Monthly Archives: June 2012
I am definitely a routine oriented person. That said, I can easily change my routine in the matter of a morning — sneaky spontaneity, if you will.
I used to love running at sunset. And now, I’ve recently rekindled my love with working out in the morning. I get up an hour earlier, make a quick cup of coffee, and then jump out the door.
But how do I really do it? The motto that I learned in startup land, that I had unknowingly adopted long before: Just Fucking Do It. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason, no good enough way to “feel awake and ready to run!” in the AM. You just gotta bite the bullet and try. Surprise yourself.
Usually I decide what workout I’m going to do the night before. I picture it, think about it. So when the alarm goes off, I’m excited to get moving. Sometimes I just want to kick-start my day with a mindless run, so will go out for 6-8 miles around Brooklyn, and maybe hop over the bridge. Other days, I head over to the track and do a workout, since I’m insanely sad that all of my speed from high school is gone. I started doing 200m cut-downs in an attempt to bring back some speed; I also randomly did mile repeats (who AM I?) and was pleasantly surprised that I could comfortably hold down 6:40 miles.
So just try it! Wake up a little earlier and your whole day could feel radically different. Personally, it feels awesome getting to the office knowing I’ve already done a speed workout, read a portion of the newspaper, and had a quick caffeine blast.
It’s the litte things, I guess.
Finally, Nuun HTC teams were announced! I can’t believe how time is flying…I’ll be stepping on a plane to Seattle before I know it! AHHH.
All the teams seem awesome, but I am especially excited about the team I’m on. (Because it would be really weird to say otherwise, no?) I’m SUPER stoked that Jocelyn is on my team (I hope she doesn’t get sick of me..good luck) and that we’re in Van 1…the van that starts right in the mountains!! My legs seem great, too: The first leg is an easy 3.93 miles, then a hilly 7.25 miles before closing with 5.79 miles of rolling hills.
So here’s Team Noon: AfterNuun Delight. Drink up, see everyone kinda soon!
Kelly – According to Kelly
Laura – Nuun Employee
Laura– Camping Out In America
Jocelyn – Enthusiastic Runner
Sarah – Once Upon a (L)ime
Molly – Mollyberries’ Hodge Podge
Tonia – Racing With Babes
Kim – Nuun Employee
Tiffany – Heavy Medal
Zoe – Nuun Employee
Jessica – Pace of Me
Lindsay – Lindsay On The Go
Meet Danielle, one of my best friends.
We technically became friends in 7th grade over a music class project, but I think the friendship hit a rough patch soon after when she asked my boyfriend out. Luckily, we rekindled the fire in High School when I joined the track team, and to this day she is my running inspiration!
Not only is she crazy fast: She’s an amazing photographer, actor, artist, and friend. But what I didn’t know was how talented she was when it came to writing.
I recently read her post 24 things I’ve learned this past year and wanted to share it with you, while highlighting some of my favorite points! She’s one tough cookie and the post is pretty personal, but I think can relate to most of us.
A lesson is only really learned when a person comes to terms with it themselves: You can’t force someone to understand: they either get it, or they don’t.
Stop worrying so much about pleasing everybody, it is exhausting and unrealistic: Be the best you can be, the best person you can be with the best intensions you can have. That is all anybody can really ask for of a person.
Getting shitfaced every weekend, fri & sat, isn’t as fun as I thought: In the words of kourtney kardashian, over it.
It is okay to be a “quitter” if for the right reasons.
If what you are most passionate about is not your job, if you are not 100% confident and in love with the person you have been in a relationship for a while, if you are are not ready to have kids, if you have not chased your dreams… then what the fuck are you doing.
Tough love, and I love it.
Welp, it’s time. I finally am signed up for my first marathon.
Thanks to Jocelyn and Laura, of course! (My running moms who brainwashed me into believing marathons are NBD.) For my birthday they told me they’d register me for a marathon of my choice, and after some thinking, decided September or October would be a prime-time to race. (I’d rather train through the summer than run the marathon on a super hot day!) Soon enough, we found a marathon that fits the bill, and then some: The Wineglass Marathon. Need I say more?
