Rebuilding (not Base Building) Update

Hello again from my current mileage of roughly 0. I have a physical therapy appointment for an evaluation in April but have seen progress from doing many of my 2019-injury exercises at home and in our building’s gym. I ran Friday the 5th when the temperatures reached into the 60’s and felt amazing. The breeze in my hair! Tank top! So hopefully I get this weak left hip under control and can in fact eye a 5K or 10K this spring/summer then maybe something longer in the fall. I also want to hike more and do more trail running; all the things I listed in my 2021 goals post. I ran again on the 20th as part of an Asian anti-violence solidarity run with some teammates in the city and hit 4 miles. Seems promising?

What else am I doing, if not running? Still on my weekly RowHouse class as well as Sunday morning Zoom Yoga for Runners most weeks. Our gym got two new spin bikes; they’re sadly Echelon Connect and not Peloton, but they’ll do.

My main hobby (other than reading and attempting to watch Oscar and Golden Globe nominated new films) is of course cooking and baking. I have a catch-all Google Sheet for meal planning, but have over the last year added additional sheets to list out my cookbook collection (currently hovering around 65, half digital), pantry/fridge/freezer inventory (which was indispensable at the height of spring 2020 quarantine), new recipes I’ve tried the past year, and my current cookbook project. I’m trying to cook my way through A Common Table, the book from blogger Cynthia of Two Red Bowls. I bought it in 2019 and had already tried about 6 of the recipes but am turning it into a project this year. I’m up to two dozen recipes and use the spreadsheet to better plan it all out.

Made a bunch of potstickers for Lunar New Year

I’m also in a Cookbook Club (as well as two regular book clubs) and while we can no longer meet in person safely, we’re having Zoom meetings. I sadly missed the meeting for Jubilee, which I’ve had for over a year but still haven’t cooked anything from. Up next is Plenty by Yottam Ottolenghi. He’s famous for super long ingredient lists but incredibly well executed food. I checked out his book Simple from the library (but didn’t make anything) then bought his newest, Flavor, late last year. Still haven’t made anything from that. So some of my purposeful organizing is to get myself to cook from my growing collection. The area where I am weakest about all this is actually taking photos of my food. This used to be a thing I would do more regularly (remember all my beautiful food-centric posts from 2019?), but the light situation in our apartment (and the last one) is lacking. And I don’t quite have the commitment to do this with enough regularity to actually get a handheld light for this.

Eating at Ottolenghi’s London restaurant NOPI in 2014

I also signed up for SnackCrate, which ships a box of international snacks to your door from a different country each month. I got the Germany box first, which is mostly chocolate-based. Also doing a snack exchange with folks in other countries (Netherlands first) plus always trying new stuff from Target and H Mart.

German snack crate
Target has so many special/limited edition Oreo flavors

Base Building 2021, Weeks 8 and 9 and 10

A few down weeks due to bad weather, building gym being closed, and my right hamstring still acting up. I suspected weak hips again (same thing 2 years ago) and saw my physiatrist March 2nd who mostly agreed. So I’m back to my PT exercises and virtual PT and monitoring the situation. Banded side-walks, single leg step-ups/glute bridges/deadlifts, and more. What I could really use is a Multi-Hip machine which my PT gym had but no regular gyms seem to have one. And a wobble board.

During this time, I took a RowHouse class each week, a short run 2/24, several Peloton spin classes, yoga, and one Peloton Strength for Runners class. Plus lots of sprint-stop-walks and hikes with the pup.

I recently read both Win at All Costs by Matt Hart, all about the Nike Oregon Project and doping accusations, as well as Alexi Pappas’ memoir Bravey. I found the latter really inspiring and it was a much more emotional book than I would have thought. I heard her speak back in October 2015 at the Nike Womens Half and since that time, she’s released two movies, ran in the 2016 Olympics 10K, and been through a whole lot.

