Plugging Along

Seriously, I can’t believe its March already. I swore we just started 2014 yesterday. I’m amazed at how long it’s been. Here are the highlights:

– I got into another war with my Garmin 210. Again, I think the Garmin won. So instead of trying to replace the Garmin that I was frustrated with I decided to go with an upgraded version, the Garmin 620. It’s a bigger investment but so worth it for me. It does have a lot more features that I’m excited to use and some that I need. It’s been pretty awesome!

Nice to see you again, 10:30.

Nice to see you again, 10:30.

– Two weeks ago, I ran one of my best paces in a really, really long time. A 10:30 pace. It’s a time I haven’t seen since the days when I was running 5-6 days a week. Unfortunately afterwards, my left leg started to give me some issues and I decided to give myself some time to recover. The time off helped however now I’m fighting off a cold. A pretty bad one too. I haven’t been this sick in years and so instead of spending my weekend training or enjoying the gorgeous sunshine, I’m laying in bed surrounded by tissues, water, iced tea (my comfort drink) and my Netflix queue.

– I’m officially running the New York City Marathon this year. After the set back of 2012, I’m actually excited to train for the event since I found a new training method thanks to one of my new favorite blogs, Runs for Cookies. Katie ran last year’s Chicago Marathon as well and used the Hanson’s Marathon Method. The training schedule is a lot different from the traditional methods that I’m use to but the great perk is that the longest run is on 16 miles. YEAH! 16!!! The schedule is pretty consistent too with 5-6 days of running. I’m hoping that by using their method, I’ll hit a personal record.

– One of the things that I have avoided talking about on my blog is my weight. I’m not confident about it at all. Actually, I hate it. I’m really embarrassed about how much I weight since I probably haven’t weighed this much since my mom died. I probably weigh more. (I haven’t posted a photo of myself on the Interwebs in a long time, have you noticed?) I’m so sensitive to my weight that I’m not comfortable, still, talking about it here. But I want to be comfortable to do that, I want to feel comfortable with my own skin. Maybe one day I will let you know my starting weight, but right now I’m not there. With that said, my goal is to lose weight, enough that I’m in a healthy range again. I want to be a strong and fast runner and I know to become one I need to change the way that I eat. Because of that, I’ve joined Weight Watchers. I’ve done the program in the past so I’m hoping now I can have it really focus on doing it the healthy way and not freaking out every time I eat something that counts as a point. I just want to be healthy again. I started the program a few days ago and thanks to my cold I’m a little off, but everyday is a new day to get back on the program. Time to start over.

So that’s what my life has been looking like right now. Hope you’re all doing well.

The First Run is the Deepest

Yesterday, I went for my first run since October.

Ok, well that’s technically not true. I tried to do a 1 mile run the day after Christmas and I swore I thought I was going to die. No seriously, I thought I was going to cough up a lung, my heart would stop beating and I would just fall over. Of course, this could be partially blamed on the fact that I was trying to run a sub 10 min mile. Yeah, not smart at all.

So yesterday morning I decided to give it another go but with a different goal. I was going to have fun.

Back story is that I’m training for two events this year, a half marathon in June and the New York Marathon in November. I somehow convinced three of my friends (sorry, ladies) to run a ½ marathon last year and now we’re training for it. We’ve got a schedule going, planning on doing some trainings together and of course good old fashion accountability.

Well, Monday was Day 1 of training and guess who slept through her alarm? Yeah, so much for a good start. However, I stuck with the program; just because I missed the first run doesn’t mean the whole schedule was off. So I continued with cross training Tuesday and a 25 min run on Wednesday.

And then it started to happen again. I wanted to compete with myself.

I’ve been away from my running sneakers for almost 3 months now , ok, 2 weeks. It doesn’t seem that much, but to my body it feels like the first time running again. I didn’t want to wake up early, I felt tired and winded in the first few minutes and it was too cold (all my East Coast readers are gonna roll their eyes at that last comment). It was the hardest run but the most rewarding because I had fun again.

I started the route off telling myself, “No competing! This is not track day.” I kept reminding myself to breath, to enjoy the quiet time and to just focus on the getting the 25 minutes whether big or small; and sure enough it worked. I got the high again.

I was reminded why I like to run in the morning and how nice the cool air can feel when you first start going. I got to run along with barely a soul out enjoying the sun rise. I even was able to wear one of the Christmas presents Jon got me, Oiselle Arm Warmers. They are perfect for the California early mornings; something warm enough to get you out of the door, but easy to take off when you don’t need it anymore. I left my iPod at home so as not be distracted and I just ran without thinking.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling, a feeling of no judgment. There have been so many times where I’ve had a mileage or pace so focused in my head that I set myself up to fail. Not that it’s a bad thing to have a goal, but remembering to give yourself some grace is a good thing. I don’t have to run every single training session better than the last, as long as I make progress over time thats a good thing. I also get lost in the idea of people are judging me while I run. Yeah I’m not at my best pace or even in the best shape, but I’m still going and one day soon I’ll get there. I’m one step and one day closer to a PR!

