It’s time for a new goal!

I’m not sure if the iron supplements have started working or not but I’ve been running and going to the gym again! I ran twice last week, and have managed to go to the gym every evening this week for either Body Pump, Body Combat, or Body Flow (and sometimes two in one night).

 It’s still a struggle to wake up in the morning, and more often than not I’m losing that battle, so it’s been a lot of evening runs and gym visits. I miss my morning workouts, and getting home earlier than 7:30 or 8 pm, but I’m optimistic I’ll be able to get back to it once everything with my iron deficiency evens out.

Anyways I’ve been so focused on getting back into some sort of routine that I haven’t had the chance to write any posts. However, I am excited that I’ve started to find my motivation that I decided it was time to celebrate, by signing up for the Baltimore Half Marathon.

And I am so excited!! And nervous, and intimidated, but mostly excited. It’s hard to believe that a little over two years ago completing the 3.1 miles required for the Baltimore Women’s Classic was such a challenge and now I’m thinking about adding 10 miles to that distance.

 CRAZY!

Also I can't believe how tired I looked!
Also I can’t believe how tired I looked!

 Last year after completing the third leg of the relay (which I didn’t realize until race week was the hardest leg, lucky me!) and not feeling like I was going to die, I knew it was time to start pushing myself and go for the half next year. The original plan was to run the Zooma half marathon, but grad classes got in the way and so plans had to be adjusted.

So October it is! This race is going to bring about a lot of firsts for me. I’ve never used any sort of training plan for any races, but I know I’m going to need to for this. I’ll be working on what that looks like in the next week or so, including cross training. Which is another first for me. I’m loving the Les Mills classes I’m taking at the gym and fully plan to incorporate in my half marathon training as I go along. I’ve always wanted to focus on cross training more, and I’ve improved over the last few months, but I want to make it important part of my half marathon training.

Moral of the story? I can’t wait for October!

 Do you have any races that you’re looking forward to?

Spring Break in Chicago, and Zoo Trips

It’s spring break! This means I (finally) have a one week break from work and class (kind of, I still have homework), and I’m in Chicago visiting my grandparents. Monday was a beautiful day 72 degrees and sunny, and I was stuck in the car driving from Ohio to Chicago, I would have preferred to be running.

By the time we got settled into the hotel, and stopped by my grandparents’ house for a quick hello, I was too tired to think about doing anything other than sleep, so that’s exactly what I did.

Saturday was spent driving to Pittsburgh where my mom and I spent Sunday with my sister. We got to go to the zoo, which was cold, but lots of fun! Also I love animals so it’s the perfect way to spend a Sunday.

I got to see

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Pink Jellyfish

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And majestic penguins! They were my favorite.

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I also promised myself that I would run as much as possible on this trip. I’ve only really been back at it for about a week now, and the last thing I want to do is lose my momentum. Luckily the hotel we’re staying at has a fitness room that has everything I need.

While I would prefer to run outside, I have a scarily bad sense of direction that doesn’t go well with new unfamiliar locations. I may have convinced myself that running outside would mean getting horribly lost and going missing. I may or may not be prone to over dramatization.

So far I’ve run twice, and Tuesday I managed to run four miles, before my ankle started acting up and I called it quits. Which is far better than what I’ve been managing recently: two miles in thirty minutes, with lots of walking before I have to call it quits.

I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I’ll be ready for a half marathon at the end of May. As far as my stamina goes, I know it won’t be an issue, but my ankle is another story. As much as I’d rather not, I’ll be taking it slow and holding off a little longer on registering for the Zooma Half.

Do you like zoos? What’s your favorite animal?

Everything tastes better in a Crepe and Other Life Lessons

It’s been a little bit since I’ve been able to update (not having a working computer makes that a bit difficult) but I’m finally back with a working computer! I know everyone is as excited as I am.

So what exactly have I learned from this unexpected time off from the blog?

1. Working full time, and taking two grad school classes is no joke, and then just add on the fact that my computer was broken so I couldn’t do any homework at home. This has felt like one very elaborate juggle act, is it summer yet?

2. If I never see this screen again in my life I will be a happy woman.

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3. Also in the six years since college I have definitely not missed studying for midterms.

At least my study buddies are keeping me company!
At least my study buddies are keeping me company!

4. I really love snow days that create unexpected four day weekends. I have, however, really started to hate the snow.

5. Sprained ankles are the worst, but your first week back at the gym feels amazing!!

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6. I have gone a little overboard since my return to running and have started to sign up for every race I can think of…I may need to tone it down a bit.

7. Everything tastes better wrapped in a crepe! I learned how to make crepes and I may or may not have eaten one for lunch and one for dinner yesterday. That’s a crepe filled with avocado hummus, feta, mushrooms and caramelized onions, YUM!

