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Four Facts Survey

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  1. Ky
  2. Kyky
  3. Kyle
  4. Mom –> students who are in a rush tend to forget who they are speaking to. Hahaha

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Newspaper Deliver-er #notaword
  2. Writing Center Consultant
  3. Group Fitness Instructor
  4. Elementary Teacher

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. The Princess Diaries
  2. A Cinderella Story
  3. The Grinch (with Jim Carrey)
  4. Pitch Perfect

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. Let’s All Be Brave
  2. Defending Jacob
  3. A Trip Around the Sun
  4. The Residence

Four places I’ve lived

  1. Plum, PA
  2. Pittsburgh, PA
  3. College Park, MD
  4. Arlington, VA

Four places I’ve visited:

  1. New York City
  2. Riviera Maya
  3. Wildwood, New Jersey
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. Wildwood, NJ (but sunshine and warmth is also a requirement)
  2. Hanging out with my family and my dogs at my mom’s house
  3. In Rochester with my best friend Stefanie
  4. My bed under my purple blanket

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Not in Rochester…but hanging out with Stef 😉

Four things I prefer not to eat:

  1. Hamburgers & steak. I just can’t get on board with chunks of red meat.
  2. Tuna from a can…but somehow tuna from a packet is okay.
  3. Kale (it has a flavor. Don’t deny it!)
  4. Gravy

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Oatmeal (my students think this is hilarious)
  2. Chips & queso
  3. Veggie & cheese omelette
  4. Sweet potato fries

Four TV shows I watch:

  1. Scandal
  2. Grey’s Anatomy
  3. The Bachelor/ette
  4. The Biggest Loser & Extreme Weight Loss

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1. Snow days;)
  2. Rock ‘N Roll DC Half Marathon
  3. Graduating from UMD with my Master’s degree
  4. Taking weekend trips (on my to-do list)!

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Four things I’m always saying:

  1. Talk to you later! I love you! (Usually as I hang up the phone with someone in my family.)
  2. K. (Example: I’m driving and someone walks right in front of my car. In the sassiest voice ever, “KAY.”)
  3. I’m hangry (Never hungry, always hangry).
  4. Sit on your bottom half (7 year olds are antsy).

Four people I tag to answer these questions:

  1. Randi
  2. Molly
  3. Lauren
  4. Sarah

Blogger Gone Vlogger

September 18: Record a VLOG! It can be about anything you like!

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Jenna from Jenna Grace nominated me for a Liebster Award this summer, so today I am sharing my answers to her questions!

What recording my first video blog has taught me:

I really don’t care about makeup.
My hair was messy to begin with but there was one piece that was so random I had to rerecord.
I move around constantly.
My voice is weird.
I use air quotes a lot.
I am not a professional blogger or vlogger. #butweknewthatalready

Happy Friday. 🙂

Tag! I’m It!

Happy Thursday! I am currently at the Jeep dealership getting my car fixed for the second time this week. Car maintenance is so fun #saidnooneever. But what IS fun is getting tagged in blog surveys! Time for some thinking out loud. 🙂

These questions were sent to me by one of my blogging besties, Molly, from Colors of Life. I’m changing the rules a little bit…choose one of these questions/statements and answer it in your comment so I can learn a little bit more about you!

Tell me something most people don’t know about you.

I get the hiccups every night before I go to bed. I have a sixth sense that allows me to escape any and every room approximately ten seconds before someone throws up (Lord help me when I start teaching). I take epilepsy medication even though I don’t have epilepsy. I get migraines that make me pass out. The neurologist likes to call them seizures. I like to call them passing out because that is actually what happens. No movement, eyes shut = pass out. I really really really hate the word seizure. The triggers are too much time on the computer and not enough sleep, but I can fix this problem by taking medicine and getting eight hours of sleep. If I have to do two things in life that make me “normal”, taking a pill and getting enough sleep are fine by me.

Who is one blogger you have to read everyday? (Let’s figure out who we’re missing out on!)

I read WAY too many blogs…it’s starting to get hard to keep up. 😉 I have been reading Hungry Runner Girl and Peanut Butter Fingers for years, and I just recently found and love to read Morgan’s blog –> The True Life of KMK!

What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?

