Boston, you are home for now.

Repeat to self “Boston, you are home for now.” And again. Repeat.

The perennial planner in me has watched the closure of my first year of graduate school, sees my final semester down the road and is already so tempted to try to plan for what’s next. The after Boston. The fresh job. Another move. Some change. Some shifting. Some more growing.

And I want to prepare and dream and get excited or feel in control of next January.

(HA!) Like that can happen.

And even if I could magically begin planning where I would like to move next or the exact job that I would like to apply for, even if–well, I would miss out on enjoying a whole six months of Boston.

I have loved living here and I still have so much to explore and appreciate.

That little planner inside is a hard one to squash!

So, how do I cope? I focus in on what to appreciate and love right now. My first year of school is done and this coming week I start my internship at Newton News (exciting opportunity). That means a full summer opportunity of getting myself together.

What am I hoping to work on?

The reel.

This is a duh. My internship will give me the opportunity to be on camera twice a week and produce a lot of new work. That means that at the end of the summer I should have my reel ready to go to start applying for jobs this fall.

Fall school work.

Would you believe I really want to get a head’s start this summer on my fall work? I have to turn in a thesis or “professional project” as I prefer to think of it at the end of the next semester. It will probably make my life a LOT easier if I can get some form of a head’s start. Minimum I need to have a full game plan for the fall.

Um, my fitness.

I say “um” because it’s kind of a shame. Boston and graduate school has translated to eating out and a lot of recreational drinking. 25-year-old bodies aren’t made for constant rich eating and college-style drinking. Mama needs to get back in shape! So, that means putting together a routine gym and running plan that will:
A) Get me back in shape!

B) Not re-irritate my stupid stress fracture.

But, am I right?

Cook, cook, cook.

This plays off of the fitness part.  A big part of the fluffier Ashley is alllll of the eating out. I mean, come on, it’s Boston. There are so many great pubs to try! But, I really want to work on cooking at home more and healthier. This is something I really enjoy and also summer should be the easiest season to get a jump start.

This all seems pretty reasonable, right?

This is likely my LAST summer “break” so I want to make it as productive as possible!  Now. Seriously. To stop planning….

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Kick-Ass Workouts + Grassroots Fitness: November Project

Hey guys, remember when about three months ago I was getting really whiney about how out of shape that I was getting? Well that’s stress fracture recovery for you.  Granted, I now more than ever, know that I should have really tried swimming.

Well as of almost three weeks ago, I’ve started going to the most f***ing intense workouts ever.  November Project.

(They use that word a lot, so I’m allowed to here too. I’ll censor it for my grandma-reading audience though. Hey Mamaw : ) )

Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6:30 a.m. all over Boston come rain, snow, ice or shine. And these workouts are hard. as. hell. But the community that’s there is incredible. You show up and you don’t know 95 percent of the 100 people there. But somehow as you’re doing this workout at the crack of dawn, you feel a weird endearment and bonding to all of the people sweating, hurting and pushing alongside you.

New Balance really said it best with the video about the group and honestly, watch it. Like seriously. Watch it:


We joke that it’s like a cult. But seriously, I’m knee deep into the kool aid. Like can’t even stop talking about it. Since my first Friday hills workout I went to class afterwards and told new friend Jeanna. The next time I went it was me + Brian + Jeanna + Roxanne and the next time Dana + Andy came.  It’s an addiction. (And also, obviously good for making friends.)

To get that kind of adrenaline kick at 6:30 a.m.?

It’s all great in September when workouts are a balmy 60 degrees. In January? This is going to be ROUGH. But more than anything I’m seeing the importance of accountability which is what this program is all about. This morning and Monday morning, there is no doubt that I probably would have flaked out if I hadn’t told Jeanna that I would be there and then know she would be waiting for me.

But beyond just working out. This is so good for my mindset when it comes to recovering from the ongoing stress-fracture debacle.

In four months of recovery I had done a few lame runs. Towards the end of my time in Winston-Salem I think I did three or four walk/run days.

Since I’ve started November Project? *Mind you, these are MWF days. So not consecutive.

  • Day 1: Hills. A total of over 4 miles including my first long solid run (HA, 1.2 miles) home.
  • Day 2: Stadiums. I did half of Harvard Stadium. 19 sections. I couldn’t do stairs right for four days after that.
  • Day 3: Hills. Over 3 miles of hill running. There was walking. But it wasn’t because of my leg. It was because that hill was kicking my butt.
  • Day 4: I ran 3 miles. THREE MILES. All the way to a circuit workout.
  • Day 5: I ran another 3 miles. THREE MILES. No stops. No pauses. No walking. No checking the clock. But I finished it in less than 30 minutes. And I felt good enough to then do 12 stadiums at Harvard Stadium.
First day at Harvard Stadium. You guys, this is where thighs and butts get wrecked. So. Steep.

First day at Harvard Stadium. You guys, this is where thighs and butts get wrecked. So. Steep.

You can BARELY see her; but my girl Jeanna finished the whole freakin' stadium this morning. 37 sections. Her second time. She's a badass.

You can BARELY see her; but my girl Jeanna finished the whole freakin’ stadium this morning. 37 sections. Her second time. She’s a badass.

Like seriously, that’s the dedication? I missed my alarm clock this morning and missed my ride. So instead of taking a cab or whatever, I ran three miles. I booked it to get there just in time to start with the last group.

I’m so excited to be reclaiming what was an active lifestyle. These guys are badass. I’ll never be quite like that. But you know what? Just being around that energy makes you find something else a little deeper you might not have ever discovered.

There are November Projects starting all over the country. Don’t live in a city that has one but want to get involved? This month November Project is doing a #DeckADay challenge. You can find out all of the details here (all you need is a deck of cards); but suffice to say it’s an amazing bootcamp for your core and arms–and it’s pretty straightforward. Love me some simple workouts.

Man, I love running.

Now, about that GPS watch I’m asking for for my birthday. Any tips on brands or what to look for?

Next up in fitness posts: I’m finally starting a book that I got from Lily over at Sincerely Lily. Can’t wait to share some more running good stuff.

Mama’s Outta’ Shape.

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ESPN, I love ya.

You’ve heard my whining about how I can’t run.

But I have legitimate reason that I’m not good at coping with stress when I can’t run.

I end up eating or social drinking my feelings.

And Hot & Spicy Cheese-its and Sam Adams beer do not a fit girl make.

So then there’s been the down spiral of “Oh my gosh why did I eat those 12 cookies at 11 p.m.??” and “Of course I’m available for happy hours every night this week.” And six weeks later mama’s totally outta’ shape.

End rant. Because today I broke the rules and ellipticated.

Mostly, I feel guilty because my leg felt great so it seemed worth the risk––but I know that’s the trap you’re supposed to avoid.

But I felt good. And I got to watch ESPN (one of the things I miss most about cable) and I was super happy about all of the above.

Pending how I feel tomorrow I plan to do something LIGHT. I’m still “flying under the radar” of course. Tonight that meant stopping at 20 minutes when I felt like I could do 30. This also means I plan to very gradually work back into consecutive workouts.

Fingers crossed I get my feet back under me. I can’t wait to get back to the grind!