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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Binghamton 1/2 Marathon 2014

Thank you for all the love and support on yesterday’s post about my new job! I am truly so excited to start my new chapter (I sound like a broken record at this point ha) and I can guarantee you are going to be super annoyed with my posts about my outfits 😉

Warning: long post, lots of pictures. Pretty typical of me but I feel the need to warn you. 🙂

So last week at this time I was in Binghamton for a long weekend of relaxing, food, family, friends and racing! The Binghamton Bride Run 1/2 Marathon was my first half marathon ever last year, and I think it may be one of my favorites. The route is perfectly challenging and good for a PR, without the crazy overcrowding of NYC races. Plus I can just drive to the start versus getting on the subway early or taking a cab which is muchhhh less stressful! Once I arrived on Thursday, I had Enterprise pick me up at the bus station (pretty sweet perk when renting a car through them), grabbed an iced soy latte and met my brother for lunch at my favorite diner, Broadway Diner. As usual, I had to have the greek chicken salad with honey mustard on the side.

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Later on I made my mom, brother and I an awesome healthy meal since I knew the rest of the weekend would be indulgent as all get out. Baked teriyaki chicken, sauteed mushrooms in coconut oil, and roasted sweet potatoes topped with coconut almond butter. Why is cooking at someone else’s house so much better? Answer: because your mom does the dishes. 😉

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Friday morning I woke up and went for a 4 mile run in absolutely gorgeous weather. My hometown is really beautiful on the 40-some days of sunshine we actually get a year!

My highschool!
My highschool!

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Hills galore!

My brother and I went to another one of my favorite cafe’s called Corbin’s for brunch. It’s one of the healthiest restaurants in the area and not one that many people know about even living there. I had eggs with pumpernickel homemade toast, bacon and homefries (nothing is cooked in oil even for a calorie savings) and we shared an order of buckwheat banana pancakes with sugar-free syrup. Absolutely delicious and great way to begin carb-loading!

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I did some shopping at TJ Maxx then headed to my hair appointment. This is my favorite part of being upstate is getting my hair done by my friend Sherette at Friends & Co. She is so ridiculously talented and I swear my hair looks better and better each time. We spend hours talking and laughing with the 2 other stylists (Patrick and Keith, both AMAZING as well!) and I leave feeling wonderful every time. My perfect blonde hair being just a perk of going!

That moment when you know your hair won't look this good again until your next hair appointment.
That moment when you know your hair won’t look this good again until your next hair appointment.

Later on Friday night my brother and I took my mom to an early mother’s day dinner at her favorite restaurant Little Venice, a Binghamton staple. Truly the best italian restaurant you’ll ever go to, mark my words. Drew and I split their bbq baked chicken wings (so much better than fried) and THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD. I had never had their pizza before but since I needed to carb up and pasta kills my stomach, we gave their pizza a whirl. This was the margarita pizza and the little bits of fresh mozzerella were so easy to pick right off for me. The sauce and the dough was just magnificent.

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A few hours after digesting, I picked up Brenda who had just got into town and we went out with our friend Lisa to downtown Binghamton. Back in the good old days, we used to party every weekend at these bars and were the life of the party. Turns out at 26 years old, we were the oldest people there besides a group of 45 year old men from out of town who were there for something to do with golf. We had a drink, took a picture, and went to Denny’s. So old. (Side note: we had blueberry pancake puppies and they are life changing. Please don’t judge.)

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Saturday morning I met up with my high-school health teacher who is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known in my life. We had breakfast at Broadway (of course) and spent a good chunk of time catching up on each others lives. So great to have a mentor like him, and I love that he is wildly successful even after retiring. He travels the country giving speeches and lectures from his book, Zen and the Art of Public School Teaching. If you are a teacher, I HIGHLY recommend reading this. Even if you aren’t, the man has such a way with words it’s really incredible.

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Brenda and I then headed to get coffee and to the expo to get our race stuff. Then it was off for froyo round 1 where we discussed future business plans that I can’t wait to explore!

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I headed down to Pennsylvania to scoop up John and visit with his mom for awhile, then we met back up with Brenda and my brother for pizza at Joey’s in Endicott. This was delicious, but a little too cheesy so once it was scraped off there was basically no sauce left. Next year, I will be carb-loading at Little Venice!

