No Sleep in Brooklyn

Remember when I used to post more than once a week? Them’s were the days!

Anyway, exactly 31 days ago, my life underwent a major change. In the past month, I’ve lost a job, started a new job, ran 250 miles (heyyooo marathon training), and took a trip to California. It’s been a bit of a wild ride and I’m still trying to settle in to my new routine. For the past 4+ years, my job was just a way to pay the bills. It wasn’t something I loved, so I didn’t feel the desire to advance myself or climb up the corporate ladder. I put in my 8 hours a day and devoted the rest of my time to the things that fulfilled me: running, blogging, writing, time with friends. If you had asked me a few months ago what my priorities were, running would probably have been number 2 (after family/friends). And my job? Well, that was somewhere after happy hours, travel, and laundry…Just kidding. Well, actually, not really. Anyway, the point is – I’m finally doing what I want to do. Any new job can be overwhelming, but when you know that every move you make is going to play a part in your career trajectory, everything you do seems doubly important. The next few months are going to require a lot of hard work, flexibility, and my schedule will probably be less uncertain than I’m used to. And for the first time in a long time, I’m okay with the fact that running isn’t going to be priority numero uno (or dos). Of course, I will still run and race – it’s part of who I am, it makes me happy, I enjoy it (well…maybe not at 5:30am, but most of the time). But as I’ve mentioned before – there’s a shift going on.

You’ve probably already noticed the frequency of posting has gone wayyyy down and as much as I’d love to blog every day or even 3 times a week – I can’t. I love writing, rambling on about my training, and experimenting with recipes, but I also like to SLEEP and spend time with friends. And maybe do laundry occasionally. Anyway, I hope you’ll stick with me. I can’t promise super healthy recipes (dinner the other night? banana + pb + 2 beers) or 80 mile weeks, but I will do my best to try and figure out how to make running fit into my new life. If I manage to do it, you’ll be the first to know! So here’s to the next phase…

So, how’s that flexibility portion going? Okay, I guess. I try really hard to maintain a good life balance. I mean, eating well, sleeping enough, and running hard are important to me, but I’m a single, 20-something living in New York City. When I look back on these years, I don’t want to remember it by a series of early bedtimes and oatmeal, you know? Sometimes I try to pack a little too much into my day and I’ll admit – I don’t always fit in as many miles or as much sleep as I’d like, but on the whole, the things I do (happy hour! travelling!) make me happy. Case in point – this past week I headed out to San Francisco for a few days of fun with my girl Jacqui. I ran 5-6 miles every morning, but didn’t stress out too much about mileage or speed. I had big plans to hit up the Central Park Track Club workout on Thursday evening, but alas…a late afternoon meeting (and some gym logistics I still need to figure out…) got in the way. Picture this:

7:05pm…I’m on the subway. My limbs feel like they weigh about 400 lbs each, I’m tired (wooo, west coast jet lag), and generally just very cranky. I had made up my mind – “I’m going home and taking a nap before happy hour (priorities, eh?) I.just.can’t.run. LIFE IS HARD. I AM TIRED.

And then I climbed up the subway stairs and saw a text message from a neighborhood buddy that said:

“Quick run before happy hour?”

And with that one text, my evening run was saved. Even though just minutes before, I could have sworn a run was impossible, I somehow re-gained my momentum. We set out at a pretty good pace and I think we averaged close marathon goal pace/7:40’s for four or so miles, maybe even faster? When we parted ways, I tacked on a few more easy miles. I didn’t wear my Garmin so when I mapped the route at home and compared it to my watch it indicated that we averaged 6:53 ish pace for those 4 miles. That seemed awfully fast, so I must have screwed up somehow with my watch. In the end, exact pace doesn’t matter all that much, the run got me movin’ a little faster than usual and most importantly – the run happened. And not a nap.

Speaking of sleep…that hasn’t been goin’ to0 well. I’m one of those people that needs at least 7 hours of sleep to function. I can do a few nights of less than that, but not for any extended amount of time. Actually, if I could sleep for 8-9 hours per night, that would be ideal. Anyway, I did my last long run today and the plan was to run 15/16 miles with the last 5 at marathon goal pace (7:35-7:45 ish). I felt good for the first 10 or so miles and we even dropped one or two miles at sub-8:00 pace (which is fast for me on an “easy” day). But then…when I tried to bring the pace down, I struggled to run faster than 7:50 for miles 11 and 12. At that point, I decided to ease off and just finish the miles. This was pretty disconcerting – if 7:50 pace feels hard for TWO miles, how the heck am I going to run that pace (or faster) for 26.2?

I complained about it over G-Chat for awhile and big ups to Sarah for suggesting that maybe, just maybe I ran out of gas not because of Mono or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Leukemia (hypochondriac much?), but because of poor sleep. Over the past week, I averaged 4-5 hours of sleep for 3 of those nights. That is no bueno for a girl who needs 7 minimum. If I’m going to give this marathon my best shot, I need to make sleep a priority over the next two weeks. I still don’t think I’m in PR shape (>3:18:17), but I don’t want to embarrass myself on race day.

