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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Life of Late ~ 6.3.16

Friday. Four day week.  June 3rd.  Better yet…NATIONAL DONUT DAY!  Now even though I have a sweet tooth, I’m not always the biggest donut fan.  If it were a showdown between Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbin’s ice cream, obviously a scoop of ice cream would win.  Though I am a sucker for food holidays and November Project was located near a donut joint (Underwest) so I indulged.  The verdict?  Very pleasantly surprised and actually satisfied with my choice.

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There are a few parts to this success.  First – purchase donut from the source.  None of this donuts from Whole Foods or even donuts to go.   Second – partner up with someone so that you can sample multiple flavors.   This is a #runtoeat and #eattorun sort of deal so we can’t go donut crazy and eat 1 of each flavor (cue sugar crash at work and hello witchy Kaitlin), but splitting them is definitely a viable solution.  Thank you Rebecca for being my donut buddy 🙂

Underwest Donuts
638 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
(Fun fact: this is located on the west side IN a car wash…yes it’s sanitary)

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^^ Located right next to this big ‘ol boat named the Intrepid (location of today’s NP_NYC workout)

As I predicted, we have gotten into full swing of upfront season at work.  For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a time in ad sales where the publisher (where ads run) negotiates with agencies (who work for clients like State Farm and Geico and such) on prices and how much they are going to spend and where their ads are going to run.  This means we wait after work for them to come back with their best deals and then we revise our options and submit proposals.  It’s a lot of back and forth and some long nights but boy am I learning a ton.  I also happen to be on a solid team where my Account Executive and Associate Account Executive are super helpful and are genuinely interested in helping me learn.  Plus the company feeds us.

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So my life goes back to the balance of working and working out – a combination that I am quite ok with.  Yes, there are 100% days that I would like to sleep in but then I see the sky look like this and am always happy I made it out.  The one recent instance where I wish I hadn’t worked out was yoga  yesterday.  Stretching = good.  Bad teacher = bad practice.  My friend Jackie and I arrived for our favorite class and soon learned that 1) water was shut off at this particular location (no showers no toilets) and 2) our favorite teacher was NOT teaching there anymore.  We stuck it out but when the OM at the beginning of class sounded like a capella group out of tune, my immediate reaction was “ah hell no”.  I stayed the entire class but it did nothing for me.

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^^ Tested out a couple of classes via ClassPass and totally LOVED Throwback Fitness.  One of the gals I met at 24 Hour Fitness back in the day has been working out here at least 1x if not 2x every day and is obsessed.  I had been meaning to try it but didn’t want to interfere with training for Brooklyn.  Ha – as if I was really trying hard to train.  Best described below:

“We are gamifying fitness by harnessing the feelings of accomplishment, confidence, and camaraderie that come from being part of a team, and the excitement felt when working together to achieve a common goal. Our‘murderously fun’ workouts channel the nostalgia of adolescence by modeling our unique, competitive, partner- and team-based workouts after such childhood favorites as Dodgeball and Capture the Flag, or even dorm room-inspired games like Flip Cup.” (source)

So how fun does that sound?  Test it out, see how much fun you have and then BOOK A BIRTHDAY PARTY! That’s right.  How totally cool is that?  You can have your birthday at a fun workout class.  Because birthday parties are no longer for those under the age of 8.

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^^ Another class that I took was a hip-hop class at Y7 – another successful discovery.  I had taken it the Sunday after Brooklyn and entered the class with practically no flexibility and all the aches and pains.  I wasn’t so good at the “flow on your own” parts but did leave limber and ever so sweaty.

I’m really going to have to kick up my yoga game soon.  Maybe I’ll make it a part of my two-a-day program when marathon training starts.  A little cardio/strength in the morning and some yoga stretching at night.  Solid schedule don’t you think?  Still have to test out the beloved Bethany at Lyon’s Den that Ali keeps talking about.

