Friday, November 13, 2009

Follow Friday: Photo J's.

Happy Follow Friday, my dears!

Then Heather Said, “Today is a J kind of day.”

Let’s talk photography.

If you were to ask who my favorite life-photographer is, I would give a list of five names.

If you said, “no. just pick one.” I would give you a list of five names.

If you said, “come on. Seriously. You can only have one favorite.” I would ignore you and give you a list of five names.

You would note that all five of the names I give you are female. You would note that all five start with the letter J. You would note that I am indecisive and can not pick just one favorite.

Today is the day. The J kind of day. The day you learn about two of these lovely ladies; Jenna and Jill.

Jenna is someone I would label a “world famous blogger.” She used to run a blog titled That Girl. Then she fell in love, got engaged, and started a blog called That Bride. Then she joined the ranks of the ever popular WeddingBee and became Miss/Mrs. Avocado, sharing her wedding planning and details with all who were interested [a lot of her element posts ended up in my own wedding inspiration binder back when I was planning my own almost-wedding]. After the Wedding, she was That Wife. I’ve been reading her blogs for YEARS now- and I was super excited when she started her photography business, Jenna Cole. So excited, in fact, that I became her first paying costumer.

Jenna decided to pursue photography because she wanted to “spend my days taking pictures of people that helped them to see how beautiful they are.”

i went through the last few months and chose a few of my favorites as proof to you that she her photography speaks truth to this statement:

and of course, one from our play date together, as well:

(above 6 photos from JennaCole)

And then there was Jill. Jill is a Michigan photographer whose work I love more and more with each new blog post. Seriously. Without fail, every time she posts, I am in awe. I think it’s best said in her own words, taken from her website; “in all my work, I want to create images that tell your story, display your personality, and celebrate the beauty of being alive.”

Mission accomplished, Jill.
I tried to pick just a few favorites- and I just couldn't stop. There were WAY TOO MANY.

[ummm. Rob Bell and a Ring-Ninja. Need I say more?]

[previous 8 photos from Jill Devries]

I have a few Jenna Cole shots up in my apartment, but not nearly enough. And I've yet to hang a Jill Devries. I think one of my 2010 goals will be to add some shots to my walls by each of them [photos that i'm not in- maybe some detail shots they've each taken? i can picture a nice little collection on my kitchen wall of a few shots by my favorite photographers. something similiar to this] They both have such a great way of capturing light!! Don't you agree?

Please go take some time to browse through the sites of Jenna Cole and Jill Devries - and leave them a message to remind them of how FABULOUS they both are!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You Had Me at "The Bow"

I'm a self proclaimed "thrifty girl" and I can only remember one time I paid more than $15 for a pair of shoes, but I may have to splurge for the kate spade satin gift bow flats.

I'm serious here- I just took a look at all the shoes in my apartment- I splurged on my running shoes, and ended up getting the originally $122 on a 30% off already reduced clearance price plus an additional $10 off coupon for a smashing $34.

I once found a pair of flats I liked so much at wal-mart for $9 and ended up buying four pairs.

My yellow flats from my jenna cole photoshoot were marked down to $6, and I have four pairs of brown flats I bought from Journeys after they were marked down to $5 a pair. My knock-off Uggs were $12 and my standard black pumps were clearenced out to $10. My other four pairs of shoes I've received as gifts from sweet people in my life.

I can't decide if it's cool or sad that I've paid so little for my shoes.

And I can't decide if it's cool or sad that I can remember how much I've paid for each member of my shoe collection.

But I just found the pair of shoes that are going to change everything.

Today I sat, flipping through the December Elle, with my girl Sarah Jessica Parker* on the cover, and I came across a gift giving guide on page 201. I saw a necklace that made me squeal out loud- so, in true fashion, The Heather Said (to herself) "twitpic this!" And it was done. Kate Spade. Triple Strand. Gold Gift Bow Detailed Necklace. The kind of necklace I love love love, but I'm not sure why.

A few page flip & browses later and I land on page 216 where I find my breath fleeting and my heart stopping. Kate Spade Satin Gift Bow Detailed Slipper Flats. In a selection of colors. For $95. I'm pretty sure that the cost of all of my current flats put together total less than $95.hmmmmmmm.

BUT- and this is where I really start to love my neurotic list making habits- on my 101 in 1001 list, which I wrote over 11 months ago, I seemed to have written, "purchase self a GOOD pair of shoes". And I think that shoes that cost $95 may just qualify as good.

NOW- if I had a computer at my home, you would be lucky enough to see these dream satin gift bow detailed slipper flats- but alas, I am blogging via blackberry and you will have to either trust me, open up a google browser, or wait until 7:45 AM tomorrow morning when I can get to a computer to post these beauties as soon as literally possible.

Until then, I'm going to dream up a few fundraisers to make myself some extra cash in order that I can follow through with this beautiful shoe scheme without having a spending induced panic attack- all creative suggestions will be greatly appreciated. ;)

EDIT: without any further delay, the necklace [and check out that matching ring above. a boy could propose to me with that cute little ring. ok. just kidding. Then Heather Said, "been there. done that. have the old ring sitting in a box to prove it ;)" (too soon to joke about that?)
I'm not having much luck finding the shoes, yet. And I forgot my copy of Elle at home- so on my lunch break I plan on running by the apartment, picking it up and getting you guys & girls a snap shot of the beauties. Seriously. You are going to squeal. I know it.

*seriously- I'm not joking around with Sarah Jessica Parker. She's my favorite celebrity. And while SATC sealed the deal, I loved her early on, from the moment I saw Girls Just Want to Have Fun. (And Don't even get me started on The Family Stone- it's fabulous) I've thrown parties to celebrate her birthday at my apartment three years (however, I was kind of an "any reason for a theme party" kind of girl) and I once told my friend Trav I wouldn't be friends with him anymore if he didn't stop making rude comments about SJP. And if you are feeling daring, google the video for the interview Isaac Mizrahi had with her- delightful! (It may be available on - where they once said MY FULL NAME during a video segment. It was my 15 minutes :) ) anyway- end of spiel.

Let's Discuss: Secret Santa Blogger Swap!

Just a quick update at the end of the day to fill you in on a blogger plan in the works.

Today while on break at work, I looked at my family's holiday wishlists on amazon. [please, do not even get me started on my fathers 4 item list which leaves me v. little inspiration ;) love you, Dad!] I was thinking about how I am ready to get all my shopping started as soon as possible, and that I may even work on making some early-Christmas cookies this weekend.

I started to think of the other people I would be buying/making/collecting gifts for, and I started to think about the blogging community. I honestly feel like you guys are more than just bloggers- you are my friends. And i wanted to give each and every one of you a gift.

Isn't that exciting? A gift! From Heather. To you, dear blogger!

Then Heather Said, "Oh, wait. I am poor."

How can I give a gift to all of my favorite bloggers and still afford to pay my rent? Why not a Secret Santa Blogger Swap? HOW FUN WOULD THAT BE?!?!?

So, in true form, I turned to twitter and asked for some feedback- and so far I have over a dozen people who want to participate! I love the idea of a Blogger Secret Santa because it is so easy to learn about a person and what they may like via their blog! [Office Secret Santas often leave me clueless!]

We are still coming up with the terms, so expect more information to come in the next few weeks. But- this being a swap for all of us bloggers, I wanted to get some opinions and ideas from you all to direct the outcome of the secret santa blogger swap.

What are your thoughts on the following [start discussion in the comments or send me an email at ]:

a) A Specific Swap Gift: for example: an ornament, a foodie item, a book, or something from your hometown/state etc. [please throw out any ideas you have here and your thoughts on whether we should do something specific or just general "gifts"]

b) Price Range

c) Along with the gift swap, adding on a "guest post", "blog spot light", recipe feature or another "bloggy" type thing? [again, give me your thoughts on this along with any ideas you have for this]

I can't wait to hear all your ideas and feedback!

Post Script Disclaimer: I want to make sure I point out that I am not the first person to think of a blogger swap- there are swaps going on ALL YEAR LONG throughout the internet [there is even an online swap community]. Some of the feedback I received mentioned that some bloggers were part of a Christmas swap last year as well- and I don't want to steal anyone's thunder.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Joining the Whittlers

Angela has started yet another blogger trend.
The Whittle My Middle challenge.

