Month: September 2011

[Most of My] Bags Are Packed…

I’m ready to goooooooo. I’m standing here outside your doooooooor. I hate to wake you up to say gooodbyeeeeeeeeee…

Oh wait, where was I? Oh right. PACKING! Yuck.

Even though I loathe packing, especially for eight days straight, I’m almost done!! I plan to get together the last few things I need first thing tomorrow but am about 90% done as of now.

I always make sure to make a list so I don’t forget the essentials…

Though despite the list, I always manage to forget something important. Luckily I’m going to Charlotte, and not somewhere remote where I can’t pick up essentials in case I do forget something!

Whenever I take a work trip, there’s always a few key things that I make sure to bring with me to keep as on track as possible.

First, a refillable water bottle.

Staying hydrated is SO, so important, especially when you’re on your feet all day and breathing in the dry hotel air. There are almost always water stations/pitchers of ice water everywhere during a conference, so I make sure to have my own bottle and drink 2-4 of those a day. If there’s one healthy thing I do have control of during a business trip, it’s making sure to drink enough water.

Second, snacks!

I hate to be somewhere without a snack on hand, especially since a lot of the meals aren’t very healthy at the conferences. It’s nice to have a back up or something to supplement a meal if the options are limited and I find myself hungry, rather than reaching for (ten) cookies. I’m also planning on seeking out a grocery store close to the hotel to stock up on some more non perishables once I’m there, but I always like to bring some backups just in case.

Third, reading materials!

I’m currently reading Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games series, and will move onto Carrots ‘N Cake as soon as I’m done, which I’m also super excited about! The publisher sent me a review copy, so I’ll be sure to do a full review once I’ve made it through (slash started) the book.  Reading materials are more for mental health than anything, because I get a lot less frustrated with waiting while traveling when I have a good book to focus on rather than my lack of patience.

Fourth, workout clothes!!

Even with work trips when I know my workout time is extremely limited/possibly nonexistent, I always bring at least enough workout clothes for a few times at the gym. Even if I can just squeeze in a few quickie workouts or random moves in my hotel room with no one looking, it makes me feel better since a lot of times the eating isn’t the healthiest at these conferences. I always make sure to think it through and bring everything I need, so this included (in addition to capris, shirts, sports bras, socks, and sneakers), my Garmin, my Camelbak, and several Vanilla Bean GUs in anticipation of Saturday’s glorious 16 miler. No sarcasm here.

If you want some more ideas, check out my top tips for staying healthy during business  trips – a post I often review while getting ready for one of these trips!

What’s the most essential thing you bring on business/pleasure trips with you to keep you on track?

PS: Awesome breakfast recipe coming tomorrow! Stay tuned. =)

Tuesday Thoughts

You guys are the best, seriously. Thank you soooo much for the support on yesterday’s post about possibly not doing the marathon, as well as Friday’s post with my big relationship (or lack-there-of) news. I promise to keep you all posted as soon as the marathon decision is final, as well as answer some of the follow up questions that came as a result of the Single post.

And since I’m all over the place lately, this post will be too. Here’s some fun facts I want to share with you today:

1.) I picked up my first honeycrisp apples of the season at the Farmer’s Market this weekend. They are by far my favorite kind of apple and make me love fall and look forward to so many other things that come with it!

2.) I realize I may the last person on Earth to catch on to this trend, but I’ve recently started watching Lost and am totally addicted. I ended up not getting cable at the new apartment and am doing Netflix instead, and the entire show is on in the instant stream. I just discovered it Saturday and have been staying up way too late to watch it, so 7 episodes down, only 93 to go. =)



3.) I leave for Charlotte, NC tomorrow for eight days!!! This is the longest I’ll ever have been away for work, and it’s going to be tough to stay on track/be away from my apartment. I feel like I’m finally settled in and want to stay and cook and enjoy it, but instead I have to go. Boo!

4.) I found my camera!!! It was left on my desk over the weekend. Phew!

5) Yesterday I tried commuting to work on bike for the first time. It did not go well. I am kind of an idiot and thought that bringing a huge bag that slings over my shoulder would be OK (rather than a backpack), and it turns out it was not. I also thought that I should put my phone in my pocket, and when it fell out of my pocket and into a puddle while I was riding, I realized that, too, was not a good idea. #Fail. More details to come on this one.

