Hey, Stranger

Yesterday it was sunny and then it rained and then the sun came out and then it rained and then when the sun decided to come out for a third time I decided to go for a run.

It’s been months since I went for a run outside but today something inside of me told me I would feel better after a run so rather than ignoring that something inside of me, I listened.

Shortly into my run I unconsciously started relating my journey through grief thus far to running.

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I seem to have misplaced my iPod shuffle that I typically use when I workout so I grabbed the old iPod Touch I bought to fill with Stephen’s iTunes library. It has 7,317 songs on it which is still only a portion of his music collection.

I love to listen to Stephen’s music because in a way it makes me feel closer to him knowing I’m getting lost in the same songs he used to get lost in.

The first mile of any run is usually the most difficult for me. But almost immediately following that mile I settle in, find my stride (which resembles that of a duck), and my breathing becomes rhythmic. Yesterday was nothing out of the ordinary.

A good run in my opinion is one where I can get lost in my thoughts, like I’m invisible inside myself just observing the world around me. It’s very healing to get lost in a world while giving it all of your attention at the same time. (If that makes any sense?)

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The song Ocean by John Butler Trio came on during my run and after a while I began to wonder when it would end. I checked just to see and the song lasts for 12 minutes and 28 seconds. Stephen would have a 12+ minute song with no words on his iPod so I wasn’t surprised. 

But it was the perfect song for my thoughts at that moment so I put it on repeat. (More like I listened to it about 2 and 1/2 more times.)

There are parts of every run of mine where I get a boost of motivation and my pace speeds up, I’m full of adrenaline and nothing can slow me down. At other times, I’m running so slow I might as well be walking – actually I’d probably be moving faster if I were walking. I get angry on some runs and curse every time my feet meet the ground and push off it again. On others, I swear I close my eyes, tilt my head to the sun, and smile because it feels so incredible.

Regardless, I keep moving.

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Running isn’t always easy, in fact, it can be very uncomfortable. But that’s the point.

You slow down, you speed up, you run in circles, over hills, down hills, and on straight-away flats. You might trip or even fall down. Sometimes all you want to do it stop and that’s ok.

 

But you can’t give up.

I can’t give up.

 

You can stop to catch your breath, tie your shoe, take a drink of water, or in my case burp lunch which didn’t have time to fully digest.

Yesterday (aside from the burping), I stopped to take a moment and enjoy a beautiful view that made me thankful for the presence – something to be so, so thankful for. After my brief stop, I felt like there was a new breeze in my face and wind at my back. It felt good to start my run again.

Usually, I never let myself stop but I’m really glad I did yesterday. I think it’s important to let yourself know that it’s ok and almost necessary at times to stop for a moment. You know your body and its limits better than anyone else and believe it or not, that little voice inside of you that’s quietly telling you to do something usually knows what’s best. Whether you’re running or just living, taking a moment to let yourself breathe and just be thankful for the beauty of presence can be the perfect boost of motivation to never give up.

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Running is about constantly pushing yourself past your level of comfort in order to find a new one.

As humans we are constantly changing. In fact, the struggle to survive is an effort to constantly cope with change and in order to be able to cope with change we must learn. Learning is a change in behavior due to experiences and change and learning can be very uncomfortable. But just like with running, once we push ourselves past one comfort level we find a new one and  with that new comfort level we become stronger. 

I’m in the process of learning to cope with such a drastic change in my life and it still feels too impossible to be real. But know that I am not giving up regardless of how I may appear to an observer. I am still moving and whether I realize it or not I am a little stronger with every passing day.

 

I had a completely different post drafted that I had planned on posting in place of this but this one seemed to fit better. The purpose of this post is to let those who might be wondering know that I haven’t given up on blogging. However, I hope you all can understand that I am a different person now and HNC will be different also, but for the better.

I have some product reviews, possibly a giveaway, and plenty of recaps up my sleeve for you all so get ready.

