Tag Archives: friends

AMAZING Memorial Day Weekend Recap

29 May

Hey everyone! Sorry for the unexpected 4 day blogging hiatus – I last minute decided to unplug for the weekend, and it was well worth it.

It all started Friday morning when I took my NASM Certified Personal Trainer Exam and I PASSED! Stay tuned for MUCH, MUCH more on that in the very near future.

Then, Friday night  I went out with someone who is going to be an integral part of my life going forward. Someone who I ran 8 miles with last weekend and had an amazing time (followed by an almost as amazing breakfast). Someone who I ran 8 miles with yesterday as well – and took great care of me as I suffered in the heat of the day. Someone who fit right in with my friends on Saturday night as if he’s known them as long as I have.

I know, I know, I’m being vague, but I’m not sure how much I want to divulge right now. Perhaps more later? We shall see.

Speaking of that party – more amazingness. Jess really is the hostess with the mostest, I am not joking. She threw a party for her hubby’s birthday Saturday night and it was a fantastic time. I sure do love these gals (and their boys, and all of their other friends/family that I got to meet!):

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Thanks for the pic, Jo!

Things are really falling into place for me right now. I changed positions at my company – I’m still not sure how  I feel about staying there while I build up my fitness career, but this new position is WAY better than my old one. I have to think, trouble shoot, problem solve, and prioritize. All of that without having to answer phones, DOUBLE BONUS!

So, back to that 8 miles yesterday for a minute. OMG. That is all. It is way over average temperatures for this time of year right now – it was 83 during our run yesterday. Mostly in the sun. I am so not used to that!

It got me to thinking though – in the past couple of years it has been HOT in Chicago in October. How am I going to meet my goal if I run early morning’s all the time, not in the heat of the day? So, I decided it’s time to start heat acclimating. I’m going to run after work from now on, and get used to this weather!

Starting tonight…it’s going to be about 80 by the time I head out for my run. I’ve drank 75 oz. of water, 16 oz. of Nuun, and 11 oz. of Coconut Water throughout the day. I’d say I’m hydrated! Wish me luck!

I hope everyone had as amazing of a weekend as I did!

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Weekend Countdown

11 May

*Disclaimer: I straight up stole the entire concept of this post from Tina. I read hers today and fell in love with it. Here’s my spin!*

Hey hey peeps! It’s FRIDAY! 8 p.m. on Friday and I’m blogging – woo, go me.

I kid, I kid. I love blogging, duh. I also love being home on a Friday night.

What is this weekend countdown that I so lovingly stole from Tina and am now putting to my own words? Looky here and see:

Five:

Blogger friends turned in real life friends that I cannot imagine life without:

1) Jess

2) Jolene

3) Meaghan

4) Christine

5) Whitney

These girls impact my life every single day, and I am blessed and grateful that I can call them friends.

Four:

Number of days I took off of working out this week until I decided it was high time to schedule a workout. Today would’ve been that workout – but I forgot and slept in. Tomorrow I am going to 7:30 a.m. Sunrise Power Yoga. I think that is a perfect way to start the weekend!

Three:

Here’s where I completely copy Tina (can you tell I’m not feeling very original tonight?). Instagram pics of the week:

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Princess Lexi

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A view of Providence from the State House Steps

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Wicked good snack

Two:

Glasses of wine tonight. Pinot noir. I almost exclusively drink red wine. Once glass #2 is gone (I’m working on it now) it’s back to hydration time! My sunrise power yoga just happens to be hot yoga.

One:

Quote of the day:

That is all my darlings! I hope everyone had a fantastic Friday. Enjoy the rest of your night!

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The Day I (Didn’t) DNF

10 May

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been MIA – Something about Sunday’s race kicked the life out of me. After going to bed at 9 last night and a massage tonight I’m feeling a bit more human.

So, let’s back up, shall we?

Sunday morning I woke with the alarm at 6 a.m. And, I didn’t want to get up, so I snoozed. Luckily I stayed in Providence the night before, so I didn’t have to rush. I got up at 6:10 and meandered my way down to the ever so convenient Starbucks located in the hotel. Damn good thing I did – it was already chock full of runners, being that it was about 2 blocks from the start.

