December 31, 2012

A Perfect End to a Not-So Perfect Year

I couldn't ever have imagined a better way to end this year.

It didn't feel right to let the New Year celebrations kick off without writing one last post for 2012.

I live in DC now. It's been an extremely hectic and adventurous  weekend of moving, buying furniture, driving through a snowstorm with a brand new mattress tied to the roof , assembling furniture, and unpacking EVERYTHING I own.

Hectic and adventurous...I wouldn't have it any other way.

And of course, since this is primarily a running blog, it wouldnt be appropriate if I didn't talk about my first run on my new home, and my last run of the year: the Operation Jack 10k Satellite Run.

The date for this run was set for Saturday, 12/29...for obvious reasons, I couldn't run on Saturday but it was important for me to run the 10k.

I tool to the Mount Vernon Trail, which I've heard great things about and is conveniently located near my new home. The Pilot joined me for the first 2 miles of what was easily the best run I've had all year.

The planes descending into Reagan Airport were flying right overhead as I pounded the pavement, which made both me and The Pilot absolutely ecstatic. The approach into Reagan is his absolute favorite approach and it was so cool to be right underneath them.

Running along the river and seeing all of the DC monuments and finally getting that - I live here now - feeling was the coolest thing ever.

And dedicating each of those miles to the fight against autism, just made this run absolute perfection.
What a way to end the year. 2013 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year and I can't wait to ring it in tonight with old friends in a new city.

Here's to a fabulous New Year. Make it great.

December 27, 2012

2012 Goals: A Review

As the year dwindles down to a close, it's time to reflect back on some of the goals I made this year and how I did with them. I love making lists and setting goals and having a number of goals to set for the New Year is, in my opinion, much better than making a resolution because it allows me to try new things, accomplish goals and reassess them throughout the year!

Let's see how I did.

1. Try a spin class. Check! I'm happy to say that I tried spinning more than once because I absolutely hated it the first time I went but after trying a different studio, I actually liked it a lot. I'd love to find some spin studios in DC and try to make it more of a regular habit, but we'll see!
2. Do more yoga. Check! I even had a yoga membership for about 3 months! I was regularly going to yoga and feeling great! I ended my membership last month to save some money but I was still practicing when I could and the new yoga DVDs are definitely going to give me an opportunity to do more yoga in the New Year...that and the fact that my new apartment building offers yoga!
3. Leave my apartment more. Check! This was really only relevant to the first part of the year, but I definitely got out and about as much as I could!
4. Finish my college scrapbook. FAIL! I didn't work on it once. Oops.
5. Get The Pilot to run a race with me. Check!

6. See the rest of the ballparks. Nope! I only went to 3 new ones this year, but I already have concrete plans for 3 more, which will bring me to 21. Let's hope I get to the rest in 2013!

Kansas City! Ballpark #18
7. Go to an NFL game. Check! Jets v. Texans!

8. Visit my BFF in Kentucky. Check! I got in another ballpark in the process too!
9. Do something big to celebrate my birthday. Fail! I was sick on my birthday. Lame.
10. Read more books that I want to read. Check! Oh my gosh, since I graduated I can't put the books down, I love it.
11. Read the newspaper more. Mmmmm...not as much as I would've liked.
12. Move out of New York. Well, moving back in with my mom wasn't exactly the big move I anticipated but the fact that I'm loading up a truck and heading down to DC tomorrow...just 3 days before the end of the definitely the big move I hoped for.
13. Run a sub-4 hour marathon. Sighhhhhh.

Well, with some goals accomplished and others left to be checked off, I have to say that this year has been the true definition of a whirlwind. From finishing my thesis, to running in Madrid, to graduating with my Master's to being jobless for 6 months, to finally, now, after long anticipation, making the move to DC...I know that 2013 is going to be a very new and very exciting year for me!

How did your 2012 shape up?

December 26, 2012

A Very, Merry Christmas

Well, after all of my Grinch-like whining about Christmas, it turns out, I had a very, merry Christmas after all.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Let's talk about that for a minute.

My mom, who was in a terrible accident right after Thanksgiving, is finally starting to feel better and is able to be up and about rather than bedridden. This, itself, was reason enough to make it a happy Christmas.

