Dating Part 2

Part 1 is from yesterday.

The first few months of Tim’s flight school were hard. He couldn’t talk a lot due to his schedule.  I knew he was busy but it didn’t make it any easier. Distance is incredbily hard for anyone (military or not).

In November, I got to see Tim for the first time in five months.  I wondered if it would be the same.  I wondered if we would still be happy.  I wondered if we would still be in love.  It was easy to be in love in distance, but what if we had both grown apart during those times.  I wondered a lot and in November I boarded a plane to San Antonio nervous, excited and wondering what the next few days would bring.

On the San Antonio River Walk

On the San Antonio River Walk

The moment I saw him, the moment I knew nothing had changed.  I knew we had made it through the hardest part of our relationship.  We had made it five months without seeing each other.  Though I only got to see him less than a week it reassured me so much that we were happy.

I saw him again for Christmas, then in March and then in May. We made the executive decision that I would move down there at the end of the summer.  I loved my job in Oswego.  I enjoyed my friends and coworkers but eventually Tim and I wanted to continue our relationship.

timandi2

He would be graduating in October.  He was rather sure we would be staying in Del Rio so it made sense for dad and I to uhaul all my things to Texas.  So after getting hit by a cyclist and breaking my arm I drove 1700 miles to Texas.  (Packing is incredibly more difficult with a broken arm).

Flight School graduation (the plane he flies is in the background)

Flight School graduation (the plane he flies is in the background)

About 2 weeks after moving to Texas, Tim found out he would be restationed in New Jersey flying KC-10 planes.  I knew nothing about NJ.  I was mortified.  I was going to make this same drive (1700 miles) twice in 6 weeks.  He also was supposed to report the week of my first marathon.  The only concrete plans I had in 2014 were to run the NYCM.

timandiplane

Edit to add: I am 100% happy we moved out of Texas.  Where we were I could not imagine spending 4 more years there.  I’m not sorry, I love NJ.

I didn’t want to drive 1700 miles two days before my marathon.  Absolutely not.  So I drove a few weeks earlier. I stayed with my parents at home and ran.  He moved into our house in NJ.

Since November we have enjoyed our time in NJ.  Tim has done great things flying.  The first few months were more difficult for me.  We had moved to NJ and I knew we weren’t moving anymore for a very long time.  Yet finding a job had become next to impossible.

From December until March, we were enjoying our time living together.  Everything was working out well and I knew I had made the right choice to move to NJ.  I was (and am) completely happy living here.  Thankfully we didn’t have a lot of excitement the last few months.  It seemed as if our lives had finally simmered down a bit.

Our first christmas tree choice together.

Our first christmas tree choice together.

Watching Tim and his dad ski (absolutely not I'm way to clumsy to get on those things).

Watching Tim and his dad ski (absolutely not I’m way to clumsy to get on those things).

Then April 1st, Tim proposed! 

nails

So here I leave you trying to figure out how to wedding plan, deciding if we need a wedding planner (probably) and excited to continue our relationship.  I could not imagine being with anyone else, nor would I want too!  

 

Dating

I finally had a moment to type a post about how Tim and I met and our relationship.  I’m not sure if I ever typed this up in full before so here it goes.

We orginally met through college cross country.  We went to neighboring schools in the tiny town of Potsdam NY.  Though Potsdam is small, the town hosts two schools (State Univeristy of NY at Potsdam) and Clarkson University.  SUNY Potsdam is a liberal arts school (my alma mater) and Clarkson is an engineering school (Tim’s alma mater).

potsdamny

Our cross country teams are huge rivals.  Just kidding (not at all) but we did have a scimmage every year on the back trails against them.  It has never been an overwealming competitive race where we elbow people at the finish first but more of a tune up for the big championship race.

In October 2011 I had pulled a hamstring going into this race.  I had taken a few days off and was already nervous.  I was coming off a stress fracutre in July 2011 (my infamous 21st birthday stress fracture) so that cross season was more of a fluke.  With every season I enjoyed myself but with coming back from an injury and being my second year running, I was truly just running to run.

