“Work-cation”, mood boosters, and Spring?

Greetings, long lost blog friends!  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but I’m happy to say my “year” is starting to wind down…until August, anyway!  I was in Orlando, FL for most of last week for a work conference (NASPA).  As much as my introvert-self hates the required mingling at conferences, I must have a little bit of an extrovert inside of me because I always leave inspired, rejuvenated with ideas, and excited to implement new programs.  The fact that this year’s conference was in sunny Florida sure did help with the “rejuvenation” process 😉  This year’s conference in photos:

Epcot: Disney World for adults!

Epcot: Disney World for adults!

A wall of Werthers in "Germany" at Epcot!

A wall of Werthers in “Germany” at Epcot!

Of course we had to visit Epcot!  Dinner in “France”, dessert in “Italy”, and a walk through the countries of the world…my pups were barkin’ and my tummy was full, but there’s just SOMETHING about Disney World parks that add a bounce to my step!

Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando.  Heaven on Earth!

Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando. Heaven on Earth!

Don't mind my Midwestern skin that hasn't seen the sun in months :(

Don’t mind my Midwestern skin that hasn’t seen the sun in months 😦

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to just “be” and do nothing.  I didn’t even read a book or magazine.  I listened to my iPod and just laid there.  Amazing.


Results of previous photographed activity 😦

Even though I had a horrible sunburn (still peeling & itchy, people!), it’s amazing the wonders a little Vitamin D will do for your mood.  I didn’t realize how badly I needed a vacation that didn’t involve running around with appointments.


AMAZING Ghiradelli coffee/chocolate shake.

This deliciousness soothed my soul!  I knew I’d be paying for the dairy consumption.  But you know what?  Worth it.

And finally…to show that I did actually attend the conference:


1 of 5 sessions I attended…I promise I did SOME “conferencing”

We left delicious 80-degree weather and just days later I was dealing with this:

Over 12" of snow...*sigh*

Over 12″ of snow…*sigh*

Welcome to Spring in St. Louis…?

And this…

My ever-growing work pile of craziness

My ever-growing work pile of craziness


Massive to-do lists...

Massive to-do lists…

Oh well…Happy March  Madness, friends!






So every year I supervise a group of 20 college students on a service trip over their spring break.  Last year we went to New Orleans for the first time.  Since it was a huge success, we decided to head to NOLA for our alternative spring break destination again this year.  I had my lists made, bags packed, groceries ready (3 meals/day are provided, but I try to stay on my fruit/veggie/minimally processed diet as much as I can!) and what happened…?  I woke up with a horrible cold the day before we were to leave.  “UGH, REALLY?!  Horrible timing!”.  As the day progressed I felt worse and worse: achy, feverish, worsening symptoms, etc.  I had everything piled up by the door so I’d be ready to meet the students at 5am.  I went to bed at 9pm hoping to get a solid night of sleep.  10:30pm comes along and I wake up with a much-advanced fever and horrible achiness…seriously, it hurt to even roll over in bed.  The blankets and my clothes made my skin feel raw and felt like they were burning my skin…even though I was shivering and freezing if I unburied myself from the covers.  I’ll spare you sick-drama and tell you I ended up not supervising the trip (Graduate Assistants to the rescue!!!).  After I dropped the van keys off (at 5am) I piled the blankets on my bed, burrowed under, and didn’t move for the next 2-3 days.

I worked out after having a few days of rest.  “I feel so much better, I can’t believe how fast I got better considering how awful I felt”.  Um…”feeling better” to simply function as a human being and “feeling better” to exhaust oneself are completely different.  My lung function wasn’t exactly up to par and my body was just wiped out from fighting the internal nuclear war. (kidding).  But I didn’t want to get behind in my workouts.  Besides, the “running rule of thumb” states if your sickness is from the neck up and you don’t have a fever, a workout will typically make you feel better. Then it hit me…
“Self, you know how your body needs to recover after a long run or hard workout?”
“Your body is trying to recover from being sick, too…”
“Oh…so you  mean working out while I’m sick makes my body work EVEN harder than usual to recover?!”
“Hm…good point, Self.”

