Taking a Break

Good morning ladies and gents- it is 11 a.m. and I am officially a little more wide eyed than I was 10 minutes ago. As an early riser, I feel like I already missed half of the day, but I’m going on a whim here and saying it was my body begging for some rest. My page was quiet because I went on a mini-vacation to Montauk to go camping at my friend Beth’s site for a few days. I had to remind myself that I’ve never been camping and I also do not like bugs, but I felt confident that I would be into sleeping at a camp site by the beach. Plus, I have never been in Montauk and I’ve heard it’s beautiful.

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me- that barrier island off of Long Island in the green that says Long Beach.

Montauk..keep going east with with your eyes… keep going… keep going… don’t stop going. It’s that last dot. 

We arrived on Monday at Hither Hills state park on a perfect day, but as someone that has never been to a camp site and definitely not one at the beach, I felt like a kid all over again. In my heart and mind I knew we would be sleeping in tents and people would have campers everywhere, but I couldn’t actually process that until it was all around me. What do you mean there are communal bathrooms and showers? Did you say we are lucky if we get hot water? And we sleep in tents?Hither-Hills-State-Park-864x400_cNow, it was clear to me from the start that this was not glamping (glamorous camping), but I was excited for a chance to try something out of my comfort zone. I should also mention that Beth’s family and family friends were there as well, and her mother is by far the most organized and prepared human I have ever met. Hands down. They had everything from the practical camping necessities like bug spray, sun block, and water to the fun things like board games for night time. Hell, Franny even organized costume and theme nights with prizes. Sure, we got rained out for country western night and raccoons may have eaten the ribs, but this woman is prepared.

What to expect if you camp in Montauk?

Monday: We arrived to sunshine and immediately hit the beach for some volleyball. When the weather got cooler and the sun began to set, we traveled as a group to Montauket restaurant to enjoy the sunset.

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We headed back to the camp site to prepare dinner- delicious fajitas, and play Family Feud. We spent the night hanging out, drinking beer, and laughing. As we called it a night and walked back to our tent, I said to John: wouldn’t this be the perfect place for a horror movie? Which led to an over-analysis of every branch hitting the tent from that point forward.

Tuesday: The next morning we woke up to rain- Forrest Gump style, torrential, upside down and sideways, rain. When life hands you rain, go to a winery. Fun fact: Long Island hosts some great wineries out east. I donned a bright yellow poncho that said “FREE PONCHO!” We arrived at Wolffer Estate Vineyard ready to enjoy some classiness. I sashayed in, looking like a sexy ass wack job in a poncho. It was a moment that felt like the music stopped and everyone stared at us. Because damn did I feel poor.

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What I’m trying to say: There were a lot of boat shoes and gingham shirts. I quietly took off my poncho and secretly wished that I had just thrown out my three year old, pilling, Forever 21 t-shirt. Because, Talia, you cannot be forever 21. Let it go. We ordered wine and cheese plates and pretended to know the difference between an oak barrel and fermentation and enjoyed ourselves. I would be a good rich person- so, let’s get on that.

By the time we arrived back to the campsite the weather had started to die down. Suffice to say, country western night was a no go. The overalls I bought that random day for no reason were still of no use to me, but we ate the works- minus the ribs… damn raccoons. We spent the rest of the night inventing a new game and ultimately heading to a restaurant to play trivia where we enjoyed screaming at anyone we thought was cheating by using their cellphones. We did not win trivia.

Wednesday: On our final day on the campsite we took a mini tour guided by Beth. We stopped at Ditch Plains so my friend Mark could go surfing, we checked out the famous Montauk light house, and stopped through town. When we got back to the campsite we enjoyed our last hours on the beach. some surfing (not me), others lounging (me).

I could get used to camping. I could also enjoy glamping. And being wealthy. So if you or a friend know anyone that would like to adopt me, my number is 1-800-555-5555.

** glamping: glamping

Life of a Mogwai

I hate showering.

TMI?

Well that’s what blogs are for: Too much information for the good of humanity. How else would you find out that other people hate cleaning themselves as much as you do? Don’t worry. You’re normal. Says the person that hates showering… And apparently this piece of work too:

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If you’re wondering to yourself who is that you’re a better person than I am. Kudos.

Anywho!