Maybe just a little. The race is in Upstate New York by the Finger Lakes — totally fitting since I LOVE lakes (and fingers?). I actually just love it up north, seeing as I used to vacation there as a kid. And maybe even better: The word “Wine” is in the name! Still haven’t figured out when the free-flowing wine will become evident (mile 20? the finish line? when you drive yourself to a vineyard?) but I don’t really care. “Wineglass” sounds a lot cooler than “Rock n Roll,” in my opinion.
The course is also fast. I mean…look at that elevation. I basically just have to run down one long hill, right?! I’m also super stoked it’s a point-to-point course, not an out and back (oof) or loop. Just one straight shot to the finish!
But…now what? Signing up is, unfortunately, not even half the battle, and I need to figure out my training plans STAT. I’m a little nervous because training for a marathon is like another full-time job, and there’s a way to do it right. And of course I always try to deviate from the way things “should be done,” which may just kick me in the ass. I figured I could go about this race in two ways:
Train hard, run fast. I can take this seriously. I know I have it in me to stick to a training plan, get up at 6am to get in my long runs, run fartleks and hill repeats (but where are the hills in nyc?) and get to the starting line nearly 4-months later ready to run a fast race. This course is fast, and maybe I could even BQ (ehh doubtful). Along the way, I could write about what I expect to be a humbling, hard journey, and know that when it’s over, I did my absolute best.
Go with the flow. I love running, don’t get me wrong, but I also love strength training, yoga, and….taking five days off and giving my legs a break. I’m worried that if I’m running 5-6 days a week, I won’t have the energy (or time!) to also make sure I’m lifting and doing other things, which I’m convinced is what makes me a faster runner anyway. So I can stick (loosely) to a plan, but make sure I’m lifting twice a week and still going to yoga. I already ran 20-miles on a whim, so I know I can probably run a marathon tomorrow. (How long it’d take me is a whole different story.) This may sound ideal, but I may not run the race I want, or get the whole marathon experience, which includes going way out of your comfort zone, sacrificing things, and …working really fucking hard.
Or maybe it doesn’t have to be so black and white….we shall see. Does anyone have an unconventional way to train for a marathon? Is sticking to plan necessary? Will you please run the marathon with me?!
I remember walking in a grocery store parking lot with three of my college roommates. Two are swimmers. I was asking them if they would continue swimming after college, which they replied “Probably, somehow.” Then they asked me if I would continue running: “Will you do a marathon?” ”Probably not. I want to do a triathlon first.”
I totally forgot about that.
At the time, I never thought I’d have it in me to run 26.2 miles. But triathlons always seemed more interesting, more….fun. And for some reason, more feasible.
And since it’s tri season, I am itching to give it a go. However, after giving it some thought (with a dash of cynicism), I’ve run into some few problems:
- I can barely swim. Not totally sure if this will be a problem, but if I had to guess…I’d say YES. I just kinda suck at swimming. I can dominate the doggy paddle, but that’s the extent of it. And I hear when you’re swimming, you usually just get kicked in the face. (I don’t need any extra disadvantages.) Oh, and if it’s an ocean tri, it doesn’t help that I hate waves. (I don’t like large bodies of water crashing on me, weird I know.)
- I don’t own a bike. I lost my bicycle. It wasn’t stolen, I just…lost it. It was a fixed gear anyway, but my bikin’ muscles have not been properly worked in awhile. This became evident when I went to my first spin class and wanted to die from an asthma attack and sever lactic acid overload in my hamstrings. Why do people actually enjoy spinning?
- I like running fresh. The reason I enjoy running is, oh I dunno, I feel great while doing it. For some reason, I think by the time I hit the running part, my legs will be all JELL-O and this will make me angry and frustrated. Can I do the run first?
