I’m not 21 anymore…

About 2 months ago I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I worked my regular 8-3 teaching gig, then participated in extended day until 5. It was a rough day with several episodes of me yelling, having a headache, and just being cranky. My hubby, in an attempt to make me feel better, sent me a text stating that he had left a treat for me in the house. Typically a treat is something edible…perhaps sour patch watermelons or Dunkin Donuts Coffee or a chilled bottle of Riesling. Instead, I get home to find 5 (not 12, not 6) roses. Attached is a note telling me how much he appreciates me. Awwww cute. Where’s my candy? Or my ice cream?

After scouring the fridge, I realize that there is, in fact, no edible treat. I take a deep breath and text him thank you. As I am typing, I notice the remains of his Chinese food dinner on the table. Now I am livid. He tells me he got me a treat, and treated himself to wonton soup (which is my favorite?!?). I am not a happy camper.

As I am seething on the couch, I think of all the things that would make me feel better. Alcohol. Running. Alcohol. My friends. Suddenly a lightbulb goes off…why don’t I plan a reunion of sorts? With that, a sorority happy hour is born.

Looking back, I am grateful I had such a miserable Tuesday a few months ago. Our happy hour was on Friday in NYC and it is truly a blessing to be a part of something larger than myself. We ended up extending the invite to sisters that graduated before me (2005…yuck) and sisters that graduated after me (all the way up until 2013). We actually had a great turn out and we were able to see people we haven’t seen since graduating and meet new girls that all share the same bond that we do.

In college I received some negative feedback for joining a sorority. Many people had the idea that I was simply buying my friends. They couldn’t be more wrong. Seeing these girls Friday reaffirmed that for me. We all share the same love for our sisters, and boy were we able to drink like we were still in college. We sang songs, danced in a secluded circle of sisters, and told stories that had me laughing until it hurt.

Unfortunately I was not laughing on Saturday. I spent the better part of the morning telling myself not to throw up. I spent the afternoon fighting off a pounding headache that no amount of water or Advil was helping. I then had to field questions in regards my non-drinking behavior, which many people took as the first signs of pregnancy. I assure you, the copious amounts of bud light and fireball prevented me from consuming any beverage other than water or Gatorade Saturday. (Sorry Mom) it also preventing me from participating in the long awaited 10 miles Saturday morning. It just wasn’t happening.

Sorority functions win again. And they reaffirm the fact that I am, indeed, no longer young. I am old. I get 24 hour hangovers. But at least, for the night, I was able to pretend.

Hope you have a fabulous Monday! And I hope you had a good weekend like I did! was anybody else in a sorority or club in college? Do you still get together to reminisce and pretend you are young?

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Slow and Steady Wins The Race (or barely finishes)

As somebody who runs slower than a speed walking grandma, I find it easy to get discouraged by other people running around me. I actually find it much more enjoyable to run alone. That way, I don’t feel like anybody is being held back by my lack of speed and nobody feels like they have to wait for me at certain mile markers. No matter how many times I tell people I’m fine on my own, I find that people feel bad for me and “stretch” when they are really waiting for me. I get it, I’m slow, but at least I have the determination to finish a race.

Running with a friend

Last year my sister and I completed the Brooklyn Half marathon together, which really excited me. I was so proud of my sister for tackling all 13.1 miles, and at a much better pace than me. She is definitely one person that I can honestly say never feels bad about leaving me. I guess that’s just the sister thing in us. I tried to catch up to her to get an officially half marathon photo from the NYRR, but for some reason it wasn’t working. I lost her around Prospect Park and met up with her in Coney Island. She finished in a sweet 2:10 (I think) and I finished in just under 2:30 (my goal!). I hardly ever run races with people anymore, and I was so glad that she was motivated enough to do this one with me! She’s pretty badass.

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Sista & me in Coney Island after last years Brooklyn half! 

My hubby, on the other hand, has this super caring gene that makes him such a better person than me. He ALWAYS waits for me. And he’s a speedy little demon. The first half marathon I ever ran, in Staten Island, the poor guy stopped and waited for me. He says he was just stopping for water and to go to the bathroom (which I kind of believe because he has the bladder of a 9 month pregnant woman) but still. I forced him to get away from me around mile 10 and he ended up finishing a few minutes before me, when he should’ve finished about 20 minutes before me. He’s a good kid though.

