A week from today, I will have completed my 6th New York City Triathlon, if all goes according to plan. This week, I'll only be doing some light exercise, but I've been training consistently for several months (if you want to see what I've been doing, click here), and feel absolutely ready to go. That said, I haven't trained as hard as I have in past years -- I had injuries, I'm a few years older, and all that good stuff -- but I have trained at a level where I know that can complete the race. So much of the training, as well as the race itself, is mental, not physical. When I do training runs in Central Park, I run clockwise while most runners run counterclockwise -- the tri course is clockwise, so I know exactly what's coming up, what hills I have left, and what landmarks mean for distance left on the route. I generally swim around 30 minutes for training, which is less than the mile I'll need for the race, because the swim has never taken me more than 25 minutes or so. That said, I don't feel ready until I've done a mile in the pool, which takes 40-45 minutes (I did it yesterday). Similarly, I don't feel ready until I've run over 5 miles a few times (done), biked over 20 miles a few times (done), and thrown in a few brick (bike/run) workouts for good measure (I only managed to fit in one this year, alas).
The other thing that's been fun this year is bike commuting along the Hudson, right where I'll be swimming, and past what will be my transition area on Sunday. I can visualize so much of the race -- having done it five times already helps -- which calmes my nerves. NYC Tri -- I'm ready to take you on!!
I was walking around the Village the other day and overheard two 20-something women whining about how much they missed their cars. Woman #1: "I hate having to walk so much. I'm lazy." Woman #2: "I know! I wish I could just jump in my car." Woman #1: "Seriously. I miss my car sooo much."
My thought, hearing this: "Who are these freaks and why do they live here?"
There are three new(ish) bars here in NYC that should be on your radar if they're not already. Need some plans tonight? Pick one and go grab a drink!
Dear Irving -- this gorgeously decorated spot is conveniently located right by Union Square and the drinks were created under the leadership of the lovely and talented Meaghan Dorman, who runs Raines Law Room. Unlike Raines, there is a proper bar in addition to more loungy and booth-type seating, and small bites in addition to a fantastic cocktail menu.
Nitecap -- this subterranean bar from the Death & Co team is run by Natasha David (also lovely and talented!). While you peruse the whimsical menu filled with creative cocktails, nibble on some irresistable baked artichoke dip. Nitecap was the perfect cozy spot to hide during a torrential downpour a few weeks back . . .
The NoMad Bar -- Leo Robitschek does it again with a killer cocktail program and Daniel Humm continues to blow my mind with his chicken pot pie (a pot pie version of what I call the "fucking chicken") and carrot tartare (neither of which should be missed, in my opinion). If you're lucky enough to go with a large group, get one of the enormous punches -- they're certainly stunning to look at, and knowing Leo, they're likely to be delicious, too. Leo also went above and beyond the call of duty while I was there and used a long-handled bar spoon to rescue my phone, which had fallen in a tiny crevasse between the wall and the banquette. I can't guarantee he'll provide the same service to you . . .
My new bike rack arrived last night so between that and the gorgeous weather, I decided to try bike commuting for the first time today. I thought that it would be cool enough to wear my work clothes instead of bringing them and cycling in something different -- slight tactical error. Although I brought wipes and deodorant, I arrived at work a little schvitzier than I had hoped. Next time I'll likely bike in a different outfit and carry the work clothes. And I'm already starving . . . Is it lunchtime yet?
I stumbled across this amazing list of "time, energy, and attention hacks" the other day. It's chock full of information and links to articles about ways to be more productive. One tip that spoke to me was the concept of "clear to neutral." The idea is that by removing resistance that enables you to procrastinate, you are more likely to take action. A prime example is making sure that after you cook, you clean the kitchen so that the next time you walk in, you aren't blocked by a pile of dirty dishes. I realize that I'm much better about doing this outside of my regular routine -- when I'm out on Fire Island, or on vacation -- than I am when I'm trying to cram things into my daily life. Tonight after I cooked and ate, I cleaned up. It always takes much less time in reality than it does in my head, and I'm much happier with a clean kitchen, whether I cook tomorrow or not.
I'm feeling particularly bubbly today -- maybe it's the gorgeous weather, or my bright orange dress, or having gone for a swim before work -- but I'm pretty sure there will be some bubbles in my future tonight. And if not tonight, at brunch with the girls tomorrow (because I don't think we've *ever* had brunch without bubbles). The French 75 is most often found with gin, but is sometimes made with cognac -- choose whichever one floats your boat. PS -- the guy in the picture, Chris Hannah, makes a fantastic French 75 (at the French 75 Bar at Arnaud's in NOLA). Tell him I said hi!
French 75 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1/2 ounce simple syrup 1 ounce gin or cognac champagne
Combine lemon, simple and spirit in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a champagne flute or coupe and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist if desired.
There are days when I walk around the city feeling like a pack mule. On a typical day, I'm carrying a purse of some sort (larger if I'm carrying work documents and/or my tablet), a coffee mug (because I cannot wrap my head around the fact that places are now charging $4 for a cold brew iced coffee), breakfast (I generally don't eat or drink coffee until I get to work -- maybe I need to work on this), and lunch (not every day -- but most days). Tack on a visit to the gym and I've got workout gear, a Citibike trip and I've got a helmet, and today, to top things off, I toted my compost uptown to drop at the greenmarket on my way to work like a good little citizen of planet earth. Luckily by the end of the day, the coffee mug will be empty, breakfast and lunch will be eaten, compost will be gone, and I can ride a Citibike from 59th St. to the gym wearing my helmet and gym clothes, only toting my work outfit (lighter than gym clothes). This all counts as exercise/triathlon training, right?