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Honeymoon Recap + New York City Life

It has been a few months since my last post, which I dislike. “Life has gotten crazy” would be the understatement of the year.

Major updates:

1. We went on our honeymoon to Italy!!!

Doug and I flew out on May 11th and stayed one night in Florence, four nights in Monterrosso in Cinque Terre, and three nights in Siena. These were three very different, very beautiful places. We wish we scheduled one more night for Florence. Cinque Terre had the best hotel. We had a balcony that overlooked a man’s farm/garden where he grew lemon trees, orange trees, and a ton of other stuff. It also overlooked one of the main streets through our town so it was a great place to people watch! We sat out there most nights before dinner with cheese, cured meats, and a bottle of wine to share. Rough life…

Here are some pictures of our trip:

Enormous churches in Florence

Enormous churches in Florence

A meat market where Doug and I tried

A meat market where Doug and I tried tripe. Gross. But cool place!

Our balcony in Monterosso!

Our balcony in Monterosso!

#coupleshot in Monterosso

#coupleshot in Monterosso

Douglas overlooking the next town down from Monterosso, called Vernazza

Douglas overlooking the next town down from Monterosso, called Vernazza

#selfie

#selfie

View of the Cinque Terre coastline in Monterosso

View of the Cinque Terre coastline in Monterosso

Waves crashing in Corniglia

Waves crashing in Corniglia

In Corniglia. What a cute town!

In Corniglia. What a cute town!

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On our organic food & wine tour through Tuscany!

On our organic food & wine tour through Tuscany!

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2. New NYC Life

This is taking some getting used to, but the things I love are that I work one block away from my best friend so I see her all the time, my roommates are amazing, and I like my job! The negatives are that I am constantly missing Doug and Lupe, things are expensive, and I hate the hustle and bustle 24/7-ness that New York City is.

I joined a running club, the Gotham City Runners and I run with them as much as I can make my schedule overlap with what they’re doing. The team is really nice and it helps to have people to run with every once in a while!

I ran the Queens 10k last weekend and despite the humidity I got 2nd overall female and ran 38:49. I was hoping for close to 38:00 but I’ll get there. Not too concerned about it at this point!

And finally, here are some pictures of NYC fun:

Scavenger hunt around Soho with work! So much fun. Clearly we were into it.

Scavenger hunt around Soho with work! So much fun. Clearly we were into it.

Had to take a picture wearing Prada glasses. Done.

Had to take a picture wearing Prada glasses. Done.

Auss and I out on the town!

Auss and I out on the town!

Beer served at work. Mad Men style.

Beer served at work. Mad Men style.

Auss, Courtney and me at Houston Hall

Auss, Courtney and me at Houston Hall

Giant beers!

Giant beers!

That is all for now! Happy 4th of July weekend!

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New York City Surprise

Q: What do New York City and I have in common?

A: As of May 28, everything.

Explanation: The week after my wedding, I got one of those LinkedIn emails that listed job openings that “match my experience”. Well, normally I just hit the delete button because I am not actively looking for another job. I actually like my current job! But, this LinkedIn email stood out because it had an email marketing position posted for one of my favorite companies ever… Rent the Runway. I was sitting next to Doug when I saw this email. I looked at him, pointed to my email, and said, “Dream job much?” His response was, “New York City? That would be sweet. Apply!”

So, I applied. I actually laughed to myself thinking, Ha! One in a million chance I get this.

Well, I got it. I applied on a Monday, got called for a phone interview on Tuesday, had an in-person interview on Thursday, then a final interview/”email analysis presentation” the following Tuesday, and got offered the position a week after that. Mind. Blown.

“Now what do we do?!” I frantically asked Doug the minute I got the offer, with a huge nerdy smile spread wide across my face.

This is my dream job. The idea of New York City scares me because it is monstrous, but my best friend works one block down the street from where my work would be. She loves it there and she can help show me the way. Doug has one more year left of school for his MBA at UConn. We have a dog. We have an apartment in Wallingford (2.5 hours away one-way from New York City.)

