Tag Archives: running

New Year, New Goals II

Holy cow – it’s 2016. I know we’re two weeks in now, but it still hasn’t set in for me yet. Around this time last year I wrote a post called New Year, New Goals, and I thought it would be fun to look back on my goals from last year and set some new ones for this year. These were my goals from 2015 and how I did with them:

1. Floss. – Well, lets just say that I’m still on my dentist’s naughty list. This one is going back on the goal list for 2016.

2. Read more. – I read/listened to a lot of books this year! Some of my favorites were the Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling), Bossypants by Tina Fey, and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  This goal definitely help me rekindle my love of reading. Actually, I loved this goal so much that I’m keeping a version of it.

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3. Run in a few fun races. – Womp, womp. I did not run in any races this year! I walked in a turkey trot on Thanksgiving, but no running. I think this is a good example of not making my goal specific enough. This one is going back on the list, but I’ve made some progress already.

4. Clean for 20-30 minutes each day. – I would say I did OK with this goal. There’s room for improvement, but overall I did a better job of spreading out tasks so that I didn’t end up with a DEFCON 1 cleaning situation.

5. Be a supportive spouse. – Obviously, this is a goal that has no stopping point, but Derek and I feel great about the past year. It wasn’t the easiest year with him interviewing and me continuing to work a difficult job, but we both felt supported and happy with each other despite the craziness going on around us. It is such a blessing to know that whatever changes come our way this year, we’re in it together.

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And now for my updated goals for 2016 . . .

1. Floss. – I am determined to have amazing gums!! (<– This is an example of things I think to myself but perhaps shouldn’t blog to the world. Oh well.) I already ordered some floss picks to make it a little easier. (My teeth are REALLY close together.) I’ve flossed 4 times this week; I just need to keep it up!

2. Run the Tarheel 10 Miler in the spring and a half marathon in the fall. – I signed up for the 10 miler on New Year’s Day, and I have my training plan on the calendar. BOOM. DONE. Now I just have to actually train . . .

I’ll wait to sign up for a half once I know where I’m living in the fall. It’s weird to think that I could be signing up for a half marathon in New York or Ohio or Alabama. It will be a good way to get to know my new home if we end up moving this summer.

3. Read 4 nonfiction books. – As mentioned above, my reading goal from last year worked wonders. However, I ended up reading fiction books almost exclusively. I really enjoy nonfiction, so I want to incorporate more of that genre this year. I think my first pick will be Sisters in Law by Linda Hirshman. As mentioned previously on the BNP, I’m a fan of the Notorious RBG.

4. Say “yes” more. This is something I started working on a few months ago, and it’s gone well thus far. I have a tendency to be a bit of a homebody, especially since I started working. I’ve always been an introvert, but the addition of working with people all day, and most often people who are facing serious illness and major changes to their lives, made me want to spend more time alone at home. And sometimes, that’s what I need – but I started staying home too much and felt like I was missing out. I’ve found that if I push myself a bit, I end up having a lot fun. My mid-2os are the perfect time to work on self awareness and finding that delicate balance between having memorable experiences and knowing when I need downtime.

5. Stay flexible and open-minded. As I mentioned in my previous post, Derek and I are facing many changes this year, including the possibility of a long-distance move in June. I am a planner, and it’s hard not knowing much about our future. Instead of stressing out about the uncertainty, I want to reframe it as an opportunity to work on being more flexible and open-minded.

Thanks for reading about my goals. I’d love to hear about some of yours, too. I hope that everyone is in for a happy, healthy 2016!

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Tools That Will Help You Meet Your Health and Fitness Goals

I was introduced to Oscar Insurance, a health insurance provider in New Jersey and New York, to write a post about tools that help me reach my health and fitness goals. Oscar recently started providing their members with Misfit bands to help them reach fitness goals. According to the Oscar Health Insurance website, “Sync with the Oscar app to count your steps and earn $1 when you hit your daily goal. We’ll personalize your goal to keep you moving. You can get up to $240 each year just for being active.” Pretty cool, right?

I thought the post was a good fit for Brown is the New Pink. I always appreciate recommendations for new apps and anything that can help me stay on track to reach my goals, and I hope that y’all will too.

Let’s start off with tools that I use . . .

RunKeeper (App)

RunKeeper is a great app for my fellow runners, walkers, or cyclists. I’ve been in the gym more as of late due to the insanely cold weather (I live in the South; what is this single digit temperatures business?!?), but I use this app when I run outside. It’s a GPS fitness tracker that measures your pace, distance, and time. The app will actually let you know your pace and distance every 5 minutes during the run, which is great if you’re aiming for a certain speed. The GPS feature also makes it so that you can turn any activity into a route to do again later.

