Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pre-Isaac and Post-Isaac

Hello from the other side of a storm! That's right... Tropical Storm Isaac has left its mark on South Florida. And by mark I mean lots of flooding and humidity. Seriously, there was a moat around my house.

Just some minor puddles around the patio. No biggie.

Due to all the rain and wind I couldn't run Sunday or Monday, so I decided to "long run" on Saturday. I put long run in quotes because my long run is nothing compared to most runners. I run an average of 3 miles a day. My run on Saturday was about 6 miles of running and half a mile of a cool down. It was easier than I anticipated, but it was also good that I had two guaranteed rest days ahead of me because of the storm.

My run today was uneventful minus the fact that the humidity and excess of bugs made me miserable. Another THANKS TROPICAL STORM ISAAC moment.

I will also announce that I put my half marathon training on hold (hence the lack of long runs). I'll leave that for another post.

I will also HAPPILY announce that I booked my flight to England! And when I say my flight I mean my one-way flight, meaning my MOVE to England! I am beyond excited to say the least and I've spent the better half of my evening searching "how to pack to move to another country".

Tomorrow starts a massive cleaning overhaul of all my stuff. Yikes.

I'm sorry this is beyond boring, but hopefully from here on out everything will be exciting/stressful/eventful!

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's The Little Things...

Have you ever noticed that it's the little things that get you down? I'm 100% guilty of it.

The bigger picture is so much more exciting. I'm moving to England. That's the bigger picture.

But it's all those teeny tiny little details that make everything more stressful. Like selling my car. And buying a plane ticket. And cleaning out 22 years worth of belongings. And figuring out what's essential to bring. Are 15 pairs of shoes essential to bring?

This is me narrowing down my shoes. I use the phrase "narrowing down" quite loosely. 

Recently, however, it's the little things that have been keeping me sane.

My brain went on quite the tangent the other night and I'd like to share it with you.

(And don't get your hopes up... it's actually quite stupid... don't expect the secrets of life to come out of this)

First of all, anything pumpkin flavored always has my undivided attention over anything else typically. I think fall tastes so much better than any other season. I'm not lying when I said I was born in the wrong area of the globe. I like cold, and seasons, and PUMPKIN, and more cold.

So when I saw these bad boys.... "Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies"..... I knew it was going to be a good day.
It's the little things sometimes...

AND THEN!

I had this whole happy party in my head about pumpkin flavored things, which led me to thinking.... I'm moving to England! Where they put U's in words that American's don't! So in England, it's actually pumpkin flavoured things. And I don't know how I feel about that... It definitely weirds me out a bit.

And I KNOW I KNOW the rest of the world spells it like that and America just decides to be special. Just let me have my moment.

See, sometimes it's the little things that lift your spirits.

Another good thing that lifted my spirits was that I realized a couple of nights ago that running has gotten significantly easier for me.

When I got off the ship I worked on for five months, running in the south Florida heat really took a toll on me. I felt weak and got all dramatic about how I'm never going to run again. But after my run a couple nights ago, I thought about how easy that was. Sure it sucks that it's hot, and I should probably step up my game more... but it was the first time I felt strong in a long time.

Again, it's the little things!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Running With A Hefty Side of Psychology Degree Talking

Alright, it's been nearly a week since I have posted anything... but I promise I am still alive!

Whenever I have a good run, I'm more motivated to post. Today I had a fantastic run! I am getting more acceptable of the fact that I don't know my pace, and I will never know my pace. I will survive. I find that knowing distance is way more important right now.

Also, since I got an iPod shuffle for my birthday, I have been less "burdened" by the iTouch. Why?? Well that damn thing is so bulky strapped onto my arm!! I can barely feel the shuffle! It is an incredible invention and totally underrated.

Today, however, I want to talk about something besides running or moving across the pond.

 I kind of want to get some insight into age and relationships and appropriateness. Sorry if that sounds confusing. Or boring.

