Life of Late ~ 10.21.16

Here we are MORE THAN HALFWAY THROUGH OCTOBER.  Just leaving that there to think about.  We soon-to-be-NYC-marathoners have hit the highest week of mileage and I have run my longest run to date.  There are plenty of things that I feel as though I should have done better – namely eating, core work, not drinking, and less ice cream, but it’s all been a great training process and I’m ready.  The best part of this experience has been training on the streets of New York and running with all of my New York friends.


There was a point last year where I thought I was moving home to California and I would be training for the NYCM on my own.  Sure, I’d have some friends through my sister (though they are all too fast for my own good) and I would inevitably find a running group, but it wouldn’t be the same.  The streets, the course, the opportunities to meet Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan (YES! that’s coming up next week!!), and the sheer atmosphere of the city itself.  It’s intoxicating.  I fall in and out of love with this city every day.  I bike to work in the early hours of the day before the sun is up.  I may pass trash piles and folks sleeping on the sidewalks, but I also bike past the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, and I run in THE Central Park.  It’s the moments where the sun rises over the reservoir and I’m just so happy that I decided to stay.


^^ Our weekly track sessions photo shoots.  If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.


This here was once of the most scrumptious pasta dishes that I have had to date in the city.  I was down near Wall Street at Da Claudio for a client lunch and the moment I saw squash, I had to commit.  I’m always torn on how to eat healthy when the bill is being picked up by the boss (Thanks Ted Turner) and thankfully this wasn’t too far on the “oh my gosh what did I just do” scale.


Digging those November Project sunrises.  I haven’t been nearly as dedicated during the last 14 or so weeks simply because it doesn’t fit in my training plan.  I’ve been a bit nervous about the stop and go running and would rather be on the overly cautious side of running than not for my first marathon.   My dad keeps saying “this may be your only marathon” which is a funny thing to say.  I know it puts a lot of strain on the body but man do I thrive in the routine.  I love training and I hope the next time I do it, I can take some tips and tricks from this training and put those into play.

For now, it’s off to eat my free bagel, get pumped for my first hockey game tonight (Go Islanders!), and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

What are you up to this weekend?  Any tips for a first time marathoner?


Staged Festive Fall Candids

The weather absolutely bright and sunny this past weekend, which was excellent for my uber long run around the city (21 miles woohoooooo) but more on that later.  Sunday actually happened to be even better.  With a little shine and a little chill, I decided to dress in flannel and go on an outdoor adventure.

I met up with my friend Saron at Grand Central, where tons of others were setting off for a hike or trip to the semi-local pumpkin patch.   Fun fact: it’s practically like planes, trains, and automobiles to get anywhere close to a farm.  But we happened to find the most reasonable destination – just a quick 75 minute trip on the Metro North to Peeksill (just short of Poughkeepsie) and supposedly accessible to plenty of taxis.  Of course since we were not on our A game, they were quickly snatched up and one even refused to take us.  I don’t know if it’s just my perception of transport outside of Manhattan but some of those taxis are just plain ‘ol sketchy.  Others don’t even know how much to charge for various trips. Hm.

Anyways, we finagled our way to the Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights with plenty of time to roam the orchard, find leftover apples on the ground, and soak in the sunshine.  While the leaves weren’t at their finest peeping shape, anything is more magical than the desert climate of Southern California.

Funny story behind this title.  As you might imagine, the apple orchards and pumpkin patches are filled with families and couples – taking pictures and soaking up the fall weather.  There were some girls sitting in the patch and yes, dressed up in flannel taking pictures.  One of them said to the girl with the camera “ok, now can you just take some staged candids? Yes, so I’m going to look like I’m laughing and…”  At that point I was about to burst out laughing and had to take myself away from the scene.

There was a fabulous wine tasting room that allowed you to purchase a glass for only $10 and sample four separate wines.  Clutch, right?  You can imagine how packed that little corner of the plot was.  Another popular spot was the bakery, which had a line wrapped around the general store and massive haystack out back.  Since I could easily purchase a homemade apple cider donut at the Union Square Greenmarket, I decided against waiting the 45+ minutes for treat.  Instead, I picked up a jar of pumpkin butter, a jar of cherry butter, and we were ready to hit the road.

It was an excellent way to spend a Sunday.  There was plenty of fresh air, a new perspective and appreciation for the outdoors, and even some time to make homemade pumpkin macaroni and cheese.

“It’s a new season. A perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful” – Unknown. 

