Friday Favorites: Winter Edition

Now would you look at that – another blog post! Don’t get too excited; usually when I have this mojo to blog more often it lasts for a week or two and then I disappear again. Maybe 2016 will be different, but I’m not making any promises!

At any rate, with the weather finally feeling like winter (boo!) I thought it would be fun to make this Friday Favorites more about things that help me get through the winter.

Mario Badescu’s Olive Eye Cream
My skin, like most people’s, can get extremely dry during the winter months. It wasn’t until a few years ago, though, that I noticed the skin around my eyes also getting extremely dry. Since my skin is rather sensitive and I’m not really looking for any “anti-aging” properties (though I guess I should probably start…) I just wanted a good, thick lotion.

mario

Enter Mario Badescu’s olive eye cream. This eye cream fits the bill – it’s thick and creamy without being greasy. And most importantly, it doesn’t break me out! I’ve been using it around my nose as well as a barrier since I have a cold, and it’s been a game changer.

Oiselle Katron Vest
I bought the Katron jacket late last year, and love it. I don’t run in it, but it’s the perfect jacket to throw on for before and after workouts. It’s warm without being suffocating, and there are SO MANY POCKETS! When the weather started getting cool again, I began lusting over the vest version and started to kick myself for not ordering one (in burgen) last year.

For work AND for run. I'm really glad I didn't have to crop out Miranda's face.

For work AND for run. I’m really glad I didn’t have to crop out Miranda’s face.

I wasn’t originally sold on the shiny fabric of the 2015/16 version, but after comparing it to other options, I realized that shiny is in for sportswear puffy vests. The deciding factor for me between this vest and other brands was the removable hood. I’ve only taken it off once, but having that option made a difference to me. While it doesn’t have as many pockets as the jacket, it still has 7… which is A LOT! I can easily stash my phone, keys, a little wallet that has the essentials (ID, PATH/Metrocard, cash, debit card), and I still have room for extras… I’ve even stashed a shirt in the back pocket to be able to change into after a run! And maybe most important, is that I can easily wear it for a run or wear it as a vest with a pair of jeans and long sleeve shirt. Versatility is key!

Kahtoola Microspikes
I was actually sent a pair of Kahtoola Nanospikes in the fall to try out, but knew it would likely be some time before I was able to give them a go (which I didn’t mind, I don’t like winter and snow). We had a mostly mild early winter – I’m talking light coat for Christmas, running in shorts well into January – until this past weekend. Apparently mother nature wanted to make up for lost time, because she dumped nearly 2 feet of snow on us over the weekend! Since Jersey City was mostly shutdown all day on Saturday, I figured it would be the perfect time to give the nanospikes a try.

A little snow? Meh.

A little snow? Meh.

When I set out for my run, there was already a decent amount of snow on the ground. The plows had come through maybe once or twice, so the roads had snow on them, but it was packed and not nearly as much as the sidewalks. After being out there for only 5 minutes, I realized how much of a game changer the nanospikes are. My feet weren’t slipping nearly as much as they would have been without the grips, and I had a little extra confidence with every step (this isn’t to say I wasn’t still cautious, though, because I was was!). I was exhausted after 3 miles, but I know it would have been even more tiring without the extra grip the nanospikes provided. I can’t believe I waited all these years to give them a try!

Birchbox ARROW Boost Enhancing Lip Color
I’ve been using Birchbox since August after my sister raved about it. When I saw they were coming out with their own makeup and skincare product line that caters to those living the active lifestyle, I was immediately interested.  The line itself is still a work in progress (they have a few things available now and more launching soon), but one thing immediately caught my attention – their Boost Enhancing Lip Color. I must admit I was a little skeptical. A lip moisturizer that adjusts to your pH to give you a little color? It reminded me of those terrible “mood” lipsticks from the early 90’s that somehow always turned your lips a terrible blue. Despite this initial feeling, since I’m trying to embrace colored lips a little more and Birchbox is yet to let me down, I ordered a stick.

birchbox

Let me tell you – I am obsessed with this lip color!! It’s really just a tinted lip moisturizer/lip gloss, but it’s awesome. It gives my lips a slight flushed pink color, moisturizes them, and lasts a long time. I’ve been using it every single day (and mulitiple times a day!) since I got it a few weeks ago and I’m already thinking about how I should order more to stock up. I can’t wait to try the other products in their line as they come out!

Tieks Flats
You’re probably thinking, “why in the world would someone put flats on their “winter favorites” list?!” Well, hear me out. I’ve had Tieks on my wish list for quite some time, but never pulled the trigger (I mean, they aren’t exactly cheap!). I finally got a pair for Christmas this year, and for obvious reasons (NYC should be renamed to Puddle City in the winter), haven’t worn them outside yet. That being said, I HAVE worn them inside!

