Meet My Fellow Official Pittsburgh Marathon Bloggers!

Pittsburgh Marathon Blogger

Hey folks! As I just said on the Twitter yesterday:

Pittsburgh Marathon Tweet _ Cherie Runs This

I thought I had all kinds of time to prepare for this race. And then it flewbylikethisfast. I looked at the calendar and then it was two weeks away. Actually, now that it’s Monday, it’s LESS than two weeks away. Sh*t did get real, y’all yinz. (And yes, I am from this great city originally, but after spending the last 10 years in North Carolina, sometimes the “y’alls” sneak out of my mouth. I’ll get it right. YINZ.) While, I’m discussing the vernacular, yinz who are not from here, better brush up on your Pittsburghese! Otherwise, you may get here and be like, “WUT?”

Pittsburghese

So anyhoooo, I’ve not successfully trained for this thing. Not like I should have. But don’t I say that every year? UGH. But I’m happy to see the sights of my lovely city by foot, trotting along at my slow pace. The way I normally run anyhow!

slow runner

I’m looking forward to meeting up with my fellow Official Bloggers at a special event at Panera Bread this week though! No running. Just eating carbs. That helps, right? :-) And since I never gave them all a shout out on my blog yet, here yinz go:

Official 2015 GameOnPgh Pittsburgh Marathon Bloggers:

Chelsea @ Pittsburgh City Girl
Jennifer @ Running on Lentils
Tony @ The Runderful Life
Agnes @ Aggie Runs
Kathy @ Will Run for Miles
Aimee @ The Evolution of Ms. Aimee C.
Jenna @ Stop, Drop & Blog
Heather @ Fit ‘n’ Cookies
Melissa @ The Wheezy Runner
Jennifer @ The Local Elite
Kim @ This Runner’s Fuel
Mar @ Mar on the Run
Amanda @ Run Intended
Emily @ Marathons and Mechanisms

I will will will do some prep within the remaining days. But you know how I am; by prep, I mostly mean figure out what I’m going to wear so my post-race pics look cute and Pittsburghish. Of course it’ll be black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow…that much I know. :-)

Catch yinz at the finish line! (Where I’ll be eating my Smiley Cookie.)

pittsburgh marathon post race smiley cookie_

10 Reasons I’ve Been a Sh*tastic Blogger Lately

Golly. I’m being a bad girl with blogging lately, amiright? One, like I said before, now that I work as a Communications Specialist for my day job and I write ALLLLLL day, I’m completely typed-out by the time the weekend hits. And let’s be real, blog posting during the week isn’t happening either. So it’s like 7:45pm on Sunday night and I really would rather have my tookus in the bed, lights out, ready to sleep (no more Walking Dead ’til fall so I may as well), but the blog was feeling a little needy tonight. So here I am giving you 10 reasons why I’ve been a shit*astic blogger lately.

This may be a quick, none-too-elaborate post, but I have pictures to catch y’all up as to my excuses reasons for not blogging a lot. Everyone likes pictures. :-) And if you already follow me on Instagram, you saw them. Scroll anyway and just go with it!

1. I’ve been kicking butt in the gym.

Before and after 2010 _ 2015 _ Cherie Runs This

I haven’t fit this dress in MONTHS. Moooooonths. So when I’m thinking it’s not worth it, or I’m sleepy, or I should just home and chill, or I don’t think it’ll matter if I take a while off from the gym, I look at old pics vs. now. And then I choose the gym. And not typing, lol.

2. I’ve been trying to grow a butt in the gym.

Glutes progress _ Cherie Runs This

This booty didn’t look like that two months ago. It takes time!!! And I’ve got a ways to go still. I like to have two glutes specific days –not just “leg day”– to make sure I’m focusing on this thing. It’s intensive work to fight gravity!

3. I’ve been making a lot of salads.

Chicken Cobb Salad _ Cherie Runs This

Yes, salads are quick, but look how pretty! I could be writing while I’m taking time to make my salad gorgeous, but it wouldn’t taste as good. Trust me.

4. I’ve been hand crushing pistachios.

Pistachio encrusted cod _ Cherie Runs This

Okay, crushing pistachios doesn’t take that long. But my point is, I craft each dinner specially. This ain’t no microwave meal here.

5. I’ve been making Insta-worthy pictures to sum up my disgust with dating.

I prefer dumbbells to dumbasses _ Cherie Runs This

One reason why #weightsbeforedates is one of my favorite hashtags. I date, but good grief, the men out there. [My eyes are rolling.] My time is better served in the gym right now.

6. I’ve been meal prepping.

Meal prep _ Cherie Runs This

I’m going to be working on Sundays now (see #7), but I will still have to get my meal prep done. This is CRUCIAL to me staying on track and it saves me money by not eating out. When I fail to plan, I plain to fail. I take a little time on Sundays and get myself meal-ready for the week. I know how to meal prep like a champ and keep it up!!

7. I’ve been working two jobs.

Part time job at Ross _ Cherie Runs This

I got a part time job at Ross! So in addition to my full time day job, I will now be working a couple a nights a week and errrrrry weekend to make ends meet. The financial struggle after divorce is real, y’all. But to ensure I can pay my bills, eat as much as I like to eat, and move closer to work this summer, I need the dough. First week of this and I’m already exhausted. But you do what you have to do, right?

