Updates and Tufts 10k recap

Hi there!

How are all of you? Unfortunately I have not been too well. I had been nursing a sore throat and raspy cough (so delightful!) for weeks, and then this Monday I just wiped out and got really sick. So I was stuck in bed with a fever that would not go away for 2 days straight – the worst! I’m finally recovered, and am eager to get back into my half marathon training, despite the fact that it has been seriously derailed. I wasn’t even able to make the Devil’s Chase this weekend for fear of slipping back into my 102.4 degree fever!

…Which brings us to updates! If you have been following this blog, you’ll know that this Columbus Day was the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women. It was my second year running this awesome, energetic race with my lovely girlfriend.

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Despite the fact that I was not feeling 100%, I enjoyed this race just as much as I did last year. Once again, it was full of awesome vendors and plenty of free samples.Vendors like City Sports and Luna Bar were there, giving out free samples and coupons alike. And as always, the race t-shirts were super cute, and came in a nice City Sports goody bag!

The route was the same as last year’s, which was just fine by me. I LOVE the route – it takes us over the Charles past one of the best views of Boston. On a bathroom break after mile 4, I managed to sneak this awesome shot:

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It’s a massive, woman-centered race that is filled with energy and positivity. Rachel and I took it easy, as I was somewhat under the weather and she hadn’t been able to train much, but I actually finished the race feeling better than I had the first time I ran it, despite the fact that I was slower. I can confidently say that I finished strong, and though sometimes my frustration with being a slow runner can get the better of me, I have definitely improved in terms of endurance.

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This is sadly not the worst running photo of me that exists… In fact it is probably the best.

Once again, I will definitely be coming back for the Tufts 10k. This is easily my favorite race thus far, with the exception of my obstacle races! It is well organized and energetic, and runners are provided with more than enough recovery nutrition and water. A delight to participate in!

Look out for not one but TWO product reviews coming up – one from ProCompression and one from Manitoba Harvest. Forgive the delays – I promise they will be up very soon!

Peace, sweat and love,

G.

Upcoming races

Happy Tuesday!

Hope your respective weeks started out well.

I’m currently taking a break in between briefing cases and attending classes (#lawschoolproblems) to give you all a HIGHLY overdue list of my upcoming races! Seeing as how September is almost over (yikes!), here is my plan thus far for the rest of the year:

October:

  • Tufts 10k for Women – I ran this race last year (see my recap in the “Races I’ve run page”! >>>) and LOVED it. It’s an amazing, giant women-centered event that takes place in the heart of Boston. Last year, the 10k took us to some of Boston’s most iconic places, from Boston Commons down Newbury Street over the bridge and back. It was amazing, full of positive lady energy, and race swag and vendors were super swanky… Always a plus!

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It’s on Columbus Day, which means that this high energy, feel-good race will be an awesome ending to a long break from classes 🙂

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  • The Devil’s Chase 6.66 Miler – I love Halloween (in addition to everything autumn), and I love Salem… This race combines both of those things! I’ve never run this race before, but I know other people who have and I think it will be really fun. Participants apparently often dress up in Halloween (particularly devil) costumes, and locals chase them with pitchforks. So, yeah, it should be super awesome.

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November:

  • The Fattman Cup Chilly Half Marathon – November brings with it cold weather, and this year it also means my first ever half marathon! I am excited but already super nervous. The event takes place in Newton, which is a suburb of Boston very close by. The Chilly Half is actually put on by a small, local company – Fattman Productions – who organized the Newton 10k that I participated in earlier this year (once again, see “Races I’ve Run”!). This half marathon is more budget friendly, and is definitely convenient for me – I am certainly not at a point in my life where I can spend a lot of time traveling for a race! My friend Molly is also running it (it’s her second time), so I will have a race buddy to at least save me when I look like I’m close to death.

