9 Years ago I Began Running

9 Years ago I Began Running

For last the 9 years, the time around St. Patrick’s day has held a more sentimental reason to me than drinking beer, wearing green and pots of gold.

Although if you would like to send me a pot of gold that is fine too!  Nine years ago I ran a 5k in college that would change the path and direction of my life. I started this blog the summer after which means the blog is coming up on 9 years too. Wow, where did my 20s go?

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

When I was a college sophomore, 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.  My roommate appreciated my hoarding I guess.

I had plenty of short sleeve shirts but long sleeve shirts were something I was always looking for.  All I had to do was sign up for a 5k and complete it?

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

My running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster. I swam competitively through high school and most of college. I failed the mile countless times in both middle and high school…or passed by a couple of seconds (passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12). Since 10th-grade gym class I had avoided running like the plague.

I ran twice in the first two years of college. Both times were to “impress” upperclassman on the swim team. It wasn’t impressive and I made a fool out of myself.

During the offseason 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.  I didn’t run during the offseason at all. The elliptical and I were friends. Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself into running the 5k, 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 picked up my free long sleeve shirt.

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… My dad has been running far longer than I have. In fact, he had a big marathon the next week (The Shamrock Marathon). I didn’t want the embarrassment that his daughter couldn’t finish a 5k.

I wore that t-shirt 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.  I wasn’t “hooked”. I did realize it wasn’t all that bad and I ran occasionally when it was nice out.  I ran 10-20 miles a week depending on the weather. 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 someone who didn’t hate running anymore.  When you fail the mile test multiple times in grade school, it’s hard to like it.

I began to consider myself a runner:

I didn’t run every day.

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 any more races until July.

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

Crazy to think that was almost a decade ago!

Questions for you:

When did you get your (workout) start?

What are you up to this St. Patrick’s Day?

Graduation.

As most people know, this weekend is my brother’s college graduation.  My brother Matt and I are extremely close and I could not be more proud of him.  It’s hard to think how fast the last four years have gone for everybody!

Since he is graduating a military academy so it’s a longer event and lasts a few days!  He spent four years at Kings Point Academy and because of his hard work received a commission into the U.S. Navy.

I’m extremely proud of him for the hard work he has put in.  

Matt's High school graduation!

Matt’s High school graduation!

Four years ago, I visited him for family weekend.  He had just gotten through the first few months of the military academy.

Visiting during Family Weekend

Visiting during Family Weekend

Hanging out at my youngest brother's graduation

Hanging out at my youngest brother’s graduation

Visiting Philadelphia!

Visiting Philadelphia!

It’s hard to believe how fast time has gone for both of us.  We are all proud of him and can’t wait to celebrate.

Life After College

Last week I wrote a post about a lesson I learned post college. In typical LOLZ fashion, I always have more to say. I learned a lot of other things post college too.  Since I like to keep it short and most students have actually started college, I decided to limit myself to five things.

1. While you can still wear leggings and sweats outside of your house post college, you will probably be carded for lottery tickets…it’s probably time to sell those baggy butt sweats on eBay.

Here is a picture of me in college in purple leggings.

Here is a picture of me in college in purple leggings.  (around 4 years ago)

Here is a photo of me in leggings this year.  I look the same.

Here is a photo of me in leggings this year. I look the same.

2. Kids these days!  I find myself saying “back in my day” and I “I remember college…”.  Well back in my day those young whipper snappers didn’t wear those bare midriff tops to class and hooker heels.  High schoolers wearing open back prom dresses like it’s no big deal.  DadLOLZ still doesn’t approve when I leave the house with too much makeup.  I find myself so judgmental and the youth and their crazy outfits.  Kesha wasn’t joking when she sings the song Crazy Kids.  Except I think Kesha is my age.

Those kids in their bare midriff clothing...

Those kids in their bare midriff clothing…

My prom dress.  #socovered

My prom dress. #socovered

3. 9pm bedtime…living in a judge free zone. No one cares if you say, well kids it’s 9pm and my old lady senses are tingling. Time for bed.  This is actually my favorite part about being out of college.

4. Similarly I wake up earlier than I did in college (and enjoy it). The morning and stillness is a beautiful thing.

5. I often miss the structure of having classes and things to do.  Although at the same time, I don’t mind coming home and not having to work.  I think I have more free time than college (and in colelge I had more free time than high school).

Questions for you:

What is one thing you’ve learned post college?

If you are in college now, what do you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed seeing my friends everyday.   Is that not like the most typical school kid answer ever?

 

Lessons College Never Taught Me…

It’s hard for me to believe that college is starting soon again.  It seemed like just yesterday that my friends were done with the semester and coming home for the summer.  Now people are going back to college or even starting their freshman year!  I remember each trip my parents took with me to college.  Each 700 mile drive was unique in some sort of weird and awkward way.

I learned a lot about myself during college (both mentally and physically).  The most important lesson I learned however,had nothing to do with courses.  I learned about myself as a person.

