Monthly Archives: September 2009

Celebs and Great Giveaway

Sorry, no post last night!  My treat was going to bed really early!  I was wiped.  I passed out promptly after watching the Hillson DVR.  I am so so glad the Bitch is Back.  Kristin Cavelleri is my hero. jk “>jk jk jk.  But i do love her! Hopefully MTV will update their songs from the show soon, last night’s episode had some good ones.  Someone once asked me if my ipod was one big Hills soundtrack.  My response was indignant, but I am guilty of some hills downloads.

So while I wish I had time for a post that would “add value” to the blog world, I will do that my tomorrow am :) This is just for fun and to announce a great giveaway!

So this week, I have had a little celeb spotting. 

Remember this infamous RH of NYC scene?

kelly_runs_in_traffic

I actually saw Kelly running in Washington Square Park in that exact outfit on Monday.  Those shorts are so short!

kelly-bensimon-de

Yesterday I saw Mario Batali walking down 8th street, presumably toward Otto. 

Chef_Mario_Batali_0_0_0x0_400x501

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to tell him most, “Your pasta was the best part of my last date,” or one of my favorite TFLN of all time was “alcohol turns me into the Mario Batali of EasyMac”  instead, I remained silent.  And yes, he was wearing the clogs, and looking rather trim!

And for the giveaway, Dori is giving away 3 great workout DVDs!  The Physique 57 DVD and both of the Exhale CoreFusion DVDs!  I want to win baby, but if I don’t, I am going to check out the Physique 57 DVD launch party at Calypso St. Barth.  The event is free on Oct. 14th from 6-8 at the 815 Madison Ave store.  Free bubbly and 20% off all purchases.  If you want to attend, shoot an email to events@cccalypso.com

TLC Week

Thank you all so much for the kind comments!  The support really helps, and I am in a much more affable demeanor about my sore situation today.  I actually looked up an old email from a friend who got injured while training for a tri and it made me laugh.

Tri training went well until it went badly.  I overtrained my right knee and tore some cartilage causing a pretty bad swell .  Docs said to stop training and defer the tri, which i did.  I hung out in a brace and ate cookies for a few weeks and now im back to swimming and riding, but not yet running.

Anyways, I went to the NYU Health Center Sports Medicine Doctor again.  Once again, he said it was nothing serious.  I am making this up? Although he did recommend I see a podiatrist for my serious callous situation, which may be responsible for my big toe pain.  I have two calls into my podiatrist—who apparently makes enough per hour to only work two days a week-lucky.  I also have a referral request for Dr. Metzl, whose training tips I shared yesterday.

So anyways, back to TLC week.  I have decided that this week is official TLC week.  As the insightful Gena recently pointed out, it’s much easier to add than subtract a habit.  Case in point, a few weeks ago I started taking flintstones multivitamins and Adora Calcium supplements.  While I have thrown out countless bottles of multivitamins and viactivs, the flintstones and adoras are so delightful that I have rarely missed a day!  However, bad habits, in actual point of fact, are not as easy for me to abandon, thus my interminable battle with my coke habit. Liz just knocked on my door and told me that I better clarify that by coke habit, I mean diet coke habit, which honestly, I might be even more embarassed about than if I was referring to cocaine.  At least real coke has been proven to be addictive.

Yet, for one week, I am going to pay special attention to giving my body and myself only the best.  In doing so, I am going to tackle a few habits that are standing in the way of feeling as good as I could:

  • Putting only natural whole food and drink into my body ( I just noticed these great ideas for calming and energizing recipes!)
  • No junk or sweets
  • Giving my body time to rest, repair and digest at night–More sleep!

I am also going to try to be in bed my midnight, which will be a stretch for me.  Before I go to bed tonight I need to read 60 pages for school, write a response paper, finish this post, go to the gym, meet mike, clean the bathroom, and possibly, watch Gossip Girl.

I am also instituting a daily treat, I actually started this one yesterday.  On the way back from the Energizer, I stopped at the 59th and Lex Gap, where my old roommate used to be the visual designer, quite frankly, it has suffered in his absence.  I got a great deal on some cute Gap body lingerie, about 70% off!  The clerk also commented on my matching ability.  I replied that I was glad to hear that my effort was appreciated.

Today’s daily treat was supposed to be a post-work manicure and eyebrow wax, which quite frankly, will be a treat to not just me, but everyone around me.  My cuticles are out of control! However, I mysteriously ended up at another Gap Body and purchased some more unmentionables.  I love my lingerie, although today’s purchases were really practical :/. So instead, I stopped at Duane Reade and bought a couple polishes from Wet and Wild’s new line. Wow, W&W, it really brings me back.  We’ll see if I can handle a diy mani.

Anyways, TLC week is not just about me, I am also going to try to really work at being more compassionate, a better listener and more empathetic to others as well—direct, blunt and sarcastic are my defaults.  Feeling like a good person is key to being good to yourself, well I think so.

Today, I made a point of reaching out to two people I have been meeting to get together with forever.  And I bought my co-worker dinner, well with my meal plan :)

Anyways, feel free to have your own TLC week.  I am sure everyone needs one, whether you want to focus on abandoning some bad habits, start some good ones, or just treat yourself a little more gently!

