Thursday, December 22, 2011


Today was my last day of work for 2011. I can't tell you how excited I am to be on vacation. Its been a crazy month so far and no having work tomorrow is a huge relief. I still have tons of Christmas shopping to do tomorrow before I pack up and head to Florida to spend the holidays with my parents, siblings, grandparents (all 4! I'm so lucky), cousins, aunt and uncle. I couldn't be happier to be heading south for a relaxing week.

It isn't going to be laying around or partying though. Running has been almost no existent this month and that is the one thing I'm looking forward to most this vacation. I got myself back to the gym last night and got in a quick 3.5 miles before my bf called from Cali. He's there with his family for the holidays so I ended my run 1.5 miles early to catch up with him.

Training for the Country Music Marathon was suppose to start a week and a half ago. Yeah, that definitely didn't happen. I've been feeling really guilty about not getting up at 5 to fit in my run but with all the holiday craziness, parties, jury duty, and being sick, I just knew sleep was more important. Last night's run gave me my confidence back. I'd been so afraid that I wouldn't be able to just hop on the treadmill and go. I thought for sure I'd have to cut back both my pace and distance. My world didn't fall apart and I was able to to do exactly the same run I did a month ago before my hiatus.

Tonight will be another interval run for me then I'm thinking a long run tomorrow, a mid distance before my flight Saturday morning, then just seeing how I fell while away. I'm not going to get number goals for my vacation runs but simply say that I want to run every day even if only for 3 miles.

Merry Christmas from the Funky Chicken

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Instead of saying tomorrow, I said today

With the cold, rainy weather we've been have here in new york, I've struggled to find the motivation to get to the gym. Yesterday I went so far as to put on my workout clothes only to decide that my sneakers would be soaked by the time I got to the gym and I didn't feel like wearing boots and carrying my sneakers. Talk about lazy!

That all changed tonight! There was an explosion of drama among my sorority sisters tonight. While I care deeply about the outcome and about each woman, I decide that instead of checking facebook everyone 30 seconds for updates or worse contributing to the drama by posting my frustrations, I'd take to the treadmill and pound it out. Let me tell you. I'm back on my couch and I can say I've totally cleared my head and now as I read facebook posts I can recognize that everyone is over reacting.

Now to my workout. I jogged the half mile to the gym and immediately hopped on the treadmill. I'm going to take effort levels instead of pace here so bare with me.
Ran 1.5 miles at an 8(hard but comfortable, my current 4 or 5 mile race pace)
Walked a recovery half mile
Ran another 1.5 miles at an 8
Walked a recovery half mile
Ran at a 9 for a mile (might have lasted another 1/4 or 1/2 mile)
Walked a recovery quarter mile
Ran at a 10 for half mile (ready to die at the end)
Walked a recovery quarter mile
Ran at a 10 for half mile 
Walked a recovery 1/3 mile
Jogged home 1/2 mile

Total: 5 mile run, 1.8 mile walk, 1 mile jog to and from

For years I've heard people say that working out your emotions helps you center yourself. I've experienced the runner's high before and felt like a rock star but I've never truly used running to take a step back from a frustrating situation. I've run to think things over and I've run because I'm sad and even to celebrate but tonight was different and I kind of liked it.

Wishing you wonderful miles!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ways to Lead a Better Life

Saw this in a post by the Blue-eyed Runner and thought it was nice way to reflect on how you are living and what you can do better. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

NYRR's Join the Voices 5M

Fantastic run this morning! I truly enjoyed every step of nyrr's five mile Join the Voices race. I don't know if it was challenging my friends to the Gridiron Classic in Feb or the inspiration I've taken from Kristin Armstrong's Mile Markers. This book has completely changed my attitude towards running and made me appreciate the time I'm able to dedicate to something I love so much. I'll write my review of the book soon but don't wait for it. Just know I think everyone should go pick up a copy!

Back to the race. I left my apartment 5 minutes late and walked down to the start at 67th and West Drive. I arrived and walked into the corrals just as they were giving the race instruction and moving people forward. I didn't have time to get a signal on my garmin before we started so my watch didn't pick up the full distance but that's not the biggest deal.

