Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On taking a breather...

Recently my friend Mandy wrote a post that really resonated with me. She wrote about stepping away from blogging and needing some time away to herself. This was during a time when she was just returning home to where she wanted to be, and when it seemed like she should be welcoming writing back into her life, it was not time.

I have to admit, I understand how she felt. I am feeling this way right now.

I want to write. I need to write.  I am bursting with stories and things to say, but as soon as I sit down to write... I am speechless. The posts I had begun to write in my head during the moment are gone.

My posts are forced and not natural. Many of them are not actually writing, they are really just memes (not writing in my book). This is not what I intend for my blog.

I want this to be a space where I share what is going on in my life, share my thoughts and opinions and engage with other readers and bloggers.

I look back at posts from when I first started blogging (many of them are not published anymore) and there has been a definite change in my writing style. A change that I am not very happy with.

A break is not what I want either, but I do think posts will continue to be sporadic in these parts. I wish that was not the case, but I just cannot handle everything I have taken on in the past year and still post as regularly as I was.

I think what will really help is getting back into journaling and writing just for myself. Perhaps if I write without an audience, write with only myself as the audience, the words will flow a bit more.

We'll see... ;) 

In the meantime, in true blogger fashion, I will bullet some of the things I have been up to that are keeping me busy!

  • I attended the coolest wedding I have ever been to last weekend. It was on a farm about an hour and a half northeast of Des Moines and the ceremony was literally in a cornfield. I really want to write about this wedding, and hopefully I can get to work on that soon. 
  • I am learning to knit and am in my second week of classes at a local vintage store. I'm definitely a slower learner, as I have never picked up knitting needles in my life, but I am really enjoying it! 
  • This week I watched a phenomenal documentary called Finding Kind, which spotlighted the girl bullying today from females of all ages. I do not think there was a dry eye in the house and it really made me appreciate the female friendships I have in my life. 
  • I took on a third job (I know, I knoooow). In addition to working for the agency and subbing (which is only one day a week this semester, so not much) I will be working for the I Have A Dream Foundation helping organize and administer an after school program at a local middle school. To say I am excited is an understatement! The IHAD Foundation is something I fell in love with as soon as I heard about it and I knew someday that I would be involved with this foundation. I just had no idea it would be so soon.
  • I'm still training for the Des Moines Half Marathon. This time around I have slacked majorly and have not been following my training schedule AT ALL. Sometimes I feel really guilty, but I am quickly reminded of just how much I have going on right now.
Bottom line. I enjoy being busy. I am at my best when I am really busy, I may have overdone it, but I'll get through everything. 

In the meantime, I am planning on taking a really deep breath and backing off from a few things that can be put on the backburner. I hate that the blog is one of them, but it is what it is.

What aspect of your life gets put on hold when things get too busy? For me it used to be working out, but I have tried hard to change that in the past year!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lessons Learned

I began my running journey about 7 months ago, and in that time I have learned some big lessons! I mean, how could you not? I have so many people to thank for all of the advice and support I have received, but there is also a lot that I had to learn on my own as well.

I've recently had an epiphany about my own system of running. Starting last fall and into the winter and spring I used the Couch to 5K app (which I highly recommend). I did not follow it week by week, instead I listened to my body and pushed myself on my own terms. I got really stuck on the week where you were supposed to run 10 minutes, walk 3 and run another 10 minutes. This was supposed to be working your endurance up to running long periods of time without stopping to walk.I really liked this level of running.

The 10 minute thing just really stuck with me. I liked it. I was comfortable with it. It felt safe.

So, I used that system for my first long distance race. After Lisa mentioned that people run entire marathons doing 10 minute bouts of running, I knew it was going to work for me too. And, actually it has a name! It is called the Jeff Galloway method, which I learned later from Emily that what I was doing was popular and many other runners used a system just like it.

