This is a ramble.

We still have some catching up to do so be prepared, this is looooong!

Basically my life is spent doing nothing but working. Luckily right now I love my jobs, but I don’t love cleaning, laundry or grocery shopping and I had to do all of the above on my 3-day weekend. But the weekend before was no work and ALL play, so lets get to that fun stuff first.

John went out of town for a few days so Brenda and I planned a romantic weekend together since we hardly get to see each other for more than an hour at a time these days. First up: seeing our favorite comedians from the show Broad City! Anyone watch that on Comedy Central? Well it’s hilarious and a very REAL depiction of what life is like in NYC when you’re a broke 20-something. They were performing at FIT along with Bevers from the show and Jason Mantzoukas because he is at literally every comedy show ever. The show was awesome and we were hurting from laughing.

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On the way home I stopped and got myself a cheese-less pizza from Patsy’s to take back to my apartment and eat alone in bed. It was seriously glorious. I love John to death but sometimes you just need a night alone in bed… with pizza. Ya feel me?

 

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I slept in Saturday morning and casually drank coffee and watched TV. I NEVER get relaxing mornings anymore since I’m always teaching, so this was much needed. In the afternoon I headed to meet Brenda at Whole Foods for lunch then we spent the rest of the day walking all over the park. Once we got back to my apartment for a sleepover (yes, were 11) we ordered cheese-less Domino’s (please don’t comment on my pizza addiction) and watched Blue Crush because we will always be wanna-be Surfer Girls.

Sunday morning we lifted a little before my spin class, then headed to my friend’s birthday brunch at Bagatelle. It was Pride weekend so we knew we were in for some fun. It started out innocently enough with rounds of Prosecco, then some appetizers, and the main courses. She had a pre planned menu and we all passed the dishes and ate what we wanted. It was the perfect amount of food because we all really wanted more champagne than food πŸ˜‰

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Then it got wild. Wild for 2:00 PM.

Superman bringing out champagne to another birthday girl. If this isn’t what your brunch looks like, you’re doing it wrong.

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Gigantic ice cream towers with sparklers. Again, NYC brunch > all other brunches.

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Happy Birthday baybeeeeee
Happy Birthday baybeeeeee

It was so fun and I hadn’t drank since my birthday so it was much needed. Brenda and I went back to my apartment for awhile and I was asleep by 8. Perfect weekend!

Last week my spin schedule was lightened and I was so grateful. I really needed some rest so the holiday weekend was perfect for it. My Thursday and Friday classes were cancelled, so I did a 3 mile run on Thursday then went to a CYC class on Friday morning. CYC is a boutique cycle studio (like SoulCycle except not a cult and less expensive) and Brenda loves it so I’ve wanted to try it for awhile. It gave me a run for my money, that’s fa sho. 45 minutes of crazy-ness including 4 songs where we turned up the resistance almost all the way so we weren’t moving our legs much and used 2-3 lb weights for back-to-back strength training. Sure that weight is nothing but it gets into your tiny little muscles and left me shaking! The founder of CYC, Keoni, was the instructor so it was a blast. He has the best energy and inspired me so much! It was nice to be the student and not instructor for once!

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French toast, coffee and cuddling was next up for my 4th of July.

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I alternated from my bed, my couch, and a lot of cleaning for the rest of the day. It was so nice to be able to catch up on life things that never get done because I’m always working!

Saturday morning was long run time with Andrea! This girl is going to be my saving grace for marathon training. The 3 miles I ran on Thursday were terrible, and while I still felt out of shape on Saturday it went much smoother. 8Β gorgeous miles with the birthday girl!

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Followed by my favorite brunch with John at Grey Dog!

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Fried egg, turkey sausage and goat cheese on a croissant with sweet potato fries. YAAAS.

We walked around and got coffees and started to look for running sneakers for John becauuuuuuuuuse he told me he wants to start doing a little running with me. Yes, I almost died. I hope he sticks to it! πŸ˜‰

What else? I ate fried chicken Saturday night. First time in like 4 years? It sounded so good, John loves it, and it was only $5. Long hair, don’t care.

Taught Spin yesterday morning with a little upper body lift before, then had an extremely active day that has left me very sore today. Started with a nice walk to get an acai bowl at The Juice Shop in Flatiron. Highly recommend this place.

