Six Sunday Links After Billy Joel at MSG and Penn State v. Michigan Football Game

The weeks are just flying by and it's starting to make me feel a little panicked. In less than a week I'll be headed home for Thanksgiving and a few days after that we are off to Austin, Texas where Peter and I will be running the Decker Half Challenge despite my <10 weekly mileage totals these past few weeks.

My Google Map has been populated with about 100 points of interest - restaurants, hiking trails, bars, music venues - but one of these days we need to sit down and build out an actual itinerary. Because I like plans and organization and I want to leave Austin feeling like we conquered it! But I know I can't micromanage every second of our trip because spontaneity and exploration can be the best parts of experiencing a new city. 

Life has been passing by in a blur because I've settled into a routine that doesn't leave much room for deviation.

  • Monday - Work, Leg day at the gym, swimming lesson 
  • Tuesday - Spin, Work, JackRabbit 6-Close 
  • Wednesday - November Project (or lately, sleeeeep), Work, JackRabbit 6-Close 
  • Thursday - Spin, Work, a night to go straight home and c-r-a-s-h into bed 
  • Friday - Some type of workout, Work, Home to put some laundry in and clean up the mess that my apartment has become throughout the week before, typically, falling asleep without doing anything crazy. 
  • Saturday - Attempting a run  before starting the day
  • Sunday - Being a lazy bum, grocery shopping, cooking for the week (this week I made SPLIT PEA SOUP that came out so so good #humblebrag)

This weekend and these next few weeks, that routine will definitely be shaken up which is exciting and also a little overwhelming. 

When you're reading this on Sunday I'll have just had a very busy weekend, which I'm sure was super fun and super exhausting. 

Thursday night I went to see Billy FREAKING Joel at Madison Square Garden. 2 years of requesting tickets through work finally paid off and I got to see and hear The Piano Man live. Holy cow. 

Fun fact, a man from my hometown leads an awesome Billy Joel cover band and now plays IN Billy Joel's real-live touring band. Dreams do come true, people! 

And then Friday morning Peter and I headed to Happy Valley to rent a house with his college friends (eek, meeting friends, hope I'm not too embarrassing) for the Penn State/Michigan game and my first ever tailgating/college football game experience! Hopefully I survived the cold temperatures.

Traveling back on Sunday and not having time to prepare myself for the week is giving me slight heart palpitations I'm sure but the good news is it's a 2 and a half day week until I'm home cuddling with my puppy and getting ready to eat allllllll the Thanksgiving noms. 

Oh right, and that Turkey Trot 5 miler I'm running on Thanksgiving morning!

So, let's get to the links so I can get to Billy! (I'm writing this Thursday on my lunch break~) 

This week there aren't six Sunday links. There's 4. Because the Internet this week was full of things that I, quite frankly, don't want to address on this blog because they are too big and scary and sad and complicated

1. From Billy Joel Tribute Band to the Real Thing

Like I said - a man who graduated high school with my aunts and uncles now plays in Billy Joel's band, tours with him and has NEW YORK TIMES articles written about him. Pretty awesome. And I hope to one day see his tribute band, Big Shot, perform on Long Island!

2. Self-Promotion

I wrote this review of a one-man show I saw 2 weeks ago. It was funny and you should check it out! 

3. All The Light We Cannot See

Oh my lawwwdy please read this book. Put it on your Christmas list and buy a copy for the reader in your life. I devoured it in 3 days despite the 540 pages. 

4. Dad Holds GoPro The Wrong Way All Vacation

I can seriously sympathize with this poor dad, who thought he was filming the sights on his trip to Vegas but was really filming his face. 

#nailedit #goproPRO

#nailedit #goproPRO

This past weekend while I was home, I started to try out my own GoPro and it is NOT EASY and it made me feel really old and technologically inept. There's no screen to see what you're filming unless you connect it to your phone using Wi-Fi...a process that took me far too long to figure out using the 2 BUTTONS on the whole damn camera. Oy. 

Tips for me on using a GoPro?? 
Book recs? 
What's the last concert you went to? 
How do you handle a change to your routine?

Apparently I have a lot of questions. 


Accepting the Social Media Comparison Trap

Social Media Comparison Trap

The more prolific social media becomes, the more prone we all are to the comparison trap.

You know what I’m talking about. Scrolling through your Instagram feed and getting down on yourself because you failed to make a filtered to perfection protein pancake breakfast dripping with homemade coconut-oil chocolate sauce with a side glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice that you picked off your very own orange tree.

Orange Juice

You’re on the subway, feelin’ ready to conquer the day after a great 3 mile run in Central Park. You open that favorite app of yours and suddenly, your 3 miles seems like it wasn’t good enough amongst peers who busted out a casual 15k before 8 a.m.

As I’ve written about before, I think it’s so so important for us to realize that the people whose posts are making us feel inferior are likely going through the exact same thing every time they scroll through their feed.

Social Media and Comparison

No one is safe from this trap.

There are lots of articles out there about how to steer clear of this unpleasant and perhaps dangerous psychological pattern and I think they’re really well-intentioned. I read them and I feel ready to open Instagram free from self-judgement. 

But that lasts about 2 seconds.

I also know myself, and I know that there’s no way in hell I’m breaking my Instagram habit.

So instead of trying to figure out a way to avoid it completely, I have a different suggestion.

I suggest accepting the fact that some days we will be more susceptible to this kind of negative self-judgment. Some days we will compare ourselves to others in a way that gets us down. And quite frankly, I think that’s OK. I think that’s normal. I think that means we are human.

OK Hand

I also think there will be days where we are able to see that negative self-talk coming on and we will have the ability to sidestep it. We will tell that picture perfect breakfast:

I know you were taken with a DSLR camera with a pretty background and perfect lighting and my handful of dry cereal eaten on the walk to the subway tasted GREAT thank you very much.

There will be days where we see someone accomplishing something inspiring before 8 a.m. and instead of beating ourselves up about it, we will say, “Damn, that’s badass – good for so and so. Maybe tomorrow I’ll start my journey to unassisted pull-up greatness too!”

Accepting that these are both completely normal reactions will help us to acknowledge and accept our feelings on any given day.

The last thing you need to do when you’re comparing yourself to someone else because of something you saw on social media, is to get down on yourself FURTHER because you aren’t “enlightened” enough to avoid the comparison trap entirely.

So remind yourself that you’re human and cut yourself some slack. 

Six Sunday Links November 8 - Avocados, Running and Singing


I did a whole lot of nothing today and it was wonderful. Sleeping in, bagels and watching Unbroken were the only things I had to worry about. In fact, Peter even picked up the bagels so I didn't have to move. 

Yesterday was an extremely productive Saturday which is the reason I didn't stress about being rendered completely useless by this morning's hangover. I just can't hang anymore. 

Saturday I was up and running by 8:15 a.m. and successfully ran 8 miles - my longest run in 6 months. It’s still unseasonably warm and I was able to take in Central Park’s foliage in a t-shirt and shorts.

I did laundry, cleaned my room, cooked, caught up on some work and set out to meet up with a professor and friend from graduate school for brunch at The Upsider.

Next was a “quick” stop at TJ Maxx just to have a look around. Of course I left a little poorer. I also found a genius creation that I’m going to need to find in my size - gloves with a pocket in the hand! That way when it’s winter and I’m big and puffy in layers and a jacket I can slip my metro card right in my glove! Genius.

I got home, got ready and then it was time to party. We had so much fun at a friend's birthday party - I forget how fun it can be to just dance it out in the basement of some bar. 

