Run, Walk, Then Run Some More

I’m the sort of runner who loses all ability to run if I go more than a week without doing it. I had a hip flexor injury back in April, then got my teeth knocked out in July. I had really wanted to get a new PR at the Root Beer Foam Fest in Arnold, Missouri this weekend. I even started training before the boating accident and was in great shape to kick some booty – well – to beat my own time, in any case!

I’ve had to start completely over with training, with the new challenge of my gums throbbing when I push too hard, and my legs being like, “But, you were on a couch for a month! What are you dooooing?” So on the one hand, I won’t be setting any personal records – THIS TIME. On the other hand, starting over with running has given me some new motivation and something to work towards. 

Is anyone else a run-walker? Or getting started with running? I know I’ve done half marathons before, but I really feel like I’ve been starting at zero as I have to rebuild up both my speed and endurance. I’d love to hear how other people are moving from run-walking! I just make up my own training plans. For me, it’s a mental game of always competing against myself! 

So far, on each run, my goal has been to:

  1. Run farther (without stopping or walking) than I did on my last run.
  2. Cover 3 miles (not counting warm up or cool down) regardless of how much I run or walk
  3. Try to cover those three miles faster than the last time. 

I’ve been instagramming some of my run times as I improve, but here is a quick comparison of last Wednesday to this past Saturday: 


distancerun3a128miles0atotaldistance3a300miles0a3miletime3a443a210aterrain3atreadmill2cflat0a0a-default distancerun3a15miles0atotaldistance3a375miles0a3miletime3a393a420aterrain3aoutdoors2cflat0a0a28sun29-default


The first stat is the distance I ran without walking or stopping. The second is the total distance covered. Third, I am trying to improve my 3 mile time, so you can see I cut a big chunk out!  A big part of accomplishing improving the three mile time is not just giving up when I can’t run any further. I have to keep walking, and to improve time, I have to add some runs in there, too. It is forcing me to think about more than “how far can I run” and it’s teaching me that I am stronger than I realize! 

Anyone else slowly building up distance? Any tips from the more experienced runners? 


28 Days of Clean Eating

I haven’t written in awhile, but Jonathan and I are challenging ourselves to healthy eating for 28 days, so I thought it was a good topic to start a blog series about for the month of June. We’ll be doing weekly weigh ins, before and after measurements, commentary on how it’s going, and sharing recipes. So here goes, the first post of this blog series! I hope you’ll follow along and cheer us on for the next 28 days!


Jonathan and I are committing to 28 days of clean eating. We are using the Fast Metabolism Diet (which has a handy app) as our road map for our meals, but we really believe that the key to its success is healthy, fresh, natural foods.

We “test drove” this diet for two weeks in April and had awesome results: increased energy, weight loss, clothes fitting better. And we weren’t being 100% serious about it either. So now we are going to give it a real go. The Fast Metabolism Diet asks you to give it 28 solid days, so that is what we are doing.

We’re going to blog about how it’s going as a way to stay accountable and to share how our habits and lives are changing as a result of being organized, disciplined, and simple about our meals and eating.

Today is Day 1, so I wanted to start with our BEFORE stats…

It’s taking us both a lot of courage to be share, but I HOPE that by the end of the month we’ll have something less embarrassing to show for it. So without further ado, here goes:

June 2nd, 2014

Sasha Jonathan
Weight 167.6 184.8
Waist 40 36.5
Hips 39.5 38.5
Upper Arm 12 12.5
Shoulders 43.5 44
Thigh 24 24.5


As a disclaimer, I am not really trying to “sell” this diet to anyone.. I’m not getting paid and I don’t benefit at all if anyone feels like giving it a try. I firmly believe that every body reacts to food, exercise, and the combination thereof differently, and so I don’t believe any specific diet or meal plan or eating plan will work for everyone. You have to find something that works for your body, for your lifestyle, for your preferences, etc.  For example, I can think of lots of eating plans that I for sure would lose weight on, but I’d end up not eating at all because I hate everything on it. That is not a healthy result.

That being said, we have tried so many different diets and methods for being healthier and losing weight. This one worked really well for us when we test drove it because the app made meal planning simple, I felt free from calorie counting, and we got results in a way that seemed relatively sustainable over the long term. I never felt sick from hunger and after the first 4 or 5 days I stopped having intense sugar and junk food cravings. So all in all, that was a win. So if you stick with us on this journey, and this specific food plan appeals to you, feel free to check out, since that is the plan we are working with. Or ask me more about it and I’m glad to share.

