Big Apple Buzz

After my late Halloween night, I was feeling a little less than stellar on Sunday morning. But with some coffee and a big glass of water, I rallied enough for a run alongside the West Side bike path. Hannah and I ran about 5 miles (~43 minutes) and then came back to my apartment for breakfast!

Non-fat Dunkin’ Donuts latte, toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with goat cheese, and a sliced apple with almond butter. Full of stabilizing protein, healthy fat, and carbs. Oh yeah, and a mega-dose of caffeine.

cinnamon raisin bagel

Approximately 10 minutes after finishing breakfast, Hannah and I hit the road for another run. In order to get to mile 19 (1st Ave/115th St) in time to see our marathoning friends, we had to jog (walking takes too long!). I was a little worried about the coffee + breakfast + running and I wouldn’t do this every day, but it actually worked out fine. We were able to see the the runners at mile 19 and then again at mile 22. I wore my Nike + to record the distance and we ended up running/jogging about 3 extra miles throughout the early afternoon.

Female NYC Marathon winner: Derartu Tulu (love her!)


It was fun cheering with the crowd, but I’m not going to sugar coat it – the whole atmosphere of the NYC marathon has been kind of rough for me. I was entered in the marathon this year, but when I was side-lined by injury this summer, I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to participate in the race. It was a really hard decision to defer my entry, but I know it was the right one. If I had attempted to run yesterday, I probably would have only exacerbated my IT band/hamstring issues. I’m finally able to run again (for which I’m incredibly thankful!), but there are still days that my hamstring/knee bother me a lot and I’m always worried the injury will come back in full force.

All of the well-meaning co-workers who asked “are you running the marathon?”, the bombardment of Marathon ads on the streets and subways, and the general running buzz throughout the city have been constant reminders that I spent the better part of 2009 injured. I’m glad to be building mileage again, but I’m also frustrated that I can’t run as much or as fast as I’d like to. But it’s not all doom and gloom – there are some positive things that have come from my running struggles this year. I don’t think I will ever take a run for granted. I appreciate each mile that I’m able to complete. I’ve learned to enjoy new activities like cycling and yoga and I’m very excited to experiment with an indoor triathlon (January 10th!).  And being injured has allowed me to have a deeper understanding my body. I am more attuned to aches and soreness and fatigue, but I can also appreciate how good a pain-free run can feel. So as 2009 comes to a close I hope I can start moving forward, focusing on what I will be able to do and not the races that I’m missing out on.

Ahh, my heart feels better already. Thanks for listening.

I downed some Kombucha when I got back to my apartment and felt full of energy all afternoon – I was even motivated to sweep & mop the floors and take out the recycling!


My stomach started to growl around 3pm, time for a mini-meal of pineapple chobani greek yogurt and sliced banana.

Pineapple Chobani

Oh yeah, and a cupcake the size of my head. Earlier in the morning Hannah and I made the very wise decision to scope out the selection at Make My Cake – the cake shop (!!) next to my apartment building. I went with the red velvet cupcake, a Southern Classic. Not only was the cream cheese frosting rich and tangy, but the cake was incredibly moist (Magnolia, you could learn a few things from the folks Uptown). The red velvet had spicy undertones, so if you’re looking for a classic cupcake taste this might not be for you, but I really enjoyed it. I nibbled on this cupcake all day long and devoured every last crumb!

Red Velvet Cupcake from Make My Cake

Mmm, cupcakes.

cupcake hannah

After I said my goodbyes to Hannah (sad), I met Katie in the East Village for quite possibly the best yoga class ever. The teacher’s style definitely wasn’t traditional, but I loved her the mind-body philosophy, the fast pace of the asanas, and the intense core sequence at the end.

Pretty hungry by the time I left class and in need of groceries, so I stopped at Whole Foods. Ahh! Salad bar twice in one weekend! So good, but so $$. Will cook tonight.

Whole Foods Salad Bar

My take-out container included:

  • base of romaine lettuce
  • roasted mushrooms
  • collard greens with pineapple
  • roasted beets
  • roasted apple
  • wheatberry salad
  • tuna salad with apricots and celery

Worth every penny. Yum.

