Friends. How many of us have them?

Actually, that’s not my real question, per se.

After running with my neighborhood’s running group yesterday, I was wondering (or rather “rundering”) at what age does it become difficult to make new friends? As kids, all it really took to make a new friend was having a cool toy or the same backpack. I remember bonding with a few of my childhood friends over our Thundercats bookbags.

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One of the main reasons that I joined this running group was to meet more people in my “newish” neighborhood in a non-bar setting. Ok, so yesterday, was my second run with the group. I was not expecting to find my BFF, but it was so difficult to become engaged with some of the folks. For the last two fun runs, I ran with the 10min/mi group because I figured that would be an easy enough pace for me to jog and talk without gasping for air. Since Mondays are the group’s fun runs, I thought people would not be too hung up on keeping their pace. Since no one really spoke to me during the run, I introduced myself, but the conversation never really got past the general “Hi, my name is ___. How long have you been living in Harlem?” I felt like I was forcing myself on some of the other runners just by asking a couple of simple damn questions.

Maybe in my 20s and early 30s, it was easier for me to just randomly start talking to people and make an effort to force the interaction. As an only child, if you wanted to make friends, usually you had to just put yourself out there. Not, that I’m complaining about being an only child. Actually, I LOVED being an only child because everything was mine and I did not have to share . . . for the most part ;).” I realize that coming into a new running group (or any other social group) is tough because everyone already knows each other. During the run, two women were chatting about their 9+1 status for NYC Marathon 2020. I thought, “Ok, I can chat with them because that’s something we have in common.” WRONG. They pretty much did not seem interested in chatting with me about anything marathon related. One of the women will really have to work on her running form if  . . . (let me stop being a sassy hater).

During the run, I was told myself that maybe people are not chatting because they are pushing themselves to keep up with the 10min/mi pace after climbing a big hill.

7sOOr0cxSGGf4D7kFo29Vg_thumb_2fb5Not a big deal, I’ll stay after the run and chat with people at the burger joint. People tend to chat and be more friendly when stuffing their faces with food and beer, right?

At the burger joint, it was pretty much the same thing during the run. Folks cliqued up and really did not seem interested in accepting new applications for their cliques. As some may know, I am a member of a beer lovers group. Every time I see someone new to the group or standing alone, I usually invite him/her into the conversation that I’m having with other members since I know what it’s like being on the outside looking in. Now that I’m in my late 30’s, I have noticed that I do not put as much effort in starting these new conversations to meet people in preformed cliques (maybe that’s another one of my problems). I mean, if I find myself the one constantly asking all the questions and the one driving the interaction, then I’m pretty much done. Actually, I ended up talking to a random person, who was not a part of the running group, about living in the neighborhood at the burger joint. After finishing my beer (believe it or not, I only had one beer), I was over it and pretty much left without saying bye to anyone (they probably didn’t notice anyway). 

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A couple of my good friends that I’ve had since 2002 have told me that I come off meaner than I really am. Probably because I’m just one of those people who never smiles unless I’m laughing. Also, for the most part, I maintain a poker face so you never know what I’m thinking.

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Hell, this is me not smiling in one of my bday pictures as a kid. Word on the street is that I would only wear the cowboy hat that my great uncle bought for me. Yeah, birthday hats are lame anyway. 😉UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2ef1

Eh, oh well. This was a random post. I figure that I will go to a few more of these fun runs, and if nothing changes, then I’ll just run alone. 

I’m too old for this shit, anyway. 

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Now, that I’ve just had a birthday last week. I have a feeling that “I’m getting too old for this shit.” will be my motto for most of the year. I do not know how many times I said on Sunday during NYCs Pride Parade, but it was A LOT. 

Perhaps, this Mel Magazine article “Men on the age at which they started to no longer give a shit.” will provide some insight ( *** ).

How do you feel about engaging with or joining new social groups/clubs? 

At what age do/did you stop actively trying to make new friends?

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Random Thursday – Birffffffday Edition

I have been having a great staycation/birthday week, but I do not know if my liver will be too happy. 

Saturday: 

Boozing around town; I do like my froses.

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Sunday: 

A few of my friends and I had an unlimited sangria brunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Calle Ocho ( *** ).

Then things got a little crazy after getting post-brunch drinks. Yes, after drinking sangria for a couple of hours, we went for a quick walk in Central, then went to another bar for more drinks. In our defense, it was hot as hell on Sunday. After the second round of drinks, we decided to get pedis, and someone suggested pride colors for my toes. 

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The color pattern doesn’t quite work because there are six colors in the pride flag (don’t even get me started with the black and brown stripes that some folks are trying to add), and we have only five toes.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Monday: 

The hubby and I headed to the beach for some fun in the sun. Boy was it hot out. It was a nice beach day; however, the water was really cold. 

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Jacob Riis Beach

Look, I even found a free ashtray while I was swimming. 😉

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The hubby even made chicken strips and a Spanish tortilla for our snack.iYw%X6ANQPGhmPaRCWr7kA_thumb_2efc

Look, Lady Gaga visited my neighborhood for my birthday. 😉

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Tuesday (my actual birfffffday): 

Nothing too big. I don’t know, I’ve never been into huge bday celebrations for myself. However, I do like going to other folks’ huge birthday celebrations. The hubby and I kept things pretty low key. We went to one of my favorite hole in the wall seafood restaurants, Astoria Seafood Market ( ***  ).

After our food-, wine-, and champagne-induced coma, we grabbed some drinks with some friends in our neighborhood. Hey, we even came in second place in trivia at a random bar.

Quick serious moment. I get that Harlem has been undergoing gentrification over the past few years, but I kind of hate being the only black person (besides the staff) in a bar in Harlem. Well, I guess that I can count the art mural having other black folks in the bar. 

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I do not know, but it throws off my energy being the only person of color in social spaces, especially in neighborhoods that are predominately black and brown. 

Oh, I received this “voucher” as one of my gifts from the hubby.

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I was planning to buy the tickets this weekend anyway.

Wednesday

Random hanging out. I did hit up one of my hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant for a big ass bowl of pho.

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After this week, I figure that it would do my body good by consuming liquid other than booze. Wait, I split a bottle of wine with my friend at the restaurant. Also, I had a bit of a sore throat from screaming at a bar, whose music was entirely too damn loud. 

Thursday: 

Planning to do another day at the beach once I finish doing laundry.

Random Thursday

Question edition.

I’m thinking of a quick summer getaway, where should I go? Unfortunately, the hubby can’t leave the US. Maybe another Philly trip? T

Which NYRR races should I register for? I still need to register for 5 more races.

Why can’t I bring myself to run with one of my running groups?

How/when did I gain so much weight? 😉 A couple of my suits are kind of tight.

(Not a question) I’m really excited to run my first race since March. It feels like it has been such a long time since the NYC Half.

Is this summer going to be super hot?

I’m becoming bored with gin, what should be my new go to liquor? Tequila?

Where have I been? Trail running is kinda fun.

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 6

Planned mileage: 21.5 (+40min tempo)

Completed mileage: 11 miles

Looks like I was pretty far away from my goal. 

From last week’s update, I mentioned that I was having some back issues with a couple of my training run. Thus, I decided to dial it back a little bit lot to recover. Also, work was quite intense this week. The program that I direct will soon start accepting applications for next year’s cohort so there’s a lot of planning that I have to do. Also, the spring semester has started for the course that I teach. My procrastinating ass had to get all the crap ready for the course (lectures, syllabi, rosters, etc.). Basically, I finished all of that stuff at 11:00 pm on Saturday night for a Sunday class. Lol, at an email that I received from a student a few days before the class. 

I don’t see your course on blackboard. If you can look into that problem that would be great.

I do not know if I should be impressed by the student’s initiative to reach out before our first class or annoyed by the student’s presumption that I would use Blackboard for my course. 

Ok, let’s get into this thing. 

Oh, one more thing: there’s like 1.5 months left until the UnitedNYCHalf. I really need to decide if I’m going to do this thing or not. Well, I guess it is up to my body. 

I made a couple of changes from my previous week:

  1. Obviously, I did not run as much. 
  2. I decided to skip some of my near-daily stretches, especially glute extensions. 
  3. Since I have a full-time desk job (and probably slouch way too much), I started doing quick stretches every 60 – 90 minutes in my office.

Hopefully, these changes were not made in vain. 

Monday:

Planned: 50min X-train

Completed: Rest

Tuesday:

Planned: 4.5mi

Completed: 4.5mi, stretching, strength training

This was a very tough one, and I felt quite defeated afterward. I did this run on a treadmill and had to walk multiple times. I pretty much had to walk every 0.5 miles. 

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I even adjusted Crunch Fitness-FiDi’s motivation wall. 

