Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another week in the books

Monday - ran 8 miles, 60 mins of spin
Tuesday - ran 5 miles
Wednesday - swam 30 mins (1512 yds), ran 4 miles
Thursday - ran 2 miles, 45 mins of strength training
Friday - unplanned rest day (haircut!)
Saturday - ran 10 miles, 90 mins of yoga
Sunday - ran 6 miles (4 of them as the Gridiron Classic)

Scheduled mileage: 33
Actual mileage: 35

Not a bad week but I should have used Friday morning better... maybe by swimming. At any rate, I've only experienced a little pain in the left leg as of late and it was aided greatly by a PT visit on Wednesday afternoon. Sunday was the first time I've participated in a race since Chicago so that was nice and quite missed! This week brings back tempo runs, 2 in fact and hopefully some running in the evenings with Staci. Woot!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Friday Night Family Swim

Normally I'm a first thing in the morning swimmer. I like to get to the pool either right when it opens or within the first half hour of it being open. To reserve a lane for that time is not usually a problem and it really gets my day started on a good note. I like that I can walk to the pool, get a solid 30-35 minutes of laps done, be showered and walking back home by 7:15 a.m. Last Friday saw a change in my schedule as I chose to snooze in the a.m. and swim later, around 8:00 p.m., that night. Whoa! What a string of memories that simple schedule change did spark!

Growing up, my siblings and I were all taught to swim at a very early age. We were those bobbing babies tossed into the water well prior to turning a year old and continuing with regular weekly lessons until we took the lifeguard exam. Often before we could actually lifeguard as a job. Our time at the YWCA was a regular, a constant, an expected thing and we all had our routine down pat. Whether that meant having dad help us girls get changed in the janitor's closet after class b/c he couldn't enter the ladies locker room, picking up the wire baskets to use in depositing our clothes prior to class, freaking out at the older naked women in the showers (eh, that might have been me), waving to mom or dad up above the pool in the observation room, sharing a hot chocolate with dad after class at White Castles or watching a sibling while their class took place, we all truly loved it there. It felt like an extension of home.

So on Friday nights, at least a couple times a month if I'm recalling correctly, the YWCA offered an open swim of several hours for families. There was no extra cost, no sign-up, no set activities, just the big pool without the ropes up and diving board to do whatever you wanted. And thus we spent quite a bit of time each week convincing our parents that it'd be sooooo fun and sooooo cool to attend. And it was. Fun and cool. Dad would throw us off his shoulders, watch us dive off the board or shorter diving platform, help us with our strokes & play other assorted games. We didn't do it every week or even every month and looking back, I now know why. As a parent, mom or dad would have been tasked with watching at least 3-4 of us of varying ages (not including when we brought friends along), while in the pool themselves. Often with at least one more kid at home with the other parent or in the observation room. That is craziness. It makes me appreciate those times we did go so much more.

And I would so love to do it just one more time. To take in the smell of the place, to go down those stairs with all the big plants in the windows and pick up a wire basket and head into the locker room waving a temporary goodbye to dad, Mike and/or Tim as they turned into the men's locker room and I proceeded to the women's area. To leave my clothing in the basket, pin the numbered safety pin to my suit, run through the showers and ascend the 4-5 stairs up to pool level. Ahhhh, just like yesterday.


OMG, my heart just sank. Turns out the pool closed in August of '06 and the entire property is up for sale

This is her, our old pool. Diving board & platform removed from the far end back in the mid-late 80s when everyone deemed them much too dangerous. Those murals weren't always on the wall but I remember when they added them, same with the banners hanging from the ceiling. On the right were the entrances to the men and women's locker rooms, and above that the windows to the observation room including an office all the way down on the right. Those windows on the left faced out on the parking lot - always a treat to get in/out of with it's narrow scale. And there was this gutter of tile, for lack of a better term, around the entire pool. It's the lighter blue outline to the entire pool you can see in the picture. A lip that helped prevent too much water from spilling out onto the floor that also contained the drains. I remember sitting in that gutter waiting for my turn to jump in or just watching the water disappear through the drain's grid.

It looks so small and insignificant here but the life in that place and it's place in our lives was nothing of the sort.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear lord

Like I needed something else to distract me from work... you can totally customize these puppies on Zazzle. Thanks Jenifa, Oh Jenny!

Go Time!

Today kicks off official training for the STL HM (just 82 days left ...thanks 'days until iphone app' :-)) I was able to stick to most all workouts last week, looking like this:

Monday - ran 1.5 miles, spinning for 60 mins.
Tuesday - swam 30 mins. (1512 yds) incorporating longer sprint intervals
Wednesday - ran 6 miles
Thursday - ran 5 miles, strength training for 60 mins.
Friday - swam 30 mins (1512 yds)
Saturday - yoga for 90 mins.
Sunday - ran 8.6 miles

In order for me to maintain my cross training + the additional miles, I'm going to need to suck it up and start running in the a.m. I can't explain how much this pains me. I can swim in the morning, attend a class of any sort in the morning but rarely get out for a run on a weekday morning. I = weirdo with issues.

