Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What I've Learned as a College Grad...

Being in my pseudo "real world," {at least that's how I think of it right now} has provided me with way more knowledge than I expected.  Here are the top 5 things I've learned so far:

1. It's okay to look young.  People always say how great it is to look young but I never saw it that way.  Now, when I tell people I just graduated (and have to clarify that I graduated from college, not high school) and they tell me I look 16, it's no big deal.  I do have to draw the line at being offered a kids menu {13 and under only?? oh please. }

2. Finding a job ain't easy. With a biology degree in hand, I'm finding that there aren't many entry level options out there.  It's all about finding connections and using them!  Which is very stressful and discouraging but you just have to have some faith I guess.

3. It's okay to work a job you may be over-qualified for. Money is money and when you've got loans to pay back, anything will do.  Making minimum wage isn't ideal but hey, it's a job and it will keep me occupied while I search for something related to my major!

4. Mentioning grad school to employers is a big red flag.  Yeah, saying you "may eventually pursue higher education" is not okay, apparently.  I'm still having a hard time agreeing with this but someday it might stick?

5. You will miss college like no other. Everyone has different college experiences but at least once a day I find myself reminiscing and missing the good ol' days at Virginia Tech.  Those were the best 4 years I could have asked for and I wouldn't change a thing about them.  

Thanks for the memories, Lane Stadium!

Julie & I in front of our freshman dorm door

That's all for now!  I'm trying to get back into posting more so hopefully I can keep it up :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Oops & a running quiz!

Oops, I've been a really bad blogger lately.  Mostly because I don't have much to blog about being home and all.  I can pretty much sum up the last week and a half with a picture of my cat... so yeah. #postgradproblems
As some of you probably know, Wednesday was National Running Day which I had to celebrate!  Of course, I only ran once in the month after my half marathon so I'm no longer in tip-top shape which is a little frustrating.  It doesn't feel that long ago, but there is much that I lost in that time. 
That's enough whining, here is Hungry Runner Girl's running quiz from the other day!
1.  On average how many races do you run a year? I've only ran 4 races in my life... but I'm working on changing that ;)
2.  Head accessories, things you have to run with:  a hat, a visor, sunglasses, chapstick, sunscreen, head band, ponytail, braids, sweat band? I NEED a headband.  And my hair must be in a ponytail that isn't loose.
3.  Where do your workouts come from?  A training plan, a coach, whatever you feel like doing that day or what your training partner is doing that day? Usually whatever I feel like doing!  I LOVED training for the half: having a plan that I followed almost exactly {at least in the beginning} was great for me.  It kept me motivated and took away a lot of the mental battle I tend to have with myself.
4.  How many miles on average do you put on a pair of shoes?  I've never really kept track.. newbie runner problems.
5.  Cell phone=  do you bring it with you on your run or leave it at home? Bring it.  Use it for music and it makes me feel safer I know I have it in case I need it.
6.  What was your last running related injury or have you been an injury free runner? My foot started bothering me after the half but I never got it checked out soo I'm not exactly sure what it was?  I self-diagnosed myself with a metatarsal stress fracture but who really knows?!  
7.  Is your current running goal about running a farther distance (adding more mileage) or getting faster or BOTH?!? My current running goal is to get my mileage back up!  I wouldn't mind getting faster but I'm not really working on that.
8.  Speedwork—->  at the track, on the treadmill, on the roads or never do it? Never do it.  Maybe someday!
9.  Stretching after a run:  hit the ground after a run and get stretching, stretch in the shower, stretch once you get to work/school, skip the stretching? Depends how I'm feeling!   If I'm sore after my run, I don't usually skip the stretching.
10.  What was your reason(S) for starting to run?  Well, I had been eating nothing but candy and junk food during finals and when I got home for summer I decided I needed some sort of detox and started running!  It felt great every time I ran a little further and soon enough I fell in love! :)
Thanks for reading this far!  Or if you skipped ahead, I don't blame you :P  And I'd love to read your responses to this quiz as well!!
Happy Friday!!  Hope everyone has a great weekend :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well I'm a graduate...

As badly as I wanted to fail all my finals to stay in school, I figured it wasn't my best idea :P  So here I am, a graduate of Virginia Tech after spending 4 of the best years ever there {seriously}.  I want to be excited but right now I'm just pretty nervous as I continue along with my job search.  Something will come up eventually though?!

*PS Sorry for the lack of posts, finals had me going a little crazy there!

Happy Sunday!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Recap: Pre-Graduation Pictures & a Car Wash

It hurts to type this, but this was basically my last weekend of college :(.  I have finals next weekend and the following weekend is graduation... where did the time go?!

Peter has a momma cat & her four kittens in a bush outside his apartment.  Becky brought me over to look at them and watch them play.  It was like a real life kitten cam and it was glorious!

Later, my roommates & I took some pre-graduation pictures at the gardens on campus!  Becky's twin Kiefer was our photographer while we just had fun being models :P

We all worked up quite an appetite, so we went to Kobe for dinner.  It's a Japanese restaurant and it's SO GOOD.  I can't believe it took me this long to go there.  I already can't wait to go back.

Teriyaki chicken, broccoli, rice & carrots. YUM
That night, Julie & I went to a bar downtown with Brian and some of his friends.  We ran into one of our best friends we hadn't seen in a while so we spent lots of time reminiscing and catching up!  Have I mentioned I really wish we didn't have to graduate?

Becky & I went to the Farmer's Market in downtown Blacksburg.  They have it every Saturday, but I'd only gone once before.  We didn't end up buying anything but it was fun to just browse.  On the way home, we decided to make a pit stop at Target {which is totally out of the way but whatever}.  Somehow we didn't end up buying anything there either.  That's definitely a first.

We swung back by the apartment to get Julie and go to Kroger.  Julie's car was pretty dirty so we decided we needed to go to the carwash.  Except 2 of the carwashes we were trying to go to didn't actually exist so it turned into a longer than anticipated adventure but it was fun.  Since we were already in the area, we stopped by Chick-Fil-A for milkshakes.  What could be better than a carwash and a milkshake?

First run after the half!  Honestly I was feeling a little burnt out after all the training and the race and couldn't find motivation to go running.  Plus, one of my feet was swollen and I didn't want to push it and make it any worse.  It felt better and Julie was doing 10 miles so I decided to give it a go.  I did 3 with her at a 9:35 pace.  It was reallly windy so it was kind of tough, but my legs felt good and my foot didn't bother me {yay!} so hopefully it's fine now?  Guess I'll find out!

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!