Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Motivation: Running in the Rain

If you, like me, live somewhere on the east coast, then you have experienced a couple days of crappy weather. If you, unlike me, did not promise yourself that you would run for 365 days straight, this would not really matter. I understand that in making this promise I knew I would be running through some pretty crappy months (I'm talking about you, January) but I just thought those were a bit away. It had been gorgeous up until this weekend. My first full-on wind-so-hard-it-could-blow-me-over and rain-pelting-in-my-face run. And you know what, it was the most fun I've had on the road in weeks. I LOVED it. Maybe something in me snapped, or maybe running in the rain reminded me of a simple time when, as a child, we would run screaming into the wind without abandon. Yeah, I'm guessing it's the second one.

I'm still only running about 1-3 miles each day, so not any huge improvements there. But my mood is resigned to it and even some days looking forward to it more. The only downside currently is the amount of time it takes up in my evening, which is pretty short anyway. But that's why we get motivated on Mondays!

Here is some motivation:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Motivation and a week of firsts

It's Monday again! I am dragging around the office today, and not even tea after tea after tea has slapped me into the day. I wouldn't say I'm dreading my daily run, just that I don't really want to do it. Time for motivation!
Even when you think you have no time in the day, you can eek out a mile or two!

The second week of my daily running routine saw a lot of first. First holiday-Easter, first run in the rain, first run that had to be at night, first run while slightly under the weather. All of these days showed me that I'm going to be able to do this! I'm not saying it is always perfect, but I feel like it's moving forward.

Next up, I need to gear up a bit. I'm planning on getting an ipod mini so I can rock out. Any suggestions of good running songs or favorites?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Motivation: Week 1 Summary

I'm a few days late in summarizing week one of the 365 project. Apathy has creeped back into my life and infiltrated all things. I somehow manage to still run each day, which is in itself a miracle. Also I ate a whole bag of almond M&M's this week. Don't judge.

Summary of Week 1:

Miles: 15

Upsides: Definitely an increase in post-running positive energy. I may mope and drag my feet until I'm out the door, yawning all the way after a long day, but returning home I am chipper and ready to get things done. Previously I would have zero energy after work and my lazy bones would find at least 100 excuses not to do chores or attend my hobbies. I didn't try to squeeze out some last energy, like I am now. I've also noticed an easier time fall and keeping asleep.

Downsides: Because I used to only run every once in a while I would give myself a treat, feeling I had earned it. I've noticed the first week that this happens everyday. Either a cannoli, or ice cream, or chips, or a very unhealthy dinner. Whatever the poison, I let myself indulge. This is harming me on the scale as I've always noticed I only get healthier with a combination of healthy eating and exercise, not just one or the other. I have to stop rewarding myself everyday if I'm going to be running everyday. Another negative is I've noticed, or I should say, my muscles have noticed is strain at the increase in activity. OK, OK, that's really a positive. But climbing the stairs I would beg to differ.

Overall Week 1 Comments: I started this week out with a lot of positive energy, jumping onto this new project. And like always, when it is shiny and new I am very excited. As the week lagged on I found myself lacking motivation. I saw an endless stack of days ahead of me and only a handful behind. That's when I decided to do these weekly summaries to keep this project small and manageable instead of overwhelming. I'm taking baby steps and not getting frustrated with myself when I only run 1 or 2 miles (which has been all I've done during week 1.)
Some motivation for your Monday. I'm now a quarter way through week 2!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Open Letter to Office Food Pushers

Dear free-food-loving co-workers,

I am not a dog and do not need to be rewarded with food, constantly. Although from time to time it is nice to stumble upon cupcakes in the break room, it is my decision whether to engage in gorging myself of said free cupcakes. Thank you for having a bowl of candy on your desk and in the hallway, that's so kind of you. But why do you insist on grabbing a handful and walking around the office handing it out like it's your own personal Halloween every single day? Why do you bake cookies and then hand them out like you're in first grade and it's your birthday? Picking and choosing who is worthy?

Last week there was ice cream cake. Do you know how I knew there was ice cream cake? Because not one, not two, but three people passed my desk just to let me know. One brought me a piece without asking. Someone emailed the entire office, why? NO IDEA. And alas, one more CALLED me on my work phone to let me know, just in case I had not heard. Hi, yes I know there is ice cream cake in the break room.

We work with over 200 people. Almost every day is someone's birthday, someone's promotion party, someone's farewell. There will always be cake. Repeat after me: THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CAKE. Today is not special, just like yesterday, when you shoved two pieces of free carrot cake onto one tiny plate, was not special. Why are we all eating as if one day the birthday-cake-coffers will mysteriously stop flowing endless amounts of cash into cakes, cookies, and candy?

Why do you look slightly disappointed and/or sad when I kindly say no thank you? Is it because you're realizing this is the fourth straight day you yourself have enjoyed a giant slice of cake? It is because no one says no to the crazy candy lady who pushes her sweets with the fortitude of a friendly neighborhood drug dealer? There has to be a better way to socialize in the office.

Don't even get me started on bagels.

Yours sincerely,
The lady trying NOT to get 365-days-of-free-cake thighs

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Third Run

Run #3 down!

number_threeIt’s only been a couple of weeks or so since the half marathon, and already my body has returned to pre-training hermit mode. Running the meager 2.5 miles I just returned from felt like a challenge and a half. The main thing missing was motivation. When you run when you want to, the motivation is there. Either because you splurged and got a pizza (and ate the whole thing…) that week or because you’re training for something. While my new project does take away excuses, it does not necessarily replace them with motivation.

The run I chose today was a bit hilly and one I hated during marathon training. On the hills I just imagine everyone I pass cheering me on and saying, you’re almost to the top, don’t stop! It’s cheesy, but helpful!

camping,green,happy,i,love,nature,outside-bc7660f730a82234473559ed0a4e3a2d_hOne reason for the lack of motivation today stems from the lack of sleep last night. As a birthday surprise The Professor took me away to camp for a night in a nice park an hour from the city. It’s been about a year since we camped last and were both unable to get used to the hard ground and did not sleep at all. (The Professor means well but does not always plan in detail. Among things left at home was my sleeping bag and food. This did not stop him from surprising me with breakfast in bed tent of doughnut holes and tea, boiled in bowls for lack of mugs.) Fast forward to a powernap this afternoon in my big, comfy bed and I hit the road for my third day of running!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Off and running…


Off and running, quite literally, for my first couple miles of this project! It was two miles, it was not the most challenging run of my life, but that’s not the point. The point is to start. 1 run down, 364 to go!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Countdown

Tomorrow is the big day. The day I've chosen to start running, and not stop, until this day next year. Since my decision, about two weeks ago during my half-marathon, I've been running a bit of a countdown in my head. Really it's energized me to think that soon I won't have any more excuses or reasons to be lazy for an entire evening (but really I'll be lazy for most of it and go run for a few miles as well!)

I've been working on motivating myself, re-talking myself into this plan, and getting psyched that it is starting tomorrow. It's also made me think about the future. Where I will be in one year. It is cliche to say time flies by, but it does. A year ago this week I was here. I was on a trip to try to convince someone, anyone, to give me a job. I was in a dark place. Sometimes that does seem like a long time ago but really the journey between then and now has been very short. In just one year I will be here again saying how just a year ago I started running for 365 days.

What will be different in a year? Will we still live in DC? Will we be closer to starting a family? Will I have a different job? The only thing I can know for sure is that I'll be one year older.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today is the youngest you will ever be; Introducing 365.

“Today is the youngest you will ever be” used to be my mantra. I would use it to motivate me to get out, see the world, express myself, live life. Now it just sounds depressing. This is the youngest I will be? Today? When I take the elevator and skip the stairs and huff and puff up a pretty small huge hill everyday? Then what will it be like five years from now? What about ten years?
I make excuses. I start a million projects and only complete five. It used to be adorable but now it sort of gets in the way of being an adult. Especially when your house is the size of your pinky toe and bringing home all the materials to make your own pottery, because hey, you just might one day, coupled with that decision to build a shelf right in the middle of your bedroom, just no longer seems to fit. Shit is starting to get real and I need to rise to the challenge.
What if I figured out a way to take excuses away? What if I could do something that turned the years back instead of forward? What if I could actually finish one damn thing that I start?
Then an idea started phototo form. I have to admit I had exercise, in the form of running, on the brain as I was only a week away from my third half marathon. I thought, could I just train for another race?Another schedule tapped on the fridge? Another set of expectations I will most likely not live up to?
No. NO MORE EXCUSES. That’s when I thought of doing a 365 day program. 365 days to turn 360 degrees and move towards a healthier me instead of a 365 day older me. A way to erase excuses and hold myself to a new standard. I would run every day, rain or shine, for 365 consecutive days.
Doing this would turn something that has become62206038572544220_fFsBOu9x_f a chore into a habit. Then I thought through it. Would I run when on vacation? Yes. What about the day of my brother’s weeding? I’ll get up early. What about when I’m sick? I’ll only run a mile. I’ve chosen a start date: March 30. I will blog about it to keep myself accountable and sane. Welcome to the 365 Project!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2011 Can Bite Me

There are a lot of reasons that bloggers close their computers and disappear for a while. A move. A big life change. Apathy. All of these things happened to me. Not that I was a barrel of sunshine and happiness in the first few months of 2011, but after my holding pattern came to an end and I was preparing to move and start a new job 2011 actually got worse. A couple weeks after moving I went through a major family tragedy. My beloved grandmother died after a long struggle with heart failure. I had taken care of her for the past ten years and with her passing my life shifted in a major way. During this time my entire family leaned on me for support and I found myself withdrawing from certain things, like this project and my husband and eating well and brushing my hair and wearing pants when I didn't need to.

Baby Girl and I  (her Godmother) at her baptism
I won't dwell, although I'm sure it will come up in the future. I started hating 2011. This year brought me unemployment, death, and near death of loved ones, funerals, and financial strain. I tried to focus on the one great thing from 2011, my niece (Baby Girl,) who I started to call our angel and our blessing. She was born two weeks before the roller coaster started going up and down and holding on to her during a lot of the darker times made life seem worth it all. (Yes, this is a pretty heavy post for a welcome back!)

I would sit with my computer open searching for way to update this community or to fake happiness and blog about cooking (which I had stopped doing) or activities (which I had also stopped doing.) But I couldn't quite bring myself to do it and I explained before, once you stop something it is harder each day to pick it back up again.

Now for the light at the end of the tunnel! 2011 ended. It was a very symbolic New Years Eve for me. I jumped into the shower at 11:50pm on the last day of 2011 and stepped out into 2012, clean and ready to turn it all around. My grief had attributed to an extra 30 pounds on my short frame and I was determined to take care of that. The Professor and I signed up for a half marathon. We trained hard each week. I started cooking again, and cooking healthy. I unpacked our apartment (something I had avoided due to having to clean out my Grandmother's home and constantly finding her letters among my things.) We started actually exploring our new city. I adopted a puppy, Lil' Bit. My marriage became stronger. I was ready to hit the ground running.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hello. Is it me you're looking for?

Long time, no blog. And I mean looooooong time. After a few weeks had turned into a few months it became harder and harder to explain my absence from this great community and return. Isn't that how it is with everything? Getting back on the wagon can be hard even for the most un-chore-like activities, like keeping connected with all of you!

There are lots of updates to be updating, and I'll get to all that in due time. Now that I'm back, there will be a facelift to this project, so expect some new and exciting things as well as a new look to the blog. As Little Miss Can't Be Wrong from HIMYF recently told me, I'm not in a holding pattern any longer! We have thrown ourselves fully into our new city, Washington, DC.

I can't wait to say hello to old friends and meet some new ones as well!