Saturday, June 30, 2012

Schooooooool's Out for Summer!

So I think it's as good a time as ever to start getting back into a running groove. Tomorrow. It's just too damn hot.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oh, that's nice.

It's been a totally lame week for me and running. I have so much to do in these last days of work before vacation, then squeeze in birthdays, engagements, dinners, interviews and then throwing running in the mix is stressing me out. Because I'm forcing it.

Running sucks when I'm in this overwhelmed threshold. For example, once again, I set out for a long run yesterday on my usual trail. I knew things were heading south as soon as I stepped out of the car and it was sooooo not 73 degrees...more like 85. I set out with a slow pace, around 11:00, for the first mile and a half. There are two college aged girls walking on the narrow part of the path side by side. Wearing all kinds of running gear. Walking slowly. They turn to look behind them as they hear me approach, and continue to walk side by side.

Uh, it's hot, I'm tired, I've got 4 million things on my mind and now I'm annoyed. I sound like a douche, but really, this is supposed to be my stress relief!

I run around them and shake my head. Now that I'm annoyed, I'm running about 10:00 m/m. About 2 minutes later, still on the narrow path, they start to run alongside me. Just. Right. Next. To. Me. Almost touching. Now, they're not going that fast, obviously, as we are running together now. Yet the one in the compression socks, camelbak, etc decides to just hop right in front of me and slow down to a light trot. I almost fell on top of her. I yell "excuse me!" as I balance on the curb to avoid ending up in the street to get around this crazy. Now I'm doing about 9:30 m/m...which is too fast for me. And it takes all my energy to focus on not turning around and giving them a Bronx welcome with a choice finger. I run up the crazy steep hill at the 2 mile mark and I hit a serious wall. I waited for my husband to catch up and we take a walk break. We did another mile back and I quit. As we walked to the car, there's a sign set up for some low key, unmarked ultra marathon that's going on. And it all makes sense, all these rude randoms on my route...out of towners. Watched a pack of five more nearly get hit by cars running against the light. Tried the whole smile and wave at more of these people only to get strange looks. Really happy for you guys. You can run 100 miles, oblivious to your surroundings, while being jerks...awesome.

And then we packed the car, went to Philly, saw Jim Gaffigan in Atlantic City and it was awesome. Goodnight :)

*positive posts to resume shortly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Hey New York!!

Guess what?

It's HOT outside!

Like, really, really, really, really, really, really, HOT!


Are you sick of the news reports about it being hot? And it's summer?


Okay.  I'm delirious.  I didn't even give a thought towards running outdoors today.  In fact, I barely did all week.  The Jackie Warner workout I did on Sunday beat me with a baseball bat.  I literally could barely move until today. 

So I had this whole plan to go work my ass off on the dreadmill...but I get scheduled for a phone interview at 5.  WHAT TO DO!? I don't get cell service inside my house (Thanks, AT&T) so I decide to workout until 4:50, run to my car, blast the AC to try and dry myself off a little, and get me through that first interview.  Check my email, got another one lined up. 


I got two miles in, not bad considering I was barely able to stand up straight yesterday.  I'll have to try it again tomorrow.  

It's kinda weird that I wait all year for summer vacation, like the 5 year old that I am, and it's almost all booked up already!  Friends, if you're reading, I have limited days now! :)  Last night I finally booked the rest of the hotels for California.  That tyrant of a husband made me sit there and do it because I'm such a slacker.  But then he got me an ice cream sandwich (skinny cow ftw!) and I'm in love again.

I'm kinda ultra excited about our California trip.  Other than Napa, Sonoma, Russian River Brewing Co., Stone Brewing, beaches, kayaking in sea coves, Alcatraz, shopping, The Grove, Sea World, etc... It's also become the quirky hotel tour because quirky hotels have good (for CA) prices.  Check out the Yelps....

Hotel Rex, San Francisco Jazz themed, free wine hour with local wines.

Kon Tiki Inn, Pismo Beach All rooms face the ocean and have a patio!

