Running Down A Dream

Sunday morning I am running my first half-marathon. Ever. In my life. Yes, that was trepidation you heard in my voice, my nervousness is quite palpable, actually.

My goal: Just Finish.

And right now I feel fairly confident that I can do that. I’m not looking to break any records, or win any awards, I’m just looking to cross a finish line. That alone will mean quite a bit to this girl right here:

October 2010 - Day 1 of CrossFit

You might remember that picture, I’ve posted it here before, but if not, that was me on my first day of Crossfit (two years ago, this month – HEY-O!) On that memorable day the warm-up involved running 100 meters. It was uncomfortable and awful, and I remember feeling particularly embarrassed that I had to walk. 100 meters is not a long distance and I struggled — and it wasn’t in that triumphant-backed-by-a-soundtrack kind of way. I felt uncomfortable, I worried that I looked stupid, but most memorably it just made me upset with my body.

I kept trying to improve, though never running outside of the gym. Eventually I switched up my footwear which made a HUGE difference. Little by little I got faster and slowly but surely my body could go a little bit farther. It was a long term exercise in patience and persistence, because despite the fact that we run a lot in CrossFit there were blocks of time where my running did not improve at all. But then I began to challenge myself to run outside of the gym.

It was funny because I never had that ubiquitous desire to “Be A Runner” that so many people talk about. What I did have was this feeling that running was difficult, and you KNOW how I am with a challenge. Then one night last year I got ballsy. I signed up to run a half marathon in Seattle with a friend (Hi Jessica!) and I set my eye on the prize. I started training very diligently and making good friends with the treadmill at my office gym just about every morning around 5am. This went on for a few months, but after those few months I noticed a little hiccup – I had stopped losing weight. I was CrossFitting like a maniac, eating clean as a whistle, running 4 days per week and generally being a workout superstar! But the weight was just hanging on. Also: I WAS REALLY FREAKING TIRED.

So I reevaluated, hemmed and hawed, asked for advice and did some really deep thinking. I heard loud and clear (from many of you, actually) that training for running events and weight loss don’t generally go together. And because my goal at the time was to drop some weight, and I wasn’t about to give CrossFit up (that I was doing for my sanity), I ultimately decided to NOT run that race. There is a little part of me that still feels sad about it (Running! In Seattle! Waaaaah!) but it was the best decision I could have made at the time and I don’t regret it one bit. Once I subtracted the 5am running and added the extra sleeping, I was right back on track with the weight dropping.

But that “Goal: Unacheived” feeling sort of nagged at me. In the meantime I would run here or there for pleasure, and YES — I do mean pleasure. Running has never come easy to me, and I will never tell you that the first mile I run is enjoyable, but when you have felt that moment of sadness that I felt my first day of CrossFit — sadness about your body and its performance (or perceived lack thereof) you end up reveling in your own progress even if it is progress doing something that isn’t 100% enjoyable all of the time. And as I did it more, I became more confident.

I have said it a number of times: I will never be a super speedy runner. My body was built to lift heavy shit, not so much to race. But I have to tell you, when Sarah suggested we run this half-marathon at the end of October, I felt a little bit inspired.

photo

Working on my running over the last few months has been SO. MUCH. FUN. at times. Of course it has also been crappy and tiring and hard, but improving on the tough stuff has been AMAZING! I’m not sure I would have challenged myself to run this race on Sunday if it wasn’t for the encouragement of Sarah, but heck, now that we are all signed up, I’m so glad the race is here and we get to do it!

One of the biggest gifts of the last 2 years, since opting to change up my lifestyle a bit, are the people who I have met, gotten close to, and learned from. It’s so fun to have friends who want to go out and run way too many miles on Saturday morning! It feels so nice to have coaches who are invested in your performance. It builds so much confidence to make a goal and then take the necessary steps to achieve it, but it is sharing those goals, and encouraging others, and having lots of discussion with a like-minded community of people that just make it all the more meaningful. It’s happened here in town, at the gym, on the internet, and out in Colorado at the very least. It’s THE PEOPLE that are the coolest part of this journey.

So I’m wondering, My People (yep, that’s you) – if you have a second on Sunday morning, can you send Sarah and I some good pre-race vibes? I’ve been running a lot, but Sunday will actually be the furthest I’ve run, um…EVER, . 13.1 miles, HOLY CRAP I’M A LITTLE NERVOUS. So any good ju ju you have to spare would mean a lot to this girl. But even more, it would mean so much to that girl in the picture up there, who never thought she would even be in a position to ask for support in a race like this. So thanks, y’all! It means the world….

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Hunger Strike

Lunch Masterpiece! (A masterpiece mostly bc Garrett made it for me)

A little over two years ago when Garrett + I decided to embark on this Paleo adventure together we were both a little leery. It was so different from what we knew that neither of us could really envision what this lifestyle looked like long term. We decided to commit for a short period of time, but after only a few weeks things felt so dramatically different that we decided to just wing it and learn as we went.

One of the most memorable of my positive Paleo consequences (and trust me there were quite a few in those first few months) was that I noticed I stopped feeling REALLY hungry. That ravenous feeling that would overtake me at about 10:30 every morning and would show up again during that mid-afternoon slump was basically gone. It wasn’t that I never wanted to eat, but I remember constantly feeling satisfied to my core — no will power needed. When I finally read It Starts With Food a few months ago, one of the most compelling things that stuck out to me was the explanation of why that happened.

It turns out Satiation (that feeling of fullness and satisfaction) is set up to work as a direct reflection of your body’s nutritional Satiety. Plainly said, your body is naturally programmed to indicate fullness when your nutritional needs have been met. I always thought they were just two forms of one word, but in fact they are different functions in your body. When you are eating a diet full of a variety of whole foods, your body let’s you know what it needs. It’s when we start eating some of that marginal, processed crippety crap that things get a little trickier. (The book continues to explain this, but I don’t plan to keep going because me explaining science is just sad. :P)

But it makes so much sense. It’s why it is so much easier to consume 600 calories worth of potato chips than it is to consume 600 calories of broccoli. Your body registers fullness in fairly direct proportion to the nutritional density of the food you’re eating. I think this is something that I’ve always understood at a physiological level, but it was interesting how simply the book explained our hunger mechanism. And ever since reading that I have enjoyed paying attention to it in my everyday life. But it’s not only at the dinner table that I am noticing this to be true.

I had a pretty serious discussion with Garrett this weekend that started off kind of light. We were talking about what we have on our plates through the end of the year and he mentioned how it would be awesome if we could just “be normal” for a little while. After doing a Whole 30, finding a stray dog (with bonus digestive issues!) prepping for my presentation in Colorado and then following that right up with embarking on my Skin Care Experiment which most notably had me giving up my beloved caffeine for 30 days – things have been slowly building up to a fever pitch of overwhelm. And all the while, just for shits and giggles, I have also been prepping to run a half marathon, which will finally come to fruition on Sunday (more on that later this week.) Things eventually went from a light-hearted funny discussion, to both of us admitting we are pretty exhausted from all of the juggling.

And if I am being honest, despite my Very Full Plate, I am NOT overflowing with Life Satiation right now. Mostly I just feel tired, and even sometimes lately I feel a touch sad. It’s not that I can’t look around and see the wealth of awesome things I have going on in my life, because I can (and I do!) But mostly it is that I can’t quite kick this nagging feeling of hunger. I spend a lot of time making lists, setting goals, trying new things, and pushing myself through new challenges. I am ambitious, accomplished, and the badge I wear most proudly: I AM DISCIPLINED. At this point though, my discipline is just a way of life and it’s somewhat scary to contemplate operating on a different level. But I’m starting to think my Type A Drive To Achieve is really just a whole lot of energy consumption, without a whole lot of nourishment. My life is currently the nutritional equivalent of a very bountiful basket of Halloween candy. And right now I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

It’s not a bad thing, really, it just kind of *IS* right now. So I am doing lots of thinking, lots of resting, and lots of marinating. Also, I’m breaking rules. You see despite my October Intention of reducing my commitments, I am making just one more that I plan to honor for the next couple of months. I’m committing right here in this moment, and in this space (you all are my witnesses!) to figuring this stuff out. I’ve been going on and on about it for some time so I think it is finally time to stop some of the crazy making and figure out what it is that I am truly hungry for.

And if my Paleo journey is any indication, I am hoping in the end that it will feel like second nature and that it will taste delicious.

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Fall Bucket List – 2012

We’re already a few weeks into fall and I’ve been sort of lazy about compiling my bucket list. I think indicates I need a mellow one this year, because we all know I can’t NOT make a list. It’s a sickness.

I sat down and looked at my calendar and really thought about my limited time outside of work and where I could put my energy to make me feel happy and fulfilled this season. Here is what I came up with. I apologize in advance for the lack of typically seasonal pumpkin + apple business, but there’s always Pinterest for that. :)

At Home

*Plant a Fall Garden
*Host Book Club Dinner Again
*Read 5 books
*Send Christmas Cards
*Find a Seasonal Soap for the Guest Bathroom
*Buy New Sheets for the Master Bedroom

In The Kitchen

*Blog a New Soup Recipe
*Cookbook Recipe Testing
*Contribute something AWESOME to Thanksgiving dinner

Fitness

*Finish First Half Marathon
*Enjoy an epic brunch afterward (what?)
*Beat last year’s 5k Time

Style

*Experiment with Colored Tights (eep! This scares me)
*Buy something Leather-ish (Purse! Jacket! Skirt! And by Leather, you know I mean “leather” right?)

With Family

*Have a Family Potluck at my mom’s house
*Send Christmas Cards
*Hang out with my Aunt + Uncle since they live SO CLOSE now!
*Cook some delicious food for my cousin who is having her second baby in December

****

A few manageable items that I can definitely see myself doing. (I mean, especially brunch! Right?) :) Do you make a bucket list this time of year? If so, share a link to it or tell me a few things on it!

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September Progress + October Intentions

Well September came and went and now we are already a week into October. The end of year “Holiday Pace” is coming on (I can feel it!) and I’m dying to push the pause button on life! I’m going to start by quickly looking back on September. Living in the past totally stops time, right? Oh wait, nope. It just encourages wearing acid washed jeans and bad hair-dos. Hmmm… :)
Well, I’m doing it anyway.

I had four intentions for September, outside from my overall goal for it to be AWESOME-tember! (SPOILER ALERT: It kind of was!

*Dive head first into experimenting with your skin — I forged a plan for The Great Skin Care Experiment and I tried to ready myself to execute. I started mentally preparing to quit caffeine (sob!) and slowly but surely found some newer and more natural skin and body care products. This is still a work in progress since technically I’m going all in for October, but I think I’ll still give myself a check.

*Give a successful and honest presentation in Colorado – This went better than expected in a number of ways, but what I will say is that I definitely was honest. That part was the most scary! I’ve given a lot of presentations for work, but I’ve never had to get up in front of 150 people and talk about my life and my feelings. That was a little nerve-racking but in the end, it was an amazing experience!

*Run. Um, Some More – I got off my butt and did this, which was necessary since I’m running a half marathon on October 28. I still can’t really believe that is going to happen. YIKES. What did I sign up for?

*Eat Well – While I didn’t stay completely Whole 30 compliant, I ate pretty well during the month of September! What sticks out the most to me is that I really think I have kicked my dairy habit. I no longer by dairy at the store and we don’t have it in the house. That’s a major change from the month prior to the Whole 30. Also: my wine consumption? VASTLY DIFFERENT. It makes me a very cheap date now. :)

All in all, September was pretty successful and I mostly credit that to the fact that I aimed low and didn’t put too much on my plate. I’m doing the same for October!

October Intentions

*Successfully Go Without Caffeine For 30 Days– You will be hearing about this all month, I’m sure. Apologies in advance. This is a huge deal for me. :)

*Run A Half Marathon – My goal for this first time is just to get through it. I’m not worried about pace or time or athletic performance, I’m worried about survival. I think “Just Survive” is a great goal.

*Start Outlining Cookbook – So I’m definitely planning on writing a cookbook. End of Story. Cookbooks make me happy and I have lots of recipes to share. I’ve hinted at that for a while now, but I’m just going to start doing it. These things take awhile so I’m just going to put one foot in front of the other, and ultimately this little dream of mine will come to fruition.

*Keep Socializing To A Minimum – I realize this makes me sound like a total recluse, but I’m doing this during October for a bit of self-preservation. November and December are ALWAYS crazy months. I just want to spend October chilling out, enjoying fall, cooking, watching good television in a blanket fort on my couch and snuggling with Garrett and the dog. Seriously. THIS IS ALL I WANT! :) And since October is my birthday month, I think I’m allowed, right? And you can’t do that if you fill up every weekend with something social. So that’s where this is coming from.

Only 3 and a half weeks left of the month — it’s time to get started!

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Summer Bucket List — How’d I Do?


Did you enjoy the first weekend of fall? I can’t believe that it’s finally here. Partly because it’s still hot and partly because, YOU GUYS, fall is the gateway to the holidays and didn’t we just start this year. I feel like I just laid down some resolutions.

