Bearly Functional

A pretty punny title if I do say so myself.  Saturday was the Endurance Challenge in New York (Bear Mountain Park) and after having felt major FOMO last year – even though I was out in Philly visiting my friend Mia and taking on the Philly’s Broad Street Run – I wanted in this year. So, team was assembled, outfits were created, and all of a sudden it was time to run up a mountain.  My friend Sam lives outside the city and so she spent the night Friday so we could get up early and get to midtown where the bus was going to meet everyone.

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^^ Outfit credit to $7 flame pants from China, white Nike drift tank, and tagging talents to myself and Annelise, and a mix of sweatshirts by The North Face, Patagonia, and JCrew.

We arrived to 57th street around 7am and found ourselves with two mega school buses – a complete throwback to those cross country invitational days where you would get on the bus in the early morning – complete with oatmeal and gatorade and healthy snacks – bus over to your destination and just wait, wait, wait for your heat to go.  This was a tad bit different since no one was too focused on food – or rather worried about what they were eating.  We had bags of snacks ready for post-race and even broke into the Rice Krispie treats and some Whole Foods doughnuts on the way out.  Sorry Coach Myles, it was a complete #cleaneats fail.

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The bus was supposed to arrive at 8:30 but with a mini-detour in Harlem, we didn’t make it until 9:15.  From there, we dropped our bags, got our tanks tagged with a unique #ECSNY bear tag.  At 10am sharp, the first wave was off on their way!

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^^ Our lovely team ready…or not

For those that weren’t running, you had time to snack (yes cue endless options), browse the booths that were giving away free goodies – everything from beef jerky to oatmeal on-the-go packets to coconut water.

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Annelise, Callie, and I had a blast going back and forth to all the tents, playing corn hole for free North Face swag, and picking up as many coconut waters as we could carry.

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^^ Free drink ticket and pin? Ok!  I did happen to have a hilarious conversation with the two people behind the booth.  They pointed out that I was wearing Patagonia aka their competitor.  I then told them I am an owner of both North Face and Patagonia and why can’t we all get along?  I even plan to wear a NF fleece with a Patagonia jacket and then a Patagonia fleece with my NF rain jacket.  It’s all based on colors and patterns and what matches. Gosh.

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After running leg #4 in Park City, I requested running earlier in the race.  I never really enjoy the downtime before a race and especially hate when the race starts so late in the day (cough cough Sweden half).  Not that we were going to break any records, but we set up our legs in strategic manner – put the two fastest girls at the start and finish.  Annelise kicked it off, I took up 2nd leg, Sam followed suit, and Callie brought us home.

My thoughts on the race?  Amazing except when I rolled my ankle.  But jump back a second.  I knew this race would be harder than Utah, at least terrain wise, and was so not ready for that.  Rocks on rocks on rocks.  This was my second official trail race and let’s just say that the resavoir around Central Park isn’t adequate practice for trail running.  That’s 100% my fault.  The trails did remind me of the trails we used to run in high school, so that was a fun throwback.

I decided to run sans watch, music, or pretty much any technology.  I considered it a jaunt in the woods and had no focus on pace, which was new and different, and felt so darn good.  I actually was cruising along, taking note of all the rocks and was reminded how it feels to get out into nature.  Took mental note many a time to get out of the concrete jungle much more often.  Anyways, with 1.4 mi to go, cue rolled ankle (my sister and I seem to have weaker ankles, especially the right one…not impressed) and a few curse words ensued before finishing up the race.  Once back to the start, Sam was off and I was focused on getting ice and even more free swag.

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So you may be wondering why the title was “bearly functional”.  Well, we had a blast but in more ways than one, we were struggle city.  Even with two reminders, I forgot our 4th runner’s jersey at home (right by the door…fail), our pants were struggling to hold it together (hello $7 pants probably not meant for running), and the finish was a little less than stellar.  Oh Callie crushed it with a speedy time, but one runner was in the bathroom, I was throwing my shoes on and still eating plantain chips and pretzel sticks as we ran through the arch.  So there folks.  Life isn’t always what you see in the pictures 😉  But we had one hell of a time and that’s all that counts.

