Monday, October 27, 2014

Staten Island Half Recap

It's been almost 2 weeks since I pretty much ran the race of my life. No, it wasn't that fast and no, I certainly didn't break any records. But after many months of hating running, health/sleeping problems and some life changes, I ran one of the strongest races I have ever run (sans 3 torturous miles. But really, what's 3 out of 13?).

I started the day super early at 4:30ish. I didn't have any bagels or bananas on hand-my usual pre-race snack- so I had 1 and 3/4 pieces of toast with peanut butter and a large glass of water. I hung out around the apartment, got dressed and triple checked I had everything I needed. Made sure I was all Body Glide-ed up and called myself an Uber. My nice driver decided he wanted to drive to me to Staten Island- never again. SO expensive. BUT it did save me from the coldness of sitting/waiting down by the ferry. So it's was a win/lose situation.

Once I arrived I hit the bathroom (no line!) and hung out in the Staten Island Yankee stadium- where we were starting and finishing the race. At one point I noticed that the gift shop opened it's doors so I immediately made a beeline for that since it was SO cold out.

About half an hour before go time, I wanted to hit the bathroom once more but now the lines were enormous. A NYRR worker told us that the porta potties had no line and they were just over in the parking lot. A few of us went over and low and behold the lines are almost worse than the stadium. Fortunately it went quick and I was in my corral at least 5 minutes before we started.

The first mile was slow and packed but once I got to break away, I found a groove that was a bit faster than anticipated. I noticed a few rolling hills but was OK. The 10K sign came up really quick and I was pleased with my time. I was a about a minute slower than my 10K race pace. Then we turned around (the course was an out and back). Mile 8 came and mile 9 just never did. I was bummed that I had hit a wall but once I found the mile marker, my spirits picked back up. There was another major hill at mile 11 and I swear I was ready to just fall over and DNF. The spectators were yelling there were no more hills but THEY LIED! There was one more. But then I looked at my watch and I realized we were almost done and I could have a nice little PR.

So I sprinted to the finish line which was on the baseball field and got a 2:01:13.

Overall, I felt strong, had a blast and killed it. I wish I had know about the hills beforehand but really, what was I gonna do eve if I did?

A few of the products that ensured I nailed it were my Body Glide, my beloved iPod filled with old school hip hop, and my trusty water bottle which I downed during the last mile.

Now, I'm having a relaxing and fun off season with all of the friends I told "I can't go out I have to run tomorrow."


*Disclaimer: Body Glide provided me product free of charge. All opinions are my own and I accepted NO compensation.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homemade Apple Sauce

Did you know that October is National Apple Month? Well is is! If you haven't gotten a chance to go apple picking, I suggest doing so before the season is over. I went a few weeks ago and came home with one (OK more like 10) too many apples. Without wanting to waste any, I got to baking. I even gave a few away to Anna and Megan. First I made apple cinnamon crescent rolls (find the recipe in October's issue of Queen's Scene) and brought some for the girls while we watched Nashville. Then I tried my hand at homemade apple sauce in a crock pot. SO yummy! To make a decent amount you need to use more apple than I did, but the small amount I made lasted about 4 days and was so worth it. 

Here's the recipe. It is perfect for fall weekends! 


A minimum of 4 apples (I had a mini crockpot so I think 5 would have been all I could use)
A little less than half of a cup of water
About a tablespoon of cinnamon
About a teaspoon of brown sugar
Around a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

What to do:

Fist, peel and chop those apples up.

Next, in a separate bowl, combine the water, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla.

Before I poured the mixture and apples into my crockpot I lined with with one of Reynold's slow cooker liners for easy clean up. 

Mix up apples and sauce in the crockpot.

Put the top on and cook for 4 hours on low. I stirred the apples every half hour or so to make sure they were all covered in sauce and to mush them up a bit. 

