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highlights of new york and home!

Why hello!  It is Friday and I suppose that would be exciting, but I’m working Saturday and Sunday…sooooooo nevermind, weekend!  However, last week (and weekend!) were quite the obvious since I had a week of vacation and put it to good use.  My mom came to visit for about five days, then we headed back to Chicago together for about another five days.  Hooray!

There were stressful times (more on that later…), there were really fun times.  My mom is good at doing things that aren’t OMG NEW YORK, but still highlight what the city has to offer.  Our thing to do this time was to go a knitting shop and have a mother-daughter learn to knit day.  Well, my mom knows how to knit, so maybe it was more of a “teach Susan how to knit” day.  We headed over to Knitty City on the Upper West Side and asked the ladies who work there to help us.  They were great!  They recommended a pattern and a type of yarn that would be good for a newbie and got me started.

Well on my way!

They have a ton of yarn and are really helpful.  Although they have classes, you can also walk in and sit at their “knitting table,” and they’ll help you if you have any problems.  Or people just come in to knit with friends.  The place was busy – lots of people coming in for yarn.  And they have a dog who wanders around the store…and we met a 91 year old woman who still lives on her own.  She was a sassy New Yorker, which I suppose is fair at age 91!  I picked up knitting fairly quickly (with some help!), and if you fast forward a few days, you get this:

image Finished product!

Let me know if anyone wants to do more knitting with me – it’s fun and winter is coming!

Other highlights in New York including visiting the Today Show, which my mom loves to do when she comes to the city.  It’s crazy how close you can be (HI MATT LAUER!), but you can’t really hear anything they’re saying.  All the hosts seem so genuine when they move around and talk to the crowd, and I’m impressed with how calm and collected they are.  I suppose that’s why they’re on national television and the rest of us aren’t…

Good morning!!

We were most likely on TV at some point, but I forgot to record it before leaving so I guess we’ll never know!  Afterward, Mom and I walked down to Eataly to sip some cappucinos (with a pastry for me – no gluten free options for Mom!).  We hung around Eataly long enough for the marketplace to open…after grabbing some pasta, tomato sauce, and fancy Italian drinks to make dinner later, we had a meat and cheese plate for lunch.  It was deeeeeeeelicious!  And perfect for sharing.  The couple next to us was on a six week tour of Canada and the US.  Their next stop was New Orleans – such good food there, I was a little jealous.

Another highlight was lunch with my 93 year old great aunt – she has quite the background and always has stories to tell.  She lectured me on how relationships must have balance and that things start to go south when that balance stays…unbalanced.  Of course, my mother later told me she’d been married four times…oops.  But otherwise, she’s 93 and still living on her own!  She would love to work, but apparently no one will hire a 93 year old, so she just writes code for her stock trading program all day.  haha.

After a delayed flight and a cab ride from a Somalian who was shocked to learn that we actually know where Somalia is (and that I’ve been to east Africa…), it was good to be home.  I got to spend plenty of time with my Katies, and we had some serious catching up to do!  Bonus points since the catching up involved some of my suburban favorites (Baker’s Square, Buffalo Wild Wings), and of course sitting in my driveway in Katie’s car for an hour.  The usual.  Another perk of being home is having this guy follow you around everywhere:

coffeejax Coffee with Jax.

Jax is my parents’ dog…he’s 12 pounds of glory and just wants to be loved.  By everyone.  He loves sitting on your lap and will sleep at your feet or cuddle up next to you.  I want to steal him and bring him to NYC.

We also spent an afternoon going to the pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins.  For some reason, I remember cleaning out the pumpkin being a much harder and more time consuming task when I was little, but it was quite painless this time around.

Pumpkin patch with Dad!

And, of course, the finished product.  I opted for a scarier approach while my Dad did a little more silly:

image Hooray for Halloween!

And to leave you with the glory of fall, the tree in my parents’ front yard is on fire.

image And it’s winning at fall.

When I’m home, I sometimes wonder why I ever left…but the New York adventures are also quite fun, and it makes coming home a little more special.  I’ll be heading back for Christmas, so that picture will be snow covered!

To add to the list…what “off the tourist path” things do you like to do in NYC?

24

10 2014

getting back into running after a race

Hello!  It’s been awhile since any sort of update – life has been a little crazy around here the past few weeks.  Shortly after the half Ironman, I got hit with some nasty sickness that left me laying in bed for three days.  I’m pretty sure I slept for 16 hours per day and had trouble lifting my head off a pillow.  The only effort I made was to go to the nearest Duane Reade for some fluids and crackers, and that pretty much wiped me out for a few more hours.  I called my mom because I felt so awful, and being sick all alone (woe is me…) is the worst.  I realize I have friends who would have gladly picked things up for me, but I hate exposing people my miserable self.  I feel guilty calling out sick from work even though I could barely get out of bed myself, but I did…which means I really was sick!  I talked to another nurse who seemed to have had about the same thing…something must have been going around the unit.  (Also, having little kiddos sneeze in your face probably doesn’t help…)

I gave myself a little time to recover from that before getting back into running.  I wore my heart rate monitor for a few runs, which made for some runs with paces in the 9’s…difficult for my ego to see, and I’m not entirely well versed on heart rate training, but I figured it was a good idea given coming back from being so sick.  I managed to finally feel a little better…better enough to get my flu shot!  (Get your flu shot, everyone!  End PSA.)

My runs in general have felt kind of sluggish, and I feel like I’m more tired than I should be.  It’s a month out from the half Ironman, so maybe I just needed more time to recover than I thought.  Also, it’s been months since I ran five days per week, so I would imagine my legs readjusting to all the impact (instead of getting a break while swimming and biking) would make a difference.  Someone tell me if I’m making all of this up.

I do plan to return to the marathoning lifestyle, so I’m working my way back into that, and I would like to get a little speed back.  Of course, I know that you shouldn’t increase distance and speed at the same time for fear of injury…but I will admit I get excited when those faster times appear on my watch.  I can’t help racing myself sometimes.

Needless to say, when I did a ten mile run on Sunday, I found myself racing against the clock – I was getting closer and closer to the sub-7 mark and managed to pull it off in the last mile.

image Hooray!

I’m both excited and nervous to get back into long runs and speedwork.  Excited because I really do love marathon training, but nervous because I don’t know what my speed will be like.  (It’s not like that 6:56 felt like a walk in the park!)

Well, those are some rambling thoughts for now, some life updates coming soon!

Any tips on switching from tri training back into running?  How long does it take you to recover from distance events?

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10 2014