race, sport, Uncategorized

United NYC Half recap

Wow! Didn’t post here for a while! It is time to change that! Plus I have a reason, I just run my third half marathon – NYC Half. Still can’t believe it is a little bit more than a year already since I start running.

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First, I will start from update about my running life. I started training with a new coach since October 2018, and the training went to a different level! I used to run 3-4 times a week, and now I have 6 running days. I love my new running coach and think it is really great to have someone who will hold you accountable and guide you in your training.
I am in the middle of my London Marathon training! It is less than 40 days to go! Wooh. So excited!
Now let’s move on to the race day – March 17th 2018.

In November 2018, I have applied for the United NYC lottery and guess what- I won a spot!  I was so happy, because only 35% of application got a spots! This Half Marathon was great addition to my London Marathon Training.

Expo.
This is was my first NYC Half and I was so excited about it. I popped by the expo to get my Bib during my lunch break on first day of expo. Line was short and I picked up my staff really quick.
Made some pictures , found my name on the wall and headed back to work in the office.

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Race morning.

Race morning was relaxed. I had a good night sleep, don’t really have a sleep problem before the races.
Race start located in Prospect park and I was so thankful that I am living near by in Sunset Park. The cab ride to Prospect Park from my home usually takes 10-15 minutes, so I didn’t need to wake up crazy early. Yay!
Woke up at 6am.
Got my regular pre-race breakfast: oatmeal with berries and coffee.

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Called a Lyft at 6:45 am.
I was in wave 2, which start at 7:50 am. No bags to check, because my husband was planning to meet me with a warm clothes at the finish line. So, I decided that 50 minutes before the start will be more than enough for security check, potty pot business, and entering into the corral. But I was mistaken.

This race is huge! 25 thousand of runners. First of all, line for security check was slooow. It was a so crowded. Line in potty pots as always long, but it was not really a surprise.

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The worst experience of the start line was entrance in corrals. My plan was to run with a pacer 1:50. I had 5 minutes to enter into my corral, and literally 3-4 meters to go to corral entrance. And what do you think? I didn’t get in on time!

It was a mess! So crowded, people were pushing each other, stepped on each other, screaming … oh. Worse start line experience ever. They let runners one by one into a corral! Can you imagine?! I hear a gun goes off.. and only after that I was able to enter my corral..

It was sad. I saw my pace group running away.. and I was really far from them.

I took a deep breath, and decided that is it ok… I need to concentrate on my own race now. If it won’t be 1:50, so be it.

The race started in Prospect Park, but we were in the Park for a really short time, only for the  most “fun” part of park- hill. I didn’t feel this hill at all because of all emotions. I started a little bit fast, first mile under 8 min pace, tried to slow down.

We exited the Park, run through Flatbush Avenue and where he was – Manhattan Bridge. I was waiting for this bridge. No! The right words- I was waiting for this bridge to be over before even steped on it.

The hill was sooooo long, it was tough. But I did it, I crossed it. My left leg biceps felt a bit pain, and legs were tired, I dropped a pace a little, but I kept going. It was hard, but the view was amazing – city skyline! The day was so clear and beautiful.

After bridge downhill, turn through China town, we were on FDR Drive. This part was ok. My GPS didn’t work thought this part of course and it made difficult to keep up the correct pace.

I was so happy to see the building of United Nations and Grand Central. I was tired, but the crowd and cheering kept me going. The best part was to turn to Times Square! Oh!! It was the best experience! So fun and cool! Met some friends cheering for me and energized from them.

When we turned into Central Park I was so happy. I knew the finish line is so close. My legs were so tired from running up and down hills.

Honestly, this course was tough for me. The crazy start line experience, missed pacer, the long hill took a lot from my legs, GPS wasn’t accurate.. But I liked it. I felt I was stronger than before. I was so happy to cross finish line.. I barely was able to hold my tears. I don’t know why, but this race was emotional for me. I crossed it, got my medal and texted to my husband “I am so fu**g proud of myself.”

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I did a PR. I didn’t hit my goal 1:50. But I didn’t care. I was happy and proud. 1:52:29. My new personal best. oh. I love racing and I love long distance racing- it is whole journey.

I met my husband in family reunion zone after finish line. Kissed him, changed my clothes and we went to “Organic Grill” (our favorite Vegan Spot in NYC) to get coffee and waffles.

 

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Uncategorized, vegan recipes

Vegan “cheese” pancakes

If you woke up with a sweet tooth, this receipt will be great for you!