I'm a little sad thinking about the start of another busy week - but before we get to Monday morning - links! (Or, wait to check out the links until you're sitting at your desk Monday morning and procrastinating the start of any actual work). 

I snapped this picture on my Saturday morning run!

I snapped this picture on my Saturday morning run!

1. Dating In Your Twenties is Like Eating an Avocado

Anyone who can legitimately write an article with this title, and make some compelling points along the way, is wonderful in my book! 

2. Running In The Rain

I still remember one of the first times I ran in the rain - it makes you feel like such a badass. It usually means you're the only one out there, no one to dodge, no one to clog up the sidewalks. This is one of those videos that makes you want to go out and be awesome. It's supposed to rain this week - so before you resign yourself to running on the treadmill, watch this video. It might change your mind. 

3. How Salad Can Make You Fat

A very interesting article about how making healthy choices often encourages us to make more unhealthy choices throughout the day. 

4. Lin-Manuel Miranda Freestyling on Jimmy Fallon

If you don't know who Lin-Manuel Miranda is - I DEMAND you watch this video. He is an incredibly talented musician, singer, writer, lyricist and actor. I first fell in love with his work on the Broadway musical In The Heights and his newest musical, Hamilton, is taking the world by STORM. People really think it might be the best musical EVER. I have yet to see it but I think it's even higher than Book of Mormon on my "must see" list (also, Fun Home!). 

5. Kelly Clarkson and Josh Groban sing Phantom

Two of my favorite voices in the history of the world - Josh Groban and Kelly Clarkson. Singing. Together. I die. This has been on repeat allllllll week and probably will be again this week. 

6. Sport Has Not Learned About Periods

Definitely an interesting idea that periods are the "last taboo" in sport. After that woman ran a marathon while on her period, opting to go sans tampon and letting the blood flow freely, it's definitely a topic that's appearing more often in the media.

Anyone have any thoughts? I personally am lucky to not face any serious challenges to my running while I'm on my period. I get pretty bad cramps, but actually find that exercising can temporarily relieve the pain. That being said, I would 100% like to avoid ever running a marathon or big race while on my period. Tampons moving around, feeling bloated, tender boobs bouncing up and down for 26.2 miles - no thank you! 

I apologize for the poor word to picture ratio. But I am le tired

How was your weekend? 
What's your hangover cure? (Light blue Gatorade for me!) 


Essena O'Neill Quits Social Media - It's Not "Real Life"

Last night as I scrolled through Facebook, I stumbled across a link about a former social media model who had announced she would be deleting her accounts and focusing her energies on speaking out against an industry that she says is “not real life.”

I think that on some level, we all know that social media isn’t entirely “real.” As you scroll through your feed, you are looking at the highlights of someone’s life – the moments that they want featured. Not only that, but pictures never tell a full story. Especially pictures that have been cropped, posed and filtered.

From the time she was 12, Essena O’Neill began amassing followers on Instagram and Youtube. By age 18, the Aussie had half a million followers on Instagram and more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. Brands paid her anywhere from $200-$2,000 dollars to post photos with their products.

A few days ago, Essena announced she was done with social media – she went back and deleted most of her photos from Instagram but kept a few.  She edited their captions to reveal the truth behind the Instagram.

There are many people who will say Essena’s actions are just a way to gain even more attention for herself – after all, she’s already been contacted by places like Good Morning America and The Today Show. But after scrolling through her Instagram and reading her recently edited captions I was incredibly moved by a few in particular.

The topics that Essena is shining a spotlight on are important ones and they don’t just apply to people with thousands of followers.  ere are 8 images I found particularly powerful. They made me stop, and think and I hope you will too. 

8 Things Essena O'Neill's Re-Captioned Photos Make Us Think About

Essena O'Neill Body Image

Why Are You Posting This?

Often, a caption on Instagram is the least telling piece of information. While Essena's original caption was about her skirt - her edited caption reveals what most people probably noticed when they looked at the picture - her toned stomach and tiny waist. And surprise surprise, that was her real reason for sharing it. Before posting on Instagram, we should probably stop for a second and think about our intentions. And if those intentions are completely self-absorbed, maybe we should give our post a second thought. 

Essena O'Neill Quits Social Media

How Much Time and Energy Our Youth (And Our Own Generation) are Wasting on Social Media 

This made me so very sad. I look at myself, in my mid-twenties, and know that even I spend far too much time caring about social media. Far too many times each and every day I scroll through my Instagram feed instead of calling a friend to say I miss them or using my brain to think about something important. And I didn't grow up with this. Instagram came around when I was in college. Yet today, elementary school girls and boys aren't passing notes in class and playing kickball at recess - likes and followers are what they are focused on and it is only going to get worse as they get older. I can't imagine if my 11 year old self had images like this to compare myself to on a daily basis. I really can't, and it makes me so sad for these kids that grow up thinking this is what they have to aspire to. 

Essena O'Neill Instagram

The Insecurity That Comes From Placing Your Identity in Physical Features

Essena's caption in this photo may not make a ton of sense - how can someone who looks like that claim to be insecure? 

But to place your self-worth and your identity in something as artificial as your body typically means that you are lacking confidence in who you are as a person - you are insecure in your worth as a person on a much deeper level. 

To wake up in the morning and base your self-worth on a line down the middle of your stomach is to feel that that's the only reason the people around you approve of you. And it is to constantly fear what will happen if that body changes. Which - for a 16 year old girl - it undoubtedly will. 

Essena O'Neill Quits Social Media

Why Are We So Hungry For Other's Approval?

Essena admits that the photos she posted were painstakingly perfected to garner approval from faceless Instagram users. 

Tell me I'm not the only one who has joked with a friend about needing to get to at least 11 likes on Instagram so that the number appears instead of usernames. How sad is that, really? 

Maybe if we all stopped staring at our screens and complimented the real live people standing in front of us, they wouldn't feel so hungry for validation on social media. Tell your bus driver when she's having a nice hair day. Compliment a coworker on their outfit. We should care more about these genuine words from people more than we care about quasi-friends double tapping a screen as they sit on the subway to let you know that your #tbt caught their eye. 

Essena O'Neill Instagram

Candid Moments Are Far and Few Between

When is the last time someone took a true "candid" picture of you? I hate to admit it, but I am incredibly guilty of setting up these "carefree" looking moments. 

"Take a picture of me doing a headstand on the beach!" is a lot different than having fun doing a headstand on the beach only to later find out that your friend happened to snap a picture. 

"Do it for the insta" is a real thing that we really say. How about we just do the things we love because we love to do them?

Essena O'Neill

Why Are We So Obsessed With How We Look? 

That's a rhetorical question because, of course, this is a huge topic that our society continues to struggle with. Advertising, eating disorders, restrictive dieting and excessive exercising - these topics are inescapable today. 

We are still talking about them because they aren't easy to wrap our heads around. There's no quick fix for these societal struggles. We are told to be body-positive, to love the skin we're in. We are told that "strong is the new skinny."

On one hand, seeing girls who are proud of their bodies is wonderful. But there's a fine line between someone who has worked hard and is proud of what they've accomplished to someone who is terrified of losing their toned stomach. There's a fine line between fitness imagery that inspires and fitness imagery that promotes unrealistic goals and unhealthy habits. 

