The Week in Workouts and Food 7/10 – 7/16

7/10: Beginner Tennis Clinic, Round 2. There were only 3 of us and we got a lot more time with the ball and working on strokes. I came home to watch The Bachelorette with my roommate then baked my 3rd attempt of my favorite banana bread recipe. The only things I’ve switched up is subbing a splash of half & half or Greek yogurt for sour cream and sometimes adding 1-2 handfuls of mini chocolate chips. It’s delicious either way! Then I’ve played around with the baking time from 1 hour to 1:15; it definitely falls apart more easily with chocolate chips and less baking time and you will need a spoon. Next time, I’m going to actually save a bit and make Banana Bread French Toast from the Run Fast, Eat slow cookbook.

7/11: 5.8 miles at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance class. This is a class PR for me, done in just over 59 minutes on the treadmill. I’m hoping to make it an even 6 miles in the future with this class. I felt really strong during the intervals and kept my easy pace easy, then sped up to 8.3 mph for the super-fast sprinting stuff. I foam rolled like a champ after, too.

7/12: (Free) SoulCycle class at their new Park Slope location. This is only my 3rd SC class ever (won free classes at the Montauk and Financial District locations in 2015 and 2016) and I really liked the instructor and the mix of people. It was an influencer ride, so someone in my running club who goes there a lot got to bring guests. I was so thankful for the opportunity to check out the studio.

7/13: Rest day since I had an early enough meeting, a work event from 5-8pm, and oh yeah, a Heat Advisory in NYC. Pass.

7/14: Unplanned rest day due to morning rain then evening laziness. Got KFC from a drive-thru for dinner after originally thinking “I want some veggies tonight” and having breakfast and lunch of cheese and carbs (everything bagel with lox scallion cream cheese and paneer bhurji, respectively).

7/15: Longish run in Central Park, 3.2 with the ClassPass group run crew, plus a little before and after. I stopped by the NYRR RunCenter after to grab my bib and hat for the Brooklyn R-U-N 5K Monday night.

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7/16: I failed at running before I cheered on E at the NYC Triathlon but ran a solid 0.1 miles with him during his first mile of the 10K, making sure he was OK and hydrated enough.

Then I went to Brighton Beach with friends to eat khachapuri and take in the waves.


Total: 11.4 miles on 2 runs out of a planned 4. Hmm. I’m not proud of low-mileage weeks like this and always feel hesitant to post about them but the truth is the truth. And sometimes you need a very, very down week. I also had a tennis clinic and spin class, both of which were awesome.

The Week in Workouts and Food 7/3-7/9

7/3: 5.4 mile late morning loop since I took the day off. I then checked out the new Dekalb Market Hall and was blown away. Though I was on a mission just to eat at Katz’s, it was exciting to see almost all of the other vendors open as well. My pastrami Reuben was $25 after tax, so I sadly won’t be eating at the Katz’s outpost that often. I also checked out the new Trader Joe’s (no lines!) and the cleanest, best stocked and organized Target in town.

In the evening, I had signed up for a beginner tennis clinic through ClassPass since I have wanted to play more tennis but haven’t held a racket in years. I took group lessons for beginners on the clay courts on the UES back in the summer of 2011 but only played sporadically after that and haven’t played at all since moving to Brooklyn in 2014. The NYC Parks & Rec department had raised the price of a tennis permit to $200 for the season at one point, but they have since brought it back down to $100. I’d like to improve my skills before booking court time with anyone (and would also have to find more people at my low skill level). I wore my new cool tennis shoes and the plaid pleated tennis skirt from Tory Burch Sport that I got last year in the outlets in Vegas. Finally! I knew when purchasing these that I would be motivated to eventually play in them. There were 4 of us at the clinic and we worked on our swing and backhand and did drills. I loved getting court time without the pressure of playing so I signed up to do it again the next week.

Then my friend had a birthday dinner at Golden Unicorn. We ordered some dim sum dishes, my beloved walnut shrimp, sandy egg custard pig buns, plus a whole duck which they cut up for us and mostly turned into duck buns.

