Monday, December 19, 2016

2016: A Year in Review

As 2015 came to a close, I began to make my vow for 2016. Instead of resolutions, I dedicate the year to something. In 2014...I vowed I would move to South Philly, adopt a Boxer dog, get a journalism job and buy a Kia Soul for 2015. I did all of those things. For 2016, things were a bit more generic. I dedicated the year to health. I wanted to focus on my mental, emotional and physical health throughout 2016. 

To start the year off right, I attended a wellness yoga workshop on New Year's Eve. That was how I wanted to set my intention for the year ahead. Wellness. Health. Life. 

I'd say this has been a very interesting year. Did I lose 30lbs? No, actually I gained and am seeing doctors about that. I did however run the most races I have ever ran in my life. I finished 2016 with four 5Ks, one 5 miler, two 10ks, one 10 miler, and a half marathon under my belt. I kickboxed, got to do yoga on the Phillies outfield, and did training runs on the Ben Franklin Bridge. Let's take a look at 2016. 

I started off 2016 with a cold. I was so ready to kick 2016's ass and be super healthy. I was knocked out with a cold for about two weeks before I could really get started working on my goals. As January came to a close we got hit with a massive snow storm. 
Bronx had to wear booties! 
It was a lot of snow in a very short amount of time. Also during this time, work was kind of insane. Our department was undergoing a lot of transition at once and I was just trying to keep up with all of the changes. 

In February, Bronx turned 3! We also celebrated our one year adoption anniversary! The weather was great and I started to run again. I participated in a Valentine's Day run in 14 degree temps! (Ok, so the weather wasn't that great). I was also involved in a few kickboxing challenges and was going religiously. I bought a waffle maker after tax time. also, on the 21st, I ran my first 5K without stopping to walk! That was a huge accomplishment.
My baby boy turned 3!

This year I had the opportunity to have a few visitors. My college friend and sophomore roomate Catherine came to visit me with her husband James. I also got to see my good friend Chrystal from high school AND my sorority little, Reba paid a visit as well. I was a hot spot on the friends tour. March brought about more running. I did two races this month. I also felt really accomplished at work. We underwent more transitions and I had to step up and take charge. I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and I surprised myself by being able to swim (metaphorically that is). I landed an important news story that highlighted some of the work we do. 
Kickboxing outing with the crew!

It was around this time where I started participating in bridge training runs on the Ben Franklin Bridge. I paid like $30 or something and got a Ben Franklin Bridge scotch glass and got to do these training runs with other area runners. I met a lot of friends though that series and it made me feel like a solid part of the Philly running community. I was typically one of the last runners to finish the bridge, but everyone was very supportive. Afterward we'd head over to Dave and Buster's for a free beer and raffle. I really enjoyed these runs. 
After one of the bridge runs 
At the conclusion of April, one of my high school best friends got married! I traveled down to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to be one of her bridesmaid's. Our whole hometown crew was there so it was a reunion of sorts. I felt really privileged to be able to be a part of her special day. 
Hometown besties for Heather's wedding
I thought I was ready. I thought I had trained enough for the Broad Street Run 10 Miler. I did not. It rained and poured the whole day. I slowly made my way through the 10 insufferable miles in the pouring rain. It was brutal. I hoped to PR, but I did not. I finished about 5 minutes slower than I did the year before. Ugh. I'm hoping 2017 will be a PR year for me. That was one health goal I set for myself but did not make it. I did finish though, as hard as it was. The night after the race I set my alarm for 11:55pm so I could be one of the first 600 registrants for the discounted rate for the 2016 Philadelphia Half Marathon. I loved RUN 215 and the Philly running community. I leaned on them for support leading up to Broad Street. I didn't want that connection to end so I set another goal: my first half. 
My survival photo after Broad Street Run (or swim really) 2016

The summer was hot and my running sort of fell to the side. I did other active things though. I spent a lot of time with my best friend, David. We did an evening event at the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. We did yoga on the Phillies outfield (amazing). 
We were all about the adventures. It was a hot summer, though. I just didn't have it in me to run in the heat. So running took a backseat for a little while. I spent quality time kickboxing or in my air conditioning with Bronx (who also can't stand the heat). I'd have to take water bottles with me on his walks because he would get thirsty so quickly. 