We have pretty bad lighting in my apartment for food photography, so I sadly have no pictures of our home cooking to share. Just got some sisig from a food truck (it has been a year since I had Filipino food so this was a delight), lots of cold brews, and a brief foray back into junk food and candy to mark the anniversary of my friend Joyce’s passing.

Sisig and garlic fried rice from a Filipino food truck
Snack medley of Flamin’ Hots and gummis for a friend’s online memorial

Hopefully more running or other fitness updates to come as I do my PT exercises and the weather warms up again. I’ve been dreaming of temps in the 50’s and 60’s for months now! Trying to pencil in a late May 5K but we’ll see how the recovery and training goes. The apartment building gym has new treadmills and spin bikes and I’m very excited to get down there and try them out along with my weighted single leg step-ups.

August 2020 Eats & Workouts

This has been a month of increased fitness activity overall and a slow return to running after a couple months mostly off. After a late July move, I’ve had access to a few forms of fitness I was lacking: tennis courts, an erg, and a spin bike. I joined Peloton (but do not have one of their bikes) and have loved having it for rides and am starting to explore their strength and HIIT content.

Up to now, I’ve only raced 1 virtual race this year, back in late May, and ran it with a mask on and 2 minutes slower than my 5K PR. I’m hoping to tackle some old PRs this fall  either on the track or on a flattish course. I’m thinking 5K and 10K as my softest and some of my oldest PRs (August 2017 for 5K on a hilly course and April 2018 for 10K on a good course but a warm day). I’m also tempted to finally try a trail race; it’s virtual but the course is technically available to run at your own time. I bought some Nike Wildhorse 6’s on a friend’s recommendation and am excited to try them out. Hopefully some virtual race reports to come!

I really miss ClassPass and all of the boutique fitness studios I used to frequent in NYC that have been closed since March. I sort of bopped around to a bunch of them and never took the same classes (or even instructors) enough to fully get into the community vibe that a lot of regulars seem to get, but I still liked the energy. For a couple of years now, I had drafted a post with a list of all my favorite spin, barre, strength, etc studios that I had visited. I really hope they’re all eventually open to reopen safely.

After taking off the hottest months from intense baking and cooking, I’m also back at that as well! A few recent experiments below.

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I made pork and kale dumplings and am trying to really nail down my folding technique

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I made a nectarine and blueberry galette (my rustic dough and folding technique sprung some leaks)

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New York Botanical Garden is open with timed tickets and so peaceful

May, June, and July Eats and Outdoors

My running volume fell off a cliff due to increases in both workload and heat/humidity and I subsequently decided not to do a June virtual race 5K since I would be off from PR pace. I mostly have been running and walking to Central Park and Morningside Park and have gotten into identifying flowers and other plants with the Seek by iNaturalist app (and also asking my horticulturist friend).

Baking hasn’t happened in the hotter weather but I am pleased with the bread and sweets I made prior to real summer.

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No Knead Loaf with Charred Scallion Butter

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Murray’s Cheese Birthday Gift from Friends – prosciutto, burrata, and olives

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Highbridge Park; the pedestrian/bike only bridge goes from Manhattan to the Bronx

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Rosé outside at Wolffer Estate Vineyard (Hamptons day trip to see Gabby outside)

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Hydrangeas are my fave after tulip/rose/peony season

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Not the Yayoi Kusama infinity room we were supposed to attend, but it’ll do

April Running – The Month That Wasn’t

So after running my highest mileage ever in March (such consistency), my running totally fell off the rails in April. (Remote) work ramped up, the weather sucked, and my desire to get out of the apartment with a facial covering on and avoid people was not there. It gave me some time to think about why I just like the act of running and not necessarily the ‘training’ for a race or trying to hit a PR. In all likelihood, I might try to train for a virtual race PR in June for the 5K (or the mile), but it also felt good to have less pressure on myself to follow a strict training plan when I was also working longer hours than usual (though without a commute) and dogsitting over the weekends. Things have let up a bit in May, that’s for sure, so I’m getting back outside and running a tick more mileage. Some weeks are only 2-3 runs and others are 5, but none are very long anymore.

