pi day and the nyc half

Things I complain about all the time:  working weekends.  Luckily, I had both Saturday and Sunday off this week, but no real plans.  Usually when I try to schedule myself for an entire weekend off, it’s because I have specific plans/a race/someone’s birthday/wedding/travel.  I originally thought I might race the DC half this weekend, but opted for Dallas next week instead, so it worked out well.  (Especially because working Friday meant I wouldn’t actually have been able to go down to DC…oops.)  Anyway, it was nice to not have specific plans and to just have a relaxing weekend.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I did do plenty of fun thing!  Away we go…

saturday – pi day!

I’m sure you heard that Saturday (3/14) was pi (3.14) day, with extra emphasis this time because it was 3/14/15, and pi starts with 3.1415 – and all the nerds celebrated!  Like many people, I figure the best way to celebrate Pi Day was to get some pie.  I did some research to figure out where the best place to get pie in NYC might be.  There’s a pie shop somewhat close to me (Little Pie Company), but I’d heard great things about Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn.  Pi Day seems like a good reason to travel for pie…and a good day to meet up with one of my favorite science nerds, Betsy, for pie.  She conveniently lives in Brooklyn, so I’m glad I put those two together!

Eric and I headed to Brooklyn and met Betsy in line outside the shop…luckily the rain held off for most of the time that we were in line – a good thing since we were in line for almost an hour!  It didn’t quite seem like they were prepared for a mad rush on Pi Day (despite having a “special” of 3 slices for $14) – the line didn’t move quickly at all!  Pretty sure the guy in front of us took ten minutes to order despite having an hour to decide what he wanted.  JUST SAYING.  Luckily, the pie was definitely worth the wait.

photo 1 (35) Blackbird for effect.

We had a pecan pie, a buttermilk chess, and a cherry/apple pie.  Whipped cream on the side.  Pecan pie is Eric’s favorite – luckily we got the last slice!  (Not so luckily because he wanted some pie to bring home, oops.)  I’m pleased with our celebration.

sunday – nyc half

The NYC Half was this morning, and I love cheering at races, so I had plans to meet up with some ladies to be loud!  Eric actually agreed to get out of bed before 7am, so he came along too.  (I promised a stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way.)  We met up with Beth and headed down to 53rd and 7th, where only a few spectators had started to gather so we all got spots along the barricades.  Oddly enough, people were still walking to the race while we were heading to our spot – we couldn’t figure it out because the race had already started at that point!  It was a little chillier than I had hoped for spectating (40, cloudy, and somewhat windy), but great for running minus the wind.

The lead back of women came through shortly after we arrived, with Molly Huddle (spoiler alert) in the lead back.  We were just after the 10k mark, and Desi had already fallen off…sad for all.  The men flew past shortly thereafter, and Meb was right up there.

photo 2 (34) SO FAST.

I realized early on that I would not be able to take pictures and yell appropriately for people (I’m that not coordinated…), so I decided yelling would be a better bet.  After the lead packs came through, the super fast people followed, then the masses.  It was fun to spot people and cheer for them.  Apparently I knew many more people than I thought who were running, so you can check their blogs/twitter/instagram/etc for updates and reports – Meggie, Ashley, Jocelyn, Kelly, Dani, Emilia, Carla, people I forgot and people who don’t have social media haha. But it was fun!  A few people were in costume – the funniest being two girls who ran in the gold/white and blue/black dresses.  They ran together and the guy next to us yelled, “What color is it???” to which they yelled, “I don’t know!  I don’t know!”  Strong work.  Plenty of runners were taking selfies as they headed through Times Square, which caused me to wonder what people did ten years ago.  So many thoughts.