- I’d have to buy a lot of stuff. Triathlons are expensive. It’s like getting equipped for three sports! I’d probably need a swimsuit/wetsuit, flippers (JK), goggles, cycling shoes, helmet, BIKE, and lots of Gu. And then my wallet will probably yell at me.
This weekend I:
1) Learned how to make sushi and,
2) Learned that my feet are small and wide.
First thing’s first….(literally). I went to Long Island for Kati’s “surprise” bridal shower. And we learned how to make SUSHI. BEST BRIDAL SHOWER EVER. Makin sushi is obviously one of those “harder than it looks” type things, but I ended up not being as awful as predicted. Of course I over-stuffed each roll (“I’ll have one with everything”), but the best part is, pretty or not, it all basically tastes the same: delicious.
The next part of the shower included more friends and family, more food, some delicious punch that had lots of champagne (important) and…gifts. I was stuffed from three rolls of sushi, so decided I would forgo the “real food” and eat cupcakes for a “late lunch” while mingling, of course. I split my time wisely between chatting with people and playing with the four dogs in the house (omg) before it was time to open gifts.
The best part about the gift opening was learning what I would potential inherit from Jim and Kate. New toaster oven, you say? What are you going to do with that old one? New sets of silverware? I could use a fork (or three..seriously). New bath towels?! You don’t need those old really soft ones you already have….(!) Below, you can see some of the gift opening in action. However, I mainly like the photo because there are as many dogs as there are people in the shot.
As for #2, My dad so kindly took me to get new running sneakers. I’ve been running in my old ones for WAY too long, and although I still wasn’t feeling anything fishy, it’s not worth the risk. Earlier that day I actually tried running in a veerrrry old pair of Aasics I found in my closet, but after three miles noticed my feet were bleeding (that’s why I replaced those…) so had to put my stubborn nature aside and walk the rest of the way home.
Luckily though, I made up for my run cut short at Super Runner’s Shop, since I tried on a gazillion pairs of shoes and took each out to the streets. I normally go into these shops and know exactly what I’m getting: Aasics GT2170′s, size 8.5. I have been running in these since high school, yet was freaked out to realize the 8.5′s in the store felt too big. After trying on different sizes in similar styles, we learned my feet are actually size 7 and 7.5 (left one’s a bit smaller) and they are WIDE. The shoe-man had me try some Saucony’s since they have a naturally wider-cut but I was having none of it. I settled for a size 8 in the Aasics, which just so happened to come in a nice gray/purple color. (Side note: The thing with running shoes is you don’t pick by the color; you get your style and size and whatever color it is…you go with. The 8.5′s were all black so I’m slightly sad I missed out on the ninja look.)
Long story short, I was like a kid in a candy shop and wanted to try the shoes first thing. So I set my alarm a bit earlier Monday morning to squeeze in a six-mile run before work. (And took an “action shot” before because I was THAT excited. Those are my legs about to “step” out the door. Along with a shirt that I still haven’t picked up).
The run ended up being marvelous. I think I will try to get back into morning running — even if it’s just a few miles to jump-start the day. It was fun seeing the youngin’s walk to school, the old folks out with their dogs, and not be bothered by the humidity and heat. That…. and the shoes felt great.
Aaaand, I’m out!
Aright. It’s June, it’s hot, I already have weird tan lines…it’s basically summer. And oddly enough, this is my first REAL summer in NYC. The past few summer’s I’ve been in and out of the grid, crashing with friends and family. But now it’s time to put this city to the real test, apartment and all, to see what I think.
To start it off, here are a “few” things I want to do:
Summerscreen in McCarren Park — starting in July, movies are played every Wednesday at sundown in McCarren Park. I can’t wait for Princess Bride and a beer.
Outdoor Yoga in the Sculpture Park — my new pal who works at a restaurant I frequent recently told me about this yoga class in Long Island City. It’s on the water, it’s outdoors, and it’s free! I gotta go.
