Tuesday, November 24, 2009
First for the video still:
I would have told you all about it earlier as I know you would have sat by your TV's anxiously awaiting my moment in the sun, but I forgot. Yes, I forgot that my artwork was going to be broadcast nationwide on prime time TV (I didn't even phone friends or family!). I am happy to report that the ratings for all three nights of the interview blew the competition away. Clearly it was due to the fabulous paintings displayed in the rear shadows. Excuse me, I think I need to go write a book about my experience now.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
In my desperation to find new places to run in NYC besides Riverside Park and Central Park (I hate running the streets), I Googled "NYC trail running" and hit the motherload. It turns out there are several places to do trail runs either in NYC or a short train ride into the bedroom communities of Westchester County. Escaping NYC is an added boon to getting a run in. I had my eye on a particular trail, the Croton Aqueduct Trail. This trail runs atop the old Aqueduct that used to deliver clean water to NYC until the early 20th Century. If you've read Caleb Carr's The Alienist you are familiar with the reservoir the aqueduct supplied, it was the setting for major events in the novel. It used to sit where the NY Public Library is now on 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. If you don't live in NYC you probably give a rat's ass, but a nice little bit of trivia for those who do.
As per usual, I knew I could depend on my good bud Laurie to be my partner in crime on this day. The day was gorgeous, 58˚F and sunny. We met in Grand Central early Saturday morning. This is when our seemingly ironclad plan first began to unhinge. I was supposed to buy the map of the trail from the bookstore in Grand Central. Idiot that I am, I forgot they wouldn't be open at that hour. Oh well, let's just wing it then. Laurie was all for it, this is why I love her, she likes an adventure as much as I do and that's a good thing because it was about to get more interesting.
We took the train about an hour north of the city to Scarborough and decided we would take the trail south from there as that is the more attractive part of the trail (it also doesn't hurt that it runs on a downgrade headed south, 13" per mile). The ride up was peaceful as the train skirted the Hudson River the length of our journey.
before the trip that I wasn't able to get my hands on until after the trip). No trail. Hmmmm....we'll just walk some more, we're bound to run into it. We passed through some lovely neighborhoods with gorgeous homes and we had plenty to chit chat about, so no biggy. Still no trail. We finally saw people. Yes, aside from the occasional passing car we really didn't see anyone. There were two gentleman standing in a driveway so we decided to ask them if they could point us in the right direction. These two men were very nice and accommodating, but it was like that skit you see on TV. You know the one that goes something like this:
Man 1: First you have to find the intersection of Sleepy Hollow Road
Man 2: No it's the intersection of Old Sleepy Hollow Road
M1: Old Sleepy Hollow? Well, they have to go to the intersection with all the stop signs
M2: Yes, then they have to take a right, but not that first right because that isn't really a road
M1: What road isn't really a road?
M2: you know, the one that goes off just this way (makes directional gesture with hand)
M1: Are you sure you two want to walk, it's really far.
You get the idea. Well, it was Sleepy Hollow Road and not Old Sleepy Hollow Road and so we passed it and it wasn't that far, but we passed it because there was no "Old". This is the thing about suburbia, everyone drives everywhere, so everything seems far. For New Yorkers who walk just about everywhere nowhere is far. What? You want me to meet you downtown (2 miles away), no problem, I'll just walk. So we walked and walked and still no trail and of course we realized too late that he really meant Sleeepy Hollow Road. Literally, it was like we were the Headless Horseman meandering aimlessly (Laurie, thanks for that analogy). However, we did finally locate a trail!! Well, a paved pathway anyway.
You'd have thought we'd just arrived at an oasis having spent days wandering in the desert. Could this be it? No idea, but we took it. We came across some cyclists ready to take on this pathway and asked them if this was the Croton Aqueduct Trail. Nope. It was the North County Trailway (which does indeed connect with a South County Trailway), Damn!! They were nice and had a Blackberry (yes, we still have just a regular cell phone, we're not total luddites) so they pointed us in the right direction south.
