Tag Archives: New York City

New York City 1/2 Marathon 2014 Finisher!

This past Sunday the 16th I ran my first half marathon, and it just happened to be the NYC 1/2. Smack dab in the middle of 20,000 people, I ran 13.1 miles through Central Park, Times Square, down the West Side Highway, around the tip of Manhattan, and finished in the financial district.

I trained for 12 weeks, using tempo runs, Zumba, swimming, hill runs, and long runs. I also used my long runs in Central Park to get used to the insane hills in the top portion of the park (which really came in handy on Sunday).

On the Saturday before the race, I picked up my bib at the NYC 1/2 expo. Good job, organizers. NYRR for the win!

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Picking up my bib and pretending I’m important.

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Everyone got to write why they were running. Most people were running in memory of a loved one or for cancer research. 

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I run because of Zombies. Obviously.

I had a lot of support while I was training for the race and on race day. My kick-ass mom flew up from TN to cheer me on. She also brought treats! Continue reading

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Turbo Healing: Plantar Fasciitis, Get Out Of Here!

Day four of my recurring plantar fasciitis struggle, (Click here to go back to day one and two) and I’m feeling absolutely no pain. None. How?

I’m icing, rolling, stretching, and checking my running/walking form all day long.

I wake up and use a tennis-sized TP Therapy ball to apply pressure and roll out my heel (where I usually feel pain first thing in the morning). I then lean against a wall and stretch my calves. Then, I head over to the staircase and hang my heels off the last step to stretch my achilles. Then, I get the hell on with my day.

At some point, I pull the frozen water bottle out of my freezer and roll/ice the bottom of my foot and heel. Later, while I’m watching a movie with my boyfriend, I’ll use my TP Therapy roller to roll out my calves, hamstrings, and glutes. Finally, I’ll ice the heels and arches of my feet while elevating them.

The next day, I’ll do it all again. And I’ll keep on doing it for as long as I think my good luck won’t run out.

I wish I had known what was going on with me the first time I got plantar fasciitis symptoms. I wasted months of my life confused and in pain, and I had no clue what was going on. This time around, being proactive has had such an extraordinary effect. I have some tightness in my calves that I’m stretching out, and there is tenderness when I roll out my feet and legs. However, there is no pain when I’m walking or running, and I don’t wake up with that acute heel pain that I’ve learned to expect.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why this is happening to me… why this happens to a lot of people. My friend Mac from The Running Company in NYC said it’s tightness in my calves and hamstrings that is to blame, but WHY are my calves and hamstrings tight? Why are my heels and the backs of my legs screwed up? Continue reading

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Plantar Fasciitis: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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In September of 2012, I noticed a strange pain in my heel when I woke up and started to walk around. I didn’t tell anyone because it didn’t seem like a big deal. I didn’t think too much of it and figured that it would go away if I stopped abusing it. Then, the pain got worse. I started to really rest it (which meant I stopped running and working out… but I still had to dance on it for work.) I thought to myself, “Do I have a bone spur or a hairline fracture? What is going on?”

Then, it spread to the other heel.

WHAT. THE. HELL?!?

I didn’t know injuries could travel like that… just jump from one foot to the other.

It was now December 2012, and I was in so much pain it was affecting just walking around my apartment (not to mention my inability to properly do my job as a dancer.) Finally, I went to see an orthopedic specialist at the Campbell’s Clinic in Memphis, TN. It was around Christmas, and I was visiting family. I had been dealing with a pain that started as annoying and progressed to unable to painlessly walk in three months.

They did X-rays and some other minor tests. I was shown to a room. The doctor eventually came in, listened to what I had to say, and then told me he knew exactly what it was: plantar fasciitis. (P.S. my X-ray came back clean without any fracture, so he was quite confident.)

