Tag Archives: pumpkin

17 Days ’til the Next One…

18 Oct

Oh, hey!

Hard to believe I’m going to be running another marathon in less than 3 weeks, but the number of runners I have seen in the park lately and the statuses in my Facebook and Twitter feeds tell me that it’s that time again.

A few things to say….

1)   Follow-up to last week’s post:

I was incorrect when I said in my last post that I run on the upper level of the Queensborough Bridge.  I’m dumb.  I don’t think you can do that, unless you want to be dodging traffic and taking your life in your hands.  It just feels different from the marathon because in the marathon, you’re actually running on the road.  Not the pedestrian path.  Duhr.  Also, I still find the runners and cyclists not using the correct lanes to be annoying as hell, but I will concede that there are some portions of the path that are not well-marked at all and I admit that it does not feel natural to be traveling on the left side of any two-lane route.

This is what appears quite a few times on the side closer to Queens

Yes, I took this picture while running and yes, I am slightly obsessed.

I wish it did more as you get closer to Manhattan.  It is really seriously dangerous.  Just this morning, I had some speedy cyclists coming at me in my lane, and I was scared.

2)  Traveling:

I went to Chicago this past weekend to visit my dear friend Jennifer.  We’ve been friends since we were 9 and have run 3 marathons together– the Flying Pig twice and NYC once.  Now, that is friendship!

NYC 2010

Jennifer just had adorable Baby Mason in March and is already back to being svelte.  AND she was game to come to Flywheel with me, which was a lot of fun!  Flywheel Chicago is… pretty much the same as Flywheel NYC, but it was fun going to a different studio.  And Jennifer loved it!  (Hi Flywheel, I have taken no less than 5 friends with me to your classes, several of whom have become devoted regulars, and I think you should hire me as an instructor, or at least give me some sort of benefit for being an ambassador, thaaaaanks. ;))

Anyway, I went for a little run along the path on the lake on Sunday and it was pleasant, considering about 3 miles in, it started pouring and I finished out the run drenched.

3)  Beer

Is awesome.  Recently, I’ve been indulging in some nice pumpkin beers, in honor of my favorite season.  T snagged this one for me, which was exciting because I’d never seen it before.  I really love Ithaca Brewing Company’s Flower Power and it turns out they make a solid pumpkin ale as well.

Other recent indulgences have been Captain Lawrence’s Pumpkin Ale and Bell’s Oktoberfest.  I LOVE Bell’s Two-Hearted, but don’t generally care for Oktoberfests, so I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious this was!  I currently have a 6-pack of Abita Pecan Harvest ale chilling in my fridge and I’m super excited to give it a taste.

3)  Fitness

So… 2 weeks ago, my mileage was a grand total of, uh, 15.5 miles + one 45-minute Flywheel class.  Oops?  Well, in my defense, my mom was in town for a week and I much preferred to hang out with her and see the NYC Ballet, Philadanco, and Bring it On on Broadway.  We also ate at 16 Handles no less than 3 times.

I intended to do a long run on that Thursday morning and even had a date with Ali in which I was to escort her over the Queensborough Bridge.  But upon waking up at my mom’s place on the UES and getting ready, I discovered that I had forgotten to bring the oh-so-crucial sports bra.  BLARGH.  So I did what any good friend would do and ran to our pre-arranged CP meeting spot whilst clutching my bosom with one arm, and told Ali that I would be unable to join her.  I then took the train home to Queens where I gathered up my sports bra, put it on… and ran a grand total of 4.5 miles before calling it quits in order to hang out with Mom.

The following week, (last week) I stepped it up a bit for a grand total of 41.5 miles and two 45-minute Flywheel classes.  That’s more like it!  I even got up at the crack of dawn on Thursday and ran 15.5 miles before work.

This week I’ve run 25 miles thus far (including 12 this morning before work) and done one 45-minute Flywheel class…

4)  Fatness

I ate this today and it changed my life.  For real.

