Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday April 28th - six miles

The Central Park Loop.  I did it.  And it wasn't terrible.  I was nervous for this run, and especially nervous when my alarm went off in the morning and I looked at the temperature and it said 40s, but felt like 34.  It just didn't sound appealing.  50s is great, but 30s?  Luckily, I got myself out the door and with the gorgeous sunshine it seemed to feel more like 50.
I started off my run and felt good, but like I was going slower than usual.  I was surprised when my app checked in at five minutes and told me I was running at a pace of 7:something.  I never run that fast.  Obviously I didn't keep up that pace but was glad to keep a pretty decent pace overall to counter two walking breaks.  My usual spot after the b of a hill on the east side.  I only let myself walk about two minutes, but the next break was worse.  The dreaded Harlem hills.  WHOA.  Beasts.  Luckily the first part I was running down.  As I ran down it I was so grateful I wasn't the people running up.  However, my turn came.  It wasn't as bad as the people who were running the opposite direction of me, but it was rough.  It was also when I was about four miles in so I was already a little tired.  I let myself walk most of it and then ran the rest of the way home.  I feel a little embarrassed admitted it, but aside from that, I don't really care.  I still averaged under a 10 minute mile and the really important part, I still did it.  When I found myself struggling I told myself this was the one hard thing I had to do all weekend.  Kind of puts it in perspective.  And I felt like a total bad a when I finished.
Pretty clear to see when I had my walking breaks:
Mile 1: 8:25
Mile 2: 10:20
Mile 3: 9:43
Mile 4: 10:33
Mile 5: 11:11
Mile 6: 9:32
overall: 9:57
(Weekly mileage: 14.5)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday April 25th - four miles + strength training

Wow.  I definitely got my wish last night.  My run was great.  Every time I've had to run four miles so far I've created my own route, but last night I did the four mile loop in the Park and I loved it.  The bulk of it includes the paths I usually take, but I went a little further north than usual.  There were less people on the east and north sides which was nice.
Throughout most of the run there was the slight pain, but I kept thinking about how I felt good.  The last mile was great, in fact I shaved 15 seconds off my last mile from my third.  I know I said I'd probably post all my mileage and then I quit, but I guess I'll just post when I feel like it.
Last night's:
Mile 1: 9:09
Mile 2: 9:07
Mile 3: 9:42
Mile 4: 9:27
I definitely could have kept running.  I'm always glad when it's over but I could have kept going.  I checked my gps and I'd actually passed the four mile mark already so I walked the rest of the way out of the park.  I've been neglecting strength training which everyone told me not to do so I'm trying to be better about doing it.  I got to the top of the hill where the park opened up to Central Park West and did some squats and some lunges.  My legs and knees were killing.  I can't decide if this would be better to do before or after my run.  I don't want to get my legs too tired before I even start running, so I guess I'll stick to after for the time being.
After I went home and showered I laid on my bed for a little to make a phone call.  After chatting for a little while I got up and my legs wanted to cry.  I never really get sore from running but I knew I'd be hurting from the post run work out, and today they definitely are starting to tighten up.  I can't wait to go home to my foam roller.
I felt so happy after my run last night.  I wish every run could be like that, but I know that's not reality.  Next up is my six miler on Saturday.  Scary!  The following two Saturdays I have races, a 5k and then a 10k.  It feels SO good to think about the 5k as easy.  The Saturday after my 10k race I have to do an 8 miler which seems insane.  Especially because I'll be out of town.  I'm just not going to think about it right now....focus on the six miler this Saturday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday April 24th - two miles or cross train

I want to be at the point that I have a short run (or any run, really) and think, "That was great!"  Even though the two miler wasn't difficult, I still found myself thinking it was taking longer than expected.  It was only eighteen minutes, but before the end of the second mile I found myself wondering if my gps had quit working.  Maybe I have a bad attitude this week or something.  It's been a rough few days.  Hopefully tonight's run won't be too bad.

Monday April 23rd - four miles

This run was a failure.  Since I was getting to bed early Sunday night, knew I'd only have to be at a desk until about noon on Monday, and didn't know how the rest of my day would unfold with a funeral to attend, I decided I'd get myself out of bed in the morning to do my run before work.
All was going well.  I had my half of an english muffin with peanut butter, I was feeling rested and ready to run, and then I went outside and it was still raining out.  Blah.  Luckily I had brought my gym pass so on to the treadmill it was.  It had been three weeks since I'd done a treadmill run, which had gone surprisingly well, however, this one did not.  I jogged to and from the gym which was a half mile round trip, and only made it two miles on the treadmill.  It.  Was.  Torture.  Part of me started to get worried about having enough time to get into work on time so maybe I justified a bit, but it was mostly just hating being on that treadmill.  The time dragged and it just wasn't a good running day.