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Reading >> The Lake House by Kate Morton

Watching >> The Barkely Marathon phenomenon/obsession via Netflix & Great Big Story ~ “The Man Behind The Most Grueling Footrace on Earth

Salivating over >> Bondi Harvest ~ New Aussie restaurant in Santa Monica (+ amazing recipes here)

Cleaning >> My room and closet all.the.time.  I don’t have to move apartments for another couple of months but want to have as little excess as possible.  Seeing that I am either at work or on the go, I don’t need too much, right?

Drinking >> Iced coffee.  Starbucks is even coming out with new options like sweet cream cold brew and nitro cold brew!

Hoping >> To find Hamilton tickets.  I know they are hard to come by so don’t burst my bubble.  I’m hoping that I can find a loophole somewhere or that people don’t try as hard when the original cast moves on…

Baking / Experimenting >> With BERRIES. ALL THE BERRIES!  And this nut butter zucchini brownie recipe.

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^^ Round #2 of single serving strawberry shortcake (homemade shortcake by the way…just call me Betty or Martha).  Second time was definitely the charm.

PureWow ~ “The Best Burgers in NYC” ~ This is no time to be vegetarian or vegan.  Let the games begin.

The Muse ~ “Sheryl Sandberg Opens Up and Reminds Everyone About the Power of Resilience

Meter Tracksmith ~ “No Rest for the Weary” ~ aka Badass.

PureWow ~ “11 Iconic Summer Moments” ~ GOING TO JERSEY FOR A POOL! Hope you are reading this my Jersey friends because it’s happening.

Shine.com ~ Daily Texts for self-fulfillment.  No really – if you sign up, you will get daily texts and gifs to make your day so much better.

Being Your True Self: Does Authenticity Matter in the Workplace?” ~ An interesting thought.  There are too many articles that look at millennials in a bad way, but there may be something to this.

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Weekend wise, we’ve got some rain in the forecast (yay summer storms), I’ve got a bike ride and festive outdoor fete, some running to Central Park to cheer the runners at the Retro 4M and the viewing of Me Before You.  Let the games begin!

What are you up to this weekend? Are you a donut fan?

MDW ’16 in Review ~ New York Staycation

Ah Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s a relatively jam-packed with activities and of course holds a couple of meanings  The main purpose of the day, one that used to be known as Decoration Day, is to pay tribute to all the men and women who have died in military service for the United States.  To all of you, thank you.

This day and ultimately weekend also serves as the start to summer, the beginning of beach days, and historically in the fashion world – the “ok” to wear white.  Now that last point has sort of gone out the window and you can see women wearing it all points of the year, especially in Southern California where the seasons fluctuate between summer and mild summer with maybe some 50’s thrown in there.

Memorial Day Weekend is one holiday weekend that I never really have had solid plans for.  Growing up we would have a fun run on Monday or possibly go up to Mammoth Mountain.  I have been to the Jersey Shore for a few days and even a trip to go white-water rafting.

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I can look at this last weekend in one of two ways.  One – I didn’t get my act together to plan a trip or full weekend excursion or two – I worked on creating some open ended plans that would allow me to relax a bit and not go into some busy weeks at work completely exhausted.  Let’s go with the latter.

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^^ Remember when I mentioned that I loved Westville’s salad so much?  Yeah well when I was given the ok to leave work on Friday, I decided to go back down to 18th street, have a solo salad and then make my way back to Central Park to meet up with Lindsay and a few of her friends for a bit.  It was amazing to see how many people were out in Sheep’s Meadow.  While the heat did get a bit bothersome at times, if you stayed in the shade it was absolutely lovely.

From the park, Lindsay and I made our way to CitiField where we were able to watch our Los Angeles boys in blue take on the Mets!  It may not have been the best start for the Dodgers as they were down 5-1 by the 8th inning.  Lindsay and I thought they were out for the count and had started to make our way back to the city on the 7 train when I got a text from my mom saying the following “Dad hopes that you are still watching the game since it’s tied 5-5.”  Well if that’s not a guilt trip…Just kidding.

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There were a ton of people on the train and we were all kicking ourselves in the pants.  I just claimed that we were typical LA fans – arrive late and leave early.  The real excitement was Saturday when Chase Utley hit a grand slam for the Dodger win!

