Category Archives: Mental Health

Thankful on Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! I’m not sure what the weather’s like where you are, but it is GORGEOUS here in New York City. I was out the door for physical therapy before 6:30 this morning and it was already 70 degrees out. Walking around sans jacket definitely put a little pep in my step and I am in a glorious mood. Funny how the weather can inspire such drastic mood changes in people.

The last few days, I’ve been taking the time to just be. How often do we do that these days? Definitely not often enough, especially when you live in a city that never sleeps and people are constantly on the go to get somewhere. So every once in a while, mostly when I’m outside in the sunshine, I remember to pause and just live in the moment that I’m in. And it’s been glorious.

Whenever I read Ali’s Thankful Things Thursday posts, I always get a big smile on my face and it sets me up for a good day. I don’t feel like waiting until Thursday, so I’m going to get my thankful on today. It’s Tuesday, so it still starts with a “T,” which makes it still cute-sy and stuff. Here we go!

I’m thankful for…

My running coach and physical therapist.

They’re both pretty rad. They know each other too, which makes things more fun. They talk about me when I’m not around. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Hopefully they say nice things. Even if they don’t, I’m still thankful for them. There’s no way in hell I would’ve gotten through this training cycle without them. Mentally, I’ve been beating myself up for a while and am totally checked out. I’m kind of ready for this race to just be here so I can be done with it. But more on that later.

Basically, if I didn’t have coach Abby to report to and Ken fixin’ me up twice a week, then I don’t think I would survive. They brighten my day and keep me from doing stupid things. They’re much smarter than me.


I like that it tells me I’m “awesome” or “impressive” every Monday, despite how few miles I log on a weekly basis. It makes me feel better.

This weather. Because that’s a given. 86 degrees in mid-April isn’t typical, but I’m not complaining. Please stay forever, warm weather ❤

My job.

Even though some silly survey thinks that journalism is one of the worst jobs ever, I tend to disagree. Instead, I think Forbes did a pretty good job explaining how rad my career is. My favorite part? I’m constantly learning. I loved going to school and constantly absorbing new information (am I nerd?) and I get to do that every single day still. I also get to do super cool things and meet extremely interesting people on a daily basis. Win.

My friends.

A lot of them have come to visit since I’ve moved to this grand city and it means the world to me. My buddy Tim, from high school, came for a quick trip the other day. It had been a long time since I’d seen him.

Despite battling a nasty cold that I believe came from the oh-so-wonderful Dustin, we did a lot of walking on Sunday and fun shopping. He lets me dress him, which is very exciting. I think Dustin got jealous because he let me dress him, too. This is new. I like it.

I also got to dress myself in fun dresses suitable for this beautiful weather. This is my outfit today, for example, except I took this picture when I was in the dressing room over the weekend. Ya know, to make sure it looked cute.

But anyway, I really like my friends. They’re super cool. You should be my friend, too. We’ll have fun.

New York City.

It really is a beautiful place and I could not be more happy about living here. Last night I saw a movie with Libby, and as we walked home, we passed Lincoln Center and all of the beautiful fountains and structures that surround that area of town. So pretty and, even though a lot of people are busy, it was peaceful.

Going to school at Oswego.

Speaking of beautiful places, Oswego is definitely one of them. Even though I love this city, I can’t help but miss the college days when a warm-weather day like this one would mean a game of pickup soccer, relaxing by the lake listening to the guitarists play, a walk on the breakwall to reach the lighthouse, followed up with dinner at Rudy’s seafood and dessert at Bev’s ice cream. Apparently I’m not the only one nostalgic for my alma mater either.


Not actual holes in the wall because those aren’t fun, especially when it’s time to move out of your apartment and you have to either fix the hole or watch a big chunk of change disappear from your security deposit (Luckily, no said holes appear in my current apartment. Phew). But rather, little gems of a restaurant or bar that are tucked away in the city, not outrageously advertised but stumbled upon quietly. That happened this weekend when Tim, Dustin and I happened upon Chat ‘n Chew diner.

The atmosphere was quaint, the decor was cute and the prices were just right. The menu was limited, for sure, but I’m not one to complain. The grilled chicken sandwich was bomb-tastic. (Why do I say non-words like this? I don’t know.)

