Big Moments

Two days ago was the 2nd Annual Runner’s World Half Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A year and two days ago holds a memory that was a significant milestone in my life. It’s one of those days that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and each year will feel a rush of nostalgia overcome you on that exact day. Last year, the inaugural Runner’s World Half Marathon also happened to be the inaugural half marathon of my life. Last year, my whole world changed.

Now, I don’t mean to sound over-dramatic here, but I can definitely say that the course of my journey in life was turned upside down a year and two days ago.

Running has always been a large part of my life. Working at Runner’s World has given me opportunities as a runner that I could have never imagined. Running a marathon had always been on my bucket list. Of course, I wanted to get a half-marathon under my belt first. The Runner’s World Half Marathon was that opportunity for me.

I had no idea what to expect. I had never trained for a race of that distance before. I didn’t know how I was going to feel before or afterwards. All I knew was that I was nervous and I couldn’t believe that it was going to finally happen.

A year and two days ago, I ran my first half marathon. What I didn’t realize was that running this race would give me the courage to make other decisions that would change everything else for me. A year and two days ago was the same day that I broke up with my college boyfriend. After that, things were different. I moved to New York City and embarked on this new journey which I’m still currently traveling.

It’s amazing to look back at the course of a year. It’s even more amazing at how little we know about how drastically one moment can cause a ripple effect of bigger life-changing moments.

They say your 20’s is the time where you’re the most lost and confused. They say it’s the time of self-discovery.

Well, as I’ve written in past blog entries before, it really is.

This entire blog is documentation of this transformation period. Looking back a year ago, I didn’t realize that running this half marathon would plant a seed that would allow me to grow as a runner and a person.

This year at the Runner’s World Half Marathon, I couldn’t believe how far away last year seemed. I couldn’t believe how far I’ve come. I couldn’t believe how different things are now. Yet, I’m thankful for that moment.

I guess big moments do that to you. They make you reflect on your life. Sometimes we have to appreciate these moments. At the time, it may seem like something little, but later on it will end up being something big

As the saying goes, “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things”



It’s a small world after all…

It seems, as I’ve gotten older, that the world becomes much smaller. As I begin to meet more and more people throughout my lifetime, I’ve realized that the six degrees of separation is really more like two degrees of separation.

The last place I thought I’d be saying this about is New York City. I thought that coming to a large city with millions of people would minimize the chances of me ever running into anyone I know. On the contrary, it’s enhanced the chances.

Back in my hometown, the likelihood of running into someone I went to high school with was about 80-90% depending on the day. Of course, in any town, everyone shops at same grocery stores, goes to the same movie theaters, and eats at the same restaurants. What I’ve learned is that the same can be said for a large city.

This past weekend, I traveled to Chicago for the 2013 Chicago Marathon. I went for work to help out at the Runner’s World booth at the Marathon Expo. I was so excited to travel to a new city. It’s always nice to get away from New York for a little while.

I boarded my flight on Thursday morning at Laguardia Airport. I was scheduled to leave at 9:40AM, but of course, my flight didn’t depart until around 10:30AM. While I was on my flight, I sat next to a man who was originally sitting in the seat that I was ticketed for. I kindly asked him to move, and so he did. After that, we began conversing as we waited for our plane to take-off.

I told him that it was my first time traveling to Chicago and how excited I was about going. I told him that I was traveling to work at the Chicago Marathon Expo and that I worked at Runner’s World Magazine. “Runner’s World?” he asked. “What’s the company that publishes that?” he added.

“Rodale” I replied.

“That’s funny…my daughter is interning at Organic Gardening,” he told me.

I was in absolute shock when I heard this. He continued to tell me how she also used to intern for Men’s Health Magazine in the New York office, where I am currently working. Furthermore, she happened to intern on the same floor as me while she was in New York. My level of amazement rose as he texted her and she listed names of people that she worked with, whom I know very well. I couldn’t believe it. “I somehow happened to sit next to someone whose daughter is interning at the same exact company that I work for, and used to sit on the same floor that I sit” I thought to myself.

“What a small world” he said.

I smiled and nodded in agreement.

He was holding the New York Times newspaper in his hands and flipping through the pages as he browsed the articles. He pointed to an article with a large photo of several people sitting at a dinner table and smiling.

“Hey, this guy works at Rodale,” he commented and pointed at the photo.