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They also gave me 3 free green juices (maybe they could sense I ate fried chicken the night before?) but they didn’t taste so good, not even a little. I did some healthy damage at Trader Joe’s and lugged 2 very heavy bags back home. Then took 3 big bags of clothes from our cleaning frenzy Friday down to Buffalo Exchange to see what I could sell and donated the rest to Good Will. I made out pretty well and it felt really good to get rid of those size 2 pants I will never fit in again. I’ve been holding on to them for too long! Size 6/8 is working out just fine for me, thank ya very much πŸ™‚

Meal preppin’.

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I’ll share what I’m eating this week and my new obsession from Trader Joe’s later this week! Feels good to blab on about my life to you all again! πŸ™‚

How was your July 4th weekend??Β Oh I also ate a hot dog on Friday too. John bought the all pork ones since I can’t have beef and it fulfilled a 3 year craving for me, on a nice white bun with ketchup and mustard. Mmmm the bad stuff!

AND- 29 days til Costa Rica. But who’s counting?!?! πŸ˜€

!!!!!

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. πŸ˜‰

Let me catch you up onΒ 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 πŸ˜‰

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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! πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ˜‰

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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!! ❀ ❀

New Beginnings

I’m alive! I feel so bad that I haven’t been able to update like, ever, lately- for those of you who leave the sweetest comments telling me that you really love to read my blog, I’m really sorry that it’s been so few and far between lately. I hope to get back on some type of regular schedule with blogging soon since I have some fabulous news to share.

If you know me in real life then you know I have been very unhappy in my job for a long time now. If you are a smart cookie, you could probably read between the lines of a lot of my blog posts talking about how stressed and unhappy I’ve been over the last couple of years. Not just at work, but family issues as well have caused the last 2.5 years to be nothing short of miserable- with of course some AMAZING things that happened during, as well. I kid you not, there have been more moments where I have wanted to give up than to carry on. Moments turned into weeks of feeling desperate, hopeless and completely defeated. A year and a half ago I went on a low dose of Welbutrin to help with my anxiety and depression and it has definitely helped a ton.Β My circumstances actually got worse since I’ve been on the medicine, but taking it along with beginning to teach spin has helped me see and manage everything in a new light.

Back in March I decided it was time to work hard at finding a new job. I still have no clue exactly what it is I want to do but one thing I do know is that I am ready to be done with retail and the luxury fashion world. Yes, you need to be thick skinned to handle it. Have I developed a thicker skin than when I started in December 2011? You bet I have. But at what cost? I have turned into a miserable, bitter, actually bitchy person. Mean to strangers, NO patience whatsoever for anything or anyone- all characteristics I didn’t posses before this job. Except for the patience part… when I started I had a smidgen of patience, now it’s below 0. I started to work with recruiters and went on lots of interviews and got my hopes up about a few that didn’t end up working out. Finally after 2 great interviews and a long weekend of waiting and praying and hoping, I got the call last Monday that I was being offered a job that has a lot to promise. Better hours, better pay, better benefits and most of all; better quality of life. It’s going to give me the chance to teach more classes, and have a clearer head to figure out the path I want to go in. I truly can’t even think straight once I leave work and head right to bed the minute I get home, leaving me in a cycle of nothing but work and sleep. I HATE it and have hated every minute of it. Since I gave my 2 weeks notice last week, I have felt nothing but extreme relief and not an ounce of doubt. Even better, I was off for a week that I had already planned so my stress level is so far below what it has been for years that I am feeling like a brand new person. I am excited for my next chapter and more than anything I am SO READY for it!! πŸ™‚

Things I cannot wait for with this new chapter:

  • Being able to wear nail polish again. Yep, haven’t been able to. MANICURES EVERY NIGHT, YA’LL!
  • Wearing normal clothes again. Looking fashionable. Do you know how terrible it’s been to my style to have to wear the ugliest uniform of all time for a fashion company?! It doesn’t even make sense! I’ve already spent too much money on new clothes and I don’t even care. J-Crew Factory until I’m broke. Oops, already happened.
  • Teach more night classes/sub them. I can never do them because I work until 7 or later… not no mo!
  • Take classes at night since I teach 3 mornings a week! HELLO, STRENGTH TRAINING!
  • WEEKENDS OFF. WHAT.
  • I will be doing long runs on Saturdays now, followed by spending the rest of the day out on the beach, sleeping in a bit on Sundays and then teaching my Sunday morning spin class. Heaven?
  • Stability.

