Tulip Festival 5k

I'm sure you all remember a few years ago when I ran my first half marathon at the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. Actually- maybe you don't... I don't think I every blogged about it. NBD, I'm a professional blogger.

Well, that was the first race I ever did.  I made my entire family come see me do it because after training for it, I was positive I would never run another half marathon in my life.  Fast forward two years and five half marathons later, we all know that didn't end up being true.

And then last year, I signed up for it the night before on a whim.  I had just ran the Zion Half a few weeks prior, but I was a little out of my mind (we had just put my dog down and finals were destroying me) and I registered at midnight before the race.  I had a blast, but in retrospect it wasn't the best idea because I hadn't kept my training up and my knees paid dearly for it.  I decided this year, I wouldn't run the Tulip Half Marathon right after the Zion Half because I want to be able to continue to run.

But, although I decided no to do the half, the 5k was free game.  My mom has been wanting to do a 5k with me for years, so for Christmas I bought her and I our entries to the Tulip Festival 5k!  It's been awesome to have something to look forward to for the last five months, and she came up to our house Friday night so we could get up early on Saturday and ride down together.  We went to Park City and I got to show her and Landon my new work digs and give them the grand tour of the penthouse suite and followed it up with dinner at our favorite pizza joint.  We didn't stay out too late because it was a blizzard (it's been a whiteout all week up here) and we needed to get home and get some rest.

We woke up around 6:00 am, stopped at the grocery store to get some breakfast, and we drove on down to Thanksgiving Point to get our packets and get all ready for the race!  Since it was the 5k, it started about an hour after the half marathon.  We jumped in the line-up at 8:00 and were off at the sound of the gun shot.  It was a little chilly when the race started, and we had debated whether to leave our jackets or wear them; we ultimately decided to wear them.  About a half a mile into the race, we were hot and regretted the decision.  I called Landon and asked him to meet us at the 2 mile mark so he could grab our jackets.  He was there, right under the water tower, cheering us on and taking pictures.  He is the best cheerleader of all time. :)

There was a water station there and we got a quick drink of water before we were on our way again.  As I think back about it, this race went by so fast! We were done in 40 minutes, and I'm so proud of my mama.  She did incredible and I am already looking to see what races we can sign up for next!  We crossed the finish line with tears in our eyes as we took turns putting our medals around each other's necks.  I told my mom as we were approaching the finish line, that in every race that I've done, as I am crossing the finish line I always think about the person I used to be before I started running, and how I'm am that many miles further away from her.  To think of the hundreds and hundreds of miles I've put between her and me is mind boggling and it brings tears to my eyes every finish line I cross.  Running has become part of who I am; I do it to get away from everything in life that is worrying me and if nothing is stressing me out, then I do it just to feel good.  And even though this race was a shorter one, it was amazing to do it with my mom and I hope this is the beginning of countless more to come!

After the race, we got to walk around the Tulip Festival and enjoy the incredible gardens that Thanksgiving Point has to offer.  It blows me away every year, but this year was especially awesome because it's been non-stop snowing for the past 5 days.  Utah usually gets a rogue storm every year at the end of April, but a week long blizzard is bizarre even for these parts.

It was windy, but the sun was out and the flowers smelled amazing.  For the first time this year, it finally feels like spring.  One of the perks of running the 5k instead of the half marathon was that a lot of people were still running, so we got the gardens almost all to ourselves for the couple hours we were walking around them.  Around lunch time, the crowds started making their way in, but it was fine because we were on our way out.  We got to enjoy it all while it was calm and quiet and it was glorious.
And of course, shouts out to my biggest supporter and best friend! Year after year, race after race, Landon reminds me just how lucky I am to always have someone out there cheering for me.  I don't imagine sitting around waiting for someone to run a stupid amount of miles is the most fun thing to do on your day off, but Landon has never once complained about following me around to every race I do.
I love him so much.

