Thursday, May 27, 2010

on my way (again)

Gah it has been too long. Since I've blogged, since I've trained, since I've fundraised...just too long.

Last week was illness-stricken and travel-filled, but it was wonderful. I went back to NU for Starry Starry Night: Saluting Dominic Missimi. I just can't even tell you how amazing this night was. Gregg Edelman, Kate Shindle, Brian D'Arcy James, Heather Headley, plus half of Chicago theatre and most of my good friends all performing for one of my favorite people, ummm, ever: Dom. Heaven.

I've had another flare-up of my every present foot injury. Friends may remember it from its previous appearances in Ragtime, Girls vs. Boys: A Loud New Musical, or its starring role in Waa-Mu 2009: One For the Books. Needless to say, it's a pain in the ass. Well, foot. You know. Especially in NYC, not walking is just not really an option. So it sidetracked my training, and also just my general activity level, which makes me feel like a big pile of poopy. I got it checked it out by a podiatrist on Saturday and he's basically like, "Well, you're walking completely wrong and your alignment is cray cray caboodles and we should prooooobs fix it." Well, yes. That'd be good. He taped my foot up "like a baseball player" (his words, I loved) and sent me on my way to come back next week. As sad as it is, this does explain my yogi struggles in terms of balance and alignment, so maybe it'll get better now...? Or maybe I'll just be told to wear some really attractive orthopedic shoes 24/7. For the record, I'd choose the ivory color.

I figured I should take advantage of my new athlete status and get a walk in while I felt it was OK enough, so I did! I did what I think is my favorite loop...down an avenue to Battery Park, then back up the west side along the river. You guys. This city is awesome. Hands down my favorite discovery of the day was the Irish Hunger Memorial. Look at the pics on the wiki page, cause it's unreal. This is the picture I took:

I don't even know how to describe this place. It's this garden that's on a slanted platform...just, you know, randomly. On the west side. Of course. It's beautiful. I loved.

So I walked a bunch and man did I feel it. So I took a step back training-wise, but I'll get back on it. I'm not too worried. Mostly I'm just happy I didn't break my foot again, so I can basically do whatever I can on it that doesn't make it hurt. So I'm back in action!

Fundraising has taken a backseat, as well. I AMAZINGLY reached my minimum, which could not thrill me more. But now I wanna get to $3,000! Goals of the week include: sending a letter to my gym for a little corporate support, planning a bar night within the next month or so,sending at least 10 emails to my (amazingly phenomenal and fantastic) extended support system, and sending an update/reminder/follow up/remember me email. Holla!

Random side note: I'm sitting in Starbucks writing this and it a) makes me miss college and b) allows me to rediscover my full iTunes library on random. In case anyone was wondering, Jeanine Tesori's Violet is still my favorite cast album of all time.

You guys! It's summer!

LOVE and warmth,

Friday, May 21, 2010



NEW GOAL: $3,000

Thank you to everyone. I cannot tell you how amazing this is. Let's keep going!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

a view from the bridge. and the park.

Wow this was a WEEKEND. For so many reasons. I'll go chronologically otherwise I'll get messed up and forget some of the amazingly epic things that happened this weekend.

SATURDAY in the park. I think it was the 15th of May. I mean, it actually was the 15th of May. I got up early and met my fellow 3Day-ers at Penn Station for a 16 mile walk! We walked over to the Hudson, down to Battery Park, around the tip of Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge and back. It. Was. Amazing. First of all, the weather was perfection. I mean really. Like 75 and sunny with a breeze all day. Just incredible. Once again, I loved walking with others going through this. This time, I was the only first timer, and I relished in asking all of the big questions: shoes, socks, sleeping...we covered it all as we covered our miles.

Hands down my favorite part of the walk was the Brooklyn Bridge. Wow. I mean wow. I kept taking pictures because I wasn't satisfied with any of them until I realized the epic-ness of the bridge just couldn't be captured by my measly little BlackBerry. It's truly indescribable. It is massive and beautiful and overwhelming, and I loved it. Even when we got caught up in obnoxious groups of tourists. Which happened a lot. Anyway here are my photos that don't do it any justice:

Almost there...

