Just Run ~ Global Running Day 2017

It’s GLOBAL RUNNING DAY!  As I’ve probably noted before, running has been a part of my life for a solid 10 years.  I wasn’t the most athletic person growing up, even though I played sports as a child.  Year after year it was soccer but it wasn’t until middle school when I started to try.  Well fast forward 10 years, 2 marathons, 17 half marathons, and countless other races and I’m still running.  It’s been my therapy, my friend (and how I make friends), and it’s been there through thick and thin (just like my quads…funny? Not funny? Can’t tell).  While I’m pretty sure I’ll never have the legs like I did in high school (ahem, that was high school), I’m proud of where my legs have brought me and continue to carry me.

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As I type, New York Road Runners is hosting a world record attempt for the most consecutive treadmill miles by a group of people.  The goal is 200 hours and that would set them to finish around 8pm tonight at the NYRR Run Center.  All runners can join in for one mile on the treadmill.  It would be neat to be a part of such a record but I’m not sure work will let me out in time.

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^^ Track is fun but not when it feels like you are running in slo-mo.  Also where is the sunshine?  Lately NYC has been gloomy and rainy…not cool 

While I do love running oh so much, I’ve found myself in a bit of a funk and it pains me to say that.  For the past few weeks every run has hurt or felt beyond difficult.  I haven’t felt the joy in regular runs or even NP like I used to and I’m not sure what happened.  I’m sure from all the above and from what my friends have said is that I need a break – something no runner wants to hear.

^^ 2 marathons, same great race outfit and a lot of memories

To be honest, the last two training cycles have done a number on my body.  Did you know that for a lot of people, weight gain is more prevalent than weight loss during marathon training?  Yeah, figured that one out.  Now I’m sure much of that could be contributed to muscle vs. fat but when your body changes, you must figure out how to adapt.  Currently I’m trying to figure out how to feel good again.   I’m upping my cross training (swimming, yoga, etc.), taking a deep dive look at my eating habits and may even visit my friend Tara at her nutrition role at The Plate Coach for some tips.  The problem I’ve had with seeing a nutritionist is what can they tell me that I haven’t read in the magazines and internet already?  Well, there’s a little thing called personalization and just as one running plan won’t’ work for everyone, no one eating mindset/perspective works for everyone.

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Ultimately my goal is to get back to the point of this post – running.  I want to be able to feel good when I run and know that spending some time away from Strava or off the roads will do the mind and body good. Of course I’m not the best at practicing what I preach and have already planned to run the marathon relay at this weekend’s North Face Endurance Challenge.  Instead of getting frustrated at how lethargic or slow I might feel, I will instead focus on running/hiking what I can and honing in on the excitement around me and just being outside with lots of like-minded folks – oh and not getting lost.

So, with that, “run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up” – Dean Karnazes.

Oh, and I’m also going to purchase a new pair of running shoes since I’ve hit 400+ miles and that might be a small part in my legs hurting on my run.  Just a thought 😉

Life of Late ~ 5.26.17

Well, we are almost through another month of 2017 and with today being Friday, we are oh so close to a long weekend!  Of course there are about 5 people in the office right now and all of my agencies are closed.  But that doesn’t mean I can do a little research and get ahead of the game (…or blog).  😉  So let’s get ready to ramble.

I’m actually very excited for the weekend since it means a weekend away from the city and a weekend full of relaxing.  Typically when I take vacation or a personal day off, I stay active and go go go.  Even on most weekends you can find me gallivanting all about the city.  Well, after some time that adds up and I think I’m in dire need of some R&R.   I know that even if I stuck in the city, I would get swept up and would still be going 100 miles per hour and would end up even more exhausted on Monday.   So instead, I’m heading down to a part of the Jersey Shore where I have family friends and plan to just relax all.weekend.long.

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^^ I was smart and decided not to race last week’s Brooklyn 1/2 Marathon.  Instead, my speedy friend Callie and I jogged along 6 miles of the route to our cheer station.  I definitely was slowing her down but she had just finished a Half Ironman so I didn’t feel toooo bad.  If I can’t race, I definitely want to be able to cheer just to see all the smiles that we can put on runner’s faces.   We even had people bee-line through traffic so that they could high-five us.  Now that’s some good sh$t. 

On the subject of scheduling, I’ve been trying to change my lifestyle and be more active after work.   In the winter it was so easy to come right home and sit on the couch and flip through apps on my phone.  That’s a whole different post but talk about going brain dead.

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^^ After work activities like grabbing Dim Sum at Joe’s Shanghai with these lovely ladies, buying boba, and then testing out various selfies with the timer on my phone.  We are fun.  P.S. This is my friend Maura in the middle.  We ran Paris together and now she lives in D.C.  I miss her but am so excited for her move! P.P.S.  I couldn’t figure out how I wanted my hair.  I tested three styles and it ended in a bun.  My mom would call that my 100th hairstyle of the day. 

Anyways, between workout classes, staying late for work, and catching up with friends, it’s all been going really well.  The only problem is I don’t always spend as much time packing my bag for the next day or weekend.  I have to commit to the outfit packed and sometimes end up forgetting things.  When I arrived at the gym this morning, I realized I had left my watch charger and phone charger at home.   Now this could be a good thing since I’m already in trouble for using up most of the family’s data plan (yes, family plan is cheaper for now) and I figured out that 1) Apple is not only tracking you but has various buttons “on” that extra data without you knowing it and 2) Instagram and Instagram stories are a huge culprit.  We figured this out when the spikes in the bill occurred during Paris, the Boston Marathon, and the Ragnar Relay.  Oops.

So maybe a weekend without my phone is a good thing!  I mean, the family I’ll be staying with will probably share their charger but this could be a good test for me.  GET OFF OF YOUR PHONE AND OFF SOCIAL MEDIA (for maybe two days).  But I digress.

Workouts of late have included a lot less running and just a lot less of everything.   I am sort of burnt out but also trying to get in better shape for summer life.  I don’t think I took enough time off post-NYC marathon or even post-Paris.  After taking a Power Pilates class this morning, I realized I need to do a LOT more work on my core if I want to be faster.

Besides core, I’m trying to work more on my cross-training.  I’ve swam a few times in the last week and am pumped for the outdoor pools to open up this summer.  There is nothing better than swimming outside in the fresh air, even if NYC’s air isn’t that fresh.  I’m a bit spoiled since I grew up swimming in the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center – a pool that actually seems pretty darn clean in comparison to NYC pools.  But you take what you can get, right?  Anyways, I need a new suit since mine is about 4 years old and getting to the ratty stage.  I attempted to purchase one off of Swim Outlet but found that a 28 does not equate to 28 in pants.  No folks, that’s a XXS.  COOL.  Then I ordered another size only to have it arrive and still not fit.  Double cool.  My swim cap also snapped last week and has to be replaced.  Until then, I’m stuck to dry land exercises.

Humann ~ “Coming Back from Injury – Why Rest Days Are Vital” ~ REST DAYS ARE SO DIFFICULT.  I automatically feel like a whale and a lethargic whale at that.  Bad mentality.  Goal = must get better at rest days for a better training season

Medium.com ~ Lane 9 Project ~ Navigating our way through Lane 9, the unspoken but present mindset in which many active girls and women exist. >> “When What’s Healthy Isn’t Healthy At All” >> “A Dietitian’s Truth Diet Culture Leads to Disordered Eating

Janji ~ Celebrating 5 years!!! I love this company because of it’s gear and it’s mission to help give clean water around the world! (Blog post here)

People who visit Los Angeles or New York expect to see celebrities on a daily basis.  Spoiler alert – they don’t always follow the crowds along a busy 5th Avenue or waltz through Bryant Park with all the tourists and working professionals out to lunch.  BUT there are some times where you are graced with the presence of someone who probably has a higher Instagram or Twitter following (definitely higher Twitter following).  Last night I met up with some friends for drinks in the West Village and what do you know, Matthew Perry decided to come in for a bite to eat.  I don’t know the woman he was with but do know that it was him.  I didn’t want to be THAT person and bring a lot of attention to the situation so I kept it pretty cool.  He’s not my favorite actor, but pretty cool, right?

During the 40 days of Lent, I gave up sweets and it went really really well.  Yes, I know that’s not the point of Lent (or Lenten diet as my mom would joke) but it was a test for me and my sweet tooth.  Well, now that it is over, I’ve had a tough time getting back on the no-sweets train.  Bagel Friday comes with muffins?  Pretty much glorified cake for breakfast so yes please.  Needing a 2pm pick me up?  How about I go scout out some chocolate?  Yeah, all of that needs to end mostly because it makes these items less of a treat.  It becomes normalized and my body doesn’t always feel good after.  I’m not creating “no-no” foods, just trying to treat my body with the respect it deserves.  It’s the type of “treat yo’self” mentality but in a positive way.

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Until next time, enjoy the weekend, have some watermelon, and take a big bite out of life.  Hopefully you look as adorable as my friend Amanda and not like you are annihilating the watermelon like me 😉

Running the Cape ~ Ragnar Cape Cod

So, Ragnar Relay Cape Cod.  Where do I even begin?  The fact that I ate more bread in a four-hour period than I had in two weeks (I’m talking heavenly delicious blueberry granola bread from When Pigs Fly)?  Or that I got a total of 3 hours’ max of restless sleep?  Or that I had three of the hardest runs in my life (or last four years) and pretty much was crying on leg #3, my second 9.6 trek? Or that I had an absolute blast and couldn’t stop laughing the entire trip?

Yeah, I don’t know where to begin either so let’s just start at the beginning.  As I mentioned last Friday, I had completed a few of these Ragnar Relays in the past.  As a matter of fact, I completed the Wasatch Back Relay, which was the inaugural Ragnar (it started back in 2003).  When you tell someone that you are voluntarily paying to run between 15-22 miles and sit in a car for 24+ hours, they will probably think you are insane. I tried again and again to explain what would happen and why it was fun but it turns out you can’t comprehend what will go down on one of these trips – no matter how many posts and articles you read – until you have completed one.

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(Source)

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Life of Late ~ 5.12.17

As you read this I will be en route to start my 5th (or 6th since I can’t really remember) Ragnar Relay.  Back in high school and college I ran the annual Wasatch Back Relay with some friends in Utah.  Since that particular race happens in June, it was always a “fun” way to wrap up the school year.  I put that in quotes because most people would 1) call that insane and 2) it really is somewhat of a 24 hour suffer-fest.  My coworkers actually have started to just assume every PTO day I take or “vacation” is running related.  So far this year they aren’t wrong. 

Anyways, being a runner, I forgot what the pain was like and decided to do it again.  This time around has been a bit more intense since I’m actually helping the captains get ready for the race and let’s just say the universe was very against us running.  Between finding an additional 7 runners, runners dropping due to injury (total of 4 runners dropped), issues with driving insurance, and more injury, it’s been a fun time.  I don’t start until later this afternoon and then I will embark on a total of 22 miles (9 + 3 + 9).  Now if I don’t get kicked off the finish line (there’s a slight chance we may not make it based on timing…) it’ll be a grand success.  I’ll have to check back in next week to let you know the result.

As for now, sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of Life of Late.

Yes, a majority of my life is about running.  My dad hinted that I might need to cut back on working out so that I can enjoy some other parts of life.  I know there will be a time where exercise may not be #1 in my life but for now, it provides me with social opportunities, peace of mind, and energy to take on the day.   I don’t take it to extremes and it really doesn’t interfere too much with “normal life” since my workouts are always in the morning.

I probably should have taken more of a break following Paris but instead got caught up in the weekly schedule of workouts and continuing training for Ragnar.  My hips have been bugging me so I might have to take a step back in the next month or so.  The nagging pain probably has to do with the fact that I’ve been rooted on my butt from 8:30-6:30 most days at work but that’s a pretty petty excuse.  I really need to get back into stretching, strength, and foam rolling.  Alas, I’m only human.

It’s true I haven’t been to NP as much but still have my Tuesday track and Thursday stairs workout.  I do still love NP but have been feeling a bit out of it lately and need to reevaluate.  However, speaking of November Project, I re-connected with an old sorority sister through Instagram and start chatting about November Project. Turns out that she moved to Portland and has been one of the main members of the fitness pledge and THEY BECAME A TRIBE!!  How neat is that??  I will certainly have to visit.

Looking back at college I think I would have been even more satisfied or happier if I had a solid workout group like November Project.  Then again, hindsight is 20/20 and I was still figuring my way around and trying to figure out myself.  Heck, I’m still doing that.

Last week was my birthday and I think 26 is off to a very solid start.  I started the day with a run – actually crashed Ali’s event – in the park.  Our friends Jackie and Laura Ann were simply amazing and picked up balloons, necklaces that said Happy Birthday and birthday hats.  All of the above made running 6 humid miles around the park a bit difficult but it was so worth all the smiles and birthday greetings we received from people.  I mean, how can you glare at someone trying to maneuver a massive golden balloon as they run?

Later in the day after brunching at Blake Lane and grabbing a coffee from Joe, my friend Melissa and I held a joint birthday bash at a bar downtown.  I’m not the biggest bar person but when you are in NYC, that seems to be the big thing.  Well, for anyone looking for an awesome space, look no further than D.B.A., which allows dogs, food to be brought in (because of said dogs), and has an awesome covered outdoor space.  We stayed all afternoon long and had a blast!  I think what made me the happiest was that over the course of the day, I was able to see pretty much every person in New York City that I love.  That right there is the key to a good time!  Oh and possibly a few too many bottles of the Wolffer Cider.

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^^ Sunday brought some gloomy weather and somewhat of a hangover from the lovely Wolffer Cider.  Not the best hangover but certainly not the worst.  I had been gifted tickets to the NYCFC match up at Yankee Stadium and so despite the nasty forecast, I traveled up to the Bronx to watch some good ‘ol futbol.  I haven’t followed MLS of late but grew up watching the Galaxy so it was fun to reminisce and also to walk around the baseball stadium.

Fun Reads (because it makes me happy to share)

The Real Life RD ~ “Why You Should Take A Lunch Break” ~ When possible, I do try to go for a walk or even a quick gym class and it’s totally evident with my refreshed mind and body.  But the past two weeks have been tough to even get out of work on time.  Let’s just say working 8:30-6 or later with no break does nothing for my achey hips and back.

PureWow ~ “8 Hikes within 2 Hours of NYC” ~ Maybe now that I’m not training for any half or full marathons this fall I’ll have some more weekend time to hike and enjoy the beach!

NY Post ~ “Llama Weddings Are Real and as Bizarre as They Sound” ~ Goodness knows I’ve got time before I get married BUT OH MY GOSH HOW COOL! THEY HAVE LLAMAS!!! (also not sure where my obsession with llamas came from either…) November Project ~ “How My Body Healed When I Took Off My Watch” ~ Comparison is the thief of joy and I certainly need to remind myself of this DAILY.

Quartz Media ~ “Employee Burnout is Becoming a Huge Problem in the American Workforce” ~ If anything, there are times where I feel guilty for taking time off, but that shouldn’t be the case!

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  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and wishing all the mother’s out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.  You are all rockstars.

Secret Spots of Central Park

My name is Kaitlin and I’m a history geek.  I grew up with a family that would make a detour in order to tack on an extra Civil War Battlefield or museum so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Right now I’m working my way through New York City via a walking tours book and some spontaneous running adventures.  November Project has been a huge help since the workouts range from Battery Park to deep into Harlem.  But the most wonderful place (biased) is that of Central Park and it turns out that there’s a lot more to this grand oasis than I ever realized!

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This amazing plot of land is smack dab in the middle of the concrete jungle, it happens to be the most visited park in the U.S., and it tops out as one of the most filmed locations in the world.  I can easily say it’s one of my favorite places in the city and I make sure to run some form of the loop at least 1-2x per week.  I also happen to work near the park but the reality of me leaving the office during the day is bleak…so I rely on the epic views we have from the kitchen and cafeteria.  Anyways, enough about me.  The important part is that this park should always be on your NYC bucket list whether you are here for the 1st or 100th time.

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Last Sunday my friend Maura and I went on a jogging tour of the park with a group called Jane’s Walks.  Maura tends to stick to the West Side Highway during her runs and as her time in New York is actually coming to a close (off to grand adventures in D.C.!!!!) so we thought it would be good to accomplish some bucket list items.

Now I have taken many many pictures of the park and posted them here.  From the Great Lawn to the reservoir, they are all pretty note-worthy places.  Today’s post will be more about the more secretive spots that blew me away.  Who knew these lush gardens could be found by simply walking an extra 10-40 yards off the main path?

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It was established back in 1857 on a portion of city-owned land and the design was picked out of a design competition.  With the expertise of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, a design was picked, construction began, and the first public area was introduced to the public in 1858.  The construction continued through the American Civil War and in 1873 was expanded to the 843-acres that it is today.

 The park had been home to a number of shanty towns – Harsenville, the Piggery Disctrict or Seneca Village that needed to be rid of in order to continue construction and there was even a convent on the upper right side of the park called Mount St. Vincent’s Academy.

We started around 72nd near the Daniel Webster statue and ended up around 102nd.  We passed through the west side of the park, through the gardens along 5th avenue and up on the hills of Harlem.  We didn’t run through the Zoo but did pass the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (<< one of the most difficult words for me to spell).

We crossed over and under countless from back in the 19th century and are still standing.  Along with those bridges are waterfalls, which are flowing a plenty now that it’s spring and we’ve had our fair share of rain.  Then you have the above picture (right), which is a blockhouse, the second oldest item in Central Park next to Cleopatra’s Needle, and was created back in 1814 for defending the park.

Now when writing this post, I spent some time bopping around Wikipedia.  Yes, I was using Wikipedia because all the information is there and I don’t have access to encyclopedias.  Anyways, since I can’t copy and paste and am not going to link back to every single thing, I highly recommend spending some time reading up on Central Park.  It’s fascinating what you can find and if you would rather take a walk in the park, then be my guest and come explore the wonder of New York City!

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Have you been to Central Park? Do you have a favorite place in the park?

 

Life of Late ~ 5.5.17

Hello.  It’s me.  I honestly didn’t mean to let this much time go in between posts but I have been stepping away from blogging a bit.  Maybe it’s a phase or a burnout or maybe the social sharing medium has changed.  To be honest, I tend to use a lot more of Instagram than I used to and so do most people (sorry Dad if you are reading this…I think this is the data issue).

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