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5 Things I’m Loving Lately

1) Runs with new friends.

Yesterday morning, I met up with a new running buddy! Mary is a fellow DC area running blogger; she emailed me about meeting for a run and I was happy to oblige. You guys know I’m always down to make new friends, especially when running is involved!

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I think the guy who took this photo for us was very confused why we wanted a photo at 6:45 a.m.

Mary and I had a great time chatting away nonstop about everything blogging and running while enjoying the northern Virginia trails and scenery.

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We made it 4.36 miles at an average pace of 8:40 minute miles. I’m excited to have a new early a.m. run buddy to add to my list – thanks for the great run and chatter, Mary! See you again soon. :)

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2) Summer racing season!

I love summer race season – I’m not a big fan of running too long or fast in the heat, so it’s a good excuse to do shorter and more fun and creative races.

I’m especially excited about a really fun race coming to the DC area in July – the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race on Sunday, July 21! As you guys know, I really love mud/obstacle runs (previous mud run recaps: Primal Mud Run, The Original Mud Run 10k, Rugged Maniac 5k), so when the race’s team contacted me about a partnership, I was all over it!

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Down & Dirty has both 5K and 10K distance options, and features muddy, off-road trails and 20+ military-esque obstacles – one almost every mile! Matt and I (and my friend Jess, who will be here visiting and also loves mud runs!) will be doing the 5k, simply because it starts later in the morning and we’ll be at a wedding the night before. ;)

I hope to see some of you guys out there on July 21! If you need some convincing, check out the cool video on their homepage of one of their previous races. It looks like such a blast! And it’s for a good cause, too – the race helps raise money for Operation Gratitude, which is a charity that sends personalized care packages to service members deployed overseas. Click here for more details or to sign up. Prices go up on July 1 so if you’re into it, I’d suggesting signing up now! And if you’re not in DC, check out their site anyway – they have races all over the country.

So excited to play in the mud again! :)

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By the way – in case you ever want to see what races I have on the docket at any given time, check out my far right sidebar. I have an “upcoming races” area there. :)

3) The free outdoor yoga in Dupont Circle every Wednesday at 6 p.m. courtesy of Lululemon.

This week was the biggest crowd yet – perfect weather for it!

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My friend Chrissy in the middle below is cracking up because our instructor for the evening was hilarious – every week there is a different instructor from one of the yoga studios in the area. On Wednesday, we had a guy named Adeoye from CorePower Yoga in Georgetown and he was quite the character! He made the class really fun. I think when I took this photo (before class) he was dancing around shirtless and blasting music. He began his career as a dance instructor, so it makes sense! Lol. The ladies loved him!

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4) This beautiful charm necklace.

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Jasmine, who gifted this necklace to me, is the owner of a handmade copper and mixed metal necklace and earring Etsy business called bama + ry. In early 2012, Jasmine miscarried her twin pregnancy after years of infertility. She was devastated, turning to her long-time hobby to work out her pain. She makes everything by hand in her Portland, OR studio. Here is more about her story, in her own words:

When my husband and I lost our first and only pregnancy (twins) in February of 2012 after years of infertility, I was shattered.
A born creative, I immediately found myself scrambling for a way to work out this grief in the only way I know how: by creating. For the majority of my career, I’ve vacillated between writing and making jewelry, the two passions and skill sets that I know best, without ever landing on the one that really “fit.”
On a short trip to celebrate our anniversary (and take a break from our sorrow), my husband and I happened upon a flea market in the Fremont area of Seattle, WA. Digging in a box of buttons and miscellaneous jewelry parts, I discovered some brass discs, five of them, which read: “wish,” “believe, “create,” “imagine,” and “dream.”
These five simple discs reminded me that we all have a choice in life when it comes to how we handle both grief and happiness. Joy can be created; happiness can be built and re-built. I will never be destroyed as long as I continue picking up the pieces.
I walked away from that trip with those five discs and with a realization: I didn’t have to choose between my passions. I didn’t have to be a writer or a jeweler. I could be both.
Of this grief and the process of working through it, bama + ry was born. I create highly personal copper and nickel silver jewelry that is rustic and comfortable. It’s the kind of jewelry you wear everyday, not just on a special occasion.
Everything in my shop is done by my two hands. The process of pounding metal, of positioning letters just so in order to string them into words and phrases, names and places. These are things that mean something to me, or in the case of custom work, to the wearer. In this way, I am making something much more than jewelry.
Right now, I should have been a mother to twins, but instead I have created a thriving business that perfectly combines two vocations I love. As bama + ry grows, I will always be grateful for the mixed curse/blessing that has allowed me to chase my dreams.

