Good morning! I’m officially done with the first week of my year-long counseling internship and, boy, does it feel refreshing to finally stop thinking about the internship and just be doing the internship. Things are off to a slow start, which is a blessing in disguise because this is a gigantic change for me. I haven’t started a brand new job in quite a long time. My blog posts will probably be much less frequent until I get into a routine. Today is Friday, which usually means Gratitude Friday. However, today I’m really in the mood to discuss the awful race I had on Sunday because it was such a learning experience for me. This was the first time I did poorly in a race and didn’t really care. My passion for running is starting to waver, which sucks because I want to love running as much as I did even six months ago. What I truly want is to have the love for running that I had back in 2011. Check out Young Mel all excited to run 13.1 miles for the very first time: Sadly, those first-timer butterflies only happen once. I mean, OK, I did get super excited for my second half marathon, too. However, the excitement has decreased little by little with every race. The moment I became a marathoner, I realized that there wasn’t a new distance in the world of running that I wanted to accomplish. No ultras for this girl! I definitely do want to run my second marathon someday, however, because I would love to see if I can beat my old time. Plus, I ran the marathon nearly 2 years ago, so maybe running those 18 and 20 milers in training will still be exciting the second time around. The thing is, in my head, I want to run and beat all of my PRs, but my heart and body are screaming at me to take it slow for a little while. I’m going through a lot in my life now (some of which I’ve discussed on the blog, like my mom not being in good health at the moment, my boyfriend moving away, the stress of starting work in a new field, etc) and I am mentally exhausted. Running will always be around; I don’t need to push myself so hard with running when there is so much to worry about already. I probably won’t run a long distance race until next summer, so if that’s what you came here to read about, then you’re going to have to wait 🙂 I might do a Turkey Trot and perhaps another 10k race during the year, but that’s about it. These are probably famous last words because I am usually the first person to give in to race peer pressure (Sara knows this for sure, HAHA!). For now, I’m just going to run for fun and stress relief. So, those are my current thoughts on running. Now let’s talk about The Writing Process Tour! Karen of The Mile Report was kind enough to invite me to participate (over a month ago… it’s taken me forever to get the ball rolling on this one). She is such a supportive blogger who always helps me see the bright side of any situation. Not only is Karen a fellow runner, but she is also a fellow grad student! I love Karen’s blog for obvious reasons (we have a couple things in common), but I know you guys would love it too, so you should check it out now 🙂 Questions: 1. What am I working on? As far as writing goes, I am only writing for school and for this blog. I love to write, though, so I am grateful for both opportunities (even if it means I have to write a research paper). In life, I am working towards my MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which I will be done with by the end of this school year! I’m also working at my job part-time while I complete my clinical internship this year. Because I’m doing so much not-super-fun stuff, I am also working on having as much fun as I can in my free time. Life is short, and I don’t want to be a complete workaholic. 2. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre? My work on this blog probably differs from the work of others because I like to discuss strategies for living positively that do not always involve running. My focus is not on running as much as I would like it to be right now, but that doesn’t stop me from writing in here semi-regularly 🙂 3. Why do I write what I do? I feel more motivated to run when I write about running and I love meeting like-minded people from around the country. 4. How does your writing process work? I usually type out whatever is on my mind and edit/format it afterwards. Outlines are not my cup of tea; I need to just get all of my thoughts out on paper and rearrange them when I’m done. My Nominees: I was supposed to nominate 3 bloggers, but only received responses from 2 of them. After a month of procrastinating this post, I have decided to give up and just break the rules. SO, 2 bloggers instead of 3… Sorry about that, haha! 1. Brittany from Briterati Brittany is a fellow Chicagoan who loves to run! I’m incredibly jealous that she is running the marathon this year – her weekly running recaps really bring back good memories from my marathon training days. Brittany is also cool because she’s a librarian! She has some great posts about the books she’s reading AND she even got a Twitter reply from Sarah Dessen. As you can see, Brittany is kind of a big deal 🙂 2. Oksana from Othingsbeauty Oksana is my cousin and makeup expert. On her blog, she writes about beauty products that are not tested on animals, provides makeup tutorials, updates on her life, and much more. I’ve learned a lot from Oksana since she started her blog earlier this summer. Do you feel motivated to run when you’re not registered for a race?