Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend recap - HALF MARATHON!

I'd like to start this post by saying: WE DID IT!!! This post is probably going to be pretty long, but basically we finished our half marathon in approximately 2:12, so just a little over a 10 min/ mile pace!  And we raised over $600 for Alex's Lemonade Stand!

We left for Waynesboro on Friday afternoon.  It's about a 2 hour drive so we got a hotel room so we wouldn't have to leave by 5am.
getting excited!
We did get stuck in pretty bad traffic for ~4 miles due to an accident, but we still had fun sitting there!  Julie & I bought these giant water jugs to make sure we'd have plenty of water to drink on Friday.
Hydrating while stuck in traffic
The trip took a little longer than anticipated, but we finally got to Waynesboro!  First we stopped at packet pickup.  It was very exciting to get our shirts and bibs... it was finally almost starting to feel real!  After that, we headed to the hotel we were staying at to check in and drop our stuff off before heading to dinner.
almost there!
We decided to get McAlister's deli sandwiches for dinner which was a good choice!  I got grilled chicken and swiss on a croissant with chips - not sure if that's ideal pre-race food but it worked fine!

The restaurant was right near Target so we obviously had to stop and get some snacks.  Then we just headed back to the hotel where we relaxed, painted our nails blue & yellow for Boston and watched tv. I think I was asleep by 10:30 or so surprisingly, however 5am came REALLY fast.

The race started at 7, but we got there by 6:15.  It was really cold at first so my hands were pretty much numb the first 2 miles until I got warmed up.  The course description said there would be "gently rolling hills" which I guess is a pretty subjective thing but for whatever reason we thought it would be fairly flat.  Except it wasn't.  Luckily, the hills were gentle, there was just a lot of them.  However, training at school worked to our advantage since the hills here are not so gentle and we're at higher elevations.  There were a few times I had to remind myself that I trained for this and there was no reason why I wouldn't be able to do it!  And I'd also try to keep reminding myself that for every uphill, there's a downhill :P

Course Elevation
It was a really beautiful course so luckily it kept me distracted for the most part.  The views of the fields, mountains and streams were gorgeous - plus there were plenty of houses that I wouldn't mind living in.  I decided spectators are the best thing ever, their enthusiasm really is contagious!  There was a group of children giving hi-5's and a few funny signs (like around mile 9 or 10, a woman had a sign that said "you can't quit, you're not the Pope") and a few people even yelled "Go Hokies!" to us :)

My Garmin claims that we held exactly a 10 min/ mile pace, and I forgot to turn it off until about a minute after we finished.  Our unofficial time was 2:09 vs our chip time of 2:12... not bad either way!  My Gamin also kept me entertained because I think I started it late so every time we'd pass a mile marker, it would wait about 20 seconds to catch up and beep so every mile I'd laugh a little bit.

Overall, it was a fun race!  I know that I'm forgetting tons of stuff but I'm sure Becky has it covered!

Beckys' mom, Karl and dogs were waiting for us at the finish line as well as their sweetest friend ever, Ellie!  We cooled down and took some pictures and then Becky, Julie, Ellie and I went to Cracker Barrel to re-fuel!  I think that was the best decision we've ever made.  I don't think I ever finished pancakes so fast in my life.  After we got back home and showered, we went to the running store to buy some 13.1 stickers for our cars!

For dinner, we decided it was appropriate to get Benny's pizza!  Their slices are HUGE as you can see, and delicious!  I can't believe we waited this long to cross it off our bucket list!

It's weird to think there's no training plan for today.  I think I'm going to have to get used to the idea of running for however long I want again :P

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

race tomorrow!

Happy Friday!

Becky, Julie and I are on our way to our hotel for our race!  I have a feeling that 5am is going to be here before I know it :)  Can't wait to run 13.1 miles with my best friends and pig out on pancakes as soon as we're done!!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Freshman year {part 2}

Happy Friday eve!  Here is part 2 of my freshman year Throwback Thursday series :)

Julie's birthday is in January, a few days after we got back to school.  A bunch of our friends hung out in a room down the hall.  The plan was to get Julie out of our room to check the mail and then I would tell them all to come over.  Except she only got about halfway to the mail room before she realized she forgot her key.  So she came in while we were all trying to hide to surprise her.  Oops.

