I heard about this story late this afternoon, and I’ve had a pit in my stomach ever since.

A 31 year old woman was attacked this morning on her early morning run.  Thank goodness she is okay and was not hurt, but this shit is scary.  This poor woman.  My same age, running the same route I’ve run before, at the same time of day.  Granted, I haven’t set foot to the pavement in an embarrassing amount of time, but this used to be my MO.  Not all too long ago, I’d wake up super early, same time as this young lady, 5am.  Suit up, put on my little blinking light attached to my shorts or capris, kiss ManFriend goodbye, and off I’d go for a five to eight mile run, several mornings a week.

What scares me isn’t only that this is so close to home for me, not just geographically but in the sense that it literally hits close to home.  I’ve run these streets before, been in this same position, and yet, this happened to her.  It’s not fair, and it’s scary to think what could have happened if this girl hadn’t yelled at the top of her lungs and scared this creep off.

I’m not sure if it were me, if I’d have the wherewithal to react quickly in such a situation?  I like to think that I’m very aware of my surroundings.  I try to be as safe as possible, but the scary truth is, you just never know what could happen.  And hey, this area is known as “safe.”  Okay.  As you can read in the article, Newton is ranked 5th safest town in the US, but it just goes to show, this stuff can happen anywhere.

It’s a big eye opener for me.  I’ll definitely think twice about running alone early in the morning from now on.  ManFriend was always hesitant to see me leave so early by myself, but I’d always assure him that I’d be fine.  Maybe the buddy system wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  And running with a brighter light.  And maybe a cell phone.  Mace?

These kinds of stories have always freaked me out.  Breakins, attacks, stuff like that.  I’m a hypervigilant person as it is, but I suppose one can never be quite aware enough about these kinds of things.  I thought at the very least I would share this story here with all of you.  I know I don’t talk about running very much anymore, but at one time it was a very big part of my life, and I know a handful of people here are runners as well.  That being said, you don’t have to be a runner to have this strike a chord inside of you.  I hope that this will maybe even be a little bit of an eye opener for all of you too.  Be careful.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Choose to do your fitnessy things, be it a run or a morning walk with your dog, when it’s a little lighter out.  Stick to well-lit areas, carry a cell phone, always tell someone where you are going so that they know your usual route, and when you plan on being back.  Keep an eye out for anything that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  If something seems a little off, listen to that.  Listen to your gut.  Run into the Dunkin Donuts and just hangout for a few minutes if you need to, call your significant other or a friend to come and pick you up.  All of these things… they could make a huge difference.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer here, but this story has been stuck with me all day, and I thought that maybe this would be a good opportunity while reminding myself about the key things we can do to try to maintain some sense of safety, to remind all of you as well.

Big big group hugs all around for safety and happiness and laughter and kittens and gumdrops and the works.

Do you have any tips on how to stay safe when you exercise outside?

check in

Well looksie here; I haven’t updated this running blog of mine in two months!
You know what?  That’s pretty much because I haven’t ran in two months.  TWO MONTHS OF NO RUNNING!
Which is mostly true, but not 100% true.  There was the time off that I took between Thanksgiving and the end of my social life, ie: studying for finals last semester.  But then there was that (albeit very) brief stint wherein I tried to become buddies with the treadmill for a few solid weeks during my month break.  This was just alright for me, as I’m a pretty big hater of any running done not on the road, but I toughed out it a bit, and I even added in some weight training again.
Oh yes I did!
And all of this was cool for a few weeks there, when I had a little extra time on my hands.  It was also nice to mix it up a little bit with some other cardio and not just running, which is what I was accustomed to for the past nine months prior. 
When the New Year rolled around, my co-workers decided they wanted to do The Biggest Loser.  And they decided they wanted me to be their very own personal Jillian Michaels.  Which I guess is supposed to be… flattering?, and all, but here’s news:  A, my abs don’t look like this:
and B: I’m not a militant trainer and ALSO, I hate yelling.
And also, I prefer Bob:
(Even though Bob prefers other Bob’s.  Did you know that?  And while we’re at the education part of this post, did you know that I might have better luck with Jillian, than Bob?)
More Bob:

Bob getting his yoga on.

 I like Bob.
ANYWAY, what I’m getting at in this winded post is, I miss running, and working out, regularly.  I’ve been missing it since school started back up, and now with me posing as Jillian at work until mid-March when this competition ends, it’s really got me thinking that I need some serious exercise back in my life, especially if I’m the one who is supposed to be motivating others to do the same.  Yes, my schedule is kind of crazy these days, and getting up super early to work out before leaving for work at 7:15am is a big feat.  And yeah, I don’t get home most nights until almost 10pm, so, evening workouts aren’t so much an option (and working out at night never really was my go-to anyway).
However, no more excuses!  I’m on a mission to hunker back down again, and at least commit myself to working out 4 days a week.  Three mornings, and one weekend.  Even when I have clinicals every other weekend, I can hopefully still squeeze in a little workout between coming home from the hospital and the time I cozy up on the couch in my jammies with a glass of wine, since that’s the kind of typical Saturday night I crave after a busy week.  Even if I just get home on a weekend night and do an hour of yoga, I’d still feel better than doing nothing.  And soon, it’ll be getting nicer again (when Mother Nature decides to stop dumping snow all over Boston), and I know that will motivate me too.
How’s your Winter training going?

