Tuesday, January 31, 2012

That Time I Went in an Alligator Cage

You guys know that every so often I get to do really, really cool things at my job.

Like the time I held $320,000 at the U.S. Mint.

320K

Or the time I got to go into one of the White House kitchens and interview their executive chef.

But I think yesterday takes the cake.

Yesterday, I got to go in the cage with an albino alligator while she was being fed.

alligator
Oleander, the alligator.

Getting in the tank
Me being a cornball as I walk into her cage.

Our team was on site at the National Aquarium in D.C. interviewing some of the staff about their jobs and all the animals in the aquarium for our kids website.

filming alligator feeding

I've been to the National Aquarium in Baltimore several times, but had never checked out its sister location in D.C. The aquarium in D.C. is located in the basement of the Department of Commerce, pretty much the last place you'd expect to find a bunch of tanks full of animals.

Herbert C. Hoover Building (Department of Commerce)
Department of Commerce (Source)

Oleander, the albino alligator is on special display until April, and she is really quite a sight. She's still pretty small, only about four feet long, and compared to other alligators she's much more docile. And she's obviously not that dark green/black color you expect to see in alligators.

Fun fact: There are fewer than 100 albino alligators in the world.

When I was in her cage, Oleander stayed in the water and didn't really pay any attention to me, although at one point she got bored with her food and started swimming in my direction.

alligator feeding

As you'll notice, I sort of started to back up a little bit then. She might be small and have poor eyesight compared to other alligators, but she's still an alligator.

The aquarium staff feed her a variety of different food, but yesterday's delicacy was frozen mice. So yep, I got up close and personal with some frozen mice for the camera.

Being that close to an alligator was really, really cool. I've been to aquariums tons of times, but I've never had a chance to be on the other side of the glass.

P.S. If you're curious, you can check out a virtual tour of the D.C. aquarium. You'll notice right away how different Oleander looks compared the alligator in the virtual tour.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What I Watch When I'm Sick

Being sick is sucky, there's no doubt about that. Being sick over a weekend in January when it's in the high 50's and sunny is doubly sucky.

Just when I thought I was getting over feeling crappy, something reared it's head this weekend and I got to spend a beautiful weekend in bed in my PJs.

Thanks goodness for Netflix and Hulu, I don't think I could have survived without them.

Here's a look at what I watched the amuse myself this weekend:

Say Yes to The Dress

tv1

Normally, I'm a huge sucker for this show, but this weekend I was only able to stomach a few episodes. Turns out, after watching many, many seasons of this show it starts to get repetitive.

Morning Glory

tv2

A cute movie where Rachel McAdams is hired to revive a failing morning news program. Also starring Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford. This movie is one part chick flick, one part save dying journalism. Given my journalism roots, it's safe to say I really enjoyed this.

Smash

tv3

Smash is a new show premiering the week after the Super Bowl, but Hulu is streaming the pilot episode so I thought I'd check it out. The show centers around getting a new musical opened on Broadway -- finding actresses, directors, someone to financially back the show. There's lots of singing and dancing, but it's way more grown up than Glee. I was a theater nerd in high school, so I think I'm really going to love this show.

Alcatraz

tv4

Give me JJ Abrams and former stars from Lost and well, I have to at least check it out. Alcatraz takes place in the present day, with several flashbacks to when the prison closed in 1963. The main story is that the 302 prisoners who were in the prison when it closed vanished. But now they are showing up in the present day, without having aged a bit, and committing the same crimes that got them sent to Alcatraz in the first place. This show is full of time travel, super secret government "investigators" and other weird mysteries you expect from JJ Abrams. I watched all three episodes that have aired and so far I'm liking it. It was a little more police drama than I expected, but the weird time travel mysteries intrigued me enough that I'll keep watching for a while. Plus Hurley's in it....and by Hurley, I mean the guy who played him in Lost.

I'm still not feeling stellar today, but seriously, I've got to be on the tail end of this cold/sinuses mess at this point. I don't think I can take much more without going nuts.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Confessions Part Two

I've been sick with some sort of nasty head congestion/sore throat for most of the week and haven't done one bit of working out since volleyball on Tuesday night.

This makes me feel lazy. (And it doesn't leave me with a ton to blog about.)

But, it's supposed to be in the 60's this weekend in DC. I'm hoping I feel up to a bike ride at some point. Got to take advantage of the warm days when I can.

In light of not having anything workout-wise to share, I thought I'd share some more Friday confessions.

