NYC: It’s Not Goodbye, Just See You Later

The last four years in New York City have been a part of an era that I don’t know how to adequately put into words.  There’s truly too much to say, too many links to reference, too many pictures to post, and too many people to say goodbye to.  Since I promised that I wouldn’t Irish Exit, this is my first attempt at saying goodbye.  Or rather, see you later because let’s be real, who actually likes goodbyes?

In about two weeks, I will be getting on a plane with a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, California.  I made this decision about 6 months ago and it wasn’t until last week that the puzzle pieces started to fall into place.  I don’t think it’s really hit me that I’m moving but am sure I’ll have an “oh sh$t” moment at some point.  But for now, I know that everything ebbs and flows and I will forever be grateful for this time in my life.

 Four years ago I moved out to the Big Apple I do something different.  Some could consider it cliche to pursue your dreams in New York City but that’s where I was going.   It was thrilling to have this whole new adventure ahead of you, an entire city to make your mark on, thousands of people to meet, and maybe leave a legacy.  Sure, I wasn’t going to find the cure for a disease or solve global warming, but I set out to figure out myself, my goals, and my ambitions.  As I have now learned and accepted, we never truly know what we want or what we want to do with our lives.  There are patches where we find passion within a job, a workout or routine, or even seeking experiences like hiking or traveling.  But in the middle there are bound to be down patches and that’s what makes life unique.

I have grown more in the last 4 years than I ever did in college.  I have found the confidence (though it’s really an ever continuing work in progress) with my mind, body, and unique strengths.  I’ve learned that you aren’t going to please everyone and you may not stay friends with everyone.  There are reasons that we meet certain people and while those reasons aren’t clear at first, I do believe that things happen for a reason.

All of this couldn’t have been possible without moving out on my own, exploring this booming city, and then creating friendships with countless amazing humans through November Project.  You’ve followed along as I drank the cool aid, became obsessed with the cult-like workouts, fell in step with some pretty awesome folks, and so on.  There’s something unique about finding people who are ready to greet you with a smile so early in the morning and are there for you when you need them most.  As I began marathon training, I stepped out of it but am dipping my toes back in the water.  I’ve drowned on in too many posts about it and I’m sure you get the picture 😉

To the NP and NYRR community, thank you for allowing me to spend all of my disposable income on races and get so caught up in the spirit of racing.  Totally not being sarcastic (ok, except for the taking all of my money part…).  I will forever be spoiled by the standard of race organization, the ability to select a race every weekend, and to run the greatest marathon of all time – the New York City Marathon.

Looking back this was probably one of my favorite memories.  There were the months leading up where I would run in the early mornings, run with friends, and get excited to put my body to the test.  There was the week of anticipation and there was the day of nerves and then disbelief that it was over.  Granted, there was just less than 4 hours of running and pain going on for me but I now know that starting with this marathon was the perfect decision.  I mean, just watching this video with Alec Baldwin again brings up all the good feelings and sometimes some happy tears.

 Over the last few years, the frequency of my blogging declined and my use of Instagram skyrocketed.  I try to document as much as possible to remind myself what an amazing city I’ve lived in and how many wonderful people I have crossed paths with.  For the most part, I’ve linked up various adventures to my NYC Bucket List and leave it to Instagram to fill in the rest.

Things I love and will miss about this city:

  • Access to bodegas on every corner.  Looking for a seltzer at 1am?  No problem (not that I’m really ever up at that time but still.  Easily accessible)
  • Subways and buses aka legit public transportation.  Come on.  We complain about the subways but where else can you get to so many places so easily?? And really just for $2.75?
  • Fall leaves ~ This whole concept of fall and the changing of seasons is so unique to the east coast and I loved it!
  • Bagels and pizza dough.  I was definitely a no bagel kind of girl when I moved out here.  It’s something about the water.
  • Black & White Cookies + Babka + Challah ~ Let’s continue the food train because food always makes a city unique.  I only eat these on special occasions because there’s no need for me to have a box of any of that in the apartment (it would be eaten within a day) but they are so.darn.delicious.
  • Citibike ~ I love love love biking and it makes the city even more accessible
  • Walking around town.  There is so much to see in this town and while the concrete does start to get you down, it always blows me away that I’m walking past Rockefeller Center, through Central Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and past so  many unique people.  Most weekends I would run in Central Park, grab brunch and then just find myself walking home.
  • NYRR + other sporadic races around the city including the very great New York Marathon.  It was such an amazing thing to experience from the years I volunteered to the year I ran.

There were ups and downs and I know this is how life will always be; there will always be times of triumph and times of loneliness.  Now, it’s about using that confidence to say yes, I’m one helluva person and am going to go chase my dreams.

Advertisements

Life of Late ~ July 2017

Let’s all have the mind-blowing realization that we are pretty much halfway through summer.  The heat and humidity have rolled in full force and we are about 7 weeks away from the start of football season.  For some reason football and fall are synonymous with one another, even if it doesn’t really cool out on the west coast.  I can recall going from cross country meets or soccer matches to football games, sweating through every single item that I owned.  Ah the good times. 😉

July has been a blast thus far filled with beach days, rainy days, and time spent in the park.   This week has actually been the first week in a long time that I was in the office ALL 5 days.  Between various summer Fridays and other PTO days, I’ve enjoyed my casual 4, 3, and even 2 day weeks!  I’m gallivanting down to D.C. this weekend, entering the swamp, and expecting to sweat out half my body weight.  Pretty much like the episode of “I Love Lucy” where she tries to steam down her weight.  Yep, totally safe.

prospect park 4th

summer friday

Current Workouts:

  • Back on the November Project schedule.  Maybe I’m not hitting up every workout but it’s good to see some friends in the morning and I really love the new co-leader’s enthusiasm.
  • SPIN!  After watching the triathlon last week I was inspired to get back on the bike.  It’s definitely healthier to balance with running and so back to some Equinox classes and Soul Cylce I go.
  • Water aerobics – Because when you don’t schedule any sort of trips on your three day weekends, you use Friday to attend water aerobics.
  • Barre + Weight Training Classes #blessed – Not sure why I need that hashtag but thank goodness for the wide array of classes offered at Equinox.  I’m trying to vary my workouts and increase those non-running muscles.  Or rather I’m trying to strengthen those muscles so when I catch the running and racing bug again, I’ll be stronger than before (here’s to hoping…)
  • Yoga and I JUST LEARNED CROW POSE!  It’s taken me about 3+ years to get there and I’ve told myself my bottom half is too heavy and I don’t have enough arm strength but I did manage to balance for about 2 seconds.  The excitement is real.  Now comes the trick to balancing for longer.

IMG_5072

The other day at track, I was thinking about what it means to feel normal.  Sure there is the mental side of things like going day to day with no stress or too much stress?  But then there is the physical side of things.  What does it mean to run without feeling like you are running through a swamp?  Or actually have boundless amounts of energy?  What did my legs feel like last year prior to marathon training?  Oh I could go on and on and on.  Just some food for thought.

np with jess

Currently Listening to…LOTS OF PODCASTS!:

  • Gatorade + Gimlet “The Secret to Victory” – My friend Cait works at Gimlet and got me hooked on this.  Using her own words because well, she works in marketing 😉
    •  The premiere episode of The Secret to Victory is live now! It’s Gimlet MediaGimlet Creative‘s first SPORTS POD with Gatorade. This week, we talk to Eli and Peyton Manning. But not about how Eli is still the only QB to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl (twice, sry), or how Peyton is considered by some to be one of the best QBs of all time (and pretty funny in those Papa John’s commercials). We talk to them, and even Archie about the disappointment of both of their rookie seasons with the NY Giants & Indianapolis Colts, and how it only fueled the fire that lead to greatness.  
  • Ali on the Run
  • ESPN’s 30 for 30 – This might be a direct competitor of the above Gimlet production but still cool stories and I’m an ESPN girl through and through.
  • Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield – Because we all need a little more of this in our lives.
  • Mike & Mike on ESPN – These guys have been my morning go to for the last few years.  Sometimes when I wake up and am running or getting to the gym, I just don’t care for music, so I turn to sport’s radio.  Anyways, turns out these guys are calling it quits or moving in different directions this year and I’ll miss their banter.

