A Marathon Weekend

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in almost a month – whoops! But have no fear – I’m back!

This past weekend was full of running, so I had to share. Since my last update in regards to not running a marathon this fall and planning to make (small) racing decisions much closer to the actual date of the race, running has been going really well. Though I’m sure I’ve now jinxed myself. I managed to squeeze out 100 miles in October which is the highest mileage month I’ve seen since June! My paces are starting to get closer to where they were pre-foot drama, and I’m hoping to be able to do a 1:50 or lower in the Richmond Half and keep on truckin’ after that. I have some ideas for races after that, but no solid plans.

But back to the weekend – it was New York City Marathon Weekend!! While I’ve never run the race (was supposed to last year), I’ve spectated a few times and grew up loving the NYCM excitement. Now that I have so many runner friends (in real life and on the internet!), it wasn’t even a question if I’d make the trip into the city to cheer everyone on – I knew I had to be there. Conveniently, one of my good friends from home now lives in Brooklyn, (in the same neighborhood where I grew up many moons ago) which made it easy to head into the city early Saturday morning, stay over, get my cheer on, and leave afterwards.

Since a bunch of Oiselle Team members were running the marathon including the top bird Sally, we all got together for brunch on the Upper West Side at Josie’s. I took an early train into the city (that was already running 20 minutes behind schedule at 7:45am), and met up with my teammate Lauren to walk from Penn Station to the restaurant. It was an absolutely gorgeous day (I was sweating a bit wearing my long sleeve shirt!), and it was fun to see the throngs of runners out for their pre-marathon “shakeout” runs. Brunch was fabulous (how can I ever say no to a breakfast burrito?), and I had a wonderful time getting to know new teammates and catching up with others, while also checking out some of Oiselle’s spring line!

Picture from Steph! Me, Steph, Sally, and Victoria!
Picture from Steph! Me, Steph, Sally, and Victoria!

After brunch I took advantage of the beautiful weather and met up with my friend in Brooklyn and hung out in Prospect Park for a bit. It’s funny going back to a place where I spent so much time when I was younger, thinking about that giant and beautiful park in the middle of the “concrete jungle” where I used to force my mom and dad to play some completely ridiculous games with me. While we were sitting on the grass at one point, I mentioned how I used to play “rolly-polly” and insist my parents join in… which was basically starting at the top of a hill, and barrel rolling myself down it. Only a few minutes after talking about that, three adorable little kids came running over, threw themselves on the ground, and started rolling down the hill. It was quite a moment of nostalgia!

The "Dog Beach" at the park
The “Dog Beach” at the park

It eventually started to drizzle, so we made our way to a fun new wine bar on 6th Street where we each had a wine flight of 4 different white wines. The bar is small, but they have artwork (available for sale) and some really great wines you can get by the glass or bottle. The rest of our evening was low-key, since we had plans to get up early for a run, followed by marathon cheering!

We woke up around 7am (thanks to the extra hour of sleep!) and made our way back to the park for a run. It was gray and windy, and I couldn’t help but think of all the runners huddled at the Verrazano bridge anxiously awaiting their start. I hoped the wind would die down, and it did, but not until early afternoon. I did a loop of the park, and headed back for a total of 5.55 miles. After doing my “long” run of 10 miles on Friday and walking about 8 on Sunday, the 5 miles was more than enough. Plus, it finally got me to 30 miles for the week, which I haven’t seen in a very long time!

Oh hai Kim Smith & Amy Hastings!
Oh hai Kim Smith & Amy Hastings!

After the run we quickly got ready and claimed our spot on 4th Avenue and 10th street, which was a perfect spot to see the elites come ripping through. We stayed in Brooklyn for a bit after that in hopes of seeing some friends in the first waves (I missed most of them, of course), and then we quickly took the train to Manhattan, where I met up with Ashley & Co. for some cheering at the 30k mark. I was able to see everyone I was hoping to see (with the exception of a few), and even got a sweaty hug from Kara! After the last of the runners I was hoping to see came past the 30k mark, I was ready to head home. I never realized how tiring cheering can be since I’m usually the one out on the course! So naturally when I got home I ordered a pizza and found myself in bed by 8:30pm.


While I was out there cheering, I had mixed emotions. Part of me was so relieved to be on the sidelines cheering, while part of me wanted to be out there, crawling my way through the city. And of course, like any logical person, I randomly teared up and had to take a moment here and there throughout the day. The marathon is such a beast – I love it, I hate it, it makes me happy, it makes me sad, and I can’t get enough of it. Hopefully I can get myself through some longer runs “for fun” in the near future (i.e. running a 14 or 16 miler without the pressure of official marathon training). If I’m able to do that, I’ll consider signing up for my next marathon. But until then, I’m going to stick to 13.1 and under. And if anything, this weekend reminded me of one very important thing: I LOVE RUNNING AND THE RUNNING COMMUNITY!