My aunt was really sick earlier this year and she's feeling 1,000 times better.

My uncle, who lost his home in Hurricane Sandy, found a place to live and is moving in this week. It's been a tough few months for him but he's doing ok.

Our house, with the exception of our fence, has been fixed after the hurricane damage and it looks better than ever.

The Pilot, who was supposed to spend Christmas alone in a hotel room in Dallas, got released from his trip early and made it home Christmas morning. We exchanged gifts and then spent the day with his family and he had a wonderful Christmas, which made me so so happy.

So, I got to spend Christmas with my family and my boyfriend's family and next week, I get to see my family in Texas.

And when it came to gifts, they were nothing short of thoughtful this year.

From The Pilot's sister-in-law, a running top labeled "For a long run around the Mall,"
and a gorgeous clutch labeled "For a night out Downtown."
The Pilot absolutely spoiled me this year. Among his collection of gifts, he gave into my love for all things mustache by giving me a collection of mustache-inspired goodies.

I'm just glad he didn't actually grow a mustache!
And best of all, after 4 years of pining for one, Santa brought me this:

I must have been a really good girl this year!
The best part? My mom bought it on Black Friday...a week before I got offered my job. When I asked her why she bought it when I was still living at home, she said she just knew that I was going to get this job and would soon have a kitchen of my own.

I hope you all had a very, merry Christmas.

December 18, 2012

Apartment Inspiration

Now that The Pilot and I have a place to live, my mind has suddenly turned to all things *decorating.*

I love decorating. I probably should have been an Interior Designer. Not really. But every few months or so, I get bored and rearrange my furniture.

I might have to curb that tradition when I'm living with another person but we'll see.

I opened a Pinterest account back in the summer but completely forgot about it until recently. While, I'm typically not a fan of posts that show nothing but Pinterest photos, I thought I'd do one of my own to show a few of the ideas I'm thinking about for my soon to be home!

I love the idea of only painting the back wall of the bedroom. 
Our building will paint accent walls in our apartment so we've already picked out a color for this!

Isn't this so fun? I have the perfect wall in mind for it! 
We can keep baskets underneath the table for all of the dog's stuff and maybe some pockets for mail.

This is one of those cheap-o mirrors from places like Target. Doesn't it look so nice with the crown molding? I would love to dress up a mirror this way!

There won't be much space for a desk but I love the idea of just putting a shelf on the wall to use as desk space. Blogging corner, anyone? I also love the white on white theme going on here!

Another cute desk area. I love the high shelf for books and pictures + the board on the wall.

I love these curtains. The apartment has nice big windows, and this would be gorgeous!

Our bathroom is teeny tiny but this is really pretty. 

The cabinets in our kitchen are white. I love some of the accents in this kitchen - like the rug, canisters, spice rack, etc. 

So that's that! We have to buy furniture which is going to cost quite a bit but I'm hoping Pinterest will come to the rescue with some DIY tips for making my new apartment the perfect little home! I have a rapidly growing list of things I need for the place but everything will come together and I can't wait! 

Have you used Pinterest to decorate your home? What are some of your favorite decorating tips? Any cost saving tips for moving that you can share?

And if you want to follow me on Pinterest to see what other ideas I come up with and which ones I decide to go to, feel free to add me here.

December 17, 2012

Love/Don't Love

1. We found an apartment! This weekend, The Pilot and I made our way to DC to go apartment hunting. We saw quite a few places but ultimately settled on one of the first places we saw. We move in a week from Thursday! Love. Love. LOVE.
2. I have an absurd amount of packing and shopping to do over the next few days. Don't Love.
3. I'm moving to DC. Have I mentioned that? Love.

4. NYRR has maintained their radio silence of any news regarding the NYC Marathon. Registrations for fall races will be opening before they plan to make a decision and I'm not going to wait around to find out if I can run New York. I may forever boycott the race out of principle.  So much for my goal of running all five six of the World Marathon Majors. Don't Love.
5. I got into the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler lottery! This will be my 3rd attempt at running the race and the fact that travel won't be required for this year's race, I'm hoping I'll have better luck this year! Love.

