Friday, December 31, 2010


{image credit: weheartit}

2010 was magical.  Truly.  And because I love so much how Nina summed up her year, I'm going to do the same.

In 2010, I...
It's been... a good year.  A very good year indeed.  Moving to NYC has been, without a doubt, one of the best decisions of my life.  I am so thankful to God, my family, and my friends (that means YOU!) for the outpouring of love and support throughout my transition.  I am STOKED for what 2011 has to offer!!  And with that, I leave you with my New Year's Resolutions... 

My word for 2011: FAITH 
It didn't take me long to decide on my word for 2011 - faith.  The latter part of 2010 required a great deal of faith on my part, and I definitely struggled with it.  It's something I've always struggled with actually.  I'm not talking about faith strictly in the religious sense (although that is definitely part of it).  I'm talking about faith in myself and my decisions, too.  I'm talking about trust.  Trusting moi and in the bigger plan.  So let's talk about faith!
  • Create monthly goals and blog about them - I used to be really good about this, but completely fell off the wagon.  I find that creating, thinking and discussing monthly goals increase the likelihood of my actually achieving them.  (Plus it makes my NYR list a heck of a lot shorter.)  Stay tuned for January's - it's a good one!
  • Create a budget (done!) and stick to it - I've already created my monthly budget in a fun, pink Excel spreadsheet.  Now I need to stick to it which means recording every single transaction and keeping myself accountable (even when I go overboard).
  • Read the Bible - I bought an awesome woman's devotional Bible a couple months ago and spent some quality time with it.  It helped me tremendously when I was going through a very dark period full of fear, uncertainty and loads of tears (namely when I was afraid I would never find a job and made the wrong decision to leave my cushy life in Austin).  Since I've started working, however, it has been sorely neglected.  I want to spend time with it, reading it like I would a good book (isn't that what it is, after all?).  I used to know the Bible SO well (aka when I was in grade school and went to Sunday school on a regular basis), and it's appalling how much I've forgotten.  My faith is important to me, despite the fact that I don't discuss it much on here, and just as I said last year, I want more spirituality in my life and to grow my relationship with God, and I think this is a great first step.
I'm ringing in the new year with all my NYC besties at my friend Will's apartment.  I'm thrilled that he's having a party b/c he lives about 7 minutes away from me (walking!), which means I don't have to deal with finding a cab on arguably the first night of the year to find a cab.  I haven't decided what I'm wearing, but I anticipate it will be short, sassy and sparkly!  (I also plan on having huge TX hair and fuchsia lips - tee hee)

What are your NYE plans?  STAY SAFE AND BE MERRY!  See you in 2011.  :D

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughts on Training

I feel a bit silly writing this post because my running pales in comparison to some I've seen on other blogs (like crazy but adorable Janae who ran TWENTY-EIGHT MILES the other day... just because).  That being said, this is all new to me, and I've gotten such wonderful feedback from all of you that I want to keep blogging about my training, and that's what this post is all about!  It's only fitting that I write this right before the new year because the first New Year's Resolution that popped into my head was to stick to my training.  Because lemme tell ya, I haven't been...

THE PLAN. The calendar below details my training plan for January.  December and the last bit of November looked the same, just with lower mileage.  But you see all those days marked "Yoga/Pilates" and "cross training" and "strength training"?  Yeah.  There are big F's over those days because F stands for FAIL, my friends.  But that will not be the case for 2011!!  I am going to do it ALL like a good little Half-Marathon runner, and you guys are going to help me stay accountable!
Sticking to the above will be a challenge, to say the least.  It has me essentially working out 6 out of 7 days a week, and lemme tell ya the last time I've done that... NEVER.  That is a whole lotta working out, and I know that there are tons of you who do this on a regular basis, and I applaud you for that, but I am so not one of you.  Well, I used to be not one of you, but that's all going to change next week!!  I am DETERMINED, y'all!  I want to get FIT and HEALTHY and TRAIN LIKE A ROCKSTAR!!!  Okay, maybe a little too much caffeine today. 

THE SACRIFICE. There are going to be some things I have to give up if I'm going to be said rockstar.  The hardest thing for me will definitely be social activities, particularly those that revolve around drinking and very late nights.  Both don't bode well for early long runs on the weekends, and even dinner/drinks/movie plans during the week mess up my training schedule.  Because I don't want to be a total, miserable recluse, I've decided that the best plan for me is to have a plan.  If I have a dinner date, then that means I have to do my workout in the morning (which I know I CAN do), and if I want to go out on the weekends, then I have to limit it to one night (aka not the night before my long run) OR I can go out and not drink (which, let's be honest, is not much fun).  Oh Lord, I can hear my friends sighing and groaning now!

THE EATS (aka the other sacrifice). I'm gonna be honest... I haven't been eatin' so well.  Now, I could blame the Holidays or the fact that running burns a lot of calories ("I have to refuel!!"), but the reality is that I just love food.  Lots of it.  I'm an equal opportunity eater, too.  I love brussel sprouts as much as I love french fries (well... almost as much), but I do love french fries.  I mentioned awhile back that I joined Weight Watchers, and yes, I am still a member.  Unfortunately, work has caused me to miss more than several meetings over the past couple of months, and not going means not thinking about it which means not tracking which means not losing.  My goal for the holidays was to just not gain anything, which I think I've successfully done.  But now, I have a new goal: to lose 10 lbs by February 20 (aka this day).  Pretty ambitious, but I think fully possible as long as I stick to the Program.  Thank G I have an awesome support group!  (TUESDAY HAPPY HOUR GALS, I'M TALKIN' ABOUT YOU!!!)  So french fries are OK, just not everyday and okay, maybe not always dipped in full-fat ranch (mmmm ranch).  ;)  Oh and I should probably lay off of these as well (thank G they are seasonal)...