I have spent so much of my mental energy and brief time outside on the acquisition of food, then cooking and baking said food at home. I’ve kept up with my Meal Planning spreadsheet and added a tab to better capture what we actually have in the pantry, freezer, and fridge (also using the Out of Milk app for grocery list and knowing how much we have of certain ingredients).

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I also did a thorough listing and categorization of all my cookbooks since most are hardcover but some are on my Kindle and were sort of out of sight, out of mind. This is absolutely my idea of fun.

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Like everyone else, I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter and re-growing my scallions. We’ve been taking on somewhat more complicated cooking projects because we now have time on weekdays and weeknights for things like double-frying Korean Fried Chicken, brining pork chops, marinating skirt steaks, and letting cookie dough chill in the fridge. Do I miss paying $14 for a grain bowl at Naya and eating at my desk in midtown? Sometimes. Mainly I miss the coworker camaraderie that came with it. We’ve been getting takeout of local places to help support them and avoid Seamless and their fees (and always tipping a lot).

Food photo overdrive below. Starting to wish I had a better camera, lighting, and dishes for this kind of thing.

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Fruity Pebbles pudding cookies

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9″x9″ tray of Banana pudding that I ate almost entirely myself over 3 days

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Korean fried chicken in soy ginger garlic sauce

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Bon Appetit’s shrimp scampi over linguine and broccolini

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Sourdough discard pizza crust with sausage and fresh mozzerella from Faicco’s Pork Store

Richmond 2019 Training

This post originally titled Richmond Half 2019 Training and was supposed to cover everything in September, but then I never published it in September. Or October. My running has been pretty good (some weeks higher in mileage than others) but I’ve kept my weekend long runs right around 10 miles for the most part.  Essentially, I feel like I could run a half at any time, but I couldn’t hit a PR. I got medical clearance from my doctor and PT to run a half this fall/winter (but not a full marathon, which is fine). But the consistency of training never really happened. So I’m just going to do the 8K in Richmond on 11/16/19.

I moved out of Brooklyn in September and have been exploring Central Park a lot more. There are so many paths and trails and things to see (namely waterfalls) off the main 6-mile path. My goal is to run them all, plus run the entire perimeter of the park on 5th Avenue and Central Park South/West/North. It’s a lot easier to get to the many NYRR and other races in Central Park now, so I’ve popped by to cheer on friends or pace long runs.

In late September, I did a Tracksmith-sponsored long run in Rockefeller Park State Preserve and loved hitting the trails. The hills were killer, but I stayed steady and on the slower side. Obviously I wore Tracksmith.

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I went to Chicago in mid-October to spectate the marathon (for the third time in four years) and see friends from across the country and eat deep dish pizza. I ran a Nike-sponsored 4×800 race at Soldier Field and was pleased enough with my time. If anything, it made me want to get back to the track a bit more. In my injury-prone state, I haven’t been doing much speed work. Also, our team met Colleen Quigley!

 

Fall by the numbers:

Longest long run: 11 miles

Fastest speed: I hit 10 mph (a 6:00 minute mile) for maybe a minute during a Barry’s Bootcamp treadmill session and didn’t die or fly off the treadmill

I ran my first race since February, a 5K on Randall’s Island in 26:26, about 90 seconds off my PR.

I ran in Saratoga Springs NY, Chicago IL, and San Juan Puerto Rico.

Plus, I went to a driving range for the first time in over a decade, got into sourdough bread baking, am a happy owner of a Theragun, and kept up eating delicious stuff all over town (and other places).