I got the Vegan Silver Lake color!

I got the Vegan Silver Lake color!

Thanks to the fact that they fold in half and come with a little pouch that you can store them in, they’re the ultimate portable shoe. So, when it was snowing this morning and I thought to myself, “I don’t think I want to wear my Sorel snow boots ALL day in the office, I should bring another pair of shoes to change into…” I immediately grabbed my Tieks! They are super comfortable and really cute, and I’m already thinking about my next pair!

So that’s what I’m loving {so far} this winter!

Tell me…
What are you loving this winter? 

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I Ran a Race!

Yes, you read that title correctly. After not pinning on a bib for over 7 months (the beer mile doesn’t count) I got to race not once, but twice two weekends ago! If you’re wondering why it’s been so long since I last raced, you can catch up on my string of injuries here and here. To say 2015 was a lackluster running year would be quite the understatement. But there’s no point in dwelling on the past, and I’m oh so very excited to finally write about running again.

I’ve been running somewhat consistently since early November and things have been going really well. I’ve kept my weekly mileage relatively low (I’m talking 20 mpw) and I’ve kept up with my strength training love, Refine Method. I haven’t done any speed work or tempo miles (yet), but I’m finally starting to feel like my old runner self, and it’s great! That being said, I went down to good ‘ole Orlando for the Walt Disney World 10k and Half Marathon two weeks ago with the confidence I’d be able to finish the races, but there wouldn’t be any PRs. It’s worth noting that this is the FIRST Disney race weekend I attended without an injury! And I’ve attended SIX runDisney race weekends prior to this one starting in 2011!

Finally!

Finally!

I’ll start with the 10k, since that was the race that happened first. And it started like any other runDisney race – early! The race started at 5:30am, so this meant a 3:30am wake-up call, and 4am bus ride. Since we were staying at the Beach Club resort, we had a short(er) bus ride over to the starting area in the Epcot parking lot. We arrived at the start with plenty of time to check a bag (it was drizzling on and off so we wanted to make sure we each had a dry top to put on after the race), visit the always lovely port-o-potties, and get lined up in the A corral. Going into the race, my intention was to push the pace a little, but not truly race it. So when I lined up in the corral I didn’t think much of being pretty far back. After the usual runDisney fanfare of fireworks, we were off!

The first mile or so of the race was pretty crowded. Like I said, I started relatively far back in that first corral, so I spent a lot of time trying to find open road. Thankfully after that first mile it thinned out quite a bit, and the rest of the race was much more comfortable. My first mile was around a 7:50, which was good enough for me. The next three miles, however, we were all on empty service roads, and I dropped the pace to 7:15. I didn’t feel like I was killing myself, and each time I looked down at my watch I was floored by the pace… I really didn’t think I had that speed in me after all that time off. Remembering that I still had a half marathon to run the next day and that I really wasn’t in shape, I pulled back just a bit. The rain also started to pick up as we entered the parks, so things got slippery. I ran the last two miles between 7:20 and 7:30, and crossed the finish line (soaked) in 45:51. Turns out, that’s a slight PR! I’ve only run three other 10k’s before, and the last one being in 2013, so the PR was due for an upgrade. While I know I can go much faster when I’m in shape, I’m happy that the pace of this 10k was the same pace as my current half marathon PR from 2014. It was a huge confidence booster after such a rough 2015!

Thrilled to have finished a race. Not thrilled to be soaking wet.

Thrilled to have finished a race. Not thrilled to be soaking wet.

With a little déjà vu on Saturday, I found myself back at the start for the half marathon. My plan for this race was different – I just wanted to finish! My longest run in months up to that point had been 10 miles, and after Friday’s performance I knew an “accidental PR” wasn’t in the cards for me again… which was fine! I started a few corrals back with my pal Ellen who was doing the Dopey Challenge, and we spent the first 7 or so miles together, chatting and enjoying the characters on the course and running in the dark… we even stopped for a picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle! Since Ellen was doing the Dopey Challenge, we kept our pace around 9:30’s, which was fine by me. Somewhere between mile 6 and 7, though, we got separated. Since it was still dark and the roadway was relatively narrow, I knew I should just soldier on rather than try to find her. This is where I decided to also pick up my pace. I figured I only had 5ish miles left and kept it relatively conservative for the first half, so why not. I should also mention it was SO incredibly humid that I was just as wet by this point as I had been the day before from the rain.

