My First Blogging Lapse

26 Feb

OneMileRun Day 15

Well it happened – my first blogging lapse. I started out doing so well. I posted almost every day for 2 weeks and for the fact I definitely do not consider myself a writer and do not usually enjoy writing- I thought I was doing pretty good. Then this week happened. Thanks to President’s Day we had a short week but I could have sworn it was even longer than a regular 5-day work week! On one hand the school I work for is going though accreditation and it makes for long days, lots of stress, and extra work. On the other hand, I’m going application crazy as I begin looking for a job back home in Pennsylvania. It takes a minimum of a half hour to complete an online application for each job I apply for so you can imagine how long that process truly is

Through all the stress and turmoil of the week, I was grateful to have running in my life. Even when I was pushing myself, it was nice to just be moving, to be in complete control. I always joke with people that I became a teacher because I like to be in control and the classroom is my domain and we all laugh about it. When I really think about it though- I am a control freak. I like to control our finances. I like to control my schedule. I do like to control the classroom. I like to think that I control my environment. And I like to hope that I control my future. This week demonstrated otherwise.
This entire accreditation process has turned my usually predictable environment upside-down. My co-workers are frantic preparing special binders with all sorts of data and evidence and mission statements. And as much as I like to think I control my future, being with a man in the military means that I, by default, am also subject to the military. My future is no longer my own as I begin to deal with the moves and the long days and not knowing anything til the last minute. (And then it changes again at the last second.) I’m applying for jobs hoping to move back home not really knowing where the military is going to put us and not knowing if I can even get a job back home.
In the free-falling chaos that I was feeling, I landed on my feet and started running. I’m pretty sure running was the only thing that kept me sane all week. Having those 10 minutes just to myself blasting my Pandora workout station and feeling good about something was amazing. I had never thought of running as a stress reliever before as it was usually something that I dreaded and actually stressed me out more.
So let’s talk about my past couple days running- treadmill running, real running, relaxing and getting closer to my goals. I find it amazing that I can run a mile almost a full minute faster on a treadmill then when I am actually running. I know it paces me and doesn’t let me slow down but that’s still a large jump. I feel like that doesn’t happen elsewhere in my life. There is nothing else that changes so drastically based on how I do it. If I was just running for speed, I would be on the treadmill all the time! But, I’m not. I’m running for my health, I’m running for fun, I’m running to relieve stress, I’m running for a million things I never thought running would be for me. One of those things I am running for is a half marathon (in the not near future) and I figure that marathons are not run on treadmills hence my running cannot be all on treadmills.  I need my training to be relevant to my goal in order to succeed.
Speaking of goals, I almost met another goal the other day. I was nine-hundredths of a second to slow to meeting my next goal of running a mile in under 9 minutes. On one hand, being so close to my goal was awesome; then on the other hand, being that close and not making it was torture. Regardless of how confused feeling I was about it I was, progress was made and progress is always a good thing.

R.I.P. Workout Review

21 Feb

Well y’all this plank workout is killer on the arms! Personally I always find it hard to hold a good plank position for a prolonged period of time. As it mentions on the workout info the key to this workout is tucking your butt and sucking in your belly button in. If you can manage to do that, this routine will definitely work you out in all the right places. My abs were feeling it. My arms were feeling it. Even my butt was feeling it during the leg lifts.

This workout took me about a half hour, keeping good form and getting all 3 rounds down. By the time I got to round 2 and round 3 I was holding my plank position on my knees for every move but the leg lifts. I would only try this workout if you have some arm strength to begin with otherwise you won’t be able to hold yourself up while doing the moves correctly.

If you attempt this workout and have problems making it through you could practice holding your plank position with good form. Once you have a firm foundation, you’ll be able to focus more on the moves rather then holding yourself up the whole time. I hope you try this workout out and let me know what you think of it by leaving a comment!

I’m only pushing myself at the gym because I know everyone is secretly watching me- Day 12

21 Feb

OneMileRun Day 12

Happy Belated President’s Day! I hope you enjoyed your day off as much as I did- between the gym, the beach, and an at-home spa treatment, I don’t think I could have asked for much else to make it a more perfect day. Well I take that back- my man had charge of quarters duty so he was gone for 24hrs starting Monday morning so I wish that he could have been there. Also pretty much everyone else I care about is 4000 miles. I do enjoy some solitude but I am much more of a social butterfly and wish I could have spent the day with someone who I care about; I mean my puppy is good company and all but he doesn’t really hold a good conversation

Now let’s get down to business and talk about the run…As you can see by my amazing time today, I definitely pushed myself a lot! Today was another day on the treadmill-as if you couldn’t already guess by that time I had. 8 minutes and 18 seconds. I love seeing that time. I will have you know that the last time I ran a mile that fast was in the 5th grade and only then was I motivated because I was dying to get that gorgeous blue Presidential Physical Fitness Award ( which I did end up getting!) I got to the gym bright and early at 8am. I thought it would be empty and that I could workout without worrying about what other people think.

That may sound crazy, but  I’m always wondering what other people are thinking about me, even at the gym. Do my fellow gym goers think that I need to be there? Am I lifting as much weight as they think I should be? Am I making embarrassing faces? Am I breathing too heavy? I know you think about it to. Yes it seems a little silly to be so concerned, but I guess I always worry about it because sometimes that’s what I’m thinking- well I usually only think about the funny faces and heavy breathing noises guys make when they are lifting really heavy weights, not all the other stuff. However, sometimes it is this wondering that pushes me workout harder; if I think I have audience, someone to possibly impress I’m more likely to struggle though the set or the run or the pain or whatever it is.

I’m pretty sure that’s what happened here. My treadmill experiences  Day 10 and Day 11 were just the prep work for my treadmill run today. I spent Day 10 finding a speed that I was comfortable running at and Day 11 making sure that I was working hard and becoming a better runner. I went into my run on Day 12 thinking that I wanted to challenge myself. I knew that the next time I ran outside I wanted to really improve my time and I thought pushing myself even harder on the treadmill would help prepare me so I jumped from a speed of 7 on Day 11 to a speed of 7.2 on Day 12- it may not sound like a lot, but trust me it is. I went to the gym (an almost empty gym), hopped on the treadmill and cranked up the speed. As I was running, people started pouring in the gym at a ridiculous rate. I started my mile with only 3 other people in the gym and as I approached the half mile mark less than 5 minutes later there were about 15 people there. 15 may not sound like a lot, but given that the gym is about the size of typical classroom even 5 people can make it seem crowded. At the half mile mark I was sucking. My breathing was not regulated at all, my feet were heavy, and I was just ready to slow down.

Feeling the need to impress as per my usual personality however, I looked around and heard everyone’s judgements. The two people running next to me were telling me I was out of shape. The girl working on her triceps was calling me a quitter. The boy getting ready to work on his lats was laughing at my inability to run. And that was it. I couldn’t let these people think that about me (even though I’m almost 90% sure that they didn’t even notice me). So I kept running. With every step I told myself I wasn’t a quitter, that I could do this, and that it would be over soon. And it was. I finished with my fastest time to date and proud to have done so. I would like to thank my fellow gym goers for motivating without even knowing it because without you I might have given in to the urge to slow down.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

19 Feb

This is my second contribution to the weekly photo challenge!

A lot of times we see looking down as depressing or as heading towards the end. However, sometimes looking down can just be the beginning. When I look down I see the starting line and know that I am just getting ready to jump into the next adventure of my life.

The next time you look down, remember you’re looking at the start of your next adventure.

The Dawn of the Treadmill – Days 10-11

19 Feb

I’m always trying to get my man to go out walking with me, or hiking, or running, and today was the day he finally agreed. (I can’t be too hard on him for not coming sooner as I have mentioned in the past the military life is exhausting) My neighborhood as a gym so me and my man loaded up with a new Nike+ sensor (for me), new sneakers (for him) , new water bottles (for us), new headphones (for him), and a new sweatshirt (for him) all from Sports Authority- does any body else see anything wrong with that picture?? To be fair, I couldn’t find a pair of Nikes that I could use the Nike+ with and had good arch support aside from the Nike Frees I was already wearing and I wasn’t going to buy the exact same pair of sneakers again- which I have been known to do in the past.

Anyways, we hit the gym with all of our new accoutrements, hence the treadmill… Since we were at the gym together I didn’t want to leave to run outside so I opted for the treadmill instead. I have run on a treadmill a few times in the past but more for casual exercise, never a goal like this one. I hooked up my Nike+ for the first time and started jogging at a nice speed of 6.0 (6.0 what… I don’t really know). After a short distance I realized that I was barely winded so I knew I needed to step it up a bit and ended up at 6.5. Definitely feeling it and beginning to sweat, my loving man comes over and starts giving me a hard time and before I know it I’m up to 6.8. At first I panicked thinking I couldn’t handle going any faster. I knew that the fastest mile I had run outside was 9 minutes and 43 seconds; meanwhile, he bumped my speed up to 6.8 and the treadmill told me I was running at like a 9 minute pace. Seeing those numbers on the screen and knowing what I was capable of did not seem to mesh too well. Luckily for me I was able to finish and completed my mile in my usual time of 9 minutes and 44 seconds. I guess my speed of 6.0 at the beginning made up for my crazy 6.8 at the end. In my eyes Day 10 was success.

