3, 2, 1 … I’M BACK!!!

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I’m please to announce I can finally resume a normal routine as Budget
season (for now) has come to an end at work!  I had to take a break from blogging because life was so consumed with work and I had to make the right decision which was to put Race it, Live it, Love it on a tiny “PAUSE.”  It’s too bad the “PAUSE” couldn’t have just existed in this realm of my WordPress account it instead happened in my running and personal life too.

I’ve come to accept a few things as well as learning a lot about myself during this duration of non stop chaos and “PAUSING” from all other things.  I sum it up to the part of the marathon mile 21-23 or so when you’re at your breaking point, everything hurts, body starts shutting down, and you start to become slightly delusional.  Then of course there is the end of the race which is how I felt after this busy work period and I just wanted to crash in a bathtub of ice…scratch that…sleep – A LOT! And finally after the celebrations there is picking up the pieces of your life before training started and trying to establish a “normal” routine whatever that means right?

Overall, I wish I had a better handle of how things would play out the past few months of 2014 but there are just some things that are beyond controllable. I was extremely sick a few weeks of January into February. Work kicked into high gear and I felt as though I never caught my breath from being sick.  I’m disappointed to type it but running was pushed to the wayside, eating healthy took a back seat, and I had very little time to devote to family and friends which made everything in my sphere of life really stressful and difficult. “Picking up the pieces” of my life after this busy season ended has been hard to face because I have no clue how I let myself get so bad and let things get out of hand.

Here is the deal! 3, 2, 1 …
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I was afraid to run at first…
Call me crazy but I didn’t want to face my shoes, the old running paths, or even put on my garmin. All of it was intimidating. My dog even was feeling the pain of not running with me by acting up and disobeying commands. Lilly was ultimately my saving grace…it took the happy look she made when I put on my shoes to realize “yeah your right pup I LOVE TO RUN TOO lets do this – together.”
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I ran a 5k race purely for fun
I was in no way In my best running shape for a 5k March 16th but I did it anyway. I ran into my running girlfriends I used to run all the time with during marathon training so we all ran the race together and caught up. I was happy to run the race for fun and run with the girls that made running so fun for me in the past. It felt good to cross that finish line and prove hey I still got this even though I’ve not had much time on the pavement. Sometimes All I need is a dose of running friends and a fun race to get back in gear.
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I signed up for two more races and by chance got into another
Look at me I run one 5k and gain a whole lot of confidence. Actually, what happen was I was able to get into the Marine 17.75k (April 12th) which in turn means if I finish that race I’ll be running my 4th Marine Corps Marathon this fall. I also signed up for the Marine Historic Half (May 18th) which will be my official and likely only spring half. I’m feeling gutsy admitting it but I’d like to go after a 1:38 that’s the goal anyway. So I need to go find my speed that I’ve tucked away for the past 6 months! Lastly, I was offered to purchase a bib off someone who unfortunately is injured and can’t run the cherry blossom 10 miler (April 6th). I certainly have my work cutout for me and boy is the pressure on now that I admitted my gutsy goal.   Having races lined up is intimidating but it’s just what I need to focus on long-term running and health and get me out from this funk I’ve been in.

I not only tried my first spin class I ran a 5k after too
To everyone out there that suggested I try cycling/spinning you were right…it’s the most amazing thing ever. I may have discovered my new obsession.  I finally stopped making excuses and signed up for a spin + run class offered through my friend deirdre at REV UP cycle studio. I have a huge inspirational crush on Allie who does dulathons and this was a similar concept class; we spun for 45 minutes then hopped over to Charm City Run to run a 5k. Such a cool concept but might I suggest not trying both in the same day especially if spinning for the first time. I was able to fly like the wind with my jelly legs after the spin at 7:45 pace but the legs were cramping at the end a lot..hello out of shape holly. It was an awesome experience and I’m hoping to be attending more cycle classes here in the future one tomorrow and one Friday! Yay to switching things up and trying new things.

Getting back into the grove is hard
It has not been easy but I’m pushing myself to do the best I can when I can. I have my moments when I get home and I want to crash on the couch or make an excuse, but what has helped is I envision the run on my commuter train home and it makes me look forward to it when I walk through the front door.  Now that I have my running back I’m starting to feel more like myself again and just happy…its been a while but I’m glad to be back!
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Ever let yourself go? diet, exercise? How do you get back on track?

Posted in live it, race it, Running | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Out of the Office!

Actually in it!!!!

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Throughout the year my job has it’s busy seasons and if it’s not busy it’s moderately busy or just slow. This time of year in particular happens to always be busy for me because unlike Congress’s inability to pass a bill on time or make decisions with my line of work we do as were told and do it on time. It’s like clockwork every December through March I’m strapped to my desk working long days. Without disclosing too much of what is irrelevant to what my blog is really about I’m a Financial Management Analyst when I’m not running.

