Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a few more days!


I leave for San Francisco in two short days! I am excited and nervous and already missing my TNT family. But I am SO ready to have my weekends and legs back to normal :-)

On Sunday I run/walked the Staten Island Half Marathon. I really did not want to do this. 1st of all, we are supposed to be in our "taper" mode, and not run more than 6miles for our long run. BUT my friend Lauren and I have fun all 4 of the other borough half marathons, and needed to do Staten Island to complete the half marathon "grand prix." We receive a special prize if we do all five. Which means, I woke up at 5:15 on Sunday morning to make the (chilly!) trek all the way to Staten Island. One aspect of these Grand Prix races is I get to explore areas of the city I would have never thought to visit. Some of these location (ahem, Queens) I will try not to frequent ever again at 5 in the morning. Staten Island was beautiful though. I loved the ferry ride, and was able to spend some quality time with my original TNT running buddy, Lauren. Oh, the things we will do for a "special prize" (which happens to be a patch. don't judge me. It's pure stubborn-ness).

The Run/Walk was very slow. It was fun! I took this race very leisurely. It was fun being in the back of the pack. I got a lot of alone time, and there was very little pressure. It was a little embarrassing to come in at the end...but I had a good excuse! I'm taking my taper very seriously!

I found this great website! runningraw.com - A guy named Tim VanOrden decided to start the "Running Raw Project:" the question was "Can one be an athlete while eating a 100% raw vegan diet?" and the conclusion he came to was yes! His website is very inspiring. He has accomplished so much with this lifestyle, and has some very impressive athletic accomplishments under his belt. I am interested to try to use some of his more natural dietary options as fuel instead of traditional running nutrition. Maybe I'll wait until AFTER the marathon to experiment....remember- Nothing new on race day!

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of trying New York City's epitome of fine-raw dining: Pure Food and Wine. I have been so excited to try this restaurant after months of hearing rave reviews. It did not disappoint. Everything at Pure Food and Wine is raw-vegan (not cooked above 118 degrees). It is incredible what the chefs can do with those kinds of limitations.

We ordered:

King Oyster Mushroom Scallops with Hijiki Seaweed
chive crème fraiche, wilted watercress with black garlic, tomato broth

for our main courses:

Zucchini and Local Hothouse Tomato Lasagna
basil pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato sauce, pinoli ricotta


Sweet Pickled Beet and Rosemary Cashew Chevre Ravioli
wilted spinach, grapes, saffron cream, green olive tapenade

and for dessert....

Mint Sundae
chocolate, fresh mint, and mint chip ice cream, with mint chocolate cookies and vanilla cream

Keep in mind....all of this was RAW! isn't that amazing?

I wasn't such a big fan of the appetizer, but I loved the ravioli and the sundae was out of this world!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I LOVE Wednesdays

I really do.

Wednesday is the only day of the week when I have free time during the day AND during the evening. Of course, I'm not one to leave that as free time. But I try to fill my Wednesdays up with fun activities.

I started out the day with a Core Fusion class at the Gansevoort Hotel on 13th street. I had never been to this location, and I was very impressed! It was hidden in the basement of the hotel, and had a very intimate space. My class was small (considering it was at work-time on a Wednesday) so I got the dressing room/shower area all to myself afterward! One aspect of the core fusion class that I love is the amazing facilities. Everything is very clean, the towels are heated, and they have tons of free toiletries and calming music (well, it is a spa). Better yet, there is a student discount :-). Not to mention it's a kick-ass workout. I am excited to stop running these long distances, and just do strength training and city walking for a while. I need a break.

Then, I had a break between my class and my voice lesson a few blocks away, so I stopped at Integral Yoga for a juice, and perused the book section. I ended up buying "The Vegan Guide to New York City." (how lame is that? I'm a sucker for restaurant guides! Especially when its all health food!).

After a productive voice lesson, I headed over to meet my nutrition counselor at the Jivamukti Yoga Cafe in Union. I have learned so much from her about digestive health and feeling GOOD about what I put into my body. Food is and has been my vice of choice for a while, and it isn't healthy. That only leads to guilt. I am working with her to steer away from that guilt, and make healthier choices in the process. I feel like I have come a long way! Plus, she is a fantastic person and mentor to me.