Also, I can not get enough of this song lately; it makes me want to have a never ending dance party:

Pain, Rain Go Away!

I have been wanting and avoiding writing this post for days.  But blogging is truly my near daily therapy, and I always look to you all for help and inspiration.

Not to beat around the bush, I am really concerned that my nagging foot pain may mean that I can not run the marathon.  I almost feel like a jerk letting it consume me the way it has.  I am so grateful for all the amazing people in my life, having a job I love, being part of the blog community, health, financial stability; I consider myself pretty lucky, not running a marathon will not ruin my life.  I actually saw this article on a NYTimes running blog, and really relate to this quote/passage ”

Injuries of any kind can be upsetting for runners, particularly if they have signed up for a marathon. The nagging questions can be more stressful than the injury itself. How much fitness will I lose? Will I fully recover by race day?

This year, I can laugh about my sneezing injury. While I miss running, I don’t have to worry about a training schedule because I haven’t signed up for a fall marathon. But I remember well the stress I felt several years ago, when, just weeks before the New York City Marathon, my knee began aching.

Although I was able to run that marathon, I also realized it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if I had to miss it. The race feels so important, but it is just a race. There are several fall marathons later in the season, and you can always defer and get an automatic spot in the marathon next year.

I honestly hate the not knowing more than anything.  Not knowing whether it is serious, not knowing whether I have enough time to recover, not knowing why this happened, not knowing what is the absolute best thing I can do to heal.  I feel trapped and helpless and all I want is a time traveler (just finished the TTTW) to visit Nov. 1st and let me know whether I crossed the finish line or at least made it to the start.

It has been a strange few weeks.  I saw the doctor about 2 weeks ago, he said it was probably nothing.  I ended up really having confidence in that statement and enjoy quite a few virtually pain free runs.

  • Wed.-4 miles
  • Fri.—6 miles
  • Sat.—3.7 miles
  • Sun—7 miles
  • Monday—6 miles (with 2 miles of 1 minute sprint, 30 second recovery)
  • Wed.—4 miles
  • Fri.—4 miles (all of the sudden pain comes rushing back, and doesn’t go away)

(The other days I rested or just did easy elliptical workouts with a bit of strength training.)

I think it was probably too much.  I never once ran more than three days a week when training for my first marathon, sometimes just two.

I am still not 100% what is going on, but I have significant pain under my big toe, all the time.  Occasional pain in various and ever changing areas of my foot.  And somewhat regular ankle pain.  All only on the left side.

Not So Tuned Up

This weekend I was hoping to run between 18-21 miles. I had signed up for the NYRR 18 mile marathon tune up this morning (Sun.).  The weather was forecast correctly–gorgeous Sat., miserable Sun.  I would have reversed my running days, but I had to work on Saturday.  I was hoping that the forecast would change.  I couldn’t really imagine running 18 miles in the rain without an iPod—I will not risking drowning my iPod. tune up 024

I had picked up my packet and number, and was even excited to try the new timing tag.  For anyone who knows how nazi NYRR is about the old chips, the disposable tag is a huge relief!

So my alarm went off at 6AM, and it was raining.  I checked the forecast:

Sunday, September 27

7 am

clip_image001

62° F
Light Rain  Chance precipitation: 100%

8 am

clip_image003

64° F
Thunderstorms  Chance precipitation: 100%

9 am

clip_image004

64° F
Thunderstorms Chance precipitation: 95%

10 am

clip_image002[2]

65° F
Rain/Thunder  Chance precipitation: 100%

I actually reread Chandra’s post about 3 times, in attempt to convince myself to suck it up.  But between my insane distain for running in the rain (for 3 hours!) and my nervousness about my foot, I went back to sleep.  I woke up at 10AM, the latest I have slept in months.  I think my body really needed the sleep to recover and repair, so I am actually happy I finally got some.

In any case, I was still registered for the Post-run Marathon Energizer at ING Direct Cafe, so I decided I should go and get those tips!  The event was great—even if the marathon bag is making me a little sad right now.tune up 023 tune up 022

Dr. Jordan Metzl of Hospital for Special Surgery spoke about tapering, avoiding  injury, and last-minute training advice.  Jordon is a 25 time marathon runner and an iron man!  He specialized in sports medicine and has a pretty great website.

He was just so awesome and answered so many questions.  I really wish I could have written down everything he said, but here are a few highlights:

Biggest mistakes:

  • Worrying too much about volume and speed
    • Volume: women in particular get too fastidious about sticking to running schedules exactly.  Missing one run or day will not hurt your performance, try to make up for it may.  He added that men are just like, I missed a workout, screw it.
    • Speed: On race day people often get too worked up about speed, your main focus should be enjoying the race and not pushing too hard, which could cause you to burn out or injure yourself.
  • Not strength training
    • He highly highly advised strength training.  Squats, lunges and ply metrics in particular.  He went as far as to say, a strong butt, is a happy runner.
  • Hitting the wall-Dr. Metzl said that 95% of hitting the wall is related to nutrition (my coach said this too).  He said it is really important to know your metabolism and fuel yourself properly, and hitting the wall can be avoided almost completely.  I know most women don’t like to waste calories on gu or eat when they are not hungry, but racing requires eating on a schedule more than as a pleasurable activity.  Most people need 100 calories one hour in and another 100 every 45 minutes thereafter.
  • Using an iPod on race day :(
  • Not cross-training—it will help you avoid injury.  Tri-athletes train way more than runners, but have far fewer injuries.
  • Changing your natural stride/gait
  • Invest in custom orthodics, the drugstore kind have been tested to work just as well.

