Monthly Archives: October 2009

Tomorrow Afternoon

…I will be sitting in a pub eating a delicious cheeseburger and drinking a cold beer and will no longer be training for a marathon.  

Can’t.  Wait.

WTF NYC Moment of the Week

Walking up 8th Ave in Chelsea on a sunny afternoon.

Lots of people out enjoying the weather.

And….there is a trash can on fire.  Like, totally and completely enulfed in flames.  Black plummets of smoke spewing out of it.   People are walking right by it; no one is even batting an eye.

WTF?!

The best part?  There were two NYPD cops with a van parked about half a block away, drinking coffee and chatting.

Weird….

Today’s EAT: One of my neighborhood favorites, Joe’s Pizza.  I don’t know how cheese, sauce and dough can be SO good….

Today’s DRINK: Water….boring water.  I added some lemon to be a little festive!  Unfortunately, I don’t think beer is part of standard pre-race carb-loading!  So the next couple of days are gonna be kinda blah in this little section.

Today’s RUN: Three miles easy, 26:45.  My last run until Sunday!  Yay!

It’s WSG Time!

I’ve blogged about Weird Single Girl behavior before.  You ladies know what I mean….and it doesn’t actually matter whether you’re single or not.  It’s those weird things you can do when you’re on your own, even just for a day.  Like eating cheese for breakfast, cereal for lunch and Oreos for dinner. 

Well, I’m all by my lonesome this week, and although I adore my hubby, I am a happy little camper.  I love some alone time! 

Unattractive flannel PJs? Check.

Fuzzy socks? Check.

Odd dinner involving seemingly random ingredients? Check.

Glass of cheap wine? Check.

Television so trashy I’m not sure I can even admit to it here? Check.*

I am also enjoying sleeping diagonally across the bed and snoozing the alarm approximately 17 times in the morning.  There are some things about sleeping alone that are just SO nice.

Which isn’t to say I won’t be happy for the hubs to return on Saturday.  But I’m enjoying every last square foot** of this tiny apartment in the meantime!

Today’s EAT: I was running late from a morning appointment this morning and indulged a craving I’ve had for a while: McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.  All I can say is, YUM.  I savored every shape in the box – the round ones, the parallelogram-shaped ones, and the ones that are vaguely, and oddly, S-shaped.  I don’t eat fast food very often, but sometimes it just hits the spot. 

Today’s DRINK: Having a glass of some random red wine from TJs.  I was going to try to figure out what it was to say something meaningful here, but the back doesn’t even say what the blend is.  Yeah….that’s the mark of a great wine!  It’s okay though.  It’s drinkable.

Today’s RUN: Track workout, 12X200m, 41-43 sec (5:28-5:44 pace).  My last real workout before race day on Sunday, and an old favorite that brought back memories from my younger days of tapering during cross-country and track seasons.  It’s not really a marathon appropriate workout, I suppose, but it felt fantastic.  It was fun to get out and run a little faster after weeks of loading on long, slow miles!

*OK, I can.  E’s “12 Sexiest Vegas Jobs” followed by a mini-marathon of TLC’s “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.” 

**All 350 of them!

Dear Yoga Class:

I like to think that I’m in pretty good shape.  Sure, I ain’t as good I once was, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m quite fit.  I can do boy push-ups, squat my body weight, and run a 6-minute mile.  That’s pretty good, right?

So why, why, WHY do you make me feel like such an inflexible, uncoordinated, stumpy-chubby mess?

I had never experienced you until about five weeks ago.  Had dismissed you with a haughty chuckle as “not a real workout.”  Had put you in the same category as golf and bowling: things that are entertaining for some people, but not a real workout.*

Wow, was I wrong.  At class this morning, I finally allowed myself to admit defeat: Yoga, my friend, you are HARD.  And I suck at you.  I admit: I’m a total pussy.  There are 80-year-old women who are stronger and more flexible than me.  Really.

Thank you for the lesson in humility.  I’ll see you next week, when I’ll once again slide off my mat in a sweaty mess of downward dog while everyone else looks flawless.

Sincerely,

Your humble student,

Shelby

*I stand by this assessment for golf and bowling.  Anything you can do while drinking that much beer….

