Confessions from Baltimore

Hello from Baltimore! It’s hard to believe I’m back in town. I feel like I never left, in some ways. Anyways, it’s time to do some Thinking Out Loud again. I’ve written enough sappy posts to last 10 years. I swear it’s almost out of my system. I’m definitely dealing with bouts of homesickness but I’m staying busy enough that they haven’t been too bad. It’s only hard when I’m communicating with my favorite dock boy via snapchat or texting my mom. Luckily, there’s plenty of familiar faces here to distract me… and sperry stores coming soon.

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1) I made it. I’m officially in Baltimore. I was able to stop for lunch with Hollie on my way which helped break up the trip. We seem to only see each other when one of us is traveling through the other’s town, but that’s kind of the way blog friendships go. It’s nice that no matter where I am, there’s a blogger to visit. We ate at Vincentown Diner- the same one we went to last time. I swear they have the best pita bread I’ve ever had on top of the grilled chicken salad.

2) November Project is my favorite. thing. ever. They have a 5:30 group now that I’ll be joining soon. AND we start Friday workouts soon which will be conveniently right near my new place. I missed these people more than words can describe. I had the best time with old friends and it was awesome seeing so many new faces. Amanda over at Miss Zippy even tried it out! I felt like I was on cloud 9 all morning. Yesterday was Race Day which is a 1500 or a 3000 around a track. I chose the 3000 and finished in 11:44. I’m not sure how accurate the distance is because my PR in college was 11:57 and I’m definitely not in racing shape, but it was still a 30 second improvement over last time. And I had fun, which is what matters.

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The overly tan hand with the green jacket in the middle is me… awkward.

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3) My stomach can’t handle as much fresh produce as I’d like. I really love raw veggies (carrots especially) but sometimes when I eat too many of them it causes my stomach to cramp up so badly. It’s not a problem at night usually but during the day it can be incredibly painful. The only way to make it go away is to eat more carbs… I have no problem with that.

4) I started my job Wednesday morning. The verdict? It’s going to be extremely stressful but I love it. I’m spending this week shadowing various people in the same position as me so I can have a broad overview of what I’ll be doing. My coworkers are awesome, the company is so cool, and I can tell it’s going to be a great place for me to start my career. Plus, my boss keeps the traffic team stocked with cheez its, candy, pretzels, and so many other snacks. It’s meant to be.

5) I’m trying to run a 15k race tomorrow night with November Project for Back on my Feet. I haven’t raced since the Runner’s World Half in June so I’m long overdue. I’m going to do my best to make it after work but if not, I have Charles Street 12 next weekend! I better get out on those hills…

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November Project taking over the world.

6) My first day back in town was perfect. I was kind of teary-eyed the entire way down but the second I stepped foot into the running store I work(ed) at, I felt right at home. I literally bounced out of there so happy. It felt so good to be back on familiar turf- it kind of felt like a continuation of the spring semester. I’m living in my old apartment for the week, had dinner at Stoney River with a friend from school, and followed that up with Coldstone. If there’s ever a time for comfort… it’s moving day.

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7) I got my TATTOO on Monday! My best friend in Rhode Island came with me for the photographic evidence. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I thought it would, only when they got near my Achilles. I kind of love it. It’s very simple and clean… and just very me.

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That smile screams pure agony

8) I surprisingly didn’t cry nearly as much as I thought I would leaving the boat. It was easier saying goodbye in stages- first my parents, then the dock manager,then my favorite dock boy, and finally, Fred. I didn’t cry at all while I was talking to any of them (besides my family). I had a really long heart to heart with Fred after the dock boy and I said our goodbyes on my last night which was the perfect ending to 5 years of boatlife. I miss it so much already, but I’m also really happy here.

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9) Last night I went to the Orioles game! My company does a lot of corporate outings and had club tickets to the game so they let me leave early to go home and change (I’ll usually get out at 7) before I headed back downtown to Camden Yards! I’ve been a few times before but this time I was living large- we had club seats which meant all you can eat and drink…right up my alley icon wink Confessions from Baltimore I’m not usually a big baseball fan but I enjoy going to games and I was able to talk to a few people from the company which was nice. Everyone is so friendly and relatable. I’m pretty sure I was the only one not wearing orange though. Forever a Red Sox fan.

