Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nike Women's DC Training: 4 weeks to go!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: 4M- Hills

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6M

Sunday: Rest

Remember how I was so excited to start hill training last week? Well, I conveniently forgot we had tickets to see Cirque's Amaluna on Tuesday night. Not to worry, I still did hills on Thursday. 

I also continued with yoga, which I'd like to keep in the training rotation. I took a wellness assessment at work this week because starting next year, that's how they're going to allow for our insurance discounts. I put down that I stretched once a week because I assumed yoga is what they meant, but technically I stretch at least 5 times a week. Anyway, with that answer, I got a red mark! (the scale was green yellow red) I'm really kind of peeved by it because I already know I'm going to get another one when I find out my BMI. But let's not get started on that. 

It's been raining all weekend, so I seriously contemplated skipping my long run again. It really is hard to push yourself to get out there if the weather isn't perfect. It was also a weekend for lots of races, so after seeing a ton of friends' race photos online, I got some serious Runner Envy. If everyone else was running in the rain, dammit, I would too! Once I was actually out there, it wasn't that bad. What's another 5.75 miles if you're already soaking wet? It was really nice after I got over that. The park was pretty desolate for midday on a Saturday but there were enough runners to make me feel less insane- training happens if it's raining or not. Thank goodness it wasn't that cold, then it would've been seriously miserable. 

Next week: more hills and a 15k with some post-race hot chocolate. YUM! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

(3Things) Race lotteries, Running internet drama and a Made for More contest

The internet is action packed with running drama this week!

It was really hard not to get swept up in all the excitement for the NYC Marathon lottery this week. Although a part of me is a little bummed I won't be using my 9+1 guaranteed entry, (it is the most amazing marathon ever! But then again, I might be a little bias) there is another gigantic part that is damn excited about not rocking an 18 miler in August. However, I am excited about being able to run the Dash to the Finish Line the day before and participate in all the other festivities of the race without the side of taper madness anxiety. 

So, this blogger chick with a nasty attitude decided to bandit a race, ripped someone else's race selfies off and gets her 15 minutes of fame. I refuse to link her blog, but I will link the GENIUS response from Runner's World. I love that so many runners are against what she did. Back down and apologize gracefully, girlfriend. Attacking people when you're in the wrong is just gross and childish.


Then, Self Magazine gets itself into a world of trouble with this. They included a photo of 2 ladies running in tutus- little did they know that was the owner of Glam Runner, who makes tutus that help support the charity Girls on the Run. ON TOP OF THAT, she was in the midst of chemotherapy for brain cancer when she decided to run the LA marathon as Wonder Woman in a tutu. Ouch, Self. Looks like you've really stepped in it. I've run the 26.2 mile distance 3 times- and all three times in a sparkle skirt and while you might think it's lame, I'm still a bad ass. There are no words to describe what Monika is, she's THAT amazing. Sidenote: I'd like to state for the record, with the exception of a race and even then they're pretty sparse, I've never seen anyone running in a tutu in Central Park. The above photo is in Prospect Park.

On a positive note, Oakley Women's is sponsoring a contest for the NYRR Oakley Women's Mini 10k. I love  their "Made for More" campaign and I'm glad they're continuing to use it this year.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Influenster J'Adore VoxBox Review!

I'm really excited to share my thoughts on the J'adore VoxBox, thanks to Influenster today. I was provided the box for free to test out the products and share my thoughts (if I so chose to). If you'd like to be involved, check out more details here.

Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas
For generations, members of the Red Rose Family have shared life’s special moments over the perfect cup of tea. Now, Red Rose ensures the tradition continues with a range of full-bodied and decadent black tea blends, perfect for any occasion. All the indulgence, none of the calories
This was the most delicious desert like teas I've ever tasted. I received the Creme Caramel and decaffeinated Lemon Chiffon. I've been really big on having afternoon tea and these are perfect to add into the rotation! I will mention the Caramel smelled a lot sweeter than it tasted, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just not what I was expecting. I also wasn't expecting to fall in love with the Lemon Chiffon (my new favorite!) either!

Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes

Made with a revolutionary technology that creates tapered ends, KISS Looks So Natural lashes blend seamlessly with natural lashes. Significantly lighter in weight than traditional lashes, the wearer can barely feel them on; 97% of women who wore these lashes felt the difference! These feathery, soft lashes are available in various styles, from natural to dramatic looks.

It's been a very long time since I tried to put lashes on. I used to be extremely good at it, too- but apparently time was not on my side. I tried putting these babies on for a fun night out last week, got too frustrated and gave up. For the few minutes they were on my lashes, I really liked how natural they looked. A trick I've learned is to cut them in half and only used the outer part as an accent. They would be great to wear every now and then for special occasions (just make sure you have the time and patience for applying!)

