Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What was I thinking?!

Last week, my friend Alison caught me during a moment of weakness (or motivation - however you want to look at it). I was browsing online one of my favorite stores and looking for an excuse to purchase something. Alison must be psychic because she sent me a Bloomberg chat message at that exact moment and told me she signed up for a half marathon for the end of March and that I should join her. All I saw was an excuse to buy cute clothes....

But now reality is setting in. I have my work cut out for me. Did I mention that I have never run more than 3 miles in my life? Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New favorite store

I had coffee with a college friend who was visiting from CA yesterday and she had the cutest umbrella that made yesterday's snow storm not so miserable. She told me that she got it from Fishs Eddy. I stared at her blankly but any place that carries items that can turn a snowstorm into an excuse to accessorize with something cute made an impression on me. So obviously I had to drag Nick there this afternoon. I love everything in that store! Unfortunately, spending $30 on an umbrella wasn't in the budget. But this two items made the cut.

From now on, this place will be my first stop anytime I need to get a gift. Highly recommend checking this place out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

'Tis the season

Fall.... it's my favorite time of the year. Change is in the air - all the rugrats are going back to school (and by rugrats, I mean college summer interns), unbearable summer heat and humidity turn into breezy beautiful weather (aka hoodie weather), and most importantly, it signals the start of FOOTBALL SEASON. This past weekend was a great weekend of football (well, except for my fantasy team) as Michigan beat Notre Dame in a nail biting season opener at the Big House. Tonight, my beloved Patriots play the Dolphins in the first Monday night game of the season.

Football season also signals slow cooker season for me and Nick. Remember our slow cooker? Last night, to kick off, Nick made Asian inspired BBQ ribs. I say Asian inspired because he sort of threw a bunch of seasoning and sauces together to make the dry rub before throwing it all in the crock pot. End result:

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Nick and I had our first lesson at the Manhattan Ballroom Society last night. We are taking an 8 week "group" lesson (i say "group" because we were the only ones in the class last night) to learn the basics of the foxtrot, tango, and waltz. I actually had a lot of fun! And Nick was suprised that he actually got an arm workout just being in ballroom stance. We did learn that I am horrible at "following" Nick's lead. Any suprises there? :) I'm pretty excited for the next 7 weeks! If anything, I am sure there will be a lot of entertaining stories to come from this.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Birthday Weekend

My birthday weekend started off with a BANG. My work sponsored a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 pre-screening on Thursday, July 14th for our clients. Dumbledore was able to join our event. We had to fly him from Florida. He is apparently the nation's #1 Dumbledore impresonator. Immemediately afterwards, I hussled over to the AMC near Lincoln Center to watch the movie AGAIN. This time with these lovely ladies.

It really is the end of an era... I have seen multiple HP midnight opening night showing with these ladies (we missed you Maggie!) and it is sad to think that this could be our last. I did realize while recovering on Friday (and Saturday and parts of Sunday) that my body is not as good with midnight showings as it was 2 years ago.

Friday after work was my group's annual summer party at my boss's house. Nick was able to join me for a quick drink before we met up with our friend Angie and Jon at The Beach House Cafe for dinner and a long overdue catch up.

Saturday, Nick took me to Block Island as a birthday treat because I always complain to him that he never takes me to the beach. We caught the 9:30am ferry from Point Judith and returned on the 8:00pm. It was a wonderful day of laying out, reading, napping, and eating.

On Sunday, Maggie, Perryn, Deb, and Kyo treated me to a delicious dinner at Tia Pol. They even gifted me nailpolish, coffee mug, and book on how to say dirty phrases in Chinese (I'm sure it will be very helpful when I am in Hong Kong next month). Thanks ladies for dinner, gifts, and great company!!

Monday was the actual day that I turned 25 for the third time. There was a happy hour that a former colleague arranged with all my favorite coworkers from my previous job and then Nick took me for a delicious dinner at Aquagrill where I stuffed my face with oysters. Highly recommend this place. Delicious food for a "reasonable" price.

