your eternally awkward human at your service

So recently I've taken up something new - bullet journaling. I am perhaps a gazillion years late to jump on this ship that's been smooth sailing since January 1st but looks like I finally got the bullet-journaling-bug. I used to always see people post their layouts on Twitter, shrug, and continue my non-bullet-journaling life. And then a friend of mine showed me hers and uh the next day I was looking at micropens and suddenly had a bullet journal ready to go.

I used to draw a lot when I was younger but wow when I tell you I was rusty from not drawing for about 12 years, you'd think I've never used a ruler before with how many crooked lines I'd make using said ruler.

It didn't help that I had the mind of Picasso but the art ability of a 3 year old. I practically erased 47 times on one drawing of the House Stark Sigil (a wolf!) before actually deciding okay I think this doesn't look too terrible. I don't think I'm the only one who feels everything has to be perfect from the get-go; with learning something new 'perfection' is pretty much the pile of gold at the end of the rainbow that we won't be seeing for a while (if at all).

Daenerys turned out cute!!! Also she deserved better, Jon deserved better literally of all people to end on the Iron Throne???? can you tell i'm bitter
In some ways I like not being good at something and then slowly (uh you tell me from these pictures?) getting better at looking at a drawing online and attempting to draw something similar in my dotted journal.

pls don't pay attention to Jon's boots thank u

Progress. I like the idea of progress even if I don't like being in progress.

Eventually my crooked lines got a little straighter and I was able to compare how long it took me to get one drawing at least visibly pleasing in the beginning to where I am now. And it's just an awesome feeling seeing that the art I've drawn is something I've drawn. I haven't picked up a pencil to sketch for 12 years, it took me 4 days to draw a wolf and yet I have a full monthly spread of drawings for April?

gotta enjoy your own company me n my tripod table for one please

My friend jokes with me that I like to start things that take time.

One thing I haven't mentioned on here is that I started Rubik's Cubing a little while ago. I tend to start and stop and then pick it up again - it's probably the only thing I wish I was more consistent with. Well, I wish I was a little more consistent with my online courses that I'm taking for funzies because I like learning but here we are.

I started to get really fast at solving - I'd solve just about the whole thing but my road block was always the last side and the last row for each side. It'd take me way too long and I was a bit discouraged by how long it was taking me and now my Rubik's Cube sits on my table a little unloved.

and in other news I've run out of poses and I am confusion

I like the feeling of progression even if at the time - when I'm actually terrible at something - I don't enjoy it as much. 

In terms of learning something new, you either hit a roadblock and decide to climb over it or you let the roadblock stop you from continuing and you U-turn yourself out. With bullet journaling, I rock climbed my way over like it was a ninja gym obstacle course and the ground was lava. With Rubik's Cubing I U-turned myself away and said peace and blessings to it - I haven't picked it up in a couple of months.

I like to challenge myself and jump out of comfort zone - let's not even talk about my train of thoughts of re-learning the piano after taking a lovely i-really-don't-know-how-many-years-it's-been-since-my-lessons-gap. Although I let the lack of progress stop me from Rubik's Cubing, I am planning to eventually climb up that roadblock, maybe not becoming a ninja and flying over it but I don't like the idea of stopping something because I wasn't good enough at it yet. 

wow a stranger looking at me with my tripod this is me acting casual...
I think we can all get in the bubble of I want to be great at a gazillion and one things and don't really realize that depending on what it is you're doing, you may either progress as fast as Lightening McQueen on a race track or as slow as the snail on its way to class at Monster's University where it took him the duration of the film to actually make it to the classroom door and school was already over by then. Some people catch on quickly however eventually everyone catches on even if it does take some longer than others.

This is probably advice that I really need to tell myself but when you get to those roadblocks, change your perspective. Try and come back to whatever it is you're doing a day or so later. The important thing is to come back to it.

Easier said than done, I know I know-- trust me when I say I'm looking at both the result of doing that via my bullet journal and the result of not doing that via my Rubik's Cube.

I enjoy progressing at things and eventually I hope I enjoy being in progress.

How do you guys handle being in progress? Do you jump ship like you're aboard the titanic?

Towards the end of April your favorite running human was at the start line of a 5K race - it would be one of my last runs before Ramadan. Quite literally, it was a week -give or take a couple of days - before Ramadan swooped in! There are few things that I did differently this time around compared to my past couple of races.

I warmed up at home.

For my last race, I got to the race location a bit later than I meant to. This meant that I had precisely 0 minutes to warm up. Well, I got there late and I drank the equivalent to my weight in water before I left my house so add in that mini bathroom stop once I got to the race location and I was at the start line with no dynamic stretches done beforehand.

