Life as a Military Spouse

While this is (mostly) a running blog, it’s also a personal blog too.  After a long conversation with a friend, I realized where

I find myself constantly going back and forth of being: 

A “proud military spouse.”

To finding my own identity…

To being frustrated with the military because everything changes so rapidly…. 

I’ll always be proud of what my husband does, whether he is in the military or not.

Finding my own identity is a post by itself.  In conversation, I don’t care to talk about myself a lot (ironic since I’ve been blogging for five years), but I find myself questioning my identity.

Am I Hollie, military spouse?  Hollie the runner? Hollie the volunteer? Hollie the blogger?  To be honest, I don’t have an answer to that, and I find myself lost in my own identity.

And of course, the last frustration component makes up most of this blog. 

You know what?

Life has been hard.

Not in a whiny sense but in a talk real sense.  My husband and I are preparing for another deployment soon.  By “preparing”, I mean the Air Force needed him for another last minute trip, and he is currently away doing something else.  The trip was only supposed to last four days but four days turned to 5…6…7…and we are still counting upwards.

In the next 16 days, there is a lot to do before the deployment.  None of these things, he (or I) can do while he is away doing something else.  Sure there are goodbyes, but there is a lot of paperwork and misc tasks that have to be done beforehand.

These tasks are done on top of working a normal job.  What most people don’t realize is that also with the military, you don’t just “fly some” and come home.  When you’re not flying you’re back doing things on base too.  So it isn’t like a vacation when he is back. Not that he has been back to do that.

Essentially neither of us work regular hours.  Today (Friday) was our only day off together for the next 16 days, but that didn’t pan out. With my job, I must request days off a month in advance.  Working in retail that is what happens.  You can’t call in sick because if you do, the store can’t function. It ultimately strains the store.

I love my job but to give you an idea of how August played out, I asked for four days off to spend with my husband.  All four of those days he had emergency missions.  All four of those days off were wasted for me.  If I hadn’t requested off, I’m sure he would have had off.

With the military, your plans are always changing.  Your needs can often come behind the needs of the AF and the county.  I love my husband, and we are in a happy marriage but this month has tested both my stress and anxiety.  I would by lying if I said I hadn’t cried when several plans were canceled. Is it the end of the world?  No, but it’s frustrating.

I’m not a perfect wife, military spouse or person.  I do know that if he could, my husband wouldn’t cancel plans.  

So where does this leave me now? 
The same place I started.  Unfortunately, my plans are often dependent on what the needs of the military.  I’ll keep trucking on and we will make the best of the situation as we normally do.

August 9th, 2010

On August 9th, 2010 I started blogging.  So today, August 9th marks six full years of blogging.  Can you believe that?

It probably doesn’t feel like it!  There are very few people, if anyone, that have read LOLZ Blog for that long.  Plus six years in the blogging land is like 20 human years.

six years of blogging

My blog has gone through a lot of changes throughout the last few years but then again, so have I.  I began blogging as a 20-year-old college student in Upstate, NY.  Now I’m a married 26-year-old living in southern New Jersey.

One of my blogging photos and open water swims
One of my blogging photos and open water swims

I thought it would be fun to summarize the last six years of my life and how my blog has changed along with it.

Year 1: 2010-2011

The original blog title was “LOLZthatswim”.  I added the (and run) later on since it was kind of just a thing I did on the side of swimming…I was a competitive swimmer and had been for over a decade.  When I started my blog, I started running too.  Junior year I began both swimming and running for my college.  It was a lot, but I loved both sports!

Old school site header
Old school site header

I had no idea what to expect for college cross country. I didn’t know anything about the sport of running, and everything was a new experience.  It was pressure free and worry free.  You can read more about my running story here.  The first year was my honeymoon love story with running. rachel

Running was my new boyfriend it treated me well.  At the time, swimming was arduous, and I was going through the motions of the sport but had fallen out of love.  In the middle of the summer, July 12th to be exact, I got my first running injury.  My tibial stress fracture came from doing too much too soon.  That was a straight forward overuse injury.  I thought in order to get better you must run faster all of the time.  That didn’t work and I ended up injured.  So I spent the summer cross training preparing for the upcoming season.

Year 2: 2011-2012 The Change and Graduation

Year two of my blog started out with a bang. It was the start of my senior year of college, and I was miserable, so I made a lot of changes.

