Candle 79, Manhattan-Half Marathon Race-Recap

In Wedding on January 24, 2011 at 11:49 am
Beiber says ‘never say never.’ Eminem says ‘lose urself’ and ‘I’m not afraid.’ Nike says ‘just do it.’ So did I run this weekend in 12F? Yes. Let me backtrack to Friday…
After breakfast, I tackled some schoolwork then headed out to pick up my race bib.
Afterward, lunch was quite delicious at Eli’s market (a sister of Zabar’s)… an appealing market with a bevy of foreign products, freshly baked bread, and gourmet goods, but I’m not sure if I’d go back on a regular basis because it was double the price of an expected Whole Foods lunch.
O well. Moving forward…Here’s lunch: a pay by the lb box comprised of: wheatberry salad, fennel salad, white bean salad, beet salad, waxy bean salad, and strawberries. To go along with my medley of salads, I also consumed Pappo al Pomodoro soup (a very simple soup I often make at home which consists of tomatoes, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, onions and stale bread), Greek yogurt, and a baguette.
Throughout the day, I snacked on some more carbohydrates I packed in my handbag (Kix cereal, Kashi cereal, and a brownie). It was a cold, chilly, snowy afternoon in NY. After many tissues of Kleenex (runny nose, anyone?) and debating whether I should back out on tomorrow’s race (of course, not!)
I met up with a friend for dinner at Candle 79. Both of us have never tried fine vegan cuisine before..and my friend is a die-hard meat eater…but we crossed our fingers and decided to give it a shot.                
The ambiance was warm and stunningly beautiful. Our waitress was knowledgeable,  having no problem reciting the lengthy and detailed description of specials for the day.
We each started our meal with a wonderful amuse-bouche of one endive leaf, stuffed with cheesy tofu and pumpkin seeds.

The crispness of the raw endive complemented the smooth texture of the ‘tofu cheese’. The pumpkin seeds added an extra touch of spicy flavor.

Next, we proceeded to a salad and appetizer. We were excited to try the daily specials: Mache & purslane with roasted delicata squash, cippolini onions, Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, radish & sunflower seeds tossed with a creamy tarragon dressing,
Sesame-crusted mushroom with baby bok choy, scallions, and soy glaze.
Here is my first portion (I went back for more after this):
The salad was not too intense which I preferred; instead, it calmly released mild flavors of sweetness, tang, and saltiness throughout the course. The tofu was firm on the outside and soft on the inside. The soy glaze was delicious and well-seasoned.
Next, we shared two entrees: Chili grilled Seitan: quinoa pilaf, sauteed chard, tomatillo-black bean sauce, avocado-pumpkin seed salad. Spaghetti & Wheat balls: truffled tomato sauce, roasted garlic, spinach, cashew parmesan.

The pasta portion of the spaghetti was nothing out of the ordinary, but the wheatballs were outstanding. My friend, a meat lover, loved the wheatballs and proclaimed it was a favorite item out of the entire experience. The seitan was chewy and gave off a texture like chicken. It tasted OK with a smoky flavor, accompanied by fluffy quinoa and avocado.

Overall rating of this restaurant: B. Wonderful ambiance, carefully thought out menu, exotic fresh ingredients…an innovative Vegan restaurant. The only downside was the taste in some (not all) aspects of the dishes. I deeply respect the restaurant’s effort in incorporating seasonal, unique ingredients. I support farmers and the true art of farming (read my farm-to-table experience). We both agreed that Vegan cuisine is tasty, but the faux meats cannot compare taste-wise or nutritionally to the real thing. Nonetheless, Candle 79 does an impeccable job at creating spectacular vegan dishes.

I came home and immediately went to bed….zZzZzz…I dreamed of the race course looking like this the next day…

But the weatherman didn’t lie. 12F on the dot. BOO. The next morning it looked like this:

O well. I woke up, stretched, bundled up and was out the door by 6:40AM. A friend came out to support and met me at H&H Midtown Bagels. I decided on bagels again for a substantial breakfast. I ordered something different this time!

A salty bagel with tofu vegetable cream cheese on the side because yesterday’s was too much. With coffee and fruit.

Side thought…I love the spirit of New Yorkers supporting the Jets, but who would really buy an artificially colored green bagel to support? I guess some crazy fan out there would…Not me…

but then again, I’m crazy in other ways…like running a race in 12F.  

I suckered up and got to the start of the line:

and at 8AM, the race took off! It took forever to actually start ‘running’ because there were over 5,000 people and it didn’t help that I was in the very back of the starting line. Here are some pictures of me the first couple of miles in (I’m in the blue jacket in front of the red):

I also had my phone with me so I took pictures of the park throughout: Overall, it was a successful race. I kept it very conservative the first six miles and gave it my all the last half. The water and gatorade being served were frozen solid and I had to break the cup with my hands while running. I ‘crunched’ my way to hydration (on ice). 😉

I experienced some painful breathing because my lungs would not expand any further. I could feel my lungs having a difficult time circulating…shortness of breath and asthmatic inhalations were experienced so in some parts, I had to breathe through my mouth. I slipped once on ice but immediately got back up with no pain. It was still very fun to be running outside with thousands of runners while viewing the beautiful scenery of Central Park.  I did a decent job keeping a steady pace throughout and finished at 2:14. Although no PR or my fastest pace, I was still happy for finishing and not backing out.

Would you ever eat a green bagel in support of a team or have you ever done anything crazy lately??

  1. Congrats on the half!!! That is so awesome that you went out and did it in that weather, I have major respect for you! 🙂

    Hmmm I don’t really eat bagels but If I was hungry enough I would probably have a green one to support the team! Haha. So jealous you went to Candle 79, I have heard so much about it and want to go next time Im in NYC.

  2. i love H&H bagels especially the lox! im on the same boat as your meat lover friend, nothing is better than the real thing! 🙂

  3. Congrats girl!!! I seriously admire you for braving the frigid weather. I experience the same asthmatic response when running in cold weather, which is why I tend to avoid winter races, but I’m glad you were able to push through the pain!

    H&H Midtown East, by the way, has the best bagels ever:)

    • Aw, thanks girl!! We seriously need to run together when the weather gets warmer. I’ll help u train for the NYC Half. Also, when should do the blogger meet up? hehe busy busy us!

  4. Oh man. That green bagel does NOT look good at all. Too bad for the Jets. Although I’m not really too sad for them. 😉

    Congrats on your race! I’m getting nervous about my race, but it will look nothing like that here in FL. You are a superwoman for running in that weather!

  5. Wow! I am so impressed that you ran a half in that weather… I refuse to run outside in the cold. I have exercise induced asthma and the cold makes it unbearable.

    That green bagel isnt even the color of the jets! haha – i was actually rooting for them but they did NOT play well the entire first half!

  6. Well done!! I am so impressed you braved it in those temps and did so well! 😀

    And as much as I love bagels, I don’t think I would’ve eaten that! 😛

  7. Congrats on the race! Green bagels sound disgusting 😦 (I’m a steelers fan anyway). And where is this Eli’s place you mentioned? I’d love to stop by!

  8. way to go on the half – that is some big deal – wow…..

  9. great job at the manhattan half! i also ran it on saturday. luckily my gatorade wasn’t frozen solid, but it was slushy.

    i’ve heard good things about candle 79 and am impressed by your review of all the complex-sounding dishes with many ingredients. i don’t think i could enjoy a vegan meal. i’m not that into fake. there’s a reason that we have cheese if you want something to be cheesy!

  10. Congrats on the race!!! The green bagels are a little scary

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