Friday, February 21, 2014

How/Why I Started Running

First of all, any linkup dedicated to running, I'm totally up for. I usually do my favorite things about the week on Friday but... let's be honest, running is one of my favorite things period so of course I'm going to participate in this awesome new link-up. :)

How and Why You Started Running in 250 words or less

So, I’ll be honest. I originally started running because I HAD to. Believe it or not, my first two years in college, I played collegiate softball so our summer workouts revolved a LOT around running… and I HATED it at first! Running a mile was a STRUGGLE! In fact, I hated it so much that my mom paid a girl I went to high school with to go running with me a couple of times a week (she was a state cross country champ so in essence, she was my running coach). Looking back, it’s funny how my hatred towards running has now turned into a complete and total love/obsession! I think more than anything now, running is my form of competing since I no longer play competitive sports.

That’s the reason I started running—but the reason I decided to stick with it? Well, that’s because of one run in particular. It was the summer after I graduated high school and a good friend/classmate of mine had just recently passed away from a car accident. I was devastated like everyone else and decided to lace up my shoes and take them for a spin. It was on this run that I realized how much I needed running not only for my health, but for my SOUL. It helped me work through my emotions and really put me at peace with everything that had happened. And I’ve been hooked ever since. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm the Kind of Girl...

I saw this link-up and had to join in. Love it!

I'm the kind of girl who...

...Loves the satisfaction of a good, sweaty, hardcore, badass workout. The more challenging, the better. I'm in pretty good shape so when a workout knocks me on my ass, I know it's a good one. 

...Doesn't own a single pair of high heels. No shame. You'll mostly find me in running shoes, cross trainers, and TOMS. (speaking of which, I just bought a new pair today! Anyone else score during the Zulilly online sale?) completely and totally addicted to chocolate. Pretzel M&M's are my fav! 

...loves watching sports! I'm a huge fan of the Louisville Cardinals. :) obsessed with watching documentaries on Netflix. My favorites are Spirit of the Marathon and How to Die in Oregon

...doesn't understand the meaning of the word relax. The thought of spending a day on the couch doing absolutely nothing makes me cringe. 

...doesn't know how to cook. Good thing P knows what he's doing. 

...'s idea of a perfect Saturday morning is getting a long run & WOD in before 10am. No explanation needed. :)

...never wore a ring until she got engaged. Weird?

...hates talking on the phone. So. Awkward.

...carries her heart on her sleeve. Sometimes I care too much. But I'm not so sure that's such a bad thing. 

What kind of girl are you?!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five Things Friday: Valentine Edition

Happy Valentine's Day!
It's been a long and crazy snow filled week but I do have a few updates! :)

Five Favorite Things:

1. TWO SNOW DAYS! We had almost a foot of snow fall Wednesday night into Thursday! Definitely one of the biggest snows we've had in some time. We're also supposed to get another 3-6 inches tonight but I'm crossing my fingers it stays away because I've got a ski trip for work that's about 2 1/2 hours away and we're taking a bus. Come on Mother Nature, just hold off a couple more days. :)

2. I got an Apple TV! It was a late birthday/early Valentine's day gift and I'm kind of obsessed! I'm such an Apple nerd.

3. Speaking of Valentine's Day, P & I had to celebrate early because he has to work tonight. So, last night we trekked out in the snow, got our supplies and came home and had a nice night in. We made buffalo chicken spaghetti squash (delicious!), watched Runner, Runner and just enjoyed each other's company. Where he's on his night shift rotation for 6 weeks, nights together are hard to come by lately. It was pretty close to perfect if I do say so myself.

4. The Olympics! I'm not much for the Winter Olympics but when looking for motivation on the treadmill, watching athletes give it their all for their country is a pretty darn good one.

5. Last weekend!! For my birthday, P, two of our close married friends, and I headed to the Great Smokey Mountains for a weekend away. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. I've been so incredibly busy at work and stressed and having a weekend to do nothing but relax at my mom and dad's cabin was so needed! We explored, shopped til we dropped, and just hung out and enjoyed not having any major responsibilities. We're already planning our return trip if that says anything. :)

Five Workouts:

Lots of GREAT workouts lately--I've been hitting 6,000 fuel points left & right!

1. Lots of treadmill work! I generally hate the treadmill but this winter it's been my jam! I've rocked out some decent runs this winter and although I'm ready to get back outside, I can't say that I've HATED it which is a good thing. I've also had a lot of people ask me advice for how to make it through a long run on a treadmill without clawing my eyes out and the best answer I can give is to find a really good tv show! I typically watch Ellen when I run and she gets me through! I've also started playing this game where I cover up the dashboard on the treadmill and just run until I hit a certain time on the clock and that helps. It's definitely more of a mind game than anything!

2. Crossfit, duh! I haven't been able to make it as much in the last two weeks because of work but the WODS I have been to have been insane! In the best way possible. Especially this one after running 6 miles on the treadmill. :) Needless to say, my legs were jelly when I was done.

It was actually about 6.3 miles--I accidentally hit the automatic stop button at the beginning. :(

3. Wallyball! My co-worker and I put together an Intramural wallyball team and have been having loads of fun! Although our season is over now, it's been a great workout.

4. Walking around downtown Gatlinburg. Okay, I'm pretty sure Saturday we walked at least 5 miles up, down, and around. It was a great workout. Sometimes I forget that you don't have to go "hardcore" to get a good burn.