Essena O'Neill Quits Social Media

We Need to Reassess Our Goal-Setting

As Essena's re-captioned photo illustrates - this should not be anyone's goal. Yes we all want to look and feel our best but why not try making your goal 10 push-ups in a row without stopping instead of, "more defined shoulder muscles." I promise you - nothing about your life will change when you have a six-pack. But something will change when you find something you love doing - like crossfit or training for a marathon. Something will change when you meet new people while enjoying that new activity. Something will change when you compete in your first crossfit competition or run your first marathon. You will gain a way to handle stress, you will gain confidence, you will gain a new outlook on life. And somewhere along the way, maybe your physical appearance will change. But that's not what the focus should be. 

Essena O'Neill Social Media

There's Always a Story Behind The Smile 

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But a posed and forced smile is almost always hiding the real story. 

Really think about these things. 

I'm not expecting us all to go delete our social media accounts and swear off Instagram forever. 

But I do think these things deserve some serious thought. I, for one, was disgusted at some of the things I've posted in the past and have removed some photos from my Instagram.

There's no need to perpetuate feelings of insufficiency among beautiful, smart, charismatic, funny women because they don't own the same material things as you, have the same physical appearance as you, or spend as much time in the gym as you. And even more importantly, there's no need for you to feel like you're better than anyone else for any of those things. 

Six Sunday Links; Swagger & Sass

Six Sunday Links didn’t happen last week because I was busy celebrating my Gran’s 89


birthday in Florida! Seeing her so irregularly now, when she used to be 20 minutes down the road, is incredibly hard – especially when I think about the fact that she’s living in a nursing home and only getting older.

There are moments in life that you know you’re going to want to remember. As they’re happening, you try to make a mental note of all the little details, scared that one day they’ll slip from your memory. You want to live in the moment but you’re already concerning yourself with what’s going to happen when that moment becomes the past. Maybe that’s why I took so many pictures! I tried soaking up the invaluable family time – it’s not very often that my mom’s side of the family gets to spend time together. We ate, we drank, we caught up – I tried my very best to coax the crew into getting a little sappy by sharing some of our favorite memories.

We also celebrated the fact that my cousin and his wife will soon be welcoming their first baby into the family. Gran’s going to be a great-Gran (she already is the greatest Gran, though!) I was sure to buy baby Emma her first NHL onesie. She’s going to look fabulous in it, even though it’s slightly masculine looking. Whatever, gender neutrality is all the rage these days, isn’t it?

In total I spent 20 hours traveling between Friday and Monday, but it was well worth it for moments like this:

Despite having off on Monday to fly home, the week seemed to last forever. But here we are at another Sunday. Instead of using your brain cells to think about the coming week (ugh) – how about checking out these six links? I think it’s a quality batch -  heavy on my own personal commentary. 

The Rise and Fall of Trading Spaces, theHome Design Show That Ruled the World

These days, I very rarely watch TV. Peter and I have made good progress on The Office (I know, I know – I’m behind) and for a while I was binge-watching Orange Is The New Black like it was my job. But lately I haven’t been able to make a commitment to the hour-long episodes. Sorry Piper, it’s nothing personal. 

It seems the only time I am truly a couch potato is when I’m visiting my parents on Long Island. And when I’m there – I’m all about the HGTV. Love It Or List It and House Hunters are my absolute favorites and my mom and I have no problems re-watching episodes that we’ve seen 20 times. But when I saw someone post this article on Facebook I took a total trip down memory lane, remembering the hours spent watching the original home makeover show from TLC –

Trading Spaces

. I’ll never forget the sleepovers where we stayed awake until 5 a.m. watching reruns. I’ll never forget the episode where Hildi makes one couple's room look like a circus tent.

This article blew my mind by pointing out that Trading Spaces premiere

15 years ago

. Whoah. This is a long read – but a fascinating look at the life of the show, which was a precursor to many of today’s reality shows. And did you know that host Paige Davis played Roxy Hart in Chicago on Broadway?

 How Sports Gave Me Swagger 

First off – yes, I’m a subscriber to Lenny, Lena Dunham’s new feminist newsletter. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s (Love and Basketball) contribution.

When I re-read this article to write about it, I started highlighting which quote I wanted to start with. I highlighted the entire first paragraph. It’s like that standup comic who makes fun of girls studying for finals who go highlighter-happy in the library. Totally me. [Totally don’t remember the comedian.]

So, if you’re really not just going to click the link and read the article (it’s worth it, I promise!) here is at least the first paragraph. I have a feeling that, like me, you’ll identify with a lot of it and want to keep reading.

I am shy. I also have a big ego. Practically speaking, that means everyone is looking at me, and it makes me uncomfortable. Actually, "big ego" has a negative connotation. I'll say "healthy ego." Which, sadly, for women, still has a negative connotation. We aren't supposed to have an ego. It's unseemly. It's arrogant. It's not ladylike. Serena Williams was called cocky when she said she wanted to be the best in the world. Well, what the hell is she training so relentlessly for, to be the 37th best in the world? (No disrespect to the 37th best in the world.) A poster of Serena in mid–epic scream should be required on every little girl's bedroom wall so they can be reminded daily how beautiful it is to be a badass.

This reminds me so much of a conversation I’ve had multiple times with my mom since getting into running.

Me: “I’m REALLY frustrated that I’ve lost so much of my speed.”

Mom: “Well why do you care about being fast? Just do it for fun.”

Me: “Because I know I can be better, and I found something I’m actually pretty good at, and I want to improve.”

Yes, I know I’m not going to be winning any races. But that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge that I’ve worked hard to improve my speed and endurance and that I am always training to beat the runner I was the last time I raced.

But, like Gina Prince-Bythewood – sports have played a major role in my life – teaching me to always give it my all. To leave everything out on the court, the field, the track, etc. Sports has taught me that if I settle, I’m really only cheating myself.

When I was on the field, I was never told to "slow down." No one ever said, "Don't be so aggressive." I was told to "run faster," "bemoreaggressive," "play harder," "go after it." So I did. And it was the most natural thing in the world.

These lessons translate into so many other aspects of a woman’s life – and I think that fitness in general, even if it’s not organized sports, can really help improve confidence and give ladies out there swagger. Which is sexy.

Amy Schumer’s ‘I’m Sorry’ Skewers A CultureThat Makes Women Apologize Constantly

So, I watched this video and I laughed. Another Amy Schumer video that perfectly captures some of the ridiculous things us ladies do…before becoming completely over the top.

But after I finished laughing, I started thinking. Because a few weeks ago, I got angry at someone. They did something to tick me off, yet at the end of the conversation I texted, “Sorry.”

We’ve all done it. And we’ve probably all been on the receiving end as well. A “sorry” text that clearly doesn’t actually indicate remorse. Well this time, the person on the receiving end called me out and told me not to apologize if I didn’t mean it.

When An Apology Is Anything But

So why do we do it? Why are we constantly saying “Sorry?” This article from the New York Times was SO intriguing to me and brings up tons of interesting points. That “sorry” text that I sent – it was actually the complete opposite. It was basically a text saying, “You did something that annoyed me and by saying sorry, I’m really trying to prove that I


have to be apologizing to you.” And we wonder why sometimes, the things we say aren’t received and responded to in the way that we want.

The First Person To Run A Marathon WithoutTalking About It 

Let’s get a little less serious with this next link. I was

cracking up

at this video – which is such a sassy satire on marathon runners. I am SO guilty of this. And I also have zero intention of changing my ways next time I’m training for a marathon, PS. NO SHAME.

So You Want to Write a Food Blog

Another hysterical satire – this time about food bloggers. Gosh – runners and foodies – aren’t we just

the worst?

 At least we can laugh at ourselves!

Quinoa is excellent for every meal because its texture is a reminder that life can’t always be smooth or digestible.

