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V for Villanova

June 7th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

This past weekend was a trip down memory lane: Dan and I headed back to Villanova, our alma mater and the place where we met! We actually met on the first day of freshmen orientation, but were also both on the XC/Track teams during our four years. I loved Villanova and haven’t been back in over a year, so it was great to go back for the weekend.

In front of the Villanova church, beautiful!

We made a stop to Whole Foods on our way into campus and enjoyed a nice picnic on the grass to start the walk around campus!

The we visited South Campus and Stanford, our freshman year dorm. Stanford was the largest of all the freshmen dorms, and housed most athletes.

We then walked up to the Athletics facility, and made a trip to the track. I wonder how many miles of laps were run around this track? Seriously scary when I look back to all the workouts over the years: being nervous, wanting to die, wanting to just hang on for dear life, wanting to numb my mind, wanting to chop off my legs, and even the occasional awesome workout thrown in for good measure.

We typically started and ended our runs at the track most days, unless we drove to Haverford, Valley Green or Valley Forge for runs. So many hours spent striding, stretching, doing core, drinking gatorade, listening to coaches, talking with the team, wow. I definitely missed it.

I missed it so much I went for a run right there! Just kidding, I just wanted an action shot.

Villanova has a very prestigious Cross Country and Track history, and they recently redesigned the awards to reflect the team championships (2009 and 2010–woo!) and Hall of Fame inductees.

After that, we stopped by the coaches office and said hi for a bit– a few athletes are headed to the National championships out in Des Moines later this week so they’re around practicing.

Then we headed back to main campus, and visited Austin, our Sophomore year dorm!

I loved Austin because it was right smack in the middle of campus, but featured single dorms. I lived right next door to my three best girl friends, and most of our guy friends were right upstairs. It was quieter than the “party dorms” down in the quad, but that meant we could always hang out at the quad and walk about 2 minutes home for a nice night’s sleep afterwards.

Then we walked over to West Campus, where we lived Junior and Senior years. Villanova only grants on campus housing for 3 years, so most all seniors moved off campus. Athletes, Nurses, and Female Engineering majors were eligible to get on campus housing their fourth year, which meant getting to classes and practices was a lot easier.

I loved living on West, which featured apartment-style dorms; I lived with my 3 best friends and we each had our own rooms and a living room, half kitchen, and two bathrooms! They were relatively new and clean, and all my other friends were pretty much all athletes so staying on campus senior year was awesome. I liked going to other friends’ apartments off campus from time to time, but it was really nice not having to drive to and from class and fight for parking every day!

The rest of the weekend was spent eating and running! We went to Hibachi, one of our favorite restaurants in Philly with views over the Ben Franklin Bridge:

And to Fellini’s an Italian restaurant in Ardmore that’s BYOB and so delicious!

I get the same thing each time. Chicken with zucchini and spinach, topped with melted mozzarella cheese and aurora (like vodka) sauce and a side of pasta. YUM!

And, of course, got in a bit of running while we were there! On Friday, we went to Haverford and did one loop around the trail there for a leisurely 2.5 miles. Could have done another loop, but was pretty content with just doing one for old times sake. On Saturday morning, we went to Valley Forge, which was (and still is) one of my favorite spots to run. We did about a 9 mile trail loop, which was one of my favorite Sunday long runs along the Schuylkill River, Mount Joy, Covered Bridge, etc.

All in all, it was a great weekend back! It was a bit nostalgic going back and not really being at ‘home’ there any more, but it still made me happy I had such fond memories and such a great experience there. I miss being there with all my friends, hanging out and getting to see each other all the time, and definitely took the 4 years we had together for granted at times, but all and all feel I got so much out of my time there.

How do you feel when you return back to a familiar place? What do you miss most about college, or home if you’ve moved away? Mostly, I miss the extra free time and my friends being around 24/7; we’re all over the country now and it’s just not the same as walking down the hall barefoot to watch Gossip Girl together! Also, I miss my XC/Track teams and the competitive atmosphere and feelings of accomplishment (and sweat) after a shared hard workout or long run.

