Diving into the Gene Pool

Just a science nerd with a passion for diving and fitness

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This morning, on my walk to my car, one of the Marines standing guard of the Barracks ducked out from him post.

"Morning Ma’am, how are you this morning?"

"Good, how are you?" 

"Doing well! You look great this morning! Have a wonderful day!"

Totally made my day, thank you Mr. Marine….a true gentleman! 

Love the men and women of 8th and Eye!

XO,
Proud daughter of a Marine

This morning, on my walk to my car, one of the Marines standing guard of the Barracks ducked out from him post.

"Morning Ma’am, how are you this morning?"

"Good, how are you?"

"Doing well! You look great this morning! Have a wonderful day!"

Totally made my day, thank you Mr. Marine….a true gentleman!

Love the men and women of 8th and Eye!

XO,
Proud daughter of a Marine

Filed under marine barracksrow dc wednesday semperfi

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Post Marathon thoughts

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Post-marathon partum

It sounds a bit odd but I had a little bit of post-marathon emotions. After all the winter training runs, it seemed like all 4hrs and 56 minute flew by. Actually, the whole weekend was quite whirlwind and I found myself thinking…is it over already??

When I think back at the Shamrock marathon I really only have positive thoughts. Feeling great in the early miles, being proud of myself for pushing it to 18 miles without stopping, great conversations with my sister, seeing my family out supporting me and the adrenaline rush that hit me as soon as I crossed the finish line. However, if I really dig deeper, there are the “other” memories of the weekend - the bitter cold wind that was in our faces the entire race, the cramp in my left glute that just would-not-go-away, the mental struggle to keep moving even when my body was ready to quit. It seems like after months of training, it was over in a flash.

However, every time I look at these medals on my mantel I get a little rush of “you ran a f-ing marathon!” It was painful and fun and exciting and terrifying all rolled up into one day.

 (Australia boomerang works quite well as a medal holder)

So what’s the best way to get over post-marathon blues??  Start re-training for another race!!

I don’t think I ever really mentioned my Cape Cod Ragnar plans on the blog since it’s been marathon, marathon, marathon all winter. A few months ago my husband and his coworker got this crazy idea…let’s do a Ragnar race! Of course, neither of them have the time to plan an undertaking as large as a multiple person 200 mile relay a few states away so I jumped in as team captain. Coordinating random friends, rental cars, hotels, and race logistics has been quite the undertaking. As of right now we have a 9-person team for a race that is usually run by 12 people. Due to some team injuries, illnesses and a general lack of training by most of our crew, the three Marathon ladies are planning to “ultra” this race. What does that mean? A true Ultra Ragnar is the entire course run by only 6 people. We are doing a mini-ultra where the 3 ladies (Caitlin, Kristen, myself) will run ~half of the course while the other 6 guys run the other half. Our van is slightly less than half but each of us will be averaging 25-32 miles over 3-6 runs. Just typing it scares me a little and then I have to remind myself that I successfully ran 31 miles over the Whale Challenge weekend. However, that did involve a full night of sleep, normal running hours and lots of cheer support – none of which will happen during Ragnar.

It will be an adventure for sure!!



Filed under Run running runner fitness ragnar marathon training adventure

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Cross Training update

One of the things I seriously failed at during marathon training was integrating cross-training into my schedule. Sure, it was on my training plan but I was barely able to find time for runs and runs always trumped other stuff. So I have been gearing it up and trying to incorporate other exercises into my training for Ragnar. 

This past weekend: I made it to Friday morning Barre, Saturday morning yoga, lots of walking, 7 miles of biking, softball and then Barre on Monday morning plus a 7.5 mile run. Phew, cross training is exhausting and time consuming but I really think it will pay off in the long run (no pun intended, hehe). Mixing up my training has been really helpful in preventing a total post-marathon training burn out. I knew that jumping into Ragnar training was going to be tough after feeling the training pressure all winter but committing to fitness classes has been a great motivator. 