But anyways it was a disgusting 24 degrees that day.  Cold and unenjoyable.  The scimmage was okay.  I ended up winning for females overall.  I got a Snickers Bar.  Tim ended up winning for males overall.  I think he got a snickers bar too.

After the scrimmage we ended up chatting and going for a run together a few weeks later.  I remember telling my housemate Julie that I was going on a run with some boy.  I’m not sure if she was more weirded out or excited.

We went for a run and it was super awkward.  The weather conditions were not ideal to begin with.  (I actually nearly ditched it because I’m a fair weather runner).  We ran about 7 miles and it went by quickly.  This was also two weeks after I had quit swimming now and also the point I had changed my major so I had more to talk about then usual.  It seemed to go well and we went for a few more runs together.

Tim also skiis and was entering winter ski season for Clarkson.  This meant he wasn’t worried about pace and would run slower with me.  (This was good for me because I don’t run with people who are anal about pace…).  So we seemed to hit it off well.

Eventually we moved up in the world and started hanging out outside of running.  By December, I didn’t know if we were dating or not.  It was time for winter break and since Tim lived in PA and I lived in VA, it was about a 5 hour drive apart.  He decided he would come and visit for New Years for two local VA Beach road races. (Beat the Ball and Hair of the Dog).

Obviously not running...actually we are at a bar.

Obviously not running…actually we are at a bar.

Tim drove down on New Years Eve.  With my luck, my dog Sushi was very ill.  She had lived a great life but it became clear the week before that she was growing sicker and sicker.  My mom was watching after her.  Tim arrived to my dog nearly about to pass away.

Dad, Tim and I went to the road race Beat the Ball at 10:00pm.  The race started at 11:35 and the idea was to run faster than a 25 minute 5k and “Beat the ball dropping”.  At 11:33 Roy approaches me with the direct quote of “Your dog died, your dad left”.  I remember the race starting (not much I could do at this point) and I cried through the entire race.  I also remember Marie and Lori mortified at the bluntness of Roy.  (I chuckle at this story now).  We knew Sushi was going to pass very soon.  So I ran the race crying.  After the race, Tim consoled me.  (All I could think about was…well if we are dating he has been welcomed into the crazy that is my life).  Tim ended up having a really good race and breaking 17.  Despite crying through the race, I also had a decent race.

The next day we ran the Hair of the Dog 5k.  (Hey Mollie you won this race and we didn’t even know each other then!).  I forget all of the events at the mornning race but in summery, I was beat by Greg and his dog Cooper and Tim enjoyed himself.

The Spring, we became official (lolz) and I met Tim’s family in April at a wedding.  My family is a lot smaller so it was really overwealming but I really enjoyed it.  I had such a good time in Charlottesville.

timandi

Then in May we both graduated.  May was an extremely hard month.  We weren’t sure if we would stay in a long distance relationship or not.  Tim was going to flight school in Del Rio, Texas and I would be interning and working in Oswego.  We didn’t know when we would see each other.  I was incredibly nervous to see how it would work out.  I cried a lot in May wondering what my future would hold.

Tomorrow I will post the second chapter.  (There will be more pictures I promise…I didn’t bombard Tim with photos in our “early relationship days” as I do now)

Seattle Bound.

What a busy last two weeks.  My life has literally gone from 0 to 1000 in the last month.  A month ago (I guess right before the Shamrock half marathon) I did not have much to do.  I was beginning a job but not working every day.  I was relaxing, making sure things were clean at the house etc.  After Shamrock, it seems my life is constantly on the move.  I can’t say I thrive on being always on the go, but I don’t mind it either.  It’s just a big change.

With work and my commute, I’m away about 45 hours of the week right now.  (That far beats the few hours a week I was away the months before working). 

Anyways long story short, I’m once again in a transition mode.  I am transitioning to having a job again and now transitioning into wedding planning.  In my little free time, I find myself reading wedding planner blogs versus healthy living blogs…I’m still here though.  I can truly say I am in a very good spot in my life.  Although I’ve been limited on the internet (sorry twitter, instagram, facebook and blogging) I am still enjoying reading blogs and chatting with people on various medias. I’ve just gone from sending 100+ tweets daily to 15.

