Sunday, September 29, 2013

NYCM: 5 weeks to go!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Body Sculpting/Toning Class and 2.5M

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 18M

Sunday: Rest

So, it wasn't as terrible of a week. . 

That body sculpting/ toning class really kicked my butt. Because of all the time I was spending in Times Square, I went to a different gym location this week (ps- I don't think I've ever gotten so close to my fitbit goals on non-gym days, than I have this week due to all the running from one side of Manhattan to the other. Literally). It has been so long since I had been to this location, they got new treadmills! I kind of fell in love with them and might have to go out of my way in the future to visit. But I digress. This class was insane. I knew I wasn't going to get my Thursday gym in, so I went all out. I definitely felt the after effects for days. 

And then there was an 18 miler. 

No one should ever follow my lead on what a training plan/ schedule for a marathon should look like- seriously. I knew this one was going to be painful. After the last 2 weeks' lack of training, it's a miracle I finished alive! 

Yet surprisingly, the run went really well. I started at 14th and ran up to the park for a couple of loops and then back. I used the time to think about how I would strategize the marathon. When I started mentally encouraging myself at mile 8, I knew I had to start thinking about something else. It was too early for that! So, I figured out what I'm going to wear. Next best thing, right? :) The last 2 miles, my knees were killing me and I had to walk. I tried the "3 more miles" trick my massage therapist showed me, but it only got me 3 more seconds. Boo. I was pissed, but then I started to look at it in a positive light; what if this happened during the marathon? What would I do? Well, I'd power-walk the shit out of it. . .and that's what I did. Granted, I'm really hoping to have time to train better and take care of myself before then. 

Originally, I was going to try to merge this long run with the Bronx 10miler- who knew the finish line was exactly 8 miles from the  3rd Ave L train?! It sounded like a perfect plan. BUT, if last year (or any of the times I've tried) taught me anything, I knew this long run needed to be sans race environment. Plus, I'm a really big fan of having Sunday to recover from long runs. So, even though I'll be getting my 2nd DNS for that one, I'm totally ok with it. 

This is what 18 miles looks like

And for some more good news is when it's not your first time at the marathon rodeo, 18 miles doesn't knock you on your butt like it used to. I'm still in pain and spent the rest of the day on the couch, but it was nice to know I wasn't a complete zombie. 

Next week's "down milage" will be spent running from villains at the Tower of Terror 10 miler. The 20 miler follows that and then the taper- holy cow where did this training season go?! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

(3 Things) UNGA, Food trucks and Angry Birds at parties.

Dear Baby Jesus,

Please make sure whatever the UN is generally assembling about is really important and lots of issues are resolved, including world peace, so the painful commute I've had all week was not in vain.


This week, I've discovered arepas are amazing.
So is being able to put food truck design on your resume :)

I'd also like to request, for any party invites I receive from here on out, there must be a random fur character breaking it down on the dance floor for me to even consider attending. No exception. As we all should know by now, this is my kind of a good time. The above in particular, was for the Angry Birds: Star Wars II launch. Watching this guy bob and weave his way around the crowd entertained me for far longer than I care to admit. 

How was your week?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rock-n-Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 2013

As I've previously mentioned, I heart Philly and I really heart this race! I was so excited schedules lined up and made it happen this year.

We walked the 1.5 miles to the start and it was chilly. I was a super fan, let me tell you! I was almost giddy. I was really happy to be running a half marathon in less than 80 degree weather, because honestly, I can't remember the last time I did! (so I totally just figured it out- the last time I ran a comfortable weather half marathon was The NYCHalf 2012- 18 months ago!) I remembered from my previous RNR Philly race, it warms up a bit as the day goes on, but nothing like the terrible heatwave I dealt with in California- or pretty much any race I've run in the past 18 months ;)

Pam and I said good-bye to the speedy Sarah and we waited until the race started to jump in a port-a-potty line (people scatter, it's quite funny to watch actually. PS- there is no need to run to your corral if you're in a later one), then we tried to head to our corral but it was a cluster mess. This was not my first rodeo at the Rock-n-Roll races, so all was to be expected.  

The Mountain Climber, 
because apparently that's what I looked like with my backpack on
and all my running gear.

