Personal, Reads

Staying Flexible

The moment I got into the NYCM my life became pure chaos.  About a week after signing up for the marathon I decided I would work for the summer in VA then move to Texas with Tim in the fall.  He was graduating around that time and it made sense it would be a good time frame.  When I made that decision in May I thought I would have the summer to train for the marathon and keep that training in the fall while living down in Texas.  Since moving down here only two weeks ago, life has thrown me a lot of curve balls. 

Somewhere in college I lost the ability to be flexible.  I think it was the day I signed up for the cross country team while already being on our collegiate swim team.  (Looking back I think why was this a good idea?) Between college work, classes, running and swimming I needed to be in a routine to get everything done in the day.  I knew what I needed to do and when .  I also knew I needed to have life planned out a few days prior to accomplish these tasks.  That worked out well for me throughout school and I was able to thrive in everything I set out to do.  It worked out well solely because I had no one elses schedule to work around.  It was just me.  After making a lot of life decisions senior year I stayed pretty routine to finish my new major on time while still running.  Even on days that I didn’t have class until noon I liked to wake up around 7 and do homework in the morning.

When I got a job in Oswego I kept a planned routine.  I essentially had been living by myself and on my own schedule for three years and just needed to worry about myself.  Now living with Tim I’ve already learned very quickly you can’t plan or make plans based upon yourself and you have to be flexible.

For instance Tim doesn’t always get done with work until around 6, 7 or even 8.  He also doesn’t know when he will get done and can’t text and say I’ll be done at such and such time.  So I have to be flexible of when I’m eating or making dinner.  Maybe he will show up at 5…maybe 8.  Both have happened on numerous occasions.

We also thought we would be moving again at the earliest in January.  That isn’t in the cards for us and we will have to be in New Jersey by early November.  That is only a month and a half away. I just unpacked and moved to Texas and now I have to repack and move to New Jersey.   There was little or no warning and he just came home and said “hey check this out”.  Oh these are our move dates.

Incase you forgot I’m also running the New York City Marathon the first weekend in November.  So I have that bit of stress to go along with moving and training.  Moving, training, looking for a job was not all part of my plan and routine when graduating college but it’s what happened.

So over the course of the week I learned that I will have to move again BEFORE the marathon on November 3rd.  I have to repack everything and due to some training Tim is doing be in New Jersey before he gets there.  We were not expecting this at all.  Would I have moved to Texas if this was the case?  I don’t know but no sense in playing the what if game.  I don’t regret it.  I am enjoying my refound spontaneous and flexible attitude.

Being flexible is something I have come to embrace again in the last few weeks.  I thought I could live my life on a set routine but moving down here has taught me that is not the case at all.  I am glad to have found a spontaneous happy medium.  I don’t fear the future like I once did I am embracing it.  Things will happen when they happen.  I will find a job when I move to NJ and worrying about it now isn’t going to do me any good.  As much as I would love to preach this to others I know it is something they must find on their own, just as I did.

Question for you: Are you spontaneous or a routine oriented person? 

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Personal

Time to Move…Again…

I keep getting a lot of questions regarding where exactly I am or will be in the future.  I wish I could tell you but I really don’t know anymore these days.  As an outside or objective reader you become invested in a bloggers personal life.  I feel like I “know” every blogger outside of their blog and enjoy watching their life happen in real time (hoping for the best).  I often think because they blog they have their life figured out.  Or I figured they wouldn’t post if they didn’t.  (I don’t know why I think that because I’m pretty notorious at jumping the gun and can’t keep secrets very well).

I’ve made the mistake countless times and learned plenty of life lessons along throughout the three years I’ve been blogging.  When I publically announced I was moving to Texas a few months ago, I never thought it a million years that I would be moving to New Jersey this year too.  There was a possibility we would stay in Texas for a few years or go somewhere else in the next year.  So realistically it made sense that I would come down here for about a year or even five. When Tim found he was getting his top choice airplane to New Jersey a couple of weeks ago we were both quite ecstatic. We both thought we would still have time to move and get settled.

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Most people wouldn’t’ leave until January so spending 4 months in Texas would be about the same as a semester at college.  People transfer after a semester not a big deal.