Or if you want to join us in our fitness journey, feel free to commit to SOMETHING for 28 days and put it in the comments!  We’d love to see some more people commit to being healthy in some small way in the month of June. 🙂


Tour De Donut

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, but today’s work out was in the form of a bike race! The Tour De Donut is put on by the Boeing Employee Bicycle Club and is a 34 mile race with donut stops in Staunton, IL. (

This is the first time I’ve been on a bike since Jonathan and I biked in France and since breaking my toe. So I was a little worried.. but apparently for nothing! The race was tons and tons of fun! We biked 34 miles and kept a nice average speed of between 12 and 12.5 mph (depends on whose bicycle computer you believe!)

Anyway, the official results aren’t posted yet, but I’ll post them when they are. At the Tour De Donut, you get five minutes taken off of your total time for every donut eaten. I ate a meager two donuts, Jonathan ate four. Apparently, when he did this race in ’09 he ate NINE donuts… holy moly! He is saying he wanted a tenth donut but they ran out. Geez! Two was enough for me!

This race is incredibly well organized and the sense of community out in Staunton and with all of the volunteers is awesome. At every turn, there are volunteers cheering you on and ringing bells. Along the stretches, tons of local people set up lawn chairs to watch the bikers and cheer. At one point, I was struggling up this hill, and some of the bikers who had dismounted and were walking started encouraging me to keep pedaling and told me I was doing a great job. It just felt really great to be out there biking with such a friendly and cheerful group of over 1600 people!

I would definitely do this race again, and the free tshirts are just a bonus. Maybe I’ll take a picture in the shirt tomorrow to make this post more exciting. 🙂

Now, back to learning about real property… way less exciting for sure!

Fitness Deal : Free Fitness Ball

Sears is rolling out a new fitness resource website, called fitstudio.

If you sign up through , you can get a free stability ball, 55,65, or 75 inch.  Once you register (which is free), they will email you a coupon to take to your local Sears and get a free stability ball.


Enjoy! 🙂

Sasha’s Tips

I have beauty tips and I have weight loss tips for you today! Pictures of holiday crafts and deocrations are forthcoming (as soon as I take pictures and get them on my camera.


So until then, the first ever installation of Sasha’s Tips.


Sasha’s tips for static-y hair or dresses!

1. Dryer sheets. If you have static-y hair in the winter (I sure do!) keep a few dryer sheets in your pocket. One swipe over your hair and it will settle way down!  This also works when you’re wearing a dress or skirt with tights. I frequently have the problem where I wear a wool pea coat, and when I take my coat off, my skirt sticks to my stockings. The dryer sheet works in this situation too!

2. Hair spray. Spray a generous amount of hair spray onto your brush and run through your hair before leaving for the day. This helps keep your hair for static-ing up during the day. You can also spray your stockings with hair spray before you leave. I don’t like this method nearly as much as the dryer sheets, but I have done it when I’ve run out of dryer sheets, and it also works!



Sasha’s Tips for Surviving Holiday Parties:

1. Decide up front that you are having no more than one of whatever your vice is (drinks, desserts, chips.)  Tell someone your decision (a close friend, significant other, your mom, whatever!) so that you have accountability.

2. This is my frequent method of avoiding holiday party over eating. I plan a delicious meal for myself for when I get home, and then decide I can have one or two small snack-type things, and picture my delicious meal waiting for me. Or, if the party is going to run late, I eat before I go, and then make sure I tell people, “Oh I already ate” so if they see me shoveling food into my face, I feel really awkward.

3. If its a party or event with people you’re close to, just bring something for yourself. If you bring it yourself, you know what’s in it. Sometimes I just make sure I bring a piece or fruit or a salad, and then help myself to a few things that the hostess is particularly proud of.  Or, conversely, ask the hostess if you can bring something to contribute to the party. Then make sure your dish is something you like and something healthy, and help yourself to it!

4. Don’t go!  If you can’t control yourself, just don’t go.

5. Extreme work outs before or after the gathering. If I know I’m hitting the gym right after an outing, I won’t over eat because that makes working out really uncomfortable.

First weight loss goal reached!

I officially reached my first goal on WW… I’ve lost five lbs! It’s exciting!  I also was able to put another pair of pants back into my wardrobe rotation…. they haven’t fit me since last spring,  and I wore them again last night! so that was also exciting!  My next goal is 10 lbs, and then my 10% goal, and then 20 lbs and then my final weight goal. So here is hoping I can keep making progress!


in other news, I’m about to go take my first exam of the season! After that, I just have a group paper, two take homes, and one more in class exam to get through in the next week! Plus crafting this afternoon  as a stress relief (I always give myself the afternoon after an exam off if I can. And I think I can because I have all day tomorrow to study study study!)

And… a Christmas party, a Birthday party, and seeing the Christmas lights at the park.  Super busy! 🙂



Work outs and Fitness Posts

So if you know me, you know that trying to lose weight and become more fit is something I have been working on for a long, long time.  I’ve been an on again off again dieter for probably about eight years. 