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I’d love to participate in a Turkey Trot this year, but am still deciding exactly which one I’ll sign up for. It looks like I will be home in New England for Thanksgiving, so I still need to figure out holiday logistics before I make a commitment! I’m also considering a Jingle Bell run of sorts (I loved the Somerville Jingle Bell Run last year!) but don’t know if my exam schedule will truly allow for one. Will definitely keep you posted on all that!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Thrifty, busy, and moving forward

Hi friends!

Sorry it’s been so long. I have, of course, been super busy. I’ve been nannying or working late at the restaurant, so I feel like I haven’t had a chance to have much “me” time to blog, relax, sip tea (and wine)… And finally today I get to after a busy weekend! Thank goodness for a free evening – I just want to go to the gym, blog, watch a little TV, and go to bed early. Because I am an old woman.

This week has also been kind of crazy because *drumroll please* I have finally sorted out law school stuff! I am very happy to say that after careful consideration, I have decided to move forward and officially become a member of Boston University School of Law’s class of 2017! 

The decision makes sense for me, for a number of reasons. Staying on the waiting list was an uncertainty I couldn’t afford – I am not willing to sacrifice decent housing at a very slim set of chances. I want to start off my law school career with stability – no couch-surfing or juggling things last minute while I’m in that crucial first few weeks. Logically, BU Law makes sense. But emotionally, it also makes lots of sense. I don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere in Ithaca, and BU Law means I will be able to live with my girlfriend in an apartment in the city that many of my friends (from Wellesley and elsewhere) call home. And I am not far from my little brother and even parents!

So. obviously, this is exciting… But it also means that I have gone into full manic planning mode. And I love planning. But it is also my weakness.

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But in the midst of setting up last-minute doctor’s appointments and contacting Boston realtors, I am so glad to come home to my teensy corner of the webiverse. It is so cathartic for me to write here and share the little things in my life that make me happy… And read those things that make others happy!

The past few weeks I’ve allowed myself little treats while working hard to save up for this next year. As you know, I am obsessed with bargains! Thrift is my gift 😉 *eyeroll at myself*

I signed up for the City Sports “Insider” program months ago, and it’s great because I get a little chunk of change back at the end of every period. This time around I bought myself some replacement straws for my Camelbak and some cute hairbands from Moving Comfort with the couple dollars off I got (because who likes wearing just the plain ugly elastics on their wrist? not me!).

How do you treat your self (it doesn’t have to involve retail!)?

Looks much nicer on my wrist when I'm trying to look nice but still have access to an emergency hair tie!

Looks much nicer on my wrist when I’m trying to look nice but still have access to an emergency hair tie!

I also couldn’t resist a Lululemon visit when I was in the area – I just can’t help myself from checking their “We Made Too Much” section (fancy way of saying “sale”).Found a 105 F singlet discounted in this bright pink color. Fun! The sales girls told me I could buy a size larger than I normally take (I’m a 6 at Lulu and there were only 10’s and one 8 left), so I did. It’s a bit looser than I’d like, but it works just fine. It is very light and breathable – necessary for a sweatball like me :3

Image via Lululemon.com

Image via Lululemon.com

I was able to put my new singlet to the test recently when I embarked on my longest-ever run yet this past Saturday! I was working until late at the restaurant, and didn’t come back home until well after midnight, dead tired and sore from being on my feet for 6+ hours. I wanted to run in the morning when it was cooler, but I was just too tired! I let myself have an easy morning, a little nap, and set out for my run around 11.

So it turns out that running around noon – the hottest part of the day – is not my favorite. Don’t advise it. Nope. Especially if you sweat like an out-of-shape 45-year-old man like me. Two miles in, I had to stop in the shade for a minute and desperately chug from the little bottles of my hydration belt. This was my face:

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Definitely wanted to skip this run altogether. Definitely wanted to turn around from that point and just run 4 miles. But wanted to finish what I started more. So I braved the New England humidity and hot summer sun and sweated out those 8 whole miles. At the end, I looked like I had taken a shower and then immediately put clothes on, but I was proud. My longest run ever! I took it slow and steady (especially with the heat/humidity), but still clocked in at just over 11’00” – not as bad as I thought! I’ve definitely got to give a shout out to the amazing volunteers on the East Bay bike path of Rhode Island – they had a free water station that saved me on those last two miles. I was super dehydrated despite the presence of my hydration belt – two 10 ounce bottles weren’t enough on a day like that!
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2014-07-12 12.49.44A very busy, thrifty, productive, but victorious week indeed!

