Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Letters Vol. 6

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Dear 25, You were the best year of my twenties so far. I had so, so much fun with you. You challenged me and tested me, but you also gave me so many wonderful things: every finish line I've crossed on foot in my entire life, deeper commitment to my yoga practice, a more sincere understanding of myself. You brought me important new people and helped me part with the ones that had to go. You brought me closer and back to some people I needed to reconnect with. You saw me run my first race ever, my first and second half marathons, and every race in between. You helped me move into my new apartment and for the first time in my life, experience living totally solo—no family, no roommates, just me in my sweet, sacred space. You saw me get promoted, and hungry for something more. You, 25, gave me so many wonderful and important moments and memories I will cherish forever. Thank you, 25. It's been a thrill and a pleasure.
Dear 26, I'll see you Sunday. Let's give 25 a run for its money.
Not related to post. Just a pink-lipped selfie because it's almost my birthday and I do what I want and I never instagrammed this one.
Happy Friday, friends. What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#NowPlaying

I just really want you all to come on this journey with me...

Dropkick Murphys – "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" (Because it was recently St. Patrick's Day and like a good American I put this on my playlist for the day and then just left it there because every March I remember how fun this song is to listen to. Judge me.)
Luke Bryan – "Play it Again" (Because summer is getting closer, and country music can only help it along. Right?)
The Sea The Sea – "Love We Are We Love"
Natalie La Rose & Jeremih – "Somebody" (I don't even know.)
Jessica Simpson – "I Think I'm in Love With You" (Yes, I'm serious. You can thank a Spotify #TBT playlist for that one.)
Passion Pit – "Take a Walk" (Because I don't know what year it is.)
Genesis – "I Can't Dance"
Fall Out Boy – "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark"
Dashboard Confessional – "Hands Down" (Because I really don't know what year it is. And because it's easier to relive high school via music than it is know what it means to be turning 26.)
Bon Jovi – "I'll Be There For You" (Okay clearly I just have no concept of time's passage.)
Outkast – "The Way You Move" (And spend way too much time listening to the throwback stations on Sirius XM in Sirius the Jeep.)
Kendrick Lamar – "i"
Tritonal – "Anchor"

I understand if you don't want to be friends with me anymore. It must be because you don't like awesome and totally unironic dance parties.

What are you playing on repeat lately?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Try

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I'll probably never run a sub-8 minute mile. I may never run an 8:30 mile again. But two years ago I couldn't run a mile at all, and now I can run many miles in a row. A year ago it hurt me to run a 10-minute mile, and now I run comfortably at a 9:10 pace.

I might never twist my body into a full handstand scorpion, but today I can build and hold a headstand for as long as I want. I can't hold a handstand for longer than 10 seconds, but a few months ago I couldn't hold it at all.

I don't make a lot of money. I am not in love with my day job. I don't know what my ideal job is right now. But I know what I'm good at, and I know how I can make a living. I know that I can make a living on my own and depend on myself for anything in this tangible world I need. I know that every avenue I try to turn down in my career leads me closer to the right place. I know I'll find that place eventually.

I know that even if I don't ever find myself in a job that fulfills me wholly, I will still be wholly fulfilled. I will never live to work, and I will always work in a way that allows me to live a life I want to lead.

I'm not very good at romantic relationships. I'm not good at being taken care of and I'm madly skeptical of people who claim they want to take care of me. I'm insufferably independent sometimes and am easily annoyed. I am often misunderstood and I don't much care to be more understandable to most people. But I know who the people who do understand me are and I try my best to nurture my relationships with them. I make sure they know I love and appreciate them.

I often turn absolutely green with envy. I can be a very jealous person. I think thoughts I'm often not proud of, but I do my best—most days—to never say them out loud, because the universe is polluted enough. I try to let myself be motivated by jealousy, rather than feel defeated or hateful.

Sometimes, I don't try hard enough. I don't hustle enough. I don't chase every dream I have because I don't always think it will come to anything. I hesitate and procrastinate. I talk myself into goals that don't matter and out of ones that do. I tell myself I do this for the right reasons, and sometimes it's true: I try to separate the impulsive thoughts and hair-brained ideas from the actionable items that will bring me joy and a sense of accomplishment. I'm trying to get better with this.

I don't have faith in everything I do. I hold off on pursuing things I want to do because I'm afraid of wasting time and money on things that may not turn out to be worth it. I waste time and money anyway by not pursuing the right things. I'm learning to get better at correctly identifying each.

I worry a lot. I worry too much. I worry about things that don't much matter, and about things that I can do absolutely nothing to change. I live in the age of worry, but I'm trying not to worry my life away. I'm actually getting better at this every day. Sometimes there are setbacks, but I'm doing better.

I don't always do everything right, but I try to do right by everyone I meet. I'm often kinder to others than I am to myself, and have more than once been too kind to someone else. I've had my kindness mistaken for weakness. I've also been accused of being a bitch. I've been accused of being too serious. I've been accused of being uptight. I've acknowledged there are amounts of truth in varying degrees in all these accusations. I'm not perfect, but I never once claimed to be.

Most days, I like who I am. I realize that not everyone will like me, and there are plenty of people out there surely who don't, but I don't ask them to. I try to be pleasant to be around, but I don't need the company of many approving peers to feel comfortable in my skin.

Apparently, I get weirdly introspective the week before my 26th birthday and navel-gaze with the best of them. But I look inward for resolution and try not to project my dissatisfactions or shortcomings onto the world around me. I write blog posts inspired by John Mayer songs, but... well, no. There's nothing wrong with that. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Sweats Vol. 12

Monday: restorative yoga (20 min)
I was feeling like some gentle hamstring and hip stretches and sweet, sweet spinal twists to help aid in the half marathon recovery. Most of me feels good post-race, but I can always use some love in those areas so I turned to Erin for this one.

Tuesday: studio yoga class (75 min)
Ahhhh, finally. But since I'm three weeks out of studio practice, the DOMS are gonna show up to play for sure. Just felt good to get back into Donna's class and work out the last of the RnR kinks.

Wednesday: loosening yoga (10 min)
I woke up creaking after last night's class, so I eased into the day with this "loosening up" sequence from Erin. Was hoping to get back on the run today, but I'm nursing some top-of-foot pain (I'm not worried: I have high arches, so it's a common thing, plus undertrained for the half, shoes on their last breath, yadda yadda yadda...) and figured one more day of rest wouldn't make me a slacker. Right?

Thursday: detoxing yoga (15 min) + 2 mile run
I wasn't hungover, but Erin gave us a new video and like a good Bad Yogi I had to give it a whirl. Great detoxing twists and some nice deep bends, even an arm bind were all thrown in there for us. Recommend.

Cut this run off at 2 miles after realized I had run mile 1 @ 9:03 and mile 2 at 10:01. My foot hurts. I'm not worried; I have enough time before the next race to rest a little. I'd be more concerned about injuring something else by screwing with my gait to accommodate the sore foot. (PS, why is it always something?!)

Friday: rest
Today was just a no. Slept like absolute hell last night—what else is new?—so I couldn't muster the energy for morning yoga and my evening was no-go too.

Saturday: 3.26 mile run + lower body yoga (15 min)
This was so miserable I went directly to Fleet Feet right after. These shoes are shot. I adjusted my gait to nurse my foot, which wasn't hurting much when I set out. My calves hurt, but I recognize that I need to strengthen them and I should be running like this all the time—so, a good thing. But my foot was not alright; the pain moved from the top to the side and it HURT to the point of limping.

I'm pretty decided on the Saucony Zealot for my next shoe, but my run shop doesn't have it in yet (it's new). Hopefully it'll arrive this week and I may just rest until then...at least until my foot is 100%.

I licked my wounds for a bit and then got back on the mat to shake it all out with a homemade lower body practice . Yoga fixes everything.

Sunday: free-flow yoga (20 min)
I free-flowed through some restorative, back-bending and deep-stretching poses today, but none of that matters in light of my lovely lady Tracy kicking serious Shamrock ass in her marathon today! Do me a favor and make sure you congratulate her on her killer 31-minute PR. Congratulations and all the claps, my friend!

Weekly Totals:
Running: 2 || 5.26 miles
Yoga: 6 || 155 minutes

Reflections:
Just...why is it always something? Saturday sucked. One week prior I ran a half marathon in a little over two hours without stopping once. I could barely power through a 5k six days later. Cross your fingers some rest and new shoes are all I need. Please. Eight weeks til the next half marathon...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Things

Can you feel it? Can you feel the warmth and joy and relief in the air? Can you hear the sounds of children laughing, birds singing, windows opening, jackets unzipping, road runners rejoicing, garden hoses awakening? We finally made it.
It seems quite silly to rejoice that spring is here—it's always going to come. At least, according to the calendar. Intellectually, we all know that eventually the winter will end, the snow will melt, we'll see the grass, and wear short sleeves again. But without fail, in the final weeks leading up to the end of winter (especially when one of those weeks brings you three snowstorms of significance in five days), it starts to feel oppressive and we almost doubt whether spring is ever going to just get. here. already.

But the calendar says today is the first day of spring, and last week the weather was finally making me start to believe it. (This week, not so much, but I have high hopes for next...)

Spring is my favorite—at least until the fall rolls around—for so many reasons. One, my birthday falls in the first few weeks of spring. (Nine days to go!) Like pretty much everyone, I relish in the evening hours of sunlight we finally, finally get back. The floral patterns and bright colors make their way back into my wardrobe and onto my fingernails. My body no longer shudders and aches with the cold. The world just sort of wakes up as the snow melts away and the unmistakeable sounds of spring remind me of the soundtrack to a favorite movie. Neighbors are friendlier, people are happier, animals are cheerier. It's like everyone bands together to welcome spring.

This spring, I'm looking forward to bar and restaurant patios and warm weather hikes. I can't wait for long runs under the sun and yoga practices in the dusky sunset light. I'm looking forward to weekend road trips, adventures with friends, baseball games, and windows-down drives. I can practically smell the fresh produce stands and salty beach air. I'm perked up already at the thought of naked legs and bare feet, swingy skirts and sun-kissed shoulders.

Can you feel the spring in the air?