Archive | November 2011

The Life of a College Girl on the Run

Does it ever feel like there are simply not enough hours in the day to do all the things that need to get done? I feel like I’ve spent every minute of the past two days jumping from one task to the next. All extraneous activity has been filtered out of my daily routine. Showering? Thats for sissies! Sitting at a table to eat? Why bother when toast is so portable? The million dollar question on my mind is why I really need 8 hours of sleep to function. Whose idea was it that people should spend 1/3 of their days sleeping? Clearly they didn’t have any finals to study for or term papers to write.

I should be a giraffe. Apparently they sleep the least of any mammal — only 4.5 hours a day! Though that sleeping position looks pretty uncomfortable…

On the running front things have been pretty laid back since my uber long city run. I took the day off on Saturday to go to yoga, did a speedy 7.5 miles with my mom in Prospect Park on Sunday morning, a SLOW 6 miler around the Tidal Basin yesterday afternoon, and a rainy but fun run with one of my best running buddies N- this morning.

Guess how many times I’ve showered in those four days? Actually, dont.

I’ve used up my 15 minutes of allotted blogging time (at least 7 of which were spent looking at pictures of sleeping giraffes…) so that’s it for now!

Home

After three months of school, I’m finally back in NYC and loving it. It feels so good to be home. I’ve missed my parents and my house a lot this semester (oh the sheer joy of showering without shoes on!) but even more I just miss New York. I can always call my mom when things get rough at school, but there’s no way of replicating my city. New York is simply unique.

Though I got home Wednesday night, Thursday was occupied by Thanksgiving preparations. My mom and I are always in charge of desserts for my family’s dinner and we went all out this year: three kinds of biscotti, triple chocolate chip cranberry oatmeal cookies, pumpkin pie, and a bourbon apple cake from the New York Times. (Not all of it was for us — the apple cake we baked for my mom’s friend’s family, though I would have gladly kept it for myself, it smelled so good!)

But this morning I had a grand reunion with my  city via a 17 mile run (eep!) to Union Square and back. This is a new mileage PR for me and it was really exciting! I was definitely tired by the end — coming back over the Manhattan bridge was a struggle, and I just felt like the uphill kept going and going with no end in sight — but I feel so great now. I loved being able to run through all the neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan where I spent so much time in high school and just be a part of the early morning hustle and bustle of the city once again.

Here’s a map of the run:

I started out by Prospect Park, ran down past the Gowanus Canal and along Court Street to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Graffiti on a construction site near Borough Hall – Brooklyn graffiti is so philosophical!

Looking towards Manhattan with 14 miles to go!

After going up and over the bridge I turned left towards the bottom tip of Manhattan. I made a point of running past the World Trade Center memorial, because I hadn’t seen it since it was dedicated earlier this fall. I couldn’t get close enough to really see the memorial, but I stopped for a moment by the site to reflect and feel sad. That day was one of the most horrible days I can remember because of the friends that my family lost. It defined my childhood as a New Yorker.

In a less serious manner, I also swung by Zuccotti Park to check in on the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I’d seen the ones in D.C., but there didn’t seem to be anyone in the park in New York. I guess they had been kicked out by the police.

I ran all the way down to Battery Park, past the lines for the ferries to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, and then back up along the Hudson River to Hudson River Park. I went biking here a LOT this summer and it was fun to be back. I also saw this quote at a construction site, which I loved:

Totally the snobby New Yorker perspective. May or may not be how I feel…

I went up the west side to 14th street, then across through Union Square, and down Broadway. By the time I got to Houston Broadway was SUPER crowded with Black Friday shoppers so I kind of zig zagged through smaller streets to get to Chinatown and the Manhattan Bridge. I also a took a GU sometime during this time. It was espresso flavor, which I’d never had before! (Normally I just eat vanilla or chocolate). I also bought a mint chocolate flavored one on my most recent expedition to the running store, so I’ll try that one on my next long run.

The Brooklyn Bridge looking majestic as always!

Can I ride the carousel too? – In Brooklyn Bridge Park

Finally I crossed back into Brooklyn and ran through Brooklyn Bridge Park and along the waterfront till I got home. I’ve been hungry and thirsty all day today and I probably ate my weight at dinner tonight. Right now my legs are feeling a bit heavy and tired but not sore or achey, which is great! Though I should probably wait and see how I’m feeling tomorrow before I get too confident.

