Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Airport Date

Last night, after dinner, I asked Andrew what time he wanted to leave for the airport to pick up his mom (who was flying in from TX).  It was about 3 hours before she was scheduled to arrive.  He suggested we leave right at that moment and have an airport date at the airport Dunkin Donuts.  So, the highlight of my night was a date at the airport Dunkin Donuts.

Decaf latte and hot chocolate.  I think they go well together.

A boy and his mama.
Enjoy this holiday with your families my friends.
~Angela

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Power of Positive Thinking

I am a believer in the power of positive thinking.  Are you?  I believe that the more positive your thoughts, the more positive your life.  I look at my thoughts/life kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy: What I think about an event/subject/person/job will most likely become my reality.  For example, August of last year I allowed negativity to take over my life.  It held on for 8 full months.  I sound myself complaining and finding excuses for not being happy on a regular basis.  I felt like I was failing at my job.  Why can't I reach these kids?  I had to reset my thinking, which is exactly what I did over the summer.  I moved to a different state, a different job, a different everything.  This experience could've been a breaking moment for me.  I've never been this far away from my family, my home, or the South.  These are the thoughts that could've taken over:

1. It will be REALLY cold.  I hate being cold.
2. It will be REALLY dangerous to drive in the snow.
3. It will be REALLY expensive to maintain our style of living.
4. Everyone will be REALLY mean.
5. Everyone will HATE my southern drawl.
6. I will not survive without my family being within a day of driving.
7. Everyone drinks Pepsi...boo!
8. I will miss all of my friends, and I will not be able to make new ones.

That's just a start.

Instead of allowing these ideas to become my reality, this is what happened:

1. It is REALLY cold...but put on a coat, scarf, gloves, and a hat and you're perfectly fine!
2. Yes, driving in the snow is dangerous, but everyone goes slow so it's ok.  Oh yeah, and I LOVE SNOW!
3. It is really expensive to live like we did in GA, so we just don't.  And it's fine.
4. I've yet to meet a mean person.
5. People like my southern drawl.  My students think I'm a cowgirl.  I'm way cool.
6. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  And Skype helps.
7. Most restaurants serve Pepsi, but I should really drink more water anyway.
8. I do miss my friends, but I've made some great friends here too...and one of them has a really warm fireplace (re: #1)

What are your thoughts on positive thinking?  Does it really make a difference?  How has it changed your life?

~Angela

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weak Blogger Organizes Thanksgiving

I just realized that I haven't posted since August 30th.  I mean, I knew it had been awhile...but almost 3 months?  Wow!  I suppose our life here in NY has been quite busy. 

I have been working on prepping for Thanksgiving for about a month now.  By "prepping" I mean creating and modifying a menu, cleaning and decorating our house, and the most recent activity has been buying the groceries.  I am proud to say that I was able to get it all done in two trips!  I am only cooking for three, but you would think my whole family is coming.  My kitchen counters are now perfectly organized with each dish/pan that I will be using.  I lined all of them up according to the time that I will be using them and put the recipe with each one.  If the recipe includes non-perishable ingredients, those are also with the dish/pan (a trick I learned from my mama).

An example...

My mother-in-love will be here tomorrow...let the Southern Thanksgiving begin!

Speaking of Southern Thanksgiving, my NY friends think it's weird that we cook vegetables in bacon drippings.  I think they might feel differently if they tried my Southern Fried Corn...

~Angela

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The evolution of a runner.

Since moving to New York, running has reached a whole new level for me.  Let me give you some background first in case you don't know me outside of blogland...

I began running for weight loss purposes in March of 2011.  When I started, I could not run a half mile without stopping to walk.  I set a goal for myself to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  In a few weeks, I was running for 30 minutes without stopping ~3 times per week. 

