Christmas, Hot Chocolate, and Presents

I think all the holiday energy caught up with me today because my run felt so bad. Lately I have been having really great runs, but today was not the day. That’s okay, it happens! So I’m spending the rest of the day being pretty lazy, it’s Erik’s last night home in Sandwich so I’m soaking up the family time while I can.

But let’s go back to the 23rd! It was a beautiful, cold, and sunny day. We woke up before the sun to head to Scituate to remember Papapaul. To be honest I didn’t listen much to the mass, but instead I was using that half hour to let my mind think solely and completely about my grandpa. I like dedicating that time to him and trying to remember all the things about him! Just like last year, we all headed to Sam’s afterwards for breakfast.


I ordered two chocolate chip pancakes (what else would I get), but everyone’s egg dishes looked really yummy, maybe someday I will switch it up!


I went for a 5.6 mile run when I got home and then went to work! Unfortunately I had to work on Christmas Eve too, but Ian and Tristan came to bring me a holiday drink to make the day a little more festive.

After I got out at 5 the festivities began: we played a fun game that Vivian taught us and ate and talked a lot!


We tried to take some nice sibling photos:img_0768img_0766img_0765

And my grandma liked watching us all make an attempt at the game Vivian had taught us!


I was really tired so it was another hot chocolate and bed for me


And then is was Christmas!!!!

We didn’t open presents until 11 when my mom and my grandma returned from church, but it was well worth the wait! I think Vivian may have exploded if she waited another second. We fended off our present-hunger by opening stockings first, and when it was time we gave each other our Secret Santa gifts. Everyone did a really good job, Morgan had me and got me a little traveling backpack and a selfie stick– perfect! I think Matt liked my gift for him: a new cutting board and a salami and cheese sampler. He is switching apartments and I knew he needed a new cutting board 🙂


Then we all played with our toys, Morgan and I went for a run (4.6 miles for the day!), and again we ate a lot of food!


It was the perfect day, we said goodbye to Marykate and Vivian before I went over to see Ian and his family. They were going for a sunset hike, which I didn’t take any pictures of! They had a great Christmas too, and Ian finally got to know that we got him tickets to visit me for a week on his Spring break!! That secret has been kept for way too long, I’m pretty proud of myself for not ruining it. I’m not super into jewelry, but Ian gave me a really simple bracelet that I love and probably will never leave the house without it.


Then Ian came over and everyone drank a lot of champagne and wine before we went to bed!


And yesterday I went for a quick 3 mile run and then we went to the beach for some family photos! My dad and sister have the real ones, but I have some randoms:


Then Morgan, Erik, Christine and I went to Fisherman’s view for the first time! We just got some apps and they were really good 🙂 We weren’t crazy about the carrots on the nachos though, but they’re a seafood place so nachos aren’t quite their specialty.


Then we took naps and then saw Rogue One, but I won’t spoil that here!!!

Last night we watched the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and we were laughing so hard, it seemed so ridiculous to us (and the filming was so old)!!



5 Semesters Down, 3 to Go!

img_0716I made it, my brain hurts, but I made it! This was without a doubt the hardest semester yet of my education, and I feel pretty good about it. I sent in a final essay last night after an exam, and I thought I would feel relaxed and relieved, but I still feel like I should be writing something or studying for a class. There was so much constant work over the semester, it feels too weird to just be done. Since I am taking less classes in Spain, I was filling up on my difficult linguistics and Spanish courses over here, it was a lot of work but very worth it. Its nice to know that I can handle so much on my plate when it seems like WAY too much!


This semester included five very different and difficult classes, tutoring in Holyoke, visiting friends, fitting running in, applying to internships (and getting an offer for one!), getting everything for Study Abroad in line, planning Thanksgiving (thank-you Uncle Vincent…), going to a model UN conference in D.C., running two different 5ks, one half marathon, securing a house for next year, and trying to find a bit of time for myself. I like my time to myself to be while I run, and so far in 2016 I have run 1,114 miles 🙂 That’s a lot of time to think!


It’s crazy to think that when I come back from Spain I will be a senior at UMass. College is absolutely  flying by, I wish I could slow it down just a little bit! With only two semesters left at UMass (and one in Granada), I think I’ve learned a lot about myself. I am a very different person now than I was at Quinnipiac, and I think for the better 🙂 my time management skills are better than ever, I have practiced more public speaking than ever before, I know when to take time for myself, I know when its okay to have a really late night out, I am better about balancing friend groups, and I’ve learned how important it is to reach out to people and stay in touch with friends who are far away! 