  • My SmartTrip card (the card you need to ride the metro in DC) disappeared Tuesday night after my volleyball game. I called Metro to report it, and apparently some loser had picked it up and been using it through out the subway system. Metro froze the card account and can transfer the remaining balance on to my new card. Hope you enjoyed your free ride while it lasted, jerk.

  • I have not been sleeping well this week. Monday night I tossed and turned in bed for hours. I think I finally passed out around 2 a.m.

  • I tend to get realllll cranky when I don't get enough sleep.

  • Our volleyball team dropped from first place to second place in the standings this week. Bummer.

  • I lost power at my house this morning for no reason other than it was raining a little. It's hard to work from home without the power and the Internet so I had to go into the office. Getting ready in the dark is not fun, but I managed to find clothes that matched in my closet. So I'll count that as a victory.

  • I'm starting to get really antsy for summer. I'm glad we're supposed to have nice weather this weekend. I'm so over the rain and the cold winter days.

  • I bought a wetsuit yesterday. It was on crazy sale and it was actually cheaper for me to buy this one than to rent a wetsuit for the two tri's I have coming up this spring. Buying a wetsuit makes this whole triathlon thing seem very real.



What are your confessions for the week?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Volleyball Slump

Quick note about the mobile version of my site: I know not many of you access my site through the mobile version, but for those of you who do, I've had to disable it for a while because some of the mobile coding is interfering with my comments plugin. I'm working to figure out if there's anything I can do about it and how to resolve the problem, but for now, the only thing that works is disabling the mobile site. Sorry guys! Hoping to have a better solution soon!

Last night my volleyball team struggled a little bit in our games and we ended up finishing the night 2-2, after beating a really fundamentally sound team and then losing to a scrappy team.

Our league plays a little bit different than most. Instead of playing three games against one team, we play two games against two different teams round-robin style. We also only play until 17 to keep the games moving. It's definitely a little bit untraditional and it's taken me a while to adjust, but it's kind of fun playing two different teams each week.

The last couple of weeks we've been finishing 3-1 on the night and as a result had claimed the top spot in the standings.

vball standings week 2

I'm sure after last night, we'll drop though.

Our team is far from a group of super stars, but we are pretty competitive, and it's always frustrating to lose games you know you have the skill and talent to win.

I'm the kind of person who comes home and ruminates on everything that I did wrong in the games. Every missed dig or every misplayed set.

Don't worry, I don't just focus on the negative. In one game I did serve for 12 points in a row and had a few clutch digs, but I learn more from where I messed up.

I also feel the need to analyze the entire game with people. You know how when you just finish a great run (or a crappy run) and you just want to talk about it for a while. Yea, I'm like that with team sports too. Emily and I probably talked about the game for a solid 40 minutes last night.

Next week it looks like we'll be facing some stiff competition, but I'm hoping we can rebound and get a couple more wins.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My First Triathlon Training Plan

Wow, putting together a training plan that covers a 10 mile race in April, a sprint tri in May and an Olympic tri in June that still leaves time for things like my volleyball and softball leagues is much, much harder than I expected.

In fact, it took me pretty much the entire afternoon while I was home yesterday.

I wasn't sure how to approach it and with training dates that didn't line up nicely it was challenging.

  • Training for the 10 miler needed to start in the middle of February.
  • Training for the sprint needed to start at the end of Feb.
  • Training for the Oly needed to start at the end of March.
I looked at a ton of different running and tri training plans, and finally came up with a hybrid that I think will work.

march training
End Feb./beginning of March

If you're interested in seeing the full training plan, shoot me an email and I can share the Google calendar with you.

I selected a 10-miler training program from Runner's World that only has you running three days. That leaves four days for cross-training or possible rest. In the beginning of my training the emphasis will be on running to get me ready for the 10 miler. I'll bike and swim on the cross-training days to build a solid base.

Then once my 10 miler is over in April, the training plan shifts focus to more tri-centric workouts. Running times get shorter while swim and bike times increase. And bricks will be added to the plan on a more regular basis.

Looking at the training plan seems a little overwhelming at times, but I think mixing it up with swimming and biking will keep things from getting stale.

When I'm training for road races, I tend to run into the problem of getting bored or burnt out half way through training, I'm hoping a plan with this much variety prevents that from happening.

But it will certainly be a test of my time management skills. The pools around here don't open early enough for me to swim before work, and getting to bike trails takes time, but I'm confident I'll be able to make it work. it won't be as easy as slipping on my shoes and heading out for a run, but I'll get it done.

