How are you all doing? Has anyone melted from this crazy heat spell that's hit half of the country over the last week or so? I nearly have... I, for one, will be happy to return to the upper 80's and leave the 90's and 100+ degree weather behind for a couple of weeks!
Anyway, in the spirit of positivity, I decided to do something a little different on the blog today. I got this fabulous idea from one of my new favorite running blogs: Ali on the Run. (Seriously, people, running blogs are one of my main sources of motivation - it is inspiring to read about other peoples' running pursuits!) Every Thursday, Ali writes a blog post about the things in her life she is thankful for, and I decided to give it a go. **I realize that it may be Friday when most of you read this, but that's ok.
So... Here are the things I am especially thankful for this week:
1. My brief return to Columbia. After a few weeks at home, coming back to Columbia this last week has been so good for me for a number of reasons. First of all, it is nice to be sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen (although, with the heat, there has been minimal cooking happening over here), and being around all of my own stuff. It is quiet and relaxing here in my apartment, and I am enjoying the time to myself. Secondly, all of this "me time" has given me a ton of time to think and deal with break-up related issues. When I walked into my apartment on Sunday evening, the sadness hit me like a brick. I suppose as I get older and relationships become more meaningful and serious to me, the loss is harder to deal with. However, I realize that these are feelings I need to allow myself to feel and issues that I need to deal with, and this time to myself is allowing me the space I need to do those things.
2. The fact that the homes in my area were built within the last 13 years. I am SO not joking about this! Right now, Cicada Plague 2011 is happening all across Missouri (as well as other more southern states, from what I understand). I would be lying if I said it didn't totally gross/freak me out. This particular species appears every 13 years, mating and laying their eggs in trees. When the eggs hatch, apparently, the cicadas make their way through the trees and come out of the surrounding soil. Simply put, there are probably millions of them and they are EVERYWHERE. They are SUPER LOUD and also have a nasty habit of dive bombing everyone that walks by. When you brush them off of you, they scream. This is not a pleasant experience! Anyway, housing areas that were developed in the last 13 years are mostly cicada free because most of the trees are newly planted and the ground was disturbed in the building process. I am so thankful I am able to walk to my car without being swarmed. Seriously.
3. That I own hand weights and an ab ball. (It's the small things, people.) I'm not able to use the student rec center for free right now, so having this minimal workout equipment at home has been a great alternative! I am in my first official week of a new weight lifting program (from the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women) and really want to stay on track. The little home gym has allowed me to keep up with my weight workouts with only minimal adjustments to a couple of exercises!
This brings me to my next one...
4. My new running outfits!!! Sometimes, it's all about the clothes! (Duh.) I have a few new running outfits this summer and it is making such a difference. They are cute, they keep me cool (SO important in this heat!), and they make me excited to get out and run. My very favorite new shirt is this one from Moving Comfort:
5. I am thankful for this morning's hot, sweaty, hilly run. Mind you, Columbia is no San Francisco, but we have our fair share of awe-inspiring and fear-inducing hills. Out of fear (read: whimpy-ness) of being caught in a cicada swarm on the lovely but heavily forested trail here in town, I decided to take this morning's 3-miler to the sidewalks. I ran the route that I drive every day to school (and have run a few times before) and am always amazed at how crazy those hills are! The thing about them, though, is how freaking good it feels to finally run all the way up one instead of stopping mid hill to cling for dear life to a nearby tree (I have never done that...) and how AMAZING I feel at the end of those runs. There is always a new challenge, always something new to accomplish, and always a "come to Jesus" moment that occurs on that little 3-mile run. Today, I got home, sweating profusely and gasping for breath, and instead of going inside, I just laid down on my front step, closed my eyes, and soaked it all in. When I got up there was a Katie-sized sweat print on the ground.
Question for the comments section: What are YOU thankful for this week?