Shaking Things Up!

I am boring.

Well, that’s a lie, (at least I hope it is, I hope I’m not a boring person) but my fitness routine is boring.

Before running I had spent a few years trying to find something I would enjoy and would stick with. The first thing I loved was Body Pump, but when paying for a gym membership didn’t fit into my budget I eventually shifted to running.

Initially, I was motivated to run because I didn’t want to die while running the 5k I had signed up for. That has since morphed into running because I enjoy it.

Which is great! I’m so glad that something I used to dread is now something I love. But that’s all I do. I run, I didn’t even stretch initially, mostly due to laziness.

I’ve remedied the no stretching thing (a fear of injury fixed that one real quick) but I still think the rest of my fitness routine needs to be seriously evaluated. My endurance is increasing, but my legs aren’t able to keep up they get tired long before I feel tired.

I also feel less flexible, and to be honest, as much as I love running it can be boring day after day even on my best weeks. So I’m going to shake things up!

  1. Interval training once a week. I started this two weeks ago and I really feel it’s made a huge difference. I’m going to continue this.
  2. Move during the day. I have an office job, and I sit for far too long during the day. My coworker challenged me to walk up and down the six flights of stairs in my building once every hour, or eight times a day. I’m going to try to do that for the next month and then reevaluate whether to continue.
  3. Yoga I enjoyed the yoga classes I took and now my boyfriend is interested in taking a yoga class with me. I’d like to get some of the flexibility back that I lost from running.
  4. Strength training. I hate strength training, so so much. I just get so bored! So I’m going to experiment with things here until I find what I like. I found some body weight exercises which I think may be the best place to start for me. I also need to work on my upper body. My legs have gotten toned and my arms are flabby, it’s a problem.

 

Obviously, I’ll be documenting my process here and I wouldn’t be surprised if this list changes over time. Any suggestions you have feel free to share. Let me know how you keep exercise fun and interesting.

It Was a Pittsburgh Weekend

It was a busy weekend! At the beginning of the summer my sister moved to Pittsburgh for her first job out of college. It’s been a fun summer for her, but I haven’t had the chance to go up and see her place (and more importantly, her!) Well I finally had the opportunity to go up this weekend and visit with my boyfriend.

We had a blast! We got in late on Friday, so we just went straight to bed. On Saturday we met my sister and her boyfriend for brunch at Pamela’s. It was delicious! I splurged and got their Strawberry crepe hotcakes, which is basically just a very thin pancake filled with brown sugar, sour cream and fresh strawberries. It was delicious!

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We spent the rest of the morning walking along the Strip District which has a bunch of really cool shops including this store Art of Steel that had this sign outside that gave me a laugh

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Then it was off visiting Fort Pitt, a park in the middle of the three rivers running through Pittsburgh. There was a huge yoga convention happening in the park that day which was cool to observe. It was so hot outside I don’t know how they were doing it though! The park also offered a gorgeous view of the city.

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After that my sister had a recommendation from a coworker to go a local cidery (is that what they’re called or did I just make that up?) called The Arsenal Cider House. Well I love cider so I was completely up to it. We got to sample 5 different types of delicious cider and my sister ended up purchasing a growler of the Archibald’s Ado. They even customize the growler bottle with your name which is fun!

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Sunday before we left we went to First Watch for brunch. I got the Key West Crepeggs (apparently it was a crepe weekend!) I was so hungry I completely forgot to take a picture of my brunch, but it was delicious and I enjoyed every bite.

Overall, it was a fun weekend and I can’t wait to go back and visit my sister again, she’s only there for a year before she moves onto another city. There’s so much that I know I still want to experience so I see another Pittsburgh trip in my future this year.

It looks like the weather for the week is decidedly devoid of rain, and I’m hoping that remains true, I really want to get some runs in, I’ve finally hit a consistent schedule after a few weeks of sporadic running and it feels great!

Non Scale Victory Friday

Despite it being a busy week for me with my car brakes needing to be replaced and what not this week did seem to fly by. I can’t wait for this weekend. I’ll be going up to Pittsburgh to visit my sister who moved there at the beginning of the summer for work. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh so I’m eager to see what the city has to offer!

