Category Archives: Big Girl Problems

2013: The First Six Months

Oh geez, where do I even begin? The first half of 2013 was challenging at best, rough (and almost unbearable) at worst. 2013 is looking like it’s going to be one of my most challenging years ever.

Obviously updating this blog has taken a (far off, distant) back seat, but I’d like to continue to update it randomly. It’s eye-opening to look back at my own life in such detail, and I hope many years down the road I’ll look back at 2013 and barely remember is as being so challenging. So here’s where we are…

The Good.

Despite some serious frustrations, the first half of the year has had some highlights. Unfortunately many of these highlights are coupled with some major bummers.

  • Brian got a job in NJ and started working there in February. We were officially reunited, even though we were living under his parent’s roof.
  • We sold our house in VA in 8 days.
  • I achieved some major accomplishments in my new job and have solidified myself has a valuable member of the organization.
  • I started going to CrossFit consistently and totally fell in love. It’s probably the one thing that kept me mostly sane these past few months. I am still a newbie, but the variety and challenge kept me going. I have gone consistently 3 times a week for about 6 months. I also REALLY love the atmosphere of the box I joined.
  • We bought a house and have recently moved in. This is a “good” spot because, yay, independent living. But this also falls into the ugly category…we’ll get there.
  • I’ve enjoyed getting to spend more time with family and exploring a new city. Philly is a pretty cool place.

Happy photos

SoldSOLD (and BOUGHT).

CrossFit HandsMy super attractive CrossFit hands

The Bad.

  • One of the first things I tackled in my new job was organizing and managing a large fundraising event. I am no stranger to event management, but it was an incredibly frustrating situation, since I essentially had to act as the race director, logistics manager, communications team, PR director, sponsorship manager, volunteer recruiter, and a partridge in a pear tree. Ultimately my job is to raise funds for my organization, but the logistical side of managing a successful, high-quality event greatly interfered with my ability to develop sponsors or market this race adequately. The event was successful and exceeded budget, but I seriously resented the whole thing. I do NOT want to be a race director, and that’s what this was. I had several months of extreme stress and frustration.
  • While we managed to sell our VA house in just 8 little days, the process ended up being a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS. We got a great offer and happily accepted, but then one of the buyers got his identity stolen and it pushed our closing back a whole month. It was ridiculous. So we ended up having to pay another whole mortgage payment. And the buyers and their agent turned out to be total d-bags, and were mad at us for having the water turned off on the original closing date. I mean come on people. We were dragged along and cancelled all the utilities, etc (not the insurance!) with the expectation that the house would close before it did. They also complained about all kinds of little repairs, etc. The house was built in 1920, it’s not perfect. Whatever it’s over.
  • Both Brian and I were commuting 1+hrs a day to our respective jobs. Thankfully I was able to work from home quite often, but the commuting got really old, really fast. It took me a solid 5 months to figure out that I should probably just work until 6 or 7 at night vs. attempting to leave anywhere around 5. And I also discovered Audible…bless that app.
  • The buying process for our new place WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD RIDICULOUS as well. It was so easy the first time around, that it was laughable the amount of issues we had on both the selling and buying ends. We literally were not cleared to close until TEN MINUTES before our scheduled closing time. I mean come on people!!
  • I officially lived with my in-laws for 7 months, 2 weeks and 1 day (not that I was counting). It had its benefits, but we were SO ready to gtfo of dodge if you know what I mean.

Annoying Photos.

PackingPacking sucks.

CommuteCommuting sucks. And this was 7pm.

The Ugly.

  • We bought our new house in a community about 30 minutes North of Philly. The idea was to give Brian a much easier commute (30-40 min vs. 1-1.5 hrs). And bonus for the new house being 20 minutes from my office (even though I mostly work from home). We moved in about a week ago and it’s been great so far…
  • So why is this ugly? Well. Brian found out yesterday that his entire department is being outsourced. It’s a somewhat dramatic thing, since they literally just decided to bring the department in-house (about a year ago), and that’s why Brian was hired. But thanks to some super shady stuff, the powers that be have decided that they want to outsource the department (and not like oversees outsourcing…like hiring another company to do a particular job). It’s a major, major blow since we bought this house to make his commute to work easier.
  • We are about 1 hour away from the rest of the family, all in an effort to ease commuting issues, and now we don’t know where Brian will end up.
  • And the obvious super ugly…we’re back to square one on the job hunt. It’s kind of surreal, and really, really, really sucky timing. He’ll work through August 30th and then he’s on his own. The whole situation is super pissed-off-worthy. Thankfully B’s made some great connections in his short time there, and he has some great people helping him out. Fingers crossed for a FAST AND EASY hunt. And that’s saying a lot in this job economy. I don’t think the reality of this situation has really hit us. We won’t really hit panic mode until the end of the year, since that’s about as far as the “Stay-on-until-August” payout will last us.

