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Posts Tagged ‘half marathon’

pumpkin beer!

one: Sometimes when I’m bored at work or need a little pick-me-up after a rough phone call, I eat a spoonful of cookie butter. Or three spoonfuls. I can’t help it! I don’t know what it is about this crisp weather; I go months without touching that glass jar of deliciousness sugar and then bam! Gotta have it!

two: Lunch dates and pumpkin ales with dashes of cinnamon are also at the top of my favorites list this time of the year.

three: I’ve been listening to far too much Tom Hagerman on Spotify these days. It reminds me of this little tiny toy piano my sister had as a kid and also of being in Paris… some place I’ve actually never been but can only imagine; I would want his music playing in my head as I stroll the streets eating yummy (vegan) French food! We all have dreams, right? Its just music that makes me smile and not sit still.

four: I’ve caught the running bug. And am scouring the Internet for a race this autumn. Buuuuuuut it’s tricky with every weekend already booked up with hiking and traveling. An impromptu half marathon may or may not happen within the next thirty days. No more skipping my morning runs!

five: Despite all of the awesome shows on television these days (i.e. Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men), I’ve been loving re-runs of… Antiques Roadshow. I can’t be the only one out there that loves watching other people bring their treasures (and junk) in for appraisal.

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Well, we did it! Most importantly, my little sister crossed the finish line of her first half marathon! This was a gorgeous route- I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been training on a bike path week after week or because this was the city I fell in love with running, but the miles seemed to tick by. I found myself repeatedly saying out loud that it was the most perfect day for this race; something I tend to do a lot in the mountains when hiking. I was thankful that there wasn’t a tiny percent of humidity in the air and that it was quite brisk when we started- my two favorite things about autumn running.

Here’s a little recap of the miles:

Miles 1-3: If you follow along with my training on DailyMile, you’d know that the past couple of weeks I have been running the biggest hills in Troy to prepare myself for the incline up North Broadway to Skidmore College. I remember running this route with Marla years ago and it would KILL me. I didn’t want to start this race dragging, or dragging my sister back, so hills have become part of my routine. This morning I could have flown up that incline. I could have flown up the two hills throughout the campus and breezed back down toward downtown. I could feel my body pulling myself faster but I stayed right along with Naomi, encouraging her the whole way. See, she hadn’t trained with hills. She did exactly what I told her to do: run comfortably up those hills and we’d gain our ground later in the race. Start slow and finish strong.

Halfway up North Broadway she gave me a look and asked me if there were people behind her. I said yes, but not many, and not to worry because if we were the last two people to cross the finish line, I’d let her go first. I knew we wouldn’t be the last two people and reassured her that she was doing great. I caught her looking at her Garmin far too much and she would ask why she was going so slow or how the pace felt to me- I just told her to STOP looking at that watch or I’d take it away from her. (Great words my friend once said to me last year during my marathon attempt.) I didn’t want her worrying about time; I wanted her to finish. We passed our family and were thumbs-up with smiles!

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Miles 4-6: The best part about this race was that I knew where all the hills would be and when to prepare her for them. She made it up the hill on Broadway heading toward the Saratoga State Park and I just followed her pace. She fell into a nice little groove and held that consistently until about mile 5.25. At this point in the course, we could see the runners that were MILES ahead of us and some were MUCH older than us. She had me laughing out loud when she made a comment about a “grandpa” who was beating us but I reminded her to run her own run and not to think about those people. To me, those people are inspiration. This was when I saw a No Meat Athlete and a friend named Gabe run by and had to give them a holler. This was also when I saw the competitive side of Naomi come out; she started to verbalize “targets” of whom she wanted to pass. I did this earlier in the race to her but backed off because I didn’t want to push her too soon. I reminded her that if she were to pass people now, she better hold it to the finish line; not a problem.

Miles 7-9: I refueled around mile 6.5 and started taking routine sips of water every two miles. Naomi also shared the water bottle I carried which was great because we didn’t stop at any water stations. We hit our last hill of the day and she passed people going up! These weren’t memorable miles for me until about mile 9.75 when we saw our family a second time… I’m still all smiles and thumbs-up! I think this was a huge relief for my mom because this was right around the time I was pulled from VCM.

