Kyle-Boston Finisher Guest Post

Not long ago many of you read the guest post from my friend Kyle who was about to run his second Boston Marathon last week.  Some of you may recall that he had a really rough go of it in 2013 and suffered some major stomach problems which lead to a less than stellar finish (by Kyle’s standards) and he returned to his family only to find out about the tragic bombings.  The whole experience left a pretty sour taste in Kyle’s mouth and if you asked me, he seemed to be out for revenge this year.

A lot of readers were really struck by the note Kyle’s daughter wrote to him last year after the race:

Bombs

And revenge he got!  Kyle and his family drove from Northern Michigan to Boston two weekends ago so that he could toe the line and reclaim the finish he was looking for the year before:

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“Boston 2014 was a race I will never forget. After what happened in 2013 the security was in full force. I had to go through security three times before finally getting to the starting line. Especially the spectators near the finish line had to go through the same security checks.

As always Boston was an amazing day full of excitement and energy. The elite field is like that of the runners you would see at the Olympics. The camaraderie of the athletes and spectators are just so full of passion for the sport. Being able to start with them and be a part of it was overwhelming.

The weather was perfect. Being from Michigan it was a little warm for me after running 187 consecutive days below 60.  When we started the race it was already 55 degrees. I don’t think I was the only one who made the mistake and didn’t use sunscreen before the race.

I really enjoyed having my name on my arms so the spectators could yell for me. Once you pass the screech tunnel it’s hard to tell what they were yelling. High fives can be found everywhere along the course.

I really enjoyed having my friends there running and also representing Michigan.”

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This is a shot a lot of us runners can secretly envy.  How awesome!

Kyle finished this year’s marathon in 2:44:35 and finished 560th out of 32,000 runners.  On top of that he beat his time from last year by 35 minutes!  He was the top finisher from northern Michigan.  You can read a local article about him here: Kiel records top Boston time out of area runners .

As his friend I can say that he is rather modest.  I follow his work on Facebook and the guy is pretty amazing.  He works full time, is a full time parent and still finds time to run ultras and other endurance runs just about every weekend.  In fact he was back at it last week, helping his daughter run a local road race.  He really does do a great job of balancing life and showing his family that you can live a healthy, happy, and active lifestyle.  He is a great example for the running community.  I am pretty certain that everyone who knows Kyle will tell you that he is a genuinely great guy.  I myself am pretty proud of him as I am sure many others are too.  Congrats on the well earned finish Kyle!

Back here in NYC, I might have to start working on my swimming skills (which are pretty terrible by the way).  We have had nonstop rain for over 48 hours and it is getting old.  Remember that tiny studio I told you we are subletting?  It is feeling pretty small.  But on the bright side I did get to try out my new rain hat when I went out to run errands yesterday.

Just picking up some supplies for our ark!

Just picking up some supplies for our ark!

I went for a run Tuesday evening just as the rain was starting to set in and I was reminded of just how beautiful running in NYC can be sometimes.  Central Park is a pretty special place.

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A little run by the boat pond.

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Then a stop by Bethesda Fountain.

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 Topped off with some quick hill work up Cat Hill.

Happy running!

 

 

 

If You Can Cook It Here, You Can Cook It Anywhere

…..ah New York apartments.  Right now we are living kitchen impaired.  But that isn’t going to stop me from making some decent meals.

turkey with puttanesca

This winter I whipped up a very quick and easy pasta dish and it was recently added to the request list for dinners this week.  We rarely eat pasta, not even the night before a race.  So when I do make it, I prefer to have the pasta share in the limelight with a protein.  If I can make this recipe in our studio kitchen, you can make this just about anywhere.

I usually prefer to make my own sauce, but when I go with the jarred version I like to do something different.  I love kalamata olives so I used a puttanesca sauce but you can really use any sauce.  I dare you though to try something out of the norm.  Don’t just use the plain old marinara sauce.  Spend a few extra cents to get a quality brand and try something with a few herbs or veggies.

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Rao’s is about as authentic old Italian New York as you can get.  They are known for their delicious food but don’t even think about trying to get a seat there.  They are booked almost indefinitely.  Years ago someone from the New York Times did a rave review of the restaurant and to avoid large crowds and losing loyal customers, they were given a standing weekly reservation.  That means you and I aren’t going to find a seat, but you can at least try their sauce.

Turkey Puttanesca Pasta:

Ingredients:

1 package fresh pasta (I usually go with linguini)

I jar Puttanesca sauce

1 pound extra lean ground turkey

1-2 tablespoons minced garlic

Seasonings to taste: oregano, basil, thyme, celery salt and rosemary are some of my faves

Fresh parmesan cheese to top

Directions:

Brown the ground turkey in a large pan (about 5 minutes).  If you are using extra lean ground turkey you will likely not need to drain it, but if there is any grease make sure you do drain it.  Add in the minced garlic and seasonings and simmer for a minute or two to allow the flavors to seep in.  Pour in your pasta sauce and turn down to low heat.  Continue to cook while you boil water and then your fresh pasta.  Once the water has boiled it only takes about 2-3 minutes to cook the pasta.  Drain the pasta and then stir in with the sauce.  Top with some cheese before serving.

The reason I love this sauce is because I am not a huge pasta fan.  But there is so much lean turkey and seasoning in there, it almost feels like a protein with a  side of pasta.  I prefer to serve this with my usual sautéed or broiled asparagus.  If you have leftovers you can toss the pasta and asparagus together for another meal.

Let me leave you with this amazing video.  It is a very inspirational and emotional tribute to the runners of this year’s Boston Marathon:

 

 

A Run, Tour, And A Beer- Yes Please!

001A few years ago I was reading a “Runner’s World” edition on the Boston Marathon.  As part of their coverage there was an article about companies that do running tours in Boston and many of the marathon participants often sign up for one of the tours as a warm up before the race.

The following fall we had an unexpected 3 day weekend and since I had never been to Boston before we decided to take a quick trip there from New York City via Amtrak.  In the days before we left I remembered the article I had read.  I did a little research and asked my husband if we could give a running tour a try.  When I found one that ended with a tour and tasting of the Harpoon Brewery he was game.

As soon as I booked our tickets I received an e-mail from our tour leader at City Running Tours giving us all of the details for our meet up and what to expect.  He also provided his phone number in case we needed to get in touch with him the morning of our run.

We met our guide, Brian McCarthy, on Saturday morning at 10:30am.  There were six of us doing the run along with two tour guides.  Both of the guides were seasoned runners as were most of the runners.  However Brian did mention before we started that this tour was designed for anyone who is able to run approximately six miles at a 10:00 min/mile pace.  He had a few non-running husbands join before assuming they could keep up with their runner wives and it wasn’t pretty.004

Part of the fun was getting to chat with our guides and the other participants of the tour.  A great things about runners is that when we meet others like ourselves we have no problem hitting it off.  We chatted with another couple who were visiting from Texas and a gentleman from Minneapolis who was in town for business.  He and my husband had a great time because they were both hockey players and  enjoyed talking about their other sport.

City Running Tours boasts itself as giving their own version of the guided Freedom Trail tour.  It was given at a nice easy pace with friendly chatter in between stops.  We visited many historic sights and were also given some fun facts from both of our guides that they had learned over the years and from personal experience.  The tour was thorough with several stops to rest and check out historical sights, while the running portion was a slow conversation based pace.  By the end I felt like I got a nice workout in but wasn’t winded or exhausted.

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All of us with our guides. Such a fun day.

Along the way Brian took several pictures of us with his own camera and sent the pictures to us via e-mail by the end of the weekend.  In the picture above, we stopped by the water and he asked a passerby to take one of all of us.  As we were posing he warned the tourist not to try to steal the camera because we all could catch him.  It was pretty funny, and true.

When the running tour finished we were each given a bag filled with a water bottle, pretzels, mini Clif Bars, energy chews, nuts, and a banana.  We were then handed a coveted ticket to the Harpoon Brewery tour.  We later found out that people wait for hours to try and get tour tickets so we were really in luck!

The tour began with a quick ID check followed by our guides handing out Harpoon Brewery etched tasting glasses for us to keep.  The glasses were immediately filled with their latest seasonal brew.  We then continued as a group touring the inner workings of the brewery, stopping for another pour right from a vat.  The guides were very well versed on the brewery and making of their beer.  I left having a much better appreciation for Harpoon.

Gives new meaning to "Will Run For Beer"

Gives new meaning to “Will Run For Beer”

As the tour winded down we were brought to our final stop, the tasting room.  Here we found about a dozen different beers on tap and were informed that we had 30 minutes to enjoy any and as much of the brews as we wished.  Needless to say we left a little tipsy from the combination of the run and the beer.

My husband and I both agree to this day that our running tour of Boston was the highlight of our weekend.  We had such a great time that we recommended it to our friends who already live there.  It was the perfect combination of exercise, touring, and beer tasting.

The Boston running tour starts at $40 per person and the running/beer tasting tour is $45 a person.  Our tour lasted approximately 3 hours total.

City Running tours can be found at www.cityrunningtours.com .  They also have tours in Seattle, Washington D.C., Austin, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Portland, and San Francisco.

Even though we now live in Chicago and run all over the place here, we are looking forward to booking  a tour and getting some friends and family to join us.  We will also try another tour if we end up in another of the cities they are offered in.

If you are ever stop over in one of these cities I highly recommend adding this tour to your travel itinerary.  You know you are going to go for a run anyway.  Why not have someone show you all of the best places and get your run for the day in at the same time?!

Hanging out with Bobby Orr outside the T.D. Bank Garden

Hanging out with Bobby Orr outside the T.D. Bank Garden