I spent the summer of 2012 training for my first half marathon and interning at a technology company forty miles from home. Originally I signed up for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in Providence, Rhode Island to stay in shape for indoor track, but I fell in love with my weekend long runs. One year later, I completed my first full marathon in Corning, New York. It was my last race before my first major AS flare up.
For the next few years, I flitted in and out of doctor’s offices and subsequent work-out studios. One month I would be diagnosed with a “weak core” and found myself at a high-intensity training studio; the next month I was told I had uneven hips and yoga would be my savior. I went through brief periods of being able to run and other times where I was in too much pain to walk. My body no longer felt like my own – it changed without warning and resisted any attempts to appease it.
Finally I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, but running long distances still wasn’t an option. My first rheumatologist was a “non-runner” and didn’t understand my desire to run – although to be honest, I don’t even think I know what I wanted to run. As a college runner, I’ve hated more runs that I loved, but running had become a symbol of the control I so desperately craved. It was representative of the person I was before the pain and I missed that person.
In the fall of 2015, I ended up in Atlanta with a new rheumatologist. I was put on Humira and my quality of life and mobility improved. .As I crossed the finish line of the Publix Half today, I couldn’t help but have a “weeping willow” moment. For so long, I was a prisoner to my body – it determined whether it was going to be a good day or a bad day – but today my body was my own.
Top: Nike purchased four years ago for $15 (similar, similar)
Bottoms: UnderAmour gifted eight years ago (similar, similar)
To L’s delight, soccer is officially sweeping Atlanta! This is the inaugural season of our first soccer team: Atlanta United. Atlanta is considered a transplant city – many residents grew up in other cities with existing sports alliances. Within the city there’s not a huge sense of Atlanta sports fandom (however, wander just outside the perimeter and you’ll find a completely different story). Since so few cities even have a professional soccer team, everyone in the city is really rallying around ‘our’ team. When tickets were offered up at my office, I quickly snagged them!
Today we watched the game with some new Atlanta friends and it was SO MUCH FUN! Any opportunity to drink beer and yell loudly is a win in my book. Bonus points to the fire show every time there’s a goal.
L is already a huge soccer fan and he was so excited for the game he bought me this Atlanta United shirt! I’m counting it as not cheating for this challenge since I didn’t actually buy it 😉
Sound off: What’s your favorite sports team?
Atlanta United gear (here, here)
Jeans: LOFT purchased two years ago for $40 (similar, similar)
There’s the cutest little coffee place in our new downtown area that I’ve been meaning to check out. Today I rounded up a few girl friends to get out to check it out! When we got there, I found out that the place also serves wine… aka it’s now my new favorite place. After hanging out for a bit, we headed back to my place for a pseudo girl’s afternoon with wine and cheese (pseudo because L hung out with us). It was great to catch up with some old friends and new.
Sunday’s are reserved for boyfriend cut jeans and shirts that compliment your sports bra. So I accomplished my goal here.
Top: LOFT gifted for my birthday six months ago (similar, similar)
Jeans: LOFT purchased two years ago for $40 (similar, similar)
Sneakers: Sperry purchased second-hand three years ago for $20 (similar, similar)
We have some amazing friends in town and I couldn’t be more excited! Tonight PJ’s girl[space]friend is visiting Atlanta and she’s staying with us for the night (happy dance)! They met New Year’s Eve when we all went to Asheville. Both PJ and his beau don’t have work tomorrow, so L and I pretended we didn’t either. A bottle (or two) of wine and a few fruitless attempts to start a board game later and it felt like a Friday. Here’s to hoping that PJ’s girl comes and visits more often! And if you’re curious what girl[space]friend means – join the club.
Today I ‘rediscovered’ this awesome cardigan that I definitely don’t wear often enough. Between its amazing pattern and awesome tailored fit, I definitely need more cardigans like this (when I can actually shop again). For now, I’ll just have to find more ways to wear this one!
Top: J. Crew Factory purchased two years ago for $20 (similar, similar)
Cardigan: J. Crew purchased second-hand for $30 (similar, similar)
Pants: J. Crew Factory purchased two years ago for $50 (similar, similar)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (Franco Sarto) purchased one year ago for $60 (similar, similar)
Thursday is GAME NIGHT! We have a great group of friends who host a game night every Thursday and it’s so much fun. When I first started playing, I wasn’t very good (Catan was my enemy) and I hate not being good at anything. Over time, I’ve gotten much better – you’re actually looking at the second-place winner of Ticket to Ride this week. Although I guess you’re not actually looking at me. And you probably won’t be reading me due to the sheer volume of nerdiness going on right now.
Today our office was FREEZING! Usually I’d be fine with this top and some pants but today I wore my office cardigan (and accidentally brought it home).
Sound off: What’s your favorite board game to play?
Top: Old Navy purchased three years ago for $20 (similar, similar)
Cardigan: J. Crew Factory gifted for Christmas six years ago (similar, similar)
Pants: ThredUp (Gap) purchased two years ago for $20 (similar, similar)
Shoes: J. Crew Factory purchased two years ago for $50 (similar, similar)
This morning the roads were empty during my morning commute through a somber Atlanta. I recovered quickly (#bandwagonfan), but a lot of my co-workers were still super upset. I’ve seen L recover from the Panther’s loss last year, so I’m sympathetic.
On the plus side, one of my college roommates is in Atlanta for the night and I’m so excited to see him! For the past four years, he’s worked crazy hours all over the world, but is settling down to solidify his next step. I haven’t even seen him in three years! We ended up heading over to Ponce City Market, an Atlanta stopping and restaurant depot, for dinner, drinks, and good conversation. And then we headed home for even more drinks. I’m going to regret this tomorrow on my morning run…
The weather was warm this morning, so I was in the mood for a dress. During this challenge, wearing dresses has been the most difficult because they’re so easy to repeat! To keep this one fresh, I paired it with a fun, bright belt
Dress: LeTote (NOIR Textured Fit and Flare Dress) purchased ten months ago for $24 (similar, similar)
Belt: J. Crew Factory purchased eight years ago for $20 (similar, similar)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (Abound) purchased ten months ago for $30 (similar, similar)
It all comes down to this! I’ve had a few of those ‘kinda-kidding-but-not-really’ threatening texts from my stepdad keeping me away from “the dark side” – aka the Atlanta Falcons. Plus one of my favorite college roommates called to make sure I’m rooting for ‘the right team.’ I’m not going to lie, I’m pulling for the Falcons. It would be so cool to be in Atlanta for their first win ever! We had a couple of people over for the game and, per usual, I am most excited about the food.
The first half of the game was awesome (the wine slushies we made didn’t hurt). The second half was just painful, especially surrounded by a sea of Falcons’ fans. Guess we’ll have to wait for next year!
Top: Race shirt from a recent race (similar, similar)
Leggings: Victoria Secret PINK purchased three years ago for $60 (similar, similar)