Monday, June 29, 2009

summer daze

well, it's been a few days since my last post, and in that time it seems summer has finally arrived

i have to say i'm definitely glad to see some sunshine mixed in with the rain, but i'm not too sure how i feel about the temps. still not horrible, but starting to get a little warm and stuffy in the apartment, which makes for some not so great nights of sleep :(

in any case, last week was great workout wise!

i followed my team for kids schedule completely and got in all of my runs! surprisingly, i feel great for doing so much running. my foot isn't bothering me so much, my muscles feel less tight, and i feel less sore in general.

i mentioned in my last post that i think using the stick really helped to loosen up my muscles. i've also been stretching a lot more before and after each run, and icing when i feel i need to.

all in all i'm feeling good, and hoping it stays that way!

this week i've also been doing all of my runs. since i'll be away for july 4th weekend, i'd like to get my "long run" out of the way during the week, so i'll be doing that tomorrow. it's only 7 miles, so not a terrible one to do on my own in the a.m. before work.

actually, this morning i was supposed to do 6.2 miles since I'm not going to team for kids today after work (i have to pack for my trip!). however, i'm having problems with my garmin
:( one of the main reasons i got it was to be able to better and more acurately track my distance (and pace) for times i am running on my own, and not in the park. so, i hadn't really planned out my route ahead of time, although i was running along the east river where i usually run on my own so i'm familiar with the area.

i ran for one hour, as an estimate, 30 minutes out, 30 minutes back. although i'm sure i was going faster than 10 minute miles, so i probably did more than 6.2 miles. however, when i checked this morning, it said i went 5.4 miles out! i know i didn't go that far, because out and back that would be close to 11 miles.

11 miles in 1:01:28, which was my time, would be sub 7 minute miles!! i was going fast, but not that fast! in any case, i'm guessing i probably did about 7 miles accidentally since i overestimated on the time. i 'm estimating i was running about an 8:45-9 minute per mile pace.

at an 8:45 pace, i would have finished 6.2 miles in a little over 52 minutes, and 7 miles at just over an hour, which is where i was.

so, technically i did my long run today. since the distance isn't that much longer, and i'm also not sure about my accuracy for mileage and pace, i'll probably run the same distance tomorrow.

today before my run, i had half of a kind, macadamia, almond and walnut bar.

afterwards, when i got to work i chowed down on some breakfast. i was pretty hungry, but not starving. this breakfast was filling and satisfying - kashi heart to heart cereal, 1 sliced banana, walnuts and almond milk.

the nuts really help keep me full- i rarely have a morning snack!

i also had an iced coffee!

for lunch, i had an egg salad sandwich, made with 2 eggs and 1 tbsp. miracle whip, on whole wheat bread with lettuce and 2 thick slices of tomato. yum! i love egss and egg salad, although the fiance HATES them! he gets made when i make eggs because he says it stinks up the whole apartment. but they're yummy, and a good source of protein.

i also had a pear.

tonight, i'm packing for my trip, and having dinner with the fiance since he's staying in ny for the weekend. i'm excited to head down to virginia to visit with 2 of my friends from high school. we're going to relax on the beach- i can't wait!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

interval madness

last tuesday was another crazy killer workout with my nyrr running class.

we did:

  • 2 x 2.4 miles @ 10k pace
  • .5 miles out and back to the location
    • that makes for a total of about 6 miles! 5 of which were crazy! it was kind of like doing 2 races back to back.

      this workout was pretty tough for me. it was hard, but it was good!


      • 1 slice trader joe's organic spelt bread
      • 1 morningstar farm tomato basil pizza veggie burger
      • sliced tomato
      • 1 slice yogurt cheese
      • some pizza sauce
      • strawberries on the side

      this pizza burger was delicious!


      • 1 kiwi

      • 1 cliff bar, eaten in 2 parts, before running class

      the cliff bar was a yummy peanut toffee flavor. it was good- i had it in the fridge all day so it was a little hard at first, and very sweet. i realized it had about 20g sugar- which is ridiculous, almost like a candy bar! still, it was filling and satisfying. maybe next time i'll check the ingredients and sugar content more closely though!


      • brown rice
      • kidney beans
      • broccoli & cauliflower
      • salsa
      • shredded cheese
      • veggie flax tortilla chips

      same delicious dinner as last night- i couldn't get enough, and i was craving it all the way home from class!

      no desert, i was pooped and after dinner i showered, iced, and tried out my new cool toy- "the stick." this thing was pretty awesome! it's kind of like a foam roller, but more of a massager really. it's a stick with rolling spindles that you use to massage your muscles. you can control the intensity based on how hard you press down.

      i thought it really helped! honestly since i've used it (and maybe because i've been stretching more) i've really felt a lot better in terms of the muscle tightness i was experiencing. i've also been icing more, and my foot has been feeling better as well! this makes me happy :)

      Tuesday, June 23, 2009

      on the road again

      i went to a monday team for kids run for the first time last night, and it was great! i feel like it's nice to go during the week because it really pushes me to do a better workout than i might otherwise do on my own- oops!

