musings

Thoughts on Thursday

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve participated in a Thursday Thoughts post with Running with Spoons. I keep half typing a post up but it hasn’t come together like I would like.  Maybe I should just add them all together and I would have a coherent blog post?  Maybe…This is a collection of some of the most random things I’ve talked about in a while.  I guess that is what these types of posts are for anyways, to really gather your thoughts.

It’s two weeks until T gets back.  I am getting pretty excited but also nervous.  I’ve been living in my LOLZ LOLZ LOLZ fraternity of a house…I should probably start cleaning now.  I’m only kidding, I’ve managed to keep the house clean.  The last two months have gone by relatively fast but I have a feeling the next two weeks will go by really slow.  Or another case would be the next two weeks would be go too fast and then my house would not be as clean as I would like.  Only time will tell how I waste my time and panic the day before Tim gets home.  (I hope you aren’t reading this post Tim, I swear our house is clean and the only causality is a remote…)

On a completely different note, I was sent protein to try.  I’ve been looking for a protein powder that works for me.  I don’t do a lot of product reviews do when a company reaches out to me I debate for a while.  I tried mayoprotein the last few months and really like them.  I tried the vanilla toffee fudge and just blended it with milk and ice in my magic bullet.  I had it a lot as a snack midday when I was home.  It’s been good and I have no complaints!  Plus it has a significant amount of calcium which is something I’ve been trying to get more of.  It’s been really good and I highly recommend it.  When I get through this bag I will be making a purchase for myself, so thank you my protein and for reaching out to me.

I added a bit of coffee int o this one.  I have no regrets.

I added a bit of coffee int o this one. I have no regrets.

Is it just me or has this week gone by super slow?  That’s how I’ve felt anyways but I’ll leave it at that I guess.  The struggle all week has been real.

slow week

After doing a WIAW and having what I ate all out there, I began to feel self conscious.  Not that it really mattered because it has been working fine day to day but I did notice there was some room for improvement.  I’ve began researching some articles of interesting and fun foods (fun foods?) to bring with me.  I think I’m looking more into it then anyone else reading did though (but aren’t we all our own worst critics?).  Who really cares what I ate and how I ate it?

Update on my foot, is that I think it needs more rest time.  While my mile run felt okay, it didn’t feel great.  I think I need at least 1 more (if not 2) weeks to keep recovering.  So back to cross training I go.

I haven’t gotten any mail in the last few days.  Now I really feel lame and boring.  I like checking my mail and collecting things…unless it’s bills, I would rather not.

mail meme

Question for you: Tell me something random today…whether it’show your week is going, what you are up too or something you just want to ramble away about.  The more random, the better.

Shamrock Outside of Racing

I finally have a post to update you on exciting things going on in my life.  Honestly this will just serve as my life last week outside of the actual race.

I should do more traveling because it gives me more things to write about.  Anyways during the Shamrock marathon weekend I was able to see so many different people.  This includes meeting over 20 of my Oiselle teammates.  It was honestly both overwhelming and exciting.   I wish I had more time because there were a few more people I really wanted to see.  It just gives me a reason to go back and visit VA again soon.

Where to start? 

Lots of Oiselle teammates.  Look mom I have friends!

Lots of Oiselle teammates. Look mom I have friends!

Thanks to a good friend of mine and teammate Mollie, we had a huge meetup at Bravo for dinner the night before the race.  (The evening after the 8k).  It was so great to meet so many wonderful people and teammates.  I can’t sing each person enough songs.  (mostly because I can’t sing but each person/teammate is truly awesome).  While Oiselle athletes are scattered across the country it is truly amazing to gather us all up and realize how much we are different yet how much we have in common.

At dinner I also realized I should probably drink the West VA elite koolaid.  Those ladies are fast!

Also how awesome is it that we all finished within a minute of each other.  Finish line joy! 

meoiselle

Outside of hanging out with several Oiselle teammates I spent a good amount of time with one of my best friends Theresa. I cannot believe we have been such good friends since I started lifeguarding my sophomore year of high school.  Those were the good times (or not).

TheresaandI

Anyways, we had lunch at No Frill Bar and Grill on Friday afternoon.  Then on Sunday (as I said yesterday) she basically saved my racing life.  I truly look forward to these moments that I get to come home and visit (and see her).

nofrillebarandgrillsalad

At the expo I even got the pleasure to chat with the famous Bart Yasso.  He said something that really resonated with me.  “Runners often complain about the bad weather but don’t look at the good parts of it.  All we remember or talk about is the bad”.  For instance in a windy race we only focus on the headwind but normally there is a tailwind too.  I am really trying to be conscious about this.  It was such an honor to be able to chat for a while.  He probably thought I was the worlds biggest goober fan.

