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!

October 1, 2010

September Recap!

Excuse me did I just say September recap? Where did the time go? School has definitely made this month go by very quickly! I don't think October will fly by quite as fast, but we shall see! So, it's that time of the month again, when I evaluate my list of 25 things to do before I turn 25 and see how I'm doing and set some goals for the coming month! I think that evaluating this list month by month is really helping me to stay on top of things, even though I haven't actually crossed anything off of my list yet...but I'm so close to doing so, and boy, it's going to feel so good when I do!

That being said, here's how September went! This month, I:
  • Built up an even stronger based and went on my longest run yet, 15 miles, and, with 2 months to go, I'm feeling great about my training for the Philadelphia Marathon!
  • Have neglected my blog somewhat, but have still managed to post at least once per week during the craziness that my semester schedule bestowed upon me.
  • Started a Masters program at NYU and have fallen in love with it!
  • Watched 3 movies off the movie list.
  • Cooked 5 recipes out of one of my cookbooks, which I'll be posting pictures and reviews of next week in my Whip it Up Wednesday post!
That's that! It's been a pretty good month full of some delicious food and great opportunities! I can't wait to see what October has to bring!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I'll be studying my life away (and enjoying every second of it!) and running my 2nd Half-Marathon! Stay tuned Monday for a Race Recap!

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