Monday, March 31, 2014

Training recap week of 3/24 (Grandma's Week 6)

I can't believe March is almost over!  Although, no one told Mother Nature apparently and it's still chilly here.

This week included checking another state off the list - Kentucky!  We had the best time there and I'm hoping to do some posts on what we did.  I'll definitely have a full recap of the race, but I will say the organizers put on a good time.

My schedule was to either take the whole race easy or do 7 easy and the last 6.1 at marathon pace.  It was my call depending on how I felt.  I was torn the first 7 miles of the race.  It was a pretty hilly course so I wasn't sure.  I decided I'd take it 1 mile at time and see how it went.  I'm happy to say I did all 6 at race pace and while hard with all the hills, I am pleased at how they went.  All this hard work looks to be paying off!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 6 miles easy
Actual: 6.00 mi, 59:35, 9:45 pace

Scheduled: Speedwork - 5 x 0.5 mi at 10K pace (7:51 pace) with 0.5 mi recovery + 2 mi WU, 1 mi CD
Actual: 8.00 total miles (including warm up and cooldown)
Paces: 7:54, 7:51, 7:54, 7:44, 7:34

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 2-3 miles easy
Actual: Rest

Between traveling to KY and getting settled, no time to get this one in

Scheduled: Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon (First 7 mi easy, last 6.1 at marathon pace - 8:42)
Actual: 13.09 mi, 2:00:57, 9:15 pace
Paces (for those at marathon pace): 8:38, 8:36, 8:42, 8:40, 8:32, 8:26, 7:38 (.09)

Scheduled: 5 mile easy run
Actual: 5.00 mi, 50:56, 10:10 pace

Total miles: 32.20
Total March miles: 129.68
Miles until goal (1,250): 954.66

I am currently 23.63% to my goal so with a quarter of the year done, I'm right on track!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Shame on you, Self Magazine

Oh, Self magazine.  Shame on you.

If you haven't heard yet, Self magazine has gotten itself in a bit of hot water this week.  Every month they publish a "BS Meter".  I'm not 100% sure what makes them experts in what's BS and what's not, but let's ignore that fact.

This month's BS Meter included the below picture and the following caption on the lame side:

"A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC's Central Park, and it's all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster. Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it."

via Glam Runner facebook page

Since the magazine went on sale this week, it's come out that Monika (on the left, co-founder of Glam Runner who makes the tutu's) was dressed as Wonder Woman since she was running the LA Marathon during chemotherapy (for brain cancer) and it made her happy.  And, the skirts she and Tara (co-founder and Superwoman on the left) make raise funds for the San Diego chapter of Girls on the Run.

Now, clearly, the Self writer and fact checker didn't really do much research into the company (or look at the photo, Tara's bib clearly says 'Die Tumor Die!!').

Self editor-in-chief, Lucy Danziger, has since issued an apology to Monika, saying the following to USA Today:

"I am personally mortified.  I had no idea that Monika had been through cancer. 
It was an error. It was a stupid mistake. We shouldn't have run the item."

Here's the thing though.  Even if Monika hadn't been through cancer, why are running tutu's are "lame"?  Lucy's statement makes it sound like they are just sorry they made fun of someone with cancer (or that they got some bad press for it).  Maybe that's not how she meant it, but that's how it reads (to me).

Sure, okay.  Maybe tutu's aren't "your thing".  And that's fine.  They weren't my thing for a long time, but if wearing a tutu is what gets you through a race, then that's awesome.  We all know how hard it is to just get out there.  If wearing a tutu makes it easier for you to lace up your sneakers, go for it.  For a magazine who's motto is "Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful", why are they making fun of other women and tearing them down?  Are you not allowed to wear a tutu and feel those things?

How about this - let's support anyone (man or woman) for whatever they choose to run/race in.  I don't personally understand the barefoot runners in Central Park, but that's what they like do and that's totally their right.

In fact, I am making my way today to Lexington, KY to run the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon (checking KY off the list!) and packed in my suitcase is one of my own Sparkle Athletic skirts.  I plan on rocking it this weekend with PRIDE.  