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…Picked up my friend Amanda and we met my friend Jordan for froyo round 2. Absolutely no shame. Also, I love these people. So much.

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Let’s just say I spent all weekend trying to get Brenda to back out of this race. I was SO over it from the moment I woke up Saturday from not getting enough sleep. By the time I knew I was only getting 4 hours of sleep before the race as well, I wanted to scream. I woke up Sunday pretty miserable but sucked it up of course. We had no time for coffee but it ended up being fine somehow. We parked a few blocks from the start and met up with our friend Adrienne who we ended up running with the whole time which was such a life saver. Having the added motivation and person to talk to really helped us and it went a lot smoother than I thought it would. The hills from last year seemed like nothing this year, but by the time we got to mile 10 we had only stopped once and Brenda and Adrienne were ready to kick it into gear. Unfortunately, this is always where I fall short. I am TERRIBLE at picking it up for the end of a race. In spin class, hell yeah I can find that energy and bring it home- probably because that’s what I get paid to do. But in a race, I’m terrible. Once we passed mile 11 I was really lagging behind them, so I told them to go because Brenda had a HUGE PR if she kept up with Adrienne. I felt so terrible that last mile and a half, but instead of walking I just slowed down a ton and this guy and I fed off each other to push one another to the finish. I wish I got his name because he really saved me and I think I did the same for him! Once I saw my brother and John at the finish, I booked it and ended up finishing in 2:22:31, only a minute off my PR!! And Brenda? She finished in 2:19, giving her an 11 MINUTE PR FROM LAST YEAR! I am so, so, SO proud of her!!

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The exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks after this one from the lack of sleep for multiple nights before, and the culmination of all the emotions you go through during a big life change. Drew and John took me to Friendly’s (I have been craving this for literally 4 years) so I could eat every single thing I wanted to at that moment: french toast, french fries with honey mustard, runny eggs and bacon.

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Luckily post-race I am too sick to eat much so I just had a few bites of each thing and was good to go. Except for the fries… those I dominated. Drew and John had banana fosters pancakes while laughing about how stupid it is to run a half marathon. LOL love my support team 😉

Enter in a nap followed by a little more food that my stomach wasn’t accepting. Long bus ride home with terrible anxiety (does anyone else ever have anxiety after a long workout? Sometimes a lot of cardio does that to me but I also turn into a baby when I’m overtired) and having to wake up 4 hours after I got in to teach spin. I came right back to my apartment and crashed for the day. Felt reeeeal good.

What’s your favorite race you have participated in? Any repeated ones?

2013 Recap- Obvi.

I’m a complete sucker for all things recapped and end of the year recaps make me giddy. I never said I was cool, okay? So here are my top 10 favorite moments/events/accomplishments of my 2013, not in any particular order because I don’t wanna make one memory feel inferior to another memory. Aren’t I sweet? PS this is going to be a long post with a lot of pictures of me. Feel free to stop reading right here.

I’ll start with a short recap of my workouts. I use DailyMile to log my miles but I also use my iPhone notes to recap every day of the year with what workout I did including rest days. I will probably seriously do this forever, because I enjoy it. Just like logging my food every day on MyFitnessPal, it’s not even entirely about weight loss these days. I can look up any day in the past 3.5 years and instantly be taken back to that day. It’s not just about the food or the workout for that particular day, it’s the memories that came along with the rest of that day. Does that make sense? Anyways, without further ado, here we go.

Running- 572 miles

Spin- 35 classes, including teaching 8 of them 🙂

Yoga- 6 (um, woops)

Strength training/weights- 41 sessions

2014 fitness goals: run a lot more miles than that. A.k.a BE MORE CONSISTENT. Less excuses, Jen, less excuses. Stop being lazy and run. A tentative goal I just decided on after reading this is that I want to run 2014K in 2014. That equates to 1,251.4 miles. Since there’s no way in hell I could run 2000 miles in a year without breaking my legs, I will shoot for the kilometer version of 2014. With marathon training starting in the summer, I can definitely do this. Being more consistent will likely result in me getting a little faster, too. I want to Spin more, or more specifically teach more! I am loving teaching so much. I NEED TO YOGA MORE. My God, 6 classes over 12 months?! Pathetic. I am aiming to at least double that number, but hopefully a lot more. With strength training I really surprised myself. Didn’t think I had really done 41 sessions of it, but that was also counting very short 8-10 minute arm workouts which why would they not count? Just a simple goal to strengthen myself even more in the new year.

