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Happy 1st Birthday, Run Linds Run!

August 25, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Run Linds Run!

I started this blog one year ago today! My first post (and many posts thereafter) were a bit of a mess, as I worked to develop my voice, writing-style, and content. While I still struggle to post as often as I want to, be as engaging and thoughtful as I can, and more, I’m happy with where this blog has taken me over the past year. I love being able to look back and read about training for my first marathon and everything that’s happened over the past year from simple workouts, fun vacations, PRs, and new friends! I didn’t have very many readers my first few months, as I was pretty bad about commenting on  others’ blogs to get myself out there, and didn’t share my posts via Twitter since my account was private, but I think I’ve hit a nice groove and can’t wait to see where year 2 takes me.

For year 2, I am considering self-hosting my blog and purchasing a real domain name. What should it be called? I’m thinking I want something a bit simpler, like LindsayRuns.com. I tried to think of alternatives to encompass a wider ‘theme’, but honestly, my blog is mostly about running, and will continue to be. Over time, I’d love to add in more food via recipes and restaurants as well as a bit more about life as a 24 year old living and working in NYC, but running will always be at the core.

To celebrate, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Here are a few of my favorite posts from last year. Enjoy!

Running/Life Posts:

Favorite Recipes

Race Recaps

14 Mile Monday & City Sunsets

August 22, 2011

This weekend was a busy one, from a sleepover/reunion at my college friend’s house in NJ, to racing around the streets of Manhattan for the Great Urban Race, and escaping to serene Glen Cove, Long Island Saturday night and Sunday. And I’d tell you all about it, except I dropped my camera in the sand (fail) and it’s currently being repaired. Since I have no pictures to show at the moment…I’ll talk about tonight’s run.

This week is also pretty busy between early morning doctor’s appointments, office summer party (hello, open bar!), and going out for two birthdays Thursday and Friday. Many late nights of fun lead to little desire to get in morning runs.

Since I’ve got 50 miles planning this week, I knew I’d have to be a bit flexible to come close to hitting it. So I knocked out my long run tonight after work. It was peaceful and serene to watch the sun set. While that meant running home with my phone in hand, it also meant I could capture the sun seting as I ran.

Oh hi, East River...you're peaceful

I see you, Statue of Liberty!

I ran from my office in Midtown East, down the East River path, around the tip of Manhattan, through Battery Park City, up the Hudson River path, and added on a bit in Riverside Park to finish at my apartment.

My favorite spot in Battery Park City

14 miles; 7:41 pace.

I felt pretty good breathing-wise and was never working too hard, but my legs starting getting tight and heavy around mile 9, especially in my upper calves. I stopped a few times to take the above photos, for water, and a bathroom break (note to self: do not eat high fiber cereal 1.5 hours before you run...)🙂

Tonight, I decided I’m glad I quit running with the iPod for a bit. I was using it as a silly crutch/distraction I didn’t need. Running alone with the sound of my feet hitting the pavement meant I wasn’t too distracted by the jams of Lady Gaga and Pitbull to take in the views.

I’m sure NYC wouldn’t top the list of “most scenic runs” in the world, or even that I’ve done, but on nights like tonight I have to admit the skyline was pretty darn spectacular.

What’s the most scenic run you’ve done, or place you’ve been? How do you deal with fitting in your mileage amidst a busy week?

Mid-Week Long Runs & Soft Serve Fruit

August 18, 2011

I am so excited tomorrow is finally Friday! Despite taking a sick day on Monday to rest up and do basically nothing, I still felt as this week was moving exceptionally slow.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, I met up with Megan, Ali, Kelly and Elyssa bright and early (like, I left my apartment before 6:00am early…) to get in my long run for the week, 13 miles. If you take a look at my training log, you’ll see most weeks I’ve been doing my long runs during the middle of the week versus the weekend. I’m an advocate of the mid-week long run for a few reasons:

  • Since it’s kinda early in Marathon training, my long runs have just been 12-13 miles. Totally manageable distance before work if you want it to happen. I’ll probably continue mid-week long runs until my long runs reach 15-16 miles.
  • It allows me to travel on the weekends (or just sleep in…) without having to worry about squeezing in a long run.
  • Planning a run-commute is a great way to do a mid-week long run, as you can either run a few extra miles (in lieu of taking the subway/driving to work) or get some extra sleep. Unfortunately, my work does not have a shower but my gym is a few blocks away. If I am planning a run commute, I’ll bring a change of clothes and my shower stuff the day before and end my run at the office to grab my stuff and head to the gym. Don’t worry about scaring the front desk security when you enter your office building soaked in sweat; they’re probably just amazed at how bad ass you are.