John Frieda Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray
Revolutionary heat-activated formula wraps each strand to seal in longer-lasting straightness for up to 3 days* without weighing hair down. Formula, infused with Keratin, protects against heat damage and blocks frizz making hair glossy, smooth, and swinging with body.

My hair is naturally pretty straight, so I wasn't really sure if this was going to make a difference. When I do wear it straight, a once over with the straighten is usually good enough for me. I've heard good things about straightening products that have Keratin in them, and this one does. When I used it, I definitely noticed a difference. I wash my hair every other day, so I don't know about the 3 day promise, but it did work. I would suggest going with less sprays- I have really long hair and the first time I tried it, I used the higher of the suggested amount and it was too much. 
Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask
Treat your skin to deep cleansing with this mineral-rich clay mask. Designed for use on normal skin, the unscented, hypo-allergenic formula absorbs excess oil and deeply cleanses skin. The oceanic clay exhibits a negative electrical charge, which helps to draw out impurities without overdrying, skin is left looking clearer whilst feeling softer and smoother. Willowbark, a key ingredient in the Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask, is nature’s champion clarifier. The bark of the willow tree is a natural source of salicylic acid which helps to refine skin texture and actively target imperfections.

Using a mask is usually inconvenient for me, but I need to start using them more often. It was definitely much needed and I love that it's natural ingredients.

Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolate
The right words don’t always come easily. And sometimes it’s impossible to say what you really mean. But give someone HERSHEY’S® KISSES® Chocolates and you’ll instantly say it all.

The Family size bag that came in the influenster box was amazing. We still had a half of a bag of our own Kisses in the apartment, so these guys came to work with me. They were a big hit. My favorite part about Kisses are they're the perfect size for a post-meal sweet. I'm not usually a big chocolate person, but if it's around, it won't last long. Having a kiss after a meal is the perfect amount of sweet without all the guilt! 

Thanks again, Influenster and all the participating products!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The 2014 NYC Half Marathon

Thanks to volunteering at the finish line last year, I got non-complimentary automatic entry this year's NYC Half Marathon. Even though I'm not where I'd like to be speed-wise, it is the 3rd anniversary of my first half marathon. I'm really glad I got to run the course again. I've decided having a local half marathon is a blessing and a curse. It's great not having to travel and having a home court advantage, but it also makes you lazy about preparing. 

After New York Road Runners opened a second lottery (making it the race's largest to date with over 20,000 runners!) I wasn't sure how this 3 different wave starts were going to work out. The only major snafu I noticed was baggage- they had the baggage trucks lined up numerically. Which would've been fine, but having wave 2's trucks by the wave 1/3 entrance and having wave 3's trucks past the wave 2 entrance on the other end of the park, caused for a lot of unnecessary traffic and congestion on Central Park South. Luckily, I was there super early for my wave start, but I could only imagine the frustration it caused for wave 1 and 2. 

I was so glad I got to meet up with one of my Princess partners in crime, Emily before the race- it was a long wait. Wave 1 hadn't even gone yet, which meant we couldn't get into the corrals. But it went by quick- it always helps to have a friend to chat with! 

It was COLD. Can you tell?

Something new this year was a metal detector before entering the corrals. I get that there needs to be safety, but letting the runners know beforehand might've been nice. And letting them know they didn't have to take off their running watches, etc. (even though we were being barked orders to put everything in the plastic bin) would've been nice as well, so I didn't have to take everything off in the freezing cold and try to figure out how to put it back on. Also, having bathrooms after security would've been nice- if you had to use the portapotty, you would've had to go through security again. 

Once the race started, we decided to take it easy, but Emily was too quick for me. So, we said our good-byes and I set out to figure out how I was going to finish the race. I just started taking new medication that had my muscles tense. Do you know how hard it is to function as a normal human, much less run a half marathon, when your muscles won't let you do anything? Yea. It was an interesting race to say the least. 

Just in case you didn't know, Central Park is hilly- making the first half of this race a beast. You climb Cat Hill within the first mile and then you hit Harlem around the 5k- 2 of the biggest hills in the park, not to mention the 3 sisters bitches and a couple of others scattered. It's pretty brutal. They changed up the course this year, so you actually exit the park right before Harlem Hill. There is an out and back on, which adds another hill to the mix. Awesome. BUT I will say it was a really cool addition; getting to see all the runners going so many different directions was fun. 

Times Square. Finally!

Once I got out the park (thank goodness!), the fact that I was running down 7th ave. hit me and I just tried to soak it all in. That feeling never gets old. It was a really great moment and I slowed down a bit to enjoy it. I realized how lucky I was to get to run this race for the 3rd time and for it to be in my own backyard. How often do you get to be in the middle of Times Square car- free? The only other time is New Years Eve and being the New Yorker that I am, I'd never be caught there.