Moving and Grooving in the Office

It’s safe to say that I love to exercise but haven’t managed that whole exercise/move throughout the day concept.  Like many other millions of people in the world, I have a desk job.  Sitting and staring at the computer for hours on end is what I get paid to do, as well as talk with clients and coworkers of course.

We’ve all been bombarded with articles about how “sitting is the new cancer” and as if we don’t have enough in the world to worry about, we have to be concerned with our desk jobs.  But in all seriousness, I have noticed a difference in the way that I move now versus when I was attended school and would get up and move about between classes.

So what about those magazine and online articles that recommend squatting it out or throwing down some push-ups at work?  That may be a tad bit uncomfortable in my dress and flats or even when the CEO and sales managers are walking down the path behind my nook.  For those who work in a smaller company, have their own office, or even work in the fitness industry – you are lucky lucky folks.  For me, I have to stick to some other methods of keeping active, especially since marathon training has me moving like a sloth and slightly sore on a daily basis.

  • Keeping my snacks in the kitchen >> I try not to keep too many snacks at work because I tend to eat out of boredom rather than necessity. But when I do bring food, putting it in the kitchen requires me to get up and walk around rather than reach into my desk drawer.
  • Get a stand up desk or stability ball >> Again, working in a corporate environment may not be conducive for this (they can’t really accommodate the thousands of people who would request a desk) but try standing up every so often.
  • Make a goal to re-hydrate >> Keep a smaller water bottle at your desk and remember (key word “remember”) to get up. Set a reminder in your calendar if need be!
  • Be social >> I have friends on other floors and I try to make it a goal to socialize or even better – network with folks that I don’t know so well.
  • Midday workout >> I happen to belong to the gym downstairs and so I try to coerce my coworker friends into a midday workout (if the load is light) or even just a walk outside! We work near Central Park so not only are we not taking advantage of that view but who can say no to some extra Vitamin D?
  • Dress Comfortably >> Since I can’t wear yoga pants to work (sad day) I may as well select something that I know enables me to move and groove.
  • 10 Minute Recharge Breaks >> Do all of the above (water/tea, walk to be social, RECHARGE…maybe you will have a moment of AHA!)

Who knows, maybe the next company you work for will be more millennial/GenZ accommodating and have a time for plank-offs, walking meetings, or standup desks!

What are your tips and tricks for staying active during the day?

NYC Marathon Training: Weeks 9-12

Here we are with less than a month until marathon day.  Mega congrats to all of the runners who raced their hearts out yesterday.  There was the Chicago, Portland, and Long Island Marathon and not to mention all of the half marathoners – Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Newport, R.I.

Yesterday wrapped up the 3rd round of training with weeks 9-12.  To recap, we’ve got weeks 1-4 here and 5-8 here.


Week 9 >> 9/12-9/18

Monday 9/12: PT Exercises + PT + Barre >> I posted my training recap on today’s blog and got some good feedback regarding rest.  As in I need it and often do too much on my rest days.  This is true but an absolute struggle to wrap my head around, especially in a city like New York – we walk everywhere.  But, for the sake of my body and the weeks ahead I need to make this happen.

Tuesday 9/13:  8 mi “Fartlek” total >> Biked about 20ish minutes to Equinox and then jogged a 2 mi warmup to intervals/speedwork. We did 6×800’s and while there was some shin/undershin pain, it wasn’t too terrible.  Actually I did feel as though my legs were dragging on the way up and my stomach was angry on the way down.  Yay for Tuesdays!

+ Afternoon outside Equinox sweat fest.  My friend Jackie received an email about the special session and who could turn down a dance/boot camp class near the fancy Brookfield Place?

Wednesday 9/14: 7.5 mi jaunt incl. NP_NYC stairs >> For fear of 1) getting burnt out on Central Park and 2) not wanting to shower at home, I biked/subway’d up to Equinox, dropped my bag off and set off for Gracie Mansion.  My pace was all over the place but what I’m hearing time and time again is that for marathon #1, it’s all about enjoying the process and just getting the miles in.  I’m glad that I made it to NP even if I was late, I still go tmy social hour in.

Thursday 9/15: Yoga + 30 minute core class because mine sucks.  If this class weren’t 8:15-8:45 I would totally be down to do it more often

Friday 9/16: 5.5 mile jaunt to the Highline on the west side only to remember/find out that it doesn’t open until 7. Cool.  I also am encountering some issues running and unhappy tummy so that needs to get figured out (meaning I need to pay more attention to what I eat and when I eat it the day before)

Saturday 9/17: OFF. For once I tried to truly take a day off.  Besides my PT exercises and some walking around Union Square, I was resting.

