Race photos: a dose of real [passion].

I know my Philly Half race recap logically should come next…it is a work in progress which I will hopefully finish shortly (spoiler: biggg PR, yay)! In the meantime, I really wanted to get down my thoughts about something more general. Words and ideas were flowing like crazy through my mind on my trail run today, and I wanted to get them down. I think I wrote a much better post in my head during the run, but that is typical. I’ll do my best to try to share the revelations I found as eloquently as possible hours later….

After a race, once the sweat stops, you’ve told some people how it went, you’ve found your official race results, you’ve uploaded it from your Garmin, there’s still one thing left to look forward to: the race photos. “Looking forward” isn’t exactly the terminology that is applied before seeing them for most people, more like “anticipating.” In my opinion, however, it’s fun to relive the race one more time, and see it as others might have on the sidelines. It’s also amusing to see exactly how ridiculous you might have looked in that final push to the finish, or the weird things you didn’t know you did on the start line or mid-race.

Race photos aren’t posed. They aren’t always pretty. We don’t always smile or wave, or even know a picture is being taken. Our clothes aren’t always lying the way we thought they were when we started the race, and our hair is never the way it was before it became soaked in sweat. The other night, I stumbled upon a gallery of professional photographs taken at the Perfect 10 I hadn’t known existed. I began looking through them all and it made me excited to see that more moments were captured from that day than I had thought! I shared a few finish photos of my friends with them, thinking they would be just as excited to see them too. Of course, I would not have shown them the photos if I didn’t think they were pretty good. How I define pretty good: looking like you’re finishing strong, not making a ridiculous face (or, making a ridiculous face, if you’re the kind of person who would want to laugh at yourself). The outcome was surprising: one of the friends told me she was horrified by the photo, and went on to comment about the specifics that made her hate it so much. I was really surprised by this, since I didn’t think it was bad in the least, but apologized and tried to convince her she looked fine. Though, I understand how people have their issues with certain things and there’s no convincing that will make a difference. She went so far as to have the photographer take the photo down from the site.*

A newly-found photo from the start of the Perfect 10 Miler!
A newly-found photo from the start of the Perfect 10 Miler!

On my run today, this really got me thinking. Lauren Fleshman wrote a blog post last week that went viral (280+ comments!) called “Keeping it Real.” She addressed the issue of manipulating women’s body images in magazines and the like by putting a different spin on the common response (which is usually embrace your health/those people aren’t real/those people aren’t healthy/love your own body, etc.) and used herself as an example. Lauren recently had a baby, yet was on the runway with Oiselle during Fashion Week mere months later. She got loads of comments about how awesome she looked post-pregnancy. In her post, she talks about how she was flexing the entire time, and included candid photos in which she looks quite the opposite (aka, pretty average). Lauren is a pro runner whom thousands of female runners look up to. Even when your role models are professional runners, not supermodels, it is easy to get discouraged and compare your own body to theirs. Instead of, why doesn’t my face, or chest, or stomach look like that? it’s, if I looked like that, with more muscle here or less muscle or fat or whatever there, could I run faster? A lot of this mind chatter surfaces in runners when they look at race photos. And Oiselle’s Fashion Week photos, for that matter.

I remember reading a Runner’s World article years ago by Kristen Armstrong. She said that we are most beautiful when we’re doing what we love. As it applies to running photos, it isn’t exactly true. I can’t say I look better in a race photo taken at the finish line than I do when I’m posing, smiling, wearing makeup and my hair down. But it’s a different kind of beautiful, and it’s the one that makes the difference in the world. Think about it: often, running is a time when you are free from all the emphasis people put on appearance. There isn’t a question about how to wear your hair besides making sure it is out of your face. There isn’t a question about the clothes you are wearing as long as you’re comfortable moving and sweating in them. There isn’t a need to put on makeup if it’s not already on, because you’ll be moving past people you might see too quickly for them to notice much of your face. If you’re not feeling great that day – sluggish, bloated, swollen, whatever – everyone has their moments, even the best of the best – it doesn’t matter, you’re going for the run because you want to, and you know you’ll feel better as you go. There are still plenty of people sitting in traffic, or just generally noticing you run by, who are jealous of you and the fact that you are running in that moment.

Race photos aren’t always “good.”

You’ll see ripples in your quads.

You’ll see stretch marks on your skin you didn’t even know existed.

You’ll see wrinkles on your face.

You’ll see squinting eyes.

Some things will look bigger than you thought. Some will look smaller than you thought. Some will look stranger than you thought.

Folks, this is the human body in motion. These things mean you are moving. To capture a body in motion for a fraction of a second is to freeze the tiny, mini-motions that make up the act that is running. Race photos, especially those taken in the final stretch when you don’t see a photographer at all, are some of the most uniquely “beautiful” images possible: they capture the fierce passion, drive and determination that is central to what it means to identify as a runner. Don’t worry about if “that’s what you really look like.” Of course you don’t have to think that; we don’t classify what we look like as that split second during a period of extreme exertion. But understand that each time you share your race photos with others, post them for others to see, buy prints, include them in your blog, even just look at them and not say anything bad about yourself in your head, you are contributing a little dose of real to a world contaminated with fake. I’m not just referring to airbrushing, photo-shopping, and unrealistic body images, but also to the times we hide our passion, what makes us truly happy. It doesn’t matter if you run fast or run slow. It doesn’t matter what your race photo looks like. It is a beautiful photo because it is a snapshot of you, defying the norm: being yourself and loving it, regardless of what it looks like.

A shameless display of some of my more intense race finish photos.

*Note: This runner whom I speak of (who may even be reading…) is entitled to her own opinion about her race photos and has every right to ask for their removal. I think no differently of her as a result. The discussion merely gave me the idea to write this post addressing the issue in general.


refocusing: t-3 until the Philadelphia Half Marathon

My goal race of the season is just three days away: the Philadelphia Half Marathon on Sunday, November 17. After the Perfect 10, I stated my goals for this race, and I admitted they were loftier, relatively, than goals I’ve made for other races this year. This was because I managed to surpass previous race goals significantly, so I figured why not fear my goal a little bit more? The goals were, simply put: run under 1:30:00, and do so with a negative split. That puts me at an average of under 6:52/mile, which after the Perfect 10, I thought was more doable than I had previously realized. I still think it’s doable. I haven’t missed a long run, workout, or other planned distance run since then. I’ve had some good workouts and ran a 10k PR less than a week later.

But I’m getting tired. 

Obviously, it’s normal to feel like this – not caring as much if I hit fast paces at the end of long runs, wanting to sleep more, wanting to avoid hills (though you wouldn’t think so by the routes I’ve been choosing…) – nearing the end of a training cycle. The thing is, I hardly know what it feels like to be at this point in training. I’ve only ever made it through one other “season,” and that was the one that concluded with the New Jersey Marathon…which I didn’t commit to in earnest until nearly a month before.

I registered for the Philly Half on June 30, the day before the last price increase. I never sign up for races so early, but I did it because…I don’t know. I did it because Steve was doing it. We registered at the same time, and confirmed this via text immediately. Throughout the fall (as you may recall I couldn’t even run when I signed up…), that had been the end goal: run sub-90 together at the Philly Half. I’ve been training and running more races than usual, but they helped me believe that I could gauge my fitness, make as plan, and execute that plan on race day, and that Philly would prove no different. Even workouts and long runs became victorious milestones, and I found myself in a place, mentally and physically, I had never been before. Running fast was fun, and it was happening.

In the past two or so weeks, that feeling has somewhat subsided. I don’t have that awesome feeling at the end of runs that make me toss goals around like, say, how running 3:17 in my next marathon sounds totally doable right now. Like how I never actually get tired when I run and negative split races, so the possibilities are endless. That was how I felt from late September to mid-October. Now, not so much. Nothing hurts. I haven’t skipped anything, like I said. So I can’t possibly be in worse shape. I tried to target what it was that made me feel not as motivated or confident, so I could address it before race day. I came up with a few theories. First was that I had simply lost focus. The Perfect 10 and the 10k were awesome, then there was a period of no racing, Halloween parties and such, the NYC expo which drained me. Among other things. Second was that Steve was gone, and could no longer motivate me every day, which was exactly what he had been doing. I found it hard to believe that one person could have such an effect on my motivation though, being someone who is usually very self-motivated.

Steve. So, I should write a brief explanation. I shall stick to the parts relevant to running and this post, since doing otherwise would be far beyond the realm of my intentions for this blog. This is Steve:

The only pictures of him on this blog are of him dressed as Ironman or on some kind of boat, but I suppose there are worse potential blog identities. Our first run together was the run I wasn’t able to finish: the sudden demise of my IT band on May 16th. On May 17th, my car got totaled, so we joked that he was definitely my bad luck charm. But, once I started running again and after a couple crazy months of being kind of all over the place, geographically and otherwise, we found ourselves actually being able to run together, for real this time. I don’t know exactly why, maybe there are several reasons behind it, but Steve made me see running through a new light this fall. Which, I might add, is really difficult to do to someone who is surrounded by running-related things all day. Maybe it was a combination of his confidence in me and in himself, no-nonsense attitude, and big dreams that made everything just make so much sense to me. It was like, this was the outlook I wanted to have toward running all along, but I was always pressured into believing I needed to be more careful, or else. That I shouldn’t dream too big and say those dreams out loud. Now, here was someone who I could say them to, and they wouldn’t be dismissed or greeted with doubt. Most of all, they would become challenges that weren’t overpowering or stressful, but FUN.The journey would be fun, the reward would be more fun. And the reflection would just cause hunger for more. And I loved it.

Did I mention he's the competitive type?
Did I mention he’s the competitive type?

For reasons beyond his control, he had to temporarily relocate to Oklahoma, as of the week following the Perfect 10. I still have people to run with, sort of. I have people to discuss my race goals with, and talk about my workouts and ask for advice. But it’s not the same, for whatever reason. So, I thought maybe that was why my head doesn’t feel 100% in the game anymore. I was so excited  for the Perfect 10, and distracted from any fears. I don’t doubt that Steve was most of the reason why. I may have signed him up to track me Sunday against his will…accountability is the word of the day.

The third reason I might be feeling a little out of it – and by the way, these are not excuses! In fact, I’m so mad that I’m feeling like this because it’s totally unacceptable; I’m just looking for attitude adjustment opportunities by searching for these reasons – is the end of Daylight Savings. The feeling hit me hard at the exact same time, and I thought it was just the stress of the expo. It makes so much sense though. I know I am very affected chemically by loss of daylight hours and seasonal affective disorder. I should have picked a race that was right before this weekend instead…because this year it might be worse than previous years. If there is a chemical change in the body, of course it’s going to affect things – sleep, which in turn affects mood, motivation, and just the general feeling I have on runs. Sunday morning I felt like stopping at a half mile and laughing at myself, that’s how strange my legs felt, and how awoken-from-deep-sleep my head felt. I should hibernate. I really should. This has led to a “get this over with” attitude towards Sunday, which is not what I want. 

So what am I going to do?

Well, I did one of my favorite runs today, as featured in this post about a “perfect run”: I thought it would be good to go reenact it, or something. I probably should have found a way to cut it two miles short, since I was concerned I overtrained. Oh yeah, that was a fourth theory. When you’re screaming “taper please!” a week from the race, and it’s a half marathon not a marathon, that might be bad? It might be worse when you don’t feel too much better three days out, but I’ll do what I can. It wasn’t so bad. It was sunny…

Other things I think I ‘m going to do include:

  • Make a new mix CD, and include new songs worthy of repeating over and over again so that I can reach into my brain for it during the race if need be. Everything falling into that category now for me is too slow….
  • Read all my blog entries from this fall when I felt awesome.
  • Try my best to REST.
  • Finally figure out what shirt I’m wearing so I can visualize myself racing.
  • Wear compression socks. Maybe even ice.
  • Look at my training log from this fall.
  • Plan strategies according to the  course map.
  • Maybe make Steve give me a pep talk?

And of course, do anything else I can to GET PUMPED because now it’s MY TURN!

corralsMy bib number is 20184 if you are interested in tracking…though you don’t need to know the number to track I think? I’ve never had such a large number or ran in such a big race!

waiting my turn (because I want to)

New York City Marathon Weekend

Last weekend, I went to New York City to work the marathon expo, as I did last year. I was not particularly excited this time around, mostly because it took a lot of planning just to get there, and I was in the peak of training and I knew it would take at least a few days to recover from the physical and mental exhaustion of the event. Still, I remained positive as I put together this whole plan of packing, dropping everything off at work, running to work, staying at a friend’s house, storing extra stuff at work, and walking to the connecting train early Friday morning to take it to the main NJ Transit station, which would in turn take me to NYC. Phew. To make matters worse, it was raining and ridiculously windy, and an entire water bottle leaked in my bag before I set foot on the first train. By the time I got to the Javits Center with all my stuff for the weekend, I already wanted a shower. Heck, I wanted a shower before sunrise. A twelve hour day of working on my feet, bright lights, and talking was ahead of me though. Long story short: I will never be a candidate to commute to another city for work. I need hours to get myself together after a single trip, it seems…that’s not good.

A scene from the maze you now have to navigate through construction to get to the Dinky station in Princeton. Time: 7:05 AM (after I missed the first train and was brave enough to try finding my way to Wawa while waiting for the second...).
A scene from the maze you now have to navigate through construction to get to the Dinky station in Princeton. Time: 7:05 AM (after I missed the first train and was brave enough to try finding my way to Wawa while waiting for the second…).

Thus, my own mini-marathon began. On Friday, day two of the expo and day one for me, I was assigned to work with CEP, but we had so many staff there that we were actually blocking the product, so I moved over to Superfeet, where I got to see two of my favorite reps, Anna and Rich (they were at the RW expo too)! I also tried beef jerky for the FIRST TIME, which was mind-blowing. Perhaps I shouldn’t have tried expensive, gourmet, flavored beef jerky first…I’m probably going to expect all future beef jerky experiences to be just as good. It was KRAVE Jerky…I can’t even look at the pictures, I just can’t…linking it and exiting that window right now.

Seriously though…

(Enough said.)
(Enough said.)

Clearly, the beef jerky was a memorable event at this year’s expo for me. Moving on. I eventually found myself needed at the Brooks booth (yessss), where I was stationed in the apparel section and then on one of the registers for the remainder of the expo that day. A strange moment happened when I saw a man holding two basketballs and commented, “Basketballs? That’s the wrong sport!” He replied with, “Or the right one! You don’t know who I am?” Note: when someone says “you don’t know who I am?” take that as a

I ended up getting a picture with Doctor Dribble....
I ended up getting a picture with Doctor Dribble….

warning that you are a.) justified in not knowing who he/she is, and b.) you are about to get a lengthy explanation of who he/she is. Turns out he was “Doctor Dribble,” and dribbles two basketballs while running marathons to raise money for charity. Apparently he holds a Guinness World Record for dribbling during a marathon.

Eight o’clock finally came. After closing up the registers, warding off rumors that the expo was until nine, and convincing fellow female coworkers that we should request a departure for the hotel, I escaped to fresh air for the first time since before 9 AM. Expos give you a warped sense of things…NYC air becomes fresh air, etc.

Later that night, everyone who was anyone in the running industry found themselves on the lower level of Rosie O’Grady’s, like every year on NYCM weekend. I got to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in awhile as well as meet new people I had heard of but never met before. I saw Megan and Hannah, met an editor at Running Times, met some cool people from our corporate office, had a business-related chat with the founder of a successful chain of running specialty stores, possibly met Desi, and definitely lost my voice. It was an overwhelming runner’s paradise, complete with alcohol. I only wish it wasn’t so late and everyone could have stayed longer…but unfortunately everyone still had at least one work day ahead of them.

Rosie's is for runners.
Riley, Jacqui, Chris, me, Pat…. Rosie’s is for runners.

Saturday…I somehow held on surprisingly well after little sleep and general exhaustion. I worked at the Garmin booth all day, which was more exciting than I anticipated. I got to play around with the brand-new Forerunner 220 and 620! And let me tell you…they are awesome. You know when you see an old gadget and think of how it looks ancient compared to whatever is new? These watches made my 210 look old. No lie. I don’t wish I waited for the 220, since I got my watch in April and it has helped my training tremendously since then. However, if there was some sort of option to trade, I would do it in a second. The most notable improvements, in my opinion, are: 1.) weight and size: the 220 is as

Garmin Forerunner 620 and 220.
Garmin Forerunner 620 and 220.

sleek and light as an everyday watch, 2.) wireless uploading, and 3.) the buttons are much easier to press. The third reason may sound strange, but sometimes I have issues with the buttons on my 210…they aren’t the easiest things to find or press hard enough, especially while you’re running and wearing gloves, or during a hard speed workout when you really don’t want to expend your energy on pushing a darn button. Kudos, Garmin. Both models have increased $50, but for the improvements, it’s probably worth it. The black and blue 620 was so popular at the expo, we sold out of it early on Saturday.

I’m not going to go into detail about the extra time we spent after the expo technically closed at 5:00 PM on Saturday. We were there until after 9:00 PM, with the union workers, moving and carrying and stacking heavy boxes and not really knowing what was going on or how late we would be needed. I debated trying to get another night in the city out of my trip, but after going to one bar with a coworker for a quick drink while carrying two big bags, I decided to catch the next train back to Princeton from Penn Station. I ended up boarding one with three minutes to spare, not even realizing a train was leaving at that time, and then catching a free University bus back to town after that. I met up with some friends as soon as I was back, and they questioned my sanity for leaving New York after ten on a Saturday night. But you know what? I was so relieved. I felt so at home and so relaxed. I no longer was holding heavy bags, no longer felt rushed (I even wished I’d skipped the little bar and ran right to the train from Javits, honestly). I was happily exhausted and I couldn’t wait to go to sleep and then return to normal life. I will write more about this later, because this was a weekend that made me realize how much I love Princeton.

Princeton Half Marathon Morning

On Sunday, I awoke to the sound of cheering outside. I had thought about waking up early enough to catch the start of the inaugural half marathon, then go for my long run, and then go to work. Plan B was to wake up and start my long run way before the start, so I would arrive at the finish in time to see the fastest runners come through, then go to work. I decided on Plan C: do whatever the heck I felt like doing, and maybe the timing would match up and I would see part of the race. I ended up beginning my run at 9:00 AM, and the start had been at 7:30 AM, so I did see some people I knew heading down the final stretch to the finish. The first few miles of my run (my plan was 13 miles) was along the course; I ran on the other side of the road in the opposite direction. I saw plenty of people I knew, friends and customers alike, and cheered them on as I ran. It was a nice, distracting start to the run. I split from the course eventually, and entered a more quiet zone. I had expected this run to be quite the death march after the crazy weekend on my feet with very little sleep (and Halloween week before…just saying). It wasn’t so bad, though. I didn’t go out far enough for thirteen, and ended up doing some circling around downtown when I got back. In hindsight, I should have done an actual extra loop somewhere, but I didn’t…oops:

loops113A very interesting phenomenon occurred, during the entire run when there were people around, but particularly in the last couple miles when I was doing all this adding-on-distance nonsense to make 13 miles. People on the sidewalks seemed to think that if I was running, I should be running the half marathon. At least, that was the vibe I got from all the comments: “You’re running the wrong way!” “Why are you still running?” “Did you get a late start?” “You should’ve started earlier and done the half marathon” “Why aren’t you in this?” “Doing your own half marathon?” And the comments behind my back: “Why is she running now?” “Why didn’t she just run the race?” “Why is she running over here?” PEOPLE, CALM YOURSELVES. ALSO, YOU’RE NOT FUNNY. Just because I am running, and there is/was a half marathon within a few blocks of where I am right now, does not mean I cannot run through this town. I wasn’t really angry or frustrated by the comments, I was more amused by the number of people who just didn’t get it. Call me a running snob, I don’t care, I’ve probably earned it long ago and that’s cool with me if I’m speaking truths, but:

Running is not racing. I am training for the Philadelphia Half Marathon. I raced a ten miler and a 10k a few weeks ago and I am allotting the three Sundays in between those races and that race for quality long runs. I just worked the New York City Marathon expo and got back to NJ less than twelve hours ago; I spent twenty-four hours on my feet this weekend, with poor sleep and poor nutrition to boot. I am feeling run down from all of this, and I need to run thirteen miles easy today. Running thirteen miles at whatever pace I feel like running is what my body can handle. Racing a half marathon after all that, and two weeks out from my goal race? No. Why would I ever do that? If I ran the Princeton Half Marathon, with a bib number, I would race it. I would probably feel horrendous, yet still make myself run pretty fast, and then get sick, and sabotage my goal race. I might injure my calves, which were noticeably cramping up after not having much time to hydrate during the weekend.

To summarize: yes, I live in Princeton. Yes, I work at a running store in Princeton. Yes, I had thirteen miles to run on the same morning. Yes, I chose not to run the Princeton Half a long time ago because I knew my schedule and I knew that it didn’t have a good place in it, for smart reasons. I am happy with my decision. Some runners can run races, and work them into their schedules as long runs. I can’t. That’s just the runner I am, and honestly, I don’t have a desire to change that. Running may be racing to some people, and I respect those runners’ goals and perspectives. But, I am not one of those runners, and I can only hope my goals and perspectives can be respected too.

Anyway, I ended up running a semi-hilly 13.0 miler at 7:51 pace (I ranged from 7:20 to 8:20…), feeling much better when I finished than when I started. The marathon of a weekend continued, as I worked all day and tracked lots of people via the awesome NYCM tracking app on my phone and watched live coverage at the finish on our store iPad (yay for working technology!). The app allowed me to track up to ten runners…as each one finished, I added another – there were so many people I wanted to track! Congrats to everyone who ran (and a shout-out to fellow bloggers I follow, Susan and Hollie, my coworker Becca, and a member of my running group, Michelle, who finally got her sub-4)!

That weekend was very much about waiting my turn to race. I was absolutely fine with it.

Next up, the last couple weeks of training and Philadelphia Half Marathon goals, all that required stuff….

Halloween, work edition

If I told you my Halloween fun (and stress?) stopped when I put my sparkly green Tinkerbell shoes away in the closet (to be worn again…when? No clue), I would be lying. When I realized I had very limited time left to snatch the opportunity to decorate the window at the store, I spent all day on Tuesday getting supplies, and all night after the track workout putting my plan into action. Each year I make a store pumpkin, and there was no way I was skipping it this year. Here’s an evolution of the pumpkins…I’m on year three:



And a drumroll please for this year…

I should tell you that I added some glow-in-the-dark paint, and glitter, to this year’s pumpkin! So, what it lacks in creative paint design, it makes up for in luminescence. Clearly, I didn’t stop at the pumpkin this year. I got totally tangled up in fake spiderwebs each time I turned on the pumpkin lights (i.e., twice a day), and when I realized I hadn’t changed the mannequin’s top yet, but this window display was worth it. The result:

Note: I wanted to put a black sheet on the ground, but to be honest, it would have put me over my budget.

The loose straw will inevitably cause my coworkers to give me some grief, but I assured them I would clean it up thoroughly. They responded with comments that reassured me the Styrofoam snow (from the Valentine’s Day window) was still on the top of the Meghan’s Messiest Projects list. In the clear. I think the green glitter (St. Patrick’s Day window 2012) is second, because there was some deja-vu-inspired outcries when my Tinkerbell shoes and sparkly shirt made their way into the store last week….

I contemplated dressing as some sort of inanimate object we sell for Halloween at work Thursday, but the thought of constructing something out of cardboard that would resemble the Stick or a foam roller made my head hurt after all the other efforts I had already put into this holiday. So, I decided that an inspiring female runner would be my costume. I actually started off in normal clothes, and had just thrown some things into my bag; not feeling like doing it after all after putting final touches on another costume and packing for New York the night before. Then I got excited about it, and a Grete Waitz costume was fabricated (appropriate for pre-New York City Marathon weekend):

Gosh, I love dressing up. So does the local high school cross country team, who ended up running past the store during their practice! One of the mothers gave us a heads up, so we had plenty of warning time to go outside and take a lot of pictures. I sent them in to a local newspaper the next morning on the train to NYC, but I’m not sure anything ever became of that…perhaps Halloween was already old news (never!). Anyway, they were pretty sweet.

phsxcWe had some trick-or-treaters stop by later in the evening, which was fun also. THge clock struck closing time and after taking out the trash still dressed as Grete (I’m glad it was 65 degrees and humid that day!), I transformed into a flapper/Great Gatsby-themed character via costume number three! I am a big fan of the book and movie…and the movie’s soundtrack! I went to see it before the official opening day this May, and my friend and I dressed as flappers. That was a subpar effort, however. Halloween night I tried to do a better job, but didn’t go all-out and make a dress with beads and such, as I thought I should do back in the spring (enough stress is enough…I’ve never had three costumes before!). Here was the movie outfit (May 9th):

I learned that day that my hair is not compatible with the traditional flapper-inspired headband across the forehead. It just doesn’t stay put. So, I bypassed that entire idea and embellished a traditional headband of my own with gems, feathers, and pearls. I wore heels, tights, a dress I already had, and a couple different necklaces attached together.

Getting ready at work as usual....
Getting ready at work as usual….

…and part of a mandatory photoshoot before these candle pumpkin bags are thrown out:

With “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” stuck in my head, I attended a party at a local bar, at which my friend won a $100 cash prize for best costume! Afterward, I watched Scream for the first time (CHECK, for all those who have as list going of the movies they cannot believe I haven’t seen), which was superb. Not even kidding. Just when I thought Halloween was over, it got better. Cheers to that!

A lot of people ran in Halloween-themed races…I have yet to run in a costume (the sparkle skirt doesn’t count); if you have, tell me what it was like! I hope you had a great Halloween!

Next up: My NYC Marathon expo experience, the basics from a work perspective…and probably all the in between the lines, cold hard truth stuff surrounding it which is bound to come out sometime.