October Goals

I’ve been reading around the internet about the importance and benefits of goal setting. The problem is that I goals all the time, but my goals are more “big picture” and travel based. For example, I have a goal to visit India/China/Africa (aka somewhere BIG) by my thirtieth birthday. Is this the most sensible goal I’ve ever set? No, not really. But, it is something I like to think about. Given where I am at this very moment in my life, I’d say that traveling to somewhere like India is possible. My goal of traveling to India is not a bad one at all, but I do need to work on setting smaller, more achievable goals. Because really the best goals are ones that include a deadline. The goal (or is it a dream?) to travel to either India/China/Africa has a deadline of my thirtieth birthday, five years away. But, I can be more realistic and if I write it down I am held accountable to all of you.

So, without further adieu, I present you with my October Goals:

  • Run, slowly.
    In a little over a week, I should be okay to begin running again. Over the weekend, I started running super small snippets during my walks (from a fire hydrant to a fire hydrant, to the end of street, etc). I felt great as I was doing it, but I am nervous about re-injury. The plan is to start slowly – run for five minutes, walk for ten for the first few days and then start adjusting based on how my knee feels. I have a 5K at the end of the month that I’d really like to complete pain free.
  • Walk/Cross-Train.
    Walking and the elliptical have been good to me these past few weeks. I’ve  managed to keep my mileage up fairly well. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not at square one and my speed hasn’t slowed at all. Especially if I am able to run again, I need to make cross-training a priority.
  • Cook a new recipe each week (and blog about it)!
    I feel like I’ve been in a funk with food lately. What better way to shake it off than to try new things. I am totally open to suggestions as to what to make!
  • Drink water.
    Pretty self-explanatory. I definitely have not been drinking as much as I should.
  • Put my clothes in my laundry hamper, not on the floor.
    I am the person that will only clean when company comes over. And my bedroom floor is like one big laundry hamper to me… even I though I have a hamper. This is a lifelong habit, but I need to break it. Perhaps this will be the month when I finally get in gear.
  • Read a book.
    Suggestions, please!

And there you have it, my October goals. Mostly fitness related, but overall a good place to start. And they are totally do-able. I just need to be disciplined and focused.

PS — Pretty sure Chris will be super excited to constantly remind me about putting my clothes in the hamper instead of leaving them on the floor!

Do you set goals for yourself? If so, what are they?

Are you dressing up for Halloween? Is it lame if I dress Penny up for Halloween?

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Goodbye Fat Pants!

You know the ones I am talking about. The bigger pair that sits in the back of the closet in case you’re feeling a little bloated or just want some extra wiggle room. The pants you keep around in case you go out of town and let vacation get the best of you. Those pants.

Well, yesterday morning as I was getting dressed for work I looked through my closet. I’ve been feeling unhappy with my clothes for various reasons lately, but I think its just because I need to go shopping. (Really, you can only wear the same outfit so many times before it gets old.) I picked through my stuff, glancing over my typical fat pants and went for the pants that once upon a time ago fit. The pants I haven’t been able to wear for six months because of wedding stress followed by newlywed bliss coupled with a lack of regular exercise made me gain a few pounds.

I picked them up and looked at them.

It was going to be close. Like I could put them on, but I couldn’t button them. Then I considered laying on the bed to put them on because that works with just about anything (especially when you ignore the accompanying muffin top). If I sucked in would it make them fit better? Would I have to suck in all day?

No, I would not have to suck in all day. Because when I put them on the button clasped without force and I was able to exhale freely.

Success!

This feeling, this blissful feeling, is something I don’t want to lose. My next goal is to fit into the next size down from where I am now. To be completely honest, I’ve never been the next size down from where I am now. And that is slightly intimidating.

Though, for once in my life I feel like I am actually in the right frame of mind to reach that goal. My eating habits are getting a makeover. Training is coming along despite injury. And I finally understand that to change my body it is going to take time and dedication.

Quick Fitness Recap: The last week (and so far this week!) has been spectacular on the exercise front. To keep my mileage up for training I’ve started taking really long walks. My hope is that when I am able to run again it won’t be a huge shock to my system again. Also, if I am able to get faster in my walking then hopefully my running speed will improve as well. For example, on Saturday (my usual long run day) I went for an 8.25 mile walk. It took a little over two hours to complete but no complaints and no blisters. I took the day off on Sunday. Monday I did a quick 3.5 mile workout on the elliptical followed by my favorite pump class. Tuesday I went to yoga. And yoga is becoming a thing for me because it feels great.

