brooklyn half 2014

May 22nd 2014 10:09:42 am

brooklynhalf1 I ran my fourth annual Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday. Travis and I ran our first Brooklyn Half in 2011, and we’ve just kept it up since. It is always fun running around Prospect Park and then down Ocean Parkway to Coney Island, but the race seems to come at an odd time of year running-wise. I am never quite in shape and it is always just a slow, fun run for me.

This year wasn’t any different. Since I hadn’t run much at all on our Europe trip during April, I wasn’t sure if I could survive 13.1 miles. Thankfully, I actually felt great during the race. I took it very easy, but my time actually ended up being almost identical to the New Orleans Half I ran in February. I guess that isn’t necessarily a good thing, because that was a tough, sluggish race for me, but I am just glad I didn’t lose too much fitness. I ate potatoes as my fuel and drank a lot of water. I think that they really helped me feel my best.

Running hasn’t been my main focus for a while, but I am glad that I can still participate at a recreational level. South Central Brooklyn Runners is continuing to grow. It is a fun, enthusiastic group. Last week we were filmed for a segment of the NYRR Brooklyn Half coverage. I think we had as many as 50 club members running the Brooklyn Half, and we have more than 400 people in our Facebook group. Wow!

Usually we top off the Brooklyn Half with a Coney Island ride — we’ve rode the Screaming Eagle, the Cyclone, and the Wonder Wheel in the past — but this year we simply met our friends inside the Cyclones baseball stadium and hung out on the field for a while. It was a good day. …One that exhausted me for the rest of the weekend!

brooklynhalfscbkr

3 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, running

friends-giving

Dec 4th 2013 08:02:33 pm

friendsgiving

Am I a control freak? I am starting to admit it to myself… but I hope that is not how my friends thought of me on Thanksgiving.

I just REALLY like making a turkey. And I LOVE hosting events at my place. So, I am very THANKFUL that my friends put up with me and were willing to come over for a Friends-giving feast!

I am grateful every day for the people we have met in Brooklyn. I wouldn’t have survived in this city without them.

friendsgiving2

Everything I made for our dinner was super-simple and traditional. I roasted the turkey with just some butter rubbed on the skin and some veggies, herbs, and lemon stuffed inside. The gravy made from the pan drippings was amazing. I also made simple bread stuffing, sautéed brussels sprouts, traditional cranberry sauce from scratch, an apple pie with a sugar crumb topping, and a chocolate pecan pie. Travis made the mashed potatoes. Daniel brought a Puerto Rican stuffing with plantains and homemade coquito. Karelle made spicy sweet potatoes. Amanda brought bread and cheese. Suzy brought wine and chocolate. Everything was delicious. We all ate a lot and laughed a lot!

I think this was my best Thanksgiving meal attempt yet. Practice makes perfect! Plus, I think I did a good job of prepping a lot in advance. The only thing that didn’t really turn out was the chocolate pecan pie. It was my first time making it and I think I over-cooked it. The baked brie and mulled apple cider were hits for appetizers, but my apricot cheese bites weren’t very popular.

turkey

Overall, I declare Friends-giving a success! I just wish it could have lasted longer and I could have eaten more…

Travis and I had two good meals from the left overs. Plus, I made stock from scratch and soup out of the leftover turkey. There is still plenty of soup in the fridge!

Now, I am working on my plan for my next holiday get together…

crusherturkey

Crusher wants more turkey!

How was your Thanksgiving??

(Almost all of the photos in this post were taken by my friend Amanda. You can see more of her and my Friends-giving photos in my Flickr set.)

1 Comment » Categories: Brooklyn, Food, Friends, holidays

Brooklyn Marathon

Nov 18th 2013 02:14:46 pm

bkmarathon1

ouch. I am very sore. And very happy.

