Expectations

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Hello! Warning – this is a pictureless “brain dump” post. I have some more posts planned with lots of fun pictures but for now, need to catch myself up here!

Brad and I made it to Nicaragua – er, THREE MONTHS ago!! Totally dropped the ball on the whole “blogging all the time telling everyone about my new life!” I blame myself but I will also share the blame with the fact that I work all day and when I get home the last thing I want to do is be on the computer. Yes, my company has hooked me up with an iPhone with a full plan and internet but lets just say that if I want to check out the latest happenings on Facebook, I might as well log in, go make dinner, eat and THEN check my phone to see if everything is loaded 🙂 Ok I am being dramatic but patience really is a virtue here because things are s-l-o-w.

So lets backtrack a bit. I’ve been posting photos and updates on Facebook but I think this will be a great place to store my thoughts and hey, maybe someone else moving to Nicaragua one day will find this useful…

Brad and I arrived in Nicaragua and immediately started to look for a place to live. I honestly didn’t have many requirements since I knew the pickings would be slim – I just wanted a safe, clean house with lots of air flow and close to where I work. The first place we looked at was really cute from the outside but once inside, you could tell the place hadn’t seen any TLC in awhile – oh and there were no screens on the windows so we would be REALLY living with nature – no thanks.

Enter awesome house on the beach with a big porch and lots of coconut trees. We initially thought it was out of our price range but upon speaking with the caretaker, we could make it work! So we are now the proud renters of a two bedroom, two bath house with a loft and plenty of open space for Finn to lounge around when he’s not running like a nut on the beach — more on him in another post 🙂 The house has been great and is starting to feel like home!

I think one of the reasons I haven’t blogged since we got here was that I was struggling with missing friends and family. Everyone always comments how jealous they are that I live in paradise and that what we are doing is so awesome – and it IS. But it’s also hard! You could live in the most amazingly beautiful setting, but eventually things become familiar, and  routine and you start to remember just how important those people back home are 🙂

I don’t want this to sound like I am complaining or that I want to move home because that isn’t the case at all – I am just struggling with not getting to see my favorite people every day! I will say though, it makes those FaceTime and Skype dates that much sweeter – I’ll be home in a month and can. not. WAIT to see everyone!

Oh and my parents arrive tomorrow so that helps too! Watch out Nicaragua, I don’t know if you’ll be the same once my parents and their best friends are done with ya’ 😉

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Too Big for Words

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Exciting, Awesome, Ballsy, Adventurous, Scary, Interesting, Brave.

All of those words have been said to me over the past several weeks by people who hear I am moving to Nicaragua.

But how can I really put into words what I am feeling when something so big, so life-changing, is about to happen to me?

Usually I smile and laugh a little, telling everyone how excited I am and what an adventure it will be. Which is true. But I will be the first to admit that I don’t think it has really truly sunk in what I am about to do. Sure, many things will be the same — I will be working at a desk (doing something I am so excited for!) talking to friends and family on gmail, facebook, etc. I will still cook, and take Finn out to play and will continue to plan my wedding. But on the flip side, SO many things will be different – I think too many things for me to really wrap my head around.

And different can be good and bad. Example – I will be living in a very simple, no frills home without TV, internet and AC, with power that could go out for hours at a time. Oh and did I mention the large bugs that always find their way into homes down there? Right away most people’s eyes bug out and then they quickly recover, not wanting to say what they really think. Yes, it will probably suck at times (I mean lets be be honest, 90 degrees with no AC?!?) but I know that those luxuries that will be lacking will be replaced with things I could never find here. Early morning walks to work, watching the sun rise from the beach; wearing shorts and tank tops to work, cold beers with new friends after a day of fishing and learning to surf, navigating Nicaragua’s colorful public transit system in order to get groceries – and many more.

Regardless of the good and bad that comes with this move – I know that it will make me a stronger, wiser, happier and more tolerant person. But like I said, what I am feeling is too big for words. You’ll just have to take my word for it now and keep coming back to hear more 🙂

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes!

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Hello, welcome back, long time no see!!

I’ve recently been thinking more and more about this space where I used to write about everything from food and running to feelings. Thinking about it because a LOT of things have changed for me in 2012 and writing it down seemed like a good place to wrap my head around it all.

So lets start with a short numbers game describing all the things that have happened!

1.25 – age (in years) of the newest member of our family – our Border Collie/Aussie mix: Finndog!

26.2 – the number of miles I ran during my first marathon – May 2012

12 – days spent in Nicaragua with Brad – traveling, relaxing and reconnecting after 6 weeks apart – May 2012

1 – the number of waves I caught during my first surf lesson – July 2012

30 – how many seconds it took Brad to ask me to marry him and me say yes! July 2012

4 – the maximum number of miles I have run since said marathon in May

7 – months I have been living in Philly and loving it

6 – days left living in Philly before moving back to West Chester

and last but not least…

35 – days until Brad and I officially move to Nicaragua!!!

Expect to hear a lot more from me here – I’m planning on using The Bright Side to document my upcoming move and to keep friends and family updated on all my adventures living and working in Central America!

