Workouts + Race + FOOD

Over the last 5 years of blogging, I still have never gotten more creative with my titles. It’s not a strong suit of mine. It’s to the point and I guess that’s what matters!

I am going to do a recap of our honeymoon in Los Angeles/Vegas soon but for now want to get back into workouts and food related posts!

Workouts

A bazillion spin classes a week 🙂 I have 8 set classes per week and then I usually sub 3-4 more. If you are in the NY area and want my schedule, shoot me an email or follow me on Instagram (@jenspinsnyc) for my schedule! First class at Harlem Cycle is only $12.50 and I can bring you as a guest to NYSC if it’s your first class there.

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I run here and there and do push-ups every day whenever I get the chance- literally, on the bathroom floor at work when I am in there! It takes a few seconds to bust out 10 of them and get some blood flowing. I unfortunately have not been to Barry’s since I got home from my honeymoon! Hoping to make my debut back there this weekend. I have lost some muscle and I am sad about that!

Races

Andrea and I ran a 10K last Saturday! The weekend before we ran 4 miles together and it was the longest I’ve run in quite awhile but luckily because of spin I still have some endurance! The race was FREEZING but gorgeous. It was called the Falling Leaves 10K.

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The race FLEW by talking with this girl. So thankful for our friendship, thanks to blogging! 🙂 The post-race spread was awesome! They had tons of flavors of bagels, cream cheese and peanut butter to spread, Clif bars and these new Clif squeezeable food pouches (I had the banana mango coconut, so good), apples and grapes! I am really longing to get back into good distance shape and I was just a little sore the day after the 10K, so I have to try to stay in running shape this winter which is never easy! So far I am planning my half marathon comeback at the Binghamton Half Marathon on May 7th and maybe get into the NYC Half in March through the lottery!

FOOD

Just some random pictures of amazing things I’ve had the last couple of weeks. Let’s just say I have not been eating all that healthy since I got home from my honeymoon, save for some lunch time salads that are too boring to get a picture of!

Amazing vegan pastries John got us a few weeks ago from Cinnamon Snail. Top left is a pumpkin pecan donut, the bottom middle is a pumpkin donut topped with a pumpkin cookie (?!) and the top right is a peanut butter chocolate cinnamon bun. As ridiculously amazing as you would expect!

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I was sick a couple of weeks ago and asked the woman working at Juice Press what would be good for a cold. This is the BEST smoothie/juice I’ve ever had. It’s called Nurse Ginger Green and it is almost worth $10.

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AMAZING bacon and egg breakfast sandwich that Andrea and I had for brunch at Chelsea Station. The bun was sweet and the salad was salty and it was perfect refuel after our 4 mile run and spin class!

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My new drink obsession: matcha lattes. They are a lot more than coffee so I’m just treating myself on weekends but they are GOOD. I am totally not a green tea person by any means, but a soy matcha latte with splenda is delish and supposedly there are lots of health benefits to matcha. Plus, it’s pretty.

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And lastly we have some delicious chicken hibachi from Benihana. I had never been before and it was so fun! The chicken fried rice was incredible due to the fact that they put stick of garlic butter in it.

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So now that I am back to blogging- tell me what you would like to see! Day in the life posts? Weekly workout recaps? Spin playlists/workouts? Rambles like I usually do? 

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!!!!!

I am so sorry to have neglected you guys. I thought my life would slow down after leaving Chanel and having more normal work hours, but all that has changed is that I am happier! I’ve been teaching so much- currently have 6 set classes a week plus I sub usually 1-3 more times- so I am exhausted alllll the time but in a good way. Add on that I am now starting my first official FULL MARATHON training plan and I seriously have no extra time. Well, I made time to watch all of season 2 of Orange is the New Black in 2 weeks, but that made for way too late nights and ended up being not quite worth it. 😉

Let me catch you up on my last month of life.

My best friend Brenda and I had an amazing weekend in Miami about a month ago. We went for the WSSC Conference for Spin and just to get out of NY for awhile and hit the beach. I am terrified of flying and hadn’t flown in 5 years so I took an Advil PM and chugged 2 glasses of wine. We watched Bridesmaids the whole time while I squeezed Brenda’s hands every time I got scared (basically the entire 2.5 hour flight). I HATE FLYING. But boy is Miami gorgeous!

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The Spin conference was amazing and we took 3 classes total plus a class on how to properly fit people to the spin bike. We ate breakfast after the first session and then went across the street to a cafe with delicious food for lunch. After the last session, we snuck out onto the pool (we weren’t staying at the hotel where the conference was held) and it was SO gorgeous. There was an aqua zumba class going on that looked like so much fun too!