So ready to embrace this next new chapter. I promise to you, my amazing readers, that I will post at least a couple of times a week again. And I am 99.9% sure they will be about me being a happy person again. πŸ™‚

(I will have an awesome re-cap of my weekend upstate with my family and friends, and running the Binghamton 1/2 marathon tomorrow! Sneak peak: I was only 1 minute off my PR and my best friend Brenda had an 11 minute PR!)

Have you ever had a big career change? For the better or worse?

What are the “perks” of your job?Β I truly consider being able to be your unique self and wear your own clothing to be at the top! I feel like I can be so much more productive when I’m happy and comfortable and feel good!

Food, Sun, Best Friend & A Celebrity = Great Weekend

Is the title of my post not extremely obnoxious? I never claimed to be creative, ya’ll. I’m so sorry with how MIA I have been lately but I am hoping for a very positive shift in a big area of my life where I will be a whole lot less stressed, and therefore have the energy to do anything other than just drop into bed fully clothed and fall asleep at 8:30 PM. That has been happening almost every night for the last few weeks. Long story short: I miss writing! So I apologize for the abundance of pictures coming your way, but last weekend was nothing short of amazing so I want to share πŸ™‚

First off- the amazing weather that we’ve had for not even a full week yet. I celebrated one day last weekΒ by wearing my new J Crew shorts that I scored for $22 through their factory website, and these great gladiator sandals from Forever 21. Be proud of my artistic angle. This was the same week that it also snowed. WTF.

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I also need to spread this PSA and say that if you hate low-rise jeans and don’t wear anything other than workout clothes because of it, try Express jeans. They have the perfect amount of stretch that let you breathe but don’t make you look like you are wearing denim leggings or “jeggings”- that word alone terrifies me. The anchor printed shirt is also from Express and I have been living in it.

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Okay, not to food. John and I had a little Friday night date at 5 Napkin Burger and it ended in a huge dessert that we actually could both eat. Waffles, ice cream, raspberry sorbet and whipped cream. I ate half of the waffles and all of the sorbet while trying to not eat the whipped cream but of course I did.

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Saturday morning I taught Spin then enjoyed the absolutely gorgeous day with Brenda. We walked around all day (probably close to 6 miles) and carbloaded. We got froyo, then lunch (omelettes and french fries, that’s how we rollll) and while we were sitting at the diner Brenda saw Elijah from Girls walk by to the deli next door and pick out flowers. We hadn’t paid yet so we rushed to the counter to pay while I stalked the front so as to not let him get away. When he exited the deli, I bolted at him like a complete freak and literally scared him. He was physically trying to get away from me when I approached him yelling “OMG YOU’RE THAT GUY FROM GIRLS!!” because I could not remember his characters name for the life of me. He laughed, still trying to walk away, while I asked him for a picture and admitted that Brenda and I had been stalking him. I literally screamed into the entrance of the diner “BRENDAAAAAA!!!” and she came running out. It resulted in a very awkward/terrible selfie that Brenda made me crop her out of, but I left her cheek in it.

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It’s been awhile since I saw a celeb so I was pretty stoked. Looooove my NYC!

We decided to actually be fun for once and went out with my co-workers for a drink, and then of course landed at Lombardi’s since we were in SoHo and hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Awesome friends, awesome pizza, awesome way to end a carbload.

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After a late night out, waking up early to run and teach wasn’t easy but it ended up feeling so great. I dressed like an easter egg for our easter run of 7 miles through the park.

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Such a dork. Followed by teaching THE BEST spin class I have taught so far. The energy was incredible, everyone was working hard, having so much fun and singing along. We all sweat some serious buckets and I’m still riding that high days later. Have I mentioned how much I love teaching?! πŸ™‚

How was your Easter weekend?