But I thought today about that unspoken relationship age line between when you're "having fun" and when you want people to take you seriously.

I am BY NO MEANS an example of what is typical these days for relationships. Honestly, I never have been the average stereotype for anything. I was forced to grow up at a very early age and I've had many people tell me that I am mature beyond my years. I like to pride myself in my ability to give others advice and never truly need advice in return. So while most people my age are extending their years in college and serial dating, I'm getting married. Shocker.

But this is no means about me.

I've known people date plenty of guys and never settle down with one. I've known people who stayed in long term relationships and pride themselves in being a "relationship person". I've known people who just, for lack of a better phrase, sleep around and "have fun" with zero expectations. And what all these people have showed me is that there comes a point where you don't want just a hook up: you want someone substantial.

But it kills me. Because people constantly go to the same type of people but are so distraught when they don't meet their high expectations. Which brings me to think, at what point are these daters doing enough to keep each other around and satisfied with their potential relationship, and at what point are they doing themselves a favor by making the other person take them seriously?

Basically, in normal speak, at what age is it okay to hook up with someone to keep them around because it's expected, and at what age do you slightly hold back because you want them in your future and not just for a good time?

It's just a thought, because lots of people always ponder "how far to go" with their date, but then are upset when they treat them like they're easy.

And I should just say I don't judge based on these preferences. I just don't have the same taste so to say of how to date these days. And it really pains me to see the confusion on half my friends faces when they can't find Mr. Right. I wish I could tell them all the secrets of the universe, but I genuinely got extremely lucky with my current relationship.

So what do you think? What are the courting ages that are appropriate these days?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

22 Years on Planet Earth

Happy one year anniversary of becoming legal American drinking age!

That's right; today is my 22nd birthday. While it started out as a shit show, it got better.

First, I will have it noted that I typically don't like my birthday. There's something about getting older that does not appeal to me. Also, when I was younger, my birthday often fell on the first or second day of school, which is not fun. So even growing up my birthday wasn't appealing to me.

But the more I think about it today, the more I realize I should be looking forward to being "in my 20s". I'm past the "beginning of your 20s" ages where you learn to heavily drink and search for designated drivers. Once you're beyond that, you are really in your 20s!

So, I decided to write 22 things I've learned from lessons, funny moments, or from just growing up.

1. Get a passport and utilize it. I cannot emphasize this enough. I didn't get a passport until I was 19, and I totally regret it. I've only been to 4 countries other than the USA, but that's enough to give me the traveling bug.

2. Friendship isn't about length of time you've known each other; that doesn't matter if the quality of the relationship isn't there. People change. You grow up and grow apart. You try and mask their flaws with excuses. Just cherish those that want to be around you. If they don't turn out to be the person they once were (or what you thought they were), show them the door, not your time.

3. Keeping a journal when your younger can be quite hilarious. I love looking back at my life-- the good and the bad-- to see the 15 year old me type like half the keyboard has gone missing on an old online blog, or going back and rereading the journal I wrote with song lyrics and stories. It's a great pick-me-up when you need a laugh.

4. Your childhood music will never get old. When the Spice Girls came on the Closing Ceremonies, the 7 year old Taylor died a little bit on the inside (from excitement of course). I'm not embarrassed to rock out to Nsync on occasion. And nothing is better when an old Britney hit comes on at a club or bar.

5. Social media is a great way to reach hundreds of people, but not a great way to reach one person. Seriously, because of technology the world seems so small. Social media sites are a great way to reach so many people from all over the world to bring people together whether its a cause or common interest. However, it is not a great way to try and get the attention of one person, which is usually what people do.

6. Tie-dying is great, just don't go overboard. It's such a fun craft, and comfy to wear on occasion. But honestly don't make it your whole wardrobe, okay?

7. It's never too late to start a new hobby. I was never a runner in my life... EVER. And sometimes I wish I could go back to high school and do more sports I've always wanted to try. But from running I've learned with enough practice and dedication, it's never too late to get a new passion.

