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Shannon's Musings
01 January 2011 @ 11:17 pm
I had and still have high hopes for this brand new year. However, when things start out rocky and not even remotely close to what you expected, it's a challenge to keep your head held high. It's been quite a day...I'm doing my best to hold tight to my dreams and hopes for the year.

Also, due to the sudden change in weather temps from the 30s/40s to the high 70s, my back has been bothering me more than usual. I suppose all of this is a big hurdle that I must somehow cross over in order to get to the better stuff that I know has to be coming. That doesn't mean it's any easier to deal with. I am not one to give up, never have been and I won't, but I sure as heck look forward to all this crap ending.
Current Mood: blahblah
Shannon's Musings
27 December 2010 @ 07:07 pm
I did my morning pages everyday this week. I didn't always get two full pages written, but at least I sat down and wrote something, which is a good thing. Some days, it just seems as if there isn't enough time to write a lot, so I do what I can.

Unfortunately, there wasn't an artist's date this time around. With Christmas on Saturday, I was with family all day and so, not a lot of time alone. I did spend a good portion of Sunday by myself working on random writing things and watching a movie, so maybe that sort of counts. Otherwise, I plan on doing better with my artist's dates in the coming weeks.

Not much else to report. I didn't really work on any of the tasks which I will try to do this week and beyond. We'll see how much or many of those I can accomplish. Again, it's tough with the lack of free time and with all the things I'd like to get done when I do have time off.
Current Mood: contentcontent
Shannon's Musings
21 December 2010 @ 09:51 pm
I don't know what it is, but this year, I'm just not feeling the Christmas/Holiday spirit this year. It's as though it's come far too quickly. Despite listening to Christmas music and watching some Christmas shows and such, nothing has changed my mood.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, I really do. Usually, I feel some sort of seasonal magic this time of the year. I suppose we all have a year here and there that just doesn't feel festive. Maybe this is one for me. I just hope that next Christmas can be a special one for me again. I miss the spirit of the season. Hope it returns in 2011.
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable
Shannon's Musings
20 December 2010 @ 09:57 pm

As of today, I’ve restarted Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I am hoping to actually get through the full 12 weeks of the program this time without any interruptions. The morning pages are the hardest at times. Some days, it just feels as though there just isn’t enough time to get everything done. I’ve come to the conclusion that due to my morning workouts, my pages will never be written in the morning. While I realize that it’s the best way to get them done, I will more than likely be writing mine in the evenings. That’s the time that just works better for me when it comes to writing.

If you’re doing The Artist’s Way program as well, let me know. I love talking to others who are doing it or even those who have completed the full program. I know I felt better when I was writing my pages each day, so I’m sure completing the twelve weeks is quite a good feeling as well. Cameron is very knowledgeable and it’s great that she has written these sorts of books to share her insights on creativity.
Current Mood: contentcontent
Shannon's Musings
29 November 2010 @ 09:55 pm
I am extremely pleased to say that I again completed NaNoWriMo and "won" for the second year in a row. It is such a great feeling to accomplish writing 50,000 words in 30 days. The feeling you get from taking on the challenge and then completing it is so awesome.
That all said, it is also great to know that I am done with NaNo until 2011. :)

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Shannon's Musings
02 November 2010 @ 09:54 pm
So, here I am at day number two of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) and I'm right on schedule. As I write this blog post, I've just crossed today's word count. If I can keep up this momentum, I'll be able to complete the 50k challenge by the end of the month. I'll try to do some other updates on where I am word count wise as the month progresses.

My fitness regime is also right on track. I bought all of the gear I need for biking over the weekend (helmet, gloves, lock, lights), and I took my third bike ride this morning. I am slowly but surely getting better as I ride. I know that the more I get on the bike, the better cyclist I'll become. My power walks are also going well. I have begun to hit the fifteen minute and change per mile pacing. My goal is to be able to do a mile in under fifteen minutes at some point. I'll continue to revise my goals in this area as I progress.

Current Mood: creativecreative
Shannon's Musings
22 October 2010 @ 11:21 pm
I'm trying to develop a more varied workout schedule for my week, to include cycling and maybe some DVD workouts if possible. I'm hoping that I can enjoy cycling again around the neighborhood, as I have been looking forward to it. As far as the DVDs go, I'm not sure how far I can go at this point with my herniation, but I'm definitely going to check out my Biggest Loser and Jillian Michaels workout series and see what they entail. As long as there's not a lot of bending or jumping around, I should be good. I know already that there will be some things in some of the workouts that I'll have to find alternate exercises to exchange those for (a la fast feet).

Meanwhile, I'm planning on doing at least a 3 mile speed walk on Sundays and maybe some cycling as well. Mondays will be a 2 mile speed walk; Tuesdays, a cycling session; Wednesdays will be a rest day: Thursdays, a 2 mile speed walk; Fridays, a cycling session, and Saturdays, a dvd workout of some sort.

Of course, it's going to depend a bit on how my back does. I want to workout hard, but I definitely don't want to aggravate my injury in any way. So, while I'm keeping my eye on my goals, I'm also keeping my senses wide open to how my body feels about what I'm doing. I'm not one to give up, so as long as I pay attention to my body's signals, I should be good to go.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Shannon's Musings
22 October 2010 @ 06:18 pm
The annual Central Florida Veg Fest is tomorrow, October 23rd in Orlando. This will mark my second year attending the local event. Last year, I had just gone vegetarian a couple of weeks prior. So, this will be my first time going as a vegan.

