HI! (Lots of pics)

Well now that 2017 is nearly over, I thought it would be a good idea to make a blogging come back. Better late than never, right? I don’t even know how it’s possible that it is SEPTEMBER but here we are.

2017 has been so weird. Like, to say the least. It’s been awesome, hard, scary, exciting, and I have grown a lot. As usual, I’m gonna play a quick game of catch up here and then *try* to blog here and there. I think blogging has kind of taken a back seat to Instagram/social media in general but I do still enjoy reading a few when I get a chance to (i.e. never).

Like I said, 2017 has been weird. I’ll assume you know what I mean for the MOST part. January was a time for standing up for our rights. Not just for women.

February/March was cold weather training for the NYC Half Marathon with Andrea and Patty. It was so fun to meet up every weekend either in NJ or NY and then usually get brunch after! We had some COLD ones!

The NYC half was in late March and it was my first half in 3 years! I only really trained with the long runs once a week since I still teach so much spin and we finished feeling pretty rough, but it was a super cold day and so windy. This race is not worth $130 if you live in NYC- if you are from out of town, I’d say it’s probably worth it.

John and I went to Miami for our birthdays in early April and had an amazing long weekend! I am obsessed with Miami. The hot weather, the beautiful ocean, and the food is incredible. It’s a perfect getaway from NY (2.5 hour flight).

YARDBIRD. Sooo good

The bestttt donuts from Salty Donut

Who we truly are 😉

Wynwood Diner is amazing! We went 2x

Andrea, Brenda and I ran the Binghamton Half Marathon in May and it was TERRIBLE! It was freezing and none of us were feeling it. We finished, but it wasn’t pretty.

End of May we left for our first Europe trip to PARIS! We found an amazing deal back in February to fly on IcelandAir so we took advantage.

Iceland airport!
breakfast area of our hotel in Paris
small hotel lobby!
first meal in Paris! salmon eggs benny (same thing i get in the US haha)

1st dinner on the 1st night- we accidentally went to a chain restaurant that is like the Paris equivalent of TGI Fridays haha
free hotel breakfast!

The Louvre!

Versaille!
haha yes we got McDs in paris!!

best crepes ever!

last dinner!

Paris was absolutely the highlight of this year. It was more than I ever imagined it to be!

I am still teaching for New York Sports Club and Harlem Cycle, and I also began teaching at a studio 1 block away from me called Push Pedal! It’s the only cycling studio in Washington Heights and it’s been so fun (and convenient) to help start another studio from the ground up!

The other highlight of this year is that John and I moved into our very own NYC apartment! We have lived in 1 room of a 2 bedroom apartment with the same roommate for 6.5 years. It was awesome and saved us all a lot of money but it was definitely time for us to branch out on our own! We moved in July 1st and it’s been crazy! We moved just 1 block away from where we had lived but the space is big and needed to be painted, and with the limited amount of time we have at home, we still are not done. We should be done in the next few weeks and then our housewarming party is the 30th! We did have a little floor picnic with friends last month because we were dying to host 🙂

That pretty much sums up most of 2017 so far for me: travel, moving, food, lots of spin and some running.

What has your year looked like?

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NYC 1/2 Marathon

Ahhhhh I hate when I go too long without posting. It’s been a really crazy week and a half so I apologize and I’m going to do a quick re-cap from the half marathon! Yes, I ran it and I am alive and that was my only goal. 😉

As you know if you read my blog, I got into the NYC 1/2 Marathon very unexpectedly when they reopened the lottery for a second chance. I believe that was back in December, and I basically didn’t train at all. You know the drill; way too cold, I don’t run on treadmills, I was sick for weeks. I did 3 “long” runs total- a 6 miler and two 8 milers, but I taught a bazillion spin classes and that was my saving grace cardiovascular-wise. Muscle wise? No. Nothing can prepare your muscles for 2+ hours of pounding on the pavement except… running for hours on pavement. I have never been this sore in my entire life.

I’ve also been having worse and worse hip pain that has affected my foot (left side only) so I was nervous that running this would make it worse or turn it into a real injury. Luckily it didn’t, but it was another factor that made me not-so-excited for the race. I went to the expo Friday night and ended up catching the bug that bites you when you go to a race expo… the excitement bug! I also bought “The Stick” to really beat the crap out of my legs for preparation. It definitely helped so much and I highly recommend buying one!