I could keep going, but this post is getting a little long. Just know I’m full of thankful today.

Your turn: tell me what you’re thankful for! I don’t care how big or how small, just tell me. You’ll feel better, I promise!

PS: I added a new page! Check out my personal bucket list, then tell me what awesome things you want to experience.

Confession Time, Part II

Hi everyone! For those of you who actually came back yesterday looking for another update, I thank you. And I apologize. I got distracted by the train wreck that was The Bachelor finale…and the subsequent After the Final Rose episode. Meaning, I wasted three hours in front of the TV, but it was a great reminder that my life isn’t nearly as crazy as it could be.

See, that show serves a purpose, Mom!

And for all you other Bachelor lovers who also love HIMYM, here’s a beautiful thing found via Pinterest (where else would I find it?)


Second, I want to thank all of you who left comments and sent words of encouragement after my last post. It really, truly means a lot to me.

Now, let’s pick things up where we left off on Sunday.

I headed to Central Park for a long run after taking many days off. And when I say days off, I mean complete rest. Only walking to and from work. The rest of the time, I was simply stretching, icing, compressing and taking naproxen. I thought I was going batty from a lack of sweat.

It takes about 20-30 minutes to get to CP from my apartment on the weekend, and as I rode the train, I thought a lot about this run. No matter how much I tried to envision myself cranking out 15 miles with ease, I just couldn’t do it. For some reason, I knew that it just wasn’t going to happen. Chalk it up to a big dose of reality setting in? I have no idea. But, as cheesy as it sounds, I knew I had to try. Otherwise I’d drive myself bonkers wondering if I would’ve been able to do it.

Once again, the first few miles were fine. I went at an easy pace, and strapped my watch on so that it was difficult to check my pace. I just wanted to run. Shortly after two miles, I realized I had made a rookie mistake: I overdressed. I knew it was going to be shorts and a tank weather, or shorts and a long-sleeved shirt at the most, but I let Dustin psych me out when he went out for bagels in the morning and said it was pretty chilly. Nervous about being too cold, I put on crops and a long-sleeved shirt. After two miles, the sleeves were rolled and I was cursing Dustin justalittlebit (NOTE: Do not listen to your non-runner boyfriend when he tells you about the weather. His views are very different from yours).

I pushed on, moving with the rolling hills and thinking about Nashville again. And then out of nowhere, my knee gave out. No slow, building pain that comes and goes like normal, it just plain gave out. I looked at my watch, saw seven miles and decided to stop. I walked for a bit and the pain only came back a little, but I still decided to stop. Call me crazy, but I made the conscious decision to have a good day.

And I’m so proud of myself for that moment.

I realized something. I’m so tired of having crappy weekends because of all the bad long runs I’ve been having. It’s one thing to have a bad run here or there. But to have one on every single weekend for at least a month? That’s not right. Heck, it’s probably a sign from the running gods trying to tell me that this is not my race. So finally, my stubborn head decided to listen. I was (am?) ready to agree: this is not my race to conquer 26.2.

As much as I want it to be, it just isn’t. Like I said in part I, I don’t want to finish my first marathon limping, in pain and hating every single moment. I want to conquer each and every one of those miles, feeling strong, confident, powerful. I want to feel like I’m a badass, not like I got my ass kicked fifteen times over.

But most of all, I don’t want my first 26.2 to be my last. I’m only 22 and I just started running a little over a year ago. I have a lot of miles left in me. Sure, I have a torn meniscus, a reconstructed ACL and a blood disorder that slightly complicates things, but who doesn’t have problems? Everyone has hurdles to jump over; these are mine. There’s no reason to add another one.

If I ran the full 26.2, I’m scared that I would end my running  career prematurely.I remember what it’s like to not be able to run for over three months. It’s NOT FUN. It’s mentally demoralizing and if I can avoid it, I’m sure as hell going to do everything in my power to do so. I suppose I’ll finally start believing what others have been telling me: there are other marathons waiting for me.

