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.

   
    
 

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.

The Week in Workouts and Food 4/24-4/30

4/24: I donated platelets, which turns out takes a lot more time than whole blood donation. I was starving during and after and finally got to Junior’s for a pastrami reuben, disco fries, and a shared slice of red velvet cheesecake. Ate it all so fast that no pictures exist.

4/25: I was fairly prepped and ready for an easy 3 on the treadmill since it was pouring outside, but stopped by the Book of Mormon lottery and was successful. So we scrapped the gym plan, stopped by City Kitchen for ilili box gyros and Dough donuts, then caught the show. Book of Mormon was great and made me psyched for Hamilton on June 3rd. So soon!

4/26: I made it home from a long work day in the Bronx (after spending Tuesday in Staten Island) and had plans to do a park loop but just could not bring myself to get out there. I put my GPS watch on and everything but had to take it off around 7 and admit defeat.

4/27: I had evening plans for Book Club instead of guided Speedwork, so I did an ‘easy’ loop around the park in the morning, about 2 hours later than usual. Holy humidity. 5.4 miles,

4/28: Rest day, but I was introduced to the below Austrian cookies (well, there’s no cookie part really, so not sure what they count as) and now have requests to bring them to Book Club and work. I’m going to try to pop them in the freezer to make mini Bluth’s frozen bananas.


4/29: Bronx Zoo Run for the Wild “5K”. So a 5K is the remaining distance I have left to PR this spring (10K, 10 Mile, Half Marathon, and 4 Miler done). I wisely decided not to make this race my attempt based on the humidity and the company and I’m so glad. The course was pretty boring at first (a lot of parking lot out and back in the first mile), then we saw some zebras and giraffes. There was a smattering of other animals. All the money raised went back into the zoo and conservation efforts.

My goal was to run at a pace that kept my heart rate down and didn’t get me too sweaty. We stayed conversational the whole time, but with high humidity and climbing temperatures, sweat was unavoidable.

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The post-race spread was amazing (apples AND oranges, bagels AND muffins), then later there was pulled chicken BBQ sandwiches and ice cream. We dropped stuff off at the car then puttered around another good chunk of the zoo to see some lions, bears, and red pandas (oh my).

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At night, I joined some teammates to cheer on the Red Hook Crit 5K and some of the bike races. It was so much fun to cheer this because the energy of the runners and the crowd was great (we were given cowbells and also brought our own). I could only stay for some of the women’s cyclists but witnessed the pileup right in front of us. I plan to make a full evening out of it next year (but will probably not run it if we’re being honest).

4/30: Church of the Sunday Long Run. I got lucky that Carly had joined and also wanted 10 miles in my pace range of 10:30. We ended up going a little slower then had to pause a couple times while I once again tried to figure out the best route from DUMBO to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I accidentally cut the route a little short from going up Kent Ave. so we included 2/3 of a park loop and ended at Juice Press for our free juice.

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Somewhere way above and over from my hand is the Williamsburg Bridge


Total: 18.9 miles out of a planned 22-27.

The Week in Workouts & Food 4/17 – 4/23

4/17: Rest and recuperation after my half marathon the day before. I slumped home after work then did my taxes. I should have foamed rolled while doing them.

4/18: Cafe Boulud with a friend. We saw Chef Boulud making the rounds to the VIP tables and I had a lovely conversation with the sommelier about young reds and fish pairings. Every dish was amazing. I had gone to Bar Boulud after the NYC Marathon and stuffed myself with oysters, cheese, and terrine. Cafe Boulud was a step above.

4/19: PureBarre in the AM and restorative yoga in the PM. I really wanted to get a few miles done in the evening but my left Achilles tendon was a bit tender. It started drizzling as I left yoga (which got out late), so that was even more impetus to skip. I’ve never done two classes in a day before, but this was the last day in my ClassPass cycle. I took my membership back down to 1 a month because 5 will be too much while I’m trying to increase the volume of my mileage more into the 20’s.

