A New Race + Why Running With Friends Keeps Me Alive

Apparently, I have a tendency to jump out in front of cabs, cars and other moving objects without any regard for my life. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit. But since beginning to run with @beth1126 (no, we didn’t meet via Twitter, not that there’s anything wrong with that), I’ve noticed that I can be somewhat of a space cadet while running.

On Tuesday night, I was pleasantly surprised when Beth extended the invitation to run on Wednesday morning. This was out of the ordinary since, typically, we run on Thursdays. But since I was going on day eight in a row of working out, I was really appreciative of the extra motivation, and despite the change in schedule (I’m a serious creature of habit), I eagerly replied yes. Which brings me to Wednesday morning, 6:30 a.m.

Wednesday’s run was set to be pretty straight forward. You see, she’s running in the NYC Half Marathon this weekend (so exciting!), whereas my only plan is an all day drinking fest on Saturday (insert shamed comment here). In other words, we stuck to her training plan since I generally had none, running from our usual meeting spot to around 79th and Madison and back for a grand total of 4.06 miles. (Clearly I didn’t clock the distance; she wears the Garmin in this relationship.)

For the first time all season, I set out in just a t-shirt and leggings. It felt incredibly liberating to run without being bundled up in several layers and to feel air brushing up against my skin. While we chatted about really important things (like her upcoming race, obnoxious insurance companies and unruly hair ties), we also lamented about the fact that a lot of great spring and summer races are apparently not taking place this year – mainly the Queens and (possibly?) the Brooklyn Half Marathon. (If anyone has information on this, it’d be greatly appreciated.)

My legs were extremely tired for the duration of the run, but given the environment, temperature and company, I was more than happy to be out there on Wednesday. By the time I walked back into my apartment, my calves were aching, but I had racing on the mind. The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is less than 3 weeks away; that means I’ll need another one to look forward to post-April 1st.

Herein: a prime example of how hard it is to convince me to sign up for a race.

This mystery g-chatter is talking about the Governor’s Island 10k, and I’m actually really excited about it. Governor’s Island is gorgeous, with amazing panoramic views of lower Manhattan. And while I’ve only been there twice – both times for concerts and other shenanigans – I’m really looking forward to doing something productive on this little outlet off the tip of the financial district.

Most surprisingly of all, however, is that this will actually be my first race of this distance. My first official race (not counting several breast cancer runs that are so crowded that you’re better off walking), last August, was the Queens half marathon, which I followed up with another half marathon in January – that one in Central Park. April will bring with it my first 10-mile race, and June 24th, 2012 will be my official first 10k.

I know what you’re thinking. Um, Stacy, you’re supposed to be increasing your distance if you’re ever going to run a marathon, not going backwards. Laaazzzyy. But I actually think this is a good thing, believe it or not. Hear me out. I never thought I’d say this, but participating in a race of a shorter distance may actually present an opportunity for me to work on my – dare I say – speed.

So that’s all sorted out. Now, all that’s left to ponder is this: Why do the race rules forbid bandits from participating? This could cause a problem.

That’s all from me for now. I’m planning on taking Thursday off to strength train and stretch out my calves (do videos in front of my TV while watching The Today Show).

I’ll end with another nutritious recipe. Using the leftover bulgar wheat from my last dish, I created this light, tomatoey dish that turned out to be everything I’d hoped it be and more. All I did was add steamed spinach (seasoned with salt and pepper), Campari tomatoes, sliced mini red peppers, and a few spoonfuls (half the jar) of Rao’s tomato sauce. The white flecks are little pieces of cheese. Everything is better with cheese.

Here it is close up, with a little bit of everything on the fork, so you can get a better view of the tomato-based bulgar wheat. Like quinoa, I find bulgar to be an important grain in my diet since it’s high in fiber and contains protein – an essential element when you don’t eat meat on a regular basis.

Dessert was less creative, but equally – if not even more – delicious.

If anyone’s on the market for some yellow Sour Patch Kids, you know where to find me.


2 thoughts on “A New Race + Why Running With Friends Keeps Me Alive

    • it’s not intentional! it’s just so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that there are other – more powerful – elements out there.

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