Life of Late ~ 3.17.17

Hold up, wait a minute, we are past the middle of March and there seems to be no sign of spring in sight.  We are flip-flopping outfits from day to day – one day dresses sans tights for it’s hitting the 60’s and then another we are bundled up with every last item of clothing to brave the single digit temps.  So all around good times and good thing I didn’t actually put all of my winter clothes away a few weeks ago.  That would have been stupid. (Just kidding, I actually did put all of my winter gear away only to drag it back out…)

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Sights and Scenes from the Weekend ~ 3.13.17

To be honest, all of last week felt like a blur and a bust.  I’m not sure if I gave my legs the rest they needed following an 18-miler but every time that I ran, it felt like I was dragging through cement.  Every workout was a struggle and even my swim on Friday was lackluster.  Then I went home with either a 12-hour stomach bug or food poisoning.  Either way, it wasn’t how I had planned to spend the week/weekend.  But, we can’t always control what happens and this was an excellent example of going with the flow.

After 9+ hours of sleep on Friday, I woke up with the hopes of running 12-14 miles.  Just a mile in I realized this was not going to happen.  I dragged myself to mile 4 and met up with some girlfriends who quickly told me I shouldn’t be running.  But I was so determined to finish a run, scared that if I didn’t run I would be a failure, and grasping to hold onto any potential social time.  Well, after total of 7.5 miles, I decided to call it quits and walked myself to breakfast.  Don’t be fooled by my smile below – I loved running with these gals but felt awful.

Accepting defeat of a run is tough and so is taking a rest day.  But I know that having these days will only help me down the road.  Not to mention it was SO DARN COLD (maybe exacerbated by my body chills or potential fever…I don’t know since I kept forgetting to take my temperature…#adulting) and running with any type of flue is just stupid.  Lesson learned.

Obviously when running doesn’t work out, washing away your feelings in brunch is the next logical step.  I had been craving avocado toast and Bluestone Lane just happened to be where I stopped by run.  In retrospect I certainly could have found a cheaper place to dine but was in such a foul mood, I let the $25 bill (+ tip) slide.  I mean I never truly know what to do about tip – how much does one tip?  If you don’t tip the 20% are you rude?  What if they are practically watching as you select the buttons on the touchscreen iPad right in front of you?  Oh the moral questions, right?

Once brunch was finished and my expensive solo-bill was paid, I made my way downtown and made myself stop in Trader Joe’s to pick up this week’s groceries.  One of my goals is to be better about meal prep and that includes making recipes other than grilled vegetables and fried eggs.  I’ve been feeling a little “blah” about life and can’t quite put my finger on it.  I know that winter is one element but maybe a change in routine – including eating routing – can help.  Plus one of my roommates is gone for the next week, so we have a 1/3 of the fridge to takeover.  (<< shelf and fridge space are also the things you think about when living in a tiny apartment in Manhattan)

These enchiladas (slightly modified recipe by Ambitious Kitchen) were delicious and almost better after being in the fridge overnight.  It must be the way that the ingredients settle that makes it so delectable.  Anyways, add a little avocado and Greek yogurt and viola!

While Sunday was the day where we turned our clocks forward, I decided to let myself sleep in.  That usually means 6:30 or 7 since my body naturally likes to wake up early.  Nope.  Yesterday I slept until 9am, which with the time change meant I had slept for a full 10 hours!!!  Obviously my body was trying to tell me to slow down between the terrible workouts, body aches and two nights of epic sleep.

After lounging in bed watching the Today Show, I cleaned up the apartment and walked out into the bitter cold (real feel of 11 thank you very much) to meet a couple of friends for brunch.  My goal is to be better about making meals during the week and then keep exploring food spots on the weekend.  This way I don’t feel nearly as bad when we go ham ordering a few extra items.

^^ Ruby’s Cafe is 1) a place where of course it’s mega-popular 2) is run by a crew of Aussies (they seriously know what’s up for brunch) and 3) can be excellent for brunch OR lunch/dinner.  The Murray Hill location had actually been recommended to me by a few of my friends but when their Instagram “liked” my Saturday brunch photo, it was almost serendipitous – we had to go there.

After hemming and hawing over the menu (like I said, they have it all) we agreed to order brunch items and promise to come back for the classic burger and sandwich options.  It was only right and after polishing off our orders of BLTA+egg, Breakfast Bowl, and Green Breakfast Bowl (+ a treat of coffee granola w/ poached pears and greek yogurt), we knew that we had ordered right.

