Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day! Oh wait... no.

Now, I realize I'm from the South and we don't know how to handle ice, let alone snow, but when the streets look like this and New York City Public Schools and Non-Emergency Government Offices are closed, I just don't think my office should be open.

I snapped these on my way home from the gym.  That's right - after an entire week of once again not working out (I may or may not have fallen asleep at 5:45 pm last night...), I woke up at 6:15 and walked to the gym in and over mounds of unshoveled snow.  5 miles done and feeling gooooood.

Maybe I'll make myself a big bowl of this:

Flax oatmeal w/ maple syrup, bananas, peanut butter, and cacao nibs (yes, I found some of those cute spoons all the healthy living bloggers use - they are condiment spoons from Crate & Barrel)

Or maybe I'll wait until I get to work and get a biscuit & gravy.  Thursday = biscuits & gravy day at our cafeteria, and lemme tell ya something, they are so worth the calories.

Gotta finish icing and sipping coffee and hop in the shower.  Running super late!!  LOVE YOU!

Monday, January 24, 2011

On Slowing Down and Being Lame

 After my kickass week, this week was a little... less kick ass. Actually it was quite the opposite and involved me waking up around 2 am on Wednesday morning dripping with sweat and shivering. Helllooooo, fever! After downing some Tylenol PM and forgetting to turn off my alarm, I was awoken at 6:30 am by my iPhone, urging me to go to the gym and run 5 miles.  HA.  Did not happen.  Emailed my manager and fell back asleep.  Slept on/off all day checking my Blackberry in a panic and responding to emails (was not a good day to be out.  I'd like to say I got a good amount of rest (I did), but I was sleeping whilst stressed which is never good.  

The rest of the week wasn't much better.  Although my fever subsided (thank gawd - achiness is the worst), I've been fighting fatigue and a complete lack of energy.  Needless to say, I didn't follow my training schedule at all.  In fact, it wasn't until Friday morning that I hit the gym for a quickie 3 mile run at 1.0% incline (surprisingly much harder than 0.5%).  Saturday I revisited Prana for a super sweaty hot yoga session only to learn that their heater wasn't working.  I was quite disappointed as it was positively frigid outside, and my muscles desperately needed to be warmed up. 

Today was my scheduled long run of 9.0 miles.  Needless to say, it didn't go quite as I expected.  Because the forecast called for a windchill in the single digits, I knew I'd have to complete my run on the treadmill.  I had hoped to watch Bones via my Netflix app on my iPhone, but then I discovered that my gym doesn't have wifi.  Grr.  I still had my iPod, but it did little to pep me up.  Each mile felt like torture, and at any point I could've hopped off and passed out in moments.  I felt exhausted.  I have no idea how those 9 miles got done (very, very slowly with lots of water/walking breaks).  I felt a small boost of energy after I took my Gu at mile 4.5, but it died quickly.  Worst.  Run.  Ever.

On top of that, I found it nearly impossible to walk after my run.  I crawled home, up my stairs, pulled on my compression socks and a bag of frozen peas and collapsed into bed.  It took at least an hour for me to work up the energy to get into the shower.  I'm still not feeling 100%.  I may not even be feeling 50% to be perfectly honest.

All this has me quite down.  I know my body is telling me to slow down, but it's so hard.  Less than one month until I'm supposed to run 13.1 miles on an incredibly hilly course in Austin.  I've no idea how I'm going to do that.  Nonetheless, I must listen to my body, and when it urges me to slow down, I will attempt to listen. 

Part of listening involves something that I'm actually quite enjoying about my training - being lame.  I actually abhor the word "lame," as it does not at all describe my current behavior.  That behavior consists of not going out, getting wasted, stumbling home and spending the next 24 hours dying of a hangover, eating greasy food and trying not to throw up.  When I first moved here, I went out a lot.  And it was fun!  It was very fun.  But I was new to the city, trying to make new friends and get acclimated.  I also wasn't working full-time and training for a Half-Marathon.  I've always thought "going out" was overrated, and at this point, I have absolutely no desire to.  A New Year's Eve party or an occasional outing?  Sure!  Dinner and drinks?  Oui, I LOVE doing that kind of stuff.  But going to bars/clubs?  They are fun on special and rare occasions and not at all an activity in which I should be indulging at this time.