Since I'm a member of the Central Florida Vegetarian group, I volunteered to help out at the table if needed, but primarily, I'll be taking pictures and talking to people as I enjoy the festivities. I'm definitely looking forward to it. I know it will be a good time. I'll be blogging about the event more in the next couple of days, with some photos.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Shannon's Musings
15 October 2010 @ 10:57 pm
I'd consider myself a pretty healthy person and eater for the most part. I'm careful about the food I consume for the most part, going for organic when possible, and I'm a calorie-counter. However, this week, I've had a learning opportunity. I am learning that I need more education on my nutrition as an active vegan.
It all started this past weekend. On Saturday, October 9th, I had my usual "high calorie" day. It's the one day a week that I allow myself freedom to eat some extras. Unfortunately, I got sick just after lunchtime. I had gone to Starbucks for my weekly soy drink and despite my always being very vocal about my allergies to dairy (before I went veg, I was already lactose-intolerant, so even the slightest bit in my food gets me sick), dairy became involved in my cinnamon dolce frap. Within an hour or so after finishing the drink, I was sick to my stomach and the remainder of my day was anything but enjoyable.
Forwarding to Sunday. It was race day, and thankfully, I was feeling better by the time I got up to get ready for the event. I ate my usual oatmeal and cup of almond milk of a breakfast and headed out for the race. Since I got sick the day before, I didn't get a chance to pick up a Vega sport drink packet, which I like to drink before races when I can. So, the race began for me sans one. Once the race was over, I had a slice of an orange and a banana as well as a bottle of water. About an hour later, I ate a Larabar. Then, proceeded to continue my day as usual with my normal caloric intake and what have you.
By the time I arrived at work the next day, I was drained. My body was telling me that it was tired. Figuring it was simply the race from the day before, having exerted more energy, I figured I'd be okay by the next day. Wrong. By Tuesday, I was still feeling as though I was not sleeping, when in fact I was getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. I had already cut out my morning workouts since the race, so what was the deal? When I got home from work on Tuesday night, I knew this was more than simply being tired. Something was wrong. But, what?
Upon waking up on Wednesday morning, after a good 8 hours of sleep, I still felt as though I had been hit by a big rig truck. I felt as though I hadn't slept at all. That's it, I thought to myself, I had to do something. I needed to figure out why I was feeling so lethargic. So, I made a call to my family doctor. Thankfully, my doctor had an opening a few hours later and I would be able to talk to her.
Upon seeing my doctor, she asked me a lot of questions about my recent activity and schedule. My mom came with me, so she was a bit of help on a few things which was nice. She did an exam on me and ordered some blood work, since I mentioned concern on my iron levels and such. The doctor believed that the events of the past weekend were to blame. She informed me that I was more than likely burned out due to Saturday's illness and overdoing it at the race on Sunday. Not giving myself proper pre-race and post-race nutrition definitely didn't help matters. I agreed that I needed to better educate myself on vegan nutrition some more since it seemed I may not be getting enough when I workout. After losing weight and getting healthy, I've been very diligent on calorie-counting. This is fine, but I need to be adding more when I push myself at the races.
Last night, my doctor called me with most of my blood work results. The tests showed that I was dehydrated and even had low blood sugar (this after I had eaten breakfast about 4 hours prior to getting blood drawn). Still waiting on B12 and maybe one other result which should be in on Monday.
This situation has taught me that while I have considered myself a healthy person, I've got a lot more to learn about being a healthy vegan athlete. Even though I'm not running anymore, power walking and cycling can take a lot of energy. Now, my goal is to better understand my nutrition needs before and after working out, especially when it comes to races where I tend to really push myself hard.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Shannon's Musings
14 October 2010 @ 09:42 pm

On Sunday, I participated in the U Can Finish 2 mile race at the University of Central Florida campus. The event featured both the 2 mile race as well as a 5 mile race. While I would have liked to have done the 5 mile event, I opted for the 2 mile one, realizing that I need to work up my daily and weekly mileage before I attempt more than a 5k.
I arrived at UCF about 25 minutes or so before my race was set to start. Even though I had my bib and d-tag, I always like to arrive at least that early to not only find parking, but in order to make a pre-race restroom run. I ended up having almost 10 minutes before the race of waiting around which isn't the worst thing in the world. Always better to have extra time on your hands than not enough!
Once the bullhorn sounded, the big crowd of runners and walkers were off. I try to put myself behind the runners to avoid being run over, but with some folks doing the run/walk/run pacing, sometimes that can be hard to do. This race would have to be one of the more difficult in that regard. With so many people, I ended up getting the back of my feet stepped on during the first half mile by guy who was doing the run/walk deal. Fortunately, I wasn't hurt and was able to keep moving right along.
I hit mile marker number one at just under 15 minutes in. This was a nice surprise to me, as my normal pace is 16:15 to 16:30 a mile. I was making excellent time it appeared! I gulped a bit of water down at the water stop and kept moving. No other problems were encountered during the remainder of the route. My back was doing well and I felt great. Ended up crossing the finish line in under 30 minutes! My official time was 29:35, with a pace of 14:47. I couldn't believe how well I did!
The U Can Finish event was definitely great fun. Would have been nice if I had a friend or two to do it with, but I do tend to go off on my own when I power walk, so no real conversations would happen during the actual race anyhow. Might be nice for pre-race and post-race though. My next race will be the Celebration Founder's Day 5k on November 14th. This race, I have a few co-workers who plan on participating, so that will be nice. I know I'm looking forward to it.
Current Mood: goodgood