That evening, I tried dinner at "Peacefood" (The new vegan restaurant on 82nd and Amsterdam). I got the Asian Greens Salad (with grilled tempeh) and the scallion pancake special. The greens were good...but I'm not a big fan of tempeh. Live and learn.

The pancakes were great! Maybe a little too heavy, with the curry soup-type dipping sauce. But very tasty. The service was okay; a little rushed and scattered. The cute waiter seemed like he had been working too long. He also was a little surprised when I ordered the salad and the scallion pancakes. The scallion pancakes was an appetizer! I can handle them both! I headed over to a concert afterwards, and saw my friend Hilary who went to Peacefood for lunch! (great minds think alike). She said she had the same waiter at 1PM that I had at 715PM. I will assume that he was just tired and not judging me for having too large of an appetite...

Then I finished the night off with beer at George Keeley's for a post trombone quartet recital celebration. I love New York.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Tapering! The best part of training. Now that I've completed my last long run, it's time to cut back on the mileage and reap the benefits of recovery. It is so hard to imagine tacking on an extra 6 miles to my long run, but in reality, we have all the strength we need to run a full marathon (well, after training. Our coaches are smart). Here's a nice quote from Runner's World: "Your legs get you through the first 10 miles. Your mind gets you through the next 10 miles. Your heart gets you to the finish line." - So true. Training for a marathon is not only a huge accomplishment, but also a huge time commitment. Anyone can run a marathon without training (and feel the pain during and afterwards)- but a training program will really make you confident about your run. Plus, Team in Training is such an amazing, close group; I would recommend it to everyone.

Our email from Coach Ramon about our workout tonight:

The workout: Warm up from Bethesda down the east side to 59th st and 7th avenue entrance of the park. From there
start you 1st of 3 pick ups:

1st : 59th & 7th to West 90th street. RECOVER to 102nd street
2nd West 102nd to110th (bottom of Harlem hill) TURN AROUND and back to West 102nd Street RECOVER to West 90th street.
3rd : West 90th to Bethesda.

How to run the workout: 3 pick ups 3 paces.

1st : This is a long pick up. Run this at your marathon goal time(if you have one) or about 75% effort if you don't
2nd: Push this part of it. You have 2 uphills (specially designed for SF participants). Run Hard up and down both sets.
You want to be pretty tired by the time you get back to 102nd street. This should be done at 80+% effort.
3rd: Run for your life. This is about 1.2 miles to Bethesda. But this is a fast part of the park as it is mostly downhill. Do not be shy,
push. This is the part where you work on your turnover once your legs are tired. This should be done at aroudn 85+% .

Goal of the workout: Once more we are working on our discipline, on our pacing and our fitness.
You need to have the discipline to hold back on the first and longest part of the workout, eventually put some effort and work thru some controlable discomfort during the 2nd pickup and then be brave to deal with real discomfort on the last one...
If you find yourself not being able to pick up the pace or effort on the 3rd pickup, it tells me you went too hard on the first 2.
If you did learn from it, if you didn't do the same on race day !

The exciting part, is that this is our last hard workout until race day! Until then, I am rewarding myself with intense core fusion classes and long city walks :-)

Last night, I tried a great new vegan place on the Upper West Side called "Peacefood." I ran downtown (literally) from my class at school(my class was from 6-9pm!) and stopped in for some dessert. I got a blueberry cream biscuit and chocolate chip cookie. All vegan. I am excited to try some of the more savory dishes, because I was very impressed with the desserts! I especially love its proximity to areas I frequent often :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

20 miles: check!

I did my 20-miler Friday. All by myself. It took me three hours to get my butt off the couch to go do it...but it happened! And it wasn't terrible! I tried out the Galloway Method (http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html) and although I didn't finish the run very quickly, it was a positive and relatively pain free experience. I was a little lonely, but it's nice to get some time to myself once in a while.

