March 31, 2011

three things thursday

1. Busy Bee - To say that this week has been busy would be a huge understatement. I've been out of the house from 8am to 10pm every day this week. It's getting to be that time of the semester and a job + an internship + being a full-time student + training = me going slightly crazy. Somehow, I've managed to stay on top of running...more because I need the outlet than anything else. Tomorrow, I have an 11am flight to South Bend, Indiana. I'll be there for just over 24 hours for this amazing conference which yours truly will be presenting at before hopping on a flight to DC that lands just before midnight the evening before the Cherry Blossom 10-mile. (We'll see how that goes.) The good news is is that I'll be in DC until Wednesday and aside from some work related things, I'll be relaxing and getting to hang out with these awesome people.

2. Wise Words of Wisdom - Sarah, one of my favorite bloggers over at Yes and Yes has had some amazing posts this week. Read this one on How to Be Skinny and this one called "10 Things to Do on Your Lunchbreak that Don't Involve Facebook or Lean Cuisine." I would, of course, add running to this list because I love lunch time runs but it's still an awesome list.

3. Baseball Season - Baseball season starts tomorrow and that is wonderful. I LOVE baseball season. In my opinion, it's the most wonderful time of the year. Unfortunately, I'll be celebrating Opening Day on a plane instead of at the Mets game in Florida but that's ok because I just got my tickets electronically delivered for my first game of the season! I'm at 11 ballparks out of 31 and unfortunately I'm going to be out of the country for a good portion of baseball season but I'm going to try to get to as many of those stadiums as I possibly can while I'm still here and when I get back! Wish me luck!

PS: I understand that today is "officially" opening day, however, it's not really Opening Day unless your team is playing! And it's not REALLY Opening Day unless your team is playing at Home!

March 29, 2011

I have a confession to make...

Remember when I wrote this post? About my first race? Well, I have a confession to make. That wasn't my first race. I ran my first race when I was 17. It was just before my senior year of high school and my soccer coach made it mandatory for all of us to run the annual Labor Day 5k. See...the town I went to high school in was weird. Your town probably has fireworks on the 4th of July and an annual Turkey Trot. My town has fireworks and a parade on Labor well as a 5k.

So, it was the summer before my senior year of high school. I was 17 and I had a car. I didn't care about anything but my friends, the mall and my tan lines. I mean hello? Those were the only important things in the world! I spent the whole summer roasting by the beach, driving around town, going to the mall, doing high school things, right? In other words, not working out or caring about exercise of any imaginable kind.

And then pre-season started and I was out of shape (along with almost everyone on the team) and Coach  told us to run this 5k 3 days into pre-season so we did.

I didn't do too badly being 17 and completely out of shape and having never run more than a mile in my life. I finished in 31:04 at a 10:21 pace and place 32nd out of 40 in my age group. So, not terrible.

But is that a confession? So you didn't do too hot on your first race, what's the big deal, you ask?

Well...I finished that race, yes. But I didn't run the 5k. I cheated. *Gasp*

 At least I didn't cheat Boston a la Rosie Ruiz!

That's right. I cheated the first race I ever ran. It was a standard out and back loop and I was running with 2 of my friends and at about Mile 0.25 we were absolutely dying, so we cut through the park and walked toward where the race started and snuck back into the race and crossed the finish line pretending we ran the whole race. Looking back on it now, I think it's hilarious. In our defense, it was pretty stupid of our coach to make us sign up for this race when none of us had ever run any kind of distance before. Or maybe I'm just telling myself that to feel better about it.

I'm not proud of this moment, so it was time to confess. To be honest, I think it's funny that I cheated my way through 3.1 miles because I hated running when 7 years later, I'm a running enthusiast who just set a new Half-Marathon PR.

There's my confession! Do you have any running or race related confessions? I'd love to hear them!

March 28, 2011

love/don't love

It's gonna be tough to write this without listing 500 things I don't love right now, but let's try and start on a positive note, shall we?

1. At the end of this week, I'm off to South Bend, Indiana to present my paper at Notre Dame! I'll be there for just over 24 hours before jetting off to DC for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. Love.

2. I didn't get any sleep last night at all. Between my roommate and her friend coming home at 1:30 in the morning and the garbage truck coming at 4:30, I didn't sleep at all. As a result, I'm feeling sick and left work early today. Don't Love.
3. Baseball season starts in 4 days. Love.
4. I spent the entire weekend doing a very thorough spring cleaning. I left my house yesterday for about 4 hours and when I came home, I think the place was in worst shape than it was before I cleaned. Don't Love.
5. My pilot is coming to visit next weekend! Love. 

