Friday Faves

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Wuuuut? My first fave “F” word is French Fries πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

Happy Friday, darlings! It’s finally here! This week has been a big one of getting back into the swing of things. Also, it’s been wicked cold in Boston this week and I’m looking forward to some sunshine and temperatures above 60Β°F / 15Β°C this weekend. Also, my fourth half marathon is on Sunday! Since I’m about as prepared as I was for the NYC Midnight Half I ran last weekend, I’m taking it slow and casual. Sometimes you just have to be chill about things. Super pumped! πŸ˜€

1. It’s National Donut Day! That means you can get a free donut at Dunkin’ Donuts when you buy a coffee. You guys better believe that I got a chocolate glazed stick donut this morning.

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Also, here’s a list of all the places you get a free donut today.

2. Reef Ginger Drift Flip Flops

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I am writing this while crying because one of my favorite ever flip flops was a casualty to post-race celebrations this past weekend. It was lost inside an apartment, and furniture was moved in order to find it, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone forever. RIP Flip Flop. Anyway, these flip flops are the literal BEST. I’ve been wearing them since I wore low-rise jeans and Abercrombie and Fitch only. They float, so if you get thrown into a pool or lake at a party, you won’t lose them. They are lightweight and perf for carrying in your satchel as your back up pair of shoes when you’re wearing super cute but not super comfortable 4 inch heels, and they go with everything. Must-have.

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I put Mo in charge of finding the long lost flip flop. So I sent him a phot of it so he could properly identify it. πŸ™‚

3. To Go Salad Dressing Container

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This little guy was a life changer. My sister packed a salad for me to take to work for lunch when I left her house after Memorial Day, along with this dressing container and I’m obsessed! Not a drop of dressing spilled in my lunch box, and it was the perfect amount/size to take. Plus, it’s silicone so it’s dishwasher safe and super easy to clean. It’s also stellar for condiments – if you want to bring ketchup or mustard to go. A+

You can get one here: To Go Salad Dressing Container

4. Fruit Punch Gatorade

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Thank you, Gatorade, for saving my life before the Midnight Half last weekend. I owe you big time. And I just might partake in some of you on Sunday before half #4.

5. These people…

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…for making my weekend in NYC spectacular.

I hope you guys have super dope and stellar weekends! What are you guys up to this weekend?? Tell me all about it in the comments.

With warmth,

L

xoxox

NYC Midnight Half Marathon – Part Three

I’ve been very successful at making lists recently, so I think I’m just going to continue this trend from Part One. Then I’ll be able to tell you exactly how to celebrate post-half marathon, and you can just go down this list and check shiz off as you complete each activity. So, what aaaare you supposed to do post-half?

(Missed it? Read how it all went down here: Part Deux).

1. SLEEEEEEP. Post-race and post-pizza, B and I went back to our Airbnb, showered in record time, and collapsed in bed. As soon as I was horizontal, I only answered B with “Mmhmm”s and fell asleep in less than 15 seconds of my head hitting the pillow. I was basically a corpse, and did not move from 3:36 am until 10:50 am. Also I do not recall the last time I slept past 7 am, so that truly was a feat on my part. Amazeballs.

2. Let your inner fat kid run free. B and I have high level experience with pleasing our inner fatties – in college, we would routinely each buy a large side of home fries and down them by alternating dunking them into ranch and Frank’s Red Hot. This = life (as well as the best hangover food, ever). So, it really was no surprise when we decided to eat two breakfasts: one at Steeplechase en route to brunch and actual brunch at Tom’s, both in Brooklyn.

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Breakfast #1 at Steeplechase

At Steeplechase (whose iced coffee is bomb, BTW), we each got a breakfast pastry to sustain us as we walked two miles through Prospect Park to Tom’s. PS: Thanks Miguel for picking us up (mad face).

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Tromping through Prospect Park towards Second Breakfast.