8. It's okay to date someone backwards. This may sound silly, but just hear me out. I always said I liked dating people who were my "best friend" first. Well, Fiance and I did it backwards.. kind of... We met at a summer camp we both worked at. We got "married" at a marriage booth at camp carnival before we started dating. We went on our first date about a week after and eventually became official boyfriend/girlfriend status. I'd say it took a full year to learn the ins and outs of him completely enough for me to say he was my best friend in the whole world. So instead of being best friend, boyfriend, husband, he was "husband", boyfriend, best friend. And I'd say it's worked out pretty okay.

9. Greeting cards are so underrated. It makes me so angry that cards aren't popular in America anymore!! I rarely get cards. In England, people send cards all the time. It's just a common courtesy. I miss that here.

10. Long drives are for practicing your best singing voice. I went to college 7 hours away from home, which meant driving 7 hours there and back multiple times a year. I spent all 7 hours singing (and eating).

11. Hot sauce makes everything better. Bonus points goes to buffalo sauce, too.

12. Long distance relationships can work. Not always, but they can. I'm living proof of that. People shouldn't be so quick to discriminate because I've seen a lot of toxic and failed relationships when the couple lives in the same city.

13. If you ever want a challenge, work on a cruise ship. Seriously, I dare you. Prepare for lack of sleep with a massive side of white rice.

14. Open a savings account, and commit. Saving money becomes a lot easier when you have a strict place to put it. Even if the interest rate sucks, its away from your debit card.

15. Lucky number aren't always lucky. Change them if you want. I'm making that an official ruling.

16. If you want another challenge, work for Disney. Two finger points are your best friend.

Yep. That totally happened. I worked on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship and was on the inaugural Hawaii cruise. This is at the Pearl Harbor Memorial.

17. A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes. Or sunglasses. Or purses. Or tops for that matter.

18. Go to that expensive-ish restaurant and get the better sushi. It's worth the money!

19. Christmas shopping early is a great idea. I always say I love avoiding the mall around Christmas time because it's busy and stressful and people are mean. But I think I'm a shoppaholic, so I truly don't avoid the mall any time of year. I do, however, pride myself in shopping ridiculously early for Christmas presents because it gives me an excuse to shop and because I like things under the tree even before the tree is even put up. I think I've purchased gifts as early as September.

20. Having a well put together work out playlist is worth your time and effort. No more shuffle and ending up on the theme tune to Harry Potter. Fist pumping high tempo pop music all the way!

21. It's perfectly acceptable to have a "signature color". Elle Woods had pink. I have green. My whole life revolves around the color green. I swear I'm an adult.

and finally...

22. Look back at old pictures often so you can smile, laugh, cry, whatever you need. I don't have a lot from my childhood. I moved around a lot and so a lot got misplaced. But when I find pictures of me as a first grader with missing teeth or my sister holding me as a baby, I can't help but smile at the memory that pictures create.

Rockin' the latest trends since the 90s. And I know what you're thinking. No you cannot borrow my Daisy Duck hat.

 I could probably write a whole book of my silly growing up lessons learned. But 22 is good for now.

Here's to age 22!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

iPod and Post-Olympics Blues

While I would like to inform you that today's run was great in all aspects, it was not.

I ran a glorious 3.6 miles... Don't judge me for the awkward decimal... it was 3 laps around my neighborhood. I felt amazing. I was able to use my iPod for music and attempt to use the stopwatch. However, before the first lap was even over it wouldn't let me unlock the screen to hit "lap" and it was stuck the rest of my run... and the rest of the night... and potentially the rest of eternity.

So I have been searching for iPod shuffles, which I have wanted for a long time now because it isn't bulky and doesn't require that awful arm strap, and Garmin watches.

