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Just Do It.

Just Do It.

No, I’m not talking about Nike. So many times, we talk and talk and talk about what we’re going to do, what we want to do, yet we stay in the same place. Because well…we’re either lazy or just complacent. For me, other things just get in the way of my goals and I lose sight of my priorities. HELLO this needs to stop. After my annual review at work (which went amazingly well) it really turns on that light of self-reflection. What do I really want? What am I really working toward? Where do I want to be in five years personally and professionally? Do I really want to binge on Netflix and drink that fourth glass of wine? All important questions. It might also have to do with the fact that I’m approaching 30. (Inhale….exhale….).

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So far, 2017 is going pretty well. (Knock on every piece of wood). We’re only a few months in, but I’ve had quite a few accomplishments:

  • I made the conscious decision to not register for as many races this year. Not because I don’t love running anymore (let’s not get crazy) but really, it’s insane how much I’ve spent on race registrations. Even more importantly, I wanted to stop training so much. I want to get up and say “hey yeah let’s run 4 miles today” or “hmmm I really want to run 8 today since it’s so damn nice out.” Abiding by a training schedule is just really damn annoying sometimes. It’s about time I start running for me again and not for a T-shirt and bling. Did I just say that? Don’t tell anyone…
  • I’ve been getting great feedback from the big bosses at work. My job continues to challenge me and push my limits and that’s what really makes me thrive. I love it there and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Sometimes I feel like I might have a mental break because of everything I’m working on, but…whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Haha.
  • Cutting carbs. Yes, this is an accomplishment. I’ve been avoiding bread, rice, pasta like the plague. Does this mean I don’t want to constantly go to my local bakery and stuff a giant loaf of french bread in my face? Absolutely not. And celebrating birthdays make it especially difficult. Can I get a high-five for only taking a bite out of this red velvet cupcake and not devouring the whole thing?

  • I’ve been more aware of my needs over my wants. This has to do with a lot including everything from my diet to avoiding overspending on things. And HOLLLLAAAA for finishing paying off medical bills from before you had awesome health insurance! #adultingproblems.
  • It’s a work in progress, but I’ve downsized my closet. Of course the hubs doesn’t notice since he’s always only had just a sliver of our huge walk-in closet….BUT there’s progress. I’ve reinstated rules like if I haven’t worn something in over a year, it gets donated or if I bring in a new piece of clothing, that means something else needs to move on out! The struggle is real. I feel like a hoarder when it comes to clothes. Someone please help. I have more sports bras than Serena Williams.

This weekend was prime outdoorsy weather though. This girl is ready for SPRING. Bring it!! On Saturday I went to my favorite boxing class and Sunday morning was spent running around the neighborhood and racking up those miles. It felt amaze-balls. However, what did not feel so amaze-balls was how it went from coldgear weather to tank weather by the time I ended my run. #runnerproblems.

Other exciting things that happened include me needing new glasses because…well when you get old, you slowly go blind. I of course took a million years picking out the perfect frames. I knew that I wanted to go bold and yet that didn’t seem to trim down the selection by too much. One of the receptionists there was a huge help and I walked away with some new frames whenever I want to opt out of wearing contacts.  I ended up with these Coach frames:

Now that we’ve established that I should never quit my day job and become a model, let’s move on to some goals. I’ve started to write up some ideas for what might be a series of short stories or a book. I’ve gotten the little push/motivation I need to start and I’m excited. I’ve also decided that whenever I wonder if I’m ready for kids, I should remind myself how I feel going to Costco on a weekend. How’s that for a lane change? But really, Costco turns into a zoo come Saturday/Sunday afternoon. Can’t I just get my army-sized pack of apples and chicken in peace?

Now that I’ve meal prepped for the week, and caught up on some much-needed reading, I’m set to start this week! I’ve been reading The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do. I’m pretty excited to dive even deeper into this book. A review will come soon enough!

As for Sunday night…well…this is as productive as it got.

 

Cheers to a new week!

