Tuesday, August 26, 2014

California Here we Come


Sourabh and I are moving....

... to Orange County, CA! Thank you, Phantom Planet, for writing a song that so perfectly encapsulates my move.

This might seem like it comes out of nowhere, but for a while now, California has been in the works for Sourabh and me.  I've missed the West Coast and Sourabh has an awesome firm he'll be working at when he graduates. NYC doesn't have the kind of work Sourabh wants to do as a lawyer and I've honestly grown to dislike the city. I need wide open spaces (<--- yes that's a link to the Dixie Chicks song on YouTube). I miss mountains and hiking and being able to get away from everything in a short drive.

Also, I think we're more attractive in California. Honestly that's why we're leaving.

So when I found a position at a firm that seemed like the perfect fit for what I want in my career, it was too good to pass up. The timing is sooner than expected, but it's just one fewer Thanksgiving I spend away from my family! (I have only been home for two of the past eight Thanksgivings. Sad face.)

Orange County!

Of course, it's not all sunkissed beaches and Insta-filtered happiness.

Changing up my entire life is freaking me out a bit. But I know this is the right direction for both of us, and I am so excited it's happening. And thankfully, I already have a buddy out there in SoCal, forging the NYC/NJ-turned-Californian trail for me!

I hope to blog more with all kinds of Californian adventures, but in the mean time, thanks for hanging out here, and to all the amazing people I have met in NYC ... you have turned a place that I don't always like very much into a city that I will always reflect fondly upon. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I might not miss the city very much but I will certainly miss the people!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Updates on Life and Stuff

Well hello there.

It's been quite a while since I've posted. It seemed like whenever I had some time to write, I wasn't really motivated to put fingers to keyboard, but when I had ideas for things I wanted to write, work was crazy. Which, to be honest, has been a lot of the past few weeks. I had a massive corporate reorganization I was working on that finally closed on July 1, another deal started heating up almost immediately after, and then I rotated groups (as you do as a first year at my firm) and am in capital markets. Whew.

I've kind of loved the craziness, though! Not when it means I have to miss special events, but keeping busy means that I don't have time to miss Sourabh while he's in LA. Between work, fitting in workouts and trying to see friends on the weekends, these 15 weeks apart have been flying by. But they can't end soon enough!

So, what has been distracting me, other than work (and of course, my awesome NYC friends)?


I've gotten a wee bit obsessed with Uplift Studios. I always loved it, but since I'm not going out to dinner frequently with Sourabh right now -- I've actually been cooking quick dinners for myself pretty often! -- I feel like I can justify the cost more. Plus, when I take a summer associate to a class, I can get reimbursed! So, Uplift has been my "thing" this summer.

Not Uplift but taken as I walked home from Uplift...
Since my work hours are so unpredictable I tend not to make weeknight plans, and because Sourabh isn't home when I do get back on weekdays, if I don't go to Uplift, I typically see only my work colleagues all day. And I like those people! However... a break from work people can't hurt, right?

Uplift feels like my Cheers bar. You know, "the place where everyone knows your name"? I love walking in to "hi Jen" and chatting with the instructors and front desk managers. Not to mention the classes kick me in the ass every. single. time. For the first five minutes, I always think to myself, "why are you doing this again?" Then I get into it, push myself, and leave sweaty and happy.

I've been really lucky in that, so far, I've been able to work from home from 6:30/7 AM till 9:30 AM then head to work, which makes it possible for me to take a break from work in the evening and take a 7:30 class now and then before diving back in to the fray that is corporate law. Since my favorite Uplift instructors teach in the evenings, this works out perfectly! (In case you're wondering, my personal faves are Liz B, Tara, Chelsea, Michelle and Kat -- I love Shannon as well, but she never teaches when I can go!)

July 4 Weekend

I'm kind of the worst at taking pictures, especially of food, but Sourabh and I had a pretty great spread of fitness and food over the long weekend. We had lunch at ABC Cocina (chipotle chicken tacos were one of the highlights), got Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream from the pop up in Gotham West Market (INSANELY good ice cream, guys, you need to drop everything and go get a scoop), and ate our way through Smorgasburg like Godzilla tearing through San Francisco/Tokyo/every city he destroys. The highlight at Smorgasburg? Definitely the Thai iced tea popsicle. So good!

On the fitness front, Sourabh tried Flywheel for the first time with me and we also took a stand up paddle boarding lesson with Shannon at the Manhattan Kayak Company. Yes, that's Shannon

I loved stand up paddle boarding. I was completely petrified when I first got on the board. It seemed so shaky and I thought I'd never have the courage to get up on my feet. But when I did? The adrenaline rush was invigorating and the focus I had to use to keep myself balanced meant the whole hour was incredibly meditative. Or as meditative as you can be paddle boarding on the Hudson with tourists looking down at you from the U.S.S. Intrepid. Our big goal was not to fall into the Hudson and we succeeded!

I highly recommend Shannon and the Manhattan Kayak Company. A private lesson was $60 per person for the hour and the instruction we received was stellar -- we did SUP again in Orange County this past weekend and were kind of just tossed out on the boards. It worked out fine but I felt much more confident having more instruction and stellar guidance from Shannon.

Visits to California

Sourabh's firm hosts two amazing events during the summer. One is strictly for summer associates and one is for the whole firm. Since significant others are invited, I got to tag along for free! Who can say no to three day weekends on Catalina Island and at a Ritz Carlton in Orange County? So, once in June and once in July, I've taken a Friday off to fly out there. Thankfully work allowed me to get away both times since I was slightly panicky I'd miss out on seeing Sourabh and enjoying the weekends. Ask my office mate, I might have nearly started crying when I got staffed to something that was originally supposed to sign over the July weekend. But, thanks to the Corporate gods that be, nothing ever signs on its original timeline, and I was saved!