BUT… One thing that I see myself still needing work on is how anxious I get over the smallest things. Seriously, the smallest things you would not believe could make me cry. Take this morning, for example. I tend to run further on the treadmill if I cover the distance dashboard with my towel so that I’m not constantly staring at the time and distance being counted. Usually, I look to see how far I ran at the end when I am about to turn the treadmill off and write that down in my running notebook. Today, after running for 35 minutes, I accidentally turned off the treadmill without getting to see how far I had run. It’s embarrassing to say, but I was devastated. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and I quickly got to the locker room before anyone could see the girl crying on the treadmill. It’s such a minor thing that would annoy most people, but I felt like it was about to ruin my entire day. My last day at UMass until next semester, the day I get to go home with my sister, and see my brother- it was going to ruin this whole day! It’s all I could think about for a while, I felt like I had wasted my morning which, of course, is ridiculous.

So I took a step back, and had to look at the big picture. First of all, I could probably figure out about how far I had ran. Second of all, WHO CARES. It’s not like I didn’t exercise because I didn’t physically see the numbers, it’s not like the sun will not rise tomorrow. The holidays are right now, and there are so many other things that I should be thinking about. And I somehow I calmed down, on my own (which was really a surprise to me). I don’t do well AT ALL when things don’t go according to my plan, and I feel bad because it must be so bothersome for other people. Ian tries so hard to get to my house the exact minute that he said he would because on certain days I get so stressed out if he doesn’t. Writing this down it seems so stupid, but in the moment I feel like my whole day depends on it. Sometimes I get nervous that stuff like this will happen in Spain (because it will, life doesn’t go how you plan it, ever). But I hope I learn how to better navigate these issues, and I think I will! 

This is a very scatterbrained post, so I’m sorry, but finals season has left me feeling rather brain dead! I can’t wait to go home with Morgan today to hang out and relax for the holidays 🙂

PS Michael and I went to the mall to go Christmas shopping and did a terrible job (aka we bought nothing)!!


Zumba, Miles, Snow, and 6 Winter Running Tips

This week was fast and rather uneventful, but that can be a good thing right? 

I was quite tired after the hot chocolate run, but we had promised our friend Amanda we would attend her Zumba class later that night! So at 5:15 I found myself dancing around to Spanish beats at the gym and it was a lot more fun than I had anticipated. I can be really boring with my workouts (a.k.a I run everyday… and that’s it…) so I was grateful that my friends got me to mix it up. It actually made my arms rather sore the next day! I wish I had gone earlier in the semester because I would’ve gone every Sunday, but there’s also next year 🙂 Please enjoy this blurry picture I took of us before we got started!


If I could describe Monday in one word it would be SNOW! It probably snowed from 4am until noon and it was so exciting, I wanted to run in it but I’m so clumsy I knew I would fall on my face if I tried! So I opted for 4 miles at the gym. It was dark when I walked over, and I was the first person to walk on the fresh snow 🙂 I took way too many pictures on Monday but I was so excited about the snow, I might not get to see much of it this year!!


I made it to the gym after wading through all that snow!


I was starving afterwards so I made my own breakfast sandwich with a bagel, eggs, and sausage. So yummy, so filling. I had class, homework, work, and then I just went to bed (not a very exciting day, but pretty good for a Monday!)


Tuesday I slept through all my alarms (but still made it to class!) and ran afterwards, 6.2 miles for the day!

Wednesday was just not happening in the morning for me, I felt exhausted and there was so much to do! I had a group presentation, lots of studying, an exam, and an interview for an internship this summer. But Thursday I was back at the gym for a 5 mile run! I was getting so bored of my old playlist, so making a new one on Wednesday night really helped me to push through those miles.


Bagels with peanut butter have been pretty frequent in my life lately, trailmix too! I impress myself with how many times I have already used my new mug 😉


And I’ve just finished up a 4.2 mile run in this chilly weather! I just knew I couldn’t handle a treadmill run today so I sucked it up, dressed warmly, and was out the door by 7am. I didn’t want to run today at all, but afterwards I’m always so glad that I did! The weather is getting down to the single digits next week so I don’t think running outside will be in the cards for me, gotta get those outdoor miles in while I can 🙂 I’m hoping to do one long run this weekend but we’ll see what my energy is like after studying for finals…!



