this is me now

March 30, 2008

I Survived!

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,college,roommates,running — by heatherdc @ 8:38 pm

13.1 Miles. I survived. I made it. I loved it!

We (me + roomies) all piled into the Suburban and hit the road on Friday. We got to Em’s house around 8 and started cooking! Time to load up on carbs. On the menu: pizza and pasta. We couldn’t decide between one or the other, why not make both? Mmmm, delicious.

I could barely sleep, probably a little nervous/excited. I woke up before my alarm went off at 6:30, fixed my breakfast and was ready to Go.

Things started off a little rough. With the high for the day being an expected 45º accompanied by clear blue skies, I thought I’d be fine in my usual stretch-pants and a cute (New!) sleeveless running top from Target. I thought, despite the freezing cold morning temps, that it would warm up. Or at least I would warm up while running. Wrong.wrong.wrong.

LB and I turned out to be the only not-so-smart ones in the bunch. The only ones who weren’t wearing long spandex pants, or thin zip-up jackets, or even long sleeves, and gloves/hats/head warmers/etc. Ehhh, oops.

Luckily, LB had a light sweatshirt that she decided to wear, and gave me her little mittens so I didn’t lose my hands by the end of the race. Which definitely would have happened. No doubt.

Before we started, I realized my iPod was so cold that the touch-pad wasn’t working. I couldn’t select a playlist. Therefore I wasted time creating an Awesome ‘Exercise’ list that was over 3 hours long to keep me running running running.

Luckily, at the last minute it cooperated and let me scroll down to my songs. Starting off the race with a little Beyonce and some “Check on It”. Yeaaaa.

The trail started off with a big hill, and with each step up my left sock slid a little bit lower. I tried to stop and pull it up (this has never happened before, why today? why why why!), but it just slipped right back down. Fine, sock, have it your way. I ran the next 12 miles with a sock right below my heel.

Luckily it didn’t fall all the way off. And surprisingly, after about 5 miles it didn’t bother me.

I could feel my pace settle in and get comfortable. Right around 8 min/mile and content. A few songs always make me giddy and I speed up a little bit. Like “Can’t Stop the Beat” (Hairspray!), “The Queen & I” (Gym Class Heroes), “Romeo’s Tune” (Keith Urban) and “Glamorous” (Fergie). That gives you a small glimpse into the random-ness that is my ‘Exercise’ playlist. I loooove it. The music died right in the middle of the new Miley Cyrus song, and I had been waiting for that one. Gah.

Luckily, it lasted about 12.5 miles before that happened. For the last stretch I was left to my own thoughts.

It went by pretty fast. I never felt too tired, never had the urge to walk, and never wondered how soon it would be over.

The goal had been set the night before. I had no idea what would be a “good” first 1/2-marathon time. I wanted to have a goal, but it had be something reasonable so I wasn’t too disappointed if I didn’t get it. I decided on just finishing under 2 hours.

Coming around the last turn, the timer came into focus. 1:48:40. I got so excited. I made it in 1 hour and 49 minutes!

Then, after two bottles of water, two bananas, and grabbing bagels for the road, we headed off. We got in the car and drove right back to good ol’ Happy Valley. I slept a little in the car, and was excited for a shower, getting ready, and going Out. And that’s just what we did!

March 27, 2008

Ready for a ‘Short Run’

Filed under: running,travel,weekends — by heatherdc @ 11:43 pm

My bags aren’t packed, and I’m not ready to go. But I am ready to run!

As of tonight, I am finishing up the laundry and packing the over-night bag. No biggie. I’m used to the whole ‘quick-pack’ routine. After making a last minute visit to the website, I realized I have to print out a Registration form (yes, I have already registered. I’m not that bad) to bring with me at the Packet Pick-up. Ehh, good thing I checked on that! A last minute trip to Target to see if they have any cute running tops to treat myself to is also on the to-do list. Every occasion merits a new outfit, right? 🙂

This will be my first 1/2 marathon, so wish me luck! I’m excited and ready for the challenge. I know I’m prepared, so nerves aren’t setting in …just yet. Plus, this was just another opportunity for a roomie-road trip, so they are all on board (yes!). We’ll be heading out late tomorrow afternoon, consuming lots o’ pasta, and relaxing. There will also be post-run celebrating, of course! A night out on the town, dancing, and drinking….doesn’t get any better than that.

Off we go!

March 26, 2008

It’s like “No White” after Labor Day, right?

