December 29, 2010

2010 Year in Review

2010...what a year. I have some great memories from this year, made some amazing new friends and I changed. A lot. And I'm sad to say that a lot of those changes weren't necessarily for the better. I don't want to end the year on a negative note but I'm definitely ready for a new start. I almost never make New Year's Resolutions but this year, I am. I won't write about them here, but I've already started making the changes. I need to make 2011 a better, happier year for me. So with that said, let's look at the highlights of 2010 and blow a goodbye kiss to the 2010 while welcoming in 2011 with open arms.

Christy's 'Best Of' 2010 Moments

 *Ringing in the New Year in Montreal with this guy*
*Celebrating my birthday three times with friends in New Jersey, New York and DC*

*Going back to Texas in April with The Pilot to visit my family*
*Running my first Half-Marathon with Lauren from Failed Muffins*

*Quitting my job and moving to New York City*

*Summer RoadTrip to Chicago & Milwaukee*

*Starting Graduate School at NYU*
*Volunteering at the United Nations General Assembly*

*Visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter*
*Running my first marathon*

*Finishing my first semester of graduate school*
*Celebrating the holidays with family and friends
*The Blizzard of 2010*

So now I'm kissing the year (and the snow!) goodbye and gearing up for 2011! I can't wait to see what the year has in store and I can't wait to read all of your wonderful stories through 2011!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

December 23, 2010

three things thursday

1. Noche Buena: My house smells like frijoles negros y cebollas right now (that's black beans and onions for you non-Spanish speaking folk!) and we're gearing up for Noche Buena! I'm spending Christmas with my mom's side of the family and being Dominican, we're having pasteles and shrimp, queso blanco, a roasted pork (which I will not be eating), yucca, frijoles, platanos,sangria...the works! Let me tell you, you haven't had Christmas dinner until you've had it at my house because we Dominicans know how to cook! I can't wait for the yummy feast! The house smells delicious right now! And since we're Americanized we open our Christmas presents on Noche Buena instead of on 3 Kings Day. Did you know that the 12 days of Christmas are actually the 12 days between Christmas and January 6? January 6 is supposedly when the 3 kings (of Orient are...) brought their gifts to the Baby Jesus, so traditionally presents are opened on that day! There, now I taught you something, go spread the word!

2. Christmas Cookies: I made Chocolate-Hazlenut Nutella Thumbprint Cookies this year! Mmm mmm mmm! I'm such a sucker for Nutella! I could eat it all day! (*Note to the Nutella folks out there if you want to send me some samples =D) Check em out! Aren't they cute?

 Don't they look delicious?! As soon as they're cool, I'm gonna spoon some Nutella onto them and they'll be perfect!

3. Farrah Fawcett Hair: I went and got my hair cut yesterday and it accidentally came out looking like Farrah Fawcett's, but I love it! It's so flippy and it looks great and I'm sad for when I have to wash it and have to fight over the fact that it won't look nearly as good as it did these few days! I also got a mani/pedi! After all that Holiday shopping, I needed to treat myself! I am ready for the Holidays! And hey, I'm picking up The Pilot from the airport in 3 hours and I haven't seen him since the marathon, so you know...I gotta make myself look some kind of pretty =)

Sorry for the picture quality! I'm hoping a certain man in a big red suit brings me a new camera this weekend!

Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!
Hope you all have a FANTASTIC weekend!

December 21, 2010

To Tri or not to Try

So #3 on My List is to Complete a Triathlon. I got the idea into my head at the same time that I decided to do a Triathlon. Fitness Magazine did a spread in one of their issues about a year and a half ago that featured two articles: "Yes, You Can Run a Half-Marathon" and "8 Weeks to Your First Mini Triathlon." Well, I followed their training plan and completed my first half-marathon in May and added a triathlon to my list. But I'm starting to have second thoughts about it...

It's not that I don't think I'm capable of completing a triathlon. I'm only aiming for Sprint Distance and have even picked out a tri that, if I do go ahead with it, I want to do. (The Washington DC Triathlon, for those of you who are wondering) But I'm starting to realize the burden that training for a tri would put on me.

Let's get physical: It's no secret that a triathlon is a tremendous physical feat. While I know that handling the run of a sprint distance tri would be a piece of cake for me, even though I'm a strong swimmer, I've never actually swum laps or distances before. I also haven't ridden a biscycle since I was about 10 years old and honestly don't know that I still remember. I know what everyone never forget how to ride a bike, but I'm not so sure about that! As far as swimming goes, my friend Erin (formerly a water polo player) also wants to complete a tri and we've talked about doing it together so she's offered to coach me as a swimmer, so I don't think that would be too much of an issue.

On top of that, I'm already registered for a Half-Marathon and a 10-miler for the spring and really looking to try and squeeze in a marathon somewhere around May or June and I'm not too sure that my body could handle the additional stress of cycling and swimming on top of marathon training. Then again, I could incorporate cycling and swimming into my cross-training workouts but since I typically run 4 days a week and cross-train 2, that probably wouldn't be enough, right?

