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Weekend Recap: Summer Streets & Running ‘Naked’

August 15, 2011

This weekend was pretty productive and fun but still low-key, which was perfect. However, I started feeling a bit under the weather last night, and am spending today home from work resting up. Blah. I hate being sick, especially in the summer, so I’m hoping taking the day off to nap and lay down will help me feel better.

On Friday night, Dan and I went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, Covo. Despite its discrete location on 135th and 12th (really like Riverside Dr., but under Riverside down the steps), it was pretty packed. Highly recommended! We ate outside and shared appetizers of grilled calamari over arugula and sea scallops over tomato and spinach, and I had the special lobster risotto (yum!) while he had the penne vodka with sausage. Everything was so fresh and homemade. Yummmm.


Bright and early Saturday morning, I woke up around 7:25 to run the ~2 miles to Engineer’s Gate to meet Megan and Alex for a long run. Despite being compelled to stay in bed and sleep a few more hours, I was really looking forward to this run because we had a fun route planned: a bit in Central Park, down Park Avenue for Summer Streets, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and back over the Manhattan Bridge!

Summer Streets Route

This was my first time taking advantage of Summer Streets this year, and sadly my last since I’m away next weekend. The route ended up being just over 12 miles, which was perfect! The pace was comfortable and the company was even better. Alex peeled off a bit earlier, while Megan and I ended our run at Starbucks, where we surprisingly chose iced teas vs. iced coffees…we were really parched! We hopped on the subway uptown and I was home before 10am to find Dan was just waking up. Jealousy set in for a bit but checking off my run early before the heat and crowds hit made me feel accomplished to take on the rest of the day. I made banana french toast and coffee for breakfast and ate it in bed. The best!

Around 12, Dan and I left to go walk around the High Line. I had been once before, but haven’t been back since the new section was opened. We began at the most downtown point and walked North. It was gorgeous!

Ignore my awkward jump. I didn't want to flash everyone.

By the time we got to the end, we were a bit hungry…lucky for us, we found a rollerblading rink surrounded by Food trucks at the tip of the High Line called The Lot. Dan got a falafel sandwich and fries from Taim, while I was all about the ice cream sandwich from Coolhaus.

Key Lime Pie ice cream w/ Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies=Heaven

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Chelsea Market and the Village until he had to head back home, so I hit up the Union Square Greenmarket and wandered around a bit more until I met my mom and her friend for dinner. They were in the city to see a show so we met up at Saju Bistro for dinner. For Times Square-area dining, it was one of our better options. Nothing fantastic, as I would have preferred to venture to a different neighborhood since Times Square is my second-least favorite area in the city (behind Herald Square aka the pit of hell) and certainly not the best dining. But it was close and easy, and always nice to see my mom.

As I was on my way home after dinner,  I checked Twitter (per usual) and saw Christine and Susan tweeting:

I had plans with a friend tonight but she had to reschedule, so I was planning on staying in. But since I’m super creepy and love to invite myself to things, I replied:

Done and done! About an hour later, I was headed crosstown where I enjoyed a chill evening with Christine and Susan, watching “She’s The Man”, drinking wine, eating strawberry parfaits, and talking about just about everything. It was exactly the relaxing Saturday night I needed. Like I said in my last post, I’ve been doing a lot of meeting and hanging out with other runners here in NYC lately and it’s really helping NYC (finally) feel like ‘home‘ to me.

By the time we left, it was almost 2am (yikes!) and I found myself in a torrential downpour which didn’t let up at all Sunday. Perfect, since I slept in until around 11:30am and took my time eating breakfast in bed and watching TV until I finally got my act together to head out the door to run. But when I went to grab my Garmin, I discovered it was dead.

I debated waiting around another hour to let it get some juice, but instead put on my oldschool sportswatch and headed out the door. It’d suck to stand around in the rain waiting for a signal, anyways. I admit I felt a bit naked without my Garmin and my iPod at first. It was so quiet, too quiet. But as I looped around the bridle path, dodging puddles, I realized how free I felt. The sound of the rain was soothing, my legs felt surprisingly good, and the park was about empty. I didn’t worry about my pace or the watch beeping every mile, my legs were free to just run. Without the distraction of music, my mind was free to wander.

I started running with an iPod about 2 years ago when I was struggling to get out the door on solo early morning runs, and I only started running with my Garmin this winter since it was a Christmas present. While I love being able to see my pace/distance for workouts and long runs, and listening to the radio sure does take my mind off how many miles or minutes remain, for 8+ rainy miles I reverted back to just running in it’s purest form. Naked without technology, the way I enjoyed it for so many years. Something so simple felt so great.

I’m not going to give up the Garmin quite yet, because I think pace feedback is pretty useful and I’d feel wasteful not using the pricey gadget, but I am going to challenge myself to run without my iPod for at least two weeks. It’d do me some good to listen to my own thoughts, let my mind wander, and get in tune with my body on runs instead of 92.3 NOW. After all, I never race or do workouts with my iPod or when I run with friends, so hopefully it is a positive change instead of a hard adjustment.

What was the best part of your weekend? What are your thoughts on running with a GPS watch and/or iPod? Do you ever feel dependent on these gadgets, or enjoy the value they bring?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 1:28 pm

    I don’t think I’ve run with my ipod (outside) in about 2 years. I do run with it on at the gym because I can’t stand the sound of the treadmill. But outside I like to enjoy the surroundings and I seriously think about EVERYTHING. I’ve made some huge life plans and decisions while running sans ipod. Haha!

