bermuda 2014

Jan 26th 2014 02:09:05 pm


It is snowing and nineteen degrees in Brooklyn today and I am really missing Bermuda! Turquoise water + pink sand + sun = a welcome combination in the middle of a NY winter.


Travis and I took our second trip to Bermuda last weekend. We took our first trip to the Atlantic Ocean island last year to run the Bermuda Triangle Challenge, and we returned for the same reason… and because it is such an easy trip!

Bermuda is just a two-hour flight from NYC. Since it is the off-season, plane tickets are cheap and we split a hotel room with two other friends. So, overall, a relatively inexpensive and quick island adventure!


We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton hotel again. The hotel is across the bay from the main city of Hamilton, but it is right near the most spectacular beach on the island, Horseshoe Bay. (Rated the #8 beach in the world!) It also happened to be the team hotel for our New York City Team in Training Chapter.


Travis and I are a mentor and social captain for our Brooklyn TNT group and even though the New Orleans Rock N Roll Half Marathon next weekend is our official winter season event, we couldn’t pass up going to Bermuda with the Team, too. It was a much smaller TNT group than last year, but we still had a wonderful time.


We got in late on Thursday night, ordered room service, and hung out with our BK roommates and friends. (Hi Joel, Amanda, Roshan, and Jon!) Friday was overcast, but we still made it to the beach. We checked out the private cove, saw the parrot fish, climbed some rocks, and checked out the beach cave. It was too cold for swimming, but we waded in the water a bit.

Then, we headed into town for the first event of the Triangle Challenge, the Front Street Mile! I ran the mile slightly faster than last year, with a finish time of 8:35. Not too speedy, but I haven’t been doing any speed training this season, so it serves me right. After, we hung around and watched all of the mile races, from the kids to the elites. It was a fun and exciting parade atmosphere in Hamilton, with everyone out on Front Street to spectate.


Saturday we got up early for the 10k. It was raining. Boo. I was cranky. I was worried about the success of the weekend when we arrived at the race start and our tiny Team was all huddled under a tent trying to stay dry. But everyone brought their PMAs (positive mental attitudes) and headed out in the rain to tackle 6 miles of hills. Despite the rain, everyone was thrilled to finish their race and I was feeling much more positive after – as evidenced by this epic jump shot!

It rained and rained and rained all day on Saturday. We basically napped the day away before heading to the Team inspiration dinner. Our friend and teammate, Shelly, told her story of how she has been living with leukemia for nearly 10 years. She is so sweet, and funny, and inspiring. It was a wonderful evening.


The weather was MUCH better for the half marathon – a little overcast and cool. I ran the race nice and easy with my friend Jon. We goofed off with our teammates, stopped for some swinging and some beer, and I managed to take a few photos. I felt really strong and steady for the whole race and I look forward to pushing it a bit harder next week in NOLA.


After the race, we ate at Travis’ favorite restaurant, Bouchee, and rode the water ferry back to our hotel. A successful morning followed by a successful evening of celebrating with our friends and teammates! We even made it to the hotel pool and hot tub!


Monday was our perfect, sunny beach day. We only had a few hours to enjoy it before heading to the airport, but we took full advantage. We headed to Horseshoe Bay, sunbathed, swam in the ocean, took lots of photos, and basically tried to soak up all of the Bermuda we could before heading home to Brooklyn. We couldn’t have asked for a better end to the trip.


Bermuda was such a quick, little trip, but it is so wonderful to get to spend time with Travis away from work and our normal, day-to-day life. We really love our life in the city, but taking breaks now and then for travel is really fun. And worth the expense, I think. We are currently saving up for our next big adventure… Stay tuned!


See all of my photos from Bermuda here.

No Comments » Categories: Friends, running, Team In Training, Travel, Travis

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!


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

hiking the berkshires

May 30th 2013 03:54:09 pm

As our final event for our Summer Team in Training season, Travis and I traveled with friends to the Berkshires to complete a two-day Trail/Road Challenge last weekend. The Challenge started with a 15k trail race on Saturday and a road race (of varying distances) on Sunday.