I am sloooowly getting better at Barre but still struggling with maintaining the movements for the duration of the exercise. Clearly this means it is working some of my non-running muscles!! Between Barre and Yoga I can really tell it is helping balance everything out and sort of reverse all the damage I did during marathon training. What I mean by “damage” is the unbalanced, running-only muscles and un-flexibleness that I acquired by strictly running for a few months. I felt great after my 1.5hr yoga class, super stretched out and was actually able to hold most of the positions!

I have a new goal of attending 2 Barre classes and 2 yoga classes a week leading up to Ragnar. Let’s do this!!



Filed under fitness barre yoga run crosstraining ragnar exercise

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Since it seems like everyone and their mother is doing a “Throwback Thursday” photo today and I was backing up some photos anyways, I give you: 
My final dive in Australia circa 2008
Daniel, my first (and favorite) dive buddy flew all the way to Australia to spend a week diving and exploring before I had to return to the US. He logged 15 dives down under and I completed my 50th Aussie dive!
While backing up photos I glanced through maybe 1% of the 8,000+ photos I have from my 5 short months in Australia. If 8K photos wasn’t enough of an indication, it was a truly whirlwind chapter in my life. I was given a wonderful job opportunity that let me galavant around with the koala and kangaroos, dive my ass off and do a little bit of work on the side. Who knew working with fruit flies could bring you half way around the world and into another hemisphere?? I will forever cherish my time in Brisbane. 

Since it seems like everyone and their mother is doing a “Throwback Thursday” photo today and I was backing up some photos anyways, I give you: 

My final dive in Australia circa 2008

Daniel, my first (and favorite) dive buddy flew all the way to Australia to spend a week diving and exploring before I had to return to the US. He logged 15 dives down under and I completed my 50th Aussie dive!

While backing up photos I glanced through maybe 1% of the 8,000+ photos I have from my 5 short months in Australia. If 8K photos wasn’t enough of an indication, it was a truly whirlwind chapter in my life. I was given a wonderful job opportunity that let me galavant around with the koala and kangaroos, dive my ass off and do a little bit of work on the side. Who knew working with fruit flies could bring you half way around the world and into another hemisphere?? I will forever cherish my time in Brisbane. 

Filed under scuba throwbackthursday tbt ocean adventure australia downunder travel scuba diving

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My Barre Fitness class

Here was my first response: 

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A new Pure Barre studio opened up 0.2 miles from my house and having heard rave reviews of this new-ish fitness class I decided I should try it out. I snagged a 10-class deal on Gilt City and jumped in. 

My first class was 6am on Friday which, if you know me, 6am and Julie doing anything other than sleeping is unheard of. Thankfully, I was meeting up with my run buddy Courtney (the one who convinced me to sign up) so I couldn’t back out. 

I didn’t really know what exactly was involved in the class, I went in totally blind - not alway a bad thing. It started out a bit more upbeat than I expected, I was kind of thinking slow and steady like yoga. The movements seemed simple but were actually quite challenging. When I was going to PT for my lower back, I had to constantly focus on rotating my hip back - more in-line with my spine. I guess my default is a curved lower back and hips forward which isn’t the best for my spine. Focusing on keeping my shoulders up and hips in line and just holding my leg back and at an angle was strangely challenging! I kept thinking, I just ran a marathon, why is this so hard? It focuses a lot on body position and simple movements and is a serious butt kicking.

I will be back for the 9 classes and likely more, have some serious core strengthening that needs to done!! I also strangely enjoyed the bright and early start to the day and aside from being a bit more hungry than usual I had plenty of energy to make it through the whole day without dragging. 

Overall, it was a fun class and great cross-training!



Filed under barre fitness pure barre

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Tuesday Ramblings

I reached my 2 year blog-iversary last Wednesday. I haven’t been posting nearly as often, but I still love this little space on the internet – even if I only have a handful of people reading it. For those who still read my blog, a heartfelt thank you!