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I loved Blake Shelton’s concert in Pittsburgh in 2013! My friend Johna and I bought the Country Megaticket that summer, so we had lawn seats at an outdoor amphitheater to see a ton of country artists all summer, from Tim McGraw to Toby Keith to Rascal Flatts. Tim was a great concert but Blake was the best because it was the first concert where he was the headliner. Before, he had always opened for someone else, and now he had people opening for him, and it was HIS show! He was so humbled by it all and he just told great stories while he was up there! Plus I love his music and I went to this concert with Johna, my mom, and my youngest brother. We had a ball. 🙂

How many kids do you want?

I have two brothers and I think I like the number 3! Or maybe 4 because both of my parents are from families with four siblings (they are both the babies of the family!) and with four, there is technically no middle child. 😉 I was just thinking today how weird it would be if all of my children were girls. Not that I don’t know what to do with girls…I love little kids in general so I could certainly hang with a little princess…but with two brothers and lots of male cousins, I definitely want to have a boy!

What/who inspired you to start your blog?

A girl I went to high school with inspired me, actually! Allie would always share her posts to Facebook and I would click over and just read about her life. I wanted to do something like that, but I never really seriously thought about it. Once I started reading running/healthy living blogs in college, then I wanted to take the leap. I definitely didn’t think I could “keep up” with the bigger blogs that I loved to read, but I was still reading Allie’s blog and she seemed “normal” like me so I thought if she can do it, so can I! It’s funny when people ask me when I started blogging because technically I started in May of 2012. And then I started in May of 2013. And then I started in January of 2014. And then I started in January of 2015 and kept going! In the past, days and weeks would go by without a post and then I would feel like I “wasn’t allowed” to pick back up again! Which is just plain crazy because it’s my blog so I can do whatever I want. 😉 Planning a semi-consistent posting schedule has made it so much easier.

Sidenote: My blog is going under construction soon and I need your creative help! If you have an idea for my blog name (besides Kylie McGraw), please send me an email. 🙂

What are you most proud of?

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I’m most proud of moving to a new place all by myself (like I literally knew zero people) and making a new life. I LOVE my family and I LOVE Pittsburgh, but I have never been away because I went to college downtown. When I graduated from college (which is also a proud accomplishment), I went straight into grad school, so I figured if I was going to do that, I would go somewhere different. I have done so many things in the last year that have changed me in all the best ways and most of them wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken a leap of faith and moved. Washington, D.C. is the perfect distance from home because it’s far enough to feel like you’re in a totally different place but close enough that I can go home essentially whenever I want. The plan was to do grad school here and then go home…and then I got a teaching job. So now the plan is when I get married and have kids, I will move back to Pittsburgh. But who really knows! 🙂

What’s your favorite holiday?

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We really like Christmas around here. And I’m not talking just me, I mean my whole family. 🙂

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We make gingerbread houses…and the icing that holds the house together is thebomb.com. I’ll have to get my mom to share the recipe!!!

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We have two trees…one upstairs in the family room and one downstairs in the game room. Both are artificial (though we have had real trees before too) and the tree in the family room is 8 feet tall and sits on a rotating base. Yep, that’s right…we have to decorate every side of that tree because it spins. 🙂 The tree downstairs is just for fun and has a lot of homemade ornaments on it! I love having a December birthday because my birthday presents are under the tree. 🙂

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We bake some of the same recipes every year…and then we always try something new. Candy cane cookies are one of our traditions, but reindeer Nutter Butter cookies with M&M eyes and pretzel antlers were Pinterest’s idea. 🙂

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We all hide in our rooms and act like little elves on Christmas Eve Eve to get all of our wrapping done! Even Colby knows he’s supposed to be in on the madness!

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And we wear really fashionable clothing, like vests and turtlenecks. Hahaha

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We spend Christmas Eve at my uncle’s (my mom’s brother) house and our parents make us take a picture in order of height with our hand on the person’s shoulder in front of us. This worked really well when we were younger because we were in order by height AND age! I have no idea what happened this year because our heights and ages are all over the place and I looked awkwardly short so my cousin CJ picked me up. Hahaha

If you had to give me one piece of advice what would it be?

It sounds selfish…but the only person that you really need to make happy is yourself. Society and social media and sometimes even our own friends lead us to believe that we should be or need to be doing certain things, and that just isn’t true. You have to live with yourself your whole life, so you better be doing things that make your own self happy!