Top 13: (not in order of favorites)

1. Running my 1st half marathon with my best friend.

The months of training together every weekend was the best part. Achieving a hard goal with someone I love so much was one of the best feelings ever. I love this girl with all my heart.

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2. Falling even more in love with my Johnny. 

We strengthened our relationship so much this year. We did a ton of fun things together, including so many comedy shows I can’t even remember. We really made sure we made time for each other. He reminds me to think positively every day and makes me laugh even when I’m so mad at him that I want to punch him. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings us! And no, that will not be a baby.

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3. Being in Women’s Health for my weight loss story.

Basically no words for how amazing it was to be chosen for it, have a photo shoot for it, and see my mug all over a magazine 😉 It brought me a TON of views to my blog and I love all of the comments I receive telling me they found my blog because of my article!

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4. Deciding, at the very last minute, to complete NYRR’s 9+1 program to qualify for the 2014 NYC Marathonand actually completing it, despite having an injury 3 days before my final race.

1st race of 9.. Percy Sutton Harlem 5K
1st race of 9.. Percy Sutton Harlem 5K
2/9- 4 mile race for autism
2/9- 4 mile race for autism
3 of 9- Bronx 10 miler
3 of 9- Bronx 10 miler
4 of 9- Grete Gallop 1/2 Marathon (2nd half marathon!)
4 of 9- Grete Gallop 1/2 Marathon (2nd half marathon!)
5 of 9- Staten Island 1/2 marathon where I had a HUGE PR!
5 of 9- Staten Island 1/2 marathon where I had a HUGE PR!
6 of 9- Poland Spring 5 Miler
6 of 9- Poland Spring 5 Miler
Fulfilling my volunteer credit at the marathon expo
Fulfilling my volunteer credit at the marathon expo

(Sadly I have no selfies or anything from race 7 and 8 but they happened, obvi)

And the final race:

9 of 9- Ted Corbitt 15K
9 of 9- Ted Corbitt 15K

4 months of training and races, a wonderful volunteer day, and a lot of pizza later and I am qualified for the 2014 NYC Marathon. One of my top 3 proudest achievements.

5. Watching one of my greatest friends get married. 

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I just re-read that post and teared up. She is due with her first baby this March and I am so excited to meet the little guy. Love you Frach!

6. Really appreciating the real friends I have, even though distance separates some of us.

I got to see most of the people that are truly my real friends at least once this year and it was great! It’s been really hard to find real friends in NYC. I’m lucky enough to have Brenda and John here but it’s proven difficult to find other people that I have things in common with and who want to build a real relationship. It’s tough! But I’ve heard it all my life that it gets harder to make friends as you get older. The few new people I became close with I am thankful for, though. And my brother is one of my closest friends which I never thought would happen! I love him to death and although we are really different, we’re still getting closer as we get older. I really hope 2014 will bless me with at least one new good friend that actually likes to do the things I like to do! When you stop partying to better your life, like I did, you see who sticks around and sadly I did lose some people. Their loss.

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7. Eating so much good food and developing a better relationship with it.

2011 and 2012 I was dealing with a horrible eating disorder, which if you’ve read my blog for long enough you know all about. After losing 110 pounds, I still thought I needed to lose a lot more and since my body was already at a super healthy (and borderline underweight) size, I had to nearly starve myself and work out for hours a day to keep losing weight. I looked terrible, lost hair, my period, etc. It was a time period more imprisoning than being overweight. Once I finally got help and started to eat more, I went way overboard and started binge eating for months and months. I gained weight in all the wrong places because of it and felt so miserable in my skin, once again, until this year. I found a comfortable medium between loving to work out but being okay with resting whenever I want to without feeling insanely guilty and eating what I want. I was in really amazing shape this summer and fall and while I’ve gained a little this month from all the dang sweets, I know that I can get back to feeling great without deprivation or anything extreme. I love to eat healthy, and I am so much happier eating pizza all the time by fitting them into my macros after a few doses of the healthy stuff, of course. If I could marry pizza, I would.