By mile 10 I realized that if I kept my pace, I would likely be able to squeeze in just under 2 hours. This became my new goal. I kept trucking, had a nice little conversation with a random guy who asked me how I was doing as I ran past him, and after what felt like an eternity (remember, I hadn’t run more than 10 miles in over 8 months at this point) we were in Epcot making our final loops and turns to the finish. I crossed the line in 1:59:38, achieving my mid-race goal of sub-2 hours. I was thrilled to have my race weekend over, and I was ready to cheer for the marathon the next day!

Perks of staying at a hotel on the race course... perfect spot to spectate!

Perks of staying at a hotel on the race course… perfect spot to spectate!

This race weekend was just what I needed to remind myself that even though 2015 was a sucky year for my running, not all was lost. I just need to continue to be smart as I add on mileage, and focus more on the training than the racing. Naturally with this positive turn of events in my running comes the frigid temperatures of winter in the northeast that we’ve been missing… but good thing I have lots of layers! So here’s to putting in the work this winter in hopes of finally getting myself back to racing shape for the summer and fall!

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Back At It

I mentioned at the beginning of October that I was finally ready to get back to running. My injury seemed to be a thing of the past, and more importantly, my attitude towards running was back to being a positive one. Turns out, I still had a little work to do; I ran a few times in October, but struggled a bit prioritizing it over my other workouts and commitments. Then on November 1st, something magical happened. I cheered for the New York City Marathon (like I do every year), and the once fiery flame that had dwindled down to embers caught it’s second wind.

watch

I’ve been trying to be smart – for the first time in a long time – when it comes to my running. The big difference between this go-around and the past is that previously, I’d do the rehab for my injury, feel good, and jump back into it too quickly. The first few weeks were cautious, but I’d get a taste of the good stuff and go full steam ahead, often too soon. It’s tricky to build a schedule for yourself with low mileage when you’re used to a much heavier load, but it’s also a relief. I have little to no pressure on myself; if I don’t feel like running one day, I don’t really have to. If I need to switch things around to accommodate my schedule, it isn’t nearly as difficult to figure out where to fit in 3 or 4 miles, versus 10. Right now, my main focus is to get myself prepared to gallivant through Disney World in January for the 10k and half marathon I’m signed up for. I have no doubts about being able to finish, I just want to make sure I don’t hurt myself in the process and I have a good time.

sunrise

My first week back (three weeks ago now) I ran 15.5 miles, not running more than 4 at once, and keeping a day in between each of my runs. This week I’ll top out at 20 (if everything goes according to plan), and I’ll have run my first three days in a row since early May. I’m doing all of my runs in the morning (unless I work from home one day where I get the luxury of a lunchtime run), and I’m keeping up with cross training. For me, cross training means going to Refine Method at least 3 times a week and doing the “little things” (ankle and foot strengthening exercises, IT band exercises). I’m hopeful that I can keep this momentum going and have a solid winter of training (we’ll see what mother nature thinks about that), so I can do some type of racing in the spring… likely just shorter distances. I’m not going to hold my breath, though. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the run. That’s what it’s all about anyway, isn’t it?!

Tell me…
Any advice for coming back from injury? 
How do you get your running mojo back when you’ve lost it?

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Monday Favorites!

Since I’m not really a fan of Mondays, I thought it would be fun to switch up my typical “Friday Favorites” and make it a Monday Favorites instead!

Flannel Shirts

Nothing says fall like flannel – am I right?

Merp.

I call this my ‘late summer, early fall flannel’

Of course, there’s a fine line between fall chic and lumberjack, but I’ve fallen in love with flannel shirts this fall. Not all prints, colors, and cuts are created equal, but most stores seem to have some really great options this season… Some of my favorites have come from J.Crew and Old Navy. I love seeing them worn open as a cardigan, layered with sweaters, and worn just as a regular button-down. So despite their lumber jack qualities, they scream fall to me.

Supergoop CC Cream

I first tried Supergoop‘s sunscreen as a sample from my sister’s Birchbox before ordering my own. I was impressed with the coverage and its ability to not make me look like a grease ball. So I was thrilled when I received a sample of their CC cream in my own Birchbox a few months later.

supergoop

I knew after wearing it just one day that I needed to purchase the full size. It provides just the right amount of color to even and smooth everything out, isn’t heavy, and somehow manages to keep my extreme combination skin from getting dry or oily. I struggle a lot with my combination skin – part of it can be dry and flaking while another part looks like an oil slick. The Supergoop CC cream manages to keep it all at bay, with sunscreen as an added bonus!

