Back on Track

Back on Track

July was not a good month as far as reaching goals. Tons of family stuff going on and a change of jobs meant complete loss of focus. I’m determined to get everything back on track this month. It is a pretty exciting one after all. I’ll be starting law school in two weeks and I’m extremely nervous. It is obviously terrifying to embark on this EXPENSIVE (student loans and I have become well acquainted) journey, without any guarantee of doing well, or even a job at the end of it all. Its a risk, and fortunately I’m looking forward to the education I will receive.

The heat and humidity have really gotten to me. Every time I’ve tried to run lately, my lungs felt like they were about to give in. I decided maybe I needed to take a step back and work my way back up.

Yesterday I ran 1.6 miles. Not much but its a start I suppose. I also had to go to work so I was on a bit of a time crunch anyways. Maybe I’ll get a little further tomorrow.

It is just disheartening to know just a couple of weeks ago I was running 4+ miles at a time without an issue. I’ll get back to it eventually, I just have to be patient with myself. If anything, this serves as a great reminder how much it sucks to have to start over.

Part of me wants to turn this into a clothing blog as well haha. Its already partially a book blog too.

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Comfort and?

Comfort and?

I think it is easy to assume that most people are pretty comfortable in their skin. They must be doing things they enjoy, love, feel confident about, etc. Whether it is what someone is majoring in in school, their career, hobbies, or relationships, we assume the person is making the right decision for themselves. We even make character judgements based on these aspects of others’ lives. Yet, its so easy in your own life to think about all the times you feel uncomfortable and are pushing through something for the greater good. What is the greater good anyhow? Personal wellbeing, societal wellbeing? Are those the same thing or are they so different they may not even be able to coexist? If anything, it is good to reflect on how pushing through comfort zones makes you feel whether it makes you stronger, casts doubt, or anything else. I think both effects are expected and it is always situational.

I finished reading Green Girl this past week and while the book stylistically was not my favorite, the premise was something that really stuck with me. Women especially are often put in a situation where we play different roles. We have to take on all these attributes to fit into a certain space and meet certain expectations. Its rare to see a perspective of a young woman who just is not comfortable playing the role of a feminine woman. That is definitely something I can relate to. The main character, Ruth, struggles with portraying the effortless young adult she is supposed to be. Instead she looks at others performing their gender with so much ease and comfort and is insanely jealous. Gender is something so engrained in our society we forget that it truly is a performance. We are taught by so many institutions how to play our role that we forget it was something we learned in the first place. Ruth had no issue with her gender identity, but fitting into the mold was a daily struggle. I personally found her to be revolting and relatable all at once. That is pretty great that an author can pull out so many different emotions.

I’m currently reading Salt Sugar Fat and its basically like reading a documentary. As someone who loves both reading and documentaries this is pretty great. I’ll write more once I’m done with the book.

Total Weekly Milage: 9.39 Miles

Monday- Rest Day

Tuesday- 3 mile run in my neighborhood. It was a great run and I kept a good easy pace going. I felt pretty accomplished running a solid three miles before having to go to work.

Wednesday- Probably a rest day, I’m not really sure anymore.

Thursday- 2 mile run in my neighborhood. Since it was a shorter run, I decided to do two 400 meter pick ups in the middle of my run. Incorporating a little speed work was a nice way to keep things feeling fresh.

Friday- Strength training

Saturday- Well this consisted of two separate runs that I like to think made itself one long run.

  • 2.9 miles- We did a color run downtown. It was supposed to start at 7pm and probably started closer to 8. It was extremely hot outside (over 90 degrees) and I totally felt out of whack mentally. It was a bit of struggle to get through the distance and I honestly had little motivation to push through. You would think running a fun race with someone else would be great motivation, but maybe I’m a self starter? Either way, company is always great and I appreciate it a lot. I was a bit upset by the end and never wanted to run with another person again. Since then, I’ve reflected and calmed down a bit. We all have different definitions and expectations for support and motivation and its definitely important to make that clear with workout partners. However, if anything it served as a reminder for myself that I can push myself to finish whatever I set my mind to even if it doesn’t fit the mold other people have. I take it as a personal challenge when people doubt me.
  • 1.5 miles- After I got home from my run (almost 9:30 in the evening) I went out and ran 1.5 miles in my neighborhood. I was still emotionally charged from the whole race debacle so I really pushed through even though it was pretty dark out and I just wanted to go to bed. I had to prove to myself that I was not some weak, out of shape person like I was concerned I was.

