20 Miles of Smiles

Life has just been speeding along and I am a little concerned that tomorrow is APRIL already. Where is time going? 

For the past two weeks I attempted to be gluten and dairy free - it was going really well for awhile. I think the reason I felt better wasn't necessarily because my body doesn't like gluten or dairy (in moderate amounts) but because I was taking the time to really think about what I was eating - lots of quinoa, veggies and chicken - all real food instead of processed and packaged things. 

(What my dinner looked like most nights!)

But then Peter and I FINALLY found the Speculoos Cookie Core Ben & Jerry's flavor. 

(DELICIOUS! However, I don't think I would say it's my favorite B&J's.)

And then I was out for happy hour (sorry, but Bud Light is more budget-friendly than cider, wine or cocktails) and needless to say I quickly fell off the wagon. I would like to try again to make it an entire month and I'm definitely going to try to be good the 2 weeks prior to the Pittsburgh Marathon! My key finding was that Soy yogurt is vile and is in no way an appropriate replacement for Greek yogurt. Instead, I started making lots of chia seed pudding - big fan! 

(Chia seed pudding is an acceptable yogurt substitute as long as it's CHOCOLATE)

Let's see. Last weekend I had a 12 mile run that seemed like it was never going to end. I was not a happy camper and it was pretty torturous if we're being honest. But, it got done.  

That afternoon, Allison came into the city and we met up with her parents for suchhhh an awesome night - dinner at PJ Clarke's followed by The King and I at Lincoln Center! 

(Dinner was delicious, I had a chopped shrimp salad that had chickpeas and lots of other yummy things. The dressed was light and not drowning the salad.)

(This was my first time seeing a show at Lincoln Center - It's so beautiful!)

(The show was GREAT. I didn't know what to expect going into it, and I didn't know any of the music (except "Getting to Know You") but Kelli O'Hara was PHENOMENAL. Seriously, she opens her mouth and makes it seem absolutely effortless.  The plot reminded me of The Sound of Music, the cast was great, and it was very classic Broadway.) 

After the show, Allison and I sat and chatted over a glass of wine at ABV on Lex and 97th - it's super cute inside, the bartender was really nice and let us try like 4 different wines each, it was quiet so we could actually talk, and although it cost more than I would usually try to spend, the prices really are average and totally do-able especially if you're just going out for one drink! I definitely want to go back to check out the food one night. 

We slept in, something I hadn't done in far too long, and got ready for brunch (I mean, Sunday morning, what else would we do?) Did you know that Bareburger has a brunch menu now? Well, it does, and you should seriously get on that. My love of Bareburger was newly ignited with my Farmstead Burger. I need it again. Nowwww. 

(Farmstead = Sweet Potato & Wild Rice burger with cauliflower hummus (!!!), tomatoes and baby kale wrapped in a collard green)

Next we headed downtown to check out the Macy's Flower Show - my mom always tells me to go and I usually roll my eyes but I guess I'm getting old because I suggested it and actually enjoyed it. 

(Basically anything where I can just wander around taking pictures is something I'm going to enjoy!)

It was finally feeling a little springy outside so we walked from Herald Square to Grand Central, stopping for a few pictures of the ever-lovely Empire State Building. Truly never gets old. 

(This is the view from near my desk at work!)

I've been trying to be consistent with Monday morning Bodypump classes at NYSC so that was my Monday morning. I found someone to cover for me at the running store and went straight home and into my bed where I proceeded to listen to showtunes while coloring in an adult coloring book for approximately 2.5 hours. That's not an exaggeration and I have no regrets. 

Tuesday morning I was up early for 5 miles in the park because after work Peter and I got on a train to head to Long Island for his first ISLANDERS GAME at Nassau Coliseum. I'm getting seriously emotional about them not being there next season. Of course, since I was there, the Isles lost, but it was still great, as usual, to be there. 

(Two of my favorite things! Well Peter's not a thing, he's a person, but you get it.)

We went from my comfort zone of the Coliseum to way way wayy out of my comfort zone at a country night at a bar nearby - line dancing and me, as I suspected, are not exactly a match made in heaven. I probably learned one of the steps correctly. But what I DIDN'T expect was for me to find myself thinking that I want to learn! Everyone looked like they were having so much fun, plus I don't like being bad at things, so I may just have to give it another try. 

Wednesday we woke up super early to get a 6 a.m. train back to the city and I went to NYSC for a back workout before work. Back day = favorite day. One day I'll be able to do an unassisted pull-up...

Thursday I finally got to check-out Mile High Run Club - you can read my review here

Friday happy hour and Quinnpiac hockey game watch resulted in a few more drinks than I had planned on, but nothing to derail my plans for my 20 miler! Ahhhhhhh. 

(QU lost BIG TIME but the bar had lots of fun pom poms and beads and thunder sticks. We managed to destroy all of these things - woops.)

Saturday morning I ran the 2 miles to Nike's store on 57th and then had a couple minute break while we waited for them to get their group run started.  Then it was out for a 16 mile route down the west side, around lower Manhattan, over and back over the Manhattan Bridge, and back up to the store. Once we got back to the store, I still had 2 to go, which I finished still feeling mahvelous. 

I've run with Nike Run Club one other time (which you can read about here) and while I was grateful to have company for the 16 miles, I definitely felt like I was cheating because we stopped and started so much (running through Chinatown, really?) The water breaks and snacks to refuel are really clutch, And having a pacer was what kept me feeling so strong and confident the entire run - I wasn't wasting energy changing my tempo the entire time. But I reallllly don't like stopping. 

Peter, Kaitlin, Tiffanie and Taylor all made the 20 miles so much more bearable. And I felt surprisingly strong the entire time. I kept being seriously confused as to why everything felt so good. When I finished at 20 miles, I definitely could have kept going, which made me feel confident and also a little nervous! It's really not that far away now, and already thoughts of PRing are starting to slip back into my head. 

(My boyfriend REALLY LOVES RUNNING WITH ME can't you tell?)

Another plus to running with Nike? PICTURES! My favorite! And I love how some of these turned out. 

After my 20 miles I had no time to rest. It was time to shower, pack and head to Connecticut for my wonderful college rommate's birthday party! I was really nervous I would be too tired and cranky and sore to have a good time, and I was worried about bringing the mood down (and I think I was really out of it the beginning of the night - sorry guys!) but when you're surrounded by your best friends and the best music, you can't help but have an amazing night. 


(QU + Allison who may as well have gone there at this point!)

And that's just what happened - the bar played one song after the other that elicited singing at the top of our lungs and somehow I was able to Cotton Eye Joe till the cows came home (my legs on Sunday though, different story). 

(Iiiiiii wanna dance with somebodyyyyyy, Iiii wanna feel the heeattttt with someboddyyy)

All that's really left besides some shorter-long runs (oxymoron?) is the 22 miler on April 11th and then it's time to run a marathon! WHAT. Cannot believe it. 

(A little Cheno love)