After too many a few hours of email writing, photo uploading, and organizing for the week ahead, I was ready for a snack.

Lucky for me, my yoga buddy had gifted me with a container of vegan peanut butter & jelly bars. I can believe that they don’t contain animal products, but I’m pretty sure they contain crack. So delicious. Hopefully I will have the recipe soon. You’ll have to make your own, because I’m not sharing :-)


Were humans “born to run”? Check out the newest Running Shorts post and see what Matt has to say!

Question: Have you ever had a sports-related injury? How did you deal?


16 Responses

  1. Runners knee sidelined me many times, but then I discovered the foam roller. After the Prague half marathon in march, I had to deal with a sprained ankle (half the race was on cobblestone). It sucked having to take it easy, and actually it just finally healed from me taking some time off! I just had to keep telling myself that this is not permanent!! Happy Running! You’ll back to where you were in no time!!

  2. I started to get injured as I finished training for Nike in 2007 and I refused to acknowledge it. Bad idea – I paid for it big time in the marathon and for months afterward. Then I had my spinning class accident in March and it completely rocked my world – I was in a brand new city and had no outlet for all my stress or anxiety! I’d like to say I found ways of staying positive, but it was a pretty dark time for me. Thankfully though, I, like you, am now focusing on looking AHEAD and thinking lots of positive thoughts about my great comeback and many years of healthy running to follow!

    And speaking of, let’s go for a run sometime! :)

  3. I’m currently sidelined from running with an overuse injury to my right knee. It’s difficult because I’ve been a runner for 5 years and never have had an injury that required more than a few days off. I’m going on a month now, and (as you know) it’s difficult to understand and accept it! I’m trying to focus on walking a lot more and doing the cardio machines at the gym, but it’s just not the same!

  4. I know it’s frustrating to be injured, but it sounds to me like you have gained so much wisdom from your injury. I recently read Haruki Murakami’s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and I really like this passage:

    “But when I think about it, having the kind of body that easily puts on weight was perhaps a blessing in disguise. In other words, if I don’t want to gain weight I have to work out hard every day, watch what I eat, and cut down on indulgences. Life can be tough, but as long as you don’t stint on the effort, your metabolism will greatly improve with these habits, and you’ll end up much healthier, not to mention stronger. To a certain extent, you can even slow down the effects of aging. But people who naturally keep the weight off no matter what don’t need to exercise or watch their diet in order to stay trim. There can’t be many of them who would go out of their way to take these troublesome measures when they don’t need to. Which is why, in many cases, their physical strength deteriorates as they age. If you don’t exercise, your muscles will naturally weaken, as will your bones. Some of my readers may be the kind of people who easily gain weight, but the only way to understand what’s really fair is to take a long-range view of things. For the reasons I give above, I think this physical uisance should be viewed in a positive way, as a blessing. We should consider ourselves lucky that the red light is so clearly visible. Of course, it’s not always easy to see things this way.

    I think this viewpoint applies as well to the job of the novelist. Writers who are blessed with inborn talent can freely write novels no matter what they do—or don’t do. Like water from a natural spring, the sentences just well up, and with little or no effort these writers can complete a work. Occasionally you’ll find someone like that, but, unfortunately, that category wouldn’t include me. I haven’t spotted any springs nearby. I have to pound the rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of creativity. To write a novel I have to drive myself hard physically and use a lot of time and effort. Every time I begin a new novel, I have to dredge out another new, deep hole. But as I’ve sustained this kind of life over many years, I’ve become quite efficient, both tehnically and physically, at opening a hole in the hard rock and locating a new water vein. So as soon as I notice one water source drying up, I can move on right away to another. If people who rely on a natural spring of talent suddenly find they’ve exhaustd their only source, they’re in trouble.

    In other words, let’s face it. Life is basically unfair. But even in a situation that’s unfair, I think it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness. Of course, that might take time and effort. And maybe it won’t seem to be worth all that. It’s up to each individual to decide whether or not that is.”

    Your blessing in disguise may be your injury. You will appreciate the day you cross the marathon finishing line so much more than someone for whom running a marathon comes as easily as breathing. You are working hard to get to that place, and I know you will be so satisfied when you accomplish your marathon goal.

    Sorry about the novel comment! Read his memoir if you get the chance, he has so many wise musings on running and life in general.

  5. This morning i wrote about how thankful i am to be running too. as frustrated as it may seem to be not running as much as usual, being injury free is more important! Maybe one day we can do a fun run around the NYC area! :) have a great day dear!

  6. That cupcake look awesome!
    Here’s to 2010 being a better running year
    And I need to bake me some of those vegan pb&j bars

  7. MayaPamela- Thank you for posting that passage! I can relate to everything Murakami is saying. I’ll definitely check out his memoir :-)

  8. Vegan PB&J bars?! Must…have….recipe…now! They look delicious!
    Glad you can vent on your blog. Injury is super frustrating. I am brand new to running and I feel like I’ve lost a limb since I haven’t been able to run! Even now that I’m allowed to do 2 milers every other day, all I crave is a nice looooong run! But yes, focus on what you CAN do, embrace the changes and accept them.
    P.S. I now am craving WF salad bar…thank you megan.

  9. I totally empathize with your injury woes. I was injured not too long ago with a calf strain, and it stunk. I was just getting to be what I consider a “real” runner (20-25 miles a week), and one too many hills and a few too many speed intervals later…ouch. I was sidelined for a couple weeks and learned to employ other modes of exercise during that time. Turns out, after paying ore attention to cross-training and strength training my running improved dramatically once my calf healed! I’m stronger, faster, and my posture is better than ever.

    Meb Keflezighi had a horrible stress fracture in his hip a year ago, and yesterday he won the NYC marathon. So, injuries do not necessarily make or break a running career. As you said, they can attune you to your body and teach you to pay attention to aches and pains (aka warnings).

    Based on what I’ve read about your running past on your blog, I have no doubt that you can kick ass at next year’s marathon.

    Also, Whole Foods salad bar + Vegan baked goods = Best Sunday of eating ever.

  10. I’m a new runner so no major injuries yet (knock on wood) but I even with my limited milage and slow speed I still have aches and pains – I can see how easy it would be to get injured.
    Professionally, I”m a classical musician – a violist. Unfortunately, musicians get over use injuries all the time. There was about a year at the end of high school where I couldn’t play – I missed it so much it pushed me to go into it professionally. Luckily I have managed to stay injury free since then, but I definitely feel your pain.
    Glad you’re on the way to full recovery!

  11. Hello, I have a question about Kombucha. Do you drink the stuff that is floating around in the bottle?

    I want to try the drink but the floaty’s scare me.

  12. Hmm, I’m not quite sure what the float-y stuff is, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe. I definitely drink the whole bottle!

  13. Injuries are sooo frustrating, but I know you will bounce back in no time!

    Also, are you perplexed by the energizing qualities of Kombucha like I am??? It contains no caffeine yet I swear it gives me such a pick up!!

  14. kombucha also makes me feel a little bit tipsy. it only has .5% alcohol which doesn’t seem like it would be enough, but i always feel a weird mixture of energetic and happy when i drink it. the whole foods in nyc has kombucha on tap – i need to try that!

  15. oh girl…hang in there. i believe there is something to be learned from every situation, and i think you have learned valuable lessons and wisdom.

    you can also vent anytime you like :)

    pb&j vegan bars + wf salad bar = a stellar day. hope you have another fabulous day today!

  16. Hi there – I’m a new poster, but I’ve been following your blog for a bit. You have inspired me to try to qualify for Boston! So there is a lot of training in my future next year.

    Before the marathon I ran this past fall, I sprained my ankle REALLY bad in July. I could barely walk, let alone run, for a good two weeks. The marathon was a little ways away (Oct.), but my spirits were low. I coped by taking things very, very slow – icing, wrapping, stretching and stretching some more. My injury awakened a newfound respect for stretching and I haven’t stopped stretching since!

    Goodluck to you in your recovery and future marathons!

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