Wednesday, August 10, 2011

3.5 miles

Firstly, I am a really bad proofreader of my own writing.  So, I apologize for the dozens and dozens of typos that have a constant presence here on the blog.

Secondly, I went to the gym yesterday!  The schedule called for 3.5 miles, so that's what I did.  I warmed up for 5 minutes at 3.6,  ran 5 at 4.8, walked 5 at 4.0, ran 5 at 4.8, walked...10 at 4.0, and so on.  I think I could have pushed myself a little harder, but I was with a friend, and we were talking, and I just wanted to enjoy myself.  I ended up doing 3.5 in 51:31, which is an avg pace of about 14:42.

Like I said, I felt I could have pushed myself harder, but overall I finished feeling really good.  That's definitely an improvement over last week's runs, all three of which bruised my ego.

Today is a rest day, but the schedule calls for 2 miles on Thursday.  The actual plan calls for 2 miles OR cross-training, so I may do an elliptical workout instead.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my 27th birthday.  I turned 27.  I'm saying that I am now 27 years old.

27.  Look, I know it's not 30, but 27 seems like...a grown up age, probably more so now that I know so many people getting married, making babies, progressing in their careers, etc.

I have a history with 27.  I've dated 27 year old boys who thought they were men.  It's a year to reflect, I guess, and usually that ended badly for me.  But that's okay.  I get it now.

So reflecting on the last year.  Let's see.
  • My baby cousin had a precious baby of her own, who's photos I fawn over for hours.
  • I interviewed with half a dozen companies, and applied for hundreds more.
  • I celebrated my second Christmas with Eric and his amazing family.
  • I handled my own family situations with as much grace and levelheadedness as I could muster.
  • I moved in with a boy!  On purpose!
  • I purchased myself a new camera.
  • I booked several engagement sessions and TWO actual weddings for the year!
  • I purchased real, honest-to-Gawd running shoes.
  • I ran two 5ks and registered for a half marathon.
  • I accepted an offer as a marketing coordinator, and am finally leaving the legal field for good.
This year had a lot of emotional lows for me.  It was a struggle to stay positive in an environment in which I felt I was floundering, day in and day out.  But looking back, I also accomplished a lot, and propelled myself forward.  And I didn't do it alone.  Not by a long shot.

So my deepest and most heart felt thanks to:

My housewife


My muse


My band of brothers (and sisters)


My fellow adventure seekers


Without these folks (sadly, not all pictured), I would not have survived myself this last year.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Training Plan 8/8 - 8/14

Alright, first a look at last week's plan:

Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Rest or Yoga
And the execution:
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3.5 mile walk/run
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest
Total miles: 9.5
Friday's Run:
The 4 mile run scheduled for the weekend troubled me because I had so many birthday plans.  I decided to scrap Friday's 3 miler and attempt to do 4 on the road.  I mapped out a short route that should have been pretty easy.  My friend, Nate, came with me.  I started out going a steady (but very slow) pace, and did about a mile.  We stopped for a walk break, and to find the road to turn on.  That road ended up being far hillier than I thought, and we were poorly prepared for the extra exertion + crazy heat.  Nate was smart, and brought some water, but not nearly enough, and certainly not for the both of us.  He did share, which was sweet, but we struggled up a steep hill about 1.8 miles in, decided it we'd had enough, and turned around.
I did an okay job of jogging back once we were on the main road, which was about .75 miles.  I'd say I probably jogged a total of 1.3-1.5 miles.  Now granted, this was at a much slower speed than what I do on the treadmill, but considering I generally have to tap out at 10 minutes, I consider that an accomplishment.
Week 3 Plan:
This week, things get interesting (read: mileage increase!).
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Yoga and 3.5 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 2 miles
Friday: 3.5 miles
Saturday: Rest or Yoga
Sunday: 5 miles (OMG - terrified)
Total Estimated Miles: 14
So, today is my birthday (happy birthday to me!), which means Eric and I have reservations at our favorite sushi place.  I should have gone to the gym this morning before work, but since I didn't, there really isn't enough time to do anything tonight.  Wednesday, my co-workers are taking me out for dinner and drinks to say goodbye because Thursday(!!) is my last day as a paralegal!
I've had to modify the schedule a bit, but yoga and a run on the same day will be, um, fun, right?
Wish me luck, because I will really, really need it this week.
I'll be back later today with a birthday-related post.  What's your favorite tradition for ringing in a new year?

Friday, August 5, 2011

2 miles

I "ran" two miles yesterday.  Came in at 28:39.  I beat Monday's avg page by almost a minute, but I suppose that's easy to do when the distance is halved.

The schedule calls for a 3 mile run tonight and a 4 mile run this weekend.  I've been struggling to decide which day to do the 4 miles since it's my birthday weekend and I have tons of plans, so I've decided to scrap the 3 mile tonight and just go for 4.  The longer "runs" are the most important anyway.  I'm hoping to come in at about 56 minutes, which would give me a 14 min/mile pace, but would include my warm up and warm down.

This is really hard, you guys.  I know it's supposed to be, but it's much hard mentally and emotionally than I thought it would be.  I feel like an imposter.  I'm not a runner, not even close, and I signed up for a half marathon??  When I can't even run a 5k all the way through?  I'm nuts. 

I'm grateful for any encouragement, and am especially appreciative of the kind words from my fellow newbie runners.  Like I said, I didn't expect this to be easy,  Very tough.  Especially on my ego.  :)

How did you stay motivated for your first big race?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yoga Breakthrough!

Just a quick update for now, and I'll post a total rundown on Sunday.

I walked/ran the 4 miles I was supposed to on Monday.  Did it on a treadmill in 1 hr 56 sec.  Not fast by any means, but I did it!

