My New Health Goals

My half marathon was my major goal for this year, and it was fantastic! In fact, it was so fantastic that I am considering running the St. Louis Half in October. I have not decided for sure yet, but the idea of taking the train and running again for a PR keeps going through my head. It is definitely something I’d love to do, so long as training does’t interfere with my studies. So, I’ve decided that I will train for a few weeks as if I’m going to run the thing, then decide if I’m up  for it (and willing to spend the money) when the date is closer.

In the mean time, there are other sorts of marathons calling my name...

In the mean time, there are other sorts of marathons calling my name…

In the meantime, there are some goals that I really want to work towards to improve myself.

 

1.) Well one obviously, is run as if I’m training for a half. This time, I’m doing intermediate training, rather than beginners. I’ll focus more on my speed and it will be a bit more intense, but I truly think I’m ready. Then, hopefully, I’ll be able to cut down my time!

Hilarious how this started as a way to lose weight

Hilarious how this started as a way to lose weight

 

2.) Cross Train: I am horrible about this. It’s not that I don’t love lifting weights or doing Pilates, it’s just that when the time comes for me to do so, I’m busy. Since it’s not a run, it doesn’t feel important. However, I know my running, flexibility, and overall performance will improve if I do something a couple of times a week. I think I also heard that it prevent injuries, which of course I’m all for.

You're knees are probably terrible

You’re knees are probably terrible

So, my goal is to do my Pilates DVD 2x a week, and ride my bike whenever I get the chance. Which takes us to numero dos

 

3.) Learn to Ride a Bike: For some reason I never learned as kid.

Wow, rub it in

Wow, rub it in

This summer, perhaps out of guilt, my parents bought me a cute little bike on sale. So I’d like to learn to ride it and hopefully have it around at school in the Fall. Then I can feel a little less bad about my carbon footprint, and keep a little more cash in my wallet.

 

4.) Eat the appropriate amounts: Sometimes I eat too much, sometimes I eat too little.

Uber bunny will eat your family

Uber bunny will eat your family

If I want to be at my goal weight by my 20th birthday, I really need to work on balance, and cut out the nighttime sweet snacking that gets me into trouble. Unfortunately peanut butter is really freakin delicious.

 

5.) Drink less caffeine: I love coffee. Like love it so much I could drink a whole pot by myself.

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However, I know that too much of anything is bad for me, so I’d like to try cut back on my caffeine in take. Besides, I’ll want the caffeine to be effective when I need it, like during finals week.

 

6.) Journal everyday: I’ve kept a notebook since I was about nine (blame Harriet the Spy), with everything from my thoughts, a record of my day, and little day dreams or bits of dialogue. I love to write in them and I always feel better when I do, but I’m not always consistent. I think if I write more my brain will be less muddled.

Link It Up

This week marks the end of my summer classes, thank goodness. I am ready for some swimming, reading, and Netflix time.

I have a bruised toenail. I considered posting a picture and didn’t. You’re welcome.

This article on Sylvia Plath, her suicide, and life now in comparison is beautiful and moving.

Great news from the New Yorker this week.

I am pretty jazzed about the Buzzfeed books newsletter.

Daniel Radcliff being his adorable self.

Funny lady stand-up comedy you can watch from the comfort of your bed.

St. Louis is great for young adults and totally underrated in general.

If you make me these cookies I will love you forever. Or any dessert I can pretend is healthy, really.

Recent Reads

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I like to read, and then tell you about it. Here are some books i’ve read recently and my own personal opinions on them, which carry a ton of weight I promise.