RunKeeper tracks performance over time and notifies you of new personal “bests” and milestones. You can make detailed running plans or goals such as running 3x per week. It will send you friendly (and sometimes passive-aggressive) reminders to run. I got this same message below once, and it cracked me up. Nothing like my phone giving me a guilt trip.

MyFitnessPal (App/Website)

This app/website is perfect for tracking what you eat. MFP estimates your daily calorie need and can be used to track both intake and burning of calories. It can actually sync with other apps like RunKeeper to track calories burned during exercise.

MFP is easy to use and simply involves inputing what you eat. There is a HUGE database of foods to choose from. You can break it down by breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, which is helpful for seeing what time of day you may be struggling with healthy eating choices. I can tell from mine that afternoon snacking is my toughest time of day. You can also group foods together to make meals to make your tracking easier. For example, I have a small rotation of breakfasts that I saved as meals instead of entering each individual item every time. Finally, my favorite feature is the macro breakdown. You can set specific nutrition goals based on diets recommended by your doctor or nutritionist. I’m starting to look at my macro nutrient breakdown more than my calories, as it is often more nutritionally telling for me.

Garmin Forerunner 10 (Watch)

The Garmin Forerunner 10 is a simple (and cute) GPS watch. Similar to the RunKeeper app it tracks distance, speed/pace and calories. I prefer my watch to RunKeeper for longer runs so that I don’t necessarily have to lug my phone around. The watch also identifies your personal records such as fastest mile/5k and longest distance. One of my favorite features is that it automatically alerts you with a beep and displays your pace when you complete each mile. The watch also has virtual pacer and walk/run features if you’re looking to run at a specific pace or starting out with a mix of running and walking intervals, respectively. The coolest thing about this watch is that you can  upload your runs to Garmin Connect to see your run on a map and get more detail on each mile. It even includes elevation, which is perfect if your training for a hilly race.

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Now onto a few tools I’d like to try . . .

Fitbit (Activity Tracker)

If you haven’t already seen this, Fitbit is a wearable activity tracker. During the day it tracks steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed and active minutes. At night it tracks sleep. One of the coolest things about Fitbit is that it wirelessly syncs with most mobile devices and apps, including RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. I would be really curious to see my steps, distance, and flights of stairs measured. I’m running around the hospital all day visiting patients, and it would be neat to see stats on my daily activity at work.

I got my dad a Fitbit for his birthday, and he liked it so much that he got my mom one for Christmas. Let me just tell you, my mom is definitely motivated to meet her activity goals. On more than one occasion I caught her walking in circles around the house trying to meet her step goals for the day. Haha!

Fitocracy (App)

Fitocracy is an app/website that can be used to track exercises at the gym. You can create workout plans or if your like me and need some guidance there are pre-made workouts that you can follow. Apparently the app also uses “gamification” to motivate users by assigning points based on the fitness benefits of each activity tracked. Gaining enough points helps you to “level up.” I don’t fully under stand the gaming part of the app, but I’m definitely curious and want to check it out.

*For the sake of transparency, I did not receive any gifts, money, or any other type of compensation for writing this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Reader question: Are there any apps or tools that help you reach your fitness or health goals? I’d love to explore some new ones!

 

New Year, New Goals

Can you believe it’s 2015?! As usual, it will take me until about March before I get used to writing “15” at the end of the date. If you read my year in review post, you know that it was a crazy year for me. Between getting married, graduating, and starting my first job last year, I decided that 2015 is a year for low-key goals. Without further ado, here are my goals for 2015:

1. Floss. I know, this one is just waaaaay too exciting. 😉 I’m terrible about flossing though, and I dream of the day when I’m not scolded at the dentist’s office. Is that sad or what?

2. Read more. I love watching my favorite TV shows, but sometimes I end up watching random stuff just because I’m bored. I also love to read, but the convenience of flipping on the TV often wins out. Instead of mindlessly watching shows, I want to pick up a book more often. I’m even considering following along with NPR’s book club the Morning Edition Reads. (I ❤ NPR.)

3. Run in a few fun races. After the let down of training for a half marathon last fall, I decided to focus on having fun with running shorter distances this year. The first race I’m looking at is a St. Patrick’s Day race that includes a Kilt Run and free beer after the race.

