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?

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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!

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

Irish Eyes are Smiling

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone! Whether you’re Irish or not, you’re honorary Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

While most people my age associate St. Patrick’s Day with drinking and green beer, St. Paddy’s Day is really a religious and cultural holiday that was originally an official feast day (thus the eating and the drinking). St. Patrick was born in Britain in the fourth century, and at age 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and was taken captive as a slave in Ireland. According to him, God spoke to him in a dream and told him to flee to the coast and take a ship back to Britain. Once he returned, he began studying to become a priest. In 432 he returned to Ireland as a Bishop and began to preach Christianity in the traditionally polytheistic Ireland. He used the clover to explain the holy trinity (father, son, holy spirit) to the pagan Irish, which is where the association with the clover and Ireland came from. The reason we celebrate on March 17th is because that is the date of St. Patrick’s death.

In my family, St. Patrick’s day was always special. My father’s family is 100% Irish with origins along the southern coast of the country. 10 years ago, my parents, my sister, and I went to Ireland to do genealogy research and to visit. We visited a few towns that my family is from including Kerry, Cork, and Kilkenny. It was beautiful – the greenest grass you will ever see in your life.

When we were younger, my mother would always make homemade soda bread and corned beef and cabbage (not an authentic Irish meal – very much Irish-American) and my father would blast Irish folk music. In fact, I remember my father blasting Irish drinking songs and folk music all the time as a kid. Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Chieftains.

 

Growing up, being Irish was something that was always talked about in a very proud way. My paternal grandmother, Nana Sis, was the Irish matriarch of our entire family (Irish families are VERY matriarchal).

Nana Sis and my sister

She was very proud to be Irish and so was her husband, Papa Chuck. He used to talk a lot about how crazy these Irish folks are for thinking that returning to the ‘home country’ was a good idea (during the late 90’s and early 00’s, there was a push for Irish Americans to return home and live in Ireland). He used to say, “They left because they were god-damned starving from no food! And now they want to go back!? Why? There’s nothing there! Unless they want to become farmers. Stupid.Opinionated – that’s my family.

Papa Chuck, Nana Sis, my Aunt Mary, and my dad!

Holidays were spent eating a ton of food, and then communing around the table with Jameson shots and Bailey’s in little glasses. Story upon story would be told; the adults progressively getting louder and more boisterous as the bottles empty.

Nana Sis and Papa Chuck are no longer with us, and their absence is definitely felt at certain times of the year, March 17th being one of them. I’m lucky that this year I’ll actually get to see my parents (albeit for a short period of time) today! They’re headed to town to come watch the race tomorrow, so they’re stopping in Boston on the way to New Bedford. After 7 months, my mom will finally get to see my apartment, and they’re both going to see Bernie’s condo (and my future home).

 

How are you celebrating today? Does your family celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Is another holiday particularly special to your family?

Them’s Fighting Words

Who’s excited for the Super Bowl?! Patriots fever has hit New England. All the media outlets in Boston have been talking about it non-stop. Even the “make way for duckings” statues are ready. Someone put Gronkowski t-shirts on them. So cute!

[photo source]

But while we bow down to the house that Belichick built, Giants fever has also hit New York. This has been made even more apparent to me from an email chain that I’ve been included on this week. My godfather, Bob, is a CRAZY Giants fan. Growing up, I always associated the Giants with “Uncle Bob”. He actually knew a lot of the players and would go to Giants training camp every summer at SUNY Albany. It was religion.

All this week, he’s been sending out photos of himself with past Giants “Super Bowl heroes”. I think someone is getting pumped for the game. I thought I would share with you guys some of the photos.

This is my uncle Bob with Harry Carson, Hall of Famer and #53 on the ’86 Championship team.

Here he is with Mark Bravo in Nov. 1986 before Superbowl win.

Here he is with George Martin in August 2006 at training camp. Note that he’s wearing the Super Bowl ring on the right hand.

Finally, here is Uncle Bob with Free Safety Myron Guyton.

So there you have it – Uncle Bob’s photos so far. I think he’s trying to intimidate me and my team, but it won’t work. Someone will have to be victorious on Sunday, while it’s going to be a close game, I think it will ultimately be the Pats. Sorry Uncle Bob.

 

Who do you think is going to win the big game? Have you ever met a football player?

2011: A Year in Review

Wow, 2011 has come and gone in such a flash! Things have changed quite a bit in the last 12 months. Here are some of my highlights:

NYE 2011: Spent ringing in 2011 with some of my favorite people
Late January: Celebrated my 23rd birthday at The Harp
February: ALMOST saw my beloved Northeastern Huskies beat Boston College in the Beanpot ice hockey tournament on Valentines day. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until next year.
March: Celebrated St. Patrick’s day, Boston style

April: I studied by butt off and I finished my final class of my undergraduate career!
Early May: I graduated from Northeastern!
Late May: I spent Memorial Day weekend on the Cape with my favorite people
June: We celebrated the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup with a ridiculous parade downtown. I had the best seat in the house!

June: I PR’d in the Freihofer’s Run for Women in Albany and was in the paper!
July: Celebrated Bernie’s 24th birthday dressed like a fool for pub golf around BostonJuly/August: Bernie and I traveled for two weeks to Italy, France, and Spain

August: I packed up my college apartment that I had for two years, and Bernie’s offer on a condo gets accepted after 6 months of searching!
September: I moved! And Bernie and I celebrated our official 1 year anniversary
Late September: I ran the Northeastern Alum big dog 5k for the second year in a row.
Early October: Bernie moved into his new condo, and demolished his bathroom — he’s a proud homeowner!

October: Bernie passed his series 6 exam and he began studying for his series 63
Early November: Bernie passed his series 63 exam!
Mid November: My friend Lauren and I held our second annual She’s the First fundraiser, Boston Gives Back, and raised almost $1,700!
December: I started my blog, Blonde Bostonian

Wow, quite a year. There have been so many changes this year – from graduating college and joining the working world, Bernie becoming a homeowner at 24, and traveling the world – I cannot wait to see what 2012 has to offer. There have been some pretty rough bumps along the way, but I’m going to try to focus on the positives in 2012. I’m slowly starting to figure out this whole post-graduate thing: it’s a work in progress.

Happy New Year!

And thank you for reading and joining me on my journey so far.

The Christmas Rundown

 

Christmas feels like it came and went in such a flash this year. I’m now back at work, which will be somewhat deserted this week – no rest for the weary! It did feel good to be back home in Boston. As Bernie and I relaxed last night watching Pawn Stars and American Pickers, he turned to me and said, “It feels good to be home.” Amen.

Here’s a quick rundown of Christmas! I woke up bright and early on Christmas morning with the intention of completing scheduled run number 2 of 2. I’m glad I did – the roads were completely empty. Running down the middle of the road? YES PLEASE! I then headed back home and showered and got ready for the Christmas morning cinnamon buns (or what we call ‘sticky buns’) and coffee.

We’re the type of family that has way too many ornaments; they never all fit on the tree. My mom goes all out every year with decorations!

Then it was time to open presents! This year I got lots of running gifts, including like a million pairs of my favorite Thorlo socks and my Garmin 405!!! I can’t wait to use it!

Mom got a lot of cooking-related gifts this year (not planned by me and my sister). She loved them. She finally can replace her 25 year-old cookie sheets. I didn’t realize she got them as a wedding shower present!

Dad got the new Jon Stewart book and a sweatshirt. Alie and I both ended up getting each other scarves. Apparently great minds think alike. She also got scratch tickets, but no winners! 😦

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!