Bridges Runner

Here and now entries

January 22nd, 2010

I've moved!

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New York City
Update your links kids. I've moved over to Wordpress....

http://nycbklyngirl.wordpress.com

See you over there!

January 17th, 2010

Reprieve

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This weekend I jumped a plane to head to Orlando for a class for work to learn about wireless stuff. Oh the joys. However, this got me thinking.

Why haven't I just jumped a plane to go somewhere before? Sure I've done my own thing to Europe (stayed with a friend but mostly toured myself) but never a bonefide escape for me.

Hmmm. I think that will need to change. Where to folks?
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January 14th, 2010

Life is a marathon

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The other day I signed up to give my ice breaker speech for my Toastmaster's club. This made me ponder: what do I say about myself? How do I theme it? While running is a big part of my life, there's many other things that make me, ME! Naturally, while on the subway home from a run it came to me. Compare life to a marathon. I never thought about it before but it's true. In many respects it may be part of why we (or at least I) run. We want to experience life - and in the marathon's case - within a few hours!

Still unconvinced? How about this? In a marathon, how do you feel at the beginning? Middle? 3/4? End? I bet there are experiences to match up with it!

For me, I compare the end of a marathon to achieving any goal in life, there's always more to accomplish. I'm never completely satisfied. I want to find the next thing to conquer! Biggest finish line for me recently? Signing the dotted line for my new apartment. Satisfaction overload!

The beginning? That could also be compared to many things. For one, in life as a whole, being born! It's new, fresh and exciting. Not so much for me but I'm pretty sure my parents were! And a few others in the family.

First few miles you're pretty happy and excited about the race. This reminds me of my first day of work or school. It's new. Fresh. Exciting.

Once the jovial couple miles are over, you settle in to a rhythm. Life is like that too. We tend to get into a comfort zone and start coasting. I would say this relates to me

The wall. Oh, the wall. That's where you earn your stripes in 26.2. It's also as a person where we tend to learn just how capable we are to overcome obstacles. I'm amazed that almost 7 years ago I left the comforts of Pennsylvania and moved to the big apple. I moved here straight from college and knew not a single person but my roommate! Talk about a challenge. I didn't know what the UES was let alone where it was located. Brooklyn was a foreign country as far as I knew (ha!). Little did I know it would become the best choice I could have made.

Challenge 2? I played the trumpet in band in high school. Ok, cut the "and this one time in band camp" crap. Anyway, I enjoyed playing the trumpet but marching and playing was not a strong suit. I was fortunate enough to have a upperclassman work with me for that first season.

Miles 23-25. Pain. Oh the pain. I've never broken a bone but have had some really painful experiences. My foot has been run over by a car (my mom - oops!). The old slam the finger in a door. Or playing catcher being run over by a player twice my size!

Just a few of the items being tossed around in my head. Now I need to make it coherent enough for someone to listen to me speak:-)
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January 9th, 2010

Stairs, please!

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Well it seems my year of insanity has started with a bang. In a moment of haste, I submitted an application to participate in the Empire State Building run-up. Yes, folks, I will be going up 86 floors via stairs. Apparently, this is fun?! :)

Course Description: There are 1576 steps, for a total of 1,050 feet in elevation.  The stair width is40 inches and the length is 7.5 inches.  Each story has two flights of stairs, separated by a landing.  The length of a flight varies and there are six different flight patterns on the ascent. 

Love this. I love that I'm just going for it. After all, I did say I was going to make 30 count. Let's do this!

By the way, Boston training has started. 14 miles last weekend in sub 20 degree weather and crazy wind. Looks to be a repeat weekend. Game on!

No quit. Just getting it done. How about you?
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December 24th, 2009

A year of change

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2009.  It’s definitely been a year of change on many fronts.  For me, ultimately these changes made for the better.  And I am very thankful for that.  This year is defined by 2 six month periods.  The first half was completely focused on life changing events and the second on getting my run on!  I guess I found out what you’re capable when dealt challenges.  I’m pretty certain it would have psyched me out.  Looking back, it’s neat to realize just how much was accomplished.


