Boston Marathon 2019

This past Monday, I conquered my fear, and ran the Boston Marathon. Ever since last year’s difficult weather and race conditions, I have been very afraid of the Boston Marathon. So on Monday, my goal was not a personal record, but just to have a redemption run. A run where I erased my negative experiences of the previous year, and tried my hardest. And that I did. No marathon is ever easy (or maybe for some it is?), but running 26.2 miles is difficult for me. No matter how many times I do it, it is always a challenge. And on the Boston Marathon course, it is even harder — the Northeast weather conditions are spotty, the start line is far away and requires a marathon of sitting and waiting BEFORE the marathon, and the course itself is extremely difficult with so many hills — TOUGH TOUGH hills. But I did it — I went out there, tried my best, had a fun (yes, I did), challenged myself (ohhhhh yes, that, too), and ran a good race.

 

Expo. One of my best college friends lives in Boston, and so she was a wonderful host and driver. She picked me up at the airport, drove me to the expo, cooked me the perfect dinner, and then drove me to the start line. Thanks, Gigs!

Continue Reading

Supergoop Sunscreen

Super sunscreen is Supergoop Sunscreen! It’s not a shock that I am very particular about sunscreen that I use. I don’t like overly sticky, too white, bad chemicals, etc. So I have searched low and high for the best sunscreen over the past several years. Finally, last year, I came across Supergoop and there is no going back.

 

Yes, so true.

Continue Reading

Mt. Washington / Tuckerman’s Ravine

This past weekend, Ken had the chance to climb Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast (not in Washington State like I first thought…..thank you #blonde).  The mountain is also known for its erratic weather, and had the world record for highest windspeed (231 mph) from 1933-1996.  Yikes!  Despite a dicey looking forecast earlier in the week, Ken and his group had terrific conditions, and a successful climb (and a great time).  Enjoy the pictures!

 

Minimal avalanche danger. Always a good thing….

Continue Reading

Arizona Love Tevas

Last summer, I splurged on Chanel Tevas — and I wore them all day every day. They made me so happy because they were the perfect mixture of how I see myself: half city girl, half hippy chick. That said, I never wanted to hike in them because although they are technically tevas, they still are Chanel and are not hiking worthy. So last month when a friend introduced me to Arizona Love tevas, I fell in love AGAIN and knew I had to buy two pairs immediately. Arizona Love tevas are a true combination of uniqueness and practicality. A little bit of flair and a whole lot of comfort. LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

 

My issue was that I couldn’t decide on just one, so I had to buy two. But knowing me and my summer lifestyle, I will get  use out of both of them.

Continue Reading

Currently Loving February 2019

Well, geez, February went by in a FLASH! I feel like it just started and now it is days away from being March…..Here is what I am currently loving this month.

 

1. Any podcast with Alex Honnold

 

Alex, you are a dare-devil, but I admire your strength (both mental and physical) and commitment and devotion to making the impossible possible. Lance — not a fan, but you gave a good interview.

Continue Reading

Winter 2019 Running Playlist

I am currently back on the marathon track — training for Boston Marathon 2019 in April….I must say that it is much harder to find motivation and inspiration to run in the freezing cold in the dead of winter….which is why having the right playlist is THAT much more important. Here are the tunes that I am currently loving to run to.

 

One of the things I love most about running is I get to be a part of my surroundings. This past weekend, I had a 15 miler and ran the whole perimeter of Manhattan — I love seeing the views, the people, the energy, the natural beauty, my island, everything and anything.

Continue Reading

Currently Loving January 2019

Back at it again….here is what I am currently loving this month!

 

1. The Dawn Wall

 

 

Recommended by a friend to watch, I saw this movie before we went to see “Free Solo” — another exhilarating and amazing film that I highly recommend. I loved everything about “The Dawn Wall” — and the message of how you don’t know anything is impossible until you try to make it possible. Tommy Caldwell is inspiring, strong, talented and a serious bad a$$. Since watching “The Dawn Wall,” I have read every article about Tommy and listened to every podcast that he has been in. Incredibly addicting and mesmerizing.