I LOVE that people have been sending me interesting articles that they think would make for a good Sunday link – keep them coming! (Erin, Jess - yours will be coming up one of these Sundays for sure, loved ‘em!) 

What's Next on My Fitness Journey?

During a cold, wintry long-run last February, my friend Rebecca and I ran together for a few miles in Central Park. My foot was giving me problems, we were dressed in 20 layers to stay warm, and we very quickly fell into an easy conversation that helped distract us from the general unpleasantness of an outdoor run in February. 

The topic of conversation? Food. I had found my culinary-counterpart. We bonded over our love of all things epicurean – and since then I’ve come to the conclusion that no one can make eating look as life-changing as Rebecca. Just look at her with this Pepe’s pizza. Is she not making you want to hop on Metro North for a slice 

right now?

(I don't make it look as believable) 

Anywho, since then, Rebecca and I have bonded over things besides food – one of those being fitness! Like me, sometimes (lots of times) Rebecca likes to lift heavy things. I love that she knows MUSCLES ARE SEXY. And let me tell you, her gun show is the best in town.

Recently, we both started to do Kayla Itsine’s 12 week “Bikini Body Guide.”

I’ve explained in previous posts

that originally, I thought this program would be no big deal. I mean, it’s called the “Bikini Body Guide.” How legit could it be? It sounded like just another trend that would over promise and under deliver. But as I wasn’t able to run at the time, I figured I would give it a shot.

Shit that shit was hard.

Leg day? I would be sore for at least 2 or 3 days afterwards.

Kayla Itsine’s guide isn’t anything revolutionary. She’s taken a bunch of standard strength and cardio moves and put them into an easy to follow plan – it’s short but high intensity. You WILL be dripping in sweat by the end.

As someone who generally despises any and all jumping exercises – this was especially challenging for me. If I never have to do another jumping lunge in my life it would be too soon.

I was loving Kayla’s BBG for a while. And then I started running again. And suddenly the 3X a week commitment on top of trying to run 18 miles a week, swim and fit in yoga got to be overwhelming. I wasn’t looking forward to the workouts anymore and while the leg and ab routines were awesome, my arms weren’t feeling challenged.

Not usually one to quit things, especially fitness-based things, I pretty un-guiltily just…stopped…

After a solid 8 weeks of completing all the workouts, I had had enough. I felt a little bummed. But I also felt excited to be running again, and that off-set any “You’re a quitter” thoughts that I was having about cutting Kayla’s BBG short.

Last week at November Project, I got really excited when Rebecca arrived and I got to run with her for 2 miles. And again, we totally bonded over the conversation topic of choice– Rebecca’s statement of, “I’m just kind of confused on my fitness journey.”


Exactly how I have been feeling! And since that run together, I’ve been thinking about it even more. I’m feeling a little lost on my fitness journey so I’m going to try to write it out to gain some clarity.

I’m not training for a marathon.

 The fall marathon I thought I was going to run as an attempt to BQ – that most definitely didn’t happen. I've been a little sad lately watching everyone around me planning for and running their long runs – especially when it’s so beautiful out!

Do I want to run a spring marathon? I still can’t decide. I trained for Pittsburgh over the long winter months last year and it was hard. I know Peter will be an amazing source of support if I decide to do it again, but I just don’t know if I have the motivation right now for 7 a.m. alarms when the thermometer is in the teens. Then again – I want that BQ. The weather for spring marathons is beautiful. What else am I going to do all winter? So – the jury is still out.

I have been slowly increasing my weekly mileage and so far so good – except that it's still frustrating that I feel like I'm having a fast, strong run - putting in a ton of effort and left completely gassed after 4 miles - yet my pace is so. much. slower. than a few months ago. I know I need to be patient, but I may or may not have cried on a rock in Central Park after Saturday's run. I used to wake up and run the 6 mile loop at a 7:50 pace pretty consistently while training for Pittsburgh. Saturday, it took every ounce of energy to run 4 miles at 7:58. Grr. 



have a few running-related goals to work towards, however.

I just signed up for the NYC Runs 10K on Roosevelt Island on Halloween! I want to be excited, but I know the reality of how much speed and endurance I’ve lost in the past 5 months is going to hit me like a ton of bricks when I cross this finish line. At the 2014 Scotland Run 10K, I threw down a 45:23 – 7:19 pace.  Yikes.

I plan on running a new Turkey Trot this year – a 5 miler near my home on Long Island. My official 5 miler PR is the Poland Spring Marathon Kick Off which I ran monstrously hungover last fall – so we’ll see if a 7:45 pace is something I can top.

With our upcoming trip to Austin, Texas planned – my 4


half marathon is on the calendar. The Decker Challenge is a hilllllly course that I’m not expecting to PR, but hoping to feel OK running. It will be my longest run since May’s Brooklyn Half Marathon if/when I cross the finish.

Ted Corbitt 15K is the last NYRR points race of the year – and since I’ve been unable to race as a member of November Project’s team yet, I want to be out there running! It will be a PR no matter what, as it’s a new distance for me.

Last but not least on the calendar (for now) is the Blue Point 10 Miler – which was an AMAZING race I ran last winter. This year it will be even better since I will hopefully have friends to drink with after. By then, who in the world knows what my pace will be like – but I don’t anticipate it being easy to beat last year’s 8:13 pace. Time will tell!

Focusing on these shorter distance races will be different for me and I’m hoping it eases me back into running/racing/going fast and then if I decide I want to go far – we’ll see about that spring marathon. I have another month or two to decide.

Strength Training

has not being something I’ve been focusing on a lot – but I do really love it! I love going to the gym and coming up with my own circuits focused on certain body parts – waking up in the morning and knowing within a minute, “Oh yeah right, I did triceps yesterday – definitely worked!” Marathon training makes it really hard to spend a ton of time doing much besides running. And it makes it really reallllly hard to spend any time at all focused on arms. I’ve come to accept that I need to include one day a week of leg strength training to keep my hips and glutes strong. But in the next few weeks I hope to incorporate some more abs and arms as well, despite the fact that I’m not still following Kayla Itsine’s guides.

If anyone has fun strength training ladders/HIIT/Tabata/etc. that they’d like to share, please do!


are something I’ve been super gung ho about for a few months now. I started saving, I started researching bikes, I started bothering people with a million and one questions (sorry everyone). I spent $80 on shoes for spin class that I have yet to attach the cleats to. I started swimming once or twice a week. And now, I’m signed up for swimming lessons once a week.

And suddenly – I don’t know if I want to do a tri.


That’s not true. I know I want to do a tri. I think I would like it. Maybe love it. That “Iron Man” challenge is definitely still in the back of my crazy mind. But I just don’t know if right now is the time. Triathloning (yes, it’s a word…) is

really really expensive


I just booked a flight to Austin for a 6 day vacation and half marathon and it’s probably going to end up costing me less than a bike would cost me. Not to mention the $200 entry fees, a wet suit, and the tons of biking things I’m sure I don’t even know about yet.

So, jury is also out on whether or not a tri is in my future at the moment -  but I do still plan on stopping at a bike store to get myself fitted so that I can properly stalk Craiglist for a used bike in my size. Doesn’t hurt to keep my eyes open!

And in the meantime, I’ve found that swimming is a nice new challenge and I’m looking forward to finishing this 8 week course and keeping a weekly swim in my fitness repertoire.


continues to bore me for the most part – but I


notice a huge difference when I go twice a week as opposed to, you know, thinking my body will magically be fine without zero stretching. So, I’ve been trying to be consistent with that!