6. After finding out that I can't run Eugene, I still don't have a spring marathon in mind. Flying Pig and New Jersey seem to be the only races around the same time, but I just don't have much of an interest in either. Maybe some of you can persuade me another way? Don't Love.
7. I finally got my medal from the Richmond Marathon in the mail! Can't wait to put it up on my medal collection pack it in a box and wait a few weeks to hang it in my new apartment! Love.

8. I got a new yoga DVD set and I did one of the workouts this morning and it was great! Each practice is targeted toward a day of the week. I'll write a review once I've gotten through the full week. Love.

Before I log off for the day to start packing, I want to take a moment to say that my heart has been so, so heavy with the news of the shooting in Connecticut on Friday. I'm praying for peace and grace for the students and families that experienced this tragedy and lost loved ones. This was an unspeakable horror that shocked us to our cores and I pray that the community of Newtown is able to find grace at this horrific time.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

December 14, 2012

Random Friday Facts

1. I hate putting milk in my coffee but I don't like drinking it black, so I always add just a splash of milk to add some color, rather than taste.

2. I go through phases where I drink apple juice around the clock and then suddenly switch to orange juice. If I'm on an apple juice kick, I won't drink OJ and vice versa.

3. I don't understand those "Run Less, Run Faster" programs. I like running.

4. It makes me tremendously happy that I'm starting my new job in January. I'm a big fan of starting things on the 1st - 1st day of the week, 1st day of the month, 1st week of the year. It makes me feel organized.

5. I ran 3 marathons this year.

6. I've lost count of how many times I've moved in the last 3 years. When I do find an apartment in DC, I plan on staying there for at least 2 years.

7. I signed up for the Eugene Marathon in August and didn't tell anyone. Now, I can't run it because I'll be on a business trip. I know more people running Eugene than not running Eugene and this makes me sad.

8. The drama over the NYC Marathon + running Richmond left me with a burn out feeling that I'm just now starting to get over.

9. I hate doing any kind of exercise when I'm on my period.

10. January was the only month this year that I didn't get on a plane. My goal for 2013 is to get on a plane at least once every month.

Katie is the instigator of Random Friday Facts. I'm not sure if she's posting one today since she's home with her puppies and planning a party but go check her out. 

December 12, 2012

OMG I'm Moving to DC... what?

First, I need to find an apartment.

So far, the DC housing market is much, much, MUCH more manageable than New York's but it still isnt easy. 

Trying to find a place that is a) within budget b) Metro accessible and c) pet-friendly is proving to be a bit of a challenge but I'm up for it and I know I'll find something great.

Ask anyone who isn't from DC about finding a place and they'll tell you the White House is nice. 
As of yesterday, my contract has been signed, sealed and delivered to my company's head office in Denver. They're opening an office in DC and I'll be starting in the office when our DC operations it's a new start for everyone, which is really exciting!

And of course, I'll be putting my hard earned research to use and working in international education, coordinating cultural exchanges between students in the US and Latin America and Africa. 

It's funny...I've been wanting to move to DC for over 2 years now. I even applied to grad school in DC. Now that it's actually going happen, I can't even begin to process actually moving there...signing a lease, packing my stuff and moving in.

I'm too busy scoping Pottery Barn for pretty things I can't afford during my lunch breaks to worry about all of that stuff!

I'm heading down to DC this weekend to scope out some apartments and will hopefully come back with a signed lease.

From there, I can start packing! I don't have too much stuff and plan on buying most of my furniture once I'm there, but I'm excited for this next adventure!

2013 is already off to an amazing year!

December 11, 2012

Some BIG News

"So, for someone who is accustomed to documenting every inane detail of her life online, the past few weeks 6 months have been really difficult."

Katie posted this on her blog a few weeks ago and when she wrote that, I couldn't have agreed with her more. The last 6 months of 2012 have been entirely different from the first 6 months of 2012 and I've kept very, very quiet about it.

In May, I graduated with my Master's.

2 days later, I moved out of my New York City apartment. To my mom's house in New Jersey.

I had already been job hunting for 2 months and after a few interviews and no offers on the table, I started to get a bit well, desperate.

