United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 1

LET’S DO THIS!!!

Planned mileage: 12 miles

Completed mileage: 8

Lesson(s) learned from this week:

My hip abductors are really weak/underdeveloped so this is something that I will have to work on in the upcoming months.

Being sick kind of sucks. Also, hot toddies and manhattans are not so great for a cold. I thought whiskey cured everything. Maybe, that remedy works in your 20s and early 30s.

Monday:

Planned: X-train

Completed: 30 min. cardio class

The BF and I attended BLT (Butt, Legs, Thighs), a low-intensity class at my gym. Man, that class really kicked our butts . . . no pun. I thought the class was going to be super easy, but I clearly was in the wrong. Let me step back. The class was not super hard, but I really have neglected those types of lower body exercises for quite some time. I definitely plan to do more of these types of exercises during the week.

Tuesday:

Planned: 3 mi

Completed: 0 mi

Since the BF, his friend, and I went to our favorite seafood restaurant ( *** ) in Astoria, Queens, I was far too hungover to even think about running. Oh, after dinner, the three of us went to my beer club’s meetup at The Freckled Moose, which was a couple blocks away. Basically, on Monday night, I shared a bottle of champagne and wine, then I had a couple of bourbon neats, a few beers, and a couple gin and sodas.

Wednesday:

Planned: 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Completed: 3 mi and 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Because the distance for this speed workout was pretty short, I decided to add Tuesday’s run to this one. Actually, it was quite refreshing to do some speed work. For the most part, most of my 400 splits were in the 7’48’’ – 8’04’’, which is faster than my normal 5K pace.

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Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 3 miles and weight lifting

Unfortunately, I had to do this run on a treadmill. BOOO, but I was lucky enough to find a treadmill that was under a fan. For some reason, Crunch Fitness seems to have two temperature settings – HOT and HOT AS HELL.

My weightlifting activities primarily focused on the lower body. My exercises included: deadlifts, sumo squats, calf raises, barbell squats, dumbbell side bends, concentration dumbbell curls, dumbbell pullovers. It felt nice having time to combine running and weightlifting. Because of the short distances of the training runs for a half-marathon, compared to those of the full marathon, I like having enough time to combine two or more workouts while training for a half.

Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: X-Train,

I tried out a newish class called BOING. Actually, I have attended this type of cardio class in the past. Basically, you wear these mini trampoline boots and bounce around to different music. This class further confirmed my need to work on my hip abductors. Although you are bouncing around, a lot of the moves incorporate front, rear, and side leg lifts. Also, the boots are a few pounds heavier than your normal shoe. The class was really fun, but I was disappointed in myself because I could not lift my leg too high and my hips were pretty sore. Even by Sunday, my hips were still sore. 😦

Saturday:

Planned: 5 mi

Completed: (Unintended) Rest

Since my hips and my right foot both were really killing me, so I figured that it probably would have been best to chill and let my hips and feet rest. Also, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. Man, I cannot seem to win for this week. Saturday, I pretty much chilled at home to recuperate a bit.

OH, BTW. Where the hell have I been for the last 17 years?!!!! One of my guilty pleasures is Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, and I watch it on Hulu. After the newest episode finishes, Hulu will randomly select other similar type show. Hulu decided that I wanted to watch “The Amazing Race: Season 1”, and I was not too mad at Hulu for this suggestion.

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OMG, I am hooked. I pretty much watched the entire season in one sitting. Well . . . I did not see the final episodes, because I knew which team won. Basically, I did not like any of the final three teams, but of those three teams, I’m glad the two lawyers won.

One thing that kind of annoys me about this more (well some of the contestants on the show) is that it plays up to the mean, nasty American tourist stereotype. I was really disgusted when one team was saying the native people (I believe they were somewhere in India) were dumb and stupid. EVERYONE IN THE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE TO SPEAK ENGLISH. You are a guest in their country, stop being a-holes. I get that the show is a big race, but it is not their fault that you screwed up the challenge. Also, I really do not like how many of the contestants’ bark commands or requests to the host country’s citizens. Maybe . . . I do not like the show that much 😉

Goal for the week:

Try to do some type of foam rolling and/or stretching every night before bed.

