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.

Travel Check : Portland, Maine

Almost three months have passed since my trip to Portland, Maine and while I still can picture the delicious food we ate (yep and yep) and beautiful views we had (Instagram again for the win), most of the details are slowly slipping away.  To be honest, I think I’m drafting this simply so I can it to my travel list.

My friend Lauren is much better at the details and will probably have a must-see and do post published in no time, even though it took us 3 months to do so. (I’m pretty sure I had drafted an email to myself with all the bucket list restaurants and then the draft disappeared…maybe it was meant to be)

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Last October, a few friends and I decided to take a trip up to Portland, Maine to explore the outdoors and eat our hearts out.  Lindsay and I are on a “need-to-do” east coast bucket list and Portland just so happened to be one of our destinations!  Sadly we didn’t make it to Acadia National Park, so I guess that’ll have to be another trip down the road.  For now, enjoy the Top Things to Eat & See in Portland, Maine!

Explorations

  • Back Cove Running Loop (sunrise photo above): A 3.6mi loop perfect for a morning stroll or jog.  Since this trip was a week before the New York Marathon, I had about 8-10 miles scheduled and wanted to build up an appetite before our day of eats.  Lauren and I rambled around Portland, around this quasi-inlet, and back through a small farmer’s market.  Our friend Abby located a local spin studio to sweat it out, which was also an excellent find.
    • As mentioned above, we didn’t get a chance to explore the Acadia National Park and subsequently missed out on all the excellent hiking Maine has to offer.  Of course, we did walk our fair share along the streets and local shops, so we’ll call this trip a Portland-dense adventure.

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  • HOLY DONUT – A VERY popular donut shop that is centered around the Maine Potato.  Open daily 8 am and features top-notch fried confections, making millions per year! {Maine Potato, Dark Chocolate, Sweet Potato, Vegan, etc}

As you can see, we went for the full sampling selection and yes, using the bottom right picture for scale, the donut is THAT BIG.

  • Silly’s – Eclectic hole-in-the-wall place that is very vegetarian-friendly and excellent for brunch carbo-loading.  The prices are prime and the portions are even better!  Highly recommend the Berry Me In It + Eganator for a sweet and salty combination.
  • The Standard Baking Co – Breads and goods make from scratch.  There should be no other way.
  • Blake Orchard Juicery – When you are in the need of a detox from brews and baked goods.

I highly recommend taking a picnic or picking up a top-notch lobster roll {Bite Into Maine}, walking/running along the water, or just sitting and staring out into the distance.  Maybe live a little and do all of the above.

  • Where there’s a brewery (or two…or three…or four), there’s a way.  We visited three different breweries for tours and tastings and had a blast!  I’m not usually the one to booze throughout the day let alone the weekend but it was fun to uber around and sample some local (and not to mention popular) hops.

Last but not least, the Maine feature – lobster rolls or as Lauren likes to say LOBSTAH.  Here at Eventide you can find one of the top lobster rolls in town (and on Eater’s 38 Essential American Restaurants).  This place is usually packed, especially on the weekends so expect to wait.  Always smart if you decide to go at 3pm like we did or are willing to stick around or even go for a walk.  They take down your cell # and give you a text when a spot is about to open up.

Do note that these rolls are different from Long Island lobster because they are served chilled and chunky.  I personally would stick to something out of NYC but that’s just my city snobbery.

With that, another travel recap in the books.  Anything you think we missed in Maine?

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

Life of Late ~ 12.16.16

Ho ho ho, the holidays are in full throttle with less than 1 week to go until Christmas Day. I must be losing it because I originally published this as the 15th not 16th.  That has been updated. Well, I personally like the build up to the actual day of Christmas best but that’s just because when Christmas is over, we enter this dreary season of January and February chill.  Anyways, both Christmas and  Hanukkah happen fall around the same time period, which means celebrations at the same time for most people in the city!  Our apartment is all decked out with a baby tree, stockings, Hershey’s candy, and pine-scented candles (though my mother does not approve). 😉  Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on in NYC this week.

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Cheer Station ~ Long Island Triathlon Edition

This past weekend I traveled outside of the mini island of Manhattan to cheer on a couple of friends in their first outdoor triathlon.  To be honest, it’s always tough for me to spectate a race when I feel or wish that I could be participating.  But, after volunteering in a few races, namely the New York City Marathon, I’ve realized how important the volunteers and spectators are to the race.  Not to mention the fact that I had raced in quite a few triathlons during college so I might have an idea of how to help out on race day.  😉

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We didn’t leave until midday Saturday so I had enough time to take a run along the Highline and make it to a strength workout at Equinox.  After taking a quick shower, I headed north to meet Tracy and Emily at the rental car shop.  Our final destination was pretty close to Montauk, about 2 or so hours outside of NYC, but we had to pick up a bike for Emily along the way.  It’s safe we were running on “Fuelling” schedule aka cutting it a bit close for comfort – both girls had to pick up their bibs and information by 4:30 that day and we made it just in time at 4:26.

Saturday night was very low key as we went to an early dinner in town, browsed the suburban grocery store for a solid 15 minutes, and then chit-chatted throughout NBC’s Olympic qualifiers in Oregon.  Not too shabby of a night if you ask me, especially since we had to get up at the crack of dawn for the race.

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I slept hard as a rock and soon enough it was 4:50 and time to get up.   Turns out the other girls didn’t sleep as well – mostly race nerves but a little bit of mattress regret too – and were up around 4/4:30.  Once everyone had their gear for the morning, we loaded the bikes onto the car and drove the 1/2 to the race spot – Jamesport Beach, New York.

IMG_8593IMG_8598I was helpful in the beginning and then realized I was simply dead weight, just standing there amongst the participants.  I then decided to take a walk and head to the beach where they would be starting the race.