8. I’ve been reading inspirational quotes to keep myself going.

Rough Days Keep Going _ Cherie Runs This

I don’t swear on my blog much. But doggone it, this says what I’m feeling. I’m going in a zillion different ways right now and wondering how I’m going to get it all done and if it’s even worth it half the time and WHEN OH WHEN will it get easier. This quote, and those like it, helps me keep on keeping on.

9. I’ve been grocery shopping.

Incredible Hulk _ Cherie Runs This

Not for an Incredible Hulk beanie. He just happened to hop along for a ride. But food. Do you know how long it takes to grocery shop? Well, it takes me a while. And I stay grocery shopping because most of what I buy is perishable. It takes time, yo.

10. I’ve been a good daughter.

Family _ Easter _ Cherie Runs This

Daddy can’t drive right now. Sometimes I have to help him out and do the Driving Miss Daisy thing for him. Planned to spend the latter half of today with him so I could take him to a family Easter dinner so he could scarf the food down in 30 minutes and then decide he was ready to leave. He did at least the pose with the bunny ears for a hot second. Anyhow, with as much as I’m trying to balance right now, I help out as much as I can. No one will tell me I don’t!

Anyhow. That’s it. 10 reasons why I can’t seem to get blog posts written lately. Valid reasons, IMO. :-D

What I Eat While Training for the Pittsburgh Marathon Half

Pittsburgh Marathon Blogger

So let’s talk nutrition. I’m pretty sure I should be sharing what I eat while training for the Pittsburgh Marathon Half. Here’s the deal: I won’t tell YOU what to eat. I’m not a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist so I have no place doing so! I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, but even as a trainer I don’t have the right to tell you what to eat. {Side note–unless your trainer is an RD or Nutritionist, he or she shouldn’t be telling you either!} I will tell you what I eat. :-)

While I am upping my mileage to be sure my legs carry me through the 13.1, I also lift weights a lot. So while I eat my fair share of carbs, I tend to concentrate on protein first and foremost. I don’t have a lot of pasta, rice, potatoes or bread, but I do my best to make sure I get in a lot of veggies. Umm, and beer. Balance. It’s all about balance, lol. For the most part, I “eat clean.” I try not to have a lot of processed food; I like to make most of my meals from scratch and cook at home. I follow a balance of 80% clean/20% not-so-clean on a good week and on a bad week, I knock it down to a 70%/30%. Haha, life happens.

For me, I need to make sure I get enough macronutrients {proteins, carbs, fats} to sustain my fitness goals. A while ago, I simply went online, found a little macro calculator and calculated it based on my goal weight. Now, I don’t follow it to a tee errrrryday. I just about know how many macros are in what I eat because I roughly eat pretty similar from day to day give or take. I’m not a math girl. I was an English major. I don’t like to count calories, percentages, or points. I want none of that. I just like to eat. I’ve been on this fitness journey for a good five years now maintaining pretty well, so my body and I know where we stand on food consumption. If I am going to be running long, I will up my carbs. If I’m going to be lifting weights, I will up my protein. If it’s Thursday night and I’m watching Scandal, I will up my red wine. Anyhow, you do you!!!

Pittsburgh Marathon Nutrition

So here’s a looksee of typical foods that I will eat as I train for the Pittsburgh Marathon Half and basically in general! {Oh, and my new favorite grocery store is Aldi. It’s MAD CHEAP yo and has everything this single gal on a budget needs. Even organics! Check it out if you haven’t before!}

Grocery shopping at Aldi's Aldi's groceries
Fruit stuffed peppers
peanut butter kale chips
turkey wings
strawberries in colander lamb

food wings protein waffles

chicken plums green beanssalmon  pho ramen

I don’t have recipes for these–I tend to cook food on the fly and just know what to add or make it up as I go. I’m cool like that. Some of the pics may have a little more direction as far as what it is/how I threw it together on my Instagram, so check there! All of these are pretty recent, so you shouldn’t have to scroll too much.

Again, my best piece of advice will be to do what works for YOU. And by all means, heed this: DO NOT eat anything new, or strange to you, either within the couple of days leading up to race and/or especially the morning of the race. Talk about trouble!! Just don’t do it. :-D

I’m an Official Pittsburgh Marathon Blogger!!

Pittsburgh Marathon Blogger

I have super crazy exciting news! Captain Obvious would say to look right there at the above picture and you’ll know what it is, but I’m going to say it anyway, I’ve been selected as one of the Official Bloggers for the Pittsburgh Marathon this year!!!
Pittsburgh Marathon Blogger #gameonpghI’ve wanted to be one of these awesome bloggers since I knew there was such a thing. Which, I think was only since last year, haha, but still! At that time, I was living in Chapel Hill, NC, and wishing something awful that I could finally be living back in my hometown of Pittsburgh, being one of these bloggers, and training for this race in what I think it the most fabulous city on the planet. Fast forward 365 days and here I am! I packed my bags and moved back here, I’m one of ‘em, and get to run the streets of Pittsburgh to train!

Okay, no–about that last part…I live in the suburbs, technically, and while gas is cheaper now, it’s still not cheap enough for me to drive into the city, find somewhere to park, pay to park, run and then trek back to the ‘burbs. I’m a recently divorced chick now, and I got bills, ‘yo. I’m happy to have gas money to get to work. #thestruggleisreal

BUT, that is not stopping me from training at my local gym!! Yes, I know most of you LOATHE running on treadmills. I used to be Team Only Treadmill Running, but once I lost a good bit of weight, felt slightly more okay to be outside, realized nobody was looking at me anyway, and discovered how amazing it was to run around sunny Chapel Hill, I got over that fast. So now that I prefer running outside over the ‘mill, I would gladly lace up to pound the pavement and trails. Oh, but again, I’m not in Chapel Hill anymore and the sun is gone. Not gone, but lately it looks like Queen Elsa has taken over and all of western Pennsylvania will be frozen for a long, long time.