(Candy Cane Joe Joe's from Trader Joe's aka a better peppermint oreo aka CRACK)

THE LIFE. Confession: I love being a runner.  I love that I ran 4.5 miles tonight like it was nothing, when a few months ago I could barely run a mile without stopping to walk.  I love the gadgets (like my big ole ugly Garmin) and the excuse to buy Lululemon clothes (don't read this, Mom!!).  Heck, I even love wearing my dorky compression socks complete with ice pack pockets!

Along with that love, however, comes fear.  I'm afraid that I won't be able to do it.  I'm afraid I'll fail.... again.  Last weekend, my 6-mile long run in California was beyond painful, and I couldn't help but wonder how the hell I was going to run 13.1 miles if I could barely run 6.  But that kind of thinking gets you nowhere so I pushed it out of my mind as best I could.  I. Can. Do. This.

THE FUTURE. From this point on, I'm going to be smart.  I'm going to take care of my body - train it properly, fuel it properly and thank it for doing what it's doing.  I know why my last 6-miler was so painful - it's because I'm trying to do too much too fast.  Every book, magazine article and runner will tell you not to increase distance and speed simultaneously.  But guess what I'm doing?  Uh huh...  Honestly, I blame all those darn healthy living/running bloggers that run sub-8 min miles all the time!  I need to use these blogs as motivation, not as a measuring stick.  I need to SLOW DOWN and just focus on finishing.  Remind me of that, will you??

Ok, here I go, time to be a rockstar!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowmageddon & What's to Come!

That's me and my new little man Koster.  He stayed at Ma Soeur's house w/ Lola and Sofie (Ma Soeur's dog) while his parents were away for the holidays.  He and I quickly bonded, and since Lola wouldn't give me the time of day, I made sure Koster spent a lot of time in my lap.  :D  Isn't he precious??

After 12+ hours of traveling, I am *finally* back in the City, and oh my, it's a sight to see!  Literally walls of snow on the sidewalks and lots of gross black slushiness.  I stepped into a massive snow puddle today and almost fell!  Thank goodness I was wearing rainboots.  They are a necessity in this city FO SHO.  Check out the pic of my street below!

Anyway, I'm back to work tomorrow, but it's a tres short week since I have NYE off - hurray!  My Roomie Annika and I were supposed to be the only ones home this week (the other 2 gals aren't returning until after the new year) so we had wild plans of Criminal Minds-watching and ultimate laziness.  Sadly her flight was cancelled, and she won't be back in the city until Friday night - BOO.  Once upon a time I would have relished the idea of having the entire apartment to myself for 4 days, but instead, I'm feelin' a little lonely!  Funny how things can change so quickly, eh?

I should probably go to bed since redeye = crappy 5 hours of sleep, but I've got some new stickers to play with so the chances are lookin' slim.  Wanted to let you know that I am planning to post my New Year's Resolutions this week, some of which have to do with this blog (which, I know, has been terribly neglected).  I've got some big decisions to make, but when I do, I'll be sure to share them!  

Have a WONDERFUL week, my loves!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

4 Miles: California-Style

Just got back from doing 4 miles in Ma Soeur's neighborhood.  It's beautiful, sunny and a downright balmy 50 something degrees outside.  I got so hot during my first 2 miles that I had to strip down to shorts and a tank for my last 2.  Admittedly it wasn't my best run, and I am D-Y-I-N-G to plug in my Garmin to check out my stats, but alas, I didn't bring my laptop or cord w/ me.  Ma Soeur's neighborhood is small, and so I had to get a bit creative to figure out to accomplish my 4 miles without looping the same loop about 15 times.  I used and found a good, albeit confusing 2-mile loop, which would allow me to stop for water.  Unfortunately, despite my studying the map for a good 10 minutes, I still got confused and spent the first 2 miles frantically going back and forth, trying to find my way.  Needless to say, by the time I got back to the house for a water break, I was annoyed, hot and tired.  For the last 2 miles, I decided to stick to a safe route.  I was pretty tired, and it didn't go quite as seamlessly as a 4-miler should at this point, but whatever, I finished.  I'm now inhaling hot cocoa and a breakfast pita and then will get ready to meet the gorgeous CRYSTAL for a coffee date in Santana Row.  Then, I will feast on a burger and french fries.  :D


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Morning & Merry Christmas

{image from: we heart it}

Hey, guess what? I haven't caught up on life yet.  And because yet another emergency arose at work this week, and because I'm flying out Wednesday night for California, I knew I'd have a difficult time fitting in my 4-mile run.  So I did something crazy.  I told Roomie Trois that I'd maybe possibly be willing to go to the gym with her in the morning... as in before work.

Let's back up a second - I am not (wow am I obsessed with italics or what??) a morning workout person.  All those people who say they get more energy if they work out in the morning?  Yeah, I call them all liars b/c that's never been the case for me.  So I knew I must've been smokin' something to even suggest the possibility of waking up before 6 am to run.  But once you tell Roomie Trois something like that, she won't forget it, and sure enough, when my alarm went off at 5:45 AM this morning, I got out of bed (albeit begrudgingly), and we headed out into the very dark, very cold early morning.  Destination: New York Health & Racquet Club.

