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February 2017

    Health & Fitness

    What’s In My Gym Bag + Half Marathon Training Schedule

    The first time I ever really “exercised” consistently was in college. My roommates liked running and so I decided to do it too. I signed up for my first 5k shortly after and I remember thinking that 3.1 miles seemed like a really long time. After that, I was off and on with exercise for the next several years.

    About four years ago, I ran a half marathon with my sister-in-law. I went on to do three over the next three years or so, really only exercising consistently when I was training for a race.

    In the last year, though, I have really become consistent with exercising and it is one of the best things I have done for myself in a long time. Back in this post, I talked about how fitness changed a lot of things for me and I still believe them all to be true! Since I feel a little more confidence in myself as someone who “works out”, I thought I would do a post about what I use when I work out.

    As far as workout clothes go, I am pretty simple. I wear a combination of basically the same thing every time I go. A work out shirt, black leggings and my workout shoes. For Christmas, Brian got me a few new workout shirts from Target and I love them. They’re fitted, but not too tight. I love the Old Navy black workout leggings. I actually love them any day of the week, whether I am working out or not. I probably should buy a few more pairs of those.

    Also, for Christmas I got new shoes after about five years of wearing the same old ones. They are these Adidas shoes, and I am really liking them! The padding inside is really comfortable and nice to workout in.

    It took me several months to finally think about getting a gym bag. I’m not sure why, but before that, I would just hold everything in my hands, or stick it in my pockets, all while trying to get two kids into the childcare. Finally, I saw the light, and got a gym bag together.

    If you were to ask me where I got my gym bag, my answer would be that my husband got it for free at a business conference. And it works great! As of today, this is what is in my gym bag:

    • A pouch to hold my license- Instead of bringing my whole wallet in, I just stick my license in here. There is a clear cover, so I don’t even have to take it out when I check in my kids at the childcare.
    • A towel- I don’t normally sweat a lot, but some of the classes I go to really get intense, so I throw one in, just in case.
    • Gloves- I don’t use these every time, but when I go to Body Pump classes I do. These are just the most inexpensive ones at Dick’s Sporting Goods and they have worked great for me.
    • Water bottle- I got these water bottles forever ago at Costco in a 3-pack and they still work great!
    • Tissues and chapstick- Because a runny nose and dry lips are never fun, especially in the middle of a good workout!
    • A calculator- This was in my bag from a day my son brought it in with him as “his phone.” He then asked me to hold it while he was playing so he wouldn’t lose it.

    It’s been two and half years, so it’s about time to do another half marathon. I put off starting my training for a few weeks because I just couldn’t give up my classes. But now I’m coming around and am getting into a groove. I read a lot of training plans and I wrote one out for myself that would work for me. It’s the most basic of basic formats, but sometimes that is the best. So far, I successfully completed Week 1 and am feeling confident for the seven weeks to come!

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    Collective Thoughts

    Four Books I Have Read In The Last Two Months That I Couldn’t Put Down

    I have such an interesting relationship with reading. I love it. But I also struggle with balance. The books I choose seem to fall into two categories. The first would be books that I start reading, never really get into and then take weeks and multiple renewals before I finally decide I probably won’t read it and return it. The second is where I am hooked on a book and read it at every possible free second until I finish, often neglecting things such as house cleaning and other important and necessary tasks until I am finished. I am working on a balance.

    That being said, in the last several months, I have tried to be better about reading books. I read a lot of articles and such on my phone, but I want to read more actual, physical books. I consulted the Internet and reserved several books. These four made the cut and I can honestly say that I couldn’t put any of them down.

    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah- This story follows two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, and their involvements in the resistance movement during World War II. For many years, they have been estranged, but events of the war and their ensuing involvements in the resistance bring them back together in different ways. I find this to be one of the most fascinating time periods to read about and this book did not disappoint. I had to turn in my physical book before I could finish it but was able to check out the e-book to read on my phone. I sat in the same spot on the couch for several hours until I finished it.

    Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- I am obviously behind the curve on this book, since it was made into a movie last year. Because of that, I knew how the story ended. It is an interesting perspective to read a book knowing how it will end. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. But this story follows Louisa, who takes a job caring for Will, who is confined to a wheelchair. The story follows their relationship, from its early uncomfortable stages to a blossoming romance. Much of my feelings about the book I think come from the fact that I knew how it would end. I probably would have had a different experience had I not had that knowledge from the beginning.

    The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman-This is the story of Tom and Isabel, who live on an island while Tom works in a lighthouse. Isabel desperately wants a baby but is not able to have child of her own. One day, a boat washes onshore and in it is a baby. Isabel wants to raise baby as their own, Tom is not so sure, and the book follows their story. I enjoyed the book, but I felt the ending was a bit rushed after so much build up. As a result, I was left wanting a little more. But overall, it was a great read. This is also a movie now, so its clear I need to have a movie night.

    Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse- This book, I could not put down. I was hooked from the beginning. Hanneke is a teenager during World War II who finds and delivers items for clients on the black market after the Germans invaded her country. After one delivery, she is approached to find a missing person. Beginning with no intention to carry out this request, she finds herself now involved with resistance against the Germans as she searches for this missing person. These storylines draw me in so much, I think because it is so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that these events occurred. And even though the stories in these books are fiction, they are based on real events and experiences. It just opens my eyes to this whole period of history in a small way.

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