Filed under: clothes,eewww,fashion rules — by heatherdc @ 5:41 pm

tlc.jpg

So I’m sure that most of you have heard this “rule”…

You can’t wear white after Labor Day

This is in reference to white pants/shoes/shorts/skirts, not shirts. From what I assume, this is because these items tend to give off a ‘summery’ look that can seem inappropriate during the Fall/Winter months. Which I can understand, because in most cases it’s true. But rules are meant to be broken right? So people do it all the time. And I’m all for it! I love white and there are many-a-cute white outfits. As long as it’s tasteful and cute, do what you do! Even Stacy & Clinton agree (according to a sign pictured in the intro), that white IS permitted after Labor day.

I think there’s a different rule that needs to be put into effect, um, Now.

No Uggs after the first day of Spring!

Okay, first of all, it has taken me quite some time to get used to this whole “Uggs” thing. I have mixed feelings. I understand that they keep your feet warm, and are apparently really comfortable. In the cold, miserable, winter months, I am all for a shoe that is warm and comfortable. No, I don’t own Uggs, and never plan on it. But I see the logic. I gotcha.

Here’s what I will Never understand. Uggs + Leggings. Uggs + Mini-skirts.

These two combos have thrown all logic out the window. Why try to keep your feet warm if the rest of your body is freezing? Or, if it’s warm enough to bust out this outfit, you don’t need boots!! And you look a little ridiculous. Just so you know.

The high today was around 50º, and it was sunny (yes!). So, basically, it was a beautiful spring day. Want to know what looks ridiculous when it’s beautiful and springy and sunny? Ugg Boots. Your feet clearly don’t need them. Give it up. The “Ugg” season is over. Pack them up with the winter wardrobe and move on. In fact, maybe you have some white shoes you’ve been wanting to wear? And by shoes, I mean not-boots. That’d be great. I look forward to seeing them.

Oh, and did anybody else hear that “jellies” are coming back?!?! I’m speechless.

((Update: Apparently I have offended the masses. Just to clear it up, I have no problem with Ugg boots themselves. I just think they look winter-ish, and aren’t appropriate for Spring. Take it as you will. Oh, and they really shouldn’t be worn with mini skirts. I think we can all agree on that, right? Ehhhh. Do what ya do. ))

March 25, 2008

High School meets College Life

Filed under: college,visitors! — by heatherdc @ 11:48 pm

One week from today I’ll be picking up two of my best friends from high school, A and L. They are traveling all the way from the Southwest to the lovely Pennsylvania…for the very first time. It’s always been one of those things, “You should definitely come visit me some time, it’d be So Much Fun!” The kind of things you don’t ever actually think will go through, because it requires…well, a lot of effort. Planning. Money. Time. But they’re coming!!

I am SO excited to have them here. Out of about five of us who were friends in high school, we all still keep in touch, see each other on holiday breaks, and always pick up right where we left off. I don’t talk to them regularly while I’m at school, maybe once a month or so, but as soon as we’re together it’s just as comfortable as it always has been. I love that.

Everyone but me stuck around the general area after we graduated, going to school in-state or at least within driving distance. I ventured over here, and missed out on the random weekend get-togethers at dorms/apartments/houses throughout the last four years. It’s quite a trip to get all the way up here, so while I have visited them and them in their “College life”, they’ve never been here. It should be interesting….

Of course we’ve all changed, or grown-up, or whatever, in the last few years. I know that my life here is very different than what it would have been had I stayed closer to home. I was generally the “shy” one in the group during high school, and for whatever reason, I decided to come over here on my own and experience the East coast for 4 years. I know it has changed a lot about me, all for the better.

I changed in ways that all college freshman do. I realized I had to be outgoing to meet people, and I had to get involved to make 40,000 students not seem like 100,000,000. I learned that it’s easy to strike up conversations with strangers with just a few simple questions. When my next door neighbor walked in my room and said “Hi I’m Em, are you going out? Can I come with you?”, I said “Sure!”. And from that night on we were never alone. And she’s been my roommate and best friend ever since. Then I decided to do an internship and live in Florida for a semester. And that’s how I met LB, and our other roommate S.

And this is my PennState life.

I can’t wait for them to see it. I want them to see Beaver Stadium, and Old Main, and brick sidewalks, and the downtown area full of bar-after-bar and a few restaurants and shops in between. I’m fully prepared for a weekend of ‘touristy’ PSU stuff, mixed with plenty of drinks, food, lounging around, pictures, a few more drinks, and lots of stories.

