matt

Real Life in New York

Last weekend I went to New York and Connecticut with my dad.  We were meeting with my brother Matt who attends the Merchant Marine Academy and an uncle.  My dad has two brothers and the other one was unable to attend due to a sudden medical issue with his wife.  We were all pretty bummed and hoping she makes a very safe and quick recovery.

Here is from last year

Here is from last year

Dad and I left for New York (not quite the city about 30 miles outside) on Friday morning.  We were lucky that we missed all bridge openings and train crossings (that is rare in Hampton Roads!) and made it up in around 9 hours.  I have never denied long drives are not my strong point.  In fact driving with me is probably some people’s worst nightmare.

Upon finally arriving in Terrytown, we ate at the El Dorado diner with my uncle (we have always ate here!) and I ended up getting the stuffed trout.  When they brought it out to me it was literally a deheaded fish (fin still attached).  I must say though it was some of the best fish I’ve ever had.  (Diners are seriously gems at life).

trout

Saturday was quite the day.  In the afternoon dad Matt and I ended up walking around New York City.  First we took the subway to the Staten Island Ferry.  I am extremely UNCOMFORTABLE with the thought of riding the NYC subway by myself to the Staten Island Ferry to get to the marathon and since we were in town, dad walked me step by step to get to this.  I do feel a lot more comfortable now.

Sunday we went to Montauk Point so dad and my uncle could go diving.  While they were busy staring at lobsters and sea animals, Matt and I went for a beautiful run in Hither Woods State Park.  We didn’t even make a dent in the miles of trails after running 16+.  It was absolutely beautiful though and probably one of my best runs of the summer.  I often forget that trail running is a completely different world and always much more challenging.

dad

Dad getting ready for his dive

running through the trails

running through the trails

The end of Montauk

The end of Montauk

Then Monday morning dad and I left bright and early but not without a stop to my parents second house and to see this lovely fellow.  If you are a new reader my parents own a donkey.  A living, breathing, kicking donkey.  The LOLZ blog wouldn’t be complete without him.

donkey

All in all it was a great minivacation.  I had a great time seeing relatives, becoming more comfortable with New York City and of course running.

Questions for you:

Do you have family reunions?

Are you good with public transit?

I know if I practiced and lived in a metro area I would be but  Upstate NY is quite different from NYC.  ;)

Jack King 1m Open Water Race Recap

Oh where to begin this race recap.  Every year, dad signs him and I up for the Jack King 1 Mile Swim.  When I used to be a competitive swimmer it wasn’t a big deal.  It was just 7 days of swimming a week versus 6.  But that is long removed from life and I’m lucky to haul ass to the pool once per week.  I could sit here and talk about my swimming back in my swimming prime but it isn’t relevant.  I don’t swim much anymore, therefore don’t compare myself to that speed, time or mentality.  I literally did this just to finish (which is good considering I got a nice 7 out 7 in my age group!

That being said, when dad informed me he had signed us both up (as well as my brother Matt) I couldn’t say no (meaning I was skipping so many great road races this weekend!).  This is the race I’ve done the longest (6 years!), it’s always so well put together and the people there are great.  So with that, we headed on our way to the race.  I have always enjoyed that swim races start at 10am, I would say it’s nice to sleep in but I don’t really do that so I just mused around.

Upon getting to the race at 9am, we realized…why the hell are we here so early.   Not once have I ever warmed up for an open water swim.  Not once have I ever gotten into the ocean or bay before a swim.  I normally just run in, prey to the high heavens my body doesn’t go into cardiac arrest from the temperature change and that’s that.

Before the Swim

Before the Swim

This time was no different, though it’s in water start.  I started right next to Matt…we were chatting and all of a sudden we heard people yelling to go.  That’s us.

I don’t really know what to tell you about open water swimming.  So here were all my thoughts:

I was taking in the sights of the pitch black water below me.   Yummy.

I took in the feeling of being pummeled several times by several waves.  YAY storm systems.

I took in a sight of some crazy tourists who came too far out.  YAY you need more clothes on.

I never saw the half way point (King Neptune Statue). Boo, it felt like the race was a marathon.

It got extremely chilly during the second half of the swim.  I have gotten hypothermia from an open water race in the middle of the summer before.  It took me nearly an hour to recover from that race and was in a med tent so I’ve always been weary about that.  Because of the storm, there was cloud cover and wind (hence the waves that VA isn’t supposed to have) but it also made it cold.