I picked up two different groups of people I wanted to stay with. I used to pick one but usually fell behind them so now I pick two and try to stay in between them or at least near the slower group. My groups were both wearing neon pink so I had no problem spotting them each mile to check in and see how I was doing. I tried to stay aware of how my body was feeling and my effort level instead of worrying about the numbers on the timing clocks or on my watch. I am so proud of myself for not looking at my watch even once during the race!

I like to set mini goals for myself even during these shorter races. My first goal was to make it "up and over" (as Kristin Armstrong's running coach Cassie reminds their running group) Cat Hill. It came about a mile and a half into the race and I was quiet feeling loose yet but I wanted it so bad today. Up, up, up and suddenly I was over! I think Coach Cassie would be proud that I didn't just run up the hill then take a walk break but instead kept running right on over.

As we made our way up the East side the course was flat and easy until we hit 96th st. Then came a slow and steady incline up to the 102nd St Transverse. I love this hill and feel so strong every time I get to the top. Round the corner at the top and we were already 3 miles into the race. More than halfway and my body was feeling controlled and ready for more. Good thing too because up next were the hills of West Drive.

The first hill right around 100th st is always a killer. For what ever reason this hill beats me mentally every time I run it! About a quarter of the way up I was already feeling its wrath and fighting for it when a gentleman changed the entire race for me.

"Enjoy this hill!" cheered a volunteer with his British accent, "It's a lovely hill!" He said this at the exact moment I needed a little push and it instantly became my mantra for the rest of the race. Each remaining hill I approached I looked up to the top thinking, "it's a lovely hill" and as I climbed I repeated, "enjoy this hill, enjoy this hill." Not only did I climbed every hill without needing my usual walk breaks but it kept a smile on my face for each hill!

Suddenly we'd finished all the hills and were running along the lake between 79th and 72nd. The finish line was just around the corner and my legs were strong. I had enough left for a quick sprint to the finish and "through" the finish line I went. Another Coach Cassie saying it to run through your end point instead of to it.
They're so fast!

A 5 mile PR and a run that I truly loved. I couldn't ask for a better Sunday morning!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Far Do You Need To Run?

Have you ever wondered how far you'd need to run in order to burn of that Thanksgiving feast? This great article from Shine lays it out for you.

How Far You'd Have to Run to Burn Off…
Apple cider: 1 c Treetop brand = 120 cal = 11 min = 1.1 miles
Glazed Donut: 1 Krispy Kreme = 200 cal = 18 min = 1.8 miles
Pumpkin Pie: 1 piece = 316 cal = 29 min = 2.9 miles (or try this healthier version for only a 1.1 mile run!)
Turkey Leg: 1 leg and thigh with skin = 192 cal = 17.5 min = 1.8 miles
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: Boston Market 4.4 oz = 190 cal = 17 min = 1.7 miles
Mulled Wine: 3.4 oz = 118 cal = 11 min = 1.1 miles
Sweet Potato Casserole: Boston Market 7 oz = 460 cal = 42 min = 4.2 miles
Pecan Pie: 1 slice from recipe = 503 cal = 46 min = 4.6 miles

You better lace up those shoes and hit the pavement!

Holiday Travel

I, along with most of the country, will be traveling this weekend. Luckily my flight is first thing tomorrow morning. Most people would hate this but I'm a morning person and would rather be up and out tomorrow instead of dealing with the craziness of tonight! Anyway, a friend of mine posted a great list of holiday travel tips of facebook and I thought I'd share it.

5 Things To Think About:
1. ALWAYS have your confirmation code accessible. Maybe in an email on your phone, but a paper backup is best. 
2. Expect them to loose or delay your luggage's arrival. Pack with that assumption.
3. They can't bump you from a flight against your will if you have a seat assigned. Get one as soon as you can. But don't freak out if you are 5 rows away from your traveling companion. You're on a 2 hour flight, not moving to Brazil. Enjoy the time away from each other while you can.
4. Check in online and print your boarding pass at home. Yes, you can do that even if you are checking bags. Can save you 30min in line.
5. Be nicer than they deserve. You couldn't PAY ME ENOUGH to work at an airport any day this week. You might just get the extra help you need by being firm, but really nice. 