At Tom’s, which is apparently the best breakfast place in Brooklyn according to our gracious hosts, Diggy delivered YET AGAIN (even the Russian judges give you a 10/10, Diggy). Brunch was amazing, satisfying and delicious: exactly what I needed to refuel post-race. Also, B got a Waffle Sundae, and she’s my breakfast hero. If you are in Brooklyn, or go near Brooklyn, do yourself a favor and get brunch here. You won’t be disappointed. Plus they feed your french fries while you wait in line.

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Breakfast #2 at Tom’s

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I couldn’t fit all the food we ordered into one pic/B wins at breakfast.

3. Go outside – preferably to a park. Like Prospect Park. Blobbing outside is far superior to blobbing on your couch watching Netflix the day after a race, so get your bum outside, sit down, get hit in the torso by a Frisbee (thanks again, Miguel!), sit next to your BFF, put your phone into a solo cup so everyone can hear your jams and play this:

Yup. Fave new song.

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Miguel + Sunny skies. And my forehead. Can you handle these picture taking skillz right na?

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Omg we all have matching sunnies. πŸ˜€

4. BUBBLES! Go buy yourself a bottle (or two) of brut rose that comes in an all silver bottle, such as:

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Whatever that was, it was amazing. Now, drinking alcohol in parks is not allowed, but I’m not going to tell anyone what’s in your solo cup. We cool like that. Cheers to bubbles!

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So that, my friends, is how you celebrate after you punch a half marathon in the face. Get it.

With warmth,

L

NYC Midnight Half Marathon Race Recap – Part Deux

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Life goals/this race’s mantra (it was fairly accurate, too – all the hotties WERE in front of us!)

Now that we’ve established the high level of professional athleticism B and I were about to exhibit (if you haven’t read Part One yet – you can find that here), we were ready to tackle the Big Show, the Main Event – the NYC Midnight Half Marathon.Β Hooray, it’s finally here! After capturing our likely route in 62 (not an exaggeration, literally 62) iPhone screen shots of Google Maps directions less than 2 hours before gun time, we were ready/still had basically no clue where we were going. And, we were running late to get our butts into Manhattan to the starting line from 7 miles south in Brooklyn. Lucky for me, it only took me 2.5 subway stops to down the extra large Gatorade that may be partially responsible for this race’s eventual success. We sped walk/jogged to the race check in, where we came upon a mass exodus of the race participants heading toward the start line. This was the first of many “Oh shit” moments we would experience.

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Waiting at the subway stop in Brooklyn to swoosh us up to the race’s start in Manhattan. Do you like our sunnies? πŸ˜‰

Nerves were running high, and I was still unconvinced that I would actually be able to finish this b*tch without dying a death. Trying to contain the level of freakout to below a solid 6/10, we jogged to the race’s start under the bridge, about 1 mile-ish away from the race check in.

Except no one was there. Not a soul. (= Oh Shit Moment #2)

Pulling out the folded-a-million-times (and already sweaty) printout of check points from my pocket, I realized that we were at the wrong bridge. That’s right folks, the Williamsburg Bridge β‰  Manhattan Bridge. Mo. Thur. Eff. Still trying to maintain the threatening-to-skyrocket Freakout Level within normal operating conditions, we ran sprinted to the Manhattan Bridge. We reached the starting line as the race organizers were gingerly folding up the timing mat that would clock our start time. Approaching one of the race volunteers, I exclaim, “We ran to the wrong bridge! What do we do?!” He (and everyone else standing around packing up cases of water bottles, immediately fell silent) looks at me like I’m Queen of the Morons, kind of throws his hands up in exasperation and barks, “Go!” (Hey buddy, just because YOU and 99% of the race participants live in NYC/Brooklyn does not mean that everyone does, mk? Chiiiiill).