Oh, State College, I hope you’re ready. The desert girls are takin’ over.

March 23, 2008

This is Me, Running

Filed under: running,training — by heatherdc @ 11:52 pm

For the past few weeks I’ve been doing my “long runs” on campus. There’s a 5K loop around the campus that is used for a lot of different races, and I’ve used it as a basis for my routes. Last week I finally got a little bored with it, so this week I steered clear.

Between the long ones, I run in the gym on the treadmill, because it’s still cold outside. This has not been the smartest strategy. First of all, the only machine that’s not directly in front of a mirror has been broken for the last three weeks. So, I’m forced to stare at myself as I run along. I hate that. Then my eyes start to wander around and I can’t ever find the right thing to focus on. Should I pick a spot and stare at the floor? Boring. Should I try to watch the TV? Helloooo I’m gonna fall. Should I stare at my feet? Dizzyyyy. Should I watch the person behind me on the bike? Ehhh, awkward. Should I try to look outside through the reflection of the window in the mirror?!? Agh.

And let me just say, that when you are running outside for an hour, it’s refreshing. When you are running on a treadmill for five minutes, it feels like an HOUR.

I’ve decided no more treadmill. No matter what the weather this weekend, I have to run 13 miles outside, so I better just get over it now. On Friday I ran outside on my usual trail for the first time in mooonthssss, and it felt Good. I ran longer than I usually do, on a “normal” run, and I wasn’t tired at the end. Ego boost: realizing you have really increased your endurance in a short three weeks.

Today I did one last extended run before the race (on Saturday). Being bored of my campus loop, I stuck around here and just wandered around. I love not having a definite idea of what route you want to take, just giving yourself freedom to explore…..

This is what I found/learned/encountered…

…If it looks like a hill in the car, it feels like a mountain on foot.
…Slow traffic (likely due to the holiday) opens up a lot of possibilities. Like actually crossing that busy street and being able to explore the other side.
…Cops are not so appreciative of you running through the scene of the crime (car accident). Sorry Cops, but you were in the crosswalk. I’m just doing my civil duty and not jay-walking. How ’bout that.
…This little town really is not conducive to safe running. Once you get into the neighborhoods, most of them don’t have sidewalks. Plus the roads are extremely narrow. Bad combination. However…
…Behind the apartment complexes that are across/down the street, there is a HUGE park, and a “dog park”, and a lot of trails. New territory!!
…Even if I’m running, I always have the urge to go inside Target and have a little look around. That’s how much I love that place. Scary.
…Despite the weather; when you wear gloves, your hands get sweaty. When you take the gloves off (because, Ew, sweaty hands), you’re hands Freeze. It’s basic Chemistry. And I’m dumb.
…When you get sick of holding your gloves, don’t throw them in a bush and then forget to retrieve them. Even if they are $1 gloves from Target. Oops.
…There is not one single sidewalk/road/trail within a 10 mile radius of my apartment that doesn’t have a hill. Seriously.
…My pace always speeds up a little bit when each of the “Hairspray” songs on my exercise playlist starts up. I looooove them. And, quite frankly, you Can’t stop the beat.

According to advice from the lovely Miss Sass, the rest of the week will be ‘easy’ runs, loading up on carbs, getting lots of sleep, and (hoping the weather forecast of “Rain” for Saturday is Wrong!) Race Time!!

March 22, 2008

Easter Baking

Filed under: baking,recipes — by heatherdc @ 11:47 pm

This is, hands down, the Best Carrot Cake recipe that I have yet to come across. And what makes it even better? It’s from Cooking Light. Meaning it’s “healthy”, or….healthier. It uses Canola Oil, which has a more favorable ratio of unsaturated:saturated fats, and contains those heart healthy Omega-3s that you’ve heard all about. The recipe also substitutes some of the fat with a pureed fruit (common technique), crushed pineapple. This makes it super moist and adds a lot of flavor.

carrot-cake.jpg

The recipe can be found at CookingLight.com. Go check it out, its yummmyyy!

((When I make this, I usually just buy the “Whipped Cream Cheese” frosting. Because it’s delicious. And easier. Do what you do, either way it’s amazing!))

