Breaking the Rules

Have you ever fallen into the comparison trap?  Body image, fashion sense, book smarts, corporate (or non-corporate) success?  In some form or another, we’ve all started to compare ourselves to others in hopes of going with the flow or falling in with the trend.  Ok, generally the goal is to be true to yourself, especially if that means thriving in your different lifestyle or sharing your different personality.  But I’m sure there’s a small piece of you dying to be in the know.  Guilty as charged on too many accounts.

Recently I’ve found myself frustrated with blogging, mostly because of the pressure (put on by myself) to conform to that of other’s blogs.  Like I said, the pressure is all me – thinking that if I post multiple times about certain subjects, link up with different blogs, create recipes from scratch, and have impeccable photography, I’ll be successful.  This creates stress, anxiety, and just frustration that doesn’t need to be present in my life.

After reading an article about breaking the blogging rules here, I realized I’m perfectly happy with my blog.  I don’t have as large of a social media presence.  I don’t have a self-hosted blog (yet…that needs to happen so I can upload oodles of pictures).  I don’t know what workout to do and I don’t have the most inspirational or healthy recipes.  But when it’s all said and done, this little gem of a journal is my form of expression.

More Fitness Half Marathon

How often do you get to say you ran a half marathon with a couple of your best friends?  As you may have read yesterday, or picked up from other posts and social media, my two best friends were in town and somehow agreed to run a half marathon with me.  My friend Lindsay (on the left) had run two half marathons in the last year, but my friend Laura was just signing up for her first half ever!

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We sure shared our fare share of nerves throughout the weekend, even leading up to the start of the race.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I still get race jitters – no matter how many times I’ve run an event.

This guy’s sign pretty much sums up most of our feelings.  Ok, just kidding.  I knew what I was in for and definitely could have trained better for it but let’s just say the countless Polar Vortexs didn’t help with that.

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Anyways, let’s take a step back and go over pre-race routines.  We considered going out to dinner Saturday night but realized ordering in would be so much more “New York” and just more relaxing and comfortable.  For a few girls who had been out and about all day and had a race to rest up for, it was a no-brainer and so enjoyable.

We found a hot spot of Italian food just a short distance away and ordered up some favorites – spaghetti for Lindsay, Rigatoni for Laura, and cheese ravioli for me.  I felt like I’d been transplanted back to the days of high school cross country where we would have a pre-race pasta dinner filled with pasta, lasagna, bread, fruit salad, salad, and dessert.  Goodness knows how I didn’t gain more weight back then.

RACE DAY ~ SUNDAY 4/13/14

The alarm went off bright an early at 6am and after reminding myself why the alarm was set for such an early hour, we got dressed, and scarfed down a bit of oatmeal and banana. I honestly don’t always enjoy eating before running, just because my stomach likes to act up, but 13 miles is a bit of a doozy without any fuel.

The race was in Central Park and boy was it a picturesque day.  The temperature was around 55-58 (I swear by the amount we sweated it was warmer) and plenty of people were out to cheer.

For some reason the first few miles were surprisingly tiring and I have no explanation why.  Maybe we were just getting warmed up or it hadn’t sunk in that we were actually running a half marathon.   The course took us twice around Central Park (counterclockwise), which happens to mirror the route my friends and I take on a weekly basis.  This helped in my favor because I actually could envision the course, something I’m not usually able to do.

I was surprised to note that there were no fuel stations (other than Gatorade and water) along the route, but this was fine because I rarely eat or drink while I run anyways.  Although, after finishing the race, I really could have downed an entire bottle of Simply Lemonade.  I settled for some original Gatorade and a crisp apple and held out until breakfast.  The bagel was all for show as it didn’t really seem appealing and was clearly not a New York bagel.

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I loved watching all the different runners – different bodies, different paces, different outfits (dominated by Nike and Lululemon), but all out to run a race. We were even surprised by a high school friend who happened to be in the city and stand along mile 12 and cheer.  We were so happy to see a familiar face and ended up grabbing brunch with her afterwards.  I was quite hungry at this point and gladly inhaled a stack of diner pancakes with fruit, over easy eggs and coffee.

The only way it would have been a more perfect weekend is if I knew when I would be able to see these girls again.  Until the next trip :)

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“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch — what makes you go beyond the norm.”
– Cicely Tyson

Practically Perfect Weekend

I’d be gabbing for days if I went through all the fun from this weekend.  Basically I had a ball with my two best friends and was so blessed to have them here in my city.  We joke all the time about living together – going to run or do stand up paddle, grab a dirty chai latte, and lay out on the beach.  Well, while our lifestyles won’t exactly cross paths like that for a few years, we can enjoy jet-setting across the country to visit one another for now.

They arrived bright an early around 6:30am on Friday and I allowed each of them a bit of time to rest up and then it was out and about. We stopped off for good ‘ol New York style bagels and of course the best of the best coffee.

IMG_3896I had them walking up and down the city and could not believe how warm (dare I say humid yet?) it was!  All week we had been discussing options of outfits and at one point we thought we were going to be graced with rain all of Friday.  Thank goodness they didn’t bring their rain boots because it was far from misty and miserable.  Instead, it turned out to be a fabulous warm and wonderful weekend.

