Thursday, September 30, 2010

New York Bound (Hopefully)

This week I am been busy at work and have been extra swamped since I am leaving early today and taking off tomorrow for Nueva York.

However Tropical Storm Nicole is trying to mess up my plans. Luckily it seems the strength of the storm has fizzled, but there is still rain. Most of it looks west of New York, but we all know how airport delays pile up and my flight isn't until 7:40pm. So I'm stressed, I just want to be in New York and get my long weekend hassle free.

You'd think I'd be worried about the half marathon, but truth be told I'm not. I'm worried about the DAMN WEATHER.

This week I had such a crazy work week that I had to pack and make my playlist last night - both tasks took longer than I would have liked. I'm only packing a carry on and a backpack. I am a chronic over-packer so I have to weed through my pile of stuff I "wanted to bring" twice until it was a reasonable amount. I also didn't want to pack my bag to capacity because I am *HOPING* my mom sees how stupid big most of my clothes are on me now and buys me a few items - therefore I need room to bring them home with me. It's weird how my suitcase is like 60% running stuff and 40% non-running stuff. I have 2 little runs I plan to do - one of Friday and one on Saturday then of course RACE DAY SUNDAY.

I made my race playlist - added a FEW new songs, but mainly stuck with songs I've run to in the past and I know how I react to. So my 2.6 hour (in itunes time) playlist consists of 44 songs. I'm hoping to finish the race in under 2:30:00 so really that's like 37 songs. Again not worried about the run, but to think that I'll be running for 37 straight songs is a cool way to measure it. I have to admit like 6 of the songs are David Cook songs (I know you're judging me and I don't care).

OK must get back to work, but I hope to write some blog posts at the aiport on my flight and post them today/tomorrow/Saturday. Plus look forward to a full race recap next week, but I'm sure on Sunday I'll post a little sumthin' sumthin'

Wish me safe and on time travels!

Friday, September 24, 2010

9/24's Friday Five

1. As per my plan to "Measure My Year in Cups of Coffee" I hit my 300th cup yesterday. You may not be impressed, but my "cup" is usually in the form of a venti from Starbucks thanks. My stats should increase quickly since I'll be in New York next weekend and enjoy my beloved Dunkin Donuts - I'm coming for you Pumpkin Iced Coffee!

2. I saw this quote on my friends Facebook the other day and it has really made me think "If someone wants to be a part of your life, they will make an effort to be in it." So true, so true...

3. I've been listening to a good mix of tunes lately - most notably: Florence + The Machine, New Kids on the Block, Regina Spektor and I'm hoping to pick up the new Maroon 5 album this weekend.

4. I recently got in contact with my college friend Mike to recommend my sister for a job at his company. Mike was someone I was never very close with, but we ran in the same circles and I've always admired him. So when my sister emailed Mike about the job and said I recommended her to apply, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Mike said "I have always had respect for your sister and think she is good people." I know it sounds lame, but Mike is probably one of the most successful people I know and he is truly going places in life so coming from him I take that as a HUGE compliment. My sister is meeting with Mike today for an informal interview. FINGERS CROSSED.

5. So Blogspot is FINALLY catching up with technology and added a "stats" feature so you can see who reads your blog, page hits, keyword search entry points etc. Well it turns out that "Redneck Bingo" is what has led MANY people to my blog. Awkward?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Triathlete in Training

A couple of weeks ago I saw during a Student Organization Fair that Auburn has a Triathlon Club. I was too intimindated to go talk to them at their table and I meant to look them up. Well yesterday I finally did. The club is open to students, faculty, STAFF and even the community. They have various training groups like 6x a week. I left a message through their contact page and got a response with the hour! The guy was very supportive and invited me to come out to a practice. So next week I think I'm headed to SWIM practice.

I know that if I have a group to train with, teach me and support me that I can totally do a Triathlon this spring.

So yesterday I went out and bought some necessary "gear"
*Padded cycling shorts
*4 pairs of dri fit socks
*Dri fit compression tights (I may return them because honestly it’s still too damn hot here to wear them anytime soon)
*3 dri fit running tops on clearance for $2.88 each
*Puma short sleeve running hoodie on clearance for $2.88
*Goggles, nose clip, swim cap
*Ear buds (dog chewed on old ones that still work, but worried about them not working for my half marathon)
*Various Energy Gels

I still need to get a proper swimsuit - I don't think my tankinis are going to cut it. I also really need a bike. Luckily I found out that the City of Auburn allows people to "check out bikes" for two week period for FREE. So I am going to look into that ASAP when I get back after my half marathon.