Fast forward to September...I had been out of school for 3 months and living at home in New Jersey with no job and no car. I was miserable. I had a Master's degree, good work experience, great references and I had sent out nearly 200 job applications, most of which didn't even yield a "Thank you for your application." I took at least a dozen (no exaggeration)  trips to DC to volunteer at conferences, meet people, network and try to find a job and after so many promising leads and so many disappointments, I started to lose hope.

To say the job market, and my prospects, were bleak is an understatement.

I so desperately wanted to move to DC, but the prospects were minimal so I expanded my job the whole country.

Desperate for an income, I applied to a retail job and started in September. Crazy hours and being exhausted after work left me with minimal time to devote to the job search...which is a full time job in itself.

In early November, I started looking at jobs again. My first day back on the "job," I came across a posting that seemed perfect for so many had before. I applied to it, along with 5 other jobs, and walked away having a pretty good feeling about this one, but taking that feeling with a grain of salt.

The next day, I got called for an interview. That was three weeks ago. As one interview led to another and I went through the whole process, I wanted to tell everyone about my excitement about this possibility that I increasingly felt better about the more I got to talking to the various people within the organization...but I kept quiet for fear of jinxing anything.

But today, after keeping quiet about virtually so many things in my life over the past 6 months, I can finally start to open up again because on Friday night, I was offered a job... Washington, DC. 

December 6, 2012

Dear Santa...

I have been a very good girl this year...Sometimes.

So I'm asking for a few things for Christmas that I'm posting on my blog because my sister and mom keep asking when I'm going to put my Christmas list up on my blog. For those of you (like me) who are having a hard time telling people what you want for Christmas this year, maybe this will garner a little inspiration!

via American Apparel
I hate the winter but I love winter coats! I've been wanting a cape for goodness knows how long and this wool one from American Apparel is gorgeous! They have a fleece one too that's really nice. I love that they both have pockets so you don't look all weird underneath your cape when carrying a purse around.

The Believe I Am Training Journal. I've had my eye on this planner/journal for almost a year, but it wasn't until I looked through Ashley's on the way down to Richmond that I was really sold on it! I think this would be a great way to track my training over the year, especially since my training for Marathon #6 starts just after the New Year!

I've never shopped Oiselle before but I know so many girls who are in love with their products and this t-shirt is just way too cute not to pass up! I was going to buy it for myself as a post-marathon present but never got around to it and now I have that's Christmas time, so I should be shopping for everyone but me thing going on.

I've also had my eye on this one since the summer time and I still kind of want it...especially since I was in London right around the Olympics.

I'm really stingy when it comes to buying music which means that the most updated song on my iPod until about 1 month ago was from 2011. I've been getting better at sucking it up and buying music lately since there some great songs have been released lately, but if I didn't have to spend my own money on buying music, I probably would buy more of it which would make my long runs so much less boring.

I own 2 pairs of sweat pants...and they are both Men's sizes. I never buy more because I can never find ones that I like. I want comfy sweats with the banded bottom. Both these and these from Victoria's Secret are cute. They don't have to be VS, I just want women's sweats with a banded bottom so that they don't drag anywhere since I have short legs.

On the note of "comfy" things...I stepped into Aerie for the first time the other day and saw this hoodie and loved it. I had bought a lululemon one and it literally ripped open the 2nd time I put it on, so I'm looking for a replacement. This one is super soft and comfy and comes in lots of fun colors. I also LOVE Aerie bras. I had never been in there until this week and I bought one of their bras and I think I may be a convert from Victoria's Secret! I wouldn't mind a few of those.

This mug from Gone for a Run. I don't think it needs much of an explanation.

Like I said, I don't really have much of a list this year, these are just a few things that have caught my eye that I wouldn't mind having. So, what's on your Christmas list this year?

December 3, 2012

Love/Don't Love

I literally just yelled out...It's Monday! I have to blog!

This weekend has been an absolute whirlwind.

On Thursday, I got one of those absolutely terrifying phone calls that no one should ever have to get. My mom was in a really bad car accident and was in the hospital. She's home now and she's doing just fine. She's up and about (even though she shouldn't be) and is feeling much better. She's going to be out of commission for a bit since she broke her sternum but she's doing ok. It was really scary and you can be sure that I've been saying lots of prayers this week.

