Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thinking Out Loud #3

I'm sorry that I've virtually abandoned all blogger duties as of late. I have been ridiculously busy, and quite honestly, I haven't had much to say! Instead of leaving you guys alone for much longer, however, I decided to link up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud!

1. I am studying for my oral comps exam, which is on Tuesday, April 1, and it tests me on everything I have learned the last two years in my Masters program. My home currently looks like this:

And no, my house still isn't fixed.

2. Europe is coming quickly and I am beginning to stress out about money, hostels, and all the logistical things. I have a good idea of where I want to go and the dates that I want to be where, but I have a few days that I am unaccounted for and I'm not sure what to do about that. Everything will work out, I'm sure of that.

3. I am back to running more often. My hamstring still isn't 100% happy, but it seems to be getting better. Certain activities, like running anything under a 9 min/mi or running uphill at the end of a run, still cause me discomfort, but for the most part, I'm feeling better. Plus, it's nice to get to see things like this again: 

4. On Tuesday night, I was foam rolling and stretching when I noticed something under my couch. I pulled it out and it was a HUGE pocket knife. Naturally, because I'm constantly a logical thinker, I assumed it was planted there. A friend suggested that it was Bam Bam's because it looked military issued, so I messaged him, and sure enough, it belongs to him. I feel better knowing that some stranger isn't plotting my death....

5. Obsession. GO to Sam's Club NOW and get this.

6. Campus put on their version of an "Electric Run" last night for free. It was super fun and a little less than 2 miles, but the paint they threw at us colored my body green...through my clothes! I ran six miles yesterday morning and wanted to take last night easy and ended up doing a 9:10 avg and felt good. Hamstring was a little tight, but overall, I didn't feel out of breath at all! 

7. In an attempt to remain consistent with my refocus and recentering, I am participating in the 100 Happy Days challenge 

The premise is that you find something, however small, that makes you happy that day and take a photo of it to share with the world. It's designed to encourage participants to find the good in every single day and focus on happiness. You can find my #100happydays if you follow me on Instagram

What makes you happy in a day? What time of day do you usually run?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recentering and Refocusing

Thanks for everyone who checked in with me on Monday's post! I'm glad that my decision to buy that bag for Europe seems to be a good one ;) As Karen pointed out, she thought that wrote that I was currently living in the bag, which I would actually love to do ;) Things have been crazy here, as mentioned, and I THOUGHT they were slowing down, but it turns out that only next week will they slow down just a bit. After that, everything picks back up. That being said, I think it's time for me to recenter myself and refocus on my values and what makes me happy.

I haven't been myself lately. I've been cranky and stressed out, letting negativity get a hold of me more than I ever have. A few weeks ago, when my house exploded, began my unraveling. On top of dealing with all of that drama, I've been dealing with some personal drama as well. Someone said something to me that was malicious and incredibly hurtful and resulted in me shedding A LOT of tears. Now, normally, I don't let anything get to me (or I usually just brush it off and try and focus on the good), but as I found out on Monday night, I was harboring a huge amount of resentment towards this person. It all festered to the surface on Monday night and it wasn't my shining moment. However, it was a wakeup call.

Instead of continuing to focus on the negativity and being a brat, I am making a conscious effort to refocus on the good in my life. Here are a few of the things that are helping me feel a little bit more like me:

Running A constant and my one, true, love. 

(Recycled from 4th of July)

A visit from my best friend. Is it possible that our girlfriends are our soul mates, as suggested by the ladies of Sex and The City? I believe so. This weekend with my bestie was EXACTLY what I needed and I am so thankful she was here when I basically imploded. It's always nice to be with a friend who makes you feel like yourself, takes the best care of you, and is always on your side. I am lucky.

Packages from Blogger Friends I won the Canadian Goodies giveaway on Rebecca's blog. I didn't have a chance to open it on Monday when I got it out of my mailbox, but on Tuesday morning, when I was feeling particularly down and bad about myself, I opened up the package and found this painting:

Her son painted it for me. It definitely made my heart smile.

My goodies :) 

Travel Plans Europe is only 60 days away from today. I need it so much. My soul is feeling restless and I cannot wait to travel. I don't feel like I have totally lost myself, but I do feel the need to wander... as I usually do when I feel my time in a place is running low.

These are just a few of the items that I am valuing in my life. There are many more, but life is too short to simply list all of the things we are thankful for instead of enjoying life and showing gratitude through actions.