Kindle

I’ve always been a die-hard book reader. When e-readers first came out I scoffed at the idea of not having a hard copy of a book… There’s just something about the way turning the page feels! But then I started commuting on a train that’s typically (crowded) standing room only.

Kindle + coffee... two of my favorite things.

Kindle + coffee… two of my favorite things.

In a perfect world I’d be able to hold my book and turn the pages with ease while standing on the packed train, but that just isn’t the reality. Half the time I’m lucky if I can even get a spot on the pole to hold on, so trying to turn the page of a book with one hand is tricky. I did it for a while, but with how slow the PATH is some days, I found myself having to turn the page too many times during a one-way trip. So I decided it was time for a Kindle. I bought the paperwhite a few months ago and haven’t looked back. I can hold it and turn the pages easily with one hand and it’s so small and compact there’s always room for it in my bag. Sure, I can’t publicize the awesome books that I’m reading to my fellow commuters, but no one really gives a shit anyway. They just don’t want my page turning to invade their space.

Birchbox

As I mentioned when talking about the Supergoop, I recently signed up for Birchbox. My sister decided to give it a try and was really enjoying it, so I figured I’d give it a shot as well.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 5.34.20 PM

For only $10 a month, I figured if it didn’t work out it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it turns out I’m really loving it so far! I’ve gotten to try a lot of new-to-me products that have all been the perfect size to throw in my gym bag or take with me on a trip, and some of them have been so great I’ve purchased their full-size counterpart! I mean, $10/month is just two fancy lattes!

Scream Queens

This new FOX show is a new favorite of mine.

ScreamQueens

It’s basically a slightly scary Halloween version of Mean Girls; sorority girls being typical sorority girls but with the twist of a killer on the loose whose targets are a specific group of people. My favorite part is that every episode leaves me I question who I think the “red devil” killer is. Emma Roberts is fantastic in it, and I love seeing Abigail Breslin all grown up!

So tell me, on this fine Monday, what are you loving?!

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So… Do You Still Run?

Alternate title for this post: do you still blog?

The answer to both of these questions – I suppose – is yes, but I took a little break! I realized that after signing up and starting to train for marathon three years in a row only to wind up injured and out a race fee, a break was necessary. I’ve spent A LOT of money on race entries for races I never got to do and copays for doctor and physical therapy appointments. Not to mention all that time training only to have it cut short. Aside from the time and money spent, I’ve also had plenty of time to wallow in self pity and feel sorry for myself. Questioning whether or not I was “cut out for running” has been the theme for the last few years. But now that it’s been a full year of yo-yo running with my longest no running streak since I started in 2009, I’m ready to refocus.

Part of my problem – self inflicted of course – has been my obsession with running a marathon. Not because I like running them – and I like training for them even less! – but because at some point along the way I decided THAT was what would make me a runner. Thinking about it now that I’ve gotten out of my own head, I realize how silly that is. I can be a badass runner no matter the distance I train and race! But because I had this idea in my head that I needed to run a good marathon, I set myself up for repeated failure. I’d start to train, get hurt and take time off, get back to running and try to make up for lost time, and start the cycle all over again. Each time, my body cried out and I ignored it. Until this time.

If you’ve been following along, you know the last marathon I truly trained for (and even that was half-assed!) was Chicago 2012. I had plans to run Richmond in 2013, but issues with my sinus tarsi in my right foot forced me to drop to the half. I was able to spring board off of that and have a killer spring and summer where I crushed my half marathon and 5k PRs, but just under a month before the 2014 Philadelphia marathon I developed a really stubborn case of ITBS… and running hasn’t really been the same since. I got back to double digit runs by late spring 2015, but managed to develop sinus tarsi pain in my left foot this time. Being as stubborn as my previous ITBS injury, I knew Chicago 2015 wasn’t going to happen for me. So if you’re counting, that’s three marathons in a row I’ve been forced to DNS. Thankfully Chicago allowed me to defer to 2016. So, fourth time’s the charm?

I went to Chicago for the marathon this past weekend even though I wasn’t running. It’s one of my favorite cities and I knew a lot of people racing; it was a perfect excuse for a long weekend away. I spent all day Sunday cheering and being inspired. But I really never had a “I wish I was running a marathon!” moment. Instead, I just wanted to be running. That realization was a big shift for me. Since my last injury I’ve been afraid to start again. Worried I’d just be counting down to my next injury. Convinced I’d never reach the lofty but attainable goals I had once set for myself. But I can’t just quit something I enjoy because it’s been a bit of a struggle, can I? That’s not who I am as an athlete — I know I have some raw ability, but I need to work for it. I know what needs to be done, and I need to just start doing it.