But it’s about time to revisit the Bucket List. I put a metric ton of crap on that list and while I’m happy with what I finished, I’m sort of exhausted re-reading this. I think I was being a little aggressive, perhaps? :)

My fall bucket list is basically going to say “Sit on Your Ass and Drink Apple Cider.” Well maybe not exactly that, but there will be some chilling the heck out for certain. But before I even start thinking about fall, let’s re-cap summer. It definitely was a good one!

Travel + Social


*Day Trip/Hike in Marin County + SF

Oh we nailed this and it was SUPER FUN. I would totally do it again. I love Marin County. In fact, I wish I was doing that right now!

*Weekend trip to Lake Tahoe
Yup. Condo Rented. Fun had. Can’t wait to do it again next year.

*Weekend trip to Sonoma
We ended up heading to Sonoma for for my cousin Jim’s wedding, but did not end up making a whole weekend of it. Still super fun!

*Drink a Glarifee
Obvi.
Glarifees all around! #sonoma #drinkup

*Weekend trip to Bodega Bay

We went and the weather was FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. All Sacramentans know there is nothing better than getting to the coast when the summer temps get in the triple digits around here. I was cold. There was a hot tub. Enough said.

*Long weekend in Iowa
Boo! This didn’t happen. And I’m annoyed about it. Plane Tickets: Y U BE SO EXPENSIVE???

*Host Book Club Dinner at our house
We did it, and we did it on a school night! What?

*Make some friggin’ s’mores already (spring carryover!)

I’m giving up on s’mores. There clearly not a non-paleo dessert that I prioritize, so whatever.

Relax

I honestly see these as the most challenging. Clearly I am doing this wrong.

*Visit a pool that has cabanas, fancy lounge chairs, cocktail service OR All of the Above

Nope. I don’t even know if I visited a pool this summer. Oh wait, yes I did, last weekend. But I didn’t even swim. Lame.

*Get a pedicure. (Note to self: This is not that hard. Quit failing at it!)

Still Failing.

*Watch Game of Thrones, Season One

Most of it! Not done yet, but it’s great. I’m just slow at watching TV Programs.

*Read 15 books (That’s…aggressive, but let’s just leave it)

Well I read 11, so I’ll call that good. But I didn’t get to everything on my Summer Reading List.

*Read a lot of those outside: in the yard, on a beach, on a balcony, on a bench. It doesn’t matter.
Done.
Summer afternoons make the Sunday Night Blues even MORE prevalent, I think. You guys, let's all buy a lotto ticket, eh?

*Get 8-9 hours of sleep at least 4 nights per week

I would say I got 8 hours about 3 nights per week. Mostly it’s more like 6-7. I need to work on that so much, but it’s going to involve taking this off my plate and I’m not ready to give anything up yet.

Food

Summer is for eating and drinking. That is one of the 10 commandments.

*Make lemonade that tastes good without sugar
Nailed it. Loved it.

*Turn that lemonade into an adult beverage

Yep. But not too often. Just enough to TREAT YO SELF.

*Cook from the garden as much as possible
So-so. The garden wasn’t really a stunner this year.

*Get more creative with the fresh herbs you are growing (Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Cilantro)

See above.

*Blog about it
This summer was a Garden Fail, okay. Quit rubbing it in!

*Write a recipe that involves sauerkraut that people will want to eat

Not yet. But I sure ate a lot of it!

*Post recipes for the homemade condiments you make (so. much. better. than. store bought.)

No posts. But I made some wicked mayo.

*Grill some stone fruit
Peaches. Because OMG, I was obsessed with Peaches.

*Try your hand at smoking meat without actually having a smoker

Nope.

*Maybe I should just buy a smoker?
You should.

*Make pickles and also pickle some green beans
Didn’t even try. I like pickles and pickled beans, but they are so easy to buy and just so not easy to make without making a giant mess!

*Get better at grilling seafood
Dude. This was the summer of grilling seafood. I feel like a pro now! So glad I challenged myself!
Dinner is in color! #whole30

*Make jam (carryover from spring!)

Fail. Never even crossed my mind.

Health + Fitness

This summer I want to have fun outside (and eat and drink) but also reeeeeeeeeeeally be mindful of my health progress.

*Go on a hike or trail run

We hiked. We ran. We didn’t run on hiking trails but did plenty of both. Check plus!

