What You Don’t Plan For

I’m a planner. I hate surprises and I schedule everything weeks in advance. Calendar invites are my best friend and I have a clear vision of my long-term goals with a plan in mind for how to get there. Getting laid off isn’t something anyone plans on.

So imagine my shock when I walked into work yesterday morning and found out that my position was eliminated along with several others. Less than three months after moving to Boston and starting this job. The day after I officially moved into my new apartment. It wasn’t a job I loved by any means, but it was still an enormous shock and it’s upsetting news to receive. Getting laid off is one of those things that you never think will happen to you. Sure, we all know it happens, but it doesn’t happen to us. Until it does. While I’m familiar with the logistics of a layoff (my dad was laid off when I was in high school and my ex-boyfriend was laid off last fall), it’s still unfamiliar territory for me. And unfamiliar territory makes me extremely uncomfortable. Because it means deviating from the plan.

It doesn’t matter if the reasons aren’t based on my own performance, if the decision was solely based on the company’s current financial hardships. It still leaves you feeling like you failed. And if there’s one thing that scares me more than anything else, it’s failing. Working hard is something I pride myself on. I’m not someone who messes around when it comes to work. I’ve always been the serious one, the perfectionist, the one eager to learn and always challenging myself to be the best I could be. My old manager at AOL used to yell at me for working too much. Some people say they wish they would win the lottery so they never have to work again; I’m not one of those people. Working is something I enjoy.

I don’t know if I’ll be blogging much in the coming weeks while I begin the job search once again. If the writing bug strikes, I’ll post. If not, you can follow me on instagram. After receiving the news, I hopped in the car and drove home to my parents’ house where I plan to stay for awhile. I’m heading to Nantucket to see my grandparents this weekend and I have a big trip that was already planned coming up in a few weeks, but other than that, I’ll be glued to my laptop, plugging away at cover letters and resumes once again.

Thanks for bearing with me. I’ll talk to you soon.

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Workouts 8/22-8/28

This week I hit my sweet spot mileage-wise. I ran 35 miles spread out over 4 days which is pretty much where I like to be (30-35 is ideal). My favorite run was by far Saturday morning with some friends. Staying in the city for an extra night made me realize I need to start sticking around on the weekends more– that’s where I’ll really start to get to know people. Overall though, another very good week!

Mon– 6 miles + November Project

Monday morning was weird. There were hundreds of supermen, bowling ball sit-ups, some jumping lunges, box jumps, bear crawls, leg lifts, and tricep dips. Some cake was smashed in faces and I guess you could say we sweat a little. We met at Cambridge Public Library which is 2.5 miles away from my aunt’s, so I ran 5 miles commuting and about a mile between stations at the workout.

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Tues– 9 miles Fenspeed

Ran 1.5 miles commuting to and from the track. The 6am group did a 1 mile warmup, 5×1200 @ 10k pace (6:55-7:15ish for me) with a 40o recovery between each, and a 1 mile cool down. I talked to Jana the entire time during the repeats because we run the same paces and while it felt hard, it was also manageable. Doing these track workouts makes me want to start running local 5ks again and see where my times are. I have a feeling I’d be close to PR shape, so that might be something to try out this fall.

Fen speed

Wed– 6 miles biking + 60 stadium sections @ November Project

As I mentioned Thursday, I’m having issues with the volume on my phone so my alarm was going off, but it was basically on silent, so I didn’t hear it. I woke up at 5:22 instead of 4:52 and biked to the stadium as fast as I could. I was about 20 minutes late so I knew I didn’t have time to do the full 50 sections for #Frogust and instead did 30 sections with the 5:30 group and 30 sections with 6:30.

November Project

Thurs– Rooftop Yoga with Kyndal and NP friends!

I wish I had gone to rooftop yoga more this summer. The instructor, Rebecca Pacheco, is awesome. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and that’s my favorite kind of yoga class- the ones where you can laugh. It was also the perfect stretch session post-stadium, especially on a day that’s usually my rest day. Kyndal and I planned to go together, but there were so many other NP people there too, which made it fun. She gave me a ride to work after, so it actually ended up being much less activity than a normal rest day.

Fri-8.5 miles November Project

The humidity came back strong. I don’t have a lot to say except this felt like death. I ran 5 miles to/from the workout and did 3.5 miles of hills that felt more like 13 miles.

november project

Sat– 12.5 miles along the esplanade

My furniture wasn’t being delivered until later in the morning, so I woke up and went for a long run along the esplanade from the Adidas Run Base. I haven’t run this far in a long time (like last November) but we kept it at a conversational pace. There were a bunch of NP people there which made it fun. Plus, it was gorgeous out. Perfect way to start the weekend. It also felt good to get a long run in that wasn’t a specific workout (Fenspeed) or commuting to and from November Project. It was just a solid long run and I loved it.

