Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Firey Adventure!

We trekked to Fire Island today. It was a 2.5 hour journey from my apartment to the beach- taxi (home to Penn Station) to train (Penn Station to Bay Shore, Long Island) to taxi (Bay Shore train station to ferry terminal) to ferry (Long Island to Ocean Beach, Fire Island) to long walk to the beach (Ocean Bay Park Beach)! We caught a 7:40am train and were on the beach by 10. It was empty when we arrived! Everyone else started pouring in (with their beer and sangria) around 11:30ish...

We hung out in the sun, waded in the water, walked on the beach and climbed through the Sunken Forest (so-called because it's actually below sea level). While I'd been to the more "touristy" areas of Fire Island before, I'd never had the opportunity to explore the forest before. From this high spot, you could see all the way to the ocean and the bay. Pretty cool!

The best past may have been leaving our stuff on the beach during our two hour nature walk and knowing that it would be fine!

We had some fried clams (not as good as Martha's Vineyard) and noshed on the great picnic supplies we got from Trader Joe's last night (packed and carried in the great $5.24 cooler from Walgreens!).

We saw lots of marine life (mostly dead) on the shore.

I kept thinking I was seeing oil spots but they were actually clumps of seaweed. At least I'm up on current events! (Yes, I know the leak has been stopped. Temporarily?)

The ride home felt longer but we left Fire Island on the 7pm ferry and I walked into Mouse's apartment (I'm still catsitting) at 9:35.

Such a fun day and a great adventure! We're already planning the next one!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ready for adventure!

I woke up this morning itching for an adventure. I found a friend, picked a destination and I'm all packed up. Any guesses where we're headed?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ice Cream Social!

For several weeks now, there have been signs in our office lobby advertising the "X Park Avenue Summer Ice Cream Social." Well, the day has finally arrived!

Several ice cream stations were set up throughout the lobby serving up fun flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and wake up coffee with chocolate fudge swirls. There were Italian ices, sorbets and frozen yogurts, too. I decided to go with the NY Subway Tracks (vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and chocolate chips). And what goes better with ice cream than cheddar goldfish?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What SEL Did This Morning

Before work, I:

Had a bite to eat
Fed the cat
Scooped the litter
Ran downtown
Fed Mouse the Cat, played with him and scooped his litter
Gave him his asthma medication (.5 ml of Albuterol)
Let him yell at me

Ran back uptown to Macy's to pick up my bag from Paige
Ran back down to Subtle Tea to pick up some pomegranate iced tea
And made it to work by 8:45

What a morning! Ended the day with a great dinner at Dos Caminos with Rachel and am now ready to hit the hay. Only to do it all over again tomorrow. Except the Macy's part. And Dos Caminos. So really just catsitting and working.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Shoos Toosday

My running shoes were basically ruined during the triathlon because of all the hosing down I received during the run. I'm thinking about running them through the washing machine but in the meantime, I knew I had to get a new pair of running shoes. I sped the process along today because I agreed to an impromptu run tonight. I found the nearest running store and picked out the prettiest pair. Just kidding. I picked out the prettiest pair that provided neutral support since I'm not an over-pronater. And then I met up with Paigie who was also sporting new shoes.

We ran from her house to mine (3.5 miles) in 32 minutes and called it a night. I could have gone a bit longer but didn't want to push it. Good news: I only got one (small) blister from the new shoes!

And in case anyone missed my tweets earlier, I went to the interns' end of summer party tonight. It was a star studded affair with company executives; ours and Twitter's! The COO of Twitter (hey, @DickC!) made a cammeo and I got 15 seconds of undivided attention. What would you have talked about?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fill in the blanks

A day with no pictures is like a day with no ____________ .