I'm hoping for lots of birthday money, but I doubt that's going to happen. Something about being in your 20s says "I'm too old for birthday cards and birthday money". Even most of my friends don't know my birthday is coming up, which I'm pretty okay with since I have nothing to celebrate. Fiance is on the other side of the pond and I am undoubtedly sad. I know I shouldn't be "that girl" who pouts when her boyfriend isn't there, but I have my moments. I've never really been a fan of my birthday (except obviously 18 and 21) so that just adds the icing on top of the nonexistent birthday cake.

I promise, I'm not "that girl" often. And we will just drop it now.

On a different note, I am also sulking in post-Olympics blues. I abso-freakin-lutely LOVE the Olympics. I watch every event possible... except maybe horseback riding because I'm not a big fan of horses... or modern pentathlon... because I just found out that existed and I'm confused... and it involves horses... but for everything else, I definitely do not discriminate. The Olympics actually gets me teary-eyed and emotional because I am so in awe of these athletes and their accomplishments and their dreams. When they win a medal, I feel like I'm there next to them being their best friend taking in their effort and passion. In reality, I'm downing dinner and frozen yogurt on my couch crying over my jealousy of their stardom and athleticism. I don't know how I was made to get so emotionally attached to people I will probably never meet, yet alone be friends with, but it happened for the whole 2+ weeks of London 2012. And now I must deal with these post-Olympics blues like the sad, overly-enthusiastic spectator that I truly am.

How many days until February 7, 2014?! Winter Olympics, I will spectate you like a CHAMP. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Sounds of Nature and a Dying iPod

This has been a good week for running but a tough week for my iPod. I swear, it has a mind of its own now. It's an iPod Touch, but the "touch" part of it only works when it feels like it. And when does it NOT feel like it? When I need to hit the lap button or when I need to slide to unlock it. Basically any time I need it.

So my runs have been productive and averaging a close to an 11:00 minute mile or less (yayyyy!!!). I swear, since the Olympics have been on (which I am obsessed with!!) I've been a lot more motivated to run. Seeing all those people from all over the world accomplish so much makes me want to accomplish my goals. I mean, seeing the runners in the Olympics run more than twice as fast as me should put me off. However, I don't see it like that. These athletes passion and determination makes me so happy to feel like an athlete.

Thank you, Olympics! You get the award for getting me off my ass and making me hit the pavement with your inspirational stories and competitors!

Now I'll become a Negative Nancy, so let me bitch and moan for my iPod for a bit.

The fact that I don't have a perfectly functioning iPod (I know, I know, hash tag first world problems) is preventing me from actually running MORE! I have the stamina to run more but after about 2 miles it gets so frustrating to put up with the "lack of touch" aspect of my iTouch. Yesterday, I tried running both without music and the stopwatch app (because both the touch and the music part of my iPod were failing miserably) and I hated it. I know I need to learn how to just like to run, but I honestly don't. I like running AND listening to music AND seeing any improvements I've made since my last run. My brain just goes a mile a minute (no pun intended) when I run without it and time seems to go too slowly, and I'm not afraid to admit I get bored of it.

I could go on for ages complaining about my iPod, but I think that's enough for now. I am now patiently waiting the Olympic diving coverage (even though I already stalked the results) while eating leftover frozen yogurt. What a cool Saturday night I am living! Oh well, I like my date with fro-yo and British diver Tom Daley. See, I wasn't lying when I said I like all things British!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jumping In With Both Feet

Today, I was talking to an old friend who knows both me and my fiance very well. It was my favorite conversation I've had in a while.

I've been getting so caught up with the stress of moving to England, especially because of all the unknowns. We don't have a wedding date set and I don't know when I'm moving exactly. I know things will fall into place eventually, but with the stress of my car and money and everything that goes along with moving, it feels like things are falling apart instead.

So when I talked to my friend, she said exactly what I needed to hear. She said "you'll never have enough money, you'll never always get the approval of your parents, and you'll never know if you're going to fail; so I think you should jump in with both feet."

It's true.

You can save all your money, but it will never be enough. There will always be spending, there will always be treating yourself to those cute shoes that are on sale, there will always be struggling a bit with money. There will always be people, whether they are related to you or not, that say what you're doing is crazy, irresponsible, and something you'll regret. There will always be a "worst case scenario" where things happen that are out of your control. There will always be those thoughts in the back of your head causing you to hesitate any life decision.

And you know how I feel about that? Bring it on.

I'm jumping in with both feet. I will not look back and think "what if" or "why can't things just go as planned?" There will always be something, I look forward to triumphing over every one of those stupid "somethings".

That's my poetic and deep meaningful thought for the day. Now let's get to some running.

After my "lazy" week of a running hiatus, I ran the past two nights surprisingly better than I anticipated. The miles came easy, regardless of how sluggish they sometimes felt. It's still hot, there are still bugs in my face, and it's still an over 100 degree summer. But like I said, there will always be "something", and a little sweat never hurt anyone.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Good (ish), The Bad, & The Lazy

Oh I have so much to talk about. Some regarding running. Some regarding across the pond. I'm sorry about that sentence not being grammatically correct.

This past weekend has been incredibly stressful. There's some really bad news, some kinda bad/lazy news, and then there's good (ish) news.

I'll start with the really bad news.

Let me start out with this: my car is very old. It was my first and only car and I've had it since high school, where it was purchased used and has had problems from the start of our relationship. Fun fact, I named him Kermit because he's green. Well, in the past year, Kermit has been dying a slow painful death; not only has he been dying, but he's been killing me slow, and killing my bank account not so slowly. There were days when I was just like, "please, I beg you Kermit, let me get to my destination without having an anxiety attack!" Last June, the air conditioning completely broke. Oh have I mentioned I live in south Florida? Yes I have been driving around without air for quite some time now, hence, killing me slowly. Despite that minor flaw, he did what he needed to do; he got me through my last semester of university, but not without hundreds of dollars of fixing. This Saturday, however, his reoccurring issues of smoking and stalling started up again and he just is not safe to drive.

What I'm trying to get to with this long-winded dramatic story is that I no longer have a car. I am not willing to put the thousands of dollars into Kermit that he needs when I am trying to save money to move to England. Yes, I was very upset, but it's more of a relief and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I hate driving. I especially hate driving with no air. I have no car. But I'm learning to deal.

There's more bad news.

Because of the car situation, my "talk" with my parents about my move to England had to come way before I was ready. They understood why I didn't want to fix Kermit, but they didn't understand why I didn't want to invest in another car to get around. I had to tell them my plans of potentially moving sooner, and getting married sooner than they anticipated. But it's hard having to explain visas and moving to another country to people who don't even own passports.

I'm frustrated to say the least. It's hard when you're trying to please everyone, but no one is taking into consideration what you want. We are not seeing eye to eye, and in the past two days, more fights have broken out than ever before.

But that's another long story I won't get into.

So that's some of the "across the pond" news.

The kinda bad/lazy news is that I have not run in almost a week. And I really feel it. When I take too much time off I get extra lazy. But the weather has been really bad, and I've been busy. I know, it's no excuse.

But the good (ish) news is that my last run was a really good one! I went with a friend to a bridge and did bridge repeats for a while. I did about 3.2 miles. It. was. HARD. Going up the bridge was a struggle, but it felt great! It was drizzling, so it made the run so much more bearable. I was soaked by the end of it in both sweat and rain. My calves hurt on the "uphill" of the bridge, but I felt like I was flying on the downhill. It was the longest I've run in this scorching summer without a water/wiping sweat and flies off face break, and I felt accomplished. Although my friend and I ran at different paces, it was motivating being with her. Since we were going back and forth on a bridge, we were constantly passing each other and cheering and waving at each other. It was such a confidence booster.

Well, things can only get better from here. I know I'll feel better once I start running again. I need this hiatus to end! And as far as England goes, I'm still in limbo. I can't go to England until September 3rd, but who knows when I'll actually move for good. All we need now is a wedding date!

Oh dear, soon enough I'll be a Mrs. Running Across the Pond!