Friday, February 28, 2014

Men at the Gym

In general, I am not a huge fan of stereotypes.  Sometimes a girl just wants to be a grump without people assuming she's hormonal, you know?  I think we can all agree that stereotypes can be a real drag and can really rub people the wrong way.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

10 Awesome Things About Having a Sister

If you're a runner, you understand that the bond you have with your running friends is just, well, different.  It's not that you don't have special, unique, soul-enriching, fairy-fart relationships with non-runners; it's just that you can't stand watch as someone else pees in the bushes and not form a uniquely special bond.  Just the fact that only runners truly understand the genuine love/hate relationship we all have with our sport unites us all on some level.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Brunching Fashion:
We're Not Playing Games

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for anything in this post.  Like, at all.  In other words, this disclaimer has no purpose whatsoever; I just really wanted to disclaim something.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blog Reader Appreciation Part 19

My mom likes to tell me this story about three-year-old me.  One night before bed, I wanted something very badly (I forget what it was; presumably 5 pounds of chocolate syrup) and absolutely, positively refused to go to bed before I got it.

My parents are not ones to be bullied by a three-year-old so they told me, fine, you don't have to go to bed but it's bedtime so you're staying in your room until morning.  And I crossed my arms and stood next to my bed as they closed the door.

An hour later, my mom came back to check on me.  True to my three-year-old word, I had not gone to bed.  I was three though, and my three-year-old body couldn't resist falling asleep.  My mom found me standing in the same position she had left me, head face down on the bed, sound asleep.

You see, I came into the world stubborn, outraged to find that doctors were already trying to tell me what to do.  (To hell with "due dates!")  Sometimes, this personality trait serves me well.  Other times, like when I absolutely, positively must get in my scheduled long run despite being sick... I end up in bed for the rest of the day with only enough energy to register that I feel slightly nauseous.

On the bright side, because my 17 miler on Saturday took extra long, I had an extra long time to sweat out all of my sickness.  (That's how it works, right?)  So come Sunday morning, apart from being extremely dehydrated, I felt like a brand new woman.  A brand new woman who realized how painful stubbornness can be.

So this one is for the people out there who also suffer from a persistent case of stubborn.  I'd tell you that you're really going to like these links, but I wouldn't dare tell you what to do.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

February Sponsors

A few weeks ago, I introduced an extraordinary woman, her beautiful family, and her Etsy shop, whose ad has been sitting on my sidebar all month.  That was awesome but it was also kind of rude; as you probably noticed, there are two other ladies sitting right there with her whom I just completely ignored.

All of the middle children in the world, I know you can relate.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy is a Choice:
You Can Do Hard Things

One of the best parts about being a "grown-up" is that I can invite my friends over and don't have to ask Mom first.  With that being said, let me introduce you to my beautiful running pal, Brittany.  I invited her over today because, well, admit it: she's got better hair than I do.  Probably than you do, too.

Hey Not Before My Tea fans! I know you probably are wondering where your hilarious running friend Nicole is, and I'll tell you where. She's hanging at my blog today, and surely making my readers laugh and wish they could compare running to anything and everything under the sun, like George Washington.

If you're dying to know who I am, my name is Brittany and I blog at Happy Is A Choice. I blog there about the things that bring me joy, and running is one of those things. Coffee is a close second. Tea is nice Nicole, but coffee is the liquid that keeps me functioning day by day.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blog Reader Appreciation Part 18
Ann Sather

Have you ever been completely dreading something only to find out later that it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought it'd be?  Or maybe even that you kind of enjoyed it?

That's exactly how I felt about my long run this weekend.  Based on the previous two weekends, I was expecting nothing more than yet another death march through hell.  What's that phrase... Keep your jean waists, credit card bills, and expectations low?  Something like that?

The point is that I wasn't expecting much more than utter misery.  So imagine my endorphin high on Saturday when I realized midway through my run that the sun was shining and I could feel my face.  I bounded through the rest of the run in pure joy, the kind straight out of the Sound of Music.  Life had meaning and the world was wonderful and rainbows and sprinkles and group hugs.

More importantly, that run motivated me to change my whole outlook on life.  My new motto is:  Don't expect much and your expectations will always be exceeded.

So this one is for all of you out there with low expectations.  May life always surprise you with more than flat tires and crummy first dates.

Friday, February 14, 2014

14 Things Worse than Being Single on Valentine's Day

A lot of people think that Valentine's Day is overdone.  Well, if you ask me, being done with Valentine's Day is way more overdone.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 Things No One Wants to See You Blog About

A Note from the Editor (aka me): I wrote this post on Saturday at my favorite pseudo-European sandwich shop, the Bourgeois Pig Cafe.  I go there when Derrick leaves me for his true love (indoor soccer) and I'm in the mood to eat a roast beef sandwich alone.  I sit there with my laptop, sandwich, and cup of tea, trying to fit in with the other DePaul students, just hoping that they don't spot me for the fraud that I am.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blog Reader Appreciation Part 17:
The Bongo Room

If you had asked me last week, I would have told you that there is nothing so hopelessly soul-sucking as running for almost two hours on a treadmill.  But after last Saturday, I don't know what's worse: two hours on the hamster wheel of doom or running for almost two hours into a zero degree Chicago wind as a steady flow of snowflakes drops infuriatingly into your windburned eyes.

It's that moment when you realize the breath on your face-mask has frozen solid that you yearn for the memory of watching the same five CNN stories on repeat from the comfort of a heated gym.

I honestly don't know which one is worse but I do know one thing: Chicago is turning marathon training into a game of Chicken... and right now, it's winning.

So this one is for the people out there who feel like me, the ones who feel like they're playing a game that just can't be won.  I raise my snow-soaked Nike running gloves to salute you.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Living Together Before Marriage

Last weekend, Derrick and I signed a lease for a one bedroom apartment together.  We have been living together for the past five months in the apartment leased to me that I have been living in for the last nine, but now it's "name on the dotted line" official.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blog Reader Appreciation Part 16:
Kanela Breakfast Club

We got another seven inches of snow in Chicago this weekend.  I don't know what I did to upset whoever is in charge of dishing out karma, but whatever I did must have been bad because word got to Mother Nature and she's punishing me mercilessly.

Besides being a cold, wet, inconvenient, leather-boot-staining, hair-ruining, splash-on-my-work-pants menace, this recent storm forced me to do my long run on the treadmill.  Specifically, a 15 mile run on the treadmill.  That's a little under two hours on the "dreadmill," as one might call it.