Looking Back at 2015

A year like any other with some highs and some lows.   Most of all a helluva lot of running and exploring of the Big Apple.

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^^ Oh the people you will meet and the places you will go.  I’ve been thankful for those I can call my friends and NP_NYC family.

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^^ Team Shorts w/ our Lulu game on point.  Fun life lesson (my mother will kill me for putting this up) – don’t spit or snot rocket unless you are working out and in running clothes 😉
BOOKS READ
– Single, Carefree, Mellow: Stories
– 10% Happier
– Blink
– A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)
– Cold Tangerines
– The Defining Decade
– The House Girl
– Funny Girl
– The No. 1 Ladie’s Detective Agency #15 (The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe)
– All the Light We Cannot See
– Boys on the Boat
– The Greatest Generation
– Unbroken
– The Bridal Chair
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PLACES TRAVELED
– NEW YORK (Poughkeepsie, Van Cordtlant Park, Dumbo Brooklyn, Montauk, north of Westchester)
– Philly, PA
– Haddonfield, NJ
– Boston, MA
– Cape Cod, MA
– Chicago, IL
– Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden)
– California (Pasadena, Mammoth, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes)
– Baltimore, MD
– Charleston, SC
– SLC/Park City, UT
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RACES RUN
NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 1/10/15 (50:57) Pace = 8:12
NYRR Gridiron 4M – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 2/1/15 (29:33) Pace = 7:24
NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks 5K – Manhattan, NY – 3/1/15 (21:36) Pace = 6:58
NYRR 10K Spring Melt Down – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 3/29/15 (44:13) Pace = 7:07
NYRR Scotland Run 10K – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 4/1/15 – (46:18) Pace = 7:27
NYRR Run as One 4M – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 4/26/15 – (29:33) Pace = 7:24
Philly Broad Street 10 Miler – Philadelphia, PA – 5/3/15 – (1:13:17) Pace = 7:19
GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon – Sweden – 5/23/15 – (1:39:41)* Pace = 7:36
NYRR Retro 4-Miler 6/7/15 – (28:22) Pace = 7:06 
NYRR 5-Borough Series: Queens 10K – Flushing Meadows Corona Park – 6/21/15 – (47:13) Pace = 7:36
NYRR Team Championships – 5mi – Central Park – 8/1/15 (36:35) Pace = 7:19
NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – 9/13/15 – (6:06)
North Face Endurance Challenge – Park City
NYRR Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Marathon – Central Park – 10/4/15 (1:45:59) Pace = 8:06
NYRR Staten Island Half Marathon – Staten Island, NY – 10/11/15 (1:46:23) Pace = 8:07
Run for the Hungry 5k, La Canada – 11/26/15 (22:38) Pace = 7:22
NYCRuns Hot Cocoa 10k – Roosevelt Island, NYC – 12/6/15 (48:08) Pace = 7:35
NYRR Ted Corbitt 15k – Central Park – 12/12/15 (1:13:01) Pace = 7:50
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^^ Explore your city.  No matter the size of your town, whether you’ve lived there for years or just a few days, it will continue to surprise you.

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^^ Take time to venture somewhere new.  From Scandinavia to Utah to Charleston, I tried to keep it interesting.

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^^ No matter what, do what you love and love what you do.

“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.” – Marcel Proust

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A Very Cali-Christmas

When you expect the weather to be warmer than the northeast…but it’s not…you still have a good time because come on, it’s CALIFORNIA!  This last week has been filled with running outside along the palm trees, some working from home (because traffic sucks and isn’t worth wasting valuable work time), and lots and lots of family time.  I’ve missed my buddies at NP_NYC but have since made a few out here in Los Angeles, which makes things a little more enjoyable.

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^^ With a few hours of sleep after my flight home, I made it out to Baldwin Hills for one of the traveling Friday workouts.  Though it sounds crazy to drive 40 minutes (sans traffic) for a workout, I somehow feel more accomplished having made one or two more friends.

