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.

 

the long and short of it

the good news?  i’ve been adding more distance to my runs (8 miles in SF <–).

the bad news?  i’m not running as often as i want to lately (although my mileage per week remains the same).

this isn’t to say that i’ve been sitting on my tuchus.  i’ve been cross training, doing new kinds of workouts, and staying ahead of the daylight savings blues which is muy, muy, importante.  

here’s a rundown of my workouts this week:

on monday night, i hightailed on over to a 90’s music themed ride at peloton cycle with marion berrian roaman.   i always leave their studio a sweaty, exhilarated mess.  spin classes like these make me feel ready to take on the rest of the week!

on tuesday afternoon, i went to SLT in their flatiron location to take a complimentary group class.  also in attendance?  my awesome, fellow co-workers at dailyburn!  according to their site “…(SLT) is largely based on the holistic principles of Pilates, but also emphasizes the strength training and cardio elements not inherent to Pilates…”  and how!  my obliques have never felt so sore.  on wednesday, i was clutching my sides and hobbling around like james brown exiting stage left.

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on wednesday night (the coldest night of the week, it turns out), i decided to run 4.5 miles after i got out of work.  oh boy, that was a mistake. there were NO OTHER RUNNERS on the west side highway, and the windchill was 23 degrees with the wind rushing at me at 25 mph. this coupled with feeling sore all over, my pace slowed down by 1-1.5 minutes per mile.  all i could think (bittersweetly) about was the writing on the wall at the SLT studio: better sore than sorry.  by the time i reached the brooklyn bridge/city hall train station at the end of my run, i’d broken up with running and made up with it a thousand times.  while on the crowded train ride home, my sinuses, traumatized by the cold, acted up like WOAH.  i snorted and slobbered helplessly within inches of visibly disgusted commuters.  should have gone to gym!

thursday morning, after waking up super early with a mild sinus medicine hangover, i zombie-commuted to equinox in soho to take a my first barre burn class with the talented lindsay brooke davis.  she is a wonderful instructor, and her class was just what i needed after that regrettable run the night before.  i danced ballet (and tap!) from ages 3-17, so the movements felt familiar and like home to me. now i’m not saying it was easy!  the class was challenging and made me sweat like crazy.  i’ll be back again.

today?  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  i’m keeping my people clothes on!  no sweating, no nothing.  just resting up so i can go on a long run this weekend.  i’ve been trotting around in some new kicks these days which make my legs feel fantastic.  they’ve been great on short and fast runs, and even greater for those long and steady runs.  these brooks are my new jam!

next week? i’m looking forward to spending quality time with the ones i love.  good eats.  good workouts.  warmer weather.  can’t wait!

hey guys

so yeah.  i’ve been remiss in posting since september.  i wish i’d been able to push all the buttons and pull all the levers on this website over the last two months, but i was swallowed up by the cartoonishly large gullet that is the fall along with all of it’s weird complications. not to worry! i’m still running, sweating, and kicking some proverbial ass.

here’s a quick “best of” collage of some of my runs over the last few weeks:

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as you can see, i’ve been running through brooklyn and manhattan and brooklyn and manhattan and brooklyn.  some short runs, although i’ve been slotting in long runs.  within these long runs, i’ve been doing lots of thinking and running.  running and thinking.  spin classes here and there.  thinking and running.  stuff and things.  things and stuff.  oy.  time to throw a wrench haphazzardly into the mix!

good news, though…today is a lovely day because i’m about to haul myself and a small fraction of my stuff over to the bay area via trains, planes and automobiles.  yeah, i know–i was JUST there! but this time i’m going to be chilling with the fine folks of userconf.  such luck!  i went solo to the last userconf earlier this year in chicago. i loved it so much that this time i’m bringing my customer support team with me!

aside from the perks of going to the disneyland of customer support for tech peeps,  my man (and running partner) is going to be in town as well!  he’s giving a talk about julius caesar and money at the “modern money: aesthetics after the gold standard” conference at berkeley!  it really is a 180 and a total departure from what i do, but i love this guy and am so proud of him.

also of note is that my newly minted and amazing colleague is running her own 100 miles in 30 days challenge, so i’ll be joining her for the last few miles of her endeavor over the golden gate bridge!  what an honor.

again, dear readers…i’m so sorry for the radio silence.  it’s time to turn the volume up, no?

