me running central park

Training: Base Building

Last week began my “comeback” to running.  While I’m still not sure what I’m training for, I probably won’t make any decisions until 2019.  The rest of the year will be just consistently getting mileage in.  I hope I’ll be able to race more, but it will be weather dependent. I’ll race in the cold, but I won’t in icy conditions (something we definitely got last winter).

Monday: 10ish mile walk around New York City
Tuesday: 60 minute run in Central Park/Walking Around NYC
Wednesday: 6 mile run easy/ART with Dr. Trish
Thursday: Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24) Total miles: 8ish
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 10 miles with 6 at 7:11

As mentioned, the goal for the next few weeks is consistency.  I plan to do workouts and race, but I don’t have any “big goals” right now. While I enjoyed marathon training more than I have previously, I have running missed shorter distances.  I want to consistently get back under 19 minutes in a 5k.

On Tuesday I got to run in Central Park. I’ve never run in Central Park outside of the marathon so it was cool to run in the park for a relaxing run.  I knew it was hilly, but I didn’t realize it was that hilly!

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot: 20:24

While it’s a Turkey Trot personal worst, I had a lot of fun. After getting active release the day before, my legs were sore.  I knew they weren’t going to be magically better while racing and it was what it was.  Combined with walking more than I have in a long time, I just felt stiff.  Immediately into the race, I knew it wasn’t my day.  I ended up finishing 4th woman and in 20:24.  While I know my legs can move faster, Thanksgiving wasn’t the day.  It was nice to get a shorter race in though and enjoy Thanksgiving morning with friends.

Friday and Saturday were both easy.

Sunday Tempo: 10 miles with 7 averaging 7:11

The goal was to go out for a longer run and see how my legs felt.  I didn’t have a specific time goal in mind for the tempo, just to get some faster miles in. The tempo itself didn’t feel like I was overexerting myself, but it did feel challenging.  I’m looking forward to consistently getting more tempos in.  They have been my favorite workout for a while, and I always appreciate how strong I feel afterward.

It’s hard to remember what it was like doing these runs both longer and faster but that is the beauty of fitness. I’m just glad to get back into it.

Posts from the Week:

Exploring Sandy Hook

Questions for you:

Do you prefer shorter or longer distances?

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Tick Tock diner nyc

Tick Tock Diner (NYC)

Tick Tock Diner (NYC)

Before the New York City Marathon, I decided to go to the Tick Tock Diner. I’ve walked by the Tick Tock before, and this was a diner I wanted to go too before the marathon. I’ve been to the Tick Tock Diner in New Jersey, and it’s good.  This American Diner is located in midtown Manhattan on the corner of 34th street and 481 8th avenue.

Tick Tock diner NYC

Tick Tock Diner Atmosphere: A
When Tara and I arrived at the Tick Tock Diner around lunchtime, it was crowded, but we quickly got a seat. In fact, we got the most corner booth. It was nice to stay private.

Tick Tock diner NYC

The outside of the Tick Tock Diner is bright, shiny, and stands out. It’s directly across the street from Penn Station, and you can’t miss it.

The Tick Tock Diner is the most substantial diner in Manhattan. There are plenty of booths and tables, and even a full-length bar.

Tick Tock Diner Coffee: B
The coffee at the Tick Tock Diner was brewed hot and fresh, but I could have used more refills. I also appreciated the personalized mugs.

Tick Tock diner nyc

Tick Tock Diner Food: A
The Tick Tock Diner menu has plenty of options from breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. There are unique diner options like jumbo shrimp, tex mex, and breakfast burritos, but they also have staple comfort food items like eggs any style, Belgian waffles, and french toast. There are several healthy salad options and huge burgers too.

Tick Tock diner nyc

I decided to order the Tick Tock Pancake Trio, which came with a banana pancake, cinnamon, and chocolate chip. Plus there was delicious cream cheese frosting too. With the cream cheese frosting, it didn’t mean syrup at all. To be honest, they were some of the best pancakes I’ve ordered! I’ve mentioned before, but diner pancakes are one of the riskiest items to order: either they are delicious (in this case), or they are flat and thin, and you leave wanting more food.

Tick Tock diner nyc

Tick Tock Diner Service: C
I was happy the food came out quickly, but the waiter barely came over, and it took a long time to get the check.