I was reading Runner’s World’s series, How Running Changed Me: John Critchfield yesterday. I love reading that series, it totally can get anyone inspired. He mentions this great quote that now is sitting on my desktop and my office wall.

“If you’re out there on the road or trail, breathing slightly harder than you would be at the ice-cream sundae bar, you’re in a moment of personal perfection regardless of what you did or didn’t do the day before.” —Marc Parent, Runners World

I’ve missed this. I’ve missed the freedom. I sometimes I forget that I’m a two time marathoner. Dammit! I was hardcore once. Now, I’m gonna make it three. Man, I am a badass!

Be a badass!

Be a badass!

2014: Time to Slim Down

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!

A new year. A new start.

I always begin the new year with the right intentions too. But this year I’m staying positive and focusing on my goals and it’s revolving around one phrase, Slimming Down.

Yep, I’m gonna slim down in more ways than one. My hope is that by this time next year I will have lost some weight, gotten rid of some possessions and added more cash to my pocket.

Like 99.9% of people in this country, I’m setting the goal of losing weight this year. It’s something that I’ve been trying to do but I decided to make it a priority now. I’m getting back into the mindset of eating healthy and working out, so to help jump start my goal I’ve decided to cut out all alcohol until Valentine’s Day starting today. Jon and I tend to open a bottle of wine or a beer when we’re having dinner which usually becomes two. Of course on the weekends there’s brunch and going out for drinks with friends. I started to realize just how much I was drinking and in the span of a week I noticed it was pretty high! Of course when I drink, I tend to snack on whatever food is available which doesn’t help in the goal of losing weight. So I decided I should just bite the bullet and not drink for the next few weeks and focus more on getting my body ready to look hot for Valentine’s Day. I’ve decided to pair up the no drinking with the Tone It Up’s Love Your Body Series. They’re goal is to get you healthy and moving by Valentine’s Day so I thought it would be a perfect combo.

I am giving myself some wiggle room though. I’m allowing myself to drink only one day and it happens to be this Saturday since its my friend’s Wine Tasting themed birthday party. I agreed to going to the party before cutting out the alcohol but instead of waiting for Sunday AM, I’m going with now and enjoying some time with friends.

Jon and I talked over the weekend about wanting to live a more minimalist lifestyle. Last year, my goal was to declutter the home and although I got really far with it, I lost some of the momentum around April. Now I think that Jon and I have gotten on the same page of wanting to get rid of things that aren’t needed in our lives. Even looking at my bookshelves, I noticed a few books that I have read and most likely will never read again. (Twilight Series, anyone?) Plus there are things that we bought and used for a bit but then we probably don’t really need anymore. Our goal is to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t provided any real value and to use what we have. In my mindset, I’m going with the theory that if we had to move in a moment’s notice to another country, what would be things that I need to have with me, or can be put in storage or gotten rid of entirely. Yeah, I’m going that extreme this year. I really think it will push us to live with what we have and at the same time really give us a good focus on what we do and do not need to be happy with our lives.

Lastly, I’m slimming down on the spending. I’ve noticed recently just how much money I can go through when not paying attention and its sort of shocking. A lunch here, a pair of shoes there, new placemats for the house; it all adds up. I’ve seen this post floating around Facebook recently and it’s been my inspiration for getting on a tighter budget. This totally will help me stay on my other goals of less stuff in the house and eating healthier food. Instead of buying lunch, I’ll have to make it. Do we really need more towels? I’m hoping that by spending less and getting into better habits, that it’ll help motivate Jon and I to go out to explore more and find the little pleasures in life.

So those are my goals for 2014. What are some of yours?

Today I Hated God…Again

There was one time I hated God and that was when my mother died almost ten years again. Today was the second time.

Let me explain myself.

April of 2004, my mother died of leukemia and I was 21 years old. I was still in college, I still went to bars and made out with random guys. At that time I wanted to numb all pain of exams, cancer and crushes on boys that when my mom was told that she had a month to live I started to hate God. My mother raised me as a Christian and she may not have been perfect, but she was honest in her faith. She fell in love with a God who loved her and saved her from a painful marriage with an alcoholic. When my mother was first diagnosed with cancer, the doctors at New York Presbyterian told my mother she had a 98% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL; unfortunately, she was the two percent. She prayed so hard and believed that she would be healed.

