Posts Tagged "personal"

Insanely beautiful work by Brian DiCola at NoKaOi in Philadelphia. So psyched to have my European Starling complete! My gift to myself for completing a marathon and a life dream.

This Valentine’s Day, I’m trying really hard to love myself as well as I love others. Every day is different, and sometimes it’s a struggle to be kind to myself.

But self love is an important gesture.

So today I encourage you to be kind. Even if it’s one thing, find something about yourself that you love and own it. Write your own self a mental love letter. Even if you want change, make peace with who and how and what you are right now.

Love yourself like you love your very best Valentine. Because you’re totally worth it. <3

Lazy Eye Harcharek needs to work on her muscle definition. But overall I’m not mad at this. :)

Quick recap: 2013 Activity Totals and Races

Putting this down for posterity, since it’s too late to do a full year in review like I used to. In 2011 and 2012, I wrote some emotionally revealing and detailed posts about life’s ups and downs. 2013 was more goal oriented, and as I’ve already said, I’m quite proud of how things turned out. 

Now 22 days into 2014, I’m working on my goals bit by bit. Very little running has happened thus far, but I’m honestly pleased to give myself time to rest and enjoy other activities like yoga, weightlifting, or spinning. My diet has fully shifted to the “Vegan Before 6” philosophy and I’m enjoying that fun challenge every day.

So while I won’t do a full recap like previous years, I do find it helpful to look at my activity totals and see if I can top it.

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So here’s what happened last year:

  • January: 13.3 miles of running. No races, and I had no access to a gym for that time. Very sedentary (and cold) month. Tried a low carb diet.
  • February: 12.5 miles of running. Ran the Feel the Love 5k in 28:35. After losing a bit of weight by dieting, went back up to 141 lbs. Tried out a bunch of gyms, including Lithe Method, Unite Fitness, Sweat, yoga at City Fitness, and dance classes at Studio 1831.
  • March: 27.2 miles of running, 21 cycling. Started Broad Street training, joined a gym, and discovered Flywheel. Ran the Phillies 5k in 29:45. Ran Philly Runner’s Urban Scramble.
  • April: 44.4 miles running, 43.4 cycling, 9.4 walking. Completed the Zombie Run, Gener8tion 8k, and Run for Jake 5k. Started working part-time at a gym. Joined Philadelphia Runner’s Run for Boston event and cried in public.
  • May: 33.6 miles of running. New PR at the Broad Street Run, 1:37:55! Participated in Philly Runner’s Urban Scramble again. Hit my first weight goal of 135 lbs.
  • June: 51.9 miles running, 22.5 cycling, 3.9 walking. Completed ODDyssey Half Marathon in 2:20:26, Midsummer Night 5k in 30:23. Marathon training starts. Starting teaching a Couch to 5k class twice per week.
  • July:  54.5 miles running, 4 miles walking. Marathon training. Completed a 4th of July 5k in 29:49. Got injured. Ate “vegan before 6” diet.
  • August: 30 miles running, 91.4 cycling. No races. Forced to take it easy. Twice-weekly PT due to knee injury.
  • September: 60.7 miles running, 2.4 walking. Completed Run for Our Troops 5k and Quad XC 5k on the same day! Got a new PR with 27:06. Got back on the marathon training grind with a few new long runs.
  • October: 47.3 miles running, 20.8 cycling. Finished my first 26.2, Steamtown Marathon in 5:00:04. Finally hit 130 lbs. Went to California and ran with my fiancé through Downtown Disney LIKE A BOSS.
  • November: 43.5 miles running, 2 miles walking, 3 miles hiking. Completed my first race since the marathon: Run the Bridge 10k in 58:44. Continued a tradition of running home from work in West Philly as a way to get in my long runs. 
  • December: 60.6 miles running, 50.1 miles cycling. Completed the Schuylkill River Loop Run (8.4 miles) with my fiancé in 1:34:42. Holiday weight gain wasn’t too bad, but I managed to get back down under 130 lbs by the end of the year. Had a blast running the last half of the Rocky 50k; next year I’m aiming to do the whole thing! 

Those numbers are just the things tracked on Runkeeper. That doesn’t take into account all the weightlifting, yoga, and other fun activities like burlesque dancing classes and cross-training. But it does give me something to build off of this year. Cool stuff!

Readers, what are you up to? What have you been most proud of at the start of 2014? What did you accomplish in 2013 that you’d like to try again?

Looking Ahead, and Reflecting on Falling Short

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Last year I set my mind to accomplish some majorly ambitious goals.

After 2012’s challenging year — in which I ran my first half marathon, got engaged, and overcame depression — I set out to tackle 2013 with intensity and daring. I had plans to run my first marathon, clock 500 miles in a year, and expand my horizons through travel, books and movies.

However, I fell short of some of my milestones. I ran 480 miles out of a planned 500, watched 64 new movies out of 100, and came within shouting distance of my 5k goal (but again, didn’t hit it).

But I’m not upset in the least. 

In terms of fitness this year, I worked harder, ran further, biked faster and trained smarter than I ever had before. Without trying to brag, I’m happy that managed to complete fourteen official races, hit several PRs, overcame an injury that sidelined me for most of the summer, and eventually crossed the finish line of my first marathon.

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As the year came to a close, I realized that I needed to make peace with myself and my limitations. And I need to restore some balance.

Running is a magnificent activity, but over-reaching and over-training takes the fun out of it. At the end of the year, I could have easily reached my mileage goal but also wanted to branch out; that meant swapping a long run for a spin class with friends, or taking time to enjoy yoga again.

I needed a reminder to be kind to my body and my self, and accept that it’s ok to grow as quickly or gradually as I want.

So here’s what I have planned for this upcoming year. Goals, not resolutions. Progress, not perfection.

2014 Goals:

  • Clock more miles than I did last year. That means 480+ miles of running and 250+ of biking.
  • Spend a full year adhering to Mark Bittman’s “Vegan Before 6" philosophy.
  • Officially PR my half marathon (reach goal: get in under 2 hours)
  • Improve my design and marketing skills by practicing and taking an online course or two
  • Giving another try to watching 100 new-to-me movies
  • Give back to my community.
  • Be more kind to myself. Stop being so critical or self-doubting.
  • Be a good wife. Every day forever.

What are your goals? How are they coming along so far?

I took a butt selfie at the gym and have little to no shame about it.

Goal check: 52 miles left to complete my cumulative distance goal this year. Averaging a little more than 4 miles per day this month.

Still trying to figure out what to focus on next year. I’ve done volume (15 races in 2013) and distance (ran my first marathon, clocked 448 miles so far) but I’d also love to be a faster runner and a better competitor. Running is still a struggle, I just like it better now and can go longer. So maybe getting faster is the next thing.

Biz to cas in two minutes flat. Running home from work!

Got a solid five miles in today.