Glo Run 5K

Last weekend, I participated in a local 5k run. The run was in support of a women and children’s safety home and took place at night, hence the name “Glo Run, Light up the Streets.” My friend and I signed up and planned on training a little but with the craziness of this semester, we had no time. I think I ran twice in February before the race.

Anyways, I love running at night and have been wanting to sign up for a race and just see physically where I was at. So we decided to just have fun since we didn’t train (not that you need to for a 5k, unless you are trying for a specific time). Our goal was to come in under 35 minutes, although I secretly wanted under 30 minutes.

Before:

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The course was downtown and everyone was decked out in glow sticks and neon. It was a pretty easy course with not much incline, although the lighting was not so great. I’m used to running at night so I didn’t think it was too bad but I heard a few people saying they couldn’t see. There was a lot of great energy though and I felt good the whole time. (I really wanted to sprint at the end but my friend was having a little trouble breathing, so we took it easy.)

After:

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Our final time was 29.19! It may not seem fast to many, but we were pretty excited! (When I had been running on my own, I usually ran 3.2 miles in about 33-35 minutes so now I know I can push myself harder.) Also, our goal was to keep up with a girl from school who is really athletic (and one of our spring musical directors) and we ended up beating her! I think we were almost more excited about that then about coming in under 30 minutes.

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We still had spring sing practice that night from 9:00-11:00 so after the race we grabbed some fro-yo since we had a little time to kill. And because refueling is very important. And because exercise should make you strong, not thin.

I went with vanilla bean and Reese’s- calcium and protein, for the win.

Overall, I had a blast and definitely want to run another race soon! Right now I’m just going to focus on running for fun because I don’t want to get to obsessed with numbers and what-not. Maybe someday I’ll try to set some personal records, but right now, I’m focusing on enjoying where I am in life right now, and competitions just aren’t on the agenda.

Happy Running!

Semester Numero Two

Whoa. What a start to my second semester of college. I’m not going to lie, this semester started off noticeably harder than last semester. I got sick the second week and am still fighting off a sinus infection, classes are considerable harder (and more boring) than last semester, and I learned sometimes you must have tough conversations with people and these conversations could result in a good or bad fashion.

On the bright side, for Martin Luther King Day, I managed to plan a hiking trip and eighteen people came! It was a lot of fun and I wanted to sit at the top for hours (or forever). Afterwards, we went to went to Buffalo Wild Wings and refueled from the trek.

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It’s been quite chilly here so I have been wearing my new blue coat (from Christmas) quite often. I snapped this picture today in class as I realized I was wearing a blue coat, carrying a blue purse, and eating a blue breakfast.

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Tonight I made myself skip out on the usual Friday festivities (read: movie night) and camp out at Starbucks. This week I have:

Four tests.

Three musical practices.

Two hours of observing at an elementary school.

One paper due.

(And a partridge in a pear treeeeee) ;)

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I just finished writing my five-page paper so I rewarded myself with a long over due blog post. The paper was my educational autobiography so I actually enjoyed writing it. Plus, anything is better than working on 350 biology review questions.

I am slightly unsure of which test to start studying for since they all promise to be difficult. I’m not trying to rush life, but I really think I will be glad for this week to be over. My club has a painting function on Friday that I’m going to (with a blind date…what have I got myself into?) so that is my reward for the end of the week!

Have a Fabulous First week of February.

For all you other organizer junkies:

This is my organization wall. AKA I forgot to complete a math assignment, got a zero, freaked out, and created a reminder wall that will never let me forget to turn in an assignment again.

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I’m off to spring musical practice till midnight….

First Semester Reflections.

First, I want to thank everyone for sticking with me and the blog as I transitioned through my first semester of college. I wasn’t really able to blog recipes or much of anything, but I still enjoyed writing every post I was able to. Thank YOU for hanging around. :)

College was great. My first semester was awesome. My anxiety was much less than it ever was in high school. I socialized more than I ever have. I didn’t dread Mondays because it meant another week of classes with my friends. Friday nights almost always consisted of movie night with whoever could come. Some of my funnest memories involve eating in the cafeteria with a table full of people and laughter. Walking to class on such a beautiful campus was never dreaded. Watching Say Yes to the Dress and eating dove dark chocolate with friends cures any bad day. Christmas time had never been so special; spent with friends I’ve grown to love in just a short few months. Choir introduced me to forty other girls who encouraged me every practice. Chi Omega Pi gave me 120 new “sisters.”

