Netflix: The Future of Television

I mentioned previously that I am required to write a weekly blog post for my Masters of Science in Educational Technology. I have gotten behind on posting them on this blog, but I have kept up with the class. Enjoy the read and please correct me if I am wrong, that is how I learn best! Thank you for reading.

Netflix: The Future of Television

Netflix and other streaming services of a similar nature are continuing to rise in popularity. Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video entered the entertainment market a number of years ago. These streaming services initially were created as a medium for subscribers to watch entire seasons of television shows and movies on their own schedule from the comfort of their own home.

Netflix has two plan options for it’s viewers. You can pay $9.99 a month for access to unlimited entertainment and view on multiple devices at a time or $7.99 a month and have netflix in standard definition (as opposed to high definition) and can view it on just one device at a time. For Amazon Prime subscribers they can either pay $99 a year for the Prime full subscription or pay $8.99 a month to get the only streaming service. Compared to the cost of cable for many, this is an affordable alternative.

Netflix entered the market in the late 90s, revolutionized the movie rental industry, and offered subscribers the luxury of DVD’s mailed right to their homes.Viewers who subscribed to these services got the convenience of what seemed like countless shows and movies at their fingertips. Even more attractive to subscribers of these services was an advertisement-free viewing experience.

As time progressed, these streaming services were hosting an enormous selection of movies and shows in addition to producing their own. At first the releasing of these “original” movies and series was slow, but as they gained attention and followers, more and more of these series and movies have been released. While the idea of streaming services was revolutionary, it was not necessary a “new” idea.

Similar services were available for streaming music and reading books before Netflix shifted from mail order DVD’s only to the online service that Netflix is most recognized for now. Now that Netflix and it’s most popular competitor, Amazon Prime Video have begun releasing original content, the cable networks have been challenged.

In addition to producing their own content, Netflix announced recently that it’s subscribers are able to download movies and television shows to their android or iOS devices. This is similar to the service many online music providers offer. You can have a device full of music downloaded, but none of it is technology yours to keep.

With Netflix, you can download these movies and shows when you have a wifi connection so that later when you are offline you will have the ability to watch them. All of these luxuries have me wondering if Netflix and other similar services are the future of in-home entertainment. It is ad-free entertainment at your finger tips and in the comfort of your own home. What more could you possibly want? I have a feeling that in the not-so-far off future we will see cable television in the traditional sense diminish as these streaming services take it’s place.

To view infographics corresponding to this topic see below:

Online Platforms vs. Cable

Netflix Going Global

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My Semicolon Story;

Edit 3/31/17: The founder of Project Semicolon has passed. This is a very sad day! This is just another reminder of how real mental illness is and how much of a struggle it can be. Please, if you are having suicidal thoughts and are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out! It takes a whole system of support to persevere. Your story doesn’t have to end. 

https://themighty.com/2017/03/amy-bleuel-founder-of-project-semicolon-dead/

LONG, LOOOOOONG time, no see. I feel like sometimes through the facade of social media we sometimes lose sight of ourselves. Day after day our feeds are flooded with many of our friends, family members, and acquaintances high light reels.

We see these people smiling in photos and always having a great time. We sometimes lose ourselves in that we begin to compare these high light reels, these selected and filtered moments of other’s lives, and compare them to our whole life, bloopers, sad scenes, and all. This can really create a feeling of isolation and worthlessness, especially to those who already battle with those very thoughts in their everyday life.

I have debated sharing my story for a while, but if it helps just one person then I am grateful. I apologize in advance, this is a very lengthy post.

This is my semicolon story.

My battle began with issues of self-image. I can remember always having a concern over the number on the scale, even before middle school. Upon entering middle school, I can still visualize the moment I decided to go on my first of many “extreme” diets. I was eleven.

A male friend of mine poked my stomach on the first day of sixth grade and said, “hey, you lost your blubber over the summer.” It was at that point that I lost a piece of myself. I began obsessing over everything going in my body.

I ate lettuce wraps with carrots. I measured every single calorie that went into my body. The most alarming thing is that I would cancel plans with friends so I could work out and monitor what I ate. At twelve years old I could hardly stand the sight of myself in a mirror.

Growing up, my mother always told me I was beautiful. She even would address my weight concerns with my pediatrician who would assure me that I was healthy and as long as I ate fruits, vegetables, watched my sweets, and exercised I would continue to be healthy.

