Thursday, February 11, 2016

Random Things on a Thursday

I like having a day to dump all my random thoughts from the week on you unsuspecting people, so here's what I have from this week:

I've mentioned before that I hate feeling like I live in two places. To give a little perspective, I took a picture of all the bags in my car on Sunday before I left my house:

I travel with this much stuff literally every time I leave my house. Do you know what a relief it will be to not have that giant duffle bag in my car, and to get it down to a reasonable 5 bags + purse?!

It's too many bags, people.

Dove Promises
The other day I bought some Dove promises, and Cam and I each had one. If you've never had a Dove Promise before, they have a little motivational saying on the inside of the wrapper. I laughed out loud when I read the two we got:

I'm totally incapable of staying up past my bed time, but Cam lives for it. We're both snooze button hitters though. This is why I set 5 alarms for the morning!

This one is fun, but gross. Over Christmas one of my friends was in from NY state and we met for breakfast. She was telling me about her new apartment and said she's really glad it has an in-unit washer/dryer because she works out so often that she always has a ton of laundry to do. I've found (and she agreed) that with working in an office,work clothes don't need to be washed every time you wear them because you don't sweat and get gross in them (unless you spill on yourself, and the obvious exception is UNDAPANTS). Workout clothes though? I go through them like crazy, so by the time laundry day comes around I've got a hamper full of gross leggings and stuff to wash.

And let's be honest...laundry day is like every third day when you account for towels and pillowcases too. That's pretty frequent for one person.

Check your car lights, people!
I have seen a ridiculous number of vehicles with lights out in the last week. A ridiculous number.

Headlights, taillights, brake lights, fog lights...all sorts of lights are out. During a gross, cold, icy Midwestern winter this is just asking for make sure you're checking your car lights!

RfC and Heart Rate training vs Run-Walk method
I realized during my run this week that I kind of sold myself short with my half marathon training. Okay, maybe that's the wrong way to look at it, but Sunday's run got me wondering if the Run-Walk method was really for me. I think partly because of the heat it was smart to train that way, but I also think I could have pushed harder.

I mean...on Sunday I ran over two miles without even thinking about stopping, which wasn't something I considered doing during my half training. And then I started thinking...I want to PR the hell out of this year (see the next section on races)...

Katie at Runs for Cookies has been talking a lot lately about 80/20 running (heart rate training), and it makes a bit more sense to me. During my Sunday run I didn't pay attention to my pace at all - I just took it easy. The point of 80/20 running is that a majority of your training is done at an easier pace, and then 20% of your training is done at a higher aerobic threshold. It sounds very interesting, and I think I decided to invest in the book she mentioned:

Bottom line is...we shall see where this leads!

It started innocently enough. I went to see if there are races our PrideZ group can participate in, and I just tumbled down a rabbit hole. In addition to the Shamrock Shuffle in April I'm considering:

And I won't even mentioned the other sprint tri I found. Realistically, I need to look at my training schedule to decide which of these (hopefully all!) I can do, so we'll revisit this in the future.

Sidenote: I PR'd my 5k time at the Corporate Challenge last year (by running the whole thing)...but I'd like to have an official 5k race time for it. And, you know, beat my Corporate Challenge time this year. I'm actually looking forward to fitting these races into my training schedule (which, PS, I still need to write out...).

Pass Them Like You Love Them
Swim Bike Mom had a post this week about this group of cyclists in Georgia called Pass Them Like You Love Them.

Because I cycle on the road (when I do...which has not been frequently) I am always super, super cautious when passing cyclists on the road. But their mission? I love it. Imagine how much happier our lives would be in general if we acted like we love the people we're sharing the road with?

Note to self on that one.

My Cubicle
I've always meant to share some photos of my cube when I've decorated it, but I've never gotten around to it, so here they are!

We had a floor event that involved cutting out snowflakes...I did one of each to decorate my cube for the cold weather:

And okay, winter isn't over yet, but I wanted to do something for the Hustle Up the Hancock, so I did this! I found a printable cut out of the John Hancock building, and then made the lettering myself:

Also...why not share a duck! This guy is actually a tea steeper that my mom got me one year. I LOVE him, and it makes it easy to enjoy loose leaf at my desk!

And I think that's enough for today! Don't worry though - I'll be back next week with plenty more random thoughts!


Currently Reading:
K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone #11) - Sue Grafton (audiobook)
The Walking Dead: Compendium 3 - Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano (hard copy)

I finished J is for Judgment...I'm still loving the Kinsey novels. I have a few more on hand to get through, so I've got plenty to keep my busy!

You can find me here on Goodreads!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Repost: Dust.

(This is a repost from last year)

I haven't kept it a secret that I am no longer religious, but I think Ash Wednesday is a good time for secular reflection as well.

The message is important regardless of what you believe. Ash Wednesday leads into Lent, a season of reflection, penance, and forgiveness.

Forgiveness is an important thing - knowing when you need to grant it, and when you need to ask for it. And asking for forgiveness can be difficult and humbling, but also important.

Every Ash Wednesday I repeat the following phrase to myself as a reminder that my life will one day end and the material things I gained will mean nothing. It is a reminder to make my imprint on this world a positive one:


Monday, February 8, 2016

Workout Wrapup (Monday 1st - Sunday 7th)

Monday, February 1st

Monday was a bust. Normally Cam and I meet at the gym to swim, but it wasn't happening. I was tired and wanted to go home, cuddle my puppies, and do some CPCU studying. I got halfway through my CPCU chapter and Nigel came over and basically dragged me out of my chair to go cuddle (okay, I'm lying, he nudged my hand...the guilt is what dragged me from my seat).