In honor of stuffing our faces tomorrow until we can’t move, I thought I’d take a minute to mention a handful of things that I’m thankful for at this time of year…

  • DVR. Is it weird that I’m listing this as numero uno? It’s not in fact the TOP thing that I’m thankful for in life, but I’d be lying if I said that lately, it’s not right up there. Thank God for it these days, because without it, I wouldn’t know what’s happening with Silver and Teddy on nine-oh, or get to peak at some yummy on Grey’s.
  • My God son. He’s brought so much joy to my life. New York isn’t that close but thankfully it’s not too far for a quick road trip.
  • My grandparents. I took care of the most adorable 91 year old man this past weekend, and it reminded me of how blessed I’ve been throughout my adult life to have the relationship that I have had with my two sets of grandparents. I miss my maternal grandparents every day, especially around the holidays, but I am truly blessed that I had them in my life for 26 years, and grateful for the close relationship we shared. I’m also thankful for my father’s parents, who are still healthy and fairly active at the age of 81 and 82.
  • The ability to laugh at myself. Because I’m kind of a hot mess sometimes. I trip over things, I fall during my runs, I’m not the most coordinated all of the time, and I’m thinking of a million different things at one time most of the time. As such, I mess up sometimes, and if I weren’t able to laugh at myself, I’d be in tough shape. I’m thankful that I’m able to make light and find the funny in most all things. I don’t have time to dwell on the little stuff.
  • My family and friends. This one shouldn’t go without saying, because I truly do feel like I lucked out in this department. I have family near and far that I love more than everything, and amazing friendships that feed my soul.
  • My drive and motivation. Not driving driving, like a car. I’m kind of a terrible driver sometimes, admittedly. But I am thankful for the fact that I have a hell of a lot of motivation and determination these days, which takes work sometimes, but has proven thus far to be so worth the effort.
  • ManFriend (Matt). Of course, I’m thankful and smitten for all the reasons you already might assume, but lately, he’s really outdone himself as far as pulling all this extra weight around our apartment. I’m hardly ever home to cook, and he almost always has a meal on the table. He does the laundry. He cleans. And he puts up with me on my stressful, freak out, crazy days, which happen a bit lately, and for all of that and so much more, I’m thankful.
  • My cat. Last night I was eating roasted broccoli and leftover won ton soup and a side of chicken fingers, and Cosmo came up to me, snuggled into my sweatshirt, and started purring and kneading at my hair. He loves this. Sometimes it’s at inopportune times (like when I’m eating), or usually when I’m trying to write a paper or something, and last night was one of those times. But I didn’t mind, like I sometimes do. He looked up at me, still purring, and right then and there, I felt so thankful for my furry little buddy.
  • Al Roker & Meredith Vieira. This video really gets me. These two ran the NY marathon a couple weeks ago, and everything about this video gives me butterflies. Which I guess means I’m thankful for the two of them? I know this is also an odd one, but gosh darnit, I’m thankful for people like Al and Meredith who show that real people can train and complete a marathon too.
  • All of you. Thank you for stopping by over here and commenting and supporting me and my running and my crazyness on the regular!

Hope you all enjoy the holiday tomorrow, and any turkey trots you might have going on. I know my 5K first thing tomorrow morning will be…interesting, to say the least. These legs haven’t seen much of the pavement since 10/10, so this could be another one of those times where laughing at myself comes in handy.

say cheese

Who knows about cameras?
Not me, that’s who.
If you’ve ever read my other blog (let me know if you want the link to that one), you’ve probably noticed the “why technology drives me to drink” and the “WHY TECHNOLOGY DRIVES ME TO DRINK: IN CAPS” tag on many a post of mine.
I’m not good with techy things.  I curse at my blackberry at least once a day (but that’s more because the thing is on it’s last leg than my ignorance, I swear).  I get the blue screen of death on my lappy at least once per week and I don’t know what to do about it.  I had to buy a whole nursing textbook package for school this semester, to put on my itouch, and in doing so, I wiped out 1,000+ songs.  And then I died.
In short, I’m bad with technology, and it all just kind of pisses me off.
So, on to cameras.
I have a nice little camera.  It’s a Canon PowerShot, that little Digital Elph one.  And it’s blue!  It’s telling me it has 8.0 megapixels.  I don’t understand that, but I’m just trying to give you an idea of what I’m working with here.  Oh, it’s also saying that it’s an “SD1100 IS.”  So, there’s the facts.

what my little badass camera looks like!