I developed these rituals to squeeze in exercise during every spare moment I had. It got to the point that it concerned my parents so I would secretly exercise behind closed doors. Whenever I used the restroom or before bed I would manically do push-ups, sit-ups, and dips. I even hid a set of dumbbells under my bed.

About six months later my obsession with exercise and health fizzled out for a bit. With that came a new habit. I would chew food up and secretly spit it out into a napkin. I’d do this to an entire plate of food and would even grab a second plate and do it all over again. I wanted to convince my parents that I didn’t have a problem. I did anything to try and convince them. While convincing them, I think I was secretly trying to convince myself.

The exercise pretty much ceased until one day late in the school year.  That one day was in gym class during 7th grade a kid poked me in the stomach and asked if I was pregnant. Suddenly, I was back in 6th grade again. I did all I could to laugh it off. On the inside, I was dying.

I began taking several hour long walks and runs and begged my mom until she finally agreed to get me a gym membership. Once I began working out, I became pretty antisocial. I would workout 6-7 days a week for 2-3 hours at a time. Again, I measured every bit of food. I even had a scale I would use to measure my food to the gram.

I would pace in the kitchen as I prepared my food in order to burn “extra” calories. I could not even go out to eat with my parents and enjoy it. I was once a kid who drank soda and ate a big ol’ burger out. I now became the kid who only drank water and asked for salads with no dressing. I would go to the lighter faire options, eat around the cheese and toppings, and pretend like everything was okay.  My weight dropped almost 30 pounds in just 2.5 months.

When I entered 8th grade, these obsessive habits with food transformed into ones in which I only ate the outside of foods and would trash what was left inside. I found myself backing off on the exercise as time progressed. I started growing closer to this individual I’d met the previous school year.

At that point, I began spending less time in the gym, less time doing meal prep, and more time hanging out with this person. In some sense I felt like I was finally getting better. I was no longer counting the calories (though I had a pretty good idea how many calories were in most foods).  As you may have guessed it, this person I invested myself in was a guy.

We had a lot of fun hanging out together, but their definitely was a steep downhill from those fun times.

This is where the words don’t just roll off the tongue. I have accepted my body image issues as well at my eating disorder. I have accepted that it happened and that I truly did not love myself.  It’s the issues that I developed later in middle school and into early high school that I have a hard time owning up to.

That boy I mentioned earlier, well, I started to equate my self-worth to everything in our relationship. When we had a good day, I felt on top of the world. When we fought, I was completely and fully convinced that I was the root of all our issues. Yeah, at times I definitely did not make matters better and maybe at times I was actually the bad guy. Maybe I provoked him, maybe I didn’t. What we had became unhealthy and I could not see that.

This was more than just feeling bad after a fight. This was feeling worthless. This was feeling like that boy was doing me a favor by dating me.  This was having your mood, your state of mind, and your self-worth, dependent solely on another person.

This feeling of worthlessness, it wrecked me.

I spent many of nights crying myself to sleep. I would think to myself “why do you keep messing up, why can’t you just do things right for once?” I often hid in my closet and cried into a pillow.

On the exterior my once colorful wardrobe transformed into drab black, heavy eyeliner, and essentially what was called “emo” at the time.

It wasn’t just me trying to be trendy, it was actually a reflection of what I was becoming.

Oh, this is the part I really dread thinking about.

These nights of crying left me feeling empty. There was this pain that I just could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried. It was at this point that I first cut myself.

It didn’t hurt.

You hear people say the emotional pain hurt so much that self-harm actually made them feel better. Well, it did, but very temporarily.

Through all of this, I still did not see that I wasn’t worthless. I did not see that this wasn’t normal. I did not see that I needed help. I believed this was normal, I was just going through a phase, teenagers are emotional, and fights happen.

By day I was an “A” student involved in extracurricular activities and by night I was hiding in my closet.

I am not sure when it finally clicked that things shouldn’t be this way. I couldn’t see that some people, some habits, some thoughts, were all toxic.

When I entered high school, I still hadn’t learned to love myself, as a matter of fact I am still learning just that to this very day.

When I was 14 I met the boy who would become my fiancé a little over seven years later. We ran cross country together and had freshman English together. We met after our first race when he offered me his water bottle when I was clearly distraught from a bad race. Even then, he was already taking care of me.

After practice his mom would take me home. We were just casual friends.