Unfortunately, most people my age don't agree with me, and it's quite annoying trying to explain myself and listen to people call me "lame."  It reminds me of my life in Austin and my lack of friends with similar interests and values.  Why is it not okay for people my age to not get wasted all the time?  I feel like such a freak sometimes, but then I remember what I'm not missing out on, and I'm fine.  My dear roomie whom I love and adore actually said to me, "How can you NOT go out at all this weekend?"  (Then again, she's 22 so yeah... whole 'nother ballgame.)  Ugh.  Get over it, people. 

Ok, I'm done complaining.  Here's to hoping for a better week all around. 

{image: we heart it}

Monday, January 17, 2011

10k, Veggie Burgers & Question 4 Runners

My Sunday in a nutshell (or not...):

10k - I decided to run my 10k "race" along the West Side Highway instead of going all the way to the Park.  The WSH is a mere 10-15 min walk from my apartment, and I thought it'd be the perfect place to to get in 6.2 miles as easily as possible.  After a very large everything bagel and a Bones episode, I got dressed, filled my camelbak for the first time ever, and headed out.  It was beautiful, sunny and a frigid 35 degrees with a windchill of who-knows-what-but-it-was-friggin-cold.  My run was so-so.  Not particularly good, not particularly bad (no bra strap-snapping - hooray!).  I was pretty much frozen by the time I was done, and when I spotted the new New York Burger Co. at 10th Ave, I knew I had to stop in.  After defrosting, I ordered a black bean burger and fries (best fries EVER) and headed home.  Which brings me to my next topic...

Veggie Burgers - Why can't anyone in NYC make a decent veggie burger?  I've ordered several, and they are all the same - MUSHY, blah, and incapable of staying together.  SO annoying.  Austin, on the other hand, makes EXCELLENT veggie burgers.  Hut's, P. Terry's, East Side Cafe... I miss you.  NY Burger Co's was, of course, a massive disappointment.  Never.  Again.

Question 4 Runners - My runs this week were all less than stellar.  More than anything, I just felt tired and unable to master the distances each required.  I want to blame the fact that this is the first week I've actually done all the other workouts I'm supposed to for my training, and because of that, my body is tired, sore and flipping out at the thought of having to run on top of yoga, pilates, 30 Day Shred, pushups and then some.  Runners, please tell me that's what it is and that my body will catch up and realize all this other stuff is supposed to make me a better runner instead of a runner who wants to die at the thought of running more than 1 mile at a time??  

Weekend - The rest of my weekend has been productive, relaxing and shop-y.  I scored some nice spin shoes at Sid's Bike Shop for 40% off (plan to go to Spin on Wednesday and can't wait!!), and I bought a waterproof/wind-shielding and incredibly cute and surprisingly flattering running jacket at Lululemon for a kind of outrageous price.  BUT, in my defense, these are two things that have been on my list, AND they completely fit into my budget.  So THERE.

EXCITED to have Monday off!!!  I plan to meet my friends in TriBeCa to WRITE and then to go to a hot yoga class at my gym.  Do you have Monday off?  Any fun plans??

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week in Review: Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Not trying to brag or anything, but I kind of kicked ass this week as far as my training is concerned...

Monday - tough Pilates class
Tuesday - REST
Wednesday - 4 mile run (supposed to be 5 but my abs/legs were sooooo sore from Pilates)
Thursday - cross-training (did levels 1 and 2 of 30 Day Shred & push-ups)
Friday - 5-miler in the morning before work

I originally planned to go to the gym Thursday night, but it was so cold out, and I reallllly didn't want to go anywhere.  So I busted out my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD.  What's funny is that I used to love this DVD because the workouts are only 20 minutes long, but still kick your ass.  But this night, I immediately thought, "Hmm, I should do two levels if I want to get a decent workout."  Sure enough after doing Level 1, I wasn't nearly as tired as I should've been (or used to be).  So I did Level 2, and then I was ready to be DONE.  :D 

I also decided it best to move my Friday runs to before work because let's be honest, who wants to go to the gym on a Friday evening??  I'm SO glad I made it even though it was something like 8 degrees (windchill) when I got up this morning!

