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St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, Visitors, and Charlotte

I started to write this post after St. Patrick’s Day but never finished it and didn’t post it. Since then we’ve done what feels like a lot so hopefully this won’t be too long! I don’t want to forget anything.

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Sometimes four day work weeks feel longer than regular work weeks, and that was definitely last week for me. I was so tired on Friday that I got into bed right after school, ate dinner, and then went back to bed. I felt way more rested when I woke up on Saturday!

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It was so nice out last week that we finally got to play tennis after not playing for a few months. I was REALLY rusty so I’m excited to start playing a lot more often.

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Saturday morning was so pretty-  It was sunny and about 50 degrees. I went out for a 4-mile run early before we started to get ready for the parade. It was fun to run around the neighborhood right before because I could watch people set up their floats.

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When I got back from my run I made coffee and watched Netflix for a little while before getting ready. The parade was enormous, it was a 1.5 mile long route and every inch on either side of the street was packed with people, dogs, chairs, food, drinks, and green everywhere. I didn’t know it would be so huge because normally Ocean View is kind of a quiet place! I think we watched for about 2 and a half hours before we went back to the house.

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When we got back we ordered Dominoes, played Kan Jam, and hung out in the back yard until every one wanted to take a nap (mostly me).

Ian and I have a long list of restaurants we want to try, so last night we decided to check one off the list! We went to Longboards on East Beach. The sunset was so perfect!

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I got the Jalapeño Popper Burger and it was amazing, Ian got the fish and chips 🙂

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I couldn’t get over the sunset! After dinner we watched some throwback episodes of Drake and Josh, and I fell asleep right at 11, it felt like a really long day.

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I started of Sunday with a 9 mile run. I like to get it done before 10 so that I feel like I still have the whole day to relax afterwards. Then Ian and I went mountain biking in Newport News. I was kind of nervous because I hadn’t mountain biked in a long time, but it turned out to be a really fun time.

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We waited out the traffic home by going for a walk at a conservation nearby 🙂 I like how Ian is always up to go for a walk even after we have done a lot of other things that day.

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We were excited for the weekend to come because Kylie and Jason were visiting! They didn’t arrive until late on Saturday, so late on Sunday morning we walked to the beach and then explored Fort Monroe before getting lunch and going to a cider house. It was such a nice day out – I hate it when visitors come and then it is rainy and cold.

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Afterwards we went to the grocery store and got stuff to make homemade pizzas. It was so fun hanging out all together, I wish Ian and I had the week off to spend more time with them. But they did stay until Wednesday morning so we went out to eat with them on Monday and Tuesday night too!

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On Tuesday night we went to Grain because it’s our favorite place to get drinks but we had never had the food. When it is warmer out you can eat outside and see the “city” part of Norfolk from above, but it was closed when we went.

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Having them visit during the week made Monday through Wednesday fly by! I was surprised it was already Thursday and I had to get a lot of work done for school before Spring vacation started on Friday.

We left on Friday after work to drive to Charlotte! Unfortunately about an hour and half into our drive something didn’t sound right with my car to Ian, so we turned around and drove all the way home to switch cars. This meant we didn’t end up getting to Charlotte until 3 am.  Ian was a trooper and drove the whole way while I made a bed in the back seat and slept for 4 hours out of the 5 hour car ride. It was better I slept than be awake and grumpy 🙂

Needless to say waking up 3 hours later at 6:30 to run 13.1 miles was NOT appealing. It was hard to pump myself up but I was able to get to the start line, put my headphones in, and see how it went. My stomach and my head both felt off.

Fun fact: this was the first race I ever used a porta potty that they set up on the race course! I’m not actually sure if that was a fun fact or just a fact, but there you go.

The race was beautiful and on a warm sunny day, which helped a lot. We ran on a rail trail through the woods near the prettiest houses I had ever seen. There was an enormous hill at the end which made me angry, but I guess I paid for this!

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The guy who was running in front of me for a while had the best shirt, I want one!

