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E and I recently spent 10 days in Maui and 4 days in the Catskills. As usual, our travel was filled with some unforgettable runs, hikes and meals!

MAUI, HAWAII

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It was E’s first trip to Hawaii and I hadn’t been there in seven years, so we were excited to do some exploring in between chilling out on the beach with my family.

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Our first adventure was a 10M run from Makena to Kihei literally on every terrain imaginable – road, pavement, sand, grass, gravel trail and dirt trail. The paved beach trail (pictured above) meanders through the fancy Waliea hotels (from the Fairmont to the Andaz) and is a popular path among runners and walkers. What you may not know is that you can keep running past the Andaz along the beach (bottom left) for another mile or so to the Mana Kai hotel, along the grass (middle) around the hotel across more grass and onto a gravel trail leading past a boat ramp and onto another trail that takes you into Kihei (bottom right). Most tourists don’t go this far so you can get some peace and quiet! We did a shorter version of this run – from the Fairmont to the trail and back (~5-6M) – a couple times later in the week.

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The views are magnificent, and the earlier you go the better! We started our runs no later than 6:45am and already, the sun was beating down on us and the path was crowded (at least in Wailea). These runs were not easy between the sand, the heat and the rolling hills, but the scenery certainly made the miles fly by.

We also went on a 12M run/hike in Poli Poli State Park, which is way up a volcano towards Haleakala National Park along a tiny VERy windy road. We planned to devote one day just to a long run/hike somewhere far away from the beaten path and after some research, E decided upon Poli Poli. I won’t bother to write about this because E already wrote an awesome recap on his new trail running website, trailz.io, that truly captures the spirit of our adventure. The terrain was incredibly varied, but here are a couple photos to give you a sense of two sections of the trail…

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Lastly, we did a beautiful hike (with a little running) along the King’s Highway trail. It’s rocky but runable in certain sections. We happened to go there on a breezy, slightly cooler day, which made the temperature manageable in the late morning, but this is one place to watch out for the sun and to be sure to bring enough hydration! We only hiked for a couple hours but this trail goes on and on and on.

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Eating and being active of course go hand in hand, so I’ll leave you with a few of my Maui fav’s in case you find yourself in the area. We spent a week with my family in a condo and did a lot of grilling (my favorite fish is Opah moonfish – marinated in ginger, tamari and lemon – pictured bottom right with spinach and purple sweet potatoes), but here are some great restaurants that we love (some new, some very old):

  • Monkeypod kitchen: Good happy hour, have to get the Mai Tai
  • Cafe O’lei: Great value especially for lunch
  • Kimo’s: An old fav in Lahaina, go at sunset and don’t miss the hula pie
  • Coconut’s Fish Cafe: Yummy fish tacos in Kihei
  • Flatbread Company: Great pizzas in Paia

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We can’t wait to go back to Maui next year!

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CATSKILLS, NEW YORK

A week after we got back from Hawaii, we rented an adorable log cabin near Phoenicia to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. The weather was horrible (heavy rain most of the time), which initially really bummed us out. It ended up being a blessing, as it forced us to relax by the fire for two days and get some much needed recovery. We did a lot of resting, reading, and s’mores eating! We ventured out once our first day to grab lunch at Phoenicia Diner – the town seemed completely dead but apparently that’s where everyone was hanging out. Totally packed! We opted for breakfast but the lunch items looked incredible too.

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The rain let up just long enough for us to squeeze in a few hikes. All that rain explains why the area is so incredibly lush, but it also meant that the trails were super muddy and slick. Even on a dry day the trails are quite rocky and steep, so we ditched the idea of trail running and were happy to hike instead (enough of a challenge!).

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Our first hike was on the Slide-Wittenberg Trail, one of the trail-heads that originates in the Woodland Valley Campground just a few miles from our cabin. We got a late start (mid-afternoon), as the rain had only just stopped, and there literally wasn’t a soul on the trails, so we only did an out and back on a section of the loop (about 3.3 miles). The trail was beautiful, although sections of the trail were engulfed in water and at times we were essentially hiking up a rocky stream. Nevertheless, it was very peaceful and it felt great to be active after lounging around the cabin!

