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Frames From The Weekend 1/23/2015 – 1/25/2015

Home is where the heart is! I must admit, as much as I love NYC, sometimes all it takes to catch up on good-quality sleep is a quiet night or six in suburbia.

FFTW Winter2

(Link up to ‘Frames From The Weekend’! Read the official “rules” here.)

I did absolutely nothing all weekend and it was perfect. My bed, the couch, and my parents’ bed all became my best friends for hours at a time. I flew into Chicago on Thursday night and happily worked from home on Friday. We had major problems at work in typical end-of-the-workweek fashion, forcing me to stay glued to the computer until 8:30PM when I finally snuck away to rest.


{Why is it that whenever I actually have the opportunity to get a gloriously long sleep session I never do? I slept like a log through the quiet night and woke up early like clockwork. My parents and I had a tasty breakfast together and then my mom and I set out to Costco & Whole Foods. I snagged some great things at Costco including my favorite hot sauce, a stack of the best tuna ever, and the most incredible running jacket! You guys, this jacket! It’s super lightweight and is filled with actual down+feathers. Amazing…especially for only $15! My mom made homemade chicken soup for lunch while I worked on a sweet potato skillet to share. We ended Saturday night with tea and a movie, Maleficent, in bed.}


{My mom and I decided to take advantage of Saturday’s warmish weather by enjoying some outdoor exercise right before lunch. There must be something in the Midwestern air because I run so fast whenever I’m back home! Seriously though, I sped through 3 miles at a 8:26 min/mile pace. It ended up being one of the best workouts I’ve had in a long time! I’m sure that wearing my new blue running jacket helped too…obviously.}

Sunday breakfast

{An entire frame dedicated to our Sunday breakfast feast! I requested buckwheat crepes and my mom happily obliged. I created a tasty savory crepe filled with avocado, smoked salmon, and a runny egg. So delicious, especially with a side of coffee with frothy whole milk!}


{Sunday shopping! My mom and I went to the mall where we scored great pajamas and pretty lingerie at Victoria’s Secret (seriously…bralettes for $5 each, shorts for $7, and a pajama set for $17!). We also stopped by Banana Republic and I accidentally walked out with a summery lace top that I’m absolutely in love with. Shopping left us hungry and drained, so more soup and sweet potatoes were on the lunch menu. We ended the weekend watching the SAG awards.}

I am not looking forward to this week. We have a two-day work conference that’s inevitably going to make me fall behind on my endless work to-do list. And then it’s back to New York! As luck would have it, a huge blizzard is hitting New York today and I’m incredibly jealous. I’m sure some of the snow will still be there when I return, but still…it’s not the same! Why do I always miss all the cool events in Manhattan?

Overall, January has turned out to be a great month. Instead of creating my 2015 Inspiration Board early in the month, I put off the task while I let my goals/ideas/dreams “marinate” and form in my mind. Slowly but surely, the most important intentions came to light, giving me a clear idea of exactly what my 2015 Inspiration Board will look like. The plan is to finally finish it next weekend!

Where do you run best?

Who else turns into a lazy bum when visiting home?

What’s the best sale item you’ve scored recently?

♥ Irina

Up Next on the Running Agenda

I haven’t really written about how my running is going since those three weeks of injury-induced rest in November, but in short it’s going…ok. I’m running three times a week for about 3 miles at a time with *almost* no pain. I say almost because I usually still feel some subtle pain in my left shin while running. I’ve been doing a crappy job at stretching and foam rolling, so I’m to blame here. But this nagging ache still worries me to no end. Keeping my shins healthy is more important than ever because….

NYC Half Marathon

…I’m running the NYC Half Marathon in March! Which I’ve already mentioned a bunch of times but it’s still just as exciting as ever. I entered the lottery last month and received my admission confirmation in December. I was rejected last year so I couldn’t be more excited to finally have the chance to run through the streets of my beloved city. I have no doubts it’s going to be an incredible experience.

In addition to this race, I also took the plunge and registered for the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May! I chose not to run this race last year and regretted the decision, so this year I was older and wiser. The race sold out in a few hours, crazy.

I want to give myself enough time to properly increase my mileage again post-injury, so NYC HM training officially started January 5th which gives me 10 full weeks of training (9 running weeks and 1 taper week). Below is a guideline/plan for training. Just a warning, this schedule is super lazy and the epitome of a “just get me to the finish line” mentality. Running 3 days/week is my preference but I *might* try to add in another day to see how it feels on my legs. It’s about time I step up my running game.

NYC Half Marathon Training Plan

(P.S – it’s not very well thought out so all suggestions for improvement are welcome)

Last weekend’s training was an obvious fail thanks to the stomach flu. And let’s be honest here, cross-training has not been happening. But I still have time to start!