 

I am Malala

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I read this mostly on a train over the course of a day. Everyone has heard of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pashtun woman who was shot on her way to school in Her memoir is informative, and offers a glimpse into a world I knew little about. She has read both the Twilight series and Stephen Hawking. She spoke of both her love for her country and hope for change. She had a very honest and straightforward way of writing.
The Road 
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Woah, heavy. This post-apocolyptic story is another book I read in a short span while stranded at the airport. It is very well written and I kept at it, but it did drag in parts. I ultimately found the ending unsatisfying, but maybe I’m just not intellectual enough for it.
On the Road
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I’m pretty sure my title as a hipster is secure with my praise of this book. The whole story, which tells of a 20-something wanderer in the time when hitch hiking was ok, felt like a novelization of a Radiohead song. It’s ultimately a coming of age, personal-development story, told in a fast-paced and conversational manner. It seemed like it appropriately captured young people’s restlessness and sense of wandering, but if I knew people who acted like this in real life I’d probably hate them. I intend to read If This Isn’t Nice What Is by Vonnegut next.
I am the Messenger
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I loved The Book Thief, so I had high expectations for this book, and was not disappointed. It’s the story of how an insignificant man becomes significant, and how everyone has a struggle inside of him or herself that others can’t see. Markus Zusak is a beautiful story teller, and you will stay up late reading this one.
Slaughterhouse-Five
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This is my friend from school’s favorite book. I like it a lot too, though not quite as much as Catch 22. It’s ultimately an anti-war tale, although it seems to say that war is inevitable. I liked how seamlessly the time skips occurred and the switch from science fiction back to Billy’s life.
The Queen’s Fool
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Not my favorite novel of Philippa Gregory’s. It tells the story of a Jewish clown in the Queen’s court in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition. It sounds exciting, but I put it down and came back to it a few times. It dragged in parts, and I’m beginning to think that if you’ve read on Gregory novel, you’ve read them all.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
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I bought this about two weeks before Maya Angelou’s passing but did not read it until she was gone. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on her work. The way she writes is so captivating and reader friendly, but also conveys some hard truths that only come from experience. I now plan to read her entire canon of work.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Nope. Not even attaching a cover. I had a thing for this author in middle school and probably read This Lullaby five times. I ordered this for the sake of a palette-cleanser between books for class, and it was just so fluffy. I actually read it, then read about half of it again before realizing I’d already read it before. That’s how non-substantial it was. Sorry middle school Caitlin.
So happy reading friends. I have several books which are stacked higher than my bed I hope to get through eventually.
What are you reading right now?

Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon

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I ran my first half marathon Sunday and loved it! I had a blast, and was already thinking about where I should run my next one on the car ride home.

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We drove up the day before and ate at Park Grill, conveniently located under the bean.

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Then we headed to the Renaissance Blackwater hotel, which was beautiful, accommodating, and reasonably priced (though I did book in January, and we only had one bed). After a quick nap, we headed to the Navy Pier.

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The original plan had been to eat at Bubba Shrimp Co, but rather than wait for two hours we went to Kapi’s next door. It was Italian, and totally delicious. I ate my weight in goat cheese.

The next morning I got up at about 4:30, consumed my banana, peanut butter, and coffee coconut water, then walked a block from the hotel to the start. It was my first race, so I wanted to be early, and I was not the first one there by any stretch of the imagination. However, next year I’m sleeping in a bit more.

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Once there, the corals were easy to find, as were the pacers. We crossed the start line a bit after seven. I stuck with the 2:30 pace group until about the 15K mark, then pulled ahead a bit. I ended with a time of 2:28:47.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the race, but I heard complaints that there weren’t enough bands. I dunno, I can honestly say it was the best race I’ve ever run.

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After the finish and lots of water, we went back to the hotel after it was pointed out that I may need a shower. Thanks guys.

Then we ate brunch at Yolk, where I had some of the best bacon of my life. There was virtually every breakfast food you could think of there, and the coffee was delicious (which is the deal breaker, really). I 100 percent recommend.

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Then we went home. I am a little disappointed that we could not have stayed a bit longer in Chicago and seen some sights, but work schedules and money called us back. It’s nice to sleep in your own bed after a long day anyway

It was a fantastic experience, and I cannot wait to run again. Any suggestions on the next city/race?

 

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