Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Good evenin bloggies! I've been MIA for a couple of days, but I have an explanation! All my aunts and uncles and cousins arrived on Saturday at our family's cottage in Rhode Island and I scooted up there as soon and for as long as possible because my family ROCKS! I managed to score three days of sun, burgers, cards, wiffleball, cocktails, bug bites, and awesome times before heading home last night. I have to work for a couple days so I'm stuck here, but I'm back up to the cottage for a whole week after my Mom's wedding on SUNDAY! I can't believe it's so close!

Anyway, we don't have internet at the cottage, and to be honest, even if we did I wouldn't use it. There's something about family cottage time that makes surfing the internet just seem wrong - I have a big family and we only all get together for two weeks a year, so I want them all to myself!

I always worry about how I will maintain my fitness and healthy diet at the cottage, where ease and indulgence seem to win out over health. I'm lucky to have a pretty active and health conscious family, but I'm still tempted to sleep in and get that extra scoop of ice cream down in Watch Hill. My aunt is super fit and healthy, thankfully, so we usually try to motivate each other to run and hold back from completely losing control. Although I left my Garmin at home, we went for a couple of really nice long runs while I was up there, and I definitely reigned in my eating more than I have in past years. I find that on vacations it's good to go in with reasonable expectations - I knew I was going to indulge here and there, but I didn't want to throw away days on end to unhealthy eating and no exercise. It seems to have worked too - a successful trip all around!

Today after work I went for a nice bike ride - 15 miles in about an hour and fifteen minutes. It felt awesome to get on the bike again, and I picked a gorgeous route that ended down at one of our state beaches. I sat by the water before heading home and thought about how lucky I am to be happy, healthy, fit, and looking forward to a promising future. Endorphin induced or not, I'm living a pretty charmed life, and it's nice to think about it every once in a while!

I'm off to bed before work at 6 tomorrow, and I may or may not head back up to the cottage for the night. I am aching to get back to the beach again - my skin is going through sun withdrawal! I also want to finish up In Defense of Food - it's so eye opening! I already feel like my attitude towards food has dramatically changed. More on that later! Goodnight! xoxo

Friday, July 23, 2010

Preparing for Craziness

Happy Friday everyone! I have an unexpected day off today - so many possibilities!

I am happy to say that I'm back on track after my fitness frustration over the weekend. My 4 mile run the other day really gave me the boost I needed! Yesterday I went for a GREAT 3 mile run - the weather was much drier, absolutely gorgeous and breezy. PERFECT!

Mile 1 - 9:00
Mile 2 - 9:31
Mile 3 - 10:15

Although I love love love my Garmin, I think I have to adjust the way I use it a bit. I got it a couple of weeks ago and it has absolutely changed the way I run. It's so helpful to have all my stats on my wrist, and I definitely feel in tune with my workouts in a way I wasn't able to be before. However, I am also noticing that I've been running too fast initially, and towards the end of my runs I am huffing and puffing like a crazy person and petering out. I want to go back to finishing strong, so I think I'm going to need to cool it for my first mile or so. It's so hard to slow down when I see I'm keeping an awesome pace, but at this point it's too hard for me to maintain.

In other news, my mom is getting married in a week! I am so excited for her, and it's going to be so much fun! My mom is one of seven kids, and every year all my aunts and uncles and cousins rent a cottage in Rhode Island where they grew up. It's the most fun two weeks of the year - we are at the beach pretty much from 9-5, then we all grill, play wiffleball and cards, and drink all night. And the fun starts tomorrow! Well, I have to work on Sunday morning, so I'm heading up that afternoon and staying through Tuesday, and then after the wedding next Sunday I'm spending the week there. I also have a work party to go to - it's the 25th anniversary of the company I work for. Needless to say, it's going to be a CRAZY couple of weeks! I can't wait!

Now I've got to figure out what to do with all this free time! I got paid today, so I may head over to the outlet mall a town over to drool over fitness clothes. What can I say, I'm addicted!