So there must have been something in the air this weekend because my man and I went to the gym again on Day 11. I’m not sure what’s going on but I ‘m definitely not complaining. (I like going to the gym together— even though we don’t actually workout together. I’m a little strange in that sense, but I just like having him there anyways.) Being that we were at the gym again, I decided to tackle the treadmill again rather than going for a run later. Having a little bit more knowledge about what speed I can run at made today a little bit easier for me. I hooked up my Nike+ and hopped up on the treadmill. For Day 10 I ran a little more than half of my mile at a speed of 6.8, so I figured that I would run my entire mile at 6.8 today. I didn’t…

I don’t know what possessed me, but I got on that treadmill and bumped my speed up to 7.0. On Day 10 my man wouldn’t let me settle for what I was comfortable with. He pushed me harder because he knew I could do it even when I didn’t. So now on Day 11 I decided that doing what I knew I could do wasn’t good enough I needed to push harder and I am so glad that I did. My lungs were screaming but I kept breathing and kept pushing through with the help of the treadmill and I am pleased to announce that today I ran a mile in 8 minutes and 24 seconds!!! In terms of treadmill running I met two goals today: run one mile in under 9 minutes and run one mile in under 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

Yes I know that I was on a treadmill, that it’s easier to run on a treadmill, that a treadmill paces for you. However, a victory is still a victory to me. I know that the next time I hit the track I’m not going to be running 8 minute 30 second miles. The knowledge that I can run that fast and that I have the lung capacity to complete a mile that fast provides me hope and strength in that I will one day be able to run a mile that fast on the track. The treadmill is not the end for me, after all half marathons are not run a treadmill. The treadmill is a means to an end for me and I hope that one day I will be able to run faster on the track then on a treadmill (well at least as fast!)

Atlanta Ballet Presents a World Premiere…

18 Feb

I miss being a ballerina.

The ABCs of Me, Episode 3

18 Feb

Art-Colored Glasses

The Awesome Blog Content Award, Courtesy of HRH ‘Nessa of the Stronghold, requires that I provide you with an entire alphabet of Me-itude in response, so in order to prevent your eyes from snapping back in your head like the cylinders in a slot machine and your brain going into hibernation, I have subdivided the alphabet into three parts. I will reiterate only the award rules–to get the rest of my response to it you should head back to Episode 1–and share the second series of letters in today’s post.

Rules of this award:

1. Pass this on to unlimited fellow bloggers.

2. Share some things about you, using the alphabet.

Rascal, riffraff or rapscallion, I’m not such a naughty Nell,
but I am enough subversive that I think the faintest smell
of a smokescreen is escaping with me on my escapades;
hope nobody’s looking closely ’til…

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What’s in a Name? Um, Only EVERYTHING.

18 Feb

This is so true and we all know it!

Meanderings of a Restless Mind

Every single person’s identity begins with their name (which makes sense as it is in fact, you know, your identity). Every single name also holds a certain unwritten connotation to it. For instance name your kid Apple, and well, we’re all going to think you’re kind of fruity. (Ha Pun!). Name your kid Hubert, we’re going to assume he’s a nerd (or 95 years old). Since the beginning of time parents have been inadvertently choosing the futures of their children at their birth, through the simple choice of a name.

“This seems like a bold statement, Amanda.”

Oh ya? Don’t believe me? Well let’s explore this a little.

Does this look like a Skip Schumaker?
Or does this?

If you chose the first picture, you’re obviously a liar because no one thinks Skip Schumaker is a scientist name. Skip Schumaker is clearly the best baseball name that has ever existed. You don’t call your…

View original post 550 more words

Running is a Joy- Day 9

18 Feb

Today (well Day 9 was actually yesterday but I like to write about things like they literally just happened) is the first day that I can say I actually enjoyed running. I am even smiling about it right now. A went for my run a little later than usual- the sun had set and it was after dusk. The temperature was dropping, I pumped up my Pandora workout station and started hitting the pavement.

Usually when I run, I am OCD about hitting that lap button every quarter mile– I make sure I’m on target and that I’m pushing myself to always improve. However, last night I decided to let myself just run- I stopped the checking and just ran. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the cool breeze, the movement of the ground underneath my feet and I relaxed a little bit. Relaxed?! Yes I said relaxed. Who knew running could be relaxing? Definitely not me before this moment.

However, as a result of running in relaxed mode my time went up- dramatically. And by dramatically I mean about 45 seconds. So what does this mean for my running? Do I run for speed or do I run for relaxation? Either way I am exercising right? I liked that I enjoyed running. I am a little disappointed in my time, but I keep thinking about the bigger goals I have set for myself. Someday I’d like to run a half marathon… do I want to be pushing myself running for the front of the pack or do I want to enjoy it and be glad to finish?

Getting Started- Completed!

18 Feb

ImageOn a scale of 1-10, I give this workout a 7. I can imagine some people try to speed through it as quickly as they can without thinking about form. I would say the trick to making this a good work out is to complete it as fast as you can without losing your form. That’s what I tried to do today and I finished in under 15 minutes. I was sweating and a little winded. A couple recommendations…

If your not good at push-ups, seeing 50 on a that list can be a little bit daunting. I chose to do mine on my knees and was still struggling. If you know you struggle with the “girlie” version of pushups also I’d try another arm exercise using weights. Of course you won’t get the core workout like pushups, but you can always throw in a couple extra crunches or holds in the plank position to make up for it.

Also, next time I do this, I’m definitely going to push myself harder on the first round of squats. After today I’m feeling it in my arms and core, but my legs feel a little left out.