I realized I haven’t done a personal Julie post in a long time and now that I can think of something other than “omg, I need to run” I have a chance to catch up and reflect on life, recent events, etc.

Thoughts on DC:

I love my job but I don’t love DC. I really wish I did and after almost 1.5 years (has been that long!?!) DC still hasn’t managed to sweep me off my feet. Part of the problem is that I haven’t found a niche, a group of people who are like me, a network. I am a pseudo-republic, water loving, science nerd living in a city full of democratic, lawyers and politicians. Every other place I have lived (NC, CA, even Australia) I almost instantly found a core group of diving buddies who happen to all share similar beliefs/ideals and it was easy. In order to scuba dive “in DC” I have to fly or drive a long ass way which I don’t have the time off work to facilitate. It’s actually not so much the diving itself that I miss as it is the diving people. My scuba peeps are some of my bestest of friends even if we don’t ever (or rarely) get to dive anymore. I also don’t get to enjoy the city life seeing as I commute out to the suburbs and drive 300+ miles/week. I see the annoying sides of city living – the parking, the traffic and the outrageous prices. The light at the end of the tunnel is that 1. Spring/summer is on the horizon and 2. DC is not a forever destination for us. 

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Thoughts on fitness:

So, I was under the delusion that running a marathon = get super fit which isn’t exactly how the marathon fitness plan panned out. Pretty sure I gained weight and no it wasn’t all muscle. My training seriously lacked the cross training it was supposed to include. Not because of a bad training plan, just because I barely had time to fit the runs in more the less other activities. As a result, I have lost a lot of upper body strength. My arms are weak and not toned (not that they were THAT toned before but still) and my core strength is less than ideal (as painfully pointed out by the 2 yoga classes I took recently). I went to the first softball practice of 2014 and was sore for the next two days - waking up muscles in my arms and back that haven’t been used all winter! I knew I was making sacrifices committing only to running through the winter but now I have the chance to find a better balance. I even googled CrossFit gyms near work again and have considered jumping back in. There are a lot of things I like about CF and some things I don’t and i’d only jump back in if I can find a community that fits and works for me and my schedule (the main reason I canceled my membership in DC). In the meantime, I’m going to start integrating some yoga & barre classes into my running and hopefully bring back some of my upper body and core strength. 

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Thoughts on babies and diving and work:

Here comes my giant life dilemma…how do I fit starting a family in with my career/scuba/running/life. I really want to start a family (crazy to say that, since a year ago I was all “not for a while, totally not ready” – I blame William Hudson Ducey and hormones). However, I’m scared of what having a baby will do to my career and my scuba diving pursuits. I still have a bunch of stuff on my scuba bucket list and I am nowhere near the pinnacle of my diving “career”. I know that leaving my child to go on a week-long shark diving trip won’t really be as high on my priority list and it will be challenging. Will I continue to cave dive, knowing the risks and knowing that I have a child depending on me? I know plenty of mothers who have been able to continue their recreational and technical diving pursuits even after children and I hope I can too. Sure, I’ll tone it back a bit but I still want to be an active diver (more active than I am currently). I want to be an example to all my female and male diving friends that having a baby will change you but doesn’t mean you have to give up all the things you love. Running can thankfully continue to some degree during and after a baby so I’m less worried about that, running will go on! And my career, I would have barely called it a career a few years ago but now with “Senior” in my title and a job I am passionate about I am hesitant to just kiss goodbye and become a full-time mommy. I hope that I can find a balance that has me present in my child’s life (and not just from 6pm to bedtime) but where I can also put to use the skills I have spent the last 8+ years accruing. It might involve a mini-break but I don’t think I’d be 100% happy as a full-time stay at home mom (but I could be wrong, things changes). I might be dreaming but I think it is all possible and I know that finding the “perfect” balance (if there is such a thing) will be a day-to-day endeavor. 

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That’s all folks, thanks for listening….

XOXO,

J