How did I even end up running the Brooklyn Marathon yesterday?? A year ago, when NYC was cancelled, Travis and I made a mad dash to get signed up for an alternative race. NYCRuns had hoped to be able to allow more people in the 2012 Brooklyn Marathon. We signed up, but the plans to expand the field fell through. Bummer. Everyone who had signed up could transfer their entry to 2013. But even though I was registered for over a year, I wasn’t ever totally convinced that I would actually run it…

bkmarathongear

The three marathons that secured our membership in Marathon Maniacs earlier this year were plenty for me. I didn’t NEED to train for another fall race. But I guess I was curious to see what I could do. To see if my personal best time at Philly a year ago was a one-time thing and/or if I could consistently run sub-5-hour marathons.

bkmarathonstart

I trained on my own. I mean, I am participating in the Winter Team in Training season (it is great!) but my long marathon training runs were done solo. I completed both a 19-mile and a 20-mile run completely on my own leading up to this race. I have never done that before. And even more incredible, my pacing was actually pretty good, at around 11-11:30/mile. Those runs, plus a few faster, shorter runs gave me confidence that I was actually ready to run a marathon. I didn’t really have an excuse not to…

bkmarathon2

I was more nervous than I’d like to admit leading up to this race. Marathons are fun, but also RUNNING, EFFORT, PAIN! You can never predict exactly how the day is going to go. But I had my truly sweet and patient husband (who ran NYC two weeks ago) running it with me. And SO MANY supportive friends. I knew that whatever happened, it would be a good day.

bkmarathontravis

And it was. I completed my 9th marathon and it was my fastest yet at 4:46:01. Travis stuck by my side even when I got cranky. I listened to my favorite songs. Nine loops of the park didn’t even seem so bad. My fueling was smart & consistent (MilkyWay, 6 Gus, brownies, and gatorade). We took it easy on the six trips up the North hill, walking some. I was in pain for most of the race, but also felt strong. I concentrated and I fought for it.

It seems crazy to run for nearly five hours just to gain two little minutes… but it was worth it.

bkmarathonfinish

But the race, my time, those are not even the best parts. The most amazing part of the whole day was seeing so many friends in the park! So many. This race comes at the end of a long, strenuous fall race season. All of my friends have already trained and raced and coached and cheered at plenty of events. I didn’t expect anyone to spend their Sunday watching me (and all the other racers, of course) run in a circle around Prospect Park. But they did. Plus, did I mention that it rained?!

bkmarathonfriends

THANK YOU: Suzy for bringing my treats and gatorade and being my personal pit crew, Pam for being there from the start and taking so many great photos, sweet Sarah Y. for pouring my gatorade, Joel and Amanda for surprising me with my baby, Crusher, on the sidelines, Jessica for keeping me pumped up and running those first two loops with us, Lisa for making me a sign and coming out after already coaching another race that morning, Matt for running a loop with us and not minding that I was totally brain dead, new marathon maniac, Meghan T., and all of our CHEERful friends, Emily C., Nate, JP (and Beau!), Dory, Amber, Cynthia, Kristen (and Mike!), Emily H., Judith and John, Kitty, Louis, Flegar, Sarah W., Sarah K., Josh, Tony, Shanna, and many more that I am probably forgetting. (Blame it on marathon brain.) You all MADE MY DAY and make me feel very fortunate. (And get this: The rest of our SCBkR crew was in Philly yesterday cheering on the racers there. Amazing.)

bkmarathonmedals

Running is just a hobby. But it is healthy. And challenging. And fun. And the friends I have made doing it are incredibly supportive and encouraging and silly and sweet and fun. Team in training + Brooklyn + the running community at large = so many good vibes.

I could blame it on the marathon endorphins, but I think it is true love. This South Central Brooklyn Runners community that we’ve all created is something special. Maybe even magic. I hope we can keep it going… forever.

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Watch a news report about the Brooklyn Marathon here. (You can see me & Travis run by for a second.) And view all of the photos (mine and my friends’) from the day here.