 

 

7/4: 4 miles for the 4th of July. Other more masochistic suggestions from Strava friends included 7 repeats of 4 miles each (nooooooo) and 17.76 miles. Elle raced a 4K that day which is also more my speed.

Then I went to a picnic (brought my favorite watermelon/mint/feta/balsamic salad), got Ample Hills with my besties, and went to a cookout on the Long Island City waterfront for the best fireworks views.

Below is my favorite new Ample Hills flavor, Summer of Love. It’s sweet cream ice cream with tie-dye Baked By Melissa cupcakes swirled in. Of course I got it on a birthday cake cone.

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7/5: 2 miles running from home to volunteering at the Al Goldstein 5K (#4).

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Once done with my shift, we went to the nearby Camille’s Jamaican Restaurant (wanted to try Peppa’s Jerk Chicken but they didn’t have seating) and got a full container of jerk chicken, rice & beans, slaw, and plantains for $5.

7/6: TrackTown 5K. This was my goal race 5K since I figured Randall’s Island would be flatter than both Central Park and Prospect Park. I also hoped that maybe the vibes from the elites competing with and after us would rub off. No such luck. I did a 1.2 mile warmup with a teammate and we soon realized we were running along a significant part of the course, which included wood chip paths and a not insignificant hill for the otherwise seemingly flat Randall’s Island. Huh. The views of Manhattan were beautiful, as were all the flowers along the water.

My original goal for this race was to run it at fairly even splits for a PR in the lower-to-mid 25:xx range. My last 5K was 25:37 (8:05 min/mile average) but with a full minute difference between the 1st mile and 3rd mile, so I aiming for low-8s then seeing how I felt seemed doable.

We took off right at 7pm sharp from the usual finish line of the track. I made it to the 200m mark before realizing my right shoe of my new Brooks PureFlows was untied. Drat! I decided it was too early in the race to not fix this and that there was a major tripping hazard with all the other participants, so I pulled over to fix it once off the track. It was only 4 months ago that I had my only other untied shoe incident during my indoor mile race (and PPR at 7:19). I pulled over in the parking lot to fix it and tried to pick up the pace but stay steady.

Things got worse from there. I had to do a lot of bobbing and weaving to get around people for the first mile (was hoping to salvage it to an 8:50ish pace but watch beeped around 9:09) then the second mile was pleasant enough but got tougher after the turnaround. It all went downhill on mile 3. I was thirsty despite having grabbed water around Mile 1 mark and started breathing heavily. I picked off a few more people but struggled on the tiniest of uphills. I finally caught up to a teammate and was hoping to hang with her for the last half mile, but my stomach had other plans after the 3 mile mark. I tried to hold it back but had to puke in a trash can just before entering the track to finish.

At least the last 100m looked pretty good! But my splits tell the story.

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Afterward, I recovered in the stands with orange slices and a Capri-Sun (thanks to soccer momish team captains) and watched some of my favorite track stars (Alyson Felix! Bernard Legat! Sam Chelimo! The Freeze!) hang around or compete.

My 5K redemption will have to come in the following weeks, as I have 3 more chances at this difference in July. On the plus side, I got lots of free jerky and Kind Bars on my way out of the stadium and got to bond with teammates.

7/7: Rest day with a drive to the Catskills after a work event

7/8: Howe Caverns tour, a lot of grilling, and becoming the undefeated foosball champs of the vacation house. All those hours in college killing time with the guys at a foosball table between classes in Festival finally payed off!

7/9: 6.2 miles along the rolling hills of the Catskills between Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain. So beautiful, but so hilly. We kept the pace easy for the first 6 miles then had fun going downhill for the last 0.2 of it. I got to yell “race you to the swings!” for the first time in two decades.


Total: 22.0 miles. This is my first even mileage week in months. Interestingly, I had 1,130 feet of elevation gain compared to my usual <500 feet a week thanks to that last run.

