Monthly Archives: May 2010

Solo spinning. And squid.

Here’s kind of a surprising fact about me: I don’t love spinning class.

I enjoy biking quite a bit (which reminds my of my gorgeous baby blue Specialized road bike, which is in storage because I’m too much of a weenie to ride in the city – sniff.)  And I’ve enjoyed spin classes in the past.  But at my particular gym right now, I just don’t really dig them.  Too much of a scene.

(This is not to say that my mid-morning yoga and pilates classes aren’t a scene.  Jeebus.  You can imagine the people who attend an 11 AM Pilates class in the West Village.  They’re going straight out for greyhounds and botox after class.)

Anyway.  Although I do it rarely these days, I really do think that cycling – whether in a spin class or on an actual bike – is awesome cross training for runners.

Enter: Face Down, Ass Up:

If you don’t read Rachel Wilkerson’s blog, you’re missing out.  She’s part fitness guru, part comedienne, and part girl that you’d just enjoy, like, grabbing a beer with.  Her posts are so real and down to earth, which is refreshing in the health/fitness blog world.  Not to mention hilarious.  So when I saw she’d put together a DIY playlist/spinning workout, I was all over it.  I’d much rather hang with Rachel in my earbuds than the spin-class-people at my gym!

The 45-minute workout was exactly what I wanted: fun and challenging!  Spinning is as hard as you make it, and today I went a little light because I wanted an easier workout, but I still got my legs working pretty hard.  Aside from having good pacing and clear, direct instructions about what you’re supposed to be doing, it was entertaining as hell to listen to Rachel’s commentary throughout the workout.  Imagine doing a spin class while your favorite snarky friend sits on a couch next to you and chats with you.  It was awesome.

And the tunes?  Fantastic.  Honestly, it’s worth checking out Face Down, Ass Up for the playlist alone!  It’s eclectic – think Tegan and Sara followed by T-Pain – but somehow holds together.

A couple of comments/disclaimers/criticisms:

– This is definitely not a workout for beginning spinners.  Rachel emphasizes this on her blog as well, but I just wanted to point it out here too.  I don’t think you need to be some advanced spinhead in order to do it, but you do need to know how to set up your bike, how to carry yourself, and how to understand the basic jargon and positions.

– I don’t know if it’s something I would do, like, every single week.  I think I’ll definitely get a few uses out of the file I bought, but at some point hearing the same commentary and music repeatedly would be less than entertaining.  Fortunately, it looks like there will be regular installments of Face Down, Ass Up – and I’d definitely buy it again!

– If you’re clutching your pearls when you hear a four-letter word, then this might not be for you.  Many of the songs (and some of the commentary) contain language and topics that are a strong PG-13 – it’s not something you’d blast from your cubicle at work.  (If you’re here and reading this, you probably don’t have a problem with that, considering that “pussy” is one of my favorite words, but I’m just throwing it out there.)

Overall?  Face Down, Ass Up gets the eat, drink, run seal of approval. Perhaps you didn’t know such a seal existed?  That’s because I just made it up. But don’t let that take away from the prestige, y’all.  It’s a legit workout.  Download it and see for yourself!

Today’s EAT: It’s been a weekend of pretty ridiculous eats around here.  Breakfasts centered around using up the ginormous quantity of strawberries on hand, as well as a pack of bacon I picked up last week.

Saturday: Strawberry pancakes with bacon and fried eggs:

(Said the hubs: “Holy crap, that’s a lot of food.”  Yes, it was.)  But really, is there anything better than syrup and bacon together?  No, there is not.

Sunday: Breakfast sandwiches with egg and bacon, and a little creamy fruit salad of chopped strawberry, banana and apple mixed with nonfat plain Greek yogurt:

(The hubs actually asked if there were marshmallows in the yogurt-fruit salad!  No, but I’ll agree that it tasted totally decadent when in fact it was totally healthy!)

And then there was dinner tonight.  A couple of days ago, I came upon a few whole squids (don’t ask) and needed to use ’em up.  Can you believe I actually gutted and cleaned this myself?

