One Down, Eight to Go

99 Problems Running

I can now officially say that I survived my first week of half marathon training. Okay, so survived may be a bit melodramatic, as I’ve quickly come to learn that this process is far less about survival than it is about simply enjoying the process.

I won’t lie that I used to be daunted by the prospect of running a half, and by distance running altogether for that matter. But, now that I’ve embraced running and taken it more seriously in terms of consistency and competing in a few races, it’s become a mainstay; a required yet welcome part of my routine.

A friend once told me how he starts feeling like some kind of “grouchy fucking bum” after a couple days of not running, and I can totally sympathize. Another friend recently remarked that “Running is a lifestyle.” Again, holla. I view it as not only a means of fitness, but a way to be more in touch with your body and better aware of how you treat it. I guess it goes back to the whole “Your body is a temple.” mantra, which correlates nicely with the vegan thing.

And moreover, why be intimidated by a half? I mean, let’s face it, we all know someone who’s done one that you’d in no manner refer to as a “runner,” a notion that has allowed me to adopt an “If they can do it, then hell anybody can.” mentality.

When it comes down to it, I think the single most important factor involving running is motivation (one’s playlist being a close second). Running gets me out of bed in the morning or feeling inspired to hit the gym over the occasional lunch break, either leaving me feeling hella good the rest of the day.

For much of this, I’ve gotta thank my girl, TL, who lent me her training schedule (below) and who’s become one helluva guru. Between her explanations (I took one look at Wednesday’s training and gave her a call.) and insightful stories, the wise and often inspirational words from others in my life, along with what I’ve found online (pic above), I think I’ll be golden.

With that said, bring on week two!

Half Training Schedule Screen Shot

My White Sister Has Got Me Thinking…

Family Bombeck Quote

My fav middle (and white) sister, Elizabeth, Instagrammed this quote from journalist Erma Bombeck on my birthday this week. Perhaps because of all the birthday wishes or the fact that it’s now Father’s Day weekend, but the quote she shared has increasingly resonated with me these past few days.

I’ve mentioned this to people on and off over the years – and yes, I know it sounds hella cliché – but my family are my best friends. We’re indeed a strange cast of characters who may look nothing alike but share so very much in common – from our winsome smiles and inane senses of humor to our core values and many little quirks. We’re a bunch who’ve each become fiercely independent while still learning to grow together through our individual and common experiences.

No doubt there’s been lots of loving and laughter over the years -two qualities that go hand in hand in our family. We’ve also had our fair share of sharing illnesses (really, the ‘rents are saints for taking care of our sick selves, especially with Mare’s hypochondriac ways), hiding (and breaking) toys, borrowing (and at times stealing) money, among many other challenges, which I view as having only served to further unite us over the years.

As important as loving and laughter are to any functional fam, I’ve also come to find the “defending” component as equally essential to the mix. We’re all quick to call each other out on our shit, but even quicker to defend one another. We may not be fighters (well, except for maybe Annie after that hockey stick incident), but I would caution anyone to mess with the Burri.

Sure, with the six of us (seven if you count our token black sheep or good ol’ Grandma across the street) occasionally comes the selfish diva, moody bitch, annoying vegan, inconsiderate ass, unsought counselor and insufferable know-it-all (often as a result of the blond – ahem, Elizabeth). We’ve seen each other at our best and at our absolute worst – I know I’ve resigned myself to never living down Annie’s wedding reception…

After some solid reflection on that moment and so many others these past few days, I keep coming back to something my dad told us time and again growing up: “You’ve all got to stick together.”

Well, Dad, stick together we certainly have. I believe it’s this that has become the common thread that’s bound us all together.

Embracing My Late Twenties

liz lemon

A wise individual once said, “You’re only as old as you feel.” In that case, then, I  feel like a total 28 year old – caught in between those crazy college years and an extended stay at a senior home.

There are times I genuinely feel like I’m 28 going on born in 1928, with not a day passing at this point that I’m reminded of no longer being twenty-twoooooo (thanks Taylor Swift). I mean, I run and can drive at night, but it’s probably not a good sign that I’ve found myself using phrases like “kids these days,” right?

