Just What the Doctor Ordered: Lasik Recovery in the Hamptons.

Over the past few months, Justin has been toying with the idea of having Lasik surgery. After so many years of wearing glasses and being frustrated by contacts, he’d had enough (wanting to swim with the sea turtles in Hawaii sans contact lenses was also a contributing decision factor lol). A few weeks ago, we got him in touch with the doctor who performed my and my brother’s Lasik surgery about 8 years ago and it was a go! His surgery was scheduled for last Wednesday out on Long Island. Bye bye glasses!

We went out to LI on Tuesday night to make Wednesday morning as easy peasy as possible. As it was Global Running Day (and I just like to drive him crazy), we got outside super early for an easy 4 miles.  After quick showers and a quick breakfast, we were on our way to the surgery center! Thanks, mama B for the drive 🙂

Lasik surgery goes so quickly and within 20 minutes, a nurse was calling me back to meet with Justin and the surgeon to talk aftercare. Within 40 minutes of arriving at the surgery center, we were on our way home so Justin could lay down and hopefully sleep for the next four hours. That first day is really the worst and once you get through that and the first post-op appointment, it’s pretty smooth sailing.

It was really nice to have some mandatory resting on our calendar. By Friday morning, equipped with dark sunglasses and many bottles of eye drops, we were ready for the best part of Justin’s recovery plan – a weekend in the Hamptons!

East Quogue/Hampton Bays

When we first got engaged, my amazing aunt graciously offered us her Hamptons house over the summer so we could have a relaxing mini-trip during the craziness of wedding planning. We asked a few of our closest friends if they wanted to join us and, to no one’s surprise, they all said yes 🙂

It was a super easy weekend with lots of barbecuing and sitting by the pool. There was some evening exploring out in Hampton Bays and Southampton but we mostly stuck to the house and enjoyed each other’s company.

Alec and I started Saturday and Sunday mornings with a short run and Justin was glad that I had someone else to run with because I usually ask force him to join me. He gets a free pass for this weekend because of the surgery but he better be ready for some Hawaii running in three months!

Weather-wise, this was the best weekend we’ve had all “summer” and it has me crossing my fingers for all the fun weekends we have planned in the next few weeks. Bring me ALL the sunshine!

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Today is a special day – it’s the anniversary of me and Justin’s first date! Also, the REAL countdown starts now – 100 DAYS!

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It’s (un)officially summer so stay comfy out there…

With Memorial Day Weekend behind us, it is unofficially summer in NYC! Because I wanted to truly enjoy my entire long weekend upstate, I opted for a weeknight “long” run before we got on a train out of town Friday afternoon. It’s so nice to go upstate where I have an entire wardrobe and other essentials because my travel bag is almost non-existent. Yay vacation homes 🙂

A few weeks ago I wrote about my favorite running shorts and you KNOW I’ve got two pairs upstate. These shorts are all sorts of amazing – they don’t ride up, they don’t chafe, and they have the best built-in base layer (tips on choosing a great base layer for running can be found here).

Tommy John used my post (and advice from other fitness professionals) to create the below infographic with tips on staying comfortable while being active.

I love how they broke it down into 3 essential F’s: fabric, fit, and function. If you’ve got an active dad in your life (Father’s Day is just around the corner!), Tommy John has a bunch of boxer briefs that match up perfectly with the above advice.

My brother isn’t a dad but he only likes gifts if he considers them practical and functional so I’m tagging their undershirts as possible future birthday and Christmas gifts. I swear, dude only wants socks and underwear. A few years ago he requested sweatpants…

While upstate, we ran everyday and kept our runs easy paced and short at 2 miles a piece. It is so much easier to run while away when the mileage is nice and low. I can’t come up with an excuse not to run when I know it’ll only take us 20 minutes from start to finish.

Other than the post-breakfast jaunts, we spent our weekend stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, eating, drinking, and well, laying around. It was wonderful.

Summer already feels like it’s going too fast. Looking at our calendar, we have so many busy weekends coming up that it feels like I’m going to blink and it’s going to be wedding day.

In June alone, we’ve got Justin’s brother with us for a weekend, my cousin’s high school graduation (she’s heading up to BC in the fall just like her awesome big cousin *wink wink*), Justin’s lasik surgery, a weekend in the Hamptons, Father’s Day on Long Island, my bridal shower, and another trip upstate for the fourth of July weekend.

Busy (but fun!) times ahead. Stay tuned 🙂

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Pacing my other half at the Airbnb BK Half.

Somehow, training (and, like, ALL the months) absolutely FLEW and it was already the week of the Brooklyn Half!

BK Half Pre-Party

Thursday after work, Justin and I met in Brooklyn to walk over to the pre-party to get our bibs for the race. This was the first time we’ve been to this area since this happened:

It was the hottest day of the year so far so our intention was to get in and out of there as quickly as possible, grab some pizza, and head back home to shower off the grossness. Even without the heat, we’d have done our best to get in and out of there quickly – the music was so loud! My 30 years may as well been 80 while we were there because I was so unbelievably agitated by the volume. #turnitdown #youregonnaloseyourhearing #iammygrandpa

Once we booked it out of there, we walked over to Juliana’s to meet up with Jenny and enjoy some pre-race pizza and conversation. Looking back, we ate really well the days prior to the race with Juliana’s on Thursday and Carmine’s on Friday night 🙂 #carbloadingbride

BK Half

Pre-Race

I decided to jump back to Wave 2 so Justin and I could run together (and also sleep in just a little bit longer) on Saturday morning.  We were up by 5am and in a car to the start by 5:45. Before we left, I checked the weather one last time – low 60s, cloudy, 0% chance of rain. About halfway into our drive, guess what started? RAIN. I crossed my fingers that it’d be a passing shower because I didn’t bring a running hat with me and running without a hat in the rain is so, so miserable.

Luckily, the rain stopped by the time we got to the start village and we took our time getting through security and dropping Justin’s bag off at his assigned UPS truck. It was so cold and windy and I instantly regretted not bringing throwaway pants in addition to my long sleeve shirt.

To stay warm, we sat on top of a subway grate until the corrals started collapsing. Once in the corrals, I did my best to huddle in the middle of taller runners to block the wind until we started moving. #shortpeopleperk

By 7:45, we were off and Justin’s second half-marathon was underway!

The Race

The first mile was quite congested and was most definitely our slowest running mile (we made a port-a-potty stop in Prospect Park which was definitely our slowest overall mile). I was super careful not to do any weaving and just let that first mile serve as a solid warm up. After that, things cleared out a bit and I made sure to keep us right around last year’s overall pace (10:07). I told Justin that I would assess pace again once we got to the 10k mark and I checked in with how he was feeling. Satisfied with that, he let me lead.

Maybe it was the fact that I spent the first half of Prospect Park looking for open port-a-potties for me and Justin or that running in a circle isn’t my idea of a good time but OMG Prospect Park seemed to never end. I started to get super whiny about the fact that we were still running through the park and not getting out of the park and onto Ocean Avenue quick enough. As promised, I checked in with Justin at the 10k mark, he still felt good and said he’d be okay picking it up a little, I responded “actually, I’m gonna keep us right here for a little while longer and check in around mile 8” and chose to omit the fact that I had already picked up our pace. #ignoranceisbliss

Once we left the park and meandered on over to Ocean Avenue, my mental state got a million times better. I know some people hate the monotony of Ocean Avenue but it doesn’t really bother me until Mile 12 or so. I like just being able to zone out and keep on keeping on down the road. At mile 8, Justin started running ahead and I had to pull him back a bunch of times. He eventually told me he wanted to beat his time from last year and we needed to pick it up (he didn’t have a watch so LOL what do you know, Justin?!?). Anywho, I told him that I had already adjusted, that we were going to beat his time from last year without issue, and he needed to just trust me.

At mile 11, I had a solid idea of what time we’d cross the finish line (I was exactly correct too – math degree FTW!) and asked Justin if he wanted to know how ahead we were and was met with a very stern “no.”

As I’d been doing all race, I picked it up again for mile 11 and a little bit more with mile 12. That last mile was a bit of a struggle bus for Justin so I knew my pacing was on point and that any faster during the race wouldn’t have been smart.

