Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pile on the Miles!

Pile On The Miles is an annual event in blogland where we challenge ourselves to walk or run more during the month of November. The goal is to pile on extra miles not pounds during this food filled time of year!

This is the 5th Annual Pile on the Miles Challenge!

What: FREE Online challenge to walk or run more during turkey month.
Who: Everyone is invited to join. Everywhere around the world!
When: November 1 – Nov 30.
Where: Virtual! Sign up on this form and come back to each week to stay accountable and be entered in a drawing for prizes.
Why: To challenge yourself and encourage others to move more this month. This is about setting a goal and staying accountable with check-ins. It is not a competition for the most miles any longer – it’s about YOUR GOALS.

The Rules:

1. Sign up by completing this form.
There will be a place for your name, email, goal and blog address (optional). You must put in a name and email. If you have a blog please add it so we can create the most epic blogroll ever!
2. Set a goal at the beginning of the challenge to WALK or RUN x amount of miles or minutes in November. These could be miles or a set time on the treadmill OR outside/inside walking or running or cycling… Do your favorite exercise!
3.  Leave a comment on RER Nov 1,10, 17 and 24th with your Mileage/Minutes Goal for that week. All comments on those posts will be entered into a giveaway. It does not matter if you hit your goal each week but you must check-in and be accountable to be entered to win.

I joined in! You can too! Start off the holiday season with a healthy goal!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I lied

I am such a lier! Don't believe anything I say (well, please do, but don't always...anyways).

Today I registered for the Richmond Half Marathon on November 16th.

Best part of the course=running over the river at sunrise. My backside is also very attractive.

You may remember that just a few short weeks ago I proclaimed that I was NOT going to register due to not being able to adequately train because I was instead traveling on weekends. Well, I still have a weekend left of travel between now and the race (which is three weeks from now), but after running amongst the marathon training group today for their 20-miler, a quick, almost pain free 10 miles changed my mind.

There is something very uplifting and invigorating about completing a long run. The endorphins, scenery and euphoria of accomplishing such a great goal and challenge can really get into your head and commit you to crazy things.

It only took until mile 3 today for me to mentally accept the challenge of running the half marathon. The route was beautiful, the discussions were entertaining, the other runners were motivating, and the weather was perfect. All the perfect storms combined for me to change my mind! Besides some muscle tightness from miles 8-10, I feel great now and am excited for a quick training season before the big day!

Perhaps there is something to be said for ripping the band-aid off quickly as opposed to dragging the process out? We'll see what 3 weeks of training versus 12 does to my time and enjoyment of the race! I will try to get one more long run in before the race and then keep up with my usual 3-6 mile runs throughout the week.

Anyone else ever registered for a race late in the game (side note: this was a very expensive decision)?! I would love to know I am not the only crazy one:)

Friday, October 25, 2013

About that facebook post...

I have never in my life had as much responses to a facebook post as I did this week (keep in mind, the normal posts that trigger a lot of responses have to do with engagements, weddings and/or babies, none of which I qualify for).

The post was this (with over 85 comments/likes):

The next person that tells me "I can't believe you're single!" or "you'll meet someone someday," I will punch in the face. I am doing just fine, thank you.

I haven't really spoken much about my relationship status on this blog for a while, because there frankly isn't much to talk about. I go on dates and meet people I sometimes like but often don't and nothing really comes of it. I go through phases where I date a lot and then those where I don't date much for a while. I have crushes occasionally and people crushing on me occasionally.

I am picky. 

I am not going to spend my time and energy with someone I don't want to. I enjoy doing my own things and if someone isn't worth giving up that time for, I simply won't.

It's not sad. It's not tragic. Frankly, it's good. It's progress. It's the twenty-first century.

My life is just as complete, sometimes more so and sometimes less so, than people in relationships or with families. My friends are my family. My time is mine. I am lucky that I can spend so much of my time doing exactly what I want and learning about myself. I am saving, spending and investing. I am growing as an independent person who can take great care of herself. I am healthy. I am learning, exploring, doing, being and living. 

It is not 1913. It is 2013.

Great, smart, and successful single people are everywhere. I know many of them as friends, neighbors and coworkers. I do not think less of them- I envy them! Their ideas and minds and way of life are invigorating, often more so than mine. I learn from them and live by them, just as I learn and live by those in relationships and with families. There are so many great ways to live life! 

 I simply wish it wasn't so common that people think the most interesting thing about you is whether or not you are in a relationship. Or that it somehow makes you more accomplished if you are. Or that if you aren't, it is only a matter of time before something happens.

