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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!

Time to Chill

February 18th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (6 Comments)

Ah, after a busy week I’m finally enjoying a semi-lowkey weekend to relax and catch up on a few things I’ve been putting off, like sleep (!!!), putting away my laundry from Wednesday, and writing here.

I would like to post more frequently during the week, but I can barely find enough time to check things off my ever-growing to-do list at work, continue to increase my mileage, hang out with friends, and sleep. So for now, I’ll do what I can. I hope you keep coming back to read anyways :)

This week has been pretty blah & basic in terms of running. I was in Toronto for work from Wednesday thru yesterday, and so I front loaded my mileage earlier in the week as I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to get in runs while I was there.

Hello from the CN Tower in Toronto

Week of 2/13

  • M: 10.5 slow, felt awful & dizzy
  • T: 10.5 relaxed, better after first few miles
  • W: OFF
  • R: 6.25 miles in morning along Toronto Waterfront
  • F: 8 miles in morning along Toronto Waterfront
  • S: Planned 4
  • S: Planned 18, including Cherry Tree 10 Miler in Prospect Park
Planned mileage: 57.25

On Monday, I got blood drawn in the morning to get my iron levels tested. I don’t feel any symptoms now, but I like to get it done about once a year as I’ve been anemic in the past and want to keep healthy while marathon training. I struggled through 10.5 miles in the afternoon feeling drained and dizzy, likely due to the blood test. Oh well, miles in the books.

Tuesday’s run was equally as tiring, though it got better after about 3 miles. After a weekend of late nights out, I think my body was trying to tell me to slow down. It probably wasn’t necessary to clean my entire plate of chicken parm sandwich and fries at a diner at 5 a.m. on Saturday night (Sunday morning?), but it sure was delicious and fun.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with going out, drinking, and staying out late, in fact I prefer to as it keeps me sane and happy..as long as I can rest and recover from it. I’m a firm believer that sleep cures all, but sometimes there is just not enough hours in the day. Since I opted for morning miles over extra sleep while in Toronto, I promptly passed out when I got home last night. But I fell in love with Toronto’s waterfront running path, especially as the sun rose…definitely worth digging myself further into sleep deprivation.

And now I’m enjoying coffee and breakfast in bed, which is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I need to get out the door for an easy 4 miles or so this afternoon before an afternoon of shopping with some lady friends. And simply staying in and making a nice dinner tonight, as I’ll be up early for tomorrow’s Cherry Tree 10 Miler in Prospect Park.

My plan for the “race” is really to combine a long run and workout. Hopefully I’ll net 18 miles between the race and my warmup/cooldown. I’ll aim to do the 10 miles around marathon pace (~6:52-7:02) with Alex, but might speed up or slow down depending on how I’m feeling. I’m just looking for a bit of an excuse to get out the door and run a bit of a harder effort, even if it’s 3+ loops of Prospect Park.

How do you recover/slow down from a busy week? Plans for the weekend?

 

Here We Go, Boston

January 8th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (16 Comments)

Alas, the first week in January has come and gone, marking week 1 of actually recording and paying attention to my training for Boston. While I’m still fine tuning my mileage buildup, I’ve mapped out a general plan for the next few weeks and while more of a base would be helpful, I’m not as behind as I thought.

While I’ll get my plan ready to share over the next week or two, here’s week 1. I’m also making a change and structuring my weeks Monday-Sunday, instead of Sunday-Saturday like a calendar, to allow for more flexibility on weekends for long runs while traveling.

Week 1: 1/2-1/8

  • Mon 1/2: 2.5 miles easy, rushed for time
  • Tues 1/3: 5.5 easy out & back along Hudson River. Windy!
  • Weds 1/4: Met Alex in morning for a COLD 7 miles
  • Thurs 1/5: 6 mile “workout”
  • Fri 1/6: OFF
  • Sat 1/7: 4 miles around reservoir & to Ali’s, 2 miles home. Shorts & tshirt run!
  • Sun 1/8: 7.5 miles easy, slow

Total: 34.5 miles

On Thursday, I attempted some form of a workout just to start somewhere. I had dinner plans so couldn’t make it to the CPTC workout, and attempted a few on/off miles just to remind my legs how to run fast.

"Workout" 1/5

All continuous, 1 mile easy, 1 mile ‘hard’, 1 mile easy, 2 miles ‘hard’. 1 mile cool down. Not a bad solo effort, and I actually felt pretty good despite running against the wind off the Hudson River. Gotta start somewhere.