Well... I might be a little more of a morning workout person now.  Don't get me wrong - I still hate it - but there are many perks to running in the morning, including but not limited to:
  • Less people (Caveat: There are less people than there are at 6 PM.  However, this is NYC, home of the Type-A crazies.  So it was still pretty busy.)
  • Higher likelihood of my fave treadmill being available (There are 2 treadmills, yes only 2, on which I will run.  Typically they are both taken, and I have to wait.)
  • No side stitches (I consistently get side stitches on my right side when I run.  It's friggin' annoying as hell, and I've tried just about everything to get rid of them.  But this morning when I ran, I had ZERO pain which was AWESOME!!  I think the fact that I had nothing in my stomach helped.)
  • Better bod?  (See this NYT article)
  • Smug feeling of satisfaction that lasts allll day and makes your coworkers want to shoot you after you've exclaimed for the tenth time that you went to the gym at 6 AM!!
 So... yeah, not sure why I had to make a bulleted list of all that OR even why I'm devoting an entire blog post to something that may never happen again (don't tell Roomie Trois), but there ya go.

OK, I've got one night to pack for my 5 night/6 day Christmas in California Trip (to see LOOOOOLAAAAA!!), and since I'm the world's worst packer, I should probably begin.  I'm super duper excited for my first Christmas in Cali, and my itinerary already includes a 90-minute deep tissue massage (SWOON), lots of running, yoga, pumpkin pie-eating and catching up with one of my fave blog friends.  I know I've been MIA lately, but I hope y'all know how much I love you!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

RUN: 6 Miles (and Potential Catastrophe)

I was a bad runner this week. In fact, the ONLY training I did this past week was to run 4 miles on the dreadmill on Monday. Aside from that, you wanna know what I did? I ate heavy, decadent food, TONS of Christmas sweets, and drank a lot of wine (and LOADS of champagne at Firm Holiday Party).  It's amazing that I even decided to do my long run this weekend, but I knew that if I didn't, I probably would never run again (yeah - I have that weird kind of mentality).  So after checking our the forecast and determining that Saturday would be a better day to tackle 6 miles than Sunday, I had a plan.  Wake up, eat bagel, allow bagel to digest, and head to Central Park.  Instead, I woke up late, ate a bagel and then some, and laid in Roomie's bed for a long time before finally deciding that I needed to GO. 

I fully anticipated a very painful run, and on a scale from 1 to 10, it was around a 7.  Because I had to do 6 miles, that meant I had to essentially run the perimeter of the Park, which also meant I had to tackle the so-called "Harlem Hills" (aka the bit of the Park above 102nd St.).  They were straight up miserable.  They are so twisty and turny and SO annoying uphill for so long that you honestly think the hill will never end.  Suffice to say, I stopped to walk.  A LOT.  And then around mile 4, I realized that my iPHONE WAS MISSING.  Stupidly, I moved my iPhone from its secure zippered pocket to my very unsecure front pocket, and sure enough, it fell out, and I didn't notice b/c Girl Talk was blasting in my ears, and I was cursing the hills.  Once I realized it was gone, I immediately turned back around and ran, stopping every single runner/cyclist/rollerblader/walker whether they had seen a phone.  "Nope."  I was starting to get all kinds of panicky and downright tearful.  I have a bad history of losing phones and to replace my new iPhone would be downright painful (especially sans a lawyer's salary).  I had just about given up hope on finding my phone (and the run AND life altogether) when I stopped a tiny Asian woman.  "Excuse me, have you seen a phone?"  "Oh yes - right there!"  She pointed to the sidewalk and there was my phone.  THANK SWEET JESUS!!!  My case is a little (okay, a lot) banged up, but my phone was A-OK!  I was SOOOOOOOO RELIEVED and literally thanked God about a million times. 

I found my phone around mile 4.5 and then proceeded to turn back around and continue my run (note: this meant tackling a hill I had already tackled - grr).  Around mile 5, I stopped and bought a Gatorade and then proceeded to stop frequently to sip said Gatorade so I wouldn't have to hold it (thankfully, I had gloves on this time).  Eventually I hit 6 miles and thanked God once again for helping me find my phone and finish my run.  It was at this point that I realized just how painful it was to walk.  Slowly but surely I found my way back to the subway and made it home.  Walking up my 2.5 flights of stairs?  Tres painful.  I iced, donned my super hot compression socks, showered, made a huge bowl of food, and then proceeded to lay in Roomie's bed (again) for the next several hours.  (My room was too messy.)  All in all, not a bad run considering.  Voila my stats:

Total Distance:  6 miles
Total Time:  59:03 
  • Mile 1:  9:24  (Had no idea I was going so fast - normally, my first mile is super slow.)
  • Mile 2:  9:47
  • Mile 3:  9:32
  • Mile 4:  10:29  (When I realized I lost my phone...)
  • Mile 5:  10:24  (Stopped for Gatorade and lots of Gatorade-drinking)
  • Mile 6:  9:25  (At this point, I just wanted to be DONE so I made it a point to hustle!)

I could've sworn my time would've been more than 60 minutes, but somehow I managed to be a speedy demon (well... for me, anyway) for 4 out of 6 miles and managed to finish under a 10 min/mile pace - AWESOME!  Honestly, I could care less about my speed - I'm more interested in finishing.  But the fact that my runs have become speedier has definitely been fun.

