Runner’s High

So…I’m becoming a runner. And I love it. My obsession with running is a fairly new thing, but it’s one of the best things that’s come out of my move.

Before I got my job, I was living at home. It was great to have a rent-free place to live, and have nothing to do but look for jobs, but I was getting antsy. All winter long I was stuck doing the same circuit-style workouts in my tiny bedroom and it got so boring. I also was dealing with some bad body image at the time, so life was just rough. Yeah, it was great to be free but I needed a change.

Once I moved to Tulsa and got all settled in, I was hitting up my complex’s fitness center every other day or so (alternating with circuit-style workouts in my apartment). It was great to have all that equipment so close and for free. And then when it started getting warm, I ventured to the riverside trail literally across the street from my apartment. First I was just walking, but at the beginning of last month, I started running on a whim. I was doing a mix of running and walking, with a lot more walking while I built up my endurance.

Even on a rainy day, I'm not sick of this view.

Even on a rainy day, I’m not sick of this view.

I used to hate running, because I felt like I could never catch my breath. It felt a lot more exhausting to me than biking, or playing tennis. But I always dreamed in the back of my head that I could someday become a runner.

And while I’m still quite a newbie, I’m proud to call myself a runner. I finally have running shoes instead of trying to run in Converse (bad idea — I hurt my Achilles’ doing that!), and I’m consistently going for runs outside 3 or 4 times per week. Having incredible weather helps — it’s been so warm that I can barely motivate myself to go to the fitness center to cross-train. And having my weird schedule¬†means I can go for a run right after I get off work and I get the best weather of the day and fewer people are out.

The face of a proud runner.

The face of a proud runner.

The best part is, I can really see myself making strides. Yesterday, I ran my first 5K — the entire 3.1 mile distance — without a walking break (I stopped at a park at the halfway mark to shake out my legs for a couple minutes, but then I ran all the way there and back without breaking). It felt incredible to be out there, in the rain, just me and my music and the trees flying by. I still have to work on my breathing — I do feel out of breath sometimes so I need to find a better pattern that feels more natural — but my endurance has really improved. And running is really giving me a high! I truly look forward to my runs, and they’re the highlight of my days.

I might not be the fastest runner, and I may not be running that far, but progress is what it’s all about for me and the fact that I have a new-found love fills me with such joy. I finally understand why people love running so much! And I hope my love for running continues to grow with each and every run.

What’s something you never thought you’d love but¬†now you do?

Week through my iPhone

Ever notice how everyone always apologizes for ‘crappy’ iPhone photos? Ummmmm, crappy? Maybe it’s just because I came from an Android with a lame camera, but I love the iPhone 5 camera. Sure, it’s not like a DSLR but it takes gorgeous photos for a smartphone and who wants to drag around a huge camera everywhere? I know I take a lot more photos now that I have a nice phone.

So here’s some highlights of my past week, as seen through my iPhone lens.

My work outfit on Saturday. I love the pink+brown combo.

My work outfit on Saturday. I love the pink+brown combo.

I’m getting back into taking outfit selfies when I’m wearing something I feel cute in. This was my work outfit on Saturday and I only regretted it when I stopped by the farmer’s market after work and it started pouring. Sheer shirts+rain don’t exactly mix.

Homemade sweet potato hash.

Homemade sweet potato hash.

I don’t have time for elaborate meals anymore, so my “dinners” are usually thrown together things like snackplates or this sweet potato hash. This tastes incredible, but is really simple. I take a sweet potato, remove the skin, chop it up small in a food processor and blend it with sea salt, garlic powder, nooch and cayenne pepper. Then I throw it in a pan with coconut oil, spinach and hemp ‘tofu’. Then I toss it in a bowl and serve it with raw seeds and local hummus. I don’t even know how it’s so good, but it is.

Sweaty selfie after running my first 5K.

Sweaty selfie after running my first 5K.

I haven’t talked about it much yet, but I’ve started running in the past month. I just love living so close to an awesome running trail right by the river. I’ve been doing a walk-run approach because I’m still working up to running consistently, but I love it. My Achilles’ was also injured for about a week but buying actual running shoes has helped. I ran my first unofficial 5K on Monday and I’m so excited for my running future. I can finally run about 10-12 minutes at a time with no walking breaks!

My huge produce haul from Whole Foods.

My huge produce haul from Whole Foods.

In the summer I spend SO much on produce. Like, this was literally half of what I spent at Whole Foods this weekend. I’m basically obsessed with watermelon, fresh berries, lettuce and cauliflower at the moment. All devoured straight from the fridge. That yellow ball up front is a new melon I spotted called a Fonzy melon. It’s really soft and sweet, like a subtle cross between honey and vanilla.

I have a thing for jumpsuits now.

I have a thing for jumpsuits now.

I’m getting more adventurous with my fashion choices and I don’t hate it. I never thought I could pull off a jumpsuit, but it helps that I found one that doesn’t drown me and has some cute ruffly details to add some interest. The fact that this was $13 at American Eagle is even better. Now I want #allthejumpsuits.

This deliciousness was consumed within 15 minutes.

This deliciousness was consumed within 15 minutes.

I stopped at a cute little juice bar near the outdoor shopping center where I got my jumpsuit. I’ve been dying for some fresh juice/smoothies since it’s been so hot and humid here. I got the “Summer Love”, which has blueberries, grapes, pineapple, peaches, dates, vanilla, chia seeds and coconut water. Basically all of my favorite things. It was kind of a cross between a fresh-pressed juice and a smoothie with a thicker texture and I loved it. I can see myself making more stops here in the future. The fact that it’s less than a 10 minute drive from work sweetens the deal.

What’s been going on in your life lately?