On Tuesday, I had an interview for the Big Brother Big Sister's program http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.diJKKYPLJvH/b.1539751/k.BDB6/Home.htm
I am looking forward to trying another volunteer experience after Team in Training, and with the rave reviews my friend Caroline gave me, I am really looking forward to having a little sister of my own. The interview was on 27th and 5th avenue. I guess I am a weird heath food New York foodie, because the first thing that came to mind when I discovered the interview location was this Raw restaurant I've been wanting to try. I have been dreaming of Bonobos and their coconut chai for months, but have never found an excuse to venture down there during the day. I did my research (as I do for all restaurants I visit), and read the menu along with countless online reviews. When I got there, I simply went with their specialty- the nutmeat salad platter. I got to try a sample of each of the 6 nutmeats. I chose the macadamia nutmeat, and along with five veggies and greens, they whipped up a very tasty, filling and healthy concoction. AND it was completely raw!

Oh, and that coconut chai? To die for.

I'm making it a goal (at least for this month) to give up all dairy products. Milk is meant for babies, to help you grow! It is not meant for adults. And it doesn't aid a healthy digestive system. I'm not a fan of cheese as it is, so hopefully it will be an easy transition.

I was sitting at work yesterday, and talked to Rob Sedgewick who stars in the play I work for "The Perfect Crime." He is the brother of Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) and brother in law to Kevin Bacon. He has starred in "Die Hard" and other films. Not only does he have a passion for acting, but also for veganism. He co-owns a vegan ice cream shoppe on 10th between 2nd and 3rd called "Stogo."

I have`been meaning to try it for a while, and Vegan Mofo is the perfect opportunity! Will Review later :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's all downhill from here...

I am so sorry for the month long hiatus from the blog! Since the beginning of the season, my training has only gone more and more down hill (which is unfortunate, because San Francisco is mainly an UPHILL race). Running hasn't been fun for me. I have been making excuses for my runs, when really, I am not putting enough effort into because I don't want to do it! (Which is a pretty valid excuse if I do say so myself). Our most recent Tuesday night training run was a pacing workout that involved three lower loops of the park (1.7 miles each). I was in tears for most of the 3rd loop, and I looked PRETTY pathetic (isn't that sad?).

My marathon is in 2 1/2 weeks (October 18th!!). I am so excited to spend a weekend in San Francisco with some of the most amazing people I know. I am excited to perform such an incredible accomplishment, and then take a nice LONG break from running. I have all my qualifications in for the NYC Marathon of 2010, so that will give me almost a year of recovery. Perfect!

I am running my last long run tomorrow morning. 20 miles all by myself :-( I am going to experiment with run walking- maybe that will spark some inspiration. The Galloway method is very famous, and has inspired some impressive results. The idea is to walk 1 minute for every mile (or every 5 minute period). This may seem like a cop-out, but many of these Galloway runners have passed me on long runs! Hopefully it will yield some successful results for me also.

After I complete this marathon, I will not stop working out, but I will try to do what my body wants me too. I do not want to be governed by guilt- that is not what exercising should be about. Instead, I'm going to do what I like to do! That can mean city walking, or some new fun workout classes. Right now, my favorite is the "core fusion sport" class at Exhale Spas. It is a very efficient cardio-strength training that really kicks my butt without depressing me! It's like a cheaper version of my personal training sessions. I am also excited to try the trapeze class at Chelsea Piers that my uncle gave me a gift certificate for :-)

In Other News....

October is not only National Beer Month, but it is also The Vegan Month of Food! (Vegan Mofo)

The concept is for vegan-friendly bloggers to write as much about vegan food as possible during the month of October. I am a vegan by no means, but I have love vegan options. Anyone can make something taste good by frying it and/or slathering cheese all over it. Someone who makes a tasty meal out of healthy foods- now THAT'S impressive. I realized recently that I go days on end eating vegan. Today I ate completely vegan (with the exception of some hot chocolate). I don't think I could do that for a month, but incorporating more vegan dishes sounds like fun! I am up for the challenge.


Today, I had one of my favorite lunches in the area. I am stuck around 122nd st all day on Thursdays (busy day at school!) and one of my favorite places to eat is Broadway Au Lait across the street. The specialize in falafel, and other vegetarian foods. I love their Greek salad (without feta- I can't stand feta cheese) and their veggie burgers, so I combine the two and eat a veggie burger patty on top of a Greek salad! Grape leaves are SO good.

Anyway, it's off to bed. 20 miles in the morning! Hopefully it will be a positive experience.

Thank you for all your support! Have a wonderful weekend.