2016 – A New Year with All Good Vibes

My break back in California has been quite nice to say the least.  I’ve had time with friends, oodles of time with family (maybe a bit too much 😉 as in we have no new topics of conversation), and lots of time in the sun.  While I’m itching to get back to my friends on the east coast, I’m not exactly ready for chill that’s heading our way or sitting at my desk all day.

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But, here we are in 2016, a year to continue the motto “you do you” and live life to the fullest.  Yes, this will be my third official winter and while I’m not entirely ready for it, I’m planning lots and lots to keep my mind and body occupied.  I wasn’t planning to list out any goals or “resolutions” per se, but the latest NP_NYC blog post got me thinking a bit.  Who says they have to be resolutions like “lose 10 pounds”, “gain a beach body”, or “save all my money” (although those would all be lovely) 😉  No, let’s focus on some other types of goals and try to make the world a better place.

Random Life (Just Go with It)
~ Run longer than 16 miles (my current longest distance run & this should theoretically be a breeze with marathon training…)
~ Test out one month of Whole30
~ Steward/participate in a #runtoeat2016 group which I helped create with friends from NP.  Yes, runs to places like this will obviously be great after that month of Whole30
~ Meet 1-2 new people at NP every week
~ Volunteer at the Boston Marathon
~ Watch NYC’s 4th of July fireworks spectacular
~ Spend less time looking at my phone and more time taking in the world

“Being successful doesn’t automatically make you happier.  But being happier and more positive makes you more successful” – Shawn Achor

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Trips
~ Charlotte, NC
~ Phoenix, AZ
~ Washington D.C.
~ Alaska for Meghan’s graduation (YES…she is graduating…scary)
~ Attend Wednesday workouts at NP_Boston {Harvard Stairs} & NP_DC {monuments and oh so breath-taking}
~ definitely some hikes, beach trips, and explorations in between

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it” – Maya Angelou

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Races
~ Half marathons galore (Phoenix + NYC 1/2)
~ Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
~ NYC Marathon >> my first official marathon (fingers crossed that I manage a healthy and smart training season)
~ undoubtably more – while I’m not signed up for anything at the moment, I know myself and will probably sign up for some NYRR jaunts on a whim…because #worktospend

When in doubt, this NP gal has it figured out. 

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Looking Back at 2015

A year like any other with some highs and some lows.   Most of all a helluva lot of running and exploring of the Big Apple.

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^^ Oh the people you will meet and the places you will go.  I’ve been thankful for those I can call my friends and NP_NYC family.

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^^ Team Shorts w/ our Lulu game on point.  Fun life lesson (my mother will kill me for putting this up) – don’t spit or snot rocket unless you are working out and in running clothes 😉
BOOKS READ
– Single, Carefree, Mellow: Stories
– 10% Happier
– Blink
– A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)
– Cold Tangerines
– The Defining Decade
– The House Girl
– Funny Girl
– The No. 1 Ladie’s Detective Agency #15 (The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe)
– All the Light We Cannot See
– Boys on the Boat
– The Greatest Generation
– Unbroken
– The Bridal Chair
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PLACES TRAVELED
– NEW YORK (Poughkeepsie, Van Cordtlant Park, Dumbo Brooklyn, Montauk, north of Westchester)
– Philly, PA
– Haddonfield, NJ
– Boston, MA
– Cape Cod, MA
– Chicago, IL
– Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden)
– California (Pasadena, Mammoth, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes)
– Baltimore, MD
– Charleston, SC
– SLC/Park City, UT
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RACES RUN
NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 1/10/15 (50:57) Pace = 8:12
NYRR Gridiron 4M – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 2/1/15 (29:33) Pace = 7:24
NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks 5K – Manhattan, NY – 3/1/15 (21:36) Pace = 6:58
NYRR 10K Spring Melt Down – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 3/29/15 (44:13) Pace = 7:07
NYRR Scotland Run 10K – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 4/1/15 – (46:18) Pace = 7:27
NYRR Run as One 4M – Central Park, Manhattan, NY – 4/26/15 – (29:33) Pace = 7:24
Philly Broad Street 10 Miler – Philadelphia, PA – 5/3/15 – (1:13:17) Pace = 7:19
GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon – Sweden – 5/23/15 – (1:39:41)* Pace = 7:36
NYRR Retro 4-Miler 6/7/15 – (28:22) Pace = 7:06 
NYRR 5-Borough Series: Queens 10K – Flushing Meadows Corona Park – 6/21/15 – (47:13) Pace = 7:36
NYRR Team Championships – 5mi – Central Park – 8/1/15 (36:35) Pace = 7:19
NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile – 9/13/15 – (6:06)
North Face Endurance Challenge – Park City
NYRR Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Marathon – Central Park – 10/4/15 (1:45:59) Pace = 8:06
NYRR Staten Island Half Marathon – Staten Island, NY – 10/11/15 (1:46:23) Pace = 8:07
Run for the Hungry 5k, La Canada – 11/26/15 (22:38) Pace = 7:22
NYCRuns Hot Cocoa 10k – Roosevelt Island, NYC – 12/6/15 (48:08) Pace = 7:35
NYRR Ted Corbitt 15k – Central Park – 12/12/15 (1:13:01) Pace = 7:50
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^^ Explore your city.  No matter the size of your town, whether you’ve lived there for years or just a few days, it will continue to surprise you.