The Week in Workouts and Food 6/26 – 7/2

I guess I haven’t yet mentioned my lower sugar plan, which I enacted after the Miami trip. I caught myself eating A LOT of candy (brought a bag of Haribo gummi bears on that trip which is my travel standard, so maybe it was the weird sour candy that messed me up) and baked goods (and ice cream) and was definitely feeling its effects on my body. So I decided that for 4 weeks, I would forego said treats, strive to eat more fruits and vegetables, and start actively lowering the amount of ‘normal’ foods with high levels of sugar (ahem, yogurt and granola breakfasts). I’m trying to recalibrate my taste buds to stop craving so much sugar all the time. I’m allowing myself one traditional dessert per week, usually on Saturdays, which has made dessert more special. Of course, it helps that two of the options were a homemade strawberry mile high ice cream pie and some wedding cake this past weekend.

Monday 6/26: I normally don’t run on Mondays but I figured I could use some easy miles after the Achilles 4 Miler on Sunday. I ran 2.2 miles to watch my friend’s softball game, then 2.2 miles home.

Tuesday 6/27: 1.5 miles to NYRR Open Run, 3.1 at an easyish pace, then an extra 0.4 around to hit 5 miles even. Shake Shack for dinner, where I got the fried chicken sandwich and we split bacon cheese fries. I hope the Red Velvet Cake Shake is still there in a few weeks because it is delicious.

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These are actually only my 2nd shortest pair of shorts

Wednesday 6/28: 5.5 treadmill interval miles at The Distance at Mile High Run Club. I chose to downgrade the 10% hills since those sometimes leave me with stressed hamstrings and glutes.

Thursday 6/29: I had a nice leisurely stroll to the picnic edition of Book Club with a view in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Friday 6/30: Rest day

Saturday 7/1: 5.5 miles longish run. My long runs won’t technically have to be in the double digits until September, but I’m hoping to keep them in the 6-8 mile range until then to keep my aerobic base up.

Then I went to Philly for a wedding. No cheesesteaks or roast pork sandwiches this time, but the parting snack was cheesesteak egg rolls and they were delicious.

Wedding take-homes. Not pictured: soft pretzel and cheesesteak egg rolls


Sunday 7/2: Unplanned rest day. After getting home from Philly, I ended up not leaving my apartment.

Total: 20.4 miles. Closer to being back on track, but I wouldn’t have minded getting to 25. Next week!

The Week in Workouts and Food 6/12-6/18 and 6/19-6/25

6/12: Recovery from Miami. I think I went to bed at 9pm.

6/13: 5.4 at MHRC The Distance. I was close but not quite to hitting my distance record for this class. I didn’t want to sacrifice any of the stretching for an extra 0.2, though.

6/14: 5.5 miles loop of the park with a friend at my easy pace.

6/15: 5 miles around Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Promenade, then my first PureBarre class in a couple of months. It didn’t hurt to laugh the next day but I struggled through the push-ups. The instructor called my forearm plank form perfect, so that was a win.


6/16: Rest day.

6/17: 6.2 Queens 10K. I was hoping to do a warmup mile, but was being social then cheering on Wave 1 runners, then it was time to get into my corral for an 8:15am start. My A Goal was to PR which I knew I could do with even splits in the 8:40’s. Humidity was at 99%, so I decided not to be aggressive and push to the 8:30’s. The out-and-back was torturous, but I did see a lot of teammates who cheered for me, which really helped.

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I’m pretty proud of those splits! I got so lucky that it was overcast, which really helped with the high humidity. I would have wilted in full sun, as this course is pretty much out in the open. Finish time of 54:36, which is over a minute down from my UAE 10K.

  
  
6/18: 3 warm recovery run miles around lunch time, which I ended at Bagel Pub for a smoothie and an everything bagel with bacon cheddar cream cheese.

Total: 25.2 miles and a new 10K PR.

6/19: Rest day

6:20: Park loop at an easyish but too-quick pace for 5.5 miles. I really need to slow down my easy runs but it’s hard by myself without conversational pace. I’ve started saying the Pledge of Allegiance as a test.