Triathletes, how do you make time to fit in all your training?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Marathon Running Chart

Guys I am a major infographic nerd, so when I came across this cool chart on marathon running, I had to share it.

My favorite section is the part that deals with race fears. I used to be so afraid I'd come in last at races that I only signed up for huge races that accepted walkers, knowing they would definitely finish after me no matter how slow I ran.

Dicks coupons save you money on running shoes for marathons(Source)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Confessions

  • Sometimes when I wake up on Friday mornings, I get that stupid Rebecca Black song stuck in my head because I'm so excited for the weekend to almost be here. Please tell me I'm not the only person that happens to.

  • Sometimes my work email refuses to open on Fridays. It's as if it's saying, "Come onnnnn, do you realllllly have to work today." Yes email, in fact I do. I'd appreciate it if you would load the first time I log in. Kthanxbai.

  • I always think I'm going to use Friday as a day to get in a nice run while I'm working from home. It rarely happens though because I just convince myself to do it Saturday instead.

  • I telework from my bed, in my PJs. Best.office.ever.

  • I love my volleyball league, but I wish the standings on the website would get updated more quickly. We were in second place last week and I just want to know if that's changed! Yes, I am that person who stalks her rec league standings. I'm a competitive person like that.

  • I eat Nutella out of the jar with a spoon. It's delicious. Sometimes I do the same with peanut butter.

  • Speaking of peanut butter, I don't really like the all-natural stuff. I'd prefer Jif any day of the week.

And on that note, I'm off to find breakfast. Perhaps a bowl of oatmeal with some Jif...

What are your confessions for the week?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fun Night At Tasti D Lite

Last night I had a great time hanging out with some of my favorite people at Tasti D Lite in Dupont Circle.

Friends at Tasti D Lite
Iphone picture stolen from Megan

Greg, the owner of the Tasti D Lite stores in DuPont, had reached out to me asking if I wanted to host a blogger meet up at Tasti D Lite. I could invite all my blogger friends and he would provide us with free delicious frozen treats.

Nom nom frozen treats!

I don't know a single person who would turn down a chance at free dessert, even if it is the middle of winter, so the event was on!

All we had to do to get our free frozen treats was tell the employees at the store one health and fitness goal for 2012.

My goal for 2012 is...
My goal

Then they would whip us up any of the hundreds of flavors of Tasti available.

I tried the Nutella -- which was out of this world good. Yes they mix real Nutella into the dessert.

I also sampled lots of other people's flavors and was a big fan of the Black Cherry, Strawberry Shortcake and Birthday Cake.

I was a little overwhelmed by the number of flavors available and seriously wanted to try them all. There were several varieties of peanut butter that sounded delicious. There was a brownie flavor I'd like to try and I had my eye on key lime too.

To me Tasti D Lite tasted just like regular soft serve ice cream, but it's got a fraction of the calories, fat and sugar, because it's made with skim milk instead of whole milk.

Hanging out at Tasti D Lite for a DC bloggers meet up!

I thought this comparison chart between Tasti D Lite, fro-yo and regular ice cream was pretty cool.

Tasti D Lite comparison chart

Overall the night was a huge success. Everyone seemed to have a really fun time mingling, meeting new friends and enjoying their desserts.

I have to say a huge thank you to Greg and his staff at Tasti D Lite. They were amazing in making us feel welcome, whipping up all sorts of flavors and teaching us all about Tasti D Lite.

And by the end of the night, they had even started hanging some of our health and fitness goals on the wall next to their flavors menu.

Goals hanging on the wall at Tasti D Lite in DuPont

Tasti D Lite is a New York chain, but they are expanding in D.C. Right now their main location is on P St. in DuPont Circle, but they have another location scheduled to open in Columbia Heights later this year. So if you're in the area, I definitely recommend you check it out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA/PIPA

Learn more about where SOPA/PIPA stand now and why some of the biggest sites on the web, like Google, Wikipedia and Reddit, are protesting today.

SOPA Google

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The First Time I Fired A Gun

Over the weekend, I shot a gun.

It.was.terrifying.

My friend begged me all week to go to the shooting range on Saturday morning. I tried to get out of it, suggested lots of other fun plans (like running). I didn't want to go at all.

Guns scare me and the last thing I wanted to do was hold one in my hand and actually fire it.

But his incessant pleading eventually wore me down.

I caved and next thing I knew I sitting in NRA headquarters, taking a test on gun safety, wondering how I'd been duped into this.

