Life of Late ~ 7.15.16

This week felt like it lasted an eternity.  I think it’s due to the fact that I’m leaving today for a two week vacation – a vacation that includes LOTS of outdoor activities and very minimal screen time.  Part of me is bummed that I’m not venturing up to Canada with a majority of November Project peeps for the annual NP_Summit, but come on, Alaska is pretty tough to pass up on.

In other news, next week officially begins the start of the 16-week training plan for the 2016 New York City Marathon.  I have been going through the plan that my Virtual Trainer set up and then inputting notes into a custom excel document.  #typeAproblems.  I have a goal in mind but I also want to take it one step at a time and reevaluate as necessary.  To be honest, those long runs look quite daunting when written in excel, but I know that with a little help from the running community (so basically all of my NP friends that are also running), we can get this done.

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^^  New York has started up Monday workouts with last Monday featuring Indiana Jones sprints across the Manhattan Bridge.  I’m not sure how many I can attend if I really want to stick to my training schedule, but it was an excellent workout and clutch for that NYC hill training.

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^^ Of course I do socialize with friends in other ways than working out. It may not appear that way on the blog but hey, here we are dressed up (well with the exception of makeup because I was just lazy)

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^^ NYC East Village’s Veselka ~ Ukranian food, famous pierogis, and bucket list check!

Digiday ~ “Pokemania Rages and Nintendo Brand Soars” ~ With Pokemon turning 20 years old, the Nintendo Franchise is celebrating with a BOOM.  That boom is called Pokemon Go and this augmented reality game is taking over like a storm.  In one way, it’s great that people are exploring their communities with this game (you search for Pokemon in various locations) buuut it has also led some users to not so tactful locations such as Holocaust Museum and Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial.  Yeah, not so cool.

Huffington Post ~ “For the Record” ~ You go Jennifer Aniston

Sometimes Always Never ~ “Friendships at 29 vs. 24” ~ While I’m only 25, I feel as though these posts speak to me more than others.  I am constantly meeting new people, experiencing life in different ways than I would have predicted and as a result, some of my friendships inherently ebb and flow.  Some friends go in and out of connection, drifting away from what originally brought us together, and yet there are others that resurface later in life.  “I’ve learned that it’s important that we create space for one another to grow.” (source)

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PureWow ~ “Things a Foodie Would Never Do” ~ Good to note. The chef probably did things for a reason.

Buzzfeed ~ “The Most Popular Ice Cream Shops By State” ~ Yes this is subjective but hey, Sunday is National Ice Cream Day.  So sure, a road trip to every national park is cool, but what if it was supplemented with a tour of all the best ice cream shops??  Do I need to remind you what Sunday is?  Get pumped.

Great Big Story ~ “Mikey Likes It Ice Cream” ~ Solid East Village, NYC pop-cultures inspired selection and good story (<2 min video)

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^^ A little bit of speedwork at Tuesday’s Party With Purpose 5K.  It was a fun race run in Hoboken, stacked with November Project folks, and some very attractive people.  Some of my friends were going to try to PR and win the $250 gift card from Tracksmith and spoiler – they did!

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It was a otherwise typical race for me where I thought about running an easy race, but actually jetted out like a bat out of hell.  Garmin clocked me around 22:34, which wasn’t good enough for a PR but still a solid effort.

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I’m going to be MIA around the blog for a few weeks as my goal for vacation is to go as technology-free as possible.  But, I am addicted to Instagram so that will most likely updated on the daily.  What can I say, I’m a millennial.

Enjoy the weekend!

Meanwhile in Tuxedo

Another summer day and another outdoors adventure.  It’s safe to say that I spend more time reminiscing and dreaming about hiking now than I did when I lived in California.  I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I’m surrounded in concrete and yearning for that outdoors experience.  Although to be fair, I also spent a lot of time wishing I was spending more time outdoors in college and well, it was college.  I definitely could have done so back then.

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Anyways, thank goodness for active friends who are willing to try something new.  Even if it means taking New Jersey Transit from NYC to Tuxedo, New York to go hiking.  Yeah, I’m not sure how we got that one, but we made it.

