Monday, June 24, 2013

The Perfect Beach Day, B.A.A. 10K and LL Cool J

So, I "quietly" turned 37 years old a couple of weekends ago.

I say "quietly" because it wasn't the typical party that it tends to be due to many friends and family being out of town that weekend.  My boyfriend and I went to the Red Sox game, met up with a few friends, watched the Sox win and had an all-around low-key, chill day.

Great night of baseball at Fenway Park

My BFF and I share the same birthday so, of course, we always celebrate together.  It's been one of my favorite traditions since our college days.  However, she had to attend another event on the actual date this year (the horror! haha.), so we celebrated the day before with lunch, a relaxing trip to the spa for massages and dinner with our guys.

Me and my Birthday Twin :)
I guess I could also say "quietly" because I wasn't exactly shouting to the world that I am officially in my late-30's now, lol.

Although I LOVE celebrating my birthday, I used to get hung up on turning one year older... especially after graduating college.  I would have to start prepping myself a month or two in advance to get used to the idea of being whatever age I was turning, even in my early 20's.  Yes, I know... crazy.

The Birthday Twins (plus our good friend, Julie) back in the day (2002, I think?). 

This may be because I've never really felt my numerical age. Aaliyah had it right when she said "age ain't nothing but a number".  Sure, getting older is inevitable and I'm in a very different place in my life now than I was in my early 20's (thank god)... but I truly believe that age has more to do with the mindset you're in.  I'm also finding that the older I get, the more I want to live my life instead of watch it float by.

To me, "living my life" means:
  • ensuring I do things that keep me active and healthy so that I CAN have a long life
  • setting goals for myself so that I'm continuously trying new things
  • making time to get together with my favorite people
  • summoning up the courage to step outside my comfort zone regularly in order to grow as a person
  • focusing on the present moment instead of living in the past or for the future.

And just like that, The Donald sums up everything I've learned in my 37 years on earth so far...

That last bullet point has been a work-in-progress for me for a couple reasons...
  1. I'm a list-maker.  
    • I loooove making lists for everything from grocery shopping to my weekend plans to my 5-year plans.  That's not to say I always follow my lists because, ironically, I love spontaneity too. However, there's a fine line between planning for the future based on what's going on in your present life and completely living for the future.  If you are always planning, planning, planning then you're never actually taking any action.  I recently realized that I fell into this category.
  2. Learning from the past does not mean reliving the past.
    • I've come a long way, baby... but I still sometimes get stuck in this vortex of questioning if I've taken the right steps in my career path or made the right decisions in other aspects of life, etc, etc.  Tough to plan for the future if you're always thinking about the past.
With each passing birthday, I get a clearer sense of who I am and what I want.  Believe me when I say that being in your 30's is SO much better than your 20's... and this is coming from someone who had a lot of fun in her 20's :)  Let's just say, I will never have regrets of *not* going out on weekends more often haha.

Of course, I'm still planning for the future but I'm more cognizant of having fun in the present while doing so (while learning to focus less on what happened in the past).

This past weekend was a prime example of balancing out my past, present and future.  

I attended the Kings of the Mic Tour with LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Ice Cube and De La Soul this past Wednesday with one of my oldest friends (since sophomore year of high school).

 Music has this incredible ability to transport you to a certain time in your life and make you forget anything you are currently worried about.  For a few hours, I was back in high school with one of my best friends and dancing like no one was watching.  We ran into friends of mine that I used to work with and proceeded to "upgrade" ourselves into their row... only 3 rows back from the stage!  To say we had a great time is an understatement.  Oh, and LL Cool J made eye contact with me.

Pretty sure LL is singing to me here...

After a crazy busy spring season at work, I finally have a bit of downtime... I had this past Friday off from work and went to my favorite beach on Massachusetts' south shore. I will go to the beach by myself all day everyday if given the chance... I find it so relaxing and peaceful.  

My ass was definitely not in the water (too cold) but toes were in the sand...

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to one of my favorite Cape Cod beaches, Nauset Light, and literally spent the entire day there.  We walked to the far end and almost had the place to ourselves.  

Nauset Lighthouse

Ahhh... work hard relax harder
We watched the surfers, indulged in a few Woodchuck Summer ciders, read, napped, ate... it was the perfect day.  I actually couldn't stop saying "This is the perfect beach day.. this is amazing!"  I was totally and completely in the present moment each day, just appreciating where I was.  I hadn't allowed myself to slow down from the craziness of life in a while so this was very much needed.  It was the perfect beach day... it was amazing :)
I wish I owned a little cottage overlooking the ocean... someday :)

I ran the BAA 10K race yesterday even though I've only run *maybe* three times in the last month, totaling less than 10 miles.  So far, I'm staying true to my racing season of 2012 in which I trained for approximately ZERO of all the road races that I entered and ran.  But I digress.

Having run the BAA 5K the day before the Boston Marathon (finishing at the same finish line where one of the bombs went off), as well as being a former Boston Marathon finisher, running this particular race held great significance for me.  This is the 2nd race in the BAA Medley (5K, 10K and half-marathon).

Why is this my "Future" example?  Well, I'm tired of just showing up at races when I know I'm capable of much more than the effort I'm able to give.  Don't get me wrong, I put it all out there in the race I'm running... but you can only run so well on zero to minimal training.  I do other cross-training for cardio, primarily stadium stairs, but if I want to get better at running then I need to RUN.  I'm proud of the race I ran today but will be putting together a speed training plan for my next 10K in October.

My friend Keri and I post-race with our new friend, Clarence :)

 As proud as I am of today's finish, I'm even prouder to be a Bostonian.  Everyone was racing in their Boston Strong colors of blue and yellow and it was tough not to get emotional during the singing of the National Anthem (which all of the runners joined in on).  I love my city.

Throughout the race, there were always others runners cheering everyone on and I heard "Go Maureen!!" multiple times from those watching along the route (my name was on my bib number).  

Whenever I started feeling tired or lacking motivation on the course, I reminded myself of why I was running... my primary "mantra" - and also what will continue to push me along in each future training run that I do - was what my shirt below says in the picture below, plain and simple.. "I run for Boston".

We Run for Boston

My birthday has essentially become what New Year's is for others... I'm excited for what lies ahead and I'm making new "birthday resolutions" for myself.    I'm not even that phased to be a year older anymore because I'm only as old as I let myself feel. Granted, I'm not going to start introducing myself with, "Hi! I'm Moe and I'm 37!!"... maybe I'll save that for when I'm 50 ;)

Sally O'Mally wants you to know that she's 50... 50 years old.

Do you make "birthday resolutions" too?  What are you most excited for this year??

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