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Our second and main hike was a 7 mile out and back on the Giant Ledge-Panther Mountain Trail. You can get on this trail from Woodland Valley Campgrounds, but we decided to try something different and instead catch the trail-head near Big Indian (a 30 minute drive from Phoenicia). We started on the footbridge and from there it was essentially one very long climb up to a series of ledges with stunning views. The weather was still variable (we had sun and rain) and the trail was a mud bath, but thankfully the weather was clear enough when we reached the view points to glimpse the endless tree-covered mountains.

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After passing these ledges, we carried on towards what we thought would be the peak of Panther mountain, but strangely the trail started to go back down and we eventually decided to turn around. We later found out we went too far. There were a couple nice view points, but not so dramatic that we thought we had reached our final destination! Giant Ledge is the best feature of this trail and were it not for the fact that we wanted a longer workout, I think we would have been happy stopping at that point. Overall, a beautiful and challenging hike and well worth the effort!

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Of course, one of the best parts of doing a long run or hike is the awesome meal afterwards. We finished our hike around 4pm, just in time for Peekamoose restaurant in Big Indian to open for “dinner.” This was our favorite restaurant in the area – we had a huge meal including appetizers and dessert since we hadn’t eaten a real lunch. Everything was delicious and homemade. The restaurant was empty (because who eats dinner at 4pm?!), which was a good thing since we had attempted to clean ourselves up after our hike but we were still pretty gross! I don’t eat red meat that often but sometimes I really crave a good burger and this burger was INSANE. Definitely the opposite from the other burger pictured above from a few nights before – a delicious black bean burger at the adorable Woodstock Garden Cafe. We stopped here on our way to Phoenicia – beautiful garden and tasty, healthy vegan fare!

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Our last day was our anniversary  – I made the above photo collage from all our wedding and honeymoon pics. Before our drive back to NYC, we checked out the Tanbark traila short loop that starts right by the post office in Phoenicia. It was a lovely, less technical trail that we could have run in parts had we not been so sore from the previous day’s hike! Worth checking out if you’re in the area and want something a bit less strenuous.

We’re back in NYC now without any trips planned for awhile. I can’t complain after two incredible vacations! We’re hoping to enjoy some local running/hiking to build up for our Fall races, which we still haven’t locked in but we’re getting close to pulling the trigger on a few.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend filled with awesome workouts and delicious food!

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Do you have a special place to run or walk that immediately makes everything else melt away once you get there? I do. Actually, I’m lucky enough to have two – La Selva Beach (aka “my beach”) and Nisene Marks in Santa Cruz. Every time I come home to California for a visit, I look forward to experiencing the beauty and serenity of these spots. Running these routes brings me great comfort, and allows me to temporarily escape everything else going on in my life. 

After a very late arrival home yesterday due to my delayed flight, I only managed to sleep for a few hours and woke up this morning feeling exhausted and cranky. I headed straight to the beach to clear my head. It was foggy and breezy, with the sun threatening to come out and make way for blue skies later on (typical for August). I was fortunate to catch low tide and enjoyed the long stretch of packed level sand beneath my feet. The beach was mostly empty – a few surfers and walkers here and there, but otherwise very peaceful. The sounds of waves crashing made up my running soundtrack – no iPod needed. At least ten different types of birds were in the water and sky in the middle of some sort of feeding frenzy, and a couple seals poked their heads up every few minutes in the shallow parts of the water, almost seeming to swim alongside me. I almost forgot how awesome real wildlife is – you spend enough time in New York City and you begin to define wildlife as dirty pigeons, massive rats, and psycho squirrels. 

Afternoon shot of La Selva Beach

La Selva Beach, after the fog burned away

It was just a 4M run, but by the time it was over, it was as if I had hit my personal reset button. I needed to wash away the last seven challenging months in New York City without any vacation or significant mental breaks. Even if this isn’t truly “time off” in that I have to start cramming for the RD exam, at least I’m getting “time away,” which is nearly as valuable to me. Such a long stretch of time in NYC makes me feel trapped and burnt out. 