Financial Analyst? Initially going into College I thought I’d study Business Marketing and then later work for some sort of branding company analyzing trends and managing marketing campaigns etc. In my early core business classes I found that having the ability to analyze data and forecast those concepts might be key to a marketing position. I concentrated in Finance instead of Marketing and mainly took economic classes as those additional filler classes. Little did I know that in 2009 as a graduate the economy was going to crap and getting a full time job would be difficult.

Fortunately for me I’m a planner and applied in advance for a number of positions and landed the opportunity I had that eventually turned into my current position. My dedication to both work and my long term running goals are pretty much one in the same. I work just as hard as I run and I don’t accept anything less from myself. Due to the strenuous work schedule this time of year I have to “step out of the blog office” for just a little bit. I can’t accept writing mediocre posts just to post and I know those of who find time to read this blog would respect that. After all this is a conical of sorts about my life and guess what not only has this blog come to a pause so has time with family, friends, my puppy Lilly, sleep, and running...I miss it all and look forward to my life outside of the walls of where I work when this busy season passes!

Until then I will catch up on what everyone else is up to and read while I’m on my late night train ride home. So please post a link of your blog or articles you recently have found fun or interesting.

Posted in live it | 3 Comments

Channeling Spring – Jack Rogers

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As another snow storm brews I’m trying to think happy sunny warm thoughts. A little inspiration today by way of the iconic Palm Beach, made in the USA brand, Jack Rogers

Jackie O put Jack Rogers classic sandal on the map back in the 60′s and 70′s and some how these flip flops have stuck around holding their originial look.
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What I love most about Jack Rogers brand is that these sandles come in a variety of colors and styles yet they possess both quality and comfort. my Jack Rogers are my summer staple,must have, can’t live without flip flop. As the warmer months near I know I’ll need to replace my trusty 8-year-old Jack Rogers so what better opportunity then a sale right?

Look at my poor old flops…
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Wintertime is when I buy my summertime staples because usually I can get everything on sale. I’ve been on the hunt all winter for a pair of Jack Rogers, on sale, and that I loveI’m not just settling to have.

Jack Rogers is not failing this season with two of the biggest trends for your flops… Metallic Glitter Platinum and Tortoise! Naturally when I found these a few months back I had a huge crush on them.
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The best part about these beauties is I waited and I’ve found them 33% off…thats right ladies….
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Shop to find both of these Jack Rogers: Metallic and Tortoise

I can’t wait for the Tortoise to come in the mail and pair them this spring with my necklace and earrings from Benevolent Jewles.
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Shop to find: Necklace / Earrings Get both 20% off with code HKCODE20

Funny thing is I’m feeling a little more SPRING in my step after this sales purchase today so BRING ON THE SNOW!

If you get a chance hop on over to Meghan’s blog Playing with Patterns to get to know me a little bit better through a fun blogger quiz Meghan has featured me in (yay!). Meghan is training for the Nike Womens Half Marathon this spring and is such an inspiring fashionista.

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Do you wait for items to go on sale or do you splurge? Are you ready for spring/summer too?

holly signature

Posted in Charm City Style, Fashion | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Tales of a Sick Girl

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When I was young sick days only happened after I went to school and spent time in the nurses office and farmer dad would stop the tractors and come get me. We would hop in his dirty hay covered 1987 red ford pick up and drive to the local clinic where everyone knew us. Then we would go to the pharmacy and he would let me stay in the car while he went in to grab prescriptions always coming out with some sort of candy bar and by request Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Sick half days were awesome because it was just my dad and me watching full house, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, and Home Improvement until the rest of the gang came home then he went back to the fields.

Sick days as an adult are nothing like sick days as a kid. First, for me it’s the struggle of feeling guilty not going to work. Then the “I can take care of myself” kicks in and I start self prescribing what I have based on what my friends have kicks in. Then after all that medication fails it is the question of what doctor to see and heaven forbid if you forget your insurance card even if you’re a patient there they treat you like they have never seen you before. Being sick is so complicated it’s one big “think for yourself and figure it out,” which in itself can be daunting while sick.

Last week I painfully reflected on my lack of running the previous week summarizing why I didn’t run at all which I thought was due to stress, weather, and a dash of feeling lazy. It turns out my body was sending me signals that week which were followed by some serious feeling ailments. Interestingly enough before I could jump back into the running saddle like I was craving my body decided to confine me to a sick bubble.

I woke up last Wednesday with burning in my lungs, ears popping, and head feeling like it was going to explode.  I would have rather run two marathons in one day then experience the pain I had gotten myself into.  I thought I had a cold no big deal everyone has a cold right now so I thought this is the cold. Then after I realized I couldn’t breath I finally came to my senses and went to see my internal medicine doctor later that day. After my evaluation and a scan my doctor looked at me like I was crazy.

