miami definitely brings the heat

For some reason, whenever I come back from vacation in beautiful locations, NYC likes to greet me horrific weather.  Is this a sign?  Do I need to move south/west?  What is the universe trying to tell me?

But seriously.  Add this to the fact that I can’t seem to fall asleep before 3am when I’m in my apartment, but can fall asleep by midnight anywhere else, I’m beginning to think something is wrong.  That or I need to get a new apartment or stop working nights.  (Spoiler alert:  Both of those might be happening this fall!  Emphasis on the “might,” especially for the night shift thing.)

So yes, Sunday night I arrived back in NYC from Miami for Abbe’s bachelorette party, and it’s supposed to rain/storm Monday-Wednesday.  HOORAY.  But let’s backtrack and discuss Miami.  I was in Miami (left for a cruise out of there) once before in January 2009, right after I finished nursing school…and not too long after I started this blog!  Crazy times, people.  I will admit I was a little skeptical of going to Miami in July, as last time I was in Miami was in January and it was plenty hot then.  Let’s just say that Miami did not disappoint and the heat was most certainly raging.

Since this is (supposedly) a running blog, we can talk about that first.  On Friday morning, Abbe asked if we’d like to join her for a run.  Bojana was smart and said that she was heading to the beach while one of Abbe’s other friends, Katie, also said she’d like to join.  I don’t quite remember what time it was, but it was still in the morning (9?  10?), and we headed out to the beach.  The first part of the beach had pretty packed sand, so it wasn’t bad to run on.  Once it got a bit softer, we darted over to the boardwalk and eventually the sidewalk when the boardwalk area was under construction.  (Newsflash:  Half of South Beach is under construction, apparently.)  It was SO UNBELIEVEABLY HOT.  Some storefronts were opening up, and it was great to run past the AC when the doors were open.  The plan was to run four miles, but I had high hopes for adding on a little bit to make it five or maybe even six (getting crazy in here…I mean, it is Miami), but once we got back to the hotel after four miles, I called it quits.  I really have no idea how people in Miami run in this heat…if I ever lived there (which I’m 99% sure will never happen), I think I’d just give up running.

photo 3 (9) Boardwalk running.  It does look pretty.

photo 2 (15) And the beach view from the boardwalk.  Life could be worse.

Once we determined that we would be crazy to run the rest of the weekend (props to Claire for getting her 14 miles done on the treadmill), we spent the rest of the time on the beach, in the ocean, on the rooftop of our hotel, eating, or partaking in the night life.  Our hotel was right across the street from the beach (we stayed at the Betsy, highly recommended!) and we certainly took advantage of that.

Photo: Catching some rays! #miami #makeherabakerStolen beach picture.

Growing up in Chicago, I don’t have a ton of experience with the ocean, but Miami was fabulous.  It is hot on the beach, but the water is warm and lovely to float around in and jump over the waves.  It’s also pretty clear with soft sand, and I could have spent hours in there.  If I worked three 12 hour shifts in Miami, I’d spent the rest of the time floating in the ocean.  I’d also be the most tanned raisin known to man.

Side note:  Starbucks was on the way to the beach, and this is where I learned that no one in Miami knows how to spell “Susan.”  The hotel people put both “Susane” and “Susana” on my luggage tags, and Starbucks took it a bit further…

photo 3 (10) SOUSON!  With palm trees.

When we were done with the beach, we headed to the rooftop of the hotel for some cooler breezes and lovely views.  (You could also have coffee up there in the morning, which I certainly wouldn’t complain about if I had to do that every morning…)

photo 1 (13) Rooftop life.  Better than fire escape life, which is what I have now.

Otherwise, we spent our time eating.  We had tapas (Tapas and Tintos), Asian gatropub/tapas (Pubbelly), and Cantonese inspired/Asian fusion (Hakkasan).  I don’t know if I could pick a favorite because they were all so delicious…the benefit of having the guest of honor being a chef!  It was also great that we had a large group of lovely ladies so we got to try many different dishes at each place.  Check them out if you’re in Miami!

