5k failure

So, Saturday I was signed up for a 5k. I did Color Me Rad with my friend Ryan back in June. At that time, I was at the point in c25k where I could run 3 minutes at a stretch. We did the 5k, it was a lot of fun and I figured I’d better sign up for another one if I wanted any hope of continuing the program. By the time this past Saturday rolled around, I was up to 22 minutes running.

So I felt half-prepared which was better than the .05 prepared I was for the other one. Keith was kind enough to drive me to this 5k, so it wasn’t until 15 minutes before the start that I started to get nervous. There were not a ton of people there and there was no sort of course map so I was pretty nervous that I was going to be dead last and get lost in the middle of North Park. (foreshadowing!)

So right before we start, the guy says “We’re going to take a left onto the foot bridge, a left onto Lake Shore Drive and then turn around at *blank*” Blank was the name of a shelter, but as soon as I heard it, I forgot it. I figured there would be some sort of sign, so I’d be okay. (foreshadowing!)

So we’re off, and I’m running, and I’m keeping pretty good pace with the people around me. And then I look down at my armband (running RunKeeper) and see that I’m only 8 minutes in and I want to diiiiiiiiie. Turns out I was running way too fast (for myself) trying to keep up. So I took a little walking break and then tried to slow down a bit. At about 10 minutes in, all sorts of people with running bibs start pouring back toward me. “Holy crap, am I going THAT slow?” But I figured whatever, those must be the pros, I am sure there are other slow people in front of me.

At the one mile mark there was a water station. I struggle with drinking water while running, I drink too much and make myself sick so I figured I’d skip the water on the way out and get some on the way back in. There was a hill after the water station and people were coming down it, so I kept trucking along.

I actually mentally high-fived myself because I watched some girl turn around at the water station and I (terribly rudely/judge-ly) thought, “Hey! At least I’m not giving up!” So I keep going. And going. And going. And see no turnaround what-so-ever. I stilll had RunKeeper plugging along so when I got to 1.6 miles, I said whatever and turned around. I figured I either missed the turn-around (How? I don’t know, it’s not like I was running with my eyes closed) or didn’t reach it yet in which case it was way too far away.

So I turn around and make my way back. At this point, I can’t help but let a few tears spill out. I am most certainly dead last, which is fine, I didn’t think I would be first or anything, but I just felt very alone. I get back to the water station and there is no one there. There are water jugs, but no cups. I keep going.

At 2.1 miles, I text Keith and let him know I only have 1 mile left. Just in case he thought I died out there.

I get back up the footbridge and whereas before there were people there cheering and pointing you in the right direction, this time, no one.

I cross the footbridge, get back on the first stretch and what do I see in front of me but all the volunteers walking back to the finish. In front of me. Who is still running. As I ran past them, they all kind of gave me a weird look. At the time, I thought they were slightly embarrassed that they left their posts before everyone finished, but in hindsight I think they were embarrassed for me.

I finally get back to the start, Keith is standing waiting for me. The finish line was a little bit further on, but I looked at my phone, saw I was at 3.17 and just headed to the car. As they are in the middle of an annoucement about “Thanks so much, hope you join us next year.”

Tears. Keith asked how it was. More tears. I told him how I couldn’t find the turn-around, I was the last one, even the volunteers didn’t wait for me.

Then Keith says that there was an announcement (shortly after the first person finished in less than 20 minutes) that they messed up the course. It was only 2.1 miles. Meaning the turn around was probably the water station. Which I didn not turn around at because I was paying attention to my mileage. And I saw people coming down the hill past it.

In hindsight, they were probably just regular runners, since it is North Park. And I unfairly judged the lady that turned around because she thought she was supposed to. And I was dead last, but I also ran an extra mile. And the volunteers did not wait because it should not take any normal person to run 2.1 miles in the time I ran 3.1.

I was really upset and felt really down on myself for the majority of that run. But my time was exactly what I expected it to be. I completed it. I completed MORE than a lot of people did (Keith said he saw some people pass the finish line twice – apparently after realizing the course was short). Overall, it was a kind of crappy experience, but it’s over. If it was not a charity race, I would be asking for a refund, but I’m not that evil.

I think the next 5k I do has to be some sort of fun run/walk. Running a 5k by yourself when you are not a very good runner is not even remotely fun.

crying really brings out the blue in my eyes.

crying really brings out the blue in my eyes.

