three years

ETA: Commenting is back. Live post from this week is here. Grateful for the backup, but glad to be back here.

running? No, that was four in January.

Three years blogging with all of you after I “met” Coco in the comments of my Cherry Blossom 10M recap. Fitting because a theme of this post is cherry blossoms, as might expect if you follow me on Instagram. So glad to know all of you.

There were almost no photos since WordPress had a moment this week, but I think it’s back online.

March was a decent reading month.

A huge change from a year ago is my ability to read non fiction. I was barely reading anything last year at this time, and definitely not non fiction. Grateful for a slightly saner world to allow me one of my favorite activities.

another week err, two weeks where I’m looking at my Strava and photos. I skipped some days entirely where there was absolutely nothing worth saying. Short version: lots of running, and the daily strength classes continue, although I ended up doing way more Becs than I imagined. Linking up with Deborah and Kim for a pass at two week run down:

Week of March 29:

tired, but happy
pretty medal
  • never miss a Monday: I finally did the Save the Chubby Mermaids 10K. There was a whole lot of do not wanna on this run, including a struggle getting out the door (thanks Jenn for the nudge!), and I almost called it good at five, but then decided I needed to finish. Running is such a mental game. The southern end of the Lake is finally finished, trail wise and it was nice to off road for a bit and have some new/old views. The Boathouse reopened at the end of March and I hadn’t realized how much I missed seeing the boaters out last year.
busted!
  • Tuesday: caught ‘gramming when I met Elizabeth for a birthday walk in the park. The western side of the reservoir was so far ahead of the rest of the park, it was almost comical. But I enjoyed every pink petal!
palm tree laying down on the job
always fun to see a well-stocked Little Free Library
and make sugar cookies
  • Saturday: I’d thought it would be too hot to run while visiting for the weekend, but winter came back for a minute and it was a glorious morning for an eight mile loop to the beach and a dessert of sugar cookies. They spread a lot in the oven and ended up being easter manatees, but they were delicious.
what a glorious morning
in my easter bonnet
all the easter pies!
  • Sunday: never ran to the beach on Easter, so I guess I had to run two days in a row. Quiet easter lunch with so much food! It wasn’t quite normal since easter at my aunt’s is normally huge, but it was so nice to be with mom & Bob for a holiday.

Week of April 5

 

sometimes evening runs are better
  • beautiful Tuesday: schedule wise I couldn’t run in the morning so I hit Central Park after work or a loop. Is there anything better than sun-kissed cherry blossoms? The whole loop was gorgeous and made for an “easy” run with that scenery.
“I Want To Fly to the Universe” Yayoi Kusama, 2020.
  • Wednesday: no running, but definitely the highlight of the week with a preview of Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden. Not saying it in the sense of “oh no, your pictures are great”, but seriously the photos do not do it justice due to the pieces’ size. This show is magic and I like it better than some of Kusama’s infinity rooms, which I also enjoyed. A beautiful day for my office to be the garden.
sometimes solo is better
  • Thursday: run group was TBD due to one person’s second COVID shot. I ended up running solo and that was OK since it meant a slightly different loop around the south end of the Turtle Pond to check out the blossoms there. I always joke that in spring no one really wants to run with me since I’m way more interested in photos than pace, and I wouldn’t change a thing about that.
just hangin’ around
  • Friday: wasn’t originally a run day, but Elizabeth asked if I’d be in the park and I know I’ll miss these mornings when we go back to the office, so we got in some miles and some fun shadow puppetting.
all about the blossoms
  • Saturday: have been long runs lately, but I knew a third day of running just wasn’t going to be about any distance. I had been wanting to do Roosevelt Island’s cherry blossoms for a while but wasn’t feeling either bridge (or eight miles), so I “cheated”. I took the ferry to Astoria and ran from there onto and mostly around Roosevelt Island checking out their (stunning) trees. Similar to the weird bloom patterns in Central Park, some trees were in peak and adjacent ones were barren. Was wonderful to run somewhere different and rock my blossom accessories. I actually realized when Elizabeth took the photo of me last week how crazy it was that I didn’t have a cherry blossom mask. Thanks Etsy! I am so grateful to have a ferry connection to Roosevelt Island as it’s way faster and prettier than even the tram.
  • Sunday: it’s pouring. I’m not sure if I’m even getting dressed. Legs are a (good) sore after three days running so might go for a short walk if there’s a break.

2021 is 1/12th Done

January 2021 felt like March 2020 in that it was never ending. Was I really in Florida earlier this month? Was the inauguration ten days or ten weeks ago? Oh time, you’re weird.

all the books
I feel seen!

2021 is off to an excellent start, page wise. 12 books down in January and a better mix of fiction and non, which was something I was aiming for. Have you read any of these? Real Queer America was probably my favorite but I really laughed my way through I Hate Running. I am always excited about running and going for a run, it’s getting up and getting dressed and out the door that’s usually my issue.

That said, I said January had a good shot at being 100 miles if not for travel quarantine and I’m going to come in just shy depending on what I run Sunday.  As of Saturday evening I have 93.62 miles. While I’m running back to back days to avoid Monday’s snow, I’m not running  6.5 on the heels of 8. ETA: 97.63 miles run. Average run time of 1:02:13. Very pleased with both.

While one of my 2021 goals is to walk more and get out daily, that didn’t happen this week and I’m OK with that. I’m coming in around 350K steps and while that’s way under normal times, I don’t have my commute or the meetings I used to go to. I just keep reminding myself that we’re nowhere near back to normal and there’s no point in self flogging. I’ll walk more when it’s warmer.

Speaking of warmer, I don’t believe the weather a week out but I’m stalking it for my first race. Yes, dipping my toe back in for one special reason: NYCRuns’ Frozen Penguin. It was my first race. I don’t foresee myself jumping back into races regularly as I’m not sure I’m ready and 5Ks as a whole don’t interest me, but couldn’t pass up this one. Depending on my wave time, I might even run to the start, which I’ve said I would for the last two years.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

good morning world
  • never miss a Monday: and this was the best run of the week. Billy Joel Peloton run and the legs felt good and fast! It was also necessary as I was in back to back meetings from about 10-5. Days are so much better when they start out moving.
  • Tuesday: I got out for coffee and was otherwise glued to my desk working on a big project. It’s an amazing project that I’m proud to be a part of, but chair/ass fusion is real.
  • Wednesday: I was sore and stiff from two days at the desk and hadn’t slept well for unknown reasons, so the run was nothing special. Probably a literal shakeout. It was good to be out and moving. There was rumor of snow turned to ice over night, but nothing accumulated in the city.
I’m a little tree-pot
Pre run fuel!
  • Thursday: with temps on the horizon not getting out of the teens and the wind chills in the single digits, back to back runs it was. As I said to some of you, given the choice of 90s or teens, give me teens all day long. The wind chill was 12F when I went out, but I was fine in two shirts and the windbreaker. I’m excited for my new Skirt tights as these are old and stretched out, and have no pockets! I probably would have been fine in capris, but once I went with the windbreaker I didn’t mind losing pants’ pockets. My colleague who I usually run with on Thursdays couldn’t make it, so I ran the river with a gorgeous moonrise. The Tuesday project I mentioned? Restaurant Week To Go, more than 570 restaurants at launch extended through February. It’s a fabulous way to support local restaurants and this amazing sushi meal is from the east side location of a restaurant I frequent at the office. That’s a ton of food for $20.21
  • Friday: I didn’t leave the apartment. Wind chills in single digits and nope nope nope. Especially grateful to Peloton stretching and yoga classes as my legs were stiff after the prior night’s cold run.
I love that bastard, orphan, son of a whore
  • Saturday: I’m not throwing away my shot at a run on a “balmy” Saturday. Bet you can’t guess which Peloton run made up part of it? Between Time’s Convert being set partially during the American Revolution and loving Matty’s Hamilton run, I’m on a bit of a kick. Again. One of these days I’ll start with Hamilton to get the pick ups the music wants. Coco had told me about Becs Gentry’s NYC Marathon run and I decided to use that for my first CP long run since I went hunting Christmas trees. She’s amazing/insane pace wise, but it was fun to relive some of my own marathon moments. She had friends in the same spot I saw one of my coaches, so I totally got it. My pace was all over the place Saturday but I didn’t care, it was a beautifully cold day when the Park just sparkles.
  • Sunday: running. Some distance.

Running into 2021

Into? Away from? What a week.

This isn’t the place for that, so I’ll just offer love and hugs and an ear if anyone ever needs one.

By far the highlight of my week was celebrating my fourth running anniversary, but it was overall a really solid week of running. While on my runs I found myself reflecting even more on the year that was 2020 in running.

Mileage:

  • January 43.78
  • February  66.47 (all of 2020 races: 10K, 4M, Half, 7 Mile)
  • March 56.02
  • April 19.31 (aka finally let the IT Band heal)
  • May 36.66 (building back up)
  • June  52.73
  • July 76.48
  • August 91.46
  • September 90.24
  • October 96.52
  • November 80.59
  • December 80.43

That shakes out at 80 miles/month over the non-injured half of the year. Thanks again Marcia for coach voicing me to stop doing what hurt. Might there be a hundred mile month in 2021? If not for the upcoming post-travel quarantine I’d say January might be a candidate as this was a solid week.