Running alone

I find that because I’m so slow, running with people makes me feel pretty bad about myself. I feel like I have to keep up, my mind is racing with ways to get these people to drop me, and I just cannot get on pace. I did 6 miles with my cousins and my hubby on Saturday and I started out behind the pack. I felt comfortable, but my cousin Paul was running so fast and I wasn’t familiar with the route that he was taking, that I felt compelled to go faster just to make sure I was running the same way as the others. Around mile 3.5, Paul, Brian and Alyssa stopped at a crosswalk and basically waited for me and my cousin Chris. This really annoyed me and I didn’t stop. I kept going and they clearly took that as a signal to continue, and they passed me again. It was frustrating to think that they stopped running because of my slowness, and I was actually mad for about .5 seconds. Paul wants to do 10 miles together on Saturday, and I know that I should get out there and run with the group again. But I cannot stand the thought of them feeling bad for me. 

I’m actually most comfortable when I’m alone. Once I get in my zone, the miles click away like they are no big deal and I find my pace from the very beginning. I listen to my playlist and I sing along as I run, and before I know my run is over and I feel great (except for my damn feet, but that’s a whole other issue). Do I want to run faster? Sure. Will I be able to run faster? Maybe. But for now I will embrace my slowness and take in the fact that I am completing runs and distances that many people cannot cover. I am proud of where I am and where I am going (to the finish line. and to drink a beer. Those are good places to go) 

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I have the best cheering squad in the world: Mom, Sis, & hubby after the NYC Marathon

I hope that all you slow runners out there remember that you are strong and you are capable of running distances that other people aren’t. It’s about how fast you are going, but where you are going that counts!

The Weekend of Babies

I have not yet gotten the hang of this “daily blogging” thing but I swear I will catch up sooner or later. I’m currently 1 episode behind on “Free Agents” and have not gotten a chance to sit down and watch and/or analyze the situation. Instead, I have been working (and running!) and spending time with babies. And people who are pregnant. It’s been interesting.

Baby Fever

Let me start by saying that I do NOT have baby fever. Do I want a baby? Sure. Right now? Ehhhh Am I ready? Absolutely not. So let’s just leave it at that. I also love babies. I am very comfortable being around them and I love being with them because they are so darn cute and cuddly. And then they spit up and I give them back to their parents and carry on my way. I would like a baby in the next year or two and since I have some pretty hefty races coming up, I don’t think I’m getting knocked up tonight. Just saying.

Babies Everywhere

With some of my very best friends having babies (one last week and another in August), and 2 of my cousins who just had babies in November and December, and another cousin having a baby in July, I am surrounded. I cannot get away from it. And I don’t really mind. I spent Saturday doing a long run with my husby and cousins who are all running the Brooklyn Half together. Then I went back to my cousins house to BBQ and have some beers which is nice because they do have a 4 month old and we aren’t going binge drinking in bars when we hang out anymore. Which is fine. I honestly don’t mind hanging out with people who have kids. I had a great time playing with their son and holding him and feeding him. We talked, we laughed, we ate, we drank and it was a wonderful time. It was almost like things haven’t changed, except sometimes a baby cries and someone has to tend to him. That’s fine by me. But this is where it gets tricky. I went to a baby shower on Sunday and I realized that I do not want to spend the entire time I hang out with people who are mom’s talking about your child. Lucky for me, my cousins are like “yeah my baby is cool, but let’s talk about work and vacations and gossip.” However, there are some people that just CANNOT stop talking about their kid. It’s nice that your kid ate carrots for the first time but I don’t care. It’s sad that your kid cries all night, but seriously? I’m sure your kid does go to the bathroom a lot, but how is this stimulating conversation? I don’t get it. I care about your kid. But I don’t care to talk about them for 4 hours when I haven’t seen you in 4 weeks. I want to talk about you too. Can we no longer have adult conversations once we have kids? Is it just me?