Lunch specials at Cho Dang Gol

Piña colada and red snapper in Old San Juan

Deep dish pizza and the best salad at Lou Malnati’s in Chicago

Apple cider donuts upstate

Waiting for seafood boil

Not in Training (Yet)

I’m been running irregularly for the last 6 weeks, plus a fair amount of strength and cross-training as well as weekly physical therapy. I’m not signed up for any races this fall but am building a base to start training for the Richmond Half November 16. I’ve made progress in PT in terms of hip strengthening but still have a ways to go. The plantar fasciitis is 90% gone (pain-wise). I’m definitely regretting running through it for so long before, during, and after the NYC Marathon and not getting it checked out sooner. Having my current health insurance with my job at a health system means no co-pays for specialist visits or physical therapy, which really helps. I’m planning to see my physiatrist again soon then do a re-assessment with the sports medicine doctor to see if there are improvements in my form.

Summer so far has been very sweaty, both through heat wave temperatures and a lot of working out. Vacation #1 was to Fort Lauderdale in early June, which was hot, sunny, and unbearably humid. But the water was clear and warm and we rented a red convertible Mustang and zoomed around South Florida, eating stone crabs and Cuban.

Scooting around Fort Lauderdale June 5-8

Stone Crabs in Hollywood FL

Back in NYC, I’ve been taking a lot of workout classes through ClassPass, random deals, and getting a free birthday SoulCycle class that turned into 3 when my class was unexpectedly canceled due to a fire drill. Otherwise, it’s been a lot of time on the elliptical as well as doing my PT exercises and some strength training. Runs have been mostly solo, but I’m looking forward to getting back in with a group.

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Before a run (after was red, sweaty, and with a dead gnat in my sports bra)

I only kind of have full fall marathon training FOMO because the temperatures do not have me missing the Saturday long runs. I have another month of base building before half training kicks off (if I follow a 12 week plan), and while the heat won’t break before then, I’m happy to skip it. Plus, Vacation #2 is to Austin, Texas and it’ll be even hotter there. I’ll hopefully get back on track with checking in weeklyish before then.

Now for a brief and highly curated selection of eats lately.

Ube and pandan baked goods at Purple Dough

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1/4 the menu at Clinton Hall

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Seafood Paella at Bazar

That’s it for now!

Slowly Running Again

The good news is that my plantar fibroma is gone and the plantar fasciitis has decreased in pain with treatment. I’m going to physical therapy weekly to fix some of my running asymmetries after a thorough gait analysis with a sports medicine doctor. It’s amazing how you never realize how off balance things are until you seem them on video, complete with visual cues of angles and sloping shoulders. I’m mostly working on strengthening my hips and activating my gluteus medius.

In the meantime since mid-May, I’ve been doing strength training at least weekly, spin class, and some other workouts. I went hiking upstate at Harriman State Park, which was fun and made me feel like all my aerobic fitness is not totally gone. As of Memorial Day Weekend, I’m running again a bit. I’m planning on a slow buildup in daily and weekly miles and to acclimate to the incoming heat before worrying about speed again.

The “waterfall” on our hike in Harriman State Park

I’ve managed to strike a balance between eating everything I’m craving and foods that have actual nutritional sustenance. Below are some of the more delicious dishes.

Central Park from The Met Museum’s Dining Room

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More to come once my running increases!

Weeks 5 & 6 of Brooklyn Half 2019 Training

A great couple weeks of running and pretty boring weeks for food. After last week’s vacation to the West Coast, I got back on my meal prep grind and started really looking at (ok, and tracking to some extent) what I’m eating.

Week 5

Monday 3/25: Rest day. Had a huge Korean BBQ (and other entrees) feast at The Woo in SoHo.

Tuesday 3/26: 5.5 treadmill interval miles at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance. I was feeling ready for some speed again and it felt good. I’m planning to do some shorter distance races this summer or a tuneup 5K if I can find a good one in April. I need to practice running more at my 5K and 10K paces as well as doing more aggressive half-pace tempos.

