Sights and Scenes from the Weekend ~ 3.13.17

To be honest, all of last week felt like a blur and a bust.  I’m not sure if I gave my legs the rest they needed following an 18-miler but every time that I ran, it felt like I was dragging through cement.  Every workout was a struggle and even my swim on Friday was lackluster.  Then I went home with either a 12-hour stomach bug or food poisoning.  Either way, it wasn’t how I had planned to spend the week/weekend.  But, we can’t always control what happens and this was an excellent example of going with the flow.

After 9+ hours of sleep on Friday, I woke up with the hopes of running 12-14 miles.  Just a mile in I realized this was not going to happen.  I dragged myself to mile 4 and met up with some girlfriends who quickly told me I shouldn’t be running.  But I was so determined to finish a run, scared that if I didn’t run I would be a failure, and grasping to hold onto any potential social time.  Well, after total of 7.5 miles, I decided to call it quits and walked myself to breakfast.  Don’t be fooled by my smile below – I loved running with these gals but felt awful.

Accepting defeat of a run is tough and so is taking a rest day.  But I know that having these days will only help me down the road.  Not to mention it was SO DARN COLD (maybe exacerbated by my body chills or potential fever…I don’t know since I kept forgetting to take my temperature…#adulting) and running with any type of flue is just stupid.  Lesson learned.

Obviously when running doesn’t work out, washing away your feelings in brunch is the next logical step.  I had been craving avocado toast and Bluestone Lane just happened to be where I stopped by run.  In retrospect I certainly could have found a cheaper place to dine but was in such a foul mood, I let the $25 bill (+ tip) slide.  I mean I never truly know what to do about tip – how much does one tip?  If you don’t tip the 20% are you rude?  What if they are practically watching as you select the buttons on the touchscreen iPad right in front of you?  Oh the moral questions, right?

Once brunch was finished and my expensive solo-bill was paid, I made my way downtown and made myself stop in Trader Joe’s to pick up this week’s groceries.  One of my goals is to be better about meal prep and that includes making recipes other than grilled vegetables and fried eggs.  I’ve been feeling a little “blah” about life and can’t quite put my finger on it.  I know that winter is one element but maybe a change in routine – including eating routing – can help.  Plus one of my roommates is gone for the next week, so we have a 1/3 of the fridge to takeover.  (<< shelf and fridge space are also the things you think about when living in a tiny apartment in Manhattan)

These enchiladas (slightly modified recipe by Ambitious Kitchen) were delicious and almost better after being in the fridge overnight.  It must be the way that the ingredients settle that makes it so delectable.  Anyways, add a little avocado and Greek yogurt and viola!

While Sunday was the day where we turned our clocks forward, I decided to let myself sleep in.  That usually means 6:30 or 7 since my body naturally likes to wake up early.  Nope.  Yesterday I slept until 9am, which with the time change meant I had slept for a full 10 hours!!!  Obviously my body was trying to tell me to slow down between the terrible workouts, body aches and two nights of epic sleep.

After lounging in bed watching the Today Show, I cleaned up the apartment and walked out into the bitter cold (real feel of 11 thank you very much) to meet a couple of friends for brunch.  My goal is to be better about making meals during the week and then keep exploring food spots on the weekend.  This way I don’t feel nearly as bad when we go ham ordering a few extra items.

^^ Ruby’s Cafe is 1) a place where of course it’s mega-popular 2) is run by a crew of Aussies (they seriously know what’s up for brunch) and 3) can be excellent for brunch OR lunch/dinner.  The Murray Hill location had actually been recommended to me by a few of my friends but when their Instagram “liked” my Saturday brunch photo, it was almost serendipitous – we had to go there.

After hemming and hawing over the menu (like I said, they have it all) we agreed to order brunch items and promise to come back for the classic burger and sandwich options.  It was only right and after polishing off our orders of BLTA+egg, Breakfast Bowl, and Green Breakfast Bowl (+ a treat of coffee granola w/ poached pears and greek yogurt), we knew that we had ordered right.

After brunch I decided to check another item off of my bucket list, which was the New York Transit Museum.  I don’t entirely know why I was so driven to see it over the last couple of years but the MTA does an excellent job of advertising for it within the current subways and so, over the Brooklyn Bridge I went to check it out.  The museum itself is housed in an old subway station so for starters, that’s pretty awesome.  Then, for general admission of $10, you get access to the story boards and gidgets and gadgets that helped our public transportation evolve over the last 100+ years.  They even housed every version of subway car on the old tracks so that you could actually see and touch the trains of the past.  I only spent about 45 minutes in there but it was like taking a step back in time.