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^^ It’s also pretty funny that they call me “New York” and some of my friends back east like to call me “Cali”.  Oh, and no, we aren’t choking one another, it’s the Star Wars grip…ok it still looks strange.

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^^ Thanks NP_LAX for a sweet Christmas Eve Eve workout (candy cane consumption optional but highly encouraged) 😉

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^^ Working out at a coffee shop in Santa Monica meant dealing with 60 minutes of traffic and ultimately treating myself to a good acai bowl and iced coffee.  So hipster, I know 😉

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As mentioned, family time has been plentiful with a trip down to Laguna to see Dad’s side of the family (hooligans below) and a trip up north to see Mom’s side.

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^^ Giving TFred (aka Dad aka the photographer) a hard time and making funny faces. This may have been best of the bunch.  Christmas Eve was filled with songs (most of which were sung off pitch), chit-chat and and so much good food.

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^^ Found these gems around the house.  Aren’t we adorable?  What happened? 😉

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^^ Doesn’t that just scream old-school beach? The VW van, palm trees (and other trees) a plenty and sand and surf just around the corner.

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IMG_4228 ^^ Couldn’t help myself.  If there wasn’t a picture, it didn’t happen, right?  Of course my timing with the full moon wasn’t exactly planned right and I managed to make it around town and to the water just in time for high tide.

For once in my life I haven’t made any concrete plans for the week ahead.  But, between workouts and family lunches, golf and a couple movies, I’m sure I won’t be too bored.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Life of Late ~ 12.23.15

So because I really like posting these little life of late posts, I’m setting mine up a couple days early.   I have been in a quasi-active posting mode, publishing posts on M/W/F and obviously a tad bit inactive the last few weeks.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  Anyways, I figured not many people would be browsing the internet and checking on emails come Friday, so here we go.

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^^ Second annual NP_NYC Carols with double the turnout from last year!  We met at Columbus Circle, divided into teams, and then went on a scavenger hunt through midtown.

IMG_3947One of the main reasons I love the New York workouts is that every Friday locations takes you to a new part of the city.  Oh, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll be somewhere totally iconic.  Brooklyn Bridge?  Been there.  Columbus Circle? Done that.  Plus, waking up early to hang out with some of your friends?  How else would you want to start the weekend?

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Oh the joy of client events…meet the “Sleigh Belles”

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What in the world are we doing?  Well, completing a mega stair and deck-a-day workout in the WARM December night.  That’s right, New York may have just hit below the 40’s this week but in the last couple weeks, we had highs in the 60’s!  There were some days where it was warmer than Southern California in December.

IMG_3968Meet the NP_NYC Race crew.  This was from our last NYRR race of the year, the Ted Corbitt 15K in Central Park.  I signed up relatively last minute and was happy with how it went.

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Yes, I race with music.  Lately it has just been a necessity and if I could play a few of Bieber’s songs and “Lean On” on repeat, it would be a good day.  Overall, I’d say the 6.5 miles weren’t half bad.  The last few were a different story.  I still finished strong but need these next few weeks off from racing.

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With a cheer squad like this, you are bound to have a strong finish.  Just knowing you will have people waiting there screaming for you makes a WORLD of difference.  Also note that we are all in shorts and tank tops.  It was that warm in mid-December.  Hello Global Warming.

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With the last couple weeks in New York came lots of good times.  I scored four tickets to Jimmy Fallon and managed to see Tina Fey and Channing Tatum all in one day!

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Apparently they are SUPER strict on the no cell phone rule inside the waiting room.  Strict as in they mentioned it at every opportunity they could over the course of two hours.

IMG_4036IMG_4019 It may not have been your typical New York December with temperatures in the 60’s but seeing things like this on my way to the gym definitely makes up for that.  After all, we need some decoration to make the season merry and bright, right?