So here I am, sitting out on my parent’s deck in the sunshine, listening to the sounds of distant waves and bird chirping, watching hummingbirds fly by and deer hanging out in the backyard, munching on some delicious California produce, and feeling so grateful to have grown up here. I really wish I didn’t have to study, but I guess if I have to, this isn’t a bad way to get it done! 

I’m looking forward to running my first 20 miler in Nisene this weekend. I was signed up to do the NYRR long training run #2 before I booked this trip; running up and down the mountain will be a lot more enjoyable and SO much harder than doing loops around Central Park, that’s for sure. I wish E could join me out here – it’s our shared special place, after all – but it will be good practice for race day, when I’m out there on the road by myself. 

I ran my second Mini 10k (and first race since Boston) this past Saturday. Just as last year’s race served as a diagnostic as I prepared to begin Chicago training, this year’s mini was meant to reveal where I stand with this distance as I get ready to run in the NYC Triathlon relay next month. My “Dietitian Diva” team members are counting on me to help get us to the podium!

Last year, my fairly untrained but all-out racing effort resulted in a 45:58, so my original hope was at the very least to beat this time, with a real goal of crushing my very old PR of 45:04. My hamstring, however, had other plans for me, having flared up a bit after Boston. I’ve since been able to run casually without pain, but speed work still aggravates it so I opted not to race the mini. It’s unfortunate because the weather was great (coolest mini in history apparently) and with three strong recent races under my belt, I have no doubt I could have PR’d. Another time I suppose! Instead, I ran within what I’m calling my “hamstring comfort zone,” taking it fairly easy the first 2 miles and very very gradually speeding up as much as my hamstring would allow. I probably got up to 85% racing effort by the last mile – so it was more of a tough workout than a race I suppose. The good news is that I still managed to run 46:47 (7:32 average pace), less than a minute slower than my full-on racing effort last year, so that’s a good sign that although slightly injured at the moment, I’ve become much stronger in the last year. It also means that worst case, I know I can run a sub-47 without a problem next month; not ideal, but not the end of the world either.

Despite the frustration of not being able to let loose, I had such a great time at the mini. It felt good to get back out there after Boston and experience some positive race energy. What I love most about this mini is the history behind it – for over 40 years, this race has been celebrating women’s running! You can’t help but feel like you’re part of something when you run it. Also, unlike many other women’s races, the mini draws an awesome elite field as well as many other talented, competitive runners, while welcoming new runners and runners of all levels. Lastly, it’s one of the only larger races that places me right at the front! It’s quite inspiring being able to run right behind the elites (well, at least for a few seconds before they take off).

I started up front with my running buddy like last year, although this time she was able to keep me within sight for the entire race which helped her crush her PR, so that made me  happy! She finished right behind me so we were able to grab our medals, flowers etc together. I have to commend NYRR – perhaps not checking a bag helped (hence the lack of race photos), but it was such an easy race from an organizational point of view. Everything ran smoothly throughout the morning and it was never too crowded anywhere.

          Mini 10k   Run happy!

The highlight for me – like last year – was getting my medal signed, although this year it was much cooler. No lines, no official signing tables, just Desi Davila hanging out by the finish area after running her first race since pulling out of the Olympics last year. She ran well so she seemed to be in good spirits. My friend and I were about to wander away from the finish area to grab coffee when we saw her chatting with someone. I found a pen and we were able to go right up to her and get her autograph. We also got to chat for awhile – it was so chilled out and I was really excited to share with her that since I saw her at the mini last year, I had qualified for Boston and ran Boston. I told her I hoped to run again next year but unfortunately for us “real people” (which made her laugh) who just barely qualify, it will be tough so we’ll see. She’s awesome – and so so tiny! Every time I see her it amazes me.

So next up in racing is the NYC Triathlon relay on July 14th, and then I have ZERO races in the calendar, which is very strange for me. I didn’t get into the NYC marathon lottery, which I decided was a sign that I should take a real break from racing this fall. I am excited to coach Gilda’s again this year, so I will still be running, but I think my body could use a break from structured training, particularly if I am able to get into Boston and will be training hard next year.

In other news, I am very relieved to have completed my Spring semester at NYU – only one more class to go this summer and I will finally be done with my DPD’s! I also recently attended my ten year college reunion…pretty crazy that it’s been so long. It was fun to show Yale to E and see many old friends.

Otherwise, things have been insanely busy with all the last minute wedding planning, given how much I neglected to do during the semester, but everything is finally coming together. Last dress fitting this week (praying I can somehow stay the same size for two weeks, since my dress is very fitted), and a handful of things left to do but most of the big stuff is done. Only 19 days left to go!! Wow. E and I are beyond excited. I have no doubt it will be an incredible day! We fly to California next week…

And I will leave you with a delicious summer snack that I’ve stolen from some NYU friends. I have banana with peanut or almond butter all the time, but never in this actual form. It’s amazing. Simply slice a banana and freeze on a flat surface, then make little sandwiches with your nut butter of choice. SOOO GOOD. Enjoy!

Frozen banana & peanut butter sandwiches

I’m finally breaking my month of blogging silence. I didn’t intentionally abandon FFR for this long, but E’s move to NYC, final exams, recovering from final exams, ten days in Colorado, finally setting up our apartment (still in progress) and much more yanked me out of my weekly writing routine. I go back to school tomorrow so I figured it’s a perfect time to get back into the groove.

Where to begin…!!! Colorado deserves a separate post, including a recap of the 15M Continental Divide trail race (which was pretty much equal parts hiking as it was a running – or shall I say shuffling – at two miles above sea level) so I’ll leave that for later this week. It was a fantastic trip, filled with gorgeous scenery, tons of physical activity and ice cream cones the size of my head.

Caught on camera!

As for final exams – suffice to say, I was a stress case as usual, managed to maintain my GPA (just barely) and pray that I will never have to endure summer school ever again (unlikely). E and I celebrated my last final with an amazing dinner at Blue Hill. I had been dying to go back to the NYC restaurant for years, and it didn’t disappoint! I’m hoping to check out Blue Hill at Stone Barns sometime later this year…it’s supposedly even better!

Only after exams ended did I realize just how burnt out I was. And I thought I was run down after Spring semester! Ha. What a crazy summer. Even though I still had so much to do after exams, it was a huge relief to finally have some time off! Simply not studying has been incredibly liberating and restorative. I wish I could say that I’m excited for the Fall semester to begin – I guess I am, but not for it to begin tomorrow. My brain could use another week of recovery…

Speaking of recovery, I’ve been trying my best to err on the side of caution in terms of my training, sticking with running only four times a week and incorporating drop back weeks when necessary to help me reach the Chicago marathon start line in one piece. Race day is less than five weeks away, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about how it’s going to turn out. I still haven’t done any speed work aside from some tempo runs at half marathon pace (I’m up to 17 minutes) and marathon pace runs of 5-6M, and I haven’t done any hill work beyond what I encounter naturally in Central Park and, more recently, in Colorado. I also haven’t done many structured long runs, as I had originally planned. My weekly mileage has only gone above 30 miles a handful of times (!!), including my peak so far of this past week’s 38.7 miles.

But it’s hard to say how I will fare on race day at this stage. On the one hand, I haven’t trained as hard as I had intended to (part school, part injury), and the resulting lower mileage and lack of consistent speed work and strength training may end up thwarting my goal to BQ. My hip pain seems to be under control, but I have to be careful. On the other hand, I am leaner now, running in cooler conditions will hopefully begin producing faster results, all of my Colorado activities made me feel stronger and I have done many more long runs than in previous training cycles. I just completed my second 20 miler this past Saturday, and plan to run another the week after next. This is quite different to past training cycles, which included only one 20 miler.

Normally I race a half marathon to test where I’m at 5 weeks or so before marathon day. I couldn’t find an appropriate race nearby, so I’ve settled on running the Bronx 10 miler on September 9th. I’ve only run one 10M race before, and I ran it as a tempo run, so I’m interested to see how my first 10M racing experience will go, especially having done so little speed work. Hopefully it will give me a better sense of where I stand, so I can adjust my Chicago goals accordingly.

It’s getting late – how quickly my last weekend of freedom slipped through my fingers! I’ll leave you with a couple photo of two great meals I made for myself recently – breakfast soft tacos (veggie scramble with avocado) and an incredible, colorful fig and goats cheese salad. Fig season is the best – I hope to have my own fig tree someday!