Then it was back into the cold to walk/ride into Manhattan, where I got distracted by a craft store going out of business, and then took a vinyasa flow class (aka glorified stretching by I love it).   It may not have been the weekend I imagined but I have to constantly remind myself that I’m on my own journey – whether it’s for running or work or just life itself and that’s okay.

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Now it’s time to conquer the work week, continue to make plans for the rest of the year including a few trips around the country and of course my Paris trip, which is right around the corner.  Until then, enjoy this extra sunlight in the evening and if you are in these neck of the woods, good lucky and stay safe with this crazy nor’easter!

“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

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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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Brunch Buds at Gotan, Manhattan

I tend to surround myself with people who like to work out and eat, which sounds absolutely wonderful don’t you agree?  Well, being in New York City is the cherry on top since we are basically surrounded by an amazing array of places to dine at.  So many options, so little time (money) it seems.  Most of my weekends do involve some sort of run to eat (or eat to run) and that’s where I’m heading today.

Jump back a few days to the Brooklyn Half where over 27,000 runners made their way from Prospect Park to the Coney Island Boardwalk.  Sure, Coney Island is home to the famous Nathan’s hot dog, but for some reason a frankfurter and beer wasn’t really going to cut it for me that day.  I was craving real food – something warm and something filling.  One of my friends Lauren, blogger at Peanut Butter is My Boyfriend, had finished the race and also happens to be a go-to resource for all things foodie.  Really though, she is one of the top foodies I know and has a stacked list of places to go to.

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We knew our options in Coney Island were slim and wanted to make it back to the main island (sorry Brooklyn).  This was definitely the best plan of action since I would have been one big crank without food.  Although, looking back, I had extreme FOMO of all the people dancing their soreness away at the beer garden.  See what I mean? FOMO issues.  I’ve got a good post coming down the pipeline about that.  But for now back to delicious food.

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A few of the November Project peeps rallied and together we broke away from the chaos and mozied back to the subway to then endure the 90 minute commute home.  Once back in the city, we made our way north to midtown and then to Gotan per Lauren’s recommendation.  She had eaten there twice previously (that week as it happens) and was raving about their options.  I’m going to do my best to review what we ate but I highly recommend reading her thoughts here.

IMG_7336^^ It was practically 12:30 by the time we had arrived so our options were evenly split between breakfast and lunch items.  We all went for savory options and decided to order a couple sweets for the table – one being the PB&J toast with sprinkled coconut.  Here’s a look at the pour-over brew and tuna + avocado salad.  Lauren goes into the making of the coffee and why it’s an emphasis at this restaurant.

IMG_7340^^ I could not pass up the option to order eggs and kale, a combination I am oh to familiar with at home but love so much.  The addition of chorizo, sweet potato and hummus was quite possibly divine.  The yolks were perfectly runny as every brunch egg dish should be.

IMG_7341 ^^ Here is more of an over-head look at our eats, soon to be demolished.  #halfmarathongoals.  And no, these plates were not all for one person (though that would be impressive or maybe slightly nauseating).  Lauren was able to eat with the owners and get the scoop of pretty much each and every dish.  While we couldn’t really order everything on the menu, we did try.  The peanut butter toast was a simply solution to satisfy everyone’s sweet cravings while we all enjoyed our own savory dish.

Dining out with a bunch of millennial foodies meant that we had to pause to take pictures before diving in to take a bite.  We really must look like a strange bunch with cameras and phones coming from all different directions, stretching for the perfect angle to share on Instagram (and the blog…). You’re welcome.

Since Gotan is still relatively new, there wasn’t much of a crowd but I’m sure when word gets out that will all change.  Until then, I’ll try to make it back and maybe, just maybe try something new.

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” — Julia Child

Take Me Down Ocean Avenue: Brooklyn Half Recap

Fun fact: I used to listen to Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” on repeat when I first started running back in the day.  But I’m going to talk about another Ocean Avenue today – the one in the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  Yep, another half in the bag and now I’m forcing myself to take a mini hiatus from racing.  I actually wasn’t even planning to race on Saturday but a few months back when everyone and their mom started talking about it, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and sign up.  Serious FOMO issues here. Good thing I was at my computer that day because the race sold out in 45 minutes!!!  Yes, I paid money to endure 13.1 miles and there’s nothing you can do to stop me from doing it again.

