Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sometimes Workouts Are Good, Sometimes They Are Bad

This workout was good: I ran Tuesday morning

My alarm was set for 7:20, but someone emailed me at 5:55am (why?!) and the buzz of my blackberry was enough to wake me. I am clearly a very light sleeper. Not a log.

I thought to myself “what the hell? let’s go for it”. I made some instant coffee–sorry coffee friends, can’t brew that early–and threw on my gear. The weather forecast said rain later in the day, temperature about 50 degrees. I wore tights, a tee shirt, and a zip up sweatshirt (I recommend no hood that way it’s not bouncing behind you as you run).

I got outside, and dammit you lying weatherman, it was raining. Once again I thought “what the hell? keep goin’ for it”. I ran a small 2.6 mile loop here, and it felt good. Well, good as in yes, I like running, but I’m definitely out of shape due to 3 weeks off.

This workout was bad: I went to yoga Wednesday night.

running mel scowls at yoga

running mel scowls at yoga

Yesterday was an overwhelming day from start to finish. Work has got me in a tizzy–I can’t believe I just said tizzy–due to very big projects, and a need for very big results. I had an excel sheet party all day long and at 6:30 my eyes fell out. Plus a truckload of personal antics that are eating away at me.

Warning: Yoga doesn’t always relax you. If you think it will calm down a shitstorm, that is false.

I went in there with negative energy, so maybe I threw off the whole zen of the room? But during the whole practice I wanted to scream and run out of there. Everyone around me was totally peaceful and I couldn’t even get a good inhale/exhale flow goin’. I knew right at the start it wouldn’t be smooth. And then I was trapped. Trapped in yogacity without a map. That was horribly cheesey. I’m aware.

Lessons learned*: Don’t be a menace to south central while drinking your juice in the hood.

Real lessons learned: If I’m freaking out, call someone to talk, don’t go to yoga. And running always rocks.

* that’s a movie. i swear.

The Return of Yoga

After all my threatening to halt a bit on running and get into yoga, I finally jumped in. The yogasphere welcomed me with open oms*, and now I’m very, very sore :).

Here’s the story.

As a new weekly contributer to the WGNews, I am contanstly seeking out local health and fitness issues to write about. This might sound easy. Theoretically it is. It just turns out I’m very good at waiting until the last minute to decide my topic and do some research.

This week’s furiously chosen topic (I think I ruined the suprise by now, yes?): yoga. Specifically, I took a class for beginners in the heart of Williamsburg. It was a very, very educational class, and it was good for me since my only previous experience was at Yoga To The People which is all open classes and assumes a level of familiarity I just never had. Unfortunately I can’t divulge details until the article is up in the news, but I’ll hook you up with a link soon. After class I felt shaky and yummy, and hit up El Beit on Bedford for watermelon and iced green ginger tea (the tea was awesome) to write my article.
watermelon and green tea

The story continues:

My ability to wake up at 6am in the dark/cold is very limited so far. I’m weak, I know. So no run again this morning. While at the office, I started to feel the affects of yesterday’s venture into yogaland. My legs felt really tight and my arms sore. I wanted to stretch it out but couldn’t get deep enough. Then it occurred to me: the cure… just might be… more yoga!

Further into yogatown I went, with a return to Yoga To The People tonight. I took a 7:30pm class, and it was as packed as I remember. The difference this time was that I knew my form a little better, and the teacher, a dude named Xander, ROCKED. He articulated exactly what I was feeling when it hurt, so I felt comforted in my pain, and he KICKED OUR ASSES. and made us laugh.

I laughed during yoga class. Is that illegal?

We did some intense core work and I thought my stomach muscles were going to explode. Luckily, they did not explode and I kept my insides to myself. Cheers.


this pic from their site is pretty accurate

I’m looking forward to another deceivingly calm butt-kicking this week. Any NYCers want to join me on a visit to yogaville?

* open oms? instead of open arms? damn i feel clever.

Finally, A Women’s Thermal Underwear Store

Sick and tired of buying men’s xs hanes products for layering? has taken the initiative to round up all the good layering gear out there for us. I personally rarely splurge on technical running gear. I take the unadvised route of layering cotton over cotton and letting the wetness sit on my skin. Mmmm, perfect. I’m currently eyeing this bad boy (bad girl?):

Altrec's Women's Grace First Layer Top

Altrec's Women's Grace First Layer Top

Why am I shamelessly singling out this site to promote thermals? Because they are running a blogger’s contest in which I might in fact win the $50 I need to get that shirt. Which would be sweet.

