Ride the Wave

So, I’m sitting in the computer lab of my apartment complex typing this because I haven’t had internet for five days. (If I did, I’d hope that I’d have been back on the bandwagon of making regular posts.) Conveniently enough the computer lab is right next to the gym, so that all worked out. And I just happened to make a new friend. Well, anytime I have a connecting conversation with a stranger I tend to use the phrase “made a new friend.” But either way, positivity spread. It’s kind of rejuvenating sitting at a desk space being productive, though. And I brought goldfish, which probably the weird orb security camera above me disapproves of, but that just means Century Link should go ahead and fix my internet!

Today has been a day of days. This week marks a little more than a year since I’ve worked at my current job, which is crazy if you think about the past year. So much has changed, so much has happened in such a short span of time. How have all these months been so filled with friends and family and adventure? New experiences, repeats of favorite old experiences, memories, losses, growth. Change is inevitable, and most of the time it’s out of our control. Lately I’ve been reminding myself that because so many things are beyond my grasp of control. So the things that I can affect I just have to be very intentional about. In the meantime, I’m trying to remember to flow with the wave of life right now.

(Sunset on the way back from Mexico Beach last week.)

In other news my days have been filled with parks, happy hours, good phone conversations, family time, friend time, sunsets of cotton candy colored skies, walks and walks, puppies. Lots of puppy play times! Today a friend a few stores over brought over surprise egg rolls and fortune cookies. Last night I went and saw “Boyhood” and went to sushi with two of my cousins. Saturday my brother and I fiiiinally got to have a sibling dinner at Burrito Border, which hadn’t happened in quite sometime. While I was doing my cool down on the bike at the gym, Shelby and I reminisced over my time as house manager and VP in our sorority house. (And how somehow that turned into me being the person in charge of the internet, even after I graduated?) It’s funny to look back on all of those times now, and impossible not to laugh at the absurdity of being awoken in the middle of the night because someone wanted me to kill a bug in their room, or the buffet was leaking downstairs, or a girl locked herself out of her room and wanted me to call a locksmith. I’d like to think all these crazy circumstances were prep for something in this life, and I think they very well were.

(Meet Chief, one of my favorite puppies on the planet.)

Expect the unexpected. Life is full of surprises. Sometimes, beautiful ones. 

(Like these flowers waiting on my doorstep two weeks ago.)

 

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Friday Favorites Makes a Comeback!

Hey guys! I know, I’ve been slacking on the Friday Favorites posts, but here I am, and they’re back.

(Found on Pinterest)

It’s been almost a month since Bonnaroo and I am still having withdrawals. I just can’t readjust to regular life, whatever that means? I just wanna follow where ever the road takes me. Where the sunshine lights the way, and when it rains? You just dance in it.

In the meantime, I got real hooked on reading the Bonnaroo Missed Connections posts. (And look! Some of them actually worked!)

This kid, (my awesome brother) turned 22 yesterday! Celebrated with a delicious dinner at Jasmine’s, fun times. And now it’s back to the beach this weekend. Fingers crossed for some sunshine at some point!

Last weekend I made my return to the world of 5Ks. So what if it was in a tropical depression, untimed, and not my prettiest run? It was enough to kick back in that competitive spirit I’d kind of lost touch with. This has been a good running week for me, I’ll get my groove back eventually. Yesterday morning, cotton candy skies greeted me good morning on my pre-work run and I can’t really ask for more.

Got tickets to see Kinky Boots in NYC next week. Excited for a trip to the city, time with old friends, and some good ole explorin’!

Oh, did I tell y’all I got a guitar?! This is going to be a long journey, but the dream’s still alive. (My sound still hurts my own ears right now, but I’ll get there – eventually!)

It’s no new thing that one day I will make my way to Glastonbury, but you have to see how awesome this video is. Could that stage hold any more talent?! Gah.

Oh, and if you hadn’t noticed I’ve given Meg Says & this blog Mugs Life face lifts, and I’m pretty excited! They’re long overdue.

Look how awesome my house-mate is. Like, beyond awesome. She knows me so well. And not just because these are cool presents, but because they’re so sweet! AND she made that stationery herself! On her friends letterpress in California! Seriously, so cool. Living with her is probably my favorite thing about Tallahassee.

