Thinking Out Loud: Plans and Priorities

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about plans and priorities, not just for organization’s sake but because I have a lot going on this spring and all the plans on the calendar reeled off in quick succession make it scary to think how fast the time will fly by. This weekend was the last for awhile with no major events. I had the happiest day on Saturday even though I wasn’t doing much of anything – running, baking and blogging, a burger and fries and ice cream with my boyfriend. I really need that kind of day once in awhile. I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming, but there is a certain amount of stress that accompanies it all, especially for a natural planner like me.

 

 

Bareburger Duck Burger and Fries

 

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My 2015 Running Year in Review

As Christmas is upon us and it’s just a week until the clock strikes on 2016, I’m sharing my 2015 running year in review. I debated whether to do this, since earlier this month was my first blog-iversary and I recapped a few highlights then. But since Renaissance Runner Girl started off as a running and gluten free recipe blog, and I still focus a lot on running (with more lifestyle posts now than then) I figured it was only fair to give running a dedicated post!

 

NYRR Retro 4-Miler

 

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Ted Corbitt 15K 2015 Race Recap

It’s still hard for me to believe that I’ve been blogging for a year already, but the idea hit home again this weekend when I ran the Ted Corbitt 15K. I ran the same race last year, and it was my first ever blog race recap! Now it’s time for round two with my Ted Corbitt 15K 2015 race recap, and the biggest thing I have to say is what a difference a year can make.

 

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Weekly Workouts and Weekend Updates 11/16-11/22

Hope everyone’s Sundays are off to a smashing start. As you read this, I’m either running the Race to Deliver 4M, or I’ve already finished and qualified for the NYC Marathon in 2016 by finishing the 9+1 program! I’ll check back in tomorrow with a recap of all that, but for now, let’s take a look at my weekly workouts and weekend updates.

 

Central Park Great Lawn

 

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Weekly Workouts and a New Running Routine 11/2-11/9

On Friday, I got an e-mail informing me that my one-year domain name registration was set to expire in a month. I was confused at first, since when I moved to my self-hosted website I registered with my hosting service for two years, not one. But then I remembered, back to last December, when I wrote my first post and wasn’t sure if the whole blogging thing was going to be a passing whim or an enduring part of my life. Here were are, 11 months and a few days in, so I guess the answer is clear! I’ll be writing a one-year mark reflection when the time comes, and look out this week for a sharing of my very first recipe for a Pumpkin Poufflé. In the meantime, on to my weekly workouts and a new running routine!

 

Wandering by Alice in Central Park

Wandering by Alice in Central Park

 

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Run-Eat-Repeat for the NYRR Retro 4-Miler

Although Saturday morning was a bit grayer than I’d like, the sun came out to play in the afternoon and fortuitously kept on shining through Sunday morning, when I raced the NYRR Retro 4-Miler in Central Park for #4 in my 9+1 quest. Coming off the past week I felt pretty good going in, and since I wasn’t aiming to PR I just enjoyed myself with four easy miles.

The weekend kicked off Friday evening, when I went to Amber Sushi with my closest friend from law school. I had a toro chives roll with brown rice and some octopus and squid sashimi, and it was all delicious as usual. It was nice to catch up, especially since we are both in the thick of studying for the bar and it’s tough for other people to understand the weirdly consuming nature of this time.

 

Amber Sushi Upper East Side

Toro chives roll and sashimi

 

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Reflections on running + weekly workout recap 4/13-4/19

First of all, I want to wish every single runner in Boston today the absolute best of luck! And, to kick off the first week with my new and improved space, I’m sharing a little more about my own hows and whys of running. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a little more than two years since I first laced up. The second anniversary mark at the NYC Half Marathon was awesome. But most of my running takes place solo at seven in the morning, and that’s what I want to focus on here!

