Happy New Year! Are you ready to attack 2017? It’s going to be full of change for me but more on that in another post.

I finished out 2016 with a couple of fun activities.

Night Hike: Last Wednesday I decided to join a local group for a night hike. We hiked over 6 miles and it was really fun. I thought I’d be scared of tripping and falling but our headlamps gave plenty of light and the trails are really well maintained. They meet every week and they also have a group of trail runners out there too. Maybe I’ll get the courage to try the running at some point this year.

Headlamps and smiles

Headlamps and smiles

Holiday City Run: Saturday morning (New Year’s Eve morning) I went into the city to meet some running friends—Lisa, Gary and Mike—for our holiday windows run.

We started here

We started here

We didn’t run past as many department store windows as usual but still stopped to see the tree at Rockafeller Center, Bryant Park and we discovered another really beautiful tree at a random hotel on Madison Ave.

Barneys

Barneys

Saks 5th Ave

Saks 5th Ave

hotel-tree

Bryant Park

Bryant Park

Another shot from Bryant Park

Another shot from Bryant Park

Rockafeller tree and the gang

Rockafeller tree and the gang

I take this  exact shot every year.

I take this exact shot every year.

We made a quick stop into St. Patrick's Cathedral to say a prayer/light a candle

We made a quick stop into St. Patrick’s Cathedral to say a prayer/light a candle

These oversized ornaments are a classic over the years

These oversized ornaments are a classic over the years

We also ran into Times Square as they were preparing for the big New Year’s Eve ball drop shenannigans. There were already people who had gone through security and were “in position” at 9am! This is crazy to me. They basically were going to be spending 15 more hours just standing there until midnight. And no opportunity to exit. No bathrooms. It was really cold. I just think that’s nuts. They did however have bags with snacks. #priorities

All ready for the insanity

All ready for the insanity

Roads closed. You NEVER see Times Square without cars.

Roads closed. You NEVER see Times Square without cars.

New Year’s Eve: I had a quiet evening at Mr. SOTSS’s on New Year’s eve with Duncan, Casey (it was my last night of dog-sitting her) and Chester. I almost didn’t make it until midnight.

Mr. SOTSS, Casey, me, Duncan and Chester....

Mr. SOTSS, Casey, me, Duncan and Chester….

Not at all interested in staying up until the ball drops

Not at all interested in staying up until the ball drops

I leaned over the couch to reach for something on the sofa table and Duncan jumped up to get comfy. He's a riot and a half

I leaned over the couch to reach for something on the sofa table and Duncan jumped up to get comfy. He’s a riot and a half

New Year’s Day: After dropping Casey off, we took Duncan and Chester to our favorite park so they could get some exercise.

Duncan decided to roll around in some sort of animal poo and I had to give him a bath when we got home. I really don’t understand why dogs like to roll in stinky things.

Hey ma! I'm having a blast and I even rolled in something really stinky!

Hey ma! I’m having a blast and I even rolled in something really stinky!

Hoping 2017 is filled with lots of this

Hoping 2017 is filled with lots of this

We also painted Mr. SOTSS’ bathroom. He started remodeling his bathroom 2 years ago. It’s been a slow process because he hardly gets free time but the tiling is all done and now it’s painted.

I volunteered to do all the edging

I volunteered to do all the edging

Classic subway tile and "country house" blue

Classic subway tile and “country house” blue

It’s been really rainy here the last two days. I got some work done while Duncan kept me company. Not much different from 2016 :) I finally went to the mall to power-walk just to get my 10,000 steps.

my "office"

my “office”

 

I’m always optimistic at the beginning of a new year. So far I’m on day 2 of trying to drink more water and track my food. I’m not ready to say I’m on a diet but I just want to start being aware of what I’m eating each day.

Are you a resolutions person?

Have you ever hiked at night? I had run at night during my Ragnar Relay events but never hiking on trails before.

Have you ever wanted to or been to Times Square on New Year’s Eve?

