I'm a Total Sucker + Sept Goals

Even if it's not something I need or want or sometimes even like, if it's free - I WANT IT!

Yeah, I'm a total sucker for that 4-letter word.

If you're a Google fan and own an Android operated phone, you probably already know about Google Music. Well, did you know every day they feature at least one free song of the day? I've gotten some rather unusual great songs!

For today's run, I set my phone to randomly choose songs from the whole library, which led to an very interesting (read: very fun) run.

I'll do a full write-up on the run later, but as a teaser, let me just say - No knee discomfort though it is bothering me now. No shin pain. No hammie tightness. Plus fun times dodging the tourists on the Strip. Oh yeah, and LOTS of stairs and escalators.

I stopped midway to snap a pic of me at the Brooklyn Bridge the small one in Vegas bonus points if you can name the movie?

I even attempted an outdoors vlog during my cool down. Problem: It was really windy, which means lots of crackly feedback. Maybe I'll attempt to re-record the audio. Stay tuned.

I'm not really a huge goal maker, but as the final day of the August's Writing Challenge, I figure why not make a couple goals for Sept?
  • First and foremost, FIND A JOB! I realize this is somewhat out of my control, but I need to focus and re-double my efforts. Time is ticking. I do have an interview on Monday. Yay!
  • Run 60 miles. That's just like 13-15 miles a week. Totally do-able, right?
  • Incorporate more yoga and stretching and strength training.
  • And a couple of challenges. I think I'll try to creatively combine Fitness Cheerleader's Sept Writing Challenge with NaBloPoMo Sept Theme: Eye. Should be a challenge to combine the two challenges. I'm also hoping to join Candace by posting a picture every day on Instagram, Twitter, and/or FB. 
What are your goals for Sept? Will you be joining in on any of these challenges?
Do you ever randomly download free music?


3 Things Thurs

I've got about 10 minutes before it's Friday...

1. I just finished writing a completely different post, but I'm too nervous about publishing it. Maybe this weekend or next week? Maybe never.

2. I am seriously freaking out! If I don't find a job in the next couple weeks, we are in some very serious trouble. I'm talking serious! I've never been so worried about money. NEVER!

3. I've had two great runs so far this week, and I'm looking forward to running this virtual run over the weekend.

At least for 5 or 10 miles I'll be able to hopefully clear my head.


Wednesday's Workout

This morning I woke up early for me and decided to try running before it got super hot.

Monday was my first time running in six weeks, and this morning was my 2nd. I did a little warm-up before heading out and then walked a few minutes before getting into my run.

Ooh! Could I ever feel this run in my hamstrings.
And then my shins.

This is what helped get me through the run!

Running so early in the morning made a HUGE difference breathing-wise. Like I said, I could definitely feel it in my legs, but cardiovascularly, I was FINE!

I never felt like I was dying.
I never had to stop for a walk break.

It was a glorious morning!

Of course, after stretching and showering, I zonked out on the couch for a couple hours. :-)

Today's question is whether or not we work out at the gym or at home. As you know from here, I rarely work out at the gym. I'm either outside or doing yoga or weights at home. That said, my apartment complex has finally made the workout room available 24/7 instead of just during business hours. I set up our code this afternoon!

A little update on the job front. We are about to be in some serious trouble! I need a job. PRONTO! Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that the company I'd been so happy about decided to continue interviewing at this time. What?! Not only did I not get the job. No one has.

So, now I'm back at square one with desperation quickly setting in.

This afternoon, I walked to the Strip to apply at a few restaurants - hoping to get a hostess position. Competition is fierce! Each restaurant had several people filling out applications when I arrived. I did manage to speak with a manager at one, so *fingers crossed*. It's difficult applying at restaurants since my restaurant experience is from more than 10 years ago. *sigh*

I'm trying to keep my spirits up and remain positive, but reality is quickly setting in.

All right. Time to go email some more resumes!

What did you do to workout today?


Cardio vs Weights

I'll admit it.

I'm way more of a cardio junkie than a weights junkie.

I like to be outside - running or hiking or biking
I like to feel the wind on my face.
I like to see the beauty around me.
I like to smell the flowers and trees.

It's much more difficult to get those experiences being a weights junkie.

I want to be strong.
I want to be fit.

I know strength training is essential for achieving that.
Still, I always end up doing weights very grudgingly.

Which do you prefer? Cardio or weights?


When I Retire...

I hope that blogging is still around, 'cuz I'd love to continue blogging.


What I'd really like to do is...


I'd be sure and visit places like...

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia.

Iguazu Falls, border of Argentina and Brazil.

Storseisundet Bridge on the "Atlantic Road" in Norway.

And scores of other places, too.

Plus, I want to run on every continent (except maybe Antarctica).

I recognize I probably won't have the money to go all the places I'd like to visit, so maybe more realistically, I'd like to spend my retirement:
  • Reading
  • Blogging
  • Visiting friends/family
  • Laughing
  • Staying active
  • Baking
  • Enjoying LIFE while I still can.
This was Day 27 of the August Healthy Living/Fitnes Blogger Writing Challenge.
So, tell me how do you plan on spending your retirement days?


Myth Adventures, Volume 1

Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures Vol. 1 (Myth Adventures, #1-6)Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures Vol. 1 by Robert Lynn Asprin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This volume contains the first six books of Robert Asprin's Myth series. I'd read a few of the books before, but never all six and never in order. These books are fun, lighthearted and a nice easy read. It's the fascinating adventures of a magician's apprentice (Skeeve) whose master (Garkin) happens to be killed at the same time he conjures up a demon (Aahz). The demon takes on the apprentice as his own, and that is pretty much where the adventures begin. It's nonstop trouble and mayhem for these two, well, and their recruits from the Bazaar at Deva - a place where you can find anything.

Working together with a select group of beings, they get into as much trouble as they can handle. The stories are all told from Skeeve's point of view, and though being a relatively young guy, he's pretty dang smart. His entourage gets into some very interesting scrapes, and it's a delight to experience just how brilliantly they're able to conjure up plans to get them out of whatever sticky spot has come their way.

There are enough twists and turns and surprises to keep you interested, but that's not to say there's not a good deal of predictability in these stories. However, I think it's kind of fun to guess where the story is going ... and to be right (most of the time)! I think these books are really pretty funny - filled with lots of puns and plays on words and dorky jokes. You'll be sure to have a smile on your face the whole volume through.

The only reason this is only getting 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the blatant editing errors. There are a LOT of misplaced hyphens that distract from the flow of the story (at times). There are other errors as well, but the hyphens are definitely the most annoying. I think a ball must have been dropped when converting these books into the volume, because I can't see how they could have possibly been published originally with so many errors.

Still, if you can get past the editing gaffs, you're sure to enjoy this lighthearted volume. I can hardly wait to get started on Volume 2!

View all my reviews

A few thoughts

In writing yesterday's post, I re-read my first post of 2012. It included 3 goals that I had made for the upcoming year. I really should have looked at it much earlier! One of my goals was to run 600 miles this year. That should have been easy-peasy, as I was planning on training for a marathon.

Well, I nixed the marathon and stopped training in May.
Then, I hurt my knee in July and haven't run at all in August.

Here's what my progress looks like so far:
2012 mileage
I did the math.


That's not even halfway to my goal. Boo.

Instead of seeing this as a failure, I've decided to see it as a challenge. I was planning on trying to get back into running starting tomorrow, and this is just the push I need.

I figure if I run 60 miles in Sept, 80 in Oct, and 100 in each Nov and Dec, and I still make my goal!! While this is definitely a do-able challenge, it will be tough for me. Obviously, I'll be careful and listen to my body and be okay if I fall short because my body isn't up for the challenge in the same way my mind is. You see I've never run a 100-mile month. In. My. LIFE!

But, I'm looking forward to this challenge. Now, who's gonna help me keep on track?

Today's challenge question is "What do you eat before you workout?"

I don't really have a good answer to this one. I usually don't eat anything different than I would on any other normal, given day. Sometimes, I'll grab a granola bar on my way out - especially if it's been awhile since I'd eaten. What do you eat before working out?

With this increase in running/exercise, I think I really should try to eat a bit healthier as well. I'd like to try using the Portman Nutrition Calculator. Basically, you choose you exercise activity and then a few other variables, and VOILA!

A recommendation of how much fluid and nutrient you should replenish. I really like the idea of this great little tool. Have you ever used this tool? What's your favorite online tool?

I had a great interview on Thurs, and I'll find out something either a 2nd interview or thanks for your interest tomorrow, but I neglected to send a thank-you email to the woman I interviewed with. Well, I sent one out this afternoon. I figured better late than never. What do you think about sending thank-you emails? Could one make or break you?


Enjoying the Course

Today's challenge is to tell the story behind the name of our blogs. I thought I had explained it before on the blog, but looking back through some archives, I don't think I actually did.

So, what's in a name?

Well, a lot, I guess.

If you're new, you might not realize that this blog used to have a different name - All Things Clarinda. I didn't think it accurately captured the essence of what I wanted to blog, so I changed it to Enjoying the Course.

I knew I wanted to put a little more focus to my blog. I knew I wanted to try to focus more on exercise, fitness, and healthy living. I knew I wanted to become a running blog.

In general my running pace is about a 10:00min/mile. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that's a pretty average pace. I know a lot of people who run slower, and I know a lot of people who run faster.

I'd wanted to include average in my blog name, but nothing really sounded just right. I discussed it at length with my husband and even put it out to my readers.

I got a lot of push-back on the word average. You're not average. Don't sell yourself short. I'm actually happy being average. It doesn't mean that I don't push myself; it's more a recognition that there are others both better and worse than me.

Whoa. I think I went off on a little tangent there...

Being a not particularly fast runner, I don't really race or compete. Instead I try to just have fun with it. Push myself, of course, but also take my time and enjoy my surroundings and the beauty around me.


I still kept the average part in the subtitle. I'm stubborn like that.


What's in YOUR bag?

Today's challenge prompt is to describe the contents of my gym bag.

Well, as you know, I don't require a lot of things when working out. And, to make it even easier I don't have a gym membership. Truth is, I'm way to cheap to pay for a membership.

No gym membership = No gym bag

So, let's go theoretical on this one, okay?

If I had a gym bag, here are some things I'd want it to include:
A combination lock (no key to lose!)
"Master Lock Assorted Numeric Combination Locks, Assorted" (Google Affiliate Ad)
Some kind of protein bars (wrapped, obviously)
Kashi GoLean Fiber & Protein Bars - Chips, Pretzels & Snack Mixes (Google Affiliate Ad)
A sweat rag...or two (isn't this one adorable?)
A logbook ('cuz if I'm lifting at the gym, I want a record)
Weekly Workout Journal & Logbook (Google Affiliate Ad)
A water bottle (nothing worse that forgetting to bring one of those!)
"22 Oz Classic Glass Water Bottle in Black" (Google Affiliate Ad)
These would be the constants in my bag. Of course, I'd include whatever shoes, clothes, etc I'd need for the particular workout I was doing, but those wouldn't have a permanent home in my gym bag, per se.

What's in your bag (or what would you like in your bag)? What am I missing from mine you know, in case I suddenly get inspired to pay for the gym?


The best thing ever. Well, this week, anyway.

Perhaps I was a little too boastful on Monday when I stated how pleased I was with myself for sticking to this month's writing challenge so well. Two days later, I missed posting. Again. Still, I'm going to take it as a win. With this post, I've posted nearly 70% of the days this month. Yay me!

Yesterday, I missed writing a letter to my former self, but I'm okay with that. I wasn't really sure what to say anyway. It seemed too similar to the What If post, and I didn't want to get at all negative.

Also, yesterday was a pretty crappy day all-around.
  • Awoke to the knock of the repairman who came to fix our kitchen sink/dishwasher. Now at least I'll be able to wash dishes thereby making it easier to eat at home.
  • Felt cheated out of sleep, so went back to bed after he left.
  • Read with my husband for a couple hours.
  • Felt sleepy and took yet another nap.
Since we both woke up at the same time due to the repairman coming, it threw off my whole schedule - which meant no exercising, no job searching, no me-time. I did clean the kitchen and make a delicious dinner, so I wasn't completely worthless all day.

But WAIT! This post is supposed to be about the best thing that happened this week.

If this post was yesterday, I'd say the best thing was receiving an email from a company on Monday requesting an interview.

Much to my surprise, the interview far exceeded receiving the email.

Yeah. You read that right.

This is probably the first ever interview that I walked away from actually excited and confident. I'll find out on Monday if they want me to come in for a 2nd interview with the owners, but I'd be really surprised if they didn't though I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high.

Knowing I'll get some kind of word on Monday, makes me free to enjoy the weekend. I don't have any plans really, but at least I won't have to worry and wait by the phone.

What's the best thing to happen to you this week?


Why blog?

I have family scattered all around the country, and I've gone through spurts of trying to keep us connected through various outlets (newsletters, etc). Shortly after getting married, I attempted to create a family website. It never really took off for a variety of reasons.

When we were living in NYC in 2006 and neglecting said website, some friends of ours started a family blog for them to keep in contact with their far-away families. What's a blog? we asked.

They told us a little about it, and the Dodson Journal was born. We (read: I) updated it a few times a month with our adventures and experiences, but I wanted a space of my own to share my thoughts on cooking, reading, and whatever else came to mind.

A few months later, I started All Things Clarinda as my home on the web. Over the next several years, I sporadically posted here and there. There wasn't a ton of focus - more a mishmash of a lot of different things.

I thought I needed to find a niche. How about cooking? Well in Oct 2009, I started Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens with one of my sisters. It didn't fill all my needs, so I kept rather inconsistently blogging at all three blogs.

Still, something was missing.

At the end of last year, I decided I needed further focus on my personal blog, so I decided to re-vamp it and focus more on running and fitness. I'd recently started running again, and I really wanted to become healthier and more fit. I thought focusing my blog in this manner would help motivate me to continue with my fitness goals, so I rolled into 2012 with a blog make-over - include a name change: Enjoying the Course - An Average Girl's Journey Through Life.

Life got a little crazy earlier this year, with student teaching and everything, and the ol' blog got a bit neglected again, but so far, I've already blogged more in 2012 than any previous year! Yay!

So, there's the long and short of the answer to today's challenge question: Why did you start blogging? :-)

Now, it's your turn.

Why did you start blogging (your own or reading others)?


Must Have It!

I'm back again with Fitness Cheerleader's August Writing Challenge.

Side note: I'm really impressed with my participation of this challenge. Generally, my participation in challenges fades by the middle of the month, so yay! me for sticking with it as well as I have.

So, today we're talking about our ...


I'm pretty simple when it comes to working out. I don't need anything fancy or name brand. I could probably do better, but ... well, here is my list:
  1. Shoes. But really only for running. Lots of times when I work-out at home, I do it barefoot.
  2. Sweat rag. This is especially important when I'm working out at home or on a treadmill at the gym. When I'm running outside, I like to have a bandanna or something to help prevent the sweat dripping in my eyes.
  3. Water. It needs to be handy. When outside, either my camelback or a handheld water bottle. When inside, it's my water bottle. I don't necessarily drink a lot, but I like having it available for small sips now and again, and then lots of gulps at the end.
  4. Comfy clothes. Nothing fancy sometimes I don't even match. the horror!, but definitely comfort is key. 
  5. MOTIVATION. In many ways, this is the most important. If I'm not motivated, I often skip it all together. If I do manage to force it, it's never as good as if I were actually wanting to do the work.