I began running in my first year of law school. Growing up, I was serious about ballet and stood by the notion that running was bad for ballet dancers, to the point where I got a note to get me out of running the mile in gym class. But now I believe that, while it may not be the best form of cross-training for professional dancers, running is a wonderful thing to do and complement to many different types of exercise. For me, running is my time to get out in the fresh air, clear my head, and forget the world for a little while.

 

Central Park Conservancy

Conservancy tugs at your heart and purse strings!

Loving the scenic route lately

Loving the scenic route lately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Little Things in Life

Thinking-Out-Loud2

This week has been full of reminders that sometimes, it’s best to take a step back and take stock of your life, and find joy in the little things. It’s so easy to fall into a pattern where everything seems mundane. Instead of doing that, I’m thinking out loud about a few of the moments I’ve recently had that brightened up my day and made me feel like everything’s going to work out in the end!

Sunrise over the East River

Sunrise over the East River

 

Yesterday, watching the last moments of the sunrise over the East River as I jogged up to meet everyone at November Project, I was reminded again how shockingly beautiful nature is. Unadorned and unaltered by mankind, it’s bigger and brighter than all of us (and we should work hard to keep it that way!)

 

 

 

Puppies preening

Puppies preening

 

Later in the morning, I saw a group of the cutest puppies on my way out the door. If you can believe it, dog-walkers in New York handle twice as many pups as this at one time – this was the group for the left-hand leash! It’s so nice for the dogs that the weather is better, they can run and play in the park to their heart’s content without worrying about salt in their paws.

 

 

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Five Things I’m Loving This Friday

Today I woke up feeling a little jumbled. It’s Friday and I have no class to attend or internship hours to fulfill, but I do have a national ethics exam for law students to take tomorrow morning at 8am! It’s sort of strange feeling like I have a jump-start to the weekend when I have to take a test on Saturday, but I decided to follow my usual rules for the day before a big test, which means taking it easy and not thinking about it too much. At this point, there’s not much I can do – if I don’t know something already, I’m not going to learn it by tomorrow, so it’s best to relax and refocus. To take my mind off of it, I decided to share a few things I’m loving this week with all of you, and think about them instead!

 

Cloudsurfers

Cloudsurfers

 

1. My Cloudsurfer sneakers. I’ve been wearing these since August now, and they’re better than any running shoe I’ve tried before. I’ve worn them on my weekly long runs and to race the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and NYC Half Marathon. I think I’ve logged 400 miles on my first pair, and 100 miles on the second pair (which I bought at the Expo in Disney, and broke in after that weekend). So far, they’ve held up very well, and with my tendency to aggravate old knee and hip injuries, they offer a nice flexible cushion without being too clunky.

 

 

 

 

A delicious base for a brunch dish

A delicious base for a brunch dish

 

2. Garden Lites Spinach Souffle. I’ve been a fan of these gluten-free, nut-free veggie souffles for awhile now. They’re a little expensive for the size of the dish (most are 7-8 ounces and they retail for $3.79-$4.79 in the grocery stores closest to me) so I can’t eat them too often, but I love trying out new ways to use them in meals.

 

 

 

Brunch bowl with a spinach souffle base

Brunch bowl with a spinach souffle base

 

 

I just made myself a hearty brunch bowl with a spinach souffle, two scrambled eggs, frozen veggies, Al Fresco spinach and garlic chicken sausage, and goat cheese. Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy to behold this beauty

Happy to behold this beauty

 

3. The return of one of my favorite paintings, The Lighthouse at Two Lights, to the walls of the Modern wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Edward Hopper is one of my favorite artists, and of all his works the studies he did of the New England coast capture my mind and heart the most. This painting was in storage for awhile (I wandered into the Met the birthday before my last one to catch a glimpse and it was no longer there, which took a lot of birthday ice cream to make up for!) but it’s being displayed once again, at least until the Met moves the modern art to its new home in the old Whitney building. I dropped by this week after school!