I really wish I had a before picture.  I’m not generally squeamish, but tearing the head off (OMG EW) and ripping the guts out of a spineless sea creature is definitely pushing my comfort level!

The end result was pretty tasty, though.  I did a simple spicy tomato sauce with lots of red wine and garlic and tossed it with some pasta:

(See how those squid rings are purple?  That’s because I doused the pan in red wine while it was cooking.  Um, that was intentional?)

Squid is one of those foods that pretty much takes on the taste of whatever is around it.  So the bold sauce was great for this dish.  I don’t know that I’d seek out squid as an ingredient – it just doesn’t have a ton of flavor – but aside from the decapitating and scraping out of guts, it’s totally easy to cook with and quite healthy!

Today’s DRINK: One of my favorite things about Sunday dinners is having some wine while I cook.  Tonight I opened this:

(Yeah, who am I kidding.  I have a glass of wine when I cook most nights.)

Anyway.  Kana Chenin Blanc 2008.  At $8 – at my neighborhood wine shop, not TJ’s, – it was tasty enough!   Not sure if I’d seek it out but it was definitely drinkable and enjoyable for a very inexpensive wine.

Today’s RUN: Aside from getting my Face Down, Ass Up on, the hubs and I went for a nice long walk today.  I forget how nice walking is, sometimes.

We wandered downtown and ended up walking on the East River to the Bro0klyn Bridge.  And then decided we wanted to cross the bridge, which entailed trekking inland a bit, and dodging lots of tourists, but worth it for an awesome view.

I’ve walked across the Brooklyn Bridge before but it was years ago, when I was one of those tourists, visiting a friend who lived in the city.  It was great to do it again.  Sometimes it’s fun to do the touristy thing in your own city. :)

And, alas.  This is the sad end of my recovery week.  It’s time to take up the mileage again and get some good workouts in – no more relaxin’!

Today’s QUESTION: Are you a spinner?  What do you love about it?

Trusting my gut

She can be a real wench sometimes, my gut.

But as I learned today, I probably should listen to her when she’s yammering on like a broken record about something.

The past few days have been recovery for me, after Saturday’s half marathon.  I’ve been running easy, light on the miles, and doing some cross-training.  I’d planned to return to hard running tonight with the team tempo workout.  I knew I’d still be a little sluggish, but figured I could tough through it.

Then I saw the workout.  2 miles at 10K pace, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile at 10K pace, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile at 5K pace.  All on hills in Central Park, of course.  Ouch.

Nonetheless, I told myself, I should sack up and do it.  I hate missing team workouts and I’ve already missed one this week!  This morning, though, my gut started nagging me.  Our banter continued throughout the day:

10:30 AM

Gut: You know, four days isn’t really enough recovery from a long race.  Not for a hard tempo.  You should skip this tempo run.

Me: Yeah, but if I skip it, then I have to run by myself…and I like seeing all of my teammates…I don’t want to miss another workout.

6:30 PM, getting ready to leave the apartment

Gut: Gosh, the sky is really dark.  It looks like it’s gonna pour.  You should skip this tempo run.

Me: Eh, I’m sure the rain will hold off for a little while.

6:50 PM, emerging from the subway at 59th St

Gut: Well, will ya look at that.  It’s pouring.  And thunder.  And lightning.  You should skip this tempo run.

Me: (After cowering under an overhang for five minutes)  It seems to be easing off a little?  Maybe?  I’m already here, I’ll at least jog up to 72nd and see if anyone else is around.

7:05 PM, during warm up, legs feel like rotten ass

Gut: You are officially an idiot.  I can’t even talk to you anymore.  You should really skip this tempo run.

Me: Whatever.

About a mile in to that 2-mile pickup I realized that my gut was right.  I was really struggling, and not just in a hard-workout way.  It simply wasn’t productive for me to be out there, trying to crank through at a sub-7:00 pace.  My body needed rest more than it needed this workout.  I finished the two miles and then did a couple more, easy.  Like I should have been doing all along.

Sometimes that is the hardest thing to accept.  So much of running – or anything, really – is about pushing yourself hard.  Working hard = reward.  It’s counter-intuitive to make ourselves believe that we’ll get the best results, long run, by taking it easy.  It’s why taper weeks and recovery weeks are sometimes harder than intense weeks of high mileage or hard workouts.