My friends begged me to go to the NRA shooting range over the weekend. It was terrifying.
My new fancy NRA range card

I passed the test, got my NRA range card and eventually our little group was standing in a lane at the firing range. As the guys assembled guns and filled magazine cartridges, I was scoping out the people in the other lanes.

Some of them matched every single NRA stereotype you could imagine. Others didn't. I couldn't believe the number of little kids that were firing guns.

Eventually our little area was set up and ready to go.

At this point, I was still hoping I could get out of the actual firing a gun thing and just sit and watch the guys, but they weren't about to let that happen.

After a brief rundown of safety and how to aim, I found myself holding an H&K USP (9mm).(It was some sort of handgun).

I stood there for a while just holding it.

Then figured I should probably just get it over with.

So I squeezed the trigger.(The range doesn't allow photos of any type, so you'll just have to take my word that I actually shot it).

I fired all the bullets at the target and actually managed to hit it a few times.

When it was empty, I quickly handed it over and was hoping to be done.

But nooooo, the guys had other plans.

In total I fired:

  • AR-15 BHAR (.223)
  • AR-15 carbine (9mm)
  • H&K USP (9mm)
  • the AR-15 HBAR (converted to a .22)
(this list actually means nothing to me, my friend just sent it in case I was curious).

The AR guns were huge and scary and I think semi-automatic. (Google them if you want to see pictures) One of them had so much force that the bullets went clear through the target and ricocheted off the back wall like 150 feet away.

All in all, this experience was pretty terrifying, and I'll be very happy to never hold a gun again.

But at least I can say I tried it once.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Free Frozen Treats For Everyone!

Or at least every one in the D.C.-area that's free next Wednesday!


As many of you know, the D.C.-area bloggers/readers try to get together once a month for food, drinks and general good fun.

For our January gathering, I've been working with Greg, the owner of Tasti D Lite in DuPont Circle for a fun project. He has very graciously offered to host me and as many of my blog friends/readers as we can fit into his store.

Oh and of course, he promised to give us some free frozen treats! (You can check out the menu for all the goodies and flavors available!)

Here are the details:

When: Wednesday, Jan 18th between 5 and 7 p.m.

What: Free frozen treats, good friends and fun!

How to participate: All you need to do is write down one health-related goal you've made for 2012 and hand it to the server. Your goal can be anything from pledging to eat more fruits and veggies, to training for a 5K, to striving to walk more, etc.

Where: Tasti D Lite - DuPont Circle
2029 NW P Street
Washington, DC 20036

RSVP: We need a general count of how many people will be there. Please let me know if you plan to attend by Monday, Jan 15. You can leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

Feel free to spread the word and invite all of your friends, coworkers, etc. Seriously the more the merrier (just make sure to note that when you RSVP!)

If you're in the D.C.-area and free next Wednesday, I'd love for you to stop by for a little bit.

Oh and if you're a blogger in D.C. join our Facebook group so we can keep you up-to-date on other fun meetups!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

That's What She Sets Team Debut

I think it's safe to say after one week I'm pretty obsessed with my volleyball team.

yellow team shirts
Also kind of obsessed with our very bright yellow team shirts.

After spending all summer and fall playing softball and football, I wasn't looking forward to heading into winter without at least one team sport on my agenda.

Rec league sports are just too much fun.

So I convinced my friend Emily to sign up for a volleyball league with me.

It's been ages since I've played volleyball for real -- probably not since middle school. But when Matt and I were dating, he was super into volleyball (still is) and I spent a lot of time watching his games, picking up on strategy and learning how things work.


Turns out I actually absorbed some of the hours and hours of game strategy I listened to over the years, and I was able to put some of it to use last night in our first game.

We won three out of the four games we played last night (probably should have won the fourth too, oh well!)

For a bunch of people that had never met each other until a few minutes before the start of the game, we pulled together pretty well.

There was definitely a bit of that awkwardness of a bunch of new people playing together for the first time. No one wanted to be too aggressive with calling the ball or stepping on people's toes, but by the end of the night we were working much better together and we're beginning to get a sense of people's strengths and weaknesses on the court.

I, for example, can dig a ball pretty well, but ask me to set, and well that's just comical.

Oh and somehow I became the team captain, which is pretty cool. I like being in charge of stuff.

I think it's going to be a great year for team That's What She Sets.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vega Sport Nutrition Review

It's a pretty well-documented fact on this blog that I'm not very good at post-workout nutrition.

I've tried a million different things all with varying degrees of success: chocolate milk, EAS Myoplex, Gatorade Recovery smoothies. You name it, I've probably experimented with it.