Anyway, congrats to all who ran (lots of great times posted today!), and I hope NYRR pulls my name one of these years.  The only year I had entry was a result of guaranteed entry (by time, before they lowered the standards)…and it was the year I hurt my back, so I couldn’t run.  Sad.  If they use the new standards like they have for the NYC Marathon, I might stand a chance if I run a solid half sometime…

i forgot the running

You may have noticed that none of this mentions anything about running.  As I mentioned in my last post, my legs have felt off lately.  My legs felt worse on Saturday, and a few strides around my apartment made me realize that some time off would be good.  I think I may have pulled my groin – I have a fair amount of pain/discomfort where my left leg hits my torso, on the inside on the front (does that make sense?), and it does affect my stride.  My plan was to take off Saturday and Sunday (and then Monday-Wednesday, since I’m working anyway…) and hope that some rest solves the problem.  Dr. Google says that a groin strain can take weeks to heal, so I’m a little nervous about that.  Hoping this goes away so I can run the race next weekend, even if I can’t RACE race it.  We’ll see.  I don’t have my heart set on it and would rather get to Eugene healthy, so it will depend on how the rest of the week goes.

Otherwise, I did a yoga video on both Saturday and Sunday – Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown on Saturday and Runner’s World Essential Yoga on Sunday.  Plus a ten minute arms video from Youtube on both days just to make me feel like I’m doing something.  (And summer is coming, let’s be honest.)

I have my fingers crossed for a quick heal after some time off – cross yours for me as well, please!

eric quotes/moment of the day

“You need to do a blog post on how more people need to put their names on their shirts.”  Maybe because it was cold, but not too many people had their names on their shirts, which makes cheering for everyone a little harder.  Yelling, “GO YELLOW SHIRT GUY” doesn’t quite have the same effect.

“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.”  I tried asking Eric when the “lamb” part of March was going to happen, but he just looked at me like I had two heads.  Apparently growing up in Florida never provided Eric with the struggles of March weather, so he had never heard this saying before.  Also – lamb phase, you can hurry up, please.

Who raced this weekend?  Seems like lots of people did!  Did you celebrate pi day?  Do tell.

mom’s visit to nyc, february 2015 edition

Lest you think all I did was run while my mom was here, I assure you I did not!  What’s nice about my mom coming to visit is that she usually visits twice per year, so she’s already seen a bunch of New York and will visit again in the future!  This is great because there’s not a need for go-go-go-must-see-everything-right-now.  (There was one time when my friend Katie came to visit, and I walked her 11 miles in one day.  Our feet survived and so did our friendship…at least we saw so much!)  Since my mom knows I’m not a morning person, and she’s become less of a morning person since she retired, we usually do our thing in my apartment, have lunch here, then head out for the day.  Great for having a relaxing visit and for saving money by eating lunch at home!

But don’t you worry, we still had plenty of fun.  A mix of New York things and mother-daughter fun.  Away we go!

friday

My great-Aunt Rebina, of People Magazine fame (seriously – check it out, especially if you’re interested in transgender rights), is 93 and still fit as a fiddle…my mom always visits when she’s in New York, so we get to hear about her life and her thoughts on aging.  (She says the key to be old is to never go to the doctor, ha.  And don’t stop working.)  We chatted at her apartment before heading to the diner we always go to for lunch.  She’s certainly had an interesting life, and it’s fun to hear about.

After lunch, my mom, Eric, and I headed down to the 9/11 Museum.  It was a little confusing to get to and the Port Authority Police weren’t the nicest in giving us directions, but we made it. I’ve been to the 9/11 Memorial multiple times, but I had yet to visit the museum.  I remember there being some mixed reactions when it first opened, but I thought the museum was really well done.  My mom said she read somewhere to expect to spend about two hours in the museum…we were there for about three and a half and easily could have spent longer.  The most interesting part about the museum is that I’ve never visited any sort of museum of something I’ve actually lived through.  Unlike other events in history, which I can have feelings about from what I’ve learned, I remember where I was on 9/11.  Although I wasn’t personally affected by 9/11 (well…my brother was at West Point at the time and subsequently deployed, but I didn’t know anyone from the events of the day), I still have memories of that day, which is different than any other museum I’ve been to.

saturday

Eric left in the morning to go skiing in Colorado, which means my mom and I got girl time!  We made the most of it by declaring Saturday our craft day.  My mom is a crafty woman from sewing/quilting to scrapbooking to knitting.  She tried to teach my sister and I how to sew when we were younger, but it didn’t quite stick.  I remember learning how to crochet (never finished that blanket…) when I was younger, and my mom just taught me how to knit a few months ago.  I finished my second scarf just before she got here (I borrow her needles and wanted to give them back!), and then we headed to the local knit shop to get supplies for our next projects.  She got materials for a summer sweater, I’m tackling another scarf.

