Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday was my first planned race since May. NYRR does a series of Half-Marathons called the Grand Prix Series. There are a total of 5 half marathons, with one race in each boroughs. In May I completed the Brooklyn Half Marathon-with a PR of 2:11 and last Sunday was the Queens Half Marathon. My plan of attack was to keep a steady pace of 9:00 minute miles (totally doable) and finish in 1:59. Here is my story:

I woke up that morning at 4:30, just enough time to change into my running gear, grab my breakfast, coffee, and bag and head to the subway. Ahhhh, the MTA on a Sunday at 5am. Nothing like it. Why? Because it sucks. Trains barely run at that time-I paced around the station for a good 10 minutes. When there was still no sign of a train, I hopped out and hailed a cab to Grand Central to take the 7 to the very end- Flushing, Queens. NYRR would provide free shuttle buses to the start. So I thought no biggie. I waited at GC for 20 minutes with fellow runners. I figured if they were there at that time, then I wasn't running too, too late. I pop out of the subway at 6:30 am (total travel time so far: 1.5 hours) to a line that spanned around the entire block. The line barely moved for 20 minutes and at this time I realized there were about 3 buses that took the runners to the start. THREE. THREE!!!! 3!!!!!! What were they thinking? Even if I had arrived at the suggested 6:15 time (15 minutes prior) I would have still been in line and still missed the start of the race. FINALLY, at 7:10am, I got on a bus-what seemed like the longest bus ride in the world. At about 7:20, we reached the race course and the police would let the buses carrying the runners through. Notice I said buses. As in more than one. We were told we would need to walk to the start!! Wait, what? You want us to trek the 2 miles to the start when we are about to run 13.1 miles?????? Clearly, these people ARE NOT runners.
I angrily walked against all the runners, to the start to check my bag, grab my number and race chip, then to cross the start line to activate my chip. I think many people from my bus just jumped in the race where the bus let us off-at about mile 2.5. I could never do that, I would just feel terrible to the other runners and I would feel so guilty for cheating. Even though, the shuttle bus problem wasn't our fault, I could still never skip miles in a race. Anyway, back to me. I can say that I had the best first 7 miles of the race. My pace was steady at about a 8:50 minute mile, I sipped Gatorade at each station, I felt good. Then the effects of hill running kicked in. First with upper back muscle pain. Then my hips. Then my feet. I slowed to about a 10:00 mile for a mile, then I kept my pace right at 9:50.
I gooed at miles 5-7 (by taking a little goo at a time) then again from miles 10-11. Gooing slower allowed me to goo while in motion and to only add a tiny bit of fuel each time. When I take an entire goo, I feel like I tend to add bouts of sprints to the run because I suddenly feel so good, then I crash. This time I stayed level. Between miles 8-12, the race was particularly hard. I felt heavy and I had to go to the bathroom.
As soon as I spotted the park where the finish line was, I booked it. Sprinting all the way to the finish. I crossed the finish line at 2:09 (official) and I couldn't be happier!!!
After all the angry running and the 2 mile trek to the start, then the subway, bus debacle, I am completely satisfied. In 3 weeks, I have another Half, the Staten Island Half Marathon and this is the one I plan on conquering and beating that 2:00 hour mark.

My tail bone hurts today-ouchie.

Why do I crave ice?
I looked up the symptoms and it says something about being Iron deficient. I know that's not the case, because I'm not a vegetarian-I think I get plenty of iron in my diet. Plus, other symptoms are cold all the time and that is definitely not me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lab Rat part 1

