Tuesday Update

Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Today has been a good day!

My content analysis paper on network news messages on Twitter for the presidential election is finally in the stage of data measurement. I'm a new researcher (as I've discussed before) and my quantitative skills are lacking. The professors I'm working with have been patient but I've completely started over on the first section twice. 22 pages of research work later... we're on!

Running is going well. I was able to get in seven miles this week but my right quad was hurting while running yesterday so I'm taking a day for rest today.

James is coming to visit this weekend so I need to get the house cleaned, groceries purchased and cookies mixed up. I bribe him with cookies and it works!

Hope you are having a great week.

Running - Week 1 Update

Thursday, 17 January 2013
I've decided to become a runner this year, as I've mentioned before. Week 1 of training is complete and I'm into week two. I can already feel my muscles getting tighter and my lungs are getting stronger. I haven't noticed any weight loss but I haven't weighed myself. I'm not focusing on weight loss but instead the true goal: to become healthier and stronger rather than just skinnier.

Because I'm very intimidated by training and running, I decided to start a video diary to track the process and stay accountable somewhat. Here are some thoughts from Week 1:

Last night was my best training session yet. I run by myself with my iPhone and listen to upbeat music. Yesterday I was stressed out (this is my most difficult semester in the PhD program so far) and feeling almost angry - for no reason. Instead of sulking when I got home, I put a Cornish Hen and veggies into the oven to roast and went for a hard 20 minute run. I felt great! It was raining and 38 degrees or I would have gone for a longer time. When I got back, I stretched and almost magically I no longer felt stressed out. Win!

To be fair, however, I'm a sort of lazy being when it comes to physical activity. Ha! Therefore, I have to convince myself every time to get out and hit the pavement. It is still not a "habit" to lace up and go for a run but when I DO I'm very pleased with my efforts. Running, so far, is rewarding. Do you exercise regularly? Play a sport? Run/walk? Post your advice, pretty please!

New Year's Eve

Saturday, 12 January 2013
James and I planned a lovely evening for New Year's Eve. He has a new condo in the Downtown area of Columbus with floor to ceiling windows and amazing views so we decided to cook (testing out the new kitchen and cookware), sip champagne and just be together. It was a success... even though, I'll admit it, we didn't stay awake until midnight. Ha!

We broiled Omaha steak filet mignon, cooked whole green beans with almonds and tried an amazing new dish of glazed carrots and pistachios. LOVED it! 

I also prepared wedge salads with gorgonzola, homemade ranch dressing and we had strawberries with cream cheese frosting for dessert. The strawberries were fun because I cut them cross wise while they were sitting on their leaves with the point facing the ceiling. Using a icing bag, I piped the frosting into the strawberries. They looked elegant and the taste was sweet and creamy. Wish I would've snapped a photo but there were nice! We had some left over for breakfast the next morning too. Yum!

James surprised me by opening a vintage bottle of Cristal Champagne (isn't he sweet?). I've never had it before but I prefer it over Dom Perignon and Perrier Jouet. We had fun over the holidays tasting different champagne and taking notes. I've learned a lot about different brands, size of bubbles and level of dryness. Here's to more bubbles in 2013. :)

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, 2013

Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Rather than make resolutions for 2013, I'm setting a goal for myself.

I used to be fairly athletic. I took dance lessons (ballet, pointe, tap, jazz) as a child and teen, took gymnastics lessons and later in life taught dance and gymnastics in Knoxville and Cincinnati part-time. I also used to keep up with gym memberships and work out a few times each week. I've never, however, been a runner.

I'm afraid of running. I've convinced myself for years and years that it is too hard to run long distances and that my lungs cannot take it (I have asthma) but rather than trying, I've turned down opportunities to join friends who run and get so much out of the activity.

Last year I ran a 5k in Knoxville for the first time and even though I could barely move my legs enough to walk afterward, I was able to run most of the time. The energy of a road race spreads quickly and participants pull each other along in quiet solidarity. I'd like to experience more of that adrenaline rush and get fit at the same time.

This is a long-winded way to tell you that my goal for 2013 is to train for and complete a half marathon (13.1 miles). I'm not vowing to run the entire time but my hope is to finish in the allotted time of three hours. I truly believe that I can do it. There will be many times during training that I'll think that I cannot but with the proper shoes, a good physical report from the doctor, hydration and determination, this is a reachable goal.

Anything on your calendar for 2013?