Mental Preparation: Being in grad school, my life is still dictated by semesters and next semester is going to be tough. Between my job and my internship, I'm working a full 40 hours a week. On top of that, I'm in school full time with 4 classes, 3 of which are until 9pm next semester. I also have a part-time weekend job that occupies my weekends anywhere from 2-12 hours at a time. Let's not even throw school work into that mix. It's because of all this that I don't think I'll quite be able to run a full marathon in the spring. But maybe, if I start tri-training after my Half-Marathon in March, I'll be in good shape for a June tri and can then focus on running a fall marathon and breaking 4 hours!

Financial Burden: Running gear? Check! Swimming gear? Almost check...I would need a wetsuit...right? Cycling gear? Umm...this is honestly where the biggest issue comes into play. Bikes are expensive and I'm not in any position to spend the money on a bicycle to try a triathlon for the first time without any indication of whether I plan to become a triathlete beyond the one. Helmets aren't cheap...and then I would need cycling shoes and who knows what other things triathletes need to get them through training and ultimately, a race. Aside from completing a triathlon, becoming financially self-sufficient is also on my list and being a triathlete is an expensive hobby (so is being a runner, I'm slowly starting to find...but much less so!).

So with all of that said, I'm really starting to consider whether I should change the #3 on my list. I'm not really leaning toward one way or another and that's why I'm writing about this! So what do you advise? Have any of my wonderful readers ever done a tri? Have you considered it and are held back for any of the same reasons I am? What do you all think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

And while you're thinking about it: meet my newest hero. I haven't read her book yet, but this woman is amazing! She's an 80-year-old nun who has completed over 340 triathlons and I don't know how many marathons. She's responsible for their being a 74-79 age group in the Ironman Triathlon competition and they call her the Iron Nun. I love everything about this.

December 20, 2010

20SB Blog Swap!

I'm not sure how many of you out there are on 20sb, if you aren't, it's a network for 20-something bloggers to connect with one another and it's a great way to meet other bloggers! So every once in awhile, 20sb coordinates Blog Swaps where you're matched at random with another blogger and you swap posts on a common topic! This time around the topic is Action: What will you do next year that you've been putting off for too long?

I partnered with Kelli from Little Jelli in a Big World. You can check out my post over at her blog and here's hers!

Thinking back on 2010, my first thought is how thankful I am for all that I have in my life. 2010 brought the birth of my second daughter, which in and of itself is a perfect gift and miracle. Avery completed our family – rounding us out as a sweet little family of four...but with Avery came a total lifestyle change for me (the Momma) that I didn’t get with just being a parent of one.  You see, when you have one kid, you can still carry on a fraction of your “old”, pre-kid lifestyle.. but with two (at least for me) everything changed.  

With one child, I could still slip out on  Friday nights to spend some girl time or browse my favorite blogs while she quietly played at my feet. But with two children, it seems that I am constantly cleaning up after someone, holding somebody, running errands, doing laundry... you get the picture. And somewhere along the way I lost ME.  I lost my passions; my desire to be organized and completely in control of myself; my ability to always be one step ahead of my work ( I teach high school English) and my home (I am a clean-freak).  I love to read and am a self-proclaimed video game nerd and I also love to walk and be outside.  I am not over-the-top into my clothes or body, but I used to take some pride in looking and feeling good about myself.  These days, I cannot remember the last book I read, or the last time I sat and played a computer game or watched a good old cheesy Lifetime movie.  I never just sit and relax without my mind racing on what needs to be done.  My classroom is the same way- I feel like I am treading water with grading papers and lesson plans.. and that I just can never get ahead.  I never get to spend time browsing the sale racks at my favorite clothing stores.. I never go to the library and rent a book; hell, I don’t even get to listen to my own music in my car for the love!

So that’s what I want to do for 2011- take more time for ME. Find myself again. Because when I think back on who I was before I had my beautiful girls.. I was pretty cool and pretty self-satisfied.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a very happy lady, but just not a WHOLE person- like a part of my soul is dormant.  So my goal is to remember ME- be a little selfish- and get back to being the chic I used to be... which in turn will make me a better wife and mother- cause if your inner-soul is at peace, so can your life be.

Thanks Kelli! Best of luck in 2011!

December 16, 2010

three things thursday

1. School - I turned in my International Law paper at 5:30 yesterday evening and am now officially finished with my first semester of grad school! Woohoo! It was a great semester and I loved all of my classes (there's always one isn't there?). And as much as I'm excited for winter break, I can't wait for my classes next semester! I'm really excited for what I'm taking and some amazing opportunities coming out of them!

2. 2011 Race Calendar - I am a lucky, lucky girl this week and should seriously play the real lottery because I got into 2 race lotteries this week! I got into the NYC Half-Marathon on March 20 and the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in DC on April 3! Woohoo! Anyone else running these races? I'm super excited about it! I still haven't decided if I'm going to do a spring marathon yet mostly because my schedule for next semester is crazy busy so we'll see! Speaking of races, Operation Jack is hosting a virtual race on December 26 in honor of Sam Felsenfeld finishing his 61st marathon this year (!) in support of his charity, Train for Austism. It's a 6.1 mile race and registration is $25 and includes a race medal and a t-shirt! Go sign up! I'll race ya!


