Category Archives: Running

A Running Slump

But risotto makes it all better, right? 

Almost.  I’ll get to this delicious recipe in a bit.  😉

So.  I’ve been in a bit of a slump.  I haven’t been blogging about running or hot yoga.  Well, I haven’t really been running or going to hot yoga.  In fact, the last hot yoga class I attended was on January 27th.  I used to attend four to five classes a week.  I’ve been running, albeit not as much as I used to.  A trip to the doctor last week confirmed that I cannot run farther than five miles nor can I attend hot yoga.  I’ve been having some health “things” going on so I can’t really say I’m surprised.   Here’s to hoping that the doctor clears me for hot yoga and running longer distances soon!

In the meantime, this restriction on running has really hampered my race schedule.  I was supposed to run the ten mile leg of the HMRRC marathon relay tomorrow.  Thankfully, Amanda knows an itload of people and was able to grab not one, but two replacement runners for my team!  Melissa was originally running the 11 miler but she tore up both of her heels in a snowshoe race.  Ow.  So, thank you Amanda!  No relay for me this year. 

Before the doc gave me the five mile limit, one of the to-do’s on my list was to create a half-marathon training plan, to begin March 1.  After looking at races, I decided that the Long Island half fit perfectly with my schedule, AND I could stay with a bestie (for freeeee) to boot.  I don’t think that is happening anymore.  On a brighter note, Heather forwarded us CDNYers info about a 10k that is happening in late April.  I’m hoping that I will be good for that!

Until I am cleared for longer distances, I will continue running 3-5 miles a few times a week.  I ran four with Melissa the other day and my pace was a full TWO minutes slower than it typically is.  I can’t complain, because I am able to get out there and run.  I guess I am just feeling uninspired.  I purchased the Runner’s World magazine yesterday and for the first time since I started reading it over a year ago, I did not feel anxious to get out there and run.  I just felt tired.  I think my body is telling me to ease up, and I’m going to listen. 

Have you ever been in a running slump?  How did you get out of it?

Onto fun stuff!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- the weather in upstate NY is straight up schizo.  Yesterday it was approaching the 60s (in February!) and today it was so cold I had to turn on the fireplace.  On the plus side, Bails got to enjoy one of his favorite spots:

Nothing like sitting by the fire and enjoying a good book.  I’ve been reading The Hunger Games series, which Rachael recommended last week at our blogger meet up at New World Bistro.  Rachael, thank you so much for suggesting this series- I am SO addicted!  It is very Harry Potter-esque on its level of addictivity.  If you are looking for a good read, I highly recommend this series!

Speaking of New World Bistro, last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with some fabulous ladies for one of the best blogger meetups yet.  Heather sure knows what she is doing when it comes to coordinating awesome get togethers.   I had been to New World once before- for an amazing brunch after my half-marathon last October.  I have to say that I am even more impressed with the restaurant now than I was originally (and I was very impressed before!).  The server, Mike (captain awesome) was probably one of the best waiters I’ve ever had, which is saying a lot because 1) it was a table of 14 and 2) I am no stranger to dining out.  The ambiance was great and the food was even better.  I will definitely be back 🙂

Front Row, Left to Right: Rachael, Cynthia, Emily, Alicia. Middle Row, Left to Right: Lauren, Katie, Julie, Heather, Jen, Courtney. Back Row, Left to Right: Emily, Melissa, Kelly, Erica

For a proper review of New World Bistro, head over to Heather’s great post.

And finally, onto a most excellent recipe.  I’ve made risotto before and yes, it is high-maintenance and needs a little bit of coddling to come to fruition.  However, I promise that your efforts will be worth it.

Shrimp and Mushroom Risotto (serves four)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3/4 dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 6 ounces mushrooms (I used button), sliced
  • 1 pound of cooked medium shrimp, tails removed
  • Thyme (I used dried) and parsley (dried) to taste
  • 1/4 freshly grated parmesan
  • Optional- peas.  I love peas so I threw them in there.