I believe number 5 is the most important. I know travelling is not always easy but remember the people around you are just doing their job. How would you like it if people were constantly yelling at you in your office?

Safe travel and enjoy the time you have with your family. 

Thanksgiving Facts

Here are some Thanksgiving facts I've come across
  • Did you know that 46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving Day?
  • Did you know that, on average, we consume an extra 619 calories per day between Thanksgiving and New Years?
  • Im sure you’ve heard the average Thanksgiving meal contains between 3000-7000 calories. Did you know, however, that Overeaters Anonymous has stated that this meal, even with its high caloric content, does not fall under the definition of binge? In their words: Thanksgiving dinner falls under the umbrella of careful eating & a binge is food consumption which is completely out of control and mindless. 
  • According to the Today Show, the average American's Thanksgiving meal contains 4500 calories. This does not include breakfast, appetizers, or late night snacking. 
  • Did you know, if you want more numbers, you can text meals to diet1 & they’ll text you back the calorie count?
  • The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920's.
  • The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
  • Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
  • The best time to see a turkey is on a warm clear day or in a light rain.
  • Turkeys can drown if they look up when it is raining.
  • This year marks the 85th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Snoopy is the character that has appeared most in the parade.
  • 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving
  • Swanson’s started creating T.V. dinners in 1953 to do something with all of the frozen leftover turkeys from Thanksgiving.

Thanks to Run To The Finish, WHSV, and WNCX

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good Morning

I'm happy to report a fantastic 7.5 mile run last night. I'm in the middle of serving jury duty so when we were let out yesterday my legs we dying to get moving. I guess I picked the right career because man, I can't sit still all day!

Since it gets dark so early, I headed to the gym after dinner to get my sweat on while watching Monday Night Football. The place was packed! I guess everyone's trying to get themselves ready for seeing family and eating enormous amounts of food on Thanksgiving. I had to wait in line for a treadmill which never happens! This makes me more than a little terrified of what January and all those New Years Resolutions will be like.

I had to start out on an incredibly old, out dated, and kind of rough treadmill. I jogged a 2.25 warm up all the while monitoring the other section of newer treadmills to see if I could snag one. Luckily just before the game started everyone else seemed to leave so I made the switch an figured I get in another 3 or so to round out my usual 5 mile treadmill run. I was so into the game that my first mile at a race pace turned into 3 at race pace then since I was still feeling good I slowed it down a touch and finished another 2.

It felt great to be moving for the first time all day and it seems my hydration and eating today was just right. This was the first run since before the marathon that I wasn't light headed or nauseous. I hope I can duplicate my success again tonight. Although I don't have my Patriots to keep me going!

Quick Update. I emailed Gatorade and asked about the Carb Energy Chews from the earlier post. Here's what they told me:

"The Carb Energy Chews are not available just yet. The product is expected to be available in specialty stores (triathlon/bike/running) in February of 2012. Initially they will not be sold online."

Also, I just joined a few blog sites. Check me out on BlogHer, BlogLovin, and Bloggers.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My New Obsession

I picked up samples of Gatorade's Carb Energy Chews at the NYC marathon expo and love them. They will be part of their Pro Series as an additional Prime option. I used to use cliff blocks but these start to dissolve when you put them in your mouth and the flavor is great! I don't always fuel before long runs but these are more like eating candy yet give you the carbs you need.. Each sample pack came with 4 chews in the pouch and according to the nutrition facts one pouch has 120 calories and 31g of carbs. The front of the pouch, seen above, says 30g of carbs so I'm a little confused but either way they are good.

Now how do we get Gatorade to get them into stores? I've been searching for them online and it seems they haven't been distributed yet. I can say that the moment they come out I will be stocking up!