Unfortunately that is not the case at all.  We will be leaving for New Jersey at the very beginning of November.  In case I haven’t spammed my blog enough the beginning of November happens to be the only thing in my life that has been set in stone since May, the New York City Marathon.

When I first signed up for that race I didn’t quite think that I would be going through multiple moves (New York-> VA->Tx->NJ) all across that span.  Apparently when I train for marathons I like to get in as much training in each state as possible.

To make everything work with running the marathon and also moving, I’ll be driving back to the east coast in mid to late October.  (I don’t want to drive 2000 miles the week before my first marathon).  I’ll probably spend a few days in Virginia then drive up to NY to run.  Finally by the time I’m done running and semi recovered to leave New York (I do anticipate spending a few days there) I’ll drive down to New Jersey where I’ll reside.  At least I know that I’ll be there for four years.

The more I think about 2013 and the fact that I’ll have moved four times the more I realize I am a completely different person then 2012.  I have grown so much and realized that life will hand you plenty of curve balls and you must be willing to adapt and not them stress you out.

So that is where I’m at with life outside of training for a marathon.  Incase you know me in real life you know it’s just my typical hot mess and how did I get myself into these situations self.  

Questions for you:

How often do you move?

Have you ever moved by yourself? 

Running

Training With a Significant Other

Tim and I met through running at a college cross country race.  We went to neighboring schools and both ran cross country.  Our first date was going on a run together and we have since run off and on together. 

From the half last weekend
From the half last weekend

 

That brings me to the question of the hour.

Do you train with a significant other? 

When we lived apart Tim and I obviously didn’t run together.  I have always run the majority of my miles by myself even before I met Tim.  This is partly because I’ve always had a schedule that didn’t work for others.  In college I ran in the morning before class or in the middle of the day when others had class.  Tim would occasionally join me in the middle of the day depending on his schedule.  (He didn’t go to my school but a neighboring school).  We never ran more than once or twice a week together.

When I would visit him and in the summer, we would run every single run together.  You go from not seeing each other to seeing each other for a week at most…of course you are going to want to spend the most time together.  Tim was (and still is) a good sport about slowing down for my pace.  A reason I do enjoy running with him is that he isn’t going to push the pace to something that is uncomfortable and frustrating for me.  It’s hard for me to run with someone who is constantly checking their garmin or saying oh my god this five seconds too slow/fast, ect.

I’m a very grassroots, carefree and could care less about the overall pace kind of person.  When I stop improving from not caring, I might care more but right now I’m continuing to improve without aggressively keeping tabs on my pace.

Now that Tim is about done with flight school he can start running more consistently again.  He has taken the last year or so off of any serious running because it’s next to impossible to with his schedule.  You can say wake up at 3 am go for a run and then go to work for 12 hours…but let’s be honest it’s a lot easier to say that then do it.

Since I’ve moved down here to Texas we have been doing the majority of runs together.  He is currently  getting back into running shape.  Right now our paces are pretty similar so it’s nice for me to not feel guilty about slowing him down.  In another month, I won’t be able to say that.  My pace won’t be as good for him as a 7 minute pace he would be training at.

Will we still run together occasionally?  Yes.  We both love running and spending time together. Will we be that twinnerz couple running and training together every second?  No and I can’t imagine doing that.  Both of us are really type A runners and we both know what we need to do to get better.

I can’t imagine running 80 miles weekly with anyone let alone a boyfriend or significant other.  I think that would get terribly tiresome and strain even the strongest relationships.  No two people are the same athlete or have the same methodology for improvement.

Questions for you:

Do you prefer to train alone or with others?

I like to run a lot of miles by myself so I can go the pace I want.  That being said, I do enjoy running with others a few times a week to change things up.  Being alone for that long gets really boring quickly (and it’s also part of the reason I enjoy racing so often).

Do you train with a significant other? 

Personal

A Short Stay in Texas

When you pick up and move somewhere without any plan or job it’s a big risk. Before moving to Texas, I had been a mix of excitement and nervousness the entire summer.  While working two jobs I pretended to pack and get ready to move down.  Now that I am a little over a week living in Texas I know I made the right choice.  Though maybe I’m still in the “honeymoon” of moving stage but so far so good.  Though my stay in Texas will only be a honeymoon period.

