Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My long run involved a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

@ Laurel Hill: Splendiferous morning for a jump!  Thanks Wams for
taking such a great photo!
Saturday, January 19, 2013

Workout Types(s): Long run and core workout.
Miles ran: 20ish
Where: Laurel Hill, all along the Hudson waterfront, Jersey side.
Temperature: Mid-40s.
What I wore: Northface black jacket, Elita turtleneck, North Coast 24 Hour shirt from 2011, Adidas leggings, random shorts, ice breaker socks, Bondi Band
Sneakers: Inov-8 Rock-lites 315
How I felt: A bit stiff towards the end.
What I thought about while running: How much I love my new sneakers.
Food consumed: Bagel with cream cheese, half a bag of Gu chompers, half a bottle of Gatorade

My new Inov-8 Rock-lites!

Sunday, January 20, 2013
Workout Type(s): Recovery run and Aerial Yoga
Miles ran: 10+
Temperature: High 40s/low 50s
Where: Brooklyn Bridge and downtown Manhattan; SacredSounds Yoga
What I wore: Northface black jacket, Elita turtleneck, Adidas leggings, ice breaker socks, Bondi Band.
Sneakers: Inov-8 Rock-lites 315
How I felt: Chill
What I thought about running: How much I love Kelly Clarkson.  She kept me company throughout most of my run.
What I ate: Banana, Seoul Food pork slider, Gatorade

Hello, Brooklyn Bridge!

Monday, January 21, 2013
Workout Type: Ice skating at Wollman Rink
Temperature: 30s
Where: Wollman Rink
Notes: Monday was my rest/cross training day.  I think I was feeling a bit out of sorts by not having a run scheduled; fortunately, Rob suggested we do some ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park and that perked me right up.  Both of us hadn’t been ice skating in years, but after a few rotations around the not-so-crowded ice rink, we fell into an easy rhythm.  After skating for more than an hour, we decided to call it quits because it was getting cold and our ice skate rentals weren’t fitting very well.  Note to self: Buy ice skates that fit. 

My ill-fitting ice skate. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Workout Types(s): Long climb for 1.5 hours at 15% grade @ 3.7 – 4.0 mph and core workout; physical and massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractor work.
Miles ran: 5.6
Where: The Gym, in Englewood, NJ; 
Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center
What I wore: North Coast 24 Hour shirt from 2011, random shorts, ice breaker socks, Bondi Band
Sneakers: Inov-8 Rock-lites 315
How I felt: Not great, but I enjoyed the workout immensely.
What I thought about while running: Work – I reread some court cases.
Food consumed: Nothing.
Notes: I decided to follow my running friend’s Thomas Wong’s suggestion of doing a 15 percent climb at 3.5 miles per hour.  Woosh, it was hard, but I think I need to include more of these to get ready for the serious inclines at Western States and the rest of its ilk.

Long Run Notes:

This weekend’s long run was half-organized, half-meandering.  My friend Ray organized a group run to Laurel Hill, a large rock outcropping in the Meadowlands in Secaucus, New Jersey.  It is a well-known landmark; if you drive on the New Jersey Turnpike, it is the large graffiti-covered rock right next to the eastern spur by the Lincoln Tunnel exit.  You might know the area as Snake Hill and/or Fraternity Rock.  

Ray and I talked about doing this run for a while, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we finally settled on a date.  There was a pretty good turn out – about fifteen of us met at the Journal Square PATH station, ready for a little bit of urban adventure.  I was psyched to see some of my other friends, including Leong, Wams, and Jerry.  After giving us a brief spiel about our route, Ray led the way on his bike and off we went.
Ray gives us instructions.

And we're off!
I ran mostly with Wams and Jerry.  I hadn’t seen Wams since we ran the Honolulu Marathon last month, and so it was good to catch up.  

Wams, running along little-used train tracks.

About three and a half miles of running on roads and on dirt and gravelly paths, we reached the bottom of Laurel Hill.  Since there were a few people still behind us, Ray told us to go ahead and just follow the trail.

Wams and Leong, at the bottom of the Laurel Hill.

And follow the trail we did . . . until we got to this open area and then we didn’t follow the trail, or rather, started following the trail-that-wasn’t-a-trail.  In our defense, it really looked like a trail.  Sure, there were some steep-y bits, but it was all fairly navigable. 

Jerry navigating the steep-y bits as Wams looks on.

Time for some multiple choice:

The best part of the trail-that-was-not-a-trail was:

a) It had rocks.
b) It was steep.
c) It had pretty views.
d) There were dinosaurs.

Correct answer?  D.  Yes, there were dinosaurs, or at least, life-size models of them.  My favorite was the Tyrannosaurus Rex, stalking its prey.  

I certainly do not see this every day.
The TRex is one my power animals, as I identify with its weak arm musculature.  Ever see that shirt with the TRex doing push ups?  That is me.  

This is me every Tuesday and Thursday, when I do my strength training.

We tried to see how close we could get to the dinosaurs, but soon realized that everything was blocked off and that the only open path was leading us off a cliff, which made us realize that we were going in the wrong direction as dying was definitely not in Ray’s general description of the trail.  Then again, Ray also didn’t mention dinosaurs, so that should have been our first clue.

