Monthly Archives: April 2013

Running the World with She’s the First

Holy moly, guys, my 5k is in less than two weeks! Where has the time gone?

I got a little nervous when I realized it is only two weeks away because I think I’ve been training a little too hard lately. I’m slowing things down this week to recuperate, but I hope that doesn’t negate any of my progress. I also hope it’s long enough to recuperate. I know I can run the whole 5k distance, but now it’s a matter of time. I’m not looking to break any records, but it’d be nice to come in under 34 minutes. (What can I say? I’m slow.)

I’ll be running the Great Glow Run (because who doesn’t love glow sticks), but more importantly, I’m running for She’s the FIRST as part of their Run the World campaign. She’s the FIRST (STF) is a non-profit organization that helps support girls’ education in the developing word. The founder of STF, Tammy Tibbetts, is probably one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. (I also wonder when she sleeps.)

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Who can’t get behind educating girls around the world, right? One of the best parts about the campaign is that 100 percent of the money I raise goes towards scholarships for girls to attend school. I’m hoping to raise at least $365 to sponsor a South Sudanese girl’s education for a year. I’m not quite there, but even though my race is on May 11, the campaign runs until June 30, so there is still hope! (If you’re interested in donating, check out my page here.)

Wish me–and the girls!–luck!

Are you running a race? Do you run for a cause?

Gratitude Saturday

So this is a new idea I had last week, but forgot to actually post anything on Saturday. I figure what better way to end the week than share what I’m grateful for.

I probably need this post more than ever today because I am in a monster funk. I’m fairly certain I know why… all you other ladies can probably guess, too. ANYWAYS, here we go:

This week, I am grateful for…

…reconnecting with old friends. I met up with two friends from high school at North Hills for their Beach Music Series where we listened to The Craig Woolard Band. They were fantastic! I don’t have pictures to share, well, you know why…

…having a mini-gym in my apartment complex. On Wednesday, I attempted my first interval run on the treadmill. Overall it went well. I warmed up for six minutes, then ran for one minute at 6.4, slowed down for 2 mins at 5.4 and repeated that for six times. I don’t think I’d be able to manage intervals without that treadmill though.

…my new crock pot. That meal I shared with you last time was so delicious and I’ve used the meat in sandwiches, etc., all week. I even made this roast beef, egg and cheese sandwich that was YUM.

What are you grateful for?

So Bummed.

This past weekend, I was supposed to explore downtown Raleigh with a friend, but due to unforeseen baby troubles, she was unable to go with me. Instead of chickening out, like I often do, I decided I could check it out on my own.

First, let me say that driving in downtown Raleigh is nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be. Maybe it’s because I went on a Sunday, but there were hardly any cars.

Also, for the longest time, it seemed almost like a deserted city. Unfortunately, I believe the reason no one was walking around is because they were all getting ready to run for Boston.

I AM SO BUMMED I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT. SO SO SO BUMMED.

Look how awesome and patriotic the finish line is!!

Look how awesome and patriotic the finish line is!!

I’ve done a few runs by myself and quietly sent positive vibes into the air for them, but it’s no comparison to on the camaraderie I saw between all of those runners and people who were cheering.

Worse, I got stuck on the wrong side of the run, so I had to walk alongside of them for five or six blocks. All I wanted to do was join them. Stupid jeans and flats.

(Regardless, to help Boston, you can donate to The One Fund.)

After that, I wasn’t really in the mood to explore anymore. I also had to go home and cross a few things off the old to-do list. (I swear, I am 100% more accountable if I write a list of things to accomplish for each day.)

But it’s ok. After I got over my jealousy, I was just excited that there were so many kind, caring helpers. Good always wins.

When The Job Comes First

…or rather, when the job search comes first.

Clearly my posts are ridiculously sporadic, but I promise I am being productive with my time. I’ve made a few waves on the job search front. Last week, I attended a strange job fair called Tech Jobs Under the Big Top. I know… it doesn’t sound like something I’d normally be interested in, but well, I’m in transition, so I didn’t want to cross anything out prematurely.

Here are the highlights of the evening:

– A tech job is definitely something I can cross of my list. I will not be a software engineer. In fact, I’m still not really sure what they do. BUT… these companies still need marketing teams and public relations and even content creators. So while I will not create things, there may be hope for me yet.

– THEY HAD ACROBATS, and I learned where to take acrobatic lessons in Raleigh. She said they even had trapeze classes, but… it’s not the high-flying-circus trapeze. It’s the low circle thing. Still temped though.

Talk about some serious strength and balance, huh?

Talk about some serious strength and balance, huh?

In other news, I made a DELICIOUS meal in my brand spankin’ new crockpot. It’s called Mushroom Slow Cooker Roast Beef, and you can find the recipe here. I even browned the meat before putting it in the crockpot. It turned out delicious!

Let's get cooking!

Let’s get cooking!

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I served it with garlic mashed potatoes. I meant to add some steamed veggies, but I forgot.

Anyways, keep your fingers crossed for me. Things are looking up!

