Running and Traveling

I am back from my Alaskan cruise! Actually I’ve been back for over two weeks but have been busy with our new house and planning my next trip :D Ok, no excuses. I will do a separate post on Alaska but for now, I wanted to talk about running while on vacation/traveling. It is really one of my all-time favorite things to do and I think it really is the best way to see a new city and explore where you are. If you really love to run then I guarantee running in a new place will make you love running even more. One good thing about traveling with Phil is that he is the only person I know who will run with me during our travels and it is kind of important to me to be with someone who shares this love. Here are some tips for running while traveling:

  1. Map out a route before you go: Do some research on where you will be staying and map out a running route, especially if you will be in an unfamiliar place. That way you won’t stress about where to run and you can also plan out how far you want to go.
  2. Look for nearby trails or parks: This makes planning out your run easier because you will already have a paved route and I guarantee you will see locals running in these areas.
  3. Research and contact local running clubs/stores. Often times, and especially in larger cities, local clubs and running stores will have scheduled group runs. This is a great way to meet locals and see the town.
  4. Look for a race: Do some research and see if there is a race going on during the time you are in town.
  5. Try to run with someone. If not, bring a phone. This will not only help if you get lost but in case you run into any sort of trouble.
  6. Run an out and back. I usually plan a route that starts and ends at wherever I am staying. That way, you won’t have to worry about how you will get back to the hotel from your run. However, sometimes it’s fun to end your run at a local coffee shop or bakery too if it isn’t too far from your hotel.
  7. Always bring your I.D. and cash. Just in case. On the same note, don’t run with too many valuables.
  8. Be aware of your surroundings. Always be alert, especially in unfamiliar territory. Try not to run with earphones or run with the volume low.
  9. ENJOY/EXPLORE where you are!! It is the best.

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Does anyone run on vacation/travel?

Where was your favorite place to run?

Share some tips!

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Great News and Miami!

I have some great news.

NO STRESS FRACTURE!! I am so relieved. SO relieved that I ran every single day while I was in Miami over the weekend. In the flaming heat and humidity. On the sand. It was the best.

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According to my doc, I have the beginnings of mild shin splints, which is what I thought but ALWAYS better safe than sorry. It is never, ever a good idea to run with a stress fracture. At least now I know that I can still run but I just have to take it easy for a little bit. Whew.

Other great news: I found a store that still had my Wave Rider 16s!!! I found a pair at RUN by Foot Locker. This is one store that I have never set foot in but pass on a regular basis. To be honest, I just didn’t think they would have a good selection of running shoes but I was wrong. They also have a very knowledgeable staff so I will definitely be going back there for my running shoe needs. I thought that the staff was more knowledgeable than these “specialty” running stores throughout the city. Good job, RUN.

Look at these beauties:

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I have been to Miami too many times to count and am always excited to go back because of this ONE restaurant: Puerto Sagua. It is the best Cuban food in the city. If you go to Miami, you must try it. Reasonably priced, big portions, and yummy. Another amazing place to try is Yardbird. Hands down some of the best fried chicken. The place is super cute and everything we got was delicious. My faves were the fried chicken and waffles and the fried green tomatoes. Not a very healthy weekend ha!

Chicken n’ Waffles:

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And now I am back to the daily grind- at least I can run!

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Anyone ever been to Miami? Favorite places to eat?

Who has had a stress fracture?

 

New Jersey HALF Marathon Recap

Hello, ladies and gents! An update on my anemia: I have been getting iron infusions every week and taking iron tablets every day to get my levels up to normal. They are still pretty low but I have been feeling SO much better, better than I have felt in YEARS. I was told my condition has been progressing over the years and I think this may explain why I have felt so crappy while training for Chicago and Berlin.

I was not allowed to run the NJ Marathon yesterday but was able to run the Half, so long as I was conservative with my pace and listened to my body. I felt really good and for the first time in months was able to run without stopping to catch my breath. Phil and I ran at a pretty comfortable/slow pace (he would yell at me if I sped up) and finished in around 2:04. Obvi not a PR but that wasn’t what we were after yesterday. We wanted a safe, fun, run and we got just that.

The course: FLAT. I can see why so many people PR on this course.  I will definitely be back to run this once I am healthy again. There were one or two tiny bridges but that was it. The half started at 6:45 a.m. and the wind didn’t pick up until later in the day (felt so bad for the marathoners! You guys rocked!). You run through neighborhoods and pass gorgeous houses for most of the course. The last 1.5 miles is along the water and you finish on the boardwalk so that was nice.

The people: It was a pretty small race but the locals were so nice and cheered for us the entire time. There are not many spectators on the course but the ones who were out were awesome, handing out water and cheering people on.

Transportation: We bought a start-area parking pass and got in/out of the race with no problem. We didn’t encounter much traffic getting to the race either. Our hotel was about 2 miles from the start line so that made everything pretty easy. The start/finish areas are in different places but there are buses that will shuttle you from the finish to the start. We didn’t take this but I saw a lot of buses so don’t think it would have been a problem.

Overall, great day, great course. We were there with Phil’s family and had such a good time. It was the first time I have felt good about a run (even though I couldn’t really “race”) in such a long time. That being said, I just signed up for the Philly Marathon 2014!! Who’s running it with me?!

Austin

This past weekend I surprised Phil with a trip to Austin for his birthday. A few of our friends also surprised him there. It was a great time consisting of a little running and a LOT of eating.

Running: On Saturday I did a 5 mile easy run @ 8:50 along the Colorado River. Austin has an abundance of trails/running paths along the water and through the city (even along the highway). This is definitely something I could get used to. I ended my run at one of the best brunch places I’ve been to in a while (see below).

Food/Drinks: We started Friday night at Craft Pride on Rainey St. All the beers and wine there are local. And there really is a huge selection. I had some honey beer that was pretty good. To top it off, there is a pizza truck in the back that serves “Detroit style” pizza. Having gone to school in Michigan, we told the guy we had never heard of such a thing but the pizza was still good. On Saturday I met Phil and friends after my run at South Congress Cafe. The special of the day was pulled pork grits, which we obvi ordered. Phil had veal meatloaf which was also amazing. Some of the best breakfast food I’ve had. Sunday: Gourdough’s Donuts (we got 5 huge donuts. The Mother Clucker was my favorite- fried chicken on top of a donut covered with honey butter), Mellow Johnny’s, chicken shit bingo (with free hot dogs), and Rudy’s BBQ. Enough said.

The donuts:

Everyone should go and visit Austin. This was my second time there and it’s only grown on me more.

St. Martin!

Last weekend I was in St. Martin for a wedding of a good friend. I was so excited to eat the DELICIOUS food and tan on the beach. One out of the two happened.

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If you are ever in St. Martin you MUST go to a LOLO (basically just an open air restaurant that serves yummy ribs, grilled fish, JOHNNY CAKES (the doughy thing on the yellow plate), and other delicious food.  I was in St. Martin once before and fell in love. I was so excited to be back.

Don’t let this picture below fool you. Most of the time we were there it was rainy and cloudy :( This picture is from our last few hours there. Sadly, the sun came a little late. There was not much tanning involved.

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The day after I got back to NYC there was a snow storm. So I ran in it. It was a little brutal because it was windy and the snow was really smacking against my face. By the time I was done I couldn’t feel my entire body. I also ran a 15k this past Saturday…pics to come!!

Berlin!

Now that I’ve recovered from my poor performance in the marathon, I’m ready to share what we did (ate) besides running.

Needless to say, I love Berlin, more than I was expecting. Phil wants to move there..that’s how much he loved it. The people were so nice, the food was so good, and the city is so clean, modern, and full of art.

Where we stayed: Arcotel Velvet.
We picked this hotel primarily for its proximity to the marathon start (about 800m). It was a great location because we were able to walk to the start on race day. The hotel is located in the neighborhood Mitte, a trendy-ish part of the city, close enough to downtown but far enough so that you’re not in the middle of the hustle. There are tons of cute restaurants and the hotel was just down the block from the u-bahn and s–bahn. The hotel itself was decent. We got there early and so they only had a smoking room ready for us. I didn’t like staying in a smoking room so next time I’ll just wait til check-in.

Some restaurants (we tried to stick with mostly local food/dishes):
Curry 36 (we actually ate next door to here but it looked really good hehe)20131019-075938.jpg

-KaDeWe food court: this is a huge dept store and worth exploring but go to the 7th floor for amazing food stands, 8th for the buffet and glass dome. This is not your average dept store food! (sorry for the blurry pic)

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Weihenstephaner in the Heckeschen Market: cool beer hall with local Bavarian fare

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Backerei Ladewig: Family-run bakery. Had my first Berliner here!!

20131019-080017.jpgBurgermeister: REALLY REALLY good burgers and cheese fries

IMG_2347Fassbender & Rausch: Best chocolate shop in Berlin. They have huge chocolate sculptures on the first floor and a cafe on the 2nd. Definitely worth a visit. Get one of the cold chocolate drinks.

IMG_2307I would love to go back to Berlin and run the marathon/eat the food again….like, right now.

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Some sights:

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • East Side Gallery
  • KaDeWe
  • Pergomon Museum/Museum Island
  • Holocaust Memorial
  • Reichstag
  • Topography of Terror
  • Berlin Wall Memorial
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Tiergarten
  • Gendarmenmarkt

Berlin is a very walkable city so I would highly recommend trying to walk as much as you can to really take everything in. It’s so rich with history and beauty.

Stay tuned for Munich!

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Anyone been to Berlin? What was your favorite part??

Berlin Marathon recap

It’s done. I’m in pain.

The course was pretty flat with a lot of downhills. It’s no wonder a new world record was set in this race! It would have been the perfect course to set a PR… but I didn’t (we’ll get to that later). The spectators were amazing and there was so much energy. Since my name was on my bib (everyone’s is) spectators were yelling my name and that was really motivating. You also pass a lot of great architecture and neighborhoods. I tried to look up at my surroundings but most of the time I was too focused on just being done. Some downsides to this race- there were a few narrow parts where it was really hard to pass people; the water stops were really crowded and there was no getting around it; bag check was kind of a nightmare. Overall I would highly recommend it and given the chance, would definitely run this again.

Now, my performance. I didn’t go into this race very confident. I knew my tempo runs weren’t on pace so I didn’t plan on hitting my goal time. I did, however, hope to PR. Unfortunately I was about 4 mins off. I don’t really know what it was. Although I ran the most even pace, my pace for the first twenty miles was the slowest it’s been. My feet, knees, and IT band also decided to bother me all at once from about mile 3. This has never happened in training. I think the Hanson’s Method was good at keeping me on a steady pace (and that’s really the goal of the plan) but I think I trained at a slower pace than I should have. My body was also so tired by the end of training that my motivation was pretty low. I think I will revert back to my standard marathon plan- I can take being tired from running but I didn’t like being tired OF running.

Next up: Bermuda marathon.

Now it’s time to really enjoy Berlin!!