Also, no one in the real world knows what they’re doing. You know how you think once you finally have that degree or that job you’ve always dreamed of, THEN you will finally have your life figured out? Those things don’t hurt…but adults are honestly like little children in grown up bodies running around trying to make it look like they have their lives together. 🙂

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If you could live off of one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chips and salsa. Which is what I ate while I laid in my bed and wrote this post. #glamorous

Link to your favorite blog post that you’ve written.

This post is very important to me. In college, I hopped on the crazy calorie counting train. I was the person that sat at the dinner table Google-ing the online menu, because usually that menu would give you a calorie count of each dish. I self-identified as orthorexic because I was absolutely obsessed with only eating the healthiest foods. And it also didn’t help that I worked out a lot and burned off almost everything I ate. I weigh almost 15 pounds more now than I did when I was at my lightest, and though every BMI chart would tell you my lightest weight was considered “healthy”, it certainly wasn’t. I had no muscle, I lost my period, I was always tired, and I craved sugar all the time. I still struggle some days but I am much more balanced now!

Loves & Hates

HELLO!

I have been so “out of” blog world this week and I’m not even on vacation yet! This week brought lots of packing and moving and organizing. I’m half settled in my new apartment in Arlington…my furniture will get delivered when I get back from vacation. So for now, I’m in Pittsburgh (my hometown) trying to get my summer class work out of the way before I go to the beach with my family this weekend. Life sure is a whirlwind, but I love it!

Yesterday, Mattie tagged me in her post about ten things that she loves and hates. If you know me at all, you know I love anything resembling a survey and I love writing blog posts for all of you to read, so that’s what I’m here to share with you today! Part of the fun is tagging ten other bloggers to join in the fun and those lucky ladies are:

1. Molly @ Colors of Life
2. Katelyn @ Simply Sunflower
3. Jamie @ IDon’tEatThat
4. Amanda @ The Good Stuff
5. Morgan @ The True Life of KMK
6. Lauren @ Post Grad In Progress
7. Jenna @ Jenna Grace
8. Ashley and Annie @ Carolina Lifestyle
9. Brooke @ Mint and Mason
10. Michele @ One Step At A Time

– LOVES –

1. Flavored K Cups. These babies are how I first found my love for coffee. To me, black coffee was so extremely bitter and the flavor in flavored K Cups + almond milk made my cup of joe much more enjoyable. Now, I can drink black coffee and I can tell a good cup from a bad cup 🙂 But I still love my flavored K Cups. My most recent favorites are Folgers Hazelnut and Donut Shop Coconut Mocha. You can really taste the chocolate flavor! Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever purchased a “plain” flavor of K Cups before. *Edited to add: except for the ones I bought at Eat ‘N Park, a Pittsburgh-based restaurant. Their black coffee is good!

2. Lana Del Ray Pandora Station. I found Lana Del Ray’s music in Spotify, which you know is out of the ordinary for me, because I keep telling you I am still trying to learn how to work all of Spotify’s features haha! Anyways, I loved the sound of her voice and music, so I turned to my favorite music player –> Pandora. From there, I discovered Florence + the Machine and also rekindled my love for artists like Mumford and Sons. I am the girl who knows every word to every song that plays in the car, so it should come as no surprise that I like this seemingly “sad” genre of music. It soothes me! These artists are the kind that I can listen to in ANY kind of mood…happy, thoughtful, sad, excited, anything!

3. Breakfast foodMy love for oatmeal knows no bounds, even though egg white omelettes take a close second. Pancakes and waffles are my jam when I’m craving something sweet and if I had to survive on one snack food until the end of time, it would be Peanut Butter Cheerios. Who knew someone could be so passionate about breakfast? I just really like to eat. 😉

4. Running long distances. I know this makes no sense to most people, and believe me, mid-run, I question my sanity as well. There are times when I run and forget about the world, and there are times when it is struggle city the entire time I am out and about. Either way, completing the run covered in sweat makes me feel strong, happy, and accomplished. And I just can’t say no to that. Plus, runners make the best friends.

