How Do You Eat An Elephant?

This post is brought to you by one ass kicking, brutally honest conversation with Allison. Thank you thank you thank you for getting me to shut up and get going.

During this conversation, Allison said something that got my wheels turning. How do you eat an elephant? I promptly replied “One bite at a time.” because that’s the answer.

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But it got me thinking because as I started my long run, I was feeling a little intimidated. I know I’ve done so much already, but I’m starting to feel worn out and tired. Seeing that long run scheduled on my calendar was just a little daunting.

So I guess today I’m rephrasing the question. How do you finish a long run?

You put on your shoes, pick a playlist and step out the door. One foot in front of the other at whatever pace makes you comfortable – or uncomfortable, depending on the kind of week you’ve had.

Allison also reminded me to be grateful. Be grateful for what I’ve accomplished and what I can do, even if I don’t feel it is enough to accomplish my goals. With two weeks to go before my half, the nerves are settling in hard. My last couple long runs have been just short of painful, and I had to end this weekend’s 12 miler early because my trusty old achilles started hurting badI didn’t want to push it, so I settled for 9 miles in the sunshine. But still, I’m trying to be more grateful for what I have accomplished in such a short amount of time. I’ve been working very hard, and in the span of three months I’ve gone from 2 mile runs to run/walking 9 miles twice now.

This week starts my tapering runs. Today I did 3 miles on the treadmill, plus some weights and abs, which I haven’t done since I finished boot camp at the end of December. Tomorrow I’m hoping to get out again and do 4.5 or 5 miles. This weekend is a slow 8 miler (maybe at White Rock Lake if the weather is nice?) and I’m actually looking forward to it.

I also got word that my awesome friend Ashley will be playing with her band on the half mile course in New Orleans! I’m really excited to see her again and hear her play (sort of) for the first time!

Two weeks until I run 13.1. #gulp

On Absence.

You ever have one of those weeks where you start going, and before you know it, the week is already gone and all the little things you love to do in your spare time have just fallen by the wayside?

I’ve had one of those weeks.

I’ve actually had a few of those weeks all strung together.

In typical PR style, this fall has had me running around like a crazy person. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love what I do and I am finding time to fill those extra minutes each day with the people I care about as well as the usual meal prep/workout/training programs.

Oh yeah, training programs.

Last time we talked, I had just wrote about taking up running again. Well I did, and I made a big decision last week.

I will be running in the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in February.

New Orleans Half Marathon

I’ve got a sweet training guide, and awesome support community including the newly-returned-to-blogging Allison, my cousin Erin and of course, Adam. (Shameless linking because two of them have awesome blogs of their own.) As well as amazing friends and family who I hope will still be around in February after hearing me talk about running nonstop for three months. (Sorry in advance, y’all.)

If you are a long time reader, you know I come from a big, tight-knit family, including quite a few cousins. Four of us are within a year and two weeks of each other, and these four are going to be running together for 13.1 miles.

(For the record, here’s the order: Julia, Erin, Michael and Kelly.)

I know. It sounds insane. In fact, when Erin first approached me with the idea, I laughed for probably about five straight minutes. Me. Run in a half marathon???? You’ve got to be kidding. I can’t even run 3 miles. 

But then I thought about it.

For a while.

Work picked up again. We signed on a couple new clients and I joined boot camp again. For a six  month commitment this time. About two months in, I thought about it again. And I thought. I wonder if I could do that…. 

It’s really curiosity that is fueling me. Along with my competitive drive. My inner drive to push myself and see how much I can take before I completely melt down? Yeah, That’s a line I’ve been happily walking since high school.

In typical Type-A fashion, I have an Excel spreadsheet with a training plan that incorporates boot camp (and the all important rest day) and it is taped to my fridge. Yes, I am that girl.

I’m still eating clean, though I am increasing my water intake as well as letting myself indulge a little more often now. I mean hey, I am now working out 6 days a week.

Tonight will be a “quick” 3 mile run, and hopefully the park I love will have dried out from the week of rain.

I’m still struggling a bit at the 3 mile mark. But I’ve scheduled about 2 and half weeks of 3 mile runs to get myself comfortable before moving up.

Sunday I take on my longest distance ever at 4 miles.

My biggest hurdle hasn’t been the distance though. I’m trying not to minimize what I’m doing. I know so many people who run long distances that it’s hard to make myself feel proud of running 3 miles when I know people who finished 18 and 20 mile runs over the weekend. Something I’ve got to get better on is not comparing myself to others.

I’m beginning to understand what they mean when they say training for a race like this is just as much about mental preparation as it is about the physical. I’m on my own training plan. This is not about where other people are in their training, but about me.

That’s just what I need to keep telling myself.

So, here’s to an early New Year’s Resolution, Early Birthday and Christmas presents to myself and most importantly: to 13.1.

Hello There!