So am I done with Nashville? Not quite. My family is still there, my dad still hasn’t seen me race, and I’ve already coughed up the money, so I’m still headin’ South come April 27. I’m just going to run the half-marathon. My new plan is still in development, but in general, I’m going to throw myself into physical therapy, focus on strength training and speed work, and aim to PR the sh*t out of that half.

My plans for this weekend’s St. Paddy’s Day National Half? Come back tomorrow!

Feel-Good Friday: I’m in the Clear

Happy Friday! Does anyone else feel like it’s been a really long week? I have some glorious plans this weekend, so maybe that’s why time seemed to tick by slowly for me. The anticipation kills me!

I’m in such a chipper mood today, so I thought it was the perfect time to bring back Feel-Good Friday. After all, who couldn’t use a little extra pick-me-up to soar into the weekend?


Here are some of the wonderful things that have been making me feel great this weekend:

I get to train for a marathon. Remember back when I made my goals for the year and I was all sorts of nervous about not being able to run the Country Music Marathon in April even though I really, really want to? Well, after six doctor appointments, countless hours of lost sleep and many worried thoughts, I officially found out that I am in the clear! At the end of it all, I was diagnosed with an acute case of tendinitis in the outside of my knee, along with a little bit of built-up scar tissue. Neither of those things will derail my plans and the doc gave me the green light to move into full-blown training mode. Nashville, here I come!

Pandora’s country music stations. I don’t know about the rest of you Pandora users, but the site has been killing it for me. I put one of my many country stations and plow through my to-do list like it’s nobody’s business. As a big Carrie, Rascal and Keith fan (that’s Underwood, Flatts and Urban last names for you who aren’t familiar), I’ve been extremely pleased by those nifty selections.

Country weddings. With all this country talk going on, it’s time to talk about my weekend. As you read this, I’m packing up my bags and headed upstate to celebrate the fabulous union of Dustin’s friend, Cayla, and her fiance, Josh. Dustin and Cayla have known each other since they were little and we’re so excited to be a part of her special day. I plan to run 12 miles in the morning (gotta get ’em in) and then dance the night away basking under the beauty of love ❤

Colored jeans. I’ve been lusting after a pair of red ones for quite some time now, but still haven’t found the ones. You know, the jeans that fit both your waist and your wallet. Never fear, though, because I was lucky enough to nab a deliciously bright pair of orange jeans that I’m 100 percent in love with, along with a new bracelet and necklace. Only 35 bucks in NYC? I’ll take it.

Veggie and nut-filled salads. No dirty jokes here, I know how you guys work 😉 I don’t know what it is, but there’s something special about a salad filled with veggies. I had a serious craving for the produce when lunch time rolled around today and the salad bar at work does a great job of satisfying that urge. Super fresh, super tasty. Oh, and I love cashews. I don’t really care about almonds or walnuts in my salad, but dang, I love the cashews. If that’s wrong, then I just don’t want to be right.

When I had just about a bite left, I thought, “Aw man, I should have taken a picture for the blog!” So I did it anyway. Just trust me; it was delicious.

And that’s all she wrote! Now it’s your turn:

What’s made you feel good this week? And what are you up to this weekend? Favorite song I should request at the wedding?

Show the Love

I cannot stop thinking about Clare. She passed so unexpectedly, and it’s just so difficult to process that she’s really gone. She was such an inspiration, so full of life. The fact that we don’t know what happened yet makes it even more difficult to process that it’s real. I won’t be able to stroll into SoulCycle anymore and listen to her telling me to crank up the resistance because she knows I can handle it; I won’t be able to simply close my eyes and hear her voice move perfectly in sync with the beat she’s brilliantly selected for that exact moment. Things like these, you just don’t realize how great they are until they’re gone. I wasn’t even a close friend of Clare’s and my heart physically aches whenever I think about what happened. It’s just so sad.

Over the last few days, I’ve thought a lot about what it would be like if I lost someone who was extremely close to me. I can’t even process it; it hurts too much. So I’ve found myself hugging my loved ones a little longer, letting go of unimportant frustrations more often, and telling my friends and family how much I love them every single day, multiple times a day. Because God forbid, if something happened to me, I don’t ever want any of them to doubt how much they meant to me or forget about how much they changed my life. So many people leave footprints on your heart, and you should always take the time to let someone know just how much you care. Believe me, it’s things like this that really matter in life.

I’ve also thought a lot about happiness, and whether or not it’s ok to feel that emotion after someone passes. It kind of feels wrong, don’t you think? Smiling, laughing and cracking jokes when someone you love can’t do it anymore. Sometimes I’ll catch myself laughing, like I did yesterday when out to dinner for Dustin’s birthday, and halt the joy in its tracks. “I shouldn’t be doing that,” I thought to myself. “It’s disrespectful.” I even thought about postponing the rest of my busy travel plans for the rest of the holiday season.

But that would be so, so wrong. Especially when the person who passed was so joyous, full of life and energetic. Giving in to those thoughts would be like halting life. Canceling my travel plans, especially when I’m going to visit my best friend, wouldn’t benefit anyone, nor would it change anything. A part of me believes I would be looked down on with sadness and disapproval, and that’s something I don’t ever want to happen.

So I enjoyed the rest of my evening with Dustin and chose to celebrate life and the fabulous fact that he was born and came into my life a little over three years ago. It’s been amazing. And then I packed up my bags and boarded my first of two planes that will bring me to Oklahoma (I’m currently in Chicago), where my best friend awaits me. While I’m sure more sadness and reflection will come, I know that I’ll also laugh about inside jokes we made when we were 16 while watching countless episodes of Friends. Because that’s what we do best and it makes us happy. It’s about the little things, like being perfectly comfortable in silence, sitting next to one another and just enjoying each others’ presence.

I know the last two posts have been text-heavy, but writing is therapeutic for me. But I do have some photos! While I’m in the air, you can (hopefully) enjoy these photos from the last few weeks with a few really important people in my life. And if you’re not in these photos, please know that I genuinely hope we can spend more time together soon ❤






I also thought I’d share a song that I’ve been playing a lot since we learned about Clare. It’s a favorite of mine and I really think the lyrics say it all.

Rest In Peace, Clare

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and there are reasons behInd my decision to step away from my little space on the Internet. But I couldn’t stay away today. The fitness community had their world turned upside down yesterday when it was announced that Clare Veronica Walsh, a wonderful, beautiful, inspiring SoulCycle spinning instructor, had passed away.

Clare was such a great woman, always full of life and she brought such a vivid energy to everything she did. I had the honor of taking many of her classes and absolutely loved every single one. She made you work hard and praised you for your accomplishments every single step of the way. When I signed up to take a class with Clare, I often left feeling invigorated and inspired, hoping that I could one day reach the same level of awesomeness that Clare was at on a daily basis.

While I don’t know all of the details about what happened to Clare, I can say that she was young, beautiful, caring and extremely compassionate. My heart breaks whenever I think about this situation, and I can’t even imagine what her family, close friends and fellow SoulCycle instructors must be going through. My loving thoughts and prayers are with you all ❤

This is definitely a time to grieve and reflect on the wonderful life that Clare lived, and to unite with everyone that Clare impacted (I know there are many). However, I'm going to do my best to honor Clare. Her sudden and unexpected passing is a harsh reminder that life is short and it will be over before we know it. So hug the ones you love tight, and tell them how you really feel. Tell them often, every single day that you can, because you never know when you'll see them again. And live life to the fullest. Chase after your dreams and forget about everyone who tells you you can't. You'll never regret trying.

I know many people will be dedicating their workouts in the coming days to Clare, just like I will. Although tears may be shed, I'll clip into my bike with her beautiful face in my mind and pedal as hard as I can, rocking the front row as much as possible. No matter how much it may hurt, we know that's what she would want. Rest in peace, Clare. God received a beautiful angel now, and there are so many here that will never forget you.

Bust the Rut

So it’s pretty obvious that I fell off the blogging wagon last week.

Actually, let me correct that. I didn’t fall off the blogging wagon. I jumped off.

But don’t worry, I knew I’d get back on! I just needed a breather. Things were getting extremely overwhelming in Samantha-land (yes, it exists), and I really just needed to take a step back from a lot of things and re-evaluate what was really important to me.

What did I come up with? A few things, actually.

My job. I love my job so, so much. I love going into the office every day and performing the day-to-day tasks that are required for FITNESS to be successful. I work with great people, I research fascinating subject matter that truly matters to me, and I get to connect with millions of people. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Running. This is another thing I took a break from. If you’ve checked out my DailyMile profile recently, you can see that I skidded into quite a workout halt. I could feel myself getting burnt out a few weeks before the race, but told myself to power through and finish strong. I’m so glad I did. Then I gave myself a week off, telling myself I’d jump right back into it. I should have known better — it’s always ten times harder to get back into it when I take a break.

But I knew exactly what would get me back in the groove — the New York City Marathon. Obviously, basically everyone knows it happened yesterday. It was phenomenal. Beautiful. Unbelievably inspirational. I’ve read so many race recaps today it’s not even funny. Dustin went with me to watch at mile 24 and it was so fun cheering for everyone.

Three of my co-workers, Betty, John and Jenna, dominated and a ton of blogging friends conquered the 26.2 epicness that is NYCM. It was the perfect kick in the butt to get me back into my sneakers this morning and ready to pound the pavement. Three other co-workers have already made a pact with me to run the marathon next year. Let the countdown begin!

I want to be like Mike Spidey.

Blogging. This little space on the Internet has come to mean so much to me. Yes, I took a week off, but I have been itching to be back for days. So why didn’t you blog when you wanted to, Samantha? Because I told myself at the beginning of the week I would take a full week off to really evaluate what was important to me. Could I live without blogging? Was it unnecessary pressure I was adding to myself? Would shutting down my page be in everyone’s best interests?

Turns out the answer to all of those questions is a big fat NO. Although I wasn’t actively blogging myself, I was reading nonstop, dreaming up future posts, taking pictures, and thinking about what I would do once I got back to blogging. I realized that this really has become a huge passion of mine and I’m not willing to give it up. Nor do I have to. I just need to play around with my schedule and really nail down something that works for me. I know I’ve been saying that for a few months now, and I don’t know if you’ve even noticed, but I’ve toyed with different schedules and am slowly figuring out what works for me. I’m really hoping to find a long-term solution sometime soon.

But ya know what was the best part of the week-long blogging hiatus? Realizing how many of you actually read and care about my blog. That means so much to me. I had so many Facebook messages, comments, tweets and e-mails flood in throughout the week, wondering if I was alright and when I was going to be back. People telling me they missed me and were (im)patiently awaiting my return. Compliments from people I know and people I haven’t met IRL (in real life) yet. It truly means the world to me. I know I don’t have a ginormous following, but every single person reading this blog means something to me. It truly blows my mind that people take a few minutes out of their day to read my words simply because they want to. Thank you.

Food. More specifically, healthy food. I’ve come to realize that living with a boy is hard when it comes to food. They eat more, which makes you want to eat more, and they don’t always eat super-healthy because well, their metabolism can handle it. At least Dustin’s can. Dustin doesn’t work out nearly as much as I do, yet he still rocks a six-pack and can run faster than me (I hate him a little bit for that). So after San Francisco, I gave in to his cravings and basically ate whatever he decided to whip up. Half of it was healthy, half of it not so much.

Fortunately, we sat down this weekend and re-evaluated our goals to get back on the healthy living bandwagon. Because in the end, when I eat like crap, I feel like crap. Sure, it satisfies all of my cravings in the moment, but it only lasts for about 2.5 seconds before the next one hits. That’s a quick recipe for disaster. I’d much rather have a recipe like Monica’s tortilla soup, which I happened to feast on tonight.

That is one hearty, filling soup. Low-sodium chicken broth, shredded chicken breast, salsa (next time we’re just going to cut up a ton of tomatoes, I think), black beans, corn, a few tortilla chips and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Unbelievably easy and incredibly delicious. Win.

Overall, I think the break was a much-needed step back to really think about my life and where I want it to go. I have a lot of things on my plate, yes, but they’re all things that I love 100 percent. I’m officially back on the wagon, I’ve busted through the rut and am ready to soar with flying colors (enough cliches for ya there?). Thanks for sticking around, I promise it’ll be well worth it 🙂



pssst! Fun goodies coming your way tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Feel-Good Friday: Halloween Fun

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a fantastic week and ready to celebrate the weekend in style! Whether you’re a fan of Halloween or not, you should head out and enjoy yourself this weekend! Relax, hang out with friends and don’t think about work. That’s what I plan on doing! Clearly I’m in a good mood, and here are some of the reasons why:

Halloween weekend. I love that Halloween is never fully celebrated in just one day. Ever since I was a freshman in college (go figure), it’s been Halloween weekend and I plan to celebrate the entire time, per usual. We’re having a get-together at my apartment this weekend and we are going all out. Tons of decorations, lots of spooky food and plenty of festive drinks. A sneak peek of my costume:

Any guesses? Totally different than anything I was thinking of when I asked for your guys’ help.

Halloween decorations. I don’t know why, but they just make me happy, even if some of them are cheesy. I’m one of those girls that gets scared really easily, but I don’t mind going to haunted houses and stuff like that. Well, as long as I’m not alone. If I am, then that’s an entirely different story. Anyway, like I said before, we’re going all out on the decorations for our shin dig this weekend, which  makes me beam with giddiness. One of our food servers:

More pictures after the weekend is over, promise!

Cupcakes. They make the world a better place, don’t they? Just like peanut butter. And fro-yo.

Books. I have been a reading machine this week. I finished Once a Runner by John L. Parker, Jr. and am 256 pages into Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos. I have so many books on my reading list right now it’s not even funny, so I’m glad I finally got into another reading kick. My commutes to and from work are giong by much faster.

What’s been making you feel good this week? Are you dressing up for Halloween? Tell me your costume!

Unplugging Rocks

Hey everyone, happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and was able to kick-start the week on a good note.

As you all know by now, I had a really bad week last week. This week, I am determined to turn it around. So when I bounced out of bed this morning, I did so with a smile on my face (this is a pretty big feat — I’m not a morning person). All day there were things that could have turned my attitude sour, but I refused to let it happen. I ended up having an extremely busy, yet extremely productive day and came home feeling accomplished. BAM!

How’s that for some inspiration for ya? 🙂

But I must admit, this good mood didn’t start with today’s actions. It started with Friday, when I decided that I was unplugging for the weekend. Dustin and I headed upstate to see his family and our friends from his hometown, and I was determined to just let go of all of the negative energy surrounding my week so I could enjoy myself.

So I left my computer at home. Turned off my cell phone. Left it off. And brought a book.

I had so much fun this weekend it’s not even funny. I got to relax, read, take naps and eat delicious homemade food. I didn’t do anything super fancy all weekend, but it was wonderful being surrounded by people who genuinely care about me. They all helped me forget about my troubles and focus on the good things in life.  And sometimes, those things don’t involve technology. Sometimes they don’t involve anything but surrounding yourself with beauty.

That’s the view from Dustin’s parent’s back porch. Isn’t it to die for?

I ❤ fall. I ❤ the countryside. I ❤ friends. I ❤ family. I ❤ Dustin.

You see why this was a good weekend?

Oh yeah, I ❤ food too.

Worth every single calorie. *Insert belly rub here.*

To sum up, this weekend was phenomenal and the mini getaway came at just the right time. If you’re ever looking for a simple way to recharge, just step away from everything that requires a charger. You don’t need to read every blog post the second it goes live, stalk all of your Twitter friends every hour, creep Facebook pictures the minute they’re posted, or text friends every detail of your life. Just try it sometime, you’ll be so grateful you did. Not to mention it’ll be refreshing when you do decide to dive back in to the social media realm.

Or maybe that’s just what simple country-turned-city girls like me need? Who knows…I just know it was awesome.

How was your weekend? 

Feel-Good Friday: Because I Need It This Week

I know you all are patiently waiting for Part II of my Nike Women’s Half-Marathon race report, and I promise it’s coming. Just not today. It’s been an extremely difficult week for me, emotionally and mentally, which is why I haven’t blogged since Monday. So instead of my race report, I’ve decided to continue the weekly tradition of Feel-Good Friday. Because after the week I’ve had, I don’t want to dwell on the bad. It’s much better to focus on the good.

So here’s what’s been getting me through this week:

My new mug shot. I’ve been meaning to bring in a coffee mug for work for the past few week so that I would stop using the paper cups our office provides (go green!), but just kept forgetting to snag one from my cupboards at home. When I snagged this big boy from a Starbucks in San Fran, I knew it would be my new office mug. I’ve already enjoyed a few warm cups of tea and hot cocoa (I don’t drink coffee) and am sure to enjoy plenty more. Plus it’s red, which automatically makes it way cooler.

My new water bottle. I know, I know, I’ve been putting a lot of “new” stuff on here that have been making me feel good. I swear I’m not materialistic. There are just some little things (like water bottles) that make me feel good. This one in particular is not so little, in fact it’s huge. And when I fill it up in the morning and chug it down by the end of the work day, I feel accomplished for drinking that much water.

Flowers from Dustin. Or Dustin in general. Dustin has been my rock, helping me sift through the emotions that I’ve had thrown at me this week. I really am so grateful for him every day, but this week he just stepped it up. He never pushed me to do anything I didn’t want to do and he came home with my favorites on Wednesday: yellow roses, a Reese’s cup, a Starbucks gift card, and lots of room for hugs. He’s a keeper.

Oswego and their reunions. Dustin and I met at Oswego, so that automatically makes Oswego awesome, but last night our alumni association had a NYC Welcome to the City party and we got to meet a bunch of people from varying graduating classes, from the ’70s all the way up to today. We met at Houndstooth Pub in Manhattan, got appetizers and drinks, and enjoyed everyone’s company. I got to see a lot of friendly faces (Hey Liza and Liv!), people I worked with at school that I haven’t seen in a long time, which made the night even more fantastic.

(Sorry for the grainy iPhone photo!)

And Dustin striking his signature pose.

So that about sums it up for me! I would say to expect the race report tomorrow, but that would be a lie. Dustin and I are escaping the city for the weekend to visit his family, and I’m avoiding technology at all costs. My brain is in dire need of an unplug from technology. So I won’t be tweeting, texting, blogging or anything. But I’ll be back Monday, happy race report in hand!

What’s made you feel good this week? Tell me at least one thing!

Feel-Good Friday: Off to California!

Cause I’m leeeeavin’ on a jet plane.

Don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Oh babe, I hate to go.”

Alright, I don’t know if I’m leaving on a jet plane, I’m just leaving in some sort of plane. I do know when I’ll be back again — really late Sunday night. And babe, I don’t hate to go…I’m stoked to be headin’ west!

But still, the song is stuck in my head and I think it’s appropriate. So there.

Anyway, happy Friday! I’m currently on my way to sunny California (even though it’ll be dark when I arrive) for the Nike Women’s Marathon, so fingers crossed all goes well. If you’re super concerned (that’s you, family and Dustin), I’ll be posting on Twitter once I land. Promise.

So other than the fact that I’m on my way to San Francisco, which obviously makes me feel good, here are some other things that have made me feel good this week:

Fall foliage. We had a bit of a heat wave last weekend, but the leaves are still changing color. I took this photo when I was visiting home a few weeks ago and currently have it set as my phone background. It just screams beauty to me.

Pancakes. But not just any pancakes. Banana Bread Protein Pancakes, recipe courtesy of Julie. Dustin and I made these and they are so. effing. good. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

And yes, I know that’s one huge pancake. I only had one and couldn’t even finish the whole thing. Filling.

My new purse. I’ve been lusting after this purse ever since I saw it on Pinterest and immediately added it to my “Wish List” board. My good ole’ Aunt Sue saw how much I wanted it and this week an early birthday present arrived. Woohoo! Thanks again, Aunt Sue!

My new boots. This is yet another reason why I love fall. I searched for weeks for boots I loved, and I finally found some! It doesn’t hurt that I got them at Macy’s on sale. Gotta love scoring big on a sale.

Steve Jobs. His death is so sad and we all know how I feel about cancer, but I really find his words so inspiring. I’m very happy people are paying him due diligence and honoring his memory.

What’s made you feel good this week? Any restaurant or sight-seeing recommendations while I’m in San Francisco? 

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Ghirardelli chocolate giveaway! It’s open through Sunday!