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13 for 2013

Now that January is basically over, I guess it’s about time I share my goals for the year. I always wait until the ninth to finalize them in my head – it’s my lucky number and I believe it allows time for the “OMG, it’s the new year, let’s make all these crazy resolutions right now” hype to die down a smidge. Now that it’s the end of the month, and according to multiple statistics, most people have already given up on their resolutions, I’ll share mine. Spread some more optimism.

1. Do more yoga. I believe that I went to yoga all of 10 times in 2012. I’m not kidding. Instead of me setting some crazy goal of going from zero to twice a week like I did last year, let’s just try to do more than I did in 2012. If I manage to stretch myself out 11 times this year, I’ll deem this one a success.

2. Be able to do 20 push-ups in a row. Bringing it back because I really want to do this one. I’m ready for buff biceps. And I just want my entire upper body to look nice.

3. Run a sub-2 half-marathon. Another goal from last year, but I’m so much closer to crossing this off the list than I was then. My current PR is 2:06.41, and I’m ready to train hard and slash 6+ minutes off my time. Goal race to make it happen: New Jersey half-mary with team Lululemon in May. Here we go!

sneakers

4. Participate in the first Manhattan Relay for Life. It’ll be my seventh Relay, but the first in the city I now call home. And the first in Manhattan, ever. I’m on the planning committee to help make this big dream a reality and I could not be more excited. My mom will be celebrating her 50th birthday this year, which makes this Relay even more special to me and my family. Get ready, folks, there are some great fundraisers in the works and I would love to see you.

5. Run in a relay race. I’m already starting to make this one happen with Abby and a bunch of other fabulous ladies who plan on running Reach the Beach in Massachusetts this May. It’s 12 days after that goal half-mary, so I’m hoping to be in prime running shape to do my fair share of running legs. But more importantly, I’m excited to have fun with 11 other run-crazy women, crammed in a van for 24 hours. Doesn’t that sound like a great time?

6. Run six half-marathons this year. One of my big life goals is to run a half-marathon in every state before I’m 30. I did the math at the end of last year, and in order to do that, I need to run six every year. Phewwwwwwie. It’s not impossible, but it’s a jump for me. I’ve done five half-marathons total, so jumping to six more in one year is a big leap. But I’m ready to take the plunge and will reveal which races I have my eye on soon.

race rack

7. Go on vacation at an all-inclusive resort. Dustin and I had the cruise experience and loved it, but now we want to check out another way to relax. We’ve been intrigued by the concept of all-inclusives for a while now, so let’s make it happen this year. We’re thinking about the Dominican Republic, but are open to other suggestions. Please share!

8. Pay off one student loan in full. I’ve paid off one loan completely and am on track to do it again soon. Ideally, I’d like to check this one off before the end of summer, but sometimes life gets in the way. I’ll be happy if it’s completed by December 31st.

9. Read two books per month. Last year I read one each month and you all know how much I loved it. I’m picking up the pace this year and will continue to get my knowledge on. For a quick recap of the books I devoured in 2012, click here.

10. Read my personal training certification books. This is separate from goal numero nine because I don’t consider text  books to be a part of my leisure reading. Nonetheless, I’m excited to bust these babies open and get back to studying.

11. Buy curtains. It might sound dumb, but I’ve been living in New York City for almost two years and I still don’t have them in my living room. 2013 is the year to purchase appropriate window fabric. 

windows

12. Finish a scrapbook. I used to make time for this little hobby o’ mine back in college, but it’s fallen to the wayside since graduation. I really enjoy making them, for myself and others, and think it’s a great way to package photos and memorabilia. I have one that’s been in the works since 2010 (eek!), so let’s aim to at least finish that one up.

13. Ride in RAGBRAI. What’s RAGBRAI, you ask? Oh, it’s just a bike ride that starts at one end of Iowa and ends on the other side. Karla, our co-worker, John, and I are gearing up for the race in July and I am pumped! Have I done a bike race before? Nope. Do I know anything about bikes? Not so much. But has that ever stopped me before? Not a chance. Remember, my first running race was a half-marathon. Go big or go home, right? (If anyone in NYC wants to teach me how to ride well, that would be great)

There ya have it, folks. 13 goals for 2013. Now it’s your turn: what goals have you set out to accomplish this year?