So, I trained that way, and I ran the race that way. If after 10 minutes I could keep running, I did, but for 9 miles, I did not run less than those 10 minutes. I really pushed myself to keep going in those 10 minutes and it just worked. (Until the last 3 miles where I just pooped out!). During training runs I was less likely to stop within the 10 minutes because that just seemed silly to stop when I only had a few minutes to go, but if I wasn't keeping track of intervals of running and walking, I was more likely to stop running when I felt like it and not push myself.

Well, now I am training for the Des Moines Half Marathon and to keep moving forward and advancing as a runner, I decided to try and focus on running longer periods of time without walking.  I've been trying to do that for the past couple months and over this past weekend I had a huge realization. I was not enjoying this anymore. If I wasn't enjoying it, then why was I doing it?

Sunday, I headed out for my scheduled long run of 8 miles. I decided not to try to run longer than 10 minutes at a time. Why mess with something that worked out so well? When I thought about all my long runs training for Dam to Dam, they were all enjoyable runs and I used my tried and true method of 10:3:10. So, I did my 10 minute run, walk 3 minute, run 10 minute again for about an hour and 40 minutes (slow, I know) and it was such an enjoyable run! I felt so good at the end of the 8 miles and I actually felt like I could go longer. I thought about maybe going for another couple of miles, but then I thought maybe I shouldn't push it. 8 miles is the longest run I have done since June 2 and an injury is the last thing I need.

So, the thought of giving up on training for this race is gone, and I'm honestly more excited than I have ever been! I have learned my biggest lesson as a newbie runner, don't mess with what works! I enjoy running this way and I do not plan on changing it anytime soon!

Do you tend to run long periods of time without stopping to walk? What is a big lesson you have learned in running?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sometimes, you've just gotta vent

Sometimes, you've just gotta let it all out and just bitch about stuff. Riiiight? Right.

99.9% of the time I am one of those overly positive people that tries almost too hard to see the silver lining in every situation (which, I truly believe there is a silver lining) but last week just kicked my ass.

I blogged last week about my shitty week (very randomly I might add, and I realize that post was all over the place). I like blogs that are real and put the good and bad out there instead of pretending everything is rainbows and sunshine all the time, because, lets face it. It's not. We all have those moments where life kicks us where it hurts. I am however one of those people that think things can always be worse and despite my complaining, things really aren't that bad.

Anyway. Back to my bad week.

The week did not end any better. Friday afternoon right before heading out to happy hour with some girlfriends I dropped my phone face first onto the cement in front of my garage. At first I didn't think much of it (except for, "Oh shit"). A second later I picked it up and let out a loud gasp - the screen was COMPLETELY shattered. Pieces of glass were falling off of it and the screen was just splintered, like a broken mirror. Shockingly, I did not start immediately crying (which is what I normally would do). I was just pissed. Because, really world?? Really!?

The phone still worked normally (shocking, right?) and the only problem with it is texting is a little harder because of all the cracks. I ended up going to happy hour and just venting for the first, oh, I don't know... 15 minutes?! Pretty sure my friends were annoyed to be at that happy hour because I was not a happy camper.  But, then again, I refer you back to this blog post's title. Sometimes. You've. Just. Gotta. Let. It. Out.

Luckily, I have had the iPhone for 18 months now so I am eligible for an upgrade. I am bummed though, because I wanted to wait for the iPhone 5 (I have a 4). I have insurance on my phone, so I figured I would pay the fee for the replacement and then just trade that one in for the 5 when it comes out. Then later that night I got on Verizon's website and went to fill out the claim for the replacement phone.

To get a replacement phone it would cost $169. 

WTF? That is the price of the upgrade!

I pay $10/month for insurance and you're going to charge me the same amount of money as an upgrade?? That's absurd! So, instead of getting the replacement I went ahead and used my upgrade for the 4s. Hopefully the 5 isn't that cool, because I will not be getting it for at least 18 months, but I just don't care anymore. Just give me an iPhone that works and isn't shattered. The end.

The rest of my weekend was pretty event free. After happy hour I headed home, hung out with my sister and her bf for awhile (we're all doing much better, thankyou. Crisis/blowout averted), watched a movie and then slept a solid 8 hours. My sister and I woke up Saturday morning and headed out to the downtown farmer's market (our favorite weekend activity). Later that day I headed over to one of my best friend's house to watch the Iowa/Iowa State game (where ISU WON!!! Wooo hooo! Go state!). That night I was home early, but 9:30 and I settled in to read for awhile, but the next thing I knew, I woke up and it was 3 am, the book was on my chest and I'm still in my clothes... I must've been tired! Sunday I woke up after another solid night of sleep and got ready for my long run this week. I had a great 8 mile run, and I really hope I can keep this momentum up. I'm planning a post later this week of how training is going this time, so look for that if you're interested!

So, that's it for me! I'm out.

Hope you all had a good weekend, what did you do?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Social v1

Sunday Social

Happy Sunday! Last night I went to bed at a ridiculously early hour, which resulted with me up at another ridiculously early hour! Oh well, I am really glad I did that. I love waking up early, making coffee and laying in bed reading/writing blogs while everyone else is still asleep. It is so peaceful!

Last time I was here I blogged about my awful week. Well, the week got worse, but I'll blog about that tomorrow. Luckily, the weekend was better. It was relaxing, low key and my alma mater, Iowa State University beat their biggest rival, University of Iowa yesterday, 9-6! ISU and Iowa have been rivals for many years, and ISU is an underdog usually. They're growing each year now that they have a passionate and dedicated coach, so it is really exciting for them right now!

So, today I am linking up with Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup for her weekly meme called, Sunday Social. I don't usually post on weekends anymore, but I really liked these questions all about blogging!

1. What is the name of your blog and how did you come up with it?
A Little Pink in the Cornfields – I have had this blog since 2008 and I used to be pretty into the color pink. If it came in pink, I wanted it. I also live in Iowa, which is known for its corn. The ironic thing is… I do not live on a farm. I do live near cornfields, but that is just because the city I live in is a mid sized city and everyone lives near cornfields somehow! I am a city girl through and through and would be lost on a farm!

2. What do you love most about blogging?
Connecting with other people and getting to know them through their writing and what they put on their blog. I truly believe that the person we put forth on our blogs is our best self and who we want to be in life and there is something about that that just gives me chills because I am someone that is awkward in person, at first. Blogging gives me a chance to show who I really am. I have met the most amazing people and made some lifelong friends through blogging and I am so grateful for it.

3. What are your 2 favorite posts that you’ve written?
·      Goodbye Club Libby Lu: this post about when I lost my job and when the company I worked for and was in love with, shut its doors for good. It is still the hardest thing I have ever had to do in life, and I still cannot talk about it without choking up. I literally still feel like a loved one died, which in a way, it did.
·      Top 10 Ways College Has Changed in 10 Years: Yeah... it's been almost TEN years since I wore a cap and gown and received my bachelor's degree (oy) and it has bee over ten years since I started college. I liked this list that I came up with after starting my master's program. There are so many differences for college students today!

4. What is something you would want to tell someone just starting out in the blog world?
That there WILL be people that do not like you and your blog and that you have to have somewhat of a thick skin. There are a lot of pot-stirrers EVERYWHERE and that includes electronically. I find it’s best to just ignore those folks… ;)

5. Biggest blogging learning experience you’ve had.
That you cannot possibly be friends with everyone. I see blogging friends of mine, friends with people I don’t know yet and I used to feel this need to get to know them too. Blogging and maintaining meaningful friendships through this platform is time consuming and it is not possible to be in touch with everyone. It sounds so obvious, but us women… we think we can do it all! ;)

6. Give us 3 blogs that we NEED to be following that you love.  
I love the “big” bloggers, but I love the smaller mid sized bloggers that don’t make it their mission to up their readership each week so much.  No offense if that's what you're here for, whatever floats your boat, it’s just not what I’m here for. Three mid size blogs that I have read for years, completely adore and are very well respected are:

Lisa’s Yarns – Since reading Lisa’s blog she has turned into a dear IRL friend. Luckily, she is only about three hours away from me and I get to catch up with her in real life several times throughout the year. She is under the weather this weekend and could really use your prayers to get better, so please add her to your list!

