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!

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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.

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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?

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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!

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

 

A Week Spent in NYC

A couple of weeks back, I stumbled on a Refinery29 article where young women in different cities spend their money over the course of one week.  While I’m not sharing any of my income or bills, I thought the daily doings was interesting.  I bet this wasn’t what you anticipated when you read the blog title 🙂

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Life of Late ~ 8.19.16

Can we get a little BEYONCE up in here on a Friday? Yes.  Broadway Bodies with Alistair was certainly a highlight from the week.  My attempt to be hip, cool, and sassy was a fail but it was 100% fun and worth it.

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Since three of us won free classes, we’ll have to go back to dance part 2.  That or I’ll just add dance classes to my monthly budget.  #priorities

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NYC Marathon Training: Weeks 1-4

It’s true that I’ve never really considered this blog a “workout blog” per se but I do happen to upload quite a few running related items.  When I first started the blog, I had planned to create this quasi food/lifestyle/workout theme and share certain runs and races to keep myself accountable.  As you will note, this has fallen by the wayside but there is no time like the present to get back on that wagon.  I’m going to attempt to make note of my training and random thoughts along this journey to 26.2.

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Week 1 – July 18-24 (and 7/16)

Saturday 7/16 9 mi (Montrose loop @ 8:40 pace)
Monday 7/18 – 
5 mi (8:18 pace) in Fairbanks prior to departing
Tuesday 7/19 – Hike steep/slow 4 mi in Denali
Wednesday 7/20 – Walk (transport 6am-9pm)
Thursday 7/21 – Run 6 + hike 3 + walk 3
Friday 7/22 – 3.8 run + walking around town
Saturday 7/23 – Walk + transit (watch said ~ 8 mi)
Sunday 7/24 – 10 min bike + 45 min elliptical

Thoughts: I considered taking this week easy since I never really gave myself a true break after the Brooklyn Half.  Eh, it was a so-so week, making do with the territory I had.

Week 2 – July 25-31

Monday 7/25 – 45 min elliptical + kayak
Tuesday 7/26 – 40 min elliptical + squats + 1 hr stand up paddle
Wednesday 7/27 – 30 min bike + 15 min elliptical + 3 hour “bushwack” hike
Thursday 7/28 – 60 min bike + 2 hr stand up paddle
Friday 7/29 – 40 min elliptical + 4 hr kayak
Saturday 7/30 – transit/off – only steps around Stika
Sunday 7/31 – 11 mi (9:00 pace) along my old XC trails.  Meghan was nice enough to run with me and my slow pace on the condition that I didn’t complain (especially about how much I had eaten on the trip).  She didn’t exactly say all of this but I know she doesn’t like the complaints.  Man it was struggle city out there but that’s another long run in the books.  I worked to focus on the landscape instead of my running and was shocked at how rivers and ponds that once were scattered along the trail are practically non-existent.

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Thoughts: Well, vacations are fun but not always conducive to 1) maintaining your figure and 2) your workouts.  I have found myself to be somewhat of an all or nothing gal (not good, I know) and let’s just say that coffee with copious amounts of half & half with dessert three times a day for at least 1-2 weeks does nothing for my running.  That being said, it was interesting to see how reliant or obsessed I can be on my routine.

Week 3 – August 1 – 7

Monday 8/1 –  Swim 30 min – I was working from home but wanted to wake up and get the 700+ emails sorted before chaos ensued.  Swimming midday was good but I never feel like I accomplish much (probably because I’m flopping around unlike Katie Ledecky or Missy Franklin)

Tuesday 8/2 – 4-6 miles of walking + evening Intervals. ~ Speedwork: Meghan and I ran with California Republic in East LA at 8pm.  I normally don’t workout this late (or in the evenings at all) so it was sure going to be interesting.  Total miles 5.5 with 4×1200 thrown in.  The goal was 1) marathon pace 2) 1/2 marathon pace 3) marathon pace 4) 10K pace and no one followed.  If I ever run a 7:10 marathon or 6:58 1/2 marathon…yeah maybe in another lifetime.