This morning while I was freezing my butt off, I was thinking of all the tips I have picked up while running in the winter for the past four years! Here are a few of them 🙂

  1. Staying hydrated: it’s so easy to forget in the winter that you still need to drink a lot of water! Last week I was really bad about this and I did feel dehydrated, so lately I have been drinking hot green tea when I get back from running. It’s still pretty much just water, but it’s nice and warm 🙂IMG_0548.JPG
  2. Run with someone: It is really difficult to stay motivated to run in the winter when all you want to do is take a nap in front of a fire, but if I make plans to run with someone I don’t like to back out! I go to running club and that gets me to run in the cold most days. It makes being lazy the rest of the day feel so much better.
  3. Clothing: everyone is different in how hot/cold they like to be while exercising, but I think I am somewhere in the middle! I don’t like to wear gloves unless it is absolutely frigid outside (below 25 degrees for me) because me hands heat up really quickly. My favorite way to deal with clothing is to wear layers, and if I need I can take a jacket off and tie it around my waist. I also feel most comfortable wearing ear warmers, but not a full hat because it’s just my ears that get too cold!
  4. Get into warm clothes with socks and slippers as soon as you are done!
  5. Run closest to noon as possible: I can’t really do this because of my schedule, but the sunlight helps to keep you much warmer and it is easier to be spotted during a midday run.
  6. Use the treadmill: if it’s too cold outside or too icy, don’t risk it! I would way rather have a shorter run on a treadmill than get sick or fall and hurt myself for a longer period of time.

Running, Cookies, and a 5k!

December, let the festivities begin!! Well first I need to work and take finals and all that fun stuff, but there is so much to look forward to this month 🙂  (aka Erik comes home for Christmas!)

Wednesday and Thursday were early mornings (by choice). I don’t know what it was, but I was loving the treadmill this week! Maybe it was the cold weather and the darkness? That would be as good guess!

On Wednesday I did a fast 3 miles and cooled down with a walk around the track. I think walks are so underrated!! I wish I could go on a long walk every day but I just don’t have that much available time. I got a coffee for the walk back from the gym, it looked rainy and gloomy like this all week!


Thursday I did a slower 4 miles. I felt like getting outside later on Thursday, so I did another 4 later on, ending with 8.2 miles for the day, that felt good 🙂

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It was all about huge salads this week too! I love putting sunflower seeds on top with crumbled blue cheese, yummmmm. I think I had at least 4 salads this week that looked exactly the same.


Friday I slept in waaay past my alarm, so I went on a 5 mile run in the afternoon instead, and then was in the library with Lindsey all afternoon! There was so much to do even though all I wanted was to take a nap. Later on we decorated sugar cookies and mason jars, CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!


Cue more homework and studying for me 😦

On Saturday night we went to Northampton to pick up race bibs for the hot chocolate run!! We also went window shopping which turned out to be really fun (even though we didn’t buy anything). I wished I could buy all the cozy sweaters and socks that I saw. But it was helpful because I saw a lot of ideas that I will use for my secret Santa 🙂 I loved seeing all the lights up and smelling everything Christmas! Afterwards Lindsey and I watched Love Actually, ate dessert, and fell asleep.


We woke up early and headed to the Hot Chocolate 5k for Safe Passage! The raced fundraises for an organization that addresses domestic violence, such an important and great cause! It was really quite cold but once we got moving I felt okay. There were two big hills on the course, but I think I took them really well. I wish I had worn something more festive, people were doing the race in onesies, costumes, bells, hats, and all I had on was boring old running clothes! Next year I’ll do something more Christmas-y. I finished in 24:17 which was a pretty good time for me! I was planning to run 8 minute miles, and ended up running 7:48 minute miles 🙂 I was really happy with that time.


When we crossed the finish line we were handed our mug, I think they are so cute, I can’t wait to use it!


Then we were off to Starbucks for one last treat before last-minute Sunday studying began. Lindsey got an amazing looking breakfast sandwich that I was so jealous of…


Later on Molly and I are going to hit up a Zumba class! But for now, my view will be like this for a few hours :/


Wish me luck!!