It was a wonderful few days of birthday celebrations. Thanks to everyone for making it so special.

Oh and finally, want to share a special something that Nick got me.

Now this will motivate me to take lots of pictures and update this blog more often.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Britney Spears: Then and Now

Check out this video: Britney Spears Then Vs. Now

She does seem a bit off compared to her performances pre KFed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What an inspiration!

Check out: http://alicepyne.blogspot.com/

A 15 year old with terminal cancer created this blog to document how she's spending her time and to have a "bucket list" of all the things she wants or wanted to do (whale watching, swim with dolphins, meet Take That, enter her dog in a show, etc...). It's amazing how upbeat, hopeful and positive this teen is knowing that her time on Earth is limited.

If you knew that you had any a short time left to live, what would be on your bucket list?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

5 years already!

This past weekend, a bunch of the Wellesley class of 2006 trekked up to Wellesley and Boston for our 5 year reunion. The weather was perfect, the scenery gorgeous. I forgot how beautiful the campus I spent 4 years of me life is... I wish I appreciated it more when I lived there. I was so happy that so many people were able to make it. Thanks for a fun weekend!

Can you tell which one was taken this weekend?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good Plan = Good Results

The big marathon was yesterday.  I ran the marathon distance of the North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain, NY.  My previous two marathon times were 4:32 and 4:29, which were disappointing since I walked significant portions of both races.  Clearly my goal in this race was a new pr, but my stated goal was to be able to run "at any point I wanted during the race."  This acknowledged that there were parts of the course that were essentially too steep to run on and that breaks would be necessary to complete it.  This marathon was off-road which added an extra element of difficulty.  My plan to accomplish the goal included interval training early in the season to work on speed, practicing with water to help with hydration, and running lots of long distances to get my endurance up.  I also spent a lot of time over the last month working on tempo runs where I would set a pace and stick to it to work on a good 8 minute mile stride length and frequency.  I knew that pacing myself early would be key to being able to finish strong.
We got good weather for the day, although a little hot.  My friend Ian was doing the 30km race so we got up to the site just before 6AM for his 7AM start.  My start was not until 9AM.  I took my time getting over the line to start as I had no interest in being with any front runners.  In the early going with the big bunches of groups there were many situations where I would get passed going up grades and repass going down.  In the past I have blogged about bicycling up hills and how what you want to do is maintain a constant energy level.  This holds true in running and I could tell a lot of people were pushing way to hard in the first several miles.  An important lesson I've learned from many races is to just say to myself "I'll see you later" when they go by, a statement that ended up being very accurate.  After 1 hour I was just over 6 miles deep, which was a touch slow for my 4 hour goal.  At the end of the second hour I was not quite 12 in and realized that 4 hours was not going to happen.  However, I just stuck with my plan and my pacing.  There was a rest area at the 15th mile and I took a few minutes off to refill my water bottles and have some gu and drink a little gu brew.  Brief aside: Gu Brew is really good, not super sugary.  After this rest the trail was very empty, I passed a lot of people working on the 50km course and did not pass or get passed by any runners from my race before the 21 mile break.  At that point I was feeling good, but a bit tired.  I refilled again.  As I was heading out I saw two other marathoners coming in and resolved that I would not get passed by them.  I probably had about a 2 minute advantage.
The last 5 miles of a marathon are what the training is all about.  It's where you really race.  You have to get there and be able to run.  I was really counting down the miles into the finish.  After I went over a very technical muddy part of the trail I glanced back and could see the two runners had gained a good amount of ground, but there was only about 2.5miles left.  I realized it was time to put the hammer down and start legging out some miles.  Conveniently a girl ran by who was doing the marathon relay, her 9 minute mile pace was excellent for pacing.  With around 1.5 to go I passed another guy in my race, he was stretching and had clearly hit the wall.  I felt bad for him, but was excited to get one spot higher in the classification.  Another marathon runner came up behind me and started putting pressure on too.  The runner who was stretching got back in it and the three of us were passing each other repeatedly for the next mile.  With .5 to go I saw an opportunity, it was a clear moment of adrenaline, but there was a quick sharp uphill and I booked it up and put them in the rear view mirror.  The rest was a nice gentle run through the parking lot and into the finishing shoot.  I finished in 4:57 which was a touch disappointing, but I was very satisfied with how I had run the race.  After relaxing and re-hydrating for a few hours I check the results and was shocked to find out that I placed 17th!  This was extremely exciting and a better result than I could have imagined. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things that make me smile part 2