I realized my goal now is to 1) NOT BE STUPID and 2) NOT GO OUT TOO FAST.  That should save me some trouble down the road.

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Wednesday 8/3 – 2 miles round and round with NP_LAX + burpees thrown in.  6 mi later in the evening with one helluva hill (thank you for bringing down the average pace), which left me wondering how I ran all of those hills in high school.
Thursday 8/4 –  Yoga x 2. Was feeling ever so sore and decided to use my flex day to stretch.
Friday 8/5 –  12 mi (9:00) pace.  Started the first 7 with my friend Sarah and sister Meghan in Altadena and then slogged through another 5.  The quads were shot but it was a better pace than last week so that’s a success! Fueled with a Honey Stinger waffle pre-run and acai gel mid run.
Saturday 8/6 – Bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs >> 2ish mile hike (around 5,000 steps for the day)
Sunday 8/7 – 10 holes of golf

Week 4 – August 8 – 14

Monday 8/8 – 3.5 mi shakeout run in the evening (after a red-eye and minimal sleep the previous weekend).  Well this was somewhat disappointing.  I felt like a hippo (though my sister reminds me that hippos run fast) logging around the lower part of Central Park.
Tuesday 8/9 –  Intervals with the track crew. 5 miles (1 mi warm up – 1×1600 + 2×800 + 4×400 – 1 mi cool down)
Wednesday 8/10 – 3 mi trot around NP.  I was planning to fit in 3 during the 5:30 workout but didn’t get my butt out of bed in time.
Thursday 8/11 – 9 mi around 8:56 pace and … PHYSICAL THERAPY!  Lots of insight and readjustment and so grateful for NY Custom PT.
Friday 8/12 –  Biked 2.5 to the Brooklyn Bridge + 2.5 Jog with the backpack (not smart) + mini NP workout (I half-assed it) + walking around and around looking for apartments.

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Saturday 8/13 –  14.8 mi (8:34 pace) Ran from 18th and 1st up to 72nd and down along Summer Streets with some stop and go into Brooklyn.  I probably should not stop as much but they say just to get the miles in…right?  Best part was getting ice cubes in Brooklyn to put in our sports bras and my hat. Genius plan. Fueled with 1/2 Honey Stinger Waffle and 1/2 Banana – mini cliff sample about 6ish miles in and NUUN for the win.
Sunday 8/14 – Couple of miles jogging before Brooklyn Mile (6:21).  Hot and humid and all the possible speed.

Thoughts: Marathon training is tough.  Fitting in all the workouts + strength + stretching is tough.  I haven’t even done all that I could or should but the goal is to enjoy the process and it’s going alright thus far.  Now onto weeks 5-8!

“It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  It’s the hard that makes it great” – Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own. 

Life of Late ~ 6.17.16

FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY.  Sorry.  I can’t think of any other way to open these posts any more.  I think I’m still recovering from last weekend’s shenanigans and let’s just say that when you miss out on crucial sleep over the weekend, it just seems to add up during the week.  But that’s what being young is all about.  Or so I’m reminded 😉

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Last Friday I ran over the Manhattan Bridge and out into Brooklyn for the November Project workout.  I had been jogging over with my backpack when my speedy friend Jessica caught up with me.  As our pace started to pick up, I told her to go on but she was sweet and stuck it out.  About 6 miles later, we made it to Prospect Park with the rest of the crew.

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^^ Dreamy breakfast found in Brooklyn and must be replicated AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  I will even run into Brooklyn to find this very basic but delicious egg sandwich with bacon, egg, cheddar, and avocado and the best (no really…it’s true) almond iced latte that I have ever had.

Tilda All Day
930 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238
M-F (7:30a-5p) & S/S (8a-5p)

^^ Of course there were other November Project workouts in between and it wouldn’t be a workout if you didn’t take a picture, right?  All the BBG girls take them, so I’ll just upload mine here.  Sure, not the same transformations but still a hell of a good time and if you put in the effort, a good workout.