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Saturday I decided to give myself the day off from working out and instead Lindsay and I got up early to hit the beach.  We left the apartment around 8:30, picked up some snacks and caffeinated beverages at Starbucks and were on the sand by 11:30.  Now that it’s beach season, the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) has various beach deals including one to Long Beach – $23 round trip fare and access to the beach (normally $15).  I guess they charge at most beaches in order to maintain the classiness or cleanliness.  Either way, it does make for a better experience, especially if you make it a full day.

We may have been overeager on the sun and less than smart on the sunscreen.  I had thought it would be easy to spray myself periodically with the spray bottle but apparently that was not enough.  When I got home it looked like I wore some fancy schmancy suit that had cut-outs on the sides.  Let’s be clear that I did not wear that.  So from 7pm onward I sat and applied aloe, ate Bareburger and watched Disney Channel movies from the 100th episode celebration.  Adulting at its finest.

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^^ Sunday started with my last ClassPass class at KORE.  We worked for about 45 minutes with kettle bells, TRX ropes, and our own body weight.  The music was good, the bathrooms were fancy, and the lighting was a bit too much disco-esque.  I didn’t feel it too much right after the class but boy did I feel the burn the next morning.

Once finished, I hopped back on a Citi bike, prepped breakfast for the week and got ready for day #2 of the beach.  This time we were keeping it cheap and taking the A train out to Rockaways.  Turns out we went to the surfing spot, which doesn’t exactly allow for swimming.  Good to know.

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Once we got past the loud family and two parties playing loud music (really people, is that necessary?  How about listening to the ocean waves), everything was just fine.  I had brought my second book – The Lake House by Kate Morton – and alternated between reading and napping and glaring at our neighbors.  We actually didn’t even make it into the water because an odd fog started to roll in and we took our cue to depart.

To be 100% honest – the beaches are nothing like those in California.  I grew up going to Laguna Beach and there seriously is nothing better – the waves, the color of the ocean – the cleanliness (on most…).  That or Hawaii but we can’t all have Hawaii all the time.  It is sort of hard to trek all the way out with all your goods, but that’s part of growing up and exploring new areas.  Maybe I’ll stumble across a few other beaches this summer and make a list of pros/cons.

I’d like to say we went home and got dressed to go party but that would be a lie.  I sat right down and applied aloe and watched some excellent Disney films.  1) Johnny Tsunami, 2) ZENON and then 3) Teen Beach Movie, which seemed like a mash-up of modern day Johnny Tsunami (mostly for the poor kids who will never watch it) and Grease.  I was actually highly satisfied with all three and then got 8+ hours of sleep.  Now that’s an awesome weekend.

Monday Monday Monday.  After waking up to a cool apartment at 8:15am, it was off to the gym for a spin class and barre class.  I was supposed to go biking to a brewery but with 100% chance of showers, that plan was busted.  Once I set off for the gym a funny thing happened.  IT DIDN’T RAIN ALL DAY.  Get that meteorologists.  Anyways, it was probably for the better because I was able to stock up on some cleaning supplies, work through the apartment and get prepped for the week.

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I did meet up with my two friends that I was supposed to bike with and we tested out a new brunch spot instead.  I had selected this place (Jane) based on the reviews of the burger and bloody mary.  I did not get the burger and was actually not a fan of the bloody mary but did love the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for what it’s worth.

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And that folks was a New York staycation.  A bit hap-hazard of a write-up as there was no real itinerary but we made do with our resources and it was one to remember.  Oh and for one little teaser of where I wish I could be – Curacao – with this view.  This is what a couple of my friends have seen for the past week.  Sunsets (NO FILTER) like this on the daily with plenty of sun and perfect surf to go around.

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“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

May Highlights ~ 5.27.16

Just as I was about to write my weekly (almost weekly) life of late post, I realized that this was the LAST FRIDAY OF MAY.  But really, how in the world have we already reached a full 5 months of 2016?  Spring has arrived and really before we know it, summer will be here – hot and humid in all of its glory.  You know, with a few days of heat already, I’m wishing I lived closer to a beach (or pool).  Thank goodness I sleep right under the air conditioner and oh spend 90% of my day inside underneath fluorescent lights (sarcasm people. all sarcasm). Hey, I can thank my lucky stars that my office has wonderful air conditioning.  I’m sure there are some that can’t say the same.