The Pearl Hotel, San Diego Outdoor movies by the pool, bar with local brews.

Farmer's Daughter Hotel, Los Angeles Good restaurant, across from The Grove and Farmers Market.

I really want to squeeze a race in while out there, but somebody doesn't want to!  Boooooo! 

Only problem I have is the flying part.  I have meltdowns.  Quiet, sobbing, meltdowns before I board planes and waiting to take off.  I am a BALL of fun. 

But once the money is out of the bank, there's no going back. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Real-ish Post...?

The suspense was terrible, right?  I mean, did Cat run another whopping "three easy miles" or a walk/run five?  What did she eat?  Did she behave this weekend?

All that and more in this issue, folks. 

So, I ran the fastest three miles yet on Thursday, despite really not wanting to go, and starting out at about 6:00PM. 30:20 seconds!!  That is SO close to me being under 30 minutes.  If you recall, way back in March when I ran my first 5K, I did it in almost 40 minutes.  Something is working!  It's incredible.  I'm hoping when I run the 5K next month I can do it under 30. 

I've decided that since my friend gave me her Jack Rabbit Sports gift card that she received at the Bronx Zoo run, that I'm going to use it to get another pair of Brooks PureConnects in a bigger size.  My big toenail is bruising lately, and I think the extra room will hopefully keep me from having zombie toes. 

Exciting stuff! I know!

Didn't run Friday, and had a Belgian inspired feast, yet again!

Garlic bread, FRIES, Mussels and Clams!

Got up on Saturday and decided to change things up.  Drove up the Bronx River Parkway, parked and ran from the County Center to the Kensico Dam.  The first three miles were good, got me right to the front of the dam.  More hills than my usual run, but I should be doing that anyway.  Totally should've brought my camera, it was gorgeous out!

Halfway Point!

Side of Dam

This is where we decided to take a break and go up the crazy steep stairs to the top of the dam.  Let me tell you something, running?  Doesn't scare me. Stairs?  HORRIBLE.  I suck at stairs.  Yet I walk up 72 stairs to my office every day.  And it NEVER gets easier.  These were even worse!  My husband was able to just walk up them like nothing.  I think I crawled. 

3/4 of the way up. Speck is stair champ.

 I don't know what I was expecting at the top...but this is what we got:

A road.  And water.
After getting back down the stairs, in the sweltering heat (65 degrees my arse) we started the three miles back. 

And I got one and a half miles in and quit.  Pretty lame.  But my mouth and throat were so dry that I couldn't function.  Why wouldn't the dam have water fountains!! Salty shellfish night before a long run?  Bad idea.  Noted.  Nathan belt purchased.  It was still a great workout though!  I really have to get it together for this half marathon training.  Thankfully it doesn't truly start until next week, but my long runs have to really start becoming long runs. 

Went to TJ's (of course) and they had fresh seafood!!  JUST what I needed!

Seared Scallop Salad!
The rest of the day was a blur.  I think I drank four gallons of water and slept.  Then woke up and used Friday night's clams to make a healthy linguine and clam sauce with soba noodles.  It was glorious.  I haven't had any type of pasta in a LONG time. 

Then Sunday came!! YAY!  I knew I was meeting my pal of all pals to shop and drink beer, so I figured I should workout.  Originally, I was going to run a couple of miles just to add in another running day in my training schedule.  But instead, I chose Jackie.

The last time I did this workout, it was probably right before the wedding.  I was lifting weights and kickboxing in my house like a champ.  I did the whole DVD while using 10 lb. weights in each hand. 

Nothing slaps your ass back down to earth than not being able to do the whole workout, and not even using weights most of the time.  And then waking up today immobile from being so sore. 

Ended up going to Yard House, which is my favorite chain restaurant EVER.  We ended up overstaying our welcome by like three hours and the waitress wanted to kill us, but you know what?  I don't care.  Someone didn't mention the special for the day wasn't part of the lunch special for the day and I paid $30 for THIS...

A bok choy, 5 oz of white fish, some brown rice.
OH WELL.  I got to have some tasty, tasty beers and guacamole!

Finally....I'm ending this post with my latest shenanigans.  See if you can figure out what I've done.

It's begun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tomorrow's Another Day!

Quick Points of the Day:

  • Long day at work, didn't run. Feeling guilty.
  • Joined New York Road Runners today!
  • I'm gonna try this dailymile thing.
  • Made a 4 point brownie with banana yogurt, reduced guilt mix and a small plop of PB.

Peanut Butter is ALWAYS the answer.
Doesn't look as appetizing as it did in person. I swear it was probably the tastiest thing I've had since my two birthday cakes.

So it's a good day, anyway. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012


And with that, my first 10K has been accomplished, pretty well at that!

Race Recap, shall we?

5:24AM.  I wake up to Married with Children on the TV.  Shoot out of bed and get ready since I know my husband won't begin to stir until the 6:00AM alarm goes off and I have tons to do. 

6:20AM.  We are on the road, making perfect time.

6:36AM.  Over the GWB already and a lot that's about 5-7 miles away from the starting line...(this is where things go...out of my control and I can't stand it).

7:00AM.  Still waiting on line for a shuttle to come pick us up from the parking lot.  There are about 100 people ahead of us.  Finally, a caravan of buses come.

7:20AM.  Get to the race start/registration area.  I'm optimistic, but it looks like this:

 Ok, not so bad.
What you can't really tell from this picture, is the line from that middle tent extends far beyond my cameras wide-angle view. 

7:45AM.  Race Start Time...We're still waiting to get our bibs.  For the race we signed up for months ago. 

8:00AM.  They announce that the race is not going to start until 8:30.  BECAUSE THERE ARE ABOUT 2,200 PEOPLE STILL ON LINE TO PICK UP BIBS.  Oh, and a ton still left in the parking lot waiting for buses.

8:20AM.  We are finally just waiting for the race to begin.  We kill time with pre-race photos.

Hah! Somebody's totally not awake yet.
"Is my bib on straight?"..."Yup."
People still getting dropped off, still waiting for bibs.  Line is longer than ever!
8:35ish?AM.  We are OFF!  Quite uneventfully. I'm actually not sure if people just started running on their own, but we followed and quickly we make a turn and suddenly we are on the ramp for the George Washington Bridge (Lower Level).

Least amount of traffic, ever.
Blurry Tunnel Shot.  Boo.

Camera break.  You can see the husband glaring at me to keep moving.  He's training for the olympics aka his company's corporate 5K.
He took the camera away, but got this shot of me.  Who has two thumbs and is running a 10K over a landmark?

Why are my arms so red?  Really need some Photoshop up on this computer. 

Stop speeding in the work zone, Flash.
This was all miles 1-2.  I feel like we were keeping a decent pace, actually an enjoyable one.  I would know exactly the pace if Runkeeper didn't go crazy.  More on that later.  We continued into Palisades Park (I think?) and we decided to run past the first water station. 

Definitely being hung on a wall somewhere.
At this point, the camera had to be safely tucked away in my side holster, that was super annoying to run with.  I was way too sweaty from the humidity to hold a camera. 

There was a split for the 5K and 10K.  I have to admit, I was extremely JEALOUS of the 5K runners at this point.  I was really sweaty and thirsty and just wanted to lay on the grass.  But we trudged along, finding the first mile marker of the race...Mile 4!  I was thrilled.  I COULD TOTALLY DO TWO MORE MILES!  And change.

The best is, after mile 4 we seemed to be traveling all downhill! HOW EXCITING!  Until we turned around at 4.5 and had to go back.....

Took a quick break for some water and slowly jogged up the hill.  It wasn't steep, just CONSTANT.  I saw the Mile 5 sign and thought YES I'M SO CLOSE.  Which kept translating in my head as "You only have about a quarter mile to go!"  I don't know why.  So that last mile sucked.  Until we turned to go down hill to the finish line/post party area. 




And that's when I started running what I believe was a 7-8 minute pace to the finish line.