This time around, I knew that regardless of if I got there in time I wanted to warm up at home because that would ensure I wasn't in a time crunch and was taking my time through my stretches. I also included a few stretches with my foam roller to warm my calves and thighs up too - if you don't have a foam roller, a tennis ball works too! I got to the race location on time and had a good 15 minutes before I had to head to the starting line. I also had to take a bathroom stop once there - I promise I didn't drink my weight in water but uh ya girl was not about to not drink water.

I focused on myself.

Now, one thing I semi-struggled/struggle with when racing is that I always try to pace with someone. I didn't want to do that this time or any other time. Was I semi-upset when I saw people pass me? Well, yeah. I think any runner can relate to the feeling of am I being left behind am I falling too far back? I pushed those feelings aside and focused on my breathing and the way my arms were swinging - for reference, I was not having my arms swinging in front of my chest but driving them forwards and backwards.

Mile one was actually really nice and smooth - I finished it up in 7:45. Mile 2 is always where I feel I struggle. The middle mile always comes for my neck, really. Keep Going. You Belong. Keep Those Arms Up. Forward Lean. Don't sit back in your run. Girl if you don't bring those arms up! You can hold this pace, I know you can - KEEP GOING - welcome to the inside of my racing brain.

One thing I really notice at races is that there aren't people that look like me, ever. And it's not that it bothers me, I just always kind of wonder where are the people that look like me. I've grown used to always being the only hijab-wearing girl in my University gym for my 4 years - really in any athletic setting, it's just me that looks like me. That's really the reason behind why You Belong is pretty high up on things to remind myself when I feel like my wheels are breaking off.

By Mile 2 I was able to coach myself up - almost done! almost at the end! I didn't pay much attention to the runners around me - if I were falling behind or not - I just kept my attention to myself and how my body was feeling. I felt a side stitch coming up on my right side mid mile 2 into mile 3. A side stitch is usually pain on your right side right under your ribs - nothing harmful! but dang, once you get a side stitch you really wonder if you should Google what you're feeling and if WebMD will tell you you're dying - I managed to convince myself to google and finally know the term side stitch!  The higher your endurance the less you get them!

i clearly have no other poses oops

I finished strong.

The last stretch is actually kind of my favorite part. You're almost at the finish line and you may have felt like slowing down the pace but once you see that finish line in the distance you pick up the pace. That's what I did. I saw the time from far and was like! hey! get! that! PR*! GOOOO. I picked up my pace and went straight ahead across the finish line with a time of 26:44! faster than my previous time of 27:24:30! The really hilarious thing about my time - my mile breakdown was: 7:45, 8:40, 8:40 and my average pace was 8:35.

* = technically speaking my 5K PR is 21 minutes from a few years ago, but since it was so long ago I'm not sure if it counts? So this is a PR as of recent!

If I were to add my mile times up it'd give me 24:25. If I were to multiply 8:35 by 3 I'd get 25:05. So uh I'm happy with my time but also REALLY confused on what is the truth.

ANYWAYS - As I was drinking some water next to my mom and sister a really nice lady tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I raced amazingly and that I kept her going. Apparently she used me as a pacer through the race.

I found this kinda funny. This was perhaps my first race where I didn't try to keep pace with someone but little did I know someone was using me to pace. I feel like once you're in your own running zone you're in an invincible bubble because, you're focusing only on yourself and no not your time - just how you feel and how you're holding up. Really, any race you do is YOU vs Your previous running self. Although easier said than done, not focussing so much on the runners around me actually helped me ~relax~ into my race.

One difference between this race and my last couple of races is that this was the first time I didn't place in the Top 3 for my age group even though it was the fastest I went this year. I came in 4th place which I'm still really happy about and I focused on making this run mine, not someone else's. Also! I was #103/262 Runners!

When's my next race...

Now that Ramadan has started I can't really go on my morning runs or turn my morning runs into evening runs - I really wanted to run a half hour before time to break my fast (Muslims during Ramadan fast from sunrise to sunset - if you're curious about Ramadan and want to learn a bit more I've written a crash course on Ramadan - Crash Course: Ramadan ), I used to run in previous Ramadan's - however I'm really worried about feeling way too dehydrated. So for this Ramadan, I'm actually working on my core - that Stacey Irvin Jr. workout I mentioned in Building up Strength Without A Gym? Yeah, ya girl may have abs by the end of Ramadan.

I really want to have a strong core and stronger arms for my next race.

How's everyone's fitness life going? Are you a home workout human? Gym human? Running outside into the sunset/sunrise?