Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Recap and 2013 Plan

Musings on last year and where I hope to go from here..
2012 was my year to become an adult. This isn’t wholly fair to younger Holly--in my first couple years post-college, I wasn’t not an adult. I paid my bills on time, lived away from home, and had a steady job. But I went out too much, I lived with roommates and then in a way-too-expensive studio, and I didn’t take good care of my body or mind. I didn’t look like an “adult” in the way I had envisioned it for myself--which was fine, because I was young and having fun! Real adulthood could come later.

Except I got tired of it. And I met Dan. And life started to change a bit. Slowly but surely, a shorter commute, bed at a reasonable hour, and way more cooking all started to sound more appealing than hour+ metro rides, constant late nights, and eating out all the time a “fast casual” places. I started to plan for my future (oh hey grad school apps!). I realized just how draining my long commute was (and just how fun living with Dan could be!). I figured out just how amazing consistent running is for my body, mind, and sleep habits. And things started to come together.

A lot of these changes started to take hold in 2011, but 2012 was my year for real action on the whole Becoming An Adult front. Let’s see:

  • I studied for and took (and did well on!) the GRE.
  • I moved in with Dan - to a location I originally resisted (due to its suburban nature) but now truly love (+ love my commute!).
  • I actually found living with someone else (Dan!) to be enjoyable and worth it (a huge step for me the frequent loner!).
  • I ran consistently and finally started to enjoy running outside.
  • I ran my first race - a 10k - and beat my goal time.
  • I started to floss and actually stuck with it for the whole year!*
  • I bought a new car using money I had saved up (though I’ll be paying the loan off for a while)
  • I put up some holiday decorations for the fall and for Christmas.
  • I did well at my job (and got a great interim 2012 review still pending!) while still maintaining the all-important work-life balance.
  • I started going to yoga weekly.
  • I applied to graduate school! (DONE with apps, finally)
[*Dan and I were talking a while ago about our biggest yearly accomplishments. I said mine for 2012 was definitely developing a flossing habit. He was like really? Not your first race, not your GRE? And I maintained flossing as my biggest. I’ve stuck to fitness routines before, and I’ve studied (and aced) tests. But I have ALWAYS had terrible oral hygiene (gross, I know) and never have consistently flossed. So go me!]

I feel really good about my progress this year--I made serious strides in planning for my future and developing daily healthy habits that will hopefully stick with me. Life looks a lot like how I wanted my "adult" life to look. And I'm happy!

But of course there is still work to do! I started to list out things I wish I had done more of in 2012 and/or want to do to continue my progression toward “adulthood”, however I’m defining it. The items honestly were fairly simple (e.g., read more, talk to my friends more, do something about my aging skin) and tended to fall into one of four categories, which are:

  • Take better care of my home
  • Take better care of my body
  • Take better care of my mind
  • Take better care of my relationships
So the theme of 2013 is to take better care of things. I’m getting old...but I'm happy with where I am. I just want to take care of all the good stuff I have and get the most out of the life I've established for myself. I want to continue to try to make the best use of my time and stop wasting life away on my computer.

Continued Happiness Project, kind of
So I suppose this means I'm back to that Happiness Project I started a while ago and kind of flaked on. But I'm going to approach it a little differently this time. The original HP focused on one topic area at a time per month. I only have a few (broad) areas that I want to focus on, and I don't want to wait until I reach the associated month to start addressing them.

I'm going to do a slight spin on the Happiness Project, and I guess I'll call it "Take Better Care of Things 2013." Or maybe something catchier if I think of it, though I bet TBCT13 will stick.

I'm going to address one item from each sector a month--so in January, I'll focus on four small tasks, one for each the home, body, mind, and relationships. I've brainstormed a bunch of items I want to tackle through the year, but I'm not going to plan them all out now. I want to give myself some flexibility, depending on how the year is going and what progress I'm making. I'm going to challenge myself to be specific in my monthly goals and not too overwhelming. 

I'll be back soon with my goals for January!

Running lately + big news

Yesterday I ran 5.5 miles in snow/sleet/rain! Not my best run--I just wanted it to be OVER. I ran inconsistently over the last three weeks, 4-5 miles per run but only twice a week. Oh well, at least I was out there. I even ran in the snow while I was home for the holidays--two factors that previously would have been significant deterrents!
This was NOT the snow I ran in. But this is what my
house looked like when I left for the airport!
Almost forgot to mention some BIG NEWS I received before the holiday. I got selected from the Cherry Blossom 10 miler lottery! I was not expecting at all to get in to the race on the first year, and I honestly am a little terrified at the prospect of running 10 miles in April. But I'll give it my best shot and hopefully will finish! Details to come on my planned training.

Today's workout

I hit the apartment complex gym for a quick cross-training session today--25 minutes on the elliptical + weights. Felt nice to be back to lifting!