My legs were SORE yesterday.  Luckily, Tuesdays happen to be the days when Eric's aunt teaches yoga at my gym!  You know how sometimes you have a good class, and you leave feeling like you really treated your body well?  And sometimes you have a freaking phenomenally fantastic class because you leave knowing the were finally able to touch your toes for a majority of the class, and you were really able to get deep into the poses, and your mind and body are just elated, and you just can't stop smiling?  That was yesterday's class for me.  I was on cloud nine for the rest of the night.

The schedule calls for a two mile run tonight, but Eric's family is hosting a lovely little dinner party, so the rest of my week is getting pushed back a day.  Two mile run tomorrow, three mile run Friday, rest (and party!) Satuday, and four mile run on Sunday.

Well, I'm debating the four mile run.  On the one hand, I don't want to burn out doing two, three and four three days in a row.  But on the other hand, Saturday night is my birthday party, and I can't imagine any part of me will want to go to the gym on Sunday.  Any advice?

Also, yes, a birthday, year in review, something type post will be up by Monday.  Something far more positive than my last post about my birthday.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Training Plan 8/1-8/7

First, a look at plan vs execution last week.

The Plan:
Monday: 3 mile easy run/walk
Tuesday: 20 min run & Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Yoga or Rest

The Execution:
Monday: Nada
Tuesday: 15 minute Elliptical Warm-up & Yoga
Wednesday: Zilch
Thursday: 15 minute Elliptical and Stretch
Friday: Rest (I'm good at those, remember?)
Saturday: Goose Egg
Sunday: Rest

I didn't want to write about last week because I feel like a failure.  I was lazy, pure and simple.  There are so many reasons that becoming more active is difficult, but no one ever tells you that the biggest problem is you.  Sure, plenty of magazines and blogs can give you helpful hints on how to stay motivated, but they don't discuss the possibility of a deeper problem.  It's not just motivation.  It's overcoming this sense of entitlement.  "I had a horrible day at work, I deserve to relax with a glass of wine instead of run."  Or "This really awesome thing happened and I deserve to celebrate...instead of run."  Or "I'm going to fail anyway because I was never athletic and I'll never BE athletic, so why bother?"

Last week was full of mixed emotions.  A really great opportunity for my career has presented itself, and I am beyond excited.  I was offered a position with a company as a marketing coordinator, and I did it on my own - not through connections or bribing or anything!  I'm so proud of myself and excited for my future.  Not to derail the running/training aspect of this blog but briefly - I never thought this day would come.  I've been in the legal field since 2006, and I've known it's not what I wanted to do since about 2007.  I've watched my friends succeed and grow and flourish in grad school and in their careers, and I never felt half as accomplished.  I've been applying for marketing positions since May of last year, and it's finally paid off.  I can't tell you how happy I am.

Also last week, I officially registered for the Athens Half Marathon.  Let me tell you what that means to me.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - I could have, and pretty much did, bail on my training program.  There was always an out, since I hadn't registered yet.  I could wait for the Thanksgiving Day half, or the Publix half in March.  But Friday, I registered, and that's that.  I will be in Athens on October 23, and if I don't train properly, I could really hurt myself.  I didn't do my run on Saturday, because I had a million errands to run, cleaning to do, and a birthday party to attend.  I decided to move it to Sunday and try out my new apartment gym.  (Side note: I had decided if I liked the gym enough I would cancel my schmancy gym membership).  I'm not going to lie - when I woke up Sunday morning I was a little hungover from the party, and then Eric and I had a heavy brunch.  I decided that the best use of my time would be to edit the 394857239471 photos I promised to have by the end of the weekend.  Eric, however, needed to use my computer to take an online exam so I watched 3 or 4 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

When Eric finished his exam he gave me a hard time for wasting 3 hours watching TV. when I could have been to the gym and back already.  He asked me if I was still planning to go.  I sheepishly said yes, but I didn't want to go alone.  I didn't want to go at all, and he knew it, but he had the ace in the hole.  I HAVE to train.  I have to.  I can't just show up to a half marathon only having the ability to run 3 miles.  So we went.  It started out well.  I ran at a good pace for me (12 min/mi) for about 5 minutes.  I slowed to a walking break and turned to ask Eric for some water when the treadmill just stopped.  I flipped out.  I couldn't get my time or average pace back.  I couldn't get it to start again.  Nothing.  I was so angry.  It's hard being unathletic.  Those numbers make me proud, and trying to run without them a) makes it easier for me to cheat myself, and b) makes it difficult to see what my actual progress is.  So I gave up.  We walked home, and it was awful.  I was fighting back tears because I knew how stupid I was being, but I wouldn't go back.  
I read a lot healthy lifestyle blogs, and these girls are ATHLETES.  They can run distances I can only dream of at paces that seem impossible to me.  Several are training for half Iron Mans or Olympic Triathlons.  One just became and Iron Man last weekend.  I can't even run 4 miles on a treadmill. When we got home, I chastised myself for allowing failure.  It's as simple as that.  So today starts a new month, the half marathon is 12 weeks away, and I have a chance at redemption.

Here's the new plan:
Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Rest or Yoga

I'm obviously not giving up my gym membership.  My apartment has two gyms and both are beyond subpar (broken and outdated equipment, lack of AC, etc).  It's possible that in the winter, when I've acclimated to running outside, I may drop it, but until then, ACNE will be my second home.

I knew this would be difficult; athletics, sports, they never came naturally.  But it's so much harder than I thought it would be.  And it's not running, and it's not just making the time.  It's me.  I am my biggest hurdle.

Monday, July 25, 2011


When I was a kid I LOVED my birthday because of all the presents.  Every year was like Christmas (which was cool, because we were Jewish, so didn't really get to have Christmas too often).  I have a very specific memory of my 9th birthday, waking up at 7:00 a.m., bounding down the stairs, and begging my mom, who was already making breakfast, to let me open my gifts.  That year all I wanted was a box of different colored threads to make friendship bracelets.  A decade later, all I wanted was an iPod.

