Going for the gold

It’s really a gold medal kind of day when you decide at the last minute to run a 10K during what was meant to be a weekend off on the St. Lawrence River and end up being the first female to cross the finish line. (Disclaimer: this was a very small field of runners in a very small town…so I’m not bragging as much as it may seem!)

And I wasn’t the only one who “medaled” last week (apparently the  Summer Olympics has turned medal into a verb). Team Kennedy-Simmons-Schibuk all had noteworthy performances (Jamie was third overall!) and we’ve got the gold to prove it.

Podium perfection!

As if our awards ceremony sweep wasn’t good enough, my sister Liz capped off the day with her engagement! Jamie popped the question on the village green of Thousand Island Park, and next July they’ll be tying the knot  up north (which I am just now realizing might conflict with next year’s 10K race–uh oh!)

Fancy that!

He put a ring on it!

Congrats to the happy couple! Looking forward to many more miles together.

Password Reset

You know you’ve been out of the blogging routine when you can’t remember your own password. Or the URL you need to login, for that matter. Thank goodness I haven’t cleared my web history in ages. Just don’t judge my recent retail therapy binge or Web MD searches, please. (It turns out I’m not dying, after all).

So, that got me thinking. Not only is it time to reset my password, it’s time to kickstart the blog. I have to admit, I am slightly ashamed that the whole premise of my blog (mere-a-thon running), is completely absent from its pages. I’ve now begun training for my second–yes, second–New York City marathon, and have yet to even write about the first.

Without rehashing the 26.2 in 2011, I will say that it was an incredible experience. Though I just missed my goal of running under 3 hours, 30 minutes (and by just missed I mean 8 minutes), I learned a lot about my physical and mental capacities. Sometimes, no matter how hard you trained, how fast your long runs were, and how tough you think you are, the road just gets the best of you. But you’ve still got to get to the finish line. And it will hurt.

Now don’t get me wrong– my race was not that bad, and I’m very proud of my accomplishment. But I’m looking forward to applying the lessons I learned to the next 14 (gasp!) weeks of training in hopes of setting (and achieving) a new goal–which includes blogging more often! Let’s do this.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on me–sweaty, sunburn and sore–after logging some serious miles.

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“If you run, you are a …

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” – John Bingham

Can this apply to bloggers too? It doesn’t matter when you last posted. Or if you achieved your life goal of running a marathon and didn’t write about it. You just blog. 

Strawberries of summer

Even though I graduated from Columbia University Journalism School, doesn’t mean I can’t still hit up the farmer’s market on 116th and Broadway on Thursdays (especially while I’m looking for a job–hire me?!) After a challenging Vinyasa yoga session, I walked north to my old grad school stomping grounds to snag some home-grown goodies.

First on the list: fresh fruit.

Sweet, succulent strawberries!

This $4 pint of fresh strawberries is what I have been waiting for since winter. And yes, they were as sweet, juicy and delicious as they look! It’s so comforting knowing that these berries are so fresh and tasty, a far cry from the pricier pints at supermarkets that often spoil the next day.

Strawberries: Yet another reason to love summer!

Complimentary Earth Day Yoga

In addition to doing good to the Earth on Earth Day, you might as well do good for your body as well. Pure Yoga on the Upper East Side is offering three different complimentary yoga classes on Thursday, April 22nd.

Ivengar at 6:15 p.m.

Forrest at 7:15 p.m.

Vinyasa at 7:45 p.m.

I’ve RSVPed for the Vinyasa and am looking forward to it. I’ve heard great things about Pure, and am excited to try it out without breaking the bank! For more information, click here.

Swim Camp + Vacation = Swimcation!

If you’re like me, you love vacation, but you hate the feeling of guilt about getting out of shape due to too many cocktails, BBQs, snacks and more cocktails.  Sure, it’s vacation and everyone needs to give their body a rest, but is the week you have to sport a bikini the best time to do that?!

If you’re a swimmer (or triathlete in need of some additional stroke work), you’re in luck. My sister, Liz Kennedy just launched Swimcation, a vacation dedicated to swimming, adventure and relaxation. Liz and her college roommate and swimming teammate, Kristina Orsini-Platzer, have worked tirelessly the past five months to create their dream vacation.

A “swimcation” involves a week in a tropical location where swimmers will get trained by veteran coaches, meet new people, and get to experience adventures such as hikes and sailing trips (with a cocktail in hand, of course). If you or anyone you know are interested in swimming and having fun, please check this out and help kick off the inaugural trip.

Find more information here: http://goswimcation.com

WARNING: Whale riding may or may not occur!

