Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ramblings of a Runner


Today was a perfect day to be a runner in good ol' Southern Maryland. Temperatures were in the mid- to high-40s. That's basically spring time weather. We ran at the lake, and with the exception of some muddy spots, it was a great day to be on the trail. Our pace wasn't really any faster or slower than normal, but I felt so strong-- both mentally and physically. 

You know that feeling when you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and just feel satisfied? That's how I felt running today. I could feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, smell the earthy scent of the forest, and feel the power in my legs. This probably sounds slightly hippie-ish, but I think there's a lot of strength, power, and centeredness that can be gained from spending time in nature. 

Other than today's run I've been reflecting somewhat on the month of January and how I feel about my goals and accomplishments.

Fitness

This past week I had my fifth personal trainer workout. It was tough, but I'm already noticing differences in my strength. My body is able to do things I could barely do during the demo workout. Pretty neat to see results so quickly. There's still a ways to go though-- ab workouts are incredibly frustrating because my abs are probably my weakest area. In addition to what I'm learning and gaining during the workouts, I really appreciate the friendship I'm developing with my trainer. 

My running has had a lot of ups and downs since charging into 2015. There's not too much more to say about it than that without going into way too much detail. My plan is to stay positive and attribute the "downs" to the yucky winter weather. Even with the iffy runs, I've managed to rack up 131 miles so far this year :) 

Choosing Happiness

A few weeks ago I painted a canvas sign with the phrase "Choose Happiness". This canvas is hung up at my desk at work. The intent is to remind me that I choose my reaction to unpleasant and negative situations and individuals. Has it totally worked? No, but sometimes it does. And if nothing else, it adds a little beauty to a pretty darn ugly space :) 

2015 Memory Project 

Remember the 2015 Memory Project? How's yours coming along? I only missed two days for the month of January! Not too shabby. I hope I can keep that up for the rest of the year. I will say though-- some days are really uneventful. How many days in a row can the highlight of the evening be that you watched Breaking Bad? 

Nutrition

Nutrition has been a pretty big focus. I've been reading about body pH and the effects in has on disease. And yikes, it's scary. I still have a lot to read and consider, but there are a few recommendations that I want to begin implementing into my diet to be healthier. If you see me munching on something that looks like grass-- that would be sprouts. Supposedly, there are many health benefits of adding sprouts to your diet including creating a alkalizing effect of your body which helps prevent disease. I'm also continually trying to add more vegetables to my diet. I eat a lot of fruit, but not a lot of vegetables. Forming a new habit is tough.     

Beauty

This wasn't something I announced anywhere-- and I don't think Nick even realized I was doing it until towards the end of the month; but I was intentionally not using any heat on my hair (hair dryer, straightener, etc). Wondering why I chose to do that for a full month (and yes, I did it the entire month, and still 7 days into February have not used heat on my hair)? I read an article on Mind Body Green called 12 Monthly Wellness Challenges to Try in the Year Ahead. The idea was that you would try one new thing each month with the goal in the end to find a balance in all areas. There were a few things on this list that I wanted to try-- no heat drying being one of them. I will say that it went exceptionally well. I don't think anyone noticed that I was coming into work with wet hair or that I was styling it differently (things that concerned me at the beginning). But the benefits have very much surprised me. My hair is softer, fuller, and overall just looks and feels healthier. 

Eventually I might get up the courage to try "Makeup Free Monday". For someone who has been wearing makeup since middle school, going into public (specifically work) without makeup is down-right scary. 

Other things I'm experimenting with in the beauty area are organic nail polish (surprisingly no more expensive than regular nail polish) and the oil cleansing method of washing my face. So far I like the results of both, but I haven't been doing them long enough to give a full account of the benefits. 

How are you feeling about the first month of 2015? Have you made progress towards a happier healthier you? I'd love to hear about your goals, accomplishments, and even your setbacks-- after all, we should be here to encourage and be a positive force for one-another.

♥AK