This Is Why I Shouldn’t Use Stairs…

Well, let it be known that I never do anything half way! I had a fun and relaxing weekend that ended with me laying in bed nursing a cold on MLK day. No big deal though, I have plenty of sick time, nothing pressing needed to be done on Tuesday at work anyways, so I took a sick day. Then Tuesday night, I decided, “I’m feeling a little better. Perfect time to do some laundry!”

Proceed to walk down the stairs with my overflowing laundry basket, miss the last step, land on my right ankle, (not my foot, my ankle. I fell on my ankle)  and crumple to the floor yelling in pain. My roommate comes running out to find out what happened, and after two phone calls, my boyfriend and mother drive to my place to help me.

The good news? A quick trip to the urgent care down the road (seriously, I was in and out in an hour) and three x-rays later, my ankle is not broken. It is, however, sprained, badly. I’ve been hobbling around on crutches ever since.

Doctor’s orders are 2-3 weeks of rest, i.e. no running, and I would assume no Body Pump. Followed by light bicycling if I decide my ankle can handle it. Then in 6 weeks I can start running, and lightly jogging should I feel so inclined. Splendid.

Could you hear the sarcasm? It was definitely there.

In the meantime it’s lots of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I’ve spent the majority of the past three days in my bed, watching TV and eating, because apparently when I get bored, I eat. On the plus side, it’s been (mostly) healthy things I’m eating. So it’s probably not as bad as it feels like it is.

Lots of this in my future...Notice the monkey angel socks, I think they're definitely helping the pain.
Lots of this in my future…Notice the monkey angel socks, I think they’re definitely helping the pain.

I’m disappointed, but I’ve been trying really hard not to let it get me down. In the immediate future, I’ve been planning for a couple months to drive up to Pittsburgh this weekend to see my sister. I’ve been so excited for the girl’s weekend we had planned, but it’s a 4-5 hour drive and if my ankle feels like it does today, I can’t make that drive by myself. I’m currently waiting until Friday to decide if I want to make the drive, and on the plus side if I don’t go there, she may be able to come down to Maryland and the girl’s weekend will still happen.

In the more distant future, running a half marathon in the spring may have to be pushed back. Six weeks from now puts me at March 3rd, which would be enough time to train for the Zooma Half Marathon, if my ankle feels up to it. I’ve sprained my ankle before and then been able to jump back into running after it’s healed relatively quickly, but this feels worse than the other times and I’m worried it may be more walking and less running for a little while. I’m trying to stay positive, there will definitely be plenty of time to make that decision later, and if I can’t do that Half Marathon, I’ll be able to do the Baltimore Half in the fall.

There is a bright side to all of this (see, I am trying to stay positive!). Once I can run again this cold weather will be mostly over and I’ll be able to do everything outside instead of on the dreadmill! I am so over this weather, so that’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.

So, while I hate the cold it does make for some beautiful pictures.
So, while I hate the cold it does make for some beautiful pictures.

In the meantime I’m going to try to remain healthy and positive, and not have any more mishaps.Oh, and hope that next week is better than the one this turned out to be.

How do you stay positive when things don’t go your way?

Friday Five: What’s In My Gym Bag?

This Friday I’ll be joining Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five. I saw the topic for this Friday is five things in your gym bag and thought it was perfect timing as this was my first week back to a traditional gym in quite some time.

Having said that even though I wasn’t attending a traditional gym I still kept a gym bag for quick changes after work before my runs.

So without further ado, the five things you can (hopefully) find in my purple gym bag.

Figured this was the perfect excuse to post yet another picture of my gym bag, which I love!
Figured this was the perfect excuse to post yet another picture of my gym bag, which I love!

1. Work out clothes: Can’t forget the essentials. As I usually am changing for the gym at work or the gym these are a must. Now whether ALL my workout clothes are there is another story, sometimes I like to forget things like my sports bra. I need to keep things interesting somehow!