      plus, i still do need to get in a decent amount of mileage even if i don't run every day that the training plan indicates. this week we're moving up to 21 miles, which is a lot for me! even when i was training for my half marathons, i generally limited running to 3 days a week, and usually only with the much longer runs would i approach 20 miles. i found it to be easier on my body.

      i'm already feeling all kinds a sore, and i don't want to be too beat up by the time the marathon rolls around!

      anyway, i'm hoping the rain holds off for tonight's running class, and tomorrow i get an "easy" day with some strength- a total body conditioning class.

      yesterday, i had a little snack before heading off to team for kids:
      • a handful of kashi cereal
      • 1 kiwi

      the kiwi was fabulous- i've had them for a while but they finally just got nice and ripe-yum!

      after tfk i stopped at trader joe's on my way home and picked up a few things since i didn't have a chance to go to the grocery store this weekend.

      when i got home, i made a great dinner:
      • brown rice
      • kidney beans
      • broccoli and cauliflower
      • tomato
      • salsa
      • mexican blend cheese
      i also had some veggie flax seed tortilla chips on the side (not pictured)

      honestly- it was delicious (even though the picture isn't great) and i was stuffed! all the veggies really add a lot of volume to the plate and fill you up :)

      alright, today i am determined to purchase a foam roller- hopefully they have one at the running store near my office. every day i come home saying how much i wish i had one! it's about time i took the plunge...

      hope everyone has a lovely tuesday!

      Monday, June 22, 2009

      monday detox and 50th post!

      after a week/weekend of not-so great eating, i'm excited that it's monday! mondays are great for getting back on track. i was actually really excited for my cereal and banana this morning :)

      also, i am happy to announce that this makes my 50th post on the blog! i'm so glad i've made it this far :) the blog has definitely transformed, but there's still a lot i'd like to do with it- maybe by the time i reach my 100th post it will be even better!



      • kashi autumn sunshine cereal
      • 1 sliced banana
      • almond breeze
      • 1 iced coffee with almond breeze and 1 stevia

      no pic of the brekkie- i was hungry by the time i got around to eating it and forgot to snap one before i dug in!

      1 6" subway sub with:

      • turkey
      • cheese
      • pickles
      • olives
      • lettuce
      • tomato
      • onion
      • oregano
      • vinegarette
      • whole wheat bread

      tonight i'm headed to team for kids! we have runs on saturday, monday and wednesday, but so far i've only been to saturday runs since i have a nyrr class on tues nights, and i've been trying to do less running/more cross training.

      but, since i didn't go on saturday, i figured it would be a great way to start my week!

      we're doing an easy 4 mile run on the bridle path. i just hope the rain holds off...

      happy monday everyone!

      Sunday, June 21, 2009

      and, i'm back

      i know you all missed me :) sorry i've been mia for a while, but things with work and life got a little busy this week. but here i am, and i'm hoping this will be a better week!


      i managed to get in a few decent workouts this week, including a great speed workout at my running class on tuesday night in central park.

      we did intervals:
      • 1 mile (on the 110th st. hills!)
      • 1/2 mile
      • 1/2 mile
      • 1/4 mile
      • 1/4 mile
      my stomach was bothering me a bit, so i feel like i could have pushed a bit harder, but it was still a great workout. it always is- every tuesday i leave class feeling totally exhausted and beat, but great. it's a little sick, i know.

      wednesday i got in some strength with a total body conditioning class at the gym, and thursday i took as a rest day, since i did my long run friday.

      thursday was also the worst day ever in nyc, weather-wise at least. it was pouring rain all day, and really just blah. i feel like everyone was in a really weird mood because of it, including me!

      since thursday was pretty much a bust, friday was the busiest day ever! i still had to fit in my long run since i couldn't make it to team for kids saturday, so i went to the gym after work. i know, i know treadmill running is awful, but it was really the only way i could make it work since i still had some other errands and stuff to do after that.

      anyway, it was a bit of a disaster. i was having stomach issues again (more on that later) and i was exhausted from a crazy busy day. i ran at 8:49 minute mile pace, and it wasn't great. well, the first 3 miles about were ok. then i had to stop for a bathroom break, and it was hard to get back into it. i stopped every mile to get off the treadmill for a water break, and i called it a day after 5 miles.

      oh well, not every workout is a winner, and not every week is a good week. i'm still glad that i fit in a run, and that i tried to push the pace (aka didn't slown down to 10 minute miles- it's not that long of a run yet that i can justify doing that).

      today i may try and head to the gym a little later either for a yoga class, or an elliptical workout and some weights. still trying to keep the running balanced with cross training, especially because to throw another log on the fire, my right hip has now started bothering me :(

      boy, i guess this really isn't my week! i hate to be whiney though, so i'm trying to keep a positive outlook.


      this week wasn't the best for me food-wise either. when i get super stressed, it usually gets harder for me to eat healthfully, although in reality it's probably when it counts the most to have a healthy diet!

      i definitely noticed that this week. i wasn't great about making sure to eat enough fruit and veggies, and i ate a little here and there of things i don't normally, and it really affected me. more bagels, less cereal or oats. more random snacks (i.e. a handful or 2 of m&ms, less fruit). more eating out in general. not enough water throughout the day, more alchohol than usual.

      because of this, a lot of days this week my stomach was upset, and i definitely could tell my body was affected by my choices.

      still, i feel like it definitely made me aware of how my body does respond to what i put in it, and it made me realize that it's important to listen to my body, which i'm getting better at every day.

      i'm still glad i was able to hold up some of my goals for the healthy life month challenge.