I’m used to all the challenges appearing in January in line with New Years’ resolutions, but in all the years I’ve been a Kindle user, I’ve never been offered a Kindle Challenge. It looks easy to hit and I’ll take a $5 credit. Benefit of some down time to start the year was three books read through last weekend and another nearly two this week. Best so far is Samantha Allen’s Real Queer America. Saddest? Alex Trebek’s The Answer Is (and yes I sniffled through Friday’s episode)

As a way of preparing for quarantine, I started my free Peloton trial and so far it’s fun. I really liked the foam rolling class (Thanks, Coco) and am excited to try the strength training ones when I’m home and with the new to me dumbbells.  I like the idea of the free two months to really decide if it’s going to work for me. I have a feeling Deborah’s 12 of the Most Useful Features post is going to be very helpful!

Speaking of quarantine, had a bit of a digital scare this week when I got an alert from the New York COVID app that someone who tested positive was within six feet of me for over ten minutes… on December 27. I’ve tested negative in the interim, so wasn’t particularly worried, but the alert was nerve-wracking. That was a weird message to get almost two weeks later. Oddly I was only in two places that day and with one other person. I’m guessing it was someone somewhere in Central Park, because I wasn’t within six feet of anyone otherwise, and the only person I was with didn’t get an alert.  Before I checked the date I assumed it was my travel day, but it wasn’t. I still haven’t decided if I’m glad for these alerts, sanity wise, but glad to know contact tracing is in place.

Linking up with Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Run Down

good morning work week
  • never miss a Monday: wasn’t sure about this after Sunday’s hard run, but really wanted to get the work year off to a good start so I did a short, chill run to the beach. It’s ~ 3 mi and in my pre-coffee brain I went past 3.1 thinking 3.2 was 5K. There are worse things than an extra tenth.
  • Tuesday: up for a chilly sunrise around the marina and some errands.
thank you for 2020 for making me a morning runner
  • Wednesday: happy runversary to me! It’s funny looking at Facebook memories, I think it might have actually been January 7, but I celebrated it in the past on the 6th, so the 6th it is. Six miles, on the sixth before the world got ugly.
bonus reindeer
aforementioned table
  • Thursday: my achilles requested and received a break from the intracoastal bridge.  It’s always fun to explore the streets of this area. Aside from being out of winter, one of the best things about being here is space to eat and work and how cheap everything is. Living on salads (and, full disclosure, PB&J) and so happy.  It’s even more colorful than this pic looked. And it has been *lovely* to have a table to sit at for lunch. (Spoiler, I still didn’t make it out on lunch despite thinking about cross training swim/stretch).  I actually have a choice of two tables, two desks, although I’ve mostly been working from an arm chair on the terrace, because who wants to be indoors?  I’m going to miss space and the ability not to eat at my desk. It’s not enough to get me to move most likely, but I’m very curious to see what rents look like when my lease is up and what I can possibly get for the same amount of money.
  • Friday:  I wish I had a waterproof fitbit as with my pool running I probably had my step goal combined with some errands. Regardless of whether it “counted”, I really enjoy the pool cross training and it was likely a large part of what made this week’s volume work.
best mask sign
  • Saturday: no plans beyond vaguely “long” and wanting to avoid the expected busy sidewalks by the beach on a Saturday morning. It was “chilly” so it was never really busy, but it was nice to re-visit the New Years Eve route through downtown Delray. As a bonus, found the green market and this amusing sign.  Ended up at just more than eight miles and my first long run below a 12 minute mile average in a long time. I haven’t done speed work and haven’t been trying to get faster, but I love some flat terrain. Would have been faster except I walked the uphill portion of the intracoastal bridge. Much cooler than last Sunday made this much more pleasant. I spent the afternoon with the pool (deck) to myself as it was not at all pool weather, but no way was I going to miss a chance to be outside and reading.
  • Sunday: short, flat shakeout meets errands. Upper right quad a little tight, and good excuse to do the foam rolling class again. More reading and, sadly, packing, as I prepare to go home.

Podcastapalooza

after virtually no podcasts for a while because I couldn’t stand to be talked at, I went on a bit of a binge this week. Among the highlights:

Listened to anything lately that you’d recommend?

On the reading front, I wanted to do non-fiction November with Liz, but I can’t focus. I did read a book though. Michael Connelly never fails with a fun crime thriller, and Fair Warning was a good read.  Goodreads is annoying me the way Garmin does some of you with its detraining. I’m well aware I’m 27 books behind schedule. Go spork yourself, Goodreads, it’s 2020. I did realize that I hadn’t read a single one of the Goodreads Choice noms, which made me a little sad. A few have made their way to my wishlist for some time off reading.

How did I finish Fair Warning in a week with my utter lack of reading? 2.5 hour line for a COVID test (negative, thankfully). Not symptomatic and no known exposure, but numbers here are up a little and I wanted to be sure ahead of some possible travel.

Weekly Run Down with birthday-girl Deborah and Kim:

  • never miss a Monday: four miles on a beautifully mild Monday morning. Shorts and a tee shirt in November!
  • Tuesday: too distracted by the stunning leaves to keep pace for RunBet, but still a glorious 2.5 mile walk before work.
  • Wednesday: 63 and 92% humidity in November. So weird. Wanted to enjoy this last day of summer, but had a lot of mental don’t wanna going on too.
  • Thursday: it rained much of the day, but I got out for a night run after work. Wet leaves are soo tricky so I stayed on the flat part of the river path.
new meaning to iced coffee!
new use for a hair dryer!
  • Friday: guess what, it rained. My day was not at all boring, however, as I learned coffee can freeze to the back of a fridge. I couldn’t figure out why the door suddenly wouldn’t reliably close, and then I realized the coffee was frozen and the ice block was pushing the shelf out. Oh Friday the 13th never fails. Luckily it was an easy “fix”
Yeah, slightly jealous of Fred’s cool mask
glorious day in the north woods
  • Saturday in the Park: luckily much cooler than the fourth of July. It was a beautiful day between lots of rain, yet I struggled to get out the door. When I did, it was magic. The park was somewhat busy and I wanted a people free run. Not Covid related, but more not in the mood to dodge strollers and jump over leashes. So I went north via Fred and on 102 turned into the North Woods where I scampered around the trails (seriously, my Strava is a hoot!) before heading down the west side and into the Ramble.  The entire run was gorgeous and it was one of those days where playing outside was just magic. The North Woods are definitely a 2020 “find” for me as I never had time to explore that area before and one of the things this year I’m grateful for.
  • Sunday: going for a walk.

Falling into Running

Niagara, you are GORGEous

I’m not going to blow up this post with photos since the plan is a Travel Tuesday Active Leafcation post, but suffice it to say that the utterly unplanned road trip was just what the body and soul needed. Marriott calls it a rejuvacation, and while I think that’s a mouthful, it’s so so true. Also to steal completely from Deborah, October is indeed my favorite color.

Anyone else treat yourself for Prime Day? I got the Renpho massage gun I’ve been eyeing for a while. I wondered why I needed it when I survived marathon training without it, and then I remembered I was in JackRabbit two-three times a week and would use their Therabody. I don’t need a $400 massage gun, but so far I’m loving life with this massage gun. I’m still mostly running pain free, but the mornings after aren’t so much fun.

Speaking of marathons, off a recommendation on the Runners Bookshelf Facebook I read Nikki Love’s With a Little Dash of Crazy. To celebrate turning fifty, she ran 63 marathons in 63 days breaking the record for women’s consecutive marathons. The men’s is of course far off with Ben Smith’s 401! While I think there might be another marathon in my next sixty years, the idea of sixty three is unfathomable.

Weekly Run Downs with Deborah and Kim:

Week of October 5:

  • never miss a Monday: a time trial. My first since last July,  and not too far off it, which was a pleasant surprise.  It wasn’t even particularly planned as I decided to go for it at the end of mile two. Not training for anything, but fun to throw in a random workout or two.
  • Tuesday: too long ago and I didn’t run, so can’t even cheat off Strava to see what I did.
  • Wednesday: the morning five mile run hasn’t happened as much lately due to lagging in getting out the door. Oops. Still 4+ to some fun pop makes for happy Hump Day.
  • Thursday: we have a nice Office Run Group meeting spot and loop that lets us run about two miles together and five miles for each of us. Toward the end of each I run all the creative ways to avoid Cat Hill as I dreaded the pain. I finally decided it was time for a little suck it up buttercup and said hi to the Cat. My legs still worked and it was good to know I could do it pain free.
  • Friday: off, picked up the rental car and headed to mom & Bob’s for the first night of my getaway.
look who I found!
  • Saturday: before we drove to Albany, hit the rail trail by mom for a nice five miles. I couldn’t really warm up but can’t have a bad run on the bluffs above the Hudson. After visiting with my brother, sister-in-law and the minions and before heading to Utica, took advantage of Darlene living only 15m from them for a quick park visit. Love having friends in all the places.
  • Sunday: drove to Rochester to spend distanced time with my college roommate and her family.  No run, but Ontario Pathways make for a gorgeous walk

Week of October 12:

  • never miss a Monday: part run/part hike exploring Letchworth State Park and Niagara Falls.  Amazing to get in a metric ton of steps while still criss-crossing New York State and awesome to spend much of Indigenous Peoples Day on Seneca land.
  • Tuesday: no proper run really on Monday, and I woke to rain in Corning, but it needed to happen, and five miles did including some track speedwork. Change of scenery does wonders. Like Saturday, great stretch before the haul back to the city. I definitely want to do Wineglass now, and realized Corning really isn’t that far.
  • Wednesday: morning walk to storetch car legs
  • Thursday: knew Wednesday that office run group wasn’t happening due to schedules and could have run in the morning, but couldn’t get going so it was riverside dusk run. It’s not the sunsets of the west side but I love this four-five mile loop. Cannot wait for them to finish the sinkholes so the whole loop is open.
  • Friday: planned off. Nasty/rainy day. Switched my closets and other apartment self care.
hamming and ‘gramming with Fred
and a taste of fall
  • Saturday: virtual Amelia Island 12K. I won’t lie, was sad not to be in Florida but it was a picture-perfect fall day in Central Park. I knew I needed to do 12K, or ~7.5 miles, but didn’t really have a plan. When Elizabeth said she had ten on her plan, I decided to join her for most of that and ended up with 9.5 miles. Part of me wanted ten and my first double-digit run since Zooma Bermuda, but I had stopped at CVS to pick up something and my legs were just d-o-n-e.  7 months into pandemic, I haven’t tried the Under Armor one that many of you love, but I’m honestly in the place that the easiest mask to run in are the disposables. I won’t lie, I’d much rather run early/off the beaten path to just do without, but Saturday in Central Park is mask land.   Fogged up a storm from the get go, so glasses free running it was.
  • Sunday: morning walk to stretch my legs. Bad football to follow.

is your refrigerator running?

mine wasn’t.

That was Sunday night’s fun discovery. Not.

In the grand scheme of things, it was fine. Like I said to a friend, more nuisance than Problem.  I didn’t lose much, the thawing freezer didn’t flood, and I rent so it wasn’t (as much) my headache. Just oh so 2020. On the plus side, this week brought Ichabod the iMac into my life. My little laptop was great, but not meant for heavy, daily usage and these eyes are too old for a 13″ screen even with an external monitor.

This was a weird week. Other than running, I wasn’t really moving much. Said to a friend who was talking about the running percentage of her crazy steps total on a day that I had 5.77 miles on the day, 5 of which were running. I really don’t mind. Heat, humidity and life are draining right now. Worth just taking time to be.

On the reading front, I finished The Great Deluge on the anniversary of Katrina’s landfall. Doesn’t normally take me three weeks to read 700 pages, but this book was dense and didn’t make for great bedtime reading. I subsequently read Austin Channing Brown’s excellent I’m Still Here in a couple of hours after waiting all summer.

museums + running

And best of all? I got to go to a museum! I can’t remember the last time I went five months without visiting a museum. It’s usually a max of five days. Timed tickets (which I like anyway for planning purposes), masks and distancing, but MUSEUMS. Of course I direct deposited my wallet with the gift shop.

I truly love the Museum of the City of New York because of how it tells the city’s stories. They collect museum-quality artifacts of course, but they also have amazing ephemera including this poster for the NYC Marathon in their Collecting New York’s Stories exhibit, which was slated to open just before the world shut down. Yes, that made this poster even more poignant.

I do. Forever.

I am so tired of the endless articles pronouncing NYC dead. Whether it’s a political angle or just the endless need for doom and gloom, it got old a long time ago. Am I biased? Of course. But this city is 400+ years old and has probably been declared dead at least that many times.  If any time ever called for Haters gonna hate, it’s this.

Anyway…

Weekly run down with Deborah and Kim:

  • I missed a Monday: even before I came home to the thawing fridge, I’d decided I was sleeping in on Monday after two early runs. Morning walk was only to the Met and for coffee because no creamer is the travesty of the broken fridge. LOL. Went on a hunt for dinner and shelf-stable creamer so did get in some steps, but overall a needed mental/physical day off.
  • Tuesday: up and at it. Rise and run. How many cliches fit in one post? Runrise ahead of another scorcher of a day. Back of the knee sweat (aka against desk chair) was a new experience during quarantime. I finally realized why — I really never sat at a desk outside of the office aka the land of AC.
<3
  • Wednesday: I usually don’t run two days in a row, but sometimes you have to. Minimal steps before work and I was feeling stiff and stir crazy and it was absolutely gorgeous, so I decided to go chase a sunset. Mission accomplished. Found Pinocchio too!
#MonumentalWomen
So many bad options

 

  • Thursday: I really don’t run three days in a row, but when my colleague texted to ask if I’d meet him, I didn’t want to say no. It was 90+ and 70%+ humidity so it was a plod more than anything, but lately I’m really feeling the need for some socialization. After I left him where he enters the park, I ran a little to the Literary Walk to see the new statue that was unveiled-the first in Central Park to honor real women! Had been drinking A LOT due to the heat and realized I needed to use the bathroom. No issue, many of the Park’s bathrooms are open, but I forgot how fun it isn’t to pull up a skirt on sweaty legs. I didn’t want to start running again so I left the Park at 72nd and headed to Target. For years I was jealous of people with Targets for their oreos and other things. A colleague who lived near a big one would bring them in for us So I was tickled to find a giant display at my mini Target. The maple creme and mint were oh so tempting, but I have no portion control when it comes to oreos so they’re banned.
isn’t she pretty!
meet my teenie weenie kitchen
  • Friday: original plan was museum, but when my super called on Thursday to tell me that my landlord had decided to buy a new fridge, I knew that wasn’t going to work timing wise. So once Mr. Fridge arrived and I deep cleaned my kitchen (not fear of COVID from delivery, it just needed it!) I took a quick walk to the grocery store for some staples. Had Peapod on standby for Saturday, and if this had to happen at least it was at a time where grocery delivery was easy.  When I briefly contemplated moving (within the city) to a space with outdoor space and found myself looking at kitchen size. Never a thing before.
hi Balto!
  • Saturday in the Park – I love that song, but it makes me miss Yankee games. Elizabeth and I met up for me to join her for part of her long run and we ran/walked/found Balto and generally explored the Park. The forecasted rain never happened, but it was overcast which made it a lot more manageable. After waiting for Peapod, it was museum o’clock, during which I also saw a colleague I haven’t seen since March 11. I’m OK, but missing people is real. A 30K step day made up for the rest of the week’s inactivity and it was nice to cap it reading by the river. I hadn’t gotten there this week, so that made it doubly nice.
  • Sunday:  lunch with mom & Bob! No idea what else, but I’m sure I’ll find some mischief.

on Hurricanes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki

I cannot believe we’re just a few weeks from the fifteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Still remember sitting in my friend Helen’s car  in Adelaide waiting outside an electronic repair facility for her to pick up her VCR/DVR when the radio was talking about the impending landfall. I started Douglas Brinkley’s The Great Deluge on Saturday because it’s 700+ pages (nothing like a little light reading!) and I wanted to have it done in time to think about the anniversary. I realize how little I knew about the Mississippi Coast regions I drove through until I saw the Katrina memorial in Biloxi my last morning.

This week marked the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they kind of snuck up on me unlike 2017. Surprising given it is the 75th anniversary. Here is a repost of my 2006 Hiroshima blog. I visited Hiroshima four times-the most powerful was on Veteran’s Day just two months after 9/11. It was chilling, but I believe a place that every American who visits Japan has a duty to see and learn from. Hiroshima is easily accessed from Osaka. Nagasaki took some work, but it was well worth it. I still remember thinking that if I was sleeping in 1945 where the hostel I stayed in 2016, I wouldn’t be here. Frightening.

mom’s street, NYC suburbs. (c) Mom.

This week also brought Tropical Storm Isaias to town. It wasn’t a direct hit, and Manhattan was mostly spared apart from some massive tree damage in the parks. That wasn’t true in all of Con Ed’s services areas, where more than 130K were without power, second only to Sandy. Some were still out Friday morning when a random non storm-related blackout hit parts of the city. The northern suburbs and Connecticut were hit pretty hard. Luckily the tree that took out mom’s power, cable was kind enough to fall between their house and the river, rather than the main road which made things very interesting last storm. She got a generator after Sandy, so the power outage was more nuisance than an actual issue.

the man-made and the nature-made roadblocks. Carl Schurz Park, Tuesday afternoon

When I went for a walk after work to scope out the damage it reminded me a lot of Hurricane Irene. Looking back at that album, amazing how much more greenery there was back then. So many mature trees, just gone. Gives Gone with the wind a whole new meaning.

saw this on one of the social channels. So fitting

The week was good, but felt very disorganized. It was fitting that this showed up in my feed. Ads reading my mind? Wouldn’t surprise me given Bob & I were speaking about an author I thought he might like, and a day later a $5 off coupon for books by that author was in my inbox . Not usually a conspiracy theorist, but that was weird.

Weekly run down with Kim and Deborah:

