Time to Turn it On.

Hey guys,

So, this is not something that I planned to do. Once I figured out how to balance blogging 5x per week and living university life, I didn’t think anything could stop me.

Alas, I was wrong. Finals, how you ruin me. I don’t want to stop blogging – and I won’t. But right now I need to focus 100% on studying. There is a very real chance that I’m going to fail computer science and I need to know that I put 250% of myself into doing the absolute best I could. I also would like to do semi-adequately on my other finals, continue working out, seeing my friends, and basically not running myself into a shrivelled heap on the ground.

So the pressure of constantly posting needs to go away until my exams finish on December 4. If I find myself in a moment where I’ve accomplished everything I’m going to and can blog, then I most definitely will! Otherwise, I’ll see you in a couple of weeks. 🙂

To everyone out there writing exams, good luck! You will rock ’em.

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I’m Grateful for Who I Am Now.

I’ve mentioned being in a really good place in my life a few times on the blog lately. I’m not trying to be obnoxious, brag, or make people that may be struggling feel bad. I promise you, it’s the exact opposite. Not long ago, I was a shell of myself, depressed and scared. I want you to know that no matter how long you feel like you’re suffering, a day will come that you aren’t anymore. I won’t say it will be soon. I had a solid two years where I seriously struggled, and several before that that I was just generally unhappy. But do you know what? That all changed one month ago. I wasn’t expecting it, I was simply living my life the best way I knew how, and things finally fell into place for me.

I truly cannot express how grateful I am for this change. So when Oscar, a NY health insurance company, emailed me asking if I was interested in writing a post about what I’m grateful for coming up to American Thanksgiving, there was no way I was saying no!

Just BTW, there is absolutely zero compensation of any sort going on as a result of this post. I am truly just excited to write an entire post about how thankful I am for the turnaround my life has experienced. I also have a large amount of American friends that are international students and therefore am celebrating their Thanksgiving by proxy. 🙂 

I didn’t get to this place on my own. If that were possible, I would have gotten here a long time ago. I’ve mentioned some of these in passing, but I want to highlight the things that let me get here so that maybe someone else can experience a similar change that I did.

I'mGratefulFor

1. Caring professors. Some may think it’s strange that this is #1, but coming from a high school where I felt like I was never good enough, this has been life-changing. Having teachers to look up to that treat me like an adult has totally transformed my perspective on school. I’m motivated to work hard on my projects because I feel like they matter, and I’m not hard on myself when I don’t do as well as I had hoped for. Because I respect them and their judgement, I actually take the time to look over my assignments and find out where I could improve. It’s a sharp contrast from when I called myself stupid for getting below a 90 and has been a serious factor in increasing my own confidence.

ComputerScienceYeah… some days I actually don’t mind spending hours working on this. #MotivatedToSucceed

2. Real friends. You know, not the ones that you only hang out with because you don’t want to be alone, and who rag on you anytime you’re not there? I don’t mind admitting it’s been a while since I had the good ones and I cannot express how thankful I am for them. It’s very similar to #1 – having friends that truly care about me has made me feel so much better about myself.

3. My strength. Yup, I’m going for the shameless self-plug here. But there is a reason I have no shame – it takes a lot of guts to move away from anything you’ve ever know to a city where you know exactly zero people. But I did it, unlike 99% of my peers, and I have become an incredibly strong and adaptable person as a result. So yes – I am incredibly thankful that I have this strength that I will now be able to carry into every other aspect of my life.

Of course I could keep going. I’m thankful for my mom, my health, having a safe place to live, no shortage of food, privileges like a laptop and cell phone, but to be 100% honest, I’ve had those things for a long time. And while I’ve always been grateful for them, and will continue to be, they haven’t been contributors to getting me out of that dark and scary place I lived in for far too long.

The morale of this post: please prepare yourselves for #CheeseToTheExtreme:

1. You are not alone.

2. The world is full of wonderful things just waiting for you to discover them.

3. Never ever EVER EVER give up hope…ever.

I’m just an eighteen year old girl figuring out her own life as best as she can, but you can always email me at lifesarunner@hotmail.com if you want to talk / rant / obsess over Michael Buble. ❤

A big thanks goes out to Andrea at Oscar for inviting me to write this post! Check out the #WeAreThankful hashtag to see some other amazing posts coming up to Thanksgiving. 

Behind the Scenes

Hey guys! I hope your weekend didn’t go by too quickly and that you’re ready for Monday! I mean…no one’s ever really ready, but sometimes we can pretend, right? t was tagged by Liz to write about what goes on “behind the scenes” at Life’s A Runner! Not that there is much of a backstage…it is very much my nonstop / fumbly life, but I thought it would be fun anyway!

What am I working on?

I have a ridiculous amount of drafts going on right now. On my two hour break between Friday classes, I started this post, one on cardio/calories, a Thanksgiving post (I do in fact know I am not American), and I think something else? My brain is just a tad fuzzy – I spent all the live long day studying today. Woo finals!

finals-great-gatsbyAlas…I’m not actually legal in this province so the above will have to wait until December 4. 

How does my work differ from others?

I like to think that I am a fairly unique college student, what with my focus on genuine health and nutrition. I refuse to slave away on the elliptical, I don’t skip breakfast but I also do my fair share of indulging. I know this isn’t an easy place to get to, but I’m very proud of the way I’ve been able to prioritize my health and balance that with adjusting to my freshman year of university.

kits-whole-foods-barI would take this over reheated dining hall chicken fingers any day. 

Why do I write and create what I do?

Writing always has and always will be my number one passion. Anytime I am remotely confused about something, writing it out in my journal or a blogpost never fails to help me make sense of it. I’m not always the most eloquent speaker, but the words just flow effortlessly when I’m writing, and there is no time that I ever feel more at peace.

selfieSelfie because I like this picture and can use it as much as I want.

I’m also incredibly passionate about helping other people reach a truly healthy lifestyle. Like I said above, all around me there are either girls subsisting on salads, living on the elliptical, or people eating a Tim Hortons muffin for their first meal at 1pm. I have a dream of reaching as many people as I can, and helping them get to wherever their personal sweet spot is for their health.

How does my writing / creative process work?

This is actually the one place where my type A personality does not exist at all. I don’t have a blog calendar, or even an idea of what I am going to post for the week. I love linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud, but that’s pretty much the only thing I count on. I love to post whatever is going through my head at the moment, what I feel is important based on my experiences lately, and what I think would be helpful for others! Lately I have fallen into a routine of reserving 9-11pm ish for blogging, which is a wonderful thing to look forward to / relax with, but sometimes I’m too tired to even think coherently! So I’m experimenting with doing some blogging when I used to study, to give myself a mental break during the day.

college-finals-sleep

I tag Christine over at Apple of My Eye, also known as #1 baker extraordinaire and fellow Michael Buble stalker lover. 🙂

Friday Favourites

I’m back to link up with Heather for Friday Favourites! I find these posts to be just as wonderful as Thinking Out Loud to get out all of the random things running around in my brain. I’ve somehow discovered a whole heap of new things these past two weeks, so I’m super excited to share them. 🙂

rp_Friday-Favorites-Fall-Link-Up-Button-Housewife-Glamour.jpg

Brazil nuts: I randomly found a container of these in my bag and have seriously become addicted to them. They are huge, and I love them for when I’m mostly satisfied after a meal but I just kind of want something. This is most definitely unintentional, but I usually realize that my meals are somewhat low in fat after I eat them, so these are extra perfect for me! Just one brazil nut provides over 100% of our daily selenium needs as well, which can help fight off fatigue, vision loss, and lots of other unpleasant symptoms.

Michael Buble Christmas. This album is from 2011. Can you believe it?! And it is still pretty much everyone I know’s all-time favourite holiday album. There is just absolutely nothing like his melt in your mouth voice .<– yep I most definitely did just say that. Also, he’s Canadian, so #represent.

Only reason I'm functioning this morning...BEFORE coffee!!

Hogwarts in the Snow: I came across this on Twitter and am at a loss for words. As soon as I found out they were opening this studio (how many years ago now?!), it’s been a dream of mine to go. I am seriously considering making this a thing next year.

HogwartsInTheSnow

Dumbbell chest presses: Unless I show up at 6:30am, the bench presses at my gym are always taken. I really want to improve mine, so I was not interested in skipping the exercise altogether! I found an empty bench, and tried out dumbbell chest presses – holy man alive are they hard! I usually bench press 55 lbs (and struggle…hence why I want to improve it!), so I grabbed two 25lbs and just about died. It’s a miracle I didn’t actually break my chest – these will most definitely become a staple for me!

Peppermint chocolate: This lasted maybe two days?! So. Much. Good. I am quite literally going to buy 10 bars the next time I go to Whole Foods so that I have enough to last me through December.

chocolate-peppermint-bar

 Rebel Wilson Denture Infomercial

I already loved this girl…put her in the same room as Ellen? Literal tears from laughter.

Some Excellent Reading

I can’t help but save some of the links that I come across on Twitter – these are two of my favourites!

Tell me one thing you are loving this week! 

Consequences of Sock-less Workouts and Fire Alarms

1. I experienced my first pulled fire alarm last night. Yep – in the wee hours of the morning, lucky ol’ me got to jump out of bed and wait in the freezing cold commons block for the firetrucks to arrive. And knowing what’s happened in the past, I’m almost positive it was someone

a) smoking in their room

b) microwaving a potato

c) something equally as stupid (or worse? if that’s even possible)

Lack of sleep = lack of brain functionality (let’s be real though…do I ever seem to have that these days?) = Thinking Out Loud with the lovely Spoons!

