Thursday, November 27, 2014

Take Time T-Day

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

In the spirit of the holidays, I'm participating in Katie's Take Time Tuesday link-up. (I wrote this post yesterday, so I'm obviously a little bit late to the "Tuesday" part. But what better day to share in gratefulness than on Thanksgiving Day?!?)

Here's what I'm grateful for this week:

Turkey Trots! 
This morning I ran my third consecutive Turkey Trot in Pittsburgh. These have quickly become a wonderful annual tradition. I love the energy, the festiveness, the relaxed vibe, and the togetherness of runners, family, and friends at these events. Plus, the running gives me a terrific boost for the rest of the day.

This is a picture from my first Turkey Trot in 2012.
(Throwback Thursday for the win!)
My workplace
As I've mentioned before, I've had a lot of ups and downs throughout my career. I'm at my fifth employer since graduating college. It sounds like a lot, even to me. But right now I am the happiest I've ever been at work. My colleagues are intelligent, organized, and professional. My company has so many resources and opportunities, and focuses so much on the health and development of its employees. We've got an incredible workout center right on site, with amazing staff and a bevvy of fitness classes. My commute to the office is a 10-minute walk.

I've been looking a long time for a company that I could stay with through the remainder of my career. I believe I have finally found it. And I couldn't be more thrilled.

It snowed in Pittsburgh yesterday, making for a beautiful, pristine backdrop. I love those days where I can stay indoors and enjoy the peacefulness of the winter season.

As much as I like my workplace, I also enjoy taking time off from work! I am incredibly thankful for having a few days of vacation this week to relax and take some nice deep breaths.

Feeling good
I currently have the strongest awareness I've ever had of my personal fitness needs and goals. This is thanks to connecting with great health professionals and my fellow friends and bloggers, plus some helpful personal experience. I am grateful for being armed with plenty of great resources and support systems to stay healthy and focused, especially during the holiday season.

And as always...
I am eternally grateful for my ever-amazing friends and to my family. Special mention to Adam and all of my parents. You all inspire me, strengthen me, make me laugh, support me through the good times and the bad, teach me about life and the human spirit, challenge me to be a better person, and lead me by example. I wouldn't be who I am today without all of you. Thank you to all of you for always being there for me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Four Fun Facts

Lauren tagged me in a "four things" posting. I'm really enjoying reading everyone's responses to these questions. Here are my own!

Four names that people call me other than my real name:
  1. Em or "M"
  2. Emmers (hence my blog URL)
  3. E-dog (hi Imran!)
  4. Emzo. The story behind this is that Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk frequently says, "It's never a bad play to get the puck to the net." I always quote this when I think that hockey players aren't shooting enough (which is often). Olczyk's nickname is Edzo so Adam started calling me Emzo.
Apparently there is also a gift shop in the the UK by the same name.
(Behold, the power of Google!)

Four jobs I've had:
  1. Cashier
  2. Personnel clerk
  3. New product development portfolio manager
  4. Financial analyst
Four movies I've watched more than once:
  1. The Bourne series
  2. My Sassy Girl (the Korean version, not the American remake)
  3. Last Holiday
  4. Forrest Gump
Maybe when I regain the motivation to run, I can try out the Forrest Gump workout.

Four books I'd recommend:
Four places I've lived:
  1. Lindenhurst, IL
  2. Champaign, IL
  3. Urbana, IL
  4. Chicago, IL
Notice a theme here?

Incidentally, my junior high science teacher Mr. Brown used to say, "If you want to live someplace with BORING weather, go to Florida or California. If you want to live someplace with INTERESTING weather, live in Illinois!"

As a child I would have been reluctant to admit that Mr. Brown was right, but he is.

Four places I've visited:
  1. Mendoza, Argentina
  2. Hobart, Australia
  3. Tachileik, Myanmar
  4. Talinn, Estonia
Four places I'd rather be right now:
  1. Anywhere in Polynesia
  2. Las Vegas
  3. A bakery
  4. At the Shedd Aquarium watching this little critter:

Four of my favorite foods:
  1. Sushi
  2. Chocolate
  3. Pizza
  4. Macaroni and cheese
How about mac & cheese pizza for a carb-loading option!?!?
Chocolate pizza would also be good...

