Yo What’s Up Mercury?

Have you heard about this strange astrological thing called the Mercury Retrograde and why things might not be so peachy in your world?  Well, maybe I was just in a slump the last few days or maybe there is something to this Mercury phenomenon.

So that slump or funk, whatever you call it, was annoying me to no end.  I was being competitive and jealous where I didn’t need to be, frustrated and needy when I didn’t need to be, and just a pain in the rear (or at least I saw myself as one).  Hey, we are human.  It happens.  Anyways, one example would be my birthday, the fact that it’s next week, I’m turning 25, and have no concrete plans of how I want to celebrate.  I had it in my head that everything had to be perfect.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, who I wanted to do it with, or where I wanted to go.  But it’s 25 and cue quarter life crisis.  Great start, right?  Wrong.

I arrived at November Project and was telling a friend how I just couldn’t piece things together.  She mentioned something about mercury and how I may not be as crazy as I thought.  We are about to hit prime time retrograde (April 28-May 22) but why is that important?

According to the world wide web (because I didn’t get a chance to take astrology at Santa Clara), mercury impacts areas of communication (think listening, speaking, reading, editing, selling, buying), formal contracts, and so forth.  Turns out when Mercury starts to retrograde aka hibernate or sleep, the areas that it governs, don’t function as well as when Mercury is awake.

What does that really mean or why does this matter to anyone besides me?  Well, it probably doesn’t but if you are a Taurus like me, listen up.  According to this fun site , you should not make any important moves because nothing will be settled for the future and you’ll struggle to get a decision from others.  You should not launch a magazine (cool, wasn’t planning on it), sign any agreements, and so on.  Now I’m not so sure how much I want to follow this or should follow this but it does provide some insight into my wacky mind.  “It’s not that the people you are dealing with are duplicitous (deceitful…congrats, we learned a new word today), it’s just that nobody can fully predict what conditions will be like later”.  Hm, sounds like life.

Turns out, most articles (here and here) encourage you to take a step back, revisit your plans and/or goals, and reassess.  It could be the reminder I need to slow down and enjoy the moment, rather than trying to rush through and accomplish everything in the world right now.

When telling my mom about this, I don’t think she really bought it and instead reminded me that that things are pretty dandy and I need to get off my phone more often – experience more of the now and less of the FOMO.  Wise words Madre, wise words.

Advertisements

April Weekend Shenanigans

This weekend started off pretty slow but was soon filled with a number of workouts and sweet city finds.  But let’s back it up a notch.  Wednesday’s workout was tough tough tough. My legs felt fresher since I hadn’t run intervals on Tuesday, but I still seem to be tired from my last race.  I guess I need to load up on those turmeric pills and beet juice.  Anyways, we ran around the park in a T formation, adding in some burpees and step-ups to the mix.

IMG_6702

On Thursday I took a spin class with a couple of pals from work at the local Equinox gym.  One of my friends – Jess – happens to be a spin instructor and so she is an expert at spin, but had never tried an Equinox class!  I’m a terrible friend and haven’t even been to one of her classes (yet).

IMG_6726 ^^ When your work family becomes your fit family.  It was fun to do something other than eat lunch together and hey, when work offers a free spin class, you definitely say yes!

IMG_6725

Then came Friday’s workout, which was located at Chelsea Piers.  The theme happened to be Coach John’s Last Single Man Workout and was quite a hoot.  I was glad that I had ran to the workout (even if it was only 2.5 miles away) since we had a bit of a late start and it was only 20 minutes long.  Here’s the thing, even if it doesn’t seem like a “good” workout, it’s all about the effort you put into it.

IMG_6751

IMG_6732 Oh yeah, this might have been part of the workout…

13040871_1102285626461360_1583576361869847934_o

(source by November Project – NYC)

Our office has been pretty slow lately (watch me jinx myself…) and since Friday was no different, a coworker and I decided to catch up over lunch at The Smith.

