Friday, December 24, 2010

I havent been the faithful blogger

I know I promised more updates to this thing while over break and I have yet to actually follow through with that promise. I have had an extremely busy schedule for it being break and all. For about a week of the break, I was busy car shopping and battling a cold that was trying to come on- plus all the christmas celebrating/preparations and so forth.

I finally found a BEAUTIFUL new car on Monday. I am super stoked and super in love with it. Its an '01 Honda Civic and I love love love it. Have I mentioned I love it? There are a few minor things that I want/need to fix with it, but we got one heck of a deal on it. Since I dont have pictures of my new car yet, I figured I would share the pictures of my old car post deer incident!

The deer that ran into my car.
"The biggest deer I've ever seen in Eastern NC" according to the hunter who stopped to help me move my car.... so glad the deer managed to find MY car to jump into!

Passenger side where the deer hit my car.
Notice the deer feces remaining on my car.

Hood of the car.

Driver's side (just to show how far up the hood was bent because of the impact).

Overall, I guess if it had to happen I am glad it happened the way it did. I wasnt hurt (nor was anyone else other than the deer) and I got a sweet new ride out of the deal (even though I did have to go three weeks without one).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's done, over, finito!

Today I officially finished up the most challenging semester of my academic career. Five grad classes- wow! So far *crosses fingers* I have managed to maintain my 4.0 but I still have three classes to hear back from.

So now the question is, what in the world do I do with all of this time off? The first and most pressing priority for me is to shop for a new car. I was originally driving around my Grandpa's 20 year old truck, but that kicked the bucket while under my care. I swear I have the worst luck ever with vehicles. So the day that "old blue" died, they got a 2006 truck and I have been driving that. I must admit that I enjoy driving something that sits up high and makes me feel all powerful and whatnot, but I do not enjoy putting gas in that thing and I do not enjoy the massive blindspots that it has. So getting a car is top priority for me right now and tomorrow the hard-core search begins. I have a couple of options that I am looking at right now so hopefully something will come to fruition.

After the whole car shopping thing, I plan to do a lot of time at the gym. My family just got a membership at Snap Fitness and I LOVE it! I also plan to read for pleasure, catch up on my sleep, and veg out with some Gilmore Girls and Friends. I do want to do some planning for next semester and some job searching (or at least preparation for it) too. I have a month. A glorious month, but I am sure it will pass far too quickly.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crazy Life

Life has been rather crazy lately. I dont even know where to begin to update things! School is wrapping up: I had my last class of the semester this week and I am currently working on getting my finals in order and sent off to the appropriate professors. So far I have completely finished with 2 of my five classes. Hopefully by the end of today I can say that I have finished with three, but by Tuesday of next week everything should be done and submitted. I have a (researched) short story to write for my Children's Lit class that has to be on some cultural custom, I have a writing portfolio, and a unit plan due. I have most of my unit plan done, but I have to put finishing touches on it and make some of the worksheets, etc and then upload it all to my wikispace (more about that later). I have 2/3 of my writing portfolio pieces finished (I think), so I need to edit the last piece and make my letter to the reader for that final. And for my short story, well I have researched. I have researched, but I havent read any of that research and I havent even begun to write the story so this final will be my most time consuming, and the one that is due first of course!

Meredith is doing great. She is completely spoiled, but I am ok with that. I bought her a cute doggy coat for cold/rainy weather for Christmas from Land's End. I also want to get her a big rawhide and some new treats and a toy or something. Yes, I know, I know. I still have several people to shop for, but I cant even begin to think about that until finals are over. I also have Christmas cards to write, and I think I want to send out a picture of me with Mere Bear, but that will have to wait too. I need to update some of the people who helped me through Meredith and into this MAT program on my life, but again, it will have to wait.

My birthday is coming up. The big 22. woo. I cant wait.

Last week, I hit a deer with my car. My poor car is totaled. The poor deer is dead. I will upload pics of that at a later date.

So basically, thats my life in a nutshell at this point in time. I am busy currently car shopping and working on finishing up my finals. I have some babysitting jobs lined up for December- yay money. I also have some projects in mind for the break so I am sure I will update more often over my time off with what I am doing. I also plan on reading a lot of books because I miss reading for the joy of reading- so expect some book reviews! As for now, it's back to the grind!

Friday, November 19, 2010

School Pride

Tonight I stumbled upon a new TV series called School Pride and I was shocked, saddened, and also slightly hopeful. In this series, the School Pride team is going to different schools around the nation and renovating them. The schools that they are showcasing are so run down that it is hard to believe that they are still in operation! I dont know when America is going to wake up and realize that the majority of our problems that this country has can be directly traced back to the state of our educational system. We cant move forward as a country without a proper education system to produce smart, innovative, intelligent, critical thinking, 21st century literate graduates.

On the other hand, I know that there is at least one other show out there with a similar mission: to shed light on the biggest problem our nation has. Shows and specials like this that highlight our schools abismal state give me hope that one day America will wake up and stop taking money and resources away from our education system and start funneling more money, more resources, and more time into it.

Education is one of my main passions. I firmly believe that a good education will get you wherever you want to go. I hope that some day the rest of our country recognizes this and puts stock in something that can save us.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

100th post, and its a grad school update... woooo....

Ok, so maybe this isnt so exciting, but oh well, what can I say?

Grad school is crazy. I somehow managed to skate through the summer and think that this program was going to be a breeze, but boy was I wrong! Let me give you a piece of advice, if you ever EVER go to grad school, never NEVER take five classes in one semester. Granted, my program dictated that I take said 5 classes, but it isnt a good idea. I wonder what these people were thinking?

