Tag Archives: Central Park

Don’t stop now, just be the champion…

I’m a runner.

Well, not quite yet, but I’m getting there.

I had an item on my 35 before 35 list that had carried over from the previous year’s list: run a 5K. I can’t remember exactly why I chose this but it was there and had a good chance of sticking around for yet another year. Thankfully, I have many runner friends, and one in particular who decided he was going to help me to get this goal accomplished.

He found us a 4 mile run through New York Road Runners and I signed up. Yes, this was more than the 5K I had in mind, but I didn’t think much of it. I got some new Nikes and joined a gym to begin training. My goal was to run the entire 4 miles… no walking, no stopping. A grand feat considering the last time I ran was to chase a kid who stole my phone.

Unfortunately, right after I signed up, the weather turned ugly. And stayed ugly. I was not motivated to leave the house unless absolutely necessary – and running, in my book, was not necessary.

The run was quickly approaching and I wasn’t ready. I kept hearing (from others and from my internal monologue) that it was “just 4 miles” and that it “wasn’t a big deal.” And that was keeping me motivated, for the most part. Until I went to pick up my Run for the Parks t-shirt and saw this:

Shit just got real.

Shit just got real.

I didn’t know I had to wear a bib for this!!! Again, it was just 4 miles. But somehow this made it feel like a bigger deal. It was real. And it was fast approaching.

The night before the race (yes, this is what I started calling it after the whole bib thing), I went home early and attempted to get a good night’s rest. Which I did. For the most part. I was excited to run but I was nervous. People kept telling me not to be too hard on myself or feel let down if I had to walk or even stop. I kept telling myself that this was my first time and if I enjoyed it enough there would be more. This took the pressure off a bit.

I got up bright and early and met my friend at the corrals. I was obviously in one of the last corrals because I’m slow as balls, but I told my friend that he definitely didn’t have to keep pace with me (he’s a REAL runner and I didn’t want to hinder his personal goals). And 10 minutes after the fast people up front had crossed the start, I was on my way.

Many thousands of people were in front of me. But I was really ok with that.

Many thousands of people were in front of me. But I was really ok with that.

It was a chilly but gorgeous morning in Central Park and as I started the first mile I was encouraged by the scenery. The Guggenheim to the right, the Reservoir to the left. Oh, and look! it’s the North Meadow softball fields where I spend every Saturday from April to August. I was also encouraged by the people. Not only were volunteers cheering us along the route, but the pack of people running together felt like a community in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Something in me just kept going. I am quite stubborn (or strong-willed if you would like to put a positive spin on it) and despite the advice about not being too hard on myself, I did have a goal in mind. My body didn’t hurt too bad and I was keeping my breathing under control. Pretty soon I was another mile down… and then another… and then I was in the home stretch. I had been keeping a steady pace the whole time, but then Britney Spears’s “Work Bitch” came on in my earbuds and I could’t hold back- I was either going to stop on the spot and break it down club-style, or run like I was on fire. I picked up the pace and managed to cross the finish line at 46:26 with a pace of 11:37 per mile. Not the best, but I’m proud of myself.

Sweet victory... well, MY victory at least.

Sweet victory… well, MY victory at least.

I set a goal to run a 5K and I ended up running a longer race, AND managed to do it without stopping. Even better than that, I’m motivated to keep going. I have signed up for a 10K in June and I’d love to do a half marathon before the year ends. I have even been going for runs on my own… like, for fun and exercise. Whaaaa? Looks like I definitely drank the runner Kool-Aid.

Blog song title: “Work Bitch” by Britney Spears (seriously, put this jam on your workout/running mix… guaranteed motivator)
Photo credit: Yours Truly

Red letter weekend…

Spring has sprung in NYC and it is truly awesome. There was quite the buzz in the air all weekend as the lingering winter weather is finally gone and moods have lifted.

Every Saturday I play softball in Central Park with my alumni group. The weather this past Saturday was absolutely gorgeous… lots of familiar faces came to play and because it was so nice out we drew in some new ones. And post game beers led to my newest friendship (and greatest dart game ever played).


LOOK AT THAT SCORE (Q and J were victorious)

When my friend Lauren and I decided to get some afternoon drinks on Sunday, we reached out to our new softball buddy and he invited us to a picnic in Central Park with his friends. Of course, it wasn’t until we got to the park and started talking with these new people that I realized I was accomplishing something from my 34 before 34 list! Well, mostly:
27) Organize a picnic in Central Park

(Though I wasn’t the organizer, I feel that this can get crossed off… I attended a picnic in Central Park… close enough).


Wine, snacks, blankets, catch, boom.

Sheep’s Meadow was packed with blankets and people and frisbees… the atmosphere was so cheerful. Our new little group of friends was getting along so well and wanted to keep the party going… so when the weather began to turn on us (also, we were out of wine) we retreated to a Midtown bar. We were halfway through our beverages there when we got the sudden inspiration to go sing karaoke. It was spontaneous and random and an absolute BLAST.


Dart Champions, Q and J… and Lauren (of the losing dart team)

I am hurting a bit today (wine+beer-dinner=OUCH), but it was totally worth it. As I have said so often, I love meeting new people and making new friends. And I love how frequently this happens here in NYC.

And though the weather isn’t as great today, I’m so energized by the spring and can’t wait to see what else is in store. If you can’t tell, I’m a happy lady these days. Smiley face.


(Remember my last post where I said I was changing the rules a bit? Yeah, blog titles are going to be originals from now on…)

Why don’t you do somethin’… [Updated]

So part of me living in NYC is that I’m attempting to live the life I always wanted to live. There is way too much opportunity here and I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would take advantage of all I could while I was in this city (even though I may very well spend the rest of my life here).

Get ready, NYC…

I was recently out with my friend Chrissy and somehow in conversation she revealed that she compiles a yearly bucket list of sorts – things to do from birthday to birthday. She had really simple and accomplishable items on her list… the idea is that you actually DO the things… and if you don’t get to them in a year, roll them over into the next year – no pressure. And I suddenly got very excited.

So here’s my list… 34 things I hope to do before I turn 34 next September:

1) Go skiing – I have only been snowboarding… and that was just once.

2) Go on a sailboat – I feel certain I can make this happen next summer…

3) Try Ethiopian food – I have tried a lot of different foods since moving to NYC, Ethiopian hasn’t come up yet… and there are places RIGHT in my neighborhood… seems like a no-brainer.

4) Go listen to live jazz – again, so many good places in my neighborhood… why haven’t I done this yet?!

5) Go see a cabaret show – even if it’s terrible…

6) Go to an improv show – again, how have I not done this yet?

7) Take an improv class – because I know once I see a show, I will want to DO it.

8) Get drinks on a rooftop (swanky style) – no, I didn’t do this during my first summer in the city… I drank on my own rooftop, but that was beers on lawn chairs in my PJs… I want to get fancy.

9) Eat at a restaurant where reservations are required – this may involve saving some cash… unless I find a nice gentleman willing to take me out..

10) Go to the ballet – are you beginning to see a common thread with some of these?

11) Go to the symphony in Central Park – again, easy enough… why didn’t I take more advantage of CP last summer?

12) Get a bike – man, I wish I had done this earlier… could use one now…

13) Start learning Italian – but seriously and not just a word here and there.

14) Get paid to write something – this would be super… especially if it could happen sooner than later. And I’m not asking for much…

15) Go an entire weekend without the Internet – this could be tricky…

16) Take a cooking class – I can’t cook, but this would be fun.

17) Go speed dating – I’ve always wanted to do this and one of my guy friends has gone and will go again… I will make this happen soon.

18) Go to a magic show – wouldn’t that be hilarious?

19) Participate in a Hash – I saw one of these groups very early upon my arrival to NYC and have wanted to do it ever since.

20) Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – simple enough… of course it would mean not being with family – unless they want to come HERE… Thanksgiving in NYC sounds pretty awesome to me… And really, for this, I would settle for going and seeing the balloons being inflated…

20) Eat raw oysters.  (I’m allowed to make a change… there are no rules… only my rules… of which there are no rules)

21) Volunteer – yes, I have volunteered before… but it’s been a very long time… and this shouldn’t be difficult given the recent storm… but I’d also like to do something in my neighborhood if possible…

22) Take a dance class – tap would be ideal… but I’ll go for anything…

23) Go ice skating in Central Park – and this is already on my agenda for December… sweet.

