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FITNESS Mind, Body, Spirit Games Race Recap

What better way is there to kick off a Saturday than with a race in Central Park?

How about hanging out with my co-workers at FITNESS, my Biggest Loser ladies, Hannah and Olivia (and her husband Ben!), and finally meeting my man, Bob Harper!

I’d say that’s a pretty awesome morning. We even snagged a shot of Bob laughing because some lady decided to cut right in front of us as a bunch of press people were taking our photo.

Isn’t he a cutie?! I sure think so. He’s even cuter in person than he is on the show.

So I hung out with them all morning, right up until 9:50 when my race was about to start! Then me and the fashion girls Marla and Argy scooted off to our corral, and editor Bethany met up with us too! After a few words from our fabulous editor-in-chief Betty Wong, we were off and running!

And run I did. I was determined to set a PR — well, it was impossible not to because I haven’t officially signed up for a 4-mile race before, just ran in them at school without signing up…shhh. But that’s beside the point. The point is that I ran my little heart out while professing my love for Ali and sweat.

© Erica Sara Designs

Why this picture is now on the Internet at least twice, I don’t know. I should have smiled. But I guess this is my game face. Blech.

The first two miles flew by and I was clocking good speed (for me) on the trusty Garmin. The rolling hills came on mile three, but some good tunes and awesome spectators kept me groovin’ along. I had three people yell to me, “Nice shirt, we love Ali!” during mile three. Guess I’m not the only fan 😉

I kept my pace consistently between 8:45- and 9-minute miles, only dropping down to 9:15 once or twice on a hill. I’m proud of that because I usually maintain around 9:30. There’s just something about races that really keeps the legs pumping. The race was 4.1 miles long and I officially crossed the finish line at 36:41! Here are my splits according to Garmin:

  • Mile 1 –> 9:07
  • Mile 2 –> 8:58
  • Mile 3 –> 9:06
  • Mile 4 –> 8:55
  • Mile 5 (.1) –> :42

Dustin met me after the race and we hung out with the gang some more, then headed down to Union Square to run a few errands. We picked up some goodies at the farmer’s market and I loved seeing all the fall stuff out for sale! Return of the pumpkins…

Libby is convinced she’s going to force me to like them. Stay tuned on that one.

Then I was starving, so Dustin and I found a new-to-us pub to grab some sandwiches. Once we were seated at Heartland Brewery, I knew exactly what I wanted.

The Cajun Crab Cake Sandwich was dee-li-cious ! Especially the sweet potato fries. Dustin doesn’t like them, so I don’t have them very often. Man, they were good. Dustin really liked the decor, and he had a perfect view of the Yankees game. That makes him a happy camper.

After a shower and cat nap, I’m ready to cook some more grub. Dustin’s currently at the grocery store getting stuff for us to cook meatloaf, and then we’ll settle in to watch the Syracuse football game. Go Orange!

Did anyone else run the MBS race this morning? Send me links to your recaps! And what celebrity have you always wanted to meet? Seriously, Bob was at the top of my list!

Feel-Good Friday

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t blogged in the last few days, but I’ve been putting in a lot of hours at work so I haven’t done much but work, eat, sleep and exercise. Err, ok so blogging is really the only thing that got cut for two days. Otherwise that sounds like my normal schedule. Oops!

To make up for my absence, I’ve decided to kick off another series (two in one week, who am I?)! It’s time for Feel-Good Friday, where I’m going to share some of the pleasant things in life in hopes that you’ll return the favor in the comments section 🙂

Here are a few things that made me feel good:

Fall weather. A cold front has moved through NYC and it was in the 50’s when I went for my morning run! My body has acclimated to the heat, so running in cooler temperatures was really nice. And I love dressing for fall weather! My outfit screamed fall to me, except for my lack of tall brown boots.  I’m on the hunt for an affordable pair, so let me know if you find some!

Biggest Loser returning. I could not be more excited about this. Yay for fall TV shows!

Glee coming back too. Told you I love fall TV! I can’t wait to see what Ryan Murphy and the other writers have come up with for the third season. And I love Heather Morris, our October cover girl!

Groupon, Living Social and LifeBooker. My three favorite social deal sites have stolen my heart once again. I managed to snag an hour deep-tissue massage for $39 and a three-course meal at a high-end sushi restaurant for $13.50 this week. WIN.

Yoga. My body is begging me to go to yoga. I meant to go last night, but Libby accidentally signed us up for a CoreFusion class instead. Oops! At least I got my strength session in. And I plan on going to yoga Sunday morning instead. I would go tomorrow, but I have a four-mile race (and then three miles to tack on after my long run of the week) to run for FITNESS’ Mind, Body, Spirit Games. I can’t wait!


