Friday, January 30, 2015


I love my quote of the day box on this blog. Some days I take pictures of them to save because I like them so much! Here are some of my favorites:

There is no wealth but life. - John Ruskin

Have a GREAT weekend and CONGRATS on surviving January, which can be a pretty boring month. TGIF!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thoughts This Week

You just never know what a week will bring, right? 

This week so far has been some sort of hodgepodge/blur and a lot of "meh". Monday was normal (from what I remember? It's crazy how days blur so much). I had to go down to VCU to meet a professor about being on a potential research team and ended up being stuck in traffic for 20 minutes to go .2 miles due to road work. That was fun. Then I got a weird feeling about the whole research thing and started my normal "oh my gosh is this what I want to be doing with my life?!" thinking. Le sigh. Welcome to practically each week as a doctoral student. Then I came home to drown my sorrows in more Netflix viewing. I started on Californication season 3. And reading for class....I think I did some of that this day?

I don't know what is better- an expected snow day or an unexpected snow day, but I think I would say unexpected! We randomly got snow Tuesday morning (the very southern part of the big nor'easter) so I woke up to a 2-hour-delay call (!) and then was told schools were closed. Sadly, I still had to go in (I am a 12 month employee, so I go in some snow days that students/teachers don't), BUT I got a lot done without students around! It was a fun day and only 6 hours long, which is a plus!

Three lone cars in the front parking lot.

I had to do my long weekday run on Tuesday after work (8 miles) and thankfully the snow was melted off the road but still falling, so it was pretty! It was an ok run. Not bad and not great- I really just wanted it to be done with. I really don't like running so late in the day but I don't have enough time in the mornings for runs above 5 miles unless I get up in the 4 AM hour which I refuse to. Afterwards I went over to a condo association meeting. I am in charge of creating a community blog- YAY! That coupled with wine and my low drinking tolerance made for an enjoyable albeit emotional evening. I'll just leave it at that. Meh.

On another hodgepodge note...I did find fun pictures in an album I was looking at this weekend! These are from my first and second semester at college:) I actually remember both of these nights well- isn't that funny how certain things stick out?

And to add to my randomness...from a Friday training last week- I found out I am an ESTJ...though I really think I am an ESFJ. It has been fun to think about and analyze people by their Meyers-Briggs personality type!

So....that has been this week so far. I am hoping for a better end and more good things rather than "meh!"

What is your personality type? How much snow did you get in your area? 

Monday, January 26, 2015


Some blogs have been doing this fun little survey (Meals and Moves and Loving on the Run), and I wanted to join in! It's nice to do a post not on running:)

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. Lifeguard/Pool Manager
2. Waitress (Cheeburger Cheeburger and Brio)
3. Suite Attendant @ UVA Catering Services
4. School Counselor

Four Movies TV Shows I Love (I am more of a TV person!)
1. The X Files
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Bones
4. Sex and the City

Four Places I’ve Lived
1. Worthington, Ohio
2. Charlottesville, Virginia
3. Richmond, Virginia
4. ...that's it! But I hope to add at least another city to this list:)

Four Foods I Hate
1. Red Meat
2. Oranges (something about the smell)

3. Uncooked broccoli
4. Most fish (the smell gets me!)

Four Foods I Love
1. Sweet Potatoes
2. Dark Chocolate (or anything chocolate...)
3. Peanut/Almond Butter
4. Pizza

Four Bad Habits
1. Picking at my face-> yes, I am still 10 and can't keep my fingers off my skin
2. Anxiety-> I get anxious about random/insignificant things (especially about planning/future things), but I think I am getting better
3. Sugar obsession-> I eat sugar way more than I should. It is my favorite food "group," though!
4. Gum-> I chew a pack a day!

Four Good Habits
1. Organized
2. Good with money
3. Health conscious (mostly)
4. Self-motivated-> if I say I need to do something, I will do it!

Four Lessons Learned
1. Life cannot be planned-> you never know what will happen, but you have to be open and willing to stick to your beliefs/wants and enjoy the ride
2. Good grades does not guarantee success-> I wish I had known this in high school!
3. Wellness is key to happiness-> occupational, emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and have to live with satisfaction in all these areas and know that what is right to you isn't necessarily right for someone else (acceptance!)
4. Friends are family-> no explanation needed:)

Four of My Favorite Songs (Right Now)
1. "Fool's Gold"- One Direction
2. "Geronimo"- Sheppard
3. "Take me to Church"- Hozier
4. "I Lived"- One Republic

Now it’s your turn! Answer one of the questions above with your top 4 answers! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shamrock Marathon Training Week 8

Halfway there! It was a decent week weather wise but had the potential of being pretty bad for my long run Saturday. Luckily the rain hit hard overnight, and we just ran in a light drizzle! All my runs during the week were before work at 5:30 AM. It is not my favorite time to run, but I do LOVE having it over with and there being minimal traffic. Going to bed early has been tough lately, though!

Monday: 40 minutes elliptical (abs)

Tuesday: 7 miles @ 9:17 (weights)

Wednesday: 4.3 miles @ 9:18 (abs)

Thursday: 5 miles @ 8:57-> this run felt awesome! (weights)

Friday: Off! Still made sure to get in my 10,000 steps (abs)

Saturday: 16 miles @ 9:28. This run was overall good and a good route. It was cloudy and about 35 degrees under some light drizzle (much better than expected). I ran with a friend until mile 8 and then struck out at a faster pace on my own. The second half was closer to a 9:10/minute mile, but my legs felt heavy once I hit 14 miles. My stiffness is starting later each time I run, though, which is good!

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Happy to be finished!

Recovery donuts from Sugar Shack! YUM!

Sunday: 5 miles @ 8:59 (This run felt surprisingly great after the long run of Saturday!)

Total: 37.3 miles

Have a great week! How were your runs this week?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Side Effects of Marathon Training

I knew training for a marathon would be tough, but I didn't really know how my body would react (the good and the bad)! Here are some of the things I have noticed as I am about halfway to the big day.
  1. EXHAUSTION. I was mainly thinking about the Saturday long run days being the tiring days, but I am in a CONSTANT state of being tired. I honestly cannot remember a day where I actually felt rested. I am tired even if I get 8+ hours of sleep. Don't get me wrong, I have always slept a lot, but I have never felt this tired all the time. I could basically go to bed at 7 pm every night. I feel fine during my runs and typically in the mornings, but the afternoons and evenings are just energy suckers and I want the day to be over as soon as I get home from work or class (even if that is at 3 pm). I am such a morning person if there ever was one.
  2. Losing...and gaining. Soooo I don't weigh myself much, but I can tell ya that from my hips up I have slimmed (even in areas women do not care to!), but that my legs have taken on a whole new level of MUSCLENESS. Seriously, even long distance running doesn't slim my awesome thigh muscles. I don't think they will ever go away as easily as other parts of me seem to! I have only weighed myself once since I started training, and it is hard to find a good time to do it between the long runs and recovering. I do best weighing myself after about two days of recovery when my muscles have calmed down, which hasn't happened lately. Needless to say, I have definitely put on MUSCLE like woah. I will wait until the end to see what the final number is. I have also been measuring my thighs, hips and waist and the latter two have shrunk while the first has not! :)
  3. Hunger. Actually, this hasn't been as bad as I thought. Ya, I am hungry, but I am not as ravenous as I remember being when I first trained for a half marathon. I do eat many more whole foods than I used to, though, so that could be a big factor. That being said, I am surely eating plenty!
  4. Social Life. Yes, I am still social, but my weeks revolve heavily around my running, so I am either doing a run, recovering from one or preparing for one. It makes my socializing hours limited, but everyone has been so great and understanding and as long as I can plan ahead for when things are going on, I make it work. Spontaneity however is not my friend currently, and don;t get me started on weather interfering with my runs.
  5. Weather Woman. I stalk the weather each day to make sure I can fit in all my runs. Currently I am freaking out about a potential rain/snow maker on Saturday that will impact my 16-miler. I try not to worry too much about it, but I want to get my runs in (and after the rainy race this weekend, I am not wanting to run in cold rain or snow). Normally I am good at switching things around, but it is harder on long-run days because I block off my Saturday mornings for my runs. I want to be bff's with my local meteorologists. 
So far those are the main side effects. I am sore occasionally, but not as bad as I thought I would be- it's more of a stiffness. I also find that I do talk about training with friends/coworkers but only mention it briefly if people ask...I don't talk to EVERY PERSON I meet about my training plan, ect. I will gladly talk about it if it is brought up, though! We will see what more side effects will come in the next 8 weeks!

What were/are your side effects from training for a marathon (or half)?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shamrock Marathon Training Week 7

I realized this week that I am now single digit weeks away from the marathon! Eeek! We had some ice this week but it came on my days of lesser mileage, so the treadmill was do-able. My long weekday runs were easily fit in with decent weather- just a lot of grey days! It was nice mentally to have a drop back week, but I definitely noticed my exhaustion levels creeping up in the evenings. I need LOTS of sleep now...8 hours isn't enough...I can easily sleep 9!

Monday: 40 minutes elliptical (abs)

Tuesday: 7.1 miles @ 9:17 (weights)

Wednesday: 3.5 treadmill miles on an "ice" day-> didn't even keep time because I hated it so much (abs)

Thursday: 4 treadmill miles @ 9:45 (better than Wednesday but I still hate I the only one who runs SO MUCH SLOWER on the treadmill?!-> weights)

Friday: 7.6 miles @ 9:11 (substituted my rest day this week for this day and split part of my long run up due to my race on Sunday-> abs)

Saturday: Off! I did chores and ran errands to lessen my temptations to work out.

Sunday: Frostbite 15k in 1:20:54 (PR- because it is my ownly!). The course had a detour due to high water so the race ended up being 9.5 miles. It was RAINY! But not as cold (40's). Good practice for the marathon since you never know what the weather will be like! I laughed in the middle when it was down pouring because it was just ridiculous. My whole body was soaked to the core. Surprisingly, my visor kept all water off my face so that was good!

This is my "I-just-ran-in-a-freaking-monsoon" face. You can't see how wet my hair is, but it was soaked. My jacket was next to me forming a puddle on the passenger seat.


Total: 31.7 miles

Weather looks more cooperative next week. It's crazy how we went from freezing to ice to a monsoon in about 5 days. Oh, Virginia!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ice Day

Hey there!

Just checking in quickly today as we had our first "snow" or ice day of the winter! I am thankful for the day off as I have felt "off" all week. We got sleet/ice for a few hours overnight and in the early morning hours, so school was canceled before sunrise. It definitely stinks to get the calls at 5 and 6:30 AM because it makes sleeping in hard, but no complaints from me! I was able to do a treadmill run and have a leisurely morning. It is tradition for my educator friends and I to meet at Starbucks on snow days, so that was fun! Roads were surprisingly bad near my place- usually the city roads clear fast, but I had to drive VERY slow. Ice is tricky!

i95 ax
Lots of accidents!

Sadly, I have to go to VCU tonight for class- the semester has officially begun! I don't have any negative feelings towards beginning classes again: I just hope it is the same work load as last semester, which was very manageable and still allowed me to have a life. I am excited to begin teaching/supervising graduate students this semester, though!

I will be doing my snow day dance for another day off (or at least delay) tomorrow! The county I work in is very large with rural areas, so those are the ones that usually get use closed:)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shamrock Marathon Training Week 6

Life is getting back to normal! I had a busy week at work (during the next three weeks I am recruiting for courses at my school at the area high schools) that involved a lot of standing and energy, so my energy after work is not at it's normal levels. Old man winter is not making early morning runs very pleasing, either! Luckily, I had two awesome sunset runs on Monday and Tuesday that were gorgeous.

Monday: 5.5 miles @ 9:16 (abs)

Tuesday: 7 miles @ 9:34 (weights)

Wednesday: 30 minutes elliptical (abs)

Thursday: 4 treadmill miles @ 9:30 (this was the morning where it was 8 degrees outside-> weights)

Friday: 35 minutes elliptical (abs)

Saturday: 15 miles @ 9:25 (This was a 20 degree run...I actually was warmer when we started then when we ended due to sweat making me COLD. I'll take 20 degrees over 8, though!)

BOOM! Longest run ever- 15 in the FREEZING. 
My water froze in the car during my run! You know it's cold when that happens!
I had on leggings under my pants, a shirt under my THICK top, a great Under Armour headband, and thick gloves. I was still cold and everything bulked up around my stomach, so I wasn't looking my best!

Sunday: 5 miles @ 9:12 (weights)

Total: 36.5 miles

I am excited for a drop back week next week AND a 15k race for fun! Weather in Virginia looks interesting the first half of the week, so I may need to make some adjustments.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I saw "Wild" this weekend. I never read the book but had an idea about what it was about. This is not a review, but some parts of the movie stuck with me because it is one of those movies that gets you thinking! First, it slightly made me want to hike more, but not quite the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT). Maybe the Appalachian Trail in certain areas (which I have done, but only up a mountain and it was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done). Anyways, the gist of this movie is that the woman has a lot of demons to work through related to her childhood, her mom's death, cheating on her husband, doing drugs and basically losing her way. This hike was a way for her to find herself. She went through the desert heat and mountains of cold and snow and made it to the end. Obviously, she learns some lessons along the way.

Some great quotes from the book that are included in the movie for you to ponder (and are related to some of my previous posts):

"What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done? What if I'd actually wanted to f*** every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?"

And my personal favorite:

"It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn't have to know. That it was enough to trust that what I'd done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was... To believe that I didn't need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life - like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.

How wild it was, to let it be."

I think both these quotes get to the heart of what the movie (and book) are about: that your mistakes, your weaknesses, your misdirections all led you to where you are now. We are who we are because of where we've come from. We are never perfect and don't always make the best decisions, but the true strength of the human spirit is to forgive yourself and let yourself be you. Just make sure you are always growing and learning. I try to keep this in mind daily as I encounter new decisions and question my life path! I always examine myself to make sure I am doing what makes me happy this moment. Because this moment is your life.

I promise I am not doing these "deep" posts because I am in a bad place- quite the contrary, life is very good:)

Has anyone seen or read "Wild?" If so, what did you think and take away from it? I should probably read the book now!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


With a new year and new resolutions, I think this is always a good time to focus on why each and every one of us deserves all the goodness and happiness in life: for each of us to understand our own worth, regardless of circumstance, time of year, looks, intelligence or financial means.

I have been thinking about this for many reasons unrelated to the new year. First, I finished the podcast, "Serial" (which OMG YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT IS AMAZING AND I WANT TO TALK TO MORE PEOPLE ABOUT IT!), which for those of you who haven't seen it, is about a teenage girl's murder and the man who was convicted and all the discrepancies related to his conviction. This brought up questions not only about if he was wrongfully convicted, but how he has lived his life in prison when he (seemingly) is innocent (maybe) and how his outlook has rationalized his life and what people think of him- mainly his family, church and other prisoners.

Secondly, I have been watching Netflix like NO OTHER. And I am watching some awesome shows that are no longer on because I don't like watching new things when I know I LOVE the older stuff (gosh, this Netflix/roku business is changing my life...goodbye cable!), and I have been so impressed with the take charge actions of the females characters and how they don't apologize for anything. It sounds silly, but they reinforce the notion of being true to who you are and knowing your self-worth and value. I really identify with movie or TV episodes/shows that connect with me on emotional levels about life and situations. There are a few episodes that stand out for me- maybe someday I will compose them into a post about why:)

Thirdly, I think great friends are those who make you realize what you are worth. They take you for who you are, let you talk about the deeper things in life, show you things you hadn't thought of before, reinforce your strengths and help you improve upon your weaknesses. Over break I missed so many of my Richmond friends, but I loved getting to see my out-of-town friends, who always help life seem a bit brighter and more fun! I am thankful for all of them and how they help me be a better person.

Running always makes me think of my self worth. Mainly when I get "in the zone" and have some awesome jams on my iPod, like One Direction...There is nothing like a good run to get your confidence up!

Finally, dating...ahh. I don't talk about it much because this blog ain't my whole life (minus the whole running, reading, friends, food and traveling part), but one thing I take away from dating is really valuing your worth. It is SO important not to be ashamed of who YOU are- your quirks, your flaws, your preferences, and what you do and do not deserve. It can be hard to stand up for yourself when you are unsure of someone else's thoughts/feelings and worry you will ruin something or make someone not like you, but you need to value you. If something feels wrong, it probably is. If someone is pissing you off, tell them. Stand up for yourself. If they are right for you, they will value what you have to say. Remember, DO YOU. Know your worth. It can be hard at times, but makes all the difference.

*I also had to get my garbage disposal fixed today after I put too many potato peels in at once on Sunday when I cooked a million sweet potatoes. I know my worth is clearly NOT related to home improvements or any of the construction trades.*

In case you care, the white pipe coming from my disposal is what was clogged up with potatoes!

And then a great quote to sum up the New Year, resolutions and worth- because happiness RIGHT NOW is key to being your best self. Always.

For a long time, it had seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. But there 
was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, 
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."

-Aldred D. Souza

This was a hodgepodge of a post...I blame it being the first week back to work!

Do you think you know your worth? What are areas of your life that reinforce your views on yourself? HAVE YOU LISTENED TO SERIAL?! THEORIES?