Tag Archives: Lauren

Gym Hiatus, Over

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I got back into the gym yesterday after having been out for more than two full weeks due to our family lake-cation and then my first week of work plus Bible School last week. I was anticipating a difficult run, but I surprised myself by not only powering through 3.2 miles in 34 minutes, but breaking my PTR for a 5k! I wish that in real life, my body kept me at the steady pace the treadmill does… But I guess that’s part of the “fun” in the challenge of competing in races.

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I am not above the post-workout sweaty selfie. I guess I'm not above not having friends, either...

I am not above the post-workout sweaty selfie. I guess I’m not above not having friends, either…

Today, I was able to get in 28 laps in the 25-meter pool before the teenage lifeguards up on their high-horses blew their whistles with all their might, acting like the British were coming over a few rumbles of thunder. Swimming is my favorite form of cross-training, and probably the only sport at which I’ve ever felt I was good.

I’m not nearly on the pace of my half-marathon training schedule that I’d like to be. However, my goal for June was to feel relatively comfortable running six miles at a pop; goal accomplished! My goal for July, then, was to feel comfortable running nine miles at a time. Not only am I nowhere near feeling comfortable with such a distance, I have never run as far! I’m hoping to get back on track with my training as soon as possible, though comfortability with nine miles in the next two weeks is probably not feasible.

Neither my half buddy, Lauren, nor I has maintained our training schedules as strictly as we would have liked to, and we’ll readily admit it. I’m glad that we’ve agreed to move our half back at least until October, which will give us more time to train, to save money, and to prepare ourselves mentally for the challenge which lies ahead. Neither of us wants to lose sight of the goal we set four months ago, but we also don’t want to pay good money to be unprepared for something that could potentially cause us injury. Kudos to all you working moms out there who train for marathons year-round; I have the ultimate respect for you and how much dedication it must take to be so disciplined!

In other news, I had a revelation recently. Pretty much up til now, I’ve blogged when I had “something to say.” I try not to post vapid, Β empty material that isn’t worthy of anyone’s time. Not every post needs to be pithy or tug at your heartstrings, either. I just want to strike a balance. It occurred to me, though, that plenty of my favorite bloggers write something simple every day (or almost every day) in an attempt to give readers a window in their everyday lives. I’ve decided that as long as time allows, that’s the kind of blog I want to maintain. Here’s to making an effort at blogging as often as possible to keep you updated on what I do day-to-day! πŸ™‚

P.S. Is there anything in particular you’d like to see on SWASOV? I’m happy to oblige!

I’m Baaa-aaack!

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Goodness gracious! I haven’t blogged in NINE days! I sure have missed the blogosphere, but to be honest, I didn’t have too much to tell you guys.

As you know, I was in class for three weeks. [Hopefully, my last summer classes ever.] Then, I got home last Friday, June 28, and we left for Smith Mountain Lake at the crack of noon on Saturday. SML has been one of my family’s favorite vacation spots since I was in elementary school. Most families are either lake people or river people or beach people; I like to think we’re all three πŸ˜‰

We stayed at Covered Porches, by far the most beautiful and generously furnished vacation home we have ever rented. It doesn’t take much to impress this old gal, but Covered Porches was everything I was expecting and then some. It was even the perfect size for ten people. This is depressing for me to admit, but this vacation was possibly my last full-blown family excursion before Ian and I tie the knot. Eeeeek! Mr. and Mrs. Giles going on vacation πŸ˜‰

I am so grateful that Ian was able to join us for the entire week between “bouts” of med school, and so were a few college friends. It was quite the fiesta with the Lew Crew!

The weather was actually pretty crappy all week, with either rain, storms, or gloomy skies every single day. No matter; it didn’t slow us down one bit.

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We spent the week laughing hysterically playing “Cheers, Gov’nah,”

organizing splash contests,

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lounging by the lake,

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playing Blackjack with beer bottle caps as currency,

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tubing (which is quite a workout, by the way!),

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hunting down four-leaf clovers,

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frolicking on the dock,

playing cornhole,

swimming and paddling around,

chatting around the campfire,

and simply enjoying the lake life.

I would be remiss if I glossed over how I ate while on vacay. I always like to think that my grad school lifestyle will carry over while I’m out of my routine, and it almost never does. I feel as though if it were truly one hundred percent my lifestyle, I wouldn’t have trouble maintaining it when I’m out of my norm. However, I also believe that sometimes it’s okay to indulge. That may not be the appropriate term to use to describe this week… Maybe gorge is more accurate. I ate my body weight in s’mores one night, and in tacos another. I also drank enough Seagram’s and Bud Light Lime to float a small fleet of battleships.

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It’s not that my family doesn’t eat nutritiously — quite the contrary, actually. For example, one night we planned DIY mini pizzas with whole wheat shells, low-fat cheeses, and veggies galore; one night we sautΓ©ed Polish sausages with green peppers, onions, and sauerkraut; and each morning there was Chobani, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, and “skinny” bacon available. I just seemed to be a bottomless pit this week! Next week, as I always vow post-vacation, I’ll get back into the swing of things and plan delicious, nutritious meals. I’ll also jump back onto the workout horse.