One more thing? Don’t forget about the kindness of strangers. It’s always there. You’re always .2 seconds a way from making a new friend, some new connection. Heck. Dustin at Pep Boys took $10 off my oil change yesterday just because we engaged in conversation. Made my day, and helped me out. Plus it was just a reminder of how much the universe balances out.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

Last week’s post for Top Ten Tuesday was light-hearted with the things to read when you want something light and fun theme, but this week is more up my ally since I’m attracted to all the dark & twisty – problematic, heartbreaking, turned up lifting novels. Even when I think I’m picking something light, it ends up being INTENSE probably 98% of the time (like My Life Next Door a week ago, or Eleanor & Park!) Today’s topic from The Broke and The Bookish is “books dealing with tough subjects.” I don’t even have to ponder recommendations, they’re already oozing out of my fingertips, but the problem is narrowing, so I’m not even going to dwell on that part right now. I’ve done a combo of some YA Fiction, “middle-grade” (what? I know, I don’t even know. Labels are stupid, but you’ll see what I mean when you’re  like oh! I read that in third grade) and adult contemporary fiction. I thought of books that inspired intense feelings, ones I couldn’t put down, ones I had to take breaks from, ones that reached deep into my gut. Books that made me cry. Books I have memories of that feel like friends and family.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky. In my top favorite books of all time. Enough said.

The Fault In Our Stars 
John Green. Death. Loss. Questions. Growing up. Teen love. Friendship. It will break your heart, but read it anyway.

Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher. I couldn’t put this down. Though at times it felt like it was hard to breathe while I was reading because I was so anxious, it’s an amazing story. This one deals with teen suicide, bullying, gossip, SO many subjects are covered. Plus it’s told in a really non-conventional way that’s like a compulsive read.

The Probability of Miracles Wendy Wunder. I started crying early on, but still this is an amazing book. I read it last year and I wish I could experience it for the first time again because it’s just that great. I couldn’t stop talking about it. Terminal illness. Love. Friendship. Family. Absorbing the greatness of life.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour Morgan Matson. This is a great one that involves putting back together the pieces of life after things seem to have fallen apart. Accidents. Guilt. Stages of grief.

Second Chance Summer Morgan Matson. Even though I knew it was coming I still found tears streaming down my face when the final stages of death ascended in this one. So intense, but so great.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz A.S. King. I didn’t know what to expect with this story. It’s so layered and complicated, but that’s part of what makes it such a compelling read. It’s painful but it’s brilliant.

Becoming Chloe Catherine Ryan Hyde. This is definitely a story about finding light in the darkness. Putting together broken pieces through friendship, the glue of life. It’s heavy, but it’s beautiful.

Speak Laurie Halse Anderson. Isolation. Being outcasted in highschool. Rape. Bullying. Finding courage. This story has provided a voice to so many.

See You At Harry’s
Jo Knowles. Oh my heart. This is one of those I had to take a moment to collect myself because I couldn’t see the pages through my tears. This covers so much and I don’t even want to tell you what so you won’t be looking for them in each chapter, but it’s SO GOOD.

Silent to the Bone E.L. Konigsburg. This is an incredibly intense story. Accusations. Mystery. Painful, but powerful. Even though I read this years and years ago, I still consider it a favorite, and it’s quite memorable not just in plot but in the emotions I felt while reading it.

Bridge to Terabithia Katherine Paterson. I cannot even go here because I do not need to involve myself in a sob fest at the front desk at work, buuut this is an amazing store. Fair warning though, my mom and I both cried for probably about two weeks after reading it.

Letters from Rifka Karen Hesse. This is what I mean by “hey! I read that a long time ago.” But yeah, and it’s always stuck with me. A look into the life of immigration from Russia to America in 1919.

The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold. Sebold covers a lot of ground here. Sexual abuse, grief, tragedy, how loss affects the family and it’s all from a very unique narrative perspective.

The Help
Kathryn Stockett1962 Jackson, Mississippi. What it’s like to be a maid to some pretty hateful spoiled white women. But it’s about so much more than that. I laughed a lot, but I cried a lot too. The deep kind where I had to catch my breath.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Jonathan Safran Foer. Again – grief, but this one is different told from the perspective of a child who lost his father in the tragedy of 9/11. It’s an exquisite story, ripe with the inquisitive, tender wonder of life through a child’s eyes.