Breakfast with the interns, a long day at work, a quick trip to the satellite office and then drinks with a co-worker and our favorite interns. Now I'm back in the same place I began the day: in bed, wearing flannel pajamas, ready to enjoy this fabulous sleeping weather.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tri Day: The full recap a week later

As I think back to Tri Day, that quote that appeared in everyone's high school yearbook comes immediately to mind: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." When I signed up for the triathlon back in February, on a snowy, windy night after an awful day in Panty Land, I'm not sure I fully understood what was in store for me. I knew I was going to train with Team in Training, raise some money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and eventually, jump into the Hudson. But I never imagined how much of an impact the whole ordeal would have on my life. The past six months gave me the opportunity to see the best in people. I witnessed the generosity of my family and friends who donated $6,030 to the LLS through my race page. I experienced the dedication of my teammates who came out to train in the snow, wind, rain and heat. And I saw the passion in myself as I worked harder than I ever have before to swim, bike and run my way to race day. I signed up for a triathlon but I had the experience of a lifetime. And without further ado, I'm going to put the day down in words but I'm not sure I'll do it justice.

Alarms #1, 2 and 3 start blaring but I've already been restless for about two hours. I tried to go to bed at a decent hour on Saturday night but didn't fall asleep until nearly 11pm. When I woke up at 1:45am, I groaned, knowing it was going to be nearly impossible to fall back asleep. And when the alarms finally went off? I stressed about being way too exhausted to get through the day. Little did I know, adrenaline would kick in and I'd be fine.

Dressed and ready, I head out the door.

I'm not sure how, but I was able to cram all my stuff in my bags. I compartmentalized my backpack and shoulder bag by sport: swim stuff was in the LuluLemon bag and my running and biking stuff was in my backpack. I knew that would help me unpack when we arrived.

I grabbed a cab and picked Angela up on my way. The streets were still full of people out from the night before. We hit awful traffic somewhere around 65th and West End Avenue and ended up walking/running from there.

We arrived at our transition area where we had left our bikes the day before. The park was pitch black but they'd set up huge flood lights so that we could find our way around.

I don't remember when the sun finally came up, but I do recall looking around and suddenly realizing that it was light out.

I met up with Angel and Paige and we began the one mile walk up the Hudson River to the swim start. We dropped our bags at the U-Haul trucks that would take them to the finish line (boy did that seem far away at that point!) and proceeded to the starting corrals. Our friends were waiting there to see us off, signs in hand!

Waiting to jump in was a nerve-wracking experience.

It was finally my turn to jump in! We walked the plank and took our positions on the starting block. About half of the group decided to do an in-water start but the rest of us decided to sit on the barge and jump in after everyone else had cleared.

19 minutes and 18 seconds later
I exited the water! I did it! I swam a mile in the Hudson! And was covered in the gooey film to prove it!

The swim actually wasn't bad at all! The water tasted a bit salty, but other than one instance, I didn't feel any foreign objects in the water. I swam as far into the center of the river as I could and found a wide open stretch. I alternated between the crawl and breast stroke and actually found myself enjoying the experience. Looking back, I'm laughing about how nervous I was during the six month training period.

8 minutes later
After running barefoot back to transition (1/4 of a mile), shedding the wetsuit, drying off (a bit), and putting on my bike shoes and helmet, I blasted through the transition area and hit the bike path. Biking up the West Side Highway was a pretty awesome experience. It wasn't overly crowded and I definitely had the opportunity to look around and take in the scenery. It was beautiful!

We biked all the way up to Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx, turned around at Gunhill Road, and biked back down to 57th Street and then up to the transition area at 79th Street. I passed our friends sitting on the highway wall at 72nd Street and even got to say a quick "hi."

1 hour and 40 minutes later
I flew back into the transition area, parked my bike, shed my helmet and bike shoes, added my running shoes and hat and ran out of the park to 72nd Street and Central Park.

I don't remember exactly where this picture was taken but I'm not looking too red yet so I'm guessing that it was somewhere near the beginning of the run. The adrenaline kicked in around mile #1 and I was able to push through without a problem. They had drink and shower stations at almost every mile marker. The drinks kept us hydrated and the showers kept our body temperatures down although it was still pretty warm. Miles 3 and 4 were the hardest; I kept getting passed by the para-athletes (you know, the runners with only one leg?) but it was inspiring to see them out there, so I pushed on. I passed the 5 mile marker and amped it up a bit. I flew down Cat Hill, past the Boathouse Cafe and around the corner to the home stretch.

I crossed the finish line! 3 hours, 14 minutes and 16 seconds after jumping into the Hudson!