But onto what I have been doing the last few weeks.  Oh there is always a bit of running and eating going on, but some other fun things in between.  It may be the same ‘ol same ‘ol stuff that I post about but it’s what brings me joy.  Jordan from Balanced Blonde made an excellent point about the purpose of a blog.  There are many people who start a blog with one theme in mind – food, fashion, travel, etc and some people are able to monetize their content.  To those people I say well done.  Although I’d like to consider my own blog as a lifestyle blog since it pretty much documents my style of life.

It all comes down to what I am passionate about and that’s what I write here and share with you.  So sit tight because this is turning out to be a long one 🙂

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^^ Birthday run to brunch bash.  I organized a fun run around parts of the Brooklyn Half course and it just so happened to be the day after my birthday.  We then made our way to an epic hole in the wall joint that serves some of the best biscuits around.  Now I’m not an expert so we can call them the best biscuits around Prospect Park.

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^^ But really, I’m game to go back for a snack and maybe even a bloody mary.  I’m not usually a boozy bruncher but apparently those too are some of the best around.

Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

IMG_6996^^ Still ever so grateful for the friendships I have made here in this city.  As Ali mentioned in her blog (I know I mention her a lot but she speaks words of wisdom and she shares my birthday so obviously I’m biased), finding November Project was a godsend.  I have learned to push myself, learned how to relax, and made genuine friends in this strange city.

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^^ As I always say, running with friends makes things 10x better.  This is me and my friend Annelise at November Project, just waking up the sun.  Now if you are curious to learn more about running, the ins and outs, why it sucks sometimes and how to make it better (LIKE MORE FUN!!!), check out my friend Ali’s new segments on the run section of the Fitness site.  Words upon words of clutch information right at your fingertips.

Oh and you get to know some of my cool friends from November Project 🙂 But really.  Check it out!

IMG_7220^^ When you need a snack and the dynamic duo come to your rescue.  Thank you Starbucks and Pinkberry.  It’s quite funny how my body reacts to sugar now that I don’t eat as much of it.  Sure, sure if you follow me on IG/Snapchat or this blog you may be rolling your eyes but what that really means is I used to eat a WHOLE bunch more.  Anyways, I’ve figured out a little trick where if I drink straight black coffee, I can stop slow some of the nasty side effects.  Ok mostly slowing the sugar crash.

IMG_7229^^ A new watch for my birthday with only the best and brightest blue wristband.  I also discovered that Mile Posts had created a Garmin interface with the runner movement phrase “I Run this Body”.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s a movement (trending with a hashtag and clothes to match) that celebrates runners of all types – all speeds, all body shapes, and all levels.

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^^ One AMAZING kale salad from Westville.  My first time dining at the east village location and boy was it love at first bite.  The kale was shredded and dressed and mixed with walnuts, blue cheese, and cranberries.

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IMG_8501 (1) ^^ Last weekend Lindsay’s family (at least the girls) came out to visit and I was lucky enough to tag along on Sunday.  We started up at the Boathouse with a truly delicious brunch (frittata for the WIN), some time spent wandering Central Park, and then down along 5th Avenue with a stop inside Tiffany’s.

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^^ Absolutely ADORING my birthday bouquet from my friend Liz.  She ordered some of my favorites – Gerber daisies – from a new company called Bouqs.  What’s great is that they are 1) eco friendly and 2) cut to order.  I swear, those flowers lasted longer than I have ever had a bouquet last.

IMG_7219^^ After my very quick trip to LA for Meghan’s graduation, I saw this at LAX.   Now remind me why I’m living in a concrete jungle and not by the beach? 😉  Thank goodness I’ll get my ocean fix this weekend when Lindsay and I go to check out not one but two seaside escapes.  We both agree that we are spoiled by our proximity to favorite Laguna Beach back in California but since that’s not an option, we must venture out and try new things.  At least for now.

