17 (slightly painful) miles

I did my long run on Sunday morning. On Saturday, I had to pack up my old apartment, lugging boxes up and down, up and down 2 flights of stairs before my new move-in day on Monday.

Not a good “rest day” before 17 miles.

My legs felt heavy, and I felt yucky. I considered calling for a rescue ride at 10 miles. I laughed at how slowly I had to run up a hill around mile 14. I thought about crying at mile 16.

But I made it! It took lots of deep breaths, and it was not really where I wanted my pace to be. In the end, though, I got the time in on my feet, and I get to say I ran 17 miles this weekend. I’m that much closer to finishing my 2nd marathon, and I’m getting closer to my ultimate goal of someday qualifying for Boston.

The rest of my weekend was good! After a few hours of lifting boxes and trekking up and down the stairs, I got to come home and hang out with my family. I got some lesson planning done on Sunday after my run, and my sister and I went to see If I Stay. It was beautifully done. Chloe Grace Moretz is adorable, and the music was fantastic.

I also got a few delish home-cooked meals, and tomorrow I get to move into apartment #2 in Boston with a couple friends from high school. I will be closer to school (hooray easier commute!). AND I’ll be on the red line, so being social will be far easier.

My Labor Day Monday will be spent lugging my stuff out of the van and into the new place. Fingers crossed it’s a relatively smooth and painless process.

Did you long run this weekend? How was it? Any other exciting weekend events?

101 Percent

A little Friday morning motivation for ya. Not sure how to embed the video directly, but it is worth the click. A great race from Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU2Skj9XCmk

 

 

20 minute workout

I had all these plans to get in a solid 60 minute workout today. And then I stayed at school way later than I meant to, missed the 5:15 bus, and got hungry.

So 20 minutes it was! I used the ideas from this Greatist workout about how to create your own CrossFit WOD. I have never done a real CrossFit workout (can’t decide if I ever want to), but this seemed simple enough. I did sets of 15 push-ups, 2o lunges with a weight overhead, 10 burpees (without the pushup because let’s be real, my arms can’t handle that), and a 60 second plank. That’s the set, and then you do as many as you can in 12 minutes.

WOOOF.  I was a hot mess. But I felt like 12 minutes wasn’t totally legit, so I tacked on the 7 minute workout from the app on my phone. Got me nice and sweaty and feeling slightly less bad about not getting into a workout schedule yet.

In nutrition-y related news, I’m currently reading Intuitive Eating. While I’ve never had any sort of eating disorder in the past, I do find that I spend more brain power than I would like worrying about “good” foods and “bad” foods and what my body looks like rather than what it can do. It’s been a really soothing and healing read so far (which sounds lame, but it’s true). I’m slowly starting to listen more to my hunger cues and to consciously replace all negative food and body image related thoughts in my head. I can tell it will be a journey, but it’s nice to know that’s OK.

Have you heard of intuitive eating? Any thoughts?

Those 12 Hour Days, though

Being at school for 12 hours is long. I know some people regularly work that long, and I’m usually at school for 10-11 hours anyway. But something about being there from 6 to 6 was just ROUGH today.

I definitely got a lot done, and I had my first cross-country meeting after school. 22 kiddos showed up! I’m psyched to try my hand at coaching. My main goal is to make them love XC the way I loved it in middle school. So any ideas for fun workouts would be much appreciated :)

These long days are hard for workouts because by the time I get home, I’m SO hungry for dinner. I did manage to squeeze in a super quick set of some dumbbell exercises. I’m talking the length of “Hotel California.” I saw the workout on Greatist, so I did it just to do something. I wish I had had heavier weights, but even with my small ones, it was better than nothing! Check it out here.

I’m hoping to squeeze in a longer run tomorrow. Something over 5 miles would be fabulous. I’m still just in “doing what I can” mindset until I move closer to school and figure out what my routine will really look like.

Any super quick workouts I should add to my emergency list?

Busy Bee

Hello hello!

I’ve officially dropped the ball on blogging. I’m mostly okay with it for now. I’m still thinking I’ll come back to it, but it will have to look different than it did this summer.

Having my own classroom has been more fulfilling and exhausting and hilarious and difficult than I realized it would be. I absolutely love it, but between the extended day, lesson planning, and reading up on teaching, I barely have time to run, let alone write about it.

I do want to come back. I’m not sure when it will happen. But I like knowing this space is here for me when I’m ready.

When it happens, expect fewer pictures, more words about life and not just running, and some ramblings.

In running news, I did complete a solid 16 miler this Saturday. My mileage during the week has been sporadic at best, but I’m still hitting my weekend long runs. My plan is to run the Myles Standish marathon. I’ll just have slightly different goals going into it.

Short and sweet, my friends! Let me know what’s up in your life.

Best Possible Self Vision

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I recently finished The How of Happiness, a book about how we can take control of our own happiness using a variety of different strategies. I am a huge fan of psychology and introspection books because I love being challenged to think more about myself and what makes me tick. I’ll never know anyone else better than myself, so I might as well get nice and cozy with the inner workings of my brain, right?

One of the suggestions in this book was to write a Best Possible Self Vision. Basically, the book suggests writing a vision of your self 5, 10, 20 years from now if everything went as well as it could possibly go. As a 23-year-old who is happy with her current life status but still excited and anxious for what’s out there, I was immediately intrigued.

I sat down to write my 5 and 20 year visions, and I could not stop smiling. Seriously. It was so cool to put into words my hopes and dreams and visions for how things can be if I work hard and focus on my goals. An unexpected positive - this exercise helped clarify or solidify many goals that I wasn’t sure I was 100% committed to. Seeing them pop up in my best self vision, though, made me realize that I really do want to commit to some pretty big and scary goals, which is both terrifying and electrifying at the same time.

Here are a few fun excerpts from my 5 year vision:

On teaching: “She has instilled a love of reading and history into her kids. At the end of every year, they feel like a real community. They’ve embraced the idea that they need to “feed the good wolf,” and they’ve also learned what they need to do to create effective habits so that they will be successful. More than that, though, they are kind, thoughtful young adults who love learning for the sake of learning.”

On healthy living: “Alexis has established a healthy, active lifestyle over the course of her twenties. She eats lots of vegetables and eats mostly whole foods that she cooks on her own, but she still enjoys truly delicious treats when she wants them. She is proud that she has cultivated a healthy body image. She no longer wastes time worrying about what her body looks like. Instead, she focuses on what it can do.”

On running: “Alexis has run 5 marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2017. She worked really hard to qualify, which she did after finally finding a groove of running 3 days a week, and doing HIIT/strength workouts on 2 other days, plus a day of yoga at her favorite studio. She considered getting her yoga instructor certification, but the timing hasn’t worked out yet.”

On reading: “Alexis continues to read A LOT, never going anywhere without a book in tow. She reads mostly nonfiction, but she still can’t get enough YA lit, and she does peruse the occasional adult novel. She’s budget conscious in most areas, finding ways to save money, but she has a hard time resisting a new book every couple weeks. She constantly has a stack of to-read books, and she enjoys her commute to work because of the uninterrupted reading time.”

I also wrote about friends, relationships, and future plans for school. Then, I did a 20 year vision and was even more excited and awed by how clear my vision of my future self really is.

I know you can’t plan for the future. I know things will come up, and I know my life trajectory will change, for better or worse, in many ways I can’t even fathom. But this exercise truly did make me happier, and it also helped illuminate what I really care about and what I truly want for myself.

Go try it! Write your Best Self Vision for 5, 10, 20 years in the future. What did you see?

 

Weekly Workouts 7.28 – 8.2

Happy Monday! I hope you all had lovely, relaxing weekends. Here is my weekly workout recap as I train for the Myles Standish marathon.

workout recap

Monday 

Rest. I was at home for my last summer Monday, and I just wasn’t feeling up for anything.

Tuesday

7.5ish miles – Still at home, so I ran a familiar route from high school. I didn’t have my GPS watch, so I’m not exactly sure of miles or pace, but it took me a little over an hour.

Wednesday

Jessica Smith video – This was an OK workout. Not one of my favorites from her, but it got me up and moving.

Thursday

6 miles total (1 mi warm-up, 4×1200 at 10K pace with 400 recovery, 1 mi cooldown) – I did this on the treadmill because it looked like it might rain, and I’m a wimp.

Friday

Jillian Michael’s Power Yoga – I streamed this from Amazon Prime. Solid 30 minute workout at 5am before my first day back at school!

Saturday 

45 minutes elliptical – I DID NOT feel like working out on Saturday, so some mindless time on the elliptical was about all I could muster.

Sunday

13.1 miles 1:53.54, average 8:41 pace – When your training plan calls for 13 miles, you obviously make it a half-marathon. Felt OK. Definitely struggled on some hills, so I’ll have to look to incorporate more of those into my life.

This week, I’ll have to get back in the groove of working out around my work schedule. The kids don’t come back until next week, so it’ll be a nice week to transition back. My plan is to do HIIT/strength videos on Monday and Wednesday morning, run Tuesday and Thursday (hopefully in the morning), and rest Friday. Long run schedule for Saturday, cross-training/yoga on Sunday.

What was your best workout last week? Any you’re looking forward to this week?

Friday Favorites #1

Happy August 1st! It is my first day back at work for the new school year. About 10 days of teacher PD before the kiddos come back. It feels like New Year’s Day to me!

friday favorites

I love reading other bloggers Friday Favorites posts. With a little extra blogging mojo on my side this week, and a few things I’m really loving, I figured I’d give it a shot myself. So here are my favorite things right now.

1. YES! by Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz is far and away my all-time favorite musician. He has no songs I don’t like. His new CD is nothing short of amazing. So many great, simple tracks with beautiful lyrics. My favorites are “Quiet” and “Everywhere.” (I could only find live versions on YouTube, but Jason Mraz live is quite possibly the most orgasmic sound in the history of the universe).

2. Salads inspired by fAnnetastic Food

Who knew adding some rice to a salad would make it feel like an actual meal? I’ve always struggled with salads for lunch because they don’t usually make me feel full, but throwing on some leftover grains has made all the difference.

3. BodyGlide

Necessary always.

4. Songza

The best free music app out there, in my opinion. Rocked out to “At a ’00s School Dance” station for my tempo run on Thursday. CRUSHED it.

5. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

I’m a book nerd. I’ve read 81 books so far this year (some of them for middle school kids, but hey, that’s what I teach), and this is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read in a while. The American Studies major in me is just so happy.

What are you loving lately? Any good songs, books, or running accessories I should know about?

What Healthy Means to Me

I’m linking up with Amanda for another Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Check out her post for some hilarious insights, and poke around the link-up at the bottom of her page to see what everyone else is thinking today.

Healthy

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means for me to be healthy. There are tons of different books, blogs, diets, exercise routines, and suggestions out there, which I think is both good and bad. We as individuals have the power to do the research and find out what works best for our bodies, but we’re also left to second guess decisions we do make. Like, could I be doing this better?

Not that being healthy should be any kind of competition. And for me, it usually isn’t. There are plenty of bloggers out there who are doing the healthy thing way better than I am, at least for their bodies and their lifestyles. I enjoy reading their blogs because I can pick and choose what to try in my day.

I’ve been learning more about health since last summer, very informally, but I do feel I’ve made progress in how I think about food, exercise, and my mental health. To me, it is all about progress, not perfection. I will never be a “perfect” eater or exerciser, and if I was, I don’t think I would be mentally healthy.

So in no particular order (it is Thinking Out Loud Thursday, after all), here are some thoughts on “healthy.”

Healthy is…

getting plenty of sleep.

keeping my water bottle within reach so that I’m always hydrated.

thinking about how to incorporate more vegetables into my life.

reading Michael Pollan books, and then going to a farmers’ market.

going on a run to clear my head.

going on a run to train my body to get faster.

choosing to DNS a race because my foot just isn’t feeling right.

choosing to finish a race when I feel like puking because I know I can.

picking up the latest YA novel because I’m still a teenager at heart.

finding inspiration for a healthy dinner from one of my favorite food bloggers.

trying a new core workout I see posted on Pinterest.

eating ice cream when I crave it.

having an apple a day.

laughing.

watching re-runs of Parks and Rec.

getting up early because that’s when I’m most productive.

making a green smoothie that looks disgusting but tastes pretty good.

baking treats for my family with lots of butter and sugar.

baking treats for my family with applesauce and honey.

calling a friend.

finding a strength training routine that I don’t hate.

being proud of myself when I make choices that are good for my mind, body, and soul.

going easy on myself when I make choices that aren’t the best for those three things.

enjoying the moment.

There are plenty of other things that are healthy to me, but that’s a good list to start.

Complete the following sentence: Healthy is…

Why I Sometimes Feel Like a “Bad” Runner

I love to run. I hope that’s been made relatively clear based on the title of my blog and the things I’ve written about so far. For the most part, I consider myself “a runner” because I run on a regular basis and I enjoy it.

But there are times when I feel kind of like the worst runner in the history of the universe. Perhaps a little extreme, but you can’t fake what ya feel, ya know?

bad runner

I feel like a “bad” runner when…

I try to foam roll. I consider it a unique form of torture. My arms get tired as I try to hold myself up to squish out the awful knots in my quads and hamstrings. I don’t think I’ve ever lasted more than 3 minutes with the foam roller.

I run on the treadmill even though it’s a perfectly lovely day outside. Sometimes I just want to watch another episode of Parks and Rec. I feel judged by the people who run outside even when it’s Sharknado-ing out. (who probably aren’t thinking about me at all if we’re being real, but still).

I eat ice cream the night before a long run. I know, I know, I should be nourishing my body with optimal nutrition before heading out for the most important day of my training week. But I usually long run on Saturday, which means my pre-run dinner is Friday night, and ice cream always sounds more delicious on Friday night.

I wear cotton t-shirts. I do love moisture-wicking tanks, but I grew up running in oversize t-shirts and Soffes (remember those??), and some days a cotton t-shirt just sounds like the best idea.

I forget my GPS watch. Some days I don’t have it with me so I have to, you know, run without a watch.

I wear flip-flops on a day full of walking. I know they’re terrible for my arches and basically every other part of my body, but they’re just so easy!

I don’t shave the night before a race. This was a HUGE tradition for us in high school, and to an extent into college. I would not go to bed before race night if I hadn’t shaved THAT DAY. Once, I took a second shower because I forgot about shaving during my first one. Now, though? I rarely think about it.

A random assortment of things, mostly silly. Because in reality, I know that anyone who ever laces up their sneakers and heads outside is a “true, “real,” “good” runner. There are no “bad” runners in the actual world of running. But we all have quirks that make us feel a little more and less legit on occasion.

What about you? Any habits that make you feel like a “bad” runner?