Let it Go

Happy Thinking Out Loud! At this point I don’t think we need any introductions. Most people in blogland know what it’s about.

thinking out loud Let it Go1) Another crazy week. There are a lot of changes at work with people leaving, new managers taking over, taking on new responsibilities within my department, training the newbies, and preparing for the chaos that is Thanksgiving week. I’m bracing myself for the worst. Usually we’re out by 6:30 (our hours are 10-7) so I’m planning to be done work closer to 9 most days next week. It’s a good thing I like what I do. It doesn’t hurt that there’s always really good food.

Capture3 Let it Go2) These days I seem to have a problem staying up past 9:30 or 10. As in, I can’t stay up later if I try. My head gets heavy and I start to feel slightly nauseous. I guess that’s why I’m super lame and am usually in bed before my roommates even go out on the weekends. I don’t know how they put up with me. I’m basically a 90 year old trapped in a 22 year old body.

3) I finally made it to yoga. I’m good friends with the manager of the Harbor East store and he always sends me the invites to events that are happening. This week was a Sweat Stretch and Refuel class. Basically it was supposed to be a 3 mile run followed by yoga and dinner catered by Mission BBQ. Unfortunately the run was cancelled due to the rain and I ate dinner at 4:45 that night (grandma status, I wasn’t kidding) so I wasn’t hungry for the BBQ. But the yoga was great and a reminder that I need to get on the mat more often. Especially since I paid an arm and a leg for it and I’ve used it about 3 times since I bought it last May.

Capture4 Let it Go4) I. Am. Going. Home. In. Four. Days. I’ll repeat. I’m going home in FOUR DAYS. I haven’t been home to New Hampshire since July 23 (thank you Instagram for reminding me of that very important date). I can’t wait to sleep in my tiny twin bed, eat lots of my mom’s homecooked food, shop at Vineyard Vines (the only place I actually like shopping at) and sit on the couch watching cooking shows until my heart’s content. For an entire WEEK.

5) Oh, and I can’t wait to get a haircut. It looks like a rat’s nest. I haven’t gotten one in 8 months. I need to find a hairdresser down here so I don’t have to wait until I go home every time. Especially since this is one of the last times I’ll ever be going home to New Hampshire where my salon is (my parents are putting the house on the market).

6) We’re going to Rhode Island next weekend! My yacht club is hosting a Christmas boat parade where people decorate their boats with Christmas lights and sail around the bay. I’m mostly just excited to see all of my friends. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include the dockboys since the marina is closed but my best friends will all be around. Lifeguard reunion. It’s happening. 10522160 10202463399089367 1495535209 n Let it Go7) I have a really hard time letting things go. My mom used to constantly tell me to relax or “let it go.” I’m still not good at it. Recently I was going through my phone to make more space and came across some old text messages and pictures. Seeing them was hard (and deleting them was necessary) but it was an important reminder that the past is the past and it’s time to let it go. I got a long pep talk from one of my best friends after about how it is time to move past everything and continue to build back that trust that I lost with new people. Super vague, I know, but it was an important realization for me to have.

8) November Project is the best. End of story. I can’t wait until I’m running enough to get back to Friday mornings. I’m up to 3.5-4 miles now. As soon as I can comfortably run 5 again, I’ll rejoin the hill workouts. This week was another good one, albeit cold. We didn’t stop moving and did about 3-4 miles of stairs, sprints, and burpees/squats. My phone was so cold afterwards that it wouldn’t turn on but I felt great. I’m super excited to be heading to the Boston workout next week though. It happens to be PR day so it’s guaranteed to be a good workout. 10734101 824292694301237 5824303487507710742 n Let it Go9) I have another massage tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to walk out bruised and feeling fresh again. These knots in my calves don’t know what they’re in for. Running is still going well and I feel 100% when I’m actually out there, but afterwards I can feel the knots and I want to get rid of them completely before I start running more than 1-2 days a week. I’m planning on getting at least one a month from here on out.

Capture21 Let it Go10) I was nominated for the Top 10 running blogs by Runner’s Blog Network. It was a total surprise especially since I haven’t exactly been doing much running lately, but I’m so honored! Check out some of the other blogs- they’re all great!

 Let it GoWhat are you doing to celebrate for Thanksgiving?

Do you have a hard time letting things go?

The Athlete Mindset

This time of year is known for tons of challenges, especially in the blog world. They’re used to get you motivated for the holidays, keep you on track with healthy eating and exercise, and act as a support group when you want to give in to the holiday treats. I get it. For some people, they’re great; for others, not so much. I’m part of the “not so much” group.

I posted a few weeks ago about the Rev 30 Day Challenge at my spin studio. I already had my unlimited membership and when I heard that I could win spin shoes, a lululemon outfit, or the grand prize, 3 months unlimited membership to Rev Cycle. I was in it to win it. And I probably could have, if I hadn’t realized what I was doing to myself. It would have taken about 14 spin classes a week for the entire month to do it, but I could have done it.

