One Year Ago Today….

I woke up to an email saying I got into my top choice school.  I was so excited to know that our plan was actually happening.

Sorry I don’t have any photos to insert here (not putting my school name on here for obvious reasons).

And 1 year later I’m 2 exams away from finishing my first semester of my Masters program, living in London in my amazing flat in Notting Hill with my amazing boyfriend, meeting people from all around the world but still mainly hanging out with Americans for some reason. 



What I Won

Do you remember a while back when I said I won Expat Women’s September contest?

My mini travel guides arrived in the post last week!!

Look at them!!!  I’m excited to use them soon.  I’ll be using the Paris book in March!

Thanks again Expat Women & Explorer Publishing!

After Adoption 5K Race

Here we are before the race.  We got there pretty early so we were trying to stay warm by jumping up and down and walking around.

Waiting for the race to start.  This was so different than NYC races.  There was no announcements. I had no idea that the race started because there wasn’t a gun or anything.  We all had to go through this tiny starting gate to activate our chips.  Our chips were around our ankles and we had to hand then in right after we crossed the finish line.

Setting my Garmin in case their chip system wasn’t accurate.

And we’re OFF! Marie sped ahead (she was running the 10K while Lauren and I ran the 5K) but Lauren and I paced each other for most of the race until I had to stop to tie my shoe. The race was in Hyde park but they didn’t close off any of the paths.  We were running around strollers, dogs, and kids.  It was quite annoying but the race wasn’t that big (maybe 250 people) so it wasn’t the end of the world.

Jon, my amazing photographer and cheerleader for the day, was right before the finish line so he got great pics!  As you can see my face is bright red.  I was really pushing myself.  At one point I looked down at my watch and saw that I was running at a 7:40 mile/min pace and I had to look at it again to believe it.  That is exactly why I love running in races.  The crowd gets you pumped up, you feel good, you are excited to run your heart out so you always run faster than you think you will.

And I finished….but not in 1st place.  I came in 7th out of the women running the 5k!!  I also PRed (personal record) or as the British say PBed (Personal Best) with a time of 25:40.  WOOOO HOOOOO!

If you look at the distance this time is for 3.21 miles.  A 5k is 3.1 so I looked at my time right as I crossed the 5k marker to get my real time.

We all PRed!  Lauren even came in 3rd place for the women doing the 5k.  This was her first race so we were soooo excited for her!  She better come back to London to run more races soon.

This is the first race I’ve done where I got a medal.  I love it!!  I want more. haha.  If I collect enough I might have to buy a medal rack.  I’ve already picked one out that I like.

Here is the path we ran.  It was beautiful and as you can see from the photos it was also very SUNNY!

The goody bag (which is a recyclable bag) had a t-shirt, vitamin water, some nut bars and pamphlets about After Adoption. Pretty good for a £12 race fee.

These next photos need some explanation.  We saw a woman in a devil costume pulling tires out of her car and we couldn’t stop staring.  We finally went down to ask her about her tire trail she had made.  She calls herself Tyre Girl and you can follow her adventures here. She runs all different races with tires attached to her. She has run marathons with tires dragging behind her.  It is insane!  For this particular race she had 36kg behind her and she weighed 57kg.

Marie couldn’t resist! She said it was so heavy.

We think it took her about an hour and a half to finish the 5k which is pretty impressive.  We saw her around the 3k mark and cheered her on!

This was my first international race and I can’t wait to sign up for more!

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

Lauren from Lauren’s Road Less Traveled wrote a post that I just have to share.  She talks about living with no regrets and I totally agree and I’d say that is what I’m doing in London.  You can’t be scared of something and talk yourself out of it.  You have to try it at least once to make it a real reason.

She is studying abroad in Southampton (about an hour and a half away from London) but I get to meet her this weekend!  We are running the After Adoption 5K while Marie runs the 10K. I’m hosting a “pasta party” at our flat Saturday night and I’m really excited/nervous.  It’s my first hosted dinner party (forgot to mention that to Marie & Lauren…hehe)!

I won!

I’m a member of Expat Women. It’s a great website where other expats tell stories, give advice and just write.  It’s a great resource if you think you are going to be moving to a new country or if you want to get in touch with someone there to ask advice.  As a member you are entered into a contest each month.  I won for the month of September!

That’s what it said in the September newsletter.  I will be receiving Explorer Mini-Guides thanks to Explorer Publishing. I can’t wait to get them in the mail post.


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