Now one big question remains – will I run a marathon this year? The NYC Marathon lottery is officially open but I’m planning on waiting until February to make a decision on whether I’ll enter. I need to first see how my injury holds up against half marathon training. And perhaps more importantly, I need to really think through time management in the upcoming months. Simply put, marathon training might not be feasible with work, school, travel, and a hundred other plans on the agenda in 2015. Plus, there’s no guarantee that I’ll even be accepted into the NYC Marathon so perhaps I should just take my chances and let the universe decide.

Personally, I’m more interested in running the five-borough series which features the NYC Half, Brooklyn Half, Queens 10K, Bronx 10-Mile, and Staten Island Half. It’s a more feasible and stress-free goal that will still keep up my running motivation. Plus, running these fives races will guarantee my entry into the 2016 NYC Half Marathon because I also became a member of NYRR (New York Road Runners) yesterday! I’m already registered for two out of the five races so why not fit in the remaining three? Ugh but that marathon though…I might even consider doing the 9+1 Program for guaranteed entry into the 2016 NYC Marathon.

What major race(s) are you planning on running this year?

How do you prioritize running with other life happenings?

Critique my half marathon training plan! All advice is welcome.

♥ Irina

95% Recovered

I’m *almost* recovered after this weekend’s deadly 48 hour stomach virus. Confession – I haven’t left my apartment since Friday morning! Crazy right? I ended up working from home yesterday because I still didn’t feel fully recovered, but I’m almost there! 95%…minor nausea comes and goes, and my body feels slightly weak and shaky. My appetite has returned for the most part but I’m still being very cautious about what I eat because food, any food, makes my stomach feel…off. But a girl gots to eat right?!

egg + avocado toast

Speaking of food – the last two things I ate before getting sick a few hours later were a Quest Bar and two slices of Manna bread. I highly doubt that these were the root cause of the Great Stomach Flu of 2015 but now the very thought of eating Quest Bars or Manna bread makes me queasy. It’s gotten so bad that I even threw away the rest of the bread because I couldn’t stand seeing it every time I opened the freezer. Yuck! Let’s hope this aversion disappears soon because…

Quest Bars

…my cabinets are stocked full with Quest Bars!

But you know what’s been really good to my body and I? #1 = Earl Grey tea! I grew up drinking basic black tea, it’s a Russian kitchen staple, and I found myself craving black tea and only black tea these past few days. I swear it’s done wonders for my well-being. #2 = a clean apartment & fresh laundry! I spent yesterday morning cleaning my tiny studio to rid of all germs. This is embarrassing but I even (finally) had the energy to take a shower…my first in waaaaay too many days. So fresh and so clean clean.

Today will be my first run since Thursday and I’m planning on taking it very easy. I have 4 miles scheduled but have no issues cutting the mileage down as needed. Health comes first! Plus, no one wants to see a girl faint while running along the East River.


In other random news, I skipped volunteering at the ED yesterday (because #sickpeople and weak immune system) and got sucked into watching all two hours of The Bachelor. My friend got me into the show for the first time ever last season with Andi, and naturally I can’t help following along with farmer Chris’ journey. I’m so tempted to just Google the winner but I suspect I’ll regret it in the near future if I do.

And with that I’m off to conquer this chilly Tuesday!

Who else has been watching The Bachelor?

Do you have any food aversions?

What is your favorite type of tea? Any other Earl Grey fans out there?

♥ Irina

Frames From The Weekend 1/16/2015 – 1/18/2015

This weekend was a complete bust. Long story short, I got violently ill in the early hours of Saturday morning and spent the next two days suffering in bed.

FFTW Winter2

(Link up to ‘Frames From The Weekend’! Read the official “rules” here.)

I can’t remember the last time I had the stomach flu! I’m not one to complain excessively when sick but wow this pain was real. It was absolutely horrible! And so I don’t have anything to share with you from this weekend other than one pathetic frame. But you see those (50!!!) roses in the photo? They were a surprise from an old friend from back home and kept a smile on my face despite the sickness struggle this weekend!


{I felt tired on Friday so I bailed on all plans to stay home and watch ‘Boyhood’ – you must watch this movie if you haven’t yet, all the hype surrounding it is totally valid! Saturday morning 4AM, I awoke with horrible stomach pains that got progressively worse over the course of the day. I couldn’t eat or drink anything, the latter being especially unfortunate (and dangerous) considering how much water I was losing through…you know… I spent all of Saturday in bed, dozing in and out of sleep, watching movies (I’m late to the game but Good Will Hunting is such an incredible movie!), and wishing for my mom haha. Sunday was much better albeit my health still not being at 100%. Once again, the day was spent in bed watching TV and recovering. At least I managed to actually eat, and keep down, some oatmeal and avocado + egg toast!}

Needless to say, my scheduled long run did not happen this weekend. This was probably a good decision given that I felt lightheaded every time I stood up for more than a few seconds. It’s no big deal though…the half marathon is two months away!

On a more positive note, it’s back to Chicago for me at the end of this week! I can’t wait to see mi familia again and spend a lazy weekend at home before attending an important work conference next week.

Who else has watched ‘Boyhood’?

Have you ever been sick with the stomach flu? How long did it last?

♥ Irina