Same Kind of Different As Me Ron Hall & Denver Moore. The only non-fiction book I have on this list, but it’s life changing. (The subtitle is a quick explanation that should start you wondering: “A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.”) Read this. Don’t even question it, just go read!

Okay, so obviously my listing got a little out of hand. Don’t start counting, I’ve surpassed ten and when I look at the link ups I just want to add everything to my list. Seriously. (Everyone else is so good at making these pretty little color coded charts all categorized and my posts are always like word vomit lists!) It might sound crazy but I am attracted to the emotional, heart-wrenching novels but I really like when an author connects with a reader – creates a world with relatable characters showing that you’re not the only one to have these experiences, but then takes the opportunity to shine a light as well, not just tell a story that rips your heart out.

Trail Run Thursday Week 3: Joy of Community

Hello, hello! I know I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus lately, but bare with me. I come and go and you’d probably much rather read an enthusiastic post than some dribble that rolls out because of obligation. No obligation here, alright guys? So! First & foremost Happy Thursday! As you might have noticed I’ve rolled over from Throwback Thursdays to Trail Run Thursdays where I ramble a little bit about running. Coincidentally, it’s not always just running – it turns into a story about life too ya know?

Well, my running ‘schedule’ got a little crazy with my travels and all of the adventures of life last week, but I managed to get in some runs Wednesday-Friday, so I’d feel somewhat prepared for the Palace Saloon 5K on Saturday. This is a race I’d been looking forward to since my very first 5K last August. All through college I saw the t-shirts around town, and when I “became a runner” I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. Well, as it got closer it held a new significance in my mind because from what I’d read, it’s one of the fastest (and oldest) 5Ks in Tallahassee. I had a goal for myself to break 25 minutes in a 5K this year, and I knew if I worked hard this could be the one. As it got closer and all that craziness went down, I decided not to put too much pressure on myself because I wanted to enjoy it and there would be other races if it didn’t work out. Well, Saturday was a cool morning and I met up with my cousin Tim and his group and we did a couple warm-up runs. We met at the bank by McDonald’s and the rest of the group hopped in the truck to drive over to Messer Fields. We jogged there. At the crosswalk Tsige was standing there and I got so excited I screamed! At that point, I didn’t have her phone number, so it was the first time I’d seen her since our last trial run and her husband had been running Boston and I had been dying to talk to her! We hugged and dove into conversation, it was really nice and somewhat of a relief. We hung out at the fields for a bit and then went on another warm-up run. I was feeling good and excited (plus it was cooler than I thought it’d be because the sun wasn’t shining, so it definitely helped with that!) I ended up racing with Tim for the first 1.5mi and that really helped me hold onto the pace I needed. At the hill, I just told myself – if I wanted it bad enough, I could make it happen. I ended up finishing with a new PR of 24:40 and it was such an exciting feeling. I found people I knew during the race, and I love that too. I might have my goals, but I don’t ever take it too seriously – it’s too fun for that! I saw and talked to a sorority sister, a friend from Gulf Winds, my running buddy Tsige, my boss’s wife, and the list goes on. My cousin Sara lives right by the Palace so she came over with her dog Darla, and we all hung out for a bit. It was just a really fun morning, I was on that high of endorphins and adrenaline, mixed with that excitement I had for achieving that personal accomplishment. Plus it was exciting to see all the blue and yellow ribbons in support for Boston, (and the really awesome banner they had made for everyone to sign to send to the Boston Athletic Association!)

Those are post Palace pics!

Later, I’ll fill you all in on my Orlando concert experience of seeing Andrew McMahon on the Beacham on Saturday night, but that doesn’t really have to do with running. It does have to do with how awesome the weekend was though, and how much got packed in, and how I think it caught up to me since I went to bed at 930 on Sunday night! Following post-race hangouts, (and a little bit of beer and a taste of bloody mary because it was the Palace after all) I went home and showered and ate breakfast and headed on over to Orlando. Sunday morning after a great visit with JD and Tony I got back in the car and came back. I changed into my running clothes at a rest stop in Madison, and I arrived over in Southwood just in time for the 5.2 at 5 for Boston memorial run. I am so glad! There was an incredible turnout (more than 1,000 people!,) and it was a really inspirational experience. We sang the national anthem together, and “Sweet Caroline” and it was really touching. Tim and I ran together again (he slowed his pace down for me.) It was a hot, muggy run (because I wouldn’t normally run in the sun at 5pm) but it was wonderful. We hung out in the parking lot chatting for a long while afterwards, and like I said – I was exhausted! I didn’t even feel like making dinner, so after picking up a tuna sandwich from Jimmy John’s, and taking a shower – I crashed.