Continue Reading

Down Leg Warmers

I know, I know, I included these down leg warmers in a post last month, but they are so good that I needed to create a post devoted solely to them. As I mentioned before, a good friend gave them to me saying that “they were so me.” And she was so right — they are so me — anything that shimmer and shines I love (metallic, sparkle, sequin) AND they are practical and useful (I am one of those devoted sneaker wearers because heels are not practical). Since New York is freezing cold in the winter and I continue to run outside in the winter months, these leg warmers are a game changer. This past week, in 22 degrees (where it actually felt more like 13 degrees), these leg warmers kept me toasty warm. I never feel cold when I am wearing them! So if anyone is a runner in the cold weather and wants to be warmer — these are a must. A MUST.

 

Yep, down leg warmers. They literally make your (almost) naked legs feel so toasty and warm!

Continue Reading

Palm Springs January 2019

In my last overly-personal-post, here is my round up of pictures on our second week of vacation in Palm Springs, California. Thank you in advance for looking at the photos and learning more about Palm Springs — and I promise you that next week, we will be back to NORMAL posts that are not overly personal or sappy……After Sunriver, we decided to spend a week with our best friends from Stanford (who live in San Francisco) somewhere warm(ish), so we picked Palm Springs. I actually spent time in Palm Springs growing up as my childhood best friend’s parents had a home there, so I had fond memories. Although NOT warm this year, we had a wonderful time exploring a new place for the family and quality time with our friends — they are friends that are family, where they  know you so well (that they can give you unsolicited feedback) and will always be close to us despite the fact we live on different coasts.

 

Palm Springs is really retro and is a serious throwback to older times. We had amazing meals, all arranged by our friends (who did the research and reservations — thank you!).

Continue Reading

Sunriver December 2018

So before we get *totally* back to regular posts, I want to show pictures of our first week over Winter Break in Sunriver, Oregon. For the loyal readers, you know that Sunriver is a place that I have gone to my whole life, and as a result is truly a special spot. Not only is it gorgeous, but I have loads of fun memories of skiing, relaxing, and family time with the whole Proskurowski Family. I love that I get to share this place with my kids now, and that they get to experience the beauty and perfection of Winter Wonderland in Oregon. Take a look at the pictures!

 

We were fortunate enough to overlap with my brother and his kids (unfortunately, my sister in law had to work) for a couple of days. The kids love each other deeply…cousin love is REAL.

Continue Reading

Currently Loving End of December 2018

A belated Merry Christmas! I hope everyone who celebrated found a way to find some joy and happiness. Right now, we are in Sunriver, Oregon with my family and have been leading a very slow paced and relaxing week. We are spending a lot of time eating, sleeping, skiing, and being together! I can’t believe how fast the time flies…..With less than a week left of December AND 2018, here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Whole Foods Peanut Butter Trail Mix

 

Continue Reading

Tabio Socks

I have been a big fan of Tabio socks for the past five years when I found them in a little store in the Marais district in Paris. Every time I went to Paris, I would stock up on them myself and buy presents too (nothing says I love you more than socks…). But I just discovered that Tabio is now sold online in the USA! Hands down, these are my favorite socks in my closet.

 

The socks arrive in this great origami package. A present within a present. All the little details are so Japanese — and so beautiful.

Continue Reading

Beyond Yoga Velvet Workout Pants

I am loving velvet this season. Not sure if it is the major influence of the 90s or the holiday feel, but I love everything and anything velvet — especially when it is unexpected. So when I found velvet workout pants, I knew that I needed them. And not just normal velvet but CRINKLED PINK velvet workout pants.

 

I saw them folded on the table like this, but I knew immediately that I needed them. I love how they twinkle with the light — and just glow and are so happy.

Continue Reading

Chicago Skates Pulse

The internet was down in my house for four days so I apologize for the silence on my end. It still amazes how we ever lived without the world wide web — no music, no TV, no internet browsing — just quiet complaints about why there was no connection….But alas, all has been fixed and now back to reality of writing posts, sending emails, buying presents, and spending too much time connected. So here we are in the middle of Hannukah, a holiday that my family celebrates, along with many others. It is a simple holiday with just lighting of the candles, a prayer in hebrew, and gift giving. My favorite present for the season so far is this pair of metallic light up skates. I saw them at a always-in-the-know-super-cool-and-chic-friend’s house and instantly knew they were something I needed RIGHT AWAY. And sure enough, they have added so much value and happiness and joy into my life.