Hope everyone has a good day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Run Forest Run!

So after a couple of days of fitness frustration (see below for details), I FINALLY got my run on yesterday! And it was great. Once the rain let up I laced up my shoes, slapped on my Garmin and was off!

Here are the splits!
Mile 1 - 10:27
Mile 2 - 8:44 (whoa! Apparently I'm a speed demon all of a sudden)
Mile 3 - 9:06
Mile 4 - 11:09 (murder hill and heat caught up with me a bit :( - not the strong finish I was hoping for but I didn't let myself walk!)

I was pretty shocked at my time during this run because I consistently run ten minute miles. To have two miles around nine minutes was kinda nuts, but I'm thinking a couple of days off gave me fresh legs or something? Who knows. The beginning of the run was great, about 72 degrees and a little breezy after the rain. However, the heat and humidity shot up FAST, and by mile three it was back in the high 80s. Ugh. I definitely got my sweat on, and was so so happy to get in a solid run!

This morning I rocked out with Jillian Michaels to No More Trouble Zones. I've probably said it a million times, but I just love this workout! Especially the ab circuits - bring on the planks! After a quick shower I headed to my nearest Whole Foods, which is about 35 minutes away - something I have mixed emotions about. I love Whole Foods, and they carry a lot of my favorite foods that I can't find anywhere around here, but I spend wayyyy too much money there. My uncle calls it Whole Paycheck, and he has a pretty good point. Oh well, at least I stocked up on my essentials!

I am still debating which camera to buy so I dont have any pictures, but I bought some goodies, including a jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams for my best friend Christy. She is working at a summer camp in Switzerland and then bumming around in Europe for the fall, so I'm sending her a killer care package for her birthday! Gotta fulfill those best friend duties! Anyway, I'm off to write her annual birthday poem - we are huge nerds, and write each other acrostic poems for our birthdays - we've done it since freshman year of college and it's so fun!

Fitness FAIL

It's a rainy morning here in CT, so I'm curled up in bed with the laptop (AWESOME) waiting for the downpour to stop so I can get in a run.

The past couple of days have been a bit of a fitness fail. On Friday, I had an unexpected day off, and meant to go for a nice four mile run. However, as I was putting on my running gear, I plopped on my bed to check my email and PASSED OUT. I woke up two hours later, and decided my body was telling me it needed some rest, so I scrapped the run and hung out with the brother instead. Overall, I think this was a good decision. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body!

Saturday was another story. I had work at 6, and planned on my four mile run for about 2:30, after work. Too bad I had the most intense allergy flare up of my life the whole day! All throughout work I had a horrible headache, intense congestion and sinus pressure, and couldn't stop sneezing. Somehow I made it through my shift but when I got home I popped some allergy meds and passed out. I was really bummed to have missed my run AGAIN, and got pretty down about it. I hate missing scheduled workouts. It makes me feel lazy, unproductive, and just plain mad. I think I need to work on this though, because sometimes things just don't work out, and it's not the end of the world that I didn't work out for two days in a row.

Yesterday was better. I had work in the morning, then the brother and I went to visit my grandma at her retirement home. She took us out for brunch! It was super yummy - I had two eggs over medium with whole wheat toast and a side of fruit. Once we got home I had just enough time to squeeze in No More Trouble Zones, which is quickly becoming my go to workout. I love love love it, it's the best strength training DVD I've ever come across and it still kicks my butt.

After a fast shower I went to meet up with one of my best friends from high school for dinner and drinks and catch up. She is moving to NYC next week to start an amazing job and I'm so proud of her. Chrissy was the girl in high school who always worked her butt off and it has really paid off! I can't wait to go visit her in the city (it's only about an hour and a half train ride - gotta give it up for easy access!) It was really great to have some one on one time with her - I have lost touch with a lot of my high school friends, due to the fact that I went to school in Canada and because I noticed a lot of changes in myself and my friends that put everyone on a lot of different paths. Chrissy has been extremely constant though, and I think that the changes we went though in college were similar - we grew up. We've been friends since we were nine, and I love her to bits. After dinner we went and met up with a bunch of kids at the beach - it was like a high school reunion! So much fun to see everyone.