My favorite holiday (July 4th) came and went but it was splendid. Summer was in full swing for sure. David and I made it to the Jersey Shore twice which was really fun. I participated in a DNC donkey run (run around Philly taking photos with the DNC donkeys for each state/territory)
Donkey Run crew
The donkey run was a donkey walk due to heat. When you mention the run to those who did it, people joke and ask not to speak of it. (It was brutal). Fun though. 

August was jam packed with so much fun. It started off a little rough, I found myself in a bit of a funk. I was super stressed and just an emotional tornado. I bought a few books to help me get through the rough patch. I was feeling really alone at work because another person left our department and it was literally like survivor. I was the last man standing. But the middle to end of the month made up for that. I saw the Goo Goo Dolls and Collective Soul in concert (2nd row!). David and I did our annual tradition of Crabfest. I got to attend my friend's family reunion again. I celebrated my birthday on a Drink Philly boat cruise! 
Made some new friends on the cruise
I was slowly starting to take steps to take care of myself. I had become such a workaholic that I'd power through my days off doing work at home too. I started a bullet journal which helped keep me sane. It became a great tool to organize my life, write down memorable moments and keep track of my moods. I still use it today! 

I rounded out August with the Philly 10K. I winged this race and ended up paying for it. I don't know what happened, but after the race I got horrible edema in my right leg. This put me out of kickboxing for a little bit. My leg was so swollen!
Made it and then paid for it.....

September was looking to be a pretty uneventful month. I celebrated David's 30th birthday. I got a new and permanent boss (who I admire greatly). I fixed my toilet on my own. I was getting back on track with kickboxing again. (We never figured out what the edema was all about but it resolved). As September was wrapping up, my world was a bit shaken up. I was headed to work early for a big video project when I got in a car accident and totaled my 2012 Kia Soul. Sasha Fierce was no more. 
I was okay and the other guy was okay. No one was seriously injured but I had airbag burns on my arms. I was hoping my car would make it but the damage outweighed the cost of the car. I was going to need to buy a new car. I rented for almost a month before I had to purchase a new car....a task I really didn't want to do. 

Buying a new car is a terrifying process. I mean, it is exciting but it is also scary. I had to do it though. Instead of another used car I got a brand new 2016 Kia Soul. Designer package! Her name is Caribbean Katniss. Caribbean for the Caribbean blue color and Katniss because she couldn't be killed in the Hunger Games. I love it. I felt like such an adult in that thing as I drove it off the lot. 

The rest of October went smoothly. I was Becky with the Good Hair for Halloween. I got a jury summons exactly one year to the day from last year. 


Usually my years start off epic and peter out toward the end. 2016 was the opposite. Life continued to get better as the year went on. In November, I got to travel for work for the first time in a long time! Work sent me to Las Vegas! I had never been that far west before. My boss and I attended a great Healthcare Internet conference out in Vegas. I loved every single second of it. Vegas is the most non-judgmental place on earth. Seriously. Also I won $75 on slots at the casino! It was such a unique experience that I will never forget. 
Binion's Casio on Old Las Vegas

It was also in November when David and I went to The Fray concert. We were in the front row! Words can describe how perfect that concert was. Twice the lead singer from American Authors and The Fray came over to us and sang right in front of us. Issac from The Fray crowd surfed in our section! 
The Fray!!!
Wondrous November wasn't done with me yet. It was November when I attempted and somehow actually succeeded in completing the Philadelphia Half Marathon with ZERO training. I would never recommend winging a half marathon but I didn't want to lose my money and I thought I'd attempt to finish. There was a lot of walking....a lot. However, I finished and got my medal and wrote a hilarious article about the whole ordeal. A fellow runner read my article, messaged me on Facebook and we're now friends. We just hung out the other day! So, the power of writing can bring people together. (That and really well written self-deprecation). If I ever attempt a half marathon again, I'll be sure to actually train for it. 

It was a miracle I survived. I was so sore for a few days (and may have done something crazy to my back). What an accomplishment, though. 

I went home for Thanksgiving and got to spend some time with the hometown crew sans one. My parents and I got to practice shooting in the back yard. Bronx enjoyed the sweet smell of turkey. After Thanksgiving I left Bronx in Virginia for a bit.....

