I finished my last final exam on Tuesday morning – and it’s taken me this long for my brain to start functioning normally again! Nutrition & Health on Monday was a piece of cake, but Physiology on Tuesday was a bit brutal. I walked out of there in such a daze that it took most of the day to actually register that I had finished my first semester of grad school! Once it did click, I can’t tell you how great it felt to be done. I just got all of my grades – 4.0 (woo-hoo!) – so it was a very successful start to my program and I’m feeling quite proud of myself.

My freedom is short-lived – two weeks to be exact – but I’m trying to make the most of it. I somehow managed to drag myself to the gym after the exam and then balanced it out by spending the rest of the day in bed watching bad TV. It was amazing. E arrived later that night – that was my real reward for finishing exams, finally seeing him! I had planned for us to do a short tempo session the next morning – just 2M at his goal race pace of 8:20min/mile so I could practice pacing him before tomorrow’s race – but we were both too exhausted to make it happen before his early morning meeting.

While he worked, I spent the day catching up on emails, running errands and doing an internship project up at Physical Equilibrium. I know, not exactly post-exam vacation stuff, but it just felt nice to not have my head in the books. My RD taught me how to process food logs using top of the line software, which gave me a good taste of what I’ll be doing both in Diet Assessment next semester and in my own future nutrition practice. I also met with the owner of the company to sign all the paperwork for my coaching gig with Gilda’s Club NYC – I am BEYOND excited. Our first meeting is in mid-June, and our first scheduled run is in mid July. I’m not sure yet how big our team is, or how much experience our runners have, but I will find out soon.

It was a gorgeous day and I had bailed on my run, so I walked from midtown all the way up to the NYRR office on East 89th street to pick up our Brooklyn Half Marathon numbers. On the way, I stopped at Bloomingdales to get frozen yogurt – while processing food logs, someone had eaten a small frozen yogurt from Forty Carrots and I was trying to estimate serving size. Obviously I had to do some research! 🙂 Let’s just say it was the largest “small” I’ve ever seen in my life. It was at least 2.5 cups, maybe 3? Portion sizes in this country are just insane. But it was so good.

  

It was my first time up at the NYRR headquarters and I thought number pickup was very efficient. There weren’t too many giveaways this time – just a gel – but the t-shirts were WAY better than the NYC Half. E’s number is in the 9000’s and I am in the 5000’s, so I will be heading back to start with him. Even though my coral doesn’t matter for this race, I took the opportunity to speak with someone at NYRR to understand the system better. I didn’t get why I was once again placed in the 5000’s.

Apparently, as a member, you are placed according to the best time you have run with NYRR. You can’t predict a better time or use a best time from another race that is minutes faster – you must prove yourself. Fair enough. However, for non-members, even those who have raced with NYRR before, you simply enter your predicted time and are placed accordingly (which is what I did when I registered E for this race). I wouldn’t mind except that in the NYC Half, I was placed in the mid 5000’s – the runners around me were much slower, which slowed me down in the first mile or so. I finished in the 2000’s which clearly supports that I didn’t belong back there, yet once again, I was placed in the 5000’s! I still don’t get it. They said that I have been placed with other runners whose best pace is 7:39 (for the record, that is not my best pace) – so either Brooklyn Half runners are a lot faster than NYC Half runners or everyone’s best time was from a long time ago. Again, I don’t care for tomorrow’s race, but when I’m actually racing, it’s frustrating and causes me to lose precious time while I weave around everyone. But enough venting…

Yesterday I was supposed to begin a serious apartment hunt – trying to find a decent apartment in NYC has displaced my school stress (this city is the worst) – but I didn’t get too far. It was another beautiful day out and I decided to let myself enjoy if for a few hours. I had a great lunch with a friend at Google (the NYC office is nuts – the food is amazing, I’m very jealous), then wandered around Chelsea Market and walked along the High Line. I also finally treated myself to my first item of running clothing from Lululemon, as a reward for finishing my first semester. I settled on the Run in the Sun skirt – I’ve always been curious about running skirts, and really need more gear for summer. I also liked one of their running shorts, but the liner bugged me slightly. The skirt had longer spandex shorts underneath, which I find far more comfortable.

It was a pretty awesome day until my water bottle opened up and spilled all over my bag – which I didn’t notice until it was too late. All over a book I borrowed from a friend, my wallet, my iPod, and most importantly my iPad. My iPod seems to be okay, thank goodness my phone was in my hand, but my iPad is not faring so well. It seems to have dried out slightly and the sound is now working again, but the screen is a bit messed up. That was my 30th birthday gift – huge bummer. So much for trying to stay hydrated!!

It wasn’t anything a nice dinner with E couldn’t fix, though. We went to Hearth and had a delicious meal – I got a marinated mushroom and ricotta salad to start, veal and ricotta meatballs with spinach cannelloni (can you tell I love ricotta?) and we shared a rhubarb crumble with ginger ice cream for dessert. So tasty!

Today, the apartment hunt continues, and I’m trying to rest up for the race tomorrow too. I’ve walked so much in the last few days, my legs desperately need a break!

Honestly, I’m not sure how tomorrow will go for either myself or E. Normally, running 8:20 pace wouldn’t be anything I would worry about – but I haven’t been running very much the last two months, I’m still recovering from weeks of sleep deprivation and there’s a heat advisory. I also need to be very careful about not running too fast in the early miles – my legs will naturally want to break into half marathon mode and I can’t let them! E has been training but he’s exhausted and jet lagged, and he usually struggles with heat.

But we’re still going to go for it – our goal is sub-1:50 so he can PR and qualify for a seeded start coral in the Chicago Marathon. I’m a bit bummed that we didn’t get to practice pacing, but we’ve run together so many times in the last couple of years I’m sure we’ll be fine. I’m going to wear a pace band and try my best to keep him with me. It will be our first time racing together, his first time racing with someone, and my first time pacing someone, so I’m very interested to see how it plays out. I’ve received strict instructions to only deliver facts regarding time, pace, distance etc and not encouragement, which is against what I would naturally do, so hopefully I can keep my mouth shut and not piss him off. 🙂

Either way, I’m really excited to cross the finish line together. The race is at 7am and we need to get up at 4am – I’m counting on adrenaline to get me revved up! Obviously I am hoping we finish under 1:50 – his goal is my goal, his victory my victory – but given the weather and our physical condition, we can only try our best.

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