3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - I crossed another book off The Book List this week! (Only about 70 more to go...oy vey!) After reading The Adventures of Huck Finn, I need to go back and watch that movie with Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT OMG!), remember that one? He played Tom Sawyer I think...I probably saw it in the theaters when I was about 7 but I want to see if it's anything like the book. It was a good read, a little slow but I enjoyed it! Now that I'm on break and I'm going to be playing stay-at-home wife to The Pilot in Florida (=D) I'll have plenty of time to read! I'm not sure what to read next so check out my book list and let me know what you think I should read! I can't wait to hear your suggestions!

December 10, 2010

An Open Letter to New York...

Dear Manhattan,

I'm beginning to develop a hate/love relationship with you. When I was walking through the Bryant Park and Union Square Christmas markets last night, I was definitely loving you. Even though it was 23 degrees outside, I was more than happy perusing all of the shops in the market because let's face it, New York, you know how to do Christmas.

But some things need to change. It's crowded. Too crowded. I'm not asking you to go China on the city and institute a one-child policy to curb population growth but maybe recognize that it's crowded and expand the side walks a little bit so that I don't have to feel like I'm a sardine just trying to walk down 1st Avenue to get my eyebrows waxed.

And let's talk about rent. (Fellow bloggers, I'm revealing some personal information here) I pay $1000 a month + $50 in utilities (which is actually really low) to live in an 11x7 space (I'm sorry, I can't call it a bedroom) with a 15 inch wide by 12 inch deep nook that is supposed to serve as my closet. Oh and I share this apartment with 3 other roommates. The fact that this is normal is ridiculous. I lived quite comfortably on my own in Boston with my real people salary (which was not at all absurdly high) in a beautiful one-bedroom apartment. I shouldn't have to live like a cow in a slaughterhouse (this is so PETA of me...ugh) just because I don't make $60,000 a year.

Are there other places to live where I don't have to live like a sardine? Of course. Brooklyn is nice. The UWS and UES aren't crowded. But let's talk about this little thing called Apartment Hunting. Since November 15, I have sent out more than 120 e-mails to various people about apartments using Craigslist (which I abhor). More than half of them have been very nice people responding to me about how they're looking for a nice person to take over their apartment while they're doing mission work with AIDS patients in Nigeria and they'll send the keys over after I send them 2 months rent in security via Western Union.

No thanks. It's not like I'm applying to $600 one-beds in Chelsea either (clearly a scam)...when I respond to an $1100 studio in Prospect Heights...that's not unreasonable.

The other half of the places I respond to never write back (probably because they've received 27,000 inquiries...and the very small, select few of people who have gotten back to me are 1) people who I'm not compatible with 2) people who don't choose me to live with them or c) apartments in areas that I'm not too comfortable living in.

So what's a girl to do?

New York, I want to love you. In fact, I do love you. I love that I don't have to drive anywhere because you know how much I hate driving. I love that I can get fresh veggies at the USQ Farmers' Market instead of paying $5 for an avocado at the grocery store that rots the next day in my fridge. I love that it only costs me $6 to get a brow wax. I love that I see people like Mike Meyers and Bradley Cooper on the street and realize that that's normal. I love that the Mets live here. I love that there is a drug store on every corner.

But I hate that the only way for me to shop at Trader Joe's is to get there at 7am when they open or to wait in line for 45 minutes just to get into the store. I hate that I can't just run out of my apartment to go for a run because it takes me 45 minutes just to run 2 miles. I hate that the subways are horrific on the weekends. I hate that I don't think I've gone more than 4 minutes without hearing an ambulance siren blaring since I've been living here. I hate my apartment (but that's not your fault).

So what do I do? We need to make some changes to our relationship here. How about we work together? I'll stop complaining about you if you find me an apartment somewhere that's not so crowded and you get Trader Joe's to expand and you get the subways to start working a little better on the weekends. Hey, I'm ok with the $15 price hike for a monthly unlimited pass as long as you use that $15 that you're taking from me to get the E train to start running on the weekends.

Deal? Or maybe I'll make it my New Year's Resolution to stop complaining anyway...but you need to help me out here somehow, k?

Yours truly,

December 3, 2010

November Recap!

Hello! Happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate! And to those of us who don't,'s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And unfortunately, instead of spending my days being "merry" and "bright," I'm spending my days in the library and behind books finishing up my last 3 papers and studying for 1 final before school all comes to an end for the semester on Wednesday!

But alas, it's December and that means it's time for another monthly recap. November was a busy (and, at the same time, not so busy) month in terms of my list, but a good month all together!

In November I:
  • Ran a marathon in 4:08:40!!!
  • Reached 100 posts on my blog and have 'started and kept a blog!' (Don't worry though, I'm not going anywhere!
  • Watched 3 movies off The Movie List
  • Cooked 4 recipes out of one of my cookbooks!
I have just a few days left of school and I will officially be on break! As I said in my October recap, I'm super excited to have time of from school (starting Wednesday!) because I have big plans for this winter! But you can learn all about just what those plans are later, right? =)

Happy Friday!

