Lots of exciting stuff

I’m writing this in my new home state, TEXAS!
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I had an interview for the job on Tuesday in the week when I last posted.  On Wednesday, they called to say I got it!  I flew home on Sunday, packed up all my stuff, and left early Friday morning.  I drove down with my dad and got into Austin late Saturday night.  And then I started work Monday morning!  The job I am in right now is a contract position for a year, but I have an interview set up on Tuesday for a full time position in a different group within the company.

I am living with my brother and sister-in-law for now until I find my own place.  They live in a house with a guest bedroom that I have taken over.  They’ve been out of town for weddings the entire time I’ve been here so I’ve had the whole house to myself.  I’m going to start looking for my own place next week now that I’ve gotten a better idea of what the different parts of town are like.

One of the best parts so far about being in Austin is the weather.  It’s been in the high 80s every day and I love it!  Yesterday, I went for my third run since the half marathon (a month ago).  It didn’t go so well but it felt good to be out running again.  It is crazy how quickly my breathing deteriorates when I stop running.  I think if I start running regularly again I will get better soon.  I just have a hard time slowing myself down to the point where my chest won’t start getting tight.  When you ran a half marathon not too long ago it feels a little strange to barely be able to run two miles.

Now that I know my schedule I can add training back in!  I just have to find where I like to run around here.  There are sidewalks everywhere which is great but the one area I have run so far is on a somewhat busy road.  I don’t like having to wait for the crosswalk or breathing in all the exhaust fumes.  I know there are great trails to run on so I’ll have to check those out in the next week or so!

Now it’s time to decide what to train for.  I sort of wanted to train for a faster 5k at first.  Alex wants to do a half marathon in Jan or Feb so I am 95% sure I want to do that.  And then Drew and Alex’s friends were talking about training for a marathon and since I can’t turn down a challenge I think I might end up doing that.  I don’t know when or where they were thinking but since it is on my bucket list to do a marathon I might as well! I did sign up for a Blacklight 5k in November but it is one of the fun runs so I’m not worried about training for that.  As long as I start getting back into the swing of things again I should be fine.

I also started looking up yoga studios which I think will be important this time around so I can stay injury free.   I didn’t do such a great job of stretching and a regular yoga class could make sure that will happen.  I’m going to try to find one either close to work or close to the house.  If I could walk to the yoga studio from either, that would be perfect.

Anyone have any recommendations for yoga studios in Austin, TX?

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Time for a trip!

Since the half marathon I’ve been for one run. It felt great but I just haven’t gotten the motivation to get myself up to go in the mornings. My life is in a bit of a limbo right now so I’m not worried about starting a training plan or anything any time soon. It will happen when it happens. I know I will keep up with the running because I always feel better when I am running regularly.
Now for the fun stuff! I’m flying down to Austin, TX today! (As in, I am typing this on my phone at an airport bar!) It is Austin Startup Week and there are events all week long with a career fair on Monday. I also have an interview set up for Tuesday! It’s a contract position but it is for a great company and I think it’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s actually with the company I had two phone interviews with but didn’t get an in person interview. When they sent me the email saying they would keep my resume on file I didn’t believe it. Then I got a call about this position asking if I was interested! I need to find out more details before I know if I really want to take it or if I should keep looking but so far it seems like a perfect way to get my foot in the door!
The week will be a good chance to check out Austin and make sure I like it since the move might happen sooner rather than later. I can’t wait to check out all the companies and things the city has to offer. While I’m here, my sister-in-law gave me a free week pass to her gym so I’ll have to try a few classes or hop on the treadmill! My sneakers are one of the first things I packed in my bag!
One of the things I will have to get used to in Austin is the “dress code”. When I called Alex about what I should pack for the week she told be a nice pair of jeans would be good for the interview! WHAT?!? I guess I’m not used to the casual startup atmosphere that they have in Austin. I’m going to wear business casual like I would usually do because I would rather be overdressed. I figure once I get the job or get a better feel for it I can adjust!
Keep your fingers crossed for me this week! Hopefully I’ll have some good news to post soon!