I highly recommend mid-week long runs if you’re traveling for the weekend, too busy, or want to get a bit more R&R. It’s also good prep (for me), as I’ll shift my long runs to the weekend as the mileage goes up, but I’ll likely still look to get in 10-12 on Wednesdays as a weekly ‘short-long’ run. I did many of those as run-commutes last year and it was great being able to wake up at 6:45 and still squeeze in 12 miles before work!

Tonight’s workout called for 5 miles at half-marathon pace, a very brief recovery, and 1K basically giving whatever you had. The one downside to mid-week long runs is feeling a bit lethargic heading into Thursday workouts, but I’d probably be tired no matter what.

Soooo it was a bit longer than 5 miles. Also, my time for 5 miles was about 15-20 seconds faster than I actually raced during the Club Champs 5M race, whoops. This workout had us starting on W72nd street, heading counterclockwise south on the lower loop, coming up cat hill on the east side, cutting across the 102nd street transverse, and coming down the west side. I wanted to start conservative, as I really felt zonked at the end of last week’s workout, and I was happy I was able to bring down the pace a bit each mile. Mile 4 always gets me with the rolling hills on the west side heading south. Hills are not one of my strengths, never have been and never will be, and rolling hills are the worst.

Nonetheless, I felt like I was able to really push at the end and I felt really strong mentally. Although I had to continually repeat a mantra of “You. Can. Do. It.” and “Strong. Steady. Smooth.” in my head, and maybe outloud once or twice as I gasped for air. Hey, whatever works.

My 1K time was exactly 4:00; which is 6:27 pace. At that point, I was just lucky to be moving. Oof.

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All this hard running deserves a good treat! I’ve been meaning to check out the Soft Serve Fruit Company for a while, and yesterday just happened to be their 1 year anniversary! In celebration, they were offering $1 Kid Size treats with all the toppings you wanted. Since I’m a sucker for a good deal, I stopped by after a late-ish night at work.

I got banana and raspberry swirl since I couldn’t decide between the two and almost every topping under the sun. It’s no 16 Handles (my true love<3), but it’s actually a tasty and healthier alternative– just real fruit, sugar cane and water. Yum!

Since evening workouts leave me a bit parched and sweaty (yum), I decided to try to re-create my own ‘soft serve fruit’ when I got home, with a twist.

Based on the classic recipe of ‘soft serve banana‘; simply whipping up a frozen banana in a food processer though I add a bit of soymilk to make it blend easier. But, I knew a bit of protein would probably be good for my muscles post-workout and make it a bit more filling, I added a scoop of protein powder along with some frozen berries for flavor.

Yum! Who knew bananas + berries could turn into something so creamy! It’s no Soft Serve Fruit Company, but it’s pretty darn good for homemade.

I’ve got a busy but exciting weekend ahead as I’m headed out to NJ to spend some time with college friends Friday night, then back into the city Saturday morning to do the Great Urban Race (should be interesting!). Afterwards, I’m headed out to Long Island on Saturday night and Sunday for a relaxing weekend with Dan; I bought a Living Social Escapes deal for a quaint hotel and we’re going to go celebrate his birthday a weekend early!

Do you ever do your long runs during the week, or are you strictly a weekend long-run kinda person? If you do weekends, do you prefer to knock it out Saturday or save it until Sunday? What’s the best recipe you’ve made this week?

Weekend Recap: Summer Streets & Running ‘Naked’

August 15, 2011

This weekend was pretty productive and fun but still low-key, which was perfect. However, I started feeling a bit under the weather last night, and am spending today home from work resting up. Blah. I hate being sick, especially in the summer, so I’m hoping taking the day off to nap and lay down will help me feel better.

On Friday night, Dan and I went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, Covo. Despite its discrete location on 135th and 12th (really like Riverside Dr., but under Riverside down the steps), it was pretty packed. Highly recommended! We ate outside and shared appetizers of grilled calamari over arugula and sea scallops over tomato and spinach, and I had the special lobster risotto (yum!) while he had the penne vodka with sausage. Everything was so fresh and homemade. Yummmm.

Source: CovoNy.com

Bright and early Saturday morning, I woke up around 7:25 to run the ~2 miles to Engineer’s Gate to meet Megan and Alex for a long run. Despite being compelled to stay in bed and sleep a few more hours, I was really looking forward to this run because we had a fun route planned: a bit in Central Park, down Park Avenue for Summer Streets, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and back over the Manhattan Bridge!

