Where does time go?!

I feel like a broken record saying this, but I’m going to try my very best to keep up with my blog! 😛 In my defense though my summer so far has been crazy busy. Here are some highlights:

I had a weekend getaway in New York visiting my sister for her birthday. We explored both Manhattan and Brooklyn, and ate so much delicious food. I seriously don’t think I’ll ever eat that good of a chocolate croissant or muffin or taco or omelet or….. Seriously the food was amazing. We even ate at this amazing vegan tapas styled restaurant. I had vegetables cooked in a way I had never even thought about!

A couple weeks ago I started training for my half marathon in September. One hot and humid morning my too small socks caused gross blisters on my heels. And I’m talking gross, the kind when you remove your sock skin comes off. I played around with methods of getting it to heal and it wasn’t until I used a liquid band aid and regular band aid combo was it able to heal. I still have scab weirdness on my heals but at least they’re not open grossness!

Only two days after I got those gross blisters I ran a 5k. It was my goal to PR. I felt great during my run despite my heels, and just kept pushing it. People of all ages were passing me, and I thought oh well, I know I’m doing a good time for me I’m not going to worry about anyone else. When I finished my run I PR’d with an average of an 8:41 min mile!! I know for some runners that’s “easy” talk but for me that’s awesome! Just 4 years ago when I started running I had a hard time running ONE mile at a 16 min pace. I was unbelievably shocked to find out I placed 3rd in my age group! I was only 2 minutes shy from being 2nd, but I try not to think about that too much… 😉

A few days later I woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in my toe. It had been 16 days of pain at that point actually, I had just been ignoring it. I first noticed it my last day in New York. My toe was crazy swollen, and painfully ached. I blamed it on walking about 7 miles every day in sandals, and figured it would go away. Since icing, elevating, 1-2 day rests, and an inflammation reducer pain killer didn’t help, I decided to go to an orthopedic sports medicine doctor. The result? A stress fracture. I was given a post-op shoe and told to use it for the next 3 weeks and hopefully by then I can start running again, but in the mean time be “creative” with my workouts. Cycling, rowing, and lifting are all ok, but bending my toes/foot and putting weight on it is not okay. It was frustrating news since I had just started my half marathon training, but I guess I’d rather get better early on then have to stop in the middle of training and not even get a chance to run it. I’ve had a week off of running at this point and I can say the pain has gone away and the majority of the swelling has gone too. I have been biking, rowing, and lifting mainly at OrangeTheory but some of the biking has been with my family or my friend who I have been training with. I ended up designing a new training plan, which I’ll share with you all later (#goals)!

A few days after the depressing news I got my hair done at my favorite salon (hello summer blonde hair), ate an amazing dinner for our 6 year wedding anniversary and went with David, the kids, and friends to the beach to celebrate our actual anniversary day!

If I’m not at work, taking care of the kids, or exercising I’ve been catching up on laundry, cleaning the house, painting the house, gardening, and a hopefully a soon finished fun yard project (again I’ll share with you later, #goals)!

My husband has about 50 more pages of his dissertation to write and I feel a bit bummed for him. I know it’s a lot of stress on him, and he’s trying to be an involved husband and Dad, but that is difficult to do when there’s a deadline. We keep telling ourselves, “graduation May 5, 2018”!

Now that I’ve talked your ear off, enjoy your weekend!



Weekly Workout Review

Hey! Check it out! It’s another weekly workout review, let’s keep it up! ;P

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: (non-traditional exercise) house PAINTING! yes it’s true I worked up a sweat!

Wednesday: Orange Theory

Thursday: Orange Theory (and a sweaty house painting session)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Yoga 2-3

Sunday: Orange Theory (and attended a GI Yoga workshop)

This week felt pretty chill as for workouts go. I don’t have any long runs coming up, and so I’m taking it easy as for the workouts. This weekend I started getting sick, and so I didn’t want to workout at all but forced myself to get out and exercise. Today is a bring-out-the-violins-because-I-feel-so-sick kinda day! Bummer I know… So let’s hope I get over this quick and move on with my week!

Fit Faux Pas

I tried to ignore it when I saw the magazine covers, but when I overheard two young adult ladies talking about it the other night I just couldn’t help but get on top of my soap box.

(Step up onto soap box) Ahem, if I can have your attention please!

The other night I heard one lady say to another lady:

“Hey! Did you hear about Khloe Kardashian’s new Revenge Diet? She looks so good now!”

“Oh I know! She looks so much better than before!”