November 25, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Post-Marathon Recovery is going pretty well! I got a massage on Tuesday night which was great, although, I probably should have gone for 90 minutes, rather than 60! I went on my first post-race run today and was pretty sore, but I'm feeling pretty good afterward! I'm still basking in the post-marathon glow but trying not to get too ahead of myself by planning for a second race just yet!

2. Thanksgiving! While, I myself don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope everyone has a wonderful day with their families and eats lots of turkey! I'm having a low key day at home with Mom and I think my grandparents are coming over later. Aside from that, I'll be writing a paper, watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Elf and anxiously awaiting the Jets game to come on!

3. Only 3 more weeks of school and then I'm off for 6 weeks! So far, I'm a little bit ahead of myself with school work which is fantastic! I was super stressed out before the race with everything, but I'm feeling good now! I've just gotta get through these 3 weeks of paper writing and 1 final and then before I know it, it'll be Christmas and then I'll be off to Florida for a month!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 22, 2010

#1 Run a Marathon

I did it! I ran my first marathon!

Let's start with the weekend! I had gone out to my mom's house in NJ on Friday night and stayed there, so Saturday morning I woke up and picked up The Pilot who had flown in the night before and we headed down to Philly with my mom. We checked into our hotel and went straight to the Expo.

The Expo was...disappointing. I was expecting a lot more companies sampling new products and such and it seemed like everyone was just selling clothes and shoes. I do have to say though, I tried to stop by the KT Tape table because I had a question about it and I was extremely disappointed with the people there. Not only were they rude and unresponsive, but I was completely ignored for almost 10 minutes waiting to have my questions answered. I'm not sure that I want to continue spending $15 on a role of tape from a company with such poor customer service.

Anyway, highlight of the Expo? Meeting Bart Yasso!

After a fantastic Indian lunch in Philly, Mom, Pilot and I met up with his sister and her boyfriend who were running the Half and we all went and saw Harry Potter together! After the movie, we headed back to the hotel, ordered Room Service for dinner and went to bed.

Sunday Morning: I wasn't quite as nervous as I thought I would be but I was definitely stressed and it was cold outside! I got to the Starting Line, used the Porter Potties and went to my Race Corral to warm up. I met up with The Pilot's sister and her boyfriend and the race started! I lost them right away but headed off. The course definitely was fast and I hit the 10k in no time. Unfortunately, I had some problems with my iPod 2 days before the race and lost all of my music and my Nike+ workouts. I was able to get all of my music again, but I had to download the new Nike+ and was worried about using it and it being off, so I was running without any sense of my pace. Worried about starting off too fast, I think I went a little bit slower than I hoped, but I came in the 10k at 1:00:43.

 At the start! I'm kind of tucked away behind the lady in the white hat.

Everyone always talks about hitting the wall at Mile 20 and I was so afraid of this that I changed my race mentality to say that I needed to get through the first 10k and that would be when the race started. So, I took the first 10k nice and easy! I saw the BF at the 10k and stole a kiss and "Let's Get it Started" by the Black Eyed Peas came on right and I started the race. The weather was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, I was dressed perfectly and was very comfortable throughout the whole race. I was feeling good from Miles 6.2-9 and then I hit some hills. Nothing too serious, but still challenging. I made a pit stop at Mile 10 and hit the Half at 2:07:03. I was feeling fantastic at this point, so I picked up and used what I had gained from my Tempo Runs and maintained a strong, fast pace through to Mile 17. Around Mile 18, I started cramping up a little bit and getting a little bit tired, so I took a GU, had some Gatorade and stopped to stretch for a minute.

At Mile 20, I ran past a liquor store that was handing out shot glasses full of beer! I didn't take one, but I still thought it was pretty awesome! Around Mile 23, I just started getting antsy. I was feeling fine, but I was so close I could taste it and I just wanted to be done! I saw my mom holding up a sign for me at Mile 25 and that's when I started to really sprint. The Pilot jumped in with me just before the 26 mile marker and ran with me for a little bit and jumped out around Mile 26.1 and then I crossed the line in 4:08:39. It felt amazing. I wanted to cry, I wanted to laugh, I wanted to throw up, I just felt so many things.

I decided I wanted to do this 9 months ago, right around the time I started this blog. And here I am, 9 months, 100 posts and 200 loyal followers later, I can finally call myself a Marathon Runner and that feels amazing. I don't think I could have asked for a better race. I felt amazing for all but about 1 mile of it! I was so blessed! Will I do it again? You better believe it. But for now, I'm going to give myself the time I need to really recover. And now, for your viewing enjoyment, some race day photos:
 My mom has always been my #1 fan!

 He flew all the way from FL to stand in the cold and watch me run. If that's not love, I don't know what is ;)

A little present from The Pilot!

3 down on The List, 22 to go!

November 15, 2010

Marathon Monday!

I am 6 days out from running my first marathon.

