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Archive for the ‘LIfe’ Category

My running has been scattered, I’ve been going from 50 to 30 miles before Chicago.  55 miles after Chicago and back to 40 miles last week!  Right after Chicago I dove straight into running, 11 days none stop for 95 miles.  I won’t go into the detail of most runs since all my emotions have been poured into my Daily Mile updates instead but here’s a summary of the runs by day.

A few things to note:

– I think the 13 and some of the 11 milers were done in two parts between lunch and post work. With time management I am finding it physically and mentally easier to run twice in one day then once in a long time.

– That being said, I think I’m okay with doing double duty for mileage as long as I do one real “long run” a week

– The 15 miles on Saturday was my first long run in a while.  I flirted with some 13 milers in the beginning of the month but haven’t really done long runs in one standing

– The 15 miler was rough.  I averaged out at a 9:05 pace which includes a fast stretch and potty stop at mile 11.  I wish I could say 15 felt easy but I don’t think mentally I’m in long run shape.  I know physically I can do it, but my mind is not into it

– I struggled through the 15 miler by listening to gardening pod-casts.  I don’t actually think I absorbed anything or had any clue what they were talking about but it made me feel like I was multitasking and not just doing something I wasn’t in the mood for (like running).

– I’m been doing fartleks (not to be confusing with farting haha) on my treadmill runs.  I don’t think it’s the best kind of training for me since I should work on keeping a pace but those help make things less boring.

– I skipped a long run this weekend because I was visiting my family in NY.  Between 9 hours on a bus and just how fast a day and half fly by, I decided taking a 3 hour run was not the best use of my time.  And no waking up early is not an option.  I love my sleep dearly.

– I was stubborn.  So stubborn that I decided I couldn’t go to bed until I did a long run on Monday.  The 22 miles is composed of 6 miles during lunch and 16 after work.  The 16 miles were hard physically.  I thought two days of rest would make me amped up for speed, instead I wanted to sit on the couch and watch Olympics as I ran vicariously through the professionals on TV.   I took an 8 minute break around mile 14 where I had to beg myself into going back outside for 2 more miles.  In the end the average pace with break was 9:41.  I know that I ran around 8:30 for the first 8 miles before I just lost energy.

– I did take Gu Chumps, but Gu Chumps can’t replace a real meal that my body was craving at 7:30 PM.  I tried to tell it that if it waited til 9 a burger and beer was waiting for it, but it wouldn’t believe me.  I listened to about 3 running podcasts to keep me motivated.

Run Run Live podcast is awesome so I highly recommend it for some mojo on your run.

Why am I so insistent on long runs again after calling it quits for the summer? Well I must confess, flipflopped back on running the RnR Montreal marathon if I don’t have to work that weekend.  I had a slight freak-out when all the promo hotels with group discounts were sold out.  But! I found shelter for $36 a night next to the starting line.  AirBnB rocks!

I will also be using AirBnB for renting a room for the Providence RnR half marathon!  While I haven’t personally stayed in a room through the site yet, friends that have said it turned out cheaper and better than a hotel room so we shall see.

And because I can’t have a post without some pictures

Whenever I visit Brooklyn, sushi takeout is a must

Since Tony wasn’t there with me, I got this all to myself!

My parents took me to Ikea because I am in search of cheap curtains

Alas, no curtains were purchased at Ikea but somehow I walked out with a full belly instead.  I must say, next time I’m going to try to trade some of the balls for more mashed potatoes.  It was great!

This is a Tuesday shot but GeorgeTown cupcakes on Newbury celebrating Crocs

Can I just say that the free secret cupcakes they have everyday is the best worst idea ever.

Hope everyone had a great July!

Can’t believe it’s August in a night’s sleep.  Where did my summer go!

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Back to Running business

As my holiday came to an end I wasted no time in getting back to (running) business.

Tuesday 10.5 miles broken up with 6 for lunch and 4.5 after my slow stretch and strength class.

Today was the same 6 during lunch that felt difficult and draining with the humidity on full blast in the gym.  I went in the late afternoon after everyone worked out so the sweat of all others was fully in the air!