My biggest worry all summer about moving down was not being able to afford things.  I’m not working right now at all.   I am also not dependent on my parents.

Since I have a better idea of how long I’ll be down here now I can start to look for a job that will keep me occupied.   After assimilating into Texas on Friday I realized that it was not in the cards for me to stay.  Tim found out last Friday which plane he would be flying and where we would be going next.  I knew driving down here that there was a very high possibility we would probably not stay.  I also wanted to be there for  the night he found out.

That being said I will be moving again to just outside of Trenton, NJ.

My best guess is we will be moving in early 2014.  If it’s before 2014 I can successfully say I’ll have lived in four different states this year (read: I’ll have moved four times this year).   I’m rather excited for NJ because it’s exactly where I wanted to go as well as I can finally start looking for a full time job again.  Where we will be living will be less then 2 hours from New York City, an hour from Philadelphia, three from his parents and five from VA Beach.

My thoughts on job hunting now:

Though I don’t have a job right at this very second I will have one sometime soon.  I worked my butt off this summer so that I would be able to support myself while I look for a job for a few months.  That obviously won’t hold me for life…. Like training for a race, I need to constantly remind myself of all these factors so that I don’t get too upset and stressed right now looking around.   As easy as it is for me to type that out, I can assure you I still stressed about finding a job.   I have applied to a few places so hopefully I hear back soon but knowing my luck I will hear back the week before I move.

Thoughts about funemployment:

Yes being unemployed seems like a great gig and I’ve had countless people say they are jealous, please don’t be.  I would prefer to work.  It is highly unlikely that I will find something temporary in my field down in boondocks, Texas (in the middle of fall) but it doesn’t mean I can’t try.  If I cannot locate anything I’ll be looking for something remotely interesting to produce some sort of income for the next few months.  There is a diner down the road that I am sure they could use pancake chefs or coffee brewers.   Once we move to NJ (for four years) I’ll be able to finally settle down and get a full time job again.  That much I’m excited for.

If anything the last year has taught me to be extremely flexible as I have the possibility to live in four locations (and states) in a year.

Questions for you:

How many times have you moved?

Does anyone have any connection to NJ? 

Personal

Travel Musings Part 2

Happy Friday the 13th.  I actually graduated high school on Friday the 13th and I think I turned out well.  I was born Thursday, July 12th and my superstitious father did not want a Friday the 13th baby.

Part 1 of my adventures is here.

Day 3: Auburn, Alabama to Jennings, Louisiana

This was easily the hardest day of travel.  I had nothing to look forward to except sitting in a car in solitude for an entire day.   The rest of the drive was starting to take its toll on me.  It reminded me of the third lap of a mile race…you just want it to be over.

After waking up and running on the Auburn Campus, dad and I headed down for breakfast.  The eggs in Alabama were more of cheddar cheese with a side of eggs.  It was 5 parts cheddar, 2 parts ham and 1 part egg.  It was also delicious.

eggs

The coffee was hard to come by in Alabama and the first gas station (at 8:30 am) did not have any.  I knew this might be the start of an exhausting day.  The gas station did have a wide selection of beer ready to be purchased though.

After getting coffee around 11 we continued on the drive.  We weren’t making awful time but we weren’t making that great of time either.  Around 1pm, we found ourselves starving so we got off the high way. only to find there are no restaurants on the side of the road.  By this point I was hot, tired, thirsty and hungry.  Those four combined probably made me the most miserable person to be around and it may be good I was in the car by myself.  We finally just stopped at some bbq joint because the parking lot was really crowded.  (It must be good if it’s crowded right?)

We got back on the road around 2 and continued our driving.  I don’t remember if I had mentioned that a few days before we left we determined my AC in the car does not work properly.  It just blows around hot air.  This meant the entire drive I was roasting in my car.

So that made day 3 pretty miserable since the deep south is hot.

Insert about 5 hours of hot, mindless driving miles.

Tame the afro
Tame the afro

Around dinner time we were just going by Baton Rouge.  Perfect dad and I thought. There would be plenty of places to stop and eat and we wouldn’t be struggling to find somewhere.  Then when I led the way I put us in the wrong lane.  We ended up going over the Mississippi river and past Baton Rouge.

