Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Food for thought

So I saw this on my Facebook news feed and thought it was applicable to how I've been feeling lately.

I currently work more than 60 hours a week to pay off my student loans quicker than is expected. But sometimes I question why I do this week after week. I know in the long run it will pay off and I'll be happy I've been running myself ragged, but when will that time come.

This dilemma and this cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat keep me from some of the things I love most: running, working out, camping, sleeping in on the weekends, etc. I wish I had the more hours each day to have time to get a run in daily, or to be confident that everything will be okay in the long run.

What would you do? Save thousands of dollars in interest working long hours for about 2 years to be debt free, or prolong the debt repayment in order to get a run in daily? If you have a crazy work week, what do you do to fit in your workouts daily?

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Pink is In!

Every since finding out I'm a Sweat Pint Ambassador, I've been looking forward to my pink shoelaces and tank!

Well here they are:

The only problem is, I can't seem to rotate the image (does anyone know how to do that in html? I'm thinking its not possible)

But I digress -- its pretty sweet stuff and I can't wait to show my pink gear with some group runs.

A weekly recap is on its way later today, but I'm sad to say it wasn't great...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I got in!

So yesterday, in the midst of an etrememly long day, I recieved this in my inbox:

I can't express how excited I am for this race! First off, every race in and around DC I've ever done is always great! Granted, I've only done two, but its a good place to start. Secondly, I have some sorority sisters that also got in, so it'll be like a mini-reunion weekend with some old friends, some of whom I haven't seen in years. Thirdly, its the day before I turn 30. I can't think of a better way to close out my twenty's (which have been fantastic) than receiving race bling from Tiffanys!

Super excited!

Did anyone else get in?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Things have been moving...a little more than I have

So the past week and a half have been crazy for me and my journey to my fittest self! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was chosen to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador which I'm totally excited about! I'm still waiting on my pink shoelaces, but I'll let you know when they get here. Yay!

Last week I also joined my local group of Black Girls Run! for a Monday night 3-miler and it was fantastic. I have always run solo but was finding myself in a motivational slump. During a 10K with my not-so-enthusiastic-about-running boyfriend, I realized that there was a huge presence from these women. I reached out and they were more than accepting and happy to have me along for some runs. I think I'm going to keep this up (my schedule permitting!). My local group has official runs every Saturday and Sunday am (which lets be honest are sometimes hard to get to...I do love my sleep) and early AM runs 2-3 days a week. I would love to run with them ladies at 5am, but I tend to leave for work at 5:30am so the timing doesn't work out. A few of us have un-official group runs on Monday and Thursday nights at a local college that seem to be the perfect fit for me! Last night was a flop for me, as I hit traffic on the way home and just couldn't make it in time. From my experience, if you're looking for a group of fun, motivational women to run with, check out your local area! You'd be surprise how wide spread this group is!

 I've also been trying to get my blog out there and testing my luck with the numerous fitness giveaways out there. I've been unluckly lately, but check this one out! Who wouldn't put there name in for a new pair of shoes!?

Win a pair of @Reebok RealFlex Fusion TR’s from @blondeponytail http://bit.ly/RkYnMv #getafterit

Now for my weekly recap (which wasn't so fantastic this week, but I think its getting better!).

Monday December 3rd: 
3 mile run with BGR! This run was fantastic. I loved how everyone stuck together. The motivation was finishing and supporting one another, not cranking out PR's which felt good to me. The ladies worked hard and some held a faster pace than before. Love the MOTIVATION!

Tuesday December 4th:
I worked ALL DAY, and in turn, made this a rest day running-wise. When I say all day, I mean from 6am - 10pm. I was still feeling the high from the BGR! meetup that I didn't feel horrible about missing out. When I got home at 10pm, I did squeeze in 50 squats and 50 pushups which felt fantastic Wednesday morning! :)

Wednesday December 5th:
Another rest day -- the middle of the week for me is hard. I'm working 3 jobs and taking a grad class, so I don't mind a few days off. Plus I ended this day with a trip to see my parents for a short while!

Thursday December 6th:
I got in 1.5 miles with the boyfriend. I find it interesting that he complains throughout the run and tells me I have to do all the chores when we get home so he can sit on the couch, but then at the end of the day, he says thank you! (I believe he secretly enjoys it and loves me for kicking his butt!) We then finished off the evening with 50 situps.

Friday December 7th:
There's something about Fridays that make me think: lets get some errands done and sit on the couch -- so Fridays are regularly a rest day for me. But I did take care of myself at the salon and almost finished my holiday shopping! Progress and well-being are sometimes measured differently in my life! :)

Saturday December 8th:
I had to run to work Saturday morning (mostly against my will)  but I left something at school that I absolutely needed for a party on Saturday night. So, I made it a rest day but spoiled myself by going to my local RoadRunner Sports and buying a new pair of running socks (I was not-so-secretly eyeing some new running apparel too!)

