City of Brotherly Love (and ice, snow and freezing rain)

Yesterday afternoon I made it to Philadelphia after beginning the move by falling down the stairs loading my car and dumping my jewelry in the snowy driveway.  Definitely not the most shining start.  

After unloading all of my stuff and finally finding a parking spot I started the insane task of getting all of my stuff put away and organized.  Two hours later I was pretty much there and I am pleased with the way my new home has turned out.

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Once I was fully satisfied here, I headed to a bar (that I can literally see from my window) to meet my best friend Hannah to watch the Eagles game.  It was unreal watching it with all of these fans.  We sang the fight song, screamed, yelled and suffered together through a devastating loss.  I swear that the whole bar went silent when the game losing field goal was kicked.  

Once the game was over everyone was in a fairly somber mood so I headed home to get some sleep before my last relaxing day.  I started with a run that quickly turned disastrous.  I had planned to go 6 miles but only made it 2.5 at an excruciatingly slow pace due to the ice covered sidewalks.  I hit the art museum and turned around saving my poor self from a broken leg.  People I passed literally looked at me like I had lost my mind.

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Following that very disappointing run I was ready to head to Hannah’s for some fresh, homemade bagels!  Yep, her boyfriend made them from scratch and I can say honestly they may have been the best bagels I have ever tasted!

 

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We had such a great afternoon catching up, grubbing on these beauties and watching the most recent episode of Parenthood.  Unfortunately I had to get to the grocery store and try to make it home to park my car on our street (which is a near impossible task in this city).   I am soooooo not cut out for city living, let me tell you!

After hunting for 30 minutes for a spot I finally gave up on getting one on our one free street that we have in front of the house and parked on a permit street resolving that I would have to get up earlier in the morning to park on our street once people had left for work.  I came in, put away groceries and settled in for the 49ers game, hoping at least Casey could end up happy with football this weekend.  Then with 30 seconds left in the game I heard a huge crunch of tires on snow…SOMEONE WAS LEAVING!  But the game was tied and it was going to come down to this field goal.  I crossed all my fingers and toes and watched the rest of the game (with a 49ers win) and ran down the street to get my car and bring it to my street.  I have never felt more victorious in my entire life.  I probably will never drive my car again either!

So far Philadelphia has been quite testy with me but I am trying to keep an open mind.  First day of rotation number 3 tomorrow, wish me luck!

Last Charleston Weekend

Well I can’t believe I am actually saying this but this was my last weekend in Charleston until at least late February and I won’t be living here again until early May!  I won’t be leaving until Friday but with Christmas this was my last time to see most of our friends for quite a while.  We made the absolute most of it though I have to say.

Side Note: I forgot to share my picture that I found from the Angel Tree at the pet store the other day.  Totally blew it, but better late than never.  I couldn’t believe how much the dog looked like Scarlett and I really just wanted to take her home with me!

angle tree

Friday we did a BYOB painting class and I had a ball.  It was so much fun and the place we went was fantastic.  I can’t believe this woman had the ability to teach me to paint as well as I did because I am really, really, terribly, god awful at these kind of things.  My picture turned out amazing and we had such a great time.  We went to For the Love of Art in West Ashley.  They ran a groupon a few months ago and I bought it for the 4 of us and would do it again in a heart beat!

Me painting

Me painting

Finished product

Finished product

I loved Nicole's snowman!

I loved Nicole’s snowman!

My picture all done!

My picture all done!

Saturday Casey and I went for a run in the 80 degree weather on the first day of winter (seriously, I hate to whine to any of you having snow, but I can’t listen to Christmas music with my windows down and its bumming me out).  I am sure I will be eating these words when I am in Philly and am in head to toe under armor every day.  After that we bummed around, went to the Early Bird Diner for dinner, where I had shrimp and grits (needing to stuff as much of the south in me as I can the next few days).  Then we met Lindsey and Clay to see American Hustle which was so great.  I have a ridiculous girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence and she had me in stitches the whole time.  My only complaint was that there wasn’t more of her.  The movie was much longer than I though but it was really good and entertaining!

We capped off the night at our friends house just hanging out, watching the dogs play and I was savoring my last night with friends for a while.  I am trying so hard to just enjoy my time and not get the oh-my-gosh-I’m-leaving-in-four-days panic that I often get but its hard.  I find that time is like sand, the harder you grab onto it, the faster it slips out of your hands.

So for now I will sit with Casey, watch the Eagles hopefully to keep playing the best I have ever seen them play and enjoy the time I have right now!!

Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon

I have to say that this was the most enjoyable race I have ever run.  There weren’t a lot of people along most of the course but it was stunning!  We went all through the mountains, along the river for most of it and on trails for a lot of it.  I wish I had taken my phone and could have stopped and taken pictures because it was just amazing.

The race started with a nice down hill which was great except it made keeping pace in check in those early miles even harder than normal.  At mile 2 I saw THE Bart Yasso cheering us on.  Motivation.  The first 10 miles FLEW by which isn’t abnormal but then all of a sudden I was at mile 16.  This is when I always expect to start being miserable and really struggle.  But that didn’t really happen.  From mile 13-16 I kept telling myself, “nothing hurts, you are good.”  It was like my mantra.  I had to make my head tell my body I still felt great, and somehow I did.

I had decided at mile 8 or so I was going to try a strategy I had heard many other runners use to get through the nitty gritty miles of a race.  I picked someone in my life who helped me get to that race and ran that mile for them.

Mile 16-17: Lauren; she trained with me in the beginning with goals of running this race but then couldn’t get the weekend off.  We ran in crazy storms together, the heat and we motivated each other through her first 19 mile run!!

Mile 17-18: Steph; she is another big runner in my class, she even ran for Clemson.  Her and another friend of mine, Lia and I would all go running VERY early Friday mornings before class.  Thank goodness for those girls dragging my butt out of bed.

Mile 18-19: Lia; the other half of the Friday running team.  Such an amazing athlete and wonderful supporter!

Mile 19-20: Maribeth; this is one of the toughest miles in my mind when I run marathons.  Once you get to 20 its a 10k left which starts to sound manageable.  Maribeth posted the video for Girl on Fire to my facebook wall the night before the race which was the absolute sweetest.  She also ran the 5k series with me this summer.  I have to say I sang that song and thought of the sweetest southern girl I know that whole mile to get me through!

Mile 20-21: Kristen; I ran my very first marathon with her and I thank god she was crazy enough to start doing this with me.  I feel that I owe a bit of my love for running to her.

Mile 21-22: Hannah; my best friend since high school.  She thinks I can do anything I want to and I have to love her for that and all the support she has given me through the years.  She has always called herself my number one fan as I am hers.

Mile 22-23: Alli; whom I ran the Nashville Marathon with.  It was her first and she did AMAZING.  Nothing like the pride and joy of your first marathon.  I was so happy I could be there and run it with her.

Mile 23-24: This mile many people flooded to my head and I needed them for sure.  Lindsey, my soon bride to be and Jenna who ran her first half in Savannah last year when I ran the marathon there.  She did so great in her first race, I was so proud!

Mile 24-25: mi madre; the lovely woman who created me and gave me the work ethic I have.  You can literally do anything if you want to work for it and I learned that from her.  There is nothing like the support from your mom to get you through!

Mile 25-26: Casey; the wonderful guy who has traveled to countless races, tolerated wake up calls in the dark, eaten whatever strict diet I am following race weeks, and been there at every finish line.  Even started running with me, even though it is less than his idea of fun.

At mile 26 I was pretty much in a gap where I was the only person for a bit.  Bart Yasso was standing on the final turn at mile 26 and he pointed right at me, looked at his watch and said, “You my girl are going to make a BQ, give it everything you’ve got.”  Talk about a kick in the pants!  Because there was no one near me, I was the only one on the hugemongus jumbotron screen at the finish line while I was coming it.  I was up there for eternity it felt like and the announcer just kept talking about me and all I could think was that I was going to fall.  I didn’t, thank goodness (I have done this before)!

And just like that, all my running dreams had come true.  I have qualified for Boston, met Bart Yasso and absolutely crushed my PR.

Stats (Because all runners love numbers):

Not quite negative splits, but I really can't be upset with this AT ALL!

Not quite negative splits, but I really can’t be upset with this AT ALL!

 

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Just remembering how to walk again.

Just remembering how to walk again.

Once I get official race photos, I will be sure to share…should be tomorrow or Wednesday!

Oh, and the Eagles won tonight! Cherry on top of the last two days!

I Get Scarlett for Christmas!!

Fairly average Sunday for me, sat around all day and watched football.  I did spend a good bit of time studying unfortunately, but it will all be over soon.  Three more days!!

Two days ago, my mom called me and told me she wanted me to bring the puppy home for Christmas.  I hadn’t thought this was going to be an option, so I hadn’t broached the topic with Casey yet.  We decided to bet on the Eagles game today.  I was pretty sure I was making a mistake since we hadn’t won a game in two months.  Even down to the very end, with :02 seconds to go we were down by 5 and by some grace of god we had a touchdown pass to win the game.  Now, with about 4 minutes left I started whining to Casey that even if I lost I wanted her which I felt bad about, but I would have respected the bet had I lost (even if it was accompanied by some whining, haha).

Scarlett just hanging out in her leaf pile!

Scarlett just hanging out in her leaf pile!

So I get to take this girl home with me in a little over a week…my brothers are through the roof.  My youngest brother Ben (a die hard Raven’s fan) rooted for the Eagles for this first time in his life today.

Casey concocted some awesome chili.  I threw some fat free mexican cheese and fat free sour cream in the mix and topped it with some corn bread.  Fairly healthy without the corn bread, but hey, there is a reason I ran 20 miles yesterday…

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This was a purely Casey production so I don’t have the recipe sadly.  When I asked him he laughed at me, he just pretty much starts throwing things in the crock pot and calls it a day.  But if it works, it works!

Hope everyone had a great Sunday, prayers appreciated for my two finals tomorrow!