photo 4 (9) My finished scarf!  (See Kim!  Make one!)

photo 5 (3) New scarf with a waffle pattern.  Maybe I’ll finish it before winter is over…

And finally…scrapbooking.  My mom has done many, many scrapbooks about our lives, but I never got into it.  However, over the year my dad has sent me many newspaper articles, letters, and cards, and I’ve kept them in a shoebox.  I’ve asked my mom multiple times how she thinks I should make them into more of a keepsake instead of paper in a box.  For Christmas, she got me some scrapbooking supplies and brought a few more with her in her suitcase, so we were able to get to work!  Luckily Eric and I bought the IKEA table that folds out to seat a bunch of people…or to be crafty on.

photo 1 (30) Crafters at work!

We kept it low key on Saturday night and made dinner at home – asparagus and sun dried tomato risotto, which my mom made while I was crafting.  We then wrapped up the night with knitting while watching Netflix. 

photo 2 (29) Ah, I love risotto.

sunday

SUNDAY FUNDAY.  After my long run (and lunch), my mom and I headed out to get some more scrapbooking supplies – thank goodness there’s a Michael’s in the city!  We had some time to kill before our afternoon activity, and we happened to walk by Madison Square Park and Eataly – gelato it is!  I got chocolate chip and my mom got salted caramel and life. is. good.

photo 3 (18) The little spoons make it so much better.

After the gelato, we headed over to our afternoon activity.  The main reason for my mom’s visit was to see the U.S. Aerial Championships.  A girl I went to elementary through high school with is a silks and hoop performer, and she competed in the championship.  (Same person Eric and I went to see at the Slipper Room a couple weeks ago.)  All the competitors (women on silks, men on hoop) were quite impressive – so strong and flexible!  I have a severe fear of heights so I don’t know if I’d ever be able to try such a thing.  (And I could never do the rope climb in gym class – no upper body strength!)  Many of Brenna’s friends and students came to watch her, and it was so interesting to hear the ladies talk about their love for silks or pole.  It was like when I talk about running – some take classes four-six times per week!  I’d be fun to try (push myself outside of my comfort zone…) if anyone wants to try with me.  Anyway – Brenna was AMAZING and placed as first runner-up.  Per the Facebook page, the videos will be soon, but here’s picture from her routine:

2015 U.S. Aerial Championships - Day 3 : News Photo

Photo credit.

It was really cool and something different to see – one of the many reasons why I love NYC!

My mom and I followed up the show with some Indian food – always delicious.

sunday

For my mom’s last full day in NYC, we had some low key plans – my mom is a retired elementary school art teacher, and the Museum of Modern Art was wrapping up their Henri Matisse – The Cut-Outs exhibit.  Late in his career, Matisse used cut paper (made while using giant scissors…) to create his art.  He would cut out the shapes and pin them to the background – or have his assistants pin it as he directed.  Some were small project while others took up full walls.  My mom used his artwork in her classes, so she was really excited to see it.  It sold out on Monday so luckily we bought our tickets early!

Mom and me.

My mom wanted a cool tshirt from the exhibit, but the shirts weren’t interesting at all.  Instead, she bought me a magnet that had a circus elephant on it – thanks, Mom!

Never enough elephants.

Both of us have been to MoMA before, so we headed out after the Matisse exhibit.  Not ready to go home yet, we stopped by an Irish pub for some beverages and nachos, complete with mother-daughter conversations.  Multiple beverages later, we headed home to watch the Bachelor!  Thank goodness some of the girls I disliked the most finally left…

And of course, I cried before going to bed because my mom was leaving in the morning – I keep saying that one of these days I won’t cry, but at 30 it hasn’t happened yet, so maybe it’s time to just accept it.  We had a great visit and lots of fun – now to get to work on that scarf and scrapbooking!

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