Gifts for RunnersOh my goodness! There are only ten more days until Christmas! Just because you can pick up something lame last minute at Duane Reade doesn’t mean you should! (read 21 Things That Will Happen to You While Christmas Shopping in NYC)

If you’re like me and in a pinch to cross everyone off your shopping list, here are some fun and affordable gifts for your favorite runner.

1. Make a charitable donation in their name to a running organization such as Back on My Feet, Girls on the Run, or Team for Kids. Price = whatever fits in your gifting budget

Girls on the Run Solemates NYC

2. Mala Beads: while this might seem a bit odd for a non-yogi to get as a gift, meditating on mantras and intentions is important for any athlete. Help your favorite runner start the year off by giving them a fashionable way to meditate on their goals or race day mantra. Price: varies

3. Movie tickets + Book: Unbroken tops the list of best books I’ve read in the past five years.  Louis Zamperini was a 1930’s track star who survived being a POW during World War II. Give them the book to read then take them to see the movie. Price: $25-$40

4. Greenblender recipe cards and superfood sampler: What runner doesn’t love a smoothie? Greenblender delivers smoothie boxes in NYC, but this gift can be shipped anywhere! Price = $25.00


5.  Runner’s World Desk Calendar: This might seem a bit cheesy, but what runner couldn’t use a little extra motivation during the work day? This is the perfect gift for your favorite co-worker or desk jockey. Price = $13.49

6. Satin Headband from Sparkly Soul: Is your best running buddy not a sparkly kind of girl or is your niece that runs cross country more tomboy than princess? She can still wear the best headband out there! Sparkly Soul non-slip satin headbands are just as great as their sparkly counterpart! This one is my personal favorite! Price = $15- $17

7. Training Journal from Believe I Am: While I don’t have the updated version of this insightful and motivating training journal written by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Ro McGettigan-Dumas, it’s on my Christmas list. I’ve used the old version for several training cycles and it’s one of my all time favorite training tools. Price = $11.98

The logo for RPW Training Diary Series is actually a sneak peak at my actual training journal from 2013.

The logo for RPW Training Diary Series is actually a sneak peak at my actual training journal from 2013.

8. 1-on-1 Running Specific Strength Training Session: Every runner can benefit from working on getting stronger and doing exercises that will specifically help them become a better runner. Purchase a gift card for a private session with your favorite qualified fitness professional. Your favorite runner can request to have the workout emailed to them after the session and use it again and again throughout the year. Price = varies 

9. Intention Plate Bracelet from Erica Sara Designs: Okay, so it might be a bit late to place an order for a custom bracelet, but I think your giftee will forgive you when you give them this gorgeous gift. Price: starts at $78

10. Brooks Running Nightlife Jacket or Vest: Help your favorite runner stay on track of reaching their spring running goals by staying visible and warm all winter. The jacket will keep them dry, warm and safe. The vest is extremely versatile, it can be worn as a layering piece in many weather conditions. Price = $85-$90


Recipe: Vegan Gingerbread Pancakes

by Jess on December 14, 2014

Vegan Gingerbread Pancakes

I’ll be the first to admit that when looking at recipes on blogs, I don’t read the content I’m only there for the recipe. So, here’s all I have to say…

Make these gingerbread pancakes for your loved ones so they’ll be appropriately carb-loaded for the holiday season!

Vegan Gingerbread Pancakes


  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal + 3 tbl warm water (to mix with flax)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix flax meal with warm water, set aside. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl including the flax mixture. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Heat a non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, scoop a portion of the batter onto the skillet cooking on each side for approximately four minutes.

Yields approximately 10 4-inch pancakes


Training Diaries

Hi guys! It’s been a few weeks since the marathon and I wanted to catch you up on my running plans for the next couple months.

After the 2013 NYC marathon I felt a bit lost. I liked having a scheduled running routine, but I knew I couldn’t run the same amount of mileage I had been during training and wasn’t quite sure where to go from there. This resulted in me going towards heavy weight lifting to compensate for the lack of running I was doing. Newsflash: running and bodybuilding DON’T mix. They have contradictory goals and I started to feel them. My frame felt heavy while I was running and it slowed down my paces. Needless to say, I wont be going in that direction again.

IMG_3291This year, I am going to continue to work with Jess and focus on some different goals than my norm- shorter races & faster paces. I’m excited for the “change of pace” so to speak. I’ve always focused on long distance running and to be honest, shorter & faster runs during a cold winter sound much more fun!

I’ve also been enjoying my runs while slowly building back my mileage. I did a 5k Turkey Trot in Baltimore over Thanksgiving and a Holiday Lights run with Jess and some other Race Pace Runners this past Friday night.

Turkey Trot

Holiday Lights RunI still plan to run Ted Corbitt next weekend and also the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half, but these will be done more as fun runs than racing for a time.

Are you registered for any shorter races over the coming months? If so, tweet me & let me know! I’m looking for some new ones to round out my calendar.

Happy running!


Holiday Lights Run NYC

Let’s kick off the holiday season with a festive fun run! I’ve always wanted to do a holiday lights run, so I finally decided to map out a route and invite YOU to join me.

The 6.5-ish mile route starts in Washington Square Park and heads north. When we reach our final destination, Bryant Park, we’ll grab a hot cocoa at the Max Brenner pop-up shop to warm-up and tide us over till dinner.

The last mile of the route might be a bit crowded and turn into a bit of a walk/ run, but it will still be fun to take in the sights together and start our weekend off on a healthy holiday note.

Here’s what our tentative route looks like:

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 3.35.29 PM

If you can join me, send me an email or leave a comment on this post so I’ll know to look for you. We’ll meet at the Washington Square Park Arch at 6:45pm.

As of right now, the weather looks great but if the forecast changes be on the lookout for updates about the run Friday morning.


5 Reasons My Next Race Won’t Be a Marathon

by Jess on November 11, 2014

I’m taking some time off from marathoning. The last time I took time off, I took an eight year hiatus! Don’t get me wrong, I still ran. Some years I ran races and some years I just ran to run. These are my top 5 reasons why my next race won’t be a marathon.

#1. I want longevity in this sport. I’ve been a runner for 25 years and I want to run for at least the next 25 years. Physical and mental burnout will surely be the end of my love affair if I don’t take a break.

#2. I’m satisfied with my marathon experiences. I’m not sure they can be topped and seeking something even better almost seems greedy. Does that make any sense at all?

I'm looking forward to more fun runs and less stress about running 20-milers!

I’m looking forward to more fun runs and less stress about running 20-milers!

#3. I want to set purposeful PRs in other distances. I haven’t raced any distance other than the marathon distance since I went on a quest to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I’ve set a few accidental PRs, but zero of them have been on purpose.

#4. I want to race more often. You can’t race marathons on a regular basis, but you can race 4 mile New York Road Runner Races nearly every time there’s one on the calendar.

#5. Freedom. I need to run when I want to, not run when I don’t want to. Run fast, run slow, run without worry or concern. I need to run just because I want to go for a run, not because I’m following a training plan.

I want to run a tenth marathon and I know which marathon I want to run as a celebratory number ten but, I’m going to wait awhile. How long? I don’t know.


Race Pace Training Diaries: A PR is a PR

by Jess on November 9, 2014

Training Diaries


The summer and fall edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Jess D, a Race Pace Runner, training for the 2014 New York City Marathon with the goal of becoming a faster runner and setting a new Personal Record. Learn more about Jess and her goals here.

Hi guys! Wanted to update you on my NCYM experience. Race week was awesome! Between the expo, taking my dad for a Central Park stroll and seeing all the Dash to the Finish Line runners kicking off the weekend- I loved every minute of it.


Sunday arrived before I knew it and I planned to head to Fort Wadsworth with fellow Race Pace Runner, Angela. It was great having her with me for the journey. We calmed each other’s nerves and runchatted the entire way.

New York City Marathon Ferry

When it was time to load onto the Verrazano I felt nervous but also excited. I knew this course like the back of my hand and was anxious to see all my friends & family along the way. The winds on the top of the bridge were rough, but Angela & I pushed through and only managed to get whacked in the face by several pieces of throwaway gear that was windblown. Awesome haha.

The first 10 miles actually went great and I was perfectly on pace for my race plan. Then things got interesting. Around mile 10.5 I got a severe cramp on my left side that almost made me buckle over. From 10.5 to mile 15 I tried to run it off but it kept coming back. By the time I hit the Queensboro Bridge I couldn’t take it anymore. I pulled to the side of the bridge and vomited L. Not my proudest moment. But if it had to happen, that was actually a pretty decent place- I was out of the way of other runners & there weren’t spectators on the bridge either, so it didn’t bother (or gross out) anyone. I told myself to keep smiling. You are running the NYC Marathon. Who cares if you just lost your breakfast on the side of a bridge!

NYCM Finish Line

I re-started my run but felt slightly out of it. Thankfully, those 1st avenue crowds were just a few minutes away and they picked me right back up. At Mile 19 I spotted Jess and she ran alongside of me and gave me a little pep talk which was much needed at that point considering I was literally “running on empty.”

The Bronx & Fifth Avenue were rough, but I knew the end was in sight at that point. Once I hit Central Park I felt back “home.” The place where I had trained basically every day for the past 16 weeks. I spotted my Dad and two close friends one last time as I rounded Columbus Circle and made my descent to the finish line. Happy heart.

New York City Marathon 1st Aveneu

When I crossed the finish I felt a mixed bag of emotions. I had no clue what my time was since my Garmin had died at mile 23. I honestly think I might have still been in shock from the cramping/vomiting episode and hadn’t fully processed it yet. I followed the death march out of Central Park and reunited with my friends & family in Time Warner Center. I was a 3x marathoner.

NYCM 2014

I had an AMAZING group of friends, family & co-workers following me throughout the course on Sunday. Every single person who saw me was shocked to hear that I had not only fought a cramp for 5 miles but that I threw up along the way. They said I looked strong and that my smile couldn’t have been any larger.

This outpouring of support has continued all week. I returned to work this past Tuesday and arrived to the coolest surprise. 26 balloons for 26 miles and a card signed by my entire team.


While this day didn’t go exactly as I planned, I’m celebrating another type of victory right now. When I started training with Jess I was in a bit of a running rut. I felt like I had hit a plateau, and was delivering mediocre results and getting really frustrated with myself. When things didn’t go my way, I couldn’t mentally get passed it. But now, I KEEP ON RUNNING.

What’s next on my running horizon? Ted Corbitt, Fred Lebow and the NYC Half. Who knows, maybe I’ll even throw a spring marathon into the mix. My heart is on fire and I don’t plan on putting it out any time soon.

So thank you NYC. Thank you for showing me once again what an amazing city you are. Thank you for my five borough journey. Thank you for this incredible running community you introduced me to. Thank you for bringing out the best in so many people. And thank you for my 2 minute PR, vomit and all.


So You Want To Run Your 1st Marathon Next Fall, Now What?

November 6, 2014

This time of year it’s difficult not to catch marathon fever. I haven’t conducted any studies to prove this theory, but I’m pretty sure more people commit to running their first marathon during the fall then when making New Years Resolutions on January 1. If you’ve been inspired to conquer 26.2 miles next fall, here’s what you […]

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The New York City Marathon in Photos: Proof Spectating is Almost as Fun As Running

November 3, 2014


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Race Pace Training Diaries: The Final Countdown

October 29, 2014

The summer and fall edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Jess D, a Race Pace Runner, training for the 2014 New York City Marathon with the goal of becoming a faster runner and setting a new Personal Record. Learn more about Jess and her goals here. NYC marathon week has finally arrived! If you are anything like me, […]

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New York City Marathon the Final Prep: What to Do During Race Week {printable calendar}

October 24, 2014

It’s New York City Marathon Season! As always, I couldn’t be more excited. It’s definitely my favorite time of year even when I’m not running the race. This year I’ll be out on 1st Avenue cheering. I’ll be sure to let everyone know where exactly I’ll be so I can high-five you on the course […]

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