How do I feel about this? Well, it depends when you ask me. Right now, terrified. Last night, on top of the world. I think it's a good thing that I'm feeling this way but, my goodness when I get nervous, I get nervous. 

Right now, the weather forecast is looking good. Cold, but sunny. I'm trying my best to eat right and get the right amount of sleep and not worry too much about things this week. I cancelled my 12 mile run planned for yesterday in favor of a 10k run at the advice of my professor/advisor who ran his 10th NYC Marathon last weekend. So, I'm feeling pretty good.

5 mile tempo run tomorrow. Rest Wednesday. 5 miles easy on Thursday. 3 miles easy on Friday. 26.2 on Sunday. 

The thing is, I know I can do this. I know I won't go out to early and I know that I NEED to drink Gatorade from the 10k point on so that I don't cramp up. I'm anticipating a time close to 4 hours. I have a race strategy in my mind, but I have plenty of time to think it through while racing. I just need to remember to have fun with, right?

Thoughts, feelings, tips, advice, and encouraging e-mails are much appreciated this week =)

Happy Monday! 

November 8, 2010

Marathon Monday!

Good morning everyone! Happy Monday! I'm really excited about this morning's post for a number of reasons! I'm 2 weeks away from the Philadelphia Marathon and could not be more excited! I still get really nervous sometimes, but lately I'm starting to be much more excited than I am nervous especially after volunteering at the ING New York City Marathon yesterday.

It was awesome. I was volunteering at Aid Station 24 handing out Gatorade to the runners. I had a great time volunteering and met some people who are racing Philly in 2 weeks and 2 girls who ran the Philly Half last year and gave me some great tips about the course.

New York was the first marathon I've ever spectated. I should have been at Boston this year when everyone in the city has off, but my awful job kept me at the office and away from the race. Anyway, it was amazing. Watching the Elite runners go by was unbelievable, but my favorite part was watching the regular, average, my pace kind-of people go by. I saw a lot of things that were inspiring and a lot of things that scared me a little bit, but what I saw the most of was runners having fun. And that made me realize that, you know what? Sure, I want to run the best race I possibly can, but you know what? I'd rather have fun running the best race I can then stress myself out pushing myself and killing myself to come in sub-4. And I think that that's a really important lesson that I learned.

Best Parts about NYC:
-Yelling to the runners Water! or Gatorade! And having a a runner come by and say Beer?
-Asking a guy who looked like he was about to die if he was ok and having him look up at me and say, I will be when I cross the f***ing line and then bolting off and sprinting to the finish.
-A man dressed like Minnie Mouse running the race.
-Spongebob running the race.
-Calling out people's names (I'm definitely wearing my name on my shirt!) and seeing their reaction at hearing their name. You can tell that it made a huge difference in how they felt at that moment.

It was amazing. I encourage everyone, runners and non-runners alike, to volunteer at a Marathon sometime. I warn you though, it will give you a burning desire to run your own race, so I guess it's good that mine is in 2 weeks!

So, where am I at in training? I'm 2 weeks out and I'm tapering. I had a not-so good training week last week. Only got in 23 miles, 20 miles less than what I should have run, but there were just some circumstances that I couldn't control (like rain at night and a 25 minute time limit on the treadmills at the gym). But, I had an incredible 13 mile run yesterday and I'm feeling damn good and I have marathon fever and I cannot wait to cross my own finish line.

This week, it's nice and easy:
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 5 miles easy
Wednesday: 5 mile tempo run
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 5 miles easy
Saturday: 5 miles easy
Sunday: 12 miles

I'm on a strict diet, by diet, I mean high carb and protein intake and making sure I'm actually eating the right amount of calories per day and I'm getting in 8-9 hours of sleep per night because I am going to run a marathon and I am going to have fun doing it and I am going to run the best race that I am capable of and I can't wait. 

If you're going to be in Philly, let me know, I'd love to see ya!

Happy Monday everyone!

November 3, 2010

October Recap!

Hello friends in Bloggyland and Happy November! I'm back from the clear blue sunny skies of Florida and in the cold, frosty New York City smog! The only good thing about my return to New York was that Starbucks was giving away free samples of Peppermint Mocha yesterday! (That free sample soon turned into a grande soy Pepperming Mocha) So yes, winter has come to NY and a new month is upon us and that means it's time to recap the month of October! So, in the month of October, I:
  • Finished my marathon training with my last 20 mile run and am officially tapering for my first marathon!!!
  • Have kept up with my blog despite the craziness of work and school. I was at 9 posts this month (up from 5 in September) but down from an average of 15 over the last few months, so I've gotta get on it!
  • Survived my first round of midterms and wrote my first paper for grad school!
  • Finished up baseball season having visited 11 ballparks! (19 to go!)
  • Finished watching every episode of The Office and crossed my first thing off my list!
  • Read Mrs. Dalloway off The Book List (which I hated).
  • Watched 3 movies off The Movie List.
  • Cooked 3 more recipes out of one of my cookbooks!
Not a bad month at all! I've got big plans for this winter though, so keep posted because I'm about to start knocking things off this list like crazy!

Hope everyone is having a great week! Pics from Harry Potter World are forthcoming! 