An Update on the New Job

That last post was heavy, wasn't it?  I can't believe it's been nearly three weeks since I wrote that.  It's been a whirlwind trying to get in the swing of things with the new job/life.  It has been- interesting, to say the least.  I mean, take me from three weeks ago and put her next to me today and it's just one extreme to the next; it's been and continues to be an adjustment.  I was used to waking up every day at 5:15 AM, barely doing the minimum (showering + mascara), eating a bowl of cereal, going to work in muddy jeans and steel-toed boots , and getting home by 4:15 in the afternoon.  Now my schedule will range anywhere from 7:30-2:30 to 2:00-10:00, and my days off are going to be sporadic throughout the week.  I have gone out and bought blazers, button-downs, and heels, and doing my hair and make up appropriately takes 4 times as long as it used to.

I'm not saying this because I miss the old ways (necessarily), but it's just a complete 180 from how I've lived and worked for the past six years and it's taking some getting used to.  I will say, however, it is really fun to actually feel like a girl and get pretty for work.

I knew that leaving Garco was going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done, and even three weeks later I'm still feeling the dull ache in my heart from how much I miss them.  While I haven't been an emotional wreck like I was in my last two weeks, I find myself clutching to any connection I can.  I've been actively deleting incoming out and outgoing calls in my phone so that I still see my boss and the foreman of the pit's names in my call history.  It makes it feel like I'm still talking to them every day.  I took pictures of every room of the lab before I left and I look at them at least once every couple days, and I swear I can still smell the asphalt cooking.  And I've been talking with my boss and old co-workers every few days, just a couple texts here and there, and they have no idea what it means to me. I cannot convey how badly I miss them; it's like nothing I've ever experienced.  Landon and I just finished watching the Office (for the 87th time) and I could barely breathe this time because I related more than I ever have in my life when Andy says, "I wish there was a way to know when you're in the good old days before you've actually left them."  I told my old boss the other day that I literally have to talk myself out of driving past Park City and down to the pit every morning.  He told me to stop listening to myself.  As time passes, I can't decide if it's getting harder or easier to do so.

But as much as I long for the Garco days, I am anxious for my new job to get going.  It's a ghost town in Park City right now since we're between seasons.  As more people start coming into town, I think I'll get better at what I'm doing.  I'm hopeful, anyway. I have an incredible team who is going to whip me into shape, I work at a breath-taking resort in the best city on Earth, and I'm in the mountains which is like, my dream, so I'm determined to not only succeed, but go above and beyond.

Just got to give it time, because it's all very bittersweet.  All I can say is that I've got good things ahead, and good things to look back on, and I am very aware of how lucky I am to be able to say that.

A Rough Couple of Weeks

*heads up- long post ahead.  I just needed to type out everything I'm feeling, so no hard feelings if you don't want to stick around for this beast.*

I promised I would be back here to catch up on life when things settled down a bit.  Well, surprise surprise, life doesn't really ever settle down, but I've found myself in a small break and I figured I'd better get over here to type it all out.

I've got so much to talk about, but today I want to focus on just one thing:

I quit my job last week.

(I need that dramatic "dun, dun, DUUUUUNNNNN" music in the background.)

For those of you who've been reading here since the beginning, you know that I've got my job at Garco two weeks after I started this blog.  So this feels like the end of an era, and one that has been difficult for me to embrace.  I handed my two weeks notice in last Monday, and I've cried at every person who has asked me about it since.

Let me explain to you guys why I've decided it was time to call it quits; you all are lucky because you don't have to deal with my tears as I give you the details.

So, I decided to go back to college last January to get my Bachelor's in Professional Sales and I've been going to school and working full-time ever since. I even did both Summer semesters in order to get done as soon as possible.  Well, at the end of last semester I was looking at my CatTracks plan and it said that I still had 50+ credits to take before I could graduate.  I decided to go visit my advisor to see how to plan my classes in advance so I could get everything done in the most efficient way possible.  This is where things took a turn.  He opened my profile and then pulled up my credits I took at Utah Valley University and proceeded to count out enough credits to cover anything in my degree that wasn't part of the Professional Sales requirements which ended up being roughly 35 credits.  So in a matter of 30 seconds, I went from having a year's worth of school left to 17 credits.  I'm sure you an imagine my excitement when I realized how much sooner I'd be graduating and how much money I'd be saving from tuition.  He helped me plan out the rest of my time at WSU and I left his office with a skip in my step.