A good week of mileage, and an even better weekend! Friday night went from having no real plans to going to four different bars and staying out until 3 a.m. Though I felt a bit like death on Saturday, it was 60 degrees and too nice to not run. I did a leisurely 4 miles around the bridle path and ended my run, sweaty and all, at Ali’s apartment since Lauren and Emily were in town and I wanted to meet/drink mimosas with them. A few hours of chatting, brownies, mimosas and wine later, I ran back to my apartment (a whole 2 miles!) and was definitely not sober. Whoops? Any run that involves drinking and hanging out with those lovely ladies is a win!

A quick shower and 94369346 outfit changes later, Noelle and I were ready to head downtown for the annual Central Park Track Club post-holiday party and awards ceremony.

Alex, Noelle, Me and Molly

The dinner and open bar was great, and I had a blast dancing all night. Afterwards we headed to a random bar a few blocks away and ended up staying until close? Guess that 5 Hour Energy worked.

While staying up until 6 a.m. last night (or, this morning?) doesn’t feel so great right about now, this weekend left a big smile on my face. Full of friends, dancing, talking, running, little sleep, drinking, and randomness, just the way I want. While we’re only one week in, working towards balance and happiness in 2012 is going pretty well :) Now if only things will stay this way as the mileage picks up. Bring it on, Boston.

(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?

Festivity & Secret Santas

December 18th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (9 Comments)

Sometimes, the best runs are the ones you least expect. I’ve had a pretty busy week & weekend and running hasn’t been high on my list of priorities. This morning, I woke up early after too many drinks last night and too little sleep. I felt a bit lot like death. Instead of going back to bed like a normal person, I decided the only cure for this hangover was some fresh air. I bundled up (when did it become winter?) and hit the roads for a run to get the blood flowing. 6 miles later, I felt semi-normal again. Surprisingly I averaged around 7:20 pace, something that shouldn’t be possible after getting a total of 10 or 11 hours of sleep all weekend.

Excellent. I’m honestly pretty surprised by how well I’ve been functioning on so little sleep. A very small part of me is regretting signing up for Boston. Marathon training takes a lot out of me, and I’ve kinda been liking non-training Lindsay. She’s fun and goes out and stays up late and takes too many shots and doesn’t have to worry about a 20 mile run or workout the next day.

Fun Lindsay

Don’t worry, I’m definitely still going to be racing Boston and Big Sur, no questions there. It’s just hard to strike a balance between putting in the hard work to get sub-3:00, and being a single 24 year old living in NYC and all that entails. At the end of the day, I need to remind myself not to take running too seriously: it’s only a part of my life, and something I do because I love it. It’s not do or die, and I can still be fun Lindsay…. most of the time. :)

Despite Christmas being less than a week away (!!), I still hadn’t hit up the NYC must-sees. So I finally made my way to midtown to be a Christmasy tourist this weekend. We explored Bryant Park and the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Christmasy things make me happy :)

And my friends Noelle and Kristen came into the city to go out and stay at my apartment last night. We met up with Terence, and we always, always have random nights out together. Last night included a lesbian bar, an apartment party, and a hole-in-the-wall Irish bar. Fun!

Terence, Kristen, Me and Noelle

After the surprisingly great 6 mile run this morning, I headed over to Ali’s apartment for a fun Sweat Squad Secret Santa party with Megan, Susan, Kelly and Meggie!

Meggie, Me, Kelly, Ali, Susan, Megan

Meggie was my Secret Santa and got me an awesome Believe I Am Training journal. I am so excited to use it for training, I think it’ll help get me in the game mentally and be neat to record my training. Thanks, Meggie!

Over the course of our 7 hour “brunch”, we opened presents, drank mimosas, and ate baked treats. That’s my idea of a festive Sunday.

All in all, a very, very festive and fun weekend. Cheers to many, many more! And now, I will proceed to pass out. I’m road tripping to upstate NY tomorrow to finally see the Chobani plant on Tuesday and can’t wait!

Highlight of your weekend?

Weekend in the Windy City

October 5th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Uncategorized - (10 Comments)

Phew! I had a fabulous weekend getaway in Chicago, and returned to work on Monday with a full inbox and lots to catch up on. Blogging took the backseat, but I’m back and ready to share my travels and how training is progressing with just a little over one month to go!

Jumping is fun, especially when your hair covers your face!

Unfortunately, getting out to Chicago wasn’t the smoothest. On Thursday afternoon, I got a notification that my 8 p.m. flight was canceled. Great. I quickly rebooked myself on an earlier flight, and hightailed it out of the office towards Newark Airport. Getting there was a trip in itself, as I took the subway, to the PATH, to NJ Transit, to the AirTrain. As I was one stop away on the AirTrain, I got a notification that my rebooked flight was also canceled, along with all other outbound flights that night.