I'm off to put on my sneakers because the sun is out! Later everyone!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Happy Thursday!

I have been running around like a lunatic all day! So happy to be snuggled up in bed with my laptop to decompress and finally relax. I worked an awesome shift this morning with my favorite coffee girls, then had to speed home to get some sweating in before my GRE tutoring session. Today I tried Rodney Yee's Power Yoga, and LOVED IT! Nice and challenging, a good length, and lots of awesome stretching and calm at the end. I am starting to absolutely love yoga - it's nice to have a great workout that is also relaxing at the same time. I love running, but I think it will always be a bit of a struggle for me.

I had just enough time to shower before meeting with my GRE tutor, and was surprised to have an AWESOME study session! I have not taken a math class since senior year of high school (my college didn't have general requirements like math or science), and boy am I rusty on the math section - especially the quantitative comparisons (choosing which is larger between two responses - SO HARD). I was feeling down on myself this past week with regards to GRE, but in an hour I felt much stronger and I think I'm really picking it back up. My SAT scores were probably the strongest part of my college applications, and I really want a bomb GRE score to give myself the best possible shot at a great grad program!

Immediately after my tutoring session, I whizzed to dinner for a little bachelorette action for my mom! My future aunt and cousins met us at a great restaurant a couple of towns over and we had the best time! I got steak fajitas (DELICIOUS), and a couple of cocktails. I was shocked by how affected I was by the alcohol - since being home from school I have hardly drank at all, and it definitely showed. I am pretty proud of myself for how little booze I've been drinking lately, but it did feel pretty good to let loose a bit! I'm heading up to Rhode Island in a couple of weeks with my extended family to our cottage, and I will definitely be upping my alcohol intake - at least I'm more of a lightweight now so that a little bit goes a long way!

I've been thinking lately about some short and long term fitness goals for myself, and have an informal list in my head:
(1) Run more races - The Branford Road Race in June (5 miles) was my first race ever, and it was a pretty huge deal for me. Since then, my dedication to running has waned a bit, and I want to get back in to it. Races are a great motivating tool, so I hope to put a couple on the schedule.
(2) Make time to make meals - I have a crazy work schedule that varies day to day, and I haven't been making enough time to make myself the kind of healthy meals I crave and deserve. I am really going to try to get up earlier and plan meals - I feel so much better when I'm organized about eating and making my own meals feels and tastes so much better!
(3) Work on snacking - Snacking is my food weakness, and I could eliminate so many unnecessary calories by being conscious of what I am eating and stopping the absentminded munching. I really need to work on this!
(4) More strength training! - I am a total cardio junkie - nothing in the world feels better to me than a runners high and my lungs pushed to the limit. But strength training needs to be a more present part of my workout routine. I can do it on days I do cardio too - No More Trouble Zones is my go to strength workout, but I just got the Women's health book of exercises and plan on pouring over it for some more tips.

That's it for now. I'm going to be checking in on progress for these goals and adding to the list as I come up with more.

Anyway, I'm off to bed - completely pooped from yoga and business and fun. I have tomorrow OFF (surprisingly) and plan on getting a notebook for GRE vocab and heading to the beach for as long as possible! So excited!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back in Business

So I've been gone for a bit - my apologies! Work, GRE prep, wedding prep (my mom is getting married AUGUST FIRST!), along with general summer craziness and workouts have left precious little time for blogging and relaxing. I have been feeling stretched a bit thin recently and unfortunately the blog has taken a backseat. But NO MORE! I am going to work a lot harder to make time to write down my thoughts and fitness pursuits - it's definitely therapeutic after a hectic shift or long day to write about my efforts to make my life healthier and more fulfilling!