One day, for whatever reason I decided I would sit by him in English. We joked around. It was awkward at first so I looked him up on the popular social media platform at the time (MySpace) and essentially stalked him. I memorized his interests like I was studying for a test. I even listened to the weird indie music on his page.

I began dropping these bits of information as if I identified with them in our conversations. Eventually we had been talking for almost two months when I told him some deep dark secrets that I’d told no one.

This 14 year boy must have felt like I was insane. I unloaded my emotions on him in English. I can still visualize that moment. But you know what, he didn’t judge me. He didn’t tell me I was wrong. He didn’t tell me I was dumb. He listened.

He was the first person to listen to me without judgement. He was also the first person to help me see I was a victim.

You see, that boy from middle school was still in my life at that point. He pinched me when I said something he didn’t like. He’d squeeze my hand so hard the ring on my finger would bruise the finger just beside it. There were small bruises up and down my arms from him yet I still felt I was the cause of all those issues. I made him hurt me. I believed casual talking was flirting and so I began to recluse.

Had I not met the man (young man at the time) who would later become my boyfriend (and much later my fiancé), I don’t know where I would be today.

I am not sure I would have been strong enough to get away. I may have fallen deeper into myself.

I remember my first fight with my fiancé, he was angry and I crumbled. To the floor I went, sobbing. I immediately blamed myself and felt scared. It was this moment I knew I was falling in love with this guy. Instead of getting angrier, placing blame on me, and hurting me, he picked me up. He hugged me. He assured me all would be okay.

To this day I still battle feelings of worthlessness but not because of the guy I am with. I no longer hide in closets. I no longer have to pretend I am happy when I am not.

With that, I am happy to say I haven’t cut myself for almost seven years. Though that doesn’t mean I am not sometimes tempted too.

I made huge strides in learning to love who I am when I feel into a job at a summer camp. What I presumed would just end up being a job, ended up a learning experience. I found a place I long for. I found a place that I can always go to and they will welcome me with open arms. I found a giant family of people to hear me without judgement.

Each day I battle myself when I look in the mirror. I see myself and I see flaws. I don’t love myself like I should and thus I work every day to love myself. I may love my fiancé to the moon and back but if I do not love myself, something will always be missing in the love I give him.

He’s been my right hand man through it all. Though at times he does not understand where I am coming from, he surely tries his best to.

As I near the end of my education, I’ve faced anxiety, low points, and an overall lack of enthusiasm. But I am much stronger now. It has been a 10 year battle with me and myself, but I am finally ready to stop facing this battle alone. Though I am a warrior, it’s time to call in for back up.

I am finally ready to get the help I need. This is my semicolon.

Edit 3/31/17:

I posted this blog a year ago. My story continues to go on, as a matter of fact I am stronger than ever. In the past year I have made a commitment to taking care of my mind, body, and soul. Each day, I eat what I want in moderation as long as it is balanced with nutrition and each day I get exercise, even if it is just a short walk. When I look in the mirror, I make a conscious effort not to nit pick. It is tough, but over time it gets easier.

This has been liberating. I am physically and mentally stronger than I have been in years and I feel like I have really taken back my life. Now, this is not saying I do not struggle. I do. I have very low days, but instead of those low days turning in low weeks and months, I have gained the tools necessary to keep on moving on. What works for me, won’t necessary work for everyone, but the first step is deciding you don’t want your story to end.

For more information on Project Semicolon, visit this page: http://www.projectsemicolon.org/

Training Plan – 13.1

Disclaimer,  I’m in the car on my way back to the KC side of Missouri after a short visit with my parents in STL this weekend so the quality of this post may lack. Typing on a smartphone isn’t ideal but I am trying to post more regularly so here goes!

As I alluded to in my previous post, I am training for a half marathon, my second one! Today marks the beginning of my third week of training and I’m already feeling much better during my workouts. I’ve actually felt so good that I will be modifying this plan to become a little more advanced.

I am training with two other ladies who do not have the background in running that I do and thus I designed the plan with them in mind. I adapted this plan from the one provided on Pop Sugar fitness. There are two cross training days, but I have been running on one of them and running on one of my strength training days.

In high school and my first year of college I was always a 5-6 day a week runner. I was just scared that too much too quick would injure me. Now that I’m getting my fitness back,  I realize I have goals to accomplish with my half marathon and thus I am going to take things up a notch.
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I am really enjoying running again. I hate that I let myself get out of it. I am definitely a more pleasant person when I am running. My energy levels have increased and my boyfriend has even commented how my moods are much more stable! We all know a happy girlfriend makes for a happy boyfriend!  I would like to go further into detail as to what strength training and cross training I’m doing, but it’s not too exciting yet. I’m still feeling out what intensity I can handle and playing with how to spice things up. Since I cannot handle staring at my phone in the car any longer (I get motion sick very easily) I’m going to wrap this up!