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10) Did I mention how excited I am about my new apartment? The location is perfect. I’m obsessed. I’m picking up my keys Friday or Saturday and meeting one of my roommates Sunday. I absolutely love her already. I can’t wait to run around my new neighborhood- it’s literally right on the water in Canton. As in, they told me I could have my parents dock the boat right outside the front door… tempting…

What’s been going on in your lives?

Did you have a memorable first day at your first job?

Favorite baseball team?

I come from a family of diehard Sox fans so you won’t see me rocking any O’s jerseys anytime soon icon wink Confessions from Baltimore

Running Gear I love

I haven’t talked much about running recently, which is kind of ironic considering I started blogging to talk about running all the time. Sometimes I just get bored talking about it all the time though so I took a break for awhile. Anyways, I always like reading about what other people like to use in terms of running gear because I’m more likely to try something that other people have success with.

So without further ado, here’s the Running Gear I Love:

1) Mizuno Wave Elixir. They discontinued these shoes but because the new Inspires aren’t working for me right now, I’m wearing the Elixirs I originally bought as racing shoes until further notice. I did have a brief stint with the Brooks Pure Cadence which I still love, but I’m a creature of habit and the Elixirs are my current obsession.

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2) Under Armour Get Going shorts.  I used to be a Nike Tempo girl but I can’t tell you how much I love these shorts. I have them in 5 colors. And counting. For someone with larger thighs (thanks, genetics), I have a hard time finding shorts. These are by far the best fitting shorts I’ve ever worn.

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3) Nike Miler Tank. I’m a big fan of singlets. I actually hate shirts with built in sports bras. In the summertime, I only wear singlets (or sports bras if it’s hot enough) and the Nike ones are so comfortable.

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this in honor of the fact that I’m BACK AT NOVEMBER PROJECT THIS MORNING

4) Pro Compression Sleeves/Socks. When I’m just out for a regular run, I wear calf sleeves. For racing I tend to wear the full sock because I’m always worried they’ll slip. Out of all the brands I’ve worn, I like Pro Compression the best. I’m sure there are other brands out there that are good too, but again, I’m a creature of habit and I love pro compression. I am an ambassador for the brand but I wore them long before they started the program and I love them. I do purchase my own sleeves/socks.

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again with the Nike miler singlet

5) Sparkly Soul Bands. I finally found a headband that doesn’t slip at all. I love it. I wear these bands (I have 2) at least a few days a week. They are amazing. I highly recommend them because I have the weirdest shaped head and they are by far the best solution I’ve ever found.

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6) Balega Socks. As I said above, Pro Compression is my sock of choice for racing and I wear the calf sleeves on most of my runs, but the majority of everyday socks in my closet are Balega. I don’t know why this is except that they were the first pair of “running socks” I ever owned. I was introduced to them when I first started working at Charm City Run and I immediately went home and threw out all of my socks and replaced them with Balega. They’re so soft and cushiony- I tell customers that they are life changing because they really are.

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7) Fitletic Belt. I don’t wear this often, but when I need to bring things with me, I wear the belt. This usually only happens at races where there is nobody around to hold my things or there is no gear check. The Fitletic belt is honestly the only belt I’ve ever worn that doesn’t budge when I’m running, and that’s a deal breaker for me. It’s also way less annoying than an arm band.

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8) Champion C9 Sports bras. I’m the first to admit that I can be a bit of a “brand snob” when it comes to my running gear, but sports bras aren’t something I care as much about.  For most people, that is probably backwards logic as usually it’s important to find a good, supportive bra for women. Lucky for me, I don’t need much support so I like these ones. They do the job and they’re super comfortable (and inexpensive!). I have about 10 of them in various colors and I absolutely love them.

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Almost all of my favorite things in one post

9) Garmin Forerunner 10. Again, I rarely wear a watch. The only time I do is if I’m in a new location or if I’m racing. That’s it. I probably wear it once a month tops. I believe in running without a watch because it allows you to focus on how you feel rather than running a specific pace or distance. I don’t run until I’m at 6.00 miles and I don’t make sure I’m hitting 8:00 splits. I just run. That being said, I’ll probably wear my garmin more once I move to Baltimore because I don’t know the neighborhoods as well and I need to map out some new routes.