Just to give you a little insight into my life: I have a 12 page paper due on Friday and I am still looking for sources. I havent even begun to write this paper yet and I have a VERY pitiful outline, if it even qualifies as an outline at that. This thing is due at noon on Friday, meaning I have roughly 72 hours until it is due. I have 5 hours of class between now and then, cutting it down to 68 hours. I will spend about 8 hours at the high school, cutting it down to 60 hours. I have about 8 hours of driving (to Greenville back and forth, to the high school back and forth, etc) in there, cutting it down to 52 hours. I am supposed to be in Raleigh on Thursday night after class and any work I hope to accomplish between Thursday night class and noon on Friday can be forgotten, cutting it back about 15 hours, making that approximately 38 hours. Now 38 hours sounds like a lot of time, but when you factor in things such as sleeping, eating, and normal life activities, it is cut down to virtually nothing. Then why, do you ask, am I sitting here BLOGGING? Everything that I need to move forward is in Greenville and I am not leaving for another hour to go. So I am stuck and decided to fill you in on the joys of grad school life. We shall see how this thing turns out, I am sure it wont be a pretty show.

On top of this paper, I had a mini freak out for all of the work that I need to get done between now and the end of the semester. Its a lot. I have a writing portfolio that I need to put together, an activities folder that I have to put together (and that will be extensive work), a Mock Thesis Prospectus (whatever the heck that is), a semester project (needs research and writing), a unit plan (this thing is massive), and a "serious" revision of this paper that I just discussed way up there ^ that hasnt even been written yet and he is already calling for a major overhaul. The next 39 days are not looking pretty.

I mean I am doing well so far. I currently have all A's and I made it into some fancy honors society thingymajig that I am pretty stoked about, but these next few weeks are going to be a true testament to my strength, or they will be a true testament to how I crack under pressure, we shall see!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My first ever 5k

I ran my first ever 5k two weeks ago in New Bern (October 16, 2010). I ran the Neuse River Bridge Run and I loved it! I felt a little unprepared because I had not been able to complete my Couch to 5k program prior to the race, and my runs had become less consistent, but I think I did ok! My two goals for the day were: 1. Don't be last and 2. Keep it under 50 minutes and I succeeded with both goals! I know keeping it under 50 minutes sounds like a really pathetic goal seeing as a turtle could probably complete a 5k in 50 minutes, but I was just grateful that I had finished the race by the end of it. Since my training schedule had gotten off, I had never actually run more than just over two miles, which meant that I had only gone a little more than 2/3 the distance! I was proud of myself for finishing with a time of 43:10 and the next time I fully intend to beat that number!
Sunset view. Taken on the bridge that I ran over and the bridge that is shown to the right of this picture is one that the 10k and 1/2 marathon courses went over.

I am over on the left and I had just run over the bridge and was rounding my way back to start through the downtown portion of the course.

Me after the race. I was sweating all over even though it was only in the high 40s and I was thinking "That was the longest 3.1 miles I have ever seen!"

I need to get back out there and start running again but life has gotten so darn hectic lately that I am struggling to get through all of my schoolwork, plus dealing with family issues and so forth. I am going to try to make a grad school update within the next few days and another post dealing with all the other stuff going on, but that may take a few days!

I know I have been an MIA blogger

but my life has been pretty crazy lately.

For now, enjoy this picture of my AWESOME new necklace my Grandma gave me. She said it was Aunt Maude's old necklace, sounds about right?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just because she is so darn cute...

Mere Bear taking care of Old Holly Berry.

Jon Jon sharing his toys with Meredith- how cute :)

Meredith enjoying her new puppy from PetSmart after Mommy was told that Meredith was the BEST dog they had ever had for a nail trimming/grinding.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Running fiascos

I am currently on my fall break from classes at ECU and it has been pretty nice. I am getting some time to catch up on some of my homework. I was also able to score a sweet babysitting gig with one cute little kid for a few days so I have been living the life of luxury in a 1.5 million $ condo, spending the days looking after a cutie patootie and spending time in the sun. However, this whole being at the beach thing gave me the bright idea to try running on the beach, which I have come to find out is not my thing.

This ^^^^ is what I envisioned yesterday when I decided to go for a beach run. This ^^^ is not what I got.

I learned yesterday that beach running is hard, very very hard. It will kick your butt. I ended up with more sand in my shoes than what was left on the beach, which made the fact that I was running on sand an even more difficult task to accomplish because I am sure I was carrying around at least 20 extra pounds in sand. Sand was everywhere. I also learned that my sports bra with the zip up in front is also not a fan of the beach run. About 5 minutes in it totally came undone, and let me tell you... there is no graceful way to zip up your unzipped sports bra on the beach with people every little bit and no shelter.

On top of the 20 lbs of sand in my shoes and the fact that the ladies were now flapping in the wind, when I tried to get off the beach after having enough of this mess, I stuck my hand on something and started bleeding profusely. Not just a little bit, profusely. I was bleeding like a stuck pig. When I finally got it to stop, there was blood caked on my hand, on my shorts, some on my new previously pretty running shoes, and some all over the pavement between the beach and my car.

Needless to say, yesterday was not my day for running. I am actually really discouraged with the 5k only a mere 4 days away and I dont feel at all prepared. I have been missing my running consistency with all the rain, my crazy schedule, and so forth and now I still have technically two weeks of training that I should have done before the race but havent. The good thing is that today after I am done babysitting, I was told that I could use the gym here if I wanted so I am going to the gym and I WILL run 3.1 miles. I know that it is on a treadmill and therefore different than outside running, but I want to at least go that distance once and then I think I will be at least mentally prepared for Saturday. I will definitely be doing an outside run again towards the end of the week to readjust but I think it is gym life for me at least today and maybe tomorrow too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 7, Day 3

Today's run was really hard and I can't say that I was exactly successful in completing today's schedule. There were a few times where I had to stop my timer on the app that I use to help me through my runs so that I could walk or stretch for a few seconds. I am not sure what the deal was today but I just wasnt into it, even though I needed to go out today. I have six more runs before I am a Couch to 5k graduate, SIX more! There are only 9 days till race day but I think in preparation for the race I will complete all six before, or at least five before and make the 6th one the run from the day of the program? I dont know, I guess we'll see!

I have figured out that I really need to focus on hydrating my body more. I have never been a big hydrater (even though I really know that I should be), but now that I am physically active several times a week I definitely should be making more of a conscientious effort to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I think that is one of my main problems and why my legs are cramping up so much during my runs, and the cramping in my runs is causing the lead ball effect in my feet.... so basically I fix the hydration problem and I fix most of my issues with running!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 7, Day 2

I was very grateful for the cooler weather today when I took my run. It was nice to go out and to not be completely miserable because of the heat. I can see improvements in my speed lately so that is always a good thing as race day is creeping closer. Only 12 more days till the big day, and pretty soon I will be a C25k graduate! I am really looking into doing the Bridge to 10k program but I cant decide if I want to start that right away or if I want to wait awhile and just run 5k lengths for a few weeks before beginning another training program. The only thing I am afraid of if I dont do another training program is getting out of this new habit of mine. As evidenced in how long it has taken me to finish this program, even with the accountability of the program it is sometimes hard to stick with it. I guess we will just cross that bridge when we come to it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 7, Day 1

I finally got out to run today after almost a week of being not able to due to the rain. It felt awesome to get out and run and actually accomplish something. Today I did another 25 minute run and it went really well. My feet only felt like lead balls for the last 7 minutes or so (as opposed to the 9ish from the last run). Meredith and I covered about 2.5 miles total today. I am hoping that these longer runs will help me to build up some speed now that I have worked up the endurance part of it. I am thinking that I need to join a local gym so that I can still exercise when it rains because I dont want to have to go that long without running again!

This weekend I will be busy babysitting, working on homework, lesson planning, and hopefully I will get the chance to hang out with some friends and go to the Seafood Festival!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away

Rain, Rain Go Away,
Come Again Another Day

Today is day three of rain- incessant, non stop, lousy rain. I was sick this weekend and into yesterday morning, another tonsil flair up and now that I am better and eager to get going on my running, it is RAINING! On the running note, I found out a group of faculty from the high school that I am interning at have also entered the Bridge Run that I am doing in October and they invited me to join their team :) Yay!

I am teaching my first lesson next week. I am teaching a lesson on theme and am having lots of fun coming up with ideas about how to present it to the kids. I will keep you updated on my strokes of brilliance when it comes to teaching the youth of NBH about theme!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I love fall...

I love fall! I love the crisp, cool weather.

I love the beautiful, colorful leaves.

I love pumpkins!

I love wearing cute cardigans.
(not that I would wear this one with that tie, but oh well!)
I love wearing scarves.

I love lattes (especially pumpkin ones)!

And my new found obsession, I LOVE Hershey pumpkin spice kisses!

Not a successful day

Well I attempted to go running today. I did run.... a little but for some reason I just wasnt into it today. I even tried to push through the "I'm not into it" mindset and failed. It was hot out today, the air was thick and sticky, I waited too long to go out... blah blah blah. Regardless, I did not complete week 7 day 1 of the couch to 5k challenge, so I will get up again tomorrow (this time a lot earlier) and I will give it another go.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 6, Day 3

I ran for 25 minutes straight today! When my run first started this morning, I thought that it would be impossible. Today was the first day that I kept incessantly checking the time on the C25k app, seeing how much time I would have left of this torture. For the first 15 minutes or so my calves hurt... a lot! Then just about the time that my calves worked through the pain, my feet turned into lead balls. I felt like I was running on stumps and that I had no more feet left. It was a very weird sensation, but I pushed through. I am not sure what happened, but when I only had about two minutes left in my run, I just cut loose. I ran- hard! Even with the heat, my extremely dry mouth, and my feet feeling all kinds of crazy, I just pushed myself.

I felt like a real bonafide runner today, it was amazing. My uncle was talking about how a 5k would seem like a warm up to me later and I thought to myself "how could THIS feel like a warm up, this is pure torture that I am invoking on myself" but sure enough, it finally clicked. I probably would have run longer had my feet actually felt like real feet, but I thought it would be best to get my feet back to feeling normal again before pushing it. I probably looked a TAD ridiculous when I finished because I threw my hands up in the air and I yelled excitedly for my accomplishment. I am ok with looking ridiculous if it means that I have accomplished something big. I even made Meredith sit and give me a high five when I was done :) I know for sure now that I can do this, I AM signing up for that 5k on October 16th! I WILL run a half marathon someday in the future and get that little 13.1 sticker for my car. I WILL be a runner :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 6, Day 2

Today I finished with the interval training! From here on out, it will be solid 25-30 minute runs and I am not so sure how I feel about that! Pretty soon you will stop getting my ridiculous couch to 5k updates, and I am sure you will be thankful for that. My purpose in writing every day after my run is so that I can keep a record of how it felt after each run (so that I can later encourage others or encourage myself when I start another training program), not because I think that my running updates are all that fascinating and compelling to read!