What did you accomplish this week? This weekend?

Peace, sweat and love,

G

 

Week recap… plus Vega protein powder and Blender Bottle review!

Hi friends!

I hope that you are all resting (or already in bed!) preparing for the start of another week. I know that even though I woke up quite late this morning (I think I slept 11 hours – I guess I needed that sleep!), I am going to be ready for bed soon. But before that, I think I owe my followers a review of this week and a look into the little things I’ve been up to in my spare time!

As you may recall, I have started another summer job at a local seafood restaurant in my attempt to save at least some money before the poverty of law school. Last week was crazy – I was mildly sleep deprived and exhausted after working 5 nights in a row during my training! Plus, I had the awesomely fun 5k foam fest last Saturday, which was amazing but unfortunately was stuck in the middle of a lot of work hours. Standing for 6 hours was not what I really wanted to do after that race, let me tell you!

So, looking at my Tough Mudder training schedule, I realized that I have wrapped up my fourth week and am now starting on my fifth week of training – exciting! Today I tried out a different local yoga studio. Very, very gentle class. Though I typically prefer something more athletic, I admit this was good for me to stretch everything out, especially as I like to do my long runs on Saturday.

Yesterday’s run had to be cut short – a little over 5 miles instead of 6 – but I felt really great and could have kept going if not for time constraints, so I suppose that’s what really matters! It’s best if I go out in the morning on my long run, but I slept in late Saturday too, so that didn’t happen (I worked until 11:00-11:30 Friday, so I wasn’t going to push myself to get up – that doesn’t make sense to me).

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I’m excited to note that after my run, my Nike+ home page looked like this:

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My average pace isn’t super fast, sure, but it’s way better than it was when I started running a year ago! That, and look at those miles add up! I feel pretty darn proud of that commitment, if I may say so myself. I’m no marathoner (yet?!) but I have consistently gone out there and run. when I hit 500 miles I should celebrate… and when I hit 1,000 I will definitely celebrate!

I also got in some hill workouts and interval workouts on the treadmill. Not as fun or refreshing as being outside, but I must admit I do prefer gym equipment for things like interval training. Hill workouts are easy on the treadmill, too. Recently I’ve been doing a hill workout I found in this article via Active.com. Definitely a killer, and definitely helped me during my the surprisingly hilly 5k Foam Fest!

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I took the time I could to nourish myself with delicious home-cooked meals. This particular concoction was one dinner I happily shared with my parents: organic non-GMO tofu fried with ginger and cayenne pepper, broccoli, zucchini, kale, and red pepper stir-fried in a wok with olive oil and organic peanut sauce served over whole-grain brown rice. Delicious! 😀

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Because I’ve been on-the-go so much, I’ve also invested in some portable nutrition options. I might not be right, but I think a lot of other health-conscious people and definitely athletes tend to eat quite frequently. At work I can’t eat until the end of my shift, which means an absolute minimum of 5 to 6 hours of not eating. This certainly isn’t the end of the world, but if you eat lunch around 1 or even 2 and can’t eat again until 10 or even 11… you get my point. So to stay full and energized longer, I’ve been drinking my trusty fiber-filled chia seeds, and have stocked up on both Luna and Odwalla bars (some of my stand-bys!).

I found a Blender Bottle on clearance at TJMaxx recently, so obviously being the bargain lover I am picked it up when I had the chance. I figured re-integrating shakes into my diet was a good and almost inevitable thing. Well, knowing this, I decided to put it to the test after finding individual Vega protein powder packets on sale at Whole Foods.