AMAZING. Also, I felt like Miranda going to meet Steve in the SATC movie. Anyone?

The citay from the bridge.

3Day swag on my fellow walkers!

We stopped for some delightful pizza at Adrienne's on Stone Street. Stone Street is the coolest thing ever. It's like a block long and there are no cars and in the summer it's just filled with outdoor seating for all of the restaurants on the block. What?! Apparently it was the first paved road in NYC and it has this really old timey feel. The. Coolest. Once again, I found myself marveling at the new/old juxtaposition of the Financial District. It is cool.

After we walked back up to Penn Station, I made the smart (crazy?) decision to walk home, too. I took a detour and went to Paragon Sports to look at some shoes, and I bought some! I tried a ton of different kinds, and these were the most cushy and supportive, although I'm sad they didn't come in pink...booo. I also got some double layer Wright Socks, as recommended by our training walk leader, Burt. I haven't started using either yet, but I'm excited!!

SUNDAY morning I participated in the 25th Annual AIDS Walk in Central Park. A group of friends got together a team so I thought I'd hop was a good reason to walk 6.2 miles and seemed like a cool thing to be a part of. I had no idea what to expect, and I was bowled over by the experience. There were THOUSANDS of people there. So many. And it was really cool to walk with so many different people from vastly different backgrounds. I was a little bit frustrated by the glacial pace we kept...not exactly a training walk...and after about 3 miles I cut off and walked on my own, but I was so glad to have the experience and I'll absolutely do it again in the future.

OK this is the big part. During the AIDS walk, I received a notification of a donation to my fundraising efforts. I excitedly opened the email to find out this was the largest donation I've received to date and it took me from 49% to 92%. I immediately started crying. This donation didn't come from the wealthiest person I know. It didn't come from my best friend in the entire world. It came from an amazing human being with a gigantic heart, and I could not have been more honored. The day before I had been talking to Burt about how special the fundraising process is and how each and every donation is a miracle. Yes, this particular one let me breathe a huge sigh of relief as I was getting super nervous about reaching my $2300 minimum, but I felt the same reaction with every $5, $10, or $100 donation I received. I know we're all broke, especially now, so I know every dollar that comes my way has been carefully thought out and accounted for. Each one comes with a lot of love and man do I feel it. So thank you.

Phew! Crying again! So I'm now $80 from my minimum and $780 from my secret goal of $3K. Oops. Guess it's not secret anymore. But yes, I'm going to keep fundraising past my minimum, because I'm realizing the 3Day is not about reaching minimums and squeaking by. It's about walking one more mile and raising one more dollar than you ever thought possible, which is what I intend to do.

Also Sunday, my life got a special guest appearance by Betsy Hogg and we saw Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at The Public Theatre. This show has been getting some MAD critical acclaim and I went in skeptically, as I'm not always ready to jump on these Ben Brantley bandwagons. But it was awesome. Just freaking awesome. This entry is too long and the show is too difficult to explain to make it worthwhile, but just go see it. K? Great.

LOVE and miracles of every size,

Also this is love:

Friday, May 14, 2010

a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls.

I like how my post titles have just devolved into random musical references. Oh well.

You guys. This morning I walked 4 miles before work. Which was awesome and I'm super proud. But that is not what this post is about. This post is about The Best Bagel I Have Ever Had.