Character stops in front of M&M World!

Construction on the Marquis.

There was even karaoke. No kidding.

Then it was time for the 42nd St. wind tunnel. I still had not taken off my throwaways- and thank goodness! That wind was insane. If that was going to continue, I was not looking forward to the rest of the race down the Westside Highway, even if it was the flat part of the course. Luckily, that wasn't the case. It is a little daunting to just keep going in a straight line for what looks like forever. I just keep focusing on the Freedom Tower and it getting bigger as I got closer.

It was great seeing friends on the course as well- running and cheering! I got to say hello to all my old TNT coaches, my new running friends at a water stop and then running friends as we passed each other on the course. All of those were definitely great factors and made the race even more enjoyable for me. Another plus to a local race.

After mile 8, I was stopping to stretch every mile or so. My left ITB/Hip was starting to act up. That seams to be the pattern- whichever leg doesn't bother me during training, will inevitably hurt on race day. I did the calculations and didn't think I had a chance to come in sub-3hours, so I just continued to enjoy myself.

If it was 2011, this would be the finish line.

I don't know what happened to me in the tunnel, but I just started running FAST. Once we got to the other side, there was .6 left and I was really close to the 3 hour mark. I tried my best to go as fast as I could and ended up with 3:01:29. What?! That's crazy talk. Who knew I had that in me? And who knew I am apparently really bad at math? (well, we should all know that already, haha) Even with all the stops through Times Square and the stretching.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I ran into this lady!

When I read about the Recovery Zone, I was excited that it was indoors. I really needed to get out of my wet clothes and get warm. Sadly, it was only mats and foam rollers. As cool as that was, I wish they would've had an area for changing. But no worries, I found a corner and stealthily changed shirts for the long subway ride home. And speaking of the subway, I liked that the finish line was right by The Staten Island Ferry Subway stop- it was easy to hop on the train back to Brooklyn. The last time I ran the race, the finish line was closer to the South street seaport, which is super cool, but for someone who doesn't go that far downtown often, finding a subway station was kind of a pain.

I totally love that this is my anniversary race. This race holds my second fastest half and since I know I'm no where near that time, I'm really happy just being able to enjoy the course and coming close to a sub-3 finish. With all the stops and lollygagging during the race, I know that I could easily accomplish a sub-3 next time.

Since I ran The Manhattan Half and this one, I just need 2 more borough series races (which I'm already signed up for the Brooklyn Half and the Queens 10k) and I'll qualify for the 2015 NYC Half! Fingers crossed I'll be able to run this race for many years to come.

What's was your 1st half marathon race?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nike Women's DC Training: 5 weeks to go!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3.5M- 2 lower loops of Central Park

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday3.5M- 2 lower loops of Central Park

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Normally, the week after a half marathon, I like to make it a rest week. When Pam texted to ask if we were still running on Tuesday, I somehow forgot this and agreed. We ended up walking the 2 loops (I was still really soreand it turned out to be the best idea ever! Who knew active recovery works better than complete rest? I even did some yoga and went to the park again on Thursday as well. I should probably remember this for next time. Not all race weekends have giant theme parks to walk around for active recovery :) 

We've also decided we are going to train to get faster- for real this time. I've also decided I'm going to race one of the 10ks in June. There are a couple of half marathons (Nike Women's DC and The Brooklyn Half) on the schedule before that, but let's be honest, racing a 10k sounds a lot easier than double the distance. Baby steps. I'm glad I have someone to do this with and hope we will be able to motivate each other. Next week, we're going to start hills! 

I was contemplating a 6 mile long run this weekend to round out the productive week, but I'm just not feeling it. Who knows? I might decide to go for a walk later. Right now, I have a ginormous headache and I'm not sure if it's the wine from last night or other things . . but either way, the couch is calling my name and I'm not fighting it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

(3LATEthings) Happiness, RNRBK cancelled and iTunes Radio stations

I don't fully understand the concept of a National Happiness Day, but apparently yesterday was the 2nd annual one thanks to the UN. Personally, I'm a fan of being happy more than one day a year, but to each his own. Thanks for pointing out that a lot of people go through their entire lives never actually knowing what true happiness is. . . but I digress. I hope you were happy yesterday.

I got this email about the Rock-n-Roll Brooklyn 10k being "postponed indefinitely". Bummer. They had really come leaps and bonds from the inaugural year. I was also looking forward to finally enjoying the after-party this year. They did mention that they're hoping to bring it back as a half marathon, so fingers crossed! I liked having a Rock-n-Roll race in my backyard. But the good news is I don't have to fork over money for the RNR NOLA (because I completely blanked on registering during the alum-pricing special) and I can go home again next year. Win win!