IMG_6740 IMG_6744

^^ Goodness gracious me oh my.  That tuna poke above was diiiiivine and the avocado toast was maybe not as good as Bluestone Lane (what could be better than that?) but hit the spot.  If I had to give some tips to the chef, I would add some red pepper flakes or some extra sea salt.  Other than that, well done 😉

IMG_6747^^ When you get out of work and have time before happy hour, a cone from Chloe’s is obviously the right choice.  Their soft serve fruit is made with pure ingredients, doesn’t leave you with a sugar crash, and paired with a pretzel cone is the ULTIMATE sweet treat for a warm day.  I may have gotten a cone two days in a row.  But who is counting?  Anyways, I’m definitely digging this warmer-but-not-humid-yet weather and the ability to throw a dress in my backpack for work.  Makes my life oodles easier and no mom, I’m not wearing Birkenstocks to work.

IMG_6724 IMG_6754

^^ Saturday morning came around and it was time for a long run.  I haven’t been feeling 100% on my runs lately and I know that means I should take some time off.  But with Brooklyn on the horizon and my inability to relax, I keep pushing on.  I started off towards the West Side Highway, headed south around the tip of the island towards Battery Park, and then back to the East River Track.  Once I ran under the Brooklyn Bridge, I ran into my friend Sam and we were able to jog and chat for the next three miles.  Both of us are feeling a bit off running at the moment and so it was so unbelievably helpful to run into a familiar face.  When will it ever become easy?  When can we just pound out the miles in an effortless (and maybe speedy) fashion?

IMG_6770IMG_6783

13071783_10206027857764568_5782235841606603959_o

^^ The reason I ended at the East River Track was for Coach John’s Last Single Mile.  I guess it’s a tradition between him and his friends for the groom-to-be to organize one last mile race on the day of the wedding.  Well, we like to say #justshowup and that we did.  Hey, I even made Matt Power’s snapchat feed in my goofy old fashion.

Next up…BREAKFAST! I was able to find a place that could seat some hungry runners and luck would have it, the wait was short and the food was fabulous.  But really, Cafe Orlin was beyond what we were looking for.  I went for the Malawach (two eggs any style with Yemenite fried dough, fresh tomato sauce, olives and green salad)

Cafe Orlin
41 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003
b/t 1st Ave & 2nd Ave ~ East Village

IMG_6779

IMG_6780

^^ We also ordered a set of pancakes for the table, which was a clutch move.  Then we could have our sweet and savory.   Hey, 10+ miles means breakfast earned, right?

Let’s just say I’m not very good with free time and so after brunch I decided that spontaneous spa trips were necessary – cue manicures, a cone from Chloe’s, and an impromptu hair cut.  I hadn’t planned to go out, but since I got my hair done, I guess I haaaad to go out.  Lindsay and I met up and went out to The Wren, an upscale pub on Bowery with a delicious set of cocktails.

IMG_6824

Sunday was a day of rest, although I still went to the gym for some treadmill walking and arms + abs.  I then met up with a friend for spray painting in preparation for next week’s race (um, I’m obsessed with spray painting now so send everything my way. please and thanks…and don’t worry, I won’t grafitti anything illegally), had a lovely afternoon in the sun with one of my new NP friends, a salad from Sweetgreen, and some nice food prep/movie marathons.  Here’s to another great week!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

BAA Marathon 16 + NP The Book

IMG_6585

So you already know that I was up in Boston this past weekend to watch the Boston Marathon.  There also happened to be this thing called the November Project book that launched last week and has been a pretty big deal.  Ok, maybe just a big deal to those involved in one of the various tribes.  Anyways, here’s a little recap of what’s been going on in my NP world.

On Sunday afternoon I met up with my friend Emma and Jackie to drive up to Boston for the marathon.

IMG_6700

^^ I had just eaten my breakfast smoothie but agreed to a quick pitstop in Harlem (all the way up in 151st street…exploring a new hood) for some Mexican fare.  All three of us went for some version of carnitas, which was a solid choice.  Emma’s burrito was a little more than we could manage but it was a good attempt.

We made it to Beantown around 5 or so, dropped off Emma and went to explore Cambridge.  We were actually staying with one of the Boston NP members and I have to say, what a darn cool group of people to have in your life.  Our tribe had done the same thing for the New York Marathon where we created a google doc listing out people that were offering space to stay and those who were looking for housing.

Later that evening, we met up with our pal Jess (who happened to be running the marathon!) for dinner at Cambridge Common.  I may have eaten my entire weight in nachos, so it was a good thing that I wasn’t running extensively the next day.