6.) I had a really great run this morning. 🙂 5.27 miles at a 9:10 pace (which is REALLY FAST for me!!). Fingers crossed that Saturday goes as well (albeit slower and longer!)

What’s your cable situation – do you have it or no? Favorite show right now?

When I lived with Wil, we had the works for cable – HBO, Showtime, DVR, etc, but it’s just SO expensive for one person. Besides that, I don’t watch TV that much/want to  watch less of it so this is an experiment. I’m going to play it by ear to see if I miss it/really want it, but I’m guessing I won’t be able to justify the expense!

A Craptastic Run

I know you guys don’t come here for the pictures, but I lost my camera somewhere between work on Friday and Saturday morning and I’m so upset!  Sad smile The one place it MAY be is on my desk at work which I’ll check today, but otherwise it’s totally gone and I have no idea where. Sad story, and especially so because all I have is one blurry, crappy Blackberry photo to share with you today. Argh!

Saturday morning started out like any other for a long run – – a 5am wake up call and a bagel thin with peanut butter.


I didn’t end up eating the banana, but I also had an unpictured cup of coffee with So Delicious Coconut Creamer (YUM!). After getting myself together and out the door, I met up with the Capital Hill Running Club for my weekly long run at 6am. I had 16 on my schedule, but the group was doing 17.75 and I decided I would just run and see how it went, turning around early if I felt like it or going the whole distance if I felt great. The latter was not even a semi-option.

Now let me say, I’ve been really slacking on my long runs for the last couple weeks. Two weeks ago, I did 6 miles instead of 10 because I just couldn’t get the motivation to do the full 10, which would have been fine in the scheme of things. But then, last weekend, I didn’t run even once because I was moving and just didn’t wake up to my alarm to do it that Saturday.

Before this past Saturday, 14 miles had been my longest run to date, and seeing as the marathon is just 6 weeks away (!!!!!!) I really need to start amping up the mileage to make sure I’m adequately prepared come race day.

Anyway, I started off the run feeling just fine. The first 8 miles or so left me feeling pretty good, and I had a GU around mile 5.5, so my energy was steady. I decided to not push it for the full distance and turned around at the 8 mile mark, and that’s when things started going downhill.

I’m certain it was more mental than anything, but I had to fight for every step past the 10 mile mark. I stopped at the water stop along the way and it took every ounce of motivation to make myself leave the water station and keep running back to the start. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it was torture.

I took SEVERAL walking breaks over the next two miles, which I know work well for some people, but for me, they just don’t. As soon as I stop to walk, I just want to keep walking rather than keep running, so I walk/ran for about 2 miles until I just realized I couldn’t go anymore. I ended up stopping at the last water stop and got a ride back to the start once all the other runners had passed.

The total distance ended up being 12.8 miles, and the total time 2 hours 16 minutes, which is about a 10:46 pace overall. That’s actually not bad at all for me since I ran/walked almost 3 miles at the end, and a lot of the miles were around or just under 10:00 pace for the first 10. Now I know, almost 13 miles is still a lot, but those extra miles really count during marathon training.

The run left me feeling SO discouraged and defeated, and like I might just not be cut out for a marathon after all. My body seems to do fine with the 13.1 mile distance, and then it is done running about then. I feel like I might just not have the mental stamina for the training right now since I have so much going on in my life, but I also feel so far into training and hate to fail at something I’ve set my mind to.

I’m trying to remain positive and keep it in perspective – – I still ran almost 13 miles, which is A LOT and something I never would have been able to do a few years ago. That said, I have two hugely busy weeks coming up with traveling for work, during the peek training runs for the marathon (16, 18, 20). I am very worried that I’m not going to be able to squeeze them time and energy wise.

I’m trying not to make any rash decisions, and I’m not giving up YET, because I am going to try to do 16 this coming weekend when I’m in Charlotte. If I can’t do it, then I think I might back down from the marathon. It’s hard for me to even write that out because it makes me so sad to even think it, but I might just not have it in me right now.

Have you ever had to back out of a race or away from something you started to work towards? How did you deal with it?

PS: Sorry for the Debbie Downer post today! I promise to be more uplifting later in the week… =)


This post has been a long time coming – I just needed a little time to figure out exactly what to write. And here goes:

After four years in a relationship, I am now single.

The full truth behind the recent move to Dupont Circle is that I moved out of the apartment that I’ve shared with Wil for the last two years of my life, and into a studio by myself.

While I feel completely comfortable sharing my own perspective of the relationship and the breakup here on my blog, I don’t think it’s fair for me to go into too much detail about it for Wil’s sake.

What I will say is that its been a long time coming. I have changed SO MUCH over the last four years, and it caused my relationship with Wil to become quite strained. We were working completely different schedules, pursuing different hobbies and interests, and caring about different things. It came to a head mid July after my birthday trip to the Shenandoah Valley, and we continued to live together while I looked for a new place. We are currently on as good of terms as could be expected, which I am definitely grateful for.

While breakups and change can be extremely difficult and challenging, I truly believe this it is the right thing for me right now.

That said, you’ve probably noticed the content of my blog has remained pretty upbeat over the last several months even though things haven’t been that great on the home front – and that’s just it, things in my life are going really well right now.

I feel like I’m truly getting the hang of healthy living.

My day job is going extremely well and I even just got a promotion!

I am going to Chicago for leader training for Weight Watchers in October.

I am pouring myself into this blog and good things are coming from it, including two full page spreads (!!) coming out in two different magazines this month and next.

I am truthfully in a really great place right now, and Wil and I just found ourselves on completely separate pages, so it was time to move forward, in separate directions.

I’m living by myself for the first time since college, and I’m not sure that even counts because I lived in an apartment building where tons of other college kids lived, one of which was my ex boyfriend, so I was never really alone. I’m actually really enjoying living alone – its fun to be on my own schedule, go to bed when I want to, decorate how I want to, and just do whatever I want. The other night I was so exhausted from moving that I fell asleep on my couch reading at 9pm and didn’t wake up until 8am the next day! It was pretty amazing.

And you know? Not that much feels different. Wil worked so late most days that I spent my evenings alone or with friends anyways, and mostly cooked for myself as it was. I woke up before him to go running or workout in the mornings, and if anything I just go to bed a little bit earlier since no one is coming home late to distract me! The hardest part is Sundays, because that was “our day” – the one day a week where we actually got to spend time together.

As you probably know, September is an EXTREMELY busy month for me. I am out of town for 8 days, back for one day, and then back out of town for another 4 days, so time is just going to fly by for me. I think keeping busy is the best thing for me right now because it keeps me distracted and focused on the good things going on in my life.

With all this said, one thing I am especially proud of is that I’ve been able to stick to my healthy habits rather than eating my feelings, which would have been very easy for me to do in the past. I feel like I am on a good path right now and am honestly excited to see where it leads. =)

Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

First up, a few weeks ago, someone from contacted me to see if I’d be interested in sharing some weight loss/diet tips. I said OF COURSE! and passed along a few, and they chose three to post yesterday. The article went up on last night!!! Check it out here. And if you’ve come here from there, welcome! Check out the First Time Here? page, which has some background info on me as well as helpful tips for navigating around the site and links to top posts. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!

Today I have a super simple and delicious Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette recipe to share with you. I love this recipe because it’s totally adjustable based on what you have in your kitchen and is absolutely delicious Don’t care for tofu? Add shrimp. Don’t have red peppers on hand? Use tomatoes instead. Also, this salad is even better if it sits in the fridge for a day or two, so feel free to make it ahead and bring it for lunch during the week!

Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yields: 3 servings, 7 pts+ each

Printable version here.

Ingredients for Salad:

SobaNoodleSalad 017

    • 1 package lite tofu (you can use regular tofu too, which will make it 9 pts+/serving)
    • 4 oz soba noodles (2 servings)
    • 1 chopped red bell pepper
    • 2 chopped scallions (~1/2 cup)
    • 1 seeded + chopped cucumber

If seeding a cucumber scares you, it’s actually super easy to do so don’t let it!

SobaNoodleSalad 001

Cut the cucumber in half both ways so you have four evenish pieces.

SobaNoodleSalad 002

Now, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, starting with the rounded edge.