Part of the fun of working out with semi-professional photographers.  Many many thanks to the lovely Julia and Brian who wakeup at the crack of dawn and post these and many more for us to share on our own social media accounts.  It’s also so much more fun than waiting around for race pictures, which let’s be honest – rarely turn out how you imagine.

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^^ As we are in the middle of upfront season, our department has been treating us to lunches and dinners in the office.  Cool free food.  Boo for staying late.  This was a little bit of a Thursday afternoon Italian Ice treat.  I swear the scoops were the size of golf balls but packed a punch like an ice cream sundae.  I took a shot of my friend’s rainbow scoop because if it’s not photographed, it didn’t happen.  I actually selected coconut but plain ‘ol white doesn’t look nearly as good for the camera.

IMG_7612 IMG_7560 Did you know that you can find nature in the city?  Yes, even this picture that LOOKS like we are outside of Manhattan, is not out of Manhattan.  A couple of weeks ago I went biking with my friend Emma who is training for a half Ironman and wanted some cycling company.  I was biking without gears and we got a bit lost a times but also realized that there is SO much more to this city and island than we realized.  Cue summer adventures!!

IMG_7714I also ran in the women’s 10k last Saturday, planning to jog and just go with the flow.  I had run 6+ with a backpack the day before and was/am still in a “non-racing/taking it easy month”.  << That’s seriously a joke because I don’t know how to relax.  I even struggle with napping or sitting still for too long.

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^^ As my sister so perfectly put it ‘”I’m going to take it easy” are always the famous last words’  I guess I just get too competitive with myself.  I did however successfully run sans headphones and sans music. Thank you thank you to the epic NP cheer squad as always.

IMG_7712 ^^ My friend Callie and I posing for a picture so that we can immediately upload it and then go hunting for Juice Press and free juice.  (#willrunforjuice)  Also apparently because it’s a woman’s race, that means we have to have everything pink themed.  Well, I’m just not a pink kind of gal…but thanks?

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^^ Of course right after the race, this group of girls 1) started having a dance party to the loudspeaker music (maybe we could have raced harder?) and 2) ever so politely asked to pose with MOLLY HUDDLE! who will be making her marathon debut this November at a little thing we call the New York City Marathon.  See you there Molly!

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^^ We always come out stacked.  November Project ladies bringing our A game no matter the race.

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^^ Racing was followed up by some green juice from Juice Press and an epic crab cake brunch.  We may have gotten mimosas for the table and banana bread pudding for dessert later that day.  Yeah, I’m not on the BBG diet nor whole30 diet at all.

IMG_7731^^ Saturday night I went out with some friends to a housewarming party and to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  See I CAN dress up in people clothes and do other things besides run and go galivanting through the city.

I pulled one of those nights where supposedly I had to act my age, so that meant a very very late bedtime.  But, despite the splitting headache the next morning, I was up at Central Park with some friends testing out our territory on two wheels.

IMG_7734IMG_7742 ^^ From biking to volunteering with a group of Santa Clara alums at the local soup kitchen.  I have been volunteering here for a few weeks and really do find it to be meaningful work.  You learn a lot about people and the struggles that they have to go through.  Some folks are grateful for your help and others are quite pissed off at the world.  It’s one of those life lessons that teaches you to give back but also appreciate what you have.

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Last but certainly not least, we got an amazing addition to the November Project New York City leadership team this week.  Our tribe added a third co-leader and her name is Jeanie and she is going to rock everyone’s socks off!!!! I got to know Jeanie a little bit last year and have to say she is one hell of a leader, even before she became an official leader.  She has the charisma that anyone could kill for and damn that body 😉 We call it #bodiesbyjeanie.  Oh, and if you so happen to have a birthday and she is there to sing and dance, well, then you’ve won the lottery.  Here’s to a great new chapter in our tribe’s books and here’s to the WEEKEND!