12 Photos for 2012

After I wrote about last year’s resolutions, I got a comment about how it still sounded like I accomplished a lot, even if it wasn’t what I originally planned to accomplish. I kept thinking about this and ya know what, that person was right. I knew I had a great year, and I wasn’t upset about the lack of accomplishment toward the goals I had set at the beginning of 2012. But when I wrote that post, I didn’t appreciate everything that I did  accomplish and experience.

So let’s give credit where it’s due. For me, 2012 was awesome. I experienced so many amazing things and crossed a lot off of my bucket list. Let’s take a look back on the last 12 months and every wonderful thing that happened.

January: I celebrated my three-year anniversary with Dustin. He’s a pretty cool guy, so it’s fun that he likes to stick around.

flowers

February: I danced the night away with Dustin and our friends from his hometown while one of his close friends, Cayla, tied the knot. We got a surprise the day of the wedding, too: she was pregnant! Now she has a beautiful little boy who is adorable and unbelievably well-behaved.

dance

March: Dustin and I traveled to Washington, D.C., where he watched me run a half-marathon for the first time. Oh, and I got an unexpected PR.

dc

April: After a lot of tears and a tough decision, I dropped from the full marathon distance and raced the half in Nashville. This was the first time my dad ever saw me race, and while it wasn’t even close to my best performance, I wouldn’t change any of it. I learned about leaving it all out on the road, and how to really push through to the finish line.

dad

Seeing Rodney Atkins in concert post-race was pretty cool, too. I got one of his guitar picks and a T-shirt. WIN.

May: A lot of fun things happened at work while we celebrated our 20th anniversary, like hanging out with a bunch of awesome bloggers and meeting Mia Hamm.

sam-and-mia-hamm

June: I surprised my mom for her 49th birthday, then returned home a few weeks later to participate in my sixth Relay for Life. I walked over 26 miles and helped raise over $78,000 for the American Cancer Society.

relay

At the end of June, I moved out of my old apartment and into a new one. During that same weekend, I drove 12 hours round-trip and danced the night away at another wedding. We are never packing that much stuff into one weekend again.

July: Dustin and I roadtripped it to Boston so I could go to Fenway for the first time! We crossed an item off the bucket list and caught a Red Sox vs. Yankees game.

fenway

At the end of the month, I hiked my first mountain with my brother!

August: I had a skin cancer scare and vowed to be better about my skin care.

frisbee

We also sent summer off with a bang at the annual Lefave summer party, where we raised money and collected toys and canned goods for local charities. Before that though, we saw Keith Urban in concert. Since he’s my favorite musician in the world, I could not have been happier.

September: Check another one off the list! Dustin and I went on our first cruise vacation and had a blast out in the Bahamas. 

cruise

The week after I came back from vacation, I hightailed it up to New Hampshire and had a girls weekend with my Aunt Sue, where we caught the opening show for Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away tour. Amazing.

October: Seriously, I dominated my bucket list this year. This month I  learned how to surf and went stand-up paddleboarding for the first time.

sup

I also threw my best friend a baby shower and found out I was officially named Kassidy’s godmother and guardian. #warmfuzzies

November: I flew down to Disney World for the Wine & Dine half-marathon – my first night race!. Despite my lack of training, I pushed through for a shiny new PR.

disney

I also celebrated my 23rd birthday, saw Wicked on Broadway, reunited with Karla, spent Thanksgiving upstate, and went back to my roots as a guest lecturer for creative writing and journalism students at SUNY Oswego.

December: I went to my first football game ever and saw the Bills actually win for once (note: I am not a Bills fan. That’s all Dustin. Go Pats!) I also ran the Race for Recovery 5K to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and got a new PR. A week later, I  ran my first 10K race on Roosevelt Island (I still owe you a race recap, I know).

christmas

Dustin and I also saw The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, sent out our first Christmas card together, traveled to visit a ton of family for the holidays, celebrated his 24th birthday and rang in the new year down in Chattanooga, TN with my dad, step-mom and step-brothers. Phew.

Like I said, 2012 was a great year! I have a feeling 2013 is going to be even sweeter.

Tell me about the cool things you did in 2012. Some might be over the nostalgic look-back-at-the-year stuff already, but I’m a sucker for it. Help a girl out. 

