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Long Time No Post!

Sorry. Sorry, sorry, sorry! New York City has taken my nice little quaint Connecticut life and turned it on its head. For the most part, in a very good way. But in terms of having enough time to run/work/eat/sleep/lift/commute/run/work/eat/sleep I have put writing a post for my blog on the very back burner. Hopefully that will change soon! Quick life recaps in 3 sentences or less per category:

Running Updates:
Somehow, I have managed to still train for the most part. I have not been nearly as strict about my running schedule as I have been in the past, but I do what I can and it has been working out for the most part. I am still tentatively running the California International Marathon in December and then officially running Boston 2015!

Living Situation Updates:
Doug will be joining me here in NYC starting in December! He doesn’t finish his MBA at UConn until next May but he front-loaded his classes so that he only has to take 1 or 2 next semester, meaning we can live in NYC and HE can commute instead of me! It will be so nice to have my family back together all in one place – I miss Doug and Lupe more than I ever thought was possible.

Work Updates:
I. Love. My. Job. Love it! It is busy and crazy and challenging and so different from anywhere I have ever worked in the past. I work 9+ hour days but they fly by. I have met so many interesting people and the vibe of life here is just amazing. People truly love what they do here and it is incredibly contagious!

Picture Updates:

Jessi's bachelorette party that involved a mobile home, a pole dancing class, and clubbing!

Jessi’s bachelorette party that involved a mobile home, a pole dancing class, and clubbing!

Our view at dinner in Boston with our good friend Vicki and EJ.

Our view at dinner in Boston with our good friend Vicki and EJ.

Jessi and Paul's wedding on August 2! Such a fun day. Megan's church hat = priceless

Jessi and Paul’s wedding on August 2! Such a fun day. Megan’s church hat = priceless

Views from my run over the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning last week. B-e-a-utiful.

Views from my run over the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning last week. B-e-a-utiful.

FALL ALERT. This is a tree we saw in Vermont last weekend while visiting a good friend, Mike!

FALL ALERT. This is a tree we saw in Vermont last weekend while visiting a good friend, Mike!

Mike's Vermont condo. Mount Snow + a fireplace + a cozy couch = Paradise

Mike’s Vermont condo. Mount Snow + a fireplace + a cozy couch = Paradise

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Honeymoon Recap + New York City Life

It has been a few months since my last post, which I dislike. “Life has gotten crazy” would be the understatement of the year.

Major updates:

1. We went on our honeymoon to Italy!!!

Doug and I flew out on May 11th and stayed one night in Florence, four nights in Monterrosso in Cinque Terre, and three nights in Siena. These were three very different, very beautiful places. We wish we scheduled one more night for Florence. Cinque Terre had the best hotel. We had a balcony that overlooked a man’s farm/garden where he grew lemon trees, orange trees, and a ton of other stuff. It also overlooked one of the main streets through our town so it was a great place to people watch! We sat out there most nights before dinner with cheese, cured meats, and a bottle of wine to share. Rough life…

Here are some pictures of our trip:

Enormous churches in Florence

Enormous churches in Florence

A meat market where Doug and I tried

A meat market where Doug and I tried tripe. Gross. But cool place!

Our balcony in Monterosso!

Our balcony in Monterosso!

#coupleshot in Monterosso

#coupleshot in Monterosso

Douglas overlooking the next town down from Monterosso, called Vernazza

Douglas overlooking the next town down from Monterosso, called Vernazza

#selfie

#selfie

View of the Cinque Terre coastline in Monterosso

View of the Cinque Terre coastline in Monterosso

Waves crashing in Corniglia

Waves crashing in Corniglia

In Corniglia. What a cute town!

In Corniglia. What a cute town!

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On our organic food & wine tour through Tuscany!

On our organic food & wine tour through Tuscany!

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2. New NYC Life

This is taking some getting used to, but the things I love are that I work one block away from my best friend so I see her all the time, my roommates are amazing, and I like my job! The negatives are that I am constantly missing Doug and Lupe, things are expensive, and I hate the hustle and bustle 24/7-ness that New York City is.

I joined a running club, the Gotham City Runners and I run with them as much as I can make my schedule overlap with what they’re doing. The team is really nice and it helps to have people to run with every once in a while!

I ran the Queens 10k last weekend and despite the humidity I got 2nd overall female and ran 38:49. I was hoping for close to 38:00 but I’ll get there. Not too concerned about it at this point!

