Running a Half

This past Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do: I ran a half marathon.  I know that a few posts back I explained how I would train pretty consistently but that didn’t happen. I got sick halfway through the month of April with a pretty bad cold that turned into a sinus infection. Then Petra got sick and most of my time running was taken up by taking care of my baby girl.  I spent the week leading up to the race running but also not trying to overly exhaust myself because I knew I’d need the energy for Saturday. My long run was 6 miles easy. Like super easy. I told myself 13 miles would be fine.

My diet was a little bit healthier and I focused on eliminating carbs, despite everyone telling me I’d need them for energy.  I’ve just always felt bloated when I eat pasta and I didn’t want to chance it on race day. Someone mentioned that I might have a gluten intolerance and I’ll definitely look into it at some point. I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and chicken breast and veggies and it has honestly helped me feed Petra a healthy diet too knowing we’re basically eating the same healthy food. 

On Saturday, I was pretty nervous and I only had a banana for breakfast but I felt pretty energized.  When I got to the race, I ate one of those energy gels (which are terrible) because I started to have doubts about the fact that I probably didn’t consume enough calories to sustain my energy for thirteen miles. I packed a few gels at 100 calories each on my belt so I could quickly reach for them during my run if I needed them, which I did in the end.

The actual race itself wasn’t terrible. It’s funny because I felt like my body just went into auto pilot after a while and I feel like if I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to start running again so I just ran. It was my most Forrest Gump moment. I ate a gel pack at around mile 6 and my knees started to hurt around mile 9 which wasn’t a great sign. I did start feeling a little tired but I tried to fill my body with empty calories at the water station and I chugged Gatorade instead of water. I’m not one to run with music but during that last mile, my only thought was seeing Lukasz and Petra at the finish line. It really helped me run faster to get home. My time was 2 hours and 17 minutes. 

I will admit, I thought I’d do better but who am I kidding? I wasnt fully prepared for this so I feel like I did decently, trying to maintain a 10 minute mile pace.  Overall, Id do it again. It was fun challenging my body this way. I went out for food and a glass of wine after with my family and Tatiana and Todd but honestly, I think next time, I need to stay home. My body needed all of Saturday to recover and the next day, my legs and muscles were surprisingly okay but my abs were killing me (six pack trying to peek through?). Lukasz and I said we’d run another half in the fall so we’ll see! 

Xo,

Karen

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Brooklyn Review: Mabel’s BBQ

When I was pregnant, I used to take the dog out for a walk to McCarren Park at night.  I used to walk down Berry and right around North 11th, I’d catch a whiff of barbecue.  The scent was amazing but I never cared to investigate where it was coming from.  Flash forward a few months, Petra is 6 months old and we’re on a family walk on a chilly weekend morning both Lukasz and I happened to have off together. We were about to head towards our usual to grab lunch, (Teddy’s on North 8th) but I remember the barbecue.

Walking into Mabel’s is like walking into a cozy barn right in the middle of Brooklyn. It was a Sunday morning and actually quite empty.  It’s also really big which is something I’ve come to appreciate more and more due to us traveling with a stroller more often than not.  Petra has only recently started to sit more comfortable in her high chair so I still like to keep her seated in the stroller which is more supportive than restaurant booster seats and high chairs. For the record though, they do have booster seats available. 

Lukasz and I both ordered hot mugs of mulled wine, the perfect drink for basically the entire winter. The menu is full of delicious southern classics! I’m not a big meat eater si ordered the crawfish etouffee with cheesy grits and Lukasz ordered the seeet and savory corn cake, both perfect brunch options. Petra, who is still trying new things little by little had some of my grits and she really loved them! How can she not, it’s corn and cheese.  For the most part, she kept herself busy playing with a menu or sitting on our laps and tasting some of our food.  It’s getting more and more fun to take her out knowing she can partake in whatever it is we’re doing or eating.

If you’re in the Williamsburg area and looking for some yummy southern comfort food, Mabel’s is a great choice.

