The New Year

Ringing in the new year always seems to promise hope of a new tomorrow, and a new way of life. The simple fact of it is though, that the same concerns/issues/setbacks will still be present in the morning. Resolutions are great, as long as you put them into practice.

Today marks exactly two weeks since New Year’s Eve. Last night, I went out for girl’s night where we discussed a couple of our resolutions. 13 days into the new year and they were already falling apart. I refuse to let mine fall apart. 2016 is a new and exciting year for me and my resolutions are part of it. I am doing great at work, started school pursuing something I actually enjoy learning about, and my running has never been better. I don’t have too many resolutions, but they are:

  1. Pay off debt (isn’t this everyone’s resolution?)
  2. Run the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, MN on October 9, 2016
  3. Run the Space Coast Half Marathon in under 2:10:00
  4. Save $7,000 in addition to retirement savings

I wasn’t lying, I only have four. But they will be four that I complete (unless I tragically break my ankle and can’t run, I’ll be running that dang marathon).

So I ask you, what will you do with your “fresh start”?


A Real Runner

I’ve been running semi-consecutively since October 2010. There are many, many times when I feel like a runner. Unfortunately, there are also an equal amount of time that I don’t feel like a runner. Recently, I have been feeling like an impostor. I hadn’t run more than a 5-k since my surgery in April and the 5-K I did  run was slow and nothing to write home about. I have a half-marathon on Nov 29 and I have been avoiding my long run at all costs. I was convinced that it would be the most miserable struggle and I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Halloween morning I finally dragged my butt out of bed for a 7 mile run. It was a cool morning in South Florida so  I was feeling pretty hopeful.I headed out at 6am on my usual route with approx 60 other runners. Since I’m a turtle, I was pretty much at the back of the pack. I figured out recently how to change my Garmin so that it will only show one mile at a time, so decided to just worry about each mile and not counting down until I was done completely. The first mile went by quickly, then the second, and all of a sudden I was at the water stop at 2.5 miles. I grabbed some water, ate some GU, and kept on chugging. I felt so refreshed! There were occasional cold breezes like someone turned on the A/C. I got to 3.5 miles, grabbed water from the water stop, turned around and headed back.

In all honestly, it was a pretty uneventful run. In the second half there was one point where I was feeling tired, and no lie, Eye of the Tiger came on my Pandora. Perfect anthem to keep going!  I ran all 7 miles without walking and the second half was faster than the first. Literally the perfect run. Yesterday was the first day I have felt like a runner. I feel completely rejuvenated! Maybe now it’s time for new shoes….

So tell me, what makes you feel like a runner?

Eating Well on a Budget

I am an anomaly amongst most people my age. My boyfriend and I stay in (almost) every night and I cook dinner (almost) every night which leads to us having leftovers for lunch (almost) every day. At (almost, ha) 26, the fact that I even know how to cook is so strange among most young people I know. Eating out can be expensive, and terrible for you. We live on a $300 a month food budget. Yes, I said $300 a month. For two extremely active people who enjoy steak quite often and have meat with every meal.

I have seen countless blog posts about families of 4 living on $200 a month for food. While this is entirely possible, I have noticed a lot of those meal plans consist of pasta and lots of couponing. I’ve tried couponing, I have no time or patience for it. Florida doesn’t allow you to double coupons either, which makes real savings difficult. All of these things let me to make this post: How to eat well on a budget. I have listed the tricks I use to keep us in shape and under budget

1. Trader Joe’s: Trader Joe’s just opened in South Florida last year and I am obsessed. I have been a Publix girl all my life, but I have saved so much money shopping at Trader Joe’s. Not only is Trader Joe’s less expensive for so many things, but they have less items in their stores, which means not as many random purchases when I see something I want. Trader Joe’s, you are my savior and I am forever loyal to you.

2. Costco: If you do not have a membership to a bulk store, get yourself one immediately. I do not have personal experience with Sam’s Club or BJ’s, but Costco has great prices on everything from car tires to chicken breast. They sell plenty of organic food there as well and their fruit and vegetable selection is amazing. If you eat meat frequently, Costco is the place to go.

3. Fruit stands: Florida is full of fruit stands. I can go and get bags of fruits and vegetables for $15 They go bad quicker than ones from say, Publix, but they’re ripe, delicious and inexpensive.