Hi peeps.
Welcome to Monday. So much to tell you. Let’s see last we spoke it was Friday the 13th and I was headed to Dr. Williams for more knee work. That went well.
Integrative Spine and Sports

heat first—then torture

Integrative Spine and Sport

The lovely waiting room. I always sit in the turquoise chair

I told him my plan for the NYC Half and he actually encouraged me to run more than 4 if I could. Love him! I high-tailed it out of his office and downtown to the NYC Half Expo where I met up with Lisa.
unitedNYChalfExpo

Love this clever cropping that the stranger who took our photo did. He probably didn’t do it on purpose but it’s funny to see half of a NYC Half sign. =)

I got my bib and bought some fuel and then headed home. I took duncan for a quick evening walk since I knew the forecast for Saturday was going to be rain.all.day.

6:30pm and we're taking a stroll. This is the best part of Daylight Savings

6:30pm and we’re taking a stroll. This is the best part of Daylight Savings

Saturday I woke up and did some retouching to some headshots I took for a brokerage firm a few weeks ago. Then I spent a couple of hours doing laundry, cleaning and eventually I started to pack up all my gear that I would need for the NYC Half plus an overnight bag and drove to the boyfriend’s house. We had dinner over at my brother and sister-in-law’s house and stayed out a bit later than I would have wanted if I was in full focus training/running mode. But since I figured most of my race would be walking I wasn’t too worried. Plus I don’t normally sleep well the night before a race. Always nervous I’ll oversleep or forget something.
OK now on to the recap of the 2015 NYC Half
Alarm sounds 4:15am. Ouch! That’s early. But I managed to sleep walk my way to my gear and suit up and was out the door by 5am to go catch a train into to the city.
4:30 am...before coffee...so flattering.lol.

4:30 am…before coffee…so flattering.lol.

I hadn’t had breakfast yet so when I arrived at Penn Station I popped into Starbucks for a petite vanilla bean scone and some coffee.

Say hello to my little Vanilla Bean friend. (taken from Starbucks website)

Say hello to my little Vanilla Bean friend. (taken from Starbucks website)

The scone is only 120 calories. It’s one of my favorite treats. I’ll have to learn how to bake them someday. I know I know not smart to eat something new on race day. But it all worked out fine. I sipped my coffee as I walked the block from Penn Station to the subway (the F train) that I would take up to Central Park. There was a man from Argentina who was running the NYC Half for the first time so I gave him advice on what train to take. I also let him know the course 411.

• Rolling hills in Central Park from mile 1-6!
• Crazy awesome energy thru Times Square. from mile 6-8
• Wind along the West Side Highway miles 8-12.
• Prepare for your Garmin to have difficulty tracking properly through Times Square and also mile 12 goes into a tunnel. (side note: my Garmin ended up saying it was more than 13.5 miles)
• Fast and flat from mile 6 to the finish.
• Heaviest recovery food bag ever (thanks to a huge bottle of water and Gatorade, plus an apple, pretzels and maybe a brick or something)
Hopefully he did well. Then the train pulled in and low and behold I get on the same subway car that my running peeps from Brooklyn had taken in. 8 million people in NYC and almost 20,000 runners coming in for the race and I get on the same subway and subway car as the 3 people I was planning on meeting up with at our designated street corner. Love when that stuff happens. (side note: I also noticed a woman along the course that I had seen at 5:30am in NJ while waiting for the train into the city. Again, almost 20,000 runners and I spot her).
We rode the rest of the way together and then had to make our way through the security checkpoint where we bumped into Robin, yet another friend.
The sea of runners waiting to get through security. It took a good 25 minutes (photo courtesy of JD)

The sea of runners waiting to get through security. It took a good 25 minutes (photo courtesy of JD)

This was no joke. We are talking TSA experience. Put your loose items in a basket and walk through the metal detector gates. Oh, and before that I checked my gear bag easy peasy at the trucks lined up on 59th street.