Wow, if you made it through that rambling, congratulations! You should get a prize or something. I’m going to shut up about my training woes and instead delight you with some of my favorite things from the past month:

4 days in San Fran (wine tastings! dinner at Chez Panisse! blogger meet-up!). I <3 you Jacqui.

Vegetarian pho from Sunflower Cafe!! We’re obsessed.

For one of our lunches, we headed to a cute little cafe called Sweet Pea Seduction (hi Anna!). I picked up some delicious vegan split pea soup and a really unique sandwich – grilled polenta with grilled escarole, red onion jam, and aioli on a homemade bun.

I’m not usually a big white wine drinker, but damn this chardonnay from Deerfield Farm Winery in Sonoma was good. I mean, maybe the fact that Jacqui and I drank in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon swayed my opinion, but I still think it was A+.

Foodbuzz sent me a coupon to try Alexia potatoes awhile ago and I FINALLY got around to picking up a bag of sweet potato waffle fries. I like to eat them covered in ketchup – two vegetables in one! Oh so healthy, right? No, but seriously french fries are my favorite food and I give these two thumbs up.

Yeah, yeah, I have no moneyz, but I still bought these boat shoes! (Actually I had a gift card). I love them. I needed them. Right? YAY shoes.

Does anyone else feel guilty every time they buy something for themselves? It’s the worst. I have a really hard time deciding if it’s okay for me to buy that latte or a new dress. Blah.

Also, if you need to get more sleep, what’s the first thing you give up?

  • I swear if I could return food and lattes I probably would. I returned all four things I bought last week after feeling buyers remorse. Keep those shoes! Love them, you deserve them 🙂 

  • Congrats on striking a balance with everything that’s going on in your life! It’s definitely a challenge to fit in everything we want to do in our lives (hence why my very own blog is entitled “Balancing Me”) … there’s just never enough time! Your commitment to everything happy and good and healthy in your life is truly an example to look up to, though. Happy new changes!

  • The first thing I give up is housekeeping. Sleep > clean floor any day!

    Hang in there. You’ll find a new balance soon enough. 🙂

    PS – Details on the Chez Panisse dinner? Please? (I ate there on a trip to SFO several years ago. Fabulous!)

  • I definitely get grocery shopping guilt. (Who knew that was a thing?) Even though good food is important to me, buying things like greek yogurt and berries adds up! 
    When I need more sleep, I definitely skimp on school work. I know when it comes down to it, being healthy and sane is more important than getting an A on a midterm. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. Either way, I think it’s better to have a lot things in your life that you care about and to try and juggle them all than to not feel fulfilled. Which it looks like you’ve got! 

  • I give up the internet. Yeah I need to blog, and perhaps catching up on fellow bloggers, but sitting in front of the screen instead of going to bed really drains the hours.

  • runningseal

    I’d love to hear more about this job that actually makes you excited, because what I am doing  currently is like what you did before. It is what I do so I can pay the bills and live the rest of my life. I think it would be amazing to be passionate about my job. The first thing I would give up is probably blog stuff. Not that I spend that much time as I post at best like once a week! I am impressed by people who find time to post every day!! Other things I would neglect are watching tv shows and cleaning.

  • It is so WONDERFUL to like your job enough to WANT to make it a priority — not because bills need to be paid.  It’s ok if some things get pushed back in priority a little right now.  Having a career you truly enjoy is the dream.  There will always be time to squeeze in a run, and blogging…well, if I like a blog, I don’t care if they post once a day or once every 20 days.  We will still read.

    I super dig the shoes, kind of worn-in looking.  Can’t wait to make my way to NYC one day so we can do happy hour New York style with Jacqui! You guys are great.

  • I have the WORSE guilt whenever I buy myself something.  Well I don’t have a job… so that is part of it.  Sometimes I feel guilty buying stuff I actually NEED… like a bus pass.  So silly.  I’m so glad you like your new job and it is more of what you want to do.  So exciting and such a great example of when a bad thing (no job) turns into a great thing (awesome job)!   Have a happy Sunday!

  • MealsforMiles

    Haha, I love that one of your tags is “barely coherent babbling.” But this was hardly that! I’m so happy that you’re in such a great place with work – such exciting changes! I’m sure you’ll figure out how to make it all work and sleep. For me, social time is the first thing to go, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that… it’s kind of boring. 🙂 

    And YES. I feel guilty for buying anything other than food lately. Luckily the boat shoes I bought last year are still a-ok for this spring/summer! <3 them

  • Gemma C

    Love the new shoes…and you paid with a gift card…that’s like free money so the purchase is totally justified. I mean you HAD to spend it…just in case you set it aside and then forgot about it and it expired! How terrible would that have been! I’ve started selling my old clothes on trademe (NZ equivalent of Ebay) before buying new clothes. Rule is 3 old things sold = 1 new item purchase allowed.

