The Relevance of Age

To preface this entry (as I usually do), I have to say that I generally prefer not to write about people from my personal life- especially in a public space such as WordPress where they can easily find that I have written about them.

But, in order to make my point, I have to introduce this individual (who will remain UN-named) so that you can see the bigger picture.

Here it goes:

I recently ended things with a guy that I had been dating for approximately 2 months. I met him in mid-December and broke things off shortly after Valentine’s Day (ironic, I know)

His major qualm between the two of us was our age difference and to be honest, there wasn’t much of a difference at all. He’s 26 and I’m 22. From my own personal experiences, I’ve noticed that after the age of 21, people within the 20’s age-group are all pretty much in the same playing field. We’re all lost, searching for ourselves, etc. etc.

Now back to this guy…

It always irritated me at how concerned he was about the fact that I’m 22 and had just graduated college. He insisted that I still had so much to learn and so many experiences to face, which I can’t disagree with. I definitely still have a lot to learn and experience. I, on the other hand, believed that despite that one, tiny factor of age, we generally saw eye-to-eye on most things.

This may be an exaggeration, but it seemed that any time that I contributed my opinion on a serious topic, he would practically remit my contribution and insist that I still have “so much growing up to do”. And this was usually only whenever he didn’t like what I had to say.

I hated that.

Now here’s another piece of information…

My ex-boyfriend whom I dated for 3 years was his exact same age- their birthdays were actually only several weeks apart- and he never once, critiqued our relationship based on our age difference. This was also because I had far surpassed him in maturity levels.

I don’t want to sound like a young, naive, narcissistic 20-something year old who thinks that she has it all figured out, but I will say that I actually am mature for my age (at least far more mature than a majority of my friends) I’m proud of myself for how much I have accomplished as well as the life experiences that have been bestowed upon me to make me the person I am today. I was fortunate enough to graduate college in 4 years as well as get a job right out of college- even more so, a job at my favorite magazine of all time, Runner’s World. And this did not just happen because of luck, of course. I worked hard throughout college and had a great internship. I’m also a driven and self-motivated individual.

Now getting back to my point about the guy that I dated…

It’s safe to say that I was often discouraged to give my feedback on a situation whenever I talked to him because I felt that my opinion would immediately be dismissed.

I felt like an elementary-school student whose teacher would harshly tell them that they are wrong after enthusiastically answering a question.

This really made me question my credibility as an opinionated person.

But then I thought, it’s my opinion. There shouldn’t be a right or wrong, nor should it be heavily correlated to my age.

And so, the moral of this story is this:

Everyone has an opinion. It’s neither right nor wrong. It’s just how a person feels about a certain topic or scenario. Everyone experiences different things at different times. The relevance of age is that it is irrelevant. Someone may experience flying on an airplane at the age of 50, while another person has been flying on planes since birth. Experiences make up the things that we are familiar with and they shape our opinions. I’m not saying that age should be completely thrown out the window when it comes to wisdom though. I completely respect my elders and am always willing to take advice from them. As you grow older, you do gain more wisdom and insight towards life, but when it comes to dating, a 4-year age difference when you are in your 20’s really means nothing.

The verdict: Age is irrelevant.

A pie of pizza and 10 miles to go

So, my Friday night went a little something like this:

I had been putting off doing my laundry for about 2 weeks. Of course, it was only until I had plans to go out with my friends when I actually decided to get it done.

I did laundry for about 2 hours; I really underestimated how many loads I had to do. At that point, I was so frustrated that I just decided to stay in for the night.

Last night was a bit of a depressing night for me. It ended up being exactly what I needed though- a night to myself where I could relax and catch up on Season 7 of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. I haven’t done that in a very long time. Oh, and did I mention that I also ordered myself a personal pie of Papa John’s pizza which I finished by myself…in a matter of about 10 minutes.

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Thankfully, I knew that I was going to run that pie off today.

My night in ended up being a late night, ironically. I stayed up watching How I Met Your Mother episodes until around 4AM, so I woke up a lot later than I wanted to for my long run this morning.

When I woke up, the sunlight was beaming through my light blue curtains. The brightness woke me up which automatically put my in a great mood. My first thoughts: I’m going to run.

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I stepped outside and couldn’t believe how perfect the weather was. It was ideal conditions and I started my run a lot faster than I normally would. I’d usually take it out slow, but I just couldn’t contain my excitement, knowing that Spring was just around the corner. Subconsciously I knew that going out too fast on a long run is never a good idea. After about 3 miles, my calves started tightening up and feeling sore. I clocked in at about 25 minutes for my first 3 miles. Immediately, I was nervous that this run was going to go sour, but the minute that I turned into Central Park and saw the packs of runners everywhere, the soreness in my legs went away. I was able to maintain my 8:30-minute pace throughout the rest of my run.

