Work-It Wednesday! Vol: 1

Happy Wednesday!! If you’re like me, this is a short work week (wahoooo!) and this may be your last or second to last day of the week.  My office is closed on Friday and was closed both Monday and Tuesday for the holiday – so today is day one of two this week.  As I’m entirely unprepared for this Wednesday’s post; I’m going to fill it with motivational quotes to get you moving!  Whether you’re working on something career wise, something educational, or you’re working on YOU, I hope these quotes make it easier for you to GET IT DONE!

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I promise I’ll have a more organized post next Wednesday!

Tell me what you’re working on?  Are you trying for a promotion at work?  Are you close to graduation?  Are you starting out the new year working on a better YOU?  Let me know!

 

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Mom Monday! Vol: 1

Merry Christmas! (If you celebrate – if not, HAPPY MONDAY!)

Welcome to the FIRST EVER Mom Monday themed post on my blog. Today I’m going to talk about some of the “Mom moments” I’ve had over the past few days.

‘Tis the season for family to come to town. I housed my parents for this holiday (and for thanksgiving). My sons room is HUGE (think second master bedroom) so for both holidays kiddo graciously gave up his bedroom to his Yiayia and Pappou (Greek for grandmother and grandfather). Because he gave up his room, he was able to “sleep over” in my bedroom.

One of my “mom moments” happened while kiddo was asleep next to my bed wrapped up in a sleeping bag. He was having a dream, not necessarily a bad one… but enough of a dream for him to breathe rapidly. It was enough to wake me from a deep sleep. Just his breathing heavy.

The second Mom moment was last night. Kiddo was sitting next to me on the couch and the husband turned on Psych. My parents were in the dining room and all the sudden small human starts singing the theme song. Pappou turns around and smiles “he knows the song 😊” to which kiddo responds “yea, Mom and I watch this a lot.

My third Mom moment was this afternoon at my in laws house. Kiddo was in my lap, or within a foot of me the entire time we were there. Even while opening presents, he was very near me. It’s nice to know that he feels the same kind of “safe” feeling that he gives me.

I hope you enjoyed my three “Mom moments” for this Mom Monday! I also hope you enjoy your holiday!!

Happy trails!!

Favorite things Friday! (Vol: 1)

Happy Friday! In hopes to revitalize my somewhat stagnant blog, I’ll be posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with themes posts.  Monday will be “Mom Mondays”, Wednesday is “work it Wednesday” and Friday is “Favorite Things Friday”!

Today’s theme is favorite places!  As I could go one for a while about places that I love, I’ll limit it to my top 5 🙂

Kölner Dom – This Gothic cathedral in Köln, Germany is the most beautiful sanctuary I’ve ever visited.  Construction started on the Dom in 1248, and it never really stopped.  While I lived in Germany, I frequented Köln every few weeks.  Standing in front of and inside the Cathedral put me at peace.
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Patapsco State Park – My favorite place to run trail in Maryland.  The waterfalls, the winding inclines, and the picturesque surroundings make me forget that I’m putting in work on the trails. Image result for patapsco state park

NCR Trail – While this trail isn’t technical, it’s still beautiful and peaceful.  If you’re looking to increase milage, but aren’t ready to “embrace the suck” of difficult trails, this is PERFECT.  NCR is flat, and is very very pretty.  It’s easy to lose yourself on the NCR.  Image result for NCR trail

Federal Hill Park – From the top of Fed hill, you can see the majority of the City of Baltimore.  Taking the stairs is a sure fire way to get your heart pounding too.  Federal Hill Park is one of the places in Baltimore City that shows why we’re called “Charm City”.  The views – are breathtaking.

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EPCOT – If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World, you’ve probably at least seen the GIANT ball that lives in EPCOT.  If you’ve been inside the EPCOT part, not to much more needs to be said.  I think EPCOT is the most beautiful of all of the Disney.  The World Showcase, that circles around a deep lagoon, shows off bits and pieces of 11 countries not near the USA.  I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

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As usual, I hope you’re all well.  I also hope you have a WONDERFUL Holiday!!

Happy Trails! 🙂

Something not running related… WHAAAT?

Today I’m posting about something that has nothing to do with running.  It’s a touchy subject, but I feel that it needs to be addressed.

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As a woman, a mother, and a profession,  respect is something that I require in my relationships.  You don’t have to like me, and some people don’t, but if you meet me and speak with me, you will respect me. (That sounds like a threat, and it isn’t meant to – read it as “you’ll gain respect for me).

I could go on for HOURS about respect.  For this post, however, I want to address respect when it comes to family; meaning parent to child, child to parent, parent to parent.

Respect starts at home.  Answer me honestly… if someone is disrespectful to you, will you be respectful to that person in return?  Probably not.  If you are, there is most likely a hint of sarcasm or bitterness with the response you will give to the disrespectful person.  A lot of parents that I talk to feel like they’re losing the battle for respect at home.  At times, I feel that way with regards to my home.  Is it possible, that your (and my) children aren’t showing you respect… simply because you aren’t respecting them? Children are sponges, especially during the early years of life.  They see interactions between adults, and between adults and children, and emulate these interactions.  Parents have a HUGE impact on their children, whether we admit that or not.  We are the people that teach our children what kind of human beings they will end up being.  (no pressure… well… actually… yea… PRESSURE!)

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People tell you that in order to be a “good parent” you need to  be friends with your children.  You should treat them as equals.  This isn’t entirely wrong, but… well… yea it’s wrong.  When you as a parent are “friends” with your kids, you’re giving up the unique nature of your relationship – they have many friends, but only have 2 (or in my case 4) parents.  Being your child’s friend is not your job.  Your job is to teach your children, influence your children, and protect your children.  Now, please understand, I’m not telling you that you aren’t able to be friendly with your kids.  That not the case here at all. What I’m stressing is that your children need to understand the role that you have as the parent.  They cannot (I repeat, CANNOT) treat you the way that they treat other children they are social with.  Image result for we're not friends gif

Gaining the respect of your children doesn’t mean you have to be a meanie head. 

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In fact, if you’re constantly yelling at your kids, stop it.  A study was done recently on the long term effects of screaming at your children.  The results of the study showed that regularly yelling at your kids is almost as detrimental as physically hurting them.  Again, I’m not telling you that you aren’t allowed to raise your voice.  What I’m suggesting is thinking before you yell.  Like I mentioned earlier, kids mimic your behavior. You keep screaming, they’ll scream back.

  • Example one: I was sitting on the couch with my kiddo (7 yr old) recently and my husband said something to him that kiddo didn’t like.  Kiddo turns to husband and yells at him.  Husband yells back.  Kid responds. Back and forth and back and forth.  *hands up* “Ok, stop” – Not a good environment for the kid, my husband, or me.  I sat there as the conversation my boys were having spiraled into yelling and didn’t really know how to make it stop. What I was watching was a lack of respect.  Neither of my boys respected each other during that moment.  Image result for yelling gif
  • Example two:  This morning, my husband very obviously rolled his eyes at me.  (big deal right? Wrong.)  This was disrespectful.  What angered me more than the eye roll, was that he did it in front of my kiddo.  The same kid that I’m trying to teach respect.Image result for eye roll meme gif

It’s difficult to teach respect to a child that sees disrespect in the household.  So, what can we do?  Unfortunately, 99% of the articles you’ll find that address teaching respect are geared towards children, not adults.  My thought is to teach respect to adults in two ways;

  1.  Show them respect FIRST
  2.  Stop the disrespectful behavior immediately and bringing attention to it

As some adults have the minds of children (not talking about any adult in particular, just to clarify) it’s also possible that the way we teach children respect may work.

  1.  Stay calm.  Do your very best not to jump down the child (or adults) throat in response to the disrespect.  It’s possible that the child/adult wasn’t paying attention to you, or that they don’t realize what they did was disrespectful.
  2. Figure out the cause.  If your child (or adult partner) is being disrespectful to you, try and find out why.  Are their needs being met?  Are they exhausted, or in pain? (these aren’t excuses… just potential causes for the behavior).  Teach the child/adult that there are other ways of expression that are respectful.
  3. Show respect.  Just like I mentioned with the adult (points up) we can’t teach someone respect while being disrespectful.  Allow your child/adult partner to make decisions and to express themselves.
  4. Positive reinforcement.  As you teach your child/adult partner about respect, try not to resort to punishment.  When you’re being disrespected, as much as possible, remain respectful back.  In my example – when the kiddo and the husband were yelling back and forth – no one is winning.  If one of the two in that conversation had shown respect, the conversation would have gone a completely different direction.
  5. Accept responsibility and apologize.  In the second example that I mentioned – the eye roll from this morning – It’s very possible that my husband wouldn’t have reacted the way the he did if I’d apologized for what he thought I’d done wrong.  (I forgot to ask someone for something *vague I know*) If I had said “Yea, I’m sorry I forgot to do that, I’ll do it now”, instead of saying “I haven’t asked”, he may have no rolled his eyes.