I looked over at the picture and was in even bigger shock to find out that it was an article written about another person who happens to work for my company and also sits on the same floor that I sit.

My mind was officially blown. I couldn’t tell if this was pure coincidence or if somehow, the universe meant for this happen. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. We meet people in our lives for a purpose. I like to think that there is some lesson or meaning behind it. Maybe it’s because I feel that things happened to me that way. Every person we meet, we can take something from, whether it be good or bad.

When we finally arrived in Chicago, I thanked the man for the great conversation and let him know that I hope to meet his daughter in the near future. He went on to explain how much she would love to work at Rodale after she graduated college. We said our goodbyes and I went my own way.

As I look back on it and think about this encounter, I realize that one small connection could make a world’s difference. It gives me inspiration and hope that one person really can make a difference in someone’s life. It’s these small day-to-day connections that create portals, doorways, and opportunities to great things in our future.

As they say, it’s a small world after all. And you never know who you’re going to meet where ever you go.

RACE REPORT: Electric Run

I’d like to preface this race report by saying that I should hardly be calling it a “race report”.

This past Saturday, I participated in the newly trending fun run called the Electric Run in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a 5K evening race that took place at Floyd Bennett Field at the Aviator Sports & Events Center at 8PM on both Friday night and Saturday night.

I signed up for this race several months ago after being convinced by someone that I met from Nike Run Club to join with her group. I didn’t know what to expect and I always like to try something new, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I’ve never ran a race without being competitive or training before, so this was definitely an experience for me. At first, I couldn’t even comprehend the idea of running “for fun” To me, every race that I’ve ever signed up for, I was aiming to set a PR (personal record).

When I picked up my race packet at the Sports Authority on Third Avenue on Wednesday, the line wrapped around the entire store. I went during my lunch break at work because I figured it would be easier to get it over with earlier on in the day. Apparently, everyone had the same idea as me. Once I was on line to pick up my race packet, I finally started getting excited as I saw the herds of people coming in. This seemed like a pretty big deal. Up until a week before the event, I had completely forgotten that I was even signed up for the Electric Run; although, I don’t know how I possibly could because it was the most expensive 5K that I’ve ever signed up for.

The total cost was around $65 and that was only because I signed up with a group. The cost to sign up as an individual was approximately $5 more ($70 total). I had anticipated that it would be worth what I paid for and just hoped for the best.

On Saturday afternoon, I headed to Brooklyn from Manhattan to meet up with my group at the Buffalo Wild Wings near the Barclays Center. I wasn’t quite sure why we were were meeting at Buffalo Wild Wings before a race. Typically, I’m very conscious of what I eat or drink before running. Once I got there, everyone ordered beers and baskets full of fried wings. I was in absolute shock. Everyone kept reassuring me that it wasn’t a big deal to drink and eat unhealthy prior to a race like this. I still didn’t understand. In my mind, I was still thinking that I was going to run the entire thing.

Three beers and many wings later, we finally left Buffalo Wild Wings around 7:30PM. The event started at 8:00PM and I was starting to get anxious. Another thing that I’ve never done before was be late to a race. As we were in the cab, I was panicking, thinking that we were going to miss the start of it.

Once we finally arrived at Floyd Bennett Field, it was a few minutes past 8:00PM and we still had to find the rest of our group because they took a separate cab. At this point, my nerves were spinning out of control. I looked around and saw crowds of people who were still mosey-ing their way through the parking lot. Once our group was reunited, we walked over to the start line. No one seemed to be in any immediate rush. I, then, remembered that this wasn’t a timed race.

This was single-handedly one of the weirdest experiences of my life.

We walked almost the entire course which took upwards of about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. The entire time, we just admired the flashing lights, elaborate costumes, and glowing golf cart that was driving around blasting electronic music. We stopped about every 5 minutes to take pictures.The only reason for running was to get it over with quicker.

As an experienced and competitive runner, this was not an ideal situation for me. I must admit that I did have fun, but the cost and reward that I felt I received after participating, I’d like to inform people who are contemplating doing this, that it is definitely more of an experience to enjoy and not take seriously at all, instead of a “race”.

If you have the same mindset that I have, it would also be difficult for you to comprehend the meaning of a “fun run”.

Although it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m glad to say that I tried it for myself. After all, if you never try, you never know.