After brunch I decided to check another item off of my bucket list, which was the New York Transit Museum.  I don’t entirely know why I was so driven to see it over the last couple of years but the MTA does an excellent job of advertising for it within the current subways and so, over the Brooklyn Bridge I went to check it out.  The museum itself is housed in an old subway station so for starters, that’s pretty awesome.  Then, for general admission of $10, you get access to the story boards and gidgets and gadgets that helped our public transportation evolve over the last 100+ years.  They even housed every version of subway car on the old tracks so that you could actually see and touch the trains of the past.  I only spent about 45 minutes in there but it was like taking a step back in time.

Then it was back into the cold to walk/ride into Manhattan, where I got distracted by a craft store going out of business, and then took a vinyasa flow class (aka glorified stretching by I love it).   It may not have been the weekend I imagined but I have to constantly remind myself that I’m on my own journey – whether it’s for running or work or just life itself and that’s okay.

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Now it’s time to conquer the work week, continue to make plans for the rest of the year including a few trips around the country and of course my Paris trip, which is right around the corner.  Until then, enjoy this extra sunlight in the evening and if you are in these neck of the woods, good lucky and stay safe with this crazy nor’easter!

“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Life of Late ~ 8.19.16

Can we get a little BEYONCE up in here on a Friday? Yes.  Broadway Bodies with Alistair was certainly a highlight from the week.  My attempt to be hip, cool, and sassy was a fail but it was 100% fun and worth it.

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Since three of us won free classes, we’ll have to go back to dance part 2.  That or I’ll just add dance classes to my monthly budget.  #priorities

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NYC Marathon Training: Weeks 1-4

It’s true that I’ve never really considered this blog a “workout blog” per se but I do happen to upload quite a few running related items.  When I first started the blog, I had planned to create this quasi food/lifestyle/workout theme and share certain runs and races to keep myself accountable.  As you will note, this has fallen by the wayside but there is no time like the present to get back on that wagon.  I’m going to attempt to make note of my training and random thoughts along this journey to 26.2.

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Week 1 – July 18-24 (and 7/16)

Saturday 7/16 9 mi (Montrose loop @ 8:40 pace)
Monday 7/18 – 
5 mi (8:18 pace) in Fairbanks prior to departing
Tuesday 7/19 – Hike steep/slow 4 mi in Denali
Wednesday 7/20 – Walk (transport 6am-9pm)
Thursday 7/21 – Run 6 + hike 3 + walk 3
Friday 7/22 – 3.8 run + walking around town
Saturday 7/23 – Walk + transit (watch said ~ 8 mi)
Sunday 7/24 – 10 min bike + 45 min elliptical

Thoughts: I considered taking this week easy since I never really gave myself a true break after the Brooklyn Half.  Eh, it was a so-so week, making do with the territory I had.

Week 2 – July 25-31

Monday 7/25 – 45 min elliptical + kayak
Tuesday 7/26 – 40 min elliptical + squats + 1 hr stand up paddle
Wednesday 7/27 – 30 min bike + 15 min elliptical + 3 hour “bushwack” hike
Thursday 7/28 – 60 min bike + 2 hr stand up paddle
Friday 7/29 – 40 min elliptical + 4 hr kayak
Saturday 7/30 – transit/off – only steps around Stika
Sunday 7/31 – 11 mi (9:00 pace) along my old XC trails.  Meghan was nice enough to run with me and my slow pace on the condition that I didn’t complain (especially about how much I had eaten on the trip).  She didn’t exactly say all of this but I know she doesn’t like the complaints.  Man it was struggle city out there but that’s another long run in the books.  I worked to focus on the landscape instead of my running and was shocked at how rivers and ponds that once were scattered along the trail are practically non-existent.

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Thoughts: Well, vacations are fun but not always conducive to 1) maintaining your figure and 2) your workouts.  I have found myself to be somewhat of an all or nothing gal (not good, I know) and let’s just say that coffee with copious amounts of half & half with dessert three times a day for at least 1-2 weeks does nothing for my running.  That being said, it was interesting to see how reliant or obsessed I can be on my routine.

