Make New Friends But Keep the Old Part 1

20 Jul

I’m sure you’ve all heard the little jingle “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

I’m only going to take the first part of the jingle today – Make New Friends. Making friends has always been pretty easy for me. I’ve always been really out-going and have never shied away from starting a conversation with someone new. But nothing ever stays the same as we grow up…

Elementary / Middle School: Making friends was super easy as a kid. My neighborhood was always filled with kids my own age. I remember summers spent playing release & capture the flag, and snow days spent sledding down my street with all of the other neighborhood kids. Plus, I saw my friends every single day in school & they all lived super close-by. It was the perfect situation.

High School: Although I had always played sports, the amount of time I dedicated to sports definitely increased in high school. My soccer girls (and eventually my swim team and XC team) became my family. I spent hours with my “family” at practice, games / meets, on bus rides, in school, at pasta dinners, fundraisers, you name it – I was with my team. My teammates were my best friends.

College: Making friends in college might even be easier than it was in high school. I mean, you’re thrown into a dorm with a roommate and about 50 other girls on your floor. It was easy for me to make friends with the girls living next door to me. On top of that, I was a member of the club swimming team, where I met the majority of my college friends (STK’s!). The best part about meeting new friends was knowing that we all lived on / around campus. No one was more than a quick walk or bike-ride away. Plus, the bars were so close, I could just meet up with friends there and not have to worry about a DD or anything else. College life – aka “fake life” – was great when it came to being constantly surrounded by friends!

Real World: Someone PLEASE explain to me how you make friends in the “real world.” I mean, ideally, I would make friends at work – the same kind of concept as with school – I see these people everyday. But unlike school, my co-workers ages are all over the place, and I am clearly the youngest person there. I’m not against making friends with people older than me, but when their idea of a good weekend is taking the kids out to see Disney on Ice, it’s hard to relate. And even if I had colleagues with similar interests, there’s absolutely no guarantee we live anywhere near each other. I work in the middle of NOWHERE. This is why I have a 50-minute commute. I refuse to live in the town where I work. And so does everyone else. So getting together outside of work might involve an even longer commute just to get to someone’s house. Not really ideal.

I know there are tons of outlets / events for singles to get together and meet new people – but for some reason these places shun married people like the plague. Wtf. So now that I’m married I don’t want to make new friends? Bull. I think I’m going to start a Match.com of sorts to make friends. I’m going to put in my interests (running, biking, kayaking, outdoors, wine, etc.) and find other people that enjoy the same hobbies. We’ll be BFF’s.

I guess my other option is having a baby. Then at least I could make friends with the other mom’s picking their kids up at daycare, or at PTA meetings, or at T-ball practice. JOKING. I’m not ready for that jazz.

Anyways – I guess it would be easier if I still lived at home / in my home-town and all of my old high school friends were still there to hang out with. But let’s face it, as we all grow up and get married and find new jobs, we can’t all stay in the same little town forever.

I’ve met a couple of really awesome friends since I’ve moved, but we live all over the place & it’s hard to get together unless we just meet up for dinner somewhere neutral. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dinner dates – but it would be nice to be able to just walk to a bar, meet up with all my friends, and walk home at the end of the night again. (Oh suburbia, how you suck).

I’m truly grateful for the friends I’ve made out in the eastern side of this state – but it’s just such a foreign concept to me to not have about 20 friends I can call and hang out with on any given night. I’m so used to being surrounded by friends, and now they’re all scattered around and it’s been a really hard adjustment for me. Thus my ramblings today.

How do you make friends in the “Real World”??

Is anyone else in the same situation I’m in? How do you deal with it?

Scales are Useless

19 Jul

First of all – I really hope I didn’t offend or upset anyone with my post yesterday! The whole point of writing about the “Lady Athena” class in races was to prove how ridiculous it is. Obviously a girl standing at 5’0″ and 6’0″ will have dramatically different healthy weights, so setting a random number as heavy-weight and lumping all women into it is pretty stupid. I think that the idea of this class is good, if there are truly large women who want to compete against other athletes with their build & stature – but it should be based on height/weight or on some other factor that is more individualized than weight. Anyways, this all helps me transition into my post today.

Too many women are fixated on weight. They step on the scale multiple times a day to see if they’ve gained or lost as much as 0.5 pounds. This is absurd to me. Unless you’re a cat, losing 0.5 pounds is like the equivalent of taking a shit. It’s just not useful to fixate on it.