6. I think I'm going to quit my running club. What started as a polite e-mail request on the list serve to keep e-mails limited to running related topics and refrain from using 'Reply All' resulting in e-mail strains 50 messages long, has turned into an all out e-mail war that has demonstrated a total lack of respect on the part of a few select members to the rest of the club. Incredibly nasty things have been sent targeting certain individuals and all of this has been done using 'Reply All.' Running is supposed to be a community and a camaraderie and I'm not comfortable being part of a group that allows such blatant disregards for respecting others. Don't Love.
7. I started the Nike Training Club last night at the recommendation of everybody's favorite Redhead. It's a killer workout but I love it already. Love.

8. I went to the eye doctor today and apparently have something that she labeled as 'Moderate' to 'Severe' going on with my vision. As a result I'm banned from contacts for at minimum two weeks and on a pretty rigorous eye drop, eye gel, eye other stuff regiment for the next few days. Luckily, Eye Doc was nice enough to give me a pair of contacts to use for the duration of Sunday's race as long as I promised to take them out as soon as the race was over. But I really don't like it when doctors use the term 'severe.' Don't Love.
9.  I went to an awesome workshop at school on Friday about writing my thesis. While everyone was moaning and groaning when our Academic Chair described the thesis writing process as 'similar to going to the gym or going for a run,' I got immensely excited and am super excited to start this research process. 60+ page paper, here I come! Love.
10. It was 27 degrees when I woke up this morning. Winter has officially come back. Don't Love.

11. I started a Travel Page here on the blog called Passport. Check it out and let me know what you think! Suggestions are always welcome! Love.

It's been a tough Monday but hey, there's always tomorrow. 
Hope everyone is having a good start to this week!
Make sure to congratulate Emily, Katie, Ali on an awesome race at the National Marathon this weekend!

March 26, 2011

Another Reason Why I Love Nike...

When I wrote this post about International Women's Day, I got a huge response from those of you who read the post and were interested in the kind of work I'm doing and what I'm studying in graduate school. So, I've decided that I'm going to include a bit more about that in my posts.

This afternoon, I was reading for a class I'm taking this semester called "Developing Countries in the Global Economy." The theme for my upcoming class is Women and Development. In an article for this class called "The Global Glass Ceiling: Why Empowering Women is Good for Business," the author (Isobel Coleman) discusses Nike's proactive approach to assisting women in the developing world who work for Nike. The Nike Foundation has distributed some $100 million in health, education and leadership programs for girls in the developing world. In the 1990s, Nike got in some serious trouble for exploitative practices at some of its sweat shops but from everything I'm reading in class and what we've discussed, it seems they've really turned around. The Nike Foundation produced this video called The Girl Effect. I had seen the video before but never new it was produced by Nike and the fact that it is, makes me love Nike so much more.

A friend once joked to me that I should be a spokesperson for Nike because when I run, I'm dressed head to toe in Nike. I'm curious as to how much or whether any of the money I spend on Nike gear is sent to The Girl Effect but I plan on finding out and I'll let you know.

In the mean time, watch the video, let me know what you think about it, and go out and do something.

Happy Saturday!

March 24, 2011

three things thursday

1. The Book List - I recently finished reading "Midnight's Children" off The Book List. It was the first book I've ever read that was written in stream of consciousness and actually enjoyed. It's about a man, Saleem Sinai, who was born at midnight on the day India became independent from Great Britain. The title refers to all of the children born at midnight on this momentous anniversary and the special linkage they all have to one another. It was really long but I liked it a lot. However, I made the mistake of starting "Middlemarch" on my Kindle the day after finishing "Midnight's Children" and realizing that its over 800 pages. Reading an 800+ book after finishing a 500+ page book is not exactly my cup of tea but I don't like starting a book and not finishing it so I'm stuck. Oh well!

2. Yoga - I came across an article in an old issue of Women's Health that I was reading at the spa yesterday that talked about the benefits of yoga for runners. I've always liked yoga but have never gotten into the serious practice of it because yoga classes are really expensive and I just don't have a strong enough zen-like discipline to do yoga in my living room so I'm taking a hot yoga class on Saturday. I've only ever done Bikram and really like it so I'm kind of hesitant to try anything else. This is a "Bikram Inspired" Hot Yoga class so we'll see how it goes.