Acting surprised
 I had to take pictures on campus for an English project.  The next picture is just for fun.  Unfortunately I didn't use it in my PowerPoint presentation.

Julie, Suzanne and I went to see Taylor Swift at UVa with Suzanne's mom and sister!  We hung out in Cville and had a lot of fun!

Julie's (ex)-boyfriend brought us to a drive-thru safari!  If you're ever on the highway you NEED to stop here.  I'm glad I wasn't driving because the animals just kinda chill in front of your car sometimes or they just walk in front of your car when you're trying to move.  So actually, if you're a passenger you need to make whoever is driving stop here :P  The animals get feed ALL over the inside of your car but it's totally worth it.  Who knew they would be really messy eaters? {excuse the blue-ness of these pictures.. I don't know what setting my camera was on}

Not gonna lie, I was a little scared to feed because the animals tended to get all up in your window/ space and it was hard to get them to stop eating.  But maybe I'm just a scaredy-cat?!

This camel took 2 of our buckets :(
 After the drive-thru part, there's a small zoo you can walk around!

Me with a kangaroo!
 I went on my first hiking trip!  A few friends and I hiked a trail leading to this waterfall!  I've since done this hike a few more times but I would love to do it again now to see how much easier it is on my legs after all this running!
Made it!

If you read my first post, you know that we didn't always have the best going out experiences, but we did try it again!  We went to a mutual friend's party, had fun and weren't traumatized!  Success!

You may also remember how I said we kept the monument up?  Well, here it is again {in all of its glory :P}

Hokie Bird at the Spring Game!
 We had to bring our rented lofts back before finals started.  We re-bunked our beds and put our desks next to each other.  I'm not sure why we didn't have our room like this the whole year?  We would not have gotten anything done, but we would have played a lot of Pac-xon {computer game we were addicted to for a while}.  Excuse our mess, it was finals...  It definitely didn't look like that all year....

"It looks like finals in here"
Hope you're having a great day!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I can't believe...

I can't believe... that it's taken me this long to link up with Robin!

I can't believe... that I spent 20 years of my life insisting that I hate running.  I'm so glad I decided to start last summer!  Who knew my first few runs along the boardwalk would turn into this beautiful love affair!? :P

I can't believe... that my roommates convinced me to sign up to run 13.1 miles.  I also can't believe that it didn't take much convincing.  And I can't believe that I'm paying money to run.

I can't believe... that I've been training for almost 12 weeks now!  The race is Saturday.. what wait?!

I can't believe... how much training has changed me!  Not only have I increased my distance, I'm also a bit faster (without even trying)!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Cozumel

Hey everyone!  Today I'm joining one of my favorite link-ups: Travel Tuesday!

Helene in Between

Sophomore year of high school, two of my best friends, one of their families and me all went to Cozumel, Mexico!  It was awesome!  We stayed in an all inclusive resort, which was very new to me.  We drank a lot of {non-alcoholic} pina coladas and daiquiris and ate nachos and cheeseburgers all day, it was heaven.

Unfortunately, a good 80% of my pictures of MySpace-style selfies.  Whoops.

1/2 of the view from our balcony

rest of the view!

we thought this was the coolest picture ever.
We went to a national park to swim with dolphins!  The day we had originally planned was cold and the water was too rough so they asked us to reschedule.  In the mean time, we hung out around the park and took pictures {again, mostly selfies}.

One of the days, my friend's mom rented a jeep and drove us all around the island to explore!  I think that was the highlight of the trip.  We went to a Bob Marley-inspired bar/ restaurant and wrote our names on the walls.  We also just got to see a lot more of the island than the resort.


The cruise ships came in right near our little resort beach, so that was pretty neat.  I think we spent most of our days here, which was TOTALLY fine with me!