Mr. Yasso himself!

Mr. Yasso himself!

I wish I had gotten to see a lot more people but time truly got away from me.  My cell phone decided to do an update that crashed it and deleted half my text messeges, 90% of photos and random apps.  I had to redownload twitter!  (It might have saved me a solid 1 MG of data.).

The worst part of my phone problem was it deleted a photo of Andrew and I.  Andrew is one of the fastest and nicest runners in VA Beach.  He is truly awesome and works so hard.  He had an amazing weekend and PRed in the half (1:19) after doing the 8k the day before.  He is such an inspiration to me.  Of course my phone deleted this important photo.  Next time I’ll take 10 and get a fancy phone that uploads them immediately after it takes them. 

With everything else, I also got some good time with my parents too.  I love just relaxing and hanging out with my parents too.  As I grow older I appreciate my time with my parents more and more.  Seeing my dad immediately post race was one of the best feelings in the world.  I was so glad he came and saw me raise the roof right to the finish line.

Questions for you:

Do you travel often?

Tell me about some of your best friends.

A Start to Running

For the last four years, St. Patricks day has held a much more sentimental reason to me than drinking beer, wearing green and Holiday spirit.  Four years ago I ran a road race in college that would forever change my life.  Forever.

You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.

Four years ago, I saw a sign at the gym stating if you completed the annual campus 5k you would get a free long sleeve t-shirt.  As a college student you can never have enough things to stuff in your dorm room.  I had plenty of short sleeve shirts but long sleeves were something I was always looking for.  All I had to do is sign up for a 5k and complete it?

Okay sign me up.  Sign me up and I didn’t run an ounce beforehand.

Keep in mind my running history previous to March of 2010 is lackluster.  After failing the mile countless times in middle and high school or passing by a couple of seconds (passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12).  I had no idea where this race would take me.  Since 10th grade gym class I had avoided running like the plague.  The only two times I had run was to “impress” upper classman on the swim team.  It wasn’t impressive and I made a goober out of myself both times.

During the off season from swimming I went to the gym and used the elliptical or lifted weights.  It was nice to keep cardio and strength when I wasn’t swimming.  Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself into but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.

The race itself is pretty much a blur.  I don’t remember much other than I didn’t really hate it.

I finished the 5k is around 24 minutes.  I don’t remember the exact time but I remember not dying, texting my shocked dad that I had run a 5k and picking up my tshirt and wearing it proudly.  (of course I didn’t tell my parents I was running this 5k…I didn’t want them to ask if I didn’t finish).

I wore that tshirt all around the following day.  I was going to wear my badge of honor.

After the race, it wasn’t as if I magically became engrossed in running at that point.  I ran 20 miles off and on weekly for the rest of the spring.  When it was sunny I would run the same 5k loop around campus.  When it wasn’t nice out,  I wouldn’t run.  I would just go to the gym.

I mark St. Patrick’s Day as the official day I got my running start because after that point I considered myself “a runner”.

I didn’t run everyday.

I didn’t run fast.

I didn’t log my mileage.

I didn’t run when it was cold, windy or not perfect weather.

I had no desires to run with anyone or at a certain time…

I didn’t run anymore races until July.

But I ran…and when I did I enjoyed it.  

Questions for you:

When did you get your (workout) start?

What are you up to this St. Patricks Day?

After a jam packed amazing weekend at Shamrock, I’m on my way back to NJ.

A Dream Race…

This is an open letter to race directors.  It solely reflects my own personal opinion.  It is not meant to bash anyone or anything, nor am I begging every race I go to make it “perfect” for me.  I am just stating in a dream race situation this would be a winning combination for me.

It’s not a secret I like to run.  As well as running solo I like to participate in a lot in road races.  If I could race every weekend without the possibility of injury or mental fatigue I would.  I would love it.  That being said there are several things that I find to make the perfect race for me.  I’ve briefly listed them.

Registration:

There should be an option to do this beforehand online as well as at the race (for smaller races).  I understand bigger races or marathons and even some half marathons this is dumb idea…but to arrive at a 5k only to find out there is no race day registration is (in my opinion) silly.

Cost:

Some races are overly expensive because of the name attached.  Some clothing is overly expensive because of the name attached.  NYCM was 200+ dollars.  NYCM is the Gucci or Prada or Road Races…you do it once and then buy most of your clothes on clearance at target for a while.

That being said, I do not think no name 5ks, 10ks and races with minimal support and swag should be 50 dollars.  5ks should not be 50 dollars period.  Unless I’m getting a lot of free swag or a good tshirt, sweatshirt, COFFEE MUG, or something…5ks should not be 50 dollars ever.