That being said a few months ago my parents surprised me with a plane ticket to Seattle.  My oldest brother Doug and his wife live out there.  My parents were going to visit and then surprised me with a plane ticket to go as well.  This all happened before I began work, but luckily I was able to get off to go!  It couldn’t have come at a better time because lord knows I need to talk with my mom and dad (as well as my sister in law) about how to plan a wedding.

So from now until next Monday I will be hanging out in Seattle.  I’ll be visiting my brother and his wife Lindsay as well as their beautiful child (and my neice).  I’ll be exploring Seattle, possibly finding a 5k or 10k to update my athlinks with a new state and finally (hopefully) visiting the Oiselle HQ!

It’s going to be a great time and I could not be more excited for this adventure.  I might even have some good blogging content afterwords!

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Seattle?  Any recommendations?

When was the last time you took a vacation?

 

Appreciating the Time Off

In between all of my moves I was left with not having a job for roughly 8 months.  At first I enjoyed being able to lounge around.  That enjoyment lasted about one week and then I began to get extremely bored.  While I didn’t have a job I was actively looking.  That being said, you can only look for jobs so much during the day.

Some people have mentioned that looking for a job was like a full time job.   For me I probably spent 4 hours or so actively looking most days.  Some days (especially in Texas) there were no new jobs to look for, apply for, etc.  That meant it was far less.

Now that I’m actually working and out of the house around 45 hours a week (with commuting), I’ve found myself really taking advantage of my days off. 

Case and point: Last week I had to use my day off to go to the DMV.  The last thing I wanted to do was take one of my few days off, drive to the DMV for a few hours only to sit, wait and then do what I needed to do.  That’s adulthood though and I had to get the necessary paperwork done.

I’ve found myself stuck in the same rut or routine several times wondering…does it get better?  Will I be happier with x,y,z?  I must rush here, I must rush there, I must get everything done.  In college, I tended to have the all or nothing mentality.  I wanted to do it all and I wanted to do it all well. I would like to dabble in swimming, in running, double major, join clubs, have a job…etc.  I wanted to do it all.  I wanted to be successful in everything I did.

The truth is that you cannot be successful in multiple things by burning the candle at both ends.  If you stress yourself out trying to fit every single thing you can into your life, it won’t add quality of life but rather take it away.

I first learned that when I quit swim team my senior year of college.  I no longer had a 2-3 hour commitment daily to the pool.  I had 2-3 hours to work on my studies, to relax and to focus on other things.  I wasn’t rushed anymore and it honestly was the first (of many) lessons I learned.  You don’t need to be amazing at everything.  You don’t need to do everything.

I second time I learned that was in Oswego.  While Tim and I did long distance, I only really focused on working, running and hanging out occasionally with friends.  I didn’t have a lot of outside factors and it allowed me to excel at working and meet many new people (I was injured at running but did go to the gym).  If I had more things piled on top, I don’t think I would have gotten nearly the benefits (and enjoyment) of what I did out of my job in Oswego.

The next time I truly learned this lesson was moving in with Tim last August.  Though I never speak finances on the blog, I had saved enough in my savings to live one year without having a job.  Not one year buying everything in the world but one year living comfortably.  (This means doing the occasional road race, new shoes but also paying what needs to be payed like bills etc).   I knew I probably wouldn’t find a job for a few months (a few not 8) so I had financially prepared for that.

While sitting and applying for jobs I felt the need to apply for every single job available.  Nevermind that it didn’t look interesting, it was an hour away…I qualified so I would apply.  I even found myself thinking if I got one job, should I get two?

All of that was unnecessary.  I found a job I love and I’m happy.  The wait was worth it and it allows me the balance I need in my life.  In the end I am sitting here saying you don’t need to do everything.  You don’t need to thrive on being on the go all the time.  If you are anything like me (you may or may not be) then you do need and truly deserve some rest and down time for yourself.  This is a lesson I struggle with often.