Tell me …
Did you run the NYC Marathon this weekend? 
And if you didn’t, when/where are you racing next?!

Fashion Friday: #BirdMachine

On Wednesday, I took an evening trip into the city to attend Oiselle’s New York Fashion Week after party. That’s right – a running apparel company was showing at Fashion Week!

When I was younger, if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, they would get one of two answers: a fashion designer, or a lawyer. While my interest and passion for law never really flourished past the sixth grade (unless you consider following the law as interest in it), I’ve always been into fashion. I had intentions of applying to FIT when it came time to decide on colleges, but after a less than positive impression from a “college night” at my high school junior year, I decided it wasn’t really the place for me. So here I am now, with an English degree (and teaching certification), not really sure what I want to do and where I want to go. But that’s a post for another time! Naturally I was drawn to Oiselle as a running apparel company because they do more than “just make running clothes” – they support the running community and make the kind of running clothes I want to wear, whether I’m running or not.

Since I live in New Jersey, I was thrilled to hear some of the Oiselle ladies would be in the tri-state area, especially since it meant possibly getting to soak up some of the NYFW awesomeness. While I wasn’t able to attend the actual fashion show (it was closed to “industry” only, which I clearly am not), they did have an after party that I was able to attend, along with some of my favorite NJ/NYC/CT/PA based running blog buddies. After seeing some sneak peek pictures from the show, I couldn’t wait to get to the party and celebrate. Swim wear? Bright & bold colors? Short shorts? Amazing stuff!

Bird overload? No such thing.
Bird overload? No such thing.

I met up with Ashley to grab dinner once I got into the city, and we walked over to the party in Chelsea together. It’s so funny walking into a room full of people you know through the Internet – because you want to go up to them and strike up a conversation like you’re old friends, yet you’ve never actually met in person! As I was introducing myself as “Danielle,” I realized I needed to include my Twitter handle in order for people to put the two together, and a bunch of us joked that we should have worn name tags with our handles on them. It was so great to meet the brains & operations behind Oiselle, along with a bunch of fellow Oiselle Teammates and other people I interact with daily that I felt like I already knew! Unfortunately I had to leave to catch my train before I had a chance to get all fan-girl with Lauren Fleshman (should have brought my resume so she’d hire me as Jude the dude’s nanny…) but I did get to say hi to Kate Grace!

Admittedly I was a “bad” blogger and took zero pictures. I was too caught up in meeting everyone and chatting, that I forgot for a moment my phone had any purpose other than to tell me the time! But trust me when I say that the party was awesome, and somehow made me fall even more in love with a company than I thought possible.

So tell me…
Have you ever attended (any) Fashion Week events? 
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

Friday Favorites

Another installment of my (current) favorite things! Per the usual, it’s a hodgepodge of things that I’m currently loving. They follow absolutely no theme, which seems to be a theme in itself for these posts, and are in no particular order.

Toddy Cold Brewing System

As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently on a cold brewed coffee kick. I’ve seen “cold brewed” coffee before, but never had the opportunity to try it from a store, and was too lazy to try it at home on my own. The difference between cold brewed coffee and “traditional” coffee is simply the lack of heat. Instead of heating up the water (in a coffee maker) and having it flow through the coffee grinds, a cold brew uses regular water. Because it’s cold water the process takes a little bit longer, but what you get is basically coffee concentrate, meaning in order to enjoy it you need to mix it with water or milk. Since I’m an avid iced coffee drinker, the idea of already cold coffee that I don’t have to cool down and subsequently water down with ice cubes was appealing.

Toddy Cold Brew

I had seen the Toddy online, and added it to my Pinterest board of “Gift Ideas” (don’t judge me, it makes it easy for people to see things I’m not going to buy for myself, but would like as a gift when the occasion arises), and got it for my birthday! The instructions are simple (grind up some coffee, pour in water, pour in grinds, repeat, let sit and then filter), and it produces a decent amount of coffee concentrate that can last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I’ve enjoyed it a few times now, mixed with both water and milk, and LOVE it. I use about half the amount of ice cubes I used before, and the flavor is awesome (hard to describe, but definitely “smoother”). I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re an iced coffee fan!

Hydroxatone CC Cream

I don’t usually wear makeup, and even when I do it’s definitely on the minimal side. So when the craze of BB and CC creams started, I figured these would be a perfect addition to my morning routine, as I could kill multiple birds with one makeup stone. Since I don’t wear makeup often, I really don’t know enough about the differences between primer, moisturizer, tinted moisturizer, BB cream, CC cream, foundation… the list goes on. I have an elementary understanding, but that’s where it ends, and is a huge reason why I don’t wear makeup. The other reason is that I have what I’d like to refer to as the ultimate combination platter of skin – dry, oily, acne prone, dull, bright…. I’m really not sure how I have it all, but I do. So naturally I’m wary when it comes to my choices, as I don’t want a product that will accentuate any of my “problems.”


