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.

never too much

for sunday’s long run, todd and i planned on running easy and far. also, there were a few key items we wanted to buy from ikea, so we decided to mash the two things we wanted to accomplish that day together.   after lacing up, we mapped out a route, and took off at a nice and slow pace.  i’ve been reading up on running longer distances at an easy pace without wanting to die, and what do you know?  shit works!  by the time we arrived, we felt ready to run MORE miles.  legs still fresh, yet minds were blown.

these are the kinds of runs where my running app can kiss my butt.  while generally helpful, those audible mile/pace updates have a tendency to wheedle and cajole me into running faster when i don’t necessarily need to.  now i’m not giving up speed, or the ambition to break a few PRs.  it’s just that long runs seemed really intimidating because, well…they’re long runs.  i hadn’t thought about the fact that i could slow it down and actually ENJOY them. 

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once we arrived in red hook, we picked a lovely spot to stop and stretch…in front of a long line of weary ikea shoppers waiting for the ferry.  oops.  i have this irrational-ish fear of looking like an obnoxious strechibitionist, so i did some half-assed, self conscious stretches while staring out over the water–sort of like how a cat does that faraway stare while using the litter box.  turns out that there isn’t an un-awkward way to stretch in front of other people.  i lose.

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but, the view was gorgeous!

it turns out that sunday night is the best night to shop ikea. no cart-crashing with other shoppers, no crying babies, no long lines!  we also found everything we were looking for and piled them into our cart, including baskets to put all of our stuff in.  when you grow up to become an adult with stuff, you realize that you can never have enough baskets to put your stuff in.  you can even put baskets inside of baskets to hold even smaller stuff.  basket inception!

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on monday, during my lunch hour, i took a peloton class and came back to stretch my soleus muscles while they were warm.  i realized in the middle of my stretch (at my standing desk next to the office gym) how lucky i am to work for a fitness company, and be able to do what i actually love, in the city that i love. also, it doesn’t hurt that the temps have gone below swamp-sweat conditions.  can’t get enough of it.  i feel like a whole other part of my wardrobe has opened up for me to use again.

i’m excited to push on through the rest of the week.  more runs, a PTA meeting at nolan’s new school, some core strength training, and books to finish/start reading.

i’ll close this post with one of my favorite fugazi tracks, which has somehow made its way onto both of my running playlists,  one can never have too much fugazi, i guess.

on motivation

29.57 miles down.  21 days to go.

i spent the last few days chipping away at my goal of running 20 miles this week, and i’m happy to say that i surpassed it by half a mile as of today.  the week isn’t over yet, so we’ll see if I can throw a few more on top of the pile before the end of today.

while the 100 miles challenge has generally been a great motivator, i have to admit that i acted like a total baby about it this past thursday.  i wandered aimlessly around the apartment that evening, firmly committed to keeping my people clothes on for as long as possible.  my calves were buzzing with soreness from wednesday’s spin class and 4+ mile run, and i was feeling moody. my lack of motivation spiraled into dangerous territory, turning me into a world-class rationalizer.  i did some simple math and realized that i would have to double up on some miles over the weekend if i were to skip out on thursday’s run. no big deal, i thought.  i can totally do that..right?  but do i want to do that?  man, i don’t want to do that. ugh.  

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oscillations

i’m a slackerrrrrr.

shuffling back and forth between two places (brooklyn and the verdant mountains upstate) over the last month has me living out of suitcases and bags, spending more time on buses and trains more than i’m used to.  although i love being in both places, this has blasted little jagged holes through my weekly routines.  because of this, i’ve been remiss in running every other day like i’m used to. i let three, then four, and then FIVE days pass between the days i would run. i became irritable. depressed.

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