I was aiming for 14 today, but I cut myself off at 10 because I wanted to leave off feeling great. I also really had to go to the bathroom.

Total Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Total Miles: 10.20 miles

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After today, I fear for a bad long run.

After today, I also absolutely can’t wait for Big Sur as it’s getting closer to April.

I still haven’t hit the mileage that I want to, but I know that I’ll get there (even though I’m really running out of time)

As mentioned in a past blog entry, factors play a significant role in the way our days pan out. You should never regret the decisions you make- only learn from them and grow.

Looking at it from a different perspective, I know that my decision to do laundry and stay in and relax was the most favorable for what I had to get done in my marathon training. This time right now, I just need to make sure that my body is in the best condition that it could be- especially for my VERY FIRST marathon.

I may have already also said in a past blog entry, but sacrifice is key when you want to accomplish a goal. Your time is precious and the way that you allocate your time makes all the difference in the long run (nice play on words there, right?)

In closing, think before you do.

Queen of carbs

It’s 8AM and I’m making pasta again (for lunch that is). What else is new? As you become more familiar with my blog and my writing style, you’ll begin to notice that my most impulsive moments to write is when I’m cooking or eating. Aside from running and writing, the other big love in my life is food.

A lot of people have their own personal reasons for exercise. Some people do it to increase their quality of life, some people do it to lose or maintain weight, and some people do it purely because they love it.

For me, I run because of all of those things. But my most important reason: I LOVE TO EAT.

Living in New York City in your young-twenties is very overwhelming. There are millions of people to meet, places to go, and things to eat. The options are endless.

Of course, living in New York City also comes with a big price tag.

I wouldn’t say I’m struggling, but I’m definitely on a pretty slim budget. I enjoy going out with friends, but the costs add up.

From the time I’ve been here since December 1st, the one thing that struck me the most was how hard my bank account was hit…by food. A girl’s gotta eat, right?

And on the off chance that I actually go grocery shopping instead of going out to a restaurant, I usually stick to the staples: Pasta, oatmeal, granola bars, bread, etc. Or in broader terms, carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

It’s not shocking that I eat a lot pasta. I’m a runner. Carbs are my friend. Carbs are also my enemy.

I read numerous articles on what a runner’s diet should be. Really, the key is to have everything in moderation. As usual, this applies to most areas in life.

The thing is, after you exercise or go for a nice long run, you give yourself this permission to eat pretty much whatever you want. May I repeat, everything in moderation though.

So what I’m trying to say is that when it comes to eating, you just have to be realistic. Do you need that extra brownie? Should you really eat an entire box of pizza? Think about it. You may have burned away 700 or some-odd calories, but what is a plate of cheese fries going to do to refuel you?

This is something I need to work on for myself. It’ll probably come to me again during my pasta time (which is my favorite time)

Factors

As suspected, I’m doing quite a horrendous job at keeping up with my goal of writing a blog entry every day. I was a bit over-ambitious when I conjured that up, but my intentions were there. It’s safe to say, it’s quite easy to veer off track when there’s so much to do and so little time. I clearly need to prioritize my time better when it comes to writing. That being said, I’d like to ask the question, “Can you do it all?”

Time management has always been a skill that I’ve been slowly, but surely improving on from high school up until present day. I like to put a lot on my plate, to the point where things are about to spill off the edges. Fortunately though, I always find a way to contain everything from overflowing.

In high school, sports defined me. I defined myself through my accomplishments in how far I’ve come after hours of hard work and practice. Naturally, running was a perfect way to define myself in that aspect. With running, you reap what you sow- or in simpler terms, you get out of it what you put in. This, of course, can apply to an endless amount of scenarios and situations. It’s a motto for life. But let’s get back to running.

I’d say that I’m a talented athlete. I’m good, definitely not spectacular and definitely not graced with the X-factor to become an Olympic athlete. But I’ve come about as close to “spectacular” in my own definitions of myself due to the dedication that I’ve given to the sport. After high school, the dedication fizzled out because I wanted to experience college on my own time, by my own rules. I couldn’t stay away though.

I continued to sign up for various 5Ks throughout college- about one per season just to make myself feel better and to keep the spark alive. However, I wasn’t fully committed. As stated before, time management became an essential skill for me. Between juggling academics, a social life, fitness, mental health, etc., running wasn’t at the top of my list. But I couldn’t stay away.

I yearned for the thrill of competing and I missed the feeling of training for a race.

You really have to sacrifice your body, your mind, your time, your energy, your life when it comes to seriously training for a race. Even the slightest factors can make the difference in shaving off minutes.

When I first signed up for the Big Sur International Marathon, I was just excited to say that I was even running it. I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t care about time or if I skipped a run here and there. But as time is getting closer and I’m getting deeper into training, I’m beginning to realize how much this race actually means to me.