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10) Road ID. I wear this every day and never take it off. I’m more likely to wear something if I don’t have to put it on every morning. My mom bought my brother and I RoadID’s for Christmas with her phone number on it just in case anything ever happened to us while we were out running/biking/longboarding/whatever-ing. I honestly love it and it was my second favorite Christmas gift this year behind my iPad. That shows you how highly I prioritize this in terms of my running gear.

Screen Shot 2014 07 22 at 5.25.14 PM Running Gear I love11) My water bottle. This comes with me everywhere and I probably drink about 100-120 ounces a day. I just got a new one before I left Rhode Island and I love it! It doesn’t hold as much water as my old one, but it’s a little classier. Carrying a water bottle with me keeps me hydrated at all times. Plus, sometimes I drink water when I’m bored so I’m basically killing two birds with one stone- getting hydrated and killing time.

 Running Gear I love

12) Swedish fish. My managers used to joke that I’m the worst salesperson ever because whenever people would ask what my favorite type of fuel is for long runs, I’d tell them swedish fish. That would be fine, except we don’t sell swedish fish at the store (the owner said he was going to get some though). I don’t see the point in eating fancy gus or shot bloks when the whole point is to get sugar into your body as fast as possible. Candy does the exact same thing, so I might as well eat something I’m going to enjoy.

Let’s take note that I never mentioned any cell phone, headphones or any other technology (except the garmin, which I don’t use very often). I like to keep everything to a minimum when I’m running- it’s the one time that I’m completely unplugged and I prefer to focus on the sport rather than what I’m bringing with me.

I was not compensated to write this post and there are no affiliate links. I’m simply sharing products I use on a daily basis.

What is your go-to running gear?

Do you consider yourself a simple runner or do you like to bring things with you?

Last Weekend of Boatlife

After packing my life up in New Hampshire Tuesday+Wednesday, I returned to Rhode Island to spend my last weekend in New England. Leaving NH didn’t bother me at all. I was itching to go back to the boat. I just feel more at home there in the dockhouse and walking around downtown. I don’t feel like I belong in NH anymore so it was not hard at all to drive away Thursday morning. The minute I crossed the border into RI again, I was back in my element.

This weekend I did everything I wanted to do one last time.

I got my last runs in on the island and took an ice bath in my backyard.

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I visited Fort Wetherill for the last time (this is a recycled picture)

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I worked my last shift at the beach where they surprised me with a cake.

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I ate at Crazy Burger, my favorite restaurant.

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I spent a lot of time with my family. We even went sailing.

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I saw a few of my friends and said my goodbyes.

I ate ice cream multiple nights.

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I went to my last spin class. My spin instructor even told me I should get certified, so I’m seriously considering it.

I ordered my last frozen hot chocolate.

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I spent plenty of hours bothering the dock boys. And gave them the leftover cake because I’m nice.

My mom pulled over on the side of the road to see these lily pads which are extremely rare.

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I watched the sunset and the bridge every night.

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I laughed.

I smiled.

I cried.

I cried a lot which isn’t something I usually do. Saying goodbye to my parents felt so final this time. It’s the last time I’m living under their roof. The next time I come home, I’ll have my own place, I’ll be a Maryland resident, and I’ll only be visiting. It’s not the same as actually living here. I’m officially joining the real world, and that’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. I’m pretty sure I was in tears the entire day Sunday right up until they left at 4pm. It’s a good thing I didn’t want the dock boys to see my crying because I was able to turn it around quickly and used them as a welcome distraction for the rest of the evening.

Today is my last full day on the island before I head to Baltimore tomorrow morning. I have some loose ends to tie up, people to see, and goodbyes to make. It’s going to be really hard getting in the car tomorrow, but at least I’ll be back in a few weeks for Labor Day. I’m going back to my old apartment in Towson for the rest of the week so it will be an easier transition.

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The other side of the island

I promise there will only be one more Rhode Island/Boatlife post and then I’ll be back to talking about running and November Project all the time!

Have you ever made a serious move?

I didn’t want to run

This week was a pretty strange week as far as “training” went because I was(am) in the process of moving.

