Banksy street art makes me slightly less cranky that it’s still cold.

First up, week 3 of Brooklyn half “training”:

www

On Saturday, I had to put on GLOVES and an EAR BAND to run. ON MARCH 28TH.

That is all I’m saying about that.

Weekend fun despite the cold:

Saturday afternoon, I met up with my favorite RB to see some of the Banksy street art.  If you’re not familiar with Banksy, click here and be awed.

We met up at 81st and 3rd to get up close to this masterpiece:

banksy street art pizza beach nyc

Since it was super chilly, we hurried back to the west side where we cooked up some turkey chili and watched Sex and the City reruns before heading over to the Plaza Hotel for some fancy frozen yogurt. 

This place is especially dangerous because of its proximity to Central Park. I can see us finishing many a sweaty summer run right here.

YoArt at the Plaza

YoArt at the Plaza

In my cup:

  • Frozen Yogurt:
    • Almond Gelato
    • Salted Caramel
    • No-sugar Praline
  • Toppings:
    • Cinnamon streusel
    • Brownie bites
    • Cookie dough chunks
    • Gummy bears
    • Swedish fish
    • Blackberries

Go big or go home, right?

So yea, it was cold this weekend. And yea, it snowed on the first day of spring. And yea, I’m starting to get really cranky. But in the end, no matter what, this girl loves NY.

i love ny banksy street art

But NY, I love you more in the summer so uhhh… hurry it up, will ya?

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Best part of your weekend?

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Staying for the back-of-the-pack runners: NYC Half spectating.

First up, first week of BK Half training:

www bk half

See how it’s not even close to what I had planned? When NYC is in this weird in-between bipolar weather stage, I rearrange based on when the weather gods choose to bless us with sunshine. Wednesday was 60 degrees so I elected to run the 8.5 miles home from work and call that my long run for the week, Saturday it poured all day, yadda yadda yadda. Still a successful first week of “training.”

The back-of-the-pack runners: NYC Half-Marathon spectating

The NYC Half-Marathon is one of my all-time favorite races in New York (Recaps: 2010, 2011- the year Seth ran, 2012, 2014- the year Brian ran). I didn’t put my name in to run this year because I wanted to be able to take a break after completing the Dopey Challenge. Given the winter we had, I am so glad that I wasn’t stuck to a training schedule the past few weeks.

That being said, there was no way I was missing this race. A friend of mine from high school (hey Nico!) as well as my all-time favorite RB (and, let’s be honest here, one of my all-time favorite people), Jess, was running so I made sure she knew exactly where I’d be standing in Central Park. It also helped that I had an obnoxiously large, bright orange poster.

NYC Half Marathon sign

NYC Half Marathon sign

After Jess passed me and I ran alongside her for a few seconds yelling how awesome she is and how much I love her, I went back to my spot with my obnoxious orange sign and stood there cheering until the very last runner went by.

It was cold. I was shaking. My fingers were going numb even with gloves on. But I stayed… and it was worth every cold minute.

As I stood in that same spot for close to 2 hours, spectators came and went. They stayed and cheered until their runner came by and then off they went. Maybe they were rushing to meet their runner in another spot, maybe they just didn’t want to stand in the cold and cheer for strangers, I don’t know. But what I do know is this, I was the only spectator cheering for those last runners at that spot in Central Park.

I got so many thank you’s and smiles, runners stopped to take pictures with me (okay fine, to take pictures of my poster), and I even received a few hugs from those back-of-the-pack runners. These runners in the back? They’re not surrounded by thousands of other runners. I know for me, when I get to Times Square during the NYC Half, the crowds are 12+ deep… would those crowds still be there for these runners? I sure hoped so. But what if they weren’t?

We all love to cheer for the elites (I got there to scream for Meb because HEY MEB YOU ARE MY HERO AND I LOVE YOU AND LETS BE BEST FRIENDS!) and cheering for the middle runners is probably the most exciting (it’s when the crowds are deepest and the energy is at its’ highest)… but what about those back-of-the-packers? They’re out there the longest and damn if they don’t deserve to be told that they look good too.

So for as many “thank you’s” I got yesterday from those runners in the back, I send you all a double thank you for letting me give back to my favorite community by just standing there with a smile.

If you were out there running yesterday morning, a huge congrats. I hope you saw me standing on the sideline and I hope you had fun running one of the greatest races in the world.  

