A Very Special 3.1 Miles

This past weekend, I participated in the South Florida Brain Tumor Association’s 10th Annual Sprint for a Cure 5k.  This cause holds a very heavy and dedicated place in my heart, and it felt beyond wonderful to run for this purpose.

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Honestly, this was the first time I ever ran a race for a cause that meant so much to me.  Of course, I support all of the great causes I have run for in the past, but there is something about running for something so personal that leaves you feeling inspired, accomplished, and selfless.

An interesting and unimportant note- I ran my fastest 5k ever.  I think this is because I was so unconcerned about myself and my time and simply so focused on running with meaning.

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The weather was humid and wet, the course was nothing scenic, the competition was nothing fierce, and the distance was short- but this was beyond a doubt the best run of my life.

Goal: Run the 2014 1/2 marathon in Chicago for this same cause.

What sporting events have you participated in that were extra special to you?

6.2 check.

Yes, I am alive.  And I promise to be blogging (and cooking) more in the upcoming weeks.

This post, however, is to document the 10k that I ran this morning.  I know for some serious runners this may not be a huge deal, but it was my first time running this distance in a more competitive atmosphere, so yay me!

Before the race!

Before the race!

As I had previously mentioned, participation in this race came to be when I decided 1) I was slacking on my running 2) I was flabbing up a bit and 3) I needed some form of motivation.  So, I literally registered for the first 10k that was coming up and took place on a Sunday (since I work on Saturdays).  Hence my participation in the “Gumbo Limbo Green Turtle Gallop” in Boca Raton for sea turtle conservation.

Now, don’t let the name fool you.  When I showed up this morning, the event was crawling with serious runners.  I’m talking fit, toned people with multiple 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on their cars.  The types of people who run these 10ks as warm-ups or tapers for their marathons.   I ran this race with a friend of mine who used to be in the Israeli army and even he was a bit shocked at the uber-competitive turn out.  We overheard a group talking about how they “knocked out 10 miles yesterday like it was nothing”.

Before the race! Macy came to support :-)

Before the race! Macy came to support :-)

Don’t get me wrong.  I run (kind of) frequently, and a few summers ago I actually logged serious milage.  But lately, my runs have been more of the 3-4 mile variety squeezed in whenever I find a spare milisecond in my week.  Needless to say, I was nervous.  I seriously thought to myself “what if I actually finish last?”

I did NOT finish last.  Or even close to it. Completed the whole thing in 62 minutes which was exactly my goal.  Although the 6.2 miles were challenging, I was able to run most of this at a very comfortable pace and could have even kept going.  Finishing this race made me feel great inside and motivated me to sign up for more.

After the race- #bestfeeling #donezo

After the race- #bestfeeling #donezo

One item on my bucket list is to run a half marathon one day, and I had been seriously considering flying to Chicago this May for the one benefitting Northwestern University’s Brain Tumor Research Center, as this cause is extremely near and dear to my heart.  Unfortunately, the race is the day of my graduation from pharmacy school. I did manage to stumble upon the Florida Brain Tumor Association’s 10th annual 5k happening in two weeks right in my area.  I was ecstatic to discover this race and immediately signed up, along with my boyfriend.

I am so happy that I am back in the running groove.  The sense of accomplishment, motivation, and happiness it brings never ceases to amaze me.  I read a running quote somewhere that read “man, I really regret that run. -said nobody ever”.  Totally true.

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To celebrate my newly recharged running spirit, I updated my playlist and bought a brand new pair of Asics.

What motivates you guys to run?  What are your favorite running tunes?  And what is your favorite race you have run?