Our bus brigade left around 4 or 4:30, arriving back in the city around 5:30, putting us at my apartment around 6.  We were trying to see some friends run at the Red Hook Crit 5K.  I have been meaning to check out Red Hook but who knew this event even existed?  It started with a bike race where none of the riders have bikes with breaks!  They added in 5k running races and of course my friends that ran had already crushed a half marathon (two legs of the marathon relay) and another had run the 30k.  No big deal at all.

We didn’t actually make it to the running portion but arrived just in time for the women’s bike race. I was hangry at that point and bee-lined it for the grilled cheese truck.  The cheddar + pulled pork had potential but definitely fell short.  Oh well, the snack bag from earlier in the day made a reappearance and we were satisfied by Teddy Grahams and Oreos – dinner of champions indeed.

Why would anyone bike around in a 1k circle 22 times with the potential to totally eat pavement?  Well, why would people run up a mountain?  Just because.  It was beyond crazy to see in person and is very popular in Europe as well!

After seeing the women’s race, we were curious to see how the men’s race would turn out.  The pack grew from 40 to 100 and it was bound to be a sight.  Around 9:30/9:45, the men started lining up, warming up, and then were off.  Unfortunately right out of the gate, the lead motorcycle stalled and caused a HUGE build-up and crash.  << You can check out the video there and I’m talking bent bikes, 4 ambulances left the premises, and no guarantee of when the race would re-start.  At that point we (and pretty much the rest of the audience) started to make ways to the exit.  I can’t imagine making that a hobby but was glad that I stuck around to experience something new.

“It’s supposed to be hard…it’s the hard that makes it great” – Jimmy Dugan

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Life of Late ~ 9.25.15

Seriously, how are we already at the end of September? Good gracious time is just FLYING by.  Things at work have been picking up – between clients wanting to advertise during the 4th quarter and some of my colleagues being out of the office, I’ve started to cover more and more.  Fine by me since I’m more productive when I have more on my plate.  Anyone else feel that way?  Seems to be a Type A thing.

Probably the best part of today is that I am NOT in New York City and do NOT have to deal with all the chaos that has ensued from the UN Grand Council meeting, President Obama being in town, and oh the Pope being in the United States for the first time.  Ever.  I’m out in gorgeous Utah for the weekend and am PUMPED for being outdoors all.darn.weekend.  Yes, lots of all-caps going on, because it’s just that exciting.

We are out west for one of the North Face Endurance Challenge Races in Park City, Utah and are participating among hundreds of other folks, to run up a mountain in epic (at least compared to NYC) altitude.   Good times.  Oh, and it’s our November Project Summit, which means tons of people are flying in from all 23 tribes! Partay!!!

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These are just some of the folks I’ll be hanging around with this weekend.  Aren’t we attractive?  Let’s decide to take our “picture day portraits” on the most humid day ever.  But really, I don’t think this summer was too terrible in terms of humidity but the last few weeks of August were out of control.  Our New York tribe was going for concrete business jungle or something like that.  Basically a play on the fact that most of our city is stereotyped to be fashionistas or Wall Street finance bros.  Either way, my pals Emma and Alex nailed it (top row – lawyer and fashion designer) and Sam and I just are awesome. 😉

IMG_2362 ^^ Anyone know what this means?  I’ve raced 9 races for New York Road Runners this year and volunteered one (well two actually) and am able to receive automatic entrance to next year’s TCS NYC Marathon.  As in my first marathon ever.  Wow.  I’ll be taking a bit of a break after my next half in Staten Island (yes, it will be a glorious destination race, just like Sweden or Huntington Beach or Berlin) and rest mentally and physically.

I actually have a bit of an issue mentally and physically resting, so that should be interesting.  When I told my friend that I couldn’t actually sleep and felt that I had to work out instead (usually leading to me overextending myself and getting sick…) she joked that she had never heard anyone say that it was tougher to stay in bed than work out.  It’s sort of tough to explain to some people and I know we are all different.  But, here’s my verbal commitment here to at least try.

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^^ Another New York bucket list item CHECK!  This time it was out to Brooklyn for some shuffleboard fun at The Royal Palms Shuffleboard and Ample Hills Creamery.  I’ll throw together a little recap in case you want to add it to your bucket list 😉

IMG_2483^^ We do a mean straight face.  For some reason that’s a trend in November Project.  I guess you could start using the same hashtag that Equinox uses for its campaigns >> #novemberprojectmademedoit.  Bit long but you get the idea.