I was really happy and surprised to finish the race in 1:55:56. I made a big mistake of sitting down immediately because as I am writing this I can still barely move from soreness. I was proud of myself for having a rough night but still going to the race and running under 2 hours! I am way too stubborn for not doing the race or quitting early to even be an option. I think this is one of the hardest races I have done.

I am going to take a week completely off of running!

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We went back to the Airbnb to shower and get changed to go explore. Before we left I felt very nauseous and weak, turns out I was very dehydrated. Gingerale, gatorade, and water cured me shockingly fast and I was good to go. We actually ended up going to Ikea before the city because I had never been. I can’t wait until the one in Norfolk opens!

First stop in the city was to get a cold brew coffee. I know I had just been very dehydrated, but I really wanted one anyways!

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I love walking around a place I have never been before because you don’t know what will be around each corner. We found a park that ended up sitting in for a while, and we watched someone get proposed to!

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We walked around some more and found a place to get dinner. I can’t even remember what I ordered but I had a picture of it.

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I thought Charlotte was such a cool city! We both wish we had more time to stay. There are a lot of mountain bike trails so when we come back Ian is going to bring his bike.

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We fell asleep at 9 and woke up 12 hours later. I can’t believe how tired we were just from one late night on Friday 🙂

We got coffee and headed out!

 

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We ended up breaking up the drive home because we visited Anabel at Wake Forest! She showed us campus and got lunch together. It was really nice to see her, Ian’s cousins are the best.

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And now I have the week to myself! I am beyond excited to relax, I might get a pedicure today because of all the racing I have done and maybe get some Spring clothes too. Have a great Monday!!

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One City Half Marathon

It’s March! That means that I have two half marathons this month and I finished one of them today 🙂 On Friday Ian met me at my school and we drove to Newport News to pick up my race bib and shirt so that we didn’t need to drive all the way there on Saturday. There was no race day packet pick up so those were the only two options.

On Saturday I slept in and then did a 3 mile shake out run nice and slow. By the time it was 2:30 we figured we should probably go out and do something. Ian had been wanting to go to Air Power Park, so we drove to Hampton and walked around all the planes they had on display! Ian loved it.

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There was the outdoor part which we drive by all the time and an indoor part which we hadn’t been to see before. It was really fun!

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We went to American Brew for coffee before coming back to the apartment and making pasta for my race the next day!

I woke up at 5:00 and had a cup of coffee and some water, got dressed, and made sure everything was ready to go! I was so nervous because I wanted to beat 1:51. Ian drove me to the start and said goodbye and then would try to find a spot to see me before the finish.

Miles 1-6 felt faster than usual, but pretty good! I stuck with the two guys who were pacing for 1:45 hoping to just stick to them like glue for the whole race. I was doing pretty well and chatting with them but around 6.5 miles there was a hill that they sped up and I just lost them on. I kept them in my sights for the next 3 miles though.

Without the 1:45 group miles 7-9 were harder but I was still keeping the 1:45 group in sight and I had some good music to pump me up. I also saw Ian at mile 8.5 which was so nice because I wasn’t sure if he would be able to find a parking spot and all that! He really pumped me up to get to the finish. Right before I saw Ian I ran by the water stop (with music loud so I couldn’t hear the people) not realizing that they gave me a cup of beer 🙂 I was surprised because it didn’t taste like Gatorade but it surprisingly didn’t taste that bad while running a half marathon at 8am!

Miles 9-13 I dropped to an average of 8:25 miles but as long as I kept my legs moving I knew my time would be okay. I turned the corner to the finish and saw 1:46 on the clock! I crossed the line by 1:47 so I’m hoping that that my chip time will be a little faster. We shall see, but either way I beat my PR by about 5 minutes! I was so proud of myself because I am not good at letting myself be uncomfortable and pushing the pace, but this time I did it and held on. Usually I settle for a normal pace but I was really able to get out of my comfort zone today just knowing ahead of time that it would hurt more (but feel GREAT in the long run).

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After I saw Ian he took a picture under the Victory Arch! After the end of World War I, the arch was built to welcome home the troops at Hampton Roads- it’s really impressive in person. We saw my friends finish their races and then walked around the food trucks and ended up leaving pretty soon because I was so cold! It was only 42 degrees but after a hard race sometimes I feel shaky and cold.