More details to come, new running shows en route to me, new running clothes to be purchased, and a new training plan to be shared!

Happy running!

* Disclaimer: I’m not a personal trainer or a physical therapist. I take no responsibility for pulled muscles, sprained legs, or ligament tears. Exercise at your own risk. Always consult a doctor before entering a fitness program.*

Living, Learning, and Everything in Between

You know, its funny. Sometimes I get to wondering “who am I to think I am so special that random people would actually be interested in reading about me, about my life, about my complaints, and even my rants.” Its a good question to pose and for a minute I even though “why would I ever have thought blogging is a good idea, who would ever be interested in ME?!!”

Then I got to thinking, why do I read others blogs, why do I follow people’s journeys through life, why am I interested in them. There are so many reasons, but before I elaborate, I think it boils down to one simple concept: We want to relate to someone.

Whether we are in college, a foodie, a runner, a yogi, a momma, a poppa, an artist, a singer, a plain jane, or a combination of many, we want to relate to others. Thinking you’re alone in something is super disheartening, but reading about a whole entire community doing what you’re doing is an amazing feeling. It can be motivating. Whether you’re journey in whatever walk of life just began or you have been trudging on for a while, a community of support is sometimes all you need to take on the next big thing

Isn’t that amazing? While social media can be a huge distraction (and arguably other pitfalls) it also links us to a whole realm of people just like you! I follow runners and college students (and miscellaneous other blogs) from around the country the world.

I love blogging and though I have been very inconsistent, the feedback I get makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (yes, I said that…). Sometimes just getting one comment back saying “great post” or “great read” makes all the difference in my day. Yes, its small, the gesture only took that person a very short amount of time, but it brought a smile to my face.

That brings me to why I am here and I know if you go back into my archive you will find some post that explains that, but after some months have passed my purpose has seemed to shift. I really am here, blogging because first off I love to write. I love to express myself and this is a very easy medium to do so. Next, I love the network of people and their backgrounds. These people motivate me to jump from my comfort zone. Lastly, I am hear to learn. I may share my own experiences, but I want to learn from others. Yes, from the title of this blog you can probably tell there will be quite a bit of fitness involved, but there is much to share and much to learn.

Sometimes life may be ugly, but for the most part, it really is beautiful.

As I get into my Junior year of college and my life changes a bit, I hope to be back here blogging. I hope to be writing about the challenges I am taking on and I hope that I step outside my comfort zone.

I have one last thing to add before I close. I challenge you to ask yourself why are you here? Why are you blogging and reading?

Happy Thursday!!

Poll time! Opinions wanted!

imageHello lovelies! Anyone else have a case of the Mondays? Right now I should be working on a research paper, studying for an exam, working out, and cleaning my apartment, but instead I have created my first poll! Yay…err..uhm..yeah!

In an effort to increase my followers, change my blog up, change my routine up, and post more often, I want to hear from you! Any of you. Whether you’re a runner, a boxer, a yogi, a cyclists, a heavy weight champion..you get the point! I need to hear from you so I can get better at this whole blogging thing. So, there you go, a poll! Whatever wins will be the subject of my next post.

If no one votes, then you’ll get to hear about my belly button lint. Just kidding. That’s gross. Just vote!

Happy Fitness!

Oh and stay tuned, I will soon be doing my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! Eeeek! Now vote!

And so it began..

It all started with a kiss…just kidding. I am not sure what started it all, but my life dramatically changed once I got the news (oh that sounds far too dramatic for this post…before you continue I feel like I need a disclaimer about that).photo 2 (6)

Oh the joys of having blood drawn.

A week before Thanksgiving when I really started feeling ill, it wasn’t until December 5th that I got my official diagnosis, MONO. Since that diagnosis my immune system has been in overdrive, but I will get to that later in this post (I have a whole lot of catching up to do!)

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So the night before my race I laid out my stuff, but I just didn’t feel well. It was just a general blah feeling. I was achy, for no reason. My neck had been achy for about a week. I wasn’t sleeping well, but I hadn’t given it a second thought. I never read into my aches and pains. I always just assume its cause I am overworked.