UnF*ck Yourself…at least by 30

UnF*ck Yourself…at least by 30

I’m reading this book called UnF*ck Yourself and I have to say, it really has changed my way of thinking. I’m impressed. Maybe it’s because this guy uses profanity to get his point across, but it really does make a lot of sense. I.e. His concept of willing and unwilling. You feel more empowered with your decisions and your life if you realize that you are either willing or unwilling rather than saying, “I can’t.” Try it, it really does give you an increased sense of control over yourself and holding yourself more responsible. For example, “I can’t clean out my closet that looks like a tornado hit it” versus “I am unwilling to spend half of a weekend cleaning out said closet that looks like a tornado hit it.” See? It’s not that I can’t, I’m perfectly capable of cleaning it, I am just unwilling. Sure not a lot of people are want to hold themselves accountable for things, but welll….#adulting.

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I’ve really been trying to adult more. Ever since it really hit me that yes, this is my last year in my 20’s, I’ve been making this transition from “getting your shit together” to “yes, I have my shit together.” Easier said than done. I don’t know about you, but I feel like your 20’s are when you’re expected to make a fuck ton of mistakes, learn a lot, do a lot of stupid things – but hey that’s okay and expected because you’re in your 20’s. NOW once you hit your 30’s, you better slow your roll and not wear all of that polyester shit from Forever 21. According to your parents, you should be either in a serious relationship or married and if you’re married thinking about having babies. (Gold star for checking two out of three off?)

Oh and one other adulty thing I’ve been getting the hang of is traveling for business purposes. Finally, I can join the club of collecting points and hopefully one day gaining platinum gold first business class status or some other obnoxious priority boarding status that clearly brands you as better than anyone else. Like really, step aside less worldly travelers. Until then, I’m among said less worldly travelers. My most recent trip was to sunny Florida. Although it was a quick trip, I was able to enjoy a beautiful sunset at Clearwater Beach for the first time.

Nothing like enjoying some wine and enjoying a sunset like that after a long day of networking and attending a conference. Before I knew it, I was back on a plane, (hell yes I got an aisle seat with no one sitting next to me) however it took FOREVER to get off the plane. Minus one gold star for my non-adulting moment for internally freaking out and wanting to slink over seats because people are just so damn slow. In fact, due to my dramatically increased travel schedule, let’s go into my top 5 things that annoy the shit out of me when traveling:

1. People not even aware of any TSA security measures. (Yes woman, your boots with a million buckles on them will set off the scanner. That huge Fiji water bottle? Chug that shit before you get through security!!! NOT ALLOWED.
2. To the person who brings the smelliest seafood-type dish on the plane. Just…fuck you.
3. Small talk when you sit next to another person on a plane…preferably keep it at a minimum…especially if it’s a 6 a.m. flight. Last time, dude decided to ask a million questions when I really just wanted to zone out and listen to the new Ed Sheeran album.
4. Shrieking children. Let me explain. Yes, I do feel REALLY bad for the parents whose children are just freaking out, flying for the first time, and are just acting out like little monsters despite what they do. HOWEVER, I’ve been in situations where the parent does NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING to control the child who is freaking out. Like they were just crossing their fingers that they’ll just tire themselves out and just focus on their Nutella snack pack for the rest of the trip. Mindblowing. Please no.
5. To the flight attendants who bitch you out when you have your small wristlet out for a second so you can scan your boarding pass and they count it as a third bag and the third bag MUST be consolidated into your carry-on. Chill the fuck out.

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Let’s not forget about the person next to you who is sneezing, coughing, and wheezing all over the place too. It’s like when someone in the office coughs once and you yell obscenities in your head because it’s inevitable that you’re going to get sick too. However, this instance is a lot scarier because who the hell knows a. what they have and b. where they came from. For all you know, you’re one cough away from contracting some deadly airborne disease. Maybe I should stop watching Apocalypse-type movies.

For the past week I’ve been sick, although not from contracting some deadly, Ebola-grade virus. It was only a fever/strep throat/severe cold combination. Even worse, I couldn’t taste anything for days. I mean, why even eat? There’s no point. The second I can’t taste my coffee in the morning, just end me.

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Now, as of today, I can actually smell/taste things again and it is so glorious. Now the goal is to not gain any of the weight back that I’ve lost during my sickness. I at least owe myself that much right? #lifegoals.