Summer Streets Route

This was my first time taking advantage of Summer Streets this year, and sadly my last since I’m away next weekend. The route ended up being just over 12 miles, which was perfect! The pace was comfortable and the company was even better. Alex peeled off a bit earlier, while Megan and I ended our run at Starbucks, where we surprisingly chose iced teas vs. iced coffees…we were really parched! We hopped on the subway uptown and I was home before 10am to find Dan was just waking up. Jealousy set in for a bit but checking off my run early before the heat and crowds hit made me feel accomplished to take on the rest of the day. I made banana french toast and coffee for breakfast and ate it in bed. The best!

Around 12, Dan and I left to go walk around the High Line. I had been once before, but haven’t been back since the new section was opened. We began at the most downtown point and walked North. It was gorgeous!

Ignore my awkward jump. I didn't want to flash everyone.

By the time we got to the end, we were a bit hungry…lucky for us, we found a rollerblading rink surrounded by Food trucks at the tip of the High Line called The Lot. Dan got a falafel sandwich and fries from Taim, while I was all about the ice cream sandwich from Coolhaus.

Key Lime Pie ice cream w/ Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies=Heaven

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Chelsea Market and the Village until he had to head back home, so I hit up the Union Square Greenmarket and wandered around a bit more until I met my mom and her friend for dinner. They were in the city to see a show so we met up at Saju Bistro for dinner. For Times Square-area dining, it was one of our better options. Nothing fantastic, as I would have preferred to venture to a different neighborhood since Times Square is my second-least favorite area in the city (behind Herald Square aka the pit of hell) and certainly not the best dining. But it was close and easy, and always nice to see my mom.

As I was on my way home after dinner,  I checked Twitter (per usual) and saw Christine and Susan tweeting:

I had plans with a friend tonight but she had to reschedule, so I was planning on staying in. But since I’m super creepy and love to invite myself to things, I replied:

Done and done! About an hour later, I was headed crosstown where I enjoyed a chill evening with Christine and Susan, watching “She’s The Man”, drinking wine, eating strawberry parfaits, and talking about just about everything. It was exactly the relaxing Saturday night I needed. Like I said in my last post, I’ve been doing a lot of meeting and hanging out with other runners here in NYC lately and it’s really helping NYC (finally) feel like ‘home‘ to me.

By the time we left, it was almost 2am (yikes!) and I found myself in a torrential downpour which didn’t let up at all Sunday. Perfect, since I slept in until around 11:30am and took my time eating breakfast in bed and watching TV until I finally got my act together to head out the door to run. But when I went to grab my Garmin, I discovered it was dead.

I debated waiting around another hour to let it get some juice, but instead put on my oldschool sportswatch and headed out the door. It’d suck to stand around in the rain waiting for a signal, anyways. I admit I felt a bit naked without my Garmin and my iPod at first. It was so quiet, too quiet. But as I looped around the bridle path, dodging puddles, I realized how free I felt. The sound of the rain was soothing, my legs felt surprisingly good, and the park was about empty. I didn’t worry about my pace or the watch beeping every mile, my legs were free to just run. Without the distraction of music, my mind was free to wander.

I started running with an iPod about 2 years ago when I was struggling to get out the door on solo early morning runs, and I only started running with my Garmin this winter since it was a Christmas present. While I love being able to see my pace/distance for workouts and long runs, and listening to the radio sure does take my mind off how many miles or minutes remain, for 8+ rainy miles I reverted back to just running in it’s purest form. Naked without technology, the way I enjoyed it for so many years. Something so simple felt so great.

I’m not going to give up the Garmin quite yet, because I think pace feedback is pretty useful and I’d feel wasteful not using the pricey gadget, but I am going to challenge myself to run without my iPod for at least two weeks. It’d do me some good to listen to my own thoughts, let my mind wander, and get in tune with my body on runs instead of 92.3 NOW. After all, I never race or do workouts with my iPod or when I run with friends, so hopefully it is a positive change instead of a hard adjustment.

What was the best part of your weekend? What are your thoughts on running with a GPS watch and/or iPod? Do you ever feel dependent on these gadgets, or enjoy the value they bring?

How Runners Rock a Thursday Night

August 12, 2011

My idea of a rockin’ Thursday night: doing a speedy 6.5 mile tempo run, showing up sweaty post-run to a fellow runner’s fundraising event, and eating 16 Handles for dinner. Seriously, I’m a total runnerd and loved every second of last night.