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^^ Take time to venture somewhere new.  From Scandinavia to Utah to Charleston, I tried to keep it interesting.

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^^ No matter what, do what you love and love what you do.

“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.” – Marcel Proust

2015 Resolutions & Some Favorites

Ah New Years.  Where really to begin? I may have missed the boat on the 2014 recap but it certainly was a year to remember.  From traveling around the country to making it my first year in the city, I really have a lot to be grateful for.   I’m making a little twist on this edition of today’s post – a few favorites and a few resolutions.  Might as well jump on the bandwagon.

>> The Tournament of Roses – Seeing as I grew up right around the Rose Bowl, it was a no brainer to celebrate the New Years with the parade and bowl game.  My dad has been a white suiter (volunteer) for over 20 years and my sister and I both volunteered at the parade as Student Ambassadors when we were seniors in high school.  These days I have the opportunity to create my own traditions, but sometimes it’s nice to stick with what’s.

Yesterday, after going for a run along the westside Highline, I worked on finances (good way to start off 2015, right?), made breakfast for the apartment, and then sat down to watch the entire Rose Parade.  Lindsay and I did some ab workouts, picked up snacks for the Rose Bowl game and sat down to watch some football.  I’m already loving 2015.

>> Frozen Frozen Everywhere – I know people are saying “let it go”, but anytime I’m feeling down, I listen to a little bit of Olaf and my day is made.

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>> The Well Traveled Wife – I cannot get over how adorable this video and recap that she put together for 2014.  Just browsing these posts inspire me to be happy and travel more.

>> November Project – Slowly but surely I am making friends at NP.   The more I attend, the more faces (and names…hopefully) I start to recognize.  Not to mention, the consistency of working out helps me stay sane at work.

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This was the BEST way to end 2014.  A workout with tons of people full of energy (despite the 20F temps)

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Definitely loved checking out the LA Tribe and taking my family along.  News flash – my dog is now a tribe member 🙂 My mom took him to the Hollywood Bowl to run the steps.  It might not have been the ideal morning for a 10year old lab but he probably got lots of attention afterwards.  Oh, and he made the Facebook album.  Not bad.

>> Resolutions

  • Confidence – In me, in others, in the future.
  • Move MoreGet my booty up and out of my desk chair more than 2 or 3x a day. It’s scary that I’ve gotten into the terrible habit of working through lunch but this needs to change.  I only have so many years to live in New York, so I need to really soak it up.  I would never want to leave the city and regret not taking those walks through Central Park or breaks with coworkers, all in the name of getting that last e-mail sent out.
  • Budget – 2014 was a trial year.  This year is meant for traveling, friends, family, and fun.  That also means cutting a few spending habits (daily coffees, kombuchas, baking every week for the coworkers – sorry guys, it adds up!) and actually checking my mint.com account more than once a year.