The Berkshires are a mountainous area stretching across some of upstate New York and western Massachusetts. It is a a beautiful, scenic place and very popular with artists and B&B enthusiasts. As our coach described it, we stayed “where your parents would go to enjoy the fall foliage.”

My training has not been going very well in 2013. I did too much high mileage in January and February and I have been struggling to regain my enthusiasm and return to high effort training. Most of this season has consisted of run/walking and I decided early on to take it easy in the Berkshires. I hiked the 15k on Saturday with my friend Karelle, and then strolled through the 5k on Sunday. (Travis ran the half marathon.) It was very relaxed, and I would say very fun, except for the relentless rain on both days.

The Berkshires are very hilly, so I was a little sore (mostly in my glutes) once the weekend was over. I also felt something I’ve been missing over the last few months: a desire to start training a little harder. I think the really relaxed event weekend cured me in a way. It made me realize that, “hey, I want to try racing an event again.”

Going forward, I want to try running a little faster. I don’t want to do high mileage, or even really do any long runs. Instead, I want to focus on daily fitness and try to increase my pace on shorter distances. I hope to get my pace back to where it was last Fall when I ran the Staten Island Half… but that is a lofty goal. I’ll keep you posted!

1 Comment » Categories: Friends, running, Team In Training

currently :: may 2013

May 22nd 2013 05:15:49 pm

eating… broiled grapefruit. A delicious, but very healthy breakfast or dessert. I followed this recipe, but you can easily modify it and use whatever fruit or nuts you have on hand.

playing with… the A Beautiful Mess photography app. If you like Instagram, but want to add a bit more to your photos, you will love this app. It allows you to add text and doodles and novel borders and then share your creations via Instagram or other social networks. It is a lot of fun and totally worth the .99 cents!

prepping for… the Trail/Road Challenge next weekend. I’ll be running a 15k trail run on Saturday and a 5k road race on Sunday. In between, I’ll be partying with my Brooklyn Team in Training in the Berkshires!

trying something new… swimming! I am taking a weekly lesson with my friend Suzy. It is a beginner lesson geared toward triathlons. I have always known how to swim, but swimming competitively or for long distances is totally new. I think I am making progress…


What are you currently up to?

1 Comment » Categories: Currently, Exercise, Food, Friends, running, Team In Training

running, now & forever

May 16th 2013 12:00:51 pm

So. Running.

I am still at it, running races and training for my upcoming Trail/Road Challenge next weekend… but I have also been trying to take it easy.

So far in 2013, I’ve run three full marathons and five half marathons (if you count the Brooklyn Half I’m running on Saturday), plus assorted smaller races and trail miles. I am not bragging. When listed out, that race count looks obnoxious and dumb. I am still paying for over-doing it. I am sluggish and slow.

My favorite recent race was the Nike Women’s Half in DC on April 28th. I ran it with Chelsea and I felt good the entire race. Our time was not overly impressive, but it was much better than what I struggled to do at both the NYC Half the month before and the NJ Half the week after. Plus, the Tiffany necklace at the finish and lots of treats in Georgetown made it a fun weekend.

So, I’ve had a few fun races, a few terrible races, and some low key, relaxed training runs in between. Where do I go from here?

I still love Team in Training. My Brooklyn team is just a few weeks away from finishing up our summer season. I say it all the time, but it is the truth, TNT people are the best people. So fun! I mean, look at this gorgeous group! And these lovely ladies. We run for Boston. We run for equality. We train in storms and in the dark. Oh ya, and we all raise money for cancer research. It is a win, win, win. (hint: Join TNT!)

Some of my most fun and rewarding experiences ever have been with TNT… but I am tired. I need to pull back a bit and re-group. My running enthusiasm is injured and I’ve discovered something about myself: I’ll never be hard core about running. Sometimes I think I want to be, but the truth is, I don’t want to put in the work. I’ll never qualify for Boston or win my age group in anything. I’m into running for the fun, fitness, and friends… which are all great reasons, but they are difficult to shape into concrete goals and motivations. Do I want to run more fulls? Try a triathlon? Train for an ultra? I’m not sure.