Tim, me, and Carson post-run in the parking lot.

Someone had a remote control helicopter flying over the crowd, and it turns out it was a video camera! My friend Brian sent me this video – it’s pretty cool, check it out!

Monday, the events of the weekend kind of caught up to me. There was so much excitement, and activity, and driving! I was feeling kind of sluggish (I’m sure my off kilter eating habits weren’t helping me out any.) Part of me was thinking I might  not go to the week three meet-up of Trailblazers, but by the end of the day I was like no! I was disappointed I missed last week, and it’s such a good start to the week! Plus, Tsige called me and having a running buddy is so encouraging. Of course, then I got stuck in awful rush hour traffic on my way to the trails and there was a disabled vehicle making the road I was on one lane, with one of those trade off deals, so I was late. BUT because life is awesome – there were people waiting at the crosswalk, to run with the “stragglers” through Forest Meadows. So, I made two new friends and we did two laps through the woods together – talking about all sorts of things. Central Florida, Mexico Beach, kayaking, cycling, motocross, (those last two I listened intently obviously not having experience in those areas haha) how we got into running – all sorts of stuff! After we made the loop two times, we were back at the entrance and mingling for a minute and then the group Tsige had been running with finished up. She was so nice about how she’d been worried I’d get lost because I was late and she kept an eye out on her phone in case. Running friends are awesome friends. I joined that little group and we did one more loop! (So much for “taking it easy” on Monday, I had planned on doing 2.5 or 3 miles, but that turned into 5.) But it was awesome because it gave me a new surge of energy, and those trails (of course!) were beautiful.

It just made me extra grateful for the community I’ve found in running. All of these days. At first I thought it might be a bit ambitious, or taking too much on pushing myself a few days in a row – but it was totally worth it. (And why I took two rest days this week, so I’ll be in shape for the Rose City 10K on Saturday.) It just filled my already full heart with an added appreciation for these people. I am just very content with where I am in life right now, and it has been a long time since I could say that. The fact that it’s not very conditional is so key, and important, and extra exciting. These new relationships I’ve formed (and older ones that were strengthened) just give me a new perspective on life. It’s been a really cool experience to get to know new people of different ages from different backgrounds, and to see support of each other in action. Picking up running changed my life, but I’ve seen it change even more as I’ve built relationships with people through running.

Believe In the Good

Okay, so I know I’ve been silent on the blog this week. Life has been a little bit crazy with some curve balls that got thrown during my trip, and then when I was driving back to Tallahassee I heard about the Boston Marathon bombing on the radio. Throughout the week things have still been a little crazy, and I have been trying to process what’s happened. Of course now as the events just get more wild it’s an even harder thing to comprehend but I have a few things I want to put out there! I will elaborate on my Knoxville and Nashville adventures sometime soon, and I will share pictures. In the meantime, I’ll tell you that Tennessee won me over instantly. I have a special spot in my heart for this state, now.

I was driving on the interstate when I heard the announcement over the radio. Immediately it felt hard to breathe. I kept trying to walk myself through deep breaths, and staying calm. So many thoughts flooded to my mind, between the people that I know were there, the people I know that could be there, but then beyond that – running in general. If you’ve visited this blog before you know how passionate I am about running. There is something incredibly special about races. When I participated in my first 5K in August of last year, I was instantly hooked. I totally felt that sense of camaraderie with the people surrounding me as our feet pounded the paths of the trails. I have never been disappointed about any race I’ve participated in – they’re too fun for that! Between the runners, volunteers, spectators, supporters – I’ve never come across anything quite like it. There is just this overwhelming positive energy that exists every time. These people, essentially strangers, all share one common bond. It doesn’t matter your place in the work world, your gender, race, or age. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been running, or how fast or slow you are. It’s an undeniable thread that connects each of us.

(My friend Lizzi who qualified for Boston 2014 posted this on Facebook this week, and it speaks volumes.)

