Running the Cape ~ Ragnar Cape Cod

So, Ragnar Relay Cape Cod.  Where do I even begin?  The fact that I ate more bread in a four-hour period than I had in two weeks (I’m talking heavenly delicious blueberry granola bread from When Pigs Fly)?  Or that I got a total of 3 hours’ max of restless sleep?  Or that I had three of the hardest runs in my life (or last four years) and pretty much was crying on leg #3, my second 9.6 trek? Or that I had an absolute blast and couldn’t stop laughing the entire trip?

Yeah, I don’t know where to begin either so let’s just start at the beginning.  As I mentioned last Friday, I had completed a few of these Ragnar Relays in the past.  As a matter of fact, I completed the Wasatch Back Relay, which was the inaugural Ragnar (it started back in 2003).  When you tell someone that you are voluntarily paying to run between 15-22 miles and sit in a car for 24+ hours, they will probably think you are insane. I tried again and again to explain what would happen and why it was fun but it turns out you can’t comprehend what will go down on one of these trips – no matter how many posts and articles you read – until you have completed one.

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Life of Late ~ 5.12.17

As you read this I will be en route to start my 5th (or 6th since I can’t really remember) Ragnar Relay.  Back in high school and college I ran the annual Wasatch Back Relay with some friends in Utah.  Since that particular race happens in June, it was always a “fun” way to wrap up the school year.  I put that in quotes because most people would 1) call that insane and 2) it really is somewhat of a 24 hour suffer-fest.  My coworkers actually have started to just assume every PTO day I take or “vacation” is running related.  So far this year they aren’t wrong. 

Anyways, being a runner, I forgot what the pain was like and decided to do it again.  This time around has been a bit more intense since I’m actually helping the captains get ready for the race and let’s just say the universe was very against us running.  Between finding an additional 7 runners, runners dropping due to injury (total of 4 runners dropped), issues with driving insurance, and more injury, it’s been a fun time.  I don’t start until later this afternoon and then I will embark on a total of 22 miles (9 + 3 + 9).  Now if I don’t get kicked off the finish line (there’s a slight chance we may not make it based on timing…) it’ll be a grand success.  I’ll have to check back in next week to let you know the result.

As for now, sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of Life of Late.

Yes, a majority of my life is about running.  My dad hinted that I might need to cut back on working out so that I can enjoy some other parts of life.  I know there will be a time where exercise may not be #1 in my life but for now, it provides me with social opportunities, peace of mind, and energy to take on the day.   I don’t take it to extremes and it really doesn’t interfere too much with “normal life” since my workouts are always in the morning.

I probably should have taken more of a break following Paris but instead got caught up in the weekly schedule of workouts and continuing training for Ragnar.  My hips have been bugging me so I might have to take a step back in the next month or so.  The nagging pain probably has to do with the fact that I’ve been rooted on my butt from 8:30-6:30 most days at work but that’s a pretty petty excuse.  I really need to get back into stretching, strength, and foam rolling.  Alas, I’m only human.

It’s true I haven’t been to NP as much but still have my Tuesday track and Thursday stairs workout.  I do still love NP but have been feeling a bit out of it lately and need to reevaluate.  However, speaking of November Project, I re-connected with an old sorority sister through Instagram and start chatting about November Project. Turns out that she moved to Portland and has been one of the main members of the fitness pledge and THEY BECAME A TRIBE!!  How neat is that??  I will certainly have to visit.

Looking back at college I think I would have been even more satisfied or happier if I had a solid workout group like November Project.  Then again, hindsight is 20/20 and I was still figuring my way around and trying to figure out myself.  Heck, I’m still doing that.

Last week was my birthday and I think 26 is off to a very solid start.  I started the day with a run – actually crashed Ali’s event – in the park.  Our friends Jackie and Laura Ann were simply amazing and picked up balloons, necklaces that said Happy Birthday and birthday hats.  All of the above made running 6 humid miles around the park a bit difficult but it was so worth all the smiles and birthday greetings we received from people.  I mean, how can you glare at someone trying to maneuver a massive golden balloon as they run?

Later in the day after brunching at Blake Lane and grabbing a coffee from Joe, my friend Melissa and I held a joint birthday bash at a bar downtown.  I’m not the biggest bar person but when you are in NYC, that seems to be the big thing.  Well, for anyone looking for an awesome space, look no further than D.B.A., which allows dogs, food to be brought in (because of said dogs), and has an awesome covered outdoor space.  We stayed all afternoon long and had a blast!  I think what made me the happiest was that over the course of the day, I was able to see pretty much every person in New York City that I love.  That right there is the key to a good time!  Oh and possibly a few too many bottles of the Wolffer Cider.

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^^ Sunday brought some gloomy weather and somewhat of a hangover from the lovely Wolffer Cider.  Not the best hangover but certainly not the worst.  I had been gifted tickets to the NYCFC match up at Yankee Stadium and so despite the nasty forecast, I traveled up to the Bronx to watch some good ‘ol futbol.  I haven’t followed MLS of late but grew up watching the Galaxy so it was fun to reminisce and also to walk around the baseball stadium.

Fun Reads (because it makes me happy to share)

The Real Life RD ~ “Why You Should Take A Lunch Break” ~ When possible, I do try to go for a walk or even a quick gym class and it’s totally evident with my refreshed mind and body.  But the past two weeks have been tough to even get out of work on time.  Let’s just say working 8:30-6 or later with no break does nothing for my achey hips and back.