Saturday April 21st - five miles

Friday night was weird.  I got some sad news Thursday which put me in a funk on Friday.  Friday was a little stressful, and then I ended up falling asleep after work before heading uptown to help out a friend.  Since I'd fallen asleep earlier I had a hard time getting to sleep that night.  I felt in a funk and just didn't want to have to plan on getting up early to run.  I had plans to go to the Mets game which was at 1, and then had plans the rest of the evening, so it would have to happen in the morning.  I had basically convinced myself that I was going to just do it on Sunday, which made no sense because the forecast for Saturday was sun, and Sunday was rain.
I finally went to sleep and told myself I'd just wake up when I woke up, and see how I felt.  I slept till around 9 and it wasn't until 10am that I decided to just get over myself and go for my run.  I am so glad I did because it was absolutely beautiful out.  I mean beautiful.  (And especially glad when Sunday rolled around and it was so miserable with the nor'easter rolling in.)
I ended up walking in that same spot I did during my last five miler, except this time for a whole song, which ended up being about five minutes.  Sort of lame, but I didn't really care.
In the last mile or so of my run I saw a blind guy running.  Yes, a blind guy.  He was holding on to some sort of cord and on the other end was a guide running along with him, and three people running behind them.  Talk about inspiring.  All I could think was, "I have zero complaints about my life."
I felt pretty great when I was done.  I need to focus on where I've come from because I'm feeling like I'm not progressing at all but the fact that I can run five miles, even if I do take a short walking break, is a lot further than where I was a couple months ago.
(Weekly mileage: 12)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thursday April 19th - three and a half miles

Last night I ran the West Side Highway. Britt had invited me over for dinner and it was casual so I just started at 34th on the Hudson and ran to her place. I was thinking it would be an easy run since it's all flat but it wasn't that easy for some reason. I wasn't loving it. I don't know why. It was doable, but I couldn't help but think I would have been happier running in the park. It was nice to see the Freedom Tower and run towards it, and nice to run along the water. It was also nice to be able to jog past some other slower joggers (wahoo!) I was keeping a pretty steady 9:30 pace until I had about a quarter of a mile left and I came to a detour. I was that person sort of jogging in circles trying to figure out what to do, and then realized there was no avoiding it, I had to run up some stairs, over the highway, down stairs, and straight into commuters heading to the PATH train. It killed me. And my pace.
In the end it was all worth it though because I got to see Britt and Logan's place now that they're settled in, and had a great night of girl chat with Britt, Ash, and Court and got to see their wedding photos, yay! Brittany is definitely the hostess with the mostest. She made some delicious tacos and we had fondue for dessert. The fondue was ridiculous. SO good. It was nice to be in my old neighborhood too.
My knees were hurting today. I need to buy some ice cube trays so I can start icing my knees after my runs I suppose.

Questions answered

Last month I answered questions my cousin posed on her blog and then turned around and made up my own questions. KB answered and then asked me for my responses to my own questions. You ask KB, I deliver:

1. What is your number one desired travel destination?
Phuket, Thailand

2. What would you do if you were granted a day without any responsibilities?
Sleep in until 9am, go for a jog in Central Park, meet girlfriends for brunch, get a manicure and pedicure, meet up with friends at Sheep Meadow in The Park to hang out, read, relax, whatever. Go home to change and then meet friends for a rooftop BBQ followed by games at someone’s apartment. I feel really guilty answering this question because it’s not unusual for this to be a typical Saturday for me. In fact, up until Sheep Meadow, this is exactly what I did last Saturday, except I had to get up at 7:45am.

3. Aside from something responsible (paying off debt, down payment on a house, saving, etc) what is something you’d buy if someone gave you $100,000?
It’s hard to wrap my mind around this realistically happening, but I think I would follow suit of my friend Sara and take a year(ish) off and travel around the world. I’d also do something for/with my family, maybe a cruise, or a beach house or something.

