Selfish Girl

Hello friends!  Allow me to reintroduce myself.  I’m Cam and I am a Master!  For the last two years, grad school has been my life.  I’m a natural learner.  I love school so much that I’ve made it my career, and I’m really good at school!


I had no idea how hard grad school was going to be.  All other facets of my life have taken a hit.  My kids, my partner, my job, my home…they’ve all been branded by the demands of my choice to go to grad school.  There’s been a lot of guilt involved.  I’ve had to be incredibly selfish these last two years, and in my experience selfish is not a thing you want to be.

I feel like society has many expectations for women.  Women should be sexy yet demure.  Women should be confident yet humble.  Women should be independent yet the push for marriage and motherhood is so prevalent in the media that it has its own movie genre. Women should give of themselves, should be classy and kind and appropriate in all situations.  Women should kick ass and be strong and fight.  But don’t get hit in the face because a woman can’t be ugly.  And don’t get me started on what a woman’s body should look like.  I don’t know how to be all of these things at one time.  The perfectionist in me wants to, but the more I strive to be this woman, the more I realize it’s effing impossible.

As a rational woman, I know that I don’t have to believe in those expectations, but it’s so hard to escape such a deeply ingrained concept of what a woman is.  The struggle is real, yo!  It seems that while I work on one aspect of myself, other aspects suffer.  For example, while I was in grad school, I gained 64 pounds.  SIXTY FOUR POUNDS.

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Yep, grad school makes you fat.

I mean, I guess it could be the fast food two nights a week or the sour licorice straws that provided the sugar rush that got me through reading academic journal articles.  I guess it could be my choice of sleep over running and how I broke up with the gym.  In addition to neglecting my partner and my children and my laundry, I neglected my “self”.

And I’m pissed.

I’m pissed I have to lose weight to begin with. I’m pissed that I’m not one of those people in love with my fat self. I want to blame societal influence and expectations.  Why can’t being fat be a sign of wealth and prosperity again? Why can’t I just be heavy now?  Why can’t I just love my body the way it is and be happy and drink beer and eat fries?  Well, because it hurts. I don’t love my fat body because my body hurts.  My back, my feet, my gut, it all hurts and I suspect it’s not healthy.  I’m not in a position to take these risks with my health because I need to be a good example for my children.  I need to be alive for my children.

I’m pissed I have to leave my kids to spend more time on me.  I’ve already been doing that and I just got that time back!  Hold on kids, Mommy needs more time to herself.  But they’re watching me.  I want them to know that taking care of yourself is important.  I feel so much better when I exercise.  It’s necessary for my mental health.  So I bought a treadmill.  I can run while my kids play.  And they can run too.  Unintentional benefit!

I’m pissed I let myself get like this.  I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember.  This time two years ago, my body was strong.  I could run and jump and do head stands.  My clothes fit and I felt really, really good about the progress I had made.  And now I have to start all over again.


This is my “Omg, that’s what I look like now?” picture.

Mostly, I’m even pissed that I feel pissed about all of this.  I went to grad school and it was awesome. I’m now a more informed educator and parent with regards to education and how kids learn.  My children got to watch me graduate with my Masters in Math and Science Education.  They cheered and waved and they were proud of me.  I feared they would resent me for leaving them two nights a week for two years.  Instead, they celebrated.


Waiting for me to graduate. Apparently Sophie yelled, “That’s my mom!” when they called my name.

My hope is that they understand that taking care of yourself, following your dreams, and reaching your potential isn’t selfish.  It’s pride.  It’s self-love.  It’s necessary.

So I’m back at it.  I have races to run and I’m looking forward to feeling better.  I have friends to talk to and children to play with and a very neglected boyfriend to go on well-deserved dates with.  I have a school year to plan and blog posts to write.  And I’m going to selfishly enjoy all of it.

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Embracing the Dread… mill.

After five long months – yes, five – I’m finally able to run again.

Like, really run. Not “run for a mile or so and have to stop and walk because my ankle gets sore.”

new shoes

Because, let me tell you, that version of running barely counts. And is super frustrating. And no matter how much cross-training you do, it’s just not the same thing.

This week marked the longest run I’ve been able to do since #bustedankle happened – granted, it was only a little over four miles, but I felt really good. I didn’t have to stop at all, and my legs and lungs (and ankle, duh) were strong.

I’ve been doing almost all of my running on the dreadmill because 1. pacing is way easier and 2. it’s a lot harder (though not impossible, trust me) to roll your ankle on a flat surface. But, the upside to all of the treadmill running is that it makes speed work a lot easier.

My goal this summer is to really work on pacing and speed. I’m running the Baltimore Marathon in October and I would love another PR and love negative splits even more. So, I’m prepared to embrace the dread. Good ol’ Tready and I will likely be getting very familiar this summer.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of running outside. I can’t handle long runs on the treadmill. Nothing good could come from that. I would go insane. Also, I like the sunshine.

But, I don’t like humidity… and I do live in a swamp. So, inside running doesn’t sound so terrible. Especially in July. Or August. Because DC is terrible then.

So, here’s to a summer of many more miles and much fewer injuries! Cheers!

What are your favorite treadmill workouts? Tabata? HIIT? Endurance? 


Tell Me What To Do, Internet!

I remember the first time I heard about Pinterest. I was at a Stroller Strides class and it was the hot topic of conversation. Intrigued, I checked it out as soon as I got home. A place on the internet where I could collect my favorite ideas and look at my friends favorite things? Yes. Please.

I pinned motivation. Inspiration. Quotes. Hair styles. Craft ideas.

And workouts. Lots and lots and lots of workouts.