And I know all of this, yet I convince myself to go against my gut.  Really, my gut is smarter than me sometimes.

8:30 PM, post shower

Gut: Alright, I guess we’re cool, then.  Now get me a cold beer and a big-ass salad.

Me: Yes ma’am.

Well played, gut.  Well played.

Today’s EAT: Of course strawberries were going to feature prominently in this big-ass salad, given that the entire top shelf of my fridge has been taken over by them!

BAS components:

  • Salty: Goat cheese
  • Sweet: Strawberries
  • Meat: TJ’s Mango Chicken Sausage (new one to me…and uhhhh-mazing!)
  • Treat: Honey-crusted walnuts

Over a bed of mixed greens with homemade white-balsamic vinaigrette.  I love big-ass salads.

Today’s DRINK: This beer was a total pickup-while-waiting-in-the-checkout-line, because-the-label-is-cute purchase but I am really digging it!

Magic Hat Wacko Summer Seasonal Ale.  It claims to be “a beer with beet juice color.”  Um…I don’t know about that, but it’s very mild and smooth, yet flavorful.  I’ve liked just about every Magic Hat beer I’ve tried so I guess it’s no surprise that I’m enjoying this one too!

Today’s RUN: About 6 miles total, including warm-up, abandoned tempo run, and the 30 minutes I jogged around the park after I gave up.  I also did a 60-minute Pilates class this morning.

Today’s QUESTION: Do you trust your gut? My gut and I are generally on the same page – clearly, we have the same taste in food and drink – but I definitely struggle with going against what I know is good for me sometimes!

Abundance

Walking home from TJ’s and the Greenmarket today, I wrote a poignant post in my head for tonight’s blog about the changing of seasons, how wonderful it is to have fresh food all of the time, how mother nature provides such a bounty as the weather changes, yadda yadda yadda.

But I won’t bore you with that.  Instead, I’ll just say: OMG STRAWBERRIES!

These would’ve cost an arm and a leg a few short weeks ago.  Today?  4 LBS for $7.  A flat of strawberries two feet long.  I spent a good chunk of my afternoon washing them and cutting the stems off.

Now here is the question.  What’s a girl to do with 4 LBS of strawberries?  Any suggestions?

Another thing that was abundant today in NYC: heat.  It was like 95* today.  Ugg.

When I was out and about I saw three separate groups of people attempting to lug a just-purchased window AC unit down the street.  Um, people?  I am the queen of toughing it out when it comes to most stuff – hello, I once schlepped an entire case of wine from Union Square to my apartment a mile away by hand because I was too cheap to pay a $5 delivery charge – but at some point you just get a cab, guys.  It looked miserable.  And made me thankful that our apartment came with an AC unit already installed.

Today’s EAT: Meet my favorite recipe in the world: Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallot and Thyme Crust:

I’ve blogged about it before…about making it with chicken because I’m a tightwad and lamb is expensive.  Well, tonight, I went for the real deal and picked up a frenched rack of lamb for dinner.  It was to die for.  Roasted asparagus and arugula salad were pretty spectacular, too.  Not really a special occasion, just a random Wednesday night, but sometimes it is nice to have a nice dinner, just because.

This recipe, I’ve made it probably 30 times.  And dropped jaws at dinner parties with it.  It is just so easy and so good.  It is shocking how few ingredients it contains, given the bold flavor.  Seriously, try it!  I’d love to know what you think, too!

Today’s DRINK: It’s a pink drink week:

Rose wine just screams summer.  And this Mulderbosch cab rose is quite enjoyable on a warm night!

Today’s RUN: You think I was going running in 95* weather today?  Hell to the no.  I went to my air-conditioned gym and hit the elliptical for 30 minutes and then took a 90-minute Vinyasa class.  On a “day off” somehow I still managed to spend two hours at the gym!  Oh well, the yoga felt amazing – I haven’t been in a couple of weeks and really have missed it.

Tempo night tomorrow night – I think my legs are recovered enough to handle it, I guess we will see!