4. Clean for 20-30 minutes each day. I started doing this over the past couple weeks, and it makes a HUGE difference. The house looks better, and I spend less time cleaning on the weekend. It’s a win-win!

5. Be a supportive spouse. This is my most important goal for 2015. It’s going to be a BIG year for Derek. This summer he will decide what specialty he wants to pursue, and he’ll start applying for residency programs. He also takes his Step 2 exam and will travel for interviews in the fall. It will be a stressful, exciting time, and I know that I will need to be there for him more than ever. Derek was wonderful and supportive through my crazy 2014, and I’m glad that will be able to focus on supporting him more this year.

Thanksgiving Recap

Hello there! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Derek and I both worked on Wednesday, so we headed to Wilkesboro after dinner. After a short 2 hour drive we spent time with Derek’s dad and one of his sisters before heading to bed.

The next morning, we partook in one of my family’s traditions: running/walking a Turkey Trot. Last year Derek’s whole family came to Lexington, Kentucky (where my parents and brother live) for Thanksgiving, and we all did a Turkey Trot together.

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Thanksgiving 2013.

They enjoyed it so much that they decided to participate in a local Turkey Trot this year, too!

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It was cold, but it was a beautiful morning for a walk/run.

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I forgot my ear warmers, so Derek let me borrow this lovely hat.  It was definitely an interesting look for me, but it kept my ears nice and warm.

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Part of the race path was right next to a creek. It was serene back there, and we really enjoyed catching up with Derek’s family while we walked.

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We finished!

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Derek was proud of his accomplishment. (Isn’t that the most ridiculous hoodie ever?) He’s a goofball.

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After the Turkey Trot, we headed back to the house and got cleaned up for Thanksgiving lunch. We ate at Derek’s grandpa’s independent living community. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at Derek’s house before heading back to Durham in the evening since I had to work on Friday.

I missed my family a lot this year, especially since it’s my favorite holiday, but I’m glad that I could spend Thanksgiving with my new family-in-law.

Now I’m looking forward to Christmas! This will be the first time Derek and I get a tree together, and I am SO excited about it. Look for a Christmas tree post in the near future!

18 Hours in Chattanooga {Weekend Recap}

Hello! Hope your week is going swimmingly! I wanted to pop in and tell you about my weekend. It was an absolute whirlwind.

After grabbing a quick dinner on Friday after work, Derek and I headed to Raleigh to celebrate my best friend Jenna’s birthday.

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Happy birthday Jenna!

We had ice cream cake and a couple of drinks before heading downtown to begin our Trolley Pub Raleigh adventure.

If you don’t already know, Trolley Pub is essentially a roving bar. You bring your own wine and beer and drink while you ride around the city. Trolley Pub is powered by pedaling, so instead of sitting on traditional bar stools you’re on a bike seat (with a lap seatbelt connected to the trolley).

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The whole crew on the Trolley Pub.

We had blast! I highly recommend it if you’re in the Raleigh area. According to the website, Trolley Pub is also located in Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, and St. Thomas.

Derek and I didn’t get back from Raleigh until 2am. The next morning we woke up around 10am, got ready, packed, and headed out the door to meet my family in Chattanooga, Tennessee for Jared’s big race. My brother Jared and I signed up for the 7 Bridges and 4 Bridges Marathon and Half-Marathon, respectively. However, due to injuries I wasn’t able to run the half. Instead I decided to walk the 2 Bridges 5K with Derek, my mom, and my dad while Jared raced.

We arrived in Chattanooga around 7pm after a 7.5 hour drive. We immediately dropped our stuff off at the Downtown Chattanooga Residence Inn (which was a great place to stay, by the way) and walked across the street to meet my family at Big River Grille for dinner. The food and beer were delicious, and it was so great to see my family! By the time we finished eating/catching up and walked back to the hotel it was time to hit the sack.

Jared’s race started at 7am, so we were all up around 5:30am to get ready. We walked over to the start since it was less than 1 mile away. I was impressed with Jared’s calm demeanor; I would probably be freaking out. Before we knew it, he was off. My parents, Derek, and I waited around at the start for another half hour before our 5K started at 7:30am.

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We took some sweet pre-dawn photos on the winner’s podium.

We were treated to a beautiful sunrise while we waited.

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Our 5K only went across 2 bridges, but the course was gorgeous!

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I stopped to get a photo of this sculpture while we were walking. Chattanooga has cool and interesting art all over the city.

We finished the 5K a little after 8am.

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With about 3 hours to kill before we expected Jared to finish, we walked back to the hotel to eat breakfast, change clothes, and hang out for a bit.

On the walk back to the finish we noticed gold shoe prints on the sidewalk ever few hundred feet. It turns out that they were showing different dance steps. I took a picture of the waltz.

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Isn’t that cool? Downtown Chattanooga is awesome! I wish we had more time to explore. We all decided we should go back sometime to check it out.

My parents, Derek, and I waited at the finish, anxiously looking out for Jared. We were all so pumped when we saw him come around the corner looking strong!

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The classic victory stance of a marathon-finisher. Go Jared!

I think finishing a marathon is a huge accomplishment in itself, but he finished in his goal time of 4 hours exactly. How awesome is that?!? I’m so glad that Derek and I could be there with my parents to see Jared complete his first marathon.

After we found Jared, it was time to refuel. We headed to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and beer. NOM.

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Around 1pm, after just 18 hours in Chattanooga, Derek and I hopped in the car to start the 7.5 hour journey back to Durham.

It was a crazy, hectic weekend, but we had fun. I’m proud of my brother for finishing his first marathon. It was inspiring to see him finish the race after all of his training. Congratulations Jared!

4 Bridges Training {Week 10}

Greetings! How was your weekend?? I had one of those great, rare weekends when you have fun AND get a lot of things done. I spent Friday night over at my best friend Jenna’s house drinking wine and watching the Shonda trilogy– Grey’s AnatomyScandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. Saturday was spent around the house with Derek. We did a lot of cleaning and organizing, which was much-needed. We also started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It absolutely cracks me up; I definitely suggest checking it out if you haven’t already. Today we had our friends over to watch the Panthers game. The game was not pretty, but we had fun and ate a lot of delicious food. On Tuesday, I will be sharing a vegetarian chili recipe that I tried out for the party. NOM.

On a sad note, I did not run last week. My foot wasn’t doing well, so I decided to rest and just do my long run today. At first I felt great. My legs were much better than they have been in a couple of weeks. Then, around mile 4 of 10, my left calf suddenly started to hurt. It wasn’t bad at first, so I kept running. By mile 5 the pain got so bad that I couldn’t continue. I actually had to call Derek to come pick me up. (He’s the best.) I’ve been limping around since then because it hurts just to walk. I am so bummed. I’ve been training for 2 months, and I really hope things will get better so I can run on the 19th. 😦

Needless to say, I’m not sure how running will go this week. I’m hoping this is just a strain, and I’ll be good to go in a couple of days. Cross your fingers for me, please! Anyway, below is my tentative plan for this week.


4 Bridges Half-Marathon Training – Week 10

Monday: Yoga + strength

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 5 miles or cross-train

Thursday: 3 miles + strength

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Cross-train for 50 minutes

Sunday: 10 miles

4 Bridges Training {Week 9} + Meal Plan

Less than a month until race day! Last week’s training was just OK. As I mentioned in my Week 8 post, I’ve been having some trouble with plantar fasciitis. I ended up lowering my mileage substantially last week. I ran 2-3 miles on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, and I ran about 5 miles today. I’m still experiencing some pain, but it’s definitely improving. I started doing some Runner’s World yoga classes, and it seems to be helping. I’m glad I rested some last week. I’m going to attempt to get back to my normal mileage this week and see how things go.

On a good note, I finally have a gym membership again! Derek was able to get me an inexpensive gym membership at UNC since I am the spouse of a student. We worked out together 3 times last week. I am SO sore, but it feels great to lift again.

I’m keeping things pretty simple on the food front this week. The latter part of the week is forecasted to be cool and rainy – perfect for breaking out the crock pot. I’m really excited for next Sunday. Derek and I are having friends over to watch the Panthers game, which of course means delicious food is in order. Also, I promise to share a recipe this week. I’ve been really bad about that lately. I keep forgetting to take pictures while I cook. Whoops!


 

4 Bridges Half-Marathon Training – Week 9

Monday: Yoga + strength

Tuesday: 4.5 miles

Wednesday: 3 miles or cross-train

Thursday: 4.5 miles + strength

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Cross-train for 50 minutes

Sunday: 10 miles (Double digits!!!)

Meal Plan- Week of 9/22/14

Monday: Homemade Hawaiian/Veggie Pizza + Salad

Tuesday: Turkey Meatballs + Sweet Potato Tots + Green Beans

Wednesday: Maple Glazed Salmon + Couscous + Broccoli

Thursday: Provencal Beef Stew

Friday: Dinner Out

Saturday: Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas + Salad

Sunday: White Chili + Cornbread + Snacks + Beer

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