Our options for the 4th of July weekend hikes were between Bear Mountain, Breakneck Ridge, and Beacon.  Many of us had raced Bear Mountain for the North Face Endurance Challenge and weren’t exactly too keen to revisit that course, but found a different part of the mountain to explore.

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^^ All set with the very smooth and tasty (yet a bit high on the sugar scale) Noosa and Califia experiment.  I’m much more of a fan of almond milk lattes with the barista blend, but this on the go brew was solid enough.  Some of the other folks picked up bagels near Penn Station at Best Bagel & Coffee but I was saving up for dinner at Parm.  More salivating pictures and reviews on that to come.

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We weren’t entirely sure what type of hike or route we were going to take but thankfully one of the gals had brought a map along with her, so we weren’t too terribly lost.

IMG_8519IMG_8527 13584748_10154295469682813_4783836227838467758_oIMG_8193^^ Huge fan of NUUN, an electrolyte tablet that you can pop in your water to shake up hydration.  It’s pretty popular among runners and folks on-the-go and as you can see, perfect to pop in any bag when traveling or even keep at work!

Those looking for the nitty gritty, the electrolytes packed in these tablets (namely >> sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) help reduce cramps and improve muscle function and recovery.

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IMG_8520 IMG_8514IMG_8535 IMG_8518 IMG_852813567132_10154201007110330_6071703245614202437_nIMG_8529IMG_8531IMG_852213521918_10154201007200330_1973019190873832069_n IMG_8533IMG_8536^^ We may not have found a true look out point but this side of the mountain provided quite a nice view.  We even had an encounter with a deer! Don’t worry, we didn’t actually touch the deer, but I got some decent action shots.

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We made it back around 3:30 to catch the early afternoon train into NYC.  From there it was off to PARM and oh what a tasty treat that was.  To be continued…

“Whenever the sun is shining, I feel obligated to play outside!”
― Charles M. Schulz

Cheer Station ~ Long Island Triathlon Edition

This past weekend I traveled outside of the mini island of Manhattan to cheer on a couple of friends in their first outdoor triathlon.  To be honest, it’s always tough for me to spectate a race when I feel or wish that I could be participating.  But, after volunteering in a few races, namely the New York City Marathon, I’ve realized how important the volunteers and spectators are to the race.  Not to mention the fact that I had raced in quite a few triathlons during college so I might have an idea of how to help out on race day.  ;)

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We didn’t leave until midday Saturday so I had enough time to take a run along the Highline and make it to a strength workout at Equinox.  After taking a quick shower, I headed north to meet Tracy and Emily at the rental car shop.  Our final destination was pretty close to Montauk, about 2 or so hours outside of NYC, but we had to pick up a bike for Emily along the way.  It’s safe we were running on “Fuelling” schedule aka cutting it a bit close for comfort – both girls had to pick up their bibs and information by 4:30 that day and we made it just in time at 4:26.

Saturday night was very low key as we went to an early dinner in town, browsed the suburban grocery store for a solid 15 minutes, and then chit-chatted throughout NBC’s Olympic qualifiers in Oregon.  Not too shabby of a night if you ask me, especially since we had to get up at the crack of dawn for the race.

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I slept hard as a rock and soon enough it was 4:50 and time to get up.   Turns out the other girls didn’t sleep as well – mostly race nerves but a little bit of mattress regret too – and were up around 4/4:30.  Once everyone had their gear for the morning, we loaded the bikes onto the car and drove the 1/2 to the race spot – Jamesport Beach, New York.

IMG_8593IMG_8598I was helpful in the beginning and then realized I was simply dead weight, just standing there amongst the participants.  I then decided to take a walk and head to the beach where they would be starting the race.

Watching everyone get set up and put on their wetsuits certainly took me back to college when I raced in the annual Wildflower Olympic Triathlon.  I was reminiscing about the few years that I raced at Lake San Antonio (2013) and even spent my 21st birthday competing.  How’s that for a celebration?  I would totally love to get back into the tri-game and actually put effort into the sport, but one thing at a time.

IMG_8596^^ Aw, two girls ready to crush their first outdoor triathlon!

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^^ Most definitely my LEAST favorite part of racing – the madness of running into the water and initially swimming right on top of each other, kicking one another in the face.