I hated Him so much cause he was taking the one person that was the most important in my life. To describe it in a few sentences, I was raised by a single mom, she divorced my dad because he was an alcoholic. She raised me, on her own, and taught me to be kind and loving; she was the world to me. When she made a promise, I believed her to the end and when she punished me it was because I was breaking the rules. She was my constant and then God took her away from me. Starting at 21, I made life decisions on her wisdom. My mother was the most adventurous woman I knew, she moved to a new country in her early 20s, nannied in England and then traveled throughout Europe.  One of the coolest things she told me was that she saw the 1972 Olympics events in Japan when she was freaking 27. Four years younger than my current age!! Lets be honest, I wish I was her. Instead, all the wisdom that I wanted from my mother is long gone. I pray that I’m doing what she would recommend. I believe that she would have loved Jonathan, but the problem is that she never met him. She couldn’t give me the send off that her mother gave her; God took this most precious thing away from me. But I started to let go of this anger when I realized that anger is part of the grieving process. I studied it in High School and realized that there are so many emotions in one moment when someone leaves us. I wanted my mother so badly and there was no way God would go back and time and do bring her to me. It was His plan and as much as I hate it, and sometimes struggle with it, I have no control of it.

Today was the second day that God broke my heart and I couldn’t believe His perfect plan.

I met Kristin, a few years ago at a friend’s wedding. She went to Gordon College like me and graduated a year before. She was cool, friendly and held a great conversation, so naturally we friended each other on Facebook. She lived in SoCal, I lived in NorCal. We both enjoyed running and food, a perfect combo in my world. I swear, if we lived in the same area, we might be enjoying happy hour together. So we follow each other on Instagram, Facebook & NikePlus, naturally of course. With that you will see the random post, read it, make a comment or like it and then move on. In July, I had a feeling that she was pregnant and then read a more in-depth story. Her little baby had been diagnosed with ; a disease where the baby will be fine throughout the pregnancy, but would not be able to live outside of the womb. As soon as I read those words I burst into tears.

I haven’t stopped reading her story since the first posting and I have shed a tear each day. Kristin and her husband have been in my heart and prayers that I cried yesterday when I realized  that was the day when their son, Branch Lionheart, came into the world, meet his parents and then would go home to Heaven in the same day. I was angry the whole day; to be honest, I hated everyone. I was crying because I wanted God to give them a perfect and beautiful son and I was angry that they had to say goodbye so soon; and I desperately wanted a miracle for them, whatever that looked like. Babies are innocent, wonderful and perfect and they don’t deserve to die in hours they were born.

Why God? Why?

I want to hate You again, God. I want to be angry at You for taking their baby away. But I know thats not the way it goes. A beautiful, little family, but they have peace. You have given them peace; a peace beyond all understanding. You have taught me what love is through them and I’m just so heartbroken for them. Babies are suppose to be perfect the moment they are born and right now all I want to do is cry for Branch. I want to cry for his Mom and his Dad, I want them to be starting December with a gorgeous baby and a perfect little boy. I cry because they hurt so, so, so much and that they have prepared themselves to say goodbye. I learnt so long ago that You are love. I’m working on remembering that right now.

I’m working on why I once believed, God. Please forgive me for being heart broken and angry again.

Interweb Love: Princess Machine

Sometimes there are those rare Interweb finds that you have to tell yourself, “try not to be slightly jealous of 8 and 10 year olds, Adult-Watching-This-Video”. But then at the end of one of the coolest videos around you realize that you are. Yeah, that happened to me.

Yesterday, I found this great video on Upworthy and I instantly got super jealous of those little ladies and what they were building in the house. Take a look.

At first, the song of choice was throwing me off. When I was 12 or so one of the first songs that I learnt was Girls by the Beastie Boys (not my proudest moment) so hearing the beat kind of made me throw a sideways glance a little. Needless to say, I’m totally obsessing over this video right now and their message to all the girls in the world! Not only am I amazed by what they built (with the help from some adults), but I’m extremely jealous that they now have toys to help encourage little girls to be engineers. UGH!!! Why didn’t we have these when I was younger? I  would totally played with them!! Send me back in time, world! I want to become a cool engineer and play with some cool stuff.

Jon and I always joke about our future kids. He would send me a video or picture of a girl taking riflery lessons or learning how to prepare for the Apocalypse. I would respond with a comment on how the weapon would at least be pink or as soon as they were done prepping for the ultimate camping adventure, our daughter would be putting on dresses for prom. Regardless, I do want our kids to enjoy both what Jon and I have to offer. Kind of nice to know that our children will have that opportunity regardless if they’re male or female.

