Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome to the new Always a Benanna

Thanks everyone for switching over to the new link.  I decided to switch to wordpress for a variety of reasons.  I've heard it's a lot better than blogspot, and after playing around with it for a bit, I decided to switch.  I'm still working out some details with the layout.  I need to make a header, but with my computer not working properly, I haven't been able to get creative and make it.  

I hope everyone likes the new setup.  And thanks again for switching over!

Happy Birthday Mom!

This post is dedicate to one of the most wonderful women in my life: my mom!

My mom (a haiku)

always there for me
even when my room's a mess
makes awesome dinner

fantastic mommy
even better grandmother
showers us with love

thank you for always
being there and pushing me
to be the best

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Always a Benanna Moves

Hey everyone -

I've decided to move my blog over to wordpress.  You can now check out everything at

Make sure you change your feeds/links/blog rolls to the wordpress site to catch all the updates.  Postings will probably appear on both sides for a brief period of time, but not more than a week. 

Overall, a good end to 2010

Today is my Friday! Our office usually gives us two days off for Christmas, but since the holiday fell over the weekend, they gave us one day for Christmas, and one day for New Year's Eve.  So today was my Friday.  YAY!

I've had two particularly good runs this week.  So after each I've taken some time to reflect what made these runs better than the others.

1. My goals

I tend to set some pretty terrible goals for myself, runningwise.  For example, I'll head to the gym after not running for a couple of days and say "oh I'm gonna run for 40 minutes non-stop"  or "I'm gonna run 5 miles today non-stop."  For me, the first mile is always the toughest, both mentally and physically.  But once I get through that first mile, I'm ok.  However, when I'm still in the first mile, I start thinking "omg, I can't do this for 4.5 more miles," and I doubt myself, making it harder to keep going.

However, the past two runs I've set realistic goals for myself.  Tuesday morning I got up and ran before work.  Because time was tight, I set the timing and 25 minutes and just had myself go.  No promises to run non-stop.  Once I was about .75 miles in, I evaluated how things were going and saw that 2 miles was a realistic option for me.  I ended up running the whole time without stopping.  However, if I needed to, I was prepared to stop and walk.

Today when I ran, I updated my pace a bit from Tuesday.  Because I upped the pace, I told myself that if I needed a short one or two minute walking break between miles, that was fine.  And that is what I did.
  • .75 miles - moderate pace
  • .25 miles - fast pace
  • 1 minute 20 seconds - brisk walk
  • .75 miles - moderate pace
  • .25 miles - fast pace
  • 1 minute  30 seconds - brisk walk
  • 2 minutes - moderate walk
Not putting so much pressure on myself really helped me to keep going.
not actually my feet - source


Breathing when you are running is different that how you breath the rest of the day.  At least it is for me.  When I don't focus on my breathing, I seem to take in a lot of quick, short, shallow breaths.  As a result, I never really feel like I have the oxygen and energy to continue.  However, this week I've really focused on concentrating on breathing.  For me, its four counts in, six counts out.  Is it normal for my exhale to be longer than my inhale?  For some reason I thought they were supposed to be the same length, but that hasn't worked for me yet.  This 4/6 count seems to work the best for me right now.  I also think focusing on my breathing and running, and not the numbers on the treadmill screen in front of me, has  helped a lot.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Five goals for 2011

2011.  Its a big year.  I'll be a quarter century years old.  I'll change last names.  And as expected, I'm working on a list of goals for 2011.  Here is what I have so far. 

1. Maintain a workout regimen: get at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week.  Since most of my exercise tends to be on the active opposed to moderate style, that puts me above what the government recommends for a healthy lifestyle
2. Cook more: Cook at least one new meal per week, and to have a dinner that does not focus around pasta at least 2 other days of the week. I can not eat pasta forever.  Ok, I probably can, but it wouldn't be a good idea.  Maybe I'll find a cook book to cook my way through (a la Julie and Julia!)

3.  Get married with as little stress as possible:  I try and make my goals measurable and concrete.  Not sure stress level is really measurable.  But I think this is an important one. I will do as much planning and organizing up to the wedding as possible to make things move smoothly during the weekend's festivities.  Any idea how I can make this goal more measurble?

4. Blog Blog Blog: Keep on blogging.  Every day isn't realistic right now for me.  But I will find a schedule that works for me and stick to it. 

5. Excel at work: Again, I don't get too specific about work things on here, so lets just leave this here and ya'll can trust me that I have a plan.  Cool?

Are you developing a list of goals for 2011?  What goals have you set for yourself?  Any ideas how I can make my stress free wedding goal measurable?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Four Days in October

Last night, Ben and I watched ESPN’s 30 for 30 movie Four Days in October. 

The movie is about games 4,5,6 and 7 of the Red Sox/Yankee ALCS Championship game.  The movie skips games 1-3 (because they sucked), and focused on the amazing comeback of the Boston Red Sox. 

It was fantastic.  Maybe it was the nostalgia in me.  Maybe it was my love for all-things-Boston (especially the Sox!).  But I loved every second of the movie.  I found myself sitting there going, “omg I forgot about that part!” or “I remember that – it was awesome!” throughout the whole movie. 

Especially at the end when they showed the streets surrounding Fenway Park after game 7.  Not gonna lie – I put the TV on pause and tried to find myself in the crowd. 

If you were in Boston during October of 2008, I highly recommend you watch this film, if only for the memories!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 5 stories of 2010

As its the end of the year, it's time to recap 2010. 

1. The Engagement
Sure, the actual engagement happened in 2009.  But waking up engagement on January 1st and having my family coming into town was pretty exciting.  Plus, planning this wedding was one of the biggest topics of 2010, and it all began with the engagement. 

2. Ben and I move in together
Shortly after the engagement, Ben and I moved in to our apartment just outside of D.C.  Living together has been exciting and we've learned so much more about each other during the past year.  I absolutely adore our apartment, and we were both devistated when we thought we were going to have to move this January (don't worry, we aren't moving). 

3. Securing a wedding location
After tons and tons of research, we finally narrowed our wedding location to three places.  Each different but awesome in their own way.  But when another couple wanted one of our location, we were given less than 24 hours to stake our claim.  After lots of analysis, talking and tears, we decided to take Hibernian Hall.

4. Haddis' passing
 The death of Haddis was both shocking and sad.  Ben lost his best friend and a groomsman in our wedding.  I'll never forget when Ben recieved that phone call.  Some days, it doesn't seem real. 

5. Running a 10K
When we all decided to run a 10K, I wasn't sure we were actually going to follow through with the plan.  But somehow, we did.  Despite getting lost, running a mile warmup, and being 10 minutes late, it was an amazing experience.  It has inspired me to keep on running.  Bring on Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon 2012!