I was never so happy to see the buoy.  YAY orange buoy.

I did the left hand turn, followed the probably 90 year old man in front of me and ran into the beach.  I didn’t trip on the beach and they handed me my glorious 124th place (out of around 150).

And that is how it happened.

I did try as I don’t bag anything.  This was just a nice awakening of where my swimming fitness is..surprise…it’s not there.

After the swim

After the swim

As I told everyone, getting last in my age group is not a big deal .  I am simply bringing up the caboose to the pain train which still got to the station.

Oh joy maybe I’ll get into the pool for the next open water swim…when my arms aren’t sore.

Questions for you:

Does finishing last bother you?

What is your perfect race start time?

Between 8-9am for me

Majestic Diner Review (Long Island area)

While visiting my brother Matt in the New York City area last week, we discovered a little gem of a diner.  Diners are one of my favorite types of restaurants because they are barely ever crowded (if they are then the food is out pretty quick), they normally have huge portions and I’ve honestly never had a bad experience with a diner.  Greasy spoons are kinda my thing. 

 

That being said, we saw the Majestic Diner and I knew we had to give it a try.

The first time we had gone to Sunken Meadow Park to run a nice (and quite hilly) 10 miler and then came back to where we saw this diner.  I immediately honed in on the Greek salad and it had all my favorite credentials (2 huge pieces of pita bread, double dressing, grape leaves, salmon and duh feta cheese…I think everything I like about salads…are the actual not salads).  It did not disappoint and we were stuffed afterwords.  We literally waddled onto the train.

salmonsaladnewyorkcity1

Matt wanted to pose with his Cheese steak sub which was also great.

mattcheesesub

We had scoped out the breakfast options too (none of us were in the mood for breakfast the day before) and decided we had to stop back in the morning before dropping Matt off.  It was honestly the best decision we made.

I got the lox (salmon) omelet with rye toast and also pancakes.  I had nothing bad to critique the restaurant on food wise.  The food was amazing, the portions were huge and kept me full for an entire 8 hour drive home and well…  I don’t often eat pancakes at restaurants as well (because I enjoy to make my own) but these were extremely good too. It was a little bit expensive but it was worth it.  The only negative response I had was that I went periods without coffee but I can’t complain too loudly about that.

loxomelet

 

dinerfullbreakfast

 

So would I recommend the Magestic Diner?

Um, well my budget is very lucky that I do not live near there because I would be at this restaurant every day trying everything.  They have so much options.  It is a little bit pricey but well worth it.

Questions for you: What is your favorite greasy spoon?  

Training for Life Updates

My posts have been scheduled the last few days and I haven’t commented on many blogs.  I haven’t unpacked and I have been busy doing other things with my life…you know…like real life things.   I want to write a recap of my vacation to New York City but honestly it was just nice family time.  Not a lot went according to plan but it never does. 

I guess I see how people struggle that take some time off from blogging.  I mean my few days of scheduled posts don’t really count but so much has happened in the last week that I don’t even know where to begin to update you.  Not that I really have a lot I’m just overwealmed of where to begin.

I’ll start with the running aspect since this is a running blog.  I’ve missed the last 3 weeks of training posts but easy runs aren’t all that exciting.  Last week I severely cut my miles (read I ran 31 miles) and I sat in a car, went out to eat and was a big pile of lazy.

Every this photo of us on a train since it didn't happen unless it was selfied.  #trainselfie

Every this photo of us on a train since it didn’t happen unless it was selfied. #trainselfie

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 1.5 hour Cybex 100i
Thursday: 5.4 Mile run with dad (10 min pace?)
Friday: 15.4 Miles with Heather (how that happened…well I don’t know but it was fun and relaxing and at 6am)
Saturday: 10.15 miles with my brother Matt and Dad in Sunken Meadow park near NYC
Sunday: OFF (driving back to va)

Total: 30 miles

Here is something that irritated me a little bit last week.  I never publically announced I was taking a bunch of rest last week until later in the week…I didn’t really feel the need honestly.  On Wednesday, I got two emails asking if I was injured or taking a “dailymile break”.  If I was taking a dailymile break, that really wouldn’t be a big deal either.  The fact that it was almost unheard of to take days off is sad and I think a lot of that stems from blogging mentality.  When you take multiple days off you are training smart…you aren’t honoring your body and you aren’t Gods gift to the world and you certainly don’t need to try and give multiple reasons of your days off.