3. Post-Race Recovery - As you all know, I ran a race on Sunday. By the way, you're all amazing for the awesome comments you left me! Aside from the post-race glow, I also have a severe case of rosy red cheeks from blushing from all the comments you left! Anyway, the race was on Sunday. On Monday, I worked but took it easy and stretched and foam rolled for close to an hour when I got home. Tuesday, when I got home, I attempted an easy 3 mile run. Well, I ran 2 miles and couldn't run any faster than an 11:04 pace which is close to 3 minutes slower than what I should be able to run that pace at. I just felt so uncoordinated! I felt fine afterward but definitely didn't run yesterday and opted for a massage instead =) Running today probably won't be an option since it's snowing...let's not talk about that. But I'm wondering, how long do you wait after a race to run again? Is this normal or did I go too fast too soon?
That's what's going on my end! I'm looking forward to a super relaxing weekend of sleeping in, yoga, running with friends, a little retail therapy, some studying and baking!

Have a great weekend everyone!

March 21, 2011

NYC Half-Marathon Race Recap

I had one goal for this race: break 2 hours. I finished my first half-marathon less than a year ago in 2:01:45. I ran my second half in 2:00:53 so I knew that a sub-2 hour half was definitely within reach.  I followed a training plan called "Break 2:00 or Bust" out of Runner's World and "break 2 or bust" was definitely the mentality I went into this race with.

But let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Pre-Race: I had plans to stay at my friend Erin's (who was running the race with me) friend Nayeli's house since she lives pretty close to the starting line and graciously offered to let us stay there. As soon as we got to her apartment, her and her boyfriend started cheering waving around the signs they had made for us! I had only met Nayeli once briefly so I was really excited about this! After a yummy carbo-loading session, we headed to bed.

 Pre-race with the signs Nayeli made for us!

Race Day: The alarm went off at 5:30 and I jumped out of bed to start getting ready. I had my traditional pre-race breakfast of Quaker Instant Oatmeal and a glass of OJ. Erin and I hopped in a cab across the park and made our way through bag check and the porter potties before lining up. It was cold. 31 degrees at the start? Ouch! It didn't help that we were waiting in the corral for about 45 minutes! Seriously, when I finally crossed the starting line, 16 minutes had passed since the race started!

So the race started in Central Park and I started pretty slow for two reasons: one, I was freezing and two, I knew that the North hills would come up around Mile 4 and I wanted to save my energy. The first four miles went by so fast! It took me about a mile to warm up and get into my pace and then I felt pretty good. I tackled the hills without any problems. Even though I hadn't done any hill training this cycle, I spent every single Sunday of my marathon training cycle in Central Park doing those hills over and over, so I knew exactly what was in store.

Just before the last hill, I saw Nayeli and friends cheering and took a GU before tackling New York's own Heartbreak Hill and coming back to the start at Mile 6. Between 6 and 7, I ducked away for a quick potty break and hopped back onto the course.

Feeling good crossing the 10k! That's me in the purple jacket!

I knew we weren't doing a second full loop but I wasn't too sure where the breakaway point was and those last 2 miles in Central Park seemed endless! Central Park is beautiful but the entire 8 miles that we were in Central Park, the pack of runners never thinned out! I was bumping elbows, stepping on heels, getting my heels stepped on the entire time I was in the park! I was getting frustrated pretty quickly! But that all changed at Mile 8 when we made a left out of Central Park into Times Square. Let me tell you something. You have never seen Times Square until you are running through it with nothing in site but spectators, other runners and the famous jumbo-trons glittering above you. It was amazing. The crowd finally thinned out at this point and I felt like I had so much room! I was just running, taking it all in...the Broadway marquees, the jumbo-trons, the signs, the bands, the spectators, all of was incredible!

The turn into Times Square!

I'm on the left under the Bank of America sign! (again in the purple!)

We took 7th Ave from 59th Street all the way down to 42nd which we took down to the West Side Highway. That stretch from 7th to 12th Avenue was cold and windy! But, just as I hit the 15k mark, my amazing mom jumped out and surprised me...just like she did at the Heartbreak Hill Half last year. I had no idea she was coming and this definitely gave me a boost! When we finally turned down the West Side Highway out of the wind and hit Mile 10, I looked at my Garmin started thinking that I was cutting it really close to a sub-2 so I started hauling. The West Side Highway is concrete, not asphalt and concrete is not easy to run on. My knee started hurting and I was definitely pushing it. The effects of powering up the North Hills of Central Park were starting to hit me. I took another GU and kept going. In retrospect, I don't think that last GU ever really hit me.

