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!

Non Scale Victory Friday + Dating Naked

Am I the only one that feels like this week was so long? I can’t believe that Monday was only four days ago. This has been a busy week with work, and my personal life with so much happening and changing. I am ready for the weekend! The fact it’s a three day weekend is just an added bonus!

Today’s non scale victory Friday will be a little different. There are definitely some victories, but also just some recaps on what happened this week.

  1. I went shopping with a friend of mine in Baltimore and while shopping a sales lady tried to figure out my size so she could pick out some clothes for me. She looked at me, paused, and said “I just can’t tell if you’re a small or a medium.” I definitely shrieked and then proceeded to yell “SHE THINKS I’M A SMALL!! DID YOU HEAR THAT?” I may or may not have completely freaked her out.
  2. I started grad school on Wednesday! After all the drama with how to pay for it, it’s all been resolved and I had my first class on Wednesday. I was definitely nervous going in, (I still am a little to be honest) but the first class wasn’t bad and I think it will be a positive thing for me.
  3. One of the things I was most nervous about with grad school is how it would affect my running and new healthy lifestyle. Well I started off strong. There are two hours between when I get off work and my class starts which is just enough time to go for a run around my work and shower. It wasn’t perfect but it was a start. I’m sure there will be a lot of shifting of my schedule and routine before I find the right balance, but that’s okay, the important thing is to work to find it.
  4. I had every intention of going to bed early on Wednesday night after my class, and then waking up going to work and then running on Thursday. Well I went to bed early with no problem, got a full eight hours, which was great, and then woke up with a headache and generally just feeling awful. I spent the whole of Thursday feeling kind of blah and ultimately decided to forgo running. I wish I could say I spent Thursday evening productively, but I instead did my laundry and ate dinner in front of the TV while watching Dating Naked (have you seen that show? It’s an absolute train wreck. But I couldn’t look away!) I never watch reality TV but I couldn’t resist last night.

 

That’s that! Share your Non-Scale Victories with me in the comments. Or you can tell me if you’ve ever heard of/watched Dating Naked. Please help me feel that I am not alone in killing a few brain cells with that show.

Happy Friday!

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!

Non Scale Victory Friday!

After a couple busy weeks it was nice to finally have a week that was relatively stress free without much going on. I have a fun weekend planned though. I’m excited to meet a friend of mine for happy hour tonight and then my boyfriend and I have tickets to see Miranda Lambert on Saturday.

Onto my non scale victories for the week:

  1. I’m working on how I view my results which I wrote about here. It’s not going to happen overnight but it was nice to be able to see progress in something that I really haven’t been able to before then.
  2. I went running twice this week despite having a lot of stupid things working against me (like forgetting to pack my sports bra meaning I had to go home and get it instead of going straight to the park).
  3. Grad school (hopefully) starts next week (long story) so I forwent one of my runs to spend an extra day with my boyfriend before my schedule picks up for the semester. The extra time was so nice and definitely needed.

That’s all there is! Share your non scale victories below. Happy Friday and have a terrific weekend!

I’m Running Further and Further!

Shopping, shopping and more shopping! I feel like all I’ve been talking about recently is how my boyfriend and I are shopping for furniture for his new place, because it feels like that’s ALL we’re doing! As you can probably guess, it was another long weekend of furniture shopping, but that’s not what I’m talking about today.

If you read my blog on Friday (and if you didn’t read it here) you noticed that I was very excited about my 7.5 mile run last Tuesday. That was a major accomplishment for me as it’s the furthest I’ve ever run. For me it was really a validation that all the hard work I’m putting in is paying off.

About a month ago I realized that while my stamina when running had increased my legs were giving out long before I was actually tired. That can be very frustrating, especially when it means you have to stop long before you’re actually ready to. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the reason for this was probably that my legs simply aren’t strong enough.

I focus so much time on cardio, because it’s what I love, and I tend to neglect strength training, because I hate it and find it so boring. What I love about running is that I can escape in my head and just think without interruption. I don’t listen to music while running because I don’t want that distraction. I don’t find strength training relaxing so I avoid it, but neglecting it comes with a price, and for me that meant weaker legs.

Anyways I started incorporating some body weight strength training and on Tuesday I was really excited to see how much of a difference just a week of this would do. Well it’s making a difference! My goal was to run until I couldn’t anymore. I ended up running 7.5 miles, the furthest I’ve ever gone! I stopped at 2.5 and 5 miles for water and to check my phone to see if my boyfriend had officially gotten his house yet, and then for the last 1.5 miles I started walking up all the hills and then running the rest.

I was, and am so proud of myself, but man was I exhausted. I immediately went home, showered, put on some compression sleeves and ate my dinner in front of the TV watching Gilmore Girls. I fell asleep at 10 pm and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off for work the next day.

Awkward Luke hugs are my favorite :-)
Just what I needed!

Getting to experience exactly what my body is capable of is a great feeling and gives me so much motivation to keep pushing myself. Measuring success based on strength and overall health has managed to keep me more positive and on track than any number on a scale ever did. Plus any setbacks I experience aren’t such a big deal anymore, and that’s a great feeling!

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.

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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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!