Lots of love,

Claire

TGIF

Happy Friday! Hooray for the weekend!

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Originally, the boyfriend and I had made plans to go to a Falcons game in Atlanta on Sunday (I’ve never been to an NFL game so I was super pumped to get to go.) but some things came up in Tuscaloosa that I need to be here for. So looks like my weekend is going to consist of some long meetings, Alpha Gam priorities, Meag’s birthday (!!!), and a few other tasks.

But hey! It’s still the weekend so I’m not complaining. Besides, we can always make up for Sunday and see the Falcons play in New Orleans. 😉

The cousin has been staying with me since Monday and had to hit the road a few hours ago. Always happy to have him around.

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He halfway woke up after I snapped this picture. Oops. 😕

Ok. Let’s get to yesterday’s eats.

Breakfast

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This breakfast has become a favorite as of late. Banana Bread Oatmeal with chia seeds and a spoonful of white chocolate peanut butter.

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Yes, that’s right. I said white chocolate peanut butter.

Once breakfast digested I made my way to CrossFit for a killer workout.

Workout

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Warm up:

  • 50 squats
  • 50 sit ups
  • 50 push ups
  • 50 double unders

WOD:

AMRAP 10 minutes

  • 10 wall balls 20/14
  • 10 kettlebell swings 70/53

If the warm up wasn’t enough the WOD definitely was. The ones that look like they might be easy are always the ones that really kick your butt! But in a totally good way. I love how sore I am today after this workout. I did 100 singles instead of 50 double unders (still working on those), and used the 10 lbs wall ball and 26 lbs kettlebell. Slowly but surely working my way up.

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When I got back from CrossFit I had a recovery shake made up of Earthfare’s Show Me the Whey chocolate protein powder and water.

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I shook that dang mixer bottle till both arms were sore trying to mix up that little bit of protein powder. The protein powder ended up winning that battle.

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After catching up on blog reading I got the urge to make my bed–which isn’t surprising since I’m kind of a clean freak–and couldn’t help but admire my new pillows. 😀

*Fast forward to lunch.*

Lunch

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Chili is by far way better eaten as leftovers. All the flavors get the chance to marry and it is just bomb.

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A little cornbread, shredded cheese, and plain Chobani and viola! Awesome lunch.

AuBrey had class yesterday morning and couldn’t make it to CrossFit with me so we agreed to run later in the afternoon. We kept the pace easy and I ended up running 4 miles. It felt great and I’m glad to announce I have sore calves today. Yay!

No pictures from our run. It was gloomy yesterday and still is today. Rain rain go away! Seriously though. 🙁

Since I already sweat like a beast yesterday’s humid weather was not in my favor so I immediately showered up after running and got to work on an afternoon snack. IMG_3916

Sliced pear and detoxing herb tea.

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It didn’t take long for me to finish off my snack before heading to the Alpha Gam house to pick up some t shirts. Because, ya know, I don’t have enough of those already. 😉

By the time I got back from the house it was time to get started making dinner. Whadda ya know?

Dinner

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Last night’s dinner was a good one. Of course everything is good when a sweet potato and ketchup is involved.

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Mmmmmmmm.

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To accompany my sweet potato wedges I had a salad made up of spring mix, red onion, canned white chicken, and Newman’s Own Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Sliced avocado would have really made this salad out of this world. Unfortunately, my avocados weren’t completely ripe last night but I think they will be for tonight. Which works out perfectly! I’m thinking a girls night involving movies and some chips and guacamole. 🙂

Well, I’m off to run a few errands before the night festivities begin. Have a good weekend y’all!

A Gruesome Workout

Good morning all!

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Today is the day I take my chemistry final…wish me luck.

I’m praying I do my best. 😀

Yesterday morning I attended CrossFit class numero duos and, of course, it was beast. I’m naturally a sweater (it’s actually pretty ridiculous) so it was to no surprise that I walked out of the box completely drenched. Not to mention it was also raining so that just added to it.