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I don’t want to have to find new friends who don’t have babies once all these people pop. I want my friends back. And I want their kids too. Maybe it’s just me…but I needed to leave several conversations at Sundays baby shower because I just cannot listen to you talk about breast feeding for another damn second. Am I being insensitive? Or is this OK? I feel like I’m going crazy, but is that normal? Do I need to host a baby talking intervention? I feel like I’m out of line, but there’s a nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me that I am relatively reasonable. But maybe not….anybody care to weigh in?

Free Agents Week 3: The Cara Maria Show

Happy beautiful Saturday blog world! It was a great day to get out there and run this morning…and that’s just what I did. I did a measly 3 miles, which makes me nervous that my half marathon time is going to be pretty ugly in a few weeks. I’m not a crazy runner that expects to PR with every race I run, but I always like to set a goal for myself and try to accomplish it. Last years Brooklyn Half had me set a goal of finishing in under 2:30. At at 2:26, I crossed the finish line in Coney Island and couldn’t have been more proud of myself. This time around, I expect to beat the 2:26, but with a serious lack of training I sure don’t see that happening….

Free Agents Week 3

So after missing last Thursdays episode because I was gallivanting around Epcot drinking through all the countries, it’s only necessary to catch myself up. One of the pleasures of dancing school being on spring break this week was that I got to watch “The Challenge” live! And obsessively follow the live-tweets with the cast (@jmcneil14). I shamelessly plugged my blog to Cara Maria , gushing about how much I love her, and not only did she retweet and favorite me, but she got me more followers! So welcome! 

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Cohutta & Nany

Nany annoys me. I like her, don’t get me wrong, but there is just something about her that I find to be a tad annoying. Also that fight she had with Camila in week 2 was just out of control and ridiculous. WHO DOES THAT? With that being said, I love Cohutta. I never watched his RW season, but I love him on this challenge. I love that him and Laurel won last week, I love that he played his cards right and put Dustin into elimination, because that shows he isn’t scared to make big moves. He didn’t pull the rookie card and throw Johnny in and I admire him for that. Cohutta and Nany also provided us with endless amounts of entertainment with their fake bachelor/bachelorette parties. Any show that starts off with Jasmine on a pole and Johnny in his underwear is a sure sign of a good episode.

The Challenge

First things first…peace out Frank. If you were feeling that bad you should’ve let Dustin stay instead of sending him home and then getting sent home yourself. You’re a whiny punk Buhbye.

2 more things here. Jasmine, Jordan and Jonna are straight up STUPID for competing. With them being down a player, they should’ve just said screw it and taken the day off. Jordan can’t even blame his hand for their elimination because it was his good hand that dropped the thing. I admire his attitude, but sometimes his ego definitely gets in the way. The other thing is that I was so excited with the team Cara Maria picked, and they definitely performed well together, but were at such a disadvantage for going first. She had a stacked line up that should’ve performed better than they did, and I felt horrible once everyone else was killing it. I was waiting for a team to fail, and when they didn’t I just knew CM was going into the elimination.

Elimination Round

I’m not quite sure why people were voting for Devyn, because I think Nia was an obvious choice here. They seem to be picking on rookie girls, and LaToya  and Emilee did their time, so you might as well stick with the trend here. I do like Nia, but she talks too much. Even in Portland, she talked about how she was better than everyone and Hurricane Nia and blah blah blah, and ultimately it was all talk. But she’s sassy and confident so I can appreciate her attitude most of the time. However, the second CM drew that kill card, I was all about her and less about Nia. And watching those two girls be tortured for 80 minutes was actually painful. And I don’t think you will ever hear me utter these words again, but thank goodness for Johnny Bananas. The fact that he rooted for Nia the whole time was serious motivation for my girl CM and she pulled it out. Both girls were in so much pain (Nia talked about it all during the after show with a whole “woe is me” sob story) but Cara Maria just has so much fight in her. She took all the negative energy and was able to ring that bell and I could not be more proud of her. 

I don’t care that I’m crushing on Cara Maria so hard, but she has come SUCH a long way. I would like MTV to start playing old challenges so we can see how far these people have come and how much better or worse they are each season. While some people never change (Johnny Bananas) other people push themselves to the limit and fight till the end. I always ask myself “If you could compete, who would you want on your team? What challenges would you want to be a part of? How would fare in an elimination round?” At this point, I’d take Cara Maria over almost anybody…except Laurel or Diem (another girl crush)…and I’d always pick CT to have my back. 