Today’s QUESTION: Do you have AC?  Could you live without it if you had to?

And also, what the hell should I do with all of these strawberries?  Suggestions and recipes welcome!

I just want a 5K

Weird fact: There are, like, no 5K races in NYC.

Related question: Why does NYRR hate 5Ks so much?

I mean, it’s just strange.  The typical “short race” for NYRR is a 4-miler.  There have been at least six so far this year.  And 5Ks?  One.

I guess I don’t mind running 4-milers, but I’m slightly annoyed…if I’m gonna do a short, balls-out race it would be nice if it were at least a universally-common distance that I could compare times to, past and future.

Anyway.  This is grating on me because I’d really like to do a 5K or something this weekend and there are none.  Seriously, no races in the city.  There’s some 4-miler (of course) out on Staten Island and some stuff in New Jersey that would take two hours to get to, but nothing in NYC.  Pooey.

If any NYCers have any insight here, I’d love to hear it!

Today’s EAT: I’ve made a version of these Eating Well crab cakes before, but tonight I made them as they were intended to be served: as burgers!

The plan was to serve the “burgers” with a nice salad on sandwich thins.  But my salad got old and was nasty.  So sadly, no crunchy green veggies with this meal.  I sliced up a granny smith apple instead.

The crab cake burgers, however, were delicious.  And the sweet potato fries were slightly burned and oddly floppy, but still tasty enough.  It is hard to make sweet potato taste bad!

Today’s DRINK: Well, on the one hand, it’s a random Tuesday night and a sparkly pink wine might be just a bit much.

On the other hand, it was Lady Gaga night on Glee tonight.  The idea of “a bit much” is all relative.  We enjoyed our pink sparkly fabulousness!

Today’s RUN: Today was humid and gross, so I waited until dusk to run.  And everyone else apparently had the same idea…the Hudson River greenway was bustling with runners, walkers, and children and adults on all forms of wheeled devices!  Summer is fun.

Although it was track workout night with the club, I decided to give myself a little more recovery from Saturday’s half and just ran on my own instead.  I went out on my 5-mile route, taking the first half pretty easy, until I was satisfied that my legs had come out of Brooklyn unscathed.  I let myself pick it up a bit on the back half, for a mini-progression run.

2.5 miles – 21:35 – 8:38 pace

2.5 miles – 19:05 – 7:38 pace

Total – 5 miles – 40:40 – 8:08 pace

I am really thinking tomorrow might be a cross training day…it’s supposed to be 90* and rainy.  Yuck!

Today’s QUESTION: What’s your favorite race distance? Mine is probably 5K.  Which is why I am so irked at their scarcity here!

Cabin carbfest

Hey, hey – I am back from the wilds of Southern Pennsylvania!  I had a great weekend with my girlfriends.  And I would say more, but, well…

Heh.

Although honestly?  What happened at the cabin?  Besides a ridiculous amount of chatting?  Was carbs.  Lots and lots of carbs.

Bagels, pizza, bread, french toast, pita chips, ice cream, tater tots….that’s pretty much what I ate all weekend.  And it was delightful.  I’ve been making a real effort to minimize white bread/flour over the last few months, but holy hell, simple carbs are really tasty once in a while.  Like the massive asiago-cheese bagel from Panera.  Or the French Toast bake that we made one morning.  To die for.

I also didn’t do any running – or any activity more physical than uncorking a bottle of wine – while I was away.  A much needed break after Brooklyn Half, and I’ll be ready to start hitting the workouts hard again this week!

Today’s EAT: You mean, aside from the chicken sandwich and waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A on the way home?  Swoon.  Why is there no Chick-Fil-A in NYC?

I came home tonight with a feeling in my gut (literally) that I should have something pretty light for dinner.  And the fridge was nearly empty, too.  I scrounged together a cheese-and-cracker dinner for the hubs and I, with some hard salami and an apple:

It was actually delicious and the perfect amount of food for a light dinner for two!  I used to eat dinners like this all of the time when I was eating on my own.  Who says dinner has to be hot?

Today’s DRINK: I needed a glass of wine after my 7-hour bus ride (thank you, traffic).  I’d been very curious about this bottle since I bought it and was happy to finally pop it open:

A Shiraz-Viognier blend.  Very interesting!  It was quite light – milder in body than a Pinot Noir – and actually paired perfectly with our appetizer dinner.  I really enjoyed it, but it’s definitely not a traditional red to serve with bold food like steak or spaghetti.  It was light and crisp and almost a little peppery, in a delicate way.  Very unusual and enjoyable.  And it was a Trader Joe’s cheapie, so I’ll definitely be buying it again!

Today’s RUN:  Snort.  Yeah…tomorrow.  I’ve got some carb backlog to burn up.

Today’s QUESTION: Do you ever eat snack food for dinner? I am a big fan!

A medium race

I am headed out of town, so I’ve gotta make this speedy, but:

Race Stats:
Race: Brooklyn Half Marathon
Date
: May 22, 2010
Conditions: Warm (60*) and humid
Time: 1:43:21
Mile Pace: 7:53
Overall place (all):  1,298 / 7,006
Overall place (females): 222 / 3,585
Age group place (F25-29): 77 / 1,206

I was initially kind of bummed about this because I really wanted to get under 1:40.  But you know what?  Not every race can be a good race.  Some are good, some are bad, and some are medium.  Most are probably medium.

Well, today’s race was solidly medium.  And there’s nothing wrong with medium.  At least it wasn’t bad!

And with that, I am off on a train to Baltimore to catch up with some girlfriends for the weekend.  And I’m ridin’ dirty:

Drinking on the train is awesome.

Have a good weekend all – see ya Monday!

P.S. Congrats to Sarah for her age group win and to Megan for a big PR today!   Three cheers for good races as well as medium ones!

Excited or nervous?

Two months ago today, I ran an awful half marathon.  And then vowed revenge upon the 13.1 distance in Brooklyn.  Well, BK, the time has come!

Me and my shiny new CTPC uniform will take to the streets of Park Slope at 7 AM (!) tomorrow.  I can’t decide if I’m excited or nervous.

Excited: Running in a new (to me) area; running with my awesome new teammates; enjoying some delicious brunch afterward.

Nervous: The fact that I have to race 13 miles.  Oy.

I’m hesitant to set a time goal for this race because that didn’t work out so well last time.  If I can just run a smart race, I’ll be happy.  No going out too fast.  No crashing and burning at mile 5.  Negative splits would be nice.  A strong finish with minimal whining.

Here’s to hoping!  See you bright and early, Brooklyn.

WTF NYC Moment(s) of the Week

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and it’s a good thing I’m overdue because this week has been a doozy!

WTF NYC Moment #1: University Ave near Union Square.  Preppy woman walking a large, immaculately-groomed standard poodle.  The poodle was wearing a wife beater. Why?  Just…why?  WTF??

WTF NYC Moment #2: My building has an exterminator that swings by monthly to check for signs of pests.  He’s a nice enough guy.  Today he showed up with a copy of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex” tucked under his arm.  I have literally been racking my brain for a scenario where this would make sense.  He stopped at the library on his way to work?  One of the units in our building is a booty call?  So bizarre.  WTF.

WTF NYC Moment #3: Apartment stoop in the West Village.  Sunny day.  Guy talking on cell phone.  Conversation snippet: “Yeah, he was like a black Bob Saget.” Guy was of course as white as a cotton ball.  And, um…I kinda want to know who he was talking about!  Because, WTF?

WTF NYC Moment #4: The alley behind my building is a popular place for people to film shit.  I’m not sure why, but there are always photo shoots and student film crews back there.  Today?  Was apparently Drag Queen day.  They were doing some sort of glamor shoot.  And damn those ladies were loud!  WTF!

Today’s EAT: I loved my Cinco de Mayo nacho dinner so much that I decided to revisit the nacho genre for dinner tonight.

The players in this version?  Chicken (poached and shredded), sweet potatoes (roasted), black beans (seasoned and simmered), a little cheddar and a scoop of plain Greek yogurt.  The hubs eyes lit up with delight when he saw this plate.  And for good reason: it was pretty delightful!  And so easy, too!

