Posts tagged ‘running’

It’s gettin hot in here (so hot!)

Wow, today was a scorcher!  I  really wanted to go running today, but unfortunately I lounged around too much so by the time I was ready to get moving it was ridiculously hot & humid so I decided to kill some time by getting groceries and got back just as the mailman was leaving and what did I find in my mailbox?  A gift certificate for Barnes & Noble from the lovely Gliding Calm!  Thanks girlie, you totally made my day! 😀  I had won a raw cookbook giveaway on her blog a while back and there was a problem with the company that was supposed to send it, so she took it upon herself to sent me a little gift out of her own pocket.  So sweet!  What did I buy with my prize??  

Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen… yessss!  I’ve been drooling over this book in the bookstore for way too long, so I figured now was the perfect time to scoop it up.  Plus, in this weather, who wants to cook?  Peekay was intrigued as well…

After perusing the cookbook and lazing around the apartment I finally decided by 5:30 that I was going to run – heat or no heat.  Mayyybe I should’ve taken water though.  Sigh, hindsight is 20/20.  I ended up doing 13 miles, with a few stops at various water fountains in the park (normally an ick factor for me, but when it still reads 86 degrees on the giant clock over Columbus Circle at 6pm you stop being picky).  Unfortunately dehydration kicked in at mile 12.5 and the last leg was murrr-dah – sorry I have Nelly in my head apparently.  I revived myself with a coconut water & protein smoothie at home and decided to stuff my face with a rockin’ snack plate a la Miss Gliding Calm.

Pita & hummus swirled with ungodly amounts of Texas Pete hot sauce, alongside a veggie plate & some homemade Balsamic vinaigrette for dipping.  For the Balsamic Vinaigrette I blended 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar, 6 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic – minced, and 1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence.  It kinda rocked my face off.  The wine I got was pretty awesome too!  It was a Vino Verde that was tart, refreshing and had a bit of a sparkle to it.  Ok, I’m outie.  I’m all ready to watch the movie Dear John with Channing Tatum (my other fiance) and Amanda Seyfried.

Still of Channing Tatum in Dear John

Can we just take a moment here to appreciate the perfection that is Channing Tatum?  Ok sorry…  The real fiance is in Florida tearin up the golf course with two of his buddies, so I am taking full advantage of being able to watch girlie movies. 😉  G’night all!!

June 5, 2010 at 9:14 pm 4 comments

National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!!  Sorry for the break from posting, but I just got back from a mini vacation to Watch Hill, RI with the fiancé, older sister, brother-in-law and my brother-in-law’s family.  Twas deliciously relaxing  😉  I spent my time running on the beach (and learned it kills your calves), walking around town, reading and learning to play golf!  Um sadly I’m still sore from the 2-hour golf lesson on Monday, yet I’m totally fine from everything else… weird.

Anywho, I’m back and totally refreshed!  This morning I had planned on going swimming after work, but when I learned it was National Running Day I felt I just had to hit the pavement.  During my run I started thinking about my journey to where I am now… from a casual runner to a seasoned (well, 2 at least) marathoner!  After my last marathon I made a pact with myself that I would not sign up for another race until I could comfortably run 13+ miles without feeling completely drained afterwards.  Yes, I would love to run another marathon (and possibly a triathlon), but I don’t really like having to work my mileage from the ground up every time I compete.  My last marathon I was coming off an injury so I literally had to work up from not running at all for two months to being race ready.

My goal this year is to be able to run 20 miles without having to change around my schedule or be left hobbling around after in order to do so.  I am slowly upping my mileage, but if something comes up I’m not going to stress because I am not following a strict schedule.  I know lots of people run marathons almost every year, and I guess I just want to see how easy it is to sustain the high mileage to make that possible.

After a refreshing 4 miler I hit the showers and then tried to figure out dinner.  I settled on one of my new favs – dal!  I added about 1.5 cups of frozen peas, 5 chopped plum tomatoes, and doubled the amount of chilies in my regular Dal Recipe.  It rocked my world… just sayin’.  

I think I added a little too much water this time, but it still tasted perfecto – I just had to eat it with a spoon instead of just sticking to the pita scooping method.  Not only was this tasty, but it is such a cheap meal to make.  Music to my ears!!  

Someone was trying to scam on my dinner… 😉  Well I’m off to curl up with a good book and chillax.  I just started the book Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938 about the hurricane that totally rocked the northeast & specifically Watch Hill, RI back during the Great Depression and I am completely enthralled.  G’night bloggies!

June 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

Double double, toil and trouble…

Yesterday I completed a double workout and man was I tired afterwards!  I went to bed on the early side last night though and slept for almost 9 hours last night 🙂  What can I say?  I kicked my own butt!

If you guys have no idea what I’m talking about, a double workout means just that – I ran in the morning and then I ran again after work.  I used to do doubles during marathon training after reading this article in Runner’s World: Double Your Pleasure  Basically the article states that the more miles you log per week, the better your running economy… meaning you use “less energy to run fast”.  Who wouldn’t want that?

