TOL: Moving and Shaking

Happy Thinking Out Loud! I skipped last week because I couldn’t get my act together, but here I am going 4 days strong with posts and have another scheduled for tomorrow! I can’t remember the last time I wrote 5 posts in a row. It’s certainly the most I’ve written in the past 2+ years. Today is all about the rambling though, and I’m really good at that, so that’s just what I’m going to do.

1)THIS WEEK. Anybody else? I don’t know what it is, but it’s killing me. Maybe it’s the excitement over so many big things coming up (LOTS of exciting trips), or because I’m a huge fan of the fall weather and just want to be outside all the time, or the stress of this upcoming move, but if I make it to Saturday it will be a miracle.

2) I hadn’t spoken to my mom since Sunday until I got this email in my inbox yesterday morning. In fairness, the last time she thought she was getting a “good deal” on a Longchamp bag, she bought a terrible attempt at a knockoff from China. But she also bought it on a website like longchampclearance.com or something. #seemslegit. This is why we have the #shitsandysays hashtag. Yes, mom, this one is legit.

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3) Yesterday was especially rough. I need a new iPhone but I refuse to pay $25/month for one. The volume control on the side isn’t working and the ringer randomly turns on when it’s supposed to be on silent. So I have the volume all the way down just in case it goes off in a meeting. Except I forgot that my alarm is connected to the volume, so when it went off at 4:52am yesterday, I couldn’t hear it. I just happened to wake up around 5:22 completely disoriented and realized that I overslept and was late for November Project. I missed the epic sunrise but I did make it there at 5:49am, so only 19 minutes late.

November Project

4) The workout itself was awesome. I did 30 sections with the 5:30 group and another 30 sections with the 6:30 group. The humidity came back a little bit but I was running on so much adrenaline that I just plowed through the sections and hoped nobody noticed my absence during the bounce.November Project

5) Now that I’m in Boston, I’m finding myself becoming more loyal to local brands. Janji is a brand I discovered several years ago at the Newport half (come run with Kaitlin and me!). My mom loved that it was based around funding clean water projects. My friend Jenna hooked me up recently with one of their singlets and I LOVE it. I also received my package of Tracksmith gear from my PR race a few weeks ago. The shorts are the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn, as are the two tank tops I ordered. I recently transitioned to primarily wearing Lululemon, but these two brands are now at the top of my (out of control) workout wardrobe so they’re the first things I grab. Next up: Ciele hats (although they aren’t Boston-based, they’re big at NP).

Janji singlet and Tracksmith shorts

Janji singlet and Tracksmith shorts

6) On the way home from November Project, I had more bad luck. Remember how I fired my dad as my bike mechanic for putting the handlebars on crooked? Well mid bike ride, the breaks completely came undone around the wheel. It’s an easy fix, but luck was not on my side yesterday morning.

bike

7) I am all about the rooftops lately. The other night after dinner I just felt like sitting by the pool. I brought my iPad up to read a book and just relaxed for an hour until I got chilly. Yes, chilly. It’s been forever since I was actually cold. I love the crispness in the air in the fall. As much as I love the bronzed skin and boatlife, fall is far and away my favorite season. It just feels so much cozier. I went up again last night and I have a feeling I’ll continue coming up to the roof at my aunt’s condo even after I move. This morning I’m at a rooftop yoga class with Kyndal.

rooftop pool

8) We switched offices just after I started my new job and dogs technically aren’t allowed in the new building, which is too bad because there used to be a dog calendar where people would write down the day they were bringing their dog to the office. One day this week, someone brought their dog in anyways. I’m not a little dog person at all but Daphne is adorable and I kept finding her under my desk.

dog daphne

9) Moving is a nightmare. I’m supposed to have my bed delivered from Jordan’s furniture Saturday but the freight elevator in my new building is only available from 8-1. When I called Jordan’s to specify a time frame, they said they can’t guarantee a range until 48 hours before. So basically there’s no way to reserve the freight elevator because there’s no way to know when the furniture might be delivered. Never. Moving. Again.

10) But I really can’t wait to have my bed back (it’s a new bed, but we ordered the same one I had before because we gave mine to my brother). And a place to put clothes away (once I find a dresser and figure out how deliver it to the apartment). And to not feel like I’m taking over someone else’s space (even though I’ve seen my aunt all of 4 times in the last 2 months). And to have a place to call home (that isn’t my parents’ house).

 

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Daybreaker Party

Last month I received two tickets to the Daybreaker Party (I am writing about the event in exchange for my ticket and a plus one). I know some people who have gone to previous events and was really intrigued. Based on pictures I had seen on Facebook, I knew there was yoga involved, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, disco lights, and a DJ. That’s my kind of yoga.

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From the website:

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In short, Daybreaker is one big party. It’s basically a rave at 6 in the morning. For someone like me who doesn’t drink, it’s pretty much the only way you’d ever get me to go to a club. I loved the concept and was excited to see what it was all about.

I arrived at Icon Nightclub at 5:45am expecting to get there early to put my mat down and get settled before the class started. It was about a mile and a half walk from where I’m currently living. When I got there, there was a line outside the door. I invited Kyndal (former blogger, current NP friend) as my plus 1 to come with me because it’s more fun to try new fitness things with friends. We practiced using the self-timer feature on her phone while we waited because I didn’t even know that was a thing. I always thought you had to download a separate app…

kyndal

Finally just after 6am they let us in and checked our names off. The room filled quickly and it started at 6:15. It was like being in a nightclub (I mean, it is a nightclub) without the grimy, stickiness. When I told one of my friends what I was doing, he said, “but it’s going to be so dirty!” That wasn’t the case at all- it was very clean. It had a very similar feel to the glow-in-the-dark yoga classes I’ve taken in the past with a live DJ, disco balls, glitter everywhere, photographers and videographers, and dozens of neon spandex clad yogis. The only difference was that there were chandeliers and built-in benches.

The class itself was taught by Izzy VanHall. She teaches at YogaWorks, Equinox, Coolidge Corner Yoga, and probably others as well. She led us through several variations of vinyasa flows with a lot of hip-opening sequences. Runners lunge is my favorite because I’m so so so tight. Especially on Thursdays after stadium days. We did that several times throughout the class. Aside from a few chatarangas, it felt more like a guided stretching session accompanied by loud music and flashing lights.

DayBreaker

In total, the class was just under 45 minutes long. I don’t know if it’s because it started so late but I was expecting her to still teach for an hour. This was slightly disappointing because I really liked her style of teaching. It wasn’t too “kumbayya-ey” (you know what I mean) and had a very fun feel to it. She didn’t take herself too seriously, the music was awesome, and it reminded me of some of my favorite yoga classes back in Baltimore. I will definitely be taking her classes at the local studios because I wasn’t bored the way I typically am in yoga.

After yoga ended, there were various healthy snacks and beverages to drink. The focus was on health without feeling preachy. It literally felt like you were going to the bar at night between the lighting, music, and drinks, but instead of alcohol, it was coconut water and cold brew coffee. At 7am the dance party begins. People were just starting to trickle into that room but once it fills in, it becomes a full on rave. I unfortunately couldn’t stay for this piece of the morning as I have to be at work pretty early, but it does look like a great time.

This was such a cool experience and I’m so glad I attended. While I do love yoga, I can get bored with it sometimes and throwing in good music and a more laid-back, rave atmosphere makes it feel a little less like a traditional yoga practice. I have nothing but good things to say about it, although I do wish they had started on time so we could have gotten the full hour of yoga and the pictures never went online for this one day. I would highly recommend Daybreaker to anyone. It’s a really cool experience and it’s in a ton of cities around the world! Check out the list to see if there’s one near you!

Have you ever been to a glow flow yoga class?

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Summer Weekends

YOU GUYS. Saturday I won’t be homeless anymore! That’s right. In 4 days I get to say goodbye air mattress. To be completely honest, I didn’t mind it at all. This summer has absolutely flown by. I sleep pretty well for the most part. I haven’t been sleeping as well lately, but that is more likely related to the amount of sugar I’ve been consuming lately before bed (oops, gotta work on that). It will be so nice to have a place to put my clothes again after using a fancy dining room table as my closet for the past 2 months.

apartment

Originally I was supposed to housesit for my cousins in Boston again but when I found out they didn’t need me around anymore, there was no second thought about where I’d be spending the weekend. Once I have my own apartment, I won’t be heading home quite as often, but I want to enjoy my summers at home. This is what I missed most for the past 2 summers so I don’t feel remotely bad about spending every weekend in Rhode Island. Most people I know leave the city on the weekends to go to summer houses on the Cape or in Maine anyways, so I’m not missing out on much as it is.

This weekend was so typical for my family. If you’ve been reading my blog for the past 2 months, you can probably guess what I did. We’re creatures of habit if nothing else.

Friday night I drove down after work and made it home just in time for a family dinner. Most of you know by now how important these are to me. We talk about everything from how work is going, to getting ready for school, to how my grad school search is going (that’s what I spent most of this week doing after work), to weekend plans. Sometimes we get into heated debates and sometimes it’s a quick, quiet dinner. Either way, it’s something I completely took for granted growing up. Now I cherish those nights.

dinner mom

Saturday morning my mom and I went for a walk as we usually do. We ran some errands and I went for a bike ride around the island before lunch. These views though. They never get old and I promise they’re 10000x better in person.

bike

Later in the afternoon, we went to my grandparents’ house to go to the beach club. This is where I’ll admit that I am not a beach person. I love being near the ocean but I don’t love the sand or salt water. I worked at a beach for 4 years so obviously I tolerate it, I just have a hard time sitting still for hours and the water is generally too cold for me. I’ll take a pool any day. We weren’t there for very long before it was time to head back to the house for dinner with my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousin.

beach

Sunday morning I went for another walk with my parents, did some laundry, and started packing. My mom is very excited to have her living room back even though we never actually use that room. By some miracle, I managed to fit almost all of it in my car with the exception of a few small things that I’ll bring next weekend. Since my parents helped me move out of my apartment in Baltimore, they told me I was on my own for moving into a new place in Boston.

packing

I spent some time in the pool and then headed back to Boston. I needed to buy groceries and I was exhausted despite sleeping in until after 7am (late for me), so I decided I’d rather get back before dinner so I could get to bed at a reasonable hour. I went for a walk to go to Trader Joe’s and stop by my new apartment to figure out my bed delivery (don’t even get me started) and then parked myself on the couch for the rest of the evening before passing out early.poolMonday started with an awesomely weird workout at November Project and then it was off to work for the day. I haven’t seen my aunt in almost a month even though I’m living in her condo, so when she told me she’d be in town for a board meeting at her condo, I was happy to see her. I owe her the world for letting me take over her space for the summer so I didn’t have to pay double rent. I’m excited to see her more once I move out, since she’ll be staying in Boston again more often.

november project

Who else is getting excited for fall?

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Workouts 8/15-8/21

It was another hot and humid week. I dialed back the mileage and number of workouts this week. I cut one short and pushed myself when I needed to. There’s no reason for me to be killing myself on every run or every workout. I’d like to PR in the Newport half this October, but I’m enjoying running with other people and doing other things and I’m not going to obsess over running a certain number of miles. That’s not fun and I’m all about fun exercise these days.

Mon– 4 miles November Project

This was a weird workout and didn’t feel as hard as normal. I definitely didn’t get in as much of a “workout.” I ran the 1.5 miles each way down by the Hatch Shell on the esplanade. From there, we did a quick warmup lap and then the workout was broken down by song. We did “Sally” which is a song where you go down into a squat whenever the song says “bring sally down.” We also did a song for jumping jacks, burpees, bicycles, planking during duck duck goose, skipping around, scissor kicks, and more. Each individual workout burned but I wasn’t dying because there was a lot of rest.

November Project

Tues– 9 miles Fenspeed

Fenspeed just got intense. A smaller group is meeting at 6am now instead of 6:30 to get in longer workouts more geared towards marathon training. I’m not marathon training, but the 6:30 group does workouts better for 5ks and shorter distances, so I figured it would be good to work on pacing. It’s just under a mile each way for me to the track, and then we did a 1 mile warmup together.

The workout itself was 4x (800, 400, 800) with 90 seconds rest between each and a 1 lap jog after every set. The 800s were at 10k pace (so around 7:00-7:10 pace) and the 400s were at 5k pace (6:45 pace). I ran with Jana who has similar PRs and it made the workout so much more manageable to run with someone else. We were relatively consistent and I finished the workout feeling pretty good about where I’m at. We joined the bigger group for an ab workout and then I jogged home.

Fen speed

Wed– 6 miles biking + 52 sections stadium + core @ November Project

It’s officially dark out at 5am so I’m glad I decided to start biking to the stadium instead of running. I only get about 8 more minutes of sleep, but when you’re waking up at the 4:xx hour, those 8 minutes are gold. I biked 3 miles each way to the stadium and back. It was so freaking humid. I was planning to do 80 sections like last week (50 with the 5:30 group, 30 with 6:30), but about 15 sections in at 5:30 I wasn’t feeling awesome. I was overheated, dehydrated, and just tired. I made it through the 50 sections in about 44 minutes, and almost puked as soon as it was over. I drank some water and decided I’d start with the 6:30 group to see how many more I could do. I did 2 sections before calling it quits.

My friend Jenna leads a core and hip mobility workout on the field at the stadium (also known as #injurydeck or #injuryprevention) so I decided to join them. We did some abs and a bunch of hip exercises which I need to do more often.

November Project

Thurs– OFF

Can we just talk about how AMAZING it felt to sleep until 7am? I❤ rest days.

Fri– 8 miles November Project hills for breakfast

This did not feel good. My legs felt *great* after taking Thursday off. The best they have in a long time. But I was out a lot last week at various events (mostly grad school info sessions) which meant I didn’t focus on eating and sleeping well. Dinners ended up being random snacks- or sugar- and I wasn’t in bed until well after my normal hour. So while my legs felt fresh and springy, the rest of me did not. Add in the humidity and I basically swam my way through the 8 miles. 5ish miles commuting to and from Summit Ave plus 3 miles of repeats on the most grueling hill known to man.