I now have two race bibs hanging on my wall and took this very sad picture of myself in front when I got home. I then took Daisy on a leisurely 1.5 mile stroll and felt a lot better. And then I got tacos from PghTacoTruck and felt a lot a lot better. Screw running. Gimme dogs and tacos.


cue sad sarah mclachlan song

So for my final photography project, we could take photos of anything we wanted, there just had to be a theme. I thought for days and days on what the heck I wanted to take pictures of. I had finally sort of decided that I would try to take pictures of people and their pets. I was trying to make a list of 10 people I knew with pets when I realized what a possible nightmare this could be.

“Hey…can I come over your house for an hour and take pictures of you and your dog?” times 10.

Yeaaaa…that wasn’t going to work. I also had the idea to take pictures of every place I have ever lived. This is something I still might do someday, but when I pulled up the house I lived in in Greene County and saw that it was almost 2 hours from my current house…yea, not going to happen.

Every day, I drive past the Animal Rescue League on my way to/from work. I finally had the bright idea to see if I could go there and take pictures. Tons of animals in one place! It took a while to actually get someone on the phone to ask if that would be okay, but when I finally did, they were incredibly accommodating. I went down a few times and was almost given free reign on which dogs I wanted to photograph.

Since Daisy is so attached to my hip and so used to having her picture taken, I may have underestimated a bit how difficult it would be to get other animals to actually want anything to do with me. Most of them were just thrilled to be out in the yard so they would just want to run around. I was armed with a bag of training treats though, so I could get their attention for a moment here and there. I also went one night to take photos of cats and they were actually way more cooperative! It helped that I was in a room with them, not a giant yard and it also helped that my friend Chelsey (who volunteers there) was there to wave toys around/wrangle cats.

So, without further ado, here are the 12 images I chose to print out for my final project. I am thrilled with how they turned out.












My purple kitty picture actually became semi-famous and made it onto both the Animal Rescue League facebook and the front page of the Consumerist.

And since I’m a giant dork…
Screen Shot 2012-12-15 at 11.57.39 AM

Screen Shot 2012-12-15 at 12.02.45 PM

My dog photos have also been used on the Animal Rescue League’s website which makes me incredibly happy. Overall this was a very rewarding project.

dogs and weddings and photography, oh my!

So I’ve done nothing house-related in the past week, but figured I could post a general life update, because why not?

Last week, we had another sibling dinner, this time at my sister Mandy’s house. She didn’t take the easy way out like I did and actually cooked out. We ate some delicious food and my mom sent up some old pictures for us to look at, so that was amusing. My sister has two dogs, Junior and Jackson and I spent a lot of time hanging out on the floor with them. 


This picture of Jackson kills me. He could be Daisy’s little brother.



Sleepy Junior.



sam and me
Me and my baby brother who is almost a foot taller than me.

Daisy felt left out so here is a funny picture of her mid-yawn.


Last weekend, we went to New Jersey for Keith’s cousin’s wedding. We didn’t leave until after work Friday, so we stayed somewhere in PA before finishing the drive Saturday morning. “You have arrived at your destination,” the GPS said as we pulled up to an abandoned gas station. It was just after 11p.m. and we were in the middle-of-nowhere PA and our hotel was nowhere to be found. We drove around for 20 minutes down these terrifying and foggy backwoods roads. Google and the GPS thought the gas station was the hotel. Eventually, thanks to Bing maps (of all places) we found it. In the total opposite direction off the highway.

Luckily the rest of the trip went off without a hitch. They had an issue with the photographer and had asked me to take some pictures. I was incredibly nervous to do so but ending up having a lot of fun! My pictures aren’t anything to write home about, but some are decent! I also felt really cool running around and taking pictures during the ceremony.

allison & jonathon 7.28.12

Probably my favorite picture, edited with “colorize” from the Pioneer Woman’s actions. After the reception, we were all staying at the same hotel so we went back and took over the lobby for the rest of the night. We ordered pizza and everyone just hung out and it was a lot of fun!

I also fell madly in love with the bed. We were staying in a Marriott and the bed was like sleeping on a cloud. I was trying to figure out how I could smuggle it home, but had no success. Apparently you can buy the bed from the Marriott for the low, low price of ~3k. I am seriously considering saving up for it because it was that amazing.

allison & jonathon 7.28.12

I made Keith stand around the church so I could figure out my camera settings before it began. (I was pretending I knew what I was doing.) I’ve decided this is his GQ cover. (Edited with another PW action.)

 i'm a pro

I forgot my sweater at home so here I am rocking Keith’s jacket at the reception. I look so profesh.


I had so much fun taking pictures at the wedding, I figured it was high-time I learned how to really use my camera. Through Pitt, you can take some classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers so on Monday I dropped one of my fall classes and signed up for Basic Digital Photography and I could not be more excited. Yay!