At the close of November, I had jury duty, was actually picked...reported to serve and was mercifully released because the case settled. However, I had another work trip coming up and I wanted to make sure Bronx wasn't left in a kennel. So I left him at Thanksgiving for what would be 22 days. 22 days without my fur child!!! He was having the vacation of a lifetime but I really missed him. 

My next work adventure took me to Scottsdale, Arizona. Again, another taste of the west for me. I loved it. My conference was a day-long residency program for social media in healthcare. I didn't want the learning to end! I met some really fantastic people. I also got to go one some epic hikes. After my conference, I spent some time in Sedona, Arizona and even got to take a tour of the Grand Canyon!!!!
I did three hikes in one day in Sedona....
I never thought I'd be in a position where I was encouraged to travel for professional development. I have plenty of friends that get to travel for business all the time. This was the first time that opportunity was really offered to me. I had so much accrued vacation time from working my butt off as the solo jack of all trades that I was able to take a few days for myself to really explore Arizona on my own. I learned a lot about myself, especially that traveling gives me a different level of happiness. I also learned than when you are female and travel alone, people applaud you for it. Everyone kept telling me how great it was that I was exploring on my own. I guess I took it for granted. I'm very independent so it felt like any other adventure for me but people appreciate having guts I guess. Yay guts! 

There are not enough adjectives out there to describe the Grand Canyon. 
Seriously. I also happened to have the best tour group ever. It was three of us and our guide. What started out as a tour with strangers ended up a road trip with friends. The memories and experiences I got to have while out there will last a lifetime. Not to be cheesy but it is true. 

December is still going strong as I write this, but Christmas is this weekend and then we're greeting 2017. I've spent the past few days doing traditional Christmas things in Philly including the Macy's Light show, Comcast holiday show, South Philly Lights Run (ok, I drove the route because it was cold but I did with with my new running friend who read my article about my half marathon and reached out). I made a point to really get ready for Christmas. Like, stare Christmas in the face and say bring it! I feel so prepared and full of Christmas spirit! Shopping is done, apartment has been decorated all month. I've been able to connect with some dear friends and spend time with them this season. I've been very happy and I feel somewhat balanced in life...for once. 

So what lies ahead?
Well...opportunity. My department is going through a rebuilding phase which will lead to a strong and robust team. I'm very excited to be a part of that. I now have a bunch of races I want to do again. (See you in May BSR). I'm working on some new friendships and strengthening some old ones. 

Since I dedicated 2016 to health, I'm dedicating 2017 to love. Love of all kinds...romantic, friendship and love for myself. I think it is going to be a great year. As of right now, it looks like I'm ringing in the new year with the purge. Not a bad purge, but a purge of my apartment. I want to go through all of my belongings and donate stuff....lighten the load for 2017. Start the year off clutter free. That's the plan unless another activity presents itself. 

2016, you've been cray....but you've also been pretty great. Every year has been great since I started ringing in the New Year as the best version of myself. That is a tradition that I'm going to keep doing. 

Until next time....

Saturday, September 17, 2016

When the Common Cold Feels Like the Plague of Death

I'm sick for the second time in a year. A whole year. Seriously, that is a personal best in terms of health. I mean really. When I was back in social work, I would get sick every other month. That was because I worked in really close quarters with adorable germ sponges, also known as babies and toddlers. Now in Corporate America, I rarely come in contact with children. Therefore, I've enjoyed an entire year of little to no icky sickies. However, somehow, somewhere, I caught a nasty bug and have a common cold. Shouldn't be a big deal but because I was so used to being healthy, this common cold feels like the plague of death.

Stuffy nose. Runny nose. Sneezing. Coughing. Exhaustion. Hot flashes. You name it, I got it. Also a bit of an upset tummy. It is like my entire immune system is on vacation. It sucks because this is a beautiful weekend in Philadelphia and I would love nothing more than to get a nice run in and hike with my dog in a local park. But alas, I've been outside a few times but the walk tires me out. So I come in and rest. I'm hoping a day of mostly resting will allow me to be somewhat functional tomorrow. I'd like to kickbox, run errands and do laundry tomorrow before gearing up for another epic work week.