Well, pinning and doing are two very different things. Since I’m living in the “weather hell” that in New Jersey (I’m sure the majority of you out there can feel me on this. Florida, California, and Hawaii friends… you guys can just pretend), I decided to flip through the Pinterest Rolodex and do a couple of the workouts I’ve pinned through the years.

Using the very scientific method of closing my eyes and pointing at the screen, I landed first on PopSugar treadmill workouts and then on this one specifically.


What’s that you say? I’m not a new runner? You’re right, I’m not. But I figured that this would be a good way to switch it up a bit and do something that I normally wouldn’t, especially because I’ve been on the treadmill every day hitting my five mile goal (running, walking, skipping, whatever). Plus, I can tell new runners my thoughts on it… you know, in case they want to give it a go!

I’m a Galloway runner (that’s one who does intervals, for the record) so this type of workout was right up my alley.


Off we go!

Staying at the 3.0/3.5 pace was a bit of a challenge on the psyche for me because I’m more accustomed to keeping a 3.8/4.0 walking pace. But, I had a good playlist on the iPod so I jammed out, waving my hands in the air like I just didn’t care and patiently waited for the first jump in pace to 5.5.

5.5 is a comfortable speed for me but getting up to that from 3.5 was a bit jarring after hanging out at 3.0/3.5 for 10 minutes. I’m thinking an intermediate step might be more comfortable (for me and for a beginner). Maybe 4 minutes at 3.0, 3 minutes at 3.5, and then 3 minutes at 4.5? That’s my non-professional opinion right there.

And then going down, down, down from 5.5/5.8 to 3.5 was sad and wonderful all in the same breath. The 2 minutes of running to 4 minutes of walking was very nice though; it gave me time to bring down the heart rate, only to jack it back up again. It was attainable and while I wasn’t maxing out on my running, it felt good and I enjoyed the 40 minute workout.

My trainer has always been a firm believer that you always keep your treadmill at 1.5 incline to mimic the feel of the road more correctly so out of habit, I had hit 1.5 and didn’t realize it wasn’t on 1.0 until I was nearly done. My bad!

This workout is based on speed and time, but not distance. I stuck to the script the entire time and finished the 40 minutes in 2.72 miles.


What I find particularly interesting about Pinterest is that sometimes the image pinned doesn’t lead back to the direct source. Tracking this one down only took a little bit of sleuthing, thanks to the TribeSports watermark on the image! You can click the picture to go directly there.

I like this one a lot because while I do core work at the gym, I don’t usually spend more than a couple of minutes at a time working at it. This one had my abs shaking toward the end, in the best possible way!


The hardest part of this workout? My dog truly wanted to be a part of the process. I got licked in the face more times than I’ve kissed my husband this month and she also tried to crawl under me when I was holding my plank and bridge. It was nearly more challenging than the actually core work itself.

Finally, my head space has been very cluttered with extraneous chatter and unnecessary worry lately. Therefore when I saw City Fit Girls’ Instagram post mentioning Headspace I knew I had to check it out. Try a gym membership for the mind.

Also, I really like accents and this guy has a lovely one. (How’s that for clarity?) I’m currently on day 5 of 10 and I start each day with a 10 minute “take 10” meditation. It’s good stuff; I like starting each day off with more of a clear intent. Sometimes it doesn’t last more than a couple of minutes but sometimes it does. And that’s some pretty powerful mojo!

So tell me, do you actually DO the workouts that you pin on Pinterest? Got any good ones for me? What’s something recently that’s surprised you? What would you like to do more of? Random: One of the coolest things was when a friend sent me a link to a picture of Cam, Vic and myself on Pinterest board for RunDisney costuming ideas.

Don’t Call It A Dreadmill

Have you ever checked out the #whereirun photos on instagram? You can see some breathtaking images from runners across the globe. Sneaker tracks on a thick bed of snow, pink and orange sunsets, lush green trails…you get the picture. (Haha. Sorry, I had to. But seriously, go get the pictures. Find the tag on instagram.)

What you won’t find though, are any of my running photos. Because where I run, it looks like this:


Picturesque, right? Or not.

And I’m okay with that. I actually love the treadmill. And not just because I get to look at this guy for most of my runs.


Here’s why:

  • The treadmill is easy. I like that I can hop on, set my pace and get to work.
  • It’s safe. I don’t have to keep my music low (or off) so I can hear oncoming cars or people, and I don’t have to think about why I need to use a Road ID.
  • There’s air conditioning. I trained for the majority of my first half-marathon on the treadmill; yes, even some of the long runs. Florida is hot and humid, y’all.
  • The dashboard is great for holding a book. When I was pregnant, I would walk and read for an hour or so every other day. Now I read email during my warm-up.
  • I like the mental quiet. My life is chaotic and most of the time, I’m being pulled in several directions at once. One child is nursing, one wants to paint with watercolors, one wants me to read to her. The dogs want to go outside, the dogs want to come inside. I need to start dinner. I love my crazy house, but sometimes it’s nice to be alone with my thoughts. Or zone out and think of nothing.

Currently, I’m using the treadmill to build up my running base again. I’m not running regularly yet, because we aren’t on a sleep-schedule and the little dude can’t ride in a jogging stroller, so I’m fitting it in when I can. My main post-pregnancy goal was to run for 30 minutes, 3 days a week. My goal now is to run 3-4 miles, 3 days a week. I’m getting there!

Here’s what my treadmill workout looks like right now:

5 minute warm-up
10 minutes at 10 minute mile pace
20 minutes at 9:40 minute mile pace
10 minutes at 10 minute mile pace
5-10 minute cool down

Sometimes, I spend more time at a faster pace, if I feel really good. Other times I spend the entire 40 minutes at 10 minute pace. For now, I’m just taking it slow and trying to get my fitness back.

Where do you run? Treadmill- love it or hate it? What is your running goal right now?