“Just run outside in the snow, Cherie!” sayeth everyone. Umm, no. I’m clumsy, for one, and I think there are several pups in my neighborhood who could easily step into the title role of Cujo any time. Snow + ice + clumsy + Cujo(s) = the treadmill. At least for now, it does. Yes, again, many of you would go nutso solely using the treadmill but we’re all different and I’m okay with it for a little while!! You know how they say, “Run the race you’re in”? Well, I firmly believe in running the runs that are best for me.

If this is the first time you’ve read my blog, you’ll realize I’m a different type of runner than most:

♦ I’m okay with the treadmill (as we covered)
♦ I’m not fanatical about run streaks (I’m a rest day advocate)
♦ I love, love, love weight lifting so no I don’t “cross train” — I just call it what it is, “weightlifting”
♦ I never run without music
♦ I rarely, if ever, run naked (without my heart rate monitor/GPS watch)
♦ I do not give a flying eff about PRs. I just run to run and whatever time I get done is okay by me
♦ I prefer to run alone (it’s my me time)
♦ I am “slow” (this is me calling me slow and I’m fine with it)

Keeping up with the Running Joneses

So yup. That’s me in a nutshell and yes, add up all of those things, and I’m still a runner because I run. :-)

Pittsburgh Marathon races
5k in 2012, Half Marathon in 2013, Half Marathon in 2014

My very first race ever was the Pittsburgh Marathon’s 5k in 2012. I used my vacation time to drive up from NC to make sure I could run my first race in my favorite city. I was hooked. The vibe is electric. The people are amazing. The support is intense. You’d think there was a Steelers game going on in the streets! So much cheering!!

I knew after that that I’d always schedule my vacation in May so I could run it. The next year, in 2013, I ran the half marathon. Last year, in 2014, I ran the half marathon again. There was just something about that trip. I became overcome with emotions and so homesick that a mere two weeks after that I moved back here for good. So now, this year, I don’t have to schedule a vacation as I’m already in town!! I’ll also add that this year, I’m running as a Charity Runner (for the first time!) for a wonderful organization called Our Clubhouse. They support those who have been touched by cancer–a cause very dear to me!

Okay, that’s it for now! Again, I’m thrilled to be reppin’ the Pittsburgh Marathon through my blog and look forward to sharing all kinds of fun stuff like my training, nutrition, prep, and all other kinds of randomness as I get ready to run this half marathon. I also look forward to chatting with any of you that are running the 5k, Half, Full or Relay as we all get ready to become Runners of Steel!! Are you ready? It’s #GameOnPGH!!

 

 

Dick’s Pittsburgh Marathon: I’m a Charity Runner for Our Clubhouse!

If you read my blog and have been following my journey, most of you know that one of the two reasons it exists is because of what my mother’s last words to me were as she lay dying from cancer in June 2009. So obviously, without a doubt, cancer, and those affected by it, is a HUGE deal to me. It changed my life.

Mommy and me

I had planned to sit down and write this post yesterday, as I knew my Steelers were out of the playoffs { :-( } and I’d have the time, which then coincidentally became the very same day the world lost a great man and sportscaster, Stuart Scott.

Stuart Scott quote You beat cancer by how you live

Stuart Scott quotes

He bravely battled cancer THREE times and finally passed away yesterday morning at the age of 49. After crying and watching hours of tributes to him on ESPN and then searching the web to learn more about his life, I finally got back to this post.

Pittsburgh Marathon races

I knew long ago I was going to run the Dick’s Pittsburgh Half Marathon this May. The 5K was my first race ever, back in 2012, and then I proceeded to run the half marathons in 2013 and 2014. Back then I was living in North Carolina and always planned my yearly trips back home to Pittsburgh around this race, so you KNOW I couldn’t miss it now that I’m living here again!

Our club house race

I was about to register as a regular old runner, but then found out about Our Clubhouse. If I ran as a charity runner for them, I’d raise money and feel like I was running for a purpose for once; not just to see the streets of Pittsburgh, collect a shiny medal and snap selfies afterward. I’d be exhausted as usual after the half, but this time I would FEEL GOOD at the same time.

This will be my FIRST TIME running as a Charity Runner!! So why Our Clubhouse? They are dedicated to their mission of offering social, emotional, and informational support to those in our region touched by cancer. They have a passion for helping those living with or beyond cancer, as well as those caring for them. Our Clubhouse provides networking and support groups, workshops, education and social activities and all of the activities are offered to their members at NO cost and membership is free. << Wish I had known about them back in 2009!! Learning of my mother’s cancer, seeing her go through it, then her death and the weeks, months, and years of trying to deal with it all afterwards–support is crucial!!

So, as a Charity Runner for Our Clubhouse, I’m an advocate for their mission. It’s my job to spread the word and do my best to raise funds so they can KEEP offering these amazing services.

