NYRR 18M Marathon Tune Up

43 days to go.

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Mike and I after a long 18 miles through Central Park

When I look at this countdown, it feels like forever ago that we started training for this race. It’s scary! I can’t believe we’re up to 18 mile long runs already – and what’s scarier is the two weeks I had to take off before this 18M race due to a (cause unknown) hip strain. But here we were, ready to go this past Saturday morning in Central Park, alongside 6000 other future (and former) marathoners.

I have always loved NYRR races – despite the long bathroom lines and the crowded Mile 1’s, their races are always full of so much energy. The Central Park starting lines and the traditional pre-race speech by Peter Ciaccia always gets me nervous and excited. This particular day was no different.

I was particularly nervous since this was a looping route – 3 loops around Central Park, which meant 3 times up Harlem Hills, 3 times up Cat Hill, and 3 times through the rolling hills of the lower park. BUT, my goal was to go in with an open mind and take the race as it went, running each mile as it passed. (See my previous training post for more on this new, positive racing outlook.)

elevation chart

Yikes! (Harlem Hills, miles 6 and 12)

Central Park isn’t unfamiliar terrain to me — I’ve done the MORE Fitness Women’s Half Marathon twice, among countless other NYRR races that loop through the park. Since this tune-up wasn’t exactly a race, I thought this might be a nice way to people watch in the park while moving around. Since I wouldn’t hit the same spot twice without about an hour break in between, my hope was that each loop would be different, with a different scene playing out while we ran.

We got to the start near 102nd street around 6:40 am, 20 minutes before the start, to get our bibs. The race counted towards our 9+1 goal to qualify for next year’s marathon, so we knew we couldn’t quit early with our bibs on! Then we found our pace group – somewhere around a 4:30 marathon time, slightly slower than we aim to run the actual race. We barely made it to our corral – we had about 30 seconds to spare – having underestimated the registration lines for the morning!

Then, we were off….

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Upcycled: Bedroom Dresser to Outdoor Buffet

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There is nothing better than sitting outside on a summer night with friends and family, campfire going, enjoying an ice cold beer* and whatever you’ve whipped up on the grill.
*adult seltzer for us gluten free maniacs

At our house, we have a set of great Adirondack chairs sitting on the porch with a view into Greenwich Bay, but our table space is severely lacking. Plus, with an excited pup waiting inside, a revolving door for friends and guests can become a little taxing.

I was browsing ideas for the Nautical Dresser I made this summer when I came across a DIY article from My Creative Days called How To Turn a Curbside Dresser Into a Bar. It was almost too perfect. I had been trying to figure out what to do with my childhood dresser so that our room wasn’t so cluttered with furniture; there was absolutely no room in the house for it and it wasn’t in good enough shape to sell for any real profit.

 

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My Summer Checklist

I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve never taken time off.

I’ve had a job since I was legally able to work – at 14, I hauled chairs and umbrellas at a beach club every summer; by the time I was 21 I had worked my way up to a senior waitress position. Two weeks after graduating college, I moved to NYC, and I’ve not stopped working since.

So, for the first time in 14 years, I took a summer break! After my big intro grad class ended, my plans for the month extended as far as naps, bad TV, and getting as much sun as humanly possible. Just kidding… my plans extended as far as very specific house projects, bad TV, and learning a bunch of new recipes for the fall. Plus the sun part!

Here’s a quick review of my Summer Checklist, and how my projects went…

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Entryway Sunglasses Hanger – 10 Minute DIY

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The finished view — see the “before” below!

It’s an age-old dilemma. How do I store my sunglasses in a way that:
– will display them stylishly
– will keep them from scratching and breaking
– and will remind me to grab them on my way out the door?

I’ve been trying to figure this out for years. I’ve tried putting each pair in a cloth case and keeping the collection in a coffee can… I’ve tried laying sunnies flat in a tray by the door… I’ve tried leaving multiple pairs in their cases in my purse and in my car. Nothing has done the trick, and now that I live with Mike, the collection of sunnies to store is growing. We had to figure out a way to make our sunglass rack like our key rack – a hanging set of hooks right by the door.

After some research, I found this clever, EASY project that took no time at all.

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Nautical Dresser Spruce Up

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The finished piece!

Mike and I live with his parents. Well, not really, in the most literal sense of the phrase, but our living situation is more complicated than the two of us.

Buttonwoods Mornings

We are lucky enough to live in a beachside house owned by both Mike and his parents, but where Mike (and now I) live year round. His parents and siblings are here as often as they can be during boat season. Not does that mean that we’re blessed with this gorgeous morning view, but we all get along great and his parents are easygoing about the look of the house, which means we (I) get to decorate however we (I) please (within reason).

Until I moved in this past March, this place was essentially Mike’s bachelor pad. Functionally great for hosting a crowd, but no feminine touch.

Rest assured that when I moved in, the feminine touch moved in with me. A rug here, a new couch there, some IKEA Kallax cubbies in the mud room… Most of our things blended naturally together in each room, which made the move-in much easier, but one room just wasn’t an easy match – the bedroom.

My solution? Downsize our furniture count, fix up the closets, and turn Mike’s dad’s childhood dresser into a nautical piece to brighten things up (which he was nice enough to let me do!)

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