So back to the title of this post: do I still run? Well, I haven’t consistently in a year. But that changed on Monday, October 12th when I decided it was time to stop being afraid and to get back to doing something I love – running. But it also marked a change in my approach. I am a HUGE planner and love to throw races up on my calendar… which is great until you get injured. So that’s the first thing I’m doing differently. I’m not signing up for any races. The only thing on my calendar is the 2016 Disney 10k and half marathon in January. There’s nothing else on my calendar and I plan to keep it that way. If something presents itself in a month where I can sign up the day before or day-of, I’ll consider it, but I’m otherwise not committing to anything. And nothing longer than a 10k. I also plan to spend more time focusing on ‘the little things.’ I think I’ve improved on that front during each running cycle, but it obviously hasn’t been good enough. I need to make the extras a priority. I’m hopeful that this new laid back but focused approach will work for me, and I can get back to a place where my relationship with running is more “on” than “off.” And besides, I know I’m a great cowbeller, but it’d be nice to get the cheers for a change!

So here’s to my comeback. One methodical step at a time.

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Friday Favorites & a Virtual Race!

Hello friends! I know it’s been a while and I’m doing a bad job at this whole ‘blogging on the reg’ thing, but we’ll take what we can get, yes? It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over (sure there’s technically a month left, but if we’re being honest, August is just one giant Sunday night). But let’s get to the good stuff!

by Chloe
I’ve gone to this restaurant three times since it opened two weeks ago, and I would absolutely go every day if I could swing it. In fact, just last week I went for lunch and dinner on the same day. I’m planning on doing a full post about it soon, but in the meantime I wanted to mention here how I’m completely obsessed with it and want to try every single menu item (and I’m well on my way).

Guac burger. Possibly the best veggie burger I've ever had

Guac burger. Possibly the best veggie burger I’ve ever had

I remember watching Chloe Coscarelli on Cupcake Wars and I’ve made a few of her recipes, and they’ve all be fabulous… and her restaurant is no exception. If you’re in the NYC area, you need to get yourself over to by Chloe in the village. Whether you’re a vegan or not, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by this deliciousness. I promise!

Nothin’ But – coconut chocolate almond granola bar
This was a total impulse purchase earlier in the week at Whole Foods. I popped in after spin glass to grab a coconut water, and somehow left with coconut water, a box of whoopie pies, and this granola bar. Oops?

Nothin' but delicious

Nothin’ but delicious

It’s a sizable bar, and the flavor is fantastic. It isn’t your typical hard and chewy granola bar; it tastes like homemade granola and you can tell that it just has simple, whole ingredients. I want more.

May Designs notebooks
I’ve become slightly obsessed with these notebooks, and I’m not ashamed! It’s no secret that I love notebooks and pens/pencils (so I’m obviously loving that it’s back to school season) and these are my absolute favorites.

maydesigns

They are small and portable, but big enough so you don’t feel like you’re straining to write in them. They are completely customize-able and offer a ton of really fun options. There are multiple prints and monogram options to choose from, and also different kinds of notebooks; I have both lined and unlined books, an agenda, and even a food + fitness journal!

The Mustache Dache!
So this is a race I’ve watched play out year after year, envious of everyone that was able to slap on a fake mustache and run a 5k. I had hoped the event would make it’s way to my area, and while it hasn’t just yet, they have the next best thing – a virtual race! Earlier this week I was contacted and asked if I’d like to participate and if you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE MUSTACHES, so I didn’t even have to think before replying yes!

Side note: Don’t ask me why I love mustaches. I have no logical explanation. I just do. They’ve somehow become my ‘thing’ over the last few years and I now bring some type of mustache to every party or wedding (finger tattoos, ones to put on bottles, ones on sticks… I’ve tried them all).

See!  This is just a small sampling of my mustache photos!

See! This is just a small sampling of my mustache photos!

Anyway, when I said that I’d be interested in participating in the virtual run, I was able to get a discount code for my readers, too! So, if you’re interested in running the virtual Mustache Dache with me this November, you can sign up here! And if you’re in the NYC area, we can all do the run together (yes, I will provide fake mustaches for us)! Just let me know in the comments if you register!

So that’s what I’m currently obsessing over. Still not really running, but thankfully I’ve been keeping myself busy with other workouts. I have a follow-up doctor appointment today, so we’ll see what she says about my lack of real progress.

So tell me…
What are you loving lately?

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Filed under Food Blogging, Food Review, Life, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

I Ran a Beer Mile!