      • i still haven't been using any artificial sweetener
      • have incorporated much more whole grain into my diet
      • have been eating less meat.

      areas that are still challenging for me are:

      • dairy (i can't help it, i love cheese!)
      • soy products
      • white flour/sugar.

      but even so, i haven't had any milk since the start of the challenge except for almond milk. i cut back on soy except for tofu cream cheese, and i have greatly limited my intake of white flour and try to cut back on sugar where i can.

      it's all a work in progress :)

      alright, hope everyone has a lovely sunday!

      Tuesday, June 16, 2009

      team for kids

      i've mentioned in some previous posts, and you've probably realized by now, that i'm training to run the nyc marathon this year with team for kids.

      team for kids is a group of more than 1,300 runners who raise funds to support the youth services arm of new york road runners.

      did you know:

      • more than 43 percent of new york city children are overweight or obese, putting them at significant risk for early onset of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic illnesses that undermine quality of life and that, nationally, lead to health-care costs in excess of $100 billion annually?

      • student-teacher ratios for physical education in new york city elementary schools are estimated to be 730 to 1, and 2 out of every 5 new york city public schools offer no after-school sports or fitness activities at all.

      team for kids helps nyrr deliver running-based fitness programs to 50,000 at-risk school children each week in new york and a handful of other cities. these programs are run by trained volunteers who help kids learn to run, eat well, and achieve fitness and health goals.

      (information above provided by team for kids)

      please support me and thousands of children in the fight against childhood obesity by


      to donate follow the link above and:

      • enter my marathon entry number: 347601
      • enter my last name: Hirschorn

      your support really means a lot, and will help me reach my goal of raising $2500 and running 26.2 miles this november!

      Monday, June 15, 2009

      steel cut oats and holey donuts!

      well, it's monday which means back to my regularly scheduled eating. on weekends i usually tend to indulge a bit more and allow myself some "treats." during the week, for the most part i try to stick to a more balanced diet and tend to plan out more of my meals.

      i finally finished all of my trader joe's maple brown sugar oatmeal packets, so for brekkie i decided to try the steel cut oats i bought a few weeks ago. it's a rainy day in nyc (again!) so i figured it was more of an oatmeal day than a cereal day.


      • 1/4 c. trader joe's steel cut oats
      • about 1/2 c. water
      • about 1/2 c. almond breeze
      • 1 sliced banana
      • 1 large dollop raw almond butter

      this was my first time making steel cut oats and since i made them at work i had to use the microwave rather than the stovetop. they took a bit longer to cook than my usual oatmeal, but they still came out pretty good.

      after cooking them for a combined total of 5 minutes, i ended up with a heaping bowl of oats :) it was so much that i couldn't even finish it all. i probably ate a little more than half, and then i was stuffed.

      they tasted a little more chewy than the oatmeal i'm used to, but overall not too shabby. i will definitely be eating these again, and maybe one of these days if i have time i'll make them the night before on the stove.

      mixed greens salad with:
      • tomato
      • baby corn
      • cucumber
      • chick peas
      • feta

      i also had a pear on the side.

      now that i shared some of my healthy eats, please check out danica's holey donut giveaway :) these donuts look amazing, and, the best part is they're lower calorie treats. i reeeallly wish i had one of these for my afternoon snack, but i guess i'll just have to settle for my greek yogurt with strawberries and walnuts...

      olives and deep water running

      i had a great run on saturday with team for kids! we did a 5.5 mile run (about- probably closer to 6 miles with the warm up). i went with the experienced group again, and our average pace was around 8:45 minute miles. although i have to say we did vary the pace quite a bit, jumping around from over 9 minutes, to under 8 minutes.

      we finished the run with a strong sprint, which was tough but felt great. all in all a great run. it wasn't hot, but i could definitely feel the humidity towards the end.

      then, we did our cool down and stretching, which included some yoga courtesy of one of our members who is a yoga instructor :)

      i did get to ask the coach about my foot, and he has a podiatrist he recommended i see. he told me if orthodics would help correct my gait and reduce my pain, then they would be good as long as they're the soft kind. additionally, he said that it's ok if i incorporate more cross training into my workouts, and that if anything that would be a benefit to me.

      he also recommended that i look into the deep water running class that nyrr offers, because it's non-impact but still a great "running" workout. i looked into it and the next class i would sign up for starts on july 27th, which is still a month away. that's ok though because in the meantime i still have the nyrr running class on tuesdays.

      in the meantime i will try and run 2 days a week with team for kids and do the nyrr class one day, and cross train the rest of the time. i'll keep an eye on how my foot is feeling though, and alter my training accordingly.

      unfortunately the 5.5 mile run was the extent of my exercise for the weekend. but maybe it's better that i rested on sunday anyway, since tonight i have another team for kids run after work.

