Monthly Archives: June 2013

Graduated!

As of this past Sunday I’m officially finished with graduate school!  It is blowing my mind that it is all over. Two long, strenuous years of work and now I’m off to real world again.  I’m not completely sure I’m ready. Eep!

Graduation weekend began with my (incredibly stressful) final presentation.  I was given ten minutes to speak freely about my time at Stanford, which was slightly too broad… There were 12 people in my class and we all interpreted the prompt a bit differently. I ended up speaking about the different elements of my life that have helped me to become a more skilled designer.  Really profound stuff like – do what you love and play well with others. Here’s hoping my future career will involve these aspects as well.

A friend took this from the back of the packed auditorium

A friend took this from the back of the packed auditorium

While it was entirely too nerve wracking for me to handle, I think I was able to do a coherent job. Of course the audience had no choice but to sit back and watch, so I can’t really determine how successful I was… At one point, toward the end, I found myself a bit emotional. Best way to recover? Make a joke about drinking. I believe I said – “I apologize, the whiskey hasn’t kicked in quite yet.”  Thankfully my wise crack was perfectly timed, the audience laughed for long enough for me to regain composure (momentarily). Phew.

Once that was over we celebrated! Seriously, what else can one do after surviving a presentation in front of several hundred people? Of course it wasn’t over then as I still had to cross a stage and pick up my overpriced fancy piece of paper. So the next morning I woke up bright and early to sit in the painful heat (dressed in all black) to listen to Michael Bloomberg. The president deemed us graduates, we cheered, and then scuttled off to our private ceremonies.

With my proud big brother

With my proud big brother

After a few more hours of sitting, it was my turn to cross the stage. I walked tall knowing that this was it, the final moments of my graduate career. Snapped a photo with one of my favorite professors before I ran back to celebrate with the last of my class. We did it! We’ll all be going off in different directions this next year, but I am so grateful for each and every member of my (often dysfunctional) class.

You have no idea how much coordination it takes to get everyone looking at the same camera

You have no idea how much coordination it takes to get everyone looking at the same camera…

Now I’m “relaxing” on a short trip with my family. (Honestly, is vacation with family ever relaxing?!) Earlier this week we went to Yosemite for some great scenery and today I find myself in Napa. It is amazing, I’ve lived so close for two years and never actually made it up here. I do believe it is about time I start wine tasting!

Next week I’ll be in Long Beach for a few days before heading north to Fitbloggin. I couldn’t be more excited. Looking forward to meeting some other great bloggers, getting in a few intense workouts (I’m doing every single one, are you  in?), and sight seeing all of Portland. Let me know if you care to join me at the hash (a scavenger hunt for beer) on Wednesday or Thursday night.  :)

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See Jane Run Half Recap

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of running the See Jane Run half marathon in Alameda, CA. I’d been planning to run this for a few months, but it managed to sneak up on me before I knew it. Don’t get me wrong, I did several long training runs before the day of, but somehow it didn’t sink it (this is a recurring problem for me).

So I set to bed early on Friday and  woke up at 5:45am ready for the day. Suited up into my typical race outfit, capris and a pink top, then dilly-dallyed for some time. Around 6:15am I got into the car to head up to Alameda early as I wanted to grab a bagel before the race. Well, those hopes were dashed when I saw how crazy the parking situation was.

See Jane Run with Maggie

Look how happy we were at the start! Such fools…

After claiming my spot, I rushed to the start area to find Maggie. One quick port-a-potty stop later and she agreed to search for a bagel with me. By the time we returned (with bagel in hand) it was 10 minutes from the start. We sauntered over and took a lovely photo (I actually really like it which is rare for me!). And then, as we were about to start shuffling, Maggie casually asks, “Did you remember to wear sunscreen?” Facepalm…

Packed start line. We were ready to go!

Packed start line. We were ready to go!

As we get going we were actually quite positive. We realized that, with this flat course, there was a very solid chance that we can set a new PR for Maggie. And we set out to do just that. We started jogging with the other Janes at a steady clip. Mile 1 was a bit faster than I’d have liked (because I’m oh-so-conservative), but it felt good. Then we found ourselves on a completely uncovered straight away.  Apparently Alameda is hotter than San Francisco, I had no idea that the weather forecast for the day was sweltering.