Slightly demoralized, and now running this race 100% freestyle with no start time clocked in (and at least 20+ minutes after the rest of the pack), B and I take off towards the Brooklyn Bridge – check points 1 and 2 involve us crossing the East River into Brooklyn. Except we cannot for the life of us figure out how the EFF to get ONTO the Brooklyn Bridge, instead of just running in circles under/around/beyond it. And it’s really starting to feel like the start of a Law and Order: SVU episode (it’s dark, and creepy, and we are running on a bike path that feels a little bit like I should be holding mace in my hand). Finally, my patience hits a wall and my AAA personality wrenches control of navigating (sorry for firing you B, I love you always), and following logic and reason we begin to run back towards and then under/along side the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. Question: How many biochemists does it take to navigate over the Brooklyn Bridge? Answer: Apparently more than two.

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What even is this?

In the course of the next 5-7 minutes, approximately 374 f-bombs were dropped. Sample: “This is TOTALLY F&^%ed UP! Why is Google Maps such a worthless f&^%ing piece of $%&?! What the actual &^%$!!!!!!” It was a liiiiittle bit like an all-caps Kanye rant. And that was just me racking up that f-bomb count, B was the still on the other side of optimism, while I was firmly within Raging Red limits. Under the guise of logic and reason, we encountered a map that made no sense (see above), a German tourist who I accosted and demanded to know if he lived in the city, and one extremely helpful, and devoid of judgement police officer/parking attendant/idk this dude was wearing a uniform, who kindly directed us to the g-damn pedestrian staircase to get onto the g-damn Brooklyn Bridge. *LE SIGH*, FINALLY.

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WE FINALLY FOUND THIS BITCH.

Once we start cranking it over the bridge, the Kanye rant ceases, the Freakout Level plummets, and I begin to appreciate just how effin’ cool this is. It was the perfect temperature for running (mid 60’s), dark (i.e. no sunscreen necessary for this fair one over here), an almost-full moon and the views were stunning. NYC at night is pretty freakin’ gorgeous. That sparkly feeling lasted until we were almost halfway over the bridge, and realized that the elite runners at the head of the pack were running back over the bridge, having hit checkpoints 1, 2 and were already halfway done with the race. (= Oh Shit Moment #4)

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Photo credit: B #skillz

Determined not to be a complainer, and appreciate the fact that I get to run next to my best friend, at midnight, in NYC, just for fun, I decided it was time to focus on the fact that our Cheer Squad was at Checkpoint #2, and just think about moving my little stems to get there. And of course, the fact that there would be ice water and encouragement from our Cheer Squad waiting for us when we arrived. (Meanwhile, I later find out that B was thinking about zombies chasing her in order to motivate her to run faster. Lolz. Love that betch.)

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Halfway over the bridge = time for a selfie! πŸ˜‰

We passed by Checkpoint #1, which was completely abandoned (no surprises there, we were way behind at this point), and the reality set in that we were totes on our own on this one: it was just me and B. As we made our way through Brooklyn toward Checkpoint #2, the rest of the race participants passed us running in the opposite direction, so at least we knew that we were most likely going the right way (score!). And it was somewhere along there that I remembered our Cheer Squad, B’s bf Miguel* and his bff Diggy* (*names have been changed to protect the innocent), were tracking our route on Find My iPhone, and probably were wondering what the EFF we were doing earlier on our tour of Law & Order: SVU film locations before we made it to our actual course. Somewhere along the way in Red Hook, I hit my stride, and as we were zooming along the Red Hook Container Terminal, which is sketchy as f^%$ at midnight, I finally felt that I could probably finish this race without actually dying a death.

As predicted, Miguel and Diggy were waiting for us outside Checkpoint #2, Sketchy Dive Bar* in Red Hook. We took a breather, chugged ice water, gave them an abridged version of our adventure thus far (including how we are both completely Navigationally Challenged), and were on our way with ice cubes shoved in our sports bras. This time, much easier – all we had to do was retrace our steps, not fall into a pothole, and watch for the creepers. We passed by zero other race participants, and the second half of the race was filled with much more laughter than curse words and happily unremarkable.