hi random sunflowers!
  • never miss a Monday: went for a walk before work, and then a Target run after work. You could definitely feel the humidity building ahead of the storm. Not as exciting as the corn on the Upper West Side, but nice to see these flowers randomly in a street bed.
already flooded.
  • Tuesday: this run was up in the air due to the storm forecast. I woke at 5:30 with the fan blowing random raindrops on me, and decided to try again at 6:30. There was a window, and I went out for four miles, which somehow were negative splits too. Yay! I would absolutely run in the rain, I will not run by the river in a (relatively) low lying area during a tropical storm. I wasn’t running in Central Park because I was worried about the trees even early. By mid-afternoon, the sun was out. Weather is so weird.
yes, yes it is
poor tree, completely split
  • Wednesday: I was right to be worried about Central Park as the tree damage was devastating. In the middle of this, the Conservancy has launched a fundraising appeal. I particularly liked that sign.
do you believe in magic?
  • Thursday: I knew I was running after work, and that led to a weird start in the morning. I didn’t even make it out for coffee as my bed was very comfy. I met my colleague and we ran together for the first time since the Frozen Penguin. I saw him into March, but we were both gimpy and not feeling winter running. This was a beautiful ~6 mile run for each of us from our own starting points. Saw many, many trees down, which was just heartbreaking. This was my first time doing the lower loop or going south of 72nd since I ran home the week the world shut down. Kind of weird to be down there, but not at all uncomfortably crowded.
my bathroom is ready for winter
  • Friday: another slow start, but I went out for a quick walk to loosen up my hips. Not pain, just stiff after an evening run. Motion is lotion as someone (likely here?) says, and it helped. I stiffened up after a workday despite rolling during a non-video meeting, so I took a walk to Target and Jack Rabbit and I was feeling fine. My new shower curtain came – and can I tell you life’s too short to be boring? The new mat, which I picked before I tossed my old curtain kinda sorta maybe matches. I just love that it dries, which was the issue with the other one.
sidewalk sushi
  • Saturday: I didn’t really have a plan, but as I dilly dallied I knew it would be a mask run in either of the usual haunts, and I wasn’t feeling it. I’d been thinking about doing Randall’s Island as I run past the bridge most days, and I decided why not. There’s a ton of storm damage over there, but the paths were clear and I had a solid if sticky 5 miles. I scoped out the path to Queens and some longer routes for the fall. The only down side of random mid-week long runs is I don’t want to do a second during the week coming off injury, and “only” five miles on Saturday felt weird and short. Our bodies and minds are weird. Still ran 22.65 miles this week. Whoa. Hip, knee feel good and I’ve been doubling down on Marcia’s IT Band stretches as well as the resources Deborah has shared.
  • Sunday: summer is coming back. Thinking a rest day in the park, but maybe a short walk.

 

Working from Home and Running

or maybe working from home and not being in pain and running…

I realized earlier this week I was going to cross 70 miles. By far my highest total when not marathon training, and last July was “only” 84.79. July total was 76.48 miles. WHOA.

Four months of working from home and I’m finally in some semblance of a workout routine. I ran a couple back to back days, but never had more than one rest day between runs, which ranged between 4-7 miles. That’s a whole new level of consistency and it’s amazing what’s possible when you’re not in pain.

I’m reading Julie van Amerongen’s Every.Single.Day and I admire her consistency. Not a streaker myself (of either definition!) but amazing what you learn you really can do.

NYRR had another pace review and this best pace cycled off. Back to Corral L. Do not care one bit as a) I’m running without pain which is all I care about b) it doesn’t matter and c) I got to K once, I’ll get back there again if I decide I care. The latter will probably only happen if I miss running with friends.

skipping rocks on the shores of the mighty Hudson

Know what’s better than both of these? Escaping the city for a few hours, and surprising my brother and the kids who were down at Mom & Bob’s. Love my city, but I hadn’t left since February and that was just too long.

Otherwise, nothing exciting this week. On to the Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

pretty toes
  • never miss a Monday: I was all set to use “I ran seven” as an excuse to skip this on the grounds of it being obnoxiously hot and humid at 4:30 AM, but a funny thing happened and I wanted to run. Mother Nature rewarded this decision, and it was a gorgeous four-ish miles. And then I rewarded my feet with a pedicure.
  • Tuesday: gross, hot, but Central Park is ever stunning. Great Lawn has become a new morning minimum on walk days.
d-o-n-e even though it’s pretty
rewarding sore legs and swollen feet. Oh summer.
  • Wednesday: I think Mother Nature was wilting in this heat, but she still rewarded me for getting out there for another four.
  • Thursday: tired, drained, didn’t even get step goal. Nothing wrong, just d-o-n-e with the heat and humidity.
when it’s an easy run you play with the panorama setting
  • Friday: I took the day off work to get some apartment projects done. They didn’t happen, but a nice run did. I started the month with five and decided to bookend it with the same. It was much cooler, although still 4000% humidity. I know some of you love summer running – more power to you. I wilt. Give me fall in the morning and summer the rest of the day.
  • Saturday: aforementioned escape from the city. Walk to and from car rental and to the river from mom’s but otherwise nothing. A true rest day.
  • Sunday runday: I didn’t really have a plan. 8 miles for August wasn’t feeling doable, but I wanted to do more than 4-5, so I wiggled and meandered on a run that included Central Park and the East River. I believe that’s the first time I’ve done that. When I paused to accept a mask from the giveaway (I was wearing one, but always happy to have a backup) I realized I was at 1:28xx and therefore landed on my goal of a 90m run. I had been tiring for the last mile anyway and there were many stops for water and to stretch. No race, no rules.  Just run. Depending on whether it actually rains, I may go sit and read, or I may do that apartment project.

GoTheDist July:

  • 449, 989 steps. DOH!
  • 201.08 miles walked

I don’t have formal August goals. Just keep running pain free. Maaybe look at the fitbit on the 31st.  LOL.

recognizing burnout

if I ever got it together for runfessions, my number one would be that I have not missed racing one bit. I’ve been trying to figure out what that meant since March with little luck. I don’t even mean in the sense that “it’s not safe, so we shouldn’t be racing”, but rather I did not care that Pride, Cinco de Mayo weren’t happening. For Cherry Blossom 10 miler I was more sad about missing the cherry blossoms in DC (and the chance to see Deborah and Coco!) then I was about not running ten miles. Not to say I didn’t feel bad for those who lost goal and other races they were looking forward to –it just didn’t matter to me personally. It didn’t occur to me until I finally read Amanda Brooks’ Run to the Finish (my review here, Wendy’s here. Did anyone else read & review this?) this week that it was my first running book since at least March. I could definitely get behind her BQ by 80 plan and definitely felt like she was speaking right to me with her IT Band injury.

Unofficial diagnosis? Injury related burnout. I think I pushed running through pain too far and it really took away my love of running, and that’s why pain-free running even if “just” four miles has made me so happy this summer. I’m very glad I did Bermuda, and was with Elizabeth for her first race back (and my beloved frozen penguin), but I had no business doing Manhattan 7 or Super Bowl Sunday. I’m so glad I belatedly had the there’s no point in running when it hurts epiphany and came to my senses, because I do love running again and am looking forward to a real race in 2021 since the balance of NYRR’s 2020 slate just cancelled. I haven’t been about all of the virtual races, but might need to do Season of Light and Ted Corbett, because Ted will always be one of my favorites.

***

 

Bix Blogger Babes!
we did it!

Not all racing is lost for 2020! Since Kim was an ambassador for the Bix 7 race, we decided we’d take advantage of not generally being able to run together, and run virtually together. With a theme of fire due to the heat, Kim, Kim, Renee, Montana, Zenaida and I (with Deborah with us in spirit) got out there for some solid mischief and miles. This was so much fun!  7 miles is the longest I’ve run since February and was impressed with myself especially with the god-awful humidity.  The route (thanks, Montana, for teaching us how to manually upload to Strava!) is known as “shade seeking” and “lap avoidance” as I did not want to do fourteen laps of the Great Lawn. More on why I wasn’t running the river below. While stiff and tight, I felt good after. I was pre-emptively planning to use I need an extra recovery day as a reason not to run Monday morning when the low is 80, but we’ll see what happens there.

Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

this city sometimes feels like Mother Nature is trying to take it back. This was courtesy of a tree fall.
  • seen on my Monday morning walk. It was too hot to run, or even walk at an exercise speed. Forward is a pace, and I called this a Monday done even though I didn’t even get step goal.
perfection
  • Tuesday: up at 4:30 twice in three days. Who *am* I? It was absolutely worth it though. As I do more runrises, I’ve been thinking more about running safety and finally took advantage of the Bix coupon and ordered a RoadID attachment for my Garmin.
  • Wednesday: I slept in a little and did some errands before work.
oh east river esplanade
and then I came home to the Garmin news
  • Thursday: didn’t make runrise, which was OK as it was kind of wonderfully overcast. As I mentioned above re: Mother Nature, the East River is eating the esplanade and I hate to say it will probably be closed off soon for safety. I’m going to miss this breeze for August runs. The pic above isn’t the big one, but rather another that opened north of Gracie Mansion.  I came home to the Garmin outage and I have to say, the memes are excellent.
museum!
  • summer Friday: although we’ve had summer hours, they haven’t felt much like summer Fridays due to workload and because typical activities (museums, beach) have been off the table. Amid some other unplanned errands, I made it up to the Museum of the City of New York to see the outdoor portion of New York Responds, a look at how the city has handled the covid-19 pandemic and protests that followed the killing of George Floyd.  The photos are amazing and I look forward to exploring more of All In NYC: Public Art.
Flat Cari options
about those sinkholes again
  • Saturday: Bix 7 race day! Outfit planning was fun and I lucked out that mom was coming into the city and could bring me my red Squirrel Stampede shirt. It was beginning to feel like Delray when I was hunting for a red shirt. Moral of the story, have one everywhere! The esplanade closure has complicated even erranding, but I capped off the day with sushi and a lovely nap along the river.
  • Sunday: I might move. Eventually. It’s too hot.

Review: Daniel Silva’s The Order

aka the only series I ever review here anymore. That might change if I stop reading crap soon, but probably not.  I like Goodreads for the books, but I love finding my old Gabriel Allon posts here. Tradition! is not just for Fiddler.

[bctt tweet=”My annual summer date with Gabriel Allon and @DanielSilvaBook #HereThereBeSpoilers #TheOrder” username=”travellingcari”]

Here there be memes. And spoilers. You can start this series anywhere, but I recommend the beginning so you can fall in love with Gabriel Allon as Silva rolls him out.

Guilty. Guilty as Charged

It’s now five years that I started reading this series as soon as the next book came out. I find it amazing I could wait until December before then! It’s funny to look back at all of the book signings here and in Facebook memories to see my haircuts of the last decade as I sit here in quarantime pigtails.

Continue reading Review: Daniel Silva’s The Order