This morning, I walked up 8th Avenue and passed Murray's Bagels. Now, look. Here's what. I'm trying to lose weight. Aren't we all. But I've also learned that that will never happen eating raw carrots and celery 24/7. I don't remember the last time I had had a bagel. I mean really just gotten a freakin bagel and schmear and chowed down. So I rationalized it by deciding I'd have half for breakfast and half for lunch, and I walked into Murray's. I knew I would go with the whole wheat everything variety, as Murray's is one of the few places in the city with that option. What I did not predict, though, was the discovery of Maple Brown Sugar Raisin Walnut cream cheese. That is literally everything I love in the world. It's like Mr. Murray was like " know who I like? That Kaitlin Fine gal. She's so delightful. I'm going to make a cream cheese that combines her favorite things ever. I won't tell her, so it'll be a super great surprise when she walks into one of my successful bagel shops one day. I'm tempted to name it The Kaitlin, but that might just get confusing." I saw past the subtle name to Mr. Murray's intentions and realized it was tailor made just for me. I excitedly ordered my bagel and large iced coffee with skim (it was early). I put it in my bag, saving it until I got to work and could truly sit down and savor the goodness.

Little did I know what a life changing event this would be. From bite one, I knew I had found The Best Bagel I Have Ever Had (TBBIHEH). The cream cheese had just the perfect hint of brown sugar sweetness, complimented by the crunch of the walnuts and the delightfulness of the raisins. It was heaven. Usually I have a hard time eating half of something and saving the other half (I obvi have mad self control issues), but it was no problem with TBBIHEH because I knew, come 2pm, I would be able to enjoy its glory once again.

Now it is gone. My calories are counted (and were less than I had expected...) and all I have left is a boring old banana for my mid afternoon snack. But TBBIHEH lives on in my memory. And in my heart. And now in this blog post.

I think there's a lesson here, though. A lesson in guilt. I felt guilty yesterday when I ate 300% my recommended sodium intake in mediocre Olive Garden food (despite the amazing company...). I felt guilty the day before when I ate approximately one billion peanut butter filled pretzels at my office (I swear to you they are like crack). But this? TBBIHEH? No freaking way. And part of that was because I walked 4 miles before 9am, which helped to balance out my caloric intake, but most of that is because it was a damn good bagel.

I think this has both nothing and everything to do with the 3Day. The connection is somewhere in the idea that the 3Day is all about the experience. Sure, it's walking 60 miles in 3 days, and it's athletic in that way and it's important to train and read the rules and blah blah blah, but I have a feeling none of that will matter when I start The Best Walk I Have Ever Taken on August 6. Those first hours, like my first bites of TBBIHEH, will melt away any concerns about calories, blisters, hydration, or rain, and it will just be about the experience at hand. And if it's anything like my experience this morning/afternoon, it's gonna be freaking amazing.


FUN(draising) update: I am literally $30 from 50%. This is EXCITING! I'm a little nervous about the second 50, but I'm starting to think creative thoughts and I'm sure I'll figure it out. Hellooo pink-themed bar night...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the beauty is...

Well, friends, it's been a while, hasn't it! I've had a crazy couple of weeks resulting in not a lot of walking and a LOT of eating, which in turn translated to not a lot of blogging. But I'm BACK.

I'm having a hard time with this "spending money" part of the 3-Day. I know, I know, I need good shoes, I need a good pack, I apparently need some schmancy socks, and I DEFINITELY need a lot of sunscreen. Unfortunately, the combination of my less-than-desirable income and my more-than-expensive city makes this a liiiittle difficult to rationalize. This results in me spending about 8.5 hours of my 9 hour work day shopping online for said items, only to succumb to either my frugality or my indecisiveness (or both!) and give up. I want to make sure I have the absolutely definitely totally completely PERFECT items, because I can't afford to try them all out until I find the lumbar pack of my dreams. I was so thrilled when @the3day retweeted my plea for lumbar pack advice, but then it ended up confusing me more!! I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and make decisions and just deal with it...but not before I ask my fellow walkers for their advice this weekend. We're doing a 16 miler from Penn Station to Brooklyn and back on Saturday! Holla!

