Marmalade Skies

Why is it so challenging to capture a beautiful sunset?10982850_10101804355414242_7238045040149848758_nThe kind of sunset that made beach goers and volleyball players pause their games to watch the sky light up in bubble gum pink, fuchsia, and gold. Last night I wrote about the connection between those that go to Bikram yoga, despite whatever difference we have on the surface. When we stand under the same sky, as the sun sets over the seemingly endless ocean, I love the light in peoples eyes. It’s the same wonder we all once had as children.

As heard on the boardwalk:

How many miles is it?
Slightly over 4.
Wow- I could never do that.

I’m a people watcher, listener, observer… Creeper? Ok, maybe not a creeper- but I do take it all in. How else am I going to pass the time on a run? Listen to music for 40 minutes? Psssshhhhh.

I’m sure I’ve had that exact conversation in my life- whenever anyone even mentioned running in my presence I would scoff as though they were telling me about quantum physics (which I do not understand- just to be clear…)

Because I’ve been so out of touch in the blogosphere, I should be real with you all about my running. I’m still doing it! Woo! John is too! Double woo! And can I tell you guys… He has lost nearly 40lbs… Yes, that’s right… 4-0 el bees. I can’t say the same for myself but my running journey was never correlated directly with weight loss. If it happened, cool, if not… Hey why is he losing all of this weight and I’m not?! I kid (somewhat…) my running dreams were geared towards pushing myself and find something to be proud of. And I have done that- mission accomplished on both of our ends.

What I’m trying to say is running is the shit. A curse felt right there.

On the other hand- now that I’ve done a few races, I’ve gotten lazier. I have not been on missions to train. I have definitely not gotten my ass up early or off the couch late to go to the gym. Quite frankly, I’m doing baby runs as I call them- 2-3 milers. And last year I would have called that an awe-inspiring super human task but these days I call it being blasé.

Today I needed a change of pace- I am bored!

3.5 miles
Ran half straight
Other half sprinted at every beach entrance followed by 20 standing push-ups on the railing with 20 sit-ups.

52 miles per month- I set my intention, a goal, something to work towards. What’s a goal if it’s something that takes no effort? At the end of the day did I work for it? I’m going to have to set some new intentions- or what am I doing here?

How do you beat workout boredom?

Running Outdoors and Chicken-y Dinners

Title should be read to the beat of The Sound of Music’s My Favorite Things. Now that you’re aware, read it again please. Ok, great. Without further ado, we can get this show on the road!

What made Julie Andrews Maria so gosh darn happy? Apparently, a lot of crap loveliness. Who doesn’t adore bright copper kettles and schnitzel with noodles?! Really? You don’t?

Ok, those weren’t my favorites, but I do have to agree with Maria Julie Andrews on two of her selections.
Whiskers on kittens. Adorbsville ahead! And I don’t even like cats.

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I am also feeling fairly inspired by this gem of a line:

Silver white winters that melt into springs

These are my favorite things. Period. Julie Andrews Maria had me at spring. And this weekend into today felt like spring.

What a wonderful way to kick off Memorial Day weekend and real spring. Not this bogus stuff we’ve been calling spring. And today on my run I was able to sink into the season and think about a few of my favorite things that I encountered while on my run today:

1. Passing by a burly old man on a cruiser bicycle with his dog riding shotgun in a basket. This dog had put in some solid years. He was grey whiskered and had clearly been in plenty of bicycle baskets in his day. Not even a single flinch.

2. A little boy, maybe 2, trying to race me. I did not let him win. That won’t help you survive the zombie apocalypse. Gotta keep it real with these kids. but in all seriousness, what a cute little baby with a wicked Afro- I’m not sure I have the hair to produce a child with an Afro, but if I could, oh, I would.

3. A young woman running with twin teeny tiny babies. She was in beast mode and completely passed me. There she was, new mommy taking on the world. I always admire these moms and think – if they’re doing it, why exactly am I not?!

4. Citizen Cope popping in for a cameo on my iPod. I was using pandora today and what a pleasant surprise when the bass comes in and it’s citizen cope jamming out.

5. A woman meditating on the boardwalk. I had this calming feeling take over as I passed her. I can respect anyone with that kind of willpower. She appeared to be so humble and pleasant. I wanted to be her.