Unfortunately, writing all of that out didn’t give me any real clarity on why I’m feeling kind of “meh” at the moment – why I can’t seem to figure out what I want to put my energy towards.  

But maybe the moral of this incredibly long blog post isn’t, “Figure out what your next challenge is” or, “Figure out what muscle you want to develop next!” Maybe the moral of it is that I’m going to accept the fact that sometimes, we don’t know exactly where we’re headed. 

If there’s nothing calling to me right now, maybe it’s because physically or mentally I need to take a chill pill. Or maybe the lack of direction is making room for something else to unexpectedly turn up – roller blading, that field hockey league I’ve been wanting to join, trapeze school? I’m keeping an open mind and not ruling anything out. 

Some days it makes me a little antsy. Without a calendar to tell me how many miles I need to run on Saturday morning, who am I?! Answer: still Lauren.  

And sometimes, for a lot of fitness-loving ladies and lads – I think that’s harder for us to believe than it should be.

So listen up. I’m talking to you and I’m talking to myself: If you’re ever feeling a little down because you feel “lazy” without a big shiny goal – stop.

Stop scrolling through your Instagram and getting down on yourself because you aren’t preparing to run a marathon. Stop scrolling through your Instagram and getting down on yourself because you aren’t spiritually moved by downward dog. Stop scrolling through your Instagram and getting down on yourself because you didn’t do a WOD at the box this morning.

Maybe you enjoyed a walk through the fall foliage. Or a jog. Or a giant picnic. Maybe you dragged yourself to yoga because you know you needed to stretch your calves. Maybe you hope to never use the term WOD in your life. Maybe you slept in.

 As long as we are moving our bodies in ways that feel good and right for us in the moment, and letting them rest when they want to rest, we shouldn’t feeling anything but appreciation.

Appreciate that we’ve found ways to move and be active that we genuinely enjoy. Appreciate that we’ve realized endorphins really are like drugs. Appreciate that fitness is a great way to connect with your body – to know when it wants to move and how it wants to move and when it wants to rest.

To know on the day that you’re signing up for a marathon that you are ready to commit to it.

To know on a certain day that you can go that extra 100 meters in the pool.

To know on a certain day that you are definitely not going to make it to that spin class you signed up for.

To know on a certain day that the time has come to train for your first tri.

To walk into the gym ready for a tricep workout only to get there and see tthe TRX machine is empty and you feel like doing some back exercises instead.

I loved that Rebecca referred to it as her

fitness journey


No two people’s journeys are going to be the same. Some days your journey is going to be awesomely downhill and wonderful and fun and some days or weeks or months it’s going to be slow going. Then there are those forks in the road where you’re not quite sure what’s coming up next.

It’s allllll part of it. 

So instead of getting down, embrace it and keep your eyes open for the moment when your next goal appears on the horizon. And when it presents itself, you give that goal your all.

Six Sunday Links on Monday

This Sunday was spent cheering on friends running the Staten Island Half Marathon and celebrating their 13.1 miles with beers in the sunshine at Flagship Brewery. I'd say my first visit to Staten Island was a success! And I am beyond happy that we're still getting a fair share of sunshine and warmth - it's amazing how much cheerier I am when the sun is out! 

I was sad watching all the runners yesterday, and sitting around afterwards while everyone discussed their race and I couldn't contribute - but I'm happy to report that last week I ran 24 miles total! 

(I've been consistently going to Friday's NP workouts and we've had so pretty fabulous views!)

Since Six Sunday Links didn't happen - now you get them on Monday! 


Baked Apple Roses

- This is definitely something I want to whip up this fall.  It looks so impressive, yet simple! Not to mention delicious.  

On Friday, I hosted a fall food themed potluck at my apartment and oh boy did I overeat! I couldn't help it, my friends are such talented chefs and everything was delicious. Kaitlin made a kale salad with chickpeas, butternut squash and a Tahini dressing. She even got fancy and massaged the kale. Kayla made maple walnut green beans and Rebecca cooked a delectable pumpkin mac and cheese! I made

sweet potato/black bean/quinoa chili

that was super easy and, I thought, super delicious! I will definitely be making this again one of these nights - the perfect thing to cook on Sunday and have all week long!  I also added some of my new favorite ingredient to the chili - nutritional yeast! A little salty/cheesy boost! 

I also served some goat cheese with apple slices and Pepperjack cheese, PUMPKIN TORTILLA CHIPS from Trader Joe's that are



Harvest Salsa

that's also pretty good, and guacamole! 

Steph created these beautiful caramel apple jello shots, Sam and Sara provided  wine on wine on wine and dessert was Melissa's apple crisp (+ vanilla ice cream, drool) and Kayla's pumpkin brownies! 

Fall cooking is wonderful. 


Confidence with an Asterisk

- This article made me feel the feels.

3) I don't remember where I found this exactly - but it's kind of genius! I've been struggling with my boots falling all over the place in my closet. Now, where do I purchase pool noodles in October? 


Keep Austin Weird 

 Monday of last week I realized I had 6 vacation days to use before December 31. I started Googling flights and thinking, "Hm, where can I go in December?" New Orleans, Charlotte, Arizona, and Denver were all considered until I landed on Austin - cheap flights, an awesome city, and warmer than New York in December. Plus, a half marathon on the dates I was looking to go! I messaged Melisa and Peter and by Friday night our flights and AirBnb were booked. I am so excited to explore this city! 


35 Brilliant New Books

- I perused this list awhile ago and just finished reading one of the books on it

The Heart Goes Last

. It was...interesting. I didn't LOVE it, but I also couldn't put it down. 

"A married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse join The Positron Project – which guarantees them a home and a job for six months of the year. On alternating months, they must leave their home and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to home. At first, this doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice. But with each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled."


Read this wonderful post

written by a wonderful human being who I am so proud to know! 

(This is my friend Liysa and she is BADASS)

*I met Lolo Jones last week.

Six Sunday Links

Here we are already at another Six Sunday Links. Before you drag yourself out of bed for laundry and grocery shopping and all the other chores you couldn’t bear to do on a Saturday, check out these articles, videos and photos that entertained me this week.


I am beyond obsessed with these Amy Schumer videos – which point out major issues with women’s self image/body issues/dieting/exercise etc. in a completely HYSTERICAL way. 

I'm So Bad


“I ate a ball of mozzarella like it was a peach.” 


"I can tell by looking you're not the least you can be."


 "Little? I'm like a size 100 now. Anyway, I paid like $2 for it, it's probably made out of old Burger King crowns. I look like a whore locked out of her apartment."


I just read about comedian Kevin Hart and the surprise 5Ks

he is organizing across the country! It’s really great to see a celebrity using his status to get people up and out! I loved his quote: 

        “I have a platform where I can motivate and inspire," Hart said. "What better way to do that than running? Running is something that everybody can do, all over the world, regardless of race, shape or size. It brings people closer together."
    Couldn’t agree more, K. Hart! 

3) I was SO BLOWN AWAY by this article.

50 Ironman distance triathlons in 50 DAYS?!

If this doesn’t become a book, I’m going to be SO disappointed.

4) Anthony Bourdain is planning to open a GIANT food market on Pier 57 that dwarfs Chelsea Market. It will be modeled after an Asian street market – meaning it will be open all hours with tons of interesting stalls. Sometime it’s a little ridiculous the number of food-focused spaces there are in NYC. Between Smorgasburg, Flea Markets, Eataly, Chelsea Market, City Kitchen, Brookfield Place and outdoor spaces like Madison Square Eats and Penn Plates – I think it takes away from the excitement of them when you can now get an Arancini Rice Ball not just at Smorgasburg but at about a million stalls around the city. But it doesn’t seem like a trend that will be slowing down any time soon – so bring it Bourdain!
5)  This movie trailer really piqued my interest! Burnt
6) Last but not least, a friend posted this photograph titled “Generational Differences” and it really made me stop and think for a minute. Before returning to Instagram on my phone…No but really. It’s a pretty strong image, especially after that “sorority girlsat the baseball game” fiasco this week. 

