Spiritual Wellness: A Different Path

I’m quickly approaching Saturday which means that pre-race nerves have officially settled in and almost completely taken over my thoughts. I have butterflies, my heart is pounding, is that sweat?

I have to remind myself to calm down. This is just another half-marathon. This isn’t a job interview, it isn’t a huge presentation at work. It’s running. And I love running.

I have had this thought numerous times in my running life and it definitely was not thought up by me. A girl I used to be friends w/ on Facebook (but since deleted after going through a minimalism spree back in grad school to declutter EVERYTHING in my life) one time posted something about the trails being her church and the run being her sermon (or something along those lines). Every since then, I would re-frame my thinking on at least one run a week to make it be one that isn’t about pace or distance or time. It was about me having some quality time with the trail/road and just enjoying the run. Being able to center myself whether that means clearing my mind or thinking through whatever is on the plate stressing me out that week.

Some people go to church once a week to fulfill their spiritual wellness, I hit the trails with nothing more than maybe a good Pandora station.

ImageThis was from a “sermon” a couple weeks ago.

At least once a week, do something that helps you center yourself, helps your reset yourself, helps you feel at peace. Whether it is going to an actual church, hitting the trails, meditating…just do something that feeds that spiritual need.

Happy Friday!

 

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Physical Wellness: Finding Your Passion

I swear I will do more posts about the other dimensions of wellness! I just happen to be hitting major physical wellness milestones this week.

First up, on Tuesday I completed a 50 days of running challenge inspired by happyhealthycook.tumblr.com (she did 100 days and is currently doing 365 days). I clocked 150 miles during these 50 days and remembered my love of running…which often gets lost in the shuffle during the winter months when I’m not out running near as much.

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Me after completing my challenge.

Tomorrow I will leave town to go stay with my sister and we will run a half marathon together! My sister is unquestionably the better half runner and has hands down completed more halfs than me. This one will just be my third half. My last half was in Kentucky and was miles upon miles upon miles of hills…and was completely worth it.

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This is me completing my last half marathon in 2:00:11, just 12 seconds shy of my goals. I’m not planning on PR-ing or hitting my goal of a sub 2 hour half this weekend. I haven’t trained enough hills, logged enough miles, or prepared myself enough to do that. But I want to. My last half left a burn on me knowing that if I had just picked up the pace by one second on each mile, I would have hit my goal.

The point of this post is not to showcase my running. But to remind myself of how far I have come with my running. And as Saturday rapidly approaches and my nerves become more and more intense, I’m trying to keep perspective on this half. I didn’t really start racing until 2011. My first 5k was a 27 something. Right then I was hooked. I use to run for fitness reasons but after my first 5k I realized the joy of racing and being around a group of people that love running just as much as you. It’s pretty common for people around me to not understand why I love to run so much. I often hear, “ug it’s just so BORING! I don’t know why anyone would ever just go out and run.” But for someone who is a self-proclaimed running…running is everything. Running centers me. It pushes me. It shows me my limits, then helps me blow past them. Running is more than physical wellness to me.

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This is me after I won a 5k. Something I never thought would ever happen. And I won it side by side with someone who has easily become one of my best friends. We pushed each other the entire race and completely blew our PRs out of the water. This was the first race I had ever even placed in, and I ended up taking first overall female.

Find your passion. Find something that makes you feel alive and that pushes you. Find what makes you happy. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Including yourself.

 

Food Prep: A Quick Lesson in Financial Wellness

As an undergrad (and perhaps almost all through grad school…) I lived off of Lean Cuisines. One of my roommates dubbed me the Lean Cuisine Queen. Ok, multiple roommates have dubbed me that. It wasn’t until I really got into reading labels (beyond calorie content) that I learned that Lean Cuisines (or any other TV dinner) are not good for you and not worth the money (even if they are on a 5 for $10 special!).

Enter my last semester of grad school. To the horror of my roommates one day, I brought home chicken. Raw chicken. To cook. I cooked it, didn’t set the house on fire and enjoyed it. I have always loved (er…or been addicted) to Food Network and watching cooking shows but I never ever cooked for myself beyond what I could make in a microwave (and I can make some food in a microwave!).

Since moving to Kansas, I have learned the value of a dollar and what all you can get. I could spend $10 on Lean Cuisines that would last me 5 meals and be loaded with salt and ingredients that I will never be able to pronounce. Or I can take that $10 and buy some fresh lettuce, find a good deal on chicken (and stock pile it in my freezer) and throw some other veggies in the mix and get meals to last me a bit longer or at the very least be healthier for me.