I am happy to say my fitness has been faring better than my blogging - today I felt really strong while doing No More Trouble Zones. It's definitely becoming one of my favorite workouts - it's comprehensive, hard, varied, and makes me sweat like a pig and feel awesome after! I am really starting to feel stronger too - especially in my abs and arms! I'm wearing a strapless dress to my mom's wedding so triceps and biceps are definitely areas of interest in the next couple of weeks!

Tomorrow I have a new yoga DVD to try - Rodney Yee's Power Yoga. I am trying to expand my workouts and vary them as much as possible - I'm excited to try it! I'm going to attempt it after work and before a little pre-wedding get together with mom and my female cousins - another full day!

Goodnight everyone!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm Melting!

Well, the humidity is back!

Fourth of July weekend was a bit of a bust - I worked 25 hours between Friday and Sunday and basically watched everyone else have a good time and gave them their coffee. At least I made some good money! We are a bit short staffed at the coffee shop and the bosses made us extend hours over the holiday so EVERYONE was working. My next day off isn't until next Monday - I will have worked for nine days in a row! I can't think about it too much, but at least the paycheck makes it worth it!

I have my first session with my GRE tutor on Thursday - I'm nervous! Applying to grad school is starting to freak me out - I hate putting myself in a position to be judged! I know I'm qualified and that I have found the right program for me, but it's hard to put myself out there and have someone else decide what I deserve. Hopefully it all works out! It's going to be weird to get back into study mode again - luckily standardized tests have always been a strong suit for me, so hopefully the GRE will really help my applications.

On the totally cool side, one of my bosses from my internship last summer has basically given me free reign to write my OWN recommendation - he says he will sign whatever I write. AWESOME!

On the fitness side, today was interesting. I was originally going to run at 6 AM before work, but last night our neighbors decided to put on a two hour fireworks show that then drove all the dogs nearby crazy, so needless to say I didn't get much sleep and opted to stay in bed a bit longer in the morning. By the time I got out of work at 2:30 the sun was high in the sky, but I wasn't going to sacrifice a workout just because of a little heat. I ended up mixing things up a little bit - instead of doing a regular three mile run I decided to run one mile at my max pace and then go easy for the second and third miles. Mile 1 was a speedy 8:07! My usual pace is around 10 minutes, so I was pretty pumped to see a time like that! The next two miles definitely weren't as fast - went to about 11:30 minute miles - but it was fun to see how fast I could go! I was proud of myself for not losing it after mile 1, definitely a tough workout!

Now I'm being very careful to move as little as possible in an effort to stay cool. I've got a Band of Brothers marathon to keep me company!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


The humidity is finally gone! Yesterday morning I woke up early to put another blanket on the bed - it was a pretty great feeling. Starting yesterday the weather has dried out for a couple of days at least, and I am taking complete advantage of it! Yesterday I went for a nice long 4 mile walk with my mother, and then went out on the bike for about an hour. This morning I woke up bright and early and ran an easy four miles - it's been a couple of days since I went running so I want to ease myself back into it. I have to say - it's really nice to go for a run and not be completely wet afterwards!

I'm off to work in about an hour, and then tomorrow is my day off! I'm crossing my fingers that the weather is nice, because I'm really itching for a nice beach day. I'm planning on doing a fast three miles, maybe a little strength training, and then slipping on my suit and basking in the sun!

I was thinking the other day about what kind of exercise I want to get done in a week, and I think I've come up with a nice little outline for myself. In any given week, I want to do:
2 or 3 runs
1 or 2 days cross training (biking, most likely) - 1 of these should be pretty light
2 days strength training

I'm going to see how I like having a bit of a workout schedule - it may help me stay on track or I might ditch it entirely and just do what I feel like on any given day. I do think it's important to do regular strength training though, and I know I sometimes forget or opt for cardio instead.

Off to shower before work!