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.

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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.