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Posts Tagged ‘Ithaca’

  1. Running towards a SMART goal

    November 20, 2013 by Ian Perry

    It’s almost that time of year when everyone starts thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and setting goals for the coming year. Before thinking about goals for 2014 though, I wanted to write about one of my goals that I set for myself at the start of 2013.

    At the beginning of the year, I decided that I wanted to get back into running. I say get back into running because I had run track in high school and cross country in middle school. However, I stopped running after my sophomore year of high school, and hadn’t really done any form of running since. So, I set a goal for myself that I would get back into running in 2013. Conveniently, during the time I was setting this goal, I was helping out at, where the founders, Reece and Dan, were stressing the importance of setting SMART goals, not only for the company, but for everyone on the team. SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Clearly, my goal was not very SMART. It wasn’t very measurable or specific. How far was I going to run? Was I going to run a certain number of times a week? In other words, how could I set myself up to successfully achieve my goal? Thinking about this a little more, I ultimately decided on a very specific goal. What started out as “start running again in 2013” turned into “run a marathon before the end of 2013.” Unlike the original goal, the new goal was very specific, definitely measurable, and definitely timely. Now, as I said, I ran track in high school. More specifically, I did sprints. So, the farthest I had ever run at once was probably no more than five or six miles. So, setting a goal for myself of running 26.2 miles at one time may seem like it didn’t qualify as attainable or very realistic. However, I felt strongly about setting a goal that wouldn’t be too easy. I wanted to challenge myself and really get back into running. I knew that training for 26.2 would help me do so, so I decided to go for it.

    The first thing I did was head to the Niketown in New York City and invest in a pair of running shoes and a watch which would help me track my running. Next, I did what I knew would keep me motivated with my running: I registered for a race. I set my sights on the Skunk Cabbage Classic Half Marathon in Ithaca during the month of April. It seemed like a great first step, and I had about three months to get ready. Then, I started running. I did the majority of my training in Ithaca, running all over Cornell’s campus. Training during the winter months in Ithaca was definitely not easy, but I was able to stay motivated, and ventured out into the snow and cold week after week to make sure I’d meet my goal.

    In the beginning of April, I accepted an internship offer to spend the summer at Nike working on the Nike+ Running team. I would get the chance to work on the very products which I had been using to work towards achieving my goal. Excited by the opportunity, I became even more inspired to run. I successfully completed the Skunk Cabbage half in mid-April. 13.1 miles was now the furthest I’d ever run.¬†I was so caught up on reaching this first milestone, that I stopped running. End of semester excitement, and schoolwork contributed to this stoppage, but it was no excuse. I didn’t run at all in May, and I definitely wasn’t on track to meet my goal anymore. Not to mention, I still hadn’t chosen a marathon to register for. I kept telling myself I was just too busy, and that I’d return to training once I started my internship. Being too busy is not a good excuse, and I’ve come to realize that it should never keep me from doing things I love, like running. I was right, however, that I would return to running once I got to Oregon for the summer.

    Skunk Cabbage Classic Half Marathon

    One of the coolest things about working on the Nike+ Running app, a product which I use, was being able to go for a run with the latest build and test out the newest features. The culture at Nike made me really want to make sure I was running regularly, but the hectic-ness of being an intern also sometimes made it difficult to find the time. I’ll go into more detail about my experience as an intern at Nike in a later post, but one of the main takeaways for me, with regard to running, was that I wanted to be more than just a runner. I wanted to be a part of the community of runners that exists all over the world. This really helped inspire me to get back to running. I ran when I could over the summer, but also really loved what I was working on, so it was often difficult to choose between the two. However, once I got back to school in August, I made sure I was running as much as possible. I finally chose a marathon and registered for it. I had my sights set on the Philadelphia Marathon on November 17. I grew up about 30 min outside of Philadelphia in New Jersey, and my Mom now lives in Pennsylvania about 20 min outside of the city. So, I knew it would be easy to arrange travel plans, and I knew that in a little less than three months, I’d be running my first marathon.

    Training did not go exactly as expected, as I got injured in the beginning of October, but I was determined to do my best to stay on course. I kept on path to meet my goal, and this past Sunday, I ran and finished the Philadelphia Marathon. It was a really great experience, and completely worth every second of effort I’ve put into running over the past 11 months. It’s really amazing how many complete strangers cheered me on, and helped keep me going throughout the race. Some of the highlights for me were high-fiving the Mayor of Philadelphia at the starting line, and then crossing the finish line 26.2 miles later.