No pre-run picture b/c I looked downright uggo.  Also, the week of excessive eating and drinking left me bloated and quite... round.  I'm going to get all kinds of serious about my training in January.  That means weekly runs, long runs, cross-training, strength training, AND yoga and pilates.  Will write more about that later!  Hope you had a FABULOUS weekend, my darlings!  I'm off to a fun Art Show and to see Black Swan!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catching Up

Hello, my name is Carolyn, and I am behind on life.  Nonetheless, I am here to give you a quick recap of my petite life lately, namely my fantabulous weekend with my bestie from Austin. 

Saturday morning was the Jingle Jog 4-Miler in Prospect Park, and I know beaucoup of my twitter friends ran it, too!  Unfortunately I didn't get to see most of them as it was quite crowded.  Voila moi and Jenny before the race (I look exhausted b/c I got 3 hours of sleep the night before...):

I also look stupid b/c I'm wearing a fleece headwrap/earwarmer... not cute.  But a necessity when it's cold outside!  I was super nervous about the race for several reasons:

1. This was my first race in 5 years.
2. I heard that Prospect Park was HILL-y.  (It is, but it's nothing compared to the Harlem hills in Central Park!)
3. Jenny has run 2 Half's and is a fast (and ridiculously in shape) runner.
4. I never run that early in the morning.
5. I had nothing in my stomach except coffee and water b/c one of my roomies accidentally threw away my pre-race banana. :(

But the race went off without a hitch!  It was a gorgeous, sunny morning, and Christmas cheer was definitely in the air.  The first mile was extremely slow, as it was extremely crowded, but Jenny and I took off after that.  Here's a breakdown mile by mile:

Mile 1: 11:09 (so crowded - spent most of the time weaving)
Mile 2: 9:51 (picked up the pace! still tres crowded)
Mile 3: 9:06 (no idea what happened here but we were speed demons! at one point i looked down at my Garmin, and I was running at an 8 something min/mile pace - UNHEARD OF!!)
Mile 4: 9:36 (went way too fast in the last mile and started feeling it in the last 3/4 mile.  also, there was a giant hill at the very end which was nothing short of cruel.  still, i ran much faster than usual!)

The feeling of pride, satisfaction and relief that you get once you cross the finish line is like none other (as long as you ignore the thrown up hard-boiled egg at the finish line).  And this was just a 4-miler!  I can't WAIT for the Austin Marathon.  :D  Afterwards we sipped on hot cocoa and then made our way to Stone Park Cafe, a darling and absurdly delicious brunch spot in Park Slope.  Buttermilk pancakes, quiche, cheese grits, and lots of coffee were subsequently consumed.  YUM.

After brunch we headed home, showered, and spent the next several hours in bed, watching Eclipse, and falling in and out of sleep.  It was awesome.  The rest of the weekend was a blur of decadent meal after meal, a little shopping, a little ballet, and a little of me falling down the stairs... yeah.  Thankfully I'm okay and didn't twist anything, but I have got to be careful.  Last time I trained for a Half, I fell down some stairs and twisted my ankle.  No bueno.

Anyway, I've gotta run (literally - I have 4 miles to conquer on the dreadmill!), but just want to wish you guys HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  I can't believe that in just over a week, I'll be in California celebrating Christmas with my Lolabear!!

Monday, December 6, 2010


{photo from we heart it}

I am, if nothing else, honest, particularly when it comes to this blog.  As I began reflecting over 2010 and thinking about how/what I'd do to sum up the last year on Hang On Little Tomato, I started thinking about why I blog at all.  My blog, as I'm sure you've gathered, is extremely personal in nature.  I've never been afraid of being brutally honest about my life because guess what?  I'm not here to sugarcoat anything.

Last week I was catching up w/ an old friend on gchat, and she said something along the lines of "Your life sounds fabulous."  I laughed to myself, knowing that she was basing this statement on my tweets and occasional facebook updates.  Is my life fabulous?  Sure, sometimes, but I'm sure it sounds a lot more fabulous via Twitter/FB than it actually is.  Isn't that how it always goes?  Actually, one of the things I hate most about Facebook is that it's become a competition of "whose life sounds better?"  It's insanely annoying, and at times, depressing, especially when you feel like your life isn't going so well.  I know, I've been there.  Many a time.

So no, my life is not nearly as fabulous as it may sound, but it is pretty sweet these days.  For the past few weeks I've found it difficult to walk around and not smile.  How did I get here?  One year ago today, I had no idea that I'd be living in New York.  I had no idea that I would no longer be practicing law.  I had no idea that everything could change in such a short period of time.  And all for the better.  I am so so SO thankful.  I am so blessed.  I have been so ridiculously lucky.  I thank God about a million times a day.  I am grateful and want to share some of that gratitude with you. 

New York City... is my home now.  That continues to blow my mind every time I step foot outside of my apartment.  Despite all the annoying things about living here, this city has welcomed me with open arms.  I've adjusted alarmingly well (and much to my surprise), and I kind of can't imagine being anywhere else right now.  I love it.  I love it so much.

My social life... is completely different from where it was a year ago.  I think part of it is living in the city (it's almost impossible not to be super social here), but a lot of it has to do with the fact that for the first time in a couple of years, I want to be social.  Don't get me wrong - I still crave my alone time and solitude - I just don't need as much right now.  People warned me of how lonely NYC can feel, no matter how many friends you have.  But I haven't felt lonely at all.  I have a WONDERFUL support system here, and that, my friends, is priceless.