Yesterday, in my Ten To-Do’s to Become a Better Runner- I mentioned my needing to do some Core work- so you can bet your bippy I agreed to participate in the challenge.

In Ange’s challenge includes pictures, measurements and core work. More specificly, 6-10 minute core workouts 5 days a week. She lists 6 different exercises she plans to do each day during her workouts- a few of which use a stability ball.

I myself do not have a stability ball, so I planned on doing some substitution exercises. Soon after I decided this, I saw a tweet from my friend Kristin asking for some stability ball-free core ideas – I replied that I am making my own workout and Kristin and my new blog friend , the Queen, both asked me to post the details of my core workout on Then Heather Said- so here I am.

My Core Workout will be 6-10 minute core workouts 5 days a week and include the following exercises, which I have embedded with links to “how to’s” from sparkpeople:

Dumbbell Crunches

Hip Flexor and Extensions

Lying Straight Leg Raises



Side Planks


I'm not going to lie [afterall, we did just talk about honesty!] - I'm a bit terrified of this Whittle My Middle 30 day plan! I haven't focused on core work in a really long time, and I know I'm going to be quite sore, especially at the start, but I also know that's a GREAT PLACE TO BE. The soreness means it's working. [this may become my mantra for the next month]

Great News- you don't have to be a blogger to Whittle Your Middle, and I've just proven you don't need a stability ball ;) - what do you say, will you join the Whittlers with me? Want more reason to join the challenge rather than "everyones doing it? Here's an article about why a strong core is a good thing! So- are you in?

The Best Policy


Then Heather Said, "Honesty is the best policy"
Earlier this week, Ryan wrote a wonderful, thought provoking post about the honest lives of bloggers, specifically healthy living bloggers. As I read it, I found myself questioning my level of honesty on my own blog.

From the beginning I’ve shared that my desire for Then Heather Said is to be genuine and open about my life since the broken engagement. I find that being honest with my readers ensures that I am being honest with myself. While I do talk about my health[ier than before] lifestyle, I don’t know that I would classify my blog as a “healthy living blog” [although, I’m not sure what I WOULD classify it as, either.] Yet, after reading the post Ryan wrote, I couldn’t help but question my own levels of honesty on Then Heather Said.

How much of a fence do I put up on what I am going through?
How often do I avoid writing about specific subjects and why do I avoid it?
Where do I draw the “that’s too personal to share” line?
Do I try and present myself to appear a certain way to my readers?
What have I been hiding? Where do I need to come clean?

When I worked in Youth ministry in Texas, I often had to defend myself and my desire for genuine honesty within my ministry work. I am not perfect, and nor was I back then; and I knew it. The last thing I wanted was for the high school students I was mentoring to see me as someone they should try to live up to; I didn’t want to be idolized in any way, I wanted my life to point to Christ.

I remember certain people having a problem with my honesty with students back then.

Sometimes I would share during small group what I personally was struggling with and areas in which I needed prayer.
Sometimes with my interns, we would discuss my weaknesses, and the lessons I’d learned that may help them with where they were.
Sometimes I would share stories of mistakes of my past and days I wish I could take back.

I was open, I was truthful, and I was relatable. I was available to be vulnerable to these high schoolers. I never wanted to appear to “have it all together” and know exactly how to handle every situation. I never wanted to fool them into thinking I always did the right thing, and never hurt or never wanted more or never felt insecure or alone or confused. It was important to me that they knew my story and knew that I still question God daily, and that this was an okay place to be. A good place to be, even.

I myself have fallen to the point of thinking a leader was someone to “be just like”. And not because the leader was trying to coral people into a “following” but more because I saw something in them that I couldn’t accurately describe, and wanted in my own life. This is a dangerous place to tred- idolatry & coveting the personality/dedication/lifestyle of people you admire. And not just as a believer/follower of Christ/Christian- but in day to day life. Gaining inspiration from, being motivated by, and admiring positive qualities in others is safe. Trying to model your life exactly after another individual is dangerous. To sound a bit clichĂ©- If we were all the same, the world would be boring. Our uniqueness is beautiful and we should embrace that. [operation beautiful plug, much?]

