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Happy New Year! My race calendar is mostly empty for 2016, but after a packed Fall running schedule, that’s fine with me. Next up is the Big Sur Marathon in April – 16 weeks from today! Being from Santa Cruz, I’ve visited Big Sur regularly since I was little. It’s one of the most gorgeous places on earth, and this marathon has been on my bucket list for a long time. I can’t wait to soak up those coastal views while doing one of my favorite activities. I mean, doesn’t this photo almost look fake? Northern California never ceases to amaze me with its beauty.

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After the JFK50, I was really hurting, between a terrible cold/flu and my busted foot. My whole body felt broken yet I somehow managed to avoid serious injury and within a couple weeks, felt like my old self again. I wanted to give my foot plenty of time to heal so I took a month off running and other high-impact exercise, and it was exactly what I needed! I did a two-week free trial with ClassPass, which was perfect. I had the best time trying new activities around the city – spinning, strength training, pilates, barre, deep water running, you name it! Some of my favorites – Peloton, Flywheel and Swerve for spin, Uplift and Throwback Fitness for strength, RJ Valentin’s deep water running, and FlexPilates. There are so many other great studios on there (e.g. MHRC, boot camps etc).

It was fun to try so many new things, and the variety did wonders for body and mind. I lost some of my running fitness by mid December, but I felt stronger, mentally refreshed, and hungry to start running again. Now that I’m running regularly, it doesn’t make sense to pay $125 for the full membership, but the 5 classes for $75 per month option isn’t bad, considering what these studios charge otherwise per class!

I’m quickly regaining my running fitness, and am now extra committed to incorporating non-running activities into my exercise routine. My running goals for 2016 are simple. Forget time – all I want is to be consistent, feel strong, and remain injury free. The end of the year was filled with too many accidents and injuries. I don’t wish to repeat that!

Most of all, I want to keep my running and other physical activities fun. I recently accepted two new jobs in addition to working full time at the hospital – I start this week as a private practice dietitian at Nutrition Energy Tues/Thurs evenings (we accept insurance, so get in touch if you’d like to book a session!), and will continue coaching Team Lipstick once a week. I’m super excited for these opportunities, but it means even less time to myself. Exercise will have to be my “me time,” so I have to make it count!

I started 2016 on the right foot (pun intended!) in the fun running department! E and I did NYRR’s Midnight Run on New Year’s Eve – 4 miles of fireworks, crazy costumes, glowing shoe laces, and all around awesomeness. I haven’t had such a great NYE in years! We aren’t huge fans of NYE, but felt like we finally found our scene. No cover charges, no dressing up, no fuss – just lots of people drinking, dancing, running and enjoying themselves. Yes, please! We were lucky enough to score two entries on behalf of the Time Warner-HBO Fit Nation team, pictured above. I look like a marshmallow as I was literally wearing five layers to stay warm. I know this year was “warm” compared to usual, but I’m a wimp when it comes to cold!

The race doesn’t start until midnight, but from 10pm there was a huge dance party and other fun things going on near the start. It felt like a huge outdoor party! I was surprised by how many non-runners hanging out and celebrating, and after the race started, cheering us along! I suppose it’s a nice free alternative to Times Square.

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The race itself was great. I was amazed by how awake and good I felt – I’m usually half asleep by midnight, and am not used to running after having a drink! We started the race with fireworks, which made it hard to run as I wanted to watch and couldn’t do both without falling on my face! This race obviously wasn’t one for time, so we stopped a few times to take it all in. We also enjoyed the DJ’d sparkling cider aid station – nice touch!

After we finished, we made our way to a bar on the UWS, where HBO had kindly sponsored our post-run party. We were the only runners in the place, so we got a few strange looks, but I think they were just jealous. It was awesome to drink and dance until the wee hours in our sweaty, crazy outfits and comfy shoes – who needs heels! We finished the night with a 4am pitstop at our local deli for ice cream – we had earned a treat after hours of running and dancing. All in all, a great evening and wonderful start to the new year.

I wasn’t able to run long this past weekend due to my work schedule, so I kicked off this training cycle with a long run this morning. It was freezing but sunny and clear on the river today. I reached 12.5 miles and felt strong. For that, I am grateful!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, active and fun 2016.

If you have resolved to run a race, improve your diet, lose some weight, or achieve any other health/fitness resolution, get in touch! I’d love to help, with your nutrition and/or training goals. Check out www.eatforendurance.com for more information. 

Our award  Second place finish

After winning 1st place in the female relay division last year, team Dietitian Divas got automatic entry into this year’s race and set out to defend our title. We all joked that our highly competitive spirit didn’t quite match up to our training (or relative lack thereof), but we gave it our all and managed to get a team PR of 2:29:19, 2 min and 40 sec faster than last year. Go team!

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It was a very early morning. I forgot how painful it is to have to get to transition on west 72nd on the Hudson by 4:30 am and sit around (in the rain, this time) for 4 hours waiting for my teammates to do their parts before I have to spring into 10k mode.

Thankfully, the time went by fairly quickly, and the event was extremely well organized. Like last year, it was cool to be a part of such a different type of event and watch all the athletes, especially the pros. I can’t imagine doing the entire thing and have no desire to, so I’m glad I get the chance to participate as part of the relay. I loved the tri tats we got to put on this year – hand tats and MASSIVE arm tats. I felt badass – I wish we got these for marathons!

Here’s our team before the start, looking surprisingly awake at 5am:

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Most of the time we shaved off was thanks to our swimmer, who was 3 minutes faster compared to last year, as well as our cyclist, who was nearly a minute faster! I’m so proud of them – they really pushed hard.

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I was pumped to try to win again, but as I crossed 72nd street before mile 1, my legs were really feeling it. Not a good sign! I told myself that I would start pushing more later in the park to avoid blowing up, thrusting myself down the hills and really going for it after the halfway point. Picking off triathletes one by one gave me strength (I know, it’s not fair given I jumped in for the run, but it’s still exhilarating to pass so many people in such a short race). And when a one-armed guy flew past me at mile 5, that inspired me to push even harder. The finish was worse than I remembered – like a never ending maze that zig zagged all around the 72nd street transverse. I was so happy to hear the cheers of my teammates and friends near the finish to keep me going!

Unfortunately, I did not beat my time from last year – I was 1 min 24 sec slower, which is pretty spot on what I predicted to my team. I knew it wasn’t realistic to get a PR given that I’m in the middle of marathon training (and didn’t really taper) and am also slightly heavier than last year. I also had to stop to adjust my chip, which was too loose around my ankle at the start of the run, and we were about 10 sec slower during our transitions, so I guess it all adds up. I tried my best, and that’s what matters! Check out my Garmin details here.

When I found out that we missed 1st place by just 35 seconds, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat responsible for our second place finish despite our overall faster time given I was the only one that slowed down this year. But that’s okay – it was a faster field and we were extremely close to winning, so 2nd place certainly is something to celebrate! Perhaps more importantly, we beat the team that used to win every year until we beat them last year (they placed 2nd last year and 3rd this year), which made us happy (competitive much?!). I’m proud of our team for getting a PR and we were excited to once again get up on that podium. I know for me at least, it’s likely the only time I’ll ever be up on a major race stage receiving an award! It’s also a great feeling to be part of a team for once, in a sport that for me mostly involves racing solo.

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We had the same commentator, you said the same thing as last year when we accepted our award: “Dietitian Divas – that’s so New York.” Um…okay!

We had tons of time to kill in between our finish and the awards ceremony, so we hit up the finish area booths before grabbing brunch. I’ve never gotten so much swag in my life! Check out all the Clif products I got. I swear, I didn’t rob a running store! They kept dumping things into my bag! I’m not a huge fan of recovery drinks, powders, protein bars etc (I prefer REAL food after a run), but I am experimenting with new gels and other products for the Marine Corps Marathon, and given how expensive they are, I was very grateful for these goodies to try.

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Now that the triathlon is over, it’s back to marathon training (I’m about to enter my 5th week of training) and studying for the RD exam, which I started to do yesterday. I also have one more week left of my Community rotation – my last rotation of my Dietetic Internship at Montefiore. I can’t believe I’m nearly done – it’s been a tough year and I know I have many more challenges ahead, but finishing this internship and taking the RD exam (hopefully in early September) will be such a relief. I don’t think the internship will really feel over until I have my credentials and finally start working!

I’m looking forward to heading to CA later this month for a little break before the exam to see my family, relax, study a little, and mostly just escape NYC for the first time in over 7 months. I have my first 20 miler coming up, which I am grateful to be able to run along my favorite trails in Nisene Marks. I can’t wait to breathe in that fresh redwood air and run on my beautiful local beach. Visions of home will get me through this final stretch!

Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

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