What I Look For in a Running Shoe

Running shoes are an investment. Usually, they’re pretty pricey anyway and they have the ability to make or break you. When I wear my running shoes, I can tell when they’re starting to be worn out just by the pain I start to get. There’s no telling what kind of pain other people might go through just by buying poorly made or a bad fit.

My only real experience with running shoes is just that I’ve been constantly running since freshman year of high school on the track and cross country team. I’m still running as a hobby and in the Army. I haven’t done any races in awhile though and would like to start back up.

One thing that’s important when picking a running shoe is evaluating the shape of your foot.

I was super attracted to the Nike Frees at first but when I tried them on, I knew immediately they weren’t for me. There was too much room for my foot. Nike Frees seemed to be for wider feet. I knew shoe brands like New Balance tend to be more narrow around the foot but¬†spacious at the toes.

You also have to know if you pronate or supinate. You can tell by looking at the bottom of old shoes and seeing where the bottoms have worn away. If you’re neutral, the bottoms should have an even wear. I supinate (underpronate) so the outsides of my shoes wear away more than the inward parts meaning my gait isn’t balanced. For me, lightweight shoes are the best but those who overpronate should be wearing stability shoes.

You can read more about it here.

Then of course, what reasons your running is also important. Are you going for distance or sprinting? Distance you’ll want more padding while sprinting you’ll want less.

Most importantly, change out your shoes after 600 – 800 miles! I see far too many people not doing this. If you do two miles a day that’s already 40 miles a month. Shoes should probably only last you a year even though to a lot of new runners that’s weird to think. People who don’t change out their shoes are ones who tend to get shin splints.

Don’t be that guy.

 

Advertisements

Meal Prepping For Real This Time

Alright, so here is me trying to meal prep. Every sunday I am going to try and evaluate how I ate the previous week.

For this week, I am pretty aware that these aren’t the most healthiest of meals, but the fact that I am even trying to do this instead of fast food everyday is good. I think baby steps are totally acceptable and help people like me stick to their goals.

I recently bought the Fit Girls Guides and really love the way they are laid out and their inspiration. In it, they also talk about giving yourself a break. A lot of the time people say oh no, I messed up so now I need to start over and since I messed up today, I might as well mess up for the rest of the day.

This is bad thinking and leads to unhappiness and no results.

Monday

Breakfast – Hard boiled eggs, coffee

Lunch – Salad 1: Tomatoes, chicken, chickpeas, cucumbers, ranch, water

Dinner – Frito Salad: Fritos, refried beans, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, water

Tuesday

Breakfast – Hard boiled eggs, coffee

Lunch – Salad 1, water

Dinner – Frito Salad, water

Wednesday

Breakfast – Hard boiled eggs, coffee

Lunch – Mashed potatoes, peas, chicken

Dinner – Spaghetti and meat sauce

Thursday

Breakfast – Hard boiled eggs, coffee

Lunch –¬†Mashed potatoes, peas, chicken

Dinner – Spaghetti and meat sauce

Friday – Sunday

I’m in the field. Sad because ew, MREs but good because MREs and thus no need to meal prep?

Cost:

How I felt when working out:

Elusive Female Friendship in the Army

One of the reasons why I think I have been not only stressed out but also not doing that great day to day at my job is that I don’t really have a group of friends or even a friend. My unit only has myself and one other LT who is male. Then our commander is also an LT who is male.

I guess they are my friends in a sense but truly, they are my coworkers and no matter where you’re at or who you work for, you need someone who you can vent about stuff like work to. Venting to these two LTs would be inappropriate because it would be complaining and not friendship.

Does that make sense?

One thing I wasn’t really prepared for at all when becoming a member of a combat arms MOS was the lack of females.

I mean, I knew that was a fact but I didn’t realize the implications. I had great male friends in ROTC why would it be such a problem in the ‘real’ army? At the same time though, I had my three great female college roommates who weren’t even in the Army and then I had my two great female friends who I could talk to about anything who were in ROTC.

No judgements and I could complain about work and they could sympathize.

Here, I really don’t have anyone. I still have my friends from college and high school who I can text but it’s not the same. There’s something about saying oh I ran to this water tower and x, y, and z did this and your buddy instantly knowing what and where you’re talking about.

I’m hoping that when deployments come back home there will be more LTs roaming around for me to get to know.

In the meantime I’ve been creeping around different Army websites trying to find volunteer opportunities where I might be able to meet other people.

So far, I don’t see much. A lot of the opportunities are when I’m working or for spouses of soldiers but I’ll keep an open mind. Besides, one thing work does is keep me busy so after working, studying for work, and blogging, I really only have so much time anyway.

Classic Anne Move…Overspending

I knew that I was spending a lot but I wasn’t really sure how and thus, couldn’t really figure out how to cut back.

While laying in bed doing nothing, I found an app called Mint and after categorizing each transaction from my one credit card… I now know.

Ignorance is bliss because oh my goodness.

As you can see… I’m in the hole. In my defense, I did go on a big vacation in December but it seems I still haven’t pulled out of it. In the pie graph is also seems I really enjoy shopping.

The good news is things like shopping and eating are easy to identify what I need to do to stop these spending habits. For shopping, I just shouldn’t be buying frivolous stuff. I think I’m still going to keep doing Stitch Fix. My last fix was in January but I have one coming to me in March.

I don’t need to keep buying things like Kate Spade purses or cardigans though. Fact of the matter is I only get to dress up on vacation and the weekends so I need to start buying stuff in that manner. Even makeup is pointless.

I already know my fast food habits are disgusting but it’s even worse to know that the cost of it is adding up. I can definitely make groceries last two weeks with 100 dollars and with fast food twice a day, I blow through 100 in one week.

Traveling is also something I adore but I know I splurge on hotels and dining. Also, I really under utilize things like groupon and coupons. In my mind, I know what I want to do and I just buy that option instead of shopping around or investigating cheaper vacations.

In my opinion, this is such a classic 23 year old thing to do. I’m just so blinded by getting a real paycheck for the first time in my life I really just acted like a kid in a candy shop.

Also, I’m lazy.

 

 

The Fight Against Fast Food

I went to college at Fordham University in the Bronx. To people who don’t know much about New York, the first thing that happens when I mention this fact is that they say I must be tough since I’m from the BX.

Unbeknownst to them though, Fordham is one of the most preppiest and upper middle class schools in America and even though it’s situated in the Bronx, there’s a fence that keeps anyone out who doesn’t have an ID.

Fordham kids might be tough in their own way but most of us are also very privileged.

It would be unfair to say we didn’t care about issues affecting the Bronx. Over half of my classes and activities centered on volunteering and ending suffering. I never could say I understood the suffering though no matter how hard I tried to.

One such issue that I thought about a lot was the concept of ‘the food desert’. This meant that the accessibility to people in the Bronx to fresh produce and healthy foods were slim to none. It was a concept I could vaguely wrap my head around. Outside of Arthur Ave and Little Italy, it was easy to see that the only options were bodegas unless you wanted to ride the subway system for over 30 mins. That’s not that big of a deal in the car but being someone who enjoyed trekking all the way to Manhattan (an hour subway commute one way) I understood why toting bags back and forth wasn’t ideal.

Especially after working.

It’s funny because I know I’m still very privileged if not more so. I’m living on an officer salary without any dependents and I have little debt (thanks to the Army).

Yet, I eat fast food about four times a week and while I don’t know if I’m officially living in a ‘food desert’ I’m starting to understand how working and giving limited options can affect a person.

If I don’t shop on the weekends, I won’t be shopping that week. I get out of work and the grocery stores are closed. I could go to Walmart but at 7PM after working all day and really hungry, that drive into town isn’t ideal.

fast food

On my way home I pass a McDonald’s, Hardee’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and something called Diego’s Burrito Bar.

I only live eight minutes away from work.

It’s crazy too because I was showing habits of lazily just buying food instead of preparing it in college but underneath my dorm was a restaurant called Cosi which sold things like tomato mozzarella and basil sandwiches and since it was in my dorm, only college students ate there. It was my go to.

Now that my go to is Taco Bell, I’m starting to get really nervous about my eating habits not because of weight gain or anything like that, but just performing physically and staying healthy.

5 Long Distance Relationship Tips

  1. Admit they’re hard. It’s okay to tell your significant other you’re having a rough day or month or year with the relationship. You can admit that it’s hard and it hurts. You’ve got to talk about it.

  2. As much as possible, have a date when you can see each other again. Nothing is more frustrating or detrimental to a LDR than not knowing when you’re going to see the person next. Even if it’s something crazy like a year and a day, at least you have that so you can start counting down the days. It’s more reassuring to be able to mark off calendar days to seeing each other than to just be up in the air and unsure.
  3. If you plan Skype/Facetime dates, don’t flake out. It’s easy to have a last minute invite from friends who live in your area and to tell your significant other that you’re going to have to raincheck, but imagine what they’re going through. If it’s too last minute, they might’ve already cancelled plans just to talk to you and now they’re sitting at home alone and lonely. It’s okay if stuff comes up occasionally, but try your best to truly honor plans made in advance.
  4. Determine how you want to spend your money. My boyfriend and I know that it’s really important we not only see each other, but go on fun and often exotic vacations. This means that when we see each other, it often costs a pretty penny. Because of this, we agree ahead of time that we don’t really do things like Christmas or Birthday gifts. We might get each other something small but we would rather splurge on a hotel room and a nice dinner.
  5. Let them truly in on your life. I always let my boyfriend know about the people in my life by name so then I can be like, “oh my goodness, Mike did x, y, and z today” and even though John has never met Mike, he can start putting names to people and feel like he’s really understanding what’s going on.

Coffee as a Crutch

I keep finding myself without time to have coffee in the morning and it consistently causes that day to be very bad.

To coincide with the idea that for Lent, I want to take time to do yoga and meditate, I started to make sure I had at least 10 minutes in the morning to simply sit down and enjoy my cup of coffee. For a while, it was working incredibly. Those 10 minutes let me gather myself and let me relax while also allowing me to get the caffeine boost in the morning that I needed.

Suddenly, my schedule didn’t allow for me to drink any coffee and I lost those 10 minutes of me time.

That was incredibly devastating.

That also makes me pretty embarrassed. I’m upset I let myself rely on something so much that it now has the power to determine how the next 12+ hours of my day is going to go, That’s an addiction and that’s not okay.

Don’t get me wrong though.

I think that wanting and getting me time is very important. Without that type of self care, people don’t do well. As I type that out, I don’t really know if I have a source for that which is funny… but at the end of the day, the person who knows what you need best is you. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

I love my job but I don’t think I could perform well at it if I didn’t get to have fun on my off time and if I didn’t get to destress every once in awhile.

So now it’s tricky… how can I continue to do things like drink coffee and take time to myself while still retaining a sense of flexibility that even without it, I am going to be okay.

Right now, I’m still trying to drink my cup of coffee and have my 10 minutes of peace and when I do, it’s great, but now I’m afraid of the days where I don’t get that.

I don’t want to regret coffee but I also don’t want to need it.

Even the smell of decaf has the power to make me smile and feel warm. I love popping out of my shower and savoring a warm drink while feeling clean and sitting watching the trees outside my window. There’s nothing like pouring that first bit of milk into the cup and watching it color the brown like dissolving ribbon.