Goodbye, summer 2015

Goodbye, summer 2015

Earlier in the summer, when I first started this blog, I published a summer bucket list (here).  Sadly, this summer has quickly come to an end as my fall classes start on Monday.  But after quickly looking over my summer bucket list, I am excited to confirm that most of the stuff on my list got done!  And there were are A LOT of other great things that happened this summer that I never would have predicted.

Let’s begin with recapping my summer bucket list!

  • volunteer at a local Youth Track Camp for the 3rd year in a row:
    • I was able to do this earlier this summer, but unfortunately due to storms that repeatedly occurred on the nights we were scheduled to coach, we only actually had one full night of coaching.  The second week only lasted 20 minutes before lightening forced us to send the kids home with their parents.  But I am grateful that I at least got to spend one week with the kids because I aspire to be a coach one day and this is always a good (and laid-back) coaching experience!
  • run a local 4th of July 4 mile race with friends and family:
    • This is a tradition for my family and friends.  This year was no different and I finished the race with a 87 second PR.  I also was able to achieve my goal of finishing in the top 70 and improving my overall female finish (I finished as the 7th overall female).  For more details, here’s THAT blog post I wrote earlier this summer.
starting line
traditional Fourth of July crew at the race
  • make some $$$$:
    • yes, I worked this summer.  I was given a little more responsibility at my job than I got paid for but at least I was able to make some money!
  • take an online summer class:
    • I took an online summer class through a nearby college.  By doing so, I am now scheduled to be done classes by the end of this semester.  I also now have my CPR/AED/First Aid certification through the Red Cross!
  • take part in a local running club’s weekly runs (AKA make new running friends!):
    • I also became a member of a nearby running club this summer.  All the people I’ve met through the running club are so friendly and uplifting.  Every week that I was able to attend the fun runs, my love for running and other runners only grew because we all share a common interest and understand the ups and downs of running.  It made me realize that runners will always have a certain special bond that most other athletes will unfortunately never get to experience.
The running club I became a member of this summer
  • 20150710_085033_HDR
    On the AT with my dad with High Point Monument behind us

    hike/run the entire length of NJ’s Appalachian Trail with Dad:

This was completed in early July with my dad.  We hiked/ran the entire length of NJ’s Appalachian Trail in three days.  It was an amazing experience and I’m grateful that I got to do this with my dad.  I learned a lot about myself out on the trail too which I find irreplaceable. I now know that a human’s limits need to be tested in order to understand how far they can be pushed.  We averaged 25 miles per day which not only tested the body but the mind’s ability to ignore pain and push on.  Here’s a link to the video we created using our GoPro on the trail! (click to see video!)  All in all, this was an amazing experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

  • take day and/or weekend trips to the beach/boardwalk:
    • I went to Wildwood earlier this summer for a weekend with a few friends to run some races.  Although I didn’t step on a single NJ beach this summer, I was able to enjoy the beaches during a somewhat spontaneous trip to California!  Just the other night, my family also went down to the boardwalk for pizza and entertainment.
  • help pace my Dad’s running friend in his 24-hour ultramarathon in the wee hours of the night:
    • Yes, my dad and I paced our ultramarthon-ing friend at 4 AM on a Sunday morning in July.  This was a great experience and I absolutely love pacing runners, especially ultramarathoners.  I was inspired by our friend and I hope that one day I will be needing my own pacers for an ultramarathon too! (I blogged about this too)
  • go on long bike rides:
    • This didn’t happen.  But my dad is opening a running/biking store so I guess that counts for something!
  • run LOTS!
    cooper river park john and tyler
    One of the many post-race pictures of the summer
    • Of course this happened!  I was able to run with a variety of people this summer which I am forever grateful for.  I ran with friends, friends of friends, my dad, our dogs, trail runners, slow runners, fast runners, all types of runners!  And I was able to participate in local races (free to students!) and win three new drinking glasses that I will be using in my apartment this semester!  It was a great summer of running and now I move onto marathon training!
  • watch my brother graduate from high school
    • Yup, this happened.  He graduated!  I was a proud sister that night!
  • visit the 9/11 Memorial in NYC:
    • My family and I took a trip to NYC one day in July to visit the 9/11 Memorial/Museum.  It was an extremely solemn day and I recommend that everyone visits this memorial at least once in their life to understand more deeply the impact 9/11 had on people in 2001 and still today.
  • see a movie at the drive-in movie theater:
    • This didn’t happen.  Life got too crazy.
  • bonfires!
    • This didn’t happen either.
  • read books that aren’t school-related:
    • I read all three Hunger Games books (I read the third one in less than 24 hours).  They’re amazing.  Enough said.
  • buy a food processor and experiment with new healthy/vegan recipes:
    • I did buy a food processor but I did not experiment with healthy/vegan recipes.  There just isn’t enough time in the day.
  • visit Sarah for Music Festival:
    • I did not visit Sarah during Music Festival, but I was able to visit her for a weekend and take a tour of Bethlehem with her and her sisters. This was a great weekend and we even spent a day at Dorney Park which was fun!
  • go to Dorney Park:
    • As I just explained, I went to Dorney Park with Sarah. I do not recommend going on a beautiful Saturday though because it will be extremely crowded!  All the rollercoasters get a thumbs up though!
Trophy I won for the 5k I ran

So that was my summer bucket list!  Below are some of the other exciting things that happened this summer that weren’t on my bucket list but were accomplished successfully!:

  • I attended a wedding.
  • I started this blog.
  • I finished as the third overall female in a 5k in Wildwood.
  • Two months later they sent my an awesome trophy for winning third place.
  • We lost electricity for 3 days after a 30 minute storm.
  • I went cherry-picking!
  • We hosted my brother’s graduation party.
  • My brother bought fireworks and shot them off with his friend on 4th of July in our backyard.
  • I found the internship I will be doing in the spring.
  • I watched two old seasons of The Amazing Race as a way of “studying film” and preparing for when they decide to cast me on the show.
  • My dad and brother are opening their own business.
  • I painted a huge American flag (that can be seen in the business).
  • I visited California for the first time ever to visit family.  We went to a lot of beaches and took a trip to LA one day.  It was so much fun!
  • I watched all three Hunger Games movies with my best friend in one afternoon.
  • I went trailrunning.
  • My dad and I applied to The Amazing Race.
  • My friends and family and I went to Trapped Philly and didn’t get out within the hour.
  • I was reunited with my high school friends ❤
  • I spent a lot of time with friends and family members that made me realize that there is so much to be grateful for in this world ❤

trapped philly    last day lunch at Peohe's  wedding brunch

Thanks to everyone that made this summer spectacular!  You all have a special place in my heart.  Goodbye, summer 2015.  Hello, fall and last semester of classes!

Wildwood Weekend Recap

Wildwood Weekend Recap

So I spent a few days in Wildwood this weekend with some friends, which was a much needed mini-vacation to officially start the summer.  We were all in Wildwood for the races taking place throughout the weekend.  The “headline” race was the Wildwood Half-Marathon, which two of my friends raced.  Due to the fact that the Broad St Run was just two weeks ago, I opted to cheer on my friends in the half-marathon than run in it.  As tempting as running 13.1 miles sounds, I am a firm believer in training for one particular race, succeeding in said-particular race, than allowing my body to recuperate.  Two weeks was just too soon to even THINK about racing in a half-marathon.  But, due to the perks of signing up for one of the three races Wildwood had to offer this year, I registered for the 5k just to get the pier passes that were included.  With all of this in mind, here’s some noteworthy moments from this weekend:

  • stayed in a friend’s condo for the weekend with three other friends (shoutout to John and his family for allowing us to stay there free of charge!!)
  • made a lovely pizza for Friday night’s dinner (pizza = my choice of carbo-loading!)
  • watched the season finale of The Amazing Race (and my choice for the winning team won!)
  • sleeeeeeep
  • ran to the start of the 5k (this is the first time that I’ve ever been able to warm-up to the start line from a house/home/place of stay, so this was exciting!)
  • ran…I mean “raced”…the 5k.
  • took 3rd overall female in the 5k (I would consider my time “decent” considering I haven’t actually trained for a 5k in the last 8 months of my running life…it definitely wasn’t a fast time, but considering I signed up for this race just to get pier passes, it is what it is) (Shoutout to Brianna for finishing 1st in her age group!)
  • didn’t receive my medal for placing 3rd because they were extremely disorganized with the medals (but apparently they’ll be sending it to me in the mail!)
  • had a lovely conversation with two runners after I asked them, “where’d you get the Johnson’s popcorn from?!?”…this conversation lasted at least 15 minutes…they must’ve really liked talking to us three!
  • ate more pizza….this time we got it on the boardwalk!
  • went on some of the rides on the piers
  • made a delicious vegetable and pasta dinner for my two friends who were racing the half-marathon the next morning (CARBS!!!)
  • watched Godzilla….(mixed reviews, but I say it was good!)
  • sleeeeeeeeep
  • early morning, considering the half-marathon started at 7:30
  • biked along the course to cheer on fellow runners (I think I probably ended up biking a half-marathon!)
  • saw a lot of runners I knew – runners I knew from high school races, runners I met at Broad St, and, of course, my lovely running friends (Shoutout to John and Brian for awesome races!!! – I had so much fun cheering you guys on!!)
  • cheering on runners I didn’t know and seeing a girl go from walking to running after I told her to take a deep breath and start moving again!  It’s a good feeling knowing you’ve helped someone do well in their race! (Note:  It’s a known fact that cheering on races is always a lot more fun than running them!)

It was just a great weekend full of friends, running, and lotssss of sass :]

Official Summer Bucket List

Official Summer Bucket List

  • volunteer at a local Youth Track Camp for the 3rd year in a row
  • run a local 4th of July 4 mile race with friends and family
  • make some $$$$
  • take an online summer class
  • take part in a local running club’s weekly runs (AKA make new running friends!)
  • hike/run the entire length of NJ’s Appalachian Trail with Dad (73 miles)
  • take day and/or weekend trips to the beach/boardwalk
  • help pace my Dad’s running friend in his 24-hour ultramarathon in the wee hours of the night
  • go on long bike rides
  • run LOTS!
  • watch my brother graduate from high school
  • visit the 9/11 Memorial in NYC
  • see a movie at the drive-in movie theater
  • bonfires!
  • read books that aren’t school-related
  • buy a food processor and experiment with new healthy/vegan recipes
  • visit Sarah for the Music Festival
  • go to Dorney Park
  • Anyone have suggestions for anything else?!?!