Sunday, August 31, 2014

7,000 Years Later, She Emerges Anew

So much has changed since my last posting! First things first, I am no longer engaged, and not married either. A multitude of small repetitive issues made me realize I was not ready to get married. As hard as it was to send un-invites after I called the wedding off to family and close friends at the end of March, beginning of April, I believe it was the best choice for me.

I'm still on good terms with the now ex-fiancĂ©. And I've entered a new relationship with a past boyfriend. He's in the Navy and 7 timezones away, but due to come back to the United States around the end of February. The plan is that I'll fly out for Christmas and New Years to see him. I'm working on the passport application, hopefully to be completed next week.
Secondly, I was accepted to both SUNY Albany's MSW program and Boston University's Online MSW program. I chose Boston University's program and am due to start... TUESDAY! I will truly be the Sprinting Social Worker once that begins ;)  I have mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness and stress beyond your wildest imagination. So much has been happing lately, and all at the same time!
Which brings me to my next update. I have bought a house, all on my own... well, not yet, technically. It's been a long process that involved one short sale that needed a hefty amount of work, and a withdraw from said short sale after months of waiting with no word while finding a house I liked better that was NOT a short sale and did NOT need any work whatsoever. The sellers are taking a while to close on their new house, so I'm sitting here waiting as patiently as I can to close on mine! The original anticipated close date was July 30th. Obviously that did not happen with the seller's not having closed on their house. The new prospective closing date is sometime during the week of September 8th. We shall see if this actually happens or not. I am beyond excited to move in. I wish it would have been done July 30th so I'd have been settled for the beginning of school, but I'll just have to make due with how it is.
And I think lastly, the big news that probably applies the most, is that I ran a half marathon today!
But first, I did the Boilermaker back on July 13th and finished just over 1 hour and 30 minutes. Race conditions were good; they were worried about canceling for thunderstorms that have been plaguing New York all summer. However, the overcast made the July heat bearable and the lighter wind from the threatening thunder storm proved quite refreshing. Race officials strongly encouraged anyone who wouldn't finish with 2 hours, I believe, to consider not running. However I finished and my good friend Heather finished. She'd been training with me all summer to run her first Boilermaker. And I had talked her into her first few 5Ks, so I cannot even say how proud of her I am. Shortly after we both finished and grabbed some post-race popsicles, we decided to head out and the sprinkles started to fall, so it was really perfect timing.
The half I did this morning was the 18.12 Challenge from one north country town to another. I had to get up at 4am to be ready to leave at 5 with my super supportive mother. We drove there in complete darkness, and when we arrived I secured all my race gear. My mom dropped me off at the starting line and departed to wait at the finish as dawn was starting to break. After a quick (haha) wait for the porta-potties and some light stretching we were lined up and ready to go before I knew it. This race too was weather dependent with 80% chance of thunderstorms looming in the forecast. However, there was no lightening and the race started as scheduled at 7am. I was awake (half), dressed, and my nails were done to the best of my ability with so much going on right now.
We were off! I was hoping for a 10 minute mile pace, since my longest run a few weeks ago was around 10:15 for 12.9 miles. I thought that was a reasonable amount of time to shoot for. I set off trying to keep it reigned in while others passed me and excitement made me want to pass others. When I settled into a pace that felt good and sustainable, I glanced down and saw that I was going around a 9:40 pace. I figured... what the hell, let's go for it. The overcast sky was a little intimidating and if lightening struck the race would be stopped dead anyway. I figured as long as I felt okay I'd continue, and if I felt woozy or not right in any way, I'd slow it down or stop if necessary. So on I went.

By the time I got to mile three I was so excited to glance down and see that I was still at a 9:40ish pace. I had already ditched my light jacket that I'd donned pre-start due to the crazy winds, but a new problem was arising. Yup, GI issues. It wasn't really that bad, and I had gone a bit before the race started so I figured I'd keep pushing forward. The first two porta-potty stops I passed both had lines, and I was way too excited about my pace to ruin my race time by waiting in line for the bathroom. Thankfully the third porta-potty stop had no line and one bathroom open. As soon as I saw the blue makeshift bathrooms I bolted, passing about 8 surprised race participants on the way. I don't think it added more than a minute or two to my time, but it definitely made for a more comfortable rest of the run.