My roomies... rock my world.  I never, EVER thought I'd enjoy living with roommates as much as I have.  Granted, it hasn't always been easy (remember all the complaining I did early on??).  But these days, we've fallen into a wonderful and regular rhythm of living together and enjoying it.  Take this past weekend, for example.  Friday night Roomie Une and I were both exhausted and decided to have a chill night in.  We ordered pizza, shopped at a blissfully empty Trader Joe's, and then went to Borders at midnight to purchase Eclipse.  We then proceeded to make coffee, eat Candy Cane Joe Joe's (AMAZING!!), and stay up watching the movie.  It was one of the best Friday nights ever!  Saturday, Roomie Une, Roomie Trois and I got bundled up and headed to Friend of a Farmer for brunch.  We ordered beaucoup du cafe, pumpkin pancakes, and a ginormous breakfast burrito and chatted about everything.  We then hit up the Fifth Avenue shops for... well, a lot of shopping we probably didn't need to do.  ;)  Today, Roomie Trois got engaged, and I couldn't be happier for her (although I'll be tres sad when she moves out next year). 

My job... rocks my face off.  No, seriously, I never thought I could enjoy going to work as much as I do.  Even when we had our major emergency, and I had to work on the weekend and stay late on Friday nights, I still loved it.  And it has 99% to do with the fact that I adore the people I work with.  They are smart, hard-working, kind and FUN individuals, and I feel like I have a whole new family. 

My apartment... is a third floor walk-up in the heart of Chelsea, and it has a WASHING MACHIEN.  It's mere minutes from a great movie theater, Trader Joe's, my gym, and about a bizillion restaurants.  And my room, while small, has a decent sized closet and is pleasantly pink.  :)

My running... would not have taken off again had I not been here, surrounded by inspiring runners and a gorgeous park.

My life... is wonderful.  It's not always great.  My days have their ups and downs.  I still get pissed off, I still cry, I still wish that certain things could be different.  But overall?  I'm the happiest I've been in a very, very long time.  Merci, 2010.  You've been a good year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

5 Miles... Again

WONDERFUL long run in Central Park.  Definitely less "I want to die" than last week's 5-miler, which is funny considering I ran under a 10 min mile for most of it.  Also, it was mad chilly!!!  34 degrees yo.  I busted out the running tights and looked like a walking Lululemon ad...

Also, you can't tell from the pic, but my socks were purple and also Lululemon.  Yup... I'm ridic.

Was I warm?  Yes, while I was running, I felt great.  At times I even unzipped a little because my neck was getting too hot.  But afterwards my fingers were completely frozen (the Gatorade I held during the last mile decidedly did not help).  I am definitely getting my hands on some running gloves before my next run.  34 degrees is COLD, y'all.  Anyway, here are my stats!

Distance: 5.08 miles
Avg Pace: 9:55/mi
  1. Mile 1 - 9:53/mi
  2. Mile 2 - 10:17/ mil (HELLO, HILLS!!)
  3. Mile 3 - 9:41/mi
  4. Mile 4 - 9:48/mi
  5. Mile 5 - 9:59/mi
Calories Burned: 631 (which I then consumed in the form of a salted caramel hot chocolate)
Ascent: 807 ft
Descent: 893 ft

Not sure why I ran so much faster than normal, but whatevs!  I feel GOOD.  Currently icing my shins (those hills are brutal) then taking a very hot shower.  Tonight is Harry Potter!!

Have a WONDERFUL Sunday, mes amies!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bad Run

Tonight I had one of those runs.  You know, the kind where after you've barely finished, you're asking yourself how the HELL you're going to run 13.1 miles when you can barely run 3.5?  Yeah.  I don't know what was going on, but my body was not having it.  My chest felt like it was going to explode, I got a sharp pain under my bust (on the right side, bien sur), and my legs felt like lead.  I had to stop multiple times to "drink water" and every minute felt like an hour.  Miserable.  I know this happens, I know that every run can't be a good run, but what the heck??  How can I run 5 miles no problem on Sunday (with HILLS no less) and barely squeak out 3.5 tonight?  Depressing.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Give Thanks!

My Thanksgiving looked a little something like this:

{photo from]

No, really, it did!  Maybe on a slightly smaller scale, but I kid you not when I say my Mom makes several dishes for every meal, even if it's just for my Dad.  She's a rockstar!  And I ate TONS of her delicious food during my short visit to Texas.  Oh Texas... I sort of miss thee.  I missed Super Target and Chick-Fil-A, but really, I think my heart belongs in NYC.  Shh don't tell!! 

I DID, however, miss Momma Park immensely.  It had been SIX WHOLE MONTHS since I'd seen her!  So, naturally, we spent every waking (and sleeping) moment of my 3-night stay together.  Highlights included: 
  • eating a LOT (korean stews, grits, biscuits, bacon, persimmons, beer, candy, coffee)
  • going for a run together - I ran, and my Mom walked with water bottles so I could loop back around and take a swig when I got thirsty - genius!
  • inhaling Chick-Fil-A post-run - it was just as delicious as I remember
  • SHOPPING!!!  Mom bought me a new suit (3 sizes smaller than my old one - hurray!), 2 blazers, and a darling skirt.  All for work, of course.  :) 
  • TARGET!  The clothes were tres disappointing, but I scored some Hello Kitty slippers and some majorly cute Christmas stickers.  (I snuck them into the cart and at checkout, my Mom gave me the "Do you KNOW how many stickers you have at home???" look.  But she didn't take them out.  :D
  • Plane rides to and from w/ my dear friend David.  Despite my ridiculosity and general high-maintenance when it comes to flying, we had a good time.  And saw Lance Bass and Harry Connick, Jr.!
All in all, I had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!  How was yours??