#whatgetsmethrough

These past few weeks have been beyond brutal on this (LAST) rotation.  But, instead of blogging about how stressed and tired I am (and how uninteresting my life has been), I have instagramed the highlights of my days.  The moments that get me through, and that when added up, remind me that these weeks haven’t been quite so bad.

keeps.me.going.

keeps.me.going.

zona.fresca.tacos

zona.fresca.best.salsa.ever.

irish.car.bombs

irish.car.bombs

st.pattys.with.friends

st.pattys.with.friends

father.daughter.love

father.daughter.love

underrated.underappreciated.candy

underrated.underappreciated.candy

friday.morning.munchkin

friday.morning.munchkin

dog.walk.sunrise

dog.walk.sunrise

cant.beat.view

cant.beat.view

family.photo.while.brunching

family.photo.while.brunching

love.these.two

love.these.two

soft.kitty

soft.kitty

refreshing.peach.tea

refreshing.peach.tea

this.face

this.face

french.toast.carb.overload

heaven.on.a.plate

sushi.boat.

sushi.boat.

Treat Yo-self Day

For those of you who watch Parks and Rec, the title speaks for itself.  For those of you who don’t,  I have two things to say.  1) The title is a reference to the show, not an example of my grammar,  and 2) you should really watch the show, it’s hilarious.

In all seriousness, the other day I had the rare gift of a day off in the middle of the week.  Words can not even express how much this day to myself recharged my soul.  I spent the day doing only things for myself and ignoring every other obligation I had, which is the main premise of a ‘Treat Yo-self day’.  I did not ignore these obligations in defiance, but more because I knew that if I didn’t take a day to be selfish, the other things would never be accomplished efficiently and properly.

How rare it is to take a day- a whole day- to ourselves.  Think about it.  A day “off” or a weekend usually involves playing catch-up, running errands, and spending time with our [insert important person/s in your life].  Almost never do we get a whole day to bond with ourselves.

On this magical day to myself, I fit in a quick workout in the morning, had a nice big slice of banana bread for breakfast, got my hair cut for the first time in way too long, and spent the day shopping and having lunch and coffee by myself.  All alone.  And it was pure bliss.

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Some people might feel lonely spending the whole day in a crowded mall alone, but for me, it was therapeutic.  It allowed me to engage in an activity I love (shopping) without having to worry about another person’s needs, schedule, or preferences.  I didn’t have to spend an hour convincing my friend that blue was her color and the dress she tried on was in fact slimming.  I didn’t have to help my boyfriend hunt for the right size shirts for work, picking through the heaping pile of men’s dress shirts until we found a  sized 16 neck.  I was able go into each and every store I wanted to for as long as I wanted to, and I was able to sit and enjoy my fattening and difficult to eat falafel sandwich without worrying about the tzatziki sauce all over my face.

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Moreover, my thoughts were completely my own.  I was able to use those thoughts in an empty yet enjoyable way, such as people watching.  I also used them to contemplate things on my mind recently.  Things I have been meaning to mull over, except life is always just a little to busy to do so at the moment.  The realization that we rarely have time to just ‘be’ with our thoughts is sad, but etching out a whole day to be with these thoughts, while doing something enjoyable, is so peaceful.

It all felt so good.  More than good- necessary.

I wouldn’t be fully honest if I didn’t mention that the retail therapy of buying myself some special things didn’t help.  But is it really a coincidence that on this day all about me I just happen to stumble upon the perfectly fitting pair of black skinny jeans or the precise cross body bag that I have been searching for?  Hardly.  Those items were placed there by fate to make me even happier on an already blissful day.  Plus, splurging on fine things is another understood element of ‘Treat Yo-self day’.

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Although the inspiring concept for Treat Yo-self Day emerged from a hilarious TV show, the premise is universally solid.  Every now and then, we deserve a relaxing day to ourselves, by ourselves.  The logistics of this happening may be difficult.  They may involve babysitters, “sick days” at work, skipped classes, or canceled plans.  Even so, the difficulty of getting that whole day alone speaks volumes as to how needed it is.

I encourage all of you to get out your iCal, planner, calendar, or post-it note, and schedule a Treat Yo-self day as soon as possible.  You deserve it.

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