4. What is a favorite memory from college?
This is really tough. My college years were some of my very best, there are so many good memories. One night a handful of girlfriends and I drove around town all night doing little acts of mischief; climbing on top of a billboard (that wasn’t very high) rearranging letters in a farmer’s marquee, climbing on top of Sonic and breaking the blow up man accidentally, stealing our friends’ couch, etc. I should post some photos of that night. We stayed out all night and went home early in the morning and slept all day.

5. What is a song that has a strong tie to a great memory?
This isn’t one specific memory, but the song Money for Nothing by Dire Straits will always make me think of my dad and driving with him when I was a kid. Any time it would come on the radio he would turn the volume up as high as it would go. As a kid I remember it just BLARING to the point of almost hurting my ears but not quite and when the guitar solo intro would start he would rock out like crazy. Sort of funny because apparently when I was little my dad was mostly reserved and quiet around people outside of family and close friends.

6. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
Eleven. Much too young. My first great kiss was the day before I turned eighteen.

7. What is your all time favorite tv show?
Friends. Almost daily there is a situation that I can relate to an episode.

8. Who is your celebrity crush?
How much time do you have? There’s a million. Jon Hamm, George Clooney, Keifer Sutherland, Dennis Quaid, Jack Nicholson…

9. What is one of your favorite Sunday activities?
Sunday nap. Hands down.

10. What is something or someone you think is extremely overrated?
Channing Tatum. Sorry Becky, I couldn't think of anyone or anything besides Twilight (and by now everyone knows my feelings there) and after reading your post it reminded me how I just don't think he's what everyone else thinks he is.

11. Have you ever skinny dipped?
Most people who answered this said once. I’m starting to wonder if I’m some sort of hippie. The first time I went was with my cousins (female) in their pool when we were around 8 or so. I don’t remember going again until I was in college. My junior year a couple girls and I went in Rigby Lake. Then the year after I graduated I was visiting Rexburg again and Aimee, Chelse, and a couple guys who will remain nameless and I went out to Rigby Lake again in the middle of the night and went. Freaking freezing! I’ve gone a couple times in the pool in the Berkshires, and most recently last summer with Chelse in some random person’s pond in Rexburg. I wouldn’t really call that skinny dipping though, because it wasn’t like we swam around. It was freezing, we stripped down, ran off the dock screaming in the pitch black, jumped in, and jumped out, to prove to ourselves that we’re not too old and boring. My favorite skinny dipping experience, however, was with Chelse and Whitney at Newport Beach. Every other time I’ve been has been in the middle of the night, or when I was confident we wouldn’t get caught. Chels, Whit and I were in the ocean just swimming around and enjoying a gorgeous August day the summer after I’d graduated from college and I think we dared each other to take our tops off. This was Newport beach in the middle of a very crowded Saturday beach day. We were pretty far out in the water and there was no one else around so we got brave enough and went full monty. And theeeeeeeeen a random man started swimming near us. We scrambled to get our suits back on, which is incredibly difficult when you’re in water, and especially so when you are too deep to touch the bottom. We were dying laughing. I told Chelse I’m making her do it again with me in Miami this June. :) What can I say? I guess I just like being nakie.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday April 16th - three and a half miles

Last night's run was a little tough due to the increased heat and a little humidity. At about the halfway point I kept thinking I just wanted to stop and walk. But I didn't. My pace was good. Will it be obnoxious if I post my pace/mile every time? Sorry.
Mile 1: 9:33
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 9:44
Mile 4: 9:45 (only one half)
Doing the run in the heat made me think about how I'll be facing the heat every day pretty soon. I'm going to have to end up getting up before work, but that means running at about 5:30am and then sitting at a desk for 10 hours. That is tough for me. At this point it's not light early enough to run at that hour so it would mean going to the gym. We'll see what happens. I'm sure when the heat comes I'll give up my sleep to avoid it.
I wish I could run in the park by myself. I mean, without other runners around. Obviously that will never happen unless I run when it's too late to be safe, and I'm not going to do that. But every once in a while I'll get a little pocket where there won't be any runners too close and it feels as though I'm alone and I love it. I am realizing more and more than I'm a lone runner. I'm not opposed to running buddies, but I think this is one activity I prefer to do alone. Even though I'm perfectly content to do a lot of things alone, I'd usually prefer to do them with someone. Running is the opposite. I started imagining I was someone important and I could run late with secret servicemen to keep me safe. That sounds like a dream.
I remember on the Fourth of July 2008 after watching the fireworks in Brooklyn Curtis and I were able to get on the Brooklyn Bridge to come back to Manhattan before pretty much anyone. It was
so incredible to be in one of my favorite places, with no one else around. That is such a rarity in New York. I've only experienced it once in five years, really.
I also saw a barefoot jogger in the Park. I've heard of these guys. There's got to be few things less hygienic.
When I was running up that b of a hill I found my motivation when I passed a jogger who was very thin, and she had lost most of her hair. I wondered if she was sick, and then thought of my dear sweet Dina. My number one running motivation who is now too sick to run. I thought about the fact that she ran the last eight NYC marathons in a row, and the last two while she was undergoing chemo. She is one of the main reasons my mantra is, "I get to run."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Saturday April 14th - five miles