October 28, 2010

three things thursday

1. Florida - This is a scheduled post. I scheduled it for 9am which is approximately the time that my flight is taking off from NYC to Orlando! I’m off to Florida for the weekend to see my wonderful boyfriend who I haven’t seen in 2 months (yikes!). I finished my last midterm yesterday afternoon and have been so bogged down with school work that I’m excited to get away to the sunshine even though I’ll still have to do some studying while I’m there. We’re going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which I could not be more excited about! So it’s going to be a great weekend!


2. Marathon Training - Since I had the flu last week, I missed an entire week of running and am way off base with my training, but honestly, I am ok with it. After how I felt after my 20-miler, I think that being sick forced me to take the break that my body needed. That being said, I’m less than 4 weeks from Race Day so I need to make every workout count. This is my last week of running before I kick off my taper and at this point, all I can do is trust my training and be confident in the fact that if I can appropriately pace a 20-mile run in under 3 ½ hours, I will be fine for 26.2. So, here’s the plan for this week (yes, I’ll be running while in Florida):

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 3 mile run
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 5 mile run
Friday: 22 mile run
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 10 mile run

3. Internship - Despite having the flu, I had an interview last Thursday and I secured an awesome internship for next semester and I’m really excited about it! I’m actually starting next Thursday and I think that I’m going to learn a lot and really be able to contribute to some substantial research. One of my classmates interned with this same organization over the summer and said that she had a wonderful experience and was really treated like an employee, rather than an intern, which is exactly what I was looking for. Without revealing the organization, I’ll say that I’ll be working in Religion and Conflict Resolution focusing on religious peacemaking in conflict scenarios. I’m excited to start next week! I think it’s going to make for a really interesting end to the semester and contribute significantly to my degree!

I'll be back with lots of pictures from Florida!!!
Have a great weekend everyone!

October 19, 2010

#13 Watch every episode of The Office

I did it! After almost 7 months, I finally finished watching every episode of The Office! I'm all caught up now and loving Season 7!

Why I did it: I've always loved The Office and used to watch the British version while living in London but had never really gotten into the American version until last year. I would watch the show but would always be confused about some underlying back story like...Angela is engaged to Andy but sleeping with Dwight?! The Pilot loves the show and would always quote some episode that I had to watch, so I put it on my list! I started watching all of the episodes after work when I was still in Boston and it definitely provided the comic relief I needed to get me through the rough days I had during my last few months at my old job.

How I did it: Netflix Watch Instantly! This feature is fantastic! I didn't even have Netflix but used to watch the episodes off of a friend's account who gave me her password. I finally subscribed myself and I have to say, this Watch Instantly feature is also helping me knock a ton of movies off of  The Movie List! There were a few moments when I doubted Netflix, like when they pulled The Office from Watch Instantly 3 episodes before I finished Season 5...and then brought it back a week later, and then when I had to wait nearly 4 months for Season 6 to be available, but it came through and I finally watched them all!

Best part? Michael Scott's incredible one-liners, getting a little teary eyed while watching Jim and Pam finally tie the knot, realizing that Dwight is a lot like that one nerdy kid that you were really good friends with in high school, seeing a lot of myself and The Pilot in Jim and Pam, learning the important skills of how not to run an office.

Now, as I watch Season 7, I'll know exactly what's going on! Although, I'm still really hoping for Erin & Andy to get together ;)

That's 1 thing off the list! 24 to go!

October 18, 2010

Marathon Monday

This is what I posted on Daily Mile after my first 20 mile run yesterday:

I don't ever want to run again. Ever. I feel like I got hit by a truck. EVERYTHING hurts. I am currently lying in bed with Icy Hot slathered all over my legs, an ice brace on my knee and my compression socks on with my legs about a mile in the air. I just got out of a hot Epsom salt bath and took some Aleve.

The run itself was actually ok. I took GUs for the second time and they powered me through the tough parts of the run. When I finished, I stopped and stretched for a long time before heading back. I stopped and grabbed a Luna Bar and hopped on the bus home. Well the bus decided to take itself out of service and I ended up having to walk 3 blocks and 5 avenues back home to my apartment...and then I had to climb to the top of my 5 floor walk up. When I finally got into my apartment, I just laid on my bed and started to sob. I cried for like 20 minutes before finally getting up to draw my bath. I'm 5 weeks out from my first marathon and I just don't know how much longer my body can take this. Is it normal to feel like this 2 weeks out from tapering?

Today, I feel much better. I'm already over feeling like I don't ever want to run again and I'm actually looking forward to my next 20 miler so I can kick some asphalt and say "Hey 20 miles, you got nothin' on me."
But the truth is, I'm tired. And everything does hurt. And I don't know if I can run 20 miles again. My knee is starting to act up a little bit which is worrying me. I'm 5 weeks out from my race and starting to worry that my knee is going to get worse. I've been reading a lot about KT Tape, so I'm off to Paragon after work today to try some out. It might also be time to start trying ice baths instead of my hot Epsom salt baths. On top of all this, I am the least flexible person on the planet. I can't even touch my toes I can't even come near touching my toes. I danced for I don't know how many years, I've done Bikram yoga, it doesn't matter. I am not a flexible person. This, I'm starting to notice, is severely impacting my ability to get in a good stretch after my runs. And this is something I don't know how to deal with.