Dinner was a little on the late side tonight.  Here is why:

Frozen yogurt from Bloomingdale’s.  Who knew?  This was hands-down the best fro-yo I have ever had.  Pinkberry, hang your overpriced head in shame!

Normally, Thursday nights are tempo run nights.  But with a half-marathon two days away, I wasn’t having any of that.  So I met up with teammates Jacqui and Megan for a wonderful little fro-yo date instead.  It was, I am sorry to say, WAY more fun than the five-mile tempo run that the rest of our group did.  Sorry, tempo run.  You lose. :)

I’m going to bed with a full and happy belly tonight, and can’t wait to go back to Bloomie’s for another creamy yogurt treat.  I might even be able to get the hubs on board with this (he is a tart yogurt hater).

Today’s DRINK: Well, I had planned to leave the beer in the fridge alone tonight.  But I’m up late tonight finishing a couple of work/writing projects, and as awful as this sounds, sometimes a little liquid inspiration helps.  So I cracked a Harpoon UFO.  And it indeed helped.  Or at least made me happier about spending my evening working. :)

Today’s RUN: Two very mellow loops of the Bridle Path in Central Park for a total of 5 miles (44:30).  I’m officially on hiatus until 7 AM Saturday morning!  Woohoo!

Today’s QUESTION: Frozen yogurt – yay or nay?  If you love it, what’s your favorite place to get your fix? I have enjoyed the likes of Pinkberry in the past but this Bloomies yogurt has raised the bar.  I don’t think I can go back to PB now!

Chinese: healthified

I love takeout Chinese with a capital L.  Those deep fried chicken pieces smothered in orange sauce or sesame sauce?  They make my mouth water.

But they also make my tummy hurt.

Nonetheless, no matter how many food comas I endure from my dalliances with General Tso, I continue to crave Chinese food.  (Or, I guess to be more clear, American Chinese food.  I know that this Panda Express shit is not really what they eat in China every day.)

So I set out on a mission tonight to create one of my favorite Chinese dishes in a way that wouldn’t make me feel like a disgusting mess afterward.  The result: Healthy Honey Walnut Shrimp.  And it was divine.

The hubs and I both raved about this as we devoured it and licked the platter clean.  And in truth, the hubs gets credit for thinking of this idea.  Although the execution was all me.  (This could be said about many aspects of our relationship, actually.  Hmm.)

Anyway, the light breading and pan-frying give it all of the satisfying crunch of that deep-fried PF Chang’s crap.  And the crisp veggies complimented it perfectly.  A healthy Chinese food win!

Today’s EAT: I have to give credit to this recipe from Allrecipes as the general framework for this.  You can find my version here: Healthy Honey Walnut Shrimp.  Simple to prepare and highly recommended to curb a Chinese-food craving!

Today’s DRINK:  I sipped a Harpoon UFO Pale Ale while supping:

And just might crack another one, because it was darn tasty!

Today’s RUN:  The mini-taper continues: today I did a very easy 5 miles.  I left my watch at home and approached it more the way one might approach going out for a casual stroll.  It was lovely to not think about my time or pace and just enjoy being outside!

Today’s QUESTIONWhat’s your favorite ethnic cuisine? I have something of as Asian fetish, I admit.  Thai and Vietnamese are my absolute favorite, and when a craving for Chinese hits, it’s hard to resist!

Splish, splash

Hey, April Showers.  You are tardy to the party.  It’s mid-May.

Today was one of those days where the rain was just relentless in the city.  Puddles formed absolutely everywhere – including over most of the East 6th Street track, which looked like a small lake.  Track workout tonight?  Not so much.

But while the inches of water on the ground were kind of a problem today, I have to say: I don’t really mind running in the rain.  In fact, I kind of enjoy it.

Maybe it’s because I grew up running in wet Washington state, but there is something rather refreshing about sloshing through a rainy run.  I vividly remember splashing joyfully through puddles on our local trails as a teenager, then coming home to parental scolding about how “someday when you have to buy your own running shoes, you won’t seek out the deepest part of the puddle.”  (And, um, they were totally right.)

