Year 3 In New York City

Another post that’s better late than never.  The past year was spent traveling, running, and exploring all of New York – sounds a lot like year #1 and #2, right?  To be honest, there wasn’t too much change.  I continued to work for an awesome company, expanded my friendships within November Project, and squeezed as much out of my free time as possible.  As I mentioned on the 31st, I learned a little bit more about myself, appreciated my body thanks to the I Run This Body movement, and learned when to let go.  This last bit was tough in the sense of FOMO and friendships, but I realized (through many discussions and Elite Daily articles) that we can’t do it all and there comes a time in our lives that makes us realize what and who is important.

But here’s a look at what made my third year in New York City so wonderful and memorable.

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welcome to 24

another day and another year older.  it’s safe to say this could be the best birthday to date or at least that i remember.  i will have spent my morning at two november project workouts — doing what i love with people who make me smile.  i will be celebrating with friends all week and am off to explore scandinavia in just under two weeks.  i have learned to live in the moment and deal with stress and disappointment.  i have been fortunate to have such a close and supportive family and am finally learning what it means to have confidence in myself.  my favorite phrase of late — “you do you”.

with that, here’s my list of things to do and focus on in the year to come

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1. start the day with something that i’m grateful for
2. invest in the relationships that matter
3. take a solo trip
4. ride a segway
5. get involved with a charity
6. travel somewhere that i have never been
7. learn to ask for help
8.  wear sunscreen and moisturizer every day
9. enjoy being single
10. meditate (mindfulness) for 10 min/day for 1 month
11. spend more time living in the moment and less time worrying
12. learn to poach an egg
13. run a speedy half marathon…push for sub 1:40
14. send one piece of snail mail a month
15. try a month of the whole 30 eating plan
16. go an entire weekend without technology (at least phone/computer)
17. sign up for my first marathon
18. be genuine and happy for others
19. take a vacation with my best friends (or two)
20. complete 20 acts of kindness
21. learn to make a souffle
22. run 2 more half marathons (continue my goal of 1 in every state…CA and NY check!)
23. make my blog self hosted
24. do what i love and love what i do

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“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr. Seuss

March is Going to be Alright

I wasn’t kidding when I said that my weekends consist of running, television, eating, and more running.  I know that there is more to life than running and eating but maybe this has become my norm since the last month was one of the coldest in history (at least since 1934).  Sure, I decide on occasion to throw a nap in there but more often than not, my attempt is futile and lasts a whopping 2 minutes.  But, here we are with a new day and new month.  If you are struggling on this Monday morning, feel free to take another view of this video I shared on Friday.

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>> dressed in my llama best for the 16F temps <<

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>> Saturday’s mid-distance run around Central Park with some November Project friends and NYRR.  I really am happy that my foot has been feeling better and have been able to resume my favorite weekend activity (as lame or odd as it sounds) – weekly long runs.  Now I just need to be better about rest, strength-training, and recovery… <<

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>> you know what makes me happier after a long run?  food.  pairing a pure green juice (I’m sure you all are jealous and drooling over it) with a delicious spinach-feta-bacon omelette <<

The rest of the afternoon was way beyond uneventful.  With a splitting headache (mostly due to the previous week’s lack of sleep), I attempted a nap, failed at taking a nap, and headed out for a flat white instead.

IMG_8604 >> girl’s night out at Dear Irving.  Listed as one of the top NYC bars, this speakeasy is modeled after the Woody Allen movie, “Midnight in Paris” <<

~ sunday funday runday ~
NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K

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>> pre-race photo.  usually we take our pictures without smiling but I think most of us gals prefer to show off those pearly whites.  or we just missed the memo <<

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>> not a bad start to march.  a solid 5k and $25 brunch (aka corned beef sandwiches, costco mini muffins, eggs, pickles, and shepherd’s pie). apparently it’s never too early to start the st. patty’s celebrations <<

IMG_8624>> post race np_shenanigans at Coogan’s.  so much grassroots gear love <<

This particular bar in the upper upper upper west side, better known as Washington Height’s, happens to be a track and field hotspot.  The multicultural bar has a strong Irish influence and is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the famous Armory Track.  Built with a six-lane track, two runways, sand pits, and pole vault area (plus more), the Armory is often considered one of the best indoor track and field facilities in the US.  The athletes that run there are beyond amazing.  I can’t (and won’t) try to adequately write how dedicated, focused, or just lucky they are.

My friend Sam and I decided to head home around mid-afternoon when the snow was just starting to fall.  Knowing it would only get worse over the course of the day, I decided to park myself right on the couch and flip between basketball, golf, and a documentary on the Eagles (the band not the bird).