Question for you:

Do you have the all or nothing mentality?

I used to in college but have found that I do really enjoy my down time too.

Recovery Runs and Turkeys

This week I have taken a few days away from running.  I’ve been busy with work but also wanted my body to recover from a few months of hard training.

My four runs of the week were just easy runs.  There was no speed and they were all untimed.  I can say it honestly felt really nice to relax.   (I love running easy with no worry about speed). The only exception was a little bit of speed on Wednesday due to being chased by Wild turkeys.

Did you know you can draw hand turkeys on the computer?

Did you know you can draw hand turkeys on the computer?

I had two rest days and one cross training day last week.  During my cross training I did some easy AMT.  I had wanted to run but it was thunderstorming and I was not in the mood (at all) to run on the treadmill.

But anyways back to running, Although I live in NJ there are real turkeys that occupy land near me.   When I pictured living in NJ, I pictured living in NYC but one state down.  I pictured living in a heavily populated area.

Not this:


cranberryfields1

The Cranberry Bogs

The Cranberry Bogs.  A good portion of the nations cranberries are actually grown and harvested at the Ocean Spray Cranberry bogs near my house…NJ really is the Garden State.

And not being chased by these:

wildturkeys

Anyways I don’t have a lot to say about this week.  I don’t have any races to report about, any speed work to go into more depth with or really of any remote interest besides getting attacked by a turkey.  I had a lot of easy runs which felt good.  After setting my half marathon PR by 90 seconds, recovery was most important to me this week.

As I said earlier in the week, I’ve been running a lot lower mileage this year.  I am PRing so it’s working for me.

Next weeks plans:

I will be in Seattle from Wednesday until next Monday.  My dad and brother found a race to do.  It has the option of a 5k, 10k, 15k and half marathon.  I’ll let you guess which one I chose.  Winner will get extra LOLZ.   I’m hoping to get another high mileage week and a race day.

Questions for you:

Do you like birds?

How do you stay active on vacation?

Silver Diner Review

The Silver Diner is the only chain restaurant diner that I know of.  I had actually been to multiple Silver Diner locations far before moving to New Jersey.  Unfortunately they closed all three locations in Hampton Roads a few years ago.  (I would by lying if I said I wasn’t upset).  The Silver Diner was my favorite restaurant in Hampton Roads until it closed.

silverdiner

When I quickly realized the only Silver Diner location in NJ was 30 minutes from me I had to go (all the time).  I had to go immediately and multiple times.

Sadly, this is a diner that Tim doesn’t enjoy as much as I do so I tend to go when friends visit.  Like when Kate W. visited and also when Amelia stopped home for a weekend.  So this is a call to my friends who want to come visit.  Please come visit and we can go.

Kate and I at the Silver Diner

Kate and I at the Silver Diner

Atmosphere: A

Although the Silver Diner is a “modern” version of a diner they play up the diner theme very well.  The inside is silver (shockingly) and all booths.  They are more of a commercialized diner, playing up the themes you would think a normal diner has.  (Juke boxes, booths, giant checkered print, ect).  It’s cute, fun and enjoyable.   It’s also the cleanest diner I’ve been too.

Coffee: A

They provide me with unlimited coffee with whip cream.  You know by now, that gets them full points in my book.   For their coffee they also have stevia (as well as the regular sweeteners: splenda, sweet and low, sugar and equal).

silverdinercoffee

Food:  A

The food is not typical dine fare though.  In fact it’s rated as one of the healthiest restaurants due to all of the options they provide.  They have a gluten free menu, vegetarian menu, diner menu and dinner menu too.  I’ve had a little bit of everything.

Quinoa pancakes made me feel like a real foodie.  They were really good and honestly made me want to cook quinoa myself (I still haven’t).

The Black Bean omelette was my favorite diner omelette I’ve ever had.

silverdineromelette

The roasted vegetables are a side staple that I get almost every single time.  They have eggplant, squash, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes.  They are very good.