Well. I did it. It was a gorgeous day Saturday (the whole weekend was, actually) so it was really nice to run in the Park and when the sun was still out. I had brunch plans at 10:30 so my alarm went off at 7:45am and I was so confused. I was definitely out of it. Work? Church? Why is an alarm going off?? Ahhh yes, I get to go run. I wasn't too thrilled, but once I was up it was fine.
There's a hill on the east side around 72nd Street that is a b. The first couple times I ran up it I wanted to kill myself. It hasn't been too awful lately, however with the mileage I've had, the hill falls in the first mile of my run. On Saturday it was in my second mile so it was a bit more difficult.
The first mile was mostly downhill or flat. I couldn't believe it when my running app told me I'd run my first mile in 8:11. I know, it's only a mile, but I don't think I've ever run a mile that fast.
At the end of my second mile (after that big hill, followed by a smaller hill) I let myself walk a little. It was only about two minutes though. I felt sort of like a loser but oh well. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful and guess what? Even with that couple of minutes walking I averaged under a ten minute mile for all five miles. This was the first day I could understand caring about pace. Obviously I understand why people who run races all the time are concerned about pace, but for first times? Who cares. But with every check in I realized I was still running under 10/mile. It gave me a goal to keep under that pace. Every mile except the first was over 10 minutes, however with my fast first mile my overall average was still under 10. And my third was quicker than my second, and my fourth was quicker than my third. My last mile ended up being right in the middle in regards to speed. It's ironic that my third mile was my slowest (aside from the mile before which was the actual slowest because of the walking) because that was around the Reservoir which should have been the easiest. It's a dirt path and it's all flat.
Anyway, probably most of that didn't make sense so here's how it broke down:
Mile 1: 8:11 (wahoo!)
Mile 2: 10:40 (a little walking)
Mile 3: 10:28
Mile 4: 10:05
Mile 5: 10:25
Wow, I used to see breakdowns like this on blogs and think, "This is so boring." Interesting how it means so much to the individual but not really anyone else. I guess like parents with their baby's stats. :)
The other good news of the day was I actually passed a handful of joggers during my run. Hurray for not being the biggest loser!
Oh yeah, I need some suggestions on what to eat. I don't really want to run on an empty stomach, but I don't want to eat too much. I grabbed a granola bar before I headed out the door and definitely felt like I was a bit weaker than my evening runs during the week since my stomach was empty.
The last concern was my hip flexor bothering me in my last mile. I thought it was hurting a little but figured it was my imagination. The night before my friend Karli (who's running the half with me) was telling me about last year when she was training for the SLC marathon. She was only three weeks out when she injured her hip flexor and couldn't run the marathon. So sad!! After a while I realized it definitely was not my imagination and it made me worry. I need to keep an eye on it.
(Weekly mileage: 12)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday April 12th - three and a half miles

Last night I ran the same path I ran Tuesday night. I snapped this photo as I was running under the cherry blossoms and then Instagrammed it. They are so so pretty. I love spring!!

The run wasn't as great as it was on Tuesday. I'm not really a great eater, but I typically try to eat a salad or something along the lines of chicken and veggies for lunch. Tuesday I'd had a carb heavy lunch of Indian food and drank a ton of soda at work. I thought I'd be sluggish for my run but in fact felt great. Yesterday I had a salad for lunch and as usual drank a fair amount of soda, but not as much as Tuesday. I know people are supposed to carb load the night before they have a big run, but maybe a few (like 7ish) hours makes a difference too? I have no idea.

