Archive | April, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals Reveal!!

30 Apr
The Lean Green Bean

HAPPY REVEAL DAY to all foodie pen pals in the US & UK!

Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean ( hosts a penpal exchange every month but with food! The premise is simple: once a month you get matched up with another blogger or blog reader and have to send them a box filled with lots of delicious treats or healthy snacks. You have a limit to spend ($15.00) and at the end of every month, all who participated in the month do a big REVEAL.

It’s a great way to meet new bloggers and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like receiving fun things in the mail?  It was my first month participating and I was super excited (so excited that I signed up for May already).

My foodie penpal was Katy and she sent me a very awesome yummy box. Everyday I checked my mail in hopes that it would come and then wham, finally, it did!

Here are some pictures of what I got: 

Items include:

  • Apple cinnamon chips
  • Orville Redenbacher Lime & Salt popcorn
  • Biscoff spread
  • Biscoff cookies (homemade)
  • Blue Diamond bold Habanero bbq almonds
  • Rocky Mountain chocolate huckleberry bar (say whaaat?!)
  • Recipe re: Biscoff cookies & lovely cared from Katy

So Katy is a woman after my own heart sending me a mix of sweet and salty treats. The Biscoff cookies are freaking amazeballs and my husband enjoyed them in addition to myself. I’d come home and immediately shove one in my mouth. I have 4 left and I am staggering them out. I am so happy that Katy provided me with the recipe as well – I cannot wait to make them at home.

I love apples. I love chips. So when I saw the apple chips, I was excited! I take classes in the evenings and snacks like these are good to have en route to/from rather than snacking on really bad for chips.

The two items my eyebrow went up at were the almonds and chocolate bar. I was not sure if I was going to like them at first but those doubts were soon washed away.  The chocolate is super decadent and I have not had anything like it before. So.Good.

I have not had the lime-salt popcorn yet but I am excited to try it out. I am in the midst of finals (one more to go this week) and once I am done, I think I am going to have a big movie night in with the hubster and pop a bag. Maybe with a few cervezas (beer)… 😉

So THANK YOU Katy for being super great. I loved my box of treats!

I sent a box from the East Coast to Keeley over on the West Coast. She will be doing a guest post for the blog soonish and she can tell you all about the yummy treats I sent her.

Again, I cannot wait for May! This is so much fun! If you want to participate (and who wouldn’t), here is the lowdown:

  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  •  The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
  • Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

You have until May 4th to be able to participate for this coming month (foodies will be assigned on the 5th). Head over to The Lean Green Bean ( to sign up!


Running and reading

30 Apr

This Sunday I ran the Run as One 4 mi. race with the New York Road Runners, which benefited those who suffer/ed from lung cancer and the research that goes along with it.

Every NYRR race costs the same, but for this one, thanks to the sponsorship from Chase, they forego their usual cotton t-shirts and give out this amazing Nike technical tee.

This was the most unprepared I ever was for a race. I was super exhausted the night before and I figured I’d wake up an extra 30 mins earlier the next day to get everything ready for the race,

Total fail. I woke up late, if anything, and had to scramble to get my act together. Thankfully my husband knew where everything was and wable to direct me.

Once we got to the race, I was okay – I was given the dreaded brown bib so that meant despite my pace, I was seeded into the last corral. For my pace, I should have been in the pink corral. However, since I registered late for this race, NYRR just kind of threw me in the back so once the race started, there was a lot of weaving in and out of the pack.

Anyway, here is a screenshot (the .28 is from the trying to get a bagel and apple post race and such, ha!):

Additionally, some of you might have seen me recently on the tele. Most women (and some men) have been reading the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James. I recently read the books and by happenstance I replied to a tweet from ABC 20/20 looking for readers in the NYC area to share their comments on the book. I gave this super sociological analysis and they instead focused on one particular comment: .”’s all about the hot sex!” 🙂 Oh well, I was on TV! Here is the link to the full episode:

You see me about 6 minutes in… here’s a shot:

Well, that is all for now…I will be posting soon about my participation in LeanGreenBean’s ( April 2012 #foodiepenpal. Today’s reveal day and I cannot wait to share!

Half pictures!

20 Apr

I got an e-mail today that photos are now available from the More/ Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon! Below are the pictures:

The pictures of me not at the finish line are of me at miles 10 or so… hence the rough look on my face, ha!

My First Half-Marathon

18 Apr

This past Sunday was the More/Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon in Central Park.

I got up early, around 5:30 as we had to leave no later than 6:30 since the race itself was at 8:00 and I was meeting some college friends of mine who were also running the race. I had no clue how the weather was going to turn out. Half the reports said it was going to rain; the others said hot.  I decided to layer and figured if I got too hot, I could at least strip and tie the shirt around my waist.

I stuffed two Gu’s in my pockets, set up my iPod and pinned my bib. I kept to my new pre-race fuel of iced coffee and 2 slices of whole wheat toast with sunbutter and off I went.

Husband was kind enough to drive into the city rather than taking the dreadful 5:42 train in from LI (which would have called for an earlier wakeup call). I met up with my friends and we figured out which corrals we were going to go to.

The race began and off we went. Slow and steady was my mantra – 13.1 miles is a lot for this newbie runner and I didn’t want to hit the wall early. My friend who was with me (hi, Court!) was running a slightly faster pace than I and amongst the 7,088 other runners, I quickly lost her.

So it was me solo and that was ok – I am used to running by myself. As I ran the race, I felt pretty good. The course itself was essentially 2 loops around the park, so after the first loop, you had an idea what to expect again. There were a lot of hills and as I ran up the hills, I wished I had done more hill training.

Since it ended up being unusually warm, I definitely stripped… actually around mile 6, I saw my mom, my niece, and my husband and as they waved to me, I untied my shirt and tossed it to my husband. I definitely hit all the water stations too.

Mile 10 is where I hit the wall. Every breath I took burned my chest and my feet were just so sore and tender. So I allowed myself walk breaks (hey, it was my first! I was going to PR no matter what) for a minute and then I’d run some more. And the walk breaks helped me go for awhile.

Suddenly, when I didn’t think I’d ever see the finish line – it was there! The crowds were so great and enthusiastic. Even when I walked, they shouted and cheered me on to keep going.

I finished in 2:33:57. My pace was 11:46.  I got my medal, a Mylar blanket, an apple, and a bagel and I was done. I was happy to have accomplished this goal.

But that does not mean the training is done. My next half is quite soon – May 6th! Here we go again!

More/Fitness Magazine’s Half Marathon

13 Apr

Today was the opening of the More/Fitness Magazine half-marathon expo at Metropolitan Pavilion. I didn’t get to head down until after work and since it closed at 7:00 PM, I was hoping I wouldn’t miss too much. I picked up my bib (#6547) and my goody bag before heading in to the main event.  The expo was filled with vendors ranging from Sparkly Soul to Aveeno to Athleta and Duane Reade. I tried not to get too caught up in the excitement (there were signs for 20%-50% off everything…and I could’ve easily dropped serious $$ on sports gear). I just had fun walking around, trying samples, and scoring few samples. I did get a necklace with a 13.1 charm and two Sparkly Soul headbands. I met some really nice people while there and took tons of pictures.

The race is only two days away and I am nervous all the while not nervous. Weird, huh? I rested Wednesday and Thursday. I squeezed in a last workout today since I had small group training (SGT). We did a mix of a Tabata workout, which was intense but fun (of course I say this now, after the fact, ha!).

Last minute note: usually my races are done solo but for this race I am running with my friends from college. They’re coming in to the city from Massachusetts and upstate New York/Connecticut. I am excited to see them and embark on this experience with them!

All my training has come down to Sunday. My first half marathon!!! My friend Jamie from college (hi!) is running the Boston Marathon on Monday. It’s her first ever. So be sure to wish her luck too at her blog:

Below are pics from today:


Here we go!!! 🙂

Easter Bunny 5K Run

10 Apr

Hello, hello, hello!

Sorry for not having posted in awhile. I have been so swamped with work, school, internship, and oh yeah, that funny thing called life.

On Sunday I ran the Easter Bunny 5K in Eisenhower Park. This was my last Sunday race with them for awhile as they will soon be switching to their Wednesday night 5k series. I can’t do these because I get home too late. However, my schedule will be busy, busy, busy with the NYRR – they host a ton of weekend races.

Anyway, there were A LOT of people than the norm (154 vs 50 for a local race) at the race. Pre-race I noshed on toast with sunflower seed butter and apple butter. It kept me full and gave me energy. No tummy distress, hooray! (Special thanks to Sarah at Running At Disney for pre-race fuel tips!)

The weather was cool and sunny, in the 40s. I no longer get nervous about 5Ks – I’ve done enough of them that my legs can handle. However, I have never run one under/at 30 minutes. Usually my times are around 35 minutes. I really wanted to conquer a 30 minute 5K.

As I ran the race, I felt good but I still wondered if I had it in me to nail 30 minutes. As I crossed the 1 mile marker at 9:19, I knew I was going to be able to do it. And sure enough, I did! I crossed the finish line at 29:19! Woo-hoo! It felt so good. I finished 6th overall in my age group out of 24 people.

Next week I have my first ever half-marathon. All the training and races have led to this. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. My goal is to finish under 2 hours. Wish me luck!

Below are some pictures from the race:

April Fool’s 10K

1 Apr

Hey-o to everyone reading!

Today I ran the April Fool’s 10K with the LIRRC. I was hoping to redeem myself from the first 10K I ran with them. I woke up at 7:15, showered, grabbed a Lara bar and got ready. I grabbed my iPod and a Gu and off hubster and I went to Eisenhower Park. The ride over was way less eventful than last. I forgot to mention this in my last post but the last time we went, there was a car driving down the wrong side of the highway being chased by the police. The police pulled in front of the car and this one cop whipped out his nightstick, broke the passenger side window and dove in! It was a scene from the movies, I swear (except way more scary)!

Anyway, we get to the park and the whistle starts and boom, off we go! And then it all started happening again. First came the side stitch. Then around mile 2, I got incredibly nauseous. While I consider myself a newbie runner still, I have done enough running that I thought I was past all the GI distress that can occur with running.  Giving up was never an option but as I squatted in place trying not to hurl, I almost gave in. But I didn’t. I got up and continued running, albeit at a much slower pace, but continued on.  As I continued on, it did not get any easier, but I found the resolve in me to keep going. There are people who cannot run due to illness or injury. There are people who have gone on to run marathons after fighting cancer. So who was I to let minor GI distress best me?

I came in second in my age place and in comparison to my first 10K, I actually finished 20 seconds slower (1:03:58 versus 1:03:28). My pace though was pretty awesome – 9:45 according to my iPod. Afterwords I treated myself to a cinnamon raisin bagel (the LIRRC feeds us after, woot) and got my ribbon.

The next 10K it will be on! I will do way better. I know it! Next up is the Easter Bunny 5K and then my first half-marathon! So exciting! Here is a picture from today (not my best picture… I was trying to drink water… this was also around the 4 mi mark):