Believe in Your Smellf

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Anyone seen the latest campaign from Old Spice?  This may not top the I’m on a Horse commercial, but I still LOVE it!

To all of my friends running HugeEug, Big Sur and IronGirl today, just remember when you smell like a champion, the only thing standing in the way of success is all of the other things it takes to be a champion besides smell.
Get out there and go big.  Run Strong.  Believe in your Smellf.

Can’t wait to hear all about it!

{MF Dre}

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Kitchen Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It’s no secret I find therapy in baking and I’ve spent many an afternoon rolling, mixing, cooling and icing.  One of my absolute favorites is the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.  However, while looking into the pantry today, I realized I was short on the amount of flour and semi-sweet chocolate chips needed.

So I got a little creative – Chocolate Chip Cookies – kitchen sink style – and came up with the perfect cookie recipe using a few ingredient modifications.  The result: a slight crispness on the outside, a chewy middle, a light graham cracker taste to the dough laced with the perfect amount of  semi-sweet and white chocolate.

 The results are everything I hoped for in the elusive chocolate chip cookie {and a great way to use up leftover graham crackers sitting in the cupboard}.

Do you have a favorite cookie? Link to the recipe in your comment!

{MF Dre}

On Being a Road Warrior.

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Being a road warrior isn’t all it’s knocked up to be.

I used to be a road warrior – traveling upwards of 40% of the time on business.  And here’s how awesome it was.

  • I could define myself by my mileage status – Executive Brilliant Platinum with Diamonds (and a glass of champagne on top).
  • I sulked when upgrades didn’t go through
  • Driving myself to the airport?? You have to be kidding me??? Please send a car.
  • That bottle of water costs $6.?  Sounds great, I’ll have 2 since I’m on business.
  • Please re-book me on a different flight.  I can’t sit in a middle seat for 6 hours.
  • Yep, I’m a road warrior.  Traveling all over the place.  It’s so fun and I’m so important.

{Hardly}

Certainly there were real perks – seeing cities you had never been to – even if just via taxi, subway, train or car – seeing distant friends, dining out at some of the most famous restaurants on a business account, meeting new people along the way and of course frequent flyer miles that I put to good use traveling around the globe.

Yet being on the road, there was a lot missing in my life. I had developed an unhealthy relationship with the washing machine and the dryer – coming home from a trip to re-pack for the next trip and discovering that they were in use by someone else could break me – or the bank when I sent it out for Fluff ‘n Fold.  Hello – SO expensive!!  I missed out on many fun/social/interesting and entertaining things with my friends because I was forever on the road.  I worked unhealthy hours late into the night in my hotel rooms,  slept little, ate and drank indulgently at business dinners and I lost all sense of my routines – healthy eating, early to bed, early to rise and morning workouts. Something my mind and body so desperately craved.

Over the last 4 years, my job has required very little travel and my life has become grounded again – pun intended.  I realized that A) frequent flyer status means jack sh*t B) sitting in a middle seat isn’t so terribly tragic  – in fact, when I’m on a personal trip I often choose a middle seat so I can sit next to the Mr. and C) I just plain sucked and had a snotty and elitist attitude about travel.  I think that I did this all because it was my own defense mechanism for missing out on life – I had to create my own joys, my own wins and my own pleasures given the situation.

As you know, this past week I was in NYC for a long and harried week of business travel.   I sat in a middle seat flying from LAX to JFK.  {Yes, I survived}. I have NO status on airlines anymore and paying for an upgrade was out of the question {I’m perfectly fine sitting in coach} and my hotel wasn’t my first or second pick {but the only thing that mattered – the bed – was comfortable}.

I still worked far too late each night and had very little time for visits with friends/family, but I did make the best of it. I managed to sneak in 2 short runs in Central Park and a hilly treadmill course while it was raining.  I walked the city as much as possible – taking it all in, I managed to eat a few meals at Whole Foods – making nutrition a priority, and last night, I got to spend time with Family.

My Brother and my Barbie-in-Law who live in CT met me in the city for the most delicious taco and margarita dinner at Cascabel on the Upper East Side.  We had a feast of tacos delivered to the table including:

Pescado – Crispy Yellowfin Tuna Belly / Hearts of Palm / Green Olives / Onion

Camaron – Roasted Shrimp / Fresh Oregano / Garlic / Chili Oil / Black Bean

Carne Asada – Grilled Yucatan Achiote Hanger Steak / Oyster Mushroom / House Cream / Crispy Onion

Carnitas – Slow Roasted Berkshire Pork Butt (yes, butt) / Picked Red Onion / Roasted Chili del Arbol / Crispy Rice

Beyond the benefit to my soul stomach of T ‘n T , seeing family was a blessing and reminded me how lucky I was to be able to take advantage of being nearby to squeeze in something familiar and routine like a family dinner.  We laughed, we shared and got a chance to unwind together at the end of a long day {and week} for all of us.