Dick's Pittsburgh Marathon Our Club House Charity Runner

HOW CAN YOU HELP? Thanks for asking! :-) Yup, here it is–I’m asking for a donation. You know I have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER asked for money or any sort of payment, money, donation, or anything for the five years of tips, advice, coaching, counseling, responding to your many emails, messages, questions, etc.– I’ve done it all for free. Never asked you to buy an e-book, click on a ‘donate’ button on my page, or wire me money through Paypal for online question answering. Yes, it took A LOT of time to respond to you, but I did it. :-) All of my services and time were free to you–some of you asked, “How can I repay you? How can I thank you?” I said nope, nothing! I never once accepted anything. But THIS–this means the world to me. So, if you really want to know what to do if you truly felt like I helped you in some way over the years and you really meant it when you said you wish you could do something for me in return–it’d be this—A donation to Our Clubhouse to help me reach my goal. And here is my page where you can donate! I have to raise a total of $350. Even if you donate a dollar, much like eating right and exercising, it all adds up!! So, PLEASE help me out, help out Our Clubhouse and donate if you can! :-)

Wait–how do I donate? Again, it’s –> Right here!

Thank you all so much!!!

 

Hello 2015 and the Dick’s Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run!

Hello 2015 and Happy New Year, everyone! OH MY GOODNESS am I happy 2014 is outta here! Let’s never speak of it again, shall we? I’m also happy it’s a new year as I was super pumped to get back to running and attend the first Dick’s Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run yesterday!

But first let me recap a little bit. So yes, that means I do have to speak of 2014 one more time. I already wrote my 2014 recap, but at the end of it, you’ll remember me saying that my birthday (December 30th!!) was the next day. Since it’s my favorite day of the year, I of course have to take a second to shout out to it!

Birthday Comparisons Cherie Runs This

Since 2010, I’ve always taken a full body shot on my birthday just to see how things are going with this journey. As I began in January 2010, by December 2010, that gave me a complete year to see what I looked like at the end of the year. Since my bday is basically the doggone last day of the year, it seems like a good day to take it and compare. I’m not as svelte as I was in 2012, but after major life happenings in 2013 and 2014, I’m pleased that I’m not back to where I started in 2010! I’ll take it and keeping pressing on.
December 30

I came out of work that day and it was beautiful. Super cold, but the sun was shining. It usually was in NC on my birthday, but I was thinking I’d be in six feet of snow this year having moved back home to Pittsburgh. Not so! It was a pretty day and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy. :-)

Oh, and what else happened on my birthday? Yup, my divorce was final. So if you’re keeping tabs on me, I got engaged on my birthday (years ago) and now divorced on my birthday. Who gets engaged and divorced on the same day that’s her birthday, too? THIS GIRL! But I truly wish him the best, best, best always and thank him for the past 10 years. He’s a great guy and the right lady for him is going to be very lucky!

New Year 2015 Cherie Runs This

The next day of course was New Year’s Eve. I took the day off work, reflected on my year, and then got dolled up. I’m a single lady now, gas is cheaper, and I still had this dress left over from the office Christmas Party that needed to be donned again–no way I was staying home!!! I took myself out in Pittsburgh and had a lovely evening. Somehow I came away from the night having confidence, actually believing that sometimes yes, I do clean up well, and I will find love again. Or it’ll find me. Whatev.

Now, back to this Dick’s Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run.

I registered for it a couple weeks ago. It was to be yesterday, January 3, beginning at 7:30am. Again, you know how I cannot stand to work out in the mornings. Nope, it makes no sense to me. I can sleep in and work out later and it still counts. BUT, I am trying to be more social and get involved and do all the stuff I was longing to do while I was living in NC but wishing I were in Pittsburgh.

Dicks Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run pre run

This was my face as I got ready to leave the house at 6:20am. I really do LOATHE morning workouts. REALLY.

The weathermen said there *may* be some freezing rain later on in the morning, but when I left the house, all was fine. Approximately 13 minutes into my travels to the city, it was ALL BLACK ICE ALL THE TIME. Bloody awful.

Dicks Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run accidents black ice

Thankfully, I managed to avoid the six or so cars that had collided, and pulled into a parking lot to wait. There was no driving home; I had to just stay put and wait it out. I watched all the police, firemen and first responders start to arrive. Sadly, I did hear of one death reported that morning, but it wasn’t here on this stretch of road. Black ice is no joke!!!

Dicks Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run in car

Of course at that point, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the run. I was happy to be alive and that my car was safely out of the mess.

Dicks Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run accidents black ice after

I sat there playing on my phone and looking up info on the Dick’s Pittsburgh Marathon Facebook page–I realized I could do my run as a virtual run! Oh joy!! So I figured I’d go home, when it was safe to drive, take a loooooong nap to make up for the sleep I missed, and then go run at the gym later. I wished I could have run outside but the treadmill was going to have to do!

Dicks Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run Virtual

After my nap, I tore myself away from my comfy bed (at 2:30pm–I really love sleep) and made it to the gym.

Dicks Pittsburgh Marathon Training Run Virtual Completed

I had been planning to run 5 miles at the training run (3, 5, and 8 miles were offered) so I committed myself to running 5 on the treadmill. It was great! I feel like come May, this Half Mary shouldn’t be too bad at all!

So here we go–a new year, a new race, a renewed commitment to my journey, and a fresh start. I’m ready for you 2015! :-D

2014 Year in Review: On my own & running through this thing called life

Some wise person once said, “Sometimes you just have to look back at your past and smile about how far you’ve come.” Seems legit.

As a lot of you know, my husband and I got separated in the Fall of 2013. So my 2014 was my very first year in about 10 years that I was completely on my own, roughin’ it and experiencing life solo. A big ‘ol 180° of difference from what I was used to. I was not sure at all how it would turn out, but now, 12 months later, I think I did okay. :-) So here I go; a look back at my 2014 Year in Review.

