“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”
In the last few days of break before my final semester at Columbia College Chicago begins, I’m being as lazy as I can. I’m still working, still running, and getting some last-minute chores done (ordering textbooks, cleaning out folders from last semester, writing a little bit, etc. etc.), but I’m also thinking about what the last three and a half years have held. If you’ve been following us for a little bit, you know that I’m big on reflection. So, in these last few days before the true beginning of the end, I can’t help but think back at all that Columbia has given me — besides the fact that I’ve created my own major, took both accounting and finance, and learned that there’s more out there that I can do well/enjoy outside of radio.
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.
Nothing but good intentions started this day out, and I think it paid off. The alarm went off around 8am, and I finally rolled out of bed around 8:30. A solid 6-mile “run” on the elliptical (and my ankle is still feeling great, even though it’s close to 1am now), and another hearty Irish breakfast.
A good chunk of the day was spent wandering around Dublin with my roommate, Christy, to find the most touristy gift shops we could. I grabbed some trinkets for friends and family, but mostly enjoyed the record store we stumbled on in a market in the Temple Bar area, Spindizzy Records. I scored on another album on vinyl — Chet Faker’s “Built on Glass” — for cheaper than I’ve found in the states (again). If we had more time, I would love to dive into the record store scene here in Dublin and figure out why I’ve been finding so many of these records I’ve been dying to get for cheaper here than in the US.
As some of you may remember, I ran a half marathon not that long ago, and before that, I did a crash course in training for that race. It probably wasn’t the best idea, but it was really fun to do, and I thought I was being careful and not over-doing it. Nothing beat the feeling for the rest of the day after any run that was over ten miles – that feeling of accomplishment and knowing that you earned to eat a little bit of candy and drink a bit more gatorade than you probably need.
Now I’m really missing training. And getting side tracked.
This probably wasn’t the best idea. Sure, it was fun while it lasted, and yeah, I jacked up my mileage pretty quick, but it’s like during that time I was numb. I didn’t really realize it if I was in pain, and if I was, I popped some ibuprofen, stretched out, and felt fine. Now it’s over a week since the race, and my knees and ankles and even hips sometimes are yelling at me in protest. Yesterday, I did a very slow ten miles. I had to sit down, I had to walk – I couldn’t finish strong. I hurt so bad. And since then, I’ve had kinesio tape on my left knee (and ice) and a brace-type thing on my right knee. I even went to bed early last night (7pm early) to try and just let my stress melt off (even though I don’t feel all that stressed?) But whatever. Now I’m sitting at work, wanting to write a blog post about how this brace thing feels supportive and all, but it’s still hurting so bad, and how sometimes even if you are supported you can still hurt, and other emotional things like that because I’ve been watching far too much of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. Yay spring break.
I went to the doctor’s office at home this past weekend, originally because three of my toes are now pretty black and sometimes they hurt, but then we ended up talking about my knees because of the hurt they’ve been in recently. I found out that I’ve got “Runner’s Knee”, which is also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. I had the same type of thing back in 9th grade, which is why this is entitled “Physical Therapy (Take II)”. I loathe physical therapy. Which is weird, because I like getting stronger and exercising, but I hate being forced to medically do it. It’s so frustrating, and I feel like it takes all the fun out of it. But, I know that I have to do it, so PT it is. I’ll just probably be a generally crabby person until my knees get better and I’m finally able to do my running dream of 18 miles – to the end of the lakefront trail and back (on the north end.) I was going to try and do it yesterday but then all this knee stuff cropped up. Oh well.
I know that other people have it worse out there, so don’t even think about this after you finish reading. It’s unrelated to this blog post, but it does work with this one, but donate to RAINN. Or not, and just go about your life. Have a nice day.