Monday, November 29, 2010

RUN: 5 Mile Long Run

Central Park.  45 degrees.  Sunny. 

My stats:

Total Mileage: 5.02 miles
Avg Pace/Speed: 10:05/mi, 5.9 mph
Max Speed: 8.5 mph
Ascent: 844 ft (apparently this figure isn't terribly accurate on the Garmin, but either way, these hills were mad hard, dude)
Descent: 901 ft (sure felt like less than that...)

This run was surprisingly good, although my pace was all over the place.  My average pace was below my norm because after I stopped for a Gatorade at the end of mile 3, I ended up stopping a lot to drink it and finish it so I didn't have to carry it around (SO annoying).  I didn't have a great feeling going into the run (tired, cranky belly), and despite my inner voice screaming at me to wear tights, I wore shorts as suggested by Runner's World for today's temps and subsequently froze.  But I made it!  Afterwards, I made my way to the Starbucks at Columbus Circle for a tall extra hot 2-pump peppermint mocha (normally 3 pumps) to warm my hands (and soul).  Delish.

Monday, November 22, 2010

RUN: Adventures in Central Park


Why I Hate MTA on the Weekends


Why I Fear Public Transportation


How I Went to Central Park to Jog 4 miles and Got Lost

Okay enough of that.  Ready for my silly little story?  As planned, I woke up Saturday morning ready to tackle 4 miles in Central Park.  I was NERVOUS and EXCITED (yes, I tend to overreact over petite things - makes life more interesting?).  I got up early and got a bagel from Brooklyn Bagel (ironically not in Brooklyn, but in Chelsea) since I knew I'd need some energy and heard that white carbs were better to eat pre-run since they break down so easily.  I woke up extra early to eat since I have a tendency to not run well post-eating.  Anyway, suffice to say, I was READY, y'all.  Then I debated about what to wear.  The forecast called for sunny skies and temps in the lower 50's.  After much debate, I settled on running shorts and long-sleeve cotton tee.  I get SUPER heated when I run so I figured that I'd be fine despite the chilly temp.  Boy, was I wrong!  But more on that later.  First, the commute...

I headed down to the 23rd street stop to hop on the C line and take it all the way up to 72nd street and Central Park West.  When I got down there, I saw that an A train was approaching.  Okay... A train is an express train and therefore doesn't normally stop at 23rd street, but then I heard on the loudspeaker that A trains were making all local stops.  Sweet!  I hopped on and grabbed a seat.  Everything was great until we got to the Columbus Circle stop.  My stop was next - yay!  But the train wasn't slowing down.  In fact, it was speeding up.  And there went 72nd st... then 81st st... then 96th st... then 103 st... then 110th, then 116th, then FINALLY, we stopped at 125th.  Um, seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  This is why I hate taking the subway on the weekends.  So I got out and waited for entirely too long (another thing I hate about weekend subways) for a C train to arrive.  Hopped on the C and got out at 72nd.  FINALLY.

Of course, at this point, I really had to pee.  But there were no restrooms to be found, and I really wanted to get this party started.  Oh, I was also freezing.  I turned on my Garmin and waited for it to find satellites... well it proceeded to find satellites for the next 5 min to no avail.  Argh!  I couldn't wait any longer so I pressed START to start the timer and started running.  About 5 minutes later, my navigation finally kicked in, but at that point, it was totally off in regard to mileage and pace since I made the mistake of starting the timer before the GPS.  Dummy.

I planned to do the 4-mile loop aka the route marked with red dashes in the map above (except for the last bit on the right side).  According to everyone, the loop is easy to follow, and it is very obvious as to where/when you need to turn.  But stupid me... stupid me was not paying attention.  I saw the 102nd street transverse, I know I did.  It wasn't terribly obvious and I don't think it was marked as 102nd St, but I remember passing it thinking, "WHOA that's a big hill - good thing I don't need to turn there!"  Uh huh... stupid.  Because I proceeded to then run up to the very top of the park where there are even bigger hills - hurray!  And because I couldn't remember that I was supposed to turn and not run up to the very top of the Park, I was completely unaware.  Also?  As you can see by the white upper loop in the pic above, it's super twisty turny up there, so I couldn't figure out which way I was going.  I just assumed I would hit 4 miles and find myself exactly where I started.  Nope...

Instead, I ran and ran and then realized that 40 minutes had passed.  I typically run around 10 min miles when I do my long/easy runs at the gym so I figured I should be somewhere near ending my loop.  But it was nowhere to be seen.  In fact, nothing looked remotely familiar.  I decided to run for a little longer in case my pace had just significantly slowed, but finally, around 43 minutes, I decided I was in need of some Gatorade and a friggin' map.  So I stopped, walked up to a vendor and bought a Gatorade and asked him where I was.  84th street.  EIGHTY-FOURTH STREET.  WTH?  I'm supposed to be back on the WEST SIDE of the Park at SEVENTY-SECOND, not on the EAST SIDE at 84th!  I was tres confused.  And FREEZING. 