  • I changed my major from math to public health.
  • I quit swimming altogether.
  • I broke up with my then-boyfriend who I dated through college.

My life drastically changed in about a month, but I’ll never have any regrets.  If I hadn’t chosen to change all of those factors I would have never been happy.  My blog continued to follow my journey.  I suffered a lot of social anxiety my senior year of college and spent most of my time focused on graduating with a new major as well as running.  After breaking up with a serious boyfriend, I had no interest in dating.

Funny how those things work but I met Tim at a college cross country race.  We weren’t “immediately in love” and it took us a few months to even start dating.  I think I posted a blog about it here.

timandi1

After college cross country I decided to train for a longer race.  I ran the Plattsburgh Half Marathon in April of 2012.  My goal was to run under a 1:30 and I ran a 1:27.  It was my first big race win and I was so excited and proud.  It showed me that even though college cross country was over, I had plenty of running left.

plattsburgh3

Year 3: 2012-2013 Oswego

I graduated college in 2012.  Even though I swore I would leave Upstate, NY I ended up working for a year on a college campus.  After a very long talk with a lot of crying, Tim and I stayed together and maintained a distance relationship.

College graduation
College graduation

He was busy with work and so was I.  My coworkers were the best and I made two of my good friends Becky and Danielle.

They even took me to first hockey game.
They even took me to first hockey game.

I started a job I enjoyed in Oswego and met a lot of close friends that year including Laura, Brittany, and Heather.

Left to right: Heather, Laura, me, Brittany
Left to right: Heather, Laura, me, Brittany

2012 was a huge turning point year for me.  I was self-sufficient, working and living by myself.  I felt like a real adult and met a lot of friends along the way.  Despite being over 2000 miles apart, Tim and I maintained a long distance relationship.

On the running front, I ran one of my favorite races: The Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC (the race no longer exists).  It was a huge accomplishment because I got out of my social anxiety comfort zone, ran a race I was scared to do and set a PR at the time.  Plus I placed 9th out of 15,000 women which was a huge accomplishment.

nikerunning

Year 4: 2013-2014 Texas and New Jersey and Marathons:

In the late Spring of 2013, I made the decision to move to Texas with Tim.  Due to the military, he did not have the option to move where or when he wanted.  Either I would move in with him, or we would not live together and probably not stay together.  You can’t do long distance forever…

I left Oswego and moved in with my parents for the summer.  I worked and gathered all of my things for the huge life change.  Honestly, I didn’t have a plan, job or any idea of what I would do down there.  It gave me anxiety to tell people when they asked.  Obviously, I hoped I would find a job and make friends when I moved down there.  I knew I had Tim but moving down to a remote area with no plan terrified me.

Just thinking about Texas and my hair is huge....

A few weeks after I moved down there, the military had other plans. They decided they were sending Tim to New Jersey.  I had packed up all of my things and planned to live in Texas for a few years!  It was incredibly frustrating, but you never know with the military. 

Neither of us knew much about New Jersey.  We drove on the turnpike but had never spent much time in the state.To keep myself occupied during my brief Texas stay, I trained for my first marathon, New York City.  No one hires you for a month, so I just made the best of the situation.  I blogged, lived off of savings and ran.  I didn’t hate Texas, but I doubt I would have enjoyed staying much longer.  After coming back to the East Coast, I ended up running a 3:17.  Cliff notes: it was freezing, windy and my first marathon. New York City Marathon was actually a much tougher course than I realized.  I had a great time, though.

Running the NYCM 2013

After running New York and moving to New Jersey, I looked for various jobs. I began working at the running store, and I enjoy helping others appreciate the sport.  I’ve been working there about 2 and a half years, and I enjoy it. I’ve made most of my friends through work, and I enjoy going in each day,

During the summer, I also started training for my second marathon.  It didn’t last long, and I got a second metatarsal fracture the week after Tim had his first deployment.  I spent most of my first year living in NJ injured.  By some miracle I ran and PRed at the April Fools Half Marathon.  To this day, I don’t know how I did it. I wasn’t in shape to run the time and hadn’t put in the work to run that time. The course was flat and fast, and it was a perfect day.  On the injury front, I had everything from a sore plantar fascia to a second metatarsal fracture.  It was one small ache after another.  Eventually, it led to my fracture.

