2015 Goals

I just got home from the gym and boy was it crowded! The New Years Resolution crowd is out in full force. While I’m happy they are trying to have a healthier lifestyle it sure gets a little annoying.  I remind myself that if I hold out until at least February the crowds will thin out significantly.

During my run today I thought of all my running goals for 2015. Since my last race in November I’ve been constantly thinking about racing in 2015. Spring race registration is soon approaching which is making me even more anxious. I know my goals will always readjust through the year, but I wanted to write them down anyway.

  1. Increase my mileage. Right now I’m running  somewhere between 14-18 miles/week. I want to increase my weekly mileage to average somewhere between  20-25 miles/week going into my 2015 racing season. I know in order to get faster, I need to run more and build more endurance. This is going to be hard because winter is here and I am running indoors all the time. Treadmills = mental toughness, right?
  2. PR like crazy. I want a sub-2 hour half, a sub-56 min 10k and a sub-26:30 min 5k. It will hurt so good, but it’s doable.
  3. Run trails. When spring comes I want to run trails. I’m lucky to have the waterfront and Liberty State Park to run everyday. The NYC skyline will always be beautiful, but it’s flat, all concrete, not shaded, and gets repetitive. Getting to the trails will requiring planning and driving, but I love a good dirt trail. If I really want to get crazy, maybe I’ll sign up for my first trail race.
  4. Run the 2015 NYC Marathon! I had a miserable experience running the NYC marathon in 2013 because I was not in shape, poorly trained and had stress fractures in both feet. To get into the 2015 Marathon, I did the 9+1 guaranteed entry with my manfriend, Alex. One of the best decisions I have made. Not only have I have ran consistently for almost one year, but I’m significantly fitter and faster. I just want to get to that start line in one piece and without any injuries.
  5. Cross-train more. I need to cross-train more period. I took my first spin class in 2 years last week and was the only person in the class. I got my ass handed to me and had a blast. It’s a reminder that there are other ways to workout other than yogging.
  6. Cook 15 new recipes. This has nothing to do with running, but I failed at the whole cook 14 new dishes for the last 14 weeks in 2014, but I have a whole year to try my hand at cooking new to me recipes.

2014 was the year I fell in love with running again. I’m hoping 2015 will be even a more incredible year in terms of health and fitness. I can’t wait!!!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

treeI love the Christmas season. The Christmas lights and decorations, cookies, hot chocolate, get togethers, and music. It’s a magical time of the year. Alex and I put up our perfect little scrawny tree a few days ago. Because we put four packs of lights on it, it serves a double purpose: decoration and helps keep our apartment warm. Small wins, haha. Since my family doesn’t really do presents (envelopes only), I don’t really have a list of things I’m wishing for (aka things I want people to buy for me because I end up buying it myself).

I wanted to do a 25 days of Christmas, but I couldn’t think of 25 Christmas activities I actually wanted to do. Instead, I only came up with 13 things that I’m hoping to do by the time Christmas rolls around. Chances are I will probably only do half, but it’s something.

In other news the countdown to vacation is on! I’ve got 5 weeks until I’m off on a month long adventure backpacking Southeast Asia. I’m trying to keep my workouts up and gluttony down to a minimum. I predict I will be in a bathing suit 50% of the time there so I should probably attempt to lean out a bit. It’s been weird not having a race scheduled or in training mode. Working out now has been just to maintain and build a better base for my fitness until my next training cycle. I’m trying to step outside the box and partake in different activities besides running. It’s all trial and error, right?

Until next time…

The Results Are In!

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween!

After work I headed home to lay on the couch. I wasn’t feeling too hot thanks to my monthly lady friend. Alex and I didn’t have any definite plans this year. We had our big race Saturday morning and knew we wanted to feel our best. We stayed at home, ordered in spaghetti and meatballs and caught up on television. It was a wild night.