Then there’s the other side of running. It has saved my sanity. Of that, I am sure. And I turn to running as outlet in times of frustration (that’s how it all began for me, anyway.) So to reek such malicious, cruel, havoc on an event of such celebration? I mean, this is like the Olympics of running. It’s a lifelong dream for many. It’s a big deal for everyone involved, the event organizers, the history behind the marathon, for the runners – their families and supporters. What is wrong with people? Such a heartbreaking thing for everyone involved. Just the attempt to take away something people love in such a dark violent way – it’s just sad and senseless. Thankfully, everyone I knew up there is safe. Because I didn’t have a phone, I wasn’t connected to an instant stream of info through email and Twitter like I normally would be, which probably helped my psyche at the time. But when I checked my email on my mom’s phone in Tallahassee I saw the flood of messages from GWTC list-serv, and wow. I was just floored. This is one of my favorite pieces I’ve read that relate to Monday’s events, and a runner’s heart.

While we have this frustrating situation, what is uplifting about everything is the awesome compassion that has shined such a light on everything – how inspiring it is to see pure intentioned people just helping one another – no questions asked, in whatever way that means. I am sure throughout the week, you’ve probably seen this quote from Mister Rogers (genius!) floating around:

I have to tell you, that I know things like this are scary. This morning I woke up and glanced at Facebook and saw some posts that didn’t make sense so I switched to Twitter and woke up immediately when I saw the news that was transpiring with the suspects. I went out of my room and told my roommate who had already turned on the TV (though it was barely 6am.) I was just blown away by how crazy it all seemed, so what did I do? Lace up my shoes and go for a run. Because that’s what I do. So, I’ll say that yeah I feel like this is just really hard to even mentally grasp (especially with the bombings Monday, the explosion in Texas, then with the lockdown and search…) texting my friend who’s parents live there, hearing it on the radio on my drive to work, and now on the TV while I’m at work and it’s just a lot to take in. BUT but so so so important some things to remember: like Mister Rogers says, look for the helpers. They are there. While the world can be so unpredictable, dark and scary – there is so much good. So much good.

I myself have been overwhelmed with the kindness of people in the past month. It hasn’t even been a month when my engine exploded on the way to Jacksonville, (and look what happened then? Cousin rushed to where I was on the interstate, Jules scooped me up en-route to Jax.) Over the weekend I accidentally left my cell phone in a cab. The manager of the cab company (Brett) was so nice and really tried to help as much as he could. No luck, but that is not worth spoiling a trip over. When I got back to Sanford on Monday (well, after another stranger who had helped me with my bag when I was flying out on Friday AND REMEMBERED ME we chatted about our trips, and he helped me with my bag, again!) I was walking to the parking lot and thought it was odd that my horn didn’t beep when I pressed the key. Come to find out my car battery had died over the weekend. So there I was with no phone and a dead car. A couple across the lot asked if I needed help, and they saved my day in a big way. The husband got out to help me, and let me borrow his phone, while his wife CIRCLED THE PARKING LOT attempting to find someone with jumper cables! She found someone, then that van load came over as well. (Weird coincidence the man was someone I remembered from the airport on Friday because he was also wearing running shoes sitting down the aisle from me.) This man jumped my car, and then looked in his GPS and gave me the address and directions to the nearest Advanced Auto Parts. Then the couple, offered to let me FOLLOW THEM to the store, to make sure I got there alright (not lost, and without breaking down.) Can you believe that? We stopped at a Napa first, and the man got out to go check on the battery so I wouldn’t need to turn off my car. Then we went further up the road to Advanced, and he went in and checked there (the other place didn’t do batter installations.) At that time the woman let me use her phone again to call my mom so she’d know I got somewhere that I could get a battery (She said, if it were my daughter I’d want her to be able to call and tell me.) Then the husband came out again and they did have the battery but he was soo nice in making sure I had the funds to pay for it because they didn’t want me to get stuck there! Then the Advanced Auto Parts guys, Chris & Michael were so kind as well. I was there for a while. They let me use the store phone. I made a plan with my mom. Figured out an exit to meet her at because they wanted me to take my car to a shop they were concerned at the levels it was showing up at on the test even with a new battery. I was there for more than an hour, and at one point it was like I was a fellow employee (they even joked that I should apply for a job there, and about how I should meet Brucey (apparently a grumpy sketchy old man.) They even let me behind the counter to use the phone and helped me with directions (another stranger letting me use their phone.) I was overwhelmed with gratitude towards this constant stream of generous, good spirited people. My “luck” (it’s not luck, it’s like this crazy combination of grace and guidance in this path of sweet people) continued throughout the week. I don’t know much about cars, so really anyone could take advantage of my weakness there, but they don’t. A friend from Inverness gave me her daughter’s old phone, so I didn’t have to buy a new one. I wasn’t charged for getting my car checked out, (when they didn’t find anything wrong with it!), a man at Sam’s had the installation fee waived on some new tires since I’d come in last week too. Then there was this weird thing going on with the windshield and the guy was like hey! this is no problem, I can just snap this little piece here and you’re good. Seriously. Not even kidding you.

