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Marathon Favorites

In just two weeks I’m going to attempt to run the NYC marathon. I’m super nervous as the ankle sprain seriously interrupted my training. Hopefully, I can get a good long run in on Saturday and then taper and rest for the next two weeks.    While I’m nervous for the marathon, I’m excited too.  There are a few things that I really enjoy in the month leading up to the marathon.  They include:

Compression socks

I love wearing compression socks.  They are just so cozy and comforting.  I bought a pair of Sockwell Chevron compression socks this year. I think they are so cute and they come in 12 colors!



Marathon training is the only time I really indulge in a massage, but I swear they are life changing.  They melt all the soreness away.  This month exhale is doing their massage and facial combo for $199.  You don’t have to do both treatments at once, so you can spread out the pampering.


I have a lot of rituals that keep me excited about the big race, these include rereading Ultramarathon Man and A Race Like No Other.  I also like to Watch HIMYM’s Lucky Penny episode and Spirit of the Marathon.



If I finish the marathon, I’m definitely getting myself an Erica Sarah race necklace. I’ve wanted one forever, so I hope I earn it!


The Ups and Downs of Marathon Training

I plan for the TSC NYC Marathon to be my fourth and final marathon. I’d love to do halfs and triathlons in the future, but I’m not sure that full marathons are my bread and butter.

Early Triumph

That said, this year’s training really started off amazingly well. Better than I ever expected.  I enjoyed my first few 5-8 mile runs over the Williamsburg Bridge.  The longer 11-13 mile summer streets runs were also fabulous.

August started off great against the odds. I had to work every weekend day of August expect 1, so all my long runs were before work. That said, the 5:30AM wake up calls weren’t so bad. I loved running on nearly empty streets.


Bump in the Road

Things hit a snag when I got food poisoning the day before my long run on August 22nd.   I felt like garbage and was so nauseous, there was no way to get up early and squeeze in a run on Sunday, it was all I could do to make it through the work day.  From that weekend on, things haven’t been the same.  The next week I got in a good 14 mile run, but it wasn’t easy.

Last weekend, I had the worst run of all, I barely made it through 12 miles before throwing in the towel. I couldn’t get my head in the game.

I had kind of psyched myself up for this weekend by properly hydrating and buying all the necessary supplies (Gu). On Friday, I took Pettitte out for a short run of about 3 miles.  This has been our routine for about a month. Once a week, I’ll take him with me to get him tired out for the day.

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We run along the East River.  Pettitte’s a beagle, so he loves to sniff and I usually indulge him once or twice on the run.

On one such occasion, I told Pettitte we had to get going and I started running from the grass and rolled my ankled onto the pavement. It was a big roll. My ankle felt weird for about a minute, but I kept going and it felt normal soon thereafter.

Three hours later, I was sitting in a meeting and my ankle began to throb. I couldn’t even concentrate. When the meeting was finally over, I went to stand up and I couldn’t put any weight on my ankle without a lot of pain. I managed to hobble out of the building and get to an urgent care less than a block away.

I was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and told to use crutches through the weekend and then use an air cast for 4-6 weeks after.


Honestly, the crutches were almost worse than the pain. I think I overcompensated so much that my other started hurting.  In any event, I think my diagnosis was super cautious and I’m still confident that I’ll be able to get through the NYC Marathon one way or the other.  Until then I’m going to ease back in with low impact cardio and get to a PT for more advice!

PS I’m finally on instagram! follow me at melissanyny

Chardonnay Run Recap

Wine at the Finish Line. I could probably end this post right here.

The Chardonnay Run is the race that asks, turn down for what?


A few week’s ago, people at the Chardonnay Run sent me information about their first NYC race.  I said that I’d be happy to post about it since, I think we can all agree that a race with a wine bar at the end is awesome! Chardonnay also happens to be my favorite white! They generously offered to comp my registration.

I had to do a long run on Saturday, so I decided to run 9 miles during Summer Streets and then finish the run with the 5K.  The Chardonnay Run offers the option of 9AM, 9:30AM or 10:00AM start times, which gives you lots of flexibility–and the option to sleep in bit if you like.