I had watched the weather forecast all week. The rain prediction kept fluctuating. When I woke up Saturday morning I saw the rain, 17 mph winds, and cold was on. I started feeling really nervous because it’s not optimal weather to run in, my monthly friend came, and I wasn’t sure I could get the PR I wanted. Alex offered to run with my bib, but I knew if he did I’d wouldn’t be happy or feel satisfying. I had been training  for this. Whether I PR-ed or not, I was going to do it on my own.

The race started in front of the U.N on 44th and 1st and went down 42nd street and up 6th ave to the entrance of Central Park to finish by Tavern on the Green on the Upper West Side. Like most NYRR races, the first mile was crowded. However this race had over 7,000 runners and a lot of them being tourists wanted to spectate aka stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of all the sights. I ended up having to bob and weave and dodge puddles and pot holes.

I don’t know what happened during the second mile. I was just anxious to reach the park. The only thing I remember was running past Radio City Music Hall because of the bright lights. Alex laughed at me after when he asked me if I had liked the course and the sights–Bryant Park, Grand Central Station, etc etc. To be honest, I have no memory of running past any of these things. I know they were on the route, but when I run sometimes I only focus on the actual run and I don’t remember much except weird things, crappy things that happened, and finishing.

Once we got into CP, I started feeling the build up of phlegm stuck in my throat. I needed water, but I had already run past the water station. From mile 2.15 to 2.65 I ended up trying to cough it up and after much trying I spit that ball of phlegm out–not very lady like at all. Central Park had rolling hills and the last hill was a killer. I lost Alex in the park and I was really struggling towards the end. When I was close enough to the finish line, I saw Alex who was slightly ahead of me turn back and yell some encouraging words at me. I think my runner’s tunnel vision kicked in because  I could have run directly straight to finish faster, I ran at an angle to finish right behind Alex. His encouragement gave me that last surge to finish. I’m really thankful he was there to help pace and cheer me on.

I couldn’t believe I crushed my initial goal of finishing sub-27:30 with 27:09 finish time. I don’t know how to have a negative split for a 5k yet. My splits were 8:28, 8:43, 8:59, and 0:59 for the last 0.10 mi. According to my age-grade percentage, I’m officially slightly above average! The small wins in life.

Wearing my marathon jacket from last year.

Wearing: Nike Element Jacket (I wore this during the marathon last year), Nike Hyperwarm Tights, Brooks Defyance 7s, Gap Fit Tank

Afterwards, we went to the gym to shower and get ready because we were meeting up my girlfriends for lunch in TriBeCa. Since I couldn’t go out with them on Halloween, they were more than game for brunch. We went to a little spot called the Kitchenette. The food was okay, but the company was spectacular. I ended up getting a latte, the herb and goat cheese omelet with a side of potatoes and a biscuit with strawberry butter. I didn’t snap any pictures because we were so busy chatting. We said our goodbyes

The weather was so crummy that Alex and I scrapped our original plans of hanging out in the city and headed back to JC. We spent the afternoon hanging out in our apartment and basking in the glow of my PR and new 8:45 min/mile NYRR best pace. All I can think about is next years racing season. Needless to say, I’m SOOOO excited!!!

Also, congratulations to all the 2014 TCS NYC Marathoners! You braved the cold weather and 40 mph gusty winds!!


five years later

Five years ago Alex and I were heading to Biergarten in Jersey City to celebrate my friend’s birthday…  We had been friends for a few months. Our hair was shorter, our faces were fresher, and we were a bit more wild.

twin twin2

Fast forward to tonight. I had dinner with my now manfriend at Presto’s in those same outfits as 5 years ago. We’re a little bit older and a lot more wiser. Our hair is longer too.  I’m just elated that our clothes still fit!

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Dinner: baked ziti + chicken parm

I’m not sure where we will be five years from now, but if its anything like the past five I know it’ll be a great adventure…together.