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^^ Emily had borrowed a bike and yes, that’s a mountain bike.  It may have been a bit more difficult than a road bike but she persevered and dominated it.  That much more rewarding of a race, right?

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Every racer had their age marked on the back of their right calf, which made it quite enjoyable for me to spectate and analyze all of the racers – how old they were, what type of gear they had, how excited/focused/traumatized they looked, etc.  Every time a racer passed by, I would cheer them on and then whip around to see how old each racer was.  Man, the ages ranged from 16 to 70!  How’s that for inspiration?  Not only that, but it seemed that everyone was genuinely supportive and helpful to one another!

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Both girls did an incredible job and are of course hooked and ready to sign up for more!

“You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them” – Unknown

Life of Late ~ 7.8.16

Well it looks like I have jinxed myself believing that we could get through a summer without humidity.  Mother Nature is probably laughing and thinking “as if”.  I’m talking it is SO HUMID.  I have beads of sweat dripping down my forehead the minute I walk outside and those spur of the moment thunderstorms make for a lovely walk home. Nothing like an east coast summer, right?

My plans of late have been organized anywhere from 2 to 24 hours before hand, which is quite different than growing up where we had everything planned out to the hour.  Each method has its positives and negatives but I’ve had to rely on more  “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” schedules here in the city.  I figure there are so many people coming and going, so many people asking each other plans so they can figure out what best suits their interests and schedules, and hey, if no one else wants to go somewhere I can do it on my own.  #independence.

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^^ Hometown BBQ with some friends.  We arrived to the Brooklyn joint around 4pm, which was perfect since I needed all those hours following the meal to digest.  Surprisingly there were quite a few parties already eating so they must have had the three day weekend BBQ plan in mind as well.  Looking back, I definitely give the cornbread, brisket, and potato salad two thumbs up.  The mac and cheese was solid but nothing seems to beat the Whole Foods spread.

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^^ Fast forward to Saturday morning after consuming a whole lot of water and TUMS, I met up with some November Project friends to go hiking.  I plan on doing a photo dump later this week since it was a neat experience.  But the soup to nuts version is that we took a train up to Tuxedo, finagled our way to a lake somehow, logged over 8 miles, and were back in the city by 5:30.  To think that I usually sit at my desk for that long…

^^ Another foodie adventure to Lil Frankies where an empty stomach and wallet of cash is necessary.  It’s actually not too pricey  but it is cash only.  You MUST get the burrata and lemon pasta.

When I’m home in a few weeks, I am thinking that some ice cream will be in order (when is it not?)  I would love to check off one or two of the top places to get ice cream in Los Angeles and having already been to Milk, it’s looking like Salt & Straw or Paradis in Montrose.  I’m 99% sure this location is actually related to the Paradis in Copenhagen!

November Project ~ “You’re more than what you do, you’re how you treat people” >> Another transition in leadership in the SF tribe with a so-long post, definitely worth shedding tears over.   To those thinking that they need to find some meaning in their job, their day to day, or whatever it may be – read this.  It’s just yet another reminder that we are multi-faceted human beings and are defined by so much more than our jobs.

Great Big Story ~ How cool would it be to work for something that produces this content?  Anyways, there was a short about Bodie, “The Ghost Town that Time Forgot“.  My parents took us on a short visit one time because it’s located right near our favorite mountain spot – Mammoth Mountain, snug in the Sierra Nevadas.  It also happens to be the namesake of our dog Bodie!  Take a look – the clip is less than 2 minutes long.

Currently Watching >> Whatever I can find on television that catches my attention.  Once I worked my way through ‘Grace and Frankie‘, it was onto ‘Orange is the New Black‘ (OMG…this season), and then … crickets.  Similarly to reading, it takes me awhile to find a show or novel that catches hold.  Once I do find something that I love, I’m hooked and terribly disappointed when it is over.   Other shows and documentaries include:

  • ‘Fed Up’
  • ‘Forks over Knives’
  • CNN’s ‘The Sixties’
  • ‘Uncle Buck’
  • ‘Seinfeld’

I’ve tried to get into older series like ‘The Twilight Zone’, the original ‘Star Trek’, Hulu’s 11.22.63, and even ‘Scandal’ but those are still sitting in my queue.

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^^ Last Sunday’s bRUNch! After five or so miles in the heat, I was ready for some ice cream or rather three full lemonades and then ice cream.