My weekend will look something like this...

Saturday - hot yoga @ Prana
Sunday - 10k "race" (just gonna do 6.2 miles either in the Park or on the treadmill if it's too cold) & pushups

I honestly don't know who I am right now.  I'm turning down social events, not drinking and basically turning my life upside down in order to run and workout when I need to.  Who knows, maybe I'll get REALLY crazy and actually start eating really healthily, too.  ;)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fourth Resolution

I'm adding a 4th New Year's Resolution to the list
  • Run 520 miles in 2011 (aka 10 miles/week)

Monday, January 10, 2011

8 Miles & Hot Yoga

This morning I woke up and ran 8 miles in Central Park.  Who am I?

It was beautiful.  I haven't been to the Park since the blizzard and the snow day on Friday.  I couldn't believe how much snow was still there.  The Park looked completely different.

I wish I could say my run went smoothly, but of course it didn't.  It all started with the subway ride...  I waited FORTY-FIVE MINUTES for the right train to come.  By the time I got to the Park, it was 10:45 am, I was freezing and I had to tinkle really, really badly.  But of course I got off at 72nd to do two of the 4-mile loop, and the only public bathroom I'm aware of is closer to the Columbus Circle entrance so I held it.  And it was uncomfortable. 

I was also uncomfortable b/c I was so cold.  It took me forever to warm up, and by the time I did, I finally got to the bathroom and so I stopped.  Back out in the cold, I felt stiff again.  I took my first Gu this run (vanilla bean - really does taste like vanilla pudding) around mile 4.6 , and I think it went well.  Didn't upset my stomach, but I definitely had to take it with water. 

At 5.5, my left bra strap came unhooked.  Yup.  I was wearing a Lululemon bra that strangely is no longer on their website.  It has maximum support, and so I like to wear it on my long runs.  I do not, however, like that the straps come so easily unhooked.  I mean, what up with that, Lululemon??  When I pay more than $50 for a bra, I expect more than that.  The annoying thing was is that in order for me to fix my bra, I would've had to stop, find another bathroom (or return to the one I know), take off ALL my top layers and the bra and fix it.  At mile 5.5, I was not having that.  So I spent the rest of the run awkwardly trying to, um, hold/support my left breast.  It was not fun.  I was super annoyed.  People looked at me.

But I did it.  I finished the 8 miles, caught the subway in good time and went home to a very, VERY hot shower.  I've not been able to get warm all day.  Definitely sleeping with a very hot water bottle tonight.  :D

Not only did I complete my 8 mile run, but I had a pretty easy 4.5 mile on Friday night AND went to hot yoga on Saturday.  Hot yoga does not equal bikram.  I've never taken a bikram class, and I have no desire to.  I don't think I'd like it.  Hot yoga for me equals heated vinyasa, which I LOVE.  The amount of sweat that exited my body during that 75 minutes is kind of unbelievable.  My tank top was completely soaked through (much to my roomie's dismay) so I took it off and just wore my Nike pullover back home.  SMART move considering it was 30 degrees outside.  Brr!  Winter is officially here, my friends!  I'm feeling PUMPED about the fact that I did all my training this weekend.  I plan to tackle this week with the same fervor and determination. 

The rest of my Sunday was pretty productive as well.  After my run I had brunch with my gorgeous friend David, and then we met up with other friends who are also participating in NaNoWriMo.  We spent next couple hours at the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca attempting to write.  It went... okay.  I couldn't really get into the zone, and I find it incredibly hard to believe that I'm going to be able to write 50,000 words by February 3.  But um... here's to trying!

Few questions for ya...
  1. Any tips on how to get into the writing zone??  I haven't written lengthy papers in so long that I can't quite remember how I did it.
  2. I stopped for a pretty substantial time today during my run to go to the bathroom, get my water and take my Gu, etc.  Do you think that stopping like that negates the point of a long run?  In other words, is it really an 8 mile run if I don't run it nonstop?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Things I'm Loving: Trader Joe's Edition

First and foremost...