Four years ago I ran my first race, the Rutgers Big Chill 5k. I ran it in 33:48 with an average pace of 10:52 min/miles. Although I was the last one in my group to finish, I really enjoyed the whole racing experience. Today I ran my fastest 5k and race with an average pace of 8:50 min/miles at the Rutherford PBA 5k. If you asked me four years ago if I’d think I’d be racing sub 9 min miles I would have laughed.

It was cold (49 degrees), cloudy and extremely windy (20+ mph winds) this morning. As soon as we got there and picked up our race packets, I was slightly annoyed that the race was based on gun time not chip time, but since the race was so small I figured that maybe we could make our way close enough to the front. I also debated if I had might the correct decision with my outfit. I ended up wearing my favorite Nike element half zip, gloves, and my tempo track shorts. Luckily we were lined up close to the start and within five minutes off the gun start, my body felt warm and comfortable.

The splits were 8:20, 9:43, 8:42, and the final .10 was 0:40sec. I didn’t realize how fast I went out that first mile, but by the time I reached the second mile I looked over at Alex and yelled “Oh Sh*t” because there was a sharp, steep incline that lasted for a third of a mile and was over a 50 foot climb. Then after a short downhill, there was another long steep climb for another half mile. Mile 2 was the worst, but I knew I had enough cushion. I finished as strong as I could. A woman had passed me during the last 0.10 mile stretch, but I had a last surge and I passed her at the finish. Small wins.

I still can’t believe it. I DID IT!! It was the confidence booster I needed. Over the past two months, I’ve worked to get into a grove of running consistently and staying active. I had to keep reminding myself that “consistency is key” and in order to see results I had to stay consistent and push myself harder. As a result, I can run faster and I’ve shed some pounds. It’s been all worth it. I plan on still working out after the Nov 1st race because I want to build a good enough base to train and run the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon.

This weekend wasn’t all about racing, on Saturday Alex and I played tennis. While I love running, tennis will always be my first love. I have been playing since I was 10 years old and even competitively in high school. I’m lucky that Alex loves tennis so much–more than I do. He’s definitely better than I am and that’s a good thing. Alex is my free hitting partner on demand, haha. I wish we had a chance to play more this spring and summer or courts were cheaper to rent.


After tennis Alex and I picked up lunch at the local Spanish grocery store that has an amazing hot food selection. We got the crack beans, ribs, and yellow rice. We ate the leftover rotisserie chicken from Costco with it. Uh-mazing. I can’t wait to eat the leftover crack beans for breakfast this week.

We headed downtown because I was craving something sweet. Cupcakes and cake truffles were decided. I love Cocoa Bakery in downtown Jersey City. I often times stop here after work for a sweet treat or to pick up dessert for dinner. We ended up getting a banana cupcake with chocolate mousse, apple cider caramel cupcake, cappuccino cake truffle and an apple pie cake truffle. All so delicious.

We walked along the waterfront for an hour and I found this new sign they put up. How snazzy of you Jersey City!


I headed over to Alex’s parents house with him so we could do our laundry, watch Homeland, and eat spaghetti and meatballs. Carbo loading at its finest.


Oh.. most importantly is our celebratory meal after our 5k. We ate at TCostco. I’m a cheap date. Best $5.20 spent.


Hope you all had a great weekend!!

Sleep No More

Last month, I purchased tickets for Sleep No More in NYC for Alex and I. I’ve been wanting to see this since opening in 2011, but always kept forgetting or didn’t want to bite the bullet and pay $120 per ticket. Luckily we both had Monday off and tickets ended up being only $80 each.


For those unfamiliar, Sleep No More is a loosely interpreted adaption of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. However this isn’t a typical theater experience. Instead of sitting in a seat and watching actors on a stage, the stage was the entire building of the McKittrick Hotel. The actors move throughout the rooms of the entire hotel. The audience members, wearing beak shaped masks, follow the actor of their choosing or roam freely in and out of the rooms. Sleep No More allows the audience to do pretty much whatever you want besides talking and taking pictures. Audience members can move through each room of the hotel room, read books and letters scattered, touch or open any props, and eat the candy. You can switch actors that you are following at any point in the show. The actors might also grab you and make you part of the show where they grab your hand and pull you into the scene or a specific room. The production feels like as if you are peering into a world of a stranger’s and exploring what is normally off limits.


