NYC Marathon Final Taper and Final Eats

It wasn’t my best and not my favorite but crossing the finish line is always magical. Thank you all my friends and Tony my personal marathon assistant!

Photo: It wasn't my best and not my favorite but crossing the finish line is always magical. Thank you all my friends and Tony my marathon assistant! <3

I’ll post a race recap of what exactly went wrong later this week. It was one of my roughest races, but I made it to the finish line.

One thing, I know I did right was my taper. I didn’t exactly follow the plan, but I kept the mileage pre-race at about 20. After over analzying every detail on my bus ride back from NY, I decided, if I had to do it again, I would keep the same taper.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 8 Miles 7:35 pace incline 2

Wednesday – 5 Miles 8:00 pace Incline 3

Thursday – 4 Miles 7:18 pace on Incline 2

Friday – 3 Miles 7:32 pace on Incline 3

Saturday – REST, a little bit of walking around

So in total 20 miles before Sunday

When I toed the line I felt great and I can sleep easy knowing at least I did something right.

Anyways food, might have been a bit questionable and part of the problem. However, I’ve never had stomach issues while running. Seriously, I’ve scarfed down 3 tacos and went for 15 milers during the summer without any problems.

Either way, I ate many tasty things, so why regret it?

Tony and I went with my parents to Nargis Cafe, an Uzbek style place in Brooklyn. We ate as always family style.

Nargis Cafe Chebureki

Chebureki – basically a minced meat pie. I didn’t really eat, but the parents and Tony liked.

Nargis Cafe Salad

My favorite thing in the world, a simple green salad with dill!

Nargis Cafe Sansa

A pumpkin and meat sansa. I got the pumpkin one, Tony went for the meat.

Nargis Cafe Pumpkin Sansa

It was really good.

Nargis Cafe Shurpa

I also got the Shurpa soap, basically a meat broth with veggies. Okay so maybe I went more heavier on the veggies than I should be a race.

Nargis Cafe Skewers

Chicken & beef skewers

Post Lunch Walk

Like all meals, we concluded it with a walk, because it was well over 60 degrees and gorgeous outside!

I also stopped by Papa Pasquale Ravioli after reading good things about their homemade pasta.

Papa Pasquale Ravoli Pasta Company

and you can only guess what I had for dinner?

Ravoli Dnner

And yes sadly my pumpkin ones are sitting in my parent’s freezer waiting for my return =(.

How was your weekend?

Brooklyn Eats – Sushi & Russian Food

So if you ever lived in Brooklyn, or know Russian people, you’d know we love our sushi.  The best part about visiting Brooklyn is access to get cheap sushi that’s half the price I would find at any place in Boston.  I had to go on a last minute trip to NY last weekend but before we left back for Boston, we hit up Mitoushi.  I haven’t been there before and was pleasantly surprised by the great service, and fresh rolls!

We started with a few basic rolls and this app called Spicy Tuna Bowl that I think wins pretty princess meal award.Sushi

A rainbow roll, which is my favorite!

Sushi 3

My parents got a chicken and salmon hibachi but I think their attention was on the sake

Sushi 2

I tried to get in on the action, but my mom closed her eyes in disappointment

Sushi 1

The other place we went to was a Russian restaurant   I don’t know the name, and the menu was all in Russian with a small short translation indicating whether the dish was beef, pork, lamb or chicken. Details? Well you didn’t really need to know them if you can’t read Russian.  The service was typical Russian service and by that… well I don’t know for someone who is basically American raised, every time I go to an authentic Russian style dining, it always seems like they don’t want the business… None the less the food looked and tasted good.

Russian food

A proper meal ALWAYS starts with a salad

Russian food 5

I made Tony order the beef stew

Russian food 1

I got chicken kebabs with side of cabbage and potatoes, two Russian staples.

Russian food 4

I think this was a beef dish?

Russian food 2

I think this was a chicken dish my brother

Russian food 3

Did you eat anything fun this week?

What’s your favorite sushi roll? Rainbow roll, or if I’m cheap a regular salmon roll is my fave.

A day of family and Azerbaijan food…

That was how I spent myB Saturday. However today was Monday and boy was that rough. B After a weekend of friends and family, sleep was hard to come by Sunday night. B I almost dosedB off at my desk today knocking my coffee over.

I’ve fully went into taper mode so no running today. B Instead after dragging my sleepy self off my desk, I did 10.5 Miles on the hands-less elliptical (crossramp?) for 55 minutes instead. B I was going to skip working out all together but I’ve become so used to this marathon training routine that not working out now feels foreign.

But back to Saturday. B We celebrated this guy’s birthday.

We went toB Caucasus Gadens, a AzerbaijanB restaurant. B Although a former member of the Soviet Union, the cuisine is closer to Middle Eastern/Turkish style than to eastern European.

We started with some salads.

Objor Salad – In case you’re curious beef tongue, carrots, horse radish with fried onions on top.

I passed on the beef tongue and opted for a Shepherd salad

Kharcho – Traditional Georgian soup made with pieces of lamb, rise, dill, garlic, tomatoes, and celery. B Tony and IB splitB the soup until he dripped some into my eyeball, I got cranky and that was the end of that.

The entrees came and we all got busy with eating of our own and each other’s plate.