This morning I went out for an early run (and of course Meredith came with me). We went out before either of us had any breakfast and I was HUNGRY by the time I finished! The schedule for today's run was 5 minute warm up, 10 minute run, 3 minute recovery, 10 minute run, and a 5 minute cool down. Today's run was not as bad as Saturdays in that it wasnt quite as hard, but my calves were really hurting at the end of the first run (about five minutes in) and at the end of the second run (again, about five minutes in).

The frustrating thing is that I am not seeing a whole lot of difference in my weight, and that was definitely something I was looking forward to. Even with the new medicine the doctor put me on, and my efforts in eating right (but I can admittedly do better here), and the increased exercise, I am not dropping the weight as I would have hoped to have done. I am hoping that as I get into this new phase of the program where I am doing prolonged runs, actually running in a 5k race, and then starting the Bridge to 10k program that I will see those results! On the plus side though, I am noticing that even though I am not DROPPING weight like I would like to, I am definitely toning up and that is evidenced mainly in my legs and thighs, but I think to some degree in my core as well. I can feel muscle definition in my lower thighs and I love it :)

26 days till my first 5k, and an estimated 21 miles on my shoes....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Love the Way you Lie

Last year, the fight between Chris Brown and Rhianna was all people could talk about. It was seemingly unexpected and of course it shed light on the issue of domestic violence. Luckily for Rhianna, the injuries that she sustained from the fight were not as serious as they could have been and she had a fairly level head on her shoulders when dealing with the situation. If you dont remember the controversy, go here to refresh your memory.

I found this picture, and it isnt even that great of one of what she looked like after the fight. Obviously, the big sunglasses are obscuring what she really looked like.

Rhianna has recently put out a song with Eminem that I am admittedly a little obsessed about. I think it has a lot of meaning that many people can relate to. The song is all about the push and pull of a relationship and how even though you know a relationship probably isnt the best thing for you, sometimes it is hard to escape those types of circumstances. Below are the lyrics to the song:

[Chorus - Rihanna]
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's all right because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's all right because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

[Eminem - Verse 1]
I can't tell you what it really is, I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it's a steel knife in my windpipe
I can't breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it's like I'm in flight
High off her love, drunk from my hate, it's like I'm huffin' pain
And I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I'm about to drown, she resuscitates me, she ******* hates me
And I love it, "wait, where you goin'?"
"I'm leavin' you," "no you ain't come back"
We're runnin' right back, here we go again
So insane, cause when it's goin' good it's goin' great
I'm superman with the wind at his back, she's Lois Lane
But when it's bad it's awful, I feel so ashamed I snap
Whose that dude? I don't even know his name
I laid hands on her
I'll never stoop so low again
I guess I don't know my own strength

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's all right because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's all right because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

[Eminem - Verse 2]
You ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe
When you with em you meet and neither one of you even know what hit em
Got that warm fuzzy feeling
Yeah them chills used to get em
Now you're getting ******* sick of lookin' at em
You swore you'd never hit em, never do nothin' to hurt em
Now you're in each other's face spewin' venom in your words when you spit em
You push pull each other's hair
Scratch claw hit em throw em down pin em
So lost in the moments when you're in em
It's the rage that's the culprit, controls you both
So they say it's best to go your seperate ways
Guess that they don't know ya
Cause today that was yesterday
Yesterday is over, it's a different day
Sound like broken records playin' over
But you promised her next time you'll show restraint
You don't get another chance
Life is no nintendo game, but you lied again
Now you get to watch her leave out the window
Guess that's why they call it window pane

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's all right because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's all right because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

[Eminem - Verse 3]
Now I know we said things, did things, that we didn't mean
And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine
But your temper's just as bad as mine is, you're the same as me
When it comes to love you're just as blinded
Baby please come back, it wasn't you, baby it was me
Maybe our relationship isn't as crazy as it seems
Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is I love you too much to walk away though
Come inside, pick up the bags off the sidewalk
Don't you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk?
Told you this is my fault, look me in the eyeball
Next time I'm p****** I'll aim my fist at the drywall
Next time there won't be no next time
I apologize even though I know it's lies
I'm tired of the games I just want her back
I know I'm a liar if she ever tries to ******* leave again
I'ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire
Just gonna

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's all right because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's all right because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

More lyrics:

I can relate to the push and pull of this relationship. No, I have never been in a relationship that has been violent or anything, but I have definitely been in a relationship that is not good for me. I have definitely been sucked back into a relationship by false promises and the comfort of a familiar relationship.

But let's get to the real issue. I have linked the video to this song and I want you to watch it and just react to it.

Seriously Rhianna? I mean your face was plastered all over every news show, every tabloid, all over the internet looking all kinds of beat up and here you are promoting this type of domestic abuse? What is wrong with you? Maybe this is your way of dealing with your issues, I have no idea... but after what you have been through in your relationship, I would think that this kind of video would be the last thing that you would agree to do. Don't glamorize domestic abuse (of females or males). Don't make it seem ok because you love the way someone lies to you or the pain they bring you. Yes, these are real emotions and this really happens on a day to day basis with women, but we should be educating women to find healthy ways of recognizing the signs and getting out of these relationships instead of promoting it in a rap video. Can someone please explain to me the logic?!

An interesting thought...

I usually stay away from political subjects for the most part. I typically find that when discussing politics, there is never usually a consensus and therefore discussing it does not bear any fruit. However, when I read this post on facebook, it was like I was reading my own thoughts. I think that this makes perfectly logical sense and it would be hard to disagree about this one.....

Pictured is a young physician by the name of Dr. Roger Starner Jones. His short two-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a "Culture Crisis" instead of a "Health Care Crisis"..

It's worth a quick read:

Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.

While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture" a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.

If you agree...pass it on.

Couch to 5k: Week 6, Day 1

I didnt get to post this morning after my run, but this morning I completed week 6, day 1 of the Couch to 5k Challenge. I have to say that I was surprised at how had it seemed to complete my run, especially after my victory over the 20 minute run earlier this week. I managed to complete the run, but I am not sure if my heart just wasn't in it today or if today was just particularly challenging for some other reason. Today's run was 5 minute warm up, 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 5 minute recovery. It was less time running overall than my last run, but I just seemed to struggle.

However, today I did enjoy a nice breeze while I was running that made it all that much more enjoyable. Hopefully my next run will go a little easier... 2 10 minute runs with a 3 minute break in between. After that run, there are no more intervals left and its solid 25-30 minute runs from here on out! I have also found a program for after I finish the Couch to 5k program called Bridge to 10k so I am thinking about using that program to get my mileage up there and push me closer to my (long term) goal of a half marathon.... (I WILL have one of those 13.1 stickers on my car!!!!)

Estimated 18 miles on my shoes :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 5, Day 3

Today I feel very, very accomplished. I did something today that I have never been able to do in my life, I ran for 20 minutes NON STOP! It was amazing. The mere idea of doing this was very daunting and it seemed like I wasn't going to be able to make it through, but I did! The last five minutes I had to keep telling myself "just keep putting one foot in front of the other" and that was how I managed to get through it. It was hot, Meredith got wore out (she is currently passed out in the middle of my floor, unmoving even when I go in and out of the room- VERY unusual), but I feel fantastic now. I have three weeks left in the program, and I KNOW that I can finish it now.

I am actually very excited because I considering entering my very first race, the Neuse River Bridge Run. They have a half-marathon, a 10k, and a 5k. I, of course, will be entering the 5k portion. It is on October 16th, so I have 4.5 weeks left to get my butt ready to run run run! I think this is a totally achievable goal and I am feeling very good about this :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 5, Day 2

Today I did something I have never done before, I ran for 8 minutes straight... and I did it twice! Actually, I did better than that, but more on that in a minute. Remember, we are looking at this program as a "baby steps" program. I am slowly working myself towards a 5k and I hope to be able to enter one maybe at the end of October or the beginning of November. So, I need to start researching!

Today's program was: 5 minute warm up, 8 minute run, 5 minute recovery, 8 minute run, 5 minute cool down. That in and of itself looked intimidating enough to me because I had only run as much as 5 minutes at a time previously. The first run went really well and I kept up a good pace throughout the whole thing. Meredith didn't even really slow me down today, which was such a good thing because if she had, I am not sure I would have completed today's run successfully. I was sure glad when the timer went off and told me to go ahead and take my 5 minute recovery! On my second 8 minute run, I attempted to skip a song and I ended up pausing my timer (unknowingly), which caused me to run for a total of 12 minutes for my second run- making my total for the day 20 minutes. This will probably end up being a good thing when I do my run tomorrow because tomorrow I am supposed to run for 20 minutes non stop!

And because I am going to make running a lifelong habit- I need to track the amount of miles on my shoes. Today I am going to guess that so far, my shoes have about 12 miles on them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


My Aunt shared this video on her blog today in remembrance of those who lost their lives on that day nine years ago. Nine years ago, I was in my 8th grade Algebra class when I heard the news. My teacher decided to share the news with us, but we weren't allowed to watch any of the news coverage as some of the other classes were. I remember being saddened by the thought of what was happening, but I don't think I fully grasped the enormity of the events that were unfolding. As I watched this video today, my heart just broke. I am realizing more and more with each passing day how precious life is and how it is typically taken advantage of. Your life can be taken away from you without any notice, and you would never have the chance to tell someone that you are sorry or that you love them. How often do we hold grudges for stupid things just because we are obstinate humans? How often do we go to bed angry instead of making amends and moving on? How often do we neglect to tell those we love how we feel? Take full advantage of each blessing you are granted, and remember to thank the one that gave you those blessings.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tomorrow is going to suck...

I can already feel it. I have to be in Greenville to work at 9 (meaning I need to leave between 745 and 800) until about 1230, and then I have to STAY in Greenville because I have class from 5-730/800 that night. Boo! I guess this gives me some library time in which I can hopefully get all my homework done so that I can have a relaxing, enjoyable weekend.

However, Friday's run is looking intense! I am going to push myself to do it, but the schedule is 5 min warm up, 8 minute run, 5 min recovery, 8 minute run, 5 min cool down. Eeek! And then on Sunday I am supposed to be able to run for 20 minutes without stopping?!? Whoever came up with this running schedule needs to learn a thing or two about easing a girl into things. I can't go from 5 minute runs to 8 minute runs to a 20 minute run all in one week! Looking at the running schedule, the runs are only going to continue to vamp it up in their intensity (obviously) and by the end of week 6, I am done with intervals. I am sure going to miss those few minute recoveries!

Couch to 5k: Week 5, Day 1

Say what? Hilary was up before the sun? And she was doing WHAT?!?! That's right! This morning I got up at 6 AM to do my couch to 5k for the day! I knew I had to work this morning (hence this will be a super quick post) and I am going to church tonight, so I only had one option- get up super duper early, because not doing it is NOT an option anymore! I even had a blister on my heel from those blasted heels I wore to my internship yesterday and I STILL ran! Go me, Go me! Now I know that hardcore runners do this shenanigans all the time, but I think of myself as a baby runner, and any perceived obstacle could still get in my way.