Epic about sums it up. I finally have a permanent boss! This is great! I have someone who I can go to for questions, ask for support, and help direct me so we're actually accomplishing things in the Marketing Department versus just putting out fires here and there. Triage mode, is what I call it. I've done well these past six months but I am more than ready to apply a concrete strategy to my work. So, yay for the beginning of structure!

Life is life. I've been really tired and am officially panicking about my upcoming half marathon that I'm not ready for. It is in November, as I have mentioned before. Dun Dun Dun. I've been sporadically kickboxing due to edema in the ankles, exhaustion, and this damn cold. I'd like to be back on track.

That is about it from this end. Just thought I'd provide a quick update since I'm laying low and trying to do what I can to help my body beat this stupid stupid cold.

Until next time...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

29 and Feeling Fine (or something like that)

I never have much time to write anymore. I'm still going to keep this blog up for as long as I can, but please forgive the sporadic posts. Over the past few months, I've had plenty of adventures and misadventures. Work has been really really insane. I started feeling the pressure of working three roles in addition to my own with limited support or direction. I've been doing a great job and the challenges keep me coming back for more but it does get exhausting.

July was jam packed with good times. I took Bronx to Center City for the Party on the Parkway July 4th. My best friend David and I participated in Yoga on the Outfield where we got to participate in an hour long yoga class on the Philadelphia Phillies outfield (bare feet in the grass). I was geeking out. I think I was more excited about being on the field than doing yoga. It was a fun time. I also did something kind of stupid. I ran/walked over 13 miles to take photos of the 50+ painted donkeys for the DNC which was held in Philly. That was brutal but a lot of fun. The running community makes jokes about how "we do not speak of the Donkey Run" because we all felt like we were going to die. Also in July, I made David join me on a #YardsbRUNch run. We also almost died. haha Summer running has been damn near impossible and I am nowhere near ready for my half marathon in November.

August was busy too. It started off really exhausting. I kept trying to take off from work only to have to come in to do things. I had to work a weekend. There was no vacation in sight. When you're one of 1.5 people trying to keep a department together, you tend to be the only person who can attend meetings and make things happen. Thus, when everyone and their mother is going on vacation, you are working to keep the ship afloat. Did I mention I was a little burned out? Love the job but can't wait for more support so I can really go about it strategically instead of in constant survival mode.

I turned 29 on August 24. I celebrated by going to kickboxing!
It was a great class. My kickboxing partner in crime, Anita was there to celebrate with me. She even got me a bottle of Grey Goose! As you can see from the top of the post, Bronx gave me extra birthday kisses.

The day after my birthday I went on a Drink Philly Booze Cruise on the Delaware River. It was a three hour tour with an open bar and buffet and live music. The night was perfect: beautiful sunset, great people and excellent weather. I even had my coworkers help me do something special with my hair:
They did a fantastic job! I went on the cruise with bff David.

Best Friends! (for about 12 years now) All in all my birthday was a success. My coworkers made it special, my friends showered me with love and my dog understood it was an important day of sorts. So in honor of my last year of my 20's I've made a bucket list: 29 things to do before 30. The list includes a lot of things I've always meant to do but haven't had the chance to do. I'm really excited about it.

Other August highlights include ROW 2 at Collective Soul and Goo Goo Dolls. That was nothing short of an amazing concert. Also the Philly 10K. I wasn't ready for it so I winged it. I was so worried I'd be too slow and be kicked off the course. I made it without getting carried off! Woo! That was a tough race given the heat and the distance. Once again, I'm nowhere near ready for my half marathon in November.
Also coming up, well not race wise. I actually just missed a 5K in NJ because I had to work Saturday morning :( I have a 10K at the end of the month and then I guess the half? Sheesh. Anyway, coming up is a bunch of work trips! Given my hard work and dedication, I'm being sent off for some professional development. I'm going to Chicago in October, Las Vegas in November, and Arizona in December! I have never been to any of these places so I'm really excited about it. Plus, I love conferences. Great opportunities ahead!

So now we're in September. I celebrated David's 30th birthday with him and his family. I made him a scrapbook of 12 years of our friendship and gave it to him on his birthday. It even came with its own playlist. Pretty great. I love it when I can give someone a meaningful yet surprising gift. Always a good feeling. I'm ready for fall as I'm ready to run in less than 80 degree weather. I love summer but this one was too hot. I am glad I made it to the Shore, twice though.

