Food Pic of the Week

Still trying to get back into my blogging groove. 

Tomino Taberna Gallega

192 Grand Street, NY, NY 

Actually, I do not have any food pics for this week so I guess that I will go back to last week. The bf husband and I hit up Tomino Taberna Gallega for some northern Spanish bites. Honestly, this place can do no wrong in my book. The food (according to the husband and his crew of Spaniards) is pretty authentic and reasonably priced. Plus, they have a wonderful happy hour and make delicious gin cocktails. It’s funny that everyone says how popular gin is in Spain but I could not find a decent gin cocktail the two times that I visited. Oh, I remember. They do not really do gin n soda over there; it’s all about gin and tonic. Try ordering agua con gas (soda water) over there, and they’ll look at you like you have 10 heads. 

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It’s not a Spanish excursion without a Spanish tortilla. BTW, I love the runny egg tortillas. 

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Although this was a gin and tonic, the tonic water was not super sweet and not taste like musty water. 

I wanted to post a pic of the cod empanadas with an AMAZING carrot puree, but WordPress is being picky. With my mind constantly in the gutter, I love messing with the pronunciation of the Spanish word for carrot. It’s zanahoria, but I screw with the husband by saying zanaHORIA with extra emphasis on the (w)horia . . . even though you are not supposed to pronounce the “h” or hache in Spanish. 

Random recommendation: If you are visiting this place, try to commute from West to East. Going East to West, you will hit a couple of smelly fish markets on the way. The few times that I’ve been here, I had to wait a couple of minutes for my appetite to return. 

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Random Thoughts Thursday: NYC Half Marathon Edition

Ok, I’m trying to get back to my normal blogging ( and yelping) life.

Here are a few things that have been running around my head (no pun) about this past half-marathon.

-I’m glad that I went for it, and the half marathon has jump-started my interest in getting my ass (literally) back in shape. Hopefully, I’m gonna follow up with some goals in upcoming posts. Once I submit this post, I’ll sign up for a few races to start my 9+1 journey to the NYC Marathon in 2020.

-Since my Apple Watch has a crack in the screen, it was kind of cool running a race without focusing on time. Actually, it was quite freeing.

-Speaking of my Apple Watch, that fucker is going to cost to $300 to fix. The damn watch was $350; I guess that I should have purchased the extended warranty.

-Seriously, where were the crowds? Now that I think of it, I finished the Half Marathon around 10 am, so maybe the race was too early for the crowds to come out and cheer for folks.

-I found out that many folks did not receive a medal. Ummmmmmm, wouldn’t NYRR know how many people registered for the United NYC Half Marathon? Perhaps, NYRR assumed that many of the registered folks would not show up to the race or not finish. You know something like, ordering 10% less food than the number of people that you invite to an event. Here’s the other thing (purely my opinion), I really do not see the point of receiving medals from races. Usually, the day after the race, my medal will go in a random bag or drawer, and I’ll probably not see it again until I move. I’m more interested in the technical tees. 

What an inspirational story. Thomas Panek is the first blind runner to complete the half marathon with guide dogs (Westley, Waffle, and Gus).

-I wonder if this guy ran the half marathon with this basket from the security checkpoint?

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-Added insult to injury. Thanks a lot for the reminder, Facebook. I was so close to meeting my goal (a sub 1:45) for the NYC Half back in 2016. I had to take a stupid poop during mile 3 three. 

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-Oh, I’m not a fan of Honey Stinger Energy Gels; they are way too viscous for me.

15 Things on the 15th . . . 15 Facts about Me

Ok, once this entry is posted it will be the 16th; but technically, I wrote the post on the 15th. I got this idea from Tractorsandglam’s blog. 

Here goes. 

  1. Legally, I do not have a middle name. In Ghana, many folks combine their middle names with their last names. When my father immigrated to the States in the early 70s, he did the same. Speaking of half-assed paperwork. On my birth certificate for the place of origin of my father, it has Africa. Really, Virginia?!!! I’m sure that on June 25th, 1980, it was well known that Africa is a continent – NOT a country
  2. My favorite alcoholic beverage is gin. Most of y’all probably already knew that. 
  3. I almost drowned in Ecuador’s portion of the Amazon Basin. It was scary, and I lost a really nice watch. 
  4. I break out in hives whenever I see people with various types of skin disorders. Thankfully, it does not happen that much nowadays. 
  5. I love all of the Friday movies. I can probably recite most of the scripts for Friday and Friday after Next. “ Yes, you did. Cause my sister-in-law’s baby cousin, Tracy. told me that she saw you at the show all hugged up with some tramp. Now, tell me who she was.”
  6. Thanksgiving is my favorite family-based holiday. 
  7. Although I have a Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology and Immunology, I no longer do scientific work. However, I do miss conducting biomedical research from time to time. This reminds me, I have to respond to the reviewers’ comments for my manuscript. Ugh, I’ll do it tomorrow. 
  8. I really wish that I would follow more events in the news. 
  9. I’m an extroverted introvert. Although I can be really social, I kind of hate meeting new people. 
  10. Sometimes, I really hate being the only person of color in groups. 
  11. I think that I sing (and dance) much better than I do. 
  12. I wish that I was about 6 inches taller. 
  13. I really loved Christina Aguilera’s Spanish language album, Mi Reflejo. I think it was released back in 2001. 
  14. I have never seen a single Star Wars or Indiana Jones movie in its entirety. Oh Well. 
  15. I have been in only two fist fights as an adult. Which is surprising, because I do talk quite a bit of shit. FYI: I won one and “tied” for the other one
  16. (Ok a bonus fact). Sia’s “Breathe Me” makes me a little misty-eyed. I think it’s because the song was featured as the last scene during the last episode of “6 Feet Under”, one of my favorite shows of all time. 

Random Thursday

  • San Antonio is a lovely city.
  • The Alamo at night
    • I really enjoy the face-to-face experience involved with recruitment and mentoring young scientists.
    • I kinda want a martini.
    • I also kinda want a nap. I guess hanging till 2:00 am after a cross country airplane trip and having to wake up at 6:30 am wasn’t a good idea.
    • I can’t believe that I went to a bar called Cowabunga.
    • You know that you are in Texas when your uber driver picks you up in a pickup truck.
    • Doesn’t this cake look nasty ass hell. Also, it did not help that there were at least six flies in the display. img_2915
  • I guess Iberia Air thinks that I’m German.
  • NYC Marathon Training Update XIV

    Man. Are we already in week 14 of training for this damn marathon?

    This past week was quite a struggle, because of a couple of setbacks. Most of these setbacks were experienced during the reattempt of my weekly long run. 

    1.I have been dealing with a nagging pain in my inner, left calf muscle. I did not notice this pain during my speed and short training runs during the week, but it hit me during my “long” run. 

    2.My lower back has been “acting” up a little bit. It has not been an “Ouch, I cannot move” type of pain, but more of a “Bitch, you may want to skip this run before things get worse” nagging pain.

    2.5.I think that I may have to get surgery on my pinky toe, or rather a bone that is in between the pinky and ring toe. 

    I was quite disappointed in myself this week because I wanted to hit 20 miles for my long run. 😦 Saturday, I was not feeling the long run at all. It was my fault because I did not leave the apartment until around 11:00 am so I was pretty much checked out before I even began the run. I took the bus to my starting point at 59th Street and 1st Avenue (I was going to incorporate some hill/bridge work in the long run); told myself screw it; and rode a Citi Bike home. Actually, I enjoyed a fish fillet from McDonalds before riding the bike home. At least, I did a 4-mile bike ride. 

    The next day, I went to Central Park to try the 20-mile run again. Things were going well until I got to the third mile. That’s when my calf started to act up. Since it was not a stabbing pain, I was like maybe I can push through the pain a little more. The pain did go away (or maybe I mentally blocked it), but my lower back started to feel weird around mile 6. At that point, I figured that it will be better just to end the run. The slight pain in my calf and lower back aside, I just was not feeling the run. Those setbacks were quite annoying because Sunday’s weather was perfect (for me) for a long run. 

    Obviously, this was an extreme kick in the face to my ego. Here, I am 40 days away from my marathon and I could barely complete 7 miles. 

    Going forward, I’m a little concerned because I had a couple of failed long runs, and we are about 40 days away from the big day. I still have some time because my 20-mile run is scheduled for this weekend. I bumped up the 20-mile run because I want to attend my beer club’s Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday. Today, I plan to do an easy run just to check in with my body, but maybe I should take a week off. Honestly, I think some of my back pain can be attributed to sleeping on sleeping on the sofa for a couple of nights. Maybe I should spend today doing my back stretches and do the easy, check-in run tomorrow. According to my training calendar, this week is relatively easy – Monday (5 miles, easy), Tuesday (5 miles, pace), Wednesday (Rest), Thursday (3 miles, intervals), Friday (Rest), and Saturday (20 miles)

    Yeah, this was more or less a rambling post rather than a training update. 

    Let me see what y’all folks are talking about. 

    How and why did you get into running?