Cost: $$
For my coffee and pancakes, the cost was $15.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to the Tick Tock Diner (NYC)?
I liked the Tick Tock Diner, and it’s one of my favorite diners in New York City.  I’ve been back a few times and never had a bad meal. It’s an easy stop for anyone getting on or off at Penn Station.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: C
Price: $12-20
Overall: A-

You can see all diners here.

Other Diners I’ve Been to in NYC: Cosmic, Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Questions for you:
What are your favorite pancakes?
Have you been to New York? What is your favorite diner in the city?  I’m looking for more

New York City marathon me running
NYCM 2018, Running, Running Reads, Training

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York…New York.

The New York City Marathon Race Recap will be long. It’s taken me a couple of days to process and write the NYC Marathon recap.

It hasn’t been a secret after my last marathon I said I was tired of them and had no interest in marathoning. So for over 3 years, I didn’t. Then the opportunity to run the TCS NYCM in the sub-elite corral presented itself, and I knew I would kick myself for not taking it. The sub-elite corral lines up right behind the pro women at the New York City Marathon I was nervous, and I knew, and I would be the slowest person in the corral, but I decided to go for it. Spoiler, I have no regrets.

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The morning of race day was just as great as the marathon, if not better. I got to be around the best of the best. We boarded the bus and were off to Ocean Breeze on Staten Island with the pro-women. Initially, I thought being at the Ocean Breeze track would be ideal because if it rained or was inclement weather, I would stay drier.

The weather for the New York City Marathon was beautiful, and I spent about 3 hours just hanging out and watching elites and other sub-elites warm up. Not every person warmed up, and I was on the team no warmups (Running 26.2 miles is enough for me).  It was very relaxed and peaceful which made it hard to think…I’m going to run my 3rd marathon soon. It was fun to watch many of the professional athlete’s warmup and see what they do in person.

Since many people asked, I ate a waffle at 5 am, and then a bagel around 8 am. I get hungry in the morning and starting a race at 9:50, I knew it was the best option for me.  It’s probably a lot of food for most people, but I don’t like running on an empty stomach.

When I went to go pin on my bib, I realized OMG my pins had fallen out of my bag.  So like a goon, I had a race bib but no pins. I hung my head in shame and asked one of the volunteers (who was actually talking to Jared Ward) if they had any and they were able to get me some.

By 9:20, we were off to the Verazzano Bridge. We got back on the bus, and when we got off, I felt like I had entered a whirlwind. People were shouting, get to the bridge, drop your stuff off now.  NOW! The excitement finally dawned on me, that yes I was about to run 26.2 miles in the TCS New York City Marathon.

The professional men stood in front of us, then us, then about 30 feet behind corral 1. Since I was the slowest person in the corral, I stood at the back. It felt kind of cool to say; I am the slowest one here.  I chatted with several other women, many of whom, were going to attempt a sub 3. I knew that could be me someday, but New York was not that day.

All of a sudden, they were filming us, and the gun went off.  The first mile is up over the Verrazano Bridge. It’s 100% uphill because you are climbing a bridge. I ran a 7:28.  Many people from the first corral were flying by me, which was fine. I just stayed in a straight line and did my thing. I don’t really ever feel pressure anymore when people run by.  They do them…I do me…

The second mile was my fastest, as it was down the Verazzano bridge, and I ran a 6:36. I knew it was downhill but seeing a 6:36 made me feel a bit better.  I didn’t have a time goal and I knew with the constant climbs, my miles would be everywhere.

New York City Marathon me running

For the next few miles, I settled into a groove. My goal was to make make it to mile 8. I knew that was where I had the highest chance of seeing friends, although I didn’t.  The next several miles of NYC Marathon are also the flattest. I averaged between 6:45-6:55.  I could see the 3: 00-hour pacer up ahead but I knew I wouldn’t be running 6:50s up the Queensboro Bridge and in Central Park. I briefly thought about joining the group, but then ultimately decided it would probably cause me to blow up.

So I just kind of trecked along. I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I have a stomach of steel, so most gels do the same thing for me. I felt the same as if I had taken a Gu. I didn’t need a gel at mile 5, but I planned to take them every 5 miles which seems to have worked for me.

Around mile 6, I felt my shoe untie a bit. I also had to use the bathroom, and some people will pee on themselves, but that is not me. I decided when my shoe finally came untied I would tie it.