I hope that your thanksgivings have all been as wonderful as mine. What is your favorite part about going home to visit your family?

Tuesday Things I’m Loving

So I haven’t actually gone running forever (it’s really only been 2 days, but it feels like much longer. I’m an addict) but it’s been a pretty awesome past two days nonetheless. First I got to be part of major breaking national news (eep!) and second, in the wind down to Thanksgiving break I actually haven’t had that much homework and have had lots of time to just casually hang out with friends! Hanging out? In college? What a foreign concept!

In the spirit of spreading the holiday joy, here are a few of the things I’m loving:

1. The Wailin’ Jennys: Their song “One Voice” is so pretty! Also “The Parting Glass.” They make awesome studying/paper writing music. Very calming when the little person who’s in charge of filing information in my brain seems to be running around and bouncing off the inside of my skull.

2. The Tragedy of First Position: For when the little man in my head gives up on filing and collapses in the middle of my brain and cries. This cheers him up.

3. Tastespotting: As Thanksgiving draws ever nearer and the prospect of homemade baked goods cooked in my mom’s convection oven becomes tantalizingly close to reality, I have become obsessed with finding recipes to make as soon as I get home. Salted caramel apple pie? Yes! Cranberry fig chutney? YES! Barley risotto with mushrooms, manchego and thyme? YES YES YES! I miss food that doesn’t still have a lingering taste of its former life in a frozen plastic box.

Thats it for now! I’ll write back soon, hopefully with actual running updates next time!

Oh Hey There

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

This past week was one of the most jam-packed, hectic, crazy emotional weeks I’ve had this semester, even though it was the first one in a long while in which there hasn’t been a test or paper or big scary assignment of some kind. Most of this stress can be attributed to the newspaper, but a lot of it was also just my own personal craziness.

Either way, it’s over now, and somehow in between my many freak outs I managed to fit in 36 miles of running, which is  a new weekly mileage PR for me! It was a bit of a struggle to fit all the miles in, because I’m in a little bit of a running rut at the moment. When I woke up this morning with the prospect of 15 miles ahead of me, I almost considered not doing it. I kept telling myself that I had work to do, and that nothing was going to go wrong if I missed one long run. On days like today, the marathon seems so far away, and its easy to fall into the trap of believing that each workout doesn’t even matter. But I’m proud of myself for eventually forcing myself out the door and running those 15 miles (15.25, if we’re being precise).

Here’s the map of the run for those who are interested. I did two loops of the Mall, which was nice, but by the time I got around to the second loop there were SO MANY TOURISTS. Next time I either have to get up earlier or find someplace else to run after 10 a.m.!

As far as weekly recaps go, I did most of my running on the C&O Canal Path because we’ve had beautiful fall weather and this trail is the best place to experience the loveliness that is D.C. in late November. The trail was cushioned with damp, yellow fallen leaves and the trees ranged from lingering leafy-green to flaming orange to solemn brown and bare. By the time I get back from Thanksgiving break, they’ll probably  all be devoid of leaves and the temperatures wills start to be less run-friendly than they are now. But it was a great week to be running, and the environment was inspiring even if the marathon wasn’t giving me my usual running mojo. Here are some pictures:

Look at the crane! (Heron? I’m not really up on my bird watching knowledge…)

This coming week should be a bit easier running wise, because I have less school (WHOOT THANKSGIVING!) and I know I’ll be inspired to run once I’m home with my mom and back in my familiar Prospect Park. I miss Brooklyn a lot, and I can’t wait to be home. I’m hoping to hit 38 miles (eek!)

Thats all for now! Hopefully it won’t take another week to write my next post…

Why I’m Super Cool

It’s 9:30 on a Friday night and I’m sitting in bed in my pajamas, fully intending to go to sleep in the next hour. Outside my window people are already drunkenly singing (already at 9:30, come on guys!) but honestly I’m quite happy, comfily in bed watching Gilmore Girls reruns. Clearly I’m the life of every party I attend. Super cool!

And the reason for the early bedtime? I have a longish run tomorrow (10 miles, funny how in the context of marathon training 10 miles doesn’t feel long any more) and a meeting at 9:00 a.m. Thus my alarm clock is set for 6:30. Whew. I know that that’s not early for a lot of people who have real life jobs, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be the only undergrad awake on campus.