And in more recent news, our AC broke exactly 1 week into living in the new place, in the middle of an insane heat wave. It’s been quite uncomfortable, especially since all of this happened exactly at the same time as the job craziness. Can we get a break?!

So here we are. In a new house, in a new town, an hour from family, with no friends, and one less job than we started with. It’s pretty rough to be honest. I like to think I’m a generally positive person, but this move has been more frustrating and challenging than anything. I’m still kind of waiting for the good stuff to outweigh the bad. And with that, a picture dump of some bright spots from these past few months.

Waffle toungeSomeone is always blissfully happy.

PhillyLove the city.

FamCuzReunited with family.

Happy pupShe flies!

Too Many Cookies

I definitely just ate a foggy, dreary, sad, blah, long day’s worth of Christmas cookies. I worked from home today, which is a great perk of a flexible job. I love not having to commute an HOUR each way if I can help it, and it’s nice to really tackle all those computer tasks that always seem to build. However, I am NOT a fan of working at home when the neighborhood is covered in a lingering, dark fog until 2pm. It was SO dreary.

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My view…dark and blah. Until 2 freaking PM!

No matter what I did today, I just kept getting sad. It was nice to have work as a distraction, but it just felt like the dreary fog was taking over my mind. I think I’m handling this crazy time in my life pretty well, but sometimes it’s hard to maintain constant positivity. I miss my little family. I miss having a routine. I miss having my own space. I know my in-laws are family, but it’s hard not being in charge of my own home, or doing things the way I do them, without having to constantly worry about how someone else perceives them. I know I’m SO LUCKY to have such a great family, but this situation is still really tough.

Tomorrow I’ve got meetings in Philly, so I’ll be out and about, which I think will be great. And the sun is supposed to be shining. I also plan to squeeze in a run if I can, since I know it will help boost my spirits. I’ve just got to keep telling myself that all this change is worth it!

Miss this guy.

I’m currently living 4 hours away from my husband. It’s been this way for almost a month, and it’s tough.

When I got the job in Philly it was a no-brainer that we would move. We’ve always wanted to raise a family here, but never had the right reason to leave. And now, that reason is here. It’s always seemed like such a dream, such a far off wish, that I never really thought about what it would be like. Bri couldn’t up and leave as quickly as we’d hoped since he was in the middle of a huge project at work. It just wouldn’t be right for him to quit like that, and we didn’t want to lose his salary when he didn’t have something else lined up in Philly.

So now he’s on a perpetual job hunt while I live with his parents up in PA. It’s SO great to have a free place to live while we get things figured out, but it is tough. I miss him dearly. It’s weird how much you miss someone when you’re suddenly taken away, even if you know it’s only temporary. And we’re still “newlyweds” to boot. We should be living up this time of our lives together.

The plan at this point is for me to go on a crazy packing spree in our Richmond house in the week between Christmas and NYE (I have the week off from work, thank God). We’ll get it ready to list in early February, so it HOPEFULLY sells first thing in the spring. Bri will move up to Philly as soon as the house sells, or he gets a job up here, whichever happens first. I’m going balls to the walls getting that house ready to sell, because at least I have SOME control over that.

If we do sell and he hasn’t found something up here yet, we’ll live with his parents until he’s firmly on his feel. Luckily he works in a field that is in high demand, so we’re hoping the process isn’t too painful…

In the mean time, I’m thankful that I miss him like I do. It solidifies my love for him, and the fact that he really is my best friend (soooo sickeningly sappy, but true, and I don’t want to ever forget it). These next weeks and months are going to be HARD (holy hell I’m in a brand new city, in a new job, living with the in-laws, don’t know my way around, am trying to adjust, am taking grad school classes, am trying to stay in good running shape, and am doing it all without my husband), but I know it will all be awesome in the end…

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Playing Catch Up. And an Injury. Womp Womp.

So I have two races to recap. Two glorious, amazing and personal best races.

But I’m kind of in a funk. Exactly 2 days after the Tobacco Road Half Marathon I got a mysterious neck injury. This baby came out of no where and it SUCKS.