When I hit mile 8, I saw no one I knew. I wasn’t really surprised, but the crowds gave me life.  I wasn’t bad, and I maintained miles in the 6:50s.

Somewhere around mile 9, my shoe came untied, even though I had double knotted it. I am a clumsy bafoon, and I won’t run any race with an untied shoe and hurt myself. I found an opening on the side and tied it. It took me a little longer than I had hoped because the double knot got wedged in there but I told myself, the more you “panic”, the longer it will take.  I dropped my gloves as well.

I had planned to use the bathroom too but there wasn’t one so I just continued on and never did.  With my stop, I logged a 7:22 mile. I asked New York Road Runners to pause the clock for me while I tied my shoe…but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my Garmin either.

New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in just over 1:10. The next two miles, were two of the quietest from the crowds. The only parts of the race that are quiet are the bridges and around mile 10. I took another gel around mile 10. I grabbed Gatorade at every mile I didn’t take a gel, and water when I did.  I was mentally struggling for the next two miles, thinking about how far I needed to run.

Around mile 12, I snapped out of it because I knew the half mark was coming up soon. I reached 13.1 in 1:32 which was only a minute slower than the Air Force half marathon. I knew I wasn’t going to negative split and I would probably struggle to run another 1:32. I decided that maybe somewhere between 3:05-3:10 was probably doable. It would be a PR, but also it would be on a much more difficult course than my PR in Pheonix.

New York City Marathon me running

After 13.1, I began mentally prepping myself for the Queensboro Bridge. I stand by the thought that during my first marathon, (which was also the New York City Marathon) mile 15 was one of the hardest miles I’ve ever run in my life. I needed to mentally prep myself to know, it would hurt.

Mile 14 clicked off in 6:55 and then I saw the Queensboro Bridge ready to be conquered. Ok…here we go.  Mentally in mind, I just blocked off the Queensboro Bridge as being “almost done”.  My mind just thought, when I was there, I was essentially done…which is dumb because after you still have 10 more miles to the finish line.

New York City marathon me running

We began climbing…and climbing. It was quiet because there are no crowds on the Queensboro bridge. Suddenly, I looked around and realized I had begun passing people.  It reminded me of when Des Linden said about the Boston Marathon: Well I wasn’t feeling great, but no one probably was, and I was feeling better than other people.  It was true, and I passed a lot of people up the bridge.  I hit ran the mile in about 7:30 which I was pleased with.

As we came down on 1st avenue, the crowds for the New York City Marathon were incredible. During the downhill, I felt my inner thighs and quads locking up. It reminded me of my first marathon, but also my second. I never really felt good during either after mile 16. Was this it? Was I done?

But as I continued, I realized I felt decent.  Both miles 17 and 18 were relatively flat, and I saw Danielle who was motivating. I ran both in 6:52 and 6:56.

From then on, I began mentally counting down. First I counted down to mile 20. I reached mile 20 and said: “just a 10k to go”.  I knew last time, it was a very long 10k.

This time I didn’t feel as bad. The next couple of miles went without much note. I didn’t feel awful, but I didn’t feel like the beginning of the race either.

Somewhere around mile 22, I saw some friends including Hayley.  I waved and it’s where this photo was taken.

One of the prouder moment is that I was able to see and wave to so many friends from 20 onward. During my first experience at the New York Maraton, I couldn’t do that and in fact, I don’t remember the last 10k of the race from 2013. I guess I had tunnel vision.

When I reached 24, I thought, just another 5k until you cross the finish line.  Hollie, you like 5ks.  Although one of the hardest and longest climbs comes around mile 24 and I ran a 7:27.  I knew friends would be between miles 25 to the finish, so I gazed along Central Park looking.  My legs burned as the neverending climb in central park continued.

I saw my dad around mile 25 and even waved to him too.  I’ve never been that coherent to wave to someone at mile 25 so I felt good about it. We ran over multiple parts of the street painted TCS NYCM.

New York City Marathon me running

The last mile felt as though it took forever.  It was my slowest mile, and I ran a 7:34.  I saw the sign “800 to go” and began sprinting (or what I thought mentally was).  I passed a man who was wearing too short of shorts which weren’t covering…anything. :O

New York City Marathon me running

OMG, that is two laps around a track.  I begin powering through.  Then 400 to go to the finish line.  Then I crossed and averaged a 6:34 last .2.

New York City Marathon me running

I crossed the finish in 3:07.15 which is my fastest marathon by over 7 minutes.  It’s 10 minutes faster than the last time I ran NYCM.  I’m proud of it.  A few days later, I’m not all that sore and I feel like I was sorer after both of the trail races I did this summer.

New York City marathon me running

Now that I’ve run a marathon and I had a positive experience, I do believe I could run faster at some point.  I don’t foresee myself running another marathon soon, but I do know eventually I’ll run another one.

Yes, I have qualified for the Boston Marathon and I don’t take that for granted, but that isn’t a race that interests me right now. I can barely plan 2 months ahead, let alone a year and a half.

New York City Marathon me running

I still like the half marathon and 5k better, but I am glad to have started and finished the NYC Marathon training cycle healthy and with a PR.  Thank you Tata Consultancy Services New York City Marathon (what a mouthful) for such an incredible experience. I hope to run TCS NYCM again someday, as it’s my favorite marathon.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York before?

What is your favorite race distance?

Jacks Diner II Albany, NY

Jacks Diner II (Albany, NY)

Jack’s Diner II (Albany, NY)

While coming home from Vermont, I stopped in Albany to see one of my friends from college, Justin.

Originally we were going to go to Jacks Diner (I guess the original), but it has an extremely long line. So we drove down to downtown Albany and after walking past multiple crowded restaurants, we stumbled across Jack’s Diner II.

Jack’s Diner II Atmosphere: A
We were shocked because Jack’s Diner II was very quiet and had barely anyone in the diner. It was quiet and a single small room with several booths.  It is located on the main street of Albany.

Jacks Diner II Albany, NY

Jack’s Diner II Coffee: B
The coffee at Jack’s Diner II was fresh and hot. The waitress brought plenty of refills and I appreciated that. While they didn’t have whipped cream, it was still good coffee.Jacks Diner II Albany, NY

Food: B
Jack’s Diner II menu has everything of a typical diner. It isn’t fancy, but Jack’s Diner II has a solid menu of breakfast and lunch options. There aren’t many fancy or healthy options, but there are plenty of options to choose from.

Jacks Diner II Albany, NY

I decided to order the Gyro Deluxe, which came with a gyro on pita, French fries, and small Greek salad. In all, it was a good meal and I have no complaints.

Service: A
The food came out quickly and we had plenty of refills on our drinks. I have no complaints.

Cost: $
For my Gyro deluxe and coffee, the cost was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Summary of Jack’s Diner II:
I enjoyed Jack’s Diner II. If I come back to Albany, I would go back.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-12
Overall: A

You Can See All Diners I’ve Been too here.

Questions for you:
Do you like gyros?
Are you a Sunday brunch person?

Malibu Diner Hoboken

Malibu Diner (Hoboken)

Malibu Diner (Hoboken, NJ)

A few weeks ago, I ended up in Hoboken at the Malibu Diner. I’ve heard the Malibu Diner is good and have wanted to get up there for a while. It seemed to work out well.  When I arrived around noon, it wasn’t crowded at all. I was shocked! There isn’t a lot of parking so it was a nice surprise!

Malibu Diner Atmosphere: A
The Malibu Diner is typical of any North Jersey Diner.  There is a bar and plenty of tables and booths.  I sat in the corner booth, which was quiet.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

Malibu Coffee: A

The coffee at the Malibu Diner was good. I was pleasantly surprised to see they served Lacas coffee. It was hot and the waitress brought plenty of refills. Hard to argue with that!

Malibu Diner Hoboken
Malibu Diner Food: A
The Malibu Diner menu has every option you need in a diner. I wasn’t sure what I was craving!

For those who don’t know, North Jersey has far better bagels than South Jersey, so I decided to order a bagel.  I’m sure it wasn’t the best (according to my good friend Amelia’s view), but it was much better than anything in South Jersey.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

I was between a few options, including french toast but decided to order a protein wrap which had every kind of breakfast meat you might want.  It was packed. I was happy with it.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

Service: B

The waitress left for long periods, but after a while, she warmed up.  The food came out quickly, and the manager checked on us a few times.

Malibu Diner Cost: $14
For my wrap, bagel, and coffee, the cost was $14.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to the Malibu Diner?

The Malibu Diner is one of my more favorite diners in the area, and I would go back.  I was happy with my experience.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: B
Price: $10-15
Overall: A

To see all 202 diners click here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of bagel?
Do you have a favorite breakfast?