All in all, Cozumel is gorgeous and I would LOVE to go back!

Monday, April 22, 2013


This weekend was probably more low-key than last, and I unfortunately didn't take any pictures (rookie mistake) but here goes a short recap anyway!

Friday was Brian's birthday!  His roommate Brandon's birthday was on Thursday, so Thursday night they had a small get together at their place!  So Friday I was kind of exhausted since I'm clearly not used to staying up until 1am on a school night.  Unsurprisingly, I took a nap.  I didn't feel so bad doing it since Brian told me he would also be napping.  Except I was the one who slept way later and when I woke up there wasn't enough time to make his birthday dinner :(

Luckily he's a good sport and didn't mind!  After I woke up, Brian, Brandon and I headed downtown!  There are a bunch of bars but we only went to two of them.  It was really crowded since the Spring Game was this weekend and a lot of alumni come visit.  Some more friends met up with us and we found out that Tyrod Taylor (of the Baltimore Ravens) was at one of the bars!  We headed over there and I saw Becky and Peter & friends!

Saturday afternoon, Brian & I went to Panera for birthday weekend lunch.  I can't believe I didn't think to take a picture of my food.  Anyway, after I got back home, Julie and I had a nice long chat about life for like 2 hours.  Then I made THIS pad thai for dinner.  So yummy!  At around 8:30, I laid down to take a quick power nap except I ended up sleeping until 2.  I am soo much fun!

Sunday has been relatively lazy, as usual.  Except we decided to do our long run Sunday rather than Saturday.  Becky, Julie and I did ~7 miles at a 9:49 pace... not bad!  I feel ready and am so excited for Saturday!  My legs were feeling awesome and all the random parts of my body that have been bothering me were feeling pretty good since I took 3 days off.  I am pumped!

Have a great day :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Happy Sunday everyone!  I'm joining the Sunday Social link up today :)

Sunday Social

1. What is your shopping weakness?
Dresses!  It's very rare that I can pass up a dress I like.

2. What is your food weakness?
Pizza!  I guess I know what I'm having for dinner..

3. What is your go to movie to watch when nothing is on?
I don't really watch movies... but my go-to tv show is probably One Tree Hill!

4. What is your go to breakfast food?
On weekdays, peanut butter toast & sometimes a chobani.  But when I'm not in a rush I prefer french toast/ pancakes/ waffles with hashbrowns, turkey bacon, sometimes eggs.. yum! I love breakfast food, can ya tell?

5. Do you drink coffee? If so, how do you take it?
Yes!  My favorite is Dunkin iced coffee with caramel swirl & cream :)  But if that's not available, I just like it with cream and sugar.

Now it's time to relax until my 7 mile run!  Wooo taper week!!

Friday, April 19, 2013


As you know, I've been kind of a slacker lately, but I figured it's a good time to do my Liebster post!  The lovely Jenna at Keep Caffeinated and Carry On nominated me (a few weeks ago... told ya I was slacking) thanks to our mutual love of caffeine :)

So without further ado:

11 Random Facts
1. I love live music!  I've probably been to at least 30 concerts in 6 different states!  The majority were during high school but hopefully I'll have more money time for more shows after graduation!

2. I love coloring and painting.  I don't see myself as super creative but Pinterest certainly helps me pretend that I am :)

3. I rarely watch movies.  Whenever my friends talk about or quote them I'm usually completely lost.  This is mostly because I fall asleep whenever I try to watch them... oops!

4. I'd love to be a certified yoga instructor.  If the program wasn't so expensive I'd do it in a heartbeat.  I guess that's what I can save for though?! :)

5. I didn't learn how to pump gas until college.  I still don't know how to make a U-turn.  Both are illegal in New Jersey and I like it better that way :P

6. It's slightly embarrassing how many times I've thought 'I wish I had a microscope to look at this with' in everyday life.  I'm a pretty big biology nerd but I've learned to embrace it.

7. I'm really picky with foods.  I refused to eat tomato sauce on pasta until freshman year of college.  I still don't like any dressings on my salad, ketchup, mustard or any other condiments!