4/20: Speed Training, Week 2. I ran a hair over 2 miles to get to the meeting spot, another 2 mile warmup, then 3 1-mile repeats around tempo pace (8:54, 9:03, 8:39). My splits were super uneven because I took the second one too easy in the first 800, but my third was closer to my 5K pace. Then I jogged up the hill to get to a pizza party.

4/21: Rest day, as my Fridays almost always are.

4/22: I slept in past 8am (a first for many weekends) then had to hustle to bake Funfetti cookies for a baby shower, so I missed my opportunity for a shakeout run.

4/23: NYRR Run As One 4 Miler in Central Park. I DNS this race last year and haven’t raced a 4 Miler since the Japan Day Run almost a year ago (thanks to DNS Al Gordon in February), so I was pretty sure it was time for a 4-mile PR. My friend Jay who is normally in the E corral ahead of me generously offered to pace me. I didn’t have enough time to do a warm-up mile, so my first mile was really slow. I was hoping to get it at 9 but it was pretty congested going up Cat Hill. I let loose on the 2nd mile, then tried to rein it in just a bit on the 3rd mile. Then Jay helped me go all out on the 4th mile. For the last 800, I saw sub-7 on my watch. Very exciting stuff!

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Afterward, I waited for my friend who’s training for the Buffalo Marathon and we ran an extra 4 miles.

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Total: 16.9 miles plus yoga and barre.

Non-Race Workouts & Food 3/20 – 4/9

3/21: After running a PR in the NYC Half two days before, I did a few post-work recovery miles in LIC along the water, then met my friends for happy hour and a Cuban sandwich. General soreness and DOMS, but nothing too bad.

3/23: A couple easy miles to and from my friend’s place for catsitting.

3/24: I hosted my 3rd annual wine, cheese and charcuterie party, with the added bonus desserts of Cronuts, Nerds Jellybeans, and Peeps Oreos.

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Photo credit to Lori

3/25: Gaza 5K and Susan’s Goodbye. I ‘paced’ my roommate for here first ever 5K. It was a beautiful springish day. Turns out it was not a 5K, but a full loop of the park! But that’s ok because we had a great time and raised money for mental health services for Palestinian refugees.

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Photo Credit to Murray who won 1st Place Senior Male

I then added on a few extra miles after the race to say goodbye to a running club member the only way we know how: running and food. We ran to Bensonhurst to eat at Cafe Lily, which specializes in Korean-Uzbek food. We ate a feast and I got to take home some delicious kebab leftovers. I made the mistake of getting a huge taro bubble tea for the road and was so full it hurt. I’m wearing my favorite pair of tights ever, the cosmic dot print from Lululemon. These are more yoga/barre pants for me normally, but I wanted something festive.

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Photo credit to Jay

3/26-3/28: I had a sore throat on Saturday night, then got progressively more sick on Saturday. I’d hoped to do a medium run but skipped it. After a sleepless Sunday night, I had to miss work Monday. I finally obtained some Claritin D and felt much better but wisely took Tuesday off as well.

3/29: I went to Barry’s Bootcamp for the first time ever. The most popular times fill up super quickly on ClassPass, so my friend introduced me to Barry’s Buddies program where you get a free class for referring a friend (and the referee does as well).

We started on the floor for 10 minutes (that day was chest/back/abs), then 10 minutes on the treadmill for flat speed intervals. 10 minutes back on the floor, then 10 on the treadmill for hills. Then back to the floor for a quick 5 (my arms were dying), then a final 5 on the treadmill. I got up to about 8+ mph by the end but was afraid to take it fast because my form suffers. The treadmills were Woodways which were super nice (they also have those at Mile High Run Club).

Chaya is a semi-regular and is being coached by the instructor so we went back in after for a quick pic.

4/1: D.C. I finally got to try Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken but didn’t get to snap a photo of my beautiful Cherry Blossom decorated donut or my less attractive but delicious and juicy fried chicken. Or my gone in 30 seconds maple bacon donut.