 Hauling it!

At Mile 11, I just wanted to be done. I was searching in the distance for the finish line and wasn't even paying attention to the scenery around me. Mile 12 brought more spectators out but they were all cold and none of them were cheering. A girl ran past me and yelled 'Hey! Cheer for us! We need encouragement!' but they didn't listen. A lot of people were passing me at this point, but I was locked into a speed and didn't have it in me to go faster. I wasn't racing anyone at this point but myself. I knew that I was within reach of my goal but I knew I was fading fast. Just before Mile 13, I found the last drops of energy in me to sprint. And boy, did I sprint. I ran my heart out. I don't think I have ever sprinted like that before. I started passing people left and right and I felt like I was flying. I heard someone say, "Wow, she's really moving." I don't even know if they were talking about me but I'll pretend they did because I was moving. I flew past the 800, 400 and 200 meter markers and finally, I stepped over the mat and crossed the finish line in 1:58:15.

 One proud, happy girl!

Let me tell you, all of those Mile Repeats and Tempo Runs that I've utterly despised and hated definitely paid off because I never would have been able to finish this race the way I did if I hadn't done them.

Erin finished in just over 2:05 and we celebrated at the finish line with our medals and space blankets (I freaking LOVE space blankets) and then went out to brunch.

It felt so good to finally achieve this goal. Knowing that I was racing no one but myself was an incredible feeling in an amazing race! I have been so blessed to have never had a bad race day. Every race I have run has been a new PR and has been a better experience than the last and even though I am walking down stairs at a snails' pace and am crazy sore today, I can't wait to start pounding the pavement (not the concrete) again to get ready for the Cherry Blossom in less than 2 weeks.

Thanks for all the support this training cycle!
You guys have been awesome!
1:58:15! NEW PR BABY! WOO!!!!!

All race photos courtesy Brightroom, Inc. 

March 17, 2011

three things thursday

1. Texas - In one word, Texas has been amazing.  By far, it's been the best trip I've taken down here. Camping in my dad's RV, long runs and longer runs, short runs and manicures, staying in my pj's until 2 and having breakfast brought to me on the couch, it's been so good to finally relax in the middle of this crazy semester. In fact, I've been relaxing so much, I haven't taken a single picture since I've been down here and I leave in about 6 hours. Oops. But seriously, it's been awesome.

2. Hamstring - I *did something* to my hamstring. I'm not sure what. Saturday, I went for an 11 mile run that turned into 6 because I kind of forgot that it's hot in Texas. Sunday, I woke up early and finished off that 11 miles. I felt fine afterward and even remembered that I could ride a bike later that afternoon with my sister. Monday morning, I woke up and I was hurting. I spent the day stretching and thought it was just soreness from the long run. Tuesday, I went for an easy 3 miles with my older sister and felt fine until I got home. I had my dad's trainer look at it and he taped me up with some KT Tape (even though I have mixed feelings about KT Tape, especially in regards to the people who work for them) and sent me on my way. My brother threw a heating pad on me to get the tape to stick better and I've been icing since. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in the hot tub with my little sister but I'm still in a lot of pain. Being 3 days from race day, this is a bit of a horrifying thing. Foam rolling hurts and I'm afraid to stretch for fear of doing any more damage. I'm just praying I'm ok for Sunday.

3. NYC Half-Marathon - All of this of course means that the NYC Half-Marathon is on Sunday! For some reason though, I don't feel like I have a race in 3 days. Maybe it's because I've been on vacation or maybe it's that something else that was nagging at me a month ago that's still lingering. I missed 2 quality runs last week because of midterms and I skipped yesterday's because of my hamstring. I'm currently debating whether or not to go out for an easy 3 again today to see how I feel. I'm hoping that when I get back to New York tonight and to the race expo this weekend, I'll feel more like I'm racing this weekend. Maybe it's just that I've gotten used to racing and the nerves are gone? Who knows? I'm definitely excited for it though and can't wait to recap for all of you! Oh! And remember when I complained about the lack of a Course Map? Well maybe NYRR read my little blog over here because they put one up this week! Check it out!

Well that's that! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Have a green beer for me and enjoy your Irish-ness for the day!