He gave me a sheet of paper with a few guidelines and sent me on my way. I was slightly in shock about the entire thing. I’d been trying desperately to fix and rest my foot, and this paper said all I needed were a few stretches and ice. Oh, and the doctor said I could start running again. That seemed crazy to me… I could barely walk. Continue reading

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Viva Las Vegas! Sin City Vegan Challenge: Final Day

Though the slot machines and chorus girls have been outrageously fun, it’s time for me to pack up my belongings and head back home to stinky streets of NYC. However, before I get on that plane, I gotta tell you about eating the fanciest Vegan meal ever right across from a super-fierce actress!

Let’s start at the beginning.

I woke up and got in the pool…

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Wow, I had a really original idea and took a picture of my toes by water. Wait until Instagram gets ahold of this mastery!

… and I stayed there all day.

Eventually I did laundry, packed, and did other boring things. Let’s fast-forward to the good stuff!

I went by myself to dinner (my best friend, who I was visiting in Las Vegas, had to work.) I read some reviews on Happy Cow (a fabulous vegetarian/vegan website) about Sinatra. No, not Old Blue Face or whatever they call him. Sinatra is a restaurant in the Encore casino and hotel. The reviews were all positive, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did know that I was about to go into a casino alone and sit at the bar to order food.

There was a big wait for the main restaurant and a small wait for the bar. I small wait. I sit down at the bar and am promptly tended to by the bartender. I asked for the wine list as well as the regular menu.

Now, I read in some of the reviews to ask for the vegan menu, and I eventually did. However, I wanted to see what the “regular” food was like and if I was going to be left out of the “Sinatra experience” by my dietary restrictions. The bartender told me that they can try to make certain things on the main menu vegan, but the vegan menu was pretty killer. Here’s the vegan menu:  Continue reading

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Viva Las Vegas! Vegan in Sin City: Travel Day and Day 1

My best friend is a very important guy who works for a Canadian high-end circus that has many shows in Las Vegas. I’m sure you can piece together which one I’m talking about. Anyway, he’s been living in Las Vegas for the past year, and he’s invited me to come visit him! Yay!

I boarded the plane with a fierce potato salad (steamed mini-potatoes in different colors, chopped chives, lemon juice, salt, EVOO) and a mix of farmers market greens with my naked Italian dressing.

I didn’t get a picture of it because it was too delicious. I ate it before going, “Oh yeah. I should have shared that.” Oh well!

Anyway, I landed in Sin City.

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My friend picked me up from the airport, but then he had to go back to work. I was pretty hungry at this point, so I typed in “vegan restaurant” on Google Maps, and it led me to a fantastic place I wouldn’t have ever known about. Veggie Deli is a fantastic vegetarian/vegan place located on Wynn Rd. The inside looks like any number of Chinese restaurants I’ve seen in NYC. Continue reading

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Why Tap Dancing is the Best Cardio EVER!

Let me reintroduce myself:

Hi. My name is Whitney, and I blog about not dieting because dieting totally sucks. Plus, it doesn’t work. (No, Really. It doesn’t work.) So yeah, my name is Whitney and I blog, but i’m also a dancer. More specifically, I’m a tap expert who worked for a Tony Award winning Broadway show.

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I’ve always danced. I’ve been a dancer since I was two years old (my mother lied to the local dance studio about my age and said I was three to get me enrolled.) I don’t know if I was too annoying to handle, or if I just had feet that never wanted to stay still… but into class I went at two years old, and I haven’t stopped since.

That’s 27 years of dancing. (Don’t tell anyone my age if you can do the math. I still tell everyone I’m 21.)

Tap was the most fun, super awesome thing I did as a little child. Come on, you know what I’m talking about! A lot of us took tap when we were young, made a TON of noise with our feet, then  stopped going to class for whatever reason. (Maybe we joined the cheerleading squad, or maybe we moved on to playing POGS.)

The great thing about tap is that it’s never too late to start again. Continue reading

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Final Day of the Memphis Vegan Challenge: Back to NYC

After a refreshing night’s stay at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN (and by refreshing… I mean I survived a bachelorette party on Beale the previous evening), I suggested to my parents that we go to breakfast.