IMG_6605

IMG_6602

^^ The next morning Jackie and I ran about 4 or so miles to the destination workout and wouldn’t you know, we got to pass by both the Wednesday and Friday workout locations – Harvard Stadium and Summit Ave.  The Harvard steps are still on my bucket list, but a view from a far was good enough for this trip.

IMG_6608

^^ If one knew other tribe members, they went up to one another, embraced and reconnected.  The rest of the tribes sort of stayed in their own little groups (t#juniorhighdance).  Then we bounced (promptly at 6:28), did some sprints, played tag, and did a bit of a group challenge workout – this time mixing up tribes and forcing us all to meet new people.  Guilty moment – I don’t remember most of the names of the people that I met.  I am terrrrrible with names and it’s certainly something I need to work on.

IMG_6609

^^ Post workout where Brian (the one with the bib) went off to casually run a marathon (a race that happened to be his 9th Boston and 74th marathon!) The rest of us dispersed to eat and shower before heading to the Mile 18 cheer station.

IMG_6611

IMG_6614IMG_6619IMG_6628

It sure was one hell of a race to watch. This was the third marathon that I have spectated and I give all the credit in the world to those people running.  This was also a different breed of race since a majority of the runners had to qualify in order to get in (*there are bibs for charities as well)  That meant that they are SPEEDY and 100% beast mode.  The weather was glorious for spectating, but a temperature in the high 60’s and low 70’s left some runners struggling.  For many, it wasn’t the race that they had expected or had hoped.  But, they made it and most finished, so that in itself is a major accomplishment.

IMG_6623

Video Collage of Mile 18

>> https://twitter.com/ohanaloverun/status/722122687296966656

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEWdPdwEF8u/

IMG_6676

^^ We may not have run 26.2 miles but between running to the workout, the workout, and walking around the course, this was a solid day of mileage.

YouTube (via Fox News) ~ November Project Leaders Brogan and Bojan came up to New York to talk about about the release of the NP_Book as well as participate in a little North Face Athletics workout in Central Park.  What’s hilarious (to me) is that so many people follow the two of them (and many other leaders) so we obviously know where they are traveling and often feel as if we know them personally.  Then, when you actually are right there asking for them to sign the book, you find yourself a bit speechless and thanking them (in a very cheesy manner) for starting this movement.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Cool.

IMG_6685

IMG_6693

^^ Now here we are, back to the Wednesday grind at Gracie Mansion.  Today’s crafty caption was “suns out buns out”.   If you’re interested in checking out the hype, come meet us Friday at Chelsea Piers (6:28a) and next Wednesday at 102nd St. footbridge (UES) at 5:28a/6:28a.

“The reason I joined the Tribe was the unique combination of fitness, community, respect, love, and most importantly inclusion.” – Bart Yasso (Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World magazine)

Boston Bound for Marathon Monday 2016

Here we are with yet another Marathon Monday and another Patriot’s Day in the books.  To be honest, I don’t think I really knew or fully understood the importance of the Boston Marathon before I moved to the east coast.  Sure, I ran but I wasn’t immersed in the running community and was not friends with anyone who had run the race.  It’s the oldest consecutively run marathon and obviously known as one of the most prestigious in the world. (source*)  People normally spend months training for a marathon.  But for the Boston Marathon, you may end up spending months and even years first qualifying and then running Boston.  But, with all that hard earned blood, sweat, and tears, it’s sure a race to remember.

Now that I’ve lived out here for 2.5+ years, I’ve seen the race on TV (well on my computer…same thing) and it’s about time that I see it in person.  I managed to clear my schedule, submit my PTO, and find a crew willing to trek up from NYC to watch and cheer our friends on.  Carpe diem.

IMG_6770

Last year I just so happened to be in the area, but was actually visiting Cape Cod with family and didn’t get to see the race.  I did however run to Boston’s Friday workout on Summit Avenue (no joke those hills are killer) and saw plenty of runners shaking it out on Sunday before our train back to NYC.

Some people say that the only way you should be able to run Boston is by qualifying.  It’s the thing to do for the bragging rights and something to prove you are a true runner.  Not so fast.  Part of me would love to participate and race in such an established event, however since I still have yet to run a marathon, the verdict is out if I’ll be in any place down the road to qualify.  (*women 18-34 must run 3:35 and with so many speedy people, they pretty much need a few minute buffer to ensure acceptance).