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Food Pic of the Week (FPOTW)

It has been a while since I’ve posted an FPOTW. For some reason, I just have not been able to get into my WordPress groove . . . much like my diet plan. 

Tacuba Hell’s Kitchen ( *** )

The restaurant is a kind of bougie-style, slightly upscale Mexican joint. This was my second time visiting the restaurant. For my first visit, I really had to pee so I bought a margarita, which was delicious. Normally, if I have to use a business’ restroom, I will order an item . . . it’s just polite. This was my first time eating at Tacuba. Although the food was good, it was a bit pricey because I have eaten better Mexican food for half the price. In NYC, you pay for a restaurant’s rent, not for the food. 

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Carnitas

I was playing around the small ass tortillas. Then again, I do have large hands. 

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Some drink served in a pineapple

My roommate from grad school and I shared this $24 “adult” pineapple beverage. It seems as it was a $24 thing of pineapple juice. I believe that there are grilled pineapples in there somewhere . . . maybe that’s why it was so pricey. 

All in all, it was an ooooook place that I would visit once in a blue moon. I would not mind getting happy hour drinks, then going someplace else for food. I tend to visit more hole in the wall type Mexican restaurants because the food is cheaper and you get more bang for your buck

Food Pic of the Week

Marinara Pizza 985 1st Avenue ( *** )

Pizza, Pizza

The MVP

Last week, I was invited to a Yelp Elite event at Marinara Pizza. Of course, the restaurant owner was all about his MVP pizza. Wait. . . I get it. LOL, I thought it was called The MVP because it was popular. It’s called MVP because they top it with marinara sauce, vodka sauce, and a pesto sauce. In my defense, when the folks at the restaurant were describing the pizza they never said the sauces in the M.V.P. order. 

Whatever, I went to that event after running 10 miles so I was a little out of it anyway. 

The pizza was amazing. Before biting into it, I was like “Three sauces? This will either be an amazing experience or a hot ass mess. I’m so glad that it was the former. 

NYC Marathon Training Update XI

Total Distance Ran/Planned: 20.7 mi /26 mi

There really is no point in doing a day-by-day rundown of my training “failures” this week. Buuuut, I did manage to do a 17 mile long run. Don’t folks say that the long runs are the most important runs for marathon training?

Aside from a 3-mile run on Monday, I did not do any runs this week because I was feeling some pain in my Achilles. It was a weird pain, because I experience tightness in both legs. The pain would start off kind of intense in the morning, then become dull throughout the day. I Youtubed some exercises that may help reduce this pain.

On Sunday, I was supposed to run 18 miles, but I ran only 17 . . . Close is better than nothing. I kind of “enjoyed” this run and tackled it as if I was running three separate 6-mile runs.

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I really enjoyed the running along the west side of Manhattan, but the east side was really tough because the sun was quite intense and there was not much shade. On a personal note, this run was nice because it allowed me to briefly run down memory lane.

The Frying Pan

The Frying Pan is a fun club that is in a tugboat. I remember spending many Friday nights here, circa 2005. The only annoying thing is that this club was so far west (for us) because my grad school classmates and I lived on the East River.

The Hudson River and a view of the Freedom Tower from the Westside Highway.

Bridges on the East River – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queensboro. For this run, I wanted to include a trip across the Queensboro Bridge since it is part of the NYC Marathon. Unfortunately, mile 17 put me in Murray Hill which is about 30 blocks from the Queensboro Bridge. During my run, something told me to cut across Manhattan on 14th Street, rather than running to the tip of the island. Next week’s long run is a 19 miler so I guess I can incorporate the Queensboro Bridge then. 

I met a friend near the Staten Island Ferry.

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Oh, look it’s the place where I spent most of my 20’s during graduate school. NYU School of Medicine’s Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences in the house.

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Man, this doggie is pretty strong.