Sun– walk with my mom

You know the drill.

jamestown

I know I’m in the minority here, but I cannot wait for fall. We had a taste of it early in the week and I have to say, I’m a fan. There’s nothing better than crisp mornings, running or otherwise. I’m beyond ready.

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November Project #WorldTakeover

It’s no secret that November Project is pretty important to me. Ever since I started going in January 2014, it has been a constant. There were months I didn’t go as often due to injuries or living at home temporarily, but it was still very much a part of my life. I’ve had a few questions about how November Project is different in Boston versus Baltimore so I thought I’d talk about it.

November project

I met most of my Baltimore friends (and now Boston) through NP. I remember showing up that snowy morning in January unsure of what to expect. I’d heard about it through Jon on twitter (the ultimate recruiter) and really just went so he would stop telling me go, if I’m being perfectly honest. I assumed I’d hate it. I thought it was like crossfit, which I had no desire to try at the time. You know what they say about ASSuming…

First day ever

First day ever

I couldn’t have been more wrong. After that very first morning, I was hooked. People were so friendly, we ran stairs, did strength workouts, and a photographer took badass pictures. I missed two workouts in my first 5 months before I moved home. When I moved back to Baltimore a few months later, I was most excited about getting back to my NP family.

november project

While I regret not integrating myself as much as I could have into the Baltimore tribe, I still made some great friends. Lauren and I knew each other through blogging, but we became good friends once we both started going to NP. I also became friends with Kristine, Lizzie, and others. It’s where I met my ex-boyfriend, who later admitted he only started going to meet a girl. People joke about #NP_DatingService but it’s real. I’ve seen so many relationships form through NP. It’s a place to meet like-minded people that you have something in common with. Those relationships, romantic or not, are crucial to its success. If you don’t enjoy the company, you wouldn’t get up so early to run stairs in the dead of winter. The community is what keeps people coming back.

november project

So now let’s talk more about the differences between tribes. I’ve only been to DC once and haven’t made it to any of the other 27 cities yet, but the key to November Project is that it’s based around what your city has to offer. The workouts will never be the same from city to city because not every city has a Harvard stadium or a Summit Ave. So the leaders do what they can to make each workout fun and challenging.

november project

Baltimore:

*The people seem to be a bit closer in age and younger in Baltimore.

When I first started, I was the youngest person there (out of maybe 15 people). Most members were in their mid-twenties. As it grew, the age demographics obviously grew to include everyone from kids to adults in their 40s+, but the majority in Baltimore is still mid-20s. I’ve heard from a lot of people that Baltimore is a younger tribe than most, and my guess is that it’s because Baltimore tends to be a younger city in general.

November Project

*The workouts are as hard as you make them.

That is not to say the workouts aren’t challenging. The workouts that take place at Rash Field allow for a wider range of abilities than Harvard Stadium or Summit Ave. It’s a lot easier to scale the workouts to make them as intense or as relaxed as you’d like. If there was a day I didn’t feel like pushing myself, I was able to get a low-intensity workout in.

sometimes

sometimes we run hard, sometimes we pose for the camera

*There is more variety in the workouts.

Stairs aren’t the premise for the workout in Baltimore. Some weeks there is more running, some weeks there’s a ton of burpees (ALWAYS more than Boston). Baltimore does everything from lunges to squats to pushups to burpees to running to stairs to star jumps to planks. Their Wednesday workouts are more like a Monday in Boston.

november project

*It feels more social.

People are a lot goofier in Baltimore. They joke around, love nose boops, and people get weird. That’s a big thing at NP- getting uncomfortable. I don’t mind hugs but occasionally it went beyond my comfort levels. Others love it. I did almost every workout chatting the whole time. I could push myself if I wanted to, but it seemed like most people used it as a social hour plus a decent workout rather than focusing on just the workout.

November Project

Boston:

*The intensity is high.

Not everyone is capable of running Harvard stadium. I’m only able to run the first half of the steps of each section and walk the rest of the way. The steps are so tall. My mom probably couldn’t do it. People do come and modify the workouts, but you can’t take away the intensity that is Harvard stadium or the 17 percent grade of Summit Ave. My heart rate almost hit 200 last week which is HIGH for me.

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*People are more serious.