A Solo Six – Week 3 Marathon Wrap Up

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Wrapping up week 3 of NJ Marathon training with lots of cookie baking today. Brad got home Friday after an insane trip to DC and back to get him because of a missed flight. All that matters is that he’s home for the holidays 🙂 🙂 🙂

I ran my long run solo this weekend because of the unexpected trip to DC. Because Brad was supposed to fly into AC we had to go TO the AC airport Friday night to get his luggage because somehow his luggage made the flight and not him. ANYways, it was a blessing in disguise because we spent the night at his OCNJ house (since it was so late Friday when we got back to NJ) and I got to do my long run at the shore!

Just a typical winter running outfit. So far running tights, a cold weather long sleeved shirt, light vest, headband and gloves have been perfect. I suspect once the  temps drop another 10 degrees in the mornings that I will be layering up more.

Our TNT training plan called for 5-6 miles and going with our coach’s suggestion, I want to keep on the high end of mileage as long as there isnt snow and ice on the ground. I finished 6 miles in 59:20 which I am very happy about! I just want to keep my pace under 10 minute miles and so far I have done that for most runs.

Here’s a quick summary of my training this week:

  • Monday – 3 miles with Melissa
  • Tuesday – off
  • Wednesday – 2.5 miles
  • Thursday – personal training session
  • Friday – lots of mall walking (before lots of driving to DC!)
  • Saturday – 6 miles
  • Sunday – light yoga/stretching

Mileage is on the low end this week but I expect to kick that up over the next couple weeks for sure. With the holidays  coming up I have several days off and plan to run during the day which will be nice! If anyone in the West Chester area wants to run leave me a comment!!

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TNT Fundraising Update – I am officially 63% of the way to my fundraising goal and have set a date for my Happy Hour event! Check back for details after the holidays!!

Time to get ready for the work week-it’s a short one for me!!

Ta-Ta!

Brian’s Run 2011 – “Thatwassofun!!!”

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Yesterday I ran Brian’s Run with my friends Meghan and Erin. As you can tell from the title, it was really fun!!!

It was a 1pm race which was really nice; gave me time to sleep in, eat a good breakfast (wheat bagel with PB, duh) and clean some. We met around noon and walked to the race start to snap some pictures and stretch before the 5 mile race began. We were all about having FUN – this was Meghan and Erin’s first race and I was so excited to be running it with them. We agreed to stay together and make the best of the super hilly course. We took some glamour shots before lining up at the start 🙂

Meghan!

Erin!

Me!

We had a great race-we walked when we needed (the hills were brutal!) and finished in a kick ass 54 minutes. I was so happy with how well we all did considering this was a super hilly course and it was a first race ever for two of us!

Instead of waiting in the crazy long lines for some post-run food, we decided to take the party elsewhere and went to our favorite bar/restaurant in West Chester – Side Bar! They always have great beers on tap and the food is awesome. We immediately ordered some post run refreshment: Troeg’s Mad Elf

Soooo good and perfect post-run. We ordered a couple dishes to share and they were gone fast. It was a great way to finish of a really fun Sunday!! I think I can speak for all three of us when I say that we will be running another race together soon!

Before I go I just have to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has donated to my marathon!!! In one week alone I have raised almost HALF of what I need to meet my goal!!! So THANK YOU to everyone who has donated. For those of you who would still like to donate, here is my website. You can also support me during an event I will be hosting in early February. I don’t have all the details yet but it is going to be really fun so stay tuned!

Ta-Ta!

Twenty-Eight!

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Yesterday was my 28th Birthday-I can’t believe I’m two years away from 30!! I’m definitely not one of those people that moans and groans about getting older. I am looking forward to whatever getting older has in store for me.

The long weekend was packed with friends, family and lots of food! I will say that I am definitely all set for cold weather running gear (except for compression sleeves and socks!) thanks to my aunt/uncle and my parents and sisters. They’re the best and having some new fun gear is really making my look forward to marathon training which “officially” starts next weekend! I’ll be running a 5mile race next Sunday so my first run with the team wont be until the following weekend.

Since I’ve still got gifts on the mind I figured I would get the holiday season started with my Christmas wish list!

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I have been wanting a pair of rain boots for um, ever. I just haven’t been able to justify buying a pair for myself but I figured why not ask for Christmas! These are perfect because they are great for rain and winter. Size 9 please 🙂

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Love these earrings! They are from Stella and Dot which has the CUTEST jewelry. I usually don’t ask for/buy jewelry but these earrings are awesome-as is the necklace and bracelet they show with it.

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I’d love a pair of camel or cognac colored oxford booties. Something I could definitely wear with black and brown. These are just an example, but you get the idea; although these are $15 off through Monday!! size 8.5!

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I want a pair of reasonably priced aviator sunglasses and my sister has these and loves them.

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I really want this camera case to carry instead of my big bulky camera case at times. I like that you can hang the camera from your shoulder but the actual camera itself is still somewhat protected.

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I saw this bag on Etsy and knew I needed it. It would be perfect as a beach bag or for running errands and it is made from recycled coffee bags from Nicaragua. Love it!

