Lisa Runs on Ramen

— running 26.2 and having foodie adventures too!


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Mount Beacon, “Bear” Encounter and Restaurant week

Alas, summer has come to an end, but it was a great one filled with eating and running. I can’t believe it’s the month of my big goal race of 2013, the Bear 100! I am flying out to Utah on September 25 and I couldn’t be more stoked. Thanks to Shane, I have a lovely pacer from Utah who is willing to pace from miles 61-85, so that gives me an extra boost of confidence.

This is what I’ll be running from 9/27-9/28. Just looking at it makes my heart race.

Bear 100 (Utah) elevation chart

Bear 100 (Utah) elevation chart

It has been a very hot, humid summer for running, but training runs wait for no one! For the most part, I stuck to a pretty regular running schedule in June and July, but my running tapered off a bit in August because life happened. I definitely didn’t do as many long runs as I should have (in August), but I built a strong base in the spring (15 straight weeks of races) so I have confidence in that.

Mount Beacon

My best/most important workout was going to Mount Beacon with Shane in mid-August. If I do another mountainous ultra, I will definitely have to come here even more. It’s a lovely mountain in Beacon, NY with 1000 ft of elevation gain over roughly one mile. It’s perfect for technical/rocky trail running, hiking, and practicing descents.

We took the train to Beacon, ran 2 miles to the trail head, and then spent 6 hours hiking up and down the mountain multiple times. I did 6 repeats (50-55 minutes roundtrip for each one), while Shane did 8 repeats. It was fun seeing flabbergasted tourists asking us, “didn’t you hike this already?”

Reasons why Mount Beacon rocks (haha I made a pun…):

1) There’s a deli at the bottom with cold drinks and hot sandwiches

2) It’s fun to have a buddy come along–you can do repeats at your own pace, and high-five each other on the way up/down.

3) The views at the top are amazing

4) Its rocky, technical trail and steep climb make for perfect mountain hiking and simulates a mountainous trail 100.

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Summer Streets

The week after Mount Beacon, Shane and I ran about 5 miles of Summer Streets in NYC. Summer Streets is sort of a 6-mile long street festival that takes place 3 Saturdays in August. There are car-free streets, people are encouraged to bike, walk or run, and there’s even a Whole Foods “picnic” with samples. It’s a lot of fun.

I got some good schwag, like Sweet Leaf tea bottles, KIND bars, a photo opp from Banana boat, a Camelbak bottle from REI, and a coffee tumbler from the Public Theater.

Summer Restaurant Week

Of course, with all that training comes a bit of reward. I took advantage of some of the Summer Restaurant Week deals at Park Avenue Summer, Ai Fiori, Nobu and David Burke Townhouse. I even splurged a bit on non-RW prix-fixe at Marea (which I highly recommend). My awesome mom took me to The NoMaD restaurant for my birthday, and it was every bit as good as I thought it would be.

At Park Avenue Summer, Michelle and I had the softshell crab, pork shoulder with spicy tomato sauce, and lemon panna cotta with strawberry foam. So delicious! Sadly, Park Avenue Summer is moving locations and will be closing. It was one of my favorite restaurants–they have a 4 seasons concept where they change the name, decor and menu of the restaurant each season.

Teresa took me to Nobu New York for my birthday, and the standout dish was the beef teriyaki with spicy anticucho sauce. Thanks Teresa! Nobu never disappoints. David Burke Townhouse impressed me with a farm egg ravioli–super fresh and I love anything with egg in it. Ai Fiori for lunch was a delight. I got the zucchini soup appetizer, the skate wing (fish), and the vanilla panna cotta with summer berries. The skate wing was perfectly breaded and cooked, and the dessert was just the right amount of creamy and smooth. Finally, NoMaD knocked my socks off with all three courses: Corn (3 ways: grilled, pureed, and popped), Chicken (rosemary chicken with truffle brioche), and Milk and Honey (milk gelato with dehydrated milk foam and honey). It was really special to enjoy this restaurant on my birthday with my mom, and she loved it too. I highly recommend the Corn and the Chicken!