  2. August 15, 2011 4:25 pm

    That ice cream sandwich looks delicious! I used to never run with my ipod when I started running. Then I started using it sometimes for motivation. Sometimes I fear I run with it a little too much now and have become a little dependent on it. I would never run with it when I run with other people (I find that weird) and usually not in a race although I have experimented with longer races and I might try it if things get tough during my marathon. I am not sure what I would do without my garmin (a sign of being too dependent?) but it is nice to have “naked” runs sometimes. They can be more relaxing and freeing!

  3. August 15, 2011 4:33 pm

    Hmm best part of my weekend? Prob seeing “The Help!” – I was so excited for this movie to come out! Its really good. And, my long run when pretty well I think.

    I just got a Garmin and have run with it once so I’ve been running naked for a while. Its sometimes nice to just run to run and not be so focused on every objective data point. Its nice though (I realized after my first run) to know how far/fast you’re running. So, I guess it depends on the objective of the run.

    As far as the ipod, I always run with mine when I run alone. However, during my LR saturday I did my 4 MP miles sans friends and sans ipod. I was actually able to listen to my body more and focus on what I was supposed to be doing – so maybe I’ll try it more often! (big maybe)

  4. August 15, 2011 6:53 pm

    I love your weekend! Sounds perfect to me…and not only because I was involved in it. 🙂 As much as I love sleeping in, getting out there and running and ending with some coffee (or tea…) and a delicious breakfast is definitely an awesome way to kick start a weekend. That being said, balancing it out with sleeping in on a rainy day is so worth it.

    I’ve been running with my Garmin for almost five years (yikes!), and I do feel really weird if I run without it…mine died earlier this year and I had a few runs where I didn’t have one. It was nice to feel “free,” but at the same time I love the feedback that it gives me since I’m a horrible judge of pace. For easy runs, I definitely think it’s worthwhile to ditch it (not that I do…), but I would have a hard time giving it up on long runs or speed workouts.

    I’ve never run with music (I should do a post about that…), and I love it. Lets the mind wander to wherever it wants to go.

  5. August 15, 2011 8:19 pm

    I love the high line! Only been once but I didn’t see the roller skating rink of plethora of food trucks! I think this means i need to take an other trip. The best part of my weekend was a trip to NJ to see friends I haven’t seen in forever. But jealous of your runner get together!

    I don’t listen to music when I run, but honestly love my Garmin. Even on easy runs, I just like knowing my pace.

  6. August 16, 2011 9:39 am

    Sounds like the perfect weekend! I laughed at your line about being super creepy. Twitter makes that especially easy. 🙂 But I think it’s awesome that you’ve been able to connect with so many other runners/bloggers in NYC.

    And I try to run “naked” once a week – though don’t always succeed. I spent most of my running life running without a Garmin (or even a watch when I ran alone!) or an iPod, so it’s kind of strange how dependent I’ve gotten in such a short amount of time. The iPod dependence started after college when I began running longer more frequently. And I’ve had the Garmin for a little over a year now. I have an easier time going without that than the music. While I love having the feedback and being able to run wherever I want without mapping out the route beforehand (and still know how far I went), I do find it really freeing when I leave the watch at home. The run just doesn’t seem like as much of a production…or something. I think taking some time to get more in tune with your body on runs instead of relying on the gadgets to tell you what you should be running/distract you is really good.

  7. August 16, 2011 10:22 am

    As you know, my trusty Timex bit the dust somewhere around Union Square on Saturday and I definitely feel naked without it (mostly because I never know what time it is anymore!). I’ve been running with my Garmin these past few days, but I think I might attempt a watch-less run sometime this week. I’m trying to be more aware of my pace (no super slow slogs!), so having the Garmin helps with that, but when I’m not feeling good…oof, seeing those slow splits is not good for my mood.

    I really want to go to the Highline soon – Blue Bottle coffee has an espresso bar there and I am obsessed!

  8. August 16, 2011 1:12 pm

    Umm, I definitely need to be a twitter stalker and join you guys next time! the highline was so fun, I couldn’t find the coolhaus there (but tried it later) so I had some of the shaved ice. it was awesomeeee.


  9. August 16, 2011 10:28 pm

    yayyyyyy! so glad you came over! AWESOME saturday night that could have been lame if not for twitter.

    i was late to the GPS game but now that i’ve had it for 4 months or so it’s driving me nuts, especially when i swear i’m running faster than the pace it claims i’m running. i’m trying to leave it behind on easy runs but just love the convenience of always knowing my distance. as for ipod, i’m positively obsessed with my playlist and rarely go without it. something else i’d like to phase out though, at least sometimes! it died on mile 10 at the queens half and surprisingly i was completely fine! 🙂


  10. August 17, 2011 9:35 pm

    What an awesome weekend! The running sounds great, and the ice cream with cookies looks pretty perfect.
    I just got a Garmin this past Christmas, and I’ve been conflicted about it. Sometimes it’s incredibly helpful, but other times I think it takes something away from my runs. I’ve been trying to not take it with me on my easy runs, because the purpose of those is not to run a certain pace. Even when I do want to be focusing on pace, sometimes I find myself looking at my watch more than I want to and making constant judgments on how fast or slow I’m going. I see the value in using it but also sometimes wish I didn’t run with it.

  11. August 18, 2011 9:04 am

    I think I was at the High Line when the rollerskating rink was an art display (the first week it opened). I loved the new beer garden and food trucks (food trucks are probably my greatest weakness in NYC … am I gross?). Anyway, I’m hoping to take advantage of Summer Streets this Saturday, but I haven’t had a chance to yet! Looks like you girls had an awesome run.


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