March 20, 2008

Dressing a 21-year Old

Filed under: "ehhh" days,clothes,Spring — by heatherdc @ 2:06 pm

Yesterday, I quite literally got over ‘the hump’. We had our presentations out of the way, met our attendance goals, I survived the test yesterday morning, and as of last night, it was a downhill slide to the weekend. I relaxed, had a phone-date (the excitement of a long-distance relationship), read a little in my new book, and drifted into a content sleep.

I woke up this morning, had my breakfast, caught up on e-mails, and started to get ready. I wish my brain had warned me for the disaster that was to follow.

Normally, I have no problems getting dressed. Obviously I don’t mean that in the sense of, Well sometimes I can button my pants, but some days you just never know. I mean, I can pick an outfit out in my head, put it on, and be ready. Aside from the weekends of course, where every outfit I own must be worn and contemplated and modeled. But that’s another story. I don’t usually have to try on 5 shirts before I like the look, or switch shoes, or change pants. Because it’s just a day of classes and work, I’m pretty simple and quick about it.

Not today.

Today, I saw a pair of khaki’s that I forgot I even owned, and thought “I should wear those”. We’ll call that, Mistake #1. I then remembered that said khakis always stretch out after about an hour, so I threw on a dark brown belt. Mistake #2. Then I was stumped. I hardly ever wear anything but jeans, unless I’m going out or dressing “business casual”. So I’m looking at my shirts and have no idea which direction to go. The belt is presenting a problem because I hardly ever wear belts anymore, all my shirts are long, and the combination is Not Cute. I try to match a long shirt, and ignore the bulge around the waist. Um, ew. Mistake #3. After about 3 outfit changes, I finally decide that one of them looks “okay”.

Then I think about shoes. Well, of all things to be hurting right now, it’s one toe on each foot. Yes, I’m serious. For some reason, these long distance runs are hurting my toes. My legs aren’t sore, my feet feel fine, but my toes? They are complaining. Ehhhh. So I wanted to wear some comfortable shoes. Mistake #4. They looked weird with current outfit.

Okay. Fine.
Time to change everything.

Khakis are out, jeans are in. Life is easy again. Rethinking the “top” choices, I had to start over. At this point, browsing my closet is beginning to irritate me, so I step into the roomie’s room. I pulled out my favorite knitted green top (with cute little buttons diagonally across the left shoulder!). Yes! Now I’m happy, because wearing something that’s not yours always seems more exciting. I layer it with my white polo, and I can breathe again.

The jeans I picked are long, so I have to sacrifice my toes and wear my boots. Which is fine, because they look better anyway. I threw in some earrings, put my hair up, and I’m finally ready to go. With about one minute to spare. Agh.

As I’m heading out the door I remembered that today is the first day of Spring. And quite frankly, you’d never know here in good ole Pennsylvania. Surprised? Of course not. But you know what, I went back and grabbed my sunglasses. Because it’s Spring. And whether I need them or not, I want to wear them.

March 17, 2008

A Bit of a Bookworm

Filed under: about me,books books books — by heatherdc @ 11:51 pm

Nothing beats curling up on your bed, with a warm blanket, soft pillows, and a good book.  I love the feeling of just having to read page after page, being totally involved in an affair with the story the words are giving you. The feeling of not wanting the last page to come, because you aren’t ready for it to be over.

I have a confession: I am a bookworm. Time and schedule permitting, I am always reading something.  My mom is quick to recommend books that she likes, and send them on over. I am quick to buy books from authors that I have enjoyed in the past, or books topping the “NYT Best Sellers” list.  Fortunately for me, between my mom’s taste and my knack for the entertaining ones, I’ve read a lot of great books.

They keep me busy in the summer, make plane rides go a Lot faster, and keep me sane during the semester. I always read before I go to bed, and love to sit outside on a nice day with a book and hours to waste.

Right now, after being stubborn for over a year, I am finally reading “The Kite Runner”. For those of you who’ve read it, I don’t need to say anymore. I’m involved. I read on the bus to, and from, campus today. I read on my afternoon break before review sessions, meetings and work. I plan on reading as soon as I get back and before I go to bed. Yes, it’s that good.  If you haven’t already, go get it. It’s eye-opening, difficult, grotesque at parts, endearing, well-written, and it keeps you coming back in awe and curiosity.

Sometimes I am more inclined to read the playful romantic stories,  “chick lit”, or comedies.  Sometimes I go for “The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson”, which I absolutely adore and have read many of them multiple times. (Stories of a tween British girl and her many crushes, adventures, crazy cat and loco-little sis. They’re hilarious!!! Don’t judge me).