I got myself an iced coffee, a bagel, and a banana. I nervously munched and sipped as I got ready. As I was wrapping up my preparation, I reached into my bag for my Garmin, and *GASP* IT WAS DEAD! It must’ve turned on when I tossed it into my bag!

I was panicking because I had hopeful big plans (big plans that didn’t come to fruition – but really, I only ran twice a week for the past 7 weeks so…’nuf said) and I really wanted my Garmin. I was convinced it was going to be a bad day.

When I met up with Coachy and our friend Don, I told them about my Garmin. Coachy and Don were running together anyway, so (being the wondaful person that he is) Coachy gave me his Garmin to wear (thank you thank you THANK YOU AGAIN!). It’s the same as mine but the boy version.

We then met up with Jess, Scott, and Christine, right by the start line. After a long drive from northern MA to RI the girls had to find a bathroom, so while they did that I saw the marathoners off (aka Coachy and Don).

Me, Jess, Scott, and Christine lined up around the 10 minute pace and chatted a bit, took a few pics, and tried to keep our minds off of what was about to go down. Next thing we knew we were off.

About half a mile in I remarked to Jess that we had already lost Christine – but Christine had decided she was going to start slow (smooth move – you can read all about it in her recap). I’m totally doing that next time.

I really never felt great during this race. I’d talk to Jess for a bit – Scott would gesture for us to catch up to him – we’d go silent and just run.

I slowed around Mile 4 water stop, but caught back up to Jess and Scott. They were moving at a pretty good clip, and my confidence was slipping. It was humid, the clouds burned off and the sun was fully out. Between the humidity and the very high levels of tree pollen in the air, I couldn’t breathe.

I told Jess around Mile 5 that I was dropping back, to go ahead without me.

That’s when the mind games started. I knew I was holding a pace well enough to PR, but not get my ultimate goal (which you guys all know what that is by now so I’m not speaking about it).

I finished Mile 5 and 6 strong, and even Mile 7 considering the biggest hill on the course (100ish foot climb) exists between 6.5 and 7.5 miles.

But during Mile 6 and 7 I hyperventilated. I cried. I convinced myself that I was not going to finish this race.

I said it quite a few times. “What if you just quit?” “You can DNF, save your leg, save your knee, just stop running.”

You see, my knee was wigging out on all the up and down. I didn’t do any real good pre-race stretching and I spent hours walking around on Saturday.

Oops.

I knew there was a medic around Mile 8ish, because we passed the ambulance around Mile 4. I stopped there and got some tape for my knee.

I had started the race with my knee strap on but it just wasn’t cutting it.

I then realized that I was being a complete fool for even thinking I was going to quit this race. There was nothing wrong with me other than a bitchy knee. I knew how to control it, and I did. I powered on and even managed to save my pace after the unplanned knee repair stop.

Then Mile 9 started. Also known as the mile with “that damn downhill”. You guys know I love running downhill, but this is ridiculous. You drop from 93 feet to 10 feet in about half a mile. It’s a steepy.

But I managed to really pick up my pace and have an awesome Mile 10.

Then another UPHILL. I talked about this last year too – some really evil person decided it was a good idea to put a long steady uphill in between Mile 10 and 11. It’s also on the Rock N Roll Providence course, almost at the same mileage, in case you’re planning on running that one.

I walked. I cursed. I cried. I ran (if you can call it that). Relief came in the form of another super but not so steep downhill. I looked at my Garmin though, and I knew if I could just stay strong a little while longer that I’d have a PR that I’ve been working for – FOR A YEAR!

Then suddenly I heard a voice from behind me.

IT WAS CHRISTINE! Oh she could not have come at a better time. I told her about my knee, and she was really rocking it – the slower start and steady pace really kept her strong.

We ran, and chatted. I warned her about the Team in Training signs in the park (all about people who have passed from cancer – so sad, but so inspirational – they make me cry. Last year I hyperventilated from crying).

We pushed each other almost to the end. We cursed out the fact that Mile 12 was DEFINITELY long and we couldn’t find “the damn sign.”

We saw (RI) Jess at the Whiskey Republic, cheering for us! That gave me another bit of energy!

Somewhere right before Mile 13 I dropped back from Christine. She told me if I lost her she’d cry (thank you for that, BTW – I didn’t want to make you cry) – so I made sure I stayed in sight, even if behind her.

The final stretch came and I somehow got the burst of energy I needed to power across the finish line.

Official Time: 2:10:10 – a 3 second PR.

This was, mentally, my hardest race ever.

I truly wanted to quit.

I wanted nothing more than to walk off the course and lay in the grass.

I had myself convinced that I was coming back to this computer to write to you guys about an extremely disappointing race.

Instead I came back with a PR.

I came back with a new respect for the training plan.

I came back PROUD of my friends for their amazing times – Jess and Scott with a 2:03:10 (a 2-ish minute PR) and Christine with a 2:09:44 (also a 2-3ish minute PR!).

I EVEN came back to the course and ran a mile or so with Coachy and Don when they came through on their way to finish the marathon.

As I reflect upon Sunday and write this post I’ve learned a lot. How to trust that my body will get me there – even if I wasn’t as trained as I would have liked to be.

Super props to Jess for removing the words “undertrained” from my race day speak. It was all I had to say for a while post-race. But she corrected me.

I learned that quitting is not the answer (unless, of course, you are actually doing more harm to your body – in that case, please quit. I knew I wasn’t harming myself. I was just pissed off and frustrated by the fact that sub-2 had slipped from my grasp yet again. On my 4th try.)

I learned that I am going to train my ASS off all of June and July and when the times comes in July and August to run my next two 13.1 races – I WILL own them, and I will get that sub-2. No questions asked. It helps that by then I’ll be running longer than 13 miles as I train for Chicago.

There ya have it folks. My extremely long winded, at times sad, at times educational, race report.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks to everyone on Facebook, Twitter, and Daily Mile for all of the congrats for my finish and PR. Your words mean more to me than I can ever describe.

And thank you to Coachy, Don, Jess, Scott, Christine, (RI) Jess, Martha, & Kevin for being there for me. I love you guys!

XOXO

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P.S. The pics in here were totally stolen (with permission) from Jess and Christine. Thanks girls!

Flirting with 30: Improving Yourself is Always in Fashion

7 May

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Laura, from Scribbles & Sass – and if her blog title didn’t tell you enough, her tag line most certainly will “Where badass is, sexy follows.” I freakin’ love that! Her blog is also almost exclusively pink, and she is a super sweetheart. We first “met” when she won a yoga DVD off of a giveaway I had – now we’re Twitter (@laurabridgman) friends. See what her thoughts are on an old article about turning 30 (I really love this since I’ve been 30 for almost 6 months now – remind me that I should respond to this post as well with my thoughts!)

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A few weeks back the Huffington Post shared an article that was first published by Glamour Magazine in 1997. Entitled 30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Should Know, it lays out what every woman needs in her arsenal before turning 30.

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Here is the full list:

By 30, you should have…

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.

4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.

6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.

8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.

9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.

10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.

13. The belief that you deserve it.

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know…

16. How to fall in love without losing yourself.

17. How you feel about having kids.

18. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

19. When to try harder and when to walk away.

20. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.

21. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.

22. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.

23. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.

24. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.

25. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.

26. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.

27. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.

28. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.

29. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

30. Why they say life begins at 30

Here’s the argument: It’s a bit outdated; 1997 was a long time ago. It says boyfriend, instead of partner, and suggests everyone should be shacked up, instead of independently feisty and raging with self-love.

Personally, it fits me just right. I am a heterosexual woman who would like a successful career AND a successful relationship. I’ve got the power tools, the skin-care regimen, and a firm grasp on where my yoga mat is at all times and how I feel about children. What I don’t have is a black lace bra. (Read my full list of my “haves” from 1-15.) Yes, to the cordless drill, but no to the sexy lingerie? Maybe it is 2012.

Replace the words however you’d like, but the message is pretty clear to me: love yourself, be comfortable in where you came from but don’t live in the past, and look forward to all the years you have left.