That about sums it up. Hopefully I will write again before winter. I'm just keeping my head up and rolling with the punches and trying to have fun in between.

Until next time....

Friday, June 17, 2016

Discovering Passion

My last post was in February. I didn’t retire from the blog but I did get caught up in a whirlwind of change and excitement and struggle and growth. Yep, all of these things.

As I said in my last post months ago, my department at work underwent some serious transition. We lost a few staff members, got a few part-time consultants to help keep the department running and I found myself, a manager, doing director-level work.

When I graduated from Temple’s MJ program in 2014, I wanted to be a community journalist. I wanted to write local stories about local people. Human interest stuff. Of course, I’ve chronicled how no one would hire me. The two places that considered me would not offer me a living wage. I mean really, why pay a Master’s level journalist a decent salary when you have undergrad students willing to do it for free. I digress. So, I found myself in this social and digital media manager position. Little did I know what many journalists before me had already figured out: you can still be a journalist in marketing.

I was a storyteller of corporate stories. I shared the daily inspiration of employees. I wrote about patients whose lives had been transformed by our services. Not only that, once I was given a large mass of responsibility due to the shrinking size of our department, I realized how much I enjoyed other parts about marketing. Like, public relations! In three months of “filling in” I coordinated three major news stories about our health system.  I got to work alongside the reporters that I wanted to be.

It was really a telling moment when I spent two months coordinating a story with a regional reporter who I met a few years ago at a Philadelphia Car Show. The anchors were signing autographs and I told her I was a journalism student at Temple. She signed “good luck on your journalism career.” Three years later I’m escorting her and her camera guy around our hospital. It felt completely normal but I knew it was kind of a big deal.

I learned that I also like advertising, especially creating taglines Mad Men style. I found out I was good at things I never even considered when I dreamscaped my future career. I just wanted to write stories about local paper. I never wanted to be a spokesperson for a hospital or weigh in on advertising efforts or coordinate interviews and tapings for local news. I never thought I’d be coordinating a quarterly magazine from start to finish. Now I want to do all of those things, because I’ve been doing those things and it’s thrilling.
Chasing a story from the back end has provided me the same fulfillment as chasing a story from the front. Sitting in my living room and watching our health system be a story on the 11’o clock news gives me such a sense of satisfaction. Witnessing our social media metrics climb, our engagement increase, our blog posts touch people…all of that provides great professional validation.

I didn’t picture myself here at all. Yet here I am. Succeeding. My job challenges me almost every day and I love every second of it.

In terms of non-work related life events, I did indeed run the 2016 Broad Street Run in May. It rained from before the race to well after. It was so hard, (harder than last year) and I struggled through it. It was as if my training was lost on me and I finished two minutes slower than the year prior. I wanted to cry when I finished because running in cold wet rain for 10 miles is no picnic. Every other block my feet slammed into icy cold puddles. It was rough. But finish I did. After that, I wondered what the next running challenge would be. I had met so many supportive runners in the Philadelphia running community, I didn’t want to stop running and just focus on Broad Street 2017. So I did something crazy. I set my alarm the night of the Broad Street Run and registered for the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. I was one of the first 500 registrants so I got a discounted rate. 13.1 MILES YA’LL!

Between now and my first half, I have the Philly 10K, a Flying Fish 5K, training runs, River City Festival 5K, a charity 10K and a butt load of mental preparation to muster. Can I do it? Who the hell knows, but I like the challenge. I also like running and I love the running family in Philly. A few weeks ago, RUN215 had a launch party for the official RUN 215 apparel. Bronx had been acting weird and giving me a lot of crap when I would leave for work or kickboxing. As I was getting ready to go to the party held at a running store, Bronx cried. I said “want to go to a launch party?”

I threw him in the car, drove downtown, found parking and brought him to the party. I didn’t know if dogs were allowed in the store so we just walked in and hoped for the best. EVERYONE LOVED HIM. People were so excited to see a dog. We even got our picture taken in the official photo booth after I bought my shirts. It was so much fun.

So basically, yay running.