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Random personal note for future reference: Don’t put too much stuff in the side leg pockets of Lululemon crops. Not only is it unattractive, but it causes major bruises!

3 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Feeling Happy, Friends, running, Travis

currently // november 2013

Nov 13th 2013 04:46:52 pm

currently_nov13

watching… Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This new comedy is my current favorite. It is really funny. And sweet. And it actually addresses some important and relevant topics, like the changing dynamics of NYC and LGTBQ and women’s equality in the workplace. Plus, it is based in my neighborhood!

eating… Blueberry Scones – yum! I added a brown butter glaze to Martha’s classic recipe for a little more sweetness.

playing… Tiny Thief, a super-adorable puzzle game for the iPhone. It costs $2.99, but I think it is worth it. Cute and clever!

feeling… proud and happy that Bill deBlasio is our new Mayor of NYC!

listening… to songs that will motivate me through my marathon on Sunday. My current favorites are Cruise by Florida Georgia Line (the remix version feat. my favorite STL rapper, Nelly, of course) and Timber by Pitbull and Ke$ha. What other fun songs should I add to my playlist?

loving… my new Patagonia puffy vest. I wear it running and as perfect fall layer any time. Totally classic and comfy. (Wouldn’t it look cute with this colorful hat?!)

organizing… another great Holiday Gift Donation Drive with the Swap-bot community. We are collecting gifts for The Partnership for the Homeless to distribute at their Children’s Holiday Party here in Brooklyn. Join us?

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What are you currently into?

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Check out a blast from the past:

currently november 2012 // currently november 2011

No Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Clothes, Currently, Food, New York, politics, Television

running the city

Aug 28th 2013 11:41:12 am

The only event I have on my upcoming race schedule is Reach the Beach in two weeks, so long run training isn’t a necessity, but Saturday I set out on a New York City running adventure anyway. I covered three boroughs (Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens), crossed five bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Queensboro, Pulaski), checked out 5Pointz (a graffiti art site in Queens), and covered 16 miles. I really enjoyed running solo all over the city and documenting it on Instagram (see all the photos here). And the donut ice cream sandwich at the end was more than sufficient motivation to keep me going. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I kept thinking to myself, “I’m back!” I felt strong, like I could run forever. I had fun.

But then I woke up on Sunday and felt icky. Sick and sore and sluggish. It is for more reasons than the long run, but it is still a bummer. I am nearly done with my daily summer run streak — almost 100 days straight!! — but discouragement is still my constant training companion. I’m not sure how to shake it…

In other running news, South Central Brooklyn Runners (our totally casual local running club) has finally placed an order for team singlets! I based the design on a Nike style, but tried to keep it simple so that it would appeal to as many people as possible. Of course, we had to include VOLT! (Volt = neon yellow.) More than 60 people ordered them — we are going to make a scene at our fall races!

And in even more running news… want to run a half marathon in Bermuda or New Orleans in January?? Come join Brooklyn Team in Training! I am the team social captain for our Winter (or Endless Summer if you want to feel fancy) season and I know we are going to have a lot of fun. Team in Training is a supportive way for anyone (beginners to marathoners) to prepare for an endurance event while fundraising for a very good cause. You already know that I highly recommend it. Join us!

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I’ll post more about the Summer Run Streak soon… but tell me, what has been your exercise plan or motivation this summer? I need more inspiration!

3 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Exercise, New York, running, Team In Training

missing bermuda

Jan 28th 2013 01:48:44 pm

It has been snowing in Brooklyn today, which is making me miss Bermuda. The weather wasn’t perfect while we were there — slightly chilly and overcast — but the beaches were still beautiful and nearly vacant.

I swam in the ocean and lounged in a hot tub and wore sunglasses. It felt like a successful tropical vacation. Maybe we can go back someday soon…

No Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Travel

goodbye 2012

Jan 2nd 2013 07:12:45 pm

2013! Let’s do this! But first, let’s look back on 2012. Here are some of the highlights:

There was a lot of running in 2012… we’ll see if I can keep it going this year.

