Race-cation Must Haves

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with half marathons. Of my 12 races to date, only 5 of them have been in my own city. I love to travel to races. Not only do you get a vacation out of it, but you get to explore 13.1 miles of another city by foot! That’s a win-win in my book!

However, taking yourself out of your running element can be dangerous (don’t try anything new on race day, right?) Below are some tips and tricks I’ve learned on my 7 race-cations (2 of which were in other countries!). You better believe I’m taking my own advice next month when I head to Disney World for the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend!

1 – BRING EVERYTHING WITH YOU. Shoes (obviously), shirt, socks, shorts, etc. Take a look at the weather a couple days before the race and pack contingency outfits. That way, you’re not stuck in insert city here without your favorite running pants because you only packed shorts.

2 – This also applies to your race fuel/KT tape/etc. Sometimes expo’s don’t have your favorite flavor of chews or gels or KT Tape that is already cut. This way, you keep everything the same and don’t have to try anything new on race day, the cardinal rule of racing. If you don’t like powerade, gatorade sells powdered mix that can be packed in a carry-on.

3 – Pack your foam roller. Especially if you’re planning on exploring the city. (or hello Disney Parks!) I always feel less stiff after a good roll, and this way I can still keep up with my family or friends. Mine fits in my carry-on rollerboard suitcase, with plenty of room for the rest of the my gear.

4 – DON’T check any of your race-day essentials. We all know airlines lose bags every day. Wouldn’t it be awful if your airline lost your bag with your running shoes in it? Have everything you absolutely need with you on the plane, and any extras, backups, nice-to-haves in your checked bag.

5 – Don’t stress about it! If you forget something, don’t let it impact your race. Find a RUNNING store in the area and go talk to some experts there. They’ll have recommendations for what socks to wear if you forgot yours, or they might have some of your favorite blocks in stock. (HINT – there’s a great running store at Disney Springs that has a huge variety of socks/blocks, KT tape, etc.)

6 – ENJOY! The best part of traveling to races is that you get to see another city! It’s called a vacation for a reason!

Anything else you would add to this list??

Rock-n-Roll NOLA Race Recap!

February is my most favorite month to travel for races … Ohio weather is unpredictable at best and it’s the perfect time to escape to warmer climates. My sister lives in New Orleans, which seemed like a great reason to take a long weekend trip for another half marathon! A flat course, and getting to hang out with my sister for a few days??? I’ll call that a win! So, here’s race recap #12 … I’m certain I’ll get sick of writing these before I hit 30.

Allegiant has a direct flight from Cincinnati to New Orleans on Thursday evening – so my friend Kelsey and I booked a cheap flight down. And let me tell you – I will never choose a cheap flight on a budget airline ever again. Our 6:30 flight was delayed for the first time around 10am. We got to the airport on time, just in case. But 5 minutes before our newly scheduled departure time of 7:06, we still had no plane, no gate agent, and no word on how much longer our flight was going to actually be. Finally, we boarded a little after 8, and arrived in NOLA two hours late.

Thinking back to Friday – the only thing I really remember was eating. We went to District Donuts for breakfast to begin our carboload (4 donuts between 3 people). Seriously the best donuts ever. We went to Rum House in the Garden District for lunch and more carbs. I indulged in a few margaritas because, why not?! It’s vacation! Jen dropped Kelsey and I off at the expo and we wandered around for an hour or two. I may or may not have fallen in love with an electric foam roller. We walked back to my sister’s place and then relaxed until going to Dat Dog for dinner! I had an alligator hot dog and OH MY GAWD – so good.

Saturday was mostly spent relaxing around my sister’s place. We went to a crepes place for lunch over by Tulane & Loyola, and then I went back to the expo to buy that electric foam roller (they were sold out, but it’s being shipped to my house!). When we got back from the expo (round 2), we took my sister’s dog on a walk to a little park. Dinner was pasta and chicken followed by a popsicle. We were all in bed really early, even though my alarm was set for 5:50 – which seems relatively late for a race day.

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I felt great on race morning, albeit a little nervous. But I was super hydrated, and excited to get going! Jen dropped us off near the start line and I left Kelsey in her corral and headed a little farther back. I met a nice girl and chatted with her while waiting for the race to start. I followed her pace for the first 3 miles or so, then lost her when I had to make a potty stop. My first three miles were really fast, but felt really good. I thought for sure I was heading for a big PR.