 

How’s everyone handling this incredibly hot, first official day of summer? I’m trying to convince myself that it’s easing me into the similarly high temperatures in Rome, where I’m spending the weekend, but there’s no easing into a sudden heat advisory, is there?! Although tomorrow is supposed to be even worse, so I suppose that’s progress…

Class today felt particularly draining – I couldn’t sleep last night, lab this morning was long and hot, my quiz was harder than I expected and then I spent a few hours taking practice exams to prepare for my orgo midterm tomorrow. By the time I headed back to Manhattan in the late afternoon the temperatures were starting to soar and I was completely fried, both mentally and physically. Needless to say, the last thing I wanted to do was go for a tempo run. I hate the dreadmill, but there was no way I was going to attempt a hard session outdoors. At least the gym had AC!

But what really motivated me to quit my whining and put on my running shoes, aside from the promise of AC, was this article written by one of my Gilda’s Club runners. Mary Beth, who is a journalist as well as a member of Gilda’s Club, asked me after our first meeting if I would be willing to talk to her about the rising popularity of marathoning for an article she was writing for Salon.com. The article would also discuss her own decision to run her first marathon after enduring a grueling phase-1 clinical trial for cancer treatment. I of course said yes!

We had a really lovely chat over the weekend, and I’m really pleased with how the article came out. Funny enough, one of the other coaches she interviewed is Patti Finke, who taught my RRCA coaching certification course. I agree with everything Patti says – I certainly don’t think anyone off the street can run a marathon, but if you train properly and you have the DETERMINATION, yes I think you can do it. It pains me just how many people go into marathons poorly prepared – I remember overhearing a man tell his friend at mile eight of the Portland Marathon that he was officially in unchartered territory, since he had never run more than eight miles. That’s NOT what I meant when I was talking about proving something to yourself! That’s just plain stupid.

I have faith in my runners and in my own ability to motivate them – that is why I 100% believe they CAN do it. But WILL they do it? That depends entirely on them – because at the end of the day, there’s only so much a coach can do! It all comes down to the individual runner. You have to have the desire, as well as the discipline – not only to train but also to respect your body. And of course there are always things out of our control that happen – injuries, stomach problems, or whatever else. But yes I know my runners can do it – and I’m going to do my best to help them actually do it. 🙂

After reading that article, what excuse could I really give to skip my run? I headed to the gym and although my run was pretty crappy, I’m glad I ran. It’s going to be a low mileage week with Rome so I have to front load my training this week as much as possible!

Time to pack for Rome and start studying for my midterm – 8pm already?! Yikes. My exam is mid-day and I head to the airport directly afterwards. Unfortunately I only have 48 hours in Italy, since I have to be back for class on Monday (and yet another exam shortly thereafter), but I’m excited. I am finally seeing E, celebrating the wedding of a dear friend and last but certainly not least, taking two entire days off of studying orgo – woo-hoo!

Happy Summer Solstice everyone – and be careful if you’re running outdoors!

Happy Father’s Day! I’m about to head down to the library to finally start studying for my organic chemistry midterm, but first I thought I’d post a few updates.

I had my first Gilda’s Club NYC Marathon team meeting this past week, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be coaching them this year. In the past, running has mostly been tied with my personal goals – I will of course still be focused on my own training as I prepare for Chicago, but my goals will also be intertwined with those of my runners. It brings me so much joy to be able to share my passion with other people and help them finish their first marathon (or improve upon their previous races).

I met about half of the runners on the team, including two cancer survivors who will be running their first marathon. The clubhouse is very welcoming, and I felt very inspired by everyone in that room! It was a wonderful feeling to put on my “Coach Claire” hat and offer advice and information to get my runners amped up to begin training. I sometimes forget just how much I know about running and what I have to offer runners with less experience – hearing myself talk to my runners reminded me that I DO have a lot of knowledge and experience, which gave me a nice confidence boost. It’s my first time coaching a large group, so I am learning too! Our first group run is on July 8th, and we officially begin training a couple weeks later.

As I touched upon in a previous post, I am on the hunt for a new gel. I went to REI and this is what I grabbed to test out on my long runs (my old UK gel, SIS, is at the bottom). I had already tried a vanilla Power Bar gel and hated it – way too sweet and salty – but bought a couple fruity flavors to see if they were more tolerable. Unfortunately, I think Power Bar is no longer a contender. I tried Kona Punch during yesterday’s 13 miler and it was equally wretched. With SIS, the taste is toned down enough (almost refreshing in a way) that I can take it without water and be fine. With Power Bar gels, I wanted to drink my entire bottle with each little taste of the gel. I suppose I could time my gels with water stations during the marathon, but I’d prefer to have the option of taking a gel in between stations and not gagging. Sorry Power Bar!

The Hammer Gels looked promising from the flavors, so those are next on the list. Someone had also told me that the honey gels are quite tasty – we shall see! I have tried the chews and they do taste pretty good, so I might pick those up too.

Chicago Marathon training has officially begun. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to actually make my schedule, so I’m going against my own advice and “winging it” at the moment, but at least I have a skeleton of long runs plotted out. My body wasn’t too happy with me (particularly my back and hamstring) after pushing myself in the mini 10k, so I have struggled to hit my harder workouts this week. I did make it through my grueling long run yesterday, though, and managed to get up to 28.3M with my easy 6 miler this morning.

I wanted to make sure I got enough miles in given that this coming week is insane –  I have a midterm on Thursday, after which I am heading to the airport to fly to Rome for a wedding. I am in Rome for 48 hours, get back Sunday and then have to cram for a final exam, after which I have two days to pack and move into my new apartment. It’s definitely going to be a crazy couple of weeks! Ideally I wouldn’t back down to 15ish miles this week but instead get above 30M. However, with my hamstring being so iffy lately and my stress levels soaring, I think some time off won’t be a bad thing.

 

Not like I’ve been working that hard lately, generally speaking – this past week I’ve been quite the slacker. Who can really blame me given the weather lately? Instead of studying, I had a picnic in Sheep Meadow. I made pizza (shallots, tomatoes, mozzarella, kale and mushrooms). I read the Hunger Games (note to self – NEVER EVER start books you know you’ll want to finish in the middle of a four-week orgo class – “just one more chapter” – ha!). I watched TV. I did some online shopping for new apartment stuff. I suppose it was a good move for my mental health – my motivation really has been at an all time low this week to study – but with a midterm and a final exam both in the next week and a half, that probably wasn’t the smartest move. Oh well!

Before I sign off, here are a few race photos – one from the Brooklyn Half and a couple from the mini 10k.

  

I watched my finish video and not only did they call my name out (they never call my name) but I also noticed that Mary Wittenberg, president of NYRR, finished right behind me!

Lastly, here’s a funny someecards E sent me the other day – made me laugh. That was me, not that long ago – now I eat cupcakes AND run marathons!

This heat is killing me. I’ve lived in NYC before – I know the drill – but I wasn’t running regularly outside back then nor was I sitting in an un-airconditioned classroom for nearly six hours a day (not sure if that is better or worse than being blasted with too much AC in an office). It’s cooled off this weekend, but I know that probably won’t last for long…

I got back to NYC last Sunday, after a short but wonderful trip to California. It was a painful return, stepping out of JFK into this crazy urban sauna with a month of organic chemistry awaiting me, but I’m slowly settling into my new routine. I just hope my body can adapt to this weather! I attempted to run the day after my arrival – granted, I didn’t start until 10am, but it was brutal. I only ran 6.5M and I was a mess – at least I looked cute in my new Lululemon running skirt! I am so glad I made that purchase – it is very comfortable and lightweight, although I do look like I’m about to go play tennis…

I definitely need to get on an earlier running schedule for Chicago training, which officially begins in a couple of weeks. Fitness-wise, I am not where I had hoped I would be at this stage, having only run three days a week without any speed work at all since March, in addition to some extra pounds from recent weeks. I also don’t have the base mileage I should have going into a somewhat ambitious marathon training cycle – I am at 20-25M rather than 30-35M per week – but that’s okay. My main goal has been to run pain free and as of now my hamstring is doing well. It hurt slightly after my first attempt at speed work on Wednesday (8x1min repeats) despite my taking the pace down a few notches, but I managed to knock out a pretty solid 10.5M run at 8:37 average pace a couple days later in Central Park without any pain.

It will be pretty interesting to see how Saturday’s NYRR women’s mini-10k race goes! I haven’t raced a 10k in a very long time. It will be a great diagnostic tool, and will help me build my training program (currently I only have a skeleton of long runs plus a few races). I’m not expecting an amazing time, given how little I’ve prepared, but hopefully I won’t embarrass myself!

In terms of early morning running, I actually don’t have much choice this month, since my organic chemistry course starts at 9am up in the Bronx! That means 6am start times – yuck. This course is very intense – an entire semester’s worth of material crammed into the month of June. I suppose that’s the definition of all summer classes (this is also my first summer class). I’ve never been a chemistry fan, and the last time I actually took chemistry was in 1999, so to say that I was nervous going into it this whole thing is an understatement. So far I’m managing to hang in there (kind of) and my confidence has increased (slightly). In some ways, it’s refreshing to be problem solving rather than simply memorizing! I almost found myself enjoying it the other day, that is until I got to the much harder material and wanted to throw the book out the window.

We’ve only had two days of class so far and already we have our first of two midterms this week. I definitely haven’t been studying as much as I should be, but hopefully I’ll have a firm grasp of the material by Thursday. I made the executive decision that I need to at least have a partial social life this summer and of course still prioritize my training. Plus, the material is so dense, I feel like there’s only so much time you can actually stare at it before your brain explodes. I think I’ve done a fairly good job of maintaining balance between school, training and fun so far, and I even found some nice places to study in the sunshine that aren’t too distracting. Sleep has been suffering though…I need to work on that.

In other news, I FINALLY got a hospital volunteer position! I have been persistently calling various NYC hospitals since early April, and it was becoming a discouraging process (programs already full, no one returning calls/emails etc). I realize now that it’s just how it goes with hospitals – everyone is so busy and there are so many forms and rules to follow, and things take awhile to process as a result. I was relieved when the manager of Clinical Nutrition and Patient Services at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center called me in to interview last week. It went very well and I was offered the position on the spot – I start on July 2nd (four hours every Monday), or as soon as I am medically cleared. Very excited!

And last but not least, a quick announcement: my coaching gig with Gilda’s Club NYC will be starting soon (our first meeting is in June, first run in early July) and the team still has about ten spots open. If you or anyone you know would like to run the NYC Marathon and raise $3,000 for a great charity, please let me know and I will give you all the details!

Have a great Sunday! As for me, time to hit the books…my head hurts just thinking about it!!

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

My latest photos

Grateful for quality time this week with my little pumpkin! 🎃😍 Happy Monday from California! I haven’t posted any running pics for a long time as I’ve been dealing with a hip injury for the last few months (and zero running for the last 5 weeks). 😓 I haven’t run a race, even a short one, in over a year - so different than how I imagined my postpartum running life to be. It makes me sad that I can’t run especially while in Santa Cruz, but I’m trying to stay active in different ways, be diligent about my PT, and remain positive even though the road to recovery feels endless at times. Yesterday, E and I went on a beautiful beach walk in the morning and then I did a hike with a friend and our babes in the afternoon, where I normally run in Nisene. I miss running but hopefully will get back to it soon, stronger than before! Baking “for the baby” tonight (so I say as I gobble up these delicious treats). Made mini pumpkin muffins (and a few mama sized ones), recipe adapted from @babyfoode. So easy to make - I added full fat Greek yogurt and almond butter to include some healthy fats. I think Arielle will love these - if for some crazy reason she doesn’t, more for me!! 😂 Nice work on tonight’s dinner, @trailz.io!! So good I’m going back for seconds. Veg bake with layers of eggplant, red onions, tomatoes, zucchini, ricotta, breadcrumbs, & spices with arugula on top. 👌🏻 Surprise package in the mail today! Thx @rxbar - stoked to try out the new gingerbread flavor. Speaking of, how on earth is it already the holiday season?!?! #rxbar Love @siggisdairy triple cream yogurts - perfect to satisfy a craving for something sweet and indulgent while providing 9g protein, relatively few calories (170), and calcium. The chocolate flavor was so delicious! #dailysiggis

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