Marathon Monday, err, Tuesday

{I meant to post this yesterday, but got really busy, so it’s Marathon Tuesday now!}

11 days. 11!

I can’t believe the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon has crept up this quickly. I can’t believe that I’ve stuck with a 16-week training program {aside from a few skipped runs, I’ve been pretty loyal}.

It’s really opened my eyes to what my body can accomplish. I hadn’t run more than 13.1, but now I’ve completed 20+ miles and I’ve lived to tell about it! It’s been so much fun mapping out different routes and really getting to tour New York City in a non-traditional way.

It’s also opened my eyes to how I need to properly take care of my body. I’ve had some knee pain during my last two long runs, so I’ve just been trying to ice, rest, and foam roll a lot. I definitely don’t want a more serious injury.

17-miler recap:
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We started at Union Square/14th Street and ran along to the East River running path. We headed back into the city at 57th Street to head into Central Park. After running part of the long park loop, we turned out of the park around 109th Street to get to the West Side Highway path, to run down and end at Wall Street. We felt so great throughout it all and kept a great pace. We stopped once for water, Gatorade and to eat some energy chews and sport jelly beans {I like Clif Shot Bloks in tropical punch, and Sports Beans in fruit punch}. The hardest part was the last 2 miles. At that point, we basically stopped talking and just felt everything in our legs. They were longest 2 miles but we’ve ever done!

{I did a half marathon in between these two long runs. Race recap on that soon!}

20-miler recap:
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For this run, we decided to run from my place to Coney Island and then up towards the Brooklyn Bridge. It was kinda fun taking a little tour of Brooklyn! Erika and I stopped twice to grab water, take a pee break, and eat some shot bloks and jelly beans. {At this point, I’m eating an entire pack of chews as well as a handful of jelly beans.} Funny story: we had stopped at a gas station for water and as we were drinking it outside, a cop truck pulled up and the two cops stopped us and asked us if we had just come from Coney Island because they thought they saw us running there about 2 hours earlier! Haha. And it was totally true! We hit 20 miles exactly under the Brooklyn Bridge, too! I actually felt so great during this run, and felt like I could keep going. No knee pain here.

22-miler recap:
photo
For this run, we started at Central Park and ran to the West Side Highway path and headed all the way up to the George Washington Bridge {the first bridge I’ve crossed that wasn’t in a car since moving to New York City!}. We ran across the bridge which was cool but so so windy! It was a really pretty route and it was good weather running up, but as we ran back down {we were at 11 miles at this point} it was so extremely windy. We were all so pissed and annoyed, lol. We couldn’t even talk because it was so windy that we couldn’t hear one another. We finally decided to head into the city and run our last few miles in the park. At this point, I was having very sharp pains in both of my knees, but primarily my left knee. But, I pushed through. We were all hurting pretty bad, no thanks to the wind which felt like we were using double the energy! My knee could have also hurt because of my new shoes I had gotten {and the fact that I pound the ground really hard when I run – Erika has even pointed out how loud I am!} But, I also think I didn’t give my legs enough time to recover.

Taper:
Now, we’re in tapering mode. We ran 12 miles on Saturday, running on the East River running path to Randall’s Island and back. My knee felt fine, which is good! We’ll just be doing small mileage during the week, with no cross training so we also have plenty of time to recover. This Saturday we have 8 miles and then the next weekend is go time! I still can’t believe I’m doing a marathon. I’m so excited to visit Nashville again, and also to listen to the country bands that will play along the route! And I’m so happy to have two of my best friends run it with me.

PS. Just to add to our crazy, we’re thinking about doing another! We’re thinking the Disney World Marathon in January 2015!!! I’ve always wanted to run a Disney race – I just feel like they would be so magical.

boston
I also just wanted to send all of my love and thoughts to everyone who has been affected by the Boston bombings during the Boston Marathon. It was one year ago today that the tragic event happened, and Boston can use all the support and thoughts it can get.

xx
Ashley

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CYC Fitness class at David Barton Gym…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

photo.PNG {Happy Valentine’s Day, Ryan}

So, I have a crush. A big girl crush.

Don’t worry, I’m not leaving my husband anytime soon (Happy Valentine’s Day, love!), but sometimes you just have to crush on a girl.

OK – so maybe it’s more of an extreme admiration for this girl. Stated plainly: She’s a freaking BADASS!

While I’m not the most fond of cycle classes, my friend Lisa convinced me to go to this class with her. And who am I to turn down a workout date.

CYC Fitness is such an uplifting, calorie-burning class. Keoni Hudoba molded the concept, which mixes intense cycling with weights, with a dash or two of a lights show and dance party.

photo-37 copy

Now back to my girl crush: She was just so motivating and inspiring, and rocked a six-pack with a ripped bod. She’s fab! Her name is Elizabeth, if you want to sign up online, but her name in class is Chainsawitall! Love it.

It’s nestled inside David Barton Gym, which makes me feel special walking into since celebrities often show their faces there. You reserve your bike online by purchasing “rides” in increments of one, 5 , 10, or 20 rides. Single class rides are $25 and go down in price depending on the package you choose.

It’s definitely worth the $25 splurge though, because you also get access to their locker rooms/showers, and also get two hours (before or after CYC class) to workout in the David Barton Gym. That’s a sweet deal. Lisa, (who introduced me to the class) and I plan on going to the class at least 2 times a month. It will be good cross training for our marathon, and it’s a great way to get cardio in when we can’t run.

Speaking of running, Lisa and I are supposed to do the Cupid’s Undie Run tomorrow, which is a one-mile run in next-to-nothing clothing that helps support the Children’s Tumor Foundation. It’s really a great cause, and the race is held on the same day in 30 cities across the country. Cool!

Only thing is, it’s supposed to be snowing. The temperature is 30, which we could probably handle for that short of distance, but we’re nervous about running in snow due to ice and the high possibility of slipping. Erika already had an injury due to slipping, and Lisa was recovering from an Achilles injury, so the more important thing is that we play it safe right now.

What are your weekend running {or activity} plans? Doing anything for Valentine’s Day? We’re going to dinner tomorrow night, then on Sunday I’m doing a little, casual birthday thing {my bday is next Thursday!} at Brooklyn Brewery, where we can bring snacks and have some local beer. Monday, I really want to check out a brunch in our neighborhood, and then I have a long run with Lisa.

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P.s. It’s officially ONE week until Ragnar Relay Del Sol!!!! Holy moly guacamole!!!

Xx
Ashley

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My Weekly Workout Routine: 2/1-2/16:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI’m not sure I can really see past all the snow build-up here in New York, but I’ll make an attempt at this post.

Wowza! We’ve gotten so much snow this year! It’s actually pretty magical to see it all fall down on you. Plus, it’s really fun to make patterns with your feet and stomp in big piles of snow {while trying not to slip!}. The thing I don’t enjoy is not being able to run because of all the ice on the streets. My friend Erika tripped and fell on ice during one of our runs and was out for a MONTH, so it’s a little nerve-racking to head out when conditions are like this.

Training for this marathon is going to be harder than I thought. So I decided to start documenting my runs and workouts on here as a way to hold myself accountable for doing something.
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It’s just bizarre, because just a few weekends ago, it was in the 50s. Oh, it was so nice. {I mean, look, you can see a little leg poking out there! Most of the time I’m too tightly bound up!}

I ended up running to Coney Island, which was about 5 miles from our apartment. It was a really nice run, and the view at the end made it all worth it!
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{Oh New York sunset}
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Here are my workouts and runs from last week (way too many off days!):

Feb. 1 – 5miles; 8:41 pace
Feb. 2 – 5 miles; 8:21 pace
Feb. 3 – CYC Fitness class
Feb. 4 – Off
Feb. 5 – NTC workout
Feb. 6 – off
Feb. 7 – off
Feb. 8 – Snowboard
Feb. 9 – Off

Workouts so far this week:

Feb. 10 – NTC workout (I was on the wait list for a CYC class, but didn’t get on)
Feb. 11 – off
Feb. 12 – CYC Fitness class
Feb. 13 – Off
Feb. 14 – NTC workout
Feb. 15 – Run 10-12 miles with Erika
Feb. 16 – off

You’ll help hold me accountable right? Especially when it’s 20 degrees and I need to get in 10 miles. One of the Valentine’s Day gifts I got Jeff {got one for me too!} will definitely help with my winter training problem. :)

I can’t WAIT to get to Arizona next week for warmer weather! It makes me gitty just thinking about it. Guess I’ll have to break out my running shorts!