The evenings, of course, allowed us to enjoy the Miami nightlife where I learned that I am not suited for the Miami nightlife lifestyle, but it was fun for a couple evenings.  (Much like Vegas.)  But it was fun for everyone to get dressed up and head out!

Photo: Abbe's Bachelorette weekend in Miami!Abbe has wonderful friends.  (Seriously, they’re all awesome.)

And because this will be the one time in three years you see me in heels, I must give proof that I don’t always wear running shoes, Danskos, or flip flops:

photo 2 (16) Is that a tricep?  I can’t tell.

So that was Miami…and what happens in Miami stays in Miami, right?  (Newsflash:  Nothing that crazy happened, ha.)  But once I got back to NYC, it was back to business.  And by business I mean triathlon training because this half Ironman is coming up and I only ran and biked once last week.  Oops?

I thought I was going to end up heading to the gym because of the threat of rain, but luckily it was clear in the early afternoon, so I took my bike out for 25 miles of glory along the Hudson.  I’m learning that riding is much easier than running in the heat, as moving faster gives you a nice breeze, and I can carry plenty of water right on my bike with me.  Another bonus is that I loosened the tension on my right pedal, so it is now much, much easier to clip in and out of…which makes riding less stressful.  Life is good.

After a couple hours where I didn’t even bother showering or changing my clothes (I never said I was good at this double workout thing), I headed out for a run.  My legs felt a bit tired from the bike ride/general lack of activity the past weeks/maybe walking distances in heels, but my pace was about 7:45 so maybe it’s just the heat making me feel like a slug.  Then I took the coldest shower and it felt lovely.  Looking forward to a solid week of training this week!

And speaking of that, it appears that there’s a break in the rain that is resulting in flash flood alerts, so I’m off to the gym to get a swim in before work tonight!  (Back to the real world…sigh.)


07 2014

yay for america and brick workouts!

Hello, Monday! 

Most of you might not be that cheer-y over the fact that it’s the Monday after a holiday weekend, but can I make you feel better by telling you that I worked last night?  And that you too can survive going back to work after a long weekend?  Not sure if that helps, but it’s the truth.  And at least you have my ramblings to entertain you…let’s just go with that.

Luckily, I got to experience most of the holiday weekend, as a coworker wanted to switch to work my Saturday in return for a night off during the week (please note:  this type of switch is UNHEARD OF).  So I said yes, took one for the team, and got Saturday night off.  Life is good minus the fact that I couldn’t fall sleep before 3am on most nights, leaving me to ponder the meaning of life at odd hours of the night (never a good idea) before giving up and watching Orange is the New Black.

But in other news, having the weekend off was nice for seeing-friends-purposes, as well as for training purposes.  So we discuss.

The rain leading up to the Fourth of July canceled the picnic plans we had hoped for on the holiday, so we had a change of plans.  I squeezed in 20 miles on the bike at the gym before indulging in some World Cup watching and wing eating.  (Haven’t had wings in awhile…definitely need to do that more often.  I may have a degree in dietetics, but you should probably refer to the real RD for nutrition advice…everything in moderation, right?)  When it got closer to firework time, Abbe and I headed over to the east side (on the Upper East Side) to check out the view for the fireworks and relayed the plan back to the rest of the group.  We then grabbed a drink before it was time to actually head over for the fireworks.  I had mentioned that maybe we could get up on the Queensboro bridge to catch the fireworks, so with minutes to spare, Abbe, me, and our full of wings and beverages bellies ran down the east side and up on the Queensboro.  (That’s quite the bridge, in case you were wondering.)  Luckily we made it in time and we had a limited view of the fireworks, as I imagine anyone above the Manhattan Bridge had.  That little curve in the island will get you.  That being said, watching the fireworks from a bridge was pretty cool, even if buses flying by blocked the view now and then.  Overall, I’ll take it.

photo 1 (12) Not even Instagram can help this picture.

I’ll also be counting that little run down the East River as one of my workouts for the week, as I spent much of the week exhausted and therefore not getting in workouts.  I worked on Wednesday night and therefore had big plans to get in a run or swim on Thursday afternoon/evening, but it took all I had to even get out of bed at a normal hour ("normal" meaning 3pm-ish…so I wouldn’t be up all night, ha).  So that didn’t happen.  But with a full Saturday open to enjoy myself, I looked forward to getting in a long ride and maybe even a brick run!

I had such good intentions of getting up at a reasonable hour on Saturday and getting out to ride (with the normal people of the world), but I was up until about 4am, so I slept until noon and left around 1pm.  Luckily, NYC gets a little empty on holiday weekends so nothing was too busy.  I took my bike and my clipped in shoes (!!) up and over the GW to see what a long ride would be like with these fancy shoes.  I actually find it a bit of an ordeal to get up and over the GW because there’s so much starting and stopping (or at least for me because I’m so paranoid about being hit by a car).  You’re already eight miles into the ride before you can really get going!  But I made it across the bridge with no issues and took off on 9W.  I will say that I can definitely feel a difference riding with the clipped in shoes versus without…I feel so much more powerful and in control.  When going up hills, I won’t say that it feels easier because I’m still working, but more muscles are working so the effort is different.

My plan was to do 40 miles, but I hit the state line at 19 miles…and remembered that you go down a huge hill right after that, and I didn’t want to go down it just to turn around and climb back up it.  I took a break, considered my options, and checked Facebook (obviously…) and saw that my mom had posted this…

image Of course I commented that I was in the middle of a 40 mile ride…but you go, Mom!

After spending five minutes trying to clip my right foot back into the pedal (really, the right foot is 100000x harder to clip into/out of than the left.  I should try adjusting the tension, probably?), I headed back towards the city.  I even passed a few people along the way!  I felt like I was cruising and wasn’t spending the entire time counting down the miles.  My big almost-mishap of the day was crossing back over the GW.  There are some tight 90 degree turns on the bridge, and I was taking a turn at the same time as another cyclist who was going the other way.  I nearly toppled over (my bike fell over with my right foot still attached, I remained upright) and almost took the other cyclist with me (sorry, buddy).  Perhaps I should unclip around those corners for now…

I sped back home and felt pretty good about myself…56 miles knocked me out a couple weeks ago, but I felt really strong on the 40 miles.  So I dropped my bike off at my apartment, changing into a pair of running shorts and shoes, and heading out for a brick run.  A reader suggested doing even just short run at the end of long rides to get used the transition.  I decided to try five miles (not a short run, oops) because I felt good and needed to get a run in anyway.  My legs felt like they were hardly moving, so I tried to avoid looking at my watch and instead focused on effort.  (And getting to the next water fountain – it was hot out there!)  I was surprised to find that my pace was sub-8 even though I felt like a slug.

Of course, I was so ready to be done by the time that fifth mile rolled around…definitely need to work on the nutrition and hydration game for the half Ironman, but a 40 mile ride (with increased speed!) and a solid brick run made me feel much better about the entire thing.

image Average of 14.7mph…but on the open road, it was more like 16-ish!  Woohoo!

image Apparently I ran 4.99 miles.  Oops?

It also made me feel better about ordering so much food that the delivery people sent me two sets of utensils with my meal, but oh well.  (I’ve been on a sushi kick lately, although I don’t eat raw fish – so much peanut avocado going on around here.)

Sunday included a mile in the pool (and my first venture into circle swimming – only a bit of a disaster) and baking some belated cookies.  I found a recipe for funfetti cookies (the easier recipe ever) that I was going to make for the picnic.  Since you can’t use red, white, and blue funfetti cake mix for just anything, I went ahead and made them to take to work.  Easy and delicious, and food makes people happy.

photo 2 (14) COOKIES.

And your reward for reading all my babble is the best joke I’ve heard in awhile:  Why are there no knock-knock jokes about America?

……because freedom rings!!    ba dum tsshhh!!!  You’re welcome.  Happy Monday.

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07 2014