But before I got my sweat on I fueled up with this lovely little meal called breakfast.

1/3 cup old fashion oats + 2/3 cup water + 1 smashed banana + 1/2 cup blueberries + an unGodly amount of almond butter

Oh yeah.

Here’s what yesterday’s WOD (workout of the day) looked like…

Since it was Tara’s nineteenth birthday, we did AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) for 19 minutes. My first WOD on Monday was killer and it only lasted 12 minutes so I knew those extra 7 minutes were going to be brutal.

I ended up finishing everything but the 150 m run on my seventh round once time was called. I wasn’t able to Rx (complete as prescribed) this WOD since I’m new to these type of workouts so instead of using the 53 lbs, yes you read that right – 53 lbs kettlebell, I used the measly 8 lbs kettlebell and it was STILL a gruesome workout. So much that I could hardly raise my arms to wash my hair in the shower afterwards. I can’t wait to build my strength and be able to Rx a WOD. You bet I’ll feel beast after that. 😉

The crazy thing is I should be totally pumped to go home for Christmas break but I can’t stop thinking about how I’m going to miss going to CrossFit! Scottsboro doesn’t have a box and the closest one is in Huntsville which requires a $150 two week intro course before drop-ins are allowed. 🙁

Guess I’ll have to a) ask for an early Christmas present or b) utilize some of Tina’s at home WODs.

After CrossFit, I knew my muscles took a beating so I helped them out a little with some protein so they can rebuild stronger and leaner!

1 scoop vanilla Show Me the Whey whey protein powder + good ole water

All shook up and waiting for me in the fridge upon my return. Yum.

Please note the nasty weather Tuscaloosa had yesterday. No good. Thankfully it stopped raining later in the evening just long enough for me to take a quick 3 miler before starting up again. All this nonstop thinking about CrossFit almost made me forget I’m suppose to be training for a half-marathon!

Now I’m off to by the grace of God ace this chemistry final and then wait on a very special visitor to arrive!

See you tomorrow with a little What I Ate Wednesday! 🙂

A Day with Mom

Hey hey look at me. Two posts in two days. Give me some butter because I’m on a roll.

*laughs*

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That was really cheesy, sorry…but I had to do it.

😀

Shortly after my mom arrived yesterday morning around 11ish we headed to Tuscaloosa’s River Walk for a run.

I broke in these bad boys with a 5 miler.

Mom and I stayed together for the first 2 miles and chatted. Actually it was more like me blabbering about who even remembers now and her replying with the correct yeah, uh hum, oh really?, and so on.

I may not be as fast as I once was, but that run sure felt good. It was one of those hurt so good kind of feelings when I finished. The Garmin said I burned 925 calories. Not too sure I believe it but hey…it was a good excuse to have lunch at Jim ‘N’ Nick’s. 😉

I know I mentioned lunch at Five yesterday but after Mom suggested Jim ‘N’ Nick’s I just couldn’t say no to the cheddar biscuit-muffins. Ohmigah, and don’t even get me started on their smoked chicken. Ok ok moving on.

Look at those babies.

Now for the star of the show main course. The cool thing about Jim ‘N’ Nick’s is there isn’t one freezer in the whole restaurant. Everything is fresh and scratch made. How neat?

As we were eating I spotted my neighbor. Remember him?

He’s quite the cutie and hopefully he’ll still be around by the time I move in across the street. If he’s smart he’ll stay because I’ll feed the little guy! Speaking of feeding him…Mom was curious as to what groundhogs ate so she googled it and this is what we found:

Answer:I am a groundhog owner. And my baby groundhog either eats bananas, apples, any fruit really. Any type of rabbit food, leaves, lettuce, bark, and roots. But mostly fruit. 
their diet includes: leaves, bark, roots, seeds, saplings, dandelions, cresses, violets, plantains, raspberries,blueberries, apples, cherries, pears,watermelon, beechnuts, hay, clover, alfalfa, corn, beans, grass, snails and insects.