Well, what I thought was the finish line.  Silly me, of course the finish line would be a sharp right angle 70 feet away.  Clock time said 1:13:06.  I think the chip time will be around 1:10.  Which I am THRILLED about!

CAT GOT A MEDAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?  Something to hang.  Somewhere.  To prove that I RAN A GAZILLION six FRIGGING MILES AT THE almost CRACK OF DAWN IN THE UNBEARABLE not really HEAT OF THE SUMMER spring.  I've already got my grandma story mapped out. 

We both got medals.  So did the first 2700 other people that finished.
We grabbed our free shit (Vitamins, shaving cream, insect repellent lotion, muscle milk and a local race guide) and headed over to...A LONG SHUTTLE LINE! YAY MY FAVES.

Let's talk about Runkeeper. 

Actually, let's look at what Runkeeper thinks I did today. 

Olde Faithful, ye let me down!
The only thing that is correct is the time.  Which is good, because we were sitting around for a while after the race before I remembered to turn it off, which is why I think we did a 1:10ish. 

Miles 1-2 (I think?) I ran out into the Hudson River apparently.

I ran 8 miles overall.

With a 9:29 average page...LOLZ.

So, I have no idea how I did.  Again. 

But who cares?  There was beer to get.  We headed over to Bronx Ale House for a post-race party brunch date. 


Frittata it is.
But I had beer.  REAL beer.  And it was glorious. 

Reppin' my hood!
Who will prevail?!
I love how swollen my eyes are in this pic.  And that it looks like I'm singing an Irish drinking song and swinging my glass around.  YES, the medal came with me. 

Finally, we went home and laid around on these suckers for a couple of hours:

Floated above the icy cold depths. And leaves.
So that was my Sunday.  Historical, awesome, and beerful.  Can we restart this weekend?

psst....I got a flipping medal!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Night Before My First 10K...

Not gonna lie, little bit nervous. 

Mostly about the parking/shuttle/picking up bibs/making it to the starting line on time.  Secondly about making it through the race.

I've never run this far a distance before!  Then again, I'd never run more than two miles when I did my first it's kind of the same...right?!?!


Last night while perusing Pinterest, for which my love wanes lately, I found all of these Nike shirts with pretty snarky sayings on them.  "Running Sucks." is my favorite, very closely followed by "My Feet Hurt from Kicking so Much Ass."  I had this great idea to wake up at the crack of dawn and go to the outlets, to go to the Nike store, that will obviously carry any shirt I want at any time always and at a discount. 

Obstacle 1: Awaken the Spouse.

Buried in there...a husband!
Turning all the lights on full blast (minus one, I know...) didn't work.  So I turned to Plan B.

Guess which breakfast of champs is mine!
I made him an omelet with spinach, sriracha and the most amazing cheese ever, called "Unexpected Cheddar" from Trader Joe's.  And done. 

Obstacle 2: Beat the Crowds.

This turned out to be easy.  Why?  Because I don't know how to read.  Well, that's not true, I'm just too impatient to read things fully.  I'm more the toss-the-instructions-in-the-trash-with-the-packaging type.  So, yes, the outlets open at 9:00 AM in June.  Starting June 16th.  Oops. 

I guess there were really only two obstacles.  Once there, we killed some time and then hit up the following stores:

  • Nike Factory Store - Tempo Shorts, Dri-Fit T-Shirt with non-snarky phrase: $35
  • Under Armour - Two tank top type dealies, one of which cost more because it was a different color? Pfft. - $35
  • J. Crew - In an attempt for me to actually buy real clothing for once...I ended up with a maxi dress, a belt, and a necklace. - $45
  • Gap - Nothing. - $0
  • American Apparel - BICYCLE SHORTS (aka chub rub prevention) OMGYES! $14
  • Banana Republic - Dress. - $20
  • Adidas - Sandals, Boston Marathon shorts (big fan, maybe run it some day...for now, I like the orange/red color and the unicorn and that they were about $12). - $40
  • Adidas - Didn't buy...but probably should have...
 Not too shabby.  Some day I'll go back with more patience and attempt to buy clothes I can wear to something. 