Cheers to starting a new week without being a congested mess! Hooray!

Confessions of a Runner

Confessions of a Runner

As a runner, someone who attempts to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, sometimes you fall off of that wagon. Don’t lie, it happens to the best of us right? So I feel the need to post some confessions, especially since it’s been so long since I’ve updated!

I confess I ate cold pizza for breakfast and then ran 7 miles. See? Balance. Rock it, own it. We’re all human and living means pizza for breakfast sometimes. It’s also called shark week.

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I confess I’ve been so consumed and stressed with this huge project for work, I thank my lucky stars that I don’t stress eat. My stress has now turned against my fat stores and I’ve randomly lost 5lbs. I’m now one bad stomach flu away from my goal weight. #silverlining

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I confess it looks like a bomb went off in my closet. Sports bras and moisture wicking clothing are everywhere. #runnerproblems. Since I HAVE been way too stressed out, I’ve been forcing myself to find the time to workout and get a run in. Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, but after just one hour of sweating it out, I feel a million times better. Now if only my laundry could just….do itself.

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I confess that I didn’t really freak out when I turned 29 on the 8th. I feel like I’m really satisfied with where I am in my life right now. I feel like just within this past year, I’ve accomplished so much – especially with my career. There’s no question I know the perfect balance of living my adult life and staying in touch with my childhood. See Exhibit A.

I confess that with said birthday gift cards, I only added to my ridiculous collection of running/workout clothes. It’s the best when you can super coupon your birthday promo codes with President’s Day promos. Hollllaaa.

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I confess I use the “oh it’s okay I’ll just run it off” excuse so many times. I got a box of gamble chocolates, a Starbucks giftcard and beautiful roses from the hubs. Can anyone guess which of the three lasted the longest?

I confess I doubled up on cardio each day this weekend because of how nice it was outside. I was running around in a tank on my runs in FEBRUARY. WHAT?! Unheard of in Chicagoland. My bod is just soaking up ALL of that sunshine. Everyone was out walking around, riding their bikes, it was great. Winter, sorry but you can just stay away.

This weekend really was the best. I went out every chance I got and spent time with family. Life is good when you make it a point to stop the chaos and take care of yourself physically and mentally.

Cheers!

Fit Focused

Fit Focused

Week two has officially gone by of my master plan to tone up and I’m actually 4lbs down. My strategy is to be very mentally aware of my goals. That’s it. Everything I do, I think about whether or not it’s conducive to my goals. Is skipping a workout going to get me one step closer to my goal? Nope. Is stuffing my face rather than eating until I’m satisfied going to work in my favor? Not a chance in hell….although it’s been hard leaving delicious food on my plate. Things that HAVE been working are things like:

  • Logging my food/water intake on MyFitnessPal (and no I’m not a fan of keeping track of every single calorie, but it really helps you make smarter decisions based on your food intake throughout the day.
  • Not snacking after dinner. Who knew this would be so hard? I workout later at night sometimes so I don’t know about you, but after an intense strength training session I could eat the whole fridge.
  • Don’t compromise. This is when the whole “mental toughness” thing comes in right? Sure, you can tell yourself that you can always workout tomorrow…but you should ALSO workout today. The common myth is that it takes about 21 days to form a habit, so why break the healthy habit of getting your workout and not working on your goals? You should never compromise what you want most.
  • Build your mental toughness with some reading material. I’ve stocked my Kindle app full of some good reads that got some great reviews including: Un*fuck Yourself: Get out of your head and into your life, The Universe Has Your Back: Transform fear to faith, Better Than Before, and You Are a Badass.
  • Focus on the journey, not the destination. This is really important. It’s a bit stressful to think about how your overall goal is to lose 20-25lbs by the end of May. Working on losing 1-2lbs each week and being mindful of how I’m going to keep myself in check week by week is a lot easier to handle.

I’m even more ecstatic that my boxing classes have been moved to a later time during the week so I have a better chance of making it after work. Can we get a heck yes? I can already feel the results of my increased strength training. Overall, I just feel like my energy is cranked throughout my whole workout rather than burning out hard toward the end. Saturday morning I was amped for my boxing class and then since it was SO nice out, I really didn’t have any choice but to go for a run around the neighborhood #shitrunnersdo. I swear, Chicagoland hasn’t seen some sunshine in weeks AND it almost reached 60 degrees in JANUARY. It had to be done. Feeling strong and the sunshine is definitely giving me that extra kick in the pants! Err…leggings. 😉

Sunday was another run-derful morning! It ended up being a morning every runner dreams of. I felt like I could have kept running at top speed for another 7 miles. It’s days like these that REALLY keep me going. Not to mention that since I’ve been amping up my strength training, I’ve been noticing that I’ve been burning more cals per running or workout sesh. Although let me tell ya, saying no to stuffing my face with pizza on several occasions has been SO HARD.

This weekend as a whole was a very empowering one. Over 1 million women came together in every major city across the country to unite and rally for women’s rights. I’m so proud and my heart and soul is filled with so much pride. It was the best demonstration of uniting peacefully and for such an important cause.

This week I’m going to continue to be on my A game. Sunday I’ll be flying out to Vegas for a work conference so those liquid calories will be EVERYWHERE….and tempting. I mean…who goes to Vegas and skips out on fancy martinis and wine? Unfortunately I can’t fly out a day earlier to catch Britney’s show. I mean, if Britney can get her shit back together after 2007, then I can certainly hit my goals. And remember, everyone has bad days, but know that you’ll get through them. Do the robot in your car if you have to. Happy Monday!!!

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Cheers!!

Goal Digger

Goal Digger

Hello blog world! We’re almost one month into 2017! How are you doing with those resolutions? Goals? I’d like to take some time out to say that I’ve been more determined than ever to achieve my fitness goals and to categorize my needs over what are just wants. Like I said in my previous post, one huge goal I have for myself is to stop spending ruthlessly and be more mindful of my spending no matter how small the amount is. I’ve noticed even just a month in, that I now have more to spend on things that I NEED and to lead the healthier lifestyle that I want. I live for my boxing classes and if my budget didn’t allow for it anymore….well…just no.

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We all have those things that keep us on our A game, keep us sane, totally relieve us of all the stress that the world causes us…working out is totally the answer to ALL of that. It’s my time to think about NOTHING else but me. It’s actually when I think of my best ideas, my next step forward etc. However, although I know that working out does all of this for me mentally and physically…sometimes it’s really really hard to workout after a long day at work if I didn’t get up early enough to workout that morning. So here are some things I do/say to myself to get me motivated:

1. Why am I doing this?
2. I’m letting myself down if I don’t go.
3. I know that I’m going to regret not going, not if I do.
4. If I go, I’m one step closer to achieving my goals.
5. Working out will make me stronger.
6. If I don’t go, I’m only hurting myself.
7. Going will make me feel good. Period.
8. If I go, all of this stress will melt right off of me.
9. I’m robbing myself of a better lifestyle.
10. Just go! You have 24 hours in a day. You can spend one on yourself.

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Or some other things that I do is put on a goal dress/ piece of clothing that I might have in the closet. That’ll always make me slap my Nikes on faster than anything else. Also, I have way too much activewear in my closet to NOT workout. Also I love Jimmy Johns way too much not workout. And wine. One 6oz glass of wine is about 120 cals.

Even Luigi is a carbovore. But really though, it’s been a work in progress cutting down the carbs and amping up the protein. I’ve been adding more strength training days each week and my diet really needs to reflect that.

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The hardest part is telling that little voice in your head to shut the fuck up when it says, “yes you are really hungry and sure you can have a piece of pizza…or three. YES do have a chip…A CHIP? Yeah that won’t happen. How about half the bag? This little voice is the main reason why I need to be mentally aware of my goals 24/7. Being a part of a great running group (RunJunKeEs), subscribing to health and fitness magazines to constantly be conscious of leading a healthy lifestyle, going to fitness classes, and talking to like-minded people who are fitness-focused are all ways that I’ve set myself up to lose another 25lbs by this summer.

I’m totally in this….and Luigi has my back.

And trolling my selfies for life.

Cheers!!

Hello 2017

Hello 2017

It’s  a new year. Finally. There’s something so refreshing about feeling like you get a do-over. Like, 2016 while it had a lot of rough moments, a lot of pivotal things happened that were life-changing. I landed a new job that I absolutely love. That in itself is so rewarding. I remember that while we rung in 2016, I told myself that I need to focus on getting a new job. The old gig was getting to be so toxic in every aspect of my life and that is no bueno. If you think about it, you spend most of your time wherever you work. Accepting that new job in March was the best thing I did for not only my mental health, but for my relationship and well-being. But really, did anyone else feel like Ronda Rousey at the end of this match by the end of 2016?

RIP Ronda Rousey

What a great lead-in to recapping my NYE. I started off the day with an amazing boxing class. It’s one of the many reasons why I look forward to my Saturday mornings. While I didn’t pull a Rousey and actually kept my fists up, I went to pivot and as I did, I rolled the shit out of my ankle. I didn’t think it was that bad at first since the pain eventually subsided, but as the day went on and we were out to dinner and listening to some great live music…my foot was THROBBING. I was near tears. So the the night went from this…

to this…

I felt like my whole foot was being squeezed in a vice. It sucked. Way to get one last “fuck you” in 2016. Well-played. Now I can’t even run in this unseasonably warm weather to top it all off. Luckily I did take advantage of it while I could. I just can’t wait until the bruising wears off. Hopefully faster than Mariah Carey’s career after her NYE performance.

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But SO 2017, how about it? Does anyone make New Year resolutions anymore? I read a great article about why this columnist didn’t like resolutions and I can’t help but totally agree. Sure, starting a new year marks a new beginning, and maybe a new you…but does it really have to be the only time when change can happen? If you want to lose weight, be more financially responsible, purge all of this clothes that you’re not wearing in your closet, or improve your life in any way, why wait until December 31st to make that happen? So while we’re all inundated with the Weight Watchers and Match.com commercials, just know that if you recognize that a change needs to be made in your life, there’s no other time than the present to make that happen! Think of it as giving yourself a headstart on everyone else. 😉

Others are against resolutions because they think it’s just setting themselves up to fail. Well that just sounds a little too negative. Make realistic goals for yourself that you know you can achieve if you put some effort in. I.e. cut out eating pizza for breakfast to cut out some cals, save some more money by cutting out some Starbucks visits and making your own coffee at home, donate one bag of clothes each week to Good Will. See? Small changes. They’re easier to digest and less overwhelming. The key is to stay focused. Here is a list of things/goals I have for myself in 2017:

  • Tone up and add more muscle to the bod.
  • Prioritize what I need versus what I want. (I tend to confuse the two a lot.) Do I NEED that $100 sweater? Probably not.
  • Chop my credit card debt in half. This is totally doable as long as I keep myself in check with list item #2.
  • Remove toxic people from my life. (This is always on my list and will remain that way.) I mean, why continue to have them in your life if they’re doing nothing but causing you or others pain/stress? No thank you. Bye, Felicia.
  • Care less about what others think, and focus on YOU.
  • Stress less. Last year was very stressful due to family health concerns. I need to make it a priority to stress less and find ways to lower it. Stress can do some awful things to you and impact your relationships if you allow it. Identifying those things that make you de-stress is key.
  • Renovate. I’d love to make some renovations to the house this year and make this place a little more “us.” Since there was so much we HAD to do before we moved in, it didn’t leave a lot of room for us to make any cosmetic changes.
  • Travel somewhere new. Usually we go on vacation with the hubs’ family to the same place every summer. I would love to go somewhere new in addition to that. There’s plenty of the world I still need to see!!
  • Always keep in mind how blessed I am. This is important. I think a lot of us take what we have for granted. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I remind myself that someone is always there for me, I have a wonderful roof on my head, I have food in the fridge, I love my job, and my family and friends are a great support system when I need them.
  • Reach my reading challenge goal on GoodReads. I unfortunately didn’t even come close to my goal last year, when I usually do. I feel like reading allows me to be a better writer and gets the creative juices flowing. All good things!
  • And finally, START my first book. This is huge. This is the one big thing that is really intimidating to me, but I’ve pushed it aside for so long…I need to start.