6/21: I volunteered at the 5K, originally having hoped to do a loop or a few miles. My left calf was hurting a little so I just did course marshal duty at the finish.

6/22: Fly 45 and trying a new-to-me instructor at Flywheel. I thought I had set a new “high score” for myself, but nope, not even close. I did get 2nd female in the one sprint, though.

6/23: Calf still a bit sore, so rest day.

6/24: Cheering at the Pride Run. I was hoping to get more miles in (4 or so) but it was pouring down rain until the race started. My socks and shoes were soaked, then the sun came out at the end of the race and I was hungry, so we high-tailed it to Tal Bagels, then home for a total of 0.44 miles.

At night, I attended the Prospect Park Soiree and ate, drank wine, and danced the night away (ok, there was a 10pm hard stop with the DJ).

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Cowbell crew

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Double cowbelling

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Some of our tablescape and spread

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6/25: Achilles 4 Miler. 2 warm up miles before the start with some teammates.

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I accidentally got in one corral behind mine but decided to stick with it because I was already feeling thirsty and tired. My A goal was even splits in the 8:30s and I just wasn’t feeling it after the first mile, so I backed off. All the way off. I decided not to try to beat my 4 Mile PR from April and just try to get hydrated at each water station. 

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No time for a cool down. 6 miles total but my calf was feeling normal again.

Total: 12 miles. My lowest since a freak 11.9 mile week in April with only 2 runs.

The Weeks in Workouts and Food 5/15-6/11

This is truly one of those ‘no news is good news’ situations.

I had been worried about my relatively low mileage the weeks after Broad Street Run and before the Brooklyn Half. We had a brief heat wave for a few days before the Half, which was very worrisome but kept my easy runs easy.

Mileage and running and food highlights from this month:

5/15-5/21: 21.9 miles, including a half marathon PR. Volunteered at the Brooklyn Half expo and had a great time. Went to Hey Hey Canteen twice and have now tried most of their menu.

   
 

5/22-5/28: 21.8 miles, including leading an 8 mile group run to Red Hook and not getting us lost. Had a strawberry matcha boba from The Boba Guys and it was heavenly. Tried a red velvet cake concrete from Shake Shack and had to put it in the freezer for the next day because it was so intense. Had Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles and the cucumber salads, which are my must-orders. Wow, I really need to take pictures of all my delicious food.

5/29-6/4: 12.4 miles, including 6.2 on my birthday 6/2. I ate a lot of amazing stuff this week, including pastrami from Ben’s Best in Rego Park, a Yelp Elite Event at Atlantic Social and some of Dale Talde’s amazing wings, AYCE hot pot, stuffed croissants from Union Fare, Ample Hills, and some of the many Momofuku Milk Bar and gummi treats my friends got me. Also, I saw Hamilton.

  

6/5-6/11: 17.7 miles, including a new 5K PR then a trip to Miami.

Easy miles during Open Run in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

New 5K PR time of 25:37 on the 7th aka Global Running Day. I’m now imagining what I could do with more even splits and without that first mile hill. 

I took it easy on the first mile, then decided to loosen up on the second, then see what I had left on the third. My previous 5K PR was 26:10 on the same course and I had a faster first mile there and a third mile at 7:55 which was my fastest mile ever in a race. 

Needless to say, seeing 7:40something was wild, especially since my recent mile PR was 7:19. I’m definitely gunning for my next mile time and 5Ks later this summer.

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In Miami the 8th-11th, we feasted. Had my new obsession, cuatro leches cake at a Cuban spot. Tried Haitian food. Had Cuban tacos from a stand after viewing murals in Wynnwood. Got the fried chicken, watermelon, and waffles at Yardbird. Went to da club. Got Vietnamese and Sri Lankan as my first meals back in NYC. East Coast Appetite, what can I say?

I also went on a humid 6 mile run along the South Beach and mid-beach boardwalk then got an açai bowl afterward.

   
    
 

Brooklyn Half 2017 Recap

Spoiler alert: I got a PR and did it under 2 hours with a time of 1:58:54.

