Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm a Big Girl Now.

Today I have a short but very sweet (non-running related) announcement to make:

I got a job! I am now a Clinical Dietitian for 3 floors of old folks at a nursing home/rehab facility here in Queens! I was hired last week, but it didn't feel real until yesterday, when I started training. 

This has been a very long time coming, given the lengthy process it takes to become a nutrition professional.  I feel like I've jumped through (almost) all the hoops it takes and I'm psyched to get started in my first big girl job. :)

It feels awesome that I'll be able to work towards paying off my debts rather than adding to them.  Don't worry...I'm sure a big portion of my income will still be reserved for new running shoes and race registrations.  Just a lot MORE of it will be paying back loans and bills.

In addition to managing my money, I'll now be making adjustments in my running/exercise routine.  Starting with becoming a morning runner.  Stay tuned for rants posts as my training continues as well as updates on my new career! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Big Things

Good morning! This has been an amazing week. Not only did I receive some really great news, but there was a big announcement in my family too! :) 

So let's be happy and cheery and thankful!  Today I'm thankful...

...that I got a job! More to come on this, because I don't feel like it's real yet and don't want to jinx anything. :)

...that I have an amazing support system.  I had to twist a few arms, but my cheer squad even agreed to impromptu celebratory drinks on a Monday! Thanks guys! :)

...for the "Hip Hop BBQ" station on Pandora.  I've been running with my friends Nas, Biggie and Dre a lot on lately and I'm loving it.  Especially because it reminded me of this gem:

....that I'm officially registered for both the Staten Island Half (Oct 7) AND the Walt Disney World Half marathon (Jan 22).  Boom.

...for waking up to this mush everyday. <3

Tell me, what are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Date with Donald

Random fact you may not know about me: I come from a crazy Disney family.  I guess it started with Mom & Dad's honeymoon to "The Most Magical Place on Earth" and 30+ years later, the Mouse is still a huge part of our lives! You won't catch me wearing Disney clothes or jewelry (sorry, Mom!), but by now I've learned to love and embrace it. I mean who doesn't want to spend their days eating breakfast with Disney princesses or riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?
Ya know what's NOT crazy? Mickey Bars. They're delicious.
Something you probably have figured out by now is that I also come from a crazy runner dad.  

Put em together and whaddya got? Crazy Disney Runner people! My dad has run multiple Disney races and in January I'll be jumping on the bandwagon!

In other words, I've registered for my first Disney race. WDW Half Marathon, here I come!

My dad is once again doing the Goofy Challenge.  For those who don't know what that means, he'll be running the half-marathon with me Saturday, followed by a full marathon on Sunday.  As in the next day.  He's crazy.

See? Crazy. Not to mention great at fist-pumping!

I'm not quite ready for that kind of challenge yet, but perhaps one day! For now, I'm just psyched that I'll be frolicking around Magic Kingdom and Epcot for 13.1 miles and cheering Dad on for an additional 26.2! 

Bring on that Donald Duck medal! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday: My Boy is Back in Town!

It's Thursday. It's not 100 degrees out. Let's be thankful!

I'm thankful...

...that Rocky is back!!! He spent a few weeks with his dad, but he's happy to be back in the hood, and I'm so happy to have him!

...that Tuesday marked the official start of training for my second half-marathon!  Staten Island, here I come!

...that it was only 74 degrees on my run today! And with a breeze? It was like Christmas in July! 

...for my roommate.  I'm sure I've said it before, but I would probably be naked half the time if I didn't have her extra large closet at my disposal. Thanks, Goof.

...for feta cheese. And hummus. And pitas. Okay, all Greek food. 

Now you go and be thankful too! :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Checking In

It's halfway through July! Can you believe it?! Well, back before 2012 started...I set out some goals for this year.  I didn't make too many, and looking back I think that's because I was being cautious.  I was nervous to aim too high and fail.  Or worse, reach for too much and get injured.  I had started setting monthly goals for myself as well, but quickly fell off with that.  Oops.  So let's at least check in with my goals for the year and check my progress.