At this point, I was completely frozen, exhausted, and confused.  I wanted to hail a cab and call it a day, but I knew there was no reason whatsoever to take a cab, so I crossed back to the west side and made my way to the 72nd street stop.  Luckily, a C train was approaching right when I got there - my first bit of good luck all day - yay!

Once I got home, plugged in my Garmin and looked at a map, I realized where I went wrong.  I was on the 6-mile loop, not the 4-miler, and my mileage/pace was all out of whack b/c the GPS didn't kick for several minutes.  Whatevs.  I inhaled some food and took a very, very hot shower.

As for the run itself, well it was fantastic.  Seriously, the Park was GORGEOUS, fall foliage everywhere, and people-watching was so fun!  Runners, bikers, families, couples, friends - everyone was enjoying the Park - it was lovely.  And the 4 miles flew by, even with the hills and completely lack of knowledge as to where the hell I was.  I was in love.  Oh, and yes, I was completely and totally freezing the entire run.  It was windy, and I was in a cotton tee which meant that whatever little I did sweat did nothing but make my shirt very cold and wet, which made for a tres uncomfortable subway ride home. 

So I did what any normal girl would do.  I got home, ate, showered, got dressed and then headed straight to Lululemon where I invested in some running tights and a jacket.  :D 

In other news, according to my Garmin (which I'm going to name btw... any suggestions?), these are my stats:

Distance: 3.47 miles (LIE)
Avg Pace: 12:53/mile or 4.7 mph (LIE)
Max Speed: 9.7 mph (seriously?? that's awesome!)
Calories Burned: 450 cals (LIE... was definitely more which is AWESOME!)
Ascent: 804 feet (um, is that a lot?  b/c it sure does sound like a lot)
Descent: 826 feet

Needless to say, j'adore my Garmin.  I just wish it wouldn't take so darn long to find satellites!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1, 2, 3...

(as in Britney...)  Last night at work, I repeatedly told myself that no matter how late I got out, I would go to the gym and run.  I even called my gym to see what time they close to make sure that I could get there AND had dinner so I couldn't complain of being hungry and therefore not going.  Luckily, I got out relatively early (at least for this week - 7:30), raced out home, changed, and excitedly headed out.  I was so unbelievably excited for a chance to run that I almost forgot to feel fear that because I hadn't run in an entire WEEK, it wouldn't go so well.   I hopped on my favorite treadmill and I swear, the first 1.5 miles felt like I was floating.  It felt so good, so easy, so normal.  Of course, after that, I felt a side stitch flaring up and decided that I cannot eat for at least a good 2 hours before running or it will hurt me.  Nonetheless, I completed the 3 miles with flying colors and felt like a new woman.  Note to self: When in doubt, run.

I also set up my Garmin last night so that it will be ready to go for my weekend long run in Central Park.  Central Park (supposedly) has an entire road system conducive to training (markers, lots of water fountains, etc.).  I snagged this map off the NYRR website and plan to follow their 4-mile route.
My friend David is having his birthday party on Saturday night, and since I want to enjoy myself, I think I'm going to do my run on Saturday instead of Sunday.  The hardest part of training (at least what I think will be the hardest part) will be saying "no" to social outings, ESPECIALLY on the weekend.  When I trained for a Half in college, I often skipped my long run in lieu of something fun, and that was a very, very bad idea.  I'm not saying I have to follow this training to the letter, but I want to follow it as closely as possible.  Here's my training guide btw (which begins the Monday after Thanksgiving!):
I plan to blog a LOT about my training once it officially stops, so I apologize to those of you who don't care.  I'm doing it partially for my readers who are interested and partially for me to stay motivated.  Now it's time to refill my coffee cup and head to work!  LOVEYOUMISSYOUMEANITBYE!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life Lately

I haven't run a single mile since signing up for the Austin Half.

This is not (just) because I've been a little lazy. It's also because a minor, okay MAJOR, emergency came up at work on Friday, and since then, I've been working. A lot. Like coming in on Sunday a lot. And working until 10 pm on Monday a lot. Tonight I got home relatively early, but was way too tired to even think about putting on my running shoes. This is no bueno.

In other news, I got my Garmin, and I fully intend on busting it out this weekend while I bang out 4 miles around Central Park. That is, of course, assuming I don't have to work.  A girl can dream, right?

But even though I'm tired and fat and bloated and lookin' a little... not so good lately, and even though I want to do nothing but collapse into bed and sleep for 24 hours straight, I'm actually loving how dynamic my new work environment is.  And I like being involved in this project/emergency even though it has completely taken over my life lately.  See?  I can be glass half-full sometimes.

Oh I'm also insanely behind on blogs and twitter.  Forgive me.

Friday, November 12, 2010


{photo: we heart it}

So... I did something kind of impulsive yesterday.

I am taking Fit for Fall to a whole new level.

I signed up to run the half marathon in Austin next February.

February 20, 2011, to be exact.
And I'm kind of freaking out about it.

But truthfully, I am stoked.  I missed out on doing a half once, and it's always bugged me.  And I figured, well, why not go back to Austin and do one?  I was planning a trip to Austin early next year anyhow.  I apparently only need 12 weeks to train.  And even though I can barely run 4 miles right now, surely I can figure out how to run 13.1 by February...