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Overall it went well.  It hurt but that’s something that generally comes with the territory.  The saying goes “don’t do anything new on race day” and well, I may have broken that rule a few times.  First off, I was going in with less training than I would have liked.  Sure, I’ve been working out but not really working out properly – mostly taking classes that leave me sore and then dilly-dallying through my running.  Then my sleep and food routines have been all over the place this week.  Between flying back from home and attending our upfront events and concerts, it was sort of a mess.  Yolo.  On Friday, I was invited to a friend’s dinner party (I guess you could say healthy interest/blogger meet-up hosted by GreenBlender folks) and while the food was absolutely delicious, I maybe shouldn’t have stuck to classics.  I didn’t have coffee the morning of and well, that might have messed up some things too.  I’ll leave it at that.

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^^ White strawberries (actually albino strawberries but that just sounds weird) are a thing.  Check it out!

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Anyways, I do have to thank my friend Sara for letting me sleep on her couch the night before because that meant I was about 800 meters from the start and thus I could avoid waking up at 4am to catch one of the few subways actually traveling to Brooklyn.  WINNING!  I also have to give her a huge shout out for crushing her first half! What a champ 🙂

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So the race.  Because of my time from last year’s Washington Heights 5k, I’ve been placed in some of the front corrals.  Funny since I’ve been getting slower with each race and yet my bib still states otherwise.  I rolled off the couch around 5:20, ate my banana and Honey Stinger waffle, got dressed, and was out the door by 5:45.  Bag check was supposedly going to close around 6:10 but I think that was a ploy to get runners to actually show up on time.  Wave #1 didn’t go off until 7am (wave #2 around 7:45) and that left me with plenty of time to find my NP friends and hang out (and use the porta-potty…duh).

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Weather was definitely working in our favor – slightly overcast with no sight of rain.  Perfect since earlier this week it was about a 100% chance of rain and while voluntarily racing 13.1 miles is crazy, running in the rain is even more so and not so enjoyable.  It may have started to get a bit hot and humid but again, thank goodness no rain.

Consensus is most of us started way too fast.  Typical for me when you get caught up in the heat of the moment, you are pumped with your new playlist (Hello Justin Timberlake and EDM remixes by Spotify), and everyone else is jetting out like a bat out of hell (kudos to my friend Sarah for teaching me that phrase about 10 years ago).  Anyways, I was feeling oh so dandy for the first couple miles and then realized I still had 11 more to go.  Cool.

>> Brooklyn Half Course Map <<

We wrapped in and around Prospect Park, struggled powered up the hills where I saw some November Project folks cheering (we have the best cheer squads out there), and then down counter-clockwise and onto Ocean Parkway.  I happened to be running alongside a couple other of NP people, which kept me focused on pushing forward.  We actually switched off pushing the pace and kept one another accountable.  I rarely race with people that I know, but this prevented me from slowing down too much – something the lazy part of me wanted to do.   But yes, the the course.  Prospect Park was nice but lovely Ocean Parkway – remind me again why I signed up for this?  6 miles of not so attractive open road.  Good times.

About two years ago when I raced this course, I thought the same thing, dying with the endless path in front of me and pretty much crashing at mile 10 because I didn’t fuel properly (aka no gu or chew or dates).  This year I did use fuel (dates at 6.5, 7.5, 9, and 11), but had to stop in the porta-potty for a few minutes at mile 10.  Good times.

So here’s a question – do you stop your watch during a race if you use the bathroom?  I did.  I figured I wanted to know my actually running time and after all, the live tracker would find my total time anyways.  I’m pretty spoiled living in New York City because New York Road Runners has their sh*t together – aid stations and porta-potties pretty much at every mile, relatively seamless bag check, and a much more manageable race start than the one I did in Sweden last year.  Sweden was what we call a sh*t show.  Pardon my French today.

After the pit-stop I had to get my head in the game and power through those last few miles.  It was just me, Bieber, JT, and the home stretch.  I may not practice running fast on a daily basis but I do have a pretty good kick, so with 800 meters to go (thank you to the weekly intervals crew!!), I went for it and landed a time of 1:46 clock time (1:45:59) and 1:43ish by my Garmin but not by Strava so maybe I made up that time in my head (likely to happen to me)

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I found my friends, celebrated their PR’s, picked up my bag, and headed to the baseball field to stretch.  Then it was onto the makeshift beer garden (Steeple Chase) to catch up with all the other November Project folks.  I later left with a few friends for brunch and real food on the main island of Manhattan but more on that later this week.