With that being said…I leave you with this to ponder…

Who would you pick in the challenge to be your teammate? What types of challenges are your favorite? 

Happy weekend!

A History of Running

What a crazy week it’s been!! I worked crazy hours leading up to spring break…and then left on a whirlwind vacation to Disney World with the hubby (more on that in a different post). I’m finally back to the grind, working normal hours and leaving work at a decent time…which means I can FINALLY get back on track with my running. I feel like a whole new person after going to the gym yesterday and getting in a treadmill and weight training workout for the first time in months. I’m a true lover of exercise, although working late 3 times a week made me quite the lazy bum. But now there’s no excuse. Now that I’m back on track, I would like to revisit my passion for running…

Where it all began…

Truthfully, I began running in high school. I had just moved to a new school and after trying out and getting cut from every sport imaginable, I joined the track team. Some of the other girls I became friends with ran track, and you didn’t have to try out, so I figured why not? I did not realize what it entailed, and I was miserable. I spent many miserable weekends at track meets where I was by far the slowest sprinter Monroe-Woodbury had ever seen. I skipped our 4 mile warm ups and almost puked after running 300 sprints on a daily basis. I made the declaration after that spring season that I was NOT a runner and I never would be. I stuck to dancing and community league softball, and never visited the track again.

Off to college…

When I got to college I had an intense fear of gaining the freshman 15. So to counter the late night Papa John’s with extra garlic dipping sauce, I began to cut class (which led to my gigantic F in Psych 101…but I’m pretty sure no textbook and drinking on Mondays didn’t help that cause) to go to the gym. I tried to elliptical, but felt that it didn’t work so well for me. I liked the bike because I could sit and read a magazine, and eventually I dabbled on the treadmill a little bit. I must say I didn’t do much, but I also didn’t gain 15 pounds. I also got my bellybutton pierced as an 18th birthday gift to myself (FINALLY!) and my dad offered me a bit of advice when I told him by saying “Just don’t get fat” with the idea that a fatty with a bellybutton ring was unattractive. I cut so much class that I actually lost weight and it was wonderful! So I stuck with the treadmill and run/walking for freshman and sophomore year. Junior and senior year were spent drinking and gaining back those 15 pounds I lost, plus another 15. Binge drinking at its finest.

After college…

I moved home after graduating and joined our local Straub’s Fitness with my mom. Again, I didn’t do much besides the treadmill and I wasn’t quite ready to run, so I just pretended. I couldn’t make it more than a mile outside without dying, so I stayed inside and just did a normal routine. 10 minutes on the bike, 20-30 on the treadmill, some weight machines, crunches, stretching, go home. It was simple enough for me and it seemed to be working.

5K and Beyond…

I really started contemplating the idea of running about 4 years ago. I moved to Staten Island with my cousin, I was working and going to grad school, and I was still stuck in my regular gym routine. I had run a few 5Ks but they were just terrible…it was taking me almost 40 minutes and several stops to get through that 3.1 mile mark. It was quite pathetic. I tried new sneakers and new clothes, but NO LUCK! (surprise, surprise). Finally, my cousin Kristen, who has been like a big sister to me ever since I can remember, and who I look up to so much, declared that she was running the Disney Princess half marathon. My first reaction was WHAT?! 13 MILES?! I didn’t think there was any way she could do it. And boy did she prove me wrong. So I automatically thought to myself, “Well if she can do it, I can do it too!” And at that moment, a dream was born. A dream that consisted of 13.1 miles through Staten Island with my inspiration, Kristen, and my boyfriend (now hubby). I trained after work with a HS track coach, who totally kicked my ass and made me stronger. I trained on the weekends with my man, and I kicked his ass. Kristen, Brian and I ran several races throughout the year together and were a cute little trio. 5K, 4 miles, 10K, I was really doing it! I was slow, but I learned that going slower allowed me to go farther. I was trying to kill myself by running fast, and I finally found my pace. It was such an amazing feeling that I couldn’t believe it was happening. In October of 2010, the 3 of us ran the Staten Island half together. I finished in 2:42 and could NOT have been more proud of myself. I was really a runner now!

Marathon Madness

I was officially bit by the running bug. I couldn’t believe that my lazy, not in the best shape, self had actually run (and enjoyed) 13.1 miles! What else could I do?! I took quite a break after the half, because I was mentally and physically exhausted. But I kept running and before I knew it, Kristen had done the NYRR 9+1 to get into the NYC Marathon! (FYI the 9+1 is when you run 9 New York Road Runner races, and volunteer at 1 for guaranteed entry into the Marathon.) I went into the city to cheer her on and I was so proud of her that I was moved to tears. And once again I had the thought, “Well if she can do it…so can I!” Another dream was officially born. And I must say, I spent 2 years doubting my ability to complete 26.2 miles. I ran 2 more half marathons, and I contemplating dropping out of the race about 2 months before. I got married in July, turned 30 in October, and ran the marathon in November. It was too overwhelming to think of all of those things, I didn’t feel ready, I didn’t reach 20 miles in my training, I was a disaster. The night before I stayed at my Uncle Kevin’s house and my cousin Justin didn’t go out so he could spend some time with me. We watched hockey and ate pretzels and I drank ridiculous amounts of water. I cried myself to sleep, and woke up a nervous wreck. When Justin dropped me off at the finish I had to fight back tears because I thought I was going to die. He left me at the starting line and went home to my Uncle and said he was really worried about me. I found a friend at the starting line, and we ran the first 8 miles together. It was comforting to know that at miles 5, 16, 22, and 26 I was going to have family cheering me on. I cried several times throughout the race, stopped for a bridge selfie, and felt like a million bucks the entire time. I never once hit a wall and I never once wanted to give up. I finished in 5:42, not what I wanted but better than the sweeper truck coming to get me, and I couldn’t believe I did it!

I still have a hard time considering myself a runner, but I’m slowly getting there. I hit walls and want to quit sometimes, but I remember that my body has powered through almost 6 hours and 26 miles of running, and I know that I am capable of anything. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it, and when you have others to motivate you.

In the present…

Now that I’m back on my running flow, I am training for the Brooklyn Half (May 17) and the Tri-state Spartan (May 31). I have to combine strength and running, which is going to be difficult because I have zero upper body strength. But hopefully when I push myself this next month I can be ready to step up my game!

What’s your motivation to get out there and run? Any tips or tricks for me to try to step up my game?

Late night ranting…and “Free Agents” loving

So here I sit…1:50 AM on Wednesday April 16. Approximately 6 hours before my scheduled flight to Disney World with my hubby to go visit my favorite mouse. However, as I entered the safe sanctuary of my bed at approximately 11:15 Tuesday night, highly anticipating my upcoming vacation, I checked my email one last night. To my dismay…my flight had been cancelled! Bummer. Even bigger bummer? They (Jet Blue) took the liberty of rescheduling me for another flight. HOW NICE! I thought to myself. Until I looked at the flight change. Thursday at 12:50 to Boston from NYC, then a connecting flight at 7:45 from Boston to Orlando. If that is not the most ridiculous flight change I have ever seen….I don’t know what is. I have spent the last 2 hours on the phone with Jet Blue trying to talk to a human, with no luck. My saving grace has been my twitter rants @JetBlue that have been answered. But still. I was so looking forward to this vacation and this is just putting a bad taste in my mouth.

For the record, I cancelled my Jet Blue flight. Poor hubby is not pleased that I rescheduled us to fly out of a different airport, with a layover, and for a bit more money. But I’m still on hold…listening to the best of the worst of late 90s pop hits. I’m tired. And cranky. So now I will talk about something entertaining….

I am a RW/RR Challenge Junkie. I’m not afraid to admit it. I love everything about the challenges and I find myself emotionally attached to the players….except the ones I hate. I just want them to disappear. AFter finally getting a chance to watch “Free Agents” again today, I feel confident enough to blog about it

THE GOOD

Laurel: Man, am I glad she is back. Laurel is the original beast of the challenges. I love the level of competition she brings to the game, and I truly love her relationship with Cara Maria. I have a hard time understanding my people dislike CM so much, but I am so fond of her and am proud of the person she has become. And I attribute that to Laurel. I really think this free agent thing will work to her advantage. I’m confident in her ability to perform with a team and alone, and I would love to see her at the end. Also, I have a tremendous girl crush on her. 