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high fives

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5. Reading. I used to fall asleep in my crib with a book on my lap. There is photographic evidence. 🙂 I have always loved books, and I’m especially loving them now that I’m getting into other genres! I was all about reading books about girls “just like me” or reading love stories, like Nicholas Sparks. Now, I love mysteries or drama and I also have a newfound love for nonfiction books in the self-help or personal development category. I love positive reads! In elementary school, reading was never a “cool” hobby to have…but I’m glad I stuck with it. 😉 Now, I think there are a few things that contribute to people’s lack of reading…or lack of desire to read. I think in college, it becomes harder to read for pleasure because you have a lot of work to do and sometimes reading doesn’t seem all that relaxing when you have to read for class, too. Then we have the invention of the smart phone. Oh how dumb it can make us. It’s addictive. Haha!

6. Acting silly with my brothers. Does anything else bring you back to your childhood like spending time with your siblings does? I feel like my truest self when I spend time with my brothers and we always have so much fun. They’re family…so they can’t judge me…right?! Haha

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7. True Religion Jeans. I recognize how entirely materialistic this sounds, but hear me out. Remember that good old Marilyn quote about shoes? The same can be said about me for a good pair of jeans…

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…a pair that fits me right and looks good and feels like buttah. And those would be my only pair of True Religion jeans! My youngest brother is super into name brands and I definitely did not think I needed or even wanted these jeans…until I put them on. I have officially joined in his craziness.

8. Nut butter.

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‘Nuff said.

9. Shopping for seasonal decorations. You know what makes me happy? Having my own place. I refer to it as home when I’m there, but now I’m at my mom’s house in Pittsburgh and I also feel like I’m home. Do you do that too? Ha! The #1 best thing about having my own place (even though I have a roommate) is decorating for holidays. I love browsing at decorations in every single store. HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls are my favorite. Target is always a go-to. And of course Pinterest gives you the best ideas. Holiday decorations make the holidays so much more festive! I don’t go overboard because like I said, I share a living space, but I love the idea of buying pieces I really love and can see myself using in the future…because then I can tell my kids, “I bought this when I first moved out!” <– Yes, I know, I’m weird.

10. Playing Christmas music on November 1. It’s just right. I don’t care what your opinion is on the subject. 😉 Trans Siberian Orchestra and Dean Martin are the best. I also really really really wish I could find Regis and Kathy Lee’s Christmas cassette tape so I could have it turned into a CD or audio file. I LOVED THAT CASSETTE!

Hate is a strong word, so let’s go with…

– DISLIKES –

1. Tomatoes. I love salsa. I love ketchup (which I understand is not really tomatoes). But I cannot get on board with tomatoes on my sandwich, in my salad, or in my omelette. They are slimy and slimy and not good at all. <– Can you tell I was a picky eater as a child?

2. Too many days in a row without sun! This mostly relates to winter, which is actually a season I love. The first snow makes me extremely happy, everyone is in good spirits, we get to celebrate Jesus, and oh yeah, it’s my birthday. 😉 However, winter often brings lots of cold, dark days. Even during all the holiday fun, I need a little bit of sunshine!

3. Cars who slide into your lane without signaling. DC drivers are aggressive. It’s just a fact of life. However, if you don’t signal and end up in front of me, I hate you for too many reasons to list. Besides the fact that that is really unsafe, I am not an incredibly slow driver so why do you need to get around me?! I just don’t understand. Tangent: I wish cars had bumper stickers that said “tourist” or “resident” so I would know who to actually be angry with when I’m driving around DC. Because listen, if you’re a tourist and you’re trusting Siri to give you directions, I TOTALLY GET IT when you have to cut me off. That lady pretends to know what she’s talking about, but she’ll turn on you on a dime. 😉 However, if you’re a resident, you know the lane ends here and I hate you for cutting me off. Another tangent: The guest pastor at church two weeks ago was talking about a family member who came to visit and asked why so few people signal before they merge…and he said, “Why would we tell the enemy what we’re about to do?!” It made me laugh. 🙂

4. Red meat. I’m not a vegetarian, and yes, I will eat a meatball if it comes with my pasta, but my picky childhood tendencies have carried over into adulthood and I just prefer chicken or turkey! I’m working on my taste for seafood right now. So far I like crab cakes, Mahi Mahi, tilapia, and sometimes shrimp. Progress. 😉

5. Appointments that aren’t really appointments. It’s hard enough to get in to the doctor’s office on the day you are able to go with the doctor you want to see. But then you run into the whole issue of sitting in the waiting room. And sitting. And sitting. And sitting. I spent 3.5 hours in LensCrafters three weeks ago. I’m not over it yet.