2014 Year in Review _ Cherie Runs This

JANUARY
untitled_
Being on my own again meant taking care of the finances on my own. I finally decided to put that NASM Certified Personal Trainer in me to work! I landed a part-time job as a personal trainer at my local YMCA. I loved sharing my experiences and helping others reach their goals!!

FEBRUARY
morning running
I decided that in order to be more social, I would join a running group. Note the excitement on my face. I’m NOT a morning runner, or a morning person of any sort, but some of the runs were at the crack of dawn. Or 7am, which is crack of dawn enough to me. I’m also not really one to run in groups, but I actually had fun training with others for some upcoming races.

MARCH
Cherie Runs This - Woman's World Magazine
NASM commercial
This month was fun because my story appeared in Woman’s World Magazine and the National Academy of Sports Medicine commercial that I was in finally debuted! If you asked me a couple of years ago if I thought I would be in a magazine or on TV I surely would have passed out laughing. So crying tears of joy over this kind of stuff was much better!

APRIL
rnr6after_
tarheel8_
I had two big races in April–the first was the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Raleigh and then the Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill. You know I don’t really run to be speedy or PR, so I just went out there and had a good time. I ran the R’nR with my college buddy Jamie and the 10 Miler with my running group!

MAY
pittsburgh marathon pre race in garage

pittsburgh marathon during race_

Moving-to-Pittsburgh
I drove home to PA for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I’d been nostalgic about moving back home since I moved away 12 years ago and the feelings finally took me over. About three weeks after the race, I packed up my stuff in NC and moved back home to Pittsburgh for good! Yes, you CAN go home again!

JUNE
daddy
When I first got back to Pittsburgh, I moved in with my oldest sister and father. I had never lived with her (she’s 20 years my senior) and hadn’t lived with Daddy since I packed up and moved away after college. It was great to be back with my family! Especially Daddy, he’ll be 80 in March and time is precious!

JULY
keys
As much as I loved being with my family, I had gotten so accustomed to having my own space. At the end of July, I got the keys to a cute little 2 bedroom house. This was now my THIRD move in a year, but I had a bachelorette pad to call my own!! So worth it!

AUGUST
injured
The word of the summer was “SCIATICA” boys and girls. I threw out my back again on Independence Day and sure enough, sciatica wasn’t far behind. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy! I was sidelined from the gym and pretty much all physical activity. The doc said, no gym for 7-10 days, but it lasted for MONTHS! :-(

SEPTEMBER
Facebook Hiatus

The only memorable thing I did in September was go off the grid. This was something I really needed to do. And to be more specific, I went off the grid from Facebook. Once I moved back to PA I thought it (meaning my life) would instantly instantly better. I was happy to be out of NC, yes, and I did finally have my own little place to stay, but the temp job was leaving me empty, managing bills was exhausting, there was no special person in my life, and I was starting to question everything again. Facebook is NOT GOOD for your mental status during times like these. It’s a place where everyone’s life seems better than yours, and I had to take a little break from it. I clicked that “deactivate” button and started focusing on how to make my life better for myself.

OCTOBER

Red wine and popcorn

While on this hiatus from Facebook I took time to think about what I was happy I HAD in my life instead of focusing on what it was MISSING. I also stepped away from the world of online dating. I started loving my alone time and started scheduling dates with myself. Thursday nights with Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, and Friday nights watching Dateline NBC were especially my favorite. I started doing the things I liked to do and didn’t feel ashamed because I wasn’t out on a real date. I just sat there quietly, enjoyed my food, shows, and wine in peace. I felt more inner peace, too.

NOVEMBER

i got the job

Since graduating college in May 2000, I finally, finally, finally landed a job that put use to my English major! I accepted a job as a Communications Specialist. Basically I do the social media and write blogs–you KNOW that’s up my alley!  After temping for months once I moved back here, I was ELATED to get the word that I landed my dream job! I had a VERY thankful Thanksgiving indeed!

DECEMBER

cherierunsthis

I don’t really like to do “Year in Reviewsuntil the actual year has ended. Seriously, so much can change in your life in mere seconds that it doesn’t seem wise to do a final look back at the year until the clock strikes down on December 31st. In the remaining three days of 2014, Prince could knock on my door and whisk me away on his motorcycle like Apollonia circa 1984. I’d hate to not have that included on my yearly review! What a highlight!

But this December, let’s see, my birthday is still on its way–tomorrow!–December 30th! Also, because my life is soooooo my life, coincidentally that’s the same day that my divorce will be final! *Side note, I wonder how many people got engaged AND divorced on the same day? I can’t be the only one!* Those are the majors of this final month of 2014. This December, I put it all together and learned to be a lot more carefree, just go with it, have fun, let loose and let it go. And those are good things to take with me into the new year. Bring on 2015!

2015 new year

Sh*t People Say on Instagram

After taking a two month hiatus from Facebook, (kind of like Rihanna, but without a nude picture scandal), I spent more time with the types of social media that personally make me happy, laugh, and keep me inspired–Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. I carved out more time to make the recipes I salivated over (and could actually say “Nailed it!” to some of the creations), enjoyed the witty banter and chats with people I swear would be my BFFs in IRL, and scrolling through pictures of everyday life—well, I just became plain ‘ol addicted to Instagram. It’s about to knock Twitter out of place as my favorite!  But as much as I love it, I realized that there is definitely some Sh*t People Say on Instagram that they’d have me believing is the absolute TRUTH if they had their way.

Sh*t People Say on Instagram

Sh*t People Say on Instagram… 

no excuses

1.) There are #NoExcuses
No one has any. Apparently, I am the ONLY one that sometimes lets life interrupt and prevent me from 100% eating clean and getting to the gym everysingledaynomatterwhat because I’m #fitfam and #fitfluential and that’s just what you do or else your fitness card is taken away and you’re beaten with a dumbbell and chicken and broccoli are pelted at you in a public shaming. Phew! That’s a lot of pressure. But #NoExcuses!

nutella

2.) Starbucks, Nutella, & Overnight Oats are totes ahhhmazing.
I’m weird because I don’t like them. Oh I like Starbucks, but because I can’t afford to go to Starbucks every day and post pics of me with my red cup, but instead I make it at home old school like, I’m missing out because it’s not the same. And who doesn’t like Nutella and overnight oats? Me. Oops. What??? So yeah, girl, you can’t sit with us.

Make up at the gym

3.) If you wear make-up at the gym you should suffer “Make-up Shaming.”
That’s right. I’m not Team Natural and haven’t been since the sixth grade, Sephora makes my heart race, and I can and do lift weights with make up on. I didn’t wake up like this, I didn’t participate in the “make-up-free selfie” thing that was going around, and sometimes I wear make up while I’m just sitting on my couch with nowhere to go BECAUSE I LIKE IT even though no one will see me. Shame away!

if you still look cute at the end of your workout

4.) You didn’t sweat enough. Your workout is invalid.
I didn’t work out hard enough because I’m not drenched in sweat. Never mind you can’t see my back sweat or crotch sweat (ladies of IG, some of you and I discussed this already), and because my hair is still in place and beads of sweat aren’t pouring down my face, I might as well just count this workout as a loss. Pshhh. What a waste. Where you sweat is the only determining factor of your effort. Bad personal trainer—how didn’t I know?

I hate online dating

5.) You’re clearly an Online Dating Reject but need to try it for the 16th time because I know somebody who…
Well, Sally met her boyfriend on eHarmony. And Mary Jo is married to the man she met only a year ago on Match.com. And Suzy just got engaged and she met her fiancé on OkCupid. Seeing as how upon even the SLIGHTEST mention of online dating, I’m BOMBARDED with stories of how someone or her best friend or her sister’s cousin’s Zumba instructor met, dated, got engaged and then married her SOULMATE from doing online dating, something is clearly wrong with me because I haven’t. Clearly.

treat yo self

6.) Commitment to clean-eating. You ain’t ’bout this life.
I am the only one who enjoys a fine meal of beer and pizza or wine and a burger sometimes. No one else eats anything that is not paleo/vegetarian/vegan/loadedupwithquinoaandchiaseeds 100% of the time. And they don’t drink alcohol. It’s the devil’s brew. Only water. Infused with a lemon. An organic lemon.

Wraps are a Lie _ Stolen pics 1
Wraps are a Lie _ Stolen pics 2
Wraps are a Lie _ Stolen pics 3
ALL STOLEN PICS OF ME, by the way!!!

7.) Join my $25,000 Pyramid Scheme to reach your fitness goals.
If I don’t join your team and then recruit more members to then in turn each form a team, I won’t lose weight. If I don’t wrap my fat, I won’t lose weight. If I don’t use the exact supplements you take, I won’t lose weight. Because, well, I didn’t already lose weight or anything. I mean, duh, what was I thinking about knowing how to lose weight without those things.

Date Night Friday

8.) Turn down for what?!
It’s Friday night, sister. Errrrybody’s out. Either on a date or at the club with their girlfriends. What are you doing on the couch with your Chipotle and Dateline NBC? Yeah, you’re single but how are you going to meet anyone if you’re at home solving mysteries eating a chicken soft taco? Umm, because it’s not Date Night. It’s Dateline Night.

Working out in the morning

9.) You snooze you lose. Goooooo morning workouts!
If you didn’t spring out of bed to go run or to the gym when that alarm went off at 4:30am., your whole day will be a disaster. You won’t have enough energy to carry you through to the end of your workday. Heck, you’ll be too tired after work and you will skip working out all together. Everyone else is up posting their post-run, post-gym pics by 6am with hashtags like #ITrainWhileYouSleep or #5amgymsesh and you’re just waking up. How lazy, Cherie. We all know workouts after the workday don’t count anyway. Jeeze.

Yeahhhh, Instagrammers. You say the darndest things. Haha, always making me laugh though! ;-) Have any of you regularly seen some Sh*t People Say on Instagram that they believe is the gospel?

Self Deprecation and Two Words You Use That Are Killing Your Vibe

Every time you use these two words self-deprecation wins: “Just” and “only.” Whenever you qualify something that would otherwise be highly awesome with “just” and “only”, a kitten falls out of a tree, a baby unicorn loses its horn and a piglet turns into bacon. Sad, yes, but I must get your attention to make this point.

Self deprecation...STOP IT.

Why do you qualify what you do, how you look and who you are with these two words? Is it the case of not wanting to pat your own self on the back? Not wanting to toot your horn? Worrying that you’ll sound conceited? Girl, pat away, toot that horn and realize that confidence does not equal cockiness.