Tell me about your workouts last week and this week. Are you shaking things up a bit? 

Cross Training Like A Boss!

I’ve been a busy busy girl this past week. Thank goodness because I definitely needed a boost in endorphins from not being able to exercise for the past few weeks.

By Monday, I began to get nauseous. Two weeks of no exercise made me an unhappy camper and my body was not pleased. I’m not sure if the nausea was brought on due to stress or lack of movement. All I know is that after I exercised on Tuesday, the nausea disappeared. Hallelujah!

Tuesday evening I took it slow. Like slower than slow. Forty-five minutes on the elliptical at a thirteen minute pace per mile. It felt good to be moving, but I was being cautious. I could not imagine finally being able to move again only to overdo it and be out of commission even longer.

Wednesday night, I hit the elliptical again. This time for thirty minutes, but higher intensity and resistance. My knee didn’t bother me at all, not even a teensy bit. After the elliptical, I went over to a muscle mix class to get some strength training in.

It was good to be back!

I didn’t work out on Thursday due to a social event. Though, I broke my personal rule of “no exercise Fridays” due to the missed workout. Friday evening I spent an hour on the elliptical going as hard and has fast as I could for an hour. My pace matched my running speed. A lovely workout to kickstart the weekends festivities.

On Saturday, Chris and I went into DC. We walked somewhere between four to six miles all over the city. More on that later.

Sunday morning I went to two gym classes: Body Step and Body Pump. I used to go to Step all the time before I started running. The up and down motions of the step had me concerned about my knee but luckily, no problems! Doing Pump after Step is not always the smartest decision. My lower body was so fatigued from Step, but I pushed through the workout. The only issue I had occurred during the lunge track. My left knee was done and it hurt. I spent the song stretching out my leg.

Monday I went to Spin class. It has been a hot second since I went to spin. I always forget how much I like spin until I’m sitting the class increasing my resistance.

Tonight I did a Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD and it kicked my butt.

This week has been consistent and I love it. It is so amazing to be back in the gym.

I am only slightly (okay, majorly) upset that I haven’t been able to get outside as much. I feel like if I go outside I will be too tempted to run. And that would be no good. Unfortunately (for me), the weather has been ridiculously beautiful this week. It’s not fair. I spent all summer training in the humidity and the heat to be cheated out of the beautiful Fall weather. But I’m trying not to focus on that. Cross training will make me a stronger runner… just in time for Winter.

How did your workouts go this week?

Did you try anything new? How’d it go?

Did you eat anything particularly yummy over the week? Share the recipe!

Friday I’m in Love {with Food}

Lately, I’ve been eating so many good foods. Probably more than I should be considering I want to lose some weight, not gain it.

Whatever.

I will never apologize for my love of food. Or my love of photographing my food (something I’ve done way before Instagram)!

On Monday, I was having some difficulty picking out my breakfast cereal. Do I go with the always delicious frosted mini wheats? Or do I mix it up and choose Special K Chocately Delight? Being the indecisive person that I’ve been known to be, I mixed them together. The result? The most amazing flavor combination of my breakfast cereal life. So much yumminess in one bowl, it disappeared in less than two minutes.

Honeycrisp apples have RETURNED!! You can have your pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin beer, I’ll enjoy every honeycrisp apple I encounter. I spotted these beauties last week while Chris and I were grocery shopping and shrieked with delight in the store. People stared. It wasn’t that awkward. The first bite into this apple and I knew that wait all year was worth it. No other fruit compares to the beauty and the amazingness of the precious honeycrisp!

Ice cream for dinner might be new favorite way to eat dinner. Put it in a waffle cone and I am sold. Wednesday night while I was getting my sweat on at the gym, Jenny sent me a text asking if I wanted to go for ice cream later. She then put a sad face saying that I wouldn’t be able to go since I hadn’t had dinner yet. I quickly replied that ice cream is a perfectly acceptable dinner choice for a twenty-five year old adult. And it was, it really was.

Apples and pizza for lunch? If you insist! The extra cheesiness of this pizza with the sweetness of the apples made me s happy. Unfortunately, two slices was one too many.

I’ve had some other tasty treats this week including breakfast tacos and pulled pork. And I am in no way sorry about that. Everything in moderation. I wasn’t overeating, but I could have incorporated more vegetables into the diet. Clearly, I fell off the wagon this week with eating (okay maybe the last few weeks), but I don’t believe in depriving myself of something that just tastes SO good! Next week will be filled with apples, salads, frosted mini wheats, and maybe not ice cream for dinner.

It’ll all even out.

And it’ll be delicious.

What is your favorite food? Why? Do you like to take photos of your food, why or why not? How do you change your eating habits when you have ‘bad’ weeks? Let’s discuss!

PS. Penny likes to explore the dishwasher.

Race Recap: The Color Run

(ignore the massive amount of clean clothes I have sitting on my kitchen counter. no judgment here, unless you’re my husband.)

Despite the knee and blister issues I’ve got going on right now, I decided to participate in The Color Run.

The easiest way to sum this race up:


(If you love Arrested Development then I automatically love you.)

Kristen and I signed up for this race back in April. After hearing about its popularity and how fun it is, we were pretty psyched to participate. A race that makes you look like a rainbow? Count us in.

Except… it wasn’t that great.

The Color Run website said the location was Washington, D.C. However, the race was at the National Harbor in Maryland. And it really isn’t that close to DC. This shouldn’t be a big deal or really even something to fret about, but I was a little irked. I think the backdrop of DC with the monuments could’ve made for better photo opportunities and an easier to access race. The National Harbor has approximately one route in and one route out by car. Parking is limited to a few small garages and a dirt lot. Also, National Harbor is like a more sophisticated town corner — a few boutiques, interesting restaurants, and thats about it.

Chris drove Kristen and I to the race. We sat on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge for an hour waiting to merge into the one lane of traffic to access the garages. Once we arrived in National Harbor the cops directed us through the entire area before allowing us to park into a garage we had passed twenty minutes prior. This shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was.

The Color Run is NOT a timed race. This information originally didn’t bother me. But, once I crossed the start line I was bothered at how slowly people were moving. There was also very little space to move within the route due to the amount of participants. I don’t have any issues with people walking because we all know I’ve been there but with such a narrow course there was difficulty weaving around slower people.

I felt old during the race. The average age of the participants in my wave had to have been eighteen. And most had clearly never run before, ever.

So many babies and so not enough room for everyone.

The start line was fun though. The organizers had fun music playing and I danced a little to get warm. They engaged with the crowd and tossed out freebies like more color packets and bandanas.

The course wasn’t interesting. We ran past a few shops and then ended up running around the perimeter of the National Harbor. Some small hills, large gravel paths, and not too much scenery.

Running along the water for the .15 miles at the end was definitely the most interesting part.

I did run eagerly through each of the color stations. I didn’t want to see an ounce of white on any part of my shirt. Someone said color stations were at each kilometer, but I don’t know how accurate that was. I ran through red, orange, yellow and blue.

We kind of went a little crazy with the purple we received in our race packets.

Would I do this race again? No, once was enough. I don’t think I’d participate in any race at the National Harbor.

Would I recommend this race to a friend? Sure! Depending on what your goals are. I think this is a GREAT first 5K race. No elite runners, no time clock, knowing you have as much time as you need to finish? Who doesn’t like that confidence boost!

Following the race, Chris and I went to grab brunch. I feel like this is becoming some sort of a tradition with my racing career.

A woman waiting behind me at the restaurant was not pleased that I showed up to the restaurant resembling an art project. I listened to her speak to her husband/friend about how inappropriate I looked. Funny, considering I must’ve had a handful of people congratulating me on doing the run and how jealous they were they weren’t able to do so either.

One woman stopped me while I was walking in the restaurant this morning asking me how far I went. I responded “Oh, just three miles.” And she was like “JUST three miles!? That is something you should be proud of, I wish I could do that!” It made me smile.

Knee update:

I ran as much as I was able to. When it hurt, I walked. When it stopped, I ran. Unfortunately I don’t have any time or distance to reference, but I’d guesstimate I went through half of the race running. It hurt so bad after such a short amount of time. I think I’m pushing my luck with this injury. Luckily, I start strictly cross-training tomorrow and working on getting better at stretching. Ugh.

Penny wishes she could’ve participated in the color run too!

Have you ever done the Color Run or a race like it? How did you feel about it? If you haven’t, what’s the most interesting race you’ve participated in? 

Does your cat/dog/baby like to sit on your shoulder? Penny seems to never want to leave.