Weekend in Boston

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My family and I are getting ready to head home after a wonderful and fun three days in Boston this past weekend. We drove up early Saturday morning and after a short 45-minute stop for food and a stretch just outside Hartford, CT, we arrived at the Westin Copley Place at 2pm. Our room was still being worked on, so we got to hang out in the Westin Weekend Room for a bit. It’s a parent’s saving grace if you get to hotel early and have some time to kill. There were snacks, crayons, coloring books, games – all for young kids. We spent some time hanging out in the room enjoying the views. Even Willow loved to see Boston! Later that afternoon, we went for a walk, did some exploring and found some food to bring back to the room. And were greeted with a sweet surprise upon our arrival. The boys were pretty excited! Sunday morning started off dark and early. My alarm was set for 5am but both boys decided it was a good idea to start the day off even earlier. (I will go into detail of race morning/race/post-race in my Falmouth Race Recap post.) read Continue Reading →

Alaska Adventure

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Hi Everyone!!! I had every intention of updating you at least 1-2x/week while my family was on vacation – I figured it would be a piece of cake. But there was always something that won out over blogging and after the first couple of days, I decided to just let it go, unplug and spend as little time on the computer and my phone as necessary. The last 15+ days were nothing short of magical. It’s impossible to accurately describe what a wonderful, whirlwind adventure it was for us. This was one of those trips where everything felt easy and each day was more fun and exciting than the previous day.  Even though our daily routines were disrupted, we fell immediately into a new routine (or lack thereof!) with no bumps along the way. I was a bit apprehensive about how traveling 18+ hours and then being away for two weeks would affect the little guys but they exceeded our expectations and acted like seasoned travelers. Here’s how the two weeks unfolded: We spent the first five days at my in-law’s home on Nancy Lake (about 90 minutes north of Anchorage), then headed up to Denali National Park for three days Continue Reading →

National Running Day + Adding Fun into Training

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Happy National Running Day! I’m sure you’ve been inundated with information about events and deals…so here’s just a quick recap if you haven’t heard yet: Westin Hotels: If you are in NYC today, come by Westin Grand Central at 10:30 for a chance to win some free gear, meet NY Yankees pitcher David Roberston and go on a 5k run! Timex: Use hashtag #IMARUNNER on Twitter and Instagram to celebrate the day. For every use of #IMARUNNER on National Running Day, Timex will donate $5, up to $20,000, towards the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Team Boomer program.  Individuals who contribute content via the hashtag #IMARUNNER will also be qualified to win Timex® IRONMAN® watches. Sparkly Soul Giveaway: Enter to win one of three 5-packs of headbands Rock ‘n’ Roll Races/Festival: Register today and save $20 on all US races (today only), learn about the new Running Festival at 5 locations across US Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun Runs: 21 locations across US and Canada are hosting fun runs I Run This Body gear: All shirts are on sale (today only!) NYRR events: Fun runs, giveaways and/or water stations will be set up at various locations across NYC. Women’s Running Magazine: Subscribe today for only $1 an issue! Continue Reading →

Mother’s Day Weekend + Vitamix S30 Winner

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and if you were celebrating, had a wonderful Mother’s Day. After the crummy winter and fairly cold spring thus-far, mother nature delivered an absolutely perfect weekend for us in the northeast (and seems to be continuing the trend because today is gorgeous as well!). We had my nephew / godson’s 1st birthday party on Saturday at my sister’s home. Seriously, isn’t he the cutest? =) My family continued our Mother’s Day tradition (which we started 5 years ago) on Sunday: brunch at a local restaurant and coffee/cake/drinks at one of our homes. The day could not have been more fun – brunch was delicious and then the rest of the day was spent at our house relaxing and playing in the yard. ——————– The winner of the Vitamix S30 giveaway is Adrienne!! Please email me at nycrunningmama@gmail.com ASAP so we can get your new blender sent over! Thank you to everyone who participated!  If you didn’t win, you can still enter one of the other Mother’s Day week giveaways I’m hosting: Entry into in24 Philly Race + Pair of Saucony Shoes + Sparkly Soul Headbands). read more

Mamalete Day 2014

Just a reminder – there are four giveaways (in honor of Mother’s Day) right now (Vitamix S30 Blender + Entry into in24 Philly Race + Pair of Saucony Shoes + Sparkly Soul Headbands) I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a special Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!!! ———————— Truth: There are many days where I feel overwhelmed with being a parent. My boys are at ages where they are SO impressionable – I feel like they soak every single thing in (for better or worse) that my husband and I say or do (I learned this the hard way after my oldest started repeating a phrase I yelled at him a handful of times – no curse words, but it wasn’t what I wanted him saying outside the house).  And so we are trying to be the best example we can be. We are trying to lay the foundation for things like a love for school and learning (which I remember my mom instilled in me from the youngest age), a healthy relationship with food, good manners and an active lifestyle. read more

26Strong + Saucony Shoe Giveaway!