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^^ Another look at our mega turnout from NP Carols.  So many people were fascinated by us and were taking pictures and videos.  With our luck we will not only be in the Snapchat story but in someone’s scrapbooks. If people make those any more…

Business Insider ~ “Brothers who cofounded a $100 million company say this question their mom asked every night at dinner is what inspired their business” ~ Ask others about the good in their day rather than focusing on the bad.

I’m Begging My Mother To Not Read This Blog ~ “Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.” ~ Sorry about the language, but sometimes you have to keep things in perspective. I like the way she ends the post.  Do what you can.

Bananas for Balance ~ “An Honest Look at Body Image & Self-Talk” – Currently in the same boat and I love what she writes at the end “While I can make some exercise and nutrition changes to feel better, I also know that part of that process is loving my body for how it is today and all that it can do. End of story.

IMG_4140 ^^ When in doubt, explore what’s out there.  This was from Pho Show out in Brentwood/Los Angeles area.  So.darn.delicious.

New Yorker ~ “The Spiritual Life of the Long Distance Runner

Ideas.ted.com ~ “Why Rejection Hurts So Much – And What to Do About It” ~ I’m debating about whether to dedicate an entire post about this.  For now, here are my two cents.  Rejection hurts.  We’ve all experienced it in one form or another.  But here’s the thing – it makes us stronger and pushes us to be better.  Sure, things don’t always go your way, but as my yoga teacher said last week, that’s the point of life.  If things were always easy, life would be boring.

Great Big Story ~ “Fighting for the Starting Line: Chris Mosier’s Quest to Compete” ~ This is amazing because not only is it a part of the new CNN news platform (something my company created), but I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Chris through November Project.  Chris is the first transgender man to make one of the male national teams and he is by far one of the toughest athletes and pushes himself and others to their best.  Please take the time – it’s 2:22 minutes – to watch.

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Meghan and I went to an ugly sweater party at a friend’s place last weekend and yes, they had a puzzle.  My sister is the queen of puzzles and so when one girl said “I don’t know if we are going to be able to finish this tonight, it’s just too complicated”, Meghan responded with “do not underestimate my powers” (points for whoever guesses where this line is from).  As you can see, it was a glorious success.  Although, there was some butthead who thought he was hot $hit and said “wow, what losers are doing a puzzle?”.  I glared at him in a nice fashion and said, my friends, and promptly went to help with the puzzle.  #rude

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With that, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and see you on the other side (aka next week)

Sharing a Bit of Christmas Cheer

What a bright time, it’s the right time to rock the night away and write a little survey.  Inspired by Hayley’s blog post last week and filled with all the holiday cheer that comes at this time of year.

Christmas Survey

Eggnog or hot chocolate? – Hot chocolate all the way.  I tested out eggnog on Saturday (along with some smog not) and it just wasn’t my jam.

Multi-color tree lights or white? – White is quite nice because it carries a calming aesthetic but since we’ve grown up with the multi-colored lights, I have to go with tradition.  Obviously.

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Do you hang mistletoe? – No, no, no.

When do you decorate for Christmas? – We try to get our tree the second or so weekend in December, just so that it lasts the entire season and doesn’t dry out.  As for decorations, they usually go up after Thanksgiving – depending on when we have time – or rather when my mom has time since my sister and I haven’t been living at home for the past few years.

 What is your favorite holiday dish? – Hmmm. Popovers? They are rare but delish.  Or peppermint bark.  I’m a new fan of the Holiday Flat White but that’s a commercialized dish.

Favorite holiday memory? – I love walking around Manhattan and seeing all the street lights, store windows, and decorated trees.  A new one is the NYC NP_Carols where we dress up and gallivant around the city singing carols (and even making the NYC Snapchat story)

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What’s on your Christmas wish list? – I would really like an updated phone, especially since it’s my lifeline, my camera, my planner, etc.  Although, I’m not too picky.  Just time to relax and workout with the fam and no drama.

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? – Since we spend the afternoon and evening with my dad’s side of the family, we generally exchange a gift or two or open PJ’s from the Christmas Elves.