I also joined Oiselle Violee that year.  I was on the team for just over a year and had a good time during that year.  I met some more of my close friends like Danielle and Amelia from the team.  I’ll never regret being part of Oiselle that year.

Nj half race
At the New Jersey half

Year 5: 2014 Assimilated and Running in New Jersey:

In later 2014, I decided to start running consistently again.  After completely healing I started training for my second marathon (again), the Phoenix Full marathon.  My training went well for the entire cycle but on race day I fell short and finished with an injury in my butt. After two months of recovering, I started training for shorter distances.  I began racing most weekends, adding speed and getting faster.

Phoenix
Phoenix

On the life front, I did a lot in 2014 but most noticeable, I got married.  There is obviously so much emotion that went into that single day, but it was one of the happiest and most enjoyable days of my life.

wedding 9

Year 6: 2015 Fun in New Jersey:

The last year has been filled with both good and bad.  I trained consistently from last August until April.  I set PRs in everything except the full marathon.Over the course of a year, I went from running a 20:30 5k to an 18:13. Honestly, compared to every other year the last has been boring. My husband and I have finally assimilated into “being married”.  Neither of our schedules is typical, but we like it that way.  I think by age 26, we have finally become adults that don’t move every year. 

This year we’ve added a lot more weekend adventure in our life and gone flying several times as well as hiking.

tim and I

So what’s in store for year 7 of blogging?

Honestly, I have no idea.  I’ll continue running and working towards getting back in shape.  I don’t forsee myself stopping to blog, and I’ll just continue doing that.  Will I run out of things to blog about? Probably not…Will I love running forever? Will I train for another half marathon? Even full marathon? Will I hit diner number 200? Who knows what year 7 in the blogging world will bring…

Questions for you:

How have you changed in the last six years?

Bloggers: How long have you been blogging? 

Blood Test Results

As I mentioned last week, I opted to try Inside Tracker.

InsiderTracker

After my injury, I had no answers about how my ankle fracture occurred.  It blindsided me. I received a DEXA scan which came out normal (not even flagged for osteopenia).  I also got my calcium and Vitamin D levels which both came out normal.  Just like my blood test with at my doctors, my blood test with Inside Tracker indicated Vitamin D and Calcium were both normal too.  Even though I don’t believe I got answers about my fracture, and do believe the information I obtained from Inside Tracker is beneficial.

So after essential nutrients from my first blood test came out, why did I decide to go further with Inside Tracker?
My quality of life is fine, and I live my day to day normally.  I live a pretty balanced lifestyle and enjoy cake, cookies, salad and meat.  I don’t have any health red flags such as exhaustion or loss of period.  While most signs of my fracture point towards gait or a rolled ankle, I wanted to at least get a full picture of my health.  Thinking out loud, I would rather rule out any problems then the question, “what if.”

Unfortunately, my insurance is great but doesn’t cover the cost of a blood test, “just to know”.  If I were dying or going through something serious my insurance would cover the test (as they covered it to check my Vitamin D and Calcium levels). They do not include a test just check key nutrients.  Heck why not throw in an MRI just to get some photos too? If only health care worked like that…

Due to the price, my husband and I went back and forth with Inside Tracker.  For a full blood analysis, the cost is $499.  In the medical world that is comparable for blood work, however, without insurance it’s steep. Do I want a blood test or do I want Louboutins? Decisions of the month…(kidding).  I was fortunate Inside Tracker gave me a discount but even if they did not, we decided the price would be worth it to have the knowledge.

Since I don’t give blood well, I opted to pay the extra fee for the White Glove Service.  This meant a registered nurse come to my house and collected my blood.  Another thing I don’t deal well with is the test also requires you to fast for 12 hours.  Even after eating directly before and after, I’ve passed out the majority of time giving blood or getting shots.

So being the diva I am, I ordered a test for the earliest time possible time of 7 am. The woman who came was professional, timely and done by 7:10. She works with several different but similar companies. In fact, she has been a mobile blood collector for 20 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

I got my blood drawn on a Thursday, and my results were available the Tuesday after.  I was impatiently waiting all weekend.  To be honest, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to know the results. I had seen plenty of people shocked by their results. What if they found I had a serious issue?  At least I would have answers I guess.

So with that, what did they find?

Inside Tracker classifies your result from “Optimal”, “Needs Work” and “At Risk”.

