Heavy Heart and Running

The last several weeks my family has been dealing with a sickness in the family. I have never, fortunately, had to personally deal with death or serious illness before, and it sure has left my heart heavy. My uncle is one of the kindest and most loving people that I know and it breaks my heart to see him fighting this battle with brain cancer. He has miraculously pulled through some tough patches over the past couple of months and I have high hopes that he will be that 2% that is a miracle.

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My dad and I took a trip up to Canada to visit my family and it was heart wrenching, but good for my dad, and good for me too. On the way up there my dad stopped at all of the old places we used to stop at while taking trips up there, all the while with my Uncle Bill in our hearts. It warmed my heart to see all of these places with my loving father.

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I think about my uncle everyday and am hoping with all of my might that this cancer takes a turn for the better.

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While we were up there my dad took me to an old trail that he let me run on to let me stretch out my legs…and my emotions. Running is probably the last thing that a lot of people think about when dealing with stressful or emotional situations, but it always has a way of making me feel better. It relaxes me and lets me sort out my emotions with each step. It lets me let go of certain pent up feelings and come to terms with things that are dragging me down. The run on this beautiful trail was just the thing I needed.

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And then on the ferry ride back, my dad and I got to see a grey whale jumping out of the water, which is both of our favourite thing on this planet. It sounds small, but it was the perfect thing to see after this heavy trip.

I hope that everybody has a great weekend. If you have anything heavy on your heart, take some time to yourself and pound out your emotions on the pavement. It will help, I promise.

Hugs,

Shan 🙂

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One Day at a Time and Lots of Pumpkin!

I have always known that I get stressed very easily, and this past year, that fact has become more evident. If there is something that is out of my control, if there is something that I need to get done but haven’t yet, money, tests, scheduling my days, or as Cody likes to say “things that you know, and things that you don’t know stress you out.” So pretty much everything. But something really important that I have learned about myself is that if I just take one day at a time, and not look too far ahead, then my levels of stress drastically decrease.

Often times I find myself becoming stressed about the unknown, or my ability to handle future situations that aren’t even in my line of sight.

This really relates to my running because sometimes during longer runs (or just when I am on the treadmill 🙂 I can only think about how much further I have to go and it makes me anxious. But if I just focus on completing each quarter mile and my times for each, then my run is more relaxing and enjoyable. When I am running in the present mile, I am running in the moment. And this is the same in life! When I live in the moment and don’t focus on everything that could stress me out, I enjoy my days just a little more!

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(photo by my cute friend http://www.xothelittleladybug.com/index.html)

And on a different note, whoohoo! I sure do love the weekend “a latte” (see what I did there?;)

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Yesterday I went running with a friend and she took me to this really awesome trail. It kind of kicked my butt because there were so many hills over a short distance…my legs were on fire!

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And Cody and I painted our pumpkins this weekend! His is still in progress, but mine is complete! I painted some bears because they are my favourite. And then we hit up Trader Joe’s and I went pumpkin crazy. You could say it was a pumpkin filled weekend!

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And right now the Codester and I are watching the Seahawks game and then we are heading out to go play a little football ourselves with a HIIT workout added in there!

Also I posted my workout from this morning below! I did shoulders and glutes because they are my favourite 🙂

4×15 weighted cable kickbacks

4×10 barbell thrusts

4×10 db side raise above head

3×10 side lateral raises

3×10 barbell shoulder press

3×20 weighed step ups

Have a great day everybody!

Wow and A Little Rest

Wow guys! I think that maybe I should get an award for most inconsistent blogger of life. It’s been almost ONE MONTH since I last posted. That is too long.

From now on I want to write once a week and publish my posts on Saturdays. I still might do random posts throughout the week but you can count on there being at least one post every Saturday! Try and contain your excitement, please…

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Okay, I wanted to talk a little bit about rest. I know that rest is important. I’ve read countless articles about it, I tell people how important taking rest days is, and I tell myself I need it. However, since I started consistently working out in 2012, the longest that I have gone without working out was 2 days in a row…I am kind of ashamed to even write that. And that lack of rest caught up to me and bit me in booty. Seriously. It is so important to give your body long periods of rest (longer than 2 days) every once in a while.

So, my point of sharing this is that last week I was running on empty. On Wednesday, I drove to the gym and was going to work out before class…and I fell asleep in the parking lot. I jolted awake, came to my senses, and drove home to lay on the couch until it was time to head out to class. I realized that night after talking to a friend that I don’t need to constantly push myself, I can take a break! Which is exactly what I did. I took the following 5 days off from exercising and it felt amazing. I realized that my workouts were becoming chores, not something that I genuinely looked forward to doing. I have so many things in my life right now that are requirements, chores, tasks, burdens, and I do not want running/lifting/exercising to turn into that.

Over my few days of relaxation (which was amazing) I remembered that working out is part of my life because I choose it. It is not forced upon me by anyone. I love running and lifting and I do those things because they make me feel good.

I have decided to push my half marathon off for a couple of months so that I can run care-free. I want to love running and not run purely because I feel like I have to, which is what the race was making me feel like. I am still going to continue running several days a week, because I love it and keep you all updated, so don’t you worry! I really want to work on getting fast! I am going to get tickets because I am so speedy! Bad joke?

Another thing that lack of rest was causing me to do was not eat consistently the way that I like to and usually do and this made me feel sluggish and uncomfortable.

I am ready to be back to my normal self, eating clean foods and loving exercising!! I wrote out a list of goals for myself to help me feel my best! I am also tracking my food because I know that when I eat my best, I feel my best (plus I have goals!)!

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And one more picture that I hope makes your day a little better. This is my cat Whiskers and he very much resembles grumpy cat in this picture. Hahahah! Makes me laugh every time I look at it.

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Have a good day everybody!

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Do any of you do yoga?

What was the best part of your day today?

The Washington Coast and The First Run

Hey everybody!

I hope that you have had a good day! 🙂 Today marked the first day of my half marathon training cycle! This is the 3rd half marathon that i will be running and I am so excited. I am going to run the Historic Half up in Vancouver B.C. and cannot be more excited. I have two friends that will be running it with me! Whoohoo! The one thing better than running is running with friends 🙂

I ran 3 miles at a 9:00 minute average pace and it felt so good! My goal is to finish the half marathon in under 2 hours and I can’t wait to attain it!

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PS I am proud of my baby bicep…

Also, who has had these protein cookies?

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They are so good and whenever they are in my cupboard I want to eat all of them in one sitting. Same with the buffbake and the quest bars…It’s kind of a problem.

On another note, my fella and I went on a mini tip this weekend to the Washington Coast! It was so fun! We rediscovered our love for teatherball (I don’t know how to spell that). See in the above picture the bruise on my wrist? That’s from going hard and winning 2 games (out of 7 lol;)

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And taken it back to last weekend, I hung out with Cody’s family all day in Seattle while he was at work and it was so fun!

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That is his cute mom 🙂

And this is random, but does anybody out there grind their teeth at night? I do and I’ve recently invested in a mouth guard to help out my situation. It is AMAZING. I used to wake up with a headache and throbbing teeth and now most mornings both of those nuances are gone! So here is a flattering picture to show off my newest fashion statement.

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All in all it was a good time and tomorrow I’ve got another 3 miles callin my name! Have a great night/day!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

A Little About Me!

Hey everybody! I thought that I would take my friend, Amanda’s, over at www.xothelittleladybug.com, idea and write a fun little post about myself! “21 Things About The 21-Year-Old!” I generally write slightly random things about training or my days (which are probably snore-worthy), so here are 21 facts about me!

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  1. I am from a really small town on the Canadian border and lived there until I was 18. There is just something about small towns that you can never find in the city.
  2. I’ve only been on a plane two times…I guess I need to travel more.
  3. I love golfing! Besides running and other forms of exercise in and outside of the gym I would love to spend all of my time golfing if it wasn’t as expensive. I played in high school and made it to state!
  4. I love fruit. You may think this is a weird fact…but if there is a bowl of fruit in front of me I will eat all of it.