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~ Here’s to a great week and month ahead of us ~

Weekending the NY Holiday Way

Welcome back to a lovely Monday morning.  Looks like this was my last full weekend in the city for 2014.  Hard to believe but by the time I fly back after the holidays, it’ll practically be the new year.   I actually lucked out this past weekend because I had a four days off thanks to my works awesome paid vacation schedule.  I had two more days to use or lose so Merry Christmas to me.  Sure, I could have jet-setted on a trip up or down the coast, but sometimes sitting back and soaking up your own city can be just as nice.

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On Friday, I woke up early to attend the special selection November Project location – Borough Hall – out in Brooklyn.  After a quick workout, breakfast with some NP folks, I decided to jog my way back into Manhattan.  Now, how’s this for a picturesque view?  There’s only one other time that I saw the bridge this empty and boy was it a treat to just glide over rather than elbowing my way through tourists.

IMG_7530I thought it would be nice to walk through the city and see all the festive decorations and lights.  Walking through Macy’s, Bryant Park, and 5th Avenue, may have made me regret this decision.  But, in the spirit of the holiday, it was fun to see all the shiny and sparkly decorations.

IMG_7543^^ How’s this for some patriotic cheer?  You go Bryant Park!

IMG_7546 Do not be fooled by this picture.  I swear everyone and their mother (no really, lots of families out there) was trying to get the most artsy angle. I also think that every tourist in the city had made their way to Rock Center because it was a gridlock from every direction.  In the 13-14 months that I have lived here, I don’t think I have ever seen that many people in one spot.  Ever.

IMG_7549 Lindsay’s family was in town this weekend and were kind enough to let me tag along to a few dinners and Sunday brunch. They are quite the foodies and love Mario Batali, so snagging a reservation at Babbo was practically a dream come true.  (Lindsay actually went in person to make the reservation a month ago!)

Babbo
110 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10011
212.777.0303

The meal itself was honestly divine.  I normally enjoy narrating through pictures, but sadly the lighting didn’t allow for a full meal recap.  So, we’ll go old-school with a little written narration with some help from the Babbo menu.

We each started out with a special cocktail (spiced rum for myself) and a hearty slice of sourdough bread.   For the main meal, I ordered the beef carpaccio with white truffle sauce and arugula.  Apparently this is more of an appetizer, so a side of brussels sprouts and pancetta helped fill me up.  All of the portions are relatively small (at least on the American standards), so while we were quite full, we were able to manage a tiny bit of dessert.

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^^ What a festive looking sight.  Only a few hours earlier, this park was filled with hundreds of people protesting.  Fascinating how the city can change in a blink of an eye (or maybe just a couple of hours and 10 degrees)

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On Sunday, I decided to wake up and go swimming at my local gym before meeting Lindsay and crew at the Boathouse for brunch.  This lovely shot above is how I like the streets to look.  None of that jam-packed tourist action.  Dream on Kaitlin, dream on.

IMG_7558 Doesn’t it just look darling?  We arrived around 9am on the dot for the 9:30 opening.  While there were quite a few dog owners sipping their coffee out front, there weren’t too many waiting in line for the dining room.  We practically waltzed right in when the doors opened and were seated right in front of the water.

IMG_7561 ^^ One can never go wrong with the eggs florentine.  I even asked for a side of jam (typical of me and my love for condiments) and was presented with a trio of sweet options.  Lesson – all you have to do is ask. 🙂

IMG_7564 From there, we walked north to visit the Guggenheim and the current Zero exhibit.  No real explanation here as I’m not quite sure how to interpret modern art.  While I don’t really enjoy abstract art fan (no offense or digs to those who are – it’s just not my cup of tea), I did thoroughly enjoy the architecture.  Actually, I happen to be reading a book about Frank Lloyd Wright (and his affairs  but besides the point), so it’s also a bit thematic, don’t you agree?

Back to the apartment for some rest and relaxation, food prep for the week, and packing for home; all while watching “White Christmas”. Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday and rest of the week.  Power on!

Marathon Monday

A very happy Monday and happy November to you!  With Halloween on Friday, the Starbucks red cups arrival on Saturday, and the New York Marathon on Sunday, it was quite a weekend.  I honestly don’t know how people work full time and manage to throw parties and still have a packed social calendar because it can really be exhausting!  I would have been just fine lounging around with a good movie on Friday but wait, that’s what I tend to do all week 😉  So, every once in awhile I try to live a little and act my age.

IMG_6890~ Just a Spoonful of Sugar ~
Last minute costumes rarely come together for me, although our attempt to recreate Mary Poppins with a couple of penguins was quite the success if I do say so.

IMG_6891Just a little Halloween spread before heading out to the streets of the east village.  Doesn’t it look like a Snoopy Thanksgiving spread with the pretzels and popcorn adorning our small little table?

SATURDAY

One of the laziest days on record and it was amazing.  After waking up for pilates and body pump, I walked home in the rain and met Lindsay for the first Starbucks Christmas cup of the season.  Well, the first location we went to actually was running low, so Lindsay made another trip down the street to satisfy her craving. 🙂  The weather was perfectly gloomy, which meant we had no qualms about staying in and watching Captain America, football, and the latest Hunger Games movie.

