are still a bit lethargic, but I was able to squeeze out a tired 7 miles on Monday morning, 8 miles after work yesterday with Terence along the East River (great run but my regular watch died…whoops), and 12 miles this morning as a run-commute on the way to work. While I likely won’t get in a workout this week (Sunday was enough of a workout!), I’m hoping to get in a few more quality miles and save my rest day for either Friday or Saturday, because I’ve got a fun weekend ahead!

Tomorrow night, I’m jetting off to Chicago for a (long overdue) weekend getaway with my two best girlfriends from college. I am so excited to spend a weekend away in an exciting city, catching up and spending some quality time together.

From day 1 of freshman year, Emily, Jordan and I clicked and spent the next four years together as friends, roommates and teammates.

At a frat party, straddling the pole...typical

Pregaming formals with shots

Disney princesses for Halloween!

I'm 21!

Giant snowball?

Why am I posting this picture on the internet? It was halloween.

After graduation, our jobs took us separate ways. I went to NYC to work in PR, Emily went to Atlanta to work for AT&T (and has now moved her rotation to Denver), and Jordan went to South Jersey to work for Lockheed Martin. Yep, they are smart and successful ladies! I not-so-secretly hoped everyone would move to NYC with me, as I missed being able to open up my bedroom door to get fashion advice or to gather on the couch to watch Gossip Girl and America’s Next Top Model.

Miami New Year's

Senior picnic aka lots of drinking

Fancy ladies

Graduation!!

Over the past 2+ years after graduation, we’ve reunited every few months with our college friend group in the city or at the beach, but a girlfriend getaway with just us ladies is something we’ve been trying to plan since this spring and I’m so excited it’s here!

Off, off and AWAY to Chicago!

We wanted to pick a city we’ve all never been to and was easily accessible via direct flights. I have been to Chicago twice, but both times were for work and I did very little exploring since the trip was quick and it was cold! I didn’t even get to go for a run both times I was there! We have a few ‘must-sees’ but for the most part, we’re planning to explore and play it by ear. We have tickets to an Improvised Shakespeare Comedy show, plans to hit up Giordano’s for some Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza, and see the typical ‘Chicago must-sees’: the bean, Sears Tower, Lincoln Zoo, Wrigley Field, etc.

I also have to get in a 20 mile run on Sunday. I’m planning to wake up a bit earlier than normal so that my super long run doesn’t interfere with our activities for the day, since we’re headed to the airport around 4 p.m. on Sunday. I’m not super excited for the early wake up and feeling wiped all day, but hopefully the change of scenery will help the miles fly by. I hear it’s really nice to run along the waterfront, so I’m just planning on running from our hotel along the mile to the water and doing a fun out and back either North or South (or both). Luckily, both Emily and Jordan also ran in college with me, and while they might not be up for joining my 20 miler, they understand and support it.

 Have you ever been to Chicago? Any recommendations for places to visit, dine, shop, walk, explore, etc.? Running route recommendations? How do you stay connected with old friends that live far away—take vacations? Skype? G-chat?

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…

City Kids Head to the Lake

July 20th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (10 Comments)

As much as I love NYC in the summer, sometimes it just feels good to get away to the great outdoors and R-E-L-A-X. This past weekend I had the opportunity to head to my friend Terence’s lake house in Pennsylvania. It was the perfect getaway—it felt like time just stopped there and Terence’s family were the best hosts, with plenty of fun activities planned.

We arrived Friday night to a stocked fridge and got down to work with some beer pong and civil war.

We woke up Saturday morning and enjoyed a run around the lake (bit less than 4 miles)—quite a change of pace to run on quiet, scenic roads and paths without seeing a car or other people!

Wrighter Lake

And then the games began…this weekend was full of nonstop competition! It was awesome.

Races!

Margarita Volleyball. The best kind of volleyball.

Tubing!!

The gang

I enjoyed a nice scenic solo run on Sunday, just an easy 5.75 miles. Although I ran in the heat of the day around 2pm, it felt so much cooler out in the country and shaded roads so it wasn’t bad at all. Kinda peaceful, actually. We watched the Women’s World Cup (sad loss…) and headed back into the city after the game.

Goodbye Wrighter Lake!

This week so far has been a bit hectic between work and social plans (read: eating at fancy restaurants 5 out of the 7 nights this week, for work and NYC Restaurant Week), but I’m aiming to hit 40 miles this week. I know, I still need to share a post on my marathon training plan. Coming soon, promise!

What is your favorite vacation spot? Are you a city kid or country dweller? How’s running going this week amidst the heat wave? I always thought I was all about the hustle and bustle of NYC, but after last weekend I’m just about sold on moving to the middle of nowhere and escaping the stress…maybe. ;) This week has been pretty hot and sweaty in terms of running but I’m chugging along!