Libby’s pumpkin bread. I can’t stand the taste of pumpkin (gasp!), but the bread Libby made this week was goooood! I couldn’t taste the pumpkin at all, so I gobbled down a few pieces throughout the week. I will force her to make this again!

Care packages. My aunt sends me goodies every month or two, and I just received a small box this week! My favorite part? The food. She sent me freshly picked apples (that lasted great!) and homemade  peanut butter chocolate fudge. Yum.

What’s made you feel good this week? Anyone else excited for all things fall? 

Brushing Up On February’s Magazines

Just in the nick of time! It’s the last day of February and March’s mags are all over the newsstands, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up an old issue and learn some new tricks (With the flu hitting so hard, you’re bound to see something older at a doctor’s office). Here are a few winners in four of my favorite titles.

1. Marissa Miller has a killer bikini workout.

Miller has a rockin' bod. You can too!

It’s not a surprise when she looks like that on the first page of her feature. I love the “triple-delt duty” exercise sequence to sculpt amazing shoulders and the “burpee” definitely wipes you out! Wanna know how to do it, too?


  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and put hands on floor in front of feet.
  • Hop feet back, then forward again.
  • Jump up, catching air and raising hands over head.
  • Continue for one minute.
  • Add a push-up while in plank pose to make it more of a challenge.

“Triple-delt duty”

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand out to the sides at shoulder level.
  • Circle arms forward 15 times, then back 15 times.
  • Next, bend elbows at 90 degrees.
  • Rotate forearms down so they’re parallel to the floor, then back up. Do 15 reps.
  • Finally bring elbows together in front of you, then back out. Do 15 reps.

Pick up the February issue of Shape to get the rest of this fat-burning workout!

2. You’re not too fat for the gym.

Excellent, excellent essay.

Self had an amazing essay by Renee L. Todd about dealing with weight gain after being a gym rat. At first, Todd never missed a spin class and made a home among the family of women there. But then she turned into a worried mother to an autistic son, and she felt ashamed heading to the gym to better herself when she could’ve been spending her time finding new ways to help her son. After awhile, she simply felt too fat to go to the gym and was terrified of showing herself in front of her former spinning family. This essay is definitely a must-read, especially if you’re looking for that extra boost of motivation.

3. Machines are your friend.

Lean, mean, fightin' machine!

A ton of my clients tell me that they’ve never used strength-training machines simply because they don’t know how and they look pretty intimidating. Well, FITNESS broke it down for us, explaining which machines are the most efficient and how to properly use them. Now you can be confident using the same machines as the guys!

4. Sleek strategies to boost your body confidence.

Isn't he nice to look at?

Dr. Travis Stork, author of The Lean Belly Prescription is featured in March’s issue of Women’s Health (they put out a January/February issue) and shares the secrets that will slim you down and help you feel healthier and more confident about your body. One not-so-fancy tip? “Spend more time in the dairy , produce and meat aisles,” Stork says. “That’s where slim women shop.” Pick up the latest issue to get more of his slim strategies.

Have you read these issues yet? What do you like about them?

Training for a Half-Marathon

Today officially marked the first day of my half-marathon training. I’m following a beginner plan from FITNESS magazine, which makes sense because I’m planning on running the FITNESS/MORE half-marathon. Luckily, my refund from school came in today, so I plan to register for the race tomorrow. Hopefully it hasn’t capped out yet!

It was also the first day of classes today, so my day was pretty packed. Fortunately I was able to head to the gym in time to watch the brand-new episode of Gossip Girl, which kept me motivated throughout my workout.

This is the plan I’m following for the big day.

My new fitness schedule.

I know it says to cross-train on Mondays, but there’s a new class being offered at my gym, HITS (High Intensity Training Session), that is scheduled for Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is taught by my extremely athletic friend and co-worker, Matt. So I decided to switch Mondays with Tuesdays in the plan so I could take the class on my cross-training day. Therefore, once Gossip Girl was on I hit the treadmill and made sure I ran as much of 3 miles as I could.

I finished the required distance in about 40 minutes, which was a little disappointing. However, I felt myself pushing through mental blockades and am proud of myself for finishing. When I was finished, I didn’t want to stop watching my show, so I alternated between walking and jogging for the next 15 minutes. I ended up running 4.55 miles in just under an hour.

One day down, 69 left to go.

I know I have a long way to go, but I’ve enlisted support and have decided to dedicate part of my blog to updating you on my training sessions. That way I’m not only accountable to the people around me, but to you too! You know the plan, so you’ll be able to see if I’ve been slacking. My goal is just to finish the race and I’m determined to stick to the plan so that I can do it.

I finished about half of my grocery shopping tonight, but wasn’t able to bring a list with me, so I was careful about what I bought. Tomorrow I’m going to look up recipes and foods I should buy suggested by FITNESS so I know I’m on track nutritiously as well.

I hope you’re as excited about my goal as I am. Here’s to reaching new fitness goals!