SUNDAY – RACE DAY

Lindsay and I were up and out the door by 6am to make our way to the water stop.  We had volunteered with the November Project group at Mile 14 out in Queens.  Since this was my second year in the city, it the second time I was able to watch the marathon.  As a matter of fact, it was the second marathon ever that I had watched.

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Usually I find it difficult to do anything but run in a race.  Simply watching makes me wish I were running (even with current injuries) and volunteering seems fun but not as much of an accomplishment.  Then I realized that a race is not complete without these spectators and volunteers and if I value their involvement when I am running, why not give back?

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Poland Springs Oompa Loompas ready for water duty!

Here I am complete with long sleeve + fleece + sweatshirt + puffy vest, ready for one chilly day.  Lindsay is slowly adjusting to the east coast weather and is in for a real treat this winter 🙂

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There were supposed to be over 50,000 runners, which meant lining up almost 100,000 cups of water.  The elite runners would be handed water and fuel by their coaches or their own helpers, so we could just cheer them on as they passed by.

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The first wave of the race was the wheelchair crew, although due to the strong winds, they started around mile 3.  We had a November Project member in one of these packs and we were all so impressed by their muscle and speed.

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^^ All the tiny, ripped, and speedy female leaders flying by

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We saw the elite group around 10 or so and the rest of the runners pacing in around 11am.  Then, from about 11am until 2:30 there was a constant flow of traffic, which meant we were standing from 7am-3pm, handing cups out and screaming encouragements.  I did not think I had that type of energy and was left completely exhausted at the end of our shift.

IMG_6936There’s something about watching one of the most famous marathons that makes me inspired to run one.  Sure, call me crazy but I’m in love with this athletic lifestyle.   Because of our position in the race, we saw people when they were just over halfway finished.  There were some tough moments, some tight legs, but the smiles on some and determined look on others, really gave me the running bug.  Now I just have to get this lovely foot healed and I can get the ball rolling.

Have you ever run a marathon?  How was your weekend?

One Marvelous Adventure to D.C.

This past weekend I took a trip south to stay near our nation’s capitol.  There, I met up with my grandmother and her family friends for some fabulous adventures, excellent site-seeing, and tasty eats.  Even though I knew we were staying in Potomac, I somehow told people I was staying in Alexandria.  Where I came up with Alexandria, I have no idea but seeing as it was a bit far to the capitol, I had to save the November Project for a separate trip.

My mom had actually grown up in the area and so for years I had heard stories about the town and their home.  Finally I was able to piece it all together and loved seeing my grandma’s face light up as she recalled different memories and hilarious stories.

IMG_6331The first and last time that I had visited these family friends was when I was just over 2 years old and had been traveling back from living in England.  Here’s a little then and now picture.  Ok, we all know that throwback pictures are always cuter 🙂

~ DAY 1 ~

IMG_6073 IMG_6075good friends in front of the capitol ^^ below, it looks like they are trying to copy the Louvre, no?

IMG_6079can you spot one of the newest museums in town?  the NEWSEUM!  something I will certainly check out on my next trip to town 🙂

IMG_6080our point of destination – the national gallery of art

IMG_6081 so artsy, I know

IMG_6332 our main goal was to visit the Degas/Cassat exhibit, which was only going to be open until early October!  It highlighted the relationship between the two impressionist artists and the impact they had on one another’s art and the movement.  I much prefer impressionist art to anything else, so I was one happy camper.

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After a couple hours of education, we drove out of the main center and up into Georgetown.  There we spent some time shopping and gawking at the people in line for the iphone 6.

IMG_6091While there are plenty of wonderful shops on the main drive, we did the most damage at Vineyard Vines.  There, I was proud to pick out my first pieces of whale clothing and they may be the only thing I’m looking forward to about winter.  Oh, and I swear, if any man dressed in Vineyard Vines (got to love those patterns) comes up to me, I’m sold. 😉

IMG_6328Joan insisted that I take a picture in front of the famous canal – the same canal that we were walk along on Sunday morning. This reminds me of when I was in Amsterdam and took a picture in front of their canals.

IMG_6094 IMG_6100the school my grandmother attended in the 4th and 5th grade!  Back then it was named the Hardy School and has since changed hands, but the structure remains the same.

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After a day of travel, we were ready to dig in.  Of course, now that I write that sentence, I’m completely ready for a juice detox (and I NEVER say that).  Anyhoo, off to the famous Peking Restaurant for some gourmet Chinese food.  I let our hosts handle the ordering and we ended up with more than enough beef, pork, and noodles to last us for days.

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Their claim to fame is the Peking Duck, which is carved right at your table.  Nancy and I were not really in the mood for some duck, but maybe another time.  With full bellies, we drove back home for some baseball and a good night’s sleep.  Day one complete and ready for more marvelous adventures anon!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway