finding joy in the little things

Happy Mondayyyy!!

I had an exceptionally stress-filled, unhappy week last week. Do you know what happens when you come home in a bad mood every day? Your husband rips out the horrible, awful, no-good porcelain white kitchen sink that you’ve been loathing since you moved in and replaces it with a beautiful, shiny, clean new stainless steel sink:

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My mom told me I needed to stop letting things get to me so easily. I told her that I needed to have at least 4 more horrible weeks so that Sean would replace the rest of our outdated kitchen appliances in an attempt to boost my spirits. She was not amused. It made perfect sense to me though.

I was so incredibly busy last week that it is a small miracle that I managed to fit in workouts. The only day that I came home directly from work was on Wednesday and I had a small meltdown when I did. I was exhausted, stressed out and emotional – it was a real winning combination. Just ask Sean. I know he loves nothing more than when I yell at him for no good reason, then lay on the floor in the gym and wallow in self pity while I pretend to do ab exercises. Just kidding, I actually did do ab exercises. I also wallowed in self pity.

I’m not saying all of this to elicit some sort of pitying response from whoever is reading this though. I’m saying all of this because I needed a serious attitude adjustment. So I spent the weekend finding joy in small things. Like my new sink. And that I finally used a curling wand with moderate success.

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This was yesterday. My hair is still curled today. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. My hair has a knack for being curled and then immediately falling flat 10 minutes later. The fact that I have achieved beachy looking waves a day later is unheard of in my world. I’m not sure what kind of magic the curling wand has, but I’m a fan.

I also got to spend the day yesterday with two of my favorite people.

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Happy birthday to my sweet nephew!!

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These guys. They fill my heart with happiness. Watching Sean interact with my nephew is just precious.

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Sean and I headed to Crawfish Festival after my nephew’s birthday party and ended up staying there much later than either of us intended. When I woke up this morning I was regretting that decision. Right up until I kissed my husband goodbye and he told me he had a lot of fun hanging out with my yesterday. That makes it worth being tired today. Having fun with the boy > getting enough sleep.

Anyway, to recap how last week’s workouts went, they went something like this:

Monday: 30 minutes incline walking, 10 minutes sprints, shoulders I did this. 30 min inclines, 25 minutes of shoulders, 11 minutes [1.4 miles] of sprints.

Tuesday: 20 min run [easy] + back This happened as well! Things are going good! Probably because I wrote my workouts for the week after this happened. 2.27 miles on the treadmill before 20 minutes of back. Then I hurried home because I was tired of not seeing the boy.

Wednesday: Jillian Michaels Kickboxing, lower body + 5 mile run + Triceps Jillian’s kickboxing lower body happened. I felt very meh about it. Probably one of my least favorite of her DVDs that I own. Likely because I don’t like kickboxing [go figure]. After work I ran 2.5 miles, did abs, and then ran another 1.5. Insert meltdown after 2.5 mile run, before abs. 4 miles instead of 5.

Thursday: 20 min run with 5 30 second pick-ups [AM] + easy 3 miles [PM] + Biceps I did not get up and run in the morning. Nor did I run in the evening. I did do 20 minutes on the stairmaster of death and then 35 minutes of biceps and triceps though.

Friday: OFF YUP.

Saturday: BodyPump + 6ish miles I neglected checking the weather before heading out for my run and I spent almost 5.5 miles dying. Then I checked my phone and realized that it was 93% humidity out and felt a little better. BodyPump happened as well, and I’m not really sure what I did differently this time, but my legs are still sore.

Sunday: Spin class Check. I spun my little heart out for an hour Sunday morning.

This is going to be another busy week for me. Actually, most of May is going to be ridiculous. So the workouts will happen as they happen and I’ll try to scrap together some sort of plan by tomorrow and then hope for the best. I have come to terms with the fact that until life slows down a little bit it’s ok that I’m not running as much as I want and that things aren’t going exactly as planned. I’m a very type A, list-driven person, and it’s easy for me to get stressed when I feel like everything is out of my control. Until things calm down, I’m just going to keep looking for the small things that make me smile.

Here’s to kicking off Monday on the right foot Smile

It’s Friday.

It’s Friday. Good grief, I could not be happier about that. This week has been one of the longest weeks of my life, promise. No exaggerations. I have only gone home directly after work once [Wednesday] and that day I was so out of it that after I finished a sufficiently crappy workout I couldn’t even form a cohesive thought. I literally stumbled into the kitchen, made dinner [term used loosely: I reheated leftovers, salmon, which I realized after eating I probably should have thrown out] and was promptly ready for bed. I didn’t do anything on my to-do list, I just half-heartedly watched Once Upon a Time and then went to bed.

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Men in eyeliner. It doesn’t seem like it should work, and yet it does…

Today, on the other hand, I woke up feeling fully rested and bounced through my day, right up until lunch time. Now I feel like I’m rolling down a hill and it’s going to be a fight to keep going, but I’m hoping a 5 hour energy will get me through the rest of this day and power me through this evening. In an ironic twist, I’m sure when I get home at 10:30 tonight I’ll be wide awake, only because every time I want nothing more than to go to sleep I suddenly find that I’m reenergized.

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YUP.

I came to the realization yesterday that I’m running a 5k in two weeks – the Esprit de She – and it’s one that I initially wanted to PR at, badly.

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My current 5k PR was a disaster of a race, however I haven’t been able to beat it since. In my head I think a PR should be in the bag, but then I remember that I haven’t been logging nearly as many miles as I’d like and none of them have been exceptionally speedy. So that should be fun. I wanted to write a post two weeks out from the race about how I was prepared and how I had been training and how I was so pumped, but the truth is I’ve been so stressed out the past few weeks that training for anything has been the absolute last thing on my mind.

So now I’m just hoping to survive. New game plan. And that’s all I’ve got today. I’m stressed out and tired, but surprisingly optimistic today, and I’m running a 5k in two weeks that I’m 100% unprepared for.

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So. Workouts.

They have been sporadic and on the fly so far this week. I tried to assemble a plan, but I’m not even sure how that’s going to work out. But what I’m hoping will happen is something like this:

Monday: 30 minutes incline walking, 10 minutes sprints, shoulders

Tuesday: 20 min run [easy] + back

Wednesday: Jillian Michaels Kickboxing, lower body + 5 mile run + Triceps

Thursday: 20 min run with 5 30 second pick-ups [AM] + easy 3 miles [PM] + Biceps

Friday: OFF

Saturday: BodyPump + 6ish miles

Sunday: Spin class

I can say with a lot of assurance that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning will get a big, fat check mark next week. Because I know that’s what I’ve already done this week. It’s the little successes, right? Winking smile

running behind in life

the title pretty much sums up how I feel right now. I’m breaking out like a 15 year old going through puberty, so I can only assume that stress has caught up with me. I also haven’t slept through a solid night in, oh, I guess about a week now, which has been swell. I REALLY enjoy waking up in the middle of the night. it’s my fave.

so things are going well, as I’m sure you can surmise.

last week’s workouts sort of happened. [and yes, I realize I’m two days late in posting this – a new all time low] here we go:

Monday: 6 mile run (easy) 5.75 miles at Terry Hershey happened. it was hot and humid. I also forgot how hilly Terry Hershey is, so this run was a fun little reminder of that. There was also NOTHING easy about this running. Nothing at all.

Tuesday: BodyPump, 45 minute incline walk nope. did a 10 minute warm-up on the elliptical, 45 minutes of shoulders + triceps and then came home and ran 2.62 humid miles for Boston – no music, no nothing except my thoughts and prayers with all of those affected.

Wednesday: 20 min. easy run in the AM, 20 min HIIT (PM) 2.2 miles in 20 minutes in the morning – kept it easy and really reflected on how grateful I am that I’m able to run. 20 minutes of incline walking in the evening [holy h*ll I forgot how hard incline walking is] + 30 minutes of back + biceps.

Thursday: 20 min. Jillian Michaels Legs, 4 miles (easy) 2.29 miles in 20 minutes on the treadmill in the morning while I learned about what was happening in West, Texas [wtf, world!]. 15 minutes of squats – lunges – deadlifts – wall sits in the PM + 25 minutes of incline walking.

Friday: 20 min Jillian Michaels Abs Rest day.

Saturday: 4ish easy miles + 20 min Jillian Michaels Arms 4 easy miles on the treadmill before having to go to a work event.

Sunday: 6 miles Very much unplanned rest day where I sat and felt sorry for myself and how stressed I am all day long. Ironically, I did nothing to relieve that stress, which only stressed me out more. Then I had dairy queen, which was just as delicious as I remembered, but left me with a horrible stomachache and now I’m breaking out.

So basically, I did nothing that I planned out. I’m so behind in life right now that I’m just kind of winging my workouts right now, so that’s fun. But maybe by tomorrow I’ll have a plan. Maybe.

3 years.

3 years ago today, I was marrying my very best friend. I couldn’t ask for more in a husband, and I know I’m incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful marriage. I could wax poetic about how phenomenal I think Sean is, but words wouldn’t really do justice to how I feel about him. Instead, I’ll just give you a small glimpse into Sean and I throughout the years Smile

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One of our very first pictures in college together, back in 2005. I had very blonde hair and a very big crush on him. Luckily, it didn’t take too long to figure out that he felt the same way Winking smile

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Two years later, in 2007, we were dominating beer pong tables and spending every spare second together. Since this picture is at Sean’s house in college, I can only assume that beer pong was happening. And that we were winning – if we were on the same team – if we weren’t, I was winning.

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2009. Ringing in the New Year together. I actually still have that shirt and it looks like it might be cute, so maybe I should pull it out of the closet…

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By 2011 we were a married couple, celebrating the marriage of two of our very dear friends in Vegas. It was my first time to Vegas. Actually, I think it was his too.

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2013, 3 years after we said “I do” and we’re still just as happy – if not happier – than the day we exchanged vows and wedding rings. I really, really like him.

And since no anniversary post would be complete without a wedding photo…

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April 17, 2010, we made the best decision ever.

Boston.

When I initially posed the question about Boston at the end of my post yesterday, it was a high-spirited question born out of excitement for the race. Like most runners I know, I was on a Marathon Monday high, and was giddy for everyone running. Boston is a goal of mine, and I know firsthand the blood, sweat and tears that goes into marathon training. It’s not something for the faint of heart – it requires dedication, commitment and a willingness to sacrifice happy hours, nights out and being able to sleep in on the weekend. It’s all-consuming.

People who don’t run rarely understand why someone would want to spend hours training and running – and that goes for any race distance. Runners are a special breed. Whether you’re running for weight loss, for the love of the sport or to race, you are surrounded by a community that wholly embraces you and accepts you, no matter how fast or slow you run or how far you go.

So when someone chose to rip away the elation that every runner running Boston had yesterday, I was – like many – heartbroken. I teared up multiple times watching the coverage and listening to the reports. I spent the remainder of my time in the office with a feeling of dread pitted in my stomach. Each step I took on my run yesterday was filled with grief for everyone in Boston. And then I was angry. I still am angry. Why anyone would want to tarnish a day that should be filled with happy tears for all involved – from the runners who trained their hearts out to the spectators cheering on friends, family and strangers alike to the residents of Boston – is just incomprehensible to me.

But like so many of my fellow runners have already stated – we will not stand for this. An event like this will only make us a stronger community. Day after day we will continue to lace up our running shoes and hit the pavement. We will continue to line up for races. We will continue to lift up every runner that runs alongside us, from the fastest to the slowest.

And even though it may seem like tragedy is striking us left and right these days, the truth is that we are surrounded by people every day who want nothing but good for this world. I know I for one will not live my life in fear of the unknown. Instead I will do whatever I can to lift up people day after day – whether it’s a friendly smile to a stranger or an encouraging word to someone in a race.

To everyone affected by this senseless tragedy, my heart goes out to you. You are in my thoughts and my prayers.

If you can tomorrow, run for Boston. I know I will be.

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Monday Moves

It’s Marathon Monday! As much as I wish I could have watched the race, I have [unfortunately] been chained to my desk job all day. Perks of working in an office full time. I’m starting this week flat out exhausted, which should bode well for the rest of the week, right?

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this sums up how I feel 100%

I don’t even think we did too much this weekend? Not sure why I’m so tired. At any rate, I wasn’t too tired to rough out some sort of fitness plan for the week.

Monday: 6 mile run (easy)

Tuesday: BodyPump, 45 minute incline walk

Wednesday: 20 min. easy run in the AM, 20 min HIIT (PM)

Thursday: 20 min. Jillian Michaels Legs, 4 miles (easy)

Friday: 20 min Jillian Michaels Abs

Saturday: 4ish easy miles + 20 min Jillian Michaels Arms

Sunday: 6 miles

I have a work event on Saturday morning preventing me from going to my beloved BodyPump [rude]. I’m actually not sure about some of this, so it may switch around, but I’m feeling very go-with-the-flow-zen about it right now. Or I’m just too tired to put any extra thought into it. One of those.

I hope your Monday is starting a bit more energetic than mine.

Did anyone get to watch Boston??

weekly workout wrap-up

I’ve been waiting for this week to happen – the week where I set up goals and then was just too worn out to accomplish all of them. This was the week. And you know what? I’m 100% OK with that. It happens. Sometimes you just need to take a step back. But let’s recap first:

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Monday: BodyPump DONE. Wrote about it here.

Tuesday: easy 15 minute run before work, 45 minute interval run after work. 15 minutes before work did not happen. Not even close. 45 minute intervals did and it freaking kicked my butt. I did Tina’s HIIT bookends workout and it was BRUTAL. Then I walked for 15 minutes.

Wednesday: 3 mile run in the AM + Happy Hour Spin Class Well, I didn’t get up early enough to run 3 miles, but I did fit in 2 in the morning. Happy Hour spin happened too and it was just as fantastic as the last few weeks!

Thursday: Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 L2 + maybe some running? but maybe not. we’ll see how I feel. Last week I tried to run on Thursday and I ran for a full minute before deciding that I didn’t actually feel like running. so I didn’t. Sean was impressed with my great mental fortitude and ability to stick it out. Winking smile Kicked off my day with some Jillian and then after work I had new shoes waiting for me so I took them out for an easy 4 miles around the neighborhood.

Friday: nothing! gotta rest up for the weekend, obviously. Done and done. Big fat check.

Saturday: I’m gonna shoot for 6 with the running group + BodyPump I’m taking a class until 10 on Fridays right now, so I don’t know why I keep saying that I’m going to run with the running group on Saturdays because by the time I get home on Friday nights I know I’m not setting my alarm. So that didn’t happen. BodyPump did. Then I sat at my kitchen table and studied for four hours straight. At that point I had to do something so I did a 5k around the neighborhood and then walked slooooowly on the treadmill while reviewing flashcards.

Sunday: 5-6 easy miles, probably with the same ‘you aren’t allowed to use the watch for anything other than tracking mileage’ mentality. I ran two miles and walked/ran 1.25 miles for a total of 3.25 miles. When I hit mile 1 I had the option of continuing on the trail I was on to another trail or turning around and heading back home. I probably could have gutted it out, but I just didn’t want to. So I didn’t. And that’s that.

So I didn’t really hit all my goals this week, but that’s OK. I did what I could and still got a lot of good workouts in. I like to do longer workouts on the weekend simply because I have more time, but my body told me to scale back, so that’s exactly what I did.

And now I’m off to go review some more flashcards before I meet this lovely lady for some frozen yogurt.

How was everyone’s weekend??

Running Warehouse + Giveaway Winners

Yesterday I came home to a lovely little box on my doorstep.

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my favorite kind of box to have waiting for me

New running shoes make me very happy. You know what else makes me happy? The fact that running warehouse does free two day shipping. I’m an instant gratification kind of person, and since I always order my running shoes online because I can never make it to the store fast enough, two days is pretty instant in my book.

That box contained these:

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be still my Brooks PureConnect-loving heart. I’m so glad they’re turquoise

New shoes meant I had to run, no matter how tired my legs were. Good thing it was a beautiful day. These are the newer versions of the PureConnects… I’m not entirely positive what they changed, but I can tell there’s a slight difference in them from the older models. I can’t tell yet if that’s good or bad. Hopefully good.

As soon as I got home from running, I turned around and completely undid all that calorie-burning with a couple of these:

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not sorry one bit.

While Sean and I were taking advantage of happy hour, we were chatting with the two girls sitting next to us. One of the girls said that she was running a marathon this weekend. I was only halfway into the conversation, but at that point I was ready to talk any and all things running with her. So I asked her which one.

She said the Graffiti Run.

whomp whomp.

In other news, the giveaway winners from the Esprit de She giveaway are:

1. Patti

2. Brittany

Congratulations ladies! I’m sending your email addresses over to Lauren, who organized the Esprit de She giveaway, so that she can send you your shirts!!

Any fun plans this weekend?? I think for the first time in a long time we have a very low-key weekend ahead of us. I couldn’t be happier about having no plans!

Finding Motivation

I had a rough day on Monday. I know that it isn’t uncommon for women to struggle with self-esteem issues from time to time – and I definitely am not immune to this. For the most part I am pretty positive – I know that I don’t have a perfect body by any means, but I am proud of what my body allows me to do. However on Monday [and really Tuesday if we’re being honest] I had one of those mornings where I pulled out outfit after outfit trying to find something – anything – to wear that looked good. Nothing did. I ended up in jeans and a shirt that I hated. I was in a terrible mood. I didn’t really put any makeup on, I just ran a straightener quickly over my hair and I left for work feeling supremely underwhelmed with myself.

This didn’t stop when I got to work. I was frustrated, stressed out and wanted nothing more than to go home, curl up in my bed and sleep away the rest of the day. I just wanted to hide from the world.

Work stretched on for an eternity [isn’t it funny how some days fly by and others seem impossibly long?] and when I finally got home I did exactly what I had been wanting to do all day – I pulled myself into a tight ball on my couch and I took a nap. After I had a glass of wine. At 3:45 in the afternoon. When I woke up the absolute last thing I wanted to do was go work out. No matter how many times I told myself that it would make me feel better, I just couldn’t get motivated.

I texted my friend Britt lamenting my lack of desire to work out, I complained to Sean and I moped for a solid 20 minutes. During my texting with Britt, I somehow managed to find enough motivation to actually change into workout clothes and finally had to cut my conversation with Sean short because I knew if I sat and talked any longer I wouldn’t make it out the door.

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unrelated picture of my favorite person!

On my way to the gym, I gave myself a good, stern talking to. I reminded myself that I work out because I want to – no one is forcing me to do this. Out of all the things that find their way on to my to-do list, working out is one that I put on there out of desire, not necessity. Everything else is a task to be completed – a chore. But working out is a privilege, something I’m lucky to be able to do and something I do because I truly enjoy it. The hour, give or take, that I spend working out each day is a chance for me to escape from all the other stressors in my life. It’s a chance to forget about anything that’s nagging at me. It’s pretty much the only me time that I get during each day – especially weekdays – minus the 15 minutes I spend enjoying a cup of coffee before I truly begin my days.

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a picture of coffee! because every post needs pictures!

And you know what? I ended up having a fantastic workout. All of the energy in the room was electric – I soaked it all up. When I left the gym, my favorite [not sorry about this little piece of information one bit] Taylor Swift song was on and I rolled down the windows and sung my heart out. I walked into the house humming [Sean may have been a little weirded out by that one – I don’t think he fully believed that I was that happy just because of a workout].

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instant mood enhancer! not sure I’ve ever had endorphins from weights before, but monday I sure did!

It’s so easy to fall into the mindset that working out is something that you have to get done – to view it as just one more thing to cross off of a list. But that’s not really the case at all – no one pays me to work out, no one is forcing me to do it. Sometimes you [ok, I] need a little reminder that there are plenty of people out there that can’t work out. My body allows me to do some truly amazing things. And for that, I’m thankful.