What are your favorite ways to get back to yourself?

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm Alive

It's been a while and I have been insanely busy... so in case you were missing me, here's where I've been.

I found my bag for Europe

I've been running...not as much as I'd like, with this hamstring, but I've been doing it

Celebrating with friends -- old and new

I'm hoping that things will slow down next week (I'm pretty sure I'll be down to only working two jobs instead of 3, so I am planning on throwing more posts your way! My house is still in shambles, but I am alive.

Fill me in on what I have been missing with you! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ignite Naturals Ambassador Announcement!

Since the last two posts have been kind of Debbie Downer posts, I figured I'd share some good news! Thank you so much for all of your kind words and support! I had VERY minimal hamstring pain yesterday during my run, but my hamstring is still nagging and I decided not to do a second workout yesterday. I'm rolling and icing and hoping to be back to 100% ASAP!

Onto more good news: Remember my review of Ignite Naturals IN Refresh? Well, I have been selected to be an Ignite Naturals Ambassador!

As an Ignite Naturals Ambassador, I will have the opportunity to share new products with you (and hopefully give some away!). If you loved my IN Refresh review and are interested in trying products  right away, please use the code IN00120 and head over to the website to make your purchase!

Have any of you purchased Ignite before?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Send me Healing Thoughts, Please

Thanks to everyone who was feeling my pain on Friday's post. Things are mostly back in order in the fans are gone, a new water heater is installed, but my floors are still destroyed. My house looks so sad and I don't have time to schedule anything having to do with the floors until at least Friday, so for now, I'm living in a place that looks like this:

Please send me healing thoughts for my house! It needs all the help it can get ;)

In running news, running has been virtually non-existent. I took the entire week after the Princess Half off from running, but I maintained my regular cross-training activities. Last week, I ran MAYBE 10 miles total for the week. I got busy (so much for spring break, right?) and for some reason, even after all of the rest, my right hamstring has been REALLY tight. It's tight when I wake up, tight when I walk, and tight when I run. It hasn't interfered with any running, so far, but I did have to stretch 3 times within the first 2 miles of my run on Friday. I have been icing it, rolling it, and massaging it and have found some release, but I am going to look into ART (per recommended by Cori) if it does not get any better. So far, rolling on a ball from the batting cages has been working best. I'm bruising all up and down the area, but things are slowly starting to release. I'm hoping to have run this morning, and if you follow me on Twitter, I'm sure there will be an update about whether or not I went out there today. Send me healing thoughts for my hammy too, please.
Also, my poor floors :( 

And today is post number 200 of this little blog! Thanks for stopping by for 200 posts of rambling and nothingness!

Thanks for suffering through it! Love you guys :D 

Have you ever had a hamstring injury? What is your favorite recovery tool?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Welcome to the Disaster Zone

First, thank you to all who responded to Tuesday's post for all for your positivity and your viewpoints!

Yesterday, I had every intention of sharing photos from my trip to Island Dolphin Care. Instead, I was woken up at 1:30 am Wednesday night (Thursday morning) by the sound of my doorbell ringing. After punching 911 into the keypad and waiting to hit send, I opened my bedroom door and I heard one of the most dreaded sounds a homeowner could hear: rushing water. It turns out that my water heater burst in the middle of the night, leaking into the downstairs neighbors' home, causing them to come upstairs and ring my doorbell incessantly.

So, until this is all resolved, I will most likely be posting sporadically, visiting your blogs less often, and probably commenting more rarely. Please bear with me as I try and deal with this without losing my sanity (or dignity) in the process! This is what my life looks like right now.

Thank you for your understanding as I clean up this mess!

What's the worst situation you've dealt with in your home?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spread the Word to End the Word

If you have been reading this blog for a decent amount of time, you are probably familiar with my association with working with children with special needs. Special populations are near and dear to my heart and I have had the opportunity to work with individuals with special needs in a number of different settings.

Without overloading you on this year's post with my background/history working with children with special needs, I'll direct you to this post I wrote last year in honor of Spread the Word to End the Word Day. Instead, I'd like to tell you a little bit more about the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign and share my thoughts on the use of the "r-word."