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The first one I tried was chocolate flavored. I just mixed it with 8 oz. of water this time around. I was pretty impressed with how well the Blender Bottle truly blended everything – I was skeptical! And after years of being unable to ever truly mix in powders without the use of a blender, I was pleasantly surprised at how effective this simply little invention was! The shake, on the other hand, was less impressive to me. The chocolate was not really my thing. It was ok, but I didn’t love it.

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I had bought two other flavors – French Vanilla and “Au Naturel”. This time around, I mixed the vanilla flavor with rice milk instead of just water. This made it better, but it was still, well, it still tasted like a protein powder, for lack of a better phrase. It blended well but still wasn’t terribly appealing.

With the only flavor left one I had intended on putting in a smoothie, I was certain that I would find myself simply disappointed with this particular Vega line. But, running late, I didn’t even have time to make a more elaborate smoothie. So I threw the unsweetened powder in the Blender Bottle with some rice milk and some honey. I didn’t expect it to be any good, but figured the honey and the rice milk would make it tolerable.

Whoah. I was very surprised to find that I loved the taste of this shake! Which makes sense – stevia and other such sweeteners don’t taste great to me, and those are in the flavored powder varieties. The natural powder had a nice taste that mixed beautifully with the honey and the rice milk – it was just good! The natural powder also made a slightly greenish shake, something which I actually kind of liked – not that it changes the taste.

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I’m hoping to try the Vega One and maybe Vega Sport powders now, too. Perhaps I will finally find a protein powder that I can get along with! I’m also definitely going to be branching out and looking for different energy gels/chews as I continue my training. 

Anyone have any races or other events coming up? Protein powder recommendations?

Remember, if you’re looking for a fun race, I highly recommend the 5k Foam Fest! Check out my pictures and earlier posts (including a recap!) for more info. If you do decide to sign up, remember to use my personal discount code “FF3316” to get $5 off the entry fee!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

 

 

This just in: official 5k Foam Fest photos!

Hello!

In a rush (I work tonight), but before I dash out I wanted to share some of my hilarious, muddy AND foamy official 5k Foam Fest photos! The least unflattering are all here (being covered in mud and foam, it turns out, isn’t super hot), but for vanity’s sake I left out the ones where I am making what appear to be angry turtle faces.

Enjoy!

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What are you all up to this weekend? Any races coming up, runners and triathletes out there?

Peace, sweat and love,

G

In one week: 5k Foam Fest!

Hi friends!

Hope everyone had a good week. I have been just chugging along per usual, trying to work and save up money and continuing my training.

Hit a running milestone with my Nike+ during my hill run earlier this week!

Hit a running milestone with my Nike+ during my hill run earlier this week!

Hit another milestone with my Nike Training Club app.

Hit another milestone with my Nike Training Club app!

How my Nike+ currently looks – just short of 350 miles since I started running last summer! 😀

How my Nike+ currently looks - just short of 350 miles since I started running last summer!

As part of my training, in exactly one week, I will have the opportunity to enjoy the 5k Foam Fest in Haverhill, MA! Apparently, there was a rumor going around that the event would no longer be held or would be switching locations – this is false! The event will still be happening next Saturday in Haverhill. In fact, you can use the code “HERETOSTAY” if you decide to register last-minute for the New England 5k Foam Fest! Otherwise, use my personal code “FF3316” to get $5 off the race at any location!

I really, really look forward to the race – should be super fun! In the meantime, I’m going to keep it slow and steady with this race, taking life one step at a time. Just like Tina Belcher.

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Is there really any other way to approach anything, training or training bras alike? 😛

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Weekend recap + training

Hi friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend – I know I did! I’m so, so glad that the weather out here was so nice. Happy to be able to go outside and soak up some sun!