 

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On Being Weatherproof

As a ballet dancer, my movement was not confined by the weather unless there was so much snow I couldn’t be driven to class or rehearsal. When I started coxing for my college boat club, I had my first brush with what Weather can do to a workout. Yes, Weather. Not just rain – sleet, snow, or ice. Often in Oxford it would somehow manage to be a combination of all four within a 4-hour period. In my first year of coxing, I suffered through multiple outings huddled in five layers of fleece topped with a rain jacket, gritting my teeth as precipitation pelted me and freezing as I sat still. Even the rowers had it better – at least they were moving. After that, I moved up to assigning the coxswains, and campaigned to schedule each week based solely on the expected conditions. I wasn’t one to dance in the rain, so why should I sit in it?

When I first started running, in the spring of 2013, it had been a long and dreary winter (I had no idea that a polar vortex was coming for us the following winter!) and being outside was one of the biggest perks. I honestly think I was able to get into running so quickly because I was tired of being cooped up indoors and just wanted to be out in the fresh air for longer and longer stretches of time. Even then, though, I skipped runs if it was raining. I still got out there 4 or 5 days every week. That continued for the initial months, until summer came. If I thought winter was cold, summer was HOT. That whole global warming thing is no joke, and it jolted me into rising early, just like I had during my coxing days, to beat the heat by running before I went to my summer internship.

 

Clouds and rain outdoors > in a gym on the dreadmill

Clouds and rain outdoors > in a gym on the dreadmill

One morning it was drizzling, and I decided to get outside anyway. I wouldn’t be wearing heavy clothes that got even heavier when soaked. Worth a shot. So I laced up and headed out. I realized it wasn’t so bad. And when the drizzle stopped and the clouds cleared, I was treated to a lovely rainbow ringing over the sun before I went back inside to shower and start my day. A switch had flipped. I didn’t really ease into running in Weather. When autumn arrived, I just kept wearing the baseball cap I’d worn in summer to keep the sun out – it keeps the rain off equally well. I ran right through my first real rainstorm in September getting ready for my first race.

 

 

If the park is like this in early March, the only option is to ignore the weather

If the park is like this in early March, the only option is to ignore the weather

When winter came? I just kept at it. I’ve always loved  the way snow turns our world into a winter wonderland – and running through it was better than rain! Ice held me up for a run or two until I figured out my tricks of the trade, and went dashing along happily through the frost. This past winter, I’ve only been kept inside once because of Weather (last year was about a week because of that pesky polar vortex!) Now, along the way, I’ve struggled to explain just why it’s worth it to me to get outside and on the run when it’s admittedly pretty awful out and most people would stay in on the couch with Netflix and cocoa. While my best friends are lovingly tolerant of my running-in-Weather habit, they don’t understand it. And casual acquaintances feel free to tell me I’m insane. I usually laugh it off, because the truth is, I get that it’s a little out of the ordinary. But to me, it isn’t crazy, because being outdoors and on the move is what makes me happiest. I’ve never regretted a single run, no matter how tricky or slippery it was.

 

But what was I supposed to call myself, if not a ‘crazy’ runner? I had no idea, until I found November Project. A group of people who get outside and wake up the sun with a workout no matter the weather. And I was finally able to describe myself – as #weatherproof. (NP loves hashtags, which I am still getting used to, because I am a Luddite.) The first morning I showed up was the first Wednesday of February and it was about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and there were easily 30+ people there ready to go. Last Wednesday was the first month-iversary of my coming to the workouts, and it also happened to be the 1st birthday of the New York City NP “Tribe” – so despite the snow and rain combining to create some sort of slush soup, 40 people came out to work out and celebrate. By running in circles around Carl Schurz Park through ankle-deep puddles of the slush soup.

It isn’t crazy, after all. It’s just being #weatherproof. (Please note that most of these people are way more badass than I am. I show up once a week or so, loving my slow solo runs on the other days. I’m an amateur athlete compared to most of NP!)

 

What do you think? Do you workout even in wild Weather?

 

Happy Birthday to NP NY!

Happy Birthday to NP NY!

 

 

 

 

 

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