Oh, and how could I forget?

6. Bumping into this guy:

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With our crazy work schedules we tend to do our own workout thang during the week. It was a pleasant surprise to see him starting as I finished.

And then I got home and cooked this:

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And it was also one of my favorite things. And at 9:30 p.m. I believe it’s time to relax.

I hope you’re all having a productive Tuesday. Keep it going! It’s almost hump day!

What are some of your favorite things?

Do you also think Julie Andrews Maria was a little too cutesy in the things she loved – Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles… Come again?

Julie Andrews killing it

Running Sucks

After my exhilarating light bulb session, I felt like I could take on the world. What better way to take on the world but to go outside for a run. Since honesty is always my policy, for better or worse, I’m going to cut to the chase.

Running outside has been very hard.

How frustrating! I tied up my new sneaks, trainers to you Brits, and felt empowered as I hit the boardwalk. It was me, the sunshine shining, my feet hitting the boardwalk, the waves crashing by my side, and then- the wind.

Wind, the red headed stepchild of weather. No offense to redheads. But wind is the worst! Go home wind, you’re drunk! I guess with all of my indoor running, it’s been easy to forget that running outside is not all it’s made out to be in a nike commercial. On the few runs I’ve done outside this season, very few have been “enjoyable.” What happened to those early days of my blogging life, when every run felt like I was jogging on a brownie. Delectable. Is it that I just need some readjustment time? Am I not used to the weather yet? Why didn’t you guys tell me running would be so challenging?!

Stats today-
2.6 miles of huffing and puffing
3 mini walks as I debated quitting at life
1 nose blow into my shirt
2 sighs of exasperation

Otherwise, I’m really digging the Asics. So there’s that.

The Turn Around

This time of the year is when many of us start to crash, myself included. The lack of sun, outdoors, and warmth create an atmosphere of misery in which going out for a casual dinner can even become more tedious than desired. So, I have to go outside…again… In the snow… Or rain… Or below 20 temperature? I’m actually watching Netflix tonight. And enjoying a cake by myself. This was even the subject of a recent conversation with friends: we need to force each other to get out or winter will be horrible. Even when you don’t want to, just go. And so, I have slowly, but surely, gotten myself into the winter blues. There seemed to be no remedy except the sun. And then it happened-

The news said it was going to be 50 and sunny, and if you know about us New Yorkers- that might as well be 80 and sunny around this time of year. New Yorkers love to emerge out of our state of hibernation at the first sight of sunshine- you may even think it’s bizarre that on a fifty degree day you will see girls in short shorts and people driving in their convertibles top down. And while this may seem like a harsh winter day to some, for those of us surviving a polar vortex, nearly fifty is heaven.

Despite not feeling my best, I’m on the brink of lupus related issues (fatigue, soreness), John and I decided to make the best out of the day and take our bikes out for the first time since the summer. We meandered around the streets, taking our known routes that have become so familiar to us. We then flocked to the boardwalk like many others that were looking for a chance to live in the presence of sunshine for a day.

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And when it’s sunny in New York, just like a hot summer day, you will naturally finish your day off with frozen yogurt.

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And though I would love for this weather to continue, and days that hit 50 are merely a tease, I’ll take it.

Happy Sunday! And day lights saving, which only means one thing, we are closer to summer!

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And today I’m going to skip the gym and bask in the sunlight before we get snow again this week! I’ll take what I can get.

Winter Blues

Dear New York,

Welcome to the first day of winter! At 55 glorious degrees! Now, unfortunately, I came down with some low grade fever last night. Joy. Probably because I don’t know how to relax, amiright lupus friends? So, how do you take it easy when it’s 55, sunny, and beautiful out while you’re sick?! I’ll tell you how I do- I don’t.

Last night I forced myself to stay in rather than celebrate a friends birthday. I was in bed with tea by 8 p.m., I slept a full 12 hours. When I woke up this morning I found myself pacing the apartment because WHY AM I NOT BETTER YET? Well, you know the old saying, impatience is a virtue.

After forfeiting my 12 p.m. yoga class, skipping the gym, and missing a celebration, I couldn’t stay inside any longer. I know, god forbid I sit still for a full day. I needed to get outside because – all inside with no sun makes Talia a dull girl.

Just walk. No running, I’ll be good.

I should mention that this was my first time on the boardwalk since October and I was feeling highly ambitious due to the fresh air and sunshine. The boardwalk has some real powers, people, and it was making me forget I ever felt sick at all. And it reminded me that life is beautiful and there is nothing like the great outdoors. Seagulls and all. Plus, they decorated the boardwalk! Adorable.

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So, I walked. Just like I promised myself. Then I couldn’t take it anymore. Just one mile never killed anyone. Just a smidgen. So, after 3 miles of walking I caved. I did a one mile run, naturally starting right where the boardwalk was finally completed this October.

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Was my impulsiveness worth it? Probably not considering I’m now curled in a ball on my couch sniffling. Then again, I am watching the likes of Shahs of Sunset and a new favorite, Ja’mie, Private School Girl with no worries in the world. Remind me again of that vow I made to myself… What was it? Oh, yes, take it easy. Know my limits.

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So. Worth. It.

Treadmill schmeadmill

Tuesday began my return to the sweatpen, also know as, the gym. 

My hiatus from the sweatpen began roughly around the time I joined the gym- three years ago. I casually go, usually when my pants get too tight, and then casually stop going, when I remember my disdain for the place. 

I am not a germaphobe. I am so far from being a germophobe that I follow the 5 minute rule, but the gym disgusts me. I can see amoeba crawling on the equipment. This disgust of the gym may have started around this time:

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I arrived at the gym sans-lock. Forgetting my lock, I decided to place my backpack on the floor. The man next to me had to ask me to remove my bag, which was not close to him, because he was profusely sweating all over the floor, as well as my bag. I have never seen a person sweat this much in my life. My amazement overrode the repugnance of the situation for the time being, until he did the biggest gym no-no. Following his invigorating mad dash on the elliptical, he abandoned his machine. For those of you new to a gym, you always, I repeat, always, wipe down your machine.

I’m not certain that the wipe down is truly giving the machine a hardy clean, but at least it appears that you have respect for the person after you.   It’s like washing your hands after using the bathroom- at least put on a show for the person standing next to you.

Despite my loathing of the gym, the inevitable finally arrived in the form of a windchill that reminded me of my grandma- cold. 

Upon arrival, the man behind the desk informed me that I have not paid since August and my fees total $120. Now, the truth is, I cancelled my credit card over the summer and never informed the gym. Somehow, I convinced myself that since I never go, and since they never called me out on it, I could get away with it. I guess the gym doesn’t work with sneaky people. 

I hate the gym.

Now, full of frustration, I hop on the treadmill next to John- somehow he has already banged out nearly half a mile, what was I doing that whole time?!

I have a lot of feelings on treadmills, but I will share a few with you as I reflect on their existence.

For one, they are not nearly as cool as this:

I also always get the sense that the person next to me is racing me, which is really unfair because I’m slow. 

And finally, they will never be the great outdoors. 

Tonight the weather wasn’t brutal so I chose to spend some quality time with the boardwalk while it’s still possible. gymrun

It turns out it was colder than expected, but still enjoyable. The sky was red and indescribable, reminding me of why I love running outside. A few reminders I experienced tonight:

It’s challenging- Wind is unpredictable and it pushes against you creating an unreal resistance.

It’s changing- One way you are wishing it was over, particularly when the wind is non-stop, but then you turn around and it’s as though it’s guiding you, lifting up under your sneakers.

One thing is certain- it is nearly winter in New York and I cannot be an outdoor winter runner. The treadmill and I might have to become friendly in following months. To all of you experiencing the same, kudos and good luck.

Home.

When I was growing up we moved. I was born in New York, moved to Florida at 2 months and lived there until I was 6, moved to Albany, lived there 6 months, moved to Queens, lived there until I was in 8th grade, moved to Westchester, lived there throughout high school, moved back upstate for college and grad school, then moved here. As scary as it is, I have lived in Long Island nearly as long as any place I have ever called home. Home was a word I had trouble identifying with- I had a positive connotation with the word and have associated it with family, but when I closed my eyes, I saw people not a place. That is a beautiful thing, I am thankful I have people that are my home, but I often longed for a place that I could call my own.

Recently I wrote about my new found affinity for all things Lawng-I-Land– maybe not all things, but this is now the place that I view as home, and the place I intend on growing old in. It was nearly one year ago when my home, my work community, John’s hometown, were all hit with tragedy, like many places in the surrounding area.

This is not a post about Hurricane, Superstorm, whatever you want to call it, Sandy. This is a story about rebuilding.

If you have been paying any attention to my blog you may realize that I run frequently, and when I run, I frequent the boardwalk. What I have not mentioned about this boardwalk is that it is not whole. The boardwalk that I run on was destroyed by the flooding and surges of Sandy, the bones of our beloved boardwalk were picked clean by those who looked to maintain some connection with a place they held close to their hearts, and whatever was left was then demolished in order to rebuild.

Some of my fondest memories were created on that boardwalk. When John and I met we were friends in similar places in our lives. We would go “running” together on the boardwalk. I say “running” because I couldn’t make it one block without stopping to catch my breath and walk. He would try to motivate me, but we spent most of our days together talking and falling in love. It was on this boardwalk that I would re-learn how to ride my first bike in fifteen years (p.s.-  riding a bike is not like riding a bike). 

summer 2012

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When the boardwalk was gone we all waiting eagerly for it’s return. We watched as other areas rebuilt quickly, and we were not always the most patient, but it was only because we loved that damn thing!

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Throughout the summer we waited for news and we watched the beginning phases of something so essential to our city by the sea. It was during this process that I began to rebuild myself as well. I took this picture from a rooftop yoga class over the summer. I recall looking over the balcony and feeling a sense of pride and joy.

We were coming back.

When the news arrived that a section of the boardwalk would be open to the public in August something clicked inside of me. It was that week that I decided I needed to run. Maybe I needed that boardwalk to open. It signified something special- It was beautiful, new, not complete, but it was stronger than it was before.

The first section was only .8 miles each way, making my initial runs just under two miles. Welcome back.

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When the second section opened I was ready to push myself, it was now 2.5 round trip.

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This past week it was expanded again. I was able to push myself more than 3 miles round trip.

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Our boardwalk is not complete, but with every week that it has expanded I have allowed myself to push my own boundaries. This boardwalk has old memories, and it has become a place of new and growing memories. Our city is not entirely rebuilt, but as I said, each day we get stronger. We come together as a community, and we rebuild better and stronger versions of who we were one year ago.

Am I done crying yet?

After my morning post on true life: I got burned for beauty I realized that I needed a good therapy session of running.  I was allowing the pain to be an excuse, and who doesn’t love a good excuse to mindlessly watch The Flinestones movie on a bleak Saturday morning?

Don’t get me wrong, I listen to my body, if I’m in pain or not feeling well I’m not going to push myself to the point of no return.  After this past week of exhaustion, a cold, and leg burns, I clearly needed the rest.  This morning I was ready.

I got out to the boardwalk and began my stretch.

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Right as the perfect song came on, I set up my running app, I was about to go, and out of nowhere the devil began to beat his wife.  Too much?  Guys! I didn’t make this up!  

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Decision time.  Is this a sign? Should I go home? Wait it out? I began to walk home, but something hit me. I am not the wicked witch. maybe. I wont melt.  Turn back around- have some pride, woman!

And just like that the rain stopped. 

I decided to appreciate the run. Forget time, distance, take it all in.  On my run I saw a couple taking their wedding photos, I was the weirdo who screamed “CONGRATULATIONS!” and you could see how their love warmed the whole boardwalk. People smiled as they passed them.  There was a positive energy that everyone was sharing.  

As I was running I saw a man in a walk for lupus shirt.  I was the weirdo (again) who stopped him- I had to.  Turns out he’s on the board for lupus research in Long Island.  His wife was diagnosed when she was 25. Just last year at the age of 55 she needed a kidney transplant and he was her donor.  She is doing great.  The stories you can hear from strangers when you take a minute out of your day sometimes amaze me.

The rest of my run was amazing, relaxing, and wonderful.  I got off the boardwalk after 2 miles.  Switched my Pandora station to Jack Johnson and sat down by the water.  It’s nice to stop and take life in.

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Today I felt tranquil for the first time in a long time.  Happy Saturday everyone,  Enjoy the day!

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