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Major New England love right now! 😀

Another great thing about this increase in me time is that now I have more time to prepare and pick out good food! On Saturday a friend and I went to the Providence farmer’s market and browsed through the delicious local goods there. I came home with local pickles (ate the entire jar already), assorted macarons, and some delicious ginger chèvre for my family. Definitely plan on going back next weekend! I love love LOVE picking up fresh food and cooking – having more time to breathe means rekindling my love for cooking/baking/food prep!

Kale chips! Will definitely be making (and rapidly eating) these all summer.

Kale chips! Will definitely be making (and rapidly eating) these all summer.

In addition to enjoying sunshine and fresh produce, I’ve continued with my training for the 5k Foam Fest and of course August’s Tough Mudder. A friend of mine wants to run a 5k together (we ran our first race together a year or so ago this summer!), so I might add in another event somewhere in there, too.

I’m also looking to run longer distances in my training for TM, so I was considering doing another longer race too. There is a 10 miler in Newport this summer, but right now I’m on the fence about signing up. We’ll see! If I can get someone to do it with me I’d be more eager to register. I think it might help break up my training, but don’t want it to be another source of anxiety.

In addition to my time at the gym and on the road running, I’m trying to make more yoga time. My new obsession is finding free or “community” yoga classes – ideal for someone on a student’s budget! And of course who couldn’t use more time on a yoga mat? This is a summer of prep and self-care, that is for sure.

I’ve drafted a TM training plan. Thus far, here’s what it looks like:

TM training plan

This is subject to change, of course. I’m excited but nervous – hope my DIY plan is up to par!

Any former Mudders have any other suggestions/tips for me? Or any other folks knowledgeable in this area?

Peace, sweat and love,

G

 

Upcoming races and national running day

Hello lovelies!

Hope everyone had a great day yesterday for National Running Day – and that you got a run in if that’s your thing! What do you run for? 🙂

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I hadn’t been on a run since not long after my 10k.. yeah. 2+ weeks no running! With the craziness of everything, I haven’t really been working out much at all. This week, the first normal week in a while, I was finally able to get back to a more normal routine and start training again (if you’ll recall,  I’ll be doing a Tough Mudder come August). Yesterday, as it was the first day back in a while, was a short run with a friend. It felt less than great during the process (do first runs back ever feel good?), but post-run I was sweaty and feeling great.

Finally put my Sweat Pink laces on my shoes! Just in time for National Running Day :)

Finally put my Sweat Pink laces on my shoes! Just in time for National Running Day 🙂

I ran again today, this time inside (I don’t like running in the rain!), and got in a solid 3 miles at a good pace. Felt infinitely better than yesterday! After a bunch of strength-training workouts (upper body on Monday and lower body on Tuesday), the motion of the run actually felt like a massage to my sore muscles. That and some quality time with my beloved foam roller has really helped my aching glutes and thighs.

But before Tough Mudder, I am excited to announce that I will be competing in a different race later this month. Through my partnership with Sweat Pink, I have been given the opportunity to run in and review a 5k Foam Fest as part of their “Foam Fanatics” program! The race looks totally awesome, and should just be an all-around fun time. Don’t believe me? Check out their awesome video below:

This should be a ridiculously fun way of prepping for my upcoming TM!

I will be running, climbing, and crawling through their foam-filled obstacle run on June 21st at 10:30 in MA. Come join me! As a Sweat Pink ambassador and a Foam Fanatic, I’ve been given a discount code available to ANYONE. Just enter my unique code “FF3316” at checkout to get $5 off your entry fee to any 5k Foam Fest nearest to you!

And for those of you in areas whose 5k Foam Fest races will be put on later than June 21st, make sure to come back to my blog and read my review of the race 🙂

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Feelings + race recap

Hey friends!

Super excited to say that I am DONE with my finals and, by extension, my undergraduate career. Feeling a bit weird about that. It hasn’t sunk in that I’m graduating in a week – maybe because I don’t really want to think about it. It’s honestly just strange, and I can’t really feel anything about it right now. This is highlighted by the fact that I don’t know exactly where I’ll be come fall, so I’m kind of just generally anxious.

