Marathon Training Favorites

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It’s been a while since I highlighted some of the things that are helping me get through training – lots go into 70+ mile weeks – recovery and nutrition are the two big ones but it also helps to have things that make me smile through the whole process. – Stroller Running: I never thought I would actually love stroller running as much as I currently am. Stroller running is hard. Even a 5 or 6 “easy” run is not easy. It’s a full body workout and I feel it in my abs and upper body the next day. I know running with the stroller makes me a fitter, stronger runner – maybe not necessarily in the paces I can run but more in my endurance and overall shape. I think what has made the last few months even more enjoyable is that both boys are loving it just as much, if not more than, me – it’s that little extra bit of motivation I need to make it a double stroller run instead of a treadmill run. – Saucony Kinvara 5: I am in completely love with this shoe. I started wearing them on short recovery runs (or switching them Continue Reading →

Sparkly Soul Headband Giveaway

You can never have too much sparkle =)

Don’t forget to enter the other Mother’s Day celebration Giveaways from this week (Vitamix S30 Blender + Entry into in24 Philly Race + Pair of Saucony Shoes) Sparkly Soul has been my go-to headband since I first tried them almost three years ago. I’ve worn Sparkly Soul headbands on virtually every single run and for every race since that time – including marathons, my first ultra, even my first Ironman: I had been looking for a headband that kept my hair out of my face, didn’t give me a headache, didn’t rip my hair when I took it off, and didn’t move when I worked out. Sparkly Soul was the answer to all of these. It also didn’t hurt that they have 360 degrees of sparkle and make me feel girly while I’m working hard. The company was created by a marathoner and triathlete who wanted a headband that stayed in place during workouts without giving her a headache.  For more information on the history of the company, check out their webpage. If you are a new(er) reader, you can check out some of the reviews I’ve done of Sparkly Soul: read more

4th of July Racing + Sparkly Soul Giveaway WINNER!

Hi friends! There is a 5 mile race tomorrow morning and I’m on the fence if I should sign up!  It’s a local race in Staten Island and one that I’ve said for YEARS that I wanted to do.  My long bike ride is Friday, so Thursday is a semi-free day (supposed to do a short brick)…but my in-laws are in town and it’s a holiday…and I always feel a bit guilty about being gone for a few hours.  And although my legs feel really good after the half ironman this weekend, I know they aren’t as fresh as I would want them to be.  Decisions, decisions. What are your thoughts? Would you do the race? Are you racing tomorrow?!   ——————————————— The winner for the Sparkly Soul Giveaway is: DEANA!  Please email me at nycrunningmama@gmail.com so we can get you your headbands ASAP. (Note: If winner does not contact me within one week, a follow-up winner will be selected) Hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!   read more

Sparkly Soul Giveaway

You can never have too much sparkle =)

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.  As a little girl, there was something so magical about it.  It signaled the start of summer break (school ends the last week in June in NYC), the air would smell of charcoal from the BBQs and the day would be spent in the sun and pool.  Perfection. Today, it is still one of my favorite holidays.  But the 4th of July has even more meaning than the reasons above.  Now, it’s a day for me to celebrate our country’s independence, our freedom. To proudly wear the colors of our country.  To be with family and loved ones.  And this year, I’m looking forward to spending time with not just my family, but my husband’s mom and dad who will be visiting from Alaska. We are a very color-coordinated family =) I’m not sure what I will wear this year {yet} but I will definitely be rocking one of my favorite accessories – my Sparkly Soul Red, White, and Blue headband. If you’ve been following my blog for a little bit, then you probably have already realized my love of these headbands. read more

Pre-NYC Half

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The NYC Half Race Recap will be up tomorrow but I’ll save the suspense…I PR’d by over 2 min!!! I didn’t get my sub-1:32 but I was darn close (1:32:23) and could NOT be happier with how the whole race went.  I don’t think the smile has left my face since I crossed the finish line. And want to know one of the best parts about the weekend?  I am not the only one who PR’d…SO many friends set massive PRs this weekend: Kristin ran the LA Marathon in 3:20 Ashley ran a 1:43 at the NYC Half -> PR by over 2 min Jess took 10 min off her half and ran the Rock N Roll Half in 1:33 Gia got her BQ at the LA Marathon after missing it by 10 sec in the fall – she ran a 3:32 Theodora ran a 5 min PR in 1:50 at the Rock N Roll DC Half Erica got her sub-2 half at the NYC Half Lindsey crushed her previous marathon PR with a 3:13 at the Shamrock Marathon Ashley ran a 2:05 to crush her PR that she’s had for 5 years at the NYC Half On the Run Interview I Continue Reading →