I ended up running from Union Square to 72nd Street and back down to Canal before crossing over to the west side highway.  As I made my way south on the west side, I saw a lot of activity on Pier 26.


I loved the set up of this race. Everything-registration, startline, expo–was easy to get to, so you could walk around and check things out before and after the race.

I arrived at Pier 26 around 9AM and collected my bib, expo bracelet and t-shirts. It was about then when the first wave took off, the announcer really got everyone pumped and there was great energy in the corral area. FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_1 copy

Waves took off every few minutes, which was nice and orderly and kept the course from being too crowded.  Here are a few things to know about the run…

Great course: I loved the course up along the Hudson. It was very well marked and there were tons of volunteers cheering you on.  It’s sort of an out and back, but you run back closer to the highway rather than the water, so it feels more like a loop and you aren’t running out right next to people coming back, which is great.  It was pretty hot for the last mile, so early start times are advisable!

Fun Run:  This is really meant to be fun, not competitive. There are fun groups wearing shirts that say “Wine-Ho” and “Yes Way Rose.” There were people that were there to run all out, but I’d say that was the minority as there were plenty of people walking as well.  I certainly enjoyed being able to just enjoy the course and felt no pressure whatsoever to kill myself.

Fun Swag: In addition to a great t-shirt, wine and cheese plate, there were also fun food trucks and vendors along the pier.

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Price:  Register early!  Prices get really steep toward race day. D.C. and San Jose are next, so make sure to sign up now! Also, in NYC, bag check cost $5. I was hoping to check my fuel belt, as I felt like an idiot running a 5K wearing one, but I wasn’t going to pay  to check it.

All in all, it was a really fun race that was well organized and had a great course.  I’d definitely like to run it again with a group of friends.


June–Here and Gone

June is almost officially over and it’s always sad to see it go.

The month was super busy at work and I’m still waiting for the summer slow down to hit.  Hopefully July will be the month.

So here’s what happened in June….


It was pretty relaxed until we had a wedding in Park City, Utah.   I probably never would have gone to Utah, but man was it gorgeous!  We went on the most beautiful hike–I could do it everyday and never get tired of the view.


The wedding was really neat at the top of the Canyons Resort, accessible only by gondola!  If you are ever in Park City, the Waldorf Astoria is lovely and has exceptional service!

Last weekend, we had a double header wedding weekend, one in Westerly, Rhode Island and one in Jacksonville, Florida. Both were a ton of fun!

The Ocean House was a great place for a wedding. I love when hotels have activity schedules–I can’t get enough. I took advantage of the Westerly bike tour!FullSizeRender-2


I also went an a great beach run. It’s officially time to kick off marathon training.




Pettitte’s Birthday

Back in NYC, Pettitte turned one!  We went all out with invitations, favors, and poochinis.  A few of Pettitte’s dog friends met us a the Madison Square Dog Park, which was followed by poochinis at Shake Shack.


A poochini is dog soft serve with peanut butter and dog biscuits.  Pettitte was in heaven!


I can’t believe my baby is already one! I  want him to stay a puppy forever.


It’s rare I go see movies in the theaters, but this month I saw two!  Jurassic World and Entourage.  Both were silly fun, the later being the perfect antidote for a rainy day.  I also watched Still Alice on the flight home from Utah–it was beautiful.

I guess I should start packing once again–we leave for Martha’s Vineyard tomorrow!  I can’t wait–it’s still my favorite place. :)

Did you do anything fun in June?

Fhitting Room Flatiron Review

I think I’m in love.  Yes, that’s how I feel about the Fhitting Room.

To quote Cher Horowitz, “I am majorly, totally, butt crazy in love” with the Fhitting Room.