Then in college, in Southern California, some of my best running memories are from the season of track where we were hit by El Nino – meaning, lots and lots of rain.  The entire team stripped down to the bare minimum of clothing and we splashed our way through killer intervals on the track as the skies opened up and soaked the desert around us.  At the time, it might have been miserable, but in retrospect it was an absolute blast.

And now?  I never let a little rain stop me from running.  Sure, I may groan about it a bit – but once I’m out the door, I’m loving it.  Which was a good thing today, because it was sloppy out there.

I often get questions from newbies to the running world about how to run in the rain, so I’ll give you my best advice. Tips on running in the rain from a native Pacific Northwestern-er:

Embrace it.  Once you’re wet, you’re wet.  Yes, the first couple of minutes kind of suck, but once you’re soaked to the bone, you don’t have to shirk from raindrops or dodge puddles any more.  It’s fun and liberating!

Go naked.  Or as close to it as you can.  Unless it’s really (really!) cold, I prefer to run in a fitted tank top or just a sports bra when it’s pouring.  The less clothing you are wearing, the less there is to get soaked and weigh you down.  Avoid anything baggy or cotton-based and go for fitted technical fabrics instead.  Remember, if it can move around, there is a good chance it’ll rub you the wrong way when it’s wet. Tighter is better.

Wear old shoes.  Because they’re gonna get soaked.  And it will take them a couple of days to dry fully.  If you only have one pair and you must wear them in the rain, stuff them with newspaper and place them in a warm (but not hot) place, like near (but not on) a heater to speed up the drying process.

Save face.  Wearing a hat or visor keeps the drips out of your eyes and makes running in the rain much more enjoyable.  However, beware if it’s windy – it might blow off your head.

Braid your tail.  Long ponytail + wet hair flopping around = tangled disaster.  A braid is better.  I actually prefer two braids.  (But that is also because I enjoy looking like a 30-year-old Pippi Longstocking.)

Don’t dawdle.  Standing or sitting around in your wet clothes is asking to get sick – not to mention the fact that it’s highly uncomfortable.  Hop in the shower right away when you get home.  If you’re driving, pack a towel to wipe down with and a fluffy fleece or sweatshirt to throw on to combat chills on the drive home.

Seek trees.  Heavily wooded trails or paths often offer a respite from driving rain.  The downside is that you might have mud to contend with.  Choose your poison!  (And also, don’t be stupid – see below!)

Don’t be stupid.  If there is a threat of thunder and/or lightning, don’t run.  If there are ridiculous winds, don’t run – unless you want a surprise make-out session with a tree branch.  Hail often shows up suddenly and unexpectedly – if it does, seek cover until it’s over.  No workout is worth risking your safety.

That’s all I’ve got.  I’ve been running in the rain successfully for over a decade now, and I can say that although it can be challenging, it’s also rewarding.  Although there are times when the rain is most unwelcome – like during a long race, as those who endured the MORE Half Marathon here in NYC last month will attest – generally I find it pretty fun!

And there is nothing like being the only person on your normally-crowded running path – until you pass a fellow runner and you exchange that look that says: “Yeah, we are badasses.  Treadmills are for pussies.”

Today’s EAT:  Lack of motivation for cooking a real dinner tonight.  That means: gussied-up pizza!

Thin-crust cheese pizza + chicken sausage, sauteed onions and sundried tomatoes.  Absolutely delicious.  I often find that splitting a thin-crust pizza like this is a perfect meal for the two of us.

Today’s DRINK: I ordered wine from FreshDirect this week instead of doing a Trader Joe’s run.  Laziness is not rewarded.

This Viogner-Chardonnay is really just okay.  Not super impressed.

Today’s RUN: So the flooded track ruined our group track workout.  But that was okay, since I’m in my mini-taper anyway!  The outer lanes weren’t flooded, so I joined up with a couple of teammates who are also racing on Saturday and we did three mellow miles, spiced up with a handful of tempo surges.  Along with warm up and cool down, around 6 miles total.

Today’s QUESTION: Do you enjoy running in the rain? Or am I the only crazy one?