Speaking of my half...I am SOOOO excited. Like no joke. Next week at this time I'll be headed to the airport. I GOT this half. I'm just looking forward to a long run and the high associated with race day. Plus not sure if I mentioned that I'm doing another half marathon on 10/30 in New Orleans. Yeah I'm crazy I know, but you know what if you got it, flaunt it and right now I have the ability to run 13 miles so I'm gonna!

I really may add a "donate" button to this blog incase anyone wants to contribute to my triathlon training supplies and race fees! So in anyone or anyone's company wants to "sponsor" me I wouldn't turn you down.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We Gon' Find Ya

Below you will find my fantastic SOS/CWE Jumbotron commercial that aired this week right after the team took the field following half time. The commercial is gonna air at the next 2 games as well! After it aired I announced to the section I was sitting in that I made it and they all cheered for me. True story!

2010 Jumbotron from Josh Stephens on Vimeo.

We sampled the "Intruder song" - which may not be the most appropriate, but it's very popular since it happened in Alabama and the whole stadium laughed at that part. If you haven't seen it please check out the full thing it's HILARIOUS and get stuck in your head

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday 5ive

1. Domestic/Cooking: I've had to cook a few times lately for various parties/work things and I've starting to make food I actually like. I can make a great veggie pizza, pasta salad, chicken stir-fry, turkey burger and various dessert treats.

2. Game/Jumbotron: ESPN's Gameday is here for the Clemson game. There have been ESPN people all over campus today...umm if it's not Jesse Palmer then I'm not interested. The jumbotron commerial premieres at the game which I'm really excited about - I hope people like it as much as I do! Don't worry I'll post it on here on Monday.

3. 12 miles: I have a 12 mile run on Sunday aka my longest run before my 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks. After Sundays run my runs will be easier runs - so I can recover and be ready for the half. This week at the gym I ran a bunch of intervals so when I did a 4 mile run outside today I could feel myself pushing through parts of my run I wouldn't normally be able to do. I also got honked and cat called out for the firs time while running. I really thought it would have happened sooner, but maybe southern guys are too gentlemanly to do that. It's interesting when I see students on campus and they tell me they say me running. I' m turning into quite an athlete so I'm not self-conscious about my running at all anymore.

4. Long Hair: So for a while I had thought about getting a pixie cut this fall, but I decided that I'm gonna grow it out and then in the latr spring/early summer get a pixie. Right now my hair is probably the longest it's been in nearly 3 years since I only got a minor trim back in July. After my 1/2 marathon I'm gonna get a trim and color, but I haven't figured out what I want to do colorwise...any suggestions?

5. New TV Shows: How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and Cougar Town premiere this upcoming week! I'm sure there are a few more premieres this week, but those are the three I'm most excited about. My TiVo has been on the fritz - actually my wireless internet has been on the fritz so the cheapest/easiest solution was to get a tivo box with an ethernet cord jack. Hopefully my TiVo after over a month will be up and running in the next week or so.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tunnel Video

Quotes from a chat session with my sister today:

Sister: i miss alabama
Sister: i just want to experience game day again

My sister just booked her flight to come down for a game in October along with one of her friends who is also super excited. Clearly love for Auburn in contagious when you get a cynical New Yorker like my sister to say those things.

Here is a look at this year's Football Tunnel Video. LOVE IT!

PS: those of you reading this in google reader - I posted something else earlier today, but google reader isn't recognizing it for some reason, so go directly to my blog to read about my Halloween 2011 plans.

Dublin Marathon 2011

I was just gchatting with my sister about my 1/2 marathon and we were talking about her NYC 1/2 marathon she did last year (a friend got injured and my sister had 5 weeks to train and be ready to take her spot). She ran it like like 2:50:00 which is amazing considering she was only a casual runner.

Anyway she told me about the Dublin Marathon and how it apparently is one of the flattest courses in the world.

Oh and the race is on HALLOWEEN. COME ON!

I have not traveled outside of the US before. My 2009 Resolution was to get a passport - which I did. My plan was to travel in 2010, but I feel like this year has been so devoted to heath and fitness. So maybe 2011 can be my travel year. As you know Ireland has been the on the top of my to-do list.

I’ve talked about Ireland for almost a year, but keep making excuses about money or work or whatever. This gives my a over a year to be ready for a full marathon with hopefully a few varying distance races/triathlon in between and gives my sister a year to start training, plus I want to rope in my friend Kelly who I have talked going to Ireland with and I roped her into a 5K with me in May. And also a year for all of us to save $$$.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Working Weekend

This weekend was not a restful one.

I served as a facilitator for a leadership conference on campus that was Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning/afternoon. I was both excited for it and dreaded it. Luckily once I got there I was into it. I heart freshmen students, they are so precious.

Saturday following the conference was Cooper's baby shower. I spent about 5 hours at the Armstrong casa for the party, but luckily I work with such wonderful people that I enjoyed every second of it despite being exhausted.