After trying a few free samples of BB and CC creams (gotta love the Ulta and Sephora samples that come with your orders), I realized that there were only a few things I needed in my “everything” cream. I need it to: moisturize, mattify, and balance my skin without clogging it up. I didn’t think I was asking for much, but apparently I was! A lot of the creams were either the wrong tint, not oil-free, or left me glowing (and not the ‘dewy glamorous’  kind). Enter Hydroxatone’s CC cream! This cream has all the benefits of a typical CC cream (color corrects, smooths out your skin, etc.) but it also has salicylic acid to aid in mattifying your skin and also prevent break-outs! Of course I thought it may be “too good to be true,” but after a few days of using it (in translucent), I couldn’t be happier. It leaves my skin feeling fresh all day while moisturizing and not leaving me a ball of shine by the afternoon. Now I just need to find the right kind of makeup to wear over it for those rare makeup days!

Oiselle Mio Mesh Tank

I don’t know why I waited so long – I think I tried to convince myself that I wouldn’t like it because 1. it was too “everyday wear” for me, and 2. the mesh would be more annoying than not. I suppose the first reason I didn’t think I would like it is the same reason why I’m yet to try a running skirt. But eventually after seeing so many awesome reviews by people who generally enjoy the same things as I do, I ordered it. I mean, with the summer heat and my timidness for sports bra running, I figured I would try this ‘light as air’ tank top.

Mio Mesh with the Strappy bra & Rogas
Mio Mesh with the Strappy bra & Rogas

Well, I’m kicking myself for not having ordered this top earlier. I should have known better than to doubt Oiselle! I now want one in every color, and then some. I’ve worn the top a few times since getting it last week; once in the pouring rain, and once on a super hot long run. By the end of both runs my shirt looked the same – completely soaked! Despite the fact that the shirt was really wet, it didn’t feel heavy or cumbersome to be wearing on either run, which is rare. Also, because it’s mesh, it breathes really well allowing for some airflow (even if it’s just a hot air breeze), which is always welcomed on a soupy hot day. I really wish I had more than just one mio mesh tank, but at least I have the one!

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

This is a cookbook I actually ordered quite a few months ago, but only recently started cooking from it. I’ve been so wrapped up in Pinterest recipes lately that I’ve really neglected my cookbooks. So, I’ve recently been trying to get back into “use the cookbooks you already have” mode, and found that this particular book pairs nicely with my weekly fresh box. I think I’m often intimidated by vegetarian cookbooks because the recipes have a lot of ingredients, and a lot of times the things they call for aren’t easily found at my local grocery store. But thanks to the fresh box program I’m signed up for in the summer, the fruits and vegetables I have are not only fresher, but I also get things that my grocery store either doesn’t carry, or rarely has.

Snack plate with leek fritters, tabbouleh, & hummus
Snack plate with leek fritters, tabbouleh, & hummus

I’ve made a few things from the book so far, but my favorite has been leek fritters. At first glance they don’t seem to be different from any other fritter recipe, but the addition of cinnamon to the mixture was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t really sure what the sweetness would bring to the table, but I absolutely loved it. I served the fritters with homemade tabbouleh and hummus for a dinner “snack plate” and really enjoyed it. I have a bunch of other recipes bookmarked to try – I just have to remember to open up the book and step away from Pinterest!

So those are my current favorites… what are some of yours?!

A Day At The Races

I remember the first big-time track meet I went to – the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden back in 2000 with my mom, dad, and sister. I remember thinking it was SO cool to see people flying around a makeshift track, right there in the middle of MSG. I didn’t really know much about the race, or track in general, but my dad was an avid runner himself in his younger days, so we all went at his suggestion. This was just at the beginning of my really intense swimming career, so I sort of forgot about track and running after that.

Running track was something I always had in the back of my mind… I even went to a general information meeting my sophomore year of high school! After playing field hockey my freshman year, I realized that with just a little conditioning, I could actually be in decent running shape. Unfortunately, because swimming was my #1 sport priority, I couldn’t dedicate the time to track that the coaches were looking for, so I didn’t get to join the team. Aside from running on the treadmill here and there during the swimming off season in college, I never paid running much more attention. Fast forward 5 years, and I’m obsessed.

Leaping into the water after I raced for the very last time - 2008 Landmark Conference Swimming & Diving Champs!
Leaping into the water after I raced for the very last time – 2008 Landmark Conference Swimming & Diving Champs!

So naturally when I found out that one of the elite Oiselle runners, Kate Grace, was running at the Adidas Grand Prix on Randall’s Island this past Saturday, I immediately bought tickets. I haven’t had the opportunity to see Kate race in person yet (I couldn’t make it to this year’s Millrose Games), but have had the opportunity of hanging out with her a few times, and of course watching race replays online.

