Movin’ On Up!

First things first, happy Friday! I celebrated this mild achievement (making it to Friday is always an achievement) by having a super awesome breakfast. TJ’s waffles, small smear of almond butter in between, plain Greek yogurt sweetened with honey, and warm blackberries. Good breakfasts like this always make my day better.

After I entered the blogging world back in December 2011, I never thought that I would enjoy it as much as I do. I’ve learned so much from other bloggers and I’ve discovered new blogs every week. I enjoy connecting with my readers and I continually think of ways to write interesting posts for everyone. Now, after a little over 4 months into blogging, I’ve decided to take it to the next level…

I’ve decided to move my blog over to self hosted! It was a big decision, and a somewhat costly one at that, but I think it’s what’s right. I want to grow the blog as much as I can, and I’m the type of person who doesn’t do anything half-assed. I want to be able to make my blog more tailored and customized, and the only way to do that is to by self hosting.

So as the blog is transferred over, Blonde Bostonian will down starting Saturday and will most likely be back up early next week. It will have a new design that will hopefully be cleaner, more robust, and more tailored to what I want to bring to my readers. Also, be on the look out for a recap of the Boston Marathon, the Marathon expo, and the B.A.A. 5k!!!

I promise not to be gone too long! While I’m gone, I’d like to wish the best of luck to all the people running The Boston Marathon on Monday! You guys inspire me so much and I can’t wait to cheer you all on!! If you’re running the race, let me know when you think you’ll be running through Cleveland Circle/Washington Square – that’s where I’ll be, cheering you all on! Maybe I’ll see you at the race expo on Saturday or the 5k on Sunday!

Also, I’ll be live tweeting from the Expo on Saturday, the B.A.A 5k on Sunday, and the Marathon on Monday. To get updates throughout the weekend Follow me!

Have a great weekend!

Bloggers: Any tips for self-hosting? When did you make the decision to switch over to self-hosted? Anyone running the B.A.A 5k on Sunday? My roommate Steph and I will be there!

Three Things

Thursday is here and I’m starting to see the end of the work-week tunnel!

We all experience set-backs in life, and lately I feel like I’ve experienced set-back after set-back. I hurt my foot a few weeks ago after spending a whole weekend painting. I stressed over my injury and forced myself to rest and not run, which for a runner, is a very stressful experience. I’m not a good injured person. I get frustrated, angry, and antsier than a two-year old in church. But it seemed to pay off, because I returned to running last Friday and haven’t looked back. I’ve experienced no pain during the run, after the run, and my foot usually feels better in the hours after I’m finished. I do experience a LITTLE tightness in the morning, but after walking around for a few minutes, it disappears. Yay! Looks like I’ll definitely be able to run the 5k this weekend!

After running a couple of times this past weekend, I decided to take it to the streets on Tuesday. I geared up, compression sleeves and all – I felt legit, I felt strong, I felt psyched.

Then my Garmin couldn’t get a signal. Seriously Garmin? I know it’s been a while since I’ve used you, but COME ON! After giving up with my useless technology, I said screw it and just kept going. Everything was great, but then around mile two, I had another incident; one even more annoying than the first. I’m going to spare you the details, but let’s just say my intestines hated me. I’ve had GI issues before while running, and it’s a pretty common experience that most runners have at some point in their running career. After cutting out a lot of dairy (specifically milk) from my diet, the problem was diminished drastically. But on this day, during this run, it decided to make an appearance. I ended up walking a mile home and spent the rest of the night back and forth between the bathroom. Not fun.

I felt so defeated. Why was my body acting this way? What did I eat that day that made me feel this way? Why can’t my mind and my body sync up?

Flash forward to last night. It was a new day – I was going to try this again!

I suited up, and made my way out. I waited for my Garmin to crap out on me again, but it didn’t! Signal was reached and I was on my way. It was the best 4.5 miles I’ve run in recent memory. I wanted to go slow and strong and I did! No speed intervals. No tempo or threshold run. Just plain running. I finished at a 9:12 mi/mil pace and didn’t have any GI issues! Success all around!

I can’t get down about these frustrations. In the grand scheme of life and my running career, a couple bonked runs are not a big deal. Two weeks of rest because of a funky foot is not a big deal. There are much worst things in life, and sometimes I have to remind myself of that. I was made ever more aware of that yesterday morning after finding out that they found the body of the missing BC student, Franco Garcia, floating in the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. I run around that Reservoir all the time. I’ve seen his family handing out flyers. I’ve seen the ‘Missing Student’ signs all over light posts. It breaks my heart to know that his family is going through something like this. In the days and weeks moving forward we’ll find out what happened to him, but for now, I’m thankful that everyone in my life is safe and sound. His family is in my thoughts, and I wish that you include him and his family in yours.

