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So Long, Farewell Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

11 May

Auf Widersehen?  What the heck is that?

As I have shared before, I am leaving for Australia today!  I will be volunteering for 2 weeks with Conservation Volunteers Australia out of Melbourne.  While I am so excited about this adventure, I will be incommunicato for the entire time, which means No New Blog Posts 😦  Just as I am starting to get in my blogging stride I have to take a hiatus for a couple weeks!  I hope my blog can survive over the next couple weeks and I can get right back into my blogging when I return.  Readers, please stay with me!! 🙂

Before I leave, I want to share a little bit more about my running routines.  Since I run first thing in the morning, I have to grab something small and quick before heading out on my run.  I have tried a few different things from toast to wasa crackers, nuts, milk, cereal, fruit...you get the point!  The thing with running is that for most people, me included, your stomach can make or break runs.  Since you’re moving a lot, eating the wrong thing can lead to nausea or the “rock in the stomach” feeling, neither of which anyone wants for a good hour+ run!  My perfect go-to food before a run = Bananas!

I have tried putting peanut butter on my banana before also, but again, not so good for my stomach.  A plain banana digests well, is still a good high carb fruit, and I’m convinced the Potassium helps wake me up! This is just works for me though!  Everyone is different, and it’s important to figure out what is best for your body and your stomach if you plan on running a good distance.  If I don’t have a banana readily available, I usually do a Kid’s Cliff Bar – Choco Chip is my fav!  Tastes just like Chips Ahoy chewy choc chip cookie in my opinion!

And not that I’m trying to convert anyone to my Banana eating ways, but the website Skinny in the City did a great information banana write up today!  Read about all the great benefits of bananas as part of a meal or as a snack!

Here are some more helpful links for how to fuel pre and post run!  Don’t underestimate how important the right kind of foods can help fuel your training and make you a better runner 🙂

Pre-Race Meals

What to eat after the gym

Snack your way to a good workout

My last hooraaah?

7 May

Happy Friday All! I hope everyone had a tremendous end of their work week with plenty of fun weekend plans in the mix!  My boyfriend Patrick is coming to visit me in NY this weekend and I have some fun things lined up for us!  Amongst the normal plans with home town friends I have made, we’re going to head up to Basha Kill Vineyards in upstate NY tomorrow afternoon.  I have heard rave reviews of this winery and it really isn’t too far from where I live, plus they have tasting for $5!!!  Um, I’m there!  Now I am a HUGE wine lover, but Patrick really hasn’t found any wines that he enjoys drinking- he is SO much more of a beer guy, which I love about him, but I am out to convert him a little to my whino side 🙂  I am really looking forward to this afternoon trip!

One of the reasons Patrick is coming to visit me this weekend, besides the fact that he just loves me so much, is because this coming Tuesday I leave for a 2 1/2 week trip out of the country! :0  Where you ask!  Why MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA! This trip is kind of like a last hoorah before law school – even though I know I’m young and have my whole life–> thanks Mom!  I signed up for this volunteer program back in March and waited for a while to be placed and details figured out, and here I am now mid-May getting my stuff together for a 2 wk venture into the outback.  Melbourne is one of Australia’s bigger citied located in the south-eastern part of the country.  It’s about an 1hr flight from Sydney.

When I was in college I was between studying abroad in Rome or Melbourne.  The two cities are just SO different, but both had such appeal for me.  I ended up choosing Rome, which I know was definitely the better option for me, but since then it has really been a priority of mine to make sure I get to Melbourne…and here I go!  Patrick actually studied abroad there for 5 months, so I’ll have a great long distance travel guide.

It’s gong to be what I’m doing in Australia is what makes this trip so different from anything I have ever done before!  Since the majority of my peers are either poor, don’t have enough time to take off…umm yea those are the only two problems, I had to figure out a safe way to travel on my own.  So I’m volunteering with Conservation Volunteers Australia while I’m there and will be with a group of peers doing various environmental conservation projects while there.  This is literally the craziest thing I have ever done in my life!  Needless to say, I am a very nervous about this far from home and doing this kind of solo, but I also know it will end up being one of the best experiences of my life!  I just have to remember that on my 30 hour plane ride EEK!