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^^ Some excellent street tacos by Tacombi found in Nolita, Flatiron, and Bleeker Street.  Guacamole is highly recommended a non-negotiable.

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The sun may set on another day but have no fear as there is you have the whole world out there to explore tomorrow.

I LOVE NEW YORK

It’s taken me about 25 years to learn how to bend the rules and have a little fun.  I do like to have fun but typically it’s Type A and by the book.  I never ditched class (ok a couple of times senior year), never skipped a day when I didn’t have to, and followed all of my coach’s directions (except this one time we walked home from hill repeats and were then scolded…no hard feelings).  Anyways, now that I’m 25 and two weeks old, I’ve realized that life doesn’t have a rule book (though some people still tell me I’m a goody two-shoes).  As I’ve said (or written) before, life is what you make of it.  So, I decided that I was going to take a day off for my birthday and take a day off to explore the city with some friends.  The former was actually at the encouragement of my own boss, so that’s that.

But last Wednesday happened to be my good friend Jess’s 5th year anniversary in the city.  A few of us coordinated time off and a schedule to explore this island we now call home.

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The obvious plan was to start at November Project and of course we made it a double (5:30 + 6:30).  I opted in for the running of 5:30, part of 6:30 and then took to strength and stretching.  With Saturday’s impending half, I didn’t want to wear myself out.

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From there, we made our way downtown, picked up some java from a quaint little coffee shop by NYU, and onward to the Greenwich Avenue Equinox.  Oh my goodness so much fun since we actually took our time getting ready, enjoyed a bit of sauna time and didn’t have to battle our way for a shower.  Let it be known that normally around 7:45/8am it’s mad chaos and takes forever to actually get showered.

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Then it was breakfast (more like brunch) time.  We arranged our schedule to be by an avocado toast locale and Bluestone Lane just so happened to be right down the block.  Most of us went with the avocado toast + yogurt mix board – a perfectly portioned plate for sure.  Un-pictured was the banana bread split and devoured by the table.

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^^ Brunch at Bluestone Lane (mmmmm delish)

I definitely forgot to put sunscreen on and with about an hour in the sun at breakfast and additional walking during the day…it was not a pretty tan line.

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Once finished with breakfast, we walked out of the West Village and down towards the tip of the island towards Battery Park. Jessica (the girl of honor) had picked up “I LOVE NY” shirts for us to wear on our touristy adventure.  I swear, the amount of funny looks, pictures, comments, and even some cat calls, were hilarious.  We even got a few people saying “wow you really do must love New York”.  That or “where are you visiting from?”.  Our reply “the East Village”

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^^ Pretty good story behind this picture.  Obviously we would want something that matches our shirts but more about who took the photo.  We saw this man standing on the street writing in a notebook.  We asked him to take our picture and he did, but then asked us for help with his class assignment (to help him learn English).  The topic was art and he had to analyze what differentiated street art from graffiti.  We all gave him our opinions – emphasizing street art such as the one above helps improve the ambiance of the area rather than degrading it.  It was just one of those moments where you think “wow I live in such a unique city that I am surrounded by so many different people and places”.

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^^ what a bunch.  also noticing the tomato red burn on my arm…

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We did attempt to wait in line for burgers and milkshakes from Burger & Barrel but ever since it became the Instagram hot spot, it’s been a zoo.  We arrived around 2:30, thinking we would be able to just jet in.  Well, given that the line was wrapped around the street corner and we weren’t expected to even be seated together for the next hour or so, we ditched that plan and headed east to another bar for cocktails and burgers.  All of us were still full from breakfast and wanted to leave room for dinner (Pauly Gees pizza to come), so divide and conquer we did.  Two burgers split amongst the two of us and a few drinks to go around.

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Ending the day with a delicious round of pies and complimentary limoncello shots by Pauly himself.  Do note that this is a dine in only establishment – no pies to go, even though a picnic in the park would have been divine 🙂

One helluva way to celebrate an anniversary and here’s to many more adventures!

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“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

BAA Marathon 16 + NP The Book

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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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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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.

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Video Collage of Mile 18

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

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

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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)