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Don’t forget to enter the other giveaways I’m hosting this week in honor of Mother’s Day (Vitamix S30 Blender + Entry into in24 Philly Race). If you’ve been reading here for a bit, you may remember that I participated in the 2013 Saucony 26 Strong Campaign in the fall. I had a blast – and especially loved mentoring and coaching my “cadet”, Hallie, as she trained for her first marathon. So I was extremely excited when Saucony reached out to me this past winter to see if I would be interested in participating in the 2014 Campaign. Saucony and Competitor have teamed up to put together a team of 26 females – 13 “veteran” marathoners and 13 first-time marathoners. The coaches are some pretty amazing (and speedy!) women, many of whom I have the honor and privilege of calling my friends (Dorothy, Jess, Katherine, Jenny to name a few). Saucony left it up to the coaches to select our “cadet”. I knew I wanted to pick someone local – someone that I could train with occasionally and meet for coffee/dinner/training catchups whenever we wanted. Once I narrowed down what I was looking for, it became an easy decision. I’m excited Continue Reading →

Weekend Happenings and Training Catch Up

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Happy Monday!! I started off this morning with a 20+ mile run. Truth be told, I had initially planned on getting this run in yesterday but after a jam packed, fun and exhausting weekend, I made the decision to postpone it one day. I felt that it was better to get more sleep and recover from the weekend’s festivities before I put my body through any more stress. I wanted the run to be outside which meant that the run had to happen before my husband had to go to work…which meant starting before 5am. That’s still a bit too early and dark to be running alone (for my liking) so I did the first 7 on the treadmill and then layered up (it was 38 degrees this morning!) and ran another 13.3 outside. I’m really happy with how consistent the splits were – 7:42 pace inside and 7:38 pace outside and with the exception of the first two miles of each, all miles were between 7:28-7:44. The 20 miles also capped off a great week of training and a great weekend with family and friends: read more

Spring Racing and 2014 Plans

This post is a long time coming. And just plain long. I apologize in advance if it seems like a bunch of random thoughts thrown out. But there are a lot of factors going into my plans for the year and I want to try to explain them all so that my decision makes sense (even if just to me). After making the announcement of my goal of qualifying for the Ironman World championships (one day) back in October, I began filling my race calendar with triathlons – 70.3 Eagleman in June, 70.3 Princeton in September, Ironman Florida in November. Every ounce of my competitive self wanted to train my butt off and focus as much time and energy as I could to start the road to (hopefully  one day) qualify for Kona. (*Note: the only race I am currently signed up for is Eagleman; I held off on Princeton and it is now sold out; I was going to run IM Florida with Team Refuel again so no entry was necessary.) I don’t remember the exact moment or day, but at some point in December / January I kind of had that “aha” moment and realized there was a Continue Reading →

Training Update + New Member of Our Family

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Don’t forget to enter the Asics Giveaway I am hosting! Two winners will each win $150 for use on anything on Asics.com. It’s officially RACE WEEK!! I am giddy with excitement about everything I am going to be able to do and people I will get to meet this weekend – there will be a post later this week with those details! I hope you are all staying as warm as possible with this cold weather and snow again. I promise to not rub it in (too much) that I will be in 70+ degree weather in a few days. =) I’m in my second week of tapering for the LA Marathon (six days away!). This is the first time where I haven’t been counting down or felt beat by the time the taper hit – hopefully that means that I am rested and not worn out like I usually am come race day. Recap of last week’s training: Monday: rest day Tuesday: easy-paced 6 miles. Wednesday: I wanted to do my tempo run outside, so despite the cold temps (with the wind it felt like 17 degrees), I bundled up and headed out. Two facts. First: It’s much harder (for me) Continue Reading →

Treadmill Running with Little Ones

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As I’ve talked about a few times, I am not the biggest fan of the cold weather (by cold, I mean <25 degrees) nor running in the pitch black at 5am. So I tend to rely on the treadmill a lot during the winter months. Since we have one in our basement, I also tend to sleep in more since I have the luxury of running during the day while I am home with the boys.  On average, I’d say that 2-3 runs/week have been happening during the day and the other runs occur earlier in the morning before my husband goes to work. Truth is, my youngest is still a bit too young to have around while I run. We don’t have anything blocking the front of the treadmill and I am too worried he will just wander over mid-run.  Actually, yesterday was the first time I attempted to run when both boys were awake. It took an episode of Sesame Street to keep my youngest sitting on the couch and away from me, but it worked and I manged to run a few miles. But normally, I only run while he is napping and since the boys’ naps are Continue Reading →

