Friday, July 8, 2016

The Official End....(for now)

As has been clear, I have taken a big step away from blogging this year. I honestly feel more and more as I get older that I want to step away from the "social media" world and invest more into my physical, real-life world.

Especially with all the recent events going on...blogging just seems so trivial. Honestly, who cares how much I ran this week? Who cares where I went on a trip? What I ate? A new restaurant I tried? What I did over the weekend? It all matters to me, but shouldn't matter to you.

I have also recently gotten obsessed with Hamilton...and oddly a big part of that story is Hamilton's need to live his life so publicly by publishing his writings to clear his name. It touches home even today...just our modes and methods have changed.



I don't want to worry daily about such trivial things, like if I ran far enough, fast enough, ate good enough or did all of my to do list. I want to live more authentically, in the moment, away from the screens we already spend so much of our lives in.

So I say goodbye for now...this blog has been great for the years I needed it. But I don't need it anymore.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

On the last day of my twenties...


On the last day of my twenties, I woke up at 5:30 AM to 50's degree temperatures and went on a 3.5 mile run...

On the last day of my twenties, I wore a purple dress..

On the last day of my twenties, I played with kittens at work...

On the last day of my twenties, I went to my summer class from 4-6:40 and talked about the different views of educational research...

On the last day of my twenties, I went to my former high school's graduation...

On the last day of my twenties, I talked to good friends and laughed with coworkers...

On the last day of my twenties, I sang Broadway in my car...

On the last day of my twenties, I watched an episode of Gilmore Girls...

On the last day of my twenties, I went to bed grateful for my twenties but ready to have them behind me...

On the last day of my twenties, I thought about all the amazing places I have been in my 29 years...

On the last day of my twenties, despite having a rough week, I felt blessed.



Here is to turning 30 and the best decade yet!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Race Updates

I have run a few races this year, so I figured it was time to do a quick recap of all of them!

January-> Frostbite 15K: 1:17:17 (PR)

I was in pain at this point, but I think I look pretty cool, right?
This was the 2nd time I have run the Frostbite 15k and it is a great, small race that starts only about 2 miles from my house. It begins at a local elementary school, so it is really easy to park, and they have a place to hang out, keep warm and use the bathrooms! This race was cold, in the 30's and it was snowing, but it was better conditions than last year when it POURED. It runs around a neighborhood and a few lakes, and I always enjoy it. A PR is also nice:)

March-> Huguenot 3 Miler: 24:44 (5k time- 25:37, PR?)

This race was not my favorite. I ran my last half marathon peak run the day before (12 miles) and had done it fast, so my legs were not rested. I wanted to use this run as some speed work, and while my first mile was 7:40-something, my last two were 8:30. I just couldn't keep the pace on my tired legs. The course was a few loops along a wooded path, so not my favorite scenery and it was not easy to run the tangents. I also think it was short of 3 miles... I may/may not do it again. At least it was cheap!

March-> Shamrock Half Marathon: 1:52:24

This is a good depiction of the race- head down avoiding wind/rain!
This race was probably the worst conditions I have ever run in! There were 30-40 mile/hour winds, it was POURING rain and it was cold (upper 30's). I debated running it once I got to the race (I commiserated with some other runners as we all decided if it was worth it), but since I had driven down to Virginia Beach AND paid for it (it was expensive), I decided to try. It also is a half I have run many times, so I knew the course well. I ended up only missing a PR by 13 seconds, and once the rain ended the race wasn't so bad. I may be done with this race for a while, though!

April-> Monument 10k: 49:04 (PR)

Smiles of a PR finish!
The Monument 10k is a BIG race (30k runners) and is the race that got me hooked on running. This was my 6th year running it, and it is always one that I look forward to. I live close to the start, know the route very well (I run it on a regular basis), and I get to party after the race is finished at my friend's house- what more could you want? It also has starting waves (and a good starting time- 8:30!), so it is well organized and you are always with people who run at your pace. My goal this year was to break 50 minutes, and I did it! I actually had to walk part of mile 2 due to a stomach cramp, but all my other miles were in the 7:40's, so I was able to make up a lot of time. The conditions were cold and it was even a little snowy, so it was perfect for a PR! I also parked near my friend's house for the after-party and jogged a 1.5 mile warm up on the empty streets before the start, so that was great:)

April-> Flying Pirate Half Marathon: 1:51:00 (PR)


This race is fun because it means a weekend at my friend's house in the Outer Banks! The temperature was perfect- upper 40's and sunny and we did not have much wind on the sound except for during mile 8. The course is challenging as the last 3 miles are on a trail and the rocks hurt your legs at that point AND the last .5 mile is practically straight uphill. I always run the last 3 miles about 10-20 seconds slower than the rest of the race, but I still PRed! My legs tightened up early (around mile 6) probably due to my fast 10k the week before, but I held on and was very pleased. Now I will have to aim for under 1:50 :) I do love half marathons!