Anything you think I should check out, please share :)

Are You "That" Girl?

She holds a fancy Starbucks drink in one hand while the other masterfully flips through the pages of the latest book from the New York Times bestseller list. “That” girl. A Michael Kors bag is perfectly perched in the elegant space between her wrist and her elbow and her outfit looks like it was thrown together effortlessly despite the fact that it could be featured in the pages of Vogue. Her Essie manicured nails are perfect  - not a chip to be seen. “That” girl. Straight from your Pinterest board.

How did she juggle her morning coffee, her book, her purse and her metro card to step through the subway turnstiles like she was walking down a runway? How does she only have one small purse to get through the day, while I’ve felt like a bag lady since the second I moved to Manhattan? Because she’s “that” girl. A different species from you entirely, right?

Her hair is long and gleaming in the early morning sun and she’s outfitted from head to toe in Nike gear. This season’s newest fashions, of course. She looks like her morning miles in Central Park should be used in a commercial. “That” girl.

She’s floating, and girls and guys alike can’t help but follow her with their eyes as she makes the rolling hills of Central Park look like an enjoyable amusement park ride instead of a pain in the ass. “That” girl is who you will never, ever, manage to be – right?

We’ve all seen these women, and chances are you’ve asked yourself, “How do they do it? How do they make it seem so easy? So natural?”

Each and every morning I try to figure out how to somehow read my book (very rarely is it a New York Times bestseller – more like something I’ve pulled from the shelves of the New York Public Library), answer text messages I’ve failed to respond to, and get my metro card out from its Vera Bradley change purse. The change purse which resides in my backpack – not a Michael Kors purse that sits perfectly in the crook of my arm. But what does sit in the crook of my arm is a reusable bag filled with my food for the day – since I definitely can’t afford $12 Chop’t salads and $10 fresh squeezed juices every day. Adding a morning coffee into the mix? Heels? Impossible.  I’m just not “that” girl.

When my alarm goes off for a run in the morning my hair resembles a rat’s nest and I’m likely wearing Old Navy or some other running apparel I’ve managed to get on clearance for less than $20.

But this morning during my run I had an interesting thought. “That” girl ran by and I thought, “Does she know that she’s the object of envy?”

And you know what I realized? She probably has no idea. She probably groaned when her alarm went off too. And maybe her Uncle Bob works for Nike and gets all her pretty gear for free. And chances are her legs are burning up those hills just like everyone else’s.

And then my next thought was, “Oh my GOD. What if people look at me and think


making it seem so easy? Could I possibly be “that” girl in someone else’s eyes?” And honestly – yes. Any one of us can be. Because we all have admirable strengths and qualities and we all have days when we’re rockin’ it. Our outfit is on point. We aren’t a bag lady for once. Weeks of yoga has made it possible to make the commute in wedges instead of your Saucony’s. Weeks of hard work have paid off and Harlem Hill is a little less torturous. In those moments, we can unknowingly become “that” girl to someone else.

If someone saw me running up Cat Hill this morning, chances are they didn’t give me a second thought. But I was pushing the pace past Engineer’s Gate and my shorts were pretty cute – so maybe for a split second someone compared themselves to me. Without knowing anything about me.

“That” girl that you see in the morning and use to put yourself down and make yourself feel inferior – is probably doing the same exact thing. And she’s probably no different than you. With good days and bad days – confident days and days she isn’t feelin’ so hot.  

Are there girls that walk around


they are the shit? Yes. But those aren’t girls you really want to strive to be, are they?

Instead, take a little comfort in the fact that you 


feel superior. You can’t imagine someone looking at you and thinking that you’re one of the ones that have your shit together. 

We can’t imagine being “that” girl. But chances are that whoever we look at and put on a pedestal – feels just as insecure at times as everyone else.

So yeah,

we’re all “that” girl.

But seriously, there has to be a better way to juggle all my shit in the morning... 

Six Sunday Links

It’s Sunday morning, which means you’re probably scrolling through your Instagram feed, drooling at #brunch pictures and trying to figure out if you’re craving avocado toast, pancakes, huevos rancheros or all of the above.

Or maybe you’re a normal person who just woke up and sat down to a normal homemade breakfast – nothing wrong with a bowl of Cheerios to start your Sunday (although if you don’t at least slice up some banana with it, I can’t approve).

Either way, here are some Sunday links for you to peruse.

1)        “The Summer That Never Was

The last thing I was is for the temperatures to drop and the mornings to be darker. But Pumpkin Spice Lattes have arrived (along with the new Toasted-Graham Latte

) and the first day of fall has official come and gone so I guess it’s time to say so long to summer. Sure, there are things that didn’t get done – a ride on my boat, a Broadway in Bryant Park concert – but this summer was certainly a wonderful one and now it’s time to plan some new adventures. One part of this article really spoke to me – since I’m hoping to make my way out west some day soon!

“God, how I long to go out West again someday — to drive some blue highway in Nevada or Utah until there’s absolutely nothing around me, then stop the car, in the middle of the road, maybe, and get out and just stand there, where I can see the horizon in every direction, and smell the air and feel the sun and listen to the silence of the desert. I have this idea that if I could do this, time might hold still for a second, and I would know, for just a moment, what it feels like to be here."

2) “No,your kid may not have a snack” 

Sound harsh? This was an extremely interesting article from the Chicago Tribune about the culture of snacking in today’s society among children – I remember having snack time in school (we made popcorn and played Nok-Hockey and had weddings for our Beanie Babies)– but now, kids are snacking up to 4 times a day!

3) “The  Myth of the Before-And-After Photo” 

We’ve all seen them on Instagram – amazing body transformations all thanks to hard work and healthy habits. On good days, these pictures motivate and inspire us. One bad days, they can make us feel discouraged and defeated. I liked this articles take on before and after photos. Maybe you will too.

And now, some videos!

4) “Workout Wednesdays” with Zach Anner

This guys is funny as hell and also super inspirational. He creates these “Workout Wednesday” Youtube videos despite living with Cerebal Palsy. Each one has a message of positivity!

5) "Toddler Players Peek A Boo with Gorilla – Internet Goes Ape "

WHY CANT THIS BE ME!? Ask Peter. I literally sat for like 20 minutes at the Bronx Zoo trying to get the gorillas to NOTICE MEEEEE!

At least I’ll always have the special kiss between Mindy and I in St. Louis…

6.)Helping the Homeless Back on their Feet – and Running

Let’s end with a feel good story… I think this is amazing, and I’m definitely looking into volunteer opportunities!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Running Is A Roller Coaster

Running is a roller coaster.

When I first started running regularly, I was a junior in college and I ran 27 laps of the indoor track at Quinnipiac University. 3 miles. I never timed myself.

My next encounter with running was as a graduate student at Baruch College where I consistently ran 3 miles on the treadmill at a 6.0 speed. 10  minute miles. I didn't think I was capable of going any faster.

That is until I started attending weekly social group runs around New York City. My fear of losing the group and being left behind translated into running faster than I knew I could. It also convinced me that treadmills are the absolute worst. 

