26 Things I Learned Before Age 26

Today is my 26th birthday.  I’ve been blogging for while and have celebrated five birthdays on LOLZ blog.  Sometimes I post about my birthday and other times I don’t.

To be honest, age 25 wasn’t my favorite year but not every year can be.  At age 24, I moved, got married, bought my car and was riding the high of a newly wed.  Age 25 wasn’t bad and had both its fair share of both good and bad moments.

I thought it would be fun to reflect upon and think out loud about some of the things I learned over the past year.  Some were good, some bad.  Some are running related; some are life-related.

26 Things I Learned Before Age 26

Life is not perfect and never will be.  Social media doesn’t tell the full story.  We all have issues and problems behind the scenes. We all have tagged facebook photos we wish never existed.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. About a month ago, I found out I had a severe case of food poisoning as well as a fracture in my ankle.

MRI foot
An MRI image of my foot

Do things you like and skip what you don’t like.  Your life is yours to live and no one else’s.  Enjoy it as much as you can.  Choose wisely of activities and things you want to do.

Do what you like and skip what you don’t like part 2: Enjoy your job.  A job could be in an office full time, blogging or taking care of children. I like my job at the Running Store.  I like seeing my friends, helping plan group runs and seeing new running excel! Whatever you choose, enjoy it.

Rest up.  You only have one body and it follows you around. Your body is direct reflection of how you treat yourself.  Treat your mind, body and soul well. carlsbad half

Enjoy the moment.  In this day and age we find ourselves looking into the future far too much.  One of my favorite quotes: The future has yet to be written, and the past is written in permanent marker.  You have the power to write the present.  Enjoy the current moment.

Small things don’t matter.  Trivial things like the slow driver in front of you, a paper cut, small issues…you probably won’t remember any of this stuff in a week.

Be confident in your beliefs and values. If you don’t stand behind yourself, who will stand behind you?

Don’t lie. A lie turns into ten lies which turn in 100 lies that you can’t remember. It’s never worth it to lie.

Similarly, speeding only gets you a ticket which ultimately slows you down. If you live in New Jersey, then you know there is always a faster drive in the left lane anyways…

Nothing comes easy. If everything in life were easy, we would all be Olympic multimillionaire CEOs. Pick and choose your battles.

These two images are within a week: 

shamrock marathon 1

via Phillies facebook

You are not always right. It’s impossible always to be right.  Accept advice and help from others.  You will grow as a person both mentally and physically.

When you are late, you waste other people’s time. No one’s time is more valuable.  Time cannot be replaced. It is one thing that cannot be bought.  Respect other people’s time.

Smile.  Smile as much as possible, so people don’t think you’re a mean girl (When in reality you just have a resting bitch face…like me).

atlantic city april fools half me

Be flexible in everything.  If everyone was able to do every single thing they wanted, the world would be chaos. Your plans are not always the most important.

Our culture is full of extremes. Extreme beauty, extreme sports talent, extreme music talent, extreme weight loss or weight gain…Real life doesn’t work like that and moderation, and balance is key.

Everyone wants to be treated the same. Be polite and caring. No one likes a jerk.  No one deserves that.

Find your most productive hours of the day and do what you need to do. I find myself most productive in the mornings. As the day flies by, I typically become less productive. I try and do the most important things in the morning.

Do what you don’t want to do: first.  Save the best for last and do the tasks that you don’t want first.  That way they get done.

Quiet days are never a bad thing but social days are not a bad thing either.  It’s so important to balance both.  Everything is moderation.

How you dress says a lot. It’s easy to dress like a college student or an old lady. Dressing like a 26-year-old is tough!  Have a few well-fitted outfits that make you feel confident.

It’s totally okay to be by yourself. It’s okay to go out to eat at a restaurant by yourself, and it’s okay to treat yourself.  Doing things by yourself is okay.

To stay in touch with friends, it’s a two-way street. If you don’t go down the road, you can’t expect someone else too.  Make time for your friends and family.

Always thankful for friends
Always thankful for friends

Sometimes life needs an exact plan and sometimes it doesn’t.When I moved in with Tim 3 years ago, I had no plan. We worked through the current time, not the future, and it ended up working out.

My first visit to Texas

Stay Confident in Yourself. You are your biggest fan and your biggest critic! Make sure to stay confident in yourself.

Be Open to Others. Other people have different beliefs and viewpoints of the world.  Be open to ideas that do not agree with your own.

The End is Not Now: Remember, your life, your story, and your book are not complete. Always strive to be the best and add more words to your story.

Questions for you:

How did you celebrate your last birthday?

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned recently?

Five Things I’ve Learned From Running

I’ve always wanted to link with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC.  Each Friday, she has a “Friday Five” themed post but I always forget them until Friday morning. This week I actually remembered earlier in the week. 

Each week she does a weekly theme. The theme this week is:


Five Running Tips:

Running has taught me a lot about the sport as well as about myself too. Like any runner I’ve had highs and lows. I’ve had the best races of my life and I’ve been injured for months.  These are a few lessons I’ve learned.

5 lessons Running Taught Me

Here are a few things I’ve learned and wanted to share:


  1. Running is a life long process.  Each run is important but it’s the collection of runs that define you.  You cannot worry too much about one run.  One bad race does not define your running and neither does one good race.  It’s important to realize that each run will not be your best or worst.  Some runs will be boring and some will be exciting.
    One of my recent "best races"
    One of my recent “best races” (Icicle 10 miler)


  1. Run your easy runs easy and your hard runs hard.  For me hard runs are races.  For others it is a hard workout.  Find out what works for you and stick to it.  My average 5k pace is somewhere between 6:10-6:30.  My average easy pace is somewhere between 8:30-9 in the heat.  There is no need to push the pace of easy runs.
  1. Find a hobby outside of running.  That might sound counterintuitive but you need a hobby that does not include running.  When you begin to focus on one aspect, you can lose touch with the outside world.  It’s important to have balance with everything you do including running.
For me I like to paint things.
For me I like painting
  1. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! This is something I struggle with. I’ve spent months doing long, slow easy runs because it was my comfort zone. While I improved for over four years via this method, I eventually stopped improving. Then I began switching to faster paced runs as well as tempo runs. I learned I enjoy going to the track.  Faster paced runs and workouts are outside of most people’s comfort zones but they are eventually necessary to keep improving.
Right now the track is still out of my comfort zone
Right now the track is still out of my comfort zone
  1. Your biggest competitor is you. There is only one person that follows you from the beginning of your running story to the end. That person follows you from race to race, from run to run and from day to day. They are inside of your head every single moment of the day…that person is you. Make that person positive and help to achieve your goals.
You are in your head
You are in your head

I’ve learned a lot from running but these are just a few.  Typing out these lessons is a reminder to me as well.  Running is a great sport that teaches you a lot along the way.

Questions for you: What have you learned from running (or any sport)?

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