Anyway, I started off the run great but was going a little slower than I was on Tuesday. I didn't think too much about it until I reached the end of the Reservoir, which meant I had about another mile. My legs felt pretty tight and I just felt sluggish. I considered stopping to stretch out, but since it was only a mile, and a fair amount of it was downhill, I kept going since it wasn't too bad.

Something that also got in my head was so many people passing me. I don't care about being a fast runner, but it doesn't mean I want to be the one always seemingly last. When I first started running the Reservoir I noticed the fact that I never passed anyone unless they were walking, people always passed me. Then after a while I wasn't the slowest anymore and would occasionally pass people. I guess it just makes me feel like I'm not a total loser. Anyway, it got in my head last night and I just kept thinking, "Why have I not passed
one person jogging??" There were a ton of running groups out and so many really fast people. I kept thinking to myself, "Is there some sort of speed training tonight I don't know about?" I know I'm slow, but is a ten minute mile really that slow? I guess maybe it is. I tried to tell myself to imagine all the people I would be passing if they were out in the park but instead are sitting at home on the couch. Tomorrow is my five miler. I'm a little nervous but last night I could have run another mile and a half if I needed so I think it'll be okay.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday April 10th - three and a half miles

Last night's run was great. Really great. It's been a little while since I've run in the Park and even longer since I've run around the Reservoir. When I left my apartment it was a little chilly and kind of windy. I was worried the run would be miserable and I considered turning around and going to the gym. I told myself to suck it up because there would probably be times I had to run in worse conditions. I got to the park and saw a guy running in shorts and a tshirt, and then another in shorts with no shirt, so I figured I'd probably survive for 30-40 minutes with my yoga pants and running jacket.
I downloaded a running app in lieu of a watch until I can/want to spend the money on one. The reviews were great up until recently when they started saying the mileage was really off. I downloaded it maybe a month ago but didn't use it until last weekend because I'd always forget or would be on a treadmill. When I ran in NH I made sure to use it because the thought of running in a completely foreign place with no clue how far I'd gone wasn't appealing. The mileage was definitely off. Every five minutes it checks in and tells me how long I've been running, the mileage, and minutes per mile. After the first five it was telling me I'd already gone over a mile. Since I run between 5.5 and 6 miles per hour, I knew that obviously wasn't the case. But hearing the amount of time I'd run was helpful because I could guess about how much longer I had to go.
Last night I didn't exactly know a good path in the park for three and a half miles. I mapped it out on before I left but decided to give the running app another try. At the first check in at five minutes it told me I'd run 0.0 miles. Great. A few minutes later I realized my phone was on airplane mode and obviously couldn't track me that way. I always turn my phone on airplane mode so I don't get distracted by texts or calls while I'm running. I sort of hate cell phones and hate always being reachable. This is one reason my phone is always on vibrate and I don't have qualms about tossing it in a bag or leaving it in another room. I guess I could turn it off but for me there's something about shutting myself off from being contacted for a little while (and then sometimes there's a nice surprise waiting for me when I take it off airplane mode.) :) I'd left it off airplane mode when I ran in NH since I was in unfamiliar territory and I'd told Brad he could call me if I was taking longer than he expected.)
Anyway, so I guess for now I'll have to leave it off airplane mode when I run. I usually don't notice texts or emails, but calls interrupt and if I do feel a buzz from a text it's hard to fight the curiosity.
So the run included most of the reservoir. I was so thankful because I was able to run under the cherry blossoms. With the great weather we had a few weeks ago the blossoms came early and I'm afraid I missed most of them at the reservoir, but it was still gorgeous. There's a point at the north end of the reservoir where you look south and you see the water, and then the trees in the park, and then the lit up skyline including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building which we all know is my favorite.
I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I look at this view. It always prompts a quick prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for all my blessings. Last night I started thinking of all the things I was thankful for in that moment. They included:
-my legs that can run
-my eyes that can see
-my sense of smell because all the lilies everywhere right now smell so glorious
-the opportunity to live here
-Giuliani for cleaning up the city and making it safe, and Bloomberg for keeping it that way
-Oprah for running a marathon
-Brad for reminding me that if Oprah and Al Roker can run fulls, I can do a half
-the hard bodies running in the Park that inspire me
-the free time I have to run
-the new found discipline to make running more of a priority than it's been in the past
-so many runner friends who inspire me
-little quotes like, "right now someone busier than you is running" that remind me excuses are for people who need them
-modern technology so I can listen to my music from my phone instead of using an old school discman like Brad used during his marathon years ago
-songs that have a tempo that perfectly matches your pace (last night it was Aerosmith's Dream on)

