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Training

Lent: Second Time’s a Charm

Insanity can be described any number of ways. Some might say it’s training for a half marathon in this cruel polar vortex. Some might say it’s trying to convince your feminist girlfriends to see the Fifty Shades film with you. Some might say it’s lining up in sub freezing weather for a chain grocery store to open on the Upper East Side.

No, I didn’t do that last one. But I did stop and take a photo of them, which required I take off my gloves, and that was a pretty insane decision, too. So yeah, we’re even, crazy neighbors.

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Define it how you will, I think Einstein’s depiction of insanity is still the most accurate: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Which is why my 2015 Lenten Resolution is downright lunatic: I’m going to plank a minute every day from now til Easter in a solemn observance of the liturgical calendar and/or an unparalleled desire for abs.

Why is that crazy, you ask? Because that was my same exact plan for Lent last year, and if you recall, it didn’t go well. Some of that falling off the commitment bandwagon could be attributed to an overnight flight to Hong Kong that would have seen me planking in the aisles, but some of it was just downright indolence — something Jesus and his 12 workout buddies probably wouldn’t have stood for. Of course, they did their cardio in sandals, so who’s asking them?

I’m already two days in, having planked last night at my first Body Pump class ever and this morning (begrudgingly) as I prepared to write this post. I can do 38 more days of this, right? Considering I may have found a date to the Fifty Shades movie in my most feminist of feminist friends this morning, I now believe anything is possible.

Who’s with me? (In the planking, not the movie, unless you wan’t to come to the movie, in which case, the more the merrier! Unless you’re my dad, in which case, I’m totally not inviting you to see that movie with me, no offense. It would be more uncomfortable than that time I watched Clerks with you as an 11 year old. Ah, the memories.)

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Races Running Uncategorized

M. Night Shyamalan and I Have Some News

You remember that scene in The Saint where a mustachioed man who looks just like Val Kilmer in a mustache rips off his mustache and – to the shock and awe of all those around him – is none other than clean-shaven Val Kilmer, master of disguise?

In case you haven’t seen this 1997 cinemagraphic masterpiece, my brother narrated the whole clip for me, embedded below for your viewing pleasure. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Supposedly “big,” “surprising” twists and reveals that everyone saw coming a mile away saturate our media. Maybe it’s because we enjoy feeling a step ahead of the narrator, or because we like to imagine we figured it out ahead of the crowd. I mean, did Simba really think his bannished uncle was going to have his best interests at heart? Did Han really expect Lando Calrissian to offer a ship of fugatives free room and board? Did anyone really imagine Kanye had been integrated as a functioning member of society since the 2009 VMAs?

It’s with this set-up that I bring you what can only be described as the most unexpected and market-moving announcement that will populate your newsfeed today: I’ve signed up for the New York City Marathon.

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I know, I know, didn’t see that one, coming, huh? I mean, I know I had guaranteed entry into the best marathon in the world that just happens to be located in my home city, but I really pretended for a moment there that I was going to take a year off the big distance to focus on other important things, like getting sleep and having a life. Really: I told friends I was on the fence. I’m planning a Mediterranean getaway during prime training mode. Heck, I even waited until the final week to fill in my application form and cough over my $227.

I almost had you fooled, didn’t I?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. You guys saw that big reveal coming 26.2 thousand miles away.

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And the countdown begins! 262 days to go. Who’s with me? Mr. Kilmer? Maybe your remarkably similar looking friend, too?

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Travel Uncategorized

California Dreaming (on Such a Winters Day)

Rumor has it the East Coast was battered by Winter Storm Juno this past week, but I wouldn’t know: the only Juno I saw was a costume jewelry manufacturer on the corner of Sacramento Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

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That’s right folks: while my New York and Boston friends were stocking up on toilet paper and bread (and kale) in the ominous hours leading up to the first potential nor’easter of the season, I was stocking up on pork buns in the City by the Bay without wearing so much as a windbreaker.

Oh, California. Where have you been all my life?

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When I booked this trip back in October, escaping the tristate area’s worst weather month wasn’t even on my mind. I just wanted to spend some quality time with my best friend from kindergarten, Meredith. We’d spent a lot of our formidable moments together, from being a freakish 5’10” in fifth grade together to getting tested for mono together after a summer camp skit gone wrong, and I knew this trip was going to be one for the record books.

And it was. Not only did we get to do the four days of fabulous activities we’d planned for my visit, but we got a bonus 24 hours tacked on when my original flight home was canceled due to the snowfall. I mean, it totally broke my heart and everything to have to stay in 60 degree weather with one of my oldest friends an extra day, but I pulled through nobly. You know, for the kids.

Now that I’m back home safely, I’ve had some time to reflect on my mini-vacation. I had a lot of great experiences, and I figured I owe to you all to lay out the DOs and DON’Ts of visiting San Francisco in case this great city happens to make your list of destinations in 2015 as well. So here goes:

DO enjoy an afternoon in wine country with a van full of friends.

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DON’T let everyone know you smooched one of those friends on the car ride home.

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DO go for a run along the Embarcadero at 7 a.m. so as to beat the tourists.

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DON’T plan to do so after drinking two very strong martinis at the Top of the Mark.

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DO use your night out with the San Francisco Roadrunners Club as an opportunity to solicit advice on whether you should run the New York City marathon this year or not.

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DON’T expect them to tell you anything other than “ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY” before requesting more Taylor Swift.

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Thanks for the memories, SanFran. You’ll be seeing a lot more of me soon.