8. I'm a big NY Jets fan!  Football season is my favorite sports season :)

9. One Tree Hill is my favorite tv show of all time!  One of these days I'll get around to re-watching from season 1 again!

10. In 2006, my best friends and I were obsessed with the Jonas Brothers.  We saw/ met them 6 times that  summer.  We made them a scrapbook and Joe actually ended up calling Kaitlyn & I to thank us!  It's still probably one of my favorite memories from high school.

11. I love buying clothes but I can't stand buying shoes!  I can't justify buying them unless I think they would go with everything.  Therefore, I rarely buy shoes.  I mean, it's better for my bank account that way and I like to live in flip flops/ running shoes/ uggs.

Jenna's 11 Questions
1. What motivated you to create your blog?
I started off reading Hungry Runner Girl everyday and then I began reading whatever random blogs I'd come across.  My roommate Becky made a blog so I decided I'd start one too!

2. If you had to pick a different country to live in, which one would it be?
I think I'd pick Italy!  I love Italian food and it looks like a beautiful country.  Only downside is I would know how to speak exactly zero words in Italian, so I'd have a lot to learn!

3. If you had a magic wand to change anything, what would it be?
To make anyone/ everyone happy!  I don't like seeing people upset, especially when I feel like there's nothing I can do to cheer them up.  I'd love to wave my magic wand and make them feel happier instantly!

4. What do you never leave home without (besides your cell phone)?
I'm not sure if there even is such a thing?!  But I try to never leave home without chapstick.  I don't think there's anything worse than dry lips and nothing to fix them!

5. What's the best book you've ever read?
I enjoyed The Glass Castle a lot, I think I read it faster than any other book because I just got so sucked in.

6. Do you have any special family traditions?
Hmm not really?  The only thing I can think of is that my family doesn't really celebrate Christmas until the 26th!  My cousins come to my aunt's house and we all hang out then so my little cousin has time to play with his toys he gets from his parents/ Santa :)  So my parents and I (and sometimes one of my cousins) do a small dinner for Christmas Eve/ Christmas and then we have the typical huge meal the next day!  I like it because Christmas lasts a little longer.

7. What are your music guilty pleasures?
No shame, I listen to One Direction, Justin Bieber (his acoustic album is really good!) and the Jonas Brothers. Basically, I still listen to all the tween heartthrobs.

8. Who were you in high school? Cheerleader, nerd, etc?
I was definitely quiet, probably a nerd.  Most people would have never guessed I cheered my freshman year because I was really shy!

9. Favorite thing to do to waste time?
Twitter, facebook, reading blogs, downloading music, looking at old pictures... I have mastered the art of procrastinating and it's kind of a problem.

10. What's the strangest thing in your purse right now?
The only thing in my purse is a receipt right now, so I guess that!

11. What is one decision you've made in the past that always makes you say "what if I'd gone the other way?"
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I had decided to go to school in-state!  Would I still be hanging out with my high school friends?  Would whoever I met there be as awesome as the friends I have here?!  Sure, I would have saved money and have no student loans but I wouldn't trade the memories and friendships I have made at Virginia Tech for the world!!!

My 11 questions for YOU!
1. What's your favorite holiday to celebrate?
2. Where have you always wanted to visit?
3. How many times have you moved in your life?
4. What was your favorite TV show growing up?
5. What's your favorite gift you've ever given?
6. What was your first job?
7. What's your favorite nail polish color?
8. If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?
9. What was your favorite (and/or least favorite) subject in school?
10. What's your favorite road trip song?
11. Coffee or tea? (or other?)

I'm not really sure who has yet to be nominated, so I would like to nominate anyone/ everyone who wants to fill this out :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday! {freshmen part 1}

In less than a month, I will be a college graduate.  I even bought my cap and gown and graduation dress.  OH MY GOODNESS.  It's really happening :( [noooooooooo]

So today I wanted to throwback to Fall semester of my freshman year!  Here are some of the highlights!

