Weekend Recap: Going Strong

I’m not gonna lie to you; despite my attempts to get “spring” ready (or summer ready?) I’ve neglected to eliminate all the sugar, donuts and cheese-soaked bread from my life. Not that I said I’d specifically remove these things, but let’s just say that Saturday night’s dinner at Flex Mussels did not do my body any good. I’m a sucker for the leftover juices of a good pot of mussels, and needless to say, we didn’t exactly go for the ones with no butter.

On the bright side, Saturday also marked my 6th consecutive day of working out: 5 runs and one Insanity workout to be exact.

Not too shabby, I guess. In my world of working out, that’s pretty much as good as it gets, especially since, due to time, energy and personal drive, you’ll likely never find me squeeze in a double.

But back to important things. 6 days. 5 runs. Let’s recap quickly.


My first run back after battling a pretty monstrous cold for a solid week, I expected Monday’s run to be awful — to feel my lungs caving in and my sinuses screaming to jump out. To my pleasant surprise, I knocked 5 miles straight out of the park. Nothing to complain about there.



With an eye for variety, I popped in Insanity (aka, turned on YouTube) on an ugly Tuesday morning. Unlike the last time, I foam rolled my legs post-video which, I think, enabled me to avoid any serious pain afterward. Unlike the last time.


A beautiful morning in New York City, I was able to pull Noah out of bed on Wednesday morning to chaperone me on a lovely East River run. It was perfect.



This was one of those “push yourself” days. On Thursday, I needed to be in the office slightly earlier than usual; and by default, I had to run slightly earlier too. At this time of the year, time isn’t exactly on my side, and every minute of the morning can lend to a brighter, warmer run.

My alarm went off around 6:15, at which point it was up-and-out without giving myself the chance to even consider pressing snooze or staying in bed. It was dark, I was sleepy. But I nevertheless managed to lazily throw on my tights, slip into my sneakers, and amble out the door and onto the still-dim streets of Manhattan below.


The run turned out to be as tired as I felt, but there’s no doubt that I was glad I sucked it up and ran it out before work. Plus, it’s always nice to see Central Park in different kinds of lighting — still beautiful as ever, of course.



Definitely wouldn’t have pushed myself on Friday morning had I not bumped into @bethk1126 on Wednesday on the East River and committed to a start-the-weekend-off-right run date. Accountability — she works!

Friday’s was a slow and chatty run. Both @bethk1126 and I are coming off a year of weird physical ailments following an overambitious stint in the race world, and so I can confidently say that we’re on the same page. In short, we’re just happy to be outdoors and moving.


You know what makes for a fabulous Saturday morning run? 5 glasses of wine and a shot of Jameson the night before. Since when did I regress to college?


At any rate, I was planning on meeting a couple of friends on the west side for breakfast on Saturday morning, so when I woke up (feeling surprisingly not too hungover, somehow), I figured I’d plan a run that ended at whatever restaurant we chose.

Despite small bouts of dizziness here and there, Saturday’s run was practically flawless, and I don’t mean that in the “perfect form” or “fast speeds” type of way. Rather, I was insanely slow. I was a little off balance. I was woozy. I was carrying my phone, keys, credit card, subway pass and, yes, a massive bottle of water (I’ve learned too often how easy it is to dehydrate on a post-night-out-drinking run).

But the weather — while a little windy — was amazing. The route I chose (my apartment to Madison Square Park to the High Line to the West Side Highway) was amazing. The views I took in were amazing.


As I ascended the stairs of the High Line which, for non-New Yorkers, is a relatively new park created out of an old elevated subway line, I stopped to sit on a little grassy area not too inundated with tourists, and soaked in the sun.


Up on the High Line, on those elevated train tracks with the sun shining down, everything felt right; that’s what a Saturday should feel like.


Plus, even in the sub-40 degree air, the sun felt warm and spring-like.


After sitting, reflecting and, obviously, drinking lots of water, I continued on my sluggish journey to the Hudson. Once there, I tried to remember why I had stopped running to this far-away land on weekday mornings. Definitely, it would require me to leave my house a little early. But, definitely, the views are worth the trip and time.


