Live Grit Lakefront 10 Miler Race Recap

Once upon a year ago, I ran the Lakefront 10 Miler and was pleasantly surprised to see not one but two of my former physical therapists at the post-race party. I enjoy the company of these people and was just thrilled to see them there.

Once upon ten months ago, I began a six month residency at my physical therapy clinic, spending time with both of these therapists (but primarily my boyfriend physical therapist). As you may understand, when you see someone twice a week for six straight months, you begin to feel attached to them (and you start to do things like call them your boyfriend, even though they are distinctly not), and though you could dance around with glee at the thought of not directly depositing your paychecks into your physical therapist’s company’s coffers, the prospect of no longer seeing your physical therapist on a regular basis does cause you some distress. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

Once upon fiveish months ago, CARA opened registration for its annual Lakefront 10 Miler. Approaching the end of my 2014 stint in physical therapy and saddened by the impending end of my relationship with my physical therapist, I did what any logical person in my position would do: I registered for the Lakefront 10 Miler in hopes that he would, once again, be at the post-race party, so I could say hey without swinging by the clinic because I “happened to be in the neighborhood.” (I am never in the neighborhood.)

(Feel free to check your opinions about me being a stalker at the door :P .)

It also just so happened that the Lakefront 10 Miler fell on the same weekend that I was supposed to do a 10 miler for my current half marathon training plan. Given the choice between running 10 miles on my own while dodging race participants or running 10 miles as a race participant, I’d much rather go with the second option.

And that’s the story of what brought me to Montrose Harbor on Saturday morning.

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The weather, in typical spring fashion, has been a bit all over the place this month. There have been weeks where I’ve worn my pea coat one day and no coat two days later. This week was primarily a North Face fleece week–arguably my favorite kind of weather–and the forecast consistently said that it would be in the high 40s at race time on Saturday morning. Per usual, I laid out my race day outfit with care on Friday evening: a short sleeve shirt, arm sleeves, and 3/4 length tights, all of which I thought would be appropriate for those sorts of temperatures.

Then I woke up on Saturday morning.

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What. The. Eff. This is not what I was told!! This is not what I planned for!!

I’m not going to lie: I freaked out when I saw the current temperature. I’ve been building my mileage over the seven weeks or so, but I’ve yet to wear anything less than long sleeves and 3/4 length tights on any of my long runs. I’m not even entirely sure it’s ever hit 50 degrees on any of my long runs. The last time I ran far in those temps was…September? That was seven months ago. In no way did I feel prepared to run 10 miles in Real Feel of 57.

I picked up my “packet” on race day with no problems. CARA, in an effort to go green (and/or save money), did away with the traditional packet entirely this year, which meant no junk (and also no Clif Bar samples :( ) and just gave out bib numbers and shirts.

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I don’t know if it was the weather, the fact that I haven’t had a good night of sleep in probably a week (and had a particularly bad night of sleep Friday night, courtesy of a pesky ear issue I’ve been fighting and the reopening of the Man Cave outside my window), or a combination of the two, but I felt awfully anxious heading into the run on Saturday. I fought this feeling (and it accompanying chest tightness, which is not high on my list of Ways I Like to Feel During a Run) for a good 3.5 miles of the race. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had NO idea what kind of time I would run on Saturday–when talking with a couple coworkers also running pre-race, I threw out 1:38 as a fairly reasonable estimate–so I put myself near the back of the 9:00 minute pace area when lining up, thinking that seemed fair. Per usual, I liked the thought of PR-ing, but knew realistically that wasn’t particularly likely. Last year at this race, I was primed to blow it out of the water. It was the Saturday before Easter, meaning I hadn’t had sweets in six and a half weeks, so I (theoretically) was at my healthiest. I had done a tempo run and intervals or treadmill hills every single week since January 1. I had already run double digit miles that year, including one 10 miler in March and a kickass half marathon earlier in April. The weather, as far as I remember, must have been somewhere in the 40s or low 50s, since I know I wore my pea coat to the race, and that kind of temperature is my sweet spot for running. Everything was set up for me to do well last year.

This year was a different story. Since Easter two weeks ago, I have subsisted on a diet made up primarily of jelly beans, M&Ms, and Cadbury eggs. I have done exactly two speed workouts in all of 2015 (though you could make the argument that November Project counts as speedwork, based on the interval-style workouts and the fact that we often finish with 10 minutes of very short sprints). My last double digit run was the Chicago Marathon. In fact, I’ve been post-marathon PDR-ing every single weekend since I stared this cycle in February. While I didn’t expect the run to go poorly, I certainly did not expect to crush it in any capacity.

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For whatever reason, the first mile of this race feels so. long. I remember this from last year, and this year it was just as demoralizing as in 2014. My watch hit a mile a bit before hit the mile mark, so even though it said I ran an 8:54 first mile, I thought the clock at the mile marker, which read 9:30 as I passed it, sounded much more reasonable.

From that point on, my watch and the mile markers matched up almost exactly, and I was like a freaking metronome:  9:29, 9:27, 9:35, 9:25, 9:31, 9:35, 9:42, 9:28 (and the last mile, which I’ll get to in a second). This has been the story of my long runs for the past month or so. Historically, I’ve been ALL over the place with my mile splits, but lately, my last mile has been maybe 10-15 seconds slower than my first mile. I don’t know what on earth I did to make this happen, but I am loving it. I feel so satisfied when I review my mile splits and see that I ran so evenly, and I felt even more satisfied seeing that in a race setting.

I wanted to fuel around mile 5, but there were no aid stations until right after mile 6, so I waited to take my Shot Bloks until then. This was right before we turned around and started to head north after Fullerton and OH MY GOSH. While it had been calm at the start, the wind had picked up dramatically over the past hour, and this was rough. Not Shamrock-running-down-Franklin rough, but rough nevertheless. I had opted to wear just shorts and a short sleeve shirt for the race based on the warmer-than-expected conditions, and I was actually fairly cold for the last four miles, which rarely happens to me at the end of a run. I kept thinking the wind would die down as the Lakefront Trail moved away from the lake and we had more trees to protect us, but no such luck. I fought that wind the whole. way. back.

Despite the wind, I more or less managed to keep up my pace (that 9:42 split for the eighth mile being the one exception), and when I hit the mile 9 mark, my legs were feeling surprisingly good. was pretty tired, but my legs weren’t, so I let them have their way, and I just flew. I don’t remember the last time I felt like that — it was like the only thing hold my legs back was my cardiovascular system, which was holding on for dear life in that last mile (I now run with a heart rate monitor, and it’s interesting to review my average HR for this race. While it was almost the same for miles 3-6 [181, 182, 183, 183], it definitely jumped for the last four [187, 188, 190, 194], when I was running into the wind. And yes, my HR is always that [miles 3-6] high on long runs, I don’t know why, but I do know my max HR is no less than 207 not 196 like it “should be” for someone my age, my EKG from the doctor came back clear, leave me alone). I ended up busting out an 8:40 final mile and finished the race in 1:33:53. That’s only 2:21 slower than I ran last year when everything was perfect, and considering I went into the race hoping for a 1:38, I am quite pleased with a 1:33.

I collected my medal and obligatory post-race bagel and banana (…and cookies) and immediately went to retrieve my gear since it was so dang cold with all of that wind. I chatted with Erin for a bit, considered adopting her “basically stop running and you’ll be faster than you’ve been in ages” plan, and the reunited with my boyfriend physical therapist :D (And whined to him about my feet, which continue to go numb every stupid time I run. He has no explanation, though I have Internet-diagnosed myself with medial plantar nerve entrapment, because I match the symptoms, which is enough for me to Internet-diagnose myself with anything. I did not tell my PT that my PFPS knee hurt after the run, because then he’d ask me if I had been doing my exercises, to which I’d have to hang my head and say “No :( ” and then he’d tell me to do my exercises. I figured it’d be easier on everyone to skip that conversation and just start doing my exercises again. Though he was happy to hear that my shin was feeling better, since I actually had gone in to see him [per his request] two and a half weeks ago regarding my shin.)

All in all, a very successful morning :)

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Thursday Things

1. Oh man, team. I (via BuzzFeed, I think?) discovered THE BEST Instagram account earlier this week: Chef Jacques La Merde. I feel like this whole account was designed just for pretension haters like myself, so if you, too, are a pretension hater 1) let’s be besties 2) you need to check out this account. The basic jist of things is that whoever’s behind this account takes everyday junk food and/or food of the masses (i.e. people like me), plates it, and then describes it as if he were a chef at a fancy pants full of itself ~tReNdY~ dining establishment (“Gusher crudo,” for instance). It. Is. Hilarious. Can I get one of these for full-of-themselves studio fitness joints as well, and/or for people of the belief that their way of exercising/eating is THE ONLY way of exercising/eating? Because that would just make me burst with glee.

2. I don’t know WHAT is happening in my life, but I think I stepped into a slightly defunct time machine. HOLY SMOKES. This week has been one insane blast from the past after another, and while it started off as being cutesy and fun, now it’s just weird. Behold:

– The subjects of my dreams for several nights running have either been people that went to high school with me or people that worked at camp with me. I haven’t had any interaction with any of these people in months at best, but far more often, in years. Like, since-I-graduated-in-2008 years. I’m not even Facebook friends with some of them! And yet they are now hanging out in my subconscious.

– On Monday, I was headed to work, minding my own business, when the person sitting next to me on the train needed to get out. I stood up to let him pass, and happened to look up as I sat down, and there, standing by the door of the train and conversing with someone else, was a guy who had been in several of my college classes. WHUT. I didn’t even know he LIVED in Chicago, never mind that we took the same train in the morning. I was so jarred by the whole experience that I immediately LinkedIn stalked him (as one does) once I got to work, and lo and behold: he lives in Chicago. I occasionally run into former classmates on the train, but that’s literally happened three times in my entire Chicago life, which is about 2.75 years old at this point. GAH it was just nuts.

– Monday evening, I was on Facebook, minding my own business, when I got a message. Waaaay back in the day (primarily during high school and my first couple of years of college), I was really active on this one forum, and while I still go by there every once in awhile, most of my friends from that forum stopped posting a long time ago. Well, this message came from one of those friends–I don’t think I’ve said anything beyond “Happy birthday!” to her in at least four years–since she is apparently considering moving to Chicago and wanted the lowdown on where people live in the city. It was an absolutely wonderful surprise, but nevertheless it was an ENORMOUS surprise.

– Wednesday morning, I was November Project-ing, minding my own business, when I saw these two girls running down the Lakefront Trail — two girls who, I kid you not, went to my college. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. In all my Lakefront Trail-ing–of which there has been PLENTY, let me tell you–I have seen people from college exactly twice. And then I saw TWO girls I knew from college (they probably don’t know/remember me, though I am Facebook friends with one of them…) in the SAME WEEK that I saw this other guy on the train. I just don’t know what to do with myself. I mean, I went to a relatively small college, so if we went to school at the same time, chances are I’ll at least recognize you, if not know you by name, if not had some sort of interaction with you in college (one of the girls running had been in my orientation leader training group in…2011, I believe? 2011 or 2010, I can’t remember.) but at the same time, it was a relatively small college, so it’s not like there are that many of us in Chicago. Outside of events organized by the alumni association, I usually bump into people from my college maybe–MAYBE–once every six months. At best. To bump into THREE people in less than 48 hours was just insane. Hilariously, I actually skipped the annual alumni networking event my alma mater schedules every April that took place last night because I was sick of going and feeling way too college-y, so I long ago decided to not go this year. I enjoyed my time in college, but I’m very much the type of person who likes to close down and totally move on from a chapter in life when it ends, so to see TONS of people from my “college life” inside of my “Chicago life” always makes me feel uncomfortable: like, “What are all of you people doing here? Why aren’t you back in West Michigan where I left you?” I went to an alumni event in January and it was real weird, so I’ve kind of sworn those off for a little while. And goodness gracious, apparently I don’t even NEED alumni events anymore, since I’m running into all sorts of former classmates without even trying o.O

– And to top this all off, I cannot stop listening to My Konstantine by Something Corporate, because apparently it’s 2006 in my mind and I am ALL about that angsty emo music right now. Whhyyyyyyy??

All of this nostalgia, to be honest, has been quite overwhelming, and it’s just a very, very weird feeling. I mean, I get nostalgic every once in awhile, just like everyone else I presume, but this has been like a crushing feeling of nostalgia – this deep desire to go back to high school and college, which is so strange, because I didn’t even LIKE high school! I liked the last two months of high school, but the rest of it, honestly, was terrible, because being a teenager is the literal worst. AND I hated my first two years of college (though the last two were pretty great). And even if I were to go back to West Michigan, it’s not like I could actually relive the “glory days” (LOLOLOLOL those are the last two words I would EVER use to describe my high school experience), because surprise! It’s not 2008 anymore! Even if I did go home, I couldn’t possibly actually relive those experiences–and I don’t even really want to! Those experiences were by and large full of ANGST (and way, way too much homework)…but yet here I am, pining for 2007 like it’s going out of style.

Growing up is strange.

3. Crap. This has gotten way too long and once again is way too void of pictures. UGH blogging is hard. Here: have a totally irrelevant skyline shot from my eight miler two weeks ago, because it’s late and I’m tired and I don’t want to take the time to import the picture I took of Lake Michigan at November Project yesterday…which I meant to blog about today and then didn’t because I ran out of time/words, and yet I’m still rambling. STOP WRITING BETHANY. MORE PRETTIES, LESS TALKY.

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I’m a mess. I apologize.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts? Not that *I* have an Instagram account, but you know. For future reference.
Is there a cure for nostalgia? Or rambliness? Because I think I need to look into both like…yesterday. Hahaha.

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Adventures in Online Dating: Project Fixup

(There are two referral links in this post. If you sign up for Project Fixup, you and I both get a free date. Project Fixup has no clue that I’m writing this post, so all opinions are my own, blah blah blah.)

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About two and a half years ago, I got wind of a new Chicago-based startup: Project Fixup, a company that promises to help you “meet people, not profiles.” Unsure about but intrigued by the idea of online dating, this seemed like a fairly safe place to start.

Thus began my love affair with, in my opinion, the best way to get dates in the city of Chicago.

Project Fixup

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The Premise: Scrolling (or swiping, these days) through endless profiles into which people have put varying degrees of effort is exhausting at best and useless at worst. Project Fixup eliminates that step of online dating entirely. You create a profile that only the staff at Project Fixup can see. Then, after indicating your availability and joining either on-going or monthly “themes” (or both), Project Fixup will comb its database to find someone they believe will be a good match for you. After finding said match, Project Fixup arranges a time, date, and location for the two of you to meet, along with a special phone number through which your actual phone number is routed that will allow you to text or call your date before meeting without giving out your real phone number. This special Project Fixup phone number expires after your date, so if you ever want to see your date again, you must exchange actual phone numbers during your date. Otherwise, you will have no way to contact them.

I started using Project Fixup in October of 2012, and, like any startup, it has gone through several different models and operating methods since then. The current system is a nice combination of previous models and had yielded the most success for me up to this point, at least in terms of getting dates.

When you register for Project Fixup, your first step is to fill out a questionnaire that gives the staff of Project Fixup the opportunity to get to know a bit about you and what you’re looking for. They ask for basic information about you–birthday, ethnicity, religion, height, education–and also give you the chance to say what you’re looking for in all of those categories and how much you care about each category by indicating whether you are “picky” or “not picky.” You can also list specific qualities that you are looking for or things that qualify as dealbreakers. These last two options are open-ended, allowing you to say whatever you want.

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After making it through the basic information, you move on to on-going themes. Here, you can select which kind of “themed” date you’d like to go on. Current options for Chicago include craft beer, coffee, whiskey, tacos, mystery (a catch-all theme that includes places like Headquarters), desserts, craft cocktails, dive bars, and wine. You can indicate your interest in as many themes as you’d like, and also indicate if you’re only interested in one-on-one dates or if you’d be interested in group dates as well (I’ve never received a group fixup).

Next, Project Fixup gives you space to tell them a bit about your interests and personality by selecting qualities you feel apply to yourself from a long list of options.

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(That’s not even half of it.)

After that, you add photos. In general, only the Project Fixup staff will see your photos. They use this to help set you up with a person who would likely find you attractive, and vice versa. For example, if you indicated that one of your dealbreakers was a juiced up macho man, Project Fixup could use their database of photos to not set you up with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Conversely, if you indicated that you wanted a juiced up macho man, Project Fixup could use that information to find you your very own Arnold.

The last bit of information you hand over to Project Fixup relates to personal details: your actual full name (which they will never give to your date), your phone number (which they also will not give out), your occupation, and where you’re located in the area (which they keep secret but use to help find a date venue convenient to your location).

And then you’re free to go! Project Fixup allows you to indicate your availability based on their pre-selected times, and once you’ve done that, you sit back and wait for your inbox to ding.