Half Marathon… mission accomplished!

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WE DID IT!!!!! (Check out those awesome shirts my sister made for us!)

I did it!  On Sunday, I ran the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon with my sister and it went better than I could have imagined!

Let me rewind a bit to make up for my recent absence on here.  I wanted to post earlier but it is hard to write about your feelings when you don’t know what they are or they change every five seconds. (And yes, I know writing about it can help you figure it out, but it still isn’t easy to do.)
The end of training was decent.  The mid-week runs were iffy.  I would sometimes just do a shorter loop than what was on the plan or sometimes skip them altogether.  I made sure to do the long runs on the weekends.  By the time I did my 10 mile run, I felt really ready for the race.  I was even surprised by how my pace was starting to pick up.  That might be because the end was in sight and that made it easier to push harder.
So race weekend arrived.  I went out to Penn State (where Teresa goes to school) on Thursday and spent two nights.  When she was in class on Friday, she sent me to a store to pick something up that they had for her.  Surprise!  She had t-shirts made for us for the race!  They were black t-shirts with gold glitter lettering and said “We’re only half crazy” on the front and “Team Gio” on the back.  So cute!
We headed into Philly Saturday morning.  The drive in was gorgeous with all the changing leaves.  We went straight to the expo to pick up our race packets.  Once we got our bibs and shirts we wandered around the expo for a bit.  We met our dad at the hotel and went out for dinner.  If you are ever in Philly, I highly recommend Zavino.  The pasta is all made in house and everything is so delicious.  They have a bunch of small plates so we got a meat and cheese taster, some pastas and a few other things. YUM!
After dinner, we hung out at the hotel for the rest of the night.  I laid out all my stuff for the morning and tried to sleep.  I fell asleep quickly but woke up a bunch of times through the night.  My alarm was set for 6 but I was up on my own by 5:30.
Teresa and I got ready and triple quadruple checked that we had everything we needed.  Bibs pinned on and timing tabs attached to our shoes, we stopped at Starbucks before our dad drove us to the starting area.  I got nervous that I hadn’t eaten enough so I had one of the extra gels that I had packed in my bag.  We found the back check, checked our bags and wandered around til we found our corral, all the way in the back.
After a while, the first corral went out.  It took almost half an hour until we finally started.  We set off at a decent pace. I know you aren’t supposed to start too fast but between the weather, flat roads, cheering crowds and exhilaration of passing people, it was easy to go faster than normal.  I saw the 2:30 pace group and told Teresa we should try to stay by them but as we wove through the pack, we wound up ahead of them.
A couple miles in, the course looped back towards the start line.  The first leg was done!  What surprised me was that I was pacing us. I had been worried that Teresa was going to be the one pushing me too hard.  Weaving through people meant that I would cut ahead and hope that she would stick by me!  Every runner for herself when there are that many people around!
After passing the starting area, we were running next to the river.  Teresa heard there was going to be a hill around mile 8.  After mile 7 I noticed a slight incline and asked her if this was it.  She insisted there was a killer hill and this wasn’t it but there was nothing else remotely like a hill the rest of the way so that must have been what her source was referring to.
Every few miles there was a water station. I grabbed 1-2 cups of water and/or Gatorade each time and felt well hydrated the whole way.  I had my first gel about 10 minutes in and then one every 30-45 minutes after that.  I grabbed a salted watermelon Gu at the gel station at mile 8 and had that.  I should have used the last gel I had around mile 10 but didn’t want to slow down to get it so I just kept going towards the end.
I was going strong for almost the entire race but around mile 10 I started to fade and Teresa took the lead.  I was trying to work through my head the best way to tell her that we needed to really slow down.  Approaching the mile 12 mark, I couldn’t believe what I had gotten myself into or how I was going to finish this thing.  And then I hit the mile 12 mark.  1.1 miles left.  A switch went off and I just booked it.  My lungs were getting tight but I ignored it.  I was starting to get a side cramp but I ignored it.  My legs/feet/knees/arms/body was starting to hurt but I ignored it.  The crowds got thicker.  Teresa and I grabbed hands and crossed the finish line!
Our official time was 2:20:55 and I could cry tears of joy looking at how beautiful our negative splits were.  I am so happy with how well it went and so proud of all the hard work we put in to get here. You can tell how addicting running is because as we sat icing our knees in the hotel that night, we were already thinking about which half marathon to do next year and looking up training plans to do in the meantime.
I’m taking this week off to recover, and possibly next week too depending how I feel.  I think I will be ready to run again by Monday except for my one black-and-blue toe.  Now that I’ve run farther I want to start running faster, so I’m going to train for a 5k.  After that, I found a good winter training plan to maintain, a spring training plan to build up to race training and will decide what race to train for/how intense I want to train when I get to that point.  I also want to add more yoga and strength training to my routine.  I say it all the time, but I swear I mean it this time!
As for the rest of my life… I am quite content with how things are going!  I’m still looking to move but I’m not in such a rush as I was a few weeks ago.  I don’t want to let myself settle in CT because it’s the easy thing to do but I also want to make sure I set myself up with opportunities where I know I will be happy.  I had two phone interviews with a certain company that would be so cool to work for.  I didn’t get an in-person-interview but the fact that I got that far was a nice confidence boost!  It was also nice when they asked if I had a location preference between Austin or CA that I could say I could go wherever I wanted!  Just two months ago I wouldn’t have even applied for the job, let alone been able to pick up and go to any location.  I get to be 100% selfish nowadays and it feels FANTASTIC!  I’m going to spend the next week or two coming up with a more solid plan of what I am looking for.
Now for a little gossip… I haven’t spoken to by ex-bf in a few weeks now so this really is just gossip I’ve heard but supposedly they are still seeing each other.  I can’t really let it bother me though when you look at the whole situation (like how much better off I’ve been lately).  So I guess I wish happiness to them?  (Although I can’t imagine how healthy that relationship could be…)

