Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Days of Fall

Friday was officially the first day of fall and I couldn't be more excited. The temperatures here in Baltimore really haven't been dropping but that will surely be changing in a few weeks. Fall represents so much for me. It is the beginning of the school year, which means so many new opportunities. For me, fall is a time to get back to working hard, but also playing hard. I am so excited for all the fun fall festivities that are heading my way.

Of course my favorite thing about fall is probably the fashion. I haven't really mentioned anything on here before about it, but I am really into clothes and fashion. While I don't spend crazy amounts on any item of clothing, I like to look nice and experiment with my clothes. And with the cooler temps about to roll in I am getting my cozy sweaters, tall boots, and plethora of scarves out.

My goal this fall & winter is to not wear jeans everyday of the week. I have some great dresses, skirts, & shorts that will look awesome with some tights thrown under them. As much as I love my jeans, I think they can look sloppy at times. Moreover, I think they look very generic. What college girl isn't wearing a pair of skinny jeans

I have also been going crazy over scarves. They are the perfect way to make any outfit a little warmer & a lot cozier. Plus they look great thrown with just about anything. I really can't wait until I can pair my scarves with fall & winter jackets either. I think it is really important to make sure that everything you wear is stylish yet comfy. That is my motto!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

With Rain Comes Puddles

Yesterday was a super rainy day here in Baltimore. It was raining when I woke up at 7:30 and rained all throughout the night. I really wanted to get a run in yesterday but was pretty hesitant because of the rain. I have never run in the rain before and really wasn't sure if it was worth it.

But I decided to lace up my sneakers and venture outside anyway. My motivation was the thought of rain on race day. I don't want to be any more unprepared than necessary. I decided to aim for 4 mile. Not too short, not too long. At first the rain felt very strange while running. I was cold and just wasn't sure how this run was going to turn out.

But then I discovered puddles nearby. At first I tried to jump over the puddles but then I realized that my jumping skills are way below average and I was going to land in a puddle regardless. After encountering my first few puddles I really started to embrace them. It actually ended up being a really nice way to cool off.

In addition to running in the rain, I also knocked out some hills. The Baltimore Half Marathon course is pretty hilly, but luckily for me Baltimore in general is pretty hilly. I can barely avoid hills while out running. I am starting to feel much stronger and faster going uphill though.

After yesterday's run I am actually hoping that it rains on race day. I know that might sound a little crazy, but I REALLY enjoyed myself yesterday and I never felt overheated for a change. My other hope is that the weather cools down some. It probably won't be so awesome running in the rain when it is 50 degrees outside but I will take that over sunny and 80.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Getting Back Into the Groove

Despite my recent struggles with sticking with my half marathon training I have been running more regularly lately. On Sunday I was hoping to get in 8 miles but with the knee pain I was having I only managed to bang out 6 miles. I was able to keep a decent pace of 10:20 though, considering this was the longest I had run in about a month.

However, I didn't let this set back keep me down for long. On Monday I went out for a run with the running club. I was really hoping to love this club but that was not the case. The group ended up being waaay too fast for me, and they ran on a very rocky mountain biking trail. Despite all that, I still managed to get in 4 hilly miles.

Light night I did my first yoga class in over a year. It was so wonderful and really helped stretch out my sore body from the trail run. The class was a mix of yoga and pilates and I was loving the variety of exercises we did.

Tonight I did an easy 3 mile hill run around my apartment complex and around campus. I really enjoyed this run, except for all the hills. My pace was slower than normal due to trying to figure out where was safe to run nearby, but overall it was a good run.

Tomorrow I am going to do my long run of 9 miles!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some Catching Up

This week has been so crazy! I had my first quiz, and of course it was in my Russian class so that made it a million times harder than a regular quiz, I have been preparing for two more tests this weekend (online class), and have been trying to get some solid training in on top of all the homework and classes I have to go to.

I went out for a run on Wednesday but was rather unsuccessful because my knee was bothering me on the hills and I didn't want to push it. It kind of feels like it is going to dislocate when I go up the stairs or uphill so I am trying to keep that under control and avoid hills like crazy.

I am going home this weekend so I am going to knock out my long run and hopefully a short tempo run on the nice, flat trail near my house. I really miss running there, actually.