Much like a roller coaster, the initial ascent is slow, shaky and stressful. Looking back, I don't even know how many miles it took until I was able to comfortably run 9 minute miles, and eventually, miles in the upper 8's. There were bumps along the way - achy body parts that needed to be iced and stretched, stressful days leading up to that first half marathon where I just wanted it to be over and done with or to never happen at all. A lot of that has to do with the fact that if we're using the top of the ascent as a symbol for race day - you have no idea what to expect. 

You can read statistics of the roller coaster you're on - height, material it's built from, top speed, biggest drop. Just like runners read race recaps of those who ran the race before them. You can study altitude charts and figure out where in your race it will feel like you're climbing Harlem Hill. But until you're at the race, running it, you just don't know what you're in for. 

Working up to a 5K, a 10K etc. is the hard part. It takes time. It builds up anticipation. 

And just like a roller coaster, the descent is the reason that you do it. The weightless feeling of joy and invincibility is what we hope running will feel like on race day. We hope the moments of psyching ourselves out, stressing about every little detail, those aches and pains we felt so acutely on the slow climb to the top all fall away.

We throw our heads back and scream out - "THIS IS SO SCARY BUT SO MUCH FUN!" "MY LEGS HATE ME BUT I DID IT!" "I'M GOING TO THROW UP BUT IT'S FINE!"

After a drop like that, after a race like that - you need some time to soak it all in. The track leading you back to the unloading area of a roller roaster is the recovery time. If you're anything like me, that time includes a lot of relaxing and deep breathing. 

During the days after a race, I tend to let go a little bit in terms of my healthy eating, drinking, sleeping and exercise habits. The effort of the race, the intensity of the roller coaster, determines how much time I need to decompress. 

But without a doubt, eventually, I'm ready for that next big thrill ride. Once you ride Superman, you know that eventually you need to put on your big girl pants and go for Kingda Ka.  Finished your first half? You knew the day you'd sign up for a marathon was inevitable.

It's important to take the time you need to feel ready for the next challenge. Unfortunately, while you take the time to feel mentally prepared, your physical preparedness takes a hit fairly quickly. 

You finished that half marathon with an 8:30 pace, so how come when the safety bar comes down and you start making your way back up to the top of the newest coaster, you're running 9:30 miles and it all feels so hard and scary again? 

That's what we as runners, and brave humans do.  We are to willing submit ourselves to hard work and uncomfortableness because we know what it feels like to reach that crest.

If we want to take the metaphor one step further, within The World of Running amusement park you have some other common attractions. 

The Ferris Wheel is like yoga and stretching. You usually forget about it, can't be bothered to take a second to slow down with so many other exciting things around. But when you finally do it, the view from the top reminds you of the bigger picture. In full bind when you finally feel that hip flexor relax, you're grateful for the tortuously slow and boring yoga class you dragged  yourself to.

The tilt-a-whirl is foam rolling because you have a total love-hate relationship with it. It works. As a ride, it succeeds in getting your adrenaline pumping. As injury relief, it succeeds in breaking up knots and releasing tension. But as a ride AND as injury relief - damn does it hurt! I think we all know the feeling of being crammed in a tilt-a-whirl with people who seem 200 pounds heavier than you. When you spin left, it's great. When you spin right, the life is being squeezed out of you. When you lay on the foam roller and crack your back - ahh, sweet relief. When you roll over that knot-ridden hamstring - Sweet Jesus!
Every amusement park is different - a different layout, a different strategy for making the most of your day there. Every race is different - different workout plans, different paces, different amounts of hill work.

And though there's a world full of races and a world full of roller coasters and amusement parks - sometimes it's nice to go back to ones we've loved in the past and experience it all over again. 

Especially if the line is short or the entrance fees are low. 

Six Sunday Links

Are you laying around, hungover after one of the last summer Saturday nights? 

Stay horizontal, it's okay. Here are some fun links to take your mind off the headache and dry mouth. 

Instead of feeling like you're completely wasting your day, click these links, read, watch - and do yourself a favor, drink some light blue Gatorade. That stuff is the ultimate hangover cure. 

1) The Wedding Toast I'll Never Give
"I want to say that at various points in your marriage, may it last forever, you will look at this person and feel only rage. You will gaze at this man you once adored and think, “It sure would be nice to have this whole place to myself.” Sound like love to you? No? Maybe it should! This New York Times article had me laughing and feeling feels - it's a reality check, for sure, but not one that will turn you off to marriage altogether. 

2) In The Grand Canyon with Lance
Have you read "Born to Run" by Christopher MacDougall? If you have, you'll likely remember the character Jenn Shelton - an ultramarathoner who is free spirited (and often intoxicated) and entertaining. Well, turns out, she's also an incredibly engaging writer who is friends with Lance Armstrong. On the longer side, but definitely worth it!

3) Split Image 
"Checking Instagram is like opening a magazine to see a fashion advertisement. Except an ad is branded as what it is: a staged image on glossy paper.
Instagram is passed off as real life."
This one is a bit of a downer, but so so important to read and think about. Please, if you read one of these articles - make it this one. 

4) How to Age Gracefully
I really loved the way this video was put together. I guarantee you smile at the end. 

5) Girl Power! 
Ever wonder about the first guy to successfully go over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Well it was a WOMAN, and you can read about it in this article. 

I could watch this Vine on repeat for hours, honestly. 

Frustrated, But Back

It’s been an almost solid 2 months since I last blogged, which is really kind of crazy when I think about all the things that have happened since my last post in December.

Of course I’ve been running, working out, and eating delicious, healthy foods. I made my own stuffed acorn squash, and found a new neighborhood Chinese takeout place with a special “health & diet” section!


(Tried Sweetgreen for the first time in DC too!) 

But I’ve also been traveling, drinking, and eating things like candied bacon and pumpkin doughnut bread pudding with bourbon ice cream. I also spent an entire day in bed, and only got up to go to a bar for football, beer and nachos.

(This dessert was unreal and one night we ordered 3 of them...)

I wish I could say the healthy lifestyle choices and green juices were outweighing the not-so-healthy choices, but in reality, last Friday I covered a 7-11 Boston Cream Donut in Nutella.  So there’s that. There’s also definitely some extra lbs thanks to my choices…

There’s also the fact that I’m in the process of moving, I was traveling for the majority of January, and have another trip coming up in February. Oh right, and that marathon training thing is happening (kind of, but more on that later). Excuses, excuses, I know.

(I really shouldn't complain about traveling when I get to see things like THIS!)

But I recently received an email that someone had commented on the blog, and that comment gave me the kick in my pants that I needed to get back into this blog. This commenter was a self-described new runner and food lover and they asked me to please start blogging again, because they had just discovered my blog. How could I not? So thank you, commenter, for letting me know that someone out there wanted to read what I have to say about two of my favorite things- fitness & food :)  

To be honest, nowadays running hasn’t given me that feeling of being on top of the world that it used it. In fact, most days at the end of a run I just want to scream and cry in frustration. Something that used to be effortless and enjoyable has become something that is painful and stressful as I try to train for a marathon that my body doesn’t seem to want to run. I’ll get into the specifics of my plagued body parts in a separate post, but needless to say, it’s been disheartening.
(Only 2 weeks into marathon training and I ended up HERE. Ugh)

Luckily, I am surrounded by positive people who make me smile and who share my love of not only exercise, but life. My running buddies have become so much more. They’re there waiting for me at Engineer’s Gate for a 5 mile run after a blizzard, they’re there waiting for me at Engineer’s Gate at 6:30 a.m. for some pre-work intervals, they’re there to walk 6 miles uphill with my mattress, bookshelves, and entire wardrobe, they’re there when I really need a freaking drink at the end of the week, and they’re there when I really need a mimosa Saturday morning at brunch.

