Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Three: Halloween Style

Coincidence that it's Thursday Three day, Halloween and Throwback Thursday? Nope. Today's Thursday Three are my favs from college. 

[House party status!]
[Wendy, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell!]
[Having fun a Monopole!]


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simple Dinner: Baked Pasta

After spending the day in the city with a friend on Saturday, I came home and had no idea what I wanted for dinner. So naturally, I hopped on Pinterest. I kept seeing recipes for baked ziti but that seemed a bit intricate for 8:15 PM. I typed in baked pasta recipes and found one from Peanut Butter Fingers. It seemed pretty easy and I had all of the ingredients, so why not? 

This dish is great if you need something healthy and quick to put together. I made some modifications to her recipe to tailor it to what I liked. Hers also called for canned chicken, which I don't believe in so I cooked my own. As usual, I didn't really measure anything out. 

*Recipe courtesy of Peanut Butter Fingers


  • 2 cups of Ronzoni Garden Vegetable pasta
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Fresh broccoli
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Then coat a baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. 

Next, I cooked my pasta and chicken at the same time. 

When the chicken was almost finished I added in the broccoli and mushrooms. I drained the pasta and left it in the colander until I was ready to continue. 

While I was waiting, I coated the bottom of the baking dish with a little sauce and mozzarella cheese.

When the pasta and chicken/vegetables are finished, combine in the pot the pasta was in. Add the spinach, sauce and cheese.

Pour the mix into your baking dish. I topped mine with more cheese (duh, I'm Italian). 

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the top is crispy enough for your liking. When the pasta and cheese is slightly burned on top, that's my favorite. 

Easy and simple weeknight dinner! You obviously don't need to load it up with as much stuff as I did, but the more greens the better. 

What's your favorite baked pasta dish?


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What's A Girl To Do

Being injured kinda, sorta blows. Especially when you're a runner with a foot injury. However, while I nurse this baby back to health, I've decided not to be completely lazy. Yes, Sunday I went for a little run. I think it was 2 miles. Since I felt OK, my plan is to limit "long runs" to 3 miles on the weekends. So what exactly do I think I'm going to do during the week?

For me personally, walking feels fine. So on the treadmill, I started walking at an 8% incline at 3.4 last week and have gradually increased to 3.8, pending any foot pain. My treadmill has a program that automatically puts sprints into a walk so depending on how I feel, I want to start incorporating that back into my workouts. 

[I already know, terrible bind, but good balance!]
Yoga! I took an Indo Board Yoga class last week (look out for the recap) and I felt pretty good, even when trying to balance. As I've mentioned so many times before, Hilaria Baldwin's 20 minute Yoga With A View sessions are a godsend for those pressed for time. Yoga in my living room after a long day? Can't say no to that!

Strength training is something I do not enjoy. But have been doing it anyway. I've been incorporating leg lifts, squats, arms and abs into my regimen. I'm hoping that by doing this, when I'm 100% ready to run again I'm not dragging ass like last June. 

[On my way to a very slow run]
I know many of you suggested swimming for me, however I don't have a gym membership nor a gym near my job/house that has a pool! Additionally, I tried swimming a few years ago and got insanely bored.

What are your go-to workouts when injured? 


Monday, October 28, 2013


What a weird title for a post right? Not so much when the girl writing it is a bit weird. Anyway, last week I mentioned I would do a fall goal recap so here it is. What a perfect way to start off the week too. Back in June I posted what my big fall races were and what I wanted to accomplish at each. 

*Side note: I did NOT do the Fitness 4 miler

Not only did I meet my goals, I most definitely shattered my half marathon time! If you remember, when I went to DC I hit a beautiful wall at mile 9 between my IT Band and the heat. Luckily I was better prepared for this one

Last year I ran 2 10K's within a few weeks of each other. It was the longest distance I had ever run at the time and I just wanted to finish! I even ran Rock n Roll without music because I thought there would be more bands on the course. Was not the case obviously. 

Here is what I wrote in June for a 10K goal:

Goal: Under 1:00:00
Time Goal: 57:30:00
Reach Goal: 56:00:00

56 minutes? Clearly delusional and had high hope for myself. According to the FEED computers at the end of the race I finished in 57:19. Under my regular goal and time goal! I'm really proud of that time but not the way I got it. My plan was to negative split, run the first 5K at 10K pace then pick it up for the last 5K. But a PR is a PR right? 

My big race was much earlier than everyone else. In fact, the NYC marathon is next weekend so some haven't even gotten to theirs yet! The goals I wrote for this race were a bit more attainable.

Goals: Under 2:20:00
Time Goal: 2:17:00
Reach Goal: 2:15:00

When I made these I didn't know I would be injured. I had such a great training cycle this time and felt SO prepared, until I got hurt. But I ran my little heart out and completely shattered all of the doubt I had. Before I went to the start line I kept reminding my dad, who kept asking a predicted finish time, that I had taken my time goal away because of my foot. To my surprise, I ran sub-10s allowing me to surpass my reach goal. 

