Monday, February 28, 2011

Half-Marathon Playlist

I've been meaning to blog about running songs, but I just kept forgetting. Once I saw a comment asking what I listened to during the Half, I knew I had to share, ESPECIALLY because I discovered my newest love, Justin Bieber, just before the Half when I saw him perform on the Grammy's with Jaden Smith.  Bieber's "Baby" was blaring in my ears when I crossed the finish line, and I will never forget it!

It's a bizarre selection of songs, I know, but the night before I left for Austin, this just seemed right.  I have a much longer list of "run" music, but I decided to cut out ones I knew I would skip. 

My absolute fave pump-me-up songs from this list?  Dog Days Are Over, Battlefield, Firework, Oh No, Let It Out, Commander, and Only Girl in the World.  

P.S. If you don't have the new Girl Talk album, you MUST DOWNLOAD IMMEDIATELY (it's free!).  It's the best workout music ever.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Body Post-13.1 Miles

Considering I just ran 13.1 miles one week ago, I'm surprisingly not-too-pleased with the shape/size/appearance of my body lately. For some reason, I gained almost 10 lbs the week and a half before the race. NO idea what was going on there. Nothing had changed in regard to my eating, and I highly doubt my tapering/reduced mileage could do that much damage. I chalked it up to water weight and PMS and tried to ignore it as best I could.

Things didn't improve when I got to Austin, but that's probably because I was eating out 3 times/day every day and eating lots of melted cheese (aka queso). Since returning to NYC, I've decided enough is enough. I'm tired of feeling bloated and overstuffed, and I'm also going to return to my beloved Tuesday Night Happy Hour. In order to help get back on track, Roomie 1 and I headed to Trader Joe's to stock up on some health eats.  I got TONS of fruits and veggies: bananas, clementines, 3 BAGS of brussels sprouts...

I have a couple of lunches and dinners scheduled this week, but aside from that, I plan to stick to light lunches, homecooked dinners and absurd amounts of fruits and veggies.  My body needs it! 

I'm also having a hard time adjusting to a complete lack of training schedule.  I had a rather painful two mile run on Thursday night and did Jillian Michaels' SHRED dvd yesterday.  I want to step up my game and include a great deal more strength training than when I was training for the Half.  Today (Sunday) I plan on hitting the Chelsea Equinox for some weights and a (hopefully much more pleasant) run.  Bonsoir, mes amies!

What are your favorite healthy go-to meals?  How do you fit in your fruits/veggies?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


WARNING: Epic post with loads and loads of pictures.

I can't believe I'm back and that I am officially a HALF-MARATHONER!!  My trip to Austin was absolutely perfect - seriously, it couldn't have gone better.  I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky to have had such a wonderful first Half-Marathon experience and AH-mazing support from my friends and family (including all of y'all on Twitter and Facebook!!).  This is going to be a pretty long post so I'm just going to dive right in!  (Also, I'm writing this in a hurry, whilst laying in bed and watching Bones, so please forgive me for the short, awkward sentences and major typos.)

Friday: After switching out rental cars and grabbing a breakfast of bfast taco & iced coffee from the gorgeous flagship Whole Foods on Lamar/5th, I got ready and headed downtown to visit my old firm and have lunch with some of my fave former coworkers.  Everyone was so nice, and I felt so lucky to have kept such great relationships with the attorneys there.  One senior associate with whom I worked half-jokingly asked if I was ready to come back... I am decidedly NOT.  ;)  Afterwards, I met up with my friend Stina who drove down from Temple, TX.  We shopped at Target then headed to North by Northwest to enjoy a beer on the patio.  The weather was GORGEOUS!

That night we also visited my most favorite movie theater EVER, Alamo Drafthouse, and saw No Strings Attached, which was surprisingly cute and funny!

Saturday: Race day prep!  Jenny and I woke up and headed straight to El Chilito for some breakfast.

We picked up some Starbucks on the way, and I was pretty stoked that they spelled my name correctly (it never happens - always "Caroline").  

I sat outside for several of my meals.  Amazing!

After breakfast, we went to the Expo to peruse and to pick up my race packet.  
That night we went to Botticelli's on South Congress for some serious carbo-loading.
Beautiful Jenny who could not have been a better coach/hostess/friend during my entire weekend with her!
After I inhaled tons of bread, veggies and pasta, we headed home to get ready for a very early bedtime.  Laid out all my race day gear...
Body Glide, bib, Garmin, chapstick, iPod, Spibelt (they included one with race packets - I gave mine to Jenny b/c I already had one)

Sunday: Alarm went off at 4:45 a.m.  Painful.  Woke up, had bagel and iced coffee, got dressed and headed downtown.  My stomach was a bundle of nerves, and I was completely unhappy about having to pee in a port-a-potty.  But I persevered.  I even popped a squat behind a giant trash can b/c the lines were too long.  Oh yeah I am HARD CORE.  And then, before I knew it, it was time to go.

Miles 1-3 FLEW by.  I just couldn't believe how great it felt to be running in downtown Austin!  There were some hills, but nothing this Central Park master couldn't handle.  I stopped during mile 2 to pee, and ohmygaw, you would not believe how disgusting the port-a-potty's were...

Miles 4-6 sucked.  We ran ALL the way down South Congress to Ben White (this means nothing to you non-Austinites), and it was basically uphill the entire way.  I wanted. to. die.

Miles 6-8 were deliciously downhill.  I saw a giant dead possum in the middle of the road.  I also saw lots of people running barefoot.  Are you CRAZY?  These miles flew by, seriously.  I felt like I could run forever.  I was smiling, singing along to Glee and Justin Bieber and high on life.

Miles 9-11 were hilly, and I started to feel tired for the first time.  But I knew my friends Danny and Craig would be waiting around Mile 11 so I kept my game face on.  I cannot express to you how good it felt to see familiar faces!  We squealed, high-fived, and I felt energized!

Mile 12-13 were beyond brutal.  I knew the ginormous hill was at Mile 12... I've known it since the day I signed up for the race.  Everyone told me about it.  I wish I could've taken a picture of it because it was ridiculous.  (Actually you can see it in this hilarious post - scroll down to the "WTF IS THAT??" pic.)  But I was determined to conquer it and run the entire way.  Unfortunately, my legs weren't cooperating and half way up the hill, I felt myself slow down.  Then I felt someone grab my hand, scream "you can do it!" and pull me up the rest of the way.  This woman was a complete stranger and my total savior.  Yes, this stuff actually happens, y'all.

Mile 13-13.1 was hilly but once I turned that final corner, I sprinted like I've never sprinted before to cross that finish line.  It felt phenomenal, and I couldn't believe it was over!  I grabbed a bottle of water and a banana and spent the next hour looking for Jenny and asking myself, "Did I really just run a Half-Marathon?" over and over again.  I finished in 2:19 and felt really good about my first time.  Jenny was proud.  :D

After we finally made it home, Jenny gave me an ice bath (yes, me in cold water + ice), I took a hot shower and then we headed to an amazing new burger joint in Austin called HopDoddy.  Fresh made buns, house cut fries and Maine Root Beer and Dublin Dr. Pepper on TAP?  You gotta be kidding me.

You better believe I inhaled the entire thing, ate all my fries and drank about 3 cups of Maine Root Beer.  It was heavenly.
And then we hobbled home, got into PJs and passed out for about 2.5 hours.  Glorious.  Sunday night I packed up my stuff, said goodbye to Jenny and headed over to one of my FAVE families EVER to stay in their gorgeous, ginormous house in the hills.  That night, the wife and I headed to Sago for some Mexican food and outdoor dining.  I had queso and fajitas and could not have been happier.  I went to bed happy, full of love and gratitude, and a very content, albeit overstuffed, belly.

Monday: Woke up to cloudy skies and a growling tummy.  Headed over to one of my fave indie, Austin coffeeshops for MORE breakfast tacos and iced coffee.

The rest of my day went something like this: ridiculously heavenly ah-mazing perfect worth every penny 90-minute massage w/ my fave masseuse, lunch with my former trainer/dear friend, afternoon of perusing and enjoying my beloved Austin, meeting with Dr. G (remember Dr. G?? SO good to see her!), and dinner with the family (more fajitas and queso - this time from El Chile - YUM).  More happy, overstuffed belly syndrome.

Tuesday: My last full day in Austin!  Insert sad face.  Began my day with breakfast tacos then headed to Kim, my beloved hair stylist for 6 years, and ombre-ed out my hair, y'all.  It's super subtle, super awesome and will allow me to go a very long time without having to dye it.  Win!  Had lunch with a good friend/mentor of mine at Jo's on 2nd street, got a deluxe pedicure at Milk and Honey, had dinner with my darling Matty at Blue Star Cafeteria, grabbed some Amy's with law school bud Danny and dropped by Jenny's for one final goodbye.  

Wednesday: Woke up at 7 so I could see the kiddos before they headed off to school.  I am in LOVE with these kids and babysat them back in the day when I studied abroad in London (the Dad and I went to law school together).  The little boy made me a Valentine, and I just about died.  If only boys my age could be this cute and sweet!

Finished packing and managed to hit up Taco Deli one last time for my final breakfast tacos...  Oh man, I will miss these BIG time.

I plan to recreate these for my roomie Annika and even brought home some real TX salsa in order to do so.  

I was super sad to leave Austin and plan to elaborate more on this in a separate blog post.  It was a WONDERFUL trip, and I wouldn't change one thing about it (except to maybe eat more Mexican food).  Luckily, I have badass roomies and came home to this:

Cupcakes and pink nailpolish.  Love.

THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!!!  I kinda wanna start training for something else...  :D

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February Goals

Complete Half Marathon and have AH-mazing time in Austin

Eat out less

Go out more

Declutter room

{photo from here}

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday Funday

Sunday. I am not watching the Super Bowl.  No, I am freshly showered, in my PJs, sportin' my compression sleeves, watching Bones and waiting for my Korean food.  This is my kind of Sunday.

Today I ran 12 miles in Central Park.  The weather was absolute perfection - sunny and not too frigid.  I dropped off my stuff at the Columbus Circle Equinox beforehand and quite literally almost ran into Gideon from the earlier Criminal Minds.  Love that gym, but still not sure whether it's worth joining (more on that later).  Then I hit the Park, and while the 12 miles didn't exactly fly by, they certainly passed much more easily than any mile of mine has in the past few weeks.  I took the run nice and slow, tackled the Harlem Hills and felt pretty good throughout.  I'm feeling much better about February 20.

Saturday.  I had a lovely Saturday.  Brunch with my friend Will at Markt, explored the Limelight Marketplace (they have a Brocade Home showroom - see below!) and met up with our friend David for coffee at what might be my favorite coffeeshop in the city, O Cafe, where I had a yummy latte with insanely delicious dark chocolate at the bottom (see photo above).

Looking Forward. I have a lot going on this next week.  Dinner dates at Palma, Bar Boulud and Fatty Crab (not so good considering I planned to eat really well/clean for the 2 weeks before the Half).  Last 3 days of working out at Equinox.  Big work projects.  I'm looking forward to my Austin vacay more and more each day.  As much as I love the City, there's nothing like getting away.  I miss my family immensely and had a mini breakdown tonight as I thought about how long it's been since I've seen my Mom.  Mad flow of tears commenced, and it took me awhile to calm myself down.  Not being a 3.5 hour drive away can be really hard to accept sometimes.  It doesn't help that Roomie 1 has been spending the weekend with her mom whose in town until Wednesday.  Luckily I booked a flight to Dallas for the last weekend in April.  It's not terribly close, but it's not too far either.

How do y'all handle being away from family?  Most of the time I'm so busy it's okay, but when I stop and think about it, I realize how much it sucks.  :(

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fear & Equinox

Long time no write.  I know.  Life's been busy, per usual, but really, I've just been scared to write what I'm about to write.

The Austin Half-Marathon is now less than 3 weeks away.  Actually, it's only 2 weeks and a few days away.  And I am scared.

Terrified, really.  Because I don't feel prepared at all despite weeks and weeks of training.  It doesn't help that the last few weeks have been subpar, at best.  My training runs have been cut short, and as a result, my long runs have suffered.  My 10-miler last week on the dreadmill was a struggle to say the least.  This weekend I have 12 miles to tackle... 12 miles.  That's only 1.1 miles shy of the Half.  I plan to attack said miles in Central Park because I haven't been out there in weeks, and I need some hills work.  The Austin Marathon is scary hilly, and I can't force myself to the do the kind of hills on a dreadmill that I am forced to do when running in the Park.  So the Park it is!  Current forecast is most sunny with high of 36 and low of 32.  I can handle that.

Last night I started my 7-day pass to Equinox, the queen of all gyms.  I currently belong to NYHRC but have a number of complaints about it and have considered switching to Equinox.  Many of my work friends work out at Equinox, and one used to be a personal trainer there, so she scored me a 7-day pass to check it out.  Equinox does have a lot to offer, and last night's experience was more than pleasant.  I lifted weights with a coworker for about 30 minutes and noticed just how much nicer and easier-to-use all the machines were.  Also?  They were SO clean.  Major plus plus plus.  Then I pounded out 2 speedy-ish but painful miles on the treadmill (did 3 on Wed so had to make it 5), did about 15 minutes on the rowing machine (my new love!) and stretched. 

The gym is pristine, with the newest, nicest equipment, an awesome stretching area (the entire floor of the area is squishy mat material so all you need is a towel), and a GORGEOUS locker room.  Seriously, there were 3 people in the bathroom at all times cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  The OCD in moi really loved that.  They also use Kiehl's products and have a spa-quality sauna and steam room.  I have yet to use them, but once I do, I know I'll be hooked.  On top of that, I was there at the busiest time of day, and there were plenty of machines available.  I also hear the classes are quite nice, but I've yet to try them.  Oh and they have a boutique (dangerous) and a smoothie/burrito/salad bar.  Ridic.

Will I switch?  I've no idea.  The gym is, quite literally, twice the price (if I want access to all locations, which I think I do).  Therefore in my mind, it has to be twice as nice.  If my mom and sister are reading this, I know what they are thinking.  Why on earth do I need such a nice gym?  Especially considering my considerably reduced income and expensive lifestyle (not really, it's just more expensive because this city is so darn expensive).  Well, here's the thing: the gym has become an important part of my day-to-day life, and I want to keep it that way.  What better motivation than a nice, fancy gym?  ;)

I'm returning to the beautiful Equinox on 50th/Broadway this evening to pound out 5 miles.  There's not much else I'd want to do less on a Friday evening after work.