PureWow ~ “8 Hikes within 2 Hours of NYC” ~ Maybe now that I’m not training for any half or full marathons this fall I’ll have some more weekend time to hike and enjoy the beach!

NY Post ~ “Llama Weddings Are Real and as Bizarre as They Sound” ~ Goodness knows I’ve got time before I get married BUT OH MY GOSH HOW COOL! THEY HAVE LLAMAS!!! (also not sure where my obsession with llamas came from either…) November Project ~ “How My Body Healed When I Took Off My Watch” ~ Comparison is the thief of joy and I certainly need to remind myself of this DAILY.

Quartz Media ~ “Employee Burnout is Becoming a Huge Problem in the American Workforce” ~ If anything, there are times where I feel guilty for taking time off, but that shouldn’t be the case!

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  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and wishing all the mother’s out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.  You are all rockstars.

Secret Spots of Central Park

My name is Kaitlin and I’m a history geek.  I grew up with a family that would make a detour in order to tack on an extra Civil War Battlefield or museum so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Right now I’m working my way through New York City via a walking tours book and some spontaneous running adventures.  November Project has been a huge help since the workouts range from Battery Park to deep into Harlem.  But the most wonderful place (biased) is that of Central Park and it turns out that there’s a lot more to this grand oasis than I ever realized!

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This amazing plot of land is smack dab in the middle of the concrete jungle, it happens to be the most visited park in the U.S., and it tops out as one of the most filmed locations in the world.  I can easily say it’s one of my favorite places in the city and I make sure to run some form of the loop at least 1-2x per week.  I also happen to work near the park but the reality of me leaving the office during the day is bleak…so I rely on the epic views we have from the kitchen and cafeteria.  Anyways, enough about me.  The important part is that this park should always be on your NYC bucket list whether you are here for the 1st or 100th time.

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Last Sunday my friend Maura and I went on a jogging tour of the park with a group called Jane’s Walks.  Maura tends to stick to the West Side Highway during her runs and as her time in New York is actually coming to a close (off to grand adventures in D.C.!!!!) so we thought it would be good to accomplish some bucket list items.

Now I have taken many many pictures of the park and posted them here.  From the Great Lawn to the reservoir, they are all pretty note-worthy places.  Today’s post will be more about the more secretive spots that blew me away.  Who knew these lush gardens could be found by simply walking an extra 10-40 yards off the main path?

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It was established back in 1857 on a portion of city-owned land and the design was picked out of a design competition.  With the expertise of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, a design was picked, construction began, and the first public area was introduced to the public in 1858.  The construction continued through the American Civil War and in 1873 was expanded to the 843-acres that it is today.

 The park had been home to a number of shanty towns – Harsenville, the Piggery Disctrict or Seneca Village that needed to be rid of in order to continue construction and there was even a convent on the upper right side of the park called Mount St. Vincent’s Academy.

We started around 72nd near the Daniel Webster statue and ended up around 102nd.  We passed through the west side of the park, through the gardens along 5th avenue and up on the hills of Harlem.  We didn’t run through the Zoo but did pass the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (<< one of the most difficult words for me to spell).

We crossed over and under countless from back in the 19th century and are still standing.  Along with those bridges are waterfalls, which are flowing a plenty now that it’s spring and we’ve had our fair share of rain.  Then you have the above picture (right), which is a blockhouse, the second oldest item in Central Park next to Cleopatra’s Needle, and was created back in 1814 for defending the park.

Now when writing this post, I spent some time bopping around Wikipedia.  Yes, I was using Wikipedia because all the information is there and I don’t have access to encyclopedias.  Anyways, since I can’t copy and paste and am not going to link back to every single thing, I highly recommend spending some time reading up on Central Park.  It’s fascinating what you can find and if you would rather take a walk in the park, then be my guest and come explore the wonder of New York City!

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Have you been to Central Park? Do you have a favorite place in the park?

 

A Trip to Paris ~ Marathon Edition

First my heart goes out to Paris.  What a terrible thing to happen, especially in one of the most public places in the city.  I can only be entirely thankful that we were no longer in Paris when the shooting occurred.  Yes, Paris.  A trip that had been in the making since May ’16 when about 50+ people from November Project NYC signed up for the Paris Marathon.  This was truly a sign of our culture – say yes to practically anything combined with a fear of FOMO.  In the end only about half of those who signed up actually made the trek.

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Life of Late ~ 3.17.17

Hold up, wait a minute, we are past the middle of March and there seems to be no sign of spring in sight.  We are flip-flopping outfits from day to day – one day dresses sans tights for it’s hitting the 60’s and then another we are bundled up with every last item of clothing to brave the single digit temps.  So all around good times and good thing I didn’t actually put all of my winter clothes away a few weeks ago.  That would have been stupid. (Just kidding, I actually did put all of my winter gear away only to drag it back out…)

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Life of Late ~ 2.3.17

Looks like I’ve been doing an excellent job at keeping my blog updated. Not.  Maybe it’s a blogger burnout or a sugar crash that I’m experiencing right now maybe it’s too much screen time.  Really though, who wants to go home after sitting in front of a computer and under florescent lights for 8+ hours, and then stare at another screen?   Ok, to be honest, I actually go home and immediately have my nose in my phone while watching TV.  (This generation is certainly going to have eye/back/neck problems and carpal tunnel. )

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