I took an easy week last week because I felt like it.  It wasn’t hard and it was just as beneficial (if not more) than logging multiple high mileage easier running weeks.  So that’s that.

I am starting a new training cycle this week.

Training for what?

Well that depends on June 1st and if I get into the New York City Marathon.  (I know…if you didn’t know I actually applied for that) 

If I do get it in I won’t do any serious training until Labor Day.  My primary (and the hardest goal for me throughout summer training) is to remain injury free.   So that’s that.  If I can stay injury free through the Rock and Roll half marathon VA Beach then I’ll begin incorporating longer runs (and especially as it gets cooler).

I actually plan to race nearly every weekend (mostly 5ks) this summer.  I’d like to get some nice speed workouts in and since I don’t do a lot of that by myself I think racing is my best bet.  Plus, I get to see all my friends anyways so that wasn’t really every a question.

So I guess even if I do get into NYC, I won’t really worry about it until Labor Day.  So there you go…my running is going smoothly for now.

Questions for you:

Do you take planned rest days?

For me, I don’t run when I don’t feel like it…which pretty much happens once every couple of weeks.   Then every couple of months I’ll take a few days off.  I don’t plan them though.

Weekly Life Musings

What have I been up too this week?

Well your guess is as good as mine…kidding…somewhat.  After my half marathon last weekend (I only stuck around about an hour), I headed back North to Baltimore, more specifically Goucher College.  My brother’s track team was competing in their conference championships so it was pretty convenient that that was only about an hour away.  (It was kind of like a no brainer to go see him)…He was not actually competing because of some shin issues but he was indeed there.  (but that was better for my selfish self because we could go out to lunch).

mattandi

It was actually the first collegiate track meet that I have ever watched and it was pretty interesting.  It just reminds me of a big swim meet…

Also at the track meet was Sarah (it is after all her school hosting).  We chatted for a bit and took this photo in the lovely wind tunnel that had somehow happened mid day.  (The race in the morning had basically no wind and then by 4pm I thought I might blow away).

sarahandi

Then on Monday, I finally drove back to upstate (after staying the night at Tim’s parents’ house in PA).  I’m not looking forward to that drive in less than two weeks.  Can we talk about how much I really hate driving?  Okay, okay.

Wednesday I got dinner with an old college friend.  I was so excited to see her Caitlin (you may recall if you read my blog when I was in college).  She is an incredible human being and the amount of BS she deals with is pretty ridiculous.  I’m glad we could hang before I left.

caitlinandi

We went to my favorite restaurant in Oswego which I hadn’t been too in a couple of months, Water Street Café.  I got my usual salad with salmon and spicy vinaigrette and it is normally huge.  I was oddly disappointed, because it seemed they had changed it and it was a lot smaller and therefore I left still somewhat hungry.  I haven’t been in a couple of months so maybe it was their Winter to Spring change or something but needless to say I had to eat afterword’s.  I might go again during lunch before I leave to see if I just hit them at a bad time, but at least I had good company so it wasn’t a loss.  I still recommend Water Street to anyone (who comes to Oswego?), I just have an appetite and therefore was more hungry than that salad.

salmonsalad

On Thursday, our work hosts an Open Mic night for the students on campus.  Last night was themed as “Twinnzies Night”, so naturally my housemate and I had to dress up like little Country girls with leather Jackets.  Which really meant…hmmm what will go with these leather jackets and is at clearance at TJ maxx?

The only appropriate caption is... precious...

The only appropriate caption is… precious…

Other then that, I’ve just been catching up on work and sleep.  For me, this week has really flown by and I know the last two will as well due to having work to finish before leaving.  Well that is more photos and musings of my personal life than I’ve posted all month…so see you next month.  ha. 

Questions for you:

Has a restaurant ever changed the menu for the better or worse on you?

What have you been up to this week?  What are you up to this weekend? 

My Secretly Thrilling Life

I have to be completely honest (oh boy).  I often forget that people that read my blog don’t all have instagrams, follow me on twitter or just simply don’t care.  (Not caring I know ha).  So while I think I overshare my personal life, it often doesn’t come out in blog post form.  