I think a lot of times, leaders, in church and other places, feel they need to live up to a certain standard and hide the hard stuff, the dark stuff, the rough stuff. And perhaps this happens in the blog world too. I don’t want to sound whiny. I don’t want to sit in negativity and make it seem like I think the world is against me. I don’t want to complain or appear to be mean or judgmental or rude or ignorant [bliss or no bliss].

It’s a fishbowl affect. When a person steps into leadership, of almost any kind- warranted or not, their lives become a fishbowl and the world watches. Leadership is a kind of popularity, and popularity a kind of leadership. This is definitely true in the church scene, in politics- national or local, in Hollywood, in corporations/offices around the world, and perhaps even in blog-land. How often do we hear it from opposing sides during an election, in our own social circles, and in the aftereffects of a “Hollywood scandal”- do you think Miley is ever going to live down her “being a role model” and taking photos in a sheet or dancing with a pole at an award show?

When people are looking, it’s hard to be honest. It’s hard to say, “I’m not as cool/smart/put together/healthy/dedicated/optimistic as you think I am.” And maybe, as bloggers, we shouldn’t have to, truthfully.

Do I want to read the blogs written by bitter people who complain all the time, of course not. And I truly believe that my blogging through the pain helped me to STAY (and often just be) optimistic about my life when I was broken hearted. When I didn’t always feel strong, knowing that I would report my emotions to readers helped me to become strong, and to find the strength that was within me.
The same goes for work outs and eating good food. Many healthy living bloggers have mentioned that posting meals online every day keeps them accountable to not OVER DOING the indulgences and keeping up with their exercise. The blog community is the best accountability I’ve yet to experience- encouragement to just put my shoes on and run, to take a break when I need to, and a reminder not to do too much too fast. [seriously. You bloggers are amazing. Thank you for keeping me motivated on days I want to be lazy.] Perhaps our “blogging attitude” helps our “reality attitude” stay more positive.

All things considered- my favorite blogs are written by people who aren’t afraid to share their faults and their struggles- and push past them. They don’t whine about the world being against them, and they don’t pretend that life isn’t hard. They discuss their fears and open their lives to the world [wide web] and face the negative comments as they come- with strength and dignity and grace and keeping their heads held high.

Then Heather Said, "Let's be honest."

So for the last day or so, I’ve been thinking about things that Then Heather HASN’T Said, and decided that perhaps I should come clean on a few things- not because I have to, but because I want to; for allowing myself to be honest with you, I am most honestly facing myself. So just a few quick notes about, well, life.

-Sometimes, I still think about how I would of/could of/should have been married. In reality, my brain AND my heart know that my former fiancĂ© SAVED MY LIFE the day he called off the wedding; I didn’t marry the wrong guy, I didn’t make a big mistake, I didn’t miss out on my future as it will be now- but I still think about it. I think about it when I am making dinner for just one, and when I have no one to go to the movies with, and when I see something at Target that I would like to come home and leave on the table for him, just because. And I thought about it a lot the day I sliced open my hand carving a pumpkin.

