Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fair-Weathered Friend

There, I admit it.

When it comes to running, I'm sort of a fair-weathered friend.

Maybe I don't belong here...

Confession: I only run when I feel like it and want to.

Sure, if I'm training for an event, I'll stick to my schedule and get out the door if I'm dithering.

But right now, I'm not training for an event and I'm just running when I want to run. Given the serious crap the sky has been unleashing upon my hood lately, I haven't been spending too many days outside. Yesterday was an outside day.

I laced up my Mizuno's, updated my iPod, put on sleek shades, strapped on my watch, and I was out. [Don't worry, the clothes had already been put on]

I headed south down the middle or the road. It was the middle of the day and there were few cars out. I cranked my music and felt the sun on my body. It was pure bliss.

I went about a mile and found myself at the bottom of one big, ass mofo of a hill. I stretched it out briefly, found my inner-beast and sprinted up that hill, hard. I did sprint intervals the entire way up (1.5miles) before walking the entire way down. At which point I realized I was better off sprinting up 100m, walking down. Rinse repeat. I did a few more repeats from the bottom and jogged home.

It felt so good. My booty was feelin' it the next day and I loved every second of it.

Mmmm, I missed you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fitness Forums

In December of 2009 I graduated and had a lot more time on my hands. I started frequenting Oxygen Magazine's fitness board. I LOVED it there. I "met" the most amazing women with a range of inspiring stories. There are distance runners, bodybuilders, weight loss success stories, and fit mommies! But what we all have in common is our dedication to a generally healthy lifestyle consisting of healthy heating and activity. It's awesome to be "around" like-minded females and to have so many resources directly at your disposal.

I don't necessarily love Oxygen magazine and all that it represents, to be honest with you. It's gotten quite commercial and the advice can be shady at best.

Recently, the magazine sent us out an e-mail letting us know they were shutting down the forum and launching a new site, etc. [We're unsure if there will be a new forum with the new site]. To make an already long story a touch shorter, the online community there isn't thrilled.

However, two beautiful projects have come out of it. It's amazing to see people pull together and when there is a need to be met, really go the extra mile.

Two stand out members of the board have each created new forums.

So if you're ever looking for advice on anything and everything related to health, fitness, pregnancy, sport-specific training, etc. go check out:

Female Fitness Forum


Strong Chic

Each has its own vibe. The first is arguably more informative while the second is more laid-back.

Nevertheless, both are brand new so you can say that you were there when...

AND, there's some phenomenal experts in their field eager to give advice and chat.

So, if you're in Upstate NY like me and experiencing a rainy weekend [or MONTH], browse around.

End plug.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder...

Absence from what you may ask?

...Absence from school.

From reading nonstop, from typing up papers, from doing research, from constructing powerpoints, and even driving 40miles one way to get there.

It gives me juice;
provides me with a certain 'up'.

When I'm fully immersed in all things school I get the pleasure of feeling satisfied, fulfilled, challenged, and strong.

Do I get these reward elsewhere? Sure.

But not as much mentally. I run. I go to the gym. I have an amazing boyfriend and a lovely family who fill me up to the brim. But sometimes when I'm not mentally stimulated my mind turns to mush.

So what project am I taking on this week you may ask?

We have an old picnic table [aka eyesore] on our patio. I decided I'm going to learn how to mosaic, go find some old plates, etc. at thrift stores, pick a design [aka random chaos], and get to it. It will give both my hands and my mind some work for a while, plus with a great reward.

I'll let you know when things get really going and share some pictures.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cookie Monster

Dear Celebratory Moments,

Why do you always have to come with so much crap food? Why must you find me when I am so stressed? I love how you share your time with red velvet cake, home made double chocolate brownies, and ooey-gooey cheese dips. But, alas, we need some time apart. With celebration comes a wealth of emotions, a lot of work, and a lot of pounds. I will see you again in June.

I need my own month to find myself



Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wherefore art thou?

So, in the past four months I have been blessedly busy.

Goose and I traveled to Houston, TX for the first time so I could interview for the Psych PhD program at the University of Houston.

We then flew from TX to San Francisco to spend 10 days there. I attended my first big-girl Psychology conference for school/work.

We also visited our families. Goose's brother lives just north of San Fran, as does my brother and his new fiance. Such a good trip.

While there, I also celebrated my birthday with copious amounts of cupcakes, froyo, and things of the like.

Oh yeah...and it snowed!

We came home to pipes that froze, busted, dripped all over the electrical box, fried EVERYTHING, but thank God, no fire. We're still putting the finishing touches on the complete re-model of the bathroom.

I got offered one of five spots for the aforementioned PhD program. [Stoked!]

I quit running [temporarily] to fully heal and instead took spin classes twice a week.

Continued plugging away at my current schooling.

Traveled to Philadelphia to meet my brother's fiance's family. We were able to be there with her when she picked out her bridal gown- how lucky!!

Successfully gave up sugar for Lent.

Successfully took it back on a little too heavy after Lent.

Gained about 6 pounds, meh.

I've been busy planning [read: obsessing over] our big move South. Classes start August 22nd.

Got a new job which I'm amped about. There is a summer camp just up the road a few miles and they hired me to be their boat driver/instructor for water sports. SCORE!

Hmh, I guess I really haven't been that busy.

But I'd like to get back to chronicling some of my goals/aspirations.

Right now I'm trying to do yoga for at least five hours a week. [Ideally, that is five one hour blocks, but if time is prohibitive I'm allowing two half-hour blocks, etc.]. Before I jump [er, crawl] back into running I'd like to really be in the habit of spending time stretching thoroughly. Dedicating a chunk of time to yoga helps me build that into my day. I also just love the way that it makes me feel. I always do yoga from the comfort of my own home because I don't particularly enjoy yoga classes. At the risk of offending others, zen-yoga stuff isn't really my style. I admire those people who can just sit and be still and meditate but I'm not one of them. Really, I consider myself to be fortunate that I'm at a point in my youth where I don't need an extra time of respite. Generally, my stress levels are pretty low. I do however LOVE the fitness, stretching benefits from yoga at this point in time. I also think the balance helps me in some of my other sports such as wakeskating and snowboarding.

In addition to my month long yoga goal I would like to form mini-weekly goals. For this coming week I am going to focus on completing all necessary paperwork, finals, etc. for school so that I can finish strong.

Even though I haven't been here, I've been reading. Congrats to ALL the Boston folk, Chloe, I've been praying for that little baby inside your belly, pbfingers Happy Belated Birthday... :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I know that you like my style

Have you read this fine gentleman's (grandfathers!) blog? Apparently he's over 40 but you wouldn't know it to look at his pictures. He's been blogging for what, four days now? (I kid.) and he has taken off running (pun intended). He has this fantastic outlook on training and life plus he is a marathoner extraordinaire. The point is, go check out his blog.

Jim was kind enough to pass the torch of 'Stylish Blogger' down to my humble blog. Gracias muchacho.

Let's get crackin'...

WARNING: lengthy self-absorbed blog post in the making.

1] These are my nearest & dearest. We used to work together at a bank several years ago. Although we've all since changed jobs, relocated, etc. we remain close and get together at least twice a year. These women hold my heart.

2] I over-think EVERYTHING. My mind never stops and I'm always thinking, figuring, analyzing, planning. As a psychologist I do a phenomenal job conceptualizing ideas or concepts for clients but can over emphasize the importance of understanding them.

3] I love my Mom so much. I have always valued her wisdom, admired her strength, sought her advice, appreciated her unconditional love, and hope to one day be a fraction of the Mother that she is. I'm so blessed to have her.

4] Anyone familiar with Manchester Orchestra? I got to listen to a private acoustic jam with the singer (Andy Hull) and the amazing keyboardist/drummer/everything man. It was a really heart felt performance. I first learned of them off the [AMAZING] wakeboard movie Transgression.

5] I LOVE being active [running, wakeskating, snowboarding, cycling, hiking, snowshoeing, rock climbing, ice skating, weight training, swimming, etc.] but don't enjoy watching sports hardly at all. In fact, we canceled our cable and gave away out television two years ago February. BUT my favorite 'sports' movie of all time is the Junction Boys. If you're a fan of either football or Texas A&M, rent it!!

6] For my undergraduate degree I transferred to/from five sschools until I felt at home. I learned a lot about myself in the process and really solidified some of my values, expectations, standards, and worldviews. This is where I lived at the fourth one. So beautiful from the outside.

7] One time I went duck hunting and just giggled through the whole experience. Just so you know, I probably wouldn't have shot a duck even if we saw one.

I would LOVE to hear from:
The very busy & fun-loving Ms. Runnin Sole
And the wife of the soon to be happy family of three, Chloe from Tryin' to Throw my Arms Around the World


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Num Num

Note: I HAVE to work on getting better at taking pictures to spice up this blog. I much prefer reading blogs with pictures.

Yesterday was one of those feel good days where I felt like I got a lot accomplished. I go back to school next week so I'm trying to do as much as I can around the house, cooking and cleaning wise.

For breakfast I made protein pancakes.

1 cup of oats
4 eggs
1 cup of fat free cottage cheese
extras [I put in a dab of honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and chopped up a banana]

Combined all ingredients in a food processor, blender, or mixer. Plop 'em onto a heated non-stick pan over medium heat.


With those amounts we ended up with about 7 or 8 good sized pancakes. They freeze very well and are great for a quick grab snack later. I loved the texture that the oats provided and they didn't even require ANY syrup, etc.

I also made my crockpot turkey black bean chili.