November project

Sat– Walk w/ my mom + 20 mile bike ride

It was so nice out I couldn’t not bike the island. Beavertail is my favorite place to take a quick water break because the views are incredible. I haven’t been using my road bike as much as I used to which is too bad because it wasn’t cheap, so I’m trying to at least go out for a ride once a week. 


Sun– Walk w/ my parents

Does the humidity affect your runs?

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Bobby Doyle 5 Miler (36:22)

This weekend I ran a 5+ minute PR in a 5 miler race.

I signed up for this race because I wanted a Tracksmith PR. Tracksmith is a small Boston brand that is offering a $250 gift card to anyone who runs a PR this summer wearing their gear. No strings attached. I love that it’s a local brand and I’ve been on the hunt for a racing singlet so naturally I had to find a race that I had a fighting chance to PR in. 5K was out because I’ll probably never run sub-20 again, a 10K was hit or miss, half marathon was out because I don’t have a base, and I’m sure as hell not ready for a marathon. When I heard about this 5 mile race, I didn’t think I had ever run one before, but then I remembered I did one in 2011 with friends in DC. As long as I ran faster than an 8:25ish pace, I’d PR.

Enter race morning. I woke up at 6:30 Sunday morning and it was already 80 degrees outside. The race didn’t start until 9am so I knew it was going to be hot. My parents went for a walk and I was tempted to go with them but decided to sit on the couch instead to conserve energy.

I arrive at the Bobby Doyle 5 Miler in Narragansett around 8:10 which should have been more than enough time. I definitely did not expect so many people to be there. I thought it was a small, local race. I had to wait for about 15 minutes for a parking space and then walked over to the registration area to pick up my bib. That process was seamless and I waited in line for another 10 or so minutes at the porta potties. It was already unbearably hot, so I ran back to my car to drop off my Tracksmith shirt (which I borrowed from my friend Jenna) and decided to race in a sports bra <– which I rarely do even though I run in sports bras all the time.

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I headed to the start around 8:45 and stood in the shade trying to stay cool. It was intimidating being surrounded by so many fast-looking people. I later found out it was a USATF New England Grand Prix championship race, so there were some of the best teams from all over New England running. I was definitely out of my league.

We lined up just before 9 with the elites (sub-26 for men, sub-30 for women) up front and then lining up according to expected time behind them. I stood in the 35-40 minute range. The girls standing next to me were high school cross-country runners doing a tempo run with their coach. Spoiler alert: they smoked me. Everyone around me was literally dripping in sweat and I kept brushing up against them.

The gun went off and my legs immediately felt fatigued. That’s not abnormal for me at the beginning of a race so I just decided to be smart about it given the 95 degree heat index. The first mile I ran with the high school girls and felt like we were being conservative. We crossed the first mile in 6:48. Not conservative.

Around mile 1.6, they had a water stop. I managed to get about one sip in my mouth and poured the rest on my head. I reigned it in a bit during mile 2 because I knew 6:xx isn’t sustainable for me. I crossed mile 2 in 7:10.

bobby doyle

not the most flattering race pic, but this was me coming into the finish

I focused on not weaving in and out of runners during this race. I usually add on up to a half mile in tangents but this time I ran as straight as possible while still trying to stay in the shade. Mile 3 was HOT. I think this is also the mile we ran along the water for a second. I ran mile 3 in 6:58. A little faster than I thought, but I felt okay.

Mile four was tough. I was getting uncomfortably hot, my heart rate was sky high, and I worried about the heat. I poured another cup of water on my head just after the 3rd mile marker and told myself I had about 15 minutes to go. I came through in 7:35. 

Mile 5 I started getting tired. I walked through a water stop and actually ran alongside a blog reader (Hi Dana!) who motivated me to push through to the finish. I probably would have completely given up if she hadn’t introduced herself and I chased her to the end. My final mile was 7:38 and I crossed the finish line in 36:22.

I positive split this race like a champ, but it’s actually much more consistent than my races typically are. I took it out too fast per usual, but a 6:48 first mile isn’t the stupidest race I’ve ever run. Overall, I’m extremely pleased and humbled by this race. I only cared about running faster than my previous PR, but I finished feeling really good about it. A 7:15 average pace is pretty on par with my best times when I’m in peak shape.

Bobby Doyle 5 miler track smith

While this was a very solid time for me, it was also probably the worst I’ve ever finished, place-wise. Out of just under 700 finishers, I was 311. I’m not an elite runner or even very competitive, but it is unusual for me to barely crack the top 50%. I couldn’t care less about my overall place because that’s just not important to me. I’m motivated by beating my own times, not how well I place. It just goes to show how competitive this race was. This was a fast fleet of runners and I was so humbled to be around them.

I’d absolutely run it again next year, I just hope it’s not has hot.

Hottest race you’ve ever run?

Most competitive race you’ve ever run?

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