Julie and I were roommates freshman year!  We met on facebook through the class of 2013 group!  We were both business majors and neither of us are business majors now so I like to think of it as fate/ the best decision I ever made :P
My side of the dorm room!
Certain math classes are online and you have to go to the Math Emporium to take quizzes/ tests each week.  You basically teach yourself and then go to this soul-sucking room with about a billion giant Mac screens.  It was certainly not my favorite class.  My friend and I went to the empo together for the first quiz and took pictures with all the Hokie bird statues along the mall!
Having fun before my first math empo trip
Football is a HUGE deal here.  Freshmen can't buy season tickets so you have to enter a lottery.  I had quite a knack for getting free tickets even though I rarely won the lottery.  One of Julie's friends had an extra and gave it to me for the first game! Other times I would just get handed them?  It was great!
First football game!!
 We played Miami during a huge rainstorm... it was pouring the entire time and I didn't think it was possible the be that soaked.  My sweatshirt (under my poncho that ripped halfway through) was still wet 2 days later!  My shoes even had puddles in them!  My friend Kelly and I were so devoted that we stayed for the whole thing and luckily we ended up winning!  A lot of people rushed the field but we were up too high!

Kelly & I at the end of the Miami game
 We didn't "party" in high school, so it took us a while to go to our first party in college.  A bunch of the girls on our hall were going to a highlighter party at one of the frat houses.  We tagged along and it was really sketchy.  Like it was really dark and crowded, some drunk girl was stumbling around the basement drinking  from all the beer cans that were lying around and we were too scared to move from the corner we parked ourselves in.  We only stayed for a half hour.  It turns out it was just one of the sketchy fraternities, but we were definitely scarred by the experience.

Julie & I before our first party
 Most of the time we just stayed in and hung out with friends in our dorm.  One night we were sitting around and decided to make a tent between our lofted beds.  Best. idea. ever.
The night we decided to make a tent...
 It was so fun we decided to add another sheet and therefore had to create 'The Monument.'  This monument in the middle of our room was stacked keepers, our ironing board and our food boxes.  We surprisingly kept the tent up for months, but then our RA decided it could be a fire hazard and recommended we take it down.  Don't worry, the monument stayed there until we moved out. (maybe that's why Becky rarely came over?? :P)
The next day we decided to expand...
 For Halloween, Julie, Suzanne and I dressed up as 'single ladies' a la Beyonce, and Becky was black mail!  We went to a party at an apartment close to campus with Julie's (then) boyfriend and his friends but decided it was lame.  Becky's friend from high school picked us up and brought us to another.  We got to the other party and it was at a house and it felt like we were a hundred miles away from campus!  It was super crowded and it was getting cold outside but we finally got our way into the garage.  Some dudes were like fighting behind us and people were spilling drinks so we eventually decided we'd rather just leave.
Halloween (the scariest night of my life)
As we walked down the gravel driveway, some dude came out of the trees/ bushes with a CHAINSAW and ran at us!  We were all in heels and it was raining so we just screamed and tried to walk faster.  Then he came at us again and it was just terrifying.  The walk to finding the bus stop was dark and scary and I was expecting him to pop out again at any minute!  We finally found the bus stop and went back to campus where we all basically just kept going on and on about how scared we were for the rest of the night.  I think that's the last party we went to that semester...

Happy Friday Eve everyone!! :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I tried several times to write this entry and each time ended up staring at a blank screen.  I'm writing with a heavy heart and it's hard for me to put my feelings into words so this may be kind of scattered.  With yesterday being 6 years since the tragedy at Virginia Tech and then Boston Marathon bombings on Monday, I found myself battling a mixture of emotions as I went about my day yesterday.

Throughout the day I'd find negativity creep into my thoughts and I'd force myself to push it out.  There is no time for that.  Listening to my professor talk about one of her students who was killed, seeing the outpouring of support at the memorial, as well as the abundance of maroon and orange, on campus and reading people's stories online brought tears to my eyes.  I need to do what those 32 cannot; I must live for 32.  Not just today but everyday.  So with the post, I challenge myself to do just that.  To change my thinking from 'I have to go to class' to 'I get to go to class.'  To take advantage of the opportunities and experiences that others cannot.  To do more random acts of kindness in hopes to remind even just one person that the good outshines the bad.