Today’s EAT: I was feeling lazy for dinner and with the hubs out of town, opted for some delivery sushi from Maru Sushi.  Never ordered from this place before, and it wasn’t bad!  I only got rolls, so it’s tough to tell the quality of fish though.

Today’s DRINK:  I’ll just show you, lest I describe my shamefully cheap wine selection in words yet again.  (Although I swear, it is not that bad.  And I’m broke.  And I bought like 8 bottles of this stuff last time I was at TJs, so we’ll be drinking it for a while.  And by a while, I mean like a week.)

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Today’s RUN: Day off from running.  See yoga disaster above.

Meet Emmy…and Parker

As I mentioned before, I am shamelessly obsessed with my cat.  Meet Emmy:

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She’s been with me for the last six years and really is the best.cat.ever.  She snuggles, talks, plays, and is SO endearingly dim-witted.  Like when she takes off at rocket speed across our hardwood floors and, upon hitting the breaks, slams into the wall, cartoon-style.  Or when she immediately goes in to 10o% serious kitty-alert-mode when she hears the key-chain jingle of that evil device that harbors her nemesis, the laser-pointer dot.  Other than the fact that she tends to leave a trail of white fur wherever she goes (which is not her fault, really), she is pretty much perfect.

Upon arriving in NYC and finding myself jobless and bored, I started volunteering at a cat rescue here in Manhattan.  (See, I warned you – crazy cat lady in the making here!)  I enjoy it though – once a week, I go and join a small group of volunteers in feeding, cleaning, and playing with about 30-40 cats in the rescue’s adoption center.

Apparently many people saw this coming:  “So, how long until you come home with another cat?”

As it turns out: about five weeks. :)  Meet Parker, our “foster” kitty:

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He is a handsome 4-year-old kitty who, until recently, was living in the Central Park Zoo.  One of his ears is clipped, which would usually indicate that he was once a feral, but given that he is the friendiest cat I’ve ever met, I have a hard time believing it!  He has settled quite nicely into our little family here.

What?  When does he go back to the rescue?  Um.  Yeah.  Let me get back to you on that one. 

Enough chatter about kitties, huh?  Emmy says, YOU ARE BORING ME.

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Today’s EAT: Lunch at Spice, a little Thai place in Chelsea.  It’s part of a mini-chain and is pretty decent.  I’m picky about Thai food and won’t say it’s the best ever, but the prices are great and the food is good.  I’d go back if I were in the neighborhood.  Dinner?  Leftovers.  Yawn.

Today’s DRINK: Trader Joe’s Mission St. Pale Ale.  Beer prices are one of the most shocking and frustrating things about NYC life, and I don’t mean just at the bar.  I once paid $15 for a six-pack of Heineken Light at a convenience store.  At grocery stores, it’s rare to find anything under $9-10 – even total crap beer.  The exception to this is Trader Joe’s.  Six packs for six bucks.  So every week I brave the madness (and, I tell you, TJ’s in Union Square is MADNESS) to save a few bucks on the beer habit.

Today’s RUN: Easy 4 miles in Hudson Park.  33:15.

Sunny Sunday

Today was a perfect day to get back to nature here in NYC.  Oh yes, that means a trip to the wilderness of Central Park.  Where the native fauna are outnumbered by Boston Terriers and Yorkies.

I actually do love the park.  It’s a great place to run, if for no other reason than the hills, which are hard to find in Mahnattan.  Today’s run was nice, followed by a stroll around the Upper West Side and some beer.  A lovely Sunday!  I can only hope that the weather will be this nice a week from now on marathon day!

Today’s EAT: A late lunch of Moules Frites at B. Cafe.  Then, I made this Brazilian Shrimp Soup for dinner.  It was tasty, but a little thin….I think I’ll reduce the amount of water next time.

Today’s DRINK: Had some tasty Belgian beer (hubs, Leffe Blond, and me, Hoegaarden) at lunch.  Then a bottle of cheap twobuckchuck with dinner.

Today’s RUN: 6 miles, mellow, around Central Park Drive.  51:30.

iPod, Revived

I am notoriously bad with small electronics.  Let’s look at my history of iPod ownership:

iPod One – Mysteriously died after 13 months of use

iPod Two – Left in a bar*

iPod Three – Swallowed by the sea during an unfortunate beach incident in the Dominican Republic.  Rescued but presumed dead.

iPod Four – Left unattended on the treadmill at the gym for approximately seven seconds.  Which is apparently enough time for someone to steal an iPod.

The infuriating loss of Four (which was all the more infuriating because it happened on my first day as a menber at that gym) happened just about two months ago.  This means that for the majority of my marathon training, I’ve been musicless.

I actually have sort of mixed feelings on the whole music-while-running thing.  On the treadmill?  Hell yes.  Anything to distract me from the urge to jump out the nearest window while running on that thing.  Ugh, treadmill = HATE.  But outside, there is something very appealing about listening to the sounds of the city, or the woods, or the river, or whatever is around.  About actually enjoying the experience of running instead of trying to distract myself from it.  About hearing my lungs and legs working with each footfall. 

All of that is amazing and wonderful until about mile 14.  Then I need some Britney to get through the rest of my run.

So after one horrible music-free 18-miler, I pulled out ol’ Three and stuck her in my purse.  The plan was to stop by an Apple store and bat my eyelashes until they made her work again.  Imagine my surprise when, seven months after her swim in the Caribbean, she fired right up!  Nice work, Apple.

The only problem now is that I desperately need to update my playlist before next week’s race.  Oh, and clean the sand out of the trackwheel.  Any suggestions for great running music would be most welcome!

Today’s EAT: Whipping up a lil’ pasta creation: no formal recipe, just tossing chicken-apple sausage, carmelized onions, granny smith apples and some yummy spices over fresh linguine.  It’s thunderstorming tonight, and a perfect night to stay in!

Today’s DRINK: *cough* twobuckchuck *cough* 

Today’s RUN: None – day off!  Did a 90-minute Vinyasa yoga class though.

*Other items I have lost at the bar include, but are not limited to: a laptop computer, running shoes, a cell phone, my car keys (thank goodness I wasn’t driving anyway!), an entire suitcase full of clothing….

On the Blog Again

Lately it seems like everyone has a blog except me.   Any why shouldn’t I?  I’ve done the blog thing before and enjoyed it.  I love to write.  And I pretty much spend my days screwing around on the internet anyway, which may very well be how you know me if you’ve found your way here.

So, here we are.  For a while I toyed with reviving my old blog, but on a recent long run I conceived the idea of centering my blog on three things that I love dearly and do every single day: eating, drinking, and running.  Seriously, with this marathon training sometimes I feel like it is ALL I do: eat to fuel the run, run to train for the race, and drink to recover from all of the running and eating.

A few things about this blog and about me:

1) I love food and I love to eat.  It’s a damn good thing I also love to run, or I’d probably be on a fat scooter.  I try to keep things reasonably healthy, but I’m terrible at avoiding things like butter (YUM), bacon (DROOL) and salt (CRAVE).  That said, the recipes and restaurant experiences I share on here may not be the healthiest thing in the world, and that is fine with me.  Life is too short not to eat butter.

2) I also love to drink.  The hubs and I have wine or beer with dinner every evening, and I am not above a rowdy night out at the bars now and then.  The words “afternoon” and “beer” go together like PB&J in my world.  If this offends you, I apologize.  Let me buy you a drink.

3) I’m a recent transplant to NYC.  It seems like every day I discover something about life in the city that’s shocking or hilarious.  I plan to share some of those stories too.

4) I’m a crazy cat lady.  Or, well, I would be if I were not married.  I am pretty much obsessed with my cat, though, and expect her to appear here frequently.  She’s my best buddy, and my baby, and we spend all day hanging out.  Yeah, I am that person who talks to her cat.  Don’t judge me.

5) I’m running the New York Marathon next weekend.  It is my ninth marathon.  Cheer for me, please!  I’m really just hoping to finish this one….although I am in okay shape, I got a pretty late start to my training after traveling all summer (and not running at ALL).  Under 4 hours would be nice, but really I just want to finish.

So that’s me.

Today’s EAT: Making these divine Asian-ish short ribs for dinner tonight.

Today’s DRINK: Well, I’m about to crack a Trader Joe’s Bavarian Hefeweizen in a few minutes here.  Hey, it’s Friday, right?  Gotta get the weekend started!  Later tonight, the hubs and I are headed to Arlo & Esme in the East Village for a friend’s birthday party.

Today’s RUN: 4 miles, easy.  9:00ish pace.  Hudson River Park.  I’m in marathon taper mode with one week to go and loving it!