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Miles 10-12: Once we hit ten miles and high-fived (we did that at every mile marker), I reminded her that we had just a 5k to go! She really started to pick up the pace and it was tricky for us to fall into a new groove because it was much more crowded and practically single file on Crescent Ave because of traffic. She let me know when it was safe to pass. She said mile 10-11 was her most difficult but I couldn’t tell. By this time, I had to pee but couldn’t imagine stopping. She told me all the better to pick up the speed and finish, so I did. Once mile 12 came, she kept asking, “where’s the Farmer’s Market?!”

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Miles 13-13.1: We booked it! As we were passing those who were walking, I couldn’t help but try and encourage them during the last mile. Once we rounded the corner near the police station and could see the finish, I really fell into stride; and she was right there with me. We passed her boyfriend, my dad who was on the phone looking for her boyfriend and then there at the finish line was the beau and my mom. I grabbed Naomi’s hand and crossed we did! My DailyMile friend John even announced the two of us and the fact that it was her first race! She looked like she was going to barf (sorry Naomi) and I couldn’t help but smile because I knew she gave it all she had in her. We found our family, including the beau’s! and relaxed for a while before heading home.

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It was a great day! Once the beau and I made it back to Troy, we sat down for a delicious meal at Carmen’s with a celebratory mimosa! That mix of spinach, seasonal veggies and rice were just what I needed to refuel. I got home and passed out to take a short nap and when I woke up, I was surprised to find out that the beau had made homemade tomato sauce (seriously impressed with the flavor), pasta and fried/baked eggplant… oh, and had a 12 pack of Saranac seasonal beers chilled! Isn’t he great?! I stuffed my face had a hearty serving of dinner while watching Sons of Anarchy- season five is getting better and better! It was a wonderful way to wrap up a busy weekend.

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Other highlights from this weekend: we finally got the record player up and running! I love looking through the box of records and dancing around the apartment. Now if only I was productive while dancing around, say, sweeping or picking up dirty laundry. Oh! And the beau ran his first (ever) 5k on Saturday! I loved to see him participate and I think it’s safe to say that he’s hooked: I’m pretty sure he’s going to run the Turkey Trot with me!

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In this week’s bag:

  • concord grapes
  • braising mix
  • broccoli
  • roma tomatoes
  • yummy snacking peppers
  • sweet corn
  • seckel pears

The beau and I were both super excited to see/smell the concord grapes in the bag because last year when we got them, I ended up making a big batch of fresh grape juice. It was delicious and lasted us a week or so; we diluted it a ton because neither of us is use to drinking juice on a daily basis. I may throw some into my morning shakes for an extra pop of flavor!

The sweet corn will be tasty in some sort of stir fry, possibly with the onions and peppers I plan on cooking up tonight with tempeh for “fajitas”.  The broccoli I’d love to steam up and enjoy with the eggplant parmesan I plan on making this weekend, layered with fresh tomatoes and basil. The beau tasted one of the peppers this morning and said it was good; paired with some homemade hummus and sriracha, they will become a perfect snack. Lastly, those pears. We were advised to let them ripen a few more days- after that, I’m poppin’ them in the oven for a sweet treat with cinnamon. Nature’s dessert.

This morning I ran my last run, five miles, before the race this Sunday. I ran alone and only spoke once to myself as I was nearing the top of Congress Street; no I’m not going to quit! My meals over the next 48 hours are going to be “strict”- as clean as possible with tons of vegetables, complex carbs (my favorite, short grain brown rice) and plenty of water. I am a no meat athlete and truly thrive on clean food!

I can’t wait to spend time with my sister and see her cross that finish line; this will be a tricky course for both of us (the hills!). Hope you all have a wonderful and rewarding weekend; send positive vibes!

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I’m realizing that I never posted my veggies photograph from Field Goods last week- oops! The last two weeks the beau’s parents were on vacation and I got to pick up their weekly share of vegetables at the Farmer’s Market, so we’ve had veggies galore!

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While the beau was away, I was very good about cooking every meal fresh and it really paid off over the weekend. Let me fill you in. If you remember from this post, I announced that I was going to run a half marathon with my little sister. Well, to be completely honest, I’ve been slacking over the past month. I’ve been so focused on my hiking each weekend, that I really haven’t been committing myself to the long runs. A big no-no for any distance race.

