Girls’ Weekend / Weigh-In #3

Whoo! What a weekend! I feel like I’ve spent every single weekend in February traveling (because I have!) to Virginia. This weekend was no exception as I traveled down to my old stomping grounds in Lynchburg. Since my parents moved to Maryland in November, it’s been hard to find a time to get down there to visit my best girl friends. But we made plans for this weekend months in advance and finally followed through!

(This is a picture from Sierra’s wedding last year since we didn’t get any group shots this time around. FAIL!)

I absolutely love hanging out with these girls. As much as I hated high school (and I hated it with every fiber of my being), I feel amazingly blessed to have gotten the chance to meet Katie, Sierra, and Megan there. It’s funny because we all were very similar in high school and now we are all so dramatically different. Megan and Sierra are both married and homeowners, Katie is living in Lynchburg tentatively while she job hunts in the Virginia Beach area, and I am living my “crazy” (at least they think it’s crazy) life in DC. We only get to see each other every few months, but when we do, we pick up right where we left off. We just laugh and laugh and laugh for hours on end! They really are three amazing women.

Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff. My weekend started out like every DC resident’s does on a typical Friday night: sitting in traffic.

Once I finally got to Lynchburg (5 hours later!), Megan and I spent the night eating puppy chow/trash/the best snack ever/whatever you want to call it while catching up and reminiscing about stupid stuff we did in high school. For example:

Sorry girls, I had to.

My host was awesome and let me sleep in the guest bedroom with the memory foam bed. I think I need to get one of those!

The next morning Megan and I tried Zumba.

Megan decided that I didn’t really need to watch the instructional video and just threw me right into the trenches. It’s been decided that I am just about the most uncoordinated person on the face of the planet. I think I missed half the work out because I was too busy asking “what the heck are they doing?”. I kind of regret not taking any videos of the hilariousness…but on the plus side, I totally did break a sweat!

After Zuuuumba, we met up with Katie and Sierra and headed across town for some bagels. Om nom nom!

Mine is bacon, egg, and cheese on an Asiago Cheese Bagel. Can’t really go wrong with so much cheese. It was delicious!

Then, we headed over to Sierra’s abode to play board games.

The best part about playing games like this with a group of friends who you have known forever is that you have so many inside jokes to reference. The best laugh came at the expense of “katiebdaysong”, which is a musical ditty that Megan, Sierra, and I penned for Katie’s 20th birthday. We rediscovered this gem over the weekend and realized that it wasn’t quite the lyrical or music genius that we thought it had been 5 years ago. When the card “Things that warrant an apology” came up and Katie wrote “The katiebdaysong”, I just about lost it!

Sierra’s dog Chloe stopped by to say hi multiple times. Isn’t she cute?

After games we made a fajita dinner (which isn’t pictured because I was too busy scarfing it down) and then headed outside for a bonfire and S’MORES!!


We always have so much fun when we’re together. My abs sure did get a great workout from all the laughing we did on Saturday! I was in a pretty crummy mood last week, but I feel so much better after spending the weekend away from the city. Sometimes you just need a weekend with your oldest friends to remind you of what’s actually important in life.

Despite the busy weekend, I did have time to do my weigh-in yesterday when I got home. I’m happy to report that my hard work is finally paying off! Thank you all for your words of encouragement after the last, frustrating, weigh-in. I didn’t give up and I’ve lost another 2.4 lbs! I’ve been trying to lose 1-1.5 lbs per week, so this hits my goal right on the mark. I’m pretty happy!

Starting weight: 175.0
Current weight: 
166.8
Loss this week: -2.4
Total loss: -8.2

Today is Presidents’ Day and I am super thankful that Discovery gives us the day off. I’m spending the day catching up on sleep, running, shopping for groceries, and finishing (hopefully) the final book of the Hunger Games series. Happy Presidents’ Day!

Valentine’s Day

I’ve been thinking lately…Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap.

(Source)

This may come as a surprise, but I actually like the holiday. I don’t understand people who complain about the consumerism of it or people who throw anti-Valentine’s Day parties. To me, it’s a day to celebrate love. What’s not to like about love? While I agree that people who love each other should show it every day (and not just on Valentine’s Day), I enjoy having a whole day to acknowledge love’s presence. Why not celebrate the good things in life, right? Plus any holiday that promotes chocolate consumption is fine by me!

Love is such a driving force behind all of our actions. Think about it, when’s the last time you made a big decision without taking at least one other person into account? I can’t think of a time.

Although I have spent the majority of my Valentine’s Days sans significant others, I think it’s important to focus on all the different kinds of love out there. There are a lot. Romantic isn’t the only type of love that should be celebrated today and I think that people who focus too much on this are the ones who miss out on the true spirit of the holiday.

There is family love.

There is friend love.

There is roommate love.

There is co-worker love.

There is hometown love.

There is puppy love (and if you don’t think this picture is adorable, I don’t think that we can be friends!)

(Source)

There’s cake love (serious on this, I LOVE chocolate).

There’s Bieber love (sorry, I had to. Just kidding with this one…sort of).

And, of course, there is still romantic love.

This is a picture of the cutest couple I know: my parents. They are my role models in life and give me faith that marriages can work. Their love gives me hope that people can still be happy even after years and years. I hope to one day have what they have now. I love them both very much! And seriously, aren’t they cute?

Happy Valentine’s Day! Tell someone you love them today. :)

Christmas Traditions

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is learning about other family’s traditions. It’s fascinating that so many families celebrate the same holiday in such different ways. As a kid, I was so stuck in my own traditions. It hasn’t been until recently that I realized that not everyone celebrates Christmas exactly like my family does.

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My family traditions are very special. Most of my family resides in Pennsylvania, so we all head up to my grandma’s house. My parents met in high school, so both of their families were born and raised in the same area. That makes it easy to see both sides of the family during the holidays.

Every year, on Christmas Eve, we head over to my Aunt Linda’s house to celebrate with my Dad’s side of the family with a true Italian Seven Fishes Dinner.

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Obviously most of our time is spent eating, but we also find time to open presents, and drink fuzzy navels.

This year, on Christmas morning, my brother and I completed our 5th Annual Chrismas Morning Run.

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I got the chance to try out my new Under Amour gear!

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Compression pants = baller. It was a pretty rough run. We only did 3.2 miles, but my lungs were burning after the first mile. After that, my body started to remember what it was doing and I felt better. I really need to start running again.

After that, my mom’s side of the family started showing up at my Grammy’s house for a 2pm Christmas feast.

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Now, you are all well aware of my picky nature. Typically, for Christmas, my grandparents buy me cheese bread and I fight with my younger cousins about who gets more. This year, I went above and beyond and ate ham, corn, mashed potatoes, and scalloped potatoes…along with a slice of cheese bread (some traditions just can’t be broken).

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It was all so good that some of us (aka my cousin Eric) had to lick the plate!

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Then we all gathered around and opened gifts. Every year, all the grand kids take a picture with the grandparents.

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I <3 my family.

Christmas was my Pappy's favorite holiday. He was such a grouch, but he absolutely adored Christmas. He loved the little holiday toys that played music and danced. So, every year around this time, it's impossible not to think of him. One year, my Aunt Renee, found a black Christmas hat that said "Bah Humbug", she wrapped it up with some coal and gave it to him on Christmas day. We all got a huge laugh about the hat and agreed that it fit his personality to a tee. The hat became a Christmas day tradition.

Last year, the hat stayed in storage. But this year, the tradition was passed down to the next lovable, grumpiest in the family…ME!

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I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to carry on this family tradition.

We all ate cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Oh and fudge. Lots and lots of fudge.

And drank frosty navels. Lots and lots of frosty navels.

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And got to spend lots of time catching up with my awesome family.

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Oh, and my Pandora bracelet is almost complete!

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What a wonderful holiday! I love celebrating with family and friends who I just don’t get to see enough of.

What are your holiday traditions?

I’m thankful for

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. While I haven’t tried turkey and most of the sides are a little bit out of my food realm, I always enjoy making up for it in the dessert round. My dad makes pumpkin pie from scratch (using real pumpkin) which is simply divine! Mmmm…I can already taste it!

But while we are all stuffing our faces, let’s take time to remember the true reason for this holiday. Giving thanks, counting our blessings and being grateful for what we have.

It’s been quite a trying year in many ways, but here are a few things I am thankful for:

My family

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Good friends (near and far)

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Health

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Learning to Cook Delicious Food

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Football

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The beach

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Puppies

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Settlers of Catan Parties

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Chipotle

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Christmas lights

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Technology (I’m totally writing this blog post from my iPhone!)

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Where I came from

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Where I’m going

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Happy Thanksgiving!!! What are you thankful for?

Finding Motivation

It’s not always easy finding motivation to run. Yes, I run marathons on occasion. While I adore the excitement, hype, and sense of community surrounding actual race day, I have more of a love/hate relationship with the training that comes before it.

I would be lying through my teeth if I said that everyday I am excited to run. I would also be lying if I said that everyday I actually do run. Sometimes my legs hurt, sometimes I’m too tired, sometimes I just flat out don’t feel like it. Sometimes I can go weeks months without running at all and be completely okay with that.

This hits me hard especially after I’ve trained for and completed a large race. I’ve talked to many of my runner friends who experience the same phenomenon. After such an important goal is accomplished, the motivation to keep pushing just vanishes. In my mind, I justify it as “rewarding myself” for working so hard and accomplishing something so great; but in a reality it’s just an excuse for me to be lazy. Lazy habits don’t die easy. Getting back into running after any time over a week is hard! After my last marathon I didn’t do anything for 2 months. I went from being able to run 8-10 miles on a daily basis to barely being able to finish 3! It’s amazing how quickly the body forgets.

Recently, I’ve been struggling with finding motivation. Weather has a huge effect on my running habits and current weather patterns in DC have been less than cooperative for my marathon training endeavors. Oh, how I miss the days of college with our indoor track at our brand new gym! Gym memberships are sort of WICKED expensive! Regardless, due to the incessant rain since the beginning of September, I have been slacking. Majorly!

With my next marathon rapidly approaching (November 20th!!), I need to get back in the swing of things. I need to rediscover my motivation.

So, I’ve been thinking. What exactly is it that motivates me? What are those things that really make me excited about running?

  1. Friends – Running with friends is always WAY more fun than running alone. In general, I always try to sign up for races with friends. It makes the experience of races that much more memorable and sometimes makes for a fun weekend getaway. In fact, I’ve actually met some of my best friends through running which is pretty amazing! Of course, having a training buddy doesn’t hurt either. It’s harder to convince a friend that you don’t want to run that 21-miler on Sunday than it is to convince yourself.
  2. Weight – This is sort of embarrassing to talk about, but seeing as this blog is for getting things out in the open, might as well get this one over with. I’ve never been “overweight”, but I easily could be. My family has a long history of obesity. Many of my relatives and extended family ARE obese and I definitely have the potential in my genes. I am honestly, truly terrified to turn out that way. My weight has flucuated over the years, but for the most part running is a great way the only way to keep it at bay.
  3. Strength - In general, I just FEEL so much better after I run. In college, I realized that the only reason I even venture to the gym at all is so that I can get that natural high once I’m done. I love how my legs, core, arms…hell my whole body feels so much stronger after a good run. I have an exponentially higher amount of energy which powers me through the day.
  4. Food - I’m aware that I don’t have the best diet in the world. Running is one of the ways that I can eat what I do and still maintain my weight and energy level. I’m hoping that I can take this one off the list soon.
  5. Mental Clarity – Whenever I’m having a bad day, the very first thing I do is lace up my running shoes. Everyone handles stress, trauma, and sadness in their own unique way and my way is running. Concentrating on something physical that my body is doing takes my mind away from all of my mental aliments. Running is my “me” time and I use it as a time to sort things out in my life.
  6. Finish Line - I remember crossing the finish line at my very first race. I was so excited to get there that I sprinted right on through it! Once that baby is in sight, your heart starts pumping faster and your legs suddenly feel stronger. Seeing that finish line is like confirmation that you’re going to make it and that all of your hard work has not gone to waste. Even in training, I like to picture crossing that finish line.

So, I guess that time has come. Time for me to hone in on those specific motivators. Time to get training! Yeah, we’ll see how this goes.

How do you get motivated? What sort of thing gets you off the couch and hitting the pavement?
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