Sure I can go on forever about the goals I have set for myself, but this is a good list that will sum up my 2017. Do you have a list you’ve set for yourself? Whatever it may be, go for it. It’s never too late!

Cheers!

Running tips to avoid injury – don’t be stupid

Running tips to avoid injury – don’t be stupid

So today was pretty significant. Why? Well, I officially hit my goal of running 1,000 miles for 2016. I’m excited. Stoked. Proud. Teary-eyed. Although something even more important to note, I am still INJURY-FREE. I didn’t start off the year too well. I fucked up my hamstring tendon in ways that will make you scream in pain even when I sat down for an extended period of time. After months of physical therapy and finally listening to my body so I could heal properly, I did. I got back on that saddle (slowly) and got back to my normal running pace. It took more patience than I thought I had in me, but I did it and I have sworn that I would never let myself be in that position again. Now I can say that I’ve hit my 2016 fitness goal.

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Here are some tips that I’ve followed to help keep my body healthy and injury-free. Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor and these tips are just things that have helped me.

  1. Don’t run every single day. I’ve found that if I pack on the miles every single day without rest or a cross training day, that’s a fast recipe to getting fucked up (queue IT band issues, tightness in my hamstring tendon). As a fellow runner, yes I can see you rolling your eyes from here. Just promise to fit in some non-running days here and there. Your legs will thank you.
  2. Add strength training to your routine. Doing this will not only help prevent injuries, but it will really amp up your speed. It certainly helped me shave off minutes per mile, especially when I was recovering from my injury and was working my way up to my normal speed again. Also, workout your muscles evenly. Don’t just focus on one muscle group.
  3. Rest. No, I don’t mean resting bitch face like the one you’re giving right now reading this. I mean really letting yourself recover, especially if you feel like something is off. Believe it or not, rest days are just as important as the days you kick your ass at the gym.
  4. Stretch. I’ve known some runners to not stretch at all and they swear that they’re fine…yeah well I said the same thing until I fucked up my hamstring. Just give it some time. Now that I’m more prone to injuring that tendon again, that does require me to do more stretching than others. Slacking off in this area is absolutely nonnegotiable whether you’re still healing or fully recovered from an injury. My physical therapist gave me a set of dynamic stretches to do before I run. Check them out here.
  5. Listen to your body. When your stuck seeing your physical therapist for at least an hour, you tend to engage in a lot of conversation. One thing she mentioned was that if more runners just listened to their bodies more, she’d probably be out of a job. Why? Because runners tend to literally run themselves into the ground until they really injure themselves and get stuck going to PT. The key is to fix what might be wrong before a major problem occurs. Feel some tightness during a run? Stomach upset? Slow down a little! Or really, just stop running altogether. Pay attention to your form, breathing, and make sure you’re hydrated.

Sure as a runner, you just want to get up and go for a run, but if you want to stay healthy and keep up with training then you need to run smart. By learning to run smart, I was able to still log 1,000 miles for this year. Had I ignored my doctor, skipped PT sessions, and didn’t take their advice to heart, my running shoes would be collecting dust in the closet right now. Instead, I get to wake up, STRETCH, run, STRETCH AGAIN, and then enjoy taking post-run selfies. 😀

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(This is my it’s really cold out, and my face is still thawing out face.)

And really these tips can benefit a runner at any age. I’m a 20-something and no, stretching doesn’t make you weak, it actually makes you stronger. Again, don’t be dumb. Listen to your body, and run happy!

Cheers!

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Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving. I can’t believe the holiday season is officially here! Can you believe it?! I have so much to be thankful for..my friends, family, hubby, my health etc…this Thanksgiving I was especially mindful of everything I hold dear in my life. Forget the Black Friday deals and the buy 2 for 1 crap, I’m talking about the stuff that doesn’t come with a price tag. I.e. the calls you get from your parents to see how things are going, sitting down at the dinner table with family you haven’t seen in a little while, making memories with family and friends and holding onto those things for as long as possible. Last week, I lost my baby Apollo. He was pretty much even more popular than I ever was on any kind of social media platform. He was full of attitude as he was fluffy…I still can’t believe he’s gone. It was so sudden. One day he was fine, and then once we got a hint that something might be wrong, the vet told us that his liver was failing and that it was likely cancer. We had the most difficult decision to make…and that was to put him down. He was in pain and with tests, meds, feeding tubes…he might have been able to live another week. I know he would have hated living like that. It was a decision I didn’t even expect to make years upon years from now. He was still so young. Anyone who’s had or has a furbaby knows that they become part of the family pretty fast. They’re there for you through everything and just keep on loving unconditionally. I miss him so much. I don’t know what’s worse, losing him suddenly or having more time with the same outcome.

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So in light of losing one of our beloved furbabies, Thanksgiving was a day where I really had to take some time out and count my blessings. You never know when someone/something really throws a wrench into your life and you lose something or someone so close to your heart. On Thanksgiving, I had the whole morning to think about everything I was thankful for and did just that during my long run. (In anticipation of the meal that was ahead of me, I threw in some extra miles for good measure). Lucky for me, it wasn’t too windy and the weather was quite nice. By the time I got back, full of sweat, and out of breath, it was time to hydrate and relax while watching the Macy’s Day parade (tradition). Luigi has been kicking it into high gear and making sure he’s been extra snuggly since we lost our Apollo. They were best buds, so it’s been hard for him too I’m sure. But really, how can one NOT laugh at how silly he is? He wins. My heart might be feeling heavy, but it sure is full.

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Running and/or a hardcore gym sesh isn’t just about fitness, sometimes it’s about what it does for your head. It clears it up and kicks those negative thoughts to the curb. I’m a huge advocate of how running is cheaper than therapy. Sad? Go for a run. Frustrated about how a day went at work? Go for a run. Can’t figure out how to solve a problem? Go for a run. Ruined your favorite shirt in the wash? Run fast. Some of my best ideas have come from just sweating it out. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and had the chance to spend some time with their loved ones over some delicious turkey, stuffing, one too many dinner rolls and of course some pumpkin pie. I heard somewhere that the average person eats  over 4,200 calories on Thanksgiving…just some food for thought, not the stomach. Spread the love and make memories.

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Life Happenings – We Are the Champions!

Life Happenings – We Are the Champions!

There comes a time when this thing called life happens and documenting it from day to day just isn’t feasible. Especially when exciting things that haven’t happened in over 100 years HAPPEN. Yes, I’m going to start this October/November roundup with THE CUBS. It was a surreal game to watch. We blew the lead twice…and WON THE WORLD SERIES. Heart palpitations, high blood pressure, high anxiety, almost feeling like I just might throw up all over the hundred other Cubs fans that were around me at the bar we were at. BUT WE WON. Absolutely nothing could match the joy of waking up to this that morning.

 

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Feelings of holy shit it happened, extreme happiness, jumping up and down, screaming the lyrics to the Cubs anthem….and flying that W! It was a night I’ll never forget. It was so emotional watching all of the older Cubs fans who have been waiting for this moment for so long. Just a couple days after their historic win, I also was cleared to attend the parade that reported to be the 7th largest human gathering in the world. I opted to go to Wrigley where the parade started. I needed to see this…

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This made it so real.

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While some bosses and HR departments were saying not to skip work for this day, mine was right beside me. Although it was nothing short of crazy dealing with all of the people on the train and getting a primo viewing spot, I have zero regrets. Seeing these guys bring that trophy home was priceless.

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It was a perfect day all around. The only thing that did piss me off were the countless teens just looking to see where the “most epic party” was. Go back to school kids. The hubs has even rewatched the final game numerous times and all of the highlights. It’s just something a dedicated Cubs fan can’t get enough of. We did it. WE FINALLY DID IT. Oh and don’t even get me started on the cray-sauce people in line at Dick’s Sporting Goods after the win. The hubs and I went to see how bad the line would be…we couldn’t even see the end of the line it was so long. INSANE. Online shopping, you ridiculously convenient, sexy monster you. My heart will be full because of this Cubs win for quite some time. GO CUBS GOOOOO.

That Sunday I had a half marathon to run – the Milwaukee Running Festival. I just HAD to represent my Cubs with my race day apparel. Obviously. Although it was FREEZING out in the morning, it warmed up pretty fast. This sunrise was a precursor to how epic of a race this ended up to be.