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^^ Highlight of the morning – seeing Ellie Golden in person again

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Saturday wasn’t about PRs.  It was about finishing with a positive mindset and knowing that I can race under various mental and physical conditions.  I have to have that attitude if I want to run or race double that amount in less than 6 months.  I have to pull myself together and enjoy the moment.  I always enjoy seeing my friends and love how supportive they are to one another.  We have folks running their first halves and half marathon veterans.  We are there through the good and the not-so-great.  They are my family here and I don’t think my experience would be the same without them.

But enough sap for one post.  Here’s to the Brooklyn Half, another day where we voluntarily chose to wake up at the crack of dawn, jaunt (sprint, suffer, slog, fly) through 13.1 miles, and party in all different ways afterwards.

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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!

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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.

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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)

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

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^^ 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.

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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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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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

Life of Late ~ 2.26.16

PHOENIX BOUND! Or already arrived as of last night.  I always mean to write up a thinking out loud post on Thursdays, but I like my Friday rambles instead. 🙂

Sammichespsychmeds ~ “Why I Won’t Apologize for Posting About My Run on Social Media” ~ We need to take social media with a grain of salt.  Yes I post out all.the.time about working out and November Project.  To be honest, sometimes I think that even though I go to these workouts, I don’t always work my hardest and I see other people working harder, people who are faster, smaller, etc.  So where does that put me?  (see #5) I digress.  Know that it doesn’t have to be a negative trap and that those blogger posts, Instagram posts, or Facebook updates can actually be empowering.

IMG_5483^^ Like last week’s 10 miles around the lower part of Manhattan and ending with a solid selfie.  I was really trying to get a little NP_Buff and NP_Homework action going but homework was due at midnight the night before.  Oh well, good effort.

IMG_5484Oh, casually running around a monument.  I’m actually not sure what it is but it’s like the Arc de Triumph of Brooklyn, located right above Prospect Park.  I met up with a friend on Saturday around the park and “runcheer” some of our friends that were racing in the Al Gordon 4M.  The other main reason I offered to come to Brooklyn was the incentive of brunch with my friends.  The real winner was the ricotta and berry waffle or avocado toast concoction.  I guess you could say I was basic with my egg scramble.

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^^ Brunch at the Brunswick Cafe was quite delightful, even if the hostess and waitress got mad at me for pouring the water and coffee.  What can I say, you left it within arm’s reach and hadn’t been back in awhile…

Mind Body Green ~ Yoga Retreats at Julia Child’s Home in France ~ Um, sign me up!

Pure Wow ~ “What Dog Breed Should You Get Based on Your Personality” ~ I’m still banking on saving up for a labradoodle one of these years.

Huffington Post ~ “For Anyone Who Thinks They Are Falling Behind” ~ An excellent find by my aunt and isn’t this the truth.  What did I say at the beginning of the year? YOU DO YOU!

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^^ The Tuesday Speedwork crew.  Getting up at the crack of dawn two days in a row to run on the upper east side isn’t always easy, but oh so worth it once I get there.  Not to mention the fact that it’s getting brighter earlier and making it that much easier to workout in the morning!  Now let’s see if that effort actually translates into my races this year…

Pure Wow ~ “11 Tricks that Make Living in NYC Way Easier” ~ Free bathroom database?  I mean I do use my Equinox membership for that but wow, #runnerproblems solved.  Also my next dream is to attend the SNL taping.  So set your calendar alerts for August!

NYMag ~ “The Single American Woman” ~ Not sure I agree with all the political elements but what a fascinating shift in culture.

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^^ Oh, and this is how to be single 😉 Profile picture worthy, don’t you think?  Back story is that we were out at Houston Hall (dancing the night away…or at least I was) and asked this cute guy to take our picture.  He actually went above and beyond and took multiple without us asking.  Well, we weren’t aware that he was taking the last one and started moving and there you go.  He even said that one was the best.  True story.

IMG_5476^^ Another view (at the beginning of my run) along the east river.  Pure gold and no filter.  How’s that for a sunrise?

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Today we are off to pick up our bibs for tomorrow’s half marathon and then who knows what else.  I’m just happy to be exploring a new place 🙂 Have a fabulous weekend!