Here’s some nerdy math for you. Weight = Mass x Gravity. So on earth, I way 140 pounds. On the moon, I’d weigh 23 pounds. On Jupiter, I’d weigh 331 pounds. So before you all try to find a shuttle ride to the moon, can we just realize how arbitrary weight is?

*Obviously, digital art isn’t my strong point*

If you just want to see a number on a scale go down, take a laxative. You’ll lose half a pound, but you won’t look any different. If you actually want your body to look & feel different, stay away from the Dulcolax.

Here’s where I’ll get personal. I weigh ~140 pounds (give or take) on any given day. I weighed ~140 pounds when I got back from my honeymoon, a 10-day stint on a cruise ship where I worked out once & ate like a queen at all hours of the day. Did I mention I also drank my body-weight in beer? It happens. Prior to my honeymoon, I also thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a lack of time dedicated to working out because I spent all of my free time planning my wedding. My weight was normal, but my clothes fit a little differently and I could visibly see a difference in my body.

Today, I still weigh ~140 pounds, and I work-out 6 times a week, eat extremely healthy, and lift a lot of weights at the gym. I could get pissed off and throw the scale out the window in a fit of rage, but I don’t really care what it says because my clothes fit better, my stomach is visibly flatter, and my arms are much more toned. Sure, I could start running 10+ miles a day, put down the weights, and give up carbohydrates & I’d see the numbers on the scale change. But, I’d rather eat right to fuel my body, put on muscle weight to make me stronger, and cross-train to help my body.

Personally, I’d rather see results in the mirror than on the scale. The scale can’t tell you if the weight you’ve lost/gained is weight from fat or muscle. I don’t really want to lose weight right now, because I’m afraid I’d lose the muscles I’ve worked so hard to put on. Plus, muscle is far more dense than fat – so if you lose 5 pounds of fat, but put on 5 pounds of muscle, the scale won’t tell you anything – but trust me, you’ll be a much smaller person. (Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, 1 pound = 1 pound, but it certainly takes up less room than fat.)

But if you need some hard evidence, try using one of those fancy scales that measure % body fat. Or take some measurements of your waist / thighs / hips and watch inches disappear. Don’t use a scale. Seriously.

Anyone have other good methods to measure success in the realm of body slimming? 

Why is weight such a big deal?

Athena

18 Jul

So when I sign up for races, I usually sign up in my respective “age group” division. I figure it’s my only option, as being that I’m certainly not elite and the idea of being an “Athena” or heavy-weight athlete didn’t seem to be something I’d qualify for… even though I could definitely be pretty competitive in that division. With that in mind, I decided to click around and see what constituted the Athena status for a race I was looking at.

“Female participants weighing more than 140 pounds can compete for the Lady Athena title”

140 pounds is a heavyweight!?! Say what? As being that my normal weight fluctuates between 138 & 142, I’d venture to say that I could compete for the Lady Athena title if I ate a big dinner the night before the race. Personally, I find this hilarious. I’m 5’5″ and I have a lot of muscle on me, but by no means am I a “heavy-weight” athlete.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll elaborate on why I think women’s fixation on weight is ridiculous – but for today, let me just say that I’m 140 and if that makes me a heavy-weight, then I’m damn proud bitches.

Today’s Work-Out: Spin + Lift

  • Warm-up
  • 5 minutes of seated climb – adding resistance every 30 seconds until you can’t pedal anymore – then come up to a stand and continue to add every 30 seconds
  • 2 min each x [seated climb, standing run, jumps]
  • 2 x 1:00 sprint with 30 seconds standing run (active recovery) in between
  • Recovery
  • 2 x 1:00 sprint with 30 seconds standing run (active recovery) in between
  • 2 min each x [jumps, standing run, seated climb]
  • Intervals – 1:00 each x [sprint, seated climb, standing run, standing climb, jumps] followed by the same set at 1:15.
  • Cool-down
  • Total: 15 miles
Have a fabulous week everyone!

Midnight Madness Run

17 Jul

Despite the fact that I didn’t see Harry Potter (still don’t want to either) – didn’t go to the beach – and didn’t venture up to Penn State for a weekend of debauchery – I had an amazing weekend. Here’s a quick re-cap.

