Life’s Short, Live Somewhere Awesome

The last few months have been…eventful. Moving out of Arizona has been on my mind for a few years now. There are many wonderful things I love and (spoiler alert) will miss about Arizona, but it didn’t feel like where I was supposed to be.

My two favorite cities could not be more different from each other, but last year I started looking seriously at Seattle and San Diego as my next new home. Having a job I liked in Phoenix gave me flexibility to be patient as I applied to new jobs in those cities. As an out-of-state candidate, I felt like a huge long shot, but I found a few opportunities that were great fits and finally got some traction in December and an offer right around the new year.

January was a total blur of every kind of stress imaginable, but three weeks ago, my condo was packed in an ABF UPack moving container (highly recommend it, I had a great experience with them) and en route and my mom, my dog and I hopped in my trusty little Corolla for a three-day, 1500 mile trip to the Pacific Northwest.

It’s been everything I’ve expected – and more, and less – but for the most part, it’s starting to feel like home.

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A morning walk around Lake Union.

Luck Be a Lady

My recent string of luck has me thinking it might be time to play the lottery.

I will make you mine.

I will make you mine.

Last month, I won a gift certificate to a home fitness store that basically will buy me a treadmill. I think. I’ve picked up the certificate (from the radio station that held the contest), but haven’t been into the store as of yet, but the prices they have online make me think it won’t be too far off. There may not be any real place to put it in my condo that currently houses two adults, two dogs and all of our stuff, but that is not the point and for the convenience of having a treadmill at home, I will work it out! Gosh, I hope I actually use it!

Then, last week, I won a trip for two to Myrtle Beach for a private concert from Dan + Shay. They are a newish country duo that has a song called 19 You + Me:

If you didn’t listen, the first line is, “It was our first week, Myrtle Beach, where it all began…” Get it?

hoffman-inventory-trends-myrtle-beach-grand-strandAnd gosh how I need a beach vacation. It used to irritate me when people who were no longer in school used the term Spring Break. I was all, “When you’re an adult, it’s called vacation” and now I’m all, “I’m going on Spring Break y’all!” Currently the weather calls for cool temps and rain, but there will be ocean and it will be amazing. And I will meet the babies named Dan and Shay and they’ll be like, “Sweet, a cougar.”

Both of the contests were held by different local radio stations (sports and country, duh), but no, I don’t have impeccable timing to be the 10th caller or anything, they were online entries. I had an unofficial goal for the year to win something. Unofficial because it’s silly and also because it’s not really something I can control beyond entering and thinking positively, but…check!

Believe it or not, my luck didn’t stop at awesome contest prizes…also last week, I got notice that my job had been eliminated. No, that wasn’t the sound of a record scratching to a stop, it was actually a good thing. Without too much detail, it is the best case scenario and I’ve happily accepted a new position already, about a week after getting the notice, which has to be some kind of luck too. I mean, I know I’m awesome and got it because I’m qualified and will kick booty there, but how was this wonderfully matched position available exactly when I needed it?!

If the universe could give you something you really need in your life right now, what would it be? I think I got mine (times three), but if there’s anything else in store, I’m game! Keep the positivity coming!

A Week WITH Workouts

Since I last posted, lamenting about not being able to get my butt in gear, it’s been just about a month and I’m very happy to say I’m back on track.

Call it a combination of considering a triathlon this spring + the already 80 degree weather reminding me that, as a friend said, “spring training and shorts season is in like five minutes and swimsuit season is in like ten” + support/accountability partner + momentum. Whatever it is, I’ll take it! This is how my workouts went last week:

Monday: 4 mile tempo run + strength
Tuesday: hot vinyasa class
Wednesday: strength + 30-min (1200 meter) swim
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: hot slow flow yoga class
Saturday: 3 mile increasing pace run + strength + 2 mile steady run
Sunday: hot vinyasa class

Sean came with me to the gym on four of those trips! Making a plan to go after work and having someone hold me to that is huge for my motivation, which usually peaks at about 3pm and then heads straight down, sometimes not making it to 5pm.

Notes from the week:

1. All of my runs were treadmill, which I normally don’t like and it’s gorgeous weather and there’s really no excuse, except that those were days I went to the gym with the boyfriend and just as he encourages me, I want to encourage him.