Also, did you know that McDonald’s has a pumpkin shake?  I discovered this while at O’Hare on Sunday.  Since it has a grand total of 670 calories, I went with the healthy choice and got an Oreo McFlurry instead.

5)  Politics

Blah.  I will be so glad when election day is over and the man is still in office.  (Please.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.)  In general, I am so very loath to get political  in real life or on the Internets, so I’m just gonna say that this girl does not want to live in a county where our president doesn’t think gay people should be able to get married, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and, to grossly over-simplify, has a general attitude of “If you’re rich, rawk on!  If you’re not, tough titties!”

LOL… but not really….

Plus, more germane to the topic of this blog, Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time.  I mean, IS NOTHING SACRED???

Anyway… I’m off to Flywheel.  Peace!

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It Got Cold

28 Oct

Holy moly, it is cold today.

I laid out shorts last night to run in this morning, but wound up putting on pants.  (Props to Ali, who ran in shorts!  Bad a$$!)  Yes, I serendipitously ran into Ali and Kelly this morning at the park and got to join them for 5-ish awesome miles!  I wound up running about 8 altogether and they flew by, thanks to those lovely ladies!  Yay, running buddies!  It was a beautiful morning and we all commented on the sunrise as we ran past the reservoir.  Awesome.  AND we passed the bleachers, set up near the (dearly departed) Tavern on the Green, aka marathon finish!  Very exciting!

Tomorrow, however, is NOT supposed to be beautiful:

SNOW.  On my birthday!  Harumpf.  Also, I am supposed to run 8 miles tomorrow and I fear the weather will keep me from doing so.  Is it a HUGE deal if I miss this run?  Not REALLY… well, kind of…

Which brings me to this:  I really don’t know WHAT I want to aim for for NYCM.  Last year I was in a similar boat.  I had PRed in Columbus 3 weeks prior and was running NYCM for fun.  My very dear friend Jennifer came in from Chicago to run it with me and we had a great time with ZERO expectations.  We ran the first several miles together with my (also dear, and NYC-based) friend Erica and the 3 of us even made a lengthy bathroom stop (MAN, the lines for those port-o-potties are LONG!) because we didn’t really have any time goals or expectations, and we didn’t want to pee ourselves.  (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– much love to those who pi$$ themselves in races, but it ain’t my thang.)

In Brooklyn, posing for my mom and bro

Anyhow, around mile 23, I got a BURST of energy and finished decently strong.  (Finish time of 4:13:14– with that long-a$$ bathroom stop and no time expectations, I’ll definitely take it!)  My point in this epic little narrative is that I’ve proven to myself I can do pretty well in a second marathon after PRing the first marathon 3 weeks prior.  And I know I’ve worked hard in the past year to get faster, so… I’m wondering if I should give myself a li’l goal for NYCM.  Or will this stress me out too much?  I’ve not only gotten faster, but a lot more competitive (with myself– I’m not crazy competitive with other runners, unless they are dudes, in which case I want to beat as many as possible) and so I kind of WANT to do really well… but “do well” is so subjective and nebulous.  What exactly does that mean… to me?  Sub-4?  Sub-3:50?  Even better?  And what is reasonable?  And I do NOT want to get injured, obviously.  So many questions and factors….

I guess all these questions will be answered in a little over a week!

In other news, I’m off to eat a delicious and decadent dinner (and drink many beers) with T tonight at the Spotted Pig!  Yippeeeeeeee!  Happy weekend!

Addendum:

I just have to add that my friends are so awesome.  My co-worker and wonderful friend Fatima baked these for me.  These are pumpkin brownies.  She made them WITH A REAL PUMPKIN (as in, not pumpkin from a can; consider my mind blown that this is possible.)  I love her.  (Side note:  I can see how people arrive at my blog, and one of the most commonly used terms to arrive here is “pumpkin brownie.”  I’m not really sure why, since I’ve only mentioned pumpkin brownies in one other post, but here you go, pumpkin brownie Googlers.  Another one for you to feast your eyes upon!)

