Fred Lebow Half Marathon Recap: Cancelled

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On of my running buddies [Erika] and I are going to do New York Road Runner’s 9+1 program this year, where you run 9 of their races [only certain ones on their schedule apply] and volunteer for a race. This will guarantee us in to the 2017 TCS NYC marathon. I put my name in for the lottery again this year, but since I got drawn last year, I don’t think my chances are that great. Fingers crossed!

The first race in our 9+1 was the Fred Lebow Half Marathon, a two and a half loop of Central Park. BUT, due to Storm Jonas that swept through NYC this past weekend, it was cancelled. Luckily, the race will still count towards out 9+1! Who else was caught in this snow storm? We got so much snow!

So, instead of running, we brunched at one of our favorite places: Boulton & Watt. We go here just for these pancakes.:)
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Then we just walked around in the snowy, halfway deserted NYC streets, and ran into little shops in the Lower East Side and in Soho.
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I’m actually very a bit happy it was cancelled because I’ve had some IT and sciatica pain ever since the TCS NYC Marathon. I’ve been keeping my running light the past few weeks leading up to the half marathon, with short weekday runs and just a few long runs [9 miles on 1/9 and 8 miles on 1/16]—plus lots of high-intensity interval training. I’m also going to my first physical therapy session today, which I’m pretty stoked about.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress! What races are you looking forward to this winter? I think I’ll save my next race for spring/summer and focus on PT and strength [I just started CrossFit and can’t wait to share how it’s going. Have you tried it?]

xx
Ashley

Five Foodie Favorites

This week has finally felt like winter in New York City. I busted out my puffy coat and beanie for the first time, but it’s still odd not to see snow on the ground yet (last year we had snow by Thanksgiving). I did see a few snowflakes yesterday morning on my way to a workout, but they melted before they hit the ground! Hopefully the mountains have gotten a little more coating because we’re going snowboarding this long weekend. Other plans include a long run, the Cardinals vs. Green Bay game (#BeRedSeeRed), and a humor writing class and brunch. Any fun three-day weekend plans?

Here are a few cold-weather food staples I’ve had recently:

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[Kale, red potato, & white bean soup.]

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[The Classic “Burger” at byChloe during a nice lunch with co-workers.]

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[Zucchini pizzas.]

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[Savory & sweet homemade waffles – because I got a waffle maker for Christmas!]

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[‘Shroom Burger, crinkle fries, & Six Point Sweet Action from Shake Shack.]

Have a great weekend!

xx
Ashley

5 Ways Runners Can Stay Healthy And Injury-Free

running, running shoes, running injuriesThus far in my running career, I’ve been pretty injury free. Granted I’ve usually just run half marathons, 10k’s and 5k’s, but that’s still wear-and-tear on the body.

I’ve always stretched and foam rolled, but it wasn’t until I began running marathons and started adding more miles to weekend long runs that I really noticed the importance of mobility, physical therapy, and body recovery.

During my first marathon, I was having typical runner’s knee issues. I even had to ice it right after I finished! Since then, I’ve gotten a stick roller for work and traveling, a lacrosse ball (wowza, that’ll really dig in to your muscle!), and got a prescription for Voltaren, an anti-inflammatory topical lotion. All which have helped.

After my recent marathon though [TCS NYC Marathon] and about a month before, I was getting aching pain down my left side and hamstring, my right calves would tighten, and I would feel little jolts on the top of my left foot every morning.

I finally went to a sports doctor before the holidays, who told me it was sciatica, which was my hunch too. I’ve gotten a prescription for a specific physical therapy program, which I will hopefully start next week. Luckily, he’s still approved me to run, as long as the pain doesn’t bother me.

It’s these little injuries that we as runners really need to nurture and nip in the butt before they get worse. I want to be able to run and workout for a long ass time, so I have no problem with rehabilitative care. Training takes A LOT from the body and we should give it some love back.:)

5 Ways Runners Can Stay Healthy And Injury-Free:
– Invest in regular physical therapy sessions.
– Work on hip-opening exercises [my hips are tiiiiiight].
– Warm up your muscles before running/working out – never stretch with cold muscles.
– ICE your aches first.
– Schedule sports massages throughout your training program.

These are five things I really want to focus on during my trainings in 2016, and even outside my training, because my body deserves it! What are you going to do for your body in 2016?

xx
Ashley

Happy 2016! Resolving to focus on one word: now

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Happy 2016! The wonderful holidays went by way too fast. We went home to visit family & friends in Arizona and it was such a great visit {browse my visit on my Instagram}. We usually do a whirlwind 4-day trip, but this time we stayed 8 days and it was perfect. I hiked, tried OrangeTheory Fitness with a friend, had a lot of authentic Mexican food, played with my 3-year-old niece, and really enjoyed leisure time. {Crazy for me to admit!}

And now, it’s a crisp new year. A clean slate. A blank canvas.

This year, I’m focusing on one word: now. I’m a very busy person {self-inflicted – I just like having things to do!}, so I get things done, but I also procrastinate things, and put things off for another day or time. My dreams and goals shouldn’t be kept on the back burner though {neither should my laundry that I keep folded in the basket for days on end}.

I’m so obsessed with making lists and itineraries and plans, plans, plans, that I need to just stop all the scribbling and actually get it done right there and then.

Granted, there will be time to leave things as they are and be present and in the NOW. That’s the other half of the meaning to me—to work on being present in the moment. It’ll be a balance of starting things now, planning things now, finishing things now, and being in the now—from races to laundry to work deadlines to sleeping.