Sunday 9/18: NYCM 18-mile Tune-Up >> longest training run and longest run EVER.  The training plan said 16 but I decided to swap the 18 in a couple weeks for today.  Pacing (8:55) and fuel (Honey Stinger gu + water + Gatorade) on point and no need for bathroom stops.  I started out with a few NP people and I swear, running with folks that you know is SO much better than running alone. I also practiced zen-running, which I consider to be sort of methodical running or zoning out of the pain and just focusing on your surroundings in a more thoughtful way.  Sounds a bit hippy but it worked.


Week 10 >> 9/19-9/25

Monday 9/19: Oh my soreness.  Attempted biking to yoga but then it started to downpour.  Ended up doing PT exercises and an ab class instead.

Tuesday 9/20: Need for speed, except I’m still sore.  7 miles total with 3 miles of intervals thrown in with the bEAST river track club.


Wednesday 9/21: Everything hurts.  5 miles total at ~9:45 pace.  Waking up at 5a probably didn’t help my cause but I knew that working out would help me wake up, get in a good mood and I wanted to shower at Equinox anyways.  Cue bike to Columbus Circle, run up and around the reservoir and over to NP.  I honestly debated going to NP or whether I should just do my exercises at the gym.  I made it to Gracie Mansion because well, sometimes you just need some familiar and friendly faces and some social time.

So sometimes I forget how to have fun.  I’ve always been more of a goody-two-shoes that goes by the rules, does all the homework right away and goes to bed early.  Now that last one is actually clutch now because I can catch sunrises such as this.  But going to NP gets me to loosen up a bit. Sure maybe the bounce lasts a little too long at times but it’s going to these workouts that often reminds me that I can be goofy every now and then.


Thursday 9/22: YOGA.  This is supposed to be a cross-training day but seeing as my “off-days” are essentially cross-training days

Friday 9/23: Lethargic 4 miles and then walking with my mom and grandma🙂

Saturday 9/24: 13 long and slow miles over the Queensboro Bridge + parts of Central Park.  Still forgetting Glide, which means mega-chaffing.  For some reason I was in a super cranky mood following this long run.  Does anyone else have a mood-shift post run?

Sunday 9/25: PT exercises + walking with Mom + vinyasa yoga.   It’s struggle city when it comes to rest days.  It seems as though my body AND mind were not thrilled with resting and my anxiety was through the roof.  Thinking about life here, family, running, and all that fun jazz.  A little bit of flow yoga and chatting with my mom helped.  Time to just CHILL OUT.

Week 11 >> 9/26-10/3

Monday 9/26: Vinyasa yoga (+bike to Equinox).  I had planned to do barre at lunch but of course a work meeting was scheduled for 12-12:30. Cool.

Tuesday 9/27: Track Tuesday with a lovely 5am wakeup call named quarter-life crisis/anxiety. 9 miles ultimately at 8:21 pace (pace brought significantly down by track…my warm up and cool down leisurely stroll)

Wednesday 9/28: Runchat with some girlfriends. one loop around the park at 8:51 pace

Thursday 9/29: Swim swim swim (only 30 minutes since I get antsy)

Friday 9/30: Slow easy miles uptown to the NP_NYC workout

Saturday 10/1: LONG RUN!  19 steady miles around Manhattan with my friend Alex – 10 of those with our other buddy Amanda.  My overall pace tracker has been steadily increasing but I would rather finish this race with minimal to no injuries and enjoy myself so all pace thoughts need to be cast aside.

Sunday 10/2: Nothing but walking.  I had planned to go to yoga but too much red wine on Saturday night prevented me from this.  I’m realizing more and more that drinking isn’t always my scene. Never once did I wake up the next day saying “wow that felt amazing”.  Also my body has taken at least 2 days to recover and my mind is still in the hangover blues.

Week 12 >> 10/3-10/9

Monday 10/3: Surprisingly my training plan had me down for 4 miles easy.  Well I took this to NP_NYC bridge day and ended up running home with a friend instead of biking.  Now my legs are not happy.

Tuesday 10/4: BRTC – 6 miles total with 3×1600 intervals (7:35 – 7:30 – 7:28)

Wednesday 10/5: Off/PT/barefoot barre-like class.  Surprisingly my butt is sore from this.  I’m not doing a good job foam-rolling…

Thursday 10/6: Pseudo long run around the park.  I wasn’t feeling it but after biking to the gym, I set out for 9 miles.   Few accidental tempo miles and couple of pitstops later and I was good with 8.7. Pace ~ 8:40.  Also decided YES on music for Sunday’s half.  I need it for the speed.

