2 Things Tuesday

today is a day i really love: September 1st.

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for me, September represents all good things. for starters, it’s my favorite word — i just love how it sounds. September. it just seems built for magic.

it’s also my favorite birthstone (sapphire), and one of the loveliest months weather-wise in New York: Indian summer and golden and bright and sometimes crisp. i love the colors and the advent of the Autumn season, when the world is suspended between two seasons i love and takes on characteristics of both. i love apple picking and pumpkin everything and the colors and the way the air smells. i love being on the lake in a hoodie and going for long runs in the breathable, clean air.

i also love firsts, so the first of every month is fun in and of itself, and then combined with September, well — it’s a good day.

so, on that note, let’s transition…Untitled
ONE: California. that’s where i was since last Wednesday — Santa Barbara, to be exact. i’m not sure i can adequately capture the essence & beauty of this magical little city on the Pacific in words, but at some point this week, i’m certainly going to do my best to try. i’m to sleepy to attempt to do it any sort of justice right now, but i will say that i absolutely loved it and had an amazing time with some special friends. i ran on the beach, drank some great wine, met a ton of cool people, had heart conversations with dear friends i wish i saw more, and did other magical things i’ll wait to tell you about later. oh, and i stayed in a little blue bungalow with a darling string-lit patio that was perfect for cocktails & conversation. i just {heart} this place so much.

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TWO: eat & drink. i had my 2nd-ever acai bowl post-hike this past weekend, and i’m pretty sure these foods are made for me. fruit + granola + a cold fruity base = my dream concoction.

bowlwe went to Backyard Bowls in Santa Barbara and i had the Berry Bowl (pictured above), but substituted coconut milk for the apple juice:

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it was all sorts of amazingness and i neeeeed to start making these at home.

and on the drink front: i was reading the airline magazine on a flight yesterday and found this delicious libation recipe that i do believe i should attempt to make: a Flower Power.

drinkyes, please.

What’s the best thing you’ve had to eat or drink lately?
Been to any fun cities recently?
Any other September lovers?!

i think i’m switching careers…

and becoming an iPhone photographer.

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i’m not even quite sure how this photo happened, but i’m absolutely in awe that i managed to capture this in one shot, from my friend’s 50th floor apartment overlooking the East River/Brooklyn during sunset last night. there i was, watching the US Open on TV, when i suddenly looked up and out and was awestruck by what i saw the sky doing.

i didn’t even consider filtering it, as i’m in love with this September Sky exactly how it is.

funny, how a sky can turn your whole day around and remind you of all that’s beautiful and hopeful in this world.

now i just need to start a portfolio of skies from an iPhone, and my future career is set. 🙂

Running forever and then we picnic.

I ran 20 miles on Saturday!! Ahhhh!!proudaboutworkingoutWelp, I just had to get that out. So let’s work up to that, shall we? 🙂

This weekend was absolutely beautiful here in NYC. I could not have hand-picked a more perfect day to do my long run than Saturday: brilliant blue skies, zero humidity, in the 60s early that morning, and just exactly the sort of flawless day one hopes September might bestow. It certainly boosted my spirits to see what sort of a day I’d been given on which to spend three hours of my morning running.

Yup: I set out knowing I’d be trekking along for a good three hours, ready to tackle my 20-miler. And I’m pretty dang happy 1. with how it went and 2. to have that baby behind me.

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I have to say, it felt amazing to have accomplished this. Even a year ago, I’d have never thought I’d be able to say I ran 20 miles one morning in a straight stretch. I did the whole thing along the Hudson River, and I honestly felt pretty awesome for most of it. There were a few stretches that seemed a bit rougher than others, but I had convinced myself that I could — and would — tackle this, and running is such a mental process. This was definitely one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve done in my adult life (right up there with, ya know, college and stuff).

I cut up a few shot blocks to chomp along the way and put some Power Bar Perform Sports drink mix into my water bottle, made sure I had a good playlist, and just set off with high hopes of enjoying a gorgeous morning spent outdoors.

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I didn’t let myself think about the distance as being overwhelming; rather, I told myself I had a whole free morning on a beautiful day to spend outside, and I was calm and grateful and hopeful I could last as long as I wanted. A friend met me and ran about 7-8 of my middle miles with me, which definitely helped. I finished feeling pretty great and with a renewed hope that I might, in fact, be able to run a marathon (yep, there were some dark spots of doubt crowding in the past couple weeks here and there).

this is my "i lived to tell about this" face

this is my “i lived to tell about this” face

I think I’m still on a little bit of a high from tackling that baby. Yee-haw.