I’ve written about my definition of success and happiness several times.  I’ve also written about struggling post college several times.  When I was in college, I thought one I graduated, I would easily get a job in my field, work and then I would be successful.  I did my college time and now the reward (a job) would flock to me.  It’s partially true that I interned then worked in my field at SUNY Oswego.  I loved it and truly enjoyed my time there in the public health field. I learned even more about myself, my field (public health) as well as my personal relationship with Tim.

In the late spring of 2013, I had an important decision to make.  A decision college doesn’t really prepare you for.

Do I move and get out of Upstate NY? 

I was dating at the time, and a long distance relationship won’t work forever.  He was finishing his training so it made sense for me to move down there.  Being in the military, Tim will never have flexibility to move where he wants.  It was either I move or we continue having a long distance relationship.

I chose to move.  In the fall of 2013 I moved and found myself unemployed with no job leads.  People asked me all summer my job plans and I said I have no idea, live off savings and find one.

Being unemployed came just one year after spending four years trudging through gail force -30 degree winds to class.  It came six months after digging my car out of snow banks for work.

I stayed unemployed from September until around March.  During that time we found out we were moving to New Jersey.  We had one of the roughest winters on the east coast and southern states weren’t prepared to plow (I felt like I never left upstate!)  I hit the job market at the worst time since businesses weren’t hiring.  The last thing they wanted (or needed) to do was hire for their closed business.  I ate away at about 75% of my savings that I saved the previous year working.   College never taught me about budgeting or savings…but I thank my parents often that they did.

I applied for jobs everywhere and in every field.  Quite frankly living in Del Rio Texas, a job was not going to happen.  I lived there six weeks but almost a year later (read: last Tuesday) I finally found a job in my field that I remotely qualified for.  (After getting dozens of emails to be road kill collector…I don’t know why I’m still on public health job list…or why collecting road kill requires a public health degree…).  I would have most definitely had to do something outside my college degree if I had lived there…which is fine but not anything college prepared me for.

So when we moved to NJ, I was more than happy..  So many opportunities that aren’t road kill collectors!  I probably applied to close to 30 jobs.  (I filled out about 100 job applications).  I applied for multiple public health jobs, running store jobs, even a substitute teacher (as I spent 3 years with a double math/education major).  I was bored being at home and financially it wasn’t going to work out well if I was going to stay unemployed for another year.

As good as my first year out of college was (job wise), my second year was as bad. That was something I was not prepared for.  The only thing that would have really prepared me would be living through this situation.

So when I got a call that they would have room for me at a local running store, I jumped on it.  After 8 months of doing nothing, it was a nice change.  Now working there about 6 months, I can say I fully enjoy it.  While college taught me how to solve derivatives at the drop of a pin, it didn’t teach me that I was also growing as a human.  I was learning how to educate people in health awareness but I was also growing and needed to experience these lessons for myself.  I wish college taught me that it’s okay not to do anything in your major as long as you are successful financially, mentally and physically.  If you can say all of those things as well as you are happy with your life, then college has taught you well. 

I regret nothing about my education, my post college life and where I’m at right now.  I’m enjoying my life, financially stable and successful both mentally and physically.  None of those things are anything I took a college course for but at the same time needed college for.

Questions for you:

What is one thing you wish college had taught you?

What has been your favorite job? 

Friday Fun

I find that blog readers are like boyfriends.  As you grow you change the type of blogs you read.  As you grow older, you may or may not date around…If you liked my blog once and now you hate it…well that is what happens.  Or if you are newer reader to LOLZ blog… that is always awesome too.  That is why when I first start reading a blog I love to introduce myself to the author.  They might not care at all (in that case I wonder why am I even reading) or they might comment back.  I always think it is interesting as an author to hear and see who is reading.  I love putting a voice or name with people that read.

So anyways instead of rambling away about training or whatever else, I’ll tell you random fun facts about me that you may or may not already know…Then you can tell me a random fun fact or ten about yourself.

My parents own a donkey.  They bought a second house on the Eastern Shore of VA and the previous owner never took the donkey with him.  There were also chickens, goats and a pig but all since have passed away…the donkey lives strong.

Donkey selfie

Donkey selfie

donkey

I didn’t start drinking coffee reguarly until freshman year of college.  When I went to school in upstate NY, I found the winters to be very cold (-30 degrees at some points).  I wanted something warm in my hands so I altnerated between coffee in the morning and hot cocoa or decaf coffee in the evening.

Back in the colds of coffee life.

Back in the colds of coffee life.

DadLOLZ was in the Navy and I grew up partially in the UK, 2 years in Japan and then finally moved to Virginia.  I was born in San Diego, CA though.  I loved moving and traveling as a child.  I saw so many places overseas when I was younger, I hope to see more again.

It’s odd for me to think a lot of people didn’t realize I used to swim.  I swam for 15 years before beginning to run 4 years ago.  I swam the 500/1000/mile in college and quit my senior year.  I had a great time with great friends but my life had moved on.  I did what was best for me and I don’t regret it.  Swimming was a huge part of my life growing up and it will always be memories that last forever.

Swimming the Mile, Can you tell?

Swimming the Mile, Can you tell?

No questions today but tell me a fun fact about you and if you never have introduced yourself…don’t be shy!   

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