NYC 26.2: Week 3

Hal Higdon-NYC 26.2-Marathon Training

One more week down.

Week 3 presented a few scheduling challenges so again I juggled days around and actually ended up skipping my “cross training” day (usually when I squeeze in my Lithe class for the week).  But it was worth it, we went to visit A’s baby boyfriend S and the rest of the M/V clan at the shore on Saturday and had a blast.  (Despite the fact that we picked the first cold-ish and overcast day to visit, and were on the beach wrapped in towels!)  The M/V house seems to be the social center of Margate (for adults, babies, and dogs!) so we got to hang with some new people which was fun.  Glad they didn’t mind adding our bunch to the mix.

But the [relatively] cooler weather on Sunday allowed me to get in a good 7 miler with A sleeping in the stroller.  So coupling that with the miles I got in at lunch during the week (4 on Tues and 4 on Weds…lost steam by Thurs!) and a light 3 miles on Friday afternoon when it stopped raining, I was actually able to get in 18 miles total.  One more than the goal of 17.  I’m happy with the mileage but I did miss out on the cross training so it’s not my most successful week.  But I’ll take it.

Back in the saddle again right now for week 4.  Long runs start to step it up this week which will definitely present a little more of a challenge.  I’ll keep you posted!

The Thrill of It All: Packing Perfection.

Packed Suitcase with Rolled Clothes

Late one night before the July 4th holiday I got an interesting text from loyal reader and coworker, SP (also known around here sometimes as Dirrr).  But this one wasn’t about taco trucks or free coffees at Wawa.  Using tips from my packing post, she was able to pack a killer suitcase for 2 adults and 2 children going to the shore for 5 days.  Check it out in the pic above from her text.

And the kicker – this wasn’t even all she ended up with in there.  Tightly rolling everything afforded her enough space to ALSO add 6 beach towels, 3 sets of queen bed sheets, a folding hair dryer, a flat iron, and one pair of casual, dress, and beach shoes EACH for the gang.  Insane, right?!

Congrats to SP on a job well done (and a bag well-packed!).  One last question though – did you “Superstar” when you zipped this puppy up?!

Small Space Scores.

Sibille Furniture Ludovico

I read a really fun article in the New York Times last weekend on living with less in small spaces, in particular how to live in one of the yet-to-be-built 300 square foot “micro-units” recently proposed by Mayor Bloomberg as a [hopefully] cheaper alternative to the mega-pricey standard that has become NY living.  You can read the full article here.  If you choose not to read it (and I don’t blame you, I don’t like clicking around all the time either), I’ll summarize.

The writer of the article decided it would be fun to search for some clever space-saving ways to actually furnish one of these teeny tiny units.  He scored some great finds.  Some are completely unrealistic (a $35,000 mini kitchen on wheels?!), others are utterly weird (a Chewable Toothbrush that doesnt require toothpaste, water, or even a sink?  Blech), but others are actually genius.  My favorites are the Ludovico “desk in a box” by Sibille Furniture (pictured above), the Magnetic Nesting 5-Piece Utensil Kit by Joseph Joseph (clever, stylish, and practical!), and the Hot-Pot BBQ “flower pot grill” by Black + Blum (you heard me right – and it’s such a good idea!).

So if you find yourself snapping up one of these micro units, or are already living in a shoebox of a  pad, there already are some great ideas out there for saving space and multi-tasking furniture and gadgets.  And remember, sometimes you just need to do a little thinking outside the box – er, apartment – to come up with clever ideas of your own.

NYC 26.2: Week 2

Hal Higdon-NYC 26.2-Marathon Training

Very successful Week 2.  The week’s goal was 20 miles and I actually ended up doing 21.  Like in Week 1 I had to switch days around a bit (moved my long run from Friday to Sunday since A and I went to the shore for the day on Friday).  I had a good start to the week which I’ve found really helps keep you going.  If you procrastinate or skip too many days in the beginning of the week it’s just too hard to make up for it on the back end.

Here’s how it all went down:

I was actually able to squeeze 4 miles in on Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday during lunch.  That’s a record for me.  I don’t usually get down to our office gym more than once a week.  But training for a marathon with a 9 month old is going to require strategically squeezed-in runs in whenever I possibly can.  And I have the gym-at-lunch thing down to a science so it’s getting easier to do.  But that’s a topic for another post.

After that craziness I gave myself Thursday & Friday off to rest.  Well, Friday I was certainly active with A at the shore, but no training.

On Saturday I went to my usual 8:30am Lithe Method class.  This week it was Skinny Mini, one of my favorites and a good option for Hal’s “cross training” days.  Great blend of cardio, arms, and toning at the barre.  Love my Lithe.

I’m estimating that Sunday’s long run ended up being a little over 9 miles.  B and I took A in our running stroller and attempted the loop (our 8.4 mile circuit around the Schuylkill river and Art Museum, for non-Philadelphians), but ended up just doing the up/back part of MLK drive since the Back on My Feet 20 in 24 race was still going on the Kelly Drive side.  We turned around a few minutes past the 4 mile mark, and I did a few run-ahead-and-double-backs since I wanted to pick up the pace a little.  So that’s where I get my 9 mile guesstimate.  It felt hotter and stickier than any of those 100 degree days 2 weeks ago which made things  a little tough, but overall my legs and lungs felt good so I was pleased.

Week 3 is presenting some scheduling challenges so we’ll see how things pan out.  Stay tuned!

It’s In The (Beach) Bag: Baby Powder

Sea Bags for J.Crew - Navy - White

Heading to the shore this weekend?  Amazing tip for beach-going mama’s: keep baby powder in your beach tote – it works wonders on de-sanding your little ones!  I know, it seems too good to be true, but it really does work and it’s awesome.

To use: pour the powder all over your kids’ sandy spots and lightly dust it off.  Watch in awe as the sand goes along with it!  Although it will work on wet sand, I’d probably recommend letting your kiddo dry off a tad or the powder will stick to them and they will look like Casper the Friendly Ghost for the rest of your day.

That’s really it.  Enjoy!

P.S. – Beach bag above is from last year’s Sea Bags for J.Crew collection.  Love it.  Don’t love the price tag.  Typical.

P.P.S – Good friend and loyal reader MV just informed me of a product made especially for this purpose: the Sand-Off Body Mitt.  Touted as smaller/lighter than carrying a big tub of powder, and apparently does not get all over your hands when you use it.  Muy interesante.