These geriatric moments and sensations (and frustrations) are a recurring subject and source of humor in conversations with friends. Thankfully we’re not alone, though, as apparently our feelings of old ballness is a “thing,” perfectly encapsulated in a recent BuzzFeed article comparing one’s early twenties to their late twenties.

Scrolling through the gifs (knowing what a gif is… score!), I found myself not only laughing but also finding a lot of truth in (too) many of the examples. The one that rang all too true involves where you’re likely to find me at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning…


The article also made me realize that I’m now at the point where I could give two shits about gossip and clubbing, have hella more confidence than I did five or six years ago (yeah life experiences!) and feel so much older than college kids – the exact same feeling I used to get around high schoolers as an undergrad.

Okay, time to get ready for bed. It’s already past 9 p.m…

San Fran: As Beautiful as You Are Stereotyped

San Fran Rainbow

My friend Jason posted this pic of San Francisco’s rainbow-filled sky earlier this week and it just made me smile. The city, and the Bay Area in general, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in my 28 years.

Say what you will about San Fran – without a doubt one of America’s most strongly-stereotyped cities with its hella-pricey properties and copious earthy-crunchy, liberal-leaning, techy and altogether strange types – but it’s hard to argue the city is probably one of the most beautiful in the country. The photo doesn’t lie, folks.

San Fran, if you weren’t so far away from the majority of my friends and fam, I’d come knocking in a heartbeat. But don’t worry, I’ll visit soon.

Saturday Night Live Is Alive Again

Saturday Night Live seems to be getting back to its uproarious roots after a rough stretch over the last few years, which in my opinion began with the departure of the likes of Will Ferrell and continued through Molly Shannon’s exit from the show. It was disheartening to see mainstays such as Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig peacing out recently as well.

So maybe it’s because I had set the bar pretty low that I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the show has been more consistently entertaining week in and week out as of late.

This past weekend’s episode featured a fantastic sketch parodying iPhone5 users’ complaints about the device (e.g., obnoxious maps glitch), which begins with a panel of techie bloggers and then segues into an appearance by several Foxconn (Chinese factory where iPhones were manufactured) workers mockingly offering their own counterpoints to the various complaints.

As usual, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are genius, and the sketch ended up being hella amusing throughout. My favorite part is when the workers have trouble identifying products actually made in America–other than diabetes that is. With sketches like these, I think SNL may actually be making its way back; or at least in this guy’s eyes.


One of the definite perks of working for a university is the opportunity to take free classes. After being talked out of taking Arabic by my mother (who I applaud for her failed attempt to suppress her laughter), I decided to sign up for a weekly Intermediate French course that began this week.

The French classes I took as an undergrad were among my favorite courses. I also happened to do quite well in them, so I was confident enough walking into Tuesday’s first session. You may have a sense of where this is going…

Our professor, Hela (pronounced “hella” – awesome, I know), asked each of us to state in either English or French why we were taking the course. I was mentally preparing my response in what I deemed to be mostly unbroken French when one of the middle-aged gentlemen among us rattled off his answer in nearly perfect conversational French. I mean, damn; was I ever glad I didn’t volunteer to go first. His spiel was basically like sitting there listening to this and made me feel like this afterwards.

I suppose that’s the outcome of him living and working in Belgium for 12 years (at least I understood that much!). This made clear how very subjective the term intermediate is.

And since I possess no facial filter whatsoever, the professor quickly picked up on my thought process (I’m sure a baboon could have just as easily done the same) and fortunately without calling me out explained to the class that we were welcome to use English in the course’s initial weeks. Merci professeur.

I say this in the least supercilious way possible, but I’m not used to being one of the least advanced learners in the classroom. Thank God I’m motivated, resourceful and that I have no sense of shame when it comes to public embarrassment because she’s already assured us that we’ll have plenty of practice at conversation in the coming months. I’m actually pretty stoked about that, though, and have ultimately resolved to think of the entire experience as a total positive. If nothing else, it’s free, right?

You can bet this won’t be the last you hear about this class.