The first week I started out strong, going to double classes several days, tweeting up a storm, and trying to go to the challenge rides to get as many points as possible. I was convinced I had it in the bag. My inner athlete wasn’t going to back down. The owner and Nick (NP leader) were joking about how competitive I can be. I was going to be the quiet one that sneakily racked up the most points in order to win the challenge and the other people in the running would have no idea I was participating. When it comes to competitions, I’m relentless, and if I hadn’t realized what was going on, I would have been in it until I collapsed.

After the first few days I felt myself falling into a trap. I wanted to cancel plans so I could go to another spin class. I even almost skipped November Project so I could fit in another double on Wednesdays (I know, crazy). My calf was acting up more than it had in weeks because I was exercising so much but I went anyways. I was determined to win, no matter what. My obsessive tendencies started coming back to bite me because I am so competitive, I needed to win.

I realized this innocent contest was bringing me back to an unhealthy mindset pretty quickly and I needed to back off. I reminded myself that I was out of the running for the grand prize anyways because I’ll be home for the entire week of Thanksgiving. And I was actually upset about missing a week because I’d be with my family in New Hampshire. That is ridiculous.

I am still going to several classes a week (I’m averaging 6-7 right now over 5ish days) but I mentally took myself out of the challenge. I’m the type of person that doesn’t need a challenge to motivate myself to stay active, or eat my fruits and vegetables throughout the holiday season. The inner athlete in me takes those challenges to an unhealthy extreme.

As I said before, I think the challenges are great… for some people. Some people need that extra motivation to get them out the door in the morning, or to consider getting some nutrients in before eating the cookies. For me, it’s second nature to me to exercise regularly, eat ample amounts of fruits and vegetables daily, and keep the “junk food” to a minimum. I’m still working on the whole sweet tooth thing, but I’m not really putting any effort into keeping that at bay. I truly believe there’s a place for daily hot chocolate and weekly rainbow cake in my life.

Right now I’m at a point where I honestly forget I struggled with an eating disorder. Obviously I remember it’s a huge part of my past, but it doesn’t affect me at all day to day anymore. I forget what I have for lunch when deciding what to do for dinner, I make last minute plans regularly, and I am completely in tune with my hunger cues. The transformation is unbelievable. My eating habits are 100% normal (for me) and my exercise is closely monitored. Little changes like competitions may still be enough to push me over the edge, but I’m healthy and can recognize those potential triggers and that’s what matters.

So I will not be participating in any challenges this season, or any season for that matter. No healthy eating, no exercise challenges, just continuing on with my everyday life. I have an inner athlete that does not back down after spending 15 years competitively swimming, and that competitive nature easily becomes obsessive for me. For most people, I see how the challenges can keep you on track. For myself (and others, I’m sure), they knock me off. So I wish those of you participating in the holiday challenges the best of luck. I’ll be cheering from the sidelines for all of you.

Are you motivated by challenges?

The Color Run

As I mentioned last week, I ran the color run on Saturday. I signed up back in July and I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile, I could just never make it work with my schedule. When my roommate asked me if I wanted to do it with her and her friends/family before we even met, I jumped at the chance. So no, I was not compensated for this post in any way and I paid for the entry myself.

I should probably give you a little back story on this run. On Friday night I didn’t get home from work until almost 11. So I had done zero planning in terms of running a race the next morning. All I knew was that it was going to be frigid and that we were planning on walking most of it.

I didn’t buy any cheap white clothing to wear. I didn’t have any cool outfits planned. I literally grabbed one of my older white Nike quarter zips, my favorite mizuno tights, and a pair of old mizunos and called it a day. I wore regular socks instead of my pro compression socks just in case they got ruined and I realized all of my good warm weather earbands and gloves were still at home in NH. Long story short, I was very unprepared for this “race.”

We woke up at 7:15 and called an uber to pick us up at 7:45 so we could make it to the start around 8. The Color Run wrapped around Camden Yards and the Ravens Stadium which I didn’t know going in. If this were an actual race, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the course very much because it was basically looping around parking lots the entire time but for the Color Run it was perfect.

15819 10203119251677450 470785867928603943 n The Color Run

We didn’t pick up our packets ahead of time so we ended up waiting for at least 45 minutes in the line to grab our bibs/shirts/etc. This is probably my only complaint about the race (minus the temperature, but you can’t control that). I have never had any problems before with any packet pickups the day of the race, and our line wasn’t moving. We finally got our bibs about 10 minutes before the run was supposed to start. We all put on the t-shirts over our warmer layers and attempted to put our bibs on. My hands were so cold I couldn’t do it, so my boyfriend (who was working the event as one of the sponsors) did it for me. I left my “swag bag” with him which was literally just a bag with nothing in it but the cheerios I was too cold to eat beforehand, and we headed off to join the masses at the start.