“Do it,” he chuckled. We agreed that every negative about taking this position was temporary. And that big decisions shouldn’t be based off temporary hiccups.

In terms of job description, this one sounds amazing. I will be able to strategize what types of emails we send. I will be doing the analysis and reporting behind the emails and will plan out future emails based on that analysis. This will be a very “creative” job which is a little different than what I do now. Rather than simply coding and launching the emails, I will be able to create the ideas behind the emails. I will be marketing for designer DRESSES rather than safety equipment and signs, tags, and labels. Oh, I’m getting too excited even typing it!

So, I took it! I start May 28. I found a place in Brooklyn to sublet with two awesome roommates. I will stay there 3-4 nights a week and commute home for the weekends and one night during the middle of each week. The apartment is fully furnished so I just need to bring a bag with me. I will pretty much be living a crazy, crazy life this next year – but it will be worth it.

Doug and Lupe will join me in the Big Apple next May when he graduates. New York City gives him a wider variety of companies to apply for out of school, which is great! We will become New Yorkers. Oh my. We are nuts.

Foot Injury Update
Pain free for four runs now!!! I even got through an entire 10.24-miler yesterday without pain. **Knock on wood** this peroneal tendon is now a happy peroneal tendon.

Race Update
My friend Mary and I just registered not even 2 hours ago for the California International Marathon on December 7 in Sacramento, California. It is supposed to be a FLAST (fast/flat) course that is one of the best in the west. Yay!

Honeymoon Update
Doug and I are headed to Italy this upcoming Sunday! Lots of exciting things. Pictures to come. πŸ™‚

Happy training and happy Spring!

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Life in Numbers

70
The number of miles I ran last week. New record high for this round of training!

20
The number of miles I ran yesterday for my long run. Thank goodness I had a running buddy because I would not have made it alone!

19
The number of days left until I’m walking down the aisle. So much to do. So little time. So excited!

48
The number of days left until the Boston Marathon – Where I hope to complete my life long goal of running in this race! (And run a huge marathon PR. But no pressure.)

176
The official number of wedding attendees. We thought this was going to be closer to 200, so although it is still a very large number, it is not as large as it could have been! I can’t believe so many family members and friends are traveling from all over the country to celebrate our wedding day. I am feeling very lucky and very honored!

2
The number of months left before Doug and I fly off to Italy for 10 days for our belated honeymoon! I am so glad this is after the marathon. I will be able to celebrate two amazing things in a beautiful place neither of us have ever been to. May is supposed to be a great month to visit Italy weather-wise so I think we did it right!

This is an exciting time in life right now, and I am loving every second of it. Planning is fun, training is rewarding, the combination of both is tiring but incredible!

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Running Things

I started running at age 12. I am now 26. 26 – 12 = 14 years of running. That is a lot of running.

Throughout my lots of years of running, I have certainly tried enough running attire, running shoes, and general running brands to confidently solidify my favorites of each. So, if you’re interested in hearing what the best running things ever are, then read on.

1. Favorite Running ShirtThe Adidas Sequencials Fitted Top – $36

Adidas Sequencials Fitted Top

Adidas Sequencials Fitted Top

This shirt is amazing. It’s actually my “lucky shirt” now because it was the one I wore to race the Austin 1020 when Doug proposed! I think it was the coolness of the shirt that really got him to go down on one knee. Anywho, this shirt is lightweight and has zippers on the side so you can put a key or your ID in it on your run. There is also a “hole” in the back so that it vents nicely. AND it doesn’t really show sweat. I mean I’m sure that depends partly on the color of shirt you choose, but I think it’s the material too. This is an excellent buy.

