I have been looking forward to this upcoming weekend since last November - since before Thanksgiving! The whole weekend is going to be one fantastic wining and dining adventure - with a half marathon thrown right in the middle.
I’m off to run the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, put on by Destination Races on Sunday, and decided to make a vino-fabulous vacation out of it. While I had originally signed up to run with running/travel buddy, Miss Gina, she cannot make the trip, so I will be having a fantastic sisters’ weekend with Jacquie.
We will begin our trip in San Francisco. As I haven’t been there since college and Jacquie has never been, I’m sure some of the touristy stops will be on our list. From there, we will traipse out to wine country, where I’m sure we will each gain 5-10 pounds through winery stops, some amazing restaurants, and bakeries!
“If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spared over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”—Bruce Lee
Well…. HELLO there! After months and months of silence, I’m finally putting fingers to the keyboard and saying hello!
A number of friends asked me both in real life and online about my blog so I took a peak and noticed that I had not posted in EONS! I mean… an image or a quote here or there does not a blog make. And, thinking about it, I miss the normalcy of writing, posting, connecting with people through this online modality.
My blog was a sense of stability. While I was writing it on a regular basis, I loved it! I was healthier, happier, and doing so so well. I was more the person that I feel I really am.
And I miss that stability. So, with 14 weeks to go until the Chicago Marathon, I am refocusing. I am refocusing on my blog, on my health and fitness, on me!! It helps with my training, with my weight, my happiness…. all of the things that surprise, surprise, a blog would help with.
About two months ago, I left my full time mental health care job. I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I feel that I had lost myself. I LOVED my clients but I was feeling bogged down by the bureaucracy and the little idiosyncrasies of working for a nonprofit that received government funding. I was losing the momentum of
I finally left my job and feel as if a whole new world has opened up to me. It hasn’t been the easiest of transitions, leaving my clients, my stability, my lifeline.
I’m not living in a constant sense of dread, of going to work in a state of panic and on the verge of tears all the time.
I have been taking time to breath. The simpleness of an inhale and an exhale is glorious.
My friend Gina and I have been running a half or a full marathon a month and I will check in here about how those are going. I will continue to cover food - both restaurants and recipes - and wine. But, more will be added!
Changes will be coming on here…. be prepared and don’t be surprised as a makeover is needed. But for now, I’m checking in and promising some more content!
“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.”—Amy Poehler (via awelltraveledwoman)
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”—Mark Twain
Last Wednesday, I had no food in my house and decided to treat myself and go out to eat. No one was in the neighborhood and I decided a meal at the bar at Barcelona at the bar was what I needed. When I sat down, the bartenders told me that they were hosting a cocktail class that evening. Instead of joining, a couple of the guys gave me my own private class for one of the cocktails, the Bramble Snap. So delicious!!
The Bramble Snap, courtesy of Barcelona
5-6 fresh Mint Leaves
3 thin slices of fresh Ginger
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup
1 ounce Lime Juice
1/2 ounce Carpano Antica Vermouth
2 ounces El Dorado 3 year Rum
2 Blackberries on a Skewer
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries, mint, ginger, and simple syrup.
Add all the other ingredients except garnish. Fill with ice and shake well.
Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with skewered blackberries.
Delicious and easy, I feel like I lucked out learning about this drink. It is one I could make the next time the girls are over - or we could just venture to Barcelona again!
The day before the NYRR MORE/Fitness Women’s Half-Marathon, Gina and I were looking for a place to grab a VERY late lunch. Late as in 4pm. We walked into Piccolo Café and after gabbing about how cute and quaint it was settled into the menu. After deciding on eggs and salads, we put our order in and quickly also picked up on their $5.00 mimosas. Not a bad deal, we ordered them and were asked about flavoring. Lemon, Lime, Blood Orange, or more! We were pleasantly surprised when we were served what I came to call an Italian mimosa, wine (flat not sparkling) flavored with Italian soda.
I loved this drink so much that I made it later that week with friends who came over.
All relationships have their ups and downs. Overtime, a man or a woman needs to put in effort to get something out of it. This can be true whether it is with someone one is dating, a friendship, or even, strangely, a relationship with running. If a person is not putting in a lot, they’ll continue to hit barriers and not get the love that they need back from the sport. Or, if a person starts to resent training sessions and races, then, what is the point of it?? But sometimes, a person (ahem, me) needs to keep trying and push over the rocky times of stress fractures, burnout, and cold weather to find the running love again.