Despite my aversion to water that’s comparable to a mogwai, I always manage to bathe myself after a workout. Mostly because I believe in overcoming obstacles in life. It makes you a better person.

Wednesday I had a choice to:

A) blog about my kickass workout

or

B) shower

Good for me, I chose the latter. So, three days later and I’m finding some time to indulge you in my progress in life. Here we go!

I, Talia Timberlake* am the heaviest I have ever been in my whole entire life. Maybe it’s because part of my resolution this year was to have no resolutions. Screw the man! Maybe it’s because Maslow had it so right when he wrote about the significance of food. Maybe it’s because Meghan Trainor sang an inspiring song about having all the right curves in all the right places.

And I may or may not have sent this gem out to a few people on New Year’s Eve:

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Ugh, I’m such a jerk! Granted, there are a lot of topics of conversation that could come up when looking at that picture again. For instance, I’m wearing a romper. Normally, rompers are a welcome addition into my clothing family- not on a night where bathrooms are sparse and the streets are flooded with drunken humans. The romper on New Years Eve was single handedly my worst decision of 2014.

So after I came home from a fabulous vacation in Key West, help take me back! I weighed myself and had a life sized (literally) reality check. Remember that one time I wrote a whole post dedicated to my hatred of the scale (see here). As much as I hate the scale sometimes it’s necessary to reflect. Especially when you’re consistently opting for stretch pants because unbuttoning the top button on your jeans all of the time is looking increasingly obvious under your now tight shirt. Then again, you can always just buy a moo moo.

It hurts to see a number you have never seen before. I swore that working out was not about weight loss- until I gained weight. And it doesn’t matter what size you wear, it isn’t fun. I have many opinions on my current insecurities, for example, shut up, you’re being so annoying right now. But whatever, on a rainy day I’ll blog about how photoshop, magazines, and the porn industry have destroyed us all. So back to my recent destiny: As groupon would have it, a local cycling studio was offering up a deal, and I’m a sucker for deals so I bought into it with a few friends, thus scoring our workout classes for $5 a pop. Unheard of!

That was in December.

I procrastinated going. I got sick. I was tired. I had a really long day at work. I had a longer than usual week at work. Oh yeah, and I was afraid!

There it was! The root in my procrastination. I was terrified of going because the last time I cycled I swear I saw Jesus through beads of sweat blinding my eyeballs- and I’m Jewish. But that was over one year ago, before I realized that it’s ok to feel like death may be closer to 30 than you imagined- because it’s not. Because you’re going to walk out of your workout feeling like … Things that release endorphins. Which p.s., feels sensational.

So I took a class with my girl, Sarah, which always makes going to workout easier. Forget the fact that you won’t even be close to each other or recognize the other person exists once the workout begins, the sheer accountability is the perk. We signed up for the one hour class which is the longest class they offer. My immediate thought was: fuck. The class was also the one that incorporates weights so naturally my second thought was: why didn’t I read the description of the classes before I blindly signed up. Damn you, Sarah!

Since I have a tendency to vacillate between diligence and laziness, clearly I chose the one pound weights over the two pound weights. Like I said, I love challenging myself. Actually I always feel ashamed in weight classes because without fail I will choose the lowest weight option. One pounders are less challenging to hold than a baby rattle. Literally, a baby could lift this with ease. I don’t care. It make me happy.

My fears aside, the class was wonderful, the instructor was helpful, and I got a great workout in. I love looking around a room and seeing people of all ages, genders, abilities, sizes- it’s a beautiful thing. If you are a near the Long Beach area check out Ocean Ride. The first “ride” (they call it that, aw, so cute) is free. My intention is to go once a week minimum as a supplement to running. And maybe to fit into my pants again. Dream big, folks, dream big.

*name changed for privacy. And because Justin asked me to take his name. I know, I know, I’m a feminist… I should have hyphenated.

School’s Out for Summer

Oh, baby, does it feel good to… Sit.

I was in Washington (state) over the past three days for work and it’s safe to say that I was slightly sleep deprived. I fell asleep on the car ride to the airport, on my luggage waiting to board the plane, and on the plane- Because I’m classy like that- I pass out anywhere. I can speak more on the beauty of Washington later, and how running on hills was like a death sentence, but I just want to talk about how I’m on summer vacation OFFICIALLY!

That means-
No alarms
No responsibility… Kinda…
And running!
And yoga!
And swimming!
And bike riding!

And that was my day today! After much needed r&r, I cleaned the apartment and rode my bike about 5 miles to Atlantic Beach- a town to the west of long beach where John works in the summer. It’s wonderful to switch up my routine and go on a bike ride by myself. I was able to decompress, no music, and just enjoy the ride.

When I arrived, John met me on the beach and we did a 1.5 mile run to the last jetty. This was the first time that I’ve run on sand… Whatdafuq. Why didn’t anyone tell me how much my calves were going to hurt?! But in all seriousness, it felt completely necessary after the binge session I just had in Seattle. Where I ate everything I could get my hands on. Hello, dessert with every meal.

When we made it back to where my belongings were I hopped back on my bike for my five mile journey back home.

I love New York in the summer.

#icant

Getting my race proofs today was flipping fantastic- one of my favorite things to do is laugh at people running, so laughing at myself was fantabulous. (Side note: my autocorrect accepts fantabulous, how fantabulous is that?)

If you are like me, and think awkward running photos are the best, I hope you can enjoy some of mine- please give thanks to the guest star of the photos, the lady in orange. She was in nearly all of my pictures. Oh, and John. He’s there too. And the weird scribble letters that say something that I’m just going to pretend I don’t see.

Also, we are that lame. We seriously did run through the finish line like that. And to answer the question you’re thinking- I have no idea why I was throwing up my hand as I ran through- I can only imagine I was saying, Hayyy, I’m here!

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Something I learned from these pictures- I imagined in my head that I looked much more heinous while running… Like a person gasping and struggling for air. Instead, I’m eerily smily. I also learned that John just can’t take a good picture. Even running.

Does anyone buy these? If so, where do you hang them… Or are these gifts you give for Mother’s Day. Hey mom, I assume you’re so proud of me that you are definitely going to want to immortalize my 6 mile accomplishment forever. Please hang these photos over our cremated cat.. Which, p.s., is the perfect spot in our house for these pictures.

I wonder if the lady in orange is going to buy these- then she can remember me forever.

From Couch to 10k

One year ago today I was bedridden and being taken care of by my mom and John. It was a real bundle of kittens if you know what I’m saying. Yeah, I don’t even know what I am saying… This weekend was a culmination of everything I’ve been working towards-

Yesterday was the Walk for a Cure lupus walk and the most important people came to show their support. Thousands walked, and over $400,000 was raised in NYC alone. I was able to reach my goal of $2,000, and I’m so grateful for the people that showed their support. Lupus isn’t fun- a cure would be wonderful! Being able to physically walk this year alongside so many other lupus warriors and those that love us was an emotional experience. It reminded me that I need to be more active in the lupus community and continue to spread awareness.

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Today continued the All About Talia weekend showcase. I kid, I kid. Today continued to the race that I’ve been prepping for! As we drove to Eisenhower state park, I read through my blog comments again as a reminder that not doing the half was the right choice. My friend, Beth, was amazed by your kind words and support. Another reason why I blog, for the community, the love and support when I need it most. It felt good to hear from the runners and the non runners, it’s ok.

So how was the race? The race was a blast! I had my iPod ready to go with my favorite songs of the moment. I set the 1812 Overture as my last song, and I was ready to run. You know it’s going to be good when you have the 1812 Overture mixed in with Flo Rida.

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I have to be honest- I am so happy I switched my race to a 10k, it was the right choice for me. And I’m glad I didn’t push myself or beat myself up over what I could or could not do. I had to do this race for me and if that meant 7 miles less than I originally intended on running, that’s what it meant.

John and I ran through the finish line holding hands- I somehow knew that even running through together the boy would clock in at a better time. Jerk! This was the All About Talia marathon weekend I had been waiting for! But he earned his time too. He was my full on support and he was right next to me even to the finish line. And if it wasn’t for him, I would have clocked in slower. At five miles he looked at me and said, ready to kick it up a notch? And we did. Our times were 1:02:27 and 1:02:29. Not too shabby for first timers! And definitely not last timers.

