Posts Tagged ‘running’

here’s to good friends 2014

I was going to start this post by commenting about the long weekend I just had, but I realized this post will be seen by post of you on Thursday…so for some reason that seemed a bit irrelevant.  But since that’s what I was going to talk about…last weekend I had a fun long weekend!  Last year, I headed up to Maine for the first time (minus one day at the beach when I turned 26…) for Sara’s husband’s annual Here’s to Good Friends weekend.  I believe Scott said that this was the 15th year that he’s hosted it (his parents had their own version in years past), which is pretty amazing.  The idea is basically that anyone and everyone can head up to their “camp” in Maine for a weekend of reuniting and just having fun together.  It’s called camp because when his family bought the land, it was literally just that…so people came up in tents and peed in the woods.  A house has slowly been built throughout the years, and the biggest addition this time around was wood floors and doors on the rooms.  I missed the years without running water, so I’ve never really had to rough it…and I’m sure it would have been cool to see the transformation over time!  The house is really beautiful with an amazing view of the lake.  Life is pretty good up there.

Of course, camp isn’t exactly accessible by public transportation, so Eric (he flew up the night before…when I was working…night shift fail) and I took a train up to Boston where we met other people who needed to fly in.  The plan wasn’t to hit the road with a rental car until after midnight, so I figured this would be a wonderful opportunity to hang out with Amy for the afternoon/evening!  After a nice nap on the train, we met up with Amy, ate some food, and then headed to Harpoon, one of my favorite breweries!  I’ve been on the tour before (and Amy’s been on it so many times that she could probably give the tour…), but recently Harpoon has opened a beer hall so you can hang out and drink their beers.  LIFE IS GOOD.

Photo: Why hello there! #harpoon #beerIt’s so delicious.

IMG_5652 Favorite people!

We sampled many beers from the many taps that they had – Amy and I both got a flight which allowed for maximum tasting potential.  Our waitress was also really knowledgeable about the beers on tap and made suggestions based on what we were interested in.  She also gave me a tasted of the “Fruit Salad” when I asked for the UFO White (one of my favorite beers!).  The Fruit Salad included the UFO White, UFO Raspberry, and Harpoon cider, and it really did taste like a fruit salad!  I enjoyed the sample, but it was a bit too sweet to drink an entire beer of it, so I went back to my original choice.  The beer hall also added pretzels, which looked delicious, but somehow we ended up not ordering them.  I guess we’ll have to go back…

After another stop for food, we parted ways (bye Amy!), and Eric and I headed to the airport to meet up with some of the group to drive up to Maine.  Luckily, someone else was driving because I was running on about three hours of sleep…and we got to Maine at 4am.  Yikes!  Let’s get some sleep and let the fun begin!

I could give you a play by play of the time at camp, but this is about how it goes:

  • Wake up and drink coffee/eat breakfast by the lake.
  • Some people swim, some people fish, some people run (or…people think I’m crazy for running), sometimes the dogs chase balls thrown into the water, some people play board games/cards, some people read, people talk to each other.
  • This goes on most of the day, including lunch in there somewhere.  “Showering” takes place in the lake.
  • Dinner occurs.  We had taco night, lobster night, and grill night.
  • Hang out by the fire and make smores.  The key to a good smore is letting your chocolate melt by the fire a little bit to make it even more gooey.  We also tried peanut butter cup smores, which were tasty but the PB was a little overwhelming.  Worth a try, though!
  • Ask Sara a million questions about Mississippi/internship/fellowship.  (Okay, only I did that.)
  • A game of Nerts.  I don’t even know if I spelled that right, but it’s like solitaire with however many people you have.  It’s vicious but fun.
  • The annual walk to ice cream…there’s a delicious ice cream place maybe ten minutes away, and I’m certainly not going to miss that!


image Campfire goodness.

My athletic pursuits were a bit different than last year when I was marathon training and ran around the lake.  My main goal this year was to try and get in some swimming since I haven’t really been in open water lately, so that will be good for the triathlon.  Luckily, a few people thought it would be fun to swim across the lake, so we did just that!  I’ve been testing out the new Bia GPS watch, which was triathlon features in it, including open water swimming!  I was interested to see how the watch would work in open water, so I wore it while we were swimming.  (I’ll review the Bia later!)  We certainly took our time and did plenty of doggy paddling.  Although we had a canoe with the group (just in time!), I was terrified that motor boats would run us over.  I did do some real swimming, which reminded me how different open water swimming is than swimming in a pool.  You can’t really see anything, and whenever you look up, it feels like you haven’t moved!  The water was also kind of choppy, so that made it a little more difficult.  Overall, a good experience.

image Not bad for an easy easy swim?

image GPS was pretty good.

image Minus that little bit…oops.

Overall, swimming was good, and I realize I need to get in the pool more.  (At least more than once per week…yikes.)  Other than swimming, I headed out for a few runs and was met with the hills of Maine.  OH THE HILLS.  They really ate my soul.  About half a mile away from the house, there’s a half mile long hill.  It has a little over 200 feet of elevation in that half a mile…which to me sounds like a lot.  And feels like even more.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take a break halfway up because…oof.


It was one of those hills were I couldn’t even fly back down the other side because it was a little too steep for my quads.  Yikes!  Also, I don’t know if I was residually tired (pretty sure that’s not the right way to use the word “residual,” but I like it) or if Maine made me feel weird or what, but I was really tired and dragging on these runs.  Maybe that first hill just got to me.  I certainly didn’t feel awesome on these runs, but I always think it’s fun to be alone on the run.  I didn’t pass a single person (except for a few cars) when running, which is much different than NYC running.  My introverted running self is happy.  Plus, so many trees and lots of green and the ability to jump in a lake when done is definitely a plus.

Otherwise, the weather was pretty perfect for most of the weekend, except for some rain that kicked in on Sunday afternoon.  This led to me reading The Fault in Our Stars in just about one sitting…and I didn’t cry although it pulled at my heart strings.  (Like the chordae tendinae! – Anyone?  Anatomy humor?  No?  Okay, moving on…)  Although the storyline is meant to be sad, parts of it were actually rather humorous…and I will admit that I even laughed out loud.  Impressive combination.  Read it if you haven’t…and let me know if you want to go see the movie!

The rain continued through the night, cleared up a little bit in the morning, but kicked in full gear for parts of the drive back to Boston.  (Again, glad I wasn’t driving!)  We stopped in Kennebunk to get sandwiches at Bennett’s…so much giant deliciousness if you’re ever anywhere in the vicinity.  And it will keep you full for hours…which I know mainly because it worked for me!  The rest of the trip was uneventful, ending with our cab driver telling us he was from the South Sudan and he came to the US to run cross country…and of course I was convinced he was some sort of all star, but that was never confirmed or denied.  So it goes.

So overall, another fun Here’s to Good Friends up in Maine where I got to see some of my favorite people and hang out with people I don’t really know all that well but we’re all just enjoying life.  Until next year, Maine…


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