More/Fitness Half Marathon

Half Marathon #5 was completed this past Sunday with my best friend Brenda. Truthfully, it was the worst race I can ever remember running. It was unexpectedly hot and we were dehydrated and completely over it from the start. We finished 4 minutes slower than our first half together last year (and 12 minutes slower than my PR), but this one included multiple walk breaks and about a 5 minute stop at the port-a-potties at mile 5, so we are still in much better shape than last year! At the end of the day, all that really matters is that we got out there and did what we could and we did it together which was automatically a blast.

Before the race started
Before the race started

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Stuffed our faces afterwards at brunch with my new post-race ritual of chocolate chip pancakes, eggs and turkey sausage.

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Followed by a pedicure that John treated me to. BEST IDEA EVER to get one after a half! The leg massage was so great. I broke my right big toe in half during this race along with worsening the permanent blister below my 2nd toe on the right side, too. It was a pretty painful pedicure to say the least.Β photo 4

I taught spin Monday morning with SO much less soreness than last month’s half! I ended up finishing last weeks training with 99 miles total of running and cycling. Insanity.

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My brother came to visit Monday night and stayed with us all day yesterday and John was also off of work from the day. We had a blast. Drew came to my spin class with me Tuesday morning and KILLED it! It was his first spin class ever and of course he beat me in mileage. Boys. Then we went to brunch with John, went back home and laid in my bed all day watching TV and napping. Dinner was Domino’s and POPEYES FRIED CHICKEN because we were just in need of a fat day. We ate super early and took another nap, so on the way to the bus station at 10 PM we stopped for froyo at Orange Leaf where they were selling froyo for $4.15 regardless of the weight of the cup for tax day. We ball hard.Β photo 4 (1)

It was a super fun few days and I’m paying for it today in exhaustion and bloat πŸ˜‰

Did any of you guys run the More/Fitness half last weekend? What did you think if you did or did it in the past? I just can’t pay $80 to run in Central Park again. Not when I run it for free and not when the swag bag is absolutely terrible!

Deliciousness + A Lot of Spin

How is it already Thursday?! This week has FLOWN by because I have taught Spin every single day since last Friday! It’s been a crazy non-stop week, that’s for sure. I welcomed today’s rest day with open arms and sadly one extremely sore and pained hip and glute 😦 I need to spend a lot of time foam rolling the next few nights before the More/Fitness Half Marathon on Sunday that I’m obviously ill-prepared for. Brenda and I ran for 1 hour and 25 minutes last Sunday before my spin class and I was seriously dead the last 15 minutes. Where am I supposed to fit running in when I’m teaching spin so many mornings?! So many things are up in the air right now and I’m hoping to have it figured out by next month and hopefully that includes a bigΒ change. πŸ™‚

Backing up to last weekend because it was so awesome, on Sunday after my long run and Spin class, I met up with my good friend Alyse and her awesome roommate and other friends that I love for a belated birthday brunch. Alyse is the sweetest! She took me to ABV which has my favorite eggs benedict in the world and amazing iced coffee; pretty much my two favorites.Β photo 1

The hash browns take it to a whole new level. A whole new level of caloric insanity, I’m sure πŸ˜‰

After brunch we stopped by Dough Loco, a doughnut joint that Alyse had told us about that we had to stop at. No one else really had room for a doughnut the size of their head except me, and I’ll blame that on the fact that I did almost 3 hours of cardio before hand. So, a blueberry doughnut was part of my refueling, natch.Β photo 2

 

We hung out at Alyse’s apartment for awhile before John and I split to hang out down in the East Village for awhile before his belated birthday dinner. We went to Brindle Room because it’s John’s favorite and the food is so delicious. We had beer battered pork belly for an appetizer and it was ridiculous. So, so good. photo 4

I had the happy hour $5 mussels and fries for dinner because… $5. And they are GOOD. photo 5

Followed up with froyo at a new-to-me place that I am now obsessed with and thankful it’s so far downtown I won’t be running there more than once on the weekends, Yooglers. So many awesome flavors and SO.MANY.TOPPINGS. HELLO, POPTARTS AS A TOPPING!!!!

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AND oatmeal squares, aka my favorite cereal but it’s $8 a box here so I never buy it?! Actual heaven.