Self Magazine's Tone Anywhere

Work Out Anywhere, Tone Up Everywhere

Squeeze It In "Exercise makes me feel better inside and out, but it's hard to fit in," DeFer says. "These moves make it easier because you don't need a gym membership or a lot of space to do them!"
THE EXPERT Trainer Jay Cardiello created this tight-space tone-up for his celebrity clients. He calls it Cardio Core 4x4 because it's designed to be done in a 4-foot-by-4-foot area like a tour bus, dressing room or trailer. For you, that might mean a clutter-free corner of the living room.
YOU'LL NEED Nada! Each move uses the weight of your body to create resistance, sculpting sexy definition without equipment.
YOUR PLAN Perform the indicated reps (or time) for each move three times per week on alternate days. Add 30 minutes of cardio(walk, run—you decide) most days to fast-track firming.

Morning Riser

Lie faceup, right arm extended to ceiling. Using left arm for support, sit up, keeping right arm up (as shown), then stand. Reverse to start, keeping right arm raised throughout. Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Start in plank position with arms straight, wrists directly below shoulders, legs together. Engage abs, and jump feet out into a wide V (as shown). Hop feet back together to return to start. Continue quickly jumping in and out for 1 minute.

Stand in a wide squat, toes turned out, arms extended to sides at shoulder height, palms facing down. Shift weight to left foot, raising right knee toward right elbow (as shown). Return to start. Repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

Stagger feet wider than hip-width apart, left foot in front of right, right heel lifted; interlace fingers, pointers out; extend arms to shoulder level. Bend knees until thighs form a 45-degree angle, and rotate torso to left (as shown). Return to start for 1 rep. Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Lie faceup, knees bent, arms out to sides at shoulder height on floor, palms down. Extend left leg to ceiling (as shown) to start. Pressing your back into floor, slowly lower left leg out to side until it's hovering above floor. Return to start. Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Lie on left side, legs extended, left hand supporting upper body. Bend right knee, and place right foot in front of left thigh, right arm on hip. Lift hips as high as you can (as shown), to start. Lower hips to just above floor, then return to start. Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Reposted from Self Magazine

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lunchtime Stroll Around Downtown

Jury Duty is incredibly boring and so far has been a huge waste of time. Today they gave us a two and a half hour lunch break. Why? I have no idea. What does one do when they have two hours to kill and nothing at all to do? Why walk around and pretend to be a tourist of course!

I wondered toward the South Street Seaport first and found these great chairs along the water on the third floor. I sat in the third chair from the left and ate the lunch I brought from home. I  assumed we'd only have a short lunch break and didn't want to spend most of it waiting in line with the thousands of others who take lunch at the same time. 
The view to the north. That's the Brooklyn Bridge and behind it is the Manhattan Bridge. I  was also able to see the Queensboro bridge but couldn't get it in the picture. I have fond memories of running bridges during the marathon but am glad I don't have to do it again for awhile. 
I love this part of the Seaport. The old buildings, cobblestone streets, and outdoor seating make me feel right at home!

Christmas tree at the South Street Seaport. 
I've already started counting down to Christmas!
After leaving the Seaport, I walked up Fulton St and treated myself to some froyo from Red Mango.  From there I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The red building that says Pier 17 on the side is at the Seaport and the chairs I sat in for lunch are on the left side of the building near the old ship. 
One of the things that always makes me laugh are the number of photo shoots  I see. They go on all the time in the city and its not uncommon to turn a corner, or in this case, walk across a bridge and find on in progress.
These poor girls were running back and forth on the bridge in 30 degree temps.  To bad they weren't running a bit further than maybe they would have warmed up. 

Quick! Get the tiny models some warm coats!
Looking south at the Financial District. 
Walking back to Manhattan. 
I think that little church is so precious. Its tiny and often gets lost among the larger buildings surrounding it. 
See how small it is compared to the buildings around it!
Walking around the large building to the left of the church. You never know what you'll see downtown. 

The city has done a great job updating many of the older plazas. I would love to eat lunch or read a book here in the summer. 

The famous Law and Order courthouse. No, I did not serve jury duty here. We're in an ugly building a few block north of here. There are a million cops in there pictures because the Occupy Wall St people were yelling about something ridiculous nearby. 

Looking south to all the building in the above pictures. This is where my walk ended as I returned to courtroom 94 .