6. Waiters who don’t understand wait time. If I’m waiting for someone to arrive and they have just had a seat at our table, then no sir, we are not yet ready to order.

7. Telling people something that is going to make them angry/sad/upset. I’m a people pleaser. I want to spread cheer. If only life came without dark clouds!

8. Full price bathing suits. Dear Target, it’s the end of July. You’re rolling out the fall clothes and school supplies, and the bathing suit I want is still $40. Can we work on this? #clearanceplease

9. Dirty dishes in the sink. Especially dirty dishes in the sink filled with water. I am not a believer that soaking a dish will allow it to be cleaned more easily. No. Run water on that thing, soap it up, dry it off, and put it away immediately. I’m really not OCD, but dirty dishes just seem so…germ-y to me. I wish I could insert the emoji of the monkey with his hands over his eyes here. 🙂

10. The radio. Can we all agree that the Top 40 is just not a thing? I swear every radio station, no matter the genre, plays the same six songs over and over and over. It makes me seem like I have music ADD but really, I don’t want to hear the same song I just heard 20 minutes ago! I was complaining about this yesterday and my mom said that this only happens on long trips. You’re in the car for so long you feel like you’ve heard it all! But I have to say no…I’m that girl who complains about this on a drive to the mall. I should be a DJ. 😉

– What is one food you dislike?

– When do you start listening to Christmas music?

***

Linking up with Amanda at Running With Spoons!

A –> Z Survey

I’m trying to build a bit of a blog schedule for myself, so today you should be reading about my weekend. But…this weekend consisted of running, packing, revising my thesis, and getting ahead on work for summer class so I can be done. I wore pajamas or running clothes for 95% of the weekend (I did put on a dress to go to church;) and it was wonderful. But that’s not very exciting, so I’m doing one of my favorite things and taking a survey 🙂 Happy Tuesday!

A – Age: 
23.
But you would never know it because I operate on the sleep schedule of an old person;) I like to fall asleep between 10-11 PM and wake up by 7 AM! Don’t worry, I still stay up late some evenings. Some nights just call for that!

B – Biggest Fear:
I know this is gross…but I really really really hate, get anxious about, straight up FEAR other people throwing up around me. Part of the fear is hearing someone cough/choke and part of the fear is that I will get sick. This is something I used to struggle with in a big way (like I didn’t want to go to school in second grade ha!) but as a future teacher and hopeful parent one day…I kind of have to figure out how to deal!

C – Current Time:
11:20 AM on Monday…hello scheduled blog post;)

D – Drink You Had Last:
Mocha Coconut flavored coffee. I love KCups that are so flavorful I don’t have to add any cream or sugar. 🙂

E – Easiest Person To Talk To:
My mom and my friend Kristen. My mom just lets me talk, and my friend Kristen usually reacts to situations similarly, so when I’m freaking out, she can talk me off the ledge because she knows how I feel!

F – Favorite Song:
Right now, thanks to Spotify, I love…
Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh) – Rich Homie Quan
A Little More – MGK & Victoria Monet
Save Me – Listenbee & Naz Tokio

G – Grossest Memory:
I still have biggest fear on the brain…and that fear came from five people getting sick next to me throughout my second grade year. Yuck!

H – Hometown:
Pittsburgh, PA

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Black and gold forever 🙂

I – In Love With:
Oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal for breakfast always.

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J – Jealous Of:
The people who bought these shoes in Cognac while they were still available. I have these shoes in white and I love, love, love them. For only $25, I figured I would buy the other color to wear this fall. NOPE! If you see these shoes go back in stock at Target, call me. 🙂

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K – Kindest Person You Know:
My mom will drop what she’s doing for just about anyone 🙂

L – Longest Relationship:
My grandparents were married for 49.5 years before my Pap Pap passed away suddenly. Their relationship is my example in more ways than one!

M – Middle Name:
Elizabeth!