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My challenge to you: Go cheer for a race and stay until the very last runner passes you. It’ll make you feel all the feels, I promise. 

Also, if you happen to see me and my poster in someone’s photo on Instagram, please let me know! 

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NYC has the coolest shtuff: Escape the Room NYC & Sound Off NY

First up, workouts from last week:

www

And with that, it is time for Brooklyn Half training! Just 10 weeks to one of the greatest half-marathons ever!

Cool NYC shtuff from the weekend:

Escape the Room NYC

Friday night, I headed to the Meatpacking District for a special promotion from Escape the Room NYC. If you’ve never heard of an “escape room,” you get locked in a room with a bunch of people for a certain amount of time, tasked with finding clues and solving puzzles to get the key to your freedom (or, ya know, the key that unlocks the door of the room).

Every time I’ve tried to explain this over the past few days, people think it sounds scary but I promise, there’s nothing scary about it. It’s not a haunted room… it’s a room where you get to pretend you’re some badass detective and where you get to see how dumb your friends truly are, which could be scary, depending on your friends.

Escape the Room NYC has two NYC locations with a bunch of different themed 60-minute rooms. To promote USA’s new TV show, Dig, Escape the Room NYC had a special (FREE!) Dig-themed room at an off-site location.

dig deeper escape the room

My group finished with just over 2 minutes remaining! I really had so much fun and am thinking this might be a good birthday activity come August.  If you’re in NYC, I highly recommend checking it out. I imagine other cities have something similar because I saw something like this on the Big Bang Theory a few weeks ago. Of course, those geniuses took 2 minutes to escape the room, but they’re also fictional characters so don’t let them make you feel bad about your intelligence. Bazinga.

Yoga with Sound Off New York 

Saturday evening, I packed up my yoga mat and brought myself downtown to the South Street Seaport to do some yoga in a bubble.

I met up with Nicole, Katie, and Jenn downtown where we got situated in a blacklit bubble, put on our headphones, and did some yoga’ing like the tight and unbendy runners that we are (although they might be more bendy than I am).

via @fitfulfocus

via @fitfulfocus

We had a DJ at the front of the room bubble who played all sorts of relaxing sounds and music throughout the class. While the tunes drifted through our headphones, the instructor led us through a relaxing vinyasa class that I genuinely enjoyed. Who woulda thunk it?

sound off new york yoga

One of the greatest things about living in NYC is that there are always these funky fun events like yoga in a bubble on a random Saturday night. After yoga, we grabbed some dinner, had lots of lady chat, and then I went back uptown for an early bedtime after a liiiiittle too much fun Friday night that resulted in me forgetting which block I live on. Whoops.

whoops

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Something fun you did this weekend?

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Training for a finish line beer: 2015 Brooklyn Half training.

First up, workouts from last week:

www

See how little running there was? Those 2 measly miles on Sunday? They almost didn’t happen. I have no desire to run anymore. THAT is how cranky I am with this weather. GO AWAY, WINTER, YOU ARE THE WORST.

2015 Brooklyn Half Training:

Even though I am a complete cranky pants about the weather right now, my favorite springtime race is quickly approaching so I figure it’s time for a legit training schedule again. I’ve written myself a 10 week training plan that will get me to the finish line feeling good (but not necessarily fast). There will be no racing the Brooklyn Half for me… just fun-running to the finish line so i can fun-beer drink on a boardwalk.

Brookyln Half Marathon training schedule

I think this may be the most I have ever looked forward to the Brooklyn Half-Marathon. I am dreaming of warm weather, sunny skies, and a finish line beer while laying in the outfield at MCU Park.

Other things I’m looking forward to:

  • Finally running in some warmer weather (but who knows if we’ll ever experience that again in NYC).
  • Spring ahead next weekend! An extra hour of sunlight after work! If there is a God, that extra hour of sunlight will not be paired with arctic temperatures…

Something I’m semi-looking forward to and semi-freaking out about:

  • Running a marathon relay as part of a 4-person team in DC.
    • 6+ miles should be nothing, right? Except it’s a trail course with a 3/5 difficulty level. WTH does that mean, trail folk?!
    • I’m also on a team with 3 dudes – so while I’m mostly excited, I’m also nervous because it’s a trail race and I hope I don’t let these guys down by being a clutz and falling down a mountain or something.

That is all for now. Send warm weather vibes, please.

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Ever done a trail race? Am I going to fall down a mountain?

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