4. Meal plan: This seems like common sense, but meal planning is extremely helpful to keep your budget down. Again, it reduces the amount of unnecessary purchases.

5. Stay away from Whole Foods!: This may stir up some controversy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love going into Whole Foods. It makes me feel like I have this healthy lifestyle thing on lock and I feel fancy. But let’s face it, Whole Foods is in no way price conscious. Just stay away.

Those are my main four ways I keep our budget low. Let me know what you think and if you have any ways you keep your healthy food budget low!

Team in Training

I’m not going to lie. I kind of jumped into this Team In Training (TNT) thing without too much thought. A few weeks ago I came to the realization that I had only raise 1/3 of the money I needed and the deadline was a mere 3 months away. I got cracking, sent letters, and now I am only $80 away! I will be posting about my TNT experience as things come.

I signed up with TNT for my 10th Half Marathon. This will be the third year I am running the Space Coast Marathon and I am hoping to beat both of my times from the previous two years with a sub 2:10. My running has been slacking but I am going to kick it into gear in the morning (pray I wake up). I created a training schedule similar to Runner’s World’s sub 2:00 hour plan. If I break two hours, I will sit down and cry big crocodile tears of joy at the finish line. Really, I will. Below is the training plan (again this is MY training plan, not a suggested one for everyone to use) so y’all can keep me accountable!

Space Coast 2015

I also created this little training log so I can log my miles and how I felt about them. I already printed them out and filled in my planned runs for the training period, so then I will be forced to write a sad face in when I miss the run.

Training log

Keep me accountable guys! I’ve got a lot of changes coming my way over the next few months and this blog will be where most of my thoughts get aired out.

My question for you is: Have you ever run with a charity organization? What was your experience like?

2014 is over?

Am I the only one who feels like 2014 just started? I’m pretty sure it was just January yesterday. It was a crazy year, full of crazy adventures. I traveled around the country for work, qualified for an incentive trip to Aruba and went, moved in with the boy, moved to a new place with the boy, transferred jobs and hit some of my fitness goals. Here’s a quick fitness recap:

  1. Ran a half marathon under 2:30:00 (2:23:01 to be exact)
  2. Ran a 5-K under 30:00 (29 and change but still!)
  3. PR’ed in a 10-K as well (the year of PR’s!)
  4. joined an amazing gym and I can feel my body changing everyday

2014 was a great year. It had its ups and downs, but overall no complaints. I cannot wait for 2015. I have some amazing things planned. We’re heading over to Ft. Myers tonight after work to ring in the new year there. Should be an interesting night!

As I reflect on the previous year and look forward to 2015, I do have some resolutions I would like to accomplish:

  1. Run a half under 2:00:00
  2. Run a 5-K under 27:00
  3. Do 10 pull-ups in a row
  4. Get a muscle-up
  5. Blog at least 3 times a week

Nothing too substantial, but still it’s something. Happy new year, ya goons!

The long run struggle

Some days I feel like I am the only person in the world who struggles with the long run. I will have a great run, where I run the entire time and feel fantastic and refreshed at the end (aka the 7 miler I did 3 weeks ago) and then I will have a terrible run where I end up walking a third of it and inch-worming my way along like it’s the worst struggle in the world (aka my 7 mile run yesterday). I really just don’t understand why I have so many issues with the long run some days and they are so easy others.

I guess my motivation levels probably have something to do with it. I swear, there are some days where I feel like the most motivated person in the world. You know what I’m talking about, the “I-could-run-20-miles-right-now-if-I-wasn’t-stuck-at-my-desk” feeling. But I am stuck at my desk and let’s be honest, I’d probably have a heart attack and die if I tried that.

I’m moving on Saturday (yay!) and since I will only be less than 15 minutes away from my office (double yay!) I plan on running in the morning before work Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays followed by the gym everyday after work. Let’s see how long my motivation sticks!

My go-to breakfast

I have never been much of a breakfast girl. I barely make it out the door in time to get to work as it is. I started making smoothies before work (with my Vita-Mix obviously) and my favorite one is as easy as can be. Check it out:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 scoop chocolate Muscle Milk powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup dark chocolate almond milk

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until creamy.

Viola! Easy and kind of like having dessert for breakfast!