Garden State Weekend

June 2nd, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts | Race Recaps - (0 Comments)

This Memorial Day weekend was a whirlwind tour of the great state of New Jersey!

On Friday afternoon, I took the train down to my friend from college Emily’s house in Wall, NJ. The night was pretty low key because we were running the Spring Lake 5 Mile Race on Saturday morning. Emily used to do this race every year, and so when our friend Kristen emailed me to register a few months ago I figured it sounded like fun. My plan was to run it for fun, and keep pretty low-key.

This was indeed a fun race, although certainly one of my worst race executions in recent history. Being at the beach meant it was entirely flat, and apparently I got a bit too excited about escaping the rolling hills of Central Park. My first mile felt fine but once I saw my split, I knew I’d pay for it later. Each mile hurt a bit more than the last, and my only goal the last 2 miles was just not to get passed by any women!

  • 6:03
  • 6:15
  • 6:29
  • 6:48 (oof)
  • 6:30

Official chip time: 32:05.85

I won my age group, and was the 8th woman overall. Plus, I won a cool vase for being in the top 10 women, along with a mug, a glass, a rose, a calendar, a hat, a t-shirt, and a turkey sub. All in all, not a bad way to kick off a fun weekend…if feeling like you’re dying while running 5 miles is your idea of fun, like it is mine.

After a shower and some much needed food, we headed over to our friend Mike’s house for some relaxation in the sun. Mike lives right along a lake with a nice dock and boat, and it was great to catch up with all our guy friends.

We went back to Emily’s, grilled some burgers, and headed out for a wild night fistpumping at the Jersey Shore. Just kidding, kind of.

Sunday morning we awoke and got ready for the weekend’s main event: our college friends Casey and Matt were getting married! Kristen drove us up to Flemington, NJ for the reception, with a stop in Metro Park to pick up Terence, whose train to Flemington was just cancelled. Thank goodness we could save him from the disasters of NJ Transit.

The ceremony was really great, and it was so surreal to see her in a wedding dress! Casey was part of the XC/Track teams with me at Villanova, and became a close friend through the miles and miles logged together. Even when she quit the team (and subsequently started hanging out more with Matt…good choice!), she was one of my favorite people. Matt is also one of the friendliest, nicest guys I have ever met; he seems to show her how much he loves her every day, but it was especially apparent how much they were both glowing on Sunday.

We drove to the reception in Berkeley Heights and spent the night drinking, dancing and celebrating. And yes, I admit I cried during their first dance to Train’s “Marry Me”. Judge me!

The next morning, we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel and said goodbye to Casey and Matt as they were off to their honeymoon in Greece & Barcelona…so jealous!

My mom picked me up and took me back home to Montclair, and I spent the day with her and my sister who is home from college before her summer internship in LA starts. We did what we do best: shop! But we went to the Outlets and Bergen Town Center, so at least we scored some great deals. I love finding designer things for cheap. My favorite finds must be my Laundry by Shelly Segal dress, Cole Haan silver heels, and Marc Jacobs white shorts. SCORE!

We enjoyed an early dinner at Rosa Mexicano (best guacamole ever), where my sister and I both had their signature pomegranate margarita. Apparently they’re pretty strong because we were both definitely not 100% sober when walking out. Maybe that’s how I convinced her and my mom to go to Cups, a new self-serve frozen yogurt shop in Clifton that we’ve driven by in the past and I have been dying to try! We ended the evening full and happy watching Extreme Couponing and Real Housewives of NJ.

A successful Memorial Day weekend full of pretty much all my favorite things: sun/tanning, running, good food, drinking, and friends and family!