Xo,

Karen

Brooklyn Review: Cafe Mogador


I’ve been meaning to do this new thing on my blog where I review restaurants and more activities and areas based on how kid-friendly they are.  For the time being, it hasn’t been difficult getting out and about with Petra in tow.  She’s only three so it’s not like she can throw food (thank god) and she doesn’t need high chairs or anything but it’s still a little intimidating dining out with an infant.  We’re also not big on crowds and, with Petra having an early bedtime, we tend to stick to lunch hours, usually.  It’s on a rare occasion that we’ll head out for dinner.  So my criteria isn’t like crazy but we’re preparing ourselves.  For example, I’m starting to realize that there’s never any bathrooms with a changing table in them. So disappointing!


While Cafe Mogador is no exception in the bathroom area, I must admit that it is a cute restaurant to take your kids too.  The space is open and airy which is really unheard of in New York.  The open space allowed us to park the stroller right next to our table so it was perfect.  While they also lack a kids menu, they do have easy things for kids to eat like hummus and pita chips which I’m going to categorize as healthy. (Hummus is everything). For big kids and adults, they serve brunch here until 4 so that means you can enjoy their many egg dishes with a side of mimosa.  They also delicious sandwiches for lunchtime as an option.  And if eating indoors seems blah, they have an AMAZING patio in the back.  The natural light is perfection and great for photo ops of your food and your littles. The cafe does tend to get packed on the weekends for brunch and if you walk by, you can always see people waiting outside for a table.  We happened to go on a Monday for lunch and we actually had the place to ourselves for the most part.  

I’m really intrigued with how our neighborhood is changing.  Of course, while some people have a problem with that, I personally believe it’s getting more kid-friendly.  There isn’t a morning where I walk to work and don’t spot a stroller on my way. Because of this, I’m really excited to go out and explore more with my little family and it makes me excited for the future where Petra will be able to indulge in the thing I also get excited for: Food! Here’s to hoping she’s not a picky eater!

Xo,

Karen 

(Photo above from Yelp! The photo of me and Petra was taken by Lukasz 💕)

A New York Shower

  
When I started my pregnancy to-do list, I knew I would have to have a baby shower on each coast.  West Coast with my actual family and a few friends and East Coast with the people I like to refer to as my “extended family”.  It’s no secret that they’re the people I spend a majority of my time with and they have definitely become a support system of sorts here in New York City where I have no actual family.   
I had been joking to my mother for a while that I would probably have my NY shower in a bar (ok, half joking) but, alas, I didn’t.  Instead, my best friend Tatiana planned the most adorable shower on her rooftop in Bushwick.   We had plenty of mimosas and beers to keep the guests happy and ordered doughnuts from Dough.  Our friend, Henry, also brought warm pork buns that were soooo amazing!

 
The big stars of the party were the pups! We brought along Pierrot and Tatiana had her French bulldog Lincoln at the party and everyone was in love! It was also interesting to see the difference in their personalities.  Our dog, Pierrot, is 2 years old and has a calm demeanor with a stoic serious face while Lincoln, 5 MONTHS old, is cute and tiny and a little ball of energy!   
Our main concern was, of course, the weather.  When you think April in New York, you can either get crazy showers OR beautiful blue skies with blossoms everywhere.  Luckily, we had the latter, with the bright sun shining on that rooftop until the last guest went home. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.  
I was super grateful for everyone that showed up.  Having been home on maternity leave day after day, it was really nice to have these interactions with the people I’ve grown to know and love over the last year and a half.  It’s so nice to be able to have these memories.

Xo,

Karen

Snow Day!

After days of wondering if all of this storm talk was nothing but nonsense, Winter Storm Jonas finally settled itself in New York City.  Of course that didn’t stop us from bundling up and exploring good ‘ol Willyburg.  I lasted about a block before I ran back inside.  Lukasz strapped on some cross country skiis and made it to the park with Pierrot by his side.  

    
    
 The snow is still coming down, despite a 10 inch snowfall already.  Weather reports are predicting a couple of inches every hour until midnight! I hope everyone stays safe and warm inside. ❤️

Xoxo

Karen