So I signed up.  Then I went to the gym and proceeded to have the WORST run of my life.  I ate hummus and pita about 20 min before doing it, and I hope they are the culprit b/c OW.  Every step hurt, and I got the worst side cramp of my life.

But I am MOVING ON!  I am following Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training guide, and I am getting myself one of these bad boys as soon as I get paid (I know - it's majorly uggo).  I am excited/terrified/worried, but it is all good, my friends.  I have the most ah-mazing support system - YOU guys (love your tweets!!), my roomies (soooo supportive, so "you can do it!!", and Roomie Trois is going to help me strength train), my friends (a few of which have run half marathons themselves).

I am a lucky gal.  

Oh and my family?  Well, I know they'll support me, but I also know what their responses will be.  My Mom and Dad will say, "Really?  You're going to try... again?  What if you injure yourself??  It's not good for you!"

Ma Soeur (and this IS, in fact, how she responded): "Girl, you crazy!"

I AM crazy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I had a wonderful weekend at the Cape. We went to a darling town called Chatham (I incorrectly pronounced it Chay-thum all weekend and it stuck so it will forever be Chay-thum to moi).  It was an extremely short trip, and most of it was spent in the car (5-6 drive each way), but I couldn't have asked for better company.  It was a road trip in every sense of the word: pit stops at sketchy gas stations for Sour Patch Kids and Twizzlers, eating at Wendy's for dinner (needless to say, I didn't get much), on-the-road games, and lots and LOTS of singing.  We are ALL singers in some capacity so there was serious harmonizing and belting going on.  It was dorky and AWESOME!!

Anyway, my friend David took most of the pics, so for now, I'll leave you with this one.  It was taken outside a bookstore on the darling main road of Chatham by a camera in the window.  Basically we walked by and realized that the camera takes a pic of the street every 30 minutes.  We just happened to get there at 3:28 PM so we HAD to stop and get snapped.  Et voila!

I absolutely adore these guys.  Spending that much time w/ them only reinforced my love for them, and they are probably the top reason my move to NYC has been so seamless. 

Hope y'all had a lovely weekend!  I'll be back to regular posting soon... lots to share.

Friday, November 5, 2010


{photo: weheartit}
Lately I've noticed that I've taken on some characteristics I never thought I would.  Some of these are good, some are bad, but all around, I'm pretty pleased.


I've become a person who...
  • looks forward to going to work and doesn't mind staying late
  • smiles for the majority of the day
  • can't wait to go running every other day and gets upset if life gets in the way
  • is disgusted by smell and sight of meat cooking
  • writes 750 words most mornings before work

I've become a person who...
  • feels the need to eat crappy candy (Twix, Kit Kat, etc.) every afternoon (I entirely blame Hallowen)
  • thinks that puffy jackets can be cute 
  • drinks Coke Zero when it's around
  • can't live without her iPhone
All in all, I'm feeling extremely lucky and incredibly grateful.  Life is good.  I cannot complain.  And tonight I'm road tripping to the Cape for a cozy weekend w/ dear friends.  Have a good one!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Autumn Love

I love the word autumn although I feel that it's infrequently used. I've been loving this Autumn, and despite how little free time I have now that I'm working (forgot just how time consuming a full time job can be :P), I try to stop and enjoy the beautiful season surrounding me.  My Autumnal life looks a little something like this...

admiring the foliage

decadent brunches at cozy neighborhood eateries

This mushroom toast (thick grilled potato bread topped with ricotta, soft scrambled eggs, and oodles of wild mushrooms) was absurdly good.

(and icing painful shin splints... ouch)

(yes, those are frozen TJ veggies)

spending quality (and sorely missed) time in funky 
lower east side salons

late meals with long lost friends

How are you filling these beautiful fall days?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

R to the Zoe: Halloween NYC-Style

I'm not gonna lie - by the time Saturday night rolled around, I was in NO MOOD to go out. I was tired and wanted an early night. But. I rallied. And my roomies and I kicked off the party with pizza and booze. :D As I sang along to Lady Gaga and Britney, I did Roomie Deux's makeup. Can you guess who she is?

Here's another hint...
That's right... she was JEM!  I think I want to be Jem next year because hello, she wears nothing but hot pink.  Didn't I do a good job on her makeup?  I was pretty impressed with myself, if I do say so myself.  ;)

My costume was super easy because I already owned everything!  I tried to find some cheap blonde hair extensions, but it just wasn't happening.  I decided to go as a brunette, Asian Rachel Zoe.  :D  

The real RZ...

And moi!

Costume included:
- signature RZ faux fur vest (this is actually the RZ brand haha)
- big sunnies
- giant Starbucks cup full of tea
- big hair (or at least she used to have big hair...)
- gobs and gobs of gold and sparkly jewelry (you can't see, but I'm wearing 3 necklaces, one watch, 3 oversized rings, and about 10 bracelets)
- oversized bag (hers is the Birkin, mine is Mulberry for Target... b/c I didn't have $15k to spend)
- burgundy lips
- dark nails (Chanel Vamp is actually a shade Rachel wears - I'm authentic like that)

My dates for the night are childhood favorites...

I even hung out with Snooki!

Later that night, at another party, I ran into my old friend Harry Potter.  He did his thang and turned my tea into something a bit more festive.  :)

And THEN my hubby Rodger walked in!  He was cracking me up...

(This guy wasn't dressed as Rodger, but he kind of looks like him, AND he said he dressed like him last year, so I figured I'd play along.)

All in all, it was a pretty fabulous night!