Moving on…

Most social media accounts tend to be a highly edited view into someone’s life, showing all the highlights but rarely the lows.  I want this blog to be a perfectly honest account of my life so I know this post is necessary.  I couldn’t write about it right away because I didn’t want to publish anything that I might later regret.  Anyways, after dating for over six years I broke up with my boyfriend when I found out he cheated on me.

When I found out, I was obviously VERY angry.  To betray someone’s trust like that is just inexcusable.  But aside from the anger, I am actually very excited about what the future has in store for me!  It was like the world opened up to me.  Since we graduated college and were both living at home, I could tell we were growing apart.  I think we realized we have different goals and values and that is what started pushing us apart.  That’s not an excuse for why he did it but I think it’s why I have been able to handle it so well.  I would like to take this time to thank my family and friends for being the most loving and supportive people in the entire world, especially Teresa (the sister running the half marathon with me).

Now that I have had some time to adjust, I’m ready to move on… quite literally.  I’ve been living at home with my parents since I graduated, wanting to move out but thinking I would wait to move out with him.  Now that I have no strings attached I have decided I am going to move to Austin, TX.  From what I have heard, it is an awesome place to live.  My brother has been living there for a year and has told me how much I will love it.  An active, outdoorsy city with no blizzards or polar vortexes.  What more could I ask for?  I’m going to visit at least once and wait until I have a job before I make the official move but I don’t think the Northeast has much more to offer me at this point in time.

So, how has the running been going?

Well, the week before this happened was fantastic!  I stopped at the running store to see what they had to say about nutrition.  I did my long run that Sunday using Gu for the first time and had a really great run (minus the torrential downpour in the middle).

The week after that I didn’t run at all.  I am apparently the opposite of an emotional eater and found it pretty difficult to run while not eating so much.  The next week, I started to get back in a little bit with two shorter runs.

This past week was much better.  I went for 3 decent runs during the week.  On Saturday, I want for a hike and LONG walk with a friend from high school that I hadn’t talked to in years but reached out when she heard about my breakup.  It has been so good catching up with her and I can tell we are definitely going to friends again from here on out!  I tried to get back into the long runs this Sunday but the weirdest thing happened and I don’t know why.  As I started running, my upper legs got so itchy I couldn’t even stand it.  I tried to tell myself it was mind over matter and push through.  After a mile with clenched fists and visible scratches on my legs, I knew I had to turn around and get a Benadryl at home.  Once the benadryl kicked in, the itching stopped.  I was mentally ready to try the run again but it felt like my body was filled with lead so I just napped in front of the TV for the rest of the day.

Thankfully, I went into training knowing that the training plan is really just the ideal plan.  Life gets in the way and you have to adjust.  I’m going to have to put in some serious work in the next few weeks and I’m a little nervous for the half marathon.  In the end though,  I’m doing it for fun and to be able to say I could.  If I can’t run the whole thing this time, who cares?  I can always train for another one!

Bonus:  I got a new phone finally so I can track my runs again and listen to music!!!!

The Best Relationship Article I Have Ever Read

As I typed that title, I realized I tend to hyperbolize.  Either that or I just think everything is fantastic!  Anyway, I usually hate articles about relationships.  They usually try to tell you what a good relationship looks like or if you found your soulmate and just leave you feeling worse about your own relationship because you can’t check off everything they list.

I found an article on the Move, Nourish, Believe blog from Lorna Jane that completely blew me away.  The post is called “10 Things You Can Do To Nourish Your Relationship.”  I think what sets it apart right away is that it is it talks about nourishing a relationship.  The suggestions are easy steps to encourage a healthy relationship.

Here is why I like each of the 10 points listed:

1. Stop pretending someone you’re not and just be yourself instead.  Sometimes in a long relationship, you tend to do things because that is what you have always done.  It might be hard to break into new things because that isn’t what you did when you started the relationship.  You don’t have to be stuck in that.  Just do what makes you happy!

2. Smile at your loved one. When I have something to complain about, my boyfriend is usually the first person to hear about it.  I need to stop doing that so much.  I need to remember that he makes me happy and just smile at him! 🙂

3. Realize things change. Your interests change.  Your jobs change.  Your goals change.  As long as you realize that, you can keep an open mind, accept it, and work it into your life.

4. Work out together.  It’s a little intimidating to work out with my boyfriend because he has been athletic his entire life, probably even before he was born.  But he was the one I went to when I wanted someone to run my first 5k with me.  I don’t like running with him so much but I like that we can be active together.

5. If you want quality time with your significant other, plan it.  I sometimes get annoyed when we get in a bit of a rut of just watching tv together in the week or not really spending any other quality time together.  No matter how far along you are in a relationship, you still need to plan to do stuff.  It doesn’t just happen by itself.  Someone should remind me of this on a weekly basis.

6. Express your needs.  Apparently you don’t miraculously become mindreaders, even if you have been together for almost forever.  Someone should remind me of this one too.

7. Give without any expectations. Do things for the other person without keeping track and expecting things in return.

8. Don’t stop caring about how you look. I’ve done this before, where I just wear sweats when my boyfriend comes over.  It kinda gives the impression that you don’t really care anymore. Now I like to show off my fancy muscles from running so this isn’t so much of a problem.

9. Cultivate intimacy and independence. I think one of the best things for my relationship is when we went to different colleges.  It let us make our own groups of friends and do the activities we really wanted to do. Having our own things going on keeps it more exciting.  Like we actually have things to talk about when we go out to dinner.

10. Inspire your partner by loving yourself fiercely. The more you love yourself, the more confident you are.  Jealousy isn’t a problem and you don’t seek out approval.  Perfect for a healthy relationship.

 

What’s the best piece of relationship advice you ever got?  The worst?

10 Day You Challenge- 8 Fears

It’s a little confusing counting backward but I am on day 3, which means I am down to number 8, fears.  I only have one phobia.  I mean legitimate, think about it way too often, become unreasonable to avoid it kind of phobia.  The rest of the things on this list are more of thinks I am just not too fond of or would prefer don’t happen.

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1. Snakes.  This is the phobia.  I have no idea where it came from or why it got so bad.  We have snakes that live by the pool at our house and I wasn’t really scared of them growing up.  It’s only been in recent years that I have not liked them.  All my reasons are serious though.  For one, no creature should be able to move that quickly and smoothly without appendages.  I do not like one bit that they slither along so easily without arms or legs.  It is unnatural and WRONG!  Also, I know many snakes are not poisonous but the snakes that are poisonous are seriously poisonous.  As in you get bit and can’t move within a minute.  Not cool.  Especially when I don’t know which snakes are or are not poisonous.

2. Asthma attacks.  Not so much of a fear, more like I would prefer for these to just never happen.  As long as I have an inhaler or some Benadryl I know I will be fine.  But those few moments before it kicks in are seriously unpleasant, frustrating, and make me more emotional and cranky than I like to be.

3. Asthma turning into COPD.  “Isn’t COPD what smokers get?” you ask.  Yeah, the main reason people get COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is because they smoke.  One of the other reasons is asthma.  With asthma, you can control your symptoms and treat it pretty well.  With COPD, your airways become progressively worse.  I don’t want that to happen!

4. Snorkling.  Not really a fear, but I don’t enjoy it at all so I avoid it at all costs.  I think it has to do with the fact that you put your face in the water with only a small, unreliable way to get air.  That is pretty unpleasant in my opinion.

5. Living a boring life.  I don’t think anyone wants to look back on their life and think they gave a lackluster shot at living.

6. Saying something factually wrong.  I don’t know why this one bothers me so much but I don’t want to say something that isn’t true.  That’s why I tend to research everything before I write about it.

7. Getting bored of running/exercising.  I picked up running because I knew it would be good for my overall health.  Since I started, that has proven to be true.  I have also seen how stopping running has negatively affected my asthma.  I want to always be active so I can stay healthy!  I am scared that at some point it will become something I don’t like to do so I try whatever I can to keep it fun!

8. Meeting an animal on my run that won’t back down.  The area I live in (and run in) can sometimes look like the jungle.  There are always animals around, whether wild ones or pets.  I’ve gotten pretty close to deer on a few runs.  So far they have been scared off by my dog or by me clapping and yelling at them (I probably look insane doing it).  There have been a few black bear spottings in my town and that makes me very nervous.  I don’t even know what I would do if I saw a bear while running.  I also constantly have the fear that a snake will pop out from the bushes on the side of the road and bite me just because I got too close to it.  Refer back to #1 for this, it’s completely irrational but I can’t help it.

What’s your biggest fear?  Have you ever faced one of your fears head on?

10 Day You Challenge- 9 Loves

I planned on doing this earlier today but I was so exhausted from being up earlier than usual all week long, I couldn’t muster up the energy to type up my list until now.  Yeah, a list of 9 things.  I have to say though, this one was difficult to come up with because it’s hard to narrow it down to just 9 things!

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1. My awesome family!  I grew up in a family of 6 and I have a huge extended family.  My siblings and parents are pretty much the best you could ask for.  And the extended family is fantastic too.

My younger sisters, my dad, my sister-in-law, my brother, my mom, and me!

My younger sisters, my dad, my sister-in-law, my older brother, my mom, and me!

2. My boyfriend.  We have been dating for 6 years now, 4 of them long distance while in college.  And he still puts up with me!  Running related, he ran with me in my first 5k and helped me so that I ran the whole thing!

This is an action shot.  We were actually steering the boat.

This is an action shot. We were actually steering the boat.

3. Our two dogs (a chocolate lab and a one-year-old Rottweiler).  The chocolate lab dragged me along when I first started running.  The Rottweiler is the cutest living thing on this entire planet.  He can be wacky sometimes but seriously cute.