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Once we got back to our hotel, we showered and got into bed where we stayed for the rest of that night. Don’t worry, we had no plans of actually going out in Miami… this is our version of heaven. Working out a ton, eating a ton, and resting a ton. We ordered food from the sports bar downstairs in the hotel and no picture but it was so, so good.

We woke up Saturday morning with no alarm which was such a treat for both of us, then got some coffee and breakfast and headed to South Beach! Miami’s public transportation is pretty awesome for how big the city is, and the bus we took was really easy to get around on. South Beach is GORGEOUS! I wasn’t even expecting the water to be so clear since it’s still America, haha. Clearly I don’t travel much 😉

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My first ever fish taco’s.

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And after the beach we went back to the hotel, ate, and slept. LOL I’m telling you, this is why we don’t have friends but each other. Sorry not sorry. Oh and this was me on the plane ride back Sunday morning. I did NOT do well on the flight black. God help me for my Costa Rica trip in a month which is 2x longer than Miami.

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I’ve barely been running at all which really stinks since I wanted to build at least a 2-week base before marathon training started for me this week. Well, I ran twice (one 1.5 miler and a 3.35 miler, wowza) and then did the Queens 10K. It was a GOOD race. I pushed myself way out of my current comfort zone and averaged 9:57 miles for a finishing time of 1:01:48, only 1 minute-ish off my PR time from 2 years ago. I also got to meet up with Andrea again and it’s always so great to see her cute face! 🙂

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In true Jen fashion, I refueled with nutella banana french toast and fries. Just so you aren’t worried that I’ve changed! 😉

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Oh and I also met Joe Caputo from Orange is The New Black on the train to Brooklyn a couple weeks ago. He is my favorite character on season 2! He was SO nice and we talked for almost 10 minutes. Love NYC.

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So besides Miami and teaching Sunday-Friday for the last 6 weeks (usually 2 of those days includes AM and PM classes!!) I have really been doing nothing else. As you can imagine it’s exhausting, but I am really happy that I am out of that terrible disaster of a job I had at Chanel. While I’m still not 100% sure what I want to do, it’s great to have this time to clear my head and get a lot of teaching under my belt. This week officially started marathon training, too. How much exercise can one person take?! Haha I also need to fit in some strength training and yoga here and there, too. I mean it’s a good problem to have, but I really want to get back into blogging at least once a week specifically while I’m marathon training to keep a log of all this! So this is my unofficial I’m-back post. I’ve missed you all so much and I don’t want this to end! Bare with me.

WHAT HAVE YOU ALL BEEN UP TO??!! Fill me in!! ❤ ❤

Treat. Yo. Self.

I am officially declaring today the last day of this winter. GOODBYE. I can’t with you anymore. I am so sick of wearing layers and a huge puffy jacket and feeling just generally gross and unkempt. I am literally losing my mind so I really needed to give myself some TLC. How did I do this? Yesterday I online shopped (a little toooo much) for birthday presents for myself and today I received my yearly bonus at work and guess what? I BOOKED ME AND JOHN’S FIRST TRIP TO MEXICO!! More on that later because I’m so excited I want to be put to sleep until November 1st. (and have someone do all my marathon training for me)

Let me show you a few things I got and although I’ll probably end up returning some of it since things don’t always look the same in person, I’m so excited to see all of them! I’m all about super easy pieces, something that you can just throw on that’s always comfortable and easy to accessorize.

First up: I got an email from Francesca’s today and I was obsessed with the outfit right on the email! I think it will be a great birthday outfit so I ordered the top and skirt but not the necklace.

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Francesca’s is a little boutique I found out about last summer in Syracuse while shopping for a dress for my friend’s wedding. I had no idea it was a chain store and they finally opened a couple in the city. They have SUCH great accessories and clothes. Here is the link to the top and skirt, in case you’re interested. (I get no credit for any of these links, FYI) I did use the code FEBRUARY14 to save some money! If that doesn’t work, try MARCH14.

I also ordered these loafers that are finally on sale! I have been eyeing them for a couple of months and I snagged them for $20, originally $70.

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Too cute, right? They have other colors and designs here.

I then went a little nuts on Forever 21. Twice a year I get the big urge to shop here and ONLY online. I absolutely cannot handle the madness of the Times Square, Herald Square or Union Square locations any longer. I actually hate shopping in stores these days. It’s sad what working in retail does to you! Anyways, I could shop on their website all damn day. Here’s what I snagged:

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Super basic sandal, pretty much essential. $12.80! Get them here.

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I have been searching for an inexpensive pair of these for months. I believe Steve Madden had them and they were close to $100 if not more. Forever has them for $26. Yup. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge loafer/oxford fan and the crazier the pattern the better.

jumper (2)This jumper is hopefully going to be another birthday outing outfit, most likely with a leather jacket over it since I’m sure it won’t be in the 70’s in just a few weeks 😉 It’s going to be a great summer night dinner outfit, too!

I’m a tad obsessed with coats and need one (okay, many) for each season. I’m going to see how this one is but I just need a light-weight coat for the first few months of spring since it stays chilly at night here until June.

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shortsThese shorts. I can’t even with how cute they are. Really hoping they fit! I also got some accessories like scarves and jewelry. Once they come in I’ll let you know what I keep! When I first order things I want them all to fit and then once they come like almost 2 weeks later I want to return things to get money back, haha. Anyone else feel like that? But anyways, sometimes you just really need to indulge yourself with nice things! After all, we can’t take money with us on the other side. (I don’t think anyways 😉 )

So, Mexico. After the last 2 years of my life that have been downright awful and I still often wonder how I’ve come out on the other side, I knew that this year I wanted to do something big and extravagant and just LIVE. I have truly felt dead for 2 years now, just going through the motions of life and being miserable. No more. What is the PURPOSE of doing that? Of course it’s easy to say that when you are starting to feel alive again, but please know that there were more bad days than good over the course of the last 2 years for me and I had absolutely given up 99% of hope that things would get better. But you see that 1% I held onto of faith and optimism? It was the only thing that got me up in the morning. I forced myself to start doing things that I at least once loved, hoping that the repetition and routine would eventually make me feel whole again. And it did. I’m not sure where along the way that something turned for me, but it did. I went into teaching my spin classes last November with next to no enthusiasm on the inside, but I had to be present and act during each class. Eventually teaching became my savior. It was finally something to look forward to, and to give me something to work towards. Making playlists each week, visualizing the choreography, and imagining my classes working their butts off and making them feel great about themselves. THAT’S WHAT IT WAS AND IS. When you are feeling down, I swear the key is making others feel good. Think about it: when you’re down you probably spend a pretty good amount of time trying to make yourself feel good and sometimes to no avail. What if you channeled that energy into making other people feel good which basically always works? It DOES work. Teaching spin has given me a sense of self again because I’m doing something I love that really means something. Sure, working 7 days a week is a little exhausting but it’s not forever and my classes don’t feel like work at all. Well, they feel like physical work but not exhausting mental work!

One of the best parts of this trip is when we’re going. First of all, we’re going to Costa Rica in the beginning of August for John’s sister wedding but all we have to pay for is the plane ticket. Obviously super stoked to go! I’ve been waiting for years to be able to afford to travel and it’s what I want to save my money for. I’M LITERALLY SO EXCITED I CAN’T STOP DANCING. But we are going on November 4th which is just 2 days after I run the NYC Marathon! What an amazing treat, right? It will give me something to think about during those terrible miles at the end of the marathon when I will be wishing I was dead. And I won’t have to worry about fitting in workouts or anything on vacation because I’ll be taking the week off from exercising other than walking! SO MUCH SLEEP, CANNOT WAIT.

After weeks of shopping and comparing, the resort I kept coming back to was The Westin. Take a deep breath and take a look at these pics. PS- I’ve never been on a tropical vacation, so my excitement level is through the roof.

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Okay I’m literally drooling.

Only 241 days until we leave! Expect a daily countdown and I am NOT sorry. 😉

If you’ve been to Cancun, please tell me all about it!!

How often do you treat yourself with clothes, shoes, etc? What makes you feel good? 

9+1= DONE!

What started out as a worrisome, anxiety-ridden weekend turned out to be a great one! I went to sleep literally crying Friday night, telling John that I really did not think I could run the race Saturday morning. I was still in a lot of pain and very swollen. We kept my leg elevated for a couple hours while we watched TV and I just went to sleep hoping for the best. I was basically planning on getting out of bed, wincing in pain, crying myself back to sleep and hibernating until this morning. Thanks to my guardian angel, I woke up Saturday with close to no pain and walking didn’t hurt at all!

I still wouldn’t know for sure if I could finish the whole race but I was definitely going to try. I foam rolled, grabbed a coffee and water, and got a cab to the start line. Usually races in Central Park start near the 72nd transverse which is very easy to get to on both the west and east sides, but this started way over on 102nd and 5th Ave. NOT easy for me to get to, so I splurged on a cab. It was absolutely freezing. 20-ish degrees, wind chill definitely made it feel closer to 10 degrees. This is what I love about runners; we all know we’re completely crazy but it feels so right.

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We chose this over being in our warm beds.

This race was probably my favorite of all 9 races I completed. Sure, I PR’d big time at the Staten Island half marathon after running a half the weekend before and a 10 miler the weekend before that. But this one showed me just how strong I really am, both physically and mentally. I haven’t been running much at all the last month and a half so 9.3 miles would have been tough even without injuring my calf. Mentally and emotionally I wish I could share with you just how drained I really am. The things going on in my personal life are pretty much awful and drained doesn’t even touch on what it makes me feel. Hurting my calf was more than just a setback, it was seriously crushing to me. I worked so hard these last few months to qualify for next year and running helped me deal with all that is going on. If it weren’t for running in the mornings, I would not have been able to get out of bed due to sheer soul-crushing depression. I thought about all of that and imagined leaving it all out there on the road with every passing mile. Running these races were the only things I could control this year and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be running. Frozen feet and frozen hands included. 🙂

It snowed the whole race and was so beautiful. It felt like no time had passed at all before we reached the 9 mile mark.

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And of course the most supportive and loving person in my life, John, was at the finish line freezing his butt off to be there for me, and to be my photographer.

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9.3 miles in 1:45:46, 11:20 pace. Pretty darn good for multiple walks, stretches & a calf strain!

Brunch afterwards with John, Brenda and Eddie. All I wanted was a fat-ass breakfast of REAL pancakes, eggs, bacon and toast. Crushed it.

LOVE the Ted Corbitt 15K shirt from the race!
LOVE the Ted Corbitt 15K shirt from the race!

Officially have guaranteed entry to the 2014 NYC Marathon!!!!!!!!!!

Is It Next Year Yet?

Watching the NYC Marathon on Sunday has made me SO excited for me to run it next year! However that excitement has not yet turned into motivation because it’s now day 9 of not working out and I still have NO desire to 😦 I feel like a huge blanket of exhaustion is just covering me and I want to do nothing but sleep and eat some soup. I’m guessing the reason I feel so exhausted is due to the lack of working out. Funny how that works, eh? Ugh, I need to stop over sleeping and get my ass up. Just to keep it real I have to admit this for both embarrassment reasons and also just because it’s kind of a good example, but I woke up late today and still hurried down to the gym to see what I could fit in. The trains were of course delayed big time so I didn’t get to the gym until 7:30, had a horrible stomach ache for 15 minutes so… yeah, then had just enough time to run 1 mile. Well I didn’t even GPS track it because I only had 10 minutes so it was probably more like 0.80 miles. Better than 0 I know but that is NOT what I call a comeback.

Movin’ on… some pictures from our spectating on Sunday.

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That was the crazy crowd on 1st Ave and 63rd St. The runner’s are passing mile 16 here I believe.

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One of my favorite spots to watch, where the runners come into Manhattan for the first time!

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Mile 25!

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The 1/2 mile left sign was giving me a stomach ache and anxiety. I HATE that part of any race so much. I am not good at pushing myself at the end of a race until I have about 25 feet til the finish line.

I definitely shed a tear when I saw Ali at mile 25. The fact that she has battled Crohn’s disease SO bad this year, was barely able to train and didn’t know for sure up til 2 days before if she would even be able to get to the start line and then still ran it sub-4. FREAKING amazing! I simply can’t wait for next year.

Since we were outside in the freezing cold for a few hours, we decided to head down to Soho and warm up with a cute little tea and scone date at Harney & Sons. We are so corny, we know.

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I had soy chai latte and John had something I just call soup in a cup. It tastes like grass, not a fan. The scones were just slightly flavored vanilla and I slathered them in that yummy jam.

In other news, I am full on obsessed with turkey chili. I haven’t made my own yet (read: so damn lazy) but I’ve been getting it at Fresh & Co for lunch and it’s SO FREAKING GOOD and pretty low calorie. I have a week off from work and besides going to Boston FINALLY to see my babes Mark and Lauren, we were too poor for a real vacation so my other fun will be making chili for the first time. I am a party animal.

Have you ever watched the NYC Marathon in person or on TV?

Have you ever made your own chili? If so what’s your favorite recipe? I like it super spicy and thick! (TWSS) 😉

9+1 (OMG)

Happy Hump Day, ya’ll!

I have this weird thing about being jinxed. I’m a little bit superstitious but don’t talk about it much because I realize it seems silly. For some reason, whenever I write down my workouts for the week ahead, that happens to be the week that I basically miss every single one. This is a semi recent thing, because lists have helped me so much with so many things in the past and I LOVE lists! I’m sure another part is the fact that I’ve just been really, really lazy this summer. After my half marathon in May, it was the same time that spring semester was over too and I kind of just fell out of my routine and really needed it at first. But a month has turned into 3 months of being way too lax about my workouts and eating a little more stably. I need to bring SOME of that attitude with me because along the way it helped me relax and enjoy other aspects of life a little more. Saying yes to more outings with John, getting tons of sleep, seeing friends more, etc. Sometimes in the midst of training for things/ LIFE in general we get so caught up in what we should be doing to achieve our goals that we forget about the amazing parts of life and memories to be made!

Cheers to dinners out with irreplaceable people!
Cheers to dinners out with irreplaceable people!

So on that note, jinx or no jinx, I’m taking the plunge to let you all know that I have officially signed up for 9 races and 1 volunteer job to fulfill the requirements for guaranteed entry to the 2014 NYC Marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I’ve been waiting for a week to use that picture.

It is going to be a jam-packed 4 months coming up. My fall semester starts on Monday (online) so while I’m used to working full-time and juggling school, I’m not used to training for 9 races at the same time! So, follow along as my hair turns grey prematurely and I hopefully become an amazing runner. Here are the races I am doing to fulfill the 9 requirements:

Saturday August 24th: Percy Sutton Harlem 5K. Yeah, this whole racing business starts THIS WEEKEND. Never ran a 5K race, so automatic PR. I am not in racing shape for this, so just going to give it my all but not push it too much if anything feels off. I have to go right to work after so sorry ahead of time that I will smell for 9 hours. Hoping to get as close to 30 minutes as possible, and if it’s even a second under I will poop my pants with happiness.

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Saturday September 7th: Autism Speaks 4 Miler. No time goals, just going to go on how I feel. Another one where I’ll basically be going to work sweaty after. Oops!

Sunday September 29th: Bronx 10-Miler. Time goal to come! As you can see I have a couple long distances 3 weekends in a row…

Sunday October 6th: Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon. 13.1 miles of Central Park hills.

Sunday October 13th: Staten Island Half Marathon. 13.1 miles, after 2 weekends of long distance races, in the borough I’ve never been to!

Sunday October 27th: Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff 5 Miler. Did this race last year and loved it. Hopefully NO hurricanes this year!

Sunday November 17th: Join the Voices 5 Miler. A few weeks off of racing should do me good!

Sunday November 24th: Race to Deliver 4 Miler. This was my first race ever, 2 years ago!

Saturday December 14th: Ted Corbitt 15K. First 15K so automatic PR. Last and final race to complete my 9!

My +1 volunteer credit will be fulfilled November 2nd for the marathon expo!! How amazing, right? I am so stoked to be doing this and love that I have so much to look forward to. It will be tough- especially the 3 back-to-back weekends of long distance racing- but I am going to stay positive and remember that I am lucky to have the ability to run and the desire to run. Some people are not as fortunate, and for them we need to run!

The main things I am going to be focusing on is really reeling it in with my nutrition Monday-Friday. Not even mainly for the weight loss aspect (I do need to tone up, though) but because putting my body through a rigorous training schedule requires giving my body the proper fuel and the right amount! Basically more veggies and protein and less apple cinnamon cheerios for dinner because I’m lazy. Another aspect is taking care of my body thoroughly- no slacking on stretching, foam rolling, yoga and strength. I NEED to keep going to BodyPump and just work through the soreness. I didn’t go at all in the last almost 2 weeks and my knees and hips are feeling it. Twice a week and 1 yoga session will be plenty! I will also be actually living in my PRO compression socks regardless of my outfit choice. If you haven’t entered my giveaway yet, do it now! It ends tomorrow!

You guys, this is such a huge thing for me. I spent my entire childhood wishing I could be an athlete but having no self-esteem to do so. As dorky as it may sound, I feel like this is my second chance to be an athlete 🙂

Thank God I have an entire year to get into marathon shape- whatever that means!

Have you ever ran a marathon? All tips and memories welcome.