Perfect Sunday, Empire State Half Marathon and LUNCH

I had really a perfect Sunday. I ran a half marathon, saw my sister, went to brunch, Trader Joe’s and napped. It was one of those great days, the reasons I asked for Sundays off work.

The day started with a drive to Syracuse, NY for the Empire State half marathon. I signed up three days ago, essentially because I was already meeting my sister for lunch and I was also looking for a “rust buster” race to do. I would have signed up for the 10K but it was sold out.

Good thing, because this race was exactly what I needed. It was hard, confidence boosting and helped me understand pacing for my current level of fitness. The day was perfect weather-wise and I felt confident on the drive up. All good signs for a good race.

I got to the start with enough time to pick up my bib and do a lighter warm up. I actually run a few miles before I make the drive to the race, it puts me in the right zone and I get a better sense of how my legs are feeling. I lined up at the gun with everyone else and soon we were off.

I quickly found myself alone with a lead biker. That was kind of cool as I’d never ran with a bike before. It was a weird company, like she, Tiffany, was there but more like a supportive role. Sometimes when she rode ahead of me, I thought I was slowing down! I really liked having her there in the last 5 miles because I came upon the 10k runners and she made sure they stayed to the right so I could run by. Thanks Tiffany!!

Most of the race I felt controlled and at the appropriate effort. That is what I wanted for the race. I run at a hard effort for my fitness level and see where I end up.

The last three miles were a pain train. I told myself that if I make this pain, what I felt right then, if I could make it my friend, I would get faster. I could endure. Somehow I got to the finish line and broke the literal tape.

It felt good to finish knowing I worked hard. I also enjoyed winning a race that was meant to be a rust-buster. I ended up around 1:23 and 6:15 average pace. I didn’t blow up. My pace stayed consistent. I was relaxed for the effort I put in. All in all, a great way to start the day.

The men’s half winner smoked it in around 1:11. Good guy, we talked for a while afterwards and he started running when he was 30. He’s 42 now and his PRs are still ahead of him. Great job Mike!

After the race, I met my sister at a new (to us) brunch place in Syracuse called Modern Malt. It was packed, but not in a bad way. More in the way that everyone was having a good time. We were seated after a bit of a wait and immediately taken care of. I got the Egg’s Benedict without the ham plus two more eggs. My sister got the pumpkin stuffed French toast. We were both very satisfied, I think we’ll go back.

We then made our way to Trader Joe’s simply because I wanted carrot cake spread and she’d never been. We also just wanted to spend more time together. I love her so much!

A perfect Sunday, a great race, onward from here.

Ithaca 5&10 and New IG

Whew it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written anything substantial. I’ve been enjoying other creative outlets and just not thinking about the dear old blog.

I can never completely leave my roots though, so here we are.

A few weeks back I ran the local Ithaca 5&10 race on a whim. After a month off and no real expectations, I wanted to see how my capacity to suffer was holding up. Oh baby it’s still there. I ran the 5k and it was a pretty painful and ugly 3.1 miles.

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I got somewhere around 19:00 which I now understand is pretty terrible. But it gave me a starting point and the next day I began a lighter 5K training program from a book. It’s pretty low mileage and it allows me to also continue with the strength training regime I have been on.

The race itself was pretty uneventful. It’s hard for me to write a race report for an event that took me less than 20 minutes, had no bathroom breaks, eating or getting lost and was just all pain even at my pace. I warmed up well, but then the race started late so my legs go a bit cold at the line. When I took off I felt like a leg spasm sort of happened, but I avoided falling and found some semblance of footing.

I chased a woman for the first mile, then passed her and took a comfortable (HA) lead for the rest. To be honest, I just tried to hang on and not cry. I did wear my sunglasses though just in case some tears fell.

To put it in perspective, the 10k started about 40 yards behind us at the same time and within 1 minute the guys all passed me haha.

A good starting point though. I am enjoying this training. It’s fitting in quite nicely with my life right now.

I am LOVING my strength training routine created for me by my good friend Danielle (the badass). I go to the gym after work at about 8:30 or 9:00PM and it’s quiet. I just do my thing, get in a lift or balance or core workout and then head home to eat. I finished phase 1 (4 weeks) and started phase 2 this week. I was really sore this week, but that always happens when I switch exercises. It’ll be better next week.

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The hardest part of it: the core workout! This week the exercises got tougher, so it takes me even longer. Tonight I have a core double…so I might be at the gym for a while. Wish me luck!!

I mentioned in my last post that I was starting a foodie IG, well I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN doing that this past week, that’s probably why I’m not blogging. I think my breakfasts are the most thought I put into meals, and I am sure learning a lot about topping distribution, lighting and what looks good together.

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I got some neat food coloring (gasp!) and have been using that sometimes. It makes thing pretty 🙂

Everything else is basically the same. I met some new friends at the 5&10 and have been running into people on runs, which then turn into a catch up date. Life is treating me well.

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Good sandwiches are happening, good pancakes, good oatmeal.

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I have a good life.

Running: 6 miles easy

Breakfast: toast with pb&b&jam

Upping the IG game

I used to think if you put effort into something, it had to be lucrative in some way. Like the effort deserved a monetary or some other material reward.

These days, my feelings have changed.

I think the process is the joy, the journey is the way and when you get money for your craft, it’s a job. Making it a job, rather than doing it for it’s own sake, takes some of the joy out of it.

This is a long way of saying, I’ve been really enjoying playing on Instagram. I enjoy taking nice pictures of my food. I like plating things in a way that makes me want to eat them.

Then, I enjoy eating them!

It’s fun and I find I am doing it just because it makes me smile. I have been more active on Instagram stories and IG live (I did one without pants on oops!) and it’s just really fun! That’s all I can say! I don’t feel personally fulfilled, I do not want to up my followers or make this competitive. I simply enjoy using the platform.

It brings me joy.

Because I like doing this, I actually decided to make a new IG for my food photos. I want them to be uniform, look nice and be their own thing.

I’ll still do all my daily adventures on my regular IG (@gazzellie) but will have a new one dedicated to my meals pretty soon.

The name I decided upon is @gazzellieeeats (how original right?) and that’s what it’ll be. No strings attached. I’ll give credit to everyone whose recipes I’ve taken inspiration from, I’ll take the companies of the products I use and I’ll answer any questions.

I’ll still blog here from time to time, but it will most likely be race recaps or training musings.

I want to make clear that I am NOT a recipe creator. I’m a person who loves food and likes to make it look pretty. Then, I like to eat it. If I find a way that works for me, I’ll share it, but always know someone else has probably done it before.

I am in no way original, I am myself, which is a product of all things around me combined in a unique way.

That is my IG in a nutshell. That is what I’ll continue to do.

I have not made my new IG live yet. I don’t even know if the username is available, so I will update if that changes.

Until then, happy running, eating and living!

Memes on memes

I have no other reason to post today except to brighten your Sunday morning with memes I find hilarious.

On the life front, I’ve changed my sleep schedule, started lifting at night and ran my first few miles yesterday. My ankle feels good, but I took today as another non-run day. Just to be safe and I’m not training for anything.

I started sleeping in until 9, then going to the gym after work at 8:30 or 9:30PM to do the strength routine provided to me by my friend Danielle. It’s a cool new challenge, she’s a beast.

I like the quietness of my city at those hours. I walk home around 10PM and theres only a few people around. The gym is also quiet, just me and a few guys. I like challenging my body in new ways.

I made a YouTube video this morning, and have yet to post it. I’m not sure if I want to get into that medium. If I do, I doubt I’ll blog very much anymore.

It would be more question and answer style, as I’m not familiar with vlogging. I think the social component of my job would also make it uncomfortable for certain people. We shall see.

Just when I tried to make edits, my iPad needed to be backed up so…

Anyway, if you have questions, either ask them here (I don’t respond to comments but I do to emails) or email me at elliepell8@gmail.com

Enjoy the day!

I’ll wait for it, I’ve got nothing better to do

I started to miss running on Saturday. I went out for a walk before a double at work, and just wanted to feel that rush.

That cool air going straight through me.

The power in my legs.

The confidence in my stride.

I got to the South Hill trail and actually tried to start jogging. My foot still isn’t ready. It’s still healing from 9 months of pounding.

That’s ok, I’ll wait for it. I’ve got nothing better to do.

This week I’ll get back into the gym. Some elliptical and start weights. I am so lucky to be the friend of ax experienced lifter, because she wrote me a plan without batting an eye.

Strengthen the body outside of running. Give me something to put energy into.

The running will come back, and I’ll be ready.

This morning, Sunday, I missed my long runs. Not the all day escapades, but the 15-16 milers that took me on a journey, but never got me lost. I love those runs the most. The 2 hour easy jogs with my own head and a podcast. Grinding, and loving it. They’ll come back too. Not soon, but they will.

My rehab for my foot has been pretty standard. Just ice, balance, really massaging it and some water bottle rolling. Ibuprofen got the swelling down. It’s better but not there yet. It’ll come.

The students came back to town this week, so I’ve been doing my thing at CTB. I am lucky to have this. It keeps me engaged and fulfilled and on my toes. My coworkers have been great, albeit getting tired. Most of us are pulling 6 day weeks, and we are short staffed. Let’s just say I’m glad it’s busy now that I don’t have stuff to train for.

I’m thinking of selling my van to one of my coworkers. She and her girlfriend are going on a cross country road trip and they want it. I want my van to get used, so if they are serious, I’ll certainly sell it to them. I had such a great experience out there, I think they’d learn so much and have a wild time.

You know what I don’t really miss right now?

Trail running. Or all day trail running.

Controversial. Maybe. But that’s what I feel.

I don’t get the same rush I did a few months ago. The way I feel about road running right now is how I felt about trails last December. It fascinates me and I just want to do that.

I don’t have any aspirations right now to race. I simply want to do something different. I didn’t run in HS or college, so I’ve never trained for anything shorter than a half marathon. I want to just run a 5k.

I want to see what that feels like. Against other people. On the road. A different sort of burn.

But first, get my foot back to normal. Finish resting (I am still doing that, one week isn’t enough) and eating good food.

I don’t think of it as moving backward, I think of it as a new challenge, a new way to learn and a new way to have fun.

And that’s what running is.