Going along with the intensity, there is less socializing. People socialize when they first arrive and after the workout is over, but once the workout begins, it’s time for business. After talking to some regulars in Boston, they were surprised at my observation and felt like it has gotten more social. I’m a serious person by nature so I really love the vibe. It’s still fun and friendly, but the workouts are so difficult that there is less room for chatter.

November Project

*You know what to expect.

You know which workouts you’ll be doing Wednesdays and Fridays. There are slight variations, such as running more sections of the stadium or running on the grassy part of the hill, but you know the entire 40 minutes will be spent either running stairs or running up a hill. Mondays are different because they’re in a new location every week and part of the workout is to run there, but you know you’re going to be doing some kind of strength workout. For someone who hates surprises, this takes some of the anxiety away.

november project

Each tribe has its own culture. Not every city is the same, not every leader is the same, and not every tribe member is the same. So naturally each location will have a different vibe. Baltimore made a city I really didn’t like originally feel like a second home. I made some great friends, I entered my first serious relationship, and it’s where I found this community that I adore. But Boston is new and exciting, and it’s the mothership. And I love the intensity.

november project

November Project changed my life for the better. It took away the pressure of collegiate sports without taking away competition. It made moving to a new city easier. It brings together communities and makes cities a better place. It’s a home away from home.

November project

November Project is taking over the world. And that’s not a bad thing.

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TOL: Moving and Shaking

Happy Thinking Out Loud! I skipped last week because I couldn’t get my act together, but here I am going 4 days strong with posts and have another scheduled for tomorrow! I can’t remember the last time I wrote 5 posts in a row. It’s certainly the most I’ve written in the past 2+ years. Today is all about the rambling though, and I’m really good at that, so that’s just what I’m going to do.

1)THIS WEEK. Anybody else? I don’t know what it is, but it’s killing me. Maybe it’s the excitement over so many big things coming up (LOTS of exciting trips), or because I’m a huge fan of the fall weather and just want to be outside all the time, or the stress of this upcoming move, but if I make it to Saturday it will be a miracle.

2) I hadn’t spoken to my mom since Sunday until I got this email in my inbox yesterday morning. In fairness, the last time she thought she was getting a “good deal” on a Longchamp bag, she bought a terrible attempt at a knockoff from China. But she also bought it on a website like longchampclearance.com or something. #seemslegit. This is why we have the #shitsandysays hashtag. Yes, mom, this one is legit.

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3) Yesterday was especially rough. I need a new iPhone but I refuse to pay $25/month for one. The volume control on the side isn’t working and the ringer randomly turns on when it’s supposed to be on silent. So I have the volume all the way down just in case it goes off in a meeting. Except I forgot that my alarm is connected to the volume, so when it went off at 4:52am yesterday, I couldn’t hear it. I just happened to wake up around 5:22 completely disoriented and realized that I overslept and was late for November Project. I missed the epic sunrise but I did make it there at 5:49am, so only 19 minutes late.

November Project

4) The workout itself was awesome. I did 30 sections with the 5:30 group and another 30 sections with the 6:30 group. The humidity came back a little bit but I was running on so much adrenaline that I just plowed through the sections and hoped nobody noticed my absence during the bounce.November Project

5) Now that I’m in Boston, I’m finding myself becoming more loyal to local brands. Janji is a brand I discovered several years ago at the Newport half (come run with Kaitlin and me!). My mom loved that it was based around funding clean water projects. My friend Jenna hooked me up recently with one of their singlets and I LOVE it. I also received my package of Tracksmith gear from my PR race a few weeks ago. The shorts are the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn, as are the two tank tops I ordered. I recently transitioned to primarily wearing Lululemon, but these two brands are now at the top of my (out of control) workout wardrobe so they’re the first things I grab. Next up: Ciele hats (although they aren’t Boston-based, they’re big at NP).

Janji singlet and Tracksmith shorts

Janji singlet and Tracksmith shorts

6) On the way home from November Project, I had more bad luck. Remember how I fired my dad as my bike mechanic for putting the handlebars on crooked? Well mid bike ride, the breaks completely came undone around the wheel. It’s an easy fix, but luck was not on my side yesterday morning.

bike

7) I am all about the rooftops lately. The other night after dinner I just felt like sitting by the pool. I brought my iPad up to read a book and just relaxed for an hour until I got chilly. Yes, chilly. It’s been forever since I was actually cold. I love the crispness in the air in the fall. As much as I love the bronzed skin and boatlife, fall is far and away my favorite season. It just feels so much cozier. I went up again last night and I have a feeling I’ll continue coming up to the roof at my aunt’s condo even after I move. This morning I’m at a rooftop yoga class with Kyndal.