Who knows what next year will bring. After a semi-OK run yesterday on my foot, I can confirm I'm putting my name in for the NYC Half lottery again. Fingers crossed I get in this time! 

What I learned from these races was how strong you have to be mentally. Repeating mantras in your head helps, which is what I did for the last 4 miles of the half. I know this sounds really cliche, but if you think you can do it, then you probably can.

How did your fall races go? Did you set any goals? 


Friday, October 25, 2013

Event Recap: Vionic Shoes Relaunch

Last Wednesday, I was fortunate to be invited to the preview of Vionic footwear. I got a sneak peek at the spring collection and learned a bit more about the technology. What had caught my eye about this event (besides the shoes) was the fact that the shoes offered support for injuries. Australian Podiatrist Phillip J. Vasyli is the brains behind the brand. He is the founder of Orthaheel, which he created after realizing 99% of the orthopedic molds he created cured his patients. He found a mold that would be ideal for almost everyone and Orthaheel was born. 

In 2007 he introduced the brand to the US but in 2013 wanted to broaden his audience. To who? Younger men and women who didn't want to feel like they were wearing a grandma shoe. I mean, at 24 do you really want to say you're wearing Orthaheel's to the bar? No. But you do want to say you're wearing Vionic. 

The sexy, chic premium company is launching a series of closed toe flats, sandals and wedges. Orthaheel’s Tri Planar Motion Control Technology provides realignment, stability and support by keeping the foot within its normal boundaries of ranges of motion.


After speaking with several people I learned they offer great support, are ideal for my injury and are much better than traditional flip flops. 

I also got to speak with a PT who recommended staying off my foot for a minimum of 3 weeks to see if I have a stress fracture. Before I left he also told me I need to try Vionic's flip flops- because he told his 18-year-old daughter to wear them and she does. And if you can get an 18-year-old to listen to her father than everyone should wear them. 

I received a pair of the leopard Vionic flats in my swag bag and I cannot wait to review them for you. I had to skip out early due to a meeting for work but it was a fabulous event. 

Here are some more pictures:

Have you ever head of Vionic Shoes? Or tried them? What did you think?


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Diva Is A Girl Who Crushes PR's

When I first signed up for the Diva's Half Marathon I had heard great things. My friend ran it in 2012 and fell in love. I needed a big fall race and nothing was fitting into my schedule or was at a reasonable location. 13.1 on Long Island in early October sounded like a perfect fit. Then, a Twitter friend ran a Diva's race in DC and had a horrible experience. Judging by her experience I had a feeling this was going to be a waste of my time. Safe to say the organization has it's ups and downs. More downs than ups though. 

On Saturday morning I packed myself up and headed to my dads house since he lives about 20 minutes away from the location of the race. I dropped by stuff off and headed to packet pick up. First, no direction as to where bibs were. There were about 10 of us standing in the entrance unsure of where to go. After someone finally told us, we headed back where they were a bit unfriendly if we didn't know our bib numbers already. And asking where I was staying? I think i already put that in online and I don't think it matters. I finally got to get my bib where I was informed that I was not allowed to check my backpack or the bag provided (what?) and we had to use clear bags. Thankfully my dad as coming to he was able to hold my things. 

I walked around the festival that had way too much pink for my liking. A lot of the vendors were at previous races I had been to. I bought a new sticker for my car. And then I found the KT Tape booth! Although I already have tape, I paid them $20 for a new roll and an application. With the problems I have been having with my food, it was so worth it. I watched him apply it and asked questions on how to properly use it at home. 

After I headed back to carbo-load with pizza and relax. Sushi was my dinner of choice along with some foam rolling while watching Nashville. 

I pretty much didn't get any sleep again. Why I don't know but thankfully I didn't feel too tired when I woke up. Me and my dad headed out to Eisenhower Park at around 6 because they said we needed to be in the parking lot by 7. Good thing we left then because of course there was a parking disaster. Closing off the entrance to the park everyone was trying to use without an email was NOT a smart move. At 7 we finally made it in and parked on the grass because shocker, there were no spots. How do you people not plan for this?

[Intersection nightmare]
[Stretching my foot out, my dad thought this would make a great pic?]

[We were off]
After using a REAL bathroom (I guess that was a big plus) I headed to find the start line that was no where near where I was. The 5K went off in very large waves for about 20 minutes then the half marathoners lined up. A woman did ask me where the start was for the 10K, I hope she knew she was running a half or she was in for a big surprise. 

This was supposed to a big goal race but I knew I was injured so in the back of my mind I had to tell myself it was OK to just do this as a fun run. I lined up at the back of the 9 - 9:50 miler pack to ensure I started out slow.

We took off at 8:06, just 1 minute after what when we were scheduled to so that was perfect. Additionally, throughout the first mile there was minimal weaving in and out of people. A few times I had to jump on the grass to pass but after the first mile that was it. 

[My dad saw this sign and thought it was hysterical]
Miles 1- 3 were inside the park and felt great. The first 2 miles were a loop so the crowd kept us pumped. I accidentally ran the first mile a little fast (9:36 I think) so I slowed down a bit. Also, I took a shot block at mile 3. I brought 3 with me but forgot my handheld water bottle at home so I had to utilize the water stations. 