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After loading up on some fuel we  set out to the race expo.  I was honestly a bit disappointed in the race t-shirt.  I understand as the largest all female race, they would go for a more form fitting and fashionable cut, but I think it fell a little short.  No really, the bottom hem was almost like a 90′s throwback tank revealing one’s midriff if you weren’t careful.  Oh well, there were plenty of other fun and free goodies.

IMG_4622Look who was ready for the race :)  Oh and of course I was planning to run like this girl.  With the same form and abs obviously.

IMG_3915Friday and Saturday were filled with a bit too much fun aka shopping and eating.  My wallet definitely felt the punch of the weekend but I came out successful with some clutch pieces and it was totally worth it since I’ve been working super overtime for the last few weeks.

IMG_3897_Fotor_CollageJCREW * Lily Pulitzer * Nike Town * Tiffany’s * SOHO * Alex & Ani * CWonder

Don’t you think we’ve covered a good portion of the NYC shopping? :)

IMG_3897_Fotor_CollageNot only did we cover a fair amount of territory walking and shopping, but we tasted our way through the city, splitting and splurging a few tasty dishes.  I had never visited Serendipity 3, which is known for its frozen hot chocolate concoction.  However, it’s always best to prep for something sweet with some actual sustenance, right?  Surprisingly their veggie burger with plantain chips was one of the best veggie burgers I’ve had in my entire life.

Let’s get another look at that dessert as it definitely made up for the poorly behaved birthday party sitting behind us.

IMG_3922Saturday was spent with more shopping and exploring, resting, and catching up.  Nerves were setting in but more on that tomorrow :)

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”
– Orison Swett Marden

Friday Favorites…THEY’VE ARRIVED!

We may have been graced with April showers last week, but they sure do bring gorgeous flowers.  Not to mention a little Theta love in New York City.

photo 2 (3) I’ve been in an exploring mood lately and while I can’t pinpoint every restaurant or meal I want to try, I’m very good about making impulse snacks and drinks. Got to love my green tea + boba

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Who doesn’t love emojis?  Actually don’t answer that because it would just burst my happiness bubble.

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Really though.  My mother has the emoji app on her iPhone and let’s just say her texts with the new found emoji icons make my day.

Oh and THESE GIRLS ARE IN TOWN! :)

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Here’s to the next three days of gallivanting about the city, consuming as much coffee and chocolate as possible, and oh yeah…running a half marathon.

“The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world.”
– Bertie Charles Forbes

Something About Change

In some ways I can relate to Jennifer Lawrence’s character.  Change is tough, especially when you think your world as running smoothly.  What is the point in rocking the boat if there is no need to?  Goodness knows I have had my moments, breaking down when it gets tough, rebelling against change, crying that it was not fair.   Well, It’s about growth, expanding one’s abilities, and character.  Those rough moments will only make you a stronger person, whether you like it or not.

Most of us are pretty fortunate when we grow up because school and sports help us find that go-to friend group.  What happens when we move out and move on?  The difficulty and effort that goes into establishing your life in a new school, a new city.  The pressure to find the right friends, to feel welcome in an unknown environment, to feel “normal”.

I’ve spend countless hours thinking about what type of people I should and do hang out with, what brings me happiness, and what I should do with my life.  Goodness, aren’t those the simple questions in life.

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These are the times that are tough, but are also the times in which I thrive.  The feeling of starting new, a fresh slate, putting your past behind you; it’s invigorating.  Any bad memories are only life lessons and they don’t have to be repeated.  You have the world at your finger tips and starting over enables you to redefine yourself or rediscover yourself.   I spent years worrying about what others think about me, when it’s how I think about myself that matters most.  Once I found strength in myself, my independence, and my quirky personality, I realized I could conquer any amount of change.

The biggest fear I have today is losing those that I love.  Not necessarily in terms of life and death, but the idea that those who I have spent so much time with, shared so many memories, can be gone in a blink of an eye.  Sure I may have idealized some of these memories – thinking of them in a more positive light but that’s how the brain works.

What’s odd and sometimes frustrating to me is that the friendships that I have made may not exist a year from now.  Even the people that I hang out with in the city, the wonderful friendships I’ve made, may slowly disappear in a month or year from now.  I hold onto these moments, worried that when they leave or when I leave, I’ll be alone.  In reality, we are always changing and things are never truly stable.  This it the beauty of life because we are always graced with a new surprise each day.  There are new people to meet, relationships to establish, and memories to be made.

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I’ve told myself that for every worry there must be a solution or a positive thought.   People come in and out of our lives.  While they may not stay forever, they often make a lasting impact and teach you things, about life or yourself, that you could not have learned on your own.

What surprises me is that I’ve become closer with a few of my high school girlfriends. I’ve also become close with a college friend who  girl who I really only hung out with towards the end of senior year of college.  Why I didn’t hang out with all of these girls sooner?  No clue but I’m blessed to call them my best friends now.  For now, it’s about navigating the present and the future one step at a time.  It’s about putting faith in those around you and learning how to trust.

“It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.” – Unknown