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.

awesome & terrifying

58.08 miles down.  11 days to go.

on friday afternoon, i packed it up and hopped on a bus heading to maine. everything they say about greyhound is true.  it is truly the worst bus line to take.  the a/c busted on the first leg to boston and the driver was rude to everyone . the second leg of the trip ran over an hour late, and involved bellowing barefoot babies in diapers scampering up and down the aisle.  i also had the displeasure of sitting next to an insufferable woman.  she kept invading my personal space with her elbows of valyrian steel.  i was poked in the ribs five times!   it got to the point where i had to mash myself up against the window.

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oh so uncomfortable.

i took pictures to pass the time i spent pressed against the glass.

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as a kid, i used to pass this place on my family’s many trips down through boston from new hampshire where i grew up.  i always knew that we were “almost there” when we’d pass the iconic sand & gravel co.

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i was relieved to jump off of the bus in portsmouth, nh. sweet freedom!  farewell, lil’ miss pokey-poke and the diaper twins!  goodbye, smelly bus!  my dad picked me up at the station, and together we made the rest of the trip up to wells, maine.

once we arrived, i jumped out of the car and reunited with nolan. he looked like he grew over five inches since he left in july for grandma and grandpa’s. when i went in for a hug, his shoulder collided with my forehead.  surreal.

after settling in and unpacking, i wrangled my feet into my running shoes. desperate to shake the afternoon’s travel off of me, i took off down the lane, little dust clouds blooming behind my heels.

i took a hard left onto mile road. i’ve driven down mile road from my parents summer house to the seawall countless times, but i’ve never experienced the road as a runner. i could smell the familiar metallic scent of the saltwater marsh, delivered on the wind that skimmed across the tall grass. inspired by the scenery, i uncorked my earbuds and ran to the droning sound of chirping crickets.  i also chose to ignore the mild pain jabbing my calves while i made my way to the seawall.

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somehow, the coast of maine always manages to pull its shit together just in time for me to take a picture of it.

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i tried pulling my own shit together here as well, but i wasn’t as successful.  todd took a photo of himself while running earlier that day in berkeley, california, so i thought it would be cute to make an east coast/west coast photo collage. it didn’t come out so cute. i laugh-cried over it for a few minutes, as did todd.

the run itself was a fast one, and i was happy with my splits, but i was hurting.  it felt like my calf muscles were tearing away from my bones with each step i took.  i forced myself to take a rest day on thursday, but leading up to that point, i had run 9 days in a row.  rookie mistake.  of COURSE i hurt.  i didn’t give myself enough time to recover.

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after eating dinner, nolan, my sister and i walked over to the scoop deck ice cream shop.  it’s a yearly tradition of mine to reward/punish my gut with three large scoops of delicious black raspberry ice cream.  no regrets this time around.  a pound of ice cream in the belly is good for recovery, right?

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post ice cream shenanigans.

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i spent saturday hanging out with the family, barbecuing and playing with my baby niece.  in the late afternoon, i headed out for a run on the beach at low tide.  a slow run. from the very start, i was feeling sore in the calves.  while i happy to be running on the beach with the ocean wind at my back, i was kind of bummed out.

on sunday morning, we all headed to drakes island.  instead of sitting on the beach, nolan and i chased each other down the jetty. the gaps grew increasingly wider between the rocks on our way to the end, so i slowed down quite a bit halfway through.  nolan, however shuffled across them barefoot like it was no big deal–it’s both terrifying and awesome to watch as a parent.

sunday’s miles had me skittering over a groaning, old treadmill in my parents bedroom. boo!  but yay–it felt better on my calves!  but still, boo!  i have over 40 miles to run before the end of the 30 days challenge on august 22nd.

howamigoingtodothat???

i’m worried, sore, and annoyed, but i think i’ve got this.  i am going to have to run the rest of those 40+ miles like i handled those rocks on the jetty–very carefully.

gots to boogie

36.53 miles down.  19 days to go.

we had a house guest over the weekend!  maxx, the dog made his way from the country down to brooklyn on friday for a few fun-filled nights.  we took him out on the town, let him smell all the smells, pee on fire hydrants, and bark at strangers. what a tourist!  i’ve been joking to todd about how maxx is going to go back upstate and dog-blog about his adventures in the big city. hopefully he’ll link to my blog. photo 1 (7) in addition to hanging out with these two clowns, todd and i ran together a few times, racking up the mileage for my 100 miles challenge.  on friday night, we planned on pacing ourselves for an easy run, but…nah.  when we reached the brooklyn bridge promenade, we looked and felt a little beat up.  that’s ok though.  it was really nice to see todd running that fast, and at a clip. he remained just two paces ahead of me for the most part, looking strong throughout.  you’d never guess that he started running three months ago! Continue reading “gots to boogie”

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.

Continue reading “oscillations”