• Sunday: Pork chili
  • Monday: Taylor's Bday dinner at Sharkey's
  • Tuesday: Philly Cheese Peppers OR PF. Chang-inspired lettuce wrap salads
  • Wednesday: Baked mahi mahi, fresh pineapple, edamame
  • Thursday: Pesto Chicken Tortellini
  • Friday: Date night!
  • Saturday: my sweetie pie is making me some kind of pork dish!




Funny story: all last year (when I was 33), I thought I was 34 years old.  I spent almost the whole year thinking I was 34, and then as my birthday started to approach and I was considering turning a year older, I started doing the math in my head and realized, wait a minute!! I'm 33!!  

So basically, I got a do-over year!  How cool is that?!

I really want to take advantage of my do-over year and make the most of it.  I feel like, in some ways, it's an opportunity to reinvent myself.

So here are some things I'm thinking in regards to the "new me."

One of my dearest friends (who I really need to reconnect with, actually) once told me that when you're in your 30s, you get a new perspective on life and you start caring a lot less of what other people think about you.  

This is really start to resonate with me.  I've still got a long way to go, but I think that 34 is going to be the year when I start caring less about what other people think.


The year I stop worrying about what other people will think.

The year I start wearing bright purple and hot pink running shoes.

The year I master my pancake-making skills.

The year I get my feist back.  I'm bringing feisty back!!

The year I learn CPR.

The year I run a marathon?

The year I learn Tai Kwan Do?

The year I publish  book?

I am definitely going to have to continue adding to this list.  What else do I want to do this year?  

Who do I want to be at the end of my do-over year?
Big news: Bob and I registered for our first ever marathon!  I'm totally freakin' nervous and am honestly waiting to see if I can make it through some of our upcoming long runs before I fully let myself believe I'm really gonna do this thing.

The race is on May 5, so we have a tight training window.  I would have preferred more time to train, but we really want to do this race, so we have about 11 weeks to prepare.

We did our first long run this past Sunday.  We scheduled ourselves to do 9 miles.  It was SUPER COLD out yesterday.  Like, insanely cold!!  It was about 17 degrees and windy.

This is me as we got ready to start the run.  I am wearing 2 pairs of tights, my shorts, 2 longs sleeve shirts, plus my parka, my gloves, and a ski mask.  And I still felt numb for most of the run.  

About half-way through my entire phone just cut off.  My Jillian Michael's podcast, my Nike+: gone.  I actually handled it so much better than I have when this has happened in the past.  In the past, it has pretty much ruined my run to lose my music.  I thought for sure I was going to be dying on this run, because it was so grueling, especially running uphill, into the wind.

BUT, that didn't happen.  I don't know if it was because I super motivated to have the run over and done with, but I actually sped up.  And I felt great!  Minus the mind-numbing cold, of course.  We ended up running 1 more mile than planned, so finished at 10 miles, and I actually felt as if I could run an additional 3 miles to make it an even half.

It was a very interesting experience, that run.  There were moments where I sort of hated life.  My nose was a faucet, it was brutally cold, and Bob was so happy, which made it kind of even harder.  Him with that big ole grin on his face!  At one point, I was pretty sure I never wanted to speak to him again or anyone else on the planet for that matter.

But there were these other moments when my legs were just moving in such a complete rhythm and I felt like I was charging through space, charging the atmosphere.  The fact that I felt like I could keep going at the end sort of made up for all of the times in the middle when I wanted to give up.  I'm really not sure how in the world I'll do 26.2, but I'm really interested in finding out.

Bob and I had a brief email exchange where I referenced the idea of him "building a base" in regards to him gaining some knowledge related to computer programming and subsequent coding, and it just sort of struck a chord with me, this idea of "building a base."

The thing is, I started to think about how the notion of building a base is something that can be applied to all areas of our lives.  

We think of it in terms of running in the way that we can build a base upon which to train and progress.  You log a certain number of miles and then from there you add to that, working up to achieve a certain goal.

Well isn't this something that we can do in so many areas of our lives?  We build a base of knowledge in terms of technical or professional skills, whether it's educational degrees or hands-on, lived experiences.  We hope to grow from there, to build on top of that in order to reach ever-evolving goals.

We also build a base in terms of our relationships, both within our own personal development and our interactions with others.  

I don't really know where I'm going with this.  It's just so interesting to me how so much about running translates into metaphors we can apply to our entire lives.

Yeah, just another reason why I love to run!


Super tasty!

Leftover chicken pad thai -- rice noodles, thinly sliced chicken, sliced carrots & peppers, yummy sauce, topped with fresh cilantro and scallions.  I inhaled this lunch!  Also grapes and chickpea chocolate chip cookies.

