Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Training

Since my last blog posts a lot of unexpected things have happened...

1) I was offered a full-time job! 

This was excellent news and a long time coming. I am so grateful for everyone who has been encouraging me and keeping me calm over the last year. I am now a full-time college counselor at a high school! 

2) I went on a business trip! 

Yes... really. I was given the opportunity to go to a college counselor training anywhere in the country I wanted, and I chose to go to Seattle, WA. Now, there are a lot of reasons I wanted to attend the conference at the University of Puget Sound. First, a lot of the kids I work with are interested in this school. Second, my aunt, uncle and cousin, and my closest friend from high school live in Seattle. I learned a lot at the conference, and seeing my friend and family made the traveling worth it! (If you didn't know, I hate traveling). 

3) I went on a run while I was out of town! 

I never thought I would be the kind of person who exercised on "vacation." I was on a business trip, so I know it doesn't count as vacation, but it's still something out of the ordinary. My closest friend from high school drove to the University of Puget Sound to hang out with me, which was awesome. But even more awesome? She went on a run with me! We went on the most beautiful run with views of Mt. Rainier. Afterwards, we were able to celebrate with some fresh fish and chips! 

View from the running path

Running selfie with Mt. Rainier in the background
4) I went to ADPi Grand Convention!

I traveled to Scottsdale, AZ at the end of June to attend convention as an advisor for my sorority. As an advisor, it is my role to mentor the women currently in the chapter and support them in any way I can, while making sure they are acting within the rules. Arizona in June is HOT, and I don't really recommend visiting at that time, but there was a pretty sweet waterslide at the resort that was fun. Unfortunately, I was not able to exercise in Scottsdale for a variety of reasons. We were in meetings for most of the day, from about 8am-midnight. Also, it was between 100-120 degrees every day, so that eliminated running outside. The good news is that I got all my steps everyday since the resort was massive. 

5) I ran a 10K! 

Yesterday, casually on a training run, I ran 6.3 miles without stopping! I couldn't believe it and was so proud of myself. I ended up going 7.05 miles in total. It wasn't a formal race, but now I know that I can complete a real 10K. 


Do you want to know something crazy? I don't feel like a runner. I mean, I know that I run, and I am capable of running, and it's something that I do 2-3 times a week. However, when people say: are you a runner? I don't feel like I fit in to that mold. My pre-conceived notion of a runner is someone who is: thin, strong, has great hair, wears shorts, and has killer calf muscles. I have great hair, but that's just about the only thing I really identify with from that list. I'm working to reconstruct my idea of a runner so I can fit in to that mold. If anyone has any advice on this I'd be more than happy to hear what you have to say.

Monday, May 25, 2015

10K Training

If I have learned anything about running during my training, it is that it is all mental. And you need to be hydrated. So I guess that's two things.

For some reason I decided to conquer a 10k - and now I am in the midst of that training. My beloved C25K app is taking me to a C210K, I suppose. I am currently in week 10 of 14 of the training program. That means that this week I run 3 15 minute intervals with 1 minute walks in between. This is hard! And one minute goes by so quickly!

The idea of running 60+ minutes without stopping is incredibly daunting. But honestly, that's how I've felt each time I started a new week or day of the training program. I immediately would see the plan for the run, and convince myself that it was going to be too hard for me to do. This started as early as running 3 minutes at a time. I was like "there is no way I can run for 3 minutes, no way!" But, alas, I did. I don't know why our bodies do this to us. Our brains make us fear what our bodies can handle. Or maybe it's just my own brain that does this. I'm working on overcoming it.

Friday, April 17, 2015


I am going to assume that some of you may have heard of the Couch to 5k running program. It used to be a training program you could follow online, but now it is a fantastic app for your phone. 

Disclaimer: I LOVE IT! 

Here is why. When you have never in your whole life run more than one mile at a time, the thought of running 3.1 miles without stopping is, well, horrifying. The thought of running 60 seconds at a time sounds totally manageable and doable. And that is exactly what the C25K program has you doing the first week. Your first day of training you have to run for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, alternating for a total of 20 minutes. To break that down even further for you - that comes down to only 8 minutes of running. Over the course of 8 weeks you will be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. I know that you might be thinking that sounds impossible, but I did it! And if I can do it - you can do it, too! 

Now that I have registered for two 10k races, I am using the 10K trainer app that is also published by zenlabs. The first 8 weeks are the same exact training as the 5k, and then the next 6 weeks will push you to running 60 minutes without stopping. Right now I am about to start the 7th week of the program, and it's going great, again. I am a little worried for weeks 9-14, but the program hasn't failed me yet! 

How the app actually works: You start the workout on the app. Every workout starts and ends with a five minute walk. The app will vocally tell you when it is time to start running, when it is time to start walking, when you are halfway through the workout, and when there is one minute left in the workout. I don't have to time anything - and that's what makes it so easy! I just run or walk until it tells me to change what I'm doing. 

I hope this helps you and maybe encourages you to start running with the C25K app (and no, no one is paying me to write this review about it).

Friday, April 10, 2015

Back On The Wagon Again

Well hello there, blogosphere. I hope things have been good out here for the last two years. My life has changed drastically since the last time I blogged. I got a dog, and I graduated with my Masters degree from Columbia. I moved back to Los Angeles and became an aunt! And I started working as a college counselor at a local high school - and I love it!

Probably the most exciting news in relation to this blog is that I successfully completed my first 5k! I ran it, in it's entirety, on Thanksgiving Day 2014. I was, and still am, incredibly proud of myself! I finished the race in 30:51, which definitely exceeded my expectations.