And finally, here are some pictures of NYC fun:

Scavenger hunt around Soho with work! So much fun. Clearly we were into it.

Scavenger hunt around Soho with work! So much fun. Clearly we were into it.

Had to take a picture wearing Prada glasses. Done.

Had to take a picture wearing Prada glasses. Done.

Auss and I out on the town!

Auss and I out on the town!

Beer served at work. Mad Men style.

Beer served at work. Mad Men style.

Auss, Courtney and me at Houston Hall

Auss, Courtney and me at Houston Hall

Giant beers!

Giant beers!

That is all for now! Happy 4th of July weekend!

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Some Official Wedding Photos!

I know I have posted a lot about the wedding – but this is the last one! I just got my photos back from my amazing photographer Courtney Heath Photography. She did an impeccable job and I have looked at them over and over again pretty close to every day! Read her blog post about our wedding here!

These are a few of my favorites:

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A honeymoon post to come soon! Italy was incredible.

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And the “Outgoing” Award Goes to…

I made some more running friends in Wallingford! They are four men. Slightly on the nerdy side.

This past week I have been getting my runs done for the most part on the Choate Academy track which is about a half mile from where I live. I am still being veryyyy careful with my foot – even though I haven’t felt pain for a while now! Flat, soft surfaces are the way to go to keep injuries away.

So yesterday, it was an incredibly nice day. The track was packed with walkers, joggers, kids playing on the high jumping mats, and a few doing speed workouts. I was in my normal “zoning out” mode and running in the outside lane. I noticed that there was a group of runners ahead of me, going the same direction, and I was catching them fairly quickly. Ugh. This is going to be awkward when I pass them on the outside lane. And they’re men. They will probably stare me down. That was my thought. Was it a normal thought to have? Probably not. But I hate passing people when it’s not a race. Especially real runners.

Surprisingly, as I passed them, they gave me a nod of approval and a “nice job!” They looked like they were all 50-somethings and maybe a few 60-somethings. A few were wearing reflective vests, which made me laugh a little because the sun was shining and we were on a track… Cute.

So as I ran lap after lap after lap I continued to pass by them. With just a few laps to go, one of the men yelled out as I passed by, “Hey! You should join us for our post-run beer that we have over there after you’re done with your run!”

If this were any other day, I would probably have said thanks but no thanks. But today, I just had this urge to be social. I’m leaving for my honeymoon in a few days and I’m changing my life and career once we get back. You could say my mood was much better than usual, which may have increased my level of outgoing-ness.

So, I joined them for a beer! They had a Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale six pack waiting to be consumed, and that was a good sign already – good taste. They asked me why I was running so fast, what I was training for, what I do for work, and so on. I learned that they all live in Wallingford. Some work as engineers, one was an orthodontist, and a few of them have kids going off to college next year. I would say that the number of things I have in common with them was not a lot, but running is a big one to have in common and can create at least a little bit of conversation! They were nice and it was interesting hearing about their lives. They are ALL training for the Hartford Marathon which is this October. That is amazing. Running is the best sport in the world because you can literally run any pace at any age as long as your legs and body hold up. The fact that they are all training for the same marathon is incredible. For some of them, it is going to be their very first marathon ever. For others, it is going to be their 20-something marathon. So. Cool.

I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I will be moving in a few weeks to New York City. I think that would have confused them greatly because I had a hard enough time explaining that I grew up in Missouri, went to high school in New Hampshire, went to college in Tennessee and Connecticut, lived in Austin for a year recently, and now just moved to Wallingford not long ago. I also had a hard time explaining what I do for work – and how it has changed a lot over the past few years. Adding the fact that I JUST accepted ANOTHER new job in the big city… well I will just leave that for the next Tuesday meet-up with them at the track for our run and post-beer social hour.

Hope everyone has a nice, outgoing day!

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New York City Surprise

Q: What do New York City and I have in common?

A: As of May 28, everything.

Explanation: The week after my wedding, I got one of those LinkedIn emails that listed job openings that “match my experience”. Well, normally I just hit the delete button because I am not actively looking for another job. I actually like my current job! But, this LinkedIn email stood out because it had an email marketing position posted for one of my favorite companies ever… Rent the Runway. I was sitting next to Doug when I saw this email. I looked at him, pointed to my email, and said, “Dream job much?” His response was, “New York City? That would be sweet. Apply!”

So, I applied. I actually laughed to myself thinking, Ha! One in a million chance I get this.

Well, I got it. I applied on a Monday, got called for a phone interview on Tuesday, had an in-person interview on Thursday, then a final interview/”email analysis presentation” the following Tuesday, and got offered the position a week after that. Mind. Blown.

“Now what do we do?!” I frantically asked Doug the minute I got the offer, with a huge nerdy smile spread wide across my face.

This is my dream job. The idea of New York City scares me because it is monstrous, but my best friend works one block down the street from where my work would be. She loves it there and she can help show me the way. Doug has one more year left of school for his MBA at UConn. We have a dog. We have an apartment in Wallingford (2.5 hours away one-way from New York City.)

“Do it,” he chuckled. We agreed that every negative about taking this position was temporary. And that big decisions shouldn’t be based off temporary hiccups.

In terms of job description, this one sounds amazing. I will be able to strategize what types of emails we send. I will be doing the analysis and reporting behind the emails and will plan out future emails based on that analysis. This will be a very “creative” job which is a little different than what I do now. Rather than simply coding and launching the emails, I will be able to create the ideas behind the emails. I will be marketing for designer DRESSES rather than safety equipment and signs, tags, and labels. Oh, I’m getting too excited even typing it!

So, I took it! I start May 28. I found a place in Brooklyn to sublet with two awesome roommates. I will stay there 3-4 nights a week and commute home for the weekends and one night during the middle of each week. The apartment is fully furnished so I just need to bring a bag with me. I will pretty much be living a crazy, crazy life this next year – but it will be worth it.

Doug and Lupe will join me in the Big Apple next May when he graduates. New York City gives him a wider variety of companies to apply for out of school, which is great! We will become New Yorkers. Oh my. We are nuts.

Foot Injury Update
Pain free for four runs now!!! I even got through an entire 10.24-miler yesterday without pain. **Knock on wood** this peroneal tendon is now a happy peroneal tendon.

Race Update
My friend Mary and I just registered not even 2 hours ago for the California International Marathon on December 7 in Sacramento, California. It is supposed to be a FLAST (fast/flat) course that is one of the best in the west. Yay!

Honeymoon Update
Doug and I are headed to Italy this upcoming Sunday! Lots of exciting things. Pictures to come. πŸ™‚

Happy training and happy Spring!

4

Painmazing Experience – The 118th Boston Marathon Race Report

This picture basically sums up my Boston experience:
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A face full of pain and a mind full of joy! The 118th Boston Marathon was hands down incredible. It was painful. It was sad. It was inspiring. It was overwhelming. It was amazing.

From the time my friend Vicki and I got in line to load the bus to the start line all the way til the moment I crossed the finish line, everything about this race and experience had a “we are all in this together” feel. A marathon has a great potential to be a very lonely race and experience. Running in general can be a lonely experience, especially when you are out there for 26.2 miles. However, the Boston Marathon made me feel like I was part of something much greater, and there was never even a second when I wasn’t being encouraged by fellow runners or fans along the course.

I spent the majority of the weeks leading into the race hoping and praying that my foot could make it through 26.2 miles. I was not incredibly optimistic, though. The 10 miler I had done the week before really crushed my confidence. I hadn’t felt pain that bad before, and I knew that if I felt that during the marathon, I would need to stop in order to keep my peroneal tendon from tearing. Standing on the starting line of the Boston Marathon, I thought to myself, there is probably a 30% chance I will make it to the finish line, but here goes nothing!

Well it went. And it was not nothing. It was everything. The first 8-9 miles were mainly downhill and I just went for it. My coach told me to go out in the 6:25-6:30 range, which is exactly what I did. I made friends with other runners on the start line and cracked jokes as we ran through town after town. I “ran into” two guys I ran in college with and chatted it up with them for a few minutes. I smiled a lot. BostonMarathon6Thanks to my friend Vicki, she made us t-shirts with our names on the front, so I got more “GO CARRIE” cheers than I have ever gotten in my life! That was awesome. I think I will wear that shirt every race I run from here on out.

