Hey guys!

Long time, no see!

Yeah, I haven’t ran in two months. No, I won’t be running the marathon I had planned on doing this weekend.

But I am determined to love running again, and tonight was the perfect time to get back out there.

The weather was PERFECT and what better way to see Paris than on a run?

Though next time, I will probably not go at 8pm and will definitely pick a different route, but for my first time out, it wasn’t too bad.

Also, Paris is wonderful, and I’ve only been here for 28 hours so far.

Anyway, I did almost two miles tonight, (I think?) and it felt really great.

Time to get back into this running thing. :)

This is precisely how I feel about my day so far. 

I got up totally excited about going for a long run. The plan was 8 miles, I mapped out a nice route through town, I was so excited for the pizza and sweatpants and tv party I was going to have after I got back. 

Then I started running. 

It started off just fine. 

Then the rain started. 

Then the sleet started. 

Then a dog bit me. 

A DOG FREAKING BIT ME!

I mean, if your dog is going to bite people who are just running past you, minding their own business, you should probably at least keep him on a leash. 

Just a thought. 

Then the wind got more intense. 

Then the sleet got more intense. 

I knew 8 miles was not going to happen. 

So instead, I did my usual 2.5 mile route. 

On the bright side?

I haven’t run that fast in a REALLY long time.

This is precisely how I feel about my day so far.

I got up totally excited about going for a long run. The plan was 8 miles, I mapped out a nice route through town, I was so excited for the pizza and sweatpants and tv party I was going to have after I got back.

Then I started running.

It started off just fine.

Then the rain started.

Then the sleet started.

Then a dog bit me.

A DOG FREAKING BIT ME!

I mean, if your dog is going to bite people who are just running past you, minding their own business, you should probably at least keep him on a leash.

Just a thought.

Then the wind got more intense.

Then the sleet got more intense.

I knew 8 miles was not going to happen.

So instead, I did my usual 2.5 mile route.

On the bright side?

I haven’t run that fast in a REALLY long time.

I learned a few valuable things on this run.

1. All these years I’ve thought I despised running at night, turns out, I don’t. I actually kind of like it.

2. I can listed to the same song on repeat for my entire run and not get tired of it (this run was brought to you by You Quit Me by the wonderful Autumn Hurlbert).

3. You really can become a better runner in one day. I ran the same route as the day before and I was able to go so much farther before I had to take a walk break.

4. In Ireland, it really can be not raining when you leave, and over the course of 2.5 miles it can start and stop raining three separate times.

Also, yay for running only because I wanted to, not because I felt like I had to. :)

I had such a wonderful run this morning!

I did 2.5 mile run around town and even though it was raining, it was still a beautiful morning.

I think I really like Galway so far.

It’s a little too small town for me, but it’s a nice little city. :)

Longer run this morning.

5ish miles?

It’s hard to say exactly, map my run was having a hard time keeping up, but I think it was close to that.

Stopped in a park about halfway through to just enjoy the sunshine. Such a beautiful morning!

Of course!

I would love, love, LOVE that!

I’ll send you a message. :)

Of course!

I would love, love, LOVE that!

I’ll send you a message. :)

Sure, you mean like for the whole trip?

Or just for Austria?

Sure, you mean like for the whole trip?

Or just for Austria?

And only five months (and 6 days) until I’m in Austria!!!!

And only five months (and 6 days) until I’m in Austria!!!!

Short run this morning.

2 miles through the streets of Dublin.

The good news? I already feel stronger than I did on my last run; I guess walking 10+ miles everyday does help. :)

First international run!

I am pretty proud of myself for getting up and running on my very first day here - go me!

I did 5k-ish along the river this morning. So pretty!

Other than it being ridiculously windy and me being ridiculously out of shape (I haven’t ran in a month, oops) it was a really nice run.

Now I just have to keep it up, I do have a marathon to train for, after all!

off-annd-running:

Day 001: Getting to Dublin

The day started off early - too early.  After a late night sleepover with some of my best friends, very little sleep was had and the alarm was a very unwelcomed sound.  But today was the day, the day I’d been waiting for and planning for {and paying for) for nearly a year and a half.