(We like running)

(AND we like unlimited sangria and tacos!)

Having people like that makes it easier to handle life’s frustrations and stresses. And makes it easier to handle how, on some days, I am so dang ready I am to throw the towel in on this marathon.   

But like JackRabbit’s Instagram account reminded me this morning, “It’s rare when everything lines up and you feel invincible during your run. That happened to us today- and we want you to chase that feeling too.” And that’s what keeps me going. Because I have to believe that one of these days, everything’s going to click and I’m going to have a great run. Runs like that don’t happen every day, but I’ve had my share of them and I can still remember each and every one. It’s worth every single painful, difficult, shitty step for the feeling of one effortless, happy run.

(This was after my first 16 miler when I felt on top of the world - exhausted, but on top of the world. RAWR)

Here’s to hoping it happens soon. I could really use it! 

Transformation Tuesday: Why I'm Over My Abs

On this “Transformation Tuesday” let’s talk about the transformative power of strength training.

“We thought you just ran lots of miles,” you’re probably thinking.

 Well, that’s true. For the past half a year, running has been my main focus. But now that I have some time before I need to start upping my mileage again in preparation for the Pittsburgh Marathon, I’m trying to get back into weights.

Yes it can be a little intimidating at first to step away from the treadmill and the elliptical and the safety of other girls like you, looking cute in your Nike and Lululemon.

But let’s be real. You dream of one day being that badass chick doing all sorts of exercises with the free weights with the guys.  (Or maybe you dream of being the badass girl all alone in your own corner of the gym because you’ve been that girl at the free weights with the guys, and they’re just obnoxious for the most part).

Well, I’m here to tell you that you absolutely should go for it.

There’s no excuse. You don’t know where to start? How to do the exercises? I’m pretty sure there are approximately 129308 ways to fix that. Google. Youtube. Pinterest. DailyBurn. BodyBuilding.com. There are literally infinite resources for you to find different exercises and study up on the proper form before you test them out yourself. More times than I can count I’ve printed out workouts, pictures, instructions and brought them to the gym with me. I’ve also watched YouTube videos with no shame.

Start simple, with a few basic moves. Get comfortable. The best part is that once you move to the weight area of the gym- you’re going to see people doing some crazy shit. And then you’re going to go home and try to Google it with weird terms like “crunchy side step weighted leg lift thing” and then say a prayer that Mr. Google somehow figures out what exercise the Hulk at your gym was doing. And then you’re going to research it. And then YOU’RE gunna do it.

Everyone in the fitness world says that cardio bunnies are doing it wrong. Sure, you can lose weight from doing a ton of cardio. I certainly lost weight when every weekend for 4 months consisted of running 15+ miles.

I was never sold on the idea that weight training was just as, if not more, effective in toning your body than cardio until my attention to weight training became almost non-existent. And now, I MISS MY MUSCLES :(

(I even used to have baby biceps when I wasn't flexing!)

At the gym a few days ago, I was doing ab exercises and was asked, “How often do you work on your abs? Your body is amazing.” 1) I thanked that person for the compliment and 2) Said sorry to disappoint you, but I barely ever focus strictly on abs at the gym.

Here’s me 6 months ago when I was doing a pretty good mix of weights and cardio. At this point, I was only dedicating 1 day a week to an ab-based workout. The rest of that came from all the core stabilization necessary to use free weights for shoulder, back, bicep, tricep, leg, and chest exercises.

I read about it all the time, and rolled my eyes. But looking back, it is so completely true.

So while most people use transformation Tuesday to show their progress- I guess I’m kind of doing the opposite. I have totally lost this strength, those obliques, that 2-pack. Those biceps. The triceps I worked so hard for. Gone. Poof. So sad. But I’m excited to get back into the gym to be reunited with dumb bells and kettlebells and squat racks in the hopes of getting toned back up. Looking at these pictures is rough because I know how much hard work I put into getting into that kind of shape, and part of me, of course, wishes I still looked like that.

But at the same time, RIP to that body. I could get it back. But I don’t think I want to. Now, or ever again.

Because that body meant saying “no” way too much.

No to delicious food, no to happy hour with friends, no to drunken nights as a single twenty-something in NYC, no to a coworkers birthday cake.

I was obsessed with never missing a workout. I was obsessed with seeing that definition when I looked in the mirror. Clearly, as demonstrated here, I was obsessed with taking selfies to track my progress (embarrassing…)

And for what? I don’t walk around in a sports bra my whole life. I don’t compete in fitness competitions. Quite frankly, it’s a waste of time and energy for me to look like this. It made me cranky and not fun. I like froyo. I like beer.


I also really like lifting weights and doing squats and learning new exercises and running and taking spin classes.

So I’m going to do all of the above. And what happens in terms of body transformation, happens. I am so over the days where my mood every morning was determined by whether or not I could see my abs. 


Being Brave - Playing Ice Hockey For the First Time

I barely ice skate. I can't stop, I can't switch directions, I can't go backwards.  In fact, I can't usually last an entire public ice-skating session without landing on my butt at least once. Yet somehow, last night I found myself in full ice hockey gear at the rinks at Chelsea Piers.  I sat on the bench waiting for the game to start. Behind me, a beautiful view of the sun setting over the Hudson River. Next to me, people who have been playing hockey for years. Crap.

I shakily took my first shift (see, I even know the lingo!) wearing my very own skates and a whole lot of borrowed equipment that a colleague had so graciously helped me figure out how the hell to put on in the locker room minutes before. 

And BOOM! Miracle on ice, I was amazing! An instant success story. A true hockey prodigy. I blew everyone away with how quickly I picked up the game. 

Just kidding! 

Let's be real. I was in slow motion, worthlessly doing my best to get up and down the ice. But I was out there! And shockingly, instead of feeling embarrassed and frustrated and petrified (okay, maybe I felt all of those a little bit) I was actually enjoying the challenge. 

For the past year I've slowly but surely been getting comfortable with the idea of calling myself "a runner." I've been spending hours alone pushing myself at the gym.  But I've always been more of a team athlete at heart, since the day I started playing field hockey in the 3rd grade. So to be out on the ice with other people, thinking about finding the open space, having the defense and offense mentality again- it felt pretty incredible. 

I wish I could say that I scored a goal or made a beautiful pass...but I certainly did not. The people I played with were great- every time I got to the puck they moved out of the way, let me try out some stick handling, and let me attempt a few pitiful shots at the goalie.  But I'm happy to say that instead of saying "Screw this, I suck!" I'm just super excited to keep playing in the hopes that I can improve. Maybe one day I WILL be out there deflecting shots in like a pro!

I think the craziest part of last night's experience was the number of people who said they were impressed that I got out there in the first place. I've had like 3 people call me brave.  Which is NOT a word I ever would have thought to use to describe myself. 

One of my New Year's resolutions was to get to know myself better. It sounds weird. After all, who knows me better than me? But I really do feel at times that I don't know myself at all. Why I do things, what I really want, how I come across to other people.  After last night, I'm starting to think that one of the qualities I like best about myself is that I'm willing to try new things. Whether it's some crazy disgusting sounding food, or lacing up skates and playing in a hockey game. 

It must be said though: I did not do this on my own.  I'm soo thankful for the great friend that pushed me to try something new and calmed me down as I shit myself about getting out on the ice. I had so much fun and can't wait to get better! 

Ice Hockey at Chelsea Piers