Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's all over. And I'm sick...AGAIN!

It's really over...for now.  I have a feeling I will be having to take that stupid test (at least a part of it) over again.  After studying for 4.5 hours on Friday afternoon, boy and I drove the 3 hours east to our hotel.  I really needed a run or to move my body because I had been sitting and staring at my book/computer all afternoon.  My nose was starting to stuff up and it was 10pm, but I went to the "fitness center" to get a short 30 minutes or so in.  Well, the "fitness center" was literally 2 treadmills, a stationary bike, and an elliptical.  To my dismay BOTH of the treamills were being used.  I wasn't about to give in and go back to the room, so I got on the elliptical.  I haven't been on one of those probably in about 4 years.  I don't even really know how to use one.  I just put the resistance on and went for 25 minutes, barely breaking a sweat and it said I had only gone 1.5 miles?!  Finally the women using the treadmills left and I pumped out another 1.5 miles to finish off my workout.  Went back to my room and was out by 11:30, making sure I had at least 3 alarms set.

My study station.

Definition of sick and tired.

Too.  Much.  Studying.

I woke up at 6:20, to absolutely no alarms.  I was so nervous, I couldn't sleep.  I got up, studied a little bit more before waking the boy up to go to breakfast with me.  I found out that the testing center was literally around the corner, so I felt a lot less stressed about time at that point.  I got to the testing center at 7:30 and started my test around 7:40.  I was super nervous and guessed on approximately half of them.  I tried to overcompensate for the poorly done multiple choice section by trying to write okay essays for the essay portions of the test.  I have a feeling I am going to have to redo the English/History portion of the test again because I seriously know nothing about history.  There was a written response question that I literally knew absolutely nothing about, but instead of writing nothing, I chose to write something so maybe they will take pity on me?  I was done with 49 minutes left to go.  My head was pounding and I could not breathe out of my nose.  I thought about taking those 49 minutes and going over the multiple choice questions or trying to make my essays better.  But I realized that would be a terrible idea because I would second guess myself and only make things worse.  So, I have to wait about 2 weeks or so to find out if I passed any of the tests (there were three).  I am seriously hoping I passed at least 2?  If not, it's not the end of the world and I can retake them while I am, hopefully, healthy.

Boy spent his time waiting for me at the hotel watching movies and then went to In-N-Out, which he knows I'm not a fan of (I know, probably the only person on the planet).  He came and picked me up and we were out of there, driving home.  I couldn't even think my head hurt so badly at that point.  We stopped at the store on the way home and got stuff for chicken soup.  Boy made me soup when we got home.  I ate and then tried to do a workout with my kettlebells.  That lasted all of 20 minutes.  I was so exhausted.  I stretched and used the foam roller, but I was even too tired to do that for too long.  Boy put on a movie and we laid on the couch.  We ended up watching 2 movies before I took NyQuil and passed out at 9:30.  I woke up this morning at 10!  I haven't slept until 10 in months.  Literally, I cannot remember the last time I slept past 8.  I was astonished when I looked at the clock.

We went to boy's mom's house, ate breakfast and watched V for Vendetta.  I only had to get off the couch about 60 times to blow my nose.  I was supposed to come home and run with my partner, but we both decided to reschedule as we both had somewhere to be later and no energy.  Or so I thought.  I told her I would probably only do about 2 or 3 easy miles (meaning slowly) and I told myself that too.  Until I got started.  I got on my dad's treadmill because it's super windy and cold outside and I didn't want to have to stop and blow my nose 9000 times.  I felt like I was on top of the world.  My body NEEDED to move.  At about 40 minutes, I felt a little bit tired and unable to breathe correctly.  At 50 minutes I knew I really needed to stop.  So I ended up doing 6.5 miles.  I got off and started wheezing because I was trying to catch my breath but couldn't get any air through my nose.  Bad, bad, bad Rachel.  I know.  But I do really feel so much better now that I've sweat.  Hopefully I sweat out some of these germs.

Making me some soup.

My entire family was at my mom's cousin's wedding, so I sent them this as a hello.

So I seriously have not gotten sick like this in years.  It seems I've gone a month without being sick and then I get sick again.  And it's not knock-down-dragged-out sick.  It's I-can't-breathe-out-of-my-nose-and-have-to-blow-it-9000-times-a-day sick.  That's much more annoying.  If I'm going to get sick, I want to be knocked down on my butt sick so that I can just deal with it and be better and that's that.  Because I have been sick so much this year, starting with that really bad sore throat in October or November.  I got tested for mono because I had all of symptoms, but it came back negative.  Now that I keep getting sick (and it's pretty much the same thing every single time), I am wondering if the test came back as a false negative as it often does with mono and I really did have it.  According to the Internet (which I'm sure is ALWAYS right), it weakens the immune system and makes you get colds more easily, even after the initial mono is gone.  That and working out a lot probably doesn't help.  Who knows.  It would be nice just to get a really good sickness that knocks me down so that I don't feel badly about laying around all day and then get better for the next 7 years.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What A Weekend

Lately my weekends have definitely not been about resting.  They feel just as busy as my regular work days.  I am not looking forward to adding school into the mix, but I am getting kind of excited to be a student again.  Being a student is one thing I am actually pretty good at.