Also being said, while you some have told me a few times my life is quite interesting…I tend to only post things are of interest.  I don’t post “this run was boring”, instead I’ll post…peaceful run or won’t post too many details. Long story short, I don’t have secretly thrilling life.  I just have a Murphy’s Law Connection that bad things normally happen to me…that’s life though and I’ve overcome most of them.

So what have I been up too?

I go to work…I need to be able to afford things.  I love my job and working, although the semester is coming to a close so the office is simmering down a little bit.  I still go to work and no I don’t really take too many photos of work and ask my coworkers for myspace style groupie shots.

Except for here...

Except for here…

I hang out with friends.  We don’t always take photos when we hang out…I mean really before you blogged did you sit down with a friend say “let’s take a photo to prove to the world that we hung out”.  Sure, I love to take photos more than the average person (a lot more) but I don’t say “hey I just hung out with you let’s take a photo…”  I often forget on blogging meetups with my idols let alone every day musings.

Except for when my housemate and I dress up like twins...

Except for when my housemate and I dress up like twins in TJ Maxx…

I still eat food and can’t cook.

Except for waffles..

Except for waffles..

But as you guys know I’m driving down to Washington DC so I’ll probably have some more thrilling and blogworthy information about my personal life.  Also if are needing something to comment about, it’s my brothers birthday so just say Happy Birthday to him…

This is what we look like when mom wants a nice photo...

This is what we look like when mom wants a nice photo…

Questions for you:

What have you been up as of late?

Any secrets to have a thrilling life?

Turkey Trot 10k Recap (40:37)

It seems as though every area has a Turkey Trot.  Some are 5ks, some are 10ks, 8ks…jealous of Laura’s half (though it probably is a good idea that I don’t run any halves anytime right now).  Needless to say I’ve done the turkey trot for 3 years in a row.  In my about 1 year total of being injured, I seem to not be injured during this race.  Which is a okay with me.

Anyways I had no idea how this race would go.  I had traveled for 16 hours, eaten pretty poorly (just high caloric travel food…sorry when a salad that will keep me full for a hot second is 13 dollars and a sandwich and chips is 6…well you see where I’m getting at.).  Sitting on my butt for 1000 hours and not having the best prerace (not terrible though either) food was enough to make me question where this race would go.

So getting to the race, I already knew I had some massive (and very painful blisters on my foot).  Worse than blood blisters, because they had already pealed.  I was not looking forward to how disgusting my feet would become but kept it in the back of my mind (behind my foot issues).  To give you a rough idea, I had my foot very taped up and it bled through the tape and also the sock.

Speaking of injuries (do blisters count as an injury?), my cyst is always in the forefront (no pun here) of my mind.  After warming up for 2 miles with dad, we lined up at the start.  Then I realized my chip was in the car a half a mile away..so getting that put me breathing hard at the very start of the race…great…not only was a 10k a long distance, I was already tired.

The first two miles, I got passed.  A lot.  I took the first mile in a 5:50. Mile 3, I held pretty steady and kind of got into a 6:30 jive.  (apparently I like that pace).  Mile 4, I decided that I was going to start my pretend pickup.  I like to think I have a kick when I haven’t really been running the last two months.  (I don’t know why because that is mostly false) I actually started passing people.

By mile 5, my blisters hurt, my foot was a little tight and the end looked like it was half way to Mexico.  You have to know, the last .3 of this race is straight and flat looking straight at the finish line.  So for the next 3 minutes, it looks like it’s never-ending.

I looked down at my watch and saw that I passed 6.2 in 39:45 and finished the 6.35 (for me) course in 40:37 (so average of 6:23 pace).  Though who really knows how accurate Garmin and GPS watches are.  I’ve heard from several people that it was a bit long but it’s not enough for me to say that I did a sub 40 minute 10k.  I ended up getting 2nd in my age group out of 141 and 8th female overall.  I think the field was about 2000 runners.

Awkward family photo. duh.

This race was actually enlightening because my foot was not really in pain at all.  (just those stupid blisters) so I’m hoping maybe it means I’ll be able to start training again and could possibly (?) be moving running to my main workout of the day and eventually cutting out 90% of all elliptical.  Though my knee has been acting wonky, which could be a combination from the cold (I had slight knee issues last fall because of the change in temperature).

Questions for you:

1.       Did you run a Turkey Trot?  How do you heal gross blisters?

2.       Have you ever had knee problems correlating with cold? 

3.       For a more positive question (and not gross body issues), do you like Turkeys? 

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