So I am officially a lab rat. My department at school is doing a study on the Daniel Fast, and yours truly is a subject for it. The Daniel fast is a very popular religious fast, and is based on Daniel from the Bible. When Daniel and his crew were in prison, they refused to eat the "kings food" that the other prisoners were given. Daniel and co. ate only whole grains, fruits and veggies. Many churches and groups use this fast. You can eat unlimited calories, but NO added sweeteners ( natural or otherwise...even honey) NO alcohol, NO animal products ( completely vegan), No chemicals ( organic, and preservative free products only) and NO....wait for it....caffeine ( Yikes!)
The research question is how participating in this fast ( which is 21 days long by the way) will affect certain biomarkers, and other health considerations.
First of all, when my professor asked if I would participate in the study, I eagerly agreed. I thought, it would be easy for actually, because I eat really clean anyway, no problem eliminating a little sugar and animal product. Boy was I wrong. I always knew, in my head that tons of stuff had sugar in it, however until you grocery shop for 3 weeks worth of sugar-less food, you have NO IDEA!!! I feel like sugar is this little ninja that changes its name and appearance and sneaks into everything I eat!!!!
I started the fast last Friday, and that morning, I had to report to the lab in a completely 12 hour fasted state for my intake tests. I took a pregnancy test ( nerve wracking!), to make sure I could participate, and when 1 little line popped up, I was clear to fast! In the lab I had to answer a few general questions about my health, sleep habits, exercise habits, and energy levels. Then the lab techs ( aka, my fellow students) took my resting heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight, body fat percentage using skinfold calipers ( ouch!) and circumference measurements. All of that was done twice to ensure it was correct. Nothing like having your fat pinched by a guy who sits next to you in stats!
Next I got a DEXA scan. For those of you who don't know, a dexa scan can tell body composition, but is mostly used for bone density measurements. You lie on a table and get basically a full body xray! Very cool. Then you have all this awesome info that prints out, like the exact density of each major bone, where you fall in your age, race, and gender categories, and yet another measure of body fat. Here I am:

Don't I look pretty? :)
After the Dexa, I rested for 10 minutes on a table, while my professor drew blood from me to check my lipid panel, complete blood count, antioxidant levels, oxidative stress levels, and insulin sensitivity.
SO basically I was prodded inside and out, and every last inch of me was examined! I am very interested to see how all of that changes in 2 more weeks when I go back for my exit tests.
The thing that was the hardest so far, was caffeine withdrawal. I expected to have a headache, which I did and luckily that was gone by Saturday afternoon. The thing I did not expect was the severe joint and muscle pain!!! My legs and back hurt SO bad that I actually cried. Agh! Luckily that pretty much ended Monday, and now I feel pretty good! My energy levels are up and if I am being perfectly honest, its not THAT hard to follow the fast. I DO miss my Kashi cereal and sweet vanilla soymilk, and I think that will be the first thing I eat when this is all over!!!!
Have you ever been a lab rat? Or sacrificed in the name of science before? Ever done a fast?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I totally had a blonde moment and forgot to blog about my actual RUN with Kara!

The length of the run was 3 miles but included a warm up and stretching!

The run was divided into 7:00 pace and faster (not me), 8:00-9:00 pace (where I jumped in), and 9:00 beyond. The run was against the normal running traffic and was mostly UPHILL for the first 2.5 miles. I was sucking wind, but I did not stop until I had to tie my shoe.

Mr. Nike Triax timed me at 32:00 total and I was pissed when I looked at it. PISSED. That's like a 10:15 minute mile??? I haven't run like that in a looong time. I continued to be disappointed in myself until I LOOKED at my results and pace on Ms. Apple (my computer). Hello dummy, I we ran 3.6 miles (I'm guessing that's with the warm-up) and my pace was an average of 9:00 miles. WHEW! I was RELIEVED!!! Recap:

Distance: 3.6 miles

Time: 32:00

Pace: 9:00

Why are night runs so hard for me??? Why am I TERRIBLE at waking up early??? My goal by the end of this year (gasp!) is to become an EARILER riser.

And just so you remember my new BFF:

Monday, September 14, 2009


I can say that Fashion's Night Out was a SUCCESS! It's not everyday you get to meet your running idol! Let's recap, shall we!

I arrived at Niketown just slightly before 6pm. Checked my bags, looked over the running merchandise. Didn't buy anything (which I will cover later).

Waited around, met some runners, chatted about Kara, NYRR, the Nike Runs, NYC Marathon.

At the check-in table, if you wished, you could submit a question for Kara to answer. Of course, I had millions of questions, but what did I write down?

"Will you be my running bff?"

Kara arrives, the Nike head coach person, went over her recent results, talked about her training and she answered a few training questions.

  • When she's training for a marathon she runs 120 miles per week

  • Tempo runs are 16-18 miles varying between 5:10 and 5:30 minute miles

  • New York Marathon is hard! (even for Kara)

  • Writes a letter to her family before each race (cute)

  • Is very emotional after a race, and although we may not see it on TV, she says she cries at EVERYTHING (even while talking about crying at everything after a marathon)

  • She is taking the next few months off (I think she and her husband, Adam, are trying to have a baby-that's only my guess!)

This is how close I had to sit to Kara: (Not that I minded, but it was a weird angle)

She is TALL! And she is little, but she is also lean and strong. She is gorgeous and has a fantastic smile!

Then came time for the submitted questions! My question was the first one asked, and besides saying "Yes!", she laughed. It lightened the mood and I think I asked the question that everyone was thinking.

Me and my new BFF Kara!


Now, Fashion's Night Out was all around Manhattan (Tiffany rolled out a BLUE Carpet) and this was the exit from Bergdorfs:

Madness I tell you, madness! But the overall mood was excellent and the weather was PERFECT! I couldn't ask for a better night! (Only I wish Anna was there!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fashion's Night Out

In honor of Fashion Week in NYC, Random Celebrities will be at random venues doing secret random things. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen will be at Bloomingdale's Restaurant Bartending; Justin Timberlake and Robin (aka Trace Ayala) will be at Saks announcing something (that he's marrying me), and more.

Today at 1:00pm EST, in my Facebook inbox, I received the best news of all the celebrities:


WTF, how excited am I? So!!!!! So excited!!!! I cannot wait. My mind is racing: I need a new running outfit; should I wear my running skirt (TBD)? What color looks best on me (blues, pinks, black, white); Should I spray tan myself (TBD)? How should I wear my hair (up); What time should I get there (6am); Should I do a run prior (yes); what should I eat for lunch (omg, who knows, maybe a Larabar?); and I need a real camera. Plus, I need to practice my picture taking skills- not my skills, my learning to be more photogenic and less idiotic.

Girl's got a lot on her mind. It's not everyday you get to meet your running superhero.

I will probably not sleep tonight.

I need a list of questions to ask her... More than likely I will end up looking like a deer in headlights, but with a huge grin slapped on my face!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Hey there! Miss me?
School started back this week, so my life is upside down and inside out! I am hoping to find more time to blog as my schedule settles a bit. This is a super-duper quickie, and I promise there is more coming, but I wanted to forward this AWESOME tool on the all of you! Any runners out there, please clicky:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Whew! It's Been a While!

I will do a quick synopsis of the past weekish:

Sushi Night at Sekisui in Memphis with my mom, Anna, Sister and Brother in Law:

Anna and I went for a 7 mile run that included 3 uphill sprints. We post run refueled with GM's of course, and with curly straws!

Post run photo op:

Saturday, I went to Little Rock, Arkansas (my old stomping grounds) for Carol's Bachelorette Party and boy was it a wild time! Here are a few pictures!

Bride and Maid of Honor (me)

Carol, Ashley, Myself, Rebecca (my sister)

Seductive poses in front of the fan

Before heading into Disco aka Dirty

FINALLY, Live In and I got our table and chairs and we have enjoyed dinner there almost every night (with the expection of going out to dinner). YIPEE!!

I whipped up baked tofu, baked squash, and couscous, topped with what else, ARUGULA!!

I read from cover to cover on the plane back to NYC: Jillian Michael's Master Your Metabolism-which is mostly a Whole Foods type of diet, which I already follow. However, the education on the endocrine system is what I needed. Because with all this working out and not losing weight is just plain ridiculous. Not that I am TRYING to lose a ton of weight, but I want to cut out some fat and it's just not budging. UGH! This book totally makes sense-I'm taking Spirnolactone for my Acne Cysts (which I get maybe once or twice a year) and the doc put me on the highest dose possible. This medication decreases my testosterone levels, almost to zero, and DUH! I need the testosterone to lose weight! So I have cut my dose by 75% and I am only taking it every 2-3 days. Next week I will get a metabolic panel, just in case!

My $13 salad bar lunch- I ate EVERY BITE! Fruit, Baked Chickem, Spoonful Mac and Cheese, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad. Avocado Salad (Just Avocado, really)

I hope everyone has had a nice last week of summer! :(

My buddies Tish and Stacey are here this weekend, so Wednesday (when I am back at work again), I will recap our adventures!

Happy Labor Day Everyone!