rooftop pool

8) We switched offices just after I started my new job and dogs technically aren’t allowed in the new building, which is too bad because there used to be a dog calendar where people would write down the day they were bringing their dog to the office. One day this week, someone brought their dog in anyways. I’m not a little dog person at all but Daphne is adorable and I kept finding her under my desk.

dog daphne

9) Moving is a nightmare. I’m supposed to have my bed delivered from Jordan’s furniture Saturday but the freight elevator in my new building is only available from 8-1. When I called Jordan’s to specify a time frame, they said they can’t guarantee a range until 48 hours before. So basically there’s no way to reserve the freight elevator because there’s no way to know when the furniture might be delivered. Never. Moving. Again.

10) But I really can’t wait to have my bed back (it’s a new bed, but we ordered the same one I had before because we gave mine to my brother). And a place to put clothes away (once I find a dresser and figure out how deliver it to the apartment). And to not feel like I’m taking over someone else’s space (even though I’ve seen my aunt all of 4 times in the last 2 months). And to have a place to call home (that isn’t my parents’ house).

 

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Daybreaker Party

Last month I received two tickets to the Daybreaker Party (I am writing about the event in exchange for my ticket and a plus one). I know some people who have gone to previous events and was really intrigued. Based on pictures I had seen on Facebook, I knew there was yoga involved, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, disco lights, and a DJ. That’s my kind of yoga.

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From the website:

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In short, Daybreaker is one big party. It’s basically a rave at 6 in the morning. For someone like me who doesn’t drink, it’s pretty much the only way you’d ever get me to go to a club. I loved the concept and was excited to see what it was all about.

I arrived at Icon Nightclub at 5:45am expecting to get there early to put my mat down and get settled before the class started. It was about a mile and a half walk from where I’m currently living. When I got there, there was a line outside the door. I invited Kyndal (former blogger, current NP friend) as my plus 1 to come with me because it’s more fun to try new fitness things with friends. We practiced using the self-timer feature on her phone while we waited because I didn’t even know that was a thing. I always thought you had to download a separate app…

kyndal

Finally just after 6am they let us in and checked our names off. The room filled quickly and it started at 6:15. It was like being in a nightclub (I mean, it is a nightclub) without the grimy, stickiness. When I told one of my friends what I was doing, he said, “but it’s going to be so dirty!” That wasn’t the case at all- it was very clean. It had a very similar feel to the glow-in-the-dark yoga classes I’ve taken in the past with a live DJ, disco balls, glitter everywhere, photographers and videographers, and dozens of neon spandex clad yogis. The only difference was that there were chandeliers and built-in benches.

The class itself was taught by Izzy VanHall. She teaches at YogaWorks, Equinox, Coolidge Corner Yoga, and probably others as well. She led us through several variations of vinyasa flows with a lot of hip-opening sequences. Runners lunge is my favorite because I’m so so so tight. Especially on Thursdays after stadium days. We did that several times throughout the class. Aside from a few chatarangas, it felt more like a guided stretching session accompanied by loud music and flashing lights.

DayBreaker

In total, the class was just under 45 minutes long. I don’t know if it’s because it started so late but I was expecting her to still teach for an hour. This was slightly disappointing because I really liked her style of teaching. It wasn’t too “kumbayya-ey” (you know what I mean) and had a very fun feel to it. She didn’t take herself too seriously, the music was awesome, and it reminded me of some of my favorite yoga classes back in Baltimore. I will definitely be taking her classes at the local studios because I wasn’t bored the way I typically am in yoga.

After yoga ended, there were various healthy snacks and beverages to drink. The focus was on health without feeling preachy. It literally felt like you were going to the bar at night between the lighting, music, and drinks, but instead of alcohol, it was coconut water and cold brew coffee. At 7am the dance party begins. People were just starting to trickle into that room but once it fills in, it becomes a full on rave. I unfortunately couldn’t stay for this piece of the morning as I have to be at work pretty early, but it does look like a great time.

This was such a cool experience and I’m so glad I attended. While I do love yoga, I can get bored with it sometimes and throwing in good music and a more laid-back, rave atmosphere makes it feel a little less like a traditional yoga practice. I have nothing but good things to say about it, although I do wish they had started on time so we could have gotten the full hour of yoga and the pictures never went online for this one day. I would highly recommend Daybreaker to anyone. It’s a really cool experience and it’s in a ton of cities around the world! Check out the list to see if there’s one near you!

Have you ever been to a glow flow yoga class?

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