2. Mentally I’m having trouble with increasing mileage, particularly on a treadmill when I can just hop off and call it good, which is why on Saturday I split up my 5 miles (of COURSE I’m still stubborn enough to get them all done)!

3. I used to consider yoga strength training and it certainly gave me definition in places I had been missing it, but I’m back to lifting, and for that, I blame a picture that Mama Laughlin posted showing her basically at the same weight, but looking fantastic when she added in strength. I can’t for the life of me find that damn picture.

4. Some days I’ll walk to the weights section and be like, “I got this.” Some days, I’ll be like, “what’s this heavy thing?” On those days I hide in the women’s section (at Gold’s) or an empty fitness studio (at Lifetime) and try to remember exercises I saw on blogs, in magazines or just make up some stupid ones myself.

5. I have been way too inconsistent with my yoga in the past few months and the classes this week were TOUGH, but I went and I know they’ll get easier.

6. I hoped to swim closer to a full mile (1600) in my 30 minutes, but that’s also something I know will improve.

7. Working out makes me a much happier person and makes it easier to get everything else on track. I ate better this week and my house was in a much better state than it had been. Sean is weighing the benefits of happy Megan v. the drawbacks type-A Megan. You can’t have one without the other!

A Baby Yogi

I like yoga.  If you had asked me a week ago, you would have gotten quite a different answer, but I’ve taken four classes in the past week and it’s on its way to love.

I’ve never been a real fan of it.  I considered it boring and too new agey.  Maybe I like it now because I’ve gotten more new agey, maybe it’s because I see the benefits of it and see that I need those benefits.  Maybe I like it because I’m folding it into my regular training, so my cardio-addict ways aren’t suffering.

As with anything, it’s about the right fit.  I’ve been practicing at Yoga on the Rocks, which is a new yoga studio inside Arizona on the Rocks, the rock climbing gym in North Scottsdale.

The space they created upstairs is perfect.  I was expecting a large room, probably because that’s what I’m used to in big box gyms, but it’s very intimate and there are no mirrors or windows to the outside to make you feel awkward, which, as a beginner is super important.  The room is decorated simply with candles around the perimeter, paper lanterns, a sound-sealed door and a Gandhi quote on the wall.

My four classes have been with three different instructors, each with their own style and flow series, but so far, I’ve liked them all.  When I head into class, I know I’m there to work.  Feeling like I’m sitting and breathing and napping for an hour is what I’ve not liked about it in the past.

I actually felt today for the first time that I’ve made improvements in my flexibility and balance, which is something I’m really hoping to improve.  I’ve even successfully done this in TWO of my classes:

The best part – and the initial draw – is that since it is a new studio, they are offering free classes for the first two weeks.  That’s pretty great marketing if you ask me!  Each class I’ve been in has been mostly full and full of great reviews afterward, so I think they are off to a great start.  They’ve already made me a convert!

Happy National Running Day!

It’s National Running Day, y’all!  I hope you have selected a party outfit more appropriate than this:

I’m celebrating by…not running!  I’ve completely come back after the knee injury that bugged me after my last race and have been doing about 30 miles a week.  I’m thrilled with my runs and my paces and my fueling, but I’m running five or six days a week. 

Overtraining – especially when there’s no real purpose – isn’t smart (and have been having issues with shin splints), so I’m taking June to keep my mileage up, but take my running days down.  I’m also adding back strength training and yoga.  I think both are super important for injury prevention and to prepare me for tri training, which starts next month!

Have you run today?  If not, that’s fine, but let’s do it tomorrow!

Happy Training Kick-Off Day!

After my last race, I paused.  It was a combination of training burnout (I had been following – and loving – a training plan since the very beginning of December), my knee pain and a lack of focus. 

I kicked it back in gear with my weekend of hiking, then started back in with cross-training and got a real run in last Saturday

But, today…wonderful today…marks the official start of my training plan for my next race.  T-minus 47 days! 

My last two races had cross-the-finish-line goals.  For this next one, a 4.2 mile race, it’s all about speed.  This is the biggest race I’ve done – it actually has corrals! – and while my history with running told me to estimate a finish time of 42 minutes, my sense of pride landed on 38 because it was the slowest time the organizers still grouped with the “runners.”