Currently Watching:

  • The Kennedy’s on Hulu and I AM FASCINATED!  With every episode, I spend at least an hour diving into articles online, Wikipedia pages (don’t judge, they are millennial’s form of a basic encyclopedia…) and more.  For some reason this part of time always draws me in.  If you have any good books on the subject, PLEASE comment!
  • Bring it On – Just a random movie I decided to watch this week.  I’d actually never seen it.
  • Seinfeld on Hulu.  This is another classic show that I’m working my way from start to finish.  The episodes are perfect for one or two before bed and more if I’m lazy.  My mom would go to bed watching them every night so I’ve heard some of the jokes but having lived in the city, now I really GET the humor.  Not only that but I picked up a ticket to go see Jerry Seinfeld next week!  Very pumped about that.
  • OJ Simpson Hearing – Yep, I was one of those people curious to hear what happened.  Oh! I was also watching the OJ Simpson: Made in America series on Hulu.  Wow I DEFINITELY think he is guilty and am also fascinated by these turn of events.

Currently Reading:

  • The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football – Yeah…I like sports.  It’s something I grew up around and something that brings me a lot of comfort.  That being said, this book is intriguing.  I didn’t realize the extent coaches and teams went to recruit and some of the behind the scenes action players got themselves into.
  • My Not So Perfect Life – Beach read for sure but also funny to compare with today’s social media obsession.
  • Stormy Weather – Not entirely what I was expecting but still a good historical read about Lena Horne, an American jazz and pop singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist.

beach day

Tasting Table ~ “Modern Tiki Trends” ~ I’m all about hosting summer events and creating a theme around it.  Ok, maybe I’m just all about the IDEA of themed summer parties.  I don’t exactly have the space to host or even prep but having these Tiki Themed tips is giving me ideas… If you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with anything Hawaiian, tropical, or Polynesian.  Thank you Dole and Tasting Table for that.

 C’est Christine ~ “Notes on Defining Success” ~ Broken record but Christine always puts it so eloquently.  She referred to a quote that said “comparison is an addiction to losing”.  We compare compare compare and while this can be good to get yourself moving, ready to take action and work towards your dreams, it can also cause a bit of anxiety and disappointment.  People are always going to share their opinion with you – what you should do, where you should live, etc.  It’s up to you to define what makes you happy and stand by that decision.  I also loved how she ended the post, her goal to obtain “a more intentional type of success, a focus on thriving instead of just striving”

oculus

^^ This was year #2 celebrating the 4th of July in the city and I have to say, rooftop game was on point.  I actually happened to have a 5-day weekend and really just bopped around town.  Sure I had my fair share of FOMO, looking at people’s outdoor pictures (even those who I didn’t know…lovely social media) but made the most of the weekend in my own special way.

ice cream

^^ On the hunt to sample all the classics in the city and this was a SUCCESS!  I actually made a pitstop after cheering folks in Take the Bridge: Manhattan Bridge edition.  We had gotten caught in an extreme downpour and while my friends decided to go home, I waltzed in and ordered a scoop of Taro while dripping water everywhere.  #runtoeat #eattorun

yoga

^^ I tested out the talked about DAYBREAKER and have to say, I wasn’t that impressed.  Maybe I’m not a rave gal and can’t go for that DJ music at 7am in the morning but it wasn’t my jam.  I had woken up at 5:15 to make it for 6 am yoga (meh) and then packed as many snacks away to make up for the $35 fee.  #sorrynotsorry  In the end it was an experience and maybe would have been better if I had a huge group of friends there OR was completely solo and wanted to dance/jam out on my own.

bagel

^^ What a view at last week’s NYC Triathlon.  I ran up with a friend, grabbed a bagel sandwich and cheered on some friends in the run portion of the race.  This is one race I had/have no FOMO over.  Swimming in the Hudson filled with dead bodies and sewage?  No thank you.  Even though I heard the 0.9-1 mi swim took people about 15 minutes to finish.  If you aren’t familiar with timing of swims, it takes me about 30 minutes in the pool to swim a mile.  Still, I don’t think I would commit to that water…

With these rambles complete, here’s to the weekend!

FullSizeRender

“You are remembered for the rules you break” – Douglas MacArthur

Summer in New York City ’17

There is nothing like summer in the city and you can take this one of two ways.  The first is much more enjoyable – the feeling of waking up to full daylight and walking outside until the sunsets after 8.  The other is that when the humidity hits, man it hits hard.  You are walking around hoping you don’t sweat through every single item and praying that the smell of the trash doesn’t seep through your clothes.  I know I just painted a lovely picture and if you’ve experienced NYC during this season, you’ll know exactly what I’m writing about.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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!

IMG_8500 (1)

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.

IMG_3617

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?

IMG_3589

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!

IMG_9282

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

 

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.

IMG_2562

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