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5. I have a cat named Whiskers who resides at my parents house who I love dearly. We’ve had him for 15 years and he is the fluffiest cat in the world. Hahah!2014-01-20 10.34.5411130719_951458784885998_600091188_n

6. I have an amazing boyfriend who I have been with for almost five years. We have been together since junior year in high school! He goes to school for aerospace engineering…We’ve got a rocket scientist in the house!!!

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7. I pretty much only wear workout clothes…it’s kind of a problem.

8. I’m currently going to school and studying special education and elementary education. When I graduate I want to teach within the inner schools in Seattle.

9. For now I work as a barista to make my way through school! It’s a good thing I love coffee!

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10. I love Canada.

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11. I love playing board games!

12. When I was younger I was sick for FIVE Christmas’s in a row. Like throwing up, ear infections, and the flu…For a long time it was a curse and I feared Christmas! Thankfully I have passed that stage in my life.

13. I am a clutz. I drop things, spill things, trip over things (or nothing), walk into walls or doors ALL OF THE TIME.

14. I am 5’11”, so I can reach the glasses in the tall cabinets. 😉

15. I have 5 alarms set for the morning every day…I have anxiety that I won’t wake up on time, but I also have a really hard time getting out of bed…hahah.

16. I’ve been working since I was 15. $$$

17. I love food. I am thinking about dinner while I am eating breakfast. It’s always been like that hahahah.

18. I love running so much, but if I run when it’s hot outside I feel like my life is coming to an end. Hence the lack of running posts this summer. That’s why my next half-marathon is in November.

19. I love reading during my free time and before bed. I love a wide genre of books, but Harry Potter will always be my favourite…

20. I have one older brother who works for Americorps and he is amazing.

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21. I can twist my arm all the way around. The only cool thing I can do!

Well there ya go! Props to you if you read all of those things! Now I am off to go lift some heavy things and then spend some time on the stairmaster! Have a fit day, everybody!!

xoxo,

Shan

Quality Vs Quantity

Well this weekend was a blast! I got to see my old roomies from good ‘ole Bellingham and boy oh boy do I miss them on a daily basis. It always surprises me that, with the best of friends, you can go weeks without seeing each other but nothing changes.

Call me cheesy, but I have always looked for quality rather than quantity with my friendships. I enjoy friendships that contain laughter and silly conversations but also friendships that are built with honesty and loyalty.

Sometimes I feel that people are constantly looking for acceptance, myself included, but I have found that I am more confident with myself and don’t need validation from others when I find peace with where I am at.

I think that these things can really relate to running because in order to meet your race or running goals you need to have quality runs. Quantity isn’t always the answer. And when you have an awesome run that means that you are doing something right! It’s important to acknowledge what you are doing in your life to help you achieve these runs, such as enough sleep, nourishing your body the right way, recovery/rest days, incorporating strength training, etc. It’s important to run for yourself and not base your happiness or confidence on comparisons with other people.

As my half-marathon training approaches I am constantly thinking about my reasons for running and how to make those 10 weeks of training my best yet. If you have any great reasons for running or tips feel free to share!

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Have a great day!

Shan 🙂

PS. The above photo was taken by my cute best friend, Amanda Hoffmann xothelittleladybug.com

Mount Rainier

Hey everybody!

I started out the day yesterday by going to the gym and lifting some heavy stuff. Someday I will be able to do unassisted pull-ups…

Then the guy and I went on a really fantastic hike over near Mt. Rainier and it was so beautiful.

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First we hiked up to this lake….

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And then we hiked up to that little house up on top of the hill! And that’s where we got to see the beautiful view!

The hike wasn’t super long, only about 3.5 miles to the fire lookout, but boy was it hard! I was breathing so hard it was kind of embarrassing…Whenever I would see someone coming toward us I would try and slow my breathing down so they wouldn’t judge me!! Hahahah.

And then afterwards….

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Can’t really go wrong with some yummy Menchie’s! #Froyo4Lyfe

So all in all, yesterday was a good day!