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I hope you enjoyed reading my post today – and perhaps have learned something.  I promise I’ll be back to writing about running soon.  Happy trails! 🙂

Year in Running – 2017!

Good morning and happy Thursday!! I’m linking up with my Oiselle teammate Courtney over at Eat Pray Run DC for a year of running!

Eat Pray Run DC

 

Best race experience: This year was full of excellent race experiences.  If I had to choose, which as part of a “list” I do, I have to go with the Disney World Dopey Challenge .  If you’re not familiar with the Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World, it’s four races, increasing in distance, over the course of four days.  Day one, we ran a 5k, day two 10k, day three a 1/2, and the fourth day we ran a full marathon.  All of these races are through the Walt Disney World property.  I was able to see the “backstage” areas of Epcot and Magic Kindgom – which as a normal person I would never have been able to see.  Also, having my medal put around my neck after 48.6 total miles by Minnie Mouse was pretty sweet! 🙂

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Best run: This year was full of difficult runs.  One that stands out to me is the North Face Endurance Challenge 10k in Algonkian Regional Park.  I ran this year on Sunday, after running Ragnar Trail Richmond the Friday and Saturday right before.  I had ZERO goals except to finish the race.  When I started out, my legs were warm and ready to go – so I started to run harder than I would normally on a trail.  I ended up with a shiny trail PR for the 10k distance.

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Best new piece of running gear: For this question, we have a tie.  My Oiselle Verrazano Bra and my Reebok Floatride Run shoes.  The Verrazano by Oiselle is the only bra I’ve run in where I felt like the *girls* weren’t going to escape.  Also, this bra doesn’t make me feel like I’m being choked either – which is a HUGE win on long runs.  My floatrides were given to me by Ragnar as part of an ambassador package.  I was a bit skeptical as they were so light I didn’t think they would hold up for me.  The first run I took in the floatrides felt amazing, so I figured I’d train for Marine Corps and see what happened.  I ended up loving these shoes so much that I wore them for the Marine Corps Marathon. First time I’ve run a full with no blisters!

Best running advice you’ve received this year: Your pace, your race.  So many times this year I was more worried about “keeping up” with the runners around me.  This caused me to burn out early and not enjoy the race.  When I ignored everyone else around me (pace wise) and stuck with what was comfortable to me, I had a blast!

Most inspirational runner: Again, we have a tie.  First off, Shalane Flanagan.  HUGE HERO! Watching her WIN the NYC Marathon made me cry.  If you haven’t watched this finish, you need to.  Especially around 2:14 😉  #effyes.  Secondly, Bart Yasso  who is retiring this year.  Bart is an amazing human being who I had the chance to meet.  He is inspiring and keep me on my feet!

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: While Marine Corps wasn’t my favorite race experience, I was thrilled with the pictures that I got.  I love that you can see the majesty of DC behind me – and that I’m smiling! Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor

Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Marine Corps.  Marine Corps Marathon is a race that I will try to do every year.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Rough and character building.

Wishing you health and happiness over this holiday season! 

 

Don’t call it a come back..

I stumbled upon my blog last night while trolling my old instagram posts.  Ever done that?  It’s like a trip down memory lane.  It was brought to my attention that I haven’t posted anything in two years.  That stops today.  *celebratory dance*

Lets see… in the past two years;

I got married – yep! Took the plunge.  In May of 2017, on a rainy but perfect day, I married the man I’ve loved for the better part of my life.  Instead of going the traditional Greek Orthodox route (didn’t work out – we tried), we got married at Ripken Stadium, on home plate.  Our favors were peanuts and sunflower seeds, and the groomsman played baseball after the ceremony.  It was a pretty epic day.  Enjoy a *brief* snapshot below from our amazing photographer Lauren Mudrock. 🙂 19243288_10103576267817605_8211860964092132088_o.jpg1.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg56.jpg

I got a new job!  After two years of service at PinnacleCare, I resigned as a full time employee and accepted a position at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute.  I also accepted a part time, contracted, position at PinnacleCare as a researcher.  (Obviously I wasn’t ready to leave entirely)  Working at Johns Hopkins has been pretty excellent.  In the three months that I’ve been employed, I’ve seen 4 different world class specialists… that were less than a 5 minute walk from my office door.  Also, I just finished my first research report for PC for Orthopaedics.  Pretty awesome considering I hear about eyes all day.

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I got sick.  Let me preface this with saying, I’m ok, I’m not dying, but I’m not well either.  I mentioned previously that I’ve seen 4 specialists in the last 90 days.  So this is what I’m working with right now.  I started to lose my hair, my body ached like I had the flu,  my energy level went straight to the crapper, and I gained some weight (*gasp*) even though my eating habits and activity level hadn’t changed.  There were/are some other symptoms, but I wont bore you/gross you out with those. 😉  Long story short,  I have some type of autoimmune issue.  Plainly… my body is attacking itself, for one reason or another.  Fun right?  Eh, not really.  Now, It’s important for me to mention that I’m still a fully functional adult.  Apart from missing a few hours here and there to attend appointments, I’m ALWAYS at work, ALWAYS running around with my munchkin, and ALWAYS at school.  I refuse to let whatever is going on mess up my life.

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I (almost) finished school! I graduate (finally) from University of Maryland in May of 2018.  To say this is a long time coming is a bit of an understatement.  As most of you know, I moved to Germany in my early 20’s and then popped out a kid.  So, I obviously put school on hold for a bit.  I’m pretty pleased that I’ve been able to knock out school, work full time, and be a “super cool mom” (Als words, not mine) all while feeling like a steaming pile of hot garbage.

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And finally, I got to play nurse.  My husband, in his almighty wisdom, broke his hand.  I’m not sure if you remember, but my ex husband was injured, pretty severely, requiring surgery and a LONG rehabilitation process in 2007.  I believe this is what sparked my love for healthcare.  When my husband called me and told me he broke his hand, I jumped into nurse mode.  (Let me be clear, I’m NOT a nurse, nor do I claim to have more than minimal medical knowledge)  I love helping people, everyday, every instance.  When the person who needs my help is my husband, I get to channel my love for him into care.  (*shifty eyes* I’m not sure I worded that correctly, but you get my drift) Knowing that someone needed my help, even if for little things, made my everyday routine more worthwhile.  I’m one of those women who like to be needed.

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As this is usually a running related blog, and I’ve already bored you with my personal life (har har) let me fill you in on some neat running things going on in my life as well.

I got into BERLIN! I entered the Berlin Marathon lottery on a whim as I’d never done a lottery race before…. ever.  I waited patiently until the last week of November when I 100% expected to receive an email saying “Sorry!”  Yep, well… not quite what happened.  I opened the “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE ALREADY A WINNER” email (which made me smile solely on the title) to find out that my number was drawn and I was invited to run Berlin in 2018.  [[ Brief history time – Germany holds my heart.  I lived in Germany for a few years and was blessed to be able to travel frequently while over there.  I saw parts of Germany that made me realize that my view on the world was entirely wrong.  There were so many other things that needed to be explored outside of the continental United States.  Also, the most important person in my life was born in Germany – my kiddo.  After moving back stateside in 2010, I realized just how much I loved and missed living in Germany and I vowed to go back as soon as I was able.  Getting accepted into the Berlin Marathon is my chance to finally get back to the country that fills my heart. ]]  Get ready for some Berlin training and packing and freaking out posts to come in the future.  (also, take note that the background photo on my blog is from an adorable town in Germany called Rothenburg ob der Tauber.)

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I finished my 6th full marathon at Marine Corps in October 2017.  Running with the Marines is something that brings me more joy then I can explain with words.  I’ve run MCM twice, and plan to run every year for the foreseeable future, be it through the 17.75k guaranteed entry, through charity, or through lottery.  I know many runners that refuse to run the same race twice, which I completely understand and respect, but I hold Marine Corps in a different category.  As an Army Veteran, I love the idea of any race built around the military.  The fact that Marines line the course at this race is amazing.  They are kind, encouraging, and pretty adorable (I didn’t see any that were over 20 years old this year).  To have the finisher medal put around my neck by a member of the armed forces is … well, it’s just epic.

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That’s about all I have for you today.  I’ve missed you – hopefully you’ve missed me enough to have read through this lengthy post. As per the usual, I’ll end with a few questions!

  • How have your last two years been??
  • Have you ever run a race in another country?
  • Do you have any “must do” races that you’ll run over and over again?