Thursday, May 16, 2013

Squeezing it all in

Even though school is over, I am still having these issues of squeezing everything in. Being a home owner, in and of itself, is one of the most difficult, scariest things. I hadn't expected to be doing it on my own and there are moments when I think "what if I just couldn't afford it anymore?" I don't have someone to lean on or help keep up things if I start slacking. I constantly am thinking of what needs to be cleaned, what should be fixed, what bills still need to pay, and most importantly, how the hell do I minimize my debt? These are the daily stresses that I am sure every adult goes through but my 27 year old brain still tries to scream out, "You're not an adult yet! You're young and should be carefree and enjoy only having to be concerned about yourself!" Well half of that is true. I am young but I am still an adult, as much as I want to fight it. I have been since I was probably even too young to be. I have always taken care of myself since I was 18 but something about owning property is scary! I know right now I am only taking care of myself. I make dinner when I want it and eat left overs for days because I am one person and I am not picky. I can work out for hours at a time, and know I don't need to rush home for anything. Still though, it would be nice to have something to rush home to. I guess on either side of the fence, there are the good and negative aspects and I need to just enjoy what it is I have now. 

Throwing myself into working out and making myself healthier is a nice distraction from these daily stresses. However, being stress free contributes to a healthy self. So round and round it goes. Yesterday, I was so exhausted that I took a nap on the couch, skipped my run, and then ordered pizza while watching So You Think You Can Dance. That sounds amazing, right? And it should be! I only let myself half enjoy these things though because it's "off my schedule." I was supposed to run and that pizza didn't fit into my calorie counting for the week. These thoughts make me think "Do I have OCD?" I slightly freak out when things do not go according to schedule and it's getting worse as I get older. I would love to change this about myself, especially before I start needing to take care of others besides me. So I constantly told myself last night that I would not let myself feel guilty for it. Instead, I made up for it by running to the gym tonight, doing body pump, and running home. I'm not gonna lie, I am freaking exhausted right now. 

Tomorrow I have a break and then on Saturday I am doing my second 10k (this time in Beaumont). I would like to beat my Run Through Redlands time of 1:09, even if by a minute. After the run, I am going to the Hangar 24 AirFest and am going to enjoy the hell out of it. They have shuttles picking up people in downtown Redlands throughout the day, and since I live very close to downtown, my friends and I can drink safely. It will definitely be a day of libations that are totally deserved after a run :) Then Sunday I am going to a spa with my boyfriend's mom and getting my second massage ever in my life! I gotta say, it may be the thing I am looking forward to most. Monday should bring a very relaxed Jenny to work... or exhausted, we'll see. 

Miles to date: 185.20 (ahead of schedule for my goal!)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Catch me if you can...

Well I found what I can fill a lot of my time with! Working out, some more working out, and then working out after my workout. Ok, I am not really doing that much but man do I feel like I am. I started back at body pump twice a week and have managed to do that for 3 weeks now. Since body pump isn't until 6:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I decided to do the cardio classes before hand on well. On Tuesday, I am doing the step class at 5:30, and Thursdays the kickboxing class at 5:30. So far I really like the step class and will continue that schedule but am still getting used to the kickboxing class. Don't get me wrong, my heart rate goes way up and I feel like I get a good workout but because we don't have punching bags and doing the whole routine on the ground, I feel a bit ridiculous. Maybe I will learn better form as time goes on but right now I look like I am randomly flailing my arms and legs around and, I gotta say, it is NOT cute (but very funny!). 

When I am not doing a structured class, I am still running running running. I made it to 7 miles a couple weeks ago and was on a complete high after. I was seriously giddy the whole day and hadn't been more proud of myself until that moment. In regards to the races I have set up, I completed the Angels 5k at a slower pace than last year but I was still happy with it. I also did the Run Through Redlands in 1:09:24. That was probably one of the most difficult races, if not the most difficult, that I have ever done. The hills in the middle of it are killer. Next up... another 10k but this time in Beaumont. Since this one is supposed to be pretty flat, I expect my time to be a little better. 

Other than working out, I started reading a little. Currently I am in the middle of Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros, which is entertaining and proving to be an easy enough read. The bonus part is that I get to refresh some of my Spanish skills with the small phrases and references she uses. I had a couple friends send me a list of what I have been missing out on and plan to add those to my personal reading list (and, no, not Fifty Shades of Grey :P). Hopefully the coming weeks will allow me to continue doing these things that I love!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Now What?