Are you a blogger? Get in on the contest here:

Brought to you by:

Nighttime in McCarren Park

baseball in mccarren park

baseball game
tree in mccarren park
autumn tree
my ghostmy ghost

Life List Visit #2

About a month ago, while sitting in my apartment feeling fairly useless, I decided to write down my “life list“–check it out here. The list is something that contains both short term and long term things I want to do in my lifetime (and will if I keep at it). But today was one of those days that life felt totally out of control. Which I always find ironic because from a surface view I’m just sitting in my wonderfully compact cubicle all day looking very controlled (controlled?).

yeah right. this is not my cubicle.

yeah right. this is not my cubicle.

Four  things happened at the end of the day that picked me up:

  • My computer was fixed and I picked it up after work. Eureka!
  • The cab driver who took me to BK (afraid to train it with newly cleansed computer) told me I’m “a lovely person and have a nice rest of your life”. Thank you, Mr. cab driver.
  • I stopped at the deli to grab a snapple, and my deli guy threw me a free piece of chocolate. That’s my man.
  • Finally: I walked in the door to the Mikes fumbling around in the kitchen and the smell of cheese and burnt stuff. Which led to a series of hilarious comments and the discovery that Mike 1 burnt toast and Mike 2 made mac & cheese. And Mel made fun of them while drinking her snapple.

So! All of these light-hearted moments put my head in a better place and I started thinking about the life list and the things accomplished so far:

  1. learn to play guitar
  2. write a song (I have a few. Ask me to serenade you. I will.)
  3. on the way: get published. I’m writing for the online portion of the WGNews, and am slated to contribute to the upcoming print issue.

In honor of crossing some off woohoo! I’d like to add some on:

  1. work for myself (more long term)
  2. practice yoga (now-ish)

In closing, I’d like to thank small, happy moments for existing.

The Scent of Running

The strangest thing happened to me this morning.

I woke up, and while getting ready for work was considering how to get started with yoga. I decided I would look up locations near my office in Union Square and also near my apartment and Greenpoint, and write up my options.

I was almost ready to walk out the door, and stopped to put on a little bit of perfume as a finishing touch (kind of makes leaving in the morning feel final). Instead of reaching for my usual, I grabbed an old favorite–I only have 2; not the biggest collection–and spritzed my neck.

perfume bottle

A feeling of nostaglia came over me and I realized: this perfume reminds me of running.

When my parents moved to Long Island two years ago, I went with them and sort of felt kidnapped into a random new neighborhood where I didn’t know anyone. I became very zealous about running at that time, and would wake up in the dark, cold every morning super early to run before my hour and a half commute to the city for work. I ran everyday on the weekends, exploring new parks and turns. The town smelled like the ocean, and seagulls would be calling out during sunrise. It was nice. I owned the road except for a few stray cars rushing to early morning jobs.

This particular perfume was the only one I had at that time. I would put it on after the run while getting ready for work then too. I now have a run jump-start in mind for this weekend. Funny how memories are made and feelings are recalled.

Has anyone ever had a similar experience?

Flushing Farm Brunch + Yoga Considerations

Sorry guys, my computer broke (aaahh!) when I got back from Canada and I’ve been unable to blog/email/read other blogs sans the limited use of Mike 1 and Mike 2’s computers.

Worthy weekend recap:

I met up with Sofia of Crunchy Granola Gal for brunch and had an awesome time. Such a cool chick! We blog bonded over a bloody mary and mimosa, and devoured our eats. The location was Flatbush Farm in Brooklyn, a cute home-feel joint on St Mark’s Street. I got the tofu scramble which came with kale and whole wheat toast:tofu scramble

Sofia enjoying her morning buzz:cheers sofia

Excellent first date. Date two will involve cocktails and me trying to take Sofa back to my place. Kidding. But seriously. (not seriously, still kidding).

Running update: There isn’t one, as in I haven’t been. What’s to blame? I’ll go with a) freezing weather that makes me mad and b) recent onset of a freakin’ cold. Sofia has the balls to run in the cold rain, hell I’ve even run in the rain before, what gives Mel? Man up!

Okay. Yelling at myself might not be productive. The truth is I’ve been heavily considering pursuing yoga again. After reading about Heather’s experience on her blog, I’m just being drawn to it at the moment. I’d like to hit up one or two places this week and see if it’s something I can maintain through the winter. Maybe my arms will even tone up. Thatsa crazy talk.

I keep a sports bra, running tights, and a tank in the drawer at work for when the yoga mood strikes. I think they’re dusty at this point. Delicious. Can’t wait to put them on.

News update: Check out my latest article in the WG News givin’ the scoop on the Metropolitan Pool Center