SobaNoodleSalad 005

Scrape the spoon down until all the seeds are gone and tada!

SobaNoodleSalad 006

Ingredients for Dressing:

SobaNoodleSalad 018

    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
    • 1 tsp ground ginger (or fresh)
    • 1 clove minced garlic (or 1 tsp powdered)
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

To start, press your tofu. You can do this using a Tofu Xpress OR wrapping it in paper towels or kitchen towels with a heavy object on top. You know I obviously used the Tofu Xpress. =)

SobaNoodleSalad 020

Once it’s pressed, put on one pan to brown the tofu, and one pot of water to cook the noodles.

Chop the tofu into small pieces.

SobaNoodleSalad 023

And brown it in the heated pan with nonstick spray.

SobaNoodleSalad 026

Once the water is boiling, add in your 4 oz of soba noodles.

SobaNoodleSalad 024

And cook according to package directions – about 8 minutes. When they are cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to cool off.

SobaNoodleSalad 033

Let the tofu cook for the same amount of time until its browned on all/most sides, and remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

SobaNoodleSalad 037

Meanwhile, prepare your dressing. Combine all ingredients except the oil, stir to combine with a fork or whisk, and then add in the oil and mix well.

Now comes the easiest part – throw it all together and mix! Start with your veggies in the bowl.

SobaNoodleSalad 028

Then add the noodles.

SobaNoodleSalad 038

Then add the dressing.

SobaNoodleSalad 040

Then add the tofu last once everything is combined, and serve!

SobaNoodleSalad 044

That crappy picture honestly doesn’t do ANY justice to how delicious this salad is. I’m still working out the light/picture taking situation in my new apartment – so forgive me. But I promise, this one is totally worth making. =) If you’re feeling fancy, feel free to garnish with sesame seeds and/or chopped scallion. Yum!

So tell me… what is your favorite kind of noodle/pasta?

Mine is definitely soba noodles. I love how much they bulk up when you cook them, plus they’re made of buckwheat so super healthy! A close second would be orzo – I absolutely love how versatile it is and the shape!

Part Two: That Time I Had Emergency Back Surgery

In case you missed it, here’s Part One. Crazy because this whole thing happened almost exactly five years ago – it was all around Labor Day 2006. My plan was to do one post for the story, but based on it’s length I’m breaking it down into three! Here goes Part Two…

The pain was so bad that I was completely debilitated and literally couldn’t even stand or sit up. The only way I was comfortable (and I use that term generously because it still wasn’t that comfortable) was lying on my stomach on the floor – the bed was too soft. My parents came that day coincidentally because they were moving and were giving me a few couches from our old house, and they were also taken aback at my situation, but probably didn’t realize quite how bad it was.

We ended up going to the ER, and I recall lying down on the floor in the hospital waiting room because sitting down hurt so bad. I was taken in and given an MRI and I remember crying the entire time because I was in so much pain from lying down on my back. They found a pretty bad disc herniation in my back, but released me from the hospital with prescriptions for two narcotic painkillers and a muscle relaxer, as well as a follow up appointment at a DO, a doctor of osteology.



The amount of pills they had me on was insane. I was literally taking 2 Oxycotin a day (the only long lasting narcotic painkiller there is), plus 2 Percocet every 4 hours, and 3 flexeril (a muscle relaxer) each day. After that long weekend, I went to the DO as prescribed and was put on a 7 day pack of steroids on top of all the other meds.

That week and a half was a complete blur.

I literally laid on the floor in my room for ten days, only moving to hobble to the bathroom when completely necessary. My dad had repositioned my computer from my desk to the floor, so I just surfed the internet all day long. My roommate would come home each day and see me, still on the floor, feeling terrible. I was in such a desperate situation, but I didn’t know what else to do. The painkillers were making me extremely constipated (TMI, I know) and they weren’t even killing the pain – I still could not sit or stand without extreme discomfort. And I’m talking 12 on a scale of 1-10.

When I went back to the DO the next week, I remember calling a cab and crying the whole way down the two flights of stairs because walking was taking the pain to a new level. The doctor was appalled at my condition and couldn’t believe that I was still unable to stand or walk without extreme pain. He sent me directly from his office to the hospital, where another MRI confirmed that my disc herniation was in the 95th percentile.