Spread the Word to end the Word is a campaign to spread love, not hate. Per the website"Spread the Word to End the Word™ is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies and our supporters to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign, created by youth, is intended to engage schools organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.It is time to address the minority slur “retard(ed)” and raise the consciousness of society to its hurtful effects. This year's day of awareness to Spread the Word to End the Word is almost here! Join thousands of young people in communities around the world on 03.07.12 in pledging to End the R-word! Read below to see what YOU can do, or visit to learn how you can Spread the Word to End the Word."

As recently as 4 years ago, I still used the "r-word." I admit it. I was ignorant to its effects on people because I was not intentionally targeting special populations when I was calling my friends that or using the "r-word" to describe a situation. I was not being malicious, but having worked with college aged students with special needs, I have seen first hand what the "r-word" can do to a person.they don't know what it means" or "I'm not saying it and meaning he/she actually has a disability." However, for people with special needs, their families, caretakers, or friends, the "r-word" is a shot to the heart. The r-word is an insinuation that the person who is being called that, or people who have special needs in general, are a lesser version of a human. As eloquently stated in this article "As these two words are now commonly used? They are (at all times), meant as a euphemistic put-down. And the genesis of the "put-down" itself is based on disparaging a population of special needs individuals who have always been viewed as inferior to the person mouthing the words: 'retard' and 'retarded.'"

Now, when that word slips out of a friend's mouth, and sometimes even a stranger's mouth, I take the time to explain my point of view. These individuals may not think they are causing any harm, but NO human being is unworthy or love and respect, even if they are a little different. There are so many other adjectives one can use to describe a situation/a person. My favorite adjective to use is "silly." I use silly to describe nearly everything. I'm also very conscious now to make sure that I am not being offensive to any group of people, although that is a work in progress.

This post is not meant to be a "holier than thou" post or to shame anyone into submission. I simply wanted to highlight a campaign that is near and dear to my heart and maybe educate some readers along the way. That being said, if you are interested in taking the pledge against the use of the "r-word," please click here.

Even if you decide not to stop using this word, please take the time today to spread love instead of hate.

Note: This post is not associated with the Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign. They do not know that I wrote this post, but the campaign is so close to my heart that I wanted to write about it. 

No questions today, but please share your thoughts! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ignite Naturals In Refresh Review

Hi all! Sorry I've been kinda MIA the last few days. I'm actually out of town at the moment, so I haven't had much time to blog. I'm at Island Dolphin Care, busy translating for them and helping out the newest interns. By next week, I should be back to a regular schedule :)

I actually have a product review for you guys, today! A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by Ignite Naturals asking if I would provide some feedback about their IN Refresh Electrolytes products. I agreed and was sent a box of samples (three flavors) and their plastic, purist water bottle.

Ignite Naturals is a company that produces natural, plant based products to help athletes perform their best. From their website:

The flavors available in the electrolyte powders are Dragonfruit Lemon Lime, Tangerine Passion Fruit, Blueberry, Kona Blend, and Prickly Pear (per the website). I was sent Dragonfruit Lemon Lime, Tangerine Passion Fruit, and Blueberry, which I believe is their variety pack option in a 10-pack box.

The first flavor that I tried was the Dragonfruit Lemon Lime. What I noticed was that the powder did not smell funny (like some plant-based powders do) and that the powder appeared to mix evenly when shaken.

I first added only a little bit of water and the powder was too tart, so I filled my purist water bottle to the top and that helped the powder taste better to me. What I have found about all of the flavors is that the flavor is not too sweet or overpowering, as Powerade or Gatorade can sometimes be. I tested all of the flavors a few times. One was before a run (right when I woke up), one was after a workout, as well as after a night out ;) I definitely think that the extra electrolytes helped me perform and recover faster than water alone (which I typically drink, even after long runs). My favorite flavor was the blueberry and I thought that the other two flavors tasted better with ice in them. However, the more I try the Tangerine Passion Fruit, the more I like it. Watch out, blueberry ;)

Overall, I would purchase these powders again. I think that they would be great to have during long runs in the summer or after all of my runs here in FL. The price for a 10-pack box is incredibly reasonable and I don't feel like I'm drinking straight sugar or straight chemicals. All of their nutrition facts are available online, but here is a sample of some of the stats.

Head over to Ignite Naturals if you want to purchase some of your own! Stay tuned, I have some more fun things from IN in the works ;)

Disclaimer: While I received a 10-pack of IN Refresh and a purist water bottle for free, I received no other compensation for this post and as always, all opinions expressed are my own.