February 13, 2017

First Coffee Date of 2017

If we were having coffee, I would tell you... that I feel so behind with life right now. On Wednesday, almost two weeks ago, while I was at work, my stepmom called me and told me that my dad had had a heart attack. Two and a half hours later, I was on a plane to Dallas. I brought one change of clothes and my running gear (which I never leave home without) with plans to stay in Texas for a night or two. When we learned that my dad would have to have open heart surgery, my plans changed. I ended up being in Texas for a total of 10 days. My dad is getting out of the hospital today and is doing great. I'm so glad I could be there but it was a very long time to be away for an unplanned period of time, especially for something that was as emotionally taxing as this. This was way different from the occasional 'Oops' vacations The Pilot and I take, which we usually plan around neither of us having anything to do in the immediate future.

I would tell you that while I was in Texas, I caught the flu. I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at my sister's house with my 10-year-old niece, who also had the flu. Despite a prescription and a lot of meds, I don't feel any better than I did when I first got sick.

I would tell you that I ran once while in Texas, a grand total of 3 miles, and didn't practice yoga once. My legs are literally itching to run and I'm starting to get really nervous abut Disney being 2 weeks away considering I've now been forced to take 3 1/2 weeks off from training due to illness and injury.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you... that I really thought I would have my new apartment unpacked and in order by now and that I am so far from that, it's ridiculous.

I would tell you that I'm really grateful for my company's flexible work schedule because today is the only day this week that I have to be in the office, so I'll be able to fight off this flu while working from home the rest of the week.

I would tell you that I bought myself the "Year of Cozy" and I'm a little bit obsessed with all of the fun things I've been making. The book is organized by month and I did most of the January things and am hoping to jump on the February ones soon.

I would tell you that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to waste less. As someone who usually only cooks for one, I was embarrassed by the amount food I was throwing out on a weekly basis. While I had to throw out a ton of food after unexpectedly being away for so long, I'm really happy with how well I've done. I've been meal planning according to what I'm shopping for, focusing on rotating the same veggies or herbs into my meals for the week, and dating all of my leftovers so that I know when I need to use them. I also found a way to keep herbs like cilantro and parsley fresh for what's now going on 6 weeks, by storing them in a mason jar with about an inch of water, covering them with a plastic bag, and trimming the leaves every week or so.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you... that I feel like I have so much to do this week both at work, to catch up, and in life! Wednesday is my birthday and I'm really hoping I can just enjoy the day and feel somewhat caught up by then!

What would you share if we were having coffee?

January 31, 2017

January Recap

January has been a strange month to be in DC. I love this city but lately, it's been a hard place to be in. I've been trying to keep my head high and go about my day to day but it's hard not to get dragged down by everything that's happening.

I've moved a lot but I've never felt quite as unsettled as we do in this apartment. It's been one month and I still haven't even unpacked most of my clothes. I was so excited at having a 2 bedroom apartment so that I could have my own office, and I haven't used it once because my desk is piled with empty boxes. 

Overall this month, I'm starting to feel a little bit less stressed. I think all of the yoga has helped but I have a lot to improve on in this area. Here's a look at how my month went, by the numbers: 

Miles Run: 31

Minutes of Yoga: 896 (almost 15 hours!)

Books Read: 5
You can check out what I've been reading this month here. I'm also finishing up "The Last Days of Magic," which I'll write about in my February recap!

Trips Taken: 1
NY for roughly 1 day to escape the Inauguration Day madness.

New Recipes Made: 21 (Woo!)
One of my goals for the New Year was to cook at least one recipe out of every single one of my cookbooks. The idea being 1) to cook more at home, and 2) to actually make use of my slightly problematic obsession with cookbooks. While I don't think I've fully unpacked all of my cookbooks, so I don't know how many I actually have, I have cooked abundantly out of four of my cookbooks and dabbled in one or two others. I did realize that I have no interest in cooking out of one of my cookbooks, so I'm holding on to that for one more month to see if anything jumps out at me before giving it away. I could write a whole post on what cooking so much has taught me, so I think I will. Stay tuned!

Blog Posts Written: 11
I'm mad that I didn't post the last of my recaps about our Australia trip. I've written one of them and just need to finish putting my pictures into the post. I've posted more on this blog this month than I have since last April, so I'll call this progress. I'd still like to post more and actually stick to the schedule I made for this upcoming month. I also really want to make it a point to schedule blogging time, not just for writing, editing, and posting, but for reading blogs as well!

30 Before 30 Items Completed: 0

Highlights: The 31-Day yoga challenge! While I didn't actually practice for 31 days straight, I still completed the challenge and feel great about it.

Lowlights: The nasty fall I took at the beginning of the month that sidelined me for 2 weeks. I'm also pretty annoyed at myself for not using Classpass once. I've been pretty bad about using my Classpass membership lately and if I don't get my 5 classes in next month, I think I'll have to cancel. I love Classpass and don't really know why I'm not using it. 

So that's a look at how my month went. February is a short month and then hopefully, it will be spring! Although, we've had such a mild winter, that I'm just waiting for the worst of winter to hit.

The Month Ahead:
In February, I'm taking on a 28-day foam rolling challenge. I also want to continue practicing yoga regularly, at least 3 times per week. I'll be kicking off training for the Ottawa Marathon and I want to make sure I'm diligent about getting hill and speed work in. 

I also want to finish unpacking and actually set up my home office. I want to read 5 more books (to stay on track with my reading challenge), continue cooking up a vicious storm in my kitchen, take on French macarons, and celebrate my 30th birthday!

Before I wrap up this post, I want to say one thing. 