With Peachtree only a couple of weeks away I’ve been putting a lot of consideration in my running plans after the race. Part of me wants to be ambitious and try and complete the Triple Peach which would mean running a 10 mile race in October and a Half Marathon in November. However, I think I’m going to focus on brushing up on the 5K for the remainder of the year, getting faster, stronger, and building a strong aerobic base. I’m not sure what type of training plan I will follow if any. I’ll share race plan updates as I make those decisions.

Peachtree Training Week Four

Peachtree Training Week Four

So we are exactly one month away from the Road Race and I am very excited. I’m definitely concerned about the heat and the fact that being in a middle start wave means it is only going to get hotter and hotter. Apparently the weather last year was amazing. I’m hoping we luck out again this year.

Since last week I’ve read an additional two and a half books. I read Slaughterhouse-Five, a classic that i definitely enjoyed. I can see why so many teachers make it required reading for high schoolers. Between the narrative style, the plot and the underlying message there is a lot to unpack in this moderate length book. Its such a hard book to explain with all its nuances and subplots, yet so simple at the same time. I guess that is what makes it a masterpiece.

The second book I read this week was What I talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. I adore Murakami’s fiction so reading his memoir about running was like perfection. He is truly inspirational and I think anyone with even a vague interest in their health and being dedicated to something should pick this book up and read. He has consistently run a marathon every year for over 25 years. He runs almost everyday and is committed to never taking walking breaks. Lets be real, the rest of us are totally down for walking breaks.

The current book I’m reading is Green Girl by Kate Zambreno. I picked it up after it was mentioned in Bad Feminist and I’m already a third of the way in. The writing style is rather different, but its engaging enough. More on it after I’m done.

As far as exercise for the week goes, I sucked at the whole cross training thing. I’ve been working everyday pretty much so its just hard to feel motivated.

Total Weekly Mileage: 8.5 Miles

Tuesday- 2.5 mile run in my neighborhood. My calves felt really tight that day and I was so concerned I would not get through. I managed to keep at my easy pace even with a short moment of walking to relieve the tension in my calves. They definitely feel better. Bodies are so odd and finicky.

Thursday- 2 mile run in my neighborhood. The weather was absolutely perfect at 6:30 am (yes I decided to head out that early, but I wanted to run before work). My pace was also significantly faster than lately because of the cooler weather, though as far as effort goes it did not feel any harder. Pretty proud of this.

Sunday- 4 miles at the parking, some paved roads but mostly trails. I think I am in love with trails after this. Its nice to be shaded in the head and run on such soft surfaces. As far as pace data goes, that was a wash. We took walking breaks in the trails due to many instances of elevation that made stairs necessary and trying to figure out where we were when we were lost. My breathing was also wonky probably due to the time of day and I didn’t feel very confident so that resulted in even more walking breaks. I don’t mind because we still covered the distance and ran most of the way through. It also reminded me how nice it is to have company on longer runs.

Peachtree Training: Week Three

Peachtree Training: Week Three

It finally feels like summer. Its consistently warm outside, I’m running out of tv shows to watch and I spend a lot of time reminding myself I still have several weeks of summer left. At least we aren’t at the inevitable downward climb where going back to school seems way too close for comfort.

Luckily, I’ve been able to take up something I’ve only dreamed about over the past year- reading for fun. I’ve already managed to read three books (though one was very short). David and Goliath, We Should All Be Feminists, and And the Mountains Echoed were my first picks of the summer and I have no regrets. David and Goliath and And the Mountains Echoed have been on my to-read list for entirely too long. They definitely lived up to expectations. I can’t be too surprised since I’m a big fan of both Malcolm Gladwell and Khaled Hosseini.

We Should All Be Feminists is the first thing I have ever read by Chimamanda Ngozi Achide, and while its not a pure literary work, was an excellent foray into her mind. It was an adaption of a TED Talk she made by the same name, and I sure did enjoy it. Its less than 100 pages, thought provoking and something everyone should seriously read. Its a tiny book- I could see myself giving it out as gifts to be honest. I already gave my copy to my mother to read. Its truly a great essay.

Unsurprisingly, my current read is Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. Its a collection of essays covering topics spanning personality, race, gender and sexuality. Gay even tackles these topics using contemporary examples such as TV shows, fiction books and music. I’m about a third of the way through, and I feel like I’m just sitting down listening to a really smart close friend talk to me. Its honestly one of the greatest books I’ve read and I’m not even done with it yet. She is so honest about who she is and accepting of flaws she isn’t embarrassed to admit she has.

Anyways, as the title states this is week three of Peachtree Road Race training. Last week was pretty much a bust because I was battling some random cold/sinus thing that I suddenly came down with. My total weekly mileage last week was a struggling 3 miles that involved a ton of walking meekly in the hot sun. It was humbling to say the least.

This week is something I can definitely be proud of.

Total Weekly Mileage- 8 Miles. Followed the training plan exactly.

Monday- Did some yin yoga to stretch

Tuesday- 2.5 Miles on the treadmill. It was raining all day so I turned to the trusty treadmill. It was much easier to keep a consistent pace considering you have full control and the treadmill doesn’t have rolling hills. Whenever I run on the treadmill I feel like I struggle to keep as cool. I don’t realize it when I’m running, but afterwards my entire body turns red for about an hour. Its a little odd to see in the mirror. I honestly look sunburned.

Wednesday- Rest Day

Thursday- 2 Miles on the road. I had to squeeze this in before work and I really enjoyed it. 2 miles is such an approachable length because you are confident you can finish it. The weather was great at about 8 am. I really loved it.

Friday- Strength Training. Not much to say here, but it was all bodyweight.

Saturday- 3.5 Miles on the road. I was so concerned I wouldn’t be able to handle and finish this run without a walking bread, but I did it! My concern primarily came from the fact that my last GOOD long run was done completely on the tread mill and almost a full two weeks prior. I kept the pace nice and easy which meant slower than a turtle, but I’m not ashamed. I still accomplished way more than most people can and didn’t give up. This is also the longest distance I’ve ever run so it was a great milestone. The weather was pleasant this morning and I felt the best when I was under some shade from the trees. I probably should have used my inhaler prior, but I wasn’t thinking clearly early this morning obviously.

I think my biggest worry at this point is finding routes for my long runs. Today I ran all over the place, up one street down the other going back to the same main street. I felt like I was weaving through the neighborhoods. I guess I’ll have to explore deeper parts of my neighborhood which is pretty exciting as I add distance to my weekend runs. I’m also a bit concerned about staying adequately hydrated in this heat, but I’ve been waking up even earlier to take sips of water the whole hour prior to my run. My hat is a life saver! It was a great investment and it feels so good to not have the sun directly on your face. I need to get to the local running store and buy my SPIbelt aka glorified fanny pack before the 13th.

I Could Write About this Forever

I Could Write About this Forever

I had a draft saved entitled “oatmeal obsession” but at this moment I do not remember what I was planning on writing about. Instead I thought I would discuss information overload. The internet is a magical place, but it can also be overwhelming and filled with more information than any one person can consume. Sometimes we get stuck in this pattern of looking for the next best thing, rather than focusing on what is important for us.

Everyone has an opinion. Some people think lifting is the the best and only true way to achieve a healthy life and great body. Others worship endurance sports and doing cardio for lengthy periods of time. I think its important for us to remember everyone has different preferences and its important to do what you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it you won’ stick with it. Instead of this happening, I see a lot of people shaming others for doing certain activities for any particular reason.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of about cardio is a waste of time. It won’t deliver lots of strength or amazing muscle definition people say over and over again. Crossfitters definitely like to point this out. But guess what, not everyone has the same goals. Not everyone wants to look like a bodybuilder or be able to lift hundreds of pounds. Everyone has different fitness goals and that should be respected. We should encourage one another rather than simply say someone is wasting their time.

I think someone who can lift hundreds of pounds is impressive. I also think someone who can run a marathon is impressive. I think we should celebrate both and realize that they are good and what they do. There is more than one path and you can embrace whatever works for you.

I guess I’ll end my spreading positivity ramblings and share this past week.

Sunday-  Ran 2.65 Miles. It ended up being broken up because I had to take a restroom break. Plus we had brunch earlier that day so it wasn’t sitting too well in my stomach. It was great to have company though, helped me push through more difficult moments. The elevation at the park was perfect. Just enough variation that you felt a difference, but nothing straining like my own neighborhood.

Monday- Strength Training followed by gentle yoga

Tuesday- 75 minutes of yoga. Ran 2.29 Miles. It was challenging in a good way. The hills were not my friend, but I keep reminding myself that they will only benefit me.