Somehow we unintentionally sped up for the next three miles. Neither of us seemed to notice as we trotted along. We chatted a bit about life and how I’m frustratingly uncertain what I’ll do after graduation. Getting into a steady rhythm.  Once we crossed the pedestrian bridge it seemed to be a touch crowded since the path only allowed for three people across. So we started to leap frog around a bit (probably not our best idea) and we were doing quite well for a while…

But then after eight miles of running in the uncovered heat, both of us became a bit disheartened. We’d been doing great, chasing the pace group right in front of us, but the heat was taking its toll. The time for our ninth mile (and every mile following) was drastically longer than the first eight. I tried to keep our spirits high, with a smile on my face and loudly cheering for everyone we were with. Unfortunately my positive attitude couldn’t get us to push much harder, that heat was killer.

Approaching the finish line we picked it up into a sprint and finished strong. Although we didn’t make our goal of PRing, we finished together and in fairly high spirits. Moments later Katie came applauding over, so proud of our effort. My lovely ultimate frisbee pal Katie had conquered the 5k and was kind enough to wait for us. We immediately grabbed some champagne and took a much needed seat to gab about the day. It wasn’t even 11am yet and I was beat. By the time we stood up again my legs were very confused, but brunch needed to be consumed!

For the majority of the race I insisted on telling people my reason for running – bacon! So I was quite pleased that we made it to a nice restaurant to monch on some. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite bacon, but at that point almost any would suffice. Overall it was a great morning spent with some lovely Janes.

Happy again after a tasty meal

Happy again after a tasty meal

So, would I run this race again? Only if someone tells mother nature to take it easy. I’m not a fan of being active in that type of heat, and most certainly not if I’m in direct sunlight for several hours.  But this is definitely a course I’d run again (in the winter), completely flat and scenic. The field is fairly small but incredibly supportive, which was incredibly helpful as my energy decreased. And the shwag? Awesome. Check out the new medal I’ll be rocking!

Just so everyone knows the truth about why I run

Just so everyone knows the truth about why I run

Now to decide if I’ll enter the See Jane Run Triathlon in October…

What do you run for? Chocolate, champagne, beer, cupcakes?

And we’re done!

Well, almost. I submitted all of my work and have confirmation from each of  my professors that I have indeed passed. There is no failing out of grad school for me! Now, I just need to muster up the courage to give a speech in front of several hundred people. Of course graduation falls on the 50th reunion weekend for my program, so I’ll have a great deal of alumni in the audience as well. No pressure…

Soon this will be happening again.  Eep!

Soon this will be happening again. Eep!

I’ve spent the last few days cleaning up my apartment and office in preparation for my eventual move. It is amazing how therapeutic it is to go through all of my items. Somehow I’ve given away a disturbingly large amount to Goodwill, I had no idea I’d amassed so much crap. Here’s hoping I can live with less once I return to the real world (whenever that happens).

In running related news, this morning I’m heading off to Alameda to rock the See Jane Run half marathon with my lovely running partner Maggie. Thank goodness she dragged me out for an 11 miler a few weeks ago or I’d never be prepared! At the Rock and Roll San Jose I helped* her PR, so I’m secretly hoping we can do that again. Again, no pressure whatsoever…

What races are you rockin’ this weekend?

*The term “help” is used lightly. I’m pretty sure it was all her and she was trying to finish quickly to get away from my peppy, obnoxious race self.

Wantable Jewelry Box Review

I recently received the opportunity to check out Wantable‘s new jewelry subscription service and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. To be completely honest, I don’t switch my jewelry frequently, but I’m trying to dress more like an adult (and failing most days…) and thought it would be beneficial to have a wider variety of options.

To customize your box, you go through a thorough questionnaire.  They ask you about your taste in style, the type of jewelry you are interested in, color choices, and several more key characteristics. Then, a week later, they send you a box with several different items to rock. According to the site you will get three to five items.  Wantable also offers a makeup box which would probably be ideal for me as I rarely purchase new makeup. If you get only one box it costs $40, but if you have a monthly subscription the price goes down to $36.

Wantable selection process 2

For my first box, I received five pieces:

Peony Earrings – great for a summer look with a maxi dress
Drew Earrings – drop earrings with turquoise stones
Harlow ring – a combination of silver and gold for a rockstar look
Gracen Necklace and matching earrings – chunky and big to make a proper statement

Wantable Jewelry

While they are all pretty quality pieces, I wasn’t in love with any of them.  I have a very simple style and didn’t see how I could integrate these pieces into my wardrobe.  I’d seen some of the items other customers received and realized that I preferred a different style. So I sent customer service a message about my thoughts and they were fantastic. They listened to my musings and promised to send me a box full of items that I would prefer.  Looking forward to the next box!

Have you tried a jewelry or beauty box subscription? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Wantable