Running Through 2012

So many bloggers that I follow regularly have posted this fun Q&A, originally started by Miss Zippy, and I loved reading every single one! I’ve heard you’re supposed to write about things you’d like to read, so I took it as a sign to write one of my own. So let’s take a look back at this whirlwind of a year, shall we?

Best race experience: Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville

run 7

It’s shocking that this is my answer, I know. Even though this was my worst race of the year time-wise (and my second slowest half to date), I learned so much from this experience. I finally realized what it felt like to give everything my body possibly could and leave it all out on the course. I went through a whirlwind of emotions while training for this race, which Abby graciously put up with, and learned just how much I love this sport.

Best run: Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half-Marathon in Washington, D.C.

This was the first time Dustin ever saw me race, so it holds a special place in my heart. I also really enjoyed the course, my body felt great and it was the first time I ever felt confident enough to think that going after a sub-2:00 half-marathon time could be possible for me.

Best new piece of gear: My Lululemon Run: Speed shorts! I’m obsessed. The fit is perfect, they don’t ride up, the wide waistband makes them flattering, there are a ton of pockets and the patterns are to die for. They’re my official good luck race shorts.

Best piece of running advice you received: “Stop comparing yourself to others and just run the best you can.” Paraphrasing from my fabulous running coach, Abby. I really started beating myself up during spring training this year, when I was originally training to complete the full marathon distance in Nashville. She talked me off a ledge many times, but really helped get it through my head that I’m only hurting myself if I keep measuring myself against other runners. Everyone has a different background and I should never be ashamed of my own capabilities.

abby

Most inspirational runners: I’d have to say Abby, Jocelyn, Laura and Theodora. They’ve all dealt with a lot this last year and are overall rock stars. I love going to their blogs on a regular basis whenever I’m in need of a good kick in the pants.

Most exciting (running) moment of 2012: Traveling to more states! I’m slowly working toward my goal of running a half-marathon in every state before I’m 30, and this year I was lucky enough to have Dustin cheering me on in Washington, D.C., Nashville and Disney World. I’m stepping up my game for 2013 and aiming for six states in the new year. Fingers crossed I can make it all happen!

Your turn! Answer any, or all, of the questions and fill me in on your exciting running discoveries of the last year. 

Catching Up On Goals

One of these days, I’m going to get back to regularly scheduled blogging,  I swear. Between work, travel, physical therapy and training for a sub-2 half, my days have kept me busy and left me exhausted. But enough with the bellyaching, let’s get on with the show!

First of all, can you believe it’s already April 6?! Time is flying by and I can’t seem to make it slow down. But at the same time, I don’t want it to because that means we’re that much closer to summer! I’m so excited for the warm weather, happy people, bright colors and amazing plans that are coming to fruition. But when summer does actually appear, the clock needs to slow down. You hear me?

Regardless of how much I want to slow down, April is here and it’ll be gone before we know it. And it means that we’re already a third of the way through 2012! Phew! So I figured now was just as good a time as any to take a peek back at my 2012 goals and see how I’m faring. Join me, won’t you?

Source

Fitness

1.) Finish a marathon.

Obviously, this has not happened yet. Still up for debate on whether a fall 26.2 is in my future. I had to drop down to 13.1 for my original race in Nashville and am currently in PT rehabbing the snot out of my knee. I’m eyeing a few races in the fall, but still need to consult with my coach to see if this is something feasible to go after.

2.) Do yoga twice a week.

Ummm….yeah. About that. Yoga has gone missing from my life, again to my busy schedule. And because of physical therapy. I haven’t gotten the go ahead for it yet, but hopefully it’ll reappear soon. Then I’m going to aim for once a week and go from there.

3.) Be able to do 20 push-ups in a row.

I’m working on it! I can do them on my knees, heh. TWSS. Next step: move on up to my toes. I will get there!

4.) Run a sub-2:00 half-marathon

That’s the plan for Nashville! Coach Abby and my PT guys have been really pushing my body to get me into top shape to pull this one off. Fingers crossed I can check this off my list in three weeks!

5.) Run a race for charity

I have my eye on a certain race to do this for, it just depends on where I’m at with physical therapy. But it’s in the works! I’m determined to cross this puppy off before the end of the year.

