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!
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.
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. :)
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!
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! :)
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!
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!
4) This beautiful charm necklace.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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! :)