Slowing Down the Treadmill

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Do you ever feel like you are on a treadmill and it just seems to be getting faster and faster…and that you will fall off if you hesitate for even a second? This is how I have felt the last few weeks.  Overwhelmed. Like I was holding down the fast forward button and couldn’t pick up my hand.  Like I didn’t have control. Don’t get me wrong.  Certain aspects have been positive.  I’ve nailed all of my tough runs and I’ve been blogging much more frequently (pretty much every day lately). But other aspects of my life seem to be running away from me. For the last month I have been a zombie.  I’ve been staying up entirely too late for the time I’ve been getting up…My to-do list is only getting longer and with later bedtimes for the boys (some nights around 830), I don’t start doing things until close to 9.  An 11pm bedtime with a 5am wakeup is not easy.  And on top of that, the sleep I have been getting is completely broken.  My youngest is going through a sleep regression so gone are the 10-12 hr nights.  We have been dealing with 2-4 wakeups a night. Continue Reading →

PR Spotlight: Pamela

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I’m excited to begin the new series on NYC Running Mama – the PR spotlight.  The PR spotlight will feature runners who have recently PR’d.  It could be on the treadmill, track, or on the roads.  The purpose of the feature will be to discuss what was done differently – whether it was pacing, fueling, hydration, training, mental preparation, etc. One of the things I love most about running is that I’m constantly learning – I learn just as much from the 4:30 marathoner as I do from the 2:45 marathoner. Hopefully this feature become a tool in which we all learn from each other. ———————————————- Meet Pamela:  Not only is she my best friend (we’ve known each other since we were 13!), but she is the social media expert behind Sparkly Soul headbands.  Although she has run a good number of marathons, Pamela was stuck at the 5-hour mark for most of them.  This past spring, she revamped her training and began seeing immediate results.  The first time I really became aware of how much faster she had become was at the NYC Half Marathon in March.  I was used to Pamela being a 10+ min per mile runner so when Continue Reading →

Race for Recovery 5k/10k

Tunnel to Towers Foundation

After watching my Facebook page fill with status updates and photos of my fellow Staten Islanders as well as friends in NYC helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy last week, I knew that I needed to find a way to help.  Logistically, it’s difficult for me to physically help – having an (almost) 2 year old and 7 week old (who doesn’t yet take the bottle) force me to stay home most of the time. This past weekend, I had the idea of starting a virtual race.  I emailed a bunch of running gear companies that I have had contact with in the past (and some I haven’t) as well as several friends who pulled some strings for me and several friends who have their own businesses.  The response has been overwhelming.  As of this morning, there are 40 prizes that can be won – worth over $2,500. All updates will be posted to this page. **NEW** For whoever donates (and/or collects on their own to donate here) the most amount of money, Runner’s World will award you with a Fantasy Day.  Details are below!  read more

Sparkly Soul Headband Giveaway WINNER!

The resort we are staying at!

Hope everyone had a terrific weekend!!  My husband, son, and I are on our way to Stowe Mountain, Vermont for the week!!  My husband has a work conference at the mountain resort and we decided to make a mini-vacation out of it.   I am excited for some cooler temperatures (highs in the mid-70s!!), beautiful scenery, family time, and possibly a pre-natal massage!! —————————————————- Please check out my friend Katie’s blog Mom’s Little Running Buddy today.  She has begun a series on her blog called “From One Mother to Another” where she will be highlighting active moms (and dads!).  I was super excited when she contacted me a few weeks ago! You can find the link here.  ——————————————————- Thank you to everyone who participated in the Sparkly Soul Headband Giveaway! So many of you had amazing plans for the 4th of July – hope they all turned out fun and exciting. read more

Sparkly Soul Coach of the Month (June) + Giveaway

Source: www.SparklySoul.com

I was extremely excited and honored to be chosen for the Sparkly Soul Coach of the Month for June – and realized that with moving and pregnancy, I forgot to mention it when it was first announced on the Sparkly Soul blog almost a month ago!  Thank you, Sparkly Soul, for picking me =) If you’ve been following my blog for a little bit, then you probably have already realized my love of these headbands.  If you are a new reader, here are some of the posts that will fill you in on just how much I adore them: First Review (Oct 11, 2011) Second Review (Jan 12, 2012) Christmas List for Runners A Weekend of Sparkle Random Things I’m Loving Sparkly Soul has been my go-to headband since I first tried them almost a year ago.  I’ve worn Sparkly Soul Headbands on every run and for every race since the first day I’ve tried them – including the NYC Marathon and my first ultra and especially love wearing them on days when I just want to keep my hair in a ponytail (which is most days!).  The company was created by a marathoner and triathlete who wanted a headband that stayed in place Continue Reading →

Random Things I’m Loving

I have a lot of random thoughts going through my head lately and decided to share some of the things that I am currently LOVING!! – Third Trimester  – Today officially marks the start of the 3rd trimester.  Knowing that I am in the home stretch is a wonderful feeling.  I will do a pregnancy update next Wednesday as well as a 2nd trimester running update soon!!  One of the books that I utilized SO frequently during pregnancy #1 (and again this time around) is the Runner’s World Guide to Running & Pregnancy.  My favorite quote from the book: When I reached the 20-mile mark in my first marathon, a man on the sidelines yelled, “Congratulations! You’re halfway there.” I knew instinctively what he meant: The hardest part, the real test of my strength, lay ahead in those last 6.2 miles. And he was right.   So goes it with the last trimester of pregnancy…Running typically becomes less and less enjoyable as the weeks pass. – Cooler Temperatures – I don’t know about you, but last week’s heat and humidity came a little too soon for me. I am fully expecting days like that in August but was not ready for them Continue Reading →

Sparkly Soul Headbands Giveaway Winner!

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The Winner of the SPARKLY SOUL INC Headbands giveaway is…. Entry #138 (earliest entry is #1, last entry is #174) The winner has one week to contact me and claim their prize before a backup winner is selected!  Please email me at michele.king1021@gmail.com Thank you to everyone who participated and helped spread the word about one of my favorite running companies!

Sparkly Soul Headbands Review + Giveaway! ————————-CLOSED——————————

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Hey Everyone! I decided to do a 2nd review of Sparkly Soul Headbands…BUT, I wanted to try doing a video this time =)   Check out what I had to say about Sparkly Soul Headbands: Read my previous review. I mentioned that I had a huge pile of headbands that never measured up to my expectations (prior to finding Sparkly Soul).  Well, here’s the pile!   —————————————————————————————————————– Giveaway One entrant, chosen at random, will win two headbands (one-thin and one-wide) – colors of their choice.  The contest runs from Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 until 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012.  A winner will be announced on my blog, twitter, and Facebook on Wednesday, Jan 20, 2012.  So make sure you check back! (Note: If the winner does not contact me by Saturday, Jan 21, 2012, a second winner will be chosen.) Ways to Enter Each counts as a separate entry – please leave a separate comment for each that you complete Head over to www.sparklysoul.com and tell me you did with what headband color is your favorite Follow Sparkly Soul on Twitter @SPARKLYSOULINC Follow me on Twitter: @nycrunningmama read more

Have you ever been in a running slump?

Still fairly clean after 1 mile

My late summer and early fall months were filled with dreams of winning the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge.  Visions of participating in and completing my first ultra. Excitement of racing again after giving birth to my son earlier in the year.  With all these fun, challenging events, it’s easy to see how I was able to happily log hundreds of miles, day after day. But, after the highs of representing my borough [Staten Island] at the NYC Marathon and my first dabble with an ultra distance on November 19th, I found myself in a MAJOR slump Thanksgiving weekend. I had no desire to run. NONE.  It wasn’t just a day here or there. I’ve dealt with minor hiccups in my training before.  No. This was much worse. This was a string of mornings where I literally could not pull myself out of bed to run even a few miles. And when I would force myself to dress and head out the door, I felt terrible and would return after a few, short miles. What was going on with me? It was a huge letdown to go from viewing an 8-mile run as “a short run” to being happy that I managed to Continue Reading →

Staten Island Trail Festival 25k

Not too dirty yet!