I’ve now taken 3 classes at the Flatiron location, thanks to a GILT city special.

fhitting room

The Fhitting Room workout looks something like this:

  • 10-15 Minute Warm Up and Workout Overview: Jumping jacks, lunges, etc.
  • 20 Minute Main Workout:  You rotate through 6 stations with 3 other people, you workout about 2 minutes per station with 1 minute rest in between. (Rowing machine, box jumps, trx bands, kettle bells, etc.)
  • 10 Minute Challenge (think lots of burpees)
  • 5-10 Minute stretch

Why am a such a fan? Let me count the ways…


1.) Great, clean studio space: It’s a really nice studio that is well designed and organized.  The locker facilities are stocked with top of the line toiletries and plenty of lockers.

2.) Killer workout in 50 Minutes: I’ve definitely felt each fhitting room workout for days after and the workout is over in less than an hour.   I’m all about exercise efficiency. Hail to HIIT.

3.) Great Trainers: For every class, the trainers have been great.  I also love that they have TWO trainers in every class, so you get lots of personal attention and you can’t get away with sloppy form!

4.) Variety: You only spend about 2 minutes doing any given exercise, so you never get bored and the class flies by!

5.) Music The music is on point at the FR. There is lots of rap and hiphop which I think goes perfectly with any workout, but particularly strength based ones.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about the Fhitting Room.  I guess that a downside is that, like all boutique studios, it’s pricey at $35 a class. But you do get two trainers for that price.  This summer you get a free class for every person your refer and your first class is buy one get one, so that’s something!

NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon Weekend!

As always, the weekend is going by far too fast.  But it’s been a great one and I’m going to enjoy the few hours I have left!

Friday after work, Frank and I went out to Pier 3 in Brooklyn to pick up our bibs for the Air B and B NYRR Brooklyn Half.  The pre-party presented by New Balance was awesome. They do such a great job with music, mini golf, food trucks and more.




Free Van Leeuwen’s cones–this was the vegan cherry–yum!




After a long walk along the water, we headed back to Manhattan.  We ordered some pasta for Piccolo while watching Pitch Perfect. I’d never seen it, it was cute, but I’m not rushing out to see PP2 while it’s in the theaters.  Then it was early to bed for our 5:15 wake up call.

When I got up in the morning, I just had to get dressed. I was shocked and thrilled that my outfit color coordinated perfectly. I did nothing to encourage this, as I don’t care about such things, but it was indeed serendipitous.

There was a chance of rain, so I wore the NB race top, under armour capris, a brook’s jacket and my asics <–very brand diverse. I decided to forgo a hat and just took sunglasses.  I pinned on my bib, put my gu chomps in my pocket and metro card in my pocket and we were off.

We got on the 5:59 4 train and were getting off at Franklin Ave by 6:22.  We basically exited into the metal detectors, which we breezed through.  I had a lot of time in the corral before my 7AM start, but the porta potty line was hopeless, so I gave up on that.  Even when the BK Half started in the park, the bathroom lines were the worst I’d ever seen. Fortunately, this is the only negative thing I can say about the BK half organization.

Finally, the gun went off and so did I, sort of. I crossed the start line 17 minutes after the gun.  The first mile was great.  I just wanted things to stay exactly the same for the next 12.1 miles.  My first 5K was the fastest at a 9:55 pace.  While the next 3 miles felt pretty strong, they were actually my slowest at a sluggish 11 min/mi pace. I tried to enjoy the park since I knew that a whole lot of highway was ahead.

I had only done 3 long runs and the longest was 7 miles, so I knew I would probably want to walk a little bit. I decided to do a modified Galloway method and I walked 15-30 seconds at every  water station.  If you are going to walk, I think it’s always smart to have a plan, otherwise, you can be walking yourself into a dark hole.  Fortunately, the small walk breaks seemed to help my pace, which went back to just over 10 minute miles.

Around mile 9 it started to rain.  I don’t usually like running in rain at all, but it actually wasn’t so bad. My Brooks jacket had a hood, which was a lifesaver, even if my sunglasses spent the rest of the race on my head.

Theodora had mentioned in a blog post that the streets go up from A to Z, I remembered this at Ave M and it kept me occupied until we were almost to mile 12.  Backing up, around mile 11, I realized that if I kept it together I could finish around my usually time of 2:12-2:14, as opposed to my goal of just finishing under 3:15.  My goals was literally just not to be swept up and driven to the finish line, which happens if you fall below a 15 MPH pace.  I set the bar real high, I know.