 

Metallic, light up, cool sneakers ON ROLLER SKATES. How could this not make you smile and laugh and want to be on skates?

Continue Reading

Fall 2018 Running Playlist

Is November Fall or Winter? Officially it is Fall, but with Christmas decorations in stores and freezing temperatures, it kind of feels like Winter.  Now that my two Fall marathons are done, I am resting and recuperating before starting to train for my April 2019 Boston marathon. That said, you always need good music for runs or workouts or inspiration! Here you go.

 

Last week in Central Park, I took this picture on a walk. Every day when I am in the park, I am thankful for its insane beauty and colors.

Continue Reading

NYC Marathon 2018: Achilles Guide

This past Sunday, I ran as a guide for Achilles International, an organization for disabled athletes. Although it was my overall 12th marathon, it was my first marathon as a guide. It was an incredibly difficult, overwhelming, emotional, and beautiful experience. I was paired with a 25 year old blind runner, Eddy, who I had met with twice beforehand. Before our marathon together, Eddy showed me his spirit of positivity, gratefulness, and sincerity, so I knew that that would help carry me through our run together. And it did.

 

 

Me and Eddy after the marathon (and after the shower) at his family’s apartment on Roosevelt Island. Yes, I took a tram after running a marathon, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Continue Reading

Chicago Marathon 2018

Here we are again, another marathon. It was an especially important one as it was the first one that my whole family traveled to watch.  I also atrained really hard, hoping fora personal best. And it turns off that despite my lack of confidence and the bad weather going in to the race, I ended up with my fastest time ever, 3:19:47. I am still on cloud 9 (and also very sore) and just so happy and proud. Take a look at all the pictures from the whirlwind 34 hours in Chicago!

 

We left NYC on a 9 o’clock flight Saturday morning. I was so happy to have the whole family together as I tend to be a basket case before a marathon. Traveling alone with just my thoughts is never a good idea…..

Continue Reading

To Do Fall 2018

Almost October, so that means there is only 1 and a half months before it becomes Winter in NYC. Fall is a very short lived season and there is so much to do between now and then! Here is what I want to do this Fall:

 

We still have green leaves on the trees, but sooner rather than later, the colors will change and then the Park will be orange / yellow hues…

Continue Reading

Chai Cashew Butter

I have always been a Peanut Butter Princess, devouring spoonfuls of peanut butter by the gallons. Especially during marathon training, I crave the richness and fattiness of peanut butter, almond butter and any nut butter even more. So when I came across “Chai Cashew Butter” in the new Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow cookbook, I knew that it was something I was going to fall in love with. And sure enough, once I made it, I could not stop eating it. It is rich, full of protein and good fats, sweet and filling. The perfect snack before a run, or to keep me going on a given day. Creamy, smooth, and tasty. A must eat and a must make!

 

Final product. I could sell this on the street and people would line up for it — that good!

Continue Reading

Oregon Coast 2018

Oregon has everything:  mountains, rivers, ocean, hills, valleys, lakes, etc. One minute you can be in the Willamette Valley, and the next, in the Cascade Mountains or on the Pacific Ocean. The kids and I just had an amazing weekend at our friends’ (Sara and Colin) family’s retro cabin on the Oregon Coast. Located 60 miles from Eugene, it was the perfect getaway full of outdoor adventure, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and good old fashion fun. Thank you so much, Sara!!!! Truly the best.

 

Oregon Coast is unlike any where else. It has dunes, sand, shrubs, rivers, lakes, etc…One of a kind.

Continue Reading

Marathon Training

I am currently in the process of training for two fall marathons (Chicago Marathon in October, and NY Marathon in November where I will be running as a guide for a disabled runner). Although the training is tiring, long, and challenging, it is also my favorite part of the whole marathon. In all of my previous marathons (10 overall), I have had different techniques / training / ideologies and approaches. Here is what I am doing THIS time around.

 

Mid long run stretch. I think between miles 14-15. I sometimes takes breaks to drink / eat / breathe / rest.

