Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Update for a Princess

I've been back in VA for four days.  It has snowed twice.  TWICE.  I'm more than a little over it.  Partially because it has interfered with plans that I've made, and keeps me from going really anywhere.  

But apart from the snow, the break's been good so far.  Productive, if not socially exciting.  I've had a couple of check-up appointments at a couple of doctors.  My dentist even gave my teeth an A-plus!

One thing that this break has been excellent for is running.  I've officially started my half marathon training.  Its about time too!  I meant to start it forever ago, but life got in the way.  Now I have so much time on my hands, running for 2 hours isn't as hard to fit into my schedule as it was just last week.  Not that I've run for 2 hour or anything.

No on Tuesday I ran with my running buddy, Kat (who I'm running the half with).  We ran two miles out and ran two miles back for a 4 mile long run.  I felt fantastic.  I actually can't remember the last time I felt that good while I was running.  I felt like I could have done another two miles.  But that's another adventure for another day.

I managed to do another three yesterday but I let myself take today off because of an early appointment that I had.  But I am looking forward to hitting the road again tomorrow.  Granted its been cold.  And its supposed to be cold for a while longer, but I don't really mind running in the cold, but that too is another story for another day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Semester In Review

My first semester of law school is over and done.  I'm considering it a success because I'm still breathing.  I'll reevaluate when my grades are released next month.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with how the semester went.  It turns out that law school Andrea is a heck of a lot more responsible than undergrad Andrea.  I had perfect attendance this semester.  The most class I missed was 5 minutes one day when I got stuck in some crazy, weird, unexpected traffic. 

I also did all of my reading for the whole semester.  If it wasn't 100% finished before class, it was 100% finished before I went to bed that night.  

The two papers I had to write this semester?  I had fully completed drafts days before they were due, giving me more time than I knew what to do with for editing (turns out when you have that much time to edit, you wind up practically re-writing said paper at least 2 times).

Even though I am really proud of how I managed more school work than I knew existed, I'm equally proud of how I managed to take care of myself.  When I was in undergrad, I ate all of my stress.  That's why I left UVA a full 30 pounds heavier than I started.  I'm proud to say I survived my first semester without gaining an ounce!  I also made sure I slept, ate well, and exercised.  

The most important thing is that I know I can do it.  But until I have to do it again I'm going to sit back, relax and enjoy having the next few weeks off.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Movie Time!

When I was little, my family had a tradition that we would each pick our favorite Christmas movie and watch one a weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

I love Christmas movies.  They make me cry happy tears.

Here are five of my favorite Christmas movies, in no particular order.  If you've never seen one of them, you should ASAP.  Because I promise you, its awesome.

1.  Elf (2003)

Buddy, a human raised by the elves working for Santa, leaves the North Pole and heads to the big city to meet his dad, who is on the naughty list.  Hilarity ensues as Buddy navigates New York City and teaches his newfound family the meaning of Christmas.

Not much of a tear-jerker, but I promise you'll laugh out loud!

2.  A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

I love this movie more than I can say.  As in, I can, and do watch this movie at least ten times between turkey day and Christmas.  It features my favorites, the Muppets, and it is SO TRUE to the book (as are most Muppet book to film adaptations, but that's another story for another day).  Besides what can be more Christmasy than the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge?

This movie is funny and heartwarming.

3.  Its a Wonderful Life (1946)

My dad's favorite, and the movie that is guaranteed to make me cry.  Its simply a classic.  I don't think my words can adequately do justice to this film.  Watch it and you'll understand.

4.  A Christmas Story (1983)

Christmas is funny.  If you don't believe me, watch as Ralphie plans and plots to get an Official Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.  Its on TBS for 24 hours starting on Christmas Eve.

5.  Home Alone (1990)

Macaulay Culkin before he got weird.  I actually don't watch this one every year, but have been dying to see it this Christmas.

Kevin Arnold gets left home alone when his family goes to Paris for Christmas.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are bumbling burglars trying to break into the Arnold house (which is absolutely stunning by the way).

That's all for now!  Happy movie watching!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Race-iversary!

Today's the one year anniversary of the first 5K I ever ran.  It was the Jingle Bell 5K on ODU's campus.  If I weren't 500 miles away, I'd be running it again this year.  If it weren't the middle of exams, I'd be running the Jingle Bell 5K that is going on here today.  But c'est la vie...maybe next year.

Anyways, my first 5K was a disaster.

In September of 2009 I had this brilliant idea that I should start running.  I went online and found this awesome program, Couch to 5k, that promised to take me from sitting on my couch to successfully finishing a 5K in 9 weeks.  I followed the program religiously and finished the program just a few days before my 5K, but when it was race day, I wasn't ready.

For one thing it was 35 degrees outside.  And raining.  I didn't stretch properly beforehand.  Approximately three minutes into the race I was soaked to the bone and my calf cramped like a champ.  It was a struggle and it took me 46 (yes 46) minutes, but I crossed the finish line.

At first I was embarrassed by my lackluster finish, but thankfully I didn't let my embarrassment stop me.  Thankfully when I started running, I started running with my friend Kathryn.  She encouraged me to sign up for a 5 mile run in March which kept me running.

Now a year later, I can't believe how far I've come.  I've got several races under my belt.  I run several times a week now and I actually enjoy it.  My legs are more toned.  I can run faster.  And longer.  I ran a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day this year, another 5K.  And I amazed myself when a friend asked if I'd been training and I said, well its just three miles.  Last year at this time, three miles seemed like an eternity.  Now its a nice break in my day.

Running has changed my life in other ways too.  I've made it me time.  Just a couple of hours out of my week, but its time where I don't have to talk to anyone, or think about anything.  Sometimes my mind wanders and I don't think about much of anything at all.  Other times I'm focused and running helps me solve some of life's problems.  Currently, its saving me from law school.  Nothing takes care of my stress like a 30 minute run.

Right now I *should* be training for a half marathon that I signed up for in February.  Even though I haven't really had the chance to put in the miles I know I should be I do find myself pounding the pavement at least three times a week.  I've gotten significantly faster even though I'm still not speedy.  But the other day I did run my 5k loop in 33 minutes.  A significant improvement from my first 5k.

Running is one thing that I do purely for myself.  I do what I can when I can.  I don't care what other people think of my running habits or ability.  I don't care how I look when I run but rather I focus on how I feel during and after my runs.  And that's usually pretty empowered.

If you're reading this and thinking about starting a running program: DO IT!  It is honestly one of the best things that I've done for myself in a long, long time.  Its changed my life.