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Posts Tagged ‘16 Handles’

Saturday’s long run was one of those runs that I think can be defined as being “banged out.” There was no high point or low point, but pretty consistent splits throughout and I felt strong.

I ran my usual Central Park/Riverside Park loops, and even though it’s familiar to me and I love it, I am getting a little sick of its predictability. Sometimes running feels easier when I have no idea where I’m going or exploring a new place. Good thing next weekend’s long run will take place in the Bronx!

When I got home, I did the usual stretching, refueling: fresh peach, grapes, walnuts and honey over Greek yogurt

And ice bathing:

Since I’m far too cheap to buy bags of ice each week, I usually just fill the tub with cold water and ice from about 5 trays that I have.  It melts a little quicker, but I think it still does the trick. My legs felt a lot less sore all day and I was able to walk around NYC like a fully functional human being.

Recently, Meggie and I discovered our mutual love for gymnastics. We were both gymnasts for many years and keep up on the sport as much as we can, so we made grand plans to watch the national championships at my apartment on Saturday night.

But first…

We needed to get our 16 Handles fix. Obviously.

It was awesome to hang with someone that “got” gymnastics, and just watching it on TV brought back tons of old memories.

On my recovery run this morning, I was still thinking about the competition and how gymnastics was once a HUGE part of my life.

I never thought I would love any sport as much as I loved gymnastics.

I also thought I’d always be able to do a round-off, back handspring, double-full. HA.

But gymnastics isn’t a sport you can do forever. It basically beats the crap out of you.

It’s funny how cough eleven cough years can change things. Even though the sport taught me a lot and I have (mostly) great memories from it, sometimes I forget I ever was a gymnast.

And interestingly, sometimes it feels like I’ve always been a runner, and I can’t imagine loving a sport any more than I love running.

It’s a different kind of love, though. With gymnastics, I was good. My goal was always to be perfect and win. And I did. Part of my love for the sport came from the medals, trophies and success I had.

With running, I’m pretty sure I’ll never win. Or come close to winning. In fact, the only person that probably cares that I run at all is me.

And I kind of love that. I can run for enjoyment, I can run to PR in a race, I can train hard for a marathon.  I can run for whatever the hell reason I want. And I usually always want to run.

So even though running is something I’ll never technically “excel” at, it makes me feel awesome every day. And if winning against myself counts, then I do it multiple times per week 🙂

Question: Is running your first sport? Why do you run?

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Last year, when training for the NYC Marathon, I remember my first 16 miler as being a huge step for me. It was a personal distance record, sounded really far (i.e., bragging rights: “I just ran 16 miles, yo”) and was only 10 miles short of the marathon distance.

I thought for the first time, “If I can run 16 that strong, then 26.2 is totally doable!”

16 miles is still one of my favorite distances, and I’m excited to be at the point in training when I get to crack it (and exceed it!). So I set out early on Saturday morning, which was a delightfully pleasant 75 degrees with low humidity at 6:00 a.m. – a picnic compared to last weekend’s slog fest.

I did my usual loop around Central Park and out to Riverside Park for another loop, and returned to CP to meet up with Ali for the last part of the run.

We chatted away the miles, and before I knew it the run was over (though I was totally tempted to keep going with Ali, who had an 18 miler on tap). We parted ways after taking a sweat-tastic photo.

I heat running with this lady!

I was pretty happy with my splits –  my goal for the run was to keep it fairly easy paced and hover around the 9:00 minute/mile range.

 

I usually do about half or a third of my long runs on the bridle path and the rest on the roads, and during the week I tend to stick to the bridle more often unless I’m tempo-ing. But a recent article in the New York Times by Gina Kolata (a runner who often writes about running. I heart her) debates whether running on soft surfaces is actually better for you.

Soft?

Hard?

According to Ms. Kolata, there are limited studies on actual runners and injury rate on soft surface vs. hard, and there’s no actual proof that soft surfaces can prevent injuries. Some can even cause them because of uneven surfaces increasing risk for things like rolled ankles or falls.

Still, I’m not completely sold. I’m pretty injury prone, and last year did a lot of my marathon training on the bridle and managed to stay healthy. I think that’s definitely worth something!

However, I do see the importance of running on the roads too – most races are on roads, so it’s important that our bodies are used to running on them. I guess like a lot of things, balance is key.

And of course, getting to the starting line healthy and in one piece.

On long run days I always crave pizza, and decided to make a super easy version with some whole wheat flatbread, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and tons of veggies.

It only took about 10 minutes in the oven – easiest dinner ever!

Delicious.

Of course it needed to be followed by 16 Handles

I promise there is froyo underneath the toppings and that I demolished every ounce of this massive creation.

Congrats to everyone who raced yesterday and good luck to everyone racing today!

Question: Hard surfaces, or soft? What’s your favorite distance to run?

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Dear oppressive heat and humidity:

Running with you is pure misery. In fact, I think I hate you. Please go away.

Thanks, Kelly

I’m totally jumping on the bandwagon and complaining about the weather. Because it’s THAT bad. I swapped a planned tempo run Thursday morning with an easy 7 miles because I knew anything speedy might very well kill me.

The run went fine, except I was literally dripping sweat everywhere when I got back to my apartment.

It literally looked like I had jumped into the reservoir. And then peed myself a little.

This morning I ran a steamy 5 ish miles with Ali, Megan and Maria before heading to the air conditioned gym for some lifting. It was 85 degrees in Central Park at 6:00 a.m. – major props to Ali, who was banging out her 16 miler before the weekend!

I usually look forward to long runs on the weekend, but must say I’m kind of dreading mine tomorrow morning. Luckily, it’s a cut back week and I’ve only got 12 on the schedule.

Like everyone should in this heat, I’m paying extra attention to my fluid intake and making sure I get enough fluids and electrolytes (bring on the salt!) to keep me hydrated. Check out my post on hydration in case you missed it last week!

Last night my pal Darby was in town (she got married a few weeks ago!), and she requested a fun dinner spot. We hit up Sojourn, a little restaurant specializing in small plates on the Upper East Side.

We each got salads – I had the arugula salad with toasted almonds, granny smith apples, blue cheese, lemon vinaigrette

And then we shared a few small plates – seared diver scallops with leek and potato puree, corn and braised green onions and seared asparagus with lemon and olive oil

It was all delicious. And we had room for dessert, so of course I had to take Darb to 16 Handles.

It was the perfect treat for an insanely, obnoxiously hot evening.

We are sweaty but full of froyo.

A few more days of this heat and we should be feeling some relief. Here’s hoping the power stays on and we all keep cool!

Hope everyone has a good weekend 🙂

Question: What’s your favorite way to stay cool in this heat? Do you still run in it? I heart froyo, obviously. And I’m still running outside, but making sure to take it slow and hydrate!

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Hooray for it being Thursday already!

So, as I’ve been talking about for way too long, I finally have a training plan for the NYC Marathon. I think part of the reason why it took me so long to draft is that even thinking about speedwork stresses me out (let alone actually doing it), and I wanted to include a lot in this plan.

Which officially started this week!

So here it is – I’ve outlined a progression in mileage to about 60 at my peak, with three 20+ milers and two speed workouts each week. I’ll take a rest day or cross train every Monday, and Fridays will be easy runs or cross training days, depending on how I’m feeling.

I log all of my workouts in an Excel spreadsheet to auto calculate mileage (I am such an Excel geek…) – if you click on them, they get bigger.

Of course, the most important thing to keep in mind is that I have to be flexible, and swapping runs, changing things up and revising the plan (multiple times) WILL HAPPEN.

I’d love, love, love your thoughts – how are the speed workouts? Anything else I should include that has worked for you? Mileage increases ok? Too much? Too little? Halp!

Despite my fear of all things labeled “speedwork”, and despite the fact it was 75 and humid when I woke up at 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday, the first one of this training cycle yesterday was a success (!!).

The workout: 2 miles warm-up, 3×1 mile at 10K pace, ~3 minutes rest in between sets, 2 miles cool down.

  • Mile 1: 7:38
  • Mile 2: 7:35
  • Mile 3: 7:47

I was shooting for 7:30s, but since it kind felt like I was swimming in the reservoir instead of running around the track, I’ll take it. The last mile was pretty hard, and I feel great about pushing through and not easing up because I felt a little uncomfortable. So here’s to many more weeks of kicking my own ass!

Breakfast – Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfulls, berries and almond milk

Your no-bake ideas on my last post were great! I’ve also been loving somewhat of a no-bake dinner lately that’s super easy to put together.

Mixed greens, chopped radishes, carrots, avocado, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, red bell pepper and grilled chicken topped with a very generous helping of hummus and a slice of mozzarella cheese.

I used an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla to make mini wraps and tons of fresh dill – I don’t know why, but I’m completely obsessed with dill lately.

I’m also thinking I either need to start implementing a weekly 16 Handles budget or start taking stock in the company.

Far too addicting.

Question: What do you think of my plan?? Any and all advice welcome. Also, what’s your favorite easy summer dinner?

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After having a not-so-great race on Saturday, I expected myself to fall deeper into the running rut I’ve been having lately. But the weird thing is that I think it helped me snap out of it.

On Sunday I ran an easy recovery run in the park and loved every second of it – it was early, quiet and each footfall on the bridle path was calming and almost meditative. Even though a successful race or tempo run leaves me feeling great for days, I love runs like this one too. It kind of brought me back to the basics of running – one foot in front of the other, and breathe. It was exactly what I needed.

Here’s how the week netted out.

  • Monday: 90 minutes Bikram yoga
  • Tuesday: 8 miles steady state
  • Wednesday: 7 miles easy
  • Thursday: 7 miles easy
  • Friday: XT: 40 minutes spin bike, 25 minutes elliptical, lifting and core work
  • Saturday: NYRR Mini 10K race (48:59); warm-up/cool-down, total 12 miles
  • Sunday: 6 miles easy

Total: 40 miles. I feel like I’m right where I need to be as far as NYC Marathon training goes, which I’ll start in early July. My goal was to go in with a good base of solid 40+ mile weeks and to remain healthy and uninjured (so far, so good!).

Another goal I have is to start taking more regular rest days. I enjoy cross training, love that it works different muscle groups and mixes up my workouts, but think my body need total rest more often than I give it. So Monday I embraced rest and just did some easy yoga and stretching.

And for once had a leisurely breakfast – Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast with natural crunchy peanut butter and banana

Decaf coffee

Even though I’m done with classes until the fall, work has been super busy and I’ve been traveling a bit, so I haven’t had as much extra time as I’d like. I’m also lacking in kitchen motivation, so I haven’t really cooked or baked anything too exciting lately.

Dinners this week will consist of roasted beets, spinach, arugula, goat cheese, broccoli, cucumber and salmon cakes

 

A little bit of a weird combo, but it works.

I kind of miss my kitchen time, but lately it’s just been easier to throw a bunch of raw vegetables together and call it a day. And then visit 16 Handles, which is too conveniently located near my apartment for my own good.

Question: Do you ever lack motivation in the kitchen? Favorite website for new recipes? Aaaand, how often do you take rest days?

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This week has been long and tiring. My classes end pretty late (one past my bedtime, actually), so once Friday comes around I’m usually beat.

But you know, Friday needs to be celebrated. When my friend Natalie, an RD and fellow Clinical Nutrition Master’s student, asked if I wanted to celebrate the end of the week at the new 16 Handles in the ‘hood, I thought in my head “perfect.”

Fro-yo is a lovely way to ring in the weekend, yes?

And 16 Handles is bananas amazing. You “pour” your own fro-yo from a selection of delicious flavors.

After a few taste tests, I settled on peanut butter and red velvet cake. The toppings bar is also “serve yourself,” which I loved!

Red velvet fro-yo with cheesecake bites, peanut butter fro-yo with mini peanut butter cups

Perfection, and I do believe the peanut butter flavor rivaled that of Forty Carrots – very hard to pull off. 16 Handles also charges for yogurt by weight, so you pay for exactly what you get. Pinkberry, shminkberry.

Question: How do you like to ring in the weekend? Do like to go out on Friday nights, or chill out after a busy week?

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