I actually made it to the end of my route quicker than I anticipated. I will admit a lot of it was downhill so it wasn't too bad, but the uphills weren't torture. Last night was the first time I've felt like I'm actually getting a little stronger. I also recently watched a little video about a girl who ran a marathon somewhere in the south. She said some of the hills were really bad so she started telling herself every time she had to run one she'd repeat in her head "I love hills," and when she'd turn a corner and see a new hill she'd think, "Oh great! I love hills!" I've been doing this also, and it actually helps. It's not so much that it takes the pain away or makes it that much easier, it just gives me something else to focus on and the hills are over before I expect them to be.
Last night I thought I was at 77th and realized I was at 72nd. The next thing I knew I had a hill and started thinking about how much I love hills, and was seriously shocked when I saw my exit on 69th. Since I had restarted my running tracking about 7 minutes into my run, I figured once I hit the 30 minute mark my 3 1/2 miles would be over. When I excited the Park I hadn't been alerted yet that it was 30 minutes so I worried I might have to jog past my apartment until the time was up. Luckily it ended a block before I got home. Exactly 30 thirty minutes and exactly 3.00 miles. I had been averaging about 10:15-10:23/mile before this so I was happy to see I ended up speeding up towards the end. I have said before and I still say I really don't care about my time, but that doesn't mean I don't get happy when I go faster than I expect.
I have a five mile run scheduled this weekend and I've only done that once, and I did it without realizing it. I've been nervous about this run but after last night I felt like I could have easily done another mile and a half if I needed.
PS I just mapped my run and it was 3.69 miles. And it made me really wish I could just go outside right now and run.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Kelly and I were sitting at dinner discussing her upcoming 30th and when she said she wanted something mellow I couldn't believe it. I was so thankful she finally came to her senses and planned a trip to her other favorite city, Chicago. She and a few others had already started planning their weekend and I quickly jumped on board without hesitation. Even though my family lived in the burbs of Chicago for six years when I was a kid, and I've been back once as an adult, I've never explored the city as an adult. I was thrilled to be going with someone who's lived there, and anyone who knows Kelly knows she always knows the best places to eat.

I already had plans for Friday night but hopped on an early flight out Saturday morning. (Although after hearing about the epic tasting menu dinner Kelly, Sarah, Chloe, and Amanda had I'm kicking myself for missing it.) The great thing about most of my flights being out west, is when I have a shorter flight it seems insanely quick.

I arrived to O'Hare (my nemesis) about 9am and hit the ground running. I was a little excited to try out another city's public transportation but a friend ended up offering to pick me up. We hung out for a little bit and then he dropped me off at the hotel to meet up with Kelly and Sarah. We had a little bit of time to hang out and then off we were to lunch with an eclectic group of nine friends who were friends of Kelly's, or friends of friends. It made for an interesting and fun dynamic.

After lunch everyone went their separate ways and Kelly, Sarah, and I headed to Millennium Park. We had a little time to kill before Sarah needed to head to the airport to go back to SLC and I really wanted to see the bean.

Kelly and I had a little downtime and I was thankful for it, as I'd slept 2-3 hours the night before and was already running low on sleep from a hectic week. We were both able to catch a little catnap before Heather arrived from St. Louis at our hotel. We chatted a bit and Heather and I got to know each other and then it was off to dinner at Giordano's. I snapped this photo of some steps leading to the L as we walked to din. I love cities with public transportation!

After dinner we went back to the hotel to get a little more ready and then to some hipster bar to meet up with Amanda, Nora, and a couple guys whose names I now can't remember. It was the first bar I've ever had to wait in line for. It was mostly guys in the line and since we walked up with only girls I thought we'd get right in. Nope. Oh well, we finally got in and Kelly and everyone else loved the bar so that's what matters.

With the birthday girl.
After this place we went to another bar, followed by a cab ride to Boystown where we went to yet another bar. We were there until around 2am or so and then went to another bar and stood in another line to go dancing. When we got to the front there was a cover and Kelly wasn't up for paying it. I was dragging big time so I didn't argue when we headed for a cab.