Saturday night I had my usual pre-race dinner of cheese-less pizza from Domino’s and woke up feeling super excited on Sunday. I wore an old pair of yoga pants to the start and a jacket that I could throw off and wore my usual racing clothes which is a long sleeve shirt and shorts with compression socks. I wear this for every race unless it’s warmer than 40 degrees. Let’s just say, shorts were a bad idea. It took me half of the race to be able to regain feeling in them because the windchill was so cold!

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The 6.5 miles in Central Park went by pretty fast and before I knew it I was running through an empty Times Square. Definitely the coolest part of the race!

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My left foot started to hurt on the top so I stopped a few times to stretch but really surprised myself at how I pushed through. I never really felt out of breath or like I was working SUPER hard, which means I know I have a PR in me this spring. At mile 11, I felt like I had just started. No fatigue in my legs and pure adrenaline. I was able to pick up the pace and while I didn’t track my pace on my phone, I think I had a negative split. Running through the battery park tunnel was a little scary but cool and before I knew it there was 800 meters to go. Then 400. Then… “WHERE THE F*&K IS THE FINISH LINE?!?!?!”

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This was 20 seconds after crossing the finish line, hence why face is a salt covered balloon. Does anyone else get puffy after a race?

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Just 3 minutes slower than my PR from Staten Island! I think I definitely have a sub 2:20 in me this spring!

It was absolutely freezing so they gave us heat-sheets but I had to find Brenda and Eddie who had a bag of warm clothes for me and that took about 20 minutes. We then had to try to find a subway (the race ended in the financial district so it’s a confusing area) and make our way to meet my co-worker and her boyfriend for my celebration brunch! We went to Philip Marie in the West Village that I randomly picked from Open Table. It ended up being AMAZING! A super fun atmosphere with good music and cheap for NYC brunch prices. Our waiter was hilarious and the food was awesome. I had the “lumberjack” which when ordering it, I felt pretty badass. It had eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, toast and the #1 thing I actually wanted: chocolate chip pancakes. photo 5

Brunch was a blast and the perfect way to celebrate my race! I went right home after to take a hot shower and then the pain started to set in. Walking down the stairs of the subway were pretty awful, but once I was home every muscle in my leg ached and I spent the rest of the day in my fluffy robe in bed. It was pretty much perfect. I’m never hungry the day of my race so I didn’t feel like eating anything after brunch, but I finally had an amazing bowl of everything I was craving for dinner that night. Strawberry frosted shredded wheat, bananas, raspberry jam, peanut butter and almond milk. I LOVE when the shredded wheat is partially crunchy, partially soggy. photo 1

John had been at his moms house for the weekend to visit since it was the only time this month he had to go, so when he got home around 11 on Sunday night he woke me up with a bunch of kisses…and one of his moms AMAZING brownies, even better 😉 They are literally heaven and there is no time to snap a pic when they are in front of me.

Monday was a little brutal since I had to be up to teach my 6:30 class in Brooklyn. I firmly believe in teaching all my classes on the bike and participating… I have been to classes where the teacher is barely on the bike and it makes my motivation go out the window. Suffer with me. So I announced that I had done the half the day before (less than 24 hours before, actually!) and that I wouldn’t be going as hard as I usually do. The bike actually wasn’t bad at all until we stood up in position 2. Oh, hi muscles. I almost collapsed. But afterwards it definitely helped to loosen me up, along with my 30 minute class Monday night. And my hour class Tuesday morning. I was definitely toasted by Tuesday morning! I haven’t worked out since and my legs are back to normal, so I will be getting back out there tomorrow for another long run for my next upcoming half in 3 weeks!

What was the last race you did? Have you ran one yet in 2014? Love that my season is just getting started!

Blah.

Man this week… has been rough. Really, really rough. The crazy amounts of snow are just adding to the roughness but emotionally this has been a terrible week for me. At least 50% of it is thanks to PMS, but in the spirit of keeping it real I’m just struggling with a lot of personal issues in my life right now. Some days are better than others but this week it has been one thing after another. Getting out of bed is a part-time job to me right now. I just feel depressed before I’ve even turned off my alarm, unless I’m going to teach a class. I’ve had a migraine that started late yesterday afternoon and hasn’t quit. Add on to that eating like total junk and consuming WAY too much sugar and caffeine and I am a walking ball of irritability. Not my best look, ya’ll. I’m just really fried from all the things in my life that just aren’t bringing me any form of happiness. I’d love to open up about it more but I really can’t, just know I am definitely on the journey to finding what I need to get rid of in my life to be happier. It’s just a lot easier said than done. Especially because I’m not rich or come from a rich family who could support me. Ya feel me?

I was supposed to be leaving tonight to take the bus upstate for the weekend but the road conditions are terrible so I rescheduled for tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to a few days of no work, getting my hair done, seeing my family and my good friend Rachel for her baby shower.

On a happier note, I got to go to the SELF Magazine offices in Times Square on Tuesday night because I was chosen to be a healthy food taste tester! How rad is that? A few of us got to chow down on various different hummuses, low-sodium turkey, crackers, sweet potato fries, and raspberry sorbet, all of which were. If you are a reader of Self, you are probably familiar with their annual healthy food awards issue. It’s my favorite! I love reading it every year because it opens me up to new healthy foods that I probably overlook in the grocery store. I can’t wait to find out the results because the raspberry sorbet I picked is SO delicious, I don’t even have words. I was in the dairy-free taste testing group so everything I ate was devoid of lactose. Great news for my stomach and bowels. TMI.

This week’s workouts have included… teaching one spin class, and no running since Sunday. Pretty much waving my hopes of good spring half marathons goodbye (not really, that’s just the PMS talking 😉 ) My left hip was so tight and painful for 2 days after my last treadmill run though and I couldn’t even make it to 1 mile. At least I’ve eaten froyo twice this week? Ugh.

How do you overcome being way down in the dumps? 

Anyone else struggle on the treadmill physically? Why does it want to destroy my hip?

Don’t End, Weekend.

I get really sad on Sunday’s because I just don’t want the weekend to end, even when I have to work. I have felt pretty under the weather this weekend but had to push through and teach 2 spin classes and finally get my ass in gear with a long run to prepare for my spring half marathons. That of course takes lots of food to fuel so here’s a look at what I’ve been chowing down on since Friday!

We saw on Scout Mob that this italian restaurant called Three of Cups on the Lower East Side had a 50% off deal up to $25 off, so we went down on Friday night to eat up. I had the grilled calamari to start and it came with a really spicy marinara sauce which was great.

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I also had a panzanella salad which is one of my favorite types of salads, but it was pretty bad so I only had a few bites of it. The pizza was DELICIOUS though. It had a really smoky taste to it almost like it was grilled.

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Lots of iced soy lattes were had. Also, a homemade poptart at Birch Coffee. 100000 times better than a real PopTart, I swear!

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Fantastic 6 mile run with Brenda. Of course because it was with her the 6 miles literally flew by and felt like we were running for maybe 20 minutes at the most. Looooove that!

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Followed by one of the most awesome spin classes I’ve taught thus far. I was endorphin high from the run and just had a ton of energy even though my legs were toasted. I felt like my ques were perfect (still learning!) and everything just flowed really well. Let me share with you the playlist since I haven’t in awhile!

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There is some repeats from other playlists because the songs are just too good. I was also wearing my new favorite sports bra and top that I got from Victoria’s Secret big sale.

This is me forgetting that my flash is on. Let it be known I am NOT a selfie expert.
This is me forgetting that my flash is on. Let it be known I am NOT a selfie expert.

I had to go right into work after my class but this morning on my way to the gym I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and grabbed a donut that I have been wanting to try as my reward after my 2+ hour workout. I burned almost 1,200 calories during it so a 400 calorie donut as a treat is just right. It’s the cookie dough donut and I BEG you to try it. I am NOT a donut person at all, like they just don’t do anything for me but this is life changing.

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I balanced that out with a nice big veggie filled salad. I was actually totally craving a crunchy cold salad so this is not for penance 😉

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That about wraps it up.

Oh, I also am so sorry I lied to you guys and didn’t end up posting my thoughts on The Biggest Loser finale. I am actually still working on it and will post it soon, just be warned that I decided to get really personal in it and that’s why I want to keep working on it in hopes that it will help someone going through what I went through.

What did your weekend look like? 

