Six months later…

Hard to believe that I wrote my first blog post just a little over six months ago.  I had zero clue what the hell I was doing, and constantly asked my friends Sara at Californyinz and Marissa at Ampersand Creative to help guide me through the process. (Check them out, they’re amazing!)

Originally, I was searching for a home to recount my traveling adventures both past and present and create an outlet for my passion for poetry & nonfiction. In doing so, I’ve found an incredible community of other writers and travelers, and received a surprising amount of support from friends & family. I now have over 4,000 followers and growing! I have also discovered that keeping up with a blog is not always easy…

If you are a regular follower, or even an occasional creeper, you can see that I have not written a post in exactly a month. While I’ll elaborate on those reasons in a later post, I thought I’d check in to bring readers up to speed on what’s going on now.

-I am still taking Madwomen in the Attic classes. I’m currently in a poetry workshop that proves itself to be more than overwhelming at times, but forces me to churn out new writing every week.

-Marathon training is underway. Those 26.2 miles are coming for me May 1st, whether I am ready for it or not! Check out A Year of Races to see where my love/hate relationship with running all started.

marathonn

-Next week I’ll be in Minneapolis! Getting accepted to present my work at the Sigma Tau Delta International English Convention was one of the highlights of my undergraduate career, and I’m thrilled to be going to the City of Lakes soon to do it all over again, this time as an alumna. Prose Before Bros tells it all. Got suggestions on things to see/eat/do? Send them my way!

sigma

-All writers are used to rejection, and I had come to expect it. Imagine my shock when I found that two poems and one creative nonfiction piece of mine were accepted for publication! Once all are available for purchase and/or accessible online, I will provide the links so that you can read up 🙂 Excited to be making some progress, however slowly.

-My next international travel excursion is hopefully taking place in the fall of this year, with Southeast Asia (Thailand) or South America (Peru) as my top two picks. However, I’m doing my best to still travel within the states as much as time allows. Some upcoming cities on my list: Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle.

-I got Beyoncé tickets. This has nothing to do with my blog specifically, but EVERYTHING to do with me since I’ve loved her since Day 1. My homegirl Catherine & I will be getting in formation on May 31.  Conclude fangirl rant.

beyonce

 

 

For all those of you that read and follow my blog, I cannot say enough how much I appreciate it. You must be just weird enough to find my ramblings interesting, and I thank God for that! Not to mention the way you support and promote my blog and my written work with the likes, comments, and shares…I am grateful you care enough to see things From This Side of the Sun. And I’m so glad you’re on this journey with me.

 

sig2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Year of Races

One year ago, in the early fall of 2014, I laced up my Nikes determined to prove something to myself- that I could do it. I never set out to become a runner.

It all started when I saw a Facebook post from one of my friends, saying how they had a great 5 mile run that morning. FIVE miles? That was crazy, I thought. Or was I just jealous?

Shortly thereafter, I saw the EQT 10 Miler race advertised, and wished I could be someone who could run 10 miles. Then, I realized, there is no reason why I couldn’t.

So, I signed up on a whim. I still can’t believe that one split decision is where everything changed for me. There was no turning back now! I slowly increased my mileage week by week, until November 9th, 2014, I ran further than I ever had before and completed my first race.

The feeling I got crossing that finish line is something, to this day, that I still cannot put into words. But my addiction was now full-blown, and there was no stopping it. I signed up for my first half marathon, which I completed in Pittsburgh in May 2014.

After a minor surgery and being out for a month, I finally got back into it, and this time, helped my boyfriend train for his first half marathon- Presque Isle in Erie, PA.

My third half marathon of the year (seriously, I was hooked!) was back in my hometown on Ernst Trail. I got my best time ever-  13.1 miles in 1 hour and 52 minutes.

Today, October 25, 2015, was the EQT 10 miler. It was the same 10 mile race that was my first race ever in 2014, and this time it was my last of the season. Everything came full circle.

Almost a full year of racing in, and it is incredible what it has done for my body and my mind, and surprisingly enough, my soul. Pounding my feet into pavement gave me release. Pushing myself past limits I thought I had showed me that the body can achieve anything, it’s the mind you have to convince. And that I’m a hell of a lot tougher than I thought.

Here it is, my year in races:

1. EQT 10 Miler November 9, 2014

run10

2. Strong Women Strong Girls 5k, March 22, 2015

run55

3. UPMC Health Plan 5k May 2, 2015

*3rd place in Age Division

run11

4. Pittsburgh Half Marathon May 3, 2015

run1

5. Presque Isle Half Marathon July 19, 2015

run2

6. Ernst Trail Half Marathon September 13, 2015

run3

*4th place in Age Division

7. Pittsburgh Great Race September 27, 2015

run6

8. Shadyside 5k October 3, 2015

run5

9. Donut Dash October 4, 2015

run4

10. Joggin For Frogmen 5k October 17, 2015

run7

*3rd place in Age Division

11. EQT 10 Miler October 25, 2015

image

image

Thankfully my boyfriend & my parents put up with my love of the sport. They’ve driven many miles, and dealt with the freezing cold or unbearably hot temperatures just to be there to cheer me on. And they listen (or pretend to) even though I NEVER shut up about my shin splints or my PR’s or anything related to running.

image

So here’s to this past year- accomplishments that have challenged and changed me completely. And to 2016, I’m ready to crush more goals. Bring it! 👊

But first…cake. And my couch.

sig2