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Little did I know that Milwaukee is FULL of steady inclines and hills. The first half of the course was either up steep hills or a steady incline. My. Lord.  The hubs and my in-laws came to cheer me on and man did I ever need them! Their cheers definitely helped me pull through each mile. Little did I know that I would end up with a PR by 8 MINUTES. I haven’t PRed since my injury late last year so I felt like I could cry. In fact, I probably did just because my glutes just took a horrific beating from those hills. I definitely worked hard for this medal.

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This time of the year is my favorite. The holidays are right around the corner and the wedding is absolutely perfect for running around the neighborhood. With tensions so high about the election, I’m going to just leave that out and say that we need to love and come together as a nation. This roundup was short and quick and I’m leaving a lot out, but I hope everyone starts this week out right and make it amazing!

Cheers!

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Friday Favorites: A New Beginning

Friday Favorites: A New Beginning

Hey guys! I know, it’s been a few weeks or so. BUT my life has pretty much been turned upside down (but mostly in a good way). I’ve accepted a new job that I’m pretty much jumping up and down excited for. My last day at the job I’ve had for almost six years is today and while I’m glad to be moving on to a new chapter.

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As my career gets a huge boost, it also means venturing into some new territory and challenges. And this girl is up for it! Ever since I broke the news to my director, I’ve been hitting the gym to clear my head and to help boost my confidence as I become the new kid on the block. To say that I’m pumped would be an understatement. I’m slowly getting back into my running game too. I’ve been cleared by my physical therapist to run as long as my pain level isn’t too high and if I do a number of my PT stretches before and after.

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The weather here in Chicagoland always makes me want to do cartwheels down my driveway. The sun!! Heat!! It exists!! I’ve been taking it slow so I don’t aggravate my injury and to focus on my recovery. I don’t expect to smash any PRs anytime soon, but just to be able to get out there and run is a blessing in itself.

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Also, another Friday Favorite….NEW ACTIVEWEAR. We’ve gone over this, I’m an addict. I’d live in this stuff all day if I could. Oh wait, I pretty much already do. So let’s go over my recent haul….

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Sports Authority is closing a bunch of stores AND I had to return something….so that equals a whole lot of happiness. Those Under Armour knit joggers….ladies….RUN don’t walk….to your local sporting goods store for a pair. Not kidding. They’re worth every single penny. They are so comfortable and great to do yoga, pilates or to just lounge in while overdosing on thin mints and Netflix. (Yeah go ahead and tell me that you ignored that 5-year-old in front of your grocery store selling Girl Scout cookies.) The Nike pro 2-in-1 sports bra tank is amazing too. It seems pricey but think of it this way, it’s a tank plus a sports bra. It’s super lightweight for those really hot, summer training days. You can find links to everything here:

Under Armour Women’s Downtown Knit Jogger Pants
Under Armour Women’s Play Up Shorts
Under Armour Twist Tech Graphic Tank Top
Nike Pro Cool Shorts
Nike 2-in-1 Pro Inside Loose Tank Top

I’ve also been participating in this challenge to bring awareness to suicide of veterans. You may have seen my posts on my social media pages. I challenge all of YOU to also participate! Here’s how it works:

A new video will be posted each day for the next 22 days, each with someone new being challenged.
-video yourself executing 22 pushups to your ability level.
-Post the video to facebook and other social media using the hashtags above.
-Tally your pushups (i.e. a group of 4 people in the video would look like this#88PushUps for #22Kill.
-Call out your friends, family, battle Buddies… The POTUS, anyone… the sky is the limit. The goal is to raise awareness for our Service Members who are battling this demon.

The organizations at the links below are raising the bar in creating a culture that OUR Veterans know their sacrifice was not in vain.

To participate visit
www.22kill.com
Share this noble cause
honorcouragecommitment.org
This organization promotes Veteran Entrepreneurship.
Help spread the word.

I’m currently on day 3, but my first video is definitely a Friday favorite since Luigi attempted to mess up my game….

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! TGIF!!!

Linking up with Amanda!

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Cheers!

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