Mon- Spinning

Tues- Run 7.25 miles + short walk w/ my mom

Wed- Zumba

Thurs- Pure Power + Run 4.5 7.25

I waited around the gym for a few hours and it turns out the class was cancelled for the summer because AJ teaches a special class in the mornings (she’s kind of a local celebrity). I was bummed because I was really looking forward to the class but I had an awesome run around the island instead.

Fri- Spinning + paddle board yoga

Sat- Run 10 + short walk with the fam

Sun-Run? Maybe 6 miles or walking with my parents. I’ll decide when I wake up.

I went to bed Monday night with the intention to go for a long run on Tuesday morning. I figured it was my last opportunity for a long run around the island so I was going to get in some miles (I was planning on 8-10), especially since I have Charles Street 12 coming up soon.

The only problem was, I woke up on Tuesday morning and realized I didn’t want to run. I couldn’t figure out what was going on since I’ve literally woken up every single morning since I moved onto the boat excited about getting in some miles. I’ve never even felt “meh” about it. I’ve been legitimately excited. Every. Single. Day. It has taken a lot of restraint for me to not run on days I go to spinning because I just love running on the island so much.

So for me to wake up and not want to run was very strange. I kind of wanted to run, but I was dreading it at the same time. I knew I’d be sad if I didn’t go, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn’t that I didn’t want to run, it was that I didn’t want to run long.  I don’t particularly love the long run route I had planned and I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.

In the past I would have made myself run according to the plan, but I didn’t want to dread one of my last runs on the island. Running in Jamestown is special to me; it’s the place I started running and realized that mind-body connection that is so critical to our health. I never want to lose that magic, so to speak, by forcing myself to do something I don’t want to do.

I decided that instead of scrapping the run altogether or making myself do a run I wasn’t excited about, I would do the shorter 4.5 mile loop that I absolutely love. The views are unbeatable. All of a sudden, I was excited to head out again. I don’t need to run long because I know I can handle the upcoming 12 mile race I have in a few weeks. The distance isn’t a concern for me so forcing myself to run a route I’m not excited about will only burn me out and make me dread running later on.

Once I was back on the loop, I fell into a groove. I felt good and I wanted to keep going. I ran by my beach and down to Fort Getty with no distance in mind. I don’t usually know how far I’ve run until I come home and map it later on dailymile but I ended up running the perfect distance for me that day. I ended up running a little over 7 miles, a happy medium between the 10 I was hoping for, and the 4.5 I had settled on after I reevaluated my priorities.

Sometimes we just don’t want to run. And that’s okay. It would have been okay if I had taken the day off completely and it would have been okay if I had just run 4.5. It wouldn’t have been okay if I had made myself do the 10 miles when I didn’t want to run them.

I’m really enjoying my last few runs around the island (I have two more, including today), and I can’t wait to come back over Labor Day and run those routes again. Running by feel is becoming my new favorite “training plan.” It’s working for me so I’m going to keep on following it.

Do you ever have days that you just don’t want to run? What do you do?

Practice Makes Permanent

Last year when I was injured I discovered spinning. For those of you who have been reading for awhile, you know that I’m now hooked. I fell in love with it last summer when I took my first class at the YMCA in Newport and once I started going to Rev Cycle in Baltimore (the BEST spin studio in the entire world- the owner was just a runner up for Best of Baltimore as best fitness instructor!), I was literally obsessed. I can’t wait to get back to Rev to suffer through another class with Esther, but until then, I’ve been enjoying going back to my roots with spinning at the YMCA with the instructor who got me started.

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For me, the instructor and the music make or break a group fitness class. I have my favorite instructors and I literally follow them to whatever gym they teach at (true story- I switched gyms when my zumba instructor left). It’s all about the energy and their personalities- if they are too quiet or aren’t vulgar enough or just don’t jive with me, I’m outta there. I wrote about it last year in this post. If the music sucks, I’m bored. I like to listen to a combination of rap/pop/top40 songs and when they start playing oldies or classical music, it’s all over. Lucky for me, I know exactly which instructors I do and don’t like at the gyms I belong to in NH and RI and I make sure to plan my workouts accordingly.

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from Caroline’s Facebook page

At spin class on Monday (where we got new bikes- woo!), our instructor kept saying “Practice makes permanent.”