My short term goal: focus on general fitness, listen to my body, and enjoy it! It might mean walking, hiking, doing more swimming, more cross training… or even running. I don’t have a plan… and that is the best part! I can do whatever I want!

1 Comment » Categories: Exercise, running, Team In Training

i want to send you a valentine!

Jan 31st 2013 12:01:19 pm

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday! I love making Valentines.

You know what else I love?? Helping to find a cure for cancer. Yes.

I have started my seventh season with Team in Training. This season I am mentoring and training for the New Jersey Long Branch Half Marathon and the Memorial Day Road Trail Challenge. I am also raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Want to help?? And, want to receive an awesome hand-crafted Valentine sent from me to you via Snail Mail??

Make a donation (of any size! big or small!) before my birthday on February 10th and I will mail you one of my Valentine matchboxes. The tiny box of fun will be a one-of-a-kind creation made just for YOU and it will contain some sweet Valentine goodies. (I once taught a craft night class at Etsy on how to make these little boxes… so I guess you could say I’m a pro!)

••• Donate Now! •••

More info: The LLS is an awesome organization that funds cancer research and supports patients both emotionally and financially. The research they have funded has led to medical advances and extreme increases in blood cancer survival rates. Your donation will go 100% to the LLS. I pay for all of my own race and travel expenses for every event I do with TNT so that all of the money donated via my campaign goes directly to the LLS mission.

4 Comments » Categories: Crafts, holidays, Team In Training

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

The Philadelphia Marathon

Nov 19th 2012 03:24:30 pm

Philly was my fifth and fastest – yay – but most painful – boo – marathon yet.

I was in a daze leading up to this race. Between the terrible hurricane, the NYC marathon cancellation, and catching a cold/flu, my head just wasn’t focused on running my best marathon yesterday. But I did it. Thanks mostly to my wonderful friend Sarah Yuen who ran with me the whole way and made sure I got my PR (4:48) at the end when I was majorly struggling.

In June, I ran the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon. That was MY race! I made a detailed pace and fueling plan, stuck to it, pushed it at the end, and finished with my sub-5 hour goal time. That felt like a triumph. Despite my excitingly fast time in Philadelphia, the race overall felt more like my painful 2010 NYC Marathon than triumphant San Diego.

I trained hard this season. Really hard. I ran almost 50% more miles than last fall season. I achieved a crazy fast time at the SI Half. I had high hopes for my full marathon… even if it couldn’t be NYC.

I started maybe a bit too fast. We were running 10:30-10:45 minute miles for the whole first 20 miles and I really thought it was an ok pace. I was probably being too ambitious. Especially since I was sick. I thought I was going to be able to pick it up for the last 10k and get my super goal time. I was wrong.

Somehow I lost my mind and gave in to my flu/cold-induced lack of appetite and decided that I didn’t need to eat any more fuel after mile 16. So dumb. I ate about half of the calories I should have during the race. And so, unsurprisingly, I totally hit the wall at about mile 21. Coach Syed tried to keep us moving. I struggled. I was in pain. I stopped to walk. I wanted to quit. I’ve never wanted to quit a marathon as much as I did at mile 23 yesterday. Sarah kept me going. Then, Coach Kara jumped in and gave me Swedish Fish which basically saved my life. I was able to run. My friend Matt ran with us at mile 25 and lifted my spirits. Coach Amy jumped in near the end and got the crowd cheering. That was fun. I did my best to sprint to the finish line. I was just so relieved to be done. Whew.

Sarah and I got our medals. Took some photos. Drank chicken broth and ate pretzels. Then we found Travis near the bag pick up. He was sitting on the curb looking exhausted. He PR’d with a time of 4:15, but hadn’t quite reached his original goal. We saw a few friends, but then hobbled the mile back to our hotel. I wasn’t up for getting back out on the course to cheer. I just got in bed and napped. (Not a smart recovery plan, btw.) We missed our team victory party, but managed to go out for some dinner later in the evening. I wanted ice cream, but settled for froyo.