Moving on:

1. The Pilot and I saw "Life of Pi" yesterday. I liked it...the book was better, which is usually the case but the film was done really well. Love.

2. I've been working a lot lately. I suppose that's a good thing. Love/Don't Love.
3. I feel like there are good things on the horizon. I hope I'm right. Love.
4. Registration for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler opened today! I will run that race this year. If you haven't read about the last two times I tried to run this race , you can catch up here and here and see why I'm so determined to run this year! Love.

5. We picked Secret Santas with The Pilot's family this weekend. I have absolutely no idea what to get my person. Don't Love.
6. I tried CrossFit for the first time yesterday and loved it! I'm sore in the - it hurts so good - sense and it is fantastic! Love.
7. Cherry Blossom Registration has me thinking about 2013 races! It might be time to put a race calendar up soon! Love.
8. I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. Don't Love.
9. The Pilot finally sent me the pictures from the wedding we went to last weekend. We had way too much fun, and I'm already looking forward to the 4(?) weddings we have next year! Love.

10. Blogger told me today that I've used up my photo limit. Looks like I might have no option but to go the self-hosted route. I tried this once before and failed miserably. Any tips? Don't Love.

Well today's Monday and I'm off so I'm spending the day Christmas shopping and decorating!
Hope you all have a fabulous week this week!
If you have any recommendations for my little blog issue, please let me know!

November 29, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Sooo I had a post planned for earlier this week recapping just how awesome my weekend was but I'm waiting for a certain boyfriend of mine to get back from flying the high skies and email me all of the pictures that are on his camera so that I can actually post it! So until's what's going on this week.

1. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - I gave The Pilot a mission this year: to be the Cindy Lou Who to my Grinch and try to spread some Christmas cheer to my two-sizes-too-small Grinch-like heart. He's taken his mission quite seriously and made me listen to Christmas music on the drive up to Rochester. Today, I actually found myself singing Christmas songs in my car. Who am I? So yes, this year I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit. So far, it's involved Christmas music and network television Christmas specials. So far, I'm managing just fine without having to dip into the egg nog but we'll see how that goes when I start shopping!

The goal is to look like this people...only not
2. 2012 Goals - With Christmas right around the corner...that means the New Year is also right around the corner...which means I should probably get to work on some of those lingering 2012 goals I have yet to accomplish. Like run a sub-4 marathon. Just kidding. That's not going to happen. I have no desire whatsoever to run another marathon this year. I do however have a college scrapbook that hasn't been touched in about 2 years. I should probably get on that...

3. Planners - Last year, I Mom splurged on an Erin Condren planner for me for Christmas. I was great about using it through the beginning part of the year when I lived, worked and worked out all in the same building and rarely ever left and didn't have to carry a 5 pound planner around with me but honestly, it's way too big to carry around on a daily basis. So I'm hunting for planners again. I have my eye on the Martha Stewart for Staples calendars but I have to go check them out. I also spotted the Mead planners I used to use in high school and college and I always loved them so I may go back to those. We'll see.

What are some of your favorite ways to get into the Christmas spirit? How are you doing on your 2012 goals? Any lingering goals that you've yet to work on? Anything you didn't get to accomplish this year that you're setting your eyes on again for next year? What kind of planner do you use?

Happy Thursday!

November 21, 2012

On Being Thankful

My family doesn't really celebrate Thanksgiving. A few times, in college, I went home with friends who had "proper American Thanksgivings" and it was always kind of weird to me...the whole stuff-your-face-with-turkey-and-say-what-you're-thankful-for thing just never really resounded with me. This year is a little bit different though. This year has been kind of tough and I feel like when things get rough is when you should take the most time to reflect on what's really great in your life because if you can't do that, things will start to get really bad.

I let that happen this summer and I got whipped back into shape real fast.

So this year, I want to really take a minute to share some of the things I'm thankful for...the things that have made the tough times this year just a little bit easier to handle.

I'm thankful that I have an income. It may not be doing what I love and it may not be the greatest, but I'm saving money and that's going to lead to bigger and better things for next year.