-I’m not going to church. [and I know my former pastors have and can read my blog. And I know my former students have and can read my blog. And I know my former ministry partners have and can read my blog- and perhaps all these reasons are why I haven’t said much about this- or Jesus, at all.] I’ve allowed myself to be offended by people in the church in the past, and I fear those feelings again. I’ve tried going to a few services- at my old church in the area, at churches I’ve never visited before in the area. And I feel like I’m suppose to say “I know I should be going to church” - but I'm not saying it- because that's not how I'm feeling. I love Jesus. So much. And perhaps this is a post for another day- but I am having a hard time with church. Maybe it's because the former fiance and I met in ministry. Maybe it's because so much of our relationship revolved around the church and so much of our lives were imbedded in church. Or maybe not. I just know I don't want to go. I don't want to go back to my former church again, not yet [my former fiance is currently working there] and I definetely don't want to go church shopping. I am happy spending my Sunday mornings on the trail, praying as I run. [and if we are being completely honest, which i am, i'm not really praying too much lately, either.]
-a follow up to all that? I am questioning more than ever before. But i don't really want answers. I just want to question.
-I am strong and independant and I love living alone and getting to make my own agenda every evening. But I am lonely. I miss having a bunch of friends to do things with through out the week. I miss having a jam packed schedule. I miss hosting dinner parties and game nights and meeting for coffee or dinner. I miss having peers that I called my friends.
-There are 100 places I'd rather live- but I know it's not the time. I love my apartment. I love my village. I love my job. But I love St Paul. I love Madison (my favorite small city of ALL TIMES). I love Boston. and I especially love my parents and wish i could wake up in their house every day. A friend recently suggested I move to Denver, another to Durham, NC, and another back to Southeast Texas (yeah- that's NEVER going to happen- sorry ladies.) I love having people tell me I should move near them because it makes me feel loved. I love hearing it because it's something to dream about. I love hearing it because I am alone 6 out of 7 nights of the week. But I am here, in a small little village tucked in the Capital District of NY for a reason, i'm sure of it, and in the words for Tim Gunn, I will "make it work."
-I struggle daily with one thing or another. I define myself in words I hope to be. I run 4-5 days a week and I still have trouble calling myself a "runner". My apartment is a mess and I have only half unpacked from Boston. I still compare myself to others every single day, even though I preach not to do so. I keep replying "no" to wedding rsvps because I am too poor to travel, and also, because I am too afraid of what my heart will feel like as I watch her walk down the aisle. Even though I know it's better this way. I keep asking myself when I will feel okay enough to watch that ceremony? I'm terrified of letting the people I love the most down. I have problems asking for help. I wish I had a computer. And also some cheese fries. and i think my feet are way too big. and I asked for Thursday off from work so I could watch Greys.
Honestly. That's me.
Do you relate? How do you feel about my thought that "Leadership is a kind of popularity, and popularity a kind of leadership. This is definitely true in the church scene, in politics- national or local, in Hollywood, in corporations/offices around the world, and perhaps even in blog-land. " ? Do you think bloggers face the same kind of critism in the blogging community that other popular leaders do?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday: Theme 1

Most Tuesdays I share with you 10 things that are going on in my world. Most Tuesdays theses 10 things are pretty random and don't really go together. Most Tuesdays are easy-blogging and I don't really have to commit too much, admit too much, or even transmit too much. Today is Tuesday, but it's not like this.

Today I wanted to talk about my Getting Back on Track. I touched on it last week and promised more info to come, and here I am, just now getting to it.

Of course, this actually worked out for the best because my mind set has changed a bit on the whole "Getting Your Glow Back on Track" thing.

Don't get me wrong- I want to stop over indulging [did you see my mention of bbq kettle chips yesterday] and I want to keep putting good stuff in my body and tackling some challenges to make me stronger and healthier and to be honest, shed more weight [more on THAT desire to come]. But more than anything else, I want to become a better runner. I want to be able to run an entire 5K without ever stopping once, not even to sip my water. I want to be stronger and better conditioned. I want to improve on my 5K time and be able to eventually move past the 5K onto a longer race. This will all happen with time, I know. And I do not want to rush this experience.

The truth is I love every run, even when I don't always think I do. I am thankful for what my body can do. And I am thankful for every mile I log and every finish line I cross. I am thankful for my legs, and my heart. I love running. [who would have thought?]

Sunday afternoon, on my drive back from Boston, I started thinking about my "getting back on track" and why I wanted to do so. I want to have a healthy body. I want the scale to keep reading lower numbers. I want to feel good about myself. I want to continue to feel HAPPY every day. But mostly, I wanted to "get back on track" to improve my running. After that realization, my list was formed:

Top Ten Basics to Refocus on to Become a Better Runner

1. Nutrition and Tracking Food– Michelle recently completed her first tri, and during the recap she shared something her friend and co-tri-star, Madi, said; "I no longer eat because I want to lose weight. I eat to fuel for my exercise".

This is where I NEED my focus to be right now.
Honestly, I want to continue to lose weight, as mentioned above. Since I started my "healthier heather journey" I've lost 24 pounds. [so close to an even 25- you know that's driving me nuts, right?] But I also know that if I continue to pour everything I've got into my running and exercise, that the pounds will keep shedding. How do I know this? Because not long ago I had reached my first weight loss goal- 20 pounds- and decided to put the scale away until after my first 5K. And when I took that scale out again, it said I had lost 4 more pounds. Maybe it's mental- but tracking my food to see how much I can eat to lose weight does not make me very excited. Tracking my food to make sure I'm getting the RIGHT stuff in my body to fuel me for my best performance- not just on race days, but perhaps even more importantly, in my training- THAT get's me excited.