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  • Running – I’ve been feeling oodles better since wearing my sexy plantar faciitis boot, but I’m in no place to go race a marathon.  Stretching, strength training, and revamping some of my eating habits will certainly help.  Of course, attending more NP workouts and races will increase my motivation.
  • Be Kind – Need I say More?

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  • Test out the Juice Cleanse – Probably only one day.  I’m somewhat serious and somewhat kidding.  Mostly an inside joke with my family.
  • Unplug and Live in the Moment – More and more I see our society drifting into a constant obsession with technology.  Sure, it’s fun to connect, to stay up to date, and document everything but did you know the average person spends 16 hours consuming some type of media?  No wonder our society is so stressed out.
  • Make/Keep Friends who Care

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  • Leave Regret & Comparison Behind –  There are only so many days and hours that we are blessed with, so why would use them up on negative activities?  We must also remember that everyone leads different lives and while their lives may seem like sunshine and daisies, everyone has their own pressures.  This year, let’s keep things “glass half full”.
  • Pursue Activities I Enjoy – Maybe it’s a new craft, hobby, or workout class.  Maybe it’s a way to make friends or be social.  Whatever it is, I want it to bring out the best of me and help me stay happy.

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~ Let’s make this year the best year yet.  Cheers to 2015 ~

Power On in the New Year

A new day, a new year, a new start.  Last night was the first time I attended an actual New Year’s Eve party.  Normally my New Years Eves are spent watching a movie with the family and possibly walking the Rose Parade Route.  Our New Year’s day is built around Pasadena’s Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, both classics at least for those native Southern Californians.  While some of us might be nursing the after-effects of last night’s fun, I’m ready to get the ball rolling and start off 2014 right.

I’m taking a leaf out of the Thought Catalog and Elite Daily (honestly they have the BEST recommendations) listing out some of my aspirations and thoughts.  No strict resolutions, no hard deadlines, just goals, and positive thoughts for the future.  These authors have some of the best advice I’ve read yet – “24 Rules For Being Human in 2014” and “25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Person Should Make for 2014

“Realize that perspective determines everything”

  • Run Baby Run – Sign up and run in at lest two half marathons and potentially consider running a full. (*I would love to run a full marathon by my 26th birthday, so this year I could just throw around ideas of where and when to run) 🙂 
  • Balance – Test out more workouts with strength training and rest days.  I’m in love with the selection of classes at 24 Hour Fitness, so I plan to make those part of my weekly routine.  Also, listen to my body so that years from now you’ll still see me running those road races.
  • Reduce my use of technology and social media and become more present –  It’s fascinating how we spend so much time cultivating the perfect image through online media – posting cropped pictures, brainstorming the best caption or update, even claiming our FB friends as our true friends. (Exception where some of my blends truly are my friends)  I could write up a post about loneliness and image (and I may in the future) but this video says it perfectly.

“Be radically, sincerely honest. Be shocked at how deeply you can connect with people when you are.”

  • Proofread more – Yes, some most of my posts come out as tangents rather than cohesive thoughts, but I try 🙂
  • Break Free – “Go an entire Saturday without a smartphone, and intentionally get lost in your own city — ask for directions from strangers and read street maps if you need to find your way back somewhere.” (based on this article) ALSO, don’t check your social media feeds with friends, it’s called living in the moment for a reason.
  • Be Bold – “Approach someone at a bar/event who seems cute and cool, and without even thinking about it, just start up a conversation with them. Remind yourself that you don’t even know this person, and even if they don’t like you back, it will have no bearing on your life.” (based on this article)

“Boldly make yourself your first priority. You’ll do everything better when you do.”

  • Less judgement, more empathy – Reduce criticism of myself and of others. I’ve gotten myself into a few tiffs over this in the past, so I plan to take a different perspective on the world and who knows what I’ll learn?
  • Continue to appreciate me for being me – from my random tangents to crazy (sometimes “blonde”) ideas to my athletic lifestyle.
  • Strengthen relationships with family members. Blood is thicker than water.

