Life of Late ~ 3.25.16

Soooooo, I’ve been off the blogging train lately.  Not entirely sure why.  Yes, there have been some later nights at work.  Yes, I have oodles I could talk about.  Yes, I have been addicted to watching Gilmore Girls nonstop.  So there aren’t too many excuses other than maybe I need to just pop in and out every now and then.  Anyways, a very applicable post by the lovely Margaret about “Blogging Break(s)“.  I know Georgie and Christina have had posts about feeling burnt out, taking a little break from blogging, and then feeling oh so much better, thus coming back better than ever.  So maybe that’s where I’m at.  A little more living in the moment.  Maybe I’ll just photo dump all my favorites from week to week because that’s what I really love to do. 🙂 For now, enjoy and happy Good Friday to those celebrating!

1^^ I’m not a huge candy fan but this pop-up shop in the mall gets me every time.

23 The BEST way to spend a Saturday (or any day if possible) is running and then eating, hence my popular hashtag #runtoeat.  I have discovered a delicious smoothie shop near the Brooklyn Lululemon that serves only the best acai bowls in Brooklyn (or so I’ve experienced).  I think this little rendition of LuluRunClub + acai bowl may have to happen again tomorrow.

4 5 ^^ Friends that run together stay together 😉 Me and my November Project buddies after one of the Saturday runs.  We four are on a team for the upcoming North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain.  Trail running really isn’t my expertise at the moment, so it may be more of a fun trek through the wilderness.

6 ^^ Sampling out some fun products such as derma e‘s latest charcoal products.  Because I live in one dirty city (the only “fresh air” I get is in Central Park), I tend to gravitate towards the more holistic skin products.  I’ve heard lots of good things about charcoal and green tea (well duh) and have been using a couple of these products for the last few weeks.  I definitely love the cleanser and how soft it makes my face feel.  The Purifying Youth Serum wasn’t my top choice, simply due to the smell (I have a sensitive nose and stomach), but the charcoal mask and gel cleanser however are quite on point and luckily can be purchased at ULTA and Whole Foods, so I’m in luck!

7

So when I’m not sitting on my rear in the office, I am usually out and about working out.  My friends and I tested out a tough 45-minute HIIT class at the fhitting room, thanks to this nifty free code.  We went to the location on the UES (upper east side) and left sweating as you can see from our glamour shot above (ok not dripping in sweat but still).  Since I have an Equinox membership, I’m not sure if I’d pay consistently for classes, but I did love the strength training and it’s on my bucket list to do more in preparation for the rest of my races this year.

8

Pure Wow ~ Baked Cheese Recipes ~ Everyone say CHEESE.

Pure Wow ~ “Summer Trips to Book Immediately” ~ Who else has the travel itch?  I’m stuck between enjoying my routine and wanting to break free.  Luckily I have a few trips coming up this month to satisfy that wanderlust craving (no, semi-planned trips aren’t exactly “wanderlust” but whatever…it’s travel so carpe diem)

NYMag.com ~ “Relying on Friends in a World Made for Couples” ~

C’est Christine ~ “This is Your Life” ~ Remember, you do you and you stay focused on you.

November Project ~ “2 Years 200 Workouts” ~ A absolutely lovely tribute to NYC’s 200th workout by fellow NP runner, inspiration, friend, and badass Sara Beaney.

Well + Good ~ “10 Most Exciting Healthy Books in 2016” ~  When you finish your latest show binge and don’t know what to do with your life. Not to mention this activity is PERFECT for this spring weather.  Am I right?

Pure Wow ~ “NYC Secret Parks” ~ Who knew any of these locations existed?? I guess I have to up my exploring game.

In It 4 The Long Run ~ “20 Healthy Recipes You Can Make w/ Almond Butter” ~ Because who can’t say no to nut butter?

9 ^^ Like I said, you can usually find me working out, running in the park, or at some cafe that serves avocado toast (aka Bluestone Lane for the win)

17

Or re-fueling with festive burrata + prosciutto for the Bachelor finale.

14

^^ Another Brooklyn Lululemon run club adventure in the books.  This was to send of our fast and fearless leader Chloe as she moves to Berlin for her new job.  With a quick 4 mile shakeout under our belts (this was the Saturday prior to the NYC Half), we arrived back to an ice cream cake and the manager telling us that we could each pick out a pair of shorts in Chloe’s honor.

10 11

12 ^^ This would be my meal the day before the NYC Half Marathon.  It was divine and I totally should have come here after the half to celebrate and replenish those calories. The biscuits.  The sausage gravy.  The biscuits.  The epic Mary J Blige Pandora playstation they had going.  So amazing.