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Ingredients (perfect for 3-4 portions):

*400 gr of tofu

*1/2 cup of any plant milk

*1tbsp maple syrup

*1 cup coconut flour OR 1.5 cup of any other flour

Cooking:

Mix all the ingredients together. Add a little bit of coconut oil on the preheated pan. Form little pancakes with your hands and fry it on the pan on both sides for 2-3 minutes each. That’s it!

 

It is perfect with maple syrup and fresh berries. Enjoy!

With love,

Katy Cherry.

 

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race, Uncategorized

Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon 2018

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I can’t believe it took me almost three months to get myself together and write this post. Anyway, I finally did it!

I have not planned to run such a big race as a half marathon only three months after I started running. BUT I got an invitation to run Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon 4-5 weeks before the race date. This race is a most popular half marathon in the United States, 27000 participants and it was sold out within 2 hours after the sale started in 2018.

I was not sure if I can run that distance. I did not have proper training, the longest distance in my training session was only 10k, and it was not enough time left before the race. So, I decided to reach out to my trainer for her approval. And she said, “Go for it, this is a rare chance to get the spot in such popular race.” This is how I got myself into this.

A week before the half marathon I have a 4-mile race “Japan Run” from NYRR. And most of my training was concentrating on this. Plus it was the end of the semester in my grad school, so my preparation for half marathon did not go well. The longest distance I run before race day was 14 km/8.7 miles. But I felt that I am going to be okay.

Thursday. 2 days before the race day.

This race has a fantastic pre-party (expo) in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We went together with my husband. The party located on the pier with life music (Dj and some bands), expo, photo zones, food tracks and just a big zone to relax and enjoy the Manhattan view. The atmosphere was chill. Everyone looked enjoying the party and excited about the race.

The weather forecast for race day was RAIN. But everyone hoped to the last minute that as always weather prognoses in New York would change. But of course, it did not happen this time. Only one thing I bought at the expo was New Balance Visor, and it was the best purchase for the race!

Saturday. Race day.

4.20 am – my alarm went on. I woke up quickly and was so excited before my first BIG race.

The weather was not what I dreamt about… Rainy and cold. Brrr. But what can you do? I instantly thought about Boston runners, who had the worst conditions, and small rain did not look bad anymore.

I ate oatmeal which I made overnight with frozen berries and almond milk. Got ready, I was wearing Adidas shorts, official Popular Brooklyn Half t-shirt (New Balance), Visor, Nike Pegasus 34 and old jacket (which I prepared for donation before the start).

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5.15 am – my Uber arrived and took me to the start line. The driver was super nervous, that all roads were closed and he did like to go extra block to get closer to the start. But eventually, we get where.

6.00 am – I was in my corral- wave 1, corral H. It was not the best feeling waiting for the start under the rain, but it was not that bad as I thought. Around 7 am I saw a pacer from my corral – Connor, target was 1 hour 55 minutes. I asked him about the strategy, and he planned to run with even pace all distance. I liked this because I think I am struggling with negative splits. Plus, I was not sure, that I will have any energy left to push after 10 miles.

7.05 am– we start moving towards the start line.

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7.20 am– I am running! YAY! Finally!

Every coach and runner ho run this half will tell you, not to go crazy in the first part of the race. I really liked how we kept our pace even around 8.46/mile during all distance. After first couple miles, we grew a little team of runners who targeted 1hour: 55 minutes finish time for this race. We had a little chat, supported each other, and controlled our mile mark time. It was a lot of fun. For my future big races, I will definitely run with pacer again.

Ok. Let’s talk a little bit about a course.

This is the map for 2018 course.

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The race starts with awesome sights of the Brooklyn Museum and an easy downhill for the first half mile following by another half mile which takes you uphill towards the Grand Army Plaza, then up and down again. It is crucial not to go crazy on first miles, and just take it slow and enjoy it.

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The second mile is fun, as you will running a turnaround and see all other runners who just started the race. As you look on the elevation chart, it is a little hill on the second mile, but it is nothing to worry about. It is very small, and you will barely notice it.

The biggest hill awaits you on 4.5 mile. The Prospect Park Hill is long, you can’t even see where it ends, but is not super bad! After you push yourself through this part, you’re good to go, and nothing can stop you. I was mentally preparing myself for craaazy hill, but I did not even realize that we run through it until the pacer told us “that is it, the hardest part is done!”. So, if you had a hills training in your routine and did not push yourself crazy in the beginning, you will be fine! J

The race is flat or downhill past mile 6, so you have a lot of room to play with. After you exit Prospect Park on Mile 7, you will be in Ocean Parkway all the way until the last mile of the race. Many people saying is a little boring to run this part. But for me it was perfect. Running straight (no turns), downhill, what can you else ask for PR?! It is an ideal opportunity to zone out and push your best.

After mile 11-12 I run a little bit faster when my pacer team. I was waiting for when I will hit the wall, but it was just perfect! I did not take any gels during this run. I felt energized and not hungry. I started fell hunger on the last 800 meters.

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So, I pushed hard as I can and crossed the finish line with a time of 1 hour: 54 minutes! Yay! I was so happy that I run my first half-marathon without sufficient training and only after three months of running UNDER TWO HOURS. I was so proud of myself.

My husband was waiting or me at the finish line. After the race, I change my wet clothes and went home, and get a full body massage at evening. I felt pretty good on the next day. It took me about a couple of days to recover and restart my running training.

I was an amazing race and experience!

With love,

Katy Cherry.

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Uncategorized

Flax seeds Kasha.

Hey, guys! I’ve decided to share with you one of my favorite breakfast recipe: “flax seeds kasha.” This one will fill you up, give you energy for a long time, and it’s simply delicious! I love to eat it before a long morning run, so I will have fuel to finish my training.

•Soak in water 3 tablespoons of flax seed overnight. Add it to the blender in the morning.

•Add 2 ripped 🍌.

•Add 50 gr of tofu (to make it more fulfilling, if u don’t have it- it’s okay).

•Add frozen berries/mango or any other fruit for your taste.

•Add 1 tbl spoon of cacao powder.

•Add a splash of plant-based milk or water.

Blend it all. And the fantastic breakfast this is ready! Add some coconut flakes on top and enjoy it💗!

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First one down! 4 miles race

So, it is getting real!

This Sunday I run my first race in my life, the first race on my way to NYC Marathon 2019. I was so excited about it and a little nervous because I did not know all organizational moments of the race.

It was a small race “Run as One” – 4 miles or 6.5 km in Central Park. This is a short distance, but this park is really famous for its hills, and you need to be prepared run up and down through all distance.

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I was assigned to K coral- it is almost the last corral with speed range 10:15-11:29 minutes per mile. I did not have previous time records in my account, so when I registered it was required to put projected running time per mile, and I really underestimated myself.

I woke up on a race day at 6:00 am to have breakfast and arrive early to the start for a little warm up and figure where to go and what to do. I had oatmeal soaked overnight in almond milk with frozen berries and couple of dates. I was ready. We got to Central Park at 8:05 am. Had a little run, kissed my husband and was in my corral at 8:30.

We started running at 8:45 am. It was a mess after start when I tried to get my way through the crowd. Some people were walking, and I had a goal in my mind, so I tried to get through as soon as I can.

My finish time was 32 minutes and 49 seconds. I think it is pretty good time for the first time and for only 2.5 half months of training. For the next race, I hope I will get better coral and will not lose time on the start and finish line.

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I am happy with my result! After the race, I got bagel and apple and I drank so much water. The weather was amazing! Warm, light cool wind, sunny. Just amazing! And the Central Park was in blossom! It was very enjoyable run! We had a little walk in the park after with my hubby and went home to our dog lab-mix Ellie. I felt great right after the race, and I felt great at evening and the next day. So, I recovered really fast.

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I am looking forward to my next races in May:

May 13th – Japan Day Run – Central Park 4 miles. Hope I will have a PR.

May 19th- Brooklyn Popular Half Marathon. I am excited and nervous about this one.

 

With love,

Katy Cherry.

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Why Vegan?

A couple of years ago (approximately 2016) I watched a movie “Unsupersize me”. This movie shows a story of the girl with an extra weight of 300lb with a bunch of health problems as a consequence of her lifestyle. She decided to change her life with a personal trainer Juan Carlos. He proposed a new type of diet for her: 100% plant-based diet. Her meal plan was: legumes, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and veggies.  She through away from her freezer all meat, eggs, milk, and other groceries with animal-based ingredients. The step away from animal products was based not on ethical reasons like love to the animals, but the primary purpose was health benefits. I never thought before that someone choosing veganism because of health.Image result for unsupersize me movie

 

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From “Unsupersize me” movie.