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College did have some struggles, like any new transition has. Roommates didn’t quite turn out like expected. Finding time to exercise was quite difficult. Cleaning the bathroom just plain stinks (thank you mom for cleaning my bathroom for 18 years). Cafeteria food gets really old. Late night snacking is inevitable. Going to bed before midnight is a miracle. “Refreshments” at a meeting/party means junk food, not fresh food like fruits or vegetables that you are craving. Announcements at 2:00 AM that pumpkins are not allowed in dorm are just annoying. Never schedule an 8:00 AM class again.

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The main struggle I dealt with was food. Not surprising coming from a past of disordered eating; however, I managed to remember all I learned and tried to not let it take complete control again. I started out the semester ready to conquer the cafeteria, and for a few weeks, I did well. I tried to eat three balanced meals, two-ish snacks and make sure I was fueling my body correctly. And then, late night studying and snacking happened. And Friday movie night turned into “bring all your candy and junk food to eat” night. And the daily cake in the cafeteria kept sneaking on my plate. And exercise didn’t happen.

And yes, I realize it’s college- four years of fun, so if I gain a little weight, it’s not permanent so it’s not worth obsessing over because college is a once in lifetime experience. But that doesn’t mean I plan on throwing all my nutrition knowledge and healthy habits out the window. It’s still four years of your life and you only have one body.

So, I decided to start counting calories. I downloaded the myfitnesspal app and started tracking my food and exercise intake. I didn’t plan on counting calories for long but I wanted to get my eating back to normal and also make sure I was getting the right amount of carbs, protein, fat, and potassium…etc. So, for about two months, I diligently tracked my eating habits. I don’t regret counting calories or feel like I got too obsessive. I pretty much learned what I already knew. Some days, I would eat more than my calorie intake and other days, I ate less. Hence, it’s all about balance, on the outside AND inside. It all goes back to the fact that your body balances everything out in a couple of days. Eat too many cookies one night? Don’t fret because your body works it all out for you. That is how God designed us. Your metabolism is quite effective. (A dozen cookies every night may not be the best idea though.)

Another way I knew my body balances it out is that some days, I didn’t eat my required amount. Which is one reason I didn’t like counting because when I saw “the number” of calories I still had left, it immediately triggered me to want to eat something, even when I knew I was perfectly full. On the other hand, some days I reached my limit and was still hungry. But you know what? Most of the time I still ate something because food=fuel and apparently my body needed some extra energy that day.

I will admit that at times I got a bit obsessive and, looking at how many calories I went over immediately made me hate on myself. That’s when I knew it was time to stop counting and move on from this little experiment. Overall, I was getting the nutrients I needed. I usually always ate more fat than needed each day  (which is ironic) but, it was most likely from all the nuts, nut butters, and cheese I eat. However, my protein and carb intake was usually right on target.

So what did I do when I stopped counting calories? I started simply shaping each meal according to the food pyramid, not by numbers. I also started drinking a glass of milk with lunch and dinner to help get some extra protein to stay full and get my daily intake of calcium. I have been trying to eat larger meals (Protein, Starch, Veggie, Fruit, and Dairy) and do less snacking which I have noticed to be effective in helping me stay full and less focused on food throughout the day. I will still enjoy dessert, just not every single night. This is the plan I hope to continue through next semester as it is going to be much more busy than this past semester and I will need a sturdy plan.

As for exercise, I am going to try for three workouts a week. And, I am counting walks as workouts. I know exercise is important, but right now, I don’t think I will obsess over it or make it a major priority. I find eating healthy affects me and my attitude way more than exercise. I like exercise, but I don’t love it. I still plan to be active, but I don’t plan on having a strict regimen. You know what they say, “Abs are made in the kitchen” ;) I just have to remind myself that just because you aren’t exercising, it doesn’t mean you are going to gain weight. It really doesn’t. You just have to tell yourself that and move on. Some days I will spend the whole day battling with myself about needing to exercise when I don’t want to, and I’m not doing that anymore. If I have extra time one day, sure I will workout, but I’m not going to plan my life around it. I’m going to enjoy life.

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Wow. If you made it through this post, you deserve a cookie. (So maybe go make some and send me one?)

Thank you for listening to my long speech that could be even longer, but I will spare you.

Here’s to good food, active days, and enjoying this very short life. 

Sylamore Trail

This Saturday, I had the opportunity to go hiking with eight people from a church I visited last Sunday. As soon as the Pastor made the announcement about a hiking trip, I knew I was signing up. I have been wanting to go hiking since I got to college but hadn’t got the chance yet.

We started bright and early at 7AM (which gave me a great 5 1/2 hours of sleep) and drove about an hour and a half to a trail in the Ozarks called Sylamore Trail.

It was an absolutely beautiful day (in the 70′s) and an even more beautiful trail. We had to cross some creeks (pictured above) which was a lot of fun. :)

Altogether I think we hiked only about three hours because the trail wasn’t too long but it was definitely worth it. Plus I got to know the paster better and met some new people.

I definitely recommend this trail for a nice day trip, and packing a picnic lunch would make it the bees knees. ;)

This week is going to be super busy as major “club” activities start. (Clubs are basically my schools version of Sororities/Fraternities.) I received a fourth round invitation to the club I would like to be in, so this week I have to visit the 90 girls in the club- not to mention keep up with homework, two tests this week, and papers. But, I think if I prioritize well, it shouldn’t be awful. Plus, meeting new people is always fun! (Especially if they have cookies waiting for me in their dorm…)

My roommate just informed me that there is 32 days till Thanksgiving break which made my night! I am definitely enjoying college, but I am excited to SLEEP, eat real food, and see my family for a week. :) Plus that means we are getting closer to the Christmas season which is my favorite time of the year. (I can only listen to Christmas music with my headphones right now so I don’t annoy my roommate.)

So with that, Happy Holidays!

Rainy Running Fridays

It’s Friday! This week marked the end of my first full month at college. It feels like I have been here for three months, but in a good way. ;)

It has also managed to rain the past three Fridays but we took our chances and headed to the county fair for some Friday fun.

Rides, Funnel Cakes, Rodeos, and Friends

We had a lot of fun walking around, going to the petting zoo, seeing all the prize winning animals, eating funnel cakes, and watching part of the rodeo. Not to mention we bought super cute t-shirts because we don’t already have enough.

It started raining just as we decided to leave so it was perfect timing.

After we got back, I decided it was a perfect night for a rainy run because it wasn’t raining very hard. Plus, I haven’t gotten into an exercise routine since I got here and I know I really need to. Not nessessarily to keep off the “freshman 15″ but more to stay healthy and act as a stress reliever.

Anyway, my run was AWESOME. I am telling you this because I wanted to start running over the summer in order to be in shape before college and not have to start from ground zero in college. However, that didn’t really happen (I think I went on maybe 6 or 7 runs the whole summer). So I decided that I just need to start in college and I was able to run a whole one mile tonight without stopping! Yay! While that probably sounds like the lamest mileage in the world, I was quite proud because running is definitly a process and it’s alway hard to get back into it. And I haven’t consistantly run in years, so this was just the encouragement I needed to start the process.

Plus, it was raining which made it even more awesome and cooler. I ended up running a mile then walking three laps then running two more- plus a few squats thrown in there.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of the track, but I didn’t have my phone with me so I decided to take a picture of my shoes post-run. Lucky you.

Oh and another thing that made this run great? I was the only person on the track! I have been really enjoying socializing and doing fun things in college but I haven’t had some “alone” time in a while. My roommate is in our room a lot so I’m not usually able to get some down time in there and was kind of in need of some tonight. The run was perfect because it was dark, rainy, and just me and my music. I almost didn’t want to leave.

The next time it rains, you know where to find me.

How did you fit in exercise in college? Do you prefer to run in the morning or at night?

Tiny Towns: Colorado Part 2

After we left my sister and headed to another little town, we spent the next couple days in a quaint little cabin.

The first two days we went on two beautiful hikes. The first trail was called “Mill Creek Castle” and the second trail was “Oh Be Joyful.” “Oh Be Joyful” was our personal favorite.

{Finding the worlds largest dandelion guaranties your wish to come true.}

We also visited the Blue Mesa reservoir in Gunnison, Colorado that was breathtaking. Pictures can not do it justice.

How did we fuel for these activities? For breakfast most mornings we made eggs with toast and drank some 2% milk {a yummy treat and good for some extra fuel}. Lunch we packed which consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apples, carrots, and trail mix. Then for dinner each night we went out to eat.

{These were the only meals I remembered to take a picture of.}

Yes, fries or chips were present at every dinner but hey, I’m not complaining.  From top left to bottom right~ Chicken Gyro, Fried Fish Sandwich, Spicy Chicken and avocado Pita, and Powerhouse Hamburgers.

{That was my first Gyro ever and I LOVED it.}

Dinner tasted amazing {and every bit was eaten} every night because of all we did throughout the day.

One of the last days there was also went mountain biking. It was fun but physically challenging…going uphill those mountains was tough! But we rented the bikes for a day so after we were done biking through the mountains we drove through the town and explored. {And got ice cream, our bones needed some calcium.}

Lastly that day, we rode the ski lift up to Crested Butte Mountain because it was free lifts that night.

It was the longest ski lift I have been on {which I liked!} and the view at the top was awesome.

See you tomorrow with the last part of the trip!

Seven Days.

Here is a quick little workout “challenge.”

To say I’ve been lacking in the physical exercise department is a understatement so here is some motivation (for me and you!).

(adapted from a picture of pinterest)

30 jumping jacks

5 push ups

30 high knees

7 burpees

10 crunches

5 push ups

10 squats

30 jumping jacks

30 second wall sit

5 push ups

30 high knees

Repeat x2.

Ready?

Set?

Jump!

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It’s the Little Things…

Today is a big day, folks. I now have an official “blog supplies” drawer. Thanks goes out to my awesome mother for clearing me a spot.

I am beyond excited and  pretty much feel like I can conquer any blog feat now.

On the other hand, I got my W2 form in an envelope from work and managed to convince one of my co-workers that I won the employee trip of the month to Hawaii. I couldn’t keep a straight face for more than 30 seconds though. After he asked if I could please take him with me, I lost it and burst out laughing. Later, when my manager heard about it, he told me that I was officially a cool kid now. Score.

Also recently, I received some products to try from Ron at NuNaturals and happy danced around the kitchen when the package arrived. Stay tuned to see these products popping up in my daily meals!

(I have already used some NuStevia packets in my tea!)

I am especially excited about this guy…Cocoa Bean Extract! YUM. It said you could use in cooking or just place drops in your mouth…hmmmm.

Ah yes, tis the little things in life that feed my soul.

What makes you “happy dance” around the kitchen? Anyone ever cooked with Cocoa Bean Extract?

If you have time:

 

Weekly Workouts

I like exercise. I don’t love exercise.

Maybe I burnt myself out from when I didn’t have a heathy perspective on exercise or maybe it’s just not my favorite activity. Lets go with the second one.

I’m kind of an all or nothing person. Either I exercise 5-6 times a week or I don’t at all has been my attitude lately. Clearly, it’s time for a change.

Holidays are awesome, but they can also be hard. Especially when you are a schedule-crazed freak, don’t handle stress well, and people are always shoving food down your throat. I was talking to a mentor about it and she really helped me correct my all or nothing thinking. I don’t need or have to exercise 6 times a week. I don’t need and shouldn’t beat myself up about missing a workout.

However, to take care of my body, I do need to give it some exercise (even if hanging out and creating healthy food in the kitchen sounds much more fun). So we made a schedule (because I live by and LOVE them) for me this holiday season [and after].

3 days a week, 3 visits to the gym. That’s it. I don’t need to go more. At first all I wanted to say was, “but that’s not enough!” but deep down I knew that it was.

I think I have this image in my head that since I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I need to have toned calves, trimmed arms, and a 6-pack.

False. To maintain a healthy lifestyle I need a little exercise but most importantly I need to enjoy life and concentrate doing what I love. Remember how short this life is? So I’ve decided, no more crazy 6 workouts a week goal…no more beating myself up for missing a workout…no more thinking I need to be built like a runner…no more. I’ll never have crazy muscles, run 5 minute miles, or be the envy at the gym. Nope, I’ll be going to the gym 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) and enjoying my life.

Also, I am not just exercising for myself, I am doing it for my body. God gave me this body to take care of and if I want to be a healthy wife and mom someday, I need to take care of this body. Not overdoing it, just getting enough physical exercise to stay healthy.

So far, this plan has worked out (no pun intended :) perfectly. I no longer dread going to the gym! I have my little schedule and now I  don’t feel like it is such a chore but just a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not a crazy obsessive lifestyle.

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What is your take on weekly workouts?

I’m not saying that exercising 5 times a week is bad, it’s just not for everyone. However sometimes people get the idea they have to [exercise 5 times] in order to abide by the standards our culture has set for exercise. You need to figure out what works for you, make some adjustments along the way, and stick to it! Make it fun, not depressing and upsetting. Just do what you enjoy, a couple of times a weeks and you will be good. :) 

Worth It?

So, I am debating on maybe, possibly, perhaps, trying to become a morning workout person…

You see, workouts just haven’t been fitting in my schedule lately and its killing me. I need those endorphins. Especially when Senioritis is running ramped through my mind, I need something to keep me going for 8 more months. However, after school is just not working out…I don’t seem to have the time or energy. So the only visible solution I see…morning workouts.

I’ve been thinking and have discovered that I’m not really a morning or night person but if I had to choose one, I would pick morning. See, as long as I get to bed at a descent hour I will feel good the next day even if I had to wake up early. However, if I go to bed late, even if I can sleep in the next day, I’m pretty foggy and unproductive the next day. So I guess that makes me a morning person?

Anyway, I really really really want you all’s advice….

Are you a morning or night workout-er? If so why?

Do you think its possible to simply become a morning person by training your body that way?

Well, my alarm is set for 5:00AM…we will see how that turns out!

Night!