In other running news, I had an extremely successful track workout yesterday! I did 4 Yasso 800s, but instead of Yasso 800s they were kind of just super fast 800 meter repeats. I headed up to the track with my friend K- who hijacked my watch and told me to just run as fast as I could and then he would tell me how fast we had been running afterwards. K- ran track in high school and thinks that makes him the authority on all things running-related. He’s never run 15 miles before, though, so I can maintain some running superiority.

Anyway, here are the stats for the workout:

  • 1 mile warmup
  • 1st 800: 3 min 35 sec <– Woah! If these had been Yasso 800s I should have been running 4 min repeats. Maybe this means I can run a 3 hour 35 min marathon? Probs not…
  • 2nd 800: 3 min 40 sec
  • 3rd 800: 3 min 36 sec
  • 4th 800: 3 min 26 sec
  • 4 mile cooldown

I’m especially  happy about that last one. K- said that I had to keep up with him for the first loop of the track, which I did even though it was so fast it made me want to throw up. Afterwards we cooled down for 4 miles along the Capitol Crescent Trail.

Otherwise life has been pretty dull. Lots of school, lots of homework, LOTS and LOTS of articles for the newspaper. (The news never sleeps and apparently that means I can’t either…) I did make some super delicious banana cinnamon oatmeal cookies tonight! I kind of made up the recipe out of my head and I’m pretty pleased with how they came out.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 overripe bananas, lightly mashed

Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Mix dry ingredients into wet. Arrange tablespoon-sized balls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

These are delicious and I may or may not have eaten four of them (they’re pretty small!) It’s okay, because I’ll need fuel for my longish run tomorrow, right?

Alright, that’s all for now. I have a date with a 6:30 a.m. alarm clock tomorrow morning!

Tasty Tuesday

Already I feel like I’m eating better! It helps that only one of my meals was eaten at the dining hall today and I brought my own salad dressing (Lemon Tahini dressing bought at Eastern Market – best purchase ever!) But I also made a more conscious effort to fit in more fruits and veggies at every meal.

Breakfast: 

Oatmeal with 4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree and brown sugar (Best breakfast ever and it doesn’t even taste like vegetables!)

Lunch:

1/2 cup of vegetable barley soup

1 slice of multigrain toast with cheddar cheese

Snack:

3 squares of dark chocolate (For antioxidants, of course)

Dinner:

Salad with spinach, carrots, chickpeas, corn, tomatoes, feta, and lemon tahini dressing

Small scoop of ice cream with a banana

Snacks:

Two apples (It’s apple week at the dining hall and we’ve had local braeburn apples for the past few days. These are delicious and so juicy!)

Two caramel rice cakes

A fortune cookie (my fortune: Happiness is a form of wisdom. I like it!)

Why I Run

Today I had one of those runs that remind me exactly why I do this crazy thing called running. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mentality of hitting your weekly mileage goals and running at a certain speed, but sometimes its nice to just ditch the watch and stop counting the mile markers and just GO.

That’s what I did today. I ran for about an hour and ten minutes, which I’m guessing puts my mileage for today somewhere between 7 and 8 miles, but I really have no idea how far I went or how fast I was going. I started the run off slowly with a little pain on the top of my left foot and so the first few miles weren’t very fun. But the weather was beautiful (about 60 degrees) and the sun was filtering slanting yellow gold light through the trees on the C&O Canal Path and I decided to keep at it. Though I didn’t have my watch I did bring my iPod on the run and listened to a few episodes of my new favorite podcast called Stuff You Missed in History Class. (If you are a history buff or just like knowing a lot of random information, listen to this podcast! You will learn all kinds of interesting things about everything from Presidential Perks to the truth behind the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. It’s a blast.) The canal trail was peaceful and beautiful and I completely lost track of time and place, just enjoying the podcast and the feeling of being in motion. And after about an hour, foot pain gone and mind cleared, I returned to campus ready to take on school, the newspaper, and all the rest of it. And in case I get too comfortable running slowly, I have some Yasso 800s planned for either tomorrow or Thursday (depending on how much work I get done tonight). So I guess I better just enjoy my fun runs while I can.

That’s all for now. I’ll post again later with my eats for the day.