After a couple of years of failing, we finally got to see the Kite Festival on a beautiful  spring day. Ro’s friends had bought an octopus kite that we named and flew for over an hour.



I had dinner at Nando’s which is the 3rd time in as many DC trips and now sort of a tradition. Macho peas and cheeky bants.

4/2: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile. Race report to come!

4/6: Spin at SYNC Studio again and Sweetgreen after. I got the Beets Don’t Kale my Vibe (sigh) bowl and it was amazing.

4/7: Finally went back to Rolf’s for drinks with my work team to take in the Christmas lights and belatedly celebrate a holiday birthday.

4/8: Storm King day trip. I had wanted to get a shakeout run in but just wasn’t feeling it. We walked over 6 miles and saw so many great pieces of art.


Prior, we had lunch at Brothers BBQ and I got the pulled pork sandwich when I read that they had North Carolina roots. It did not disappoint. The sauce had the right amount of vinegar, the cole slaw was plentiful, and my side of collard greens was full of ham.

4/9: UAE 10K. Race report to come!

My mileage wasn’t as high as I would have liked, but overall these were some fairly solid weeks of fitness and food.

Mileage Etc Recaps 2/20 – 3/19

Well, I did it again. I spent more time running and less time writing. This is a good thing overall, though. Also, this entry is including the ASSUMPTION that I’ll be running the NYC Half on March 19th. Fingers crossed, knocking on wood, etc.

2/20 – 2/26:  18.8 miles, which was a definite cutback plan from the prior week’s 24 miles. I wanted to squeeze in more but I DNS that Al Gordon 4 miler on 2/25 and was bedridden (with a hangover, stupidly) all day, so missed all those miles and the to and from. Lifted a little with a friend at the gym but had to skip kickboxing class. Serious Al Gordon/missed running opportunity FOMO that haunted me for days.

My penance however was a very cool long run with some teammates down to DUMBO to see one of the new pieces of public artwork, which is of course right along the north edge of the park squeezed next to brand new luxury condos. The sign lights up and changes to different colors if you tweet at it and also does a traffic report for the bridges every 10 minutes. None of these tricks are captured in the below photos.

I also baked funfetti donuts during my lost hungover day to bring to book club: 

2/27 – 3/5: 29.3 miles or 5 hours and 9 minutes of running according to Strava. I wish I had hit 30 miles even, but am mainly proud that I squeezed in 5 days of running, plus a class of Total Body Conditioning in lieu of Kickboxing.

I received my order from RunningWarehouse.com that included a pair of the Brooks Launch 3 (to be my new speed shoe), a Brooks hat (free with shoe purchase and I now have 4 hats too many), and a Moving Comfort Vixen Sports Bra (only $20 and so comfy). I tested out the Launches for a 2-mile morning jaunt and they felt pretty good. To kill time between work and a Yelp event, I stopped by my local Jackrabbit and ended up picking up new gels and chews since I finally ran out of the last batch I bought before the marathon. I obviously have only done a handful of double-digit runs or other excursions requiring gel fuel since then (checking Strava weekly mileage again…yep). I had tried and failed to find Brooks Ghost 8s in my size online for weeks, but it looks like I missed my shot when they were available in January, so I ponied up for a pair of the new Ghost 9 while at Jackrabbit, figuring that at least I’m supporting a localish business in the process (even though they just got bought by a CA-based investment firm). They also have a rewards program, so I hit the next level for $20 off my next purchase. Once the 9’s go on sale, I will try to stock up wherever I can. I’m very pleased with the colorway of these since my 8’s had a bit too much hot pink in them.

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I did an 11 mile long run by myself in very windy sub-20 degree weather on the 4th so I feel like I now have the mental fortitude to tackle whatever the NYC Half throws at me. I ended this one at Starbucks and tried their new Cascara latte. It was delightful and much needed since I ran from 2pm-4pm, which is normally my prime coffee time.

Stopped by the Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday’s and checked out the Georgia O’Keeffe and Marilyn Minter exhibits. Then crushed a cochinita pibil burrito at Al Atodero. The bartender said that I murdered it, so I just had to casually drop that I had run 11 miles that day.