Confident not Cocky

I hear and see it so much; whether in conversation, overhearing (no, not eavesdropping, thank you) or watching it play out online. Random Girl A does something pretty doggone fabulous but to not sound like a braggart, downplays the heck out of it to Random Girls B and C. After doing this so much, it’s not even that she’s worried about sounding like a braggart, she downright doesn’t believe she’s enough/worth it/deserving of any kudos and starts to convince herself of her lack of badassery.

True examples:

Random Girl A: “Oh cool! You’re running the marathon!”
You: “No, I’m only running the half marathon.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “Actually, I’m running the half marathon and super thrilled!”

Random Girl A: “I love your outfit. You always look so pulled together!”
You: “Oh, this? I just threw it on. I look a mess.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “Thank you. I love to accessorize.”

Random Girl A: “You work at ACME Widgets. Looks like a fun place!”
You: “I’m just a temp.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “I do work there. It’s exciting and different every day!”

Random Girl A:
“You look like you lost weight.”
You: “I only lost 18 pounds.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “Thanks! I’ve been eating clean and working out for a couple months. It’s working!”

Look, I’m not sitting pretty in my glass house throwing stones at y’all. I’ve done it, too. But for the past month or so, I stopped. Cold turkey and said the heck with it. I’m going to stop being using these qualifiers and stop being fearful. Because face it—a lot of this instant anti-positive reaction comes from fear. You’re fearful that someone will think you’re full of yourself, fearful that they didn’t really mean what they said and then you’ll look silly having fallen into a mocking trap, or fearful of what the outcome will be. I’ve had it with fear. I already have debilitating fears of vomit, airplanes and clowns—I’m not adding confidence in myself and my abilities to the fearful list. So I flipped the scaredy cat script.

My own true life example:

Me: “My dream social media job became available. I should apply!”
Self-Deprecating Me: “I just have experience with Cherie Runs This. I’ve only done social media with my fitness business, not a company-company.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “I’ve built Cherie Runs This from the ground up, researched and self-taught myself the ins and outs of social media and I’ve been doing this for almost 5 years. What I don’t know yet, I will learn. I’ve done well for myself with social media and promoting this business of mine. Heck, I have over 22,000 followers on Pinterest alone. That’s more than some companies! I’m applying!”

Once I took the “just” and “only” out of my mouth, acknowledged my capabilities, gave myself a “Dayyyyuuuum girl” peptalk, I wrote a bangin’ cover letter, tooted my horn, I actually landed an interview AND a second interview is scheduled for this week! I of course don’t know what the outcome will be, but I know if I had listened to the self-deprecation spew I wouldn’t even be this far in the job consideration. I wouldn’t be considered at all.

It's Handled
{You can always channel Olivia Pope if you need to.}

So what to do to say sayonara to the self-deprecating you?

One, let people compliment you for a change. Most people, at least in this day and age, don’t have don’t want to take the time to blow smoke up your booty. If they don’t want to say it, they probably won’t take the time to tweet, message, post or tell you that they think you rock their socks off. They’ll keep on scrolling or walk on by.

Two, with or without their compliments you have to get to a place where you truly believe that you and your actions are worthy. You didn’t only squat 135lbs. You SQUATTED 135lbs!! That’s 20 pounds more than you’ve ever done. You didn’t just run a 5K. You RAN A 5K!! Remember a couple months ago when walking around your block one time gave you major grief? If you stop and think about it for a moment instead of automatically adding “just” and “only” before you speak, you’ll see your awesomeness coming out.

If you don't ask the answer is always no.

Three, remember the three “ifs.” This quote is the truth. If I’m ready to wuss out about something lately, I start reciting it to myself. It’s simple. It’s right. Try it. Seriously, like today. These have you ready to spring into action, tell fear to hit the road, and leave self-deprecation, “just” and “only” in the dust.

Well, I feel ready to just go be awesome all over the place now! {I hope you do, too!} And at some point, I will apply all of this confidence in talking the opposite sex. Because right now I’m still working on the “just” and “only” when it comes to landing a fabulous hot, sweet, loyal, dependable, sarcastic, musclely, tattooed, bearded guy who drives a big truck. It’ll come, it’ll come. ;-)

Am I just alive or am I living?

I left my heart in North Carolina. Well, a piece of my heart and not literally. I’m supersupersuper thrilled to be back in the City of Champions or “Pittsburgh” as the non-believers may call it, but the main thing I miss is spending time with one of my best friends, Tracy.

Cherie and Tracy
Me & Tracy celebrating Memorial Day in NC before I moved!

When I found out that I really was moving back here for good, I had all these visions in my head of going out for girl’s nights out on the town {or at least going to the local Applebee’s} with my high school and college girlfriends who live here. But those visions were dashed. While I’m soon to be divorced in 50+ days, have no babies/kids, husband/fiancé tending to do, they’re all shacked up, married with kids and can’t ever seem to get away. Blah.

Someecards everyones getting married

So I have to make my own fun by myself. It’s cool. I’m finally understanding the difference between alone and lonely. I’m not lonely, I am alone. And alone is okay. I’m the one responsible for making my fun. Haha, but since I’ve been here, I think I’ve been doing a sucktastic job. Taking myself to the local smoky dive bar to watch Steeler games (especially when they lose like this past Sunday–the JETS?! Come on, man!) is okay, but it’s not really what I had intended to do with this newfound freedom and fresh start. I had to ask myself, am I just alive or am I living?