The big guy in the puppy's crate and the puppy on my mom's chair.

The big guy in the puppy’s crate and the puppy on my mom’s chair.

4. The RunKeeper app.  One day, I was looking on my phone for what new apps I should get.  Something made me click on the RunKeeper app.  I picked one of the 5k training plans, went for my first run EVER, and haven’t looked back!  I like tracking miles and times because it gives me a sense of accomplishment Smile

5. My Move Nourish Believe Journal from Lorna Jane. It’s like a day planner/healthy living motivational guide rolled into one.  I like to write down all my workouts in there, running or otherwise.

6. The color turquoise.  My room is decorated with this color, my clothes tend to be in this color.  I just love it.

7. Reading.  I love love love a good book.  I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction the past couple years but I get hooked by a good story too.

8. Green Tea Lattes from Starbucks.  Before I started liking coffee this was my go-to drink whenever I went to Starbucks.  Now I’m obsessed.

9. Thunderstorms.  Who doesn’t love a good thunderstorm?  After a hot, humid summer day, the weather finally breaks and the sky opens up.  Perfect for curling up inside with a good book.  Not good for running but you can always work in a rest day every once in a while!

With that said, I am now going to curl up in my bed (another thing I love) after an exhausting week.  I am going to sleep in until the last possible minute in the morning.  And then I can even sleep in the next morning too.  Woohoo!!!

What it is actually like to run with asthma

Since I have asthma, running was difficult when I first started.  I started by using running/walking intervals to slowly build up my endurance.  I know I have to push myself if I’m going to get stronger.  The difficult part is knowing how far I can push myself to keep improving without triggering an asthma attack.  I don’t mind being out of breath every once in a while but I prefer to avoid triggering my asthma.

Regular shortness of breath: If you start working out harder than your fitness level can handle, you are going to get out of breath.  Your body needs you to breath deeper and faster to meet the higher oxygen demands for whatever your activity is.  If you took a break, you would be able to quickly catch your breath.

Asthma attack:  When you have an asthma attack, you may feel like you are short of breath but there is more going on.  During an asthma attack, it actually becomes physically harder to breath.  The bronchioles bringing the air from your mouth to where the oxygen is absorbed become inflamed and thickened and mucus starts building up.  Air gets trapped in the alveoli, which are basically air pockets where oxygen is transferred from the air into the body’s cells. If you take a break from activity during an asthma attack, you won’t be able to quickly catch your breath.  You are going to need a rescue inhaler to relax the smooth muscles of the bronchioles to make it easier to breath.

What the bronchioles look like with and without asthma.  Imagine how much more air you can get through the one on the left compared to the one on the right.

What the bronchioles look like with and without asthma. Imagine how much more air you can get through the one on the left compared to the one on the right.

Having asthma my whole life, I have learned how the sensations of the experiences are different.  I can’t quite put it into words but asthma from allergies feels different to me than asthma from exercising.  Both of those feel different from the point in running where I need to focus on my breathing.  Knowing the subtle differences had been helpful in keeping me safe while I exercise.

While I run, I pay special attention to not push myself over what I like to call “the edge.”  It’s a feeling that I get when I am running harder where I know that if I don’t back off I will have an asthma attack.  I start to get a sense of overall tightness in my chest, sometimes with a more acute feeling.  For me, this usually happens when I sprint or run uphill.  Once I cross over “the edge,” the only thing that will make me breath normal again is my rescue inhaler.

This is probably why I haven’t liked running with anyone yet.  My pace is pretty slow and anyone I have run with (ok, there have only been two people so far) has tried to push me to go faster without understanding the delicate balance I have to maintain.  I would rather run slower and finish than try to run faster and have to stop immediately.

When I first started running, I used interval training to alternate between a steady run and walking.  I gradually increased the running time while decreasing the walking time.  With that base level of fitness, I am now able to go out and just run.  The half marathon training plan I am following doesn’t include intervals for speed work.  I am fine with that now because I think the distance challenge is enough for me.  I am able to go at a steady pace that feels comfortable on my lungs for all of my runs.