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg

Following our trip to Rye, we headed over to the winter (i.e. indoor) location of the Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg.  During Spring, Summer and Fall, these are outside, but move inside for winter.  If you've never been, it's basically a big flea market and food vendor paradise.

We started off in the Flea side.  It was pretty crowded and our group of six kept getting separated (which was bound to happen).  We managed to regroup before heading to the Smorgasburg part.  I love the flea because it's part flea market/yard sale/etsy shops.  They have some really vintage kitschy stuff, unusual vintage items, custom furniture (handmade of course) and normal etsy items (think hand knitted hats, pillows, etc).

I almost bought a winter headband/earcover, but ended up not getting it.  I won't lie - I kinda wish I had, I keep thinking about it!

One of our favorite booths was towards the end, near the food side.  I have no idea what the vendor name was, but they made cool pictures and unique pendants out of vintage maps.  They were really unique and very cool.  One of the girls got some cute pictures for her soon-to-be nursery and Ally picked up a fun Paris pendant.  I really wanted an Athens (Greece) one, but couldn't find any.  They said they are constantly making new ones, so I'll have to go back and check (maybe once it's warm again!).

They even had fun scrabble tile pendants!

The flea is fun, but Smorgasburg is my favorite part!  They have some great vendors with some interesting items.  Since we had just come from brunch, we were pretty full and contained ourselves (for the most part).

I love all things pickle so this was right up my alley
These were apparently savory / stuffed muffins
I purchased this for later.  It's A-MAZ-ING.
Fun table decoration at Butter & Stotch's table
Even though we were full, I could not pass up a homemade onsite s'more from s'more BAKERY!  I got the salted caramel version and it was sooooo good.  Warm and gooey and freshly made.  Yum.  Everyone should get one if they go.  Yes, they were that good.

so. good.
Can't wait until it is warm again and I can make another visit to the outdoor Flea + Smorgasburg and try some more vendors!

Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg
Location varies between winter and spring/summer/fall and on Saturday vs. Sunday
Check the website before you go!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rye Restaurant

A few weekends ago, I made the {long} trek to Brooklyn to spend the afternoon with my friend Ally and some of her friends who were visiting from Boston.  Despite the subway conspiring against me (which is always seems to do when I go to Brooklyn), it was wonderful afternoon.

We started the adventure with brunch at Rye.  No one had ever been there, but it got decent reviews and could accomodate our group of six on short notice.

If you go, make sure to get some coffee.  We all started with the coffee and it was delicious.  All of our coffees came in different tea cups which I loved.  I could have had many cups... but didn't want to be bouncing off the walls all afternoon.

We started with an order of the homemade cake donuts and buttermilk biscuits for the table.  Unfortunately, our order somehow got lost and we ended up with these for dessert.  They were good though!

I went with a different choice for me for the entree - the Croque Madame.  I usually get Eggs Benedict, but I decided to change it up this time and it did not disappoint!  It was perfectly good and the ingredients were quality.

If you are in Williamsburg and looking for a brunch place, try Rye!

Rye Restaurant
247 S 1st Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2 on Tuesday

Logo via The Disney Blog

Well, that didn't take long!  The runDisney Avengers Half Marathon registration opened today at noon and by 1:57 PM had already sold out.  Holy cow!  I knew it would be popular, but that is still crazy fast.  As much as I love the Avengers and wanted to do this, it just wasn't in the cards for me this year.  I am already doing both ToT and W&D and just don't have the funds to do this (especially with it so close to W&D).  Hopefully in a future year I'll be able to do it!