  • runnerskitchen

    i like your rule! 🙂 and yes, i agree- there’s nothing worse than an expired gift card…gotta make sure that doesn’t happen!

  • I do sometimes feel guilty getting something for myself, but it’s also nice to treat yourself. Plus you had a gift card.

    I have a horrible time making myself sleep more. Wish I had some suggestions there.

  • Togtokh Ganzorig

    i like your shoes! are they the tan one? aunt bettie right? 

  • runnerskitchen

    yes! they are the aunt bettie style, but blue 🙂

  • Togtokh Ganzorig

    i love them! i have been wanting some shoes like that, can you link me to it? i can’t find the blue one. i don’t really like the black or tan. 

  • runnerskitchen

    I actually bought mine at the Madewell in San Fran, maybe they’re an in-store exclusive? i don’t see them online!

  • I can relate to this post a lot. My blogging frequency has dropped also because of the changes in my life. Sleep is of utmost importance now and while I can’t back on grad school and don’t want to cut back on spending time with my family and friends I’ve found that I’ve cut back on working out as much as I used to. Surprisingly it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Perpetual sleep-deprivation does that to you!

  • It’s amazing how quickly your work situation turned around. You should write the book on how to handle a layoff! Glad you’re enjoying the new gig so far. 🙂

    I don’t know why I feel more guilty about personal purchases than meals out. I should have bought myself my Garmin ages ago! 🙂

    If I need more sleep, the first thing I cut out is late night drinking/barhopping. It’s not really my thing, anyway.

  • AmandaRunsNY

    When I’m stressed at work, sleep and runs are the one thing that I refuse to give up.  If I absolutely must sleep less, first it’s getting ready, then time spent making meals, and then finally if all that is used up, it would be work-outs, but only one or two days max.  Otherwise, I will just say, SORRY, I can’t do it.  

  • runnerskitchen

    oh yeahhhh, packing my lunch is definitely one of the first things to go…

  • ah, i really dig the shoes. they have a well-worn look.

    i loved meeting you and jacqui last week. you two are so much fun. thank you for all the achilles- and calf-stretching tips!

  • sarah

    In high school, the boys wear those shoes with pastel-colored chinos and crew socks pulled up all the way. FYI if you wanna come and fit in.

  • I LOVE MYSELF SOME SLEEP.

    I give up things that aren’t “crucial” – blogging, TV – wait, no TV is crucial.

  • Hi Megan! Glad you had fun in San Fran!
    Ironically, every time I start adding mileage, I’m all like, “Why am I so tired all the time?” and completely forget that it obviously has to do with the mileage, duh. 🙂
    Typically I’ll just cut out evening social & TV-time and get to bed earlier. I may or may not have gone to bed at 8:30 PM on Sunday night.
    Aw, I always have guilt when buying clothes – I hardly ever do anymore. Although, I do love your loafers, and just bought myself some sperry topsiders a month ago and have so far worn them a ton. My rule of thumb is if I divide the price into $5 increments, I have to wear them that amount of times for it to be a good purchase. (I like math) So, for example, if my sperry topsiders were $80, divide by $5, means I have to wear them at least 16 times for the purchase to be worth it! So that probably has already happened in the past month 🙂 Get it? But a $50 “going-out top” if only worn once or twice, is a bad purchase.
    Anyways, glad the new job is going well – you’ll find your groove soon enough.

  • Three cheers for a job that you actually like, three boos for little sleep!  I know how miserable the lack of sleep can be, and I usually just supplement it with a lot of coffee. And sleeping way too late on my days off.  (Perks of working three nights per week!)

    Definitely sounds like all your busy is GOOD busy (okay, minus work, who REALLY wants to work?)…being busy because you’re in SF is definitely a good thing.  🙂

  • runnerskitchen

    ahhh, we loved San Fran. I want to go backkkkk. Jacqui and I already have a running list of must-do’s for next time 🙂

  • scarlett elliewood

    I should give up the internet, biggest time suck ever, but instead I give up cleaning and packing my lunch. It’s great to have a job you actually like though! Believe me, I’ve had both situations and it’s much better to be busy, challenged, and engaged at work.

  • I’m so glad that you’ve managed to find a job that you’re enjoying this much! Since we spend so many hours of our day at work, it’s more important than people think (at least I like to think so considering my recent ‘transition’). Regardless of how often you update, I’ll always be a reader 🙂 Best of luck with your final weeks of Boston training!

  • Just catching up on some past posts. Hope you’re finding some more balance by now. Seriously, this whole life thing is not easy. Training for marathons, working, eating healthy, having a social life -wowzas. I’ve definitely been blogging less lately too. Life and stress has just not allowed for it.