I asked him about my problem. And he said it sounded like a stress fracture, and encouraged me to go see someone before it is too late.  He said that if pain limits what you can normally do in terms of workouts, it is time to see someone.  I plan to go to the NYU Health Center tomorrow, and try and see my own podiatrist as soon as possible, and if I can get my insurance to cover it, I will try and get an appointment with Dr. Metzl.

So instead of 18 miles, I came home and did a half on hour on the treadmill and an hour on the elliptical.  I am feeling almost no pain right now, which is good.

For anyone who is interested, I am planning to attend a Marathon Q and A at Jack Rabbit Sports  on 14th St. on Thursday, Oct. 1st.  At 7PM, a panel will speak and answer questions, the line up:

  • A Doctor or Physical Therapist
  • A Running / Marathon Coach
  • A Sports Nutritionist

Everyone attending the marathon Q&A night will also get 15% off everything in the store, so you can make sure you have everything you need for the final few weeks of training and for race day. IN ADDITION, if you bring a friend to the event, you’ll each get an ADDITIONAL $5 off any purchase over $100.

Loopy Lacing and Garmin FR60 Review

In addition to buying sneakers a half size bigger to alleviate the pressure on the top and forefront of my foot, I have been experimenting with some creative lacing to provide extra room for my very wide feet.

While the bigger size definitely helped give my toes more room, they were still a little snug across the widest part of my foot.  Skipping the second hole when lacing my shoes has helped given me a little extra room in that area.

garmin laces 002

I was finding that I was experiencing some heel slippage due to the bigger size, so I have started lacing all the way to the very top, that second top hole no one every uses.  This has kept the shoes snug around the ankle, although it does put a little extra pressure on the top of the ankle.

garmin laces 003

I bought the Garmin FR60 in late July.  The FR60 is much lighter and sleeker than the Garmin Forerunner 305 and less expensive that the Forerunner 405.  It also comes in ladylike lilac!  It can be used for running or biking, indoors or outdoors.  Overall, I give the product a 6.  I think second and third generations will really improve some of the less desirable elements of the product, but for my running purposes so far, I have enjoyed having a reliable tool to track my time, speed and distance.

For around $129, you can get the watch and heartrate monitor. But in order to fully utilize the Garmin FR60, you need to buy the bundle, which includes an ANT+ stick (to sync your workouts from your watch and/or exercise machingto the computer) and the footpod (which you need to track distance since there is no GPS with the FR60). The bundle brings the cost to around $180.

Design: 9

Aesthetically, I love the product. It is super light and streamline!  I had the Forerunner 305, but it was way too big for me and the GPS was not wel suited to NY skyscrapers.

Ease of use: 4

So the Garmin FR60 arrived with at least 8 Quick Start Manuals all in different languages.  However, you definitely need the full manual to use this product, and that is only available online.  I wish they had saved the paper form the 8 separate quickstarts and just given me one actual manual in English.  I am fairly technologically able, and my biggest complaint about this product, is there is nothing intuitive about the controls. It is very difficult to figure out how to set it up and use it.  I referred to the manual before and after my first ten workouts with this product. I am sure later editions will smooth out these issues, but if you don’t have patience for reading manuals, this is not the product for you.

Also, if you don’t have patience for pushing lots of slightly stiff buttons, this is not the product for you.  You have to push numerous buttons to get your product ready to track the type of workout you are doing and you have to push numerous buttons to end your workout.  I do not understand why they do not have a stop/reset button!

So here she is in neutral mode (need to fix date):

garmin laces 006

On the bright side, once you finally figure out how to operate your workout buddy, you have lots of options.  You can have up to 5 pages displayed as you workout, and each page can display 3 different things. So on page one, you can have time, distance, and speed.  On page 2, you can have pace, calories burned and heart rate.  and so forth. You can also select what speed you want the Garmin to scroll through the pages (if at all) while you are working out.

garmin laces 007

The things I really love is that it saves all your workout, so you can review your stats, speed, laps, distance right form your watch.

garmin laces 009

One thing that I feel was very mismarketed by  Garmin was the watches ability to track general fitness.  This watch can not be used for aerobics or any workouts not on a machine.  It is really for running or biking outside or on a machine.  NOTE: This has been fixed, you can know update your software to track calories at the gym.

garmin laces 013

Under user you can enter all your stats, so your readings reflect your fitness level and body type.

garmin laces 010

I also love that you can opt to have the Garmin beep at every lap (mile or distance you set), automatically pause if you drop below a certain speed (which is great when you are running in the city and hit a red light), and scroll through the pages you set up.