Four things I don't eat:
  1. Foie gras
  2. Raw oysters
  3. Brussel sprouts
  4. Hot dogs
Four TV shows that I watch:
  1. The Americans
  2. Say Yes To The Dress (I know, I know, this is a guilty pleasure)
  3. Barefoot Contessa
  4. Law and Order (in syndication; I like the original series more than SVU or Criminal Intent)
My favorite detective duo during the show's run.

Four things I'm looking forward to:
  1. Testing out some new holiday recipes
  2. Planning my next vacation
  3. Someday breaking my 5K PR
  4. Springtime (already!)
Four things I'm always saying:
  1. Yay!
  2. I'm hungry
  3. Craziness!
  4. What are your thoughts?
Four people I tag to answer these questions:

You! You! You! You!

Monday, November 24, 2014


Motivation has been tough to come by for me as of late. It wasn't so long ago that I would hear about all of these races and I had to fight myself from signing up for every single one of them. I used to get ridiculously excited about adding to my medal collection. I had all kinds of ambitious running goals. It was bad for me to surf any online running stores because I would get so tempted to buy more shoes or gear.

These days, I am the definition of blase when it comes to setting and working towards new running goals.

I don't get the same feeling of achievement after doing any training runs - especially the longer ones. I am nonreactional whenever I hear about new races (I've signed up for exactly zero races in 2015). I have one more race this year, a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. However, I really just want to finish it so I can take a break from what little running I've been doing.

I do still enjoy shopping for running gear. But these days it's more to indulge myself in the eye-popping fashions versus actually wanting to put the gear to good use. Form over substance all the way!!!

The same lack of running drive has permeated my blogging mojo. I have quite a backlog of things that I should write about, most notably my second runnings of both the Carrera de los Muertos and the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. However, I very nearly DNS'd the Carrera and ended up running it on an grudgingly obligatory basis. Then, the Disney Wine and Dine got zinged by mercilessly torrential rainstorms. In short, I didn't have the best experience at either race. Therefore, I haven't been overly excited to put together recaps.

Adding to the cumbersomeness is that I've been dealing with increasing achiness in my right knee. Over the past few years, my left knee was always the one that stubbornly caused me grief. Two rounds of physical therapy plus lots of stretching and strength work (on both knees) finally got things under control. But now that my right knee is starting to act up, it can only mean that I now need to seek new and different rehabilitative treatment. All I can think is, "Here I go again..."

Cue the great 80s namesake song:

All in all, I'm not sure what my future holds with running. I know there are a zillion ways to get myself back in the running saddle, but none of them sound very appealing right now. Maybe I just need a good solid break and/or off-season from running. Or maybe I'm ready to move in a different direction altogether with health and fitness? Who knows.

This is quite the chipper post, isn't it?

To that end, let's talk about some positive things:
  • First off, I am in Pittsburgh right now and looking forward to a fun week of Thanksgiving festivities here.
  • As part of my Fitness Bingo challenge, I recently tried a "spin and sculpt" class which was crazy intense. I can't believe some folks take spin classes on a regular basis! (I shared these exact thoughts with the instructor after class, and she told me that I'd be one of those folks in no time. I appreciate her confidence in me!)
  • I've gone through a lot of career challenges in my lifetime, but my current employer is by far the best place I've ever worked. I realize it more and more as time passes by.

On another more positive note, I do want to get back on track with blogging more regularly. Yesterday Lauren tagged me in a fun post, which finally inspired me to get off of my keister today. Katie has brought back her Take Time Tuesday series focusing on gratitude. Also, I've seen several instances where folks gave out the "keys to their blog" (credit to Meghan for this term), which I've wanted to emulate.

With that in mind, please share with me any and all questions, topics, areas, etc., that you'd enjoy hearing about from me. I want this to be an ongoing thing, too, and not just today's question of the day. This will also help jumpstart me when I'm at a loss for topics. The floor is and will always be open!