Kickboxing has been great too. I just completed a challenge and earned purple boxing gloves. I’m the first person in the studio to get these purple gloves! Kind of awesome.
I’ve had a lot of adventures lately. Philadelphia seems to be a popular stop on Tour de’ Friends. In the past few months I’ve seen a high school friend, my college sorority Little, a middle school friend and his wife/son, and a good friend from my college days. All of them traveled from faraway places (Florida, DC, update NY) and spent time in Philly. It was great seeing everyone! 

Oh and I was in a wedding in April. My hometown bestie, Heather got hitched. My other hometown bestie Beth and I were bridesmaids and our fourth bestie, Clay attended the wedding. We got some great shots of the four of us. That wedding and weekend was A TON OF FUN. Seriously. Lots of dancing too.

That’s about it for now. I’ll try not to let three months go by before I write again.

Until next time…

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What limits?

Last post, I talked about pushing and breaking my limits. My posts have been pretty fitness heavy because well, that was my main focus for 2016: health. 

On Sunday, February 21st, I did something that I have never in my 28 years been able to do. I ran a 5K without stopping to walk. I ran the whole thing and it was amazing! I was using the Run into Spring 5K as a diagnostic for the Broad Street Run. I wanted to know what I needed to work on and what running bits were doing just fine. It was a chilly morning. Fortunately everything was running on schedule. Bronx did his business quickly. I had time to eat breakfast. I arrived to the race an hour and a half early (oops). 

The race was small so I knew I'd end up in the back eventually. As the clock started we began to run. I took a slow pace so I wouldn't lose my breath so quickly. Two senior citizens passed me. I thought for sure I was last. I started to psyche myself out because it was so embarrassing to be last but I quickly realized there were a few people behind me. By mile 1 I felt pretty good and hadn't stopped to walk. I decided my focus wouldn't be speed but endurance. Typically, after Mile 1, I get so happy I ran a mile that I stop to walk. I find it very hard to pick back up and run again. So I thought...let's do this. Let's run without walking. 

By Mile 2, many of the runners had begun the loop back. I started getting high fives and thumbs up. Once again I felt that many of these runners probably thought this was my first 5K when in fact its like my 12th or something. I was still grateful for the support. By the time I reached the water station, I huffed as I grabbed my water and said "I haven't stopped to walk! This is amazing!"

I continued on my slow as hell pace. As I neared the end of Mile 2, my left knee started to hurt and my hip hurt. I wanted to walk but instead chose to stare at the yellow lines in the road and run alongside them. I let my mind wander, thinking about anything except breathing and running. It worked! I couldn't look to far ahead because I'd get discouraged and want to walk. A few people were behind me. I slow but gradually approached the finish line. I started to get emotional because I was actually going to do it. I was going to run 3.1 miles without walking. As I crossed I screamed I DIDN'T STOP TO WALK!!!! and accepted my finishers medal from a toddler. It was a huge accomplishment. 

I look like hell and maybe like I'm 45, but I did it!

Riding on the high of that accomplishment made my day perfect. I posted it on Facebook and also on RUN 215's Facebook group. By the end of the day I had almost 600 likes and 50 comments. Talk about support. 

I spent my afternoon hiking Wissahickon with my best friend and Bronx. This Sunday was also Bronx and my 1 year adoption anniversary. He loves hiking so I thought a nice hike was an appropriate way to celebrate. Turns out our total hike was 8 miles! So I ran a 5K and hiked 8 miles. Brilliant, right?

Here is me and Bronx one year ago on a cold, snowy day in February and Bronx and I now at Wissahickon. 

After that insane hike which was mildly treacherous thanks to some lovely snow/ice/mud, David and I went to our favorite buffet place to reward ourselves for such a fit day. It was delicious. 

I took Monday off in advance so I could recover from my spike in physical activity. I spent the day doing laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and made sure I got a pedicure and did some yoga too. It was a perfect way to set the tone for the week ahead. I'm so grateful I did because come Tuesday morning some major changes occurred at my job and I received a heaping pile of new responsibilities. It has been an exhausting but exciting week. 

I feel strong. I really do. To prepare to Broad Street, I'm going to participate in 2 5 mile races in March. That should help me build up my mileage and determine what exactly happens after 3 miles. 