How do you decorate your tree? – This is my very first personal tree! I have a tradition of collecting ornaments on every trip that I go on or every year that I live in a new place.  For the past three years I have picked out a turquoise glazed ornament from the Union Square Christmas Market – each one depicting one of my favorite places around town.  So far I have Flatiron District, the East River Path, and the Williamsburg Bridge/One Tower.

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Snow: love it or hate it? – Just for a little bit 🙂 I’m more of the sunny and 70 on Christmas morning kind of gal.  What can I say? I grew up in Southern California.

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^^ More of the Christmas Eve view but you get the idea.  Hard life living in Southern California 😉  Remind me why I’m living in New York?

Real or fake tree? – Real!  We pick our tree out from the local YMCA lot every year.  This is probably more work than it needs to be since my mom spends most days worrying if it has enough water but we love doing it and it helps out the YMCA.  This year my mom surprised my sister and I with our own little fake tree from Crate & Barrel so that we could decorate it with our own ornaments and take it with us when we move.

Favorite Christmas movie? – Christmas with the Kranks or White Christmas. I have never been one to re-watch TV shows or movies but boy those two can play on repeat and I would never grow tired of them.  Also, Tim Allen is simply the man.  So darn funny.  I could also see my dad pulling a move like that, so it makes it even more hilarious.

Favorite holiday tradition? – Our traditions or schedule has been relatively unchanged over the years >> driving down to Laguna Beach on Christmas Eve to spend time with my dad’s side of the family, spend Christmas morning with a jog (usually Meghan and I roaming the streets), and then driving up to Santa Barbara to spend Christmas night with my mom’s side of the family.

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^^ Lately we have been playing games on Christmas Eve and with a family of athletes and competitive individuals, it’s a hoot!

Favorite Christmas carol? – Mele Kalikimaka.  Because in my heart I live in Hawai’i.

Christmas morning tradition? – As mentioned above, my sister and I usually wake up and head off for a jaunt about town.  Something about working out in the morning, especially when the town is completely quiet makes the day special. Before setting out, we prep homemade cinnamon rolls and let it sit and rise.  Once back, we shower and usually jump back into pajamas, sit around the tree and open presents and eat our way through the cinnamon rolls.

IMG_7704_1024 ^^ Not a selfie around town but workout partners in crime.  We used to runt together on Christmas morning but our speeds have changed greatly so it might end up being a solo jaunt. 

Do you write Christmas cards? – I guess you could say we send them as a family and I often take charge of the writing the family letter.  There were a few years that my sister and I would send silly cards out simply because my dad wouldn’t let us take those goofy pictures.  We might pick up the tradition again if we live together down the road, but for now, it’s a family affair.

What are some of your favorite traditions??

Life of Late ~ Secret Santa Blogger Goodies

One of the best parts about being a blogger is access to yet another wonderful community of people.  So many started with just a little wordpress site and while I’m still over here plugging along, many of my new “blends” have cultivated a phenomenal website and following.  Hearing their tips and tricks about link-ups and photography and recipes has been quite the fun and always nice to rub elbows with some knowledgeable folks, right?  I’ve been one of those silent followers on our group messages, just reading and soaking in all the advice, waiting for the right moment to jump in.

Well, thanks to Georgie over at In it for The Long Run and Christina at The Blissful Balance, many of us have been able to read one another’s blogs, make some new friends, and this year, send a little holiday cheer to one another across the country.  Many of us decided to hop on board the Healthy Living Bloggers train for a Secret Santa gift exchange.  Names were drawn and emails distributed and it was off to the races.

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I happened to be the recipient of a goodie package from Priya at Marsala Girl Travels.  I am always open to trying new things and the box included some of the most interesting products for me to sample.

IMG_8305^^ Whole food love all around.  I’m a huge fan of trail mix and loved checking out a new variety, especially with all those vibrant colors and nuts and seeds.

