Martha Stewart, you have outdone yourself. Really. I’m not going to say much about this recipe (partly because I’ve just spent the last 31 hours in the hospital and am now basically a typing zombie - thank goodness this post was already in the Drafts!), except that…
Or lack thereof. I was just going through my archive and came across this post. I couldn’t find any stats posted since October 2010, but I had them saved on my computer for January 2012. Obviously I’ve gained some weight and that’s probably why I wasn’t posting it on here!
Between October 2010 and January 2012, hmmm… what happened? Well, I moved home. That right there is an instant five pounds, if you ask me. But I spent that first winter training for a marathon which I ran in May 2011. So while I may have gained a little weight from living at home with my family, I was running a lot more and kept it in check. Hah, and then after the marathon? Well I started working ungodly hours for the duration of the summer, stopped posting in here, stopped running at all, and stopped holding myself accountable. Then I moved to a new city, spent six months without a job, became severely depressed, suffered a knee “injury” and spent the winter cooped up in my basement apartment without a gym membership. So there’s that.
I’m about three and half weeks into training for another marathon, and I weighed/measured myself at Week One. Next weigh-in comes at Week Nine and then again in the final week.
I’m putting this out there for the world to see. My goal is to get my body fat percentage back down to… 20%. Losing five percent body fat is a lofty goal to set, but I do believe it’s possible. That being said, let’s do this! I’m ready!
I haven’t run that far since my marathon, in May 2011. Actually, I take that back. Last fall when I decided to start half-ass training for a half-marathon (note to self: half only applies to the distance, not the dedication of training!), I forced myself to do 10 miles as a “wake-up call” of sorts, which was not the best of strategies. Last fall I tried to do too much, too soon, and I failed. I ended up hurting myself and making it nearly impossible to even run a little bit.
Over the winter I gradually started running a little more, but not without pain in my knee. I finally switched shoes (back to my old, standard Asics) and was suddenly able to run without pain. But I still couldn’t run a lot.
I started one mile at a time. Literally, the first few weeks, months even, I only ran a mile at a time. I took things slowly until I was sure that my knee pain wasn’t going to creep back up on me, and as it stayed in check, I started to add a little more distance here and there. I took it as an opportunity to work on my pace, running shorter distances at a faster tempo. By April I was running two miles at a time, and by May I could actually keep up with my boyfriend (comfortably, too!) for two miles at his pace (his slow pace, probably, but nonetheless!).
Before I knew it I was going three miles. Then one day, even four! That four miles was so epic for me, and I ran it at a pace that I’d never achieved before above one mile.
At that point I made the decision to pick a marathon this fall and start training for it. If I really wanted to get serious about getting better (I did), I needed a serious plan to stick to. I put together an 18-week program and gave myself PLENTY of time to build up my distance, SLOWLY.
I’ve been keeping most of my runs during the week nice and short (not above three miles), working on my pace. Saturdays (or Sundays) are reserved for my long, slow distance run. Today, that was seven miles, and I did it comfortably in 80+ degree weather.
I guess my point to all this is, a couple of months ago I felt like I would NEVER be able to get back to where I once was as a runner. Even when I started training for the marathon, I still had my doubts. Running four or five miles I thought to myself, I am never going to get there. But with persistence and dedication and most importantly, PATIENCE, I am slowly (but surely) getting there. One day at a time, one run at a time.
By the way, I got new shoes so I am no longer running in my two year old, beat-to-death Asics. They are the new Saucony Kinvara 3 which, so far, are phenomenal (*fingers crossed*).
I lost my one job. Then I got a new one. Then I quit my other old one. So I have one job now, Monday through Friday and I love it. Plus French lessons.