Here are the prices I am willing to pay for a basic and nongoal race:

5k-9.9k: 30 dollars (the absolute max and I try and find 20 dollar 5ks as much as possible)

10k: 40 dollars

Half marathon: 75 dollars (unless it’s a goal race and falls on a specific date I want…)

The race:

If there is a corner there should be a volunteer or it is clearly marked to tell you where to go.  Nothing is worse than getting lost on a course when you are on a PRing pace.  Even a giant sign that says this way…just please don’t think people know.  I personally catch the dumb when I run.  2+2 begins to equal 3 and my mind becomes even less directionally intelligent.  You think my grammar is bad now imagine if I wrote while I was running.  I would be better off writing while I was drunk.

I normally don’t care as much about water stops.  Unless it’s especially hot, I need 2 cups of Gatorade per half marathon (mile 5 and 8 are my dream stops).   Just please have the appropriate amount of water or stops.  (I realize everyone is different in this issue and essentially it is the runner who should review the water stops…if you need more…carry your beverage of choice) I do think races should have one water stop (yes that even counts 5ks…not every runner is running a 15 minute 5k, some people are running an hour).  We as runners will thank you.

Finish line:

Have a clock at the finish line.  Always have a clock…unless it’s “not a race” I payed to race and have to have some sort of time.

A bit of water at the end is good too but I personally normally have ten water bottles in my car.

Race awards:

I’m sure there are a lot of different opinions on this.  I don’t race to win and pick up awards.  I’ve actually never won a race with a cash prize.  (That’s fine).  I’ve won a few gift cards, lots of trophies, medals and plaques (which I keep every single one) but at least do something for the overall winners.  Even if it’s a certificate we like the extrinsic motivation.  Nothing is better then instagramming a sweet prize.  It makes you look good, me look good and the race look good.

There has been one race that I’ve been disappointed with race awards and that was the Nike Women’s half marathon.  For a 160 dollar half marathon, you would have thought I would have gotten a certificate for winning my overall age group.  Since it was such a large, expensive race I guess I expected too much.  Maybe if I had a terrible race I wouldn’t have been so upset.  Other then that I race for me and have never had an “issue” with race awards.

That being said if you give me a free entry for next year’s event,  that is number one.  I will probably sing your race songs and come back if I’m around. In my dream world, every race I have won, I would get a free entry for next year.  (that’s just me though).  If I get any sort of award, whether it’s a baby medal I’m generally very happy.

One more thing:

What you do for the top male do for the top female.  Yes I understand the top male is winning and there is no one else in front of them but it really stinks when the top male breaks the tape and the top female does not…or the top male gets 3 cyclists and the top female does not…is that selfish I don’t know but I am a woman and I work hard.

In summary:

I love to race and if anything of this really upset me I wouldn’t race.  I do realize that putting a race together is hard work and I will always be in awe for those who do.  I’m just saying if race budgets were not an option and every race was tailored to my style…this would be a perfect race for me.

Question for you: What is a perfect race for you? 

Friday Virginia Catchups

This week has gone by so slow honestly.  You would think that because it has been a whirlwind of moving, unpacking and looking for jobs it would have sped by.  Sometimes that was the case…but other times…no not really.

That being said I have had some interesting and fun times this week.  Let’s see here…if I can only remember what exactly happened this week that would be good.

Monday I had some job interviews.  Fun times.  I started to unpack my room and then decided that I wanted to rearrange my room…not that you care but I guess I put my pressure of myself for more cleaning than necessary but a chance to get rid of so much crap.

Tuesday I also had job interviews.  I found out I got the job I wanted and will be working Tues-Thur from 10-8.  That is a STRESSFUL, 30 hour week in three days.  It does give me a lot of room to pick up a second job and it doesn’t interfere with running really…at all.  Not that I would not choose a job because it didn’t but honestly I think after an adjustment period I’ll like it.  It will also give me a huge opportunity to pick up a second job.  Once I know exact details I’ll post a little more…maybe.

Wednesday I hung out with Shannon.  We ate a local café suggested by Kate actually.  I’ll review it at another point…long story short…food=good…coffee=bad.

aromassalad

We also photographed with Wawa coffee obviously. (duh wawa coffee is never bad)

shannonandi

Thursday: I filled out a bunch of paper work for my new job and kept cleaning.  I’m certainly living the dream right now…right…

Friday is today and I think I’m going on a date with a friend of mine.