My point is, life is crazy, the world is crazy, you never know what’s coming. If all these things came my way when I was in my earlier twenties, I’d have fallen apart some where. These days, I’ve learned to roll with the punches. You gotta take what comes your way and figure out how to keep moving, make a plan of action, do something. If I was sitting in the middle of a parking lot crying, I’d probably still be there. None of these people had any obligation to me, no one had to help, or offer anything but again and again they appeared. One person after another continued to be an example of compassion, love, and sweet-natured kindness. My faith in humanity couldn’t be stronger.

So now what? You continue to look for a helper. You BE a helper. Be nice. Everyone seems surprised at my own weird chain of events this week, but the thing is the nicer you are to people? They have to try really hard to be mean back. It doesn’t always work, but you have to try. And not being nice is stupid. Don’t let fear stop you from living your life. Appreciate where you are, what you have, who you’re surrounded by. For me, this is a year of reunions – a celebration of friendship, and with everything going on it just makes me more thankful for the time I’ve spent with people I love lately. Make the most of life, enjoy all the little moments. Make spontaneous decisions, take the adventures.

Tomorrow morning Tallahassians will take to the streets and run the Palace Saloon 5K wearing blue & yellow ribbons showing support. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll drive over to Orlando for Andrew McMahon’s show at The Beacham, but Sunday I want to be back in time for the 5.2 at 5 for Boston. I am looking forward to pounding the pavement with people I’ll feel connected to, without question.

Keep running, keep loving, keep living. Smile. Believe in the good. I promise, it’s there.

Springtime Tallahassee Recap

I know I’ve mentioned the Springtime Tallahassee 10K several times over the past few weeks, well Saturday it finally arrived! Let me just say, I think it was one of the most fun races I’ve participated in yet. First of all, we couldn’t have requested more gorgeous weather to run in. The sun was shining, but it was about 49 degrees at the start, and there was a nice breeze. From what I’ve read it seems there were about 1,500 people participating in the races (10k/5k/1mi) so I won’t lie – it was crowded, but people were good sports. There wasn’t any pushing or rudeness that I encountered. Of course, after the first turn there were cars parked along the street so you got to do some fun maneuvering around car mirrors, but all that just adds to the excitement. (My cousin said he saw someone ducking under the mirrors, clever!) I parked at Chili’s a few blocks away from the Courthouse, and actually got there around the same time as my cousin Tim and his running partner Buddy, so we were able to head over together. Tim is one of the people who really inspired me to start running, but this was the first event we’ve done together (which was really exciting!) We’d already done early packet pick-up, so we used the time to do some warm up jogging around downtown. We started near the front, (which looked a lot closer until about two minutes to go-time and the gaps and space quickly filled in!) The race itself was fun, I lost Tim and Buddy around mile 1.5 but that was to be expected with how crowded it was. I found myself smiling as people would pass by I’d recognize from Monday night group runs. I loved that! Also, a sense of calm fell over me as the familiarity of the course came into view. I knew what turns were coming up, the spot before the golf course the dog always barks at, the hill I dread at the turn by the golf course. But then there were fun things people had told me about before too, like the house that plays the Chariots of Fire song from the front yard, or the house that had a yard full of spectators in lawn chairs eating breakfast. Then there was a little girl on a morning walk with her mom and dog, dragging a baby girl by the hand standing with this awe-struck look on her face as a rainbow of runners filed by smiling and waving. The race itself was great, I felt strong and consistent. Though I’ll admit – no matter what my race morning meal is at about the last quarter mile of any distance I almost always get this weird nauseous feeling. Maybe it’s excitement about nearing the finish line and always wanting to push that last bit? I don’t know but eventually I’ll figure it out. I reached a new PR for this race (52:16) and I am hoping to break 52 minutes for a 10K at some point this year. No matter, this was progress, and a beautifully fun run so it was awesome all around. The “after-party” was fun, too. After passing the finish line the 10K runners were given a pretty medal that matched our tech singlets, and a towel as well! There was free beer, too. (The good stuff – an ice cold Stella for me, mmm!) And I got to mingle with so many people from Monday nights and friends in town, and meet some of my cousins friends as well. All around – GREAT morning. This was my first time running the Springtime Tallahassee race, but it definitely won’t be my last. I look forward to participating again in the future! The race directors and organizers as well as the training group facilitators did an amazing job putting everything together and creating a smooth, wonderful experience!