Sooo I hope that gives my family some good ideas on what I would like. In addition Gift Cards always work and are perfect gift for picking out clothes.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed their long weekends. I’m off to get ready for a run with Meghan!

Ta-Ta!

Purple and Pink

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Well hellooooo there!

I hope everyone had a good start to their week. Mine was, shall we say, busy and er, just a tad stressful. We just started this huge project at work and being on the back end/administrative side of things is so much different than dealing with people every day like I’m used to. It is definitely a learning experience (a great one!) and will probably make me the most organized gal this side of the Mississippi 🙂

So last Thursday was my Team in  Training kick off meeting. It was so great to meet others who will be training/running the NJ Marathon! I made a few running buddies and we have plans to run together in the evenings during the week. I am really excited about our coach as well. He has been running for 40 years, coaches track and cross country at a nearby college and is president of the  Greater Philadelphia Track Club. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of his expertise and experience in the coming months.

In addition to meeting people and getting info, we also got these sweet tech shirts that are to wear during training.

I love the purple-they match my lululemon shorts :). Here is the front!

Oh what’s that? Were you blinded by my shoes?? Say hello to my new Nike Free Run 2’s! I have been running in the Nike Free Run’s and it was about time for a new pair. My friend April was able to pick me up a new pair from the running store she works for. I told her to surprise me with the color and they couldn’t be more perfect!

I am all about fun/bright workout gear.

Annnd last but not least, I got my hair cut!! As you may recall from my last post, my hair was getting a tad long and definitely needed some sprucing up. I went on Sunday and really like the new ‘do. Please excuse my “ijustcamefromthegym” look-just keeping it real.

I had close to 6 inches cut; my hair feels so much lighter and healthier! Now I need some fun headbands!

Ok well that’s all I’ve got for you tonight. I’m meeting with my trainer tomorrow evening for some dead lift fun!

Have a great night!

Ta-Ta!

Tidbits

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TGIAF Kids!

I’m just killing some time at the Starbucks near work before the official Team in Training Kick Off Event. I’m pretty excited to meet the coaches and others who will be running the marathon in May. I’ll tell ya all about it this weekend but for now, two things I need to address:

My Hair-

1. It is really long. Exhibit A

2. It needs a cut! And no I am not doing Locks for Love. I love my locks and have donated before-just not up for suuuper short hair again. Exhibit B

That being said, I do plan to give my locks a chop soon. I’m thinking probably four inches or so but we shall see. Any suggestions for style are welcome! I honestly am not picky about my hair style-I usually just trust my stylist.

Next topic….

My cell phone-

My co-workers are probably sick of hearing me talk about it, but in 2 short week I will officially be an iphone owner and could not be more excited!

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I currently have a Droid and while I do like that it fully supports Google programs, I am over how craptastic the touch  screen is and how it turns off 6+ times a day just by being SET ON A HARD SURFACE. So annoying.

So again, any and all suggestions are welcome for awesome apps to download/buy.

And on that note, I’ll be going. Time to pretend like I’m not scared sh*tless about having signed up for a marathon. Eek!

Ta-Ta!

Marathon Training Gear – Wants and Needs

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As I am gearing up for marathon training to begin (less than one month!) I am constantly thinking about things I want or need to get me through training and through race. I just bought a new pair of shoes but aside from those I really only have one pair of running tights and one cold weather running shirt. I figured it couldn’t hurt to list some things I’ve been eyeing up. Granted I do not NEED all of these things (hence the title of this post) a girl can dream about her perfect marathon training arsenal of gear 🙂 .

First up, GLOVES. I have an old pair of fleece gloves I’ve used and frankly, they suck. Lets just say wiping boogies and sweat on fleece isn’t ideal. I need something more like this:

NEW BALANCE Women's PDA Running Gloves -  SportsAuthority.com

Next up, a headband. Hats make me too hot but I definitely need to keep my ears warm. It HAS to stay on my ears as well. I can’t stand headbands that slip off my ears while I run. Something like this would work since its pretty wide:

As I mentioned above, I have one pair of Under Armour cold weather running tights, but I wouldn’t mind another pair or even a pair of crops but something like this

THE NORTH FACE Women's Momentum Running Tights -  SportsAuthority.com

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I have one cold weather top but definitely need at least one more long sleeved running top and perhaps a 1/2 zip pullover like this one from Target. I have a cool weather shell jacket I can layer over both if needed

C9 by Champion® Women's Long-Sleeve Super-Soft Athletic Top - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new windowsource

And lastly, something I was asking about on twitter today-compression socks. I still don’t know what brand is best but I know I definitely want to try a pair out!!!

I’d love to hear from other runners what they consider essential cold weather running gear. I actually prefer running in the cold than heat, I just want to be fully prepared! If I had a money tree in my backyard I would probably also mention that I would love a Nathan hand held water bottle, some awesome warm running socks, a running vest and probably a bunch of other fun stuff 🙂 .

Now I just need to find a way to get it all!

Hope to hear from you other cold weather runners!! I’ll be back later this week to let you know how the TNT Kick Off meeting went!

Ta-Ta!