Let’s start with my “At a Risk”:
Cortisol Levels:

Cortisol insidetracker

My biggest issue is my cortisol level.  My cortisol level is too high. This definitely plays a role in my stress level as well as bloating.  I’m also a very type A person, and I do stress out from anxiety. I’ve always had a higher than average cortisol level due to stress, anxiety and occasionally depression.  To be honest, I’m getting out of a rough time in my life, so it’s not surprising my cortisol level is rather high.

How am I combating that? Mentally, I am making relaxing a priority.  I’m trying to focus on sleep as well as adding a few more of the nutrients indicated.  A lot can play a role in cortisol levels, and I need to make it a priority to just relax and not overbook myself.  Better said than done right?

Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 insidetracker

 

My second risk is my Vitamin B12 is extremely high. This surprised me!  I drink no more than 20 ounces of coffee daily (decaf after noon).  I drink soda once in a blue moon (maybe once every other month?).  I looked at my multivitamin which also has 100% of my daily intake.  A lot of the food I consume is enriched with B12 too.  So for now, I’ll look for nonenriched foods.  I’ll look to find a multivitamin without Vitamin B12 too. I like the taste of coffee, so hopefully, by substituting nonenriched foods, I’ll be able to lower my B12.

Next to my High levels:

Iron: 
I am honestly shocked, but my iron is too high.  I don’t know a lot of runners who have this issue.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was too low.  This will be a hard one to work on, to be honest.  It recommends eating less red meat.  I wouldn’t say I overeat red meat, but I do have a few serving a week.

Iron inside tracker

 

Iron inside tracker

Liver Enzymes:

My liver enzymes are too high. I had no idea what that even meant. I had to do more research after getting my results, but it is great information to have.  It recommends taking a probiotic and eating a few servings of nuts, so I’ll be adding those to my diet and monitoring the results.

liver enzymes inside tracker

So What’s the Plan?
  • I intend to focus on my Cortisol and Vitamin B12 because those are most important.
  • It was recommended to take a probiotic.  Is that the band-aid to fix everything?  I’ve been taking a probiotic for just over a week now.  To be honest, I can’t feel any difference, and I feel more bloated, but I think it will take a few weeks to assimilate.
  • I’m still researching how to decrease my iron levels.  I have a feeling my higher iron is inhibiting my calcium and vitamin D,  While I tested in the normal range, it was towards the lower end (and make a huge effort to intake a lot of both).

They are minor fixes and adding a few more nutrients and foods to my diet.  There is nothing drastic or a crash diet.

I’m also going to get retested in 8-10 weeks to see if I am improving.

Would I recommend Inside Tracker?

I would.  While the price is high, the quality of information you receive is worth it.  While I had several higher than average and two “at risk” categories, I didn’t have any major red flags.  That doesn’t mean the knowledge won’t help.  I would have never thought my iron levels were too high, and honestly, I was debating taking an iron supplement because “that’s what female runners do”.

I don’t believe any of these imbalances caused my ankle fracture, however, I’m glad I chose to get the blood work. I do feel as though as I begin running and increase mileage, my body will respond better to the mileage.

Chances are if you decide to utilize Inside Tracker, there will be results that surprise you.  Maybe your blood work comes out in the optimal range.  Or maybe you have nutrients that “need work” that you never would have thought. For me, I didn’t think my liver enzymes weren’t optimal or that my iron was too high.

I like Inside Tracker because the information is high quality and useful for my situation.  It isn’t telling me to completely overhaul my diet or fast on juju juice for eight weeks.  It’s giving me minor tweaks of how I can improve myself and easy to update my diet with.

Question for you: Have you ever gotten blood work done? 

Month of July

Month of July Training:

Total Mileage: Roughly 150
Range of pace: X-11 minute (mostly untimed)
Races: 1
Run for the Hill of It
Workouts: 0
Cross-Training Sessions: 11 (swimming and elliptical)
Core Sessions: 16

Thoughts:
For obvious reasons, July was a much better month than June. I was able to consistently build up my mileage.  It’s only been 10 weeks since my injury but I’ve missed running a lot.  I don’t have any complaints with this month of running but I would much rather be running consistently without hesitation.

Me running

My last few months have been boring but every month can’t be the best or most exciting training wise.  Even though I know that, when you are personally dealing with getting back into running, it’s not any easier.

