MIMM: On Turning 25 and Getting Back In The Saddle

If you read this on May 12, then it is my birthday!! 25 and cue the quarter life crisis. I’ve had many a ramble on this here Internet space about turning 25 and “OMG MY LIFE ISN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS AHH” and “all my friends have their lives together and I don’t!!!” 22-24 was totally fine, but 25 just seems like a different playing field, overall just different. 25 still freaks me out. I’m halfway through my twenties! Eek! Most of my life I’ve felt the number or stage didn’t reflect where I was. I remember doing a free write in high school creative writing class rambling that I couldn’t believe I was a senior. The seniors before me had been so old! They were so mature!  I didn’t feel I looked like they did, knew what they did, or were as cool/sophisticated (ha) as they were. How was I in their position so quickly? I felt being a high school senior was sprung upon me and I hadn’t met any requirements to prove I was ready yet no one had noticed and just made me play the part of one anyway.

I’m feeling okay about 25 (for now). Meanwhile my parents are freaking out more with every passing day. On Easter my dad leaned in to me at church and whispered, “You’re going to be 25 in less than a month. Are you ever planning on getting married? Will I ever walk you down this [church] aisle?” and every time my mom calls lately she asks if I’m “even trying” to get a boyfriend. Now I just roll my eyes and try to shrug it off at how they value 25. I’m a lot happier than I was on my 24th birthday, so that’s what I am using as my measuring stick. Life is long (hopefully) and now I just stick to what’s meant to happen will happen but am finally accepting I likely have to leave my house more for things to actually happen. 😉

Remember my spin class last year? Horrible memories…me being convinced I would die while standing up and spinning so I took off all of my resistance like a genius. Then I woke up the next day and could barely move. Good times! I still think spinning is a work-out I would like, but I’ve been too intimidated, haha. Rev Cycle Studio opened a mile from my house with Bmore’s top cycle instructors and people have the best things to say about it. I would be like “yeah, yeah, i want to go and try it!” and I honestly meant it but was scared. But luckily Rev dropped a great opportunity right at my feet. A beginners class. Free. Saturday afternoon. Boom. They took away every excuse I could think of. I pulled my usual stunt and booked my bike and picked the dead last row in the corner. I got there and they told me there were 10 people in the class so I could move up a few rows. I still wasn’t sure, but with 10 people in the class it would be uber weird to be by myself in the back corner, haha. A handful of staff and instructors showed up and helped us set up our Schwinn bikes. This was fantastic, since there were so few attendees each staff member could spend time with you explaining everything.

There were ultimately two instructors, Jim and Janet. Janet is a triathlete, and Jim is an accomplished cyclist. At the beginning of the class, Jim explained how to position your body on the bike. Janet primarily lead the class and Jim went around checking on everybody. I remember in the middle of the class thinking “Good God, these two are so kick-ass.” They were so awesome and it was such a great experience for beginners. We did a few climbs and .. guess what .. it was still hard but I managed it much better! I think the Schwinn bike made all the difference. I could see what gear I was at, how far I had gone, calories burned, RPM, etc. Seeing the gear number really helped me for the climbs. Still don’t like the climbs, but I can get through them more easily. I just really like the sitting down part, no surprise there. I still struggled a bit with adjusting my body to the bike. I told Jim (well if we’re being specific, I gasped and panted) that my shoulders hurt and was this normal or was I just being extra wussy? He explained it and helped, but I understand it will still take a few more rides. I walked there and back since it’s only a mile which was great until a thunderstorm rolled in when I was a half a mile from my house with a hoodless jacket. So bad at checking the weather. I sprinted the last few blocks home and my sunglasses fell out of my pocket somewhere which is sad. Anyway…it was marvelous and I am so glad I went! So if you are a Bmore resident who happens to read blogs and haven’t gone yet, go! I’m sure you will be better than I.

I took the day off from work and I’ll probably go back to Rev for a barre class in the morning, then grocery shop, food prep and do laundry. I’m just so crazy. I’ll send you a postcard from the wild side. My mom asked what she could get me for my birthday and I said “protein powder.” Oh how times have changed, haha. I’ll probably go to my favorite bar, get drunk and then ramble about being 25 over a big plate of nachos.

Thanks to Katie for hosting the link-up!

 

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I Spent Cinco De Mayo At The Bar(re)

I dunno what it is but…winter. I don’t want to do anything but hibernate in my house in sweatpants and fuzzy socks and just watch all the TV, eat all the bad food and read all the books. Then nice weather rolls in and I’m suddenly thinking “gahhh why are my pants tight?! Why haven’t I been going to the gym? Why have i instead just languished about? Why am I so lazy? SO MUCH TIME HATH BEEN WASTED. Gotta get MOVING.” I’d probably be starring in fitness videos by now if I lived in California.

It was Sunday, I was procrastinating picking out a work outfit and figuring out my work meals, when fellow Bmore healthy living blogger friend Mary posted that she was teaching her first SB Barre class the next day at a new location of my gym that had just opened…aaaaand it was 10-15 minutes away from work. I decided this was perfect because I’d been wanting to try a barre workout…and the best part…it was the first time the class was being offered at the new gym so it wasn’t like I would be a buffalo in a sea of prima ballerinas. It would probably be everyone else’s first time taking the class, too. Hooray.

But first! Before I went to class, I went to the beautiful shopping center across the street which included a Target. I had  a gift card to use, so I threw all this stuff in my cart, then at check-out, the cashier informs me the gift card is for way less than I had thought. Crap. Yes, crap. That’s what I wound up paying for on my credit card. Gahh. Oh well. Great story, yes?

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As described on the website, the Soul Body Barre class is an hour long class that incorporates “principals of Pilates, wisdom of yoga, grace of dance and the body sculpting benefits of traditional interval strength training.” And it was haaaaard. I had my usual “oh crap why did I subject myself to this public display of humiliation? Come on, come all, see the 20 something that can’t figure out how to move her body!” thought train that I have for the first 5-60 minutes of any fitness class I go to. It was pretty hectic for a first class. In the middle of it, a gym manager came in and said there were way too many people. At our gym, you have to register for a class a few hours beforehand (or it fills up), and then check-in 10 minutes before class. If you don’t check-in, the wait listed people will get in. Some registered people forgot to check-in, so a bunch of wait listed people filtered in. The manager sorted it out with who had not checked in and told them they couldn’t be at the barre, but it still was an unfortunate interruption for a few looong minutes. Growing pains for a new class and new location!

Mary pointed out something i’m always lazy about – triceps kickbacks. She reminded us “no swinging”, which is pretty much what I always do and then think “What was I thinking earlier on [in the class]? Exercise is easy, I got this, me so strong.” The barre part was crazy hard. She would tell us what to do, and then demonstrate, and I would think “oh look that’s not that bad”. And then I did…and..burn. Such simple, deceiving movements.  Haha.  I definitely want to keep going to her class. I’m so sore, in a good way! I’ve missed feeling this way.

 

1. barre- yay or nay?

2. how did you spend cinco de mayo?

3. think about how to bottle up the spring energy and hang on to it for winter consumption. your homework. go. 

 

It’s The Freaking Weekend

…..I love them so much, yet they are one of my roadblocks in getting fit.

So I used to struggle with eating healthily during all days of the week but the work week was really hard. Preparation is not my thing. Thinking ahead? Nope. Never has been my style. I wouldn’t pack enough food and I’d get hunger headaches and slump around the office for hours that felt endless or I would just get Skittles and an Almond Joy bar from the vending machine.

I’m finally, finally, finally getting better at eating healthy doing the week. I plan out all my meals and get ‘er done. But now, the weekends. Suddenly I’m 100 times worse on the weekends than I ever was during the work week.

I know that the problem is too much free time, which makes me laugh because I love the weekends for that very reason.

On weekends I really just…have nothing to do. So I eat. It’s something to do. And what I eat on the weekends, I guarantee, is never healthy. It’s always a “bad” food choice and it’s always a LOT of it. I know binge-eating is one of my problems. I know I’m eating because I’m bored, but I can’t seem to talk myself out of it. I knew it was a bigger problem than I thought it was when I woke up last Saturday morning and thought “Oooh. I can go to CVS and buy some unhealthy snack to eat today. My roommates are still asleep so they won’t see me come back into the house with it.” A low point. I’m planning on sneaking back in with junk food, like I’m smuggling drugs. I didn’t want to be caught and I didn’t want to feel ashamed. Way to be, self. Way.to.be. That’s also another alarming facet – that I willingly leave my house to buy bad food. And I don’t talk myself out of it for the 2 blocks that it takes to walk there.

It’s a problem, and I know this. I know it when I’m shoving food down my throat and I feel worse afterward, but then the next weekend rolls around, and lo and behold, there’s bored Caitlyn. I don’t talk myself out of it because I want to do it and I declare that “I’ll burn it off!!! I’ll work-out extra hard!!”

The obvious solution seems to be – well, don’t be bored. Get a hobby moron. Do something. I already read a lot but even I can’t do that for however many waking hours I have.  I need a lot of alone time but maybe too much is too much on the weekends? Last year I used to go to the mall a lot, but this year I am on a girl on a budget. And it’s cold. I thought about going for a run a time or two, but then I’m all “Um well I don’t know where to run so that’s out.” I’ve lived here a year and a half now, and I still don’t know any running or walking routes.

It’s a low point and I’m just…over it. Over constantly putting myself in these positions and giving in and not overcoming. I’m so over figuring one thing out (like healthy eating during the work day) and then another thing comes popping up worse than before. Blah. I know this is all me and I’m forever writing posts like “wah I know it’s my fault but it’s hard and I can’t figure it out and I keep doing it”. I know.  That’s about all I have to whine about today.

Toned Up Premiere Party

Happy, happy Friday!

As you probably know, I’m a Bravo devotee so I was hugely excited about the new Tone It Up show “Toned Up.”

I officially joined Tone It Up a few weeks ago. I’ve done a few of their workouts before and really liked them, but the nutrition plan was pricey. I’ve been mulling over joining (via purchasing the nutrition plan) for a while because I  realize that nutrition is one of my big problems – mainly because I’m so uneducated about every aspect of it, and because I’m such a rookie in the kitchen with zero experience/culinary flair. TIU had a Cyber Monday deal involving the plan that was too good. I entered, deleted, re-entered my credit card info, deleted for most day of Monday, still hesitant to take the plunge, and then forgot about it. When they extended the deal to Tuesday, I was all ‘It’s a sign!’ Plus, I knew TIU has a huge crew here  in Baltimore and it would be a great way to meet more people here who could help keep me motivated and help me achieve my fitness goals.  Sooo it’s official! I’ve made a few recipes so far and they’ve been excellent. Except I ignored the “serving size” on one recipe(I’m an idiot) and have been eating mint chocolate chia pudding for three days now. It even served as my drunken post-NYE snack. It’s a better choice then pizza so I’m kicking off 2014 right, ha.

For last night’s Toned Up premiere on Bravo, we had an awesome premiere party at Rowhouse Grille (who also hosted our blogger meet-up in July). While walking to Rowhouse, I realized how I hadn’t been there since our last blogger meet-up (too long) and when I walked there in July, I was first to arrive with my straightened hair in a sweaty, tangled mess, and I was first to arrive last night with my straightened hair in a soaking, snowy mess. Has it really been 6 months since last time I was there? Crazy. I over-estimated how long my walk would take, so I was about 35 minutes too early, and just sat at the bar awkwardly nursing my Orange Crushes waiting for other patrons to clear out of our space. I wish I could say this wasn’t typical.

I had a great time seeing some familiar faces and meeting many new girls. In typical Baltimore healthy living crew style, a bunch went to yoga before walking over so it was really casual. I am not a yogi – I can’t even touch my toes so my one yoga class in college was a disaster and the teacher proclaimed I was the stiffest person she’s ever seen- buuut maybe I will make it over sometime.

All the girls were so so nice, and everyone was excited to be there. Rowhouse was like “hey this is great let’s make this a weekly thing.” I hope so because it was such a fun and relaxing evening. I am hugely excited to make new work-out friends. The show was adorable and my texts from friends (okay there was like 3) went something like this: “Can we seriously just be them?” Please God.

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always with the sorority girl pose.

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had to strike a work-out pose. 

Huge thanks to Kate for getting this together (also these pictures are hers) and to  Rowhouse Grille for being so supportive, fun and awesome.

Anddddd I want it on the record that I cannot stand snow that starts AFTER work, falls nicely for hours, and then stops a few hours before work the next day. What is the point? There is none. This snow does not get me any snow days, so I hereby render it useless.

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014. To quote one of the great philosophers of my time, Hannah Montana, “let’s make it rock.”

I wasn’t going to do one of these but I’ve read so many great posts that I wanted to try. I don’t think these are anything horribly drastic but they are all important. Plus, I find I need things written down otherwise I forget. The food & health ones are the most important overall, buuuut obviously I want to focus on them all.

 

Baltimore:

I live in a city like I’ve always wanted to! I need to take advantage of this more rather then just being content to hang in my house all the time.

Look for opportunities to volunteer…and get involved.

Be more social and become more proactive at finding more friends here.

 

Career:

Get a new job that I like, is an advancement  from where I am now and will teach me new skills.

Learn to handle things better in the workplace. I take it all so personally and recent events have affected me way too much.

Learn tactics to communicate better with leadership/executives in the workplace. I’ve let many issues or incidents that upset me slide, because I didn’t think I could address them with my superiors. I thought i was too low on the totem pole and couldn’t bring it up. I need to figure out a way to discuss them in a professional way.

 

Financial:

Pay cash more often to hold myself accountable. While out shopping, I’m way too liberal about tossing items in my cart because…hey! i have my credit card.

Make more money. 🙂

Contribue to my 401K. I don’t right now because my salary is so tiny that I need it all, but  I know it’s important.

 

Food:

For some reason, I really hate food prep/cooking/baking. It makes me so anxious (?) and I find that I just cannot wait until it’s over and done. Really weird. Get over this.

Become better at packing food for work (breakfast, snacks, lunches). I’m horrible at planning. More on this later.

Prepare better dinners. I often mail it in at dinner because for reasons above.

Try a recipe from Pinterest/Instagram/blogs once a month.

Figure out how to meal plan. Ginger and nutmeg has been sitting in my cabinet forever, buuuut I can’t remember why I have it. I write down on my grocery list to buy this stuff because i see a recipe somewhere along my lengthy Internet trail. Then I can’t remember what the recipe is or why this stuff is in my cabinet.

 

Health:

Lose weight.

Continue to develop healthy habits.

Work harder at winning everyday battles between old binge-y habits and new healthier habits.

Become more educated on my body and healthy eating.

Stop being so afraid of the weight room at gym. One way to do that is become more educated on what those OMG so intimidating machines do.

Incorporate variety into work-outs.

Work out on weekends. I do this like once a month but it could be more.

Successfully complete the Charles Street 12 miler and  Baltimore Half. Do not worry about times, just focus on crossing finish line. Do not have panic attack if it takes 10 hours.

 

Organization:

Uh, pretty much be more organized. Be neater.

 

Social:

Try and attend church more regularly.

Be more proactive at finding friends and being more social.

Stop holding myself back.

Be nicer and more compassionate.

Try not to have a breakdown over turning 25 (!!!!!) and do not dwell on what my life isn’t. For example, I alway thought I’d get engaged at 25 and I’m pretty sure that won’t be happening soooo I just need to let go of what I thought would happen. Live more in the moment.

Have a great year 🙂

 

Just Go

As I wrote about, I was really inspired and excited by the 27,000 runners at the Baltimore Running Festival last weekend. For a long time, I think I put runners on a pedestal. Something I could never be because duh- so sorry, so slow, so out of shape, so lazy, so hopeless, case closed. After all, in our grade school fitness test, I walked an 18.5 minute mile because I decided it was too hard after trying to run for 4 minutes. Since then when sinking into my BLAH SO FAT SO UNMOTIVATED FOREVER FAT mindset, I’ve often thought “sheesh if I could just be a runner”. Running is fascinating—our bodies are literally built to run but somehow it’s just not easy for everyone as it seems it should be thanks to asthma, bad knees, etc. There’s something so poetic about running, I thought. You lace up and just go wherever your feet take you for as long as they can.

Where am I going with this..oh yes I already regret starting this post. I always just assumed, remembering my pathetic mile attempt that was now 12 years ago (what? How? Ew), that I couldn’t be a runner. No clue why, that first mile attempt just stuck with me. But I always admired runners from afar. “Wow! They ran a half marathon? They ran for two and a half (estimated) straight hours! The only thing I can really do for two and a half hours is read, sleep and eat. So freaking cool, yo.” I’ve run two Color Runs and training for that was difficult because I was (am?) so out of shape.

Yet standing there at the Baltimore Running Festival, I was surprised to see so many runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. I saw a girl I (barely) knew from college who decided she wanted to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from a marathon so she signed up for a marathon.  Right there, surrounded by olives, I mulled that over and got my philosophical hat on. How cool. She thought about what she wanted to be and went for it. It’s so easy and mind-blowingly simple when you break it down  like that. Why don’t I think of it like that? I make everything so complicated.

I saw all these people last Saturday, medals draped around their neck, and I thought “I could be one of them. If I wanted to, and put the work and time in, I could be one of them. I could be a half marathoner like I’ve wanted to be. They worked for it and did it. So could I.” So…..I will be. I am officially signed up for the Charles Street 12 miler in August. Not quite a half marathon but close. Charles Street is a historic, celebrated street here in Baltimore.  I love the early bird discounts and I know if I don’t sign up early and make myself work toward it, I’ll push it off and eventually talk myself out of it once enough time goes by and it looks like I won’t be able to successfully train in time or I’ll be all “you want to do whaaat? hello caitlyn have you met yourself before?” Yep, that’s how I talk to myself. Will I do the Baltimore half marathon two months after that? I hope so. The early bird discount ends in a week and half so I should decide, uh, soon. I already looked at a half marathon training plan and wrote it all down.

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“hal”= hal higdon program. 

I’m worried that I won’t be able to pull it off because I’ve never really taken on something so challenging as this. This is going to be hard and intense and I’m going to have to work really hard. I don’t really do “hard and intense”. I do “lounging in bed reading” and “eating nachos then taking a hard-earned nap”. Do I really have the ambition and determination and willpower to see this through? It’s all well and good to sit here and write about “I think I can I think I can”, “The only thing stopping me is me!”, but REALLY. Looking harder at this..I can sit here and spew out all the “I can do anything i set my mind to!!” cliches until the cows come home, but I’m so damn lazy, can I actually physically and mentally do this? Again I can sit here and I say “I think so.” But only time will tell. I really want to be a half marathoner. I don’t often get the chance to surprise myself, prove something to myself or work toward something and then feel proud when I accomplish it – what that says about my lame-ass life, I don’t want to analyze – and this is it. I want to feel the victory and sense of pride. I’ll be 25 (!) when all this happens, it’s time.

So…here we are. Just go.

MIMM: Runners Fest

Linking up with Katie for a terrible post about nothing.

My alarm went off at 6:04 yesterday morning and I laid there for a while thinking ‘What the hell is wrong with me? I am developing into a sick individual, setting alarms for fun.’ Then it dawned on me. Today was the day I was to give back to my community. Right. I was volunteering at the Baltimore Running Festival! Woohoo. It had poured for the previous three days here in Charm City so I pulled a hoodie on and wandered on down to the M & T Stadium at 7 right on the dot.

I was supposed to check in at “Celebration Village” and by village, they meant zoo. People everywhere. I managed to find the Info tent and lo and behold, volunteer check-in was at bag check on the other side of the parking lot. I found my people and was ready to complete my assigned tasks. The lady asked my name, I confidently gave it, and then she wrote it down with all the other volunteer names. Wtf? I registered months ago. They handed me a shirt and said ‘Have fun!’ I blinked at them and then said ‘Now what?’

‘Umm. Go see where you’re needed.’

Oh, okay. We’re only in a football stadium. I could be needed anywhere. I asked who I should be looking for.

‘People who need help.’

Wonderful. I gave up on this conversation and wandered off. This was a shock to my system because I managed events in college and a staff of 70 of my peers to manage freshmen move-in day. I assigned every second of their shift and carried around a master copy of everyones schedule. On my own lunch break, I was scanning Facebook and a girl I knew posted “Love reuniting with This Girl and That Girl! Hanging out in our apartment watching The Office! We tried to make cookies and ate mostly dough tehehehehe!” This Girl and That Girl were on the staff. I posted a comment on the status saying “Is that why they aren’t at their assigned stations for move-in day?” One of the girls called me and told me it was passive aggressive and uncalled for. I told her not to advertise on the Internet that she wasn’t doing the tasks she signed up to do. ..especially when the task you are supposed to be doing right now is handing out room keys to freshmen. Duh. At least bring me a cookie.

Anyway back to the present instead of yearning for the days when I could bark out orders ……I, of course, had no one else I was signed up with so I made a few laps of the Celebration Village looking for people that needed me. Difficult task. Awkwardly skulking around a football stadium parking lot on  my own….frighteningly typical.

I saw a group of volunteers far off so I meandered over their way and was told they already had too many people folding the foil ponchos. Fine. When I signed up to volunteer, I hadn’t envisioned myself folding ponchos anyway. I envisioned myself up on the podium dropping medals over the necks of chiseled, bare-chested men who thought this was the best day of their lives obvii.  Or doing something fun with a golf cart.

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the best of the fest, duh. she’s overdue for an eyebrow wax. excuse her.

I walked around for another ten ish minutes, convinced the security guards I kept passing were laughing at me, then saw a group of five volunteers in a pack following some guy with a clipboard. Perfect. I sidled up behind them and hoped this looked natural. The Food Tent. This I could do. There was a girl my age and she saw me and dropped back and said ‘Do you know what’s going on?’ Ah, my people. Her name was Jenny and she was nice so we silently agreed to be partners for the day. We opened up twelve hundred boxes of granola bars and olives (?). My nails are now in terrible shape from using them to slice upon all the boxes. Have you ever seen olives at a race? No, none of the runners had either. One runner asked ‘why olives?’ and I said something about salt which sounded smart and he accepted it. Or have you ever seen apples chopped in half? They were hideous. We did our assigned boxes and when one volunteer wandered up and said she was confused and where should she go, we said apples and ditched that table because I did not want to be associated with unappealing apples. I am a selfless volunteer.

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what.

Then we saw there was a water shortage – and I was mocked by all the other volunteers for my pronunciation of water – so we filled water cups. I turned it in into an exact science of ‘these people just ran for many many miles, how far should they have to stretch their arm to reach for a water cup?’. It’s an art. A water table is an art. It was very annoying how disorganized the volunteer side of things were. Volunteers kept walking up because they were looking for something to do. What. Runners were asking us all these questions that you would think we would know the answer to but no. Knew nothing.

I got to see Lauren straight off her first full! Crazy cool. Like a psycho I barreled right over to her the nanosecond I realized it was her and kinda yelled at her ‘LAUREN? HEY HOW DID IT GO!!!!!!!” A local teacher and cross country coach won, by the way, which was pretty awesome. Under Armour dropped their big title sponsorship this year (cue stephanie judith tanner: how rude) and thus there was no prize money, so no elite runners. But I love that a local guy won. I met a few of his students and they were adorable and so happy for him.  Erika Brannock was the honorary starter. She’s a local pre-school teacher who lost half her leg while standing near the finishing line waiting for her mom to finish the Boston marathon in April. Supposedly when she regained consciousness in the hospital, the first thing she asked was how were her students. She was worried about how they were going to react when they heard about her news.

Despite the disorganization, it was a fun day.  A marvelous day, if you will. There was a 5k, a relay, a half, a full and a kids fun run…so many runners. Sooo many runners. 27,000 runners. They were all super gracious and thankful. I saw allllllllll the people with medals around their necks and I was jealous. And motivated. Since I have been saying I want to run a half someday, I am henceforth declaring that I am going to try and aim for the Baltimore half 10/18/2014 at the ripe old age of 25 (!) and 5.5 months. Obviously don’t write it down or anything, give me some time to come up with some far-fetched excuses of why I can’t 😉 Either way……

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1. do you volunteer at races?

2. favorite post-race snack? i know it’s olives.

3. favorite race?

4. favorite race song? i love a good pump-up.