The Running Outfit Haul:

The Nike store did not have either shirt I was looking for, UNBELIEVABLE.  And the ones with funny phrases were cotton.  Instead I got:

With the way I sweat...I'm EXTREMELY alive.
After having a modeling sesh in the bedroom, I decided on tomorrow's race getup.

Pretty tame for me! No zoom hat.

We got sunglasses, we got a Headsweats hat, a ball of socks, Old Navy running shorts, my disintegrating old faithful bike shorts, some soccer throwbacks with those Adidas slides, my Brooks, and a camera holster.

I have a feeling I'm going to want to throw my camera holster into the Hudson.  I hate having too much, I mean, ANYTHING, hanging on me, but I want to take pictures, and I gotta leave my car so far from the race and be shuttled so I can't leave it there, and I just got a sweet ass camera (see how nice my new pics are? Canon S95!). 

The plan is to finish the race.  That's it.  Post-party a little.  Retrieve the car, and finally, get some brews somewhere.  At 9:30 in the morning...

To be continued.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cross off Another One.



Color Run, you were supposed to be in Central Park on August 25th.  Crazily, I also expected registration fees for this 5K to be < $50.

All the way out in Brooklyn?

$50 to run for around 30 minutes (and no assigned charity/no MEDAL!?).

I'll pass.

I need to find my newly running cousin a new first 5K.  And if anyone ever read this blog, I'd ask for suggestions!

Let's talk about a good race. 

The American Cancer Society George Washington Bridge Challenge is SUNDAY.  OHMYGOD!  And I will be crippled by then.  Today we took the kiddos on a field trip to the Bronx Zoo.  You would've thought I was leading them to their deaths.  Thirty high school students, 80 degrees, walking...yeah...bad idea.  And as much as I teased them, it felt so good to sit on the bus on the way back to the school.  My feet/ankles/calves are so sore! I'm totally sunburnt! Just from walking around the zoo! And walking to the zoo...our school is only 1.5 miles away.  Turns out our students crap out at about .25, oops. 

What was awesome today?  My Metrocard didn't work and the bus driver let me on anyway! Booyah!

And, I don't have to go into work tomorrow, I get to go downtown to a meeting!  I love it!

Today's National Running Day, folks.  I didn't run today.  I feel like a sham runner. I'm still trying to keep all my body parts in working order til Sunday. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Call me a Wah-mbulance.

My slow jog was painful today.  Knee hurt, calves cramped, stomach

Really?  I have my biggest race yet Sunday!!  Suck it up body parts!

So, I called it quits after 2 miles.  I figured I'd better be safe, and I doubt I'm going to revert to pre-run stats by Sunday. 

I am pretty sad though...I thought for sure I'd be moving up this week to the 4 miles as my easy runs.

Anyway, let's talk about a couple of things.

1. 50% of tonight's dinner was awesome.


2. These.


 What do these two things have in common?  My favorite food store, Trader Joe's!  What else do these two things have in common?  Two of the worst tasting Trader Joe's items EVER.  The salad in the top picture was awesome, grilled plums, grilled red onion over a wilted spinach salad with goat cheese.  I decided to pair it with chicken marinated in TJ's peanut satay sauce...BLECH.  Seriously, awful.  The next winner of worst tasting is, obviously, "GREAT TASTING SEA GUMMIES."  It doesn't even sound appetizing now that I'm re-reading it.  At the time, I figured, I hate taking vitamins, let's get some Sour Patch Kids.


I wish we had smell-o-internet so I can open the cap and give you a whiff of straight up sea death.  Smells like a NYC sewer boiling up on a hot day. 

So, my omega-3's will be lacking for a bit.

All that said, this is only the third time ever that I've been disappointed by my TJ's.  The other time was a frozen slop of eggplant curry from the frozen aisle that I tossed in the office trash and everyone at work thought I barfed. 

Lastly, weight loss is stalled.  I gotta clean up my act a little bit more, peanut butter on half an english muffin ain't working for me as a pre-run snack and neither is the complete aversion to water.