What an amazing weekend. It was perfect. 

Until next time...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pushing and Breaking the Limits

The mind really has ultimate control over what you can and can not do. Friday night I was home eating pizza and drinking beer. One of my kickboxing instructors challenged us to take a video of us doing 30 burpees in a row. I hate burpees. I'm bad at them, I dread them, I can barely do 5. However, I was inspired by all the poor food choices I made the past week and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. So I did. Actually I did about 55 burpees because my first two video takes I just about made it to 10 burpees and had to stop. 

I did 30 burpees on a full stomach in my apartment on a Friday night. BAM. 

In the spirit of continuing to push limits, I did something I've never done before last night. It was Valentine's Day and I had a great weekend. I went to a kickboxing event on Saturday and on Sunday cleaned the apartment and watched Valentine's Day with Bronx. 
Well, Sunday night I did a Valentine's Day Run with Philadelphia Runner. I've ran before. I've ran 5K before. I have NEVER run 3.4 miles in 14 degree weather! It was exhilarating. I finished in my normal time and made some new friends along the way. What a great Valentine's Day!

To top it all off, this morning I found out I got into the Broad Street Run. I'll be running 10 miles on May 1st! Now is the time to take training seriously. I mean, last year I winged it and finished in 2:26. This year, I'm hoping to finish in under 2 hours. I'm going to have to push and break my limits. But if I can do 30 burpees and run in 14 degree weather without dying, I can certainly train and crush my Broad Street Run goal. Right?

I think so. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Today is one of those days where I find myself awake and alert but also swimming in a sea of emotions. This morning on my drive in to work, I had a few moments to declutter my head and heart and really think about things. I contemplated my losses, where I'm at in life now, what I want to do. I realized that these feelings were free to bubble to the surface because for the first time in awhile, my mind was calm. I keep myself very busy. My work days are 8.5 hours long. My commute takes 2 hours out of my day. Two weeknights I kickbox so I get home with just enough time to get a shower and get to bed. My weekends are full of errands, chores and usually at least one nap to recharge. 

"You never sit down. You're always doing something," a friend of mine said over the phone last week. She was referring to my Facebook and my constant string of activities. I thought about that for a moment and realized she is right. Most of my time is accounted for. 

So when you've got an hour drive ahead of you and a CD with some emotional songs, all those things you push down have a chance to resurface. I keep myself busy because I don't want to think about things. You really don't realize how much shit you've been through until it all comes back at once. Then you're like "I have a pretty good life but damn I've been through some shit."

Anyway, that is my deep thought for the day. Life is fine. I'm coasting through the year. My fitness goals have been up and down. I entered the lottery for the Broad Street Run and I'm hoping I get in. If so, it is serious training time. My main goal for 2016 besides making it the year of health is to run the Broad Street Run in under 2 hours. Kickboxing has been going well and I've found I work better with certain instructors. I love everyone there, they are all amazing but some nights I do a lot better when I have certain teachers. 

Running....well...I ran pretty well last week. Speed sucks but endurance is getting better. Yoga...I got to get back on that train too. Last night I tried a new video and I had a hard time concentrating. The instructor was good and I think the flow was right, but I got super ADD about it and wanted to do a million other things besides the yoga so I had to stop halfway. Woops. 

Work is fine. Still crazy since we're in a whirlwind of transition. I'm getting more responsibility and tasks to do so that is good. 

Bronx celebrated his 3rd birthday on Sunday. I made him a peanut butter carrot cake. He was quite the happy boy, especially when we went to the Pretzel Factory for some birthday pretzels. 

His adoption anniversary is next weekend (after Valentine's weekend). I'm hoping the weather holds out. I'd like to take him back to his shelter for an alumni visit and drop off a few donations in honor of our year together. I think that would be the best way to celebrate his Gotcha day. 

He continues to be a phenomenal dog. He makes me laugh daily. Last night he ran into the bedroom, jumped on the bed, shoved his nose into my neck and burrowed his head under my covers. Snuggle pups with a cold nose. I was laughing and then tucked his blanked around him and fell asleep with his head on my arm. Love him. 

I guess that is about it. Nothing new to report. Maybe I won't be so nostalgic next post.

Until next time....

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