But then I hit mile 4. I started feeling a blister on my toes. It’s important to note that I purchased my shoes exactly one week before the race. Definitely not advisable to run on barely broken in shoes. I stopped at a medical station around mile 5 and put some more vaseline on my toes and armpits. My sister and her boyfriend live a few blocks off the course, so they walked Hannie up around mile 8. She even made me a cute sign, too!

mile8HannieHannie(If you don’t already, you should follow Hannie on instagram)

I had a solo cup of champagne around mile 9.5 while running through the French Quarter. And I found probably my favorite race sign ever (except for the kayne one from the Enchanted 10k last year)IMG_2297assslaps

I was fading quickly in the last 3.1 miles. My feet hurt, but I wanted to be finished SO SO badly. I pushed the last mile super hard and around 12.8, I couldn’t breathe. I crossed the finish line mid-asthma attack with tears streaming out of my eyeballs – because not being able to breathe is scary (my official finish line pictures are truly dreadful). I met up with Kelsey right before my phone died and we had our one free can of beer and a few of the unlimited draft beers before Jen picked us up.

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We went back to Jen’s to pick up Eric before heading to Bourbon Street for some celebratory hurricanes and Fat Tuesday Slushies! P.S. How cool is that medal?! I love the beads instead of a ribbon!

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We got some pizza and ice cream before heading to the airport to head home. I’d love to run this race again next year, but with my full marathon being a few weeks before, I may have to sit it out. It was a really fun, high energy race, and my sister and her boyfriend (and hannie) were such gracious hosts!

I felt great about my race. Twelve half marathons in three years is no easy feat. And I truly believe that no time is a “bad” time. Finishing a half marathon in under two hours is impressive, yes. But finishing a half marathon is impressive, if it takes you 2 hours and 51 minutes or even longer. I ran into a woman at the airport in the bathroom who, upon hearing my time, told me “OH, I’m so sorry! What happened?” What happened is I worked my ass off and I ran 13 miles. I’m not going to blame my time on the fact that I’m “slow” or my shoes or the course or anything else, because I’m proud as shit of my time. I earned that medal just as much as everyone else that crossed that finish line.

Oh, and I had the pleasure of sitting next to that woman on the plane on the way home. Thanks for that, Jesus.

12 “slow” races down, 18 probably “faster” (but maybe not) races left! Next up is Star Wars Half Marathon in Orlando in April! :)

friday favorites – Poland Edition

I’ve spent the last week hanging out working in Warsaw, Poland! If I’m being honest, Poland was never high on my wanderlust bucket list, but I’m so glad I was sent here for work, because it’s pretty darn cool!

FAVORITES:

  • Old Town, Warsaw … Most of the city was basically flattened during world war 2, so there isn’t a ton of “history” here like there was in Dublin. But Old Town was restored after the war ended to look and feel exactly as it did before the war. I so enjoyed hanging out here after work on Wednesday and having some real pierogies for dinner! Everyone totally judged me for using a selfie stick.

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  • Espresso. One thing I truly hate is a weak cup of coffee. The office I was working in had the perfect espresso machine and I probably had two shots of espresso every day. Now I’m convinced that I need to get an espresso machine for myself. coughmybirthdayiscomingupnextmonthcoughcough.
  • Pierogies. nom nom nom. I wish I could bring all of these back with me because they were seriously the most delicious. They even had DESSERT pierogies.

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NOT FAVORITES:

  • Dill … Seriously, the poles put that shit on everything. yuck.

Now off to London for the weekend to hang out with my uncle!! Have a lovely weekend, kids! :)

-Jess

Also, 4 blog posts in 1 week?! I should get a medal for that.

July in Review / August Goals

Looking back, July didn’t seem all that busy … But I feel like I was constantly on the move! With the all-star game in town and various other activities with my friends, I feel like every day had some sort of activity planned. One thing I sucked with this month was taking pictures! Looking through my camera roll on my phone, I think there are less than 20 from the whole month … Shame on me.

The month started with a really low-key fourth of July weekend. I spent the day at the pool with my mom, then we did what all Americans should do on Independence Day … We went out for Mexican food. ;)

I did the color run with two of my three sisters and we had a lot of fun! We might have overdid it a bit though, because we were the most colored as we walked out of the finish line party.