All I needed was to keep trying. I needed to just get to that one good run, one good race to rekindle that relationship. Last weekend, my NYRR MORE/Fitness Women’s Half-Marathon, my 10th half-marathon and their 10th anniversary of the race, was like I was on a first date with running again. It was my re-invigorating race!
When you talk to some people you can just hear the extra spark or excitement that comes with loving life, the vibe that resonates from appreciating the little things in life and not taking everything for granted during a normal daily routine. West Redding resident Amanda Glendinning, 29, is one of these people. Speaking on the phone Wednesday, Glendinning was more than eager to share her love of running and her passion for life.
On her 15th birthday a dermatologist diagnosed her with scleroderma — a connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles and internal organs — and told her she could die before 25. Glendinning’s condition caused her pain and swelling in her joints, especially her hands and feet. The initial diagnosis was wrong, however, and it was later correctly identified to be lupus — an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. Lupus affects everyone differently and 90 percent of people living with lupus are women.
I was approached about this article in correlation to the MORE/Fitness Womens’ Half Marathon, after I had sent a short blurb of my story about running for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to the NYRR for the half. I had no idea that the story would be told as it was - or I would have the feedback that I’ve had! A special thank you to Jason Sonski for the words he wrote!
I received the following email from the Marketing Department at bartaco and I was SOOOOO Excited!! I LOVE bartaco!!
As the colder weather comes to a close, it’s time to come out of hibernation and enjoy the best of what life has to offer. bartaco has many exciting events going on throughout the spring and summer that you won’t want to miss out on.
Taco Tuesdays: Every Tuesday, from 9pm to close, tacos will only be $1.50! So make sure to end your day the right way with Taco Tuesday!
Happy Hour: 5 for $5 from 5-6:30 at all locations! Each of the following cocktails were specifically crafted for our popular happy hour - La Ruleta, Warsaw Sour, Cecilia, Summer Street Snap, and Sangria Pera
Cinco de Mayo: Who needs to go to Mexico when you can have just as much fun at bartaco?
Moonshine Slushy: It’s everything but your ordinary margarita. It will be making its debut on Wednesday, April 10 only at our Stamford location
“Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be. In running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms.”—Joyce Carol Oates
This weather is making me so happy!!! As must as I love skiing (I do!) and other outdoorsy winter activities, I think that my lupus and joints are starting to make me enjoy the cold a bit less. I find it a bit harder to be outside for long periods of time including running. But, it is FINALLY getting warmer. Sunshine, flowers, springtime!
Last week, the warmth, helped propel me out the door, and increase my weekly running mileage past the 20 miles. This is good as I had my first race of the spring this past weekend and have my first half-marathon of 2013 coming up this upcoming weekend.
More running and overall training, also allows me to get in some fantastic meals including a lip-smacking, sugar-rush spread from Elm Restaurant in New Canaan. Such an evening!
Luckily (intelligently??) the Elm was not my carb-loading for my first race of the spring, the New York Road Runners Scotland 10K on Saturday. Unluckily (stupidly??) my idea of prep was staying out til 1:30am the night before and dancing. I didn’t die in the race, but it wasn’t my fastest.
After the race, I met up with two of my friends from college, B & @butterballsssss. B just began running this year and has started going for the NYRR 9+1 program to train for the 2014 NYC Marathon! @butterballsssss is a multiple marathoner and an inspiration to me!
While B was busy, @butterballsssss and I caught up over breakfast at Bamboloni, where I (amazingly) resisted the sweets.
A walk back through the NY sunshine and a lazy day in the country led to another wonderful long run on Sunday after Lululemon yoga. 8 (speedy) miles and I’m ready for next weekend’s NYRR MORE/Fitness Half-Marathon!!
All I need now is a week of (pseudo) tapering.