What were your 2012 highlights?

No Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Family, Friends, running

end of the season…

Dec 4th 2012 11:05:53 pm

Go team, indeed. The fall season of Brooklyn Team in Training has finally come to a close. This was a huge, long, complicated, wonderful marathon training season. I am both happy and sad that it has ended.

Some highlights from our 6+ months of training:

TNT Night at the Brooklyn Cyclones, a big fundraiser event planned by Lynn and me /// my fast showing at the Bronx 10k /// my huge PR at the Staten Island Half Marathon /// fun times at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Diego /// the cancellation of the NYC Marathon /// and our triumphant plan B race, The Philadelphia Marathon!

I was social captain this season, which turned out to be a very big job. I planned weekly socials and a few other events for the team, including our fun end of season party on Saturday. I REALLY enjoyed my role, but it was an intense time commitment. Plus, Superstorm Sandy and the cancellation of the NYC marathon put a bit of a damper on the final weeks of training. I think it is for the best that Travis and I are taking a short TNT break for the winter… of course, we will still be doing plenty of running!

Check out all the photos from fall season on my Flickr set.

I’ve said this 100 times before, but if you want to complete an endurance event, do it with TNT. You won’t regret it. (I can’t ever stay away for long. Travis and I plan to be back with our fabulous TNT peeps for Summer season.)

2 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Friends, running, Team In Training

hurricane sandy

Oct 31st 2012 12:32:06 pm

Travis and I are feeling very fortunate. We made it through Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn without any trouble — we had power, cable, internet, food, water, etc throughout the storm — but the rest of New York City and the region was hit hard. The subway system is still down. Power is out in many sections of the city. Fire, wind, and water destroyed many homes and businesses.

This is the view from our window in Park Slope right before the storm hit on Monday evening. Just a little cloudy and a bit of rain.

The view from our window late on Monday night during the storm. Pork Slope stayed open until midnight!

This incredible photo is from The New York Times building during the storm on Monday night. You can see the power outage in lower Manhattan on the right side of the photo.

Leaves and debris are everywhere in our neighborhood, but overall, Park Slope is ok. Life seems to be getting back to semi-normal this morning in our neighborhood…

Travis’ Appnexus offices are still without power, so he is working from home with me. We are working to keep our businesses running as normally as possible, but we are also thinking about ways to help those in need… here are a few links to ways we can all help:

It is going to take a long time for the city to recover, but so far, the NYC Marathon is scheduled to go on as planned on Sunday. It is strange, but with all of the worries over the hurricane, I almost forgot about the marathon. If it happens, I will run. I am not in a celebratory mood, but the marathon is a small way to show and celebrate how strong and resilient NYC is. I guess we’ll see what happens…

5 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Feeling Sad, New York, Photos

hurricanes and marathons

Oct 28th 2012 04:29:00 pm

It is autumn. It is nearly Halloween. And it is one week until the NYC Marathon! Wow. I am freaking out a bit…

But Hurricane Sandy craziness is taking precedence over marathon crazies at the moment.

Exactly a year ago, I was prepping for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Fourteen months ago, we were prepping for Hurricane Irene. (Which was uneventful in Brooklyn.)

Two years ago, I ran the NYC Marathon for the first time.

If When I survive 1. Hurricane Sandy, 2. Halloween festivities, 3. running 26.2 miles through the five boroughs of NYC, I’ll be sure to report back!

p.s. Yes, the subway system is getting shut down in NYC, so we will be staying home tomorrow. No, we are not in the mandatory evacuation zone. Yes, we will be smart and safe. We have plenty of food, water, and flashlights.

1 Comment » Categories: Brooklyn, New York, running

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Hello.

I'm Rachel. I run websites and run marathons. I live in Brooklyn and write about art, crafts, design, food, fitness, fashion, my daily life, and New York City.

Enjoy!





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