Thursday, June 27, 2013

Late night Thursday thoughts [6.27.13]

Hey friends! I decided today to kick it old school with some Thursday Thoughts. :) Just some things on my mind lately.

At Dairy Queen with some of my coworkers! The DQ here has TWO FIREPLACES and this fire pillar thing.
[ONE] I really would like to start a strength-training/weight-training routine but have NO idea how or where to start. Does anyone have any good resources or advice? I'd love you forever!

[TWO] Another summer project? Working on a budgeting plan! I'm really trying not to take out any student loans for my last year of grad school, so things have to get real around here! Here are some of the resources/inspirations I'm using! (one, two and three) (oh heeeey Amanda!)

[THREE] I'm trying to be a better blog commenter. Because I read a lot of blogs and then click away without saying anything. So. There's that.

[FOUR] Groupon has a deal right now where you can buy a $10 gift card for $5, but only on their mobile app. So. Yeah. $5 free, basically. Because who doesn't love to shop at Target?

[FIVE] So next week I'm going home for the fourth of July and the weekend and I'm pretty excited. The countdown has begun! Well, really it began a while ago, but... YAY.

That's all for now, friends! I hope you're all having a wonderful week -- leading into a great weekend!

What's on your mind lately?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tempo runs, sucky long runs, and Training Tuesday

Hey friends! It's Tuesday again, and around here that means I talk about my training! If you're working toward any kind of healthy living goal, feel free to link up and share your progress. Go on, brag about yourself a little!

Workouts this week
Tuesday Rested -- sort of. This was the day I discovered a spider had laid tons of eggs in the window I was sleeping next to in my summer apartment. So I disassembled my bed and moved it to the living room and put it back together -- by myself. So I counted it as a piece of cross training.
Wednesday I was supposed to choose to either run 3 miles or do intervals, but at the end of my intervals  (around 2.4 miles ish) I was feeling SO GREAT that I kept going and did the full 3 miles
Thursday Rest
Friday I attempted yoga! Now, I'm not a huge yoga fan, but I got it in my head that I was going to do yoga to start my day. I found this video and I liked it alright. And my shoulders were sore the next day!
Saturday My first tempo run! More below.
Sunday Had to pull a two-a-day to get all my stickers on my chart (a goal I set last week). Looking back -- probably not smart. But I did some pilates and had yet another sucky long run. More below.
Monday Easy pace 2.5 miles

The Tempo Run

Integrating new kinds of workouts was one of my goals for this round of training -- and one I definitely wanted to hit was a tempo run! In my experience/research, everyone has a different definition of what a tempo run is.

The training plan I follow describes a tempo run as this: "After a 3-minute warmup, run 2 miles at a “comfortably hard” intensity. This should be significantly harder than Easy pace, but not so hard that your pace varies or you have trouble speaking in full sentences. (Tempo pace should be around 30 seconds per mile slower than your 5K race pace.) Finish with a 3-minute cooldown." Eventually, it will up it to 3 miles at tempo pace instead of 2.

My tempo run went really REALLY well. I decided to challenge myself and set my goal for tempo pace between 10-10:20 minute miles, even though that's not a bad 5k pace for me. Still, I BLEW past that goal. My tempo pace occasionally lingered around the 10:20 mark, but most of the time I was around the 9:45-10:00 minute mile mark. Which is really good for me -- two hold that pace for two miles! Woooo! I mean, I've done it before, but it's not a regular occurrence, and my pace has not been what it used to be lately, so I left the gym pretty darn happy...

Sucky Long Runs

Only to follow it up the next day with yet another sucky long run. If you've been following along on Twitter or paying attention to my last couple of Training Tuesdays, you might have noticed some complaining about my runs.

More specifically, my long runs. They've been awful, even when my shorter runs are wonderful.

Two weeks ago, I ran to the halfway point, got dizzy, and walked back. Last week, I made it through the 5 miles, but I hated it. This week, I ended up walking. A lot.