 

I love when my bib has “27” in the number!

Total dork, but whatever – that’s a happy face.

Woah sun, I know but yay! My cousin Tim and I after the race!

After the race I ran to New Leaf to pick up a few groceries, and Jamie texted me: “Hey! Are you busy today?” of course not. So, we met up downtown and watched the parade together and wandered through the arts & crafts and snack booths. We got some tasty cookies from one stand and looked at some really pretty prints by local artists. Then Larry and Brody met us over by the library (they were having a book sale out front,) and we wandered through the children’s park area where the Star Wars cast was hanging out. Eventually Larry and I wandered over to Kleman Plaza and had lunch outside 101 (where there was wonderful live music by the fountain.) Though the food is good there,  it is not worth an hour and a half wait – I mean honestly? Boo! But it was too nice outside to be worried about it.


I love when the baby Star Metro bus makes an appearance!

Jamie and I post-parade hanging out by the library.

Brody hamming it up, of course everyone loved him!


Brody meeting R2D2. How sweet is that robot?!

So on the front steps of First Baptist there was a steel drum band that reminded me of Sea World, and then later they were playing songs from Little Mermaid and there was this traveling marine-life cart! You could pet stingrays and see great stuff like this cool starfish and crabs and stuff. Very cool!

Look at that face! Brody just chillin’ in the shade during lunch.

Larry, Brody and I post lunch.

The rest of the afternoon I took pretty easy with a nap and some light reading, until I joined my roommate for a sunset stroll at the Greenway. Sure my legs were a little tired, but I couldn’t resist!

It’s obvious why this is a favorite spot right?!

With a view like that, of course “I’m just sittin’ out here, watchin’ airplanes…” got stuck in my head.

Alex took this fun shot of Satchel and I. Isn’t the lighting awesome?

Throwback Thursday Returns

Hey guys! Bet you didn’t expect to see a few flashback posts from me,  hmm? It’s been awhile and I scrounged up a few I figured I could share:

Sophomore year (I think?) we went to Outback in April to celebrate Buffy’s birthday. How fitting was that coaster? (And the fact that it’s April – FIVE YEARS LATER, now. What?!)

Andrew McMahon playing piano with his feet (like a boss.) This is from the Something Corporate Reunion Tour of 2010 at House of Blues Orlando. In SIXTEEN days I’ll hear that lovely voice once again.

2010 was a good year for concerts. That’s me and Lauren at the (FREE!) Weezer concert at the Civic Center. I GET TO GO VISIT HER IN CHICAGO IN A MONTH!

It shows up dark but I can’t tell you how filled up with light I am in this picture because my heart was probably about to explode. One of the first shots from study abroad in London. I was watching The Exotic Marigold Hotel last night and I got seriously heartsick for London.

Toga social sophomore year? Next week I get to frolic in Tennessee with this girl. Looooong awaited reunion. EEK!

This is from almost this time exactly, last year. (April 6th? which is Saturday haha.) It’s raining right now, but I can’t wait for pool days and sunshine.

Springtime Tallahassee is this weekend, and this photo is from a few years ago (ok more than a few like five.) AND I get to see this pretty girl (my big sister, Hailey) GET MARRIED at the end of May! ahhh

Okay that was a quick one, but obviously a few of these years have a lot in common with the next coming months for me: good concerts, great friends (reunions!), and fun in the sun with my great family! Looking forward to it. Have a wonderful Thursday everyone!