Week 3 – August 1 – 7

Monday 8/1 –  Swim 30 min – I was working from home but wanted to wake up and get the 700+ emails sorted before chaos ensued.  Swimming midday was good but I never feel like I accomplish much (probably because I’m flopping around unlike Katie Ledecky or Missy Franklin)

Tuesday 8/2 – 4-6 miles of walking + evening Intervals. ~ Speedwork: Meghan and I ran with California Republic in East LA at 8pm.  I normally don’t workout this late (or in the evenings at all) so it was sure going to be interesting.  Total miles 5.5 with 4×1200 thrown in.  The goal was 1) marathon pace 2) 1/2 marathon pace 3) marathon pace 4) 10K pace and no one followed.  If I ever run a 7:10 marathon or 6:58 1/2 marathon…yeah maybe in another lifetime.

I realized my goal now is to 1) NOT BE STUPID and 2) NOT GO OUT TOO FAST.  That should save me some trouble down the road.

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Wednesday 8/3 – 2 miles round and round with NP_LAX + burpees thrown in.  6 mi later in the evening with one helluva hill (thank you for bringing down the average pace), which left me wondering how I ran all of those hills in high school.
Thursday 8/4 –  Yoga x 2. Was feeling ever so sore and decided to use my flex day to stretch.
Friday 8/5 –  12 mi (9:00) pace.  Started the first 7 with my friend Sarah and sister Meghan in Altadena and then slogged through another 5.  The quads were shot but it was a better pace than last week so that’s a success! Fueled with a Honey Stinger waffle pre-run and acai gel mid run.
Saturday 8/6 – Bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs >> 2ish mile hike (around 5,000 steps for the day)
Sunday 8/7 – 10 holes of golf

Week 4 – August 8 – 14

Monday 8/8 – 3.5 mi shakeout run in the evening (after a red-eye and minimal sleep the previous weekend).  Well this was somewhat disappointing.  I felt like a hippo (though my sister reminds me that hippos run fast) logging around the lower part of Central Park.
Tuesday 8/9 –  Intervals with the track crew. 5 miles (1 mi warm up – 1×1600 + 2×800 + 4×400 – 1 mi cool down)
Wednesday 8/10 – 3 mi trot around NP.  I was planning to fit in 3 during the 5:30 workout but didn’t get my butt out of bed in time.
Thursday 8/11 – 9 mi around 8:56 pace and … PHYSICAL THERAPY!  Lots of insight and readjustment and so grateful for NY Custom PT.
Friday 8/12 –  Biked 2.5 to the Brooklyn Bridge + 2.5 Jog with the backpack (not smart) + mini NP workout (I half-assed it) + walking around and around looking for apartments.

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Saturday 8/13 –  14.8 mi (8:34 pace) Ran from 18th and 1st up to 72nd and down along Summer Streets with some stop and go into Brooklyn.  I probably should not stop as much but they say just to get the miles in…right?  Best part was getting ice cubes in Brooklyn to put in our sports bras and my hat. Genius plan. Fueled with 1/2 Honey Stinger Waffle and 1/2 Banana – mini cliff sample about 6ish miles in and NUUN for the win.
Sunday 8/14 – Couple of miles jogging before Brooklyn Mile (6:21).  Hot and humid and all the possible speed.

Thoughts: Marathon training is tough.  Fitting in all the workouts + strength + stretching is tough.  I haven’t even done all that I could or should but the goal is to enjoy the process and it’s going alright thus far.  Now onto weeks 5-8!

“It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  It’s the hard that makes it great” – Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own. 

bRUNch ~ Smorgasburg Edition

Checking off that summer GOMO list with a run to one of Brooklyn’s famous weekly festivals called Smorgasburg.  The food extravaganza is held every week on Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Prospect Park (open from 11am-6pm) and is perfect for the city that loves to brunch.  It’s also perfect for testing out those hip new food trends you see all over the internet or most notably – Instagram.  For one, I’m talking about the raindrop cake, explained as a “blob-like cake” that really just tastes like flan-jello.  Yeah, I passed on that one.  But hey, it’s a unique experience.

Last Sunday my friends Annelise, Melissa, and I decided to run into Brooklyn for the Prospect Park Smorgasburg version.  It was a classic Kaitlin #runtoeat experience if I do say so myself and certainly a trend to continue as I get into marathon training.  Melissa lives in the upper east side and Annelise lives in midtown so it was a runpool of sorts, bopping from location to location until everyone was in tow.

It’s roughly 5 miles from my place to the park, which was perfect for a light jog.  I hadn’t originally planned to run last weekend but this new Kaitlin (sort of) knows how to go with the flow.  We also strategized our run to end right around 11am when the eats opened and despite the stop and go street light traffic, made it right on time!