The first wave went off at 9am but we probably didn’t make it across the start until closer to 9:20. We were highly entertained by people running around in spandex onesies and dancing to T-Swift to stay warm so it went by pretty quickly. We agreed while we were waiting that we would run through the color stops and the finish line but walk the rest.

It turned out there were too many people in front of us to run anyways (except when we were in the shade, then I was running so I didn’t get hypothermia). Because we were walking the entire time, we had plenty of time to figure out how to maximize our color. We ran through one station on the left side and then the next on the right so the powder was evenly distributed. I kept my eyes and mouth closed when I went through them so I didn’t end up with any in my teeth. I’m glad I wore sunglasses or I would have gotten a lot in my eyes.

10005964 10203119256037559 7624834854423952862 o 1024x1024 The Color RunThe race went by fast despite how windy the course was. It took us mostly through various parking lots around both stadiums but it didn’t feel boring. We were able to run through Camden Yards which was really cool and the color stations were evenly distributed so it wasn’t like there was a ton of time between them. I think that kept things interesting. I spent most of the run walk trying to regain feeling in my fingers but that didn’t happen until the end.

10548825 10203119260997683 4832608565452964487 o 768x1024 The Color RunI finished the race sufficiently colored and was not allowed within 10 feet of a certain someone just in case it rubbed off on him. We took tons of pictures at the end, including ones inside of this mirrored “room” and in front of the official sign. The pictures haven’t come out yet but we weren’t really taking the run seriously so we have plenty of our own.

10468035 10203119255917556 937310500389159713 o 1024x768 The Color RunUnfortunately, we couldn’t get an uber home (poor planning on our part) so we walked the 2 1/2 miles back to our apartment. That was fine by me except that I was in a rush to shower and change so I could drop off hot chocolate back at the race and get to work on time.

Overall, I had a really good time and I’m glad I did it. I usually have a policy where I refuse to pay more than $10/mile for a race (and this one was $45) so it was expensive but I think it’s worth it to do it once and I see how it can be really motivating to new runners looking for a fun race! Would I do it again? Probably not, only because of the price, but it was a fun experience and I highly recommend it to everyone. I loved seeing all of the little girls getting excited about wearing fun costumes. It’s a great introduction to running.

Have you ever done a theme run like a Color Run?

Workouts 11/10-11/16

I’m *almost* ready to label this training again. Almost. I have a few races on the horizon (possibly a run on New Years Day and maybe the Shamrock half in March if I’m feeling good). I’ll also probably start running more of the Charm City Run races next spring but for now, I’m holding off on signing up for anything until I know I’m well on my way to being fully recovered. I still have lingering calf pains every so often so I am continuing to take the journey back into running very slow. Hopefully my doctors appointment next week will give me some answers.

Mon- Run 3 miles!

I haven’t been wearing my garmin (it’s broken) but I’m estimating that I’m running approximately 8:30-9 minute miles right now and I ran for about 27 minutes. I wore my Hokas again and I’m still loving how bouncy they feel. It’s a huge difference from my mizuno wave riders which are really firm but they’re both really comfortable. I felt 100% during the run and only had a little bit of tightness after, so I’m proceeding with caution.

Tues- Spin x2 + 15 minutes core

I was half asleep for the first class and just got through the second. These 6am classes are taking a toll on me and I’m starting to look forward to my membership ending. I love the instructors but I can’t keep getting up at 5:20. I don’t know some of you do it every day! I’m usually asleep by 9 and I’m STILL a zombie in the morning.

Wed- November Project!

We went back to our roots on the fed hill stairs. I was really happy about that since they are my favorite workout. I biked there and back but I’m really looking forward to being able to run to the workouts again once my mileage picks back up.

10505405 820705034660003 8466439705966632519 n Workouts 11/10 11/16Thurs- Spin

This class kicked my butt. It always does. I love it. This week she challenged us to not drink any water for the entire class because we often use it as a distraction. At first I thought she was crazy and didn’t want to attempt it but there’s something about Esther that makes me want to challenge myself in different ways. So after I survived the first half of the class without water, I decided to throw my water bottle off the bike completely and go for it. She promised us we would be more in tune with our bodies, and we were. Biking dehydrated isn’t something I’d recommend necessarily, but it is not going to kill you for a 45 minute class. I definitely more than made up for the lack of water later.

Fri- OFF/30 min walk

A much needed break for my legs.