Sounds like a diet I would approve! Minus the snails, insects, and bark…

The rest of our day included: taking measurements of the townhouse, furniture browsing, Target, Starbuck’s, sushi dinner, and some R&R.

And that concluded our day. Hope everyone is having a good Wednesday so far. I have a Tacky Christmas party to attend later this evening.

It’s gonna be a good ooone! 😉

Bit of News Numero

Hey there and happy Tuesday!

Sorry I’m a day late with my two bits of exciting news…I literally spent all day yesterday thinking it was still Sunday. 😕

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But we’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk weekend.

On Friday, Stephen and I made a trip to Earthfare for lunch and to pick up some ingredients that were suppose to be Saturday night’s dinner. And because, ya know, I wouldn’t be me if I opted out on an opportunity to go to Earthfare to just look at everything and then jack a few goodies out of the bins. 😉

Doesn’t it look heavenly?

I couldn’t even tell you everything I put in my salad. Among my favorites (that I can remember) would include veggie chips (that I grabbed from a sample at the check out line), roasted brussels, feta cheese, and grilled chicken. All those in one bite rocked my world.

Stephen enjoyed his salad also, which I can bet was comprised of about a third of olives. Ew.

Saturday was a super lazy day but we did manage to fit a little sweat time in…

Ah yes. Stephen and I went for a run. I won’t go into very many details but the boyfriend probably hasn’t gotten his heart rate up for longer than three minutes at a time so I was really proud of him for 1) agreeing to go with me and 2) completing the run with minimum complaining.

After we got back Stephen got his taste of endorphins and was all hyped up with energy. Now you see why I like to be crazy and exercise. 😉

Before I share my news I’d like to share a few cute faces I got to see over the weekend…

B-rock – quite the studmuffin.

TB – Mister Spaz.

And Cale – with his nostril talent.

I also got to hang out with one of my dear best friends, Kelsey, on Saturday night. Love you and so glad we got the chance to hang!

Ok ok. Time for the news already, right?

Bit of news numero uno:

Yesterday officially began my first day of training for my first half-marathon!!! If the bolded font and the extra exclamation points didn’t get my emotion across then let me just tell you – I’m PUMPED! 😀

My mom has always been a runner and has completed a few half and full marathons so when I was asked to join her and her friends in Virginia for the Charlottesville Marathon hosted by Miller Lite I couldn’t not say yes!

I’ll definitely keep you posted on how training goes. This is the schedule I’ll be following for the most part and I’m super pumped because it’s going to be like cross-country season all over again. Of course, I’ll adjust to whatever my body feels. In other words, if I’m too sore from a run/workout and need another day of rest that’s exactly what I’ll do.

Annnd bit of news numero duos:

So I’ve been looking into doing some blog revamping (i.e. personalized header, fresh layout, and things of that sort) so when I heard about Laura from Courtney a few days ago I knew it was a God sent. Hello – problemo solved!

As quick as my mouse mouse could possibly move, I scrolled over the LauraLikesDesigns.com link and immediately started browsing her work and then one thing lead to the other and well, you guys…

She’s gon’ help make Health Nut the real dealio! Woohoo! Now, it will be a process but nonetheless I’m so excited to be working with her! Y’all – she’s super sweet and seems to really know what she’s talking about. Anyways, I hope you’ll be anticipating the makeover as much as me! (Actually, that’s impossible – no one is more excited than I am! :D)

That just about does it for the day.

WAIT! I almost forgot…

What would a Health Nut post be if it didn’t include breakfast?! Gasp. Can’t believe I nearly said bye without first sharing this beautiful bowl of banana bread oatmeal and a mound of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter to go with.

Nooow that’s all I’ve got for today. My mom should be arriving in town around lunch time today so there’s most likely a delicious lunch at 5 along with a 5 mile run in my near future. 🙂

Have a great Tuesday y’all!