I’m excited for the half marathon in Providence at the end of August and wish it was sooner as I get a little depressed without racing.  I would race Tony but he just gives me a dirty look and says no.

Since I have nothing introspective to write, I’ll entertain you with pictures of what I ate (last) Wednesday since this Wednesday its less picturesque.

Arugula, shrimp and weird coleslaw from the cafe!

My favorite “cooking” creation as of late – quinoa . rainbow of chopped peppers, sprouted tofu with sesame oil and lots of red pepper

Mango and spinach coconut milk protein shake; try not to like it, I dare you!

And yes I have to confess, Georgetown cupcakes is as amazing as everyone says it is. I’m not a cupcake type of gal (cookies are my true love) but this pumpkin baby held my heart for the hour.   It just opened up on Newbury so feel free to check it out!

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The past few weeks I’ve been struggling with an identity crisis. Yes, I think I know who I am and what I want for most things but with running I’m still finding my way.  It’s been a little over a year since my running turned from just a way to get my 30 minutes of sweat a day to something a little more complicated.

hobby

: a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation

life·style

: the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

ad·dic·tion

: the quality or state of being addicted
: compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance

Where do I stand?  I know that it started as a hobby and at some point where all I would do is run, read about running, talk about running or think about running I was on a brink of addiction.  Now a few weeks later where do I stand?

Did I burn out the candle like other infatuations?  No, with more time and cooler weather I still love a great long run.  That’s good.  Have I demoted running to a life-style or a hobby? Possibly.

I’m still reading Scott Jurek’s book eat and run  and still browsing through my collection of Running Times magazines.  However, I am going to stop prioritizing each weekend with a 15+ miles.  I am not going to train and most likely not do the Montreal marathon.   Yes I love Montreal and I think there is almost no cooler way to visit then through a marathon but my summer priorities are are re-characterizing running as a hobby and not as an addiction.

For me summers are about weekend getaways, rooftop bar nights with friends and day trips in the sunny weather.  If I ran 20 miles that day while I would still have the energy to hang out, I would not want to spend the rest of the day biking.  I don’t enjoy that much strain on my body and trying to figure out how I can sustain my weight and still do everything I love. I want to get faster, I want to run more but I also want to do everything else I love.

Two weeks ago when I went to visit my parents at the Catskills was probably when I decided to quit marathon training this summer.  Had I gotten up to run the 13-15 miles I was supposed to on any of those days I would not have had the time to bike 21 miles or hike 11 miles with people I love.  Yes, I could wake up earlier to get that done before everyone else wakes up but that would turn running into an errand vs. something I just love to do.  I love sleeping in and staying up all night watching bad shows as much as I love running!

Instead of trying to figure out how I can schedule in a 4 hours run I’m going to run when I can in my free time probably more often but in shorter distances.  And yes a 20 miler that took me 3 hours in the winter takes me 4 hours in the summer.  Unless I’m running to stay warm I have no motivation to go fast.

I am also trying for a 5K running streak from July 4th to Labor day so we will see how that goes.  So far I’m good for week 1.  My other summer goals?

1. Long Weekend getaway to Chicago

2. Spending the day in Providence & of course the RnR Providence half marathon

3. Water-Fire in providence

4. Hike up Mount Washington

5. Paint our attic

6. Bike the full Cape Code scenic trail

7. Visit my family and friends in Brooklyn

8. Part of 7, see Coney Island Fireworks on a Friday night

9. Day trips to New Hampshire and maybe Maine

10. Work on RunToMunch.com so I can be self hosted instead of using wordpress.com

 

What are your summer plans? Goals?

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Tony and I are visiting my parents in their summer bungalow.   Usually we just sit on the porch drink some vodka and eat some pickles Russian style; however, this year we decided to make an effort to do some nature things.  On Friday we decided to actually use our bikes.  We had a similar plan last year but ended up not touching our bikes the whole weekend after dragging them down for 5 hours from Boston.