 

2. Favorite Racing ShortsChampion Women’s Advanced Performance Short Tight – $17

Champion "Short Tights" - Found at Target

Champion “Short Tights” – Found at Target

I have owned one pair of these shorts for about 8 years now and they are STILL my racing shorts of choice even faded and worn. They are cheap and perfect. There is really not much to them. What I love about them is that they are made of mostly Polyester and they don’t need to be “adjusted” every few minutes from riding up too high. Part of the reason for that could be because they are so short in the first place there isn’t really any “riding up” they can do, but it works. I just wish Champion would come out with some awesome colors for these. I would go on a shopping spree then!

 

3. Favorite Training ShoesSaucony Kinvara 4 (or 3) – $100

Saucony Kinvara 4

Saucony Kinvara 4

It was love at first try-on. These shoes are lightweight (6.7 oz to be exact), comfy but not overly “cushiony”, and they come in EXCELLENT colors. I am one for bright colors, especially on my feet. This is the first kind of shoe I have purchased more than once – and I have actually gone through over four pairs of them now! I love training in them and I even love racing in them for the way longer distances. Anything over a half marathon, I’ll choose these to race in. They are definitely light enough and supportive enough. Love. Love. Love. Thank you, Saucony!

 

4. Favorite Racing ShoesNew Balance 1600 – $110

New Balance 1600

New Balance 1600

I race in these for distances of half marathons and below. They are incredibly comfortable and tight fitting at the same time. They are “minimalist”-ish but not to the extreme by any means. When I put my foot inside this shoe, it feels like it just went in a really comfortable sock with protection at the bottom. That is a perfect feeling for a race shoe, because you don’t want to carry any extra weight around with a shoe on race day. You just need enough support to get you through the race as fast as possible. These are it!

 

5. Favorite Running TightsNike Pro Core Compression – $42

Nike Pro Compression Tights

Nike Pro Compression Tights

Talk about bright colors! I have these in light blue and fire engine red. Normally, I despise tights. I feel like I am right in between sizes, so when I get the medium, they fall down, but when I get the small, they cut off my circulation. These, however, are out of this world. I raced in them throughout the winter (when it was above 20 degrees, that is) and never had to adjust. They fall at the perfect length just below the knee, and aren’t too thick or too thin. Just perrrrfect. I love you, Nike Pro Compression Tights.

 

6. Favorite Running WatchGarmin Forerunner 10 – $130

Garmin Forerunner 10

Garmin Forerunner 10

If this was 6 months ago, I would have said my favorite watch was the Walmart $10 special. I used to go through cheap watches like I went through toilet paper. I saw no point in buying an expensive watch and I wanted nothing to do with knowing my pace every second of every run. Life changed, though. I got a coach and he told me to get one. And thank god I did! This watch in particular I love because (1) it is purple, (2) it only cost $130 when I thought I would have to spend well over $200 for one of these babies, and (3) it is so easy to use and so not intimidating. It beeps every mile, which is a little annoying, but I am sure there is a way to turn that off if I wanted to. It’s nice to not have to map out my route before I go running to make sure I get the correct amount of mileage in. All I have to do now is strap on my watch, head out the door, and go! Great purchase. I will never be a Walmart $10 Special watch buyer ever again.

 

7. Favorite Sports BraNike Pro Dri-Fit Sports Bra – $30

Nike Pro Dri-Fit Sports Bra

Nike Pro Dri-Fit Sports Bra

It’s the only one I’ll wear. I will even be really gross sometimes and hang these up to dry after a run and wear them the next day just so that I don’t run out before laundry day comes around. My only advice with this product would be to go down a size from what you normally wear. Just runs a tad big in my opinion. This thing holds it all down and doesn’t let anything go anywhere! Also comes in great colors and patterns. Enough said.

 

8. Favorite Pre-Race Food – Bagel, Peanut Butter, and Banana – $3?

Bagel, Peanut Butter, and Banana

Bagel, Peanut Butter, and Banana

For 14 years this hasn’t changed. This hasn’t changed from when I was getting ready to race the mile in high school to when I was getting ready to race my first marathon two years ago. [Knock on wood] this pre-race meal has never done me wrong! And it’s bizarre how race day comes along and it’s ALL I want two hours before the race. No matter what time the race is, what day the race is on, what I had the night before, I crave a bagel, peanut butter, and banana, and that is it. Simple. Delicious. High in protein. High in potassium. High in carbs. Check, check, check!

