Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Running Adventures: Pride Run & A Day at the Beach

June 23rd I did a 5-mile run with New York Road Runners. It was the New York Front Runners Lesbian & Gay Pride Run in Central Park. As a firm believer in equal rights, and a person with many LGBT friends, I was happy to be part of this run and share the spirit of pride with my peeps!

I didn't get all my stuff set up the night before (I have no time to do anything lately, which is why this blog is a month late!) so as usual, I was rushing around in the morning and left the apartment a little late...

I rode Isabella there, over the 59th St Bridge to Manhattan -

Nice shadow capture! And you can read my shirt too!
It was already very hot. You know that if I'm sweating (see below), it must be over 80 degrees with some strong sun, because I almost never sweat.

on the 59th St Bridge and already sweating
I'm not sweating, I'm glistening :)
Once over the bridge, I rode straight up First Ave to get to Central Park. But this run started further north in the park than usual - at 102nd Street (the 4 milers start around 68th St). That's about 2 miles further which meant it took me even longer to get there. I started to fear I'd be late crossing the starting line. Again.

I made it to 100th Street and began looking for an entrance. I rode into the park along side two men who were jogging in at the same time. I presumed they were there for the run also, so I joked with them that I'm always late for every run. I even told them how they were dismantling the Starting Line when I did the Mini 10K a few weeks ago. They laughed and we went separate ways.

I found the corrals and locked up my bike. As I got into my corral and started stretching, I heard "You made it!" Sure enough it was the two men I had seen just a few minutes earlier. We had all made it to the corral just seconds before the starting horn.

approaching the start

about to start!
crossing the start

Just a moment after the start I spotted that adorable cheer-leading troop again-

hey cheerleaders!
 And it wasn't long into the run at all when I saw the best sign of the day!

I love my straight sister
haha, nice!
I started off running nice and easy. The sun was already very strong, and it was incredibly hot -- especially for such an early hour. I don't perform well in heat and didn't want to hurt myself. I also knew that shirt wasn't staying on long...

that damn Harlem Hill!
this is the steepest of all the hills in Central Park
Though this run started in a different section of the park, it had us running in the usual counter clockwise direction. That meant just a few minutes into the run we were going up the super long and steep Harlem Hill at 110th Street. Brace yourselves, runners!

this shirt didn't stay on very long
Thumbs up for pride!

Mile Marker 1
Mile 1! Only 4 to go!
By the time I hit that first mile, the shirt was tucked in my running belt.

action shot
dang, it's warm!

yes, it's that building again!

As I ran, I was enjoying the sights but also looking for people I knew. Surprisingly, I never found any of them - even though many of my running pals were at this event.

Even though I didn't see them, I did notice the fun and festive feel to this run. Some runs have a real feel-good mood to them, and this was one of them.  Yay, pride!

Mile Marker 2
Mile 2! Hello!


I'm not sure if these gals were part of the same running club or just happened to be wearing the same shirt (I saw them at different points in the run) but they were easily my favorite shirts of the day. They say "Taste my rainbow"...

Taste my rainbow
So racy, I love it!
taste my rainbow

Then, in the distance, I saw a beautiful silhouette of pink tulle. I did my best to catch up and get a photo (but I really wanted to steal it for myself). I mean, come on, how cute would I look in this thing on the Hello Kitty Cruiser?!

i need that pink crinoline skirt!!
Pardon me sir, but I MUST know where you got that tulle skirt!
Then I ran to catch up to a group of runners whose shirts represented the first half of the rainbow-

I just kept on running, alternating with walking. That heat was really getting to me. I actually felt slightly dizzy a few times. I don't know if I was just dehydrated or what. I've never fainted or passed out from anything and I didn't want it to happen on this day so I took it easy when I started to feel a little lightheaded.

Mile Marker 3
Mile 3!
me and that chick are totally walking

It was only a matter of time before we hit that other famous hill - Cat Hill!

cat hill
Hola gato!
Shortly after that, we were at Mile 4 -- 80% done with only 1 mile to go! And that's when I spotted an adorable cheering section -

Mile Marker 4
Mile 4
these boys were adorabs!

That last mile was a little rough but I knew it was almost over. The finish line was within reach. And once I saw those rainbow flags ahead, I knew I was close!

Rainbow Pride
Sure enough, those rainbow flags were waving us in. As I was running towards the finish line, who should I see? Lined up behind the barriers were some members of Black Girls Run... of course! They were there to cheer for their members but were kind enough to cheer for me too when they saw me approach.

crossing the finish line
I love you ladies!
I crossed the finish line looking for snacks. They were out of pretzels so I only got an apple and a rainbow push up pop.

I traded this for pretzels
While the thought of the cold refreshing treat was very tempting, it was loaded with ingredients I don't consume and I knew it wouldn't last long in the heat for me to bring it to anyone else. So I knew I had to find someone to trade with. And fast, before it melted.

Just then I caught up to a group of runners in very cool matching t-shirts. I had seen the two women on the left while I was running and told them I loved their shirts. The font made me think of cool album covers circa 1982. (Not to mention it's my favorite colors!) I had a sneaking suspicion it was not a running group, but a band name. Sure enough, they confirmed that Vinyl Black Stilettos are a band. (I've since googled the band and found them on myspace. And what do you know? I LOVE THEM!) I asked to take a photo of them, which they let me do. And I was even luckier that one of them traded me the push pop for pretzels.

Thanks for trading my push up pop for your pretzels, guy in the middle!

I still didn't see any of my friends that I knew were at the event, but I couldn't stick around. I had another beach date planned with Amanda. So I made my way back to where I had locked up my bike. As I did, I passed the Finish Line again and asked the BGR members to pose for me.

Black Girls Run
Looking awesome ladies... As usual!
As I was biking south on Fifth Ave, a car pulled up next to me and the passenger asked me if I enjoyed my run. I thought it was a random dude who saw me leave the park and noticed I still had my number on. But I looked over and realized it was the same two gentlemen I saw earlier on my way INTO the park! How funny! They wished me a happy pride day and I wished it right back. Runners are an incredibly friendly bunch of folks.

haha in traffic on Fifth Ave with an apple in my bra
Making my way down 5th Ave. And yes, that's an apple in my bra. No, this is not a good look.
From there I made my way to the 59th St Bridge. And on my way, I did 2 good deeds:

First, I helped a lone cyclist. He was also wearing a number from the run and asked if, by any chance, I was going to the 59th St Bridge (I was) and if so, could I lead the way. I sure could! So we rode together and chatted about the race - how nice it was, but hot. When I got him to the base of the bridge, I knew he was all set. I told him to go ahead and not wait for me.

Then I did my second good deed... at the base of the bridge, on the Manhattan side, there is often a homeless guy. Sometimes a few. I knew I was going to give him/them my snacks. On this particular morning, it was one guy and he was asleep. I left my apple and bag of pretzels near him but carefully, without waking him up. Someone else had left him 2 bottles of water. I hope he enjoyed his surprise treats when he woke up.

this one is great!
Riding home over the 59th St Bridge, Queens bound

on the 59th St Bridge
I usually wear my number all the way home. I think it looks bad-ass

Back at home I snapped a quick photo in my official racing shirt... but posed with the bikini bottoms I was wearing to the beach that day.

And then it was off to the beach!

On my way to meet Amanda, I caught a "You Go Girl" piece I never noticed before. I'm not sure when this one went up but I really like the color scheme.

I found a new one!
You Go Girl!

We rode to the beach, deviating slightly from our usual route. The fun thing about mixing up our route is that there are always new sights! I loved this "Greetings from Sheepshead Bay' sign at the subway stop.

Love this!
From there it was the usual route to Fort Tilden. Here's Amanda along side the highway (The Belt Parkway?)


Before long, we were in Fort Tilden, making our way to our favorite section of the beach. Doesn't the scenery behind me look fake?

biking to our spot on Fort Tilden Beach
of course there are tissues in my bra. what else is new? #StupidAllergies

nearly at our spot!
Every part of me is a different color

Our usual spot of beach was nearly over-run. In fact, it's been way more crowded all this year compared to last year. Here's some pics from our time on Fort Tilden this glorious afternoon:

Greetings from beautiful Fort Tilden!

my beach towel
my Hello Kitty beach towel

what a gorgeous day, right?
I found bigger shells this week!
strategically placed sea shells

After we had our fun in the sun & surf, we rode out another 5 miles to our final destination -- Rock, Rock, Rockaway Beach -- for nourishment.

seagulls are the cutest!

My feast!
Shortly before leaving, we ran into my friend/neighbor, Jaci! She was there with her fiance and friends. Though she lives just across the hall, I don't see her nearly often enough. I love Jaci!!!

Amanda, me, Jaci on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk
Jaci pointed out to us a kite vending machine. Seriously. Fifty cent kites. I'm guessing they last 5 minutes...

Kite machine!
panda captures the kite machine in all its glory
After we finished our meal, it was time for the long (2 plus hours) ride back home to Greenpoint.

leaving Fort Tilden. So sad :(
Leaving Fort Tilden :( Amanda from the back
Along the parkway - Me from the front

walking the bike through the sand
This is that one section between the beach & parkway that's not paved at all. We have to walk our bikes through it. The sand is too deep to ride.
I love this time of night when the sunlight looks this way. It has that rich, beautiful, golden hue.


Back in Brooklyn, after Amanda & I split, I took a few shots along Bedford Ave -
look at that plane!
I love this shot - not just for the shape of the rooftops, but for the plane in the sky
I love this freaking building so much!
and this is one of my favorite buildings in Brooklyn - the Studebaker Building
Closer to home, I caught a glimpse of the sliver of moon from Myrtle & Kent St -

Moon over Myrtle
I call this one moon over Myrtle
And by the time I made it back to Greenpoint, it was pitch black out but I was still in the mood for one more beer. So I tracked down my friend Meghan and her husband Ryan. They were at Habitat - my former post-bike tour bar. We toasted to good times!

how cute are they?

They had Hennepin on tap - my favorite!

Finally, after that beer, I knew it was time to go home. Here are my stats for the running and biking I did on this awesome fun-packed summer day.

June 23

Final note:
I haven't had much time to write lately (obviously). Posts I'm behind on:
  • The Queens 10K
  • The Tour de Queens
  • June Recap
I'm still trying to find balance in my life - writing, working, hanging out, taking care of myself (sleeping, eating, working out) and still getting basic life stuff done (laundry, cleaning, bills - it never ends!). Also I'm sort of dating which takes a lot of time. And now marathon training has officially begun (aaahhhh!) Anyway, just explaining the lack of posts lately. Hope you all understand and are all having a great summer!

Grandma Margie (RIP)Oh and Happy Birthday to my Grandma Margie, who would have been 85 today. She was always so proud of me. XO Pussycat, RIP


  1. sleeping eating working out fun rinse and repeat. xo great post girlie

    1. Living your live would be paradise to me. Please lets trade life's!

  2. What a great life!

    Your American seagulls look very different to our Aussie ones.

  3. Sounds like a fantastic albeit exhausting day. I notice Isabella has a cup holder. Do you like it? I saw some at the shop when I went to test drive my new bike and considered getting one but I'm not sold. The photo of you with the "fake" looking background? Gorgeous.

  4. I love reading about your life. You have my other life. The one I would have chosen if I hadn't been born in the UK, got married at 22 and had 4 kids.
    Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my job.
    But if I wasn't living my life I would love to live yours.
    Just off for a 5 mile run now before the kids wake up.

  5. great blog! please don't apologise for having a life and trying to juggle dating, cleaning, eating, working and exercising! i struggle managing it all too - and it just shows that you are human and happy! thank you for inspiring me in such a huge way i have been reading your blog for about a year now and I finally went for my first ever 5k race!!! it was in Londons Regents park and race for life for cancer research uK a womens only event - we were all dressed in pink!!! 5000 runners in PINK!!! i did interval jogging and walking but llike you always say "run, jog, walk if you must but never stop!" i cried during it due to all the amazing emotions I felt, and I fist pumped the air and screamed like a complete gangsta when i finished!!! it was and is the most amazing feeling! and it has inspired me to keep going and keep competing! i am a london weightwatcher follower thats why you are so inspirational to me - i have lost 31lb so far! :D i blog more on weightwatchers UK site (poshpiggy) or you can see my own blog www.goodphat.wordpress.com - please keep it up !!!! love your blogs (ps when i get to goal im getting myself a pashley bicycle (uk version of the cruiser!) xxxx

  6. ps my ultimate goal treat is to come to NEW YORK with my husband for our anniversary in 2014 ! have already started saving !! xxxxx

  7. I love your blog and miss your more frequent posts....but I know you actually have a life! The beach looked like so much fun! Beautiful photos!

  8. AnonymousJuly 25, 2012

    WHAT A GREAT DAY! So inspired by your fitness and beauty! THIS is a summer day to look back on and remember. XOXO Claire

  9. Your journey is an inspiring one, and I am glad to hear that you are working on balance. It's when we are not balanced that bad habits tend to creep back in. You go, girl!

  10. Sweetheart, you live your life, we love your blogs, but you wouldn't have anything to write about if you didn't take the time to live it. I swear next time I'm back in NYC I'm going pay you to be my tour guide! I love seeing that beautiful city through all your photos and can't wait to come back. Bob and Bobarella send their love (lol), keep rockin' it sheryl, we'll always come back to read about your adventures!

  11. So touched by your acts of kindness along the way. Really sweet. I love reading your running posts. Nice shells! :)


  12. How do you take pics on your bike? I'm always afraid I'll drop my phone!

  13. i love your posts! man so inspiring, where do you find the energy? and cute as a button.

  14. I love your blog posts! Your days always seem jam packed with fun- you're so inspiring. Can't wait for the next post x

  15. I love your posts! Can't wait for the next one. You always fit in so much fun stuff to your days, which is v inspiring to other busy ladies :-) x

  16. I haven't been following you regularly but have read your last couple of posts and realize how much I've missed reading them. I am A LOT older than you and I need to move more....you are a source of inspiration for me so even though I'm A LOT older....that is not an excuse for being a 'lox' so ..... will work on starting slowly but just starting. Enjoy your life and keep us posted!!

  17. New follower and I am hooked. First I must say congrats on the healthy life change. Second I am totally girl crushing on you that you look so fabulous while doing such strenuous work outs. I just started my fitness journey getting fit and have found inspiration in this and other blogs. Looking forward to future post.

  18. Just wanted to say I love your blog and reading about your weight loss journey; you are so inspirational. I love your pics of NY too! I just nominated you for a Beautiful Blogger Award :)

  19. Hello Sheryl. Thanks for sharing your lovely sunny days with us Aussies in the middle of winter. I cant wait to get my bike out that I bought at the end of last summer!
    I have a new blog and a new beginning to my weightloss journey.

  20. That bikini is GORGEOUS! and you are as well.

  21. actually always made with such a activities since 2 month ago i has been start walking and jogging and really get benefits. i would like to inspiration. Medsempire Usman

  22. How cool it was scanning the photos and looks like you have fun. Stay sexy and healthy. It's better to lose some pounds like you. You'll be my inspiration for now.

  23. Sheryl,
    SO glad I found your blog a few weeks ago. I think I've read a majority of your posts and am inspired. Really inspired...like joining WW, committing to myself to do it to the best of my ability AND dragging my bike out of garage retirement and riding before I go to the gym to do weights. I'm feeling pretty empowered right now and have you to thank for it....so THANK YOU!