I love that mantra. As a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist, I hold myself to extremely high standards. When I don’t achieve those goals, I feel like I’ve failed. That’s why I don’t make goals anymore, as I’ve explained here. It just sets me up for disappointment, and this is my way of controlling that.

Practice makes perfect is what I was brought up saying. I truly believed it and would literally practice something over and over again until it was indeed perfect, or as close as I was going to get. When Cindy said, “Practice makes permanent” at spinning Monday morning, I thought she had made a mistake. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much truth there was to the statement.

We may never achieve perfection, but we can put good habits into place. Whether that’s learning to brush our teeth every night as a kid growing up, replacing cheez its with celery as an afternoon snack (or vice versa, if you’re trying to undo disordered behaviors), or waking up every morning to go to the gym instead of hitting snooze on our alarms, we’re embodying that phrase.

Practice makes permanent. The more you do something, the more likely it is to become a habit. Does it mean it will be perfect? No. I can’t say I’ll ever turn down ice cream for a “healthier” dessert, or that I won’t occasionally snap at my brother when I’m annoyed (we have a relatively good relationship for the first time in my life now), or that I’ll never skip another rest day in favor of active recovery again (the more often I do them, the more normal they feel), but I do know that practice makes permanent, and overtime those “bad” habits will be few and far between and replaced by the good habits.

I’ll never be perfect and I’m slowly coming to terms with that fact. Nobody’s perfect, so I shouldn’t hold myself to that standard either. It’s physically impossible and by replacing the old “practice makes perfect” mantra with “practice makes permanent,” we’ll be much happier.

Do you believe practice makes perfect?

What are some bad habits you’ve tried to fix?

The End of Boatlife

It’s been a busy week so I don’t have time for an intro other than saying “Hey!” So with that totally not-awkward introduction, let’s start Thinking Out Loud.

thinking out loud The End of Boatlife

1) You guys. I have an apartment! I’m going to be homeless/couch surfing for the first 4 days I’m in Baltimore, but I have a place to call mine starting August 1!

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This is going to be my view.

2) On that note, I’ll have 2 roommates, both grad students, and I really like them already even though we haven’t met yet. We’re living in a waterfront apartment at a marina in Fells Point and it is seriously GORGEOUS (at least what I’ve seen in pictures). I. Can’t. Wait. I can walk to work, we have parking, and it’s right in the middle of everything.

3) 6 days until I’m back with November Project! It feels like it’s been forever since I left even though it has only been 2 months. I missed my running buddies. Not to mention the tribe is AMAZING and managed to get 65 people to one workout which means we’ll be spending every Wednesday AND Friday morning together. I can’t even describe how happy this makes me.

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4) Tickets have been booked for Labor Day! I am flying back to the boat for one last long weekend at the end of the summer. My mom had a free flight for me so I wanted to come home  say my goodbyes at the marina. I’m not thrilled about leaving in the middle of the summer and this was the best compromise we could come up with. My brother will have already left for school but my parents will be around… and the dock boys icon smile The End of Boatlife

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5) Moving day is my least favorite day of the year. I love when I’m packing to go to the boat, but when I’m packing to leave, it’s a whole different story. A lot of tears were shed Monday night. Fred (the launch driver) keeps reminding me to “drink it in” (he’s referring to the views) and I’ve definitely been doing that. Dinners up on deck, reading my kindle, and just staring at the bridge have been common occurrences. I had to pack everything Monday so I could go back to NH for a few days to get ready for the real deal.

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it’s a sad sight

6) Despite hating moving off the boat (see above), I really like the way I go about it. Ever since starting college, the boat is the last place I see before I move. I go back to my house in NH, pack all of my things, and go back for one last weekend with my family. It helps me transition from being a “seasonal” guest to a weekender. For some reason, being just a weekender makes the goodbye a whole lot easier.

7) The worst part about living on a boat is without a doubt the laundry at the end of the season. You have to wash every single article of clothing, towel, and set of sheets even if they’re clean. No matter when you last did laundry, everything will still smell like boat- if you haven’t smelled that before, it’s kind of an unpleasant salty smell combined with some mildew. It’s hard to describe, but I don’t really want to be starting my new life smelling like that.