I have a lot more favorite running things, like favorite race to run, favorite place to run, favorite people to run with, etc. but I think I will save those for another time. This post is mainly “product” focused, so I’ll keep it that way. Now I just have to get a raise at work so I can afford more of these favorite things. πŸ™‚ Hope everyone has a great week!

What are your favorite running things that stand out?

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Getting into the Groove

I just passed the official 2 month mark at my new job. In all honesty, this has been a roller coaster start with me second guessing my choice to go back to email marketing, learning an entirely new industry, and adjusting to the “large global corporation” type of atmosphere.

My desk decoration at work

My desk decoration at work

I am happy to say that the roller coaster ride is over and I finally feel at ease and very content with this new position. I think I’ve gotten used to my new boss and how his management style works. I’ve also made a few new work friends who help make that change a lot easier.

For the first time in a long time, I do not dread going into work and I don’t mind staying late to finish up something at work. My boss and I get along pretty well and he allows me to take on projects that I want to do, instead of dictating what I should be working on every minute of the day. The freedom and trust is nice, especially because I’m so new and I am sure it isn’t easy as a manager to let your new employee have semi-free reign over the tasks she chooses to embark on.

I am not only getting into the groove of work, but also the marathon training! Yay double meanings.

My mileage is almost to 70 miles a week, and that high mileage has never ever felt this easy and manageable.

Broke 20 miles on Sunday for my long run!

Broke 20 miles on Sunday for my long run!

I surpassed 70 mile weeks last time I trained for my first ever marathon (October 2012) but my legs constantly felt dead during those weeks. I dreaded going for my runs and I dreaded the feeling of “not wanting to move” for the rest of the night. This time around, thanks solely to Coach Hadley, the miles feel easy and light. My body feels fresh and I feel fast. Amen.

I have a half marathon next weekend to race in Hampton, New Hampshire. Yes, you did read that right. This will be a half marathon in New Hampshire in the middle of February. Insanity. I ran this race two years ago with my friend Vicki, who wanted me to help her run her best time ever – which she did! The course was flat and scenic. We lucked out two years ago because the weather was almost perfect. It was sunny and right around 40 degrees. If it is like that this year, I will kiss the ground.

All in all, life is good. 38 days til I am a married woman! Happy winter training, everyone!

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Three Tips to Trick Yourself into Tolerating the Treadmill

(The T’s were totally… inTenTional)

I have been getting along with the treadmill lately, which is why I chose to write this post now while our relationship is on the up.

At least for New Englanders this year, this winter has been ROUGH and especially difficult for runners. I applaud those runners who still braved the elements through the polar vortex, multiple snow storms, and never ending black ice. But for me, I stick to the treadmill because falling down is unfortunately a common event for me and I would absolutely hurt myself somehow running outside in those conditions.

So, without further ado, here are the tips I thought of for making the treadmill more tolerable throughout these brutal winter months.

1. Increase the Incline
Did you know you actually burn more calories by increasing the incline one level than you do increasing your speed one level? The proof is in the “mets” section of the treadmill scan. Mets are the amount of work you are putting into your workout. I noticed that when I ran at speed 8.0 at 0 incline, the mets were 13.11. When I increased my speed to 8.1 the mets were 13.25. But when I kept my speed at 8.0 and increased the incline to 1.0, the mets were at 13.64! That’s a huge difference. And that means that if your goal is to burn calories, you can burn them MUCH faster by increasing the incline than increasing your speed, which is very good news for people who like hills.

Try increasing the incline to 1.0 or 2.0 in two minute segments. For example, run your first two minutes at 0.0 incline, run the next two minutes at 1.0 incline, then bring the incline back down to 0.0 for two minutes, etc. Switching back and forth will help keep your mind focused on something other than how much you hate being on the treadmill.

2. Vary the Pace
Even if you just want to run 3 miles at xx:xx pace, change it up as much as possible. For example, the other day I had to do an easy 8 miler and I usually average 7:20-ish for my easy pace. Because I was on the treadmill, I decided to run 7:30 pace for the first 15 minutes, 7:24 pace for the 2nd 15 minutes, 7:19 pace for the 3rd 15 minutes, and 7:13 pace for the final 15 minutes. Again, giving your mind something to focus on in the short term helps SO much. It is a lot easier mentally to focus on 15 minute blocks than focus on an hour run as a whole. Although it was still boring, switching it up in any way throughout your treadmill workout really helps break up the boredom.

3. Actively Think about Things
This is a weird tip, but it works for me. I honestly have to THINK of what to think about sometimes on the treadmill. Yesterday, for instance, I decided to think about what our entrance song should be into the reception for the wedding. Then, once I thought of all the songs I could remember, I decided to start thinking about what to wear the next day to work. These are really odd things to think about, but again, it helps break it up. I swear I’ve thought of multiple “business ideas” on the treadmill in my lifetime. One time I even thought of a subject line for the email I was going to be sending the next morning. These semi-deep thoughts help make the time go by so much faster and that’s a great thing to have happen when you’re on the dreaded treadmill!

I hope this helps those who are struggling with conquering the treadmill during these long, cold, miserable winter months. It definitely makes me appreciate spring/summer/fall weather for running purposes! And who decided to schedule the Boston Marathon for April again? I never realized how poor timing that is for training’s sake!

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6:03 Pace at 6:03 AM

I am now completely addicted to getting my workouts done before work. This means setting the alarm for 4:45am, brewing coffee and brushing my teeth at 4:50am, heading out the door with my granola bar and coffee mug in hand at 4:55am, eating my granola bar and drinking my coffee on the ride to the gym at 5:00am, and getting on the Planet Fitness treadmill (for now, while the roads are still icy and it is still pitch black in the morning) at 5:10am.

It has been that same routine every. single. day. lately. And even though this new routine requires me to drink seven cups of coffee throughout the day instead of three, it is sooo worth it. The gym is quiet, with the exception of a few rowdy meat heads. It also keeps me from spending the whole work day dreading thinking about how much I have to run that evening.

Yesterday morning I woke up and had a 30 minute LT (Lactate Threshold) on the schedule. I love these kinds of workouts. Anytime there’s a workout that doesn’t involve repetitions I’m happy. This morning, I was oddly excited to run fast. That ended up showing through in my overall average pace of 6:07. Last time I did this same workout, I averaged 6:12 pace so it’s a pretty big improvement! And the best part – it felt easy! I mean don’t get me wrong, I was DRENCHED in sweat, but the pace felt comfortable. YAY. When I was finishing up my last 10 minutes of the tempo, I looked down at my phone and saw 6:03 AM and then looked at the treadmill and saw 6:03 min/mile pace. That was the moment that I felt like a crazy person. I then looked to the right of me and there was a man jogging a few treadmills down who looked back at me and certainly gave me the “you are a crazy person” look. Can’t blame him.

Wedding planning update: I got fitted for my dress!

Wedding dress in the back seat!

Wedding dress in the back seat!

Bad news is I was practically swimming in it. It doesn’t make sense because I literally tried on the same size in the store when I ordered it and I have NOT lost that much weight since then, so that’s a bummer. The seamstress seems to believe she can do wonders though so I look forward to round 2 of fitting.

This past weekend I also made some new running friends! I found company for my 19 miler and it made it go by so fast. I am so excited to be finding new people to run with in this area. It makes training a lot more enjoyable.

And finally, I am currently regretting the decision to move back to CT from Austin. There are at least 7 inches of snow on the ground outside with a half inch of ice on top. Today is my 2nd day this week working from home. Please, for the love of sunshine, LET THERE BE WARMTH IN THE NEAR FUTURE.