Friday, June 29, 2012

Activity Adventures: The Mini 10K and working out with Jackie Warner

Saturday, June 9th I ran the Mini10K in Central Park. This was my first time doing this run and my first women-only event!

I wanted to acknowledge the "Mini" aspect with a skirt, so I went to LuluLemon the day before to buy a running skirt. I'll be honest - I didn't want to like this store (because I have heard it's expensive and women get addicted to their clothes), but I did like it. Darn you, LuluLemon!

I bought the cutest ever running skirt!

Here it is from the front ...
...but  the best part is the adorable pleats in the back!

  • Running Bra from Victoria's Secret
  • Top from Target
  • CWX Compression Pants
  • Skirt from LuluLemon
  • Moisture wicking socks (New Balance?)
  • Reebok Sneakers
  • iPod wrap around arm holder
  • Nathan running belt
  • Vitaband & Road ID
  • Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor
  • Nike Plus chip
  • Pink headband
  • Garmin GPS
I was running late. As usual. Except even later than usual. I was so late I had to desperately tweet for someone to tell me where the starting point was, since I had no time to go online and look it up myself. Fortunately, Trixie and Jen came through with the news I needed: Get thee to Columbus Circle!!

I grabbed Isabella and left the apartment!

my make up looks flawless as I ride up the Pulaski (later, not so much)
I made my way to Queens...

Passing through Long Island City, Queens. (Side note: I always use that Citi building as a landmark. As long as I can see it - no matter where I am in Queens, I know I can get home.)
I made my way to the 59th Street Bridge. On my way up the ramp, I saw a rival running gang headed for the bridge too. It was Melanie's running gang - Hellgate Runners. They were an impressive force, so I snapped a couple of shots:

Hellgate Runners
they got to Central Park the same time as me!

As I passed them I said "Good morning, Hellgate!" and then struggled to outpace them on that bridge (runners often pass me on that steep ramp! It's humbling, but I'm used to it)

riding up the 59th Street Bridge

isn't she beautiful?
I made to Manhattan but I still had to cross from the east side to the middle - Broadway. That takes *forever* because going cross-town, you rarely get 2 lights in a row. And despite being late, I actually stopped for the red lights.

As I finally got to 57th & 5th, who should I see entering the park but those damn Hellgate Runners! They beat me to the park!! And by this time I realized they had likely come to cheer for their other members who were running. How sweet!
how did they get here the same time as me?!
dang, you guys are fast!
At this point, I knew I was crazy late and still had a few blocks to go. There was bumper to bumper traffic on 57th so I rode down the center of the street in an effort to reach Columbus Circle -

racing my way down the middle of traffic on 57th Street
black & yellow, black & yellow, black & yellow, black & yellow (from Girl Talk, All Day - my running soundtrack)
There are no pictures from the next 10 minutes or so because it was too hectic to take any. But this is basically what happened... I found the runners lined up at the start just outside the park at Colombus Circle - but I couldn't join them. I still had to find baggage check to drop something off, lock my bike *and* use the facilities! (note to self: when using the baggage area, don't worry about where the start is - find out where the baggage area is and go straight there!) As I was entering the park to do all of that, THE STARTING HORN WENT OFF!!! Oh, this was bad news bears right here.

I biked over to baggage as quickly as I could but baggage was really far from the starting line! I locked up my bike, checked my bag, then waited in line for the bathroom with lots of other runners!  Then I had to walk/jog/run to the starting which was easily a quarter mile away...

I walked there as briskly as possible while simultaneously starting my gadgets. I was a nervous wreck, I hate that feeling! As I crossed the starting line, I wasn't surprised to see they were already starting to dismantle it!

the timer was already gone!
The good thing was - as late as I was - there were actually a few ladies that started after me. At least I wasn't last!

I started running up Central Park West with the other stragglers. I wondered if I'd be able to catch up to Jen & Josephine who had already started. The nice thing about starting so late is that there is almost no one to maneuver around. The bad thing is the fear of being last. But I didn't dwell on that too long, especially as I saw I was occasionally passing other runners.

