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2 months into the year seems to be a good time to take a pulse on my 2013 goals for this year. 

Goal #1: 1 Unassisted Pull-up.  I clearly haven’t achieved this yet, you’d have heard about it 1000 times by now, but I have been practicing both during class and at open gym.

Goal #2: 1 Unassisted Handstand Push-up. No real progress here, though while I was dealing with rib I did a bunch of pike push-ups off my coffee table (for some reason that didn’t bother my rib).

Goal #3: 1:45 Half Marathon.  Training for this begins this weekend.  I’ll put it out there now that I’m not prepared.  So there’s that. 

Goal #4: Increase Savings by $5000.  Saving has been (extremely) slow but steady, but I’m no longer dipping into my savings every month so there’s so progress.  As of right now my tax return is designated for my savings account so that will be a big help.

Goal #5: Stop Gossiping and Complaining.  I’ve stopped myself from gossiping or complaining a couple times but other times I don’t realize I’m doing it until it’s too late.  Or I realize I’m about to do it and don’t care to stop myself. 

Goal #6: Attempt two new meals a month.  I’ve only attempted one new meal thus far, though I’ve had ample opportunity to take the path less traveled, I’ve stuck to the tried and true. 

I have cut out a couple recipes that I’d like to try, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I trouble with this is that I’d most likely have to make a grocery list before I go shopping, that would take a lot of effort.  Right now I basically buy the same things every week so I don’t require a list. 

Fun Sad Fact: I’m super lazy when it comes to the most simple tasks. 

Goal #7: Stop Focusing/Dwelling on things I have no control over.  Some days this is much easier than others, some days all I want to do is complain, dwell and swear about things I can’t control. 

I do however feel as though I’m catching (and trying to stop) myself lingering on things I can’t control more and more.

Goal #8: Swear less. I gave up swearing for lent.  I still swear on occasion, but less so than I did before.  I’ve found that the less I complain and dwell on things the less I swear.  With these three goals I’ve found that I’m more aware of what I’m saying or thinking.  

Funny thing about this goal, anytime I read something that has a swear word I always pause before the word and consider whether or not I should say the word, even if I’m just reading to myself.

Goal #9: Volunteer Once a Month: February’s volunteer event got postponed until March due to the snowstorm a few weeks back.  I did however sign up to be a mentor to a student in the UCONN School of Business, we had our kickoff a few weeks ago. 

One-sixth of the way through the year and I feel as though I have a decent handle on most of my goals.  Having them posted on my fridge where I can see them every day helps, Though as I learned in 2012, some of the most exciting achievements aren’t planned

Fun Fact: The refrigerator door is the door most opened in my condo!

 

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Happy Monday! 

How was your weekend?  Did you watch the Super Bowl?

My weekend was great, for the first time in almost two weeks I hit up the gym on Saturday morning, I focused solely on legs and felt no pain in the rib area!  After running some errands I headed to my parents to hang out with them for the afternoon before catching up with Erin Saturday night.

Sunday morning I cut up veggies for the week and did some cleaning before heading to the local craft store with supplies to make this:

Newest decor!  I had been looking for a place to hang save the dates or cards, I thought this was a little classier than a bullentin board.

Newest decor! I had been looking for a place to hang save the dates or cards, I thought this was a little classier than a bullentin board.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was, I had seen something similar on Etsy and decided it SHOULD be easy enough to make myself.  I didn’t have any instructions to follow so I decided just to wing it.  I purchased a frame, wire and mini clothes pins and 45 minutes later I had the finished project. 

I hit up a couple Super Bowl parties to round out the weekend and decided the power outage at the game was a signal I should head home and get to bed.   

And suddenly the weekend was over almost as quickly as that brief synopsis.

 If you know me in real life or have even read just two blog entries it won’t come as much of a surprise to you that I’m a little high strung and love having a plan.  Even if my plan is to be spontaneous, I’ll still come up with fun ideas of things I could spontaneously do.  I hate not being prepared.  For the longest time my kepta sweatshirt, a bathing suit/towel, change of clothes and a sleeping bag in my care, just in case. 

I feel as though the best way to seize the day/life is to be overly prepared. 

Ironically, this past fall was the first time I followed a concrete training plan.  I had a calendar, which showed each distance I should be running.  For the first couple of months I followed this schedule to a T, but towards the end of the training cycle I missed a lot of runs, mainly due to fatigue and hamstring pain. 

I liked having my training mapped out for me, seeing it written down seemed to hold me accountable for getting in the miles.    It left out the guess work, prevented me from overtraining in the beginning and served as a reminder of my goal towards the end. It allowed me to break the big goal, running 26.2 miles, into smaller easier to achieve smaller goals. I love crossing off the runs once they were complete, I felt accomplished regardless of how much the run sucked.    

Since I haven’t been able to do anything for the last two weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time researching half marathon training plans.  My plan is to focus on strength training/crossfit and speed work, two elements that were abandoned during marathon training.  I started rereading blog posts from last spring when I was training for the Tough Mudder and realized that when I spent time focusing on strength training, running seemed much more effortless.

I felt faster and could run for longer, a first run of the season 3 miler easily turned into a 5 miler.  A planned 5 miler turned into 8. 

Instead of following a training plan exactly, I’m making up my own, taking mileage suggestions from a couple different sources.  I know what I want my schedule to look like, strength/crossfit 2-3 times a week, running 3-4 times a week (switching up between tempo runs, speed work and long runs) and yoga once a week.  I’m going to follow a hybrid 8-12 week plan, the first four weeks will be lighter focusing on building a running base and regaining strength from my time off.  Then I’ll kick it up for the next seven weeks before scaling back for a taper the week before the race.

I realized last week that being injured might have been a small blessing; it’s forcing me to take time off and rest my body before I begin a training plan and it’s made me really excited and hungry to begin this training plan. 

I’ve run only a handful of times since the Philadelphia marathon back in November and each time it felt very slow and forced.  I’ve finally reached the point where I’m looking forward to running, a couple warm days last week revved this feeling up and I could barely sit still.

My plan for this week is to focus on leg workouts and slowly test adding bodyweight or light weight exercises.  I managed two run about a quarter mile home last night with no pain before realizing what a poor idea this was give how slippery the sidewalks were and my choice of footwear, laceless Chuck Taylors.

While my rib area feels about 95%, I know returning to Crossfit this week would not be in my best interests.  Even when I do return I’m planning on scaling back on the amount of weight I’m using.

T minus 3 weeks until training plan kickoff!

Do you follow training plans for races?  Do you make your own plan?

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January hasn’t really been my month. 

Or the slightly more dramatic; 2013 hasn’t been my year.

There’s been the partially flooded condo, the potential relationship I thought had promise but didn’t, the dog whose foster family decided they were going to keep him, the car making a funny noise, and the heat that stopped working. 

Oh, and I bought the wrong T pass.

Stupid paper T Pass, takes forever to process causing you to miss the train or hold everyone up getting on the bus.   I've felt like a tourist all month.

Stupid paper T Pass, takes forever to process causing you to miss the train or hold everyone up getting on the bus. I’ve felt like a tourist all month.

At 3am on New Year’s Eve Day (technically December but go with it) I woke up to the sound of water rushing in my condo.  If there is a sound that will get you out of bed quickly in the morning, it’s the sound of rushing water.

I found a partly flooded bathroom and hallway, with more water pouring out of the toilet by the second. 

All clean water thank God.

I was able to remedy the issue (toilet wouldn’t stop running) and clean up the mess fairly quickly.

As I patted myself on the back for handling my first home emergency so well – I didn’t cry (I had enough water to deal with) or even freak out, I jumped right into action (though I’ll fully admit I had no idea what I was doing) – I opened up the door to my unit to soak up the last of the water and noticed a very wet carpet complete with puddles in the hallway. 

I stood there shaking as I called my buildings emergency maintenance line.

Given the time of day and the fact that the issue had been resolved (go me!) they wouldn’t send anyone over until later.  I was also advised that if I had a wet dry vacuum I was better off cleaning up myself as it was a holiday so rates would be double.

I left notes under my neighbors doors explaining what happened – and praying the water didn’t go into their units – and sent my dad a text to call me when he got up. 

Of course, calling my father would have typically been my first course of action – but calling that early in the morning wouldn’t have been fair since there was really nothing he could do – so I had to deal with it on my own.  

It could have been so much worse.  I’m on the bottom floor so no one is below me and I caught the mess right away.  Had I not rolled over and heard the water things could have been a lot worse. 

I was very lucky. 

Yes, the situation sucked, but I am proud of the way I handled it and the outcome was as desirable as can be.  

Fast forward a couple weeks, now my vents are blowing out cold air and its single digits outside.    The temp in my condo was 64 and falling (I typically keep it at 68) so I shut the heat off and went to bed.  (I live in a building with 20 other units so my place typically doesn’t get overly hot or cold so this was an option).

When I woke up the condo was at 61.  I turned the heat on and miraculously it worked. 

It continued to work for the next couple of days until it stopped working. 

My condo stayed between 62 and 64 so I put off calling anyone (I’m so responsible) because I was sick of paying for things breaking.  (Per my condo guidelines we’re supposed to keep the heat at 62 to avoid pipes freezing, if the temp had fallen and stayed below 62 I would have had to call someone.) 

Seriously is there a worse month for everything to go wrong?!  The holiday bills are rolling in and tax returns seem like a distant dream.

Tuesday night, after a little Google consulting, I decided to try flipping the circuit breaker as my tried and true shut the heat off and then turn it back on a couple hours later was failing me repeatedly.

That worked! 

For the past two days my condo has been at a glorious 68 degrees and I’m left hoping it stays that way.

It was an extremely simple fix but I still felt like a rock star for taking care of it myself. 

The joys of homeownership. 

The funny thing is, never once when either of these issues popped up did I regret buying the place or wish I could just call a landlord.  Both of the issues could have been a lot worse and much more expensive.  Being able to handle both situations on my own has given me more confidence in handling being a homeowner. 

I have a feeling February is going to be much better; for starters I already purchased the correct T pass!

The Charlie Card, so much more convenient, no fuss,  just tap and go.

The Charlie Card, so much more convenient, no fuss, just tap and go.

Have you ever had a month where things just didn’t go your way?  How’d you handle it?  Do you feel like a rock star when you fix or complete home projects? 

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Happy Hump Day!

It’s Wednesday! Which means I’m too lazy busy to come up with an actual post so I let the pictures do the talking

Growing up we were never allowed to hang anything on the fridge.  Aced tests and college acceptance letters never got the opportunity to be fully appreciated. Of course this all changed when Moose came along, his obedience school diploma was the focal point of the kitchen for a solid month.

Now that I have my own place, I do things a little different then my mom does, my place is nowhere near as clean as hers I allow for things to be displayed on my fridge.  It’s the perfect place to hang my 2013 goals, seeing them on a daily basis will hopefully put me in a better position to achieve them. 

It might not help me complete a pull-up, but it will hopefully remind me to swear less, make something different for dinner, or look for a new volunteer opportunity.

My messy fridge!  A reminder of what I accomplished last year and what I want to accomplish this year.

My messy fridge! A reminder of what I accomplished last year and what I want to accomplish this year.

Do you keep your goals posted in plain view? 

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This past Tuesday marked the 6 month anniversary of closing on my condo.

(In case your new to the blog, long story short this spring I found an awesome 1 bedroom rental, only to turn around hours later and out of no where put an offer in on a condo.)

I can’t believe how quickly that went by.

Seriously.

While it has taken me a while to decorate and get things just right (I finally unpacked the last box over Thanksgiving weekend!), the condo has felt like home from the moment I moved in.

When I first saw the place it was very industrial looking – stark white walls, staged furniture, plastic mop boards but I was able to see glimmers of hope.

I brought friends in to see the place and explained how I envisioned the place. No crazy redesign changes – although I did want to move a couple closets-just a little paint on the walls and furniture ideas.

Oddly enough the place has come out just, if not better, than I imagined it. I’m so ridiculously proud of the place, often to the point that it might be considered pathetic.

The only thing I’ve done to the place is paint the walls, which came out much better than I anticipated, and buy furniture. There are two closets that I’d like to expand the door opening, which is a fairly easy project, my dad and I can do and a couple of light fixtures that I’d like to change (another fairly easy job).

Oh and my kitchen cabinets need handles.

Sure there are spots where the paint could use a little touch-up, but I feel like the mistakes prove that I painted it myself.

Or maybe, despite the 6 month lapse in time, I still have no desire to pick up a paint brush.

Your choice, whichever sounds less pathetic.

Regardless, I love showing the condo off.

And I love living by myself.

Absolutely 100% love it.

While I haven’t been living by myself for a full 6 months yet (I officially moved in July 1st), I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to discuss the perks of living by yourself.

It’s my space: Pretty obvious. I can decorate and arrange furniture as I see fit.

When I come home from work I don’t have to coordinate the time I make my dinner with the time my roommates are cooking. Or coordinate shower times.

If I leave a mess  when I go to work, I know that mess is going to be there when I get home. Even better, if I leave the place clean, I know it’s going to be clean when I get home.

Guests: I can have friends over whenever I want without worrying about inconveniencing anyone. When I lived with roommates I hardly ever invited anyone over, I always met friends at their place or out.

Now I can invite anyone over at any time and not worry about getting in a roommates way, being too loud or having the place be a complete mess.

I don’t have to share the refrigerator. Sharing a fridge with 2 other people you don’t share meals with is tough. We were often cramming things in so we could shut the door. Now nothing disappears; either because someone else ate it or it got pushed to the back of the fridge.

I always found myself having to throw away food that I had forgotten about when it got pushed to the back of the fridge and spoiled.

The contents of my fridge my often be scarce but it’s a welcomed change.

Or the TV. I’ve never watched a lot of tv but it’s really nice to be able to come home from a long day at the office and just relax on the couch vs. watching TV in your bedroom. It’s also great to be able to watch whatever you feel like.

I can lie on the couch and read a book without worrying about inconveniencing (or being inconvenienced) when someone else wants to watch tv or have friends over.

And no one interrupts me when I’m trying to watch TV or read. 

Clothing optional. I don’t have to wear pants. Pretty self-explanatory but I don’t have to worry about offending anyone with my wardrobe –or lack thereof – choices.

It’s quiet. My office is loud, it’s a trading floor, there’s lots of yelling. It’s a fast paced, often high stress environment. After 9 to 10 hours of constant stimulation I love having the option of not having to talk to anyone.

Silence is truly golden.

Judgment free zone. I can go to bed at 8pm or 3am, have ice cream for dinner or breakfast, waste the morning away hung over on the couch or get up at 5am on a weekend to run 20* miles and no one has to know.

All of those extremes may or may not have happened within a two day span.

This might come as a surprise – despite being a versatile food – ice cream does not prevent or cure a hangover.

And since I cannot end this blog post on such a devastating note, I’ll share with you the biggest thing I’ve learned about living by myself.

There is a big difference in being alone and being lonely. I was a little nervous that I would be lonely living by myself. Would I become a hermit? Nope, unless I want to be, in which case living alone is even more awesome. Would I be bored? Sometimes, but then I just call a friend, or look at my to-do list. 

The plain and simple, not matter how you slice it, truth is I’m actually a lot happier and less stressed living by myself.

Would you prefer to live with roommates or by yourself? Have you ever lived by yourself? Did you love or hate about the experience?
(Ed. Note: it was actually 16 miles not 20. 20 just sounds more badass so go with it).

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Happy Hump Day!

It’s Wednesday! Which means I’m too lazy busy to come up with an actual post so I let the pictures do the talking.

I’m typically not a Christmas person, it tends to bring out the uglyness in our society. Apparently something changed this year – most likely having my own place – because for the first time ever I was excited to decorate. Nothing too fancy, here’s the end result:

Christmas Tree

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Hey there!

How was everyone’s weekend?  Mine was great, lots of relaxing and hanging out with friends.   

Surprisingly running felt easier this week.  I took two constitutive days off mid-week which gave me a nice break and allowed me to rest up for Sunday’s half marathon.  I had been planning to make it to yoga on night after work however my wrist/forearm has been bothering me and I didn’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on it.  This also prevented me from doing any strength workouts.  The extra rest was much needed and my arm is starting to feel better so hopefully I’ll be able to pick it up again this week.

Monday: 5 Mile run before work.  I felt really strong, legs weren’t too tight or sore.  I finished the run in just under 42 minutes so it was differently one of my fastest runs lately.

Tuesday: 4 mile run, once again I felt really strong.  I wish all runs could feel this easy. 

*Before I started marathon training I always assumed that after running a few long runs 3-5 mile runs would begin to feel super easy, this is not the case.

This poem perfectly describes how I felt Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings:

 Source

Wednesday: My original workout schedule called for a strength day so I was going to do my Jillian Michael’s no more trouble zones dvd but with my arm bothering me I decided that wouldn’t be the best idea.  Rest Day.

Thursday: My original plan was to run 6-7 miles (my training schedule called for 8 but I decided 6 would be sufficient given that I would be running more on Sunday than what was suggested 13.1 instead of 12)It was raining out, running on a cold dark rainy morning is no fun and it’s predicted to be sunny in the 70’s on Friday.  Rest Day #2.

Friday: 6 easy miles after work.  My hamstrings were tight but nowhere as bad as they normally are.  It was a beautiful night, the river was packed with runners and for 6 miles I remembered why I love running.

Saturday: Yoga.  I woke up and my wrist wasn’t bothering me so I decided to try to get some yoga in.  Made it through the entire class without an ounce of pain, however it was eye opening to see how much flexibility I’ve lost.

Sunday: BAA half marathon, recap to follow tomorrow.

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