Exciting week.  I know!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Am I to Motivate Myself??

There's a trend lately among, surprisingly, all of the blogs I follow, and I know where they're at right now. I've been there around this time of year every year for the past seven. Spring time means margaritas, barbecues, eating at restaurants that have waterfront views. Cutting back on working out. Wine and beer tours. Vacations.

A lot of posts about being okay with not being perfectly on track. Which I totally respect. I mean, my 40 mile monthly running sum is nowhere near what they are probably considering a break right now.

But, ladies, you are my anonymous support group!! I'm almost halfway to my goal weight, preparing for a late summer half marathon, and I need you!

So, if you are reading my blog, get back to kicking ass.


Did I step on the scale this weekend? Nope.  But even if I step on it tomorrow with a couple pound gain, I know I've achieved great things this weekend.

I pushed work out of my mind on Friday and was able to enjoy some quality time with my friends.  Quality time definitely means dinner(s) and drink(s).  It's hard to eat out when you're trying to lose weight, so I tried to stick to a steak salad.  And sangria....and chips....oops. 

Good news? I didn't die.  Despite all the warnings on the Metformin bottle. 

Woke up with the best intentions of leaving my friend on the couch and going for a run, but once I got out of the bed I knew things weren't quite right.  So we had some huevos rancheros, went shopping and then began an all day food and beer adventure...starting with my favorite local brewery, Captain Lawrence.

2 ounces of delicious.  I believe this was Ginger Man.  Yum!
Their Imperial IPA is the only IPA I not only can tolerate, but like.  The new brewery location in Elmsford is fantastic and I probably could spend a whole afternoon there.  But we knew when it was time to get a t-shirt and get out.

I bought an XL...I'm not an XL at all...damnit.
If you are ever in Westchester County...or anywhere near it, do yourself a big hoptastic favor and come here.  The owner studied brewing in California, and worked at Sierra the beers have a west coast flavor, but better, because it's freshly made right here on the east coast.  Booyah. 

Then we decided to check out Defiant Brewing Pearl River.  This place has good beers, it's very low key, my only issue was that I wished the beers were a tad cooler.  Maybe they were going for optimal tasting temperature...but it was like 80 degrees and no AC...I would've loved a cold one. 

Not only was the beer good....but they have barbecue.  Tasty, tasty, smoked meats. 

Awesome Menu.

"Ample Sampler"...wasn't a joke.  Mmmm.

After this spot, we decided to hit another place we've planned on going for months...Sunset Cove.

It's right on the water along the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Would be perfect on a summer night.  Yesterday?  It was freezing.  We stayed about a half hour and kept it moving.

The next place I wish I had a photo of, because it's my favorite Bronx restaurant...except we went to the new Portchester location, Coals.  They make (EXTREMELY) thin crust, coal oven pizzas that are divine.  And they're so thin, I doubt they could be that bad for you, that is what I tell myself.  The other great thing about both Coals...AWESOME BEER SELECTION and good music playing.

Were we done yet with this adventure? Heck no.  My dear friend had never had a paleta before.  This was ridiculous.  So we hopped next door to Paleteria Fernandez and got some rice pudding paletas.  If you haven't had a paleta experience....I'll let the Yelp community with their fancy vocabulary skills tell you about it: Paletas?

Finally, it was pajama time back at the house.  I'm so thankful that I have the best husband ever that carted my friend and I around all day (he got a growler of Imperial IPA out of it).  I knew I'd have to get up early today so right to bed I went, with a horrible night's sleep probably from putting my body into shock with all this stuff. 

Usually, I'd say forget running after a day like yesterday.  I woke up this morning feeling like someone hit me with truck.  I let it settle for a couple of hours and then got to it. 

And I ran FOUR miles.


No walks. 

Decent time. 

And? I ran 40 miles in May.  A new record! 

I'm one week from the American Cancer Society George Washington Bridge Challenge 10K. 

And I'm ready.  Let's keep this week positive!