The run this morning wasnt as bad as I thought, 3 5 minute runs? I thought that it would be hard, but I am guessing that this whole new running shoe thing is making a bigger difference than I thought. Now my next run, on the other hand, is going to be intimidating. We are looking at I think 2 8 minute runs and something else worth of a run, I am not sure and I don't really have time to check right now. So have a great day everyone! I will check in later!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Internship Day 1

I went to the high school for the first day of my "Senior 1" internship today and I have to say, I think this will be an interesting challenge- completely in a good way. My clinical teacher seems very nice and I am excited to work with her. I think this time will almost most definitely be better than the last. The challenging part will come in with the students who are all low-level freshman. The good thing is that I will get to know most of my students this semester through observation and be able to teach them next semester when I know their personalities. I will have two periods of students that I get to do this with, so next semester I will only have to get to know one period of students. I do need to go ahead and start researching though, I already know I will have a challenge with teaching them writing so I need to research effective strategies. Thankfully I am in a Teaching Writing course this semester at ECU and I think that this will help greatly. So all my worries are gone for now and I will soon be able to start diving in!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day and Couch to 5k: Week 4, Day 3

What an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day it has been! Actually, its been a pretty wonderful weekend all around to be honest. I didn't go to class on Thursday night because I was afraid of the "hurricane," what a laugh! It barely did anything and now I kind of feel bad for not going to class, but since I had an hour plus to drive each way, I suppose that it is always better to be safe than sorry (as the saying goes).
Friday, I spent the day running errands. I watched Jon in the morning, then I went to the DMV (oh the horror!) with my Dad so we could get my car in my name (yay Graduation present!). The trip to the DMV led to the need to go and get my car inspected and another trip the DMV because they wouldn't give me a license plate because I didn't have a current (read, within the last 90 days) inspection on the car and there was NO WAY that I was driving around all of labor day weekend with no license plate on my car. I got stopped literally within 5 minutes of leaving the DMV the first time. No joke. I also managed to squeeze some time in to get to footlocker and get some sweet new running shoes. They are Brooks, if that means anything? That night I watched Where the Red Fern Grows with my grandparents. Meredith watched it with us. so.stinkin.cute! She actually WATCHED the movie and was cocking her head from side to side when the dogs were barking.
Saturday I spent the day helping Cassandra move to her new house (adorable, btw!) and Meredith had a play date with Penny. She was pretty wore out when we got home and basically went to bed soon after we got home. Sunday I got a lot accomplished. I worked in the morning at a church nursery and then I came home and cleaned my room! I have been trying to figure out what to do with the 20+ books that I have for this semester so I had to do some re-arranging on my bookshelves. I also rearranged my desk, did a ton of laundry, and cleaned the sheets on my bed. Whew!
Today was gorgeous weather. Uncle Dave made breakfast and I spent a good chunk of the morning outside doing some homework. Mere and I took a lovely nap this afternoon and then completed Couch to 5k: Week 4, Day 3.
The run went surprisingly well. It was the inauguration of my new running shoes, which I could immediately tell a difference with. My shins were not the least bit sore today and my calves only tightened up towards the end. Meredith was a much better running partner today than she has been in the past, with the exception of the need to run after cars that pass us and nearly getting hit by cars. I actually had a much better pace today and I think that I did about three miles overall from warm up to cool down. I hope that I keep improving and sticking with this. It has taken me much longer than it should have as I haven't been very consistent with it. I should be within 2 weeks of finishing it by now and I actually have 5 left now. I think the running shoes will help and I think I need to set a consistent time to get up on those days of the week to do it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Couch to 5k: Week 4, Day 2

Even though it looked like the sky was about to fall out on me this morning, I went for my run today. I took Meredith with me because she gets so darn excited when I get her leash out, it really is very hard to resist. I mean here she is, bouncing all around like a mexican jumping bean, and who am I to deny that kind of excitement? Today's run was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that it was easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn't have as hard of a time with it as I had anticipated after not running for a week and a half. I only had to stop during my run once, and that was due to Meredith, not because of my inability to run for that long. I think what I am going to have to do is really start walking/running every day and taking Meredith on my non-C25k times, because when I am trying to meet certain goals, I need to be able to do them without the added annoyance of trying to keep her out from under my feet.

The one thing that I really did notice today is that I desperately need new running shoes and that is my top priority this weekend. The inside padding in my shoes has been rubbed away and I have rubbed the side of one of my toes raw (even though I was wearing socks... odd). I also think I need to get at least one more sports bra and a couple of pairs of running pants/shorts that are meant for running so I am not worried about my shorts riding up all the time.

In other news, you can definitely tell that hurricane Earl is making his way in. The river is super choppy, the winds are picking up, and the clouds look like they will pour down any minute! Stay safe!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A bad blogger...

I admit it, I have been a bad blogger lately. Grad school started back up again last Tuesday and so I have been trying to get back into the school mentality. I am really uncertain as to how exactly this semester is going to play out. I have one teacher two nights a week, and so far I like him one night of the week and not so much the other night. Weird? Definitely. Well, not so much as one night I am in a class full of undergrads because it is an undergrad/grad class (really an undergrad class that is cross-referenced as a grad-level) and it is amazing to me the stark difference that I notice in undergrad vs grad students. I don't know if it is because I went to Meredith and people generally weren't this rude or what it is but it is so annoying! I was sitting in class last night and it was so obvious, people were texting, spacing out, and just generally being rude. However, on the other night that I have him, I am in a class of my 5 fellow English MAT-ers and one random person and it is much, MUCH better! The other class that I actually have to go into campus for I am going to wait one more week until I make my decision about it. I found it very hard to sit through on Monday night, but he said that class was going to be different for the rest of the semester, so we shall see!

Other than school, I have just been working with Meredith on staying in the yard. This will be quite a long process I can already tell. She does really well if I am outside with her and tell her to stop and come back, but if I am not there, she just takes off! I have admittedly been a bad runner and really, REALLY need to get back on track with this whole couch to 5k thing. I did take Meredith for a two mile walk today, but I need to get back to my running schedule!

More updates to come, I have homework I need to get done and should be working on that instead of blogging!

Monday, August 23, 2010

We still have some training to do yet

Meredith ran off tonight. Now this isn't an unusual occurrence, Meredith frequently uses her free time outside to go "explore," but she usually comes when I call her, even if it takes a few minutes. Tonight she didn't come back for a pretty long time. I got nervous because it was starting to get dark out and I drove around the neighborhood calling her to no avail. I was about to turn around to go home, thinking to myself "she couldn't possibly have gone out this far..." only to find out that she had indeed gone that far. A family that lives about half a mile up the road had found her outside and brought her into her back yard. So I am upset because she was obviously too far away from the house, but at the same time, there was no way that she could come when I called her because she was fenced in. Now don't get me wrong, I am grateful that they found her and I can only hope that they brought her in with their best intentions of keeping her safe (after all, they did feed her dinner), but at the same time, there was no way that she could get home. I thanked the family for taking care of her and brought her back home, but we need to find a solution to this issue pretty darn quick. I love this dog too much to let her get taken, hit by a car, abused in some way, or caught by a dog catcher because she got in the wrong person's yard.

Couch to 5k- Week 4: Day 1


Today scared the crap out of me. I ran on Thursday like I said that I would, doing week 3's routine an extra time; however, I did walk the 2nd 1.5 minute run. I didn't run Friday again, and I obviously didn't start week 4 on Saturday. I know it is a lame excuse, but my sister called me on Saturday morning (Happy 25gth birthday, Cassandra!) and she was able to get her sweet puppy Penny early. Being the dog expert I am, she wanted me to go to get dog supplies with her before she picked Penny up. We already had plans to hang out that night so I just spent the day at my parent's house with Cassandra playing with her puppy, so there was no time for me to run on Saturday.

Anyways, I guess why I didn't run isn't as important as the fact that I did run this evening. I was scared of this week's routine (5 minute walk, 3 minute run, 1.5 minute walk, 5 minute run, 2.5 minute walk, 3 minute run, 1.5 minute walk, 5 minute run, 7.5 minute walk) because I was not doing so hot with the three minute runs already and if I wasn't doing so well with 3 minute runs, how on earth was I going to do a 5 minute run? I am very proud of myself for doing this, which probably seems like such a small accomplishment, but I have to give myself credit. It really looked like it might pour down on me today when I went out, but then I just told myself that if it rained, it would be like getting a free cool down :) The podcast for this week was put together really well. It was all very upbeat music that kept you moving. Some of the other weeks had songs that we a little lower tempo and it was hard to keep moving when you weren't aided by the music, but I really liked this week's podcast.

Of course there were times that I felt like I wasn't going to make it. During the first three minute run I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to complete the schedule today because my chest felt very heavy and it was hard to breathe- like the air was thick or something. Then of course, the 5 minute runs felt like they would NEVER end. During the last run, my right foot got all numb like it did a few weeks ago and that made running pretty uncomfortable, but I pushed through and I successfully did this week's routine. Go me!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Couch to 5k- Week3: Day 3

This morning I did actually make myself get up and run! It was hot, and very humid, but I did it. I felt bad because it really seemed like Meredith wanted to go with me, so I did bring her along, but I don't think she will be joining any more of my future C25k runs. She is just so darn curious about everything around her, and I love that, but I don't love having to jerk her away from whatever it is she is exploring so that I can keep going. I am doing this program for me, and I need to be able to do it to where I am satisfied with myself and the progress that I have made. In all honesty, she just slows me down and is more of a burden. What I really need to do is take up our long 2-3 mile walks again and let her explore during that time. I know I said I was going to do this, but I have yet to do so.

I decided after this morning's run that I am going to do the week 3 schedule tomorrow and Friday and start week 4 on Saturday. I need to get more comfortable with these 3 minute runs before I attempt to tackle two 5 minute runs (in addition to two 3 minute runs). So keep me accountable, expect updates about things both tomorrow and Friday for a continuation of week 3 and then on Saturday for the beginning of week 4.

On the bright side, I will be getting new running shoes soon! I want the Reebok Runtones. I have been eying the Reebok easytones, but I don't really wear sneakers around everyday, so I think the runtones will be nice to have :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have been a bad runner lately....

I haven't been as on the ball as I should be with this whole Couch to 5k thing since I have been on my break and I need to get back on track! I was going to go out today but I ate breakfast before I really thought about it, and I hate running after I eat. Then the afternoon was unbearably hot, and we got done with dinner later than I would have liked and my belly is full full full of talapia, salad, and cantaloupe with grapes. Soon it will be dark, and another day will have been wasted. Tomorrow morning I WILL go out to run. I will do it, I will do it, I will do it! I may even invite Meredith along for the run.... and then I will NOT take the two days off between runs and I will start week 4 by Friday.... keep me accountable!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Getting to Know you

So I haven't done this in awhile... just for funsies......