In the interest of time (as in we didn’t want to still be running at 2:30 am), personal safety (all the checkpoints had been disassembled and the race volunteers had peaced) and the fact that we would prob end up running more than 13.1 miles, we crossed off Checkpoint #4 from our list and headed straight over to the finish line.

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WE DID IT!!!! We don’t sweat, we sparkle/Yea ok we prob sweated out 2.7 Liters of water between the two of us and probably smelled worse than the overflowing garbage cans in Chinatown.

And we freakin’ did it. Without dying, vomiting, injuring ourselves or encountering any creeps. BOOYAH!!!!

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Here’s how not to win the NYC Midnight Half Marathon.

Lessons Learned:

1. Yes, Gatorade will save your life if you are mostly unprepared for a race.

2. Running with your BFF is the best motivation in the universe.

3. Being forced to run to a bar in Red Hook where your Cheer Squad is waiting WILL motivate you to actually do so.

4. Booyah.

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VICTORY!

And even though the winner finished in a record 1:11 (what kind of non-human animal that person is, I do not know), I can guarantee that B and I had 3000% more fun than anyone else. Because that’s how we roll. And life is not THAT serious, so sometimes you just have to prepare for a race in completely opposite the way you know how. And have fun. And then, you get pizza.

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Since we had pretty much the best tour guide ever, Diggy delivered and put up with my demands for pizza, right now, at 2:33 am. Post race, we “walked out our legs” (in quotes because it was only semi-on purpose, *cough* Diggy *cough*), and we made our way to Little Italy and had the best pizza ever. Photo evidence:

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Yes, in my mouth NOW.

Yum. So that’s how you do it, folks. Prepare as instructed in Part One, get super lost during the start of the actual race, make up your own route to the finish, and then eat pizza. These four simple things lead to complete and overwhelming race success. And, if you want to know what you’re supposed to do after you check all of those things off your list, come back tomorrow for Part Three: How to Celebrate Your Complete Victory and Domination of 13.1 miles. Yaaaasssss!

With warmth,

L

NYC Midnight Half Race Recap – Part One

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Okay, so we might not be ready to be contestants on the Amazing Race, but B and I basically punched this race in the face. And by punched this race in the face, I mean we a) didn’t die; b) finished and/or crossed the finish line; and c) ate pizza afterwards in Little Italy. Basically, we owned it.

However, I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. Let’s back up the bus to our ever-important pre-race preparations, so that we can set the stage for the amazingness that occurred during the Midnight Half this past weekend.

How to Prepare for a Midnight Half Marathon:

1. Minimal training. As you may have noticed from my absence on here, life in Booyahville has been slightly-to-medium crazy for a hot minute. Before this race, the last time I went for a long run was on March 29, 2015. Yup, that was the day of the trail half I did in DC. Beyond that I did some slow, casual 5 mile runs when I felt like it/had time. That’s about the scope of my training since April.

2. Drink all the drinks. Since I hadn’t seen/hung out with my Bff Of Life B for longer than a few hours in almost 2 years, the night before our race, it was time to paaaaaaarrrrtttttayyyy! So we drank champs. And cocktails in fancy glasses. And vodka sodas. And then I was That Girl, at the bar, who dropped and shattered a Collins glass on the floor and stood there with like this Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―Β  while my friends casually flicked broken shards of glass from around my flip-flopped feet. Whoops.

3. Sleep for 2-3 hours, max. Since we were out until all hours (Boston girls forget that bars don’t close until 4 am in NYC, so no one is kicking you out or shouting for last call at 1:30 am, which is a far more appropriate time to go to bed the night before a race), only a teeny-tiny bit of sleep occurred the night before. You shut your eyes at 3 am-ish and then open them again at 6:30 am wondering why it is so bright and shhhhh can someone turn the sun down, please. But then you’re awake and thinking, “I need an iced coffee and a New York bagel pronto because the bagel choices in Boston are bleak and nothing is better than a good bagel, period.” Bagels > Sleep.

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Mmmmm…bagels.