When I settled back into the race, I passed the 10 mile marker and my Garmin let off the ever coveted lap beep. I realized I only had a 5K remaining of the race. I was thrilled. My legs felt good, no knee pain besides a little tightness. I decided to push the pace for the last 5K. Every time I looked at my watch from there to the finish I was hovering just below a 9 minute mile. I was ecstatic! As I approached the finish line over the last couple miles, the streets became more populated with spectators. It was truly inspiring and I picked up the pace even more. I loved passing people (even though I got passed my fair share, too). I did my best to sprint across the finish line and came in around 2 hours and 4 minutes. I haven't checked the race website to see if the official results are up yet or not. I am super happy about this run though. And I learned the magic of fueling about a month ago, and realized I had been bonking at the end of nearly every long run up until then. It is crazy how a few gummies throughout the run can make you feel like a new person at the end!!
All in all, an absolutely fantastic race!

A lot of life changes going on for me right now, but I believe they are all for the better. I'm trying to figure out who I really am and what I truly want out of life. I know for sure though that running has become a necessity to keep me sane!

Safe and happy running!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Running While Female Awareness

I just wanted to post this article because unfortunately, we live in a world where people blame the victim in cases of rape. It should not matter what someone is wearing, how they acted prior to the assault, or whether or not they are attractive. And women should not have to feel so vulnerable and helpless when it comes to situations like it. Unfortunately, this runs over into the running world just as much as the ' weekend night life' world.

Please, read the article or watch the video in this link:

I have never dealt with this, thankfully. However, I had one experience not too long ago, running around my hometown where there were three adolescents loitering in a parking lot. They yelled childish things at me, such as, "run faster!" in obnoxious teenage screams. I, too, never thought I was really in any danger, and nothing ever came of it. However, it was early in the morning, there was no one else around except myself and those kids, and with my psych degree, let's just... say my mind ran wild along with my body for the next 5 or 6 miles.
I mulled over adolescent impulsive behavior, group mentality and feelings of anonymity, and the rise of youth violence in the media. Since I was doing one loop twice for my long run, I wondered would these youth still be there when I returned to that section? On back country roads there IS no alternative route to take unless you want to cut off 3-4 miles or add 3-4 miles on.
As a female running alone, even though the adolescents were just that -adolescents-, I was a little scared. I wanted to sprint by them but wanted to be strong and stick to my slower long run pace at the same time. I resisted the urge to glance behind me until I got to the corner to be sure I wasn't being followed by them. And then I was nervous the whole rest of the run. Was ignoring them the proper action? Should I have confronted them? Should I have just bailed on the run and gone home? Thankfully nothing happened. They did not follow me physically, only with their words and the atmosphere of the situation sticking in my mind. They were also not there on my second loop around the parking lot. But I totally understand her feeling. Completely.

Safe and Happy Running!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wedding and Saving

You may wonder where I have been... Wedding planning. And saving money for a house. And the wedding. And working. And visiting family all throughout the holidays... And I shall continue to wedding plan and house save and family visit until the end of the year.

Running? Not so much! I've been doing more Insanity and some biking and yoga. No chance I'm going on in these -25 degree wind chills. I walked Ziggy to the mailbox on the corner of our street (literally a tenth of a mile away) and absolutely could not feel my hands by the time I got back inside. Yeowch! Although I've been craving a run, I also value my fingers, toes, nose, ears, and other extremities and body parts and whatnot.

My middle-of-the-night waking-up-and-can't-get-back-to-sleep insomnia is back. It probably doesn't help that the fiancé has regular insomnia, so when he does come to bed at 2 or 3 am he tosses and turns and assists in keeping me awake. It's crazy how fast that can completely drain you.

I definitely have house fever. I cannot wait to buy one, nestled in as many acres as I can possibly get, away from the bustle and noise of being in the city or even in a town. I want this so bad my heart freakin' aches! I yearn. All I can do is continue saving. I'm really trying my best to put money away. Now that holidays are over my spending can stop for awhile. Besides wedding deposits and bills and rent and such. I'd like to do something to actively contribute to my house saving besides my day job. I'm thinking it'd be nice to make paintings. However my painting skills are not the greatest. I am thinking I will do more abstract style paintings and quote paintings. I feel like quotes are "in" now. I see tons and tons of inspirational quote art out there, but not so much fitness quote art. I feel like there would definitely be a market for it...? I mean Pinterest and my Facebook is chocked full of quoted action pictures, why not painted fitness quotes for that same audience? I'll let you know how this entrepreneurial seed develops.

In the meantime, I have yet to hear from either of the grad schools where I've applied. This isn't too nerve-wracking though. I'm not expecting to hear until probably March or April... So the wait continues. If it gets to the end of April/beginning of May and still nothing... then I shall start to worry and become a royal pain in the you-know-what to admissions. :)

Just thought I'd give everyone a quick update!
Let me know your thoughts on my painting idea... I'm interested to know how others see this. Is it something you would potentially be interested in or no way?
What's your idea of a perfect house?

Safe and Happy Staying Warm!