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Six Snowy Miles Through Astoria. Time For a Brief Hiatus!

Posted Jan 27 2011 8:39pm
This is actually me crossing the finish at last week's Manhattan Half-Marathon. How do you like my new hot pink fleece? $4 on clearance at Old Navy!
You may have heard that the NYC Snowpocalypse struck yet again-- we got over a foot and a half of snow last night. Can you say "over it?"

I'm one of the lucky few who got the go-ahead to "plan to work from home" last night (best boss ever), so after sleeping in, doing my laundry, getting most of my writing done andddd taking a nap, I saw that the sidewalks on my street were clear and decided to give running a go. (I consulted with a few running Tweeps first!)

Big. Mistake. Slowest six miles ever. It took me about an hour and 15 minutes to get home and I ended up in ankle-deep, gross brown slush more than once. My soaked running shoes are begging for mercy.

This weather has left me wanting to do lots of baking and not much real cooking. After showering, I decided to go forth with another baking adventure. Behold: Nutella Cookies

The finished product.
This one's super-easy. I followed the classic Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe , leaving out the chocolate chips and instead beating in half a jar (6 ounces) of Nutella. Earlier this week, I made the regular ones
Mmm, cookie dough.
And ended up with so many that I was eating them for breakfast...

Healthy balance, right? I never said I was perfect...
In the wake of all the crazy snow, I've decided to give myself a short break (maybe a week) from running-- my knees have been rather achy since the half-marathon . They haven't been causing me any pain, but my morning runs have been pretty slow ever since. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to a weekend hot yoga session (courtesy of Pure Yoga and Self magazine ) with Jenny , Shannon and Carla. I also decided to invest in a foam roller after seeing Ali rave about them, and I'm anxious to give it a try when it gets here.

Speaking of running and breaks, do you "train" for short races? As far as following detailed plans, I don't. As a result, I'm usually a lousy source when newbies turn to me for advice on preparing for big races. Case in point: my glamorous bud , Joanna , just signed up for her first 15K ( with me !) and half-marathon . She asked me about my "training" and when I thought she should start, and the best advice I could give her is to start soon and stay consistent.

Save for the marathon , I have never really "trained hard" for any of my races. I've been running regularly (as in five days a week, six-plus miles at a time) since my freshman year of college, so most of my NYRR races are really just slightly faster workouts. I signed up for my first half-marathon on a whim after finishing my first 15K in December 2008, then went to Peru for two weeks (and didn't run at all) before coming back and getting a few six to eight mile workouts in before Race Day. I finished without a hitch in 2:07, and everything else has pretty much been cake since then.

Since running is my main (and most often, only) source of exercise and I don't have a gym membership, there pretty much is no "off-season." In the past six years, I haven't taken more than two weeks off at a time. It's pretty much second nature at this point.

Speaking of gym memberships, do you have one? Check out this article from the style section of today's New York Times, which zeroes in on why so many people are choosing to "quit the gym." I have occasionally thought about joining a gym here in New York, but then I remind myself how long I've made it without one. It's yet another ginormous expense in this city that I could definitely do without.

The only thing I really miss about using the gym in college is cross-training on the elliptical, which I'm pretty sure saved me from injury between my first two half-marathons. I otherwise hate the treadmill and always struggled to do more than three miles on it-- I usually opted for the indoor track, even if one mile did amount to 10 laps.

I'm also not a big class person-- at first, I enjoyed the yoga, pilates and aerobic dance classes I took at Hofstra, and then grew bored and unmotivated after a few weeks. If more health clubs around the city offered a drop-in, "pay per session" approach as one of the women quoted in the NYT article suggests, I would probably be more apt to mixing up my routine more often.

Anyway, that's all for now. Time to get ready for some Thursday night TV ! (So glad Parks and Rec is back!)

-EB
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