“Reach out to people, open your heart, and watch how eagerly they jump in and do the same.”

  • Help strangers. “Pay it forward,” do good things for the world — and don’t post a Facebook status about it.”
  • Shop locally, eat locally and recognize where your money is going.  
  • Keep Learning – Expand my vocabulary (yes Meghan, you know what I’m talking about)

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” — Omar Khayyam

  • Travel More – There are so many places to see that it’s time to just be bold and do it!
  • Continuing last Friday’s post, learn to let go, relax, and appreciate me.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain

Flashback – 2013 in Review

What a better way to celebrate what’s marvelous in the world than to relive some of the past year’s memories?  I truly am grateful for all the opportunities in 2013 – between graduating from a four-year university to exploring the United Kingdom with my family to moving across the country to unknown territory and finally to landing my first job – I could not be more thankful for my, my family and friends’ health and well-being.

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I decided to take last week off from blogging simply because I was only home for 7 days.  I didn’t want my nose buried in some piece of technology when I could be spending time with friends and family in the beautiful hills of Southern California.  So, now that I’m heading back east once more, I present to you a photo-dump and recap of 2013.

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  • Graduating from the well-known SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY in June 2013.  This diploma not only represented the past four years of hard work, but rather the past twelve+ years of schooling.  Such a bittersweet event as I no longer would be able to welcome weeks of vacation during the holidays or summer months.  However, where one door closes, another door opens 🙂

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 One of the best surprises of Christmas was when Laura (left) switched her flight so she could see me and we could all go to Disneyland.  You wouldn’t believe how excited I was!IMG_1810

  • Reconnecting with my elementary school girlfriends – For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have a solid group of friends.  I spent so much time searching that I didn’t realize my true best friends were right in my own backyard.  It’s true that distance and experience make relationships stronger and I do believe our shared experiences and trust of one another helped me realize how invaluable these girls are to me.  It amazes me that we can simply pick up the phone or go on a hike after months of not seeing one another and it’s like nothing has changed.

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Traveling throughout the United Kingdom 

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My family and I took a ten-ish day jaunt throughout London and the surrounding areas. Meghan and I then I broke away from the pack and traveled throughout parts of Scotland and back down around to London.  I cannot adequately describe how awesome of an adventure this was, more so looking back 😉

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The culture, the sites, the accents.  Even the endless Shakespeare and countless historical Roman museums were worth it 😉 Good stuff.

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  • Becoming more accepting and supportive of myself – There usually isn’t a ton about body image on this blog, but I’m proud of the way I’ve grown in the past year (ok, maybe 4-6 months).  Goodness knows I have been insecure about my body, my life, and myself for the longest time.  I talked a little bit about letting go on Friday and appreciate the resounding support.  I used to worry about social life, school, grades, jobs, body image, and more.  It’s a life-long process, but I’ve reached a mindset that focuses on my happiness and me rather than what society deems normal.  My involvement with blogging has helped me reach this point and realize how I’m not alone in these struggles or quests.  In addition, I’ve cultivated the mindset about life – it is what you make of it and there’s no room for regret.

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  • Making new friends –  My sister thought we would get along simply because we loved to run and loved JCrew.  That’s a good start, right?  Well, over the past few months we have had so much fun running and rambling that I don’t know how my move to New York could have been any different.  It’s amazing to have people in your life that offer perspective and challenge your thoughts and I thank her all the time for it.

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  • Moving to the Concrete Jungle – This past September was huge when I picked up my life (~19 years in California) and moved to New York.  I’m the first to admit I didn’t do all the necessary research but rather what I do best – fly by the seat of my pants.  I think I was (and am) trying to prove a point to myself as well as those who said I couldn’t do it.  I did enter with an internship and some knowledge of where to live, but what’s the point in setting so many expectations?  It was quite an adventure learning the city and making the most of every opportunity.

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  • What’s happened since September?  Well, I have a full time job that I love, many more friends and acquaintances, a gym that I enjoy (LOVE WORKOUT CLASSES!), roommates that are hilarious and amazing, and the whole city in front of me.