Monday 4/8: Rest
Tuesday 4/9: 4 mile HR Run + 45 min Yoga
Wednesday 4/10: Bike 30 min Recovery Ride + Swim 1200y Total (WarmUp 100, Drills 6x50 w/:20 rest, MainSet 3x200 w/:45 rest, Sprint 4x25 w/:20 rest, CoolDown 100)
Thursday 4/11: 2 mile Tempo Run + 4 Running Strides + 10 min Stretch
Sometimes I need some inspiration to keep me going. Three years ago, I bookmarked this story about a 74-year-old woman who not only ran races or even a marathon, but competed in the Kona Ironman World Championships - and WON her age bracket after breaking her clavicle at mile 80 on the bike!!
Now, I’ve been through a lot - running with lupus, falling during a marathon and running the last 2 miles while bleeding substantially, running a marathon with 3 stress fractures, but something about Harriet Anderson is over-the-top impressive. She has truly endured and inspired.
I have been on an amazing Asian food kick since arriving home from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. All I’ve been craving is fresh ginger, sesame, (kaffir) lime, and the delicious balance of sweet/salty/sour/umami and sometimes spicy that is not found elsewhere in the world. On top of those flavor pairings, I have also been desiring the freshness of spring ingredients - fresh, flavorful, and full of nutrients.
This past weekend, I decided to combine the two profiles and make a Ginger Sea Bass with Soba Noodles - a healthy dish in that I cooked the fish in parchment and cut down on most of the oils. I amped up the ginger, the lime, and sesame in order to use aromatic memories to head backwards a month and thoroughly enjoyed the dish - as did my dad who rarely eats fish!
It has been a while since I blogged about my training, about my eating, about my life’s enjoyments. But, spring is here and the trip gave me a new sense of self, a sense of me.
While I was away, I spent an extraordinary amount of time exercising and eating - and had fun doing a lot of the training with my sisters, cousins, Mom, and Aunt. Sports included kickboxing, running the shores of Australia, step classes, and spinning with weights. So many different (yet fun!) things which helped counteract the astonishing amount of food I ate. By switching up my workouts, my body was conditioned in a different way and I was able to find that fitness passion again, which had dulled.
I carried that passion back to the US, where I have been doing different classes and have changed my training program. I have added in spinning classes to help with my bike training (LOVE spinning which (somehow) I had never tried before), pilates for toning, and cardio kickboxing for fun! I’ve also increased my two-a-day workouts, which were prevalent on the ship, for both fitness and training towards my races.
So, this week, is a lot about getting back to that. Lots of work related schtuff, but also lots of fun. Dinner at one of best new restaurants over the past year, the Elm in New Canaan, dinner at one of my favorites, Southwest Café, and dinner at a brand new restaurant, which opens today, Rive Bistro. I’ll be racing my first race since the beginning of February, followed by brunch with friends from college. And, I’m enjoying my new found spirit.
Monday 4/1: Rest
Tuesday 4/2: AM Yoga + 5 mile Speed Run w/ 10x400 @5K Pace + Stretch 10 min
Wednesday 4/3: Spin Class AM + Boxing Bootcamp in PM
Thursday 4/4: 3 mile Tempo Run w/ 4 Running Strides + Strength Train
As much as everyone here in New England is complaining about Nemo, the snow, and the ice, I actually didn’t mind it. It was forced rest - time for baking, reading, and downtime!
I spent hours indulging in cooking new things such as chai from scratch, black bean soup, a fresh loaf of bread, and blondies. And then I spent even more time devouring books: Paris in Love and The Men on my Couch. And I took time for yoga with the puppies doing their downward dogs nearby and savasana with a puppy on my chest.
It was heavenly! I had time to prepare before I leave the country on Wednesday for a month. Yes!! A month!! I’m traveling to summer - to Australia, Indonesia, and flying back from Hong Kong. My itchy feet are dancing and I can’t wait!
So… while I’ve been training, the next month is going to be spent running wherever I can to see the sites and doing crunches next to a pool. All so I can eat delicious food of course ;-) Hopefully this will help, not hinder, my upcoming half-marathon in April!!
Monday 2/11: Ab Work
Tuesday 2/12: 3.5 mile Run w/ 4x1 min HR + 30 min Yoga
Wednesday 2/13: 20 min Erg + Yoga
Thursday 2/14: Crossing the international date line - NO THURSDAY for me!!! On the plane to AU, I will do some seat yoga and walk the aisles regularly
Friday 2/15: Run 3 miles w/ Drills + Stretch 10 min
Saturday 2/16: Bike 60 min w/3x6 min Intervals + 10 min Run + 10 min Core