Brooklyn Marathon


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…


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.


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…


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.


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.


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?!


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.)


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.


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.


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!

10 year anniversary

Ten years ago today, Travis and I were having a glorious, crazy, fun day jam-packed with photos and family and friends and cake. We were married on July 3rd, 2003. We were both 22. We had just graduated from college and we’d just bought a new car.

I have actually had people (friends!) tell me that our brains do not fully mature until after the age of 25, therefore choosing a mate before then is foolish… but choosing Travis was the surest and smartest decision I have ever made.

Ten years of marriage feels good. Nothing in life is perfect (don’t trust anyone who tells you otherwise) but right now, our relationship feels pretty darn close to it. I could tell you that it is all true love and soul mate magic. Or, I could tell you that it is daily, practical work and compromise. But the reality is that it is both. Love + commitment + kindness + work. It also doesn’t hurt that Travis is patient and steady and strong even when I am crazy.

I love you, Travis. Let’s keep it going for 50 more years!


You can see more photos from our wedding here and here.

32 while 32

I love presents just as much as I did at my 8th birthday!

Sunday was my 32nd birthday. I had a little party because – hey – I love cake and balloons and friends! Complaining about age is lame, but 32 feels quite old. Like, I should probably be an adult by now… isn’t that one of the items on my to do list?

What now seems like a very long time ago, I made a list of 30 things that I wanted to accomplish before turning 30. I didn’t get all of the items completed, so I converted it to a 30 WHILE 30 list, then a 31 while 31 list. I still haven’t gotten all of the items checked off, so I am turning it into an ongoing project. I’ll carry the list over each year, crossing off the things I finish and adding new items to fill out the list to match my birthday number — this year, 32!

32 things to do while 32:

Visit the Museum of the City of New York.
Travel to Europe!
Eat the Moules Frites at Balthazar.
Create a new craft tutorial for Swap-bot.
Stop biting my nails. For good.
Redesign the Swap-bot homepage.
Get super-comfortable using our DSLR camera.
Be noticeably sweeter to my husband.
Run a marathon in 4:30.
Lose 15 pounds. (Isn’t this on everyone’s list?)
Make marinara sauce from scratch.
Visit the Bronx Zoo.
Make Crusher a super-cute Halloween costume.
Try to live in the moment.
Start taking a weekly yoga class. Changing this to: Cross train once a week.
Buy a brownstone! (A fantasy, but a girl can dream…)
Do all of my mending.
Make cupcakes with some sort of filling.
Reduce my internal negativity.
Call my brothers and sisters-in-law every week (or at least more frequently).
Read a novel. (Maybe this one?) Um… it is terrible that I haven’t done this…
Promote peace.
Get a unicorn face painting!
Run a sub-2-hour half marathon. (This may be impossible.)
Set up an online Swap-bot merch store.
Eat less candy.
Run a trail marathon.
Make a quilt.
Visit the New York Transit Museum.
Bake a loaf of bread from scratch.
Become an adult.
Embark on a grand adventure!


Completed items:
This list could get really long!

Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans! Had a great time with my brother Seth.
Learn to tell a really funny, family-friendly joke. Why did the fish get kicked out of school? ………because he was caught with sea WEED!
Figure out how to style my hair in loose waves/curls. I think this counts.
Visit The Cloisters. Went with mom & dad in June.
Run the San Diego Marathon. For the second time. Done!
Attend a taping of the Wendy Williams Show. Done and it was awesome.
Take an overnight trip with my husband that is not at a relative’s house.
Take my donation pile to the thrift store. Housing Works got a big pile!
Buy a really beautiful and practical dress. Thank you Rebecca Taylor!
Go to dinner at Al Di La.
Run the NYC marathon!
Watch every episode of Tosh.0.
Make blueberry pancakes.
Get the Florence + The Machine album on vinyl.
Watch Meet Me in St. Louis again.
Drive upstate to see the autumn foliage.
Visit all five boroughs in NYC (should happen during the marathon).
Get a new laptop. Love my Air!
Reduce the amount of time I spend on Facebook. Done, except for today.
Vote! Always.
Buy awesome, new, flattering jeans. These from J.Crew.
Force Travis to watch Star Trek: Generations with me. He loved it.