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Thanksgiving day I ran my last run before growing ill. I ran it with some of my teammates from high school. It was a pretty good race given I didn’t sleep a wink the night before, I felt exhausted from head to toe, I had not done any speed work since my return to running from being injured (at the end of September), and I had mono (which I was unaware of at the time!) After my race I immediately puked (gross…right?) and I just could not get rid of that sick feeling.  Throughout the entire day I just had no appetite and no energy. If you know anything about me, NO APPETITE is strange!

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Me and the other three girls who ran with me that day! (See right).

Later that day I pulled myself together went to my Aunts house for the feast.  My younger cousins came over and I played on the floor, ran around, crawled, jumped, you name it. Usually I can do all that on top of running with NO PROBLEMS, but I just felt incredibly fatigued while also having a constant pain in my neck. That night I noticed lymph node swelling and decided off to the doctor I go!

I got a indefinite diagnosis and an antibiotic (that I had an allergic reaction to) and ended up back at the doctor four days later. Got blood tests and an anti-inflammatory and found out I had mono. About a week later I traveled across state to stay with my parents for the holidays (winter break, wooooo). I was so tired, visibly fatigued, depressed I couldn’t exercise, and spent my days laying around.photo 3 (5)

At least I had a pretty tree to look at while I sulked in my sickness? Right?

I felt like I hit rock bottom. It could not get any worse. I was incredibly sick and incredibly bummed. My whole lifestyle just halted and suddenly I was not that busy student. I wasn’t working, going to class, running, cleaning. I wasn’t me. I just had to remember it would get better.

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I hung out with a few friends and came down with a bad cold. It took me a week to shake it, then I came down with another. That persisted for another week. Then I lost my voice. I had laryngitis for 9 days and tons of chest congestion and guess what, New Years Eve my butt was back at the doctor.  Got put on a nasal spray, two weeks of an antibiotic, and mucinex.

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My little home remedy to congestion. Lemon and honey green tea with you guessed it, lemon, honey…oh and mint leaves! You didn’t see that one coming did you?

Here I am a week later and I still can’t shake the exhaustion, neck pain, and drainage.  I even have a stomach bug now. I am just wondering, what could be next?! Thankfully I got a flu shot, or I would probably have that too!! This has been a long and bumpy road, but I am just itching to get back to running. 

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One night, I really was feeling low and then the next morning I get a text from my best friend telling me to take a look out on my porch. She had went out her way for me and let me tell you, I cried a few tears of joy. She is just the sweetest, most selfless young women I have ever met. Despite all the stress in her life she made time and effort to make me feel better and for that I am infinitely thankful (getting teared up just thinking about it).

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Speaking of good deeds…Santa (my mother), left me some surprises when I wasn’t feeling too hot. She had a cold and a sinus infection herself, yet she put her needs aside to help me. It is just unbelievable how selfless some people are. I honestly think had it not been for some of those people the past two months, I’d still be extremely ill.

It was a bittersweet situation, and still is, I had to withdraw from the marathon I was going to run (but I am still fundraising for team NCCS and you can donate by clicking here). I had to cease strenuous exercise in its entirety, and I had to lay around. NON-STOP. Now that doesn’t sound too great when I put it that way, but just wait!

I got to see my friends, which I never do when I am in town. I usually work my break away, run when I am free, and sleep when I’m not doing either of those things. Without running and working I had time for movie nights and hanging out. Though I was extremely exhausted, it was nice to catch up.

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I was forced to lay around during the holidays and thus more time with my family! I was forced to lay around during one of the coldest winters on record in this area, and thus not get in that winter running rut. I was forced to get off my diet during a time of goodies, so I indulged for once. I was forced to do many things I would not have choose to do otherwise and many of these things were refreshing. Fotor0107211811

Just a few of the goodies I may or may not have (most definitely) stuffed in my face from time to time.

In addition, I was forced to take it easy simultaneously with my winter break. It was a huge blessing in disguise. I am always on the go and finally I got to set up post and put my feet up. I can’t remember the last time I was able to do that. All these things resulting as an effect of being sick ended up going from negatives to postives. This winter break was going to be horrible (in my mind), but surprisingly it was one of the most satisfying ones I can remember.

