Category Archives: running & working out

I didn’t exactly move to the East Coast for this…

Yup, that looks pretty mean and it’s headed right for us. Expected landfall is sometime tomorrow night or early Sunday morning. All week we’ve been watching various computer models adjust the predicted track for this storm and as it moved further and further west with New York in its sights, it became apparent to all of us that right off the heels of one of our first earthquakes, we are about to experience our very first hurricane. Lifelong residents here have been talking about how they’ve never been in one, so this is going to be an interesting experience for all of us.

New York State has declared a state of emergency. Mass transit is already scheduled to be shut down entirely tomorrow starting at noon. I know it’s difficult for non-New Yorkers to imagine why that’s such a big deal, but let me put it this way: it’s more uncommon for someone in the Metro area to own a car than not. Those of us without cars in the actual city outnumber those of us with them. In other words, without mass transit, we’re stuck in our respective neighborhoods/boroughs. The Mayor has ordered mandatory evacuation of all zone A parts of the city and the Rockaways, which are actually a zone B. I live in zone C, which triggers a mandatory evacuation in cat-3 or 4 storms (I learned all of this in a crash course I gave myself during the past 48 hours when it became clear we were going to get nailed by Irene), so those of us in C should be okay.

Amusingly enough, when I left the store where I had purchased batteries for a flashlight, a can opener (how I didn’t have one of these is beyond me), candles, a lighter, etc., I noticed that everyone on the street had bags of something; bottled water, paper towels (not sure what use those will be, but hey), flashlights, the whole nine yards. Say what you want about New Yorkers but when something serious goes down, we listen to what to do and we listen well. 😉

Ultimately, there’s no reason to believe that this is going to be catastrophic. Even if it remains a cat-2 storm, I don’t suspect there will be a serious loss of life despite how many people live here and how concentrated we are. Bloomberg and Cuomo are not messing around with precautions, and that’s really the best way to go about it. It’s possible that the bridges may get closed as well, so really the best thing we can all do is bunker down and stay there. My office has already declared that we will most likely be closed on Monday (if the hurricane pounds us all day Sunday and the trains don’t resume service until Monday or later, there’s no way we’re all getting back to work). Honestly I’m more worried about what will happen if the power and gas lines get knocked out by Irene. If that does happen, then my phone will be kept off in order to conserve battery life, so it is entirely plausible that all New Yorkers will be off the grid for a few days. In other words, don’t panic if I disappear from the internets…the kitteh and I will be bunkered down riding out our first hurricane experience ever. Behold Toni’s “are you kidding me with this hurricane business?” face:

In non-hurricane, yet somewhat hurricane related news, this weekend entails a half marathon distance long training run and the only opportunity we will have for that is tomorrow morning before the storm hits. The route we’ve chosen has been aptly named for this occasion (the “Hurricane Irene Half Marathon”):

On that note, cheers! I will update after the storm to let you know a) I’m still alive and b) what it was like!


Anniversaries, vacations, and marathon training!

Oh wow! Definitely been a while since I updated this here website, so be prepared for a lot of stuff packed into a small amount of space. First up? Margot and I passed the 3 yr mark earlier this month and to celebrate we ended up doing an NYC food truck tour, which was simply the best idea ever. We hit up the Coolhaus truck Friday night after dinner with a friend, and on Sunday we hit the Wafels & Dinges truck, the Taco Truck, the Korilla BBQ truck, and Eddie’s Pizza truck! To be fair, they were all amazing with the exception of the the pizza truck, which I found to be a bit weak after tasting the tacos and the Korean BBQ. Don’t get me started on the Belgian waffles…

We also hit up an Italian place over in Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday night that I bought a Yelp deal for ages ago ($25 purchased $50 worth of food and drink) and then the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria afterward. In other words, there was a lot of eating that weekend, but I wasn’t complaining. 🙂 And somehow I managed to fit a 10 miler into that weekend as part of my marathon training!

With a great weekend behind me, I began the work week like any other; sans vacation plans. One random Expedia search later on Wednesday morning and I had booked a roundtrip flight from LGA (LaGuardia in NYC) to SEA (Seattle, WA) for an 8-day vacation in October. Price tag? $283 with taxes and fees included. The rental car I’m getting for the week costs almost as much as that! So, even though I was vaguely considering the possibility, I am now flying back west for the first time in nearly 3 years and driving to Helena, MT, to see everybody again. And to see mountains, trees, lakes, and those things we really don’t see here in New York.

And finally, marathon training. I had to jump right into marathon training a couple of days after the Queens Half-Marathon (hence why we didn’t really “race” that race), and after my second full week of training it’s so far so good. The first weekend after the half I completed a 10 mile long run without a hitch, and it was my first run from Manhattan into Astoria, which was fun. It’s a great route from Battery City Park in lower Manhattan, up the west side (and past the Freedom Tower construction so I can see how far they’ve gotten for the week), across midtown, and over the bridge into Queens. Also? The bikers on the Queensboro Bridge suck at yielding to runners and/or staying in their own damn bike lane. One guy I was yelling “bike lane” at while he barreled down the *walker/runner’s path* right at me. Oy. I may carry a stick next time I do the Bridge…

This week’s “roll back week” of 7 miles also went perfectly fine, and of course the weekly runs (which are at a 3, 5, and 3) for the past two weeks have been no sweat…well, with the heat they have been sweaty, but, well, you know what I mean. This is the week where the Wednesday run goes up, so it’ll be 3, 6, and 3 from now on. At the height of the training it’ll be a 5, 10, 5 line-up and I can’t really imagine that right now. 🙂 For this week I’m looking at 3, 6, 3, and a 12 at the end of it, so 24 miles total for this week.

Time to Taper + HOT Weekend in NYC Recap

In case you hadn’t noticed, it was ridiculously hot this weekend regardless of where you lived in the continental U.S. On Friday afternoon I walked out of my office into what could only be described as a sauna and instantly regretted the official NYRR Long Training Run #1 for the NYC Marathon that I’d signed up for on Saturday morning. Given the Queens Half-Marathon that’s taking place this Saturday, I had to get in the 10 miler that I’d been planning on before starting my taper week this week. So, I was up bright and early at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, and walked out of my A/C’d house to this:

Only 83 degrees? That’s not so bad, right? Two things: a) look at the time stamp and then imagine where that temp went as the morning progressed; b) check out the humidity and “feels like” temp. Yeah, it was hot. Luckily, I had my badge of honor (“race” bib):

And I wasn’t the only crazy out there running anywhere from 6 to 20 miles in the ridiculous heat and humidity:

Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I had been expecting. I mean, the conditions weren’t anywhere close to ideal and I was pretty much disgusting after the 10 miles were over, but it actually felt pretty good. There were fluid stations every mile, misting stations in 3 different spots of the park, the pace setters took us 30 seconds slower to account for the heat, and there was a recovery area after every loop of the park that featured water-soaked sponges, water, Gatorade, gel shots, etc. I actually had a good time all things considered. Now that the 10 miler is done, it’s time to rest and taper up for the Queens Half-Marathon this weekend! At least we know we’re capable of running in extreme heat if it happens again this weekend, right? There will be no PR-setting for this race, that’s for sure!

Afterward we headed over to the Highline to hunt down the Coolhaus ice cream truck, which is apparently one of the best ice cream trucks in the city. On a day where the temps had climbed to this:

I could certainly get behind something like this:

That’s exactly what you think it is. It was a Guiness chip type of ice cream with two white chocolate chip cookies, which were combined to create the greatest thing ever. Totally worth walking over the Highline in the blistering heat and waiting for about 15 minutes for it to show up.

All in all, it was a busy weekend. On Sunday we spent the better part of the day moving our things into my new apartment in Astoria and the name of the game this week after work will be unpacking and putting the place together for my final move-in this Thursday or Friday. It’s definitely been a summer of moving with Boston, Brooklyn, Queens, and Boston again all thrown in, but hey, at least it’s almost over!

Time to get serious

About marathon training that is! With about two and a half weeks left before the Queens Half-Marathon, and then a headfirst dive into marathon training the week after that, it was time to nail down a training plan and memorialize it in a calendar format (e.g. our lives for the months of August, September, and October). First and foremost, which training plan to go with? Apparently my friend and I had picked a different “novice” plan from the other, and after some discussion and some math:

We went with plan numero uno. Now to address this whole food issue…I ran a grand total of three miles this morning. Three. I nearly inhaled a breakfast sandwich as soon as I got to work and maybe two hours later, I was stupid hungry again. I just ate “brunch” (otherwise known as breakfast #2 / lunch #1 on weekdays), and I have a feeling this will not be the end of my hunger anytime soon. Just imagine what our respective grocery bills / food expenses will be once those 7, 8, and even 10 mile weekdays and the double-digit mile weekends start. I’m half-tempted to keep track of those expenses throughout this process but I think I might cry afterward, so I’ll probably just remain blissfully ignorant.

Ah well, November 6, 2011? Here we come!

Weekly Roundup

Currently in NYC it’s 94 degrees outside. With the 38% humidity, it “feels like” 96 degrees. Having this at the forefront of my decision-making process, I have opted to not leave this building until at least 5:30 tonight when these ridiculous temperatures have already started subsiding and have entered the “free fall” stage (somewhat misleading at this rate, but when it’s mid-to-high 90s, you’d be happy for mid-80s too!). That said, here’s what you’ve missed this week:

  • I am now an Astorian. After a ridiculous time of it battling brokers and relying on nonsensical advice (scroll down for review), I finally found a good deal (again, scroll down for review) that landed me right where I wanted to be in the neighborhood for an amazing price. The best part? My kitchen is awesomely huge (for you non-New Yorkers, shut it, this is *big* by our standards):
  • We are house and cat-sitting at the moment, and will be until I move into this new apartment. I’ve pretty much fallen in love with the feline and have decided that Toni really does want a new friend. I mean who wouldn’t when it’s something this cute:
  • I beat Bioshock 2 on Sunday (see previous mid-game review). Everything I said there still holds true, but I will say this about the ending: it’s probably about an hour or so longer than it really needed to be. Still thought it was a great game and really can’t wait for Bioshock: Infinite to be released!
  • I’m purchasing new running shoes tonight from The Running Company. While I’m not entirely positive that Super Runner’s Shop put me in the wrong shoes this time around, I’d like to have a second opinion and see what the former comes up with. Occasionally I have some soreness in my left arch (I have low arches so I may over-pronate), but that might just be a product of the fact that I need new shoes. I’m getting them now in order to have them broken in by the Queens Half-Marathon on July 30th! This way I’ll get tonight’s (blisteringly hot to be sure) training run in, I’ll also manage two long runs plus 2 1/2 weeks of training runs before the Half, so I’m pretty confident that the new shoes will be ready for Queens and the rat maze that it will be!
  • I had no idea that the North Atlantic was actually capable of creating real waves on its beaches until this past weekend. At Long Beach we not only got to experience swimming in an ocean that’s crashing all around you and the closure of the water due to a strong riptide, we got to see the ocean advance on the beach and send sunbathers scattering for cover. See?

Onto a New Week!

Welcome to Wednesday! Except, for me it kinda feels like Tuesday because on Monday I was forced into taking a vacation day, so I didn’t return home from Boston until Monday and I started work on Tuesday, which felt like Monday because it was my first day of the work week. There. Was that confusing enough for you?

Some of you might have stopped reading after the first sentence. For those of you who continued, here’s what’s up this week:

  • First and foremost, on Friday (my Thursday, yet actually Friday…okay okay, I’ll stop) I will be in attendance at Terminal 5 for the BAD RELIGION / RISE AGAINST concert!! EEEE!!! This is an important milestone in my life. After seeing Bad Religion in a full-length concert for the first time last year (and having seen Rise Against several times in the past), I am no longer an ultimate awesomeness in concert newbie. No, I am a seasoned concert goer in this caliber of concert and to say that I am e-x-c-i-t-e-d is an understatement. A serious one. Expect some photos this weekend or next week! Lots of them. I even arranged my Half Marathon training and LSAT studying schedules this week around this concert. What? This is perfectly normal behavior.
  • In 2 1/2 weeks (on May 21st) I’ll be running my first half marathon ever: the Brooklyn Half-Marathon in Prospect Park which ends in Coney Island. My training’s been going fine so far, and I have a 9 miler on the menu for Saturday after the concert Friday night. Expect photos and a post about the Brooklyn Half afterward!
  • Oh right, Sunday night…interestingly enough I was not home in New York when “it” was announced, so I wouldn’t have had the chance to see the festivities at the WTC even if I wanted to; but I wouldn’t have wanted to. I think this piece in the New York Times sums up my feelings about the events of the past few days perfectly.
  • Actually, on that note, I wonder why the news media is focusing on two groups’ reactions almost exclusively to the rest of us who are right in the middle? What do I mean by this? Either you are seeing stories about what high schoolers and college students did in reaction (arguably too young back in 2001 to really grasp the significance of what was happening at that time) or people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, etc., who were far more subdued but at least had lived part of their adult life free of the “post-9/11” world. What about those of us who were high schoolers or college students in 2001? We had both the capacity to understand exactly what was happening to the world that day and after, but also had the entirety of our adult lives transformed. We are the “post-9/11” world, and we really don’t know anything different. I don’t think any of us can really imagine our lives without 9/11 and its immediate and long-term impacts. That said, I’ve found that a lot of people my age have had quite conflicted reactions that vary between those that are jubilant and those that seem to be almost indifferent, or both. It’s interesting to think about, and certainly something that will probably continue to define our generation and how we shape the future of this country.
  • On a lighter note, on Monday I signed up for NYRR’s Queens Half-Marathon in July. Two things about this: a) the course map from last year makes me dizzy…should make for an interesting experience; and b) being in July, this will probably be a nice and toasty race. Ruh roh.
  • Finally, on the “I apparently don’t take enough days off from work” front, I am taking off several days this month in addition to the week-long vacation I planned on taking in June because I am significantly over the maximum number of vacation days I’m allowed to carry over into the next anniversary year of my employment, which is in early June. Thus, I’ll also be taking off the Friday before the Brooklyn Half as well as a few days off at the end of May for the Memorial Day holiday (read: last hurrah for LSAT studying + moving things into storage in Boston). Should be fun. Having Monday off this week was kind of an odd experience…I didn’t quite know what to do with myself after I got home from Boston!

Anyway, that’s all for now! Excuse me while I go take some LSAT practice exams, work, run, and watch the ultimate in concert awesomeness this week!!

Oh, P.S. T-minus 5 days until I am a proud owner of the iPhone 4! EEE!!

Weekly Roundup

The following is my attempt (one after many failed attempts admittedly) to keep some semblance of a regular update going on here:

  • After a ridiculous episode occurred two weeks ago when I attempted to get a routine eye exam in order to update my contacts prescription (seriously, click the linked Yelp review and scroll down a bit to get to mine…the first one is my update after being harassed by the doctor/owner and the second was my original after I said “no thanks” to paying $175 for a routine eye exam), I managed to get into a place in downtown Brooklyn via 1-800-CONTACTS that gave me the exam, prescription updates, free trial pair of lenses, and follow up exam for under $100. AND, the doctor (who I actually liked) gave me a new pair of more breathable lenses to try, and I noticed the difference immediately. Yay!
  • Last weekend my friend and I learned what it was like to throw ourselves off a platform 3 stories high, and we landed (several times) without injury! We went to this place, where they actually train stunt people for the movies. The group was a little too large for my tastes, but it was fun!
  • After plenty (and I mean *plenty*) of evidence to the contrary, it looks like the Knicks might actually be competitive in the first round. Who woulda thought that?!
  • This week I started, and finished, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins via the Amazon Kindle app for the iPod Touch. If you haven’t read it already, do yourself a favor and get/buy/download it and read it. Such a fascinating and enjoyable story!
  • I’ve been getting into the habit of doing my half-marathon training runs in the morning like this one when I ran to the Promenade in Brooklyn and got to see the Manhattan skyline in the early morning before anyone else is awake, but I also opted for times spent in the early evening when the weather’s in the high 60s / low 70s going over the Manhattan Bridge and checking out the skyline from another angle.
  • A little over an hour ago I walked in my apartment after a largely uneventful bus trip back to NYC from a weekend spent in Boston. Given my past history with Bolt Bus, this was quite the shock, but I couldn’t argue with the $2.50 roundtrip ticket price I found online a few weeks ago, which is the only reason I actually went back to them. Still, there were some elements of the same old Bolt Bus I’ve come to recognize ala the bus driver coming on and gruffly announcing “this is a NONSTOP bus to NYC. It will be making only one stop and that’s at 34th and 8th. If your WiFi or electrical outlets aren’t working now, they won’t be working when we get moving. Thanks and enjoy your ride!” Um, thanks? (and of course, the WiFi wasn’t working)
  • Took a practice LSAT this morning before I left Boston. It was LOADS of fun. Can’t wait to do more [/sarcasm]. I followed it with leftover pizza from Friday evening, an ice cream cone, and a latte from Margot’s espresso machine.
  • (EDIT) Edited to add that in the same weekend my friend and I hurled ourselves off a 3-story platform, we also ran the Scotland Run 10K race the next day (there was something like close to 9,000 people running in the race that day) and we both PR’d! Check it out: