Summer Runcation in the Poconos

A few weeks ago I went on a runcation in the Poconos with Ketanga Fitness. For those who have never heard of a “runcation” it is a vacation where you go running; a mix of relaxing and running–for funsies. I originally wanted to go away for a yoga retreat but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money and I didn’t want to take more than one day off of work. I wasn’t able to find any yoga retreats during the timeframe I was looking for and Kevin mentioned something to his trainer about it. His trainer then suggested we look at Ketanga Fitness. They put on a bunch of different retreats like boxing and running in a variety of locations.

We chose a closer runcation within driving distance from the city that was three days long. I took a Friday off work and Kevin and I drove the 1 hour 45 minutes to the Mountaintop Lodge in the Poconos by Lake Naomi. The drive there was sunny and pleasant in our rented convertible. After checking in and meeting everyone we got to relax for a bit before our first evening workout. We met in the backyard of the Inn and did strength training drills and short sprints. After our first workout we had a little champagne toast on the porch then got ready for dinner. We had dinner at a restaurant within walking distance of the Inn, Jubilee, which actually had some good food. I thought it was cool that everyone had a drink and didn’t take things too seriously. I’ve always assumed that a running retreat and drinking wouldn’t mix, but we were all able to relax and unwind with one or two drinks without wrecking ourselves for the run the next morning.

On Saturday morning we woke up fairly early for a morning run. After warming up with some exercises we did some speed and endurance work on a trail loop in the woods. It ended up being about three miles. After breakfast we were free to do what we wanted. Some of the others went to lay out at the pool but Kevin and I decided to go for a little drive and then we ended up going to a quaint nearby town to see a movie. After grabbing a bite (love me some some subs and junk food at Wawa’s) we got ready for our second workout of the evening. We found a large flat grassy area where we did more strength training drills and short sprints. That evening we all went out for a hibachi dinner which was a lot of fun.

On Sunday morning we had our final run and my favorite of the weekend. We did a longer six mile trail run. It was fun and I felt really good. It had been a while since I’ve run three consecutive days in a row. Normally I’ll mix it up a do yoga, boxing, or spinning in addition to running once a week, but it felt really good to be out in nature running.

Before we all went our separate ways we had one final meal together as a group. The other people on the runcation with me and Kev were pretty cool and we had a good time getting to know a little about each other. The trip was also a perfect way to get Kevin to ease into running, and running has now become another activity we can do together. Most people may think that running and vacation together is a paradox, but not only was there a good amount of free time to chill, the runs were also pleasant being out in the wilderness away from the city. Also, the runs on this trip weren’t especially long or difficult. We definitely challenged ourselves but the distances were short enough and the people on the trip were at various levels so that no one was left in the dust. Overall we had a great time and I would definitely sign up for another runcation.

Winter Broadway Shows

I saw three shows recently this past winter that were all extremely good. They kept me captivated the entire performance and left me smiling afterward which I definitely think qualifies them as being good shows.

First I saw Something Rotten! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but a friend saw it and said it was good and I wanted a lighter comedy. Something Rotten! is a story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar (William Shakespeare). When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the worlds very first MUSICAL!

A few weeks later I saw Noises Off on Broadway. I had not yet heard of the show, but Kevin got two free tickets from a friend so we figured why not. Noises Off ended up being hilarious. It was even better than Something Rotten! in my opinion which was nominated for some Tony Awards. Seeing a show for free is awesome, but it is even better when the show is unexpectedly great. I was laughing the entire time. Megan Hilty, the blonde in Smash, is in the show which I also didn’t know.Noises Off follows an ambitious director named Lloyd Davis and his troupe of mediocre actors as they blunder from a bad dress rehearsal to a spectacularly disastrous performance. The cast and crew are putting together a silly sex comedy titled, Nothing On a single-set farce in which lovers frolic, doors slam, clothes are tossed away and embarrassing hi-jinks ensue. It was cool seeing all of the drama taking place off stage which was just as comical as the script for their on-stage characters.

Last but certainly not least, I saw the critically acclaimed Hamilton the musical on Broadway. I actually bought tickets for Kevin for Christmas this year. I was going back and forth about getting them because tickets were sold out and they were really expensive on StubHub, but I heard Hamilton is as big as The Book of Mormon, so I ended up sucking it up and getting them. I’m really glad I did because Kevin and I both really enjoyed it. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer, lyricist, and star of Hamilton is amazing. It was so refreshing to see him on stage watching him do something original that everyone seems to be getting so much joy from. I read more about his story in The New Yorker.

I think David Cote’s review of Hamilton in Time Out New York sums it up well, I love Hamilton. I love it like I love New York, or Broadway when it gets it right. And this is so right… A sublime conjunction of radio-ready hip-hop (as well as R&B, Britpop and trad showstoppers), under-dramatized American history and Miranda unique personal focus as a first-generation Puerto Rican and inexhaustible wordsmith, Hamilton hits multilevel culture buttons, hard… The work and drama and novelistic density remain astonishing.

Hamilton is up for a Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album which I hope it wins. It is one of the few show albums I’ve actually looked up after because I liked the music so much. I currently have it saved on my Spotify list.

I lucked out with three back-to-back shows that I really enjoyed, and I’m very happy I was able to see them.

End of Winter Fun 2016

It has been several weeks since my last post and a lot has happened in my life. Here’s the short and sweet:

  1. New job – I got a new job the end of January at ABC which was really exciting. It was a good move for my career and so far I really like it.
  2. Yellow Claw – I went on a spontaneous trip to see Yellow Claw in concert in Philly at the Fillmore Philadelphia music venue. I felt a little old because most of the people there weren’t even old enough to drink and they looked like they were all on drugs but it was still fun
  3. Blacktap – I love dessert and I needed to see what all the fuss was about at The Blacktap. Their giant milkshakes toppling with full size cookies was good but looked a little better than it tasted in my opinion. I consider myself a dessert connoisseur and I’ve had better.
  4. Wedding – We celebrated Kev’s friend and former co-worker’s wedding in New Jersey
  5. Blackbird – I saw Blackbird on Broadway starring Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels –it was intense and good
  6. Wicked – I finally saw Wicked on Broadway with my friend Kelly–I can’t believe I haven’t seen it sooner; it was magical (pun intended)
  7. Irfan Onurmen – I’ve been a fan of Irfan Onurmen’s work for about a year, so I went to his opening reception at C24 Gallery and he did not disappoint. I have my eyes on another piece of his artwork now
  8. NYC Visitors & The Whitney Museum – My cousin Jade stayed with me over her spring break–my only family member to come to NYC to see me other than my parents and brother. We had fun walking the highline and checking out The Whitney. My favorite exhibit was the Open Plan.“”Open Plan, an experimental five-part exhibition using the Museum‰غھs dramatic fifth-floor as a single open gallery, unobstructed by interior walls. The largest column-free museum exhibition space in New York, the Neil Bluhm Family Galleries measure 18,200 square feet and feature windows with striking views east into the city and west to the Hudson River, making for an expansive and inspiring canvas.””When we went, Andrea Fraser had the space. She kept the floor entirely open and had only had audio playing which was recorded at a correctional facility. The exhibit showed the juxtaposition of a huge open space with freedom to roam about and the sound of small spaces, doors and locks within prison closures.
  9. Engagement – Kev and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary. He took me to dinner at Blossom in Chelsea, the restuarant he took me on our first date five years ago. That evening at home he proposed.
  10. Easter – I flew home for less than 48 hours for Easter. It was important for me to see my extended family members in person to announce my big news before telling the rest of the world about the engagement. I had a good time at home and even more fun playing with baby Kasper and Frodo who are the two cutest kitties ever (other than Pants and Boots of course!)