IMG_8307 ^^ An adorable little box from India AND papadum from an Indian store.  I’m so excited to pop this in the microwave and test it out 🙂

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^^ All three happen to be finds that I’ve spotted at the local Trader Joe’s but never indulged in.  I’m especially curious to see how TJ’s has paired the usual saltiness of edamame and the bitter deliciousness of dark chocolate.

As for the lucky blogger I got to send to, I received Kerri at Kerri’s Kitchen and sent here a cute little planner because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to journal and write all their to-do lists down?  At least we bloggers do 😉

Have you participated in foodie or gift exchanges? What’s your favorite item from Trader Joe’s?

Life of Late ~ 12.11.15

Last week I claimed that “nothing really happened”.  Oh wow.  Actually in typical New York fashion, a LOT happened.  I took a Bieber dance class, ran PR day, overslept a few alarms, watched the Rockefeller Center tree lighting (on television because it was cold and drizzling), and ran my way to Brooklyn for a scrumptious almond croissant.  But let’s take a step back shall we?

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^^ Arrived back to the office looking quite festive indeed.  Enough to get me through the red eye slump.

A couple of my friends at November Project had been chatting about this Beyonce Broadway Bodies (they have on in LA!!) class that they took and so I kept bugging them about when they were going to go again.  Me + dancing = not great but hey, I have fun doing it and that’s all that matters.  With the launch of Mr. Bieber’s two new hits “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean”, it was evident we had to sign up for one.   My mom would say quite the opposite as she screamed “ew Bieber” and turned the radio off when she heard his name.

Our goal for the night was to learn the first part of this music video and after a 10 minute warmup, we dove right in.  We were all one hot mess by the end of the night, Lucy practically sweating through every piece of 90’s clothing she had on.  I think it was an ultimate success but then of course we had forgotten all the moves by the time we reached the NP workout on Wednesday morning.

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#sorrynotsorry #noregrets #belieber and all that jazz.

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Well, “Is it too late now to say sorry”?

Fit Foodie Finds ~ “Advice for My 20-Year-Old Self” ~ Lee’s blog was one of the first blogs that I started to read and I loved her types of posts!  Also, who couldn’t love the design of the blog?  I like the part where she says to stop saying “when or if” and just do it. Also, #youdoyou is spot on. We are all a little weird.

Buzzfeed ~ “This is What Los Angeles Looked Like in its Glory Days” ~ How fabulous is that??

In It 4 The Long Run ~ “Recovery is Real” ~ Love seeing this blog’s progression.  Georgie is awesome.  Check it out.

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^^ This is what we like to call running cat hill repeats in December.  Yes…DECEMBER

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^^ Oh, let me just tell you this was yesterday morning and yes, we are still in December.  I’m loving this weather for sure.  On another note, a bunch of us found out yesterday whether we were or were not accepted into the 2016 NYC Half Marathon and I’m excited to say that my friend and I both made it in!  I’d love to work a little harder on training, which means readjusting some things.  These NYRR training runs will be clutch for mental and physical support (annnnnd maybe a few fewer holiday cookies…)

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Buzzfeed ~ Expectations vs. Reality of Winter in Cold Climates ~ Truth.

Almost Getting It Together ~ “What I Learned From Working with a Nutritionalist

Yahoo Health ~ “I Quit Online Dating and So Should You

Pure Wow ~ “30 Totally Free Things to Do this Holiday Season” ~ Because who doesn’t love the word FREE?  Some are a no brainer and some are too darn funny.  You decide.

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^^ Can’t get enough of these 5th Avenue decorations.  But ’tis the season. Lots more festive activities to come this weekend.  I’m gearing for a nice relaxing night at home tonight, a NYRR race tomorrow morning with the crew, followed by brunch, a holiday dance party in New Jersey, NP_Carols jaunt in the city, fun dinner with Lindsay and her brother, and then JIMMY FALLON ON MONDAY! More on that later.  Anyways, so stoked.  As always, keep calm and carry on.

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“Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.” – Raymond Charles Barker