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My housewarming party was towards the end of the month, and I was so happy to show off my new place to my friends and family! The day I had it was not only brutally hot, but also rainy at times. But people came and went enough that it never felt too crowded inside my place, but I was hoping for a nice day so we could be outside!! My parents helped me out a bunch with food and beer, and I had so much fun the entire day! :)

The last weekend in July, I set off to Ireland for work! I got to explore Dublin, go on a musical pub crawl with my coworker, and have a calm week in the Irish Country-side. All-in-all it was a great week, and I cannot wait to go back (mostly because I’m in love with Guinness and I need more.) The weather in Ireland in the summer is so different than in Ohio … It felt like fall and had me craving pumpkin spice lattes, ugg boots, and scarves. #BASIC

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Other July Fun Facts:

– Enjoyed my first Brazilian Steakhouse experience. Food Coma doesn’t even begin to describe.

– Finished 3 books! The Storied Life of AJ Fikry (really boring- I do not recommend),  Reconstructing Amelia (enjoyed for the most part), and The Girl On The Train (i recommend if you liked Gone Girl).

– Completed the first 4 weeks of BBG … Hardest workout program ever. But I’m seeing and feeling results, so it’s working!

August Goals:

– Run the Rock-n-Roll Dublin half marathon on 8/2!

– In the 3 weeks I’m home this month, I want to cook at home at least 4 nights a week.

– Limit alcohol intake during the week … I think I drank too much when I was in Ireland.

– Read 3 books. I’m currently reading “Love Does” by Bob Goff and I picked up a few new ones at a bookstore in Ireland.

August is going to be a busy one! I start off in Ireland, then head to Poland for work and England to visit my uncle. Then at the end of the month, I head off to the Dominican Republic for a long weekend! BRING IT ON!!! :)

-Jess

Race-Cation Recap

What do you do when it’s -10 degrees outside in Ohio and you’re in need of some serious Vitamin D? Grab your bestie and head to Orlando, of course!

Now, this little vacation had been planned since July, but the fact that it felt like NEGATIVE 25 degrees outside made the idea of Florida in February that much more appealing.

I was headed down to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon for the third year in a row. It’s seriously my favorite race of all time… And I’ll probably go temporarily insane when registration opens up again for next years race and sign up again. Krystal came with me for moral support, and because I promised her we could go to Harry Potter World. Probably more the latter than the former ;)

We landed Friday around lunchtime and after checking in at Disney’s Saratoga Springs, we made our way over to the race expo. I picked up my Glass Slipper Challenge bib and the shirts, and we shopped around a little bit. Then we both met our Prince Charming and we all lived happily ever after. The End.

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Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 9.54.56 AMKidding. I wish. We made our way over to Downtown Disney for an early dinner and some shopping. My favorite purchase of the day was my “Chip” mug from Beauty and The Beast. I may or may not be sipping my hot cider from it as I write this :)

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I was exhausted and had a very early wake-up call on Saturday morning, so we headed back to the hotel around 8. I slept great, and woke up at 3:15 ready to run 6.2 miles. It was a tad colder than I would have liked, but I was plenty prepared with throw-away clothes and blankets. I ran my fastest 10K ever at 1:13, and was SO excited! On the boardwalk, I stumbled upon my favorite race sign ever:

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After a quick shower, we were on our way to Harry Potter World!!! Even though I’ve been twice already, I hadn’t been to the new addition of Diagon Alley. We went to Universal first, and then took the Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure.

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Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 9.28.46 AMI’m obsessed with my new Gryffindor sweatshirt!

We walked around Islands of Adventure a few times, and then after spending 7 hours there, we decided to head back to the hotel. After a quick dinner, I was asleep before 9pm. I had another early wake-up call and 13.1 more miles to run!

Sunday morning was a lot warmer than Saturday morning was, and I was way over-dressed while waiting in the corrals for the race to start. I ran a strong first 5k at 37:14. I had to make a bathroom stop around mile 4, which took about 5 minutes (it couldn’t wait!), so my 10k time was a little slower at 1:17:07. And the second half of the race was a little slower than the first half, mostly because it was warming up a lot and I was getting tired. I finished with a time of 2:47:05, almost 20 minutes ahead of my previous half time of 3:06!! I had hoped to finish under 2:45, but didn’t because of that long bathroom stop. Unfortunately, all my pictures from during the race were taken in Snapchat, and I either forgot to download them, or they didn’t save. Majorly depressing.

After a good foam roll and a shower, we checked out of the hotel and went to celebrate at The Cheesecake Factory! We wanted a margarita and a place to sit outside. I probably consumed all of the calories I burnt during the race, but who cares. We hung around outside at a Panera for a half-hour or so before we had to go to the airport :(

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Such a fun race! Such a fun weekend! And I get to add these three shiny medals to my medal rack!