I’ve been to the chiropractor (I literally could not sleep because of the pain) and he explained that my neck is straight…basically it’s missing the natural curve. And one of the vertebrae in my neck is kind of twisted weirdly. In a nutshell, it hurts. So now I’m going to need regular adjustments to put everything back in place. In the meantime I will just have to live with the pain (no scary pain meds for me, thanks) and lay off the running, working out, functioning normally.

These aren’t my X-rays, but this is what it looks like. The pic on the left is what my neck looks like. It’s straight. It should look like the pic on the right.

It’s depressing. I haven’t been able to run for an entire week and I already feel like a waste of space. I don’t know what to do with myself. I need running!! The worst part is that this could take a l.o.n.g time to fix. I can (sort of) live with the pain, but I want to be able to run and do BodyPump.

Right now my goal is to be back to normal by June 2. That’s when the Marathon Training Team starts for the Richmond Marathon. I WILL be on that team. Two whole months of recovery should be enough…right?!

So yeah. That’s where things are right now. I’m looking forward to writing two glorious race recaps. It’s kind of like living through it again. Roanoke Canal 8k recap will be live in the morning!

Until then, cheers to recovery and healing…

The Good, the Bad and the Broken

Let’s start with the good.

I recently decided to get a little crazy in the kitchen. I had 3 pretty nasty looking bananas to deal with, which obviously calls for a banana bread! I didn’t want to make something uber unhealthy, so I ended up following this recipe here and making a few adjustments with whole wheat flour. The end result was tasty and relatively healthy for a banana bread!

Yeah, I MADE that (it's really some kind of miracle).

The only downside to this bread? I totally trashed the kitchen in the process. I really can’t help it. I also made a pretty gross crock pot dish that I’d rather not talk about. Let’s just say I don’t know how to make salsa and sour cream should never go in a slow cooker. Behold the mess…

I cleaned it eventually...

Now for the bad. I had the.worst.run.of.my.life. last weekend. It was a 9 miler and it was seriously the worst run I’ve had in YEARS. The weather was about 58 or so, so I wore a long sleeved top with shorts. I felt just dandy for the first 4-5 miles until I stopped at a park water fountain to re-hydrate. The damn thing was OFF. Uggg. Richmond needs to realize that we don’t really have “winter” and there is no need to turn off water fountains! I was depending on that water to get me through the end, and when it wasn’t there I kind of crumbled. I ended up running in the sun and it was HOT. Looking back I know I was seriously dehydrated and should have just gone home. Instead I stopped at Dot’s Back Inn (a yummy diner) because I saw Brian’s car there (he likes their burgers and I don’t eat meat so he occasionally goes alone). I ended up waiting about 5 minutes for a glass of water which just caused my legs to stiffen up. And I was still 3 miles from home. SO AWFUL.

I was hot, dehydrated, stiff, annoyed and just blah. I was really close to tears about 1 mile from home.

The splits don’t lie.

9 Miler of Doom

I contemplated quitting running after this. Alas, I am back on the bandwagon.

Moving on to the BROKEN.

I went to DC after the 9 Miler of Doom to visit 3 of my closest college chicas. It was a whirlwind trip but super fun. I was able to recover from dehydration (it was NOT FUN) in time to make it up to see them. I’m so glad I didn’t bail. Wine is hydrating, right?

Anyway, after a night of fun my friend and I walked to my car to hit the road. She had a flight to catch so we were in a bit of a hurry. But LO AND BEHOLD, some idiot had punched out my window!!! And not a main window…one of the little triangular ones in the back. WTF. They didn’t even steal anything. In fact, the locks weren’t even reachable from the broken pane. I mean, who does that crap?! Just a random act of violence. Lame. Karma will get you evil person!!

NOT COOL. EVER.

My insurance deductible is $500 and this little baby only cost $250 to replace. So that meant I had to drop $250 senseless dollars. SO ANNOYING. Oh and I had to tape up the whole thing with a trash bag since I was driving straight into a snowstorm. I was totally “that car.”

Oh well, I’m moving on the greener pastures now! Here’s to good runs and intact glass from here on out…

Race Dilemma

This is a doozy of a dilemma for me. In the grander scheme of life it’s no big deal, but in the confines of my race schedule, it’s a doozy.

I am currently scheduled to run two races on Saturday, March 31. One is in Richmond and one is in Philly. BOO!!