What is the scariest/coolest thing you’ve ever done?!  How did you deal with the scary?!

For your entertainment, I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of Melbourne…

Things I Love

28 Apr

If you’re reading this blog, then you and I are probably pretty like-minded about our interests (ie: food, health, running).  Some days though, the regular ole’ things you love just seem 100x better and you’re reminded just HOW much you love them!  For me, today is one of those days.

Thing #1 I love=running in the morning!  Now I genuinely do LOVE running as a whole- the sound of my feet on the pavement, my breath and heart working harder and harder, my muscles aching feeling great as I stride through mile to mile.  But I love all of these sensations so much more when I am running first thing in the morning rather than in the afternoon or evening, and I just don’t know why!  I completely understand why people – myself included – find it kind of stressful to know that the very first thing you’ll be doing in the morning is rolling out of a peaceful slumber and within 30 min pounding the pavement like a mad man or woman, but for me, it is more stressful to have a run looming over my head all day.  I think I just get nervous that something will come up and I won’t be able to get in the type of run I want, or I’ll get burned out by the day’s activities and won’t want to go, PLUS I do carefully plan my meals around my runs to make sure I am properly nourished before and/or after a good workout, and much more thought has to go into my day’s meals if I run later.  I have successfully gotten into and love a routine of working out first thing in the am, and I think this is just the BEST discovery about myself I could have had!  Getting my run done first thing promises that I will feel energized and happier (thank you endorphins) throughout the day.  I love the feeling of my increased heart rate and flexibility, and even better, the appetite that comes along with a good morning run is just FUN to have!

Item #2 = The state of Pennsylvania!  This is a bit odd, I know 🙂  As a girl born and raised in the great state of New York, I never thought I would feel such loyalty and love for my neighboring state.  I know that part of it comes with being a Penn State grad (DUH), but even after graduating and moving to DC, it wasn’t NY that I missed, but Pennsylvania!  As I drove from my hometown to Philadelphia yesterday to visit my boyfriend for a couple days, I had to pass through a lot of country sides, 2 lane roads, and slower-than-should-be-allowed speed limits, but instead of being annoyed and/or rushing through them, I rolled down my window, turned off the radio, and simply enjoyed all of my surroundings.  One might say, I was actually ‘taking time to stop and smell the roses’ in a sense.  Whatever you want to call it, on my entire ride down to Philly, and since being here, I just realize how much I love everything about the state – from the urban areas of the cities (Hello Temple Law!) to the farms that take up the majority of the state, and of course, to the sprawling PSU campus in the middle…there is just something about PAthat makes me happy, and dare I say, makes me feel home?

Thing #3 I love today = enjoying coffee in coffee shops!  Since beginning my unemployment, it has been my goal to at least once a week enjoy a leisurely afternoon or morning in a coffee shop.  I want to take time to just indulging in a good coffee, cappuccino, latte, chai, whatever it may be, and play on my computer or read a good book.  As easy as this sounds, its been kind of hard to get in because I have been doing a lot of traveling to visit friends and on settling in back home.  Even though I am in Philadelphia over the next couple days visiting Patrick who is at work, I am currently sitting in a Saxby’s working on this blog and enjoying a delic coffee (with a free sample of a cinnamon roll).  Somehow this combination just embodies what true relaxation is for me, and after a windy and hilly run this morning (see below), there is nothing else I want to do 🙂

On to the run I mentioned…  Now it is the end of April and for some reason the Northeast cannot get itself out of March weather!  I decided to go out for a run at about 10 am, after Patrick went to work and my banana was semi-digested, and it was 45 degrees out with wind gusts up to 40 mph – and believe me they went up that high!  I have never run in Patrick’s neighborhood before, so I made a lax route on walkjogrun.net  to follow so I wouldn’t find myself going in circles and/or LOST in the unknown territory.  I ended up going 5 miles in about 43/44 minutes.  I could have gone longer because after working up a sweat in the chilled air, I felt more than ready to go!  But I had an impending lunch date with the boyfriend that I knew I would be ultra, rather than slightly, late for if I kept going.  So I stopped , did some stretching and core exercises, and was running (again!) out the door in 15 minutes, which could be another PR for me haha!  Now, if you know anything about the Manayunk area of Philadelphia, you also know that it is unbelievably hilly!  The streets are old and narrow, which gives it a great “feel,” but no matter which way I ran this morning, I was always going up one hill or down another.  This definitely kept my body and mind guessing!  I may have been cursing up the insane Green Lane incline, but all in all, it was such a fun and different work out!  Though I won’t be repeating it for a while.