5. Hopefully skiing tomorrow! I'm not a great skier but it's always a great workout and I'm generally sore the next day. I'm definitely looking forward to it!

Five Favorite Pins

(Click on the pic for the link!)

1. This quote. I had a rough day at work on Monday and needed this.

2. This made me LOL because it's so TRUE!

3. These pre-workout protein balls are awesome and so easy to make! I've made them twice now. I've been using PB2 because that's all I have on hand but it seems to work just as well (except they don't quite get ball-like, haha). 

4. This. Is. Perfect.

5. And in honor of Valentine's Day. :)

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day & weekend! Make sure to eat a piece of chocolate....... or 10!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Five Things Friday: Birthday Edition

Missed two Friday's in a  row but I'm back this week with a very special Birthday edition of Five Things Friday. Okay, maybe not THAT special, but it is my birthday! I'm turning 27 and although it pains me to even say that number out loud, I feel better than I ever have and could totally kick my college's self's ass. ;)

Five Favorites

1. Low fat chocolate PB2 banana bread. I'm obsessed! I base mine off of this recipe (been using it for years!) but use splenda instead of sugar and add chocolate PB2 (I'm so addicted it's not even funny). When I get REALLY crazy, I add chocolate chips. Basically it's delicious and not that bad for you. Definitely a win in my book.

2. I signed up for Tough Mudder!!!!! I've been debating forever and I finally bit the bullet. I'm so stoked! Orange headband here I come!

3. New opportunities. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for good news in the next few months!

4. Traveling! I've been out of town for the last two weekends and will be out of town for the next two upcoming weekends. Basically I forgot what my apartment looks like. Two weekends ago I traveled to DC for a sorority conference (go Phi Sig!), last weekend I traveled to Indy for a Pacers game, this weekend I'm traveling to Pigeon Forge, TN for my birthday weekend, and next weekend I'm going skiing. Minus this weekend, they've all/will all be for work. Have I mentioned my job is pretty awesome?

5. Spending over $600 in groceries. It was pretty spectacular. And again, for work. If you don't know what $600 worth of groceries look like, here you go.

I normally add more of my favorites but lets be honest... it's called the Birthday edition for a reason. I've got some celebratin' to do! I'm packing up and heading out--I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I don't know about you but I'm feeling.... OLD

I feel like I say this every February  but.. man, 26 was a good year. It had your typical ups and downs but for the most part, it was a hell of a year. I accomplished things I never thought imaginable, I grew as a person/friend/fiance/daughter/sister, I found my true passion in life, and let's be honest--I had a TON of fun. So, as my 27th birthday approaches tomorrow (dear god, please someone tell me that's not old!), I figured I'd post my 26 favorite things about this past year.

26 reasons 26 was awesome and I'm not old.

1. I ran a 1:49 half marathon back in November! My 22 year old self could not have even come CLOSE to that!

2. I became insane, literally. In October I became a certified Insanity instructor! THIS AIN'T NO COFFEE BREAK!

3. I discovered the hype behind chocolate PB2.. and my life has never been the same.

4. I didn't break a hip.

5. I took my first big girl road trip with P back in December.. Little Rock, Houston, New Orleans, 
Charlottesville, & Louisville within a 10 day span. Just as crazy as it sounds.

6. I moved in with my then boyfriend.... big girl status.

7. I started cross fit and officially became one of those people constantly talking about AMRAPS and HRPU's and PR's and all that jazz. 

8. I ran in over 20 races and won 4. TAKE THAT YOU 22 YEAR OLDS!!!!

9. Speaking of that, I did a Turkey Trot 5 miler in 10 degree weather. And it sucked. But I felt pretty hardcore.

10. I also spent a Saturday running a 5k and then turning around and running an obstacle course directly after. I came in second during the 5k and first in the obstacle run. It was a pretty fantastic day, rain and all.

11. I finally figured out what I want to do with my life--my passion is totally health, fitness, & nutrition! Now my 27th year on this earth will be used to figure out how to get where I want to eventually go. Easier said than done.


13. I lost 10 pounds and gained lots of muscle. :)

14. My two best friends and I hashtagged the crap out of homecoming 2013. It was awesome.  And one of my favorite weekends, period. So thankful to have them in my life! 

15. I got accepted to grad school, twice (hello, UVA!)... but turned them down because it wasn't the right fit. Grown-up decisions, people!

16. I got to follow an escaped monkey around on campus back during the summer and got interviewed for it. It was awesome.

17. I realized that I still really suck at cooking.

18. I taught my niece the meaning/how to say "cake". Girl's gotta learn.

19. I traveled to Hilton Head twice. Totally my favorite vacation spot!

20. I ate a TON of pretzel M&M's. 

21. I watched my niece turn one! It seems like only yesterday we were at my sister's bachelorette party and I was downing all of my sister-in-law's drinks so as not to spoil her secret. ;)

22. I don't know about you but.... I'm not feeling 22. 

23. I successfully made it a full week eating ice cream for breakfast back during the summer. Not even remotely ashamed.

24. I can do pull-ups. Like, a lot in a row. 

25. I became even closer with my family. Damn happy about that.

26. I got engaged to the love of my life! Seriously--if you would have told me at age 22 that I would be the first of my really close group of friends to get married, I would have laughed in your face. It's funny how things happen. So thankful to have met P and even more thankful that I'll get to spend the next 10938431098 years (or something like that) with him.