If I had to sum up my experience participating in the inaugural Staten Island Trail Festival this weekend in a few words, it would be: I.  Love.  Trail.  Running I would never leave the trails if I could.  But  since I  also enjoy road racing, I can’t get on the trails as frequently as I would like.  I am known to be somewhat of a klutz and find that “hitting the trails” often has two meanings for me (Thanks, Doug for this!).  Therefore, I usually wait until after my racing season ends to get on the trails. The night before the race, I received an email with the course description: The 50 K and 25 K are technical courses with exposed tree roots, rocks and lots of ups and downs.  There is approximately 2,300 feet of gain for the 25 K course. The trails, as of November 20, are in great shape. There are several street crossings, some of which will be monitored by volunteers. It will be the responsibility of each runner, however, to ensure a safe crossing. The weather could not have been more perfect.  Although the forecast initially called for rain on Saturday, we were blessed with clear Continue Reading →

Christmas List for Runners

Since the holiday season is upon us, I decided to do a Christmas Wish List for Runners – things that your runner friend, sister, husband might like for Christmas this year!   Under $25 – Add a little sparkle to that special woman in your life this holiday without spending hundreds of dollars!  Sparkly Soul Headbands are a great accessory for any runner looking for a functional, yet flattering headband.   Check out my review on Sparkly Soul headbands.  Headbands cost $15-17 (depending on width).  – Nuun optimal hydration is an easy way to stay hydrated.  The tablets dissolve quickly in a glass of water, taste great, are low in calories, and contain a ton of electrolytes.  It costs $24 for one box (4 tubes=64 tablets), but if you order more than 1 box, each costs $22.  *Free shipping until Dec 9th – My husband purchased a Road ID bracelet for me when I was pregnant – it was one of the best gifts I every received.  I now wear it on every run I go on.  It contains your vital information (name, who to contact, phone #s) that can be used in case of an emergency while you are out running.  They Continue Reading →

Sparkly Soul Headband Giveaway (CLOSED)

I did a product review on Sparkly Soul last month.  Here it is in case you missed it!! I would consider myself to be a (fairly) serious runner.  My running shoes, clothes, and accessories need to be functional.  No matter how cute that running skirt is, I’ll never justify wearing it if I’m going to be pulling it down every quarter of a mile (or worried that I’m showing more than I should be!!).  I’ve worn the same brand/model of shoes, socks, and shorts for the last 5 years.  Once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t feel or look like a girl when I’m out running.  I admit – I put on mascara, I wear diamond stud earrings, and I color coordinate my outfit (down to matching hair ties and sports bras).  Doing these things do not take away from my running abilities.  Up until recently, I had yet to find a headband that I was satisfied with.  I need a headband that:- keeps my hair/bangs out of my face- is tight enough to stay in place during a long run- doesn’t give me a headache by the end of a Continue Reading →

Sparkly Soul!!!

Thin Headbands (3/8" in)

I would consider myself to be a (fairly) serious runner.  My running shoes, clothes, and accessories need to be functional.  No matter how cute that running skirt is, I’ll never justify wearing it if I’m going to be pulling it down every quarter of a mile (or worried that I’m showing more than I should be!!).  I’ve worn the same brand/model of shoes, socks, and shorts for the last 5 years.  Once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it.   But that doesn’t mean that I can’t feel or look like a girl when I’m out running.  I admit – I put on mascara, I wear diamond stud earrings, and I color coordinate my outfit (down to matching hair ties and sports bras).  Doing these things do not take away from my running abilities.   Up until recently, I had yet to find a headband that I was satisfied with.  I need a headband that: – keeps my hair/bangs out of my face – is tight enough to stay in place during a long run – doesn’t give me a headache by the end of a run read more