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Have a fantastic day, everybody! Get a good sweat session in!

Pumpkin Season and A Good Shoulder Workout

Hey everybody!

Now I know that it’s only August, but anybody else have cravings for pumpkin? I do! I love pumpkin everything so I decided to share my favourite pumpkin cookie recipe with you! I got it from Pinterest but changed it a little bit to make it my own! It’s not the healthiest recipe, but it’s also not the worst!

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1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Nutmeg

1  Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (But I really I just dump the bag upside down until the amount looks good to me 😉

1/2 Cup Oil

1 tsp Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

  1. Set oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix oil, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and egg in one bowl until smooth.
  3. Mix flour and all spices together in a bowl. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda with the milk. Add both the dry flour mixture and the wet baking soda mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add chocolate chips (as many your little heart desires 😉
  5. Using a spoon (cookie scooper if you have one) to scoop equal mounds of cookie dough onto baking sheet.
  6. Cook for 8-10 minutes!

These cookies should come out big and fluffy! They are so delicious! Last time I made them Cody ate 8 in one night…

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I hope that you all love ’em as much as I do! Maybe eating pumpkin flavoured things will bring Fall faster!!

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And on a different note, I had a great shoulder and ab workout today and I thought that i would share it!

Superset –> Barbell Press & Barbell Raises 4×8

Arnold Press 4×6

DB Shoulder Press 4×8

One Arm DB Side Raise 4×10

ABS x3

50 Russian Twist with 10 lbs Medicine Ball

12 V-Ups with Med Ball

30 Plank Hip turns

Shoulder Burnout with Band x3

Side raises 10

Front Raises 10

Press 10

Have a fit day everybody!!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

It’s Been Too Long!

Well, I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging, but I am back! 🙂

A little talk about running before I chat with you about my life! I have decided to run another half marathon in November! This one is the Historic Half up in Vancouver BC and I am so excited. I’ve taken a little break from consistently running and have only been running when I really want to. I’ve mostly been working on lifting weights and doing cardio in other ways, such as the deadly stair-master. However, starting on September 21 I am going to start my half marathon training! Until then I will just be running with friends at leisurely paces for fun! 🙂

Wednesday is my last night of class and then I get a whole month off of class! I am so stoked and ready for a little bit of relaxation. I will still be working but not having class will be amazing!

A few things that have been going on in my world include school, work, spending time at the gym, and hanging out with the guy.

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He was in Okinawa for about 3 weeks visiting family and I sure am glad to have him home!

Yesterday we hit up Wild Waves, which is a theme and water park in our area. It was such a blast and we only felt a little bit nauseous by the end!

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Have a great day everybody!

XOXO,

Shan 🙂

Taking a Walk

Today I went for a run that I was looking forward to all day. I started running and it felt so great, my legs felt good and my breathing was great! But then all of the sudden, a little bit more than half way through my run I just wasn’t feelin it anymore.

Something that I almost never do during my runs is walk. I feel like walking (for me) is defeat. But today it just felt so good to walk, so I kept on walking! I walked for about a mile at a fast pace to keep my heart rate up and it was so great! I walked for about a mile and then started jogging again. I didn’t have any pace or goals set for the run so walking didn’t mess anything up. As I was walking I was thinking that sometimes it’s nice to just slow things down and take it all in, things don’t always have to go fast paced and plans can be changed!

And some random rambles —>

1. Does anybody else leave their race tags on their shoes? Well I do! It’s a nice reminder of my hard work when I am running 🙂 Anyway, today when I was at the grocery store waiting in line a fellow runner asked about my race tag and it started a whole conversation on races! It was really awesome!

2. Today I bought this yogurt:

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I don’t drink cow milk and thought that I would try this non-dairy yogurt. Consensus—SO GOOD! I will definitely buy it again. I usually prefer to eat yogurt that is higher in protein but this is good for a snack too!

Tomorrow I’ve got a great shoulder workout planned along with some on the stairmonster…wish me luck.

Have a great Monday tomorrow!

Shan 🙂