I wouldn’t exactly give Sunday’s race a thumbs up, BUT at least it was faster than my 2010 and 2009 performances. 14 seconds faster than last year = progress, even if I wasn’t completely satisfied. Tring to look at the positive!
For the third year in a row, I toed the line at the Coogan’s Shamrocks, Salsa, and Blues 5k in Washington Heights. This certainly isn’t a flat and fast race – in fact, you’re either going up or down hill almost the entire time. The start was crowded (think: 7,000 people on a narrow city street), but that’s par for the course in NYC races, so I’m pretty used to it. My first mile was decent – 6:42 and my second mile was a surprising 6:30. However, the goal of picking up the pace during the last mile didn’t happen. I tried to keep my head in the game, but physically I just felt tapped out by the half-way point. My form fell apart and the final mile felt like a slog. I went through the 3rd mile in 6:48 and finished in 20:36 (~6:38 pace average). Not awful, but certainly not what I’m capable of.
I think a large part of why I felt so crappy yesterday is due to the iron deficiency I’ve been struggling with, but of course, racing is always at least part mental. 2010 was a year full of PRs and I feel a lot of pressure to maintain that momentum, to keep getting faster. It sucks not to feel like I’m not at the top of my game right now, but ultimately I think that accomplishments in running (or otherwise) can only be fully appreciated after you’ve dealt with the lows. I’m going to keep on keepin’ on for the time being – taking my iron supplements, getting good sleep, pushing hard in workouts, and hope that I’ll turn the corner eventually.
However, my frustration with the race was brightened by a day with friends and teammates. The skies opened up and poured on us during the race, so we were a pretty soggy bunch by cool-down time….At least it was a warm-ish 50 degrees!
A teammate invited the racers over for bruch afterward and I was able to re-fuel with a smorgasboard of pancakes/waffles topped with yogurt and strawberries, peanut butter cookie granola, turkey bacon, and a OJ.
You could tell this apartment was full of runners…so much gear!
I don’t quite remember the last time I trekked to the dirty jerz, but a very special birthday girl merited a trip on Sunday evening. A group of about 10 of us congregated at Star Tavern in Orange, NJ for an evening of PIZZA. I’ve had all sorts of pizza – classic NY style slices, gourmet pies with fancy toppings, Neopolitan style, etc., but I can honestly say that Star Tavern serves my favorite type. It reminds me a lot of the pizza I loved growing up (Sabatini’s pizza in Pennsylvania). The crust was thin, the perfect mix of crispy and chewy and the mozzarella cheese on top was nicely browned – almost caramelized. The quickie photo that I snapped didn’t do this slice justice.
To celebrate Sarah’s day ‘o birth, I baked her some classic chocolate chip cookies. My favorite cookie bakery just opened a location down the street from me, so I decided to make the cookies in that style. Levain Bakery cookies are behemoths – each one weighs in at nearly 1/3 lb! I made mine a little smaller, but they were still ooey-gooey in the middle. YUMM.
Levain Bakery Copy Cat Cookies (makes 16 cookies)
- 1 stick butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup bread flour (higher gluten content creates chewy-ness!)
- 1 tsp corn starch (adds to that “melt in your mouth” texture)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I used 1/2 semi sweet and 1/2 milk chocolate – Guittard brand – my fav!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg until incorporated.
- In a seperate bowl, combine the salt, flours, leaveners, and corn starch. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. The dough will be stiff!
- Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Take a golf ball size amount of dough, roll it into a round ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Do not flatten.
- Bake for ~10 minutes or until just slightly golden brown. I baked my cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet, but was a little concerned about overbrowning on the bottom. Next time I might use parchment paper.
What’s your favorite type of chocolate chip cookie? Chewy and chunky? Flat and crispy? With oatmeal? With nuts? Chips Ahoy?!?