But my main problem is I'm never consistent with anything. I love chocolate milk, but I rarely have it in the house. EAS I save for after really, really long workouts, and the Gatorade stuff is kind of pricey.

When the Vega Sport team asked me if I was interested in trying their vegan sports performance products, I figured it was worth a shot to see if I could find something I liked and something that might stick.

Vega Sport

Like a few other sports performance systems, the Vega Sport system has three parts: Prepare, Sustain and Recover. (Basically, pre-workout, during workout and post-workout nutrition options).

When I first got the box, I was pretty impressed with the packaging and design.

photo(15)
This describes me fairly accurately

Score one for the design people, this box is awesome.

photo(17)

But it got even better when I pulled off the top and products literally exploded all over my counter.

photo(18)

There were gels, protein powders, energy bars and several other goodies I was excited to try.

photo(14)

The first thing I tried was one of the post-workout protein powders. The directions said mix the powder with a glass of cold water.

I very carefully measured out the exact amount of water called for, dumped in the tropical flavored powder and mixed it like crazy.

photo(16)

Nothing grosses me out more than drinking a gritty protein shake. I can't stand the feeling of powder flecks running across my teeth.

But luckily, the Vega powder dissolved really well in the water. And my favorite part was that it didn't taste overly chemically or leave a bad after-taste like some protein shakes tend to do.

I was really happy with the taste and thought the shake did a nice job taking the edge off my post-workout hunger.

While I'm certainly not a vegan (I'm not even a full-time vegetarian) I think the Vega products offer some great options for workout nutrition whether you're a meat-eater or not.

Monday, January 09, 2012

My First Brick

Mother Nature has been gracing D.C. with some really beautiful weekends this winter, and this week was no exception. On Saturday temperatures climb into the mid-60's.

Every time the weather inches into the 50's or 60's I've been trying to get a good bike ride in. I'm a wimp when it's cold, but Saturday gave me the perfect opportunity to get in a nice solo ride.

As I spend more time on the bike, I get more and more comfortable riding in the D.C. traffic.

After about a mile dodging traffic, I got to Beach Drive -- a stretch of road trough Rock Creek Park that is really popular with runners, bikers and families out to enjoy the weather because on the weekends parts of the road are closed to traffic.


This makes it a pretty ideal spot for me to practice going faster on the bike.

And go faster I did!

My splits on the closed-off section of road held steady around 14.3 mph. Not speedy by any means, but definitely better than the 6 mph that I started out riding.

I did about nine miles and then on the way home decided that I was in the mood to run.

So I did a speedy transition in the my house, pulling off my helmet and slipping on my running shoes, then headed out the door for a two-mile run off.

Oh my goodness, my legs felt like jelly. It was such a strange feeling going from bike to run.

I felt like I was moving through molasses, but somehow I managed to keep an 8:40 average pace over those two miles.

And with that, my first brick is in the books!

Now I can only hope Mother Nature will continue to give us gorgeous spring-like weather on the weekends all winter long. Nicer days make it so much easier to bike and run!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Keeping It Fun in 2012

I have never had such a hard time writing out my goals for the year.

I'm so Type A that by this point, I usually have my entire race calendar planned. But this year, the drive to have my whole year scheduled from Day One, just isn't there.

It's weird.

And I think it's because I'm cheating on running with swimming and biking.

Philly half

Running used to be my one and only love. I would pick out races freakishly early and get super excited about them. I'd plan out a race calendar, start figuring out training plans, the whole nine yards. But not this year.

Instead, I'm having a ton of fun experimenting with triathlon training. I've really enjoyed my pool workouts and the couple of rides I've gotten in on the bike.

bike

So, I'm embracing my indecision and I'm officially dubbing 2012 the year of mixing it up and keeping it fresh.

My two goals are simply avoid burnout and have lots of fun along the way.

This leaves me the flexibility to pursue whatever fitness endeavors I'm in the mood for at the time. If I want to tackle a marathon, I will, but if I want to spend a ton of time on tri's that's OK too.

No pressure. Just have fun. And ideally, run lots of races with friends!

Hot Choc 15K
Me, Hannah and Meredith after the Hot Chocolate 15K

On that note, I have registered for three races in the first half of 2012:

The GW Parkway Classic - a 10 mile run in April that I'm doing with a coworker

The TriRock Annapolis Sprint Tri - My first tri ever! 500m swim, 12 mile bike, 5K run in May that I'm doing with my cousin's husband.