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The final diagnosis was scary I have waking pneumonia, double ear infection, and a sinus infection. My mouth dropped knowing all that sounded way worse than a common cold. The inevitable truth was that I would have to stop running until I can breathe without having to use my inhaler daily. Inhaler? I asked and yes… This never had an asthma attack marathon runner has to use an inhaler at lest twice a day and in between as needed. On top of that I have to take a bunch of other drugs that have made me sick, dizzy, forgetful, delirious, etc..so its been just wonderful in my world over here.

This past week has been a blur of crazy dreams from my medication and bad bad bad daytime TV. I resisted the urge to blog or get on social media because I tried to focus on getting myself well so I’m sorry for my disappearing act and lack of communication.  I did however think way too much about running and I may have done way too much shopping (sales of course).

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Sole Society Shoes on sale for $24

Needless to say I miss the good old sick days with my dad and I even sort of crave the smell of hay when I’m sick - it comforts me. It’s too bad these days being sick can’t be just that your sick so drop everything. I’m glad I took this last week and this week easy and I’m planning on getting back into routine next week. In the end no matter what our philosophy is on treating a sickness it will likely never be as good as we had it when we were kids.

I have to say the support from everyone was so uplifting and every get well message was appreciated. So thank you all so much for checking in on me.

holly signature

 

 

 

What were sick days like for you as a kid? or what do you do with your kids when they are sick?
How do you treat yourself when you are sick, do you have guilty feelings about missing work?

Posted in Running | 11 Comments

Running Highs to Low Low Lows

The weeks all before last I’ve been on a running high. I’ve non stopped completed most all my planned workouts from my coach and then some. I’ve logged miles on the treadmill and run in snow and ice and to have even managed all that made me feel extremely accomplished. It’s true what they say about that runners high and those endorphins for me feel so good and make me so happy I look forward to the next workout. I spend my workday thinking about the next run, planing my route, and even plan what I’m going to wear.   You could say running is the highlight of my day.

Last week something happened I was on a total running low. Sounds strange seeing as how I spent the day at a Nike photo shoot that was all about what I love to do…run. Normal behavior would suggest that would only be more motivation on top of all the other reasons why I love to run to get out the door and run. It was completely the opposite dreading the run after work and not all to motivated to do it. I made the excuses to not run, not get out the door, and be a sad couch potato.

Talk about low I let the stresses of the late work days, life, my commute, and a little bit of the weather keep me from lacing up my shoes. I partly mostly blame the wacky weather because I personally weigh the risks of getting out the door. I ask myself – Is it worth falling on ice? Sickness? Or developing a running injury/muscle pull? Sure call me a worry wort but its not like I have a race right around the corner so for me the risk is too high to push myself running in poor conditions.  I also considered the treadmill even though I despise the device it wasn’t the reason why I didn’t step foot on it. I simply worked way too late last week to stay at my work gym in DC as getting home at 9PM is awful.

I got way too comfortable doing nothing that all those happy running high endorphins I was lacking made me want to be even more lazy.  It’s absolutely unfair how that works as it’s a terrible pattern to get stuck in.   Now I can totally relate to getting stuck in a workout rut.  I even slept passed my alarm, skipped a free yoga season, and then skipped my run on Saturday. At the very least I told myself last week be active on Saturday and I just couldn’t snap out of the running low funk. Maybe I needed this “running low” past week off from running?

Saturday Morning this is what it looked like outside!

Saturday Morning this is what it looked like outside!

I’m not proud of taking the week off, I didn’t plan for it, and to be honest I’m mad that I let myself do it. I think I’ve figured out why I let it happen and its called stress which for me is hard to adjust to.  I’m usually a pretty predictable stress ball but an unusual week of things kept coming up and my only coping mechanism, because I was so exhausted was do nothing.  I think I learned more than anything this past week is to power through the stress by taking a deep breath and finding something else that is active to engage in because the non-active method makes things worse. The balancing act of healthy mind=healthy body.

I really liked this so I "snap shot it" from instagram.

I really liked this so I “snap shot it” from instagram.

so no more running lows over here!

Here is the absolute kicker just as I’m ready to get out there and hit the pavement again we get this kind of weather today…

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And then you would think a week off inside doing nothing means I’m rested and in good health. Unfortunately not…I’ve developed an annoying cough/throat/nose/sinus everything in the cold book sickness. It’s like history repeats itself because everytime I stop and relax I get sick…why is that?

This upcoming week is going to have to be adjusted running wise not only because I skipped last week but because now I can’t breathe without coughing. For all those who stuck with running last week through the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures your my motivation this week- no excuses wish me luck!

Did you just up and stop running for a week , why? Do you have running highs? What about lows? How is winter running treating you?

Posted in race it, Running | 16 Comments