I managed to escape work around 6:15 to drop my stuff off at the gym before running my warmup to Central Park for a CPTC workout. I was actually excited about this workout, as we’re starting to do some more marathon-specific training now that Club Champs is over. The longer (and slower!), the better.

The workout on tap: 6.5 miles— 3.25 out at Marathon Pace, straight into 3.25 back at Half-Marathon pace (or ~15 sec/mile faster).

I wanted to start out around 6:50-6:55 pace, but our group kinda got caught up with the pace and averaged 6:45. Felt comfortable, definitely could have cruised at 6:45 for a while. We turned around at the 3.25 mile mark in 22:05, and started to drop the pace. I felt great and relaxed at first, but the rolling hills on the west side really killed me on mile 6. Nonetheless, I was still able to bring back down the pace, making the 3.25 return 21:09, averaging 6:30 pace.   Last time I did this exact workout (May 5th, how’s that for a Cinco de Mayo celebration?), my overall time was 44:04 with a 6:45 average pace. Progress!

Directly after the workout (no changing, no showering, no nothing!) Megan, Alex, Rebecca and I headed over to Jackrabbit Sports on the UES for Ali’s awesome fundraising event. Even though we were sweaty (sorry!) Ali greeted us with a smile and hug. No judgements. Especially since I didn’t feel too out of place in my post-run glory because of these awesome shirts. They were only $25, are lightweight and soft, and benefit Ali’s support of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. On September 24th, she’ll be running the Hampton’s Marathon in support of the charity and is going to rock.

Thanks for the pic, Ali!

I spy some lovely runners and bloggers! Seriously, it was such a fun event though I’m bummed we didn’t arrive until 8:30. It was great meeting a bunch of new people, and seeing some familiar faces. I am always amazed at the running community here in NYC, and I never expected blogging would lead to some new friendships. Hooray!

After the event, my co-worker (and fellow runner!) Jamie and I headed over to 16 Handles on the UES. I hadn’t had a real dinner (though the mini sandwiches, fruit and brownies at the event were delish!) but figured I was too close to pass up my favorite froyo. The line was just about out the door! Shamelessly, mine may have cost almost $9…I blame it on the gummy bears.

Jamie and I sat outside and ate our froyo while talking about running, dating, work, and life. We both joked about how this was our idea of a good time for a Thursday night as we saw people going out for the night to bars, and it was true. On my way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much fun I had. I was in my element, getting in a great road workout, meeting new running friends, and eating 16 Handles. I just felt like myself. Everything about tonight was totally me, and I was happy. You know those moments? They’re hard to describe, but awesome when you find yourself in the midst of them.

SIDENOTE: I’m planning to do a post for my upcoming race schedule, but I am officially registered for the Big Sur Marathon in 2012. No matter what, I am not racing this race- running it solely for the experience and scenery so I enjoy it. The race is 91% full, about to sell out, so if you’re on the fence, or want to do a fun destination marathon- sign up now! I’d love some company.  If you need more convincing, check out these awesome recaps by Susan, Page and Aron. Seriously, try tell me you don’t want to run that next April. That’s what I thought.

So, want to run Big Sur?🙂 What was the most exciting thing you did this week? When was the last time you were really happy and content doing something?  Simply hanging out with friends? Swimming in the ocean? Relaxing and reading a great book? Cooking a new recipe? Tell me about the last time you really felt ‘in your element’! I know you know those moments I’m talking about.

Lead Legs & Hooked on Sandwiches

August 10, 2011

After Saturday’s race, I’ve been taking it a bit easy on the running pace and adding in a bit of extra stretching to let my legs recover. However, my legs are seriously still feelin’ it.

On Sunday, I did an easy 6 mile run around 8:20 pace, followed by stretching/foam rolling at the gym to offset the quad soreness and tightness in my legs. I am always, always a fan of easy running  the day after a workout, race or long run vs. taking a rest day. I find it helps shake out the junk and loosen up the tight muscles versus not moving them and letting the junk sit there longer.

Monday was another easy 6 miles, followed by a rest day yesterday. I hit the bridle path this morning to meet up with Natalie, a new running buddy who is also aiming to run a sub 3:00 marathon this fall! Right around the time she split off around 4 miles, my legs really started feeling much heavier than they did earlier. I had to stop a few times to stretch and get water the last 4 miles on my own. It was kind of like my hamstrings and calves tensed up and weighed 8000 pounds. I also may be exaggerating, a bit.

Here’s to hoping my hamstrings and calves decide to relax a bit before tomorrow night’s 6.5 mile workout! When do I hit the point in marathon training where runs actually start to feel good and effortless? I think I felt that way last year, but maybe I’m imagining it to be easier than it was. Shake out runs, foam rolling, stretching, walking (to continue flushing out the junk), and good old R&R typically work for me, but this heaviness is lingering a bit longer than I’d like. I haven’t taken an ice bath in a few years, but might try to incorporate them into this year’s training post-long run.

———

This shouldn’t be news to me, but today as I ate my lunch I realized I tend to get hooked on a certain meal or food for a while, and become a bit obsessed. I wouldn’t call it a food rut, because I never feel like I’m in a rut. Maybe a routine?

For example, there was a time not too long ago every lunch I packed (and often dinner, too) involved a tortilla wrap. They’re so versatile, so it’s not like I ate the same thing every day. I probably went through a 12-pack of tortillas every week or so.

This past week, I’ve just transitioned over to sandwiches. More specifically, Ezekiel sprouted bread. I love my bread chewy, full of seeds/nuts, and filling. This bread fits the bill, and tastes great toasted as well. In the past week alone, I’ve had:

"Healthy" Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sandwich with Soy Sausage, Egg white, and shredded cheese on toast

Toasted veggie burger with Avocado, Laughing Cow cheese & ketchup

Open-faced burger with cheese, onion, tomato and ketchup

I think grocery shopping/cooking is the main culprit here, beyond the fact that my taste buds really don’t mind routine. Grocery shopping and cooking for just one person is a challenge, so when I buy something (like a loaf of bread), I tend to get hooked and feel like I need to use it all up. And go back and buy another loaf next week. And another. Because it works, and I like it. I never switch it up, when maybe I should have a sandwich one day, salad the next, then soup, or maybe chicken after that…I’d have to keep so much of each type of food on hand at one time I’d get a bit overwhelmed!

The same goes to breakfast, too. The last 3 weeks or so, I’ve had the same breakfast every morning: Plain greek yogurt mixed with one sliced banana, cinnamon and dry oats sprinkled on top. I craved this breakfast every. single. day. This week, it’s all about the Kashi cereal with sliced banana, blueberries and bit of protein powder…and probably will be for the next few weeks because now I’m hooked. Until I get on my next kick🙂

What’s your favorite food combo you’ve been hooked on recently? Give me some fun sandwich ideas! What do you do when you have sore/heavy/tired legs to get them feeling fresh and fast again?

NYRR Team Championships Recap

August 7, 2011

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 7am and started going through my pre-race routine for the NYRR Team Championships: coffee, breakfast  (cereal/sliced banana), stretching, water, packing my backpack, etc. By 7:30am, I was out the door jogging over to baggage check. I went through the motions and warmed up, but I still didn’t feel like I was racing. As I mentioned on Friday night, I have a very hard time (mentally and physically) racing when I know it won’t be my best effort. But, I was looking forward to competing as part of a team and getting in a faster workout for the week. How bad could it be?

Overall, it was a modest effort. I didn’t score for the team (I was 20th, in fact) and that was mainly disappointing because I train with many of the girls who were in the top 10 and I should have moved up a few spots. I know I am capable of racing at a faster pace, but I am not currently sharp for racing. I’m just now starting to up my mileage for the marathon in November, and in return my legs feel flat. And that’s okay! (despite how awful I look below…)

Definitely at my most attractive. Is this race over yet?

My final time: 32:56, a 6:36/mile pace.

I’m not dwelling on the fact I could have gone faster or make excuses. I just didn’t. I had no pop or spring or drive to race yesterday morning, but that’s okay. A 5 miler at that pace is actually a pretty good effort for me in training right now, and just serves as a building block towards November 6th. Megan summed it up pretty well by citing a Saucony commercial: “What is strong? Is it your best time? Or your worst day? Maybe strong is just what you have left when you’ve used up all your weak” This certainly wasn’t my best time…wasn’t my worst day, either, but I am stronger for have completing the race and giving it what I had.

Onwards and upwards!

After the race, I spent the rest of the day enjoying a few many beers with my CPTC teammates at the Boat Basin and Gin Mill, which reminded me that despite how ‘sub-par’ my race was, I run because it’s fun! Especially when the people you run with are pretty awesome and also happen to enjoy drinking games.

How do you deal with sub-par races or runs? What was the highlight of your weekend?