garmin laces 014

THE FOOTPOD

So far I have found the footpod to be very accurate and reliable.  In fact, most people say the footpod is more accurate than GPS, so I lot the little, light pod!  It is not nearly as bulky as polar pods.

garmin laces 001

The Heart Rate Monitor

The monitor is fairly comfortable, not hard or anything, but for some reason, even at its smallest setting, it is too big for me.

garmin laces 015

I use this safety pin to tighten up the slack so it doesn’t keep sliding down.

garmin laces 016

Overall:

Plus

  • Super sleek, light, and dare I say it, sexy…okay that’s pushing it :)
  • Footpod works anywhere and is very accurate
  • Lots of customizable options and useful features, autopause, page set up, lap counter.
  • great for running and biking, and possible swimming
  • Can be used inside or outside
  • Not too expensive
  • Tracks distance, heart rate, calories, and speed
  • Easy to sync workouts from Ant stick to computer (i haven’t tried but in theory it is very easy)
  • Don’t have to remember to recharge battery

Minus

  • Very difficult to learn to use
  • No stop, save and reset type button to end workouts
  • Lots and lots of button pushing to get things set up before, during and after workouts
  • Heart rate monitor a little large for smaller frames
  • Battery must be replaced after about 1 year

I have really enjoyed using this for running, but I do wish that I could use it for  fitness classes and other types of workouts.

Memories and Run Interrupted Recap

I haven’t been home since March, and I have to say, it’s always a little sad to miss a trip home during the summer.  There are so many things that are so much a part of the fabric of my life that revolve around summer traditions, such as going to the town pools (where i hung out, swam on the team and lifeguarded for a total of 12 years), going to the Saratoga Race Track, seeing the NYC Ballet at S.P.A.C, and going to the Country Drive In (a summer ice cream place ). This year with going to Africa, finishing papers, interviewing for and starting a new job, I didn’t make it home in time for many of those things.   Better late than never, it was still a gorgeous weekend, mildly warm and sunny.

It started with the Amtrak trip I mentioned a few posts ago, some pics from the train:

toga 003 toga 009 toga 010 toga 006 toga 004

I arrived at my parents’ house around 2 on Saturday and after a quick lunch, I took a 3.7 mile tempo run.  It was probably the first time in three weeks that i have felt almost no discomfort running.  It is amazing that a half size up in a pair of shoes could change my world.  I feel so unbelievably lucky that I figured out and resolved my problem so quickly. I was pretty terrified when I thought I might not be able to keep training!

Sunday was supposed to be my 12 mile long run, which in theory is a pretty short long run at this point.  I could have planned a 12 mile route weaving in and around the streets of the neighborhood, but my Dad suggested I check out the Zim Smith Trail.  The trail is a Saratoga Heritage Trail that once completed will span the county crossing Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Malta, Round Lake Ballston Spa and ending at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

My Dad suggested I drive to a parking area and then run along a 6 mile stretch that runs from Shenantaha Creek Park to Round Lake.  This sounded pretty good to me.  I parked my car and checked out my options, there were actually three to pick from.

A hiking trail

toga 011

The start of Zim Smith going toward the park.

toga 013

Or to take the path in the other direction

toga 015

I figured I would have to do all of them to cover 12 miles, so I decided to head up to Round Lake first.

No problem with the speed limit

toga 016

It was a really pretty morning and a quiet trail for sure

toga 018

I enjoyed the hints of gold and red foliage

toga 021 toga 024

I am really a sucker for canopied trees

toga 019

So things were going really well, until they were going really poorly.

All of the sudden out of nowhere, I fell.  I crashed and burned.  I don’t know how it happened, I didn’t see it coming.  Maybe I was tired from the hill over the bridge

toga 025

But down I went.  Down like a dog on the highway.toga 027

So I stood up in shock.  I was bleeding from both wrists and my knee.  And my poor ipod took a beating tookatie 007 katie 009

So I decided to walk back to the car.  Fortunately–I guess—I had only gone a mile, so I didn’t have too far to the car.  Along the way, I took a few photos to distract myself

toga 034 toga 033

I got to the car and used a wetone to disinfect myself and dislodge the gravel.  I briefly considered trying again, but decided I didn’t really want to be running alone and I really needed some bandaids.

I did make a super quick stop to take some photos of Round Lake Village since it is such a quirky little village of brightly painted Victorian era houses.  It’s almost like if the Martha’s Vineyard Gingerbread Houses grew up.  I used to be jealous of my girl friends who lived in pink and purple houses!  I just took some shots from the outside, but the inner village has a great tabernacle and crazy colored homes.

toga 037 toga 040

toga 041

toga 042 toga 046 toga 043

I got home, washed up, slapped on some band aids and headed out for another 5 miles.  Total including walk back to the car: 7 miles.  I called it a day.  One long run missed will not break my training, in fact, I had an awesome 6 mile run this morning, averaging over a minute faster per mile than I have in weeks.

So after my pre-empted run, I had a very important date with my fabulous sister!