4. Eat 1/2 of your daily allotment of calories. Who needs to carbo-load when you can just eat one bagel, chug two coffees plus many, many liters of water, and inhale one small but delicious bowl of pasta with petso and veggies before your race? Who has two thumbs and chugged a giant bottle of Gatorade while riding the Subway to the race check in, out of concern that this would not be enough food to power through 13.1 miles? This girl.

5. Walk nine (9) miles around Manhattan the day of your race. In flip flops. Because there are sights to see, and you’re going to see them, half marathon race be dammed. #TotallyWorthIt #NoRagrets

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6. Do the opposite of prepare. The race organizer specifically requested that none of the details of the race be posted, so in order to avoid blowing up their spot, here’s what I think I can say about the race. It’s an unsanctioned event that does not have a marked course. There are check-in points that you have to go to in the proper sequence, but you choose your own route in order to do so. So basically, you’re on your own, and it’s up to you to figure it out. Between B and I, we’ve spent a total of 1.7 days in NYC prior to this weekend – that’s it. Additionally, I had never entered Brooklyn, and I had only romped around Manhattan for an afternoon (seriously). So we pretty much had no idea where anything was/etc. And in the true spirit of the Girl Scouts motto “Be prepared,” we started planning our route at 9:30 pm the night of the race. *Wink smile* Clearly, this can only end well.

7. Get one new article of Lululemon to wear, 6 hours before gun time. This last step is the key to speed*, preparation and following the advice of every single running blog out there for race day prep. Buy new shit right before you race, because duh. You’re going to look so cute.

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I got this coral tank. Wicked cute.

*Because we all know Lulu/cute running outfits make you faster. Obv. πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned for the next post in this three part series: NYC Midnight Half Race Recap. Totally worth it. πŸ˜€

With warmth,

L

NYC Midnight Half Packing List

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Hi everyone and Happy Friday! In lieu of Friday Faves, I wanted to share my packing essentials for my upcoming weekend NYC trip. I always find these packing lists helpful when others share them, so I wanted to spread the wealth. I’ll also be posting my OOTD pics on my Instagram account @bubblesandbooyah, so you’ll be able to see how what I packed translates into actual outfits. I’m staying 3 nights and 3 days in New York, and the weather is varying between sunny and 80Β°F (26Β°C) today to 61Β°F (16Β°C) and rainy on Monday.

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Here’s what I packed:

  • Yellow patterned cardigan sweater (from Targ-ay, a million years ago!)
  • Brightly colored raincoat (seen previously on my post L’s Spring Running Essentials)
  • 2 Summer-y dresses, in jersey (easily fold-able and can be dressed up/down)
  • Free To Be Wild Bra from Lulu (also a throwback Friday Fave)
  • Flowy Free People top (for going out/being casual)
  • Jean shorts
  • Lounge/brunch outfit: Athleta tank top, Lulu wunder under crops
  • Race outfit (x 2, because I couldn’t decide): 2 shorts / 2 tanks / 1 sports bra / 2 pairs of legit running socks
  • Racing sneakers
  • Jazzy flat sandals
  • PJ’s
  • Lots of accessories: 2 long necklaces, a stack of wrap bracelets, fun rings and dangly earrings
  • Race essentials: gels, iPhone arm band, inhaler, portable water bottle, headphones

All of that stuff PLUS my toiletries/makeup fit into my fave travel backpack from Lulu. Also, since I can never travel without food, I packed a few packets of oatmeal, Justin’s nut butter packets and a protein bar. BAM. I’m a packing monster!

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I am SUPER STOKED to see my BFF Britt and for this race/our adventure to complete this race. We may be slow, and tie for last place, but we will have 10,000 times more fun than anyone else, no doubt.

Here’s some more info on the Midnight Half organized by the Orchard Street Runners:

http://orchardstreetrunners.com/the-midnight-half/

Wish us good luck! We will DEF need it.

With warmth,

L

xoxox ❀