We finished in 2:05:25 (9:34), a 7 minute PR for Justin!

Post-Race

After we grabbed our bag and changed in the parking lot (#imsofancy), we walked over to Coney Island Brewing Company to meet up with Daniel and wait for Jenny (who had a totally badass run after dealing with injuries for months. She’s back, ladies and ‘gents!). It was pretty packed and the weather wasn’t the greatest so we stayed for a beer or two and then decided to head on back to Manhattan.

Once home, it was time for lunch, a serious nap, lots of tv watching, and eggplant rollatini and baked ziti leftovers for dinner. Perfect ending to a great day 🙂

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Congrats to all BK Half finishers!

With this half behind me, I’ve got a few weeks until NYCM training officially starts and less than 4 months until wedding day! Who has tips on balancing it all? Send ’em my way. 

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Volunteering with NYC Parks & Rec.

When a work opportunity presented itself to volunteer with NYC Department of Parks and Rec, I was ON IT. We were given three options and the first one was only two days away. Luckily, the weather forecast looked beautiful and the location wasn’t far from home so it all couldn’t have worked out any better 🙂

I spend a lot of time in NYC Parks as my apartment is situated between Riverside Park and Central Park and I happen to enjoy an activity that takes me to both multiple times a week (I wonder what that could be…).

Inwood Hill Park

Inwood, Manhattan NY

Inwood is a neighborhood at the upper tip of Manhattan and not one I’m familiar with so I was excited to head uptown to a new-to-me park, Inwood Hill (so appropriately named IMO), to volunteer my time and play in the dirt with my colleagues.

It was a perfect sunny day with temps in the low 60s so jeans, a sweatshirt, and my gardening gloves were perfect for keeping me comfortable and poison-ivy free.

I arrived by 9am and met up with our NYC Parks Dept. “handlers” for the day, Joe and Leslie. While we waited for other colleagues to arrive, Joe and Leslie explained how the morning would work and what we would be doing to prep Inwood Hill Park for the spring/summer season.

The task for the day? Getting rid of the super invasive plant, garlic mustard.

Garlic mustard is not native to NYC (it is European) and can be found throughout the United States invading grassy areas and destroying native plants quickly. Because garlic mustard is self-fertile, it is quite difficult to completely eradicate once it is established in a certain area. Joe and Leslie explained that this seems to be a particularly bad year for garlic mustard plants in NYC for any number of reasons, one possibly being the warm winter we experienced (I don’t recall being warm this winter but I cocoon myself in a fleece blanket when it’s 70 degrees out so…).

We walked through Inwood Hill Park, identifying areas where the garlic mustard growth was particularly bad. At each spot, we spent time pulling out the garlic mustard plants from the root as that is the only way to ensure that the garlic mustard plant will not come back. I was really glad that the garlic mustard plant was so easy to recognize because my biggest fear for the day was that I wouldn’t be able to discern what was an invasive plant and that I’d be pulling out good plants. I have no green thumb to speak of (I couldn’t tell you what my flowers are for my wedding except to say that they’re a mix of different oranges, corals, and pinks and are apparently local and seasonal in upstate NY in September) so needless to say, my fear was warranted.

As we weeded and walked around, Joe and Leslie made sure to point out any poison ivy so we could be extra careful and gave us tips on how to spot poison ivy ourselves. They also stopped to show us other interesting plants and share fun little tidbits of information that I can’t even imagine having enough room in my brain to store. Leslie pointed out one plant, commonly referred to as a “Touch-Me-Not,” that is a natural antidote to poison ivy. I’ll never forget these plants because her follow-up comment was that she didn’t know why they were called “touch-me-nots” because she thinks “touch-me-please” seems more apropos.

By midday I was starving (note to self: next time, bring snacks) and happy to be heading home to make myself a big ol’ lunch. I’m quite thankful to live in this city and even more thankful to be able to help out and spend a day enjoying one of NYC’s parks in a way that isn’t just running through them.

Alright alright, I like running through them too.

For more than just the post-run pizza. Sometimes.

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Next up: Brooklyn Half-Marathon! See you Saturday 🙂

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