24) Go to 10 different museums – seeing as how I have access to any museum through work it is shocking that I haven’t already done this…

25) Go to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show – how I haven’t already done this, I do not know… but it must happen.

26) Go to a Yankees game – some of my family members will be disgusted with that… but I’ve been to a couple of iconic baseball fields already, I feel like I live too close to Yankee Stadium to not go..

27) Organize a picnic in Central Park – something I wanted to do last summer, but never got around to it…

28) Go camping – I am sure I will not like this, but I feel like it’s something I need to do…

29) Take an art class – preferably drawing or painting, but I’ll go for ceramics or something like that too…

30) Write every day for 7 days – I should write like this all the time, but I tend to lack motivation…

31) Go on a day trip outside of the city – there is so much to explore in the surrounding areas… I want to see what I can find.

32) Go to SantaCon (or Pirate Con… or both) – this city is so silly… I want to join in on the silliness more often.

33) Run a 5K – I’m not running a marathon any time soon… And I have participated in a 5K before, but I walked most of it. I want to RUN… then maybe next year, I’ll move up to a 10K… whaaaaat?

34) Go to roller derby (yes, this one was straight up stolen from Chrissy’s list) – and mark my words, if I get to go I will bet that next year’s list will include participating in a roller derby.

What’s on YOUR list?

Blog song title: “Do Something” by Britney Spears

It’s lucky for you that we’re friends…

I recently told someone that I had a crush on them. It was a big risk, especially since I really like hanging out with this person and changing that friendly dynamic was likely. Anyway, I realized about 24 hours later that it wasn’t an actual crush. It was a friend crush.

A few weeks ago I met a girl at a bar. We chatted a bit and even added each other on Facebook (I know, a huge deal) and said that eventually we’d have to get drinks again. It struck me as funny because it was like a “pick up” – chatting, laughing, getting contact info, making plans to see each other again. I even contacted her about getting together and called it a “lady date.” And no, I haven’t switched teams… but I think I have another friend crush.

I’ve asked a few people about this phenomenon. I know I’ve had this kind of “crush” before, but I wondered if I was the only one who had them. By my definition, a friend crush is when you like hanging out with someone and want to see more of them – all on a platonic level. You can have friend crushes on anyone, but it can get confusing when it’s on someone of the gender to which you are attracted. A friend crush can easily be confused as a romantic crush. Which is I think what happened to me with my previously mentioned friend… oops.

And just like regular crushes, friend crushes can get awkward or weird if you let them. In my case, I come off as overeager. What can I say? When I get along with someone, I want to see more of them… sheesh.

Friend crushes are more prevalent with adults because we don’t make friends the way we used to. Once you leave school – the  main catalyst for friend making – it gets harder to make friends. Most people establish friendships before entering the so-called “real world” and maintain those friendships throughout adulthood (or so I’ve been told). The workplace is also a possible friend pool, but I’ve worked jobs where I didn’t want to spend an extra second with anyone there so that’s no guarantee. And unfortunately, I am not in school and I’m still without a job. So where do I meet new friends in this new city? Bars? I guess so.

I’m a pretty independent person and I can entertain myself quite well. I’m not afraid to go out alone and I am content spending lots of time with just me. However, I think the desire to connect with others is in us all (unless you’re a sociopath). I know this is why I’ve done the online dating thing… and why I am developing friend crushes. We want people to “get” us. I want someone to “get” me. I want someone I can call up and say, “Hey, wanna go see Chuck Klosterman in Brooklyn?” and they’ll say, “Hell yeah.” Or, “I’m going to go walk around in Central Park, wanna join?” and they’ll say, “Sounds awesome.” And none of this has to be in a romantic sense (I mean, how romantic can Chuck be?)… sometimes it’s good enough to just sit around and talk to someone about a shared music taste.

So if I get a friend crush on you I will do my best not to seem too overeager. But you should just go with it… I’m an awesome friend.

Blog song title: “Like a Friend” by Pulp
Image: someecards.com 

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