As I mentioned before, I recently noticed a decrease in meat in my diet, and I have started tracking my meals (again) at in order to make sure I’m getting enough protein.

Also- I’ve read a bunch of different suggestions for “runners diets”- each suggesting what percentages of carbs/protein/fats a runner should be focusing their meals on. I haven’t committed to any of these numbers, but I am following the suggested guidelines that my “spark nutritional page” has set for me based on my activity level, weight, & desired future loss. For now that means: Calories 1410-1760, carbs 187g-270g, fat 37g-65g, and protein 60g-145g.
I don't freak out if I am a little over or a little under some days, but these are just goals for me to shoot for. Also, I make sure that on days my exercise is really increased [like my 10 mile interval day] that I properly fuel before and after my activity, even if it means more calories.

I am going to track my food every day for the rest of November to make sure I am getting the proper amounts of protein my body needs.

2. Get better rest – I am doing much better the past few weeks on this, but I need to continue to make getting a proper amount of sleep a priority. Especially now that it is getting dark before I even leave the office, and I definitely need to do my weekday outdoor runs in the mornings. I am aiming at being in bed at 10:00 PM every night but Thursday, which I will go to bed at 11:00 PM.

Why Thursdays? Fridays are “casual” at work so I tend to take a lot less time to get ready, and also, I watch Private Practice Thursday nights at 10:00. Yes. I did just set my sleeping schedule depending on ABC. Way to go, Heather.

I am going to aim to get 8 hours of sleep every night for the rest of November to make sure I am properly rested to face my day, my work load, and my training.

3. Cross Training – I've been reading a lot about the benefits of cross training for runners. I've faced a few challenges with cross training the past few months. First off, as mentioned above, I love running- so I really don't mind if every cardio activity I put into my week is on the trail. But I know I need to mix it up. Secondly, a lot of people have suggested spinning- but to be perfectly candid- I am terrified of spinning. This is something I am trying to work on, as I know it really can't be that bad. And I know I need to mix it up. A lot of times I am just fearful of trying something new, but this is something I've been trying to work on since July, and I think I am going to put this to good use this month.

I am going to participate in at least eight cardio activities other than running throughout the rest of November to help me find my cross-training-soul-mate-activity.

4. Train Smart – Mostly for me, training smart is about listening to my body. Especially taking time off when my body tells me to rest. This is something every runner needs to be reminded at one point or another: TAKE THE TIME TO REST. You’ll come back stronger and improve your distance or speed if you do.

Also- I read this today on a running website; “Identify your personal mental barriers and then train through them.” This is something I am definitely going to make sure to focus on. I want to break through the walls that my brain tries to build around me :)

I am going to spend a few minutes each evening for the rest of November journaling about my workouts, what I feel like my body is saying to me, and what my mental barriers might be.

5. Balance & Flexibility – Since I first started running, I’ve seen such a huge improvement in my flexibility. In my post-workout stretches, I can reach farther and hold each stretch longer. Just as my running has made me more flexible, I think my becoming more flexible will help improve my running.

I also really want to improve my balance. I have been wanting to try some serious yoga for a while now. And by serious I mean, more than what I’m doing, I guess. I have never taken a yoga class or followed any kind of instructor, podcast, television, dvd or otherwise. The only yoga I’ve done are things I’ve tried a time or two on my own from magazines or online yoga pose guides [and lots of "desk yoga" at work]. I’m definitely on the look out for some ways to get more yoga into my life. Do you runners have any suggestions?

I am going to try to practice yoga with some sort of instruction at least 3 times during the rest of November.

6. Core Work - This is simple: I've read it 100 times in the past few weeks- having a strong core is crucial to becoming a better runner. And I have definitely been slacking at the core work.

I am going to do 2 days of core work each week for the rest of November.

