Monday, December 30, 2013

Three Hundred Sixty-Five Days

Once upon a time, a young lady thought it would be a great idea to make a goal for herself to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day for 365 days (even if it was just stretching for 30 minutes).  This woman was bound and determined to stick with this goal, even through road trips, family vacations, starting a new school journey, and just general day-to-day life.  Spoiler alert:  that woman was me and today is day 365.  And I made it!

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you it was all butterflies and rainbows every single day for a year, because it absolutely wasn't.  There were days when getting into my workout clothes felt excruciating.  There were days when one mile felt like 12 and 10 pound weights felt like 100 pounds.  There were other days when I felt like I could keep going forever down the road or lift 7000 pounds.  I will tell you that I never regretted doing a workout, but I definitely would have regretted not doing one.

I'm also not going to lie to you and tell you that I went hard at the gym every single day.  There were days when my only physical fitness was a few sets of squats, lunges, and push-ups throughout the day to total 30 minutes.  There were some days when all I could do was walk for 30 minutes.  Some days, my only physical fitness was a hike.  Some days, it was only dancing (one of my favorite forms of exercise).  But, I moved my body for 30 minutes a day for 365 days, and that's all that matters.

Three hundred sixty-five days goes slowly when you're in it, but looking back on it, it went so fast!  This year I have run 1,249.4 miles, lifted several thousand pounds, ran my first half marathon, lost 2 pants sizes, found a healthier relationship with food, become happier with myself than I ever have been before, laughed so hard cried, cried so hard I laughed, gained two beautiful nieces, started down a path toward my career, and for the first time in my life, stuck with a goal and finished it.

The most important thing I have learned in the last year is that I can do hard things.  I am strong.  If I put my mind to something, I can complete it.  All it takes is a little hard work and determination.  I have said for years that I was going to run a half marathon, and finally, this year, I did.  I have said for years that I was going to get my teaching credential, and finally, this year, I did.  I have said for years that I am going to pick a goal and stick with it, and finally, this year, I did.  We are all able to to hard things.  We can get up at 4:30 to go to the gym when we've gone to bed at 1am the night before.  We can exercise even when we're on vacation.  We can move our bodies even when we're sick.  It's a matter of determination.  A matter of motivation.  A matter of putting ourselves first and loving ourselves the most.

There are many people I owe thanks to.  Many who I could not have completed this goal without.  First and foremost, my running partner.  She has been the voice in my head during every hard workout.  She's the one who got me into racing and helped me fall back into love with running.  She's the one who was by my side during the hardest race of my life and during my first 10 mile run.  

Also, I had massive support from boyfriend, who stuck by me, even when I whined and complained about being sore, tired, and cranky.  He also even went to the gym with me sometimes when I begged him to because I knew if I didn't have someone next to me, I wouldn't do it.

The blog friends I have made within the last year mean the world to me.  Whenever I felt like I was not going to make my goal, I would read their blogs and get supportive comments from them.  Also, the texts from them make my day!  Last, but certainly not least, I have my family to thank.  I have an amazingly strong support system.  They cheer me on in everything I do, from getting my credential, to running half marathons.  They're there for me every step of the way.  

You may be wondering what I did to celebrate my 365 physical fitness streak.  Well, I ran 6.64 miles and lifted.  Physical fitness is a part of me now.  It's a personality trait as much as sarcasm and kindness are parts of me.  

Will I take a rest day tomorrow?  Probably not.  Will I be as obsessed with getting 30 minutes a day?  No way!  What are my new goals for 2014?  I want to focus more on lifting and getting my diet in order.  I want to see where my body can go.  I don't have any specific goals at this moment.  Right now, I am just so happy I completed my 365 day goal!  

Thank you for reading, and I hope you continue to read my fitness journey!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Breaking It Up

Today was Long Run Sunday. It was also amazingly beautiful. So, I knew I would definitely be running outside. I also knew I had a bit of a time constraint because I had to be back to the house I'm staying at to walk the dog before the sun went down. So I did the first 7 miles of my run around boyfriend's mom's house while we waited for brunch to be done.