So clearly I don’t have many things crossed off my list so far. Let’s hope it gets better with the second half…

Life

1.) Grow at my job

Check! I’m loving my job every single day and taking on more responsibility as I progress. I’m learning so much and I believe I’m doing well. The plan is to continue busting my booty so everyone falls more in love with me. And if they haven’t yet, make them. 🙂

With Mr. and Ms. Jay from America’s Next Top Model. I was ecstatic, not gonna lie.

2.) Volunteer at the Hope Lodge

I have it planned for this summer! It’s in my calendar and I plan to spend at least one weekend dedicating to helping out over there. Keep your eyes peeled for that experience. I know it’s going to be amazing. I’m also signed up for Relay for Life in my hometown on my mom’s team. I start fundraising soon and I’m so excited!

3.) Go on a cruise

It’s booked!! Bahamas, Dustin and I will see you in September for four nights. I’m stoked!

4.) Pay off X amount of student loans.

I’m working on it. In fact, I made another payment today. I’ve done some calculations and my mini-goal toward achieving this one is to pay off another one of my loans in full by the end of August. So far, I’m right on track. Boom!

5.) Get my personal trainer certification.

Must. Open. Books. Just do it!

6.) Read at least one book a month

Check! I read:

  • Violets of March by Sarah Jio in January
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern in February
  • Healthy Tipping Point by Caitlin Boyle in March
  • And I’m working on another book now, but it’s a secret.

Not to mention all of the magazines I read on a weekly basis 🙂

If you’re looking for my book recommendations, you can check out my list on Pinterest. But I think I’m going to start posting monthly book reviews as well, so we can dig a little deeper! After reading The Night Circus, I wanted to discuss it so bad with my college friends who took creative writing classes with me. Hopefully these posts will push them to talk to me more. (Hint hint, guys!)

All in all, I don’t think I’m doing too bad. I’ve been traveling a lot the past month or so and it’s been difficult to fit everything in, but I’m having the time of my life. I’ll be back Monday with my mini-goals for April. For now, I’m headed upstate for the weekend to celebrate Easter and this guy’s birthday:

Catch ya on the flip side!

Your turn: How are your goals for 2012 coming? Have you had to re-evaluate and set new goals? 

Embracing 2012

Happy 2012, everyone! I know I’m nine days late, but hey, it isn’t my lucky number for nothing!

I’ve never been a person who was really big on resolutions. Whenever I think of that word, the classics pop into my head. “I’m going to lose such and such amount of weight,” or “this year is going to be the year that I finally do so and so.” I just don’t function like that. A switch does not go off in my head suddenly on January 1 that ignites this revolution inside of me. Sorry to burst your bubble 😉

This is the closest relevant photo you're going to get.

So while everyone else’s resolution posts are long gone by now, I’m here to present my latest goals post. I actually think it’s good to wait a little while before posting my yearly goals. That way I have time to soak in the energy of the new year, really figure out what I want to accomplish this year, and well, see what everyone else wants to do too. I’m nosy like that.

And away we go!

Fitness

1.) Finish a marathon.

This is by far and away one of the biggest things I want to cross off of my bucket list this year. The sad part is, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do it. I’m registered for the Country Music Marathon in April, and I’m supposed to begin training very soon, but that seems less likely the more time goes on. I’ve been struggling with hip pain since October, and finally went to the orthopedist  in December. I was diagnosed with a muscle strain in the right hip and prescribed a few weeks of physical therapy to strengthen my hip. Okie dokie, I can do that.

But then knee pain hit. It started on December 23, and it only hurts after I run. Not during, and not when I’m doing other forms of cardio (not sure about cardio though because I’ve only been to one spin class since then and it didn’t bother me). It begins once I’m done running and it’s pretty intense — think I can’t walk down stairs because I want to either punch something or fall on the ground in a heap and just cry. I know I need to go get it looked at, especially with my blood disorder. I’m on it.

Wow, way to digress Samantha, eh? Anyway, I want to run a marathon. Whether or not it actually happens: to be determined.

2.) Do yoga twice a week.

My body really needs it; my running coach says to do it. I’ve kept up so far, so let’s keep the ball rolling.

3.) Be able to do 20 real push-ups in a row.

Yeah, I’m a wimp and really don’t like push-ups. But they’re so good for you. I want to be able to do them all on my toes and with proper form. I don’t want to rush through them either. Abby taught me that slow and steady wins the race with these bad boys.

4.) Run a sub-2:00 half-marathon.

Pending the whole running thing works out and I’m not sidelined for a long time (see reasons above), I really want to go sub-2 in 2012. I’m registered for the National half in March and really want that to be the race that does it for me, but that really depends on what’s going on with my body. I really think I have at least a 1:55:xx in me right now, but even if I nab a finish time of 1:59:xx I’ll be happy.

5.) Run a race for charity.

I really want to raise money for the American Cancer Society, along with a few other organizations that are near and dear to my heart. I won’t get my yearly dose of college Relay for Life, so it’s time to combine my passion for giving back with my passion for fitness.

Life

1. Get a full-time job. Grow at my job.

When 2012 began, my goal was to earn a full-time position. As of January 3, I am officially a full-time employee at FITNESS. Woohoo! I’ve been freelancing for them since July and absolutely love it there. I love the people I work with and I love the content we’re creating. So while this isn’t exactly a goal I can attach a specific variable to, I just want to continue to grow, learn and do well at my job. If I’m as happy with my career one year from now as I am right now, then I’ll be one lucky girl.

2. Volunteer at the Hope Lodge.

I keep meaning to get my butt over there and this year I’m going to do it. That’s all.

3.) Go on a cruise.

I have wanted to go on this type of vacation for God knows how long. I think about it every year, but I never follow through. Dustin and I almost did in 2010, but had to cancel our plans due to unforeseen financial circumstances. I’ve been doing really well managing my money along with my new lifestyle (ahem, college graduate), so I’d like to reward myself and enjoy a vacation on the sea with Dustin by the end of July.

4.) Pay off X amount of my student loans.

I have a certain number in mind where you read that X, and I’d really like to make it happen. I’m not in a ton of debt because I was able to secure scholarships here and there along with working multiple jobs throughout my education. So I’d like to be really close to that glorious “debt-free” status by the end of the year. I made a giant leap toward that goal last night when I paid off one loan in full. That felt really good. 

5.) Get my personal trainer certification.

This has been a goal for a long time, but I kept putting it aside because of my job hunt. Now that that’s a little more settled, I’d like to really focus on studying. The books are purchased; I just need to crack ’em open.

6.) Read at least one book a month.

I basically sucked at keeping up with my reading in 2011, until about October. Then I breezed through nine books, all of which I recommend on Pinterest. And I’m already on the right track for 2012: I finished The Violets of March by Sarah Jio this weekend. Seeing as I read it in approximately 48 hours, I recommend this one too. I have so many books on my to-read list; it’s time to start whittling that baby down.

There ya have it! As far as the blog goes, I’m sure it’s been obvious that I haven’t been blogging nearly as frequently as I was before. To be completely honest, it’s because I wasn’t feeling inspired. The past few months have been rough for me and I don’t want to write for no reason. So right now, I’m not making any promises because I don’t want to let anyone down. I’m going to write as often as my schedule allows, and when I have something I want to say. I understand if I lose some readers, but I’m eternally grateful to those of you who stick around. It really makes my day when I see someone cares enough to pop over 🙂

So now it’s your turn:

What are your goals for 2012? Any the same as me? What’s different? Feel free to brag about how awesome your goals are compared to mine, or just how rad you are in general. I won’t mind. 

I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving-Eve! Tomorrow marks the celebration of my favorite holiday in the whole entire world. It has all of the important F’s: family, friends, food and football! It’s not very often that you get all four of those together and I want to soak up as much of it as I can.

Pudding puff pastries for dessert tomorrow!

But more importantly, this holiday is about being thankful for all the beautiful, wonderful things happening in your life instead of focusing on the negative, which happens more often than most of us like to admit (at least me).

Every year, my mom requires us to all go around the dinner table and say at least one thing we’re grateful for and one thing on our bucket list. She’s a big believer in goals and dreams, and this is an annual reminder to keep on keeping on. What am I thankful for? I’m so glad you asked:

My family. First and foremost, I’m so unbelievably thankful for the family in my life. I have a great support system and people I know I can turn to with any problem. I’m grateful they are in good health and I get to spend time with so many of them this holiday weekend.