*Climb a rope (So close, I’m getting there!)
Yeah, still not there. I think I might have a bowl of jelly where my lower abdominal muscles are supposed to be. So that sucks.

*Do legit body composition testing that you pay for at the beginning of summer

Oh yes. And it was illuminating! So glad I did that.

*Do it again at the end

Haven’t done it yet, but I totally will. Probably when we get back from Colorado.

*And don’t use your wonk ass “Body Fat Scale” that changes if you drink a big glass of water

I rarely hopped on that. Only at the beginning and end of the Whole 30, I think.

*Asshole.
It really is.

*Re-visit the Naturopath to check your progress.
I haven’t. Mostly because it is about a million dollars and I’ve got about $999,000 to save up for that.

*Also Talk about hormones and babies and all that good stuff.
No but I have been thinking about that.

*Take your fish oil, silly. And your Vitamin D.

Total fail.

*Or maybe just look into Fermented Cod Liver Oil and figure all that out

Done and purchased!

*While you’re at it, learn enough about the importance of the Omega 6:3 ratio that you can speak about it intelligently
I did. Mostly it was because I poured through It Starts With Food. Super informative and easy to understand!

*Keep working on an unassisted pull up and toes to bar. Maybe by the end of summer?????

Oh that’s funny. No.

*Decide if you’re going to run in that October Half Marathon
Shit. I guess I am.

*If you decide YES (eep!) use the CrossFit Endurance method to train

Well, not really, but sort of.
My training plan looks like this: CrossFit 4 times per week. Do one short run and one long run per week. Then pray. And walk some if you have to on the day of. I think it will work just fine. And if not, hey, I’ll know for next time.

Home Improvement

Quit laughing when I write these goals. One of these seasons I WILL ACTUALLY FINISH ONE OF THESE! Then who’s gonna be laughing?

*Paint kitchen cabinets
*Peel off that annoying chunk of wallpaper in the kitchen
*Hang art in kitchen
*Hang art in office
*Get a new duvet cover for the guest bedroom
*Finish the Master Bedroom
*Buy patio furniture

I did nothing on this list. No one is surprised. You guys I am terrible at this shit.

******

To be honest though, I accomplished more than I thought and quite a bit, so I’m cool with how summer went. But man was it BUSY! Lots of time away and running around, interspersed with time just staring at the television or with my nose in a book for recovery. But I think I’m getting ready for hibernation season. Who’s with me??

Fall Bucket List coming next week because I’m really thinking about what I want to do. It won’t be a lot of Carve Pumpkins! and Make Pie! (well, maybe there will be pie) mostly because I don’t really care about that stuff that much right now. But I think after Colorado I will have a clear view of what I want out of Autumn. And of course I will write it all out here.

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August Progress + September Intentions

I’m doing this a day early because this weekend is a long one. Because it’s full of socializing and family and fun things I want to just get September STARTED already. :)

Despite my eagerness to move on, August went swimmingly.

As I’d hoped, we had a successful Whole 30, and I really set my boundaries in life, at work, and in my friendships. And of course I also had made plenty of time to watch bad television. Gold star, self! There were some difficult times this past month, but you stood your ground and did what you said you would do. Thumbs up!

Sometimes you just need to write the simple, important stuff down and stick to it. Worked for me! Next month is full of stuff already, and I know quickly we will be sliding down hill into the holidays (and then a whole new YEAR of goals — CRAZY!) so I’ve made a pretty simple list of what I’d like to accomplish.

September Intentions

*Dive head first into experimenting with your skin. This should be a fun one (HA! Only a little bit of sarcasm there.) I have a list of things to do and try in order to get my skin under control. Some are easy, some are hard but I’m going to take the plunge and commit to them!

*Give A Successful and Honest Presentation in ColoradoI’ve mentioned that Melissa, Michelle and I are talking about all sorts of Paleo goodness at the end of the month in Estes Park. Wish you would join us. I’m so nervous/excited/anxious/stoked I just can’t wait!

*Run. Um, Some more. — So I haven’t mentioned this too much here because I’m still scared/unsure and not AT ALL feeling confident in my decision, but Sarah has talked me into running a Half Marathon with her at the end of October. That girl is PERSUASIVE. I’m nervous because I don’t know too much about, you know, being a better runner. But I do know that I am in the best shape ever and I ENJOY running, so I figure that’s enough to get me across the finish line. But I also need to do some training that works with my CrossFit schedule. I need to get on that!