Boston means so much more to people and while there will always be the speedy crew, there is also the option to participate in a charity and help fund raise for a well-deserving organization. Quite a number of charities actually provide training and support programs in exchange for raising money.  Below is just a glimpse at one such program by Bain Capital.

More Than Miles 2xHere are some articles related to the marathon, including a very well written tribute after the ’13 bombing by Emily Faherty

Huffington Post ~ “Heartbreak in Boston

Runner’s World ~ Boston Marathon

~ “A Brief History of the Boston Marathon” ~

~ “Boston – It’s Time to Run Again” ~

WSJ.com ~ “Why A Fast Time Might Not Fly for the Boston Marathon

BAA.com ~ “History of Qualifying Standards

IMG_9431

Today has already started on the right foot with a Boston NP Destination Deck workout and we’re off to cheer on our friends and so many others running in today’s race.

“Toeing the starting line of a marathon, regardless of the language you speak, the God you worship or the color of your skin, we all stand as equal. Perhaps the world would be a better place if more people ran.” – Dean Karnazes

Life of Late ~ 4.15.16

IMG_6157

Have you ever wavered between decisions, weighing out the options, only to choose the more comfortable route?  Lately I have found that it is really easy to stay routed in my routine or to simply stay where it’s comfortable.  Wake up, workout, work, and come home to watch some television show (currently hooked on Jane the Virgin).  Yes, “me time” is very important but there is also room to test the boundaries.

You never know what you might find, right?  That’s how this blog really came about.  Sure it was my way of filling the summer of 2012 if I didn’t find an internship, but it became so much more.  It has become a form of accountability, a way of sharing my travels and explorations.

IMG_6515

^^ This is another form of accountability – our weekly speed crew.  Flashback to this week’s workout where we barely missed the rain, ran around the reservoir and were rewarded with some donuts

IMG_6476^^ Not very attractive, yet reflective of the places our tribe travels.  I’m pretty sure I was chatting with my friend Melissa (who shares the same birthday) and discussing where we should suggest the Friday workout location…so we can select an epic birthday brunch location.  Goals.

cherry blossom

^^ I actually think this one isn’t half bad.  Running pictures are hit or miss and I’ve learned to throw up a shaka and attempt to smile when you see the camera.  This may have been on the back half of the course where the wind was brutally whipping around.  I also recall passing a table with free beer and oreos.  While I didn’t grab anything, I did consider those oreos…my stomach thanked me for not doing so.

IMG_6531

^^ A delicious Collagen recovery protein power, which to be honest I was curious to sample out and have to say, it wasn’t half bad.  I dabbled in protein powders during my senior year of college (mostly attempts to lose weight but that failed since I would drink the shake and eat my meal) but haven’t tested since.  I don’t like it when powders are chalky or have a clumpy texture, but that was not a problem here!

I even enlisted a couple of friends from November Project to help me test it as well and they were huge fans!  One clutch combination for dinner was banana, frozen blueberries / blackberries / raspberries, cashew milk and the protein powder.  Boom.  Game changer.

IMG_3657

^^ a little bit of throoooooowback.  twin stars will always shine

NYTimes.com ~ “When a Feminist Pledges a Sorority” ~ I haven’t really talked about my time in Greek life, but I was a Theta (Kappa Alpha Theta).  I learned quite a lot during those four years in college and have to say, I was, am, and will always be proud to be a Theta.

Sometimes Always Never via Elite Daily ~ “How I Taught Myself to Love in a World Full of Likes” ~ In a way, this is another reminder to live in the moment, allow ourselves to love, and not stress so much about making things perfect.

PureWow ~ “The Best Ice Cream in Every Single State” ~ I scream, you scream, can’t we all have some ice cream?  I missed out on Tuesday with Ben & Jerry’s Free cone day or rather I decided to not stand in an endless line for a melting scoop.  Now that I have this list, maybe I’ll try to hit up a few spots on my way to Boston for Marathon Monday.

Let’s Talk Career ~ “Life Is Short – Don’t Be Lazy” ~ Truth.

Well + Good ~ “If You’re Approaching Burnout by 30, You’re Not Alone” ~ Shoutout to my famous friend Ali!