You can check out my past lists here:


What is on your list? What should I add to mine?

one little word 2013

Each year I join in on a popular blog phenomenon and chose one little word to focus on throughout the new year. This year, I choose sweetness.

Sweetness sounds so cheesy and cutesy, but it is what came to mind as I thought about what I want for 2013. To me, it encompasses the ideas of kindness, acceptance, and enjoyment. I want to be sweet to others and I want to be sweet to myself. I want to be content and happy and calm and focus on the sweet things in life… no matter what 2013 has in store for me.

My past words:

2012: explore
2011: peace
2010: wonder
2008: hope

(Two of my favorite bloggers chose open and brave this year.)

What is your one little word for 2013?

have a wonderful holiday!

Happy Christmas Eve!

The plan was to be in Kansas City right now… but holiday chaos acts in mysterious ways.

We were involuntarily bumped from our flight last night. So, we got ourselves back to our place for one more night in BK. We will be back at the airport later today. Not great, but Delta airlines was actually quite generous in their apology, so we are taking the Christmas delay in stride.

Chaos and all, I am excited to spend time with my family this week. I hope everyone has a magical night and a wonderful holiday!

personal record

In the year 2000, I ran the Drake Relays Half Marathon in 2:07:55. (That is 19-year-old me running the race above.)

Today, I ran the Staten Island Half Marathon exactly 6 minutes faster. A big PR, 12 years in the making!

Travis ran with me during the whole race and kept me on pace. (He PR’d last week in the Hamptons, so this was just a long run for him.) The weather was a perfect 50 degrees. I stayed focused and worked hard. I didn’t even bring my phone or water bottle! It was difficult, but overall it was less painful than I expected. I had some cramping in my diaphragm late in the race, but still managed to beat my original sub-2:10 goal. Thank you, Travis!

I am happy. In a complete reversal of my usual training assumptions, I think that my speed workouts this season have been much more beneficial than my distance workouts. I am grateful to my persistent Team in Training coaches for showing me that.

Surprisingly, I think Reach the Beach was the most beneficial. It gave me confidence and “permission” to run my hardest and see what I can do. Just for fun. Thank you Warriors and Coach Joel!

I still have work to do. A sub-2-hour half now seems like a possibility!

UPDATE: The race photos are in… and they aren’t half bad!

Reach the Beach

It is hard to believe, but right now I wish that I was sitting in a stinky minivan with five other adults eating pretzels and gatorade…

That is exactly what I was doing last week while participating in the New Hampshire Reach the Beach relay. Who else but Joel could organize two teams of twelve people to run 200 miles in 24 hours?!

Four vans of Warriors got ourselves all the way up to Cannon in northern NH, and then took turns running south until we got to Hampton Beach. We did not sleep. We ate brownies and PBJs and chocolate milk and carrots. I ran in extreme darkness at 11 pm wearing a head lamp. I ran on uneven roads, grassy fields, sidewalks, and bridges. I ran as the sun rose at 6 am past cows and barns. I ran in rain and up more hills than I thought possible. It was intense and challenging… and basically the most fun ever.

And! We all wore tear away pants!

See lots more RTB photos here.

marathon training ftw!

I am happy. And sore. I ran the NYRR Bronx 10 Miler on Sunday. It was the final run in a big 40-mile training week and I had intended to take it really easy. I ran 13 easy miles on Saturday at Team in Training practice and didn’t know what to expect doing double digits again the next day. Surprisingly, it was an incredible and fast run!

The weather was beautiful yesterday. Clear skies and low humidity. We were late to the start line, but not stressed. I started the race too fast, but felt great and decided to see what I could do. Despite the fast start, I achieved pretty perfect negative splits. Nearly the whole race I was thinking, “I can do this on the last 10 of the NYC marathon if I don’t do it on the first 10.” We’ll see about that, but success with these two days of long runs definitely gives me confidence for the Goofy Challenge in January.