Watching everyone get set up and put on their wetsuits certainly took me back to college when I raced in the annual Wildflower Olympic Triathlon.  I was reminiscing about the few years that I raced at Lake San Antonio (2013) and even spent my 21st birthday competing.  How’s that for a celebration?  I would totally love to get back into the tri-game and actually put effort into the sport, but one thing at a time.

IMG_8596^^ Aw, two girls ready to crush their first outdoor triathlon!

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^^ Most definitely my LEAST favorite part of racing – the madness of running into the water and initially swimming right on top of each other, kicking one another in the face.

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^^ Emily had borrowed a bike and yes, that’s a mountain bike.  It may have been a bit more difficult than a road bike but she persevered and dominated it.  That much more rewarding of a race, right?

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Every racer had their age marked on the back of their right calf, which made it quite enjoyable for me to spectate and analyze all of the racers – how old they were, what type of gear they had, how excited/focused/traumatized they looked, etc.  Every time a racer passed by, I would cheer them on and then whip around to see how old each racer was.  Man, the ages ranged from 16 to 70!  How’s that for inspiration?  Not only that, but it seemed that everyone was genuinely supportive and helpful to one another!

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Both girls did an incredible job and are of course hooked and ready to sign up for more!

“You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them” – Unknown

Life of Late ~ 6.24.16

Who else woke up to the notification that Britain decided to leave the EU?  Well, it’s the end of the world as we (I) know it  – from the countless classes that I took between high school and college that talked about politics, my travels throughout England and Europe, and simply being aware of what was going on.  Between the Brexit and this Hillary vs. Trump phenomenon, our world of politics is on a nice roll.

But enough about politics.  This week I was feeling MUCH more refreshed – probably due to the fact I didn’t go out over the weekend and just hung outdoors – between the west side park and Central Park – for an absurd amount of time.

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^^ Thank goodness I listen to morning television during breakfast because I learned that New York City was hosting our very own volleyball tournament and Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross (the Rio bound duo) were going to be playing!!  This was all FREE and thankfully I decided to bike rather than walk my way down (~3.5 miles) and made it just in time.  They won…obviously.

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^^ After I went back to charge my phone a bit (yay for iPhone battery life), I went into Brooklyn to meet my friend Laura at the Brooklyn Bowl.  She is a HUGE fan of Jeremy Loops, a South African singer and song-writer and I was up for something new and different.  It was SO GOOD! Sadly it was his last USA performance for a very long time and I was so glad that I went.  You never know what could happen when you say yes to new opportunities.

I also happened to fall prey to the artisan ice cream truck before making it to the show, but hey it was part coffee (to keep me awake) and vegan dark chocolate (so healthy?)

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^^ Almost more of a fan of the vegan ice cream (dark chocolate on the bottom because it didn’t melt as fast!)  This also was a summer must as Van Leeuwen’s is ranked in the top 5 ice cream spots 1 in NYC! Thank you PureWow for fueling my constant food exploration and consumption in this city.

Summer means fresh fruit, which means it’s time for BLUEBERRIES! And figs and strawberries and peaches…but I digress.  PureWow rounded up some fresh ways to use blueberries and of course there is one of my favorite YouTube videos about blueberries.  Enjoy:

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^^ Saturday was filled with a very tough workout class (quasi-weights/boot camp), breakfast acai bowl, and lots of park time for a friend’s birthday.  I was quite a sight in the subway as I was not only carrying a butt load of fruit but also walking my friends bike through the mass amounts of tourists in the humidity.  I was not impressed when the subway was 20 minutes late and I’m sure the tourists were not impressed by my desire and ultimate need to get that bike in and on and out of the subway car.

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^^ If you don’t follow Ali’s blog or instagram, I would do so if only for more pictures of Ellie.  How can you say no to that face?  Our friend Jason may have a different feeling after seeing that last picture of Ellie with his soccer ball…she may have thought it was a chew toy.  Oops.

The rest of the day I was SUPER social. Not.  What I actually did was go to Whole Foods with some friends, pick up mac and cheese w/ salmon and cauliflower and then go home to eat and watch Orange is the New Black.  It was glorious and I loved getting a full night’s sleep.

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^^ The next morning was the Harlem Mile up in – you guessed it – Harlem.  Well it was at Marcus Garvey Park to be specific.  I hadn’t signed up for the mile but wanted to get a longer run in and cheer for my friends.  About six miles later, I was up above Central Park and ready to cheer on the speedy crew.  Our crew tied for first and it was also a blast to see all the kids running around – some more enthused about this thing called “running” than others.

For those who weren’t thrilled, I feel for you.  My dad had to draaag me around the local track when I was going into 7th grade.  I’m serious.  I couldn’t even make it that mile.  But hey, look at me now 😉

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^^ Running + Brunch + Levain Cookies + Ice Coffee + Park + ANNELISE FOUND A FOUR LEAF CLOVER! What a Sunday.

IMG_7943 ^^ My view en route to Track Tuesday.  I may not love the track or even really like the track but it’s better with a group of people and the idea that I could get faster.  It also helps that the track is only a mile away from my apartment and I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn (or earlier than I already do) to get to Central Park.  The little things my friends, just the little things.

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^^ That’s the plan for this weekend.  After my 5-mi run (the NYRR Pride Run) tomorrow, I’m heading up to Connecticut with Lindsay and we plan to hang at the beach all weekend long. YES!

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^^ New November Project tag ready for tomorrow’s race.  Thank you so much to the paint crew that got up early to spray paint all of our t-shirts because they look saweeet!!!  Here’s to an awesome weekend to all.  Enjoy!

“Know your own happiness” – Jane Austen