Unfortunately, the last mile was tough. I was mentally falling apart when usually I can summon what’s left inside for the final 1600 meters.  I ended up finishing at 2:16:27. While it’s nothing to write home about, I was fine with it. My actually race training will start in June when I start focusing on the NYCM.

The finish had all kinds of fan fare.  Even if you only run on the boardwalk for .1 miles, it is really fun and exciting.  After exiting the course, I found this guy!


When we finally got home 21 stops on the Q train later, I took a short nap before meeting Frank at the Brazen Fox to watch the Ranger WIN.   We lazed about the rest of the day until we met friends for a late dinner at Upland.  Thanks for the recommendation Pete Wells.

Sunday started early with a trip to the dog park followed by a trip to Petco.  I let Pettitte pick out a bag of treats and he selected a duck and potato combo which he seems to enjoy immensely.  I also picked up his usually Blue Buffalo treats, a ball and two other bags of treats. Petco is my new target.  Can’t stop at one item.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, Ashley and Bo invited Pettitte to join them for brunch at the Pavilion, which is one of my favorite warm weather spots.  The restaurant was so nice about Pettitte, and Ashley managed to snag a table right next to a big patch of grass.


It was a lovely brunch.  The iced lattes were to die for and I loved my salad/fry combo.

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Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend! Summer is off to a great start.

Super Fresh Salad

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of enjoying a fun event with Panera Bread at a lovely venue called The Kitchen.

Panera has been working on eliminating all preservatives and artificial ingredients from their food for several years and they recently  announced their commitment to removing artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, sweeteners and meat from animals raised with antibiotics from all of their products by 2016. The NYTimes released an article about it last week.


Panera invited bloggers, nutritionists and health professionals to meet their Head Chef David Kish and some of their nutritionists to discuss how they are making the move to 100% whole foods.  Honestly, it was really amazing to see such a large company so committed to putting health above the bottom line.  Panera was actually one of the first companies nationally to put their nutritional information on their menus even in cities where they don’t require it by law.

Chef David was extremely personable and he explained that as they went through the menu item by item looking at the ingredients, they quickly realized that removing fake sweeteners and preservatives was pretty easy.  Often ingredients are just unnecessarily placed in a product and if it’s never questioned those yucky ingredients tend to stay there.

We started out by making flatbreads–either the tomato mozzarella flatbread or the Mediterranean chicken flatbread. IMG_0722The chicken flatbread had cabbage, carrot, cucumber, lentil hummus, tzatziki and feta.

The tzatziki was one of the ingredients they had to revamped to make it free of preservatives. To accomplish this, Panera continued to use their organic yogurt, but they packaged the herbs and spices separately so they could be mixed with the yogurt in each store in small batches.  Maybe I’m a nerd, but it was fascinating to hear the different ways they changed their dressings, breads, sauces and recipes to eliminate unnatural ingredients.  Most chains use a ton of salt and sodium in their products, but Panera has eliminated the majority of salt from their recipes and rely on the salt that occurs naturally in foods.

After the flatbread snack, we watched Chef Dan make and beautifully plate three salads: the Strawberry Poppy Seed, The Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Salad and the Power Kale Caesar Salad.

I have to say, watching a salad be made is surprisingly excited.  Salad are just so gorgeous and full of goodness.  I love light, fruity summer salads!


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I need to learn to plate salad like that! After watching the prep, we sat down to enjoy a leafy feast and panera’s lovely sprouted grain rolls.

IMG_0785It was a really great evening. I’ve always liked Panera, I’ve been going there for years, and now I feel even better about choosing them when I need a meal on the go.

What else is going on? I’ve completely unprepared to run the Brooklyn Half on Saturday, so that should be scary.  I also just tried the Fhitting Room and I think I’m in love, so more on that soon!

Panera invited me to attend this event.  All opinions are my own. 


A Girl and a Meal Plan

First of all, congrats to all the Boston Marathon runners–Meri, Tina,  Sarah, Anna, Katie S. and the loads of people who I am forgetting!  Amazing job out there! Marathons are just so inspiring!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on the blog, but a few years ago, Frank got me the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan for Christmas. I really like the tips, workouts, recipes and motivation.  Their most recent plan, the Bikini Series Plan, is easily my favorite.  Some of the other ones were just not enough food, but this one is generally realistic and there are many delicious meal ideas.  That said, it requires preparing 5 meals a day, which is just not a reality for me.  Even so, it has inspired me to make more meals at home.  Sadly, some weeks I only make 2-3 meals at home.  Believe me, this is embarrassing to admit on the blog. I’ve been hiding it from you and I can’t live a lie any longer. I often grab something at the deli for breakfast, my employer generally provides lunch or I get a salad at Fresh and Co, and dinner tends to be ordered from seamless or eaten out most nights. My only pathetic defense is that I don’t have a dish washer and I hate spending hours (and it does take me hours) washing and putting away dishes all week-long.

Clearly, there is serious room for improvement.  This weekend I challenged myself to break my ordering trend and spend some time in the kitchen.  With a tone it up inspired plan, I headed to Whole Foods with my shopping list and started filling my basket.

Here’s a look at the haul:


Lots of produce.  The only things I didn’t get from my list were ground turkey, broccoli, frozen vegetables and almond butter.  The turkey and broccoli selection was dismal; I got distracted by goat cheese on my way to the frozen veggies; and I couldn’t bring myself to pay $9 for almond butter.  The PB is for Pettitte who gets a PB and dog food filled kong every morning when we leave.

I picked up my missing items from Westside Market on Sunday.

So what was on the menu?

Saturday Night: Salmon Stuffed Avocado

Sunday Night: Southwest Turkey Burgers with sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli

Monday Night: Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes

Breakfasts: Fage and berries

Night one was the Grilled Salmon Stuffed Avocado. This was the fanciest looking meal and hands down the easiest to make.  12 minutes people!  I came across on youtube and there is a great video that explains exactly how to make it!



I made a few small substitutions to the simple recipe. I skipped the olive oil for grilling the salmon since three fats is a lot of fats, even if they are all healthy. I also subbed greek yogurt for sour cream since it’s the same thing and I always have greek yogurt on hand.  I also added shredded carrots, since they were already in my fridge.  The recipe suggests using a whole avocado, but I had some guac for a snack and went with just a half



In the end, I actually had some extra filling, so I dumped everything onto a plate and sliced the avocado on top.  If I was serving to guests, I would have definitely left the salad in the avocado cup.



This was amazing. I’ll definitely make it again. So darn easy

Night two was Southwest Turkey Burger Night.  I was looking for a turkey burger recipe and this one from Rachael Ray had great reviews.  Sorry for the less than appetizing photo, I totally forgot to take it until I had eaten half my meal!



The turkey burgers were delicious. I skipped the bun and used guacamole and salsa for toppings instead of the bacon suggested.  I am so into roasted broccoli lately, just a tiny drizzle of evoo and it’s amazing.

Tonight I had Super Loaded Sweet Potatoes. 

Sweet potato, goat cheese, black beans, salsa and mixed vegetables.




I realized that I forgot half a left over turkey burger and some garlic powder because clearly I needed more toppings.



Honestly, this was divine.  So easy and so good. I couldn’t even finish it!

I’m pretty proud of myself for making three dinners in a row!  As long as I can find recipes that don’t require tons of dishes and allow me to recycle ingredients so I don’t throw tons of things out at the end of the week, I could definitely get back on the made at home bandwagon.

Stitchfix Review

I decided to order myself a stitch fix for my birthday! It’s always fun to get a box of surprises! You can see other posts on my stitch fixes here and here.

What came this month?

A striped dress with tie sash


I love anything nautical and I like that this can be worn in spring, summer or fall depending on how you style it! Keep.

Blue textured pants


I’m sorry that this a pretty bad picture of the actual pants and that my sports bra is showing through my shirt, but you get the idea.  The textured pattern and bright blue color are not me at all.  Although I do think I requested fun pants, since I love my black textured jeans so much!  Frank absolutely loved these. I kept thinking he was joking, but he actually wanted me to wear these all over town.  Ultimately, these are way out of my fashion comfort zone!  Returned!