8) I had a lot to do in the 2 days I’ve been home. I went shopping at J.Crew and Banana Republic to take advantage of the outlets, got my car fixed after my parents nagged me about it for 2 months, visited my grandmother in Maine, fit in a few of my favorite classes at the gym, planned my entire Baltimore life with my parents, and packed. I had to pack things to bring with me in my car and I had to lay everything out that my parents will be bringing down in a few weeks.

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I ate my weight in home grown blueberries

9) I’m back to Rhode Island this morning after I get back from the gym for my last 5 days of boat life. Tomorrow is my last day at work, I’ll have one more dinner with my grandparents, a few days with the dock boys, 2 more spin classes, 3-4 runs around the island, 1 late night at Booty Bash, and 5 nights left on the boat. I’m soaking up every last second.

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10) I’m trying out Paddleboard yoga tomorrow after work! I’ve been wanting to take this class for 3 years and never got around to it so I’m making it happen before I leave for good.

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Do you have things you like to do before you leave to go somewhere?

Where’s your favorite place to buy work/dressier clothes?

I prefer J.Crew, Vineyard Vines, and Banana Republic, but I only go to the outlets to save money.

People of Jamestown

Jamestown is a special island. Not just to me, but to everyone who lives there. The people of Jamestown are extremely unique. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s a place people go for the eclectic community. There are NASA engineers, actors, musicians, world class sailors, professional scuba divers, and other more traditional professions. Not everyone has a boat although it is a huge part of the community (duh, it’s an island), but everyone has a story which is probably what I like most.

-the manager at the marina who worked on a megayacht for 20 years before coming back to work at the place she got her start in the boating world.

-Linc, who drives around in his motorized wheelchair after being severely paralyzed in a sailing accident years ago. He eats out at a different restaurant for every meal and he is widely known around the island. Every year he invites everyone to his penthouse apartment for a Super Bowl party. I have yet to take him up on his offer.

-the owner of the local pet shop on the island that is also a scuba diver where he fixes boats.

-the ferry driver who used to be one of the dock boys and remembers me from when I was running around the docks with a lifejacket decided he missed the island and came back to start his own family and work part-time at the marina.

-James Taylor, who lives here in the summer to hide from all of the crazy fans like my mom. He loves paddle boarding around the harbor with his sons and keeps his boat next to ours.

-the fire department guys, who are all townies and were born and bred here. The recreation department is all related to the fire department and also somehow related to the marina workers. It’s one of those places where everyone seems to be related…

-the local housecleaner on the island has cleaned my best friend’s house since she was born, lives downtown, and told me her entire life story as we were sitting at the laundromat one day. We chatted about Jamestown, her past running career, her daughter the model, her son the 7-foot tall professional basketball player, and the properties she “manages” on the island.

Over the years in Jamestown, I’ve met some of the most amazing people. It’s one of those places where people will just start talking to you. The retired guys at the deli wave to me as I run by every morning. The ferry drivers ask me if I had a quiet night on the boat. The pizza place knows my order and the deli knows how I like my bagel and what kind of wrap to make. The ice cream owner brings me water when I have to wait in line because we’re frequent customers, and the dock boys put the ice (for the fridge) on my parent’s account without me having to ask. I love living on a small island where everybody knows everybody. It makes it feel like home.

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The other day, I was in line for ice cream and an older man in a wheelchair stopped me. He said, “Hey, you’re the girl that rows your dinghy in every morning at the crack of dawn.” I had never seen him before but I smiled back at him and said yep, that’s me. He told me he sees me row in from his condo and always yells to his wife that he sees “that girl” rowing in again. Then he said, “You’re also the girl that won Ali’s Run a few years ago during the last year the race was held.”  I nodded again and he said he had run it too. We continued to converse and I found him and his story fascinating. I didn’t ask, but if he ran the race 3 years ago with me, that means he lost his leg in the past 3 years. I was so touched and inspired to be talking to him, and as we shook hands before he left, he told me his name and said, “Just keep running.”

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The people of Jamestown are amazing. I am touched every single time someone recognizes me. Even though I don’t know a lot of them on a personal level, I know Ralph will run by the beach every morning at 9:30, the retired guys will be playing cards over coffee at 6:30, and the maintenance guys for the town will drive by while I’m running every morning. The people of Jamestown are what make this island such a special place, and I will never forget that.