Do you like donuts? If yes, favorite flavor or shop to get them at? The big debate in upstate New York is Dunkin Donuts vs. Tim Hortons. I LOVE Timmy Ho’s for their iced caps but I’d say DD’s takes the cake for donuts. Er, takes the donut for… the donut. Ha 🙂

Happy Friday! (+YAY!)

Thank you guys so much for all the sweet comments on my Anniversary post! I’m glad you enjoyed the picture sequence and didn’t find my post too mushy 😉

As you know since I work in retail, Friday’s don’t mean the end of a work week for me but I do have Sunday off so that is something to celebrate! John is going upstate tonight to spend the weekend with his mom for her birthday and I am so bummed I can’t go. But alas, I have to work tomorrow. So that means I will be spending this evening going to hot yoga again AND tomorrow evening too! I will be eating my weekend pizza alone and that’s sad, but it does mean I get to watch all the Kardashians I want without John trying to suffocate me 🙂 Anywho, let’s go over some week highlights besides my lovely anniversary!

I actually forgot to post this but I had the best turkey burger of my life last Sunday night at Sullivan Bistro. It was topped with onions and blue cheese and the fries were unlike any I’ve had before. SUPER thin and crispy with sauteed onions throughout them. I have a serious love affair with onions and it’s probably why I don’t have many friends. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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I also received my new sneakers that I got for $15 on Amazon! That’s only because I traded in a textbook but so cool right? I actually had these last year but sent them back after not liking how much mesh there was but I REALLY have not been loving the Wave Precision 13’s I’ve been wearing at all. These are the Wave Elixir 8’s and they feel ALMOST as great as my precious 7’s.

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Yep, still wearing shorts on any day above 39 degrees. So far they feel really good but my left foot is still feeling really wonky and overall I am out of running shape. My pace has been faster than it was in the summer/fall but everything feels hard. So much for “staying in half marathon shape” after all my fall races!

So on my lovely anniversary date when we went to get coffee after dinner, I treated myself and ordered a chai tea latte instead of just a normal coffee. I COMPLETELY forgot to order it with soy milk and drank the whole thing without realizing my mistake. I was up most of the night Wednesday and in pain all day and night with some of the worst stomach pains of my life, thanks to the dairy milk and also partially from the sugar since I never drink things like that. I can’t believe how sensitive I am to it now!

Besides my stomach pain, I taught a great spin class last night and was so happy when one of the students told me she was brand new to the gym and it would be her first class. I can proudly say that I made her feel comfortable and she stuck through a little more than half of the class before leaving, which I told her she could do. I would have loved for her to stay on the bike even if she couldn’t keep pedaling, which I also told her she could do, but I also know that other students would have been looking at her wondering why she wasn’t pedaling so the option to leave really helped her. I smiled at her a bunch of times during class and I REALLY hope I made an impact on her to come back! I will truly never teach a class where I intimidate or call people out. What is the point? We’re all there for a purpose but the main thing needs to be to have fun! And to feel motivated without someone screaming orders at you. I think I really deliver that. Jeesh, I just want to teach all day!! 🙂

Oh and my pre-workout fuel before spin was amazing. I watched the first two episodes of this season’s GIRLS (available for free here!) while chowing down on a bowl of banana oats with Biscoff, a splash of almond milk, and a tiny bit of crumbled carrot cake from my anniversary.

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Perrrfect. We ended up throwing the rest of the cake away because the frosting was just TOO much.

And I began my day with a very chilly 3.7 mile run in Central Park. I underdressed for the first time during a winter run and it’s NOT fun. My ears were so cold and my sinuses are going to bug me all day now. I also got back to the gym to no hot water, so I had to take a cold shower. It was pretty awful, but what can ya do?!

The cold sucks but this sunrise does not.
The cold sucks but this sunrise does not.

And to save the best for last…

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I GOT INTO THE NYC HALF MARATHON!!!!!!!! They reopened the lottery and I got in this round!!! It was completely a surprise because I had forgotten all about it, then I saw someone post about it on Instagram and quickly logged on to my NYRR account and boom! Boom to my credit card too, because I wasn’t ready for that expense 😉 It’s the priciest race I’ve done so far ($117) but I am SO EXCITED!! Running through Times Square with no tourists around is going to be ahhhmazing. 

What has your week looked like?

Friday night plans?