*Eat Well — The Whole 30 was indeed life changing, despite my opinion that I already knew all I needed to know. I want to keep that close to me this month while making food decisions. Keep the positivity flowing!

******

And I think that’s enough, really! We have lots of social events on the calendar already that I am excited for, plus the start of football season and apple picking season and hopefully cooler weather. My friend Mike declared next month Awesome-tember the other day and I love that. I am READY FOR THAT.

Are you?

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July Progress + August Intentions

Oh July, you were a wily one.

I wanted to keep one day per weekend to myself and I did not do a great job at that. The beginning of the month started strong but in the end we traveled, and overscheduled, and basically got a little crazy.

All fun, but not what I set out to do. Not even close.

Whenever I set intentions and don’t actually do them I try and figure out if I was not being honest with myself about what I really wanted, or if I just failed to set boundaries appropriately. This month was a boundary issue, for sure.

My intention to eat clean 7 days a week got a C-minus. On the days I did it, I was supah dupah clean and awesome. On the days I didn’t – well, we ate a food trucks. I wish I had the energy to be upset with myself for all of this, but oh wait — no I don’t.

That said, I miss having energy. So let’s switch this mutha up, shall we?

August Intentions

We’re going easy-peasy this month.

1. Have fun with the Whole 30. Commit, without craziness. That is my one intention for the entire experience. Enjoy cooking. Enjoy observing. Enjoy learning. Enjoying sharing about it. That sounds manageable.

2. Figure out what you really want and set your boundaries clearly. If you don’t want drama, don’t engage. If you don’t want to be tired, sleep. If you don’t want to be doing 900 things at a time, then say no to 899 of them. That sounds slightly harder. Yet doable.

3. Review Summer Bucket List. Then figure out what’s left that you feel like doing. And the rest? Don’t worry about it!

4. Watch a lot of bad TV.
Oh you guys, we bought a Roku box and I seriously never want to leave my house again. If you need me I’ll be on my couch streaming television until the end of time.

****

Anyway. Goals: short and sweet. Written down. Because I need that right now.

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June Progress + July Intentions

The world works in mysterious way I tell you.

You see, I’ve been thinking about what I want to write in this post for a couple of days now. Usually it’s a fun monthly recap and a reminder for me to take a minute and think about what I want the next month to look like. What can I say, I like intentions and of course the ritual of finishing one chapter and then starting the next.

Looking back on my intentions for June, despite the fact that they were all kind of vague (Spend time with friends, hit up Sonoma, work on my running YADA YADA YADA) they were mostly successful. I checked off some events, did some traveling, crossed items off lists, and basically did what I had set out to do. Great, right? Oddly enough though, when I look back at June I don’t really feel all that victorious.

I figured it was partly because I was coming out of an overwhelmed funk. I mean, let’s be real, I’ve been getting a little emo around here lately. Then I thought I was just being hard on myself because I am sort of this way by nature. Or maybe I just needed a good pep talk. Yes! That’s perhaps that was why I felt a bit of an empty victory over June. But yesterday morning I came across two things that made me think a little more about the whole thing.

The first was a quote on my calendar at work. I started my Monday morning by flipping to the month of July, and the quote at the bottom said this:

It made me stop and think — what do I want most? As a goal-setter/list-maker this is a hard thing for me to distill down. I have SO MANY goals and I want to do them all! Unfortunately this means I can get easily distracted, but usually it is not for long since The Malaise sort of takes over when I veer too far off course. So I thought about it some more.

What do I want MOST?

And the answer — as it has been all year — has been to be in the best shape possible when we start trying to get pregnant. Not the skinniest. Not the fittest in America, but My Personal Best. And lately a lot of the things that I have been prioritizing — the eating and drinking and traveling every weekend — while fun, have not really been getting me closer to that goal.

I’m not saying that letting loose over the summer is a bad thing at all. But for me, and for THIS summer — it is not the thing I want MOST. It ends up being the thing I want RIGHT NOW when I get to Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And while indulging on the weekends is fun, it is also tiring and takes some recovery time. Back to back weekends of getting out of town and eating crappy food on the road and clinking a few too many glasses with friends have left me feeling a bit worn down.

Not what I want MOST.

The second thing I came across was this New York Times piece about Busyness that spread like wildfire through basically all of my social media channels. My favorite line:

“The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it.”

I’ve talked about The Cult of Busy before and how it is something that I struggle with. And I think the thing about June, to me, was that everything was sort of crammed on my plate in 30 minute scheduled increments and I just kind of let it all fly by.