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A few things from this run:

  • My speed was not nearly as fast as I would have liked it to be. A LOT of people were passing me. My original goal was to complete the marathon in 4 hours, but at this rate, I’ll be grateful if I can finish in 4.5 hours.
  •  I’m at the distance where I need to bring my running ‘fanny pack’ on my long runs. 
  • I had to poop TWICE during this run. 😦  I hate using public restrooms to poop, but I could not ward off the call of nature this time. There have been times when I have gone home while bar hopping to take a dump. I was quite surprised that the restroom on the Westside was really clean . . . For a public MEN’S restroom in a park.

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  • Speaking of poop, this flavor tastes like crap.

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  • Pizza is always great after a long run. Casa Pizza  ( *** ) is a random place for a quick slice (or in my case, two slices). Also, the pizzeria has so many varieties of pizza, which is something that I appreciate. During this visit, I think that I counted 13 different types of pizzas. 
  • When I finished my run, I wanted to do exactly what this doggie was doing – laying in a puddle of ice-cold water. 

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Goals for the upcoming week:

  • Buy a new pair of shoes. Yes, I know that I have mentioned this a couple of times in the past, but a brotha has been busy.  
  • Figure out an appropriate eating pattern during long runs. As of now, I eat / gu every 6 miles; however, I know that I need to take my fuel during the long runs. 
  • Register for some NYRR races. 
  • Hill work on the Queensboro Bridge. I even planned out my run that will include two difficult bridges. But, I’ll get to run in three boroughs and along a nice chunk of the NYC marathon. 

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One consideration:

Last year, I could not train as much as I wanted because of a super demanding and worthless job; a search for a new job; and the intense heat. The longest distance that I ran during last year’s training was 16 miles. At least I now know that I am at a distance where I know I can finish a marathon. Now, I just have to figure out how to finish the marathon in faster manner. 

See you on November 4th, 2018, Staten Island Ferry!!!

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Food Pic of the Week

This picture of the week is not bougie or classy at all. The other day I wanted to deviate from my daily lunch protein shake and grabbed a slice of pizza from Sliced ( *** ). In addition, I was a tad hungover from the previous night’s Yelp Elite event, and we all know that pizza is a perfect hangover food.

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A Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Pizza!!! I hate to say this, but I think that eggs on a pizza can work. However, it probably would have been better if the eggs were scrambled. After eating this slice, I was this close ||in ordering another slice.

Food Pic of the Week

Sottocasa Pizzeria -Harlem

The “bu” and I did not feel like cooking in our heat trap of an apt. I swear, boiling water increases the temperature in the apartment by 20, 000 degrees. We hit up a somewhat fancy pizza place in our hood. I guess it wasn’t that fancy since the wall was covered with children’s artwork.

Sausage Pizza

What a lovely spread.

  • Enjoyed the pizza and the ambience.
  • Did not enjoy all of the kids.

Food Pic of the Week . . . Kinda, Sorta

Bring on bougie drinks and bites. 

This week, I attended a Brooklyn Yelp Elite event at Circa Brewing in downtown Brooklyn ( *** ).

Overall, I love the Yelp Elite events, but some folks really need to have a meal before the events. I swear, every time the staff brings out a new thing to eat, folks descend on the person like a bunch of hyenas trying to pick at a fresh carcass.

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Then, of course, folks have to take 80 million pictures of THE SAME DAMN THING. I guess the photo thing is kind of implied for the yelp thing. *This reminds me that I have not written a review in a while*. 

Side bar: At another Yelp Elite event, I had a plate of food. I put the plate down to chat with a1Tvy friend. Please tell me why another eliter grabbed the plate and started to walk away. I tapped her shoulder, and she was like oh I did not know that was someone else’s plate. Ummmmmm, the fact the food was half eaten (there were discarded chicken bones on the plate) and there was a fork on the plate should have been your first clue. Honestly, was she seriously going to eat after a complete stranger? And, what the hell is wrong with people?

Back to the Event: I walked past this restaurant/bar/brewing company, but never really gave it a second thought. Typically, I was in that area after teaching my Saturday and Sunday Biology class. More than likely, I did not go to the Circa because I was fighting a hangover. 

The little food that I did get was pretty tasty, but I was not blown away. However, I really enjoyed the various adult cocktails, especial the stout beer. Most know that I’m more of an IPA beer drinker, but the two stouts may make me rethink my beer exclusivity.