Pies & Thighs has two lovely locations (Lower East Side and Williamsburg) and we selected the original local (Williamsburg) to dine.  Waits aren’t terrible and if you put your name in, wander back down the street to grab a coffee while you wait.

13

^^ Almond milk latte and gooey chocolate chip cookies for extra measure.  Didn’t want to feel faint on the course, that’s for sure. Oh and Califia Barista Blend is quite possibly the best thing to happen to coffee.  Forget cream, forget coconut  milk, go Califia or go home.

15 Right.  This little race called the NYC Half Marathon, sponsored by United Airlines.  Both Lindsay and I had entered our names in the lottery and both happened to luck out with bibs!   We picked up our bibs on Friday afternoon, snapped a picture and then headed home for an early evening.

It was a VERY early morning Sunday – up at 5:15 to eat and prep, barely making it to the starting line by 7:10 (corrals closed around 7:15) and a swift start at 7:30.  I had actually signed up for this race prior to Arizona and after running 1:40ish in Arizona, I considered taking it easy in NYC.  But, I was feeling good in and around the park, cruised through Times Square, and shot out at the West Side Highway where I saw a few people that I knew and most importantly, the mile 9 NP_NYC cheer station.

18

^^ I may not have been smiling for this shot (by one of the NP peeps) but boy was I excited to see them.  With a wave of the hand (shaka as always), I was off to the last part of the race.  If you aren’t familiar with the course, let me fill you in.  The whole West Side Highway is long and when you hit mile 12, you go through a tunnel and have to deal with two tight turns before the finish line.  Those were NOT my favorite parts of the course.  But, all in all an excellent morning and I ended up running even faster than Arizona with a solid 1:40 time!

19 ^^ Like I said, friends that run together, stay together.  We have goals to keep signing up and traveling for races – maybe a few epic destination ones one day.

20 ^^ But for now, it’s back to training.  I’ve got the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler next week and Brooklyn in just under 8 weeks.  Here we are with a blurry Tuesday morning speedwork. I was just jogging behind the group as I was still sore but the sunrise and company is always worth it AND WE SAW MEB K!!  Always worth the wakeup.

21

Who knows what this weekend will bring besides some workouts and exploration but that’s fine by me.  Carpe Diem my friends and the happiest of Easters.

“It is better to travel well than to arrive” – Buddha

Advertisements

Life of Late ~ 3.11.16

IMG_5849

^^ Because every morning should start with a view like this, don’t you agree?  It’s times like this that I remind myself how lucky I am to live in a location such as New York and to experience sunrises like this.  We have been having some amazing weather and I hope it keeps up through the weekend.  There’s nothing more disappointing than having epic weather during the middle of the week when you are stuck inside a fluorescent cubicle.

So that time I thought I would be cool and drink Juicepress juices that were gathered on the previous Saturday’s #runforjuice…total disaster. There might have been a couple other elements that brought be down but a quick stomach bug was not what I had planned for a Thursday afternoon.  Thankfully I can access my work computer via my laptop at home and thankfully my team was ok with me leaving.  Sure, we essentially make our own hours, but being such a goody goody, I always worry about leaving early. Anyhoo, I won’t be making any juice stops for awhile.

^^ Look friends! I figured out a new way to add pictures to the blog.  I was fiddling around with the formatting and the newer version of WordPress and ended up including them in a collage format.   I’m not sure if I like it that much – I prefer to have all the pictures loud and proud on the page.  But it does cut down on space and hey, a shorter post for you – that is if I don’t ramble on too much 😉

  • Upper left >> Tuesday speedwork crew.  Each workout is about 3 miles (2.5 for us last week) and a few dedicated folks run from the gym and through the park, only to do that again once intervals are finished.  I think I need to pick this habit up because while speedwork is great, I need a little bit more of a base before I go to sit on my rear for the rest of the day.
  • Middle and right >> Highlights from Wednesday’s workout.  Surprisingly I managed to run about 5.5 between the 5:30 and 6:30 groups, weaving in and around the Gracie Mansion grotto and a whole lot of stairs.  The shins were feeling it yesterday for sure.
  • Bottom left >> Snapshot of Monday (and Tuesday’s) sales meetings.  Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to be out of the office and thankfully we were located in a hip space downtown – not some stuffy hotel conference center.  Buuuuut sitting for so long with breaks only to grab meals (great for the bikini plan…if it’s free it doesn’t count, right?) was not exactly enjoyable.  We had folks from all divisions in one room and listened to various sales managers and VPs provide updates on the networks.  It was a LOT of sitting and listening, most people zoning out taking notes on their phones, and an endless buffet of free food.  Great for the bikini plan.
  • Bottom right >>  Saturday’s trip to Boba Guys.  It took me about 10 years to fully appreciate the slimy tapioca pearls but then I fell in love.  So, after seeing numerous hipster posts from this lower east side joint, I thought I would check it out.  Maybe I should have gotten the matcha because I wasn’t fully impressed by the coconut milk concoction.  It made for a good photo opp though.

10329705_10206073522345619_935317292650686709_o

^^ Ending it with my crew.  NP_NYC celebrated its 2 year anniversary and the 200th workout on Wednesday.  Strategically planned don’t you agree?  Beautiful balloons by Beaney and a whole lot of sunshine.  Let me note that we have a stacked crowd for the 5:30 group AND the sun was already rising! Gosh I love spring so much.

FullSizeRender

What are your weekend plans?  Don’t forget about the time change!!

A Day Well Spent

What does a day “well spent” look like to you?  A little bit of work or working out?  Spending time with friends and/or family or exploring somewhere new?  Whatever it may be, I’m sure it probably cost a few dollars here and there.  We live in a world of material and convenience and even if you don’t plan to spend a dime, somehow you stumble upon a tasty acai bowl or trinket that your friend would love.  Ok, maybe that’s just me.

I love knowing that I earned that money and can invest it however I would like – yes some for the actual long term investments, but nothing makes me happier than treating myself to something once in awhile or finding a gift for friends or family. But anyways, back to the point of this post.

In order to have some fun, you also have to do a bit of planning.  I’d like to be that girl who can fly by the seat of her pants and whip up a trip in no time (also called spontaneous) but it doesn’t always work.  Financial planning is tough.  There are too many banks, websites, logins, and I never remember what combination of numbers or letters I’m supposed to enter on a month to month basis.  Thank goodness I’m not an accountant, right?  Well, seeing as though my money won’t manage itself and I can’t rely on my financial planner (aka my dad) for everything (because I need to be a big girl one day), I turn to things like Personal Capital.  Here we’ve got a nifty website that provides free financial tools and calculators to help manage your financial life all in one place (like sticking to a budget). Clutch, right?  I’ve started a few different goals – mostly saving up for fun trips and explorations, but also for those “rainy days” or preferably sunny days too.  Here’s a little glimpse at one of my perfect days with the help of some re-purposed pictures.

IMG_9677 (1)^^ Running or working out with some of my friends.  Sometimes running solo is quite necessary but run chats and catching up are also the best, don’t you agree?

IMG_4455 ^^ Picking up a free Juice Press juice thanks to the #jprunclub

IMG_1022^^ Followed up at some point with a divine acai bowl (fruit to the face please and thank you)

IMG_5057

^^ Hiking with the family (but not getting lost)

IMG_2089 ^^ Snack time before hitting up the ocean (hopefully not killing all of the $20 on my froyo)

IMG_5802

^^ Ending with a excellent homemade dinner with friends or family (probably salad or whatever I could buy with the remaining funds after my froyo escapade) and walk with a sunset.

While it’s sad to think that I would even need $20 on my perfect day, I #runtoeat and #worktospend, so that’s my life in a nutshell.

What would consist of your perfect day?

Life of Late ~ 3.4.16

Another week bites the dust.  It’s no fun when you wake up on Thursday thinking that it is Friday.  Yes, that happened but today I can say TGIF.   My face says it all.  Looking forward to a little bit of running (duh), laundry, yoga, social, some exploration, and probably more running. The long laundry list of “to-do” items really includes blogging, making a list of things to do in Washington D.C. next month, clearing out more junk from my closet, strength training, meal prep, finding more places to travel to, crafts to make, educating myself about tech or coding or something, and all while saving money.

IMG_5753^^ Photo by my friend Feller (I will always know her as her maiden name and it’s so much more fun with alliteration)

It just so happens that last weekend’s half was my 13th 13.1 race.  Neat right?  So in the spirit of the event, I decided to sign up for yet another one, this time in Newport Rhode Island.  Also when your friends post about it and encourage people to sign up…#fomo and well, there goes my lunch money for the next month.

newportSince I’m from California, I tend to get the questions “why did you ever leave California?” or “do you think you will ever move back?” or “when do you think you’ll move back?”.  It’s day to day people, day to day decisions.  However, this week I actually decided that I’m not all to ready to leave NYC (that could change in the next 6 months when my lease is up…) and especially don’t want to bail before marathon season.  Props to those who can train solo, but after second hand experiencing the training phenomenon with people training together, practicing the bridges, and running the course, I decided I want that too.  After all, it’s my first marathon so I better make it count.  And because the picture above is spot on.  Running is WAY more friend with a friend, friends, or a clutch playlist. 😉

Of course I decided this while telling my mom “you know the winter hasn’t been that bad this year”.  When I hung up the phone, I was greeted with this…

IMG_5754

But a little snow doesn’t hurt too much, right?  It actually makes you THAT much more excited for the warmer weather.  Like spring, which is just a couple short weeks away!  And summer, which is right around the corner from that.  And this body is no where near bikini ready…

IMG_5752^^  I’m actually digging the one on the left (maybe mile 6 or so?) but oh dear, what happened on the right?  At least the woman behind me looks like she had a good time.

IMG_5756

^^ That’s ok, I have my own personal photographer at November Project and just so happen to be featured in some of the latest NYRR promotional items.  We were having such a ball during those 6:30a intervals.

Great Big Story ~ Talking about Penn State and Ice Cream Courses ~ I scream you scream….WHO LOVES ICE CREAM???

Thrillist ~ “Do Juice Cleanses Work?” ~ So true. So true.

Running.Competitor ~ “Hopeful, Hungry and Chasing a Lie: Disordered Eating in Distance Running” ~ You know what?  I don’t look like a distance runner either.  Sometimes it’s tough because I compare myself to the rest of society – I’m not going to ever be like Kara Goucher (while I’d love that…neither the speed nor looks will ever be mine) and in this media/image obsessed world where smaller is better, thigh gap is crucial and being petite is more attractive, it sometimes really sucks.  Like she said, I’m not here to skinny-shame.  Sure, we are all different but as an athlete (I’m not professional but I still consider myself as such) I want to focus on these type of women; the women that train, have fun, that don’t compare, and are confident.  Remember, you do you.

Although, after Ali’s article on Kara Goucher, I really do want to be just like her.

IMG_8406

What’s on tap for your weekend?  Any good race photo stories? They never really said running was pretty.

It Went Down at Phoenix

Get ready for an epic length post of all the fun that was had this past weekend in Phoenix, Arizona.  For those who want the spark notes version (you miss out on awesome desert views), we ran a half marathon (got 3rd in my category and almost PR’d), had beyond amazing meals that were way cheaper than what you would find in New York City, and just had too much fun talking and catching up.  This is yet another trip that has reminded me how blessed I am to have found such clutch friends with whom I can spend my time, open up about anything, and just be myself.

IMG_8402

IMG_5696Sam and I arrived late on Thursday night and were greeted by our friend Zara in the amazing rental car she had picked up for the weekend.  CLUTCH move.  I didn’t really consider how we would get around otherwise and well, that would have been bad news bears.  We had so much more freedom to go where we wanted when we wanted and it was all relatively inexpensive!

IMG_5694

Friday morning jog and walk around the local canal.  It was a whopping couple of miles in the heat and we were ready for breakfast.  Hey, didn’t want to work too hard before Saturday’s race 😉

IMG_5589

Snooze Phoenix (on ASU’s campus)
A bright, retro chain right out of the movie Cars, serving breakfast & lunch & cocktails.
2045 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
*Possible wait because it’s oh so popular.  Put your name in, fill up on some complimentary coffee and sit outside to enjoy the sunshine. 
IMG_8369
IMG_8376
Coffee and Donuts Pancakes
Buttermilk pancake “donuts” filled with spiced granny smith apples, topped with chai glaze, walnut streusel and accompanied by a wee cup o’ espresso cream.
IMG_8373
IMG_8377
Winter Harvest Benny
Griddled sun-dried tomato and parmesan grit cakes topped with a ragout of brussel sprouts, kale and cannelloni beans with poached cage free eggs, cream cheese hollandaise and toasted fennel crumb.
*Breakfast hack: sub out the side for a specialty pancake and you get pretty much a FULL SIZE TREAT 🙂 This is also clutch if you are looking to be thrifty (full meal perfect for splitting) or get your bang for your buck (and a full stomach)
IMG_8375
Chile Verde Benny
Slow cooked pulled pork over a stack of green chile sauced tortillas and melted cheese with poached cage free eggs and green chili hollandaise, pico de gallo and cotija cheese.

IMG_8379 Once adequately stuffed, we rolled our way to bib pickup, walked around the expo, wandered through Target, picked up some excellent quality magazines and went to chill on the ASU campus.  We really didn’t have any plans besides hanging out, staying outdoors, and eating an early dinner.  Our bedtime was around 9pm (social butterflies) simply because the wakeup was around 4am.