Despite the fact that it’s been sunny, in the 80’s and super humid the last week or two, it was cold and rainy on Saturday. So I got up, went for an easy run, grabbed some coffee, and then headed to Icahn Stadium with lots of layers on.

Like an Ogre, or onion. Lots of layers!
Like an Ogre, or onion. Lots of layers!

The track events started at 11:30a, and we got there just after 12p, with plenty of time to see some famous names take to the track (Tyson Gay in the 100m, Lidya Chepkurui in the 3000m steeplechase, Veronica Campbell-Brown in the 200m, and more!) It was fun to watch them squeegee the track every so often, but I would have much rather had a sunny day. Thankfully I bought general admission tickets, and the wind and rain blew at our backs for the majority of the meet. Before I knew it, though, it was time for the main event (at least for us) – Kate’s race… the sun broke through a few cloud layers, and while still covered, gave me the chance to warm up enough to sport my Oiselle feather trials hoodie (which up until that point I had been wearing underneath a rain coat).

Icahn Stadium - Randall's Island
Icahn Stadium – Randall’s Island

Unfortunately the other Oiselle birdies that were at the meet got into the stadium section, so we were spread out on opposite sides of the track. But I think it worked out – Kate had fans on either side to cheer for her! It was so fun to see them line up and each get introduced, and I had such a sense of pride when they announced her name. I wanted to turn and yell to everyone, “I know her! She’s awesome!!” Not to mention I always love seeing the Oiselle racing kit in action!

Look at her fly!
Look at her fly!

We stuck around long enough to watch a few more events, and then gave in to the cold and headed back… but not before getting an Oiselle Team picture!

Oiselle Team Birds! Abby, Robin, Jenna, and me.
Oiselle Team Birds! Abby, Robin, Jenna, and me.

The track meet was such a great experience despite the rain, and I definitely need to make attending them more of a habit… I can’t wait another 13 years! Who knows, maybe I’ll even find a local one to be a part of (but I should probably stick to road races for now). It was a great start to a Holiday weekend full of running and relaxing (weird how those two things go together so well, huh?).

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! And for those of you in the good ‘ole U.S. of A, happy Memorial Day weekend! I’m pumped to unofficially kick off summer, since it’s been oppressively humid the last few days.

Thumbs up! This is how I feel about Holiday weekends.
Thumbs up! This is how I feel about Holiday weekends.

There have been a few things I’ve been absolutely loving lately that I’ve bought with my own money, and wanted to share it with you. I always enjoy posts from people (that aren’t sponsored or full of affiliate links) sharing things that they really like – recipes, clothes, fitness products, etc. I think the blogging world gets a bad rap sometimes, and people assume that if you’re writing about it, it’s because you either got it for free or are being paid to say so. While that may be true for of some bloggers, it definitely isn’t the case for a lot of other bloggers. So I’m here to be the “you should think about buying this because I bought it and I think it’s awesome” voice of information!

This particular post doesn’t follow a theme – everything from running shorts to face moisturizer, but I think they are equally important!

Daily Writing Tips

If you are a blogger, consider yourself to be a writer, or heck, just want to write cohesive and grammatically correct e-mails, you need to read Daily Writing Tips. Sure I was an English major in college and am even certified to teach English Language & Literature to the children of America (well, at least in New Jersey), but I learn something every single time I read this blog. Seriously.

I often find myself cringing at grammatical errors in blog posts, professional e-mails, and even (generally) professional websites. I realize that mistakes happen (they all do, no matter how great of a writer you are), but some of these things should easily be caught with a simple once-over. I’m obviously not here to preach grammar and writing tips, because I know my blog posts are far from eloquent and profound, but in a world where so much of our communication is now through writing, it can’t hurt for us to all brush up on the rules now and again!

Yes To Tomatoes Moisturizer

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I have (and still do) struggle with my skin. I have a combination of super oily (thanks, dad) and super dry (thanks, mom) skin that is also extremely sensitive. So if I attempt to treat one side of the problem too much, the other one flares beyond belief. And, both oily skin and dry skin can cause breakouts… resulting in me usually at a loss when it comes to products.

Yes To Tomatoes

I first discovered the Yes To products when they were first starting out as Yes To Carrots, and hadn’t yet introduced other vegetables. After getting a pack of their Yes To Cucumbers face wipes to use after runs, I decided to try some of their other products, starting with the tomato moisturizer. It’s awesome. First of all it smells great; something I was skeptical of considering it’s made with tomatoes (I don’t necessarily think tomatoes smell good). Also, since my skin is oily yet dry, it manages to provide the right amount of moisture without being oily, something I’ve struggled to find with moisturizers in the past. I’m still shiny hours into the day, but I’m yet to find a product that prevents it (so I just own stock in blotters).

