When September Ends

Oh hey September, welcome back! It’s nice to see you again, you’re one of my favorites. You come bearing the start of a new school year, chilly mornings, colorful leaves, perfect running temps, and of course fall!

But you wouldn’t think it given the weather we’ve been having. It’s as if summer came back in full force for one last rendezvous until next year. I always complain about my distaste for the heat, but the truth is that this year I’ve kind of been loving these sweltering summer days. The brutal winter must’ve really done me in because just the thought of snow sends shivers down my spine. I’m not ready to be freezing cold again, I’m concerned that I sincerely won’t be able to handle it. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, how I don’t think I’ll be able to live in a cold climate for much longer. Thankfully, New York has milder winters than the ruthless Midwest, but what if I’ll soon reach my breaking point? I guess then down south or out west I go!

Anyway, moving on to happier thoughts…September goals! Ok so I don’t really have clearcut goals for this month, but there are certainly a few areas of focus that deserve my attention.

School – After the summer semester, I think I finally got back into the groove of being a full-time student. But this upcoming school year brings about a whole new level of challenges, also known as my orgo / bio year! That’s right, it’s time I conquer organic chemistry and biology, the latter just so happens to be notoriously difficult at Columbia (oh joy). School starts on September 8th, and I hope to hit the ground running. No procrastination allowed!

Columbia University

Running – I have two races on the agenda this month, the 5th Avenue Mile on Sept. 13th (I finally get to run this!) and the Bronx 10 Mile on Sept. 27th. While I’m ready to run distance-wise, my speed is…crap. I’ve been blissfully ignoring my pace since starting to run again post-injury, but I hope to change this starting now! I’ve said this before, but this time I swear I’m actually gonna try to add interval training and hill workouts into my weekly schedule. I also want to finally add in a fourth running day and start getting accustomed to the higher weekly mileage. Let’s do this!


Health – I’m naturally a healthy eater and lover of all things wholesome and unprocessed, but I do have quite a raging sweet tooth. Desserts are good for the soul but not so great for someone trying to tone up and speed up (running-wise). I’ve recently been inspired to experiment in the kitchen as well, encouraging myself to ease out of food ruts and attempt to expand my culinary horizons. My kitchen pantry is brimming with foods just waiting to be used up in fun and unique ways! I’m hoping to do some healing from the inside out, specifically because I’ve really been struggling with my skin lately. Who knew that adult acne was such a pain in the a$$?

sour cherries

Euro-trip Planning – I haven’t even started figuring everything out for my upcoming trip to India & Europe in December/January. It seems far away but the reality is that, with school and volunteering and everything else happening in life, the months will fly! I need to start booking accommodations, shopping for India-appropriate clothing (dear god someone help me and tell me what to buy), and determining must-sees in each city! Yikes…


So, September, I’m physically and mentally ready for you. When September ends, I hope I’ll feel as accomplished as ever!

What are your September goals, if any?

♥ Irina


  1. September 1, 2015 / 10:08 am

    For India, don’t buy anything! Instead, go to a tailor and let them make something for you! Get a kurta (long tunic) and some flowy pajama pants from cotton fabric (more comfortable to wear than polyester blends).

    It’s also nice to wear local clothes because you might reduce the “staring”. That really made me uncomfortable after a while when I was traveling there, the constant male staring (and you are not allowed to stare back, because that might mean something suggestive or whatnot). Also, a big pair of sunglasses helps there. But otherwise, India will be a blast!

    • September 2, 2015 / 10:35 am

      Ahhh nothing at all? I think I would be so nervous arriving there without at least a few basic pieces to wear :/ We’re gonna be in full-on wedding mode for the first few days but then maybe I can buy a few local pieces on our free touristy days. Kurta and local clothes, noted! I’ll be on the hunt. I’m thinking of bringing baggy cotton cargo pants, a long loose dress and skirt, and some plain T-shirts, although all these will probably still elicit stares right? Ahhh! At least I got the big black sunglasses down 🙂

      Thanks so much for the advice!

      • September 2, 2015 / 11:02 am

        Ok, well, you want to wear *something* when you arrive there 😉 anything that’s not too clingy is good, and no cleavage 😉 I saw this tourist girl at a train station once that was wearing short yoga pants and a spaghetti top — not recommended! She was traveling with a male companion, so that helped, but still… I would have been very uncomfortable!

        This was my favorite store in India: http://www.fabindia.com/
        (they have physical stores in India so you can go in and try things on!)

        By the way, a lot of the models are wearing skinnier pants and I saw this in the streets too, as long as your bum is covered 🙂 but I find baggy pants to be comfier in the heat.

        • September 2, 2015 / 11:21 am

          Haha I would hope that I arrive clothed! 😛 But who knows…after 17+ hours of flying I might lose my mind. Are jeans appropriate? I always travel in jeans but I guess I can change beforehand.

          Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out in detail today! You’ve been so helpful, I might have to bother you for advice a few more times before my trip 🙂

          • September 2, 2015 / 11:49 am

            I think Jeans are fine, maybe don’t pick the skinniest of them 😉

            Btw, my mom and I backpacked through Southern India in 2011 for three weeks (Aug-Sept). We booked a tour with Intrepid, and we had an amazing experience! The guide was really useful, just cause India is such a different country — he had explanations for all the different customs we observed. But it sounds like you have a local connection, that’ll be great!

            Feel free to ask more specific questions, and have fun planning the trip!

          • September 2, 2015 / 2:35 pm

            Oh wow that’s awesome! If only I could convince my mom to do something like that with me, she’s really worried about my upcoming travels to India. I’m actually going there with a hugeee group of people for a wedding, we’ll be with a few folks who live there and/or have family there so I’m calm about the experience. We’ll also spend NYE in Goa! It’s gonna be quite an adventure.

          • September 2, 2015 / 3:45 pm

            Yup, my mom was extremely worried and then she decided that it would be best if she came with me… *haha* Doing the tour was a good idea because we always traveled in a (small) group of five, and since you’ll be with people you know, you should be fine.

            Oh, just thought of that: bring washable shoes. We ended up wearing our rubber flip flops the entire time because there was a lot of dust, dirt, puddles of unidentified liquids, animal and human excrement… everywhere, unfortunately. So flip flops were great, because at the end of a day of sightseeing, I just took my shoes in the shower with me 🙂 If you need more support, you could get some Crocs (they have sandal styles, not just the clunky ones).

            Also, bring a flash light. We encountered a lot of power outages.

          • September 2, 2015 / 4:55 pm

            Ohhh I was wondering about shoes! I’m in love with my white Converses but they’re…well they’re white. With everything you wrote about the dirt/liquids/etc., wearing sandals kind of freaks me out! But I’ll probably take your word on it and invest in a solid pair. I’ll still bring my Converses, mainly because I’m heading to Europe after and plan to wear them there. And flashlight! Noted again, thank you!

  2. September 1, 2015 / 10:53 am

    I was lucky to have a stash of India-appropriate wear ready for me when I made trips to India…and luckily everything still fit haha.

    But nowadays there are a lot of shops that sell ready-made clothes and they are cheap too. They are appropriate weather-wise as well as modest 😉 you’ll be fine don’t worry 🙂

    • September 2, 2015 / 10:38 am

      Please tell me more about this India-appropriate clothing! Is it authentic Indian wear or more Western? Are long loose dresses and skirts and pants too modern and conspicuous?I’ll definitely purchase some clothing there but I need to at least arrive with a few pieces that I can immediately wear. Is December/January chilly (as I’ve been told) or still hot?

      • September 2, 2015 / 2:40 pm

        Long loose dresses are perfectly fine. Spaghetti straps/sleeveless may be considered too revealing, but short sleeve long dresses would be a good way to go.

        Long skirts were the easiest to wear, since you can always pair it with a short sleeve top.

        December and January is still hot (at least in the south), but more like mild summer weather…actually it’s the best time to go to India, haha 🙂 It might be different in Northern India though.

        • September 2, 2015 / 3:22 pm

          Ok great, I’m planning on essentially living in loose clothing with some sort of cover-up over my shoulders as needed. I’ve been told the same thing about the December/January temps in Delhi, I’m hoping to not melt 🙂

  3. September 1, 2015 / 11:46 am

    Gah, I am so jealous that you’ll be running the 5th Avenue Mile! I would LOVE to do a mile race, especially a straight one like that so I could truly see how fast I’m capable of running a mile. Someday!

    I feel you on the adult acne. Although I suppose mine has just been a consistent preteen/teen/adult acne sort of thing haha. This past winter my skin cleared up for the first time since I was I think nine years old, and I was SO excited, but now it’s back to zits 4 dayz. Sigh. I wish I could figure out a way to make it stop!

    • September 2, 2015 / 11:14 am

      I’m pretty excited about it!! My only regret is that I haven’t been working on my speed at all so I don’t expect a noteworthy performance 🙁 It should still be a cool experience though!

      I’ve also had acne since my teen years, it’s the worst! 15 years of this struggle… I can’t believe that I’m approaching 30 (OMFG) and am still dealing with this nonsense! We can struggle together ;(

  4. September 1, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    Whoa, school starts on September 8!?!!? That is literally right around the corner! You must be so excited!!!

    Speedwork, blugh. I am with you that I always say I am going to do intervals and repeats more consistently… then I will fall off the wagon after a couple of weeks. I need all the inspiration I can get! I look forward to being inspired by your perseverance and your fortitude! =)

    • September 2, 2015 / 11:23 am

      I know right?!? I had a three week break but it zoomed by in a flash (what else is new). I am excited!! It’ll be tough but I’m up for the challenge.

      I think you and I should both stay motivated for speedwork! Fall is the perfect time too, assuming that these crazy 90-degree temps disappear soon… Let’s do it!

  5. Marina
    October 17, 2015 / 2:01 am

    Hi! I’ve been living in Delhi for a few months so thought I’d throw in my two cents.
    In addition to rubber flip flops or sandals, sneakers (not very new, not very light/bright) are also helpful to protect your feet from dirt and on chilly mornings (in winter in Delhi). Maxi dresses and skirts are totally appropriate in theory, but I found the hem of your dress collects dust. Skinny bottoms are fine if your top or kurta is pretty long, i.e. hits mid-thigh or longer. Most ethnic tops are of that length, if you choose to pick up a couple here. Nicer jogger pants from Old Navy are literally my lifesaver! They are called “soft pants” or “pull on pants” on their site. They are not too slim, and look less touristy than cargo pants or wide harem pants.
    Overall there are many urban, young, middle-class Indian women in Western attire, like jeggings and form fitting tops, from brands like H&M or GAP or Zara. It’s a relatively self-contained category though, in offices, malls, the inside of upscale restaurants or bars. As a white woman, people of all walks of life look at you more. Men will look as well as kids and women, usually with just unabridged curiosity. At least for me it helps mentally withstand the extra scrutiny if I know my appearance fits in more.
    Also if you are coming to the northern part of the country in winter, it can get uncomfortably cold inside. As annoying as NYC’s old, heavily puffing central heating elements are, there is no central heating in India. Make sure to pack things like a fleece, a hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants, warm socks, to layer on at night. Oh and bring a large scarf or shawl! It can be amazingly versatile, to ramp up the modesty level of an outfit, keep you warm etc. You might be sightseeing in a temple that asks you to remove your shoes and/or cover your head. You can pick up more beautiful big scarves here too.
    Wow this was long, hope it helps and have an amazing trip!

    • October 22, 2015 / 10:15 pm

      Hi Marina!! Thank you so so much for all the great advice, much appreciated! It’s always difficult traveling to a new country, especially one with such a powerfully unique culture (and climate). I already bought cargo pants so I guess those are coming with me, but I’ll definitely look into the jogger pants as well. And I have the perfect large scarf that fits your description, so I guess it’s coming along too! Good to know that I’ll also be able to wear “tighter” pants if needed, as long as my top is long enough.

      On another note, I now feel very reassured about the weather in Delhi 🙂 I was so concerned that we would all be melting! I’m glad the heat won’t be as bad as I envisioned.

      Thanks again for reaching out! I suspect I’ll have a few more questions as my trip approaches, so I might come bother you again 🙂

  6. Marina
    October 17, 2015 / 2:06 am

    Sorry there was some glitch! Please feel free to delete my first comment.