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On the actual fourth of July, I took a slow jog over the Brooklyn Bridge to meet my friend Jackie for a strength class of epic proportion.  It kicked our a$$ that’s for sure.

After a brunch at Le Pain, I made my way to the west side to hang out with friends, play the game Codenames, and earn a nice little sports bra tan-line.  That will be oh so attractive in my bridesmaid dress later this summer.  Although who knows how bad it’ll be by the end of the summer, so I’ll probably have to find some good spray tanner.

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^^ That evening I got together with a couple of different friends and we had a summer salad soiree. Between Annelise’s adult fruit salad, Melissa’s divine deviled eggs and my Greek salad, we were set!  Of course there were a few other items to make for quite a potluck spread for the three of us.  Our thought was to snack until the fireworks went off around 9:30 but of course we had consumed everything by 7:45 and the rain started to pour down around 8:45.

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^^ This is the FDR, which is NEVER this clear.  Not even at 11pm when I’m in an uber back from the airport.  Nope.

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^^ Despite the semi-surprise rain shower (it was supposed to rain at 11pm, not 9pm), we hopped back into Annelise’s apartment and then back out in time to see the Macy’s spectacular.  Successful check off the bucket list!

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bRUNch ~ Smorgasburg Edition

Checking off that summer GOMO list with a run to one of Brooklyn’s famous weekly festivals called Smorgasburg.  The food extravaganza is held every week on Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Prospect Park (open from 11am-6pm) and is perfect for the city that loves to brunch.  It’s also perfect for testing out those hip new food trends you see all over the internet or most notably – Instagram.  For one, I’m talking about the raindrop cake, explained as a “blob-like cake” that really just tastes like flan-jello.  Yeah, I passed on that one.  But hey, it’s a unique experience.

Last Sunday my friends Annelise, Melissa, and I decided to run into Brooklyn for the Prospect Park Smorgasburg version.  It was a classic Kaitlin #runtoeat experience if I do say so myself and certainly a trend to continue as I get into marathon training.  Melissa lives in the upper east side and Annelise lives in midtown so it was a runpool of sorts, bopping from location to location until everyone was in tow.

It’s roughly 5 miles from my place to the park, which was perfect for a light jog.  I hadn’t originally planned to run last weekend but this new Kaitlin (sort of) knows how to go with the flow.  We also strategized our run to end right around 11am when the eats opened and despite the stop and go street light traffic, made it right on time!

IMG_8206^^ When you give Kaitlin a funky sign or statue, she must take a picture with it.  I had actually used this as my picture for daily twice-daily Instagram and Strava, only to then learn that THE Smorgasburg Instagram account had reposted it! They ended up with over 950 likes versus my 60 but same same.

IMG_8208 (1)Once our photoshoot and stretch fest was over, I bee-lined it to a stand with lemonade and Annelise scouted out some iced coffee.  I swear, when the temperatures rise, lemonade is all that I want after a hot trot outdoors.  This cranberry lemonade was small (or maybe I just drank it too fast…) so I followed up with an iced green tea.

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^^ As we made the rounds, scouting out which options we would order and split, Annelise spotted a butternut squash donut to tide us over.  I’m not usually a doughnut person – I just post the pictures for social media but man, this was a winner.  The dense and flavorful dough with a sweet sugary finish. Delightful.

*Do make note that most stands are CASH ONLY.  They have ATMs on premise but that wouldn’t really work for someone who rarely brings an ATM card with them. 

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^^ First up, an authentic Venetian sandwich made with tomato, mozzarella, and bread that is FLOWN FROM VENICE ($9.80).  We deducted that the bread was similar to Wonder Bread, Smucker’s Uncrustables, or potato bread but obviously much healthier since it was Italian.

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^^ Debating our dessert early on…vegan pastries?  Or Alchemy Ice Cream?  The later is one of the latest health desserts that is not only dairy-free and animal-friendly but gluten-fee, vegan, and kosher.  Oh and it actually tastes good. Shocker.  Sadly it doesn’t have its own store, but can be found in plenty of grocery stores (mostly Brooklyn), online, and of course Smorgasburg weekly.

IMG_8209^^ Another viable dessert option from Butter & Scotch’s Boozy Bakers.  These guys are known for their desserts but I also highly recommend their breakfast biscuit sandwiches.  We may have scheduled a long run entirely around Brooklyn, ending there to refuel.

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^^ Second meal of morning for our group >> multi-grain arepa with chicken, cheese, and garnish on top. This was definitely a crowd-pleaser among Melissa and Annelise, due to the extra flavor packed on top, but I thought the arepa base was a bit difficult to chew.

IMG_8219Shockingly I was reaching a point of beyond fullness as we reached our dessert but a few bites of this mint brownie sandwich hit the spot >> soft brownie cookie (gluten-free!) with dark chocolate shell (inside the sandwich), and mint ice cream.

It’s always more fun to eat out with others, especially when you run (literally and figuratively) in a pack that is down to share.  That way you are able to sample oh so much more with far less of the belly ache.

Smorgasburg
(Williamsburg Nov. ’13 + June ’14)
~ Website ~ Brooklyn Flea ~
Williamsburg – 1a-6p @ East River State Park
Prospect Park – 11a-6p @ Breeze Hill (Lakeside/Lincoln Road)

Cultivating Inspiration

Every now and then we need a little dose of perspective and a little dose of inspiration to get our engines moving.   Not everything is sunshine and rainbows BUT we also need to give ourselves a bit more credit.  I have found social media to help push us forward and build us up, but I have also found that it brings us down.  Why can’t I look like that, travel there, be crafty and successful?  No one (or the majority of people) do not share the negatives and down moments, the fails and frustrations.  We are all human and what works for one person may not work for another.  What’s the theme of the year? You do you.

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Here are a few links about or from people that I happen to know that are pretty darn inspiring.

BYU Olympian Teaches Optimism

I’m not claiming that I know a celebrity buuuut I did go to school with Kate.  I vividly remember in junior high choir asking for her signature in my yearbook and telling her “for when you are famous”.

Anyways, Kate made it to the Olympics as one of the top luge competitors in the world but is more or less remembered for is her personality and her dance moves.  In her BYU Ted Talk, she talks about the effort she put into training, only to get knocked down before qualifiers.  We know now that she made it to the Olympics, but it’s her attitude that really helped separate her from the crowd.

Again, I can’t say that I know her too well anymore (or really did) but I do follow her social media accounts and have to say she always is trying something new, pushing the boundaries, and it is pretty darn inspiring (especially when I sit behind a computer at a desk all day…) Check out the blog/instagram she has set up with her sister about their travels.

(photo credit)

ESPN ~ Chris Mosier Breaking Barriers

The only reason I know Chris Mosier is through November Project.  He was one of the speedsters that would push each workout to the max.  Over time I learned his story (podcast here + Buzzfeed Article) and how much of a leader he is for the transgender community.  I cannot do any of his story justice, so I please implore you to read this article.  In his own words, “there are certainly parts of our country that are really struggling with understanding that they should treat all people with dignity and respect.”  Chris has made leaps and bounds to break the barriers and is now a history maker.

 

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November Project NYC Blog ~ “Stuck in a Rut” By Jeanie 

This is the latest post by our newest co-leader who is quite possibly the most badass and groovy of women in our tribe.  Let’s take a step back.  We knew that there had to be a change coming down the pipeline for NP_NYC.  Our leaders, as awesome as they are, needed a female in the mix.  Who would it be?  How would the dynamic change?  Questions galore.  Well, for months I think we all were thinking it – “Damn Jeanie would be amazing.  She is nice to everyone, has amazing charisma, awesome dance moves and is fit and fast AF”.  Turns out it was so spot on it came true.  Catch her first blog post here.

Now moving up to the  present.  Her blog post from Wednesday was about being stuck in a rut.  We’ve all been there.  Heck, there are some days every.single.week that I feel stuck in the muck.  But finding a group to push you outside of that zone, encourage you to shine your true colors and not pretend to be someone else – it’s golden and it’s what we all need.  I’m not saying you need to go to November Project.  I’m just saying, find a group of people who appreciate you for who you are and don’t expect you to change to fit their ideals.  But also a bit of sweat always helps.

*November Project NYC Information Here

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts [and surround yourself with positive people], your life will start to change”