At the end of the race I reveled in the fact that on this exact weekend, one year ago, I forced myself to get out of bed and take a trip to Ikea. I was stir crazy, fatigued, and desperate to leave my bed. The excitement of my weekend one year ago was a TRIP TO IKEA. I want to be real- lupus sucks. I can blame it for a lot of things, I can hate it, but I can’t allow it to take away my life. I didn’t think I could run before I had lupus, so why allow it to be an excuse now? We can all sit around and tell ourselves we can’t do things. But what I’ve learned this year is that making a statement like I can’t is not only defeating, but simply untrue. Don’t be discouraged, create a goal, and give it a shot. In the words of a wise, wise, man:

The thing about goals is that if there isn’t a chance that one will fail to meet them, they aren’t goals, they are checklist items. The greater the risk that you won’t be able to achieve the goal, so much greater is the accomplishment.

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So, I leave you with love, support, and I also leave you to get a celebratory mimosa. Happy Sunday!

First.Attempt.In.Learning.

And what happens if you aren’t able to run the race?

Well, that won’t happen. 

But, Talia, what if it does?

It won’t. Failure is not an option for me. 

This was a conversation I had five months ago- a friend, knowing how dedicated I was, wanted to know how I would deal if my dreams never came into fruition. I wasn’t trying to sound arrogant, I was simply so damn adamant and sure of myself when those words graced my tongue. Why wouldn’t I be? I was training, putting in the time, and the work necessary to run 13.1 miles. I was also mentally dedicated and set on that feeling of accomplishment that I would feel in knowing that one year earlier I was unable to leave my couch due to a lupus flare. I guess that’s why I didn’t think twice when I said- that won’t happen.

But with a mere two days before the half marathon, I have come to the reality that- the race won’t happen. It can’t happen. So when do you allow yourself to embrace a failure, and view it not as much as a failure, but solely a setback in your ultimate goals. 

I will tell you now that this wasn’t a rash decision. It was something I have been sitting on since right before Mexico. The dull pain returned in my left knee and it refused to go home. I tried to limit my running, increase yoga, decrease yoga, decrease running, ice it, heat it, icy-hot it, anything-it. I was angry and I felt defeated, hence my lack of writing. It left me with nothing nice to say so I decided to say nothing at all. Though I continued to run, the passion and excitement I felt when I found success in running was waning. I felt so close to my goals, but I recognized that obtaining my goal of a half-marathon would ultimately be a setback. Sure, I could do 13.1 miles, but I could feel that it would hinder my progress in the long run. As a lupus warrior I knew what I had to do – listen to your body.

(Sing to the tone of Bump and Grind):

My body, my body was telling me nooo, but my mind, my mind’s telling me yaaassss!  

Well, mind, sometimes you aren’t as smart as my body. As I sat in defeat, near tears, and feeling like a total failure, John reminded me about a little story starring an ocean goddess by the name of Diana Nyad. In 2013, Queen Nyad, as I will now and forever refer to her as, became the first person confirmed to swim 110 miles, from Havana to Key West. And she did it at the age of 64. And she did it on her fifth try. Not her first, second, third, or fourth. But she was never deterred from her ultimate goal. Granted, the Queen herself was swimming 10x the amount I was planning on running, but what remained with me was this notion that she wasn’t discouraged from achieving what she set out to accomplish. Despite box jellyfish stings, sharks, and asthma attacks, she persevered. Initially, I felt discouraged for her, I couldn’t fathom the work she put in and that feeling of defeat. But now I see.

It is possible for failure to be an option. When we allow failure to become an option, sometimes we open ourselves up to greater experiences. Will my “victory” in running a half-marathon one day taste that much sweeter? Maybe. Maybe not. I can only say that I now can embrace what won’t be and do so gracefully. On Sunday I will be running my first 10K, and I’m thrilled. 

Piece of Peace

When I first moved to Long Island I had one goal in mind: Find a cheap apartment.

Yes, that sounds very stingy, but there are a few things you need to fully understand before we get into this further:

  1. My home is the place I go to sleep at night and not too much more. Truthfully, this has changed as I’ve become more of a homebody, but when I first moved here that was the purpose of this nest.
  2. I was coming from upstate New York where my cost of living was literally 1/3 of the price. Wowza.
  3. At 22 I was used to dorm living, shady college housing, and horrific conditions- including, but not limited to: a homeless man living secretly in the basement and having a mouse crawl over me in my sleep.