So. I've been trying to figure out how to FIX THIS. Here are some of the things going through my head:

1.) Okay, so the time I got dizzy and this week's run I can tell I wasn't fueling properly. The first, it was an obvious water/hydration issue and this week I probably hadn't eaten enough since I was feeling guilty about overeating the day before. So I definitely need to work on that.

2.) I also have never tried to run these distances in heat before. I ran a lot last summer, but it was when I first started running, so the most I ran was about 30-35 minutes at a time, which is much shorter than my long runs these days. So maybe I should go a little easier on myself and realize that the heat is probably going to take a toll on my body, whether I like it or not.

3.) I'm also considering whether I jumped back into half training too quickly. I had taken a two-and-a-half week running break (pretty much) when I started this training cycle. I wasn't running the weekly mileage I had been before my first training cycle. Although, my last run before that break was my half marathon. How quickly do you get out of running shape? No idea.

4.) I need to remember that I had sucky runs last training cycle too. Looking back on training for my first half has kind of been the way they describe childbirth: I've glossed over it in my mind, remembering only the good parts. But there were sucky runs. I know there were. It happens. It's not the end of the world and it's not the end of running for me.

5.) Finally, I need to stop worrying about pace on my long runs and just try to finish. I'm not supposed to be paying attention to pace on my long runs, anyway. They're supposed be at an easy pace, one that lets me hold a conversation if I want. I think at one point the book says you should be running slow enough you'd be embarrassed to see someone you know. And I've never been good at ignoring my pace.

So here's what I'm going to try to do. 

I'm going to be more conscious of what I'm putting into my body -- making sure I'm hydrating and eating well.

I'm going to do my next long run either early early early in the morning or inside to try to combat the heat/see if that makes it any better.

I'm going to try to stick to my training plan more strictly -- no more two-a-days and, ideally, a rest day before every long run.

And I'm going to turn off the part of my app that tells me my pace and time and just run, ignoring pace altogether, until it tells me I've hit my distance.

I'm hoping that these changes will help me have a successful long runs again. Fingers crossed!

Have any of you been in a running rut? What got you out of it?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book review: Requiem

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. As this is a sequel, my review will by nature include spoilers for the first two books. Check out my review for the first book and the second book. No spoilers for the third book though!

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.
Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Requiem is the third and final installment in the Delirium series. The second left with a pretty decent cliffhanger: Lena discovered that Alex, her first love who she thought died helping her escape to the wilds, was alive. In fact, he was in front of her and her new romantic interest, Julian.

With that plot twist, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that much of this book was one big fat love triangle. It was somewhat disappointing that this took up SO MUCH of the book, but then again -- when the story is about a world that has tried to eradicate love, of course you're going to focus on the love story!

For the first time in the series, Requiem lets us see the world from another character's perspective -- Hana, who has now been cured. I really, really liked this. I liked seeing through the eyes of a cured person -- there was less emotion, but definitely not less fear, and I think that really made the evilness of the cure and the awfulness of society that much clearer.

We also get to check in with Lena's family a bit and see what affect her disappearance had on them. I thought that was another great view into the society of the cure.

Requiem has gotten a lot of criticism from fans because it doesn't wrap up cleanly -- we don't know what's going to happen next at all. But I think it's a (mostly) fair ending. 

Have any of you read Requiem? Did you hate the ending? I'd love to hear what you thought! Be careful of spoilers in the comments, please!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Internship (well... my internship)

Oh hey there! How ya been?

So the last time I blogged about anything other than running and books, I told you I was about to start an internship... I am now finishing my fourth week at my internship! Here's some of what I've been up to...

I was in charge of a staff of 11 undergraduate orientation leaders. The Saturday before they got to campus I made signs to hang on their residence hall doors while I watched some Oregon State baseball "with" Pat. :)

Birdhouses! (I actually made 16 because we were supposed to have 16 staff members... then only 11 showed...)

I trained the 11 students to handle everything they would face during orientation and helped them get campus looking spiffy for all the incoming students.

Ten of my orientation leaders
They were pretty great. One night, we were all eating dinner, and someone said, "Hey, we should put Haley in that cabinet!" and next thing we knew, Aaron was climbing in the cabinet...
...and then they all took turns climbing in the cabinet. More fun with them here. :)

We also resurrected the spirit of Albert R. Taylor, the first president of Millikin University. You can follow him on twitter here.
He and Colette, my fellow intern, have a bit of a thing going on...

We trained for a few days, then had four days of orientation with lots of families and future freshmen students on campus! Long days, long nights, lots of work and lots of fun.

Other than that I've been missing Pat and eating lots of ice cream...

Doing laundry in the sketchiest laundry room ever...

And seeing deer on my runs!

How is your summer going, friend?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The "why" of running + Training Tuesday

Hey friends! It's Tuesday again, and around here that means I talk about my training! If you're working toward any kind of healthy living goal, feel free to link up and share your progress. Go on, brag about yourself a little!

Workouts this week
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Rest
Thursday Three miles
Friday Rest
Saturday Rest
Sunday Five miles
Monday Two and a half miles

Too many rest days in there... but really I only missed one run. I'm making it my goal this week to do EVERY planned work out -- cross training and all. All my work chaos is done and I have no more excuses. It's going to happen. It has GOT to happen.

I've had a lot of tough runs lately. Last Sunday, it was tough physically -- I got a little past the halfway point and had to stop from being dizzy.

This Sunday, it was tough mentally. I just kept thinking, why am I doing this? I can't run five miles, and next week I'm not going to be able to run six miles, let alone the 13 I'm supposed to do at the end of all this. Why bother?

Even my "shorter" runs have been tough for me lately -- I don't want to get out in the first place, or I want to take walk breaks halfway through, or I'm hit with the why bother again.

This Sunday, after my mentally grueling run, I started trying to make a list of the reasons why I run. I've seen this done on other blogs before, so I'm sorry if it's no fun to read, but I think I need it. I've got to remind myself of the reasons I run right now to keep myself going so that, eventually, it can feel good again.

Why I run

I run so I can eat more ice cream with less guilt.

I run because I like the way I look in my running clothes.

I run because it helps me like the way I look in all my clothes.

I run because I love to come home and tell Pat about how far or fast I got.

I run so I can put a little star sticker on my training plan.

I run because I like going a little bit faster, a little bit farther than what I've done before.

I run because I like knowing I'm doing something not everyone can or is willing to do.

I run because it challenges me.

I run because I lost 18 pounds and want to keep it off.

I run because I like being outside.

I run because races are really fun.

I run because I love my race shirts.

I run so I can see improvement.

I run because it feels good to sweat.

I run because some days it makes me feel invincible. Those days are sometimes rare and hard to remember on the hard days, but they're worth it.

Why do you run?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Book review: The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews.

First published in 1905, The House of Mirth shocked the New York society it so deftly chronicles, portraying the moral, social, and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities. Lily Bart, beautiful, witty, and sophisticated, is accepted by "old money" and courted by the growing tribe of nouveaux riches. But as she nears 30, her foothold becomes precarious; a poor girl with expensive tastes, she needs a husband to preserve her social standing and to maintain her life in the luxury she has come to expect. While many have sought her, something—fastidiousness or integrity—prevents her from making a "suitable" match.

To me, this book was a mix of Jane Austen and Mean Girls. Really. Even though each of these three things (Jane Austen's writing, the book's writing, and Mean Girls) happened with a hundred years almost between each.

The House of Mirth reminds me of Austen's book Emma in a couple ways: one, both are about society -- high society of the time, to be specific, and about making appropriate matches, according to status, mostly. Secondly, because I'm not sure the main character is entirely likeable. With Emma, I know that Austen did this on purpose. With Lily, the main character in  The House of Mirth, I'm not sure.

Lily is a girl with expensive taste. She likes to spend time with folks with much more money than she has, she spends money she doesn't have, and she gets herself into sticky situations with other people's husbands. She is also VERY aware of her own attractiveness and is very manipulative of the effect her beauty and charm have on people. Just when I was getting to like her, she'd talk about how beautiful she was again, and there it went.

And then there's the Mean Girls part. Like I said, Lily gets herself into a couple tricky situations with other people's husbands. Through the repercussions of these incidents, we see the many sides of society life: the cheating, the manipulation, and where you go when you fall from grace.

The House of Mirth shows the many sides of society life in the early 20th century -- the good, the bad and the ugly. It was a bit of a slow read, as many society books are (more visiting with other people and descriptions of parties than actual action) but super fascinating -- and it took turns I was not expecting. I gave it four stars on Goodreads! Thank you to Pat's dad for the book!!

Have any of you read The House of Mirth or books like it? I love to read books like this now and then!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bug roadkill + Training Tuesday

Hey friends! It's Tuesday again, and around here that means I talk about my training! If you're working toward any kind of healthy living goal, feel free to link up and share your progress. Go on, brag about yourself a little!

Sorry for the late-ish post friends! But better late than never? Right? ...

Workouts this week
Tuesday -- Rest
Wednesday -- Ran a quick interval run -- needed a fast work out!
Thursday -- Missed a run. Long day, long week. Oops.
Friday -- Rest
Saturday -- Ran 3 of the 5 miles I intended, then got dizzy and walked the 2 home. I know I was dehydrated -- I shoulda known better than to run when I'd not had any water since the night before. Whoops. No regrets about walking. Better than passing out on the side of the trail.
Sunday -- So you know how I was supposed to get out and try the 5 miles again? nuh-uh, didn't happen
Monday -- 2.5 easy-pace miles

So lots of rest days this week. Someday I'll have time to post about what I've been doing at my internship this week to fill you in on why, but not today. Rest assured that I am moving quite a bit. Has not been a sedentary week by any means!

A new running experience

So last night, I was running on the nature-y path I've discovered in my home-for-the-summer Decatur, and I was hit in the face.

With a butterfly.

I created butterfly road kill with my face.

(I don't actually know that the butterfly died. Just know that I hit him pretty good.)

I've gotta say, it was one of my weirdest running experiences so far. There were also tons of tiny gnats that kept getting stuck to my sweatyness (ewwww). But none quite so noticeable as that butterfly. (RIP)

What's the weirdest thing that's happened to you while working out? I'm not sure that was THE weirdest thing that's happened to me, but it was probably close.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Busting out of running boredom + Training Tuesday

Hey friends! It's Tuesday again, and around here that means I talk about my training! If you're working toward any kind of healthy living goal, feel free to link up and share your progress. Go on, brag about yourself a little!

Workouts this week
Tuesday: 3 miles. I could have done intervals but I just plain forgot. Whoops.
Wednesday: Cross/rest day. I walked ALL OVER campus, so I counted it as half rest, half cross :)
Thursday: Shoulda ran, but it was supposed to rain all day. (This was before I figured out the weatherpeople were liars.)
Friday: Was still supposed to rain all day, but I got out there anyway for 3 miles.
Saturday: Rested
Sunday: 4 miles -- longest run since my half, and a run that made me not believe I ran 13.1 miles not too long ago because now 4 miles is hard
Monday: 2.5 miles

Make running exciting again

Have you guys ever experienced burn out with running? Like, you have a goal, and you want to get there, but man, you're really tired of running 4 times a week and you just need a break. I feel like it hits me a lot. Here's three (free!) ways I've found to get over it:

ONE. Run somewhere new.
I have loved running here in Illinois (my summer home during my internship) since I got here last week! But already I'm itching for some new scenery. When I get bored with my training plan, I like to switch it up. Once, it was just a half-mile detour up a hill, but it was so invigorating! Now I'm a huge believer in switching up the scenery.

Running sites like dailymile and mapmyrun can help you plan a route, and Nike+ can also show you popular routes in your area as well as a heat map showing where people most often run.

TWO. Get new music.
Sometimes the only way I can get out the door is by thinking of testing out that new song I just put on my playlist. I've also tried audiobooks and podcasts on my run. I've put my music on shuffle to see what comes up that works really well as running music, and once I listened to stand up comedy while I ran.

If you're looking for something new, here are some of my favorites. You can find some other lists on my Get Fit Pinterest board. The app Songza also has a concierge feature that plays music to fit your activity or mood, so if you have a smartphone, give that a try. And if you're into comedy or audiobooks, hit me up and I'll make a recommendation!

THREE. Try a different kind of run.
One of my favorite workouts to work into my schedule is interval training. After a five-minute warm up, I'll run at a pace 60 seconds faster than my comfortable speed for a minute, then do a slow speed for two. When I want to push myself, I up it to a minute and a half. Do five or six repeats for a killer work out!

For some other speed-focused workouts, check out this post on Healthy Tipping Point. I'm also hoping to work in some stadium stair sessions and some tempo runs, which I've never done before (here's the basics and here's an in-depth discussion).

Do you guys ever get bored with your workout routines? What are your boredom busters?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Jelly of my JAMS

Hey friends!

So recently I participated in a CD swap! I was in the Trifecta of Awesome -- meaning there were three of us paired up instead of two. I received a CD from the lovely Genna of Freed at Last! I'm a little late to the linking party because I just got INTERNET in my new apartment! Woop!

I feel like I kind of set Genna up in a box -- originally, I thought the swap was ONLY for work out music. So I told her that I liked upbeat music to work out to! So I'm SUPER impressed with the awesome CD she came up with!

Oh, also. I was a dummy and signed up for a swap when I was about to move. But Pat opened the box for me! He took this picture (Doesn't that look almost exactly like the picture I would have taken? Somebody get this kid a blog!)

and eventually will deliver the actual contents to me! Genna was SO sweet and also threw in a perfect summery cup and a book! Girl knows me too well :)

So I actually haven't read my note yet, or held the actual CD. Instead Pat emailed me the songs.:) When I do get it, it will be like a second present! Yay!

Anyway. Here's what's on my CD!

Can't Hold Us -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

I didn't have this one. Actually, the only Macklemore I do have is Thrift Shop, which I downloaded right before my half because I needed more running music. But everyone I know LOOOVES Macklemore. So Yay!!!

Best Love Song -- T-Pain ft. Chris Brown (skip about 30 seconds to get to the song)
I've actually never heard this one before! and I kinda really like it. :)

Don't Stop Believing -- Journey
Obviously a classic. Who doesn't love this song? Although, in HS it was my ringtone for my ex. haha we broke up a few times... don't stop believing! hahahaha.... ok moving on...

Body Language -- Jesse McCartney (not the exact version from the CD but same song!)
Genna went semi old school for this one and it cracked me up! I loooved Jesse McCartney back in the day!

Lucky Strike -- Maroon 5

I. Love. This. Song. If it's not on your workout playlist, it needs to be.

Light Up in the Sky -- Yellowcard
Another I'd never heard! Also, Yellowcard. another throwback. Yesss.

Club Can't Handle Me -- Flo Rida
Another great workout song. You know, if you love singing and running. Which I do. It just makes me smile.

It's Time -- Imagine Dragons
I've loved this one for a while. I betcha can't stay still while this one's playing. Although, totally not what I thought the singer would look like.

Jai Ho! You are my Destiny -- A.R. Rahman & the Pussycat Dolls fr. Nicole Scherzinger
This one is from Slumdog Millionaire! I once did a Zumba to this one. Such a fun song!!

OMG -- Usher ft. Will.I.Am
Another I've known for a long time but didn't have! I've even looked for this one in my iTunes before!

Pop -- NSYNC

Ohmygosh. Love it. I remember when this video came out. And what's better than NSYNC, really?

Hurts So Good -- John Cougar Mellencamp
Love this one, too. Especially right after NSYNC.

Thank you so much, Genna, for the amazing CD and the extra goodies! And thanks to Tamara and Holly for hosting this fun swap!


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