      afterward saturday's run i headed over to see my friend's new apartment, and then we went to ess a bagel. i was especially delighted to find that at this location they had tofu olive cream cheese!! i LOVE olives, but they never have tofu olive cc anywhere, so this made my day. i ordered that on a whole wheat bagel, and it was maybe the best thing i've ever eaten. well, i was STARVING by the time we ate, but it certainly rivals my discovery of sabra greek olive hummus, at the least.

      anyway, obviously i had tofu, which is not a part of the cleaner life month challenge, but that's ok. i did say at the outset there were certain things i wasn't and didn't want to give up and i am fine with that. i've still been reducing my consumption of the items on the no-no list, and in some cases eliminating them, and i am still very happy with my progress so far.

      i'll do another update on the cleaner life month later this week!

      sorry there are no pictures of the bagel and olive cc in all its glory , but i didn't bring my camera with me to team for kids, so i couldn't take any pics.

      happy monday :)

      Saturday, June 13, 2009

      designer diggs

      check out my new diggs! am i even spelling that right?

      anyway, you may have noticed some changes to my blog design. when i started the blog, i just went for it with out doing much research ahead of time about how to really create a blog. i kind of just jumped right in.

      so, it's a work in progress as i figure it all out, but i'm making some headway. i also have my own domain name now, which i'm very excited about!

      you'll still be able to get to the blog from the blogspot address, but having my own url is pretty darn cool :)

      alright, i hope everyone is enjoying their weekends! more about this morning's tfk run coming soon...

      Friday, June 12, 2009

      spin and sushi friday

      my foot has been bothering me all week, probably the result of lots of running in the past few weeks :( going from the half marathon, right into marathon training and the 10k race was a lot.

      since sunday's race i've been trying to take it easy - i did a total body conditioning class for some strength training monday, a speed workout tuesday and took wednesday AND thursday off!

      today i did some cross training and took a spin class- it was great. i love doing spin because it gets my heart rate up a lot and helps keep up my endurance, but it's less stress on my foot.

      i'm enrolled in a nyrr running class right now, and that combined with my team for kids runs makes for a lot of running! but i love love LOVE the nyrr class. i can't say enough great things about it. they're totally killer speed work sessions, but the class helped me improve my performance and increase my speed SO much.

      so, because of running class i haven't gone to all of my team for kids runs this week, which is ok. it's still early, and i already have a base that i'm working with.

      tomorrow i have a team for kids (tfk) run- we're doing about 5.5 miles. one (of the many) great thing about tfk is that they promote running on soft surfaces, like the bridle path in central park, rather than on pavement. they say this will help the longevity of your running career by putting less stress on your body. i totally agree, and need to pay more attention to this when i run. i'm hoping it will help my foot, too :)

      at tfk tomorrow i plan on talking to the coaches about what i can do to prevent my injury from getting worse, and how i may be able to alter the marathon training plan a little bit to incoporate some more cross training and a little less running. i've been reading so many different marathon training plans, i think i'm getting myself confused!


      anyway, enough about running. tonight i'm having sushi for dinner and i can't wait! i heart sushi friday :) i may break a cleaner life month rule though and get the sushi with white rice- we'll see.

      this morning i was good- i didn't get tofu cream cheese, or regular cheese on my bagel! instead, i got a whole wheat bagel with egg and tomato- filling and delicious- yum!

      lunch was the other half of my salad from yesterday- yummm. i think i'm addicted to the sherry shallot vinagarette dressing from just salad...

      happy (almost) weekend!

      Thursday, June 11, 2009

      challenge check-in and some eats

      so, it's friday, and day FIVE of the cleaner life challenge. how have i been doing so far? well, pretty darn good if i do say so myself.

      i certainly have been eating some things on the "no-no" list, but overall my choices have been better, and i just feel better in general. i know the challenge has only been happening for 4 days, but i've been trying to slowly make changes over the past weeks, and i have noticed a difference!

      someone even commented to me that my face looked thinner and asked if i'd been losing weight :) i am, in fact at my lowest weight since high school, which was, oh, well too many years ago to really say ;)

      it's somewhat surprising to me since i haven't been counting calories, or measuring (unless for a specific recipe). in general i've been eating foods that fill me up, that are more nutritious, and i've been listening to my body. eating when i'm hungry, stopping and not finishing if i'm full (shocker!), and also indulging in real treats, on occasion, which leave me more satisfied than the fake stuff.

      i've also been eating a whole lot of peanut and almond butter, like a ridiculous amount, like a little less than a jar a week, but i guess that's another story...

      anyway, here are some of this week's eats:

      • nature's path rasin bran with flax cereal
      • 1 banana, sliced
      • handful of walnuts
      • almond breeze
      • 1 cup iced coffee with almond breeze and agave syrup

      • salmon salad made with canned salmon, chopped celery and miracle whip
      • 1 whole wheat english muffin
      • side salad with mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, celery, feta cheese

      • whole wheat cous cous
      • chick peas
      • roasted assorted veggies including onions, zucchini, squash, eggplant, asparagus
      • 2 tbsp sabra greek olive hummus
      • fig newman's with pb&co. "the bees knees" peanut butter
      (sorry, no pic of this yummy dinner- i left my camera memory card at work!)