Talk about a blur. They had me on a morphine drip for the pain, which again wasn’t doing much to help anything, and I would be watching the clock to ask for more every 2 hours when it was allowed. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, and the physician’s assistant came in at 7am the next morning and said the words.

“You need back surgery. Today.”

To be continued…

Have you ever been prescribed pain killers? What was it for?

DC Resident

So it’s official – I am a DC resident!!!! This morning I even got to walk to work and it took just about 20 minutes. It was so nice to clear my head and get some fresh air on the way to work, and being able to walk is just amazing.

The move itself went as smoothly as could be imagined, with the movers arriving right on time at 9am on Friday the 2nd, and they were done moving all my things into the new place before noon. Luckily my parents decided to come down to help me because there was so much to be done and my mom and dad are really good at cleaning, building things, and decorating. I’m so so appreciative they came down because there is no way I’d be even close to as settled as I am if it weren’t for them. I promise to do a full apartment tour soon, but for now, I’ll show you a few pics of the new place.

Here’s a shot of the living area:

SmallBuffet 032

That couch I got at Ikea for such a great deal! It’s the Klippan Sofa, and they had the sofa itself in the “As Is” section for half price. The frame normally costs $350, but since it didn’t have a cover on it and was slightly marked up because of that, they marked it down to $175. I got a new slip cover for $150, so the couch looks/is a brand new couch for just $325. Score!

Across from the couch is the Ikea Expedit TV Stand, which the previous tenant left for me for free!

SmallBuffet 034

It’s so nice because it’s perfect for my TV, but also has tons of shelves for books and decorations. Plus, that table cloth in the lower right hand side of the above photo I got at Target, and I absolutely love! The place is really really coming together and it feels so good. =)

I also did my first shopping trip on foot this weekend with the help of this little guy:

SmallBuffet 023

A granny cart! Also from Ikea, on sale for $15.99. It made carrying back all the groceries a complete breeze and it actually holds a LOT of stuff. There also happens to be a Whole Foods less than a 10 minute walk from the new apartment, so that doesn’t hurt either. For less than $40:

SmallBuffet 028

    • Asian Pears (on sale $1/each)
    • Babybel light cheese (on sale $2.50)
    • 2 lemons
    • Organic low-fat cottage cheese
    • Tofu x2
    • Zucchini x2
    • Grape Tomatoes (On sale for $2)
    • Mango
    • Bananas
    • Free Range Eggs
    • Wasa Crisps
    • Sesame Oil
    • Coconut Milk Creamer
    • Skim Milk
    • Arugula

I got a new-to-me kind of tofu, which was on sale for 2/$5:

SmallBuffet 029

Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu. The whole block has just 6 pts+, literally half that of regular tofu!

So all that said, healthy living during a move is HARD. I haven’t eaten a home cooked meal since last Wednesday night, and haven’t run since last Tuesday. A week! I missed my long run, plus all the shorter runs, and though moving is a workout in itself for sure, I really need to get back to it so that I don’t let this marathon slip away from me after all the hard work I’ve done so far.

I have tofu pressing so that I can make dinner when I get home for the first time in the new place, and am planning on mapping out some running routes from my new apartment today so I have no more excuses. It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge not having a gym membership for the time being (trying to save $$ to offset the costs of the move), but I know I can do it. I just need to refocus.

When is the last time that you moved? Where did you move to/from?

Guest Post: Another Way

Hi there and ho there, Beth’s Journeyers! My name is Gretchen and I blog about weight loss, good food, and life over at Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! I recognize that this post is not part of your regularly schedule programming, but since Beth is tied up with a little thing like, oh, moving her entire life across the Potomac river, she has graciously allowed me to commandeer her fabulous blog for the day.

Me, Beth, and our fellow DC blogger Claire at the recent Healthy Living Summit!

Thanks to the amazing support of the healthy living community and the inspiration of bloggers like Beth, I’ve lost 57 pounds (so far!) over the past year and freed myself from an incredibly toxic relationship with food. I’m so thrilled and honored to be guest-posting here, especially considering that this blog is one of the very first ones I glommed onto when I first started my own!

May 2009 vs. June 2011

I know that Beth credits her incredible success with following the Weight Watchers Points+ plan, but I thought that for those of you who aren’t following that program I’d share with you the details of what I’m doing (since my journey certainly isn’t over yet!) My story isn’t unique. I’ve struggled with weight and self-image issues for most of my life. But thanks to embracing real food and healthy living, I’ve gone from a 246-pound couch potato to a 189-pound 5K completionist (granted, I’m no soon-to-be-marathoner like Beth is, but then again, I kinda think that running sucks, hahaha.)

Gretchen Swimsuit St Maarten BEFORE tankini.jpgIMG_9152.jpg
December 2009 (with my clearly amazing sister) vs. June 2011

I count calories. Granted, I don’t do it as religiously as I used to, but that’s pretty much what I’ve done to lose weight. Here is a breakdown of the steps I’ve taken to, well, change my life!

Oh. Hey.

1. Figure out your current caloric intake.

Most people have no idea how much they really eat in a day. I suggest taking a day to write down literally every item of food and drink that makes it into your mouth. You can do this in a notebook, on the computer, or download an app to your phone (I use the calorie-count.comapp.) If you’ve never tracked your intake before, you might be surprised at how things turn out! Knowing really is half the battle, after all.

I was a little ambitious in the old days.

2. Calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

It’s simple math: calories in (minus) calories out (equals) weight loss/gain/maintenance. It really is that simple. Using a simple BMR calculator, you can get an idea of how many calories you burn literally just by being alive. Factor in any additional calories you might burn through activity and exercise, and from there you can see how many calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight. One pound is said to be equal to 3500 calories. So in order to lose 1 lb a week (a good, steady rate!) you need to have a deficit of 500 calories per day. Please note that I really don’t recommend consuming less than 1200 calories a day, though, as you may risk slowing down your metabolism (and being HANGRY!) at that point.

IMG_9718.jpgMango Guacamole


3. Eat! (Nutritiously.)

The biggest mistake I made when I first started out was putting too heavy a reliance on prepacked foods and frozen meals. Sure, 100-calorie snack packs are easy to count calories with, but eating so much processed crap made me feel like, well, crap! I now follow a delicious diet based on the principles of (mostly) clean eating: lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins like seafood, poultry, and tofu. I am also a huge proponent of eating fat (oh no she didn’t!) Yep. Healthy fats are God’s gift to weight-losers the world ever. Things like fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, and nut butters are bursting with flavor and keep you satiated for hours. You may balk at the thought of peanut butter being 100 calories a tablespoon, but how long will that box of cardboard diet crackers really keep your hunger at bay? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

4. Enjoy your life.

If you’ve ever read my blog though, you know that I am NOT averse to indulging. Life’s too short not to enjoy good food, and that definitely includes cupcakes or a really good steak here and there. The main tenants of my new lifestyle boil down to this: eat mindfully, be active, and learn to love yourself again. I might still struggle with one of these things every day, but at least I know I’m fighting. And my journey isn’t over (my goal is to lose another 15 – 20 pounds), but for the first time in my life as a professional dieter, I know I’ll make it to the finish line this time.

Seriously. If I can do it, anyone can.

If you’re interested in learning more about me and my journey, I encourage you to visit my blog! There you’ll find more details on how I lost weight, healthy recipes, progress pictures galore, and more than a few pictures of some pretty adorbs pups. Also, feel free to contact me via email (, Twitter, or Facebook!

Have you ever tried counting calories? What did you think of it?

I tried it one day – A Full Day of Eats: PointsPlus v. Calories and that was pretty eye opening, but I don’t do it regularly!

September: New Month, New Goals

Since I literally sound like a broken record every single time when it’s a new month, I’ll spare you and just remind you that today marks day one of September. Wow. Time really flies.

When I signed the lease for my new place, it felt so.far.away. And now, all of a sudden it’s here. I get my keys tonight at 7pm, after I work my regular job and then a Weight Watchers meeting, and then the place is mine. My car is already loaded up with the things I wanted to move myself – pantry items, my workout stuff (weights, foam roller, yoga mat, etc), a magazine rack, and a random lamp so that there’s light in the new place no matter what happens. I’ll move all that stuff in myself tonight after I get the keys, and then tomorrow at 9am, the movers will be at my old apartment carrying all the heavy stuff into their moving truck. God bless movers. A reader actually recommended the company I’m using and I’ll do a full review once the move is over – don’t want to jinx it!