Onward we went for several more miles. Our plan had been to maybe run a mile, walk a mile (Laurie isn't running like I have been so we figured we would do it that way), but that didn't happen, we just walked....briskly. What the hell. This really wasn't about training anyway, this was about finding a cool new place and hanging with a good friend. My training starts soon enough....really, really soon, but I digress. The path we were on was quite nice, there were some cyclists on it, but not a lot of people and everyone we came across was very pleasant.
We continued on our way marveling at how we ended up on a completely different trail, albeit a paved on. We eventually came to a fork in the road and headed back west around the Tarrytown Reservoir, very pretty, and came out in another neighborhood and a main road I know, 9W. We took that into town, Tarrytown to be exact. I knew of it, but had never been. We hit the motherload, food, and the ever elusive Croton Aqueduct Trail. I happened to know that it ran right down the center of town passing through...sigh....
We were beat. As it turns out we walked, hiked 10 miles. Now, I have run 10 miles, but my legs, hips, knees and right heel have never been as sore and achy as they were walking an equal number of miles. What the f*ck? If I were to guess why this is I would chalk it up to a longer stride and more heel strike than running (I guess the mechanics are different enough to make a body hurt!). We decided to grab a bite and take the next train back to the city. There was this Greek restaurant that was hopping so we figured if the locals are eating there it must be good. We were not disappointed. Falafel, hummus, rice, Greek salad, tsatsiki and two beers each later and we were happy as two pigs in shit.
The North and South County Trailway) that runs from the north Bronx to Carmel for a total of 36.2 miles one way. I am stoked (as is Laurie) to ride this pathway in the very near future. We had a great walk, got to see some cool parts of NY, had a kick ass meal afterward and a nice scenic ride home (we only had to wait 5 minutes for a train.....on the weekend!). I love it when plan doesn't come together. And we still have the Croton Aqueduct Trail to explore yet.
Now for the funny or not so funny part. I purchased the map for the Croton Trail when we arrived back in Grand Central. As it turns out, when we got off the train in Scarborough and started walking, we were on the trail, which I would have known had I had the map. Not only that, but when we veered off the trail, we crossed it again further along. We didn't recognize it as it was unmarked and was passing through neighborhoods at this point. C'est la vie.
I now have a date with my foam roller, my ass is killing me as are my ITB's. Who says walking is for suckers?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
So that is my BIG news of the moment. I have a few folks (Sherry, Jen, Black Knight, and my sister) to blame for this (someone else too I'll tell you about another time). A while back I did a post on the new Syracuse 70.3 and the comments I got were nothing short of "don't be a punk, do it!" It was Jen's comment that stuck in my mind though, "SIGN UP!! COME ON....Seriously, go big or stay home is your motto for 2010! :)". Ok, happy now? It isn't Syracuse, but it's BIG. I almost don't want to post this as I only get one chance at announcing this for the first time, it must be just right!
In other news, my little PSA about getting your yearly mammogram starting at age 40 is already old news. According to an influential group that provides guidance to doctors, insurance companies and policy makers, if you are at "low risk" you need not start screenings until age 50 and then only every two years. I am considered low risk; no cancer in my family to speak of, at least that is ratable to me by blood. However, I literally just got a call not 2 minutes ago from the imaging office asking me to come back in for more images and an ultrasound on one of my breasts. I'm not worried, I had to go back last year for an ultrasound too which turned up nothing. Apparently I have dense breast tissue...makes for good times when running all those miles, ouch. I'm mixed about this new recommendation for many reasons I wont go into. How do you feel about it?
Indulge me in some more moose "stuff"
Sunday, November 15, 2009
OUT OF THE BOX:
Brooks says this about the Launch."With an incredibly flexible outsole and seamless transition, this lightweight neutral trainer will get you from start to finish, whether for a tempo run or in a race. Add to that the lower-profile midsole and minimal upper, and it's 3, 2, 1 . . . blast off! Weight: 7.5 oz." I am not sure what size this weight is for, but Running Warehouse has them listed at 8.1 oz. for a size 8.
The first run I took them on was an easy 6 miler. I ran a combination of asphalt and hard packed trail. I noticed right away, not only the lightness of this shoe, but it's responsiveness. Confession, I never knew what the hell people were talking about when they mentioned this, and maybe I still don't. But if responsiveness means that the shoe seemed to spring back from the pavement with every stride, then these are mucho responsive. In some ways, I felt like I was being carried along and if I can be carried during a run, I am all for it.
The next run they accompanied me on was an interval session; 1 mile W/U followed by 3 x 1 Mile better than 5K effort, then 1 mile easy jog. The Launch did not disappoint. Even when I felt my form breaking down with the fatigue of the intervals, it was somewhat easy to keep my stride light.I am happy to report that I had no blisters, rubbing or sore spots after either of my runs, this makes me very happy.
Price tag? About $90 give or take, depending on where you find them.
I am very please with these shoes. I think they look even better with my improvements; red speed laces, a girl can never have too much color.
Has anyone worn the Brooks Defyance 2 (sigh...blue and white color scheme)? Are you happy with them? I am trying to decide between those or another pair of Asics Landreth 4 (they are discontinued, but I can find a pair on ebay). I tried on the Defyance in the store for a short "ride" on the dreadmill, they felt pretty good. Thoughts?
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Mile 1: 8:41 (W/R: 4:00)
Mile 2: 8:29
Mile 3: 8:26
Lisa has recruited me (and some other bloggers) to do the 100 push-up challenge. I started on Monday. After taking the test, I am in column 3. UGH! I want to start in 1 or 2! I'm sore today and can't believe I have to do more tomorrow along with Matt Pilates.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I stopped in Belvedere Castle and chatted with some of the Park's People. They noticed the collection of fall leaves I had been gathering and commented on it.
They also told me that it was illegal to take them from the park. I was aghast. Really? I just picked them up off the ground! They were good natured (ha!) about it all and didn't give me a hard time, in fact they gave me a plastic bag for my leaves (Accomplices now and I would rat them out if I got caught!). They did confirm though that it really was against the law to remove anything from the park, leaves, flowers, etc. You can't even kill a bug! Really? Really! I assured them the leaves were going towards educational purposes, as I had promised my son to do a leaf book (they actually ended up on his wall, it's a seasonal thing I do for him; snowflakes are next and thank the good Lord we did them last year and I saved them).
One surprise I met in The Ramble was a black squirrel.
You usually don't see them up in this part of town. Don't get all ACLU all over my ass. It's just widely known that the one place in the city you will find them is Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village which is way down around 14th Street and 1st Avenue. It is odd to see one in Central Park.
The other surprise (ok, not really) I found was this:
There is a reason for this, which I will not go into, but I am sure you can guess. Be safe in NYC!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
"I am especially sorry to BYU and the BYU women's soccer players that were personally affected by my actions. I have the utmost respect for the BYU women's soccer program and its players."
She has been suspended indefinitely. And now, to the video tape (keep watching past Julie Foudy's feedback, there's more). BTW, I resent that when women "go at it" it is called a cat fight. I mean, what is that?
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Only I fell asleep in the bottom of the 8th inning. Watching baseball, for me, is like watching paint dry. In any case, I still made my son wear his Yankee cap today. Admittedly, I'm a fair weather fan.
This morning I read an article in the NY Times about a method of breathing called the Buteyko Method that is supposed to help with asthma. I've found some videos on YouTube that demonstrate the methods and am going to give it a try. I hate to depend on drugs and would rather not if I can help it. In any case, it can't hurt.
Yesterday I finally went to the Matt Palates class at my gym. Killer. I was challenged for sure and am feeling rather sore today. I went with my back still feeling kind of icky and expected it to feel worse after the class, but wow, it felt so much better! I'll be back next week. I really feel all my core muscles today.
Did a spin class today and I will not do anything tomorrow. Although thinking of a walk through the Ramble in Central Park while Baby Toots is in school. It is so beautiful this time of year. OH! one last thing. I signed up for a 10K on December 6th. Still debating which indoor triathlon to do. I may juts bite the bullet and do the November 15th one..still pondering.
Monday, November 2, 2009
The last time I got to dress up was 2004!! Here is that "Gold Digger" (notice the shovel, please) costume:
What was I? Here is a hint:
Through the years..
2006 (a two for, thanks to grandma)