We went into Saratoga for brunch.  We almost always go to Beverly’s, but we decided to walk around and see what else caught our eye.  We decided on Cantina, a cute mexican place we had never been to.  We had a great table on the side walk, so we could take in the downtown ‘toga action.  toga 058

The menu was the best mexican menu I have seen in forever.  It was really hard to decide.

The chips were forgettable, but I had plenty of their amazing salsa.  This place is not afraid of spice.

toga 053

I started with a half house salad, which had pear and pistachio.

toga 054

For my main, I decided on veggie burritos, which were stuffed with beans, zuchinni, asparagus, onion and cabbage and topped with avocado, a dusting of feta and cumin sour cream. Yum!  Just one would have been fine, but I ate a few veggies from number 2.toga 059

Then we walked about the town for a bit

toga 060

I think this is a great restaurant name.

toga 048 toga 049

Putnam Market is a place that Rachael Ray worked in back in the day

toga 052 toga 061 toga 056

My sister worked at the Adelphi over the summer

toga 055

And a quick stop at the park for a little flora and fauna

toga 062

As a note, it was not nearly cold enough (even all the way upstate :) to wear a sweater and thermal—it was 65 and sunny.  I am just a dork.

toga 064

toga 065 toga 070toga 067

The main reason I went home was to say goodbye to a very special part of my life–my dog Katie.  I was a pretty persistant and demanding kid when it came to things I really wanted, and a  dog was one of them.  I begged for years and years.  By third grade, I was reading the Pets and Supplies section of the classifieds aloud on a daily basis.  Finally, the summer after fifth grade, I had worn my parents down.  They could no longer satisfy me with pound puppies and turtles.  So after several failed expeditions, we found Katie. Our beyond adorable cocker spaniel puppy (1994):

katie 004

Katie was extremely loyal to the family.  She never had a fence or leash to go outside, although she was known to raid our neighbor’s strawberry patch and tomato crop on occasion.  In fact, she was actually called Odysseus by neighbors and friends for her uncanny ability to con people out of food.

It was really hard to go home and know that for the first time in 15 years, she wouldn’t be there to greet me, wiggling so hard her back legs could barely stay on the floor.

Here we are in 2003

IMG_0712

And here was Kate in March.  Still full of life at age 14 and 10 months.  She was eagerly awaiting a Newman’s Own Organic Dog Treat in this photo.

100_2604

My parents said goodbye to Katie in late July.  I went home to say my formal goodbye last weekend, but el-pooch-o will always be there in spirit.

Fit Recessionista: Om, Run, Learn, and Listen

Just a note, many of the specials I mentioned in this post are ongoing, so if you didn’t get a change to zumba or bollywood bhangra, there is still time!

Here is a round up of the September specials to keep you fit, healthy and with a happy bank account balance:

Let’s start with the stuff not quite so NYC exclusive—more at the end too:

Lululemon Classes! If you live near a Lululemon, be sure to check out their schedule of free yoga and pilates classes!

I haven’t checked all the NYC store schedules, but the Union Square shop is offering a Yoga for Runners Class on Tuesday, September 22nd from 8-9PM!  I really hope to attend!

On Sunday, Sept. 27th there will be a Bootcamp for Beginners Workout from 10-11AM

Thoseare just two of several weekly free classes so check out your local schedule for sure!

Try a free intenSati class!

The class sounds great at it is free on Tuesday, September 29th from 6-7PM.   Meet at the Washington Square Park Arch.

IntenSati class description: a high-energy exercise routine that fuses aerobics, martial arts, dance, yoga and strength conditioning, letting you do many routines at once. Combining spoken affirmations with simple choreography, intenSati is said to provide a heart-pumping workout that is physically challenging and spiritually mindful.

Free Spinning Class:

I truly wish there were more spinning studios, so you wouldn’t have to have a gym membership to take advantage of such an awesome workout.  Soul Cycle is offering free classes to celebrate it’s new UES location. You can enjoy one free class by calling (212) 639-1300.  Time slots for freebie classes are: Sept. 25 at 1PM & 6PM,  Sept. 26 at 5PM, and, Sept. 27 at 5PM.  Thanks to Vital Juice Daily for the info!

Free Running Seminar:

NYRR Learning Series event to give marathon runners some final tips about a tapering plan, nutrition, and dealing with aches and pains.  The program intends to help participants prepare for the last month of marathon training.  The program targets both first-time and experienced marathoners.

Free Running Groups:

  • NIKETOWN
    6 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022
    Tuesdays 6:30pm, Thursdays 6:30pm, Saturdays 9:00am.  Runs are your choice of 3, 5, 7 miles, post-run refreshments served.
  • ING DIRECT Weekly Group Runs (Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m., starting July 6): These are organized runs over planned routes, with leaders for various pace groups. Post-run refreshments provided.
  • ING DIRECT Café, 58th Street and Third Avenue

DISCOUNTS:

If you are a New York Road Runner’s member, you receive discounts at several sports stores including: 10% off at Paragon Sports, Urban Athletics and Super Runner’s Shop. Plus discounts on: acupuncture, chiropractic, coaches, massage, nutritionists, PT, podiatry, and sports medicine.

Serious RUNSPIRTION to make you run RUNSTOPPABLE!

  • GO THE EXTRA MILE: LIFE ON THE RUN

On September 30th, Dean Karnanzes will be speaking about becoming a super athlete or at least get off the coach, active and healthy.  Dean  is the author of one of my favorite running books, Ultramarathon Man, and has run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.  To reserve free tickets to this Northface Speakers Series event, which will take place at 7PM at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, click here. I wish so badly I could go, but alas, I will be working.  I really think it will be an inspiring event!

For my beautiful Brooklynites,

Body by Brooklyn Spa and Lounge (275 Park Ave (at Washington Ave), Clinton Hill, Brooklyn )  is having a great Fashion Week special from 9/24-9/25

All day Thursday and Friday receive free a mini manicure and an eyebrow shaping; score two-for-one entrance to the spa’s expansive wet lounge, plus two gratis glasses of champagne ($44 retail); and take 10% off all services. Then snack on all-natural and vegan (free!) catering while checking out the discounted threads from local designers.

MUSIC!

You know it’s my fav.  Head to Urban Outfitters to listen to and download 25 free tracks.  Some are more workout worthy than others, so preview to taste :).

Not free, but fun!

Lindsay Price’s Playlist:

They’re all good, but I starred my favorites!

Nu-Kitchen Finale

As I type this, I am on the Amtrak heading upstate to visit the family.  I suppose I should have taken the megabus so I would have wi-fi, but there are honestly few things I find as enjoyable and relaxing as the ride up the Hudson.  It is nothing short of enchanting.  I am going “home” for a few reasons, which I will explain soon.  I was hoping to pop by and see Gena at the vegetarian expo in Saratoga, but sadly she is sick. Feel better soon my darling. The fact that we were going to meet up outside of the city reminds me of my favorite New Yorker story, Bumping into Mr. Ravoli.  It really epitomizes the absurdity of how NYers have a skewed sense of balancing perpetually overbooked schedules with social lives and way too much reliance on technology over in person interaction.  I digress. 

So, I finished my first week of NuKitchen, here is a look at day 5:

Breakfast: Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Frittata with potato hash and fruit

nk 001 

nk 002

I have to say this was probably my favorite breakfast, which is funny since I usually prefer sweet to savory.  And since I was pretty hungry after my 6 mile run, the fact that it was ready in 2 minutes was fabulous.

Lunch: Spicy Vegetarian Chile Verde and Cornbread

 nk 004  nk 006

This was amazing, big chunks of vegetables, a lot of spice!  I really want this recipe, ‘twas yum-o. The cornbread was great too, who doesn’t love cornbread?  It had nice chunks of fresh corn.  The whole meal was 350 calories.

SNACK: I was out meeting a friend for coffee in Bryant Park during snacking hours, so I had a an iced skim latte and a handleful of baby carrots.

Dinner: Veggie Burger on a Kaiser Roll with mixed greens salad

 nk 008 

This was really good, the type of veggie burger where peas are popping out all over. And I toasted the roll making it deliciously doughy and hearty.  At first I thought the meal would leave me hungry since there weren’t many greens, so I bulked it up with some salsa, mustard and extra veggies and tossed the dressing.  However, despite being a 310-ish calorie meal, I couldn’t even finish it.  I love non-soy veggie burgers :)

nk 007 nk 010

Dessert: Apple Sour Cream Cake and Chai Latte Brownie

I had two desserts leftover, so I decided to sample both.  nk 014

nk 012 nk 013 

On the brightside, these are not low-fat, fake sweetner-laden desserts, they are the real rich deal.  On the downside, they were quite caloric—220 and 360.  In fact, the brownie arrived with twice the calories it said it had when I ordered it on the website, but it was enormous.

nk 015 nk 016

I made a nice plate of a little less than a third of the brownie, the cake and the fruit I hadn’t eaten for a snack.  Each was delicious, the cake and brownie were ridiculously moist, gooey an delicious and worth their calories if you can practice a wee bit of portion control:

nk 017

Overall thoughts on NuKitchen:

Benefits:

  • You learn a lot about your own eating habits—grazing, sweet tooth, how much you really eat, etc.
  • You gain an easy sense of portion control, very transferrable to everyday life (restaurant and home), no measuring required
  • No thinking ahead, planning or waiting required—meals ready in 2 minutes or less (this made getting home late and avoiding temptation or sneaking in a lunch hour workout a snap)
  • Superb customer service
  • Fresh, good, whole food—no diet food, processing or chemicals—I have a whole new appreciation for healthy whole foods
  • Tasty food: I have 90% of the food 4 or 5 stars. Only one item was not good.
  • You can pick each meal and snack
  • Lots of vegetarian options
  • Dessert everyday
  • Relatively affordable by NYC standards
  • lots of options for delivery and plans, a la carte, once a week, full meal service, etc.
  • Nutritional info provided—most delivery services do not
  • Portions always satisfying

Drawbacks:

  • Sometimes you are in the mood for something other than you ordered
  • You might not lose weight if that is your goal. I weighed myself on Monday morning and then on Saturday morning and my weight was exactly the same
  • Some of the labeling was different on the website than it was on arrival
  • Use a lot of plastic containers

Final thoughts:

I found Nu-Kitchen very helpful in allowing me to honestly look at my own eating habits.  I think it would work best for me a day or two a week to keep my on track.  As someone who doesn’t cook food much, eating so many savory, full meals was a change.  It did help me recognize that smaller, simple meals, just a veggie burger and a few veggies, could be totally satisfying.  I will take the portion control practice with me as a visual aid in my own meal prep and dining out. I am looking forward to not photographing my meals and responding to my moment to moment food desires for a while, but it was a great lesson and I may do it again at some point.  Sometimes I missed a nice salad at lunch, but I felt like $11.75 was a lot for a salad when you could get salmon for the same price. I do think food journaling or even food blogging once a week could be very helpful to me. 

Training Schedule for Marathon Countdown

The ING NYC Marathon

Gosh the marathon is 43 days away (and 20 hours and 20 minutes as I write this).  Part of me is glad to have more time to train and part of me wants to run it tomorrow. 

So here is the long run schedule (based on runner’s world complete book of running intermediate training plan):

September 20th: 12 miles

September 27th- 18-21 miles  ING New York City Marathon Tune-Up –18 miles.  I might run to the park to make it 21 miles. After the Tune Up, I was lucky enough to get a spot at the Post-Run Energizer!  The event includes food and advice on tapering, avoiding injury and last-minute training advice, plus some fun giveaways.

All NYC runners are also invited to free weekly group runs on Mondays at 7 through Oct. 26th hosted by the ING Direct Cafe.  See more details and upcoming events at their website.

October 3rd: 13.1 Miles Grete’s Great Gallop. I have done this half marathon twice, so it is always interesting to compare years. 

October 10th: 20-21 miles This will be my last long run!

October 17th:10-12 miles

October 18th: 3.1 miles NYU Fall Foliage 5K run/walk. I am bringing some of my residents to the event.  It is in Van Cortland Park, where i have never been, so it should be fun.

October 25th: 6 miles

Weekly Training:

I realized that my weekday mileage has been quite low and lacking interval and tempo runs.  So I am going to try to get my weekly mileage up to around half of my long run distance, unless the the runs are 20 miles.  I am also making sure to do one tempo or interval run a week.  I might do one of each depending on how my body is feeling, still carefully monitoring the vitals!

Strength Training 2x a week for lower body.  Abs 3 times a week.  Arms 1-2 times a week.

Yoga/stretches—near daily!

"Tough times don’t last but tough people do."

I love quotes!  I am kind of a quote freak actually.  So I thought a little running quote-spiration would be a nice segueway into this post.  The above quote kind of embodies the rough few running weeks I have had, and which I think and hope are behind me!

It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse."   – Ann Trason

"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming."   – Frank Shorter

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

Run like hell and get the agony over with.
–Clarence DeMar

You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.
Gatorade

Ability is what you are capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
–Lou Holtz

All right, that’s good for today!

While I am feeling inspired, I do want to congratulate a few of my favorite bloggers on their own running accomplishments!

Chandra on her one month countdown to her first marathon! Yay Chandra, the hard stuff is done and you are about to join the 1% of people who can say they have run a marathon!

Rachel for decided to sign up for Disney!  Yay yay yay girl.  I have to say, I love Rachel’s blog because she is so damn gutsy with her posts—like this one for example.  I love it!  Check out her Shed U Vocab for a good laugh. And her amazing playlist for inspiration!

I have finalized my long run/taper schedule for the rest of my training, so I will announce that and a few other running events tomorrow.  This weekend I will post a fit recessionista edition!

So here we go with day 4 of Nu-Kitchen! 

Breakfast:

Fig and Walnut Breakfast Cake with Yogurt and Fruit Salad

 nk 018

At first i was skeptical that a meal with such a huge piece of cake could only have 350 calories, but I guess the yogurt and fruit were only a couple ounces each.  I have to say this cake was the first new kitchen item that was just not good. It was dry and rubbery.  I guess I shouldn’t have heated it, but I did follow the instructions.  In any cause I ate most of it because I was hungry, and it did fill me up for almost 5 hours. Fortunately, the next meal totally redeemed NK in spades.

Lunch:

Cuban-Style Braised Salmon with Onions & Tomatoes and Quinoa Pasta

Yup, hell to the yum.

nk 019

Because this was actually supposed to be dinner, I decided to make the meal a little lighter by splitting it and putting it on a salad.  The salmon and quinoa pasta were delish and heated up perfectly.  I put about 2/3 of the salmon and 1/2 the pasta over greens, carrots, cucs an  cherry tomatoes. So delicious.

nk 020

I also had seltzer from one of NYU’s cool plant based green cups!

nk 022nk 021

It made me feel slightly less bad for all the plastic containers I have been going through this week! 