August Goals

So, being that it’s the first of the month, I want to look back at the things I set out to do in August and see how they went, before setting some new goals for this month.

1.) REALLY focus on the long runs for marathon training. Check! I did 10 (on the treadmill), 12, and 14 miles in August, the last of which was my farthest run ever. I am really proud of myself for reaching this one!

2.) Try to go to outdoor yoga at least twice this month, while I’m still living in Crystal City and can take advantage of it! Check! I went twice to ourdoor yoga, though I tried to go three times and failed. Doing yoga outside is unreal, and that’s one thing I will REALLY miss about my current apartment. Free outdoor yoga every Monday at 7am. Hopefully I can find something similar near the new apartment!

3.) Continue to work my way through anything open in the pantry in preparation for the move. Stick to $35 weekly budget for groceries throughout the month! I did VERY well on this goal, spending well under the $35 limit each week. I stuck to buying mostly fresh produce and some protein, and worked my way through may open items in the pantry. That said, with all the swag from HLS as well as prepping for Irene, my pantry is now full again… Oh well.

4.) Pack slowly but efficiently throughout the month, so that it’s not a big PITA come September 2. I actually did really well with this one too. I wanted to get started a little sooner than I actually did, but once I got my boxes I did a good job tackling different rooms each night. Not once did it feel terribly overwhelming since I spread it out, but check with me on that again tomorrow when the move itself is actually taking place. Smile with tongue out

5.) Enjoy time relaxing at the pool and reading while I still can (no pool at the new place!). Total fail. I literally didn’t go to the pool even once during the entire month! A few weekends it was rainy, one weekend I was in Philly, and I’m not sure about the others, but this is the goal I’m most OK with failing at.

6.) Do a kick ass job on the presentation at the Healthy Living Summit! I think I’ll give myself a check on that one too!! Despite being super nervous right before the presentation started, I felt really confident being up on stage and LOVED speaking in front of a crowd.

Whew – not too shabby for one month!

September Goals

September is going to be an insanely busy month for me. Check out my schedule:

    • September 2 – Move into a new apartment/parents visiting until September 4
    • September 14-21 – Charlotte, NC for work (8 days!!)
    • September 22 – back in the office for ONE DAY
    • September 23-26 – New Orleans for Work

On top of moving and settling into a new apartment, I’m going to be traveling twice during the month! It’s also going to be a big month for me marathon training wise, because I’m working up to EIGHTEEN MILES. 18! In one go! I can’t even fathom it. I’m going to be adjusting my running schedule a bit and trying to do some of the long runs during the week since I’ll be away for several weekends during the month, but it’s going to be tough to fit in all in. Here’s what I want to do:

1.) Focus on my long runs, working up from my current longest run ever of 14 miles all the way to 18. This is going to take some major juggling on my part since I’ll be away for at least two weekends during the month, plus moving for one of them. Yikes.

2.) Focus on cross training 1-2 times a week. I have been really, really, really negligent about cross training. I did yoga twice during August, but that was literally my only workouts besides running for the entire month. I know especially now while I work up to the long runs and ask my body to push farther than it ever has, cross training is even more important than before.

3.) Start scoping out gyms to join. My current apartment building has a really nice gym, but I don’t have the same luxury at the new place. I don’t want to join a gym until the end of the month since I’m away for so much of September and it’ll be  waste of money, but I want to have it on my radar.

4.) Unpack ALL of the boxes within one week of moving in, if not sooner. I really want to get settled into my new apartment as quickly as feasible, and seeing moving boxes everywhere will not help with that process. One week sounds reasonable to me, especially since my parents will be there to help this weekend!

5.) Maintain my weight throughout the month, despite traveling and the stress of moving. Enough said.

6.) Embrace my downtime. Spend more time reading, less time watching TV – which should be easy consider I have some amazing books in my queue to read, and won’t be getting cable at the new apartment!

That seems like enough for one month! Wish me luck with moving!!!!!!!!

What was the highlight of your August? Biggest goal for September?

1 2