When Tracy announced she, her hubby, her fabulous daughters + one boyfriend and cool niece would all be in tow and heading up here for the weekend of October 26th for some debauchery, tailgaiting and all around awesomeness in Pittsburgh I. Could. Not. Wait. My calendar had been marked for months! Tracy is 50. Yes, 14 years my senior but she is the coolest 50 year old ever (other than my 50 year old sister who also rocks). We met at a Steelers bar in Chapel Hill, NC, years ago and it was friendship at first sight. I think we were making fun of the same thing and it was just meant to be. (Those are always the chicks I end up befriending.) Her hubs rocks and her twenty-something daughters, the boyfriend, and niece are equally fabulous. I love good people. And people I already know. So light and easy and comfortable!

Tracy and family
me and ashley
Obviously pics from Easter weekend. Haa. Hence the ears.

The weekend finally arrived (yeah, I’m obviously late writing about it, whatev). I met them at their hotel where they were staying. After hugs all around, we piled into one van and trekked off to the city. I was beyond pumped. Okay, so I live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. I think it’s a mere 26 miles or so. If I were a marathoner I could run it. Yet I cannot get my arse there to do annnnything. I’m lazy in that respect and always like, “Ughhh, but I don’t feel like driving into the city. Gas is too damn high. Maybe next month.” Yet, I loooove Pittsburgh, right? I know. Told you I’ve been doing a sucktastic job of this, haha.

Primanti Bros Sandwich
Yeah, no. Don’t put me down for fries on my sandwich.

The first stop was Primanti Bros. in the Strip District. It’s home of the “French fries” on the sandwich-sandwich. I might have my Yinzer card taken away for this, but I’m not down with fries on my sandwich. I love French fries too much to combine any other tastes with them. So I ordered mine on the side. You face shaming for doing so, but we don’t mess with my French fry consumption okay. I don’t get to eat them that often! Though I like to keep my fries separate but equal, I was amazed that I hadn’t been to this Primantis since college. Seriously, like 15 years. How on earth have I not gotten back here since then?

After lunch we walked down to the street to check out some Steelers vendors/stores. I can’t have enough Steelers stuff. And they don’t live here so they needed to stock up. (I will always make excuses for needing to go into a Steelers store just so you know.) We saw a restaurant  across the street with a rooftop bar. Of course we were going to have to go.

Rolands Pittsburgh PA
Rolands Pittsburgh PA view

It was an unusually awesome late October weather day in the ‘Burgh so we sat up there and sipped adult beverages. I took pictures. Because, well, blogger. Then it dawned on me that I pass this restaurant while running the path of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon! I’ve always wanted to sit up here and have drinks while looking at the passerbys below. I couldn’t believe I was finally doing it. Seriously, FINALLY. After like two years of wanting to come here?! What took me so long?!!!! After the drinks outside, we went inside for air hockey and more drinks. Then a little bit later we made our way over to the Duquesne Incline.

Duquesne Incline front
Duquesne Incline me

“What, we’re going on the Incline?” I asked with glee?

Duquesne Incline view
Duquesne Incline front building

Born here, raised here, came back here and now I was JUST riding this world famous incline for the FIRST time? I couldn’t believe it. Yeah, I do have a weird fear of falling and just look at it—it has “falling” written all over it, but I’ve still always wanted to ride it. Thanks to Tracy + The Gang, I was about to do it.

It was total awesomeness. We didn’t die. So that was especially awesome, and the city looked even more gorgeous from above. I need to do this more often. :-)

We finished up the evening by heading to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner and more drinks (my liver was in for a hurtin’ this weekend) and then said goodnight for the evening.

Heinz Field
Heinz Field tv in truck tailgating
We set up right outside of Heinz Field. No tix, but Tracy’s husband hooked up a TV in the back of his truck. Handy!

The next day we piled back in the van and headed back downtown for the main event of the weekend–the tail gating! It was my very first time tail gating (I know, right?!) and it did not disappoint. Even if we hadn’t kicked the Colts’ butts (which we did) it still would have been and amazing day!

Heinz Field Tailgating

Heinz Field Tailgating Tracy

Everyone was setting up the food, drinks & such.

Heinz field me in steelers hat

I was helping of course, but had to stop to take a selfie. I’m always me no matter where I am, haha.

Heinz Field me and tracy

Since I was taking pics, Tracy and I took one together to commemorate the day!

The only bad part of the tail gaiting is the bathroom situation. There are none. But being a runner, I’m used to the Porta Potty struggle. It was on the other side of the parking lot, and because I had a good bit of adult beverages throughout the day, I often had to go. Brightside, I got to sample random foods from fellow tailgaters along the way (it was free to take, right? Ughh?) and stopped to listen to Steeline–an awesome Pittsburgh drumline.

Heinz Field Steeline drum line

I wanted to play the drums but my mom made me pick the flute. Bummer. Anyhooooo, this was an AMAAAAZING weekend. Again, I can’t believe it took my bff to come all the way from NC to get me to experience stuff in my own dang city. But I know what’s out there now and I really know what I’m missing. I want to see more. I want to do more. I need to put myself out there and experience Pittsburgh…experience life.

I’ve wanted to move back here since I left in 2002. I’m thankful for all that I experienced in my 12 years away, but there’s nothing more that I wanted than to be back. Single, about to turn 37, soon-to-be divorced, no set career, financially roughin’ it–this was definitely not how I pictured it though. I suppose I thought I’d have my own little version of Tracy’s family. But it is what it is. This is the life I have; this is where I start. I was alive but now I’m going to live.

Yeah–alone and living. I can do this. :-)