Then I hit mile 9. And I had this very odd thing happen. My thighs locked up. It was out of nowhere and it had never happened to me before. Ever… Mile 9 out of a 26.2 mile race is not ideal timing to have your thighs lock up. I tried massaging them as I ran. That was awkward and did not work. I tried stopping to stretch them out. That made it worse. I paused at a med tent and asked if they had any Icy Hot I could put on my legs. “Icy Hot? What? No. We have Vaseline?” was the response I got. Oh dear. If there was any positive side to my legs locking up, it was that it masked the pain from my foot. It of course slowed me down, and made the last 17.2 miles insanely painful, but at the same time it allowed me to look around and half-enjoy the experience. I knew I was going to finish. Especially once I passed the 13 mile mark, I knew there was NO WAY I wouldn’t finish. It was going to be painful. It was going to be slower than I wanted. But I was going to finish the Boston Marathon – and that made my heart feel really good.

My family and friends stood at mile 24. I knew they were tracking me on their phones so every time I crossed over one of the timing mats, I smiled knowing they’d see that I was still running and that my foot hadn’t gotten so painful that I needed to stop yet. Just before I got to them, I encountered heartbreak hill. Leading into the race, this was supposed to be my toughest moment. However, because the pain in my thighs hurt so bad running on flat and downhill surfaces, uphill was actually a “break” for them. My pace going UP heartbreak hill was about a minute per mile faster than my pace for the rest of the race. Ridiculous. Stupid thighs!!!

Anyway, my friends and family made me tear up, in a good way. They carried hand-made signs and shouted encouraging words louder than anyone else out there. I smiled, waved, then pointed to my thighs and gave a whiny pain face to let them know what I was going through. But to them, it didn’t seem to matter! They were just happy I was finishing – as was I!

Some pictures of my amazing sign-holding friends:

Megan and Colleen

Megan and Colleen

Megan, Jessi, and Colleen by the famous Citgo sign!

Megan, Jessi, and Colleen by the famous Citgo sign!

And some more race fun:

Fist-pumping down Beacon Street!

Fist-pumping down Beacon Street!

Pain face. Attractive.

Pain face. Attractive.

All in all, I went into the Boston Marathon not certain I was a huge fan of the distance. It was only my second marathon ever. And after it was over, I wanted nothing more than to sign up for the next one. I am now a Boston “lifer”. I will run that marathon every year I can qualify for it. This was the first of many. Now I know what I’m getting myself into in terms of the “course beating up your legs” aspect. Yes, it’s a fast course, but only if you train for it right. I will do a lot more downhill training next time. I will also make sure I do not get injured 3 weeks before, and will not take the 4 days before the race completely off of running. I will wear a belt next time that I can store my Gu’s in so I don’t have to run with them in my hands. I will bring a mini water bottle that I can use to drink out of instead of pouring cups of water all over my face at each water stop. I will pack mini Icy Hot packets in my belt to use IF the muscle lock-up happens again.

The most important take-away is that finishing the Boston Marathon is an out-of-this-world experience. Vicki finished as well, and although her time was not on target for what she wanted, she felt the same way. Finishing is what it’s all about. Soaking in the encouragement from the sidelines is the point. Running FOR Boston is what it’s all about. There was no “I” in this marathon. It was an “us” race. We all did it together. The runners, the fans, the city of Boston. I will be back, Boston! Next year, and the year after that, and maybe the one after that, for as long as I can qualify for it! Thank you for making me fall in love with every step of the Boston Marathon.

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Let’s Do This, Boston!!!

MRI complete. (Ummm never knew how scary that machine was. Why does it sound like a construction site? And it takes 40 minutes?! Didn’t realize this.)

Results in.

GREAT NEWS: I do NOT have a stress fracture! Therefore, I will be running Boston. Hallelujah!!!

Stress Fracture-Negative Happy Face Selfie!!!

Stress Fracture-Negative Happy Face Selfie!!!


Iffy News: I have a mild case of “Peroneal Tendonitis”. Basically, I will be spending the next 72 hours resting, icing, massaging, and booting up my foot. The hope is that the pain will not happen at all during the 26.2 mile race on Monday. And if it does, I will stop, stretch, massage, and keep going if I can. If the pain becomes unbearable, I will have to stop so that I don’t do more damage to my tendon. But let’s not think about that. That won’t happen.

The great news is that I WILL BE ON THE STARTING LINE OF BOSTON and I will hopefully be at the finish line as well!

No stress fracture. Stress fracture-negative. Free of a stress fracture. Stress fracture-less. I can’t stop saying it. πŸ™‚

Good luck to all those who are running Boston. I appreciate the support you readers have shown me from my last few sad posts. This has been a long, amazing 8 months of training and I can’t wait to see what everyone does out there. Woohoo!