I was hoping for more course photos but there were only a few of me from the finish from GameFace plus a couple more that teammates took along the way.

This was my 7th half marathon and my 3rd in 2017 (I did 3 in 2015 and 1 in 2016). My first was 2:10:08 and some along the way were during injures (Nike San Francisco Women’s Half Race Recap) or lower training periods where the race wasn’t a goal race (Weekly Mileage (and food) recaps 1/16 – 2/19) but I’m glad to finally be in the 1:50:00s.

Getting in the corrals:

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It’s definitely harder to write about this so many weeks later, but the splits tell the story. I held back a little up the hills but tried to keep a steady pace. My splits averaged out to be just about 9:09 or under and I knew I was on pace when I exited the park.

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I was still rolling on Ocean Parkway, even when the cheering crowds thinned out substantially. I was pretty sure I had a PR in the bag and sped up to lower 9 minute miles, then was able to drop below 9 for the final few miles. That last mile got to be painful but I felt like that meant I was doing it right. My struggle up the boardwalk was apparent and my final “0.2” was at an 8:23 pace.

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I collected my medal, got a bag with yellow Gatorade that I traded some dude for because he had blue Gatorade (best flavor). Then I tried to get my stuff. Well, turned out the truck with my stuff had broken down and it wasn’t there yet. They gave us heat sheets and vouchers for a free hot dog but eventually it pulled up so I could put my jacket on. Then the rain started, just as I finally pulled up to our club’s beach picnic.

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Relieved to finally get our bags

Eric photo

 

The Week in Workouts and Food 5/8 – 5/14

5/8: After a triumphant Broad Street Run on Sunday, we got some Tony Luke’s on the way out of Philly. Cheesesteaks, roast pork, and fried cheese curds.

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Then I had tickets with some Californian friends to see the SF Giants play the Mets (my NY team of choice). Obviously, I got Shake Shack at Citi Field. I love trying the different concrete flavors at all the different Shake Shack locations (ok, so I’ve only been to a couple of non-NYC spots) and the Citi Field one is solid. I should really take more photos, though.

5/9: 4.5 miles at The Distance at Mile High Run Club. I was hoping to beat my old best in this class of 5.5 miles but my calves were screaming. I ended up hopping off to foam roll after the first mile or two then taking it slower overall. I finally felt warmed up by mile 3 and got some of my sprints closer to usual (~8.0 miles per hour or higher). This was my one ClassPass class for this month since I put my membership on hold to focus on running. Go figure I used it on a running class.

5/10: Rest day and I went to Trapizzino then Soft Swerve with my (Yelp) friends Allison and Lori. I had the chicken and oxtail trapizzinos and a broccoli arancini at Trappizino. At Soft Swerve, I had the Jersey City, which is their ube and coconut ice creams swirled, then topped with toasted coconut, dotted with mochi, and a free waffle chip with Yelp check-in.

  
5/11: 5 miles total of Speedwork at Red Hook Track. I got about 1 mile of warmup, 3 x 1 mile repeats, then 1 mile of cooldown. I tried to take it easy since my calves/shins were still tight. Due to the track and me still being bad at pressing lap then stop, my splits were 100m off from where my watch beeped. First mile split was ~9:20, second was ~8:40, and third was ~8:30. I want to try to do future workouts like this in the lower-to-mid 8’s.

5/12: Rest day.

5/13: Was hoping for an easy 3 but it was pouring all day. Scrapped the idea of going to the gym by 11am and just foam rolled. And ate almost an entire pint of birthday cake Halo Top ice cream.

5/14: Last long run before Brooklyn Half and I forgot to pack a gel and also just wanted to take it easy. Calves were STILL feeling tight, but felt better after the first few miles. Ended up doing 9.2 total. Of course I felt great on the final 1, but to be fair, it was all downhill.

After shower and foam rolling, I baked some marshmallow chocolate chip cookies. 

  
Total: 19.1 miles out of a predicted 27. Harumph. Let’s just pretend I’m very well-tapered.