NYRR Gridiron 4-mile race

Brr, it’s been a chilly weekend here in the big apple. I just finished running the NYRR Gridiron 4-miler and am feelin’ good! This was the first time I raced hard since I was injured over a year ago and it was a big confidence booster. But more on that later…

Yesterday was a day full of good eats and rest. After 8.5 hours of sleep on Friday night, I woke up ready for a quickie breakfast and a yoga class. I didn’t have any coffee beans on hand, so I tried the new Starbucks VIA instant coffee. I was a little skeptical, but it was actually decent! I don’t think I’d have this every day, but it’s a good option if you’re traveling. Along with my coffee I had a banana and Brown Cow maple flavored yogurt. Mmm, whole milk yogurt is so delicious.

Starbucks Via

And then I met some of my lady friends for a 10am class at yoga to the people. Obviously, I did not take a photo in class, but the studio looks like this:

Yoga to the People

Even though my gym offers yoga classes, I still prefer the yttp studio. FYI – even if you don’t live in Northern California or NYC, you can try out a yttp podcast!

After getting our yoga on, we headed to Atlas Cafe in the East Village. This little restaurant had an amazing array of menu options – I was a little overwhelmed! I ended up getting the smoked salmon and avocado sandwich on multi-grain bread. I don’t usually eat fish, but I was feeling like I could use a little omega-3’s in my life. The sandwich was delicious and fairly inexpensive by Manhattan standards.

Smoked salmon from Atlas Cafe

Afterwards, we headed over to Momofuku milk bar for some COOKIES! I was tempted by the crack pie (toasted oat crust with gooey butter filling), but decided to go with the compost cookie (pretzel, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, and chocolate chips).

Momofuku Milk Bar

Oh lord. This was one of the BEST cookies I’ve ever had. Next time I’m buying two. Thanks to my friend Ani for the great recommendation 🙂

Compost Cookie

I had dinner plans with my friend Joe at a little restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. My pre-race dinner was a little unconventional, but it hit the spot. I ordered the warm spinach salad: fresh spinach leaves, sauteed onions and mushrooms, LOTS of croutons and a balsamic vinegar reduction. I also had a whole grain roll and butter with my salad – gotta get in those carbohydrates 🙂

Spinach Salad

I had planned on being social after dinner, but the cold and wind convinced me to stay home and hibernate under the covers. Oh winter.

I finished up the night with half a pint some mint chocolate chip goat milk ice cream, netflix, and an early bedtime 🙂

Goat milk ice cream

Waking up early to go running is never easy, but when it’s 17 degrees it’s particularly difficult…

Ah well, I just have to remind myself that I run and race for FUN! When I look at racing as something I get to do, rather than something I have to do, my mindset is a lot more positive 🙂

I had the usual pre-race breakfast around 7:30am – coffee, banana with peanut butter, and 1/2 clif bar. Andddd I finally broke out my hand warmers. These things are lifesavers if you have poor circulation (like moi) and they’re only 99 cents!



Alma and I warmed up for about 30 minutes (ran from our apartment to the starting line) and after a quick bathroom break, it was race time! I’ve run some races as “workouts”, but today’s 4-miler was the first time I raced hard in awhile. I was shooting for 7:00 pace and finished a little under, so I’m pretty happy. Miles 1 and 3 were slower than I would have liked (maybe because of the hills), but other than that things went as expected. Also, I was really excited to meet a blog reader at the finish line. Hi Jacqui!

  • Mile 1 – 7:11
  • Mile 2 – 6:57
  • Mile 3 – 7:10
  • Mile 4 – 6:40
  • Total: 4 miles in 27:57 (6:59 pace)

Thumbs up!

After the race I was feeling really good (probably a sign I should have gone faster!), so I added on some miles to make today a “long run day”. My cool down was about 50 minutes long bringing me to about 13 miles for the day. Only 6 weeks till the NYC 1/2 marathon!

After a long hot shower I refueled with some pumpkin-apple-chocolate chip oatmeal. I’m already hungry again – off to go eat some more!

Pumpkin oatmeal

Even though it’s February (and f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g in the Northeast!), it’s never too cold for a smoothie! Matt and I posted our favorite recipes on True/Slant – check it out 🙂

What’s your favorite smoothie combination?

  • Congrats on running the race (and more) this morning! It’s so cold out I was freezing just going to/from the gym. I had hoped to run the race today but didn’t get signed up.

    You’re Saturday re-cap looks great! I’ve been to Yoga to the People too and love it! Going to hot yoga on Thursday! Have to try out Atlas and make a stop by Momofuku Milk Bar soon. I <3 David Chang.

  • Ada

    Good job on the race! Momofuku Milk Bar is seriously amazing. I love their cereal-milk infused soft serve:)

  • Nice job! I raced today too, and am impressed anyone could have a good race with the cold, wind and hills.

  • congrats on a wonderful time and for racing hard!! that cookie you ate yesterday sounded faaabulous! jealous!