Some helpful tips:

  • Pick the earliest showtime and get there early. Unless you purchased the dinner and drinks at the rooftop and bar, you probably will be waiting sometime to get inside and start the show. I purchased the earliest showtime, got there early, but didn’t get to into the actual show until closer to 8pm. It gave us enough time to grab a drink at the bar before they called our playing card (used as a ticket). The show ends roughly at 10:30pm and it gave us a solid 2.5 hours to roam all 5 floors at our leisure.
  • Wear comfy shoes and clothes. You will be walking and moving a lot. This includes a lot of stairs so be prepared. Also, you must check in any bags and jackets for $4 at the front door. I made the mistake of wearing my sweater in because by the end I was sweaty.
  • Be prepared to get separated I knew that this was an individual experience, but I didn’t realize Alex and I would get immediately separated. After forty minutes we eventually found each other, but we were both completely lost inside and because we started on separate floors.


I don’t want to give any spoilers, but it was definitely something worth seeing!!

Allergy Season

I thought there were only spring allergies, but boy was I wrong. Welcome my new arch nemesis: hay fever!  Of course just when I was starting to enjoy the brisk mornings running outside and I freeze my gym membership, this happens. After a few runs this past week, I felt congested and nauseous. I thought maybe I was getting sick, but once my eyes started itching I knew the real culprit.

I still managed to run 17 miles last week. I’m just proud I got out there and ran. Most of the runs were done at a leisurely pace. This upcoming Sunday, I’ll be running a 5k as practice for the NYRR race on November 1st. I’m nervous and having moments of doubt. I’m not naturally fast. I can run long distances, but speed has always required more effort. I need to just think more positively.


On Tuesday I got on the list for the Yelp Event, Passport to Newport. It was my first yelp event and hopefully won’t be the last! There is better than having free drinks (sponsored by Tito’s Vodka) and eating my way through eight restaurants. The irony was the restaurants I was looking forward to trying the most turned out to serve so-so food, but I still enjoyed it. I was thoroughly stuffed and tipsy at the end. Alex was my plus one and while I didn’t think we’d socialize, it turned out we met quite a good amount of people. Everyone was really friendly and I learned more about the food scene and hidden gems in Jersey City.

On Saturday I had dinner and drinks with two of my old college roommates, Dan and Aldrin, and their girlfriends. I always forget to snap pictures when I’m with them. We went to Tiff’s Burger & Alehouse in Union. I wasn’t especially hungry, but ended up eating ordering a plain burger with bbq sauce. Not bad at all. Afterwards we headed to a local bar for their anti-high school reunion even though I didn’t go to high school with them.

At the bar, my friend Dan gave me a three year plan with Alex. The plan goes as follows: in 2 years he proposes and I say yes and a year later have a wedding. I couldn’t help but laugh and cringe. It’s funny because I was not the girl who has always dreamed of a wedding, but as I’ve been going to more and more weddings over the past 4 years I realize what I’d want in my wedding. My wedding will reflect all things I love.

Alex and I talk a lot about the future because it is constantly on my mind. I’m a planner. While I used to not care at all about getting married and I’m still not in a rush to do it now, I don’t mind the idea of it either. I know I’m just not ready. It’s just not a priority. I’m a little too selfish and there are a few other things I still want to accomplish and do before I take that step. To be honest, I don’t see the point in getting married now just to get married. We’ve been living together for years and that itself is a commitment. I think when we’re ready to have children, I’ll be more serious about it.

Anyway, I’m pretty lucky because I have today and tomorrow off from work. Perks of working at a golf course and seasonal weather. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish planning my January trip with Alex. Looking forward to the week ahead!