After stretching, foam rolling and getting cleaned up, I headed out to hit up Whole Foods and join some lovely ladies (my favorite Canadian girls!) for a charming little picnic in Central Park. Could this day have been any better??

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Alex, Lauren & Jocelyn — very thankful for these darlings. I have been so blessed to meet the most amazing girls since I’ve moved to NYC! It was a picture-perfect afternoon for a Park picnic, and Sheep Meadow was dotted with hundreds of other NYers who shared the same idea. Nothing like a good dose of girlfriend silliness & healthy snacks to revive you after a hard run.

Sunday was another amazing day; September really has been good to us here in NYC thus far. I ended the weekend with a leisurely stroll along the Hudson River (trading in the sneaks for flip flops this time) and some down time in Riverside Park as the sun set, counting my blessings for a weekend well spent (and legs that weren’t as tired as I expected!).

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Question: What was the best part of your weekend?

Labor Day Weekend (where working out is my only form of labor)

September already! Seems impossible. I’m sad to say good-bye to the Summer months, but I love September. It’s my favorite word (no, really — I think it is), my favorite birthstone, and generally some amazing weather and beautiful foliage in NY. Lots to love about it, even if it arrived this year in a woosh of thunderstorms and humidity. I’m hopeful this will be a beautiful month, full of good things and Autumnal happiness.

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This weekend certainly didn’t make for the best running weather (read: Saturday was the absolute most miserable run I’ve had since I started training). Saturday’s long run felt like torture. It was beyond any reasonable level of humidity (when any semi-normal person would have stayed home and gone swimming); my legs were so sore from my workouts this week; and I just wasn’t feeling great from the get-go. I was drenched through within a few miles, wiping sweat out of my eyes and sympathizing with runners who live in Texas. I can’t even imagine this being the norm. I’d have to make someone ride a bike behind me and fan me with those huge leaves and spray me with a Super Soaker the whole time. I really did try to think positive thoughts, but it was a rough one.

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Needless to say, my hilly runs felt harder than usual and my pace was slower. Also, I accidentally stopped my MapMyRun, so Saturday’s run was split into two. I only made it just under 12 miles, so I tacked on the extra 5 on Sunday. That run felt better, but the weather was still gross.

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I have to admit, I was super thankful when I woke up today and went to the gym rather than ran outside. I was dying for a good strength workout (in the AC), and it felt amazing. I actually really enjoy working out at the Planet Fitness near my parent’s house — plenty of room by the weights section to do my circuits, and I like the big, open, industrial feel. Nobody bothers anyone else, nobody seems to even care what other people are doing. Oh right, because it’s the “No Judgement Zone,” duh. Anyway — it’s refreshing — until that “lunk alarm” goes off and I get so jostled I almost drop my weights (which would apparently just set it off again).

PhotoYeah, ya know, I just hang out by the heaviest weights…with my 5, 10 and 15-pounders hiding behind me like scared children.

I also made a quick stop at Wal*Mart aft the gym today (yes, I sure did), because they sell Danskin’s line of  workout clothes called Danskin Now, and I’m wild about these running shirts (I’m sporting the yellow above). They’re my absolute faves, and at only $6 a shirt, it’s the best deal ever. I ran in to snag a purple one (I already have the coral, blue and yellow, so this is one growing collection) and walked out with these gems as well:

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Their fitted capris in a purple tie-dyed print. Way excited about these.

I’m pretty sure I subscribe to the belief that a girl can never have too many workout clothes (some of us buy shoes, some of us buy crazy running pants) and have succumbed whole-heartedly to the fact that I probably look better and am more comfortable in this sort of attire than anything else, soooo…where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also. 🙂

Other than this fun, my weekend consisted of a lot of amazing family time, lakeside lounging, and reading this riveting novel:

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I won’t even say anything about it other than go pick this up immediately. Or at least read about it online to convince yourself it’s a must-read. The author — who is a truly phenomenal storyteller — is also the Senior Associate Chair for Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. And he has an MFA from Iowa Writers’ Workshop. And he’s written for a multitude of well-known publications (Wall St. Journal, New Yorker, New York Times, etc). Oh yeah — he also was the founding director of a major medical and health center at Univ. of Texas.

Pretty amazing. Kinda makes me feel like I need to get moving on my list of “things to do before I die.”

Happy Labor Day, loves!

Question: What was the best part about your weekend?