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^^ Did you know it’s fall?  Have you seen every single girl around you fall prey to the Starbucks PSL or Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Apparently they got so much flack after people exposed the original PSL to not contain any pumpkin whatsoever – just chemicals (good for the mind, body, and soul, right?) – so they changed the recipe.  I think it’s absolutely delicious and did cave on Wednesday aka the first official day of fall.

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I am already planning all the festive fall things I would like to make – apple butter, pumpkin butter, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin vegetable lasagna, pumpkin granola, apple cider martinis/sangria, pumpkin gnocchi or ravioli or pumpkin mac and cheese, stew, soup + grilled cheese, on and on and on.  Then there are the fall outfits like boots and scarfs and jeans.  I will need to switch over my entire closet and of course buy a new pair of jeans because running = muscles = 3 ripped pairs of jeans.  Basically I will be broke from all the ingredients I have purchased and probably sick of pumpkin by October 31st. #basicbitch (sorry mom) and no shame about it.

How do you like to celebrate fall?  Do you fall prey to the pumpkin trend too?

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“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”
– Bertrand Russell

Final February Favorites ~ 2.27.15

Guess what? It’s almost March, which means it’s almost daylight savings, which means it’s almost spring, which almost means it’s almost SUMMER!

Honestly I’m more of a spring kind of gal but living life in short shorts, bathing suits, and basking in the endless sunshine don’t sound too bad either.  This whole business of 20F needs to end.  As a matter of fact, I had a friend in LA who sent a snap chat complaining about how cold she was.  It was 60F.  No sympathy.

So I swear I’m cultivating some great posts…down the road.  For now, enjoy the hodge-podge of thoughts and links that I have stumbled upon lately.

11018889_10101782570167315_3124976218371809371_n~ Wednesday’s bridge workout with one of my favorites.  This girl has such energy and her spontaneous dancing? on point.  She may have sang an amazing round of happy birthday this morning and the cashier brought a piece of cake to the table just because. ~

1509722_10153023567858260_8053196225700844840_n  ~ NP is famous (if you already didn’t know) ~  Today’s workout was strategically located near Rock Center, but more importantly in front of a few news studios  where we just happened to make it on camera.  Made it on this morning’s Squak Box where they were discussing the current tech bubble (around 1:31, we are in the far right corner)

~ Llamas on the Loose ~  Please tell me you saw this as the top news yesterday.  I was dying.  If I haven’t made you watch Llamas With Hats 2, watch now.  Cracks me up every time.  No judgement and definitely not my mom’s favorite video.  What can I say?  Sometimes I refuse to act my age.

~ 13 Breakfast Choices and What they Say About You ~ My sister is totally #1.  that is, she is way mature beyond her classmates and totally has her life together.  Myself?  Maybe I’ll bounce between Greek yogurt and juice.  Too bad they don’t have a bullet for spoonfuls of peanut butter straight out of the jar. #classy

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Monday Morning video (**This has some adult language so either wear headphones, don’t watch, or just laugh along 🙂  You have been warned)

~ Things that Only Runners Understand ~  Weekends/holidays/birthdays filled with running, foam rolling, or dropping money to run and get sweaty?  Truth.  I had the opportunity to meet the sweet Janae back at Blend 2014 and she really is the nicest person you will ever encounter.  Too bad I didn’t know her when we both lived in Santa Clara/San Jose area!

~ The North Face Endurance Challenge Park City, UT (Sept 26-27) ~ I reeeeaaaaalllly want to do this race.  So there’s actually one in May that’s right here in New York (or rather slightly north of the city).  I wasn’t able to get a team together or sign up for the half (see below), so I’m hoping I can make this fall race and world takeover work.

While I won’t be on the November Project travel station or race station this May, I will be representing NYC in Philly’s Broad Street 10 Miler.  My family friend has run this race a couple of times and so when the opportunity to enter the lottery came around, it was a no-brainer.*  Well, turns out I do have some luck on my side and so I’ll be cruising through Philly on May 3.  Perfect early-birthday present for myself.   (*This is usually how my sign-ups work.  Impulsive with my credit-card memorized – See Dad, I use my cash flow in a responsible manner…working out and staying healthy)

As for this weekend, I’ve got some plans to run, juice (green juice folks, just green juice), eat, sleep, run, brunch, and maybe some other normal people activities thrown in there.

Have a Fabulous Friday and see you on the other side (in March)