You are not psychic. You do not know if I will ever meet someone. Telling me that I will makes me feel that you think my life is not complete until then. 

My life is complete now. I am and will be fine either way. I may never have kids, but married peole don't always have kids. I may never be married, but a marriage is not always a measure of success in love nor a reflection of happiness. I would rather be alone and unhappy than unhappy and alone in a relationship. Yes, I did not always feel this way, (turns out 27 and 25 are very different from one another in terms of self-confidence and life direction), but I do now. I am growing up.

So next time you are close to questioning someone about their relationship status, really think if that is the most telling thing about them. 

I hope it is not.

Throwback to some awesome single ladies from college (only 2 in this pic are married and all are equally amazing).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Routine

I am having the hardest time waking up for work. It is not that I can't wake up in time or don't get enough sleep, it is that I don't have any energy in the morning. I cannot imagine what it is like for parents with young kids, but I feel like I am in a daze until 9 AM no matter how much sleep I get during the work week.

To remedy this situation, I am getting back into the habit of waking up earlier (yes, this oxymoron has a purpose) so my body can get more low-impact movement before work. Instead of caffeine, I seriously need to move and get my blood flowing in order to wake up. I blame this necessity on my habit of running and working out in the morning so much in the summer and when I am off work. My body simply needs to sweat a little to wake up. I have not been running in the morning for the last month since it is dark until later and because my mileage has increased, so I simply don't have enough time to get a long run in unless it is after school. I am thinking that if I wake up about 30 minutes earlier, I will have enough time to do a 20-25 minute session on the elliptical in my complex while watching the morning news. This will be my version of most people's "coffee and news" time.

My favorite NBC morning crew!

Or...if you need to be a pleasant person at work.

This may sounds like a great problem to have (needing to work out to feel awake and energized), but it actually sucks. Imagine enjoying sleeping 8 or even 9 hours and having enough time in the evenings for healthy activities like running, walking or the gym, yet STILL feeling fatigued and irritable at work for 2 hours every morning unless you exercise? It sucks. Trust me. 

But I am going to try out this new morning routine and hopefully have a little more pep in my step and positivity in my interactions with students before the sun comes up too high! So 5:50 AM- I will be seeing your time on my clock every weekday morning from now on!

Anyone else have this problem? I should probably be studied.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hands On Richmond

Hello and Happy Weekend-ing!

I am sad it is already Sunday but wanted to share with you a fun event I participated in yesterday.

Friday night was homecoming at my school, so after a fun day at work (including a pep rally), I worked the football game with a bunch of coworkers and got to enjoy a little bit of time out at a new bar in the Richmond area, Viceroy. Due to my early morning on Saturday, I kept my socializing light and was home and in bed by 11:30.

Coworkers loving a little school spirit at the pep rally!
Yesterday morning, after a quick 3 mile run (I find that the day after I have a lot of carbs, it feels really good to run), I volunteered at "Hands on Richmond" day from 9-1 with a team of friends at The Virginia Home, a home for adults with physical disabilities. This day is a city-wide day of supporting local organizations through volunteering. The place my group was assigned is located along the beautiful lakes at Byrd Park. While there, we worked on creating a garden for the residents that they can access with wheelchairs. We pulled weeds, raked, trimmed and cleared plants (I worked out a lot of aggression with garden sheers!), and built a raised garden bed (the boys did that, let's be honest).

The team bright and early, ready to go!

Outside in the garden area with one of the residents.
It was very nice to give back to the community in a city-wide event and learn about The Virginia Home. It is a great facility doing a lot of good for it's residents.

The day also involved food and booze for the volunteers afterwards at Hardywood, a local brewery that hosted the "after-party" for everyone. My group ate tacos at a food truck and got to enjoy Ukrops cupcakes and Starbucks treats from sponsors! I ran into many other friends there and even met two current and former NBC12 anchors, which are like my version of local celebrities.

To cap off a very "Richmond Community" weekend, I then ventured to Ellwood Thompsons local grocery with some friends to become even more educated on keeping my eating and kitchen clean to hopefully stabilize this crazy mood I have been in this week! And then I watched Ohio State win and Florida State crush Clemson with some friends. Can't end the day in a more American way, right?

This morning, after an almost 10-hour slumber, I appreciated the beauty of Richmond with a 5 mile run. It doesn't get much better than Richmond on a fall morning, especially knowing I helped our community yesterday.

I hope you were able to give back some this weekend, and if you didn't, be sure to look for local events coming up in your own community!

Friday, October 18, 2013


For some reason this week my moods have been all over the place.

I go from being happy to annoyed to stressed in a matter of a morning. I don't know what the cause is (probably eating less carbs...womp womp), but I am not liking it!

The one thing that has helped this whole week has been running. I have had a runners high every day because my runs have been awesome. They are the only thing that has leveled my moods. And more so than usual.

On Monday I ran 5 miles outside when the sun was (finally!) out and then 2 more at the gym. Tuesday I was super sore (I need to calm down and gradually get my distances back up), but I did a 3.1 mile loop to loosen up my joints before a UVA Club of Richmond happy hour (which helped my mood as well- those of you who don't live in Richmond need to visit just to go to this awesome bar, Legends, overlooking the river and city). 

Wednesday was my best day, because my friend Jess and I met up after she got off work for an evening, slow 5.2 mile run. That run felt AMAZING. I love a long, slow run with lots of friend catch-up time! This morning I even surprised myself and after a late wiffleball game last night (yo', I didn't go to bed until 10:30!), I got up at 5:30 AM and went on a crisp 3.5 mile run before work. It. Was. Awesome. I don't always love early morning runs, but the temperature was perfect and my legs felt so good. It probably had to do with the fact that I had wine and a brownie sundae as my dinner last night, too. I really do love carbs. And sugar.

This is my favorite time of year to run because of the leaves turning and the temps dropping. I also get much more reinvigorated from my runs when I feel better doing them. There is nothing like the runners high and endorphins from a great run, which is something that doesn't happen as much when the temps are hot and humid.

That is all:) Happy Friday! Here's to hoping we all have a weekend of better moods!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Me on a Monday

Some of my favorite blogs occasionally post about what their day was like. I want to feel cool and do it too, so here is what my Monday was like. Get excited. 

6:20 AM: Wake up!

6:50 AM: Leave for work

7:10 AM: Arrive at work

7:25 AM: Prep for the PSAT on Wednesday (signs posted everywhere)!!!

8:30 AM: Begin senior meetings

9:30 AM: Eat breakfast of two slices of Applegate bacon and two organic hard boiled eggs. I don't usually eat this late in the morning but I wasn't very hungry today.

11:30 AM: Eat lunch of salad with Bell and Evan's chicken, tomatoes, cheese and goddess dressing (Trader Joe's) with sides of carrots, an apple and cottage cheese. All organic!

12:00 PM: More senior meetings!

1:00 PM: Scholarship meeting outside of school- I love leaving the building early for meetings:)

3:00 PM: Home! Check social media sites (obvi, since I don't have a smart phone). Snack of macadamia nuts and dark chocolate.

3:30 PM: 5 mile run because the sun is FINALLY out!

4:45 PM: Head to the gym to meet up with a friend for a tour of her Gold's! Run another 2 miles and lift weights. I might join a gym again just for the socializing...

6:00 PM: Back home to cook dinner- Trader Joe's high fiber pasta with meatless meatballs and sauteed zucchini, squash and tomatoes (again, all organic). YUMMY. All I need is olive oil and garlic salt as the extra flavor instead of a sauce.

6:30 PM: Shower! I even shave my legs- I'm living big.

7:00 PM: Check blogs and watch E! News...gotta get my scoop!

8:00 PM: Bones is on! Eat a snack of string cheese and hummus.

9:00 PM: Get in bed and watch another episode of Bones on DVD...I love laying in bed watching TV.

9:45 PM: Bedtime:)

Exciting life, huh? I ended up running 7 miles today so I was definitely tired, but I had so much energy this afternoon! I think it had to do with the sun finally making its debut after a week! This was also a typical primal eating day except for my pasta with dinner. Unfortunately this morning I realized my spaghetti squash went bad (the smell alone will make me not want another one for a while), so I had to work with what I had. Since I ran so much I didn't mind incorporating the pasta and carbs. I try to eat primal 80% of the time- some days more, some days less! It's all about balance.

 I hope you had a good Monday:) Do your days usually look similar? This was a pretty open day for me, which is not the norm, but very much appreciated!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I love visiting colleges

College campuses are fun places to be.

It doesn't matter what you are doing when you're there- be it for a wedding, a sporting event, an exploratory walk, a weekend or just an afternoon- the energy and excitement is contagious. The social atmosphere is unlike anywhere else. Being a UVA alum, I hate to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my last few visits to Blacksburg, which I think has to do with the simple fact that I love colleges. I didn't particularly do anything crazy or out of the ordinary visiting friends at Virginia Tech this weekend, but I had an awesome time. From a low key Friday evening eating dinner and chilling at a bar to a football game and tailgate to an evening of grilling out and hanging out and enough energy for a Sunday morning run in the rolling countryside, it rejuvenated me just like any out of town trip does! While I didn't particularly care about the outcome of the football game (but, yes, I did wear VT gear), the atmosphere was great. I am excited for all my travels coming up (and visits to my own alma mater for football games)- definitely a good decision! It also helped that a friend who was also randomly visiting Blacksburg this weekend and I carpooled, so the 3 hour drive through the mountains was much more enjoyable than it would have been solo.

Tailgaiting VT style!

View before the game.

View during the game.

Some of the group- a little wet but all smiles!

Thanks to my host this weekend (my friend Meredith's good friend Ashley) and to the weather in Blacksburg, because even though it was overcast all weekend, it only rained for a brief part of Saturday, which is much better than the soggy conditions in Richmond! Sun, where are you?

P.S. I also officially french braided my hair for the first time this weekend! It only took me 27 years to learn:)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Travel > Running

Ladies and gentleman, I know you were worried and wondering, awaiting anxiously to find out if I would be running the Richmond Half on November 16th (due to my official poll on Facebook, I know it's been on your mind), and the answer is....


Because you know what I am going to do instead?! I am traveling. My favorite thing EVER!!! I am taking a few weekend trips between now and then, so I decided to have fun and not train. If I am not in town most weekends it makes getting those long runs in much harder. I feel good about my decision! I am going to watch the marathon from my street corner and hopefully join in with my friend to help encourage/pace her instead. I also gotta say, spending hundreds of dollars on plane tickets is MUCH more exciting than spending that money on registering for races:) Those dang things are not cheap! Today I booked a ticket for a trip to Austin in December, and I am going out of town this weekend and the first weekend in November. Yay! Work has been crazy lately (and sad...sometimes being a high school counselor involves dealing with some sad situations), so I am really itching to get a mental/life break.  I am even excited about going to the foresaken Hokie land...aka Blacksburg... this weekend for a football game. This Wahoo must need a break!

However, one thing I do not like about traveling is how stressed I get before the trip because I am trying to plan everything for not only the trip itself, but for when I get back. I like to have all my grocery shopping and cleaning done before I leave for a trip so I don't have to stress about it when I get back late on a Sunday night. I also always think I won't have time to exercise when I am away (though I most always do), so I cram all my workouts into the week before that is already crazy. Ugh! I hate this about myself. I end up getting anxious the whole week before I go away thinking that there are all these things I need to get done, when in reality I would survive doing them the day or day after I get back. And not running for one weekend won't kill me (side note: I know this, but I just took two weeks off running, so I am cramming it all into these rain-filled days at 5:30 in the morning). Anyone out these feel this same way? 


And then to end this post on an inspirational and related note, this great video from youtube. Because traveling is what I love doing, and my job is one that may not pay a lot of money, but gives me to time to do what I love.

Have a great HUMP day (or rainy day for those in VA)!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Nine of Eleven

Whew! My 2013 wedding season is over! Last night was my ninth and final wedding of the eleven I was invited to this year. It took place at the beautiful Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, Va. about 50 minutes west of Richmond.

I am slightly embarrassed because I did not get any good pictures of the bride and groom, but they looked lovely and the wedding had so many personal touches. It felt very rustic and old-fashioned (I love the lace themed wedding dresses that are back in style!) and the ceremony was so personal. It was the best ceremony I had seen all year- only one to make me cry! I am loving the fall wedding "rustic" scheme and timeless feel. I think fall is the best season to get married and the weather was PERFECT yesterday! Not too hot but not too cold.

Love this theme at rustic weddings!

Tasting room & location of the cocktail hour:)


Reception Area

View of tasting room from ceremony site.

Liz and I overlooking the vineyard

Ladies at cocktail hour!

Limoncello and my favor/drink glass for the night!

Bridesmaid Michelle and the amazing glow sticks that caused everyone to channel their inner 6 year old.

AJ even danced with glow sticks!

Nathalia and I with her glow stick flower creation!

It was a fun evening! Best of all- bacon wrapped dates at cocktail hour and PIZZA made on site in a wood-grill oven in the reception area. I have never been to a wedding with pizza and there was not a person there who was not STUFFED and SATISFIED from the great food. The dessert table with to-go boxes also helped satisfy my sweet tooth:) I tell ya- pizza, dessert and alcohol...what more could you want?! 

 Thanks to all who let me partake in their weddings this year! Each and every one had it's own special touch, and I look forward to the weddings of 2014, though it is looking a little quieter:)