Snowy Runs, Race Rejections & Shopping Sprints

So, first thing’s first, I did not get accepted into the NYC Half Marathon in March.

Part of me is sad; the NYC Half would have been my first race in more than a year-and-a-half, and it’s scheduled just a couple of weeks before my wedding. It would have been a great reason to get my ass in gear, and the training would have been a a solid outlet for all of my party planning frustrations. A word to the wise: No matter how intimate your wedding, there will be MANY frustrations along the way. Until now, I thought all the former brides and grooms were just being dramatic. But they weren’t. This is all just a lot of work — although worth it for this guy.

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The other part of me  — the part that knows my limitations — is also relieved. For one, I probably don’t need another major time-suck on my to-do list. Training, even if only for a half, is a commitment and requires at least three hours on weekend days (between running, showering and recovering). And of course, the last four times I’ve trained for and run a half marathon, I’ve walked away with one form of injury or another. At the end of the day, I’m probably better off enjoying my wedding without piriformis syndrome or toe tendinitis or some other overuse injury.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

On the bright side, I have miraculously found time to squeeze in other forms of fitness into my routine (although, I have to admit, the freezing temperatures have provided plenty of motivation to take my workout indoors).

The first big change is that I’ve been doing yoga once a week, courtesy of my company, which recently decided to begin bringing in an instructor on Monday evenings to teach a session in our office. So far it’s been amazing. The practices have been moderate in terms of difficulty, and so while I don’t leave feeling as though my muscles have turned to goo, I at least feel as though I’ve stretched and strengthened. The real benefit, though, is that I can now sleep in on Mondays since I’ve decided to swap out, as opposed to supplement, my typical morning run. Pressing snooze today was ohm-azing. 

On an unrelated note, also on the list of amazing are the lights at Grand Central right now.

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In addition to yoga, I also stepped out of my comfort zone on Thursday night and agreed to check out a spinning studio that recently opened up in my hood. Studio 360 has a pretty solid story. They’ve been named one of the best boutique studios in the country, and one dollar per student per class is donated to a charity each month — so that’s pretty cool. And by the way, if you work or live in the Murray Hill area, you should check it out for fun. It wasn’t my favorite venue, but the first class is free. You know how I love my trial classes.

I had only done spinning once before Thursday’s class, and during this prior instance, the machines supported regular sneakers. At Studio 360, the bikes supported clip-ins only, which is something that’s definitely intimidated me in the past, especially at some of the studios that are teeming with spinning all-stars (cough, SoulCycle, cough).

The staff at Studio 360 was totally accommodating. My colleague and I (yes, I dragged someone with me) showed up nice and early, and with that extra bit of time, I was able to get a hold of the whole clip in-clip out thing. Really, it wasn’t all that bad.

To my surprise, despite it being just my second time spinning, I was able to keep up with the class most of the time. The only instance in which I’d say I fumbled was when our instructor gave us a “free” song to do with as we pleased. When the beats were slow, I peddled along as though I’d taken a spin class billions of times before. But then, the music would crescendo, and that’s when the instructor would tell us to “dig deep” and “get ready to be bold.” To more seasoned spinners, that maybe means doing some sort of hill climb, or standing up into some position that I didn’t know. For me, all I could think of to “push myself” was to spin really, really fast. Apparently, that’s not how you dig deep.

Anyway, I might not understand how to be creative on a bike, but I can at least hang my hat on, well, the pavement. I took Saturday to allow my body to recover, as 6:30PM spinning on Thursday followed by 6:30AM running on Friday left my legs feeling all sorts of weird. On Sunday, I’d “prove” just how creative I could be.

When I woke up on Sunday, all I could think about was all of the tasks on my to-do list and how quickly I could check them all off. Having spent last weekend taking a Photoshop class from 10-5 on both Saturday and Sunday, I felt behind all week and was really looking forward to getting my life together by Monday. How to get it all done though?

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Oh, I know. Why not just run to all of the stores I needed to hit?

Good idea, Stacy. Throw your life into a backpack. Don’t forget your credit card.

I had the privilege of Noah’s company for the majority of Sunday’s run. While the streets of Manhattan were incredibly crowded thanks to hordes of holiday tourists, we were able to navigate the sidewalks, weaving in and out of pedestrians, until we finally made it to the south-eastern most entrance of Central Park.

Following Saturday’s snow storm, the streets of New York City were slushy, brown and generally disgusting. Needless to say, I didn’t wear my finest clothes, but regardless of the mud, it felt really good to be out there.

Noah and I completed one lap of the lower loop of Central Park, ending right back where we started, but not before rounding my favorite — now frozen –pond.

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Back on the streets of Manhattan, surrounded by wet, smelly horses, Noah and I parted ways, he to head back home and I to visit my cousin, hit up Crate & Barrel, and pick up plastic containers. Don’t judge. Organization excites me.

So here we are, the end of another weekend and the start of another work week. Life has been moving incredibly fast lately, and I hardly know where it’s going. It feels as though I returned from my trip to Africa just yesterday, and yet since then, I’ve taken an intensive continuing education course, spent five days in Hilton Head, rubbed garlic over my first turkey and put the final touches on my wedding. This week will be full of holiday parties, next week we’ll be heading to Washington D.C. for Christmas, and the following week it’s North Carolina to spend New Years in the Outer Banks once again.

2014 is around the corner, isn’t it? It’s funny, because I’m not sure how we got here, but I know that each day, I’ve put my best foot forward — beginning with a run or, sometimes, yoga or something else. And although I won’t be running in this year’s New York City Half Marathon, even still, it’s running that will continue to anchor me to my day, my week, my life.

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3 thoughts on “Snowy Runs, Race Rejections & Shopping Sprints

  1. I too was bummed about the Half (I didn’t get in either), but I think you have a great attitude about it. Also — if you do feel the hankering — I was playing on NYCRuns.com and there are other local races in Feb/March to take part in if you’re interested! I am toying with the idea myself…

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