Shortly after I achieved that goal I decided to train for a marathon...I know...this girl is crazy and obviously doesn't have any concept of gradual short-term goal setting.  I decided that the first step in marathon training would be to pick a marathon and then tell everyone I knew that I was training for it.  So...I picked the Disney Marathon and then proceeded to tell my entire family.  They were very supportive, but I could tell by the tone in their voices that none of them actually thought that I would do it.  I DID do it.  And, along the way, I ran two half marathons on two consecutive weekends.

So, January of this year marked my marathon completion date.  I ran it with my step-mom-in-law, Marcia.  She was incredibly encouraging the entire time I was training and is one of the many reasons I was able to make it through.  After the marathon was over, I went through a major slump.  It took me a long time to recover from the marathon and by the time I actually felt like running again, I had gained a few pounds and felt like I was starting over from scratch again.

Since moving to New York, I joined a running club that has been so supportive, encouraging, and challenging.  I've regained my fitness and am starting to hone my sport.  I've become faster, leaner, and I feel more in shape now than when I left Georgia (still not where I was at the end of marathon training, but getting there.)

After breakfast this morning, Andrew and I were discussing fitness and nutrition (a common morning conversation for us...I don't know why) and I realized that my running has gone through many stages and I realized that all runners evolve in some way over time.

For me, I started running as a weight loss effort.  I then transitioned to marathon training.  After training, I was running more for leisure than anything else, and now I've evolved into running more as an athletic endeavor.  When I started, I never thought of doing speed workouts or hill repeats, but now I do these things at least once per week in addition to my regular running. 

Running with other people has been very beneficial for me.  Have you ever heard of "Cat Runners" and "Dog Runners?"  Well, cat runners are runners who like to run by themselves, in their own head, with no noise around them.  Dog runners like to run with other people around.  I used to think I was a cat runner, but since moving to NY I realized that I am definitely a dog runner.  Having the encouragement of others will keep you running when you REALLY want to stop.  It will also make you run faster to keep up with people who know where they're going so you don't get lost in the city you just moved to.  :)

Anyway, I know this was just a rambling post.  I hope it encouraged someone to go out for a run today...I promise you won't regret it!



~Angela


Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm Back!

Wow!  I know it's been a long time since I've posted, but my life has been crazy!  Since the last time I posted, Andrew and I have packed up our life in Georgia and moved 947 miles north to upstate New York.  We've lived here for about 20 days now and we love it!  The weather is great (for now), and there are a ton of outdoor activities to do.  We've made a few friends from the running club, bought Andrew's books, and visited his campus.  We are in the process of making a video of our life in Albany so all of you can see where we live, but for now I thought I'd just update you on how we're doing.  Right now, Andrew is just gearing up for the start of his classes and research job next week.  I've been working on getting a job for this year.  I have secured my name on 19 different substitute lists, so I'm sure I'll have no shortage of work!  Also, I'm busy training for a half marathon that I am running in October.  We've purchased plane tickets to visit Georgia in December for the holidays.  The funny thing is, we only bought one way tickets because the particular day we wanted to fly to Atlanta was on sale, but the day we wanted to return was not.  We're waiting for the departing day to go on sale to buy the other tickets.  Anyway, I'll have a post coming up about DIY Mercury Glass.  Stay tuned!

~Angela

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review: Eat & Run

For a long while now, I have been looking for a good book about runner nutrition.  Nutrition is very important to me, and it is also a very difficult road to navigate.  I stumbled upon this book by the famous Scott Jurek last week.  While it didn't really teach me anything I didn't already know about nutrition, it did inspire me as a runner on a different level than any other running book I've read in the past. 

Scott Jurek runs distances that I don't even dream of running.  I can't imagine running more than the 26.2 miles I ran at the beginning of this year, but Scott Jurek races in ultramarathons (any race of more than 26.2 miles).  In the book, he details his experiences training for these outrageous distances (some 135 miles) as well as racing (and many times winning) these ultramarathons.  He doesn't only write about running.  This book is largely about life.

If you're looking for an inspiring book and have a love of running, this book is for you!