 I have felt really good running and have kept my mileage around 20 per week, which seems to be my sweet spot, so I will have to keep all this in mind when deciding if I want to start training for the Richmond Marathon again:)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Singled Out vs. Married with Children

Disclaimer: this post is not about me hating kids or hating on my friends for having kids. It is only my perspective and not the perspective from the other side of this-> what it is like for friends with kids to have friends without. Yet, this is simply about how it feels to be single, unattached and almost 30 with no kids on the horizon.

This post is for anyone who is not having babies (for whatever reason) when practically everyone you know is or will be soon. It is a weird place to be. A few years ago I wrote this post on my feelings about all my friends getting married, and while many things from that post still hold true, having babies is a totally different dynamic. For my relationships with my friends, marriage didn't really change our dynamics, or if they did it was temporary when the relationship was new, but babies undoubtedly do.

Don't get me wrong, babies are great. They are cute and smiley and say and do adorable things and bring out a different side to you and your friends. They also keep me employed, because I work in schools! But, and I am totally being selfish here, they also take your friends away from you. When babies enter the picture, your friends are tired, worried, stressed (mentally and/or financially), less flexible or willing to hang out with you due to home life being a little crazy, and their minds are all about their kids as they should or should not be depending on the level of obsession:)

My social calendar was once filled up with social gatherings surrounding alcohol and freedom...then it moved to wedding showers and Bachelorette parties (I am lucky that I still have many of these, too)...now, baby showers are taking the cake (literally, though, any excuse for cake is great). Instead of easy to purchase home items, I am looking at registries for items I don't understand (if someone can explain to me half of what people need for babies, I would appreciate it), and I am going to parties where the talk is all about babies, the birthing process, bodies during/after babies and everything in between. (Shout out to my friend this weekend who showed me her c-section scar...it looks much better than I imagined!)

The thing is, I love it and hate it at the same time. I love to see friends so happy about this new stage of their life and see them and their partners embracing their maternal/paternal instincts. It is also great to see the different approaches to parenting and the cool kids they ultimately produce! But it is also a bit of a mourning period for me when each friend starts having kids. Mourning what our relationship is because it will never be the same. Mourning the fact that I am no where near that stage of my life.  Mourning what is wrong with me that having babies doesn't seem so great to me anyways?

The dynamic towards me as a childless, single, almost 30-year-old has also changed. Where once (and still sometimes) people were envious of the freedom and different path I am taking career, lifestyle (running + travel!), and education-wise (PhD), people also judge. I have heard more and more over the past year that "you don't understand because you don't have children," or "you don't know real love because you aren't a mother." Since when do women tear each other down? Since when is my life less important or less fulfilled because I don't have kids? Since when does my choice NOT to settle with any man  or practicing *ahem* safe sex, delineate me to a lifetime of sub-par love and lack of understanding? How does anyone even know what I think or feel about relationships and marriage and babies and life goals? Why do we have to judge so much?

Fact of the matter is, I don't know if I want kids or not. I don't know if I want to be married or not. But I sure as hell do not sit around mourning what I don't have. I wasted enough of my time in my mid-20's doing that, and it led to me feeling worthless and lost. I view life as a journey with different paths, not one better or more perfect than the other. If I marry and have kids- great!- and if I don't- that is great, too! But I do mourn for what I am losing, in terms of friends and how that relationship will change. No matter how wonderful something is and how change is a part of life, it is never easy, especially if it is on a path different from your own.

My life has been a big part of celebrating other people. Engagements, weddings, babies....all these wonderful things. But, when will people be celebrating me?

Some other great posts on this topic: When Everyone Else is Married with Children, An Open Letter to My Friend Without Kids, 16 Things New Parents Want Their Friends Without Kids To Know , How to Stay Friends When Your Friends Have Kids

Please share your thoughts on this topic below.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Unplugging

Happy New Year! I hope your first few days of 2016 have been full of rest, thinking about the new beginning, maybe a little less food than the past few weeks, and friends and family!  I don't believe in making resolutions at the new year, because I believe you can change your life at anytime, but there is a big resolution I have been thinking of for a while.

Unplugging.