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I’m already thinking I want to do the Princess again next year. Someone talk me out of it!

-Jess

 

 

Girlfriends Guide To Las Vegas

I just got back from the best girls weekend in Las Vegas! We brunched, drank, clubbed, and laughed a whole lot! But before we left, there was a lot of planning that went into this weekend. We scoured the internet and harassed our friends for the best restaurants, brunch spots, clubs, casinos, and daytime activities months before we even left. I put together a google spreadsheet of a loose itinerary, because we wanted to be as organized as possible when it came to all of our weekend activities (of course, that list only vaguely resembles what we actually did this weekend). We put so much effort into our weekend research, so I thought I would share reviews of what we did!

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Marriott Grand Chateau, just off the Strip. When I was picking out the hotel, I was looking for something that was affordable, but would give 7 of us enough space. I didn’t want anyone to have to sleep on the floor, so I knew we would be needing at least two rooms, which was driving the price up. I found this hotel by searching the Marriott website, and it honestly could not have been more perfect. We booked a 2-bedroom villa for the 7 of us, which had 2 king beds and 2 pull out couches, 2 bathrooms, and a full kitchen. Having a kitchen saved us so much money, because we were able to cook easy dinners rather than go out to expensive restaurants for dinner. One of the things I looked at once the hotel was already booked was how far it was from the famous “Welcome to Vegas” sign… This one is 2 miles away, which ended up being a perfect Saturday morning jog. (Don’t judge me for working out on my vacation!) There was a little incident at 6am on Sunday morning, where I woke up to water dripping from the ceiling onto my nightstand… Turns out the drunkasses in the room above us turned on their bathtub and then passed out. But management was so accommodating, and gave us a new room for the rest of the night while they cleaned up the mess. Even with the water incident, I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Vegas. It is right in the middle of the action, but just off the strip. We were able to walk just about everywhere during the day and had a great view at night. 5 out of 5 stars.

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Where We Ate

Sushi Roku: We went here for lunch on Friday, by recommendation of a friend. We made a reservation, but honestly, the place was so empty that it wasn’t necessary. Each of us ordered 1-2 rolls and then shared orders of the king crab fried rice. It was all SO delicious. I had the baked crab handroll and the crunch spicy tuna, which were both delicious! It was a perfect lunch spot, but I could definitely see it getting really pricey for dinner. It’s pretty centrally located, so you can continue to explore after you finish lunch. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Deducting one star for being so pricey.

Border Grill: This was one of the places we found on a “Best Brunches in Vegas” list. And it definitely lived up to the hype. Their brunch offer is $34.99 for bottomless small plates, and 10 dollar bottomless mimosas. We made reservations for this one as well, but easily could have gotten away without making them. Our waitress told us we could do the brunch “family style”, where they bring out everything on their small plates menu for everyone to try, and then you can order more of whatever you like. This worked out perfectly, but we barely made it halfway through the menu before we were completely stuffed. Everything they brought out was so delicious. My favorites were the Churro Tots, Green Corn Tamales, and the Breakfast Fries. The pomegranate mimosa was delicious, but my only complaint was that they didn’t bring the mimosas out fast enough. They mentioned they were running out of champagne glasses, and they weren’t even that crowded, so I shudder to think of what it’s like when they’re busy. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Wicked Spoon: Another friend recommended we try Wicked Spoon for brunch… And we hesitated a bit because you couldn’t make reservations. But this was honestly the best food I ate the entire weekend. The brunch runs from 8-3 on the weekends, and we got there around 1:30, which IMO is the best time to go. Brunch was 38 dollars a person (I think, honestly cannot remember how much) with a $12 bottomless mimosa/bloody mary/champagne option. They had everything to eat, ranging from seafood, omelettes, mac and cheese, sushi, bagels, pasta, pizza, desserts, smoothies, YOU NAME IT. We were able to get a decent helping of the breakfast foods, and then at 3pm, they opened the dinner buffet, which included king crab legs *insert heart eye emoji here*. Our waitress was fantastic and brought out multiple bottles of champagne and glasses of orange juice so we could make our own mimosas. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. If I ever go back to Vegas, this will be the one place I insist on going. We left here so full that we cancelled our dinner reservations for the night.

IN-N-OUT: We don’t have any in Ohio, so we made it a point to hit one up before we left town. Worth the exorbitant cab fare. If you’ve ever had in-n-out, surely you understand.

What We Saw

O: Seriously, If you’re going to Vegas, you HAVE to see this. You won’t see another Cirque du Soleil show like it, I promise. We planned it on our first night, so we wouldn’t be too tired or drunk to enjoy it. Everyone that I was with enjoyed it, and we had great seats. My advice? Don’t pay more to sit on the first level, because you won’t be able to see any of the synchronized swimming. If you sit on the side of level 2, you will have the best view. We got to the Bellagio a little early and enjoyed some drinks in one of the casino bars… I also suggest going to the bathroom before the show. There is no intermission, so if you need to go mid-show, you’re going to miss something (if you have to, leave while the clowns are performing so you don’t miss any of the main acts). The clowns are funny, but I wouldn’t risk missing some of the bigger performances just to go to the bathroom. 5 out of 5 stars. A MUST see, IMO.

Chippendales: If you’re there for a bachelorette party, this is definitely a fun thing to do. As a group of mostly single girls, we all enjoyed admiring the male body from the second row. HOWEVER, if you’re attending with your mom or the mom of anyone in the group, don’t be embarrassed when you get pulled on stage. There was a set of twins that got pulled on stage with their mother in the audience, and they were both so annoying about doing what the performers were asking of them (like demonstrating their favorite sexual position). Either don’t go on stage or don’t bring your mom. The casino where the show is located (The Rio) is a total shit-hole, and looks like a casino straight out of the 1980s, so don’t plan on spending too much time there before/after the show. 4 out of 5 stars.

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High Rollers: This is a GIANT ferris wheel that overlooks the entire city (fits 40 people in one cart). We went at night, so we could see the strip all lit up, but it would also be cool to go during the day or at sunset so you could see the mountains in the distance. They have a “happy half hour”, where you can get on a cart with a bartender for $12 extra dollars and drink as much as you want. Our bartender was awesome… She made each of us a drink to start out, then made shots for us as we were reaching the top, then again right before we got off. As we were rounding the bottom half of the ride, the Bellagio fountains started going off, which was absolutely incredible. One of the best views of the entire weekend, and definitely something I recommend for a fun way to see the entire city. 5 out of 5 stars!

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Miscellaneous Advice

Get a hotel with a kitchen, especially if you are trying to save money. We didn’t eat dinner out once, because we were able to make dinner back at the hotel. I rented a cheap car and went to the grocery store to buy some essentials (velveeta mac and cheese, pizza rolls, gatorade, water, etc.) Renting a car was a lot cheaper than taking a cab from the airport to the hotel, then from the hotel to the grocery store and back. I got the car on Hotwire for less than $30. And this ended up saving each of us easily $100. The MGC was actually cheaper than most of the other hotels near the strip, so we saved even more money. You’ll definitely want bottled water and gatorade for rehydrating after long days/nights of drinking. Also, bring snacks from home if you can.

Don’t pre-buy any tickets to clubs. We made the mistake of buying tickets to see Calvin Harris at Hakkasan and Zedd at XS. We ended up getting in to both places for free by meeting promoters on the streets during the day. The promoter’s job is to get girls into the clubs, so we took advantage. It was a huge waste of money to buy the tickets beforehand, and I really wish we wouldn’t have. We still got to see the DJs the same as everyone else. And we even got 2 free drink coupons each from the XS promoter… The downside? You have to get to the club relatively early (like, 9-10pm)

Take naps. Napping during the day is the key to staying out late, and getting up relatively early (by that, I mean before noon). We slept for 5-6 hours each night, and then took 1-2 hour naps in the late afternoon. We did a lot of sightseeing during the day, so we were usually ready for a nap around 5-6pm. We were able to see all of the big casinos during the day on Friday and Saturday. There is no open container law in Vegas, so we got some drinks from Fat Tuesday and drank them as we walked around.

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If you’ve been to vegas, is there any advice you’d add to this list? If you’re planning a trip, do you have any questions? Leave a comment below! :)

-Jess

Currently

reading: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. For the third time. Vacation is for re-reading favorite books. Next book on tap will be God and The Gay Christian.

drinking: a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I think I’m having an identity crisis. I find myself ordering it far more than Pinot Grigio these days.

