Work has been pretty stressful, and last weekend I took a much-needed trip home to Long Island for the long weekend. This has been the least summery summer of my entire life- I've been to the beach once, on my kayaks a big fat 0 times, and on my boat a big fat 0 times too. There were no trips to the ocean, no trips to Fire Island, no trips to Block Island, and only a handful of days spent tanning at the pool. Thank God for my family vacation in Rhode Island or I may not even know that summer happened at all! Needless to say, I was determined to make Labor Day Weekend, what most people consider the end of summer, count.
That being said, there was also major work to be done. The weekends before Labor Day I was away in Virginia for work. This weekend, I will again be working. My marathon is now a month away. Hence, last weekend I had a major long-run planned. My longest training run of marathon prep. Some people called me crazy for wanting to do a long-run over 18 miles. But I knew that mentally, I needed to reach at least 20 before I could walk up to that starting line at know that I have what it takes to finish 26.2 miles.
I was dreading this run all week long. I wanted to go home and relax, eat, drink, and lounge on the beach. But before I could do that, I'd have to run 20-22 solitary miles around my boring (and might I add, HILLY) suburban neighborhood.
I put out a plea on Facebook - somebody, anybody join me for part of this run! My uncle, who is training for a 100 mile bike ride, was unfortunately using Saturday as his rest day before a grueling 80 miler on Sunday. My ex cross-country star BFF said she needed "sleep" or something. My half-marathon partner had a cross-fit competition scheduled. And no one was brave enough to be like, "Hey, I don't really know you but who cares, let's run!"
A friend from JackRabbit was running the mile race in Farmingdale Saturday morning, and said he would try to meet up with me, but unfortunately, it didn't end up working out. That left my Aunt Dawn, and we planned on meeting up around 7:50 so she could join me for a half hour of my run.
I arrived home Friday night with all intentions of eating well, not drinking, and getting to bed early. Well I certainly ate deliciously. I certainly failed at not drinking. And I successfully got a pretty good nights sleep.
My parents and grandparents took me out to dinner and an amazing restaurant in our neighborhood- Blond. I started with a martini because it had St. Germain in it, so it was like a necessity, right? Right. The Elderflower Martini was strong (I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to vodka) but delicious.
My family knows me oh so well, and gave me the honors of picking out the three appetizers that we would split. First choice, easy, was the garlic roasted shrimp with naan bread and chick pea hummus.
Second, my dad's recommendation, was the yellow fin tuna tar-tar with sesame soy ginger vinaigrette, crispy wontons and wasabi aioli. LOVED the way this was served!
Last but not least was the crab cake with jicama slaw, avocado puree and spicy aioli. It's been awhile since I had crab cakes, and these were delicious. Plus- jicama and avocado. Sold.
I was having SERIOUS issues deciding what to order. I went back and forth a million times. I ended up ordering the special, which was fresh, local striped bass served over a shrimp risotto. Blond is known for their risotto, and it's always delicious. But sometimes I wish EVERY entree didn't come with it- because it's certainly not the most low-cal side.
My grandpa's Veal Scaloppini with potatoes, green beans and mushrooms was pretty delectable and I did my fair share of picking at it. My dad went for the seafood pasta with a saffron cream sauce, my grandma had the shrimp with risotto, and my mom ordered the duck entree which came with SWEET POTATOES that I continually stole off her plate.
Somewhere along the way I switched to red wine and boldly announced to my parents, "You're out to eat with Nanny and me...you KNOW we are ordering dessert."
And that was how we ended up with an order of crispy banana spring rolls (killer) and a HUGE pot of chocolate peanut butter fondue complete with strawberries, bananas, rice krispie treats and marshmallows for dipping (even more killer). A recent discovery is the amazing combination of peanut butter and rice krispie treats. You're welcome.
I rolled out of the restaurant, went to bed, and before I knew it my alarm was ringing- signaling that it was time to do the damn thing and run 20 miles.
I put on my November Project tank and my new pair of running shorts and ate half a banana. I buckled my stupid Nathan Trail Mix water bottle belt, filled my two newly purchased water bottles, placed them in their holsters, and was out the door.
(All the essentials!)
I started running and almost immediately realized that these belt was NOT going to happen. The water sloshing around in the water bottles was loud. It was heavy. The belt kept riding up. It was pretty much the most uncomfortable and aggravating thing in the world. A complete waste of money as I hope to never put it on my body again in this lifetime (that sounds extremely dramatic, but it was truly that awful). About 3 miles in, I was able to ditch the water bottles on my grandparents front lawn but unfortunately the belt had to stay with me for my phone and Gu...it wasn't so awful once the water bottles were gone!
I ran 4 miles before meeting up with my aunt in her neighborhood. We ran a slow 2 miles together, about 25 minutes and it was a great way to get me in the mindset of, "This is not a race, just get the miles and don't worry about speed!" My aunts neighborhood was SUPER hilly so it was good we were going slow or I would have been shot for the rest of the run! It was really a great break in the run to be able to chat with someone and go a little slower (when I run by myself I have a tendency to be a little too speedy).
From my aunts it was another 4 miles back to around where I started, putting me halfway there at 10 and feeling GREAT. The entire time I just kept thinking, "Can this please just miraculously turn into the Wineglass Marathon and I can just run my race right now??" I drank half a water bottle my aunt gave me, and I am ashamed to admit that that's all I drank the entire 22 miles. Woops.
At mile 13 I ate my Gu (Double Espresso, baby!) and kept on truckin'. There is really not a ton to write about this run. Part of me feels like there's no way it really could have been around 20 miles because I felt so good the whole time. Of course, there were moments of ouch, this is uncomfortable, and oooof I'm getting bored- but not once did I need to put music on and not once did, "I'm not going to finish 20 miles" cross my mind (although I DID think I might have to walk up the hill on one road- I kept going though!)
My mom called around mile 20 (I had decided I felt good enough to go to 22) and said she was going to walk towards me. I had been going back and forth on stopping at 20 or 22, but knowing that my mom would be meeting up with me soon gave me the extra motivation to make it those extra 2 miles. I was even able to run one of my fastest splits for the last mile!
I had done it! And it wasn't awful! I know that I can do this marathon, but I am still very nervous. Everything clicked on Saturday. And I may not be that lucky on October 5.
MapMyRun is what I used to track my run- so I am not 100% confident that it really was 22 miles, but I figure I at LEAST did 20. According to the app, my pace was 8:37, which I was pretty damn happy with (especially considering I took it slower while I was with my aunt!)
I got back to my house and showered, not able to eat anything yet. But once I got out of the shower I was ravenous and made myself a giant bowl of oats. Then it was off to the beach to relax! Unfortunately, it wasn't the sunniest of days, and I actually had to keep putting my long sleeve shirt on and off when the sun went behind the clouds. But it was nice just to be in the sand (sadly I didn't make it into the water).
When we gave up on sunning ourselves, I went over to my aunts house to borrow her foam roller and magic stick to stretch out. Then, it was HAPPY HOUR TIME :) My parents and friend went down to the yacht club where I had a well-deserved margarita and Corona.
Then, it was back to the house for a home-cooked meal from my dad. It was an essential summer meal, and I was STARVED. He made corn on the cob, fresh tomato salad and juicy, tender, bacon-wrapped filet mignon. I am so spoiled! My mom and I also neeeeeeded a baked potato, so we split one that was leftover in the house.
I was gung-ho all day about going out and partying Saturday night. Meanwhile, but 8 I was in my pajamas on the couch and the only thing I was craving was froyo- screw dancing and beer. Around 10 I drove to Red Mango and got myself a disgustingly toppings-filled cup of peanut butter froyo and picked up some for my dad too (his first froyo experience!)
Sunday dawned and I woke up expecting to be hurting all over. Shockingly, nothing felt too terrible. I called the gym to see if my favorite boot camp class was still happening, but it was cancelled for the holiday weekend so instead I did a half hour deck of cards workout instead.
Then, my parents and I headed out to the outlets for some shoppin'. Instead of the fall clothes I had set out to find, I left the extremely crowded Tanger Outlets with a pair of workout capris (complete with pocket) and a new sports bra. Oh, my life.
I had been dying to go to a vineyard while I was home, but the weather wasn't great and the traffic was going to be awful so instead, we decided to do a late lunch at a place I have been DYING to go to every since seeing healthy looking salad pictures on Instagram. True story. Added bonus? Farm Country Kitchen is a) along the Peconic River and b) BYOB so we brought a bottle of wine and kind of pretended to be at a vineyard while enjoying an amazingly fresh and delicious lunch that I will write up in a separate review. The weather turned out being fabulous while we were there, too!
When we got home, my mom and I curled up on the couch and I FINALLY got to watch Frozen! It wasn't AS amazing as everyone made it out to be, but I certainly enjoyed it! That damn little snowman made the movie, hands down.
No one else was hungry for dinner, and I wasn't really either, but I made myself a big delicious salad with leftovers anyway. Because 22 miles?
Then it was over to Nanny and Poppy's with my aunts and uncles for a get together and drinks. I ended up drinking 3 margaritas and was feelin' good.
Monday morning I woke up, ran 8 miles, tanned on my deck, and met my friend for coffee at another place I had been wanting to check out- Crazy Beans. They just opened their second location in Stony Brook (their original restaurant is in Miller Place, and is the one we went to). They have INCREDIBLE iced and hot latte flavors like Peanut Butter and Jelly and Salted Caramel. I wanted mine to be semi-healthy so I opted for mixing two of their sugar-free flavor options- Dark Chocolate and Raspberry and using almond milk.
It came served in a mason jar and was DELICIOUS.
The place is soo cute too- with little knick-knacks in every corner and this cute little monkey on the bar. The food menu sounded out of this world, and I'll definitely be back for lunch and a full review one day! My friend swears by the gouda, apple honey mustard grilled cheese and though I haven't tried it yet- how could something with those ingredients be anything but incredible?
After that it was time to head back to the city, with coconut chia granola, lox, bibb lettuce, goat cheese, blue cheese and beets courtesy of my grandma!
(Already enjoying lox from Nanny!)
It was a lovely weekend- and I hope you enjoyed being filled in on every little detail.