A Day in My Life

Today, the Fitness Cheerleader challenged us to paint a picture of a typical day in our lives. Well, right now, it's not a very pretty picture. I'm unemployed. I don't even have kids to keep me busy. My days are relatively uneventful, but here goes...
  • Wake up. No alarm! No specific time! Perks of not having a job. Sometimes to Sallie's intense, relentless gaze.
  • Feed Sallie breakfast.
  • Try to get a little more sleep. Usually another couple hours, if I'm able to fall back asleep.
  • Get dressed love having short, muss-free hair! and take Sallie outside to do her biz.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Watch General Hospital on Hulu from the previous day.
  • Search for a job for a couple hours. Visit Casino websites and Craigslist. Submit resumes. Etc.
  • Exercise. I've mostly been doing my StrongStride DVD lately.
  • Blog for a few hours. Write posts. Tweet. Check FB. Read other blogs. Etc. Etc. Etc.
  • Take Sallie out again.
  • More blogging + watching TV + playing on my phone.
  • Feed Sallie dinner.
  • Go to bed whenever I feel too tired to concentrate i.e. hold my head up to keep watching TV.
Mixed in with the blogging/spending time on the computer/playing on my phone/watching TV, I occasionally will cook something some times just to have something to blog, wash some dishes, go to the pool, etc.

I've definitely been neglecting my apartment - quite possibly because my kitchen sink is quite eff'd up at the moment, making both using the dishwasher and washing by hand an unbelievably, huge chore.

No job = no $$$ to really do much of anything that is fun and outside of the apartment complex. :-( Though, I did drag Jeff to see a free Survivor concert last night. Fun!

So. Yeah. I need a job. If for nothing other than to add some stability to my life. Though that may result is neglecting the blog again, so it's kind of a trade-off. lol.


Proudest Moment

"What was been the proudest moment in your life?" Today's question for the August Blogging Challenge.

As I think back on my life, I'm going to have to go with the most recent major accomplishment.

This past May I know, I know. I've mentioned it about a bazillion times on this blog. Sorry. I graduated with my Masters of Arts in Teaching.

When I finished my bachelor's back in 2000, I didn't walk the ceremony. I was just happy to be finished. I vowed never to go back to school. Seven years later, my husband had been back in school for awhile, and he convinced me to return to school, too.

It wasn't so bad!

Student teaching, however, was very challenging and very time consuming, to say the least. There were times when I really didn't think I could make it.


What's your proudest moment?


Work it, work it...

I'm back again with the August Healthy Living /Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge. We're talking about our favorite workouts.

I don't really have any favorites. When my legs are in tiptop condition, I just like to get out there and run. I know that strength training and focusing on my core is super important, but I have so much trouble staying motivated!

I've not tried this one yet, but here's a workout I found on Pinterest recently.

I think it offers enough flexibility and variety to keep it interesting plus it it would nice and quick for those days when you just doing feel like doing anything.

How about you? What's your favorite workout? 
How do you stay motivated to keep active?


What's Cooking?

Today's challenge for the August Healthy Living /Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge is our favorite thing to cook. I'm not the greatest cook, and I don't always like to do it, but when I do, I like to try new recipes. I don't often make the same thing over and over again.

All that being said, I'd probably have to go with Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. It's quick and easy and oh, so, tasty!

Oh, did you know that I have a recipe/cooking blog? Go visit A Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens to see some recipes that I (and my sister) have tried.

In other news, I had a job interview this afternoon. Yay! It was at a professional staffing agency (aka temp agency). I've worked through a staffing agency off-and-on for the past 10 years, so I'm familiar with how it all works.

Here's the story:

I saw an ad online last Friday for 4 admin assistant positions. I immediately sent my resume to the contact name. A few hours later, I got impatient and called the office. A few moments later, I had an interview scheduled.

Then on Tuesday, the guy called me to say he'd reviewed my resume and would like to set up an interview. Obviously, he hadn't checked his calendar to see that I'd already had something scheduled. :-)

This morning, as I was getting ready, I received a call from the agency to see if I could push the interview back a couple hours. No problem.

When I arrived, another woman arrived at the exact same time. She held the elevator for me; I held the suite door open for her. Turns out we both had an interview at the same time with the same interviewer. *awkward*

Well, they found a different interviewer for me. Luck may have been on my side. The original guy didn't close the door, and I heard much more of that interview while I was waiting for my interviewer to come into the office where I was waiting. The other interview was a lot more in-depth than mine.

But, it's all good, because at the end of the interview, the other woman was sent on her way with the promise that they would call while I was asked to fill out paperwork.

I'm taking that as a good sign.


10 Random Songs

Today's topic for the August Healthy Living /Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge is to go to your iPod/mp3 player, set it to shuffle, and list the first 10 songs that come up.

The only thing I have is my smartphone - it doesn't have nearly all of my music. Still, I decided to give it a shot.

Here's my list:
  1. Walking on Sunshine - Jennifer Lopez
  2. Great Expectations - J-Live
  3. Why Georgia - John Mayer
  4. I Hate Everything About You - Three Days Grace
  5. I Want You to Want Me - Cheap Trick
  6. B.O.B. - OutKast
  7. What It Feels Like for a Girl - Madonna
  8. Superman (It's Not Easy) - Five For Fighting
  9. Come On Get Higher - Matt Nathanson
  10. Over the Rainbow - Harry Connick, Jr.
Now, the weird thing is, I have NO idea where songs 2, 3, 4, or 6 came from. I'm not even sure I know those songs.


Do you do this?

I often talk myself out of doing things. I don't know if I get scared or what, but it's something I've often struggled with. I tend to be a quitter. This has actually improved a bit as I've gotten older, but it's still a problem at times.

Yesterday's challenge for the August Healthy Living /Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge was about our favorite quotations. This was one of the first pins I found over on Pinterest, and I still LOVE it.

I think it really speaks to me and my quitting nature - not just when it comes to fitness/exercise/health, but in all aspects of my life.

I need to stop listening to that little liar in my head.

Today's challenge is about regrets. What is something that you always wonder "what if?" about?

The first thing that comes to mind is my decision to not study abroad at Middlesex University in London. I was accepted into the program and had paid a deposit, but for a variety of reasons, I choose not to go. I doubt that studying abroad would have greatly changed my life or personality much, but who knows?

Perhaps taking that scary leap of going somewhere completely new and different would have helped shape me into a stronger, more confident woman now.


How did it get to be Monday night??

It was kind of a rough weekend. It was my birthday on Friday, and I don't know what happened, but it was one of the worst. I was an emotional wreck. I was in tears nearly all day. Even the kindest Facebook birthday wishes from friends and family made me choke up. They weren't always sad tears. Sometimes they were happy, I-feel-so-loved tears. No matter, they were draining. Physically and emotionally.

I had wanted to go to the Strip and go shopping, hang out, grab dinner. BUT when the day came, I could barely bring myself to even get dressed. Like I said, my emotions were all over the place.

I could say it was because I turned 35, but I don't think that's really it. I've always embraced my age and never dreaded any upcoming birthday.

Truth be told, I think it's more likely the fact that neither of us have found any work. Our funds are quickly fading, and soon we'll be in a world of hurt. It's difficult to deal with. Today, I did wake up pretty hopeful, so *fingers crossed*.

Saturday morning, I was determined to have a better day and decided to celebrate my birthday a day late. We walked to the Strip, visited the pool at Caesar's, stopped at H&M didn't buy anything, and went to Grimald's Pizza at the Palazzo for my free large birthday pizza. It was definitely an improvement over Friday, but still not the birthday I deserved.

Sunday was even better! We biked to MGM Grand to hang out at the pool with a fellow blogger - hiker mom. We got there a bit later than anticipated, but it was great fun! We walked through the lazy river. Renting a tube was $16!! We lounged on deck chairs.
We enjoyed great conversation. It was a lot of fun - and really helped boost my birthday weekend! Yay!!

Today flew by. I tackled my job search, exercised, lounged at the pool and hot tub. Same ole, same ole.

It's kind of a whiny post, but not as whiny as I'd thought it might be, so there's that. Ha!

Make it a great week, everyone!! I hope to join back in with the August Healthy Living /Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge tomorrow.



I missed putting up a post yesterday. I was too busy doing this.

It looks a lot cuter in person. Plus, I love waking up and not worrying if I have bed head.

Yesterday's topic for the August Healthy Living /Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge was about our worst injuries. At first, I thought I've been so lucky to not have had any major injuries.

While that is true, I did experience a few years when I had shin splints so bad that I could run. It could have been lots worse, it was so frustrating to think that I might never run again. Slowly, but surely, I was able to work my way back into it. Yay!

Today's topic is about body image and the media. I haven't really given this much thought. I like having role models that are skinny, but I think there is too much emphasis, at times, on the super-skinny. I do wish there was more emphasis on FIT and STRONG and HEALTHY - with less emphasis on WEIGHT.


Just Keeping On Keeping On

Day 7 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge - breaking through plateaus.

Plateaus. They happen to all of us.

But how do you deal with them? How do you break through and start climbing again?

I don't think I really have an answer. I, too often, will give up and take too long of a break that when I return it's actually at a lower level. Booo....

If I had any advice, I guess it would be to incorporate variety. If you get bored, you're more likely to quit. Also, try something new. Or find a new running/workout partner.

I found this on Pinterest and found it to be perfectly fitting for this topic.


What a Year!

Day 6 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge - your highs and lows of this past year.

- Student teaching - it was tough, but totally worth it.
- Graduated with my master's degree in May!
- Set off on a journey of a lifetime in June; it didn't quite turn out as planned, but I'm still counting it as a high.
- Discovered the joys of living in Las Vegas.
- Made some great new friends.

- Decided not to run Grandma's marathon in favor of our road trip.
- Slipped from a healthy diet to a McDonald's-heavy one the first few weeks in Vegas
- Difficulty finding a job in Vegas

Honestly, it's been a great year! I had some difficulty thinking of some lows. :-) Now, I'm in the midst of my birthday week and looking forward to a great upcoming year - filled with more highs than lows!


5 of the Best Foods. Ever.

Today is Day 5 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge, and today we're talking about food, as in the five foods you simply can't live without.

Off the top of my head, I'd definitely have to go with in no particular order...

Almond milk
Black beans
rice - not necessarily white, though that's what I usually have 
Bread - almost any variety will do!
Good thing I'm still pretty full from dinner or else I'd be super hungry after writing this post.

In other news, I went on my first Vegas hike this morning. It was a great trail! Just enough of a workout, just enough shade.
Satellite view of our hike
Elevation map
Although I didn't enjoy all of my 5 can't-live-without foods today, it was a pretty great day spent outside with some terrific new friends.


Oh my how you've changed!

I'm a few days late to the party, but I just discovered the Fitness Cheerleader. She's hosting a Healthy Living/Fitness Challenge for bloggers in August.

There is a different writing prompt for each day. Since I've been in a bit of a blogging slump, I thought this might be a great way to kick-start myself back into it.

Today's Prompt: How have you changed in the past 2 years?

Hmm... just over two years ago. I ran my first 5K in years, so I guess that's change #1. I've focused, once again, on running. I've still been a bit wishy-washy about it over the past two years, but I've definitely been more consistent than the previous five or so years.

Another change has been my eating habits. It's actually a much more recent change than two years, but I've been trying to eat healthier. Very limited meat and dairy. Lots more fruits and vegetables. Water is still really difficult for me, but I'm trying.

Other changes...

I completed my master's degree.
I embarked on a long road trip.
I moved to Las Vegas.

It's been a great two years. I'm very happy about all my changes and look forward to more! Life is nothing without making positive changes for the future.


Time for a Challenge

I'll be the first to admit that I've definitely been lacking in the motivation department lately. I know I need to get active again. I know it will help me with my back pain and give me more energy. I know I will be happier.

But still...

Sometimes it's just so difficult.

In order to hopefully aid me in returning to a more active lifestyle, I'm hoping to join Ali Mc from Running with Spatulas in her Plank It Up August challenge.

Who wants to join me??


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