Thursday, October 31, 2013

That Time I Was Asleep at 8:15

It's no secret that I am exhausted. It's been two months with no breaks, and over a month with one day weekends. Luckily, to me, Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season. Which means the beginning of weeks off. 

Of course, September to the middle of November is the longest stretch we have to go during the school year without a break, so I can't complain. But let me tell you, it's catching up to me.

Yesterday I was wandering around campus like a zombie. Several people commented in how tired I looked. I have no idea how I made it through the school day without collapsing in a pile in the teacher's lounge. On top of everything else, my body is fighting something. I have gunk in my chest that will not break loose no matter how much I cough. And was I smart and listened to my body? No. Because I'm stubborn. Do not use me as a good example.

I did not, however, do my usual ab routine, because the thought of picking my upper body off of the floor after it was laying down was too much effort. So I went home and laid in bed. And I was asleep at 8:15. And when 4:30 rolled around, I felt like a whole new person.

I definitely needed that sleep. I could function and think, which had to happen since Halloween at school is absolutely bonkers. The kids were amazingly well behaved even though their schedule was all out of whack.

Tonight I was invited to go to karaoke with my sister and her husband, but I had to decline because I know I am still fighting whatever has decided to make it's home in my chest. I also have school nice and early. We don't get trick or treaters at my house either, so it's almost as if Halloween didn't happen. I'm so excited, however, that it's finally the holiday season!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Let's Talk Strength Training

How is it possibly Monday already? And the last week of October?!? I feel like the weeks keep getting faster and faster. I don't know if I like this or not. I was at my dad's again to use the treadmill. 

I don't have a problem with the treadmill, especially when it's cold outside and I'm tired. For some reason, I can go longer on the 'mill than when I am alone outside. I think it's because I started my running on this very treadmill. And I finally got a picture of our backyard for you.

I feel so lucky to have grown up with the huge trees right behind me.

Now, it's no secret that I have a love hate relationship with running. But what I simply have a love relationship with is strength training. I love lifting heavy weights and setting them back down again. I've been lifting consistently for over 2 years, and guess what? I still don't look like The Hulk.

There's something about strength training that makes me feel powerful. Getting through a set makes me feel accomplished, and I get to rest for 30 seconds-a minute. Nothing wrong with sitting around during a workout.

I do a 4 day split, which means I lift Monday and Tuesday, do something random on Wednesdays and then lift again on Thursdays and Fridays. I made up the routine I have been using for awhile, but I took all of my lifts from other really reputable sources such as

I train for hypertrophy and not strength, which means I choose a weight that I can lift for 10-12 reps instead of just 1 or 2. I always do three sets before moving on to the next exercise. These are what my days look like:

These routines take me anywhere between 30-45 minutes, depending on how long I rest in between. I still get sore after leg day. Every time.

If you are interested in strength training but have no idea where to start, I'd reccomend reading New Rules of Lifting for Women, which is what I started with. Also, has some great beginner workouts.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Weekend Recap

Friday morning started the way it always does: at the gym. Fridays I sleep in until 5:35, so it feels like a nice treat. And exercising always gives me more energy. It's better than coffee.

The rest of the day was spent at school, of course. I'm really loving the ladies I sit with at a table. They keep me cracking up and a couple of times I have laughed so hard I cried. They are becoming fast friends and I love it. 

Boyfriend and I had plans to have dinner at a benefit with his mom. Malcom wanted to ride there a different way.

Boyfriend bought the softest blanket on the planet and was going to give it to the puppy, so he actually did get to ride in style. 

For dinner, we had pulled pork sandwiches. I pulled the pork off the bread and ate that. It was so delicious. The benefit was for Boyfriend's old elementary school's 8th grade trip to San Francisco. Judging by the amount of people there, I think they will have enough money to go. Twice.

Saturday was a school day again. I like that we get to work with students but I hate that I have to be up so early. It hurts. I came home and exercised then did homework. I felt really productive. Then I did something really out of the ordinary.

I got dressed up and went out. I left the house at the hour I am usually in bed ready for sleep. I was out until 1:00am and I was pretty proud. Can you tell who boyfriend dressed up as? He's pretty creative.

Today I woke up at 8:30 and immediately went back to sleep. Until 11. I had a minor heart attack when I realized what time it was because I never sleep that long. I went to help my sister move and by help I mean I held a baby for an hour. Best hour ever. Then I went to my dad's for a run since it was raining.

I did 11 miles, but time seemed to fly. May have been the fact that I slept so long last night.

All I wanted to do after a shower was cuddle and read a magazine, so that's exactly what we did.

Dinner was awesome. Especially since all I had eaten was two eggs and yogurt because I had woken up so late.

But dessert was even better.

Gluten free cupcakes with peanut butter mousse on top. It was like heaven. Now boyfriend and I are laying down to catch up on How I Met Your Mother before I fall asleep at 9.

Who else watches HIMYM?
Any good weekend stories?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I Love (About Myself)

I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I've been having a very negative self image week. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the fact that I'm exhausted. Maybe it's because we haven't seen the sun in two weeks. Maybe it's a mixture of a bazillion things I will never figure out. Whatever it is, I havent been very nice to myself this week.

I had a realization during my 5 mile run this afternoon that I needed to snap out of it. There's something about running endorphins that really help the soul.

I decided that I need to focus on the positive aspects of myself. In this society, it's almost shameful for us to say nice things about ourselves. I get really self conscious when I get a compliment but when someone points out something I know is a weakness, it just confirms it for me. I even feel really awkward about writing this post. Is everyone who reads going to think I'm just super into myself? Absolutely not, but it's how my mind works.

I think we could all focus on our positive aspects more because we all have some amazing, unique qualities and beautiful parts of our bodies. Here are a few of my favorite parts about myself.

1. My eyes- I get more compliments on my eyes than anything else. They look brown from far away, but they're actually hazel. Anyone can read my emotions in my eyes, and while that can be a negative thing, I think it's mostly positive, because they keep me honest.

2. My hair- I have learned to love my hair in its natural state. I used to straighten it every day to try to get it less frizzy, but one day I wore it completely natural due to laziness and I got more compliments on it than I ever had before. It's wavy, thick, and long. I love it.

3. I'm kindhearted- I try to be as nice to everyone as I possibly can. This stems from my great fear of confrontation, but I also like giving people te benefit of the doubt. We are all human and we deserve to be treated like it. When someone is rude to me, I assume it's because of something personal that happened to them that day or week, so I continue to be nice.

4. I'm stubborn- While this could also be a negative aspect about myself, I tend to view it as a positive. It's my stubbornness that gets me through a difficult workout. It's my stubbornness that doesn't allow me to give up even when I really, desperately want to. Thank goodness I'm stubborn, otherwise, I probably wouldn't be as far into my education as I am.

5. My legs- I love my legs. I always have. They are the one part of my body that I have loved through and through. They are strong. They lead me through my life even though I put them through a beating every single day. They get me through long runs, they push me back up when I squat down with many pounds on my back, and they hike me up mountains. I couldn't be more thankful for my legs.

Tell me something, anything, that you love about yourself.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The One With the Bear

I grew up in a house that's backyard was literally a forest.  I spent hours and hours hiking around in the wilderness that was behind my house.  It was really, really special.  Not everyone gets to spend hours exploring the redwoods right in their own back yard.

That is what I looked like and those are the people I explored with.

Having a forest as a backyard also meant we had more than just our pet animals in our yard.  We would get deer, various birds, and we even had a cougar scare one year.  We also had a resident bear.

The bear would come and eat the fruit off of our trees.  It would lay in our yard and scratch itself.  It would sometimes just sit there.  And I know this because my mother would wake my brother and me up every time it was in our yard.  Every.  Single.  Time.  It got to the point where we had to not so politely ask her to stop waking us up because the bear was doing the same thing and it had stopped being exciting.  

This is us taking a selfie last winter and has nothing to do with the story except that we are in the woods.

So imagine the horrible flashback I had when boyfriend ran into the room at 12:30 this morning shaking me awake because there was a bear on our porch.  I no longer live where there is a forest in my backyard.  I live in a residential area.  So, even though I had to be up in 4 hours, I hopped out of bed to see this in action.  Sure enough.  There was a bear.  Eating the apples right by our living room window.

So that was my excitement for the week.  I have no idea why the bear decided to venture out of its home.  Maybe because we had already picked the apples and it was too lazy to pick its own?  I couldn't believe my childhood was coming back full force.  And my mom?  She was actually upset that he didn't wake her up to see the bear.  I think she has a slight obsession.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Pumpkinless Patch

It was my third week of Saturday school, out of 7, so that's really exciting. This week we got to work individually with our student while our partners watched an critiqued, then my partner and I ran a small group instruction. We are teaching typically developing students who have a bit of trouble with reading, which is so opposite from the students I usually work with. My background is in the moderate to severe population, so it's been really interesting working with these kids.

Saturday night, my mom decided to have an early Thanksgiving because she found a huge bag of cranberries and had made the first batch of cranberry sauce for the season. I'm obsessed with homemade cranberry sauce and this was the most perfect fall meal. 

Then boyfriend forced me to play a board game that he bought last week. It's super nerdy and all fantasy-like. I did not understand it at all, but I pretended like I did.

He met a friend at the bars around 9 and I promptly fell asleep. There was a half marathon that I was strongly debating running this morning, but I could not bring myself to get up early on the one day I don't have to be up early, so I opted
For the gym instead.

This run felt easy until about an hour into it. My body is tired. I'm pretty positive I'm fighting off a cold. Everyone around me is sick, including boyfriend, and my lymph nodes are swollen. My throat doesn't hurt, but I feel super lethargic. So, I laid on the gym floor for longer than usual.

My sister, mom, and I had planned a fall day for this afternoon about a month ago, so my mom made a fall meal. I got to refuel with chili, fresh salad, and apple crisp. Then we went to the Pumpkin Patch. That had NO pumpkins. So we took awkward family photos in front of the corn maze instead.

I didn't realize that a pumpkin patch could run out of pumpkins before halfway through October, but it was really depressing. Luckily the corn maze was open.

We went through twice. Since we couldn't pick pumpkins.

We also took real family photos.

My brother didn't get the memo that we were supposed to wear our alma mater sweatshirts.

I got to finish off the day eating more food at my dad's house and laying on the ground with this beautiful lady.

I cannot believe tomorrow is Monday already. They seem to come really fast.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Glimpse Into My Long Days

Tuesdays and Thursdays are the longest days of the week. By the time I get into bed, I've been going for about 16 hours. The benefit of this is that I'm never, ever bored. I thought it would be fun to go through these long days so that I can look back and remember how amazingly nuts I was. But also, to hopefully motivate at least one person. Because if I can do it, anyone can.

Before my day even begins, it takes some prep the night before. I chop my veggies for my school snack, pack my clothes and towel, and lay out my workout clothes so I don't have to dig around in my drawers way too early in the morning. Then I try to be asleep by 9, but most nights that doesn't happen.

4:32am- My alarm goes off. Okay, I usually wake up about 29 minutes before my alarm goes off because my body is extremely efficient at waking me up. Except I refuse to get out of bed so I lay there pretending that I'm sleeping.

4:35-4:45am- It takes me 10 minutes to get dressed, make my protein smoothie that I put in the freezer so it's nice and creamy by the time I get back, and get out the door.

5:00am- I'm at the gym and on the treadmill. Most days I am the first one in the room. It's amazing how fast the place fills up even though it's way too early o'clock.

5:27am- I'm off the treadmill after 25 minutes of running and in the weight room. I actually love this part of my morning. I'm am typically the only girl lifting, so I spend a lot of time with my gym bros. Okay, so I avoid eye contact and listen to my music.

6:07am- I'm in the shower, getting dressed, doing my hair. I take approximately 5 minutes to shower and get dressed. It takes me another 2 minutes to do my hair. I am so girly.

6:20am- I'm on the road driving home again. Some days I get lucky and hit every green light. Some days I hit every red light. Lately, it's been dark on my drive. I feel so calm during this time.

7:00am- After putting on my eye make up and having my first cup of coffee of the day, I sit down to eat my smoothie and catch up on blogs. This is one of my favorite parts of every day. And yes, I eat straight out of the blender. Always.

7:37am- I'm back in my car. Do you see a pattern? I basically live in my car these days. Yes. This is the mess that is my car.

7:45-7:50- Stuck in traffic. They've been doing roadwork on the bridge I have to drive over to get to work for what feels like 12 years. I always get stuck waiting in the long line of traffic. At least the view is nice.

8:00am-2:00pm- Work/student teaching. Those 6 hours zoom by. Today we had a children's book author come and talk to us. She was great. I'm so focused on doing work that sometimes I'm actually surprised that it's 2.

2:00pm-2:10pm- I am back in my car frantically driving to school. Finding parking is just as hard as finding Where's Waldo, so I spend a good amount of time driving around searching for a spot.

2:30pm-6:45pm- Class. Sitting for four hours hurts, but I love what I am learning. I also love the hilarious people that I sit with every day. We are old ladies and have decided to have a knit night where we sit and knit and eat delicious food. I cannot wait.

6:50pm-7:10pm- In my car once again, driving home. Finally. It takes 20 minutes on a good day. If I hit all the green lights. Now it's dark when I am going home, so I leave in the dark and return in the dark.

7:15pm-8:00pm- I frantically eat dinner. I am starving when I get home and all I want to do is eat. So I shovel in food and read more blogs. 

8:00pm- I'm in bed. I usually watch one or two episodes of a feel-good show and am out like a light by 9. 

My Tuesdays and Thursdays are so long, but so rewarding. I know that this will all be worth it in the long run.