Wednesday- Rest Day

Thursday- 50 minutes of Ballet Beautiful. I did the total body workout featuring legs, glutes, hips, abs, and arms. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but I think this is going to be a staple for a while. I think I’ll see great results if I stick with it.

Friday- Ran 2.4 Miles. This workout felt amazing. There were random parts of the run where it would sprinkle rain, but if anything that made it better. I slowed down much more than usual to prevent burn out.

Saturday- Short cross-training and core sessions.  I was planning on doing 40 minutes of cross training, but got to the gym much later than I intended to. We had some issues with our Nutribullet and I stuck around to try and help my mom fix it. I gave up after we were fiddling with it for 30 minutes and just left for the gym. Turns out my dad was able to get it to work just fine. I had to be at work at noon so I could only squeeze 15 minutes on the elliptical. That evening I did about 20 minutes of core strength work before bed.

Time Change and Bad Dreams

Time Change and Bad Dreams

I can’t say I’m a fan of daylight savings time, especially when it means losing an hour in my day! Normally, this type of thing doesn’t bother me because I barely notice. However, when you’re exercising almost everyday, juggling school, work and free time every single minute counts. That doesn’t even take into consideration getting any sleep.

I had work today so that forced me to adjust rather quickly. The biggest challenge I’ve had was my eating schedule. With everything pushed up an hour, I’m just not hungry and I honestly don’t like eating too late at night. Apparently its a recipe of bad dreams.

Junk food and fast food are also nightmare triggers apparently. I definitely experienced that last night. I try not to eat fast food frequently, but sometimes you have very limited options. I try to avoid junk food as much as possible as well. However, it is girl scout cookie season and that has been my vice. Other than that, I’ve been snacking on fresh fruit and peanuts. I like to think those are great options.

Workout recap:

Wednesday- Sick Day. I spent most of the day at school and felt awful. I had an exam that evening and had to go home and study for another the following day. It was pretty rough.

Thursday- Ran 2.5 miles on the indoor track. Unfortunately, it rained and ruined any hope of running outside for me. I really need a run friendly rain jacket to combat this in the future. I guess I will have to do some research

Friday- Rest Day by accident. We were out all day and by the time I got home I was ready to have dinner and go to bed. It was a very productive day so no complaints. I initially planned on going to the gym, so I was in athletic apparel all day.

Saturday- Ran 2.25 miles outside. There was a lot of change in elevation with rolling hills along the route I took. This slowed me down a bit and was a hard workout. I like to think it makes me a stronger person overall. The weather was absolutely perfect.

Sunday- Strength training with bodyweight exercises. I thought about going to the gym after work, but the weather was great and I didn’t wanna be cooped up indoors.

I started watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix today. Each episode is about half an hour long so it goes by pretty quickly. I am enjoying it so far.

Quick Update

Quick Update

Here is a recap of of the past week:

Wednesday- Strength Training (Bodyweight)

Thursday- 2.05 Miles- Running (Indoor Track)

Friday- 7 Miles- Indoor Cycling

Saturday- Much needed rest day

Sunday- Strength Training (Bodyweight)

Monday- 2.0 Miles- Running (Outdoors)

Tuesday- 75 minutes of Yoga

I guess it wasn’t too bad, with only one full rest day in the mix. However, I feel like there was a lot of room for improvement.

Running- I only ran twice in the past seven days. I initially planned on running today, but I was feeling pretty ill and was overwhelmed by school. Three exams over three days can definitely put you in a bad place. I think what works best for my current schedule is to try and run on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It leaves an awkward two day period in the middle of the week, but it can be seen as a make shift weekend. Also, my mileage has remained pretty stagnant which I definitely need to change. Hopefully tomorrow is an improvement. Monday was actually the first day I ran outside in three weeks and it was definitely tougher than the indoor track. It was a much needed change and more enjoyable for the most part.

Cross-training- With only one day of cross training in the past couple of days I feel a bit ashamed. I should be doing at least two non-running cardio days. However, it only seems like I’ll be able to fit in one for the time being, since it requires going to the gym.

Strength Training- I’m pretty happy where I am with bodyweight exercises. I try to switch up my routine, reps and sets for variety and so I don’t get too used to one thing. I’m still quite intimidated by incorporating weights, but that will eventually change. No need to rush the process.

Yoga- Not much to say here.