So Friday we got up, got our stuff together and drove the 70 minutes out to the Catskills Scenic Trail.  In upstate NY, every thing is over an hour away!  The CST is almost 20 miles with an additional 7 miles that have been recently added.  The path used to be a rail line that ran from Bloomsville to Grand Gorge and is no longer being used for freight.  In the 1990s it was reborn through a “Rails to Trails” project.  Similar to what we hope to do with the Bike to the Sea path that will eventually go through Everett, Malden, Lynn, Swampscott and Revere.  The CST is open year-round for horseback riding, bicycling, jogging, walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. With its wide path, gentle grade and durable surface, the Catskill Scenic Trail has become an ideal recreational destination as it traces a leisurely path through stunning Catskill Mountain terrain.

On our drive up, we got a little hungry and stopped by a “General” store.  I tried to order a 6 inch vegetable sub but instead this is what I got served.

Yea, clearly Tony made the smarter choice with his pizza.  Total fail.

Luckily as we continued driving, we passed by something familiar and safe.

Yes, correct this would make it our 2nd McDonald’s stop in 15 hours.  I got an unsweetened ice tea the size of my head and Tony reunited with his Angus Snack Wrap love.  I don’t know how I would survive without extra-large drinks!  Mayor Bloomberg, I drank my heart out!

We did finally after a few confusing turns find the trail head to the Catskills Trail in Bloomsville.

We biked past bridges

Past fields and mountains

We didn’t know how far we would make it up this 26 mile trail as whatever we biked there, we needed to bike back!

After 10.8 miles we finally called it an end and turned back around.  I was also getting paranoid about how my road tires were doing on this mix of rock and packed dirt trail

Tony used a mountain bike while I huffed and puffed on my little Jamis Coda Femme, my baby city hybrid.

Overall we both survived the 21 mile bike ride.  It only took us 3 hours.  I bike slower than I run.  It’s sad, I know!  The Catskills Scenic trail is not a concrete trail so using a road style hybrid was difficult and I was always a bit paranoid.  I did deflate my tires to keep less pressure on them and that seemed to work.

Don’t tell Tony but I want to one day return and do the full 52 mile round trip!  Maybe when it’s cooler (it was 85 degrees outside).  Okay I lie, I’d prefer to run it but  I know that won’t happen for a while!

Mountain bike or road bike?  I’m a hybrid type of gal.  I like the versatility and I’m not really a big Lance Armstrong wannabe so I have no desire for speed on concrete unless I’m in my running shoes.

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Tuesday Run -10.7 miles in total

4 miles during lunch, 3 miles on the TM after work and 3.7 miles with the CitySports run club.  The Back Bay group meets every Tuesday and does 3.5 and 5 mile runs.  I wanted to do the shortest distance possible but I lost track of who was in the group and who wasn’t and just ran my own route.  I guess following directions is not my strong point.  They did tell me the route before the run that must have slipped through my ears.

Since I ended up doing double digits Monday & Tuesday, I took Wednesday off to do absolutely nothing!  Unless you count drinking a beer as a real ab workout.   Speaking of ab workout, I’ve done the Tone It Up Sunkissed Abs 2 days in a row (Monday & Tuesday) and I can now almost do 3 crunches.  Yes my legs are made of steel while my core is made of cheap jello.

The CitySports running club had Zooma as a guest.  Zooma, a women’s race series is having a half marathon and 10K at the Cape on September 23rd that looks like a fun time.  However, if I’m not working I’m going to do the RnR Montreal Marathon and teleport there.    If you’re interested in Cape Cod Zooma race the code CCAMB4 gets you 10 bucks off.  Because of the Zooma promotional event, CitySports gave everyone a 20% off on all purchases made that day and that’s what got me into trouble.  At least Zooma gave us free running tech shirts, a muscle milk sample and the most delicious popcorn I ever had!

Fun for the whole family! Now if only they had a cat size one

Two weeks ago, I went into CitySports in honor of National Running Day and walked out with compression shorts and compression sleeves. I didn’t even think I believe in compression theory that much.  Were they cute and worth it? Yes!

This week, I went to CitySports for the Zooma training run/running club and before I could make it out the door I walked out in this baby:

It all started with a 30% off with an additional 20% off and the only one left was perfectly in my size and before I knew it I was at the register.