Has anyone out there tried Stitch Fix yet?  If you haven't - you should!  It is my new favorite way to get clothing.  Here's the lowdown - you join, fill out a detailed style profile, provide a link to a Pinterest board (if you have one) of Fashion you like and for a $20 styling fee, a stylists hand picks 5 pieces for you.  They are FedEx'd to you, you try them on at home and have 3 days to decided what to keep.  You simply drop what you don't want to keep in the prepaid envelope and ship back.  The $20 styling fee comes off the total of the clothing you keep as well (if you decide not to keep anything, you forfeit the $20).  I just got my third fix and I am a big fan.  So far I've kept 2 necklackes, 1 faux leather jacket (which I get compliments on ALL THE TIME), 1 sweater, 1 chambray shirt and 1 pair of sorbet orange skinny jeans.  If you want to try it out, you can join via the following link (full disclosure, I do get a $25 referral reward once you get your first fix, but Stitch Fix is not sponsoring this, I just really like them and want to share!):

Monday, March 24, 2014

Training recap week of 3/17 (Grandma's Week 5)

This week marked moving out of base training and into for marathon training.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get all my runs in (arg), but I did get in two quality speed workouts which is important.

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 6 miles easy
Actual: 6.00 mi, 1:00:03, 10:00 pace

Scheduled: Hill workout - 6x Harlem Hill at 10K pace (7:51 pace)
Actual: 6.71 total miles (including warm up and cooldown)
Hill repeat paces: 7:59, 7:52, 7:57, 7:55, 7:55, 8:03

Paces weren't quite on target, but I am pretty proud of this for my first speed workout!

Scheduled: 6 miles easy
Actual: Rest

I had a work thing on Thursday night and was going to try and do this Thursday AM, but managed to set my alarm for PM so I slept through it.  I was leaving early Friday morning and wasn't able to do it then either.

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 10 miles total - 3 easy, 4 at marathon pace (8:40), 3 easy
Actual: 10.01 mi, 1:34:25, 9:26 overall pace
Paces (for those at marathon pace): 8:36, 8:36, 8:31, 8:33

I am really pleased with how this run turned out.  I was a little shocked to discover I did not need to put as much as effort as I expected to hit the correct paces.  Which I guess is good since I'll need to run an additional 22.2 at that pace!

Scheduled: 5 mile easy run
Actual: 5.00 mi, 50:11, 10:02 pace

Total miles: 27.72
Total March miles: 97.48
Miles until goal (1,250): 986.86

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2 on Tuesday

In case you missed it, runDisney announced a new packet pickup policy.  You can no longer authorize someone else to pick up your bib starting with the Disneyland Half in August.  I totally get the change - I am assuming they are hoping to get down on people selling bibs, but I really feel like the policy should have been announced before registration for Disneyland Half weekend went on sale.  If you couldn't arrive until Friday night (after the expo closed), you may just do the Half and not Dumbo Double Dare.  It's not as big of a deal for Tower of Terror or Wine and Dine since those are night races and you have Saturday to pick it up.

This past weekend, I was at the grocery store and I happened to find some of the new Ben & Jerry's core flavors!  These just came out a few weeks ago and have been hard to find.  I wasn't going to pick them up, but I just couldn't resist.  Plus, they were on sale for only $3.88 - usually a pint is $6.  I couldn't pass up that deal!  Ice cream doesn't go bad, right?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Even if you are not Irish, I hope you have some green on today.  I am only 25% Irish, but I relate more to my Irish heritage then other backgrounds.

I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in Ireland back in the Fall of 2009.  We (me and 5 friends) went to run the Dublin Marathon (still my PR) and stayed for a week driving around the country.  It is seriously a beautiful place and we had such a blast.  The above photo was from our visit to the Cliffs of Moher.

Maybe some day I'll do a post (or two) about the race and our trip.  This fall will be 5 years, so maybe it's time for some reminiscing!

And because no trip to Dublin is complete without a tour of the Guinness brewery, I leave you with proof that I know how to properly pour a pint of Guinness.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Training recap week of 3/10 (Grandm'as Week 4)

Finally - a solid week of training!  It was bound to happen eventually, right?  This week I made all of my runs and felt good during all of them.