I really wanted to try one of the fabulous midtown vegan-friendly places like Cosmic Coconut or Imagine Vegan Cafe, but they didn’t quite seem like places my father would willingly agree to go. So, we ended up going to Perkins.

I had a plain salad with O&V… at ten AM. The quality of the lettuce was eeehh. However, it’s always really fun to hang out with my mom and dad.

We then decided to take Olivia, my dog, to Shelby Farms and play fetch.

Olivia waiting for dad to throw the ball.

Olivia waiting for dad to throw the ball. She is a fetch superstar.

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Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day Three

Day three of the Memphis Vegan Challenge, and it’s almost a piece of cake. I don’t feel deprived. My body feels great.

Let’s get to the food.

Spelt Bagel (Gluten Free) with Tofu Spread (cream cheese substitute)
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I worked again choreographing at the studio out in Germantown. If you’ve been following my escapades, you’ll know that this dance studio is right next to one of my favorite delis of all time, Vanelli’s. I opted for the sandwich. Unfortunately, they were out of wheat bread, but it still tasted great. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, pickles, salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, and mustard!

I also put chips on my sandwich because it would be weird if I didn’t. It’s just a thing I do. And you know you want to do it too.

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These are not Tomatoes: Subway Semi-Horror Story

IMG_0327It’s hot outside, but I decided to go for a long run. My motivation: This amazing club sandwich with farmers market tomatoes and greens on multi-seed bread. Chef B’friend made it out of the leftover Quorn “turkey” roast I made last night. He placed it on the counter. I knew it was going to be so delicious, I needed to earn the right to eat its mastery.

I thought, “Yeah, I can do the usual path from my apartment in Harlem down the west side of Central Park, but I want to get out of my comfort zone.” My usual path takes me right down the C and B train line. When I get exhausted, I can just pop on the train, and it will take me back to my nice apartment in an air conditioned thing that I don’t even have to drive. I can just sit and drink water and feel safe.

I decided I’d run more east, hit up the top of the park (which I hadn’t really explored) and work my way across the park to get back to the subway home. My sandwich motivation will carry me through this hardship of newness… like a tasty, tasty overexposure filling my view for the final mile.

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My NYC Fire Escape Garden

Growing your own food is easy, responsible, and super tasty. Plus, you don’t need that much space. Just utilize your imagination!

Reasons why growing your own food rocks:

  1. Lessen your carbon footprint by growing some things yourself. (Remember… those tomatoes at PathMart didn’t grow there. They grew hundreds of miles away. They hitched a ride on a huge truck across the country.)
  2. It’s cheaper to grow your own herbs than to keep buying those small packets. Plus, you only use about half of it before it goes off and you have to throw the thing away.
  3. Wanna be healthier? If you’ve grown it… you’ll eat it. Anything that makes us eat more fruits and veggies is a good thing.
  4. It forces you to be outdoors. Or, kind of outdoors. Anyway, you’ll probably get a little vitamin D from this activity.
  5. Monsanto can’t get you if you know where your food is coming from. (Make sure your seeds and seedlings are not genetically altered or modified.)
  6. You’ll reduce food waste. If you’ve waited for something to ripen on a vine that you take care of… you’re less likely to let it spoil and throw it out. That’s not really the case with that stupid banana that has gross brown spots you paid 50 cents for, right? That guy is going to spoil and get thrown out.
  7. It doesn’t take up that much time. I’d equate it to caring for fish in a tank.
  8. I sound like a hippie, but it’s fun. It turned fun. I don’t know how. Just kinda snuck up on me.

I can hear you say, “Well, I don’t have a backyard with room for a garden. I have no space!”

Dude. I live in New York City. I don’t have access to a yard… but I do use every inch of outdoorsey-type space I’ve got!

My First Fire Escape Garden:

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Chilis, mint, tomatoes, basil, lettuce. YUM!

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The tomatoes had a lovely view!

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