Oiselle Stride Shorts

I don’t know why it took me so long to try these Oiselle stride shorts, because they’re great. When I started running I wore cotton Soffe shorts from my high school days, and let me tell you, that got uncomfortable quickly. So I wore “typical” running shorts, and we know how most of those wind up – puffy front, riding up, chaffing, you know the drill. I discovered spandex shorts a few years ago, but it seemed like all of them were more like booty shorts on me… and the last thing I want to be worrying about while running a race is pulling down my shorts because I may be showing some cheek. I eventually abandoned the idea of spandex shorts because I couldn’t find any at the perfect length (others were too long and reminded me more of biking shorts) and settled on Oiselle’s Distance and Roga shorts (which are also awesome).

So magical they deserve a lime green background!
So magical they deserve a lime green background!

Eventually I decided to give spandex shorts another try, and went with the Stride Short. They are the perfect length! I don’t have long legs by any means, but I do have a long torso which means I naturally like to have my shorts sit a little higher since I’m not interested in a muffin top. These shorts fall in the perfect spot for me – long enough to prevent any free shows, but short enough so they don’t gobble my entire leg and make me look like a stump. And they don’t ride up at all. I need to buy these in every color possible.


Maybe I was late to jump on the Nuun train because it seemed like everyone was singing its praises, and I am a natural skeptic. I mean could hydration tabs really be that great? Growing up swimming you could usually find me guzzling Powerade or Gatorade – I wasn’t picky and just drank whatever my mom bought at the store… though it always seemed just a little too sweet, and a little too syrup-y for me. When I was in college, we had powdered Gatorade at practices and meets which I liked a lot more because it was usually watered down. After I graduated, though, I stuck to just water for my hydration needs, even after I started running. 

My favorite Nuun flavor, Cherry Limeade, and a surprise visit from a Picky Bar ;)
My favorite Nuun flavor, Cherry Limeade, and a surprise visit from a Picky Bar 😉

Finally after seeing enough tweets and hearing enough people talk about it, I decided to give Nuun a try. I picked up a bunch of single tubes at REI in case I didn’t like some (or any) of the flavors about a month and a half ago, and have gone through three 12-tab tubes, and ordered 7 more tubes since then. So I guess it’s pretty safe to say that I love it! My favorite flavors are Cherry Limeade, Lemon Lime, and Watermelon. I just recently purchased some new flavors that I’m sure I will love as well (they even have cola flavored tabs, which I’m sure would go great with the cherry). I absolutely love how convenient they are, and that I can just throw a tube in my purse or spike bag and have it any time I’d typically have water. The fizz that the tab creates is an added bonus to a seltzer lover like myself.

The Run of the Year!


Well, at least that’s what Jocelyn says it will be! But seriously, if you’re a runner in the general NYC area, you should clear your morning schedule for next Saturday, June 1st.  At 8:30am there will be a fun group run (4 and 8 mile options) from Greatist’s headquarters, with Oiselle, Nuun, and Picky Bars as sponsors (meaning samples)! You can sign up and get free tickets for the event here. I’m super bummed that I won’t be able to make it because a friend is getting married that weekend, but I know it’s going to be awesome, so you have to go for me!

Any big plans for the weekend?
What are you loving lately?

Racecation: The Essentials

When I first started running I insisted on only running races that were within a 30 minute radius from where I lived. The thought of having to pack extra stuff, sleep in an unfamiliar bed, and travel to and from a race location just didn’t appeal to me. But as I got more into running and became a part of the running community, I realized that traveling for races is just part of the territory. Considering I did it for years while I swam, I don’t know why this concept seemed so unappealing to me. Plus, if I can add in a few days for “vacation,” I’ll gladly do it! Hence the name “racecation” (which I stole from Krissy). While I’m no expert, I’ve certainly traveled to my fair share of races since I’ve started running, and thought it would be helpful to share my racecation essentials!

Obviously the most important thing to include when packing is your race day outfit and sneakers. I quadruple check when I’m packing just to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. All I need is to show up to a race without all of my outfit or my sneakers and break the cardinal rule of “nothing new on race day.” And of course if you’re partial to music while running or a watch, those are just as important as what you plan on wearing. I suppose the rest is negligible as long as you have what you plan on racing in, but it’s nice to take into consideration what you’d be comfortable in before and after the race… especially if your vacation involves a lot of walking (hello Disney!).

Oiselle Kit & Mizuno Wave Riders!
Oiselle Kit & Mizuno Wave Riders!

For any race I attend, whether it’s 15 minutes away or 15 hours away, I always bring my spike bag with the same stuff in it. I don’t always head right home after races that are nearby, so it’s important that I have things with me to make myself somewhat presentable in public (I use the term loosely). For me, that means some type of body wipe, body spray, face wipes, and deodorant. I also bring a full change of clothes. Depending on the weather and where I’m going, I may do a full or partial change, usually in the backseat of my car. What can I say, I’m a serious (salty) sweater, that has no problem changing in public.