I am reluctant to post my time because I really don’t want to compete with anyone other than myself, but I will say that I ended up with my fastest pace in any race this year! Even shorter races! I’m looking forward to finding out what I can do at the Staten Island Half Marathon next month.

I ran the Bronx race two years ago when it was a half marathon. I ran much, much slower then and was just happy to finish. I have been marathon training for nearly three years straight, and although it is slow going, it is working!

But even at my top speed, Brian, Sarah, and Travis finished much faster!

(For the record, I have deliberately and slowly worked up to these training distances and I am doing them for a specific purpose: an ambitious winter race schedule. I listen closely to my body, cross train, and take rest days. I do not recommend or endorse these distances for beginners. Be smart, everyone.)

TNT night at the Brooklyn Cyclones

I have been spending a lot of time volunteering for Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this season. I am the Brooklyn borough TNT Social Captain and I had the opportunity to help plan a fundraising/awareness/social event with the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team this month.

Participants could purchase the tickets for a low price and then sell them for more to raise money for their personal TNT fundraising. Our TNT crew bought and sold 500 tickets to the game!! I was blown away by the response.

The game happened on Tuesday night at the Coney Island stadium and it was truly a fabulous time. So many of our Brooklyn friends were there and it seemed like everyone had fun. Brooklyn team members participated in some on-field fun (including a hot dog race!), sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch, and ran the bases at the end. Lots of crazy fun! We also manned a TNT info table (where we raffled off a signed Cyclones jersey and made over $600 for LLS) and a bone marrow donor registration drive inside the stadium. All in all, a very successful event. Fun and fundraising for a good cause — can’t beat that!

I have been putting a lot of time — maybe too much — toward TNT this season, but it is rewarding and fun. There are so many incredibly good people on our Team, I feel lucky to be a part of it.

extreme summer

It has been a BIG summer. It is only half over, but I feel like I have already packed it as full as possible with fun adventures. Including…

Lake Placid

The weekend after I completed the San Diego marathon, Travis and I piled in a van with a few of our friends and drove upstate to cheer on our teammates in the Lake Placid full and half marathons. It was a quick, one-night trip, but we had a great time dancing on the side of the road and eating Purple Cows at Stewies. View the full photo set.

Heather’s Wedding

My cousin Heather was married on June 15th in Rhode Island. The event was beautiful and I had a great time running the cliffs in Newport, visiting with my cousins, and dancing at the reception. View the full photo set.

Mom & Dad visit NY

After the wedding, mom and dad traveled with us by train to New York City. We had three fun days of eating pizza, donuts, visiting the Tenement Museum, and exploring the Cloisters. View the full photo set.

Camping at Mongaup Pond

At the end of June, my friends Joel and Casey planned an awesome upstate camping trip. We had a great, relaxing long weekend of putting up tents, swimming in the pond, making S’mores, and getting shushed by the park rangers for laughing too much. Such a great time. I hope to do it again before the summer ends. View the full photo set.

Fourth of July

The Wednesday holiday started with a seven mile run to Coney Island, a dip in the ocean, Nathan’s hot dogs, and the Cyclone roller coaster. An epic Brooklyn morning. In the evening we had some friends over to watch fireworks from our roof. View the full photo set.

Boilermaker 15k

While Travis was in Kansas City going to the All Star game with his dad, I went on one more quick, impromptu road trip upstate to run the Boilermaker 15k in Utica. The race is a huge small town event and it was amazing. The whole town came out to cheer and there were popsicles and beer and music. I recommend it. View the full photo set.

More and more running

Travis and I are a month into our Fall season with Team in Training, and like usual, we are having a great time. Running has nearly taken over my life, but I couldn’t be happier. My training is going very well (so far) this season. I feel strong. I have ambitious goals. I hope to never stop. View the full photo set.

In between all of this fun, I’ve been working hard on Swap-bot and doing a large amount of volunteer work for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I am definitely staying busy. What have you been up to this summer?