Wednesday:

Planned: Interval 8X400m

Completed: Not a damn thing

There was way too much work that I had to complete between Monday and Tuesday so there was no way that I could fit in this run. 

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: A few sprints

I had planned to combine Wednesday’s and Thursday’s run by doing the interval workout and following it with the 3-mile run. Once again work got in the way. No, wait. TV AND work got in the way. While working on some stuff for work, I stayed up watching Ken Burns’ documentary about the Vietnam War. 

Around 8pm, I decided to put on my running clothes and do the intervals (at the minimal) before finishing work. Everything went wrong with this run. 

  1. It was super windy and cold along the Hudson River, and I really needed another layer.
  2. Both my phone and Apple Watch died, so I could not really keep track of my times for the intervals. Lately, I’ve been noticing that my iPhone has been dying a lot. 
  3. I packed the dumb tights that always seem to fall down when I run. After the third or fourth interval, I became so annoyed with constantly pulling up my tights while running. At that point, I pretty was over it. One, two, three strikes, and I was out. 

Thursday, Friday, Saturday:

Planned: 3m, Rest, and 9mi

Completed: Nothing. 

In my defense, I did plan to do some weight training on Friday. But I decided to go hang out with a friend in Hell’s Kitchen, which actually became a little bit of a shitshow. However, what is a Friday night in NYC without some fuckshit?

Rise bar was not playing around with its drink prep on Friday night.

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Sunday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 6.2mi

Although my long run for this week was supposed to be 9mi, I thought that it would be better to do the 6.2mi instead. Since I have been having back issues and did not want to risk fucking it up more, I did a very easy run on the treadmill. I pretty much alternated between a very, very slow mile and a very slow mile. It did feel nice to finally complete a planned run. 

Well, that’s my ho-hum week of “training”. 

Goals for the week:

  • Let’s complete a full week of planned training activities. 
  • A few posts ago, I mentioned that I joined a couple of running clubs. I really want to try to do a run with Harlem Runs on either Monday or Wednesday. Fingers crossed. 

Have y’all seen either (or both) documentary about the Fyre Festival? I’m sorry, but how do we live in a country where someone can defraud folks multiple times and only receive six years in prison? Whereas, we have folks serving DECADES for minor drug offenses. Hell, the Billy creep was defrauding people while he was out on bail for his OTHER CHARGES of fraud. Don’t most people try NOT to commit crimes while on bail?

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Did you like the Netflix or Hulu version more?

 

Food Pic of the Week

Ok, this the Food Pic of the Week is not from a restaurant, but it’s from my beer club’s annual cookie bake-off. No, I did not enter this year. I’m still a little salty for coming in 3rd place a few years back. Fuckin’ haters. Actually, I’ll explain the bullshit. 

The first place winner was a goddamn pastry chef, who should not have been allowed to compete. The second place guy made shortbread. Ummmmm, I thought it was a cookie bake-off, not a goddamn cake bakeoff. You see, I should have gotten first place with my “aconbay ocolatechay ipchay” cookies. #fuckers.

Anyhoo, these were my favorite “cookies” – peanut butter and chocolate macarons. 

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The baker won second place. 😦 What a minute, how did he get so many votes, when there were quite a few cookies on the plate? I know that I had about three of them before voting. Perhaps, the baker put out more cookies before the second round of voting. 

Food Pic for the Week II

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A big bowl of spicy pork ramen from Mentoku (9th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets).

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I do not think that I have ever seen french fries feature on a menu at a ramen restaurant. I guess that you have to have something for the kids.

Oh random. Last night, I came up with a new drink, called “shamlabu” . . . I think that’s how I spell it. The Shamlabu is a frozen drink that contains vodka, tequila, pear nectar (I have no idea why we have pear nectar in the apt), passion fruit margarita mix, ground pepper, honey, coffee beans, and sriracha.

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For inventing this drink, I was pretty parodying the somewhat pretentiousness of adult beverages in many NYC establishments.  Some of these crazy bars and restaurants have drinks that are 18 bucks and are made with 90 damn random ingredients, which takes about 20 minutes to make. Ninety is a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.  Last night, five of us when to a restaurant where all of the drinks had about 8 ingredients in them. The damn appetizers arrived to the table before the drinks. I was already in a crappy mood, because of a rough day in the office. In my opinion, an alcoholic beverage should not have more than 4 ingredients in it . . . including the ice. Hell even some bartenders are referring to themselves as “mixologists”