I signed up for the Monument 10k a while ago (and even got into a seeded wave!!!!!!) since I’ve participated in that run for the past several years. Really, it’s kind of become a tradition. I’m also excited about the possibility of destroying my previous 10k PR of 57-something. The Monument 10k is such a fun (yet insanely crowded) race so it was really a no-brainer for me to register again this year.

Chugging along at last year's Monument 10k

That is until the Philadelphia Phillies announced the date of their uber popular 5k: MARCH 31. NOOOOOO.

Since I participated in the inaugural Phillies 5k last year, I was offered the opportunity to sign up an hour before regular registration opened. A bib in this race is like liquid goal (not entirely sure if that makes sense…but ya know what I mean). It sold out last year in less than a day, so I knew I had to snatch up a spot just out of sheer principle. Also, the Phillies 5k allows bib transfers, so I knew it wouldn’t be a total loss even if I don’t end up running.

I heart Philly (despite the cold).

So does Brian...no question about which race he'll be running.

As it stands I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll end up doing. So far I have these dilemmas…

  • We’re going up to Philly the weekend before (or after? I don’t remember) the race, so that’s a whole lot of back and forth.
  • This would be the 5th year in a row I run Monument. That’s pretty cool.
  • The Phillies race is HALF the distance of Monument…I’m aiming for a sub-2 hour half just 2 weeks before these races, so maybe the 5k is a better option for me physically.
  • Brian’s definitely running Philly, and it’s nice (and rare) to run races with him.
  • I really want the Phillies 5k technical shirt to wear to fall games.
  • I just have to wake up and make my way downtown to run in Monument…I have to drive all the way to Philly and likely not get much sleep the night before the 5k.
  • None of my friends live on Monument Ave anymore…so we don’t really have a place to call home base for the after-race party. Brian won’t be there anyway…
  • Probably won’t have a cheer section at either race, but at least Monument is CRAZY throughout the entire run.
  • I can transfer the Phillies bib, but will definitely take a monetary loss on the Monument bib.
  • I’m seeded in Monument -COOL!
  • Monument is so ridiculously crowded…it’s borderline not fun.

BLAH! So much back and forth. At least I’ve got some time to decide!

Why Can’t I Kick My Own Butt?

It’s Friday. I went to the gym after work…seriously, who am I?

That’s cool and all, but it was actually a total failure. There’s just something about the treadmill that totally demotivates me lately. I wanted to get in a 3 mile hill workout but ended up just doing 2.1 miles of straight UPHILL. Apparently that’s not the best way of going about hills and I had to couldn’t stop myself from throwing in the towel a mile early. Boo.

Then I moved on to a few machines with the intention of getting in some solid strength training instead. I got through chest reps and some lat exercises and then threw in the towel again. So not feeling it tonight.

As I was leaving the gym I realized something. I am completely incapable of kicking my own butt. I need a plan, a coach, a team, a class…SOMETHING to tell me what to do. That’s why BodyPump works for me. It’s an hour of planned and coached strength training with no need for me to think about what to do next. And that’s why the training team got me through two half marathons and a PR. Eureka!

I seriously can’t believe I haven’t thought about this sooner. I need to stick to classes and a solid running training plan and I’ll be A-OK.

Lightbulb moments are the best…

I'm figuring this running ish OUT!!!

 

Race Bummer and Race Win

I’ve been mentally planning to run a half marathon the weekend of March 17th for a long time now. I felt great after the half in November, and knew I needed a race to keep me motivated and running through the winter.

However, what I did NOT consider was the fact that races have this little thing call CAPACITY. And, lo and behold, the race I had my eye on is completely sold out. No Shamrock Half for me. Major bummer. When I first saw this on the race website I figured I could just run the Rock and Roll USA Half in DC instead, but it turns out that race is on the 17th – a Saturday – and I have a work event to attend. Major bummer number 2.

I’ve been training for a half on March 18th but wasn’t actually signed up for anything. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb!

What’s a girl to do?

Turn to Running In the USA and find a freaking race on March 18th!!!

And that’s just what I did. And boy did I find a good one (at least I hope so). In fact, I think this race might be BETTER for me than both the Shamrock and the USA race. Behold…

I'm doing the HALF.

I know absolutely nothing about this race except for the fact that it happens on March 18th in Cary, NC. And why is this race a better option for me than the other two? My parents just closed on a new condo in Raleigh, NC that is about 15 minutes from the start of this race. No hotel rooms to pay for and no outrageous Rock and Roll prices to pay for entry. And my family will get to cheer me on. Win. Win. Win.