L.A. to LA – Shoshanah is a California girl transplanted into Louisiana, she’s a big reader like me and we have very similar taste. She just got married last week, too!

Wearing Mascara – Julie is one of the sweetest bloggers I have ever “met” and I have a feeling that her and I are a lot alike "in real life." Her blog is one that I have read since I began blogging several years ago and I adore her positive outlook on life. She also works in the education fields like me! 

That's it for me today! I'm hoping to get in my 8 mile long run today and then get in a lot of studying, because I haven't picked up a book in two days... Whoops. 

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Warning: Venting ahead.

This week has been rough, and you know what? I am here to vent. (Sorry, guys)

Since Monday Zeke (my dog) has had flu-like symptoms and yesterday it came to a head. Around lunch time he puked NINE times (5 in the house) and I was pretty much freaking out. None of us were supposed to be home all afternoon and I could not put him in the kennel or leave him out. So, I put him in the car to head over to my parents house so I could leave him in their yard. Take a wild guess what happened....

If you said "puked in your car?" you would be RIGHT. It was awful. I am one of those people that if someone else is puking, I am too .... so, I'm driving down 2-35, gagging. I'm sure that was a sight to see.

Then today, I had a clinical to get re-certified to pass meds at my part time job. It was the. most. overwhelming. thing. ever. Seriously, I had no idea it would be like a clinical, they did not give us a chance to prepare and basically through us under the bus in attempt to catch people off guard, teach us and avoid med errors. As an educator, it was ALL WRONG. I survived, but I am pretty sure my blood pressure is through the roof right now.

On top of everything else, my sister and I got into one of those massive, screaming fights that happen every so often. Luckily, everything is fine now, but I just hate fighting with people. I cannot stand it and basically want any and all issues resolved immediately. I'm terrible at letting other people cool down and I just want to talk NOW.

So, basically, I am so ready for the weekend. It cannot come fast enough for me. Work for grad school has been light and I am looking forward to time with friends watching the Iowa/ISU game, reading and just relaxing in general.

Tell me something good about your week! Hopefully it's been better than mine!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A schedule to be thankful for

Hello, hello!

It's a holiday here in the States so most of us are off work. I cannot help but get a little tingle in my stomach on days like today because, before I switched careers two years ago (oh my. It's been 2 years) I had a very unconventional schedule and I worked holidays and weekends. On days like Labor Day, it would have been just another Monday for me, and instead of planning a day of relaxation, I planned to have more business.

Although it has been two years, I still think about this on weekends and holidays that I have off, or weekends where I have the option to participate in last minute plans. For example, this past Saturday I was offered a free ticket to the first Iowa State football game. In the past, going would probably not have been an option. This time though, I was able to go and I jumped at it! Being able to participate in last minute plans on the weekend feels amazing. Although I do still work some weekends at the agency, I try hard to keep them off because it is important to me.

In fact, due to that crazy schedule in the past, it became one of the factors that contributed to switching to the field of education. I know a lot of teachers get a lot of ribbing for the ideal schedule they keep, and honestly, that ribbing annoys me (because I know just how hard those 9 months on are for teachers!) but, the traditional weekday schedule and the guaranteed holidays off were what I craved.

Having to work when all of your friends and family are not, is HARD. I do not recommend it and many times I would get depressed about it and that only hurt me at work. It is hard to stay positive when you're angry about your schedule! I also worried about the time came for when I wanted a family. I want to spend time with my family on holidays and be home when my kids are home, not working!

So, on days like today, even though it has been two years since leaving my career in retail management, I still feel thankful for this opportunity and truly enjoy this day off with the rest of the country.

Have you ever had a job where you had to work a schedule that was not traditional?