The DC Tri - My first Olympic Tri! 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run in June that I'm doing with a friend.

I'm super excited for the two triathlons, and the GW Parkway Classic is one of the DC races I've wanted to do for a while.

I'm sure I'll end up with lots of other races on the calendar as the year progresses, but in sticking with my goal, I'm going to try not to plan them too far in advance. I want to keep things fun and fresh this year.

If you have a race you're doing in the DC/MD/VA- area that is super awesome that you think I should do too, let me know. I love racing with friends and can be talked into almost any race.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

How One Break Up Defined My Entire Year

I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to write this post.

Actually that's a lie. I know exactly why it's been so hard to write this post and why I've been avoiding it forever.

For me, 2011 was a bi-polar year. I had a lot of really amazing highs --

won a work award, was honored at a fancy pants gala, got my face on the cover of a magazine,

Federal Computer Week cover

smashed my half marathon PR --

but there was one heartbreaking low that really defined my whole year.

Back in May, Matt and I broke up.

To say I was completely blind-sided would be the understatement of the year.

It was a random Thursday in May. The weather was decent, I was looking forward to the weekend and glad to be home from work.

I was more than a little surprised to get home from work, open the door and see Matt standing in my living room (yes, he had a key.)

Then he said the four worst words in the world, "We need to talk." And just like that a nearly three-year relationship with the guy I thought I was going to love forever was over.

I'm pretty sure I hyperventilated as I choked on tears.

I spent the next several weeks in a numb stupor. I couldn't eat because my stomach hurt so much and I lost an absurd amount of weight in a very short time. (Don't worry it's all back now. I have tailgate season to thank for that.)

I had never been so grateful to be swamped at work because it kept me distracted. I'd hold it together on the Metro ride home and by the time I got to my front door I was sobbing again.

It was a long summer.

I was grateful for my friends who dreamed up crazy things for us to do to keep me busy and get me out of the house (Backstreet Boys concert anyone?).

BSB concert

I was grateful for my softball team and our post-game margaritas.

Softball

I was grateful for days at the beach and I was happy to be outside in the sunshine.

Still running took a major back seat.

I didn't have the energy or the motivation for distance running. I embraced shorter distances and the mental clarity that came with them. (In light of what you know now, this post probably makes a lot more sense.)

I ran with family. Tried to run for the fun of it. In the process I managed to set a new 5K PR.

family

When fall rolled around, I started to feel like my old self again.

Tailgate season helped. Being surrounded by friends helped.

tailgate friends

And like the cliche says, "Time heals all wounds."

And yes, time really helped.

It's been almost 8 months now and I'm definitely in a better place than I was back then. There are still days when I'm sad for what I lost and miss the way things were, but those days are fewer and farther between.

In many ways, this singular event defined 2011 for me. And I don't mean that in a bad way.

Yes at the time it truly sucked more than anything in the world, but since then I have grown so much and learned so much about myself and what I ultimately want out of life.

I know I'm strong enough to stand on my own two feet. I have a job I love that I'm pretty good at. And I have the best damn friends a girl could ask for.

I'm lucky to have it as good as I do.

So while 2011 was an emotionally hard year, I'm trying to take the lessons I learned and use them to pave the way for a kick ass 2012.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Unplugging in the New Year

Christmas vacation just went way too fast, and I can't believe I'm back in the office at the start of a new week.

I really enjoyed my time off though. I spent about five days in Allentown with my family and got to catch up with friends from high school and several of my cousins and aunts and uncles.

I also thoroughly enjoyed being away from the computer.

I absolutely love working full time in social media, but sometimes it can be draining to get home from work and then spend more time on Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

So over Christmas break, I made an extra effort to step away from technology.

I only blogged a handful of times, I checked Twitter maybe twice and I barely updated anything on Facebook.

Instead, I spent time shopping with my mom, watching football with my dad, grabbing lunch with some friends, helping another friend pack their apartment, going on a nice long bike ride and sneaking in some swims and some runs. Oh and visiting puppies at the Humane Society (might have been my favorite part of my vacation!)

This vacation reminded me how nice it can be to step away from the Internet and enjoy living in the real world.

Oh and that the world won't stop spinning because I didn't tweet at all.

I still plan to blog regularly because I love it, but I want to remember to take time for the real people in my life too.

In the new year, I hope to share more than just my workouts and my new adventures in the world of triathlons, but I also hope to share some of the every day fun stuff going on in my life.

And I hope by stepping away from the Internet every now and then, I'll have more fun life experiences to share.


Have you ever taken a step back from technology?