Keep Going

Reminders for this upcoming week:

If it hurts, that means it is working.

Nothing really worth it ever comes easy.

My body is capable of anything.

I am as strong as I decide to be.

My body can run many more miles after my mind wants to give up.

The process is progress.

I’m back in the fitness game full strength. My whole entire body is in pain but it’s always worth it.

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Riding the Waves

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I wish there were a way for me to fully capture this moment in which I am currently existing, at least so I could share the feeling with someone; anyone really. Jazz in the background, candles lit, safely snuggled under my heated blanket while I lounge here to document this next stage of me.

Rewind back to last year this time and I was living in a beautiful world called Columbus, Ohio. My job was high-stress, friends were scarce, resources limited and I needed something big to happen. For me. I was longing for a new outlet. I made the decision back then that I would someday run a half-marathon. Running was still somewhat new to me at that point but undoubtedly something I had grown to love. I pushed myself so very hard for the next 6 months, although not quite as intensely as I had hoped for. So instead, this last May, I ran my first 5k. One of the most rewarding moments of my life.

Fast forward to now. My wonderful friend Johanelli and I have decided to really start training for a Half Marathon next May. Now that I have an actual partner in crime to share this amazing and excruciatingly difficult journey, I feel more motivated than I ever have. I know all too well how painful this process is sure to be but at the same time the end results are guaranteed to be powerful beyond measure.

On top of marathon training, I will also be moving apartments in two short weeks. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to be moving on from this unfortunately poisonous living situation. Not to mention this new place will be a definite step up in my world and I can’t wait to start over again. It seems I do that often.

I could be the heated blanket, the Jazz, the endorphins or the fact that the moon is finally in my sign. All I know is that I’m on top again. Queen of my ever-changing wonderful world.

Strength and Endurance-My Journey Towards Excellence

The most important lesson I have learned thus far in my life is to always focus on my personal growth; keep myself happy first and foremost. When I take care of myself and my well-being, I am just an overall better person. I deal with potential stress-ors with more positivity, I am more patient, more open-minded, I am a better friend, a better listener and see the world full of endless opportunities.

Last year this girl began a journey. I began a new hobby and it has completely changed who I am; for the better. I first decided to pick up running due to the fact that it terrified me. In hopes of conquering another fear, I jumped in not knowing at all what to expect.

I have spoken many times of my running adventures; this is something of much importance to me. Last fall I set a goal of running a half-marathon on this very day. I have trained hard but have also faced minor set-backs in the last 7 months or so. I gained so much heart throughout this time. I learned what it felt like to push myself harder everyday and to keep pushing even when it felt like I had nothing left. I really discovered just exactly who I am. I have an iron soul and I never give up; ever.

Sometime in March I began talking with one of my managers who had just taken up running as well and was planning to complete the 5k portion of the race I had been training for. She said we should sign up together. I decided that a 5k was a more suitable and most-likely more attainable goal to shoot for as my first public exposure to running. And so began the countdown.

Today was a day I will never forget. The amount of pure adrenaline coursing through my body alone was unexplainable and just felt thrilling. Being around so many others with the same drive and passion was beyond rewarding. Not knowing what exactly to expect kept me anticipating every second. I started off strong and kept steady. My pace definitely slowed between the second mile and the finish line but I kept going. Guided by an army of runners just as dedicated as myself, pushing themselves to the limit, I made my way towards the finish line. I collected my metal and met up with my friends. Words cannot possibly begin to describe what this accomplish means to me or what I felt in that very moment. I have never been so proud of myself. Next stop, half-marathon.

So here’s to dedication, persistence, believing in yourself, dreams, goals, strength, happiness and striving to become a better person. These are the things that truly enrich our lives.

Never give up.

How Running Saved My Life.

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At my very first remote understanding of what becoming “healthy” was, I was more than willing to jump on the bandwagon. I had explored diets religiously for years prior but what really kick-started the process was my decision to become Vegan. The way I felt on a daily basis changed for the better almost immediately. Although I still had many bad eating habits to overcome, this new way of eating and treating my body felt magnificent. I kid you not when I say that I even had people tell me I was glowing unlike ever before. Along the way I have tried many other adventures such as fasting, raw foods and even juicing. But overall I am just much more aware of what I eat and how it makes me feel. I’m not saying that I don’t eat crap sometimes because believe me I do. I have an undying love for sweets unfortunately. But when I choose to eat a lot of things that aren’t exactly healthy I do know that I don’t feel well and I don’t like feeling that way. I’ve learned that I would rather eat to feel energetic, nourished and happy. So I had already broken through the initial barrier between the very unhealthy way I used to live and this newly adopted, energized, smart and worthwhile lifestyle.

I never thought I could stand to run longer than maybe a minute at a time. I didn’t think my body could handle it. Thankfully, there were success stories of my friends everywhere I looked and I had heard of the Couch to 5k program. Slowly I built my pain tolerance because believe me, it was and still is at times, excruciating.

While I’m running, nothing else matters. The stretch marks, the little belly I’ll probably never fully get rid of, the patches of cellulite here and there, the countless times I was picked on and called “fat” as a child and beyond… It all disappears. I have nothing to prove to anyone surrounding me. I exist only inside my own mind. The thoughts I produce while running are nothing short of powerful. I feel undeniably amazing. I can conquer anything. It is a high matched by nothing else I have ever felt.

Most of my initial runs have been at the gym, confined to the treadmill, due to the fact that I am not yet inclined to do so outside in the cold. I made a discovery while having interactions with many of the same people on a daily basis at the gym. Sometimes when I’m running so hard and pushing myself further than I ever have, I glance to my right, then to my left. I imagine that we are all an army of soldiers running together, supporting each other. We are the walls that hold each other up. We are a team. I am inspired to be among others who are doing what they love. I feel this is extremely symbolic of our lives. Without our own personal armies of soldiers, we can feel so frail at times. It helps to have those people by your side. Friends, family and strangers alike.

Who knows how far this new hobby will lead but I sure am learning new things about myself along the way. It has already been the most rewarding process of my life. Much respect to all my fellow runners out there.

Odd Soul

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This last week was life-changing, filled with so many moments that saved me. Literally.

I had been on a hiatus from the gym. I’m not entirely sure why but I was feeling too low to push myself that hard. Honestly I know the gym would have made me feel better but for some reason I just couldn’t do it. So it is what it is. I finally returned and did okay. It will take a few days to get back into the swing of it. But I met this older gentleman running next to me. He really lifted my spirits. We discussed music and travel. He told me that he had spent time in Arizona and even New York but in the end, he really loves Ohio. It was just great to have a conversation with a complete stranger. I find that people who don’t know you tend to actually listen to what you have to say.

My friend Ellen sent me a care package with some things for around my house. That was probably the sweetest thing anyone has done for me in a very long time. It was just so nice and really made me feel special. I haven’t felt that nearly enough lately. My heart has been aching with loneliness, so much it is painful. I do everything I can to make it stop but ultimately I wish I was closer to those that calm me. I have some people who are a part of my life here, but only in very small doses. So I guess I’m still learning how to remedy my self-induced sadness at times.

Earlier in the week, I had to take a different route to work than usual. My bus passed the Newport Music Hall and I noticed an advertisement for MuteMath. I knew that was a sign. They are one of my favorites and I was dying to see them live. So last night I attended the show solo. I honestly love going to shows by myself. It’s so empowering. It was by far the greatest display of live music I have ever witnessed in my life, matched only by the time I saw Radiohead at Cochella years ago. My entire body and soul are still on a complete high from that experience. Those guys are insanely talented. There is a certain magic about a band that truly appreciates what they do and adore their fans. I have a high respect for that.

In this upcoming week I hope to get myself registered for the half marathon in May, further my process with school registration and laugh more. Life is what you make it and I know I’m in control.

Weekly Update-Marathon Training WK 8

I’ve been a bit of a slacker on the weekly updates. Life has been a bit hectic. But I can’t complain too much. I’m still surviving. That’s all that matters. So here goes.
My sister is for sure moving back to AZ. I decided that I will not stress about this. I am going to miss her very much. We have always been together through everything and it will be rough not to have her here. But if this is what she needs to make her happy, I fully support her. Once again, I’m faced with the challenge of figuring out how to survive. I’m pretty much car-less during the coldest part of the year. It’s not fun but I’ll get through it. Thankfully I have some great co-workers who are nice enough to give me rides sometimes.
I’m just holding out for my tax return so that I can buy a simple car to transport me to work, the gym and to school. This are my only needs in life at the moment. Well, maybe some fun too.

Last week was really good in the training department. I’ve been increasing my speed in small increments throughout my runs to build stamina. I need to do this in order to be able to handle running in the outside conditions, once the weather permits.
I’ve also been doing some yoga designed especially for runners. It’s been a new challenge and that always excites me. Here’s why I accomplished this last week:
Monday- 4 Miles
Tuesday-4 Miles
Wednesday- REST
Thursday- 3 Miles
Friday- 4 Miles
Saturday- Yoga
Sunday- REST
Until next week, I leave you with this:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Weekly Update-Marathon Training WK 5

Here I am with the weekly doo da. Tonight I’m updating live from my bathtub, very toasty on red wine.
It was a lovely week filled with lots of food, alcohol, family time, holiday fun, not nearly enough exercise and a much needed mini vacation.
The week started off with crushes left and right. I realized that I have a thing for my one of my co-workers whom I refuse to persue. He is taken. I will not get wrapped up in that situation again, I promised myself. Either way, he’s a cool a guy and we understand each other. We’ve been talking a little and I guess it just feels nice to have that interaction again. It’s been forever.
I baked a birthday cake for a co-worker and everyone fell in love with my Vegan baking skills. Big surprise. It was nice.
My cousin, sister and I all went home for Christmas. By that I mean Sebring, my family’s Ohio hometown. It was my first time I was able to celebrate the holiday with all of them. I was truly thankful for that experience. We visited my grandmother in the hospital, cooked food, watched Christmas movies, drank a lot, laughed and finally played Just Dance 3 on my final night there. That game is so fun. I will always have great memories of this Christmas. I’m a pretty lucky lady.
Now for the training update. Since it was the holiday and due to the fact that I was out of town for 4 days, I didn’t get in as much gym time. I did however top my all-time longest distance run. I ran 7 miles straight. It was really painful during the actual run and the next day I felt like I was hit by a train. But it was completely worth it and I am just one step closer to my goal. In fact, I am already half way there. One short month ago my longest run was 3 miles and now it is 7. Progress is happening on more of a slower pace as I add more distance but at least it’s still happening. So it’s definitely back to the grind this week and I’m ready to push myself even harder.

“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.”
–Arthur Blank

Weekly Update-Marathon Training W4

A little late but here I am with the weekly update. It was a good week overall. Had fun at work. Flirted with so many men. (I think I’m in heat or something…) added some new things to my home, decorated for Christmas and had some good conversations with family and friends. On Saturday it started snowing in the late morning through afternoon. It barely stuck for about an hour and then was gone but it was nice while it lasted. I went to a holiday party that night. It felt great to dress up, I rarely get the opportunity to do so lately, and I met some new people as well.
As far as the training goes, I’m not all that impressed with how many overall miles I ran this last week. But I gave it my all and that’s all that matters. I keep moving forward and I have to remind myself that all this is really tough on my body and I have to give it time to adjust. I have to balance out being so hard on myself with rewarding myself for what I’ve already accomplished. Here’s what this week consisted of:
Monday: 4 Miles
Tuesday: 3.5 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: REST
Friday: 3 Miles
Saturday: REST
Sunday: Yoga

Theme for this next week:
No Pain, No Gain.

Weekly Update-Marathon Training WK 3

This last week was really great. I’m starting to actually enjoy my job a little as well as the people I work with. My boss, who I originally thought was the most horrible person I’ve ever worked for, is starting to grow on me. We are gaining a decent understanding of each other. Other highlights of the week as follows:
I went ice skating for the first time since New York. I did horrible but had fun. Looking forward to improving my skills during this long winter
Mid-week I stopped by the store to pick up some dinner on my way home from work. I was starving, had barely eaten all day and had done way too much exercise on an empty stomach. Long story short, my debit card became demagnetized so the cashier had to call for a manager to figure out some stuff. It was taking forever so this nice lady behind me, with her husband and two kids, offered to pay for my dinner. At first, I declined nicely but she insisted. I graciously accepted. It was such a nice thing and really made my night. That night we also got our first snowfall. It wasn’t cold enough to stick but it was
still quite beautiful.
On Saturday I found out that I am getting my deposit back from New York. I had given up because my landlord was a huge jerk but I am so glad to know I get that money back. Hopefully now I can afford a car by next month with that and my tax return, just in time to start school in the spring.
All that plus the weekly trip to the radio show, made a new friend with a super rad chick, poker night at my cousins house, ladies dinner night, a couple new successful recipes and I put up my Christmas lights. This coming week I am finally going to buy my ticket for my AZ visit. Cannot wait to see everyone back home. I’ve been feeling incredibly homesick lately.
The marathon training is staying on track pretty well. I don’t feel as though I progressed as much as I wanted to this week but I didn’t go backwards at all and I can always feel myself getting slightly stronger as each week passes. Here’s what I accomplished this week:

Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: REST
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: Yoga

By the way, everyone check out my friends at the “Nut Up or Shut Up” show, especially if you could use a laugh. They really kick ass.

Have a great week everyone 🙂

Marathon Training- Week Two+Added Bonus

I just finished my second consecutive week of marathon training. It was undoubtedly more difficult than the first but I am feeling stronger. Here’s what I accomplished this week:
Monday: 4 Miles
Tuesday: 4 Miles
Wednesday: 2 1/2 Miles
Thursday: Much needed REST
Friday: 6 Miles!! Yay for me 🙂
Saturday: 2 Mile Walk
Sunday: REST

It’s getting more difficult to beat my furthest run every week but feels even more rewarding when I do so.

Next topic. I had a really fun weekend. All my neighbors and I got together for an after Thanksgiving potluck dinner party. It was such a great time and I remembered how lucky I am to have some wonderful people surrounding my home. And of course any opportunity to cook and try out new recipes and I am a happy girl.

Tonight I looked further into nursing schools while visiting with my cousin. She’s currently a nurse and really wants to help me achieve my dream as well. Turns out the same school I had applied for and was hoping to attend in Phoenix, also has a campus here. Two years ago, before my world temporarily crumbled after a breakup and constant verbal abuse, I was very close to starting school. I now know why my path was derailed. There was so much I needed to sort out within myself before I was ready to seriously focus on something so important to me. I’m ready now an I’ve found a place to settle down while I do so. So I re-printed my study guide for the entrance exam and am going to start studying at every free moment. I’m excited 🙂

Life is going smoothly for the most part and I’m actually really looking forward to Christmas this year.