*This is not me, but I can imagine it looks a lot like me lying on the ground in Central Park after my run yesterday*

20 miles is a huge mental game. And the day before my 20 miler, I spent about 6 hours in the library and another 7 hours at home studying for midterms. Had I known in May when I registered for Philadelphia that I would be hitting this mileage in the middle of studying for exams, I wouldn't have done it.

Part of me wants to take a few days off this week, but at the same time, I know how crucial these last workouts before tapering are. I have an easy 4 miler planned for tomorrow. That, I know I can do. But I'm not going to post my training schedule this week. Because I really don't know what I'm going to do. I have my training plan which says I should run 15 miles as my long run this week and 22 next week, but that's also cutting out one 20 miler out of the mix since I'm a week off from my training. Part of me wants to do 15 and take the easy road, the other part wants to take on 20 this week and 22 next week before starting my taper. But is that overdoing it?

As runners, we're constantly obsessed with time, with training, with plans, etc. We may, in our ordinary lives, be the types that live day to day, but as runners, we become locked into a schedule. This week, I'm going to change that mentality around and hope that it does something for me. But I have to wonder, is it normal to feel this way at this point in my training?


So for now, I'm taking a mental break. I'm not going to think about the marathon and I'm not going to think about training. I'm just going to wake up every day this week and decide what I'm going to do that particular day. And I'm going to hope that that makes it better.

October 13, 2010

Whip it up Wednesday

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! As promised, I’m getting back into my Whip it up Wednesday posts! So, because my camera is still dead, I was able to take pictures from my new Blackberry which has a pretty decent camera, but the pictures aren’t the best. So, here are 3 more recipes from Real Girls Eat!

Kate’s Prawn Pasta

This was pretty good. I think it was missing something though…I think the next time I make it, I’ll add another clove of garlic and maybe some salt (I was out!) but it was a good, filling dinner and was quick and easy to make! Basically, I sautéed garlic and onions, mixed in some shrimp, tomato puree and spinach and poured it over some whole wheat angel hair pasta! Delicious!

Couscous Salad

I was really hesitant to make this because the idea of dried fruit in a couscous didn’t sound appealing and it was pretty good but I don’t know that I would make it again. My roommates loved it though, so I’ll post the recipe!

1 packet couscous
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/3 cup of each of the following dried fruits: apricots, cranberries, figs, mangoes
1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
2 mini cucumbers
Feta cheese 
1 small red onion
1/2 bunch dill
1/2 bunch int
1/4 bunch Italian parsley
1/2 cup sliced almonds

-Cook the couscous according to directions.
-Mix together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, vinegar and s&p. Place in a small saucepan and heat gently until just warm.
-While heating the dressing, roughly chop the dried fruit into similar sizes. Mix with the crystallized ginger in a serving bowl and pour the warmed dressing over.
-Dice up the cucumber, feta, onion and toss into the serving bowl, mixing with the dried fruits and coating with the dressing.
-Scoop the couscous into the serving bowl and toss gently to mix through.
-Tear the fresh herbs and mix into the salad.
-Toast the sliced almonds and mix into the salad.
 Ezy Goan Prawn Curry

This was delicious! A Thai Curry made with jasmine rice, curry paste, white onions and coconut milk, it was absolutely fantastic! Sautee ginger and white onion in olive oil, mix in curry paste and coconut milk, add in shrimp and enjoy!

There you have it! Stay tuned next week for more recipes from Real Girls Eat! I’m half way through the cookbook now!

October 7, 2010

three things thursday

1. The Prestige - The night before my race, I vegged out and watched this movie with my friends. The Prestige was hands down, my favorite movie on this list. I know I said that about Slumdog Millionaire but this movie was incredible! Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale star in the film as rival  magicians who started their careers together as friends and became intimate rivals after a magic trick went fatally wrong. Throughout the film they are constantly trying to outdo one another's tricks. The film is a suspenseful thriller and mind game and will constantly have you on the edge of your seat. Go see this movie! It was amazing!

2. Marathon Training - I'm feeling pretty good post-race and I've got in 2 runs this week. I'm getting set for my 18-miler on Sunday and so far, I'm feeling pretty ready for it. By the way, some of you asked for pics of my race medal and since I've gotten the rest of my pics, I'll share!

3. The Office - So, I've finally gotten back into watching The Office! I'm almost half way through Season 6 and then I can start catching up with Season 7 and cross something off my list! I'm pretty excited about it! Season 6 is my favorite so far!

Happy almost-weekend!

Diva's Half-Marathon at Long Island: Race Report

With 8 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon, I finished my second Half-Marathon on Sunday, crossing the finish line in 2:00:53, a 50-second PR!