My non-scale victories for the week:

  1. I ran terrifically on Monday. If you missed it see here. But I kept an average pace of 10 minutes and it wasn’t even hard!
  2. I was feeling a little under the weather on Wednesday and Thursday, but I still got a track work out in on Thursday evening. I ran 4 miles and it felt awesome!
  3. I was running low on food this week and was scraping the barrel on what to eat. But yesterday I went to Aldi and bought a bunch of fruit vegetables and chicken for healthy meals to come! It’s always nice to have food.

That’s all for now! Have a great weekend and feel free to share your non-scale victories in the comments below!

Never Say Never!

It’s been a crazy busy week for me! On Sunday my car was making a grinding noise and I realized I needed new brakes. So the past two days were spent researching auto mechanics and then getting the car repaired. It was stressful to say the least and to be honest this blog was the last thing on my mind.

I did manage to get out for a run on Monday and I was so happy with it. It was a 3 mile run and for some reason my legs were super tight so I ended up mostly walking the last mile. However, I was super happy with how the first two miles went. Despite feeling tight I managed to average a ten minute mile for those first two miles.

THAT IS HUGE FOR ME!

I never run 10 minute miles. I usually average around an 11 minute mile, and if I’m taking it easy I’ll be between an 11:30 and 12 minute mile. I don’t stress about my time so that time is fine by me.

I don’t know what happened on Monday though. I looked down at my watch midway through my first mile and noticed my pace and to be honest I had to look down at it again to make sure I didn’t read it wrong, I wasn’t feeling tired so I didn’t slow down. Plus I was curious if I could maintain the pace. Well I did! It felt awesome!

Most of the times when I run it can be pretty routine but I love those moments when my body surprises myself with what it can do, and how much has changed in just a year and a half when I couldn’t even run a whole mile without stopping, forget about my speed.

I don’t anticipate that every time I run I’ll average a ten minute mile, but I also don’t think this was a fluke. I’m excited for what’s to come!

Non Scale Victory Friday!

It’s been a great week! As difficult as it was to go back to work after my short weekend in Virginia Wine Country the week went by so quickly! Last night I got to see a close friend who is currently house sitting near my work. We got Indian food at Passage to India and then gluten free cupcakes from Lilit Cafe.

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YUM!

I ate the peanut butter and chocolate one last night and it was delicious. I can’t wait to have the Cookies and Cream one later.

On to my Non-Scale Victories for the week!

  1. I got back out there and ran three days in a row! This is the first time in a while that have had a consistent running schedule since I sprained my ankle and it felt so good to really get out there. Each run was great and I didn’t have to stop and walk once. And the third run was….
  2. Interval training! By the third day in a row I wanted to run, but I really did not feel like going back to the park and running another 2.5 mile loop. It just sounded so boring, and honestly I think my body was tired. I’ve only done interval training one time before with a group of friends a couple months ago. I still had all the information they gave me so I found a high school track on my way home from work and had at it. It felt great! It was just what I needed and it kept me focused and I felt great after. I think this is something I’m going to incorporate in my training on a regular basis from now on.
  3. I bought an immersion blender! This one to be exact, and now I can make healthy mayonnaise even more conveniently using this recipe. Okay, so maybe this isn’t a non scale victory but I’ve been on a very strict budget recently and I’m very excited about my shiny new kitchen tool, so I’m sharing!
  4. I realized that there’s been a definite shift in my thinking recently. I’ve generally just been much more positive. It’s been pointed out to me by a few people in my life and I have to agree! I used to spiral into negative thinking so easily, and little things would completely derail me, but I’m just not experiencing those emotions as much, or as an intensely anymore. I can have a bad day and it’s not hard to pick myself up and get back on track the next.

 

To close off I am currently obsessed with this song and I had to share. I have been listening to it on repeat for the past two days, I almost have all the lyrics memorized…

As always don’t forget to share your Non-Scale Victories below and have a great weekend!

I Gave Yoga a Try…

I feel like I’m finally back in the swing of things since spraining my ankle, YAY! I was worried on Monday that the storm that blew through Maryland would ruin my chances of getting a run in. I almost didn’t change into my running gear after work but at the last minute decided I might as well, besides shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers are way more comfortable than a button up shirt, skirt and heels!

Well the sky cleared up right when I reached the park and I was able to get a great run in, one of my best in a very long time! Plus on my run I saw a groundhog. I was disappointed I didn’t have my phone on me so I ran back to my car to get it hoping he would still be there when I returned, and he was! While I was at it, I had to take some selfies as well!

groundhog running

Even though I only went running one time last week it was for a good reason! The Yoga Center of Columbia was offering introductory yoga classes for my favorite price, FREE! I signed up for two classes, runner’s yoga and a basic Yoga 1. I’ve been feeling like I need to introduce more stretching and cross training into my schedule and this was the perfect way to get started.

I had never taken a yoga class before this so I had no idea what to expect before going in, but yoga involves comfy clothes so I was all about it! Each class was a great introduction to pretty basic poses and I learned a lot.

Overall, I preferred the runner’s yoga over the yoga 1 class, which makes sense, seeing as I’m a runner. The class focused more on the lower body, and it felt so good! Plus when I went running the next day I could definitely tell a difference.

I wish I could afford to sign up for yoga classes at the studio, it’s so convenient to where I live and the classes I took were great, but unfortunately part of the reason I run is because it’s cheap and doesn’t require a gym membership. However, now that I at least took a couple actual yoga classes I’m a bit more confident about doing it on my own at home. Plus who knows, maybe in the future my budget will allow for it and I’ll know exactly where to go!

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Wine, Wine Slushies, Sangria and Fun!

It was a great weekend, after a couple stressful/busy weeks with work and personal stuff for both of us my boyfriend and I were able to get away for the weekend to the Virginia wine country and it was perfect. I love wine, which I know I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog before (here and here!). We ended up stopping by four different wineries, three on Saturday and one on Sunday before we got back in the car to drive home.

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My favorite kind of sign!

Despite a short rain (literally no longer than 5 minutes) on Saturday the weather was perfect. We started our day at the Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards after tasting their wines I decided their Viognier was my favorite and enjoyed a glass of that on their patio while we enjoyed the great scenery and the music of Billy Caldwell a local Virginia musician.

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Once the music stopped and last call happened we made our way down the road to Hunters Run Wine Barn for more wine tasting and awesome bartenders, the best of the weekend.

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then lastly ended our day at Dry Mill Vineyards for wine slushies!

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Wine Slushy….It’s as good as it sounds!

We even made a friend a baby praying mantis. I’d never seen a baby one before, and it was easily the cutest thing we saw that day!

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On Sunday we finished out our trip by visiting Casanel Vineyards which was beautiful, and the sangria wasn’t bad either, by which I mean it was delicious.

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Now it’s back to the daily grind. But I’m excited to go for a run tonight, hopefully the weather stays nice for long enough!

Non Scale Victory Friday!

It’s FRIDAY! It’s been a busy, but good, week for me. I’m going to jump right into my Non Scale Victories for the week.

1. I’ve been wanting to get my boater’s license for a while so I could learn to drive my boyfriend’s jet skis. Last week I finally did, and this week I drove a jet ski for the first time! I was a bit nervous, but I didn’t do too badly. Nobody was injured so I’ll count it as a success. After trying my hand at jet skiing my boyfriend took over and we rode around the bay eventually ending up in North Beach, which is right by my hometown in Calvert County. That was an unexpected detour.

2. On Tuesday I got back to running and right when I was starting ran into some friends of mine that were waiting for their running group. I ended up joining them, because why not? I’m glad I did. I don’t usually like running in groups. I prefer solo runs and going at my own pace. However, running with them helped to keep me motivated at times when I may have given up if I were on my own

3. Columbia Yoga Center by my house was offering yoga classes this week for my favorite price, FREE. I’ve been wanting to get try some cross training and I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I did a runner’s yoga and a basic yoga I class and I really enjoyed both. Look out for a blog post about the classes.