I used this recipe:
(I sort of ball park things when I make soups, chilis, stews, etc.)

olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 cans of rotells
2 cans black beans (drained, rinsed)
10 oz pck of frozen corn
And a bunch of:
red pepper flakes
chili powder

Brown the turkey in a skillet with the olive oil, onions, and garlic.

Combine all ingredients in a crock (mine is 5.5qt and it was pretty full). Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Thoughts about this recipe: I loved the taste and texture of the corn in there. I loved the consistency that the vegetables maintained being cooked all day. I am NOT a lover of all things spicy and this had a touch more kick than I would have preferred (but again, I'm a sissy). I might add some tomato paste the next time just to thicken it up a bit.

Goose and I both had a big bowl each and he had another bowl for his midnight snack. We had three quarts left over. We put one in the fridge and two in the freezer.

Oh- I forgot to mention, of course this was topped with some Monterrey jack cheese!

In addition to making those dishes I also made us a big chicken salad for lunch topped with carrots, corn, black beans, grape tomatoes, onions, and olive oil. I did two loads of laundry, the dishes, yoga, and took a nap.

What a great day!

Today I worked at the gym from 10-2. It was busy with lots of new sign ups, etc. but I had about an hour of downtown that I filled with a quick full body workout [Deads, OH press, pullups] and watching the Wedding Planner while enjoying my chicken wrap.

After work I wanted to get in a five mile run. It was pretty crappy outside and I was NOT psyched on coming all the way home (45minutes) and then heading out to run so I figured I would just do it on the dreaded tred. I got in two miles and quit. Well, I didn't quit, I bundled up and finished my run outside. I don't live in the town where my gym is so I'm not super familiar with the mileage. I picked a straight away that I thought was between .5-.7 miles and went back and forth. I was pretty spot on because it was .6 miles (thanks mapmyrun). All together I was able to get in 3.6+2.0= 5.6.

It can be frustrating to feel like you're starting back at the beginning again going from running 11 and 12 miles to three and four. I'm just thankful to be out there again and I'll try to keep taking it slow.

I hope everyone's weekend is full of happiness.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Blanket Statement

I have heard this before, but came upon it tonight and it hit home.


How true is this one simple phrase for EVERYTHING in our lives?

The obvious; my training. We put in countless [actually, they are very measurable given how anal we all are about tracking our workouts!] hours pushing our bodies, our boundaries, and our limits. We sacrifice, exhibit discipline, go without, and yet gain so much. We kick our own asses. Some days when I'm training for an event I feel like I 'have' to get out there and run. I can skimp in other areas of my life; school, friends, family.. But oh the taste of victory is sooo sweet. I've been hard pressed to replicate the feeling of crossing the finish line, out of breath, muscles screaming, joints aching, knowing that I did it.

GradSchool. Let's face it, logging hours on my computer, writing papers, taking exams, administering assessments to snot nosed kids, counseling all sorts of adolescents, spending time memorizing pathologies and diagnosis, it's not a cake wake. It's easy to not further your education even though you want to. It's easy to settle and sell yourself short. But I know that in the long run I will be happy and better off for it. I'll have great experience, tons of contacts, a broader job description, vast qualifications, and LOVING every [okay, I'm not there yet so I'm being a little naive] minute of what I do.

My faith. I've mentioned it before. Christians weren't promised an easy life here on earth. It's a long, windy road. There's lots of questions, doubts, confusions, and worries. Christians can waiver just as any other. This place can be dark, dismal, full of sin, and difficult to endure. But once you remember what He endured for you and what He grants so freely, the reward is great. In the end, the promise of salvation

I hope that I remember daily when struggles arise to look forward into the distance and know that things are not always easy, but they will be worth it...

Running towards good things...

Checklist for Friday:
Call makers of busted electric blanket and beg & plead for replacement.
1 hour of yoga.
protein pancakes for breakfast.
chili for dinner.

Playing Wife

I met my Goose when I was 19. I moved in with him six months later. It was ballsy and the odds were against us [actually, the odds are still against us]. But almost four years later I couldn't be happier. We're ultra compatible, he challenges me, keeps me in check, an supports me unconditionally. I truly am blessed.

At first I spent a lot of time like this:

Doing school work, typing papers, etc.

I was scared to cook. I mean, I can cook more than mac n cheese, but, I'm [was] 19, what do I know?! And I assumed just because I couldn't throw something together without using a recipe I was a failure.

My brother is a chef at the Ritz Carlton, my Mom makes a killer [insert any dish here], it must be in my genes! So I decided that the only way you can learn is by doing. I sucked it up and started out easy, using recipes as guides. I prefer baking to cooking, but am starting to enjoy it all.

To date I've made some great dishes:
stuffed peppers, egg plant parm, chicken catatori, homemade sauce, sugar free cheesecake, chocolate truffles, salsa, shrimp scampi with tofu, linguine with clam sauce.