My brother and his beefB stroganoff

I sat on the boys’ side of the table. My brother, me, some smelly kid I’m dating (JK) and my uncle.

Although we both live in Boston now, I don’t see this guy often enough <3.

I got the Lamb kabobs

Tony got the chicken kabobs and we had a glorious plan of sharing. B I then took all the leftovers and had a great second meal on the bus, but that’s a different story.

After our lunch we took a walk and played with the duckies in Prospect park. B It what cool New Yorkers do.

It was 60 degrees but my mom didn’t get the memo and I guess in her mind and jacket was still in Siberia.

I found some sleepy duckies that I later woke up

They were a little camera shy and ran away from me. However, Tony and I love photos!

We wrapped up family day by having some pastries from a random Italian bakery at my Grandmother’s house and coffee.

Yes the tiramisu cup was amazing. B However, the other pastries were nothing to write home about.

Overall a perfect day of Family dining, walking and more eating. B Afterwards Tony and I went out to visit some of my high school friends. B I found myself somehow staying up til 3AM which is way past my Boston/Marathon training bedtime but well worth it. B I am quite a lucky gal 🙂

How do you spend time with your family? B Do you live close to your parents? B Mine are a 5 hour drive away so I don’t see them often enough. B Tony’s are upstairs of our apartment and once we move to our new hour will be a mile away.

New York 20-Miler

Reporting to you from the first class seat of Fung Wah bus (a cheap bus that travels from Chinatown NYC to Chinatown Boston).

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Sadly flights were only cheap going to NYC but coming back I had to settle for good old Chinatown bus service. Perks include no advance ticket purchase required with always a bus available within an hour. Perfect for those lazy family Sundays where you go with the flow. Other perks include a luxury rest stop at a McDonalds where I get to fulfill my monthly fast food requirement. Plus I’m a slight addict to their Mixed Berry smoothie. It can be quite refreshing on those hot packed and full of yelping babies bus rides.

This weekend aside from family time, I forced in a 20 miler. I left my parents’ house at 8:30 AM; earliest I ever left for a run yet. I think it helps that NYC is 12 degrees warmer than Boston. I was planning on having a great tempo run at an average 8 minute pace; however, that did not happen for a mixed amount of reasons. My average pace ended up being 8:45, but it was still a great run. It reminded me of why I love Brooklyn and the diversity of New Yorkers.

Mile 1 was ran through the streets of my parents’ neighborhood before I reached my running path. I think it’s official name might be Shore Parkway but I’ve known it as Caesar’s Bay. The first mile wasn’t fun. Every intersection had a light and angry drivers even at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. I breathed a sigh of relief when I made it to the running trail without getting run over by a car or an old Asian man on a bicycle on the sidewalk.

Mile 2-5.5 sucked. My sigh of relief was quickly interrupted with a slap across my face by the wind. I thought I faced some windy days on my Boston runs. However the wind of my woody runs are nothing compared to running along the shore of the Atlantic ocean. Every second felt like my face was getting beaten. I contemplated going back to the sidewalks of Brooklyn, but I wanted to finish my 20 miles sometime before the sun set and the stop lights and cars would have made that difficult.

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Luckily as I ran along in my fight against the wind I had a few things to keep me company. For one these school of duckies. Another was the image of the Verrazano Bridge. I have lived near this bridge for 10 years. I ran this path probably a total of 3 times (and only more recently since I started this running addiction). However I have walked it hundreds of times; some summers it was a daily ritual with friends, family or boyfriends and dates. I grew up with this path and being on it is always a sentimental moment. I learned how to rollerblade here, ride a bike and even had my first kiss here.

Before I knew it, I was at the end of the trail. okay that’s a lie the wind was making me very aware of each minute I spent running. I checked RunKeeper and saw I only had 5.28 miles down. Blast! 15 to go, this was going to take forever! My mind recoiled.

I took a moment or two at the pier and waved to Manhattan.

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Mile 6-8 flew by! I had turned around and was no longer going against the wind. I picked up speed going at a sub 8 minute pace. I decided to stop at halfway point and instead of going all the way to the start and doing two big loops I broke them up.

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Mile 9-11 was once again against the wind. I ran this way because had I ran all the way to the start I don’t know if I could have mental strength to convince myself to do another straight 5 miles against the wind.

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Mile 12-13 were again fast miles as I ran back towards under the bridge.

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Mile 14-16 were also fast miles heading towards the beginning of my trail. It was past 10am by now and fellow Brooklynites were joining me. You had your regular athletic young adults, the older less fit joggers with their water belts and a few things I don’t see in Boston. I love how so many types of people share and coexist. You have your older Russian and Italian men in their bright windbreaker track suits running along with the slow old Asian ladies and their tai chi and random others just doing their workout without a care of what it looks like.

As I stood at the start of my trail at mile 16 part of me wanted to call it good enough and head home however the more stubborn part reminded me I only had 4 miles left. That’s 3 on the trail and 1 on the streets. The OCD part agreed and so I ran back out for 1.5 miles taking some more face slapping and to wrap it up back home. As I ran through my childhood neighborhood for my last mile I appreciated each street light for an excuse for me to stop every other minute.

How did your run go this weekend?