What You Do When You Go To Fire Island

I’m back.

I’m not happy about being back.

Spending three glorious days in Fire Island was exactly what I’ve been needing. I relaxed. I napped (a lot). I ate delicious food. I ran. It was three days of pure bliss and perfection.

I also completely abstained from social media. I didn’t blog. I didn’t Tweet. I didn’t check Facebook.

OK, I tried to check Facebook, but not having phone service on the island prevented me from doing that. Still, it was really nice to be disconnected and to be able to take in everything from the weekend.

I’m glad I was able to get my long run in before leaving on Friday morning, which meant I didn’t have to worry about my training while I was away.

So, what do you do when you go to Fire Island?

I will tell you.

You pack up all your crap and lug it onto a ferry in Bay Shore.

This is mostly just the food...

The ferry ride from Bay Shore to Saltaire takes about 20 minutes. We spent those 20 minutes stuffing our faces with food. Don’t act surprised.

You take a “before” photo so that you can see how pale you were at the start of the weekend.

Pale Lauren and Pale Ali on the ferry

You arrive in Saltaire where you load all your goodies onto a wagon. Yes, a wagon. You instantly feel like a little kid. It’s a wonderful feeling.

All the wagons at the dock
Lots of stuff. Mostly mine.

You tow your wagon to your friend’s amazing new house on the bay front.


You are very impressed.

Then you change into a bathing suit and kick off your shoes. You will pretty much be barefoot for the rest of the weekend.

You spend some time taking in the view and breathing in the island air.

The view from Lauren's house. Not bad. Not bad at all.

You freak out about drinking and riding a bike. This is not safe.

Bikes = dangerous

You recall the last time you drank and biked. You remember how that ended. It was not pretty.

You drink a glass plastic cup of wine and you are happy.

Life is good.

The wine hits you hard and fast, and you take a nap…in the sun…while wearing shorts. You now have a shorts tan that will be a source of ridicule on the beach for the remainder of the weekend.

It’s fine. It’s not attractive, but it’s fine.

You enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal and eat it while you watch the sunset.

Goodbye, sun
What's better than that? Seriously.
I'm running out of "clever" sunset captions... Sorry.

You are happy.

Good friends = good times

You are also tired, so you go to bed at a reasonable hour.

You sleep in! On Saturday morning I slept until 8 am, and Sunday I didn’t wake up until 9. I don’t remember that last time that happened. I’m typically a weekend alarm-setter, so this was pretty spectacular. Both days I woke up feeling rested.

You run. Ah yes. Just because you’re on a mini vacation doesn’t mean your training plan goes out the window. I ran four miles on Saturday morning and four miles on Sunday morning. Running on the boardwalks through town = fun. Running on the sand = miserable calf torture.

Kudos to anyone who sand-runs regularly. That is tough.

Was I happy about running on sand, which no one warned me about? Not at all.

"My calves hurt. Ouch. I'm a wimp."

“The pavement will turn into a dirt road,” everyone said. Dirt road and beach are not the same thing.

The gravel I didn't mind so much.

The weather was perfect for running, and I loved that I didn’t have to be out super early. The breeze from the ocean and the bay kept the air cool.

Oh but don’t think I didn’t sweat my face off. I did.

Sweaty. Nom nom nom.

It was so nice starting off each day with a relaxing run. It was a great way to see the island.

The lighthouse
Gorgeous, right?

You take as many outdoor showers as possible. This is my favorite Fire Island activity. If you’ve never taken an outdoor shower, you absolutely must. It’s life-changing.

You nap as much as possible. I kid you not, every single time I laid down somewhere — whether it was in a chair, on the beach or on a couch — I fell asleep. I took about 8 little naps over the course of 2.5 days.

Trashy magazines + lounge chair = asleep within minutes
Toes in the sand = time for another nap

You eat lots of fresh, healthy food because it’s the only thing your body craves.

Turkey, hummus & cucumber sandwich and baby carrots. Perfect.

(How cute is that plate?)

Tomato, mozzarella, basil, balsamic, awesome.

Your body also craves wine, so you have that, too.

You try to think of ways you can live on the beach permanently.

I would like this to be the backdrop to my life.

You come up with no viable solutions that will pay the bills. Tragic.

Love this.

You notice that boys with tans who know how to do things like lifeguard, drive boats, throw frisbees and man a grill are excellent specimens.

You play with puppies.

Lauren's dog, Finn

You watch the puppies get frisky, and you want to look away to give them privacy, but you just can’t divert your eyes.

Dirty dogs.

Eventually you reluctantly leave Fire Island. But you get to take a speedboat off the island, so that’s kind of awesome.

You get back to NYC and flat-out refuse to return to normalcy.

Hello, skyline. I love you.

True story.

It’s a good thing today is a cross training day, which meant I didn’t have to be up early. I set my alarm for 6 am and didn’t actually get up and get moving until 7. Oops.

You are too lazy to put together a cute outfit because you still haven’t unpacked and you don’t really care. You just want to be on the beach.

Boooooring. Solid effort, Ali.

You try desperately to cling to that last bit of relaxation you felt all weekend as your email inbox fills up and you realize how much work you have to do.

Worth it? Absolutely.

YOUR TURN TO SHARE: Since I was M.I.A. all weekend, fill me in. What was the best thing you did this weekend?



0 Responses

  1. What a great weekend! I love the beach! Every weekend I wonder how I can live closer to the beach or on a boat. I would love to live on a boat. Maybe I can be a boat Captain. hmmm

  2. So jealous of your fab trip! Fire Island looks beautiful. It’s always nice to get away even if it’s just for a quick weekend.

    This weekend, I did a zumbathon on Saturday and my second ever 5K on Sunday. I beat my previous time and I think I’m hooked on 5K’s. Never thought I’d say that!

  3. What an awesome trip!! I love perfect weekends like that, and completely staying off of email/twitter/blogging can be the most refreshing thing ever. I think we all need a break from technology once in a while! And I love that you took naps, ate good food and just enjoyed the beach…I’m sure that was much needed! And don’t worry about not feeling great on a run, sometimes that just means you needed a bit of rest, and I bet this week you will feel fresh and ready to go! Love all the pictures, Ali!

  4. This vacation looks absolutely splendid… I’m a tad jealous. I’m couped in the A/C after running a short one in 95 degrees.

    Over the weekend my friend from Boston was in town and we just hung out, it was wonderful!

  5. LOVE your weekend! Looks like it was JUST what you needed. I did lots of disconnecting this weekend too, to celebrate my 7 yr wedding anniversary. We even went on a picnic! it was perfect 🙂

  6. Puggle! That made my day. I need a beach weekend (or a girls’ weekend in NYC?!) to break out of the routine and just enjoy myself. I love that you really unplugged and savored a great weekend. I hope you have a great week!

  7. super jealous of your weekend. I’ve never been to Fire Island but have always wanted to visit. So gorgeous. I laid out in the park (aka the poor man’s beach). It was not nearly as scenic but it was fun 🙂

  8. This post seriously made me want to move to an island right now! It sounds like you had a wonderfully relaxing weekend! I feel you on the running on the sand–I tried doing that during my vacation in April and it was ROUGH. Way harder than I imagined.

  9. Wow, what a great weekend. And puggles are the best!!

    I coached my Team Challenge team at the Virginia Wine Country half marathon on Saturday. It was beautiful and SO rewarding!!

  10. Had a super successful garage sale fundraiser! Ate some excellent oatmeal and ran my first long run of 12 miles!

    Your weekend looks beyond awesome. Glad you had fun!

  11. Awww I’ve been to Fire Island once before. It was a blast! I think I was on a different part of the island. I like your area better. How cute are those wagons? Yep running on sand is pure torture. I can handle it for maybe like 5 minutes! Welcome back to the city – it will be hot sticky and gross in approximately 2 days :-).

    I ran in the GOTR 5k. It was soooo much fun! I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I ended up having. It was truly a memorable experience, and I hope to continue my involvement in the organization next year!

  12. Fire island seems like an awesome time! I love the wagons that you load your stuff onto when you arrive. Too cute!

    Relaxing beach vacations.. weekends.. mini vacations.. are definitely THE BEST!

    Glad you had a relaxing weekend.. I am SUPER jealous..
    And still think your outfit is adorable!

  13. And yet your outfit is still better than anything I wear when I try my hardest.

    My weekend was awesome too, though not as awesome as yours. The best thing I did? Hmmmm… Just hanging out with Andy really.

    1. Dori!

      I volunteered at the NYRR number pickup for the Celebrate Israel race, and your friend Andy walks up and says “Manela?”

      And I say, “First name?”
      Andy says, “Dori?”
      I blurt, “DORI MANELA? I don’t know her but we’ve emailed before and uh, here’s her bib! And uh, yeah!”
      Andy says, “…okay.”

      True story. First Coach Cane, now Andy. I feel like I’m meeting people from all around the little blogosphere!

      Best thing this weekend: personal best @ Celebrate Israel run (8:13/mile) … but better than that was lying out in the park immediately afterwards, sweat and all.

      Happy Monday!

      1. AH it was you!!!!

        Andy told me about it and I have been going CRAZY wondering who it could have been and if I would ever find out! I was so mad at him for not asking your name! He was really, really tired from a 6 mile walk around the park and said he was too tired to be friendly or think to ask things. I am so glad you told me!! I am also sad I didn’t go myself so I could have met you!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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