bittersweet

nothing like a blizzard snow storm to slow this runner (who hates the treadmill) down.  it’s a good thing, though.  i’m keeping it easy, remember?  and easy it has been!

on saturday, todd and i went out for a 5k run around the hood.  i dialed it down this time, and lo! my hip was like, thanks, dude! i don’t feel a thing!  we did negative splits.  the last mile’s time ended up being what i would have normally run for the first mile.  not bad.  good job, us!

because of the snow storm, i’ve been working from home the past two days, watching the snow fall from the comfort of my dining room table.  oh boy, having that extra hour of sleep in the morning is awesome.  no commuting!  no having to pay attention to my appearance!  the only drawback?  looking down this afternoon at myself and realizing that i’ve been wearing sweatpants since saturday.  the same pair.  by night i looked pretty much the same, except i wasn’t at my dining room table, but on my couch across the room eating panic-pringles and sipping on fear-booze while watching movies.  j/k about the panic-food and fear-booze (kind of), but man did NYC go nuts on monday!

tomorrow’s a new day (and an opportunity to wear real pants and some kind of intentional hairstyle).  my dull of commute in the morning will be brightened by some of the songs i just added to my running playlist.

i’m stoked about this one, for sure:

i hadn’t heard this song in almost 20 years until a few nights ago.  i have to warn you though…only listen to this one track because the rest of the songs on this album reeks of 90s jam band.  that being said, this song really is lovely and reminds me of my junior year in high school (1993).  this was a time when jeans only had one cut/style.  this was a time when i tried (and failed) to hide my botched at-home nose piercing from my mom. this was a time when it seemed that my full-time job was to hide in my room, wear pajamas, stare out the window, and dream of leaving my small town for the city.

funny how things turn out.

something > nothing

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Brooklyn Bridge Park, Christmas Day

i have to say, i totally surprised myself by running almost every day during the holiday break.  maybe it was all of the baked mac and cheese, chips, dip and whiskey that motivated me to get outside and run fast and far (both as a reward for and repentance from).  perhaps it was all of the awesome new gear i got.

cold weather running requires way more accoutrements than warm weather running does.  gone are the days of sunblock and running tanks.  getting ready for a run in the nowadays feels like i’m preparing for a five day survival excursion out on the tundra.   thick socks?  check.  gloves?  check.  wooly hat that looks like a tea-cozy?  check.  long insulated pants with reflective thingies on them?  check.  skin tight, moisture-wicking base layer top?  check.  windbreaker?  check.  chapstick?  snot rag?  check!

lately i’ve been running in brooks running shoes.  both the glycerins and the pureconnects have been oh-so-supportive of my forefoot striking on the cold hard pavement of brooklyn and on the squishy trails of beacon.

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Denning Point, Beacon, NY

so yeah, todd, nolan and i spent half of the holiday break in brooklyn and the other half upstate in pine bush.  while up there, todd and i worked remotely during the day, noshed on delicious home-cooked meals by night, and inserted a bunch of chilly five-mile runs in between.

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pine bush, ny

this is one of our favorite local five-mile routes.  it has a combination of picturesque rolling hills winding through farmland and about a mile of flat road where at any moment you could get clipped by a semi going 60 mph.  i love a challenge!

in brooklyn, you have to slalom around uncurbed dog poop and errant trash, but in pine bush you get to dodge a rotting roadside deer carcass and a flattened cat in a ditch!  who said the rural life was boring?

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Riverfront Park, Beacon, NY

we wrapped up our time upstate with one last run up in beacon.  as beautiful as this picture is, it was probably the worst and weirdest run of the week. let’s just say i drank too much water before we left the house–a grim realization i made while we pulled into the parking lot.  there are no public restrooms on the riverfront of beacon. the only restroom i know of is located in the boathouse by the docks.  the restroom is located at the top of the stairs outside of the building and is usually locked by a padlock. i was relieved to see that the padlock wasn’t there, but when i went to open it, it wouldn’t budge.  i figured i didn’t try hard enough the first time, so i yanked on the door again.  turns out it was locked from the inside because the next thing i knew, the door knob rattled on its own and a gurgling voice behind the door yelled “GO AWAY!”  my legs went weak with terror.  i clumsily trampled back down the stairs to todd, unaware of what was happening because he had already put in his headphones. confused by my frantic gestures, he followed me as i scurried away from the boathouse.  i’m laughing now about it, but i really did get quite a scare.  what the heck was in that bathroom?!?  i’ll never know.  probably a good thing.