I have been kicking major ass in terms of running. I have been focusing on speed rather than distance, as it seems every time I start to get my distance up again I get hurt. As a result of this, I think I might actually be getting kind of fast! Fast for me, that is. I can run much faster for short distances (the other day I ran 2 miles in 17 minutes! That is lightning speed in my world! And the great news is, I’m getting to a point (knock on wood) where I can manage slightly longer distance runs (baby steps…) and even keep my pace up for them! Today I ran 4.8 miles in 45 minutes, for an average pace of 9:18 per mile. And I was just aiming to maintain a normal, comfortable pace.
So if my short-distance pace is getting faster, and my long-distance pace is getting faster, that can only mean one thing… I’m getting faster! Woo!
Today I decided to buckle down and spend the summer training for a fall marathon. I’m not sure which one yet, and I haven’t signed up for anything, but I started making a training program and I’m really excited to get started.
On a completely unrelated note, I’ve developed a crazy (probably unhealthy) obsession with Game of Thrones. Don’t judge me.
I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long, I really am! It’s just that, my life has suddenly gone from extremely lame and boring and uneventful and depressing, to still really lame and boring but busy-busy-busy! Here are some things that have happened since we last met:
I got a job! (definitely already posted about this, but we’ll pretend I haven’t) It kinda sucks and I just sit in front of a computer all day long and sort through faxes, but it’s money in the bank, right? Not much money, but some money is better than no money!
Speaking of jobs, I got a second job. Ironic, considering I applied for said job in OCTOBER(!) and hadn’t heard anything from them, and then as soon as I was content with the one (part-time) job and decided to stop looking/stressing about finding another, they called me. I actually start today with orientation, so we’ll see how it goes.
I have been tutoring French, which has been a very different and fun experience for me.
I took the AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification exam, but have not yet received my results because I haven’t sent them my CPR certification (because I don’t have it yet… oops… add that to the list of things to do)
I got a (free!) gym membership (thank you, living with my boyfriend and being considered his dependent for benefit purposes even though we are not married so I get a free spouse gym membership at the university where he teaches!)
I recently got back from a 8-day vacation in Jamaica with my boyfriend and his parents. It was so beautiful, so perfect, so needed. For fear of sounding spoiled, let me just say that I have never done something like that. I have never been to a resort, I have never been on vacation for a whole week (I did go on a cruise with my grandparents when I was about 14, though), and I have never gone on a “spring break” trip! Throughout all of high school and college, I never spent my spring break anywhere warm, and so after a fall/winter that literally made me want to die at times, I was so happy and thankful to get away.
I’ve been running again! Oh my gosh, you guys, it’s been so long. I bought some new shoes (New Balance Minimus, oh how I love thee!) and started running very short distances (like 10 minutes at a time) and forcing myself to foam-roll every night. Over the past couple months, I’ve slowly built my distance up to three miles and have not been having any knee pain! I still foam roll almost every night on the days that I run. I am so-so-so happy to be running again. It’s hard to not let myself go longer distances, but I don’t want to do too much too soon and end up injured again. I’ve been taking advantage of the short distances by working on my pace. My starting pace has gone from 5 or 5.5 mph to 6 or 6.5. Granted, I can’t run that fast for very long, but it’s getting easier and easier every time.
I was accepted to the French graduate program at Michigan State University, with a teaching assistantship! So come this fall, I’ll be working on my master’s degree and teaching French classes full time. I’m so, so, so excited! Finally, all of this sitting-around-and-waiting stuff feels validated!
I think that about sums it up. For the past month, I’ve literally been too busy to even think about blogging. At first there was this little guilt in the back of my mind that came out and poked me every now and then, but eventually all of the busy-stuff just kinda covered it up. This morning I came to tumblr and found I had a message from a new follower asking for some workout advice.
She reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place. Not to gain followers. Not to make myself feel cool because people might read what I write. Not to be liked and reblogged and featured on tumblr’s tag pages. Just because there was a time that I was confused about working out. A time where I had questions and concerns and needed to look at someone else who had done it and find out how they got there. A time where I couldn’t run a mile and had no idea what to do with a pair of dumbbells. A time where the thought of actually paying for a gym membership boggled my mind. A time where I had no idea how to cook and properly feed my body. I started this blog because I fell in love with working out, being healthy, cooking, and taking care of myself. And I wanted to share that love story with other girls who might need a little bit of inspiration or guidance. I started this blog because there might be just one teenage girl out there who wants my advice, and if she can come to my blog and read my story and hear my advice instead of one of the millions of “thinspo” blogs who would tell her to starve and overwork herself, then that’s all that matters to me.
If you didn’t notice by now (you must not be very observant)… I seem to take little vacay’s from this blog quite often. Also this is the second time I’ve done this, but I switched back over the WordPress. Tumblr is so easy and convenient and I love following people here, but there are many things about it that drive me crazy. So from now on (by that I mean until I get bored again) I will be writing in this blog on WordPress. I’ll still post links here for tumblr followers, and maybe even random self-pitying shortform posts if I’m feeling crazy. Click through to read about how lame my life still is :)
Mother Hubbards cupboards are bare… I’m poor and car-less for the week until BF gets home (yes I realize how pathetic I sound saying that). But! I get my first paycheck this week! Ohhhh yeah, I already wrote a giant list of everything that I’m going to spend my first paycheck on.
Last New Year’s Eve, I took a Greyhound Bus out to Toronto to visit my boyfriend, got lost downtown, and finally found my way to the train station, where I took a GO train to his suburb and had a nice, quiet night to ring in the new year.
This year I’m sitting in my apartment, which I share with said boyfriend, alone and reflecting on 2011 and what I hope 2012 will bring.
As I wrote on my facebook earlier today, to be perfectly honest, 2011 kinda sucked. I mean, I guess I’m kinda in the middle somewhere. On one hand, I did accomplish some amazing things and endured some great challenges. But on the other hand, I was dealt some bad cards, by both fate and myself, and I didn’t quite know how to handle them all, ie depression, anxiety, sorta almost breaking up with boyfriend, work taking over my life, thinking boyfriend was moving to a foreign country to which I could not follow him, moving to a new place with no friends, spending four months searching for jobs and being rejected left and right, feeling worthless, alone, hopeless, having a knee injury which prevented me from running, having no gym membership or any way to work out unless I got someone to pay for me to get to the gym, relying solely on my boyfriend to support me financially and knowing that if it weren’t for him I’d be relying on my mother to support me financially… Yeah, just a few of the things that made 2011 suck major balls.
OK so now let’s look on the bright side for a moment:
I trained for a marathon. I learned what my body and my spirit were truly capable of.
I worked two shitty part-time jobs to save up in hopes of moving out of my mom’s house, and learned what it was like to really work my ass off.
I ran a marathon. Seriously, the proudest moment of my life.
I spent the summer working on a movie which, yes, took over my life and led me to some bad decisions and events, but still taught me a lot about working hard and what I do and do not want to do with my life.
My bf and I realized that we wanted to be together no matter what circumstances we were dealt, and I decided to move to Canada as a “tourist” until I could obtain residency and a legit job.
We ended up not doing that and moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan, instead, and we got a cute little apartment which I am so happy that we share.
I applied for grad school and set my sights on a new path in life.
I spent the first 9 months of the year living at home and being close with my family.
I got to see my baby sister grow another year older. Seriously, she is the most amazing creature I have ever seen.
So that’s just a short summary of my 2011. A lot of good, but I guess the heaviness of the bad outweighed the good, in my mind, at least. Seriously, there were moments this year where I was at my lowest of lows. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed. There were days I had no desire to do anything but sit on my ass, and cry. There were days where I did exactly that. There were days I questioned myself and where I was and what I was doing and why I was doing it. There were days I thought I was destined for something totally different and I would have to leave my family and loved ones behind to find it. There were days I didn’t have the time to think about my family and loved ones. There were days I was so tired that I couldn’t even compose a coherent sentence. There were days that I felt so alone I didn’t know how I could carry on. There were days I felt that I had erased all of the hard work and dedication I had committed to myself and my body for months. There were days I felt that I had wasted so much money and time on doing what I was “supposed’ to do, only to end up lost and confused and feeling like I had no future.
