Hey, What’s Up, HELLO

I’m baaaaaaaaack 

Okay, but really, apologies for the 8ish month absence. Grad school started and this blog stopped. But you know what they say…absence makes the heart grow fonder. So right now I must be pretty darn fond of Julie and the Universe. Anyway, here’s what’s been happening for the past few months…

  • I ran TWO more half marathons!
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Harborside Half, classic post-race-beer-in-hand Julie.

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Double fisting because I PR-ed.

YUP, the first was the Harborside Half in Newburyport in November. I didn’t really train at all for it (though I typically do a 6-10 mile long run once a week anyway) and just wanted to do one more longer race before going into winter-race hibernation mode. I finished in about 2:09. Not my best, especially considering how flat the course was, but such is life. The second was yesterday, the Earth Run Rock Half Marathon in North Andover. Once again, I did not have a full-out training for this halfie (which I have begun affectionately referring to half marathons as), though I did make sure to build up to a final 12-mile training run over the few weeks leading up to it. My unofficial goal was to break two hours, but since I didn’t do much speed training and would have to break my previous halfie PR (2:07) by 8 minutes, I was not super optimistic. However, my pace has definitely gotten faster between last time I posted and now, so I didn’t think it was entirely impossible. In an effort to break 2 hours, I went out too fast and hit the wall hard at mile 10. Miraculously, I finished in 1 HOUR AND 56 MINUTES!!!!! I think I teared up when I saw the clock as I crossed the finish line. Even more impressive, I thought I was going at a snail’s pace by mile 12, and my slowest mile was still 9:15, which is pretty good in my book. This has also prompted me to finally want to invest in a Garmin or some sort of GPS running clock, please let me know of any suggestions.

  • I also ran a couple other races…

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The top picture was after a St. Patrick’s Day-themed 4-miler in March, and the bottom picture was after a 10k in October. My friend Alex never runs and ran that 10k with me (though she does hike a lot). She finished in like 1:05, which I’d say is pretty impressive for someone who doesn’t run. She’s gifted like that.

  • I went to Utah!
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Casual mountain views on the highway.

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Salt Lake: salty and pretty AF.

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Mountain chillin.

The aforementioned Alex worked at a ski resort in Utah over the winter (and is coming home today!!!!) so I visited in January. Basically, Utah was rad. Everyone is so NICE, which was super weird coming from Massachusetts (land of rude people in a hurry). It was absolutely beautiful. Also, I still can’t ski.

  • I cut my hair.
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I called it my “cool mom cut.”

2016: new me, new hair. I cut it on New Year’s Eve. I was bored with long hair. I go through this cycle every 2 years or so (cut hair…grow hair out…get bored…repeat). It was cute. Unsurprisingly, I’m growing it out now.

  • I am almost done my first year of grad school!

Too real.

In summary: first semester I was super anxious and felt like I had no friends and no business being there. Had a couple breakdowns. Slowly made friends, realized everyone felt overwhelmed, got good grades in the end. Second semester: totally slacking but getting it done. Making better connections with friends. Working at a school as a guidance intern once a week, it’s pretty good. Basically, grad school is a crap ton of work, but you’ll get it done. My final paper of the semester is due on May 13 and I cannot wait to submit it. Let me know if you’d be interested in a more extended grad school post!

  • And finally….I SIGNED UP TO RUN A MARATHON.

Yup, it’s happening.

The reason I really wanted to come back to blogging is to have an outlet to discuss marathon training. You all have super great running advice, and I want to hear it all! My 2015 goal was to run a halfie, which I did (twice…but who’s counting?), and my 2016 goal is to run a…fullie? Okay, we’re gonna scrap that nickname and call it a marathon for now. I am running the Baystate Marathon in October in good ol’ Lowell (where I went to college, Rock the Hawk yo). I don’t start training until June, and I am thinking of following Hal Hingdon’s Novice 2 plan. I’m not entirely sure yet. I want a plan that has no more than 4 days of running because I would like to continue keeping up strength training and yoga, and anything more than 4 days of running just isn’t great for me. I am nervous and excited and unsure of exactly how I’m going to fit in training with grad school, work, and my 3-day-a-week internship. But I’ve always been an act-now-plan-later type of gal, so we shall see what happens!

Anyway, that was a rambly, 8-month catch up post, but that’s where my life is at right now! What’s up with y’all?!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. Any Garmin/GPS watch recommendations? I love Run Keeper, but I think I am ready for something a little more advanced. I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, but I am willing to invest a bit.

2. Have you gone on any exciting trips recently? If you’re thinking of planning something, might I suggest Utah?

3. Have you run a marathon before? Are you going to run a marathon this year? Any advice?

BYEEEEEEE

Julie

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