A few that I’ve read and would recommend to Anybody:

“The Lovely Bones” Alice Sebold

“Nineteen Minutes” Jodi Piccoult

“The Plain Truth” Jodi Piccoult

“The Glass Castle” Jeannette Walls

“The Giver” Lois Lowry

“The Kite Runner” Khaled Hosseini

“Harry Potter” J.K. Rowling
(Yes.  ALL OF THEM. )

 

Any recommendations?? I’m open to anything, let me know!

March 16, 2008

50+ year old Knees

Filed under: getting old,running,training — by heatherdc @ 11:01 pm

After 12+ years of soccer, I knew I would have bad knees. A lot of girls I played with had knee problems, braces, even surgery. I lucked out and never had any of those, but I knew that eventually it would all catch up to me. But the key word there, was eventually.

I did a “long run” today, since I only have 2 weeks left before the “short run“. My knees did not agree with this. The first long one I did was a little over 7 miles. Nothing too extreme, but ~1 hour of running on pavement was no friend to me. About 30 minutes after I finished my knees started to ache a little bit. I didn’t think too much of it.

With the second long one I couldn’t measure the distance, but I just ran until I hit 1 hr & 15 mins. This was while I was home last week, and I was able to mix in some dirt trails to ease it up a little bit. I ate a banana every day (potassium!) and never got sore, which I was pretty proud of.

The third one was today. 1.5 hours on the pavement. Half way through I could feel it comin’. I felt good, I could keep running no problem, but my knees were on a different agenda. As soon as I stopped it hit full force. My knees were angry, and determined to be heard. Apparently I have expected too much from these precious joints in my short 21 years, and they are Not happy about it. No no.

Driving back home it hurt to be sitting because I had this urge to straighten out my legs. Ehhhh.

At least I’m finding this out today, and not two weeks from now. Two pain-killers later (Motrin IB, the strong stuff), and I was fine. Lesson has been learned: my knees have reached the age of 50 twice as fast as me, and would like to be treated appropriately. But we have to compromise, I need you to run for me and then I can spoil you. Deal? Good.

March 13, 2008

Watch out for this Crazy Spring Break-er

Filed under: college,family,home,spring break — by heatherdc @ 1:47 pm

I leave tomorrow to head back to the lovely (cold) state of PA, meaning I am wrapping up “Spring Break-2008”. 

I won’t be leaving with any hangovers, all-nighters, bankruptcy from bar tabs, or anything of the sort. I still have money in my bank account and only a few new purchases to travel back with. Instead of having the assumed College Spring Break experience, I have, as usual, done my own thing. My first spring break was spent showing my new (at the time) best friend (and future roommate to this day) the lovely Southwest. She had never been down here and it was so much fun. The next year I was at Disney, and last year I spent it with Jack at his apartment, lounging around and taking a weekend in Chicago.

This year, I spent the first weekend down south with the siblings, which did include the day trip to Mexico.  So I guess I did at least one typical SB thing.  But more importantly, I got to see my little sis all grown up and starting her college life. I got to spend another night hanging out with my brother and his buddies, sippin’ on drinks and playing beer pong at their house.  And I soaked in the fact that everybody calls us “triplets” because, despite 2 year age differences, we all look so much alike. I love that.

A friend of mine was there for the weekend too, so we rode up to F-town (home) together.  I was a little nervous about it being awkward at times, not because of our friendship, but the sole fact that 6 hours is a long time to be in the car with one other person.  Yet, we had a lot to catch up on, and we pick up right where we left off. Again emphasizing that I love roadtrips. Although I could have done without hearing “Low” (aka “apple bottom jeans…..” you know the words) FIVE times. Ew.

The rest of my break has consisted of long morning runs, reading books, beating my dad at cards (rare!!), renting chick-flicks with my mom, cocktails and cooking some delicious dinners and brownies! I’ve done a lot Less homework than I originally planned, but wouldn’t trade my sitting around and napping for that. Yesterday we went out to lunch, and got pedicures and went to Target. I don’t think it gets any better…

Today I’ve been playing travel agent and booking flights for my entire family to PA for my graduation, followed by a little excursion down to Orlando. After about two hours, everything is done and the trip is planned. Gooood stuff.

And now, rested up and ready (sad) to finish the semester, I end my last Spring break.  Tonight will be drinks and a movie with a friend, followed by the packing that I should be doing right now. Then it’s back to the college life!

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