March 10, 2011

three things thursday

1. New Shoes - After consulting with my Running Advisory Committee about the fact that I realized on my easy run on Monday that I was in desperate need of new shoes, I went to JackRabbit after work and explained my situation: I'm less than 2 weeks out from my next half-marathon and I don't think I'll be able to run it in the shoes I have now. I've been wanting to try out a different pair of shoes for awhile but thought I would be able to make it through the NYC Half...nope. After a gait analysis and an oh so friendly sales guy who brought me 100 different pair of shoes to try on, I decided to stick with my guns and buy my regular old Nike Pegasus shoes...except this time, they came in bright colors! So, behold and meet the PRINs (PR-in) because these babies are gonna bring me a sweet, glorious PR in New York City next weekend!

2.  Spring Break - Spring break starts tonight! Unfortunately, I have a long day ahead of me that includes being at work, an event at work, lunch with a potential travel buddy, physical therapy, class until 9:15,hitting the gym for the run that I couldn't wake up for missed this morning and packing and them I'm off to Texas in the morning! I'm going camping tomorrow night and I can't wait to just be in Texas and be with my family and relax all week...along with trying to drag my 16-year-old sister running with me...we'll see how that goes! I can't wait to run in shorts next week!

3. New Jersey Marathon Festival - I'm very close to signing up for the New Jersey Half-Marathon. I've been thinking about if for about a week now and I think I'm definitely going to do it. It's a beautiful course and my uncle lives on the race route so it would be really easy to get to. I'm also trying to convince Emily to do it. I think that if she signs up for it and I sign up for a triathlon, we'll be even. This race is exactly 8 weeks after NYC (and 6 weeks after the Cherry Blossom) so I think I'll be in good shape for but I 'm worried about injury. Is that too much too soon? Anyone have experience running close races like this?

That's this week's Three Things Thursday!
Next time you hear from me, I'll be writing from the Lone Star State!

March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, a day that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

International Women's Day is an incredibly important day to reflect not only on the achievements of women but on the ongoing struggles that women worldwide are facing in order to achieve equality in education, health, religion, etc.

I don't talk too often about school or work on my blog but I think today is an important day to highlight that. In 2006, I was involved in my university's production of The Vagina Monologues. The following year, I produced the play at school and became immensely interested in issues pertaining to women's rights. It wasn't long before I changed my major to Political Science and started pursuing internships with organizations devoted to women's rights. Today, I'm in graduate school studying Global Affairs, in particular, the role of women in peacebuilding processes in conflict and post-conflict areas. Upon graduating, I plan to work for an organization that has the same mission as I do: promoting the active participation of women and girls in their societies. One day, I hope to start my own organization and continue this work.

International Women's Day was started here in New York City with women calling for better pay, shorter work hours and the right to vote. Today, it has spread globally and is even celebrated as a national holiday in countries such as China, Vietnam, Russia and Bulgaria.

I ask one favor of all of you reading this, tell people that today is International Women's Day. It's important for everyone to honor women and their achievements and to reflect on their struggles so that we do not forget to continue working toward a better world for women everywhere.

For some additional information:
Go out and spread the word!

Blogging Last Year: So it begins...

March 7, 2011

love/don't love

[1] This weekend was long and productive. Love.
[2] My roommate has been gone for a few weeks and her cats have been keeping me up at all odd hours of the night clawing and scratching at my door, knocking things over and meowing like they're in labor. It's making sleep an extremely difficult chore. Don't Love.
[3] Spring Break starts Friday and I am going to Texas to see my family! Love.

 Me, my brother and sister dancing
in the parking lot of a Sam's Club the last time I was in Texas.

[4] I hate my job but I love my internship. I really wish I could quit my job and work full-time at my internship. Don't Love.
[5] I had an awesome swim session at the NYU pool with my friend Erin yesterday morning. Love.
[6] It was beautiful this weekend and now it's cold again. I'm so ready for spring. Don't Love.
[7] I made another recipe out of one of my cookbooks this weekend and it was amazing! Love.

3 slices of bread, 1 tbsp hummus, 1 handful of spinach, 1 handful of snowpeas,
1 sliced tomato, 1 avocado, 1/2 cucumber, 1 tbsp herb goat cheese, 1 dollop tomato chutney.
Layer all ingredients on 1 slice of bread, put another slice of bread on top and repeat for a delicious triple decker beast of a sandwich.

[8] I submitted a paper to an academic conference at Notre Dame and it was accepted! I'm going to Notre Dame in 3 weeks to present! Love.
[9] My boyfriend makes me immensely happy. Love.

That's all for today! I hope everyone has a fabulous start to their week!