One thing I'm certain will help is relocating the alarm clock to a spot in the bedroom not 2 inches from my noggin'

Friday, January 23, 2009

Those folks at lululemon are on to a thing or two

I've been meaning to snap a picture of their latest window art. I like the vibe in this place especially the location by my office. It's easy going and warm and comfortable and knowledgeable and free thinking and it feels like the kind of place you'd like to hang out just a bit more, just a little longer know even when you're not trying on the perfect yoga pants that make your butt look phenomenal or perusing the great tops on sale. In addition to digging the mindset here it's also where I got the advice to check out Jillian at the Kula Yoga Project. It was suggested to me that she's very anatomical in her practice and honestly, that's exactly it. She's almost like a physical therapist yoga teacher. A perfect compliment to my education through Vinita. I look forward to my next session with her and to solidifying my practice.

A good teacher is one who will not give you an answer but allows you to find the answer in yourself. A teacher is a guide; he/she will show you that the answer is inside you. And there is a right answer.
- TKV Desikachar

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let's Celebrate Dining

To kick off the first of NYC Restaurant Weeks in '09, I met up with Stephanie yesterday to enjoy some tasty vittles at Eleven Madison Park. Steph's been there several times and couldn't say enough about it. She did not lead me astray. The place is gorgeous! It sits in an old bank building with large windows facing Madison Park. Add to the beauty that it was snowing yesterday - big romantic flakes of snow and the scene was perfected.

We enjoyed an ultra delicious meal including:
  • Stadt Krems Sandgrube - a tasteful Gruner Veltliner from Kremstal, Austria
  • Poached Egg with Wild Mushrooms and Parmesan
  • Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Iranian Dried Figs
  • Petite cheesecake with grapefruit sorbet (this cheesecake was like no other I've had before was light and more cheese than cake)
Among our conversation topics over the meal, Steph mentioned that the chef was a marathoner and had, to her recollection, run a pretty fast NYC Marathon. First chance once I got back to my desk I went and looked him up. Uh, fast would be one of the words to describe his '08 performance. Daniel Humm burned it up at 2:51:14. Whoa! A talented chef and a talented runner.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How to warm up on a cold day

This past week was a very good one in terms of getting back on track and feeling more balanced. I was able to get nearly all of my intended workouts in and stick with logging my food in SparkPeople pretty good. And while the logging of my meals is just temporary so that I can get a better idea of just how much and what split of cal/fat/carb/protein I'm putting into my gullet, it's very informative and quite interesting. So the week in review:

Monday - run 6 miles, spinning for 60 mins
Tuesday - run 1.5 miles, strength training for 50 mins
Wednesday - swim 35 mins (1512 yds), PT, run 6 miles
Thursday - rest
Friday - swim 30 mins (1512 yds)
Saturday - run 7 miles, yoga for 90 mins
Sunday - stretching & core for 20 mins

Friday, January 16, 2009

92 days

Until the St. Louis HM, my next goal race. I plan to use a modified Pfitz plan put together by the ever speedy Tom and compliment training with weekly or bi-monthly visits to Vinita for PT. Visits to her will be to keep me loose, to target any problem areas that crop up during training and to continue working on strengthening my core.

I also plan to keep swimming twice a week, spinning once a week, strength training twice a week and attending a yoga class at least once a week. This weekend marks the start to an intro series at Kula Yoga Project, for which I am quite excited!

Training offically kicks off 1/26 - woot!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Have motivation, willing to share

Finally! It's back. My motivation, my good habits, my mojo, my groove. Maybe the mysterious maple syrup incident brought them back? Whatever the case I won't question it any further. For the first time in quite awhile I feel I'm back to me again. The whole me, not a me just hoping and half-heartedly engaging in things that might resemble the real me. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the amazing work Vinita has been performing in my visits to PhysioFitness. Running has become enjoyable again, sure it's still tough on some days, easier on others but the constant pain isn't there and that instantly makes it a better experience! I'm also back into full workout mode: swimming, strength training, spinning and a new yoga series starting this weekend. Wheee!

Oh and I'm now using this as an office chair. Talk about core work.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The maple syrup smell is back!

Even before Jason alerted me that Gothamist had posted their syrup tracking map, I could smell it coming in from the bedroom window.  Now if you think I've gone off the deep end, you're not that far off.  But here in NYC (mostly Manhattan but some neighborhoods in Queens experience the phenomenon as well) we get a yearly or sometimes bi-yearly heavy smell of maple syrup in the air.  It seemingly comes out of nowhere, is not attributable to any factory, restaurant, river or other.  It's unexplainable but it's DIVINE!  

Past pleasurable experiences were:  
  • 10/18/05
  • 3/13/06
  • 11/09/06
  • 11/08/07
  • 5/29/08
  • and tonight!
Some places have UFO sightings, we have syrup smells.   Get thee to a diner for a stack of pancakes STAT!