Sunday December 9th:
The boyfriend and I were supposed to get in 7 miles for our half marathon training (which is going quite miserably). I drug him out the door, in the rain, to get the mileage in before he had to leave for work. We got 2 miles out and his knee started bothering him. He said he was having trouble breathing too, so we turned around and headed home. So that 7 miler, turned into a crappy day 4 miler. It was better than nothing, but we need to log those longer hours.

I'm not terribly upset with how this week turned out, but it could have been better. How was your week? Any tips for getting out there after 12-16 hour days?

Have a fantastic week!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Exciting News of the Week!

I'm going to cut right to the chase. This week I became a Sweat Pink Ambassador! I'm excited about the opportunity to be part of a supportive group of women who are passionate about fitness and health around the country! And let's be honest, its also about the pink shoelaces!

I'm honored to be have this title because developing a lifestyle of fitness has really shaped me in my young adult life. It has provided me with some good friends as has helped me become more in tune with myself and my needs. I also LOVE helping my friends make good decisions about diet and fitness and I feel that this honor really helps me continue to do what I've been trying to do.

Are you a SPA? How has it influenced your life?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week of Nov 26th Recap

This week was a bit disappointing with my fitness levels. I feel like I didn't do anything... I didn't get out to run, I didn't lift, but what I did do was walk.

I walked for over 4 hours on Friday and I tried to get walks in during the day at work. One day I left my keys inside and had to walk all the way around the building to get back in the building at reception.

But this doesn't mean that this week was a waste, it just wasn't all that it could have been. I tried to eat healthy and get all my servings of fruits  and veggies. I tried to get moving as much as possible when I could. I was busy, too busy, but I did what I could. Can't ask for more than that!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How do you find the time?

Today's post is one looking for answers.

I work a lot -- maybe too much. Monday through Thursday I typically work from 6am - 8pm with time before and after to get ready for the day and drive to and from work. By the time I get home around 9pm, I'm exhausted and I'm already getting up at 4:30am to get to work.

I try to make it to the treadmill for at least a mile everyday, but that's not always possible. I'm trying to get back into a training groove because I really do LOVE running races, but lately I feel like my training has been slacking.

What strategies do you have to just get it done on long days? I know my problem is more mental than anything else because I have opportunities. I've found running groups that run later in the evening, but I can't seem to get myself to go there rather than home. Do you feel a mile a day on the treadmill is decent enough when life just gets in the way? I can absolutely get longer runs in Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but feel like I'm not consistent enough and I don't want to fall into the "weekend warrior" group. I would love to hear what you have to say about this dilemma because I know I'm not the first busy woman to face this challenge.

Until next time...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Why exactly I am addicted to fitness (most of the time)...

So I decided I should take a moment and elaborate on why I exercise and try to eat right.

As is the story with many of us that write about fitness and our journeys, I always struggled with my weight even though I played Varsity Field Hockey and Lacrosse throughout high school. College food didn't help the waist ling one bit and by the time I was 23 years old, I was unhappy and fat. I was over 220 pounds, but to be honest I'm not exactly sure what my highest weight was. It doesn't matter what it was, all I know is that I was way too heavy for my 5'4" frame (and that height is on a good day) and I was embarrassed every time I needed to go clothes shopping or do any type of physical activity.

In an attempt to escape, I decided not to get a typical engineering job upon graduating form Georgia Tech (go Yellow Jackets!) and joined the Peace Corps. Long story short, I lost about 60 pounds while in East Africa due to a change in diet and regular exercise just to get through a day in a developing country. I didn't diet, I didn't exercise excessively, and the weight came off.

I returned to the states happy and proud to be who I was. People were shocked when they saw me because many of them hadn't seen me in over two years. I enjoyed food and started falling back into my old ways. It was during that time that I realized the effect of the American lifestyle on our bodies and health. I gained 20 pounds back during the first two months back in the US. That's when something snapped and I decided I needed to change, and I needed to do it quickly.

I joined a gym and my first day there I ran a mile and a half. I went back the next day and tried to do it a little bit faster. I was determined to not get fat again. This continued for months when I decided to train for my first half marathon. I skipped the 5Ks and the 10Ks and dove head first into the half marathon. I finished with my PR (which I still haven't been able to break) of 2:19:something and an irritated IT Band.

My IT band sidelined my running for a while so I started Crossfitting, still terrified of getting fat, again. Over the past 3 years back in the US, my weight has fluctuated within 15 pounds of what it is. I still run, which I am learning to love all over again, but currently don't Crossfit due to scheduling issues (working 3 jobs makes it hard to get in classes). I justify the juggling of activities as a way to not be bored and that in the long run they all meet my goals. My goals of being healthy and recognizing how far I've come.

I do all of this for me. Not to impress anyone else. Not to get into a certain pair of jeans. Not to be considered sexy or hot by anyone else's standards, but to know deep down inside that I am living the best life I can be for myself. I am happy when I look in the mirror everyday now, even if I'm up 5 pounds. I love knowing that I can throw on a pair of sneakers and get out the door whenever I want to and not have to worry about not making it home. I love being an inspiration to my friends and family who struggle everyday with self-esteem and weight issues (which may or may not led themselves to one another). I love when people ask me what I've done and how I've kept it off. But I'm just an average woman working hard to keep herself sane. Helping others is just the icing on the cake.

I do this for me...why do you do it?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Week Recap

So...maybe it wasn't the best of ideas to commit to holding myself accountable right around thanksgiving. I mean seriously, who does that.. Well I did. So I'm going to have to fess up with what I did (or didn't) do this week fitness wise.

To begin with: I'm participating in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge AND the Runner's World Winter Running Streak in hopes that maybe I'll stick with it through New Years. For the most party I'm doing okay, however I still don't know how some people are getting so many points on the #HBBC. Oh well. This week also saw me signing up on Daily Mile as a way to compile all my various run tracking devices in nicely displayed graphs. In addition, I am doing a virtual half marathon and want to start getting out for 5am runs with a local group of women from Black Girls Run!

So here is my week, as pitiful as it was:

Sunday (11/18): 
I didn't run, but I was on my feet all day. My family makes just over 1,000 raviolis by hand for the holiday season and this year it was this past Sunday. It was a long day of cooking, making raviolis, and spending quality time with family. I wouldn't say that it was a wasted day at all. Maybe I'll just call it a rest day!

Monday (11/19): 
Today I knew I had to get out there and do something so I walked around during work and banged out a mile. Only one, and not as good as running, but any movement is better than nothing and I told myself I had to do something. And something is always better than nothing.

Tuesday (11/20): 
I had a little bit of time between job #1 and job #2 of the day so I went ahead and ran a mile. Only 1, and it was on the treadmill, but again I am working on getting out and doing something almost every day.

Wednesday (11/21): 
This turned into a rest day. Not because I didn't have the time, but because I was exhausted from shopping for Thanksgiving and knew I had a long week still ahead of me. I relaxed for the afternoon, but did dance for a while when I went out with family and friends that evening. Score for creative movement!

Thursday (11/22):
I snuck in a quick treadmill run again. Only to justify the food fest that was going to happen later on in the afternoon. I also made sure I walked around as much as possible.

Friday (11/23): 
Again, just 1 mile...something is becoming habit forming, when it really shouldn't be. Oh well... I guess 1 mile is better than nothing. I did spend the whole day cooking and cleaning for family day #4 of the week...this time at my place.

Saturday (11/24): 
Saturday was a good day to relax. My boyfriend and I ran errands and just got stuff done. Another Rest Day!

Sunday (11/25): 
Today was the most exciting day of the running week! The bf and I did our first interval workout for his training for the Walt Disney World half marathon and it was fantastic.  We ran 3 minutes and rested for 1 minute. The intervals were a bit slow for me, but this training is more for him than me. He pushed his heart out for an hour and completed 4.76 miles. I am super proud of him and got in a half way decent run. Here's to hoping he continues his progress since I feel like he's behind schedule for his training. Then again, I probably am too.. But that race is completely for fun.

Total Running Mileage for the week: 7.76 miles. Not bad, definitely not great. Here's to hoping it gets better!

Until next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why a blog? Why now?

So where do I start? Who am I and why did I decide to try to update a blog every now and again? And what in the world am I going to talk about?

I'm an almost-30 year old woman who has fallen in love with fitness despite one crazy schedule (is 3 jobs enough?). I love to run and I love to crossfit. I try to eat well and keep the weight off, but lets face it...I LOVE food! So when at all possible, I try to cook clean and paleo to keep the fat off. I have a friend who has an amazing blog and I'm mildly jealous of her musings and I thought, why not give it a shot. I kept a decent blog alive while I was living in Africa (did I say that I love to travel?) and figured why not give it a shot again! I will use any excuse to travel, but lately my excuses have been fitness and running related.

I've start diet and fitness plans throughout my life more times than I care to count. I, however, love to work out and love how I feel when I've exerted that energy after a long day at school. I want to use this space to keep myself accountable and document my my hopes, frustrations, and joys of continuing down this road of health and fitness in a crazy world!

Hopefully you'll come along for the journey!