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8. Becoming a Spin teacher!!

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I got certified in March and finally got a part-time position in November. I am excited to see where I can go with this! It’s so much fun creating playlists and seeing the look on my classes faces when they hear a song they love. I also love the look on their face when they really don’t like me during a heavy hill climb. 😀

9. Finally completing my Associate’s degree.

Not something I talk about too often on here except for mentions of homework here and there, but school is something I have struggled with completing. Not for lack of intelligence but lack of time and money. I graduated high school in 2006 and went right to community college in my town and worked full-time. After 1 year I decided I would wait awhile because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and work was more important to me since I had no other choice but to support myself as I moved out of my parents house at 19. I finally decided to go back in 2010 but had to again take my time and take some semesters off, and long story short I am finally done with my Associate’s degree. It’s kind of embarrassing that it took so long, but in the end it’s my life and I have way more work and life experience than most people my age. I’m not sure what my path for school will be from here so just taking it day by day!

10. Cooking more and hosting my first Thanksgiving!

I thought at 25 it may be about time to start actually cooking once in awhile and trying recipes. I didn’t cook a lot or anything, but I did make many batches of the best turkey chili ever, a buffalo chicken soup that’s to die for, and I cooked all of our Thanksgiving food! One of my main goals for 2014 is to cook more and not eat out so much. The last 2 months i’ve barely been in my kitchen out of pure laziness.

And there we have it. Another year is gone and another one is on the horizon. I have realized that I am not Type-A enough to have a laundry list of resolutions that I will actually stick to. I think it’s important to constantly want to improve yourself and get more out of life and that’s what I am going to strive for!

I hope you all have an amazing New Years Eve and I want to hear what some of your goals are!!

If Monday Were a Person…

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This has had me dying laughing all morning. What a Monday already and it’s only noon. As usual, I haven’t been getting more than 5 hours of sleep the last few nights for the sake of getting up early to workout and practice some cycle routines since- did I even mention this?! – I got the job I auditioned for last month! I still haven’t taught yet because the process is taking awhile to get started, but I want to feel prepared so I have been trying to fit in at least 20 minutes of practicing a few songs in the cycle room. Anyways, I get on the subway at 5:45 this morning and sit down across from someone (not even sure if it was a man or woman because they had a huge jacket with the hood on and something covering most of their face) who I quickly realized was smoking something. I’ve never actually seen someone smoke on the subway but have always wondered why it isn’t more prevalent, especially because I live far up in Manhattan and it takes awhile to get to the more crowded areas. Another guy gets on, smells it too and yells, “OHHH HELLLL NOOOO! YOU SMOKIN’ CRACK! WHAT THE F**K MAN THATS CRACK YOU CAN’T SMOKE THAT SHIT ON A TRAIN!” I look at the person smoking with panic/horror on my face and they look at me the same. For some reason this morning the train was relatively crowded for being that early and everyone on that cart was basically passed out or near it. I threw my scarf over my face and basically ran to the opposite end of the cart so I could switch carts at the next stop. The smell wasn’t cigarettes or weed, so I have to assume the guy who said it was crack was right. He came down to the end with me and was yelling out to everyone, “You’re all high and you don’t even know it! All getting high on CRACK and don’t even know it!” No one flinched, however that isn’t unusual for NY. Once I got to the next stop and switched trains, that one had a homeless person on it that smelled so god awful I had to breathe into my scarf for the next 20 minute ride. Still, I’d rather smell filth than straight up crack. NYC, you never fail to amaze me.

I felt much better once I got to the gym and busted out 40 minutes of cycle practice. I can’t wait to get my first class over with! The nerves are torturous but I’m really excited.

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Backin’ up to the weekend…

Friday night = homework til late and a veggie filled dinner that I completely regretted Saturday morning. I ate a LOT of veggies Friday because I was craving them. My stomach does not enjoy them but I seriously needed them.

roasted brussel sprouts & asparagus, jalapeno chicken sausage, turkey bacon, toast with avocado & goat cheese
roasted brussel sprouts & asparagus, jalapeno chicken sausage, turkey bacon, toast with avocado & goat cheese

Goooood brain food!