Photograph by Rob Nelms

The only bad thing about completing this race was that I immediately lost all motivation to run, because I no longer had anything to train for. I bribed myself to finish the training for this race with a new pair of running shoes. Spoiler alert: I LOVE my new running shoes, albeit I used them for the first time 4 months after I bought them. Better late than never, right? 

I trained for my first race, and ran my first race, in the Lady Isaac shoes made by Newton. I previously reviewed them here. Since I bought these shoes in January 2012, I decided that I deserved a new pair of running shoes for completing my first 5k in 2014. I really wanted to get a new pair of the same exact shoe, but I soon learned that these shoes were discontinued. I am now the proud owner of the Newton Kismet. The are the new version of my old shoe, with the added bonus of having a stabilizing factor, which will hopefully help my ankles from rolling in. 

It also doesn't hurt that they're pretty! 

I did run twice in December after my 5k, but I tried to do too much too fast in my new shoes, and my feet hurt like crazy. I registered for the Disneyland 10k in order to motivate myself to continue running. Since this race is not until Labor Day 2015, I registered for a much more casual 10k in June. In order to train for these races, I am using the 10k free app from zenlabs. I used the Couch to 5k app to train for my first race, and it was incredible. I recommend it for anyone who is running starting at any level. I literally couldn't run at all when I started, and 9 weeks later I ran a 5k without stopping. Amazing! Now I am trusting the same company to get me to successfully complete my 10ks this summer. I will do a more comprehensive review of the Couch to 5k program in a few days. 

All the best, 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One Down, One To Go

So, I have officially completed my first year of graduate school! I have to tell you, this has definitely not been the easiest or most enjoyable year in my life. I have learned a lot of things about myself, though, which I suppose is the most valuable type of learning one can do.

When you enter an Ivy league institution, or really any higher education institution, you expect the classes to be hard. You expect to have to study, memorize, and learn the facts of the trade you are learning. I never thought that my graduate education would teach me more about myself than anything I could gain from reading a textbook or sitting in a lecture. I have to take classes like Foundations of Counseling, Group Counseling, and other experiential courses where you learn by doing. A year ago I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. In the fall, it was definitely the hardest thing I ever had to do. After two semesters and three courses of experiential learning, it's not so scary anymore. If anything, it's just annoying at this point. But I do have to say that I know myself a lot better than I did a year ago, and I like myself a lot better too.

I spent the last two weeks down in Maryland taking full advantage of my two week long summer break. I spent a few days at the beach with some friends, celebrated my boyfriend's graduation from The University of Maryland, and had a really relaxing time.

Summer classes at Teachers College started today - I have to tell you there is nothing that can be as much of a buzz kill as having summer classes. I am taking three summer classes - womp womp. I will be taking Child Development, which I had today, and meets twice a week for two hours. Multicultural Counseling meets once a week for five hours. Evaluation Methods of Counseling is going to be an online class. Three classes in six weeks might make me a crazy person, but I think I'm ok with that.

I'm going to get back on the fitness bend, as soon as it's not raining outside. Tomorrow I start the hunt for a new apartment, and I'm really excited. The last few months have been a crazy roller coaster and I'm glad that things are finally starting to settle.

More soon...

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Love Dove

A few weeks ago I wrote about Stay Nadeau and her work on the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Well, last week Dove outdid themselves, again. I first saw this video on Facebook, and I think it is something that everyone should watch.

This video made me so sad for a variety of reasons. First, I wish that men had been included in this project because I feel like men might view themselves differently than they actually look as well. Second, why do women hate the way the look? Why do women discount how beautiful they actually are, and create fictional ugly people?  I definitely have fallen in to this trap, and it is something that everyone in this country needs to stop doing!

I think this video hits particularly close to home because it is something that I see my mother doing to herself on a daily basis. My mother is a beautiful, yet she does not see herself that way. Every time we take a picture together and I think it is adorable, she comes up with at least ten reasons why she looks terrible. She says a variety of things like "my hair is crazy," "I look pregnant," "I have a double chin," "I wish I wore my contacts today," etc. The fact of the mater is, no one would think any of those things, at all, it is all in her own head and her own insecurities. Here are some of these pictures:

In both of these pictures my mother claimed that she looked pregnant, among other problems. I wish she had been part of the Dove video so she could learn how beautiful she actually is, and how others perceive her. 

Feel free to comment on how body image has affect you, and those you know. Let's get the conversation going! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Diet Bet

So, if you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been working to make a lifestyle change in my own life. That being eating healthy, working out, and focusing on myself while I'm in my young twenties. Reading back on my posts since the beginning of the year, I have realized how far I have come in just a few short months. On my post from January 31st, I wrote about how excited I was that I have been biking about 7 miles in thirty minutes. Today I biked 9.83 miles in 32 minutes. For the majority of March I had been biking for about an hour a day. Last week I decided it would be a good idea to add in some strength training to my routine. There is a lot of literature out there on why it is important to add strength training to cardio. Here is an article from Women's Health Magazine. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Yesterday I was invited to do a DietBet, and I was like, WTF is a Dietbet? Well, I will tell you. You sign up, and you pay a predetermined amount of money ($25, $35, $50, etc), and then you have 28 days to lose 4% of your body weight. If you succeed in losing 4% of your body weight, then you split the pot with all the other people who lost 4% of their body weight, and if you don't, then you lose the bet. The one I was invited to yesterday was a $50 bet, which was just a little too high stakes for me. First, I am a poor graduate student, and second, I am not super confident in my ability to lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks. That will be almost doubling my current rate of weight loss.

Today I created a new DietBet, for only $25. It starts on Monday, and I am nervous and excited to get started! I will be so proud of myself if I achieve this goal, but I will still be proud of myself if I don't. If you would like to be a part of my DietBet, just let me know and I will invite you!