Do you know how amazing iTunes Radio is? There is a FROZEN station and just recently, they added a "One Hit Wonders", "Ladies of the 80s" and "Spring Break Party Anthems" stations to the main page. It's been my favorite thing about my days lately. Good music. Now THAT'S happiness.

What makes you happy?

Monday, March 17, 2014

NYC Half Training: Taper week!

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3.5M- 2 lower loops of Central Park

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 2M

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 13.1- NYC Half Day!  
A day late- yesterday was kind of busy ;) I ran the half, then had some errands- laundry, a haircut and dinner plans. Apparently, doing more than a half marathon in a day is weird to people, so I got a lot of grief. I guess that's what happens when you do a local race?

As for the week, Pam and I continued our Tuesday night plans of running in the park- even though it's been less about training and more about catching up on our lives. But hey! At least we are getting out there. Plus, it was technically taper week for me, so nothing crazy. Maybe some hill work soon? We do have the Philly Hot Chocolate and Nike Women's DC to think about soon. I got my run in on Thursday as well, even if it was at 8oclock at night but I had to. There was no other time before the race. Oh, the race. I will say it had a happier ending than I thought it would, even if my left hip is not a fan of mine right now. But more on that later.

How was your week? What do you do with the rest of your day after you run a big race?

Friday, March 14, 2014

The 2014 NYC Half Expo!

The NYC Half Expo is being held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street (between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue) today from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 15, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (if you need an easy way to remember, download the app!)

I went after work last night and it was a tad crowded, which was to be expected. Somehow I forgot to bring my waiver (even though it's been printed and sitting on my desk for weeks!). As I looked at the ginormous line to look up your bib number and print, I got nervous. I still had a ton of errands to run and I didn't have a lot of time. Good news: A volunteer announced, I just had to pull it up on my phone and that worked! Phew, crisis averted.

FYI: Race shirts run small. The women's XL was a joke and I just couldn't stomach not being able to wear the shirt (bc I LOVE the design!) so I settled for a Men's Large. But no worries, the $25 XL women's cut shirt I could BUY fit perfectly. Go figure ;) The merchandise is super cute but I couldn't justify buying the same exact shirt design in a different color.

I really wanted this adorable pink zip up, but after careful consideration, I decided I didn't need it. It would be a GREAT fleece-lined winter training jacket though. Hopefully, if I change my mind NYRR will put the leftovers on their site (which they're pretty good about doing. IN FACT, they even had all of this stuff on sale before the expo, which was nice!) and it will still be available in my size. Again, I noticed the merchandise to buy ran a little big.

I didn't spend too much time will the vendors, but it looked like a lot of the usual suspects were there. I took advantage of Nuun's expo promotion- buy 2 tubes for $10 and get a free water bottle. I was just on their website trying to justify needing 4 tubes of the iced tea flavor. This worked out perfectly, and I even got another water bottle (much to B's chagrin since my water bottle collection is a tad obnoxious).

I also took advantage of the Sparkly Soul expo promotion- most of their green headbands (thin or thick) for $10. I forget how much I love their headbands- they really are the most comfortable and do not give me a headache. 

Can't leave an NYRR expo without replenishing the lip balm supply!
PS- wouldn't that rectangular branding look AMAZING as the actual medal?! 
I'm sure it will get crowded later today and tomorrow, so I suggest going early if you can. There's not a lot of room in there, but there are a ton of awesome volunteers who can help point you to where you need to go.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

(3Things) I'm late to the party on: Salted Caramel, Compression and the internet.

I'm clearly late to the party on:

It's about time to get a new pair of shoes. I was in between these and the Berry color, but went with the yellow (courtesy of B's vote. I should've known- whichever one is more obnoxious go with that)- I love them! Can't wait to break them in. I also finally stocked up on the salted caramel. I'm excited to have them during the Half this weekend.

When CW-X tights went up on Zulilly, I jumped at the chance to try them. I've been hearing great things but that price tag was scary! So, I got 2 pair and I cannot wait to try them out post- race this weekend. I tried them out after my long run on Saturday and holy wow! Those suckers are tight! I have no idea how anyone would be able to run a race in them- I cannot imagine using a portapotty and trying to pull them back up. Yikes! I have no idea how I'd get them on in the summer time either, so good thing I won't be training ;) 

Things I learned about the internet this week:

ZocDoc, where have you been these past 6(ish) years?! Type in your city, your insurance and what kind of doctor you need and BAM! There's a list all in your area, that takes your insurance, and that might even have an appointment today. No more waiting 2 weeks to get an appointment with a dermatologist- because seriously (seriously, a dermatologist?!), it's annoying.

Did anyone else know that Pintrest will notify you when you pin something from a retailer and it goes on sale?! Thanks, Pin! You ROCK! and so do those pants (they're my favorite non-lululemon, they're that amazing) This can be very very dangerous. 

Sorry if I'm late to the game on all of this :)