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  • Celebrating Christmas SoCal Style – Sunny & 75 degrees – To me, there’s no other way to do it.  It was wonderful to be home and I can’t thank my family and friends enough for the good memories.  From Disneyland to running to celebrating with the whole crew on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. 

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  • It’s fascinating to think about the future and not pinpoint when I’ll be back on the west coast.  I’ve never had that feeling and what’s even more interesting, is that I’m not scared.  I used to despise returning to school but now I’m just keeping my chin up and planning out my next adventure.

 Wishing you the best in the rest of 2013 and see you in the New Year!

“The moment of enlightenment is when a person’s dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities.”
– Vic Braden 

Letting Go

It’s the time of year where everyone revisits their New Year’s resolutions only to realize they’ve completely forgotten, ignored, or avoided what they wrote about 11.5 months previously.  I’m the type of person who will create new goals and hit the reset button on the first of every month.  Sometimes it involves giving up sugar (then inhaling a cookie three hours later) or waking up too early to work out (but not going to bed on time and ultimately becoming a huge crank towards the end of the week).

I’ve already seen posts about how to survive the holidays (dysfunctional families, binge eating or drinking, etc.) and I can’t wait for the resolutions articles.  I honestly don’t know how they keep making new magazine articles about the same ‘ol information.  It’s just re-written in a different format, by a different author and viola, you have a new magazine to sell.  Confession – I still flock to buy the magazines, only to realize it’s the same information.  Too bad I continue to dog-ear the articles, thinking I’ll be better about my resolutions.

Something, maybe you’d call it a resolution, that has been important to me has been the task of relaxing.  It’s more of a mental goal to not stress or overanalyze but rather enjoy the moment; a little bit of carpe diem and hakuna matata as my dad would say.  Granted I’m not there 100% (and probably never will be) and it’s taken me over 8 years to get here.  I’m finally at a place where I’m comfortable with my life – my job, my friends, my style, and my hobbies.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened – leaving school, leaving the known state of California to the unknown concrete jungle of New York, being forced to survive in a city where I knew practically no one, learning to live independently and loving it, etc.  I could go on for days, but let’s just say it wasn’t easy to get to this point. 

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What I’m trying to say is resolutions take time and support.  I knew I wasn’t happy being stressed out all the time and couldn’t figure out how to live my life.  I felt I was doing something wrong or living life incorrectly.  I compared myself to my cohorts all throughout high school and college.  I tried to push my boundaries, understand what made me happy and read copious amounts of blog posts and books on the matter.  I can’t thank my parents and aunt enough for listening to me, talking to me, and sending me perfectly phrased quotes and articles.  Well, as you may very well find out there – it comes down to accepting one’s self and letting go of all the obsessions, comparisons, and negative thoughts.  Easier said than done, right?

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Well it’s proven that women are over-thinkers (mostly because we are more attuned to our emotions) and so we spend a majority of our lives reliving the past or worrying about the future.  If a problem arises, or you want to make a change to your life, DO IT.  Nike was right on the money when they created the slogan “Just Do It” because there is no better time than the present.  If you spend enough time ruminating over what to do, chances are you will be stuck in the same place, just a bit older and probably less happy.

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Make a list of things that make you happy and things that stress you out.  Start to piece together why those items make you happy or unhappy.  Slowly cut out the bad and increase that which brings peace and joy to your life.  For me that could mean reducing how many times I compare myself to others and instead focusing on working out for my own health and sanity.  I thoroughly enjoy working out and it should be a passion rather than a chore.  I also love to wander grocery stores, bake for my coworkers and friends, and take in the sights of the city.  I may be a little different than your average young adult living in NYC, but it’s what makes me truly me.

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Oh goodness, I could go on for days on this subject.  Maybe I’ll pop in to elaborate more some time.  Maybe I’ll stop back in to share a post on my goals for the year.  Nothing set in stone, no disappointment if I don’t make it around to every single one, but something to target, to reach for, and look forward to.  Remember, it’s all about the little joys and pleasures in life 🙂 

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“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit… we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
– Aristotle