Included in that weekend was teaching spin Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning (+8 mile run), then bright and early Monday morning. I also taught Monday night and came home to a great dinner late Monday night. I needed some healthy grub after all the junk from Sunday!Β photo 1 (1)

Sweet potato with goat cheese & raspberry preserves, egg whites, baguette with smashed avocado, and my first attempt at a poached egg that I overcooked by… a lot. It was still good! Followed by a bowl of my current cereal obsession, strawberry frosted mini wheats with vanilla almond milk.Β photo 1 (2)

Tuesday morning after I taught spin, I came home to finally take a glorious nap and try to regain some energy. Around 2 I thought I should probably go try to find some food so I went to a place in my neighborhood I have seen but never had the chance to try. It’s basically a cafe with all kinds of salad, sandwiches, etc and it’s directly across from Columbia hospital. The food is SO fresh and much more affordable than places in midtown! I got a turkey sandwich on this delicious tomato foccacia bread and a huge feta salad.Β photo 4 (1)

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So good.

And my healthy dessert I’ve been having every night this week with no guilt:Β photo 4 (2)Β Even if you don’t have an allergy to dairy, these are worth eating. So Delicious brand coconut almond bars for 170 calories each, topped with vanilla almond butter. Of course the almond butter is optional but… not really. πŸ˜‰ They have the exact consistency of real ice cream but only 10 grams of sugar which is really good for a dessert. They are a little pricey but worth it if you can’t eat the real deal!

And finally last night, I taught back-to-back spin classes which is only the 2nd time I’ve ever done it. I must say, teaching twice in a day isn’t bad when it’s spread out but back to back is pretty brutal. By the end, I was light headed and was completely depleted of everything!Β photo 2 (3)

I ate a banana right away then a quick protein shake and some Popchips with 1/2 an avocado for dinner. Not even remotely fancy when trying to prepare dinner at 9 PM and SVU is about to start! Did anyone watch last night? I am so happy that guy finally offed himself. He was so creepy.

How has your week been with workouts and food? My sweet tooth has been off the charts lately, woops.

Week Highlights

Happy Saturday! REALLY wish I was outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and not stuck at work. I’m also really over the fact that allergy season has now started, and going from a month of being sick straight into allergies basically feels like I’m just still sick. UGH! I take Zyrtec to ward off some of the symptoms, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. I read this year will be one of the worst years for allergies in a long time. WHY. Puffy eyes and a dry, flaky nose really just isn’t my best look.

At least this week showed signs of spring. I made it a point to bring actual clothes with me to the gym in the morning even though I’m only in them for the train ride to work and then home. We have REAL ugly uniforms at work (if you know where I work you are probably even more shocked) so I basically never get to wear cute clothes anymore. It sucks and I miss it so much. Speaking of cute clothes, I am a big time hater of jeans but found really great fitting ones at Express. They offer low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise which is spectacular if you are like me and don’t like the way low-rise jeans fit (more specifically- you don’t like your slight muffin top and butt crack hanging out of your pants). The mid-rise fit is perfect on me and even though I’m 5’7, my height is not at all in my legs so the ankle length fits me like just normal skinny jeans. I don’t have a pic of me in them but they are these. I think they call them a legging because they are stretchy and fit tight but they are definitely heavier like a real jean. Freaking love them and Express jeans have always been my personal favorite! Since I have their credit card, I get coupons all the time and got 4 pairs of those jeans, this top in mint green, and these sunglasses. On top of the coupons, I also had a $40 gift card they sent me for my birthday so I made out super well!

Besides my 2 mile run on Wednesday, no other running this week. Still. I’m telling you, I just can’t find my groove. I taught Spin Monday, Tuesday, Friday morning and this morning so I obviously still got my workouts in but running just keeps taking a back seat. If only I got paid for it πŸ˜‰ Ate some greatness though, of course.

First of all, how adorable is this new glass portable mason jar from David’s Tea? photo 1(1) I’ve been making iced tea with stevia in the early mornings to drink on my way to teach spin so that I’m not drinking so much coffee since having an iced soy latte at work is a non-negotiable. It’s more of a gentle way to wake up, I think!

After a particularly terrible Wednesday, I went to drown my sorrows in froyo at my favorite froyo joint Orange Leaf. They are more expensive than the others, but when you taste it you happily oblige. Plus I had a $3 coupon for my birthday. It was April 2nd and they had eggnog, my absolute favorite flavor of froyo. So that pretty much turned my frown upside down!