 

So what happened?  Let’s see: I got promoted at work, dealt with the process that is buying an apartment in NYC (that is an experience), lost and found my motivation for running…  It doesn’t seem like much but it definitely was a doozy of a year.

 

First 6 months.  I had NO motivation to run.  I was burnt out from running 2 marathons in 6 weeks and my apartment situation wasn’t helping.  I had mice which made things a lot more “interesting” in a not a good way.  The most disgusting story?  I woke up one night and heard a rustling noise in my room.  All of a sudden the rustling stopped, I turned on the light and there on my bed staring at me was a mouse!  I’m not certain who was more scared: me or the mouse.  Let’s just say I didn’t sleep the rest of the night knowing a mouse was right there! Eww eww eww.  Over the course of the last 6 months in my UES apartment, I caught 6 mice.  The seventh mouse was petrified under my fridge when I was moving out of my apartment.  What the hell?  They didn’t even pay rent! 

 

The whole mouse situation made it pretty clear I was moving out of my apartment come the end of the lease.  That’s when I realized with the economy the way it was, I might actually be able to afford to buy my piece of New York City!  Me!  I still think it sounds unbelievably insane to own my own square footage.  This, again, did not help motivation to run.  Every spare second was spent on streeteasy.com, curbed or associated real estate web sites.  I was also spending my weekends wandering around different neighborhoods, checking out the difference between an alcove and a studio, and would something happen to me by moving across the “great” river as one of my coworkers astutely calls it.  I scoured neighborhoods in Manhattan, Queens and finally, one fateful day, found my home ‘hood. The story?  Pretty simple.  One freezing cold day in February I had a race in Prospect Park.  The Cherry Tree Relay (highly recommend).  For whatever reason, I decided it was the day to check out Brooklyn.  I had heard fantastic things about the Heights.  So why not give it a go post run?  So after a slowish 3.3 miles as part of the Gossip Girls Relay team I headed out armed with an open house schedule.  Keep in mind, I’m dressed in running tights!  I still remember the feeling walking out of the subway.  It was magical.  I knew I had found my neighborhood!  Something spoke to me.  The neighborhood was sleepy but had a lovely vibrant feel to it.  It made me question If I was in Brooklyn or somewhere outside the city.  I definitely did not feel that on the UES.  It wasn’t near Central Park but sometimes you have to look at a bigger picture.  Oddly enough, long story short, I looked at 20+ places in the neighborhood and ended up buying the first place I looked at!  Got to love living directly above a subway ::grin.:: 

I had thought finding a place would be the hard part, but boy was I wrong.  Evidently that’s the EASY part.  The next part deals with lawyers, brokers, co-op boards, etc.  And at the end of the day, they only have one thing in mind: your money.  However, the good part of being a buyer is you are wearing rosey colored glasses and the thought of having a place blinds you from that fact.  It does not blind the work part.  This process seriously became a second full-time job between March and June.  I’d come home from work and spend time collecting papers for the Board Package or reading papers for the mortgage.  Isn’t this meant for grownups????  I’m not one of those! Ha!

 

Eventually, through the many hoops, obstacles, highs, lows I made it to Brooklyn.  I crossed the great water one last time as a “Manhattanite.”  I bid adieu to the first chapter of NYC life and was ready to face the second chapter:  homeowner and Brooklynite.  A new attitude and that’s where the second six months fit in.

 

Arriving to my new neighborhood gave me a feeling of giddiness on a daily basis which had been lacking for some time.  This gave me a new pep to my step for life and yes, my running.  Marine Corps Marathon training took shape as did a new running routine and outlook on life.  I began to tackle the wonders of Brooklyn by foot and bike.  It gave me a feeling of freedom, relief and ultimately come October, a marathon that will bring me Boston 2010. 

 

2009 brought a new set of people in my life.  I’ve learned that some people are meant to stay in your life and some fade away.  It’s not a bad thing it’s just part of life.  I’ve learned that so many things in your professional life are experiences that occur in other aspects in life.

 

As I reflect back on 2009, I see a lot was accomplished and changes of course.  Like anything there’s always work to be done.  I’m looking forward to continue to tackle those goals as we enter the ‘10’s’.  Exciting.  A new year brings hope and the excitement of what’s to come.  I like to keep my glass half full – how about you? 


