March Musings and My 7th Half-Marathon

So… can anyone explain to me how it is now halfway through March? I feel like we were just celebrating Christmas and the New Year.

Talk about springing forward in time. And at lightening speed.

I’m not so sure it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon, either. But you know what? I’m okay with that.

And here’s why: I am really happy with where my life is right now.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to come home from my 9-5 job and have my nights (and weekends) free from schoolwork. Seriously. I dream about the day this will be my new “normal.” But overall, having a schedule this mind-numbingly busy is completely worth it. I am learning so much, and the opportunities I’ve thrown myself into has opened up so many doors.

Like my new workplace.

Y’all, I seriously love the new direction my career is headed.  I feel so fortunate. So blessed.

In fact, I am not even sure if I can call my new job “work.” I sincerely love all of my coworkers and enjoy the hours I spend at the office, and there has not yet been a Sunday night where I haven’t thought “man, this upcoming week at work is gonna be a good one.” I know. Gross, right?

But don’t worry — I’ve certainly wished for another day (or seven) tacked onto my weekend… I just have yet to dread an actual workweek.

Now, I know most of you think that’s some sick sort of mentality, but you must realize I did not always think this way about my workplace (but that’s another post for another day — I’m totally not going to dive into feelings of self-worth right now). So yes. This mentality of looking forward to Mondays is big deal. Huge. I hope every person has the opportunity to experience a job that makes them feel this way.

Sidenote: Here’s a link (and a video) about one of my coworker’s donors telling the story of how he met the patient who received his bone marrow donation. I can’t wait until my own donor’s meet their own patient’s one day.

In other news, I’m still trucking along with school. I completed and turned in that midterm I mentioned in my previous post (and am quite pleased with the end product)… but…I can’t say I haven’t been slacking.

In fact, I have another midterm due at the end of this week. Sunday, to be exact. My goal is to have it completed by Friday (totally not happening) so I can actually enjoy a homework-free weekend, but at the rate I’ve been going since the turn of the year… that’s a big stretch.

Let me paint a picture for you. I’ve always been a reading machine. This sounds like a good thing for a graduate student who’s working full-time, but I assure you… it’s not.

You see, I have good intentions and try to set myself up for success by placing my textbooks, journal articles (that is… academic journal articles, not magazine), and handouts in locations good for reading. Places like…  our comfy couch. Or wedged between the pillows on my side of the bed so that *surprise!* I’ll actually have to read the damn thing before I hit the lights. Yeah. Talk about wishful thinking.

Don’t ask me how many times I’ve simply swooshed the reading materials off the bed and onto the floor. It’s actually quite gratifying, and kind of fun to see the pages flail every which way. Sigh. If only osmosis worked…

Model student — right here.

Instead? I’ve been reading texts not assigned by my professors. Things like… The Help. And the first three books of Harry Potter. And because I don’t have any more Harry Potter books on hand, I’m currently re-reading the first book of the Hunger Games series (because DUH, the first movie comes out in little over one week and I’ve gotta be fresh on all of the details!). All of these books have been started and finished since January 1st. Obviously, this is a problem.

As much as I’d love to get assignments out of the way ahead of time, I’ve realized my sanity and “fun” must come first. Plus, nothing gets me more motivated than an upcoming deadline. And who knows, maybe I’ll surprise myself and whip things together by tomorrow evening. That’d be a pleasant surprise. Needless to say, it’s a good thing most of my assignments are group-based. I stick to deadlines much better when I know others are counting on me. It’s those individual assignments I let slide ‘til the last minute.

I know what I need to do, though. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the material my classes cover. In actuality, I am LOVING my coursework. Project Management and Social Marketing are two areas I am extremely interested in. And I’m not saying that I’m not keeping up. Despite how much I complain, I am getting things turned in on time and reading all of the materials. It’s just taking me a little bit more time (and motivation) to get around to the work. I guess that’s to be expected at this point, though. I’ve been in classes at UNC since April 2010 (summers included), and I graduate this coming December. I am finally seeing the light and I am just so ready to be able to have ample amounts of free time again. I’m only human.

Sure, I’m stressed out at the moment, but I have no worries. That midterm due on FridaySunday? It’s slowly coming along.

In the midst of my crazy schedule, I almost missed my chance at signing up for one of my favorite Charlotte races. I’ve always known the Corporate Cup half-marathon is held in March, I just never remember which weekend.

https://i1.wp.com/www.ymcacharlotte.org/images/Branch/ChildressKlein/2011/HP%20Marquee/CK_12_HP_CorpCup.jpg

Needless to say, when I was at the YMCA last Wednesday and read a sign that it was the last day to sign up for Corporate Cup, I made a mental note to head over to the local running store, Run For Your Life, and sign up after work.

Last year, I ran the Corporate Cup half-marathon as a part of my marathon training for Flying Pig, and when I worked at the Y in my financial development position, I was actually a part of the team that organized and put on the race. This year, I no longer work at the Y, nor am I training for anything (hello free-time on weekends is essential to me at the moment),  so I wasn’t aware the race was being held on March 10th.

So last Wednesday after work, I got myself all signed up for the race and spent the rest of the week with a big stupid smile on my face, excited for another race in my beautiful city.

http://www.towerls.com/2011/01/tower-legal-staffing-expands-to-charlotte/

Not a bad place to run, eh?

I woke up Saturday to perfect running conditions. The morning started out in the  low 30s, and by the end of the race it was in the mid 40s.

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Bright eyed…

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… and bushy tailed.

The race was awesome. Even though this race follows the same route as the old Dowd Y Run (now called Rocktoberfest) and ThunderRoad (two races I absolutely love) I never tire of the route. In fact, a lot of the race follows my own running route in Myers Park and Dilworth. Those areas are just so gorgeous with their beautiful, blooming cherry-blossoms, streets lined by big oak trees, and gorgeous mansions. I’m tellin’ ya. It’s quite the scenic route.

Yep. A little something like this.

I wasn’t expecting anything going into this race (at all) because I didn’t train. But let’s be real… I don’t really care about time. Y’all know that by now. My most recent race was the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon back in November, and since then, I’ve been running about 3-4 times a week. Give or take a little.

I’ve actually picked up yoga (thanks to a Groupon I bought last February…talk about being motivated by deadlines), and have been enjoying hot yoga on the weekends. I think the yoga has really helped my flexibility (ohhh my poor hamstrings…) and I think it’s been complimenting my running quite well.

I felt super strong during the race, and even though I’m not fast by any means, I am really proud of my performance.

Corporate Cup 2

I saw Tanya from Vegan Faith around mile 4 standing in the sidelines – it was such a nice surprise to see her.  She yelled out a big, “Congratulations on your engagement!” and some of the people running around me came up to congratulate me as well. Definitely made me laugh.

Corporate Cup 5

I also saw a bunch of my old coworkers from the Y at the water-stop around mile 11 – they were all hootin’ and hollering at me — and that just *made* my day! They’re such a fun group of people, I certainly miss seeing them every day.

Corporate Cup 3

I crossed the finish line at 2:09 — not a PR, but also not too shabby for signing up a few days before. Ryan and Happy were there to see me finish, and that meant the world to me. I always love feeling supported during a race, regardless of whether or not I’ve had it on the calendar for a while.

Corporate Cup 7

Chiptime = 2:09 and some change

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13.1 done and done

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My fan club

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Half-Marathon #7… in the books!

After the race, I had a nice, long post-race nap. Those are seriously the best naps in the world. Ryan and the Happinator joined, and after we woke up, it was my turn to be the sports-spectator. We went to a local park and Ryan played soccer with his new cleats while Happy and I watched.

Well… kind of. Happy got a little distracted.

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Nope, Ryan’s not over there.

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Not over there, either, Happs…

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Whew, can’t get anything by the Happster. She's one observant little pup.

All in all, it was a perfect weekend. Now I need to get to that schoolwork so I can have another one.

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4 Comments

Filed under Be The Match, graduate school, job, marathon, National Marrow Donor Program, NMDP, public health, races, recap, running, school, yoga

4 responses to “March Musings and My 7th Half-Marathon

  1. I hear ya on the school work! I have 3 huge papers due in 3 weeks and I haven’t started on any of them. I definitely need to get my act together and get crackin’! The deadline will be here before I know it.

    Don’t you just love the Hunger Games?? My friends and I are going to the midnight premiere and we just got some of the HG nail polish! Maybe a little obsessed! haha

    Congrats on your 7th Half Marathon!
    PS- Happy is so cute!

  2. caitmanock

    so happy your content with your life girl 🙂 it makes it so nice and easy to be around people and enjoy your job! ahhh and yes hunger games is fabulous!

  3. gREAT job, congratulations…

  4. Suzy

    I love the picture of Happy at the park with her tongue all the way to the side haha

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