Earlier today I participated in the March For Our Lives in New York City - I took some photos and thought to share them:

A young boy was leading the chants for a bit! It was amazing to see students and the elderly at the March For Our Lives.

The above photo made me laugh because clearly he had a midterm to study for but also wanted to attend the march so he put the two together and here we have a student studying for a midterm while at the March For Our Lives.

I then had my sister take a photo of me with my sign; if anyone was interested in what I was marching with:


I'm going to end with this: 

Power of the People > People in Power

If you aren't registered to vote, fix that right now and register. These congressmen think they can take money from the NRA and still have a job. They claim to serve the American People yet don't pass legislation to ensure the safety of the American People. They work for us. We are their employers. The only way for the Members of Congress to be out of Congress is if we vote them out. 

The Constitution begins with We the People, and do you know what We the People want?

Gun Control.

Given the last time I used a training plan from the Nike+ Run App I ended up flaking on the app,  I'm surprised I'm enjoying my training schedule as much as I am. So what happened was uh we got back together and I've never been better? I was looking at my previous fitness posts, and the last time I started a training plan I used the app for three weeks and then never opened it again because I didn't feel it was what I was looking for.

What's different now?

Well, I feel like my goal of becoming a 5000M Team USA Olympian solidified itself in my mind. And by solidified I mean I have been looking at USATF sanctioned races to compete at. I also think following more runners on Instagram - this was a rare occasion where I acknowledged the explore page and scrolled for a bit and stumbled upon runners- really clicked my mind in Aspiring Olympian Runner mode.

Also, I think this time around I love running a bit more. What I've realized is when you start enjoying your runs, your pacing reflects that.

So, how have my runs/workouts been?

In short: I've been enjoying my runs and every workout I do.

In long:

I've been getting faster and! I'm actually looking forward to speed workouts. I feel that 200M sprints are more my forte but slowly 400M sprints are becoming a favorite of mine as well. My mile pacing has improved since my first week of using the app to now (4th week using the app). Recently, the application increased my mileage by a mile, and since the application had me previously running a mile straight or 2 mile sprints/rest, fully going for 2 miles started to feel - for a lack of a word - ????

Mile one had me securing a spot on an elite relay team while mile two had me questioning why have I dedicated my time to a sport that plays a 1 on 1 match with oxygen entering my system. But at the same time I love it. I love seeing how much I can push myself. I love seeing myself progress and get faster. Progress doesn't happen overnight -as amazing as that would be- it happens with the right amount of motivation and dedication. 

When I get the mile pacing I want in my 200M sprints I think to myself: LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF. LOOK HOW FAR YOU'VE COME. I'm my own cheerleader and my own alarm clock. I think, as I'm learning more about myself as a runner, the best feeling is when the building blocks to your goal suddenly become stairs and your goal is that much closer.  In that regard, Olympian speed is on step 100 and I'm currently living my best self on step 20.

 Do I sometimes give myself a pep talk - well more like a HOW DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING ANYWHERE WITH A MILE PACE LIKE THAT? YOU THINK YOU'RE OLYMPIAN MATERIAL? OH THAT'S CUTE - yes yes I do. But then the nice chill side of my mind comes in and reminds me that progress is what matters. Sure, I wasn't at Olympic speed last month, but I'm closer to that pacing this month. And I get closer every time I decide to grab my sneakers to go for a run.

An instagram runner (who also blogs on instagram) trackclubbae actually wrote a post that I always come back to when the ~negative thoughts~ come into my mind. 

I'd recommend you read it here!


I can't just sprint myself to Olympic timing. Olympians aren't born with the genetic blessing of speed. No. They work for it. They go to the gym. They train. I'm getting there at my own pace, and yes I see some runners at my goal 5K timing but that doesn't mean I won't get there. It just means I have a bit more work to put in until I get there. Getting there sometimes feels like I'm climbing a ladder that I can't see the end of but I'm a quarter of the way up the ladder and I will keep climbing.

This is a message to myself, because I read a lot of my blogposts over and to you: 
Yes. You. Can.


After running 2 miles last week, I am attempting to cement these three things into my mind before my 2.5 mile run this week:

1. Conserve Your Energy
On Mile 1 I passed the same person 8 times on the track, and felt great, but the thing is I didn't balance my energy properly so that didn't make for a great second mile.