Sure this may sound like a compliment, but here are the two things wrong with this:

  1. Revenge Diet
  2. Looks better

And why is that a problem?

Well first off no one should ever do a “revenge diet.” We should never go on a diet to make someone jealous or envious. Why waste your energy on that, but instead if you are going to go on a “diet” (which in reality I think there should be no such thing as diets-but rather healthy eating/living for good) you should do it for your own health and how you feel! Then the other thing saying that she looks better now implies that she didn’t look good before. Health and fitness should not be about “looking good,” but again about feeling good and in general being healthier. Sure there are plenty of people out there that associate thinness or fitness as being more attractive but part of that attractiveness may be about feeling confident in your own skin and also literally feeling good. There are plenty of people who may be thin and fit but are mean and rude, and those people no matter how “good” they look they’re probably going to be remembered for being a mean and rude person.

Here is an example about how being thin or fit doesn’t neccessarily make you a more attractive
person. Tao Porchon-Lynch is a 98 year old yoga teacher who is a very attractive person. Her attractiveness isn’t due to her thin and fit body but rather due to her smile, her spirit, the energy she gives off. She is someone who you want to be around!

Here is a second example: Jessamyn Stanley is known for her “curvy yoga.” She is a very beautiful woman and she is not “thin,” she is curvy and fit at the same time! Once again her smile, confidence, and humor makes her an attractive person.

Obviously this is all my opinion and you may have a different opinion than me, but I guess my point is that we should be nice. Don’t take any action to make someone else feel bad, and simply be encouraging and kind.

(Steps off soap box)

Do you have another example of beauty that comes in all shapes and sizes?

Sore is the New Black

When I was stretching post-half last Sunday I also felt how sore my chest, biceps and triceps were from my Thursday OrangeTheory workout! My husband laughed at me when I mentioned it. He said, “You just ran a half marathon and you’re complaining about your arms!?” It’s funny because you’d expect me to be moaning and groaning about my legs, and sure they did feel a bit sore and tight (especially on Monday), but yes it’s true my upper body was still sore from my workout a few days prior.

When I first started lifting weights my arms could only handle 5-8 pounds (max) and now I can easily lift over 10 pounds! Sure may not sound like much but for someone who used to be the elliptical-only-girl that’s a big difference! 5 pounds used to be a challenge and now 15 pounds is the challenge just over a matter of a mere few months. The thing is I haven’t allowed my arms to “get used to” the weights. Once the weight feels easy to me I bump it up. Trust me I’m not buff looking (yet) but I can tell that I’m much stronger. One way I know I’m getting stronger is that basically every day I feel sore. Could be annoying for some feeling those tender muscles, but I know they are sore because they are repairing themselves and building more muscle.

Sore today, strong tomorrow.

And how I personally feel, “Sore is the new black.”

Right now my arms, back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads are all sore. But I can see my body getting tighter, fitter, and an improvement in my running endurance and speed.

Work for that soreness and see those big improvements 🙂

Are you feeling sore today?

31 1/2, A Turning Point

The past few days I’ve felt a change of season both literally and figuratively. Right now in the Chicago area all blossoms have full out bloomed, the air feels softer, and the sun feels bright, cheerful, and warm on my skin. I feel spring, literally all around us and it is glorious. In the figurative way I feel a sort of “spring” season in my own life, a sort of renewal.

It reminds me of when I turned 20, which was the “end” of my teen years, and honestly it didn’t feel like my teen years were over until my high school boyfriend and I ended our relationship (for good). At that point I felt like I was no longer a teen. When I turned 25, got married, got pregnant and bought a house I still didn’t feel like a “grown up.” I wasn’t that teen but with all of my hard work in all my school years I felt like I hadn’t lived that young adult life of concerts and nights out with friends. I realized how “serious” my life had been and I was missing a life I didn’t have. Once I gave birth to my daughter at the age of 27 that all sort of changed. I felt much more like the adult I was even though I still get shocked faces when people realized I have a child (apparently I must look young because a lot of strangers think I’m not even old enough to be married! In fact just last month when I was buying a record for David, the guy who worked at the record store I was buying it from asked me about my Van Morrison purchase and I mentioned it was a gift and so he asked, “Oh, so for your boyfriend?”).

Anyway! After having Zooey and especially after having Leo at the age of 29 I felt at peace about not having lived a more adventurous and wild young adulthood. Don’t get me wrong I definitely had my stupid young adult moments but they were usually more random or not lived too long. But after having my kids it became really obvious that I wanted to truly start designing the life that I wanted for them (like living in a safe neighborhood with good schools) and also designing a non-toxic life for me.

