Birthday Month Challenge

It’s officially November and I’ve got about three weeks until my birthday. Every year, I like to set a challenge for myself or make some resolutions for the coming year. Last year’s 35-for-35 challenge did NOT go well, mostly because I tried to do too much for too long a period of time. So this year, I’m going to simplify things, while still challenging myself!

1. 360,000 steps in November
In honor of this year’s birthday, I’m upping my steps for this month. It works out to about 12K steps a day, which will definitely be challenging with the time change this weekend and less overall daylight. Some days may be more and some days less (though hopefully at least 10K a day), but that’s the overall goal. I hope I won’t have to do all the steps as laps around my tiny apartment, but I’m up for it, if need be.

2. Instagram every day
As you may have guessed, I’m obsessed with Instagram. My goal this month is to post a new photo every day. Most of my posts are sunsets and food these days and I’m hoping this will challenge me to be more creative, while still documenting my day. Follow #jenniversary2016 or watch my Instagram for my progress.

Here’s to a successful November!

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A Heart Transplant for Green Lightning (or The Writing on the Wall)

Green Lightning (otherwise known as my ’97 Saturn) gave me a fright yesterday when he wouldn’t turn on. Ever since I returned from the holidays, the car had not wanted to turn on properly, but would eventually turn over. Yesterday morning, however, he sputtered and sputtered, but would not come alive. Given the age of the car, I was quite nervous that this was the end of our journey together. I made calls to auto service shops and crossed my fingers that the damage would be minimal enough to get me through another couple of months.

Luck was on my side today because when AAA came to pick up my car to take it to the shop, the driver correctly diagnosed that I simply need a new battery. The sputtering was simply the car trying to do its best with the limited power and this evening, he was reduced to just a click. Twenty minutes later, the Mobile Battery Unit arrived to change out my battery right in my parking spot and I’ve got a car that starts again! Phew!

However, given the age of my precious vehicle, it seems that it won’t be long until Green Lightning goes to the Car Heaven and I have to find a replacement. I suppose seventeen and a half years isn’t too bad for an American car! I won’t be eulogizing the car yet (as I don’t think MY heart could take it right now), but for all those who have known and loved him, it is time to prepare to say goodbye to my little engine that could!

UK: “The truth is sometimes things aren’t exactly what you always imagined… they’re even better!”

This day’s itinerary originated from a Pin and grew from there. It was also the first day since my Cambridge day that Katia and I would be spending the day together, which was lovely! We can actually travel well together – huzzah!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fields of ‘rape’ – seriously, that’s what it’s called!

I only hit snooze once this morning, rising about 0715 to get ready. As it was Sunday, we decided the best course of action was to call a taxi to take us to the train station. It was outside Katia’s flat almost before she hung up the phone! We got to the train station about 0800, which was brilliant and gave us time to get a snack for the many trains we’d be taking on our journey. The 0828 train to Kings Cross was fairly empty, but that was not an experience we’d have during the rest of our trip.

From Kings Cross, we ventured across the street to St. Pancras, which is a beautiful old station. As we waited for the train to Brighton, it became very apparent we were the only ones not dressed for a day at the beach! The train filled up to standing room only and it felt like the British equivalent of a train to the Jersey Shore. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the weather, but we exited the train station in Brighton to bright blue skies and warm sunshine.

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Running to the future

One of my 2012 goals is to get a handle on my weight (i.e. get some of it off) and get more fit. I don’t like the feeling I get when I run three blocks for the bus and spend the rest of the ride recovering from that tiny sprint.

Before my holiday break, I had gone to two fitness classes at the gym (actually setting foot inside the gym for the first time ever!) and while on vacation, I walked the neighborhood twice with my parents. I went to spin class on Thursday, but I’m hoping to step up my class attendance (at least until the semester starts again). Thankfully, two of my co-workers are in this with me, making it SO much easier to actually go to the gym and not rationalize my way out of it.

Today, I completed Day One, Week One of my Run 5K app. I’ve completed Day One of a Couch-to-5K program at least twice before, but I’m very hopeful that I’ll actually do Day Two, Week One on Wednesday, even if I have to just run around campus since it’ll be dark when I get home.

I had planned my playlist for this week, but I came up about 20-30 seconds short. So, I need your help. Below is my current playlist. Of the middle six songs, which one(s) would you remove and what would you add in its place to make up the extra 30 seconds?

Uprising – Muse – 5:05 (Warm up)
Anthem – Superchick – 2:53
Extraordinary – Liz Phair – 3:28
Shawty Get Loose – Lil Mama – 3:33
Bulletproof – La Roux – 3:26
Shake It – Metro Station – 3:00
Hot N Cold – Katy Perry – 3:40
I Wanna Be With You – Mandy Moore – 5:02 (Cool down)

If you have general suggestions for workout music, please also let me know. I got iTunes gifts cards for Christmas and I’d love to stock up on tunes that inspire you to get your heart pumping!