Free Speed Stick from a race? Don't mind if I do! I'm cool with smelling like a man.
Free Speed Stick from a race? Don’t mind if I do! I’m cool with smelling like a man.

Once I’m actually home or back at the hotel and showered, I dress based on my plans for the day. But, if I ran a half marathon or longer, I usually throw on a pair of compression socks or sleeves for good measure as well. Sneakers are usually the way to go for me right after a race, but sometimes my feet are okay with a pair of Toms or flip flops. I also bought a pair of Aspaeris compression shorts back when I was training for Chicago, and let me tell you, those things are magical. I tend to have tight hips after races, so these keep me nice and snug, and because they are SO tight, you can wear them under pretty much anything. Secret compression at it’s finest!

Why yes, I am wearing compression shorts under this dress!
Why yes, I am wearing compression shorts under this dress!

Now aside from looking presentable and not being smelly, I’m also particular when it comes to my pre and post race nutrition (surprise?). For every single race I’ve traveled to (which are all half marathons or marathons), I bring my own peanut butter and bread. This may sound ridiculous because they’re pretty basic staples, but I don’t like the idea of risking not having it come race morning. I’ve found that the single serve packs of peanut butter work best, either with regular sandwich bread or a bagel. I also bring a ton of Picky Bars with me for before and after the race because I know they don’t upset my stomach at all, and they’re delicious. And now that I’m a new Nuun hydration convert, a tube of that comes along with me, too.

My favorite flavors!
My favorite flavors!

I’m one of those people that packs days in advance, so I’ve been packed for the Nike Women’s Half since Wednesday. I know, it’s weird… but it goes along with my heavy planning nature. I get so excited I just can’t help myself!

So tell me… 
What are your racecation essentials? 

PS – Don’t forget to enter my Food Should Taste Good Chips Giveaway… you have until Monday !

Lookin’ Fly

For those of you that follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter, you’ve probably seen quite a few #oisellelookbook tagged pictures, and probably wondered what I was doing, and if I’d ventured into the world of modeling (you can stop laughing now…). While my modeling days are behind me (yes, I was in Macy’s catalogs as a toddler), when I saw that the wonderful ladies at Oiselle were hosting a fun contest to pair Spring ’13 pieces with older Oiselle pieces, I was in. Still being new to photography and not being the best at taking “selfies,” I enlisted the help of my photo savvy husband to take my picture, multiple times.

I thought it would be fun to put all of my entries in one place… especially for those of you ladies looking for new workout gear. I’m serious when I say that these threads are the best… and that’s why I have so many pieces, and am constantly looking to add more! So without further ado, here are my magazine cover worthy photos (come on, laugh a little).


The first picture I took was above, wearing the oh-so-fabulous Lux Layer ($76, and worth every penny) and Distance short ($38).


Here I’m channeling my inner hipster rocking the Peacenik Sweatshirt ($74), and Lesley Knickers ($60). Reusable Starbucks cup, sunglasses, and Toms sold separately.


I like to call this picture “the right amount of creepy” as I rock the Runfinity scarf ($22), Lesley Knickers ($60), and an old Aero Tank (no longer available).


Trying to channel my inner speedster, here I’m wearing the Winona Tank ($48) and the infamous Roga shorts ($46).


Even though cats aren’t efficient runners, I still like mine… and thankfully they like my Oiselle clothes, and maybe more importantly, haven’t ripped holes in any of it. This is the Stripey Scoop Neck ($44) and no longer available Lori short.


Last but certainly not least, the outfit (and pose) above may be my favorite of the group. I’m obviously channeling my inner Fast K8 here rocking her Fan Tee ($25), along with the Mesh Tank ($42) and Distance Shorts ($38).

I placed an order last week that’s en route including a much anticipated sports bra, so if it arrives before the 3/22 contest end date, rest assured you’ll be seeing a few more “looks” from me. And in all seriousness, if you haven’t checked out Oiselle yet, you really should. Their pieces are made for women runners, by women runners… it doesn’t get much better than that!

Friday Favorites

You won’t usually find weekly wrap-up or list posts here, but every once in awhile I like to share what I’m in-the-moment loving; I generally love when other bloggers do them (though I don’t like “best of what I’ve written over the last month” posts) since I’m almost always introduced to something new. I’ve done a few “This Week in Yum” posts which I enjoy, but today’s is going to cross a few different subjects.

Picky Bars
First up relates to both food and running – two of my most favorite things. I already talked about my running fuel of choice, but now that I’ve had the chance to devour almost all of my first month’s supply of Picky Bars, I figured I’d throw them another shout-0ut. Seriously guys, these bars rule. And I’m not just saying that because the amazing Lauren Fleshman is now my Oiselle Teammate… I mean it!


These bars have come in handy a lot over the last month – pre and post run fuel, mid-morning and afternoon snacks, and even on the slopes while snowboarding! They definitely have more substance than the little granola bars I was trying to eat as a snack (that would just leave me hungry), and I like to think they’re way better for me. Plus, who doesn’t like supporting a small business that loves sport just as much as you? I am so glad I found these bars and am able to participate in their monthly club.

Oiselle Distance Shorts
When it comes to running shorts, I’m more often unhappy with them than I am happy. Whether they’re giving me a wedgie, getting stuck in between my thighs (which I don’t think are THAT big), are too short, or just generally uncomfortable, I’m picky when it comes to running shorts… especially if I’m going to be spending a long time in them. I converted to the (longer) spandex short not too long ago and was content with them; but truth be told I longed for that “runner’s shorts” look. You know, the parachute-esq shorty short that for whatever reason, to me, makes you look like a “real” runner.

Look at those shorts! So awesome.
Look at those shorts! So awesome.

I had all but given up on the dream until I got my first pair of Distance Shorts from Oiselle. Sure I had a pair of the famed Rogas, but still wanted to give their other shorts a try. I decided to wear them for the Disney  Marathon, and was pleasantly surprised. I had zero chafing, no uncomfortable fabric bunches, and despite being soaked with sweat by the end, were really comfortable. And the bonus? They have two zippered pockets (one on the side and one in the back) in addition to your typical waistband pouch. Talk about love at first run.

Hot Chocolate Pop-Bars
These little treats came to me in my PopSugar “Must Have” box for January. At first I thought they were just pieces of chocolate on sticks (more eloquently called a lollipop), but after inspecting the packaging I realized they were meant for hot chocolate. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for powdered hot chocolate (hello convenience), but there was something so decadent about heating up some milk and watching good quality chocolate melt as you stir.

Gourmet style hot chocolate at home!
Gourmet style hot chocolate at home!

They have a store in the city (on the corner of Carmine St. & 6th Ave.) where they sell gelato and sorbetto bars; and you can create your own! I’ll definitely have to check them out next time I’m in the city.

Timehop App
For anyone that has social media sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter), you need this app! The concept is really simple, and totally awesome. Each day the app looks back within each of your linked social media sites to see what (if anything) was tweeted, posted, or shared on that same date in years past. It’s really fun to see what pictures were posted of you on Facebook 6 years ago (hello college nostalgia) as well as the types of gem Tweets you shared.

Senior meet... can't believe that was 5 years ago!
Senior meet… can’t believe that was 5 years ago!

It’s provided some serious laughs for me and nice little reminders almost every single day. You can even share what’s posted within the App, as well as tweet, e-mail, and Facebook it out so others can see what you were doing, too!

So that’s what I’m loving right now. How about you?
Anything you’re currently obsessing over that I should check out? 
Do you have any of the things I mentioned above? 

Disclaimer: In case you thought for any reason I was getting these goods for free or being compensated in any way for this post, rest assured I’m not. I am talking about these products and the companies on my own, because I think they rock!

Super Sunday

Friday marked the first day of using my brand spakin’ new Believe I Am training journal. I ordered the journal at the beginning of January and have been anxiously awaiting the beginning of February to start officially using it. Even though Fridays are rest days, I couldn’t wait to start using it and scribble in my first race results in the book – the Super Sunday 5k.

Welp, guess my main goal is out there now...
Welp, guess my main goal is out there now…

I really had no plan going into this 5k, with it being only 2 weeks after the Disney marathon. I knew that getting my legs to move fast would be tricky, especially after waking up to see snow on the ground. So I picked a pace that I thought would be doable but not easy (7:30 average), and figured if I felt better then I’d go for it, but if not, I would at least be happy with my finish time. Of course I have big plans for all my racing distances in 2013, but knew Sunday wasn’t going to be the day to PR.

It was COLD on Sunday morning. The race started at 11am and we arrived around 10am, so we spent a solid 30 minutes in the car with the heat on trying to stay warm after picking up our bibs and t-shirts. The shirts were interesting… I was offered either the women’s medium which was described as “kind of small, with kind of short long sleeves” or the men’s medium that was “kind of big, like a nightgown.” Why they didn’t have a men’s small or a larger women’s shirt I have no idea, but I decided on the nightgown look. I actually wound up putting the shirt on underneath my singlet; I seriously underestimated the cold and would not have been comfortable with what I had on. By the time the race started my toes were a little numb, and my exposed ankles and neck were stinging. But once we started I was immediately distracted by the faucet also known as my nose (you’re welcome).

The race was small (only 259 finishers), and wound through Somerville streets. It only snowed about an inch or so over night so the roads were mostly okay, but there was some slush that made me nervous. I was able to navigate around it because the roads were wide and empty, but there were definitely a few steps where I had zero traction. There were lots of turns, and I’m happy to report I ran the tangets well. I also managed not to floor it my first mile (like I’ve been known to do) and kept my pace very consistent. Since it was a smaller race, I knew there was a chance I’d be able to place at least in my age group, and maybe even overall. I’ve placed at a few races before, but they’ve always been on the smaller side… which I’ll take! The only women I had seen on the course I passed, but I knew there were a few that must have taken off and were just out of my view. I eyed up a small and speedy looking girl at the start, and my prediction was right – she went on to win the entire race! But other than that, I really wasn’t sure where I’d come in.

As it turns out, I finished in 23:16, right at that 7:30 average I wanted to maintain, and 20 seconds off of my current 5k PR. Being the race was so small, that ranked me as the 4th female overall, and 1st in my age group! The prize was a sweet pint glass, that I conveniently got to use while watching the Superbowl!

Look at all those layers!
Look at all those layers!

Next up on my racing schedule is a 5k Road Relay at the end of the month. In teams of 2 you each run a 5k (broken in two) to total a 10k, passing a baton and everything. I’m really looking forward to it! I’m ready to ramp up my mileage and add in some speed work to get ready for the Spring’s half marathons I have on deck. And of course, to use my shiny new Believe I Am journal!


When I was just starting out running, I didn’t really understand fueling for long runs. As a swimmer, there really wasn’t any opportunity to eat during practice (though we did sometimes keep Starbursts on the pool deck just in case), and we stuck to water and Gatorade as our main fuel source for workouts. I was always one of those people that couldn’t eat much before working out, and on the mornings of meets you could usually find me choking down a Powerbar or something similar – full meals (or even partial meals) needed to be eaten hours in advance in order for me to not feel sick, and that holds true today.

The biggest difference for me between running and swimming is fueling – mainly because of the amount of time spent doing each activity. Sure, our practices were 2+ hours, but it wasn’t ever 2+ hours of continuous swimming… thank goodness! So the first few long runs and even long races I did, didn’t include a lot of mid-race fueling. I still am unable to eat a lot before I run, but I’ve managed to condition myself to expect and deal with eating along the way. It’s taken a decent amount of trial and error in order to figure out what works best for me, especially making sure I don’t eat something before or during my run that will upset my stomach and GI.


So what’s my plan? I’ve found that for the most part, unless my run is over 13ish miles, I don’t need any mid-run fuel as long as I have a solid breakfast (which I’ll get to). But, if I’m going longer than that, I like to take something every 5 miles. I’m going to be honest with you – I think energy gels are pretty gross. But, I know that they are the fastest and easiest way for me to eat something during a run. The bites/gummies/chomps/beans are more pleasant, but they also up my chance for biting down on my tongue or cheek while trying to chew them and run at the same time (believe me, it’s happened). Of course I’m picky about the flavors I like, and so I stick to the Clif Shot Vanilla, but will gladly take any brand that has a Chocolate or Mocha flavor as well. So during a marathon I’ll take a gel before the race, and then at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20. I typically take the on-course gel they offer as well, just in case.

My breakfast also varies depending on the length of my run. For runs less than 13 miles, I’ll either have a a Picky Bar or a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For longer runs, I usually have a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich… and of course lots of water! I’m new to the whole Picky Bar club (literally, I just joined their monthly club) and am IN LOVE with all the flavors. I know a  lot of people don’t like energy bars, etc., because they “taste like cardboard,” but I beg to differ, at least about the PB’s. My favorite flavor is “Lauren’s Mega Nuts,” and they’re gluten and dairy free – nice and easy on the digestive system for someone like me.


As for post-run, anything is game. I usually spend most of my runs thinking about drinks – smoothies, iced coffee, Slurpees, protein shakes, beer… it’s weird, but I just go with it. No matter how cold it is after I run, I almost always want a cold drink, which I usually wind up regretting as I sit on the floor shivering. Why the floor? Growing up I was conditioned not to sit on the couches in the following situations (unless I put a towel down first): after putting on sunscreen, after working out, or immediately after swim practice (hello chlorine). So I still follow those rules today in my own house. I usually have an iced coffee, and then try to help aid my recovery with a protein shake and tart cherry juice (if I have any on hand). As for food, anything is game – if the run happens earlier in the day, I’ll typically make something brunch-y, but if it’s later in the day or evening, I’ll eat pretty much anything. I just make sure to make it as nutritionally sound as possible, and depending on the number of miles I’ve run, calorie heavy.

Fueling for workouts (especially running) really is a science, like they say at Picky Bars. Different things work for different people, so it’s really important to take the time and figure out what works for you… especially if you have any intolerances, allergies, or dietary restrictions. My routine works for me, so I don’t plan on changing it until I need to!

How do you fuel for workouts?
Do you fuel differently depending on the length or activity?