Needless to say I was not too excited to take the train back into the city for work. Tuesday night I decided to go to the CPTC track workout since Megan let me know it’d be 3×1 mile with 400 jog recovery. My legs weren’t totally trashed from the race, and I still needed to run, so luckily I had my sneakers and spare running clothes in my bag and headed to the track! The workout went really well, despite the heat:

  • 6:18
  • 6:14
  • 6:02

I actually felt really great– I was happy I started out slower and got a bit faster, as I did the exact opposite in my race. I am now a bit more confident in my abilities in track workouts, since the last was not so great. Hopefully will only help my speed for the Mini 10K next Saturday!

Tomorrow I’m taking a vacation day (can every week be a 3-day work week?) and heading back to Villanova with Dan for a long weekend. I’m so excited to go around our old stomping grounds, visit our favorite old restaurants and (of course) do my favorite run on the trails at Valley Forge!

Tell me: What was the best part of your Memorial Day weekend? What do you have planned for this weekend?

Challenging Myself

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

June 1st will mark my 2 year anniversary of living in NYC (wow time flies!) and I’ve finally gotten settled enough to try to branch out of my comfort zone and try to get more involved with groups I should have been frequenting a long time ago: running clubs!

I know most people want to branch out right away upon moving to a new location in order to meet new people that share their same passions, but clearly I’m backwards. I wanted to get settled in, become secure with myself and what I want to do, and then meet new people. I definitely don’t consider myself a socially outgoing person (despite working in public relations…) so this was a big step for me to take.

So, this week I dove right in. And I’m happy I did :)

On Wednesday, I went to an event sponsored by the NYRR YPC (New York Road Runners Young Professional Committee). Wednesday night’s session was a women-only event on sports nutrition featuring Registered Dietitian Lauren Slayton of Foodtrainers.

Source: NYRR YCP Facebook Album

Lauren was a great presenter and spoke a lot about how to fuel before, during and after runs and races. I learned a lot, and enjoyed some of the free samples of coconut water, eboost, and more. It was a nice, low key, easy way to get a bit more involved with some of the great programs NYRR puts on. I will definitely be back for more YPC events! I will be out of town for the fun run/happy hour at the end of the month, but looking forward to more :)

And tonight, I made an even bigger step. I went to my first Central Park Track Club workout.

Let me explain a bit as to why it’s taken me two years to join a running club here in NYC, despite competitively racing and running on my own. A team would be a logical step for someone in my situation.

Not so easy. As I get to a bit in my about me page, I ran for an extremely competitive collegiate program, Villanova. Though a walk on, we worked out hard, ran fast, and raced often. I loved it, but also faced some struggles with low-iron my junior year, and this bizarre IT/knee injury my senior year. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my knee from December-April, and I tried everything: elliptical, biking, swimming, running, cortisone shots, graston therapy, MRIs, active release therapy, etc. It was exhausting and frustrating when I wasn’t getting better and nobody could tell me what happened. My last race (a 5K entirely in pain) in mid-April 2009 was bittersweet: I was going to miss everything about Villanova running so much, but I was so happy it was over at the same time because now I could just stop.

After that race, I took 3 months entirely off running and exercise of any type. That was the longest time I’ve ever taken off running since I started in 9th grade, and it was much needed. I didn’t miss running one bit at the start, and I knew I needed time to heel my knee issues. Then one day in July, I realized it was exactly three months to the day from my last run, and I got curious. If my knee pain wasn’t gone by now, it must be a deeper issue. I ran 1 mile that day and I’ve been pain-free ever since.

By October 2009, I was back running regularly and started to find a new joy in running by doing it when I wanted and how I wanted. I didn’t want to do workouts, so I didn’t. I needed to rediscover my love for running again on my own terms, and it took some time. I’d say I finally got really passionate again after the 2010 NYC Half-Marathon. I ran 1:29 that year, much faster than I thought I could off no workouts and random mileage (I didn’t even keep a log), and put my motivation towards the 2010 NYC Marathon. And now, beyond.

Slowly but surely, I’ve incorporated workouts back into my weekly routine. The more I got under my belt and the more I wanted to do workouts, the more I didn’t want to do them alone. The more long runs I ran, the more I didn’t want to run them alone. The more races I went to, the more I wanted to know people!

And that brings me to tonight. After hearing how much runners like Megan enjoy CPTC for both workouts and social aspects, I thought it might be the right fit. They meet weekly in Central Park for workouts on Thursday, and you need to attend 4 workouts in order to officially join. Tonight’s workout kicked my butt!

1 mile in 6:20, recovery jog, 2 miles in 12:50 (6:25 pace), recovery jog, 1 mile in 6:30 (oof..). The route was hilllllly and I was not used to running that fast. With my warmup, the workout, recovery jogs and cooldown, I think I ran about 10 miles total. I have a feeling this will be a good thing for me, I just had to get over the scary initial hump and get excited about joining and challenging myself!

What was the most ‘new’ thing you did to challenge yourself this week? Do you belong to any groups that support your hobbies/passions?

Finally, the long-anticipated NYC Half-Marathon Recap!

Where do I begin? I finished! And I rocked it in 1:24:23! It was a great way to kick off my birthday (did I mention Sunday was also the big 2-4?) and made it totally worth delaying the drunken celebrations to the following weekend and going to bed at 10pm :)

I had a few key learnings that may help recap my experience of this race:

  • Keep it low-key & set low standards (haha, really): Going into this race, my B goal was to run around 1:28 and my A goal was to run around 1:27:30. When I realized was running a bit faster than goal pace in the early miles, I had to do some mental pep talk to not freak out that I’d crash and die later on. Once I saw I was maintaining and feeling strong through 10K, I decided to keep rolling with it and staying steady. The turning point was at 9 miles when I realized I could likely run around 1:25 if I didn’t fade out too hard. This was so exciting and really kept me going since I was ahead of my goal. Sometimes its kind of really mental! If I set out to run a 1:25 from the get-go, I think I would have been disappointed and worried early on. Low standards for the win :)
  • Fuel before your body shows signs of needing it: I knew there would be gels between 9 and 10 miles, but by the time I got there last year (I had never taken a gel before last years race), I think my body was already feeling it and I had nothing to give the final miles. This year, I packed my own gel to take right after the 10K mark which propelled me through much of the 2nd half; either mentally or physically, it worked. I also took a gel at the 9.5 station but really hated whatever brand it was-kinda gritty/pulpy and too thick so I could only take half of it.
  • I just can’t master water stops: I need to work on how to effectively grab water cups and take them without slowing to a walk, spilling all over myself, and choking as I drink/gasp for air. Any tips? Run laps up and down the block with a mock water station to practice? Hah.
  • Enjoy the moment! Sometimes I get so caught up in hitting splits I forget to enjoy the fact that I’m running through amazing places like Central Park and Times Square! As I headed down 7th Ave I finally gazed up and got those little butterflies of enjoyment. We wouldn’t do this if there wasn’t some joy in it, right? I also dropped a 5:45 minute mile through Times Square; I know 7th Ave is a long, slight decline but I also know it was because I was actually having FUN!

Here are my (approximate) mile splits using Garmin with self-splitting each mile. Miles 10 and 11 are all screwed up since I thought I missed the 10 mile mark but actually hadn’t gotten there yet and pressed it too early-whoops!

6:27 pace overall; disregard miles 10 and 11

Happy to see I definitely had fuel in the tank left to majorly drop the pace the last 2 (.1) miles, definitely was psyched up to break the 1:25 barrier.

And some fun race shots!


Laura & I picking up bibs at the Expo

Race morning: ready to go!

Mom and I after the finish!

Steve, Laura & I post-race! Go NOVA!

Dan, Steve, me and Laura post-race; The Villanova contingent

And lovely birthday flowers from Dan & my Sister :)


What’s your favorite part of a race? Do you take in the scenery or get too caught up in the moment? I need to do a better job at this, would probably help me take my mind off the pain! I am excited to rest and recover a bit this week, and then it’s on to training for the Brooklyn Half-Marathon on 5/21!

Alarm Clock Fail & Fall Air

September 11th, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (2 Comments)

Been a while since I posted…sorry, chalking it entirely up to laziness on my part. So where do I start?

As I last mentioned, I had a long run of 16 miles planned on Thursday morning. Similarly to the previous week, I had brought all of my clothes and stuff to work on Wednesday, so that I could run long straight to the office and shower at the gym, cutting down on commuting time. I had a great dinner, autoset my coffee machine, went to bed at a good hour, set my alarm for 6:10 a.m….

You know when you kinda wake up before your alarm clock but you want to savor every last second of sleep? As I tried with every ounce of energy to fall asleep again since 6:10 is super early to wake up to begin with, I heard my roommates door open.

“That’s weird…why is she up so early?” I thought as I glanced at the clock.

6:46 a.m.?!?! I cursed at my blackberry for not going off. I double checked the alarm I set, because I do have a tendency to set it for PM instead of AM. Nope, all was good. Sometimes I guess it just doesn’t want to work.

I contemplated my choices…I could run 7 miles and get ready at my apartment like a normal day, or I could still head out for some sort of long run. I quickly estimated that I could get in about 12 miles to the office if I headed out ASAP. I thought that was better than nothing, so off I went for my 12.

It was a perfect fall-feeling morning. Crisp, cool, sunny…I thoroughly enjoyed my run through Central Park, and tried to pick it up towards the end to ‘make up’ for not being able to get in 16. As I ran, I thought that maybe everything happens for a reason: maybe my body just needed a little more sleep, maybe I wasn’t ready for 16, maybe since I’ve got 16-17 planned on Sunday I needed a break.

Whatever reason, it ended up being a great run and I was happy I was able to be a little flexible. I have a tendency to get really stressed out and upset when things don’t go according to how I’ve planned them and I have no control over it.

Lesson learned: Set MULTIPLE alarm clocks on Marathon morning!

Last night (Friday), I dedicated my night to being socially lame. And I loved it. I worked until 7 and by the time I got home and got myself moving, I headed out for a run around 7:45. It was a little dark, but the weather was cool. I ran in Central Park, with dozens of other extremely cool people running, biking and walking on a Friday night :)

I did 8 miles and felt good, all while taking in the gorgeous views of lit-up midtown that are visible from the reservoir and while heading down Cat Hill. Got me super excited for that moment I’m heading down Cat Hill, with less than 2 miles to go! Lame, I know.

Afterwards, I went to the gym for 30 minutes of stretching and core exercises, enjoyed a nice hot shower, and settled into bed with some hot tea and a leftover chicken enchilada to watch mindless television. It was such an exciting night, I fell asleep by midnight :)

This morning I woke up and I’ve just been laying in bed, watching some reruns of the Rachel Zoe Project and drinking coffee. What a life I lead! Today is my day OFF from running, and I plan on enjoying it thoroughly in this nice weather.

Speaking of weather, it has really started to feel like fall lately. It’s as if we got a perfect beach weekend for Labor Day, and then fall rolled right in. Really, it was over 90 degrees the previous week, and now we’re in the 70s! To celebrate, I started brewing some coffee I got from Target, Cinnamon Vanilla Nut flavor.

Yum!

I don’t know what it is about the taste, but as soon as I drank it on my way to work one day this week, I felt as if I was back at Villanova. The cooler weather combined with the taste of the coffee (kinda like the cinnamon coffee I used to get in the dining halls?) brought me right back like I was on my way to my 9:00am class for the first time that semester, not like I was on my way to work as I have each day for the past 15-16 months. Weird how tastes and smells do that to you.

If I can’t actually go back to Villanova, at least a cup of coffee can take me there in my mind.

Take me back to Villanova!!!