IMG_5704 (1)

Here we are pre-race and post-bathrooms.  Boy was that one of the more stressful moments…waiting to get a porta-potty in hopes you still make the start. I did strike up a conversation with a few runners because why not.

Fueling Habits: (4:30am) small banana, Honey Stinger Waffle, and cold brew >> Mid race (after 60 minutes running or 8 miles) Honey Stinger Gel w/ a swish of water at every 2 miles.  The race started at 6:30 but the heat was already rising when the gun went off.

IMG_5706

No pictures were taken during the race simply because…it’s a race.  I considered going out and maintaining a 8:30 – 9:00 pace but when the race started, I felt so good that I ended up pacing around 7:45.  Once I reached 8 miles and knew I could maintain that pace and possibly hit a personal best, I really decided there would be no photography (like the street sign that said Pasadena) or goofing around.

IMG_5632

In the end, raced 1:40:58 and while I missed a PR by about a minute, buuuut I felt amazing, my nutrition was spot on, and because I was entered in the Athena category, I placed 3rd with my time! Note, the time above was a little off since I had to manually stop it after I crossed the finish line.

IMG_5670

^^ BEST BREAKFAST EVER.  BEST PANCAKES EVER. MUST GO BACK (and go back to get the water bottle I left behind…oops).  But back to the main point here.  I am picky about pancakes.  I went on a limb and ordered the Sante Fe Scrambler (chorizo, pepper, onion, cheddar cheese) and exchanged the hash browns for the Wildberry Bliss Cakes (stuffed with blueberries, layered with vanilla mascarpone, topped with vanilla cream, fresh wildberries & glaze).  So basically all those calories burned from running, were eaten back plus more.  #runtoeat

Butters
8390 East Vía de Ventura F108, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
*Like all fabulous brunch spots, there will be a wait.  Arrive early and grab a cup of coffee at the adorable java station next door. 

IMG_8404The rest of the day was spent lounging by the pool (thanks to Zara’s friends for letting us chill out 🙂 ), digesting the enormous brunch, and digesting all of those gossip magazines.  I rarely buy magazines but it just sounded like a perfect girls weekend.

IMG_5663Later in the afternoon we got cleaned up, had a perfectly filling Mexican meal (me eating my weight in sugar with a virgin piña colada) and then set out for Scottsdale to explore.

IMG_5668IMG_5671IMG_5666 ^^ Taking a trip down through Scottsdale.  We had heard there were a few hot spots for kids our age but for the life of us, we couldn’t find them!  Not that we didn’t have a good time wandering and exploring the art shops that were still open, or walking along the canal.  I just wouldn’t recommend it for those looking to really “go out” 😉  Of course, three girls who had been up since 4:15 didn’t really need to go clubbing.

IMG_5664 IMG_5665

After a couple of hours in Scottsdale, we made our way back to the hub of Tempe and met up with some of Zara’s friends/acquaintances on Mills Ave.  This is THE bar/club scene and yes I really meant to write club scene.  We started a brewery like place called The Handlebar and ended up wandering and dancing our way through quite a few others.  Let’s just say my outfit was totally my style (jeans, jacket, Sperrys) but I did not fit in one bit with the rest of the crowd (booty skirts, obnoxiously high and skinny heels, and crop tops).

IMG_5661I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted to post this, just because of the angle of the camera.  Superficial as it may be, but it’s not the most flattering.  But, running a speedy half marathon made me grateful for such a strong body so why not post proof of my few seconds on the mechanical bull.  Bucket list item CHECK.

IMG_5667^^ Oh the party animals that we are 😉 We ended up staying out until 1:45, about 3 or so hours after we normally go to bed.  No regrets, just good times.

IMG_8403

Sunday was spent with a quick breakfast at a local Mom & Pop shop (though we were still full from Saturday) and a walk around Papago Mountain before heading back to the east coast.

IMG_8386 IMG_8401 IMG_8390 ^^ The NP_PHX (November Project Phoenix) location where Zara and crew workout every Wednesday.  It’s actually located a mile or so away from the parking lot and requires you to jog across gravel and rocks – requiring way more dedication for folks to show up!  Apparently it’s also pitch black when they work out, so every member of the tribe shows up with a headlamp.  While I wasn’t able to make it there this week, I did leave my passport shirt with Zara in hopes of getting another tag 🙂

IMG_8396 IMG_8398 IMG_8381 IMG_8383 IMG_5685

It would have been wonderful to continue the trip, hike out in Sedona or even make it back to the Grand Canyon or Lake Powell.  But for now, it’s back to reality with the good memories of the weekend and the excitement for future adventures that await.

“Explore. Dream. Discover” – Mark Twain