After realizing we made a mistake, we backtracked completely to the bottom of Laurel Hill, thinking we would find people, but no one was in sight.  Fortunately, we saw Ray’s discarded bike, which let us know that he was still somewhere on the hill.  We ran back up the trail, got to the open space where we made the wrong turn and started looking for something trail-like.  Turned out the correct trail was partially blocked by some bramble-y things, but once we pushed the branches aside, the trail was readily apparent. 

After we ran for a few minutes along the real trail, we saw the rest of the group traveling across the ridge towards the top.  

Hooray, we found the others!
We caught up pretty quickly, and soon we were taking in the view, an interesting mix of urban and natural landscape. 

View from the top of Laurel Hill.
After taking a bunch of photos, I reluctantly headed back down with the rest of the group.  

Took this sequence of photos of Wams totally by accident, but I like how they came out!

I'm flying!  Thanks Ray for the picture!

Don't worry, I'm not planning on jumping.  Thanks again Ray for the fun pictures!

Ray led us back via a different route to Journal Square.  On the way back, I made some new friends: Helen, Mike, and Jitendra, to name a few.  

Time to head back home . . . 

After we made it back, Ray wanted to get some beers and while that was tempting, my legs were twitching to run some more.  Leong and Wams were planning to run to Hoboken to grab some lunch, so I tagged along with them.  When we got to the edge of town, we went our separate ways.  By this point, I had covered about 9.5 miles, so I continued to the waterfront and just kept running north along the Hudson River.  After running through Hoboken, Weehawken, Guttenberg, and then hitting the Edgewater border, I turned back.

Cute apartments along the Hudson River.

Random stairwell leading from the waterfront to the top of the cliffs.  

As luck would have it, when I returned to Hoboken and went to the restaurant where everyone was eating, I ran into Wams and Ray, who were just leaving.  Wams and I walked back to the PATH station together – she had to head back into the Manhattan and I had to go back to Journal Square, to pick up my car.

Twenty miles done!  Time to go home.  Thanks Ray for organizing the group run!

I drove straight to The Gym, did some core work and stretching and then hit the sauna for a well-deserved break and to get in some heat training.  Goooood day of running.

Sunday Funday: Recovery Run Notes

I got a late start Sunday morning, but since I only planned on running ten miles or so, I didn’t feel too bad about it.  I took the train to City Hall and as soon as I walked out of the subway station, I saw Seoul Food, a Korean food truck.  I was starving, so I ordered a pork slider.  Baaaaaad idea.  The food truck was parked in a total wind tunnel and IT WAS COLD.  Since I already ordered and paid for my slider, I started to jump up and down and say, “Oooga Booga!” to keep myself warm.  Either the food truck operator felt bad that I was cold or he didn’t want me to scare the customers away, but he asked if I wanted to step inside the truck while I waited for my food to cook.  My mother taught me not to step into random stranger’s trucks, but holy moly, the wind was bad, so I walked right in and basked in the heat.

The wait was totally worth it. 

I think I ate this in less than ten seconds.

The pork slider did such a great job of fueling me, that I was rewarded by being able to bounce back and forth on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Whee!  I even had some spare time to take photos of the locks along the Brooklyn Bridge.  

Story behind the locks on the Brooklyn Bridge: http://gothamist.com/2010/04/27/will_love_locks_take_over_the_brook.php

However, dodging tourists became less and less fun, so I gave up after eight trips (eight or so miles) and ran straight to the 14th street station and then took the subway home.

A few hours later, Rob and I headed over to Sacred Sounds Yoga.  I met Sacred Sounds’ founder, Stephanie Tang at the JFK 50 miler, back in November.  The first time I noticed Stephanie was during the last eight miles of the race.  I was feeling really buoyant and after passing a bunch of runners doing the “death march” to the finish, there was Stephanie, who looked incredibly strong and happy.  We cheered each other on as we did the leap frog thing for several miles, until the very end, when she sped off like the wind.  We talked after the race, and it turned out we have a bunch of mutual running friends and that she runs her own yoga studio.  How cool!  I actually had heard great things about her studio from my friends Kino and Lisa, so I made a mental note to check it out.

Fast forward two months later, Sacred Sounds was certifying aerial yoga instructors and needed volunteers to participate in the certification classes.  So I signed up, cajoled Rob into doing it as well and we spent a very fun hour or so trying out familiar yoga poses, all while being aided with a large fabric hammock.  Our instructor was very experienced in teaching yoga, so I just shut off my mind and breathed and relaxed into the poses.  Good times. 

I was very tempted to swing on my hammock.

The best part of the class was doing the Savasana pose while completely wrapped in the hammock; I nearly fell asleep.  If you have never tried aerial yoga, I would recommend it just so you can experience Savasana in an aerial yoga hammock. 

Ahhhh.  Bliss.
All in all, a great way to end the week.  


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Sacred Sounds Yoga and their Aerial Yoga class! Stephanie is awesome for offering a free class.

    1. Indeed! Will have to go back to try another aerial yoga class :)