N – Number of Siblings:
Two little brothers 🙂

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Alex, on the left, is 20 and Jake, on the right, is 16!

O – One Wish:
To run healthy through this marathon training cycle!

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last:
I’m not speaking but I’m listening to Beachbody’s National Wake Up Call!

Q – Question You’re Always Asked:
“Why aren’t you eating that?” or if it’s my brothers asking, “Are you going to eat something healthy again?” Ha!

R – Reason To Smile:
Warm coffee, sunshine, and a day to do whatever your heart desires.

S – Song You Last Sang:
I do not even like the song “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd and that’s what I kept singing over and over and over while I was falling asleep last night. Ah!

T – Time You Woke Up:
7:06 AM. I love construction right behind my building! But honestly my alarm was set for 7:30 anyway just in case I didn’t wake up before then. Ha!

U – Underwear Color:
Red. They say “Best Ever” on the front. Thank you, Victoria’s Secret. TMI. Hahaha

V – Vacation Destination:
Going to my favorite place – Wildwood, NJ – this weekend!

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But I would looove to travel abroad. To anywhere. I’m not picky. I just want to SEE all the amazing places there are to see!

W – Worst Habit:
Luckily, I don’t bite my nails anymore. But if my nail breaks, I will probably end up biting it because it’s already short anyway. And I pick my cuticles. WHY!

X – X-Rays You’ve Had:
Just your regular x-rays at the dentist/orthodontist and one on my hip last year when I got hurt from running!

Y – Your Favorite Food:
If I could eat chips and queso and still be healthy and relatively thin, I so would. Why isn’t that a thing?

Z – Zodiac Sign:
Sagittarius!

***
Joining these ladies for Tuesday Talk!

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Survey Says: Running

Hello Monday.

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On Friday, my friend and I made a slightly crazy running decision. More info on that coming soon. 😉

I am a recreational runner. I’m not the fastest person out there. I just happen to like lacing up my shoes and forgetting about the world for a few miles. Ha! If you’re a runner, you will like this…and if you aren’t a runner…maybe I can convince you to join the craziness. I saw these questions on my favorite blog last week and thought I would share all my running thoughts with you today!

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

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I have nothing against mountain trails, but I have more experience at the beach. My favorite place to run is right at the edge of the water because the sand is flat and hard! If you want a serious leg workout, run from the boardwalk to the water. That soft sand will do a number on ya…

2.  If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

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I’m not good with flavor names…I like purple and light blue and yellow. 🙂

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

I NEED NEW SHOES! I cannot stress the importance of 1) getting fitted for the right kind of shoe and 2) getting new shoes every 400 miles. I LOVE going to the running store and getting on the treadmill and having them analyze my running. I feel so much more at peace knowing that I am wearing the right kind of shoe and knowing that I didn’t just pick it because it was pretty. 😉 I still pick pretty shoes, but if I was allowed to choose my exact running shoe, I would pick the Brooks Pure Flow because I like the style. That is a lightweight shoe and I need a stability shoe. I wouldn’t know that if I didn’t get my stride analyzed! I can’t tell you I quite follow my own advice about the 400 mile rule. Typically, 300-400 miles on a shoe means time for new ones. I’m not great at tracking when I get shoes, so I have no idea how many miles go on them, then I get shin splints, and then I know it’s time for new shoes. Not the best method. Ha!

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

I didn’t use a training plan for the first four long distance races I ever did. I do not recommend this! I finished each of those four races in decent time, but then I got hurt. Follow a training plan if you’re racing. With that said, I like a training plan when I’m on it. As soon as I race, I NEED to run however far and fast I want for a long time. I don’t like being told what to do for too long, so I usually take a break from “planned” running after a race!

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

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This is how we felt knowing we just ran 2.5 miles downhill and knowing there were 2.5 miles to the top. Short answer: neither. I would rather have rolling hills. Finishing on a hill gives you runner’s high for sure because you are so darn happy to be done, but you dread it the whole run. Starting on a hill means you have to go downhill for a long time…and that’s hard on your legs. Rolling hills, please. 🙂

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

I love Spinning and PiYo (because hello I love cardio and stretching, I need you) but I also have discovered a new love for doing strength training. Cardio is not the only exercise in the world…say what?! I refrain from saying lifting because I feel like that leads people to believe I’m bulky or I lift really heavy. Neither of those are true. Lifting makes you leaner, not bulkier! However, I used 20 lb dumbbells last week and it was an exciting moment in life ha!

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7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

LOOP! I get to constantly see new things and still end up back where I started!

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

Say it with me: correct. pair. of. shoes.

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

When I’m running in my hometown, there are usually turkeys and deer. On one rare occasion, I saw a chicken. Plum (my town) used to be a farm town, and while there are still some farms around, it’s mostly residential now. Typical suburbia with a few farm animals still hanging out.

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10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

We used to get lost at cross country practice all the time! We ran on trails in a local park which was so fun. Those “we’re lost!” moments made up for the days we would intentionally run slow so we didn’t have to go as far;) Most recently, my friends and I were running to specific embassies in D.C. and our 4 mile run quickly turned into a 7 mile run because Siri couldn’t give us correct directions…

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days…what would that meal be?

I actually don’t crave specific foods right after I run. I crave a freezing cold glass of water, but as far as food goes, whatever meal time it is, I’m happy with that food!

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

I can now confidently say shorts. Come winter, I will be in three pairs of leggings, thank you very much! But…catch me on a treadmill…and I will only be in shorts and a tank top. I get so overheated on that thing!

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And that my friends is what I like to call “I didn’t do laundry or unpack from vacation” because THAT is a running skirt. Did you know running skirts are really expensive? Did you know people actually wore skirts while they were running? I have two and they were free and picked up at mile 8 of the Runner’s World Half Marathon in 2013 and 2014. Hahaha

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

1 song on my iPod or 1/2 mile. Sometimes the whole run just feels hard, but for the most part, my body adjusts pretty well.

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

I usually take it off it’s keychain and just leave the one silver loop on it. Then I put my finger through that loop so the key is in the palm of my hand. I hold my phone when I run (because I’m usually alone) and so the key is kind of right under my phone. This week, I’ve tried putting my key on my shoe lace and it was only comfortable the first time I tried it! I want to keep working on that one ha!

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

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My second half marathon, which was the Runner’s World Half in Bethlehem, PA. I loved this race so so much. I had never been to this town before and it was in the Pennsylvania mountains in the fall, so the scenery was beautiful. I think it was also awesome to not know where I was going. Also, Runner’s World puts on such a good race. The weekend was full of inspirational speakers, running swag, and 3 different races to compete in or spectate!

16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?

A tempo run.  This is a run where you are supposed to feel like the pace you are going at is “comfortably hard”. Those two words don’t belong next to each other. Usually it just feels hard! But if you trust your training plan, eventually that pace will be your easy pace.

17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

New running adventures such as Lululemon’s Run Club and November Project AND the warm weather!

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Photo Credit: November Project DC

The humidity in D.C. has been unbearable but you really can’t complain when it was -4 degrees for five straight months…

18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

I have been driving to run recently…but I have about 4 good routes right out my door that I like taking too! College Park just isn’t as pretty as Washington, D.C. 🙂

19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

They aren’t a must but they are becoming one. I wore regular glasses all the time until last summer and I wore sunglasses by putting sunglasses over my real glasses because I am super cool. Anyways, when running, that is not a good situation. Now that I wear contacts, I love wearing sunglasses to run. I don’t NEED them, but like I said…getting to that point. I definitely miss them when I don’t have them!

20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

Usually I am nowhere near my house or car when I’m tired so that’s a big one! Run away from places that will make you quit. 😉 When I’m on the treadmill, just slowing the speed a bit keeps me from quitting. Your run doesn’t have to be 100% effort the whole time you’re out there…just keep your legs moving.

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– Relationship status: love running or hate running?

– What’s your favorite kind of exercise?

What’s Up?!

Confession: I am kind of nosey. 😉

Example: I like to watch design shows on HGTV because I like seeing the inside of other people’s houses. I like pictures on social media because you can see where your friends and family go…and I don’t just read the caption, I take in the facial expressions, outfits, scenery…the details. That’s probably why I also like reading blogs so much…you get a little peek into everyone’s life (or the life they choose to share).

I just really like to know things about people. My family and my closest friends are some of my favorite people (obviously) because I feel like I know everything about them…yet I still learn something new about them from time to time. That is so special to me!