Moving from five hours north was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. My biggest concerns centered on not knowing anyone in the surrounding area and… just that, I knew no one. And truth be told, it’s hard to make friends in your twenties.  My new boss smelled out my fears and suggested, why don’t you move into this wonderful little beach town not too far away. So I did just that, with my cheapskate intentions to guide me.

Well, it turns out nothing is cheap in Long Island. Especially when you want to live by the beach, so I settled with the lowest cost I could find- $1280 for a itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot apartment. Le sigh. Now, the owners of this place created a litany of rules including: we wont take care of anything, but god forbid you make the place look better (ie: paint, install new wood floors) we will charge you and make you replace everything the way it was. True story. So, I kept it the way it was. I didn’t replace the smelly carpets, the ugly 1970s tiling, or paint the vacant looking walls. I always had in the back of my mind: this is temporary, and it wasn’t too bad considering I could walk to the beach, bike ride around town, all while enjoying a great social scene (with all of my non-friends). Also, this place was solely for sleep because we all know I wasn’t cooking. I also couldn’t afford cable or internet at the time, so it wasn’t the most exciting place to hang out in by myself.

So, now that I’m older, wiser, splitting rent with my boyfriend, and making more than I was four years ago, I must have a bangin’ apartment, or my very first home, right? Wrong. I’ve lived in the same apartment for over three years. And I have put zero effort into my surrounding environment because: This is temporary. 

Unfortunately, temporary has turned into almost four full years and the white walls, now cracking due to the lovely salty air, are just heinous to stare at. After staying inside on Friday and Saturday I couldn’t take it any longer. I re-did the most important room in my place: my bedroom.

As I sit here typing from the newly arranged setup, staring out into my lovely Woodlawn Blue walls, I feel a piece of peace. My room is tranquil, and calming, and now I regret only one thing, that I stopped looking into my future and saying, it’s temporary. And if it was, big whoop. I would have to repaint the walls boring white. Last night, when all was said and done I acknowledged that this is my home and it’s more than a place to lay my head at night. Also, I bought new sheets with a very high thread count and let’s just say they are super comfortable. Take that more expensive apartments! 

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.

Decisions, Decisions

What do you do when you made a blog about running 52 miles per month and then attain that goal? 

I’ll tell you the advice I would give to anyone: Feel satisfied, and continue to feel content with the fact that you set out a mission and now, can not only accomplish it, but regularly hit that mark.

This is the advice I should really be giving myself. Or some kind of mirror mantra talk a la little girl in the mirror:

Instead of embracing achievement and enjoying success, I usually see that there’s always more that can be done. I’m not sure if this is a strength or a weakness. 

Well this week, I got a message from a friend asking me to do a half marathon in May. This is the second time I’ve been asked to do a half marathon by a running friend. They see I can suddenly run two miles and think I can be sucked into more running. The first time I was asked I laughed and then said nothing at all. She has not asked me about it again since. That was months ago. Well, now I have a little more experience under my belt and I’m feeling good with my regular three mile thing, I have even floated the idea around of doing a 10K. So, why then, when I was asked to partake in the half, did my three-mile safety-net of a cocoon get shaken up and unraveled?! I thought about it for a few hours and messaged her back:

Let me think about it.

That was my exact response.

This weekend I spent a lot of time doing as I said I would – thinking about my running future. Thinking things such as: at this point the most I’ve run is 4 miles… brain doubles the number- so double the most I’ve done and it’s still less than a half marathon. And I realized something when I began to do math, because I hate math, I’m self sabotaging before I even attempt to try. I want to do the half marathon but my fears are real. Fears like, am I pushing myself too much too soon? What if I have a flare because I’m putting too much stress on my body, can I physically handle this? Can I mentally handle it? I think I can. In my three months of running I have done more than I knew was possible. So what’s holding me back other than my own insecurities? I would also like to thank quite a few blogs that I perused through for inspiration- many of you set your sights on anything from a 5K to a marathon to ultra running (which I will never ever do) – You guys are phenomenal humans.

So what conclusion have I arrived to on this half marathon debate?

I’m in. I’m going to begin training for a half marathon.

Starting… Now!

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.