Happy Snow Day!

xx
Ashley

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I’m Officially a Ragnar Relay Ambassador!

So, you know that crazy overnight relay race I’ve done for the past two years? The one that I’m going back to Arizona at the end of February to do? Ya know, Ragnar Relay? Well, I’ve been selected into their Ambassador Program!! {Pause for a little happy dance.}
ragnar-logo-wonky{Just for reference, here’s my recap of Ragnar Relay in 2012 and Ragnar Relay in 2013.}

So, here’s the back story: In early Fall, I was scavenging the Ragnar Relay Series website {per usual} because that’s when we were getting a team together to sign up for Ragnar Relay Del Sol. I came across their Ambassadors page and was really drawn to it. I could help spread the word about this life-changing/hellish/amazing-fun event? I could run 3-5 Ragnar races in less than a year? I could constantly wear Ragnar temporary tattoos for promo purposes? {Okay, that last one was my idea}

Ragnar-Relay-Tattoo

So, I applied. I told them just how obsessed I am with the race {it’s almost better than Disneyland} and tried to win them over with my wittiness {which I really don’t have}.

I hadn’t heard back for a few months, so I thought I wasn’t selected. I had already started crafting my application for the next year {as I also do every time I apply for Survivor and don’t hear back}.

BUT, at the beginning of January, I got an exciting email saying I was selected into the 2014 Ragnar Ambassador program and did I still want to participate? Um, heck yes times 1000!

What does being a Ragnar Ambassador actually mean? I mean, the title alone is cool enough for me, but I also get the privilege of competing in my local Ragnar {which is now the Adirondacks Ragnar Relay}, attending run groups, fitness studios, running stores, and clubs to talk about Ragnar, lead Ragnar 101 sessions, volunteer in Ragnar SWAT at races, and so, so much more. I’m more than stoked to start this journey!

And, Ragnar is just 22 days away! I’m so antsy I can’t even handle it! Follow along with my Ambassador adventures here on the blog or on social, via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. You can also search for the hashtag: #ragnarambassadormacha. See you soon, Arizona.
ragnar-2If anyone is interested in running a Ragnar or have any questions about Ragnar, feel free to email me at: perfectleypeared{at}gmail{dot}com.

xx

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Zippa-Dee Do-Da!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHappy New Year, my pears. New York City is a having such a cold and snowy winter. {I throw my fist at you, Polar Vortex} How is yours?

Hope your holidays were absolutely fantastic! Ours were so busy, but fun. Jeff’s parents visited us, so we took them around Brooklyn, then we all headed about an hour up north where his aunt and uncle live and celebrated New Years Eve there.

I loved 2013 so much {we got settled into our little Brooklyn apartment, we adopted Hadley, we got married!} but I’m also very excited to start a new year fresh. I love that word: fresh.

My resolutions this year are goals that focus on simplicity, happiness, healthy living, and well, starting fresh. I’m just very excited for this year. I really want to be able to grow my career, increase my speed in running, and write something {anything} everyday.

photo-2Speaking of running, someone needs to stop me from signing up for races. I’ve become addicted, ya’ll. {Plus, Jeff got me a new Garmin Forerunner 220 {violet and white} for Christmas and also ordered me a reflective lace Lululemon headband warmer, so I feel like I should show them off. }

Here’s what I have coming up for 2014:

Jan 26 – Fred Lebow Half Marathon {although, if it’s below 20 degrees, I’m not sure I can make it. Yikes!}
Feb 15 – Cupid’s Undie Run
Feb 21-22 – Ragnar Relay del Sol
March 2 – Climb to the Top of the Rock
March 16 – NYC Half Marathon {which I finally got in after 2 drawings!}
March 30 – Spring 15K Meltdown
April 26 – Country Music Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
May 17 – Brooklyn Half Marathon
Sept 26-27 – Adirondacks Ragnar Relay

I’m still in shock that I have Ragnar, THREE half marathons and a full marathon in less than 6 months. Plus, I’ll be adding on a few more Ragnar Relays this year {more on that exciting news next week!!! Can you tell I’m excited about it?}.