Yes, it is sitting on a textbook. That is my life now.
Yes, it is sitting on a textbook. That is my life now.

 

8. Games on the rowing machine at the gym make things fun, even if I am not very good at them.

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9. White grapefruit doesn’t taste any different from regular grapefruit.

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10. Small apples also don’t taste any different from regular sized apple, but they’re MINI, and cute!

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11. New running shoes are the best!

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12. Wanting to go for a run and then realizing that you left your sports bra at your boyfriend’s, however, is not the best.

13. And lastly, with a midterm coming up on Thursday night what I really should be doing is studying, or sleeping.

I’m Back!

Finally! I didn’t mean to go MIA on this blog, but as I wrote in the one blog post I found a moment to spare, something had to give. This past month has brought about a lot of changes!

Starting with my move!

This is huge and so exciting for me. After living a year in the Howard County and commuting an hour both ways to work, I am now living in Gaithersburg and have a five minute to commute! However, this also means that the distance between my boyfriend and I went from 30 minutes to an hour or an hour and a half depending on traffic. This was a big decision but in the end, for the sake of my sanity, it was decided that money and time saved by a lesser commute to work and grad school would more than make up for the increased distance between us.

Moving means packing, unpacking, cursing your hoarding tendencies, throwing everything away, and then wondering where you put that one item you really really need right now (oh yeah, it’s in the trash).

This has not been much fun, and has eaten up what little spare time I have left for now. Thankfully most everything is unpacked, except for one box hat may never get unpacked, because I just don’t feel like it! My current kitchen is much smaller than my previous one, so fitting my kitchen stuff has felt like a game of tetris, but my room hasn’t been much of an issue. I love my bigger room and walk in closet so much!

My first grad school class is over!

When I wasn’t unpacking I was completing my take home final and my project. Everything is submitted, and all I have left to worry about is my grade. I’m pretty sure I did well, but let’s be honest, I won’t be able to truly breathe until I find out how I did. Fingers crossed!

Running?

Running took a temporary hiatus, and cooking and eating properly was been pretty hard to fit in recently. I wish I could say that despite all these changes I found the time to eat healthy and work out, but the take out containers in my trash would say otherwise. It’s hard enough to find time to be healthy when work is busy and you have to study, but it becomes near impossible when you’re trying to move and get settled in a new location.

Still I was really excited last week to squeeze in my first run in a very long time. Now that I live five minutes from work (!!!!) Waking up in the morning for a run is much more feasible than it was before. Overall, it was great, I’ll write about it later in the week.

Anyways, now I’m just gearing up for Christmas and New Years. I get about a week and a half off from work starting on the 24th. I don’t think I’ve ever welcomed my winter break quite as much as I am now!

Somehow I did manage to send out my Christmas Cards this year.
Somehow I did manage to send out my Christmas Cards this year.

 

Thanksgiving Fun

Life has been crazy! I’ve got a lot going on right now, and recently this blog has taken the back burner. My lease is up at the end of the year, and I found a new place whose lease starts on December 1. I’m really excited about the place, it’s SO much closer to my work (five minutes as opposed to fifty) which is going to make my life so much easier! It does have a MUCH smaller kitchen, however, I’m also going to have a walk in closet, which I’m very excited about. It’s the little things.

So currently I am devoted to packing my stuff up and moving it to my new place. When I’m not doing that I’m studying for my statistics final and finishing up my class project, I can’t believe it’s the end of the semester already! My boyfriend is moving at the same time too (we planned that out really well). Needless to say there’s a lot going on, and what little free time I do have I’m trying to squeeze in runs or work outs. Unfortunately, this blog is not currently the priority. Once things calm down though, I’ll be back to writing on my regular schedule!

With all of this going on I was so grateful for the Thanksgiving break! I love Thanksgiving, largely because it’s dedicated to spending time with family and eating really delicious food! Still I was nervous about it, after my Whole30 I was feeling really great, and suddenly introducing a ton of non compliant foods was nerve wracking. Plus I didn’t have just Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I had two Friendsgivings planned for the weekend before Thanksgiving chock full of delicious food. Ultimately I decided to enjoy myself, but not over stuff, and eat what I wanted to without guilt.

It actually worked really well, I won’t lie, I definitely felt over full a couple times but the fact that I’m eating so much healthier in my everyday life means that one day of overeating isn’t the end of the world.

For a few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving day I had been contemplating doing a Turkey Trot in my hometown, despite not being able to convince my sister to run it with me I made a last minute decision the night before to brave the cold and run it Thanksgiving morning. I’m so glad I did! It was a great race, so much fun, and the perfect way to start Thanksgiving, I’ll be recapping that race soon.