I’ve tried to justify it in a few ways

– Its orange, I like orange

– I could use a track jacket/wind breaker

– I like orange?

– I suffered through 90 degree weather after sleeping with my heat on because it was barely 50 the week before to finish this marathon

– This was my first and probably only race I will ever fund-raise for and run for charity.

– Because I’m worth it…

Good enough, and yet somehow before I could even make it to the register I picked up a pair of Tom’s that were screaming comfort.  I was refusing to buy a pair for so long but somehow the 20% off convinced me.  I believe I’m a unique snowflake and I try to look the part.  Tom’s are not unique but they’re very comfy!

And no my mini shopping spree did not end there.  It continued onto Wednesday when because I wasn’t working out I had nothing to do during lunch which led me onto Newbury St and Second Time Around, a fairly nice consignment shop.  I’m not joking when I say I work out more for my budget then my health! Runch = less mindless store browsing.

One score, Nanette Lepore Deep Sea Strapless Top, I’m not in love with a giant fish swimming on my belly but I love the cut of it!  Second score, a pair of PETITE! comfy True Religion jeans.

Do you take a lunch break?  What do you do on your break?

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Through Yelp Elite I was able to get 2 complimentary VIP tickets to the Boston Food Truck Festival.  The VIP tickets gave me 1 hours head start on the crowd of eating and a goodie bag.  Basically the festival was supposed to be an eating frenzy of almost 30 New England Food Trucks.  Needless to say my taste buds and tummy were excited for days!

Sadly a few things went wrong, it was moving weekend so I missed my VIP hour and did not get to UMASS Boston until 12:30.  Upon getting there it was an hour bottleneck nightmare to park.  You couldn’t even change your mind and just go home because it was a one way road.

Will we ever move?

Once we finally parked it was around 1PM and the lines were getting crazy!  I heard that between Groupon, Travelzoo, & regular tickets over 3,000 tickets were sold for a festival that only had like 25-30 trucks!

Once I got my booklet of tickets I got my game face on and stood on line to Lobsta Love. It was about a 30 minute wait so Tony left me to stand online for brick oven pizza.  Just like road races when it comes to food, each one of us is on our own.  Can’t you tell we’re quite the loving couple!

It’s okay because he gave me his ticket and I scored some Lobster Bisque and Lobster mac & cheese.  The mac & cheese was amazing.  fresh lobster, some herbs and light on creamy cheese!

We found our friends on the Chubby Chickpea line so we gave them our tickets and they got us some hummus and falafal.  It was okay, not my favorite.  I like my humus a little less gritty and more blended.  I didn’t like the falafal at all.  After going to Israel, all falafals have been disappointing ever since.

While my friends stood online to Chubby Chickpea I attempted to get some ribs.  Sadly by 1:30PM Big Moe’s M&M Ribs  not only ran out of their ribs but also of the Mac n Cheese.  All that was left was BBQ beans.  I passed but I think Tony sort of enjoyed them. 

Next stop we hit up Bon Me.  These people were great!  They had 5 people in the truck with a super fast assembly time.  Total wait time was 15-20 minutes.  Plus they were the most happiest food servers at the whole festival!  We got a cilantro Chicken and BBQ Pork sandwiches.  I too ate half of Tony’s and both were great!

While we zoomed past our line, our friends waited in the Go Fish! truck line.  That was super slow and took 3 times as long.  However, the food was great!  They got us a smoked Cod and Chorizo Slider.  Good stuff!

Tony wasn’t feeling well so I had to eat for two at this food truck stop as well.  Luckily it was pretty darn good and I had no complaints whatsoever.

By 2:30 we were getting ready to go.  I grabbed a watermelon/lemon Italian ice from some truck I forgot.  What I really wanted was an Ice Cream Hoagie from Frozen Hoagies .  However by then most food trucks ran out of food and everyone was on that line that it went around the whole field and came back out again.  No ice cream is worth a 2 hour wait.  Especially when I can pay to not wait any more.  So we called it quits.

However on my way out I noticed that Grill Cheese Nation had a short line so I stood there for 5 minutes and got something for the road back home.

 Sadly it wasn’t very good.  I mixed them up with Roxy’s grilled cheese from the Food Truck show so I’ll have to  not make that same mistake again.

Overall I think given the crowd insanity, the Food Trucks did a great job.  I do blame the organizers for getting greedy, overpricing their tickets and then having to oversell them on deal sites like Groupon.  I thought the portions were huge and for the most part delicious.  I wish I came earlier to try out a few more trucks but I’ll just have to find them around Boston on another day.

FTFNE made a public response to the anger and frustration that many people felt on Sunday.  You can read it here.  I personally find their response ridiculous.  Instead of admitting maybe they oversold tickets; they seem to be blaming the food trucks.  I don’t think the festival had more than 5,000 people as they claim.  There just wasn’t enough parking and most people drove there.  I also find it odd that they asked each truck to have 1,000 portions when they sold 4,000 tickets.  If its all you can eat that you’re paying for, people will eat more than just 2-3 samples.  Numbers are just not adding up!  Yes, there were a few scavengers gaming the system but for the most part, I saw people with stamps and a booklet looked sad and frustrated.

They also seem to be blaming the people who traded tickets with their friends so they didn’t have to stand on a line twice.  I would have preferred to grab a few samples from the truck and sit down by the water harbor and eat and hang out with my friends.  I did not go to the festival with the intention of standing on separate lines from my friends with their tickets but that’s just what we had to do to maximize how much tasting we could do with all the people there.   Instead most of my eating was done on a line and most of my friend seeing was done in the food/ticket exchange system we got going.

I hope they’ll make some improvements for the rest of the stops on the tour.  If long lines don’t bother you here are the details.

Participating Trucks Include:
Away Café                              Franca’s Wood Fired Pizza
BBQ Smith                             Go Fish!
Big Moe’s M&M Ribs            Grilled Cheese Nation
Bite into Maine                      Lefty’s Silver Cart
Bon Me                                   Lobsta Love
Boston Super Dog               Mei Mei Street Kitchen
The Chicken & Rice Guys   Momogoose
Chubby Chickpea                 Rocket Fine Street Food
Cupcake Mojo                       Roxy’s Grilled Cheese
Del’s Lemonade                  Staff Meal
The Dining Car                     Sweet Truck
Emack & Bolio’s                   Trolley Dogs
Frozen Hoagies                    Woodman’s of Essex

TICKET PRICES:
* VIP Tickets                      $40/each  (limited quantity, $45 day-of)
* General Admission       $30/each ($35 day-of)
* Foodie Four Pack          $25/each with the purchase of four tickets ($100 for four pack)
* Children 6 -12                $10/each
* Children 5 and under   FREE

TOUR DATES

June 16 – The Charlestown Food Truck Festival at Pier 4, Charlestown, MA
June 30 – The New Hampshire Food Truck Festival at Rockingham Park, Salem, NH
July 14 – The Worcester Food Truck Festival at Elm Park, Worcester, MA
July 28 – The Charles River Food Truck Festival at DCR’s Artesani Herter Park, Brighton, MA
August 25 – The Cape Cod Food Truck Festival at Barnstable Fairgrounds, Falmouth, MA
September 8 – The Lowell Food Truck Festival at the Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
September 22 – The Suffolk Downs Food Truck Festival, East Boston, MA
September 29 – The Shipyard Food Truck Festival, Hingham (Shipyard), MA
October 6 – The Framingham Food Truck Festival at Shoppers World, Framingham, MA
October 20 – The Newport Food Truck Festival at the Newport Yachting Center, Newport, RI

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I’ve been off topic in the Run to Munch world.  Well not off topic, still munching just not running.  On Monday I saw the ART/(Active Release Technique) doctor.  I get all my information even medical from Wikipedia so here’s what I learned. But basically after enough poking & pulling  I left the doctor’s office a little sore but feeling great!  I was too busy to test out my legs/butt on Tuesday but on Wednesday and Thursday I had two great runs!

They were slow runs but after 10 days of not running I was just happy to be back on my trusty semi rusty treadmill.  I pounded 6.7 miles on Wednesday and 8 on Thursday both at or just below 9 minute miles.