      • nature's path rasin bran with flax
      • 1 sliced banana
      • handful of walnuts
      • almond breeze
      • 1 iced coffee with almond breeze and 1 packet stevia
      • salmon salad with chopped celery
      • whole wheat english muffin
      • side salad with celery, tomato, cucumbers, feta
      • 1 pear

      same as yesterday for brekkie and lunch so i'll spare you the pics of everything but the pear :)

      • 1 serving trader joe's peanut butter pretzels
      • chocolate almond breeze

      • whole wheat cous cous
      • chickpeas
      • onions, squash, zuchini, asparagus, peppers

      • nature's path blueberry cinnamon optimum cereal
      • 1 banana, sliced
      • handful walnuts
      • 1 container trader joe's organic greek vanilla yogurt, 0%
      • 1 cup iced coffee with almond breeze and agave syrup
      this yogurt bowl combo was EXTREMELY filling- i couldn't finish it! i ate probably about 3/4.

      • salad with mixed greens, chickpeas, dried cranberries, walnuts, feta, cucumber, tomato, celery

      • 1 serving peanut butter puffins
      • chocoalte almond breeze

      • whole wheat cous cous
      • blackbeans
      • corn
      • tomatoes
      • onions
      • cheddar cheese
      • salsa

      • fig newmans with pb & co. "the bees knees" peanut butter

      • nature's path blueberry cinnamon optimum cereal
      • 1 banana, sliced
      • handful raw peacn halves
      • almond breeze
      • 1 cup iced coffee with almond breeze and 1 packet stevia

      • chopped spinach salad with:
      • portabello mushrooms
      • hearts of palm
      • wheatberries
      • blue cheese
      • asparagus
      • a little bit of sherry shallot dressing on the side
      • 1 small piece whole grain bread
      • 1 orange

      • peanut butter puffins
      • 1 and a half bottles of magner's cide - yummmm
      this, i'm sure is not part of the cleaner life challenge, but i did say there are some things i wasn't going to give up ;) we went out for a co-worker's last day so i counted it as a treat :)

      • whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce
      • sprinkle of pecorino romano
      • 1 whole wheat english muffin with pat of butter
      (sorry- the camera ate my picture of this yummy-ness!)

      what's good:
      • nut milk instead of skim
      • stevia/agave syrup instead of splenda
      • no meat
      • no soy
      • whole wheat grains
      • lots of veggies
      • beans
      • nuts
      • organic greek yogurt
      what's questionable:
      • processed foods and snacks like pretzels, cereal, cookies
      • not enough fruit
      • non-organic cheese/too much cheese
      i think the fact that my good list outweighs my questionable list isn't too shabby :) also, even though i'm eating processed food like cereal, it is organic and lower in sugar than some other alternatives.

      so far so good, although i am contemplating a bagel with tofu cc toay... ;)

      next week i hope to cut back on the dairy and cheese.

      does anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend? i have a run with Team for Kids saturday, and the rest of the weekend is up in the air :)

      happy friday!

      Wednesday, June 10, 2009

      speed demon! nyrr women's mini 10k re-cap

      happy wednesday! i can't believe it's already wednesday, but i am so, SO glad it is :)

      on sunday, i ran the nyrr women's mini 10k in central park. it was a great race, the best i've run all season, and maybe EVER! i got a PR, and i broke the 8 minute mile pace mark!!!

      here are my stats from the race:

      Time: 48:42
      Pace Per Mile: 7:51
      Overall Place: 349
      Age Place: 97

      i am so happy with my time, and i really had no idea i could even go that fast. i think it helped that i had a specific goal in mind, and that i was mentally prepared to meet that goal. i was shooting for 8 minute miles, and somehow i went even faster.

      this is a great race, although the course is a bit tough.

      miles 1-2: the first mile and change are done outside of the park on central park west, which is closed to traffic. it's a flat road, so it's pretty easy to take off fast. i did my first 2 miles at around a 7:30 pace give or take. once we entered into the park, we started to approach the hills. i felt great through mile 2 :) i was flying on the first downhill! i grabbed water at the second water station but continued running with it.

      miles 3-4: i started to get a bit tired around mile 3, but i blew past those hills! they wore me out! i noticed my pace slowing a bit, but i told myself to keep pushing it. i wondered if i had maybe gone out too fast. although i slowed, i didn't let myself slow too much and i kept a fast past. i got water at the third water station- but this time i stopped and walked fast while drinking.

      miles 5-6.2: this was the toughest stretch of the race! i was so tired, but i kept pushing. i told myself i had to reach my goal, and that i would feel so happy when i finished and i did it. i told myself how disappointed i would be if i gave up. i was happy once we made it down to 59th street and rounded the south side of the park. i was even happier when we saw the sign that said 800 meters left! at that point i picked up my speed a little. we were almost there! then we saw the sign for 400 meters left- it felt like forever between those two signs- i couldn't believe i'd only gone 400 meters :( the woman in front of me shouted out "No!" when we saw there was still 400 meters left. i totally felt the same way! i pushed on, the last home stretch was killer, but finally i made it to the finish line!!

      afterwards i was so happy to see my time, and proud of myself that i didn't give up! at the finish, evetyone received a flower and a medal, and i enjoyed a plum and some water and gatorade.

      all in all it was a great race! i realized how fast i could go, and i hope to continue to improve my speed throughout the summer through my speed workouts at my nyrr running class.