But through all those days, I kept looking forward. My boyfriend, my family, and my friends reminded me to keep my head up and to envision what I wanted, and what I needed. Eventually I sorta got the hang of it and I finally started to see some things happening.
I got involved with Runfos. I started helping out friends and trying to keep busy. I realized that feeling sorry for myself would not cause anything to change, and I reminded myself of this each and every day until I began to truly believe it. And then I got a job and I got on the right track.
There are so many things I’m looking forward to in 2012. I want to start running and dancing again. I want to run another marathon. I want to start paying off my student loans again. I want to travel to Europe this summer. I want to contribute to my life and my community. I want to pay the bills and buy the groceries. I want to volunteer to help get our President re-elected. I want to go to grad school. I want to get my life on track.
I have two resolutions for this new year:
To make it happen. To know what I want and to find ways to make it happen no matter what, and
To make it good. Whatever obstacles life throws at me, whatever twists and turns and unforeseen circumstances, whatever lemons I get… I’m going to find a way to make it good. I will be making a lot of lemonade this year.
How was your 2011, overall, and how are you planning on making 2012 even better?
Little has happened since my somewhat-whiney update post from a few days ago, except that I made another pot of that Caldo Verde soup and it was seriously the best batch I’ve made yet, and I went for a couple-mile walk both yesterday and today. Hooray for progress, right?
Oh, and also, I wanted to let you all in on a new project that I have become a part of. I have recently joined forces with a non-profit organization called Runfos.
Runfos is a non-profit organization that unites runners, businesses, and community members to sponsor, support, and stand by those in need.
The basic idea is that by training for and running races, you raise money for charity. (Check out the Runfos website for a more detailed description.) But all this got me thinking of the reasons I run.
Let’s be honest… I run for:
Stress relief: running helps me relieve stress and channel my energy
Vanity: I wanna look good by staying in shape
Self-esteem: by looking good and feeling less stressed, I feel good about myself
Pride/accomplishment: running a marathon is one of the things I’m most proud of myself for
To say “I told you so”: I used to hate running. And my family thinks I’m crazy for it. I get a kick out of showing them, and myself, that I can do it and I really enjoy do it
Health: obviously running keeps me healthy by helping to maintain my weight, but it also has a great impact on my cardiorespiratory health
Competition: by running in races, I’m obviously competing with others, but I face my biggest component every time I lace up my shoes (or debate doing so): myself
With all those benefits for me, why not add another into the mix:
Helping others: when you choose to Runfos you are helping others by raising money through pledges for every kilometer you race (and there are lots of other ways to get involved, too)!
So on top of looking good, feeling badass, and being super healthy, you can help somebody else out in the meantime (which will make you feel even cooler, right?)
You can check out the Runfos website, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@Runfos). We will have some fun contests and giveaways coming up soon!
So make sure you connect with us to learn how you can get involved and raise money by doing something you already love to do: running. If you run, why not Runfos?
If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve been on a real blogging hiatus these past few weeks. I guess that might have something to do with the following:
I haven’t been running because every time I try to, I get this sharp pain in my knee. I’m reeeeeally hoping a new pair of shoes will fix this, considering I’m still running in the shoes I partially trained for and ran my marathon in. In May!
I haven’t really been working out because I’m too poor to afford a gym membership right now (note: I have gone a couple of times and have been following a lifting program, but since my workouts are so few and far between they feel like nothing to write home about).
I’m still struggling with the whole job thing. And winter is here. And my apartment still feels like a dungeon. Blehhh.
But! On the bright side!
I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll get an interview soon… (feel free to cross yours for me as well.)