1st Kayak Trip Ever! Our friends invited us to join them for an afternoon kayaking trip down the Brandywine River. Who knew there was a little country-bumpkin place about 20 minutes away that offered kayak / canoe / tube rentals? This is probably the best news I’ve ever heard. Anyways – it was a lot of fun, even though it hasn’t rained in forever and the water was maybe 1 inch deep in certain spots, so we had to get out and walk our canoes downstream. Also – I may be the only person to FLIP their kayak while floating down an extremely calm, 1 inch deep river. I’m not joking. I flipped the damn thing. What a joke. I’m just walking entertainment, people. I wish I had pictures to share, but the whole idea of taking a camera out into the water seemed like a poor choice (and I was obviously right, given the flippage of my kayak). Ugh. But trust me, it was awesome.

1st Time Cooking Spaghetti Squash! As I was wandering around the produce department at Wegman’s, I saw some spaghetti squash and decided to finally  try it out. My mom gave me a recipe called “Confetti Spaghetti Squash” and I was good to go – well minus the whole cutting the damn thing in half. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to cut a spaghetti squash? Or should I buy an axe? Anyways – once it was cut in half (and I got my arm work-out in for the day) it was ridiculously easy. I baked the squash for 40 minutes and then proceeded to watch magic happen.

Seriously, it’s just like spaghetti. It’s the most peculiar thing I’ve ever seen. I added in some sauteed zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and seasonings (and Steve cooked up some tilapia) – and I had myself a whole new dinner.

I really enjoyed this dish – although it could have used a bit more seasoning. Next time I think I’ll cook it with some white cooking wine or perhaps some lemon juice. It was good, just could have used a bit more flavor. But honestly, if you’ve never had spaghetti squash, try it. It’s exciting.

Back on My Feet Midnight Madness Run! I decided a few months ago to just sign up for every race I could find, and so I decided that a race at midnight in downtown Philadelphia was a great idea… Not gonna lie, yesterday at 9pm when I had to get ready to leave, I was wondering why the hell I signed up for it. My normal bed-time is midnight. Parking in Philadelphia is a bitch. I haven’t been training for an 8.4 mile run (or any length run for that matter). But I packed up all of my glow-in-the-dark gear, put on my neon pink shorts, and headed out into Philadelphia with Steve. Surprisingly, parking was ridiculously easy – and once we were parked, we heard music blaring and saw people everywhere. I was shocked at how big of an event the ’20 in 24 Back of My Feet’ event was! The relay teams doing the entire 24-hour event were camped out all around Lloyd Hall, hanging out in tents, having a good time. And all the midnight runners were decked out in glow-in-the-dark gear. There were a ton of people, lots of music, a great crowd. It was awesome! I really want to get more people together next year! Plus, I really love the ‘Back on My Feet‘ organization, so it was a good choice.

After hanging out for a while & taking in the sights – we were finally ready to go (at midnight)

Typical.

The course was an 8.4-mile loop on Kelly Drive and West River Drive, following the Schuylkill River. I’ve always wanted to run this loop – so why not at midnight, right? They did a great job of having bike escorts and police stationed along the course – and also had abundant water stops for the runners. Since we were running the opposite direction as the 24-hour relay & ultra marathon runners, it was also great to cheer them on & have them give us encouragement in return. I loved it. The course was obviously really crowded at the start, but after the 1st mile, it really opened up & for a long time, Steve & I were kind of on our own.

I had a set a goal a while back to finish the loop in 1:15.00 – holding about an 8:30 pace. (I previously ran a half-marathon at a 9:00 pace, and I wanted to crush that). I checked my Garmin throughout the race, and we actually kept up our ~8:30 pace really well! I was proud that I didn’t start too fast or burn out at the end. Even though my right leg (hip flexor / outside hip) has been really hurting lately. Around mile 7, it got pretty painful, but then I saw this beautiful sight.


Garmin Distance / Time: 8.63 miles in 1:13.55 (8:34 min/mile)

Event Distance / Time: 8.46 miles in 1:14.25 (8:47 min/mile)

Either way – I finished in under 1:15! Booya. I’d also like to go with my Garmin, because this event wasn’t timed with a chip, so my start time was a bit different than the actual start time (I started in the back). I know half of you reading this could finish that distance in under an hour, and probably another half of you might struggle to finish this distance at all – but that’s not important. What’s important to me is that I hit my goal time! I pushed through my leg pain & really picked up my pace at the 8 mile mark to make sure I hit my goal. Woohoo!

Haha Sorry these pictures are so ghetto. I didn’t think that bringing my nice camera into Philadelphia at midnight was a great idea – and this was the best my cell phone could do. Deal with it.

Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

For real, suggestions on cutting spaghetti squash!?!

Have you ever done a race at some ridiculously random time like midnight!?

Flashback Friday: Wedding Flowers

15 Jul

Happy Friday! Even though I didn’t go see Harry Potter, and I’m not going up to Penn State for Arts Fest, and I’m not going to a beach (like every other person I know) – I’m still pumped about the weekend. I’ll get to kayak, run a midnight race, look at some awesome classic cars at the car show, and relax. Sounds wonderful. But before that all starts, it’s time for my weekly wedding flashback.

I figured I’d talk about all the decorative details of the day – including my flowers & centerpieces. As dumb as it sounds, I honestly might have taken a longer time decided on centerpieces than anything else. I had a very particular look in mind and I wasn’t settling for anything less.

1. Flowers!

  • So my middle name is Rose. My new last name means “Rose” in Italian. I love roses. Obviously, there were going to be roses in my bouquet. Easy enough.
  • My wedding colors were blue, white, and silver. Now think about it – have you seen many blue flowers? There’s a lot of purple-blue flowers, but not many that are truly blue. And I wasn’t all about dipping flowers in blue paint. No thank you. So I was set on finding some kind of blue flowers.
  • I don’t like nosegay bouquets. I wanted something more elegant and unique.
  • Pretty much, I saw this picture & I wanted to copy it.
  • I LOVED how the bridal bouquet was like an “explosion” of flowers. I loved the way the flowers cascaded down in front of her.
  • I also loved the bridesmaids very simple, very elegant cala lillies.
  • With that said, I didn’t want any flowers in my wedding aside from the bouquets and corsages. It’s January. There’s no point in having flower-y centerpieces for a wedding with a snowflake theme.
I met with 3 different florists to get ideas and test out pricing. Everyone warned me how expensive the cala lillies would be, but I didn’t much care. It was my wedding and I wanted cala lillies. My mother also said she felt that cala lillies reminded her of funeral flowers. Thanks, Mom. Anyways – I was dead set on white roses and white cala lillies, but I let the florists introduce me to some other beautiful blue flowers.

  • Blue Delphinium – Perfect for the “explosion” bouquet I wanted

  • Blue Dendrobium Orchids – the world’s most beautiful flowers. I saw one picture and knew I had to have them. I’m obsessed.
I thought the hard part was over, but who knew how many options there were for grandparents & parents & readers & everyone else you can think of. I pretty much left that all up to the florist – but made sure that the mothers just had a single white rose to carry. Wrist corsages can get annoying really fast when you’re hugging people all day. And I didn’t want them to have to pin their dresses. God forbid something should snag.

Here’s how it all worked out!



I was amazed at how beautifully everything turned out. Michelle at Brides & Butterflies did an amazing job – and I would highly recommend her services to any bride in the Pittsburgh area. Not only did she design the bouquets and give me a great price, but her company also made a seating chart and helped out with some of the hall decorations. I was a very happy bride when it came to all things flowers.

My advice on flowers:

  • Be as specific as possible when you are meeting with your florist. You aren’t going to see the bouquets (or the centerpieces if you have a florist design them) until the day of your wedding. If you don’t like them, it’s already too late. Be very, very specific. Bring pictures.
  • Be open to your florist’s suggestions. Chances are if you love a flower that’s really expensive, she can find something very similar for half the cost.
  • If you have your heart set on a certain flower, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. I could have easily been talked out of the cala lillies, but I’m so glad I stuck with them because they turned out exactly how I wanted.
  • If you like the idea of my “explosion” bouquet over a nosegay – be prepared for it to weigh about 50 pounds. ha Don’t get me wrong, I loved my bouquet, but I was shocked at how heavy it was.
  • A lot of florists put the bouquets in water to keep them fresh for when you walk down the aisle. Take them out of the water way before you walk down the aisle. You don’t want them to drip or possibly stain anything with dye from the ribbon of the flowers themselves.
  • If you’re looking for an easy way to make your MOH stand out at the wedding, make her bouquet different.

I was going to also write about my decorations / centerpieces today – but this was really long without it… so I’ll save that for another Friday!

Today’s Workout: Swim

  • Warm-up: 200 SKIPS [200 each of Swim, Kick, IM, Pull, Swim]
  • 100 Fast on 1:30 (Touch between 1:10 and 1:15)
  • 200 Swim on 3:00
  • 300 Pull on 4:30
  • 4 x 200 on 3:00 [1st 200 – 4th 50 sprint. 2nd 200 – 3rd 50 sprint. 3rd 200 – 2nd 50 sprint. 4th 200 – 1st 50 sprint.]
  • 300 Pull on 4:30
  • 200 Kick on 4:00
  • 100 Cool-down easy
  • Total: 3,000 yards

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Playing Catch Up

14 Jul

After my long hiatus from the blog world, I’ve decided to check in today & play catch up.

1. Weekend Re-cap: Parents Visit

See,  my parents are probably the best parents in the entire world, so anytime I get to see them, I’m a very happy daughter. I also love when they visit because it gives me an excuse to do something new & exciting, or to actually go into the city. We did all of the above this past weekend.

First up: We went to a local farm and picked our own fresh blueberries. I’ve never picked my own fruit before – but I’ve been dying to go here and try it. It was awesome. I’ve never seen so many blueberries in my life. We ended up picking 4 pounds of berries. And since they’re straight off the vine, they tasted perfect. Nothing like a perfect blueberry (or 4 pounds of perfect blueberries)





Next up, we ventured into the city to see some of the historical sights. My dad had never been in Philadelphia before, and thoroughly enjoyed “people watching” – oh he also enjoyed his cheese-steak.



We stopped at a bar on South Street… where I discovered my new favorite beer.

Overall, we had a great time just wandering around, seeing the sights, enjoying food, drink, and the company. I wish weekends would last forever.

2. I finally gave in & bought New Rules of Lifting for Women

Since Steve had gift cards to Barnes & Nobles that he’s been neglecting for the past 4 years, I decided to steal them for myself and buy this book that’s taking over the blog world. (Check out Tara’s, Kelly’s, Meghann’s or Christy’s blogs for evidence), and  I’m already fascinated. I actually got off to a late start this morning because I couldn’t put it down. I think I’m going to take some “before” photos & post them right before I start this program. I better look like a damn goddess when it’s over.

3. My life is chaotic.

I wanted to briefly elaborate on my last post about being MIA and trying to get my life in order… but I don’t want to be too specific because there’s no use in making plans that don’t end up working out. Here’s some insight. My fabulous husband is currently in a role that will eventually require us to move. Where to? No idea. When? Eventually. I’m totally on-board with moving, especially because I hate the cold and I hate snow and I want to move south at some point in my life. With that said, I know that I also want to go back to school at some point. This would be easy enough since I’ve already taken my GRE’s and I’ve done enough research to know what courses are required for the degree I’m seeking. However, it would be incredibly pointless for me to apply to schools, start classes, and then have to move either mid-semester or just in the middle of the program. I don’t want to deal with transferring credits or dropping out or any of that jazz. So I have no idea what to do.

4. Working out keeps me sane.

Even though I haven’t blogged about it, I’ve been keeping up with my work-outs. Everyone has their own coping mechanism for stress… luckily mine is exercise. I think I’d legit go insane without working out. 

  • Saturday: Spin + Lift
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: Spin + Lift
  • Tuesday: Rest (aka Work owned my life)
  • Wednesday: 5 mile run + Lift
  • Today: I’m hopeful on another 4-6 mile run after work
Lastly, thanks to everyone who reads my blog / leaves comments / keeps me motivated. It means a lot to me!
How do you deal with stress?
Have you given in to the ‘New Rules of Lifting for Women’ craze / Have you seen results?

Sorry I’ve been MIA

13 Jul

It’s almost been a week since my last post. Where does time go!?!?! I apologize for my lack of posting as of late, but I really need to focus on getting my personal life in order before I spend hours diving into my blog world. I really hope to get back to normal posting soon because I love all of your comments and I love following all of you.

In the meantime, here are some fun things that I’m pretty excited to catch you all up on.

  • I finally gave in & bought the ‘New Rules of Lifting for Women’ – I’m going to read it and start implementing it soon! Yay 🙂
  • My family came to visit for the weekend, and as one of our activities we picked 4 pounds of fresh blueberries! I’m going to need to find some fun blueberry recipes.
  • I discovered my new favorite beer: Banana Bread Beer!
  • I am running an 8.4 mile race at midnight on Saturday – eek!
Wish me luck in figuring out my life – I’ll be back soon, hopefully happier & healthier! 
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