THE BAD

Frank: Frank needs to go away. For multiple reasons….one of them being he is GOOD and he is such a cry baby that I can’t stomach him. If he was a good competitor and a nice guy, I would be able to deal with it. But he has a serious “Why me?” complex and he whines about everything. The fact that he plays to win and is capable of winning makes it worst. And one time my brother tried to pick him up in a bar. Yuck.

THE UGLY

THE KILL CARD: Holy cow TJ Lavin you have dropped a bomb on us once again. The fact that the 2nd competitor is chosen randomly is such a mind blowing concept to grasp. At least when the competitors were chosen before the elimination round both of them could mentally prepare themselves for potentially going home. However, that is no longer the case. Only one person gets to prepare themselves for elimination while the rest stand around trying not to pee their pants in anticipation. It gives the person who is chosen an advantage. They can hype themselves up to compete their hardest and not go home. This was definitely the case this week, where LaToya (who I cannot remember for the life of me…and I watched St. Thomas) destroyed Jemmye and proved herself as a competitor. Jemmye spent more time crying about her bad luck than focusing on the competition. Wah. Bye Jemmye. 

I can’t wait to see what the rest of this season holds. I see a lot of drama and surprises in our future Free Agents lovers!!

Also…I’m still on hold. wish me luck!

Lazy Weekend Activities

Happy Sunday everyone! I don’t know about you guys…but here in NY we have been swamped with rain all weekend. Rain for me equals a serious lack of motivation. I barely got out of bed to run this morning, and it was misty and yucky and I barely covered 2.5 miles. The Brooklyn Half on May 17th is coming up quick…and I’m running out of time! Yikes

I spent Friday night with my sister (yay!) drinking bulldogs and eating guac…2 of our favorite past times. Saturday was spent with the hubby and a serious “Game of Thrones” marathon. I have been a “GoT” fan for quite awhile, having read the first 4 books about 4 years ago. However, due to a seriously budget-friendly husband, we have not had HBO. After finally convincing him to suck it up and order the channel, I am now able to catch up on all the fun from the Seven Kingdom’s. We officially finished Season 1. Here is what I love/hate about “GoT…”

Love:

Arya Stark. Arya has been my FAVORITE character since Book 1. How can you not love her? She is smart, sassy, adventurous, and a natural born leader. I also love her because she is so similar to Jon Snow. I have been rooting for her since day 1…and she’s one of the characters that I can root for because SHE’S STILL ALIVE!

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Danaerys: There are not many people out there who don’t root for the Khalessi. She is so bad ass and has come such a long way since the beginning of the series. I truly believe she is the only person who can overthrow the Lannisters. Everybody fears her, and I just want to be her. Honestly. I dreamed I was her last night and it was so gratifying.

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George R.R. Martin: There is no denying that this man is a genius. I once thought I wanted to be a writer, and then realized my imagination does not take me very far. But Martin has an imagination that is beyond anything I have ever experienced. He truly is one of the best writers I’ve ever read. It also helps that the books and the show correspond SO WELL that it doesn’t leave me angry when they leave something out.

Hate:

Prince Joffrey: If you love this kid, then we can’t be friends. He reminds me of all the kids running around the mall on a weekend with no parental supervision because their parents just let them do whatever they want. Behead Ned Stark? Sure! Get someone else to beat Sansa? Why not?! What a little punk this kid is. It satisfies me to know that I because I read 4 out of the 5 books that I know his fate. Because my blood boils every time I see him.

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Um that’s all I hate. I love everything about the show and could ramble on for hours about all the things and people I love. I know it is confusing and hard to get into, I highly recommend it for all! Except kids…definitely don’t show your kids. Too many naked women (and men) and  whole lot of blood that even makes me queasy. Now that we’ve watched all of season 1, and I have to wait for the hubby to get home from work to watch anymore, I’m going to continue the laziness that is the rainy weekend. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!!

Do you watch GoT? What do you love/hate about? Any other shows you recommend for me?