Funny how things change.

I turned 26 last year, and it was a wild ride.  My boyfriend snuck (sneaked?) a real-life deep dish Chicago pizza through airport security, my best friend bought me brown leather cowboy(girl) boots, and my parents bought me a Netbook (which was later exchanged for an iPod shuffle and some cold hard cash).

As my 27th birthday approaches (they seem to come faster and faster every year, don't they?), I can think of a million things I want.  A quality yoga mat, tons of DVD sets, clothes (clothes, and more clothes!), shoes, jewelery.

What I asked for though, and what my generous parents are giving me this year is my registration to the Athens Half Marathon.
It takes place the weekend of October 22-23.  Do you know what that means?  Training starts now!

PLAN (Based on Hal Higdon's Novice plan) for the week of 7/25/2011:

Monday: 3 mile easy run/walk
Tuesday: 20 min run & Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Yoga or Rest


But birthdays aren't all about presents, of course.  To me, birthdays represent a clean slate and a chance to reflect on the previous year.  So I'll have a less materialistic birthday post closer August 8.


In other news, my computer is fixed, and I did an engagement shoot with a lovely couple last weekend, so I have tons of photos to edit and post!  They'll be going up over at sometime this weekend.

I'll try to check in again around Friday for an update on my training progress.  Wish me luck!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Six Quick Things

1. I had a great time taking engagement photos at Zoo Atlanta yesterday!
2. My computer is going to the Apple store tomorrow and will hopefully be as good as new by Friday!
3. I'm moving my photography Tumblr blog over to Blogger, and the aforementioned engagement photos will be posted there in the next two weeks!
4. I'm very excited to register to the Athens Half Marathon.
5. My mom found some old photos this weekend.  My grandparents look like the Drapers, don't you think?

6. I've watched way too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel this weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quick update

I had great plans for walking and running this weekend, but my knee has kept me out of commission.  I feel so silly because it seems like just a scrape, but between the actual wound taking forever to heal, and the fun and interesting sharp pains that have manifested around the knee cap and outside tendons, everything was scrapped in favor of laying about.

Well, that's not entirely true.  I did continue to move a lot of stuff from the old house and pick up a desk from my parents', but otherwise the weekend was uneventful activity-wise.

I am genuinely considering going to see a doctor if the pain isn't gone by Friday, but for now, anti-inflammatories are my new best friend.

Sorry the blog has been so boring lately!  Not even any photos to share!  Unfortunately, my computer is still out of commission, which means processing photos is, well, sort of impossible at the moment.  I'm hoping that's all changed by the end of the month.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Well hello there!  Sorry I've been MIA for the better part of June.  The move threw me into a tailspin of stress and time-constraints, but I've made it to July 1 and that means theoretically things should start settling down.

I had planned to do some short easy runs/walks this week, but I fell on Monday busting my right knee up but good.  It's finally started to heal and the pain is definitely subsiding.  That means - new plans!

I'm going to post a "training plan" on Sunday (in quotes because I'll still be taking it easy), but here are my hopes and dreams for the weekend.

  • Saturday: Walk 3 miles
  • Sunday: Run 1.5 miles
  • Monday: Enjoy the pool and drink lots of beer!
Seems like a pretty simple schedule to follow.  Eric is off this weekend as well, so I'm hoping I can coerce him into joining me.

On the new home front, we're almost completely unpacked in the living area of the house (dining room, living room, kitchen), so I'll be posting those photos soon.  We just have a few more boxes of books to put away, and a few paintings/wall decorations to hang and we'll be all set!...for now.  I daydream of curtains and Etsy prints, but those are better left for another day - when we've recovered financially from the actual moving portion of the move.

How have you recovered from a blunt injury?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

No Photos, Please

I'm alive!  It's been one hell of a month.  I'm going to just skip ahead to the weekend, let y'all know how the move went, and just go forward from there.  How's that?

Thursday night, Eric and I met up at the leasing office to do our walk through and sign the lease.  We were cutting it quite short, getting there a half an hour before it closed for the night.  The manager of the community stayed long after they closed to make sure we had time to go over everything properly.  He was so friendly and helpful, especially considering it was the end of the day for him.  He even gave us one of our keys so we could start moving in early!  Eric and I talked about doing something nice for him and the agent that "sold" us the apartment.  Ideas?  Starbucks gift certificates won't work since they don't like coffee.  :(

So moving day came early, and to make it brief, here's a summary of all of the things that went wrong (please keep in mind that our apartment is on the fourth floor):
  • The elevator broke while we were unloading the truck filled with stuff from Eric's house
  • Eric's super-nice dining room table fell out of the back of my SUV while they were trying to drive it slowly up the parking deck, scratching it all to hell and nearly killing Eric in the process
  • Aadil twisted his ankle
  • The glass of a painting that is very dear to Eric broke into a million billion pieces
  • A thunderstorm rolled in right as we were loading the truck at my house
  • Said thunderstorm caused a power outage to our apartment complex, causing the gates to remain shut, and locking us out
  • Once we were able to get in to the complex the elevator, which had since been fixed, was inoperable due to said poweroutage
  • The thunderstorm caused the rain to fall sideways, onto the balcony, where Eric had put the painting, who's glass was now broken, allowing rain to fall onto the actual canvass
  • At one point, I looked down from the balcony to see Eric and a friend stacking several pieces of furniture on top of each other to carry up the stairs; I said "I really hope they don't drop all of that" and literally 5 seconds later, my nightstand was in several pieces
  • Did I mention Eric had an essay due in his online course, which requires internet to send, which we did not have due to the power outage?
  • Upon returning the truck, finding a hotspot and turning in his essay, Eric came back to the apartment and promptly locked his keys in his car - with the lights still on
  • To top off the night, the backpack he was carrying broke as soon as he stepped inside
  • And bonus crazy: a large tree branch fell in my (old) backyard, onto the roof of the shed, and causing the tree itself to weaken and threaten the safety of the house during the next storm.
That's all of the things I can think of.  On a positive note, both Comcast, and the guy delivering our washer and dryer, came before the elevator broke and the power went out; we had excellent customer service from  Comcast (shocking); even though the power was out for over 3 hours, Publix stayed open due to their generators powering the registers, and we were able to buy candles and (more) beer; miraculously, the painting doesn't seem to have run or been permanently damaged; AND, J-dog got a clean bill of health, a bath and furmination, and I got a reasonable quote to remove his pesky dew claws - he's ripped them out twice. :( 