      Monday, June 8, 2009

      cleaner life month- day one

      so, a few days ago, i read about heather's cleaner life month . recently i've been doing a lot to try and eat a more natural, less artificial diet, and incorporating more fruits and veggies on a daily basis.

      so, i'm jumping on the cleaner life bandwagon! my goal is to follow heather's guidelines where i can, and try to eat as clean a diet as possible. i'm not necessarily going to eliminate all of the items on the "no-no" list, but where i can't or don't want to i will cut back on them.

      i want to use this challenge to help me think more about the types of food i'm putting in my body, and to help me to make better choices.

      here's the general idea behind the challenge:

      the no-nos:
      • soy, tofu, soymilk, soy products
      • artificial sweeteners
      • non-organic dairy products (or dairy products in general)
      • non-organic produce
      • white flour
      • white sugar
      • pre-packaged or processed foods
      • coffee
      the good list:
      • organic dairy or nut milk (i.e. almond milk)
      • natural sweeteners (honey, agave syrup)
      • whole wheat flour/grains
      • fresh fruit, fresh produce
      • tea
      my goals:
      • eliminate artificial sweeteners and use honey, agave syrup or stevia ONLY
      • use almond milk instead of skim milk
      • buy organic dairy products, like greek yogurt and cheese; reduce my intake of these items
      • eat only whole wheat past and cous-cous- NO MORE WHITE PASTA!
      • eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
      • reduce my consumption of pre-packaged and processed foods, such as pretzels, certain granola bars, crackers, cookies, etc. (i definitely won't eliminate these items, i enjoy them, so i will try to eat less of them)
      • eat more natural snacks, such as dried fruit and nuts
      • drink more water! (this one wasn't on the list, but i've been slacking in the hydration department, and need to pay more attention to this)
      • start drinking more tea and less coffee; if i do drink coffee, no artificial sweeteners, and limit it to 1 cup a day
      • reduce my consumption of meat (this wasn't necessarily part of the challenge, but it's something i've been thinking about a lot lately, and i think it fits in nicely!); eat fish instead of meat, if anything
      • increase my consumption of legumes, and incorporate new healthy grains into my diet, such as qinoa and polenta
      what i've done so far:
      • stopped using splenda and other artificial sweeteners
      • purchased honey and agave syrup to use instead
      • switched from skim milk to almond breeze
      • purchased organic greek yogurt
      • purchased lots of fruits and vegetables for the week, many of which were organic (although not everything was!)
      • haven't eaten meat since wednesday!
      • purchased whole grain cous cous and pasta
      • made quinoa for the first time last week!
      wow, that seems like a lot and it's only day one, although i've been making the effort to do some of these things for the past few weeks anyway. that's why i was so excited to read about this challenge!

      i'm definitely not perfect though - i bought non-organic cheese this week, and some non-organic produce, including strawberries and bananas (yes these fruits represent some of the dirty dozen). i also bought pretzels, some fig newman's cookies, and i still have some crackers from the past few weeks too.

      but, that's ok! i'm happy with the progress i've made, and i'm sure i will make additional changes in the coming weeks.

      i also need to remember that balance is important. even if some of my fruit and veggies aren't organic, they still may be a better choice than some other things. and, i don't want to deprive myself of the things i really enjoy, but i want to to try and enjoy them in moderation.

      i just finished reading food matters by mark bittman, who is a chef and food columnist for the new york times. this book has helped to think about eating more cleanly and naturally, and it really goes along with the principles of the cleaner life month! look out for a review of the book coming soon!

      mango banana-y goodness

      on saturday i had a busy day planned after my team for kids run, which included wedding stuff, and also the most delicious smoothie i have ever had/made in my ENTIRE life. seriously, i cannot tell you how good this smoothie was, and it makes me sad to think i've been missing out on this deliciousness for so many years.

      after team for kids i came home and made a super quick lunch, which consisted of a veggie burger on 1 slice of whole wheat toast, with 1 piece of laughing cow light cheese, lettuce, ketchup and mustard. i also had some yummy fresh strawberries on the side, which i bought on my way home from my run.

      then i quickly got ready and headed out the door to go look for bridesmaid dresses! i went to two stores, and tried about a bazillion dresses :) luckily i had an idea of what i was looking for, and it only took about two hours.

      i ended up finding a great dress that is simple, elegant, and i think will look flattering on all of my bridesmaids. no, they likely won't be able to wear it again (afterall it is still a bridesmaid dress) but it's not completely hideous and tacky!

      i brought along a kind cranbury almond bar to snack on during my shopping trip, which i enjoyed with a small iced coffee from starbucks in between stores.