Full Days Means Happy Heart

I’ve sort of been on cloud nine the last few days due to the amount of time I’ve spent with friends, listening to happy stories and being surprised by little treats that I still have a smile on my face. Yes, its Tuesday and while I know this little high might end by tonight, I’m going to take the time to enjoy the little things and write them savor them for later.

On Friday, San Francisco (as you may have heard) turned into Gotham City for one little boy’s dream. I spent my day working in the City but I spent part of that time listening to the adventures of Bat Kid on my cell thanks to Twitter. For those of you that don’t know, there was a little boy named Miles who told the Make-A-Wish Foundation that he wanted to be Batman. They answered his request and instead of getting a few hundred people to support his dream, they got over thousands.

Batman & Bat Kid saving the day

Batman & Bat Kid saving the day

Bat Kid stole the show Friday there is no question about it; that kid owned the Internet. I spent the whole day trying not to sob hard at my desk when I saw Miles running through town. I don’t think that he realizes how much of an inspiration he was for the city. I mean for crying out loud, he beat leukemia!! Now he’s living a dream.

I think the best thing that came out of the Internet and the adventures of Bat Kid was this photo floating around.

Time to believe again.

Time to believe again.

Yes, part of it is a cheesy quote from the Batman trilogy but to see him going with all his might, the energy that he didn’t have a year ago, enjoying a day all for him; that alone is inspiring. While I wasn’t there to see all his little adventures, my heart was there. What Friday reminded me was that not only is San Francisco an amazing city, but that the human spirit can be an amazing thing. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the city, state, country and world were here watching Miles run around, to be there for him. But the amazing thing is that people from outside of this country have been touched, shared and supported this kid as well. Everyone was in awe of him and wished him the best. They knew this kid was amazing so becuase of him we believe that people can surprise us and show love to others.  So thanks, Miles, for bringing the world together.

On Saturday, Jon and I had dinner with some friends and we spent the evening laughing, eating and my personal favorite; drinking. While the theme was Thai/Cambodian, I can firmly agree that I suck at cooking anything from those countries. Our one responsibility was to bring dessert, which I thought would be easy enough, we actually brought cookies that were hard as rocks. I followed the instructions to the letter and still they didn’t turn out good at all. In the end, Jon and I saved ourselves from embarrassment with the amount of wine we bought. I had found a one liter bottle at Whole Foods for $9.99 so I decided to get two. Mind you, dinner consisted of 10 people so I thought two liters would be the perfect amount to share after dinner especially when the dinner conversation was getting good. Well, the bottles never made it to that point and were empty before dinner was served; I’m taking that as a good sign. Although our portions was a disaster, Jon and I had an amazing time and are completely looking forward to the next round. Fortunately, it’ll be something I’m familiar with Spanish tapas.

Side bar: Sorry to those who had to suffer and almost cracked a tooth from those cookies. I promise to never make them again and remember I’ve already made the worst dish so anything from here on out is a step up. 

Sunday should have been a low back and stress free day, but Jon and I ended up going to see one of my favorite podcast live. You see, I’m addicted to listening to Radiolab and I heard they were performing at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. Radiolab can be described perfectly by their Facebook page, it’s a show about curiosity. Their live show dealt with endings and the ending of the dinosaurs in particular. As always, I learn so much while listening but to tie it all together was this beautiful visual show. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never been to a live radio show before but was completely blown away. I laughed to Jon before the show started that in a digital age where my cell phone has more technology than the first space shuttle, its kind of fun to see something that probably our grandparents were use to hearing and seeing on a daily basis. We’re not too far from the past.

This weekend did pack a punch and I’m so thrilled for every second of it. I’m still recovering from the highs and the adventure but one thing for sure is that I’m already counting down to Friday. 🙂

Things That Make Me Smile

Sometimes the small moments are the ones that help you get to the weekend. Here are a few that are getting me excited that today is Thursday:

  • Getting new orthotics from the Chiropractor in 2 weeks. My flat feet are counting down the days!
  • Sleeping until 7 Tuesdays and Thursdays since I have a later start to my work day.
  • Planning Thanksgiving dinner ideas. I’ve gotten to the age where I want to cook it, but terrified I’ll burn the whole meal.
  • Bat Kid is coming to the city this week. If I’m not responding to text messages or phone calls it’s because I’m trying to get his autograph.
  • A company invite to see the furniture that may be in our new office. It’s like walking into an Ikea store but for your new desk layout.
  • I’m going to see Radiolab this weekend in Oakland! I’ve just gotten into listening to their podcasts & radio show in the last couple of months and I always tell Jon the stories that I hear. I can’t wait to see it live!

Happy Thursday Friends! What’s getting you excited that tomorrow is Friday?