Friday, after we went to dinner (Pho seems to be our go-to Friday night meal), the boy and I laid in bed.  He played me guitar which he hasn't done in several months and I just drifted around the internet.  I'm pretty obsessed with reading running blogs right now.  Before my race, I googled what I should eat before a long race and this blog came up.  Ever since then, I've been reading it religiously and I have to say she has motivated me to really want to finish a half marathon.  I'm still scared to sign up.  I have 6 weeks, so I am training as though I will run it, but 13.1 miles scares me to death.  It is quite a nice feeling completing a goal though, and I've gotten a little addicted to races.  There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishing something you never thought you would.  I've said I was going to run this half marathon for a couple of years, but never had the guts to sign up for it and somehow it would pass by before my eyes.  I think this year I may actually do it.  Who knows?  But this woman runs half marathons and marathons in crazy times and I am in awe of her.

Boy playing me guitar.

Saturday morning I was up early to get to the gym by 9.  I say I was up early, but really my body won't let me sleep past 8 or 8:30, no matter how hard I try, so I was up at a decent hour.  The bootcamp class was an hour and a half long and consisted of 5 groups that we rotated through.  One was bodyweight exercises (although, I saw the next group using real weights!), one was TRX (which I'm starting to love), one was sandbags (which is HARD), one was kettlebells, and one was battle ropes (REALLY hard).  We were at each group for 12 minutes or so.  It was a great class.  The problem is that it's $10 on top of the gym membership we already pay for.  I have a month of free classes, so I think I am going to use them up and then debate whether or not it's worth it to pay $10 every weekend.  Probably not.

I came home, ate a good breakfast, and studied for 2 hours.  All of this studying is taking it out of me.  I haven't studied anything in 2 years, so it feels so tiring even studying for little bits at a time.  During that time, my mom and I decided we were going to go see a movie while dinner cooked in the crock pot.  We headed to the movie with the boy in tow (with much grumbling, we were seeing Oz).  We came home to a delicious smelling house.  I made a salad and roasted some broccoli and we had an amazing dinner of corned beef and cabbage.  I LOVE corned beef.  I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and I would be happy.  That and sushi.  And pho.  

So good.  With my stupid book in the background.

After dinner, the boy and I headed to a birthday party for our fantastic friend.  She turned 30 on Thursday, so it was a celebration of her life.  We had a great bonding experience with the group who was there while watching a movie and just generally laughed and had a good time.  The night ended with a pinata and a bonfire before the boy and I decided to go home because we were both exhausted.

Scouring for candy.  In the dark.

Still searching.

Luckily the unicorn's head was intact and Birthday Girl got to wear it as a hat.  Dude in the background played Dracula to my Mina Murray in Brides of Dracula.

We don't take real pictures.

Good group of people.

This morning I got myself out of bed early enough to go to the gym to get a long run in.  My running partner has family in town this weekend, so I figured she was probably busy.  I cannot make myself run outside for over 30 minutes before getting bored and wanting to go home.  I really prefer running outside, it feels so much freer, but running on the treadmill I can convince myself to keep going.  I don't know why.  So, I hopped on the treadmill wanting to do 7 or 8 miles, but by mile 3 I knew I was only going to do 6.  My body felt tired and I didn't have much in me to keep going.  Six miles is enough considering I did 17.5 miles last week.  I also walked with a huge incline for another 10 minutes after my run, just to get my cardio to an hour.  It was really horrible not running with her and I know now how spoiled I am to run with her.  

Not too bad for how I was feeling.

Stretching afterward.  This is how I felt the entire run.

I came home, showered, and we headed south to boy's mom's house for brunch.  We hadn't seen her since we left Washington (the wedding was almost a MONTH ago), so it was really nice to see her and catch up.  I adore his mom.  His brother was there and his grandma lives on the property, so she came down to visit with us.  We spent an hour stacking wood and chatting, then we dished up brunch and sat in the sunshine talking and drinking coffee.  It was a perfect Sunday afternoon.  It was so warm and lovely as well.

I downed this in about 2 minutes.

Making fun of his country boy ways.


No really, we don't take normal pictures.

After brunch, we headed even further south to boy's friend's house so that he could play music.  He's been going over there a lot lately because that's where his drum set is currently living and they want to play at the next Art's Alive, so they've been practicing.  I sat on the couch in the living room listening to their very loud music and chatting with some guy I've never met about school as he is getting his degree in Psychology too.  He had the cutest puppy that I got to play with.  I always jokingly tell Milo that he gets to go to the pound soon because he's too old and I want a new puppy. But playing with this puppy made me realize that Milo is a great age and I don't really want a puppy that badly.  (Disclaimer: I would never take Milo to the pound.  He's my baby.)  We came home and I spent another 2 hours studying.  I'm leaving math for this week because that's what I'm most scared about.  Today I learned about music and art and PE...

Too much information.

Then we went to my dad's, of course, for Sunday dinner.  Tonight it was bison hot dogs and chili, kale chips, salad, gluten free corn bread, and the usual fruit salad and whipped cream for dessert.  My tummy is still full.  I love Sundays.  Now it is off to bed so that I can get up when my alarm goes off way too early as it always does on Mondays.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Out of the Ordinary

This week has been pretty out of the ordinary for me.  I have been super exhausted since Sunday.  I think it's a combination of not resting adequately after the run and the time change.  I've just felt super run down and unable to keep my eyes open.  Have I stopped working out and rested up?  Nope.  That's how I am.

Monday was totally normal.  Worked out at home and made dinner and fell asleep super early because I was so tired.

This is why I adore my sister.  This was our text conversation Monday.

Monday's dinner was steak salad with plenty of extra veggies.

Tuesday, since boy had gone to work, I went to the real gym where there is a squat rack and a deadlifting platform.  I really, really wanted to get some heavy squats in along with my chest and tricep workout that I do on Tuesdays, but there were so many bros hoarding the rack that I didn't get to.  It was a little upsetting.  I did run a mile and a half.  Then I met up with the ex to take our dog for a run.  I was kicked his butt for another mile and a half.  He was so far behind me and I felt like I was running super slow.  This was a nice change because usually he is the one kicking my butt in physical things.  Then we came back to my house and we made the most delicious dinner of sweet potato pizzas.  Most genius invention ever.

The beginning.

Mini pizzas for all.

Final product.

Wednesday I came home from work feeling as though I was coming down with something and really wanting a nap, but was a good girl and sat down and studied for an hour and a half before heading to the gym.  I didn't feel like I needed to get in a longer run before circuit because I had done such a long run on Sunday and had run 3 miles the day before, so I did a simple 2 miles on the treadmill before heading upstairs, only to have to go back downstairs to do a mile around the neighborhood as our warmup.  So, I did another 3 miles, bringing my weekly total miles up to 16, the most I've done in awhile.  When I got home, I showered and got into bed and was out by 9 like an old lady.

Two miles done.

Wednesday's dinner was Mexican chicken.

Thursday was another day that was out of the ordinary.  I had made plans with my lovely friend to have dinner with her Wednesday, but cancelled because I felt like crap.  So, we made plans for Thursday night dinner, which I believe is going to become a regular thing.  I did legs at the gym and actually got to use the squat rack AND the deadlift platform before some man came in and took over literally every single piece of powerlifting equipment and stood and talked on his phone for a half an hour.  I also ran another mile and a half, bringing my weekly total up to 17.5.  I am thinking about running the half marathon in May, but something about it terrifies me.  I am going to train like I will run it though, just to keep up the running.  I think it's been good for me.  

After the gym, I came home and studied for an hour before heading up to the town just north of us to make sushi and watch silly youtube videos with two of my very best friends.  My old roommate joined us who I seriously miss living with.  She was the best roommate ever and we had the greatest times together.  We are both so busy, we hardly ever see each other, so it was great to catch up.  We did a lot of laughing, as usual.  

My pretty ladies in the kitchen.

Stuffing our faces with sushi.

We also colored.

Today the boy came home from work, so I came home and we made the mistake of cuddling on the bed before I got into my workout clothes.  I passed out for a good half an hour.  I finally got the nap I'd been needing all week.  I got my butt up and into proper attire and did my entire back/bicep workout with more energy than I've had all week.  Then I studied some more.  It sounds as though I've studied a lot, but I still feel super underprepared and will be studying all weekend.  I have yet another busy weekend planned, starting with bootcamp at 9am tomorrow morning.  Then a birthday party for a friend.  Sunday is food day and I want to get a long run in there somewhere.  I will be back to work before I know it.  But only two weeks until Spring Break!  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend of Nature and a 10-Mile Race

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous.  It was an abnormally warm weekend for March (usually it's raining).  I wanted to take it easy on the lifting Friday and Saturday because I had the race coming up today, so Friday the boy and I took the dogs for a nice hike through the woods in the town just north of us.  We got ourselves a little lost when we strayed off the beaten path, but it was nice that we saw literally no one for an hour.  The dogs were having a blast and it was nice to breathe in the fresh air and take in the beauty that we live in.  I am so lucky to live in the Redwoods.  I am constantly taking them for granted, but every once in awhile, I look up and remember their beauty.  After the hike, we met up with my mom for a delicious dinner of Thai food.  We came home, cuddled up in bed, and watched the Lorax.  I fell asleep within the first 20 minutes and slept for 12 hours!  I was exhausted.  It was the perfect Friday date.

Gorgeous woods.

Little Moe, big forest.

Looking lost in the Redwoods.

Milo got super muddy and all we had was paper towels to wipe him off.

And these aren't even the biggest.

Saturday was our amazing friend's birthday.  She had invited us to go about 45 minutes north with her to hike, so we headed to her place around 11:30.  There was a gigantic group going and it took 3 cars to get us all there.  It was yet another absolutely gorgeous day outside, not a cloud in the sky.  We got there and began our trek.  I love the people she surrounds herself with almost as much as I love her, so it was a great, loving, energetic bunch.  My mom is always a ways behind while hiking because she takes tons of photos, so I thought nothing of it when she wasn't behind us at a stopping point.  Two of the ladies were from Alaska and never leave someone behind while hiking, so they ran back to find her.  Turns out she had turned around to go hang out in the beautiful sunshine.  I wanted to make sure she was okay and that her feelings weren't hurt or anything, so boy and I diverted from the group to find her.  She was perfectly content when we found her, so we ventured back into the woods to find our group.  We never found them.  So it ended up just being us again for about 40 minutes, which was really nice.  We don't always get alone time and when we do, we don't always spend it together talking and laughing.  We headed back to the trailhead and ate nuts right next to the elk until our group found their way back.  All in all, it was an awesome hike, even if we did disperse from the birthday girl.  

We found out Milo can be a purse dog too!

Moe wanted to drive to go hiking.

Elk greeting us at the trail head.

My little family.  I wore rain boots because I haven't invested in some good Gortex hiking shoes.

Our group making the river crossing.

So many ferns.

Trying to take a serene picture.

He loves me for some reason.

So much pretty.

The cutest sisters in the world.

Stream crossing

That's us.

Pretty bridge.

Having a snack with the elk way too close for comfort. 

I adore this woman.  So good to celebrate another year in her life.

After the hike, we stopped at Mongolian BBQ for a late lunch/early dinner.  It was so delicious.  We got home, I changed to head back to birthday girl's house where she was having a party.  We ended up going to a restaurant for her to get a free dessert and to get sung to then went back to her place where we all hung out and talked.  I had to leave early so that I could get a good night's sleep before my race in the morning.  

Birthday candles.

A Moe hat.

The time change always makes me super tired, but I woke up energized and ready to kick 10 miles in the butt.  As time went on, though, I started getting really nervous.  I don't know what the nerves were about.  I might have been scared to run 10 whole miles because I never had before or I might have been scared that this was a race instead of just us running our usual Sunday run.  My mom decided to do the 4 miler, which was super awesome of her.  So, we headed out and the gun went off and we began.



At about the 2 mile marker, my hip flexor started killing me.  My entire right leg really hurt for the rest of the race, but I kept telling myself to think about other things.  I let my mind drift and I kept thinking, "Don't think about how long you have, think about how far you've gone."  Having my partner next to me really, really helped.  She kept a good pace and every once in awhile I would have to slow down to keep up at her pace because I wear myself out early on by going too fast.  Nothing felt better than when we passed the 5 mile marker and we high-fived.  The next best feeling was passing the ex's best friend after we had turned around and he still hadn't turned around yet.  This guy is seriously good at EVERYTHING he does.  Better than good.  He's amazing.  So I felt like kind of a badass when we passed him and he was about 5 minutes behind me.  There wasn't much talking, but having her next to me made all of the difference.  Mile 7 was the absolute worst.  It was just kind of the middle of the road, not the last part of the race, not the beginning.  We also had to run through a flooded part of the street, so my feet were wet and heavy for that mile.  I even asked her if we should slow down during mile 8 so that we could rock mile 9, but she kept me in check and we stayed at our pace.  Our goal was 85 minutes.  Well, she sped ahead of me, as she always does at the end, and came in at 1:23:06!  I came in at 1:23:14.  We were minutes under our goal.  And she was way, way under her time from last year. I think I am still on cloud 9 from the endorphins and the fact that I finished in a decent time.  I just looked up the results and found that I cam in FOURTH out of 21 in my age division and 59th out 174 overall.  I honestly could not believe that I was in the top 5 in my age group.  It was all thanks to her keeping me going.  I could have stopped and walked at mile 7, but because she was still running, I kept running.  I am more than blessed to have her in my life and to be able to have completed this race without walking.  I am learning to love my body more and more for the things it can do instead of hating it for not looking the way I want it to.  Here's to being strong and doing things I never thought I would ever do just a few years ago.


Post-race omelette.