I beg to differ, but I get it…your game, your rules.

So, please excuse me while I build my leg muscles, increase my stamina and break down the mental block of running, what I consider to be, fast.

Adult Playgounds

I spent a few evenings this week at this adult playground: 

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When I think happy hour or patio, I think San Felipe’s Cantina at Tempe Marketplace. And the security guys literally wear shirts that say “Playground Monitor.”

But…amazing weather doesn’t always mean patio-sitting.  My knees have been feeling great and with t-minus one week until I’m getting back to running with a training program for my next race, I’m spending this extended weekend at a different kind of adult playground.

The idea of “seven in seven” was brought to my attention last fall.  Yeah, it’s a thing.  This 2006 article from the local newspaper lists the highest peaks in seven of the valley’s parks with some, as they call them, “fudge factors.”

The idea was to do one a day, every day for a week.  But, that’s not super convenient AND I would live in fear that on the very last day there would be a torrential downpour that would ruin the whole thing.

So, overachiever that I am, I decided to knock them out in five, just in case. 

I started today. And then quickly reconsidered the whole plan.

After work, I trekked up Piestewa Peak.  Just 2.4 miles, but “strenuous.”  Uh, yeah.  I took a few breaks to, ahem, enjoy the view, on the way up, but I was pretty motivated to keep going.

Then I got to the meanest, most evil stairmaster I’ve ever seen in my life:

I’m pretty sure it called me a little bitch.  Told you it was nasty.  This was the view from the bottom of that stairmaster.

Quite lovely, but I was headed up, up, up still:

The stairmasters actually got worse, but I didn’t pause for any more pictures, I just kept going and eventually I got here, with the help of Party Like a Rockstar on my iPod (seriously it came on right as I got to the super steep almost-end).  Come on, ROCKstar?!  I know a seven-year-old who would fully appreciate the humor in that.

Yeah, pretty worth it.  Heading back down was much better.  I felt great.  It was a little slippery and unstable, but I didn’t fall.  Yay!  I’m superpumped to head out again and discover more playgrounds this weekend.  Assuming I can actually move tomorrow, that is!

A Good Start

too cute! buy it here!

For some reason I felt a lot of pressure to start this blog on 1/11/11. But then I didn’t. And that’s okay.

There’s no perfect day to start something GOOD. January 1 is no better than March 9. Monday is no better than Thursday. The best day is the day you decide you want this GOOD thing in your life.  And who doesn’t want GOOD things in their life?

This blog as a new, GOOD thing in my life.  It’s a place to focus on GOOD things, like wellness (and if you want to know why, check out my About page) and anything else that takes up my mindspace day-to-day.

In trying to find a url for this pretty little thing, I ran into a funny little problem.  A lot of the addresses I tried were taken. Um, you mean I’m NOT the first person to think that would make an awesome name for a blog?!  Well, fine.  I conceded that someone with such an amazing idea for a blog name probably writes a pretty great blog, so off I skipped to those sites to check them out.  And NOTHING.

They literally still had the first boiler plate blog up!  That’s like getting all excited and joining a gym and paying for it monthly and sitting at home thinking about how you should go.  Should is an awful word, similar to try.  When I hear myself say either, I shudder a bit. 

When I think of should, I think of all my favorite people hanging out and then looking around and wondering, “Where’s Meg?” 

“Oh, no one called her to tell her that we’re running, eating burritos and getting massages while watching Oprah.”  (Why, yes, those are, in fact, some of my favorite things and yes, I know it would be quite difficult to do them all at once, but seriously, how awesome would it be?)

“Oops, well someone should call her.”  Too little, too late, amigos. Can we all now agree that should kinda sucks?

When you start a blog, it’s because you want to.  You have something to say and you want a place to say it.  Joining a gym is the same.  You join a gym because you want to.  You want to improve your health.  You want to look better and feel better, both physically and emotionally. 

Bucket lists, lists of new year’s resolutions, 101 lists (gosh, I love lists) are also filled with wants.  Everything is there with a purpose.

So do it, go for it, get it.  Don’t downgrade your want into a should. Get these GOOD things in your life.

Afterall, what better day is there than today?