I had mixed feelings about this race. On the one hand, I ran a great race, but on the other hand, I felt terrible.
Let’s recap:

Saturday – I woke up and went for an easy 3 mile jog around my neighborhood before grabbing a quick bite to eat, quadruple checking that I had everything and headed to the train station to catch the train to Long Island. My best friend and former college roommate picked me up and we headed to the Race Expo to pick up my packet. The expo was…slightly depressing. The race directors had sent out so many e-mails promoting the expo and I wasn’t at all impressed. I was surprised that they had an expo at all for a Half-Marathon, but it was pretty lacking. The swag bag however was pretty awesome! On top of my race shirt (pink!) and a matching pink bag that said Diva’s Half-Marathon, I got tons of free samples, a coupon 5,000 miles on Spirit Airlines (hello boyfriend!), and a $500 gift card to Red Star! So I can get some running sunglasses!

We got back to my friend’s house and it was time to relax so we put on a movie that I brought (off my list, of course!) and watched the movie before another one of my old college roommates came over and we had a yummy pasta dinner and some pumpkin ice cream before I went to bed bright and early. 

Sunday, Race Day – My alarm went off at 5:45 and I got dressed, grabbed a quick bite and headed out to the race. It was cold outside. It was about 40 degrees and it didn’t see like it was ever going to warm up. The 5k started at about 7:45 while I was stretching and we lined up shortly after. I lined up in the 8:01 – 9:00 corral but then they started telling everyone to move up and push forward so I actually started the race in the 6:01-7:00 corral which is not at all my pace but they were pushing everyone up so I didn’t have much of a choice. The gun went off and off we went. The race had about 3,000 women and the start tunnel was extremely narrow so I was practically walking through to the start line, but the group quickly spread out. I was running fast and I felt like it, but I was feeling pretty good. Miles 1 and 2 came up a lot sooner than I expected. Between Miles 2 and 3, I started to worry that I would crash early if I kept up the pace I was at, but I was still cold and anxious to warm up so I didn’t want to slow down. At Mile 3, I was at just over 24:00 and knew I had to slow down. I stopped off at the Porter Potty because I really had to pee and was able to get into a regular pace after that.

When we hit Mile 4, the wind started picking up. I wasn’t running against the wind, but it started to feel really cold. At Mile 5, my knee started bothering me but I saw my mom at the mile marker so that was exciting! Miles 5-8 were brutal. I was so cold and my muscles were tightening up. I was wearing capri length pants and a t-shirt and I thought I would be fine with that. The forecast had called for high 50s in the morning and it was definitely much colder than that. I had been taking Power Bar Energy Blasts through the race (my go-to fuel) and they weren’t sitting right with me. I started feeling really sick to my stomach and at Mile 7 I had to stop off and use the Porter Potty again. When I got back into the race, I was still cold but feeling much better. I was definitely running slow though and I could feel it. When I hit Mile 8, I saw my mom again and knew I wanted the race to be over. I thought to myself, I run 5 miles every Tuesday and Thursday and this is why, so that when I get to this point in the race, the last 5 seems easy. So I started to pick up the pace. By Mile 10, I was hurting again but feeling good. I knew at this point that I could finish and I knew I was close to the threshold of finishing in the same time I finished my last Half and that was not going to happen. I was going to PR no matter what. The last few miles had local high school cheerleaders at each mile cheering the runners along which was pretty cute. Just before Mile 12, they were passing out hot pink feather boas and tiaras. In the true cheesy spirit of the race, I donned my crown and my boa and I started to (excuse my French) haul ass. 
Eying the finish line just after Mile 12!
I ran to that finish line like I had never run before and as soon as that line came into view, I sprinted like I was running for my life. As I crossed the finish line, I threw my arms up and nearly collapsed into one of the fire fighters that was handing out red roses and champagne. I proudly took my rose, my champagne and my 10 pound medal (it felt that heavy after the race!) and went over to where my mom, and three of my very closest friends were waiting for me at the finish line.

 I felt pretty awful after the race but, at the same time, I felt great – how can you not feel great after that kind of accomplishment? When I ran Katie Lynch back in May, I had to stop and walk a few times and this time, I never did that. When I was at my lowest point in the race, I looked around and saw everyone around me walking and I was not going to do that. So I kept running. I had to stop twice but I never stopped running because I felt like I mentally could not continue to run. 

It was a tough race since I never quite warmed up and my lesson learned is to bundle up for Philadelphia no matter what the forecast says so that if I need to throw away layers I can, but if I want them, I have them.

Now, I have 7 weeks to go until Philadelphia and I’m feeling pretty good. I have a lot of work ahead of me and my training is going to take on a new, more rigorous shape next week but I know I can handle it and I’m ready for whatever the elements throw at me. I had a great recovery run yesterday I have an 18 mile run planned for this weekend. I’ll be testing out some new fuel options and gearing up for the 3 hardest weeks of training before I start to taper down for the race. 

I want to thank all of you for your support because you guys have been amazing. Thanks for following along and thanks for your words of encouragement. Keep ‘em coming because they keep me going!

If any of you are running Philadelphia, or if you know anyone running Philadelphia, drop me a note! I’d love to organize a Meet-Up the afternoon before the race!
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