Justin and I on the Brooklyn Bridge. We're happier than we look. It was windy.

Liz. Yeah, she’s in Oklahoma. But she’s my best friend. Even though she’s a bajillion miles away, or at least that’s what it feels like, we still talk on a regular basis and she’s the first person I call with good and/or bad news. I can’t wait until the day she moves back to New York for good and I can see her all the time again. Until then, I’ll cry a little inside as I constantly search flight sites to find something semi-cheap to Oklahoma.

Dustin. We’ve been through a lot this year, some great stuff and some really difficult things. No matter what, we’ve been able to work through it all and he’s really been my rock. I’m so thankful that we’re living together and continuing to grow our relationship awesome-ness.

My friends. Old and new, I love you all. I’ve made some great friends in the last few years and I’m so thankful for each and every one of them. People come in and out of your life for a reason, and I honestly believe every single one of my friends has made a great impact on me. Love you all.

At Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans. Our version of Where's Waldo?!

My health. I’ve been relatively healthy for the entire year and I could not be more happy about that. It’s allowed me to do a lot of fun, fit things that I’ve had on my bucket list (like running a half-marathon) and kept me out of the hospital. That’s always a good deal.

Being in New York City. I’m living the dream. It’s not easy, but I’m doing it. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to really prove myself and work toward success in my career.

Running. It’s awesome. I’ve fallen in love and I’m so excited to start marathon training soon.

All of you. Thank you so much for coming to check out the blog and read whatever I have to say on a random day. It really means the world to me. And I get all sorts of excited whenever I get an email saying someone “liked” my post, I have a new subscriber, or a new comment is waiting for me to view 🙂

And in honor of mom’s Thanksgiving tradition, here are a few things on my bucket list for the year (until next Thanksgiving):

  1. Complete my first marathon.
  2. Volunteer at the Hope Lodge in NYC.
  3. Raise money for the American Cancer Society during a race.
  4. Get my personal training certification.
  5. Run at least three more races in new states.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day tomorrow; Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for? Tell me something on your bucket list!

p.s. If you want to see photos from my birthday trip to New Orleans, check out my Facebook page!

September in Review

It’s already October 4, so we better get cracking on some new goals! But first, let’s see how I fared in September.

Fitness:

  • Follow half-marathon training plan. Check! I’ve had to make some adjustments because I’m now training for six weeks instead of ten, but I’ve been squeezing in all of my workouts and my body can really feel the improvements.
  • Strength train once a week. Done! I did a strength workout and a yoga session every week except for the week I was sick. So I get a full check for this. I said so.

  • Go to yoga once a week. Well, I already answered this in the last bullet point. I did it!
  • Do one plank every day. Fail. Major, major fail. The only time I did planks was when it was already built into a strength workout. Oops. I know what I need to work on in October…

Health & Nutrition:

  • Sleep more. Major win. I’ve been doing so much better at getting an adequate amount of sleep, and I’m really proud of myself for that. The computer has been shut off at 10:30p.m. every night of the week and I was usually asleep well before 11 or 11:30p.m. My body is getting into a steady schedule where I don’t even radically sleep in on the weekends, and I really like it. Aiming to keep it up!

  • Eat more veggies. This was an easy check. I love veggies and I only put it on the list because I felt like I was seriously slacking on them in the last few days of August. I’m pretty sure I had a large portion of vegetables in at least one meal a day throughout September. Awesome.

Life:

  • Get a full-time job. I don’t have too much to say here, because there are a lot of things in progress right now. I didn’t get the part-time job I really wanted, but that’s okay because I believe everything works out for a reason. No, I don’t officially have a full-time job now, but we’ll see where the road takes me. I’m working hard every day and that’s what matters.
  • Start studying for my PT certification.  Umm, fail. I didn’t even crack open the book 😦 In my defense, things were crazy at work and I’ve been trying to set up a steady schedule between work, training, blogging, friend time, family time and Dustin time. I’m going to make it happen in October though, promise!
  • Go on date night every other week. We didn’t go every other week, but that ended up being because of money issues. However, we did spend a lot of quality time together this month and are getting used to living with one another. But we do have a date night coming up this weekend! Oh, and that puzzle we bough for Dustin? He finished it in two days. I helped by placing 15 out of 750 pieces.

Overall, I’m pleased with my progress and think I did a good job. Yes, there’s room for improvement, but I think there always is. I’ll be back with another post on October’s goals!

What goals did you have for September? How did you do? 

Workout Windup: Half-Marathon Training Week 3

Three weeks of training in the bag! This week was a little difficult because I ended up being sick for most of the week, and ended up having to forgo all types of exercise on Thursday and Friday. Nonetheless, I still managed to get in a decent amount of mileage! Let’s see how it played out, shall we?

Goals:

  • 1 strength workout
  • 1 yoga class
  • 1 spin class
  • Run 21 miles
  • 7 planks

How I fared:

Monday: Run 4 miles

Tuesday: Run 2 miles + strength workout

I tested out a new barre class that just hit New York Sports Clubs, and it was a ton of fun! My legs were quivering from the wide variety of exercises, and I got a decent amount of cardio in the hour-long workout as well. Success all the way around!

Wednesday: Run 3 miles

I was supposed to run 5 miles this day, but was starting to feel icky. Plus I was running late, so I caved. I was hoping to make up the extra mileage at night, but I ended up feeling awful by the end of the day.

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Fifth Avenue Mile + 7-Mile Long Run

Photo via New York Road Runners

I had a blast running the Fifth Avenue Mile with my co-workers, and had a semi-successful long run afterward. Being bit by a dog is always fun…just kidding.

Sunday: Off

Totals:

Miles run (this week): 17

Miles run (total): 46

Strength workouts: 1

Spin sessions: 0

Yoga classes: 0

Planks: Whatever I did in the barre class.

Thoughts:

I’d still say this week was successful because I got a lot of exercise in despite being sick. And I was able to fit in my long run, which is really important. I’m going to be extra careful not to miss any workouts this week — I already did five miles today!

How did your workouts go for the week? Any fun stuff planned this week?

Workout Windup: Half-Marathon Training Week 2

Another week, come and gone! I don’t know about you, but time seems to be flying by faster and faster. We were hit with a cold front this week and I think it’s safe to say fall is officially here. Woohoo! Fall is my favorite season, by far. It’s so pretty, the temperatures are perfect, the fashion is fabulous and the surroundings just provide a ton of inspiration.

But I’m getting off topic…let’s get to the workouts of the week!

Goals:

  • 1 strength workout
  • 1 yoga session
  • 1 spin class
  • Run 15 miles
  • 7 planks

How I fared:

Monday: Ran 3 miles

Tuesday: Spin with FITNESS staff and Biggest Loser girls, Hannah and Olivia

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Ran 5 miles

I’m really proud of this run. I hadn’t gotten in this many miles before work yet, and my mind was constantly going back and forth about backing out of the last mile, but I told myself to suck it up and just do it. I did and it ended up being a great run!

Friday: Ran 4 miles + CoreFusion strength class

Funny story: I went through my whole work day thinking I was going to yoga in the evening with Libby. I walked through the door and the instructor looked at me funny, asking “why do you have a yoga mat?” Oops. Turns out Libby signed us up for a CoreFusion class, which incorporates components from yoga, but is mostly strength training with a lot of planks. Oh well, at least I got that workout out of the way.

Saturday: FITNESS Mind, Body, Spirit Games 4.1-mile run

I snagged a PR! It felt really good to get out in Central Park and face some more hills. I’m going to try to get one run in a week over there from now on.

Sunday: Yoga + Meeting Lance Armstrong

Tested out a new DVD at home and was pleasantly surprised! It’s great for beginners and I got a great stretch in. I still prefer going to a studio because of the atmosphere, but this is definitely handy for when I can’t make class.

Oh yeah, and I met Lance Armstrong. It was his birthday and he hosted a 4-mile run to celebrate that and his 15-year anniversary since his cancer diagnosis. I didn’t run for multiple reasons, but I went and met Lance and wished him a happy birthday. Unfortunately, it was crazy busy so no pictures were taken.  He’s a really nice guy though, in case you all were wondering 😉

Totals: 

Miles run (this week): 16

Miles run (total): 29

Strength workouts: 1

Yoga sessions: 1

Spin classes: 1

Planks: Who knows (Only from CoreFusion..failed doing these on my own)

Celebrity meetings: 3 🙂

I call this week a success! I’m really happy with all of my workouts and my body is feeling it. Doing my best to pay attention to it and make sure I don’t injure myself. I see yoga happening more frequently in my future!

Oh, and I have some stuff in the works for a new race…when details are confirmed I’ll let you know!

How did your workouts go this week? 

August in Review

Hey there! Hope you’ve all had a fantastic Thursday 🙂

If you remember, I set some goals for myself at the beginning of the month. Now that it’s September (holy crap), I figured it’s time to take a look back and see how I did! Won’t you join me?

Fitness 

  • Stick to half-marathon pre-training plan. Check! I only missed a few runs here and there, which is 100 percent okay in my book. I need a plan that allows flexibility, and this definitely does. Plus, I’m only in pre-training mode right now. Official training begins Monday, so I aced this goal with ease.

  • Incorporate more strength training. Eh…not so good. I only did strength training twice, maybe three times this whole month. That’s so sad. I used to lift three to four days a week. I’m definitely going to make this a goal again in September, but break it down a little more so that it’s attainable. I think if I write it in my actual half-marathon training plan, that’ll help.
  • Push myself on speed. Win! I have definitely been pushing myself to run at both faster and more consistent speeds. I used to average a 10:00/mile pace and now I steadily stay at a 9:30/mile pace when I’m running at a comfortable pace. When I do a speed workout, I range between 7:30 and 9:00, depending on the distance and how much I’m pushing. I want to continue this into September and increase my speed even more.
  • Continue spinning and incorporate more yoga. Half-check. I definitely kept up with spinning – I go once a week, per my plan. I also did a lot more yoga. I wanted to do it once a week, but that didn’t always happen. I say I made it three out of the five weekends in August. So maybe I get a three-quarters check? Yes? Maybe?

Nutrition & Health

  • Cook dinner. Hahahaha. Unless we count last night’s extravaganza, this was a total fail. I don’t think I cooked a legitimate meal the whole month. Unless you’re like me, and consider pasta in a bowl a legit meal. Whatever, it’s excellent carb-loading and I’m not fancy. I would say I’ll make a conscious effort to drastically increase this next month, but Dustin’s moving in soon, so I know it’s not gonna happen. He’s the cook in this relationship. Perhaps I’ll consider cooking once every other week. That’d be progress!
  • Sleep more. Excluding this week, I get a check! I’ve been putting my computer away at 11p.m. nearly every night, which is exactly what I wanted to do. This week was really busy on the work front, so it wasn’t feasible. I still get a check. I said so 😛

  • Take my daily vitamin. 100 percent yes! I have taken it every. single. day! I put it on my vanity where I get ready in the morning so I see it and just take it while I’m putting myself together for work.

Life

  • Get a full-time job. Umm, fail. I’m still working on a freelance basis and still searching for something more permanent because like I said, I need that health insurance. I did just have an interview for a part-time job though that I’m really hoping pans out. Fingers crossed!
  • Buy my personal training certification books. Check! I have all three books in my possession and I’m ready to start studying! I have to tell a little story here though: after I posted my August goals, one of my creative writing professors from college, Donna, messaged me on Facebook and told me she wanted to send me an Amazon gift card to help purchase one of my books. She said she was proud of me and told me to consider it an investment in my future. How sweet is that?! She already influenced my future so much because of everything she taught me, and now she’s allowing me to expand my knowledge even more. My heart swells at her generosity and it just goes to show how wonderful my school is. You don’t always get professors who care about you even after you’ve left with diploma in hand. I’m so thankful for them. Thank you again, Donna! ❤

  • Establish a blogging schedule. Mehh. As August moved along, I realized this wasn’t a feasible goal and basically gave up. Right now, my work schedule is too busy for me to try to blog any other time of the day. I work out in the morning, work all day (most of the time I eat lunch while at my desk), attend events for work or blogging in the evening, blog, then sleep. There’s not too much wiggle room. Perhaps there will be later on, but for now I have to stick to the late-night posting. Fresh stuff for you to read in the morning!

That’s it! I think I did pretty well and I had a pretty fantastic August. I’ll be back tomorrow with my new goals for September!

What goals did you have last month? Did you meet them? Tell me!