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To say Jasmine is inspiring would be a big understatement, and I’m proud to wear something that she created. She calls it “wearable art” – and I would agree!

Jasmine and I emailed back and forth with necklace ideas for a little while (I love how personal her necklace creation process is) before deciding on a running theme to inspire me for my upcoming first full marathon in November. I love how it came out – artsy and inspiring. :) It’s a mix of brass, nickel, and copper, and I love the long chain, too (it’s on a 22” chain instead of her standard 18” chain). If all goes well in Richmond in November, I’ll hopefully have her add a “26.2” charm to it!

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If you’re in the market for something special for yourself or a friend or family member, I’d encourage you to check out bama + ry. If you do end up purchasing something, use the coupon code FANNE20 to get 20% off your purchase.

Thank you again, Jasmine, for the beautiful necklace!

5) My job.

Every day I’m still a bit surprised that I’m done with grad school, officially a Registered Dietitian, and actually doing what I set out to do nearly 4 years ago.

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Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to wake up and still be sitting in Biochem, struggling to understand every lecture.

I get a lot of emails from people interested in going back to school or changing careers and asking if it was worth it. And I always tell them that it was, 100% (and I even say that just having received an email this morning about needing to start loan repayments – oye!). Obviously nutrition counseling is not easy and I’m far from perfect at it. Some sessions go better than others and some days are better than others – such is life. But working one-on-one with clients is so rewarding, and I’m so grateful that I took a chance on myself, decided what I wanted to do, and really made it happen. I waited years before getting the courage to go back to school before finally realizing: you know what? If I’d just started when I first thought about doing this, I’d already be done. Everything happens for a reason and I don’t regret taking my time before heading back to school (especially since part of that was my teaching English in Prague adventures, which I wouldn’t trade for anything), but I know that if I hadn’t finally taken a risk I could still be sitting in my cube at my PR job right now, miserable. So this is your gentle nudge. If you’re unhappy with where you are and thinking about making a change – what are you waiting for? Do it – you won’t regret it.

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And now, to lighten things up, I’ll leave you with some fun questions for this rainy Friday:

  • What are you loving lately?
  • Have you ever done a mud/obstacle or trail run? They’re such a blast!

Have a great weekend, my friends! I’m headed to Richmond with some friends for a girls weekend and to run the XTERRA Richmond 10k Trail Run – it’s supposed to be a fun one so we’re hoping the weather holds out (storms are being forecast).

Also, I know I owe you some Italy recap posts – they’re coming next week, I promise. I’m busy sorting through the 3948203942830948 pictures I took! Stay tuned! :)

Comments

  1. 1

    what a crisp photo you got of us! mine is blurry but still beautiful. thanks for the run — hope to do it again soon!

  2. 3

    I just celebrated my first year as a teacher. I spent 5 years in a career I hated, went back to grad school, and now I have the job of my dreams. I just wanted to echo your sentiment that it is absolutely worth it to pursue a career change if it is your dream! There were times when it felt impossibly hard and scary, but it was SO worth it.

    • 4

      That is so amazing – congrats! Teaching is another thing I debated for awhile – and I really enjoyed it while I was in Prague. Good for you for following your dreams!

      • 5

        That’s the best thing about being a dietitian- you spend each day being a teacher :)

        I have to say, a lot of bloggers do these sort of “5 things I’m loving lately” posts and they kind of bore me (lots of products, etc) but this was really well written and clearly thought out. Nice post, Anne!

  3. 7

    Free yoga, summer racing, and runs with friends are sure to put a smile on your face!
    I love your #5. I often struggle with career happiness/fear of making a change. It’s so nice to read that people who have taken the plunge never regret their choice!
    I’m loving long, sunny nights and the beautiful spring scenery when I’m out on my bike!

  4. 8

    I needed a little nudge this morning regarding going back to school, and I just so happened to pop over here and I got what I needed :) It is definitely something I have debated since I graduated over three years ago, but the hard part is just trusting the choice and pulling the trigger. Seeing you say it is 100% worth it is definitely encouraging. A lot to think about! :)

  5. 10

    That is crazy awesome they offer a weekly free, outdoor, yoga session! I would totally be down for that.

    And I love the Bama + Ry necklaces. Such a cute idea and you will be sporting that 26.2 in no time!

  6. 11

    I’ve never done a mud race but I am definitely intrigued. I am a total clutz though so I can see myself getting hurt at some point haha. I am doing my first 10k tomorrow! Hopefully all goes well!

  7. 13
    Lindsay says:

    FYI – July 1 is a Monday. The website for the Down & Dirty Obstacle Race says July 21st! Sounds fun though!
    I also made a career change and went back to school for nursing – biochem was pretty awful! But it’s the best move I made and haven’t regretted all the extra schooling etc one bit!

    • 14

      Oops, total typo! I must have been thinking about the July 1 price increase when I wrote that. Thank you for catching that – fixing it now. :) My former editor self would be horrified, lol. Congrats on following your dreams, too!

  8. 15

    Thanks so much for writing this post. I’m starting the MPH/RD program at UNC this fall and have been stressing about biochem (which I’m taking this summer and is slowly killing me!) and paying for school. It’s so nice to know that someone made it through and is finally working as an RD!

  9. 17

    I love this list- especially #5. I feel like I know so many people who are miserable in their jobs and hate every single day, complaining non-stop, but never do anything to make themselves happier. I think more people need to take charge of their lives and figure out what truly makes them happy, and then go for it. Major props to you for doing it- and now reaping the benefits :)

    I would LOVE to do a mud run. They seem like so much fun! Good luck with yours.

  10. 18

    Your #5 contradicts your #3. WHEN all goes well in November. And you rock Richmond.

  11. 19

    I hope the weather holds out for you guys! I’m running the 10k in Central Park tomorrow even though my jet lag body won’t be very happy about it. :)

  12. 21

    Very cool! a similar store to lululemon (women’s yoga and athletic gear) hold tons of free yoga sessions (some outside) all over Paris- I’ll be checking it out for the first time this weekend! Then I can be like you guys ;)

  13. 23

    Summer in Indiana and strawberry season – lovin’ it.

  14. 24

    That is awesome Anne! I love the mud runs myself. My fiancé and I are having our bachelor and bachelorette at a mud run here in Ontario next week in fact. I can’t wait and my fingers are crossed that the girls can beat the boys!
    Have an amazing summer! So jealous about the free yoga. Lol
    Jaquelyn

  15. 26

    Hi Lovely!

    Thank you so much for the mention! You look great in that necklace. I hope you like the longer length. It just seemed to suit you that way.

    Can’t wait to see you at Fitbloggin in my glorious city!

    -Jasmine

  16. 28

    So much good stuff in this post! First of all I absolutely loveee mud runs. I just finished my first tough mudder on Saturday, and while it was super hot and humid which added a unique challenge (to a race in NH, who’d have guessed it) I still had an absolute blast. I’m signed up for a Spartan race in august too that I can’t wait for! And I love that you took a chance to leave your cubicle job to pursue something you really wanted to do, even if it meant going back to school. I feel like I would definitely do the same thing, if I could somehow figure out what my real passion is. I haven’t come across that one thing that I know I’d be great at and meant for. So for now, environmental engineering is working just fine.

  17. 29

    I did a Tough Mudder in VA a couple of years ago. The first one was a blast. Signed up for one in MD in 2012 and never made it to the starting line because of bad traffic/poor planning (even though we left way early). We were in the car for like 6 hours. TM has gotten huge and I think they’ve made a habit of overselling the events because in December, I was going to witness my boyfriend and his sister run it in FL. Same problem: bad traffic/poor planning. We ended up getting refunds in both instances. I see you’re doing TM later this year. Make sure you leave WAY early (I’m talking 4 or 5 hours before your start time) to make sure you get to your start wave in time.

  18. 31

    I’m loving all of those things!! Well, at least the first four :) I just started mud runs this season and i”m officially addicted. We did Hero Rush and the Spartan Sprint so far. Later this summer we have Rugged Maniac, the Spartan Super, Urbanathalon, and hopefully Down and Dirty in Hartford or NY!

  19. 32

    Hi Anne, I’ve twice run the Spartan Race in the Montreal area (Mont-Tremblant and Morin Heights, to be precise) and had a blast. Took it a little on the slow side, as we were running through muddy hills (thank you rain clouds) in the forest (beware of protruding roots, rocks and other thingles) – I wouldn’t have missed this challenge for the world. Will be “running” the Colour me Rad 5k on Sunday, in Montreal with 50 friends from bootcamp class – can’t wait to be colour-bombed! They’re hosting races across North America, with proceeds going to various charities (Leukemia and Lymphoma will benefit from the Montreal race)…newbies and experienced runners might want to check it out.

  20. 33

    I’m loving running and coffee; I’ve never done a mud race but I would love to try one :)

  21. 34

    I finally made it to the outdoor yoga this week because you kept talking about it! I would have introduced myself if I had seen you… I loved the class.

  22. 36

    I am currently in the process of trying to go back to school to change careers and it is tough! I really appreciate the positive things you have to say about it because it can definitely be discouraging at times.

  23. 37

    I love running outside in nature but I have never signed up for a mud run or trail run because I am not sure how to properly train for them! Are there any trail specific training plans?

  24. 38

    Oneeeee more year left of nutrition undergrad for me and then (hopefully) grad school! I would encourage people to go back too! I did it – sucks that my first degree is of no use, but whatever! – and I can’t wait to actually be doing what I’m passionate about!

  25. 39

    I love finding blogs that are from my area. I feel a connection already to the writer :)

  26. 40

    I’m running Richmond too! I’ve heard such great things and its seems like a super friendly local [I'm from cville] race! I’ll be eager to follow along with your training :)

  27. 41

    There’s nothing like a good yoga session in the park!

  28. 42
    Heather Zeman says:

    Thank you for number 5. My friend and avid follower sent it along to me. I’ve been struggling with my job, my personal life, and the logistics that come with planning to go back to school. This was some much-needed inspiration and encouragement! (I’m hoping to do the same program at UNC in the next year or two.) Thanks again!

  29. 44

    Well done on finishing school and persuing your dream :)

    I love your necklace it looks great, there are so many things I want from Etsy!

  30. 45

    I am a longtime reader but the picture of you and your running buddy made me realize you live in my hood.

    I am also training for my first marathon this fall, it would be cool if you could arrange a running meetup one day – I am always looking to meet new runner friends!

  31. 47

    So much to love, but 3 has to be the one I’m most envious of!

  32. 48

    I love the outside Yoga! Boston does the same thing.

    AH! I been thinking about going back to school and you are so right! If I started when I was thinking about it I been far along now. I tried to do grad school in a city 300 miles away from home and look for a full time job when I was in the process of going to grad school for sport management. Long story short I could not find a job in that city (Philly) and moved back to (Boston) after I got a Job in Boston. I graduated in 2009… it was awful. I think to do grad school you have to be 110% committed and a clear vision. I was trying to juggle a full time internship, full time grad classes and a part time job, and go on interviews for a full time job! A year after I moved back to Boston I found a job at a company that I like but I can see myself being more excited for other positions in this company and would allow me to have the flexibility to go back to school. I am considering human factors which is the study basically on how the body uses machines/devices and conducting studies to gather information on how to design those devices. Although I scroll through LinkedIn and these people in some of these positions have degrees like biochemical engineering! Yikes. I am thinking about a degree in applied phycology which is in the same “school” as my undergrad of communications. Its scary though, going back and making a move like that! Now that I bored you with my story ha-ha Ill stop boring you, but thank you! you are right,I should just go back…

  33. 50

    I just moved to Arlington, VA, and have been looking for some good outdoor trails to walk on. Where is the trail you are running on in the pictures above? It looks really nice and well kept! I would love to check it out!

  34. 52

    That’s a great necklace. Jasmine is the sweetest! I just met her this past weekend for pedicures and lunch (we both live in Portland). Love her jewelry and her spirit! Mud runs are definitely on my bucket list – they seem like so much for fun that just pounding pavement for 3 miles! :)

  35. 53
    GF and more says:

    First time commenting, and I have to start by saying how much I love reading your blog. Very inspiring! And I’m excited to see you are doing the DC Down & Dirty obstacle run! I’m also signed up for the 5K, and it looks like it’s going to be a blast. It’ll be my first race of this kind (I’m generally a road racer) – something totally new, out of the box, and a challenge for sure. Particularly with those obstacles in there…. climbing fences and scaling walls is hard, and doing it while muddy from the last obstacle mud pit…

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