Sat- Color Run

My roommate asked me if I wanted to do the color run with her before we even met! So of course I signed up. We formed a team with some of her friends/family and walked most of it. I wouldn’t call it a “race” but we had such a good time. And one of my favorite people was waiting at the end… I’m not sure this deserves a recap but I might do one anyways… we’ll see how much time I have this week. Afterwards we walked the 2 1/2 miles home and then I walked/ran another mile or two trying to find a dunkin donuts near Camden Yards to bring hot chocolate to the KIND team because they had been at The Color Run in the freezing cold since 6am. Exhausting day.

Sun- Spin, 5k with lululemon, post-run yoga.

The Sunday morning spin classes are my favorites of the week. The 9am class is called “Church of EC” because the owner of the studio leads a very mind-body focused workout. I’m usually exhausted by the end of it but I have been staying for the 2nd class with one of the November Project leaders which is always a good time. He had a sub this week so I’m giving my body a break and sticking with one class. Then, this afternoon I’m going to a 5k at lululemon followed by yoga. Solid day.

Hoka One Clifton

I talked about Hokas a few weeks ago when I mentioned new-to-me products I’ve been loving. I hadn’t tried running in them yet but I had found that they were the only shoes I could wear when I was working at the store that didn’t hurt my calves. For me, that’s huge. I knew that as soon as I was running again I wanted to add them to my rotation.

I was planning on buying myself a pair once I started running again when I received an opportunity to try a pair in exchange for a review. I’ll admit that I didn’t want to “drink the koolaid” when they first started becoming popular because I thought they were like the other fads (think vibrams, zero drop, etc). I heard we would be carrying them at the store and I didn’t think I would be pushing them on people. I didn’t know enough about them. They weren’t a shoe I was familiar with and I’m the person that will bring out mizunos before anything else, so to go from a very firm shoe to extreme cushion is a big jump. But the minute I put them on I understood why people like them. I literally sold the pair I had on my feet 10 minutes after trying them on because i couldn’t stop raving about them.

Capture11 Hoka One Clifton

Yes, they kind of look like moon shoes (someone said he wouldn’t run with me if I’m wearing them- which made me want to buy them even more). They look somewhat clunky. But they aren’t at all. They are probably the lightest pair of shoes I have in my closet right now, and that’s not an exaggeration. Your foot doesn’t actually sit as high up as it looks like it does. In reality, it is probably resting about halfway down the white portion of the sole.

IMG 5279 Hoka One Clifton

a fresh coating of mud post-november project

Whenever we’re selling the shoes at Charm City Run, we tell people that the Hokas are so great because they essentially form a “bucket seat” for your foot. It’s true. I mildly overpronate (although realizing that I need a neutral shoe with an insert) and while this shoe is technically “neutral” it can work for someone who needs a small amount of stability because of the way the foot sits inside of it. I used to be the girl that sold “all the mizunos” and now whenever a customer comes in looking for information about Hokas, my coworkers send them to me. I told a few people that they are “life changing” (Just ask Jill- I sold her a pair). I truly believe they have made a huge difference in my calf recovery.

IMG 5282 Hoka One Clifton

So now that you know the whole backstory about how I’m obsessed with Hokas, I was sent a pair of the Clifton model which is what we carry at Charm City Run. I couldn’t run in them right away because I was still having calf problems, but since I started running again, I have done all but one of my runs in them. And every single run has felt amazing.

The Hokas are known for their extreme cushion which is why you get that “moon shoe” look and feel. There is 2.5x more cushioning in these than a standard running shoe. I can tell the difference immediately, even when walking around. They feel like you’re walking on marshmallows. Running in them has a similar effect- I can tell the cushioning is compressing with each step taken.

IMG 5277 Hoka One Clifton

I also noticed a change in my form. The Hokas are designed in such a way that they force you forward. They call it a “meta rocker” so you naturally roll forward immediately after striking the ground. I personally feel like it has a lot to do with the 5mm heel to toe drop because I noticed the same thing happening in the purecadence. Either way, this is good for me since I’m a chronic heel-striker.

So the short version of this post is that 1) I love the Hoka and firmly believe in the shoes (if you come visit me at Charm City Run you will notice Hokas are now tied for the top spot with Mizuno for me which says a lot) 2) They really do have the most cushioning of just about any shoe- it’s like running on marshmallows and 3) They are extremely light and do not feel clunky at all. I trip over myself more in my other sneakers than these.

IMG 5280 Hoka One Clifton

As for the look, it actually grew on me. But that’s because I like bright colors and these practically light up at night. They’re unique and fun and the idea of wearing a pair of space shoes is oddly appealing. And at the end of the day, I’d rather wear the most comfortable shoe in the world over anything else.

Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Hokas for review but received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own and I was planning on buying a pair anyways.

Have you tried Hokas yet?