Life and Running Lately

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Life at home with the boys lately has been wonderful but crazy. I continually think that the next stage of their little lives will be easier and give me more “me” time during the day, but there’s always something else that takes it away. I’m finding myself more of a referee these days – they are playing more independently (yay!) AND together, which completely makes my heart ache with happiness, but a 3 y/o and 16 m/o’s idea of playing is slightly different. My oldest wants to build huge block towers and play with his trains and my youngest wants to knock it all down and throw things around.  These difference of opinions lead to little fights that have seem to become a constant occurrence (which I know is normal between siblings!). Add to that their napping is nonexistent or at the least, short and sporadic, so I no longer have that dedicated chunk of time in the afternoon to blog, respond to emails, or run on the treadmill like I had grown accustomed to.   read more

Halloween + Longest Long Run

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Well, friends…we are officially in peak week! AGH! I feel like the last few weeks have completely flown by. And let’s not even begin to discuss that the big day is now less than three weeks away. This past weekend was my longest long run of the training cycle. My coach wanted me to run for 3:05. No set pace or distance. I was supposed to “just run” for 185 minutes. The purpose was to get some time on my feet. All of my long runs up until this weekend have been 16-18 milers (+ one 20) and have maxed out at 2:30. Since I’m going after a specific time and I need to run strong from start to finish, it was important to do a really long run. Despite knowing I was going to be running for over 3 hours, I wasn’t nervous at all (a change for me for a long run!) and somewhat excited about the run. It was really great not having to worry about anything except moving – no marathon goal pace miles, no fast finish. My plan was to look at my garmin as little as possible and run on how I was feeling. I Continue Reading →

Birthday Celebration + 24 days to go!

Hey everyone! I’m still here! I know I have barely written anything lately…life has been crazy the last few weeks and blogging is one of the first things I sacrifice when I am short on time. But crazy = good so I am not complaining. I have a bunch of exciting things going on with blogging/social media and will be sharing them all in the next few weeks! Monday was my 32nd birthday.  It’s strange how things change – my husband took a half day with the intention of giving me some free time to go for a massage, take a nap, get my nails done…really just have some alone time.  But all I wanted to do was spend the afternoon with the boys. It was an absolutely gorgeous day so we decided to take the 45-minute drive and go to the Turtle Back Zoo in NJ. We had a blast! My whole family (sans one sister) came over on Sunday for dinner and birthday cake. It was the perfect way to celebrate! ————- Another week of marathon training has come and gone. Philly is *just* 24 days away. I’m down to 5 or 6 workouts remaining (depending if my Continue Reading →

1st Birthday + 8 weeks to go

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My youngest son turned one last week. Hard to believe that it’s been that long already, right? I feel like it was just yesterday that he came into this world. It’s been a fun year (sometimes crazy at times!) with a 2nd child and I could not have asked for a sweeter, happier little guy. My boys and I celebrated on Thursday (his actual birthday) with presents and cake. And continued the celebration with a fun birthday party on Saturday with family and friends from the neighborhood. Can we take a moment and discuss this cake? It was beautiful and SO SO yummy (white cake with cannoli cream.) One of my good friends from high school made this beauty!! She has made cakes for my boys’ special events the past few years and they could not be prettier or more delicious. (She’s VERY reasonable and is based on Staten Island. Her website is here!) ——————– For the first time this training cycle, I felt like I had a wonderful week of running from start to finish. I nailed both my stress workouts (3×2 and long run) and felt so strong despite racing a half marathon last Sunday. The Philly Marathon is just Continue Reading →

Saucony Ride 6 (Toddler/Baby) Review

With the exception of my sons’ first few pairs of walking shoes, I don’t think I have paid more than $20 on a pair of shoes for them.  I do most of their shoe shopping at discounted stores (TJ Maxx, Target, zullily) and moderately priced stores during sales and when I have coupons (Gap).  I just cannot justify spending $$ on shoes that that they will wear for only a few months. However, their walking shoes were a different story. When both boys started walking, I was very intent on getting them good, supportive walking shoes.  Stride Rite was the store that was recommended to me by my mom and sister. Whether they’re running circles around you or taking their first steps, small feet require big care. We understand the significance of every step. Our entire collection, every single shoe, is created from an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how children walk and grow. stride rite studies have led to important breakthroughs and new technologies in children’s footwear. Every new material and component is rigorously tested. And with 30 to 40 tests per shoe to ensure proper fit and durability, you can trust that nobody knows more about growing feet than stride rite. Continue Reading →

