Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Story


When I put on my running shoes yesterday for my Tuesday jog, I realized that I had left my iPod in my fiance’s apartment. No Couch to 5k for me, so I walked and jogged willy-nilly for roughly half an hour so I wouldn’t lose any gains. I’ll have to resume Couch to 5k tomorrow; in the meantime, I’ll tell my engagement story in lieu of my Tuesday update. It’s more interesting than my Tuesday update anyway.

When asked when we were getting engaged, my boyfriend would always say, with unruffled seriousness, “I’m waiting for Nel to propose.” I attend a Christian college, so my boyfriend and I have been routinely asked this question ever since we hit the six month mark in our relationship. Since we’ve been dating for three years now, it’s gotten to be a running joke in my family that I was going to propose.  Recently, even my mother and my boyfriend himself were ribbing me about when I was going to pop the question.

I knew the proposal would come fairly soon, so I could laugh when they asked and tell them I was still saving up for an engagement ring. Yet  I wasn’t even faintly suspicious when my boyfriend suggested we go hiking this past Saturday.

We don’t typically do things like go hiking in the middle of a semester. But last week was particularly busy for me and I needed some time with my boyfriend without papers or other people around. Hiking seemed like the perfect break from paper grading.

Once we actually got to the hiking trail Saturday morning, however, I began to feel hopeful. I was pretty sure he had already bought a ring, since he had recently made some vague references to “spending all of his money” on “food.”

We hiked up to a beautiful waterfall, taking several stops so I could catch my breath and feel like an old woman. When we got to the falls,  we sat down on a large rock to enjoy the view. When my boyfriend started rifling through his backpack for something, I sat up, tense, alert, and expectant. Was this it? Was he really going to propose today?

And he pulled out a hoodie.

A few minutes later, he started rifling through his backpack again and pulled out the book we were reading for book club. I laughed at myself for being suspicious;  I was entirely too happy that morning to be disappointed.

When he stared looking for something else in his backpack, I assumed he would pull out beef jerky or something. And that’s when he pulled out a ring box.

He handed it to me without ceremony and said, “I got you a ring so you could propose.” He insists he also said something about “being tired of waiting,” but I don’t remember it. We’ll probably argue about this detail for the rest of our lives.

I opened up the ring box and made some sort of noise between laughing and crying before asking him, “Will you marry me?”

He said yes.


Couch to 5K Challenge Day 15: A letter to the outdoor track users


Dear outdoor track users,
I would like you to know that on Thursday, March 21, 2013, I jogged for a solid 20 minutes without walking intervals. You may deem thing accomplishment paltry, especially you leggy guys who are halfway around the track in one stride. I know my strides are smaller than a squirrel’s. I know I  jog more slowly than your grandma. But have you gone from being a complete couch potato to steady jogger before? Were you the one who used to say “I don’t understand how anyone could like jogging?” but now you jog because you like to? Did the campus alumni association have a celebratory feast laid out for you at the end of your jog? (Ok, technically the food was just leftover from the alumni association reception. But I was given leftovers and congratulated on my accomplishment.)

So don’t judge my tiny strides, tall guys. Respect.

[Thursday’s] Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 109 mg/dl

The workout: 5 minutes walking for warm-up. 20 minutes jogging. Solid. 5 minutes walking for cool-down.

Post-workout blood sugar: 117 mg/dl

This remarkably steady blood sugar range brought to you by gatorade and blob of peanut butter consumed before the run and the cheese, strawberries, and slice of angel’s food cake I consumed afterwards.



Couch to 5K Challenge Day 14: Jog-Worthy Tunes


I’ve been in school as long as I can remember, so I’ve built up a good collection of studying music. Good study music is perky enough to keep me awake, but calm enough to help me stay in one place for an extended period of time. Good study music does not make good exercise music.

I’m in need of some new tunes. I’ve invested a few dollars here and there since I’ve started this challenge. Here’s what I’ve gotten:

  • “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars: Episode I
  • Doctor Who Series 5 theme song
  • Doctor Who Series 5 theme “I Am the Doctor”
  • The track “Test Drive” from the How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack
  • “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis

As I’m sure you have noticed, I like to feel like a character from an epic movie when I jog.

Any other suggestions for some good exercise music?

[Saturday’s] Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 145 mg/dl

The workout: 5 minute warm-up. Alternate 5 minutes jogging with 3 minutes walking. 5 minutes cool down. 31 minutes total.

Post-workout blood sugar: 77 mg/dl

Couch to 5K Challenge Days 12 and 13: In a [Gold Rush] Daze


Everyone can use an excuse to wear weird costumes and coat their face with face-paint. Why else would football and Halloween exist? My school provides another such excuse: a tradition we call Gold Rush Daze. It happens once every four years. The campus is divided into two teams, Red Lightening and Green Thunder. For a month or so leading up to Gold Rush Daze, students decorate the campus and  attend pep rallies, make Gold Rush memes and videos, and generally display senseless, inexplicable team loyalty. The day of Gold Rush, classes are canceled and everyone on campus pretends to be a high schooler away for summer camp as they participate in a day of fun events and really weird competitions. We enjoy games, skits, wearing superhero costumes and watching usually dignified faculty members dye their hair their chosen team’s color.

Guess what team I was on?

While my last Gold Rush get up was more interesting (it involved a face-paint handprint across my face, orc-style), I have to say I'm quite fond of the mask and the Wonder Woman shirt.

While my last Gold Rush get up was more interesting (it involved a face-paint handprint across my face, orc-style), I have to say I’m quite fond of the mask and the Wonder Woman shirt.

I was tired at the end of the day (hence, no update on Tuesday), but I still went jogging! And guess what?

I met my goal! Yay!!

[Tuesday’s] Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 187 mg/dl

The workout: 5-minute warm-up walk followed by a 3 minute jog, 1:30 minute walk, 5 minute jog, 2:30 minute walk, another 3 minute jog, another 1:30 minute walk, another 5 minute jog. 5 minute cool-down walk.

Post-workout blood sugar: 114 mg/dl

Today’s Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 90 mg/dl

The workout: Same as Tuesday’s

Post-workout blood sugar: 82 mg/dl

This amazingly flat blood sugar pattern was achieved by a 50% reduction in basal rate 60 minutes prior to the jog in conjunction with a few sips of Gatorade during the jog. I’m either getting good at this or I’m getting lucky.

Couch to 5k Challenge Day 11: Hydration takes some coordination


Concerned about proper fluid intake prior to jogging, I headed over to the Runner’s World website prior to today’s jog to check out some articles on hydration. I was excited to learn that, according to this article on hydration myths, that coffee doesn’t cause dehydration. While it’s true that drinking coffee does make you need to, well, go, it  also makes you less likely to go later. In other words, it simply makes you need to go now rather than later, so you don’t lose more fluids in the long run. At least, that’s what the article says. But since I like what the article is saying, I won’t question too much.

The irony is that, while I was reading articles on hydration, I neglected to actually hydrate myself prior to my jog today. As a result, I experienced some massive calf cramps, which Web MD assures me is caused by dehydration.

I’m brilliant.

Today’s Workout

The workout: 5-minute warm-up walk followed by a 3 minute jog, 1:30 minute walk, 5 minute jog, 2:30 minute walk, another 3 minute jog, another 1:30 minute walk, another 5 minute jog. 5 minute cool-down walk.

Post-workout blood sugar: 163 mg/dl