Saturday morning = quick 25 mins of spin practice. Long day of work because of extended holiday hours. Met up with Johnny after for a nice dinner at a new place. We kind of eat at the same few places all the time and you know why? I swear every time we try a new place I’m disappointed and yearn for one of our regular spots. We went way downtown to Back Forty and John would like to mention that the burger he had was INCREDIBLE. The atmosphere was also great but the menu doesn’t have a ton of options (like literally not one chicken dish) so I went with a roasted squash salad and split fries with John. The fries were good but the salad, not so much.

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It’s romantic inside though, very dimly lit as you can tell.

John played around with his new camera and I’m kind of obsessed with the colors of my outfit in this one.

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That’s water, not liquor!

Sunday morning I got up to complete my second to last race of my 2014 marathon qualifications! It was brutal. It was only 20 degrees out with a lot of wind, making the “real feel” 8 degrees. Um, just ran last weeks race in shorts. I prepared the night before by purchasing this awesome Smart Wool neck gaiter from Jack Rabbit sports. It was $30 but I promise you worth it, as it helped me with my lung issue in the cold. You can wear it just as a tighter fitting scarf to cover your neck, or stretch it up to cover your nose/mouth/ears. It stayed put for most of my run and I let it down a few times to breathe the cold air and try to get used to it. The gloves I’ve had since last year, they are New Balance and have the fingertips that let you use your phone. Found them at TJ Maxx for $10. Lululemon bag not a necessity for cold running, but it sure is a necessity to carry my stuff around and still have a cute bag 🙂

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Just lookin’ like a bank robber. This is how I dressed for the run and it ended up being perfect. Running tights from Target years ago, orange tank top (sweat wicking so your sweat doesn’t make you more cold), Lululemon stride jacket. I was never too hot or cold and warmed up quickly. The only thing is by the end of running for 70 minutes (the race was 4 miles, ran 6.75 miles total) my fingers were frozen. The gloves aren’t thick enough for long distances.

As usual, Central Park was beautiful.

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I felt really good during the race but still had the continuing right hip flexor pain from mile 2 on. I had to stop and walk/stretch a few times which is now just becoming the norm for me. No bigs. I still finished in 43 minutes (10:43 ish pace) which is fine by me 🙂

I had to head straight into work after a very fast shower (seriously, such a buzz kill) so after another long day I wanted nothing but pizza and my bed. John and I had our usual Domino’s order (I’ve been getting cheeseless with onions and grilled chicken, SO GOOD!) and watched Breaking Bad. We’re finally into season 5! I was up too late though and desperate for sleep.

How was your weekend?

What do Monday’s look like for you? Sometimes I get Monday’s off and after working a weekend there is NO better feeling!

Yep, Still Hating Winter.

There is no doubt in my mind that I have seasonal depression, on top of the anxiety and (normal?) depression I already have. Stick a fork in me, I am already done with winter (fall?whatever) and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Especially here in New York where one day it’s humid and 55 and the next day it’s barely 30 degrees with a windchill even lower. 25 years on this coast and I’m still not used to it. California, I’m looking at you by age 29.

Okay, I like a few things about this time of year. Boots and coats are some of my favorite wardrobe pieces. Comfy sweats and hoodies at night are the perfect end to a long day. My favorite thing has to be the drop dead gorgeous views of Central Park, though. This morning was chilly and rainy, but the park looked amazing and it will not look this pretty for much longer.

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This week has been nothing of note. We got our new bed delivered Wednesday though and it’s amazing. It’s really really high and hard to get into, but we have so much storage underneath now! Not to mention it’s quite a difference sleeping on a queen mattress vs a futon. I’ll take a picture of updated room once we get everything together. I’m now going to try to get into decorating/organizing a little more!

No workouts since Tuesday, but I am determined to make this weekend my return to training. Can I call the last month my “off-season” or is that too short? I’m really not good at casually working out. My casual workouts turn into sleeping in every morning! It’s hard enough to get motivated in the cold winter mornings so I’ve got some races planned for the winter and I pray that’s enough to get my ass out of bed. Seriously, I promise you you have never met someone more lazy than me. Laying in bed being comfortable and not moving is what I was born to do. Ugh, I hate it and love it.

Anywho, races for the rest of winterhell include:

Race to Deliver 4-miler: This Sunday. No time goal, of course. Let’s just pray I maybe don’t have to walk like in last weeks race. Will run a few before/after for a total of 7 or 8.