2. Hydrate Before You Run
I did drink water before I began my 2 mile run but once Mile 1 was down, I felt like my throat was dryer than the Sahara Desert in the summer. So, one thing I'll be doing is making sure to drink at least 2-3 bottles of water before my 2.5 mile run.

3. Try and find another way -besides passing the person ahead of you - to go faster.
This tactic works great when there are people on the track/road to pass. On the track there were a handful of people but that slowly turned into just me and this other person. I did pass this other person maybe 15 times while running 2 miles but at times it felt too easy. This person was walking and I pretty much lapped them 2 times over before they started a new lap.


I decided not to run with music anymore as I felt that the more I listened to music the more I didn't focus on my form. I'll have a post up on this topic soon!

I decided to look up another way to keep by mind busy & to speed up and these are the things that popped up:

Passing the person ahead of you.
 (When I tell you i A-HA'D my screen while walking my 2 lap cool down after my two miles, I'm not even joking.)

Focusing on your form.
 (which I do already; poor form = poor run)

Focusing on your family waiting for you at the finish line on race day.

I'll try and use a bit of those 3 for my next 2.5 mile run this week and hopefully it goes better! Do you run? How do you keep your mind busy?


Stretches before a Run

Stretches after a Run

My Average Mile Pace This Week:

Missed my previous Fitness Style Post?
Transitioning to the Gym

I don't know about you, but my history classes went a lot like so there was a war, here's why said war happened and all you need to really know is that we won. When I heard of the book Code Girls, and read a little snippet of it online - y'know the ones where the book first comes out and they're promo'ing it and it's getting hyped up in the tech community & CNN is like HEY BOOK BOOK BOOK. I was extremely interested for one reason: As a computer science major, there aren't many females in my classes. Hearing the words female and coders in the same sentence and followed by one another had me ready to toss whatever amount of money it cost on the counter of Barnes and Nobles to purchase this book.

Then again, I'm a university student so my local library was where I was headed. They had the book thankfully! However, since it was a new book, I had 14 days to read it. I'm a fast reader but that was a pretty chunky book to finish in 14 days so best believe I was taking advantage of renewing it every time I could.

For this book, I spent half the time reading a page and the other half pausing midway to look at my USA map to figure out what the distance was between two states - this mainly pertained to inner USA, clearly my USA geography knowledge that I didn't have was slowly becoming something I did have by the end of this book.

Now, when I think of women during WWII, I just thought of nurses, mechanics and that's pretty much it. If you also have the same flow of thoughts of what women were doing during WWII, DO I HAVE SOME QUALITY TEA FOR YOU.


Well, for starters they weren't just nurses and mechanics. They were coders. Now, how did they become coders? Did Army/Navy officers just waltz in a cafe and say HEY WE NEED CODERS TO LOOK AT OUR ENEMY'S CODING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY'RE SAYING? Uh no. NO. there goes national security if that actually did happen. 

At the time, education for women wasn't something parents thought was important since most places of work only employed men - the only profession women weren't turned away from was teaching. Since men were being shipped out to war after Pearl Harbor, women became the only option to recruit - that and men didn't want to be behind a desk.

 So, Army and Navy Officers looked at women colleges and asked the President/Headmaster of each university who they could recommend and began sending notices to young women at the university - however they weren't told up front that they were going to be breaking enemy codes- they walked in on their first day thinking they were going to be secretaries.

Now, all of these coders were not officially part of the Army and Navy but worked as civilians until 1942. For the women in the Navy, they were referred to as WAVES - Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.


Fun fact: I am currently in a WAVE program for girls and it's all about getting females majoring in Computer Science advisors to help them through their tech journey!

So as of now I have an advisor and it's great - I'm learning a lot!

The women focused on the Nazi's code and cipher and got to work on deciphering and decoding the communications. Breaking the ciphers and codes required for them to be able to spot patterns. English teachers and librarians were great at spotting patterns because they knew which letters and words were the most commonly used.

What is a code?

For example:

Cavalry --> HUNUG
Wagon Company --> DIGUF

You know how we text OMG instead of Oh My God - like that!

The codes would then be compiled and kept in codebooks - similar to dictionaries. You know way back in the day when people had dictionaries in their homes - I still have one - where you want to find a definition of a word. Think of it as looking up a word and instead of there being a definition, there's a code group.

That code group would be what the encoder (person writing said coding message) would write in their letter.

But here's where coding can get easy for code breakers to break into without a codebook - if there are constant repetitions of code groups then it makes it easier for the enemy looking in to crack the whole code apart.

What is a Cipher?

For example:

b --> X
r --> T
a--> V
i--> O
n--> P

Then the word brain --> XTVOP

Now that we have those differences covered, I wanted to discuss one part of the book - I could sit here and write about the whole book because it was honestly amazing to read so much history that I hadn't learned in my U.S. History courses but also disappointing to read something that I honestly believe should have been taught in history classes. DO YOU KNOW HOW HYPED AND EXCITED 14 YEAR OLD ME WOULD BE ABOUT LEARNING ABOUT WOMEN CODERS WHO CRACKED THE GERMAN'S CODE AND CIPHER? I would have shown up to history class early just to keep learning about them.

ALSO WAIT - If you think only America had women coders do I have some new tea for you: Thousands of British Women worked at Bletchley Park aka home for England's codebreaking unit. They worked on Bombe machines which deciphered the German Enigma. I have yet to read a book focusing on those thousand women, it seems I have more history to read!

So let's talk about the Battle of Normandy. The major key factor that allowed for this to be successful for the allies was dummy traffic (fake radio traffic that resembled real American traffic) created by women coders. Since they studied the communication of the U.S. military they were able to know what type of traffic to create and what should be said to make it believable for the enemy. They also analyzed the communications of Allies to create a fake believable version of that as well. 

For the Battle of Normandy, the goal was for the coders to convince the enemy that ~fictitious~ military units existed and were on their way to Strait Dover, toward the Pas de Calais. This ~fictitious~ military unit had a landing-craft tank, headquarters, and two assault forces with associated ships and craft. A few months before the D-Day landing, the dummy traffic had this ~fictitious~ army traveling around England.

And did the deception work? YA BET IT DID.

An encrypted message from Hitler confirmed that the Nazis expected this ~fictitious~ army to land in Norway and Denmark and on the French Mediterranean coast.

Now where was the REAL Allies army going?

Normandy, France.

When the Allies arrived in Normandy, France the Nazis were like HOLD UP WHAT - they were caught by surprise because based on the ~fictitious~ army communication the Allies were headed to  Pas de Calais (the narrowest part between Britain and France).

The women coders creating the communication for the fictitious army and deceiving the Nazis saved about 16,500 Allied lives.

To learn more about D-Day, you can read: D-Day - World War II 


After I finished reading Code Girls, and learned about ciphers and codes, I thought to myself why not code an ~unbreakable~ code & cipher? And that's when I got my mini notepad out - I prefer to sketch what I want to do by hand before opening up my software to begin coding away - and got to work.

I decided I wanted to use a cipher for each individual letter and code groups for words/phrases. Now, how does one make an ~unbreakable~ code & cipher? RESEARCH THE CODES AND CIPHERS OF THE PAST. To see the flow of how a cipher and code was supposed to work and look, I found myself looking at Telegraph Codes. WAY back in the day, cable companies charged per word sent so there were public codes that helped saved people a lot of money. Instead of being charged for the phrase I don't understand what you're saying, you'd look at the public codebook and see that phrase is represented by the code group HJNAL.

I then found myself looking at Australian Railway Telegraphic Codes and Great Western Railway Telegraphic Codes to see how code groups looked depending on the setting they are used in. 

It took me about a month to complete this fun side project and it is honestly my literal pride and joy. To think, I wouldn't have created this project if I hadn't read the book Code Girls and learned how important codes and ciphers were and how code breakers - namely female code breakers- shortened the length of the war because they deciphered and decoded the enemy's communication.

that moment where your own code has the AUDACITY to not work because of a missed semicolon on line 1516;


I'm being honest when I say I was chatting to a friend of mine and sent her the link to it and I didn't hear from her for a bit and it turns out she was having way to much fun with my coding system I created! 

The art of writing or solving codes.

HAVE FUN! I'd love to know what you guys think of it; it was really fun to code and challenge myself!

me sipping my high quality chai tea latte and side-eyeing my code that didn't like me .5 seconds ago 

If you'd like to see more about my thought process for my codebook: Behind the Codebook