BUT, per usual I need to get out of my own head and calm down. As you all know, I’ve already been accepted to BU Law as part of the class of 2017 , but here’s the wrinkle I maybe haven’t included: I’ve also been put on “reserve” at Cornell Law.

I really, really want to go to Cornell. I will get an update by the end of this month regarding my status: accept, deny, or further wait-listed. Knowing that I will find out any day now is killing me. I’m scared every time I open my inbox (not to mention that I check it obsessively). I even had a dream about it last night. Ugh.

But the other part of me knows that these worries come from a place of immense privilege, and that I need to stop and count my many blessings. I have to fight to remind myself to not play this game, because no one ever wins.

How do I fight this? Well, my blog, in part! This blog is representative of that desire to free myself from the (often self-imposed) shackles of my perfectionism. Peace.Sweat.Love is a mantra of sorts – hey, it works for me!

And so that’s why, to me, making a joint post about law school/future anxieties and a race recap makes sense. It’s not random – to me those things are connected. When I was running my 10k this past weekend and my Nike+ kept telling me my pace, I felt crushed that it wasn’t as fast as I wanted it to be. It was so distracting, in fact, that I almost forgot that my only job was to finish and to have fun. Why was I doing that, getting mad at myself for not running a PR? How on earth does that make sense? It’s moments like this when my old demons creep up and try to get in my head and erase everything I’ve taken so much time to (re)learn. Miles 2-4 I was in a terrible funk despite the fact that I was running this race with my loving S.O. and a dear mutual friend. Finally, mile 5 I started to get it. Or adrenaline kicked in, or I was just less grumpy because it wasn’t as hilly. We crossed the finish line together, and I had to remind myself that that was what I came for. By focusing too much on the end result, I ultimately forgot to stay present and cost myself some of the joy I could’ve gotten out of the experience.

Yeah, I definitely didn’t get a PR during this 10k like I did with my last 5k. But I think this forced me to address some important and consistent underlying fears I have. And like a lot of other people who find exercise to be a healing influence in their lives, sometimes I just have to physically tire myself out before my stubborn mind is willing to tackle my fears.

And if that doesn’t work for you, you can always laugh at how freaking ridiculous you look in your race photos next to your adorable friends and girlfriends. Look. at. my. face! LOL. Clearly I need to take myself waaaaayyy less seriously and take time to smile more often! Hopefully my induction into the Sweat Pink family will make that even easier 🙂

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PS: Check the “Races I’ve Run” page in a bit for a more detailed run-down of my experience at the Newton 10k!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Exciting news!

Hello everyone!

I am currently suffering through my last ever (!!!!) undergrad finals period, so I am low on time and energy. Sorry I haven’t been posting as much! I cannot wait for this semester to be over and senior week to begin once I had in this last paper on Tuesday. Just one more to go – send me positive energy (and inspiration)!

Before it’s been too long, I did want to share an exciting bit of news I got last week. So, I don’t think I mentioned it, but I applied to be a Sweat Pink ambassador (see www.fitapproach.com if you’re interested!). Basically, Fit Approach (and the Sweat Pink ambassadors affiliated with it) is a community for individuals passionate about health, fitness, and balanced lifestyles. I figured that I would apply to be a part of the community on a whim now that I have this blog. And to my surprise… I was accepted!

I am proud to say that I am now a new Sweat Pink ambassador!

(Check out the badge, folks 😉 )

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I may still be waiting for the signature pink shoelaces to come in the mail along with my Sweat Pink top, but I am excited to start posting on the Fit Approach site/checking out forums the minute I am done with finals. I’ve already filled out my profile page because I was just too excited to wait! Really, really happy that I was given the opportunity to join this community. I know that this will totally nourish me over the summer when I am training, working, and waiting to start law school (another major source of anxiety!).

More later, I have to get back to work and bang out this last paper. I ran my 10k today, so I will do a race update and post after Tuesday.

Peace, sweat and love,

G