It was hard to believe it had finally come, it had seemed eons away for so long.

I gathered my things (which had actually been packed for nearly a week, go me!) and headed to the train station.  After a much tearier goodbye than I had anticipated, I boarded the train bound for Chicago.

I spent the next 6 hours watching movies which were entirely too sappy and had me on the verge of tears nearly the entire trip. I got more and more nervous the closer we got to Chicago, the snow was getting heavier and heavier the farther north we travelled.

Suddenly, the idea of traveling the first week of January seemed a little silly, but there wasn’t much I could do about it at that point.

Luckily, we only had minor delays and my train pulled into the station about an hour late, leaving me with four hours until my flight took off.

I only fell once between exiting the train station and being safely en route to the airport, and based on the amount of times I slipped, that was actually a small miracle.

The ride there was shorter than I had anticipated and before I knew it, I was checked in, through security and ready to board the plane.

(Also, eating for the first time all day, around 4pm, which really sucked)

When I first sat down in my window seat and got situated, I thought, ‘hey, this isn’t so bad.’

The seat was comfortable, each had it’s own TV screen, it reclined well, not a ton of leg room, but more than domestic flights, the girl sitting next to me seemed nice enough.

Eight hours later, however, I would be singing a different tune. The seat in front of me was just close enough that when I tried to stretch out, it dug into my knee.  The girl next to me slept the entire flight so I couldn’t really get up and go to the bathroom or just stretch or anything.  Not to mention, she totally hogged the center arm rest.

I will give them props for their movie selection, however there was no Harry Potter, which is exactly what I wanted to watch, but there were a lot of choices.  I started with a couple I hadn’t seen, but had been wanting to, We’re the Millers and Admission.  Both were decent.

I then started The Blind Side, one of my all time favorites, knowing if I were going to sleep, it would be during a movie I’d already seen a million times.

(I needed some noise to block out the baby that cried nearly the entire flight)

I did drift off a few times and slept through maybe half the movie, but the seat was getting more uncomfortable by the second and by the time the movie was over, I knew it just wasn’t going to happen.

So I ended the flight with Mean Girls and then we were finally landing in Paris.  I wish I could have seen the city on the way in, but it was still dark and pretty cloudy.

After going through security again (with my shoes on!) and finding my gate, I started to realize just how annoying using my phone with wifi only was going to be until I got used to it.  Especially when it keeps kicking you off of whatever wifi you are connected to.

Luckily my layover was short, only about 45 minutes, and then I was boarding my second and final plane for the day.  This time, however, I was stuck in an aisle seat (I HATE aisle seats) and all I wanted to do was sleep, but couldn’t get comfortable.  The seats were too small and the guy next to me was far too close to me.

That flight could not end soon enough.

After a really rough landing though, I had finally arrived in Ireland.  I made my way to immigration and after a questioning look from the guy in the booth about why I would want to be here for 4 weeks, I was let through.

I then boarded a bus that would take me to O’Connell street, in the center (or I think I’m supposed to start spelling it centre now?) of the city and about a mile from my hostel.

The hostel suggested taking the tram from there, but me being me, I decided to walk.  After only getting lost once (and I was still in the right place, I just didn’t know it) I finally got to my hostel, got checked in, got all settled in, made an acquaintance, got a sandwich for dinner and settled into my bed to sleep for the next 15 hours - and boy, did I need it.

And now?

It’s time to officially take Dublin by storm.

After a lot of back and forth, I’ve decided to start a new blog about my travel experiences.

I’ll still be posting about my runs on here, now that I have time to start running again, but this new blog will host my thoughts and accounts of my experiences abroad.

Follow if you’d like!

Today is a day I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while now.

The idea first came about when my dad ran the last few miles of the full with me last year.

We’ve been training for the last few months and, needless to say, it’s the most prepared I’ve been for a race in a really, really long time.

We were still slow, we finished in 3’22, but we ran almost all of it, only took about three walk breaks and only in the last 3 miles.

I’m seriously so proud of us, I can’t even say how much.

And now, I think that it’s time for a well-earned cheeseburger.

Hey, check out that current pace! ;)

I’m feeling pretty good about this run, especially considering I took the last week off.

Also, it was super, super humid out tonight.

But I finished and felt like I could have kept going, so I consider it a win. :)

Now, off to finish getting caught up on my DVR, enjoy the rest of my day off and then off to bed early since I have an early day at work tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday, y’all. :)

Sunday brought me a nearly perfect New York City day.

Have I mentioned lately that it’s my favorite place on earth?

We started our day with a trip to Starbucks while we waited to go get in line for rush tickets to see First Date.  We then headed to the theatre and snagged a couple student tickets, where we stood in line behind one of the most annoying people I’ve ever had the displeasure of not-quite-meeting.

After we got our tickets, we headed to a tattoo shop a few blocks away called Red Rocket Tattoo.  I’d read some good reviews for them online and they said they accepted walk-ins - perfect!

So we go in and she tells us that they’re basically completely booked for the day, but if we wanted to wait, she had an appointment in about 15 minutes that might not show up.

We stuck it out and waited and sure enough, they didn’t show!

She got me in pretty quickly and the entire process took maybe an hour, including waiting for them not show and waiting for the guy to get set up.

I was SO nervous.  I have a really low pain tolerance so I was sure I was basically going to die, but it was nowhere near as bad as I expected!

I know what I got was pretty simple, but it’s what I’ve wanted for YEARS and I’m so happy I finally took the plunge and did it.  No regrets!

After I got my tattoo, we stopped for some pizza, then headed to the theatre for the show.  It was pretty good!  It wasn’t the greatest show in the world, I think the book was significantly better than the music and lyrics, and at times it was a little rough, but all in all, I don’t feel like I wasted two hours of my life (or $30!) so it was a good choice.

Then we decided to conquer the subway.  I’ve actually never taken it, in all my time I’ve spent in NYC, so we were both a little nervous, but it was so much easier than I expected!  I looked at the map, found out where we needed to go and we got there without a single problem!

Then the greatest part was when we exited the station and I walked out and knew immediately where I was!  I walked us straight to the Molly’s Cupcakes and we got some of the most delicious cupcakes ever.

I then got us back on the subway (different train, mind you) and we went to a different station and still, no problems!

I definitely feel like more of a “real New Yorker” than ever before.

That feeling only increased when I very depressingly landed in St. Louis Monday morning and had to come back to reality and reinforced the fact that I absolutely hate where I live.

But no worries, I’ve already got my next NYC trip planned!  Not only to I get to visit my favorite city and my bff one more time before heading off to Europe, but I get to do it with a few of my favorite people (who are all NYC virgins, too!) and I get to ring in the New Year in style. :)

This post is slightly overdue, forgive me, I’ve been working like crazy for the last few days!

So last week I hopped on a plane to my favorite place on earth to visit my bff. Thursday night was dedicated to Grey’s Anatomy and sleep - two of my favorite things!

Then on Friday we hit the road and wound up in Atlantic City, so much fun!  We had a drink by the pool, and at dinner, and had more than a few that night!

Highlights of the evening included going to a drag queen and old man filled gay club on the boardwalk where two drinks were $25!  My small town budget couldn’t really afford that, so we moved on.

We found this super chill dive-bar kind of Irish bar just off the boardwalk where we were the only customers, the bartender there was super nice and she kept making us experimental drinks and shots.

I also got hit on my a bachelor party, so that was fun.  The best man informed me that the groom loved redheads, to which I expertly replied “oh hey, I’m a redhead!” (not my finest moment).

We eventually made it back to our hotel and did EXCELLENT on the slot machines, as you can tell.  Played about $30, walked away with $0.21.  So clearly, we are excellent gamblers.

The next day we took a walk on the boardwalk, then walked by the beach a bit, which was fantastic.

Beaches are among my favorite things in the entire world, I could have walked out there for hours.  But unfortunately we had to head back, but it was such a great little trip!  I definitely want to visit Atlantic City again someday. :)