      in my iced coffee, i put only a very small amount of skim milk, and no sweetner. i stopped using splenda and artificial sweetner in my drinks, and i have to say it's going really well! it was much easier than i thought to ween myself, and i've gotten used to drinking my coffee and tea without as much sweetner.

      i initially transitioned by substituting stevia, a new, (supposedly) natural sweetner. i'd like to try to use that sparingly, and so i also bought honey and agave syrup to keep at work for my morning coffee and tea :)

      so far, so good!

      after bridesmaid dress shopping i came home, and since it was going to be a while before i ate dinner, i wanted to have another snack. i was thinking about yogurt, but decided instead to use the yogurt to make a smoothie- best idea EVER!

      we usually have a ton of frozen fruit, but we only had frozen mango left. so i made a smoothie with:
      • two handfuls frozen mango
      • 1/2 banana
      • 1 individual container trader joe's organic 0% vanilla greek yogurt
      • some water, for blending

      the result: heaven on earth! it was the most amazing, creamy smoothy i've ever tasted. it was like a mango cremsicle, but better. it was very thick and creamy. the mango and vanilla yogurt blended together to create the perfect amount of sweetness, and there was a subtle hint of banana, just the right amount.

      (this picture does not do it justice. had i known how good this would be, i would have spent more time working to portray its true deliciousness.)

      of course, i made it using my magic bullet, which you should go buy right now if you don't already have one.

      i bought lots of yogurt and more frozen fruit yesterday, and i hope to re-create this amazingness again soon :)

      later, we went to a friends' apartment for dinner i had 1.5 slices of pizza (blotted with a napkin) and lots of salad. i also enjoyed way to much of the delicious snacks, which included dried fruit, baked jalapeno cheeze doodles from trader joes, cookies, and an assorted variet of chips. i definitely tried everything ;)

      the fiance and my friends went out afterwards, but i headed home and called it a night so i could rest up for my 10k on sunday!

      i was a little sad to have to head home :( ahh, the sacrafices a runner has to make...
      it was certainly well worth it though, since sunday's 10k was my best race yet!

      i heart team for kids!

      hello, and happy monday! sorry i've been mia the past few days, what a crazy busy weekend! it was jam packed with lots of running (of course!), wedding planning, and seeing friends.

      friday was a nice night in. the fiance and i ordered in dinner and watched a movie. have any of you ever seen memento? it's from a while back, but neither of us had seen it. it was only ok, a little disappointing in the end though.

      dinner was takeout from an asian place near my old apartment. it was rainy and yuck, and i decided to go with the veggie noodle soup. i ate about half, and the veggies were delish.

      i also had some cheese and crackers on the side.

      i'm glad i had a relaxing night, because on saturday, i had my first team for kids training run. my five month journey to 26.2 has officially begun! it's so crazy to think i'm actually starting to train for the marathon, because it's something i've been thinking and talking about for a really long time.

      the training run on saturday was a nice and easy 4 mile run. before we began, we all gathered at a meeting spot where we got a little introduction from the head coach, met all of our coaches, and heard from the executive director of team for kids, as well as the president of nyrr, mary wittenberg.

      everyone was so friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic, which makes me really excited for the next five months.

      then, we broke out into three group levels for the run. beginner, intermediate, and experienced. at first i went with the intermediate group, because honestly i was intimidated by the small amount of people in the experienced group (a handful of men, who looked like they could be the super-fast type). i eventually switched to the experienced group though, when they told us about the pace of the groups.

      we had two coaches, who were really great. they talked with us throughout the run, and encouraged us to ask questions. i think they'll be a great resource and will provide good advice throughout our training. one of them even was a professionally competitive runner who was at the world champion level (i think) for the 800 meter.

      the run went well, we finished in about 31 minutes and afterwards we stretched. we also did a short warmup and stretched before the run, and they told us about the important difference between active, or dynamic stretching before a run, and static stretching after a run.

      the active/dynamic stretching incorporates movement, so you're not pulling (and potentially tearing) your muscles. after a run, your muscles are already warmed up, so it's ok to incorporate both active/dynamic and static stretching.

      with team for kids, we have runs 3 times a week- a long run on saturday, and evening runs on mondays and wednesdays. this week, i'm skipping monday and wednesday, since i ran both sat. and sun. (a 10k on sat.) and i also have nyrr running class on tuesday night.

      i definitely don't want to over do it, so for now i'll go to the saturday runs, and maybe next week start going one evening as well.

      with the start of team for kids, and with my official acceptance to the marathon that i received friday, i am now officially training for a marathon!

      stay tuned for my re-cap of the women's mini 10k, which i ran on sunday, and more about my weekend...

