Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Polar Vortex > Running

Like most everywhere around the country, it has been a really cold winter.

I am being completely honest when I say that I do not remember a winter being this cold in years. It may be that I run outside much more than I used to so I am not as used to being outdoors as much during a cold winter, but it's ridiculous. I am all for winter as a season, but highs in the 20's and lows in the single digits is ridiculous. This is Virginia, after all.

Normally in VA, we get a random big snow storm that shuts down the city for a week, and then the next week it is in the 70's. Our weather is usually so up and down that relief is always in sight. I cannot remember experiencing so many days with highs under freezing in a row, and it not going away anytime soon. We missed four days of school last week due to 3ish inches that kept the VDOT workers busy since it never got above freezing, and we are getting more tonight that will likely shut down schools for the rest of the week. I love a good snow day, but let's spread it out a little! Oy vey.

This has all negatively affected my running. I hate running in the summer heat and humidity, and I hate running in the freezing cold. I registered for three races in December before the fees went up, so I really need to be running and it has not been fun. To show you how miserable I am, I ran 5 miles today on the treadmill. The dreaded treadmill that I hate and loath and would usually rather face the outdoors than subject myself to. Case in point: I ran in ice and snow two days last week in single digit temps over running on the treadmill....needless to say that got old. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do I guess!

I have a Sweetheart 8k on February 9th that should be a good, hilly route (and only my 3rd ever 8k), the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach March 16th (we'll see what my training plan ends up being. I think I am going to do an 8, 10, and 12 miler as my long training runs, so a little more than the Richmond Half but not as much as my training last year), and the annual Monument 10k March 29th. I will look around closer to April and May to add more races to my list. I really wanted to do a Frostbite 15k in Richmond during MLK weekend, but San Francisco won over that obviously.

I am really lacking on the longer runs simply due to being uncomfortable outside in the cold temperatures, but I am hoping relief is in sight!

What are your cold weather workouts? What keeps you motivates with cold, dark days?

Here's to spring being less than 2 months away:)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

San Francisco, Giddy Up! (Cue Brian Wilson song...)


I just came back from an incredible looooong weekend in San Francisco with friends (sorority sisters) from college. It was an amazing 4 days visiting the city of San Fran, the ocean, Sausalito, Napa, and Berkeley. I am obsessed with that part of California. Nothing I say or show you can do it justice, but I will do my best!

I flew in late on Thursday night (I met my friend Brandy in Atlanta), and we were straight at it on Friday with our group of gals with a morning run and exploration of the city!

The hills!

Fisherman's Warf along the bay.


Sea Lions everywhere! Coolest thing ever.

Education station.

Ghiradelli before (sorry it is the wrong way)....

...and after! Walking all around works up an appetite:)

Happiness with these great ladies!


Selfie while resting from walking up a long hill!

Street Cars! 



Best dumplings ever.

Friends from RVA in San Fran!

Taco Crawl in the Mission!
On Saturday, after another great run, we ventured out to a Farmer's Market for great local food before traveling in a car around the city.

Farmer's Market- Yum!

Can we talk about the perfect weather?

Alamo Square! Everywhere you look....

Random palace in the middle of the city...no big deal!

One of the cars.

Golden Gate!

The Pacific!

My first steps in the Pacific Ocean! Brrrrr!

Nothing like the beach in January.

Pale, happy feet:)

Picnic time!

The group:)

The City across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Cutest city ever, Sausalito.

Muir Woods Forest!
We finished Saturday in Napa where we stayed at a house and cooked dinner (aka the boys cooked dinner and we ate and drank). Sunday was wine tasting day in Napa! We went to four wineries in six hours...no big deal.

Whole group at our first stop!

Winery #2.

Winery #3.

Looking good three stops in!

Last stop!

Champagne at the end!

Still going strong...albeit tired:)

We ended Sunday in Berkeley and spent Monday morning there (exploring on a run of course) before heading over to San Fran again. We had tickets to Alcatraz at 1, which was creepy and amazing all at the same time, but my camera was dead by then so I have no pictures! Oh well- I will steal them from other girls! The evening was spent with more dumplings, pizza, wine and girl talk whilst watching The Bachelor before we had to head to our red eye flight!

Best weekend ever. Everyone needs to go to San Fran...preferably with a group of friends as amazing as mine! I have not laughed that much in forever. I love my college groups' annual (and sometimes bi-annual) trips. Such a great tradition- we have done trips to NYC, Florida, DC, NYC again, Connecticut and multiple to Charlottesville. Alaska 2015 is our next big one! Thanks ladies!!!

Now...how do I go about finding a job that will relocate me to Cali?!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Letting Go

My goal for this year is to divest myself of things that don't matter and add in more things that do.

Pretty vague, huh?

I really want to add more enrichment into my life and take away the negative. Let go of people and things that do not bring me joy or happiness and add in more things that do. Find more meaning in what it means to really be a successful, happy, productive person. Discover more joy and live more in the moment. Part of this is finding an organization to give my time and energy to in the form of volunteering. I have some ideas that I am looking into, but I really want this to be a big part of my life this year (and hopefully every year). Giving back to my community is something I have lost since finishing school, so I am itching to find ways to bring that side of me out again. Ideally, running will be involved in this somehow...I have ideas:)!

I also want to reach out to meet a new group of people in Richmond. Since I have a new job starting at the end of January, I know that I will be here for the foreseeable future. I would like to do more "meet up" groups and explore opportunities on my own. So many of my friends are busy and doing things with their own lives that I want to take charge by myself. I need to lookout for me in ways to better myself and my social circle.

When adding in more, it is also an important process to let things go. It is sad but a necessary aspect of life. However, people move on and go through different stages, so it is essential to recognize when your place in someone/something's life and their place in yours is not what it once was. No hard feelings...just moving on. Life goes on. I am working on this as well.

What are your goals for 2014?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy 2014!

I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve and are ready for a fresh start in the New Year!

As I have said, 2013 was neither good nor bad for me...nothing major happened but nothing awful either. I did complete some running goals (two half marathons!) and traveled to new places (Spain!), but other than that life was pretty standard. Hopefully 2014 will only get better and the new job should be a big part of that:).

Last night I celebrated the end of the year at my friend Brooke's house. I didn't take many pictures but you can look below!

Some ladies

The yellow suite had to make an appearance.

Tawny and I...in 2014
I had to bust out a similar picture at New Year's a few years back to compare my "aging."
Me and my friend Meredith New Year's 2009...notice the outfit. Do I look older now?
I can see some new lines on my face, but I think I look pretty much the same (despite the lighting making me look paler this year).

Best idea ever: Everyone putting their predictions about 2014 in a jar and then reading them at midnight- hysterical!

Also, did I tell you all that I got an iPod Touch for Christmas??!! It is an amazing toy and I am loving instagram and all the apps. I had a lot of fun last night posting and reading people's updates. So much better than facebook! Luckily I get all the benefits of a smartphone without the increased monthly bill:)  

Enjoy your day!