Before I wound up with my current injury, I signed up for the NYC Brew Mile with a bunch of friends. We’re all runners who love beer, so we thought it would be a fun no-pressure event. Plus, doing a beer mile is something we have all talked about and wanted to try at least once… so this was the perfect opportunity! Even though I haven’t been running and decided to skip the fall marathons I originally signed up for, I figured I would still be able to complete a casual mile race (broken up into quarters). There were no timing chips (but there was an official race clock), no one checking to make sure your beers were completely done before you set off for the next quarter, and an overall fun and casual vibe. But if we’re being honest, the running wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was (trying to) chug a full can of beer after every quarter mile.

Cheers!

Cheers!

The Brew Mile was held at Aviator Sports & Events in Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park, Brooklyn, which meant it was a hike from Jersey City. But beer and running will get us to go a lot of places. The race itself was simple in theory: drink a can of beer (in this case Sixpoint Crisp) at the start, run a quarter of a mile, and repeat three more times. It was hot and I was thirsty before the race even started, so I was actually thrilled after the toast when they blew the air horn and told us to start drinking! My friends and I decided we’d all start together and try to stick together, but after that second chug we realized that some of us were stronger than others… so they took off, leaving three of us to burp and chug our way through the final half mile.

Go Team Jim & The Timeouts!

Go Team Jim & The Timeouts!

Like I said, the running wasn’t hard (aside from constantly burping)…. we were able to keep a respectable 7 minute pace during each quarter, and laughed as we passed people who would shout, “HOW ARE YOU STILL RUNNING?!” But each time we got to the drink station, the race got harder. Our splits for the beers increased by two minutes at every stop – 2 minutes after the first quarter, and a whopping 6 minutes before the last quarter. The carbonation and flavor of the Sixpoint was just too much by the end. Admittedly I thought it was going to be easier to chug the beers than it was; it’s hard to chug beer out of a can! Plus, I’m too old to be chugging beer out of a can… but if this event was a thing when I was in college, I would have crushed it.

Our splits courtesy of Miranda. You can tell which ones were running and which ones were "chugging"...

Our splits courtesy of Miranda. You can tell which ones were running and which ones were “chugging”…

The majority of us managed to keep all the beer in our stomachs and were able to sprint to the finish… because no matter how casual a race is, it’s still a race. The times in our group ranged from about 8 to 20 minutes, but we finished the entire mile and all the beers! We definitely want to try it again on our own; on a track, with beer that has less flavor (that’s the only time you’ll ever hear me say that), and not at 3pm in the middle of July. We’ll also need to get it on video so we can submit it as an official beer mile.

Since the race started at 3 in the afternoon, I was home and ready for bed by 9pm. My early bed time (and midnight chugging of water and eating a piece of bread) made it easy for me to get up on Sunday morning and head to a 60 minute Flywheel class… which was somewhat shocking.

Tell me…
Have you ever run a beer mile (or wanted to)?! 
What’s your favorite kind of beer?

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Filed under Beer, Running

No More Marathons

Before I get into this post, I wanted to let you know my GoMacro Bar giveaway is closed. Go check it out and see if you’ve won! Anyway…

 

“I was hopeful I’d have a better update for you, but no such luck…” is how I started my latest e-mail to my awesome (and patient) coach, Jason of Strength Running. We’ve been working together since the fall of 2013 and he’s helped me put in the work to drop my half marathon time by nearly 10 minutes, my 5k by 3 minutes, and to just overall become a better and smarter runner. So I knew that he’d be just as disappointed to hear what I was about to tell him – I’m not going to be running a fall marathon… for the third fall season in a row.

I’m sure a lot of you saw me tweet last Friday that I was able to run 2 miles without any foot and ankle pain, which is true. However, a few hours after the run while sitting at my desk at work, I started to feel that all too familiar discomfort. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely didn’t instill any confidence in me that I could run again the next day. With only thirteen weeks until the Chicago marathon start, I knew what I had to do. I had to pull the plug on marathon training.

If you’ve been following along, I had a killer spring and summer running season in 2014. I was pumped and ready to go for marathon training and it was well underway until ITBS came barging in at the end of September. By the middle of October I knew that my hopes for running (and crushing) the Philly marathon that November were gone. I spent the next two and a half months strengthening and going to PT and was ready to get back into it by late January. I started running again (albeit cautiously) and had a few decent workouts and longer runs. Then around the end of April/beginning of May I noticed a slight discomfort in my foot and ankle area after one of my longer runs. I didn’t think anything of it at first and was able to continue running without much issue. When it didn’t go away and started to get more noticeable, though, I realized it was time to take a little break; this was the end of May. It was at that point I realized I was dealing with the same issue I had in the summer of 2013, but I was hopeful I caught it early enough that I’d still have plenty of time to get back into marathon training. I did the take a week off, try to run, take another week off, try to run again cycle for a few weeks, and after running the Mini 10k and having my ankle swell afterwards, I went to the doctor. It’s not a stress fracture (which is great), but it’s not something I can run with, either. I can’t commit to training for a 26.2 race when I can’t get through a 2 mile run and not having pain during or after. Even if this completely clears up by next week (which I’m not holding my breath for), I don’t have a solid base to go into a rushed training cycle. With my track record, I’d wind up injuring something else either during training or on race day. It’s just not worth it.