I guess there are people who would argue that it’s better to vary the types of workouts you have so that you consistently burn lots of calories, but personally I’d rather be able to run and burn fewer calories per mile because it means I can go for longer without having to carry extra food with me.  There was a time in my life when exercise equaled calories burned, but now I run for my cardiovascular and well, mental, health. 

I’ve actually noticed over the years as I have upped my mileage that I am less ravenous after a run – regardless of distance, and feel much less drained and needing of a nap.  To me this is good news because I like running to be a part of my day, not to be the focal point of my day.  My life is punctuated by runs, My running is not punctuated by periods of rest & sleep.  Of course don’t get me wrong… I love biking, swimming, snowboarding, kayaking and a million other activities, but running probably has the biggest and most consistent presence in my daily life.

Why do I run?  I actually keep a list of reasons saved on my computer that I like to open and read occasionally for motivation.  I’d like to share my reasons with you (in no particular order of importance) – maybe they’ll change the way you look at running a little.

Why I run…

  • No matter how short the run, I get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment afterwards
  • A healthy immune system
  • Makes me appreciate my body and remember that true beauty is strength, health and endurance
  • Instant stress and tension relief
  • A complete escape from my thoughts – I can literally just “turn off”
  • An all over glow and relaxed, yet energized feeling afterwards
  • Provides an escape from the boredom of sitting inside
  • A chance to get outside and remember how beautiful nature is
  • Gives me an opportunity to talk to God
  • Makes me feel strong and like a true athlete
  • Makes me look at food in a different way; more as fuel and something to be thankful for than a source of stress or anxiety
  • After a run I always sleep better
  • After I complete really hard runs, or run in bad conditions, I feel like I can tackle any problem in my life
  • The more I run, the more pride I feel in taking care of myself
  • Makes my cramps go away!
  • Food never tastes as good as it does after a hard run
  • I love the way running makes my body look

Why do you run??

May 28, 2010 at 9:32 am 3 comments

Another use for chickpeas

Hey guys, hope you’re having a lovely Hump Day!  It’s gorgeous out here in NYC today and I finally feel like summer’s here.  I know, it’s not “officially” summer until June 21st, but since I’m not in school anymore my definition of summer says that once my office goes casual after Labor Day it’s here.

Yesterday I decided to run home from work again along the Hudson River… I seriously love that I’m able to do that!  I didn’t do the extra loop in the park I did last week since it was HOT, but going straight home it was still a solid 8.5 mi – not bad!  When I got home despite the a/c cranking out cold air in my apt I just didn’t feel like cooking up a hot dinner.  I had some cooked chickpeas stored in my freezer that were felling neglected so I decided to thaw them quickly for a quick spin on a dish inspired by an article in the NY Times by Mark Bittman a while back that I had saved.  He called it “Chickpea Tabbouleh” – I called it delicious.  😉  

Chickpea Tabbouleh (serves 4)

  • About 3 cups cooked chickpeas, chilled (canned is ok)
  • 1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil, plus more to taste
  • salt to taste

This is so simple!  Add you have to do is throw everything in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined and roughly chopped – I left mine with some whole chickpeas remaining because I didn’t want it to become too finely ground.  

I made a quick Tzatziki Sauce to pour overtop.  I used Greek yogurt for the fiance, but if I had more time/ingredients I would’ve used goat milk yogurt or cashews as the cream base since I’m lactose intolerant and unfortunately even 0% Fage doesn’t quite like my tummmy.  The tzatziki sauce was as follows:

Tzatziki Sauce (contains dairy)  

  • 6 oz. Fage 0% yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

I threw all of the ingredients in my Vita-Mix and pureed until a thick sauce formed.  It was so so good… I only wish I could handle more than just a small taste 😦  You could easily make this non-dairy by using coconut or soy yogurt though!

To put it all together I put some of the Chickpea Tabbouleh into a pita pocket along with sliced tomatoes, sliced radishes, chopped lettuce, diced cucumbers and topped it with a tiny dot of Tzatziki… I couldn’t resist.  I ate the other half in salad form and it was just as delish!  Such an easy summer meal… you will definitely see this one pop up again soon!

May 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm 1 comment

A different kind of commute

I accomplished my goal for yesterday – and then some!!  I had been wanting to try to run home from work for some time now, for both the challenge and to experience a new running route since open spaces for running in NYC are sorta hard to come by.  After work yesterday I changed into my running clothes, stuffed my work clothes and shoes into one of my drawers and locked it and grabbed by subway pass, ID and keys and hit the pavement!  I made sure not to bring my purse or wallet yesterday to reduce the amount of things I had to carry home with me.  I work waaaaay downtown – literally at the bottom point of Manhattan so I had a bit of a journey ahead of me up the West Side highway to get to Central Park, and then cross over to the Upper East Side.  I had no idea how far it would be so I took my trusty Garmin Forerunner 405

The West Side Highway running path was much nicer than I had expected!    Not only are you separated from the highway so that you’re not breathing in exhaust, but it goes alongside the Hudson River so I got a nice sea breeze as I ran along.  I even got to see the USS Intrepid on my way uptown! 