If you're one of the unlucky who does not have a Trader Joe's in your area, then I apologize in advance.  Because it's pretty much one of the best things that's happened to me since moving to New York.  If you do have one in your area, then read on!  I discover something new at TJ's almost every week so I hope you find something new and delicious here. 

[NOTE: Not all these things are particularly healthy.  I focus on the packaged goods b/c that's what is Trader Joe's-specific, not because I think processed food is good for you!)

Jalapeno-Cilantro Hummus

I know it sounds weird, but it's creamy, spicy deliciousness and goes perfectly with pita, crackers, crudite, and your fingers.  I LOVE this stuff.

Wintry Blend

Only the best winter coffee blend ever.  Unfortunately it's seasonal, so your TJ's may have already stopped carrying it.  But DO NOT FEAR, it will be back!  I do not exaggerate when I say I've been drinking this stuff for the last 2-3 months every. single. morning.  Also?  I may or may not be hoarding them in our pantry.  (There are currently 6 canisters left.  I'm getting nervous.)  My favorite?  Mixing it with TJ's special Gingerbread blend.  HOLIDAY JAVA GOODNESS!

Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls

Little bites of heaven!  Seriously, they are minty, chocolatey goodness and end up not being that awful calorically b/c of its small size.  (Of course that's assuming that you don't eat 3 at a time.)

Organic Shells and White Cheddar

I know I know... it's boxed macaroni and cheese.  But unlike the blue box, this stuff is organic and every ingredient in the ingredient list is readable and recognizable.  I don't eat this stuff a lot, but I try to always keep a box on my shelf for emergency meals (like the other night).  I always add broccoli (frozen works great), LOTS of black peppers and a little parmigiano reggiano.  I try not to eat the entire box in one sitting.

Vegetable Masala Burgers
I've already waxed poetic about these.  Bottom line?  Get them.  I know 2 people in my NYC life who bought them after reading my blog, and they are huge fans.

Frozen Organic Brown Rice

It's much cheaper than the Whole Foods version.  It's organic (there's also a non-organic version that's a tiny bit cheaper, but come on...).  It's fast, easy, and tasty, and I always have a box in my freezer.  (I cannot say the same for the organic frozen jasmine rice - it doesn't taste like jasmine rice at all.  It tastes like very mediocre white rice.)

Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins

These aren't TJ's brand, but they sell them at mine, and they are most definitely cheaper there than any other grocery store in the city.  I used to be a cereal-a-holic.  You know, the kind who eats multiple bowls a day, and not the one serving bullshit kind of bowl (I mean, 3/4 cup is NOT a serving), but like the really big bowl with lots of milk kind.  Because of these tendencies, I tend to not buy it.  But I bought a box the other day and have really been enjoying it as a light breakfast or snack.  The puffins are individually sized so perfectly that I only need one for a good bite, and that's how I eat.  One puffin in a spoonful of milk per bite.  Delicious.

Other things I buy regularly that are way cheaper than they are at Whole Foods:
  • fruits and veggies (I hate how TJ's packages some of their produce b/c the packaging is so wasteful and excessive, BUT, I like how cheap the organic options are)
  • organic peanut butter
  • organic raw honey (comes in a jar and is as raw as it gets)
  • maple syrup
  • organic olive oil
  • salt, pepper and spices (limited selection, but CHEAP)
  • Almond Breeze
  • greek yogurt w/ honey (my store carries the TJ brand and Fage - the TJ brand is way cheaper and just as good!)
  • frozen veggies of every variety
  • frozen fruit (for smooooothies)
  • nuts & dried fruit (actually I don't buy these much b/c I don't eat them that often, but this is a great place to get them - huge selection, well-priced)
  • ground flax (they have a version with dried blueberries - it's delicious)
  • pita bread, sliced bread, pizza dough (the dough is fresh, comes in a big mound, and is 99 CENTS, y'all...)
  • pasta sauce (my sister and roomie adore the Organic Vodka Sauce)
  • fresh ravioli (found in the refrigerated section - I like the portobello mushroom one, but am eager to try the others)
I'm sure there are plenty more things I could add, but I think that will suffice for now.  Seriously, I do 99% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and then go to Whole Foods to supplement.  My grocery bills have literally been cut in half since my TJ's opened.  Me and TJ?  We are in the middle of a mah-jor love affair, and I hope it never ends...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Week in Review & Best Celeb Sighting Ever