The Q's.

1. What kind of athlete has the hottest body?
2. Are you a planner or a procrastinator?
I procrastinate by planning :) I find that I am actually quite a productive procrastinator in that I procrastinate from an activity that I really really don't want to do by doing something that I just really don't want to do lol
3. Diet or regular (soda)?
Well I PREFER the taste of regular soda, but I rarely drink it. Coke Zero all the way!
4. What's your one "must have" for Fall?
5. What's your favorite fast food restaurant?
Taco Bell. Period.
6. What do you think is the sexiest profession for a guy?
hmmmmm,.... something intelectual, as to what that would be, I have no idea.
7. Did you wear braces?
Unfortunately. I was told I would only have to wear them for a year, a year and a half tops. Three long years later....
8. Would you rather have a guy that's super sexy or kind?
Kind all the way- but sexy doesn't hurt ;)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Couch to 5k- Week3: Day 2

So my Aunt asked me to watch the boys this morning so that she could go to the doctor, and of course, I agreed. I knew that if I didn't set my alarm to go for my run this morning, there was no way that I was going to go tonight. Its still cool enough to run, cool being a relative term of course, in the wee hours in the morning, but it doesn't cool down fast enough while it is still light enough to run in the evening. So I woke up, got all ready to go for my run, and went to turn on my ipod and it was d.e.a.d. I can't do my run without my ipod, not for the music's sake, but because my ipod also serves as my timer for when to run and when to walk. I don't have a watch or other timing instrument, so my ipod is pretty vital to this whole process. Luckily, I woke up an hour before I had to watch the boys so that I could have some "cool down" time after my run (instead of the 35 minutes before like I had planned last night- 5 minutes to get ready, 30 minutes to run) so I could charge my ipod for a few minutes before heading out.

It was very humid this morning. By the end of my first three minute run, I was dripping with both sweat and humidity- more humidity than sweat because there was no way that I was sweating THAT hard after a 90 second run and a 3 minute run. During the first 3 min run, I really found my stride. I found out it was easier for me to run "all out" than my wimpy feet shuffling that I had been doing. I guess I was afraid that if I ran all out, I wouldn't be able to doing for a very sustainable length of time. I still don't know if that's true because all I am running right now is 3 minute increments, but we will see as I continue through this program I guess.

Anyways, sorry for the long post I guess I just feel chatty this morning!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sundays At Tiffany's

Yesterday morning I had finished Eat Pray Love, and was waiting for my books that I had ordered from Amazaon (The Insulin Resistance Diet, Women Food God) and I needed something to read. I had to go to the car shop and have two tires replaced and there was no way that I was waiting an hour and a half with nothing to do! My Aunt had recently given me several of her old novels, as she is trying to clear out the clutter and make room for the baby, and this book Sundays At Tiffany's was among them.

Now I will willfully admit that the plot line sounds extremely cheesy, this I cannot deny. It starts with a little girl who has an imaginary friend to help her through her childhood difficulties (absentee father, mother who is more preoccupied with her own love life and career, etc). This imaginary friend must leave her once she turns nine, but she isn't supposed to remember anything about him. She does in fact remember this imaginary friend, grows up and writes a broadway show about it. When she is in her thirties, she runs into this imaginary friend (who has now become real) and they fall in love.... and they all live happily ever after.

If you are into the fantastical, love story type of situation, this book is definitely for you. As for me, I prefer a more realistic love story... but then again, what love story really is realistic? How often do those Nicholas Sparks romances actually happen? I will admit, however, that this book was certainly a page turner. James Patterson does have a way with words and it was a very light and easy read. I do think the situation with Micheal- his job, how it works, and how he ended up becoming human- could have used a little more development. I understand that they are trying to keep the mysterious side of it going, but I just felt like I needed a little bit more. I also think the relationship between Jane and her mother needed more development; there was enough about why it was such a strained relationship, but there was really never any information why Jane was so eager to please her mother and how her and her mother could have had the resolution they did at the end of the book. Just a few thoughts...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Swim Lessons

One day last week, I was able to let me aunt take the day off swim lessons and brought the boys to their lessons myself. It was a lot of fun to watch the boys in their lessons, learning how to swim. It was also fun to watch them playing in the pool when they weren't in their lessons, showing off and being their cute selves!

Wordless Wednesday

Eat Pray Love

After four days of devouring this book, one page at a time, my most recently conquered novel is Eat.Pray.Love. This book was absolutely amazing and echoed something that I have always had the romantic notion of doing, dropping everything and just traveling. Granted, Elizabeth Gilbert's traveling was more purposeful than mine would ever be.

She had three places she wanted to visit: Italy, India, and Indonesia (the three I's). In each place, she had a mission (so-to-speak) that she wished to accomplish. In Italy, she wanted to pursue pleasure- in India, she pursued devotion- and in Indonesia, she pursued the balance between the two. Throughout her journey, Liz Gilbert was also trying to get over her own battle with depression, self doubt, and loneliness all sprouting from a failed marriage and an additional failed relationship. Gilbert's trip was one of recovery, one of discovering herself, and one of finding happiness within herself again.

My only question that was sort of unresolved at the end, and I could have totally missed it, was at the beginning of her stay in Indonesia, Liz found out that she was only allowed to stay for a month, and she ended up staying her whole visit. How was this whole thing resolved?

This novel was a truly inspirational read and I cannot wait for the movie to come out this weekend to see how they translated this novel full of inner dialogue and personal thoughts into an on-screen production.

Go. Read it!