I had some really awesome running partners. Their town's slogan is, "Smell Our Dairy Air," and boy did in ever during my run. I was really happy to take a break from running and eat. Nothing like a fuel break in the middle of a run. I had a hard time convincing myself to do the last 4 miles when I got home, but I did it.

I don't know if it counts as a long run if I did it in pieces, but I ran over 11 miles today, so I'm counting it. I also felt like I ran a long ways.

I laid on the ground for a long time like I always do after a long run too.

Boyfriend and I had a romantic dinner of Safeway chicken and salad after walking the dog.

Then we went and hung out with some of my favorite people on the planet.

Now it's off to bed to wake up with absolutely nothing to do. It's a lovely feeling. Tomorrow is a big day that I will definitely be blogging about.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

I know.  My title is really original.  And I'm two whole days late.  I've actually been extremely busy, between housesitting, writing thank you notes, and the gym.  And last night, boyfriend got off of work a day early, so we holed up in the house I am watching and had a little pretend date night.  It was wonderful.

I will start off with my annual birthday photo.  Since my birthday is two days before Christmas, and all.  I have the same photo from the last 26 years.

I woke up bright eyed and cheery on Christmas Eve.  I don't know how, after a bedtime of 1am.  I got to the gym by 8 because I was meeting my friends for breakfast and I knew I had a bunch of things to get done before our annual Christmas Eve party began.  It's always so great to get a run and a lifting session in before your day begins. 

I hurried to breakfast with my three best friends.  Breakfast was perfect because, one, they paid for me, and two, what better way to refuel after a long night out and a tough workout than with eggs?

After too much money spent at Target and some good laughs, I made it home in time to shower and watch A Muppets Christmas Carole with my brother.  It's our tradition to watch that movie on Christmas Eve each year.  It was around the end of the movie that I got really tired and had to go lay down.  I ended up watching two episodes of Scandal instead of napping.  Whoops.  Before I knew it, it was time for me to get ready for our party.

We used to have a party each year at our land lord's house, before they moved to Hawaii.  My mom picked up the tradition and we have had crab and Christmas carols at our house each year since.  

This year, we also played Bunco, which is a fun dice game where everyone gets a White Elephant gift.  My sister, her husband, and I were more interested in the food, though.

After everyone left, we opened our Christmas pjs, but the bad blogger in me didn't get a picture.  Well, we have a picture, but my mother didn't upload it to Facebook, so I have yet to see it.  Most Christmas mornings, my brother and I have woken up at 4 or 5am to get started on the gift opening.  This year, however, we are true grown ups and slept until 8:30.  I actually woke up, looked at my phone and it was 7:40.  I decided to close my eyes for one more minute and then get up, but I looked at my phone again and it had been 40 minutes!  I couldn't believe it.  Santa brought me a Kindle Paperwhite, which I am so super excited about.  My brother recently bought himself a new camera for his film making, so Santa brought him some lenses.  Milo celebrated Christmas by giving me kisses.

No Christmas would be complete without a run, so I headed to my dad's to get on the treadmill.  We were supposed to be opening gifts with my sister and the baby at 11 and it was already 10, so I had to stick to the treadmill.  

They didn't end up showing up at 11, so I got a few extra minutes of running in.  I was having stomach troubles, so I stopped after 4.5 miles and started doing ab circuits in between miles.  

My dad and step mom got tired of waiting, so we opened our presents without the other half of the family.  

After presents were opened, I was starving.  So I made myself a different protein smoothie than usual in my dad's Ninja.  It was so nice using a blender that actually blends things rather than the $15 one I use every single other morning at home.

Christmas was a little different this year.  Rather than sitting around, waiting for dinner, my mom, boyfriend's mom, and boyfriend's brother all drove an hour south to visit boyfriend at his ambulance base.  We've never celebrated a normal Christmas morning together, since he has worked every Christmas Eve and Christmas we have been together.  So he begged us to come down and bring his gifts.  And his dog.

He's incredibly spoiled.  We spent an hour watching him unwrap all of his presents. 

We also opened Christmas poppers and got some awesome looking crowns.

While it is really sad not being able to celebrate holidays in the traditional way with him, I was glad that we got to go visit him for at least a little bit.  I am also so thankful for the first responders who work on the holidays to be there to save our lives.  I'm pretty lucky.

I got back just in time for family dinner.  Growing up, I would always spend Christmas Eve with my mom and Christmas night with my dad.  The tradition is still going, even though both my brother and I are older now and it wouldn't really matter who we spent what day with.  

And, of course, this little one experienced her first Christmas.  I can't wait until she's the age where Santa is magical and Christmas morning feels even more special.  

The rest of my Christmas was spent alone, at the house I am housesitting with the dog I am watching.  While I did feel a little lonely, it was nice to take a break from all of the people and curl up with my new Kindle and a cup of tea.  I am a true introvert, so I get my energy from being alone.  I felt revitalized the next day.

I hope everyone had a very magical, amazing, wonderful Christmas.  Or holiday, if Christmas isn't your thing.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


My birthday was just as fantastic as I hoped it would be. Here are a few photos from the day, with very simple phrases. I will write more after the holiday, but for now, I'm exhausted and have to go to sleep because Santa is coming!

Started the morning with a run.

Beautiful new running shoes from boyfriend.

Professional clothing from mom.

Birthday lunch.

All ready to party.

Brother is a film major. My party was documented well.

My first 26th birthday.

Brother decorated the whole house for me.

Best friends since elementary school.

New best friends.

Being fought over.

Candid love moments.

She can walk at 4 months old! ;)

Theater friends.

There was so much more that happened, like my dad's speech, sushi rolls, and laughter. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life to celebrate my trips around the sun.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

'Twas the Day Before My Birthday

Yes. Tomorrow is my 26th birthday. I am not freaking out about turning 26. I am freaking out about the fact that it seems as though it was JUST my birthday last week and it's really been a year! Where does the time go????

Today began with breakfast at my sister's house with one of my best friends from elementary school. She is getting married in June and she asked us if we would be her maid and matron of honor!! We had a cry sesh. I could not believe she asked us that and I am so honored!

Boyfriend is finally comfortable holding the baby. When she was first born, he was incredibly scared to hold her. Now they're buds.

I went to the zoo Costco to grab some stuff for my sushi party tomorrow. It was absolutely nutso. 

I was more than ready for my long run by the time we got home. It was incredibly beautiful outside, so I decided to run from my dad's house to the gym. I got really into my run. I had not charged for months forgotten my Garmin, so I used RunKeeper on my phone, but tucked my phone away (in my bra). I had no idea what my pace was or how far I had gone. By the time I got to the gym I had run 10.1 miles at a 7:27 pace! I have NO clue how that happened, but I will take it. I ran another 1.3 miles on the treadmill while I waited for boyfriend to come pick me up.

I really renewed my love of running.  After several weeks of pure treadmill running, it felt so good to just have the pavement, fresh air, and myself.  There was another runner out who was wearing a sweatshirt, a jacket over the sweatshirt, ear muffs, and mittens, like it was 20 below.  I was wearing a tank top and capris.  I overheated for her!  I had a mini race in my mind with her, but she kept veering off down side roads.  At one point I almost caught up to her, but she ran down a side street and I didn't want to feel like a stalker.  It was fun while it lasted.  Also, It felt so great to put my feet up in the car.

After showering, I met up with my beautiful friend for a sunset beach walk. It was gorgeous.

I feel so fortunate that I live 5 minutes from this beauty.

I also feel more than grateful that this woman is in my life now.

Oh. And this guy. He loves me sometimes.

Now we are going to do our annual tradition of looking at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music. I love how festive everyone gets for my birthday!