IMG_8206^^ When you give Kaitlin a funky sign or statue, she must take a picture with it.  I had actually used this as my picture for daily twice-daily Instagram and Strava, only to then learn that THE Smorgasburg Instagram account had reposted it! They ended up with over 950 likes versus my 60 but same same.

IMG_8208 (1)Once our photoshoot and stretch fest was over, I bee-lined it to a stand with lemonade and Annelise scouted out some iced coffee.  I swear, when the temperatures rise, lemonade is all that I want after a hot trot outdoors.  This cranberry lemonade was small (or maybe I just drank it too fast…) so I followed up with an iced green tea.

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^^ As we made the rounds, scouting out which options we would order and split, Annelise spotted a butternut squash donut to tide us over.  I’m not usually a doughnut person – I just post the pictures for social media but man, this was a winner.  The dense and flavorful dough with a sweet sugary finish. Delightful.

*Do make note that most stands are CASH ONLY.  They have ATMs on premise but that wouldn’t really work for someone who rarely brings an ATM card with them. 

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^^ First up, an authentic Venetian sandwich made with tomato, mozzarella, and bread that is FLOWN FROM VENICE ($9.80).  We deducted that the bread was similar to Wonder Bread, Smucker’s Uncrustables, or potato bread but obviously much healthier since it was Italian.

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^^ Debating our dessert early on…vegan pastries?  Or Alchemy Ice Cream?  The later is one of the latest health desserts that is not only dairy-free and animal-friendly but gluten-fee, vegan, and kosher.  Oh and it actually tastes good. Shocker.  Sadly it doesn’t have its own store, but can be found in plenty of grocery stores (mostly Brooklyn), online, and of course Smorgasburg weekly.

IMG_8209^^ Another viable dessert option from Butter & Scotch’s Boozy Bakers.  These guys are known for their desserts but I also highly recommend their breakfast biscuit sandwiches.  We may have scheduled a long run entirely around Brooklyn, ending there to refuel.

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^^ Second meal of morning for our group >> multi-grain arepa with chicken, cheese, and garnish on top. This was definitely a crowd-pleaser among Melissa and Annelise, due to the extra flavor packed on top, but I thought the arepa base was a bit difficult to chew.

IMG_8219Shockingly I was reaching a point of beyond fullness as we reached our dessert but a few bites of this mint brownie sandwich hit the spot >> soft brownie cookie (gluten-free!) with dark chocolate shell (inside the sandwich), and mint ice cream.

It’s always more fun to eat out with others, especially when you run (literally and figuratively) in a pack that is down to share.  That way you are able to sample oh so much more with far less of the belly ache.

Smorgasburg
(Williamsburg Nov. ’13 + June ’14)
~ Website ~ Brooklyn Flea ~
Williamsburg – 1a-6p @ East River State Park
Prospect Park – 11a-6p @ Breeze Hill (Lakeside/Lincoln Road)

Take Me Down Ocean Avenue: Brooklyn Half Recap

Fun fact: I used to listen to Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” on repeat when I first started running back in the day.  But I’m going to talk about another Ocean Avenue today – the one in the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  Yep, another half in the bag and now I’m forcing myself to take a mini hiatus from racing.  I actually wasn’t even planning to race on Saturday but a few months back when everyone and their mom started talking about it, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and sign up.  Serious FOMO issues here. Good thing I was at my computer that day because the race sold out in 45 minutes!!!  Yes, I paid money to endure 13.1 miles and there’s nothing you can do to stop me from doing it again.

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Overall it went well.  It hurt but that’s something that generally comes with the territory.  The saying goes “don’t do anything new on race day” and well, I may have broken that rule a few times.  First off, I was going in with less training than I would have liked.  Sure, I’ve been working out but not really working out properly – mostly taking classes that leave me sore and then dilly-dallying through my running.  Then my sleep and food routines have been all over the place this week.  Between flying back from home and attending our upfront events and concerts, it was sort of a mess.  Yolo.  On Friday, I was invited to a friend’s dinner party (I guess you could say healthy interest/blogger meet-up hosted by GreenBlender folks) and while the food was absolutely delicious, I maybe shouldn’t have stuck to classics.  I didn’t have coffee the morning of and well, that might have messed up some things too.  I’ll leave it at that.

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^^ White strawberries (actually albino strawberries but that just sounds weird) are a thing.  Check it out!