1 MONTH UNTIL RACE DAY!  One of my NP friends writes these countdown tips for all the NYC marathoners.  He includes tips about the course, fueling, and not being so hard on your body.  It’s quite surreal to read them on the side of a soon-to-be marathoner.

Friday 10/7: Day off and I was uber antsy.  I slept a full 8 hours and still woke up at 6…

Saturday 10/8: Day off again + drive to Connecticut.

Sunday 10/9: Woke up to portions of Hurricane Matthew hitting the coastline.  I figured despite the weather, I need to get the miles in and race day may not/probably won’t be sunny and 75.  Despite going out a tad fast, I really felt good and held consistent splits (average 7:57) throughout the race.  No music and 1 gu and plenty of gorgeous mansions, finishing with a 1:45 time.

Onto the final four weeks of training! Goals include – foam rolling, sleep, better eats, and not going out too fast!

Life of Late ~ 9.30.16

So initially I wrote this post thinking that it would be October 1st.  Yeah that wasn’t right but at least it’s actually fall and I can officially say it’s time for the games to begin and celebrate ALL THINGS PUMPKIN. Or if you would like to be less basic, simply celebrate the joy that is fall.

I have to say that it has been a blessing to live on the east coast for the last three years.  I actually understand what changing of the seasons and changing of your wardrobe actually means.  When I walk outside for a morning run and feel ever so slightly a chill in the air, I know that fall is arriving soon.  I say “soon” because more often than not we are graced with another thunderstorm or massive wave of humidity.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Southern California but the 90F days in September and October can be anticlimactic.  Although I do love a sunny and 70F Christmas Day.

Back to the subject of fall.  What I do know is that with fall comes gorgeous ranges of leaf colors, excellent apple produce at the farmer’s market, chilly air that is PERFECT for running, and a whole new range of outfits to choose from.  Yes I’m talking boots and flannel and scarves – everything that I couldn’t wear growing up because it was still too hot in fall to dress in more than shorts and a t-shirt.


In It For the Long Run ~ “The 4 Things I Learned About Making New Friends After College” ~ Stay true to you.

FishbowlNY ~ “An Act of Vin Scully Kindness” ~ One amazing individual and I’m hoping to tune in (on TuneIn) on Sunday for his last broadcast!  I even watched an ESPN 20 minute video on the man and I do say he is one of a kind and so inspiring.

NYMag ~ Famous Women on Body Image ~ Excellent advice, especially “For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that’s your strength” – Meryl Streep

Vogue ~ “Why I Talk to My Mother Three Times a Day” ~ Guilty

Huffington Post ~ “Gwen Jorgensen: Down Time Helped Me Win Gold in Rio” ~ Ok, maybe I”m not shooting for gold, but the idea of down time (actually resting and not pretending to rest) is very smart (<< now that I’ve written it how many times, can I follow this advice?)


Some things I have learned over the past week:

  • My swim stroke needs to greatly improve.  Apparently I loop my left arm to the side rather than up and over.  It wasn’t noticeable until I hit the girl in the wrist (quite forcefully unfortunately).
  • Go to your alumni events.  You will feel social and educational and hey, you (and/or your family) probably spent a buttload to get to that point, so celebrate it!
  • While I love nut butter and ice cream, finishing off cartons of each in less than one week has created havoc on my face.  Hello acne…
  • Budgeting is easy when you leave your credit card at home. Oops.
  • Find joy in the small things.  For example, I wanted to go on a fall adventure this weekend but don’t think the weather will cooperate.  So I instead plan to explore Target one afternoon and that in itself is adventure.😉


Last weekend was a blast having my mom and grandma Nance in town.  I showed them my hood, we walked up and down the Battery and all around the Upper East Side.  My grandma got a kick out of the bagel shop and the hustle and bustle that I call home.  I found that saying goodbye was harder than normal, even though I’ll see mom and crew in just under 6 weeks for the marathon (YIKES!).  So, as my Sunday afternoon anxiety started to kick in, I set into motions steps to chill out >> vinyasa yoga to grocery shopping to meal prep while watching golf and listening to a podcast with Vin Scully.  Yes, the soothing sounds of sports and routine are what I need to get my head back in the game and make for an excellent end of the weekend.

There weren’t too many pictures taken in the last few weeks – surprising, I know! So I’ll have to up that this weekend with some runventures and explorations in the city.  Even though the forecast is set for rain, rain, rain, nothing can stop me!  That and I actually have 19 miles scheduled for Saturday.  Wish me luck!