With my knee bothering me I have been unable to go to any of the runs put on by the running club but I am hoping that next week everything will be feeling better and I will be able to go out with them a few times.

I am looking forward to being able to swim some more next week even though the temperatures are still supposed to be on the cool side. The outdoor pool is heated so I am going to take advantage of that for as long as I can.

I got an email from the Baltimore Running Festival reminding me that my first half marathon is now less than 30 days away. I have been working so hard toward achieving this goal and I am getting more excited than ever. I really think once I get back into a running groove that I will get even more excited.

I am trying to really pay attention to my nutrition too now that I am back at school. I don't want a repeat of last year where I gained 10 pounds because of the all you can eat dining hall. I am trying to make healthy choices at every meal and only eat junk food in moderation. I have been doing well so far but it is only a few weeks into the semester.

I will be reporting back sometime this weekend with how my long run went so be on the lookout!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Transitioning into College Life

There are only 2 days left to vote for me to become a member of the Refuel With Chocolate Milk team! Please vote for me so I can afford to keep training and racing on a college student salary! I would really appreciate the support on something so important to me! Vote for Shannon Mulcahy!

I know, I know, I have been absent for awhile again but in my defense I have been spending a lot of time adjusting to being back in a college setting. I am really excited for all the new things I have lined up and that I get to experience, but sometimes it all feels overwhelming. I have been really struggling to stay with my half marathon training because I really don't know the area in which I am living and don't want to end up some place unsafe. This is kinda inexcusable to me though. I knew going into this that I was going to be in the peak of my training and that I was going to have to find a way to make sure that I was hitting all of my long runs each week.

Even though I haven't been running nearly as much as I should be I have been getting in a fair amount of time in the pool. UMBC has an outdoor heated pool that stays open through October and with the temperatures being in the 80's lately I have been really enjoying swimming outside. One of the things I missed most about not swimming competitively anymore was swimming outside. I think it is the perfect way to enjoy the summer, and quite frankly my summers have been feeling incomplete without swimming outside. The problem is that there are no outdoor pools near my house. Now that I have the opportunity to swim outside again I have going all out. I have been pushing myself more than usual and even did some swimming with the UMBC swim team yesterday. This may not make sense to all you non-swimmers, but I feel alive again in the pool. Swimming was something that was more important to me than school or pretty much anything else and then it get ripped away from me in a horrible way. Until just recently I have had a bad relationship with swimming because of the way things ended. Being able to swim outside again though has reaffirmed my love for swimming and I couldn't be happier about it.

With all of the new things going on in my life I am really starting to realize what is important to me and what I want to achieve while in college. I have been discovering new passions and rediscovering old ones. I really can't wait to bring you guys along on this journey and I promise to blog more consistently. I hope to have a few more posts this week about some of the awesome things that I am doing so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Blame the Power Outage

So sorry for being absent for so long, I had a major power outage last week due to hurricane Irene. I lost power Saturday night and just got it back Friday morning. This week was also move-in week and the first week of classes for me. Generally it was a very stressful week. Since I have been gone for so long I wanted to address a few things.

First, the triathlon that I said I was doing last weekend was cancelled due to Irene. I was so excited for this triathlon because I put so much time into training for it but racing in hurricane conditions is not ideal. At first I was super bummed about not being able to race but I just recently learned that the lake was shut down due to bacteria that was putting people in the hospital. Seriously not cool. So now I am so glad the race was cancelled and that I am bacteria free.

Second, my half marathon training has been nonexistent the past two weeks. Last week I wasn't running very much because of the triathlon and I was okay with that. I was calling it my taper. But then the triathlon never happened. And this week was my first week of classes at my new college and running really took the backseat. I wanted to stay consistent with my training but was having a really hard time with all of the activities that were planned.

Third, I am running a 5K tomorrow! I originally wasn't planning on coming home this weekend but my boyfriend brought me home to see my puppy. So now I am going to do a local 5K that is very small with a flat & fast course. I am so excited to see where I am in my training, especially since I haven't really run for two weeks.

Fourth, this coming week will be my first week on a running team. My new school has a club running team that is part of the athletic department. They have all sorts of types of running for all different levels. I am so excited to share something that I love so much with others.

I hope to not be missing from the blog world for so long again. I will be reporting on all sorts of my new experiences in college!