For those of you that know me, it will not come as a surprise why I have been in such a good mood the past couple of weeks. On Tuesday, March 29th, Britney Spears' 6th album Femme Fatale was released and she has been doing the usual press tour to promote it. I have been so happy to see/hear so much Britney the past few weeks. I don't care what people say about her, I love Britney.

Another thing I love... chick lit. Embarrassing, I know. I like people to think that I read books like "Moby Dick" and "War and Peace" but sadly that is not that case. I grew up reading the Sweet Valley books (omg - there is a new Sweet Valley book that came out a few days ago called Sweet Valley Confidential. I am so excited about this... but I will save that for a future post) and my taste in reading material has not matured much since those days. One of my favorite books is called "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffin. It's about a girl who has an affair with her best friend's fiance (i know.. i know.. but trust me, it's better than it sounds!). On May 6th, the movie version of the movie is coming out. I have mixed feelings about this ~ I don't agree with some of the casting (Kate Hudson as Darcy, really?!) and I think they are taking some liberties with the storyline but regardless, you know where I will be on May 6th.

Every year, in celebration of Earth Day, Disney releases a movie to celebrate. This year's movie is called African Cats and I could not be more excited. There is nothing more I want than a pet lion or cheetah cub (yes, I realize the point of the movie is the polar opposite of "everyone should have a pet lion"). Anyone remember the movie Cheetah that came out in the 80's?

Sorry for the lack of postings (why do I feel like I am always apologizing about this?). On the life front, things have been going well. Nick ran the NYC Half Marathon a few weeks ago and is now training for an off road marathon for the beginning of May. For this post, I will leave you with something I read that made me smile on Friday:

Dear America,
You gave us Miley Cyrus. We give you Justin Beiber.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Burgers!!!

Thursday night we met up with Saagar and Meghan at Burger and Barrel.  This was a classy take on a burger restaurant.  Besides the burgers they have a list of fancy appetizers and several entree options other than burgers.  We all got burgers, when in Rome I suppose.  On this evening they had some awesome sliders made from bison meat as a special that we ordered along with a tuna tartar for starters.  Both were delicious.  Kova got the mash, I ordered peublo style which had cheese and chili peppers on top.  Mine was tasty, a nice blend of flavors and spice.  Their burger meat is terrific.  Kova's was a little over the top.  Bash style comes with carmelized onions, bacon jam, pickles and American cheese.   The pickles were relish.  The knock on this delicious sounding burger is that the flavors of the toppings just sort of blend together and become indistinct.  Both burgers were a bit on the oily side.  One really neat part of the spot is their long wine list.  If wine and burgers is your style this is definitely your burger joint.  They have 4 wines 'on tap' at the bar and an extensive list of bottles.  Although a neat experience and a tasty burger our favorite in the city is still Royale.  Cheers!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Royale is the biggest knock that I have on Zaitzeff.  Located on avenue c between 9th and 10th it is around the corner and in my opinion just as good at half the price.  Many people know Corner Bistro the overly popular Jane St. burger joint that often gets rated 'New York City's Best Burger'.  I think that trying to establish the best burger in NYC is somewhat ridiculous and a waste of time, however, both Corner Bistro and Royale have terrific burgers.  The big reason that I prefer Royale is that nobody knows about it.  There are very few burger articles where it even gets mentioned.  This means that you can always get a seat and a drink, as opposed to Corner Bistro which will have a line out the door and make you feel like you're in Times Square or some other tourist trap.  The menu at Royale is pretty simple.  You can get a Royale ($6.50) or a Royale ($7.50) with cheese.  Onion rings or fries are available but ordered separately.  It is the classic no frills burger bar, with a couple tv's that will allow you to watch the game of the day.  The bun is perfect for the burger as it absorbs the juices without becoming soggy.  Two thumbs up for this diamond in the rough.


