Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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I’m back in LA after spending a few days in New York. It was a little hectic shuffling around from NY to Newark to Albany and back.I crammed a lot into six days. I landed late Tuesday night and took a cab straight to Carmen and Jim’s. I was in bed by midnight, and up by 6:30 to squeeze in my long run before heading to Newark for a school visit. I’ve complained enough about that long run. Snow flurries, 28 degrees, poorly dressed. It was the worst, but I got it done. When I got back I couldn’t even talk to Jim. I was awkwardly trying to speak, but my lips were frozen. It wouldn’t have been bad with gloves, pants and a jacket. That was bad planning on my part. I didn’t even drink any water or practice any fueling. I just ran (slowly) and felt sorry for myself the entire time.

After my run I took all my stuff and headed to Newark to visit North Star Academy’s Valisburg Campus. Our CEO at Equitas told me she’d never seen a more rigorous Kindergarten program. They were so welcoming and their model inspired me. It was also great to see that our current Kindergarten team at Equitas #1 is equally strong. I was reminded at the importance of having a visually appealing school. It correlates with the academic program, saves time with organization and gives a sense of pride for the school. Having a warm office staff, super important too!

After spending a few hours at North Star I took the longest uber ride ever to Penn Station to catch my Amtrak train to Albany for the Uncommon Impact Behavior and Culture Workshop. Two days with Teach Like A Champion guru Dave Lemov. He’s a celebrity in the Ed World, and it was some of the best professional development I’ve ever attended. I feel much more comfortable with coaching teachers to improve their ability to manage classrooms so that they can focus their attention on academics, not behavior. We got lots of good practice (I just read Practice Perfect, and I’m sold). I also managed to spend 2 full days inside and ran an entire three miles while I was in Albany on this awful dreadmill with a Cindy Crawford skincare infomercial streaming in the background. Yes, I just googled Desmond Hotel treadmill.

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By Friday night I was feeling pretty blah about running. I was questioning how prepared I was for this marathon and was freaking out about my calf and shin tightness. I had a bad 16 miler, ran 3 miles in Albany, and this is supposed to be my peak. I was also very jealous of Marta who didn’t have a plan to work off of and who was done running her marathon. Next week. I told myself, next week I’ll peak before my final 20+ run. Hungry Runner Girl posted this on her blog yesterday, and it make me feel 1000 times better about my running life right now.

Friday night I rushed to the Amtrak station and took a train back into the city, dropped my stuff off at Carmen and Jim’s and Brent (who flew in Thursday) and I went straight to dinner to hang out with Meredith and Nicole, my Columbia buddies. It was strange seeing them in snowy weather rather than sweating in the summer.

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Saturday and Sunday were family days. My entire family came to New York for the weekend. Marta came from LA. My parents flew in from Michigan, and Alicia and the fam drove up from DC. We didn’t do much besides play with our selfie stick, shop, playing with Colby and Miles and eat. Gotta love family time.

Sunday night I shuffled again. Marta ended up staying in New York for work, so she got a hotel room in midtown. We planned on running the Central Park loop before going to Sushi Samba for dinner, but our poor packing forced us in the gym. Over the weekend I was able to have a few good treadmill workouts. A six-mile tempo, and a six-mile easy. Would have loved more distance but six miles is beyond my treadmill limit. My legs felt so much better. I think the icing (and natural icing from cold weather) and strengthening exercises are helping. Maybe the Albany low mileage days were a blessing. I’m SO excited to get back to yoga on Wednesday. I’m feeling super tight.

Monday morning Marta and I hit the gym, and were determined to get a GOOD New York bagel so we sprinted half a mile to Pick-a-Bagel for a bacon, egg and cheese. 25-degree weather in shorts was worth it for the bagels.photo 2 (6)

I then took the 6 up to the Bronx and spent Monday morning at South Bronx Classical Academy in Mott Haven. I observed primarily Kindergarten classrooms and was again reminded at just how much Kindergarteners can handle academically. I find it fascinating to listen to their thinking and watch them work through challenging content. After a few hours in the Bronx, I headed back into Manhattan and got lunch with Carmen at Chopt (they need this in LA). She showed me around the Amazon Publishing office before I headed back to the hotel, packed up and headed to JFK.

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Check our some LA Marathon Pics. Ellen and I ran a combined 3:13:01 and were the FIRST relay team.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 9.26.40 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 8.35.16 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 8.34.31 AM

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Done with Week Three in NYC

 Here is what I’ve been up to during the few hours when I’m not at doing work. Less than two weeks left!

  1. We visited the Weber family in Southampton on the weekend of the 4th
  2. Meredith, Matt and I took advantage of the sun during our brain breaks
  3. Friday Team Uptown at Back on My Feet did drill work, and I won the plank challenge with five minutes of planking!
  4. Although it’s always tempting to eat out in New York, Meredith and I have done a lot of cooking
  5. Meredith got fitted for new shoes at Super Runners
  6. Carmen and I rocked out at SoulCycle on the Upper West Side 
  7. We’ve been playing frisbee at Riverside Park during our lunch breaks
  8. My beautiful bacon, egg and cheese on sesame from Absolute Bagel 
  9. Brent and I had tapas at Alta Restaurant in Greenwich Village after eight hour data class on Saturday

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NYCRUNS Firecracker 5K-Governor’s Island Race Review

I like gifting experiences rather than stuff. Meredith (my NYC roomie) celebrated her 29th birthday earlier this month. Last summer I got her into running, so I figured entry into the Firecracker 5K on Governor’s Island was the perfect birthday gift. Meredith is a transformative educator at Columbia Secondary School in South Harlem. She teaches sixth grade English, built the school’s community garden and directs the school musicals. If she can make time for running, anyone can. Last summer Meredith had no running experience and in just two weeks we were consistently running three miles together. Meredith has always averaged 29/30 minutes for three miles, and today she ran an incredible 25:13!!!

I haven’t run a 5K in years. There’s no easing into a 5K, you have to run fast the whole time! A few months ago Lauren Fleshman wrote a great article for Runner’s World entitled 10 Reasons the 5K is Freaking Awesome. She calls for a 5K revolution, arguing they result in less injuries, require no gels or blocks, and are cheaper. The two-time U.S. Outdoor 5000-meter champion wonders why value a slow marathon time more than a hard effort at the 5K when she states, “I want to talk about how, with three laps left, my body felt engulfed in flames, and how alive that feels compared with the slow burn of the marathon.” She’s right. If you run a 5K right, it is incredibly painful, and you don’t get any of that marathon glory.

I didn’t have a goal for this race. I love not having goals for races because I go in so much more relaxed and never experience disappointment. I surprised myself averaging a 6:27 pace with a 20:04 finish and was the third female finisher. I felt great the whole time, but it just finished so quickly. I’d love to run another 5K in the near future and use a little more strategy. I learned that I didn’t need to pace myself much for the first half, I just need to GO!

After the race I went to Carmen’s in Brooklyn. Brent and Marta were already here, and Mama and Papa are on their way. Looking forward to a fun family weekend (and work). Happy Fourth of July!

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Thinking of running a NYCRuns Race?

Pros:

  • Relaxed community feel
  • This course was gorgeous! Great view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty
  • The race director was hilarious, cracking jokes on the mic before the race
  • AMAZING bagels after the race
  • Inexpensive
  • REAL BATHROOMS!

Cons:

  • Huge race shirts (I gave mine to Brent)
  • Getting to Governor’s Island was time consuming (but it was worth it!)