I'm thankful that my family was ok after Hurricane Sandy. We all had some pretty significant damage but no one was hurt and I'm grateful for that. It was a scary night when the hurricane hit and I'm happy that everyone was ok.

I'm thankful for The Pilot. He has been so unbelievably amazing this year. From coming to my races to taking care of me when I'm sick/injured to whisking me away to Paris to making every possible arrangement in his work schedule to get time off when I need/want him to to just getting it...I'm so unbelievably lucky to have him.

I'm thankful for and old. Friendships change and I learned that the hard way this year...but I've made some amazing friends this year and rekindled old relationships and I'm grateful to have so many amazing people in my life.

I'm thankful for running. It keeps me sane. Training for the New York City Marathon kept me together this summer. Even when New York fell through, I'm so lucky to have been able to run Richmond with such an amazing group of girls. Part of me misses training already I'm really happy to have the next few months off to not have an Excel sheet to go off and just get back to the basics of running before my next training cycle begins.

I'm thankful for my mom. She's the most amazing woman I know. From popping over to Madrid to support me in my race to just being the most incredible mom, I'm so lucky to have her. If I can ever be half the mom to my own kids that my mom has been to me, I'll be a damn good mother.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Whether it's something you always do or not, take a moment this year to reflect on what you're thakful for.
It's good for the soul...I promise. =)

November 19, 2012

Love/Don't Love

1. I didn't have much of a weekend since I had to work Friday and Saturday night but Sunday, The Pilot and I headed into Brooklyn to see my roommate from when I was in Geneva who just moved to New York and we had a great time! Love.

Love this picture of us on the ferry from Williamsburg to Brooklyn Bridge!
2. I am sick today. I've been nauseous all day and have had a horrible headache and my knee has been hurting. Don't Love.
3. The Pilot and I are heading up to Rochester this weekend for my friend Stephanie's wedding! I'm so excited for her and I can't wait for a weekend reunion with all my DC loves. Love.
4. I really want to see Anna Karenina this week but it isn't playing anywhere near me! Don't Love.
5. I feel like good things might be coming my way soon and I really hope I'm right. I'm sorry for being shady but I don't want to reveal anything unless things come to fruition. Love.

6. My Madrid sister Ally is coming to town this week! We're having a sleep over on Wednesday and are going to do all sorts of fabulous things together on Thursday morning and I can't wait because seriously...I haven't seen her since MDI and that was almost a month ago! Love.
7. I've run a total of 1.4 miles since Richmond and I'm totally ok with that. So far not training for a marathon is just as fun as training for a marathon. Love.

That's that! 
I'm excited for the shortened week because of the Holiday!

November 15, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. Getting Back in Shape - It seems a little weird to be saying that I need to get back in shape when I ran a marathon on Saturday but 2 weeks of carb-loading and light running with little to no cross-training has left me aching for a good workout. I have done virtually no form of exercise since Richmond and I have loved every second of it. Don't get me wrong, I love running but it was only yesterday that I was finally able to walk up and down the stairs like a normal human. Tonight, I'm going to Refine Method with Ashley and tomorrow, I'm trying out a spin class on an 'unstationary' bike. Quite frankly, it terrifies me and I'm really scared I might fall off the bike. We'll see.

This video makes me giggle.

2. Anniversary - The Pilot and I had our 3 year anniversary on Tuesday...and last night, we learned that we both have the same favorite style of beer. We've had a lot of fun together and this year, he's been there for me through a lot of not so fun stuff and it means the world to me that he's stuck around. Here's to the next year being even better than the last 3. I love you babe.

3. NYC Marathon - I've gotten a lot of questions about what's happening with the NYC Marathon. Well, I don't know. New York Road Runners has been dead silent since they cancelled the race other than to ask for 'patience' while they sort this out. Really? It's been 2 weeks. Every so-called expert from pro-runners to coaches to Runners' World and the New York Times has formulated some kind of opinion on how NYRR should handle the situation and they've all, for the most part, come up with some pretty sensible solutions. I don't understand why it's taking a random person behind a computer 20 minutes to think up a well thought out solution and blog about it, when it's taking NYRR 2 weeks...and counting. 