Zaitzeff is a terrific burger joint in the east village located on avenue B between 2nd and 3rd street.  Kova and I had dinner there Wednesday.  Kova had the blt, I had the kobe burger and we shared the mixed green salad.  Kova really enjoyed her dish, although I was a bit underwhelmed when I tasted it.  The kobe burger that I ate is their signature dish at $16 it is a pricy burger, but it is delicious.  In gourmet form they allow you to add a variety of toppings, I put avocado and jalapeno pepper on top which proved to be quiet delicious.  The mixed green salad was nice having avocado, beets, and tomatoes on a bed of fresh greens.  I have never had trouble getting a table at the spot that has a cushy, quiet atmosphere.  The low lighting in the restaurant gives is a cozy, romantic feel.  They also have a bar where you can sit and eat. 

Busy week!

There is something truly wonderful about a sleeping Saturday.  This is especially true after an absolutely crazy week.  My boss was on vacation leaving me to run our crude oil trading book while the middle east was imploding causing enormous price movements in crude oil.  The busy week caused me to come up a little short on training goals.  I was able to get a 6 mile run in and currently am letting breakfast digest before running 12.  This will be my longest run of the year to date which is very exciting.  It's 33 degrees and sunny so that weather will be great for running.  I'll probably use the long sleeve shirt, but go with just shorts on the legs.  Below 30 degrees, especially at night I'll put on thermal pants to keep my legs warm.  I'm zeroing in on trying to run the Bershires marathon in Lenox, MA Memorial Day Weekend.  It is just about 3 months from now which gives me lots of time to get in marathon condition.  I have two key parts to my training this season, besides miles.  The first key is incorporating hydration.  My conclusion after two marathons is that my lack of hydration on both of them has caused my body to hit the wall and cramp at the 20 mile point about 3 hours into the race.  I have avoided this in triathlons because they are shorter than 3 hours and I am able to hydrate on the bike.  I think the key to being able to finish the marathon strong will be keeping a strong level of hydration during the first half of the race.  The second key to my training is interval running.  This is more targeted at dropping my time in the triathlon and other short distance runs, but I think it will prove beneficial for the marathon as well.  When I embark on a race I normally don't have 1 firm goal, I generally have a group of times that are important, this means that at the end of the race I will generally have at least something to be happy about, while always having something more to work towards.  The times I have in my head are 3:28, 3:54, 4:00 and 4:30.  3:28 is eight minute miles which is my current reasonable goal, I have been able to run half marathons that pace me for that time and I hope with the increased hydration that I can do that soon.  3:54 is my friend Dean's best time and the best marathon time on my hockey team, naturally I would like to have a faster time.  4:00 is a huge benchmark, I feel that to be a respectable marathon runner you need to be able to run a sub 4:00 because that means you're averaging slightly over 9 minute miles and that you're pretty much running the whole thing.  4:30 is my best marathon time to date and since my goal is always to do better than before, this is the goal that I think is easily attainable.  One more element of my training this year will be cross training because two weeks after the marathon I will be doing a 148 mile bike ride from Boston to Vermont.  I have great confidence in my ability to ride so I will be light on the training for this in order to put more focus into the marathon, however somewhere between mid-March and mid-April I plan on adding one bike ride a week and it seems likely that extended Friday or Saturday workouts will have to alternate between biking and running.   Well, if you have managed to read this far I appreciate it.  I realize that was a lot of rambling jibber-jabber, now for the rest of the weekly recap. 
Wednesday night Kova and I ate at Zaitzeff and had a blt, Kobe burger and mixed green salad.  Thursday night we ate at Royale and grabbed a beer at Zum Schneider.  Last night was spring roll night.  I'm going to type up some quick entries on those now so that you can read them without suffering through the training report.