Directions

  1. It’s going to be a little tricky.  You will need a large sautee pan, a sauce pan, a smaller sautee pan and a bowl to place the cooked mushrooms in.
  2. To start, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat to low.
  3. Melt the butter in the large skillet.  Sautee the onion about three minutes.  Add in 1 T of garlic and sautee for thrity seconds.  Stir in arborio rice and add a half cup of the wine (reserving a quarter cup), stirring until absorbed.
  4. Once wine is absorbed, add a hald a cup of stock to the rice mixture and stir until it is absorbed- it should be about two minutes.  Repeat until the stock is gone.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute 2 T of olive oil, adding mushrooms and cooking over medium high heat until golden.  Add 1 T of garlic to mushrooms and cook for another minute, then transfer the garlic mushroom mixture into a bowl.
  6.  Lots of pans up in this piece.
  7. Using the same pan that cooked the mushrooms, add the remaining two T of olive oil to pan with shrimp, sauteeing over medium heat.  Add the last T of garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the peas and the remaining 1/4 cup of wine.  Simmer for another minute or two and remove from heat.
  8. Shrimp pan mid-cookery:
  9. Combine the mushroom bowl and shrimp pan into the large (fully cooked) risotto pan and stir together.  Add in a bit of thyme, parsley and grated parmesan.
  10. Enjoy!  It is damn good, I’ll tell ya that 😉

I guess I really do like shrimp, huh?  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!

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Filed under Recipe, Running

TGIEF- Races!

Thank god it’s effing Friday! 😀  This week seemed to drag on forever, even with the snow day on Wednesday! Oy.  In cute news, Buckleface got groomed yesterday (he was long overdue- I feel like a bad parent!): He is one of the cutest little guys ever.  Anyway.  I was looking at my google calendar (one of the best things ever, by the way) and I realized that I am running a marathon relay with Jen and Melissa in oh, a little over two weeks.  The legs are 9.2, 5.7 and 11.3 miles.  I assumed I would be running the short distance, with Jen training for a half and Melissa being her marathon-loving self.  Well, Jen injured her hip and Melissa hurt her ankle.  Hmm, I may need to up my training, seeing that after the half in October my longest run has been six miles in November at the end of Melissa’s marathon.  Heh.  Also, the day before the race is one of my besties’ 30th birthday and obvi we are going to do it up big.  So, it should be an interesting race to say the least 😀

Exciting stuff happened while Brian was here!  We both signed up to run the Boilermaker 😀  I am SO excited!  It was one of my favorite races last year and it will be so awesome to run it with Brian (well, not with him, because he may run this race at his pace).

After last year’s Boilermaker with my bestie Nicole’s husband, Michael, who also ran the race

In addition to signing up for the boilermaker, Brian also registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!  AAAA!  So exciting.  Civilian folk like myself (though hey, I am a military wife, doesn’t that count for something 😉 ) can’t register until February 23rd.  I will be registering first thing that morning.  I can’t believe we are running our first marathon this year! 😀

This weekend is going to be fun.  A run with Melissa tonight (very necessary), chowderfest (YES!) manana, and a six miler on Sunday (I have to build up to the nine miles for the marathon relay!).  What are y’all up to this weekend?  Have a great one! 🙂

17 Comments

Filed under Bailey, Running

Snow Day!

Hi friends!  Thank you for all of your sweet comments on the reunion.  It really did feel kind of like a movie 😀

(wine tasting at Belhurst Castle)

So, after a disastrous THREE hour commute to work yesterday and an additional foot of snow predicted today, I declared a self-imposed snow day today.  My car (Rav4) is fantastic in the snow aside from the problematic feature of the windshield wipers freezing up, which is an issue when I thereby can’t see.  Yeah.  Didn’t want to do that again. 

After sleeping in until a leisurely 10:00 A.M., I sat down at the kitchen table with my coffee and oatmeal and got to schemin’ about lunch.  This is the easiest “recipe” (really, you’re just throwing things together) and it is so so delicious.  In fact, I think it may be my new default lunch!

First, gather your ingredients.  You can get creative- this is my third time having this wrap this week (and it’s only Wednesday!) and each wrap has been different). 

Assemble the veggies.

 Spread on the “spreadables” (goat cheese, mango salsa, garlic hummus and artichoke tapenade) and pile on the veggies.

Fold the wrap (yes, I had to google “how to fold a wrap”) and enjoy!

Veggie Packed Lunch (or dinner!) Wrap

Ingredients:

  • handful of button mushrooms, chopped
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • handful of baby spinach
  • goat cheese (enough for one wrap)
  • hummus
  • salsa
  • artichokes, chopped
  • Delicious artichoke tapenade from Trader Joe’s
  • wrap of your choice (I like the sun-dried tomato wraps)

Directions

  1. Lay wrap flat and spread on hummus, goat cheese and salsa
  2. Add veggies
  3. To wrap, fold the top and bottom of wrap first.  Then, cover the middle with the sides and you should be good to go!