I had been keeping a blog with all of my food and exercise related experiences, pitfalls, triumphs, and ideas. And then I started doing weight watchers, which takes up plenty of my time on its own. And between doing that instead of a Sasha-created plan, and being buys, I wasn’t keeping up with that as a separate blog. 

So I’m going to integrate my weight-loss and fitness blogging into my everyday journal. Hopefully you guys don’t mind too much. But, if people leave comments telling me they’d prefer the weight-loss stuff on a separate tab, I’ll be happy to do that. 


Onto what I want to write about today. I am becoming a work out addict. Not in a bad way, so don’t worry. In a fabulous way. In a “I like to get 30 minutes of light exercise at a minimum most days because I feel more awake, more focused, and more alive” kind of way. I had decided not to hit the gym today (i worked out on Monday and Tuesday) but then I ended up driving right by the gym, and I was wearing gym clothes, and it felt like fate. So I popped in for 40 minutes on the bike. tomorrow I’m going to do 30 mins cardio and 30 minutes of core/back exercises. 

Don’t worry, guys. I’m not overdoing it. Sometimes I pop in for 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill.  I know when my body needs some recovery. 

I have just never, ever enjoyed working out in my life. And now, I love it. I love how focused I feel when I study after a good workout. Or better yet, when I go to class after a work out.  I love how much more energy I have all day. I love feeling like an active person instead of like a giant couch potato. 

My work out “routine” is pretty sporadic. The gym I go to has a lot of classes, and I like taking those when I can. Between the classes and my own workouts, I try to do weights twice a week, and I try to make sure I am working my upper and lower body evenly.  

Does anyone have a work out “routine”? It would be interesting to know what other people do or don’t do! 

Weight Watchers is Working for Me!

I know this post is going to sound like an advertisement, but it’s not. I’m just excited. By sticking to weight watchers and tracking every bite I eat, I am seeing results in a way I never have before!  For the first time, I feel active and like I can finally achieve my weight goals!

Weight watchers also just added an activity feature, where it sets an activity goal for you, which encourages me to work out!  I’ve been working out four times a week, and I’m getting to the point that I love my work outs.

Anyway, I’ve been seriously doing weight watchers for about three weeks and I’ve lost five pounds. It does require discipline to stick to, but having the structure has been great.

And I found a website that has great weight watchers recipes. It’s we made the coconut curry butternut squash soup last night and it was rich and delicious!  I highly recommend it! 🙂


(of course, I recommend everything on that website! Everything we have tried has been delicious!)



End of November recap

Well, friends, November came and left in the blink of an eye!

Thanksgiving weekend was interesting. Jonathan went to Ohio to see his family for Thanksgiving, and this grad student stayed home and studied, studied, studied! On actual Thanksgiving, some of my friends in town were free in the evening, so we met up for some IHOP and then board games. So I wasn’t too lonely!

One of Jonathan’s sisters, Monika, also went to Ohio for Thanksgiving. Both of Jonathan’s sisters live in Oklahoma, so the natural over night spot is at our place, since we are smack dab in the middle of the route between OK and OH. So we got to see Monika, her husband, Dave, and our three adorable nephews. And, we got to see them twice, in fact!

The kiddo on the right is Ben, who is five, and the kiddo on the left is Tim who is almost three. Aren’t they cute? They also got a kick out of Pancakes, our bunny:


And, they bought us a present…

These kids cups from First Watch are really cute, especially since our bunny is named pancakes and the syrup on the side of the pancake stack looks sort of like a bunny ear!


I guess that was really a Thanksgiving recap.  And in case you were feeling sorry for me for not having a real Thanksgiving, my friend Laurel (who moved out of the state last summer with her husband) was back in town to see her family for Thanksgiving, and they had an awesome Thanksgiving meal the weekend before Thanksgiving and invited me and Jonathan! So that was double fun…. great food and getting to see friends !

Now for the November recap:

– Jonathan and I joined a gym, and have been using bootcamp and personal training groupons, so fitness has been a huge focus this month!

– I lost 5 pounds this month and am doing great towards getting to my goal weight!

– A lot of studying. A. Lot.

– It was my mom’s and my sister’s birthdays this month, so belated happy birthday shout outs! (don’t worry, I did remember on the actual day!) Alysha turned TWENTY TWO!! How is that even possible?  btw… in March I am going to share my favorite Alysha story ever… so stay tuned!

– More studying… haha.

– I did, in fact, see Breaking Dawn in theaters, and that was definitely worth it.

– No snow yet here, hoping that sticks for awhile. I am not ready for snow!


Looking forward to December, to hopefully seeing everyone in my family, to Christmas crafts, and to travel! And.. of course… my birthday! Just gotta get through two weeks of exams and projects first. So.. here we go!