Wow, hi strangers. Sorry about the radio silence. I would say that life has been crazy busy, but I’m trying to stop using that as an excuse so I’ll be honest – I just haven’t had the motivation to write.

Quick Recap:

This summer was fun. I went to the lake with my family, got a nice sunburn (and subsequent tan), ate and had way too much fun in the process and then took up running.

Like how I stuck that in there? Yep, you heard me right. I have started running.

Well. I’ve started pretending to run. I signed up for a 5K in November. I’m hoping the fact that it’s the Shiner Beer Run will help motivate me to get ready for it. I have been really trying to get out to a nearby park to run in the evenings when it’s not too hot, but I never realized how many factors during your day could affect a run. It’s definitely a lot harder than I thought, but I feel really good afterwards.

Right now my PR for distance is 2.39 and my best average pace has been a 13:38/miles. Oddly enough, those occurred on the same run early in July.

julia prior will run for beer

Pretty much, yeah.

Let’s see, what else has been going on. 

I joined back up with my boot camp this week. My second class is tonight and I am -still- sore from Tuesday. Guess I needed to get back to it more than I thought. Woops.

And for posterity, here are a couple “before” pictures and my starting measurements.

Arms: 13.5 inches
Chest: 42.5 inches
Waist: 39 inches
Hips/Butt: 45 inches
Thighs: 23.25 inches

Raise your hand if you were surprised my chest wasn’t the largest. –raises hand–

before texas fit chicks

My session will last through February, so for once I’m actually not really concerned about gaining weight during the holidays.

In the meantime, I am hoping to start posting on a more regular basis. More of the same things as before. Personal stories, recipes, random motivational pictures. You know, the usual, with my own spin on it.

I hope you enjoy!

Weigh Ins, Boot Camp and Schedules, Oh my!

Hello, my beautiful (albeit neglected) blog people. I didn’t forget about you!

Work has been insane lately, and my free time in the evenings has now been consumed by boot camp. (Which is AMAZING, by the way)

I just wanted to let you know that I am not dead, this blog is not abandoned, and I didn’t forget about you!

Quick updates:

  • I’m halfway through boot camp, and I feel fantastic. I feel smaller and leaner and actually look forward to my thrice weekly ass-kicking of a workout.
  • I lost 2.6 pounds in the last two weeks. Hooray!
  • Eating clean is hard. Pretty much all of my favorite foods have ridiculous amounts of sodium in them and that makes me very sad.
  • My 5k is only 3 weeks away! May 11 at Fair Park. Woooo!
  • May is getting crazy busy already, so I really apologize if I fall off the face of the map again. Between my 5k, alumni events, getting my car fixed, (hopefully) squeezing in a trip to Austin, and then Free Press Summer Fest, I’m all booked as far as weekends go. Crazy how that happens.

Basically, my point is, I am doing fantastic, I am crazy busy, but loving every second of it. And don’t worry, I am making sure to take time to relax after work and on the weekends, as well as getting enough sleep. I know how that can sabotage any chances I have of getting healthier.

Hope y’all are enjoying the warmer weather!

Until next time…

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2013 Resolutions

Everyone has them, right?

Goals are great. Especially to those of us looking to improve our lives in multiple areas. I’m going to split these goals up into three sections. Wellness, Professional and Personal goals.

Ready? Let’s go then.

Wellness

  •  Get back on track with WeightWatchers. I’ve gotten out of the habit of tracking my food and calculating my daily points and (most importantly) adhering to those points. I’ve still been eating relatively healthy, becomingbut I haven’t had the accountability of the tracking to keep me honest. There have been more cookies and queso runs in my life lately. No more. Back to healthy grains and protein and fiber for me. (Related: I can tell a difference in how I’ve been eating because I don’t feel as good as I used to. I’m tired all the time and my body aches.) It wants the healthy food back in my life.
  • Cook more. You can ask anyone, I love to cook. I really do! I love making things up (as you can probably tell by some of my recipes here) and I love to improvise on recipes to see what happens. Unfortunately I’ve fallen into a rut where I don’t cook very often. I’ll cook o
    n the weekends if I’m not too busy. This year, I’m going to not only use my crockpot more, but I’m going to make enough food that Adam and I can eat our fill and there will still be leftovers. And then those will feed us during the week or on nights I don’t feel like cooking.
  • Eat out less. This is related, mostly because I’m sure if I cooked more often and kept my kitchen stocked with ingredients for easy, quick recipes, I would be less like
  • ly to hit up Panera on my way home from work. I have gotten better about my choices on where I eat out. I’ll pick Panera or Genghis Grill way before I hit the McDonald’s drive through.
  • Drink more water. I keep hoping that if I write this goal in my blog enough, it will actually happen.

Professional

  • Read more. I have a ton of social media, marketing and public relations books on my shelf and in my Kindle. I will read them and make notes on how I can use the ideas in them to help my clients.
  • Attend at least one industry conference. I’m hoping it will be South By Southwest Interactive in March, but the price is pretty steep for that. I would like to go to CERAWeek or OTC this year though.

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Personal

  • Be intentional. I need to take a step back and really look at how my daily actions and decisions are shaping me. I want to live in a way where you can tell exactly the kind of person I am by how I treat myself and others.grateful
  • Be thankful. I think I get so caught up in my work routine that I sometimes forget to be grateful for my life. I got better at it towards the end of 2012, and I want to continue to focus on all the blessings in my life, rather than the negatives.
  • Travel more. I know that sounds really weird coming from the girl who went to Florida, Ohio, Hawaii and whatnot this year alone, but I want to travel even more. I already have a trip to Ohio planned for February, a trip to Missouri in July and then (maybe?) a trip to Hilton Head for September. I fell into a rut where I traveled in 2012, but I feel like I didn’t have very many adventures. Hawaii is really the big one, and then when I moved, that was an adventure for me, only because I didn’t have control over so many different things.
  • Think more. I’m really good at talking. And sometimes, I’m not really good at thinking about how my words, actions or tone will come across.
  • Save more. I’ll admit it. I am terrible at saving money. While I’m not a shopaholic, I do enjoy a good sale and as stated above, I love to eat out. 2013 is the year to hunker down, tighten my belt if need be, and pay down my debt. (Life of a graduate of a private university).

So there you have it! What are your 2013 goals?

Warning: this update contains adorable kittens

Don’t worry friends, I didn’t forget about you!

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There is always room for a picture of my 5 month old kitten cuddling with a tiny stuffed bird.

Things have been absolutely insane lately. Here’s what’s going on:

  • Traveling for the holidays
  • I was named the Chapter President for the University of Dayton Alumni Association in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and then promptly asked to plan a Christmas service event as well as re-engage the entire group online.
  • Co-chairing a committee to put together two amazing toy drives this week, one today and one tomorrow to help Christmas happen for some amazing local kids. If you are in the DFW area and are free tonight or tomorrow night, you should join us! (Find out more info at the link above.)
  • The holidays.
  • Booking a trip to Ohio in February. Yes, I know I’m insane.
  • Helping a friend move.
  • And work. We just signed two new clients (YAY) and I’ve spent every remaining minute writing content strategy for them, which I actually really enjoy doing so it’s okay.

If you live in the Dallas area and are free tonight or tomorrow, click the picture for more information on how to get involved in Operation: Social Santa.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the things I’m doing and I’m super passionate about all of this, but it’s simply time consuming and I didn’t want y’all to think I have completely abandoned this blog. I have not. I am still sticking to my WeightWatchers, I just am struggling with finding time to write about it regularly.

Things will get better after this week. I hope. I have a few recipes I need to write-up (a  couple are zero Points+ recipes, yay!) and I will get back on track with you soon.

Until then, stick with me, please?

(PS: Today is 12/12/12! This is the last time the date will be all the same number in our lives. Pretty cool, huh?)

Dear Julia,

A list to myself, for when I get lazy and distracted:

Girl, you know what you have to do. Let’s review, just in case you forgot.

  1. No caffeine after 4 p.m. I know, this is crazy talk. But this is the only way for you to get to sleep in time to wake up at 6 a.m. to go for a run before work. Plus, you should be drinking more water anyway. I don’t care if it makes you have to get up and pee at odd hours of the night. Deal with it. #sacrifices
  2. There’s another one! Stick to your workout plan. And yes, this means waking up at 6 a.m. to run before work because girl, you know you won’t have the energy or willpower to do it after you work a 10 hour day. Let’s be real here. I don’t care if it’s raining, or cold, or whatever. Get your butt out of bed and hit the treadmill. No excuses.
  3. Blog more. You keep saying this, and then you keep making excuses. Makes some time this weekend to write a ton of great content for your readers to keep them going for the next few weeks.
  4. Invest in clothes that actually fit. You look ridiculous. Half of your clothes are too big, the other half you bought when you were 17. Those wide leg boot cut jeans may fit great now, but let’s bring your closet into the 21st century, shall we? This is why you made plans with Pamela to go to the Outlet mall on Sunday.
  5. Only eat pizza once a month. I know, I know, you love pizza. And rightly so! It’s just too easy to get home from work and order pizza, and then not have to worry about cooking OR doing dishes. But admit it, you always feel greasy and fat the next morning! What the heck pizza! You need to break up with pizza. It’s really an just an abusive relationship.

 

What are your go-to rules for keeping a healthy lifestyle?

My apologies

I have been so bad at this whole blogging thing lately. My apologies.

First, I was in Hawaii on vacation. And then I was out of town for a couple job interviews. And now I’m headed to the lake for the weekend for my best friend’s bachelorette party.

Normal blogging schedule will resume on Monday. I promise.

Have a happy weekend, and a happy Juneteenth!