“Marathon” is a word that’s been bouncing around in my head for a few years now. I wanted to run my first marathon in 2015, but my parents urged me to wait until I aged out from drum corps and finish college before I did my first full. I filled the void with half-marathons as best I could, but since coming off tour in 2016 (yes, over a year ago), my sights have been set on finishing 26.2. I started working at Fleet Feet, found myself surrounded by distance runners and constantly helping people who were pushing themselves to complete their goals, and kept chugging on my own path.
I’m not going to lie and say that I had no idea what to expect when I moved in to the University Center for my Freshman year at Columbia. I had expectations — I had huge expectations. I knew I was paying a huge amount of money to go to this school, and I expected them to deliver on every one of those expectations. That was my first lesson: don’t have too many expectations for the big things. Because it’ll probably turn out not how you were expecting at all, and be entirely different…but maybe, that’s what you need.
I wanted to write a big long mushy post highlighting some of the best parts of my college career, but in typical fashion with the rest of my life right now, I totally ran out of time. Plus, I have quite a few pages highlighting each semester already, so why should I make the final one be any different? Plus, the last five months have been so jam-packed with things (both really difficult and really wonderful), so I can’t short-change my last semester.
Here’s what you haven’t read about my trip to Austin, TX for SXSW so far…
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending seven days in Austin, Texas. Not only was it great being in Austin, but it was also a pretty popular time to be there. South by Southwest (or SXSW) is the interactive, film, music, and comedy festival that completely takes over the city for almost two full weeks. As part of the completion of my interdisciplinary degree at Columbia College, I was able to attend the festival as part of the AEMMP Digital Distribution & Promotions Practicum course. For my project in class, I was able to incorporate something I was planning on doing down there, anyway. I got to write about all of the bands (good and bad) that I was able to catch, and it was published over on Atwood Magazine. If you’re interested in the music portion of my experience, click on the day-header for those ramblings. This post will serve more in the nitty-gritty of the trip, and what you won’t find on a publication. Thus, “What You Didn’t Read about SXSW Already”
Wow, what a freakin year. As I went through pictures this time around, I found an astonishing amount of goofy selfies and embarrassing snapchat screenshots of my friends, so the fact that I was able to pull as many “normal” pictures as I’ve got in here is nothing short of a miracle. As I was writing this blog post last year, I knew there’d be a lot to talk about… but I never imagined to have the year shake out like it did. Anyway, here’s 2016 in somewhere around 6,000 words. Stay with us.
I live in Chicago, and it’s been pretty cold the past week. So cold that the Chicago Area Runners Association canceled their Boston training long run on Saturday morning, but not cold enough for Team Ortho to cancel their Polar Dash races – which was good for me, or else I would have been out of a week of tapering and $65. AND the hype I had built up over about two and a half months for my longest race thus far of 15 miles.
At the start, the thermometer temp was reading 0, and according to WeatherBug it ‘felt like -25.’ So yeah, it was a little cold, especially with the wind that comes with the Windy City. But honestly, it didn’t feel that bad until about mile 9, when I rolled the sleeves of my sweatshirt down and they froze in an instant. I’ve never really had anything like that happen, since the temps in Chicago haven’t been that bad until the week of the race of course.
But it actually ended up being a pretty good learning experience. I figured out I need to do more long runs before the race, and if I had been able to do a proper taper, I would have probably been in a better headspace going into the race. I had my first mid-race bathroom breaks, and I ran the most I’ve ever ran a race. Even though my time wasn’t what I was hoping, I’m still proud I finished and that I set out to run that day at all. It was a learning experience, as have been all of the races I’ve done so far.
Registered for my next half – the race that started it all – Get Lucky (Chicago) in March. Excited to train hard and hopefully set a new PR for the Spring. Oh, and did I mention how badly I want to do the Chicago Marathon this year? That’s a goal. That’s something I’m really actually considering at least, which is mind-boggling.
This year, I’m starting to take running more seriously. Maybe it’s because I’ve considered myself a ‘real’ distance runner for almost a year, or the marathon goal, or the fact that I’m now working at the Chicago Area Runner’s Association, regardless, I’ve bought some books on strength training and I’m setting out to become a better runner. It should be interesting, hopefully.
Anyway, Classes start in about a week and a half, I’m currently working, like, four part-time jobs, I’m finding some great music on Spotify, and there’s some shows coming up that I can’t wait to tell you about. 2015 is starting to shape up to be both a personal-growth year and (hopefully) a career-growth year. Stay with us.