Because I love details, I also love surveys. Even when I get an email survey from a restaurant or store, you can guarantee that I’m that one customer who will take five minutes to fill out silly information and respond. All throughout high school, one of my friends and I exchanged email surveys. We saw each other every day at school and even rode the bus together, but we still sent surveys back and forth with silly details about one another. I don’t use that email account much anymore but I have all our emails saved in a folder. 🙂

So, when I saw Mel post a blog survey, I was really excited. This is right up my alley!

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What I’m eating this week:

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A bag of chocolate chips is honestly my top pick. These are filled with peanut butter. I mean, how can you say no to that?! My supply is quickly dwindling, but in my defense, the bag is half the size of a bag of regular chocolate chips. 😉

What I’m Reading:

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Jesus Calling in the morning, Devotions in the evening. I also started one of the three books I have out from the library right now –> Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. But mostly my books are collecting dust right now. I am ashamed.

What I’m Loving:

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I am not afraid to admit that Glade candles have my heart this week. I can be in the other room and still notice the scent and they smell SO good.

What I’ve Been Up To:

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My thesis. We have a rough draft due tomorrow. Which is both a blessing and a curse! It gets me started and gives me feedback on how I’m doing so far…but I’ve been having some writer’s block. I need to do the whole “skip the first sentence and just write” thing that I tell people about all the time at The Writing Center. It feels good to just get words down on the page!

What I’m Dreading:

Going to the gas station to put air in my tire. Cold weather, please disappear. Or at least let my tires keep their air! The thought of going to the gas station to do this every two weeks makes me want my Dad, NOW. I do not feel empowered working on my own car. It is not fun!

What I’m Working On:

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The number one thing I am working on is paying attention in Statistics. I just don’t understand, which translates to I just don’t care, and that is not helpful at all. So last night I was taking extensive notes: PowerPoint on the projector, PowerPoint on my laptop, professor’s notes on the board, notes in my notebook. All of that is actually helpful. 🙂 My professor does most of the “work” in his head and I cannot follow along! I have to write it all out. Midterm next Tuesday! Pray for me!

What I’m Excited About:

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Reuniting with my friends over Spring Break. 🙂 I don’t even care what our plans are. I just want to see them all! I haven’t been home in a long time. 9 more days!

What I’m Watching:

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My favorite shows to watch during the week are The Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, Pretty Little Liars, and Scandal with a side of HGTV and TLC. However, Pretty Little Liars and Scandal are starting to lose my interest, The Bachelor is almost over, and The Celebrity Apprentice just ended, so I have decided that life is all about Grey’s Anatomy. Thank you, Netflix.

What I’m Listening To:

My roommate is watching Suits. 🙂

What Music I’m Listening To:

I have an odd obsession with Nicki Minaj. She is just a boss.

What I’m Annoyed By:

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[Throwback with my cute dog]

As evidenced by the tennis ball on my foot, I really like to sit cross-legged. Indian style, if you will. 😉 In fact, I am sitting like that right now with my laptop in my lap. But my left knee hates being bent in this position for too long. To which I can only say…runner problems? I must be getting old? Why does my knee hurt?!

What I’m Reminiscing About:

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Being warm and happy;)

What I’m Looking Forward To:

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I’m singing “Wonderland” in my head right now which reminds me of my happiness about going to see Taylor Swift in June!

What I’m Thankful For:

Snow days that are called for ahead of time! We are expecting 5-8 inches of snow tomorrow and instead of quitting life at 2:30 p.m. today when I heard we would be off tomorrow, I continued doing homework. TIME FOR ALL THE RELAXING!

What I’m Hoping For:

That after we get 5-8 inches of snow…it really is 55 degrees every single day next week like they are promising…I just want to do this…

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Run in shorts + long sleeves to all the pretty places!

What I Wore Today:

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I tried really hard to look good for my two hour shift at The Writing Center. Hahaha

What Else Is New:

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I’m thinking about food;) My favorite meal is so very obvious. Some kind of chicken with broccoli and sweet potato. Can someone please help me be more creative?! I just looked at my Pinterest to see what I’ve been pinning lately…and I’ve been pinning mostly desserts. So that’s not very promising. 🙂

Your turn! Tell me what’s up with you!