What races are you signed up for this winter/spring? AND, how are you bearing this cold-weather running? I’m dying!

xx
Ashley

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Avocado Egg Bake

Happy Friiiday! :)

I’m sure you know my love for breakfast by now with my many recipe posts like the Breakfast Pizza and Vegetarian Egg Boat Baguette Bake.

So, it’s only natural that I throw another breakfast treat at you: The Avocado Egg Bake. And yes, it taste just as amazing as it sounds.

First, I halved and de-pitted an avocado, and placed each half in a mini baking dish (can you tell I like mini things?). Then, I cracked two eggs into a bowl, and then transferred each egg into the hole of each half of the avocado. **Putting the eggs into a separate bowl before cracking makes it easier to place the yolk directly into the hole.**

Any leftover egg whites, I just added top of the avocado and into the dish. Then I put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes (or until eggs were firm). I also added grated cheese on top for the last 5 minutes.
egg-bake-doneThey turned out so yummy! I didn’t even need to add salt and pepper. (Although, I did add Tabasco, because I’m a hot sauce fiend). Here’s another one with double the deliciousness tucked inside.
egg-bake-doubleBelleon Body

In other news, I tried a new workout on Tuesday morning, courtesy of New Balance, and I’m still sore!
belleonFirst off, I got some awesome New Balance gear to use during the workout and I la la loved the shoes. They were light, supportive, and who doesn’t love bright pink? ;) And they go well with the rest of my workout/running shoe collection.
new-balance-shoesJeff Bell and Carlos Leon co-own the private, appointment-only fitness conditioning and personal training studio, Belleon Body, in the East Village. The guys took a group of us through three rounds of exercises, getting faster and adding more reps per round.
IMG_7022While they only offer personal training at the moment, they have offered classes like this and will bring them back come the new year. I’m excited, because it really was a great workout where we just used our body weight and natural movements for exercises.
IMG_2240Any plans for the weekend? I have a handful of Arizona friends in town (odd I know!), so we’ll be galavanting around the city just eating and checking out all the Christmas decorations up already (aka – The Rockefeller Tree and Ice Rink and the Bryant Park Holiday Market).

Updated Race Schedule:

OH—and I have a few runs I need to get in, too (a 5 and a 7 mile). Erika and I signed up for the Voices! 5M on Nov. 17. It’s a race that benefits brain cancer, something my step-mom has been fighting for over 11 years. I just really wanted to help support the cause and let her know I’m thinking about her even though I’m thousands of miles away. We’re going to make t-shirts for the race, too!

Speaking of races, here are some I have on my agenda in the next few months and into next year:

I’d like to add a 10K or another half marathon in the spring, too.

xxx
Ashley

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Banana Pumpkin Bread (Made with Avocado)

Happy Wednesday!

I have a delicious, warm, fluffy fall treat to share with you!

Over the weekend, I had 2 overly-ripe bananas that I planned to make banana bread out of, when I realized I had some pumpkin purée, too! So, I decided to make a Banana Pumpkin Bread. And, I was sure happy I made this decision.
ingredientsIt turned out so well! I also used avocado and coconut oil instead of butter, and used Sugar In The Raw instead of granulated sugar. Then, I topped it all with plain sliced almonds, which toasted really nicely.

Before:
pre-cook-breadAfter:
pumpkin-banana-breadI basically didn’t even let it cool for one minute before I dug in. Whoops. :) And, I’ve been eating it all week, and even bought more bananas to make another one this weekend!

I also made this mini one (how cute!) for a co-worker who has been going through some hard times with her family.
mini-banana-pumpkin-breadEnjoy!

xx
Ashley

Banana Pumpkin Bread (With Avocado)

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2T coconut oil
1/2 avocado, mashed
1/2 cup Sugar In The Raw
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup of sliced almonds

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas and avocado in a bowl. Mix in avocado, beaten eggs, and coconut oil. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Use cooking spray on the inside of a bread pan (I used baking wax, too), pour the mixture in, and top with 1/4 cup of sliced almonds. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

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