So on that note – today, I am thankful for many things, but three in particular are:

  1. Healed foot = 5K is a go on Sunday!
  2. I got to Skype chat yesterday with one of my best friends and old roommate from college, Gabby. She’s in Rome, Italy right now working on her Master’s in Architecture. I miss her dearly, so it was awesome to get to talk to her for a little while.
  3. The health and safety of my family and friends. Anything can happen anywhere and it’s been made more and more apparent to me lately with what happened. Hug your loved ones!

I miss you, Gabby!

Have you ever experienced GI problems on a run? Any tips for combating them? Foods to cut out? How do you deal with frustrating and disappointing runs?

Weekend in Review: Photo Edition

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone had a great Easter/Passover weekend! I spent this weekend doing many things including running for the first time since I injured my foot (so far, so good!), celebrating Steph’s 24th birthday, Easter at Bernie’s parents’ house, and putting a few unwanted holes in walls. Here’s some pictures from the weekend to catch you up a bit.

Photos of Easter in New York via my sister. Missed them!

My Easter in MA with Bernie:

 

How did you spend this weekend? Do anything fun? Share!

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday everyone!

Work has been busy, busy, busy and blogging has taken a back seat over the last 24 hours – so today, I leave you a couple of links that I’m loving/have come across lately for your Friday enjoyment.

1. This weekend I’m FINALLY going out! It’s my roommate’s birthday, so we’re getting gussied up and hitting the bars. It’s the first time I’ve gone out like this since January (?) and I can’t wait.

I hope it involves a lot of arm raises like this:

This gif from #whatshouldwecallme sums it up.

“When I start getting ready to go out”

2. Did you know Titanic is out in theaters in 3D?!

Did you know Titanic had an alternate ending?!?!?! WHAT?!?!

I’m so glad James Cameron didn’t use this. Talk about a horrible way to end the movie! Bernie and I always catch Titanic on TBS every now and again, and he always says, “I hate Rose! I can’t believe she threw the diamond in the water. It’s the worst movie ending ever.” But after showing this to him, I’m pretty sure he thinks the real ending is the best ending ever. Yikes – so bad.

3. Speaking of Titanic, check out this hilarious writer from Jezebel who summarizes the movie for you – so you don’t have to see it.

Happy weekend! Any fun plans for the weekend?

Boston Fever

Boston has been hit with marathon fever!

Every April, the city begins to develop a certain buzz around the famous marathon. Television channels have been running commercials about their upcoming marathon coverage, blog posts and articles are showing up in the local papers, and my neighborhood is FILLED with runners every weekend mornings.

Every year, I seem to miss the marathon for various reasons. The Boston Marathon always falls on Patriot’s Day, a Massachusetts state holiday that commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Schools are closed, city businesses are closed, and some offices are closed. When I was in college, we always had Patriot’s Day off. I always wanted to spend it by making my way to Copley Square to watch the race, but I never made it. School work, part time jobs, and other things always got in my way.

There’s something about the marathon that’s really special to the city. The marathon is such a storied race with a rich history of marathon stories – it’s the world’s oldest annual race, the challenges of Heartbreak Hill, the “scream tunnel” at Wellesley College, team Hoyt (who actually ran the New Bedford Half with me – and I saw them!!), Rosie Ruiz, and much more. It’s awe inspiring to watch the runners push themselves to the limit, both mentally and physically.

This year, my roommate Steph and I are going to watch the marathon for the first time ever! We’ll be watching from the Brookline area of the race. I feel like it’s the perfect location. The runners will have just finished going through Heartbreak Hill, and at the Brookline point of the race, they have about 4 miles left. The runners are going to need all the support that they can get – and we’re going to give it to them!

Steph and I are also running the B.A.A 5k the day before the race and will be attending the Marathon race expo. I’m super excited!! Running races always gets me super pumped about running more, and I can’t wait to be inspired to keep running.

Another story that is part of the famous Boston lore is the story of the first female runner ever to enter the marathon: Kathrine Switzer. In 1967, Kathrine entered the race using the name K.V. Switzer. Not realizing the name was that of a woman, no one noticed and Kathrine ran the race and finished. I saw this NPR quick story and video about Kathrine and learned something I had never known – she was almost physically pushed off the course by a race organizer. Check it out – it’s a pretty amazing story. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 40 or so years since women were allowed to run marathons. It seems that women dominate at running races as much as men these days – it’s definitely an equalizing sport and I love it!

 

Are you running Boston this year or know someone who is? Would you ever want to run Boston?  Have you ever watched the marathon in person? What do you find most inspiring about running?

My 23 Hour Trip

Phew! It’s been a busy couple of days! Sorry for being away this weekend, but I had a whirlwind trip that lasted a whole 23 hours.

I got to see this little face

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to head to my parents’ house in Upstate New York. The reason for this quick trip?