“If not you, who?  If not now, when?” – Garry Herbert

Marathon Training Tips for a Newbie

Part of the fun of this marathon is that it (somewhat) celebrates my 10th year of running.  I started running after school back in 2006 around the track simply as a way to pass the time before my mom could pick me up. It was also a way to keep in shape for soccer.  One thing led to another and soon found myself running every morning at 6am training for cross-country.  Fast forward 10 years, 13+ half marathons, and countless other races later and it’s time to run a marathon.  Having lived in New York for 3+ years and volunteered for the New York City Marathon twice, I thought it would be the PERFECT race to run.  Not only that but it happened to serendipitously fall on November 6th – my half birthday and halfway to 26.

Once I decided that I wanted to run New York, I knew that I wanted to earn my spot by running NYRR’s 9+1.  Sure running 9 (or more) races starts to add up but it was a wonderful experience and I thrived on the racing culture.  I have learned that last year was a crucial year of training because it got me motivated for the full, helped me earn the guaranteed entry into the full, and (sometimes) kept me from getting injured prior to actual marathon training.


So we may not be running right now but finding November Project and fellow runners such as these gals have truly transformed my outlook on running. 

Sure I thought I had it all figured out after running so many races, putting in the hours (years) of meal prep and reading countless articles/magazines about running.  To be honest, I assumed that I knew it all and simply by knowing, my body would follow what to do.  I assumed that I could just coast through the process.  So not the case.

What have I learned thus far?

  • Glide will be your best friend and people will inevitably question your scars if they are visible in the workplace (thank goodness it’s almost time for fall sweaters)
  • Again and again strong is sexy.
  • Running with friends is more fun than running alone.  Also one should never run alone without being aware of one’s surroundings.  Too many terrible incidents this year.
  • It’s not always effortless. There will be those days that you curse the miles and there will be the days where you feel as if you are on top of the world.
    • Stick with the process and never lose sight of why you are running.
  • Finding speed may come easily to some but don’t lose hope if you aren’t where you think you should be.  It’s a gradual process and nothing happens overnight. (oh and actually DO the speedwork suggested in your training plan)
    • Sign up for a training plan.  I have gotten to the point in half marathon racing where I can train without a set schedule.  Sure, I’m not exactly smart about it but I get the job done.  Marathon training? Get the plan.
  • SLEEP is crucial to being happy and healthy (those red-eye flights are no joke…pure stupidity on my part)…see more below for this fun subject.
  • Comparison is the root of all unhappiness.  Write down WHY you are running (or working out) and remember that.  This process is for you; it’s for YOUR journey.

What do I still have to learn/master?  Oh everything.  There’s the nutrition, the stretching, the gear, and the mental aspect.  Honestly none of this would be possible without the network that I have created through running and it’s safe to say I still have a ways to go.  I still forget to put Glide on every run and end up with gorgeous bruises and scars thanks to chaffing.  I still forget to roll my legs out even though my roller is sitting right near my computer.  I still forget that vegetable chips, ice cream, and seltzer water isn’t exactly ideal fuel for those morning runs.  I still forget that 6.5 hours of sleep is not enough for my body to run and work an entire day on.   I’m sure you’ve heard oodles about how that last point affects us on a daily basis (including running).  No sleep = no bueno.

So how to improve?

  • Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep
    • Put digital devices away an hour before I plan to go to bed
    • Make sure my bed is properly made (some find that helpful for better rest!)
    • Drink mint or caffeine free tea as a means of winding down
    • Follow these steps to improve sleep
    • More tips below thanks to Casper! (who lives in NY and has seen their subway ads? They are amazing. Check out their mattresses here!)
  • Meal prep and really focus on the nights before long runs so as to simulate pre-race routine
    • Heavy up on those anti-inflammatory and antioxidants
    • Stay away from artificial sugars and crap candy – I won’t say no entirely to sweets but I need to make my choice matter.  No candy but gourmet run-to-eat adventures or treats?  Ok twist my arm.
  • Be kind to my body.  Continue to appreciate the process along the way.





Basically it’s not all sunshine and daisies and bless the folks who have bionic bodies and can do it all.  Yours truly is still learning and that’s a-okay.  I  love the process and running makes me feel alive.


What are some of your running tips?  Have you learned anything through your training?

*Post inspiration by Casper but all tips, ideas, and recommendations are my own.  I am not a registered Physical Therapist or nutritionist.