After 4 hours the apples should be super soft. Make sure to mash them up the best you can. I used a spoon with slits in it since I didn't have a mashed potato mixer. 

Lastly, serve and store!

Have you ever made homemade apple sauce? What did you think? 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wind Down Wednesday

We're halfway through the week! Let's take time to wind down and get ready for this weekend, especially if you're like me and racing. This is going to be the longest distance I've run since early April and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. From health issues to just not wanting to run, it's going to be a physical and emotional test. 

But, I am hoping race day adrenaline takes over! I've never run Staten Island before and I love that I won't know the course. I can't wait to just take it all in and enjoy the sounds, sights and probably smells. That is, if I actually make it to the ferry. 

I'm also under-trained so this could be quite the disaster. But I'm not one to give up. 

So, I'm going to wind down and get my head in the game for this "race."

Are you racing this weekend? How are you getting through it?


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Power Up with New Dole Salad Mixes

A few months ago, the PR team at Dole sent me a package that consisted of their new Power Up Greens. Additionally, they sent me a nice healthy living kit complete with an awesome lime green yoga mat and BPA free water bottle that is currently at my work desk. 

Let's talk about the yummy salads. Of my 2 years of blogging I think this has been the BEST package I have ever received. 

First up, the Power Up Baby Kale. I'm not a huge kale person but I did enjoy it. I even purchased it on my own recently when the store was out of spinach. Dole's Power Up Baby Kale boasts high levels of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K, along with folate, calcium and phytonutrients.

The Power Up Baby Kale and Greens consisted of baby kale, spinach, green chard and red chard. I had never really voluntarily eaten chard so it was nice to try new things I otherwise would have walked away from. Nutrients included vitamins vitamins A, C, and K, plus folate, calcium and manganese. 

Last up we have the traditional Power Up Spring Mix and Greens. This package consisted of spring mix, baby kale and baby chard. The mix provided nutrients from Vitamins A and K and included folate and manganese. 

I really enjoyed being able to experiment with the Dole Power Up Salads. From stir-fries, pasta and traditional salads to eggs and sandwiches. If you are looking for a yummy and affordable salad choice, this is it!

What are your favorite Dole products?


Monday, October 6, 2014

RUN10FEED10 Race Recap

Yes, this is a little late but it's better than never doing it. Two weeks ago on Sunday, September 21, 2014, myself and a couple thousand people ran a 10K up and down the West Side Highway to help fight domestic hunger. Over 3.5 million meals were raised this year! I'd also like to thank those who donated to my funraiser. We raised $200, the most in the past three year! Can't wait to see what we can do next year.

I got there a bit later than I usually do because this year I didn't have to drive! I left my stuff under a bench in the VIP tent so I had easy access to it when I finished. Another reason why this is one of my favorite races? I can still bring my backpack. After that, I was going to hit the bathrooms but the line was forever long, so I went to the start line. It was a little crowded so I couldn't do too many of the pre-race stretching but I got some in.

Then we were off! This was my first race post- MORE/Fitness half and sleeping/health issues so it was really a test to see where I was at. If you didn't know, I'm also running the Staten Island half this weekend.

Anyway, the humidity was insane and that may have been a big reason as to why right after mile 2 I just didn't want to do it anymore. But I pushed on because I was not taking a DNF in one of my favorite races. I grabbed some water at mile 4 and carried on. Once I saw mile 5 I thought I sped up. According to my Garmin friend, I did not. When I first looked at the clock when I finished, I was pleased. It said something about 56 minutes.

I went back to the VIP tent to grab my backpack and some food. I took some photos on the step and repeat and got to talk to Jen Ator, the fitness director for Women's Health.

Then, I went around to the booths, including the Seiko tent where you could check you final time. Low and behold, that 56:40 was a PR! Although I first had to go through my photos from last year to confirm that.

Then I got a nice post-race stretch from NY Sports Med. All in all, it was another great race by Women's Health and The Feed Foundation.