Black pants with gold ankle zippers and green top


Again, sorry that this is a terrible photo of the pants.  The best detail, the gold ankle zipper is cut off! I actually loved the zippers and they fit well, but I didn’t think the fabric was really that high quality considering that these were $90.  I also didn’t think they were that flattering. I was pretty on the fence, but ultimately, they were returned!

I also asked for nice tops for evenings out.  This was a cool top, but I didn’t find it terribly flattering, so it was also returned.

Peach, space-dyed cardigan


While I don’t really need anymore cold weather clothes, I really liked the color of this sweater.  It is also good for the very cold spring weather we are experiencing. It’s something that I can where to work or to weekend brunch and I know that I’ll actually get a lot of wear out of, so it’s a keeper.

Both items minus the $20 style fee came out to about $128.

Ultimately, I decided that this would be my last stitch fix.  I took a look at the items in my wardrobe that I wear the most often, and none of them were stitch fix pieces.  I often keep something just so I don’t lose the $20!  I love the idea of my own personal stylist, but I don’t think I even know what I want to articulate my needs half the time.  Plus, I live in NYC, so it’s not like I am hurting for shopping options.

I think the idea is super clever and clearly it’s been a huge hit, but it’s just not for me!

In other news, this guy turned 9 months today!


He is such a big boy!


Week in Austin, Weekend in North Fork

Well, I’m another year older.  The week leading up to my birthday I was in Austin and  I spent the weekend wine tasting in North Fork, so I can’t say getting older is all that bad.

I was in Austin for the SXWSedu conference. It.was.awesome.  I’d never been to Texas, so it was great to check out the capitol city and the conference was so innovative and inspiring. It really raised the bar for all conferences in my future


During my sessions, I got some great food recommendations.  On our list of things to try were: bbq, tex-mex and breakfast tacos.

First up was BBQ.  We went to Micklethwait.  We thought it was a restaurant, but it was actually a food truck.image5

This plate was filled with the most amazing beans and potato salad, brisket and two deliciously fluffy slices of sour dough.  I don’t go crazy for bbq, but this was awesome.


My group also got a dessert sampler of one of each pie!  Cheesepie, pecan pie, chocolate moon pie and peanut butter moon pie. My favorite was the chocolate moon pie!



One of the first of many many reception/parties hosted by SX was at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library. It was the coolest place! I loved the replica of the Oval Office! The University of Texas campus was also stunning.


There were lots of skinny margaritas!



I wish I had a picture of my tacos, but alas I was so hungry that I forgot to snap a pic!

I saw this at the conference bookstore! Has anyone read it?  It looks interesting.




My top 3 recommendations for Austin are:

After four days in Austin, I unpacked, repacked and we headed to North Fork.

We once again stayed at the Fig and Olive.  They are so nice.  This time there was another couple, so we exchanged winery notes over breakfast each morning.

We hit up a bunch of wineries, my favorites of this trip being Bedell, Osprey’s Dominion and Lenz.


The first night we ate at the Frisky Oyster.

The second night we went to Jedidiah Hawkins. We started with a drink in a speakeasy downstairs.


For some reason, my main course photo was deleted by wordpress, so we’ll skip to dessert.  It was a vanilla lemon parfait.  Custardy, curdy, light and refreshing.


Our final day of tasting we hit up four wineries and the fabulous new outpost of the Greenport Harbor Brewery.  It was a great day, rain and all.

We saw these geese marking down the fields, it was there kind of weather.


We left pretty early on Sunday morning, but not before yet another fabulous breakfast made by Lisa!

It began with coconut chocolate chip bread (unpictured) and was followed by roasted pears with walnuts, cinnamon and vanilla yogurt.


The main course was grilled cheese stuffed with peppers, onions and bacon and finished with a fried egg on top.  Pure food heaven.


We caught the Jitney back to Manhattan to have a late lunch with my parents at the new(ish) Park Avenue Winter.