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Long Island Run: Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail

On Labor Day weekend, Shane and I headed out to Long Island to run some trails in Cold Spring Harbor. It was lovely, and even though the sky threatened to pour rain, we emerged unscathed. It was a 2-mile run from the LIRR station to the trailhead, then we spent 3 hours and 20 minutes running about 18 miles of trails. It was so nice to get out of the city! There were some slight climbs and a lot of tree roots that made it challenging, but the last 5 miles were pretty flat and were packed dirt. There was even a Stop & Shop at Jericho Turnpike which intersected the trail, so we stopped to get some Gatorade and water after 2 hours of running. Best of all, I found a “Bear” on the trail! It was a good omen for my 100-miler.

Lisa and the Bear

Lisa and the Bear

To top off our 3 hours of running, we stopped at Dollops for some frozen yogurt with toppings. I got pistachio and strawberry banana with mochi and blueberries. Yum!

The next day (9/2), we did a track workout. We ran 2 miles to the track, did 4x 400m repeats (1:22, 1:38, 1:44, 1:50…totally ran out of steam) and 20 burpees in between each repeat (80 burpees total). I also did 40 crunches, 20 oblique crunches per side, and 100m of walking lunges. Then, we ate ice cream and ran 2 miles back before the rain hit!

All this training will pay off, since I have three upcoming races in September, four in October, then I’m running the ING NYC Marathon in November!

Lisa’s race calendar:

1) Super Spartan New Jersey (10 mile obstacle course): 9/7/13

2) Run 10 Feed 10 (10K in NYC), running on behalf of Team Skechers 10/22/13

3) Bear 100 (Utah) 9/27/13

4) DC Ragnar Relay 10/4-10/5

5) Rock ‘n’ Roll 10K (Brooklyn) 10/12/13

6) Atlantic City Marathon (10/13/13)

7) Rock’n’ Roll LA Halloween Half (Cali, 13.1 miles): 10/27/13

8) ING New York City Marathon 11/3/13

See you on the run!

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Coffee, Coogan’s 5K, New Orleans sneak peek and a launch party

Can you believe it’s March already?? February was super short and snowy, but I did enjoy some great food thanks to NYC Restaurant week and my latest coffee obsession. So, sometime between the end of January and beginning of February I decided to take full advantage of restaurant week with some friends and family. I went to Ai Fiori (one of my favorite Italian restaurants) with Mom, then I had lunch at Rouge Tomate, lunch at Quality Meats, and dinner at Park Avenue Winter. I’m a lucky gal. I love sharing food with people I care about. Here’s a glimpse at some treats from my latest outings:

Hudson Valley duck at Rouge Tomate

Hudson Valley duck at Rouge Tomate

Lunch at Rouge Tomate. Love their decor! They even have a mini cranberry bog in the lounge!

Lunch at Rouge Tomate. Love their decor! They even have a mini cranberry bog in the lounge!

Coffee and doughnuts ice cream (left) and lemon sorbet at Quality Meats. (the meat was good too...)

Coffee and doughnuts ice cream (left) and lemon sorbet at Quality Meats. (the meat was good too…)

Dinner at Park Avenue Winter with Sara (photo credit: Sara Yoon)

Dinner at Park Avenue Winter with Sara (photo credit: Sara Yoon)

Benefit Cosmetics/Oscars launch party

On February 19, Mary and I attended a cool Gilt City event at the Yotel. It was a Benefit Cosmetics/Oscars launch party sponsored by Bailey’s. There were great cocktails, gift bags, makeovers and eyebrow waxes by Benefit. Sweet! We had to buy the ticket, but it included a $40 make-up certificate credit to purchase products at Benefit, so it was worth it. The hors d’ouvres were also to die for. ¬†They had chocolate ganache tartlets, caramel flan, sliders, empanadas and more. We had a blast.

The lounge at the Yotel

The lounge at the Yotel

Me and Mary with one of the Yotel's residents

Me and Mary with one of the Yotel’s residents

Red carpet photos!

Red carpet photos!

About Coffee

Did I mention that I have a mild obsession with coffee? I actually used to dislike coffee, and only drank it during marathon study sessions in college, at night. I rarely drank coffee to “wake up,” as I actually preferred tea. I also never drank coffee black, it always had to be a latte. So what changed? Well, two years ago I dated someone who loved “good” coffee. He took me to some great coffeehouses and taught me that there’s more to coffee than Starbucks. He introduced me to cold-brew coffee at Joe. That was a pretty awesome turning point.

