Monday, January 30, 2012

1 Week Left!

Alright I am less than one week out from my first 5K! I ran today outside. I SWEAR the Huckleberry Trail is uphill, both ways! I used my Nike+ (you remember, the one I got for Christmas?), which I am LOVING! I did a 5K distance and it took me 35 minutes and 49 seconds. This is awesome for me! I thought my 5K goal time would be under 45 minutes but I think my new goal is under 35 minutes. It is at the beach, remember, so it's pretty flat. This is the third or so time that I've set a new personal best. Apparently I run a lot faster outside than I do on the treadmill, so this run gave me an average pace of 11:28. As somebody who use to walk, very slowly, around the field during recess because she HATED to run, I'm really happy with my progress. Although I don't have any races planned until April (when I'll do the 3.2 for 32 at Virginia Tech) I think my next goal will be to try to get under a 10 minute mile. I feel like I could do that for just 1 mile, but to then draw it out to a long period of time - that will be the goal setting part. I'm loving being a "runner." Anyway, I have no fear now that I'll be able to complete this 5K! Here's to one month and one goal down for 2012!!

I know it's strange to have a blog with no pictures but I don't have anything related to this post. I need to get you some pictures of the trail - it's so gorgeous and it has this awesomely old, wooden, covered bridge that smells like the boardwalk. I just love that bridge. The run itself was great. It was hard, definitely, but it was cool and the sun was going down so sweating was minimal and the air was nice and crisp. Mmm running in the winter with just a t-shirt. Love!

And so because I have no picture that is actually related to this post, here's how I feel about myself right now :) And I can remember a great day with one of my bffs and my neph.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hazelnut Coffee Cupcakes

I did it! I created my own hazelnut coffee icing for cupcakes! They were so delicious and tres cute! The cupcakes were plain yellow cupcakes - I use the recipe found here, which has become my go-to cake recipe. Then I used whipping cream, confectioner's sugar and hazelnut coffee to create a dreamy whipped icing. Top with two hazelnut coffee beans and voila! The beginning of the new breakfast cupcake line.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Okay Scratch That

So I know just yesterday (was that really 36 hours ago? It seems like yesterday morning was years ago) I said it wasn't going well, but today I've changed my mind. After snoozing for an hour (literally), I woke up and went to school. I taught my lessons and filled out a much needed travel request for the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference at which I am presenting in about 3 weeks. We had DI practice until 5:30 and I got some tests graded. I had salad for lunch and soup for dinner. I spent about 23 minutes "judging" a MACC competition - which means I really did nothing but they gave me money anyway. AND STILL, after all that, I went to the gym! Not only did I make myself go, but I EXCEEDED my 3 mile goal! I did 3.2 miles, which to some of you might not be a big deal but to me it means the world. Instead of stopping at 3 miles I finished the full 5K distance. SO EXCITED! And surprisingly I am still quite alive and not in much pain. I had to power through the middle and between 2.75-3.00 miles but I did it. Finally got home around 8:30 and my first thought was to share this great news with you!
Actually, my first thought was to stretch my quads and hip flexors. My second thought was to share this with you. :)

Now I have to take advantage of this "warm" weather and spend the next couple of weeks running outside. This is what I am looking forward to:
In just two weeks I will be running my first 5K race and then doing a Polar Plunge at this very beach! Luckily, there's still time to sponsor me if you'd like - all the donations go to Special Olympics so you know it's a great cause!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Update: It's Not Going So Well

With only two weeks to go, the quest to get ready for my first 5K is not going so well. It seems like things keep getting in the way but I know that I'm probably just making excuses. You decide:

It goes like this: I signed up for a cardio-weight training class on Tuesdays/Thursdays. So far I haven't missed it. But my other days are supposed to be spent running and that's where things go wrong. I tend to work 6-7days a week on top of planning lessons and grading quizzes. I also coach a Destination Imagination team which means I am after school until about 5:30 two or three days a week. Then take the hour it takes to get home and sometimes I am just too tired or too busy to run. The Friday I definitely could have gone to the gym - left school around 6 and being a Friday I didn't need to do the housework or school work. But instead I went on a double date. Dinner was delicious, drinks were divine and the camaraderie was captivating. So great night - until Saturday morning when I felt guilty for not running and instead stuffing my face. It shouldn't be that way!

I HAVE been doing my long runs each week but I don't know if they count as long runs if you don't do your short runs too, right? So this weekend I said it didn't matter if I have worked all week and have to work all day Saturday and Sunday - I am definitely going to the gym to run. WRONG! Thanks to AAU Basketball, the gym is closed both days. The entire gym? My treadmill interferes with basketball? Ugh! No big deal, the weather isn't bad so I'll just run outside. Except that it won't stop raining. So what is a girl to do? I'll just dress the part and hope osmosis does the rest.

Now Monday I am supposed to run 3 miles but I haven't ran since last Monday AND I have practice until 5:30 and agreed to judge a MACC competition from 6 to 7. It is going to be long, long week. I really need to find the motivation to keep going these next couple weeks.

On a lighter note - I am in a quest to create a new Hazelnut Coffee icing to start a line of "breakfast cupcakes." Not that I have time for this, either. Hopefully over the summer I can really focus on my baked goods. With everything I have going on, I may have to push this Wilton's class back another month. January is SUCH a long month and money is short.You know how it is.

I'll let you know how it's going!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Goals Anew for 2-0-1-2

I have a problem - if I don't publicize my goals I just find too many excuses to not achieve them. I didn't make a resolution, per se, unless I make an umbrella goal of "be healthier in all aspects of my life." Sure, that sounds good, doesn't it?

So here I am, sharing my goals for 2012 with you all. I think I shall categorize them by health topic. Sometimes I'll update you on my progress and I'm sure I will share with you my struggles. I would also love to hear about your goals and any tips to help us achieve them.

Goal 1 - Run a 5k. Area: Physical Health

In fact, this one will be finished soon. I have signed up for my first 5k which is February 4th! Ahh - so close! In fact, not only am I running a 5k, but I am also doing my first Polar Bear Plunge for the Special Olympics!! So by running I am doing something good for me and by raising money I am helping others. Why wouldn't I do this? I am trying hard to train for it but I am a little worried. Back around the second week of December I hurt my shoulder and didn't run until this past week. Before then I was up to 2.5 miles as a long run, but now I'm struggling to make a mile and a half. On the other hand I'm pretty sure after a few more runs I'll snap back into shape.

I am also hoping to do a few more 5ks this year. I got a Nike+ for Christmas and it tracks my miles. I signed up with their website and have joined an additional challenge: to run 212 miles in 2012. Is that a lot? I wasn't sure but then I started thinking about it. If I run at least 1 mile 3 times a week, it will take me 71 we--oh wait, that's more than a year. But if I run at least 5 miles a week, that's 43 weeks and much more manageable. It gives me room to run more/less whenever I need to. Also, if I don't make a lot of progress during the year, I'll be REALLY into running come that fattening winter season this year. Either way it's win/win.

Goal 2 - Increase my cake skills. Area: Mental Health

There are a lot of things I want to do with my cakes this year. I want to FINALLY take a Wilton's decorating class. I want to do more work with fondant and learn a new skill - be it modeling chocolate, gum paste or marzipan. I plan to get my own airbrush within the next few months so then I can make cakes like the ones I do at the store. I put this under mental health because it's something I LOVE to do and I need to work on doing things that make me happy.

Goal 3 - Plan first, grade second. Area: Occupational Health

With the school work I have to do, I tend to draw out grading things because it's my least favorite part of the job. That means that I have less time to do what I get really excited about, which is planning really cool lessons. For this second semester, I want to work on planning lessons first. If I have things to grade at school, I'm a bit stressed. If I have half of it graded but didn't plan a decent lesson? I'm SUPER stressed! No reason for all that. I am trying to re-vamp my classroom in general and I am starting here.

Goal 4 - Finish reading Is God a Mathematician? Area: Intellectual Health

I started reading this book last summer. I'll admit - it's hard to get through. It's written by mathematicians, scientists and researchers. It reads as such. But I have enjoyed what I have learned so far. I need to remember, between my guilty pleasure reading, that I also really want to finish this book. Even if I just read a chapter at a time I will eventually succeed.

I plan to use my mantra "I am living well" a lot this year to help me find the healthiest me of my life! These are a beginning to my 2012 goals but I am sure I will have many more to come. I appreciate you all reading this - by doing so you are already helping me to believe, achieve, succeed!!