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2. Hairbrush, bobby pins, hair ties: I usually wear my hair down at work, so I need to be able to pull it back at the gym or before my runs.

3. Yurbuds: These are a must if I’m going to be running on the boring boring treadmill in the winter. (I run without music if I’m outside). I sometimes listen to music while running, but I’ve recently taken to listening to podcasts, most recently, Gilmore Guys, which is hilarious and everyone should listen to it!

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As you can see I only have one cover on my yurbuds. This is the result of an unfortunate clumsy moment on the treadmill where the rogue cover went flying to heaven only knows what corner of the gym. After crawling around on my hands and knees, using the flashlight app on my phone to look under treadmills, and eliciting what I’m sure were very concerned stares about my sanity from the other gym members I finally gave up and accepted it was lost. My replacement covers will be, hopefully, delivered to me soon.

4. Running shoes: I need something to wear on my feet when I’m running!

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5. A lock: This is a recent addition. I dug out my lock from middle school (I do indeed still have it) and am now using it to secure everything in the locker room.

What do you keep in your gym bag?

 

Body Pumpin’!

I went to my first Body Pump class at my new gym this week and I’m going to my second tonight! If you couldn’t already tell, I loved it!

To say I was a little nervous to go back after so many years, was an understatement. Still after a minor snafu in my original plans to go on Saturday morning, I swallowed my nerves, and got my butt to the gym on Monday evening after work.

Despite having done Body Pump for a while I was a little rusty on what equipment I needed to pick up at the beginning of class. I had also convinced myself that it would have probably changed so much that what I remembered would be completely inaccurate (rational thoughts for the win!). Luckily while waiting in line before class I was in front of a very nice lady who immediately took me under her wing. In addition to making sure I got all the right equipment, she also let me know all the classes she enjoys taking and which instructors are her favorite. I now have a list of other classes I want to fit into my already busy schedule! With running, body pump, and adding my grad school classes soon, we’ll see how that goes.

Well, surprise, surprise!  Body pump hasn’t changed much from when I last went. I grabbed a bar with weights, some free weights, a mat, risers and a step. When I last took the class I had worked my way up to being able to do the routines with a max of 15 pounds on each side of the bar. I knew, however, that was not going to be realistic for my first time back in a long time, and I remembered how hard the class can be even if you have very light weights on. I stuck with five pounds on each side for the entire class.

I am so glad I did! Even with the five pounders it was tough, I’m still sore two days later! For those who don’t know body pump is a group fitness class that uses light to moderate weights with lots of repetitions. Each workout is about an hour long and is set to a playlist of music. Each track focuses on either the warm up, cool down or a specific body part.

Like I said at the beginning I loved the class, and this is definitely going to help with my cross training. Now I just need to incorporate some sort of Pilates or yoga into my schedule and I’ll be set!

I Joined a Gym!

It’s been years since I joined a gym that I have to pay for so it’s a big deal for me that I took this step, plus it’s also exciting that I’m finally able to justify the cost of a gym!

I was thinking about my goals for 2015 and how strength training/cross training is a big one for me. I know there are lots of things I could do at home and the gym at my work/school has equipment I could use so it’s not like I lack options for strength training.

Let’s be honest though, I’ve said it before strength training bores me! The thought of going to the gym and doing an hour of strength training sounds mind numbing and boring. I have tried listening to music or podcasts while doing it, but inevitably my headphone cord gets wrapped up in the equipment and there’s probably a very real risk of me choking myself (I’m pretty sure I’m the only person with that problem…).

I have tried switching up my routine so I’m not doing the same thing, but to me doing a different version of the same thing every time is just a different brand of boring.

I have tried doing home workouts and which produce great results for some people! However, when I try I end up not putting in 100% and ultimately choose food, tv, reading, sleep, over squeezing in a quick workout. I need to get out of the house in order to feel motivated!

I even got a personal trainer for a stint a couple years ago. The trainer did motivate me to start running regularly and keep it up after I stopped seeing him. However, I was not motivated to continue to strength train. Once the personal training ended so did the strength training.