Two weeks ago I was scheduled to run 11 miles. (The furthest I ran prior to this was 9 miles three weeks ago) I got up early around 4am Saturday to fuel and was out the door promptly at five. And that’s when the wall of humidity hit me. I am not a summer runner and get discouraged by the humidity but told myself to suck it up. By mile two, I stopped to walk and started crying; right there on the side of the road. I knew this race wouldn’t be possible if I couldn’t run the eleven so I convinced myself to start running; only to stop one mile later. I walked the three miles home in the rain. I called my sister to tell her that I was out and that I would jump in and run a few miles with her to keep her company and finish strong.

I also told my sister that I’d try another long run this past Saturday just to confirm that I didn’t have it in me. I woke up late, ate only a peach and fewer Energy Bits than normal, and hit the streets. And then this happened:

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I have no clue where it came from! The weather was absolutely gorgeous; cool with zero humidity. I nailed refueling after mile six and I remained positive, especially during the last two miles when my legs began to tighten. That overall pace is faster than some of my three milers throughout the week. I was shocked and called my sister as soon as I got home- I’m running the race with her! (As long as it’s not humid- ha!) I think eating well the week leading up to this run really made a difference, so I’m making an effort to eat super good this week (the race is on Sunday).

As if the run wasn’t enough, Sunday I went hiking! A coworker and I drove up at 4am to get an early start up Street & Nye. As we got off the exit for Keene, it was pouring and I was worried it would be a wet, miserable day. But as we left the Loj, the clouds opened up and blue skies surrounded us all day. It was cool. It was a little breezy. The trail has a lot of blow-down but easy to follow. And despite not having views, this was a great hike. I found it to be a nice little “break” from what Paula and I have been hiking recently.

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I officially have TEN more peaks to go! So close to becoming a 46er; anyone out there thinking about joining me for Sawteeth and 12 miles of reflecting on the past year?

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augies

pinot

Reading: I’m about halfway finished with Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan and I love it. I actually started reading it back on July 4th on the train down to NYC, but because I had three other books out at the time, this one took the backseat. I’ve only hiked one mountain in New Hampshire but can relate to many of the stories because of my personal journey to become a 46er. A close friend of mine just moved closer to NH and I have high hopes of visiting her and heading out for some long hikes. Most likely not this summer but hopefully this autumn.

Watching: Now that we have the Internet, we are starting to catch up on all of our shows. Don’t cringe when I tell you this but… we are officially caught up on The Bachelorette AND got to watch the finale live at Phil’s house. Thank you Phil! Surround sound and homemade kettle corn, I’ve got the best friends in town. I’m not going to discuss the outcome because I know that a few of you out there haven’t seen it and I don’t want to spoil it. Let’s just say, it was NOT I was expecting/had hoped for. Let’s see… Breaking Bad and Mad Men both have a new season up on Netflix, I’m dying to see the last season of Sons of Anarchy and I have to check if there’s any random Modern Family episodes out there that I haven’t seen.

Loving: The last week of cooler weather was absolutely fabulous. Unfortunately for me, I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder and missed out on all those morning runs. Today was my first day back out there in a week and despite the soreness and slight pain, it felt great to be in motion once again. I was starting to feel anxiety because I couldn’t run; it really is my time to work things out in my head. I’m looking forward to attempting a super long run this Saturday and feel super accomplished once I get home to shower before working the market. I’m also loving the following: whoopie pies, a freshly swept and mopped apartment, buffalo chickpea dip for dinner, MGMT radio on Pandora and kitty kitty cocoa puff when he’s trying to apologize for shitting on the curtains. Yes, that happened this week. Twice.

Wondering: If I can paint our kitchen? Our landlord has already approved us painting the bedroom and living room walls white, but I’d love to have a chalkboard wall in the kitchen. Oh! And have you checked out Vegan Cuts lately? You may see some familiar faces and deals featured on their website.

Looking forward to: Next weekend when I head to Massachusetts to visit Lindsey! I haven’t been out to visit her since my 25th birthday and she recently moved- I can’t wait to check out her new digs! She’s going to run my long run with me (ten miles) which I’m psyched about because each week I set out to do them alone. It gets lonely out there sometimes and the change of scenery will hopefully make the miles fly by. I can’t wait to have her all to myself and catch up like the good ol’ days.

Thinking about: A family that I know that was impacted greatly by a fire earlier this week. As you may have heard, Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant burnt to the ground on Monday. As you may not have known, the owners- the Vitiello family- were the people that I worked for for six years, taking care of their four kiddos. I have many great memories in their restaurant and personally know many of the awesome staff members. Augie has set up a fundraiser for his staff, so that he can continue to pay/support them during the rebuilding process. If you have any extra cash and would like to donate, visit the webpage here. He’s offering different valued coupons should you choose to donate at those levels ($25, $100, $250). It says a lot when the community has already donated more than $10k in just four days; thank you ahead of time if you choose to support, even if it is just ten bucks.

Eating: The beau and I were on an Indian kick but that all changed when I got a hankering for buffalo chicken dip. His solution: buffalo chickpea dip! So, so good! Besides a couple random dinners, we had stir-fry, summer salads, plenty of green shakes and even some apples dipped in cookie butter. I know I’m saying this a little prematurely, but I seriously cannot wait until autumn! It’s my favorite season and I can’t wait to go apple picking because these leftovers from last year are tart! I can wait and will enjoy every summer vegetable as much as I possible can.

Planning: my workouts for the next month to ensure myself that I’ll be prepared for next month’s race. It’s been over a year since I’ve last raced and I don’t want to get anxious and feel unprepared. I’m still setting a pretty high goal for myself and with having to skip two long runs so far this month, the goal right now seems out of reach. I’ve got some hard work ahead of me but I’m willing to give it a shot!

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… for the Saratoga Palio Half- Marathon! Mark your calendars for September 15, 2013!

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I’m excited for this race for many reasons:

  1. I haven’t ran a half in years and my sister has never ran one; she’ll be joining in on the fun and racing as well!
  2. This will be my longest race distance since last year’s marathon attempt.
  3. I have ran hundreds of miles throughout this city (during my college years) but have never raced this race.
  4. It’s local (I grew up just five miles outside of the city) so our family and friends won’t have to travel to see us whiz by!

I know and have ran each and every mile of this race in previous years, while learning how to run, training for previous races and passing the time with my good friend Marla. I haven’t ran up there in years and I hope to change that over the course of the next nine weeks. It’s only thirty minutes away and if I’m doing my longer runs on Saturdays, I should be able to get up there and beat the traffic in the early mornings. I’m excited to possibly run again with Marla and have her push me harder to make me more confident for race day. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to help me cross the finish line; warning Instagram followers: I will be posting a lot of exercise posts from here on out.

A couple of people have already asked me if I have a goal and my simple answer is yes- I’d like to finish. Furthermore, I’d love to not come in last place. Yes, I came in dead last at my last half-marathon. Short story time: many years ago when I first decided to start running, during a seven mile long run, my good friend Marla suggested that I run the next week’s half marathon. Let me set the scene for you: it was the last week of December and I had never, ever ran a race before (not even a 5k). I had also never ran more than seven miles.

I don’t know what it is about Marla but she is motivational. I put my doubts aside, showed up race day (New Year’s Day) and finished the half marathon. I got discouraged. I walked some. I froze a little. But I crossed that finish line, last but not least. Two hours, twenty seven minutes and fifteen seconds- five minutes slower than a 76 year old. I can still remember getting passed by that woman; you better believe I didn’t let myself walk after that point. It was nine degrees with a fifteen mile per hour wind. Today, I prefer the cold over the heat, I think because of that race oddly enough.

A lot has changed since that chilly New Year’s Day back in 2009 and my goal is to beat that 11:15 pace time. As of today, I am on track and will work my little butt off to improve. I have a dream time that I will not be sharing with anyone because I don’t want bigger insecurities to rise- but I can tell you this, I know that I am capable of reaching that dream if I just don’t talk myself out of it (and run with all I’ve got).

I’m not following any specific training plan because I’ve found myself in a routine and am looking to gain confidence in the miles I’m running. I run four days a week before work and sometimes before the sun rises, to beat the heat. I’ll be slowly upping my mileage and even plan on running further than 13.1 miles prior to race day so that I know for a fact that I can bust out those miles. I’m planning on hiking as many peaks as possible this summer to cross train and I may start up p90x. I know, I know, I’ve said that before; the only thing holding me back is the fact that I’ll need to find an hour each day for an extra workout. We shall see.

Have you registered for any races this summer or fall? Have you ever trained for a race AND completed p90x?

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