Jazz Fest on Governers Island — a 1920′s themed jazz lawn party. Ohmy yes please.
Paulie G’s pizza — best pizza in greenpoint/NYC… or most unique at least. I want a big one with kale, mushrooms, and sausage please.
Noorman’s Kill — grilled cheese and whiskey may seem like a winter thing, but give me a rainy day and I’m there.
Nitehawk Cinema — ok, guess this is another rainy day option. But they have a full bar and awesome menu, so the point is you spend a little less on the movie ticket and drop all your bills on a cocktail and small plate.
Biergartens/Rooftops — this is more general, but I want to check out both new and old biergartens (outdoor ones!) along with sticking to rooftop bars. No need to be inside in the summer…
Neighborhood Hopping — I want to make sure I take advantage of the warmer weather (that I may or may not particularly enjoy) and be able to do what I love the most: walking around and exploring different places.
New York Backpacking Club — I definitely want to join one of the backpacking meetups for a day or weekend trip somewhere. It’d be a great escape from the city, plus a fun way to meet new people (ie hot mountain men).
Acadia National Park — nic and I have a weekend set for a trip up to Maine to check this park out. She’s been to almost all the national parks in the U.S. and I’m a ways behind her. But neither of us have been here so we’re gonna grab a tent and head up! Plus, we’re overdue for some hiking together.
Skydive — I purchased a skydiving groupon out on eastern Long Island, so I have to go before October. But I want to go SOON because I can’t wait/am totally stoked/completely terrified…
Hood to Coast — this one is hands down the best end to any summer. I am so stoked to go out to the pacific NW, run with Nuun, and meet everyone and make awesome friends. I just met with Nuun’s CEO, Mason Raey, who is incredibly nice and awesome and made me even moooore excited! (If that’s possible..)
Up my mileage — this one may be a bit tricky but I’d love to be running 40+ miles a week. It’s totally doable (5-7 miles during the week, one longer run on the weekends) except the fact that I want to also keep lifting, yoga’ing, and getting back on the track for speed. Unfortunately, there are not enough days in the week to do this all, so something’s gotta give. But I really…really miss logging in the miles.
Tattoo — i know what I’m getting and where it’s going, I just need to do it. Well, first I need to save up some money and stop spending it on stupid things and then, get it. Stay tuned!
Cook more — most of my stupid purchases include food that I can cook for myself. I just don’t spend that much time in my apartment during the week and get sucked into the $8 salads in Manhattan. (They add up!) Hopefully when I move I will look forward to coming home to a bigger, better kitchen/haus.
Move — speaking of which, I have to move in August. I’m more than stoked, I just hope Al and I find a reasonable place in a perfect location (south Williamsburg maybe, farther north in Greenpoint, or east toward Graham.) Fingers crossed.
It’s been awhile since I went on a really, really great run. I’ve been feeling a bit sick and tired the past couple weeks, so I’ve taken it easy as far as fitness goes and tried to simply catch up on sleep and eat better. But I was alsoooo reading McDougall’s Born to Run, which basically tortured me while sick in bed all weekend. (I almost tried to go run 26.2 miles on my own even though I could barely breathe…)
The book got to me for a few reasons. It talked a lot about running injuries, which I also happened to research and write about on Greatist. Long story short: Runners get injured a lot, and McDougall argues that barefoot running is the answer to preventing injury and boosting performance (!).
And while I’ve never tried barefoot running, I do wonder what my deal is. For someone who has run for over 10 years, I don’t know what a shin splint feels like. I suffered from plantar fasciitis, but I’m pretty sure that was due to getting a littttle too competitive during gym class floor hockey. I have mild knee pain but I think that’s from yoga. And (don’t kill me): I’ve been running in the same sneakers since last summer, and deffffinitely have put more miles in than what’s recommended.
Maybe I’m just really fucking lucky, which is probably the case. And maybe I still should buy new sneaks, which I will. Or maybe I’ll trust McDougall and get some vibrams instead. We’ll see. Moral of the story though: I’ve been itching to get back on the roads and feel healthy during a run, and today was the day.