Sunday morning I went out for an 11 mile run which was just about the only time I had to myself this weekend (besides sleep). I have really grown to love my long runs, I can both think about everything and nothing at all. Those 2+ hours that I'm out on a long run are some of the fastest hours of my week.

Sunday afternoon we had a CWE and SOS publicity blitz. AKA start plastering campus with ads to apply for a Camp Counselor or Orientation Leader. Lots of painting, drawing, gluing, folding and button making was also had.

Sunday night was the True Blood finale which was a pretty major let down. I think outside of the YUM that is Eric this season was pretty ho hum which is extremely disappointing because we only get 12 episodes and season and have to wait 10 months for season 4. I think this season was a "building year" and I do have high hopes for season 4 when it premieres in May 2011.

So yeah that was my weekend in a nutshell. This weekend I plan on doing some shopping, sleeping, swimming/tanning and watching Auburn kick some Clemson ass (and watch the jumbotron commerical I made on the big screen).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday 5

In an effort to be a better blogger, I am going to try and write a Friday 5 each week (however we all know when I make lofty plans like this...I rarely follow through). Honestly though I'd like to try and post 3x a week at least. I owe it to you and I owe it to me (since I no longer keep in a written journal...I know after 11 years I went completely digital).

1. I-Lead:I am serving as a facilitator for a student leadership conference this weekend. It's this afternoon/evening and tomorrow morning/afternoon. There should be about 200 first and second year students in attendance. It's the first conference of this type so I'm excited to be a part of it. I also look forward to seeing the students partake in many leadership activities that I hold dear to my heart.

2. Baby Shower: Tomorrow afternoon/evening after the conference is little Cooper Dunn's shower. I am one of the hostesses for the shower. I am really just contributing with food and money because these ladies have it UNDER CONTROL (I'm talking to you Sarah). I have never gone to a baby shower, and I've only been to one bridal shower so this is ALL NEW. I figured I might as well take notes and see what kind of things they plan/think about it. Honestly some of it is like another language!

3. True Blood Finale: Say it ain't so. I don't want season 3 to be over. Damn HBO and only having 12 episode seasons. This season was either hated or loved by fans, but I loved most of it. I'm very curious to see how the finale will shake out. Then I will be forced to mourn True Blood until next May when season 4 returns.

4. Jumbotron and Blitz: Applications for BOTH our Camp Counselor and Transfer Orientation Leaders come out on MONDAY. We have all be been working like crazy to get our publicity efforts in order. Sunday is our publicity blitz where our former student leaders come in and help with publicity projects and put things up across campus. Yesterday I spent nearly the whole day working on our Jumbotron commericial. It will be running at the next 3 home games. This is my 3rd year doing jumbotron commericials (I actually did 2 different ones last year) so I have a handle on it, but it's stressful none the less. The 30 second ad costs $500 per game, is going to be viewed by over 87,000 people and athletics are huge sticklers. I must say despite the SHORT timeline and lack of my usual "process" I am very proud of the commercial. It's catching, funny, and informative. Once it "premieres" on the jumbotron next week I will post it here.

5. College A Capella: It should be no surprise to you that I listen to A LOT OF MUSIC. I often go to for my music fix. The past 2 weeks I've been listening to collegiate a capella groups. Sadly UConn has been the only school I've been at to have them and their groups were all FANTASTIC. I loved going to a capella shows. I owe quite a few "Best of College A Capella ::insert year::" and how now become obsessed with Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella. Ben selected college a capella groups from all over the country to cover his songs after he heard a Ohio University group cover "Brick." I just love the sound, TONE, and MOOD of a capella.If you aren't listening to any you really should. I'm currently listening to a co-ed group cover Jewel's "Who Will Save Your Soul." - Brilliant!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On Repeat

I don't even usually care for Katy Perry, but I can't get enough of this song...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day 5K

Going to bed was quite the challenge last night I was too damn excited. I somehow managed to sleep pretty well and popped out of bed like a poptart when my alarm went off at 5am. 

Got ready, head breakfast, picked up my friend Michelle who was coming to cheer me on and we got on the road. The race was about 45 minutes away in Georgia (at Callaway Gardens for my Southern peeps - SUCH a beautiful place I had never been before). Also keep in mind Georgia is in the Eastern Time Zone. Thankfully with the drive and time changes we made it there with 20 minutes to spare (I had a nightmare that I woke up drove all that way and we couldn’t find the registration tent/missed it).

The Gardens was hosting 5K and a Triathlon that day. Since I registered at the event I had to wear a Tri bibb and they ran out of shirts so they were going to mail me one. I also was given a chip that was a velcro band around my ankle (I’ve had the shoelace chips prior). 

I was feeling good, anxious, nervous - lots of emotions. It was quite brisk out - I’d say in the mid 60s. I got my ipod and nike+ sensor queued up and was waiting on go. The race was small - 150 of us. I told myself I was going to pace myself at the start and then push the second half. Well OF COURSE as soon as they said go I took off. I was at the front of the pack when we started and pretty much stayed towards the front the whole time. It was a lovely route around a lake and through some woods. There was some rolling hills, but overall it was a lovely route. 

I felt so freaking good on my run, I had no idea my pace and I didn’t care. Since I started like a bat out of hell I slowed my pace slightly for the middle of the ran, but I NEVER ONCE STOPPED OR WALKED. I didn’t even want to stop or walk - I was in the zone. Once I was at about 4K I kicked it back into high gear. It was also around the 4K point that we passed some of the first Triathlon cyclists. I was smiling and cheering for them as I ran. As I approached the finish line I saw a “28” on the clock and couldn’t believe it. I wanted to badly to finish under 30 minutes, but I wasn’t sure I had it in me. I shaved over 4.5 minutes off my first/previous 5K in May. There is no feeling in the world like crossing a finish line - I’m addicted to it. 

After the race I met up with my friend and we watched some of the last Triathlon swimmers finish up before exploring some other events going on including mini golf. Well we were 1/2 into our game of mini golf when I think I hear my name over the PA. I was like ???? So we head over to the registration tent to see they were giving out awards. They gave awards for the overall winners and top 3 per age group. After the finished I walked up to one of the volunteers and said I thought I heard my name (I would have been HORRIFIED if they were like ummm no). So I found out I had placed 2nd in my age group (25-29) and age group winners got plaques - except then ran out of 2nd place ones so they are going to mail it to me. So now I can look forward to my tshirt and my plaque in the mail.

I also check the website and saw my “official” time was 28:53.26

That means my average pace was around 9:18 min/mile - WHAT?!?! I’ve never even come CLOSE to that before. I guess I was channeling my inner Prefontaine:

The only good race pace is suicide pace and today looks like a good day to die

God I felt great and I am really starting to get a sense of what I’m made of and what I can achieve. I am SO READY for my 1/2 marathon next month. This was just the vote of confidence I needed. Also seeing the Triathletes makes me really want to aim for that this spring.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Some of those Ups and Downs

So while I was home in NY I had 2 job interviews. After one of the interviews I withdrew as a candidate because I knew it wasn't right for me. The second interview on the other hand have SO MUCH GOING FOR IT. Money, locations, responsibilities, supervision etc. There was also some really negative things about the job/institution, but I wasn't letting myself focus on that. As it turns out I didn't get the job, but it's really for the best. The job wasn't right AND I'm not ready to leave Auburn just yet. I've had starting a job sometime in Spring 2011 in my head for a looong time. I want another football season, I want to be here for publicity/selections, I want to be here to hang out with Melissa's newborn son Cooper, I want to attend my dear friend Codi and Jim's wedding, I want to make and check things off my Alabama "bucket list" and spend more time with the wonderful people in my life down here.

I know that the northeast is home and will be my home again, so I need to stop worrying about getting back there and just soak up this little slice of heaven better known as Auburn, Alabama.

So since I decided to focus on living life in Auburn I made a rash decision when I found out I didn't get that job. Like joined a free dating website. The funny thing is the day AFTER I joined the stupid site I met someone out the old fashioned way. So in the past week I've gone out with 3 guys...ooopps (hate the player, not the game). Only 2 have made the it past the first cut. I'm gonna stay pretty mum with details on here right now, but we shall see.

Speaking of ups - Tomorrow is Auburn's first home football game. Let me tell you:
(to the tune of the sound of music) "The plains are aaaaaaaalive with the colors of ooooorange"

Everywhere you look people in their ORANGE and blue. The RVs are here, the tailgaters a recurrently claiming their spots and there is an intoxicating buzz in the air. Today is like Christmas Eve and I can't wait for tomorrow and seeing that eagle fly along with 87,451 of the SECs best fans.

War Damn Eagle

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Who am I?

I have been rewatching the entire How I Met Your Mother series on DVD and this little exchange was so wonderful, heartbreaking and true for those of us in our late twenties and early thirties.

Robin: Have you ever had one of those days where nothing all that monumental happens, but by the end of it you have no idea who you are or what the hell you are doing with your life? Do you ever have one of those days?
Ted: [smiles] Uhh, about once a week.

I have had my fair share of ups and downs in life. I think we all do. I just think the journey to find yourself is awesome and scary. Lately I have not really been able to recognize myself, but in a good way. There have been lots of good things in my life and a good bit of horseshit too. 2010 has been an FASCINATING year in my life and to think we still have 1/3 of the year left.