1. Set a new 5K PR.  Aiming for under 28:30. CHECK. I killed my old 5K PR at the Valentine's 5K race, finishing in 26:50. Boom.

2. Run my first half marathon. Check! You can read here about my first (definitely not last) adventure of 13.1 miles!

3. FINALLY take a spinning class. Check. Earlier this year I had a Living Social deal for NYSC so I took a few spinning classes. 

4. Complete another FUN run. Check! Just a few weeks ago, I had the best time at the Rugged Maniac race.  And in August, I'll be doing the NYC Color Run! Woo!
I did say "fun" run, right?
5. Run a race for charity.  Check. In April, I ran the Run for the Wild 5K to raise $ for the Wildlife Conservation Society.  I'll admit this isn't exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted to run a charity race, but it'll do.  

And my non-fitness goal for 2012?
1. Graduate from my internship & GET A JOB! Halfway done. Internship is complete, job not so much...I'm working on it!!!

So I pretty much met all of my goals for 2012! I should be super excited, right? Eh, I am.  But really I'm feeling like a baby for not aiming higher.  I've been listening to my body and taking it easy when I need to, so I don't anticipate getting injured anytime soon.    So I'm going to step up my game and make some new goals for the rest of the year!

1. Run half-marathon #2 this fall.  I'm currently contemplating the NYRR Staten Island Half (Oct 7th).

2. PR in the 10K distance. Not sure how this is going to happen since I'm not signed up for (or even thinking about) another 10K this year, but I want to improve my time in the dreaded 6.2.

3. Step up to the plate and run the 25K Turkey Trot with my dad.  Talk about scary! I dread the 5mile course I've been doing each year because of the insane hills that I am not used to.  Can I survive 15+ miles of those hills?  I'm thinking if Dad can do it...so can I?! Might not be the case, but let's give it a shot!

4. Get my butt in the pool and "learn" to swim.  I know how to swim, but if I want to do a tri next year (and I do want to...) I need to swim well.  

5.  (Non-fitness related)-Pass the RD exam and GET THAT JOB!

How are you doing on your goals for 2012? Anything you want to add now that we're halfway through!?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm Unemployed and Still Thankful!

Happy Thursday! I'm trying to be productive  and study...so let's do this!

Today I'm feeling thankful...

...for my temporary unemployment.  Yeah, it sucks to not have money.  But I DO have plenty of time to exercise, relax and enjoy the summer weather.  Oh right, and study for that dang RD exam while applying for jobs. 

Hello, beach. Let's be friends.

...for fun colorful index cards! :) What better way to re-learn everything I ever knew about nutrition than on neon index cards?! 

...for pickles.  At the risk of sounding like Snooki, I love pickles! So crispy, crunchy and salty. Yum.

...that I found the Nike+ app to replace MapMyRun.  I'm not sure if this was a problem for anyone else, but MapMyRun was miscalculating distance on every single one of my runs.  It's really not helpful for me to think I've gone a certain distance at a certain pace, only to be completely disappointed! The Nike+ app has been fantastic so far, and who doesn't want random encouragement from professional athletes?

...for finally trying Nuun! So many of the runners and bloggers I follow have been talking about this awesome product for so long, and I've just got along to giving it a shot myself.  Nuun is a flavored electrolyte tab that dissolves in water and doesn't contain any sugar or carbohydrates.  
I started with Grape because I have a crazy love of grape Gatorade, and I have to say it's tasty and a great way to hydrate!

Now you go...What are you thankful for? Having a job? NOT studying for the RD exam? :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rugged Maniac Brooklyn: Race Recap!

Last Saturday was the Rugged Maniac race in Brooklyn.  For the last few weeks, NYC has engulfed in this intense heat wave, and Saturday was no exception.  It definitely didn't help that the race was taking place at the Aviator Sports Complex in Flatbush (AKA an big open space with no shade).
Mud-free and ready to go!
Our heat was scheduled to start at 10:45am, but we were ready to go early so we jumped in with the 10:30am group.  Oops!  We heard it was about 17 obstacles over the 3.1 miles, which to me meant that the stretches of running in the insane heat couldn't be too long. Wrong.  The first 2 miles contained a few of those obstacles, but the majority of the craziness came in the last 0.75 mile.  

Check out the following photos for a preview of the muddy mayhem!

Muddy slip-and-slide!
This is why they call it rugged...
Get me out of here!
Mud crawl
Dad and I with our tires..

The results. 
This race was a challenge for sure.  You can simply tell from our chip times, than the 3.1 miles took us almost an hour!!! Dad and I did the RunAmuck race last year, and this was definitely harder than that run.  There was a lot of ladder climbing, but other than that the obstacles were interesting and fun.  The Rugged Maniac website says to assess your ability to complete each obstacle as you approach it, and you may skip anything you determine that you can't do.  The only drawback to skipping an obstacle? You aren't eligible to WIN the race.  As this wasn't an issue in our case, I have to admit I did skip an obstacle.  I assessed that I was not able to get my short little legs to scale those 7-9 foot walls.  Good thing our time wasn't really eligible to win anyway! Ha!

Muddy and happy!
We certainly are maniacs!
All in all, an awesome day.  I'd definitely do this race again and would encourage others to sign up for this or any other obstacle race! It's an amazing way to challenge yourself and have a blast! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Mud and Sparkles!

Although I'm currently unemployed, I'm still thrown off my this mid-week holiday business. I can't believe it's Thursday, but since it apparently is, let's get thankful.

Today I'm feeling thankful...

...for an awesome Rugged Maniac race.  I'm still waiting on race photos...so recap is coming, but I had a blast and was so glad my friend and badass Dad did this with me! 
Muddy Maniacs.

...for sparklers.

...that it's pool season! Now I can sweat with hundreds of other Astorians at a gross public pool rather than by myself in the grass of the park.
Hello, Astoria pool.

...that my parents still let me do laundry when I visit. (You guys are the best!)

...for BodyGlide. I've probably used this one a million times, but especially when it's this hot out--BodyGlide is essential for my runs.

Now your turn! Tell me what you're thankful for today! :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Firecracker 10K: Race Recap

Happy 4th of July!

I started the day with a nice ridiculously hot 6.2 miles on Roosevelt Island.  When I woke up, it was 75 degrees and raining...and I was thrilled.  I put on the only blue shirt I own and of course my Sparkly Soul thin red headband and I was ready to go!

Unfortunately the weather did not continue to cooperate.  During the amazingly fast and easy drive from my apartment to Roosevelt Island, the rain cleared up, sun came out and it was insanely hot and humid.  

Looking up at the Queensboro Bridge

The first annual Firecracker 10K was hosted by NYCRuns.  It took place on Roosevelt Island, which is definitely some new and different scenery for me.  I've run two other NYCRuns races and have been pleased with their cheaper pricing, well-organized races and smaller crowds.  For the most part, they lived up to my expectations again.  My only complaints about the race are that there were very few portapottys, not so great race markings, and that they ran out of cups on the second lap water station.  Especially on a day like today, those water stops are essential!

Little lighthouse!

Okay, so how'd I do? Eh. The race was 2 loops around the island, with some cool views of Manhattan and Queens.  There was not much shade but it was a flat and easy course.  I haven't been great about sticking to a running schedule lately, so I haven't done any distances longer than 4 or 5 miles in weeks.  Since I haven't been running, my body was certainly not ready for the heat and humidity.  As such, my goals for this race included 1) surviving and 2) crossing the finish line.  And guess what? I did just that.  

Finisher photo!

I was not fast and I did not care.  My final time was 1:04:34, so a 10:25 pace.  Definitely not a PR for me, but I have to remember that running in the heat slows your pace considerably.  And that's okay! I'm just glad I finished and got my ice pop!

Sweet success!
After my hot morning run, I headed upstate to my parents for a BBQ where I continued to sweat like crazy! I spent a great afternoon with my family and lots of yummy food!
Thanks to my SIL for this tasty treat!

Now it's time to relax and cool down in the AC.  How did you spend your 4th of July? Any fun and sweaty plans?