In the 90s we had Girl Power. I don’t think we need to be so idealistic, but we still need to take away the same principals. Thirty things on a list, no matter what the age, will not define us, but it will remind us to believe in the strength of women, ourselves, and be uplifting of others.

Also, 30 is just a convenient number. I’m sure the author didn’t want to think of 45 things; that’s less of a catchy title, so for the editor’s sake I’m glad she didn’t. These milestones may not be reached by any age, let alone by 30, but constantly improving yourself is always in fashion.

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Which point sticks out most to you?

An Open Letter: To YOU

29 Apr

Dear Running and Cupcakes Readers:

On April 29, 2011, when I wrote my very first blog post I never dreamed I would be where I am today. You see, when I started writing this blog, it was just my little way of keeping myself accountable on the journey to my first marathon.

I had a lot going on in my life leading up to the days prior to the start of this blog, and I needed something fun and light hearted to keep my mind at ease. So, I ran. Then I wrote about running. And it was fun.

As the days went on, I wrote about food. I wrote about races. I wrote about my new dog (who is now my dog of almost one year). I wrote about Coachy, and I wrote about my family.

And through it all – there was you. You the readers.

You were there to support me when I had a bad run.

You were there to cheer me on when I had a great run.

Bad day, bad run, good day, good run – it didn’t matter. Day in and day out, you guys tune in to whatever it is I have to say.

You give me advice. Sometimes you just listen. Whatever words spill from my fingers onto this page, you read, and you respond.

And I want to thank you.

Thank you for helping me through this past year. You see – I was doubted. I was told “You can’t run.” “You have bad knees.” “You have asthma.”

Well guess what? I’ve done it all. I’ve run from 5k to marathon.

I’ve broken through boundaries I never dreamed of.

All because of you. Your support, your love, knowing that you’re all here for me no matter what.

So, on this day, one year from the day I decided that sharing my life with a bunch of strangers was a good idea, thank you.

THANK YOU. So many of you have become friends – some still just internet friends (but that WILL change), many of you now in real life friends.

Some of you, very close friends that I now cannot imagine my life without.

And none of this would have happened without the support of all of you that tune in here, to Running and Cupcakes, to see what I’m up to every day.

I’m honored.

I’m humbled.

I’m about to cry – this really means so much to me.

I’m living my dream. And it’s all thanks to you.

I love you guys. As long as you want to continue to read, I will continue to write.

XOXOXO

Love,

Samantha

P.S. This song came on Pandora while I was writing. It’s fitting. I hope you all had a great Sunday!

 

Deep Thoughts

25 Apr

My brain is a swirling mess lately. I need to get it all out, hope you guys don’t mind!

I need a new job. Not just because of what I wrote in this post, but because I am truly not happy. And it’s not the job. And it’s not the company. It’s the fact that it’s “just a job,” it’s “just to pay the bills,” it’s “just for the health insurance.” It is not my passion. It is not what I want to do with the rest of my life. Running, fitness, healthy food, blogging, social media…that’s what I want to do. Mish-mash it all together to make a difference in the lives of others. But if not that, for now, at least something further north. More and more each day I want to be closer to three girls who make more of a difference in my life every day than they know. And they know who they are.

About my NASM Certification – I have until May 26th to take my NASM Certified Personal Trainer exam. That’s a month from tomorrow. I’m in Chapter 13 out of 18. I have a LOT of work to do in the next month and it’s really freaking me out.

I did not make the right decision on timing for the purchase of these exam materials. You have six months to study and complete the exam – I bought the materials at the end of November. Between the holidays and training for the Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon, my studies were tossed aside. Now with only a month to go, I’m cramming and it’s driving me crazy. But it’s my passion – I want to be a certified personal trainer. I want to start this next chapter of my life. I want  to make a difference in the health and wellness of others. I want to be that girl that others go to when they need help – with a workout, with an exercise, just for advice or input.