Despite being 3000 miles apart – we’ve seen one another almost every month since last August – including the Barbie-in-Law’s bachelorette, the Wedding, a wedding they had in LA, our Winter Adventures in Colorado, NBA All Star, Boston Marathon and now last night!

Talk about a Road Warrior Perk.

It was a long and harried week, but it was a great week.  We accomplished a lot and had a lot of success being here. I’m beyond exhausted and can’t quite seem to figure out the model on how to travel for business and come back refreshed, but I’m smiling – because in a few short hours I get to {get out of this middle seat} see the Mr. and the Homies and start the weekend off early with zero plans. Sounds a bit too perfect at this point.

Do you travel for Work? Love it? Hate it?  What routines do you keep? What gets thrown to the wind?

{MF Dre}

Gossip Girl Here.

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Hey Upper East Siders, MF Dre here…. and I have the biggest news ever.

{Calm yourself, I’m just being dramatic}

Actually, while I’ve been holed up here this week

I’ve been waiting for three pieces of news and since I’m not good at keeping my own secrets, I’m going to have to let you in on the gossip.

1. Remember this little application? We’ll word came out yesterday and I’ve been selected as one of the alternates to join this talented team of amazing runners and ridiculously creative bloggers to run the Hood to Coast relay this August as part of Team AfterNuun Delight. SO FUN! Since reading all of the recaps from these girls after Ragnar Relay So Cal this past weekend, I’m dying to run a relay event and really hope that I’ll make the official team. (BIG HUGE GINORMOUS DISCLAIMER – Of course I mean this without wishing any harm or injury to any of the team! Only happy joyous things/life events that might require one of them to need an alt and make room on the official Nuun H2C team for me to run!)

I’ll be sharing more information as it comes and I’m thrilled to be a part of this group. Feel free to follow all of us along the journey – you will love these ladies! Dorothy put together a great list here

2. ING NYC Marathon. Sadly, running into the set-up of the event yesterday morning was the closest I got to running this year’s NYC Marathon. In all candor, I’m not that bummed. While it would have been awesome to do LA, Boston, Chicago and NY all in one year, I know that running back to back marathons is tough and a lot to ask of your body. Plus, I’ve got a bunch of other great races on the list this year that require focus. NYC and I will meet someday. I’m in no hurry.

3. One more piece of running-related gossipnews. Words out and as of this morning I will not be getting a Tiffany necklace either this year (at least not from the race).

Looks like I will be focusing hard core on Chicago Marathon in October without a bunch of other looming races. Probably a good thing mentally and physically!

Did you get in to NYC? Or Nike Women’s Marathon?

Any race/sport/activity on your bucket list?

{MF Dre}

Empire State of Mind.

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In New York, Concrete Jungle where dreams are made, oh

There’s nothing you can’t do, Now You’re in New York

I’m in NYC this week and I’ve hit the ground running.  It’s amazing how quickly I fall into the quick paced hustle and bustle of this city.  I’m staying by Central Park and here are a few snapshots of some of my favorite things about this part of the city.

concrete jungle

 

hot pretzels fresh off the street

the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park

Yellow Cab, Gypsy Cab, Dollar Cab, Holla Back. - Jay Z.

and this morning as I was out taking a jog in the Park, I saw them setting up the stage at Columbus Circle for the big ING NYC Marathon Opening Day announcements today at Noon EST.

Only a few more hours until many of us find out if we’ve been accepted to run the 2012 ING New York City Marathon on November 4.

Did you enter the lottery?

What are some of your favorite parts of NYC?

{MF Dre}

Milestone Monday: Putting the Hammer Down on SLO.

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Word’s Out.

Yes, I ran a Marathon last Monday and a Half Marathon yesterday.

Yes, I’m officially Nuts. (and you might think borderline Obsessed too}.  I don’t blame you.

 It’s fine if you want to call me Bat.Shit.Crazy.

Just don’t call me Sarah. kthx.

I signed up for the San Luis Obispo Half Marathon eon’s ago.  I had picked it as my first race post-LA Marathon – figuring it would have been about 5 weeks after LA and a good mid-distance race to get back into the game.  Whelp, Boston called first and you’ve seen and heard it all.

