My schedule has been a complete disaster. Getting up at 5:45 AM in the mornings to run or do yoga... getting into the office by 8 or 8:15 AM and working at breakneck speed until 7 or 7:30 PM... coming home and desperately trying to get something that resembles edible nutrition onto the table for dinner... booting the computer back up and working until 10:30 or 11:00 PM... going to bed in a state of mental disarray over what hasn't gotten done yet... then starting all over again the next morning.
Now that I'm on vacation, where to begin with everything that has been building up in the back of my mind?
Let's start with last weekend! I attended the NAAAP National Convention, which was held in New York this year.
First off, can I just say once again how much I enjoy any opportunities to visit New York? I love feeling the city's energy and vibrant diversity and could spend years exploring the various neighborhoods. This visit afforded me the opportunity to go to K-Town, shop at the flagship Macy's at Herald Square, have brunch in the East Village with my friend Bon-Jay, check out Serendipity with my friend Rose, and have a very lively discussion with my LaGuardia cab driver about Tim Tebow, the Giants, and the Yankees (including insider sources for Yankees tickets!)
I even caved in over the weekend and did something sacreligious, by my standards. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Rose and I went out and got some New York-style pizza.
|The site of my pizza indiscretion.
|I ate the evidence.
On a side note, I can definitely see why some people like New York-style pizza. The super-thin, crispy, cracker-like crust is definitely tasty. But, I still prefer Chicago-style deep dish.
Anyways, I digress.
I've been involved with NAAAP for a really long time, and this was my tenth year attending the convention. I really love these conventions because they are like a family reunion or a homecoming for me. This year was no exception. The convention was packed with inspiring speakers, events, sightseeing, and friends - and the time went by in a flash.
I just served my second year as the Program Director for the NAAAP 100 Awards Program, and the awards ceremony takes place at each year's convention. Here is a picture of me, along with my friend Shane, presenting the award to one of this year's five recipients, Senator Vivienne Poy:
|Senator Poy is the second Asian-Canadian to receive the NAAAP 100 Award.
Here are a few more pictures from the weekend's festivities:
|Late dinner with friends. From left to right - Jeremy, Grace, Rose, me, and Ben.
Don't we all look hard-core since we're all wearing black, white, or grey?
|Me working the NAAAP booth at the Career Fair, with my friends Hector and Brad
(and another woman whose name I didn't catch) in the background.
|My friends Wendy and Brenda, and me.
Speaking of my friend Brenda, this woman is a powerhouse and an inspiration. She's currently training for her third Ironman 70.3 this month, and she's completed three marathons with her fourth scheduled this November. She's also a mentor for Team in Training in Atlanta.
I hadn't seen Brenda in several years so when we saw each other, of course we started talking shop about marathoning and endurance training. Ten minutes later, Brenda and I made plans to go running together in Central Park on Sunday morning!
|Central Park's outer loop, which is about 6 miles
I had never gone running in Central Park, so I was super excited to do so while getting some time to really catch up with Brenda.
The Central Park loop was fun - great people watching and very serene. Albeit, the route was much hillier than this Midwesterner is used to or was expecting! There was one massive hill in particular that would seemingly never end, and the path went around a corner so you couldn't see the end of the hill. Wow. Just wow.
There were lots of people on their bikes along the path, as well. I didn't realize until Brenda pointed it out to me that the bikers were supposed to stop at all of the intersections within the park. There were even Central Park police parked at the intersections to enforce the stops. I was joking with Brenda that it was a good thing that I wasn't on a bike. Otherwise, I would have breezed through each of the intersections and jauntily waved hello to the officers while doing it.
All in all, I had a great time running with Brenda, and I was happy to cross Central Park off of my list of running destinations, too. Here's a picture of the two of us right after finishing our run:
|Doesn't Brenda look like she could be my coach?
OK! Coming soon to my blog near you, some catch-up and future entries on:
- A brutal 18-miler completed out here yesterday in North Carolina
- The neverending shoe audition for marathon day
- Ugly tan lines and even uglier mental rollercoasters
- A big month of races in September, including:
- The Chicago Half Marathon coming up next weekend, with pre- and post-run plans already set with Erin and Kim
- The CARA Ready to Run 20-Miler
- My first double-race weekend - the Mad Dash to Madison and the PAWS Run For Their Lives
- And much, much more!
Happy Labor Day to all!!!