Speaking of winter break, it coincides with winter —who would have thought? If you aren’t from the midwest, you should be aware, winter is a very cold and snowy time. The weather is not exactly the most pleasant conditions for training. I get out there 6 days a week (given good health) and tough it out. This winter; however, I get an actual excuse to stay inside…without the guilt of simply skipping a run (though I still feel guilty…)

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That is about a foot of snow outside and a windchill of -33…so not running in that doesn’t exactly hurt my feelings.

Had this all happened during Spring semester when I lacked the time to rest and the weather was beautiful, you better believe I’d still be very, very ill (plus I wouldn’t have my momma to take care of me).

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Not related to what I am talking about, but look how pretty it was! 

Though I don’t want to wish sickness on anyone, I’ve learned a lot about myself and coping through of all this. For one, I am not invincible. My immune system is just a mess right now. I have also learned to seek out the good in a not so great situation. Sure I have a lot to learn and I am still bitter, but overall, it was strangely refreshing. I am ALWAYS on the go, and for two months I have been forced to focus on ME. I’ve learned, I really don’t do much of that on a day-to-day basis and that my readers, is A PROBLEM.

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My little brother and I prior to attending the annual family Christmas Eve party. I know I don’t look sick there, but trust me, putting make-up on was a grueling task. Who would have thought?

So through all of this the holidays came. They were tiring (that’s the theme of this post…so redundant, but exhaustion and mono go hand in hand). I baked for hours and it was rough! I helped clean and decorate. I just pushed myself too much…and then the day after Christmas I had a fever and no voice. GO FIGURE. Nonetheless, the holidays were very enjoyable.

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Santa was super good to me, too good actually. I received more gifts than I could have imagined. Not only did I receive gifts, but then there were joint gifts that my family gifted my boyfriend and I.  There are two gift bags and a crock pot not pictured here, and that was only from my parents…err…uhm…Santa. photo 4 (2)

My boyfriends parents bought me something I would never buy myself unless I found it clearanced and then had a coupon (I am a super-duper bargain hunter, all my running clothes are at least 80% off).

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I also finally received my prize that I won from a giveaway from Blisters and Black Toenails. That was a Christmas present in itself and I am super excited to try out the products I received. I am super-mega excited that the shoelaces I won also match the hat my boyfriend’s parents (practically in-laws) gifted me. Eeeeek. Now I just need to get well so I can use everything!!

Dang, that was a mouth full. I have been missing in action for quite a while now so this was just a regurgitation of my life. In my mind I felt it was necessary in order to appropriately proceed on with my blogging. If you are still reading, pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and prepare yourself because I am not done yet!

So now that I am getting closer to being well, I am throwing around training plans. It’s very hard. I am pretty much starting from scratch. I am pleased that despite some indulgences, I have lost weight ( I mentally counted my calories even though I tried not to). I am tempted to draft up a rough one week fitness test type plan. I would record my workouts, how I feel, heart rate, and soreness. At the end of the week I was thinking I would have a better idea of how to proceed as far as a long term plan goes. IF YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FEEL FREE TO SHARE…please!!!

Until then its time for my hometown to thaw out because I have a feeling if I go outside right now, I am going to look a whole lot like my furry friend here.

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I feel so bad for the poor thing. I let him out to go potty and he just turned around and stared at the front door like “you want me to do my business out here?”

Just a few days remain of my Christmas break and I am just trying to relax as much as possible before returning to my apartment. I am not looking forward to checking back into reality (well I am, but at the same time is 20 too young to retire?) I have had it too nice. Time to hit the ground running (well, not literally yet). This coming Monday I return to classes and work. I’ll be working 16 hours a week, going to class 17 hours a week, and trying to gauge whether or not I am well enough to workout on top of it all.

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Oh the struggle. I think the worst thing about returning to school is the one mile walk in the cold I will have to make to and from class everyday. With all the money I have had to spend lately…I really need to return to work.

Life Happens

HELLO! No, no I did not disappear…I mean technically I did, but I am back (at least for now). So boy are things crazy. Since I went missing I was nominated for the Liebster Award and I never got around to that post so I plan to do that one…only a month or so late. I ran my first 5k post injury and won! Then I ran my 2nd 5k on Thanksgiving, didn’t win but did DAMN good. I ran about 10 seconds faster at that one. Not a personal record, but close to the range I want to be in. After Thanksgiving, things went downhill a little.

I came home for my Thanksgiving break from college about a week before the holiday. I’d noticed I was exhausted…literally ALL. THE. TIME. The day I came home, it was freezing outside. I decided to run about 8 miles while my family was out. I ran, the first 4 were great and them my pace slowed…and when I say slowed, I mean by over a minute.

