August 21, 2015

training for a half marathon | week 4

I'm fully aware that I'm conspicuously missing weeks 2 and 3 of training but life man. Week 2 I spent curled up on the couch nursing a bad summer cold. I attempted a long walk later that week which showed that I was clearly still under the weather. Week 3 included bringing Haven home and y'all, a puppy is no joke. Not only do you have to be watching them ALL THE TIME but she can only go a couple hours in the crate. Between her need for constant supervision and scheduling drama, workouts really didn't happen that week either (aside from a miserable spinning class at the gym). 

At least I'm wearing workout clothes...just not actually working out.

So here we are, at the end of Week 4 and I finally feel like I'm getting back on track. I got in two good treadmill runs and did a bit of weight training. I was hoping to squeeze in yoga at home last night but you know, puppy/scheduling. 

My super sophisticated online running plan that I printed off the internet has me running 7 miles tomorrow, which let's be honest, ain't going to happen. I'm going to try to do 4 miles and see how that feels. The last time I trained for a half, my longest run was 6 miles so I'm not super worried about getting in long runs. I'm more concerned about conditioning my body consistently throughout the week.

The race is 9 weeks out and at this point, my goal is just to finish without having to walk the large majority of the race. I need to be a bit kind to myself seeing as how I haven't been working out for basically the last two years. I'm trying not to pack on the pressure but instead enjoy the process and relish the fact that I'm strong and healthy and physically capable of running 13.1 miles. 

Also, let's discuss treadmills vs. running outside for a hot second. I've been doing mostly treadmill for a number of reasons (heat included) but mainly because it's so dang hilly where we live. I would be working 10 times as hard. However, I'm trying to do my long Saturday runs outside on a nice trail. Are you a die-hard treadmill runner or do you love the wind in your face?

August 17, 2015

monday musings || 119

Haven // our new spring spaniel pup

>> I feel like if I don't start off by talking about our new puppy, you'll just be really disappointed. So yea, we got a puppy and it has changed everything. Honestly, I'm positive that my expectations for how this was going to do down were completely unrealistic. She's great and we love her but holy exhausting! We're very lucky that she sleeps through the night but she can be a handful during the day. Now that we're starting week 2, I'm hoping to get a semblance of a routine back. 

>> PS. I just want to put this out there - I do NOT think a puppy is preparation for a baby for the following reasons (plus some): 1) babies wear diapers, puppies do not...ew, 2) you can speak to children/babies and reason with them, 3) you can take your baby with you most places, 4) however, you cannot lock your baby in a there's that. 

>> There is NOTHING better than some good friend time to get those batteries recharged after a particularly tough day/week. I had the immense pleasure of seeing a dear friend this past weekend and also got some quality phone time with a few other friends. I needed it so badly and it made my heart feel good just to be loved, heard, and understood. Thank you sweet friends!

>> Between traveling, being sick, our out-of-whack schedule etc. half marathon training is NOT going well. While I'm slightly concerned about this race that is now about 8 weeks away, I'm also trying to give myself some grace and say "what the heck, who cares how much I walk!"

>> Back to the dog thing, if you have one, what treats/food/toys etc are the most motivating? We've yet to find a treat that really gets Haven going. Help! 

>> We love going to the local farmer's market on Saturday to browse and get a few items for the week. We even have a "fish guy" now who is awesome. He gave us a great tip that has totally transformed how we cook fish. He basically said, you should always cook your fish straight from the freezer, no need to defrost. He said not only will it limit your chances of overcooking it, but it's actually safer. Well we tried it and we loved it. It's also so much easier because the fish holds together much better. 

>> Now that I work from home, I've been getting really into the morning news like Good Morning America and the Today show. It's kind of funny because so much of the news is repeated and honestly, I'm more just watching because I like the anchors and their personalities...not really for the celebrity gossip. But it's become a nice ritual and I feel like they are keeping me company in the morning.

August 5, 2015

currently // reading. listening. watching.

>> The Lively Show // Ep 85: Alisa Vitti from Flo Living
I've loved her podcast for awhile now but this episode was especially interesting. I'm already looking forward to reading Woman Code because it hits on a lot of stuff I'm wondering about right now. Basically, Alisa talks about how our hormones control and effect a lot more than we think. When we're not nurturing them, our bodies get all out of wack (aka PMS, acne, weight gain/loss, mood swings, etc). It's really eye opening.

>> Wellness Wonderland // Ep 72: Lucy Bourchier from The Brave Exchange
Katie is a really cool host and I feel like we're friends. Her interview with Lucy not only inspired me but also introduced me to another podcast host which is really exciting.

I know I'm about 5 years late to this but I'm loving this show. After being sick the last two days (and without cable), I was desperate for some quality TV. All 6 seasons are free to watch with Amazon Prime Instant--score!--so I dialed it up and breezed through about eight episodes. It's like Suits and Law & Order mixed together if I had to describe it.

>> Bradstreet Gate
Randomly picked up this book when it came in my mailbox from Blogging for books. It was entertaining I suppose but the ending was super disappointing. The characters were somewhat frustrating as well. Overall, it was just meh.

>> How to Raise the Perfect Dog
Spoiler alert: we're getting a puppy on Friday! We read/listened to this on Audible during our move and really liked it. We ended up purchasing a hard copy as well because it's a good reference book especially for first time dog owners.

>> Matthew Mayfield // Wild Eyes
I don't remember how I discovered this artist but it was awhile ago...probably 5 years ago. I listened to his old albums on repeat on Spotify and really enjoyed them. His new album, Wild Eyes, is really good and it's been on constant rotation lately. It's kind of moody but easy to listen to...he's also definitely not ugly...

>> Mumford & Sons // Wilder Mind
I thought the band broke up and was totally devastated but alas, a new album and all is well in the music world. I LOVE this album mostly because it's different but still totally sounds like them. Just love.

July 31, 2015

training for a half marathon | week 1

Fitness Files. Fit Fridays. Friday Fitness. I mean, there are actually a lot of titles I could have used for this series but it was just too cheesy. I decided to keep it simple instead of inventing some catchy series. I opted to go with the obvious and boring title. 

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I started training for a half marathon. It's been over 2 years since my last half and I basically became a couch potato during that time. Needless to say, I'm pretty much starting over on the fitness front. Nothing like an expensive race with a deadline to kick my butt into gear. I'm loosely working off of this 12 week plan mostly just to keep some sense of accountability and remind me what mileage I'm on. Over the next several weeks, I'm also going to try to document my "journey" here so that you can follow along.

|| Monday ||
Ran 3 treadmill miles (3 min run / 2 min walk).
While watching House Hunters and Pioneer Woman...It's super hilly where we live and since I don't really know my way around, I've been running on the treadmill to save some energy. I plan on doing longer runs outside on some of the awesome trails.

|| Tuesday ||
Barre Strength at the gym.
It's basically Pure Barre but I really liked the class as something different. Kind of wondering what you have to do to become an instructor...

|| Wednesday ||
60 min Cycle class with C. 
Within 5 minutes of the class starting, I always hate myself and wonder why the heck I signed up. It was a butt-kicking workout but I felt good about it since this was supposed to be a "run" day but I cross-trained instead.

|| Thursday ||
30 min FitStar Yoga at home
C needed the car so instead of lunchtime yoga at the gym, I just did a class at home. I like this app a lot especially for quick and easy yoga on the got.

|| Friday ||
Rest! Yay! (Oh and travel to Michigan for Becca's wedding!!)

|| Saturday ||
4 miles which I will probably try to run at the gym at the hotel or somewhere outside before Becca's wedding.

|| Sunday ||
Rest and travel home from Chicago!

Overall, I think this is a great first week especially since I need a little hand holding as I ease back into a regular workout schedule. 

PS. You NEED one of those water bottles. It's the water bottle to end all water bottles (truth. I got rid of all the other ones I own!!!). It's from Swell and it keeps cold stuff cold for 24 HOURS and hot for 12 HOURS! I tested it and it REALLY works even in a hot car! 
(I was not paid to say this...I purchased the bottle with my own money and I'm simple obsessed.)

Are you signed up for any races this fall? Do you listen to music or podcasts? Suggestions?

July 20, 2015

monday musings | 118

This is real life for ya!

>> Look who's back in action! We've been living in Charlottesville for about three weeks now and we're really loving it. The house is about 90% set up and my little home office is really coming together. We're settling into a routine which feels really nice. Nothing like having a clean slate to really get things in order. We joined the gym next to C's office and we've really been liking it, especially all their classes. (We did an epic hour and 45 min yoga class on Sunday morning, whoa). 

>> I signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon and starting this weekend, I'll have 12 weeks to train. I'm basically doing couch to 13.1 here but you know what, I just need a little race incentive to get my butt into gear. Additionally, because we have such easy access to this gym, I think I just need to pick a great show on Netflix and binge watch while I do my runs - any suggestions? 

>> We've been doing a decent job cutting way back on carbs and making some super easy and delicious lunches and dinners (recipes coming soon!). I made this amazing Carrot, Sweet Potato, Red Lentil soup out of this book and we've loved it. A old standby favorite is traditional meat sauce and we normally put it over spaghetti squash but since that's not in season, I got my hands on a spiralizer (just a cheap $6 one) and made a whole pile of zucchini noodles. It was so delicious! 

>> Ok so like I said, we're doing a DECENT job of healthy eating...but we did also join a cider club which I'm super pumped about.

>> The move forced me to REALLY cut back on all the beauty supplies which feels so freeing. I'm no longer a Birchbox subscriber (I know, it had been 5 years!). I'm looking forward to simplifying things a bit in my morning routine especially because I'm now working from home. I also discovered a great site where you can order samples of luxe beauty products but YOU choose the samples which I love. More to come on this...

>> Speaking of working from home, I'm really enjoying it so far. I have been able to be super productive especially now that I have the dedicated office. I don't really go in there on the weekends which makes it feel more like "work" in a good way. I got a beautiful desk and chair that are working great. I'll do a full office post soon once we get everything hung on the walls. 

>> Each year, I go back through all our photos and make a photo book that commemorates that year of marriage. It's such a sweet reminder of all the fun adventures we had and it also ensures that our pictures make their way out of the computer and into our lives. I know these books will be really special as the years go by. (Hard to believe we've already been married for 2 years!)

>> Oh, and we're getting a puppy in three weeks...
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