Saturday, March 26, 2011


RAWR: Regret. Anger. Wangst. Roaming around the internet doing absolutely nothing.

I have spent much of this week in a RAWR mood. (Much too sad/frustrated for an actual picture. I am so skilled at drawing. Hey, there's a reason this is a blog.)

I angsted about all the things I couldn't do: I had lost my glasses, I couldn't eat all the unhealthy snacks I wanted, I couldn't play lacrosse, I couldn't handle prom drama, and, most importantly, I couldn't walk.

This was not one of my proudest weeks. I just take hope in the fact that in a few weeks I will be well on my way to doing the things that I love again. I just have to focus on the things I can do right now. My arms are feeling the burn from tricep extensions, modified pushups, and resistance band workouts. I miss cardio a lot, but I know I'll be able to return to it eventually, and that's all that matters. A walking cast has made it a little easier to walk, too.

But today I have spent mostly looking like this:

I'm going to see Catch Me If You Can on Broadway tonight! I've been looking forward to this for years. It's time to concentrate on all the awesome things happening in my life.

Here's to a wonderful evening and less RAWR in my life.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Not-So-Happy Feet

My week started off like this:

I never thought my determination would be a bad thing.

Despite the straining feeling my calf muscles screamed at me after several days of intense lacrosse practice, I decided to run a 3-miler last week. I skipped resting on Sunday. I then had several more intense lacrosse practices and my leg started throbbing. I pushed past it, excited about the upcoming game. Finally, this past Saturday after practice, I was in intense pain. I ignored the stabbing pain in my ankle and calf and went to yet another intense practice Sunday morning.

I could barely walk this week. After a gut-wrenching trip to the doctor, it was revealed I tore my peroneal tendon in my right leg. No lacrosse or running for at least two weeks, but most likely longer. It's the beginning of lacrosse season. Translation: I'm devastated.

I was in such intense pain that my worrying began to spiral out of control. What if I could never run again without injuring it? What if I had to have surgery? The thoughts piled up until I was swarming in misery.

It has now been 4 days since I have played lacrosse or exercised at all. I started feeling my optimism slip away, and that terrified me because my optimism is a gigantic part of myself. I started seeing events shrouded in negativity and may have attempted to stomped around my house in a huff. I ended up limping and grumbling instead.

I was going to mope in silence (with junk food, no less) until I saw this post at Hungry Runner Girl.

The post prompted me to say: who am I without lacrosse, without running?

I didn't always cling to these activities, and there is no need to measure my self worth by how far or fast I ran, the stagnant number on my scale, or my clothing.

What Makes Me Feel Like a Rockstar:

-Chatting with friends. Nothing like a gushing session about Glee or the latest dramas boosts my mood faster. When you talk with people who love you who you are (whether they live near or far), life is good.

-Writing. I used to write tons and I've strayed from it lately, intimidated by what I couldn't do. But if I had asked my past self if I could have run a sub-nine minute mile, I would have bet that I could not. If anything, I've learned not to put limits on myself, and just to work to the best of my abilities.

-Music. I used to belt out my favorite tunes (especially Disney ballads) all the time. I think it's time to bust out the stereo.

And hey, now I can concentrate on working my upper body and abs. It might not be fun at first, but who knows what it could be? I sure didn't think running was fun in the beginning, either.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Revenge Cupcaking

Today was not what I expected.

Some days don't go some well.

Some days you hit the snooze button one too many times, encounter traffic, scramble around in unfamiliar settings, and have a terrible lunch.

Some days you drop the only delish thing about your lunch, a cupcake, smack on the cafeteria floor.

Some days you meet unfriendly people, get told you need to speak with unavailable important people, and get told you can't do your dream internship you've been pining after for years.

Some days your ankle throbs so much it hurts to walk. Some days you realize you have to lay off training and cancel that 5k you've been so excited about. Some days you cry more than you smile.

This is one of those days.

When I got home after a very long drive, I revenge-cupcaked it up. Since this week is a birthday week for both family and friends, I baked a humongous batch of devil's food cake cupcakes with dark chocolate icing. My baking frenzy was not entirely good-willed. I proceeded to eat four.

Revenge is sweet.

It is also, however, very very wrong for my body. Weren't the next few months supposed to be about listening to my body and respecting my feelings? One bad day and I'm falling all over the baking supplies? This isn't going to happen again.

Don't take revenge with food. Talk.

On days like these, I think it's important to list what I'm thankful for. It's easy to forget in the grand scheme of things.

My family
My family is the pillow to my king-size bed, the charger to my laptop, the cinnamon to my bun. They're sustaining and comfy and I may forget they're necessary to recharge my spirits, but oh so sweet. I love them more than anything, and it's easy to take them for granted.

Don't be afraid, I'm not going to get all preachy on this blog. I feel like I'm the anti-preachy, because I came from an extremely diverse religious atmosphere and plundered into a religious one. All too often, I was the one feeling skeptical, lost, or questioning. I may not have settled on religion, but I definitely believe in God.

I feel this is important to address, though, so here goes. I am not particularly religious, but I am spiritual. I am grateful for everything God's given me. I am grateful for what He hasn't given me, so I can work towards it.

I can run (when I'm not hurt). I can write. I can crack corny jokes. I can play board games and watch movies and eat and bake and laze around in the sun. I was taking a cab the other day and the driver was telling me how he often escorted a blind girl. She became blind at ten years old, and when he asked her what she wished she could remember, she said, "A sunset." I have to admit I sometimes take what I see every day for granted.

Today was a revenge-cupcake day. I'm turning it into a gratitude day instead. (I think Thanksgiving is more for food. I treat gratitude like it should be an every day thing.)

What are you thankful for?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fab Friday (3/4/11)

Fab Friday: "Lucky"

I was dreading this week, but it turned out to be completely fabulous. Mentally, I started in a funk, completely stressed out from school. I thought being a senior would be more relaxing than last year, but I still manage to find stress in my life. favorite form of stress relief is running! I quickly tried boosting my mindset and looked at all the great things happening in my life.

It was a fantastic week for running, with my new mile PR on Tuesday (8:30!!) and 2-mile PR on Wednesday (19:24! With my first negative split ever!). Needless to say, I was so very pleased. I found both times that my legs were ready for more, but my lungs were heaving. Turns out maybe I was holding myself back on my runs--I struggled to pace a 10:30 mile just last week. I'm so thrilled.

I also passed the pacer test for lacrosse. I made it to level eleven! Woohoo! I can't believe how far I've come with running. I literally couldn't believe my mile time on Tuesday--my mouth dropped open and I almost keeled over in shock. I felt like I had won a zillion dollars. I don't think I've ever been so grateful for my body and its abilities. I try to be truly thankful for every step and breath I take. Even when it's easy to lose perspective, running helps me remember I am lucky all the time.

My right calf is a bit achey, so I'm stretching like it's my job.

This was a great week for food. I started Monday off by making a big batch of roasted rosemary potatoes.

For lunch yesterday, I had a gigantic salad with spinach, craisins, walnuts, and feta cheese. Delish!

After my ecstatic 8:30 mile on Tuesday, I decided to celebrate by picking up a joey from Moe's. Nothing like a burrito bowling ball in the stomach to celebrate! The best part: I got two burritos for the price of one! Nothing like the wonder of coupons.

Finally, for breakfast this morning, I decided to try Chobani Greek yogurt (strawberry) with strawberries, blueberries, an apple, and some Kix.

Delish! I'm definitely trying this yogurt combination again. The apple added just the right consistency, and I was a huge fan of more fresh strawberries mixed with strawberry yogurt. All in all, it's a great week.

Tuesday's Workout: Run (1 mi./8:30!!)
Wednesday's Workout: Run (2 mi./19:24!!)
Thursday's Workout: Lacrosse (2 hours)
Friday's Workout: Lacrosse (2 hours)

Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Cupcake Marathon

I'm entering my first marathon!

Well, not really.

The ingenious 2011 Cupcake Marathon, the brainchild of Jason at Cook Train Eat Race and Christel of Silly Girl Running, challenges people to complete 13.1 or 26.2 miles in two weeks (March 14th to March 26th).

That's right. Two weeks, and the mileage can be spread out over the runs. Heck, they can even be walked. Participants are sent three recipes for cupcakes and entered in a lottery (no speed required to win!) for cupcakes to be sent to you. Delicious.

I'm taking the marathon challenge. Are you?

As for my other goals, the beginning of the week is (almost) always optimistic for me. Today, not so much. So I thought it would be a good time to look toward the future.

So, what are my goals for 2011?

-As posted above, run the 2011 Cupcake Marathon.
No time goals. No stress. Just two weeks and a whole lot of running.

-Run a 5k in under 34 minutes (by July 1st)
My last 5k was 34:04. I will be running the same one this June and I want to be faster. I'm not setting a specific time because it's muggy and humid that time of year. I'm not exclusively training for a 5k because of lacrosse season.

-Run a 9:15 mile (by July 1st)
My mile PR is 9:34, which is a turtle pace compared to many people. I'd like to whittle it down a little.

-Participate in the 3rd Annual Staten Island Triathlon (August 21st)
(Swim 1/3 mile, bike 12 miles, run 4 miles)
Triathlon training this summer sounds like a great way to stay fit and have fun. The race is the day before I leave for college and it sounds like a great send-off activity. I think there's no better way to say goodbye to my home by having the landscape kick my butt.