My food prep looks like this. Every Saturday night I go grocery shopping. That’s right. Saturday night. Why? Because the grocery stores aren’t as packed so if I want to take the time to compare produce or read labels, I don’t feel like someone is actually breathing down my neck. I like grocery shopping to be relaxing. I don’t see the need to stress myself out over getting food. Every Sunday night, I throw on some bad TV and start cooking. I bake my chicken breasts or cook up ground turkey breast with whatever seasoning I am feeling that night while I start cleaning my veggies and getting them cut up. By doing all of my meal prep at the beginning of the week, it makes it so much easier for me to stick with grabbing my salad in the morning and not spending $10 on buying lunch. (Aha! That’s where I was going with this!) By making it easier to grab my salad for lunch rather than going upstairs to buy lunch I’m not only feeding myself with good nutrition, but I’m saving myself a ton of money.

Randoms.

I finished my 50 days of running challenge yesterday. I clocked 150 miles!

I saw a lady yell at someone for not yielding to a pedestrian in a sidewalk. It was AWESOME!

Weekend Wellness

Back to the old grind! Hope everyone’s weekend was nice and you took at least a moment to remember the reason behind Memorial Day weekend! 

Wellness never takes a backseat, even during the weekend. I spent my weekend fulfilling multiple dimensions of wellness, most notably financial wellness. I scored this beauty for $40 at a garage sale this weekend! Image

The guy originally wanted $50 for it and I just stood there looking at it and then his daughter chirped in that they would go down they just wanted to get rid of it because they are moving. So I offered $40 and they took it! My apartment is slowly, slowly coming together and I’m getting pieces that I want and that I have taken the time to find and put together. Yes, I put this beast together by myself! I’m still on the hunt for throw pillows, just looking for the right price! Which is the main reason it has taken me so long to furnish my apartment. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to move all of my furniture from Kentucky to Iowa after grad school, I donated everything that wouldn’t fit in my car. Which meant when I moved to Kansas, I had nothing. But I have slowly found good deals and snagged them up! 

This weekend I also spent time with some of the boyfriend’s friends and got to engage in some social wellness! We grilled out and had some laughs. It was great! 

And of course, I had some physical wellness as well. 

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I will wrap up my 50 days of running challenge TODAY! And I will celebrate that by running a half marathon with my sister on Saturday. I am going to head to the staff gym during my lunch hour today and get the run down on everything and next week I will start training for a mini tri! I’m not sure when or where I will compete the mini tri or if it will just be something I do on my own. But it is the next fitness challenge for me. That also means scoping out area garage sales for a bike! 

How did you fulfill different wellness dimensions this weekend? 

PS after a week of bad nutrition, I’m back in my groove! I’ll detail out my food prep tomorrow!

 

Early Morning Runs.

Early Morning Runs.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been doing a 50 days of running challenge. Not everyday is a hard run or an 8 miler, but everyday for the past 46 days, I have been running. These are some shots from this morning’s 2 1/2 mile jaunt on a new route.

Through this challenge, I have had to find a time everyday to run. Friday’s present the biggest challenge as I usually run at night. And Friday nights are reserved for time with my boyfriend and watching whatever hilarious show we are into at the moment (Bob’s Burgers is our most recent find).

With Friday nights being taken up with spending time with Eric, I have had to resort to waking up at 4:45 am every Friday and running. This morning during my run, I realized that sometimes I get too caught up in the numbers. I use the RunKeeper app (because my Garmin is dead and I can’t find a place to replace the battery) and every 5 minutes you get an update on your run-time, distance, pace. I got angry at 5 minutes when the lady chirped in (and interrupted my Matchbox 20 Pandora station) and said I was at an 8:18 pace. My first two miles are always sub 8s! This was crazy for me I was off at least 20 seconds from my usual pace.

Later I realized that I was concentrating too much on the numbers and not enjoying the ride. Yes, getting out of bed at 4:45 am is torture. But running that early in the morning w/ a good Pandora station and seeing the world calm…it’s awesome.

Bear with Me…

I’m working on getting use to WordPress as I am more use to Tumblr. 

I’m also working on the logistics of this blog and how I want to structure it. Regular content about wellness is the main point of this blog. I’m just trying to determine what that means. Do I want to designate a certain day of the week for a specific dimension of wellness? Maybe. Keep up with the news and bring my perspective and research into the topic? 

I have had different thoughts and different feedback from various sources. But rest assured, this is not a dead blog. I have been blogging for almost 3 years on Tumblr so I am use to the daily upkeep of running a blog. It’s just a matter of working on the logistics on here to deliver professional, quality content. 

Happy Thursday! And as my old roommate and I use to always say when we would leave, 

Peace out. Be well. Live long and prosper. 
-V