That's all for today!
If you don't hear from me, I've fallen off a spin bike somewhere!

November 14, 2012

Baseball Season

It was almost 3 years ago that I decided to set out on a mission to visit every Major League Baseball stadium. Initially, the goal was to go to all of them before I turned 25. That didn't happen, so I reset my deadline to the end of the 2012 season.

Well, baseball season came and went and, while I did manage to go to a few more stadiums, I didn't get to all of them.

I blame The Pilot.

Just kididng. Sort of. See, all through the off season, The Pilot was getting these amazing 24-36 hour layovers in baseball cities like Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Houston, and Milwaukee. I couldn't wait for baseball season to start so that I could start dropping "Oops" posts like it was my job and take off to all of these cities to nail the rest of those ballparks on my list.

This baseball season? He didn't get one. What!? I mean, he got a few, but they were all to baseball cities that I had been to before! His schedule this summer and my lack of a job (and income) made it even harder for us to jet off to random cities at our choosing, so my baseball adventures are pushed back yet another year.

I had a fantastic baseball season this year though. I went to a few Mets know when they weren't absolutely terrible.

I almost went to Johan Santana's No-Hitter...but didn't.

I went back to San Francisco with my little nephew.

I went to Philly and realized that I actually loved their stadium.

I went to Nationals Park with one of the biggest baseball fans I know and watched the Mets throw a game and screamed profanities at the players with Katie's husband.

I went to Cincinnati and watched Bronson Arroyo pitch a perfect game well into the 8th inning.

I went to All-Star Weekend in Kansas City.

All in was 4 new stadiums bringing the grand total to 18.

I'm just gonna go out and say again that I'm going to try and get in those last 12 before the end of the 2013 season. Why not? I've already got plans to go to Cleveland and run a Half-Mary with Holly and The Pilot is itching to LA. A West Coast trip in April for a spring marathon might make that happen.

We'll see. If I don't get to all of them, I'll just keep working my way through season after season. Let's just hope The Pilot starts getting some good overnights next season so that I can knock out the remaining 12 though shall we?

And in all honesty, I can't say I'm not sad to see baseball season having come and gone. I'm so glad the Giants won (my brother-in-law is the biggest Giants fan I know) but the way the Mets were playing after the All-Star Game was just painful to watch!

Until April...18 down. 12 to go!

November 12, 2012

Race Recap: Richmond Marathon

Q:You know what I love about the marathon?
A: That you learn something new in ever race.

Q: You know what else I love about the marathon?
A: That after 5 marathons, I can actually, finally say that I love the marathon distance.

If you had asked me how I felt about the marathon distance between miles 17-19 and during mile 21 of the Richmond Marathon on Saturday, however, I would have given you a very different answer that would have involved a highly offensive amount of profanity.

I'm so freaking happy that I caved into Twitter and joined #teamrichmond and sat in a car for 8 1/2 hours with a bunch of girls I had never met to run a marathon this weekend because seriously? This weekend was absolutely amazing.

#teamrichmond at the start with both our Richmond and NYC race bibs

We all stayed at Katie's parents' house which was about a 20 minute ride from the Start and got there with ample time to check bags, stretch and line up before the gun went off. I was way more nervous than usual but I set off at a comfortable pace with Ashley and Katie and just like that, I was running Marathon #5.

We kept a steady pace and the miles were just flying by. The course was very far from being "flat" which we had all thought, but the hills were manageable and Katie's strategy of racing up the hill and recovering on the downhill really worked for me.

People loved that we had our NY bibs on our backs! So many runners chatted with us, asked us about the race, welcomed us and shared their own stories of NY being cancelled and it was so great just casually talking to strangers the whole time. There were signs all over the course that said "Welcome to Richmond, NYC Marathon Runners!" and a guy who was carrying a sign around that said "Route of NYC Marathon." It was great to feel so supported along the course by so many strangers, especially after the mess of last week.

When we hit Mile 11, I started getting nervous again and we were tackling an up hill and I started falling way behind Katie and Ashley and getting really out of breath and started to panic a little bit. Somehow, I managed to catch up with them and Katie totally calmed me down and we made it to the Half and had a spectacular moment of hitting the Half marker at the exact same time.