We had some gorgeous weather on Tuesday - shorts weather!  It was so nice... and then on Wednesday it rained on my run (and not sprinkled, rained) and then by Thursday I was back in full on winter gear.  I am waiting (impatiently) for shorts all the time weather!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 6 miles easy
Actual: 7.06 mi, 1:07:35, 9:31 pace

I switched my miles with Thursday so I would have to do less in the cold

Scheduled: 7 miles easy
Actual: 7.06 mi, 1:07:30, 9:34 pace

Scheduled: 7 miles easy
Actual: 6.01 miles, 58:13, 9:42 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.01 mi, 50:07, 10:01 pace

Scheduled: 12 mile long run
Actual: 12.01 mi, 1:56:09, 9:41 pace

Total miles: 37.13
Total March miles: 69.75
Miles until goal (1,250): 1,014.58

Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Club Friday: The Twelve

A while ago, I shared book 1 in this series, The Passage, and I finally read book 2, The Twelve.  

Synposis (from Goodreads):
At the end of The Passage, the great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War.

To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral—but whose side, in the end, is she really on?

My thoughts:
I liked this book... but no where near as much as I liked Book 1.  I thought it was a bit slow moving at the beginning, but it did pick up.  It also seemed to jump all over the place through time, so I really had to pay attention to where I was in the timeline.  Overall, I felt the story moved the plot forward, answered some questions (but left more open) and set up Book 3 for the conclusion.  I will say, there was also one section that was a little brutal and actually it made me cringe while reading it (I could really have lived without that part).  

If you've read The Passage, I think you'll like this book.  I am looking forward to Book 3, so we can get some answers!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Race Recap: Princess Half Marathon 2014

In case you missed it, don't forget to check out my Enchanted 10K recap!  Rounding out the weekend, here is my Princess Half recap.

Princess Half Marathon
February 23, 2014

State: Florida (repeat)
Lifetime: #43

Sunday marked another 3am morning.  Our group (me, my mom, my cousin Colleen, Pam and her mom) headed to the buses at 3:45.  There was little bit of a line to board, but there were plenty of buses waiting, so it wasn't long.

Similar to Marathon morning - crazy traffic!  I don't know if we boarded earlier last year, but I don't definitely don't remember so much traffic.  At least the bus is comfortable!

After we arrived, we went through security and made our way to the corrals.  Pam headed off to meet Abby and Colleen and I took a couple of minutes to get situated before saying goodbye to my mom.  After one last bathroom trip, we made the long journey to the start.

In case you are wondering, I did end up wearing my Anna costume.  And I am so glad I did!  There were definitely some Anna's on the course (no surprise there) but nowhere near as many as I though there would be.  The cape also only bothered me slightly.  It was shifting around my neck, so I tucked it into my sports bra straps and then it was fine! (I'd untuck for photo's).

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long in the corrals because we had been running late.  My corral was B, but Colleen was back in G, so I dropped back.  I forgot to tell her she could submit a new time after she registered (she had run a sub 2 in September so would have been in B with me).  Next year!

The corrals went off smoothly and we didn't have to wait too long, which was nice.  Colleen and I wanted to run it together and since I've done it before, I let Colleen make all the decisions on which pictures we would stop for.  We skipped a lot, but stopped for some good ones!

The first couple of miles were the normal - highway to Magic Kingdom.  We people watched the costumes and chatted the whole time.  I typically run races alone - it was nice to have the company!  Since I was starting in a later corral then usual, it did start to get lighter a lot earlier on.  It was already light by the time we hit Magic Kingdom!

Right after making the right turn onto Main Street, we spotted my mom and Pam's mom in the crowd.  It was full of spectators, so glad we spotted them. We stopped for our first photo on Main Street.  We had to get a photo together in front of the castle in costume!

Snow White and Anna say hi (through a haze of humidity)
Following our stop on Main Street, we headed into Tomorrowland where we stopped for a photo with Buzz.  Toy Story is one of Colleen's sons favorite movies, so a Buzz (and Woody in Frontierland) stop was necessary.

Even though it looks like it, we are not wearing the same sneakers
After Buzz we made the customary loop through Fantasyland and through the castle.  Marathonfoto got some good shots of us coming through.  I still haven't decided if I am going to buy the race photo's or not (if I had to guess I would say yes).  After the castle, it was on to Liberty Square and Frontierland where we stopped for Woody.

No idea why we are laughing
 From there we headed out of the park.  We skipped the Aurora/Prince Phillip line backstage and made our way back onto the highway.  This portion of the course narrows and definitely got a little crowded.  We just tried to not crowd anyone and soon it was opening up.

The miles went by pretty quickly.  On the way back to Epcot, we stopped for a photo with the Princes and Captains Jack Sparrow and Barbossa.

Those are real guns on Hercules.  
Think we were joking about where the rum had gone
Here's tip for those who really want these photo's.  Don't stop on the way into Magic Kingdom.  You'll pass then again on the way back to Epcot and the line will be significantly shorter.  For example, on the way out, each line (Princes and Pirates) were at least 50 people long.  On the way back, less then 5 people.  So much more time efficient!

From there, we headed up the on ramp to the section of rolling hills.  Despite having run this course a bajillion times, I cannot remember how many hills there are in this section.  At every hill I kept telling Colleen this was the last one.  And then there'd be another one.  Oops!  Maybe next year I'll remember.

Right after the last hill (the actual last hill), we headed into Epcot.  As soon as we got inside, there was Princess Sophia.  She had no line so we stopped quickly.

Apparently I have a signature pose
From there it was on to the finish!  Even though it's short, this section of Epcot is still a favorite.  We passed the Gospel choir and made our way to the finish line.  A little last second bit of effort and we crossed the finish line!  My mom was waiting near the finish and got a photo of us right after we crossed the finish line.

After that, we made our way through the chute to the water.  This year after you picked up your water, you got the nice mesh drawstring bags (which we got last year at the Expo).  It was such a nice idea so we could put our water into it!  Excellent thinking runDisney.  I also picked up my GSC medal and made my way to the step and repeat for photo's.

I do have to say, not sure if it was runDisney or Marathonfoto, but they made some great changes to the official finisher photo setup.  First of all, they had hightop tables right next to them, so no more having to put all your stuff on the ground and then bend to pick it all up afterwards.  The next great change - the photographers had an Enchanted 10K medal with them so you could get a photo with all 3 and the 'Finisher' background.  So smart!  I really wish they had had that for Dopey.

After that, we collected our food boxes and baggage and went to find my mom.  We hung out a little bit, I had a celebratory beer (at like 8am, such a lush) and got some photo's with the Princess.  Rapunzel and Ariel were out, so I got them with 2 different Princess then the 10K.

Overall, this continues to be one of my favorite races.  Colleen also really enjoyed it and we've already decided to do it again next year!  I felt like there were about the same characters as last year (even though we didn't stop at all of them, Colleen commented that they helped break up the race).  Weather was hot (again) but nothing we can really do about that.

See you in 2015!

Official: 13.1 mi, 2:20:20, 10:42 pace
Garmin: 13.29 mi, 2:20:20, 10:33 pace

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Training recap week of 3/3 (Grandma's Week 3)

Since I slacked on posting this on Monday, it's two posts today!  I don't want to delay posting this anymore.

Last week was not a good one for me.  I had some last minute work travel on Tuesday so I wasn't able to get in that run and on Sunday I woke up not feeling so hot.  I went back to sleep and hoped I would wake up feeling better, but I did not.  So no long run this week for me.  I feel better now, so that is good.

Scheduled: Rest 
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 7 miles easy 
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 6 miles easy
Actual: 5.05 mi, 49:14, 9:45 pace

I totally misread the schedule and thought I only had 5 to do.  Oops.

Scheduled: 7 miles easy
Actual: 7.02 miles, 1:08:11, 9:43 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.54 mi, 54:50, 9:54 pace

Scheduled: 11 mile long run
Actual: Rest

Total miles: 17.61
Total March miles: 32.62
Miles until goal (1,250): 1,051.76