You as a Priority

Or I should say THE priority.

Recently I’ve made a lot of life changes.  The largest part was leaving a relationship that was not where I wanted to be.  And starting over…as I’ve said that’s not as scary as I thought it would be.

Since then, I’ve been working on putting what I want in my life first.  Part of that is figuring out WHAT I want.  I may seem selfish because I’ve always done what I wanted (ask anyone) but I’ve never put just me, no one else, very first.

And I’m a nerd, trivia was the first thing I implemented to contribute to my happiness.

P.S. We got first last night, with a nail-biting comeback we had no clue we were making (honestly, no one did very well).

And what I’m trying to say is…

If you want to be happy, you have to put yourself first.

And if you know exactly what makes you happy.  Do it.  You’re lucky.

For me, finding what makes me happy has been a process.  I’ve spent four plus months (so far) figuring it out (plus the previous 29 years as life lessons).

Currently I’m making exercise a priority.

For Example:

Today before trivia I hustled home from work, set up my laptop in front of my treadmill.

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Ran my scheduled four miles, jumped in the shower and made it to trivia in time to enjoy my Tuesday fish tacos and Vader CDA (Cascadian dark ale).

So, if you don’t know exactly what you want, choose one thing.

And while trivia can be an all encompassing passion.  I’ve decided to make my health my number one priority.

Here Are My Tips To Prioritize My Health

1.  Make a plan.  I’ve made a work out schedule detailing what I want to do and what’s available for the day.  It has my daily miles, plus what classes are offered at my gym.  Every day I’ve been doing one or the other.  Because really, who can work out that much?  I also plan for trivia nights and plans with friends.  A.  Work out first or B. Work out first.  If you can play trivia or go out to drinks with friends, return home and work out…Please tell me your secret!  Another option is plan regular activities are rest days.

2.  Track EVERYTHING!  For me this means food.  I wanted fish tacos and a beer (more than I normally eat for dinner) so I cut out a snack during the day and ate a lighter breakfast.  In the end, I planned for what I wanted and made very slight changes that made it easy for me to eat what I want and stay within my goal.

3.  Buy new running / workout gear.  If you’re anything like me and you spend money on new cute clothes or comfy running shoes you’ll feel like you NEED to use them.

4.  Sign up for a race.  Pay for it.  Set a training schedule.  If I don’t PAY for  race.  I tend not to TRAIN for a race.  I’ll also suggest signing up with friends so you’re not in it alone.  Plus you’ll have people to do training runs with.

5.  Tell people you are going to workout or finish a challenging run.  Last Friday and Saturday I told 5-10 people I was going to run 9 miles Sunday morning.  Saturday night I went out, set a drink limit and a home by X time, so I could wake up and run (plus I told my friends).  When I woke up Sunday morning I didn’t want to run so I called a friend, got a little encouragement.  Went and ran those 9 miles and felt great about myself.

6.  Get enough sleep, drink enough water.  You’ll always feel better well rested and properly hydrated.  In other words TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.  When you’re properly rested, fed, hydrated getting out to run, dance, swim, play is A MILLION times easier and your body will thank you for it!

And if nothing else…

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Just enjoy the ride as you figure out where you’re headed.

So what do you do to prioritize yourself?  Anything for your health?

Ever think that the best thing for you is to just play it by ear?  I’ve spent some time doing that!

What activity / priority in your life makes you happiest?

Posted in health, life, run planning | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Round Up

Happy Monday!

I know nobody wants to hear this…but it was really nice to have earned a 2 day weekend!

Makes it easy to appreciate relaxation.

Speaking of which…

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I’m a book addict.  Friday night I bought Divergent (first book) and The Giver, thinking I may have a week of reading.

Ya right!  Friday I ended up finishing Divergent at 4am (Saturday?).  And The Giver Sunday afternoon.

Both books are really good.  Apparently Divergent has been semi big for awhile, the movie is coming out soon.  And The Giver has always been one of my favorite books.

The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Metal and nerd me attempted to read all of the Newbery Metal books (I just checked out the list I think I only made it back to 68′).

Amazingly enough, I set my alarm for 9 and made it to a new Zumba instructor I had wanted to try.  The class was okay.  Next week I’m definitely doing my long run Saturday morning.

Zumba, nap, The Giver, cocktails.

I met a friend from cocktails and finally tried a Scotch Egg.  I’d been wanting to try one since hearing about them.  They’re a hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage and lightly breaded.

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It was okay also :/  I didn’t realize I had such an okay day!  But the day as a whole; reading, exercising and meeting up with friends was definitely an amazing day!

Sunday I rounded out the weekend with 9 miles (after a nice sleep in!), finished up The Giver, wrote a post (duh), now I need to get groceries!

How was your weekend?

Have you read Divergent or The Giver?  Any other good books I should read?  I hear Divergent has two more books.  I’m planning on picking them up this week.

Ever tried a Scotch Egg?

 

Posted in home, life, weekends, Zumba | 2 Comments

Living Alone

I haven’t lived alone in years.  Like five or six.

I believe I’ve only spent two years living alone my entire life.  I was going to say since moving out of my parent’s house…pretty sure I didn’t live alone then either ;)

So, moving out, finding an apartment.  Buying stuff (if you run into my mom ask her about my spoon and my fork).  Figuring out how I was going to spend my time from 5 to 10 and on weekends.

All very daunting.

I was very unsure if I’d like it.  If I’d be bored.  If I’d be lonely.

Turns out that is not an issue at all.

What to do when you live alone.

1.  Wear whatever you want (take selfies in the dressing room).

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2.  Eat whatever you want.

Organic Spaghetti O's = Gross.  Veggie Mac and Cheese can't tell the difference!

Organic Spaghetti O’s = Gross. Veggie Mac and Cheese can’t tell the difference!

3.  Learn to play the guitar.

4.  Play lazer tag, board games (or trivia) at the bar or go bowling.

5.  Indoor rock climbing, go hiking.

6.  Take yourself out to fancy sushi (when a stranger pays your bill, be flattered).

7.  Get dressed up for a date!

Even wearing makeup!

Even wearing makeup!

8.  Join a gym (find a class you like!).  Sign up for a race.

9.  If you haven’t watched Walking Dead, give it a try.  Play Hart of Dixie Bingo.

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10.  If you get desperate, read Thought Catalog (sometimes it gets things right, sometimes it’s a waste of time).

11.  Start a blog :)

How long have you ever lived alone?  Did you like it?

What is your favorite way to spend free time?  Way to unwind after work?

Any thing you think I should try?

Posted in home, life, weekends | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

…did I mention I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions?

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  A better approach is to be constantly evaluating and re-defining or committing to your goals.

That being said I recently joined a gym for exercise classes.  I feel like a fraud ;)  I’ve even heard regulars comment about classes being up at the beginning of the year.

That is true for sure.  When I went to a gym the beginning of the year and Mondays were always a lot more crowded.  I always loved working out on Fridays because I had the place to myself!  Being said, there were half as many people in class Wednesday evening as Monday.

Even though I dislike resolutions, I feel that not joining a gym because it’s January is a VERY bad reason to procrastinate.

Moving on…

I actually signed up and paid for my next half marathon.  Which also means, it’s time to get down to business.

Unlike my first half, this one will be ran at the same elevation where I live and I’m also suspecting doesn’t have many hills.

Much better since it’s in 7 weeks.

7 Week Half Marathon Schedule

Jan-Feb Workout Schedule

The miles are what I’m going to be running each day.  With possible tweaks.  The second row are the classes that my gym offers each day.  My goal is to hit up two to three classes a week.

This week I tried Monday Zumba and Yoga and Wednesday Yoga.  I’m excited to try Saturday Zumba (a different instruction from Monday and Wednesday) but it’ll be depend on when I do my long run.

Monday’s Yoga was my very first attempt and I liked it much more than I expected.  I thought an hour of stretching would bore me to DEATH.

…but it didn’t.

I’ve recently uped my mileage and stretching out (especially my right hip) has felt amazing.  I’m looking forward to heading back next week.

But my only goal for this half marathon is to finish.  I would like to finish with a similar time as my first, but I’ll see how it goes!

RUN THIS YEAR

This year I’ve decided to Run This Year.  It is a group that makes a goal to run either 2014 miles, 2014 KM or set their own goal.  My goal is to run 2014 KM this year.  Miles is WAY out of my current fitness level…even KM seems high.

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The plan is to start out the year running around 20 miles per week and end the year running 30 or so per week.  This, of course, will come with my ever improving fitness level.

Do you have any running goals this year?  This month?

How do you feel about resolutions?  Yay or nay?

Did anyone notice that the end of my training schedule there are zeros on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday?  Friday I fly, Saturday I bus, Sunday I lay in a hammock with a pina colada!  50 day count down to Costa Rica!

Posted in goals, half marathon training, health, monthly workout schedule, run planning, running | 3 Comments

Silver Falls Hike

This morning is my first “real” Monday in a few weeks.  The holiday season goes by quickly!

Before heading back to work this morning I got to spend the weekend preparing for my first full week.

And even better, I spent Friday hiking (the almost deserted) Silver Falls.  This Oregon state park has 10 waterfalls over 8(ish) miles.

South Falls

Lower North Falls

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I’ve included some pictures, but if you’d like more fall pictures they’re all over the internet ;)

Because my hike was solo, I spent a lot of time taking pictures of the falls, paths, trees.  Pretty much everything.

It was interesting (possibly pretending?) I’d never been to the falls before and what it would be like being there the first time.  And honestly I have no clue how it would feel.  But the falls and the woods are awesome (I wanted to say breathtaking, but for me they don’t).

Do you think you take the area you’re from for granted?  Or do you think you appreciate the local culture or attractions?

(horrible trivia information: Oregon’s most visited destination is an outlet mall (that makes me sick))

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The most enjoyable part of the day was just being outside.  I feel very comfortable alone in the woods and am glad there were so few people so my thoughts weren’t interrupted.

I was going to do a TripAdvisor review on my wonderful guide :)  I stopped to say hi to my friend, Kat, who works at the falls before embarking on my trip.

She very rangerly warned me I wasn’t wearing “hiking boots”.  So I did a review of the trail conditions for her.

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The trails looked great!  Above are a couple of the worst pictures.  There were no places I couldn’t get though without getting wet.  I hiked the canyon trail, back to the lodge on them rim trail, down maple ridge and back up through the canyon by the south falls for a total of 10 miles and my ancient tennis shoes did awesome!

As a person who has hiked the entire trail in both flip flops and rubber boots, tennis shoes definitely work best for me.  For someone who is not as adventuresome in their footwear I’d suggest hiking boots ;)

All in all it was a very good way to decompress after new years.

Did you do anything to relax yourself after the holiday season?

Ever been to Silver Falls?

What is your favorite local attraction (please don’t say it’s a mall!)?

Posted in health, Oregon, vacation, weekends | 6 Comments

Favorite Blogs From 2013

Goodbye my 2013 and I’m looking forward to new adventures and challenges in 2014!

Instead of recapping my year.  I’m going to share 10 of my favorite blogs.  Two blogs from five categories.  This will be really tough because I can’t list all of my favorite writers!

Wholeheartedly, these are not the only blogs I read or even the blogs I look forward to the most.  Just good writers that leave an impression.

Travel  may be my favorite category.  I live vicariously though these blogs.

Photo from This American Girl.

Photo from This American Girl.

This American Girl  Camille is the inspiration behind my trip to Costa Rica.  Her pictures and writing were instrumental in me deciding to plan a trip I’ll remember forever.  The picture above is from her Ultimate Guide to Puerto Viejo.  I’ll be staying in Playa Chiquita.

The Great Affair  Candace is an amazing artist.  Her sketches are gorgeous and I love how she writes in them.  I wish I could draw.

Life/Healthy Living this category was possibly hardest because I consider a lot of my blogs healthy living blogs.  They don’t just focus on running or food or weight loss.

Carrots and Cake Tina incorporates exercise, meal planning, life in general.  I look forward to her posts that also cover items like her pug and re-decorating their house.

Leanne Nalani Leanne is here because she’s a local girl (semi compared to where all these other bloggers live!)  And she writes about maintaining a weight loss and the ups and downs that occur in everyday life.

Food Pictures!  Recipes!  Menus!  Food blogs are great for dreaming (first that I cook and second that I could eat everything I read about!)

A Pinch of Yum Lindsay’s food is gorgeous.  I’m sure I could learn a ton from her food photography information.  Instead I just drool.  Her variety of recipes is impressive.

From a Pinch of Yum

From a Pinch of Yum

Rantings of an Amateur Chef Pat always includes a short story or funny anecdote before sharing amazing step by step dishes.  He shares mostly family friendly meals and has fun cooking contests from contributing bloggers, which is fun to follow along with.  Masterchef where I get to vote!

Running I follow a lot of running blogs.  Runners are funny people.  Also fairly inspiring.

Hungry Runner Girl Janae talks about running, food and my favorite her daughter Brooke.  Her running is inspiring (she’s super fast) and she’s so upbeat I always enjoy reading.  Plus her daughter is the cutest (did I already say that?).

That Loud Redhead Stephanie made it as a running blog instead of life or weight loss because we’re on similar running plans (only she’s kicking my butt!)  She is training for a full marathon and has turned her entire family into runners!

Weight Loss a lot of the blogs I follow have writers who have lost a significant amount of weight or have made life changing health turnarounds.

Runs for Cookies Katie qualifies for a running blog as well, but she shares a lot about weight loss and her personal journey.  She lots 100+lbs and has maintained from running and moderation.  Her frankness and honesty is good to hear.

One Twenty Five Once again Liz fits in multiple categories.  Running, weight loss, balanced living.  She posts updates VERY often and usually includes pretty photography and cute outfits!

Once again, not the only blogs I read or the only ones I love.  Trust me I’m sad to be leaving a few out.

These are some of the blogs I’ve found over the last year and look forward to reading in 2014!

Do you read any of these blogs?  Do you have any suggestions for me?

What type of blog is your favorite?  Plus possibly!  What type of blogger do you consider yourself to be?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Welcome 2014!

New Year’s Resolutions 101:

Here are some of the most popular resolutions people make when ringing in the new year.  (I summarized a list from Wikipedia)

1.  Lose weight/improve health.

2.  Be happier.

3.  Financial.

4.  Career/Education.

5.  Self Improvement.

6.  Travel.

7.  Volunteer.

8.  Improve relationships.

9.  God.

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Per normal, I’m not going to make traditional New Year’s resolutions.  I have decided I want to learn to play the guitar…but I might fail.

Isn't my guitar cute?

Isn’t my guitar cute?

My life is a continuation of learning to make healthy eating and exercise part of my routine.  Never a once a year resolution.  From time to time I evaluate my progress and assess what’s best for me.  Recently I’ve upped my running and cleaned up my diet, but nothing resolution related.

This year I am going to travel (three weeks in Costa Rica).  I will volunteer.  I will work on my relationships.  Hopefully everyone’s life is a journey for self improvement.

…my goal is to be more of a mess than I was last year.  Said no one ever.

IMG_256409500725441Another personal journey I’m going to work on is going with the flow.  I WORRY WAY too much.  I’m hoping to slow down and enjoy the process, whatever that may be.  Instead of focusing on what could happen, I’m going to focus on what I want to happen.
Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?

Did you accomplish last year’s resolutions?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment