Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The F Word.


I read a great post on Miss Zippy’s (my running coach before my IT band shut down) blog this morning. It gave me encouragement to write to you guys today.

Driving into work this morning, I was pondering what I wanted to blog about. I’ve been a little off this week due to personal stuff that I don’t feel like sharing with all of cyberspace, so it’s been kind of a weird week. My immediate thought process was, in order to hide my ‘off-ness’ from all my fantastic readers, I would just write a Weird Wednesday post about something super out there (which sadly isn’t too hard for me) and call it a day.

Then I read the post mentioned above, on “Fakebooking.” Anyone who is consistently using social media knows this isn’t something new. Facebook more often than not is the land of ‘hey, look what I did, my life is perfect and nothing is ever wrong!” And sometimes, it’s freaking exhausting, to the point where you want to roll your eyes and chuck your laptop out the window.

Guilty.
I like to think I make attempts to stay transparent on here with you guys. I’ve shared struggles with moving, injuries, etc. But let’s be honest, unless you are one of my closest friends, did you know that so far I’m having a fabulously crappy week? Probably not. I certainly didn’t announce it on Facebook.

Let me clarify, I’m not looking for reasons to sit here and bitch. In fact, I don’t really want to bitch at all. I posted this on Instagram last night and I mean it:

source
Yet I strongly believe that sharing struggles and being real are simple ways to help others. Because to take off that ‘perfect social media mask’ and declare that you are failing at something, or need help, or need a hug, well, I think that’s super respectable.

So, let’s dabble shall we?

I’m sucking at most of my New Year’s Resolutions. Pretty badly. For one, I’ve been chewing my cuticles raw to the point where I maybe should just start wearing gloves 24/7. It’s ugly and I hate the habit but right now it’s getting the best of me. Does anyone have any tips for this?


I kept it zoomed out to keep the grossness factor to a minimum.
I know I wrote that I was going to stay positive about this stupid stress fracture, and I’m trying. But not being able to run is really getting to me. A lot.

I threw a small tantrum while trying to submit my taxes last week. It was my first time doing them on my own (Andrew had to help me a lot too) and I really don’t understand them. I’m really trying to cut the H-word out of my vocabulary, but I think I hate them.

I am honestly, genuinely fearful that I’m currently failing. Like, big picture failing. I don’t really know how else to put it. Because when I take a step back and say to myself, "How well is my life  reflecting Jesus in this moment?" Well, I’m not sure that it is.

best camp ever.
I cried at yoga last night. Not like, sitting there bawling, but I definitely welled up and let my tightness and newness to the practice finally get to me. Thank goodness the room was dark. Oh yeah, and I haven’t lifted weights in over a week. Remember when I gave that lecture about how important lifting weights is?

Lastly, I miss volleyball. Mainly the team aspect of it.


There’s some realness for you. Big thanks to Amanda for posting on this topic first, and encouraging me to do the same. Because if we are being honest, before I read it I was going to write a post about deli meat. I’m serious.

I would love to hear and struggles or vents that you may have on the week. And any recommendations you may have to stop biting my skin like a wild animal.

Cheers!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ski Free

Did anyone else play this computer game as a child?

Ski Free

My sister and I used to be obsessed with it.

I'm back in good ole' MD after a weekend of skiing up at Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains. I must admit, the mountain greatly exceeded my expectations.




I tried to keep expectations fairly neutral as far as trails/snow goes, as many people have warned me since moving out here that East Coast skiing is a lot different than Rocky Mountain skiing.

The snow was definitely heavier - it was in the mid-thirties on Saturday, and misting/foggy the entire way. Praise the Lord for waterproof winter gear. Our outer shells were soaked, but for the most part we stayed dry on the inside.



And it's what on the inside that counts, right?!

The mountain offered a fantastic amount of trails for all different levels, and a few of us even ventured over to the moguls to try our luck.

I only fell twice, which in my book is a success.

This was also my first time night skiing - the entire mountain was lit - which was a whole different kind of experience. In short, it was pretty thrilling to be flying down trails at night.

a night shot

Our 4 pm refueling sesh before heading back out that night involved this:

a HUGE mountain of nachos. heaven.

Overall it was a great time, and I'm so glad we went. The house we stayed in was super cute, we were in great company, and our back porch had a beautiful view of the mountain. I also brought back some sexy wind-burnt cheeks that make me kind of look like a clown.

Friday night from our back porch.
After returning today I headed to the pool and it was closed. So I headed over to Trader Joes and filled up my cart to the brim which I realize is actually counter productive from working out but whatever. Tomorrow's a new week.

Anyone else have any great East Coast skiing experiences? Next on my bucket list is to try something up in Vermont...

Cheers!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Froyo for Dinner

I’ve been extra tired this week.

I’m not really sure why, but I’m going to tell myself that it’s because my body is using extra energy to heal my foot. If you know what’s best for you, don’t argue with me on this one.

My alarm went off at 5 this morning and I laid there. And I told myself I needed more sleep, and that I had time to workout after work. Which was all true. And then I remembered my afternoon full of sugar on Wednesday, and my dinner of frozen yogurt.



No lie, this was my dinner. It was pretty wonderful.

Somehow, that memory ended me up in the pool by 5:45. It was nothing short of a miracle. Some nice man shared his lane with me. It was too early for flip turns, or even to try to wrestle my swim cap on. But by goly I swam for 40 minutes and it was actually kinda lovely.

Something else that is cool about this week:


I hit my #plankaday goal with plenty of time to spare. I may have blown out one of my hipflexors in the process but hey, sometimes you gotta make sacrifices.

Yesterday my friend yelled at me and told me that pumpkin is out of season. I immediately screamed at her and blocked her on gchat and unfriended her on facebook.

OK slight exageration, but I did curtly retort that pumpkin is never out of season in my life. Then I proceeded to make a pumpkin smoothie, follow by banana pumpkin overnight oats this morning for breakfast, just to prove a point.



They were delicious. It was my last can of pumpkin so I’ll have to run out to the store and stock up immediately.

I don’t think I told you guys this yet – Andrew and I are headed up to northern PA this weekend for some skiing and other shenanigans with a couple of my coworkers & co. I think there’s about 10 of us, and we got a house for the weekend. The mountain is actually near Scranton PA where the best show in the world, The Office, takes place, and I’m considered begging Andrew to drive an hour further so we can go see it and I can mourn the last season of my favorite show in the entire world.



Did anyone else cry when jim and pam got married? I’ve cried almost every episode so far this season. Not surprising.

Alright enough procrastinating, I need to go pack. Anyone else have fun weekend plans? Any skiers? I can't wait, it's been far too long.

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The State of Kait


Have you guys noticed I haven’t been running much lately? And by very much, I mean hardly at all.

I know my body pretty well after spending 25 years with it. And so when my ‘sore’ foot wouldn’t stop being sore, I took a wild guess that it was a bit more than just a strained muscle.

So I sulked skipped on back to my favorite orthopedic sports doctor and told her what was up. ‘Man the left side of your body sure hates you eh?’ she joked.

Ha.

After some prodding around, a couple x-rays, and a cool wristband, we came to a conclusion.



Turns out my sneaking suspicions were correct. Turns out I have a little bit of a stress fracture in the 5th metatarsal of my left foot. 



That guy, right there.

When it rains it pours? Nah, I don’t think so. Outside of this little crack I’m dealing with, 2013 has been giving me some stellar vibes so far.  I mean, I won a cruise. The Raven’s won the Superbowl. Maryland just beat Duke, my lifetime arch-nemesis. I’m learning to dance, and swim.

AMEN SISTER
I'll be fine. And if I take care of myself, I should be back on the trail within a couple weeks...

So what’s the plan? Well, no running at all, which is a bit different than when I was recovering from my IT Band crap and could still run a couple miles at a time. 

Zero to super low impact is the key to success this time around.

If I had to guess, I amped up my mileage a bit too fast coming back in January. Lesson learned.  It's always good to learn some lessons.We caught it early so there’s no boot or any of that nonsense. It really only hurts after a period of high impact, or an extended period on my feet. I’m making an effort to wear more supportive shoes for awhile, and to stick these guys in any pair of shoes that I can.



Yoga, swimming, spinning, pool running, weight lifting. Story of my life these next couple weeks. And ya know what? That’s ok. I'd rather this happen now versus September, before my fall marathon.

In the meantime, I signed up for a summer sprint triathlon to cheer myself up, and give myself a little more motivation to hop into that pool that I still kind of hate a little bit.


Trying new things is good, right? 

That's all I've got for today folks, nothing else to see here. Head up, onward.

Cheers!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Brooks Brat

This past week I received a little surprise in the mail from Brooks Running...



Awhile ago I shot them an email to let them know how much I love their shoes, and that I would love to do a product review if they happened to have any extra apparel lying around.

Turns out they did.

I've been pretty vocal that I'm a big fan of Brooks. Therefore I was obviously stoked to try out the Glycerin Jacket II. I almost immediately tore open the package like a savage and took that bad boy out for a couple miles.



First impression? It's versatile. It has the option to be worn on a 30 degree day in the snow zipped all the way up, or on a 50 degree day zipped halfway down.

My favorite feature was the little pocket on the inside for an iPod/mp3, since ya'll know that my music goes everywhere with me. And the pocket is even waterproof, which is crucial since I've been known to get caught in some downpours while out on the trail.


And, like any girl, the thumb holes had me at hello. Love my thumb holes.


"I could honestly wear this jacket anywhere!"  I gushed to Andrew. "Even out to the club?" he retorted.

OK, maybe not the club... although I'm unsure the last time I went to a club, so that's besides the point really.

It's stylish and light, and cute. I love the darker shade of grey. I sported it to my first ever Hot Yoga class this morning and it gave me a little confidence boost when I walked through the door. Even if I had to take it off immediately afterwards so that I wouldn't sweat in it.

But that experience is a whole different story. The picture below is exactly how I felt afterwards.

did i just sweat out every ounce of water in my body? it's quite possible. 
February and March are those weird in between months when you never know what the weather's going to do. I gotta say, I'm pumped to now have the Glycerin II to brave the rain, snow and everything in between.

Check out Brooksrunning.com to browse all of their running gear - here's the direct link to the jacket if you're interested.

And a big thanks to Brooks Running for hooking me up, you guys rock!



Cheers to thumb holes!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One Year

This is going to jump around, but bear with me, I think you'll enjoy it.

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. I tried my best not to be too fat because I think I did enough of that during my birthday week. So in attempt to turn Fat Tuesday into Thin (but strong) Tuesday, I dragged myself to 90 minutes of "Yoga for Athletes."

It was hard, I was out of my element. People started pulling out the handstands and the headstands and I was like ummm....


No. I'll just stand here and admire your skill.

I think I should keep going. I simultaneously loved and hated it. I walked away exhausted.

I stopped at Dicks after work on my way home today to grab an essential:


I've never owned one. I don't know how to use it. I'm unsure if getting my 5 lbs of hair into that swim cap is even possible.


I also saw these and want them yet have no reason for them. I may start looking for a reason. Any suggestions?


One year ago was a big day for me. Who knows why? Don't all raise your hands at once.

One year ago I hopped into my little black Honda Civic named Shannon, and moved my life from Chicago (suburbs) to Maryland. I'm pretty sure I wrote a blog post about it...


My mind is blown when I think about this past year, and how much has changed and evolved. I scored an awesome job, I've made some amazing friends, and have explored some breathtaking places.


I fell in love with the ocean in a similar way that I did with the mountains.

It's encouraging the way that the Baltimore area continues to grow on me. I'm stoked to move to the city in May with a coworker of mine, and am looking forward to the many adventures that are already beginning to fall into place for this spring and summer.

Salty Balty, here I come. Stay Tuned.

Cheers!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rainy Monday

Man, nothing makes it harder to get up than a rainy Monday morning. When I first woke up and was laying there, listening to the rain,  I ran through every valid excuse I had as to why I shouldn't work today.

Then I gave myself the whole 'suck it up' speech and crawled hopped outta bed.

Yesterday I had a long conversation with Andrew about doing things I'm not comfortable with. I purposefully avoid any obvious situation or event that may cause me any amount of discomfort, because  I HATE feeling uncomfortable or awkward. In contrast, Andrew does a lot better with new situations/experiences, and usually is more open to trying things out.

I want to get better at this. I made a small stride yesterday by forcing myself in the pool for a 'long' (for me) swim.

how i feel before every single swim.
I never actually want to get in the pool. The idea of swimming always sounds nice, but then I imagine a pool full of professional swimmers, judging my awkward stroke and attempt at flip turns. I consistently have to give myself pep talks up in the locker room before heading down to the pool.

All-in-all, I spent a solid hour in the pool, and think I'm starting to get that flip turn thing down! Success!



I took the plunge on Saturday and decided to do something a bit different with my hair. It's basically been long, brown and untouched for almost 10 years now, so I decided to try out the ombre style:



I am actually really happy with it, it's fun, and the lighter shades make me READY for summer.

Summer, hello, are you near?!?

I've also been meaning to share my favorite means of seeking out summer during winter on here for awhile, thanks for reminding me! Although I no longer tan (I did a lot in college, bad I know) I've found this actually works really well:



It's subtle, never leaves me orange, and isn't streaky if you apply it well. I grabbed mine at good ole' Walmart for about $8.

While in the category of cosmetics, I have one more cheat to share:



I have never been able to whiten my teeth because of this:



When one of your front teeth are fake and won't 'naturally' whiten along with the west of your pearly yellows whites, there ain't too much you can do about your teeth color. Turns out, the cap on my right front tooth chipped in the back, and the Dentist says I'm ready for a permanent crown.

So, these next two weeks I will be whitening so that when I go in for my appointment, the new crown will be matched up to the shade of my at that time blindingly white teeth.

The bad news? Until that appointment at the end of February, my real teeth will continue to get whiter, yet my currently fake cap will stay dark. And I will look like a pirate.


just like that.
If I suddenly start putting emo-like non-smiling pictures up on here, you now know why. This is my disclaimer.

Enough rambling about stupid physical appearances that don't matter.I have a dance class to tear up the dance floor at!

Any big plans this week? What's your favorite way to 'cheat' when it comes to physical appearances? I've heard Spanx are literally black magic? True?

Cheers!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A few quick things

Let’s just say that yesterday, I learned the hard way that peanut butter cheesecake is not a great pre-run fuel. Noted.

My wonderful boyfriend was thoughtful enough to give me an entire cheesecake for my birthday earlier this week. And although it is by far one of my favorite treats.... today I had to stick the rest of it in my freezer to prevent anymore stuff-my-face-pre-run catastrophes.

I'm hoping I forget it's there.

Nonetheless, it was a beautiful evening for a run, and I jammed out hard to my new favorite song – Highway Don't Care – off of Tim McGraw’s new album. It features my girl Taylor Swift and is slower, but I LOVE it. It makes me cry sometimes.



Speaking of T-swift, I don’t think I’ve ever shown you guys the calendar that Andrew got me for Christmas.

Yep. I'm as creepy about Taylor Swift as she is about singing about her ex-boyfriends.
Long hair.
February is a #plankaday month for me, as I loved the results that I got when I did it this past summer. My time on the first of the month was 2:40, and I’d love to be pushing 4 minutes by the end of the month, but that may be wishful thinking.


#planksohard
The other day I decided to step out of the comfort zone of my morning oats and whip up something special:



I threw two eggs, spinach, artichokes and some avocado into a pan and then served it up to myself open face, with a dash of hot sauce on top. It was delish, and my plan is to make it again this weekend.

oh that's super attractive Kait. Why do you put up hideous pictures of yourself so often?
I'm not sure.
AND while on the topic of delicious food, make sure to enter my Trader Joe’s giftcard giveaway by 12 p.m. E.S.T tomorrow! I will announce the winner this weekend.

Because I love you guys, and want to make you're next grocery shopping trip even more pleasant! :)

Cheers to the (Almost) weekend!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Birds, Birthdays & Blogiversaries (and a GIVEAWAY)

Man, what a whirlwind of weekend. Let’s do some quick catching up before we address the fact that as of today, I’m a quarter of a century old. #yikes

How ‘bout those Ravens?


I have NEVER experienced the kind of electricity that Baltimore had on Sunday night. I’m fairly certain every single bar was at maximum capacity, with the Seven Army Nation chant echoing loud and clear throughout the city. 



The Bears may always be #1 in my heart, but it was still super awesome to witness the Ravens win it all, and to be a part of the madness.

Second on the agenda. Tomorrow, February 6th, is my 1 year Blogiversary! I cannot say how blessed I feel to have this joy of writing in my life, and the privilege to share it with all of you. To my surprise, my blog has grown a lot the past year, and my hope is that it will continue to do so throughout 2013.

One thing I wanted to do to celebrate was to host my first GIVEAWAY!!!! I brainstormed for awhile, and decided that the logical move was to give away something that represents me the best:


I'm giving away a Trader Joe's Store $25 Gift Card!!

I love to eat. I love experimenting with new recipes, and I LOVE grocery shopping. Trader Joe's is basically my second home out here in Maryland.  So, to show my appreciation for this awesome store and for my awesome readers, I would love to give one of my readers a free trip to the grocery store.

To enter, just leave me a comment below telling me your favorite food, why you love Trader Joe's, or why you enjoy reading my blog. This Friday, February 8th, I will select a random winner using a random number generator, and ship off that gift card to you.

Last but not least… I’m 25 today!! Baltimore decide to celebrate by throwing me a parade!



The Ravens parade was super fun, super crowded, but a great way to spend my birthday.


My amazing coworkers bombarded me with gifts and made me feel extra special. Now when I sing along to ‘22’ by Taylor Swift I have to change it to 25 but that’s OK. I can deal with that.


CHEERS to being one year older and wiser, more amazing memories, and of course, those purple birds.