Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time to Play Catch Up...

The Bears just scored a touchdown to take a 17-10 lead, which seems like a pretty good time to start a new blog post! HOORAY!!!! Well, nothing too interesting has been going on around here, but it's still been pretty busy, as life tends to be. A week after finishing the Monster Dash, I ran the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K (approximately 9.3 miles), which was great until I started having fainting spells an hour and a half later! Mom and I walked over to Macy's after the race to watch them light the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room for the season. I was feeling perfectly fine, but about 30 seconds before they turned it on, I suddenly felt dizzy. We tried to make our way through the crowd and sit somewhere, but the next thing I knew, I had passed out in the middle of all those people. Ugh, how embarrassing! I sat down and drank some water (the restaurant staff and people visiting were so helpful), but five minutes later, the exact same thing happened again. Needless to say, our fun lunch under the tree was postponed so we could spend four hours in the Northwestern emergency room. All ended up being fine, though, thank goodness, and to prove that this really is a small world, one of the paramedics in the ambulance happened to be married to a teacher at the school where I work in Elmhurst! Anyway, to make a long story short, an important lesson was learned that day: it is never a good idea to refrain from drinking liquids during a race because you don't want your bladder to get in the way of the ideal finish time. I did end up finishing in about one hour and forty four minutes, which felt awesome at the time, but as luck would have it, my time was not recorded for some reason! So clearly, this was not my smoothest or most memorable day as a runner, but hey, that's okay! Hiccups in the road just make life a little more interesting...and again, if you're lucky, you learn how to avoid the same mistakes next time.

Finally home and able to relax after one heck of a crazy day. The only person more relieved than I was my poor mother :)

The good news is that Mom and I traveled back downtown five days later for an early dinner in the Walnut Room, to make up for the lunch we had missed over the weekend. The tree is gorgeous this year, as always, and since it was a weekday in early November, there were no crowds!

                         This picture was taken a few minutes before I passed out on Saturday...

Aah, that's MUCH better! Five days later, in the exact same place :)

                  One giant tree in the middle of several smaller ones...the pink is my favorite!!

I don't care how old you get...when you see something like a "Believe Meter" at Macy's at the beginning of the holiday season, you feel like a kid all over again! The really cool thing about this is that they have these red mailboxes scattered throughout the store, along with little tables/crayons for kids to write letters to Santa. Inspired by the famous story Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, Macy's will donate one dollar (up to a million dollars) to the Make a Wish Foundation for every letter that is put in these mailboxes. It's part of their 2011 Believe Campaign, so if you have kids and live near the city, it's definitely worth your time to stop by.

Soooooo....what else to report? Well, the weekend after the Hot Chocolate Race, my sister Katie asked me to do a Girls on the Run 5K race with her, since her school district was participating in it and needed extra adults to pair up with grade school students for the race. It was a lot of fun and reminded me how awesome it can be to introduce kids to the world of running. As a high impact sport that requires mental strength as much as physical preparation, there's something incredible about knowing that you have completed that distance. The third grade girl I ran with, Claudia, was so cute and enthusiastic, and it was great to see so many young girls participating in this event. After all, how can you possibly argue with an activity that promotes physical health in children as they work together to support a good cause?

Since my last post, I also finally managed to reach my goal weight at Weight Watchers and am now in the middle of a six-week maintenance program. On December 7th, if I have remained within two pounds of my goal weight, I can become a Lifetime member. It feels amazing to finally have reached that point. The hard work never stops, since maintaining a healthy weight is a permanent, full-time job, but with the support of family and friends, it is do-able. I am grateful to everyone who has been there for me throughout this journey, and I hope that anyone who is looking to do the same thing can find the motivation to start from inside themselves. Resolve to do it for you, not for anyone else, and I think you'll be surprised at how your perspective changes. It's exhausting to try and do certain things because you think it will please others. The truth is that our friends and loved ones aren't against us, even though it might seem that way every once in a while. They just want us to be happy, and a huge part of that comes from taking care of ourselves. When that happens, we're on our way to being better people, better friends...and better everything!

Question of the Day: Did any of you see Breaking Dawn this weekend, and if so, what did you think of it? Completely random question, I know, but my friend Jenny and I went to the first midnight showing on Thursday (or Friday, I should say), and it was definitely a cool experience. Listening to hundreds of teenyboppers (and yes, some grown women) squeal with excitement every time Taylor Lautner takes off his shirt never ceases to be funny! The overall phenomenon of the Twilight movies is what makes it so much fun...makes me wish I had jumped on the Harry Potter bandwagon while the movies were being made. Now I want to read all those books and start watching the movies!