When I was in my 20’s, I always thought that if I were to move away from the Bay Area, it would be to New York City. Now that I’m older, I can’t say the same anymore. But I still love the big apple. I’m on my 5th visit to the city for vacation. My last visit was over 5-6 years ago.
In my previous visits, I’ve stayed in Queens, Manhattan’s Chinatown, and Upper West Side (twice). This visit, I’m staying in Brooklyn for the first time. And it’s bringing me lots of new sights and experiences.
We are staying in one of the streets by Broadway which has a train track right on top for miles.
The neighborhood scared me a little to be honest. It looks rough. After a red-eye flight from San Francisco, we were really tired. And our air bnb’s check-in time was not until 3pm. Luckily, our host let us drop off the bags early while she cleaned the place.
Our first stop was Equilibria cafe in Williamsburg. (First cafe we found with a lot of seats.)
O M G. I am familiar with the hipster culture in San Francisco but Brooklyn’s Williamsburg takes Hipsters to a whole new level. Everyone dresses alike in certain ways…. really quirky to my fashion-conservative eyes. I obviously couldn’t take pics of strangers but I took mental notes.
We spent over 2 hours at the cafe, tried to wake ourselves up from the lack of sleep from our red-eyed flight. We each had 2 cups of coffee and stuffed our face with copious amount of pastries to hold us over til late lunch later.
There was even a french bull dog residing in the cafe.
I love that the cafe offers adult coloring books and color pencils. So hip?!?
Their outdoor space looked like the stuff from a junkyard put together but they made it work.
I was starving by then but honestly I think the pizzas were really, really, really good. The crusts were charred to just the right amount and it was thin without being soggy in the center.
After pizzas, we went to Brooklyn Bridge to walk.
It was late in the day and lots of people were out.
The whole gang… with two little ones in the big stroller.
For dinner we got take-outs from Little Mo for Korean-Vietnamese fusion food. We ordered 8 buns, 3 rice bowls, pho, and wings.
And we all went to bed early. Brooklyn has shown a lot of characters so far.
Spring is here!
I haven’t run a good race in over 1.5 years and I’m bored of running slow. I’m going to change things up a bit with my running!
Ever since I started running five years ago, I focused on running long distance races. Now to change things up, I am signed up to do a 5K race 7 weeks from now. Because I did no speed workouts for the last 1.5 years, I’ve lost quite a bit of running fitness. Track workouts and tempo runs will be back in my life again. They are keys to getting faster.
My (preliminary) goal for this upcoming 5K is 23 minutes or under. That’s 7:23 pace. I’m not in shape now but I think it’s doable. The only other short race I’ve run was a 10K and I ran a 7:26 pace… two years ago when I was much fitter.
I will document my training journey for the next seven weeks. Writing about it on the blog will hold me accountable to continue training hard 🙂
Today (Saturday), I squeezed in a short track workout during my 10 miler. I warmed up with 5 miles easy then did 10 x 1 minute at my neighborhood track. I ran 1 minute fast, 1 minute of jog/recovery, and repeated 10 times. I set my Garmin to beep every minute at track and I didn’t even look at my watch for pace. My FAVORITE part of each speed workout is reading the pace afterward! It’s so satisfying.
It’s my first track workout in a long time so short intervals were a good start. There’s much progress to be made in the next few weeks. I’m excited for the new training cycle!
A brief race report:
I ran Rock n Roll San Francisco half marathon three weeks ago. I ran 1:59 and it was my second slowest half marathon to date!!! My slowest was my first ever half marathon in 2012 and finished at 2:01. This shows how unfit I’ve become (and it kicked me in the rear to train again.)
My favorite part of the course was this…. there was a major hill to climb toward Golden Gate Bridge, and there were pictures of fallen soldiers lining the course for a good half mile or longer. It’s such an emotional, touching part of the race.
My second favorite part of the race course was running on Golden Gate Bridge. The highlight for me was seeing my dad on my return route on the bridge. We highfived each other but our hands missed and we just kept running.
Finish line was pretty crowded but it’s normal.
My dad finishing his very first half marathon! We couldn’t be more proud.
He has his eyes on a PR in his next race in August!
Have a nice weekend, and Happy Easter to those who celebrate!
It’s been 9 days since I got back. I’ve been catching up at work and with friends, family, and relatives since I got back. It’s nice to be back!
I have to say though that taking a vacation is good for your soul and it sure makes you appreciate your daily routine/life when you get back! You live out of your luggage for days or weeks and experience unfamiliar yet exciting things. Then you feel removed from reality to some extent after a while. I don’t know if this makes sense. One of the best things about coming back from a long vacation is to be HOME and back to the routine that you love (and if you don’t love your daily routine or your everyday life, it’s a wake-up call to make changes.)
Having said that, I’m back to my running routine. I’ve been running long distance for the past couple of years. This was the longest break I’ve taken from running and lost quite a bit of fitness. Last month, I ran only 39.5 miles total. That’s less than how much I typically run in a week last year during training! It’s gonna be a long road back to fitness.
After watching the dramatic finish of Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg at Olympic Marathon Trials past weekend, I’m feeling more inspired to kick-start my speed training.
So…… I am registered for a few half marathons this year to keep my running fresh and motivating.
March – Oakland Half
April – San Francisco Rock n Roll Half
September – Giant Race Half
So I will say this here for accountability that I will train for a PR at the September event. My half marathon PR now is 1 hour and 43 minutes. Last year I wasn’t able to focus on half marathon pace since I trained for a 50K and two full marathons at much slower paces. I’m excited about this change of pace!
You all know I love to blog about food all day long. I kind of miss taking photos of food 😊 I have not been eating anything so exciting lately to be honest.
Bought these in Thailand and love them in my skincare routine! Good to know that I can buy big bottles from Amazon when I run out.
Have a nice day!!
Tis Christmas Eve!
Just some pictures to summarize a few holiday celebrations in the last two weeks. Yesterday was the last working day of the year for me. Off to the start of the trip (the main reason I started this blog but I’ve gone off on a hundred different tangents so far 😁)