Miles 4-7 looped near the Nassau Coliseum and museum row. I still felt really strong during those miles. The crowd had spread out and I kept pace with the girls in front of me. I took another shot block at mile 6 and around mile 7 I grabbed a sit of water. I really wanted Gatorade but the young kids handing everything out were pretty useless. 

Miles 8 - 11 did not have any loops. Getting through these miles were crucial for me since this is where I bombed in DC. I felt pretty strong but at mile 9.5 I started feeling like I was dragging so I took my last shot block and had some Gatorade. I knew I was almost done and I could push the pace at the 10 mile marker if I wanted. My body just didn't want to thought.

The last few miles sucked. Why? They made sure to drag this course out. We looped a parking lot so we could get boas and tiaras. I took a tiara but tossed the boa (I was sweating to death, can you blame me?). When my watch beeped for 12 miles I thought for sure we were going to hit a straightaway with a crowd. I was so wrong and so annoyed. We ran the back of the golf course on a narrow path with NO cheering.

[To the finish line I go!]
We finally approached the last .2 of the race and found the finish line and the crowd. I saw my dad (who takes great race pics BTW), gave him a wave and sprinted my ass to the finish for a major 13.1 PR. 

The volunteers put my heavy medal around my neck, handed me champagne and a rose, took my picture. Then I grabbed some food and stretched on the field. Eventually we made our way back to the car and headed out with less traffic than coming in. Post-race treat was Dunkin Donuts and I have no complaints about that!

I loved the course except for the last 2 miles. It was relatively flat which was great because I ran the whole race on my injured foot. There were an adequate amount of water stations and volunteers. 

I was really disappointed in the traffic situation, bag check and the last 2 miles. 

Would I do it again? Maybe. It was more work to get there than actually run the race. 

Have you run a Diva's series race? What did you think?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

RUN10FEED10 Race Recap!

Yes, I ran this race literally 1 month ago and never did the recap. You could call it lazy or busy or whatever other describing words fit those categories. But better late than never right? 

As you probably already knew, this was a goal race and I met my goal. Early next week I will post a fall goal recap. On the Friday before the race, I went to City Sports in Midtown to pick up my race packet. I met a friend there too since we were going to dinner and drinks afterwards. Pick-up was easy as usual, grab your bib at one table and your limited edition FEED bag filled with goodies at another. I have to say, last years swag was a bit better than this years. 

After making sure I had everything I needed, I headed downstairs to meet my friend, and apparently buy very expensive sneakers. Can you really go wrong with black and hot pick Asics with reflectors for night running? The answer is no. 

Unrelated to this race at all, on our way to Bryant Park there was a hoedown on the big field and it was heaven. NOT a preview of hell as the person I was with suggested. Country > rock, sorry dude!

Saturday I took it easy and went to bed early because I had a 4 AM wake up call. After a quick drive into the city, I arrived super early (it was pitch black for the next 45 minutes and all the workers kept staring at me), and sat down and took it easy. At about 6:15 AM I started getting myself together. I wore my watch, arm band and belt. Bag check went super quick. I was ALLOWED to check my backpack which makes me happier than most. Thanks FEED and NYC for not being crazy pants. 

I joined in on the pre-race stretching/yoga that took place at the starting area. About 10 minutes after 7 AM, which was supposed to be the start time, Naya Rivera from Glee finally took the stage and sent us on our way. 

The first mile I went out way too fast (I'm pretty sure it was a sub-9) and decided I need to slow it down a bit. I knew if I ran a 9:30 pace I would have my PR and not be burnt out. Well guess what? My body refused to slow down that much.

The 2nd and 3rd miles felt eh. I knew I wanted to slow down but I was keeping pace with everyone else so I figured I could just keep going. Before I had crossed the start line I had plans to run smart and negative split, run the first 5K slower than the second. I kept the speedier pace at the turnaround and decided to just go. Only a 5K left right?

I felt really comfortable even thought I was breathing a bit heavy from pushing my pace. And then I may or may not have yelled/cursed at a cop. In my opinion, stopping runners to let a garbage truck pass is NOT OK. You knew there was an event. With a goal in mind, I might have been a little meaner than I meant to be. But honestly, everyone started crashing into me and it was an unnecessary interference. It also happened again about 1 minute later for a car, seriously? 

I made up for the lost time and sprinted my butt to the finish line for an official time of 57:19 and a pace of 9:14. Afterwards, I tried to get my bag but the line was too long to I walked around the VERY crowded festival. Last year it was a bit easier to maneuver. I did get on the stretching line which only had 3 people ahead of me. 

Eventually I grabbed by bag and got some snacks. My friend Jaclyn was coming in to meet me for brunch so as I waited for her, I stood on the insanely long sock line. You never have enough socks. 

To celebrate my PR and have a serious chat session we headed to Southern Hospitality to eat delicious food with unlimited mimosas! 

Oh also, thank you to all of those who donated! I surpassed my goal and at least 14 families are being fed because of you.