7. Running Out Doors – I’ve mentioned before about Ange’s Winter Challenge, Project Snow. Being outside in the cold does not always sound like fun. Exercising in the cold very rarely sounds like fun. But I’m hoping that as I continue to brave winter weather, I will come to have a love for it. And I know that if I continue to condition myself to running in cooler weather, I will become a better runner because of it.

I am going to run outside at least three times each week for the rest of November, in proper gear and attitude ;)

8. Hydrating – This is something I know is important, not just because everyone else says so- but because I've experienced the difference in my running while well hydrated and while dehydrated. And I'm not just talking before races, but before every run. And not just an hour before the run, either. I want to be well hydrated ALL THE TIME so that I am properly hydrated for my training and my racing (even when I’m only racing myself). Also- staying hydrated is good for your body and your skin! I’m so down for healthy skin :)

I am going to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day for the rest of November, plus morning and evening tea, and water during workouts.

9. Warm Up & Cool Down – I need to make sure I am making time for my entire work out- THIS IS A MUST. Sometimes, I feel like I'm so pressed for time that I rush into my running without properly warming up which can definitely lead to injury. Sometimes, I feel like I'm so pressed for time that I rush back home from my running without properly cooling down and stretching, which can also lead to injury. The last thing I want to have to deal with is injury!

I need to remember that it is better to properly warm up and cool down and shorten my full-force workout when I am restrained for time than to put my body in danger.

I am going to spend at least 5 minutes warming up and 10 minutes cooling down for each workout the rest of November.

10. Stay Motivated – There are so many reasons I am motivated to run, such as reading inspirational stories about other runners. Another way to stay motivated is to train with people. A team atmosphere can add to your motivation, help you to experience through firsthand interaction with other runners, and add a fun/social element to your running as well.

As silly as it sounds, I feel like I have a good team atmosphere here in the blog world. Even though I don’t physically run with any of you, I receive so much encouragement every day that I run. No matter if it's good lucks and advice via twitter before a race, a congratulations or “good job” in a comment, or even (and a especially) the “get your butt outside and run! You will be happy you did!” texts that keep me accountable when I start to feel lazy.

As much as I love all the Internet interaction from my fellow running buddies all over the world, I still think I need to find someone to train with in person. I’ve already talked to someone who is active in a running group here in the area- but they take the winter off and only run together for the spring and fall. I know that come spring I will be joining them for some team-runs. But as for the winter, I am determined to find a running buddy or two. I haven’t decided exactly HOW I’m going to do this- but I will let you know when I have it figured out. And, of course, I am definitely up for suggestions.

Do you have any suggestions of how I can find a running buddy?
How about other ways to improve my running? What do you do to improve the quality of your running?

Monday, November 9, 2009

What is Manic Times 2 Plus Soreness?

My Monday.

Next week we seem to have a training going on at the office. People from various branches coming in to learn things.
I am feeling a bit overwhelmed today, as my to-do list seems to keep getting longer faster than I can cross anything off.
And I want a soft pretzel and bbq.

OK. Apparently I thought that it was okay to be all cranky - Sorry about that.

I'm going to make a few claims here, so that I am better kept accountable:

-I will blog. everyday this week. (i already have a list started of topics I want to cover. a few things I've promised more info on, product reviews, giveaways, and of course my Boston Trip and Race Re-cap from this week, just to name a few.) This is not a "to do" as much as a "get to do" as I love blogging and this fabulous blogging community we are all apart of in one form or another.

-I will get some sort of activity/exercise in my life every day. Because I am quite sure it is the only thing that will keep me sane when work picks up.

-I will not purchase any BBQ Kettle Chips. (this is a promise i made to myself while eating lunch with Laura, yesterday- as I am quite certain i could eat a full bag of them every day for the rest of my life, and that is just not healthy.

-I will continue to tell myself I am going to completely unpack from this weekend, and if it does not get done, I will not get upset ;)

OK. SADLY- thats all the time I have for the blogging for now.
but i didn't want to leave you with out a little teaser of whats to come here on the blog. Let's just say, I miss these two so very much already:

Stef & Laura showing off their Road ID's at our 5K

Creating a list always helps me regroup and stay focused. [i may have 4 lists on my desk RIGHT NOW]- What do you do to help you on super busy or stressful days?

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