My family eats Thanksgiving dinner earlier, around 1 pm, and usually that’s my only meal of the day. I don’t know if it was the race in the morning or the fact that I am more aware of my eating habits, but this year once dinner time rolled around I was actually hungry for more food so I made a plate of leftovers. I have to say I prefer feeling that way over feeling so stuffed that even thinking about more food makes me sick.

Overall, Thanksgiving was full of personal victories for myself. I couldn’t help but think how different my outlook is from where I was a year ago. It makes me so much more confident going into the Christmas season.

How was your Thanksgiving?

I Can’t Let a Bad Run Get Me Down!

Yesterday morning I got to go in late to work so I was excited to get in a morning run to start off my day! Then I started running and I knew it was going to be rough. In hindsight it was a perfect storm of incidences that meant my run was less than stellar.

My goal? Run 5-6 miles, to get myself ready for the relay I’m running in the Baltimore Running Festival this weekend. The result? I ran/walked a little over four miles, my legs felt like lead, and towards the end I felt like I was going to be physically sick if I pushed myself any harder. I definitely did not feel amped, I felt discouraged and disappointed, and started doubting whether I would be able to finish my leg of the relay.

Which is ridiculous! I can’t let one bad run get me down! It’s true that I’ve had a lot on my plate yesterday. Buying a car, going back to school for the first time in five years (meaning my first midterm in five years eek!) and looking for a new place to live means that I’ve been busy! It also means that there have been nights where I’ve prioritized each of these things over running, who can blame me there’s only so many hours in the day and I have to sleep at some point as well! Couple that with a change in diet that left me with an awful headache on Tuesday as my body yelled at me for giving up sugar, it’s no wonder my running suffered on Wednesday.

Still I’ve managed to get at least one or two runs in a week and last week I ran a full five miles. So I am prepared for this weekend. I’m definitely more prepared than I was for the Arbutus Firecracker, where I was coming off a sprained ankle and hadn’t run at all for three weeks. If I can do that (with a pretty good time considering!) then this is definitely doable.

That’s what I keep reminding myself of. One bad run where I felt miserable is not an indication of how I will do on Saturday. Besides I got my bad run out of the way for the week, that means I can only go up from here right (it’s all about that positive thinking)? I wouldn’t want to have my best run on Wednesday and then my bad run on race day!

My plan is to stay positive, have whole30 compliant food options available before and after my race so I’m properly fueled and run my best on Saturday. Plus I’m going to stop thinking about my Wednesday run after I publish this post!

Have you ever had a bad run or work out? What do you do to get past it?

 

Things Are Getting Back To Normal!

Yesterday was a big day for me! I may hate the fact that the weather is getting colder, I’m a spring and summer girl all the way and I’ll take the heat over the cold any day. However, it does make for great running weather. I knew I had to get a run in after work, it was just a matter of where.

I usually go to a park about 10 minutes from my house but ever since my accident all my runs have been around my neighborhood. Which works fine, but it’s pretty boring. I end up doing several loops around and unless I’m super motivated, the never changing scenery means that I’ll often cut my route short out of boredom. I usually only run in my neighborhood when I’m pressed for time, or I forget to pack my running clothes.

The reason for this? The day of my accident I was on my way to that very park to go for a run. I was about 2 miles from the park when I rear ended the person in front of me. I’ve been nervous about driving in general since then, but the idea of driving back to that park has brought me even more anxiety that I have decided to just avoid going there and figure out other ways to get in my runs.

I’ve managed to deal with a lot of the other stresses that accident caused me. I didn’t turn to unhealthy habits, I continued my running, I’m making sure I’m much more alert and less distracted when driving, and I’m giving myself more time to get to my destinations so I’m not in a rush. However, I still hadn’t attempted to go back to that park, and pass exactly where the accident happened.

Well yesterday I went to the park and ran! I know this is a small victory, and in the grand scheme of things isn’t a huge deal, but it felt so good to conquer that thing that was bringing me a lot of anxiety. When I passed where the accident occurred I was definitely aware and nervous but I made it safely and was able to relieve some of those nerves by having a great short run!

I’m taking this entire process one step at a time, but I’m excited every time some progress is made!

How do you deal with things that bring you anxiety?

Running For Fun!

It’s been six days since my accident and I’m still a bit emotional. Monday was the first day I drove for longer than 10 minutes, and yesterday I was back to my normal commute. Needless to say I needed a very large glass of wine at the end of both days to calm my nerves a bit. Betty White is quickly becoming my spirit animal.

Betty White

Needless to say, this week’s focus has been all about relaxing. What better way to calm my nerves than through running? I’ve only been able to go running on Monday (I had errands yesterday that needed to be done) but it definitely helped to relieve some stress.

I was a little short on time so instead of driving anywhere I just went for a short run around my neighborhood. I forwent my GPS watch, I didn’t pay attention to the time, and I just ran. It felt great. I’ve been focused recently on how far I’m running and how fast I’m running. I have been working hard at increasing my endurance so I can run longer without stopping.

I forgot about all those goals on Monday, and just did what felt good. I don’t know how long I ran, how far I ran, or what my speed was. I ran a lot, walked a little and did some stretching when I felt like stretching. Running just to feel good was exactly what I needed. For the first time since the accident I was able to clear my mind and relax.

For the time being I’m going to be running without my GPS watch until I feel that I’m emotionally back to normal. My mental well being is far more important than the mileage goals I had set forth for myself. Plus the only race I have coming up is a 5k that I’m completely confident about. There’s no justifiable reason to have to push myself at this point.

In other news the girly girl in me is super excited because the Jamberrys I ordered came in this past weekend. I was all ready to try them on Monday….

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See! All ready!

and then I didn’t because I ran out of time, so I just quickly painted my nails this awesome purple.

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I do love this color though.

 

However, I have plans to try them so soon. I even got a running themed one!! If you’ve never heard of Jamberrys they’re basically stick on nail designs. I’ll talk more about them in a later post.

Hope everyone is having a great week! What do you do to relax when you’re stressed out?

Bad runs and a blogiversary!

I had a great Labor day weekend, even if it was shorter than I wanted it to be! On the plus side my boyfriend and I finished furniture shopping for his house (for now). Now the only thing left is to move in, and then decide he needs more furniture and we start the process again! I kid….but not really.

I took the entire long weekend off from running so on Tuesday I was excited to get back out there. I went in with high hopes. I was going to run five miles, I was feeling hopeful.

Then a couple things happened. I realized it was hot, really hot, and humid, really humid. Honestly, that was alright, I would just not worry about my speed at all and take it easy. Then when I got to the park I realized I had left my GPS watch at home. This was discouraging but actually ended up being a blessing in disguise.

I started off my run okay, but a few minutes in my legs were not feeling it and I was tired. I’m used to that first mile sucking sometimes so I told myself I had to push through before it would get better. I pushed a little past a mile, but then I started getting a cramp and I had to stop. I never get cramps anymore! The rest of the route was a combination of running and walking.

Once I finished the 2.5 mile loop it was starting to thunder and drizzle, which I was EXTREMELY grateful for because it gave me an excuse to not even try for the second loop and go home. The last thing I wanted to do was keep running. It was hot and muggy, the weather was becoming worse by the minute, my legs felt like lead, I was cramping, and I was generally feeling unmotivated to push myself. The only saving grace was that I didn’t have my GPS watch to compulsively check every five seconds while I ran.

Having a run like that always sucks. Especially when you go in with such high expectations. However, in the end it’s all about attitude and what you learn from it. (Like I learned is that I need to drink more water during the day if it’s going to be that hot!! Well, I already knew that but a reminder is always nice.) One bad run isn’t going to kill my progress, I’ll just run harder next time!

On another note, I’ve got my second grad school class tonight and access to the gym at my work/school building. I’m going to go check out the equipment and do some strength training between the two hours when I get off work and start class.

Also I realized last week, and then subsequently didn’t mention it, it has been 3 months since I started this blog! It’s crazy that it’s only been that long, and I’m so happy with the positive effects it’s had on my life!

Keep Calm and Run On!

“Everything happens for a reason, deep breath, repeat.” I feel like that’s all I’ve been repeating for the past 24 hours. Yesterday was a roller coaster of emotions. I had been hoping to start grad school this week but several things were up in the air that would determine whether or not I would be able to actually start. Most of these things required actually being able to pay for classes, you know, important things.

Without going into too much detail I got a lot of answers yesterday and not all of them made me happy, and now I have choices to make. I’ll still be going to class on Wednesday, since I’ll have time to drop the class after if I decide to, and that will afford me a little more time to make a decision.

Suffice it to say it was a lot to wrap my head around, and then to make matters worse, or better (I still really haven’t decided which yet), it was the start of an extremely busy week at work, so I had barely any time to think about all of it.

That means when I got home my mind couldn’t stop thinking, my stomach was sick and I really just wanted to curl up into a ball until the world, and all its problems, went away. If only, if only…

I didn’t do that, but I knew that I had to do something to get my mind off things if I had any hope in sleeping and so I realized it was 7:45, the sun hadn’t quite gone to bed yet and if I dressed really quickly I could get out and run for a half hour that I hadn’t originally planned on running.

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I ran three miles and it was totally the right decision. I don’t think I realized how much pent up energy I had from the day. I had more stamina than usual and it was the first time in the entire day that my head wasn’t reeling from information overload. That felt amazing.

I realized after my run, that despite all the stress and fluctuating emotions of yesterday not once did I have even the slightest desire to turn to food as stress relief. Instead my first instinct was to run, which is a much healthier choice, and leaves me feeling better after as well!