One of those weeks

Oops. Totally didn’t mean to go MIA this week. It’s been “one of those weeks” if you know what I mean. Thank goodness it’s Thursday. Not as good as Friday, but we’re getting closer. I actually don’t dislike Thursdays. Tuesdays, yes, I hate those. But Thursdays are okay. I get to go to my favorite 6am spin class, it’s only one more day until the weekend, there’s a lululemon event tonight (may not make it depending on work), andddd I get to see a certain someone for the first time in like a week. All good things. The only downside is the whole working part of the day, but that’s only 9/24 hours, right?

So let’s start Thinking Out Loud now that I’ve rambled on for awhile about how Thursdays aren’t the worst.

1) Monday was a pretty epic day at the office. We just switched buildings (same parking lot, so we didn’t go far) and the new office is gorgeous. State of the art everything and the kitchen(s) are to die for. So Monday was one big party at work to celebrate the move. Hot breakfast was served, we had a live DJ, then lunch was catered by Sabatino’s (where I went to dinner after graduation), and a company-wide happy hour starting at 3:30 that lasted until close to 6. No wonder we didn’t get out until 7.

IMG 5265 1 e1415801479252 One of those weeks

Can we please talk about our new kitchen? And we have two of these!

2) I booked my flight home for a week and a half at Christmas AND for a long weekend in January. I think my favorite part about my job thus far is that I can go home literally whenever I want. We have a second headquarters in Boston and I can work from there which makes weekend trips much easier. For whatever the reason, this has been an especially tough week so knowing I’m going home so much over the next 2 months is really helpful.

10298915 10203019205824188 3628686609290988081 n1 One of those weeks

Favorites.

3) I’ve spent 3 of the last 6 nights at Charm City Run. I love the store. Whenever the owner asks me how my new job is, I always tell him “I like it, but it will never be Charm City.” That place makes me happy. This week we’ve had a ton of meetings to talk about new apparel, welcome new employees, etc. so I’ve gotten to spend more time there. I forgot how much I missed being there 4-5 days a week like I was last year at school. It was great catching up with all of my old coworkers that I rarely see anymore even if it was way past my bedtime.

1380491 10203175006519108 4804509248004792161 n One of those weeks

4) The color run is this weekend! I don’t really look at these types of events as “races” because they’re not, but I’m looking forward to walking/running it with my roommate and her friends. We formed a team back in July before we even met. Crazy. Even if it is supposed to be 40 degrees as the high for the day. If you happen to live in Baltimore and want to come to Charm City Run Saturday afternoon, there is a slight chance I’ll still be covered in paint. #sorrynotsorry

5) I’ve eaten cereal and green beans for dinner more times than I’d like to admit this week. The problem with evening work meetings is that you don’t get home until late and you have no desire to cook (like I cook anyways, let’s be real). So cheerios it was. Instead of showing you a picture of that, I’ll show you a picture of the pesto chicken and pasta we had last Friday night. So good. I can’t take credit for it- I’m not allowed near the kitchen. This was probably the last “real” homemade meal I ate if you don’t count my salads. Whoops.

IMG 5267 e1415801757790 One of those weeks6) Sometimes you just need to watch the OC in bed. Especially when you’re just not having a great week. That’s what I did several nights this week…when I wasn’t catching up on Are You The One? My roommate got me hooked on that show. I haven’t watched anything on MTV in a really long time but it’s addicting. So is Seth Cohen…

anigif enhanced buzz 3098 1379608642 2 One of those weeks7) Why wasn’t I having a great week? I don’t know. I think it’s the anticipation of going home so soon, a stressful week month at work (#advertisingproblems), and just feeling behind on sleep.

8) Even if the rest of the week was rough, November Project makes everything better. Literally. I woke up in pea soup fog, biked over to Fed Hill, and was greeted with close to 100 smiles. We were back on the hill instead of Rash Field like we usually are which was a nice change. I miss the days where the hill was home base. The workout was extra sweaty due to the humidity (and burpees, suicides, and stairs probably had something to do with it as well) and I left in an infinitely better mood than when I got there. Mission accomplished.

10500495 820705354659971 8648185745936592965 n One of those weeks9) In case you didn’t know, I really like stairs. A lot. They make me ridiculously happy for some weird reason. Just go with it.

10505405 820705034660003 8466439705966632519 n One of those weeks

10) I’m reallyyyyy trying to get this Hoka review up tomorrow. I haven’t been home/on my laptop much but the cliff notes version is that I love them. A whole lot. They’ve been my running shoe of choice all week.

What are your plans this weekend?

What TV shows are you watching right now?

Have you ever done a color run (or some variation of it)?

Workouts 11/3-11/9

Another week, another workout recap. This week was not exactly what I expected but I’m pretty happy with it. I mean, I officially have running back on the recaps, so I can’t really complain about anything. My calf was feeling somewhat iffy on Thursday night but it felt better Friday morning so I’m still doing okay. The second I feel pain, I’m taking another week off. I have a massage scheduled in a few weeks which will hopefully help a bit as well. Those will become a monthly occurrence to replace the spin membership next month.

