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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!


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.


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. 

Run through Central Park

In honor of sticking to both of my online and fitness resolutions, I thought I’d share my first experience of running in the cold with y’all!

I’ve blogged about tips for running in the cold based on interviews and research that I did with various people and resources. However, I’ve never done it myself because simply put, I dislike basically everything about winter. It doesn’t make any sense because I grew up at the base of the Adirondacks and I go to school in upstate New York where my campus resides literally right next to Lake Ontario. But me and snow, well, we just don’t mix. I’ll take cuddling in my blankets with a good book and steaming cup of tea over a day of snowball fights any day.

Yummy chai tea latte.

But since I need to train for my half-marathon (and I don’t have a gym membership here), I decided to run through Central Park today, especially because that’s where the race will take place. So I bundled up and hit the pavement. On a side note, kudos to all the exercisers in the park today! It was downright cold, but there were a ton of people out!

Ready to hit the pavement!

The views alone were worth braving the winter cold. I couldn’t help but smile as I moved along, taking in all the beautiful sights that New York has to offer and being so happy that I finally checked something off of my crazy-long bucket list.

Running in the cold is really different and my lungs were not ready for the impact of cold air. I didn’t run as fast as I would have liked because my chest needs to get used to this temperature change, but I’m proud of myself for completing my run. I kept pushing and finished five miles in 53:37!

I did receive quite a few crazy looks from fellow joggers, though. I don’t own a pair of full-length jogging pants because I can’t find a pair that doesn’t make me too hot. So I was running with cropped pants.


Needless to say, my legs were freezing by the end and I couldn’t wait for a long, hot shower!

Do you like running in the cold? What tips do you have for pushing through the freezing temps?