Monday, March 28, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon 2011

I decided to kick off a new year by running my third half marathon on my 28th birthday! What better way to celebrate?

I have never run a Rock 'n' Roll event but I have always heard good things about them. I was so impressed at the organization. We got to the drop-off point very quickly and I was able to find my corral easily. The MC's and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders kept us entertained before the start gun. The corrals started one after the other, Corral 9 left only 16 minutes after the official start time.

The weather was great: cool, no wind and overcast.

I loved hearing the bands spread out throughout the course and the pockets of supporters that came out to cheer for us. (Not nearly as many spectators as White Rock, but the support is always appreciated!) The funniest supporter was around Mile 1, right as we were passing Lew Sterret, just one guy standing on the corner: "Great job! Keep it up! You still have a long way to go!" Um, thanks?

I felt great through the race, I took water at most of the aid stations and Cytomax twice. I carried Honey Stinger chews with me because I have used them (or Gu Chomps) on all my long runs. However, I never ended up taking any because (TMI) by mile 4 I felt like I had a brick in my stomach. Not bad enough to have to stop, but I felt like eating anything would be a mistake.

My parents told me where they would be watching for me (in front of La Madeleine, just before mile 7) and I was so happy when I spotted them! I started jumping up and down and waving my arms to get their attention. This was the first time I have ever had a "cheering section" on a course and it really energized me!

Once I hit Mile 10, I knew I was in the home stretch and I felt like I still had enough energy to really push myself. So I told myself I was just going to go all out for the last 5K and started picking people off one by one.

And once we got within sight of Fair Park, I just hauled ass! I didn't even care whether or not I ran out of steam.

I PR'd by 7 minutes! I still can't believe it!

Chip time: Pace:
5K 00:32:23 10:26
10K 01:05:03 10:31
10M 01:43:34 10:11
FINISH 02:12:37 09:21

Afterwards, I wanted to stay to watch Bret Michaels but my achey legs begged to differ. By this time it was also starting to drizzle a little so we called it a day and went home so I could eat and nap!

I will definitely do Rock 'n' Roll again!

Friday, March 11, 2011

NYC 2011

My mom and I had a great trip! Here are some of the highlights.

The Lucerne- This is the second time we have stayed here. It is in a great neighborhood on the Upper West Side and I enjoyed it all over again!


Nice Matin- This French-style bistro is attached to the Lucerne and you get a discount on breakfast if you are staying at the hotel. We also ate there several times since it was so convenient! Some favorites: fava bean hummus, pistou soup, housemade granola, Tuscan chicken.

Amsterdam Gourmet- I visited this little deli across from the hotel daily for coffee (under $2 vs $3.50 at the hotel). Very friendly, plus lots of baked goods and grocery items.

Eataly- This was quite an experience! It is a huge market featuring both local and imported Italian foods. There are also several restaurants within the building. We went on a Saturday night so everything was insanely crowded. We ended up eating at the La Pizza & Pasta restaurant. I ordered a San Marzano pizza (basically a margherita pizza with sweet San Marzano tomatoes) and a Moretti Bionda draft beer. Delicious! We also got some gelato afterwards. I would love to go back and explore the market when it is a little less crowded.

Sido Falafel and More- Yummy falafel platter! Just down the street from the hotel.

Calle Ocho- Sooo good! We went on a Sunday night, when they have a free sangria bar. I'm not big on sangria usually, but their Blanca was great! We ordered an appetizer called Dulce, a sweet corn and goat cheese empanada with a tomato salad. Seriously one of the best things I've eaten in a while!

Sarabeth's Kitchen- We ate brunch here before hitting the Met. Delicious! I ordered a spinach and goat cheese omelet with multigrain toast. You can also buy preserves and other premade goodies.


Limelight Marketplace- We stopped to check this place out on our way to Eataly. Very hip little boutiques inside what was once a church. I didn't buy anything but it was fun to look around.

Whitney Museum of American Art- This is mostly very abstract art. Interesting, but not really my thing.

Museum of Modern Art- I was afraid this was going to be more abstract art as well, but I forget that "modern" art encompasses a lot more. There are works by Monet (including his famous Waterlilies), van Gogh, Picasso, Dali and Matisse. There was an exhibit of Andy Warhol's motion pictures, which we were able to see with a guided tour. We also ate lunch in a cafe on the 5th floor, Terrace 5 which was really good!

Metropolitan Museum of Art- As always, there is never enough time to see everything at the Met! This time we took two guided tours, one of old masters paintings and one that focused on modern art. Both tour guides were great. We also viewed an exhibit called Guitar Heroes about famous guitar makers that was very interesting.

American Museum of Natural History- This was fun, I have been once before but only to the planetarium part. We took a guided tour (have you noticed that I love guided tours?) which took us to highlights all over the museum. We also bought tickets to a seperate exhibition about the brain with a lot of hands-on exercises. My favorite area was the gemstones hall.


La Cage Aux Folles- So fun! Harvey Fierstein was playing one of the leads and did such a great job.

Memphis- I had never heard of this until we got to NYC and we saw ads for it and decided to see it since it had won the Tony Award. The music and cast were great!

Whew! We packed a lot into our five days and four nights! Can't wait to go back!