In the long run, I know I am going to have to face hills and speed work head on if I want to keep improving my respiratory health.  I might through a few sprints into my easy runs while I keep training.  Once the race is over (and I let myself relax for a while) I am going to switch it up by trying to bring down my 5k time.  As tough as it will be, I think it will be so worth the challenge.

What health challenges do you face while running or exercising?  How do you adjust your workouts around that?

10 Day You Challenge- Day 1

Yesterday, I was checking out Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles and I saw a 10 Day You Challenge that she was in the middle of doing.  Each day has a different topic.  I really liked the idea so I figured, why not?

10-day-you-challengeDay 1: 10 Secrets

Since I haven’t really shared too much about myself most of these end up just being facts about myself.  I’ll at least try to keep it interesting!

  1. If I was a boy, I would have been named Julius.  Im sure someone can pull that name off, but it would not have been the male version of me!
  2. My brother used to call me “Rellie-belly-ping-pong-jelly” and it made me insanely angry.  So he would call me it again…
  3. When I started high school, my mom told me I had to do a school sport.  Since I wouldn’t make any of the other teams my only options were cheerleading or cross-country.  At that point, there was no way I would be caught dead running so I chose cheerleading.  I ended up being captain during my junior and senior years!
  4. I collect pins from all the places I visit.  I have them all on a hat I got when I got my first pin at “Our Chalet” in Switzerland.
  5. I was a Girl Scout from kindergarten through senior year of high school.  I even got my Gold Award!
  6. I am really good at learning the words to songs, especially raps.  But don’t ask for a demonstration until I have a few drinks in me!
  7. I built a hovercraft out of plywood, a trap, and a leafblower for a science fair in 7th grade.
  8. I can crochet and knit.  The first thing I actually made when I knew how to knit was a sweater.
  9. I can play the piano.  I took lessons for around 6-7 years when I was younger.  I don’t play much now but every once in a while I will!
  10. If I am going to run in the morning, I will sometimes sleep in my running outfit so I have one less excuse to not get it done!

So, anyone else have any good secrets?

A Reluctant Farewell to My Coffee Drinking Habit

Oh, coffee. What a wonderful beverage. We all love the caffeine in it. Research has even indicated it protects against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, and liver cirrhosis. One study even says it is the number one source of antioxidants for Americans. Athletes use caffeine to boost performance. That’s how I rationalize drinking it in the morning before I go out for a run. I don’t drink it all the time but it is a nice kick every once in a while.

I am the type of person who is easily affected by the caffeine in a cup of coffee. At times it can be a wonderful thing. I get halfway through a cup and it’s like I can do anything and everything and I want to do it right now! It’s a euphoric, motivating feeling (perfect for starting a run). It can last all day for me sometimes, even on just that half a cup. Nothing else does it like coffee, not even tea or energy drinks.

A fancy-schmancy coffee I had on my trip to Spain in March.  The excuse this time?  Jet lag

A fancy-schmancy coffee I had on my trip to Spain in March. The excuse this time? Jet lag

Other times, it is not so great. I usually tell myself no coffee after 9am to avoid staying awake all night. Yesterday morning, I had a single cup that I didn’t even finish, at 6:30am. Guess what happened that night? You guessed it. I couldn’t get myself to go to bed. Once I fell asleep, it wasn’t a restful sleep. When I got up in the morning what did I do? I had another cup of coffee. It is now 6 hours later and I am still feeling that buzz.  My dad, on the other hand, can make himself an espresso right before bed and be totally fine.

What’s a girl to do? It looks to me like I am going to have to cut back. For someone who only has coffee occasionally, that is looking like cutting it out completely. It isn’t a big sacrifice but it is a habit that has to be broken. I will make the compromise, however, that I can have a little bit when I REALLY need the kick in the butt. Until that happens again, I will enjoy my nights of uninterrupted sleep!