Despite all this I know, especially for accident prone me, strength training is an important aspect to any fitness routine. So when trying to think of ways to keep me motivated in that department I remembered when I was a paying member of a gym years ago, my gym offered group fitness classes including body pump, which I loved!

Even when I got lazy with my gym schedule, which at the time happened very easily, I still made sure that I made it to body pump every week. I loved how fun the classes were and how I felt after the class, plus I got strong as a result of the class.

Well I found a gym that offers body pump, as well as a number of other classes, at a price that I can totally afford! I was excited and jumped at the chance. As a plus there is a gym near my boyfriend’s new house so I can go when I’m at his house as well.

I’m hoping to go to my first body pump class in three years tomorrow morning! Hopefully I love it as much as I did before, and this motivates another positive change in 2015!

Happy 2015

I had a week and a half off work during the holidays, which I ended up taking full advantage of to sleep, rest and just relax. It was definitely needed, I didn’t realize how overdue I was for a vacation. Still it was far too short and the last thing I wanted to do this morning was go to work!

I had a great break and a lot of fun over the holidays. Now that it’s the new year I was being cliché and reflecting on the past year and thinking about what 2015 would bring. I’m not usually one for making new year’s resolutions, so I won’t. Let’s call them my 2015 goals:

  1. Become a morning runner – I’m already well on my way to achieving this goal. The move to Rockville, gives me an extra hour in the morning, meaning waking up earlier before work isn’t such a burden.
  2. Run a half marathon this spring – I have yet to decide which marathon to choose, but I want to run a half by the spring, in addition to the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. I think this is totally possible, it’s just going to require some dedication on my part.
  3. Continue my healthy eating – I have done so well with making my own meals and indulging only on special occasions. That isn’t to say that I didn’t throw caution to the wind and eat whatever the hell I wanted over my time off during the holidays (because cookies! So many cookies were consumed in a week and a half!). It does, however, mean that I have more confidence I can get back on track and continue with my healthy habits that I started last year.
  4. Make strength training funI said earlier that I want to introduce strength training into my fitness routine, and I did, but to be honest I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with it. I find strength training so boring, so I’ll always find an excuse to do something else. Therefore, instead of making a goal of doing more strength training, I’m going to try to make it fun, so that I’ll be motivated to do it more often.
  5. Read – I know this isn’t fitness related, but it’s something I think I need to do more of. I used to read voraciously, but I stopped a while ago. For Christmas my boyfriend got me the Kindle Voyage, which in my opinion is the perfect excuse to read more books this year! My ambitious goal is 20 books in 2015, but honestly, I’d be happy with 15.

Well, that’s it for my resolutions. Comment below and tell me what your resolutions for 2015 are!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It’s Christmas! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a fun and relaxing day with your friends and family! This post will be short and sweet and just a few of my favorite Christmas things (to the tune of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music of course!).

Christmas trees and lights

I haven’t driven around to see Christmas lights yet, something I try to do every year, so for now the lights on the Christmas tree will have to do! There’s something about Christmas lights that just instantly make me happy.

Holiday Accessories

So pretty!
So pretty!

I have a collection of Christmas socks and jewelry that I make sure to break out at least once during the season. (Which isn’t to say that I don’t wear the socks all year round) And being as obsessed as I am with all things nail polish I can’t forget about my nails!

Cookies!

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My mom makes two kinds of Greek cookies every Christmas, Kourambiethes and Finikia, they’re full of too much butter, and sugar. Lack any sort of nutritional value, and are insanely delicious. I look forward to them every year!

Most importantly though is getting to spend the day with my family and friends. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Mr. Snowman!
Merry Christmas from Mr. Snowman!

What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?

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?

Best Buddies 5k Race Recap

I am happy to report that after all my reservations in my last blog post about the cold temperatures on Saturday morning I made it to the race and survived the Best Buddies 5k despite the below freezing temps.

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I knew that the race was going to go well when I managed to get a really great night’s rest the night before. I don’t know about anyone else but I never seem to sleep well before a race. I don’t know what was different, but Saturday morning I woke up completely well rested. I had set out my clothes the night before and so after I put on all the different layers that I had planned I was ready to go!

When I stepped outside I was so grateful for all those layers. It was just as cold as I had thought it would be! I got a text that morning from my friend who was also running the race declaring that “It’s freezing!!!!!!!” My sentiments exactly.

Once I got to the park where the race was held I picked up my packet and then caught up with some old coworkers that were there either working or supporting the event. It was so great to catch up with everyone, and I even ran into my old coworker Jen who I didn’t realize would also be running the event. Turns out we run at the same pace so we decided to run together!

All bundled up before the race!
All bundled up before the race!

Before the race an instructor from Brick Bodies led a warm up for all the runners. I am so glad they did! I think it would have been a lot harder to run after just standing around being cold for a half an hour. Right after the warm up ended all the runners lined up at the start and the race started.

I was so glad that I had a friend running with me! Having never run in the cold I wasn’t prepared for how different it feels. However, being able to chat with with Jen distracted me and even though I ran slower than I normally do I felt like the miles were flying by.

The course was great, a little hilly but not bad. It was a straight 1.5 miles one way and then you turned around and back tracked. at the 1.5 mile marker they had a water stop set up, which I took advantage of and promptly choked on the water and had to stop for a little to catch my breath. That’s what I get for trying to drink water while I run! Despite that minor hiccup the rest of the race went great!

It wasn’t timed but they did have a clock at the finish and someone at each mile marker telling you your split time as you ran past. Jen and I finished at around 36 minutes. Definitely slower than my normal pace, but we weren’t focused on time and factoring in the cold I am so happy with how I did.

After the race I spent more time catching up with my former coworkers and enjoying the post-race bagels. I was so glad I thought ahead and packed a blanket in my car and a thermos of hot water with lemon and honey for after because it helped warm me up so much.

Overall, I thought the race was so well planned especially for their first year. Best Buddies Maryland had over 300 runners which I felt was the perfect number. My only complaint was the weather, but I’m a baby when it comes to the cold. I’ll definitely be planning to do this 5k again next year!

 

I Was Not Made For Cold Weather

Tomorrow I’ll be participating in the Best Buddies Maryland 5K. I’m excited to participate. I worked for Best Buddies Maryland for 4 years before my current job and I had volunteered with them in high school. They’re a great organization that provides one to one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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This is their first year doing the 5K and when I heard about it I had to sign up, and I’ve been counting down the days. However, when I signed up I don’t think I registered that it was happening in the middle of November, which means it’s going to be freezing. Correction, below freezing. Saturday morning it’s supposed to be 29 degrees, and saying that I’m not looking forward to it is an understatement.

Now I approached the cold weather optimistically. I bought some cold weather gear, I was fully prepared to go running outside in the weeks beforehand, so I would get used to running in the cold.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I am a wuss. I have not run outside at all recently. The second the temperatures dipped below 50 I was running inside on a treadmill, using the fact that it gets dark earlier and I don’t feel safe as an excuse. Let’s be honest though, I am not Elsa from Frozen, the cold has always bothered me, and I don’t think there will ever be a time that it doesn’t bother me I could be completely bundled up a la a Christmas story and there is still a very high likelihood that I will not be running outside.

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At least it’s warm!

Needless to say when I stepped out last night after work and it was 34 degrees and I realized Saturday morning would only be colder I entertained thoughts of not showing up. However I do think I’m amply prepared for the race, even if I don’t want to be. I’m just going to think of all the volunteers on Saturday that don’t get to run to keep themselves warm and how cold they must be. So THANK YOU volunteers!

You can find me after the race, I’ll be the one wrapped up in the blanket I kept in my car for after the race.

Yeah...okay
Yeah…okay