This weekend should be fun.  Saturday I’m running a 10k (a distance I never do.  Is it just me or are 10ks point blank hard to come by these days?  I’m begging for a PR and actually to be under 40 minutes).  I’ve never been under 40 before but for me it’s would bring a lot of confidence to my shorter speed.  (please don’t tell me it’s easily feasible…if it was I would have done it) Although it’s a very flat course…it’s very hot.  Very very hot.  Here is last years ERR race recap incase you forgot…because I did…apparently I was in an epic battle with a lady who kept cutting me off.  Isn’t blog creeping on yourself fun? 

Sunday I think I’m going to the Strawberry festival in Pungo with mom.  Who doesn’t like a festival centered around strawberries and fried dough. Unlike the Lilac festival with Laura a few weeks ago, I won’t be racing…therefore I can eat fried dough and funnel cake and not voms during a race.  (and I fully plan too).

Questions for you:

How was your week?  Any weekend plans?

Anyone racing?  

I can’t wait to see you if you are running the ERR 10k!

Training for Life Updates

My posts have been scheduled the last few days and I haven’t commented on many blogs.  I haven’t unpacked and I have been busy doing other things with my life…you know…like real life things.   I want to write a recap of my vacation to New York City but honestly it was just nice family time.  Not a lot went according to plan but it never does. 

I guess I see how people struggle that take some time off from blogging.  I mean my few days of scheduled posts don’t really count but so much has happened in the last week that I don’t even know where to begin to update you.  Not that I really have a lot I’m just overwealmed of where to begin.

I’ll start with the running aspect since this is a running blog.  I’ve missed the last 3 weeks of training posts but easy runs aren’t all that exciting.  Last week I severely cut my miles (read I ran 31 miles) and I sat in a car, went out to eat and was a big pile of lazy.

Every this photo of us on a train since it didn't happen unless it was selfied.  #trainselfie

Every this photo of us on a train since it didn’t happen unless it was selfied. #trainselfie

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 1.5 hour Cybex 100i
Thursday: 5.4 Mile run with dad (10 min pace?)
Friday: 15.4 Miles with Heather (how that happened…well I don’t know but it was fun and relaxing and at 6am)
Saturday: 10.15 miles with my brother Matt and Dad in Sunken Meadow park near NYC
Sunday: OFF (driving back to va)

Total: 30 miles

Here is something that irritated me a little bit last week.  I never publically announced I was taking a bunch of rest last week until later in the week…I didn’t really feel the need honestly.  On Wednesday, I got two emails asking if I was injured or taking a “dailymile break”.  If I was taking a dailymile break, that really wouldn’t be a big deal either.  The fact that it was almost unheard of to take days off is sad and I think a lot of that stems from blogging mentality.  When you take multiple days off you are training smart…you aren’t honoring your body and you aren’t Gods gift to the world and you certainly don’t need to try and give multiple reasons of your days off.

I took an easy week last week because I felt like it.  It wasn’t hard and it was just as beneficial (if not more) than logging multiple high mileage easier running weeks.  So that’s that.

I am starting a new training cycle this week.

Training for what?

Well that depends on June 1st and if I get into the New York City Marathon.  (I know…if you didn’t know I actually applied for that) 

If I do get it in I won’t do any serious training until Labor Day.  My primary (and the hardest goal for me throughout summer training) is to remain injury free.   So that’s that.  If I can stay injury free through the Rock and Roll half marathon VA Beach then I’ll begin incorporating longer runs (and especially as it gets cooler).

I actually plan to race nearly every weekend (mostly 5ks) this summer.  I’d like to get some nice speed workouts in and since I don’t do a lot of that by myself I think racing is my best bet.  Plus, I get to see all my friends anyways so that wasn’t really every a question.

So I guess even if I do get into NYC, I won’t really worry about it until Labor Day.  So there you go…my running is going smoothly for now.

Questions for you:

Do you take planned rest days?

For me, I don’t run when I don’t feel like it…which pretty much happens once every couple of weeks.   Then every couple of months I’ll take a few days off.  I don’t plan them though.

Oswego Musings Part 1

Looking at my posts from 2-3 years ago is a little bit embarrassing.  Almost like looking at old scrapbook of distant memories.  I have been away from college and Potsdam for a year in Oswego and have for the most part, really enjoyed myself.  Writing this post has become a lot harder than I ever imagined it would.

As some of you know or don’t (I guess since I’ll probably link it back to my facebook everyone can know) I have extreme social anxiety.  I don’t thrive off of being spontaneous all the time and moving to a brand new place, not knowing anyone or anything really about the area last fall really sent me into a tizzy the entire last summer.  I have a very hard time being in situations that are crowded (big concerts, big road races…bars) and I also have a very hard time facing new situations.  Not the whole “oh no so and so are judging me, but I’ve had panic attacks because of it). 