-Run the Staten Island Half-Marathon (October 9)
Taking place in October, the Staten Island Half-Marathon will hopefully be the first of many. I'm excited. Scared. Determined as heck that I'm going to finish strong.

Thursday's Workout:
Swim (35 min.)
Friday's Workout:
Lacrosse (2 hours)
Saturday's Workout:
Sunday's Workout:
Run (2 mi./24:30)
Monday's Workout:
Bike (60 min.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Enough is Enough

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how I push myself more than I should. More often than not, I’ve pushed through pain to shave a few seconds off my 5k. It’s how I injured my foot, after all. I’ve overtrained and not listened to my body, and now I’m forced to take more time off from running. I’ve beaten myself up over having a scoop of ice cream or missing a strength workout. My determination is one of my best assets, but it also tears me down through my quest for perfection.

Enough is enough.

The other day at a restaurant, I received late refills on my water, my order was wrong, and my table was cramped. The table couldn’t be helped, but I still bristled through my meal. I was thirsty, the food wasn’t what I wanted, and I left unsatisfied. Sure, the restaurant had tons of other customers, but I felt jilted.

I thought—my body is the greatest customer ever. So why do I insist on pressuring it, rushing it, squeezing my toes into too-tight shoes and ignoring rest days? Unlike restaurant managers, I only have to make sure I’m satisfied.

If someone else had been telling us to do these things to our bodies, we’d say no way. We’d complain and speak up until we were satisfied, or we would leave due to extremely poor service. The problem is—society is, in a way, telling us this. Get faster! Get slimmer! Everyone has an opinion on what to do and how to do it, and the information bombardment can be overwhelming.

But with regard to health, there’s only us. Mind against will. And that shiny new PR, those sleek black heels—they look worth it, don’t they? They’re shiny, after all, and pushing yourself gives you a sense of determination and accomplishment.

But with it comes a price. Poor customer service, and when your body reacts badly, it’s often too late to prevent injury.

So this is my reminder to myself. I would never treat another human being the way I’ve been treating myself—not berate them for putting hot fudge on ice cream, or having a slower mile time. Absolutely not.

Maybe, just maybe, if we think of ourselves as the best customer service providers in the world, we’ll treat ourselves better. Real success for me came when my body was satisfied and well rested. Hey, the few seconds off the PR will come eventually.

And those fancy heels?

No one can see them under my dress, anyway.

Monday’s Workout: 1.5 hours swimming, 3 mile bike ride.
Tuesday's Workout: 40 minutes swimming
Wednesday's Workout: 35 minutes swimming

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Keep Moving Forward

It wasn’t too long ago that I struggled to run down the block.

When I was fourteen years old, things were looking up. Thanks to physical therapy and brutal flights of staircases at school, my conditioning was better than ever. My asthma rarely troubled me. Spring of my sophomore year in high school, bored and looking for a new goal, I decided I would run a 5k. The last time I had attempted a mile, I was thirteen, and the charity race took me over fifteen minutes. It was the longest, most agonizing fifteen minutes of my life. But crossing the finish line—receiving the t-shirt, most especially—made it all worth it.

Despite writing my college essay about the high of t-shirts after a race, I pushed running to the wayside. Did I love watching people run? Yes. I envied them. Did I volunteer at races? Yes (more t-shirts!). But for some reason, I never put two and two together. Me + running was just never an option.

Because I'm seemingly wired to crave difficult situations, I slaved over the treadmill for five months. I started running in intervals mixed with walking. The first time I finished a mile, I almost cried. But then school started up again, and I joined lacrosse. Running was for conditioning only now, and on the first day of practice we had to run for twenty minutes in an itsy circle.

My lungs heaved, and as we were told this was how we would start a plethora of practices, I realized I had to get into shape. At the end of the season, we had to either volunteer or run in a 5k. Even some of the speediest runners on the team didn’t opt for the racing option. I contemplated where I was in training. I could run for 30 minutes. It was as long as I had ever pushed myself, and I had never run three miles before. I always ran for time, not distance. Could I do it?

I had to try. A few people nodded with respect when I raised my hand. I was the turtle on the team no matter how hard I tried to catch up.

That June, I finished my 5k, over a year later than I had planned. I finished in 34:04, and ran the whole way. I couldn’t peel a ridiculous grin from my face. I could do this, and I could run farther.

I have a tendency to quote Disney movies, and "Keep moving forward," is from Meet the Robinsons. Sophisticated? No, but that's me in a few words--a little optimistic, adventurous, and persistent. Over the years, it's become my philosophy. I can do anything if I take it a little at a time.

I pledged to run a half-marathon.

I’ll keep moving forward until I do—but for now, I’m obsessing over running, food, and crazy life plans.

What are you obsessed with?

My obsessions include running, Disney movies, board games, cupcakes, and peanut butter.

Today's Workout: 50 minutes swimming (darn foot injury is keeping me from running for a bit).