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annoyed by: the New Yorker sitting next to me at the airport bar. “HI. WE WILL BOTH HAVE A GLASS OF THE CABERNET. I CANT DECIDE BETWEEN THE TUNA TAR TAR AND THE GRILLED SHRIMP TACO SALAD” … “UM EXCUSE ME, IM READY TO ORDER NOW.” “YOU KNOW DANIEL QUIT SMOKING??? HES ON THE ECIG NOW”

eating: crab cake with lemon aioli from the bar at the airport. It’s out of this world delicious.

dreaming: about my vacation that begins in 14 hours.

dreading: going back to work. In 10 days.

missing: my best friend.

wearing: my work clothes. Because I forgot to change before I checked my bags. My shirt came from my most recent stitchfix … And I love it. I bought my pants at Gap and I literally wear them every day.

feeling: so excited for vacation. I’m going to completely unplug from work for an entire week and it’s going to be amazing.

planning: adventures for my next trip to Traverse City. Definitely want to rent a jetski, do some stand up paddle boarding, and … Work. I have the best job.

watching: the office on Netflix for the umpteenth time. I just love that show.

still annoyed by: the New Yorker next to me at the airport bar. Realized she’s on my flight. “IM JUST GONNA BE LIKE ‘DAD, MY GODFATHER GOT ME A WEDDING PRESENT FROM IRELAND AND IM GOING TO OPEN IT IN FRONT OF HIM AND I DONT CARE THAT HE DIVORCED AUNT KATHY.” How is this girl getting married and I’m still single AF??

The Internal Monologue of a Solo Road Trip

Ok, Suitcase … check. Work bag … check. Wallet … check. Phone ……(where is it …… ok). check. 

*starts car* OK, five hours. Thats only like, 11 episodes of How I Met Your Mother. No problem.

*drives for 20 minutes* OMG, I am so bored already. And damnit, I have to pee. OH, there is a starbucks off this exit. I’ll stop and pee and get some coffee and get back on the road. 

HI, I’d like a quad venti skinny vanilla latte with no foam please.

Are you sure you want a venti, you’ll have to pee again before you get there. Well, that’s ok because I’ll have to put on work clothes at some point so I’ll just kill 2 birds with one stone there.

Ok, back in the car. I’m at exit 25 and Ohio ends at exit 210 and then I have to go to exit 81 in Michigan … So I have ………………. 266 miles to go. So if I go 75 miles an hour, I will get there in ………………….. a long time. I still have a long way to go. damnit, i’m bored.

Oh, I like this song. *turns radio up* SHE WAS LIKE, OH MY GOD, THIS IS MY SONG I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO THE RADIO ALL NIGHT LONG. The lyrics to this song kind of suck. Who says like, oh my god? The girl Luke Bryan is singing about must be a blonde … Wait. I’m a blonde. But I don’t say that. I’ve never said that. 

Shit, I’m too far away to listen to the Cincinnati radio stations. *switches to pandora*. I think the main reason I like listening to the John Mayer pandora station is because they dont really play a lot of female artists. And I don’t like female artists as much because I can’t sing along as well because I’m a bad singer.

I’m not a bad singer. *turns radio down* I mean, i’ve only been booed at karaoke once. I could totally sing “Gimme one reason” by Tracy Chapman at karaoke. Remember that time you googled “Is Tracy Chapman a man or a woman” … She’s a woman but I can sing along with her because her voice is really deep.

Maybe she used to be a man. I wonder how often people google that. I bet I could google it.

I am really bored.

Damnit, I just got a text message, I heard it.. I’m not going to check it though because I don’t want to die on the way to work. That’s probably the worst way to die. Damnit, I hate driving. 

Please don’t start raining. I hate driving in the rain. UGH this truck. PICK A LANE ASSHOLE. I hate driving to work. If I were flying right now I could be sleeping or reading a book or literally anything else. But I’m just driving.

Oh, construction. THIS ISNT EVEN DOING ANYTHING. It’s just cones blocking off one lane just to be a jerk. THANKS OBAMA.

LIKE, OH MY GOD THIS TRUCK IS ABOUT TO HIT ME…. crap, I just said like, oh my god. I’m that girl in the Luke Bryan song. I wish.

Damnit, I need gas. Why didn’t I get gas when I got starbucks. (because I didn’t need it then) … Ok, pulling over. YAY I get to check and see who texted me like an hour ago!

WHY IS IT SO COLD OUTSIDE. IT’S MAY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

DONT HONK AT ME. I’m trying to pass this truck, I will get over when I pass him so you can be a speed demon. Leave me alone.

Crap. I have to pee. I should have only gotten a grande coffee. There is no way I will finish this anyway. Crap.