AdAge.com ~ “Farewell to Kobe Bryant” ~ I never really got into pro basketball but growing up in LA, I have to side with the Lakers.  His career is definitely a piece of history – something that we were able to witness.

Backpacker.com ~ National Parks to Offer Free Admission April 16-24 ~ Get out and explore!!

11080942_1754127568152803_3066296374865052940_n

^^ And this is how I feel lately.  (Thanks to Tricia for finding this shirt ^).  Yet I keep running and pushing myself.  I have been telling myself that I should take it easy or take a break but does that happen?  Nooooope.  I even complained about feeling tired yet again to a friend at NP and she said “haven’t you said that for the last 8 months?”  Ah good point.  Well, I’m continuously in a cycle of guilt and wanting to participate (and often race) EVERYTHING.

I may have mentioned that I am testing out Inside Tracker and just got my results back this week.  Turns out I am uber low on iron.  Good job Kaitlin.  That might be one of the reasons I’m always tired.  But more on that later.

64a6df5efb18d53fdb0d27082a155cc5

(source & inspired by flower trends )

^^ For now I will focus on the sun and surf because that’s where I’d rather be right about now.  Please send this crazy hot/cold weather away and bring me a tropical drink by the sand.  Also, I’ve totally bookmarked this arrangement for a future party because flowers look so much better when arranged in a pineapple.

IMG_6132

The next few days are all about running and November Project (shocker).  It all starts with a bit of Brooklyn Half training and then up to Boston to workout with the NP Tribe and watch Boston Marathon!  I promise I’ll swing around with some posts that aren’t so running heavy but for now, have a wonderful weekend!

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” – Winston Churchill

The Best Apps for Keeping in Touch

fashion-person-woman-hand-large

(source)

Having now spent a significant amount of time away from my family – 4 years in college (3 months of which were abroad in Barcelona), and 2.5 years across the country, I’ve gotten pretty good at finding ways to keep in touch.  Not to mention, as I get older (my birthday’s in a month…cough…cough), I’ve accumulated great friendships that also span across the country and around the world.

It really wasn’t too long ago when traveling and living abroad was deemed somewhat of a lonely hobby.  This was simply because of the limited number of ways that we could stay in contact with our loved ones without getting charged a hefty amount for international texts and calls. Thankfully, technology has broken the communication barriers between you and your loved ones as you travel abroad, and Opposing Views indicate, “Instead of taking the time to write and mail a letter, you can touch base with a simple Facebook comment.”

Facebook has numerous perks and gives you the ability to reach out to people far and wide – or even just keep in touch with your friends in another borough.  Let’s be honest, if you live outside of Mahattan, I’m not sure we’ll see each other that much 😉

But anyways, one of the success stories of the social network was shared recently through Bingo Port, when online bingo buddies discovered they were long lost sisters adopted into different families and found each other through Facebook. But with the site being blocked by the Great Firewall of China, there are plenty of other apps out there that will keep you connected to your loved ones, no matter where you are in the world.

Text Free by Pinger
Forget buying a temporary SIM card when you’re on long-term travels, as Pinger lets you choose a phone number that people back at home can call for free. Free texting is available to more than 30 countries, including the US. If you’re not on WiFi or a data plan, an additional perk is that you get 10 free minutes to the US and Canada and cheap rates for additional minutes.

Whatsapp
Every region has their preferred mobile messaging app, with LINE and Viber being the most popular in Asia. But the most widely used texting app would probably have to be Whatsapp, which is available on various operating systems and platforms. Here, you can send and receive an unlimited number of calls, texts, photos, and audio/video messages as long as you’ve got a WiFi connection or using your data. While this wasn’t around when I was abroad, my family and I did use it a lot when my sister was studying in Denmark last winter and spring.

Google Voice
Despite Google also being blocked in China, this is a good tool to have on hand, having the most diverse range of features in comparison to the free voice and texting messaging apps in the market today. Extras of Google Voice include voicemail transcription, conference calls, and the ability to screen and block callers.

Now of course nothing can truly replace the in-person and face-to-face conversations but in a world full of hustle and bustle and friends and families often separated by thousands of miles, thank goodness for technology 🙂

How do you keep in touch?