So many questions I asked myself on the drive up…Would I make friends?  Would I still be close to my old friends?  Would I sit in my room and cry because I was all alone? Would I find things to do?  The list that went through my mind last summer was endless.

But let’s start from the very beginning of my internship yes?

I made it to Oswego and when my dad (who drove up with me) and I finally located my room, they had absolutely no records or idea of who the heck I was.  So I sat there for about 15 minutes crying and in a near panic attack before calling my boss to get helpI was already stressed from driving but the fact that I might not be able to move in was really overwealming. 

 

My boss was more than helpful and I moved all my stuff in.  Then dad and I were on our way back to the airport to drop him off in the morning. 

For those of you who don’t know, I’m extremely close with my family and leaving again in the fall was extremely difficult for me.   The more I seemed to get through college, the harder it seems to get.  I thought it was supposed to be a reversal here.  My dad has driven up with me to college or Oswego the 90% of the time that I make that drive from upstate to VA or vice versa.

The first semester work wise was great.  I worked on pretty cool projects and learned a lot more about public/community health then I did in my courses.  Not to say I hadn’t learned much in my courses but the real world is far more inclusive to learning things in the field.  I worked on various topics dealing with mental health (the suicide prevention walk) as well learning what exactly it meant to be a health promotions coordinator on a college campus.  It was far more overwhelming at some points than others but I truly enjoyed it.

The Walkers beginning the actual walk!  450 coming!

The Walkers beginning the actual walk! 450 coming!

After finishing clean up and 9 hours later...it's nap time.  It was a long process but well worth it and we raised around 20,000 dollars.

After finishing clean up and 9 hours later…it’s nap time. It was a long process but well worth it and we raised around 20,000 dollars.

They played a great prank on me with getting an early 90s computer.

They played a great prank on me with getting an early 90s computer.

I ran the Turning Stone half marathon...because...well why not...nothing better to do

I ran the Turning Stone half marathon…because…well why not…nothing better to do

 

Also during first semester, I dealt with a foot injury that prevented me from running.  That in itself sent me into an extreme spiral due to the amount of training and also the suspected heights I was going to achieve collegiately.  Let’s be honest here my life is comprised of family and friends, work and my hobbies (which right now is running).  Taking out 1/3 of my life was a big deal and it felt like the countless 90 mile weeks I had logged were absolutely for nothing.

Enjoy this X ray of my foot

Enjoy this X ray of my foot

 

What if’s can be played here, but it gave me more time to focus on other aspects of my life. (edit: I’ve only come back stronger from my bootleg injury so honestly I have no regrets…plus I made some serious great friends in the gym…I’m looking at you SARAH!)

 

I can type my foot injury casually now, but just know combined with being in a new area and not many friends at the time, it was a very rough period for me.  I called my parents crying several times…thank goodness they were always there to listen.  

I made friends my first semester with coworkers, was able to see some of my friends that lived in the area and for the most part was doing okay.  There were still times I sat at home on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night but I was fine with that.  As a more introvert and someone never really into the college scene in college it wasn’t a big change there.  I didn’t want to go to the bar scene and so relaxing at night kind of was my thing.

Aren't we fun.

Aren’t we fun.

When the time came for what I was doing in the Spring, I had absolutely no idea.  I had looked and applied for several jobs and hadn’t heard much back.  I tried to stay focused and determined but it seemed like nothing was working.  My original plan had been move back to VA after the semester and look for jobs there, but I was lucky enough that I could stay and work in Oswego for another semester buying me time to continue looking for jobs (which for those of you who don’t know or are still in college…it’s not streamlined and you will be 100% frustrated.).

Then in November, everything seemed to click…you can go back and read about my long winded whines regarding my cyst but I was able to run the final collegiate cross country race.  It seemed like things were clicking again and I began my long journey to gaining back my running fitness…that really I never lost in two months.

As proven here when I didn't run for 2 months due my cyst and then ran a 24 minute 6k...

As proven here when I didn’t run for 2 months due my cyst and then ran a 24 minute 6k…

Oh and duh I got to see Tim for the first time in four months.  That was a good Thanksgiving.

timmewaterbuffalo

So mid December I left Oswego for the Winter break and went back home.  I was excited to spend a month off and hanging out down south but knowing I was coming back in the Spring to work again.

Tomorrow I’ll post more about Spring as this is wordy.

Questions for you:

Have you ever moved somewhere completely new, not knowing anyone?

Do you scrapbook?

I feel like my blog is a collection of my scrapbooking, as well as facebook (considering I have 3000+ photos)

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