We started faster than I thought, but I couldn't help it. The weather was so beautiful! What was not to like about it?! Plus, I love that we get to run through downtown Philly at the beginning of the race when you're fresh and can look around at all of the sights! All the shade from the buildings added to the cooler temps and I was in heaven! I didn't remember running all the way to Independence Hall or any of the other local landmarks the last time I ran the race. I found out, the course had changed a bit last year, and I'm definitely a fan.

Sadly, Pam's ankle injury from Dumbo wouldn't let her go and we parted ways around mile 3. There was a long portapotty line that I didn't want to lose time for. Luckily, we were about a block from our hotel, so Pam just went there after I left. Even though, you establish in the beginning it's ok to run off, I still feel bad. But sometimes you just have to run your own race, you know?

The one complaint I have is the loop back to the start/ finish area. There was so much energy and crowd support, but as soon as you headed to the out and back for the 2nd half of the race, it just died off- and you still have another 6 miles to go! I tried not to focus too much on it, but I kept looking for the turn around bridge. 

 Can't seem to get away from him :)

I tried really hard to hold back- it was still semi-early in the race. I didn't want to race it,  it was supposed to be just an organized long run. But I was feeling really good and I wanted to push it! I kept myself busy by continuing to marvel at how nice the weather was and I finally let myself just go as fast as I wanted to, which I'd pay for later.
This was exactly how I thought it would feel for Dumbo, but since that was during yet another heatwave, I felt like I needed to overcompensate. I wanted to feel like I was actually running a race instead of making sure I didn't die of heat stroke. My hips and ITB were not ready to go that fast, though, and honestly, I had forgotten what it felt like to hurt like that during a race.

I also decided it would be a good plan to zigzag along the course to add on more mileage. That got to be a little tricky, because I hated zigging into crowds of people. . . I'm sure people thought I was crazy. Once I stopped doing that and adding about a mile on, I decided I should try and shoot for a sub-3 finish- yea, that didn't happen but I'm totally ok with it. After looking at my time, I'm pretty sure if I would've stayed focused, I could have easily. Oh well. Next time!

The turn around bridge finally showed up and this awesome sign was next to it. For some reason that really choked me up for the rest of the race.

As we got closer to the finish, I remembered hating this last stretch because the museum looked so close, yet it was so far! I also remembered the last time, I was so excited because B was at the finish waiting for me, that I couldn't wait to be there. No one was waiting for me this time and I still had a 1.5M hike back to the hotel. Those are some pretty depressing thoughts! 

Then I heard the song "Shout" from a distance and getting closer. So, I turned to look:

and there was Mr. Incredible, riding a bike with a boombox attached to it.
A-mazing. I did notice a couple of other "musicians" on bikes with boomboxes, which was super clever. They could move around to different places on the course as it progressed. Kudos for that! It was definitely an awesome energy boost so close to the finish.

So, I think it's settled. I'm a pretty big fan of this race. It's the trifecta of races: the course, the weather and the city are all top notch. Plus, you can run up the Rocky stairs if you want to.

If you don't believe me, I think this finisher's photo says it all

 Or this one :)
YaY! for 15 miles for my 15th Half! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

NYCM Training: 6 weeks to go!

We interrupt this weekly training post, with a special announcement:

The Banana's Splits Virtual Race medals are in! 

If you're registered, I will be putting them in the mail this week. 

If you're not, what are you waiting for?! It's for an amazing cause and it's a cute medal! There are spots left, but I wouldn't wait if I were you. You can check out all the details here.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8M

Sunday: Rest

Yes, you're reading that correctly. I'm even in shock of it. How did I do absolutely nothing for an entire week? Oh, that's right! I have a full time job that does not involve running or blogging. 

Looking back, could I have done more? Probably, but I would've sacrificed my health.

Could I have gone to the hotel gym Thursday morning after a full day of work Wednesday, flying to Florida to attend events until 10pm, followed by getting a late night emergency email and designing until 1AM to get up for an entire day of workshops only to fly back to NYC that night as well?  Yea, no. Just typing that sounds insane- which granted, there are tons of people out there who are busier than I am and still do it, and kudos to them! That is not my normal schedule and I was tired. Traveling twice to 2 different cities, I was already playing Russian Roulette with my immune system (sidenote and knocking on wood: I haven't gotten nearly as sick traveling as I used since I've started taking vitamins. I highly recommend them.) And the added factors of work and life, my anxiety level was already on overdrive. . . so I'm going to go with no regrets! 

So, why does it feel like I should?

Luckily, my 8 mile run went swimmingly and all is right in the world. Sometimes I forget how important it is for my mental and emotional state to run. Even if it means another early wakeup call, just getting it in makes everything kind of fade away. It was a good run. My hip and ITB weren't really feeling it, but I made sure to ice bathe and roll afterwards. I don't have time for injury- especially since we're getting super close now. Next week marks the first 18miler of the season and I am not mentally prepared yet. I need all the physical health I can get!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday and Run Happy Islands

Last Saturday was all about new adventures and island themes, starting with taking the Path train to Hoboken, New Jersey! In the 5 years I've been in the city, I honestly haven't had a reason to go to Hoboken before. Don't judge. It was interesting to say the least, especially since the L train was a shuttle bus all weekend. But I made it!

As luck would have it, Megan's daughter, (if you remember from here and here) Chloe, was having her 1st birthday party the same weekend as The Rock-n-Roll Philadelphia half marathon. It was perfect incentive. So, we celebrated Hawaiian style (where her parents are originally from) complete with a food truck serving Hawaiian deliciousness! 

Then it was time to check into the hotel and brave the expo. Luckily, it was right across the street from where we were staying. The bib picked up area was super crowded, but we made it through super easy.

Have I mentioned I love the shirts?! 

Then it was time to play in the Run Happy Island! I had been looking forward to it since they changed themes from the circus. We got our passports and experienced all the native habits:

Feeling the Ride. 

Climbing Mountains!
(Hi, Pam and Sarah!)

and Gait, which I did not get a picture of, boo. 

Once our passport was stamped, we visited the marketplace to see what our souvenirs would be! Pam and I got a tote bag, Sarah got a tshirt. We had already won the sun visors from the mountain climbing. 

Full disclosure: originally, we just got our passports and went to see what we won. That's where I fell in love with the giant isolated tote (along with the foam finger, which they had run out of and wouldn't give me the display ones. Boo) and found out I needed to get all the stamps to win that. We saw the lines and vetoed the idea right away. But then we decided, what else were we doing? and had tons of fun. 

We walked around the expo quickly, but stopped to grab matching crown bondi band, headbands. There wasn't much time after that, since the expo was closing and they were kicking us out. 


Amazingly, we got reservations at an Italian restaurant in the area for dinner and headed to bed early.

What's your favorite part of an expo?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

(3 Things) Finished Projects, Wynwood Art Walls and Party planning

Three things keeping me sane right now:

The fact that I can sleep all day Saturday if I want. 

I did the math, I haven't slept in in over a month and I really really miss that! I just need to make it until Saturday! The good news is, the big project I've been slaving over is finally done! I feel like a proud mama sending her baby to kindergarten. Plus, it's going to be something tangible, I will get to see my work in real life! I'm really excited to see how it turns out next week. Do you get that way about big work projects?

 Getting inspiration when least expected!

I'm currently in Miami for work and last night we went on a guided tour through The Wynwood Art District. If you're a fan of street art, you'll be in heaven. I know I was. Sensory overload in the best way possible! I wanted to find a box and move into the neighborhood because I don't even think a lifetime in the area, I'd get to see everything. It reminded me of Brooklyn- more specifically, the industrial-esque of Greenpoint. I also heard about the Walls of Dumbo, which I can't wait to check out when I get back. I'm sure I'll make a completely separate post about it, but you can check out more photos from my instagram.

Planning our Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. 

Last year was my first year and it was a blast! This year, I'm really excited I get to share the experience with B. I've already created a spreadsheet to maximize our time. My motto is you're paying extra for this, might as well do the things you can't on a regular park day, like meet special characters (but I think meeting special characters is my favorite thing to do ever anyway). I also need to get on the ball with our costumes. . . it's proving to be a tad more difficult than I originally anticipated.

How's your work going? Do you like street art? Whats your favorite holiday/ things to do during MNSSHP?