• So YAY for easy gear check.
• Nay for security congestion (although I totally understand and appreciate that the runner’s safety was a priority.)
• Yay for weather which was much better than last year. It did get a bit windy from miles 8-12 but it was overcast and in the 40s. Nice!
By the time we got through security we had to move pretty fast to get in to the corrals before they closed them. We didn’t have time to find our exact corral so we just jumped into the one closest somewhere in the middle and wouldn’t ya know we bumped into 2 more friends, Jorge and Lisa’s friend who she says she ALWAYS bumps into. A serendipitous morning for sure.
Jorge and JD. I love how runners are very individual with how to dress for the weather. Jorge felt a tshirt and shorts was plenty for a 40 degree day and JD wanted a little more coverage. =)

Jorge and JD. I love how runners are very individual with how to dress for the weather. Jorge felt a tshirt and shorts was plenty for a 40 degree day and JD wanted a little more coverage. =)

corral-nychalfAnd before you knew it we were off and running. I said goodbye to everyone and told them I’d see them at Au Bon Pain for our planned post-race breakfast. I ran the first 5k with no issue. I’ve run in Central Park plenty of times and also ran this race last year so I was very familiar with the course. As soon as I saw the 5k sign I slowed down and walked to assess. Of course right away the knee started hurting. Crap. Should I have walked the first 9 miles and run the last 4 like my original plan? I had multiple conversations with myself and eventually shut myself up and agreed it was going to be a long time until I crossed that finish and I better just deal. I walked most of mile 3-4 and then my knee felt better so I progressed to a shuffle and then I was back running.

Here’s the most amazing thing: other than that mile and a little issue during the last 800 meters of the race I RAN THE WHOLE WAY! I kid you not. I was not prepared to feel good enough to do so. And since song lyrics are my mantra these days I found a new one to describe this day. I was listening to a song by Nickleback called “What are You Waiting For”. There’s a line where he says “Everybody needs a leap of faith. When are you taking yours?” I took a leap of faith with this race knowing the outcome was a big question mark and it worked out for me. I’m really grateful for that. And yes, in true Sally fashion I cried a lot. I just get so emotional.
No cars....just runners. NICE!

No cars….just runners. NICE!

Took this shot for my boyfriend to show his girls. He mentioned that they love the M&Ms store. Of course I'm sure they would rather have some souvenir merchandise rather than see a photo lol.

Took this shot for my boyfriend to show his girls. He mentioned that they love the M&Ms store. Of course I’m sure they would rather have some souvenir merchandise rather than see a photo lol.

Look at that smile. I wasn't pretending. I was so happy. I was running!

Look at that smile. I wasn’t pretending. I was so happy. I was running!

I got a kick out of these girls who dressed up in that “is it blue or is it white” dress that went viral. So funny.

Is it blue and black or white and gold?

Is it blue and black or white and gold?

They were airing the race on ABC and I got to see myself on TV while running toward the Freedom Tower.

There i am on the big screen!

There i am on the big screen!

This view always makes me emotional

This view always makes me emotional

So as I mentioned just as the 800 meters to go sign appeared my knee gave way. I hobbled those last 800 meters but I crossed the finish line and within a minute my knee was recovered again. Whew! I did it.

Homestretch

Homestretch

Hi. My name is Sally and I love to run.

Hi. My name is Sally and I love to run.

26 minutes slower than my PR but with basically no training and a knee that isn't 100 percent I'll take it!

26 minutes slower than my PR but with basically no training and a knee that isn’t 100 percent I’ll take it!

I walked around the corner and met up with Lisa, Jorge and Amy.

post-race-nychalf

And then I made it back to Penn Station to get the train back to the boyfriend’s house.
Coordinating sneakers AND KT tape. It was a Turquoise day

Coordinating sneakers AND KT tape. It was a Turquoise day

later on in the day we took the dogs to the park for a 2 1/2 mile walk. And by the time the evening came to a close I had taken 40,000 steps!

blownup-garminvivofitThis morning I’m feeling SORE everywhere. But my knee actually feels pretty good! My hamstrings and quads though are not happy. I foam rolled and iced yesterday and I took some ibuprofen today but I guess this is what I get for running so many miles under trained. I’m really surprised though how endurance-wise I felt fine. I never felt fatigued or out of breath. My body remembers how to do distance running. And now I need to recover smart. I’ve got another 1/2 in 2 weeks!

How was your weekend? Did you run? Did you spend any time outdoors? Are you ready for Spring?

 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was taking photos at a top secret photo shoot.

It was for a friend of mine and her husband, the cutest most adorable couple I’ve ever really met. It all started a few years ago when they asked me to take their engagement photos and I’ve been their go to “photog” ever since. Well this year they asked if we could do a little shoot for their holiday card. I’m excited I can finally share some of those photos.

DSC_1692

the most beautiful sunset left beautiful pink light.

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