I’m hoping this race is flat and interesting. I also hope the weather stays nice and cool…NC can be tricky sometimes. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this is my time to shine for a SUB 2 HOUR HALF!

I celebrated my race registration with a speedy (for me) 4 miler on this lovely 63 degree afternoon. Yes, it was 32 on Sunday and 63 today. Thanks Virginia.

I felt fantastic the entire run, I think because I have a real RACE to run towards now.

Negative splits…who am I?!

Thinking about crossing the finish line makes me a very happy lady.

Happy 100!

According to the fancy WordPress stats, this is my 100TH POST! Rejoice!

If I had the time/patience, I’d write out a top 100 list of something. Or post 100 pictures of stuff. But instead I’m just going to recap my weekend like it’s no big deal.

Brian ended up going to Philly for his brother’s Christmas party, so I was stuck alone all weekend. I had a bachelorette party to attend and couldn’t bail. This weekend taught me that I do NOT do very well alone. Hence the reason I’ve always at least had a roommate. Carrie + an empty house + no one to talk to + paranoia about everything = not such a great weekend.

As soon as I got home from work on Friday I deadbolted every single lock in the house, whipped up some mac and cheese and poured myself a glass bottle of wine. I had a rough time sleeping on Friday…the cats were going absolutely insane and it totally freaked me out. They were running around like crazy and even though I KNOW it’s them, I still get totally paranoid that someone is breaking in. I need to chill…or at least take some sort of sleeping aid.

Awww what an angel...

SIKE! Devil cat. Especially when mom is home alone...

Saturday I rolled out of bed around 9 in an attempt to sleep late and therefore not have the urge to pass out in the middle of the bachelorette party. I had every intention of running 4 miles, but I could not muster up the motivation. I tried everything but my funk was just too powerful. I ended up spending the morning on the couch watching TV and contemplating my existence. Basically it made me depressed. Note to self…when relaxing, JUST RELAX, don’t think about issues/problems/hopes/dreams/etc. Just chill.

Around 1 I managed to shower and get my act together. I decided to go shopping to cheer myself up. BAD CARRIE, BAD. And ummmmm, hello, it’s the weekend before Christmas. My excuse was that I HAD to go out anyway since I needed to pick up some cute underwear for the bride-to-be. To add insult to injury in my already cloudy state, I ended up REAR ENDING a truck. Thankfully I was only going like 3 miles and hour and didn’t do any damage to his vehicle. I literally looked in my rearview mirror for like half a second and then hit him out of no where. Damn Christmas traffic.

Oh and he was a state trooper. Awesome. But thankfully he didn’t want to call the cops so I didn’t get a ticket. My license plate was damaged and there is a small hole in my bumper where his trailer hitch hit me. Uggg.

After that I cried all the way to Target and avoided the mall completely.

I went in for underwear and came out $165 poorer. Such is Target.

But I did score THESE awesome pants.

Miracle worker.

I didn’t even try them on. Rather, I just prayed that they’d be the PERFECT pair of pants for the bachelorette party. And they were.

Hard to see, but they were great...

Anywho. I got home and had about 30 minutes to get dressed, wrap my gift, do my hair and make up, paint my nails and get out the door when my ride arrived. It was a whirlwind but I was thankful for the distraction from my funk.

The night ended up being a LOT of fun. I was worried that my crappy day would make me a buzz kill, but a night of girlie fun can never do harm. I stayed out until 2:30am and partied like a rockstar with some of my favorite Richmond people.

Sunday morning I was regretting all the wine, and didn’t get out of bed until 10:30. Then more couch sitting happened. So much for my last opportunity for productivity before the new year…I promise we’ll have all of our wedding gifts unpacked before our 1 year anniversary..

Brian finally came home around 3 and I decided to go for a run despite my pounding headache. Mr. Garmin was no where to be found, so I used my RunKeeper app on the iPhone. I did a nice and easy 4 miler…just what the doctor ordered to cure my funk.

I'll take it.

In a nutshell, I accomplished NOTHING this weekend other than tasting a whole bunch of Pinot Grigio. Oh and loading the dishwasher. I did do that.

Motivation, where are you?! All I want for Christmas is you!!

What was I thinking?

Seriously. What the hell was I thinking about in this photo?

Probably the best (and by best, I mean worst) race photo of me EVER.

I THINK it was the end of the race?? And I’m trying to turn off my Garmin?

I’m happy to be done?

I’m practicing my modeling skills?

I promise it’s not a sigh of relief from wetting myself…