Today's eats

Trying but failing to get off the sugar cycle I've been on since the holidays. I've been hungry all day today, and I'm guessing my sugar-heavy holiday diet is to blame. Oh well. No "cleanses" or "detoxes" here--I think I'll return to normal patterns once I'm back to my usual schedule after Tuesday. Today's lunch:

Leftover diner-style potatoes (boiled for a bit then cooked on the stovetop in some butter/oil) + sauteed kale + cheese + an over easy egg. I could eat this meal every day. So tasty!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Life since Thanksgiving

What I've been doing:
Woah. I had a blog at one point. Been busy living life and not blogging about it. Alas. I've been:

-Running. Two back to back highest-for-me mile weeks to date. Which is exciting! See the workout summaries at the bottom of this post. I'm excited about this. I upped my running from 3 to 4 days per week, which was the main cause of the increase in mileage. I'm actively trying to get to around 20 miles/week consistently. I think that'd be a good point from which to start thinking about longer races (10 miler or half-marathon).

-Working. Which isn't so bad. A few longer days, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. Though I've been told that January could be an entirely different beast. Trying not to get too worked up about it in advance, especially since the project keeps changing timelines.

-Family-ing. Dan's sister had a baby! He's so teeny tiny! So we went to see him, which was awesome, obviously.

-Kinda sorta doing those grad apps. I'm done with 3 out of 8 (full disclosure: the 3 were due end of November/early December--it's not like I actually got my butt in gear before the deadline). The next set are due early January, with some stragglers into mid-Jan/Feb. My goal is to have all of the essays done by Christmas and all of the applications done by January 1st.

-Decorating, just a bit. I made a festive mini tree! (idea originally from my mom, who made me a mini-tree in college with ribbons in my school colors. Too cute). If you asked me when I was younger, I would have told you I would never be the decorating type--too stuffy and traditional. But I've found that a few festive touches around the apartment really lift my mood and are visually appealing [Placeholder to myself to take a picture and insert it later!].

What's on deck:
-Lots more family. Tis the season, right? Going to see Dan's family this coming weekend then my family the next. I accidentally scheduled myself to be at my mom's house for a week over Christmas...I don't think I've been home for that long since college. Dan will be there for half, and then he'll leave before the actual holiday. I'm looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the time.

-Maintenance running. With lots of upcoming events/travel, I know I won't get to continue to increase my weekly mileage until January. My goal is just to get a couple of quality runs in each week to mostly maintain my fitness. Then it's time to build in January, with some sort of longer race on my mind for spring.

-Finishing those damn grad school apps. Once I get them done I will have NOTHING besides normal life duties on my plate. And it will be glorious. For the past 1.5 years I feel like I've had to be working toward that next step (finding a new job, studying for the GRE, grad school apps, etc.). Once the applications are in, there isn't much more I can do but...wait.*

*This is me lying to myself, a little bit. I know I'll have tons of financial aid and some fellowship applications to do. Let's ignore those for now.

So that's what is coming up. Before vacations/life disruptions I often get antsy and start wishing for the time to pass so I can go back to real life. Which is terrible! I just crave the return to normalcy and to knowing exactly what to expect. So I'm going to do my best to live in the moment and enjoy the time, knowing that normal life will be on the other side waiting.

It is very possible that you may not hear from me until the new year, but I'll return with lots of thoughts on next year's goals and running plans!

Weekly Workout Summary x2, November 26 - December 9, 2012:

Monday: 3.5 mi @ 11:38

Tuesday: 75 min vinyasa yoga

Wednesday: 3 mi on the treadmill (1.0% inc., 5.0-5.8 mph). Damn this was hard. Way harder than running outside. Never thought I'd be one of those runners that prefers the outdoors!

Thursday: 3.7 mi @ 10:39. I was in a rush to get a package from our leasing office before it closed. Intentionally pushed it!

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 6.3 mi @ 11:41

Sunday: OFF (Baby visit!)

Week of November 26 mileage: 16.5 mi

Monday: 4 mi @ 11:17

Tuesday: 75 min vinyasa yoga

Wednesday: 2.5 mi @ 11:11 (outside), then I went to our apartment gym for a strength session. Felt good to lift again!

Thursday: 4.5 mi tempo run. My first attempt at a tempo! I did two miles at 10:02 average pace, which is  fast for me (especially to maintain with no breaks), so that was exciting.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 7 mi @ 11:29. This was sort of hard, but gorgeous weather. I need to map out a new running route because I always feel like I'm circling back and weaving around to try to tack on more miles to my long runs.

Sunday: 90 min hatha yoga. I only did this because I have a pass that's expiring before Christmas. I wouldn't go back to hatha in the studio--it was nice and stretchy, but I feel like I'm capable of leading myself through a hatha session at home (vs. vinyasa I really like having someone push me).

Week of December 3 mileage: 18 mi