Good Always Wins

I can’t really post this week without acknowledging what happened at the Boston Marathon, so it took me a while to figure out what to say. I am deeply saddened and very angry. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this awful act of evil.

It was supposed to be a good day.

I was so excited that Shalane Flanagan placed fourth in the marathon. After reading a Runner’s World article about her and Kara Groucher, I was pumped to learn she is a Tar Heel! I was excited to have a favorite runner in a new favorite sport.

I was excited to tell you all that I ran a full three miles without stopping. That I, too, accomplished something awesome (yet much shorter) the same day.

But it didn’t seem right to talk about these things anymore, so I just didn’t post. It didn’t seem fair when three people died, countless others were injured and thousands more weren’t able to complete the race they trained so hard to make.

Later on that evening, I found this sign posted repeatedly on many different social platforms, and it helped raise my spirits.

[I stole the image from Facebook. I'm sorry.]

[I stole the image from Facebook. I’m sorry.]

And after reading and watching everything this week, I just want to say I’m so grateful to be joining a community of super awesome, caring runner-helpers. And I hope I add some value (in miles and in love) to this monstrous group. Thank you, runner-helpers, for reminding me that good always wins.

A Self-Imposed Ban

After realizing I was way more out of shape than I was ok with (and knowing that I do not have a job to finance this habit), I put a self-imposed ban on buying clothes until May 1. The reason I did this is because I didn’t want to buy bigger clothes and give myself an excuse to hide behind them. Plus, I have a monster walk-in closet FULL of clothes that deserve to be worn.

This decision was made after a shopping trip with my mom (where I confess… I bought clothes, but I bought them in my regular size. Did it look as flattering as it could? No, but I was determined to shrink my middle.) If you know me, you know how my mom and I shop–til we drop! But this trip was probably the worst shopping trip I’d ever been on. What can I say? I’m vain.

[I should probably back up here and say that everyone has their own standards for themselves. The standards I hold myself to are personal. I would never think about passing this sort of judgment on anyone else.

Plus, those blizzards, my mom’s cooking, deliciously fried fast food and who knows what else all tend to settle around my middle, which means it’s probably mostly visceral fat. This type of fat is particularly bad because it’s been linked to metabolic disturbances and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Well when cardiovascular disease and diabetes run rampant through your family history already, there is really no reason to tempt fate. So staying slim has major health benefits for me.

But man… this ban is a lot harder than I expected. I’ve been to both Target and Wal-Mart multiple times over the past couple of weeks buying household items, and I have to say, I’m close to caving. Plus, I saw some really adorable workout clothes… which ideally would be a smart purchase, right? Looking cute in workout clothes = all the more reason to exercise, right? (That may seem like faulty logic, but I swear, it actually works.)

I know that staying away would be the best way to avoid temptation, but when you’re not working and very slowly making/re-connecting with friends, these shopping outings may possibly be the only time you leave the apartment. (You know what I’m saying?) 

So tell me: Have you ever dealt with a self-imposed ban? How do you avoid temptation?

(And, for the record, I can definitely see results from exercising especially in my middle section. Very exciting!!)

I Read Too Many Blogs

So… as many of you know, Google has announced that on July 1, 2013, it plans to kill Google Reader. Talk about a major blow… But the silver lining is that I’ve really buckled down on catching up on my favorite blogs and on cleaning up my RSS feeds in order to prepare for the transition. I started using The Old Reader, but I’m not completely sold on it. So I think I might try a few other RSS readers.

What do you all use/plan on using?

Anyways, I thought I’d take some time to share a few of my favorite blogs with you and ask about yours. Most of them are fitness/healthy living-related (which if you haven’t noticed is kind of important to me).

1) Carrots’n’Cake: I can’t tell you how inspiring I find Tina to be. She focuses mostly on eating health and Crossfit, but there is a sprinkling of other topics that keep the blog uber-engaging. I love that her recipes are super simple, too.

2) Run Stronger Every Day: This was one of the first running blogs I started reading when I decided to really get into it. Although she’s been blogging a little less (with totally understandable reasons), I think she’s an unstoppable force. I mean… she hosted the Virtual Kick Ass 5k. Must I say more?

3) Erica D House: I’ve only recently started reading Erica’s blog, but I like that she focuses a lot on mental health and happiness (which is something I tend to struggle with). Plus, she’s a cat lady (which I can, again, relate to).

4) Ummm Now What: This blog is a friend of a friend’s. I can 100% relate to the whole “Umm Now What” feeling that comes with entering adulthood. Plus, she is another cat lady with two very awesome, special cats.

5) Les Jouers: I usually prefer more text-driven blogs, but this is my friend Isaiah’s blog about his fashion photography and I gotta say it’s incredible. If you live in the DC area and need a good photographer, he’s your man. I can’t wait to make him take super awesome photos of me one day.

Ok, these are my top 5 blogs at the moment. I have a ton of other blogs I read, so I’ll share more of them at another time.

What do you read? Also, do you know of any good Raleigh bloggers? (I deleted my Brooklyn blogs, which was kind of heartbreaking.)