Race Ready: What Not To Do Before a Marathon

Nike-Starting_Line

In April I ran my first ever race! It was Nike Women Half Marathon in DC. Leading up to the race was one hell of a roller coaster  ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I do wish I was a little better at prepping during race week. I did not understand how crucial those last days leading up to the race were. And with that, I learned some pretty hard lessons that week…

Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do The Week Before a Race:

  1. Doing your longest run during the same week of your race
  2. Drinking alcoholic beverages ( the key is to stay hydrated, and alcohol is not only a suppressant, but it also causes dehydration)
  3. Poor dieting (your body needs nutrients and carbs to help sustain you through the run, and protein to help repair all the muscle tissue before, during, and after)
  4. Not drinking at least 10 or more glasses of water a day
  5. Trying something new (Like a new fitness regimen, activity, or diet)
  6. Not preparing your race gear (worse thing to realize when you’re at the starting line is that you forgot your iPod, or hair tie, or even your fuel packs!)
  7. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep during the week(or worse less than 4hrs the night before the race like me. Warning: Race jitters may keep you up all night)
  8. Wearing new running shoes that you have not done a proper test on as yet
  9. Not training adequately months before the race (could be weeks, depending on the length of your race)
  10. Not having faith in all the training and work you’ve put in!

I know these things are rather obvious to some, and I have read countless health and fitness articles leading up to my race, but I didn’t truly realize the  importance of these tips until  I went through it myself. Now that I know better, I feel a lot more confident going into my next race, and can’t wait to set a new personal record.

 

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Luckily, thanks to the months of prepping, I was not only able to finish, but surpass my personal record. Although I did way better on this race than I anticipated, I will say that I could have done even better had I followed all those rules. I could avoid  the cramps that came on earlier than I expected because the lack of hydration, exhaustion from lack of sleep, and technical difficulties with some of my music apps. All of those factors can affect your time and make you lose concentration. This is something I’ll take into serious consideration as I begin training again and getting ready for Race Season in Fall.

 

Hope that Helps,

 

Kay W.

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How To: Make It In America?

I came across this pretty old blog post that I did on one of my favorite shows call How To Make It In America, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was feeling a little down on my luck with my current situation in NYC. And quite frankly my drive has definitely taken a major hit. It seemed like no matter how much work I was putting in, I just wasn’t getting back what I reaped. What’s a girl to do? Pack up and move home to where it’s safe and dependable, have a gigantic emotional break down, or the least likely, suck it up, brush it off and get my butt back on the saddle! The post reminded me of why I moved up here and what got me some of the unforgettable stories I have so far. Hope you find a little help in it too.


 

We’re all tryna make it somehow. Everyday we get up, do our routines, and prepare ourselves for the day ahead of us. Whether we are off to work, school, or whatever it is that you tend to do with your day. I’m pretty sure it’s all towards trying to achieve something, right?

Here are a group of guys, like you and I, just trying to make it. Ben and Cam are best friends hustling their way to the rich and famous life style that they’ve always dreamed. The only difference between them and I, is that they’re actually working hard and taking risks to achieve their dream. We all have dreams, but have different ways of wanting to achieve them. I have started applying for writing jobs/internships again. This is a pretty big deal for me, because I have always thought that I would be working in the Medical Field. That’s what I’ve been pushed to do, all the while ignoring my true passion for writing and telling stories. Kinda like the main character Ben, who’s an amazing artist/designer, but no matter what hustle he tries to do, the artist in him just keeps resurfacing. The thing is, art/designing is his niche and working in retail or a regular 9-5 cubicle was just not gonna cut it for him.

I realized that it’s only by getting out of your comfort zone will you be able to bring your niche out of hiding. Not everyone is the same, so not every niche can be coaxed out the same way. Some people, like one of my best friends for example always knew what her niche was. She has been drawing most of her life and took the risk of going to her dream Ivy League school and getting her BA in Interior Design. Her risk of going there against all odds has gotten her an amazing internship in Japan and she now lives in San Francisco, Cal.

On the other hand, there is me. I like to write and have been doing so most of my life, but I’m still uncertain if that’s my niche. I’ve taken a couple of great risks over the past year that has led me to London, a few concerts, and an awesome job. Those are great and all, but even those risks were a bit safe.  I’ve risked everything else in my life, but writing. It’s about time that I really risked it. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to quit their day job and gamble on their dream like Ben, so I’m gonna keep mine while making a few gambles on the side. All I know is that I am finally ready to gamble in hopes of making it. So I’m looking for my niche and seeing if it’s worth the risk.

Just trying to Make It in America on my own terms, doing what I love. After all, isn’t that what we all wish for.

And on that note, back to writing till these wheels fall off! Lol

Don’t Stop Trying,

Kay

Little Bites

Seems like I have been doing everything but keeping fit this month.  All my time has been spent at work, all the while trying to steal away little moments with my friends. Consequently for my fitness, these moments usually are surrounded by food and drinks. Luckily for you, I get to offer you a few more options in case you’re ever in the city.

I have an issue in which my eyes are often bigger than my stomach, and am rarely able to finish all that I seek to conquer on my plate. But I’ve found a kindred spirit at Mark’s. Those who are easily satisfied with just a quick bite will be quite pleased with this spot. What I love the most about Mark is that you can order it in any amount. So a nibbler like me can be happy with my ones and twos, while those with a much bigger appetite can order more with all the fixings. And since the menu consists mainly of sliders, they’re always on the grill. That means the wait time for your meal is rather short, no matter how much is ordered. You must be warned, if you’re looking for more than just sliders, chili cheese fries, and amazing old school shakes, this is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick bite, maybe a little pregame meal before a night of drinks, or even something to soak up all the shots you’ve just had at Continental, then get comfortable.

Marks Sliders

Marks Sliders

Jack Daniels Bread Pudding

Jack Daniels Bread Pudding

Oxtail, Mac n Cheese, Candied Yams from Freda's

Oxtail, Mac n Cheese, Candied Yams from Freda’s

Havana Central

Cuban food at Havana Central

If you have a sensuous appetite for desserts,then you must stop by The Dessert Club. It’s right around the corner from Mark’s and  has a lovely selection of unique desserts and cupcakes. One of my favorites is the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Bread Pudding! It’s made fresh every day, and is baked to perfection. The top has a lovely crunch from the hardened baked sugar glaze. But don’t let that distract you, for  there’s a soft moist whiskey soaked center that awaits you. All this accompanied by a scoop of soft churned vanilla ice cream to calm your taste buds down after that lovely experience. I’m not sure how long this one will be on the menu, for the menu is known to change every now and then. Personally I love it, because you never really get a chance to be bored, but it also means you could miss out on a new flavor cupcake or dessert if you have been in a while.

 

While assisting in a local skate competition on the upper west side,  my friend and I stumbled upon a great Caribbean spot that I must revisit soon. Freda’s is a small locally owned restaurant known in that area for delicious, authentic Caribbean food. It’s everything you love about mom and pop establishments, it makes you feel like you’re back at grandma’s having dinner with family. It’s cozy and intimate, without all the fuss of a typical New York City restaurant. And in a city where you’re used to paying a lot and getting a little, you’d be surprised to know that the portions are quite hearty.  As usual, I couldn’t finish mine, but my boyfriend cleaned his plate and was left satisfied and in need of a proper bed.  So not only does your money go a long way here, but you’re sure to leave fulfilled.

 

Another spot to try out is Havana Central. My friend had an assignment to go and interview the musician at the restaurant and I couldn’t help bu tag along. Thankfully I did, because it left me nostalgic and took me back home to Miami for a moment. Havana Central is a fabulous chain of Cuban restaurants that can be found on the Upper West Side near Colombia University and midtown in the Theater District. In case you’re a little further from the city there’s one up in Yonkers, and one even in Long Island. The food is amazingly flavorful and sure to leave you wanting more, but it’s the live music that really sets the tone of the restaurant. The musicians who perform take you away with the rhythmic beat of the bongos, seductive stringing guitars, and luscious Spanish vocals. The only thing I wished, was that there was a dance floor. Because by the time you’ve sipped on a few of their infamous Mojitos, and that music hits your ears, you’re gonna want move. It’s truly a lovely experience, so  good you’d forget that you’re actually still in New York and nowhere near the Caribbean.

Stay hungry my friends,

Kay Wanderz

Stranger Inspirations

Kinda strange and almost cinematic at the conversation I found my self in with a complete stranger today. What started out as simple stroll through the High Line in New York City, turned into a little photo opportunity, which turned into a moment of inspiration.

I stopped for a minute to take a few shots over looking the traffic under us, when a gentlemen with an accent I’m far too familiar with complimented me on the photo I’d just captured. I turned and thanked him humbly and went back to taking more photos. He then decided to introduce himself and join me on my stroll through the High Line.

We made light conversation of our origins and shared our New York stories. He then caught me off guard when  he asked, “so what are you doing now?” I paused for a minute quite puzzled, because I thought I had thoroughly explained to him my reason for being in New York. Catching the look on my face made him laugh. “I know  why you are here, but are you doing it now?” I looked down and said, “kind of, I’m working on it. Got a bit more planning to do.”

“Just do  it! Stop hesitating. You’re here now, so don’t sit still. Planning is done now give yourself something to write about,” cheering me on emphatically with fisted hands in the air. I couldn’t help but laugh at his enthusiasm and optimism. His randomness was  contagious and so refreshing.

It suddenly dawned on me. I spend a majority of my time planning, just planning! Not that planning is necessary, but that’s only the first step. Plans are nothing without action, and faith without works is dead. So I can sit here and plan and hope all day long, but sometimes you just need to dive in and do it. Waiting for a good time to start could have me sitting on the sidelines for the rest of my life if I’m not careful. And you certainly don’t get memorable experiences just planning things out.

 

High Line Experience

High Line Experience

Umberto may be a humble mechanic back in Brazil, but he’s lived one hell  of life so far and never let his circumstances dictate his outcome. He’s been to nine different countries, surfed in Australia, and still makes sure he’s in Portugal to see his family for the holidays. Most of his most memorable adventures came from the things that he didn’t plan and to no surprise, he has no regrets. I’ve made tons of new plans this month for the future, time for step two, the doing.

Sometimes it takes a complete stranger with a different perspective to give you the clarity that you’ve been needing. Now, by no means am I encouraging you to run around your city or neighborhood talking to random people.  I’m just saying sometimes it’s good to  listen and let yourself be inspired. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from some grand light in the sky. It could be something as simple as a random stranger.

And with that, back to my writing and adventures in The City. I would hate to miss out on another inspiration.

Be inspired,

Kay Wanderz

New Adventures & Endeavors

It’s official, this little lady is writing for a real website. I’m so excited to share with you guys my new project. I just submitted my second post for a website called Firstklassbreakfast.com

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I’m the new writer for the Pop Culture Round Up. Meaning I’ll be posting some major things that happen in pop culture every week on Sundays. Everything from the government shutdown to Kim and Kanye’s engagement. This was almost too perfect, because I tend to read about all these things every morning online as a breakfast ritual anyways.

This will be the first time that I have ever written anything under my real name. The fear that I had towards being criticized is no longer gonna hold me back. Putting yourself out there is always a hard thing to do, because our pride is one of the most difficult things to let go. This is such an exciting and scary moment in my life, but I’m going full steam ahead. I came to New York with a mission, and this project is taking me one step closer to getting there.

Keep chasing, keep dreaming, keep wandering,

Kay Wanderz

PS. You can now follow me on blog spot. The link is below.

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/10690931/?claim=z2ff8mdm9tu”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Mini Bite of the Apple

I seem to be in a munchies faze at the moment. Maybe it’s all the foodporn that’s been going through my feed on Pinterest and Instagram. Or maybe it’s been a little more than a week since I have gone to a new place to eat. I get bored pretty easily from eating at the same places. Which is why my boyfriend and I have a “Mini Adventure” at least once a week. It isn’t anything crazy, we just search through the Yelp App for someplace new to eat depending on our cravings.

Living in a city like New York makes it hard to be bored, especially when it comes to food. I told myself that when I moved here I wouldn’t be like some people and take that for granted. This city is too amazing not to explore every inch of it.

Here’s a sample of a few of the adventures we’ve gone on so far…

Lunch at Van Horn

Lunch at Van Horn

Breakfast at Cafeteria

Breakfast at Cafeteria

Dinner and drinks in DC

Dinner and drinks in DC

Girls Night at San Loco

Girls Night at San Loco

Lunch at Cafeteria

Lunch at Cafeteria

Korean BBQ with the booys at Kang Suh Restaurant

Korean BBQ with the boys at Kang Suh Restaurant

Williamsburg Smorgasburg with my buddy James

Williamsburg Smorgasburg with my buddy James

Fish Fry at Williamsburg Smorgasburg

Fish Fry at Williamsburg Smorgasburg

Tea Shop Bakery in BK

Tea Shop Bakery in BK

The infamous Meatball Shop

The infamous Meatball Shop

Some southern cooking at Jimmy's Diner in Brooklyn

Some southern cooking at Jimmy’s Diner in Brooklyn

While writing this post, I’ve come to the decision to start bringing you guys along on our “Mini Adventures” around the city. I’d love to share with you the restaurants, bars, clubs, or food carts that we stumble upon. Not to mention, let people see that you don’t have to have a lot of money to enjoy the city. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that bring about the best memories.