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December 19th, 2009

2010 - Gunning for you!

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With a nice snowstorm halting activities tonight, it's time to think about what 2010 brings.  Yes, it will be a celebration towards the big 3-0 but what does that entail? Oh, running wise, INSANITY.  Insanity I tell you!  So what are those crazy goals to ring in the big 3-0?

1.  Boston Marathon 2010 - April 19, 2010.  I'll be there! Awww yeah!!
2.  NYC Marathon 2010 - Qualified.  Sign up in February. November 7, 2010
3.  Philadelphia Sprint Triathlon 2010 - signed up.  June 26, 2010
4.  Philadelphia Distance Run (sorry I won't refer to it as that new name) - September 19, 2010
5.  Empire State Building Run-up - sent in the application, find out if application accepted in early January - Feb 2, 2010

AND THE MOST CRAZY THING OF ALL....

6.  PIKES PEAK MARATHON!  Sign up is in March and I have a friend out in Colorado.  It'll be my 3-0 birthday weekend and oh what other way to celebrate other than run up and down a mountain? Ok, don't answer that:)

Sprinkle in some other NYRR halves and whatever else may come.  And you have a pretty busy running year.

Goals time wise?

Sub 1:40 half.  Very doable.  But need to make it happen.
Sub 3:40 full.  Duh.
New 4 mile PR (28:51 currently)

Obviously, with a rigorous schedule, I will need to be careful with my training.  I'm planning to follow a similar plan to this year which is be smart and cross train.  I plan to limit running to 4x a week (max 5x certain weeks).  And most important, keep it fun.  Without that, this crazy schedule can't become reality.  So help me realize my dreams and follow my adventures over 2010.

2009, you've been fun but 2010 - I'm coming for you!

December 5th, 2009

Meet you at the park...

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This past week I had the pleasure of attending not one, but two tweet-ups! And as it should be, running was the occasion.

Tuesday night I literally ran out of work to join the run. I met up with a few others that needed to stash their stuff at the local NYSC. I got my speed work in literally sprinting from the subway to the NYSC to the lockers. It probably was pretty clear how flustered I was at that point.

We met up with the others at Bethesda Fountain. @pigtailsflying @runanskyrun @SpeedySasquatch  @NYCe @agaliza @lady_southpaw @bklynrunner @sclevine @MikeJOConnor. It was nice to put names to a face:)

My friend AU wanted to run so I invited her. Unfortunately she wanted to make it a tempo run and off we went. I felt bad because I wanted to run with everyone. So let me apologize for that - I was annoyed but believe me next time I'll be there on my own accord. I have no clue what pace I ran because once again I didn't run with a watch (has been a habit lately). I'm pretty certain by the end we were well under 8s. Oh well, it was gorgeous and yet another time to feel blessed living here.

Wednesday morning was tweet-up #2 of the week with @pigtailsflying @worldrunner @carlablumenthal. It was a gorgeous morning and unusually warm for early December. It was fun to play tour guide and share my amazing views on a bridges run over the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. I even threw in my Ace: the promenade! It still isn't old to me. The morning run is exciting to me: you can feel the energy of the city waking up. A great group of ladies and I hope to run this winter with them. For one, it will keep me from becoming lazy!

Finally - I need a new name for my blog now that I am no longer an Uptown Girl.  Currently accepting nominations and will put this up for a vote but of course I have the final vote;-)  Democracy to a point, people!  So far I've had: Boston Bound Girl, Borough Babe, Bridges Runner...

December 2nd, 2009

Where the heck did 2009 go?

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Yesterday I was sitting at work and I overheard CNN playing in the kitchen and one of the reporters was saying "and next month starts a new decade." Woah.  Seriously?  When did that happen?  Where was I?  It's just kind of crazy to think back at what the last 10 years have been like for me from so many perspectives.  In 10 years: I went to a big university where I got to major in something I love, moved to NYC (despite claiming "it's a great place to visit but I'll never live there"), became a working gal, moved up the working ladder, became a runner, and most recently, a homeowner. I've been in NYC long enough now to see people move here and leave, friends come and go, etc.  HOLY CRAP.  Slow down here.

So where am I going with all this?  I like to think that the past decade has been a time that I've learned so much about me. I finally had time to do things MY way and understand what I want.  It's a tricky avenue to follow and I feel pretty darn lucky to have the avenues given to me to figure it all out.  I've learned mentally I'm capable of way more than I thought.  If you would have told me 10 years ago I'd be a marathon runner, I'd have given you a look of death.  Pretty funny how things turn out.  Ultimately, I feel like mentally I'm as tough as they come.  Once there is something in my mind, consider it done.  I do not know the word "quit."  It just doesn't exist in my world. 

Running has been such an amazing stabilizer in my life.  It's helped me identify with so much in the world.  I've met so many amazing people, not to mention being fortunate enough to run with my dad in a few races!  Like the real world, you meet people that you hope are a part of your life forever and those, well that fade away.  You have your great days, good days and the days that make you want to go after it all the more.  I stand behind that last part.  If it were easy, anyone would do it.  I run because I want it.  What is it? Changes daily.  Ask me while we're running:)

I'm a happier person now.  In so many ways that I can't just write the words to do it justice. 

I've learned I'm a very black and white person (mmm black and white cookies).  But seriously, it helps to know that's who I am.  I like that I know where I stand on issues. I hate wishy washy.  Guess that's why I'm an engineer!

I've learned that sometimes it isn't your day.  Learn from it and move on.  It's not worth dwelling over something you can't control.  It's fine to analyze but not fine to replay it over like a movie.

I've learned to smile more.  It goes a long way.

Don't focus on numbers all the time.  Yes, I just told you I'm a black and white person.  And I still stand by that. However, sometimes just enjoy the moment. Happiness can come in so many boxes.

Find your passion.  Oh, this one is A BIG ONE.  I can't believe how many people I've met that don't have something that burns in them.  Whether it's running, work, or some other hobby.  Life is about finding things to make you happy and work for you.  What is YOUR passion? 

I've learned that having various types of people in your life helps you develop who you are.  At work, I was extremely fortunate to have an amazing mentor for the first 5 years.  He taught me not just the technical aspects, but how to make it in this world.   It's almost as though he saw me walk in the door and saw something I didn't.  I can only hope that I can give back half of what he gave me.  I still talk to him all the time.  Running wise, I've met some pretty awesome people.  Just your down to earth people.  You see them at their best and worst.  What more can you ask?

Over the next month I think I'm going to reflect a bit back on the past but also focus on the road ahead.  It's an exciting one.  2010 proves to be a stepping stone for me as an athlete but hopefully in the other avenues of my life.  I'm pretty excited about it and who am I to turn down a new journey:)

November 21st, 2009

Third Monday in April. There's a little race I've been striving for. It's kind of a big deal - they make you run a speedy marathon time for the privilege to run the BOSTON MARATHON!!!

That's right - I checked today and on the list there I was! Finally. 5 years ago the journey started with NY without any clue of how addicted I would become to the NY running scene.

Yet here I am. Less than 6 months from toeing the line in Boston. Wow. So cool! If I was an emotional wreck seeing myself as an entry in Boston, look out for when I cross that finish line. Amazing.

So next year looks to be a super exciting year. Boston, my first tri, pikes peak marathon, and new york. What an awesome agenda - for now I'm giving my body a much needed break before I ramp up the quality mileage again! If it ain't broke...

Ok back to cloud 9!
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November 3rd, 2009

Exhaustion recovery

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I suppose it's a blessing in disguise. Staying up late for the baseball games has made waking up for a morning workout essentially impossible. But that's a-ok! My body needs the recovery and I'll get back on it.

Because...I've signed up for my first triathlon! Yes, you heard right. This girl - the one that barely rode her bike before this summer and swimming - what's a bathing suit - won't even go there:-p it's an exciting challenge and a way to shake things up. My training seems to do best when there's a kink in it. :) oh, sprint philly tri by the way at the end of june.

Other than that, I've run once since MCM with today being #2. Life has been busy between the World Series, catching up with friends and the marathon - not much time to breathe.

You can tell how busy - I'm blogging from my blackberry!

So I'll end with: Let's Go Phillies!!
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