So now, I am somewhat of a coffee snob. I still have a lot to learn, but I appreciate good coffee and I drink it maybe 2-3 times a week. (You thought I was going to say “per day,” did you?) My favorite places are Stumptown Coffee at the Ace Hotel, Joe (Chelsea or Grand Central), Baked (Red Hook) and now, Gorilla Coffee. Yes, I even bought their thermos.

salted caramel cupcake at Baked and a latte

salted caramel cupcake at Baked and a latte

Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn

Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn

Gorilla coffee was awesome, because when I bought their $30 Klean Kanteen thermos, I asked the guy whether I would get a discount on the coffee. I didn’t exactly sweet talk him, but…he ended up giving me and my friend a free coffee each. Sweet! It’s the little things that make my day. Thanks, barista!

New Orleans sneak preview (2/23-2/25)

In a few days, I will write a full-fledged blog entry about how awesome the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half-marathon was. I just wanted to put in some teaser photos though. I flew down there because Team Refuel sponsored my race bib, for the food, and to see my friends. What more could I ask for? I also got to meet some elite athletes (aka my running idols). Stay tuned…

My pre-race meal: fried chicken at WIllie May's the day before . SO good. Top three fried chicken ever.

My pre-race meal: fried chicken at Willie May’s the day before . SO good. Top three fried chicken ever. The gravy stuff is buttered beans.

Rock n Roll NOLA

Finally…

Coogan’s Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K, 3/3/13

The day of Coogan’s 5K was all-around awesome. The day before was great too. I carbo-loaded with lobster vindaloo at Junoon for brunch:

Lobster vindaloo. I don't mess around with my pre-race meals.

Lobster vindaloo. I don’t mess around with my pre-race meals.

It was every bit as delicious as it looks. Junoon was a beautiful restaurant too–I was a fan of the decor.

So I woke up at 6:30am so I could get to Washington Heights on time. It was an hour and 15 minutes away by train, but luckily I got there 30 minutes before the 9:00am start. I couldn’t warm up because it was 29F out! I huddled in a mass with the other runners at the start. It was my very first Coogan’s race in my 10 years of running NYRR races! I’m usually out of town or doing some other race that weekend. I was excited but nervous about the hilly course. I was wearing my Dashing Whippets jersey so I didn’t want to turn in a bad performance!

Wams, myself and Ray before the start

Wams, myself and Ray before the start

It was my first 5K race (distance-wise) in a long time, so I didn’t know what to expect. The course was hilly as promised, with an out-and-back starting at the New Balance Track and Field Center (The Armory), looping around Fort Tryon Park with stunning views of the Hudson river, and then looping back towards the start. I ran my little heart out. Even though it wasn’t super fast, I tried my best and I was hunched over at the finish line–my watch read 25:40, or 8:17 minutes/mile pace.

Placing: 137th in age group/573

527/2890 females

1957/5825 overall

Another race in the books. I’m happy.

I reunited with some Whippets at the finish line, when suddenly I hear someone calling “Lisa!” I turn around and whaddaya know, it’s Dan P. from the Stuy track team! I ran track and cross country at Stuyvesant H.S., and the girls’ and guys’ teams were friendly with each other. We end up catching up over brunch at Coogan’s post-race, and then we say hello to Coach Mendes (the very same coach Dan had in H.S.) inside the Armory, since a track meet was going on at the same time, and then we also said hi to Laura, whose last name happens to be Coogan (no relation to the sports bar). I was teammates with Laura, and it was cool to bump into her as well.

The brunch at Coogan’s consisted of scrambled eggs, pastrami on rye, shepherd’s pie, and 100% Colombian Coffee. The coffee was surprisingly good.

As if running a 5K wasn’t enough, Dan and I then went rock climbing on a whim at Brooklyn Boulders. I love that place, and I never seem to have enough time to go. I bouldered for about 45 minutes. My legs were somewhat weak after the race, but I am getting a bit better at climbing the more I go.

In fact, I just bought a 5-pack of day passes at Brooklyn Boulders so I can work on my core strength and have more fun climbing. Cross training, here I come!

The outside of Brooklyn Boulders. I love it. It's so Brooklyn.

The outside of Brooklyn Boulders. I love it. It’s so Brooklyn.