Always Tracking Something…


  I’m always tracking something- my weight, my calories, my mileage, but lately I’ve been tracking something a little different.


* Not my bathroom. Lovely pinterest bathroom.

Shower Time.

Being born and raised in the United States, being born and raised in a family where we were privileged enough to have seemingly unlimited access to hot water, I have never paid much attention to how much time I spend standing in the shower.  On bad days, I’ve been known to take multiple showers and to just stand there in the water, not bathing, just feeling it run down my back.  As embarrassing as it is to admit, I never gave a single thought to how much water I was using.  Until two weeks ago. 

I started tracking my showers at home and at the gym with the intent that my showers should be ideally less than 3 minutes with the exception that once a week, I could have 5 minutes if I needed to do more time consuming things like shave my legs. 

Overall, it’s been going okay- I have more trouble with keeping it under 3 minutes when I shower at home vs at the gym?  No idea why really.  Maybe because I really hate the shower curtains?  I don’t know.

I am not doing this with a fancy little shower timer.  I open up my iPhone stopwatch, then press start, and jump in hurriedly.  Also, I do not let the water warm up so to speak.  I just breathe deep and hope for the best. 



Vital Lies

I recently began delving into the scientific literature on ecopsychology and I came across the phrase “vital lies”. Originally written by Henrik Ibsen, in ecopsychology, it refers to the comforting lies that we tell ourselves in order to fend off the despair we might fear if we were to wholeheartedly confront the truth of the current environmental crisis. The crisis that we have caused and the crisis that only we can stop.
The reading that I have been doing has evoked anger and intense sadness but has also compelled me to take action in whatever way that I can.
The two books that I have almost finished this week are:
Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall
and an article written by Will Adams from Duquesne University.

Also, I found this awesome list of ways to improve your effort to live sustainably.

Some that I am going to implement this week are:

Reduce purchases of individually packaged items- no single use snacks, bottled water, etc.

Always carry a travel coffee mug and water bottle.

Take an ecofootprint quiz to see how much of a footprint I am leaving, (I actually did this just now and was a little sad that it wasn’t better.)

Recycle all my plastic shopping bags

Only run the washing machine when it is full- and stick with cold water

Reduce shower time to 3 minutes


Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon, part 2

I’ve had some dead time at work this morning and I did what I usually do- cruised around running blogs. Today I happened upon this post by Kara Goucher about the 2014 Boston Marathon and I teared up. The same way I teared up when Meb won this year.
I lived in Boston for two years while I was in my master’s program. It was the farthest I had ever lived away from my family or my friends which was hard but also, some stuff went on which made it hard. Someone died, someone else was lost in the vortex of addiction, and I myself went down a dark little rabbit hole of restricting. It was nothing for me to walk 4 miles to school, go to class, go to internship, go to work then come home, run 3 miles and take a kickboxing class on 900 calories. I loved Boston. I loved being there. I have walked that whole city- even the parts people said not to. I can remember standing out on Beacon Street in the crowd cheering for the runners and thinking…one day…I’m going to do that.
When the 2013 marathon was attacked, I felt sick for all of the families, friends and strangers who were out there cheering, witnessing the years/months/days of work that finishing represents. I felt sick for all the runners who fought that battle only to have it end abruptly and tragically. Even now, it’s a tearful scene when I think about it.
The Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon may be the closest I ever get to running the Boston Marathon and it was unexpectedly emotional for me. I started to tear up the minute we started moving in the corrals and by the time that I had finally crossed the start line, I had tears running down my face. That city means so much to me and being strong enough to finish part of the Marathon course was such an incredible experience. I saw Shalane Flanagan at the Expo, I saw Juli Windsor, and I saw Sarah Reinertsen on the course. I may have picked up a wicked eating disorder while in Boston, but I also picked up a deep love for running and thankfully, the running is what stuck around.

Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon: Mission Accomplished!

So the exciting part of this story is that I finished it and it was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  From early on in the race, it began to hurt, and it hurt pretty much the whole way.  I have a theory or two about that.

+  Training: I began strength training with a personal trainer in April, this was great in many ways and I have definitely gotten stronger, but I started having IT band issues and was advised to drop to one long run a week and by May 2, I was even having problems completing one long run without IT band pain. The last week, I basically stopped running altogether in hopes of salvaging my leg.  Also on another note, I had just really focused on finishing school and not on training at all.  

Weather: I foolishly did not train for warm weather.  I ran on cool days or so early that it was an average of 58 degrees on any given run.  Without acclimating to the heat, the 70 degree full sun and humidity start was a rough wake up call. 

As a result, I ran slower than I ever have, stopping to walk for entire miles at a time, my right calf cramped up so bad that it felt like I had no control of it, I was sick, dehydrated, and fairly disoriented after Mile 6 which was my last clear memory until I got to Mile 9 at which point, I realized, NO ONE CAN TAKE THIS FROM ME BUT ME .  With 4 miles left to go, I just dug in, accepted that I was going to need to walk and did the best I could, running when I could.  I couldn’t swallow anything, not my Chomps, not water or Gatorade, the medical tents gave me handfuls of ice to suck on between stops and I would pour cups of water on my head just trying to cool off.  I was covered in goose bumps and had stopped sweating by mile 12.84.  I hadn’t listened to music since Mile 4 because I didn’t have enough energy to lift my arms to move my headphones back into my ears.  At 12.84, I reached for my phone and saw where Russ had been texting and calling me- he expected me to cross at the 2:15 mark, it was 2:52.  I managed to text him- Can’t run. Calf cramping. He texted me- Can I come get you? I got indignant- No. I’m going to finish. Even if I have to walk.  

But you know…even after that, I managed to pull out a full sprint from 12.9 to 13.1.  I may have been running crooked like I was drunk but I crossed at a run.  They handed me my medal and I went straight to the med tent for more ice- if there had been an ice tub, I would have swam in it.  Deeply thankful, in disbelief that I had made it, and in shock that everything had gone so wrong. 


It took all of three days before I started looking for fall half-marathons- because you know, next time, I think I can do it better. 

Two Weeks Out (and a gif overdose)

Let me sum up:


Possibly this feeling of despair comes from:

+ Feeling a mix of both over AND under trained- how is that possible?

+ Exceptionally unbalanced eating per usual.

+ My long runs are not getting easier or more desirable.  Maybe its because its so hard to force myself to do it solo- but whatever the reason- my runs all feel like this-


Please, Please, let me get it together.

One Big Exhale


These Few Months at a Glance: 1. Coldplay’s new album- love love LOVE 2. 35 lb Kettlebell workout- I’ve been mixing in Crossfit style workouts to build strength and let me tell you- they work! 3. Vegan Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad- holy yum. 4. Presenting at the Creativity in Graduate Research Symposium 5. Double rainbow after a hard 8 mile run.

Heartbreak Hill is in 3 weeks and I am struggling to accept that now is the time for gradual decline in training- the acceptance that nothing but injury can come from pushing it right now.

So…. you know… here goes.

I am grateful.  School was successful.  Russ is happy.  Kevin is mostly happy.  Spring is finally here for good after some really cruel wavering.  Life is good. Life is exciting.

The Spirit of the Monday

…’s a joke, a play on The Spirit of the Marathon, the documentary.
Today has been, yesterday part two. Sleep deficit and muscle fatigue continue.
I have not made good decisions regarding my self-care this weekend. Alas, life continues apace. I will get decent sleep tonight and channel my idol tomorrow to try and get a handle on my week.
Sometimes you need a few lazy days- but you have to be mindful they don’t become lazy weeks….

Sharing with you one of my favorite inspirations,