My stomach hurt so bad for a few hours so we watched Netflix for a while until suddenly my hunger came back with a vengeance. We went to the Dirty Buffalo for wings, my favorite! It was so fun to sit with Ian and tell him every single detail of the race (I’m sure he loved that) over lots of food.

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Have a great Sunday, I’ll be getting ready for school today and looking forward to ice cream with cookies tonight!

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Snowless Winter

I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think this was my first winter ever not seeing snow (except for Christmas time in New England). But in Virginia, no snow. Today there was a warning of possible snow/rain mix in the early morning so I’m currently enjoying the first and probably only 2 hour delay for the school year. It’s also my day off from running so I thought I would take this free time to write a post which I’ve been wanting to do for a while!

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This past weekend Ian and I did pretty much nothing since it was so rainy, but on Sunday we finally got to go explore the USS Wisconsin. It’s an enormous battleship that we always walk by downtown. Since we just got our Virginia licenses and they were having a half-off deal for Norfolk residents, it was the perfect long weekend to finally see the museum! Before we went I fit in an 11-mile long run, so by the end of exploring the ship I was suddenly fading. We will definitely go back though!

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On Monday (Presidents Day) I ran 3 miles to shake out from my long run the day before. Then we went to Pourfavor coffee house because I had been wanting to try it so badly. It was a really cute coffee shop but the coffee I ordered was terrible! I also ordered an “old fashion macchiato” to try and be adventurous so that’s probably where I went wrong. Having to brace yourself before each sip was not fun but dang it I was going to get my $4 worth!

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I spent the rest of my Monday getting ready for school (which I had told myself to do on Saturday), watching Netflix, and going for a few walks.

Even though March is going to be a long month, I am running two half marathons! One is the first Sunday in March in Newport News, and the other one is the last Saturday in March in Charlotte, NC.  We are going to stay at an Airbnb and explore Charlotte for that weekend which I am so excited about. It’s my first weekend of April vacation so I wanted to do something fun before I hang out at home for that week. Hopefully we’ll have some visitors in the middle of the month too!

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Orientation, Fort Monroe, and a Visitor!

My view at the moment, I have found out that I love love love nitro cold brew coffee! It tastes like there is cream even though it is just black coffee. The best.

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Since we last talked I have been to a week and a half of new teacher orientation! It has been helpful and rather overwhelming (so much information!) but I feel as excited and nervous as ever. I think during these orientations they talk a lot about worst case scenarios, which can be alarming to imagine, but it is a good idea to be prepared for difficult situations. I feel ready to make a lot of mistakes but also have a few successes too 🙂 It will be a year full of learning.

One of the best things about this week was meeting my mentor at school. She is awesome and I can already tell how she will be a big support for me this year. She told me to go her to with any questions (even if I think they are dumb), if I need a good cry during the day, or if I need some words of encouragement. When I arrived at my school the first day she was already there and ready with a gift of notebooks, highlighters, pens, pencils, magnets, and an agenda book with the school calendar events already written on the dates 🙂 I felt really lucky and welcome. Next week I will meet the other Spanish teacher that is in our building part-time, and the Spanish teacher from last year! I’m really grateful for those meetings because they said they will bring their lesson plans and resources to help me out. I already know that this year will be so much work outside of school hours, but hopefully that will help a lot.

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Near my school is a beach park where I have gone running every day. I’ve said before that I don’t like running in the afternoon very much, but I’m going to have to get used to it. Luckily this park is perfect because they have changing rooms, bathrooms, water fountains, and tons of shade. 3 miles has been the name of the game lately, just enough to make me feel like I got a good workout but not so long that I get home really late. I have found that running with music at the end of the day is really great for helping me think over some of the things that happened and reflect on the day overall. I’m sure that when I am having tough days at school my runs will be even more essential!