When you travel to a new/unknown place, how do you plan out/go about your runs outside?

Next chapter please

10 Apr

So the momentous occasion of my LAST DAY on the job has officially come and gone.  I have literally been counting down the minutes until I could walk out of my law firm since January 1st.  It’s not that the law firm where I workED was a particularly bad place, in fact, I love so many of the people I have worked with and know that I will remain friends with them for years to come.  On top of that, working in a this law firm solidified 100x over the fact that I definitely want to go to law school!  It was just the actual position I held at the firm that drove me insane in so many ways.

I went into the position of Legal Assistant with more of the “legal” part in mind, when in fact my job was a little too “assistant” heavy.  I worked for a wonderful group of attorneys who were intelligent, polite, and thoughtful, which I know is more than most legal assistants can say about lawyers they work for.  I came in to my job wide-eyed and ready to learn all about legal research/jargon/dealings etc etc etc. and I did get a little dose of this, but mainly my job ended up being a combination of secretarial duties, which just happened to take place in a law office, and personal assistant for the “big shot” lawyer I worked for.  I’m sorry, filling out your personal health insurance papers and faxing your travel agent details for your next trip to Mexico wasn’t exactly what I was expecting when I took this job.

Now I am full aware of paying my dues as a young female right out of college, but with absolutely no room for growth in my job, the day-to-day tasks mentally drained me, and the working world left me feeling unfulfilled, under-appreciated, and slowly getting dumber by the day!  With no real challenge or project to work on to show my skills and knowledge, I felt like I was losing a part of me.  I knew this was not going to change anytime soon, so instead of sitting around and sulking about it, I made a plan of action and decided to quit my job early and use the couple of month before law school to do things that made me ME!

So yesterday was my official last day and the whole day was kind of surreal.  It wasn’t until I was putting my pen away at about 5:45 pm did it hit me that I would no longer have to sit in this cubicle aka “cube” again.  It was definitely bittersweet to say goodbye to so many wonderful people, many I may never see again 😦 but I didn’t even cry (and I’m a crier!) when leaving because I know it is the right decision.  I am so happy I took an active role in my life and happiness and made this move.  I am also soooo looking forward to what I have planned over the next couple months (details to come later) that it is hard to be sad.  Now the people I am closest with at work and have become my best friends in DC, I know their goodbyes will be tear-filled over a couple of glasses of vino, but that isn’t until Monday night…so let’s hold off!

I don’t think anyone is out there (yet!), but have you ever done something a little selfish for your own sanity/happiness? Feel guilty?

Me at my cube on the last day 😦

Last cup of Flavia at work (I will not miss you!)

My Very First Post

8 Apr

First off, I have to say that I NEVER thought I would be a blogger.  I never understood the appeal of blogging or reading others’ blogs.  I didn’t even know how the heck someone would find a blog in the mysterious Land O’Blogs!  This world was completely unknown to me until just a couple months ago…that is until I stumbled upon (read: was bored and doing nothing at work) a blog that was dedicated to so many items that I find important in my life.  The blog was Runner’s Kitchen and I have to personally thank Megan for, not only acting as my gateway to blogging, but also for being a tremendous resource in the running world!  I started checking back with this blog daily, and then started clicking on other blogs on the blogroll, and then more from there…and before I knew it, I was in the blog world!

I began following these blogs religiously and they have since motivated me begin writing my own blog.  In an attempt to not be repetitive, I’ll direct you to the “About” part of my blog to learn more.  So here is goes…

Wish me luck!