By the time I got to the Hudson River, I was creeping up on brunch time, and so I trotted on the water-side path, and up and down one of the jetties, before turning around and heading back to Chelsea to meet my friends, yes, sweat and all.



Like I mentioned before, I continued to do everything a nutritionist would tell you not to do after working out, before summer, etc. I really just didn’t care though. What’s the saying? Work hard, play hard?

As seen on my run, this kind of sums it up.


On some days, I eat cottage cheese, cinnamon and almonds after my morning runs. On some days, I stick to fruits and veggies from 9-5. On some days, I avoid candy altogether.

And on some days, you just have to go all out — sugar donuts, cheesy broths, loaves of bread.

You can’t feel bad about those days. Don’t dwell on the pitfalls; be proud of the positive.

6 days. 5 runs. 1 literally “Insane” workout.

Yea, I think I’m doing just fine.

  • Are there certain running routes you tend to ignore, but always go back to?
  • Do you ever stop during your run just to sit and soak in your surroundings, or is it all work no play?

Whispered in the Sound of Silence

Most New Yorkers would agree: It’s tough — impossible, even — to travel a half a mile without bumping into other human beings. Sometimes, it makes me feel like this.


But in general, I’m a realist.

I never expect my mornings to be alone. During the mile-long journey from my apartment to Central Park, I inevitably bump into hundreds of people (sometimes literally) commuting to and from the office. In the park, I’m met with dozens of mornings runners and cyclists, much like myself, each soaking in the fresh air and the presence of fellow athletes. And of course, on the way home, the crowds on 5th Avenue thicken as the morning wears on, making it difficult to take even a single step without nearly knocking a pedestrian on their behind.

There are people practically everywhere in this heavily populated city. And yet it is this fact that makes those rare moments of total silence — of total aloneness — so incredibly magical.


On Monday morning, after tossing and turning from 5am on due to a strange and awkward dream in which celebrity chef Bobby Flay tried to kill me, I awoke to sunny, non-violent skies. Almost immediately, I knew I wanted to run — if only to shake off the strangeness of my slumber.

While I was certain of my desire to get outside, I was less sure of where I actually wanted to go. For whatever reason (maybe because I had just run there on Sunday morning?) I wasn’t exactly feeling Central Park. This New York City hallmark is at the core of nearly every weekday morning, and so, for whatever reason, I was sorely in need of a change.

Dressed for below-freezing temperatures…


…I stepped out of my apartment with a willingness to let my body do the talking.

First stop, Madison Square Park. As I ran in a southwestern direction…


…it became clear that I was craving a solid 5 miler, and so I continued west to check out, for the first time in a long, long time, The High Line.

The Meatpacking District at sunrise is absolutely sublime — a complete transformation from the rowdy, house-music pumping ruckus that likely overwhelmed the west side neighborhood only hours before (yes, even on a Sunday).


During my short time out there, I embraced the character of my surroundings, noting the funky graffiti-coated brick facades — something absent from the scenery that spans my apartment to the prim pathways of Central Park.

IMG_3508I’m not sure what it is, but I think the word I’m looking for is endearing.


After getting shut out of The High Line on my first try (apparently the public space doesn’t open until 7:30 — who knew!) I wandered the streets until the gates were unlocked. Once up there on the old subway tracks, I felt as though I were on top of the world. No, it was better than that. I was on top of my world — quiet, secluded and utterly serene.


Unlike the congested streets below, up on The High Line, I was able to concentrate solely on the rhythm of my stride, shutting out society below and, consequently, speeding up the movement of my legs. I could hear my feet pattering on the path; I could feel my lungs expanding and deflating. So this is what it’s like to be alive.

As the sun rose higher, at times practically blinding me for moments at a time…


…I found refuge in the scattered shaded areas that offered protection from the morning glare.


But as always, certain views were simply too beautiful — too quintessentially New York — to look away from. Like this.

And this.
I mean, really people, what’s not to love about this city?

Of course, with a mile to go until I was back home in Murray Hill, I found myself once again facing the harsh realities of Manhattan. Noise. Construction. Garbage. Herold Square in daylight.

Fortunately, that wouldn’t be the part of my morning I’d focus on throughout the rest of my day.

  • Is your typical run quiet or filled with people? I tend to go back and forth, but which do you prefer?