I wanted to sneak in an afternoon recovery run to give myself time to brainstorm ideas for work. So I put on a rather mellow Pandora station, turned off the “average pace” audio cue on RunKeeper, and took it slow. The weather was cool and a bit windy as I ran up the West Side Highway to Riverside Park, then back down. I ran around nine or so miles, and felt like I could’ve kept going for nine more. However, the crazy part was when I checked my pace: an average of 8:10minutes per mile. Craziness. Maybe McDougall is right….we are born to run…. not to do Zumba (or any kind of dancing, really, for me at least. If there’s a book on this as well, let me know).
In lieu of this running high, I finally registered for the Runner’s World Half Marathon in Bethlehem, PA. It’s their first half & festival in their own backyard, and I was generously given an entry! If you wanna run with me (please), here is a discount code for $5 off either the half-marathon, or all three races happening that weekend! (5K, 10K, and Half): RWHALF12. It expires June 15th, so get on it soon!
It has almost been a year since I’ve had my lil’ tattoo: yebehyia bio. To quickly re-explain its meaning, when I studied in Ghana, the language I learned was Twi (Ewe, Ga, and English are also spoken). How to say goodbye in Twi is “yebehyia bio,” and its translation in English is “we will meet again.”
I love this. The idea that when you say goodbye to someone, you literally are saying we will see each other soon, whenever that may be. So a few years later I scribbled the phrase down like a maniac over and over and over again until I found one I liked, and then had it tattooed on my right forearm. Win.
Surface level, I do want to meet everything I experienced in Ghana again. I horribly miss the friends I made. I miss the long hours in rickety vans up to beautiful mountainsides and colorful, crazy cities. I miss dancing on the beach to P-Square and drinking gin out of sachets and beers out of large bottles. I miss the markets where we’d buy plantains, yams, tomatoes, and beans, in order to concoct some sort of dinner on our little stove. Damn, I even miss the mall that was down the road and oddly felt like a mall on Long Island: air conditioning, bright lights, glass walls and all.
But it wasn’t always easy. There were certains days that I didn’t want to carry buckets of cold water up too many flights of stairs to shower or wash my laundry. There were long, hot, long, and..hot van rides where I was squeezed between women holding squawking chickens and women holding squawking babies. I got lost a lot. And I was sick a lot too, and lost nearly 20 pounds. Extremely limited wifi and weird telephone service made communication outside the country sparse. Running water was a luxury, and the electricity would go out most nights, which meant no fans — the only savior from the heat.
But I was happy. Every single day in fact, no matter what sort of situation I was in. They say happiness shouldn’t be a result of something, and this is a beautiful example. Many times, Ghana was really really hard, but no matter what I was content, joyous, relaxed. So what that tattoo truly means is those emotions are what I want to “meet again.” That feeling of inner peace no matter what’s going on.
And life now, though different in almost every way, shape, and form, is also remarkably similar. I’m constantly moving, interacting, learning, and exploring. I’m continually challenged, and will easily admit that on certain days, life’s also really hard.
Which is fine. Because what I’ve realized is on my best days (super productive at work! amazing run! so much tequila!) and my worst (no sleep! too many skyscrapers! you are such a jerk!) there’s this underlying, fundamental feeling of contentment. Almost like a net that catches whatever is going on, keeping me level.
I spent all weekend sick, which I hate. So I pretended I wasn’t sick, and tried to do things. I ended up at a bar on Saturday night, and was there for all of five minutes before my friends forced me to go home. Frustrated, I cut through the park en route to my apartment, and was immediately struck by how beautiful it was: de-hipstered, quiet, pleasant. I stopped only long enough to take this picture, but it was long enough. And at that moment, while the rest of NYC was heading out for what I hope and imagined was a warm, wonderful, and social Saturday night, I walked home, alone. Quite happy.