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Each fixup comes with basic information: which theme this date falls under, where your date will take place, the day and time of the date, the name of the person you will meet, and two sentences that basically amount to an elevator pitch on your prospective date — without photos. These dates, under the current model, are 100% blind.

When you receive your fixup, you have three options: confirm, pass, or reschedule. If your potential date sounds interesting, you confirm and wait/hope for them to do the same. If your schedule has changed, you can reschedule the date, proposing a new time that works with your prospective date’s indicated schedule. If you chose this option, Project Fixup requires you to explain why you’re rescheduling, and this explanation is emailed to your date. If, for whatever reason, you would prefer to not go out with the person Project Fixup has found for you, you’re allowed to pass (though Project Fixup will give you much grief for doing so. “Are you sure you want to mess with fate?” and all that.).

If you confirm and your date confirms, Project Fixup will charge you $20. This $20 does not cover the cost of any date-related expenses – it’s how Project Fixup stays in business, as they have no advertising. In the grand scheme of things, $20 is not all that much money — I mean, you can barely find a studio fitness class for that price in Chicago, as you may recall. I also think having this fee helps weed out a lot of riff-raff if you’re looking for something more serious than a hookup. Who’s going to go through all that work and pay $20 to find someone to bang when you can do the same thing on Tinder for free? I’ve yet to be stood up on any date, period, but I also think someone who already put down $20 to go on a date would be less likely to bail entirely. If your date ends up being THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR LIFE, you can also ask Project Fixup for a refund. I’ve gone a couple dates via Project Fixup that have definitely worked hard to take the title of The Worst Experience of My Life, but given my affinity for Project Fixup, I’ve yet to actually ask them for a refund.

After your date, Project Fixup requests that you review your date, asking you about the fixup process, how you felt about the venue, how you felt about your date, your interest in seeing your date again, your interest of going on more fixups with different people, how likely you are to recommend Project Fixup to someone, and if you have any additional comments for them.

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Project Fixup is FAR AND AWAY the best way to get actual dates from what I’ve found. Since joining in 2012, I’ve gone on dates with 11 different guys courtesy of Project Fixup (one in 2012, eight in 2014, and two this year). In my experience, Project Fixup works in fits: I’ll go weeks with nothing from them and then usually get two dates scheduled within the same week (once I went on two dates in the space of three days, in fact). I don’t know why this is, though there are plenty of possible reasons: my schedule, the schedule of guys who Project Fixup thinks I’d like, the growing pains of being a startup, etc.

I’ve gone on some really, really great dates through Project Fixup and some really, really terrible dates through Project Fixup. The thing with Project Fixup is that even though they can see your profile, it’s not as if they actually know you (though given how verbose I tend to be in my reviews, it’s probably safe to say that Project Fixup and I are more or less on BFF levels at this point ;) ), nor do they actually know the person they’re setting you up with, so it can be a crap shoot. As I’ve learned the hard way several times, just because someone sounds great on paper does not mean they will be great in reality. Sometimes, though, people sound great on paper and then do turn out to be great in reality, so you never know.

I’ve been wildly unsuccessful in getting second dates out of Project Fixup. The very first guy I went out with because of Project Fixup asked me out to lunch about a week after our first date, then invited me to run Jingle Bell with him (the “fake date” I mentioned yesterday, and also the reason I discovered Jingle Bell and my subsequent age group domination. Or, you know, age group placement :P ), then wished me a “belated Merry Christmas” the day after Christmas in 2012, then never spoke to me again. (Though he did train for the Chicago Marathon with CARA in 2013, so guess who I got to see bright and early every. stupid. Saturday. for 18 weeks that year?? Pro tip: if you are a runner in Chicago, do not date other runners, unless you are okay with seeing them around. I know it seems like a big community, but it. is. not. If you’re actively involved in this world locally, you will run into that person at some point again, and it will be exceedingly awkward.) After that, I had several dates where I exchanged numbers with my date, and neither one of us ever called or texted the other person, even if the date went quite well. To be honest, I’ve only once left a Project Fixup date thinking, “I really, really hope this guy follows up,” and that guy did follow up, so I think in all of these other cases, it mostly comes down to a lack of an “x factor,” if you will. That kind of stuff doesn’t show up on paper, so I hold nothing against Project Fixup.

The guy who did follow up, for what it’s worth, more or less asked me out on a second date, but the timing was terrible. We met the weekend before Thanksgiving, and then he was out of town the whole of Thanksgiving, and despite the fact that we texted a lot throughout that whole week, when we both came back to the city after Thanksgiving, I didn’t hear from him at all. I reached out to him the Friday after Thanksgiving and he never responded. (Then 48 hours later I found the guy who turned into my now-ex-boyfriend, so I guess overall that worked out just fine. Well, aside from the whole now-ex thing, but whatever. At least I had boyfriend.)

Last August, I went out with a guy who had moved back to the Chicago area from New York, where he lived after graduating from an Ivy League school (*swoon*). While we were talking, he told me about this startup he had worked for in New York – this company that granted you access to fitness studios around NYC if you paid said company a flat rate. YEP: he was one of the first people to work for ClassPass (though at the time it was called Classtivity). I went out with him literally seven days before ClassPass announced their launch in Chicago. So that was kind of cool…even though I never saw him again.

I’ve definitely gone out with a few guys I would not have picked for myself through Project Fixup:

– They sent me on a date to a really awesome cocktail bar in Boystown (which I’d argue was weird locale for a straight couple’s first date, but whatever) with a super socially awkward fellow. I got a bit more than tipsy, since I can’t hold alcohol for the life of me, and spent most of my time flirting with the clearly gay bartender. Good work, Bethany.
– I went out with a guy earlier this year who defined “schlubby” and could not stop telling me about how he was a lawyer. Did he mention that he was a lawyer? He works in law, in case you were wondering. Courtrooms and everything. Big time. Oh, and he’s a lawyer.
– Perhaps my least favorite individual was the winner who told me how he’d like to run the Chicago Marathon for Team World Vision (which I have no use for, but this is not the venue for venting my frustrations about Team World Vision), despite the fact that he had never run more than a 5K, because “people don’t have clean water. Can you even imagine? Like, they don’t have access to WATER,” and then in the same breath proceeded to tell me that the best thing about Chicago, in his opinion, was the way it’s “cleaned up areas like Cabrini Green.” *headdesk* Right, yes, because the only black people worth caring about are the ones living in Africa. HEAVEN HELP US if we have to see, never mind deal and/or interact with, black people, systematic repression, and poverty in the city of Chicago, especially on the North Side. Gentrification for the win, amirite?! He also happened to go to a church that I have deep, deep problems with in the city (this idea of saving Africa/third world countries while egregiously ignoring any social justice issues literally right outside your church door is horribly pervasive at that church, and that is something for which I have absolutely no tolerance) AND had literally the exact same first and last names as this kid who was the bane of my existence on the newspaper in college, so needless to say, I never saw him again (even though he was a massage therapist, which probably would’ve been a useful quality in a boyfriend to me as a runner. I think I’d rather pay my fake boyfriend physical therapist to take care of me, however :P ). This is also why I’ve now labeled myself as “liberal” on my survey haha.

Realistically, I shouldn’t be so gung-ho about Project Fixup, given the dire lack of boyfriends I’ve acquired due to its services. I’m not on a mission to become Chicago’s best serial first dater: I’m on a mission to find a boyfriend, and clearly that has not happened at all with Project Fixup. Regardless, I think it’s a fantastic service. It is without question the best way to get a date in my experience, and dating, like anything, gets better with practice. I think because I’ve gone out on so many (omg so. many.) first dates through Project Fixup, I’ve gotten much better at dating in general. I have a better idea of what I’m looking for, I have a better idea of how to act on a first date, and I have better small talking skills, which seems silly, but is totally critical for first dates with people you’ve never before met. I’ll admit that I’m very “everything happens for a reason,” but I really think if I had gone out on my first date with my now-ex-boyfriend without having gone through all of those Project Fixup dates first, that first date with the now-ex-boyfriend would’ve never led to a second date, never mind a relationship. I knew how to handle myself and I had the confidence that I could handle myself well, and it worked. I’m a huge fan of Project Fixup and highly recommend it to anyone.

Project Fixup currently only operates in Chicago, San Francisco and Durham/Chapel Hill/Raleigh (the Triangle) in North Carolina. If you happen to be interested in checking out their services in any of those cities, you can get your first date for free here. Like I said, I think it’s fantastic, and if you want to go on dates, I’d definitely give it a shot.

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