      Friday, June 5, 2009

      rainy friday

      good morning! i'm so happy it's friday that i don't event care about the rain outside my window. i'll take what i can get here - friday trumps rain.

      yesterday i made a delicious afternoon yogurt bowl- this was a really great afternoon snack, especially for summer, because it's filling and refreshing at the same time.

      it contained:
      • 1 cup trader joe's 0% organic greek vanilla yogurt
      • strawberries
      • handful of walnuts

      the walnuts add crunch and really make the whole snack! i do really like the tj's greek yogurt. i know that the plain has less sugar, but sometimes i just like the sweetness of the vanilla. i tend to switch back and forth between plain and vanilla, or just buy whichever they have because they don't always have both!

      i enjoyed a nice spin class after work. it was a nice change from all of my running and my usual weekly workout routine! after the class, i also did a mini-weights session, which included:

      • 30 bicep curls
      • 30 tricep curls
      • 20 shoulder presses
      • 30 side arm raises
      • 20 upper body rows
      • 20 dead lifts
      • 30 pushups
      • combination of situps, including bicycles :)
      i also am in the process of switching my workout schedule back from mornings to evenings. i started working out in the mornings a few months ago, and loved having the extra time at night. however, my running class and team for kids runs during the week are all in the evenings, so it makes sense for me to do all my workouts after work.

      in a way, it's kind of nice, because it gives me more time in the morning!

      when do you workout?

      dinner was a little bit of a downer last night. it sadly was not successful. i bought a package of tempehtations, which are pre-made tempeh cubes with marinade. the ones i purchased were ginger teriyaki flavor, and i was really excited to try them.

      i sauteed them in a pan with a little bit of olive oil and some broccoli, and served them over rice, with some leftover sweet potato, too.

      i tried them, but i just couldn't do it- i had to stop eating them! they had a weird after taste to them, and i couldn't tell if that's what they were supposed to taste like (i've never had tempeh before) or if they had gone bad!

      either way, i didn't like it, so i took them off my plate and ate the sweet potatos and broccoli. i also had some leftover black beans that i heated up on the side for some protein which i added to the rice.

      i'm glad i tried the tempeh, but sad it didn't work out because i really wanted to like it! oh well, that's not to say i won't evet try it again!

      for desert, i had one of my mini soy ice cream sandwiches with "the bees knees" peanut butter. it was my last one, which makes me both happy and sad at the same time!

      i'm glad i got a little strength training in yesterday, because i'm taking today as a rest day. tomorrow marathon training begins, and sunday i'm running the women's mini 10k in central park! is anyone else running that?

      alright, better grab my umbrella and it's off to work!

      Thursday, June 4, 2009

      hi, i'm steph, and i'm addicted to veggie burgers

      this morning was delicious- a nice refreshing bowl of cereal.

      it had:
      • 1 cup nature's path rasin bran
      • 1 banana
      • 3/4 cup skim milk
      • handful of walnuts

      sooo good...

      so, can you guess what i'm having for lunch today? yep, that's right, a VEGGIE BURGER!

      i might be a little obsessed, just a little. they're tasty, filling, and so easy to throw together for lunch at night, or in the a.m.

      today, lunch included:

      • 1 morning star farm vegetable medley veggie burger
      • 1 thomas' whole wheat english muffin
      • 1 piece laughing cow light cheese
      • lettuce, tomato, and dijon mustard
      • grapes

      ahh, heavenly :)

      tonight after work i am headed to a spin class for some cross training.

      don't forget to check out some giveaways!

      gearing up for marathon

      good morning! i can't believe it's already thursday, but hey, i'm not complaining about that.

      this week i've been taking it fairly easy with my workouts, what with recovering from the half, and prepping for marathon training which begins on (yikes!) saturday. this means lots of rest. i alloted for 6 days of working out this week, but i already skipped yesterday, and i might also take the day off on friday.

      yesterday i just didn't feel like working out. i felt tired, and decided to listen to my body and just let myself REST.

      i've mentioned before that this can be a pretty hard thing for me to do. but i have 5 months of training coming up, and i don't want to get burnt out before the marathon! i've heard from several people that they trained so much and worked themselves so hard, that by marathon time, they felt beat up.

      i'd like to try to avoid that as much as possible, which for me really means not over-doing it, listening to my body, resting a day or two each week, and cross training. i think cross training will be key for me to keep up my endurance and help avoid inflaming the tendinitis in my foot, and also preventing other injuries.

      anyway, here were some of yesterday's eats...


      • 1 packet tj's maple brown sugar oatmeal (last one!)
      • 1 small banana
      • 1/2 c. water
      • 1/2 c. skim milk
      • 1 small coffee with stevia and a splash of skim milk

      i was on a breakfast bagel kick for a few days (i can't help my ess a bagel addiction), and decided the only thing that could get me off of that was some pb oatmeal goodness.

      • 1 whole wheat mission tortilla wrap with 2 tbsp. sabra hummus, spinach, and roasted zuchini and eggplant
      • grapes

      this wrap was unbelievable! i had roasted some veggies the night before for dinner, and used the leftovers in this wrap. the flavor was really good (i used olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and chopped garlic for the veggies) and the humus made it very savory. i was planning on eating half, but it was so good i ended up eating the whole thing!

      • leftover pasta with 2 trader joe's turkey meatballs and tomato sauce with a sprinkle of pecorino romano cheese
      • 1 mini soy delicious ice cream sandwich, topped with pb & co. "the bees knees" peanut butter

      i think i am addicted to the pb & co. peanut butter- i need to stop buying it ;)

      alright, off to work. more to come soon on rest and recover, and cross-training...