Mon- 1.5 miles running

I ran for 14 minutes and would guess my pace was around 9:30/mile so the distance is not completely accurate. I’m usually able to estimate how fast I’m running so I’m pretty sure it was around 1.5 miles.

Tues- Spin x2

Still going strong on this contest. I realized I’m not going to win (you get points for classes you go to and other tasks you complete over the course of 30 days) because I’m not willing to give up November Project, my job makes it difficult to make it to evening classes,  and I’m going to be home for Thanksgiving for the entire last week of classes. But it’s fun to pretend I’m competition for some of the other die-hards.  Either way, I paid for the membership, so I might as well use it.

Wed- NOVEMBER PROJECT

WE HIT OUR GOAL. 125 178 people for the birthday celebration (3 year anniversary in Boston). So much love for the tribe.

10421221 816669508396889 5981589038763149589 n Workouts 11/3 11/9As for the workout itself, I biked 6ish miles to/from Rash Field, then we did a mix of stairs, running between sets of squats/lunges/burpees/jumping jacks/box jumps, and of course, straight cheesin’. Always.

10405537 10203219603434003 2165391065189918702 n Workouts 11/3 11/9Thurs- OFF

I didn’t make it to my usual 6am class for a very good reason but I desperately wanted to go to the mizuno run at Charm City Run. Unfortunately, I got out of work just a few minutes too late. I made up for it by eating pizza and rainbow cake on the couch. #priorities

In all seriousness, it was for the best considering my calf was bothering me by the end of the day (most likely from walking around in boots at work) and it was my only true rest day of the week.

Fri- 60 min spin w/ weights, 15 minutes core

This is quickly becoming a new favorite class. I hate strength training so this allows me to get some strength training in while I’m still doing cardio. Best of both worlds. I also went to bed at 8:45 Thursday night so I was well rested for this one.

Sat- Walking the dogs/Run 2 1/2 miles.

We took the dogs for a long-ish walk in the morning. They’re crazy. We probably for about a half hour. I didn’t make it to spinning before work so I decided to go for a short run instead after. I love being back out on the roads (docks?) even when it’s pitch black outside. I’m wear-testing the Hoka Cliftons right now and loving them (review coming soon). They’re the perfect complement to my wave riders and I feel like I’m floating.

Sun- Spin x2

Favorite day of the week by far. I love the Sunday morning “Church of EC” class and I love Nick’s new class. I refuse to miss either.

10485841 10153263390505410 5865095562921973405 n Workouts 11/3 11/9Workouts felt a little lighter this week due to missing spin a bunch of days. I would feel bad about it because I’m paying an arm and a leg for the membership but there are some weeks that I make it to 8+ classes so I already broke even for the month. Because I’m starting to run again, I have to remind myself to keep the workouts lighter to make sure I’m recovering enough. Would I have liked to run or spin Thursday? Absolutely. But I also needed a day off so it worked out perfectly.

My leg is still feeling pretty good. There is definitely a knot there but it hasn’t been too painful. I have to remember that just because I’m “only” running 1-3 miles right now, I’m still running. This is what I need to do to come back healthy. Deciding to go out and do a second workout because a short run isn’t “enough” won’t help me in the long run, so taking it easy for the next few weeks is what I’ll continue to do.

I don’t want running to start taking over spinning until December when my membership expires but it is already happening. As soon as I’m running enough miles again, I’ll be back at November Project on Friday mornings as well as Wednesdays, so I’ll probably only be spinning Thursday and Sunday mornings. Balance.

Tribe Love

Words can’t begin to describe Wednesday at November Project.

If you haven’t seen me (and thousands of other people) blowing up your social media feeds every week with ridiculously awesome workout pictures, you’re not following the right people.

Screen Shot 2014 07 22 at 5.26.06 PM Tribe Love

My last workout before I moved home “for good”

A few months ago, the leaders of November Project in all 17 cities met in Wisconsin for a leadership summit. Word on the street is that they had a ton of fun but there was some business mixed in there too (or so I’ve been told). One topic on the agenda was the growth of November Project.

They settled on 3014 people by the end of the year. Why 3014? I still don’t totally understand it. According to a recent blog post, “3,014 is an insane number that has never been a goal for any humans in the history of the planet. Plus, we’d like to think that in the year 3014 that they’ll still be talking about NP.”

3014 sign 768x661 Tribe Love3014 seemed like an insane number but with 17 different tribes, it was absolutely attainable. My tribe in Baltimore set a goal for 125 people. When I moved back here in August, we had never had more than 75 people at one workout. By mid September, we reached 109. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be possible to get 125 people all in one place, but I knew if anyone could do it, it would be November Project.

I literally couldn’t sleep the night before, I was so excited. I woke up 3 times before my 5:50am alarm Wednesday morning in fear that I overslept. Because I’m not about to miss out on the most epic Wednesday of the year, nor did I want to be featured on one of the “We Missed You” posts.

I got to Rash Field as the 5:30am group was finishing up. I was floored by the number of people. I saw Sydney (one of the co-leaders) and we started bouncing up and down with excitement. 50 people made it to the 5:30 workout. That’s about double the usual number. At that point I knew we were going to hit our goal of 125 without a problem.

10553594 816667695063737 7617853520875007951 n Tribe Love

starting the bounce

More and more people started showing up and I grew more and more excited. I took my yearbook photo (captain hat and all, because #boatlife.) and chatted with newbies and veterans, and let the excitement build. The energy was contagious. Not that I needed any more.

10405537 10203219603434003 2165391065189918702 n Tribe Love

I don’t know why I’m holding a cow hat. Just go with it.

The workout itself was pretty standard but for me it was extra special. I was running again. Finally. Without pain. I didn’t let myself sprint or do anything too crazy but I didn’t have to sit out for any of it for the first time in months. My comeback couldn’t have happened on a better day. We did a circuit workout- 10 minutes of stairs, 10 minutes of picking workouts out of a hat (ranging from tickling 3 random peoples’ chins to reciting the pledge of allegiance to box jumps to jumping jacks), and 10 minutes of pushups, squats, and “sprints.” It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary from a typical Wednesday workout, but it was the crowd that made it so special.

I got to work out with 178 of my closest friends Wednesday morning. 178. If I’m doing my math correctly, that’s a lot more than our goal of 125.

10421221 816669508396889 5981589038763149589 n Tribe LoveAnd the final tally for all 17 cities?

3,934 crazy fitness freaks. That’s a lot of people. I can’t wait to see what’s next for November Project as it expands in the coming years.

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Boston had almost 1500 people show up. Incredible.

Nothing could have ruined my mood on Wednesday. Absolutely nothing. I saw so many tweets, facebook statuses, instagram posts, and more with people from all of the tribes saying the same things:

“My heart is full.”

“I love my tribe.”

“I’m so thankful for these people.”

“I’m so happy to be a part of such an incredible movement.”

I agree with every single one of those people. I think it’s safe to say most of us feel the same way.

So with all that said, I’m pretty freaking proud of November Project, but especially November Project Baltimore. They are my people. That’s all there is to it. November Project changes lives. Ask just about anyone. As I said to Carrie yesterday, “the only people who don’t like November Project are people who either haven’t tried it or haven’t given it a chance.” I’m so happy I decided to rejoin my tribe. Without it, I would have never considered moving back here.

Happiness is…

Happiness is…

…walking to work with this view every day.

Capture1 Happiness is...…7-11 hot chocolate. They know me at both locations I go to. It’s only moderately embarrassing.

screen shot 2013 04 09 at 1 43 29 pm Happiness is...…new boots. I have been on the hunt for months and couldn’t find any I liked. Thanks to my lovely roommates, I found two on 6pm.com so I won’t be rotating between Toms and Sperries everyday anymore. I hate shopping and most of my clothes are from early high school (I know) so I’ve been working on slowly updating my wardrobe. Emphasis on slowly.

Capture2 Happiness is...…running. Enough said.

Capture Happiness is...

Monday’s #morningmiles

…November Project. Big smiles all around. We finally hit our goal of 125 people. Actually, we blew that goal out of the water. 178 people showed up. I literally couldn’t sleep the night before I was so excited and when I got to Rash Field, it was such an overly emotional day. It was an especially exciting day for me because I actually got to do the workout. I haven’t been able to do that in several weeks (if not months) due to this injury, so being able to run with everyone else was such an awesome feeling. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if you tried.

10421221 816669508396889 5981589038763149589 n Happiness is...…puppysitting. Dogs are officially growing on me (as long as they’re better behaved than my own dog). These two are hilarious. We’ve become good friends over the past couple months.

1970753 10202981733767410 8234246629086109615 n Happiness is...…decorating. My room basically looked like I never unpacked. I was talking to my mom about it and she made a good point- “You don’t want to be living in a place you’re just waiting to move out of.” Sunday afternoon when I found myself with a lot of free time I put together the shelving unit that has been sitting behind our dining room table since August 23rd. I also hung some nautical things and attempted to make the place look a little more lived in. I’m pretty happy with the result thus far. I forgot to take an “after” picture, so we’ll look at the “before.” The after has curtains, a shelving unit, some anchor hangers, an actual lamp, and other little decorations.

