Pizza Beach and a 10K in the Park

Happy Saturday! I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend. Mine has been lovely thus far in spite of the bar exam prep that looms in the back of my mind no matter what I’m doing… In fact, I’ll have to attend to that later today. But only because I’ve been having such fun, going from dinner at a new restaurant in my neighborhood last night to a 10K in the park this morning. Pizza Beach and a 10K in the park is a pretty great start to the weekend!


Pizza Beach


My dear friend has wanted to try out Pizza Beach since she first heard the buzz, about a month ago, but we didn’t manage to coordinate and snag a reservation on time until Friday, when the foodie stars aligned. Since we both live in the neighborhood we’d walked by several times and liked the look of the place, but we were especially excited to try it out because both of us are gluten free, and they advertised a gluten free crust option for every pizza on the menu. Both of us have had very up-and-down experiences with gluten free breads when dining out, so we were intrigued. Plus, I haven’t eaten pizza in a very long time, because I’ve been apprehensive about gluten free substitutes and growing up I was not a pizza kid (I would order grilled cheese on white bread at Fratelli’s, true story). When we arrived, we were seated inside near the window. There are some sidewalk tables on Third Avenue for al fresco dining, but it was a little windy so we were happy to be indoors. The entire space has a cute beach theme going on, with surfboards and paintings of the ocean, and fairy lanterns strung up on the ceiling. 


Pizza Beach

Pizza Beach












The menu itself is short and straightforward. There are salads, starters, some vegetable side dishes, a couple of main dishes, and a list of pizzas, from regular margherita on up. We chose the beet and goat cheese pizza with a gluten free crust, and a side of squash ribbons to share. When the pizza came out, we noticed right away that there was a big difference between the regular and gluten free crusts. The regular crust of the Pizza Beach pies is a basic pizza crust, albeit slightly thinner, whereas the gluten free crust was more like a flat foccacia baked with olive oil. Both of us enjoyed it more than typical crust, though, because it was chewy and seasoned well with the oil and sea salt, and set off the beets and toasted goat cheese nicely. The squash ribbons were also delicious, with red rock salt sprinkled on top for a nice kick. Half the squash and three hearty slices each was more than enough! Especially because Emack and Bolio’s is exactly two avenues east, and that was the next stop of the evening…


Pizza Beach gluten free beet and goat cheese pizza



Afterwards we relaxed and caught up, and I got home just in time to pin on my race number and get my things ready to go in anticipation of running the Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday morning, the third notch in my quest to complete 9+1 with New York Road Runners for the 2016 NYC Marathon! It was lucky I did, because I set my alarm this morning and then forgot to switch on the sound. I ended up sleeping in until 8:20, which was great, except I had exactly 15 minutes to be dressed and out the door, which meant I had time to smear some PB&J on a rice cake to munch on but not enough to drink more than a few sips of water to wash it down. Major mistake.


PB&J rice cake


It was a beautiful, sunny morning for a race, but I didn’t realize quite how warm it was. I jogged to the park and went straight over to my corral, since I missed the pre-race November Project photo, there was plenty of time to stretch and got there just as the Star-Spangled Banner was playing. It was about 1.5 miles from my apartment to the corrals in the southwest corner of Central Park, and when I got there my hastily smeared sunscreen was already sliding off. The first few miles were okay, but I started to get very thirsty between miles 2 and 3, as I was climbing Harlem Hill, after which I realized there were no water stations at the northern end of the park loop. I was starting to feel lead-limbed and the telltale signs of a migraine were starting to make themselves apparent. I took a few short walk breaks and was glad to see the familiar tables and cups near North Field on the eastern side as we got to mile 4, and took it nice and easy the rest of the race, finishing with an average pace of 10:48 and learning a valuable lesson over again. My half marathons have all been in much cooler weather than expected, so I’ve taken only a few sips of water a few times each. And I’ve never stopped at a water station for a 10K or shorter race before. But I dehydrate easily, so I know it’s crucial to do so going forward when I’m running in this kind of weather, especially if it’s warmer than usual over Labor Day in Disneyland!


Healthy Kidney 10K


And now, I’m off to enjoy the rest of my weekend, replete with refreshing drinks! What are you looking forward to doing this sunny Saturday?


© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.


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