I'm really proud of myself and I love expanding my knowledge.

I got a gift card from my boss for Christmas [how sweet!] and used it to purchase a 5.5qt crockpot! Goose pretty much lived like a bachelor before I moved in so we've slowly been purchasing some necessary kitchen essentials.

My maiden voyage:

Overnight apple oatmeal.

It was pretty good, a little creamier than I would have liked, but really tasty.

Given that I'm usually only cooking for the two of us, I probably could have gotten a smaller crock, but so far so good.

Up next is of course a turkey black bean chili.

Currently loading my iPod for another 3M run, Lord willing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An official Day One

Remember when I said I'm going to run this little half marathon in San Fran during my upcoming trip in 8 weeks. Well, it's 7 weeks. So that means 7 weeks of training. I pray that I can treat my body kindly, sensibly, and respectfully and make it to the finish line. I had a decent base before my ITBand injury and had just completed my 11M training run. I suppose now we will see if it is all gone...

I ran a few days last week but nothing serious. Today was my first "serious" mid-week run in my [absent] training plan. I ran 3.5 miles. Nope, that's not very far. But so far, so good. Baby steps. My ITBand didn't feel bothered and the rest of my body seemed to respond accordingly.

Onward and Upward.

On another note, I drove home in complete white-out, blizzard conditions. Winter has finally made its appearance. Where's my snowboard?

Some Self Love

I'm 22. I'm 5'6, 128lbs (give or take). I have long, lean limbs, a high waist, small features, ears made for a baby. Think ectomorph. It's hard for me to build muscle.

I've pretty much had this build my entire life (duh) and appreciated it more or less at different times. Playing center half in soccer I loved my long legs and their ability to propel me quickly up and down the field like a pinball machine. At proms and balls I disliked my height when a pair of 3in heels made me feel like a giant next to some of my shorter friends. We've all had our ups and downs.

Lately, I've been finding myself being ultra comparative. I pine after different body types; girls who have a shorter build. Girls who have a naturally more muscular build. I don't like beating myself up like that and minimizing my unique and special qualities.

I've learned on my fitness quest that so much of your foundation begins with your genes. [Believe me, I believe in breaking down barriers and accomplishing things your body was not set up to do.] But, for the most part our bodies are all very different and typically lead us towards excellence (or deficit) in particular areas. I'm blessed to be lean and tight. I'm lucky to be constantly challenged by my weight routine; finding ways to turn it up and monitoring how my body responds.

I want to work harder at appreciating my body how it is. I love what fitness does for my mind and body but I want to restructure why I work out. I run purely because I LOVE running. I enjoy being out in the open on my own with no agenda. I lift weights and go to spin classes because I like the results. I want to engage in activities for the health benefits and for my pleasure, not to try to obtain someone else's look.

...A work in progress.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's Clinical

I swear I need a diagnosis.

I've been on break from school for a few weeks now and I'm driving myself (and those around me) bonkers. My mind is always going, always working and without being able to agonize over school work I'm having some serious issues over here.

The first four days or so I actually enjoyed doing nothing. thinking about nothing. [if you're thinking about nothing then are you really thinking about anything at all? Should I have put 'not thinking about anything'. Do you see how this gets out of hand?!]

Then I got invited to interview for the PhD program of my choice. I went right to work. My mind was pleased with me. I went through the CV's of all of the current faculty and categorized their research interests, read through their three most recent publications each, took notes, wrote my responses, and devised questions to ask. I then planned out my outfit for the interview day, booked my flight, hotel, car rental, and made an itinerary for Goose (who will be coming with me) for our interview day AND our day of checking out the city. I reviewed my application materials, researched potential questions and practiced answering them. I read through countless reviews about the city, compared crime data, living expenses, etc. I exhausted all things PhD and all things Houston.

That got me through a few days. Then I decided to plan my brothers wedding [You know, without telling him the details]. They aren't getting married until the spring of 2012 but I figured, hey, the early bird gets the worm! They already have their venue booked so I looked at races in the area to run for her bachelorette party, read books from the library about how to create your own super chic wedding invitations, looked through the portfolios of several wedding photographers who had previously shot at their venue, sent her all of the upcoming bridal expos/trunk shows in her area for the next year and a half.

I need to be doing things. And not busy work [Okay, some of that is busy work.] I have to be exercising my mind muscle. I can clean, reorganize the closets, paint the deck, whatever but that doesn't work for me; I need to be thinking about something, figuring something out.

Diagnosis: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and an IQ in the high genius range.
generous, huh?

Oh yeah, I'll be running again today, also. Starting out slow with four miles and hoping all goes well. It's a lot easier to bump up your mileage if you can handle the distance than to knock it back down afterward.

It's back to being cold here.

I'm back to warming up with my favorite cuddle biscuit!