Wednesday 3/27: 3.5 easy miles on the way to yoga. I had planned to run home but the temperature was dropping and I hadn’t brought gloves.

Thursday 3/28: Rest day. I did a strength circuit workout which kicked my ass. And my abs. Days of DOMS.

Friday 3/29: 7.5 mile run-commute home from work. It was overcast and in the low 50’s and just perfect. I felt really strong plodding up the Manhattan Bridge and could have kept going for a few miles.

Saturday 3/30: I went out for my long run mid-afternoon to meet with other folks, still feeling pretty thrashed from the strength workout DOMS Thursday and the longer runcommute Friday. I got 5 miles of progressively faster miles in solo, then 2.5 quick miles with the group, then did a slower cool down home for 8.3 miles total. I should have gotten in closer to 11 since last week’s was a cutback, but I scheduled poorly.

Sunday: 3/31: Unplanned rest day. Got brunch with friends, got a haircut, and bought some groceries to make Instant Pot short rib ragu, which was delicious. I served it over chickpea penne pasta.

Total: 24.8 miles. Almost back on track with mileage but definitely missing that 5th day.

Week 6:

Monday 4/1: Rest day. Ate dinner at The Osprey in Brooklyn Bridge Park and though it was cold (in the lower 40’s), I enjoyed staring at the water and seeing the first signs of spring.

Tuesday 4/2: 4.6 easy PM miles in Central Park.

Wednesday 4/3: Rest day

Thursday 4/4: Unplanned rest day from running, but I did the same strength workout as the week before and upped the dumbbells for arm rows from 7.5 pounds to 10 pounds. Way less DOMS this time!

Friday 4/5: 4.4 miles in the (relative) cold and rain. I came prepared with gloves and a hat (Lululemon’s Baller Cap has such a long brim, it’s great for rain). I had to stop by Petee’s Cafe to pick up some chocolate cream pie for my bf’s birthday and nabbed myself a slice of banana cream pie as well.

Saturday 4/6: Longish (6.8 miles) run where again my end destination was for desserts. I had scheduled a run to the new location of Bibble & Sip in Chinatown with friends to get some of their cute stuffed cream puffs. Alas, they were closed for the weekend after experiencing too much demand at their opening night party. So we hoofed it slowly to Supermoon Bakehouse for stuffed croissants and donuts and coffee.

Sunday 4/7: 6.7 easyish miles, soaking up the sun and enjoying the Brooklyn waterfront with my friend Alison.

Total: 22.5 miles; I really need to up my long runs again and add that fifth day of running.

 

Week 1 of Brooklyn Half Marathon 2019 Training

I used my guaranteed entry for the Brooklyn Half (from deferring last year’s due to peroneal tendon injury) and am setting it as my goal race for the spring season. I’m also doing the Broad Street 10 Miler again since I had to defer last year’s entry. I’m using a 12 week half marathon training plan from Pete Pfitzinger’s Faster Road Racing with some adaptations. He’s big on mid-to-long midweek mileage (8 miles for a Wednesday run) and keeping the long runs double digits until taper.

Monday 2/25: Day 1 was a rest day and the weather was awful, so I was glad to take it.

Tuesday 2/26: The plan called for 6 general aerobic miles, but I did 2 easy, 3 tempo, and 1 easy.

Wednesday 2/27: Rest Day and my club’s annual Awards Night.

Thursday 2/28: My plan called for 8 miles, but I was so done after only 5.

Friday 3/1: I ended up doing my long run this night, with a loop of the park, then running to and around Williamsburg with my club and ending with snacks and beer before eventually getting pizza. 10.2 miles total

Macaroni and Cheese Pizza from Vinnie’s Pizzeria

Saturday: Rest day, and I really mean rest. Went to a Korean spa and got a massage.

Sunday: 8.3 miles with friends in the afternoon before more snow.

Total: 29.5 out of a prescribed 31. Not bad for my first real week back at it.