10613969 10202769737787643 554995236 n Happiness is...…doing well at work. I don’t talk about my job much on here but I really like it. The company I work for is great and while it’s an extremely stressful position at times, it’s a good fit. The advertising world is serious business and anything that goes wrong is automatically blamed on my team because we’re the last ones to touch the campaigns before they are set live. It can be hard to tell how you’re doing so being told you’re doing a good job is a huge confidence boost.

…Thursday Thinking Out Loud! Best linkup of the week, in my opinion. Who doesn’t love random thoughts?

What makes you happy right now?

At Peace

For the longest time, I was rushing to run again. I started having calf problems back in August and it’s now November. I didn’t really stop running altogether until September because I refused to acknowledge the fact that I was injured, and even then I was running at November Project and “testing” my leg once a week or so to see if I’d be ready for the Runner’s World races. Every time I did one of those “tests,” I was setting myself back even further.

In the past, these calf problems have taken anywhere from a month to four months to go away completely. Sometimes they require physical therapy, other times I can get away with just deep tissue massages. Last winter, it took 4 months. As soon as I stop pushing the recovery, I start noticing improvements. It’s almost like my body begins to actually relax and heal itself because it’s not being put under so much stress to start running ASAP.

Joining Rev Cycle was the best thing I could have done for myself. Yes, I’m still using my calf to some extent, but I’m also not trying to run sooner than I should be. Instead of running at November Project, I stand and cheer while everyone else does the workout. I’m able to stay in shape without compromising the healing at all. Yes, it’s expensive, but for me this is worth it.

10696362 181749578677981 5715219885511441027 n At PeaceAs soon as the Runner’s World races were over, I felt at peace with my injury. I’m not in a rush to get better fast. I have no races on my race calendar. I have races I’d like to do next year but there’s nothing I have physically committed to. This seems to have worked well in the past (like 2 summers ago when I couldn’t run for a few months and ended up quitting cross country so I would stop rushing the recovery) and I’m using that same strategy again. It’s working.

Every time I think I’m ready to run, the pain comes back. There will be mornings I wake up and I’m in pain before I get out of bed.  There are other days where I can skip to the kitchen and feel good all day, only to wake up the next morning hurting again. The problem with chronic injuries is that some days will feel good and you think you’re better and the next you’re back to where you started. Some days I wake up wondering if I’ll ever feel “normal” again. It’s really frustrating. There is no rhyme or reason to the pain- I’m not in any more pain after exercising than I am on a rest day. The only correlation I’ve noticed is that doing too much exercise does provoke the pain, so I backed off upon realizing that.

I’ve been pretty good about taking roughly 2 rest days a week. I sign up for 7 days worth of classes and then cancel them the night before if something comes up. That seems to be working well for me since it averages out to about 5 spin days a week.

Sunday was really cold here. I mean, it’s no New England (where it snowed), but it was pretty miserable being outside. I had just gotten home from spinning and wanted to get hot chocolate from 7-11 which is just over a quarter mile away. I was freezing because I still had on my sweaty spin clothes so I decided to give running there a shot. I ran there and back (the hot chocolate machine was broken) completely pain free. I haven’t run 5 steps pain free in months, so to finish 1/2 a mile and feel absolutely nothing was the most exciting thing that happened to me all weekend.

That 1/2 mile felt awesome. I probably looked really awkward carrying my wristlet and wearing a big north face jacket, but I was so happy I didn’t care. I didn’t attempt to run any further than that. On Monday, I ran about a mile and a half and Tuesday I was back to spinning. In the past, I’ve given running a “shot” aka run 5 miles at my pre-injury pace only to come back in the same pain I was in before. I can’t do that if I want to fully heal. A mile is a good place to start.

Capture At Peace

Monday’s #morningmiles

Even if this is the “end” of my injury, I probably won’t run much for the rest of this month. I’m committed to my Rev Cycle membership and I don’t want to overdo it with both. That’s how I get injured. I’ll still be seeing a specialist at my mom’s office when I get home and I’ll still be getting regular massages. I hate paying for them but they will help me stay injury free. In the past, I’ve just used them when I’m injured and it costs me an arm and a leg to get them weekly. If i get them monthly, that will be a lot more cost-efficient. I’m really trying to be better about foam rolling, using the stick, and taking epsom salt baths. I can’t keep doing this 6 months running, 3 months injured cycle I’ve been in for the past 2 years.

I’m also reevaluating my shoes. I’ve always thought I needed a stability shoe but looking at the tread on my old mizunos, I wore them completely on the outside. My PT prescribed me orthotics to wear 2 summers ago and they got rid of my calf pain so I’m going to continue to wear those, but I’ll most likely be going back to neutral shoes- the wave riders and the Hokas. Both have made my calves feel better throughout this injury process so I plan on using these as I slowly reintroduce running back into my routine.

More than anything, it feels really good to be on the mend.

What’s your best piece of advice for coming back from injuries?

Do you consider yourself “injury prone”?