Grub on my loves,

Kay Wanderz

The Race Must go on…

Right now I should be at Prospect Park gearing up for my Rock & Roll Race and doing some last minute stretches/warm ups. Or depending on what time you’re reading this, my feet should be swiftly pounding the pavements. Instead, I am at work.

I will not pretend here, I was pissed when they told me I had to work today. I had been conditioning my body about a month for this. I even paid for the non-refundable registration in advance, because I had no doubt that I would be able to do the race.

But as life would have it, I planned and things didn’t go my way. Being upset about my current situation would get me nowhere. So instead of just being upset about it. I tried to salvage my efforts.

The race was for a good cause and I happened to know quite a few people who love doing races. So I sucked it up, took a bite of humble pie, and gave my registration to one of them.

All in all, I’m happy that I helped the cause, my friend owes me one big time, and I’m still in good standing at work.

What can I say, life hands you lemons, you hand it back the best damn Lemon Cake it’s ever eaten!

Hope you all are doing well,

Kay Wanderz

Apple Event: Scandal

Hello Lovelies,

The Scandal Fall Premiere that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Okay, maybe not all of us, but I sure as hell have been anticipating this night. The cast of Scandal has been going all over the States to promote the new season. I was lucky enough to get a seat for the Question and Answers Event that was being held at the Soho Apple Store in New York.

One of the great things about living in this city, is not only is something always happening, but it’s usually something that you could only do in New York City. Had I been back home in Florida, this would have never happened on a random weekday for me.

While waiting for the cast of Scandal:

Apple Store Soho Theater

Apple Store Soho Theater

The writer of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice, entering the theater:

Shonda Rhimes entering the theater

Shonda Rhimes entering the theater

The cast of Scandal on stage:

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho Q&A

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho Q&A

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho Q&A

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho Q&A

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho Q&A

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho Q&A

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho

Cast of Scandal at Apple Store Soho

 

A brief clip from the Q&A session:

 

 

The cast was just as entertaining off screen as they are on screen. And I had no idea that Scott Foley, who plays Jake Ballard, was such a comedian. They also made it apparent that even they have their sides when it comes to team Olivia/Fitz versus Olivia/Jake. Poor Jake just couldn’t seem to get a break with the scandalous fans in attendance.

I must apologize for the briefness and quality of the clip. I only had my iPhone and had just learned of the event that night. Not to mention I have a whole new respect for all Youtubers out there. Video editing on Youtube is no joke!

I hope you guys enjoyed the premiere and I must know, are you team Olivia/Fitz or Olivia/Jake?

Stay Scandalous,

Kay Wanderz

Miami, It’s Been Fun

So like I promised here are a few shots I got while home in Miami. Just a quick warning, these were all done on my phone at very random times. So they  may not be the best shots, but you get the essence of what I’m trying to capture at the time. Nothing but blue skies and a chill vibe. And the endless beach of course!

Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Miami Sunset While Driving

Miami Sunset While Driving

Miami Beach

Summer on Miami Beach

Miami Beach Empty

Empty Miami Beach in the morning

Miami Beach from the Airplane

Miami Beach from the Airplane

Sorry if most of the shots are at the beach. It’s just that I can’t help but go to the beach every time I’m back home. The beach is my place of solace. Something about the sound of the ocean, surrounded by cool blue water, and the rhythmic waves always puts me a trance. It was a lovely getaway, but it’s time to head back to work and back to the New York grind.

See you back in New York,

Kay Wanderz

M.I.A For A Little

Sorry about being MIA. I just flew home to be with my loved ones because someone near and dear to me is having surgery. Luckily, things are looking good and they are pretty optimistic about a speedy recovery. At least he has a great view t cheer him up and his lovelies by his side.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Anyhow, while I’m here I will share a little bit of my city, Miami with you in the next post.

Hope you all are doing well.

With love,

Kay Wanderz