The Beauty In The Bits

SUNDAY

Last  summer, in the midst of my intense training for Fire and Ice, there was one “off” weekend, thanks to an injury. I went to Philadelphia with a few friends. It was a Sunday.(Sundays are when most distance running races occur, throughout the country.)

/*A training interrupted means unwise decision making that may lead to self inflicted embarrassment and related catastrophic events.*/

https://ir4ablog.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/old-friends-and-wine-or-alcohol-in-general

As they say, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop (tho there is no “devil”, but you got the idea). In my case, it was an elephant sized boredom and a Large Hadron Collider sized frustration. I started asking  out ALL the pretty ladies and ALL of them said no, as if they planned the response together. Then, as the above post says, there was J.  But I did not ever get a chance to go back to Phily. 

Last Sunday, I went back to Phily, because why not. Went to the same restaurant for dinner, because, hey, good food. Sure enough J was there, different hair but as pretty and cute as I remember. And… wait for it….

She remembered me!

Amtrak. IMG_8405

 

Running in Central Park

It finally happened.

What would an out of work, bored, runner would do on hump day?

Go to NYC and run in Central Park (I’ve been wanting to do that for such a long time. Finally happened). CheckIMG_8222

Then spend the rest of the day in the city. And walk for over 17 miles, hit at least 3 vegan restaurants. Check

Not to mention, miss the 4:45 AM train and then find out the next train is sold out and the one after that has been cancelled, then buy an Acela ticket for about $300 and get to NYC half an hour earlier than the original train and get an early start to the awesomeness that followed. Check 

OK, full disclosure. I am preparing for my next certification and I was supposed to study all day. Anything to avoid studying.
Right?

I wanna say Acela was the highlight but it wasn’t. Freedom Tower or Brooklyn Bridge walkway? Nope. It was the Korean vegetarian restaurant Hangawi.

In the morning I got out of the train, walked straight to Terri, the cool vegan joint, then walked to Central Park, ran 4 miles, then walked to Penn station, got may bag out of the storage, walked to Hangawi, stuffed myself with vegan goodness, subway-ed to Brooklyn Bridge, walked to Brooklyn and back, went to the top of Freedom Tower, walked to Urban Vegan Kitchen, stuffed myself with more vegan goodness and cocktails, walked to Penn station, caught the train back to DC.

I definitely recommend these restaurants:

Hangawi – Korean, vegetarian, wonderful ambiance, delicious food. Most dishes are vegan.

Terri – Vegan fast food, quick service, tasty plates.

Urban Vegan Kitchen – As the name implies. Amazing food, pricey but totally worth it.

DC vegans got nothing on NYC vegans. le sigh….

Pepper!

It’s been over a month since I ran my first race of the year. A half marathon on the beach at Huntington Beach, CA. Although the longest distance I ran until that point was just about 5 miles, I had a strong race. It was my 3rd fastest half! The weather was perfect, about 45° and sunny. I ran the first 5 miles without stopping at about 8:30 per mile! Whoa, right?

Right.

 

Then there was another half in Woodside, CA the next Saturday. I reach my friends’ place in Menlo Park on Friday evening, one thing (whiskey) led to another (whiskey), I decided not to run that race. Hey, there will be more races, but not much free-single-malt-scotch-excellent-food-good-company around.

Hydroplane. Thats what happened during my trip to SF from LA. Over 20 (TWENTY) times. With almost zero visibility. 12675130-Illustration-of-a-scared-yellow-emoticon-isolated-on-a-white-background-Stock-Illustration My rental was a 328 (the purpose behind that was strictly to show off before my friends) which all of a sudden became my life saver. I can go on and on but that one amazing machine. Here is Pepper (I had to name her)! 16266094_10154601730656886_2063570189866537222_n

More catch up sesh coming up soon.

 

No Pants Metro Ride

Yes, it’s a thing!

Also called No Pants Subway Ride is a worldwide phenomenon. My friend Chelsey and I ventured out in the 20° weather, rode the metro without wearing pants and hung out at a bar after, again refusing to wear pants!

Life is short. Life is precious. Don’t take life too seriously. Enjoy every moment of it. I’m so glad to have a friend (thanks Chelsey) who sees life like I do and wanted to share this fun experience with me!

safe_image
Just waiting for metro

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See more pics here

2017?

I can never top 2016. It was the best year of my life, ever.

I did 13 running races altogether, not counting the multi-stage ultra, Fire and Ice, in Iceland. 12 of them destination races. Plus travels not related to racing, which adds up to more than one out of town trip per month. The big dent in my wallet will take years to fix.

I ran close to 700 miles in 2016!

Good news is that I am fully healed from my stress fracture (I think). I’m now running 2-3 times a week, between 1 and 5 miles at a time. So far registered for 3 half marathons (LA, SF and Nashville) and a 10 miler in DC. Need to start low and make my way up. Oh wait, then Ellen made me (hehe) sign up for a 50K in Feb! Whoa!

BTW, Ellen is running another multi-stage ultra in April, in Nepal, organized by the same team that did Fire and Ice! Wha…!

On New Year’s Day, I went on a 5 mile run, an hour of HIIT with George and an Hour of Vinyasa with my new absolute favorite yoga instructor Jessica! Can’t get a better start for the year.

Worlds collided!

Remember when I went to Iceland to do that multi stage race? That was a tough mofo, right?

Could there be anything tougher?

The core team that prepared me to run that race consisted of my nutrition consultant, personal trainers, nurse practitioner, rolfer, massage therapist and yoga instructor. I managed get all of them to come to my place for a thank you party.

Yes, that was definitely tougher.

My boys ushered everybody in : “Welcome contestants. Let the hunger games begin.” img_5931

We gathered at my rooftop just as the wind picked up momentum. A few minutes later, while most of us were still eating and drinking, “just a lil bit of wind” gained hurricane force, started blowing food off of our plates and the tables and we had to abandon ship. Meaning all 11 of us (hmm… actually 13, sorry tango and Fox) had to get into my teeny tiny apartment where we pretty much had to take turns to sit.

Mostly because Tango (the axe cat) decided to keep a whole seat for himself. img_5932

We played Rockband 4 on my PS4. Fascinating, how, not more than one of us could play at the same time. Epic fail on the host. But one at a time, we played.

Oh, here is my awesome team14963191_2903562399422_7934598157229271738_n

From left : Amy from OK, Lisa, Michael, George, Nate, Alex, Saiju, Amy, Ellen and Chelsey.

And a million thanks to Cat for taking this picture.

Because between George “the lightweight” getting drunk and being hilarious after ONE drink AND Alex super patiently explaining “I’m whiskey”* to Cat AND me successfully escaping an attempt to make me retell my “undie story” AND all the “thats what she said” situations where I could not even make eye contact with Alex without bursting into a laughter AND Ellen’s funny and interesting stories (as usual) AND Cat and Nate and George playing RB guitar one small note at a time and their honest attempt at a high solo score…. HilaArious!

My point is, I was so into what was going on, it did not even occur to me to take pictures! The social media ho / diva / teenage girl / hairy Irish man in me is completely devastated! teen-girl-face-crying-facial-expression-cartoon-vector-illustrations-yellow-background-red-haired-emoji-79901552

And amazingly, they all liked the vegan food I got from my favorite South Indian restaurant, Woodlands!

Well, there were more than just Samosas and deep fried snacks but no pics <sadface>

I could write a post about each member of my team! May be after the next party… 😀

WORLDS COLLIDED! 

 

*  I introduced my kitties Tango and Foxtrot and said “that makes me Whiskey”. Cat had NO CLUE what that meant and Alex had to explain  the WTF *facts* 15037340_2903563079439_1666844468912705311_nAlex (L) and Cat