Acquiescing is a choice. And I would like to make a different one in July. So with that, here’s how I want July to shake out.

July Intentions

*Keep at least one weekend day to yourself – If you have to say no to things, people will understand.
*Get back to clean eating 7 days a week – my weeks are pretty dialed in but the weekends tend to lack some focus.
*Make some performance based fitness goals – I’ll talk more about this later, but I touched on it a bit here.

And honestly, that’s it.

And right now, that’s enough.

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2012 // Summer Bucket List

Travel + Social

‘Tis the season to get the eff outta dodge! That’s like, a famous quote, right?

*Day Trip/Hike in Marin County + SF
*Weekend trip to Lake Tahoe
*Weekend trip to Sonoma
*Drink a Glarifee
*Weekend trip to Bodega Bay
*Long weekend in Iowa
*Host Book Club Dinner at our house
*Make some friggin’ s’mores already (spring carryover!)

Relax

I honestly see these as the most challenging. Clearly I am doing this wrong.

*Visit a pool that has cabanas, fancy lounge chairs, cocktail service OR All of the Above
*Get a pedicure. (Note to self: This is not that hard. Quit failing at it!)
*Watch Game of Thrones, Season One
*Read 15 books (That’s…aggressive, but let’s just leave it)
*Read a lot of those outside: in the yard, on a beach, on a balcony, on a bench. It doesn’t matter.
*Get 8-9 hours of sleep at least 4 nights per week

Food

Summer is for eating and drinking. That is one of the 10 commandments.

*Make lemonade that tastes good without sugar
*Turn that lemonade into an adult beverage
*Cook from the garden as much as possible
*Get more creative with the fresh herbs you are growing (Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Cilantro)
*Blog about it
*Write a recipe that involves sauerkraut that people will want to eat
*Post recipes for the homemade condiments you make (so. much. better. than. store bought.)
*Grill some stone fruit
*Try your hand at smoking meat without actually having a smoker
*Maybe I should just buy a smoker?
*Make pickles and also pickle some green beans
*Get better at grilling seafood
*Make jam (carryover from spring!)

Health + Fitness

This summer I want to have fun outside (and eat and drink) but also reeeeeeeeeeeally be mindful of my health progress.

*Go on a hike or trail run
*Climb a rope (So close, I’m getting there!)
*Go kayaking, damnit! (You knew that was gonna show up)
*Do legit body composition testing that you pay for at the beginning of summer
*Do it again at the end
*And don’t use your wonk ass “Body Fat Scale” that changes if you drink a big glass of water
*Asshole.
*Re-visit the Naturopath to check your progress.
*Also Talk about hormones and babies and all that good stuff.
*Take your fish oil, silly. And your Vitamin D.
*Or maybe just look into Fermented Cod Liver Oil and figure all that out
*While you’re at it, learn enough about the importance of the Omega 6:3 ratio that you can speak about it intelligently
*Keep working on an unassisted pull up and toes to bar. Maybe by the end of summer?????
*Decide if you’re going to run in that October Half Marathon
*If you decide YES (eep!) use the CrossFit Endurance method to train

Home Improvement

Quit laughing when I write these goals. One of these seasons I WILL ACTUALLY FINISH ONE OF THESE! Then who’s gonna be laughing?

*Paint kitchen cabinets
*Peel off that annoying chunk of wallpaper in the kitchen
*Hang art in kitchen
*Hang art in office
*Get a new duvet cover for the guest bedroom
*Finish the Master Bedroom
*Buy patio furniture

*****

What are YOU hoping to do this summer?

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2012 // Spring Bucket List — How’d I Do?

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It’s time to revisit the goals I made at the beginning of the season and I’m feeling pretty confident about accomplishing quite a bit. Spring was rad. End of story. And it makes me feel even more excited for summer!

Social

Wine Country Picnic at least once — So that happened! And it was just what the doctor ordered.
Let's have lunch!
Host Brunch + Make a Fun Cocktail — I didn’t host a brunch, but I did make a fun cocktail. Does that count? :)
Plan + Execute something fun for Garrett’s Birthday — It was actually a pretty mellow weekend, but that was only after much prodding from Garrett. So I would say Overall Birthday Success! I mean, there was ice cream for lunch — come on!
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Go to the theater – My mom and I hit up Legally Blonde: The Musical. And it ruled!
Win March Madness Pool — FAIL. Boo.
Invite friends over to make S’mores in the fire pit — Didn’t do this, but you can bet it will move on over to the summer list

Social Goals: Success!