WOWZA what a week!!  It went by pretty quickly, I will say that, but goodness, it was exhausting.  I'm THRILLED it's Friday and have a brief moment to let y'all know how my week went!

Training. Um... fail.  My first week in 2011, and it was a huge massive fail, and yes, I'm upset about it.  Basically, my yoga plans for Tuesday fell through when I realized that I forgot ALL my important yoga gear (way too sleepy that morning), my run on Wednesday morning was cut short b/c I woke up too late so I only got in 3 miles instead of 4.5, and I failed to cross-train on Thursday morning b/c I was EXHAUSTED when my alarm went off at 6:30 AM.  Thursday night I had dinner plans (hence the early morning workout plan) at Locanda Verde, and some of y'all know that I had a verrry exciting celebrity sighting!!

Yup, Meryl Streep just chilling at the next table.  EEK!!!  Best. Celebrity. Sighting. EVER. 

Anyway, despite my awful week of not following my most important January goal, I am moving onward and upward.  Today after work I am doing my 4.5 mile run, Saturday I'm dong some verybadlyneeded hot yoga, and Sunday I'm doing 8 miles (......). 

Nanowrimo.  I'm not sure what to say about this except that I'm doing it (along with three friends!), and I have written NOTHING.  We technically started on January 4... yeah.  I am behind.  We are having a writing party at the B&N in Tribeca this Sunday, and I am STOKED!

I have a tres busy weekend ahead, and I am very much looking forward to the 3-day weekend ahead.  (MLK day is already a scheduled bed day for moi!)  I hope you, dear friends, have a fabulous weekend.  See you Monday!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

GOALS: January

  1. Follow half-marathon training to the T
  2. Lose 5 lbs
  3. Track every bite
  4. Say "no" and don't feel bad about it
  5. Return to morning pages (probably via
    January is the best month for creating new goals - it's a fresh start.  
    What do you hope to accomplish? 

    {image from here}

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    7 Miles (and Balthezar)

    Yesterday I was... worthless.  New Year's Eve was a complete and total blast, and I couldn't have imagined a better way to ring in 2011!  Here's a pic of me and my roomie from the night (please ignore my frizztastic hair):

    I am OBSESSED with her.  She's, like, my fave.

    Today I was supposed to wake up at 8 am so I could pound out 7 miles before meeting friends for brunch at Balthezar. That didn't happen. Want to know why? This is why.  Oh well - glad I wasn't the only one!

    So instead of waking up at 8, I woke up at 10:30, flipped out, and quickly got dressed and out the door.  Brunch was heavenly, full of good friends, lots of NYE gossip (we all attended the same par-tay) and LOTS of good food.  Balthezar has some of the best fries I've ever tasted, complete with mayo.  I'm not a big mayo fan, but ohmemgee that stuff is GOOD.  Afterwards I collapsed into a food coma heap onto my roomie's bed, and we watched Friends/dozed in and out of sleep (okay, maybe just me on the sleep bit) for the next couple of hours.  Finally, I pulled myself together enough to get to the gym.

    I went reallllllllly slow until the last mile when I picked up the pace.  I think it really helped me get through it without wanting to die.  7 miles was surprisingly easy to do on a treadmill - I think my badass Glee mix helped.  :D  Also?  I think the calorie calc was way off, but I'd like to think I burned that many calories, especially considering what I've been eating/drinking for the last few days...

    And now it's time for bed.  The Holidays are officially over, and from what I hear, January and February are the worst months to be in NYC.  Nonetheless, I am EXCITED about what 2011 has to offer and hope y'all feel the same way!  Gros bisous.