Then it hit me. After living here for 5 years, I’ve become one of those people of Jamestown. Just like I “know” these people I’ve never met, people “know” me around town as the girl that lives on a boat, the girl that’s always running around town at the crack of dawn, the lifeguard at the cove, the girl that hangs out in the dockhouse, the girl that loves frozen hot chocolate and pizza and bagels…

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My mom and I went for a walk last night and I was telling her about some of these people I’ve come into contact with this summer, specifically the man that lost his leg. She said to me, “Sarah, I know you will be back to raise your own family in Jamestown. It may take you a few years to get there, but I have no doubt that Jamestown will become your home and those people will not forget you when you do come back to visit just like you won’t forget them.”

She’s right. The people of Jamestown will always be there. And eventually, so will I. But until then, I’ll continue coming back to visit my favorite place in the entire world so that I can see these “friends” I’ve made along the way, because they’ve truly shaped my entire experience living here and I can’t imagine life without those characters.

Have you ever stopped to meet the locals around your town?

Are you known for anything where you live?

The No-Plan Plan

I’m a person with a plan. Always. I’m thinking 10 steps ahead of where I’m at and the idea of not knowing terrifies me. With this move, I’ve had to throw all of that out the window.

I don’t know when I’m leaving for Baltimore. I have a rough idea, but I haven’t chosen an exact date.

I haven’t met my roommates, nor have I seen the apartment we’ll be living in.

Despite moving back to the same city I went to school in, I have never lived downtown and don’t know the area well.

I won’t have any furniture until late August when my parents bring things down, and I’m okay with that. No bed, no couches, no nothing. I’m sleeping on an air mattress for a month.

I’ll be working in the advertising industry, a field I admittedly don’t know a ton about and will have to go through a 6-week training to learn the ropes.

I’m going to be adjusting to an entirely new schedule, have no idea when I’m going to get settled, and haven’t really thought about what my new life is going to be like.

storms The No Plan Plan

For the first time in my life, I have no plan. It’s terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I know I’m living in a gorgeous waterfront apartment at a marina and close to my job, I will have an endless support group via friends, bloggers, and family, I can return to my favorite November Project workouts, and I have a job that seems like it will be a really great fit with my skill set (my chemistry major will actually come in handy, believe it or not). So while I may not have a plan in place, I am set up for a pretty great life in Baltimore.

Having a plan is great. Sometimes. But not having a plan can be even greater. Sometimes we (…I) are so focused on following the path we believe is the right one, that we don’t realize how great we have it right in front of us. I’m trying my best to go with the flow right now and while I can’t say it’s easy, but it will be worth it. Or at least that’s what my best friend and parents keep telling me.

Going with the flow is difficult for me. Really difficult. But when we stick to structure all the time, we miss out on great opportunities. Our stress levels skyrocket. We feel anxious about missing a small detail. It can harm our relationships. When we worry about what our next meal will be, how we’re going to fit x amount of miles in, or how we are going to fit everything in, we’re putting extra stress and anxiety on ourselves. The need to constantly plan is exhausting.

I’m not saying I’m suddenly a go with the flow type of person. I’m not at all. I’m a planner. But with the situation I’ve found myself in right now, I can’t plan. I literally have no choice but to play it by ear and figure it out as I go along. It’s scary, especially since my parents also can’t be there to help me this time, but it’s also a learning experience. This summer has been very relaxed for me. Every minute of my day was planned with work, so I didn’t want to focus on figuring out how to fit in dinners with friends or what workout I was going to do too. I enjoyed myself a lot more when I just let go and rolled with the punches.

If I had followed “my plan”, I’d still be jobless, looking for a studio apartment and a job in social media in Boston, and probably ready to give up on everything. Funny how things work out as soon as you stop looking. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason, and the fact that I suddenly stumbled upon an apartment at a marina with two random strangers means something. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll come up with another plan on the fly, just like I did with this one. But I think in this case, my not-planning really did help me figure out exactly what I wanted rather than just following along with what I believed I “should” be doing.

Do you like to follow a plan?