    Some random at the gym asked me this question last week. I gave him my quick and easy answer, but I had some time to ponder this question a little more. The reason for the quick and easy answer was due to us changing in the locker room. Most folks know that I’m NOT a locker room chatter. running-into-people-from-high-school.gif

    When it comes to the locker room, I’m an in and out kinda guy.

    High School Years:

    In high school, I was an avid runner. Ok, avid may be a bit of a stretch, but I was a slightly above average long-distance runner in track and cross country. Actually, I started my short-lived career as a sprinter in track and field. However, I was not very good at that. As a matter of fact, I pretty much sucked. We had a fairly medium sized track team, and the coach of the sprinters more or less provided support to the superstar guys and the pretty young women on the team. Clearly, I did not fit into either category. Technically, I was the only eighth-grader on the team at the time, so that was another strike against me. Side note: My high school used to have a middle school component to it. When it moved to another city, they decided to do away with the middle school, once the eighth graders finished. That was “great” because we were at the bottom of the totem pole for two years in a row – 1st as eighth graders, then as freshmen.

    One practice, the long distance coach pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to do long distance. Now, feels so weird to say long distance because long distance for track and field was the 800 m, 1600 m, and 3200 m distances. He asked me this, not because he saw amazing potential in me, but did not think it was right that the other coach ignored most of his athletes. I have a feeling that there were other things too. I was kind of sad that I had to move the long-distance side of the team, but I did what I did what I had to do. I probably would have gotten cut from the team had I stayed with the sprinters.

    Ok, I was not sad that I could not cut it as a sprinter, I was a little sad that I was no longer a part of a specific community.  My high school, technically I was in middle school at the time, was made up of 1-3% African Americans. Pretty much 90% of the time, I was the only black person in my class. That isolation increased, as I started to take more advanced classes in high school. *I still miss AP Latin every now and then.*  I know many folks will ask “why do you have to bring race into it?”

    • First, *eyeroll*.
    • Second, learning who you are is hard enough as a teenager. It becomes more difficult if you are a minority teenager. One key example was Thursday night TV shows. Martin vs Friends; Living Single vs Seinfeld; NY Undercover vs ER, etc.

    Having to leave the sprinters, which were comprised of many of the black and latin students from my high school and coached by a black man (maybe he was biracial), felt a bit like I was being rejected from my community.

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    Ok, back to the damn story. As a long distance runner, I really thrived under the guidance of the coach and the older athletes. Actually, the long-distance runners, most of whom did NOT look like me, were nicer and more supportive the damn sprinters, who did look like me.

    Anyway, I went on to run track and cross country for the rest of high school. I found that I liked cross country more than track because there was a change of scenery (running through forests, trails and deer poop) at every meet. Also, the members of the long-distance component of the team were a little more relaxed than the sprinters. 

    Wow, the high school part was kind of long.

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    Shutup, Seth.

    College years year Week:

    Since I ran track and cross country in high school, it was pretty much assumed that I would do it in college. I already had an academic scholarship to attend my college (also, my mom did not want me to be a college athlete), so running cross country would be more of a hobby. Yeah, that did not pan out very well. You know how I’m always complaining about the heat? Could you imagine me running in New Orleans with HEAT AND HUMIDITY? Because it always was so hot and humid, cross country practice started around 5:30 AM. Waaaaait, I’m a college student and I’m expected to wake up super early? Yeah, I’m gonna pass.

    Basically, I was on my college’s cross country team for about 8 days. I do not think that I ran for leisure at all in college. Wait, I don’t think that I exercised at all in college. I was lucky enough to remain skinny during my college years with minimal effort. Actually . . . I was a nerd in college, so I really did not drink until my junior year. I think that kept me from gaining the freshman 15.

    Jumping to 2011:

    Ok, fast forward to post-graduate school life. Actually, let’s spend a quick moment in graduate school. During grad school, I was really into cycling. I did a couple of century tours and cycling was my preferred mode of transportation to and from work (as well as bars). I’m kinda lucky to be alive because there were quite a few times I rode my bike home while bombed. This was during a time in NYC did not have many bike lanes.

    One wintery mix morning, I was about to mount my bike to ride to work and noticed that BOTH tires on my bike were flat. I was super annoyed because that was the second flat in a week’s time. Also, I was not in the mood to change two tires. Since I was already wearing my cycling clothes, I decided to run to work. Running 3.5 miles from Roosevelt Island to the UES is not that difficult, with the exception of crossing two bridges.

    But, my “love” for running had returned. A feeling that I really did not have since 1998.

    So there you go. See that definitely would have been too long of a story to tell to a half-naked man in the locker room.

    How did you get into running?