Then Friday came and my left butt/leg felt tight and wrong again.  It’s not pain per say but a dull ache has returned.  I did have a follow-up appoint where some more poking and pulling went on and I felt better. He showed me some more stretches that made me realize just how much more tight my left hip is compared to my right hip.  That probably explains why I’m always getting injured in that area.  I pulled my hipflexor before in boxing so injuries in that area seem to be a constant theme.  Parts of it are from sitting at a desk all day and then going to intense bursts of activity.  Or doing intense bursts of activity and then sitting all day.

I actually haven’t been too depressed about the lack of running because I’ve been super busy with trying to figure out how to pack.  Packing sucks!  The only thing worst then packing was is going to be unpacking!

On Thursday we learned how to change our own locks!

Total savings so far $500.  Why are locksmiths so expensive?

Saturday was moving day where we had help from some cool kids!  Most important object moved?

Why?  Because he’s carrying some very important cargo!

Jack did his part in the packing insanity…

He kept guard of my purses!

After the boys and girl helped us move all our crap from one home to the new home, we took them out for food.  It was the least we could do after all the furniture and misc boxes of stuff we probably don’t really need that they helped us move.  Tony and I wanted to take them somewhere that exemplifies Malden’s diversity and the growing food “scene.”  We picked out BIRYANI PARK .

Biryani Park prides itself on cooking healthy, authentic cuisine prepared with the freshest, top quality, organic ingredients.  According to the Malden Patch, Pramilla Mathews describes the preparations as “healthy and straight from the heart”.  At first bite you can tell that Pramilla, a Sri Lankan native and her chef, South Indian Veeramuchu Managati have prepared each dish with care and love.  The cuisines of Sri Lanka and Southern India tend to offer food that is gently steamed, rather than cooked in Ghee (clarified butter) found in much of Northern Indian cooking, It is redolent with savory, aromatic spice blends, coconut milk, and often features fresh seafood.  These cuisines are also renowned for their treatment of vegetables; it is a healthful and balanced cuisine.  Great for both full-time, part-time and semi vegetarians like me.

When you first walk in you feel like you left Malden and walked into someone’s kitchen in another country. The tables, random pieces of furniture and the TV playing Indian music with a radio playing elsewhere don’t seem like it would go together.  Yet somehow everything works!  We sat down in a round table with a party of 6.  Pramilla came over and asked us if we wanted any of the dishes explained.  We asked a few questions and quickly got to studying the menu.  The options were endless but decisions had to be made!

We ordered a ton of food!  Mango lassis were an immediate start.  It was 4:30 PM and aside from eating donuts (best donuts ever though from Donut Villa) all day and moving, we were starved.  As an appetizer we got the Samosa Chaat.

A  sweet and spicy chaat made with a delicate mix of samosas, chickpeas, yogurt, mint and tamarind sauce, garnished with our fresh herbs and spices.  We passed this bad boy around a table of 6 people and it worked out pretty good.

For entrees we made a slight mistake.  We ordered too much!  As American diners we’re not used to ordering family style so when we order an entree we expect the portions to be only big enough for 1 person or 1.5 at most.  We did not expect each dish to be able to feed 2-3 people!  Pramilla tried to warn us but I think we were too tired to be smart enough to understand.

Here is an example of one dish we ordered.  It’s a veggie dish with one cabbage curry, one pumpkin curry, lentils, okra, rice, couscous and the chip thing on top.  It was my favorite thing ordered!

Other things ordered include Chicken Vindoloo, Curry Chicken, a meat version of the curry platter and I’m sure a few things I’m forgetting.  No photos because I was too busy stuffing my face but I promise they were just as blog worthy. We did eat family style passing eat plate around the table.  At the end we had enough leftovers to feed 3 people.

Overall BIRYANI PARK  was a great experience.   Tony and I plan on returning there to try out more dishes from there extensive menu.  For those interested in price our total came out to approx $20 per person but that’s because we each had a lassi or fresh squeeze juice ($2.99) and an entree.  You can probably ordered in a smarter way with 1 entree for each 2 people and end up with a total of $13-$15 per person and still have some leftovers.

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