Ok, I can stop and get a quick lunch and pee and change into my work clothes… Then I will only have to drive 150 more miles and if I go 75 miles an hour it will only take two more hours. I’m swimming in time.

Ok, stopping for food now. Obviously I’m going to get chipotle. It’s either that or I get a bag of cheetos from the gas station. I already got gas, so chipotle it is. 

Why is chipotle so good? Like really, I could eat this whole bowl and then some. I wish I would have gotten chips. I can still get some. I’ll just get a little bag.

Well, they didnt have any little bags. So i’ll just keep the bag and snack on it for the rest of the trip.. I only have like, two hours MAX left. OK. Back in the car I go… UGH. this is the worst.

WHAT IS THIS TRAFFIC?! This is actually the 11th circle of hell. I cannot imagine a worse scenario right now. My car is in park. At least I’m not at work yet. What should I get for dinner. ooooooooh I really want the zucchini fritte appetizer from Maggianos … Do you think they’ll judge me for ordering just an appetizer to-go? Maybe if I get another appetizer or like, a salad or something. I’m definitely getting that. I don’t need a salad.

………………. Still sitting in traffic. I’m really glad I peed, otherwise I might be dying right now. Why is the person in the car next to me staring at me??? I’m not doing anything weird!!! Just ignore him. Check twitter. Look at all the instagram pictures that have been posted since you left this morning. Check facebook. Check twitter. Still sitting in traffic. Weirdo next to me is still staring. WTF.

Oh great, we’re moving now. That was literally traffic for no reason and I just wasted a half hour of my life. Only 50 miles to go. UGH, but then I have to work. 

Think of it this way, you will be at work for about as many hours as you’ve been in the car……. SO BASICALLY FOREVER. Work wont be that bad. Not as bad as this. Nothing is as bad as this. 

I hate driving. I will go as slow as I want around this curve and because I’m in the slow lane, IDGAF id you pass me. I’m clearly not in as much of a hurry as you are, SIR.

OK. Five more exits. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS. You will literally be there at the end of the next song……….. ugh, this song sucks. Can’t everyone just agree that we’ve had enough of brantley gilbert already?!?! OK, at the end of THIS song, you will be there.

AH, one more turn and youll be there … Good thing, because I have to pee.

 

What’s in my carry-on?

It’s no secret that I travel quite a bit. After spending 47/52 weeks on the road, I’ve gotten packing and air-travel down to an almost-perfect science. I very rarely have to sit in airports for more than a half hour (unless my flight is delayed) because I know exactly how long it’s going to take me to get to the airport and through security.

One thing that has been perfected over weeks and weeks of airport visits is what I keep in my carry-on bag. As a 20-something with self-diagnosed ADHD, I need enough in that bag to keep me occupied for a few hours and maybe even a long layover or a flight delay. I need things that will entertain me if wifi is not available and if all my electronicals die. I used to bring backups and spares of everything in this ONE bag, until I became and compulsive under-packer, and came up with THIS list.

My computer … Mostly because I have to bring it with me on work trips and I’m not about to try and put it in my suitcase again … Yes, I tried once, sat on my suitcase in an attempt to shut it, and broke my computer… Never again.

My iPad. If there is wifi, I use it for blogging purposes rather than my laptop or spend some time pinteresting. Sometimes I watch movies or TV shows, but this requires pre-planning and downloading, etc.

My Kindle. If there is no wifi or I feel like being unplugged, I make sure to have a book or two queued up on it, because it’s impossible to connect it to the internet on a plane.

A magazine … I literally have 500 magazines at home, so on my way out the door, I’ll grab one or two. I always used to read it during takeoff and landing when portable electronics were contraband, but I still like to bring one in case all my portables are dead.

Noise-Canceling Headphones … Best purchase I’ve ever made. I bought these while stuck at the airport one morning, and I haven’t made a trip without them since. They drown out that airplane noise perfectly, even if i’m not going to watch or listen to anything.

A bottle of water … I bring an empty one and fill it up after security because bottled water at the airport is ridiculously expensive. Bottled water in hotels is also pretty pricey, so I’ll fill it up from the water cooler in the gym.

A snack … For the same reason I bring my own water bottle. Usually I bring a protein bar or some chex mix.

My 3-1-1 ziploc bag … I choose to keep it in my carry-on as opposed to my suitcase purely for easy access. Nothing drives me crazier than when the person in front of you is holding up the security line while digging through their stuff trying to find their liquid bag. AND, one time the guy in front of me tried to carry on a 2-liter of sprite … Can’t make this shit up.