So I over-estimated how much better I felt and under-estimated how worn down my body was from fighting to get better.

One of these days, the internal struggle of “to work out or to not work out” will cease to exist because I’ll be a pro at listening to my body.  Let’s hope that happens sooner rather than later.

Do any of you fellow followers struggle with this too?


One Foot in Front of the Other

I have had the BIGGEST running itch lately.  Since I’ve started my “cheat runs” I have been craving it BIG time!  I’m even making mental notes about songs to add to my running playlists.  I saw this post from Distant Runners and it really hit a chord:

I used this quote/scenario in my dad’s eulogy.  The Saturday before he died, I was visiting with him at the hospital after a long run.  He asked me how far I went that day. When I told him I did 16 miles, he shook his head and said “How do you DO that?!”.  I just grinned and said “one foot in front of the other” because I’m a smarty pants.  Little did I know I would literally be utilizing that symbolism in real life and not just in “run life”…which is a lot more fun, pleasant, and relaxing.

A Week in the Life…

I’m one of those people that finds comfort in routine and familiarity.  Unfortunately, I’ve entered a career where that isn’t exactly an option.  Here’s a snapshot of my schedule lately.  My favorite thing about people’s schedules is that we have it down to the minute! HA!  I love sociology.

Monday: REST DAY! (Usually).  It’s typically my only day off from any type of workout.  Alarm goes off at 6:30am, and I hit the snooze button every 10 minutes until 6:50 (ish).  I’ll take Scout out, feed her, hop in the shower, and get ready for work by 7:30am.  Sip coffee, watch the news or squeeze in DVR’ed TV shows until 8am, make breakfast, prepare lunch, take Scout out one more time, and try to be out the door by 8:40am and at work by 9am.

Tuesday: Conditioning Circuit Training, alarm goes off at 5:15am, out of bed by 5:30am, take Scout out, get ready for workout, out the door by 5:40am.  If Conditioning gets out on time I can be home by 7:08 (per the coffee maker clock) and back to my morning routine by 7:45am.

Wednesday: Large Group (Weight) Training, repeat Tuesday morning routine.

Thursday: Gym day, alarm goes off at 4:15, hit snooze button until 4:35, take Scout out, drive to the gym, hit the bike (or treadmill now, YAY!) by 5:05am.  Squeeze in 1 to 1.5 hours of cardio, stretching, and correctional training.  Back in my car by 6:50am, home by 7:05.  Repeat morning routine.

Friday: Large Group (Weight) Training, repeat Tuesday morning routine.

I wish I could include a routine past the time I leave for work.  But I can’t.  Once I get to work, I check emails, voice mails, sort things that I threw on my chair as I came back from a late meeting & grabbed my things to go home from the night before.  If I have a 9am meeting I throw my things on the floor of my office, grab my planner, notebook, and phone (I always forget a pen) and speed off to my meeting.  From that point on it’s a constant battle of avoiding phone calls, returning avoided phone calls, endless emails, students dropping by (withOUT an appointment…grrrr), committee meetings, advising student organizations, planning programs, etc.  A seriously great day consists of only 2 meetings.  A day with zero meetings makes me nervous (even though it’s like having a vacation day at work and I can rock out my to-do lists).

Monday night: Grab a quick supper w/my sweetie, a few minutes of relaxing on the couch, then Volleyball at 6pm or 7:15pm.  Thankfully, our new league hasn’t had games past 7:15.  WOO!

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night: Some late meetings with student organization exec boards are scheduled on a weekly/biweekly basis.  Other late meetings or late presentations/focus groups pop up at random.  Once I leave work, I head to my sweetie’s to pick up Scout (he’s a great dog-sitter!), snuggle with the dogs, eat half of a dinner while standing up, head home, put on jammies, get everything ready to do again tomorrow, and climb into bed.  [Insert attempt to read, watch TV, etc. here without falling asleep].

There’s a reason I long for summer…my 40-hr weeks seem like a vacation compared to the 60-hr weeks during the school year.  Whew!