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Today during my run I was thinking about this blog and realized that even though its called “ranting runner blog,” I barely talk about running anymore. I still run basically every day but its not as much as a focus for me right now. I’m not training for any race I and just running because I like the way I feel after and how it helps me think straight. At the moment I feel much more interested in weekend adventures with Ian and friends, meeting new people, and the scary adventure that is teaching! I think I am going to rename it soon, but I want to think of something good 🙂

Speaking of adventures, we went on a few last weekend!

Ian’s friend Danny stayed with us on Thursday and Friday night and it was so nice to hang out with him! We went on a boat tour of the naval base while Ian was at work on Friday and then went downtown at night.

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I had so much fun with them, I can’t wait to have more visitors 🙂

Soon after he left on Saturday it began to downpour, so we went to a cafe and that was our only outing for the day. Nice and relaxing!

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On Sunday Ian and I went to explore Fort Monroe and it was so much more interesting than I had thought it would be. In the morning I ran and Ian biked before we headed north over the bridge! We went to Firehouse Coffee to grab a cold drink before we walked around.

IMG_0533I learned that this was the most southern fort for the Union during the civil war, and we also go to see the prison cell where Jefferson Davis was held (the leader of the confederate army)! There were tons of houses where people lived on the fort and we were just imagining that if there were an apocalypse or something, this would be the safest place to be. All the houses were so beautiful.

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We ended up exploring the fort for 3 hours and I was starving! We always forget to eat breakfast on the weekends and end up eating a big late lunch and a small dinner. Reminds me of how Julia and I used to eat in Spain 🙂

Thank goodness its Friday so we can explore some more!!

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Life Lately

I graduated! We got jobs! We moved to Virginia! Somehow even closer to the beach than we already were on Cape Cod. I feel like life is moving so fast and so slow at the same time.

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Fast: (all of the above) and my brother Matt got engaged! Morgan and I love love love that Lauren will finally be our sister in law!

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Slow: there is still over a month until I begin teaching.

Even though I don’t know many people in the area yet, I know that when school starts I will be wishing for a stretch of time like this to do what I want, so I’m trying to enjoy relaxing when I usually like to be busy.

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Right now I have the time to run everyday, read, walk around and explore, organize for the school year, and spend time with Ian.

Running

I am so not used to running in the humidity like this! I’m slowly acclimating, but like I said, slowly. The first week I ran on my own before I wanted to mix it up. So I’ve been to a few running clubs so far, some quite intense and others more relaxed. I like this mix between workouts and easy runs so I’m going to try and keep going until the summer in over! Today I ran four miles up and down the walkway against the beach and I think I’m slowly getting the hang of where the best places to run are. There are usually sidewalks on long road which is perfect for me. Lately 3 to 5 miles of running has been the sweet spot for me, I’m thinking of doing a half marathon in the spring, but for now I don’t want to put training for a race on top of starting a new job.

Reading

Last week I picked up Gone Girl at the library since I loved the movie and never read the book. I read 100 pages and called it quits. Turns out that read a mystery you already know the end to isn’t very exciting. Although it is well-written and I would recommend it!

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I’m halfway through The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily which is cute and really a light read, and I’m going to start Puddin’ as soon as I publish this post! I just picked out these two randomly so I had no idea what they were about, I was completely just judging by the covers.

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Exploring

Besides reading and running, I’ve been exploring 🙂 – which is ten times more fun when I have Ian with me. But most times during the day it’s just me, so I venture out on my own. Walking down the beach is so nice especially since the sand is so soft and compact compared to Cape Cod beaches- usually I hold my shoes and walk barefoot while listening to a podcast.

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And since we’re so close to the water we can go swimming most days before eating supper 🙂

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Matt and Lauren got us gift cards to four different cafes, which has been great for trying out different places away from our house.

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This past weekend we went to see Antman and the Wasp, I loved it and I was laughing the whole time! We also went to see the Washington D.C. monuments built out of legos downtown 🙂

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So there you go! Basically this has been what life is like lately- We’re just getting used to things and the new area, I feel lucky that I have plenty of time to get ready for my first year ever of teaching! Next week I have orientation and CPR training so I’m excited to see my classroom and meet the other teachers that I’ll be working with 🙂

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A Road Trip Spring Break

Spring Break feels like ages ago now, but I still wanted to put up a post about it to look back on!

