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

Two Kinds of Pride

I have two things to talk about today.

First of all, I ran my longest distance yet yesterday, and it was definitely the toughest.

Five miles on a treadmill. (Thanks, Winter Storm Cleon.) In all reality, I thank God for this weekend, because while the weather was terrible and it was bitterly cold, we never lost power and we were lucky enough to be safe both times we ventured out to drive on the ice. Others were not as lucky and I hope those still without power get it back soon. 

But anyway, the treadmill. So boring, and hard, thank goodness for this playlist. Really. It was hard not only because of the stagnant nature of the treadmill, but because there were a couple points where I really just wanted to quit. Around 3.5, and then again around 4 miles. It took a lot of mental energy to force myself to keep going.

But I did the whole 5 miles, and I am really proud of myself. For the first time I think, I’m letting myself feel proud of this accomplishment. I was thinking about it, and if you had asked me a month and half ago to run 5 miles, I would have laughed at you. It’s amazing to reflect back on how far I’ve come in such a short time.

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Secondly, I need to give a shout out to my cousin, friend, co-conspiritor and running peer-pressure coach, Erin, who ran in the BCS Marathon in College Station yesterday! Not only did she have the determination to train for a full marathon, but when the race she had originally planned on got cancelled due to ice (thanks, Winter Storm Cleon), she got in at the last minute for another race. And while I was a little disappointed I couldn’t be there to cheer them on, as I had planned on in Dallas, I cannot imagine going through all that, having a race cancelled, and not giving up, but signing up for a different race on three days notice, and then finishing!

I am so proud of her, and my Aunt Susan for finishing their first marathon. They have been a huge help in getting me into the world of running, helping me figure out training plans, races, gear and just providing overall moral support that I could not be more proud of them as they accomplish their goals.

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That Time I Started Running

One thing you should know about me is that I love doing things. And more than doing things, I specifically love doing things with other people.

It’s part of the E in ESFJ for me to love being around people and gain energy from sharing common activities, interests and the like.

So while at first I resisted the idea of running, what with having a bum ankle and all, I was so proud of my friends who did get out there and run. Allison has long been a supporter of the idea that you should work out in whatever way fits you. But she’s also in love with running, and that’s contagious. My cousin Erin is also a big runner, and she has (for a very long time) been trying to get me to run a 5K with her, even though she’s about to run her first marathon in December (go Erin!).

Together, these two convinced me to get out and try running.

Not on purpose, but by being an example. I saw through Facebook, Instagram, E-mail and everyday conversations. They would always talk about how running helped them relax and set their life in order. Oh, and they were getting in wicked awesome shape, which is always a nice side benefit.

So after I finished my boot camp last spring, I finally felt healthy and fit enough to start running. It was a lot easier to motivate myself because I already felt good about my body. I felt like I could conquer the world after boot camp, so why not running too?

Turns out its not as easy as it seems.

I was used to having my trainer (Hi, Meridith!) encouraging me during boot camp workouts, reminding me why I was there, pushing me when she saw I was slacking (#sorrynotsorry).

You don’t have that when you’re out on a run. You just have yourself, your music and the pavement.

julia after a run

Me and my post workout high.

It was hard. But after searching for a replacement for the post-boot camp high of sweat, adrenaline and exhaustion, I found it in running.

A lot of people run to keep their life in order. A lot of people run to manage stress. A lot of people run to lose weight.

I run for the feeling I get after a run, or any really good workout. Dripping in sweat, gasping for air, feeling the sun beat down on me as I try to control my heart rate.

I don’t feel tired or worn out. I don’t feel pain or fatigue.

I feel powerful.

It’s in those moments when I know exactly how powerful my body is, and I revel in that feeling. I love the feeling after boot camp when I look around and realize that in one night, I did 80 burpees. The feeling after a run after work when I look at the lake I run around, knowing that I did that.

The ache the next morning is just a reminder of what I accomplished.

Do you run? Why? What gets you out there?

(Side note: I am also motivated by select pictures of the monster I call “Fat!Julia”. I must beat her.)

Biggest Loser – Family Style: Weigh In Week 4

Well hello there.

I know,  I’m way behind in posting this, but it’s been a busy few days. But excuses aside, I think I did pretty decently last week, considering how much I was eating out (whoops) and not running (whoops).

I lost 0.2 lbs

So basically there was no change at all.

In other news, I saw Imagine Dragons in concert last night (an early Valentine’s Day present from Adam) and it was awesome.