That’s all for now! I’m excited for the weekend, I’ll be going to Virginia Wine Country for some rest, relaxation and my favorite thing: WINE! Leave your own Non-Scale Victories in the comments below!

Arbutus Firecracker 10k Recap

My Fourth of July weekend started with the Arbutus Firecracker 10k which I wrote about briefly here. Leading up to the race I was a mixture of nervous and excited. I was excited to get out and run again after a brief hiatus, but I was nervous about how the race would go since I hadn’t trained at all.

To begin with, it was the first time I had done this race, it was a really fun and well put together race. I loved the shirt that I got for participating and had I been better prepared to run 6.2 miles it would have been the perfect way to kick off Independence Day. I definitely will be doing this race in years to come.

Having said that, the race was ROUGH. I hadn’t properly prepared  and I was recovering from an injury. While I knew that I would have to stop and walk at times it didn’t make it any easier. Before I even started the race my ankle was hurting. The ankle I sprained is the same ankle that I broke back in 2005 and it loves to act up before and after storms. As luck would have it Maryland was having several storms up to the morning of the race.

I was able to run the first mile and a half pretty easily and I was feeling good, but I finally had to give in and walk. That’s when things started going downhill. Right before I reached the third mile marker all I really felt like doing was collapsing and crying. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion, the fact that my ankle was bothering me, the adrenaline pumping through me, or the fact that I simply didn’t want to keep running (or all of it combined) but I’ve never felt so emotional during a run before.

If the race had been a 5k I think it would have been perfect, unfortunately for me, I had to keep going. by the fifth mile my ankle was really acting up and I resigned myself to having to walk the rest of the race until the finish line, save a final push so I would at least cross the finish while running. I was convinced that with the amount of walking I did my time would be somewhere around 1:30 or 1:40. But when I crossed the finish line the timer read 1:14:33. I confess I did a double take. I figured I read it wrong and it actually said 2:14:33. I’m actually extremely happy with the time, it’s only a little slower than my regular time and the fact that I’m able to stay so close to it is a very good feeling.

I have to say, as difficult as the race was the only thing getting me through it was the encouragement throughout the race. For most of the race there were very few runners surrounding me so it’s easy to get discouraged. The race ran through the residential community of Arbutus and there were so many people in lawn chairs outside of their houses cheering on the runners as they went by. I don’t know that it was any more encouragement than I’ve gotten at other races, but I definitely needed it more than I have at other races.

After the race my boyfriend and I went to Baltimore to see the fireworks on a friend’s rooftop deck. I sat as long as possible (my legs were killing me!) and I enjoyed a slice of the key lime pie I made for the party as well as so much other food. It was delicious and so worth it. All in all I don’t know that I could have asked for a better fourth of July weekend!

Fireworks over the Baltimore Harbor
Fireworks over the Baltimore Harbor

How was your Fourth? Share it in the comments below!

Non Scale Victory Friday/Happy July Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July! It also happens to be a Friday, which means it’s also Non-Scale Victory Friday! I started the day off at the Arbutus Firecracker 10k. As a whole, I loved the race. It was so well organized and it was great running through the Arbutus community and seeing everyone in their yards cheering everyone on. I did not, however, love running a 10k after I have only run one week in the past month. It was ROUGH, but I’m glad I did it.

So anyways today I only have one Non-Scale Victory; I finished the Arbutus Firecracker 10k! Trust me I had moments where I was doubting whether I’d be able to cross the finish line, I had to keep stopping and walking and at times just wanted to give up. Once I reached the 6 mile marker I thought there was no way that my time would be below 1:30 or 1:40, but it was! The race wasn’t timed but the timer at the finish line read 1:14:33 when I crossed. Not bad at all considering how many times I had to stop and walk, and it’s not far off from my best 10k time. So I’m pleased with my results, go me!

I’ll write more about the race in the next post but for now that’s it. I’m excited to go celebrate the Fourth with my boyfriend and some friends. I even made a key lime pie that I’m hoping is as delicious as it looks!

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YUMMM!!!

 

I hope everyone has a terrific Fourth and feel free to share your non-scale victories in the comments below!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!