The Weekly Review 

October is in full swing…yet it still feels like July in many parts of the country. Trust me, I feel your pain on this! October is supposed to be the time for cooler temperatures and falling leaves (a la picturesque New England), not tank tops and sweating. Hopefully this heat wave breaks soon. Is it just me, or does it seem like the traditional seasons are a month behind schedule?

I would like to start this week’s recap by congratulating all of the Chicago Marathon finishers! I watched the majority of the race on NBCSN, following Twitter updates, and the Chicago Marathon app for runner tracking a few friends.

While I was disappointed that I had to defer, you can bet that I am excited to run next year!

 

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363 days to go!

Now that Chicago is finished, the next big marathon coming up is Marine Corps Marathon. It’s less than two weeks away!

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I’ve been getting some incredible mileage at work and the soreness in my feet are a testament to that. I still have not done a 20-miler yet, but I’m hoping to do that on Tuesday. And by 20-miler, I mean traversing 20 miles in any way, shape, or form that I can–which will probably mean playing in the park from open to close.

Friendly reminder: I consider my training “unconventional”. I don’t focus on speed, but I focus on mileage, and time spent on my feet. No matter the speed, we all cover the same distance in the end. I also supplement said mileage with other workouts and weight training.

 

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10 days ’til I fly up. It’ll be worth it for views like this once again!

The 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Ambassador applications are officially open! The application period ends October 19th, and is limited to the first 500 applicants. Three lucky runners with a knack for social media and internet presence will be selected to represent the famous race weekend in a variety of settings, along with acquiring some sweet perks:

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I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler this year and it was a fantastic time, albeit kind of chilly! I’ve had several friends reach out to me about applying, so I’ll definitely be throwing my name into the fray. If you think you have what it takes, head to the CUCB website and fill out the application!

 

 

 

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Hello, October

hello october

Out of all the months on the calendar, October has to be at the top of the list for me. Nothing can replicate the atmosphere in which this month encompasses: changing leaves, cooler temperatures (for my friends up north), apples and pumpkins, college football and marching bands, homecomings and rivalry games, loads of candy, warm autumnal colors sprinkled with the glitters of seasons’ past, that general feeling of coziness as wardrobes change from sheer tops and shorts to soft sweaters and jeans…

This list can go on.

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October is also peak time for fall marathons! My days off request for Marine Corps Marathon just got approved today, so I am set and ready to head back to DC to seek redemption for this race. If you didn’t know already, I was swept in 2015. Coming back to Charge the District, Beat the Bridge, and Take the Iwo will give my heart the closure it needs. I will be running with Chris and our friend, Lauren, and they will be completing their first marathons!

HHN 2017

Halloween Horror Nights is in full swing at Universal Orlando, and every shift feels like I’ve run a marathon afterwards! I average between 6-8 miles a night, and while that may not seem like a lot, I am constantly walking around between a variety of positions. There is a lot more that goes into the logistics of attractions operations than one may realize. I could be covering five different positions in a rotation in one night, which includes a LOT of guest interaction/service, queueing, ramping, loading and unloading cars, etc. I have a fantastic team to work with, and it makes the experience really fun and tolerable.

Now, with MCM around the corner and runners everywhere starting to enter Taper Town, here are some thoughts that I have…

Christina’s Thoughts on Marathon Tapering While Working in the Real World:

When it comes to marathon training, yes, the mileage is important, but the overall time spent on your feet is even more critical. If you’re not used to moving around for 4+ hours in one sitting, it’s going to suck come marathon day and you will probably tire out a lot faster. This is the biggest difference between my training now and from two years ago. Back then, I had a desk job in New Hampshire and wasn’t burning even a quarter of the calories I should have been. Two years later, my job is very active and requires more attention to my diet and the signals my body gives me. I play in the park a lot, and that gives me even more mileage, which I’m happy for. I make smarter choices with food to give my body the fuel it deserves, and I cut out alcohol and junk food no less than a month before the race.

Since I’ve been on the closing squad with my HHN crew for more nights than I can count, I am trying to figure out when I should attempt my last high mileage day before “tapering”. I put taper in quotations only due to closing several shifts in a row once again the weekend before MCM. For my first MCM in 2014, I tapered a full two weeks. (Being in grad school really helped this.) 2015, not so much. I’m curious to see what will happen in the next couple of weeks as I prepare to head back to DC.

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Do you have any fun plans for October?! Any races or trips?

 

Hello, September

Ahhhh, September. The prelude to the most wonderful season. While we still have to wait a few weeks for the Autumnal Equinox, we can start the celebration a tad early with scenic pictures of leaves, countryside, apple cider doughnuts, and coffee, of course!

And if you’re so inclined, your Pumpkin Spice Latte… 😛

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The farther north you are, the sooner the temperatures begin to fall and the leaves begin to change. This shot was taken when I lived in Maine, and the autumnal fire began at the beginning of September. No complaints here!


As we start the last third of 2017, I am so so SOOOOO happy to announce that I have finally landed a job!!! *happy dance*

I am SO relieved that something finally came through. I’ll be starting in mid-September, and while that doesn’t assuage my financial anxieties, I’m content with getting back into the workforce and expanding my network. It’s still not my dream job, but it’s still fun and I plan on making the best of it. (Before you ask, it is not Disney. Trying to get a job in Disney World is like trying to get into Harvard or Stanford. Good luck.) 


 

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19 years later…all was well.

It’s September 1st, therefore witches and wizards are boarding the Hogwarts Express for the start of term!! Even better, September 1, 2017 marks 19 years since Harry’s scar last hurt. Truly, all is well.

 

 

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Back to witches and wizards and magical beasts…..

 

Speaking of Halloween, Disney has already launched Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This will be at Magic Kingdom and will run through the beginning of November. If you plan on going, MNSSHP is a seperate ticket that is required. Check out the details and information on the Disney Parks Blog!

 

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Nothing is better than seeing the Mickey pumpkins on Main Street!

If you’re an Alex and Ani fan, you’ll be delighted to know (if you don’t already know) that there have been new bracelets released just in time for the change of season! They are Haunted Mansion themed, and include the Singing Busts, the Haunted Mansion logo, and Madame Leota.

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Universal Orlando is gearing up for Halloween Horror Nights! I went last year and had a blast. If you’re up for a great scare and have an appreciation for horror movies and original haunted houses and mazes, HHN is the perfect place for you. Just like MNSSHP, it requires a seperate ticket for admission. Check out the latest details here!

Some scenes from last year:


I haven’t talked about running much, but that may change here very shortly. As the temps start to dip, we enter fall marathon season. You’ll see some of the big names like Chicago, Richmond, and NYC. For me, Marine Corps is on the agenda. The countdown is at 50 days!

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Do you have any exciting fall plans?

The Weekly Review

Hello again, readers from everywhere. Time for the Weekly Review!

So it’s day 19 of “funemployment”, and I am starting to get very anxious. No word from Florida at all on ANYTHING, my financials are starting to nosedive so slightly (A. Ham would be appalled), and I am falling into depression where I stay awake for hours during the night, and I sleep through half the day. My Chi Marathon training plan started this week, and while the first day was good, I’ve backslid horribly. It’s difficult being a runner with depression, let me tell you.

Minus the crappy mood, some good stuff did happen. Such as…

  1. Subway’s Carved Turkey Sub

    After my first day of training, I was rungry and set out to find grub. The mall where my Planet Fitness is at has a Subway, and the carved turkey option caught my eye. It is seriously the best thing I’ve ever had from Subway. It’s like Thanksgiving turkey! I paired it up with a ton of veggies and yellow mustard. It is a limited time offer, so get it while you can!

2. Nuun’s Family and Friends Discount!

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Stay hydrated this summer! Offer expires June 23rd.

3. Caprese Boats

When I was cat sitting last we talked, I had a huge obsession with caprese salads. I’m sure I made about five of them during the week I was there. I transferred this idea when I got back into little caprese boats using Romaine, grape tomatoes, mozzarella, balsamic, sprinkled basil and cracked pepper. They’re a tad messier than salad, but they’re like eating tacos, so it’s a win!

4. Picnic on the Mall

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On Saturday, a bunch of Kappa Kappa Psi brothers and Tau Beta Sigma sisters gathered on the National Mall for an afternoon of food, fun, friends, and awesomeness. It was great catching up with old friends and making new ones at the same time.

 

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Lauren was there! Yay! Our cornhole team name was Team Shake Shack. 😀

 

5. 30th Birthday Countdown

By now, I have started my countdown towards my Pearl Jubilee on my socials. (Traditionally, the number 30 is associated with the pearl!) The two trips on my radar are my 30th Birthday Eve at Universal on the 18th, and my true 30th Birthday on the 19th in Disney.

The last time I had a milestone birthday, my 25th, I threw a Silver Jubilee which was filled full of things that, well, would probably kill me know that I’m almost five years older. My liver definitely is not like what it used to be! But I lived to tell the tale and to share my lessons for future generations to come.

I am closing in on my final week of my 20’s, and I know there will be much to say and reflect. The real question is…should I write, or should I Vlog about it? Or maybe both? No matter what, there will be much to celebrate!


If you have any questions for me that you would like me to answer, or any advice about turning such an age, send them my way!

Two Weeks Later…

It has been approximately 14 days since I clocked out for the last time.

14 days since ringing telephones and cacophonous nonsense filled my eardrums as the soundtrack of my days.

14 days since I last had to fight the rolling dumpster fire that is the D.C. Metro to make it to the city.

14 days since this journey to self-discovery and happiness began.

 

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source: lessonsfromcountry.tumblr.com

 

Personally, I’m doing okay. Not completely depressed, not completely overjoyed, just okay. Neutral for the time being. Trust me, it’s hard as hell to be overly excited about self-discovery journeys when you have no income coming in, your money stash is slowly dwindling, you haven’t heard back from the places you’ve applied to; you’re sure your application got lost in resume purgatory, and you want to move so badly yet are paralyzed with fear that you won’t get a job in your field and will have to settle, yet again, for a “survival job” that pays pennies when you have $163,000 of student loan debt whose looming presence suffocates you during the day and keeps you up at night .

That’s my professional life in a nutshell at the moment. So much fun.

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However, I do have my birthday weekend coming up (which I have saved for and am getting many things comped for, thanks to Florida buddies!). The only thing I’ve had to pay for so far was my flight, which was incredibly reasonable (thanks, Jet Blue!). Now, I’ve only bought my flight down. Have yet to buy my flight back. Who knows…maybe the stars will align and something good will happen when I’m down there.


There are some happy things that are happening, such as…

I started Chicago/Marine Corps Marathon training yesterday. That’ll keep me occupied, and back into a fitness regime! Having a desk job caused me to gain between 10-13 lbs in the past year; when I was seating on the restaurant floor as a hostess, I clocked in around 10 miles per shift, and that went out the door two months later. I don’t fit into the cute summer clothes that I have, so all the more motivation to get back in the weight room!

 

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3 mile run to start!

 

I’ve also been asked what time I’m aiming for, and since Chicago is my focus race (as I am pacing three of my friends for their first full during MCM and just want to finish and gain redemption from 2015), I’m shooting for a sub 4:30. My previous three marathons (MCM 2014, WDW 2016, and WDW 2017) were all between 6:50-7:30. I was on track for a 5:24 during WDW this year, and I ended up wussing out after mile 6 when I hit cone alley. A 4:30 would be fabulous. Anything faster, well, even better!

I’ve also started a Disney Countdown on my social media accounts. I love doing this starting from ten days out, but I’m so excited that I started it from 15 days out! I pair one of my own pictures with a Disney quote and add the countdown to it. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram for the latest!

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14 days: “You’re never too old to be young.” -Snow White
13 days
13 days: “To all who come to this happy place: welcome!” -Walt Disney

The sun and sand are still vivid in my mind, the echo of crashing waves and scent of salt air enticing me. I know it won’t happen tomorrow, but I know where I need to go…

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