And here’s my issue, and where I’m begging you for some help.
I want a new camera for Christmas.  I don’t know what kind to look for.  I need your help.
Can you give me some suggestions?  And please, I beg you, dumb it down for me.  I don’t know what a point and shoot is, I don’t know much about megapixels other than… they’re good?  The more the better?  Maybe it’s the other way around?
Here’s what you should know first, in order to help me.  The thing that I love MOST about my little camera is just that, it’s little.  I can fit it in my purse and even in a small wristlet. 
I take pictures constantly.  I’m the one in my group of friends known for always having the camera, even if it isn’t the top of the line camera, I still get some pretty good shots.  And my camera does take good pictures, but… I want it to take better ones.  Sometimes I feel like the photographs are a little grainy.  Do I need more or less megapixels?  Is megapixel one word or two?  Maybe I need a point and shoot?  Maybe I need to get a life?
Does what I’m looking for exist?  Something small and compact, that takes good, quality, crisp shots?  Or does this mean that I need to suck it up and get the touristy kind of camera that all you food bloggers and elite photographers that I envy so much carry around with you to events?  You guys always take the best pictures, but what I’m saying is, I don’t know if I can do the big camera thing.  Do I have to?  Should I?
Help me.

what’s up

So, here’s what.

Would you believe that I haven’t ran more than one, five mile run, since the Chicago marathon?

So I figured, okay, free pass for say, a week or two after the race. Afterall, I had been running, non stop, roughly five days a week since well, March or so. Back then I was training for my half marathon in May, then I jumped right into marathon training. I’ve been constantly on the run, literally in life in general- between working full time, nursing school full time, marathon training full time. It’s been… a lot. So I figured, I deserve a little break, a little reprieve.

It’s been nice. To sleep a spec later in the mornings, to not have to plan my weekends around long runs, to be able to throw back an extra glass of wine and not have to worry about feeling not awesome the next morning on my run, to have less laundry to do, to grow my toenails back (I know, for a girl who likes a nice pedicure treat on the regular, these past six or so months have sucked), etc. It’s all been nice. Awesome, even.

Want to know what’s not been so nice though? The guilt. The five pounds that I’ve put on. The let down.

I know so much of this is normal. When something is so much a part of your life, of your existence for months on end, to train for and reach a goal and then… have it behind you, I think it’s kind of a loss. And not that I couldn’t have kept up with the running, but as we all know, if you don’t have a race on the books to gear up for (or maybe this is just me), then I feel a bit less motivation and drive to keep at it all.

I feel guilty for slacking more than the two weeks that I had set in my head as “break time.” I knew I wanted that time for some recovery, mostly physically, but also mentally, emotionally, the whole shabang. A little break was good. But now? The little break is almost a month break; I haven’t run more than five miles ONE time, and I feel guilty and stupid about the fact that I can’t get it up for running like I once did. I miss it, but at the same time, the snooze button seems so damn appealing at 5:04 am. (I can’t set my alarm for normal times.)

And the weight. I know that’s a superficial reason to be whining about this, and perhaps the weight isn’t noticeable to you or my best friend or Matt or anyone, but I know what’s happening inside these skinny jeans here, and it’s not pretty.

So I know that the solution is probably just to shut up, stop whining, and lace up my sneaks and get the hell out there. I know once I get back into it I’ll feel better. But my drive is low, I’m not feeling it like I was a few weeks ago, I miss having big race on the books, I can’t find a freaking big race to PUT on the books, and it’s getting cold outside. And I’m a wimp. I don’t do cold too well.

And damnit, I want to whine about it.

**UPDATE** I forgot to mention that I am signed up for a Thanksgiving 5K, so there’s that.  It’s something.  Yet, I’ve been signed up for a couple weeks and still… here I am.

my little pumpkin!

I’m going to see this little pumpkin this weekend in New York!

And it’s his Mama’s birthday! I can’t wait to spoil them both and finally drink some cocktails with my girlfriend. She’s taken a break for oh, nine months + and me, well, there’s been no break but, that’s not the point. I’m going to see my dear friend and it’s going to be a wonderful little weekend. Cheers!

You guys, my friend Carla is having a giveaway on her blog for one of those awesome metal displays to hang your race medals on!

By the way, here’s Carla and I after the Chicago Marathon!

DC and Boston finally meet!

I’m going to be honest- I don’t really want you to go over there and enter to win, because that decreases my chances of winning, and I WANT TO WIN!

But, I’m doing the right thing here and helping myself out by getting another entry for this little post) and letting you all in on this little giveaway, so that you too can enter for a chance to win one of these!

Head on over and comment on this post to try and win!  (Or not.  Because I WANT TO WIN!)😉