Saturday morning, I ran 3.2 miles with my Hokie family in honor of the 32 innocent lives lost on the campus I am so incredibly proud to call my home.  Last night, Julie and I ran 2.62 silent miles in honor of Boston, and then continued to finish out 26.2 minutes in their honor as well.  Those 2.62 miles were the toughest miles that I can recall since starting training for my half marathon.  It was such an emotional experience for me to be running with one of my best friends and not speaking a word.  Reflecting on my thoughts of the day as we tackled hill after hill at a much quicker pace than usual was difficult.  Every time I thought about stopping, I thought about why I was running and continued on.  It may have been tough but it helped me sort out my thoughts and emotions, reflect and remember, and for that I am thankful.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." -MLK

Monday, April 15, 2013


I am deeply saddened and sickened by what happened in Boston today.  After watching the elite runners cross the finish line a few hours ago with my roommates, I would have never imagined the day would turn out like this.  I am in shock right now.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the runners, spectators and residents of Boston.

JFK Library

Weekend Recap!

I've been really terrible at keeping up with blogging lately... my bad!  I had a bunch of tests but now I'm pretty much done until finals - yay!

Thursday night Julie, Becky and I had a sleepover in the living room.  We each brought our mattresses out because we were supposed to get bad thunderstorms during the night (and because we just have fun doing it).  After I got back from class Julie & I ran some errands.  We spent a long time looking at vacuums, we've broken 2 so far because we all have a lot of hair and shed like crazy... any recommendations?

We also picked up the ingredients for sangria!  It was my first time trying/ making sangria and it was soo yummy.  If I hadn't had to be up at 7 Saturday morning I would have probably had another glass (or 5).

Julie, Cassy and I did a 3 mile loop around campus and I felt pretty good!  I had taken 3 days off last week because my ankle was bothering me.  It was fine for the most part during the run and it was great to be back out there - especially because we had some beautiful weather!

Later Julie, Becky, Peter and I went to The Homeplace for dinner!  It's a house turned restaurant that serves homestyle southern cooking.  It. is. delicious.  It's all-you-can-eat which is both good and bad because I always leaved absolutely stuffed.  We had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, pinto beans, cole slaw and biscuits with apple butter.  The cobbler of the day was blackberry.  I should have taken a picture but the food just didn't last long enough after it reached my plate!


The 3.2 for 32 Remembrance run is probably one of my favorite events.  This year it brought 7,000 Hokie runners and walkers together to remember the 32 Hokies lost on April 16, 2007 and to celebrate Hokie Nation.  After everyone lines up near the start, there is a moment of silence and 32 white balloons are released into the sky.  Then, hundreds (thousands?) of maroon and orange balloons are released and the run begins.  I really cannot say enough how much I love my school.

The course brings you through Lane, our football stadium.  You can run through the tunnel that the football team runs through while "Enter Sandman" by Metallica plays and 66,000 people jump up and down in the stands.  It never fails to give me chills and I can only imagine how awesome it is to run onto the field as a player!  I'm getting excited just thinking about it!

Touching the Hokie Stone

Becky, Julie & I on the sideline
We met up and ran with Julie's boyfriend Joe's mom, Deb at Deb Runs and tagged along for her meet-up with Meagan at Turkey Runner!  Both of them are soo nice, it was a lot of fun!  After we finished, we stopped on the drillfield (big grassy area in the middle of campus) to grab water and some snacks quick and then continued running for ~8 more miles for a total of 11!  It felt awesome to run and it actually flew by!  We ran by one of the volunteers on the course and she called us out for still running and being overachievers :P

Later that evening, we went over to Peter's for a wine dinner.  Becky and Peter are in a wine class (why didn't I sign up for that?) so we had a couple different wines to try and lots of delicious food to eat!  

Lazy day.  My legs are thankful.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!! :)