 

ID3

ID5

ID4

 

If you’ve never heard Imagine Dragons before, you’re in luck.

 

I’m obsessed. I blame Allison for getting me hooked.

also went for my first official outdoor run this weekend! There’s a pretty little trail not too far from my apartment complex, so on Sunday morning I hopped in the car and headed out there.

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I went for probably about a solid mile, at a relaxed pace. Not my best, but it felt good to be outside, and my lungs (and body) definitely aren’t used to running in the cold.

Here’s hoping I can make outdoor running part of my routine soon.

I’ll have a quick (and easy) recipe for you later this week, and then things will probably quiet down until late next week, as I will finally be in Ohio hanging out with a few of my favorite people.

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?

New Year’s Resolutions 2013

Okay. Last year I made some new year’s resolutions. And I don’t think I did too hot on them. Whoops.

But the wonderful thing about a new year, is you get a new chance to fail at new resolutions.

Fireworks by Richard J. Carson

  1. Cook more. Eat out less. This will help my waistline, my cooking skills and my pocket book.
  2. Cut back on caffeine. I know. I know. I say this every year. Do I get points for determination?
  3. Pray more. This has nothing to do with getting healthier, unless you count the health of my spirit. In 2013 I will start going to mass every Sunday, pray more often and read my bible more
  4. Start paying back my savings account/put money away for a new car/something awesome. Let’s set this at a concrete goal of $3,000 added to my savings account by Christmastime 2013. That would pay back what I spent moving in July.
  5. With that in mind, I want to make a serious dent in my student loan debt in 2013. I know I can’t pay it all back, as it is almost as much as my yearly salary. (Private university. Ouch.) But I want to make progress. I paid back about $7,000 in 2013. Let’s see if I can do better in 2013.
  6. Rededicate myself to the Weight Watchers plan. I’ve kind of unofficially fallen off the wagon. And while I track my food on some days, I don’t weigh myself as often as I should or take full advantage of the program. By the end of 2013 I hope to have not only reached my goal weight (150lbs) but to have passed it.
  7. Let the people in my life know how much I appreciate them. I am sarcastic, cynical and slightly argumentative by nature. I love being right. But I love my friends and family more. And I’ve come to a slow realization that I might not be putting that across in the way I interact with them. Here is my last and most important resolution. I resolve, in 2013, to love more. Love myself enough to grow as a person, and love others enough to treat them with the respect and care they deserve.

And yes, I do have several smaller, more materialistic goals for the year. If you want, they are listed below.

  • Successfully relaunch the University of Dayton Alumni Association – Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter and attend the ALC in Dayton in September.
  • Get a raise at my current job.
  • Move into a different apartment. One on the second floor and with more storage space, please.
  • Join either PRSA or Social Media Club.
  • Attend at least one industry conference.

Nerdy, right?

What are your new year’s resolutions?

Weekly Weigh In: Week 3

Wow, these weeks are starting to fly by. I can feel that I did better last week, not only are my clothes starting to fit better (I fit into a 12 for the first time in YEARS today!) but I’m starting to have more energy, despite my life getting crazier and more busy as summer ramps up.

Last week, I lost 1.1 pound.

Go me! I feel great and I’m going to integrate more activity into my routine so I can increase the amount of weight I drop each week, and hopefully start to replace the fat with some muscle as well as get some tone in the muscles I already have.

On an unrelated note, I went to a bridal shower for my best friend yesterday and had a blast. The food was amazing and I couldn’t help but share it.

Tomato Basil soup with a ravioli and garlic croutons

Chicken Cordon Bleu Tartane. (chicken, provolone cheese, roasted red pepper, ham, mashed potatoes on a piece of garlic toast). Served with a baby spring mix salad.

Tres Leches Cake and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Bride’s favorites

It’s good to indulge once in a while, right?

Bridesmaid. Bride. Maid of Honor. (also known as, friends since forever)

My Partner in Crime

I may not have mentioned this before, but I’m not doing this alone. My cousin Erin signed up for Weight Watchers the week before I did, and we met up last night for dinner and drinks at a local dive.

It was so nice to have someone to talk to about the point system, our favorite recipes that use the least amount of points, and what the heck the activity points are for. (We still don’t know.) It’s like we’re figuring this all out together, and makes it more fun, and easier to deal with.

It makes it easier that she’s my cousin and one of my close friends, so the trust and openness is already there.

We then decided to use up the rest of our weekly points and each ordered one of these.

Side note: Erin had her first weigh in on Monday, and in her first week lost 6 pounds. Go Erin!!