    Philadelphia Marathon 2013

    Not only was I able to achieve my SMART goal of running a marathon in 2013, but in the process, I also achieved my goal of “getting back into running.” So, what’s next? I definitely plan on running more marathons in the future. I not only want to improve my time, but explore other cities around the world by running 26.2 miles through their streets. I also have my sights set on my first triathlon sometime in the near future, although I have a long road of training ahead of me for that. Something makes me think it’ll be worth it though.

    Below are some pictures I took while running on campus.

    McGraw Tower

    Beebee Lake

  2. One last hurrah

    October 7, 2013 by Ian Perry

    Well, now that we’re already about a month into the fall semester, it’s probably about time I started blogging again. The usual start of the semester craziness coupled with the job search has prevented me from starting sooner, but I plan on getting back to blogging regularly starting now.

    After spending the summer in Portland, Oregon interning at Nike (more blog posts to come about this), it was a little strange coming back to Ithaca, although I’m happy to be back. Actually, Ithaca kind of reminds me of Portland in a lot of ways. There are a bunch of similarities between the cultures, there are a lot of outdoorsy things to do, and there’s tons of good food to be found. Now that I’m back for my final year as an undergraduate, I’ve started thinking about all of the things that I haven’t yet experienced at Cornell and in Ithaca. There are so many things that I have yet to do, and I want to make sure I don’t miss anything.

    It’s really easy to get very focused on your school work at Cornell, and it tends to happen often. This makes it easy to come up with excuses for not doing things. In my opinion, “I have too much work,” is never a good enough reason for not going on a hike, not going for a run, not exploring the Ithaca Commons, or not heading down to the Farmer’s Market on a Sunday morning. Yeah, school work is important, but the experiences that make being a Cornellian what it is are just as important. So, this year, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I explore everything that Cornell and Ithaca have to offer, and not get caught up in just doing school work all the time.

    I’d say I’m off to a decent start. This weekend, I finally made it to Cornell’s golf course for the first time and I also went to Apple Fest for the first time. It only took me four years, but hey, better late then never.

    I’m looking forward to getting back to blogging, and plan to cover many topics. I’m also hoping to get Hanging with Cornellians started up again, so if you have any suggestions for who I should interview, let me know in the comments.

    Oh, and if anyone has any suggestions for things at Cornell or in Ithaca that I absolutely must do before graduating, feel free to leave a comment.

  3. Happy Foursquare Day!

    April 16, 2013 by Ian Perry

    April 16th has become known by many as Foursquare Day. Foursquare Day celebrates Foursquare, the local discovery app. People around the world celebrate the app on this day, in many ways such as throwing parties, hosting Meetups, and meeting fellow Foursquare users. In addition, many businesses offer specials specific to the day, to encourage people to celebrate.

    One of the things I love most about Foursquare is that different people see different value in using the app. For some, it’s the lists, tips, badges, points, mayorships, etc. For me, it’s been the evolution of the Explore feature. Explore gives you amazing recommendations based on what you like to do. Foursquare has collected data from billions of check-ins, and from this data, it’s able to tell you the best places to go at any given time. Not only has it helped me discover new places, but it’s also great when having a group of often indecisive¬†friends. Instead of talking about where we want to go for half an hour, I just open up Foursquare and it helps us find a great place to go.

    Last Foursquare Day, I asked Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick (Cornell ’09) to proclaim April 16 as Foursquare Day in Ithaca, and he did. He joined a list of many other mayors across the country who had done the same. This year, he’s once again proclaimed April 16 as Foursquare Day.


    Foursquare Day 2013 Ithaca Proclamation


    Foursquare Day is more than just about celebrating an app though. It’s about celebrating the world around you. The world is huge and there’s so much to see. Foursquare helps make sure you don’t miss a thing. One of the great things about using Foursquare in Ithaca has been my ability to keep track of all of the amazing things to do here. For example, I spent last summer in Ithaca, and made this list with some of my favorite things to do in the summer. There are tons more lists to follow and great tips from Foursquare users everywhere you go.

    Whether you’re a dedicated Foursquare user or have never used the app before, happy Foursquare Day! (If you’ve never used it, I encourage you to try it out! Plus, you’ll get a cool 4sqDay badge if you check in today.)

    Feel free to leave your Foursquare stories in the comments.