Trading in this baby…

For this!!

Look who’s joining the 21st century!!!

I was super excited to finally get rid of the heavy, useless brick that was my Blackberry. I had it for a whole two years and hated it almost immediately. I got it in that little sweet spot time where the iPhone was available, but it wasn’t SUPER popular yet. The whole concept of playing games with people like Draw Something, or Word With Friends didn’t exist. I liked my Blackberry, but recently with my upgrade due, I knew that I wanted an iPhone 4S. My Blackberry sucked. It froze. It deleted things out of the blue. The battery life was a joke. Time to go.

I even ordered my iPhone case weeks ahead of time in preparation. Isn’t it adorable? I got it on Etsy from the Pretty Smitten shop. The case wasn’t cheap, but it is gorgeous! It’s a quality hard case, and it arrived quickly and easily. Working with Elizabeth was fabulous! I highly recommend her Etsy services.

I’m still trying to figure out my phone – I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of how to utilize it to its full potential!

I also did ‘home’ things. I got my highlights touched up and a much needed haircut. I haven’t been able to find a hairdresser in Boston that I LOVE, so I take advantage of getting my hair done at home. My hairdresser has been cutting my hair for over 10 years, and she’s amazing. I also got a pedicure. It was MUCH NEEDED! Saturday night I met up with an old friend who recently got engaged! Congrats, Amanda!

Sunday morning, I got up at 8am to head back to Boston. On the way back, I decided to stop at Ikea. As you read earlier, Bernie and I finished painting the final rooms of his condo, so it was time to start decorating. Bernie HATES Ikea, but I love it. So I took a solo trip and got a pretty good haul of stuff! I have some plans for the living room!

I got back to Boston around 3:30 in the afternoon. After a quick trip to Whole Foods for groceries and a shower, I reunited with Bernie for dinner. After making dinner, I finally got to sit down!

I’m tired just thinking about this weekend. Glad that I’m home!

Readers: How was your weekend? Do you have an iPhone? Any fun fitness/health apps I should download? Do you play Draw Something or Words with Friends? I do — username: BlondeBostonian

Blue to Brown

Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. the last couple of days, but Bernie and I have been holed up in his condo finishing one of the major project left, painting.

For anyone who has ever bought a new house or rented a new apartment, you know there’s nothing like paint to freshen up a room or change the mood in a house. When Bernie moved into his condo back in October, we knew painting was going to have to happen. So far, we’ve painted the kitchen, entryway, and his bedroom. This weekend, we tackled the living room and the second bedroom. The second bedroom was a HORRIBLE yellow – I’m talking highlighter yellow. After some decision, we settled on a nice dark gray. It looks amazing!

Sunday morning, we woke up exhausted, but we had the largest room left – the living room.

When Bernie bought the place, we knew we wanted to change the blue. The color was nice, but it just wasn’t what we were going for. We settled on a nice golden tan color, which sets off the original molding nicely. Here’s the finished product!

We love it!

This condo redo has been quite the process. When I met Bernie, he was living with his parents outside of Boston and working full time in the financial world to save up enough money to purchase a condo for himself in the city. He worked for years and eventually saved enough money to purchase his two-bedroom condo in Boston that he has now. Searching for the condo was even more of a process. He lost two condos before he finally found this one. I tagged along during the whole search and saw some nice places, and some not so nice places. Boston has a lot of older buildings, so new construction is out of the question, and it’s hard to find older places that have been taken care of properly. The place he eventually bought wasn’t the nicest, but it was in the best area and had potential. Once he moved in, he knew that he wanted to change some things including the bathroom (which was SCARY bad) and the kitchen. At the moment, the bathroom has been completely renovated. It was teared down to the studs and completely rebuilt. It looks amazing. I’ll have to put some pictures up sometime soon. I wish I had taken before photos, but the reno happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to. If I had ‘before’ photos, you could see how much of a dramatic change it it.

I’ve also been involved during all the renovations, helping Bernie select tiles and paint colors. It’s been really fun. I was the girl whose father bowed down to the temple that is This Old House and who could fix anything in our home. He built our back deck completely by himself when I was younger and it still stands strong to this day. I love renovations.

With me moving in this summer, I’ve been helping him decorate and make his condo more of a home. Now with the paint on the walls, we have a blank canvas to make our own. I’m so proud of Bernie for figuring out what he wanted at such a young age and working his ass off to get it. I know he complains sometimes about how expensive it is to be a homeowner (well, duh babe) but he has a lot to be proud of. At 24, he’s a homeowner. Not many people can say that.

We started off the decorating by hanging the first photo in the living room – one of our favorite pictures from our trip to Italy blown up on a canvas.

Readers: How was your weekend? Do anything exciting? Have you ever done home renovations/home improvement projects? Tell me about them!