So what does this mean? Well, it means I’ve wasted a whole lot of money [insert the flying money emoji here]! I’m obviously extremely disappointed and frustrated; this is now the the third season in a row that I’ve signed up for a marathon and will be unable to run it. And you know what they say about three strikes — you’re out. So I’ve committed to NOT signing up for any more marathons for quite some time. Once this current injury is gone, I’m planning to stick to the shorter stuff – I’m thinking 5k/10k revolution. Only after staying injury free for a while will I even entertain the idea of signing up for another marathon. At this point, my wallet and my sanity couldn’t handle it any other way.

That being said, I’m unsure if I’ll be in Chicago for the marathon or not. The hotel is already booked, I have a lot of friends running, and Chicago is one of my most favorite cities in the world. So I’m leaning towards using it as an excuse for a weekend trip and cheer session. Sure, it’ll be hard to be on the sidelines, but the deep dish pizza and beer will help make up for that.

In the meantime you can find me sweating it out at FlyWheel and Refine Method. Thank goodness for awesome cross training options.

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Friday Favorites & a Giveaway!

Two posts in one week — I told you I was coming back! Who doesn’t like a little Friday Favorites and a giveaway?! If you’re only here for the giveaway, scroll down to the bottom. But for the rest of you, here are some things I’m currently loving!

Vietnamese cold brew. I love coffee, and in the summer I drink iced coffee exclusively (I drink it a lot in the winter, too). I’m a fan of cold brewed coffee (more of that coffee taste without it getting watered down by the ice cubes), and will usually choose that over the regular iced coffee counterpart. So when a new coffee shop opened up down the block from me, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their cold brew. While there for the first time I noticed Vietnamese cold brew on their menu and decided to give it a try. Since that day, it’s easily become my favorite summer drink. What makes this cold brew so special? Well, it’s cold brew coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk. It provides just the right amount of creamy and sweet while keeping the integrity of the cold brew coffee. My only complaint is that it comes in one size and I always want more!

Vietnamese Cold Brew

 

High top sneakers. I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point high top sneakers came back in style. At first I wasn’t really a fan, but like with most trends, they grew on me. I originally thought they were something that other people could pull off, but I definitely couldn’t. Eventually I worked up enough courage to buy a pair (after spending a LONG time looking for the ‘right’ ones) and I’m so glad I took the plunge. There were a lot of really cute expensive pairs out there, but since I wasn’t sure how they’d look on me, I opted for a more affordable classic pair; Vans Sk8 Hi-Tops! I ordered them from Nordstrom and wore them out as soon as I got them. They’re comfortable, fashion forward, and go with a lot more than I originally thought – I’ve worn them with pants, shorts, and even dresses! Also worth noting it’s almost Nordstrom Anniversary Sale time (those of you with Nordstrom cards can already start shopping), so if you’re like me and you’ve been wanting a pair but haven’t pulled the trigger, now is a perfect time!

 

Starbucks Peach Green Tea Lemonade. This is a drink that to me, tastes like summer. Growing up when I’d go to “the pool” with my mom and sister during the summer months (which we did pretty much every single day because I was obsessed), we’d usually bring lemonade, peaches, and Oreos. A random mix, yes, but a treat nonetheless. So when I saw this drink on the Starbucks menu, I decided to give it a try. As soon as I took my first sip I immediately thought to myself, “This tastes like summer!” and was transported back to those summer days at the pool. It’s sweet and refreshing, and something I find myself craving. I’m really glad I decided to give it a try (I usually just get iced coffee at ‘bux)!