Well, school is done. Like, done done. I mean, I still want/need to get my credentials/masters but my undergrad is done. I kind of can't believe it. This was a 9.5 year degree in the making. Yes, it took me way too long but I have been putting work before school since I was 17. It wasn't until about 3 years ago, that I decided that school needed to be done and I worked toward it much more aggressively. Now the big question is- what next? Well, I am going to give myself a year before beginning the next degree. Until then though, I think I have a lot of me time that I need to take advantage of. 

  • I want to work out, push myself to the limits, and become as strong (mentally and physically) than I have ever been.
  • Painting. My amazing boyfriend bought me a beautiful easel when I started this hobby and I haven't gotten much use out of it. 
  • Organizing. The house can always use this, as can the garage. 
  • Catching up with friends. I can't believe how much I have put this off. Life seems to fly by when all of your time is accounted for. 
  • Relax. Now that my time is not so occupied, I need to learn to not cram everything in all the time. I need to just. chill. 
  • Read! I can read non-school related books (I can very excited about this). 

Running has been amazing and I am up to 5 miles right now. I am right on track for the Redlands on April 1st. To re-evaluate my goals, I re-posted the runs I had in mind below:

  • Run Through Mesa view Middle School 5k (done!) 
  • Angels Baseball 5k- this is on Saturday and I think I am more than ready for it. 
  • Run Through Redlands 10k- I just signed up today.
  • Survivor Mud Run in Sept- I have signed up for this already as well. 
  • Rock 'n Roll half in Las Vegas- this is the only one left for me to sign up for. Hopefully I can do that once I get my tax return.

Last year I was able to do the Angels 5k at 32:08. I must have been much faster than I am now, which is a little disappointing because I am not sure I can beat that. I will try, but not be upset if I don't. I am also right on track for my 365 miles in 365 days goal. To date, I should have at least 84 miles under my belt and as of today (after my 4 mile run), I am at 88.61.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Yay for miles

Since it is spring break for Kale's kids, we get to run in Redlands this week. Not only does that mean I get a little break from driving to Yucaipa, but I get a break from running hills! Today we did amazing and it was one of those runs that just pumped me up and made me have the biggest runner's high. We were able to do 4.75 at 11:30 minute miles. We could have made it to 5, but I think we underestimated the sun today. Since the weather likes to change drastically every week now, we weren't sure how hot it would be today. It wasn't too bad but my mouth was extremely dry and I needed water BAD. After we hit about 3.5 miles, it just continued to get worse. I licked my lips, I cleared my throat, I tried conjuring up any saliva I could, but it just made my mouth even worse. We stopped a little shy of my house, walking the remainder and then downed water as soon as we got inside. 

These (minus the lack of water) are the types of runs I love. When the sun is beating on my shoulders and I am running with ease and can control my breathing, it makes the run so relaxing and wonderful. I know this time will be limited because once it really starts heating up, the dry mouth issue gets bad before I hit even mile one. Kale and I even played with the idea of doing 5am runs this summer. Ask me again in a couple months though. Obviously, easier said than done. 

Wednesday we will try this again and hope to hit the 5 mile mark, which means we are well on our way! April is the RTR (run through Redlands), which I need to sign up for next pay period and I think I will be more than ready for just over 6 miles. 

I guess another big thing I should bring up, is that I am done with school in one week. I am one week away from having my Bachelor's, a degree I worked on for almost 10 years. I should be ecstatic and part of me is, but mostly, I am terrified. I have no idea what's to come but I think I have made up mind (90% sure) that I will not start a Master's program or Master's/credentials program for a year. I think I deserve one year off and, hopefully, I can concentrate on the things that make me truly happy (like running, reading, painting). It will be nice to only have to worry about a full time job and I hope I will be in that mind set in a week, instead of fearing the future. At least I know that I have exercise and other things that I am not afraid of and can continue to improve myself that way. So next time I post, I will be an educated, Bachelor's-holding blogger!

Miles to date: 63.53

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

9 seconds

Wednesday the 20th : Since it was rainy, Kale and I skipped our usual run. Instead, I got home, and because I couldn't help it, I went for one quick mile. My mile was 9 seconds shorter than my last! Again, this is only based on one mile, but it still feels good. After that, I headed over to a yoga class at the Yoga Room which is a little over an hour. I definitely got an amazing workout and was sore the next day.

Thursday the 21st: I wanted to try another mile again and since it was starting to get dark after I got home from class, one mile was exactly what I did. Funny thing is, I cut another 9 seconds off that mile! That would make it a 10:38 mile, which isn't amazing but a huge improvement. Since I am starting to get into that freakish, addictive workout mode, I came inside and did my Wii Zumba video.

Friday the 22nd- Today we had a new friend join us on our run and we bumped it up to 3.5 miles. We did great! It felt good to start the weekend off like this and I am confident we are on a good stride right now.

Sunday the 24th- After a weekend of too much food and drinks, I managed to do an afternoon run. The sun felt so good on my shoulders and because Redlands isn't nearly as hilly as Yucaipa, I managed to do 3.6 miles at 11:47 a mile, with plenty of energy left over.

Wednesday the 27th- Today Kale and I bumped it up to 4 miles and it was everything but easy. We tried a route where we went downhill first before going uphill. I think this may have made it more difficult because I was so out of energy and out of breath for about half of it. I should have known it would be difficult because I was tired going into it and I had a kind of off day as far as schedules go. When we finished and I saw we had managed an 11:53 minute mile, I knew we had pushed ourselves harder than I had anticipated. The good thing is that we made it but the scary thing is that we are trying another 4 miles tomorrow. Tomorrow we will tackle that uphill portion first and see how that goes.

Miles to date: 47.28 miles

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hills and Hills and Hills... Oh My!

Saturday's run went really well but it was hard as hell. It was all hill, all the time. Yucaipa is full of them. How you are able to run a circle where it seems you are just going uphill the whole time, is beyond me. It's like an episode of the Twilight Zone or a Shel Silverstein poem. Even with all the hills though, Kale and I were able to finish not only running the entire thing but finishing with about an 11 minute mile, average. I am more than ok with this since we just started again a couple weeks ago. After the run, Nicholas and I went home and had a great day which consisted of relaxing, homework, lunch, bowling, and hanging with friends. I would like to point out on this public blog that I was pretty much a professional at bowling. Ok, maybe not a professional but a 138 score is the best score I have gotten since grade school. Ego boost!

Beyond happy to be done.

Today, Kale and I took advantage of our day off work (yay President's Day!) and woke up early and went on another run. This one started off difficult because 1. I was still sore from hill day; 2. I was even MORE sore because we decided to try and dig up the jungle that is my backyard the day prior; and 3. It was damn early to be getting off on my day off. I got to Kale's house around 8am and we set out on a slightly longer run (trying 3.5 miles this week), along with her brother, Matt. I felt good after I got home as I sat on the couch eating cereal and drinking a very large cup of coffee, feeling all the aches in my thighs. I love the idea of starting my day off with a run and only wish it was something I could do every day. However, since I work at 6am, trying to run before then would require a gallon of coffee and night vision goggles. 

Miles to date: 34.17

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love is in the Air

My friend Kale and I have gotten into a routine where we are running Mondays and Wednesdays. Each time we do our loop in Yucaipa, we are able to do just a little more. Last Monday, we completed 2.75 miles straight. Today, we did the same thing but made it a total of 3 miles. This Saturday we have our 5k in Yucaipa and I am confident I will be able to run the whole thing. I am really glad that I am getting back into this and will soon be where I was before. The little improvements I am seeing each time keeps me motivated.
Also, I have been wanting to put up some of the recipes that I have tried from Pinterest or other sites. One of my recent favorites that I have made twice now is a warm lettuce wrap. I made a couple revisions to what the recipe called for but this is what I ended with:

Warm Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • 2 pears
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head radicchio
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large carrots cut into matchsticks (I buy them already cut because it’s just easier)
  • 2-3 cups of shredded chicken or turkey (depending on how much you want)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon
  • 6 tablespoons sherry vinegar

First I poach the chicken, shred it and set it aside.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the pears until they brown just a little. Then remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat up the onion, shallots, dijon, and sherry, in the pan for a couple minutes. Add the radicchio (coarsely chopped), along with the carrots and chicken.
Lastly add the pepper and pears back into the mixture.
I serve mine on butter lettuce or romaine (romaine is cheaper) and top with gorgonzola crumbles. I recently tried avocado on top as well and that was delicious. The bitterness of the radicchio, sweetness of the pears, and the tangy-ness of the cheese make them such an interesting and fun meal! This whole recipe serves me lunch all week long and I never get sick of it!
*The recipe also calls for walnuts and fennel and ¼ teaspoon of salt. I leave these things out, but those who like it could easily add them as well.

I thought I would also share what I did for my boyfriend for Valentine’s day. I made him a man-bouquet (pictured below) with miniature alcohol bottles and beef jerky, served in a beer mug. It didn't come out nearly as crafty as I had envisioned, but I am sure he will like it nonetheless. I also made him some chocolate sugar cookies that came out really well! With half of them, I tried an orange cream (orange zest, heavy cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar) sandwiched in between them and the other half, I decorated with royal frosting. I hope he likes it!

 Miles to date: 25.78