Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hey, I'm Still Alive

Hi everyone, I'm still alive and kicking, even though it's been awhile since I've posted. *basks in shame* But, that means I have tons of updates.

First, I get to graduate soon! Just one more month to go. Yep. One. More. Month. Am I feeling sad and wishing the days to go by slower? Not a chance. I am so ready to get out of here. I've got goals and things to do. Reading more Plato isn't one of them. Yes, I am stuck reading Plato my final semester. You see why I'm running for the doors, right?

So, what are these goals I have in mind you might wonder? First, I've started an app review site called I got really sick of seeing expensive apps that I can't afford, and wanted to share all of the free apps I find with everyone. It's just getting started, but I've got big things planned for it, starting this summer. Which leads me to…

A good friend of mine, Tanner Bivens. He recently did a guest post on my site, where he reviewed a free iOS game. Tanner is the owner of, where he writes about movies and video games. Sensing a trend yet? We both love  reviewing cool stuff and want to do more of it together. The name is still in the works, but we will be creating an umbrella site where you can see all of our app, movie and game reviews in one place. In addition, we will be adding book and board game reviews. Basically, we are big nerds and like to have fun. You all get the joy of reading about it. Lucky you, right?

In addition to these, we've got a group together working on a sorta-secret project that I will be posting more about later. It will be big. Promise.

Lastly, I'm moving and getting married in June! This is definitely the part I am most excited for. If only the next couple of months could hurry by, so I can move on to all of these awesome things and not read more Plato.

As you can see, I've been crazy busy. If you want to read more, please visit and check out Tanner's site

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo: My Thoughts Going In

I’ve spent about the last week planning for NaNoWriMo and can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve felt an exhilarating amalgamation of anticipation, nervousness, excitement. Here are my thoughts leading in to NaNoWriMo as a first-timer:

1. I'm totally pumped!
I’ve always wanted to write a novel, for better or worse. I also always had trouble coming up with an idea. Knowing that I will be a part of something larger has helped force me into brainstorming and now I have an idea I am really excited about. It’s been all I can think about for the past week.
2. I’m a bit nervous. 
But only a bit. The excitement is definitely the dominant force, but I’m also wondering how I will have time to even write 50,000 words. What happens when I get to the middle of my book and hit writers block? What if I hit writers block before the middle of the book? I have been reminding myself that ~1600 a day really isn’t all that much; I’ve written papers that long in only an hour. This won't be easy, but it's not impossible.

3. NaNoWriMo fuels good/bad stress. 
I expect to be pulling my hair out by the end of the month. Yes, I will make it to the end of the month. Because I am a bit insane, I’m going to be writing this while writing several research papers. If only my upcoming 3000 word papers could go toward the 50,000 words of NaNoWriMo. Clearly, stress is inevitable. It’s also a good motivator. It’s a necessity. I would not have had the push to brainstorm, outline, and create character biographies had it not been for the positive stress of NaNoWriMo. I’d still be sitting around thinking, "I want to write a book someday, but I have no idea where to start.”

4. What is there to lose?
I’m happy to be a part of a bigger group. The NaNoWriMo community is very welcoming and I’ve already learned a lot of useful writing and life tips. It’s the chance to better myself and feel like I've done something worthwhile. By the time November is over, it will be impossible to look back and regret trying.

If you are also participating, feel free to add me as a writing buddy. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fog, Forty Degrees…Fantastic?

Ok. Maybe not so fantastic. This morning was a test for me. I woke up at 7:35 still sore from Sunday's run and saw that temperature was a bitter 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, I reminded myself that I do, indeed, love to run and coaxed myself out of bed.

I'm following a training course through the Runkeeper app, which is a great service by the way. On Sunday it suggested a light 1.5 mile jog and today I was told to run intervals. Intervals, such a dreadful word, but I begrudgingly ran them anyways. I started off with a half mile warmup and felt pretty great. After stretching I started the eight 1 minute intervals split with a minute and a half of walking. Doesn't sound so bad, right?

WRONG. The pain that I managed to escape on Sunday did not stray today. But I kept reminding myself that I promised I will run through the pain. It will be worth it. Guess what? It was. As I explained before, the pain goes away as soon as I finish running (except the standard soreness). So, all I had to do was finish as past as possible. Unfortunately, I'm not so fast right now, but I pushed through and am so glad I did. I've been in an awesome mood all day and I got to see the beautiful sight in my picture above. Worth it? Yes.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Am a Runner

In my about me for this blog, I didn't describe myself as a runner. But the truth is, that's the one thing I'm most likely to call myself. Back in high school, it was one of the only things on my mind. I made my best friends through running and I thought obsessed about running constantly. I ran 5Ks outside of cross country season and worked up to running 8 miles, one of my biggest accomplishments. I even had a goal to run a marathon someday (still do!).

Unfortunately, running didn't come without it's set of pains. And I don't mean the normal kind of soreness you get from a hard workout. I LOVE that soreness. It means I got to run. Starting in my sophomore year of track I felt a pain in my shin. I went to the ER and several doctors and kept being told to take three days off and ice my shin splints. Fearful of a stress fracture, I did just that. But the pain didn't go away. Some days were good, others were bad. The better the shape I was in the less it hurt. So, I ran as hard and fast as I could and by the end of my junior cross country season I had a great new PR and tolerable-to-no pain.

I kept running after the season and a week after reaching 8 miles, I sprained my ankle. I was going to have to take six weeks off and then work my way back up. It was heartbreaking, but not a death sentence. My ankle healed up and I began training again during track conditioning. The pain in my shin was back with a vengeance. As I said, it stopped hurting when I got into better shape, but I was a horrid runner at this time and being told to run much farther than I should have had to start over with. The season didn't go well but I was never a fan of track so I didn't think much of it. Truth be told, track was only a way for me to get in better shape for my true love, cross country. Running in circles isn't very appealing when you get to run beautiful courses through the woods and by the lake. It doesn't even compare.

My senior cross country year wasn't bad, but I was never able to get back to what I reached my junior year and the pain kept getting worse. It was like a knife being stabbed into my shins with every step I took. I did some research and I knew I didn't have shin splints. My pain always ended as soon as I started running. Shin splints hurts continually afterwards. So, I went to another doctor and gave him my idea. In my research, I came across a condition called chronic exertion compartment disorder, commonly mistaken for shin splints due to its rarity. He explained that the test to check for this was long and painful and the only option to fix the issue was surgery; however, he said if I could tolerate it I could continue to run.  Ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory, could help with the pain (I was already regularly taking four at a time at this point). Coupled with this and the herniated muscle on my shin, I wasn't feeling very optimistic. So, I finished out my senior year but haven't been able to tolerate the pain since.

This has weighed heavily on me for nearly five years now. I feel as if I've lost myself. Certainly I have other interests, but running was my life. And I can't be without it any longer. Yesterday, my fiancé ran his first 5K. He has been training for several months and I've jealously stood by and watched. Of course, I am insanely proud of him, but it is no replacement for running myself. Watching him run yesterday, well from what I could see of the course, I became inspired to start again. Yesterday I bought myself a pair of good supportive aasics (my favorite!) and ran a mile and a half. I'm feeling fantastically sore today, but my shins didn't hurt! Yesterday was only the beginning. No amount of pain will stop me this time. I want to be myself again. I will be me again. I am a runner.