I decided to sleep in since I didn’t go to bed until 1:30 last night, so I did a little powerwalk on the remainder of my lunch hour.  I passed this Street Sweets NY truck.  P.S. Food trucks are all the rage in NY.  We have a food truck for everything: dessert truck, Rickshaw Dumpling Truck pizza truck, wafles and dinges truck ,Calexico Carne Asada Cart, Cravings Truck, Mud Truck, Endless Summer Tacos Truck, Green Pirate Juice Truck, the list rolls on!

nk 023

So what happened to the rest of my day?

Well, I knew I was going to the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy tonight, so I put my lunch in the freezer for review next week.  We took a walk around little italy. While I was nostaligic for the festival since it was one of the first things I did when I moved to the city, it is really just a huge street fair. I did just get invited to Naples for the real San Gennaro fest, maybe next year!  Anyways, we ended up just taking in the fest for a bit, and then ended up eating dinner at Otto.  God I love Otto.  The food at Otto is so simple, but so good that while Batali is not really my type….  

As per usual, the wait was over an hour, so we had some wine and cheese with the divine cherry, apricot and honey dipping sauces while we waited for a destination to show up on the departure board.  For dinner, I went with my classic pasta alla norma since it had been a while, and I just love it to death.  For dessert, we shared milk chocolate chip, hazelnut stratichetella and strawberry gelato for dessert.  I always get too full at Otto, and I knew I wanted dessert, so I made sure to leave room and stop as I approached satisfaction for each course.  perfection.

Run-on-One and NuK Day 3

Sorry no post last night.  I worked from 8:30 AM and didn’t leave the office until 11:15PM, I didn’t even take a break for lunch or dinner, so all 3 meals were eaten at my desk.  But I heart my job :)

So I meet with my staff every week for one-on-ones.  However, one of my staff is a fellow ‘thoner, so we have run-on ones.  It’s a great way to get in a “work” out and team build!  We did about 4.1 miles.  And it was the most-pain free run I have had in ages!  Choirs of angels were singing.  I was so happy!  I signed up for two races and a running event, details tomorrow. I can’t believe for all my tauting about the importance of proper shoes, I was wearing shoes that were too small!

I have to say running before work requires a lot of lugging. I have a huge bag no matter what I am doing, but yesterday, I had a bag with heels, work clothes, my heart rate monitor, camera, blow dryer, curling iron, shampoo, conditoner, brush, towel, make up, in addition to all the stuff I normally bring.  Plus, I had my full NU-Kitchen cooler with 3 meals and 2 snacks since I knew that I would be in the office until late.  Fortunately, the cooler is always really light, just a little bulky.  In any case, I was quite the scene on the subway.

So after my run and shower, I grabbed an iced coffee.  I am not sure why it was so divine–maybe the guy put regular instead of skim or maybe he was just really generous with the milk, but OMG, it was like a coffee milkshake!

nk 002

Breakfast was



Zante Currant Oatmeal with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

nk 003 nk 004

I swear everyone was oggling my breakfast.  It made the office smell amazing.  While the yogurt is always really sweet, the oatmeal was not very sweet.  It could have used a hint of sugar or salt, but it was gooey, spicy and perfect for the cooler weather we have been having.  The fruit was also perfectly ripe and yummy!

I was having a very hungry day, so I was ready for lunch a few hours later:

Vegetarian Lasagna with Steamed Broccoli

nk 005 nk 006

nk 007

It was quite good. I loved the eggplant and whole wheat noodles.  This was also a travel champ;  I am surprised it held itself together so well despite all the public transit.

I was still a little hungry, so I also munched on some raw veggies. I have TONS of left over veggies from my party on Saturday, and I hate to see them go to waste!

nk 009

Around 4, I was ready for a snack.  Carrot Ginger Soup. It was SO good.  There were nice large chucks of carrot.  I also added some asian rice cracker mix.  We have all kinds of bulk trail mixes and snacks in the office, not a figure friendly environment.  But the soup was light at 60 calories, so not really a big deal.

nk 010

And dinner:

Tempeh & Red Pepper Calzones

This was the third meal at my desk, and boy I wish I could have baked it in the oven instead of nuking it.  I expected a calzone to have cheese, but this was chock full of tempeh.  It was good. The crust wasn’t to crispy due to the heating method  (I did follow the instructions), but it was really filling and the sauce was out of this world.

nk 011

nk 012

Dessert was:

nk 014 nk 013

It was okay, not memorable though.

I have to admit, I ate quite a few things not on the plan in addition to what i mentioned above:

a small handful of trail mix at the staff meeting, a few hersey’s kisses and a starburst, and this vitamin water.  The VW was okay, but I won’t buy it again. It is sweetened with stevia, btw.

nk 015

Nu-Kitchen has forced me to be honest about how much I eat.  I look at the cooler and think, wow, that is SO much food, but then I eat it all and then some.  I think all the nibbling is just my grazing habit, not hunger.  NuKitchen’s 1500-ish calorie  is very filling.  My nu-kitchen food calorie totaled somewhere around 1350, but I would guess my own additions added around 250.  I guess that is not too bad calorie-wise, but I do feel just the tiniest bit guilty for not sticking to the plan as intended.  On the bright side I do feel better with less processed food, which I usually turn to when I am to busy to plan ahead or get really hungry.  Having the prep and planning done for me has really been helpful.