By the way, I put up a poll on my left side bar! I'm thinking about hosting a virtual race! Fill out the poll and let me know if you'd participate!

March 4, 2011

one year at 25 Before 25

One year ago today I started this blog. At the time, I was living in Boston working at a job that I hated and itching to get out. I was waiting to hear back from all of the graduate schools I had applied to and running about 8 miles a week. I had never run a race before and didn't consider myself a runner, just someone who hopped on the treadmill for 20 minutes after work every day to keep in shape.

To say that a lot has changed would be a bit of an understatement. Since starting this blog, I've moved to New York City (and then out of it), I'm almost half way through a Master's program and one marathon, two (soon to be 3!) half-marathons and a few other races under my belt and I definitely consider myself a runner.

This blog has been amazing. It seems a bit odd to talk about something like a website in this way but those of you who blog know exactly what I 'm talking about. I love my blog. I stopped writing a diary in about 10th grade and 25 Before 25 has been my outlet. It's where I go when I don't want to deal with anything else but surprisingly, it hasn't been where I unload everything, it's my little yoga mat in cyber world. I like to think of my blog as a place where I can lie down in child's pose and just clear my mind.

I've met some incredible people through this blog and made amazing friends and I can't wait to see what this next year of blogging will entail. I'm not sure that I'll be able to cross everything off of my list but that doesn't bother me one bit. If this list has taught me anything, it's taught me to squeeze as much into my life as I possibly can. Running has become an integral part of my existence. Every day on the subway, I'm absorbed in a different book that is teaching me so many things about so many things. In my spare time, I cuddle up with movies that are considered the best of the best and I've been cooking some to-die-for recipes. I love my list and I love working toward it.

That said, I'm planning to start bringing some new things to my blog in this next year. As most of you know, I'll be traveling pretty extensively around the world this summer (I haven't even posted about all of the places I'm going!) and I plan to write about my travels on here. Of course I'll be writing about India since it's on The List, but I'll also be writing about the other places I'm traveling/living/working.


I'm also going to write more about running. I think I felt a little bit more connected to running when I was writing about it. And of course, I'll continue my book/movie/recipe reviews while throwing in tidbits of my daily life but also maybe giving a little bit more insight into just who is this girl behind 25 Before 25.

I hope you all continue reading. It's been a pleasure having each and every one of you stop by, leave comments, send e-mails, etc. I love hearing from you so please, stay in touch. I'll be around for awhile.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Blogging Last Year: March comes in like a lion...

March 3, 2011

three things thursday

1. New York City Half-Marathon - As you all know (since I've said it a thousand times), I'm running the New York City Half-Marathon on Sunday, March 20 (along with Kara Goucher, Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi!) I've been training for it, I feel good, I feel ready for it and I'm going for a PR like it's an Olympic gold medal. But there's a little something that's really pushing my buttons about this race. There's no course map! Sure, I know the streets of Manhattan like nobody's business because it's my stomping grounds, but there's no course map, no elevation chart, no nicely plotted out map. Instead, I get this:

If you can't read that (click to enlarge), it's basically turn by turn instructions. What is that?! Are you giving me directions to someone's house?

2. BAA 5k - I'm in! I registered for the BAA 5k. I'm still slightly bitter about the fact that I paid $45 to run a was $40 last year and I refused! But I gave in this year because I get to run it with these awesome people.

3. Marine Corps Marathon - I've mentioned a few times in the last week that I registered for the  Marine Corps Marathon. This was purely accidental but I'm so glad I did. Last Thursday, Chloe sent me a message on GChat reminding me of my less than favorable chances of getting into the lottery for the NYC Marathon. Since I registered for the lottery, I've been thinking that my back up plan would be to run MCM but I knew that it would fill fast and that I probably wouldn't hear from NYC until after MCM closed out so I was kind of at a loss of what to do. As Chloe and I were discussing, I checked over to the MCM website to find out that registration had opened the day before and was 98% full. So I frantically sent GChat messages to Lauren and Emily as to what to do. After about a 20 minute deliberation, I decided to register. I filled in all of my information and clicked 'Pay Now.' I was immediately brought back to the home page that said, 'The Marine Corps Marathon is now CLOSED.' I may very well have gotten the last spot in the race! How cool is that? So if I don't get into NYC, I'm going to run the MCM and if I do get into NYC, then I'll defer MCM for the following year! (I'm just not cool enough to be able to run two marathons in less than 7 days)

That's that! Don't forget to sign up for Jason's Cupcake Marathon!
It's *almost* the weekend!

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