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Last night John took me to a greek place I’ve wanted to try for a late birthday dinner since he was so sick last weekend. While it was a little pricier and the service totally sucked, the food was outrageously good. I ate more french fries than I care to admit and was extremely sick after but that is 100% my fault. The feta was amazing, the kebobs delicious and the jalapeno hummus with pita bread? Best thing ever.

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If you like Greek food, I highly recommend Stix on East 23rd street!

What were your week highlights?

Favorite Greek/Mediterranean dish? I loooove hummus, pita bread, feta, and chicken shawarma so much.

Another Year.

Well, I’m another year older and probably at least a little wiser πŸ˜‰ Saturday was my 26th birthday and while it poured rain all weekend, I got to spend the weekend with my mom and my mom’s boyfriends daughter Amanda. I picked them up at Port Authority late Friday night and we went to grab food at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I have always wanted to go to this place and if you aren’t familiar with it it’s a diner where all the staff are aspiring actors/actresses/performers, so they sing and dance on the tables! It was way cooler than I expected! photo 3(2)

We tried to ignore the rain as we walked around all day on Saturday and shopped our butts off! My poor John was so, so sick all weekend and his birthday was yesterday. He couldn’t even get out of bed let alone walk around in the rain all day. I was supposed to meet Brenda around 6:30 AM for a long run but I was actually scared to leave him alone he was coughing so terribly and in so much pain, so I stayed in bed with him until later in the morning. My heart rate monitor at least made me a cake!Β  photo 5(1)

Around noon we headed to brunch with Brenda and Eddie to the place we went to after the NYC half a few weekends ago, Philip Marie. I was so obsessed with our service and the atmosphere that I wanted to celebrate my birthday here! The food is also amazing but I think even if it weren’t I would still go there! I got eggs with toast and potatoes, super basic but delicious. That butter was NOT eaten.photo 1(1)Β  After brunch my mom, Amanda and I headed downtown to check out the 9/11 memorial. I was so glad they wanted to go because of course I’ve wanted to but it’s one of those things that when you live here you just keep putting it off because you take all of the things to do for granted. It was so beautiful and also sad to be there.Β  photo 3(1)Β  photo 2Β  We made our way back up to Times Square to hit up the gigantic Forever 21 and H&M. Let’s just say they have no idea how much I love them for me going to Times Square on a Saturday πŸ˜‰ It actually was really fun to be a tourist for the day and we ended up getting some great things. I treated myself way too much this whole month, always telling myself it was a birthday present. I have more birthday presents from myself this year than ever in my life combined, haha! shop

Shopping was followed by a ton of pizza at Patsy’s and froyo afterwards. My perfect birthday dinner!

Amanda, mom, and me!
Amanda, mom, and me!

Once we got back to my apartment, we had our own karaoke session of singing old school Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, which was inspiration for this week’s spin playlist. I had one of the most amazing classes ever yesterday morning! Everyone was feelin’ every song and a woman came up to me after class and told me my classes and music gets her higher than heroin! haha Flattered yet also concerned πŸ˜‰ Sorry I haven’t shared a playlist in awhile, but this one is too good to pass up.Β  photoΒ  After I taught my Sunday morning class, I came back home with bagels and donuts for John and we napped and watched Arrested Development all day and night. Not the worst way to spend a birthday, but certainly not fun when you are super sick! We are going to have a re-do on our birthdays sometime this week.

How was your last birthday spent?

Birthday Party

Hi my favorite people! I feel like I’ve started so many posts off by saying how busy my week has been but again, it was. I picked up extra classes this week so I taught 7 classes within 4 days. So. Tired. I also had some meetings and of course, long days at work so I am beat. The only thing keeping me going is a fun weekend ahead with my mom and friend Amanda coming to visit for my birthday weekend!

Last weekend my good friend Sharde that I work with threw me an amazing birthday party at a karaoke lounge. We had such a blast and I’m still recovering from it days later πŸ˜‰ I haven’t gone out in so long so it kicked my butt! A bunch of my co-workers and of course Brenda, John and my good friend Alyse all came and we sang our hearts out. So many great pictures from that night I have to share.

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Such a fabulous night! My real birthday is this Saturday the 29th. Hoping that 26 brings me a year of success! πŸ™‚

What was your best age or birthday party?

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. πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ 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!