If you have ever crossed the Mississippi then you know the next exit is 20 miles away because you go over a Bayou with alligators and god knows what else down there.  Similar to our lunch experience I spent the next 20 minutes being annoyed at myself.  We finally stopped at the first exit and located a nice Cracker Barrel.   Dad casually mentioned: Oh did you see those 10 foot alligators on the side of the road?

By that point we decided to drive another 30 minutes and stay in Jennings.  We had thought we might get to Texas that night but neither of us wanted to prolong the day 3 drive from hell.  Thank goodness for foursquare which was able to map me to a hotel.

So with that dad and I went to bed right when we got to the hotel so we could get to bed and start a new day.

Day 4: Jennings to San Antonio, Texas

Jennings was no different and we woke up with another morning run.  I have complained about heat and humidity but Louisiana really takes the cake.  Props to any runners that run the summer throughout that state and I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much in my life.

After the longest and coldest shower of my life, dad and I headed down to breakfast.  The eggs at this hotel were cheesy scrambled eggs with ham.  As I went back up for seconds I noticed the lady adding something to the eggs.  She was literally adding sticks of butter.  She stopped me and said “Hold on honey I am going to make this taste better than any hotel breakfast you have ever had”.  I told her they already tasted better then Upstate NY eggs and that prompted her to tell me about her family living in New York City.  After about 15 minutes of conversation and a new best friend I ate some buttered eggs which too her credit were the best eggs of the journey.

Butter my eggs
Butter my eggs

After breakfast, taming my afro and stopping at a gas station and casino trucker combo we headed off for San Antonio.  It wasn’t more then 90 minutes that we finally reached Texas.

My final destination! 

Just kidding, I still had 400 miles but we were in Texas.  When they say everything is bigger in Texas…they aren’t lying.

metexas

After begging dad to take some photos of these life moments, he said “don’t you want that bear…your instagram friends won’t know you made it without him.”  Good play dad.

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Since I was riding my “I’m in Texas high,” the next couple of hours went by rather quickly and I found myself ready for lunch around noon.  Dad and I stopped at Which Which in Dallas, which (ha) is the coolest sandwich place I’ve ever been.  I recommend it.

After lunch we got on the open roads towards San Antonio and the speed limit went up to 70.  I noticed a policeman sitting on the side of the road and as soon as I drove by I said “Aw shoot”.  For some odd reason I had a sneaking suspicion he was radaring (which he was).  How am I going to explain this one?  Sir, I was following that uhaul and we were going the speed limit.  I wasn’t tailgating, texting or anything.  I was rapping Nicki Minaj though.

About a minute after I pass him I see his lights go off and him speeding up.  My heart literally plummeted.  Then out of great relief (to me at least) he went over to left lane and pulled the guy next to me over.  I have never been more relieved in my life.  I don’t exactly have the best driving record and don’t need another ticket. After taking a minute to calm down, I realized dad and I were only going 65 so I don’t know why I was worried to begin with.

The next couple hours went by without any sort of excitement.  We stopped at a rest area with nature trails (apparently “jogging trails” are common at rest stops in Texas).  Dad and I mused for a while and continued to San Antonio.

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Upon arriving (and getting lost for a while) we made it to the hotel.  The only good luck I seemed to have on this trip was that Tim was flying through San Antonio and was able to meet us. It was extremely lucky that his flight led him through there. He even ended up staying (all coincidence) in the same hotel as us.  It was the most random, weird but obviously good occurrence of the trip.

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He really wanted to take as many photos with me as possible to update his facebook. After relaxing for the evening and getting food for the half marathon we headed to bed.  Not before getting “14 karot cake” for dessert because my best races come from eating a massive amount of sugar prior.

karotcake

You can read about the half marathon here. Cliff notes version: hottest most humid race of my life but still fun.

Questions for you:

Do you have a good driving record?

No and I hate driving.  (I can’t even beat around the bush with that one)

Favorite way to eat eggs?

Besides the sticks of butter I do enjoy omelets.  I really like eggs in general so there isn’t a way (I don’t think) that I don’t like them.