Tag Archives: New York

BONUS–Run a Marathon

25 Mar

What?!? When I was 30 and first started writing this blog, one of the items was to run a 10K, so it’s pretty incredible that in a matter of 6 years, that goal has turned into a standard weekday morning occurrence. Now I can proudly say that I’ve done two half-Ironman races and run two marathons.

Running a marathon was never a goal of mine. It seemed pretty silly. Why would anyone want to run for 4ish hours? Half-marathon, no problem, but the full distance just seemed ridiculous.

That was until we decided to sponsor the 2016 New York City Marathon, the biggest and one of the most well-known marathons in the world. My colleague Reed said that we needed to run it because it is a “bucket-list race.” Wasn’t on my bucket list. Somehow though she convinced me this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I shouldn’t pass up. So, I signed up.

I shocked the heck out of my family by taking this big jump. They were so supportive though. My mom even used her Photoshop skills to show me how great I would look running the race… (it’s like a marathon Where’s Waldo)

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I looked online for a training plan that wouldn’t be too aggressive, but would get me to the finish line in one piece. I found a beginner plan from Bart Yasso, former Runner’s World writer known as the “Mayor of Running.” I followed the plan religiously, not missing a day.

Physically I was ready to take on New York, but mentally was another story. I’m just a little bit Type-A (insert sarcasm here), so I did so much research and studying going into the race that I think I psyched myself out. My recommendation for anyone looking to run their first marathon is to be prepared, but don’t overdo it.

In the final days before the race, I was a ball of nerves, but SO excited!

And I had my coach in town to go on one last training run.

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When race day came, my goal was just to finish, that’s it. No lofty time goal. Just survive this thing.

You get to the start line several hours in advance due to road closures, so fortunately I had a bunch of friends from Fitbit to hang out with and help keep the nerves at bay (as much as possible). As unofficial team mom, I also made us matching shirts. 😉

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The time went by fast and before you knew it, we were off. I kept a steady pace and made my way through the 5 boroughs and 26.2 miles.

The crowd along the route was incredible. There were people along almost every inch. It was so inspiring. And best of all, I knew some of them! My mom, dad and Mychael jumped around the course to cheer me on at different points (thank goodness Mychael is an NYC subway expert navigator). My cousin’s even came out to cheer me on in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The signs my friends and family made were amazing and looking for them along the course was a great distraction. I’m so lucky to have such incredible support.

And I DID IT! I finished the race in 4:30:42.

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It was such an incredible experience. Personally, very fulfilling to accomplish such a lofty goal that only 6 years prior seemed outrageous, but also so inspiring to see all the different types of people out there doing the race, pushing through their own personal boundaries to show what they are capable of. 🙌

We spent a few days after the race hanging out in NY and celebrating. We got to see family…

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and as a sidenote, how cute are my parents? (This is the first time they used Snapchat.)

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I enjoyed the experience so much that I ran the race again in 2017. I followed a much more aggressive plan from Very Well to try and improve my time, now that I knew I could do it. I was on track to shave at least 15 minutes off my time from the year before. And as an added bonus, Mychael decided to run with me this year (I think he was having a bit of FOMO after how much fun I had the year before 😜).

Unfortunately, we both got sick in the weeks leading up to the race and our training was thrown off track.

When race day came we were still under the weather, but decided to just go for it any way. We altered our goal from getting a PR (personal record) to just having fun.

We had a bigger Fitbit crew to hang out with before the race.

2017 was MUCH colder than the previous year, but we had great outfits to keep warm at the start.

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We stopped in mile 1 to take a selfie on the Verrazano Bridge.

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Mychael stopped again around the 10-mile point to take a bourbon shot with this supportive fan.

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We stopped to take pics with our friend Jessica just past the halfway point.

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Needless to say, we were taking our time. But we did it. Between the weather (Mychael took off his shirt and rung it out at one point) and being sick, we were happy just to finish.

Even though we were forced to change our goal, we had a lot of fun running together and it was a different experience this year to take the time to enjoy all the different sights and sounds of each borough.

I don’t know if I’ll ever run New York again, but these experiences have awoken a new love for running. Chicago 2019, here I come!

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#16 See a Broadway Show

31 Dec

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Once again, I’m a little bit behind…this past July my mom and I took an epic trip to New York. It was an action-packed six days of Big Apple fun. We went to the Empire State Building…

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the 9/11 Memorial

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rode bikes in Central Park…

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bought tons of bags on Canal Street…

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had an amazing 4-hour dinner on the Upper East Side at Philippe’s

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got massages at Bliss (they frown on you taking pics at the spa)…

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had lunch with the East Coast cousins (there are a couple who snuck away before the photo opp, but it was a big group)…

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shopped on Broadway…

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took a boat tour by the Statue of Liberty (thanks to cousin Zach)…

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navigated the subway system without getting lost…

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walked through the world’s largest store (Macy’s Herald Square)…

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went to the locals restaurant at Eataly (Birreria)…

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and most importantly we saw a Broadway (Book of Mormon) and Off-Broadway play (Avenue Q).

My mom and I had talked about going on a girls trip to New York for a while, but with most things that take a lot of planning, it was still just more of an idea. That was until I got an interesting email from Virgin America. The email said I had entered a contest and won two round trip tickets to anywhere they fly. I was suspicious because it sounded like a scam, but after some research I found that it was indeed true. So with that, we started the planning and before you know it, the trip was on the books.

My mom is very familiar with my 40’s list and wanted to help me check something off, so she asked me pick a Broadway show to see while we were in town. After some online research and consulting with friends, everyone said Book of Mormon was the one to see, so we bought tickets and added it to the itinerary (which was quickly filling up).

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We took off to New York from LA on Thursday, July 12, and quickly got started with our sight-seeing.

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Saturday, July 14 (day 3), was the big day. The evening started with cocktails at our hotel’s rooftop bar.

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We were a little early for the club-like set up of the place…at 6:30 p.m. we were the only ones there….but we didn’t care. The view was amazing, the drinks were great and we were off for an amazing night at the theater. We were in for a big night, not only because it was my first time seeing a play on Broadway, but also because earlier in the day my awesome cousin (Paul) and his girlfriend (Anna) had arranged for us to go backstage after the show. Talk about a great introduction to Broadway!

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At 8 p.m. the theater was full and we were ready to go. I was actually really surprised by how small the theater was. I expected something like the Pantages in LA, but it was actually pretty small and intimate. All that time we had spent figuring out where the best seats were was sort of a waste. There are really no bad seats at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

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The show was amazing! From start to finish, we were entertained, laughing out loud and tapping our feet along to the songs. Afterwards, we tried to take a picture of the set and were stopped by an usher. Haha…little did she know that we were about to go backstage and take photos of every costume and set we wanted (we showed her!).

We went outside to meet my cousin and his girlfriend, and the four of us were escorted through the side entrance and led backstage. We felt like such VIPs. 🙂 Once inside we stepped on the stage for a photo opp and some background on the show.

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I know I should have been paying closer attention and taking very copious notes for this blog post, but I was distracted. We were on the exact same stage the amazing show we had just seen was performed on. Maybe it was ADD, maybe I was reliving my days as a drama “star”…

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…but unfortunately all I have in my notes to share is “550 shows, 25 bts.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, so feel free to interpret as you wish. 🙂

From there, our guide took us off the other side of the stage, back into the dressing rooms to see all the costumes, and downstairs to see all the controls and set pulleys.

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What stood out most to me about the tour was how small the backstage area was. This play had a pretty decent sized cast with multiple costume changes, so to imagine them all back there trying to make all their cues just seemed crazy. Very impressive!

After the tour was over, the four of us finished the evening with a nightcap….of Junior’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake and Desserts! And let me tell you…it was amazing!

It was an unforgettable night. The play was fantastic; the VIP experience, incredible; and the company, unbeatable. (We had so much fun that we bought tickets to Avenue Q the next day!)

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**Note: This is just a single piece of one of the most fun vacations I have ever been on. Having the opportunity to spend that week with my mom filled with girly experiences and touristy outings created memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am so lucky to have found a best friend in my mom. Love you mom.

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