I went to the gym EVERY. DAY. when I was home for two weeks, and I’ve still got it goin’ on.
I haven’t gained weight (in fact, last time I checked, I was back down to my usual 122ish lbs, although still a little fluffier than I’d prefer)
I worked out in the gym earlier this week and I can now do 15 push ups (the real kind) without rest!
As soon as I get a job and thus money (which I hope know will be soon… right? right?!) I plan on buying a gym membership and hopping right onto the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon.
I also want to start taking yoga classes, get some new running shoes, and start training for a spring marathon, all of which requires funds, so come on people, hire me! I’m awesome, I swear!
I have finished and sent in all of my stuff for my grad school application, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that, too.
Although my emotions and general outlook on life tend to vary from day to day (or hour to hour), I generally feel good about things. I know I’ve been saying this for a long time now, but I just have a feeling that things are going to start looking up soon. And as soon as one good thing comes along (see also: job) I feel like there will be a domino effect of goodness in my life. 2011 has been kinda weird. Great in some ways, awful in other ways, but I’m really looking forward to the new year, that’s for sure.
The third Thursday of November marks the annual celebration of Beaujolais Day - the release of the easy-to-drink, fruity, and affordable red wine known as Beaujolais Nouveau from France’s Beaujolais region.
The wine gets its lightness and “drinkability” from its short,…
Check out this Holiday Gift Guide the ladies at Mary Kay put together. There are lots of limited edition products available right now that are perfect for the holidays. And don’t forget about some of the best sellers, like the TimeWise cleanser and moisturizer set, or the oil-free eye makeup remover (one of my favorites - I need to re-order some for myself pretty soon here).
As always, all Mary Kay products are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so don’t hesitate to try out something new! And blog readers get a 20% discount on all orders! And since I’m so bored these days, anything you order as a gift will come as an adorable gift-wrapped package, custom-made by yours truly (if you’d like, of course).
Soooo what are you waiting for? Take a look around the Mary Kay website, and then send me an email to get your discounted products! Tis the season!
It may be the end of the week, but I feel like it’s time for a fresh start.
I promised myself to make it good last week, and I’ve been trying. I went out and applied for more jobs, and I forced myself to at least try to do things that make me happy. I did some cooking (although uninspired cooking has proven itself difficult), went out for a few walks (being unable to run has also been extremely difficult), and worked on my grad school essays and application some more. I even weighed myself last Thursday and have managed to lose a couple of pounds, which I did not expect (if anything I expected to maintain, if not gain, weight) because I have not been running at all.
This afternoon (or maybe tomorrow) I’m leaving to go home for the next two-ish weeks. I’m gonna hang out with my family, help my mom out a little, bake Thanksgiving pies with my Nana, and spend some quality time with my baby sister. Also, I still have my old gym membership back home, so I’m seriously going to the gym EVERY DAY. And I actually have friends back home, so I’ll get to see them! Yay!
You know, for someone who usually tends to be pretty anti-social, I’ve been admittedly very lonely! I have about… well, two friends here in Grand Rapids. One of whom I’ve met up with once and has a very busy work schedule, and the other is my boyfriend, which doesn’t even count. Do I have any tumblr friends in GR? Let’s be real-life friends plz?
Anyway, today I’m getting stuff done. I have a feeling something is going to change for the better very soon. Hopefully that will mean getting a job, or maybe I’ll win the lottery, or find out that I actually have some secret trust fund full of money that my family has been hiding from me, or somebody in France will ask me to come live with them and take care of their children, or… something, since I’m literally almost out of money. Oh, life… Something’s gotta work out for me one of these days, right?!
In the meantime, this playlist has been getting me through the cloudy days. It started out as a fall running mix, but obviously I haven’t been running, so it’s turned into more of a fall-feel-good-and-be-happy mix. (If you don’t use Spotify, you should really sign up. It’s free and totally convenient. This is a collaborative playlist so feel free to add any tracks you think fit the mood!)