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Beacon, NY

since coming back from upstate, i’ve been busy with work.  january is a very intense time for the fitness industry, so it’s been difficult keeping up with the miles.  only 30 miles run so far this month.  i can’t be too hard on myself.  i was just thinking this morning about how far i’ve come, and how much has changed in the last two years.  i went from nothing to something great within a short period of time, really.  can’t wait to see what the next two years will bring!  but for now?  i’m in a good place.  just need to keep moving is all.  and i will.

 

my own steam

forgive the hyperbole, but the world is a much safer place because i run.  whenever i’m unmotivated/feel like crap/want to throw things, all i have to do is put on my running clothes and i’m halfway to feeling better.  then, once i’m hauling ass, i’ve pretty much quashed the urge to rage quit the world. the act of running is on my own steam, but i have to say that my running gear is what generally makes me feel all super-hero-y and prepared to face down the villain that is depression.  running is my way of stomping all over its face with my size seven shoes.

yesterday, i decided to wear my running gear to work.

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it made the commute easier to navigate.  getting to work during rush hour fills me with mild anxiety, so i love being able to boogie up and down train platform steps without being slowed down by cumbersome strappy sandals and a giant purse.  as a sweaty person, it also helps that i’m wearing sweat-appropriate clothes while sweating in the 80 degree heat of the subway stations.

i wore my new mizuno evo levitas shoes, and they felt fantastic on my feet. i spent the work day at my standing desk, and only sat down once for 30 minutes.

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my commute home was even more rad.  i didn’t plan on it, but somehow i managed to run the longest distance i’ve ever run in one workout.  my trusty legs carried me down the west side highway, across town, over the brooklyn bridge, through downtown brooklyn and over to crown heights.  if you had caught a glimpse of me while i dashed down the home stretch that is my block, you would have seen the goofiest, unsuperhero-y looking expression on my face.  i was finally home.  i had kicked ass.  i was happy.

california screaming

84.4 miles down.  4 days to go.

friday of last week was flyday.  i also took that day as a rest day to recover from the week’s mileage (18.66).  i didn’t get to sit still, though–there were trains, trams and planes to catch.  the flight itself was uneventful.  nolan and i watched crappy in-flight movies and took lousy half-assed naps. we got in to SFO pretty late, but since this was nolan’s first trip to california, he was wide awake and super stoked. todd was there to greet us after we landed, and we were reunited as a family for the first time since late june!

on saturday morning, we had brunch at cancun, and took nolan on a tour of uc berkeley (todd’s alma mater).

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handsome boys.

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the weather in northern california takes some getting used to.  the sun is warm, not hot.  the air is cool and dry, not swampy.  i totally underdressed for the day’s activities, having come from nyc where it’s generally hot and swampy.   i made sure to stand in the sun whenever i got the chance.  i’m such a temperature wuss.

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not complaining, though.  it’s lovely here.

now that i’m almost through with the 100 miles in 30 days challenge (friday’s the last day), here are a few things i’ve been experiencing:

  • skinniness. i’ve lost weight.  family and friends are telling me i look thin.  i’ve been eating constantly, but it hasn’t been enough to keep up with the sudden increase in mileage.  problem solved, though–i’m in the bay area this week.  more sourdough bread and mexican food for me!
  • soreness.  i’m trying to keep injury at bay, so i’ve been holding back on fartleks and speed work. it’s hard because i really love sprinting
  • smelliness. my running clothes reek.
  • annoyance.  i hate my running playlist.  i’ve been too busy to swap out some of the songs i keep skipping over.  time to troll spotify and find new music.
  • longing.  i miss spin classes and other forms of exercise.

when i’m finished with the challenge, i’m going to scale it back and run every other day which should be about 60 miles a month.  what with nolan entering high school, and new routines for the fall, i think it’s a realistic goal.

we’re in california until sunday. i’ve got burritos to eat, 15 ish miles to run, and picturesque places to visit.  hopefully i’ll be somewhere pretty when i hit 100 miles.

i’m closing this entry with one of my (and everyone else’s) favorite dead milkmen songs that quotes other songs:

effing up toward efficiency

stopped mid-run to take this photo in maine last summer. pretty, yes, but i stopped because i felt like i was going to puke.

in the beginning, it took me well over a month to figure out how to prepare myself properly for a run.  before i stepped out the door for the first time in my brand new shoes, i scrubbed the internet for some basic tips for beginners, and read some articles in a few running magazines that were generally helpful.  but how i really learned was by fucking up.  a lot.

Continue reading “effing up toward efficiency”

people clothes

yesterday’s run-commute to work ended up being my “hard run” of the week.  on a caffeinated whim, i decided to take the train to the entrance of the brooklyn bridge and then run over it into manhattan.  i hoofed it over the bridge, made good time on my splits, and generally felt awesome. after crossing the bottom of the island, i headed north on the riverside path that runs along the west side highway.

Continue reading “people clothes”