Social Engagements

In the past week, I’ve had a lot of social engagements. The dock boys were shocked at my sudden desire to be around people. This past week has been great though and I feel like I’m really going out with a bang.  It’s pretty marvelous, actually, so let’s link up with Katie this week. It’s been awhile.

Wednesday night I went to The Landing in downtown Newport with some friends. Well, I should say I went to Newport with my friend and all of her friends, but over the years I’ve become friendly with them as well. It was a really late night but I actually enjoyed myself and it was the first time I’d ever been to the bars in Newport before, something I’ve always wanted to do. The views just can’t be beat. The restaurant/bar is literally on the edge of the docks at one of the marinas. It made for an exhausting wakeup the next morning, but it was more than worth it.

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Thursday night I went to Willy’s Burger Bar with some former coworkers. It was such a fun night and I literally laughed the entire time we were at dinner. We talked for hours over burgers then came back to Jamestown and had ice cream with two other former lifeguards at my marina. I will really miss those nights. We even had a mini traffic jam that held us up for 20 minutes…

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Friday night Kaitlin came into town! I met her in Providence and we stopped for ice cream at Newport Creamery on our way down to Westerly to her family’s house. I haven’t seen her in months so it was great to catch up and chat about everything, not that we don’t do that everyday anyways… and in true blogger fashion, we managed to document our “meals.”

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Saturday I begged someone to cover my shift for me at the beach but unfortunately nobody could take the whole thing. They were able to come in halfway through the day for me though, so leaving at 1 was awesome. I really wanted to spend time with my parents, go over logistics of my apartment (which was approved! we’re just making sure the management company isn’t too shady and the lease is consistent), and enjoy part of my weekend. It hit me that I should have taken more time off before I leave so this was my way of doing that. We went bed shopping at Jordan’s Furniture (it’s the New England furniture mecca) and I got to test out all the mattresses. I’ve never had a more comfortable mattress in my life. It feels like I’m floating on a cloud. As my payment, my dad made me help him carry our second kayak to the boat.

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We also enjoyed a home cooked meal on the boat before heading into the docks for the night… my mom called my favorite dock boy on the radio and said, “Sarah is specifically requesting your help with the lines.” It was embarrassing. All was forgiven over ice cream.

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And sunsets…

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One of my best friends is the graphic designer at KJP and she got me this special edition bracelet that hasn’t been released yet. I’m in love.

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Since I haven’t seen my own dog in awhile, I made sure to play with my friend’s dog.

10543380 10202560697201759 353452946 n Social EngagementsThis past week has been crazy in the best way possible. I’m heading back to New Hampshire tomorrow morning to pack up my things and get ready to go for a few days before I come back for one last long weekend at the boat. I can’t believe I’m so close to the end. I have a lot of plans with friends and family this week (including a few trips to see a good friend in Boston) before I make the long trip south. The dock boys are already crying (just kidding, but I think they will when I am actually gone) and I’m just not ready to accept that my time here is almost up. So I’m not going to, I’m going to keep enjoying every meal out, sunset on the boat, and time in the dockhouse until I’m in Baltimore settled into my life there.

Do you like to pretend something isn’t happening?

I try to avoid thinking about the fact that I’m leaving and just soak up the time I have left.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

 

Sunday Training Log

Mon- Spinning

Tues- Run 6 miles. I decided to change up the route and it felt really good despite the humidity.

Wed- Run 10 miles. I honestly thought the route was 8 miles but because I don’t have a watch and I don’t map routes before I go, it ended up being longer than I thought. It was the confidence booster I needed because I have a 12 mile race coming up in a couple weeks and I wasn’t sure I’d be ready. I guess I’m ready after all.

Thurs- Run 4.5 miles. It woke me up after being out after midnight. I don’t think I would have made it through the day without this run.

Fri- Spinning

Sat-Run 4 miles. I had planned 8 but I slept in so I decided to run on the beach at work.

Sun-OFF or run 4.5 or walk with my parents. I have no idea what my plan is for today. I’ll see how early I wake up and what my parents’ plan is for the day.

Running has been feeling so, so good lately. I love not having a plan right now and my confidence is growing. I wasn’t sure I’d be ready for Charles street 12 in a few weeks since I hadn’t run further than 6 miles since the half in June but I know I am now. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be a fun run or an easy effort run but at least I know I can finish it.