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.

bridges & burgers

yesterday, after doing a killer upper-body workout at the office, i hightailed it home to prepare for an evening run across two bridges–the brooklyn bridge and the manhattan bridge.  todd, fairly new to running (and kicking ass at it), was especially excited about running over them for the first time. i’ve run the brooklyn bridge several times, but never the manhattan, which made me a little nervous, as all new routes do before i actually run them.  just before sunset, we set off for the foot of the bridge, my running pack stuffed with the usual essentials (a bottle of water, metro card, money, and keys).

once at the train station, on our way to the foot of the bridge, i realized we were both dressed in grey and black and looked like a checkerboard.

 

after a quick pitstop at a fast food joint too busy to notice my non-customer self sneaking into their restroom, we set off down adams street to the bridge!  also, why is it that no matter how prepared i try to be, i ALWAYS have to pee really badly the moment i’m about to start running?   that’s me up there, by the way, looking like a ninja turtle, hoping that the great wall of tourists move to the side so i don’t get knocked out by a cyclist (more on those guys later).

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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.

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thursday’s run: untangling

depending on my mood, i’ll often decide to run a certain route and then change my mind at the last minute before i lace up.  for thursday’s run, i swapped one of my tried and true looped routes for a fairly new destination run to the brooklyn bridge.  the only thing that i had to change was what i had to bring with me.  after mashing a five dollar bill and a metrocard into my armband, i wrapped my headphones into my ears and got out just before sunset.

i’ve been having a hard time lately with my left knee.  it plays tricks on me because although i’ve felt good at the beginning of my last few runs, by the end of them, i’ll be wobbling all over the place like a newborn horse. i’m not 100% on this, but it might have been those few crooked footfalls i made on the sidewalk while running down a particularly pretty street near my apartment. i’m guilty of playing “the ground is lava” with the cracks between those old bluestones. don’t tell anyone.

heading west, i started out at a good pace. my legs felt light and fast, the temperature was falling, and there were very few people on the sidewalk to dodge since it was dinnertime in the hood. i don’t usually use running as a way to clear my head, but after a half mile in, i decided to do just that. for the most part, i use the time to turn things over and over in my mind to the rhythm of my breathing.  because of this, i come back from a run with some solid answers and generally feel a sense of accomplishment. for this particular run, i needed to use the time to shake off some feelings that had glommed on to me since the beginning of the day.  instead of turning them over in my head, i found myself turning up and across the narrow side streets of brooklyn heights. seeking out entrance to the promenade, i used the last few rays of the setting sun’s orange haze to guide me.

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