Fast forward about a month and a half, I realized that the last couple classes I had to do to do graduate might require more than all of my previous classes had.  They're my Senior Projects, and I hadn't really talked to my advisor about them when I had been in his office.  I called my dad to see what he knew about the curriculum and he referred me to the professor who actually taught the class to get the deets.  This wasn't the easiest process since I'm an online student and I couldn't just go find him on campus to talk.  I emailed with him back and forth, but his responses were usually short and a little delayed.  No tea, no shade or anything, but it wasn't until the end of February that I actually got  all of the information I needed on what the classes were like.  Plain and simple they were projects that showcased everything I had learned in the Professional Sales and applied to my current position as a salesperson.

I'm not a salesperson, currently.  I'm a quality control technician for a construction company in a mine.

Immediately following this little nugget of information, I met with my manager to talk about my options with the company.  I told him that I needed a job in sales to be able to complete these projects that ultimately decide if I can graduate or not.  I conveyed that they were basically an internship, without being called an "internship" because most of the students in the program already had jobs in the sales field that they could do their projects on.  I, on the other hand, am one of the black sheep.

My manager was incredible and told me he would approach his boss and the plants manager to see if they could find me any place in the sales department that I could step into.  He talked with them and relayed everything I had told him in effort to keep me with the company.  Meanwhile, I was being realistic and looking at my options outside of the company in case they couldn't place me.  I was extremely picky with the prospects available; I didn't want to take any old sales job.  If I had to leave my job, I wanted to go somewhere that would be closer to my house, that wasn't a call center, that had a good company culture and incentives, and obviously that paid well.  AKA I was looking for a unicorn in the job market.  I did find a couple that seemed to fit the criteria, but were looking for a bit more experience than I actually have, but I figured I'd send a resume just for the heck of it.  I wasn't actively looking for a job, but these companies worked with WSU's Professional Sales program and I figured it couldn't hurt to have back up in case Plan A didn't pan out.

About a week after I sent in my resume, I got an email from one of the jobs asking to schedule and interview with me.  Again, I really didn't have high hopes because I didn't have the experience they were looking for, but it was still an incredible opportunity on the off-chance they did want to hire me and I figured at least I could get some practice on what interviews are like these days since I haven't been job hunting in nearly six years.  That Friday morning, I went in and met with two different ladies and had an amazing interview with both of them.  The job as they described it sounded like a blast, the location is in the heart of Park City at the base of my favorite ski resort, and the money was far more than I could have hoped for.  They invited me to come back that afternoon to have another interview with their hiring manager because she would be the one who ultimately decided who got the job.  I agreed and the second I walked out of their lobby, I called Landon to try to talk about how conflicted and suddenly terrified I was feeling.

I sent in a resume with zero expectations, I met with them for an interview with zero expectations, but that interview went so well and they wanted me to come in for another and suddenly possibilities were becoming real to me.  I started to cry because it was an amazing opportunity, but at the same time the thought alone of leaving Garco shattered my heart.  I knew my bosses were trying to find something for me, but the entire time we had been brainstorming about the whole situation I knew in the back of my mind that chances were slim that they'd have a place for me.  I've been here for six years, I know both of their salesmen, I know that there's only the two positions, and I knew that the only way I'd be able to move to sales in the company was if they made up a spot for me.  I think up until that moment after the interview though, I had been in denial a little bit.  I didn't have any other options at the time, so I was holding onto my small chance with both hands.  But after that interview, suddenly I had another choice and the reality of the whole situation started to set it, and it made me cry.

I went home to do some homework, eat lunch and try to compose myself before I went back for my second interview with the hiring manager.  She was just as kind and ambitious as the two I had met with before and we ended up having an incredible interview as well.  It was about half as short as the first one and she really got down to the nitty gritty in a short amount of time.  She brought up my experience as a salesperson and I was very straightforward with her.  I said, "I have a lot of experience in customer service, but I have next to nothing when it comes to actual sales in the field.  But, I'm just about to graduate with a Bachelor's in Professional Sales, so I have to tools and knowledge to apply to this job, I'm also a quick learner and since I haven't had a sales job before I'm a blank slate for you to train; I won't have any bad habits to break or notions that don't jive with your company and will be able to learn how to be the perfect employee for the job."  This answer brought a huge smile to her face and she told me that was exactly what she was looking for.

She shook my hand and thanked me for coming back twice in one day to meet with her and to expect to hear from her soon.  And just like before, I burst into tears the second Landon picked up the phone. It was the strangest feeling to be equally as excited about an opportunity as I was heartbroken at the mere thought of leaving my current job.  It was a conflict I'd never experienced before.  I decided to try to put it out of my mind and continue to work on my presentations that were due in the coming week, especially because I hadn't actually been offered the job and there wasn't anything I could do at the moment.

The moment wasn't too far behind, though, Saturday afternoon I received a phone call from the hiring manager offering me the job that I was so sure I wouldn't get when I submitted my resume.  I thanked her profusely and said I couldn't accept the job at that moment because I needed to talk to my boss about his plans, but that I would call her on Monday with my answer.  She was so kind and understanding and told me she looked forward to hearing from me.  I hung up the phone and was immediately a ball of anxiety.  The rest of the weekend it was all I could think about, and every time it popped into my head, tears were quick to follow.

Monday morning came and I texted my boss asking if I could meet with him that day.  We had planned on getting together early in the week to talk about what my options were, but after the offer I had gotten I had to talk to him immediately.  He took me to lunch at a small, authentic Mexican restaurant where our waiter didn't speak any English.  I ordered three tacos despite an overwhelming feeling of nausea and after I ordered (by pointing to the menu because I don't speak Spanish) I blurted out, "I got a job offer and I don't know what to do!"

We spent the next hour talking about my options with my current job and the options with the potential job.  He told me that me moving to sales in our company wasn't ruled out, but it would be a slow process finding a spot for me and seeing if I was a good fit for the position.  This wasn't really new information to me; it was what I was expecting to hear all along.  I then told him all about this new job and with every word that came out of my mouth we both knew the direction we were heading.  He told me he didn't want to tell me to take the new job because he would hate to lose me, but he also couldn't ask me to stay if he knew I wouldn't be happy and always wonder what could have happened.  I had done so well maintaining composure, but I felt the tears stinging in my eyes when he said that if I hated the new job that I could come back; he said that he would always have a place for me.

I still can't seem find the words to express what an incredible job this has been for me.  I've learned so much here and I've developed such amazing relationships with my co-workers that they're more family to me than colleagues.  My manager and supervisor have taken such great care of me for the past six years, really investing the time to train me and help me grow in my position.  They've worked with me when I decided to go back to school and been so supportive the entire time.  My co-workers and the foremen and salesmen are my best friends and the thought of not seeing them and talking to them everyday is one that brings the flood of tears to my eyes and makes it hard to breathe.

I've never had to leave a job like this, or people like this.  I've never dreaded a goodbye so much.

When I called to accept the job offer, I told her I needed two weeks before I could start, but even if I started the second I hung up with her, two weeks is not nearly enough time to tell the people here how much they've done for me and how much I love them.

I have high hopes for this new job, but I can't silence the fear that I'm walking away from the best people I will ever know.

I know I have to do this.  I have to do this for school and for myself to see if this is really what I want to do with my life.

So yeah, there it is. Here's to the future, I guess.
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