Wow did that feel good!

And how did I celebrate?

With some ice cream!

And my peeps.

We all had an amazing day (minus "E," she was under the weather and opted to race next year instead). And my first words to Angel when we met at the finish line? "I can't wait for next year!"

After hanging out at the finisher's festival and regrouping, we trekked back through the park and across town to Blondie's. Who doesn't want wings and waffle fries after finishing a triathlon?

We had to run back to the transition area to pick up our bikes and stuff before they closed down. And then? Back to Blondie's, of course!

Home to shower. It felt nice to get clean.

Mani + Pedi with E. I downloaded the day for her and told her all about what she has to look forward to next year.

Victory Party @ The Park (no, not Central. The restaurant on 10th Avenue). I don't have any pictures. Perhaps we were too tired or too busy reminiscing about our day. And devouring food. They were serving these little pesto pizzas that were incredible!

Home and exhausted. Physically, I wasn't in pain (yet) and the emotional stuff hadn't hit (yet). I was just tired. 20 hours and 32 miles after getting up, I dove back into bed. Scenes from the day kept going through my mind and I found it hard to calm down enough to get to sleep. Little did I know at that point, but it would be several nights before I'd get a full night's sleep.

Many, many thanks to all of you who have gone on this journey with me. It was incredible and I couldn't have done it without all of the encouragement and support that I got from my family and friends. I hope that you'll all join me again next year for the 2011 Nautica New York City Triathlon on August 7th. I promise not to whine about swimming in the Hudson!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Concrete Beach outside the Concrete Jungle

Just because the Tri is over (detailed post will be published tomorrow!), that doesn't mean my long bike rides are over. I set off this morning at 5:15 to meet my training pals (should they now be referred to as my recreational riding pals?) and we rode across the George Washington Bridge along our usual route to Nyack. After enjoying the customary muffin-like-pastry-thing at the Runcible Spoon, we headed back down Route 9W to the GWB and then into NYC. However, today, since it was so hot, we decided that we'd take the Palisades Park route to get a bit of shade and avoid the big hills. I had never been this way before but it was a nice way to change things up. Not that a 60-mile bike ride can ever become monotonous, but it was just nice to see some new terrain. And the best part of today's ride?

The park route leads to a concrete beach complete with a pier for sunning and a snack shack! Although I have to admit, after 15 minutes of "sunning" myself on the hot slab of concrete, I was ready to hit the road again. The only problem was that in order to get out of the park, we had a HUGE hill to climb and at one point, I'm fairly certain I was going backwards.

All in all, I struggled with today's ride. I was a bit tired when I got up this morning (who isn't tired when the alarm goes off at 4:45am?) but I figured that I'd be fine. After all, I'm a Triathlete! But the heat, coupled with my exhaustion and what seems to be extreme muscle fatigue from last weekend, made the ride almost unbearable. And tonight? My body is hurtin'! Someone remind me of this next Friday night when I set my alarm for Saturday morning, k?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fashion Faux Pas Friday

While walking to work this morning, I spotted this woman across the street. She was clearly dressed for the day and walking the work. The only problem is, I used to work at a sleepwear company and I'm fairly certain that this was in our Fall 2010 line.

Oh dear. I, however, felt pretty good today. I went to work, had a super productive day and ended the week by having drinks with co-workers (and interns). I'm headed to bed and looking forward to my alarm going off at 4:45 for a 30-mile ride to Nyack. And back.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

When Hugo Met Stella

What do you do when you go to a bar with three friends and there's no "bag chair?" You have to hold your purse in your lap, hang it off the corner of your chair and hope it doesn't get knocked off or put it on the yucky, dirty floor.

Until now. Bag hooks have taken the world and I finally have one.

Meet Hugo. See Hugo work.

And thanks to Hugo, Stella doesn't have to sit on the floor or hang off the chair. And all is right with the world.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The internet is back...

...but I'm still not. My body and mind are still recovering from this weekend. I finally got a good night's sleep last night and it's my intention to do it again tonight. In fact, I only have 12 minutes to get myself into bed.

Check out who I saw today:

Yes! Alex McCord! This was at Tasty on Madison Avenue. Also known as Panty Lane. Alex used to work at Victoria's Secret; is she going back to the panty industry??

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I even tried!

Tonight was going to be the night that I actually sat down and wrote all about the tri. But as fate would have it, my home internet is down. I think that means I'm supposed to hit the hay early and attempt to get a full night's sleep.

I'd blog from work tomorrow but a sweet, sweet co-worker (Hi, Elliott!) has joined the ranks as Faithful Reader #5 (Hi, Mom, Erinn, Lisa and Angela!) and I don't want her to think I'm slacking at my desk.

So the loooong, detailed, photo-heavy post will have to wait. At least I know I'll have time on Saturday. For the first time since February, I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn for a training session. But who am I kidding? I'm totally going to miss it!

Today's picture was taken on the Orange (F) Train on the way home from the Brooklyn office. I was riding in the very front and staring out the window like a kid.

How cool?!

Thanks for your patience!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm All Shook Up

My body and mind are still out of whack from yesterday. I want to get the whole day down in words but I'm lacking in time and energy tonight. Tomorrow. I promise. Complete with hundreds of photos. Well, maybe I don't promise. But now, I'll leave you with this shot of Elvis. I passed him this morning on my way to the office.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tri Day: Part I

So today was the day. I wish that I had the energy to describe every moment but I don't. Since I want to remember every detail of the day, I am going to delay the detailed post until tomorrow. Today, this is all I've got:

Many, many thanks to all of you who have supported me in my adventure. I couldn't have done it without you and it's been so much fun sharing it with everyone. Until tomorrow...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tri Ready

Ever wonder what it takes to get ready for a triathlon? Six months ago, when I registered for the NYC Triathlon, I had no clue what I was in for. And here I am, on race-eve, realizing how far I've come and just how much stuff I've accumulated.

1) Towel + hand towel
2) Wetsuit
3) Swim cap
4) Anti-fog goggles
5) Body glide to prevent chafing from the salt water against the wetsuit
6) Bag to put my pre-swim flip flops and t-shirt in
7) Bag for wet wetsuit after the race
8) Marker to write my number on arm
9) 2 bottles of Gatorade for drinking, 2 bottles of water for drinking, 1 bottle of water for rinsing after running barefoot from the swim exit to the bike start
10) Bike shoes
11) Helmet
12) Sunglasses
13) Helmet number
14) Running shoes
15) Tri-shorts
16) Sports bra
17) Tri-shirt
18) Race belt with race number
19) Running hat
20) Snacks (Shot Blocks before the swim, jelly beans before the bike and gu during the run)
21) APES t-shirt for after the race
22) Wallet with cash, ID and insurance cards
23) A MetroCard in case public transportation is needed

On the arm:
1) Yellow triathlon bracelet (race #1401 with admission to the yellow transition zone)
2) Purple TNT bracelet
3) Red breast cancer bracelet
4) Yellow duck APES silly band

Not pictured:
1) My bike! I dropped it off in the transition earlier today. It's sitting on it's rack in my assigned spot in the transition area. See?

And now, I am truly tri ready. Alarm is set for 3:30am. I'll leave the house by 4:10, arrive at the transition area by 4:30, get my area set-up and myself ready for the swim, head to the swim start by 5:15 and jump into the water at 6:20. I should be done with the race around 10am. At which point, most of you will be thinking about waking up. Check my Twitter for the post-race update.

And with that, I'm signing off as an athlete. I'll rejoin you tomorrow as a Triathlete.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can you find the APES?

I ran by the Triathlon Expo tonight to grab my race packet and left the APES mark on the Jet Blue finish line banner. Can you find the APES?

This is what it looks like:

It was super crowded so I really just grabbed my packet, left our mark and ran out. I hope to go back tomorrow for some souvenirs and race-day snacks. I also have to drop off my bike (after getting it pumped and tuned), load up on carbs and do some laundry. Ahhhhh, the exciting life of a Triathlete.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rain, rain, go away!

I caught the seven day forecast this morning before I ran out the door.

Look at that! Sunday is supposed to be the only nice day in the middle of a rainy spell. Well if you call 90 degrees and humid a nice day. I wonder what the temperature will be when I leave home at 4am?