Travis and I feel very lucky. Lucky that we got into this fun, organized, giant Philadelphia road race at the last minute. Lucky that we are able to afford such fun trips and such a wild marathon running hobby — both financially and health-wise. Lucky that we get to enjoy it together. And VERY lucky to be part of our amazing Brooklyn Team in Training.

I say this every time I run a race, but I am serious: the only way to marathon is to do it with TNT. Philly was a mostly impromptu race for most of our team. Still, our coaches and team mates were there to support us. This training season didn’t end up exactly as we had all planned, but the team pulled together, reorganized, and made it fun. I am impressed.

I am in pain as I recover today. So sore, chaffed, sick. I’ll survive, but I wouldn’t mind taking a marathon break… that won’t happen, of course. We have the Goofy Challenge coming up in about 7 weeks! Gah!

UPDATE: I almost forgot!! Travis and I were on tv! We were interviewed about signing up for Philly after NYC was cancelled.

10 Comments » Categories: Friends, running, Team In Training, Travel, Travis

the only NYC Marathon to ever be cancelled

Nov 6th 2012 02:13:13 pm

This was the top I was going to wear while running the NYC Marathon on Sunday. The race was cancelled due to controversy after Hurricane Sandy.

I have a lot of conflicting and sad feelings about the entire situation. I wanted to run the NYC marathon for the second time because I love this city. I am ok with the cancellation, but there were a lot of hurtful things said about runners in the past week that really discouraged me.

Of course, my running team has been helping out after the storm. We are a charity organization, after all. We’ve given money, food, gear, and more than 100 Team in Training runners (who had raised 2.2 MILLION dollars for cancer research while training for the NYC marathon) went to Staten Island on Sunday to help the recovery and clean up process. We will continue to help.

A few related links: Some thoughts on why the NYC Marathon could have been good for the city. | My friend Carmen sums up the roller coaster week. | If you want to volunteer to help Hurricane Sandy recovery in NYC, check out | I’m hosting a “Swap-bot for Sandy” hurricane relief donation drive. Our site members have already donated more than $700 for the Red Cross. Join us!

7 Comments » Categories: Feeling Sad, New York, running, Team In Training

Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF

Oct 24th 2012 02:02:56 pm

I know, I know… I’ve run a lot of races this year. But our trip to San Francisco last weekend was more for fun than for fast race times. Travis and I decided on the trip earlier this year when our sister Chelsea joined Team In Training in Kansas City to train for the Nike Women’s Marathon.

It was Chelsea’s first full marathon and we were excited to be there for it. She was great. Travis ran around the course cheering, and I was so pleased to get to run with Chelsea and her friend Amelia for a few minutes at mile 25. Like nearly all first timers, the exhaustion at the end of the race shocked her, but she was very strong and made it to the end without any trouble! Such a fun accomplishment and so exhilarating! Congrats, Chels!

I only ran the Half Marathon. Since I had raced the Staten Island Half the week before (and got a surprisingly speedy time) and am gearing up for the NYC Marathon as my main race this season, I planned to just have a ton of fun on the Nike Women’s course. My plan worked out even better than I had hoped!!

I ran with my friends and TNT teammates, Pam and Cynthia Narozny. Pam and Cynthia have a strong connection to the TNT cause. Their mother, Carolann, passed away after a 3 year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1997. Our trip to SF corresponded with what would have been Carolann’s 59th birthday and we ran in memory and honor of her.

The three of us had a wild time on the course. We took photos at every mile marker, filmed some video, posed with a Telletubby, took time out for a few additional fitness moves, lamented our non-existent view of the Golden Gate Bridge, danced to “Call Me Maybe,” acted tough for our coaches, and ultimately, got our Tiffany necklaces at the finish line.

I definitely set a Personal Record at Nike Women’s… a Personal Record for fun!!

See all the photos from SF in my Flickr Set.

5 Comments » Categories: Family, running, Team In Training, Travel

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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.





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