Sunday morning we slept in a bit and then got ready for brunch at The Publican. Heather had to take off but Kelly and I met up with Nora and Amanda again, in addition to another Kelly, Scott and Elizabeth. Brunch was a two hour ordeal that involved Scott ordering all sorts of food for the table. He's big in the food industry and it was nice to be out with someone like that. Like the rest of the weekend, all of Kelly's friends were so nice and so easy to be around.

A shot of the table, my waffles, and someone else's bacon. Yes, that monstrous piece of meat is bacon. Unless it's totally burnt to a crisp I'm not a bacon person so this sort of disgusted me, but people were dying over it.

After brunch Kelly and I took a leisurely stroll back to the hotel to meet up with Chloe and Micah. I can't express enough how much I love walking cities. We ate so much at brunch and it was so nice to have a mile or so to walk it off. We stopped on this bridge to look at the Chicago River for a minute and I wondered if I could ever love a city like I love New York.

We got to the hotel lobby and hung out for a little and soon after Chloe and Micah arrived to drive me (and Chlo) to the airport. It was my first time at Midway and I have say I wasn't that impressed. I guess I was just expecting something a lot smaller for the way people talk about it.

It was only about 36 hours (actually a little less) but I had an absolute blast in Chicago. People in the midwest are so down to earth. The streets and subway are clean, and it's just a great city. Oh! And the pizza? To DIE for. I'm craving it big time. I will definitely be back this summer for a slice and a Cubs game.

A few days after coming home to New York we had one last hurrah for Kelly and hit up the Momofuku noodle bar. I've never been to any of the Momofukus so it was fun to go. I'm so happy to be friends with Kelly and to celebrate her big day.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday April 7th - four miles

I did this run in New Hampshire since I was at Brad's for the holiday weekend. I can see why people say they like to have something to train for because if I'd just brought up running clothes with the idea that maybe I'd go for a run I definitely wouldn't have done it.
The training, in addition to the fact that I missed my second short run of the week got me out the door though. I knew I was going to miss the second short run. Between being at scuba Mon and Wed nights until 11pm, all the textbook reading I have to do for classes, and then being at the hospital seeing a friend until 10pm Thursday night, it just wasn't going to happen. I could have gotten up early, but I was already dragging all week. I considered going Thursday night when I got home, but I was so tired and emotionally drained, I couldn't even get myself to pack for my flight the next day. I was just done.
Anyway, Brad and I were supposed to go running together but he injured his foot and couldn't. He took me to a running path and sent me on my way. While it was fun to go in a new place, I decided I'm not crazy about running in unfamiliar territory. I actually think maybe I could get used to it, but it was just different. I also hadn't run any hills in a while, and haven't been running outside during daylight hours. The sun dehydrated me a bit but it was also nice to be in some sunshine.
At around two miles I decided I was going to let myself walk the duration of one song. This run was
tough. I don't know what it was but I couldn't get comfortable. I felt like my stride was so short and my whole body felt like cement. I really did not want to do this run. I only knew I was two miles in because it was right at that moment that Brad drove by. He said he'd seen me running the whole way but you still feel like an idiot when you let yourself walk right as someone passes by. It was good though, because it also made me start running sooner than I would have, and I ran the rest of the way.
I guess the one benefit of running an unfamiliar path is I thought I had about another 1/2-3/4 of a mile to go when I saw Brad waiting for me at the four mile mark. It was nice to have a little cheerleader.
(Weekly mileage: 7)

Tuesday April 3rd - three miles

I really don't have any memory of this run other than the fact that I did it and it was at the gym. I was so exhausted and made the mistake of allowing myself to sit down for 20 minutes. I was falling asleep sitting down. I knew I wasn't going to get my second short run in this week though, so I finally found the motivation.
Wait, I just remembered. I finally got myself to the gym and all the treadmills were taken. There's only four at this particular gym and one was broken. So it's not like I felt confident waiting for a few minutes that one would open up. I stood around for a little, and hopped on the elliptical for a few minutes, and then just got annoyed because there was no point in being on the elliptical. I was annoyed at myself for waiting so long because now it was too late to run into the park. Then I finally realized I could just run on the streets. Running on the street is annoying because there's so man people and you have to cross streets, but Central Park West isn't as crowded and there's not as much traffic. It was also easy to figure out how far I needed to go because of the city blocks.
The run wasn't bad at all. Mentally I liked knowing how many blocks I had left, but it also was like the equivalent of frequently checking my distance on a treadmill. There were also a couple times I just had to stop because I wanted to cross the street and there was too much traffic. I attempted the jog in place you see runners do but it was awkward and not really effective.

