Tag Archives: sara

Slow and steady wins the race

I have had one of my best weeks ever.  Ever.  Better than when I graduated high school, college, and graduate school combined.  Better than when I got my first big girl job and better than when I got promoted at said big girl job.  Probably even better than finally moving out on my own.  Why was this week so epic?

I completed three hard-for-me runs this week.  The first run I completed in three attempts, with the successful attempt being this week.  The second and third runs I completed in one attempt each.  And the third run I did alone without Sara physically there to motivate me.

But she did motivate me in spirit.

Some of you know that I am using the couch to 5k program, which I absolutely love.  There is something so satisfying about seeing “Complete” and a big green check mark when you’ve finished one of the runs.

Especially when you’ve struggled and worked so hard to get to where you are.

There are a few things I credit to my recent success after hitting an unsuccessful streak for a few weeks.

1. Running with a partner again.  When I first started running and doing the couch to 5k program, I ran every run with Sara.  She pushed me through running 30 seconds, to 60 seconds, to 90 seconds.  So when she asked me to join her in a run on Monday, I didn’t even hesitate.  Knowing I was meeting Sara or that her running that day might slightly depend on if I ran pushed me to get up and go.

That text is from the day I completed run 5.3 on the third try, the day Sara and I returned to running together, and the day I took my runs back…

2. Outside.  I joined a gym around February because the weather was starting to get really nasty and I wanted to incorporate weights.  Even though I started my running adventure outside in January for some reason I felt I no longer wanted to run outside.  I think it was because my work travel was getting really heavy and Sara and I were no longer to meet up regularly.  I was hesitant to run outside by myself because I could only run in the evenings and it got way too dark way too early.  The canal we run along has been known to not always be completely safe.  And add in the freezing cold weather meant motivating myself to run alone outside was impossible.  So I took my runs indoors.  And at first I really liked it.  I liked being able to see my numbers on the treadmill and keep a steady pace.  And I liked doing weights before or after if I was feeling especially energized that day.  But then it got really boring and I noticed I was giving up way too quickly.  When I returned to the great outdoors it re-energized me and made me excited again to run.  Running outside means you can use landmarks to motivate you: “get to the bridge… get to the telephone pole… get to the bench.”  It means you get to hear the sounds of nature and see other healthy people running, walking, and biking.  Running outside is definitely energizing.  It also meant I didn’t have the numbers on the treadmill telling me how fast or slow I was going which taught me that…

3. Speed doesn’t matter.  I love Emily’s post about being a runner.  In it she discusses the misconception that to be a runner you have to run a marathon.  Running a marathon has never been a goal of mine.  When I started this adventure my goal was to run a 5k.  And it is still my goal.  Emily’s post and returning to the great outdoors made me realize a misconception I had been living by.  That to be a runner you have to run at a certain speed.  I blame the treadmill.  I would warm-up at speed 3.3.  Run at 5 until I felt I was going to die and then I’d turn it down to 4.8.  I forced myself to stay at that pace believing it was the pace I should be at.  I believe that was the reason I struggled through so many runs and why it took me three attempts to complete a few of them.  When I’m outside I don’t have a treadmill to tell me how fast or slow I am going.  On our first run together again, Sara slowed us down and I was able to finish.  On the second run, Sara started us at the pace she slowed us down to previously and I felt great.  Yesterday when I ran alone, I kept up that pace and didn’t look at the program once to see how much longer I had to go.  Running at the slow pace that is comfortable for me has allowed me to be successful and complete my runs feeling amazing about myself. Although returning outside has ruined my…

4. Shoes.  Shoes matter.  I bought myself proper running shoes from a running store where I was fitted and the sales person patiently brought shoe after shoe after shoe out and asked me specific questions about fit after I tried each one on.  The first pair I bought gave me blisters on my inner heels and after a bit of Googling where I learned this is not normal, I took my shoes back to the store.  I had only worn them once inside on the treadmill and I figured that a store devoted to running would be more inclined to take them back and help you find a better shoe than a generic box sports store like Dicks would be.  I was right.  Another sales person analyzed my feet again and looked at the blisters and determined I was actually in a size too small for me.  She brought shoes out and we found a better pair for me.  They have made all the difference.  My feet feel fantastic during the run, my shins aren’t absorbing the shock, and my knees don’t hurt.  If you’re in the Doodlehem area, definitely stop by Aardvark.

So that’s it.  The keys to my personal success.  Tell me, what has made you successful in running?  Did you have any realization moments like I did? 

P.S. My race is next week!  Please take a moment to donate.  It’s more motivating than people realize!


The Beginning of a Never-End

You might have heard me mention before that my cousin is also my best friend.  And if you’ve spent any time with me I’m sure I’ve told you an Emily and Jacquelyn story.  On Wednesday I wrote about friends who you meet and instantly click with.  Well, Emily is that cousin.  I can’t shake her because she is family but there is no way I would ever want to shake this one.

Emily is four years younger than me and spent most of her life navigating the mean streets of an Orlando suburb.  She would arrive in Hville every holiday and summer to spend time with her Dad but we never saw each other much.  Then one fateful summer when her Dad was going to be away on business for a while, my parents invited Emily to stay at her house even though they were going to be in Korea for a large portion of that time visiting my brother.  My first thought… how am I going to entertain this stranger of a cousin who is younger than me.  Cut to the end of the summer where we’re so close our own Grandmother, who amazingly knows each of her 15 grandchildren’s voices, couldn’t tell us apart.  That summer four years ago is the beginning of a never-end.

When Emily graduated high school she moved up to Hville to live with her Dad and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

Alas, all good things must change and she has moved to the city to finish college there.  Even though she is only a 30 minute drive from Hville, it feels like she is across the country.  No more impromptu trips to Target.  No more popping down to each other’s houses whenever we’re bored.  No more.

And now that I FINALLY was offered the promotion at work I’ve been interviewing for all summer we’ll be even further apart for I must move to Doodlehem (so aptly named by Sara) a 60-90 minute drive away.  So we’re trying to enjoy these last few weekends together (although I will admit to pooping out last weekend and falling asleep at 8:30 on a Saturday night) and are taking advantage of her apartment in the city.

I’d like to look at moving as just more opportunities for fun for us.

I forgot to take a picture of our salad before we dove in-- at The Continental Mid-Town

Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla-- at The Continental Mid-Town

Lobster Mashed Potatoes-- at The Continental Mid-Town

Tofu Tempura– at The Continental Mid-Town

View from Vango

Deeeelicious and fattening waffles


Back in January I started working at a wonderful publishing company.  I stalked this company.  For a year I stalked them.  I needed to work there, I had to work there, I wanted to work there.  Finally.  I got in.  Then… I realized just how lovely my job was.  Please, take my sarcasm with a grain of sea salt.  Don’t get me wrong, I was ecstatic that 1. I was finally employed full time; 2. I was finally employed at this company; and 3. I was finally employed full time.  Oh, did I mention that already?  But my job is entry level.  My job is mindless.  My job is easy.  But, my job is important to the company.  It’s basically customer service with a little assistant work thrown in for fun.  I spend all day sitting in front of a computer, answering the phone, and doing what is asked of me.  The best part about my job (no sarcasm here)?  My coworkers.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work for.  We’re all about the same age and, while we do get really annoyed at each other, we all seemingly like each other.  But I won’t lie.  I was waiting for the right opportunity to come to experience more that this company has to offer.  And it finally came.

So I’d like to announce I got a promotion.  Yippeeeeee!!  While this promotion is so exciting it also comes with some scary parts.  Since I’m a list maker, I’ve made you a list.

1.      It’s lonely.  I won’t be working in an office anymore.  My job consists of working from home and traveling to colleges to sell textbooks.
2.      It’s scary.  I’ve never done anything like this before.  And although you all may be shocked by this, I’m actually shy.  I have to march into professors offices and discuss why my book is the best book out there.  Yikes!
3.      I have to move.  I’ll be moving away from my family in Hville and all my friends.  I’ll be leaving all of my coworkers in the office and won’t have my lunch time dates with my boys.  My Grandma asked me if I’m sure I want to do this.  I don’t think she likes to see us move away from Hville.
4.      I’ll be on my own.  I moved away for college but I always came back.  Now, I’ll be on my own for the first time.  I have to pay for things!  I won’t have my parents there to keep me company.

But there are some good things with this job.  Things I’m really excited for.

1.      I get to move.  Finally!  I could never afford to move out before and while I still can’t really afford to move out, it’s a lot easier and necessary.
2.      I’ll be on my own!  For the first time I’ll live by myself, make my own rules, not worry that someone ate the muffins I made for my breakfast this week.
3.      I’ll be doing something new!  It might be scary but it’s going to be fun.  I’ll be talking to different people every day and learning more about what professors look for in textbooks.  May sound dorky, but books and higher education are my life.
4.      I’ll make new friends and get to live near Sara from grad school.  I told her she can come visit me in her bathrobe but only if it stays shut.  Hopefully she’ll teach me how to make a good pah.

I’ll miss the “three best friends that anybody could ever have” and my JEmily being so close.  I’ll miss Hville and being able to walk to my Grandma’s.  I’ll miss my parents.  Yes, it’s true.  I’ll miss them.

But who cares because I GOT A PROMOTION!