So I am not entirely sure what we'll be having on which particular day.  Right now I've got tons of ingredients to make the various meals, plus we should have leftovers of tonight's stew, so I'm just going to list out the rough idea I have of how our meals are going to go down this week, with the acknowledgement that it all could change depending on what leftovers we have on hand and how much energy I have by the end of the day.

Saturday (yesterday): Awesome Chicken Pad Thai -- found the recipe on Pinterest -- wish I had taken a pic!
Sunday: Beef stew 
Monday: Chicken Parm Zucchini Gondolas
Tuesday: Sharkeys (kids eat free, woot woot!)
Wednesday: Fish night (likely salmon for me), mac-n-cheese, mixed veggies
Thursday: either leftovers or baked pork, sweet potato fries, corn
Friday: Pizza

I had an interesting morning and learned a little lesson I wanted to share.

So this morning I woke up with the alarm and got myself out of bed at 6:30, even though I could've stayed in bed a bit longer.  I wanted to get up and get to the gym with enough time for an hour-long workout.

Well, it took us freakin' forever to get out of the house.  Taylor took forever, and we actually left him and drove up the street a bit before going back and picking him up, by which point he was crying and upset that we almost "left" him.  I was also a little annoyed with Bob, quite frankly, because he made himself a breakfast, and I felt like it added to our delay getting out of the house.  I always take my breakfast (a banana) on the run to speed up our departure.

So we (finally!) made it to the gym, and I was totally worked up by this point, because I was sure I only had 15 minutes to workout.  I busted through a t-bar set of 3 with 8 reps with 125 lbs.  Then I did 15 pushups and 20 jackknives on the stability ball.  At that point I called it quits in order to make a meeting.  As I was getting ready to hit the shower, though, I realized I was off in my timing, and I actually had another 15 minutes for which I could have worked out!  So I could have done a solid 30 minute workout had I not been SO STRESSED OUT.

At that point I was really tempted to find a way to blame Bob for everything.  Seriously.  I really, really wanted to blame someone else for this horrible thing that had happened.

And then I took a deep breath and acknowledged that I had no one to blame but myself.

Yup, me.

I screwed up.  I was so freaked out about the time and having enough time to workout, that I completely screwed myself over and rushed through something that could have been so much more enjoyable and rewarding.  It was only 15 minutes, but it would have made a good difference, and, more importantly, it was more about my frame of mind than anything else.

So my little lesson for today is to slow down.

Slow down.

Try hard to relax, to stop stressing out, to enjoy life and not overthink everything.

If I had just been kinder to everyone around me, including myself, it would have made all the difference.
It's only Tuesday, but so far it has been a great week!  It actually starts with last week.  Last week: for some reason it felt incredibly long to me.  Perhaps it's because we spent the week prior at Disney World, so it was pretty hard to adjust to going back to work in cold, dismal Blacksburg.  We also seemed to experience all of the four seasons last week.  One day it was in the 60s, the next day it was icing and snowing.  One day it was a bright blue sky, the next it was dark all day.  Last week felt like a year.


I worked out all five work days last week, and that made me feel awesome!  It's true that I think I only did a 10-minute high intensity interval thingy on the treadmill on Friday (that's all I had time for), but it still felt great just to make it into the gym each day and stay on routine.

So far, I've made it into the gym both days this week too, and I've had awesome workouts.  I haven't really had time to do more than 30/45 minutes each day, but I've packed a lot into each session.

The thing I'm most excited about?

I have a goal to do 1 chin up (unassisted).  Each time I'm at the gym, I go to the bar and try to do a chin up.  Usually I just sort of hang there and strain to pull myself up.  Well, today I managed to pull myself up just at tiny bit.  And that tiny little bit felt amazing!!

Also, I did 12 push-ups in a row!  This a pretty big accomplishment for me.  That was my first set.  The reps went down with each set, but each time I pushed myself to complete as many as I could before my arms felt like they were going to give out on me.

So I'm just feeling really good today.  The kids sort of stressed me out a little bit this morning, and mentally I wasn't in a super great place when I pulled into the gym, but once I got there and got into my zone, I worked some things out and am left feeling refreshed and recharged for the day.  Yay!

Here's my workout:

H-Squat Machine -- 50 lbs., 4 sets, 12 reps
Inverted rows -- body weight, 4 sets, started with 12 reps then did about 10, 8, and 6
Push-ups -- body weight, 4 sets, started with 12 reps then did about 9, 6, and 4
Prowler -- 180 lbs., 4 sets across the room and back