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Anyways, I do have to thank my friend Sara for letting me sleep on her couch the night before because that meant I was about 800 meters from the start and thus I could avoid waking up at 4am to catch one of the few subways actually traveling to Brooklyn.  WINNING!  I also have to give her a huge shout out for crushing her first half! What a champ 🙂

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So the race.  Because of my time from last year’s Washington Heights 5k, I’ve been placed in some of the front corrals.  Funny since I’ve been getting slower with each race and yet my bib still states otherwise.  I rolled off the couch around 5:20, ate my banana and Honey Stinger waffle, got dressed, and was out the door by 5:45.  Bag check was supposedly going to close around 6:10 but I think that was a ploy to get runners to actually show up on time.  Wave #1 didn’t go off until 7am (wave #2 around 7:45) and that left me with plenty of time to find my NP friends and hang out (and use the porta-potty…duh).

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Weather was definitely working in our favor – slightly overcast with no sight of rain.  Perfect since earlier this week it was about a 100% chance of rain and while voluntarily racing 13.1 miles is crazy, running in the rain is even more so and not so enjoyable.  It may have started to get a bit hot and humid but again, thank goodness no rain.

Consensus is most of us started way too fast.  Typical for me when you get caught up in the heat of the moment, you are pumped with your new playlist (Hello Justin Timberlake and EDM remixes by Spotify), and everyone else is jetting out like a bat out of hell (kudos to my friend Sarah for teaching me that phrase about 10 years ago).  Anyways, I was feeling oh so dandy for the first couple miles and then realized I still had 11 more to go.  Cool.

>> Brooklyn Half Course Map <<

We wrapped in and around Prospect Park, struggled powered up the hills where I saw some November Project folks cheering (we have the best cheer squads out there), and then down counter-clockwise and onto Ocean Parkway.  I happened to be running alongside a couple other of NP people, which kept me focused on pushing forward.  We actually switched off pushing the pace and kept one another accountable.  I rarely race with people that I know, but this prevented me from slowing down too much – something the lazy part of me wanted to do.   But yes, the the course.  Prospect Park was nice but lovely Ocean Parkway – remind me again why I signed up for this?  6 miles of not so attractive open road.  Good times.

About two years ago when I raced this course, I thought the same thing, dying with the endless path in front of me and pretty much crashing at mile 10 because I didn’t fuel properly (aka no gu or chew or dates).  This year I did use fuel (dates at 6.5, 7.5, 9, and 11), but had to stop in the porta-potty for a few minutes at mile 10.  Good times.

So here’s a question – do you stop your watch during a race if you use the bathroom?  I did.  I figured I wanted to know my actually running time and after all, the live tracker would find my total time anyways.  I’m pretty spoiled living in New York City because New York Road Runners has their sh*t together – aid stations and porta-potties pretty much at every mile, relatively seamless bag check, and a much more manageable race start than the one I did in Sweden last year.  Sweden was what we call a sh*t show.  Pardon my French today.

After the pit-stop I had to get my head in the game and power through those last few miles.  It was just me, Bieber, JT, and the home stretch.  I may not practice running fast on a daily basis but I do have a pretty good kick, so with 800 meters to go (thank you to the weekly intervals crew!!), I went for it and landed a time of 1:46 clock time (1:45:59) and 1:43ish by my Garmin but not by Strava so maybe I made up that time in my head (likely to happen to me)

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I found my friends, celebrated their PR’s, picked up my bag, and headed to the baseball field to stretch.  Then it was onto the makeshift beer garden (Steeple Chase) to catch up with all the other November Project folks.  I later left with a few friends for brunch and real food on the main island of Manhattan but more on that later this week.

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^^ Highlight of the morning – seeing Ellie Golden in person again

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Saturday wasn’t about PRs.  It was about finishing with a positive mindset and knowing that I can race under various mental and physical conditions.  I have to have that attitude if I want to run or race double that amount in less than 6 months.  I have to pull myself together and enjoy the moment.  I always enjoy seeing my friends and love how supportive they are to one another.  We have folks running their first halves and half marathon veterans.  We are there through the good and the not-so-great.  They are my family here and I don’t think my experience would be the same without them.

But enough sap for one post.  Here’s to the Brooklyn Half, another day where we voluntarily chose to wake up at the crack of dawn, jaunt (sprint, suffer, slog, fly) through 13.1 miles, and party in all different ways afterwards.

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