Ted Corbitt Classic 15K: Saturday December 14th. This is the morning after my work holiday party. Guess who won’t be drinking any champagne this year? That’s probably for the best though…

Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate 10K: Sunday December 15th. I, of course, love the idea of 2 fun races in one weekend. That just means more pizza and froyo for me. However, I’m not totally sure I will do this and I’m not signed up yet. But I do need all the motivation I can get and having a race ensures I will workout that day! Do I sound pathetic and desperate yet? Good. That’s my point.

Central Park Hot Chocolate 10-Miler: I literally JUST saw this posted and screamed! Not signed up yet but this would be my first race of 2014 and a good training run for my half marathon just 2 weekends later. I’ll most likely be signed up by Sunday 😉

Fred Lebow Manhattan Half: I have a maybe goal of running a half marathon every month in 2014. My roommate told me I’m a nut case for this last night. I agree. This will kick off the first month of that lofty goal! Can we please pray that it’s at least above 20 degrees that morning? Ugh, I hate you January. OH this will also be race 1 of 5 that will qualify me for the 2015 NYC Half Marathon that is next to impossible to get into. Woop.

(Can we insert how much I wish my legs would allow me to do 2 half marathons in a weekend? There’s a half the day before the Fred Lebow half but I wouldn’t even dare. Or would I?)

NYC Runs Central Park Half Marathon: Not signed up yet but this is probably the only half marathon in NYC in February. Gotsta do it.

Let me just stop there because in my world, I consider March 1st spring even if it continues to snow into May.

Do you have any winter races planned?

What keeps you motivated in the winter? If you live somewhere where winter doesn’t really exist… well, I hate you.

My Worst Race.

Happy Hump Day, ya’ll! I had yesterday and today off and I very rarely get 2 consecutive days off. It has been pretty glorious. Yesterday I slept in til 11:30 (wut.) after a marathon of Breaking Bad Monday night that lasted until 2:00 AM with John. We wanted to get through the rest of Season 4 and that we did. And then I couldn’t fall asleep for awhile because the last episode scared the crap out of me. #baby

The rest of yesterday included lots of lounging in bed, then deciding to buy a new bed from a friend… or should I say, an actual bed. We have had a futon for the whole time we’ve lived here and for most of our relationship before NYC. One of my friends here is getting rid of her bed for a new one. I am REAL excited to not sleep on a futon anymore. I also ran a very cold 2.25 miles where I did nothing but wheeze and cough the whole time. I’ve been fighting a cold (but could be allergies?) for a few weeks but besides being super stuffed up, the coughing only occurs when outside. I’m thinking I may have cold-weather induced asthma because this has happened on all my other runs this year where the weather has been below 45. I know what you’re thinking… Just use the treadmill, you dummy! I can manage 3 miles AT THE MOST on the treadmill and that’s not even from just the complete boredom I feel on it, but my hips and knees start to hurt anything over that. I’m an outdoor long distance runner. I need tips/suggestions on how to not wheeze my way through the winter! Looks like I’m in the market for a ski-mask looking thing.

Another example of how much I hate winter is how craptastic my 5 mile race was on Sunday. It really doesn’t matter because it is one of the last 3 races I have to run to qualify for the marathon next year, so I could have walked the whole thing and it wouldn’t be a big deal. I just have to finish them. But alas, I figured I would at least be able to run the whole thing considering I don’t ever have to stop and walk while I’m running. I ran 2 miles as a warm-up and then within the first 2 miles of the race I had to stop and walk. My right hip flexor was painful already and I couldn’t catch my breath at even a 12-minute mile. It was cold out but also humid, pretty much a disaster. Besides my hip and breathing, I felt good mentally and decided to focus on being out there for a good cause and that I was going to be run/walking 8 miles total for the day and that is wonderful. Leave the pressure that is solely put on by ourselves on the road and move on! My PR for 5 miles is a little less than 50 minutes, and a few weeks ago my 5 mile race was below 51 minutes. Sunday’s 5 mile time was almost 58 minutes. Goes to show you, you never know what will happen on any given run. You might as well just enjoy the ability to move rather than focus on the time, right?

Besides my run ‘n wheeze yesterday, I did level 1 of Ripped in 30 since it’s been a hot minute since my last strength training workout. Yikes. I at least try to do some push-ups every few days so all has not been lost in my arms but that dvd kicks my trash EVERY TIME. My hammies are on fire today. I have a lot to do today but am going to try to fit in a round of level 2 and hopefully spin class later tonight. All depends when our bed gets delivered! I need to make another batch of my turkey chili that Erika loves (which means it HAS to be good), do 300 pounds of laundry and get more coffee before homework mania begins. Did I mention how much I can’t wait to sleep in my new bed tonight? 🙂

Do you have breathing issues with running outside in the cold?

Do you have a real bed or futon? Yes, I’m asking seriously. I’m real jealous of you if you have always had a real bed! I had a futon for most of high-school too because I thought they were cool? Like, I really made my parents get rid of my bed and buy me a futon. Such a fool.

I’m Alive!

Ugh, I sincerely apologize for being THE LAZIEST person ever last week in terms of updating the blog and I apologize to myself right now that I took an entire week off from working out and ate nothing but junk. My stomach is not happy with the amount of sugar I chomped down the last week, and a few days of a break from working out turned into a full week because once I start getting a ton of sleep instead of waking up at 4:30 AM it is SO HARD to start getting up. Add in the cold weather and I need a huge kick in my ass. Any takers?

Last week was fun though. John and I went to see an awesome comedy show/podcast recording with some of our favorite comedians. This is a horrible picture but we were in the front row and the lighting makes it impossible to get a clear picture with the iPhone camera.

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This was Todd Barry, Sarah Silverman and Natasha Lyonne from my favorite show, Orange is The New Black! They went on for almost 2 hours and it was only $15 a ticket. Suhweeeet.

We then went to the best chinese place ever near the venue, Michael & Ping’s. Their food is WAY healthier than your normal Chinese take-out and about 1000x better tasting, too. I got the “Main Mein Salad” which is cold sesame noodles with chicken and veggies with a spicy peanut sauce on it.

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Halloween was a super fun day starting with a little work party. Every year I want to dress up and be creative and every year I fail miserably by not having enough time to plan anything. I went with my go-to costume, a.k.a all of my own clothes and personal style, Rachel Zoe.

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After work I went to Brenda’s where we threw together a costume we had talked about dressing up as for almost a year. Again, we are the worst procrastinators ever. I think we nailed it minus the wigs?

Who we were supposed to be..
Who we were supposed to be..

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Either way, a shoulder-padded blazer and ugly sweater vest (sorry Eddie!!) are always funny.

My volunteering session at the NYC Marathon expo Saturday, held at the Javits center, was one of the best experiences of my life hands down. I got there at 8:00 AM and volunteered til 2:00 and I got to hand out the bibs to the runners. The amount of smiling, extremely excited and happy faces I got to talk to made me the happiest I’ve been in a long time. The organization of volunteering was on point and it could not have been easy to organize. Over 50,000 bibs were picked up from this expo over the course of 3 days. I probably waited on 200 myself! I CANNOT wait for it to be me picking up my bib next year! 🙂

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John met me after my shift and we walked around the expo for awhile. Of course I had to stop by the Mizuno booth and got the VIP treatment without actually being a VIP 😉

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After explaining to the very knowledgeable dude that I am losing sleep over Mizuno not making my beloved Wave Elixir 7’s anymore (yes I tried the 8’s and didn’t like them) he made me try on 4 different pairs until I found the right ones to replace them. I wasn’t going to buy but they were offering them for 20% off so I did. In a few weeks after I put some more miles on these, I will be wearing the Wave Inspire 9’s. They feel a lot like the Elixir so I pray they work out for me!

I didn’t get a chance to eat during my volunteering so John and I hit up 5 Napkin Burger for a late lunch. I usually get the veggie burger but decided to go for the special of the day which was a turkey burger stuffed with herbed goat cheese, cranberry ketchup and crispy shallots. MOUTH WATERING.

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This was promptly followed by a CANDIED YAM cookie.

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This was then followed by falling asleep at 4:00 PM. I will recap the marathon tomorrow. I watched for a couple of hours and it was so freaking amazing. I just cannot wait for next year!

Have you ever volunteered at a race or expo?