During the June weekend on Catalina Island, we went zip lining, hiked up around the cove that the tiny town of Avalon is situated around, drove a golf cart into the hills and around town and played mini golf.

How gorgeous is Catalina???

In Orange County, we went stand up paddle boarding, hiked seven miles in the Laguna Beach hills, took a few moonlit walks on the beach (#soromantic), played tennis (or rather, I tried to swing at a tennis ball -- I have absolutely no tennis ability), and enjoyed all the other firm-coordinated activities.

I hate that I only get a couple days here and there with Sourabh this summer, but his firm's events have made those visits to CA really special and fun. Plus, I've been able to meet the rest of his summer class and other attorneys at his firm, all of whom have been great to get to know.

I may be ever so slightly, just the tiniest bit missing this...

Training for... Things

Haha so about that whole training for a race thing. While I've been working out a lot, consistent race training has not happened in any way shape or form. Generally my mileage has hovered between, oh, 5-10 miles a week. Sometimes less. Considering that I was training for a marathon this time last year, those numbers are shocking, I know.

But I'm actually very happy with the fitness place I'm in right now. I decided that I wanted my summer priority to be on fun workouts, not on dragging myself out of bed to run.

I enjoy running so much more now when it's a spontaneous early AM run with a friend on the High Line or joining in for a few miles with a marathon-training friend. I do want to get back to training (when temperatures/humidity drop...), but for now, I'm really enjoying this relaxed summer.

It's so nice that I can take a bike ride up to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge with Theodora instead of forcing myself to run long when I don't feel like it. When I do get back to race training, I think I'll be reinvigorated and ready to grind. (I hope!)

And with that, I think I'll close. Or rather, with this collage of Mason trying to get comfortable one morning, because life is hard:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Training Musings & LLS Flywheel Fundraiser

Hey guys!

Just dropping in to share an awesome event with you, and a little bit on my current running/training/life.

It was a gorgeous weekend here in New York, and Sourabh I spent as much of it outside as possible. Browsing the Union Square Greenmarket, training side by side with Amanda in Central Park, and running six sunny miles along the East River. The run was by myself after Sourabh left -- today was his first day of his summer position at an LA firm. I soaked up the sun and listened to the Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack (beautiful movie, beautiful soundtrack) while I pounded the pavement.

I'll only be seeing Sourabh for 2-3 days for the next four months, but between work, friends, and (possible) race training, I think the months will go by pretty quickly. And this week will fly by since he's coming back for the three day weekend and his birthday.

So, on the subject of running... I'm not sure I want to train for anything long distance right now. Several running friends have asked me if I'm planning on a fall marathon. As much as I loved training for the Chicago marathon, I just don't think that kind of commitment is possible with my unpredictable work schedule, especially when I need to take care of a neurotic dog.

Mason just couldn't face Monday morning.
And honestly, after all the hard work I put in to training for the NYC Half, it kind of sucked that a crazy work week of no sleep left me feeling like I was about to faint the entire time. I don't really want to repeat that.

I miss having a training schedule though, so I've been toying with the idea of training hard for a 5K. I enjoy speed workouts and shorter long runs (I've been loving the 7-8 mile "long" runs I've been doing each weekend) so I think it could be the sweet spot for me in terms of training this summer. Surprisingly, long runs still

I had so much fun catching up with Michelle over 8 miles on the Hudson two weeks ago.
I can join friends for parts of their long runs and still have direction to my running, which I enjoy, but I also won't be running for hours on end or need to get up at 5:00 a.m. to fit in the mileage.

I've been eyeing this 5K plan from the ever reliable Hal Higdon, but I want to focus on strength training for the next month or two and focus on building up some of the muscle I lost over a few weeks of minimal to no training. (It is shocking how fast you lose that, by the way.) Plus, a 5K in late July or early August sounds like it could be a disaster, so I think I'll aim for a September 5K and focus on building up strength over the next few weeks.

Anyway, on to much more exciting things than my running musings...


I am a big fan of Flywheel, but I don't go very often because I have a hard time justifying the price tag. In fact, I haven't been since the week before the Chicago Marathon.

However, when Kara contacted me about sharing a Team in Training fundraiser at Flywheel, I jumped at the opportunity to share the event in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Spend $45 to sweat on a bike for cancer research? Hell yes, sign me up.

And I hope you'll sign up, too. Let's all be sweaty together and support the incredible work LLS does. LLS isn't just researching cures for blood cancers -- their goal is to cure all cancer. Kara sent me this video about a new treatment study which used deactivated HIV cells to attack cancer cells. It's really incredible.

Oh, and in case you're a Flywheel aficionado and know each instructor's middle names (I know you crazies are out there...), the instructor will be the great Kate H. I have taken her class twice and she is a seriously awesome instructor. If you've never been to a spin class before, she'd be a great first-time teacher! And if you have absolutely no interest in sweating on a bike, you can always donate to LLS here and then eat brunch while we sweat. I won't judge you at all. Wait, Kara, is it too late for me to do that?

Here are the details:

Flywheel Stadium Cycling
TNT is hosting a spin-class fundraiser at Flywheel! We have 46 bikes and will be selling them for a $45 donation to LLS. To participate, please fill out this form. Please pass along to ANYONE!
Confirmed Event Details
Date: Sunday, June 8th
Time: 1:30 PM
Location: Tribeca (415 Greenwich Street, between Hubert and Laight Streets)
Price: $45 donation to LLS
Tribeca Location Map
PS: Kara just went sub-2 at the Brooklyn Half! Go congratulate her on her and also thank her for the amazing work she does helping to raise funds for LLS.
If you are ever doing a fundraiser for cancer research, please let me know -- I'm always happy to share these kinds of things.