 

Working in New York City. I’m sure there are a lot of people that will say working in NYC is the worst, but I actually love it. My family is from NYC (Brooklyn, specifically) and I spent the first 4 years of my life living there along with countless trips back to my grandma’s in Park Slope when growing up. Even today my dad can give you directions to pretty much anywhere in the city, even though he hasn’t been a resident for over 25 years. I always thought I’d wind up working in NYC once I graduated college, but that didn’t happen right away. I took a job that was located in the outskirts of suburbia, and a car was required for everything. As the years passed, I felt like I was missing out; I wanted to be closer to all the action! So when the opportunity presented itself to look for jobs in the NYC area, I jumped on it. Aside from finally working in a location I’ve wanted for years, there have also been some great perks. I’m a mere 9 blocks away from Refine Method and not far from a FlyWheel studio. I can go two blocks down towards the water and I’m at the Hudson Greenway/West Side Highway for amazing running. AND I’ve seen multiple celebrities since starting; just a few weeks ago I passed Mike Meyers and Louis CK on my way down Hudson Street to the PATH station! The benefits far outweigh any negatives I may encounter.

View from my office patio!

View from my office patio!

 

GoMacro bars. I’m always looking for snacks I can add to my pantry at home and desk drawer at work. So I was excited to be asked to try GoMacro bars and do a giveaway for my readers. I’m not a complete stranger to GoMacro; I’ve seen them at the store before, but never actually tried them until this past month. They’re made from mostly raw ingredients and are all organic, non-GMO, kosher, gluten free, and vegan!

gomacro

I was sent a variety box of mini bars, and got to work on trying them for different things; before a workout or run, as a snack, etc. and it turns out they were great for all of my needs! I was sent a bunch of different flavors, but my favorites were the peanut butter, granola + coconut, and peanut butter chocolate chip. The consistency reminds me of the old-school PowerBars, but they taste much better. Since I only had the mini bars they definitely weren’t enough to have on their own before a workout, but were really helpful if I needed just a little something extra.

The folks at GoMacro were kind enough to offer a giveaway for one of my readers AND offer everyone a discount! You can enter through the Rafflecopter plugin below – the more you do, the more chances you have to win (a comment is required, though)! You have until midnight on Tuesday 7/14 to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

If you can’t wait to see if you’ve won the giveway, you can go to their website and enter “BLOGGER” at checkout to get 40% (!!!) off your first order!

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A Necessary (Running) Update

Remember when I said I was going to try and blog more frequently and consistently? Whoops. I had intentions of blogging but then this little thing called life got in the way, so blogging took a back seat (as usual). The good news is, though, I have a post scheduled for Friday with a giveaway!

Anyway, the title of this blog is called ‘a necessary update’ because last time we chatted, I mentioned some foot and ankle pain I was dealing with. I assumed it was my peroneal tendon and thought I’d be back in action sooner rather than later. Well, after running the Mini 10k with some friends on June 13th, I realized things weren’t so simple. I quickly made an appointment at the Women’s Sport Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery and spent the next two weeks panicking.

After my initial visit, my doctor wasn’t sure if I had a stress fracture or not, so she sent me for an MRI the following week with a follow-up scheduled for two days before my birthday – talk about a make or break diagnosis! When I went to the doctor initially I was sure I didn’t have a stress fracture, but after seeing her uncertainty I was then convinced I did. I wallowed in self pity, didn’t go to any Refine Method classes for fear of making it worse, and tried to figure out what the heck I was going to do with two fall marathons on my calendar (neither of which have deferral options).

My follow-up appointment was on Friday 6/26 and I’d like to think it was a combination of the gay fairies and birthday juju that gave me the answer I needed – no stress fracture!! Instead, my sinus tarsi is overworked and angry about it. So while I won’t be sidelined like I would have been with a stress fracture, I do need to take things easy. I’m started back up with Refine Method last week (thank goodness) and did a 15 minute run on Monday morning. Thankfully I’ve been able to do Flywheel without issue, so three to four classes a week has been my savior. I know that I have to continue to do more cross training than running for the interim and thankfully I got a lot of fitness gift cards for my birthday.

So what does this mean for my fall marathon plans? At this point, I’m not sure. As of this past weekend, the Chicago Marathon is 14 weeks away. So in theory, I still have some wiggle room and the ability to train for it. Sure, it may not wind up being the goal race I had envisioned back when I signed up, but that’s okay. Chicago is an amazing city and I loved every step of that race in 2012, so I have every intention of being there in October. The jury is still out on NYC Marathon, but we’ll see how the next few weeks go. Oh, and I’m running a beer mile on July 18th in Brooklyn… LOLZ for days on that one.

To sum it all up, I’m in a slightly better spot than I was two weeks ago, but I’m not out of the woods yet. So I’m going to keep my fingers and toes crossed and keep up with cross training. I’ve had a lot of moments where I want to completely throw in the towel, admit defeat, and break up with running. But I know there’s more to this relationship, even if it’s slightly abusive at times ;).

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