Since I was running with friends, I didn't spend a heck of a lot of time looking at my watch and when we hit Mile 15, I swore that the sign we were at was wrong because I thought we were at 14 until I looked at my watch. That is an amazing feeling to have during a marathon.

Mile 16 was the Lee Bridge which I was deathly afraid of after my experience with the 14th Street Bridge at Marine Corps but I took it like a champ and actually gained some speed. Ashley started to pick up the pace and around 17.5, she turned and mouthed something and took off. When I got to where she was standing, I saw Bart Yasso! I ran over to him and he high fived me and said "Lookin good girl!"

Holy shit. Bart Yasso just told me I was looking good. Run faster! Run faster! 

See! See! Bart Yasso told me I looked good! *TWICE*
And I wanted to, except that I was going up hill, and my nose started bleeding and I didn't know why so I didn't. At this point, I was running by myself. Katie had dropped back and Ashley had picked up the pace so I put on my music and just focused on getting to the 20 mile mark in 3 hours so that I could focus on going sub-4.

I hit Mile 20 right at the 3 hour mark and just started to focus. The last 10k of Richmond are a total blur. I have never been so focused during a race in my life.

Mile 21 was the worst mile of the race. It was awful. I don't even know what was so bad about it. All sorts of negativity snuck in. I started crying when I realized that I still had 5 miles to go. Then I started thinking...Marathons are so stupid. This is stupid. Everything hurts. Why do I do this shit? I hate this. I just want to be done. What's the point? I should just stop and wait for my friends. Why is this mile so freaking endless. I'm never going to finish. I still have to run for almost an hour. Ahhhhhh.

At Mile 22, I picked my head up and I picked the pace up and I shut out every single one of those thoughts. When Mile 23 hit, a thought popped into my head - You are about to finish your 5th marathon and you are DAMN close to hitting your goal. So I started working. Hard. I picked up the pace a little bit and I focused more than I have ever focused. I didn't pay attention to signs, spectators, or runners. I put one foot in front of the other and I just ran.

Mile 24 was up hill and it was hard. I had refilled my water bottle at Mile 20 and had run out again but I didn't want to stop for more and lose time. Towards the end of the mile, I started getting dizzy. Really dizzy. Mile 25.5 to the Finish were straight down hill. When I hit 25, everything started to blur and I started getting nauseous. I hit Mile 26 in 4:00:32 and my first thought was, I'm going to PR the shit out of this marathon.

And then everything faded. I know I crossed the Finish Line because I felt the timing mat under my foot. I couldn't see anything and I couldn't walk in a straight line. I felt like absolute death. I saw Ashley up ahead and felt like she was 26 miles away. I vaguely remember taking some pictures before I found myself lying on the ground with Gia standing over me asking how I felt.

<3 this girl
I gave the Richmond Marathon everything I had and then some. I finished in 4:01:04...a 2 minute, 6 second PR and I was ecstatic! I did everything right in this marathon. There isn't a single thing I could have done differently to have gotten a better time. This was the first time I ran a marathon without stopping. In hindsight, some Gatorade or other form of electrolytes probably would have prevented me from getting so dizzy and might have helped me pick up the pace a little bit towards the end but I don't care. I ran the best race I could run and I put everything on the line and I'm so unbelievably happy to have worked so hard and to have walked away with a new marathon PR. Oh and it wouldn't be right if I didn't say that I couldn't have done it without Ashley and Katie. Thanks for the miles ladies. It was a blast.

Happy NYC Runners in Richmond! Every one of us PRd on Sunday!
I had thought I would be disappointed if I didn't go sub-4 but I'm not at all. How could I be? I ran a great race and you know what? I'm 2 minutes and 4 seconds closer to that goal and I know that I'll get it next time!

Stay tuned: Marathon #6 Training will becoming to you in January 2013!

Congratulations to all of #teamrichmond: To the first time marathoners, the marathon returners, the BQs, the PRs, and to those who proved that finishing is the biggest accomplishment of all. I'm so proud of each of you and so proud to have been able to run with you.
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