I tend to get caught up in the day-to-day lives of other people and how I measure up to them. I spend too much time on Facebook and Instagram, twitter and tumblr, blogs and online news sites, and when I really thought about it, I realize how much happier I am when I am not plugging in. 

This goes back to things I said about my blog, too. I love this as a diary of my life, but I am finding I have less and less to say, and don't want to keep it up when it is not a true measure of my thoughts and activities. It is really at it's best when I am saying important/interesting/exciting things rather than the ordinary. I don't want to feed in to the culture of comparing and measuring up, because what I am doing and what you are doing shouldn't have to be compared. We are all doing fine.

So, this year I am unplgguing a little bit. I am not going to post as much and will only do so when I really have something to say. I think that many people talk when what they are saying doesn't mean anything. I think that the point of an online forum is to speak when what we say can help other people and make a difference. This blog does not do that for me anymore, and I only want to keep it up if it does. 

So I will be seeing you this year, but much less. I am sure I will have races and travels to talk about, but my day-to-day is just that, my own day-to-day. I'll catch ya when I do.

HAPPY 2016!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 in Books

I thought I wouldn't have any time to read this year with so many classes...turns out I did! Check out my lists from last few years here and here. * are those I recommend!
  1. A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill
  2. The Reversal by Michael Connelly
  3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng*
  4. The Ladies Room by Carolyn Brown
  5. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler*
  6. Five Days Left by Julie Austin Timmer*
  7. Missing You by Harlan Coben
  8. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
  9. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
  10. Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
  11. Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox
  12. Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
  13. Going off Script by Giuliana Rancic*
  14. Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler* (this book is hysterical)
  15. It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell*
  16. The One and Only by Emily Griffin*
  17. Memory Man by David Baldacci*
  18. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  19. Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
  20. Zero Day by David Baldacci
  21. 10% Happier by Dan Harris
  22. The Forgotten by David Baldacci
  23. Identical by Scott Turow
  24. The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
  25. Olivia Joules and Her Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding
  26. Straight Talking by Jane Green*
  27. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan*
  28. The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro*
  29. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton*
  30. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan*
  31. Last Kiss by Luanne Rice
  32. The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan*
  33. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
  34. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins*
  35. That Night by Chevy Stephens*
  36. Backfire by Catherine Coulter
  37. How to be Single by Liz Tuccillo*
  38. The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Steadman
  39. L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
  40. Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad
  41. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Bloom
  42. Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont
  43. Woman with a Secret by Sophie Hannah
  44. Circling the Sun by Laura Mclain
  45. Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova*
  46. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan*
  47. Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron*
  48. Love May Fail by Matthew Quick*
  49. The Circle by Dave Eggers*
  50. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  51. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling*
  52. The Perfect Comback of Caroline by Matthew Dicks
  53. Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell*
  54. Match me if you Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips*
  55. The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell*
  56. If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison*
Any books you recommend from this year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 in Miles

This was a pretty incredible year, running-wise, for me. I completed my new year's resolution to run a marathon, but that was just the beginning. I hit my highest mileage total ever (~1380 miles as of December 22nd...I will probably hit 1400 by the 31st), ran my first AND second marathon, and PR'ed during six of the seven races I ran (Frostbite 15k, Monument 10k, Shamrock Marathon, Flying Pirate Half, Richmond Marathon and Blue & Gray Half-> links to all are on my races page). I couldn't have asked for a better year between me and the pavement.


I have also been lucky to have no major injuries, and only some aches and pains that are normal with excessive mileage. Running has continued to be a great release for me, where I get physical and mental exercise. I have given up the notion of trying to find another type of exercise to "balance out" the muscles I use, because the fact of the matter is, all I ever want to do is run. I don't want to do yoga, pilates or go to the gym. I can barely do the elliptical anymore on a rainy day. I only ever want to lace up my shoes, put on some music or a podcast, and experience the outdoors. Being outside and running around my city is one of my favorite things to do. I fully agree that you have to find the exercise that you will do consistently and enjoy, or else you won't exercise, and running is that for me. It is part of my life.

Here is a great post about my feelings on running from last year. I still echo all the same sentiments! As for this year, I honestly don't have any running goals. I want to focus on shorter races, but I won't rule out a fall marathon just yet. We will see how the winter and spring goes! No mileage goals either- I have a hard time thinking I will top out my total from this year, but you never know:).

Now, where is this winter weather I have been looking forward to?! I love running in gloves/hats and hate how warm it has been! 

What are your running goals for 2016? How was 2015 for you?