In the wake of all that has happened since the United States inaugurated a new president, I refuse to stay silent on the issues that matter the most to me. My Master's is in International Development and I spent a significant amount of time researching conflict, how it affects people, and how people escape from conflict. My dream is to work with refugees and I moved to DC to chase that dream. I've never spoken candidly about this but that dream has yet to materialize and today, as the Syrian refugee crisis continues to unfold and as we slam our doors in the face of refugees trying to come to the United States, my heart breaks that I'm not doing more about this.  My citizenship in this country is purely by chance. Both of my grandparents fled political persecution to come to an America that would welcome them and give them a chance at life. I only exist because they were able to take that chance.

Throughout this year, when I share these posts, I'll be featuring an organization that is doing important work to counter the hateful rhetoric and policies that are now the hallmark of the American political system. If you feel compelled to donate as well, please let me know. I would love to know that I am making an impact by sharing these organization's work with others. If you aren't interested, you can skip this part of the post.

This month, I'm donating $50 to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) who supports people in humanitarian crises. The IRC was founded by Albert Einstein, himself a refugee to support those fleeing Nazi Germany. They've grown to support international humanitarian crises all over the world and have launched an emergency appeal and are trying to raise $5M to support families that will be affected by this new executive order. As U.S. funding to refugee resettlement camps gets slashes, the IRC needs to fill that gap to continue their work. I chose the IRC (as opposed to other great organizations fighting for refugee rights) because their work not only supports refugees here in the U.S. but overseas as well and I know that my money is supporting refugees whether they are being detained in an airport, are in a camp in Jordan, or are anxiously awaiting new developments here in the U.S. I hope to donate more as the year goes on but I hope it isn't always in emergency response to proposed policies.

Thanks for reading. How did your month shape up?

January 29, 2017

Sunday Sweats 4

This was a good week. I finally made my return to running after my nasty fall and I'm feeling great about being near the end of my 31-Day Yoga Challenge. I may have missed two days in the practice but I'm caught up and I'm happy with my progress. I can definitely tell that I've improved my balance, loosened up my shoulders, and toned by abs. I know that I need to keep up with my practice throughout the year to support my running and definitely have plans to do more in-studio work once this challenge is over. For now, let's dive into what this week looked like: 

Currently Training For: 
Disney Princess Half-Marathon, February 26
DC Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon, March 11

Monday: #yogarevolution Day 23 (36:00)
Monday was supposed to be my grand return to running and it poured. It was so disgusting outside. I had plans to run after work with a friend and when we canceled, I was going to go to the gym but by the time I got home, I was so exhausted and couldn't even think about going back out in the rain. I had to pick up a few things at the grocery store and by the time I got home and on the mat, it was already 9:30. I really didn't want to practice but I'm glad I did. It was a good practice and I was so well rested when I finally crawled into bed.

Tuesday: 3.5 miles (9:23 pace); #yogarevolution Day 24 (47:00)
RETURN TO RUNNING!!! After 17 days off from the fall in which I thought I shattered my knee cap, I finally set out for a run! I felt great, although it was shockingly warm in DC and I was way overdressed. I felt a little off but otherwise, really good. The yoga practice was the longest of the challenge and I was dreading it a little bit but oh boy it felt good. This was another great practice that I'll flag for a post-long run day.

Wednesday: #yogarevolution Day 25 
I woke up Wednesday morning so sore from Tuesday's run and yoga. I had thought about going to a spin class but my muscles were so achy! I woke up, went to work, went to a few meetings, went about my day, came home, worked some more, grabbed dinner with The Pilot, went to Target, unpacked a few boxes, changed into my pajamas and plopped onto the couch at 9:30 before remembering that I had to practice. I'll be honest, if the practice had been any longer than it was, I probably wouldn't have done it. It was short, quick, and easy, and then I went to bed.

Thursday: 3 miles (PACE); #yogarevolution Day 26 (20:00)
It was another surprisingly warm day in DC and The Pilot and I headed out for a mid-day run to soak up the warm sunshine. It was actually pretty windy once we headed out and I was still sore from Tuesday and moving a lot slower than normal but I was happy to be running again! Today's yoga practice was another short one that focused a lot on core work.

Friday: #yogarevolution Day 27
Throughout this entire challenge, I hadn't gotten up and practiced first thing in the morning before work once until Friday. This practice was downright juicy and a fabulous way to start the morning! My mom had gotten to town on Thursday and I wanted to practice before she woke up so that I could get started with work and wrap my day up early so that we could venture around.

Saturday: #yogarevolution Day 28
This was a nice, easy mid-day practice to continue the challenge. I had planned to run on Saturday but my knee was feeling a little off and I was exhausted. After taking over 2 weeks off because of my knee, I decided to be ok with an extra rest day ahead of my planned long run for Sunday.

 7.5 miles (9:22 pace); #yogarevolution Day 29 (14:00)
I felt like a zombie when I woke up this morning and really wasn't up for the 5 miles I had planned. One mile in, I was feeling ok but I decided I would be ok with 4 miles if I needed to cut my run down. Around Mile 4, I was calculating my weekly mileage and what I needed to hit ahead of marathon training which starts in two weeks and decided to push for 5, come home, practice yoga, and then set out for another 2 miles. When I hit 5 miles, I felt really good and just kept going. I  missed my turn around and ended up running 7.5, my longest run since Philly and I felt great!

I was grateful for the short yoga practice today which featured a hip flexor stretch that I had never done that felt great following that long run.

Total Miles Run: 14
Total Minutes of Yoga: 189

This was a great week and I'm so happy to be back running. I only ran three times but I think that's a good number to hit after a few weeks off. Next week, I'll aim for 4 days of running and higher weekly mileage (but probably a shorter long run, we'll see) and get ready to kick off marathon training while ramping up for Disney Princess, which is just 4 weeks away!

How did your week go?
What's the longest you've ever run on a day where you just felt like running?
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