The summer salad (it has mango and strawberries with feta cheese) with salmon.  The most expensive on the menu, it is really good but not my favorite choice since I can get more unique options here.

thesilverdinergrilledsalmonsalad

Dessert:  Tim and I have had a milkshake here before.  The milkshake did not live up to par with the rest of the food.  It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great.  Since then we have skipped dessert here but will probably try it eventually again.

Cost: $$ It normally costs from 10-15 per person (with a drink…coffee for me).

Overall thoughts/Would I go back?

This is the cleanest and most unique diner we have been too.  In my lifetime I’ve probably been to the Silver Diner 15-20 times.  I have a feeling it would appeal to many different foodies and travelers.  I would highly recommend it and I plan to go back.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to the Silver Diner?

When you hear of “Diner” what do you think of?

Choosing a Fall Marathon

I want to run another marathon. 

Am I obsessed with the distance and only want to race marathons again?

No, not really.  I like all types of races but I do want to race another marathon.  After my first and only marathon, I needed a lot of time to recovery.  While running the NJ full marathon (April 27th) crossed my mind, I knew I was not ready to run another marathon by late April.  Right now I’m not a runner that is physically ready to run more than one marathon per year.  Both mentally and physically I am not ready to commit to that.

I haven’t directly said “In the fall of 2014, I plan to run another fall full marathon”.

So now I will.  In October, I plan to run the Wineglass full marathon.  Instead of being a big, crowded, hilly race I opted for a smaller flat and fast race.  As I’ve mentioned a few times, I have social anxiety.  Why I chose to do the biggest marathon in the biggest city is beyond me.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun but I’m ready for a smaller marathon.

PRing in the marathon will be my primary goal for Fall of 2014.  

I find I’ll have a higher chance to do this going from NYCM to Wineglass because I’ll know what to expect of how a marathon in general feels.  I’ll know that marathons are hard, I’ll probably die around mile 20 and that I should eat more gels.  I’ll know what it feels like 2 and a half hours into a hard race.  I’ll know more about training.

Logistics wise, I won’t have to wake up 6-7 hours before the race.  I won’t have to walk to a subway, ride a train, take a ferry and then bus and finally sitting for 2 hours before a race.  It will be glorious to only be up a couple of hours before a race.

I’ll be honest that a 3:17 marathon was not exactly what I wanted last fall.  I made a lofty goal of 3:10 (and after my half marathon times in the Spring that should have been reasonable) however I didn’t reach my goal.  I’m not blaming multiple moves or the fact that I didn’t realize how hilly or hard (logistics wise) the race was.  I’m not blaming anything.  I enjoyed my first marathon and I could not be more proud to finish in 3:17.  Fitness wise, I know I was in a faster place.  I am proud of my marathon and marathon time.  I also cannot wait to drop my time further.

I don’t know my goal yet for Wineglass.  After running a couple of 1:25 half marathons and then PRing, I would like to HOPE I am capable of running under 3:05 or even 3 hours but the marathon is a different race.  It’s not two half marathons.  I won’t make a goal until I am much closer and shift focus to marathon training.  (Sometime in later June).  Plugging my recent half marathon into the McMillan calculator with proper training, it says 2:55.  Right now I personally think that is a little bold and unrealistic but that’s my opinion.  Going from a 3:17 to a 2:55 would be quite the drop.

I don’t really have a plan until then.  I know I want to run a few more half marathons in the Spring.  I want to stay injury free.  (Who doesn’t?)

Then in the summer I’ll go into some higher mileage training and also do more 5ks for workouts.

I would like to get back to my 18:35 5k I did last year.  (Am I needy or what, marathon PRs, getting back to my 5k time…I just need everything).

Then do a couple of fall tune up half marathons in the later summer/early fall and run at the Wineglass full.

Something along those lines anyways.  I’m still in the very early stages of decided what I want to do with my training.  I know it will keep on line with my normal running training. I won’t stress about it, I’ll probably race a fair amount (5ks please) and just continue to run higher mileage.  I would love to be able to find a coach to help me but that is a post for itself.

As the race comes closer I’ll make a more concrete goal and plan but admitting is the first step right?  Well here you go…Wineglass 2014 here I come.