Easy, delicious and filling!

What else does a snow day entail?

A form of cross-training that I think a lot of us are familiar with these days:

Shoveling!  Poor Mr. B- he so desperately wants to be outside with me but as soon as his little body hits the snow, he starts shaking uncontrollably!  I haven’t shoveled in a while- man, it is a really good workout!

After that, I still wanted to get a run in.  Unfortunately, my gym was closed because of the weather.  My brother’s wasn’t though and they just gave me a free seven-day pass!  Awesome!  It probably has something to do with the fact that my brother pretty much lives there 😉

I got a nice quick three miles in doing what is becoming my favorite interval workout:

  • Quarter mile @ 5.4
  • Quarter mile @ 5.7
  • Quarter mile @ 6.0
  • Quarter mile @ 7.1
  • Repeat!

I also got to try out some of my new lululemon duds.  Bri, sweet husband that he is, got me these pants and this top for Christmas.

Honestly, I really like this ensemble. It took me almost a mile to get to that point though.  The pants kept riding down, which was really frustrating.  However, after a little sweat they fit perfectly!  I’m glad too because I want to get a lot of wear out of these pants!  Has anyone else had this happen with a lululemon crop?  I have a few other pairs of pants from them that fit perfectly so I was surprised by the riding down issue.

I have some pretty exciting blog stuff coming up- Julie is going to be doing some design/transitioning work for me and I am stoked!  I added a recipe tab (though I still have a lot to add!) and am looking forward to some fun changes!

So, was today a snow day for you?  I am ready for winter to be overrrrrr.  On a bright note, Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, which means early spring!  Woo!  I don’t really buy it but I’ll take what I can get :p.

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Filed under Bailey, Food, Interval Workout, lululemon, Recipe, Running, Vegetarian

Hangover Half 3.5 Mile Race Recap

Happy 2011!   My year is off to a great start 😀  After a hilarious hot yoga class last night (the room was done up like a disco and the instructors were a weee bit tipsy on champagne), I headed to SUNY Albany this morning to run the local running club’s 3.5 mile race.  In addition to the 3.5 miler, there was a hangover half marathon going on- a few of my blogging buddies ran the half (and did awesome!) and it was great to run into them before the race. 

To me, SUNY Albany’s campus has always been a bit imposing.  Maybe because the only other time I’d been there had been to take the LSAT (shudder).  Anyway, driving onto the campus I had no idea where I was going.  I saw a car that had a 26.2 marathon sticker on the back of it- I figured that driver was heading to the race so I just followed them.  The cars in front of them all had running stickers on them too!  Gotta love runners 🙂  If you are lost getting to a race, a good tip is to just follow the 13.1, 26.2 or tri stickered vehicles :p

I got to the race about a half hour before the start and it was BANANAS!  I wasn’t expecting it to be so crowded.  In the lobby I saw all of my fellow CDNY bloggers- I quickly registered then headed back to the gang to get in the obligatory group shots 🙂

Jen, Me, Melissa, Cynthia, Heather and Erica

I especially love Melissa in this photo.   Thanks for the photos, Jen!

You can’t really go wrong with the price of this race- a mere five dollars!  If you are a member of the local running club (I believe $15/year), the races are all free!   I think I’m definitely going to join. 

The girls and I headed to the start, marveling about the unseasonably warm temps.  It was around 45 degrees and I was wearing my running tights with my new coldgear top and I felt great.  No gloves, no ear warmers- I wore heavier clothing in Virginia Beach at the New Year’s race last year!  I’ll take the nice weather though 🙂

Heather snapped a pic before we started- without fail, I always have the same goofy expression before a race:

Jen, Melissa (looking down), me and Cynthia.  Cynthia, love the expression!  Too funny.

Before the race actually started, Jen and Melissa were talking about time goals.  Jen said she wanted to finish in under 33 minutes.  “YOU DO??”, I asked, thinking that it seemed fast.   Then again, Jen is super speedy.  I learned this after she smoked me in the squirrelly six mile trail race 😉   Originally I wanted to finish around 35 minutes- a nice ten minute mile pace.  I decided to just run as fast as I could. 

The race started and we were off!  At certain points the path was narrow but there was no bottlenecking.  It was a fairly hilly course, which I wasn’t expecting.  The hills were rolling and not too tricky, with some nice downhills here and there.  At certain points on the course we were running against traffic coming towards us a few lanes over, which was interesting.  I pretty much played this song on repeat during the race, interspersing it with “Run this Town” a few times.  I tend to find songs I like and play them to death until I can’t listen to them anymore.

Before I knew it there was less than a half mile left!  The half-marathoners continued on in the race and the  3.5 mile peeps made the turn to get in the final mileage.  As I approached the finishing chute the time clock read 32 minutes with change.  Sweet!  I kicked it into high gear (seriously- my fastest pace during the last half mile was a six minute mile pace- holy!) and crossed the finish line in 32:37, giving me an average pace of 9:15/mile.  YAY!   As the runners came in, a race volunteer gave us a numbered slip of paper to fill in.  I was the 113th person to finish the race.  I saw Melissa and Jen (they finished just under 31 minutes- speedy mc speedersons!) and headed inside to drop off our time slips and get some water.  For a five dollar race, I am INCREDIBLY impressed with all that was available after the race.  Water, soda, pizza, orange slices, vegetarian soup… I couldn’t believe it! 

I grabbed some water and an orange slice while Melissa and Jen went on to run 3.5 more miles (overachievers 😉 ).  Before the race I was thinking of joining them; after not so much.  I called Heather and Cynthia- they both ran an awesome race!  We grabbed starbucks (caramel brulee latte, I love you) to kill some time before meeting up with Melissa and Jen at Cafe Madison

Cafe Madison was outstanding!  It was my first time there and I will definitely be back.  The service was phenomenal and the food was delicious.  I had a Tuscan omelette but snagged some of Melissa’s strawberry almond stuffed french toast- heavenly!  We stayed and chatted for about two hours.  I love getting together with other bloggers- there is never a lack of things to talk about! 

All in all, it was a great start to the new year :D.  The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club put on a great event and it was nice to meet up with my blends to race and share delicious food. 

How was your New Year’s eve?  Did you participate in a race today?  It’s a great way to kick off the year 😀

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Filed under Blends, Race Recap, Running

Ringing in the New Year: A Healthy Alternative

It’s hard to believe it is December 30th.  Another year has flown by!  Tomorrow marks the celebration of the last day of 2010 and a welcoming of 2011. 

Some of you may have your New Year’s eve traditions firmly in place.  Until recent years, my New Year’s eve typically involved getting dolled up (fun), heading out to some place with an overpriced entry fee (not fun), and imbibing cocktails with my girlfriends (fun), avoiding the more ridiculous partygoers (perhaps this is why New Year’s eve is snarkily referred to as “amateur night”). 

Last year Bri and I did things a little differently.  After spending the evening watching old seasons of The Office, we watched the ball drop and promptly went to sleep.  We had to be up early to make it to the Hair of the Dog 5k!   I felt amazing after that race.  It felt really good to start the year off on the right foot- setting a healthy precedent, if you will.  That race was my fourth 5k.  I’d been running for approximately six months.  The farthest I had ever run was 3.1 miles. 

 On New Year’s Day 2010, I had some big goals for myself.  A 14k, a half-marathon, and numerous others.  That fourth 5k reaffirmed my commitment to my health and well-being.  I felt as though I had turned over a new leaf.  Instead of staying up into the wee hours of the night drinking, I made one healthy decision.  Which led to some others.  Happily, I achieved most of the goals that I set out for myself (which I laid out in excruciating detail in my last post).   In part because I rang in 2010 in a new, healthy way.  In part because I believed in myself and in my dedication. 

This year is no different.  Well, health-wise at least.  I won’t be spending it with my husband, seeing as how he is halfway around the world.  I will, however, be keeping my New Year’s fitness tradition going.  On New Year’s eve, the hot yoga studio I belong to is holding a late night “Studio 54” class from 10-11:30 PM.  You can bet I will be there 😉  I even conned one of my besties into coming with me (thanks Kristin! 😀 ) On New Year’s day I will be running a 3.5 mile race with some awesome ladies.  It feels really good to end the year and begin a new one participating in activities that I have come to love and identify myself with.  Cheers to a happy and healthy 2011!

How will you be spending New Year’s eve and day?  Don’t worry, I won’t judge if you are out partying.  Sometimes that is needed.  Though I may call you an amateur 😉

Image sources: (here) and (here)

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Filed under Fitness, hot yoga, Running

A Spot of Tea

Greetings friends!  I’m coming off of a wonderful weekend spent with one of my oldest besties down on Long Island.   It was such a great weekend- we hit up Trader Joe’s, lululemon and, my favorite, had afternoon tea at the Garden City Hotel.  The hotel was all decked out from the holidays and looked gorgeous!