So the past two years I have made some slow yet progressive changes, such as moving to our current house (an area that doesn’t have shootings/drug dealings/ within a 1 mile radius and bodies being dumped within a few blocks of our house and the public schools appear to be gang free), attending church again, fine tuning my friendships to the ones who not only uplift my spirit but make me feel like being a better person, talking to professionals about anxieties/issues I have, refocusing on running and yoga, etc. Even though some of it may have been small changes, over time they have grown into a more mature outlook on life.

Now at the age of 31 (and a 1/2), not exactly a monumental time or age, I have started feeling a new season of my life coming on. At the moment I’m not sure exactly how to define it. During spring sometimes a new plant starts randomly growing in your yard and you’re excited and curious to see what it is but know that you’ll just need to wait until it fully blooms to find out, and that is how I feel. I feel that this stage in my life is like a random plant starting to come out of the ground and slowly blooming to show it’s full beauty.

Part of me feels a little sad about this season, and I think that may be because I feel like I’m saying goodbye to that 20-something Katie who was just waiting to figure out where life was taking her, and is being taken over by this 30-something Katie who is designing the life she wants rather than seeing where it takes her. Obviously not everything is within our control, but purposefully moving forward in the right direction is better than leaving it to chance.

So let’s see where spring takes me!

What season do you think you’re in?

Two 2017 Goals

Two years ago my husband started a doctorate program, and I decided then that I would accomplish something big each year in support of his hard work (that way he wouldn’t feel as alone if I’m work towards something too). The first year I’d say having my son, Leo, was the big accomplishment. The second year running my first ever half marathon, something I thought I never ever could and would do, as my second big accomplishment. This year is the third year. He is finishing April 2018. And so I have two big goals planned: becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and finishing a Yoga Teacher Training program. They’re both something I’ve been interested in doing for a while, but never thought it was the right time. I’m so excited to finish up all of the accomplishments that I have set out for, and also for David to be done with his doctorate! So close!!!



Motivation Monday: September Edition

Let’s face it, we all face challenges, it is part of day to day life. Sometimes people cower with their tail tucked between their legs while others attack challenges with super problem solving skills. Sometimes those challenges win, sometimes we defeat them or accept them, but no matter what we do we will always face new challenges.

Earlier today I was thinking about how runners confront challenges. Despite pain, runners continue running (well, usually). Despite blisters, chafing, sore muscles, etc. runners continue running. Some people might think runners are crazy for doing so, wonder why, but may brush it off that runners are just plain crazy! I was realizing that when runners run through pain they strengthen a sort of “muscle” that isn’t the quad, hamstring, or calf, but rather strengthening determination. I think that determination is the key factor to any challenge even if you’re accepting that it is here to stay.

Yoga Journal. Humble Warrior Pose

Yoga Journal. Humble Warrior Pose

Acceptance may seem “passive” but I actually think acceptance takes determination too. That little voice might be yelling at you, but sometimes with determination you need to be willing to accept it is how it is and nothing can change it but what needs to change is your attitude or feelings. If you’re accepting a situation with attitude that isn’t really accepting. Think about the “humble warrior” position in yoga. I think that name and pose perfectly describes acceptance, a state in which we are both comfortable yet engaged. So yes sometimes to accept takes determination.

Runners tend to be determined to reach a goal. When challenges arrive they tend to evaluate the situation to find the best way to reach their goal. Running an event like the half marathon I’m training for once was a, “psshhh I could never do that” to a “maybe someday” to a “I am going to run a half marathon.” It took me a while to get there, but the moment I said that “I am going to” changed that level of determination in me. So in order for me to cross injury free means that I need to train. In order to train I had to do enough research to devise the best plan for me and my goals. I have hit challenges already with my training: IT band injury, sinus infection, blisters, severe “underboob” chafing, busy schedules, thunderstorms, and 90 degree days with 97% humidity! Believe me, it hasn’t been easy, but I am determined to cross that finish line (injury free)!

It makes me think that if people are facing challenges or wanting to strengthen that “determination muscle” running (or walking) might be the perfect thing. I know people who have walked 5ks and it means just as much to them as it does for someone who runs them in 15 minutes. The fact that we have challenges are universal, but the challenges themselves are not universal. So find whatever it is that will help you build that “determination muscle” so that you can find yourself more ready to face life’s challenges.