Tuesday, February 2nd

It went a bit better on Tuesday. I forced myself to do another 65 flights of stairs after work. 14:08 this time, so pretty steady with the pace. Cam and I met at the gym and we just weren't feeling the spin bikes. We got on, peddled for about 2 minutes, and then decided to go lift.

Which also ended up being kind of sad...and we only did 2 lifts: Bench and Deads. Yup. Lazy of us, but at least we did something! And I totally forgot a picture of our lift book this you don't get to see how much (or how little, depending on how you look at it) we lifted!

Wednesday, February 3rd

I decided to make up for my missed swim workout on Monday, and nail one on Wednesday. I stole a workout from Katelyn at Hungry Twenties...and then forgot to take it into the gym with me, so I totally butchered it. Here's what I was supposed to do:

That was definitely not what I ended up doing. Here's what I misremembered and did instead (it's comical, really):
It's funny, because I ended up doing just as many yards even though I totally didn't remember things correctly. You'll notice the lack of cool-down...and it's because my foot started cramping pretty badly, and it was the kind of cramp that I normally don't recover from by staying the pool. I was so disappointed that I didn't get through "the whole workout" because I didn't do 4 repeats...but looking at it later I realized that was dumb because my workout was only short by one lap!

I also did some drills during the "fast" 2x100s. I did one drill for 100 yard time that I was really happy with:
Next goal is to get this under 2:00 minutes!
And one 200 yard drill at a "comfortably fast" past that I think I could maintain for a race:
I'm not happy that after I did both of these drills my Garmin stopped remembering how to track laps, and I had to stop, save, and then start another session. I feel like maybe I'm missing a step that I'm supposed to do, so I guess I'll be browsing some user manuals soon.

Thursday, February 4th
I'm ashamed to say that Cam and I got to the gym, we were in the parking lot and...we decided not to go work out. I had some cards I wanted to get written and he's been working longer than usual days, so we kind of shoulder-deviled each other and went to the grocery store for dinner stuff instead.

All was not lost though...I did 85 flights of stairs in 18:40.9 before I left work. Not too shabby! (Although this definitely contributed to my not wanting to work out, haha.) It was also extra dry and left me with a persistent cough. Thanks, stairwell.

And those cards? They didn't get done until Friday morning. Whoopsies.

Friday, February 5th

I was looking forward to Friday because Cam agreed to try a couple's yoga class with me! The studio I go to by my house offered this partner class for the first time and I thought it would be fun.

Sidenote: Nana, I know you're reading that, and that's right! Not only have I convinced your baby to eat broccoli and tofu, I convinced him to try yoga!

It was fun, and everyone in the class got quite a few laughs out of it. Cam and I were, by far, the most mismatched by height (he's nearly a foot taller than me), so it made some things...interesting. Like, we were doing a reverse warrior at one point and they said to reach back and try to grab your partner's hand...well that wasn't happening because Cam's hand was about 6 inches higher than I just patted his head instead :P

They also had us do this challenge pose at the I present to you the first picture of me doing yoga!

I'm in blue doing the down dog - the teacher did this with me because Cam was afraid he'd break me. I did do this reversed with me in front with Cam though :)
Saturday, February 6th

Saturday was NOT a good day. Don't even ask, but it was shitty, and in addition to my personal life, it was the one year mark of finding out about Kayla. Ugh. February is a dumb month.

I had planned on weights, and it didn't happen, but I did stick to going to yoga with my mom. When the teacher asked us what we needed to work on I said, "My mind." (For reference, I usually say something like, "My calves are tight" so it was a departure for me.)

And I had a little PR in yoga too! I managed my first extended side angle with a bind! Bilaterally too! (I did it on both sides.) I've had a lot of tightness in my shoulders since my surgery two years ago, and combined with weight lifting poses like this are difficult for me, so I'm super proud! If you're wondering, it looks like this:
And now that' I've done it, I can't imagine why I couldn't do it before! Bodies are weird like that.

Sunday, February 7th

I finally said "Screw it!" and went for a run. I've been yearning for it for weeks, and after seeing so many people from the Hogwarts Running Club post about finishing the Molly Weasley Ugly Jumper Run on Saturday, I just needed to get out a run mine too.

My intention was to run the whole thing, but Cam called me about 1/4 of a mile in and we needed to talk a bit. I walked about 1/2 a mile while we were on the phone, and then picked it up for the rest of the run. I kept my pace really easy for this run. I didn't want to stress my body too much, and I figured I was already doing a bit of that by running 3 miles off the bat. So easy it went, me and Nigel pounding some pavement and avoiding icy patches. It was also my first run using my 920xt!

It's really hard for me to see a 5k time that starts with a 4, especially since I'd like to get faster this year, but I keep telling myself it's the first run back and I walked half a mile of it too. So yeah...just gotta play through that mental game.

It was nothing stellar, but I'm glad I got it done!
 And it didn't end there. I made up for all my slacking in the weight room this week by going to the gym and pounding out seven (eight?) lifts, including squats. So...go me? Yeah, I think so.

It is now Monday, and my legs are shot. 

See, I used to run alllll the freaking time, and I totally forgot that when you don't you get to be sore after your runs. My legs (especially my quads and hips) are feeling it today and I am sore. Between the running and the weights, my whole body is experiencing some DOMS today. But I'm happy to be back to running, so I don't even care ;)

Peace out for now, people!