That reminds me, though…

Being on vacation and being away from the gym does not equate with being sedentary in my book. Between running back and forth from the house to the dock (uphill, both ways, in the snow), swimming, canoeing, tubing, swinging, paddling, and numerous intense games of volleyball, I certainly don’t feel that I lacked for heart-pounding, BP-elevating action!

In other, completely unrelated news, one of my favorite parts of vacation with my family is that TV is hardly a thought. Unless the weather is so bad that playing outside is not an option (or the Orioles are playing ;-)), the remote collects dust. And that’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it.

Well, there you have it folks. The reason for my hiatus: fun, sun, family, friends, celebration, and relaxation. After a trip to OBX, two summer classes, my sister’s 21st birthday party, a week of refresher training for my summer job, and a trip to SML, my summer may finally settle into a regular routine. Well, except for nursery duty at Vacation Bible School next week…

Also, I said I had news regarding the half-marathon my tubing buddy Lauren and I are running, and I do! Stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Hey Coffee… Ya Miss Me?

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Howdy, and happy Thursday!

I don’t have a tremendous amount to tell you, because as you know, I’ve been in class for the past three weeks. Two weeks ago was Eating Disorders, and last week and this week were Substance Abuse and Addictions counseling. I just wanted to pop by because I’ve missed you all so much πŸ˜‰

I thought I’d share with you briefly my experience going caffeine-free. As part of my Addictions class, each of us was asked to “give up” something — obsessive texting, Facebook-checking, smoking, drinking two 2-liters of Coke a day, or what have you.

My poison? Caffeinated coffee.

Both Ian and my mom always joke that before I’ve “had my coffee” [read: come fully awake and gotten out of my sleep funk] it’s best not to talk to me unless you require little more than a grunt. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m addicted to coffee; I do, however, rely on it to wake me up and keep me awake on important mornings.

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I realized, after having been caffeinated-coffee-free for the past 10 days, how much time I used to spend on coffee as part of my morning routine. There’s not just the brewing and the drinking… there’s the doctoring, the mixology, the waiting until it’s the perfect temperature, and then the requisite stop at the “facilities” before I can head out the door. The past two weeks, I have had anywhere from 15-30 extra minutes to read, watch Netflix, get a few more things done, mow the lawn, milk the cow… You get the idea.

The real reason I decided to allow coffee to be the vice I would give up is because I don’t want to rely on caffeine anymore. I want caffeine to be a treat instead of a regularity. I have found that I relish this extra time in the morning; rather than setting my alarm later, I’ve been enjoying pushing snooze a time or two, and then languishing in bed before going through my routine without haste.

I did allow myself to make decaf whenever I wanted it because decaf doesn’t serve any sort of eye-opening purpose for me. The purpose it does serve? To be my after-dinner sweet treat while I read on the porch. It doesn’t take much to satisfy me in the sweet-tooth department, and a cup of Folger’s doctored with Truvia, a little skim, and a dollop of fancy creamer hits the spot πŸ˜‰

I’m certainly not planning to give up caffeinated coffee or other beverages on a permanent basis. I’m just enjoying making them more sporadic. As evidenced by my attitude now compared with 57 hours in, this challenge has done me a world of good!

Just FYI: I’ve got lots of new stuff coming to Sarcasm, including vacation plans and an update to the half-marathon Lauren and I are running! Stay tuned!

Half-Crazy

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Well, blends, it’s official:

I’m crazy.

Actually, I’m half-crazy πŸ˜‰

One of my best friends and I have decided to run a HALF-MARATHON in September! We put a lot of thought into which event we wanted to be our first half, and in fact, our very first race together. We decided on the Divas HalfΒ just outside Washington, D.C.

We determined this race would be best for several reasons: (1) it’s catered to women who want to dress up in silly, frilly costumes and act like divas while kicking serious ass, (2) it’s a relative compromise on distance, as Lauren is in the 757 and I’m in the 434 half the time and the 804 the other half of the time, (3) it will [theoretically] give us enough training time, and (4) and it’s on a Saturday, making travel arrangements easier for us and for our enormous band of fans πŸ˜‰

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We have already begun training. I’m at the point where running 4 miles is a comfortable distance, so that means 5 is next! I already know I can accomplish 6.2 comfortably, so I’m almost halfway there. My dad and I plan to run a race a month throughout the summer, Β so I’ll be able to work on improving my speed while competing. Lauren may be participating in some of these events, so the half will not necessarily be our first race together.

The race is September 14, so we’ll have had 5 months of training and race preparation. I’m toying with the idea of using Hal Higdon’s half-marathon training plan for novices, combined with a personalized cross-training schedule. I’m planning to swim this summer, as well as begin doing yoga to increase my flexibility and my focus.

Everything I’ve read says beginner half-ers need only (ha! “only”) run 10-11 miles max during training, and adrenaline will carry me through the last 2-3 miles. If you have run a half (or longer) before, please weigh in on this!

I’m also considering getting some tape to minimize chafing areas. I’d like to look into Gu or Gatorade Performance Chews another energy source for a mid-race burst. I need to consider some sort of race pack, as well as possibly a watch/heart rate monitor combo. I’d love to hear from fellow runners what you like to use and what you recommend!

This is all new to me, so I’m incredibly excited to be able to share everything from training to product reviews to costume-making to the actual half-marathon experience with you. I hope you’ll stick around! πŸ™‚