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Beautiful fireplace!

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Nicole looking festive!image

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Nicole and her husband have a thing for polar bears.  This display was very fitting for them 😀

It was nice to catch up over traditional afternoon tea.  We were probably the youngest in there by about twenty years, but no matter 😀  We were reliving our trip to London (which was almost four years ago- time flies!) when we had afternoon tea in a quaint hotel/shop.  The tea usually involves your tea of choice (Nicole opted for delicious hot chocolate) and then finger sandwiches, scones and little treats.  image

The spread!

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Very excited about all of the goodies 🙂Flashback to April 2007: afternoon tea in London!

The scone was absolutely delicious, but I think the star of the show were the little bite size treats.  Seriously delicious. image

Yum!!!  I love me some lemon meringue.  image

Have you ever had afternoon tea?  I love it!  All in all it was a fabulous weekend.  We even made it to the gym twice and I got two runs in.  It felt great to run and sweat after being out of commission all week with a cold!  I have hot yoga tonight and I am so excited- it’s been a week since my last class and I can definitely tell 😉

Since Bailey’s birthday is on Christmas, I saw this at the mall and couldn’t help myself:

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Cute little Santa!  He is very ashamed of his outfit but I think he secretly likes it.  Except when the hood is on.  Then he just stands there like a statue and refuses to  move.  I was very happy to see his little face again last night 🙂

Have a great start to the week, friends!

21 Comments

Filed under Bailey, holidays, Long Island, Running

Hello December!

Hi friends!  Can you believe that it is December already? 😀

(source)

I can!  And I am excited 🙂  I am THAT much closer to seeing my husband.  Yippee!!   Since it is a brand new month, it is time to review my goals that I set for the month of November to see if I met them:

Goals: Life/Personal

  • Finish our wedding thank you cards. Yes!  Well, for the most part.  The only cards I have left (three or four) are for people that sent gifts a few months after the wedding.  PHEW.
  • Change over last name on passport/social security card.  Big fat NO.  Dang it!
  • Organize closet. Another NO.  December it is!
  • Go Green.  I was kind of successful at this.  It it difficult to not use take out containers and the like!  I definitely need to work harder on this.  Jen, keep me in check!  Heh.

Goals: Health/Fitness

  • Conquer tofu.  YAY!  I totally kicked this goal’s booty.  I wish I had known all along how easy it is to make tofu!  It will definitely be incorporated into my weekly cooking recipe arsenal.
  • Attend hot yoga a minimum of four times a weekYay!  I mostly succeeded at this- attending four times a week with the exception of one week when I was traveling.  I can really tell a difference in my strength and flexibility in practicing so much.  I’m addicted!
  • Maintain a base mileage of 10 miles/week.  Well, I ran forty miles in November so I’ll say I was right on track! 

So, the month of November was a successful one for my fitness goals and a little successful on the personal/life goals.  I got the most important thing out of the way- that being getting almost all of the wedding thank you cards done 🙂 🙂 🙂  Did you meet your November goals?  I’m working on my December goals and will post them shortly 🙂

Soo I don’t remember if I mentioned this on the blog but I randomly decided to enter the lottery for the NYC half-marathon on March 20, 2011.  The drawing is December 15th so I will find out then if I’m in.  In the meantime, Jen has presented me with a fabulous offer- the chance to run the Melbourne Half-Marathon with her on February 6th!  Her parents have a place down there so I would only have to pay for airfare and food and whatnot.  That is awesome enough as it is…but we would also take the time to go here:

the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!   (source)

GAH!  Insert extreme dorkiness here.  😀  I don’t know if I can pass this opportunity up!  BTW, how awesome was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?  I cannot wait for the next movie to come out! 

The only hesitation I have is that I would 1) have to start training NOW (I am enjoying this laid back running/extra hot yoga) and 2) lots of early morning training runs due to extreme darkness at night.  Ick.  I trained for the Virginia is for Lovers 14k during the winter so I know I could do it.  What do you guys think?  Should I do it??

Enjoy your day, friends!

By the way- thanks for all of the kind thoughts for Bailey.  The poor little guy had to have five teeth pulled 🙂  He handled it like a champ and is enjoying being spoiled with lots of soft, yummy foods 🙂

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Filed under Goals, Running