I have no idea how I’m going to handle life when I live on my own again. I don’t know how I did it before. Right now all I have to take care of is myself, my mother does everything else. I pitch in with some cleaning and some cooking, but not much, and yet I still don’t have time? I’m actually a little nervous about moving back out on my own because I don’t know how I got it all done before. And when that time comes, I’ll be in the middle of my Chicago training plan. Yikes.  Once PT is over I’m going to try moving all of my workouts to the morning. I’m up at 5:30 every day no matter what, so I may as well use that time to workout, and use my evenings to get stuff done.

I think I’ve been neglecting my dog. She’s always been a little weird – skittish, barks at random stuff, afraid of large people. I chalked that up to her being a shelter dog. But lately she’s been acting out, not just weird. She bit my cousin’s husband on the leg (luckily she didn’t break the skin). She shredded a package dropped on the front step by the FedEx guy. She tried to eat Zach’s food (my parent’s dog), instead of her own. She has NEVER done that. She started nipping at the heels of one of my stepdad’s friends last night, as I was reprimanding her. I think that I’m neglecting my fur baby, and if I am, how do I fit her in too? Perhaps even a short walk in the morning will do the trick? Poor little baby, I love her so much.

Lexi

The truth is, I set myself up for these situations. I overthink, overplan, and overanalyze, and when the time comes to take action, I change my mind a thousand times. Or I procrastinate, which is a wicked bad habit I’d like to drop (tips are welcome, please and thank you). Then I scramble and stress to get things done, or make a decision, whatever the case may be.

Sigh, I think I need a vacation.  Next weekend – 4 glorious days off. Coachy is coming to town and I’m going to tourist him around the state, then it’s race day! Friends and family time – time to be with the people that mean the most in my life. On Monday, I chill. Relax and recuperate from what will definitely be a fun but surely exhausting weekend (there are 13.1 miles involved after all).

This little “stay-cation” could not have come at a better time.

Thanks for listening friends.

XOXO

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Kreativ Blogger Award

21 Apr

Good morning! I’m sitting sipping my coffee and getting ready to chow down some breakfast pre-10 miler. The lovely Heather from Where’s the Beach nominated me for this award. Of all the blogs out there, I was one of her choices, thank you SO MUCH! Smile 

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The premise behind this is to share 7 things about me, then pick other bloggers to share their 7 things. Well we all know I like to talk about myself, so here goes!

1) I am a very messy person, but only in hidden areas like closets, cabinets, my bedroom, etc. Otherwise, I’m a neat/clean freak.

2) I have a pretty large collection of shot glasses – which is funny because I can’t really do shots. Hard alcohol forced at an alarming rate of speed into my body does not go over well.

3) I get nervous before every single race. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done it, or how prepared I am, or the distance, the nerves kick into high gear and I have to channel that nervous energy or I’ll freak myself out completely.

4) I love going to casinos – but I don’t gamble (unless it’s bingo). I love going for the restaurants, shops, drinks, and of course people watching.

5) I am a hard core friend defender. I get so fired up if someone insults a friend, or does something else. Like, livid…I can’t even stand it. But if someone insults me, I’m the first person to write it off as “Oh, it’s no big deal, they’re just insecure or being an a-hole.” Hmm…

6) I would really love to live in Chicago some day – but I don’t know if that’ll ever happen because I can’t stand being away from the ocean. I lived in Iowa for a year, and just about died (drama much?) because I couldn’t go to the beach for an entire summer. (And, sorry Chicagoans, but Lake Michigan is not “the beach” to this East Coast Girl – if it ain’t salt water, it ain’t the beach).

7) The idea of running without my Garmin stresses me out, but I want to embrace it too (for easy runs, fun runs, etc. not runs where I have goal paces, intervals, etc.) Any advice for overcoming this would be much appreciated!

Now, I have to nominate a few people to do this. It’s so hard to choose when there are so many people in blog land that I’d like to know more about! I say:

Christine – These Happy Miles

Andrea – The MF Dre

Heather – Running with Sass

Charlotte – Wild Things Run Free

There, that’s a good list – all awesome blogs and people who are different from me and each other!

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my little world, now I must get dressed and get ready for my first double digit run since New Orleans!

Tell me: do we have anything in common? Advice for running Garmin-less and NOT stressing? Who would you nominate for this award? Too many questions for 7:30 on a Saturday morning?

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