 

Like most marathon runners, I am competitive and type A. Typically when I run a marathon, I care about my time and have a strong desire to get a personal record (PR).  There have also been marathons where I have not focused on time (NYC last Fall and Boston this Spring) and simply run. But for the most part, I go out there to prove to myself that I am doing my best and getting faster.

 

Training in Oregon is great with its beauty of all the trails and rivers.

 

So how do I prepare? It takes MONTHS to get ready to run a marathon. I tend to start 16-18 weeks ahead of the marathon to get ready in prime marathon shape. All of this to say, that to prepare for a marathon you RUN a lot. I know that this is stating the obvious, but I usually run between 45-60 miles a week, each week. But in every run, I vary the intensity, the distance, the course, and the overall effort.

 

I am lucky to have a good friend, Nancy, who is 60 and a marathon runner herself, who will often times get on her bike to pace me and keep me company in those long runs in the early morning. Makes the biggest difference!

 

So I run 6 days a week with one rest day. During these six days of running, I have some easy runs (at a slow pace), a long run (with varied speeds, some with progressively getting faster and faster and faster), speed runs on track, speed runs on pavement / trails / roads, and tempo runs. There are days when I feel like I have had the best run and days when it is a challenge and I want to throw up. All of these runs make me faster, stronger mentally, and up for the challenge of facing the day.

 

Eugene is filled with lots of runners (a ton of elite runners train out here) and the neighbors lare all runner-friendly. Makes my heart all warm and fuzzy, and helps me on those long runs!

 

Basically, I am stating the absolute obvious, but to prepare for a marathon, you simply RUN. RUN A LOT. But short story, you mix up those miles and change here and there, and then finally, wam bam 16 weeks go by,and it is marathon day! So, Fall marathons, I am getting ready for you and can’t wait — but also enjoying the current state of preparation.

 

I did a progressive run this past weekend – 4 miles at an easy pace, 4 at 8 min pace, 4 at 7:30 min pace, 4 at 7:00 pace, and last mile HARD. I was super nervous leading up to the run, but I gave it my all. And I did it. Super hard work that I am really proud of myself for doing.

 

If anyone has specific marathon questions, let me know. I love talking about running (kind of like some people talk nonstop about their jobs or kids, well, I can do that with running!). Hope you are off to a great week and enjoying August!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

Nike Windbreaker

I am currently on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington State in the San Juan Islands. It is incredibly beautiful with its lush green mountains, crystal clear lakes, Cascade Mountain views, and the Pacific Ocean. It is literally a summer dream, except for the fact that it is quite brisk and on the colder side. Going into the week I had no idea about the chilly temperatures, so when I got to Seattle with ONE sweatshirt, I ended up at the Nike Store (in Seattle) and bought a windbreaker. Yes, it was a spur of the moment purchase, but I am SO happy with it, I can’t seem to take it off (and not just because I need it). It is lightweight, retro stylish, cool, unique, and the perfect layer on piece.  I plan to wear it on runs, casually, and basically, all day everyday!

 

Retro windbreaker — both the design, the look, and the color. But I love it!

Continue Reading

Jump Rope

As a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to jump rope on my front steps with my brother. Since I grew up without a TV in the house, I had to create my own fun after school. To me, that meant climbing trees, playing with yoyos, creating secret gardens, and jumping rope. My brother, Giora, and I were very competitive with one another and we always tried to outperform each other. As a result, I became a pretty good jump roper (yeah, super proud of this #HumbleBrag). I love it — it is fun AND the best workout. And as you know, I love to have fun and love to exercise, so the two together is the perfect whammie. Recently inspired, I bought two new jump ropes for my summer of travels and adventure and I couldn’t be happier.

 

After a failed purchase on Amazon (too long, and expensive – 60 bucks!), I went store to store in NYC in search of the perfect jump rope.  I bought these two, which are similar (at least I can’t tell the difference between them).

Continue Reading

Summer 2018 Running Playlist

Summer has officially started and tonight I leave for a European adventure.  And yes, another summer, another marathon training season! Here is my newest playlist for running and training!

 

Summer running means hydrating and drinking a lot of water. On long runs, I always carry a water bottle and then whenever I find a refilling station, I fill my bottle up. Thank you, NYC!

 

Summer 2018 Running Playlist

Continue Reading