Blogging is one of those things I seem to always put off, but that I love. Because, well, it’s writing and that’s what I love—it’s my livelihood. Especially when it’s about fitness and food! So, that’s why I’m coming back now.

I have some other resolutions and goals for 2016, and I still haven’t forgotten about my “30 before I’m 30” list, but I really want to try to focus on this one action that will help boost all of my other resolutions.

Happy New Year!

xx
Ashley

Mushroom, Spinach, Zucchini, and White Bean Stew

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This past weekend, the weather was crisp and cool and I had an itch to make some fall comfort foods. I love to cook fresh meals in the summer, but it’s nice to throw together something filling and hot as well—something that you can feel warming your insides.

First, I baked a few loaves of Pumpkin Banana Avocado Bread to celebrate National Pumpkin Day on Monday. It was a hit at work – I’d highly recommend making this if you’re looking for a recipe sans butter and low in sugar.

Pumpkin Banana Avocado Bread

Then, I had an idea to make a veggie stew of some sorts. I had some fresh mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach, and I knew I wanted to include white beans, so it kinda came together from there. And Jeff devoured it so that’s always a good sign.:)

Mushroom, Spinach, Zucchini, and White Beat Stew

Mushroom, Spinach, Zucchini and White Bean Stew
Ingredients:
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 zucchini, diced
2 cups spinach (can swap kale if you prefer)
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup orzo pasta, pre-cooked according to box
1 can of white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Pinch of Sugar in the Raw
Garlic powder, salt & pepper, paprika to taste

Directions:
Add olive oil and minced garlic to a large pot and turn on medium high. Add in mushrooms and zucchini and saute until soft. Add white beans, spinach, and veggie broth and cook until spinach is wilted. Add the pre-cooked orzo and 1/4 cup of Parmesan to the stew and stir. Season with salt & pepper and paprika to taste. Set to cook on low. In a small saute pan, add a little olive oil, sliced red onions, and a few pinches of Sugar in the Raw (you can also carmelize without the sugar, but I like the bit of sweetness). Cook until carmelized, about 5 minutes. Bowl the stew and top with carmelized red onions and sprinkles of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!:)

xx

 

Marathon Monday: 5 weeks until the TCS NYC Marathon

image2Happy almost fall! I’m currently training for the TCS NYC Marathon and wanted to start logging my workouts to hold me accountable these last 5 weeks. 5 weeks away!! It’s both exciting and scary.

Here’s how I started my training: Lisa and I signed up for the Hal Higdon app for an 18-week marathon program, but I didn’t like how you had to log your miles int he app or else it didn’t count. I like to take Mile High Run Club and do track workouts so this didn’t seem feasible. Plus, I couldn’t see a full calendar plan – you could only look day-by-day. So, I bought the $49 New York Road Runners 12-week Virtual Marathon Trainer, and I really like the workouts and interface. They collected all of my health info and past race experience, what my ideal goal is and came up with a plan.

Here were the workouts from last week:

Monday: Brick CrossFit (I’ve become such a stronger runner after incorporating strength.)
Tuesday: 5-miler at 8:53 pace (I went out in a long sleeve and capri’s and it was WAY too soon for it. I was super hot!).

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Wednesday: 6-miler at Mile High Run Club
Thursday: 4-miler sprint work at Brick Endurance
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 15-miler at 8:30 pace (I felt really great during this run. It was a gorgeous day with a lot of things going on to entertain me. My feet did hurt near the end, but I ordered a new pair of shoes so I’m excited! It also got really hot out.)

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Sunday: Rest day

Total miles: 30 miles

This has pretty much been my schedule for the past 7 weeks, varying with mileage, pace, and with traveling/company in town. It’s really hard to run the long runs when you are out-of-town or have company in town who want to brunch. Cause I can’t pass up eggs Benedict and pancakes. ;) Hence why I need to get a little motivation and hold myself accountable.

This week, I have Ragnar Relay Adirondacks and I’m really excited! My sister-in-law and friend, Heather, are flying in from Arizona to run, and our team theme is Minions On The Run, because the Minions are super cool.:) Get ready for some yellow-centric pics!

As for upcoming races, I had the Brooklyn Half Marathon scheduled for October 10, but have a wedding in Vegas that day now so I’m searching for a NYC race to do the following week (Oct. 17/18). Any suggestions? I also signed up for my first Tough Mudder on Nov. 7! SO nervous.

Is anyone training for a fall run?:)

xx
Ash

Five Foodie Favorites

I’ve had avocado toast before, but it never really affected me the way it has recently.

image {Avocado and poached egg toast}

I’m like, obsessed. {I had it three times the other day.}

It’s so simple to make, too, and there are so many varieties. I like to toast rye bread {well done}, spread half of an avocado over it, sprinkle red pepper flakes, and add two poached eggs. Then I top it with crushed peppercorns and Tabasco. I feel like I’m fine dining for some reason.

Here are a few other eats I’ve had lately:

image_1 {Huevos Rancheros with black beans, fresh veggies, salsa, and two eggs—I seem to put eggs on everything.}

image_3 {Veggie Ramen Burger from a vendor at Berg’n}

image_2 {Soft boiled eggs that Jeff made. It was my first time having them! On a separate note, we LOVE toast with cream cheese. Weird?}

photo {Breakfast pizza with veggies, cheese, eggs, and local pizza dough.}

I heart eggs!

Have a great weekend.

Xx