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The Duck Pond

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I just thought it'd be nice to post some pictures of the Duck Pond where I have been running. I really enjoy running in this beautiful spot and thought it's too pretty not to share.

I've been running here and at the local high school's track but I much prefer doing my laps around the Duck Pond. The track still has its uses though as it gets ambient light from the surrounding buildings so if I get home kind of late in the evening, I can still go there to run. But I find running by the pond is just so much more enjoyable then the track. So I try to make it home while there's still daylight out. Fortunately, this is getting to be less of an issue as the days are getting longer. I can't wait until it's summer.

The Duck Pond is getting more and more beautiful. It took a huge hit during Hurricane Irene last summer. It completely flooded out. You can still see downed trees everywhere and where the water had risen to. But the trees that survived are all in bloom now and the place just exudes SPRING.

I'm guessing the county is responsible for it so it's really well maintained. On a beautiful day, it seems like everyone is there. FYI, they are cell phone cameras so not exactly the least blurry of photos that I am capable of taking. Still, I hope you enjoy!

This is what greets me when I enter the Duck Pond. Of course I'm motivated to run now after seeing this!

I'm a sucker for cherry trees. They're so gorgeous!

I learned what this tree is called last week at the New York Botanical Garden. They are called Chinese or Eastern redbud: Cercis chinensis from the Fabaceae family.
For more pictures from the New York Botanical Garden, check this link out:

I'm not 100% certain what this tree is but my guess is it's the magnolia hybrid Magnolia ◊ soulangeana. I love flowers but I'm still learning all their names. That's part of the reason why my husband and I became members of NYBG.

It would make sense that there are a lot of willow trees here. Yes, there's a pond but the trail is also close to the river (hence the flooding).

The Duck Pond is home to many birds, hence it's name. The ducks and Canadian geese hang out year round. This time of year, the robins are all hanging out too. However, lately an egret has decided to hang out there too. It definitely stands out from the other birds. I've also seen blue jays and cardinals. It certainly makes the runs more interesting when I'm here versus the track.

And there's even a waterfall!

When I'm here, I feel like I'm miles away from everything else yet the Duck Pond is directly next to the train tracks and the highway. Despite all that, it does still feel like an oasis from the chaotic suburban life, especially since I live in a place that's more urban suburbia.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great pics, thanks for sharing! emoticon

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SHARON10002 4/25/2012 9:39PM

    Absolutely gorgeous! I can see why you run here often! Thanks for posting the pictures.

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ANDSHEEWAS 4/25/2012 9:19AM

    So lovely!

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    Oooh, that looks like such a pretty spot to run!

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FENWAYGIRL18 4/24/2012 10:30PM

    I can see why you love running there, it's beautiful and it keeps u motivated. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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VIMVIGOR 4/24/2012 10:03PM

  Beautiful place to run. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl

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I signed up for a 5K!

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's official! I've signed up for a 5K and I will be "competing" next Saturday, April 29th! This is my first 5K!

A friend of mine told me about a 5K walk/run that the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is hosting. Get this... It's at the Bronx Zoo! The official race name is WCS Run for the Wild. It's a benefit for endangered lions.

My friend will be competing in the run portion and I opted to do the run/walk as I'm not quite ready to run the whole thing yet. I figured I don't want to get in the way of serious runners so I'm doing the family walk/run that will be more walking friendly. I had been slacking with my run training lately and I figured the way to keep myself motivated was to actually sign up for a race. Based on my pace from the last 2 runs, I think I should be able to do the 5K in 45 min. At least, that's the goal I've set for myself.

I think constantly setting new goals and meeting new challenges is what I need to keep myself going.

I'm kind of nervous but also really excited. How cool is it that I get to walk/run through the zoo?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 4/25/2012 9:42PM

    Good luck with your first 5K! I hope you'll have good weather, too. I know you'll do well!
Hopefully they won't let anything loose to help you run faster! emoticon

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SASSY5468 4/23/2012 2:43PM

    Congratulations!!! Good luck with it :)

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SARAHL817 4/22/2012 7:43AM

    That is so awesome . . . good luck!

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    emoticon Good for you and the big cats! emoticon

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BLUEROSE 4/21/2012 9:11AM

    Good Luck on your first 5k - sounds awesome. I love going to that zoo. I would often walk there.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PJBONARRIGO 4/20/2012 4:15PM

    Good for you! It sounds like a great cause and you will have a lot of fun running through the zoo. And now for something completely different LOL emoticon

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It's starting to feel a lot like summer

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This blog is an update on the craziness that was this past week and a reflection on the future.

As I had posted earlier, I had gone out to eat Thursday and Saturday night, Sunday was a 60th birthday celebration dinner, and again yesterday because my husband wanted to eat out. I donít know why since weíve spent the last few days eating out so much but whatever. Yesterday and Saturday I think I managed to stay just under or barely over my caloric range based on my best guesstimation. But I knew I blew it Sunday since there just werenít any healthy options and Iím not going to say no to red velvet cake as I emoticon red velvet.

And it wasnít just all the eating I was bad about it. There was drinking tooÖ Not that I overdid it with the alcohol, just one glass of wine Sunday and one beer emoticon emoticon emoticon each Saturday and yesterday. I hardly ever drink anymore since itís all empty calories but itís one of those things I have REALLY, REALLY missed.

Now here is the amazing thing. Somehow between eating out and drinking, I have managed to lose the normal amount of weight Iíve been averaging per week. I have no idea how this is happening. Is it because I was still getting in 60 min of cardio every day? Is it because I'm still running emoticon? Is my body giving me some leeway because Iím still exercising?

This is the part I struggle with most. How do I live my life and eat (and drink) in a way that makes me happy, without causing the scale to go up again? I LOVE food. I love all sorts of food from all over the world emoticon. I believe that food is one of lifeís great pleasures. And I live near /work in New York City and there are amazing food options to tempt me all the time. One of my goals in life is to eat at every restaurant in New York City. I know I will fail at this goal but itís so much fun. I donít ever want to give up being able to enjoy dining out.

As this weekend has shown, we have a rather crazy social schedule and itís about to get even crazier. I call summer my ďsocial seasonĒ as summer is the time of year when we tend to get together with family and friends the most (a lot of family and friends have birthdays between May and August). Of course, get-togethers involve food and alcohol. Iím so close to my goal weight and I see so many challenges ahead.

Iím going to find a balance somehow. I donít know how but Iím going to do it.

P.S. Tonight was the first night we have used our grill since last summer. I am looking forward to a summer of grilled veggies. At least I'll eat healthy when we grill!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 4/25/2012 9:46PM

    I think you've got it since you're still losing weight even though you ate out and drank some alcohol. I think staying on track for the most part is the key. We all "fudge" some of the time so we don't feel deprived, and that is what helps us to stay the course. emoticon

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    Reflection on the future...I think you GET IT! YAY! emoticon

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OFABULOUSME 4/20/2012 11:50AM

    Never mind "finding" balance, I think you have found it. Between the cardio, and still watching what you eat "most" of the time, you are losing weight and still enjoying life. Here's to a successful summer...
emoticon And grilled good!

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MILLISMA 4/20/2012 11:32AM

    I think you're doing great. One big thing is you are really watching what you are doing and keeping up with your exercise. Weigh to go!!!!

emoticonMary Anne

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FUNKY5RED 4/20/2012 10:17AM

    It is all about finding that balance. Look at how you ate on the days when you weren't faced with the big meals. Make a plan for how you are going to handle the unhealthy meals. Smaller portions really can make a difference. Exercising certainly has a big impact and you are seeing the results. You can get through the "social season" and still lose weight.

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DANA564 4/20/2012 6:59AM

    Way to go! I'm looking for that magic formula too!! I lose weight then go back to some of my old ways (not all) and regain the weight. I know one key trick for me is tracking. I will have to track for a long time once I hit maintenance. Good luck with your last few pounds! You can do it!

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CANDOK1260 4/20/2012 5:32AM

    i agree you going to have to make exercise your priority and tried to stay in portion control hey eating in every restaurant in new your sounds like fun to me

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SASSY5468 4/19/2012 10:42PM

    Way to go with losing anyway!!! It has to be that you're still exercising regularly. Good for you on that with as busy as you are! Do you adjust your calories to account for calories burned? I just learned about that a couple of weeks ago and it helped me a bunch. I really need to get my grill out.

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Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Today turned out to be beautiful weather. It was sunny and warm - a perfect day to spend at the New York Botanical Gardens. We don't live very far from the Gardens and my husband and I go there so much, we eventually became members. In fact, this is where my husband proposed. emoticon So yes, we LOVE the Gardens very much.

The Orchid Show is one of our favorite exhibitions. If you ever happen to be in NYC during March/April, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit. For those of you who can't, I've shared a few photos below but the photos just don't do justice the exquisite beauty of the orchids. Once I have more time, I'll share a link to the entire album so you can see all the gorgeous orchids that were on display. Sorry for only posting a teaser now.

But NYBG is a beautiful place to visit even without the Orchid Show. The Gardens are especially gorgeous during this time of year. Although the tulips were waning (as they bloomed early this year), the daffodils were still hanging on. The lilacs had started to bloom and smelled so fragrant. And of course, the cherry trees. They are so stunning!

After the Orchid Show, we made it a point to see the cherry trees but that required walking up a hill to the opposite end of the Gardens and then back again to where we parked. I love it when exercise doesn't feel like exercise and is fun! Who notices that you're walking briskly for 45 min total when you're surrounded in such a luscious garden with great scenery? That makes it 2 weekends in a row where I "tricked" my husband into exercising with me.

I have a new goal now: to go running emoticon in the Gardens once the weather is consistently better. It's just such a beautiful place. I know my runs will be that much more fun when I'm running by peonies, roses, and azaleas.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

rainbow or Vanda orchid

Cymbidium orchid called "Mighty Sunset"

a variety of "corsage" orchids

Do you recognize this bridge? This bridge appeared in the opening credits of Sesame Street in the 70s and 80s. Funny thing is, I always thought this bridge was from Central Park!

My husband and I in front of the cherry trees

For more pictures, check out my Google Photos page: 02729100735782/2012OrchidShowAtNYBG

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSY5468 4/16/2012 11:49AM

    You are the 3rd person that I know that was there yesterday, and one of those people was George Takei from Star Trek :) Glad you had such a great day!!!

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CANDOK1260 4/16/2012 6:40AM


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    So pretty! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 4/15/2012 10:29AM

    The orchids are beautiful! Thank you for posting the pictures.

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Some good news

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dinner last night at Kang Suh was emoticon. My 2 friends had never had Korean BBQ before and they really liked it. Not only did they like the food but they also said it was a fun eating experience, getting to cook your meat emoticon yourself at the table.

We got the kalbi, bulgogi, and chicken and it came with an assortment of kim chi. It wound up being not that much meat for 3 people but we also split a bi bim bop and a kimchi pancake between the 3 of us. I know I overate (over-full but not stuffed uncomfortably) and I didn't even bother trying to track that here on SP. But man, the food was so good. emoticon

We left the restaurant shortly after 8 pm and I thought, "there's no way I can catch the 8:30 pm train now, I'll have to wait for the 9 pm." So my friends and I walked a bit more leisurely towards Grand Central Terminal than we normally would have. They walked with me since they were going to catch the subway at GCT. After a few blocks, I realized that I had 10 min and if we ran, I'd be able to catch the train.

So we did. We jogged the last 6 blocks to GCT emoticon. It wasn't even all that difficult, even on a full stomach! That was something I could not have done 3 months ago when I restarted my fitness regime. 3 months ago, I couldn't have ran that distance continuously and if I had been able to do it, I'd be completely out of breath with a stitch in my side. I made the train with 5 min to spare!

Eating out is fun but restaurant prepared foods are usually so high in sodium so I always retain water the day after. This morning, I got on the scale emoticon to see what the damage was. I was totally expecting to see a gain due to bloating but to my surprise the scale hadn't moved! I was the same weight this morning as I was yesterday!

That makes me so incredibly happy emoticon

I feel a little less wary of this weekend and its eating adventures now but I'm still going to try hard to make reasonable food decisions when we dine out this weekend. Yesterday when I was feeling sorry for myself, I told myself, "Jen, get off your butt and go out for a walk. That's the least you can do to try to combat tonight's meal." So I did. I could only fit in a 30 min walk but I did something versus doing nothing.

Thank you to everyone who helped to encourage me. I feel A LOT better today. Still a little apprehensive but going to try my hardest to eat smart when out this weekend. I'm really looking forward to the Orchid Show tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    That is great news! emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 4/14/2012 3:55PM

    that is so awesome that you ran to the station!! Woot!

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BOSS61 4/14/2012 5:57AM

    Very happy for you! And quite surprised that in the modern litigious world in which we live, a restaurant would allow its patrons to cook their own meat. For me, I steer clear from restaurants. I do not trust the extra fats, salts and sweets many sneak into food in the interest of improving taste to the American palate. Glad you found an exception.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/13/2012 9:16PM

    Glad it all worked out!

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RABBLERRABBIT 4/13/2012 3:00PM

    What a cool story! Thanks for posting it (I too, love it when the scale doesn't move and I know I've been "bad." It's like revenge for all those times when I was GREAT and it went up).
PS. Running on a full stomach? You're good!

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