  
Then on the 5th, I met up with a teammate for a recovery run in the afternoon since the morning was still quite windy and cold. I was only planning on 5.5 but tacked on a little extra to hit 7 when we ran into another teammate. Almost stopped by Starbucks again, but had restocked my coffee supplies by then.

3/6 – 3/12: 17 miles plus a million other workouts. PureBarre Monday morning, StrongLifts Series A at the gym Tuesday night, spin class with a friend Thursday evening, then fascia release/stretching class Saturday after a shorter run. I skipped kickboxing.

7 of the miles were from a Wednesday night run for International Women’s Day. I chose to do the longer route and chatted with some great ladies the whole time. We ran to Butter & Scotch (ahem from my New Year’s Day amazing brunch AND that cake recipe I baked with friends) and this time, I got a slice of the birthday cake blended into a vanilla milkshake. Love a good cake shake.

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Waiting for the run to begin


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Rapturous about my cake shake

3/13 – 3/19: 6.4 miles before the NYC Half (race report to come), including a 1 Mile PR! New PR is 7:19, down from 7:24 at the 2015 Fifth Avenue Mile. I had about one mile warmup before trying it on an indoor track that’s 200m (so, 8 laps). My right shoe came untied after the 3rd lap, but I decided to just hang on. I was gasping for breath on the last 2 laps, but I guess it was worth it. They’re having this particular race again in 2 weeks and while I would love to whittle my time down, my calves have been tight for a couple of days after, so I don’t think it’s worth the risk right before the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile. I did about a mile cool-down though my Garmin was totally off inside.

I officially withdrew from kickboxing even though I had only 2 classes left. The mid-week mid-day workout just wasn’t working for me and my calves were still tense from the Mile.

I went to the NYC Half expo and OMG it’s really happening.

 

See y’all on the other side.

Weekly Mileage (and food) recaps 1/16 – 2/19

After the dessertapalooza the first two weeks of 2017 as mentioned in my last post (14 desserts in 14 days), I’ve tried to scale up the mileage while cutting down on some of the food. But some weeks have been a bit ‘off’. As you can see from the mileage below, I’d have a really good ramping up week then way too much of a cutback week. I think it helps for me to not get too obsessed with weekly mileage and think more of everything as part of the same cycle, but I do want to be more steady. It’s difficult to write about the runs/days/weeks that didn’t go well and can sometimes feel a little embarrassing to know that your mileage is so low. But for the most part, I haven’t been Instragramming much this year and doubt that anyone is pulling up my Strava and checking out my mileage. I’m trying not to fall into any comparison traps.

Week of 1/16 – 1/22: 17 miles (including Fred Lebow Half at long run pace)

Week of 1/23 – 1/29: 4.5 miles (treadmill workout)

Week of 1/30 – 2/5: 20 miles (including long run of 8 miles)

Week of 2/6 – 2/12: 5.5 miles (Mile High Run Club’s The Distance class)

Week of 2/13 – 2/29: 24 miles (long run of 8 miles, MHRC The Distance, race of 3.33 miles)

I had 2 different weekends with no long runs, one because I felt sick/lost my voice (January 28th and 29th) and one because my plans later in the day took precedence on Saturday the 11th, then I sat out on some pretty terrible weather on Sunday the 12th. The NYC Half is now only 4 weeks away, so that certainly puts my rear in gear a bit. I’m planning long runs of 10, 11, and 12 miles the next few weeks and am running the Al Gordon 4 Miler on the 25th. I’m shooting for a PR, which should be doable based on my 3.33 performance and 2 year old PR of 36:54.

 

My Cherry Tree relay team, The Crystals

 

Chocolate Chip Marshmallow cookies baked during the Super Bowl

I had some fun non-running workouts, including kickboxing at work (the instructor likes to end with burpees), Pure Barre, and good old-fashioned strength training. Amazing how one’s core can still be sore days later.