Afterward, this woman was able to change her habits thanks to the sport and right nutrition. She transformed her lifestyle, and as a reward for her hard work she lost 200lb and got her health improved. In the movie, Juan Carlos told his story how he converted to vegan. He was in prison, and he had a lot of free time. Juan devoted it to make his body stronger and healthier. In the movie, he shared all current researchers and what books motivated him. After the prison, he became a personal trainer and opened his own gym where he promotes a plant-based lifestyle.

After this movie, I was really interested to read more about a plant-based diet to know more about veganism.  I read books, watched a lot of films and asked people who tried this way of eating and living.

And after a year of research in one day, I made a decision that I should switch my lifestyle into a vegan. And on July 1st, 2016 together with my husband we started a new page of our life without animal products.

If you ask me for a reasons, I will highlight three. I think you will hear them from many people who went vegan.

Food on heart plate with stethoscope1.)    Health. Unfortunately all pigs, cows, and chicken have a lot of antibiotics in their diet before coming to our tables. In the USA is up 480 different drugs are allowed to use in the process of growing animals for food. While producers must be responsible for how these supplements affect animals, they shouldn’t report how it affects the person who consumes that with animal flash in the future. The food which fed to animals overall is questionable also. GMO corn is the only little piece from it. We can only guess what sickness that kind of meat can bring.  It is not everything, what I found in my research. I will share a book and movies later with you.

The most important part of any diet that you should have a variety of products in your daily menu, so you will be able to receive all essential minerals and vitamins

maxresdefault2.)    Love to animals. Eat or don’t eat animals in now days is your choice. It is not a necessity for survival, and it is simply your choice what you want to see on your plate. Love and compassion to animals was not the primary reason why I start thinking about veganism. To break a stereotype, that we can’t survive without meat- it is hard for many people. If you start talking with someone that you don’t eat meat, a lot of people would ask questions about protein first, amino acids, etc. The plants have everything that your body needs!

People eat different animals in different counties. Some prefer cow meat, others snake, and some people eat dogs. But for me, for example, eating dog is crazy ( and I am pretty sure for you too!). This is because we build a connection with some animals other a years within our culture, and with some animals, we did not. So, we don’t feel the same compassion for them. But does this mean, that they do not deserve it? It is no difference between animals! They all feel love, fear, and pain.

save_planet.jpg3.)    Planet. More and more forest is cut down every day to make fields to grow corn, food and build industrial farms for animal agriculture. This is like a closed cycle: we eat more meat every day and more deforesting happens. Usually “meat farms” are located in small communities outside of populated areas. Because the amount of waste from animals is much larger than from humans, what leads to toxic smell, poisoning of the air and waste in the rivers… It is basically a survival for people who leave near “meat farms” and usually it is a poor neighborhoods.

It is all understandable, that when one person decides not to eat meat, it will not change the whole world and make it more harmless for animals. But everyone is responsible for themselves for what they are having on their plate, everyone accountable for their own choices. My choice is delicious fruits and vegetables.

If you are thinking about the transition to a vegan lifestyle, my advice to take it as it is comfortable for you. Some people will change overnight, while others prefer taking it slowly. I want to share with you my journey and support you.

 

With love,

Katy Cherry

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sport, Uncategorized

Scott Jurek.

I love New York City for all opportunities it gives to everyone. This is perfect place to stay active.

When I have decided to contribute my time and energy into running, I start looking for a book I can read about it. I am this type of person, who will thoroughly dig in into something he is interested in. If I decided running, I need to know as much as I can lol. And do it the best way I can. So, scrolling through runners blogs ( specifically vegan runners blogs), I found few posts with the same book recommendation: “Eat&Run,” written by Scott Jurek- American ultramarathoner, merely a legend in runners world. You can go to Wikipedia to look up his accomplishments.

And I fell in love with this book. If you have not read it yet, you definitely should! An incredible personal story about how Scott’s career began and about his running adventures. If you love long distance and looking for new vegan recipes to your diet, you will find this book enjoyable for sure.

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And I was so happy to hear that he finished his new book “Go to North” about his 46 days run to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail.   Last week scrolling my Instagram I saw the post from Scott that he is going to do a presentation of his book in New York, plus everyone who wants can join him for a free run in Central Park before the event. Yay!

It was exciting opportunity to join the legend, get inspired and motivated. I called my friend and on April 10th, 2018 we had a fantastic evening!

We had 4-mile group run and after enjoyed the presentation of the book. I just start reading it and will share with you my thought about it later.

Now I want to share pictures with you from that day.

Follow me on Instagram @katycherry.usa.

With love,

Katy Cherry.

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