I put SLO out of my head for a bit.  I had NO idea how my body would feel after Boston and whether I’d even be up for it.  So I intentionally kept it on the back burner, leaving my options open {and trying to manage that would.be.manic/obsessive.perception that would come from the people around me if I told them I was racing again the weekend after Boston}.

and.I.can.hear.all.of.your.thoughts.now

Luckily my friend Anne had also signed up for this race, so we agreed to make a girls trip out of the weekend and hit the road Saturday morning together.

Sunday morning came quickly and EARLY.  Especially after a week filled with a marathon, traveling back to LA, trying to squish 5 days of work into 3 and a myriad of other life happenings.

a 4:14a Alarm left us 1 minute of Snooze time before GO TIME at 4:15a.

In all honesty, even having made it up to San Luis Obispo, picked up my race packet and spent the night, I was still a bit uncertain Sunday morning if I was actually going to do the race.  I’d gone back and forth – and back and forth – all week.  Totally over-thinking it on the inside. Not talking about it on the outside.

am I recovered enough?  am I risking injury?

am I mentally OK to take this one easy if I need to and not ‘race’?

will I even be able to wear shoes by race time?  (Side Note – I got horrible blisters in Boston running with wet feet the majority of the race.  Shoes were pretty much unbearable most of last week).

After a failed sub-4 in LA and heat-altered goals in Boston, I was mentally ready to throw the hammer down and get my darn PR in a race. However, Sunday morning I was still uncertain that my heart, my head and my body would all be in the same place by race time.  I thought about not starting. For Real.

And thought more about it. But all of a sudden it was GO TIME. For Real and time to make a call.

  I laced up my shoes and we did a small warm up jog, my blistered toes were SCREAMING at me.  Would it last?

Anne convinced me to get out there and go for it.  No Goal. No Plan. and If I was in Pain, to Stop.

Sometimes something magical happens when that gun goes off.

Magic aka Adrenaline.

My blistered feet were pain-free.  Seriously.

Call it crazy adrenaline.  Or maybe it was the other hilly distractions.

Silly me. How did I think I could run Boston and SLO without training on any major hills at all.

Miles 1.4 – 4 were a legit wake up.

Cr*p, Crud, Push, Chip Away, Ugh, Really? Come.On.Dre.Get.After.This.

Clearly I made it.  Only to be disheartened by another one leading to a turnaround at mile 7.2.  I had long forgotten that first beastly climb and at about 5.8 I could see the peak of 7.2 looming.  It looked far worse for some reason than the climbs before…Far worse.   Maybe because I could see it coming and the super speedy runners ahead who looked like ants running up the hill in the distance.  I looked down at my Garmin.  I’d been pushing my pace and was on par for a PR.  Aside from the *$%*ing hill ahead, I had it.

So I dug in.  And despite giving myself an eensy, weensy, mini walk break towards to top of this hill, I laid the hammer down on this course.  We flipped around at the top and breezed down.  I was less than 6 miles from what I knew would be a PR – even if I ran the last 6 at 9:30 min/miles.  And given that I was feeling pretty good, that pace was not close to my plan.

There were two surprises left for me – one a bathroom stop – I must be over-hydrating a bit – and two, a bridge that had a crazy back and forth ramp up, a wobbly middle and a crazy back and forth ramp down.  Definitely a momentum changer – but not enough to stop me.

I killed it. 1:51:xx – a PR by almost 7 minutes!

had a moment to reflect, and then ran out to the cheering lines to scream my face off for Anne running in

and then I put the hammer down on any painful ideas of an Ice Bath.

It was a Big Milestone, a great race, a beautiful course.  And now I’ve got a New Half PR to best! So much for over-thinking this one.
maybe I’ll start hill training … one day.

{MF Dre}

Road Trip in Pictures {Briefly}.

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I snuck away for a short little road trip to San Luis Obispo this weekend with a friend.

The Drive was Spectacular.  Nothing Beats California’s Central Coast in the springtime.

The Hotel was a combination of tacky and kitschy at its finest and I could not have loved it more for all of its oddness and interesting charm.

and the town of SLO was as sweet and nostalgic as could be.

{Or maybe I was just in sugar overload after stepping foot into Powells Sweet Shoppe}

and {Spoiler Alert} if you didn’t see the news here or here, I earned this race face medal.  Big Time. Details Coming.

How was your weekend?

{MF Dre}