Beauty + Style

Get my fake tan on — not only did I do it, but I told you all about it.
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Wear a dress everyday for a week — Check. And I documented most of it on Instagram (hollywouldifshecould if you aren’t already following along)
Buy a new bathing suit – I didn’t actually because I’m still loving the one I purchased last year and hardly wore. I did recommend that you get out there and buy YOURSELF a fabulous one. So Did you?
Buy some freaking colorful pants — Done. And I LOVE them.
Rainy Day // Sunny Pants
Get a pedicure — nope. God, I’m such a failure at this. And it’s PAMPERING! You’d think I would be more…diligent?
Dye my hair (eep! haven’t done this in TEN YEARS) — didn’t dye it, but chopped it all off…that totally counts for something!

Spring Beauty + Style: Total Win!

Travel

Spend a long weekend in Portland — Yep. And I can’t shut up about it.
Day Trip to Tahoe — we didn’t do this, but we are headed up there to cheer on our friends competing in The Fittest of the Sierras next weekend for a couple of days. Weekend Trips to Tahoe > Day Trips. Really looking forward to it.
Day Trip to Sonoma — Done. And there was reuniting with Pork Belly. F*CK Yeah!
Day Trip to SF — Didn’t do it. Need to work that out for summer when it is sweltering in Sac. I want to get into the city and take some pictures. Who’s up for a photo date?

Travel: Worked out pretty well.

Home

Read 10 Books — I read exactly 10, even though I picked up 12. Not bad. Don’t forget to enter my Summer Reading Giveway!
Plant Garden — The garden is in the ground and looking pretty good. I keep meaning to post an update but it’s sort of anti-climatic. Maybe I’ll take some pictures this weekend. For now, trust me — this stuff did get into the ground!
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Buy a Hydrangea — I did. And it was cute! And now dead. #brownthumbforever
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Hang Art in the kitchen — Nope. But I did buy this print and I don’t care if it is going to be the next Keep Calm and Carry On, I love it. And will hang it somewhere. Someday. Maybe?
Paint the office (or one GD room!) — BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m starting to think I am doomed to a white house forever. I mean, there could be worse things. But god, Holly, grow a pair and buy some paint already!
Buy fresh flowers for the house more than once – Yep. Worth It. Every Time.

Home Goals: Pretty Good. Still though, grow a pair woman. PAINT YOUR FRIGGEN HOUSE.

Food

Hit up the Carmichael Farmer’s Market — I did! And Y’all it rocks so hard! I’m so glad I finally made it over that way.
Make a Home Cured Corned Beef — Nope. Too lazy. Maybe next year.
Make Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (and find someone to eat them) — Nope. But you know, that’s probably good in the end.
Make 5 New Salads — Probably didn’t do that many but I made quite a few from this list. I’ll keep this going for summer. Plus hey — 4 new Salad Dressings!
Make Eggs Benedict for Easter — Tooooooootally. Oh god, who wants to cook me that right now?
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Hit up a You-Pick Berry Farm — Didn’t do it. Still might.
Make Jam — These two kind of go together. So basically, double fail. :)
Drink a Key Lime Martini at Centro — Ooooh, no but I will TOTALLY do this for summer! Damn those are good.

Food: Fared So-So

Fitness

Explore Trail Running — If by explore you mean “thought about it a lot but did nothing about it” then yes. Success!
Run outside more — totally nailed this. I’ve become pretty comfortable running in 85+ degrees.
Conquer Toes to Bar — So close, yet so far away.
Get 1 Unassisted Pull Up — Don’t even talk to me about this.
Run a 5K — Nope.
Go Kayaking — Summer Bucket List, you’ve been warned.

Fitness: So Hey, this seems like a fail. But more likely, my actions just didn’t really reflect my written goals. I’ll be more thoughtful when I make my Summer List.

*****

I feel pretty happy with those results, and I really feel like we enjoyed the hell out of spring. Sure I wish I would have read more and made more precise fitness goals. But instead we traveled, I cooked, we drank wine…and if you notice I didn’t mention anything about fretting about the scale. I just enjoyed life. It was good. I would like a second helping of that, please!

So. I think we can all agree it’s on to summer, yes? Are you making a bucket list this summer? It seems everywhere I turn people are making them! I love that…so much inspiration! Anything on your must tackle list: Fitness? Style? Home? Food?

Talk to me!

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