I did do a lot of Hiking:
I enjoyed hiking because I was able to get outside and explore without feeling hurt or injured.  It was something my husband and I could do on the weekend instead of going to a race. I didn’t know I enjoyed hiking that much until this month.
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain State Park
Going Back to Bear Mountain State Park (and not getting lost)

hiking bear mountain

My Single Race:

I wrote about that yesterday but I’m pleased with it!

Run for the Hill of It

Thoughts for August:
I’ll continue to slowly increase my mileage and jump into a few races.  I don’t have any races in mind but I’ll find a few.  If I can successfully continue to build a base, I will look for a fall goal race.  I don’t plan to add any speed work yet.  I would rather run 40-50 miles with no hesitation, worry or pain.  After that, I’ll begin adding workouts.

Posts from this month:
How to Become a Morning Runner
How to Come Back Stronger from an Injury

Shoe Reviews:
Asics Cumulus
Mizuno Wave Enigma 6

Personal:
A Day in the Life

Questions for you:
How was your month of July?

Weekly Recap

I’ve thought about doing a personal life weekly recap.  I have a lot of friends and family that read LOLZ blog, but I barely ever talk about my “real life.”  While this blog is heavily running focused, it isn’t everything I do.

Sometimes I think I’m living a double life: Blogging and the outside world.  I’m not hiding anything from blogging, but I tend to microblog on Instagram or Facebook.

I thought I would start adding more personal life updates as well.

This week was a great week. My sister in law Lindsay graduated with her master’s degree.  I made the quick trip down to the DC area to watch her graduation.  It was a very good time seeing my family, and I definitely miss them.

mastes graduation

Yesterday I got my blood drawn for Inside Tracker.  I was given a discount to talk about my experience. To be honest, I was nervous about the entire thing.  I scheduled the appointment just over two weeks ago, and I wanted it to be over sooner than later.  I’ve never dealt well with needles.  I  can’t relax enough for them to get into the vein.  I also pass out the majority of the time giving blood or getting shots.  Needless to say, needles are a big deal for me. I paid the extra fee to have a certified nurse come to my house and take my blood at 7 am.  Since we had to fast 12 hours beforehand and I wake up hungry in the morning, this was the best option for me.  The Nurse was kind and helpful, and I watched Netflix, which kept my mind off it.  Everything went smoothly, and I was shocked at how easy it was.

I decided to try Inside Tracker for a number of reasons.  Since we are in the military, I don’t have a Primary Care doctor. It would take a lot of hoops for me to get a “routine blood test” after just getting one from my fracture (only with a few minerals such as calcium and Vitamin D) and the results being normal.  The miliary has great insurance, but I have no life-threatening conditions and in fact, I am healthy.  My quality of life is fine and I wanted a blood test “just to know” and to make sure that my nutrients are appropriate for running.  InsideTracker, while expensive, was the best route for me to take.  I have also seen several bloggers and others use and have great success with it.  Plus, Insider Tracker gives out fun bandaids.

InsiderTracker

Since my fracture still doesn’t have an exact cause I’m hoping my blood work might reveal something.  Either way knowing that information will be good knowledge to have, and I’m looking forward to the results. Once I have the results, I’ll be sure to talk more about it.

Last night for work we also hosted our first “Paint Your Own Race Medal Holder” event.  It was a lot of fun, and we sold out the event.  They have painting parties, so we thought, why not a race medal painting party?

running co paint night

Recent Posts: 
26 Things I learned before Age 26
Training Last Week (Summary: not so great)
Hiking at Bear Mountain (New York State)
A Day in the Life

Question for you:

How was your week?  Have you been busy? Quiet?

 

Day in the Life

I was asked last week to describe a typical day in the (eating) life.  Please keep in my mind, I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, dietician, or online nutrition coach. I am just me, a person who likes to eat relatively well and tends to blow their budget on eating at restaurants.

I decided to record everything last Monday.  I don’t usually count calories, but I’m generally aware of an estimate of how many I’ve eaten.  I know if I’ve eaten 1500 and am starving or ate 2500 and feel fine.  It works for me.  Since being injured, I also know I’ve put on between 3-5 pounds.  I haven’t weighed myself, but my guess is I weigh somewhere between 130-135.

Breakfast (5:15-5:30 am):

I enjoy waffles for breakfast.  I utilize my waffle maker every morning. I’ve had the same breakfast for a long time, and I know it works for me. I eat the same breakfast whether I’m running, working out, racing or whatever.   I’m normally in the minority, but I am hungry when I wake up.

Waffle (500ish calories):
(easy recipe)
2/3 cup flour
1/2ish cup milk
1 egg
baking powder

You can add whatever else you want in it.  I’ve added blueberries, pumpkin, chocolate chips and even cocoa powder.  It’s a basic ingredient list.

This is a plain waffle
This is a plain waffle

 

I normally catch up on work, emails, and everything and head out for a run between 6:30-7.  I like to eat before I run and never have an upset stomach during my runs.


On Monday, I ran 4 miles.  My run was uneventful and boring. It felt okay, and my ankle felt good, so I have no complaints.  In fact, my ankle has felt completely injury free since too. 

After my run, I ate a cup of Greek Yogurt and had coffee. I’m currently enjoying Fage or Chobani.  I choose whichever is cheaper at the grocery store.  I don’t normally drink coffee before a run but like to get Starbucks or Wawa afterwords…Monday was unusual for me and was my first iced coffee in about two years.  I don’t know why I was craving one, but I was.  That alone deserves a photo. starbucks


After showering and getting ready, it’s time to begin the actual day.  The meat of my day is always interesting and no two days are the same.  Sometimes I’ll work in the store of Running Co; sometimes I’ll work at home, and still other times I’m on base doing things.  My google calendar has become my best friend to keep me on track and not missing anything. I have my phone and computer synched up.

Last Monday, I wasn’t in the store, but I had a couple of meetings as well as something to take care of on base.  When I left my house around 9:30 am, I wasn’t home until around 4 pm.  I try to pack my lunch, so I don’t end up spend a lot of unnecessary money along the way.  Plus going out with friends is much more enjoyable than eating on the road.

By 11, I’m hungry.  I had a roast beef sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and mustard. I also had a few carrots and a peach. It was boring but good.  I tend to each more frequently and often when I’m out or in the store.  When I’m at home, I’ll just eat lunch and move on.

Roast Beef sandwich on wheat
Roast Beef sandwich on wheat

By 2, I was hungry again and ate another (exactly the same) sandwich.  A sandwich isn’t really a full meal, but it’s not a snack either.  I just consider it two lunches.

I got home around 4 and my husband, and I decided the night before we wanted steak.  I try and have red meat once or twice a week, and steak is by far my favorite red meat.

We usually do something simple like grill it and have a salad and potato.  That is one of my favorite homecooked meal.  It’s easy, fast and delicious.  We aren’t fancy, and our meals normally take 30 minutes at the very most to prepare.  I do the vegetable and potato cooking (which is not cooking at all) and my husband grills. I’ve also been drinking a cup of milk with dinner to keep getting calcium.  This evening we had asparagus too.

dinner steak


Lately, I’ve been doing core and strength at night.  I dedicate about 30 minutes to it after dinner.  I catch up on TV, get more core in and then relax.  From 6-9, I do that, relax and sometimes get work done.  If anyone needs a new Netflix show, I have loved “Army Wifes”.  A lot of social media happens at night, so sometimes I’m online for things like that too.

I’ve been making smoothies with a milk base, protein powder and whatever else I can find in the house.  Sometimes cocoa powder, sometimes fruit, it depends on what I’m craving. On Monday, I added milk, a scoop of protein powder, a half cup of pumpkin and cinnamon.

Protein Smoothie

I’ve stopped eating a lot of sweets and dessert every single night.  We tend to go out for dessert.  Do I enjoy cookies and cake?  Of course, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have them every single day.  I used to crave sweets almost every evening but about two years ago I stopped having as much sugar and artificial sweeteners and no longer crave them.  I always add a Truvia or sugar to my coffee.  Thinking out loud, I used to dump boatloads in…no wonder I craved sugars.  

In summary, I’m a fairly boring person when it comes to life and food.  I eat what I get on sale and try to eat healthy.  Just like running, a day of good (or bad) eating doesn’t determine your health.  Consistency does… 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite food?

What are some good lunch ideas?  I definitely need help in that department.

26 Things I Learned Before Age 26

Today is my 26th birthday.  I’ve been blogging for while and have celebrated five birthdays on LOLZ blog.  Sometimes I post about my birthday and other times I don’t.

To be honest, age 25 wasn’t my favorite year but not every year can be.  At age 24, I moved, got married, bought my car and was riding the high of a newly wed.  Age 25 wasn’t bad and had both its fair share of both good and bad moments.

I thought it would be fun to reflect upon and think out loud about some of the things I learned over the past year.  Some were good, some bad.  Some are running related; some are life-related.

26 Things I Learned Before Age 26

Life is not perfect and never will be.  Social media doesn’t tell the full story.  We all have issues and problems behind the scenes. We all have tagged facebook photos we wish never existed.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. About a month ago, I found out I had a severe case of food poisoning as well as a fracture in my ankle.

MRI foot
An MRI image of my foot

Do things you like and skip what you don’t like.  Your life is yours to live and no one else’s.  Enjoy it as much as you can.  Choose wisely of activities and things you want to do.

Do what you like and skip what you don’t like part 2: Enjoy your job.  A job could be in an office full time, blogging or taking care of children. I like my job at the Running Store.  I like seeing my friends, helping plan group runs and seeing new running excel! Whatever you choose, enjoy it.

Rest up.  You only have one body and it follows you around. Your body is direct reflection of how you treat yourself.  Treat your mind, body and soul well. carlsbad half

Enjoy the moment.  In this day and age we find ourselves looking into the future far too much.  One of my favorite quotes: The future has yet to be written, and the past is written in permanent marker.  You have the power to write the present.  Enjoy the current moment.

Small things don’t matter.  Trivial things like the slow driver in front of you, a paper cut, small issues…you probably won’t remember any of this stuff in a week.

Be confident in your beliefs and values. If you don’t stand behind yourself, who will stand behind you?

Don’t lie. A lie turns into ten lies which turn in 100 lies that you can’t remember. It’s never worth it to lie.

Similarly, speeding only gets you a ticket which ultimately slows you down. If you live in New Jersey, then you know there is always a faster drive in the left lane anyways…

Nothing comes easy. If everything in life were easy, we would all be Olympic multimillionaire CEOs. Pick and choose your battles.

These two images are within a week: 

shamrock marathon 1

via Phillies facebook

You are not always right. It’s impossible always to be right.  Accept advice and help from others.  You will grow as a person both mentally and physically.

When you are late, you waste other people’s time. No one’s time is more valuable.  Time cannot be replaced. It is one thing that cannot be bought.  Respect other people’s time.

Smile.  Smile as much as possible, so people don’t think you’re a mean girl (When in reality you just have a resting bitch face…like me).

atlantic city april fools half me

Be flexible in everything.  If everyone was able to do every single thing they wanted, the world would be chaos. Your plans are not always the most important.

Our culture is full of extremes. Extreme beauty, extreme sports talent, extreme music talent, extreme weight loss or weight gain…Real life doesn’t work like that and moderation, and balance is key.

Everyone wants to be treated the same. Be polite and caring. No one likes a jerk.  No one deserves that.

Find your most productive hours of the day and do what you need to do. I find myself most productive in the mornings. As the day flies by, I typically become less productive. I try and do the most important things in the morning.

Do what you don’t want to do: first.  Save the best for last and do the tasks that you don’t want first.  That way they get done.

Quiet days are never a bad thing but social days are not a bad thing either.  It’s so important to balance both.  Everything is moderation.

How you dress says a lot. It’s easy to dress like a college student or an old lady. Dressing like a 26-year-old is tough!  Have a few well-fitted outfits that make you feel confident.

It’s totally okay to be by yourself. It’s okay to go out to eat at a restaurant by yourself, and it’s okay to treat yourself.  Doing things by yourself is okay.

To stay in touch with friends, it’s a two-way street. If you don’t go down the road, you can’t expect someone else too.  Make time for your friends and family.

Always thankful for friends
Always thankful for friends

Sometimes life needs an exact plan and sometimes it doesn’t.When I moved in with Tim 3 years ago, I had no plan. We worked through the current time, not the future, and it ended up working out.

My first visit to Texas

Stay Confident in Yourself. You are your biggest fan and your biggest critic! Make sure to stay confident in yourself.

Be Open to Others. Other people have different beliefs and viewpoints of the world.  Be open to ideas that do not agree with your own.

The End is Not Now: Remember, your life, your story, and your book are not complete. Always strive to be the best and add more words to your story.

Questions for you:

How did you celebrate your last birthday?

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned recently?