NOM

AND… my sweet friend Alli just surprised me by stopping by my office with, oh, just a few awesome pumpkin items.  LOVE HER, too!  Seriously, I have the sweetest friends.  I am so lucky!

That is pumpkin butter, pumpkin pancake mix, a pumpkin cupcake from Crumbs and best of all A PERSONALIZED 26.2 PUMPKIN!

Lots of pumpkin, as per usual (+ some running, too)

21 Sep

Ho-hum, nothing too exciting to post here (I’ve really reeled you with that lead, haven’t I???)  Since last I wrote, I went out Monday night to my neighborhood bar, Wicker Park, and got pretty a little krunk.  Totally not my fault– they had Post Road pumpkin ale and I was taking Tuesday morning off of running, since I have class on Tuesday nights.  (This rationale makes perfect sense, does it not?)  Anyhow, I met up with my buddy Jane (who I sometimes run with) and we enjoyed a non-sweaty time, marveling at the fact that we so very rarely see one another looking clean and normal.  Haha.  T came by, too.  Good stuff.

I had a little more than a few of these

Yesterday was grey and murky all day — not that I was outside, but I could see from my office.  All I wanted to do was go home and lie on the couch like a lazy sack of poo.  But I had class, so that was not an option.  On my way home from work, I passed the new Magnolia Bakery in Bloomingdales.  I obviously had to stop, since fall is the one time of year I pretty much eat baked goodies with reckless abandon.  I have two reasons for this:  (1) PUMPKIN STUFF ABOUNDS!  Gotta get it while it’s in season!  and (2) I’m in peak training for marathon and burning tons of calories… right?

Anyhow, Magnolia had a pumpkin brownie that I bought and decided to use as a post-class treat.  Fast forward to post-class:  this brownie sucked.  Totally dry and a waste of calories.  Did I eat the whole thing?  Well, obviously.  But did I *really* enjoy it?  No, I did not.  Harumpf, f*ck you, Magnolia.

This is a pic that came up when I Googled "pumpkin brownie." The difference is that this one looks moist and delicious. Magnolia's was the opposite.

Anyhow, I went to class and it was pretty meh.  We only had 3 coaches, which really annoys the crap out of me.  Typically there are at LEAST 4, and sometimes more.  I mean, it’s not like this class is breaking my bank or anything (It’s 10 sessons for $110– easy math) but still!  I go here every week because it’s a speed workout I wouldn’t do on my own, and because there are pacers.  However, when my pace group is, like, 25 people, it’s no bueno.  They lumped the 8:00-9:00 min milers all in one group  (typically, I run with the 8-8:30 group) and this was just annoying.  The coach was running slower than I’d like, there were way too many people… and I basically gave up on getting any sort of speed work in whatsoever.  Blah.  (Good Lord, I sound like a jerk and a curmudgeon.  Sorry.)  Anyhow, I got 7 miles in, not fast, and called it a night.

This morning, I had 10 miles with some speedwork — “4 x 1200 m @ 5K race pace; jog 50 to 90% interval time between.”  Once again, I opted to do 3/4 miles at sub 7:50 pace and then jog the final 1/4 of each mile very slowly.  This morning’s speedwork was a bit tougher than it was on Sunday– I dipped above 8:00 a few times– but it’s done.

Left this week:  an 11 miler, which I plan to do tomorrow morning, and then a 20 miler.  The NYRR is doing an 18-mile tune-up race on Sunday, so I’m doing that +2 miles.  I’m planning to do the 20 at a 9:00 pace, so it shouldn’t be too hateful.

Tonight:  posse family dinner!  Peace!

Holy crap, it’s September

1 Sep

OK,  so  fall is my favorite season for a number of reasons.  (Poetic.)  I will enumerate a few of them, picture-style:

1)   Be still my heart, I love you pumpkin ale.  I want to swim in a vat of you.

2) Don’t worry– I didn’t forget you, pumpkin pie… and pretty much anything else pumpkin that does NOT have effing raisins in it.  Seriously, pumpkin is food of the gods and raisins look like dried up rodent turds.  Why on Earth do people want to mix these two things?

3) My birthday… and T’s birthday, too!  (He’s 9 days older than me.)  I mean, let’s face it, I love any excuse to have the spotlight on me, get presents, etc.  (To be honest, that’s not true at all.)  But I do love birthdays in that I always hear from friends and loved ones from all my (many) years of life and it’s always such a great feeling to feel so loved.  Oh yeah, and getting T to take me out to some fancy dinner where I can get all snazzed up and then eat delicious food and get crunk (ideally on the aforementioned pumpkin ales) is always a good time. 😉

4) Last but most definitely not least, IT’S MARATHON SEASON!!!!!  YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!  People think I’m obnoxious/lying/insane/stupid when I say I love marathon season more than Christmas season, but it’s true.  I feel my heart start racing (get it?  har har) whenever I think about the NYC marathon.  I am sooooo delighted I’ll be running it again this year!  This is a picture of me finishing last year.  I finished in 4:13:21 (9:41 pace) which actually isn’t that bad when you take into consideration that I had just PRed the Columbus marathon 3 weeks prior, and also that I took a LONG bathroom break in Brooklyn, due to really needing badly to pee, and the line being painfully, OH SO PAINFULLY long.  Anyhow, I’ll be doing Columbus again this year (and I hope PRing again– BIG TIME) and then I’ll be doing NYC again this year (I’ll figure out what I want to aim for– if anything– after Columbus!)  I am getting giddy just typing all of this out.

Anyhow.  This freaking summer flew by in a way I never thought was possible.  So much I wanted to do that I didn’t do.  But then again, I did do a ton of fun stuff — vacation at the beach with my fam, bachelorette party in Montauk, a couple very fun weddings, ferry to the beach in Sandy Hook, food and drinks on the roof biergarten at Eataly, The Boilermaker, the Queens half, my bestie’s baby shower… phew!  I’m sad it’s over, but I’m looking forward to a super fall!

Now… on to my run this morning.  I intended to do 12 miles, but woke up a bit on the late side.  (Again, the 4:50 wake up was a no-go.)  I finally made it to the park a little before 6.  I decided to do the 11 miler today and the 12 miler tomorrow– just to save myself a few minutes this morning, due to late start– and off I went.  A loop of the bridle path, a loop of the reservoir, a big loop that included the Harlem Hills but cut off at 72nd Street (for some reason, I really don’t like that bottom part of the big loop) and then another bridle path loop.  That, along with my run to and from the park, came out to just over 11 miles.  The run felt fine– great at some points and just “meh” at others, but these days, a run that feels great at any point is very welcome.  I brought a gel along with me, because although I don’t care for them and haven’t used them for most of my races, I’ve decided maybe I should start incorporating them into my longer runs.  And I did feel a burst of energy after I’d eaten it (though it was disgusting.)  So I guess I’ll stick with it!  This is what I had:

This is what I actually prefer, but I didn’t have any on-hand.  I need to replenish!

BZZZZ you are delicious.  OK, not really, but you’ll do.

Anyhow… my average pace came out to around 8:42, with my fastest mile being somewhere around 8:11 and the slowest one being, like, 9:48 (I gulped down the gel and took a long water break in this mile.)  Not too bad!

So tomorrow, I have 12 and then Saturday, I have to do 20.  I’ll be out of town with T and some friends, so 20 miles in a new place should be interesting.  I hope I don’t get lost!  I should probably figure out a route before then…

Oh and I ran into my buddy — running blogger extraordinaire Ali— on the street in my neighborhood last night and she informed me that my blog needs more pictures.  I’m trying (see all the pretty pics in this post!) but I am just not a picture-taker, and plus my phone is from 1982 and doesn’t take great pics.

OK, not really, but it’s certainly not an IPhone or a phone with any sort of intelligence.  I know, I’m a Luddite.  And this is obviously a work in progress….!