…it’s massive my friends!  I finally left the running path and made my way eastwards towards the park entrance at 72nd Street.  I looked at my Garmin and saw that it only took me 6 miles to get there – not bad!  When I got into the park I debated a little; cross directly at 72nd Street and head up to my apartment, or keep going?  The masochist in me won.  I almost think it’s a dangerous game for me to be reading the book Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes.  It’s a truly amazing book, but it definitely awakens the warrior inside me and makes me want to push myself further and harder.  

…12 miles later I found myself at the exit to the park, tired and exhilarated.  It was my longest run since the Boston Marathon in April and felt great!!  I’m actually considering making this a weekly occurence for me.  Maybe it won’t be 12 miles every time (it would have been just about 8 miles if I had gone straight home), but it’s just a nice and different way to end the work day.  Next time though I’m definitely going to remember to bring some of these suckers though in case I make it a long run again… 

I was kinda fading by the end.  These little Honey Stinger chews are great though if you’ve never tried them.  Processed foods and running gels/chews can do a number on my digestive system so I was so happy to find these a little while ago.  They’re organic and use honey as the main sweetener so it’s much gentler on your tummy.  Plus they contain sodium, potassium and magnesium; which helps prevent cramps during intense exercise.  Try them out!!  Enjoy the beautiful weather today everybody – I know I will! 🙂

May 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm 2 comments

Monster greens!

Happy hump day everybody!!  The weather here is still damp and cold, so I came home absolutely craving a baked potato this evening.  I just discovered this stuff called Delhi Saag made by Jyoti and I am so freakin’ in love!  I highly recommend this stuff as an alternative baked potato topping!  

I was clearly in a very green mood tonight because I ended up making a monster salad to go along with my potato.  Seriously, this picture doesn’t even begin to show you how massive it was… I used half a head of green leaf lettuce, half a cucumber, one plum tomato, a ton of spanish olives and a homemade dressing of dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, olive juice, salt & pepper.  Love, people; love.  

All together now!  

I’m sitting here downloading my morning run stats from my Garmin and I am shocked – my mile time has gone waay down!!  I ran 3.72 miles this morning with an average pace of 7:32!!!  Maybe I should change my name to Speedy: 😉  Well off to chillax and watch some Real Housewives action.  Gotta rest up because I’m planning to run home from work tomorrow!!   I think it’s about 8 miles, but let’s just hope I don’t get lost!!

May 19, 2010 at 7:46 pm 4 comments

26.2 miles

I did it!!  I finished the Boston Marathon on Monday in 3 hrs 37 min!!!  That race was hands down the most incredible experience of my life – the sheer difficulty with all the hills, the intensity of the crowd that pushed me forward – it was so unforgettable.  I actually re-qualified for Boston 2011 by running as well!  Here’s the race recap:  

Monday morning I was terrified… the buses were picking up the first wave runners (me) between 6-6:45 to get to the start, even though the race wouldnt begin until 10am.  This meant that the fiance couldn’t come with me and I’d have the deal with my nerves by myself – gulp!  

Thankfully the line to get on the bus lasted almost an hour so I had time to calm down and breathe before getting on the bus.  Once on the bus I met the NICEST man ever who was running his 6th Boston Marathon and calmed my nerves.  He even walked me to the port-a-John’s, then to drop off my bag at the baggage area, and then sent me off to the start since he was in the 2nd wave.  Runners are such nice people!! Mile 7 I started mentally talking myself down for some reason, but then I saw these guys plugging along and had renewed energy and resolve to soldier on (no pun intended)!  

The downhill portion worried me because I was afraid of going too fast, so the first 7 miles I made sure I was on pace to run a 3:50 marathon – slower than normal, but I wasn’t looking for a good time.  Then came the hills… oh man were they never ending!  Basically miles 16-21 were hellish.  Heartbreak Hill my rear-end – more like Heartbreaking HILLS.  

Finally the end was in sight!  I saw my sis and her husband and stopped for a quick hug and then continued on to the finish!  A little furry man was waiting to congratulate me at the end…

My biggest supporter 🙂  Thanks babe!

We walked back to the hotel for a quick beer before the loooong trip home.

I didn’t get back to my apt until 9pm!  Unfortunately for me, this meant I didn’t re-fuel properly and I am currently writing this from my couch as I have been sidelined and working from home the past two days.  Thankfully my boss is wonderful and understands.

My final thoughts??  I would definitely do this again.  I’m taking some time off running for a week and racing for a little while after that, but honestly, I’d love to run Boston again.  It was just so amazing and helped me get over my fear of races (even though it was my second).  Having to be by myself at the start and not see anyone until mile 25 made me realize I do have the strength to do this and I am a capable and incredible person.  Sometimes confidence can be found in the strangest places. 🙂

April 21, 2010 at 11:34 am 11 comments

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