Sunday April 1st - four miles

Last weekend two of my best friends from high school were out. It was a crazy weekend that involved some serious late nights and ended in complete exhaustion. At one point in my insanity I thought I'd do my scheduled four mile run Saturday morning while they were sleeping, since they'd be on west coast time. When I woke up that morning it was very easy to push it back to Sunday since I knew they had to leave for the airport by 2pm.
I really really did not want to do this run. I was exhausted and drained from the weekend, I had some reading I needed to do for scuba class, and I had dinner scheduled with another high school friend who was in town with her husband. All I wanted to do was get ready for bed.
I allowed myself a little catnap and then got myself in gear. If I would have gotten moving I could have run in the park but by the time I got out the door the rain had started so it was off to the gym. I was really nervous about this run because it'd been a few weeks since I'd run that far, and I've actually only run four miles a few times. My longest distance to date is five and that's only happened once. I also knew since I'd treated my body like crap all weekend it wasn't going to be easy.
Guess what, it wasn't bad. I didn't allow myself to look at the mileage for a while, kept telling myself it would only depress me and make it harder. I finally picked a number of songs I needed to get through and then could look down. I was pleasantly surprised to see I'd run 3.07 miles. At that point it was only about a mile left which is never too difficult.
It was yet again another reminder that I should never skip runs just because I don't feel like it because I never know when I might have one of my best runs.
(Weekly mileage: 10)
* Thanks to Elise for letting me copy her log format.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


After my last trip to California in December I realized it had been over a year since I went on a vacation where I actually relaxed. Don't get me wrong, I know plenty of people don't take vacations, and I probably have plenty of time to relax, but for the amount of traveling I do, I shouldn't be feel so exhausted all the time after trips. So when Jenn mentioned celebrating her 30th birthday on the beach I didn't hesitate.

The first morning. The view from our room and Jen sadly working in the corner. Poor thing woke up early because she had to get some things done and didn't want to wake us so she sat in the corner and used the light from outside. Such is the life of a lawyer.

We classed it up and went to the Waffle House for breakfast. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this view from outside.
Then we headed to Key Largo. My first trip to the Keys! We sort of got a late start to the day but still enjoyed a little catnap in the sun and then took a drive to a gorgeous resort and sat on the beach while the sun set and enjoyed some divine key lime pie and a pina colada. It was a seriously perfect moment. My mouth is watering just remembering.

After we got back to our hotel we cleaned up and went out to din. Jenn's cousin Lance came from DC. He's a peach.

Sunday we went to church and then hung out at the hotel for most of the afternoon because the weather was terrible. Let me also mention that when we walked into the singles branch I happened to notice a guy in the branch presidency who looked like a kid I used to babysit from home. Then the president was speaking and mentioned his name and I did a double take. Oh yes, that actually IS that kid I used to babysit. He lives here now, with his wife, and is in his second year of med school. I can't possibly be that old...(I'm actually only a few years older than him.)

That night we drove to South Beach to check it out and thankfully the weather had cleared up. We walked around the beach for a bit and I had an awkward moment when Jenn's boyfriend and I needed to use a bathroom and convinced some people to let us into a bathroom that was supposed to be closed (and was also a men's room. We were on a beach, it was slim pickins.) We went in and when I walked out of my stall I practically walked into five men all using the urinals in front of me. YOWZA. I booked it out of there.

Monday we headed to the beach for a bit but it was so dang windy. I've never been on a beach when it was that windy. I told myself it would feel nice when we actually laid down, but it was terrible. We were literally being pelted by sand. I finally got up and went to the hotel pool and eventually everyone joined me. We had a few more hours of relaxing in the sun and then it was time to head back to to real life. Getting off the plane in white jeans, flip flops, and a winter coat was kind of awkward. Oh, but maybe the best part was getting upgraded to first class on my flight down. I've been given an upgrade before, or have flown first when flying standby and there's space, but I've never gotten upgraded on my own. Last year I made silver status on Delta which is the lowest and I was told I'd probably never get upgraded. Lucky me, my second time flying with my status and I did!

I definitely loved my time so much in Ft. Lauderdale/Miami. So much so that I'm having a little college girlfriends reunion in South Beach for my birthday. See you soon Florida!