Factors play a significant role in running and in life. The decisions that we make day to day create a path for how the rest or our day, week, month, year, and so on turns out. You can choose to go out for a run, you can choose to eat something that you know is bad for you, you can choose to hate instead of love. Whatever your decision may be in life, think about how it will make you feel afterwards.

In closing, I found a random quote which I thought applied to this random collection of thoughts that I’m publishing here. Here it is:

“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us”

A sleeve of thin mints and 13 miles of satisfaction

So, apparently I’ve already disappointed my goal to consecutively write a post every day.

It’s okay though. I will just pick up where I left off.

To preface this entry, I will say that this IS about running.

My weekend consisted of (regretfully) eating an entire sleeve of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies followed by a satisfying 13-mile long run in Central Park on Saturday morning.

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(See above as glorious proof that my long-awaited order of thin mints arrived to the office on Friday morning. I graciously gave the other sleeve of cookies to my sister)

Getting back on track, I had been looking forward to Saturday’s long run for quite some time. I’m currently training for the Big Sur International Marathon in Monterey, California which is taking place on Sunday, April 28th. This would be my very FIRST full-marathon and I couldn’t be more excited to run my first marathon in such a beautiful location. On top of that, exactly one week prior to that day (Sunday, April 21st) I’ll be running a half marathon at my proud Alma Mater, Rutgers University.

It’s safe to say that I’m feeling the pressure of getting in my miles for these races.

It’s been a tough season of training for me because I’ve been sick twice during the month of February which really set me back in miles. But alas, I am back in the game.

About a week ago, I received an awesome present from a wonderful co-worker. I received the Asics Gel Noosas and have been running in them ever since. This past Saturday was the first time I have run in them outside however. I do a majority of my miles indoors, on the treadmill at the gym just because it’s more convenient for me, but running outside is always so refreshing. My feet felt great, my legs felt great, and my shoes were great.

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(Asics Gel Noosa Tri-7)

The only downfall of my run is that I still haven’t familiarized myself enough with Central Park and I often get lost (which is, in part, why I actually ran 13 miles) It worked out for the better though.

In conclusion, I’d like to say Happy March! I’m looking forward to more long runs outside and the much anticipated warmer weather which will hopefully arrive soon.

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(RunKeeper screenshot of my activity logged)

On Poetry

At first, my vision for this blog was to heavily emphasize on my passion for running, but I’m going to mix it up tonight and lean more towards practicing my writing skills. I’ll be writing about running as well (I have an upcoming 12-13 mile run tomorrow, so expect a recap afterwards), but for now, I’d like to try something different.

I’ve always been intrigued by poetry. I was never good at it. I could never quite relay a message without saying the exact thing I was feeling. I could never turn my words into art, which is why I admire the way poets can turn their words into a beautiful masterpiece.

I’ve taken several creative writing classes when I was in college (willingly) They were not required courses nor did they fit into my schedule, but I didn’t care. I enjoyed the freedom of taking a class that you weren’t burdened to take otherwise you wouldn’t graduate. I took these creative writing classes late in the game, during my later years of college because I wanted to- and heck, I was paying for it anyways.

I had great professors and one in particular admittedly told me that I’m wasn’t good at poetry. I wasn’t offended. I knew it was true. It may still be true, but I’m glad she said it because it made me that much more determined to get good at it.

Another professor that I had in college introduced us with a poem which happened to be about poetry. Here it is:

Introduction to Poetry

“I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means”

-Copyright 1988 by Billy Collins

I found this poem humorous, but true.

The funny thing is, I’m quite good at understanding and interpreting poetry, however I cannot produce it myself. It’s ironic actually.

They say that those who cannot do, teach. So maybe I’m meant to be a teacher? (I doubt it)

Now, here is a love poem which I heavily admire, by a poet who I heavily admire:

“If You Forget Me”

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.”

― Pablo Neruda

I take this poem personally. I wish I could write like this. A lot of writers draw from experience and the way that they convey their message is to make it relatable to readers. This poem is honest and true. The last stanza, which hits so close to home for me, resonates through my bones. The last stanza applies to the way that I love. I reciprocate the love that is given to me by the ones that I love. And so, in closing, here is my attempt at poetry. I used the above poem by Pablo Neruda as my inspiration.

I knew you once
for a brief moment in time
I knew your laugh
The color of your eyes
Your favorite shirt

I knew you once
The things that made you mad
The people you couldn’t stand
The way you’d react
to things you couldn’t control

I knew you once
Your smile
That look you gave me
when you were listening
to everything I had to say
I knew you loved me

But I don’t know you now
I don’t know where you live
If you have the same job
Or if you dress the same

I don’t know who you’re dating
Or if you’re happy
I don’t know if you still care
about the fact
that we don’t know each other anymore

But if I did know these things
I couldn’t move on
Because I knew you then
and now I don’t
because you’re gone

– Lindsey Lazarte