I’d say the only bad thing about the vacation was that Ian was feeling really sick the first Saturday on our way to Long Island. We ended up taking it easy that first Saturday and making the journey on Sunday when he was getting back to his normal self! Since we would be sitting around all day Ian drove me to a rail trail so I could run a little bit before! I hate being lazy until I’ve moved around a bit- afterwards I’m all about it.

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I think having that day to relax really helped him, so we got to Long Island around 1 on Sunday, ate lunch, and then drove around. There was lots of traffic because of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in town, but driving slow meant we could look around more! I’ve heard so much about Long Island because Lauren lives there too as well as a lot of my friends from Quinnipiac- it’s weird that I had never been there before last week. I thought it was so cute and there were a few coffee shops that we got to visit.

Sweetie Pies was so cute, I would go there ever day if I lived around there. We also bought two cookies to have after supper! They asked if we wanted the gluten free, vegan, or normal cookies (we opted for the glutenized 🙂 )

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We left for D.C. on Wednesday and decided on parking at a metro station and taking the train in- look how clean it is! Nobody is allowed to eat or drink while on the subway. I’m so used to the Boston subway where basically anything goes.

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The first day we did monuments, and I kept forgetting that Ian hadn’t been before! I loved walking around all day, but wind made it bitterly cold. At least it wasn’t raining. We saw all of the monuments, the Obama portraits, and the White House, and it only took us 12 miles of walking!

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For dinner we went out to tapas, I hadn’t done that in a while and it was a nice change. Brendan and I both got Alhambra beer from Granada, I couldn’t believe they had it so I had to get it!

For our second day in D.C. we planned to be at the Air and Space Museum from open until close. In the morning I had a phone interview kind of thing (it was really hard to find a quiet place, but I did!) and then we were off to Ian’s idea of heaven. I remembered the museum from 5th grade, but it was really fun this time because I had forgotten a lot of it and Ian could tell me anything I wanted to know. The best part about the whole day was seeing Ian love the museum just as much as I thought he would! I don’t think 7 hours was enough time.

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Getting back that night we were so so tired. I was happy that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday would be time to just hang out and explore Bethlehem and Allentown.

Lehigh is so pretty!

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I like going to bookshops with Ian because I can get ideas of what to check out at the library and see what’s new and popular. The one across the river in Bethlehem had a chocolate shop and cafe in the back! It looks so small from the outside but you can just keep going through rooms, I was so confused the first time there.

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Ian said he had never had truffles before?? So we made a stop 🙂

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Then on Sunday we went to Philadelphia for bike racing! I was very tired and so cold and I wondered why I was there haha. But eventually I remembered how Ian was in the cold for 4 hours during my marathon so I owed him one 😉 I also found free and hot coffee so all was well.

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***A side note about coffee: I am doing an environmental research paper for my final project and learned that a lot of coffee cultivation from South America causes deforestation of the Amazon rainforest! Buying shade-grown coffee is much better for the environment and promotes using less pesticides and causes less deforestation. I learned that Gevalia is a really good brand of coffee and is shade-grown. I only just learned this yesterday!***

 

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Ian did great! He said he wouldn’t since he hadn’t had much opportunity to train this winter, but he did so well.

I was so sad Spring Break was over because the next two weeks involved me being a total stress ball.  Teaching exams, research papers, and presentations had my heart rate way up according to my Garmin! I really needed to destress after all of that, after all I’m almost done with college.

I’ve definitely been running more as a way to destress, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s good to have an outlet. I’ve done a few track workouts and have done my longest run since the marathon (6 miles!).

20180403_073545.jpgGetting to run while the sun is coming up is sometimes the best part of the day. I love being the only one awake and done working out before 8am.

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And I got to go home for Easter! I was only there Sunday and Monday, and it felt way too short, but it was nice to see my family. I had wanted to go for a walk with my mom but I must have been really tired because I fell asleep on the couch for 3 hours instead.

