Monday, July 29, 2013

Marathon Training: Week 2

Phew, it's been a crazy busy week, yet again! I'm officially 2 weeks into marathon training, so let's recap how it went:

Monday: Rest-
I planned on doing a short recovery run in the morning, but was out past my bedtime Sunday night and opted for sleep instead!  Awesome decision.

Tuesday: 3 miles (1 mile warm-up,1 mile @ 8:50pace, 1 mile cool down)-I'm still adjusting to running with a Garmin to check my pace, and ended up running the 2nd mile at 9:10ish pace.

Wednesday: Rest. 

Thursday: Unplanned rest day.  Worked late on Wednesday evening, trying to get sleep when I can! 

Friday: 3 easy (with 5x 30 sec pick-ups)-The weather finally broke and this run was luxurious!!!

Saturday: 8 mile long run-Let myself sleep in and started my run around 8am, so it was a little warmer than I'd prefer.  I ran along the Queens waterfront to Queens Bridge Park and back.  10:43 pace.

Sunday: Yoga (30min) and lots of foam rolling. 

Total weekly mileage: 14

This week was less than ideal for my training.  I worked a lot and this tired little RD/temporary waitress had to chose getting some sleep over running.  I'm really looking forward to week 3 when I can (hopefully) get back on track! 

Stay tuned...How is your training going? How do you manage when you're pressed for time/sleep?!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Philadelphia Marathon Training: Week 1!

As of last Monday, I'm officially in training for my first marathon!  I'm absolutely terrified but I WANT this!
via Pinterest
I'm definitely thankful to have a great runner support system including my new coach, Abby! She's so close to being certified and I have no doubt she will be soon.  I told Abby about my lack of running through May/June and my fear of pushing too hard and building up too fast, putting me at risk for injury (I had a stress fracture 4 years ago and never want to deal with that again).  Since she's awesome, she took all of this into consideration when creating a plan for me.  We're doing 18-weeks (the marathon is November 17th), so I have plenty of time to build up mileage, get strong and run long. 

I've been insanely busy during July, so kicking off Week 1 of training has been rough, but I got it done!  Here's how it went...

Monday: 3 miles (easy)-Easing back into early morning runs, kept around 9:50min/mile.

Tuesday: 60 min walk-Was going to be a rest day but I wanted to get out and moving so I took a long walk through the park.

Wednesday: 3.5 miles (easy with 5x 30-sec pickups)-Ugh. So hot and humid, pace was SLOW even with the pickups.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 3.25 miles (easy)-Easy pace doesn't feel so easy! It is so hot.  Is it fall yet?  How am I ever going to run 26.2 miles?

Saturday: Rest-I've been working a lot and definitely needed to sleep in and not run today!

Sunday: Queens 10K-Abby had a 6-mile long run scheduled, so I figured why not sign up for this race, get another 9+1 credit, hydration along the course and awesome T-shirt?  I didn't race and stayed within my LR pace...Check out my recap here

Total weekly mileage:  15.5 miles

I definitely should have fit in some strength/cross training this week, but I just didn't make the time with my hectic schedule...and I really needed to take my rest days when I could.  Stay tuned as my training becomes more intense and things get really fun!

Are you training for a fall race?  Tell me how your training is going! Are you getting beat by this heat?!

Race Recap: NYRR Queens 10K

After looking at the training plan Abby created for me and seeing my long run of 6 miles this weekend, I decided to sign up for the NYRR Queens 10K.  Six hot, lonely miles vs. six miles with a few thousand motivators, ample water supply and an awesome neon green tee shirt?  Simple decision.  I just had to remember that this was a long run for me...not a race.

Super bright tech tee. Thanks, NYRR.

I love running races in my borough.  I live about 10 minutes away from Flushing Meadows park, so there was no need for a crazy early alarm.   Which was especially nice as I was running on 5 hours of sleep and sore feet from waitressing the night before.  All the more reason to follow my training plan and not "race" this race.

Beth (who is currently rocking her own marathon training) texted me bright and early to wish me luck and reinforce the importance of just running this as my long run.  My goal pace for long runs is somewhere around 10:30 min/miles and having Beth's voice in my head during the run definitely helped me slow it down to that.  Thanks, Beth! :)

So...the race!

I've run several races in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which mostly all follow the same route, but this one was different!  It almost went in the opposite direction as I was used to running the park, which was a welcome change! Mile 5-6ish included an out-and-back section by Citi Field, which usually I hate, but as there were so many runners, I found myself easily distracted with "people watching".  NYRR made sure there were plenty of fluid stations and sprinklers along the course to help manage the heat.  There was also a good amount of music, DJs and spectators. 

Mile splits (based on Garmin):

I have to admit that I sort of hated having to constantly look at my new Garmin to see what pace I was running.  I don't know how some people are so dependant on it!  It did end up being helpful to keep my pace in check, but I definitely don't love it.  Hopefully as I get more used to running with it, I'll get better at feeling out my pace and not have to look at it so much.

My official time was 1:04:43 (10:26 pace).  This is my slowest 10K time ever, but I'm okay with it because I know it's all part of "the plan".  All in all, a nice easy 6 mile run! Oh, and I'm one race closer to guaranteed entry to the 2014 NYC Marathon!

Did you run the Queens 10K?  Are you doing the 5-Borough Challenge?  Training for a race? Let's talk about it!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Race Recap: Peachtree Road Race 2013

This July 4th, I celebrated our nation's independence with nearly 56,000 fellow Americans, running the Peach Tree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia.  As the largest 10K in the country, this race has been on my bucket list for awhile now, so when I got into the lottery back in February, I immediately booked a flight to Atlanta to run (and have a long weekend visit with friends).

I arrived in Atlanta the day before the race and hit up the expo for packet pick-up.  The weather was miserable (torrential downpours) all day and wasn't expected to be any better for race day.
Stars & Stripes Forever
When I woke up race morning, it was insanely humid and still raining.  I had a quick breakfast of a banana, 1/2 clif bar and  some water before throwing on my garbage bag and heading to the race!
Pre-race garbage bag pic

Luckily, my support team (thanks Hail!) was able to drop me off near the start corrals and I didn't have to worry about public transportation or traffic/parking.  There were a ton of waves for this race (which is also walker-friendly), and I was in F so I crossed the start line around 7:50am!  The rain had stopped and I ditched my garbage bag almost immediately.
Bib on (perfectly) straight: ready to run!
As this is such a huge race, I assumed there would be a lot of congestion, but I ended up having plenty of room the whole race.  Normally, I check out the course map before a race (especially for those not in Central Park or NYC).  Often times, I even read previous years race recaps to see what I'm in for!  I did not do that for Peachtree, so I had no idea what to expect!  I figured this wouldn't be an issue, as I did not run much at all during the month of June and was running this race just for fun! 
See? Running is fun!
 The course covers 6.2 miles along PeachTree Road (duh) from Phipps Plaza to Piedmont Park.  All of this still means nothing to me since I'm not familiar with the area, but checking out the elevation map might have been useful before running.  The first three miles were a steady downhill and I felt like I wasn't even using effort to run.  I (stupidly) thought "Wow, maybe this entire course is downhill! I could totally PR without even training or trying!" and pushed my pace.

Well it turns out, it's not all downhill.  In fact, Mile 3 begins a pretty serious incline and the rest of the race is back uphill until the finish.  Oops. 

The good news is I didn't care about my pace or my finish time.  I totally negative split this race, but it didn't matter!  I really enjoyed just running and soaking in the energy from the incredible crowds that were out to cheer!  There were a ton of characters out to support the race along with live music, DJs and even bars handing out free beer!  It was disgustingly hot and humid, but the course was well equipped with water and plenty of people had sprinklers or fire hydrants open to cool runners down.  It was awesome.  

The finish area in Piedmont Park ended up being a total swamp due to the week long downpours, but the rain held off the entire time I was running.  Honestly, I wouldn't have minded if it did rain, as I was throwing water on myself and jumping into sprinklers anyway!

I finished with an official time of 59:17 (9:32 pace), which is a respectable pace for me given my l recent lack of training and rookie mistake of going out too fast on the downhill.

On top of an awesome race, the t-shirt (although cotton) and medal are both pretty sweet!

Yet another race checked off my running "bucket list"! 

Have you ever run the Peach Tree Road Race?  Do you have a running bucket list?  Tell me about it!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A to Z

This week a bunch of bloggers have been posting their A-Z "about me" surveys and yesterday, Kristin tagged me in hers, so I guess it's time to join in on the fun! Let's do it:


A. Attached or Single?  Not married, but recently attached! :)

B. Best friend? Rocky.

BFFs hold feet.

C. Cake or Pie? This one is easy as...PIE!  Pumpkin, please!

D. Day of Choice: Probably Saturday, usually a long run  and a combination of food and napping! :

E. Essential Item: Chapstick.  I can not live without it!

F. Favorite Color: All black everything.  But lately I'm on a neon green kick! Hence, my new green Garmin:

G. Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms? Neither.  I'm not a fan of gummy candy.

H. Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY.

I. Favorite Indulgence: Mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Or 80% dark chocolate.  

J. January or July? July, I sweat a lot and I like it! 

K. Kids? Just one furry one.

L. Life isn't complete without: Laughter.  

M. Marriage Date: Yikes.  Next question!

N. Number of brothers and sisters: two delightful older brothers!

O. Oranges or apples: This is a tough one, but I'll go with apples.  There are so many different types, and are the main ingredient in my awesome apple crisp! 

P. Phobias: Heights.  Speed.  Death.

Q: Quotes:  
-"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher."-Oprah
-"Get busy living or get busy dying."-Shawshank Redemption

R: Reasons to smile: Puppies. Little elderly couples.  Babies.  Being alive & healthy!
Smiley baby!
S: Season of Choice: FALL!  I'm going with Abby & Kristin on this one...there is nothing like fall in NY!

T: Tag 5 People:  Beth, Bernadette, Steph, Jen, Liz

U: Unknown fact about me: I can juggle!

V: Vegetable: I don't think there is a vegetable I don't like.  But I'm currently obsessed with Brussels Sprouts.

W. Worst habit? Probably have a few, but I always need to be on time.  And by on time, I mean way too early.  

X: X-Ray or ultrasound: Whatever Dr. recommends!  

Y: Your favorite food: Ice cream.  

Z. Zodiac sign:  100% Taurus.

Now you join in the fun...comment below to tell me more about YOU!  :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rugged Maniac NYC 2013

Okay, so I'm a little behind on my race recaps...and blogging in general! 

Last year, I ran my first Rugged Maniac race with my dad and friend Kim!  We absolutely loved it, so this year we got an even bigger team together for the obstacle race.
So fresh and so clean!
The day started out warm and cloudy with a chance of rain, but quickly cleared for hot and sunny skies.  The course covered just over 3 miles at the Brooklyn Aviator Sports Complex.  There were around 20ish obstacles, including hurdles, walls, mud pits, rope nets, balance beams and a giant (terrifying) waterslide at the finish!

Here are just a few photos of our rugged race:
Climbing walls

More wall climbs

Mud pits!

Muddy smiles!

post-mud pit, pre-waterslide

Trapped in a rope net!

Way too tall waterslide!

We. Are. Rugged!

As you can tell, we had an absolute blast and will definitely be returning next year for more ruggedness!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Day with the New York Red Bulls

A few weeks ago, I received an invite from the folks at Red Bull to attend a day of health professional networking at the New York Red Bulls Arena.  I have to admit, I laughed when I first opened the e-mail.  I mean, were they really trying to equate Red Bull with health/nutrition? After my initial reaction, I started thinking this might actually be worth attending!  As so many people use Red Bull and other energy drinks on a daily basis, I figured this was an opportunity for me to get more information on the product, ask any questions and be better prepared to work with my clients.  And let's not forget, I'm a pretty big sports fan...

The invitation explained that we would have an informative discussion with representatives from Red Bull, including their internal Registered Dietitian.  In addition, we would be treated to VIP skybox seats, a buffet lunch and field access prior to the game.  

VIP on-field access!
 Let me just say, Red Bull did not disappoint.  My guests and I arrived around 12pm and after picking up our tickets at Will Call, we literally walked a red carpet to enter the arena.  The skybox suite was beautiful and offered an upscale buffet lunch, including carved meats, sandwiches, salads and sushi, as well as more traditional "sports" fare and sweet treats. 

Skybox buffet
I opted for a big beautiful salad (with awesome toppings like asparagus and artichoke hearts) and a few pieces of sushi. 

And of course there was plenty of Red Bull for everyone to sample.  In addition to traditional Red Bull and Red Bull Sugar-free, we were able to try the new Red, Blue and Silver editions (cranberry, blueberry and lime-flavored, respectively).  I don't typically use energy drinks nor do I necessarily recommend them, but I appreciated the opportunity to sample these new ones.  And I have to say I enjoyed the flavored ones far more than the traditional Red Bull I've tried in the past.

Lots of Red Bull!

After eating and sampling the new flavors, the RDs gathered in one of the skybox suites for our interactive discussion with a Red Bull representative as well as their nutrition expert, Becki Holmes, RD, CD.  The RDs in our group all came from different areas of the nutrition field, which made for a very interesting discussion!  Some of us were clinically based, some in private practice or community nutrition and some in marketing/research.  I was immediately impressed by Becki's knowledge base and transparancy in terms of the product.  She gave us a history of the company and products, before opening up the floor to discussion.  A few of the other things she mentioned that I found to be interesting/relevant:

-Red Bull was created in the 1980's using four main components: carbohydrates, caffeine, taurine and B-vitamins and these are still the foundation of their recipe today.

-Red Bull sugarfree is NOT labeled as an "energy drink", as carbohydrates and calories are what provide energy and this product has zero carbs and almost no calories.

-Red Bull sponsors and endorses many athletes and entertainers, including skateboarders, skiers and motocross riders.  However, they don't claim to be a sports drink, but rather a functional beverage which may improve performance.

A lot of our discussion ended up surrounding labeling, regulations and marketing claims.  While the actual science and nutrition behind energy drinks is important, these other concerns are definitely good to be aware of when addressing consumer questions and concerns!  

In the end, what I had assumed would be a laughable discussion regarding the incorporation of energy drinks in the "nutrition world" turned out to be an interesting and valuable learning experience for me.  I appreciated that the discussion was purely informative and at no time did I feel pressured to promote or endorse Red Bull.   My professional opinion?  Red Bull (and all sugar-sweetened, caffeinated beverages) should be enjoyed in moderation and only as long as it is safe for the consumer. 

To top off the day, the Red Bulls beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0!  A big thanks go out to the folks at Red Bull for providing us with a day of energy drink discussion, food and football! :)

Now tell me...Do you drink Red Bull (or other energy drinks)?  Do you use caffeine and energy drinks in your training/fueling?  Have you tried the new flavors?  What do you think?