7/3: 5.4 mile late morning loop since I took the day off. I then checked out the new Dekalb Market Hall and was blown away. Though I was on a mission just to eat at Katz’s, it was exciting to see almost all of the other vendors open as well. My pastrami Reuben was $25 after tax, so I sadly won’t be eating at the Katz’s outpost that often. I also checked out the new Trader Joe’s (no lines!) and the cleanest, best stocked and organized Target in town.
In the evening, I had signed up for a beginner tennis clinic through ClassPass since I have wanted to play more tennis but haven’t held a racket in years. I took group lessons for beginners on the clay courts on the UES back in the summer of 2011 but only played sporadically after that and haven’t played at all since moving to Brooklyn in 2014. The NYC Parks & Rec department had raised the price of a tennis permit to $200 for the season at one point, but they have since brought it back down to $100. I’d like to improve my skills before booking court time with anyone (and would also have to find more people at my low skill level). I wore my new cool tennis shoes and the plaid pleated tennis skirt from Tory Burch Sport that I got last year in the outlets in Vegas. Finally! I knew when purchasing these that I would be motivated to eventually play in them. There were 4 of us at the clinic and we worked on our swing and backhand and did drills. I loved getting court time without the pressure of playing so I signed up to do it again the next week.
Then my friend had a birthday dinner at Golden Unicorn. We ordered some dim sum dishes, my beloved walnut shrimp, sandy egg custard pig buns, plus a whole duck which they cut up for us and mostly turned into duck buns.
7/4: 4 miles for the 4th of July. Other more masochistic suggestions from Strava friends included 7 repeats of 4 miles each (nooooooo) and 17.76 miles. Elle raced a 4K that day which is also more my speed.
Then I went to a picnic (brought my favorite watermelon/mint/feta/balsamic salad), got Ample Hills with my besties, and went to a cookout on the Long Island City waterfront for the best fireworks views.
Below is my favorite new Ample Hills flavor, Summer of Love. It’s sweet cream ice cream with tie-dye Baked By Melissa cupcakes swirled in. Of course I got it on a birthday cake cone.
Once done with my shift, we went to the nearby Camille’s Jamaican Restaurant (wanted to try Peppa’s Jerk Chicken but they didn’t have seating) and got a full container of jerk chicken, rice & beans, slaw, and plantains for $5.
7/6: TrackTown 5K. This was my goal race 5K since I figured Randall’s Island would be flatter than both Central Park and Prospect Park. I also hoped that maybe the vibes from the elites competing with and after us would rub off. No such luck. I did a 1.2 mile warmup with a teammate and we soon realized we were running along a significant part of the course, which included wood chip paths and a not insignificant hill for the otherwise seemingly flat Randall’s Island. Huh. The views of Manhattan were beautiful, as were all the flowers along the water.
My original goal for this race was to run it at fairly even splits for a PR in the lower-to-mid 25:xx range. My last 5K was 25:37 (8:05 min/mile average) but with a full minute difference between the 1st mile and 3rd mile, so I aiming for low-8s then seeing how I felt seemed doable.
We took off right at 7pm sharp from the usual finish line of the track. I made it to the 200m mark before realizing my right shoe of my new Brooks PureFlows was untied. Drat! I decided it was too early in the race to not fix this and that there was a major tripping hazard with all the other participants, so I pulled over to fix it once off the track. It was only 4 months ago that I had my only other untied shoe incident during my indoor mile race (and PPR at 7:19). I pulled over in the parking lot to fix it and tried to pick up the pace but stay steady.
Things got worse from there. I had to do a lot of bobbing and weaving to get around people for the first mile (was hoping to salvage it to an 8:50ish pace but watch beeped around 9:09) then the second mile was pleasant enough but got tougher after the turnaround. It all went downhill on mile 3. I was thirsty despite having grabbed water around Mile 1 mark and started breathing heavily. I picked off a few more people but struggled on the tiniest of uphills. I finally caught up to a teammate and was hoping to hang with her for the last half mile, but my stomach had other plans after the 3 mile mark. I tried to hold it back but had to puke in a trash can just before entering the track to finish.
At least the last 100m looked pretty good! But my splits tell the story.
Afterward, I recovered in the stands with orange slices and a Capri-Sun (thanks to soccer momish team captains) and watched some of my favorite track stars (Alyson Felix! Bernard Legat! Sam Chelimo! The Freeze!) hang around or compete.
My 5K redemption will have to come in the following weeks, as I have 3 more chances at this difference in July. On the plus side, I got lots of free jerky and Kind Bars on my way out of the stadium and got to bond with teammates.
7/7: Rest day with a drive to the Catskills after a work event
7/8: Howe Caverns tour, a lot of grilling, and becoming the undefeated foosball champs of the vacation house. All those hours in college killing time with the guys at a foosball table between classes in Festival finally payed off!
7/9: 6.2 miles along the rolling hills of the Catskills between Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain. So beautiful, but so hilly. We kept the pace easy for the first 6 miles then had fun going downhill for the last 0.2 of it. I got to yell “race you to the swings!” for the first time in two decades.