Thinking-Out-Loud

2. There are thirteen days until my computer science final. I am unable to comprehend that and am moving on to the next thought so as to avoid a nervous breakdown.

panic

3. Don’t workout with no socks. I sorta didn’t have another option since I was halfway changed when I realized I only had my knee-high woollen socks…but you guys – blisters know no bounds. They are worse than my shin splits.

4. The sun was nice while it lasted, Vancouver. We had this random (but SO appreciated) ~2 weeks of beautiful blue skies and a bright sun…which has now left us, just in time for finals.

VancouverWeather

Appropriate, I think? Ah, well…at least I’m not dealing with this (yet).

EdmontonWeatherI’m counting on at least 15 degrees colder by the time I get there. 

5. I should really take a hiatus from food blog gawking. The list of recipes I am planning to make has reached three pages…I have a serious problem. BUT I CAN’T STOP!! So, uh, anyone in the vicinity of Edmonton this December had better watch out, because I am going to have an embarrassingly large amount of baked goods to deliver.

6. Here is a very good reason to eat large amounts of peanut butter straight from the jar: OVERNIGHT OATS IN A JAR! I am almost done my current one and it just won’t. go away. fast enough. So I decided to give it some help. 🙂

7. This would make me incredibly happy…if it wasn’t so incredibly painful.

ComputerScienceHarry Potter lives on? 

8. Harry Potter lives on…but Emma may not. That is, unless I by some miracle figure out the above problem and / or don’t fail my final exam. So if I want to show up here on December 4, I’ve gotta get back to it!

Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night? What happened?

I mean…other than boring things. 😉

How I Recover From Races

*When I’m smart.*

Back in the good ol’ days when I was running regularly, I was a recovery champ. You had better believed I foam rolled in the dark after my early morning runs (so as to not wake up my roommate),  stretched often throughout the day, never neglected my warmup/cooldown and always wore my compression socks after long runs.

Yeah. I was a champ. And then I stopped running, and apparently forgot how to do all of the above. Which has resulted in me hobbling all over campus with agonizing shin splits, and becoming an incredibly entertaining sight as I make my way up five flights of stairs to my room.

//giphy.com/embed/sqEDpv1Praq3u

Okay, okay – I’m not suffering that much. But I am in enough pain to want to make sure this doesn’t happen again! Hence the recollection of my past life.

1. FOAM. ROLL. Usually when I post some form of advice, I leave out the things that everyone says all the time. Not this one. I whole-heartedly believe that foam rolling was the only thing that got me through my half marathon. It prevents tight muscles before they happen, loosens them up if they do, and a whole heap of other speed-making, happiness-increasing benefits. So DO IT. 

2. Don’t ignore nutrition. I know, it doesn’t seem like it should directly affect your muscles – we all know that good nutrition improves overall performance, but immediate recovery? Well I’m no physiologist, but if I don’t refuel properly after running, I feel 10x worse the next day. My 10K on Sunday was no marathon, but the combination of waiting around for over an hour after finishing running hard before eating / drinking and my body not having a ton beforehand (PB + banana as a pre-race snack) meant that my body had nowhere near enough fuel to recover. Which means that recovery didn’t happen – funny how that works, hey?

wafflesMy recovery meal of choice. Gotta get those carbs in! 

3. Maintain consistent activity levels. Quick tip: don’t not run for three weeks and then run faster than you ever have. No matter what you feel like, when coming back from any type of exercise break means that your body is not accustomed to the stress! And it will complain about it!

running

Have you ever totally failed poorly recovered? What did you do about it? 

Morning Rockstar Playlist

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t exactly leap out of bed ready to tackle my day. I used to be that girl, but somewhere along the line the super long days started to get to me. There is no way I am giving in, though, or ready to even consider simply slogging through the day. I will not be that person unable to function until 12pm!

Aside from an embarrassing (just kidding I have no shame when it comes to my caffeine consumption) amount of coffee, I’ve taken to listening to super energetic music on all my walks throughout the day! I call it my “Morning Rockstar Playlist”, but it is seriously awesome for any time of the day! I’ve definitely played it for myself walking to the library at 7pm to crank out a few hours of studying. Like I said – no shame. 

Morning Rockstar Playlist

Here’s the thing, though – I sorta haven’t bought more than ~2 new songs since my half marathon in June. So this playlist has an oldies-but-goodies vibe to it. Right? Right. 🙂 In all seriousness, though – this playlist gets me moving! It doesn’t matter how much I’m dragging when I wake up, a little JT / Nicki Minaj and all of a sudden – watch out world. Especially you, computer science. 🙂

There’s a pretty strange awesome mixture of R&B / rap / pop in there, all of which is basically the style of music that would get you through mile 26 of a marathon.

I just registered for Spotify so that I could share this pretty little widget with you. I know it’s nothing like my graphic, but it’s cool. At least that is what I tell myself.

YOU’VE. FREAKING. GOT THIS. If I may quote the amazing / fantastic / inspirational RunEmz. Go take on your day! And let me know how Michelle Pheiffer makes the math / science / whatever gross part of your day that much better. 🙂

What is your #1 “go get ’em” song?