It slowed DRAMATICALLY. I hit the wall like I’d never hit it before. I decided to look back at my average pace for the runs about a week prior and I noticed the same trend. I didn’t think much of the fatigue, thought maybe it was related to diet.

On that Thursday I came home I noticed a spot on my neck, it hurt a whole lot. Every time I swallowed it felt like a lump in my throat. I thought it was a strain. Didn’t think much of it, went to sleep. The next day I had the WORST stiff neck I’ve ever had. Again, thought it was related to running or exercising. Then came Thanksgiving. I raced a 5k, finished in about 23:35, and just puked all over the finish. THAT. NEVER. HAPPENS. I didn’t let it bother me, but as the holiday progressed and I helped with the festivities, played with the kids, I just had no energy. I went to bed at 8:00pm (which is a rare thing as a full time student with a part time job). I knew something was wrong.

The next morning I told my mother, she gave me the usual speech about how I should have went to the doctor earlier, ya de ya. At this point the whole right side of my body was in pain. My glands were swollen, my head was throbbing, walking through the store left me struggling for breath. It was the strangest thing. I had to go to work so I went to the Health Care Clinic and was prescribed an antibiotic. I was told if symptoms didn’t subside by the time my prescription was up I needed to see my doctor.

So I went to work. Standing on my feet for hours, going in and out of the walk in freezer, and having to keep a smile on my face was one of the hardest things to do.

I had hope. I figured I was on my way to feeling better. Little did I know I wasn’t. My train to return back home was that Sunday. My mother told me if I wasn’t feeling any better on Sunday I should go to Urgent Care in the morning. I didn’t listen. I figured it was the third day of antibiotics, I should let them do their job. So Monday, I wake up, no energy my face is puffy on the right side, everything ached, and my right breast was enlarged. I almost winced when I saw my mother’s name pop up on the phone. I answered and embraced for the “I told you so speech.” She was right…and darn it she is ALWAYS right.

I went to the doctor the next morning. I skipped my second class of the day and walked my butt to the clinic. I felt like death. Immediately this doctor new something was wrong. She guessed it was mono. They drew blood and today I officially found out the results… drum roll please…

It’s mono.

So what does that mean. That means I can’t run for at least a month..and marathon training was SUPPOSED to start this past Monday. That means not high intensity or high impact physical activity – what it life? – and not collision sports. I cannot bike to class out of risk of falling and rupturing my spleen. I can’t take tylenol or share drinks with family…blah blah blah. But all I really could focus on was I CAN’T RUN. I CAN’T RUN. I CAN’T RUN.

After months of being injured and yearning to run, I finally get back on my feet only to be knocked right back off them. The doctor said, the ONLY medicine is rest…plus a prescription anti-inflammatory they gave for the swelling and pain. That’s about 6 of the 18 weeks of my marathon training spent RESTING. No elliptical, no stairmaster. I can walk. I can stationary bike, but not high intensity. I can swim…but again nothing too strenuous.

Thankfully my job at school is an office job. I should be able to maintain my routine with classes and work, though my fast food job over Christmas break is going to be another story..

I also opted to take two of classes online in order to allow me more time to REST. I will still be doing the course work, but in the comfort of my my own apartment.

In turn, seeing that I will be home for a month and I am positive my mother is going to force me to rest, I have resigned from my marathon. I will instead be running the 5k that weekend. I know I can train for the 5k, I could even PR. I have goals for my marathon and with the possibility of being sick 6 weeks all the way to 6 months, a marathon is just not going to work. I will instead run my first marathon in October. I already have one picked out. It’s sad, but health comes first. One positive to running a marathon in October is the bulk of my training will be in the warmer months. I will be a counselor in Colorado and thus the weather will be great and it’ll be high altitude training.

HOPEFULLY I HAVE NOT LOST YOU. IF YOU ARE STILL READING I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT. Though I will no longer be running the marathon, I will however still be raising money for the NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CANCER SOCIETY. Please consider a donation. I have $200 left to raise. Make it a Holiday Charity donation, or make a donation in someones honor. Your donation of as little as $10.00 could make one child’s Christmas just a little better. This is the season of giving after all!  You can donate by following this link right here.

Thank you! I hope all is well in the blogging world. If you have any advice for me, I would very much so appreciate it at this time! Thank you!!