Frustrated, I got placed on an early flight out Friday morning and couldn’t bear heading back into the city after the journey I just had. Luckily, my mom doesn’t live too far away from Newark Airport and quickly came to pick me up and even drove me to the airport at 5:30 the next morning. Thanks Mom, I love you!

By the time I landed in Chicago and got to the hotel, it was 10 a.m. and I met up with Emily and Jordan who had flown in the previous night. And the adventures began! I won’t bore you with a full weekend recap, so here’s what we did and saw!

  • Magnificent Mile/Shopping
  • Millennium Park
  • The Bean!
  • Willis (Sears) Tower- didn’t pay to go up
  • Wrigley Field (no game, so just snapped a photo of the outside!)
  • iO Theatre, saw the Improvised Shakespeare Company show…so funny!
  • Mia Francesca’s Italian
  • Garrett’s Popcorn. Chicago Mix=Love
  • Lincoln Park
  • Chipotle Cultivate Festival
  • Hancock Tower/Signature Room
  • Frontera Grill. Amazing apple habanero margaritas.
  • Navy Pier
  • Lastly, we felt it was our duty to do a comprehensive deep dish pizza analysis by eating lunch at a different joint each day. Giordano’s, Gino’s East, and Lou Malnati’s!

Cheers to our first night in Chicago!

What's up there?

Architecture Boat Tour

Popcorn!

I LOVED CHICAGO. I had been twice for work but didn’t get to explore at all. I loved how easy it was to get around, as the city is extremely pedestrian-friendly and we were able to walk to just about everything we wanted to see. The streets and sidewalks were so wide and clean compared to NYC, and everyone was a lot friendlier, too! It was a nice feeling to be in a big urban city with plenty to see and do, without the hustle and bustle and stress of NYC.

More than the city, I loved getting together with Emily and Jordan and spending almost three full days together to catch up and reunite. Often, the distance between us keeps us from catching up as often as we’d like. Time zone differences and hectic work and social schedules makes it hard to hop on the phone or Skype regularly, so we’re going to work to email and chat more frequently, and schedule our next girl’s weekend ASAP! :)

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On Sunday, I had one of the best long runs I’ve had in a while. Perhaps, ever. 20 miles, my 2nd of this cycle. It was one of those runs where the miles quickly ticked away, with a happy head and happy heart. I averaged 7:32 pace, quite steady throughout most of the run, with the last 7 miles under 7:25 and the last 2 miles around 7:15. Compared to last week, the pace wasn’t as fast, but I felt incredible. There was never a point during the run where I needed to really push to complete the mileage or keep the pace. 20 miles didn’t feel daunting and I didn’t tediously count the miles or minutes to go. Upon finishing, I felt strong and satisfied instead of spent and exhausted.

Why? It certainly wasn’t in my pre-run prep. On Saturday night, we went out to a late dinner at Frontera Grill, where we drank quite a few margaritas at the bar during the 1.5 hour wait.

I ordered the Carne Asada and finished almost the entire thing, fingers crossed that the late, heavy meal and alcohol wouldn’t wreak havoc on my stomach in the morning. I rationalized that if it did, the meal was so delicious and amazing it’d be worth every moment of pain. I had to do right by Rick Bayless.

I had a little trouble falling asleep on the pull out couch once we arrived back to the hotel around midnight, and actually woke up before my alarm at 6:10 and was wide awake. That never happens to me. I embraced the extra minutes to get ready and headed out the door into the dark Chicago morning.

The views along Lake Michigan were incredible, particularly as the sun rose. There is this tiny ‘hook’ path that curves out into the lake, giving a breathtaking view of the cityline and lights and sun glistening against the serene blue waters.  I kicked myself for not bringing my camera, but then felt extremely lucky to view the sunrise in this exact spot…as if running had allowed me in on a ‘secret’ of the city.

I tried to do a google search to see if there was anything to capture the views, and came across this:

Source; Shutter Runner (http://www.shutterrunner.com/posts/view/365-365)

The views must have inspired the rest of the run, as I did a bit of an out-and-back following the Lakefront trail until it ended and adding on a bit at the end.

We walked around the city the rest of the day, which certainly helped my legs feel better. This week has been going pretty well for training, and I’ll definitely reach 65+ miles for the week which feels good! I’ve been hovering right around 60 the past few weeks, really struggling to get over that on only six days a week of running.

Maybe it’s the fall air, but I feel like I’ve finally hit that point in training where I’m feeling stronger and more fit. The miles I’ve been putting in the last few months are finally starting to pay off. Fingers crossed the feeling stays, as I only have a little over a week and a half until I begin to taper. Final push!

What is your favorite city you’ve traveled to? (The one you live in doesn’t count!) What was your favorite, most scenic run of all time?