So the move did not go as I had planned or expected.  I was hoping to have everything in the apartment by 2:00 p.m., and I think we finished unloading around 8:00.  I was hoping to have unpacked the kitchen and cooked everyone a huge pasta dinner as thanks, and we ended up ordering more pizza.  But I have to say, Eric and I are so incredibly blessed to have the friends and family that we do, who persevered through injury, rain, and power outages to help us.  So thank you Aadil, Nate, Patrick, and Aleksander.  I'm shocked you all stuck around for as long as you did.  And thanks also to Kristy, for coming over afterwards and bringing your sparkling personality to brighten the mood, like you so often do.


I think all of mine and Eric's luck must have been redistributed, and I'm okay with that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Popping In

Firstly, I want to apologize for the blog being such a downer recently.  I just needed to process all of what was going on, but everything is so much better now.  Kristy is actually moving into the same neighborhood as me and Eric, which is REALLY exciting.

Nothing else has really changed, but after chewing on the facts for a few days, I'm strangely at peace with everything.  My friend, Kim, gave me some really great advice, which put a lot of this into perspective.

I'm trying to figure out how to keep running over the next week without a gym in the INTENSE Georgia heat.  I suppose I could should wake up early and do it before work, but if you know me, you know that's a real stretch.  I'm sure Tim Gunn would tell me to "Make it work."  That I shall, Tim.  That I shall.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today Will Be Better

Remember yesterday when I said the weekend was stressful?  Child's play compared to what was coming.  I'll try to be brief, since this barely has to do with running or training.
  1. Eric and I have yet to sign up for our utilities.
  2. My computer's hard drive is dead.
  3. Kristy's future roommate, who was supposed to move in on July 1, backed out yesterday, leaving both of us, as well as our landlord, completely screwed.
This first item I'm hoping to have fixed by tonight.  Eric and I tried several times this weekend to knock it out, but it just didn't happen.

The second item gave me a minor meltdown yesterday, but I thought it through and calmed myself down.  All of my important photos and music are stored on my external hard drive so I haven't lost that much.  I wanted to buy a new computer anyway, preferably a desktop with a large monitor.  This is just super inconvenient, but it is not the worst thing that could happen.

The third item is the worst thing that could happen (barring actual real life tragedy).  Because this guy backed out, Kristy now has to plan a quick move, which she hadn't budgeted for.  Because this guy backed out, I'm now responsible for an additional month of rent, which I hadn't budgeted for.  Because this guy backed out, our landlord now has to ready his house to show potential renters as soon as possible, which he hadn't budgeted for. 

In order to find some money to pay for the extra rent I've had to make some sacrifices.  I'm putting my gym membership on hold for a few months, because, well it's kind of an expensive gym.  BUT!  One of the amenities in my new apartment complex is a "state of the art" fitness facility.  It's pretty standard actually, but the equipment works.  I've also given up on kickball for the summer, and I'm trying to find some races that aren't north of $50.  Training-wise, I'm not sure what my next few weeks will look like, but I promise there will be some.  I'm not sure how often my updates will be posted either.  Please bare with me in this transitional time.

But let's end on a positive note, shall we?  My firm gave the support staff gift certificates to Buckhead Life Restaurants for meeting our goals last month.  Eric and I have been joking that we would be eating ramen for our anniversary, and now we'll actually be able to go out!  I'm very excited.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Short and Sweet Update

This weekend was not relaxing, let me tell you.  I'll try to do a proper update later, but I wanted to pop in and tell you all that my computer crashed last night (I've had it since 2007 and this is the first time, so no complaints).  That being said, I am computer-less for an amount of time that is TBD.  Eric, the wonderful man that he is, will be taking the poor broken wretch to the Apple store for me today to see if there's anything they can do.

Side note: How sweet is it of Eric to do that, so I don't have to take extra PTO time from work?  He is awesome, and I am a lucky lady.

I will try to update later tonight if I can borrow a computer.  Otherwise, please think happy technologically sound thoughts for poor Niska (yeah, I named my laptop after a villain in Firefly, what?  He's a badass.).

Friday, June 10, 2011

Progress 6.10.2011

Monday: Rest Done
Tuesday: Yoga Rest Done
Wednesday: Rest Done
Thursday: Easy 2 mi Run/Walk Rest Done
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 3 mi Run/Walk
Sunday: 3 mi Run at 5k pace
Time for another update!  They say that the most important day of any training plan is your resting day.  Well, clearly I'm really good at that.  Apparently I've mastered the most difficult part of training for a long race.  I guess I should get started on the rest, huh?

In all seriousness, my week has been incredibly busy.  I have some stuff in the works that I can't really talk about just yet, but let's just say that hopefully my time not working out will have been worth it.  But, today is Friday!  I left my gym bag at home, but I'm thinking of taking J-dog for that 2 mi Run/Walk I was supposed to do yesterday.  I have to get him used to walking on a leash again, since that'll be imperative starting two weeks from today! 

 What's going on here?  He looks like a 40 lb dog.  I can tell you he's about twice that big.

He looks so sweet, right?  Lies.

Holy crap, I'm moving two weeks from today.  Two weeks, y'all.  That's, like, not that far away.

In other news that may or may not excite you, I've got a big photography project coming up in the next month.  If any of you have any experience in the publishing world, please shoot me an email at 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I lied. I'm such a liar.

One last post, and then I'm done for the day. I swear. For real this time.

I spent part of my lunch break this afternoon trying to figure out how to save the elevation chart for the Summerfest 5K. I did it!


I just wanted to share that accomplishment. There you go.

RSS Feed

I also forgot to mention that I set up a handy-dandy RSS Feed button over there on the right menu bar. Click the button and follow my on your handy-dandy RSS Reader! Or click here. You know you want to.

Okay, enough. That's all you're getting for today.

Progress 6.8.2011

Monday: Rest Done
Tuesday: Yoga Rest Done
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 2 mi Run/Walk
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 3 mi Run/Walk
Sunday: 3 mi Run at 5k pace
I did not actually go to yoga yesterday, and I'm pretty bummed about it. Eric's aunt, my favorite instructor, was back last night for the first time in a month! But work has been extra stressful, and I'm also moving in less than three weeks (!!), so I opted to skip the gym and do some work at home.

I didn't do a lot.

I finished packing one book shelf. One. And it's the one I started on Sunday night.

I know it doesn't look finished since there is a big pile of books on the second shelf, but those are actually from the bookshelf on the other side of my bed! So...see? Progress.

Yeah, so that's where I stand right now. Awesome, right? I really don't have too much stuff (I'm sure I'll be laughing at that statement later). I have another 5 or so boxes of books to pack, a few boxes of knick knacks from my bedroom, and a few things in the kitchen. I'm hoping to get a majority of the packing finished this weekend, so I can focus on planning the actual move over the next two weeks.

On a completely different note, I have a meeting tonight with one of Eric's aunts to discuss doing some photography for a book she's writing!

The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy for me, so I'm giving myself a little leniency when it comes to gym/workout/training time. I just need to get moved and settled in. I'm not saying I won't be going to the gym at all. I'm just not in a rush at the moment. When I have free time, I'm going to make a schedule for the month of July (including strength and cross-training) to get me up to speed for whichever training plan I decide to follow. That'll include reading NROLFW, which I'm really excited about.

How do you balance life changes with your fitness routine?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

VaHi Summerfest 5K

Sorry to leave you in the lurch for so long. I know you're all so very anxious to read about how the 5K went this weekend. I guess I'll get straight to it then.

Nicole picked up our packets on Thursday night, so we weren't in a rush to get to the race early on Saturday (Nicole is Eric's superawesome cousin, who happens to live right around the corner from me). The plan was to meet up at Nicole's house and carpool together since we didn't know what the parking situation was like in the Highlands. Eric, ever the supportive spectator, was up with me and out the door by 6:50 that morning. We met up with Nicole and her friend, Chris, and had a brief chat with her mom, who wished us all luck. We were out the door by 7:15!

I think we arrived in the Highlands right around 7:30, at which point I rushed around searching for a restroom. Apparently, the gas station across the street* happily opens their doors for the runners, so that was nice, since there were absolutely NO Port-a-Potties (I thought that was weird).

*I totally typed "stress" instead of "street" and didn't catch it until proofreading. Subconscious issues, much?

About 5 minutes before the start, we all huddled around the starting area. There were about 1400 runners, but somehow I spotted my friend from college (hi, Jeffrey!) who had also signed up for the race. Eric left us to wait at the finish line, and Nicole, Jeff, Chris, and I all prepped our music and waited for the gun. Or siren. Or whatever was supposed to signal the start. I think in the end it was a cop on a motorcycle? But I couldn't see it.

Jeff and Chris took off immediately while Nicole and I trotted along at a steady pace. The music was really helpful at first. Fall Out Boy and Gaslight Anthem are my bands of choice. Unfortunately, my ear buds refused to stay in my ear, so about a 1/4 mile into the race, I gave up and stuffed the headphones into my shirt. Then, close to the end of the first mile, my calf just tightened up. I tried to walk it off, but I ended up having to stop and stretch it out.

It was all downhill from there. Actually - that's 100% not true. I think Nicole said it best after the race: "I don't know how Virginia Highlands managed to do it, but they had a track that was 80% uphill. Bastards." I would show you the elevation profile, but I can't figure out how to save the image. It was incredibly intense though. We ended up walking a majority of the hills and running the downhill/flat areas (which were few and far between). I think I got my wind sometime in the last mile because I was able to run up the last hill and straight to the finish line.

Suffice it to say, I did not PR. But I did get a nifty shirt.

I said I would be honest here, but I can't tell you what my exact time was. I looked at the clock at the end of the race, and I think it said 46:17, but I'm not sure. Eric was standing at the clock, so I hopped the rope area and stood by him. Nicole was only a few seconds behind me, and she ran to the end of the rope area and got herself a little time card thingy that you fill out yourself for the "results" page later. I definitely grabbed mine out of order, so I don't know what my official time was.

After the race, I went home, ate some cereal with a banana and crashed for about 3 hours.


That course was incredibly difficult. I wish I'd known better and hadn't set my expectations so high. I also didn't run at all the week prior to the race, but I know my endurance has improved, and I could have PR'd if the race was similar to the Brookhaven Bolt. All in all, I'm glad I finished, and I'm really glad that Nicole was there with me. I think I might have just quit after the second hill if it wasn't for her.


All that being said, I'm still excited about and in love with running. Now I'm trying to figure out whether or not to train for a half marathon. I don't need to have a sub-10 min pace to feel successful. I keep trying not to compare myself to my friends or to the bloggers who inspire me. I'm not at that level yet. I have to remember that plenty of people run/walk half marathons, and that's still miles and away better than those who don't even try.


You're waiting for my training plan this week, aren't you? I wasn't going to do one, but I'd rather make an easy plan to stick to than not have one at all to keep my accountable.
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 2 mi Run/Walk
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 3 mi Run/Walk
Sunday: Rest
I finally got New Rules of Lifting for Women last week, but I haven't started it yet. Regardless of whether I start training for a 10k or a half marathon, I'll definitely be throwing in strength training once I've moved. I'm just waiting to have a gym that Eric can use too, so he can show my what to do!

Alright, that's it. Busy days ahead, but check back here tonight for photos from this weekend!

What kind of earbuds/headphones do you use when you're running?

Friday, June 3, 2011

What would you do?

I'm trying hard to listen to my inner voice here.  I ran a 5K about 4 weeks ago, and I'm running another one tomorrow morning.  If you check out my goals, I'm right on track.

But!  I want to jump ahead.  Is that bad?  I'm not, like, super fit, but I feel like signing up for a half-Marathon and quite literally investing in my running by spending almost $100 for registration, will motivate me should I become disenchanted during the hot summers.

So here are my options so far.


Stay on track and sign up for the September Big Peach Sizzler 10k, organized by Big Peach Running Company.  I'd start training during the last week of July.


Go balls out and sign up for the Atlanta Half Marathon (which begins and ends at my dear Alma Mater), which takes place in October.  I'd have to start training for that in mid-July.


What started this whole mess: The Savannah Marathon Series Half Marathon.  A lot of my favorite bloggers have signed up, and it sounds like a lot of fun.  I thought maybe in addition to running a half Marathon, Eric and I might could take a small weekend getaway.  Because, while I've lived in the south for my whole life, and in Georgia/Atlanta specifically for nearly a decade, I've never been to Savannah.  (I know, right?!)  Training would start in August, and the race is in November.

So what do you think?  Would you go all in, or stay the course?  (Sorry for the mixed metaphors!)

How could I forget?

I totally forgot to tell you all about the most important and exciting thing that happened on my trip!

First I must back up and tell you all a brief story of something that happened a few months ago.  Kristy and I were standing in our kitchen, and I think we were talking about yoga.  It makes more sense for the story if we were, so if I'm taking a few liberties, I apologize.  Anyway, we were probably talking about yoga, and I was probably saying something to the effect of "I would love yoga, but I'm not flexible or strong, so I can't do anything."  Kristy, the kind* and encouraging person that she is, tried to tell me it's okay.  Yoga is for everyone.  So I bent over, reaching for my toes, to show her how inflexible I really was.  My fingertips reached just passed my knee caps.  She started laughing, but she wasn't laughing at me.  She thought she was laughing with me.  She thought I was joking.

When I joined my gym, I had one free session with a personal trainer.  Among other fitness tests, she had me do that thing where you sit on the floor with your legs straight out, feet flat against a box, and lean forward to push a measuring thing as for as you can.  Do you remember that flexibility test?  Anyway.  I was in the 97% for my age group.  That's the bad end of the scale.

Well, I've been doing yoga and trying to stretch a little bit every day.  I've definitely seen improvement over the past few months, but I still haven't had the joy of touching my toes while bent in half.

So, this past Saturday, we hiked up Whiteside Mountain, right?  Walking, walking, walking.  Limbering up, really.  When we got to the bottom of the mountain, I started to stretch, like you do.  I bent over and reached forward.  I could almost clasp my ankles.  Kristy saw this and encouraged me to try a little harder.  Then she gently pushed on my back, and it was just the mildest of assistance, but it did the trick!  I touched my toes!!  I was so happy, I started jumping around.  I did it again, this time without any help.  It was so exciting!  I could only hold it for about 3 seconds, but it was awesome.  It's like the first time I ran a mile without stopping.  It's just something I felt like everyone else could do except me.

This past weekend was so fun and a little victorious for me.  I'm excited for this coming weekend, because who knows what other small victories lie ahead for me?

*I think "Kristy, the Kind" shall be Kristy's new name.

What was your first small victory on your road to good health?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Progress 6.2.2011 & Mountain Trip!

How did last week's training schedule work out?
Run 3 mi
Run 1.4 mi
Run 1.75 mi
Run 3 mi (some fartleks)

Thursday: Rest (leaving for the mountains after work)
Hike or Rest

Hike, Yoga or Rest
Hika, Yoga or Rest

Not well.  Better than nothing, but I'm a little disappointed.  Wednesday I ended up skipping the gym.  I went, but as I pulled into the parking lot I realized I didn't have anything to pull my hair back with and I'd forgotten my deodorant.  Somehow this led to an overwhelming dread over the amount of stuff I still had to do before I left for NC.  I got back in my car, drove straight home, and Kristy and I went to Pho Dai Loi II for dinner.  The rest of the night involved a lot of laundry and packing.

Thursday was a Rest day, if you could call it that.  I felt like I was running a marathon at work, trying to finish everything before the holiday weekend.  Without getting too specific, I work in a law firm, and the attorney I work with has several hearings on the calendar, which means there are a lot of deadlines coming up which CANNOT be missed.  I was terrified to be out of the office for even one day.  Anyway, as soon as I finished with work, I was home packing up my toiletries and trying to microwave a quick frozen dinner.  Of course, Thursday brought some of the worst weather Georgia has seen in a while, and our power went out about 15 seconds into cooking my fettuccine.  We were in a hurry to get on the road and north of Atlanta before traffic got too bad, so I ended up grabbing some McDonalds (EW.) about 30 minutes into the trip.  Our friends, Ryan and Amy, caravaned with us, so after such a rushed day, we spent the evening drinking wine and relaxing.  It was pretty glorious.

Friday I wasn't feeling to well (I'm sure it had nothing to do with the wine), so I spent the whole day reading and staring out the windows.

This is only a portion of the view from the living room/porch.

Friends started pouring in after lunch.  For dinner, delicious tacos were had by all, and an epic game of Identity Crisis ensued before I went to bed, and everyone else watched How to Train Your Dragon.

Saturday we ventured to Whiteside Mountain (pictured above).  It's not a very rough or difficult hike, but it was definitely a workout.  The best part is when you get to the top/lookout.  Not only is the view amazing, but you can literally see the house from there.  If you look at the picture above, to the left of the tip of the mountain there's a sort of dip in the trees.  That's the lookout spot.

From left: Aadil, Jerod, Nate, Jenn, Ryan, Lilli, Eric, Kim. (Not pictured - Me, because I'm terrified of heights and man-made platforms defying nature.  Also not pictures - Kristy and Amy, because they are taking photos, and Eric's sister Kate.)

That evening, the girls kicked the boys out of the living room and we played a very long game of Phase 10.

From left: Kate, clearly done with this game; Amy and Jenn.

Sunday, most of the gang went on another hike to some waterfalls.

Kristy, Amy and I, however, said "No thank you."  We drove into town to see some shops.  None of us brought a camera, and it was a pretty uneventful trip anyway, so I have nothing to show you.  We did stop by the Highland Hiker, where I found a sleeveless Patagonia sweat-wicking shirt on sale, as well as some Torvol padded socks, so I bought them in anticipation of running my race on Saturday in the sweltering Georgia heat.

Several friends left on Sunday, so that night was pretty mild.  We played a new game called Pictionary Telephone, which I've decided is to too difficult to actually explain other than to say it is exactly what it sounds like.  Monday, we cleaned, ate, drank beer, and just enjoyed our last day.  We all made it home that night in one piece, and came back to a 4-day work week.

I packed my bag for the gym on Monday night, but I haven't made it there yet this week, and it doesn't look promising.  Tuesday, I wanted to work on making a moving plan (because, holy crap I'm moving in 3 weeks).  Yesterday, I had free tickets to the Braves game, which I couldn't pass up.  Today is Kristy's birthday.  Tomorrow is the day before the race.  I don't have high hopes for improving my PR on Saturday, but I do feel like my endurance has significantly improved in the last month, so I might be proven wrong.  We'll see.

As you've probably guessed by now, there is no training schedule for this week.  I'll be back on Sunday with a race recap, training schedule, and maybe even a brief review of New Rules of Lifting for Women.

How did you spend Memorial Day weekend?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Progress: 5.25.2011

Monday: Run 3 mi Run 1.4 mi
Tuesday: Yoga Run 1.75 mi
Wednesday: Run 3 mi (some fartleks)
Thursday: Rest (leaving for the mountains after work)
Friday: Hike or Rest
Saturday: Hike, Yoga or Rest
Sunday: Hika, Yoga or Rest

Alright, so my ego has taken a bit of a beating this week.  I keep hoping that I'll be able to run 3 miles, no problem, but then I push myself to run at my goal pace instead of my actual pace, and I burn out.  It's alright though.  I have to keep telling myself that what I'm doing is better than nothing, and that in the end I will be able to run 3 miles, 6 miles, 10 miles.  It's just going to take a little bit longer than I had hoped.

As you may have noticed, I missed yoga yesterday.  The class starts at 6:30 and I couldn't get out of work before 6:45.  We have a lot going on in the next month, so again, I'm going to have to adjust my expectations.  Anyway, I couldn't NOT go to the gym, so I hopped on the treadmill and attempted Week 5 Day 2 of the C25K plan.  I did it at a 5 mph run/jog and 3.5 mph walking pace, all while listening to some of my favorite songs.  I'm glad to know that even if I'm not where I was hoping to be by now, I've definitely improved significantly since March.

Today I plan to hit the treadmill again, but timing will be an issue.  I usually leave work at 5:30, and I have dinner plans at 6:30, so I'll only have about 30 minutes to get in any kind of work out.  I really have to make it work though, because we're leaving tomorrow, and I won't be able to run again until Tuesday!

Wish me luck, y'all.

Um, here's another cute picture for you.

I promise I'll start taking my own photos soon.

Have you dealt with training setbacks?  How did you stay motivated?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No Meat Athlete

I wasn't going to post again today.  I'm consciously trying not to overexert my presence on the internets on a daily basis.  But then I read this post over on No Meat Athlete.  I think it pretty much sums up my goals for this blog.  I just want to learn about my body, push myself, and find out what I'm capable of.  This isn't meant to be a weight loss success story (although, I'm not so above-it-all to say I wouldn't be elated if that turned out to be the case).  I just want to be active, be healthy, accomplish things I never thought I could, and let everything else fall where it may.

Progress: 5.24.2011

Alright.  I posted my plan for the week yesterday, so how did I do?
Monday: Run 3 mi Run 1.4 mi
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Run 3 mi (some fartleks)
Thursday: Rest (leaving for the mountains after work)
Friday: Hike or Rest
Saturday: Hike, Yoga or Rest
Sunday: Hika, Yoga or Rest

Oooooh, not awesome.  Yeah.  I didn't even run half the distance I was supposed to.  I warmed up for 5 minutes, and then started running at a 5 mph (12 minute mile) paceAfter 10 minutes, I decided to sprint the last little leg of the mile, but that was a terrible idea.  I could only hold that pace for about 45 seconds, and had to slow down to a walk.  I walked for about 5 minutes trying to catch my breath, but it just didn't happen.  I'm pretty happy with my 12 minute pace, so next time I'm going to just try that for the length of my run.

Speaking of my next run, I think I might try to hit the treadmill after yoga tonight.  I don't know how realistic that is, because I always feel so calm and ready to relax after yoga, but I really need to get my mileage up for the week.  Can't be petering out just because I'm tired.

In other news!  After the 5k next weekend, I'm planning to start throwing in some strength training.  I've been reading all over the internet about The New Rules of Lifting for Women, so I hopped on last night and ordered it with my AmEx points.  I'm nervous and excited because - well I'm super weak.  Depending on my schedule and the move, I may not start the strength training until after we get into our new apartment.  Eric isn't a member of my gym, but we will be able to use the one at our new place.  You see, I've enlisted him to help me as I'm starting out, since I have no idea how to keep track of my proper form, being the bookish slug that I am.

But for now, cardio and yoga is all you get from me, fair reader.  I'll check back in tomorrow with an update.  Until then, here's a cute photo, because photos make blogs more interesting.  :)

Aren't ittybittylittle piglets the most adorable thing ever?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Plan: 5.23.2011-5.29.2011

So as I mentioned in my first post, I found the Couch to 5k Running Program a while ago, and ran my first 5k two weeks ago.  I have another planned in just under two weeks from today, so basically I'm trying to maintain/increase my endurance just enough to come in under 40 minutes next Saturday (June 4).

That said, I'm going out of town this weekend to the mountains of North Carolina.  Running in an unfamiliar town all alone does not sound terribly appealing/safe, and we're staying at Eric's family's house, not a hotel, so there are no gym-type options.  Therefore, I've had to get mildly creative with my plan.  There are a bunch of hiking trails in the area, so there's one option.  Also Eric's aunt has a yoga studio over at their property, so we might try to persuade her into leading a class.

All that being said, here's my loose plan for the week.
Monday: Run 3 mi
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Run 3 mi (some fartleks)
Thursday: Rest (leaving for the mountains after work)
Friday: Hike or Rest
Saturday: Hike, Yoga or Rest
Sunday: Hika, Yoga or Rest

We'll see where the weekend takes us.  Next week should look a little more normal.  Run, Yoga, Run, Run, Rest, 5k, Run <---with fartleks at least twice.  That's the plan anyway.  I like plans.  My plans don't often come together perfectly, and that can send me into a panic, but hopefully things will work out this time.

I'm excited to run the Summerfest 5k, but after next Saturday the real work begins!  Training for a 10k means a super increase in endurance, longer runs, more miles.  I'm really very nervous, but knowing that I've already accomplished something helps to keep thing in perspective.  I didn't complete the Brookhaven Bolt in under 40 minutes, like I'd hoped, but I did complete it, which is more than a lot of people can say.  If I can do that, what's an extra 3 miles?  Well, it's a lot actually, but I know I have it in me now.

Wish me luck!

What's your biggest athletic accomplishment to date?  How did you achieve your goal?

Jen Can Run!

Hello there, fair readers.  This is my ::mumblemumble::teenth attempt at writing a health blog.  I previously attempted blogging to track my financial health, dietary health, emotional health, health health...And it always ends the same.  I peter out.  Without a goal, or real focus, it's hard to stay motivated.

A little bit about me.  I was not an athlete in high school.  I was not an athlete in college.  At this moment in time, my average 5k running pace is 42 mins 37 sec, or 13.74 min/mi.  I'm slow.  I'm, like, REALLY slow.  I was on the swim team in high school because everyone made the cut, and I was always in the exhibition lane.  I was on a softball team in 9th grade and the only game we won the entire season was due to the other team's forfeit (they didn't have enough players that day).  What I'm trying to say is that athleticism wasn't really my strong suit, and it wasn't really my friends' either.  We were nerds and geeks (but not dorks, never dorks).  We liked poetry, comics, and movies, and only came in contact with the outdoors when we attempted our own version of the Dead Poets Society (minus the Robert Sean Leonard ending).

My one moment of Athletic Greatness was running the Peachtree Road Race in 2008.  I came in at around 1 hr 22 min.  That day I felt a runner's high for the first time.  I was in tears as I crossed the finish line, not from pain or exhaustion, but from a rush of energy I'd never felt before.  It should have been enough to keep me going, but it wasn't.  After that accomplishment, I stopped running.  I stopped working out.  I gained a significant amount of weight, and that runner's high became a distant memory.

I recently found the Couch to 5k Running Program, and tried it.  I only made it through Week 3 before I hurt my leg (playing kickball - such a dangerous game!).  After I rebounded from that, I was hit with an intense upper respiratory infection, as well as a slew of personal emotional lows.  But time heals all things, and I ran my first 5k just two weeks ago.  I wasn't able to finish the program, but I recommend it to anyone who is just beginning to run.

So this blog is my attempt to zone in on one thing.  Running the Atlanta Marathon in March 2013.  Now, I know that's a long way off, so I've broken it down into several smaller goals.

  • Run the Virginia Highlands Summerfest 5k in under 40 min - June 4, 2011

  • Run a 10k in under 1 hr 20 min - Fall 2011

  • Run the Atlanta Half Marathon in 2 hrs 38 min - March 18, 2012

  • Maintenance runs/improve time through Fall 2012

  • Run the Atlanta Marathon in 4 hrs 30 min - March 2013

I'm sure additional races will be added, and I'm optimistic, but not confident, that the times for these goals can be achieved in the first attempt.  I've made a promise to myself to try.  Follow me on my journey.  I can't promise I'll be funny, or inspirational, or even interesting.  But I promise to be honest.  Whether I accomplish my goals, or just cross the finish line - it'll go here.

I'll post my work out schedule for this week later today, and update the About Me section as soon as I can.