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Only about 4 weeks to go until graduation, and so much to do!! Hopefully I will have time to post again soon but I truly have no idea when that might be.

Have a great weekend!!!! 🙂

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President’s Day Weekend

Today I wore a tank top and shorts on my run, and tomorrow it is supposed to be a high of 72 in Amherst! The weather has been crazy to say the least- it snowed a lot on Saturday night, and it is supposed to snow here again on Thursday. I do like the warm weather, but I can’t stop thinking about how unusual and concerning it is. I’ve just walked to the library (doesn’t this picture make it look so daunting?) and am about to focus on some things due tomorrow!

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Let’s backtrack to the start of the weekend though!

I ended up not being able to run on Friday, and the whole day was a little more eventful than we had hoped for. Morgan broke her elbow last week while Amherst was really icy, and her surgery was scheduled for Friday, so we planned the day out and left early to be prepared! On the way there we got rear ended while waiting at a stop light, it was horrible timing. She continued to the hospital with a friend that picked her up while I sorted things out with the other driver. It’s good that I was stopped far behind the car in front of me so that I didn’t hit them. I then met my sister at the surgery waiting room a little while later. She’s so positive, if I broke my elbow I would be an absolute wreck.

I spent about 3 hours in the hospital cafe doing homework after my sister went in, and we were finally able to go back to UMass at 5:30. Erik sent Morgan and I some money to get snacks since we had such a rough day, so we stopped to treat ourselves on the way home 🙂 Also, Morgan hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink anything since dinner the day before so she was starving! Since we had left at 9am it was a long, long day at the hospital- I was so happy to get home, make dinner, watch This is Us and be in my bed again. I didn’t get to run but I decided that I would get in a really good run before work on Saturday morning. I was happy that Morgan’s surgery went perfectly and that everyone in the car crash was okay.

The next day I slept in late, put on some old John Mayer songs, and ran 4 miles! Friday was such a weird day for me, but my run was like pushing a reset button, and I felt so much better afterwards.

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Then I went to The Works for more homework and a coffee. They have the best French Vanilla around!

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I was caffeinated and ready for work – and for Emily’s surprise party I had planned for that night! I was actually really excited for work at the ice cream store because they have new butterscotch brownie and red velvet oreo flavors that I wanted to try (I was right, I knew they would both be amazing). On the way home I went to pick up some balloons, streamers, and a vegan donut at Glazed as Emily’s birthday cake! We had so much fun, I think I’m getting pretty good at hosting people at our house 🙂 Emily wasn’t surprised but she said she can’t be surprised, oh well, I tried.

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I’ll spare the details of Sunday and Monday because it would be way too boring for anyone to read, or for me to write (run –> work –> homework). Lately I’ve been picking up a bunch of shifts at the dining hall at school because Ian and I are going on a mini road trip for Spring Break (New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.)! I want to have plenty of money saved for that week to use for gas and treat ourselves wherever we make a stop. I actually don’t mind because I make the pizzas at Franklin (which is kind of fun) and I get a free meal every time I work! That means I’ve had to buy less and less groceries 🙂 20180218_135303.jpg

Look how different the running path was since the picture before! By Saturday the path had finally gotten dry and safe again, had heavy snow on it all the way until Monday, and now today it is all dry again. Crazy.

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After work on Sunday I watched No Strings Attached at Julia’s house with our friends, which was super relaxing. Justin Timberlake looks so young in that movie!! I almost wish I hadn’t fallen asleep while hanging out but it was nice to take a nap. The funny thing is they made me a coffee, maybe it was decaf??

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Before I started homework and worked on Monday I went for a walk while listening to “Modern Love,” one of my favorite podcasts on Spotify! I really enjoy this podcast because famous actors read essays written by ordinary people who submit them. They are all about love, but they can be about any kind of love (love for sisters, pets, moms, work, grandfathers, friends, sports, boyfriends, anything really!) Some are heartbreaking, some are uplifting, you really never know what you’re going to get with each one. I think its actually hosted or sponsored by the New York Times.

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