Summer 2007: Jim, Mere, Liz and cousin Cara travel the St. Lawrence River via blow-up whales.

No Marathon, No problem?

As luck would have it, I did not receive entry to the 2010 New York City Marathon in the general lottery. I got in to the half-marathon in March, so I guess I can’t complain.

My next question is, do I sign up for a less crowded, out of town marathon or join a fundraising team to guarantee entry to New York?

At the half-marathon expo I learned about NYRR’s Team for Kids which raises money for wellness programs for thousands of children in the metropolitan area. Of course, after spending months on my master’s project, What’s for Lunch, promoting and helping to improve the quality children’s lives through fitness and good food is a cause I care a lot about.

The issue, is that team membership will require me to raise $2,620 dollars, which includes team workouts and several other perks. Between participating in Swim Across America and other benefit races, I have done my share of fundraising. I’m often tapping into the same crowd of family and friends, so if I decide to join Team for Kids, I will need to branch out.

Suggestions for ways to fundraise in different areas or alternative marathons to sign up for?

Blogging. It’s more than just a hobby for some.

While perusing my Twitter feed today, I came across a particularly amusing tweet. And yes, I laughed at loud. It came from “Fake AP Stylebook,” a parody of the AP Stylebook.

While the real style book informers journalists about when numbers should be spelled or or written as numerals, the fake one points out the proper way to cite Lady Gaga in a story and that hip hop music that is no longer popular should just be called “hop.” You get the point.

Here it is: “Lazy” may not be used interchangeably with “unemployed,” though both “blogger” and “journalism major” may.

Sadly enough, I am all three–unemployed, blogger and journalism major. I’m not lazy, though. I run at least six miles a day! Doesn’t that count for something? Can I get paid for it?

I know this is off my standard blog-o-topic, but worth pointing out nonetheless, if for nothing but a little laugh.

And one more thing to muster what dignity I have left–The New York Times noted today, and I quote:

“The lines between “reporter” and “blogger,” “gossip” and “news” have blurred almost beyond distinction. No longer is blogging something that marginalized editorial wannabes do from home, in a bathrobe, because they haven’t found a “real” job. Blogging now is a career path in its own right, offering visibility, influence and an actual paycheck. As more gossip action in a variety of fields moves online, young writers who might have hungrily chased an editorial assistant job at Condé Nast a few years ago now move to New York with the dream of making it as a blogger — either launching their own blog into the big time, à la Perez Hilton, or getting snapped up by a prominent blog network like Gawker Media or MediaBistro.”

I’m no Julia Childs, but blogging keeps me entertained while I earn that journalism degree thing.

Run, Meredith, Run

Between my digital media master’s project due next week, applying for jobs and struggling to keep my seasonal cold at bay, I haven’t had much time to blog. I am, however still keeping up with running. Just a little over a week until the NYC Half Marathon on Sunday, March 21st.

As tiring as it may be to train, running is the one time during the day I have to myself. No computer, no school, no group projects, no CSS coding and no rude subway riders to get in my way. Some people ask how I have the time to fit in long runs before school. My answer: I make time.

Some may call it procrastination. I beg to differ. I see my hour-plus runs as a productive way to stay on track and relieve stress (in addition to keeping me in shape). Sound mind, sound body, just like the Asics brand says.

Plus, since I don’t listen to music, it gives me time to think. I think about everything from what my logo for master’s project should look like to what I need to buy at the grocery store. Many of my story ideas at J-School came from long runs. If only I carried an audio recorder so I don’t forget them when I’m concentrating on charging up the hills in Central Park.

While I enjoy this time to myself, I also miss my teammates from the Hamilton College cross country team, who used to keep me entertained with gossip and good laughs (especially when I spot the Columbia team running together). That being said, I’m looking forward to when Hannah arrives next weekend to run the half marathon with me. We have a lot of catching up to, so it’s a good thing we’ve got 13.1 miles to do it!

Spring is in the air…I hope

Forecast outlook is 50 and sunny in the Big Apple.

Spring-like weather + new Asics 2150 sneakers + Central Park = happy Meredith

I’m ready to break out the shorts! Gotta get in gear for the half marathon in just about two weeks. Hope the weather (and my knee pain) cooperates.

Thanks to the yoga instructor last week, I realized my knee pain is most likely related to a tight IT band. To help relieve some of the tightness, I’ve been using yoga tune up therapy balls Liz got me for my birthday. There is an instructional booklet with examples of poses using the balls and so far they’ve been helpful. Hope they make a difference.