  • Tay

    How is that goat milk’s ice cream? I’ve seen it at the store, but man is it pricy!! I love goat milk cheese & yogurt – is it similar in flavor?

  • Rachel

    I have poor circulation too and hot hands are the only reason I can run in the AM!! Especially in DC, where we just got 20+ inches of snow. Congrats on your race!

  • I agree – it’s freezing here in NYC! Congrats on the race, that’s an incredible time, I bet you feel proud. I really want to try that compost cookie soon! I may need to take a trip down there 🙂

  • Congrats again on the race!! I really need to do more runs in the park; the mile 3 hills kicked my behind!

    If you throw fruit of any kind in a blender, I will drink it 🙂 Peaches + raspberries is probably my fave combination, though.

  • I so rarely eat smoothies; they just aren’t my thing. But I do love Laloo’s! Seriosuly smooth and creamy. I haven’t had rumplemint, though, just strawberry balsamico and black mission fig

  • Gaurav

    Congrats on the race Megan. I ran it too – got a PR by 2 minutes and felt that I could have paced myself better (considering I know the course like the back of my hand) and used a longer warm-up.

    Will have to check out Momufuku on my return from London in 2 weeks. Maybe it will be my treat for running the Haiti run while jet-lagged.

    I love following your and NMA Matt’s blog posts. Hopefully I’ll run into you in Central Park some day.

  • Wow, GREAT time! Congrats on the race 🙂

  • Tay – the goat milk ice cream did sort of taste like goat cheese. I know that sounds weird, but it was pretty good!

    Gaurav – Congrats on your PR! I think I’ll be doing the run for Haiti as well 🙂 A compost cookie from Momofuku milk bar would make a fabulous post-race treat!

  • Way to go on the race and the extended mileage!

    That cookie looks and sounds DELICIOUS. Also, Atlas cafe is pretty great. If memory serves me correctly, they also have a nice offering of vegan crepes.

  • Heyyy, congrats, great time! You went flying by me at just about the one mile mark. I thought about trying to chase to say hi, but you were in the zone!

    Wish you had come to brunch so we had an actual chance to chat, when neither of us was running around!


  • What an amazing race–6:40 final mile?? My thoughts don’t even race that fast…. That is amazing. I hope your hip and leg now know that racing Megan is back.

    I’m not big on smoothies because I find the commercial ones WAY too sweet (and I hate cleaning my blender!) but I love me some mango lassi with fresh mango and yogurt….

  • Ellen

    Oatmeal envy, I’ve got it…AGAIN. I’ve been meaning to try Momofuku! Are there any other cookies you would suggest? What is the atmosphere like? Is it a good after dinner date spot??


  • Ellen – the atmosphere at Momofuku’s milk bar is cozy! There are tables where you can stand and eat your treats, but no chairs so I’m not sure if it would be a good after-dinner date spot?? BUT the offerings are amazing! In addition to the compost cookie I’d recommend the cornflake-chocolate chip-marshmallow cookie or the cereal milk flavored soft serve 🙂

  • Congratulations on your comeback race. Great food pics btw

  • Congrats on a great race! I thought of you race runners yesterday when I debated doing my long run in the cold and then told myself: if they could get up at 8 a.m. and run in 17 degrees, I can certainly do my long run in 30 degrees a few hours later. 🙂

  • Great time on your 4 miler and awesome attitude that you GET to race, not HAVE to. Your post run eats look yummy 🙂

  • Great race! and yeah, all of those eats look amazing.

  • ida

    congrats on the fast 4-miler! TJs sells a maple cream yogurt that is to die for.

  • Jacqui

    Hii!! It was really great running into you! Actually, I saw you pass me between miles 3 and 4 :-P. What a great last mile! I love sprinting to the finish!

    I also have very poor circulation – Raynouds, I think my GP called it. I usually wear 3 pairs of gloves, but handwarmers sound *much* more efficient.

    Congrats on your race and a great comeback from your injury!

  • Great job on the race! I am in Boston, so I laughed when I saw those handwarmers. I love them when I run. Such a lifesaver in the cold.

  • that oatmeal looks yummy! Good luck on the half marathon!

  • Wowsers! Congrats on a great race! That’s an awesome time. haha

    I want that sandwich. BAD!

  • I like the Starbucks Via, I think it’s actually better than their brewed coffee, especially if you drink it black like I do. Great job on the run! I ran in Detroit on Sunday (5k) and it was 18 degrees, a little chilly for me!

  • Ashlee

    I just watched Regis and Kelly this morning and they made the compost cookies from momofuku. They looked amazing!

  • I just saw compost cookies on Regis and Kelly today they look SO good!!

  • so much goodness here.

    AMAZING running stats.

    that oatmeal…drool.

    that cookie…drool.

    is it just me or does starbucks via taste better than their real drip coffee?

    i have not loved the YTTP podcasts, but maybe that just means i need to actually go to a real class in NYC (wink, wink).

    yay for 1/2 marathonnnnnnnn!