Tuesday, July 28, 2015

10 tips for new runners.

my love for running is no secret. I love the way it makes me feel, and what it does for my heart and body. Rain, snow, or gale force winds won't stop me. I wish I could do it all the time but alas Usain Bolt I am not. 

being a runner, I remember what it's like to start out. Not knowing if I was running the proper way, worrying about running too slow, getting lapped by people 3 times my age.... It was rough and it can be intimidating, but hopefully these tips will help!
  1. invest in a really good running shoe. This is probably the most important thing for runners of all levels. A good pair of trainers is what's going to prevent you from potential sprains, pulled muscles, and limit shinsplints. Asics are my favorite, but there are plenty of different brands out there. Go to a running store, and have them assess your gait and pronation. They'll be able to find you a shoe that fits your needs. Also, if you mention you're a first-time runner, a lot of stores will give you a discount. FTW. 
  2. same thing goes for socks. I used to think my socks didn't make a difference, but once you switch to athletic, or even more specifically, running socks, you'll never go back.
  3. heartburn is definitely a thing. Especially for us morning runners. All of the movement jostles all of our insides, and the acid producers go into overdrive. Get out ahead of the heart burn, and take an acid reducer before you head out on your run. If you have a history of chronic acid reflux like me, take a once daily OTC medication. 
  4. runners' trots are too. This varies from person to person, but again all of that jostling of the digestive system tends to get things flowing whether you like it or not. 
  5. hydration is a lifestyle. This is a constant and continuous thing. I usually drink about 80oz of water a day. Do I have to pee every 15 minutes? Yes. But for me, being properly hydrated is the difference between barely being able to break 3miles and running 5miles without stopping. 
  6. always run with music. It'll pump you up, help you pace out, and limit your boredom. If you have a good playlist, you'll be unstoppable. 
  7. but practice safety first. If you're running with music, run with one ear in and the other (closest to the road) out. If you'll be on the road, always run AGAINST traffic; it's easier to dodge a car that you can see coming than it is to dodge one you can't see. Always carry your phone and identifying information, including health info. Tell someone where you're running, and which route you'll be taking. Simple, yet important. 
  8. get your run in in the morning. I know, who actually wants to get up an hour before they have to... besides me lol. Getting it out of the way before you do aaaaaanything else limits the potential to make excuses as the day progresses. For me, morning runs aren't typically my fastest ones. But if I do it in the morning, I'm more likely to actually get my miles in for the day. 
    one of the many perks of running outdoors. 
  9. develop a mantra. It can be anything. Mine usually is "I am strong, I am capable, I will succeed." This will help you get through the tough hills and speed training. I repeat mine over and over until I develop a rhythm between the words, my breathing, and my gait. 
  10. sign up for races and run with friends. Races = goals . Friends = motivators. And both make for a good time!
    next race on tap: 2015 Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon.

no matter what, you should feel amazing for getting out there and doing something that's good for your mind, body, and spirit. Stick with it, and I know you'll fall in love with it. 

run on, lovelies.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

post-grad pauper: what finding a job after college is actually like.

so you've recently graduated. 

congrats! You have successfully completed the easiest hard part of your life. Mozel!

and as the dust starts to settle, and you are forced to start paying all of those student loans back, you'll find yourself asking yourself, "... well, what now?"

if you're lucky, you'll have found a decent paying job with very little room to grow, a bad HMO, and absolutely no time to eat your lunch anywhere but your desk.

but if you're like the rest of the 98% (<-- fake satistic) of recent college graduates, you're probably feeling like you're up the creek.

... without a paddle.

and did I mention the creek is on fire?

oh and your parents are yelling at you to save yourself.

as they're drinking margaritas with Sallie Mae.

... who's laughing at you and all of your misfortune.

as a post-grad pauper, I've been there (and most days, am still there). I feel like on some Y.A./20-something sites, they always spin the post-grad life as "it's really horrible, but it's amazing and I wouldn't trade it for the world!" Ugh... gag me.

so I wanted to share a realistic look at what it's actually like after you turn that tassel.

  1. you will be overqualified for entry-level jobs. No, seriously.
  2. and some entry-level positions will require years of experience. 
  3. you'll have more versions of your resume than you can count. At my highest, I had 15. I currently have 4.
  4. you will probably have to move back home. Do you know how much the cost of housing has gone up over the last few years? It's depressing, but... Don't worry, you can always paint over that bubblegum pink wallpaper you've had since the 90s.
  5. and if you can't re-inhabit your childhood bedroom, you'll probably be living in squalor. Sorry about it.
  6. everything will start to seem EXTRA super expensive. Even the cheap stuff. 
  7. all of those job applications you filled out? Yeah, you'll get rejected from the majority of them.
  8. but you'll eventually find something to pay the bills. It might be going back to that high school job you swore you'd never do ever again, but... alas... here we are.
  9. minimum payments (something you swore you'd never do) become real life. 
  10. you'll look for jobs out of state, but will realize that you can't move there. Because a) you don't have enough money to move and b) the job doesn't pay enough to make it feasible.
  11. jealousy will hit you hard. People will be off getting their careers started, engaged, married, 401ks, buying houses, etc. Don't let it get you down though, because with these comes more bills and more responsibility. 
  12. you'll start to get desperate. And I mean VERY desperate. "I wonder how much my 2007 ipod would sell for...?" "I mean, who needs this much plasma anyway?" "I have morals, but I also have bills to pay and strippers also make like $1000 a weekend, so...." 
  13. there will be moments when EVERYTHING falls apart. And it's usually on the same day that your insurance bill, electricity bill, and care payment are due. Or when you get rejected from 10 jobs in the span of 2 hours.
  14. and your friends will be shitty.  They're all going through their own life changes, just like you. So don't be too hard on them. 
  15. you'll score a few interviews. 
  16. but potential employers won't call you back. 
  17. ... until one does. And you won't be able to hide the excitement/relief in your voice when you speak with them. 
  18. you'll get your first paycheck 3 weeks later than you thought. Which was already 5 weeks later than you needed.
  19. and it'll be smaller than what you thought it would be/needed it to be. "It's okay, I didn't need to buy my prescriptions anyway. 
  20. after working a few months, you'll probably start looking for another job. Which is A-OKAY. Always seek out something that's going to grow you, 
  21. and you'll finally understand what it is to have a real hard day's work, with little reward.
  22. most importantly, you'll finally understand what your parents struggled through. Just to make ends meat for their family. 

and this last bit is very true. I've come home, night after night after night, and I've cried/apologized/empathized with my parents. You don't realize how much they do for you, just so that you can do a little for yourself. To all the parents out there: way to go! I don't know how you do it, but way to go.

no matter what, though, chin up my dears. Even though it's hard, try to stay positive and try to stay true. With a load of hard work, sleepless nights, and a wing and a prayer, it will work out. 

keep on keepin on.