Race Envy + 50 mile week

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I am pretty excited to share this article with you.  A reporter from the Staten Island Advance contacted me shortly after the Ironman for a quick recap of my race (time, event, etc).  After a short discussion, he reached out again for a more in-depth interview and ended up writing the below story which was featured last week in the Staten Island Advance. The full article can be found here. ———————– I had serious race envy this weekend seeing all the pics on Instagram and Twitter from those participating in Hood to Coast. I already gave my husband the warno that I want to do it next year.  I’ve never done a relay before but this just sounds TOO fun to pass up.  Now I just need to find a team =) Last week ended my first week of marathon training.  My coach (more on that in an upcoming post!) has me on a 8-days on / 1-day off schedule, so I ran all 7 days last week. 3 stress workouts, 4 days of easy running. I finished the week with 50.63 miles – my first 50+ mile week since early April! So I am already basically at the peak mileage Continue Reading →

Things I’m Loving

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So I had my first stress workout on Monday.  Plan called for 2 miles warmup, 2 x 2 mile tempo interval (with 3 min active recovery in between each), 2 mile cooldown. Goal pace was 7:00->6:55. I hit the paces (6:54-> 6:52, 6:58-> 6:53), but it was a lot tougher than I would have liked.   The first set was manageable, but I was exhausted by the mile part of the second set. I don’t think it should have felt that hard.  UGH. Truth is, I am trying really hard to not get down on my speed just yet.  Ironman training put me in the best shape of my life – my fitness level is higher than it’s ever been.  But, my run speed suffered. Something had to take a backseat…and for me, that was running.  So although I can run 20 miles the day after a 100 mile bike ride, I cannot hold a speedy pace on a tempo run.  My worry (fear?) is that my spring marathon goal is not feasible right now.  My plan is to just focus on each speed workout, each long run the best I can and see how my body responds.  I have Continue Reading →

More Recovery + I waited 7 months for this

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Hey friends! So not much running last week.  Or blogging.  It was just what I needed.  Although I thought I was ready to begin marathon training, my body and heart needed more time to recover. More time to not really do much of anything.  Except sleep in, spend more time outside with the boys, stay up watching movies with my husband, eating whatever I wanted, and drinking a bit too much. After a week of binge living (ha), I feel ready to start training again. So let’s catch up. As it turns out, two weeks was not enough time for me to fully recover from the Ironman. My first run was one week after the race and was entirely too fast.  I knew it while I was running.  I should have slowed down.  But it was one of those runs where you just say “screw it” and run what you want. It was a celebratory run.  My victory lap.  My legs didn’t feel fatigued but I knew they were. Does that even make sense? 7 miles / 7:30 pace. Splits: 8:06, 7:43, 7:32, 7:33, 7:25, 7:19, 6:52. Whoops. read more

Staten Island Triathlon Race Recap

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Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! The weather was incredible all weekend in NYC – we finally are having the summer days that I dream of – sunny, warm days and cool, breezy nights. PERFECTION. So, I signed up for a local sprint triathlon early last week. My intention was to race it if my body felt recovered, complete it if I wanted to, and skip it if my heart wasn’t in it.  I was {this} close to skipping it.  My oldest son and I went to his first minor league baseball game (the Staten Island Yankees) with my mom, dad, sister and her family. The stadium is on the northern edge of Staten Island which gives you these amazing views of NYC’s skyline – all while you are taking in a baseball game! We had a blast. My son watched a bit of the game, walked around with me for a while, and enjoyed some baseball stadium food (fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, ice cream). There was an amazing fireworks display post-game followed by the opportunity for all the little ones to run the bases! read more

Ironman Lake Placid Race Weekend

I decided to break this into two segments – the days leading up to the race (Race Weekend) and then Race Day (swim, T1, bike, T2, run, post-race, post-race day). There’s a lot to say and I don’t want to have a ridiculous amount posts so bear with me. It’s long. If you want the cliff-notes version of the below novel, check out yesterday’s post =) Race Weekend My husband, sons, and I made our way up to the Adirondack region late Wednesday night (boys’ bedtime) and arrived at our friends’ home just after 1am.  The house could not have been more perfect.  I mean, what is there not to love about waking up to this view for a few days? Although the temps at night dropped down to the mid-40s (!!) and only got up to low/mid-70s during the day, the lake was really warm (mid-70s maybe?). The early mornings were eerily beautiful because of the mist coming off of the warm water. We spent the next couple of days not doing a whole lot – hanging out at the lake, feeding the ducks, reading, relaxing in the house, doing a bit of sight-seeing in Long Lake (the town where our Continue Reading →