After a few rough waking-up mornings I'm back to walking to work, which is delightful. I stopped and got some fruit on my walk this morning, and discovered not one, but TWO free sample stands - one for Simply Orange OJ (my fav!) and one for some Quaker cereal something (they gave me four boxes. Hey free breakfast for days!). As I stood there debating my chances of successfully stealing a bottle of OJ, I looked up and discovered this:
So apparently this artist, Kate Gilmore, was commissioned to create this piece of art, entitled Walk the Walk. It consists of exactly what you see: a yellow box with 10 women on top - not actresses, not models, just women - walking around for 10 hours per day. I am obsessed. I usually get annoyed with artsy fartsy stuff like this, but it was kind of amazing to see these women walking around on this platform, emanating exactly what was going on around them...tons and tons of women, myself included, walking to work wearing some variation of this exact outfit and expression. As the article states, the "performers" stomp and march at will and do not speak, but rather express themselves in their walking patterns. More than watching the performers, though, I relished in watching the people watching the performers. From the hipsters standing and nodding knowingly in their skinny jeans to the tourists shaking their heads and saying "only in new york" to the hardcore New Yorkers determined to ignore it to prove their was fascinating. I like to think I was a combination of all three. I chuckled knowingly, snapped a pic on my BlackBerry, then continued walking to work.

I discover beauty on every single walk I take in this city, whether it's in art, nature, or another human. That's pretty sweet.

Speaking of beauty, Chicago theatre lost an amazing actor today in Guy Adkins. I didn't know him as many of my friends did, but I was lucky enough to grow up watching his performances. He was and will continue to be an inspiration.

LOVE and art,

P.S. I am SO CLOSE to 50%! Time to step it UP!

Monday, May 3, 2010

well i didn't WANT to be an american idiot...

...but I am. Why? Because I went on a 15 mile walk on the hottest day of the year so far and did not bring sunscreen. WHOOPS. Somehow every year I think, "This. This is the year I will tan. This is IT." But it never is. So now I'm suffering the consequences in the form of lobster skin and lots of Gatorade. At least I'm not this much of an American Idiot:

BUT let me tell you about this walk! I took a 7:51am train (oof) to Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, where I met five other 3Day walkers and we embarked on this delightful walk. We walked through forest, along water, and through these delightful little shore towns, but the scenery didn't hold a candle to the company. These women (and man) were so inspirational. Some of them had done as many as seven walks and couldn't wait to go back for more. We talked about everything from our families, our travels, and our 3Day experiences all the way to the screwed up college application process, the Mets, and Obama's love of the White Sox. One woman, Liz, talked me through the entire 3Day process, from opening to closing ceremonies, giving me the highlights, lowlights, and everything in between. I got sock advice, shoe advice, gear advice...everything! And, most importantly, I got allies in this crazy thing we're all doing. I'm thrilled to be doing this walk, but it's been hard being separated from my other Lady Tatas, and even harder being in a 3Day Walk-less area without the resources of other cities. So I couldn't be happier I found this group of the most inspirational and amazing people. I can't wait for our next walk on the 15th...this time in my hood!

The walk itself, as I said, was gorgeous. And I made it through 15 miles without too much pain! I will say the last mile and a half was a little rough, and I was definitely stiff later in the day, but I survived! I also looked up equivalent distances so I could have points of reference, and I found out 15 miles is also:
  • The distance from the NU theatre building to Wrigley Field and back.
  • MORE than the distance from my mom's house to my grandma's (11.2 miles)
  • Only slightly LESS than the distance from my parent's house to my apartment in Evanston (17.2 miles)
  • LONGER than Manhattan (13.7 miles)
  • The length of Liechtenstein.
So, I walked the length of an entire country. HOLLA.

In other news, I'm up to 44% in fundraising. WHAT?! So amazing. I broke through the $1000 mark! I'm a little nervous about turning that 44 into a 100, but I'm starting to think outside the box. It's forces me to be creative! That's what I do, right?

I'm going to try to fight the exhaustion that comes along with major burnage and walk 6 more miles tonight. Pray for me.

LOVE and 20/20 hindsight,

P.S. Here are some pretty pics: