Liebster from Boston

Okay, so I’m not exactly in Boston yet, but I will be as of 10pm tonight. I have the craziest weekend planned and I can’t wait to report back on everything. Lots of blog things, blog meet ups, family time, interviews, and obviously food and workout classes. Basically all of my favorite things in my favorite city all rolled into 4 days.

Since I’m drowning in packing, lab reports, Tight Club with November Project, and getting my life together before I leave for a few days, I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer some questions from one of my new(ish) favorite bloggers, Will Run For Boston! I can’t wait to hang out with Lauren on Saturday and then watch her kill it in the marathon on Monday. Everyone should send her good luck!

  1. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV/in person? Gymnastics or swimming. I know swimming is the most boring sport ever to those who don’t have a history with it, but for someone like me who grew up with it as my primary identity for 15 years, I love it. And everyone loves gymnastics, so that’s a cop out answer. I could also say lacrosse, but I only like watching people I know, like my brother or my friends. Yesterday I went to the game that was dedicated to the player who died this week at my school and I teared up when they scored the first goal. It was such an uplifting game and they won 14-5.
  2. 1902059_10152772825337786_7902566882102684193_nPancakes, waffles or french toast? PANCAKES. And waffles. And french toast. But mostly pancakes if I’m at a restaurant or my dad is making them (aka the only two times I ever eat them). I’m way too lazy to make them on my own, but now I’m thinking that I know what I’ll be having for breakfast at least one day while I’m home…47649_455545437841520_1928547120_n
  3. Do you have any interesting nicknames? Not really. I’m kind of boring. You can only make so many nicknames out of “Sarah” although some of my friends from track used to call me “SarPar” because our school usernames combine the first three letters of your first and last name.
  4. What is your biggest running related goal? I want to finish a marathon someday. I want to run Boston someday. I will run Boston someday. But first, I need to get/stay healthy, which is my primary focus right now. You can’t make it to the starting line if you’re injured.10250127_10202002417085105_5870418284134751785_n
  5. Do you run before or after work? I prefer running in the mornings. By the time I get home from school/work, I’m either starving or exhausted, usually both. I like to start my day doing something I love.
  6. What was your high school mascot? Blue Hawks, about as cliche as it gets.197960_1004745882021_1989_n
  7. Have you ever lived in another country? I lived in Denmark a couple summers ago during my study abroad. I loved everything about that city, especially how active it was, and I wish it wasn’t so far away or else I’d live there. I was hoping to make it back this summer on my family’s trip to Europe but apparently it’s too far from Barcelona and Paris.525069_3435728015055_177511916_n
  8. How many alarms do you set in the morning? One. I’m a morning person. Once I’m up, I’m up. It hasn’t failed me yet…
  9. What are your top three pet peeves? My most recent one is when I’m having a conversation and people are on their cell phones. I’m hanging out with you for a reason. The second would probably be dishonesty. I tell it like it is, that’s how I am. Lastly, when people who are on their phones 24/7 don’t text you back. Don’t even try to pretend you “just saw the message.” I know how you are. Clearly communication is on my mind at the moment.
  10. How do you feel about the new “Girl Meets World” show? This just reminded me that I need to go watch the trailer for it so I can see what it’s going to be like!

I’m not going to nominate people because I don’t play by the rules of blogging, but go ahead and fill it out yourself or answer a question or four below! The next time we chat, I’ll be in New England :)

So many thoughts

This week has been all over the place in terms of thoughts, emotions, and the like. Thursday is the perfect day for Thinking out Loud because by then I have so much built up in my head, I just need to spew it all out in numbered form. I also have some blogging business to take care of (whatever that means). So once again, let’s thank Amanda for this one!

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1) Your comments yesterday blew me away. It’s strange not knowing someone personally yet still feeling that connection. I guess it’s part of going to a tiny school, or just being a human. It was hard to shake the emptiness for a few days and classes were much quieter than usual with everyone mourning the loss. Hard for anyone to deal with.

2) I met up with a former swim captain for lunch on Monday to talk about post-grad life. She happens to be in a position right now similar to what I’m gravitating towards and I wanted to chat with her about whether or not she felt like it was the right career move for her. It was really helpful to hear her opinions and try to sort everything out. I feel like everyone has a different opinion about what I should be doing, but she helped reiterate that in the end, it’s about what is going to make me happy.

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and apparently looked like a bumblebee while doing it

3) On the topic of careers, I’ve reached out to a few people in the blog world and I’m overwhelmed with how helpful they have been. CaitlinJonathon, and Caroline have been especially supportive. I never imagined that starting a blog would lead me to this many people who can help me figure out what I want to do and how to do it, but it truly has. That being said, if you know of anyone in sports/fitness marketing positions in the Boston area, please let me know so I can grill you for more information ;)

4) November Project love. Always. I wrote a blog post for them that will be up soon and I’ll be sure to share it. It’s seriously one of my new favorite things about Baltimore. I’m not ready to say goodbye, so I’m going to make the most of my last 5 weeks with them.

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5) This happened the other day. Yep, no shame. Rumor has it Mizuno is going back to the design of the last model of the inspire, so I have about 8 months until I will be able to buy them again. I’m about 80% sure the inspire 10 contributed to a lot of my calf injury, and I enjoyed the elixirs (which are now discontinued), so I found a pair online to avoid having to switch brands entirely.

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they’re so pretty!

6) I was given the chance to try Altra zero drop shoes through my ambassadorship with Zooma but I have not run in them. In full disclosure, I don’t think I will only because of my injury history. Despite how comfortable they were when I put them on, I could tell immediately that my calves would hate me afterwards. I’m not willing to put myself through another 3 months without running (which is going well, by the way!). So if any of you have tried them, let me know if you like them!

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7) It is not too late to come and run with me in Boston June 6-8! Since the marathon is right around the corner, I thought it would be a good opportunity to remind you all that the Heartbreak Hill Runner’s World Festival is coming up soon and it is going to be an absolute blast. Bart Yasso and Shalane Flanagan will be there if that’s any motivation for you. There are a bunch of other (way bigger) bloggers going with me and I can’t wait to meet everyone! Plus, I’ve never run back to back races (5k and 10k), and a half marathon the same weekend as other races. Given that I’m just starting to run again, I’ll need all the support I can get. The more running buddies I have the better :)

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You can use the following codes to get 10% off your entry:

5k & 10k: blogpickyrunner5&10

Half marathon: blogpickyrunnerHalf

All three races: blogpickyrunnerHat

8) This week has been kind of relaxing after the chaos of the last few. I was in bed before 10pm every night, only worked one night, and didn’t have any homework after Sunday (besides studying for marketing which I didn’t start until last night… oops). But the next few weeks will be chaotic working 4-5 days a week again. I swear I’m not insane. I just want to make the most of my last month at the store. I literally almost started crying thinking about it last weekend and I’m not an emotional person at all.

9) I can’t believe I’ll be sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night. Is it weird that I consider home my own bed, but not my apartment at school? Just one more day of classes, Tight Club, happy hour, and one-hour flight stands between me and being home for 4 whole days. I plan on going to my favorite ice cream place at least 3 of those days. It just opened for the season and I need some chocolate marshmallow back in my life again.

Are you running Heartbreak Hill Boston with me in June?

Has blogging done things for you that you didn’t expect?

Life is Short

Over the weekend, a lacrosse player from my school was hit by a car. He died on Monday afternoon. I go to a very small school (1,500 students). An event like this hits every single individual personally.

While I did not know him personally, many of my friends did. I’m close with both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. My friends were in his classes. I have been in the weight room with him. I’ve walked by him on the way to class. I’ve been at the lacrosse parties. Even though I may have never interacted with him on an individual level, the impact of the email from my school’s president hit me deep in the core.

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Being in class with people who were directly affected by this student’s death was a sobering experience. I don’t consider myself to be highly emotional, but hearing what happened caused me to tear up on more than one occasion. It also made me want to be with my family even more than I already do. Life is too short to not be surrounded by the people you love.

And although I didn’t post about it yesterday, Boston was of course on my mind. I had planned to be at the marathon this year before the events of last year happened. I’m thankful I was in Missouri last year and unable to go (I was originally going to) because I can’t imagine what that would have done to my parents. The fact that someone decided to place those two backpacks at the finish line last night sickens me. This year is the year for Boston and runners alike to show everyone how resilient they are. For people to try and take that away for the second year in a row, most likely as a sick joke, makes me angry.

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Boston is my city. I may not have grown up in the center of it, but it feels like home. It has that effect on so many people, whether they are originally from there or not. What happened last year at the marathon is significant, but what is more significant is the way Boston bounced back. Everyone near and far formed a special bond to make Boston a place that people could feel safe again, and the outcry of support is unparalleled.

This week was an emotional one for so many people. Events like these are devastating. Events like these bring people together. Events like these make us stronger. But more than anything, events like these are further reminders that life is too short and that we all need to tell friends and family that we love them, hold them close, and cherish every moment we do have. Because you never know when something could happen.

Sole of the City 10k Recap

Another race, another recap. It’s weird to suddenly be back writing almost weekly race recaps again. I have another race in two weeks, and possibly a half a couple weeks after that if I’m feeling ready for it. I’m taking things day by day, week by week to make sure none of my calf problems come back. But that probably deserves its own post.

As I mentioned yesterday, I ran this race for the running store I work at. I had been signed up for months and was praying to the high heavens that my leg would be healed by then. Luckily, it was and I was able to run.

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I picked up my race packet at work on Thursday before the race and chatted with my favorite person on the events team. I noticed that my packet had a smiley face on it and I thought he had drawn it on there since we have become friends over discussing injuries/races. Then I went to “brag” about it to my friend and it turned out that every employee got a smiley to distinguish them from the other 4,000 entries. I guess I’m not as special as I thought.

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race premium- under armour quarter zip

race premium- under armour quarter zip

Fast forward to Friday night at tight club with Christine and November project. We did a short run with some stairs thrown in for good measure. It wasn’t enough to fatigue me, but I think I’m better off laying low the day before a race. Christine and I had dinner at Wegmans, and as I said yesterday, I definitely didn’t eat well for the night before a race. I went to bed feeling pretty full of pizza and sugar. I’ve never been one to notice an effect on how I feel based on what I eat, but this time I did. I know I perform better when I’ve eaten protein such as steak or chicken with pasta the night before. It’s basic nutrition. Do I regret it? Not at all. Whoopie pies are delicious.

I mean really, who would pass this up?

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I woke up still feeling pretty under the weather from terrible allergies, a heavy meal the night before, and about 6 hours of sleep. I didn’t eat anything because I wasn’t hungry and I rarely fuel before running because I get cramps. I got to the race at 7:15 for the 9am start because they made it sound like parking would be terrible. I got there and there was hardly anyone there other than the people I work with. I chatted with the managers, texted my mom, and walked around for awhile until it was almost time to start. Looking back, I should not have been on my feet for 2 hours. I should have found a place to sit down and let my legs rest.

This is my new favorite picture

This is my new favorite picture. I love my job I love my job I love my job.

Right before 9, I found some people from November Project, took a picture, and headed to the starting line. They kept me laughing until the gun went off. My first mile was a 6:59, too fast. It felt more like a 7:45 mile- I felt sluggish, tired, and all around terrible. Mile two was also fast (7:15). I was hoping I would shake the tired feeling but it kept getting worse. I caught up with Lauren around this time for about two seconds before I could no longer maintain that pace.

This was actually from after the race but you get the point

This was actually from after the race but you get the point

Mile 3 was 7:45- probably where I should have been for the first two miles as well. I knew the second half would be a struggle- and it was. What I didn’t know was that the rest of the run was a steady uphill climb. It was also incredibly hot and my legs felt like lead. I don’t remember my mile splits for 4-6 but they were definitely in the mid to upper 8-minute range with the water stops.

From the hot chocolate race which I felt much better for

From the hot chocolate race which I felt much better for

I finished right around 50 minutes (8 minute pace) and have never been so happy for a run to be over. Even though it was nowhere near a PR (43:00 track, 45ish for road), I felt like I worked hard. I have never felt so nauseous and dizzy after a race before and I had to sit down because I was legitimately concerned I would pass out. I think it had a lot to do with the warm weather that I haven’t adjusted to yet.

I realize I’m just coming back from an injury, I’ve barely run in the last 4 months, and I didn’t prepare well for this race with food, sleep, or rest. I wasn’t expecting to PR and I didn’t. I ran because I love my job at the running store, they put on some of the best races, and I love to run. That’s it. I’m not upset about my time, I don’t regret running the race, and I finished pain-free in my calf. That’s more important than any PR.

Now I have two weeks to get back into a semi-decent running schedule before my next race- a 5k for PlowOn Gum where I will hopefully run a more consistent race.

What is typically your primary goal for a race?

Hello Sunshine

I love this weather. I will say that a thousand times. I feel like I haven’t seen the light of day in months and all of a sudden spring is here in full force. I love it. It means summer and (maybe) #boatlife is just around the corner. And graduation and Europe and summer races and paddleboarding and adventures with Carrie and Kaitlin and a million other things. I’ll stop now.

It was a busy weekend but a marvelous one.

Thursday I got another massage. It was painful but I also could tell how much progress my calves have made since my first appointment. She really knows everything there is to know about running and injuries, and she has been a great resource for me as an athlete in general.

She always tapes me up at the end

She always tapes me up at the end

Thursday night I booked it downtown to Lululemon where I walked out with these shorts that I’m in love with. It pays to talk to people you don’t know. They could be the manager at a store that you couldn’t otherwise afford to shop at and have the power to comp you with clothes.

These are the most comfortable shorts I've ever worn

most comfortable shorts I’ve ever worn

Sadly, that was the end of the fun for Thursday and I spent the next 5 hours in the library studying with classmates until midnight. The exam Friday was pretty terrible, but it’s over. We got to celebrate with GIG afterwards (basically a giant college field day), which I didn’t partake in because I had an appointment at the Apple store. I did get some free food before I left though. Apparently I was feeling yellow foods for lunch…

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corn bread, “crack and cheese” and corn on the cob. yum.

Friday night I went to Tight Club at lululemon with some November Project friends and Christine. It’s quickly becoming my new favorite way to kick off the weekend. We only do about 2.5 miles but it’s a beautiful course along the harbor and I have gotten to know so many people through it.

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Christine and I decided to go to Wegmans for dinner and I ate probably the worst combination of foods for the night before a race. I literally had to roll myself home after the pizza, green beans, bulk bin candy, and whoopie pies. My meal legit cost me $18. YOLO.

I mean really, who would pass this up?

I mean really, who would pass this up?

I ran Sole of the City (10K) for the store I work at Saturday morning which did not go as well as I had hoped but it wasn’t terrible (recap tomorrow) and then headed straight to work until 7. It was a long day but a fun one since we all know how much I love that job by now…

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this high-five with my coworker pretty much sums up how I feel about Charm City

Sunday after a killer spin class at Rev was Play Day, which my friend and I organized with SAAC for student-athletes on campus. It was fun to hang out with everyone outside, enjoy the warm temperatures, and play sports with kids from the community. It’s rare that we have opportunities to do things like that on campus, so I’m glad we did.

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Oh, and then I was back with my November Project friends Sunday night for a coloring/hangout session at The Wharf Rat downtown. It was nice to see each other in something other than sweaty workout clothes for a change and talk to people I didn’t really know before (Lauren doesn’t count since we hang out all the time these days).

I take my coloring seriously.

I take my coloring seriously.

Another busy week of Girls on the Run, work, lab reports and an exam, but in 4 days I’ll be heading home, so this week will hopefully fly by. Plus, it’s finally warm enough to have my sunroof open in my car. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Did you spend much time outside this weekend?

I probably spent 8 hours outside Friday, 4 hours Saturday, and 8 hours Sunday. Love.

Did anyone else race this weekend?

A Different Direction

This has been a weird week for me. Well, not really. It’s been pretty normal, schedule-wise. I worked a bunch, I sweat a little, I studied until my eyeballs fell out, and I went about my daily routines. Today is the thermo exam which my classmates and I studied our asses off for all week. But I don’t want to think about that. It’s Friday, and we have a half day so we can celebrate GIG, Get Into Goucher Day, where people basically start day-drinking at 8am (except people like me who choose not to drink and those who have exams in the morning) and celebrate spring with blow up obstacle courses, live bands, and free food.

GIG two years ago it was 80 degrees.

GIG two years ago it was 80 degrees.

I rarely, if ever, talk about relationships and related topics. But I’m going to make an exception for myself today. My blog, my rules. A year ago today I was boarding a plane to see someone I once cared about a lot. This person was my best friend before he transferred schools. We were inseparable. We kept in touch for a year without seeing each other until I finally went to visit for his fraternity formal. I had an amazing weekend and it made saying goodbye again harder, although I had hoped the time until the next visit would be shorter.

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I cried the entire way home. No joke.

If you had guessed things fell apart in the fall after I wrote a series of vague posts, you would be correct. No, there was never an “official” relationship but it was really hard on me. It messed with my eating, my emotions, and honestly, my heart (I’ve never said that). I was devastated and I spent more than my fair share of nights crying in my friend’s room before we went out to the bars. I eventually cut ties completely and have not had any contact since. It was too hard to stay “friends” as we grew more and more distant. While it probably wasn’t the most mature thing to do, it’s what I needed to do at the time. I honestly have moved on, but this week brought back some of the emotions I had pushed aside.

Why am I bringing this up? Because sometimes, things don’t go as planned.

-A year ago, if you had told me I was going to be going on six months without talking to someone I deeply cared about, I would have rolled my eyes.

-A few years ago, I never would have thought I’d be hanging up my swimsuit forever after a career-ending knee surgery and suddenly fall in love with running.

the race of my life. Breaking 25.5 in the 50 free

the race of my life. 50 freestyle finals breaking 25.5

-Six months ago, I never would have seen myself quitting track, a sport I had grown to love.

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My first 10k

-Five years ago, I never would have guessed I’d be at school so far from home.

-Two years ago, I never would have guessed I’d be a blogger creating so many opportunities for myself, meeting so many people, and really, just enjoying writing for the entire internet.

These two girls are some of my best friends

These two girls are some of my closest friends now

-Three months ago, if you had told me I would have “moved on,” I wouldn’t have believed it possible. But I did. I branched out, met new people (none of which worked out), and really grew from it all.

-Six months ago, I never would have imagined I’d have to sit out of running for another three months due to injury. But in the meantime I was able to repair my relationships with food and exercise.

It feels like I was just coming back from injuries to run this race before i got injured again

Still so proud of this race

-A year ago, I never would have expected to love a job as much as I do. I’m in my element though and it has opened my eyes to so many more possibilities I never would have seen for myself otherwise. Somehow, it just clicked. I found what I’m passionate about and that’s the whole point of college, regardless of what I majored in.

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Three months ago, I never would have expected to have made so many friends out of November Project. It’s incredible that just as I’m getting ready to leave Baltimore, I feel like I’ve found a group I really fit in with.

I really like these people

I really like these people

Clearly, my life has gone in many directions, but a lot can change overtime and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that life never goes the way you plan it. Sometimes the best things in life are the most unexpected.

This weekend, I’m staying busy running a 10k for the store, working lots of hours, eating tons of summery food aka ice cream, putting on a “Play Day” for kids, and spending time with the people who are still a part of my life. Because life’s too short to dwell on the past, even if I might be tempted to at times (Like this week. It sucked so I wrote this post to remind myself that life can change for the better even if it doesn’t seem like it at first).

How has life gone differently than you expected it to?

One week

I’m pretty sure Thursdays are my least favorite day of the week, but my favorite day for blogging. I love thinking out loud because I literally just spew random thoughts, especially since I usually don’t have time to sit down and write a thought-provoking post by the end of the week. This week has been nowhere near as exhausting as some of my more recent ones but still way busier than I expected. I kind of missed my extra nights at the store, but it was nice to have time to go grocery shopping and sleep for more than 5-6 hours a night (so far that one hasn’t happened…).

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1) One week from tomorrow until I’m home. Crazy how fast the month between spring break and Easter flew by. Excited is an understatement to how I feel about this. Interview(s?), Boston Marathon, Easter, family time, maybe even skiing… I need this.

2) This year is flying by. I mean, April? Really? It feels like I was just home for winter break celebrating the new year. It’s hard to believe I’ll be home for good in a month and a half. I can’t process it. It doesn’t feel like real life. I’m graduating? That’s impossible.

3) Another good lesson at Girls on the Run this week. We talked about using our words to express our feelings when we’re upset. Something even adults can benefit from. There were a few tears involved but the girls were using their words, so you can’t blame them for that. I’m lucky I am coaching at a private school because we get to use the indoor track when it’s cold and rainy instead of freezing our butts off outside. The little things.

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4) I have allergies for the first time in my life. I don’t know what to do with myself. I literally have the worst headaches and can barely breathe out of my nose. I don’t know how people live with these things… it’s miserable. Plus, because the weather is so nice, all I want to do is be outside which makes everything even worse.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 7.49.24 PM5) I ran into everything on Tuesday. Benches, doors, walls, chairs, people… If it was in front of me, I definitely hit it. I noticed how bad it was Wednesday when my knee brushed up against something. All I have to say is OW.

6) Today *might* be the day I replace my mizunos. Heather already called me out on this Tuesday night. Girl knows me way too well. I can’t think of a brand I’d rather wear, but at this point I don’t have much choice since I can only wear my old ones for so long until I develop a new injury. And I’m not willing to let that happen. I don’t want to give up on mizuno yet though.

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7) I kind of love November Project. Like too much. Yesterday morning was a killer, my legs and butt are still sore, and tomorrow we have our weekly run at Lululemon followed by a happy hour. It’s just a fun group of people to spend time with. I’m going to miss them when I’m gone.

can you spot me and my flying ponytail?

can you spot me and my flying ponytail?

8) Massage day today. I’ll be crying tomorrow but it will be worth it for some knot-free calves during my 10k this weekend. Plus I get to sleep in a little bit longer since I can’t go to my marketing class.

9) I walked to the Apple store yesterday during my lunch break because why not when it’s 65 degrees and sunny. I’m on my FOURTH macbook charger. The wires keep fraying and then I have to work some bendy magic to make them suddenly work again. I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up either a) electrocuting myself or b) lighting the house on fire. So I did the responsible thing and shelled out $80 for another one. I’m going to treat this thing like it’s my baby.

at least it was nice out

at least it was nice out

10) The giveaway winner for the Spartan races is….Hannah! I already emailed her the information necessary to register for the race of her choice, but I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging waiting to find out. Although if you’re like me, you probably forget which giveaways you enter anyways and only think about it when you get an email saying you won.

What’s your favorite day of the week for blogging?

What’s your favorite day of the week in general?

Have you ever experienced springtime allergies?

You’re Awfully Smiley Lately

“You’re awfully smiley lately.”

That is what my chemistry advisor said to me me in the hallway as I was walking to class earlier this week. It caught me completely off guard, and then I realized she’s absolutely right. I am and I have every reason to be.

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-In 6 weeks, I’m graduating from college and moving “home” (I say that in quotes because I don’t know if home will be New Hampshire, Boston, or Rhode Island). That is a privilege, not a right.

-I have a job that I adore with coworkers I can laugh with. I’ve never had that experience before. I loved lifeguarding at the beach last summer, but even that got old sitting in a chair for 8 hours. This is an entirely new experience for me working in retail, and one that I loved from the moment I walked in the door.

-I have friends that are there no matter what, even when I get flat tires on the side of the road at 11pm, even when I call them because I’m upset about something from my past, even when I have no time to actually make plans with them. They’re still my friends despite all of it.

-I have a family who loves me and will support me no matter what. This job search is not easy and it is becoming frustrating, but when I ask my parents to look over my cover letter at 11pm, I have an email filled with edits and constructive criticism in my inbox at 6am.

-I’m finally running again. After four frustrating months of calf pain, I’ve successfully completed multiple runs with no pain. It’s as if the race on Sunday somehow shifted the knot. It isn’t gone, but it isn’t hitting me directly on the tendon that was causing the pain. I’m just so happy to be able to enjoy spring runs again.

-I’m going home in just over a week. This semester has been incredibly stressful thanks to thermodynamics and I’m lucky that my parents let me fly home when I need to or want to (within reason). I need this 4 day weekend more than ever, both for jobs and for my sanity.

-The weather is turning around. I know I’m not the only one that felt worn down after the winter we’ve had. The constant snow and rain really started to get to me. This week is supposed to be gorgeous and I plan on spending as much time as possible outside, both walking to school and squeezing in a run or two.

 

We all deserve a reason to smile. Find yours.

What’s your reason for smiling lately?

Hot Chocolate 15k Recap

So since I gave you the little teaser yesterday, here’s the long version of my experience with the Hot Chocolate 15K Philadelphia:

I arrive in Philly late for milkshakes. I’m not sure it’s the best idea to drink liquid sugar at 11pm the night before a race, but oh well. We went to bed around midnight, but due to being in a noisy dorm, I spent almost as much time awake as I did asleep until 3am. Our alarm went off at 5:45am and we drove into Philly.

Official race shirt and bib

Official race shirt and bib

Parking wasn’t bad at all and we were out of the car by 6:45. We had to walk about a mile, but it was a good warmup. Plus, the temperatures were freezing and I immediately began to regret my outfit choice, so it was better to keep moving. We watched the first 5k runners go off at 7:15 and stood around shivering until the 15k began at 8:00. I was very impressed by the organization of this race. The porta potty lines were fast, the gear check was easy, and every corral started exactly on time.

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We found Lauren and hung out with her for awhile before the race started. We didn’t talk about anything except how cold we were and how much we were regretting our outfit choices. We were supposed to be in the same corral but I decided I was going to run with my friend to prevent hurting myself trying to actually race. Smart move.

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By the time the race began, I literally couldn’t feel my fingers other than a burning numb sensation. I was legitimately concerned about getting frostbite. I wish I had packed gloves or throwaway clothes with me, but something tells me my new lulu scuba hoodie is not an article of clothing I should part with willingly. My friend and I took a pre-race selfie to kick off her first race longer than a 5k and her longest run ever (previously 7 miles). Then we were off at exactly 8:06, due to being in the 3rd corral.

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We ran the first mile in 7:34. I was shocked (and numb). It really felt like we were holding back a lot, but I guess that’s because I’m used to going out in around 6 minutes. I began to regain feeling in my hands and body around mile 3. We settled in at a comfortable 8:05-8:15 pace where we stayed for most of the run. This pace felt much slower than that and I was surprised at how easy it felt after not running for so long.

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The entire course was right along the water which I really appreciated. It was an out and back course, which I usually hate, but this one wasn’t bad because the views were so pretty. We got to watch some rowing event for a bunch of colleges in the area. I was very impressed by the course and how spread out it was. The mile markers were also spot on.

I started to get a little hungry around mile 5, which was perfect because they handed out chocolate at the water stop. I took one and asked my friend if I could spit it out. Direct quote, I said, “This stuff tastes like plastic. I want to spit it out but I feel like people will judge me and then I’ll feel bad.” I sucked it up and swallowed it but I wouldn’t recommend the chocolate along the course for anyone running this race in the future. It did satisfy my hunger though.

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We never really hit a wall. My calves felt awesome, I wasn’t particularly tired, and I was amazed that my friend was hanging on. I didn’t know what she was capable of doing (neither did she) and thought we would be averaging around 8:45-9 minute miles. Instead, she actually asked if we could pick it up for the last couple of miles. If she hadn’t been with me, I would have probably stopped and walked because I did start to get tired around mile 7.5, but it was nice to have someone there that was counting on me to push them. Mile 9 was a 7:32 and the extra 0.4 that we ran was sub-7.

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We crossed the finish in 1:15, to average a 7:59 pace. Shocked is an understatement. That isn’t far from my most recent half marathon paces, so I’m ecstatic. Even more ecstatic about the lack of calf pain.

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We immediately took some pictures with our bowls of chocolate. As a hot chocolate connoisseur, I can tell you that the hot chocolate far exceeded my expectations. The only thing I would have changed with the bowls of chocolate is more marshmallows. I only got one and it’s the only thing I liked in my bowl, but I get that it’s hard to cater to one picky eater out of 15,000 runners, so I’ll let it slide ;)

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inside our chocolate bowl: banana, marshmallow, hot chocolate, dipping chocolate, pretzels, graham crackers, and a wipe for your chocolate-covered face

inside our bowl: banana, marshmallow, hot chocolate, dipping chocolate, pretzels, graham crackers, and a wipe for your face

After the race, we met up with Lauren again, grabbed our sweatshirts (I started to freeze once the sweat started to dry… I’m classy), and waited for my friend’s classmate to finish before we went off in search of food. All in all, a race I am very happy with, albeit incredibly sore, and I’m even more excited about the possibilities for my race this coming weekend.

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“stretching” aka admiring my watermelon legs

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Long story short: It was worth running for the chocolate. I would absolutely do it again. In every city. I will never pass up a chance to run for chocolate. Literally.

Have you ever done a theme race?

Philly Adventures

What. A. Weekend.

I swear, I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t moving a mile a minute. Every time I say I can’t do something, I add another thing to my plate. I love it. I thrive off of it. I also completely crash after. But that’s okay, because at the time, it’s pretty marvelous.

Another good one

Another good one…TUT doesn’t disappoint

Weekends are just as busy as during the school week these days. I’m either working at the store both days, or I’m working one day and away the next. This weekend, I worked all day Saturday then hopped in the car and drove to Philly to visit one of my best friends.

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It was even nice enough to walk to school in shorts. Signs of a happy Friday

Obviously the store was crazy and awesome as usual, had me laughing the entire time, and the hours flew by. I say the same thing every weekend though so I’m going to focus on the rest of the weekend which is more exciting for everyone else. They are starting the final countdown until I leave and that makes me extremely sad. May 20 will be a very sad day.

Friday night I went to Tight Club in Federal Hill with some November Project friends. It was a blast as always and I laughed my way through the short run, and then followed it up with another mile and a half with Lauren for a total of 4 miles (!!!). I got home, laid in bed applying for jobs, packed, and crashed early.

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Fast forward to Saturday night. I arrived in Philly around 9pm (stopped at Chik Fil A on the way- first time I’ve eaten fast food in probably 5 years. Apparently they have decent grilled chicken sandwiches), met up with my friend and we caught up over milkshakes and cookies (carboloading!) at Hope’s before getting some almost no sleep.

They gave me a little extra for my birthday cake cookie dough milkshake

I got ‘a little extra’ for my birthday cake/cookie dough shake

The race was Sunday morning at the crack of dawn, which I’m going to recap tomorrow. I will say it was really hard and I’m proud I was able to finish with no training. Plus, I ended up completely surprising myself and the race went far better than I could have dreamed.

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well-deserved chocolate bowl

Obviously the important part is the food, which we ate plenty of. We ate brunch afterwards at Marathon where I got a bagel and we split the chocolate chip cookie dough pancakes (I know, what is this madness?), then walked around downtown Philly for a couple hours in our gross, sweaty clothes before heading back to Bryn Mawr. Full disclosure: I actually didn’t eat much of the pancakes. I may be able to down bucketloads of hot chocolate in the morning, but I don’t love chocolatey breakfasts. I basically dug for the cookie dough and was happy with a bagel.

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Unfortunately, the magic had to end at some point and I drove back to Baltimore in time for my newspaper editors’ meeting and thermo study group. It’s an exam week so I’m pretty much moving into the library. I’ve always wanted to be the girl that sleeps in the ath (name of our library) and I’m too sore to even attempt to move; now’s my chance…

Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfasts?

Craziest pancake combination you’ve ever had?