Other miscellaneous items … My computer charger, my mouse, my notebook, wallet, car keys, gum, advil/pepto/tissues/etc, 12 different varieties of chapstick, sunglasses, pens, highlighters… you get the idea.

So there you have it. What I bring with me every week. Any tips on things I should add to this list?

My Vacation Recap

Ever need a break, like, really really bad?

That was me. Two weeks ago. Work and Life and just… everything was dragging me down. And when my younger sisters qualified for the state diving meet last Wednesday, I decided to take (most of) last week off. (I say most of because I worked last Tuesday). I was already leaving on Thursday for Florida, and Monday was a company holiday.

And let me tell you, I needed that break. I needed 10 days off work from my brain. 10 days of just living.

So, let’s recap what went down during those days off…

My sisters did amazing at the state dive meet… And I got to watch all of it from the deck with all the divers and coaches. I felt like a celebrity, because some of the other coaches and the professional photographers were asking me so many questions about my sisters. But alllll of the pictures I took are on my actual camera, which is at my parents house.. So I have none to post here. But, take a look at how gorgeous these two are before their senior Mardi Gras.

twins

After getting back from Canton, Ohio on Wednesday night, Mom and I jetted off to Orlando on Thursday afternoon for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

airplane selfiesairplane selfies!

We spent Friday morning at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. I was like a kid in a candy shop and Mom laughed at me pretty much the entire time. Yes, I did wear my Hogwarts shirt because I’m a huge dork. Hogwarts14(remember last year when I went to Universal alone and all the strangers took crappy pictures)

 We did the whole race-expo thing after checking in to our hotel at Disney. We spent the rest of Friday playing Gin and hydrating like crazy. I did the Glass Slipper Challenge (10k on Saturday, Half on Sunday)… So I was off to bed pretty early in order to get up at 3:15 to head to the race.

Or so I thought. I slept TERRIBLY. I was awake every hour, maybe even more often than that. And the very last thing I wanted to do at 3:15am was get up and run 6.2 miles. But, I toughed it out through the humidity, and after a shower and an omelette, I took a nice long nap.

Mom and I spent the afternoon at Magic Kingdom (and managed to add 7 more miles to my step count). After a torrential downpour, it ended up being a beautiful afternoon!

Magic_Kingdom

We also went over to Epcot since we had the Park Hopper and I just HAD to get a funnel cake…Since I’ve been craving one since after one of my long runs almost a month ago! We also shared it with a little Epcot duck :)

funnel_cake(can you tell that I was basically a zombie at that point?)

After an actual dinner, we went to bed early again. Our alarms were set for 3:00am, and since I had no caffeine and such a crappy night sleep the night before, I curled up in bed, expecting to get a great night sleep. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. That would just be too much to ask. I didn’t fall asleep until after 11, and was up every hour, once again. For the second day in a row, that alarm clock went off and everything in me screamed to just hit snooze, or turn it off and go back to bed. But for the second day in a row, that race bling got me up and moving and out the door. (but not before running face first into the closed bathroom door).

Now, I realized last Tuesday that I needed new running shoes. But not wanting to break in a new pair during a race, I decided to just keep wearing my old pair. Big mistake. My feet and shins were so sore on Sunday morning, that every step of every mile of that half marathon was filled with pain and agony (no exaggeration). I thought I would have to slow down to keep pace with my mom, but it really turned out that she was slowing down for me. But never one to give up, I crossed that finish line at a sprint and got my medals.

MedalsP.S. HOW AWESOME IS MY MOM?!

And after a shower and some lunch, Mom and I spent a few hours by the pool (there’s just something about sunburn in February that makes me a little happy) before heading over to Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney for a little bit. And at the end of the day, our fitbit said we took over 45,000 steps… Just over 20 miles. And burned over 3800 calories. Good day in my book!

And when the alarm went off at 5:30 yesterday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was get up and go back to Ohio. Every single muscle in my legs, butt, and back hurts like you wouldn’t believe. And whattya know, my mom wasn’t sore at all. Who convinced who to do this again?!

vacationfromvacation

So now it’s back to the daily grind. Work, errands, cooking, cleaning and training for my next half marathon: The Flying Pig here in Cincinnati at the beginning of May. But these 10 days off were filled with life and happiness and exercise. Just enough to get me out of my funk. Now, is it Spring yet????

-Jess

P.S. If you haven’t been following my instagram happiness project, check it out HERE.