Now, I'm sure it doesn't even need to be said, but it's a very different experience when you go out for a solo run vs an event run. On personal runs, when you run down a narrow sidewalk in New York City, you have to take care to avoid pedestrians, food carts, dogs, kids, strollers, delivery guys and other scofflaws on bikes, garbage cans, benches, cars turning at corners and whatever other random nonsense appears on the streets of New York City. But on an event run, the runners have a lot less to worry about. This time we were running down the center of the street with little to no interference except the other runners. I could instead spend my time admiring the park and bystanders on my right and the architecture on my left. And that's when it hit me: I'm running up Central Park West! How cool is this?!

Sometimes I think to myself "How on earth did I get right here, right now in this time and place?" And this was one of those times. Because no matter how far I get, I never let myself lose sight of where I started. And on many occasions, like this one, I enjoy reminding myself that just a few years ago, I would have never believed I'd be doing what I'm doing right now. And how lucky am I to be doing what I'm doing and having this experience? Very!

we passed the famous Dakota - the building John Lennon lived in

and then we passed that building I like - the one I always photograph from *inside* the park
I stopped when I saw a familiar face - and posed with President Lincoln.

What's up, dog?
before I know it, we're already at Mile 1 (still not too many runners on the course)
Still running on Central Park West... and starting to sweat!

Every decision I ever made led me up to this very point in time
At this time, we had entered the park for a clockwise loop. I've run the whole loop before, but always counter-clockwise. Since I'm familiar with the loop, I know this means one thing: MORE DOWNHILLS than up! Yeah!

I'm at Mile 2, and still trying to catch up to the pack!

because you're mine, I walk the line

walking. it's hot!

Hey, what's that - not far ahead in the distance? It looks like I'm starting to catch up to some of the other runners! woo hoo! I won't be finishing last after all!

Hi Ladies! I've come to join you!
For once we were running DOWN that huge hill in Harlem. Nice!
As we got to the bottom of that big hill in Harlem, there was one man I noticed that was out cheering with his kids - and judging by their cute signs, they were supporting a woman named Jess who I presume is his wife/their mother. Their signs were so cute. I especially love the middle one since it applied to all women runners:

That guy must have known this course because he was right - we were just about at Mile (I mean Smile) 3!

Mile marker 3
And what comes after Mile 3, but the 5K mark, of course! This means we are already halfway done!

I'm totally sweating!
Coming up on more ladies running. And still looking for Jen's curly hair in the pack...

that buff dude in the orange vest was offering high-fives. You know I got one!
This lady was nice enough to stop running for a moment so I could get this shot. I love runners in costume!

I guess she interpreted the "mini" in Mini10K to be Minnie Mouse
How great is her shirt?

Train like a beast!
And before I know it, Mile 4 snuck up on me -

2/3rds done!
Shortly after that checkpoint who do I finally see ahead of me, but Jen! I ran up to her from behind and goosed her (Hey, I'm Italian, we do that!)

Hey crazy lady! Want some of my magical sports beans?
I ran with Jen for a while and soon enough we were passing Cat Hill - again, my first time running DOWN this hill...

Run, Jen! The cat's totally going to pounce on you!
Not long before we hit Mile 5-


And as much as I loved the man's sign above, I think this wins my "Favorite sign of the day" award -

Beer! 1.2 miles that way! Nice job, guy!
It's almost over! Looky there, Hello Mile 6!

On my final sprint to the finish line, who else should I see cheering on the finishers, but many of the fine ladies from Black Girls Run. They have crazy team spirit and I love that about them! Hello girls!!!!

Hello BGR!!
And this is it! My final push! My race to the finish line!!!

It's so close I can taste it!

even more BGR members are cheering and waving at me as I ran in for the finish! And the chick running is one of my followers (I didn't know that at the time, but she saw us together in the Brightroom pics) Hi Virginia!!
And just like that... it was over. I crossed the finish line. Another run for the history books. Another credit towards next year's marathon.

But wait - what's that?? Medals?? Really?? Once again, I had no idea but was thrilled to receive one!!!

It's official: I'm now a medal addict
I couldn't stick around this race too long afterward, I had more plans for the afternoon that you will see below. I quickly made my way from the finish line to baggage to get my things...

finishers by the baggage area
On my way to baggage, I saw a woman sitting down and thought "she has really cool hair" but didn't tell her that. Shortly after getting my things, she came up to me and told me she's a blog reader! Her name is Lauren. And I had a chance to tell her how much I liked her hair.

UntitledLauren also told me a pretty cute little story that she said I could share - she told me that a few days before this run, she was in Union Square, on her way to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. (seriously, this is a real thing) And on her way, she saw me ride by on my bike! (Incidentally, I was on my way to the Soft Serve Fruit Co!, haha) When she saw me, she re-thought her ice cream purchase and decided not to splurge. She didn't go to the BGICT after all. I thought that was funny and adorable - almost like seeing me was a sign that she didn't really want to spend those PointsPlus on that item. Good for you, Lauren! (PS you should have followed me to the frozen fruit place instead! Next time...)

UntitledAt the same time, I ran into a woman Julie who I met on the Tour de Bronx. Not only had she also run this race but she PR'ed - with a jaw dropping time of 45 minutes. (Julie you are a running goddess, congratulations!)

After those fun little encounters, I really had to hightail it out of there because I was supposed to be in lower Manhattan at 10am! On my way out, I ran into Jen & Josephine who had also finished and were going to meet me downtown. We got a photo together before leaving:

Josephine, me & Jen
Then, as I was riding out of the park at Columbus Circle, I saw this fantastic fruit cart! OMG I wanted that pineapple so badly!!

amazeballs! I love fruit!
Fruit is your friend!
I stuck the flower they gave us behind my ear and pedaled like crazy to get down to South Street Seaport for my next fitness adventure...

by now I don't look nearly as good as I did on the Pulaski Bridge earlier!
I biked as fast as my legs and traffic would allow... making my way to the beautiful views of South Street-

That's the Manhattan Bridge, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background

I'm a sucker for this shot - how could you not be?
I finally made it to the Seaport and locked up. Amanda was already there waiting for me and Jen & Josephine emerged from the subway at the same time. Perfect! What were we all doing at South Street Seaport, you wonder? We were going to workout with Jackie Warner!

Do you remember that show Workout on Bravo with Jackie Warner - that hot fitness instructor from LA with the blonde hair? Yeah. Her! Evian was hosting this outdoor fitness event and they found me via my blog and invited me. It was one of the best offers I ever received from my blog and I was thrilled to attend! (Thanks, Evian!)

Jackie on stage. The other gluttons for punishment on a very humid day. But look at that view!!
Since we arrived late (about 10 minutes after it started), there was very little space available, so we had no choice but to do the workout right in the front row! Just feet from Ms Jackie herself. I kind of liked it though - I got to stare at her all I wanted (she's super good looking) and being in the front like that gives me more incentive to really push myself since I feel like everyone can see me... especially Jackie!

There are no photos taken during the workout for a few reasons:
1) I was seriously working out every second
2) I thought Jackie might say something (she could totally see me!)
3) We were in SAND and I couldn't risk killing my brand new camera I've had for only 5 days - which I had to buy because I killed my other camera a week ago, with SAND!

It was a 45 minute workout of cardio and strength training and it was NO JOKE! It was fun but very challenging! I loved it! First of all, did I mention we were in sand? Seriously, I have no idea where the city imported this sand from because it was really nice. Anyway, that sandy surface made planks, pushups, lunges - everything - more challenging because of the instability and uneven-ness factor. We also used an elastic band to get a super arm and shoulder workout. She killed our abs and core too. This was a great and intense full body workout. I was sore for two days- my hamstrings and shoulders especially - and I'm rarely ever sore - certainly never for that long! I loved every sweaty, sandy second of it!
Jen shows off her Evian
Jackie Warner!
Jackie, I love you!


After the workout, Jackie stuck around to answer questions. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay because I had even more plans this day and a tight schedule to stick to. I just snapped a photo of her before leaving -


On our way out, I asked for a  photo with Amanda and Josie - the woman who invited me to the event. Thank you so much, Josie! We had a great time!!

And since I didn't have a chance to give the real Jackie a kiss, I gave billboard Jackie a kiss -

I <3 you, Jackie!
thanks for the workout!
Amanda & I got back on the bike path headed for the Manhattan Bridge back to Brooklyn...

Fulton Fish Market - I love this building!
Really, Sheryl ? The same shot again, really??? Yes, I can't help it!
On our way to the Manhattan Bridge, we passed this great FDNY painted garage door in Chinatown-

FDNY Chinatown Dragon Fighters (fire breathing dragons, no doubt!)
biking home with another medal to add to the collection :)
I made it home as quickly as possible, showered and changed and headed right back out to meet Amanda and catch the ferry to Governor's Island from the Brooklyn Piers


While on the ferry, a young woman came up to me and told me she reads my blog and she ran the Brooklyn Pride Run this morning (I didn't even know about that one). She said she had to make herself go because for some reason she didn't want to. And she told me she thought of me - because she remembered a post of mine where I didn't want to run and I got up and out and did it anyway (probably this one). I'm so glad that story stuck with her and helped get her moving today! Way to go, Kerri!!

I met a blog reader on the ferry!
Me with Kerri, on the Governor's Island Ferry
Amanda and I made it to the island for one goal that she had - to see the Statue of Liberty face. Of course it wasn't the *actual* Statue of Liberty's face but it was a 1:1 ratio of the actual statue's face, which I thought was pretty cool. And so we sat on it...

What's up, Lady Liberty? Don't mind me while I just hang out on your eyebrow for this shot
Then we did a little bit of biking around the island. It was pretty crowded due to the event. And we were pretty sore and tired from that ass-kicking Jackie gave us...

polka dots & stripes
While there, I snapped a photo of the actual Statue of Liberty, which was not too far in the distance.

She's so beautiful!
And this is a great shot of Amanda with the lower Manhattan skyline behind her.


view of lower Manhattan from Governor's Island
That's the Staten Island Ferry that I mention in my Five Boro Bike Tour posts and Tour de Staten Island post.
self portrait
sad panda in jail
oh no! Bail Panda out of jail!
 after a little bit of art, biking and sight seeing, we boarded the ferry back to Brooklyn Pier -

Me & Amanda on the Governor's Island Ferry
whew! What a day!
Amanda and I split up. I snapped these on my way back to Greenpoint...



While waiting for a light on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg, I heard a bunch of Spanish guys calling me "Pinky" (I get that a lot) I finally turned around and they offered me a Puerto Rican flag (this was the day before the Puerto Rican Day Parade). I gladly took them up on their offer and biked over to them for a flag. They thought I was Puerto Rican (most people do, probably because of my big ass). I snapped this shot right before I rode off into the sunset -

they gave me a Puerto Rican flag
You go, Puerto Ricans!
Still making my way back to Greenpoint...

I love this building on Kent

my curl from above
Arial shot of my curl. It looks pretty good!

I <3 Meghan

... but I wasn't headed home just yet. First I had to celebrate my awesome day of running, biking, medal receiving, and working out with Jackie Warner. Naturally, this meant I needed beer. So I tracked down Meghan and had her meet me at the Lost & Found Bar where they give you a free pizza with every beer. Seriously. A free personal sized pizza with every beer purchase! Neat-o!

Also, who better to celebrate than with a woman who does crazy stuff like this

free pizza with beer!
When I arrived, Meghan already had my favorite beer, Brooklyner Weisse waiting for me! Then I ordered a cheese-less pizza with jalapenos, pineapple and garlic. (The pizza is free but the toppings cost you a buck each. Still a pretty awesome deal)

We had a few beers and many laughs. It was the perfect ending to my active day!

 what trip to a bar would be complete without a photo in the bathroom?
Finally, by about 9pm, I was totally wiped out and had to go home. I had done something I rarely do - totally exhausted myself! I was ready to sleep...

Here are my heart rate monitor stats for the day:

June 9th

That was such a fun and awesome day - filled with activity, adventures and friends. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm so glad I'm me and I love my life. :)


  1. Don't take this the wrong way, but you're really awesome (okay, not sure how that could be taken wrong way... but you can't be too careful).

    Phew, wasn't sure I could get through comment without cracking wise about you sitting on Lady Liberty's face, but I did it. YAY ME!

  2. Loved this post. All Day is one of my favorite workout albums too. Have you seen Its amazing.

  3. holy cow! I'm amazed at all the calories you burned that day!! So awesome! Congrats on another great day!

  4. Ahhh so much fun and adventure! What a big work-out day! You look so happy!!

  5. I just have to say, you look FANTASTIC these days. So fucking fit, lady. It's amazing. This blog is such an inspiration to me to to exercise.

  6. love this post, and you looked super stylish, definately a 'babs" outfit! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  7. It was nice to meet you at the 10k! And I tried the Soft Serve Fruit place for the first time me a new addict!

    Also, my Central Park West story: Kevin Bacon and his dog cut me off while I was running up it. Still not sure if I should be excited or pissed.

    1. Lauren, Please tell me you went and got your medal! I couldn't believe you didn't have one. And so glad you tried soft serve fruit co - aren't they great?

      OMG that's HILARIOUS about Kevin Bacon!!! I wish I had seen that (and photographed it)

    2. Yes! I got my medal *and* my flower!

      I was actually getting ready to yell at him for cutting me off, as I often do to people dodging through a race, when it dawned on me that he looked familiar! Then I heard a 1,000 ladies whispering, "oh my god, it's Kevin Bacon!"

  8. Wow! What a busy day! And look at all those calories burned! Amazing! I love reading your blog and seeing all the great shots around New York. Thanks for sharing!


  9. I heart your inspiring self.


  10. Lululemon is a definite addiction! But, the clothes fit so well and hold up for a long time, so I tend to think the price is worth it. I've had a lot of cheap workout clothes that have stretched out or fallen apart with wear and washing -- my Lulu stuff stays strong!

  11. This was so fun to read and I didn't even do it!! This sounds like the best, crazy, awesome, exhausting in a good way day.

  12. Phew!!! What a day..awesome read:)

  13. Hi! You may have talked about this in another blog - but what program/spreadsheet formulas do you use for calculating your activity zones?

    1. Hi Meli, those stats come from my heart rate monitor. It's a Polar FT40

  14. Loved this post! Sometimes, I just love days like this.

    And I LOVE Jackie Warner. You are so lucky. Now, I have to find out if she's coming anywhere near Texas. I have her Extreme Crunchless abs and I just did it again last Friday (haven't in awhile). It so kicks your butt in a short amount of time.

  15. I just got an email from Lululemon with a brand new top that has captured my eye. Is it bad that there's a Lulu five minutes from where I work? I will have to stop by and check out the top in person. See if it's as good as it is.

    I used to watch Workout all the time. Too bad it's not on anymore.

  16. Hi, just found your blog and love it ! I'm hoping I'll find some inspiration in it as I joined W.W. on line two weeks ago and haven't really used it yet ! It was certainly a success for you !x

  17. I know it takes time and effort to create such a stellar blog. I appreciate all you do. This post was inspiring and funny. I love that you don't mind a good sweat AND some boss eye makeup....all at once!

  18. Love reading about folks doing these races so congrats on your accomplishments. I haven't done any K yet. Just started treadmill and pavement jogging. Doing the C25K training over the next 9 weeks with Black Girls Run here in Newark. Then I should be ready for my 1st 5k. (yeah, right!)Reading your story/journey is such an inspiration.

  19. This post? Amazing! So many comments:
    1. I love your skirt from Lululemon - those ruffles are the best!
    2. You are so inspiring to so many, just look at how many people stopped you in this one day to tell you.
    3. I'm always so impressed that you can snap such clear, well-composed photos as you run, bike, etc. I love seeing New York through your eyes!
    4. I am in awe of how much you packed into one day!
    5. I think having a big ol' booty is an Italian thing - I'm Italian and have quite the badonk. :)

  20. Love reading your post. You are an inspiration to me who is just starting her weight loss journey and would love to be healthier. Just started using Roca Labs Formula and so far it has helped me cut down my food intake. Wish I would be able to run the marathon soon.

  21. I love reading your stories here. I like how you take each thing and make it into an adventure. So we're not just reading about the running, but about the sights, the culture, the city. And I really admire how you're not afraid to try just about anything.

  22. AnonymousJuly 10, 2012

    Hi Sheryl,

    Congrats on your race. Thanks for posting your lovely pics.

    From Angharad

  23. Looks like you had an awesome day Sheryl and you mos def did it in style. Loving the photo's and loving the poses :)


  24. OMG I LOVE your blog. Thanks for the inspiration!!!