August 09, 2018

Fun Blog Housekeeping (and a Recap of Week 2 of My 8-week Challenge)

I haven't been keeping up with posting about my 8-week challenge--the days are just flying by lately!

I've been working on a big project on my blog, and I finally finished it today (hopefully it worked... it's hard to know until I get comments or emails telling me that it's not working--hahaha! I do appreciate that, though).

I have been LOVING learning about html, css, and javascript lately (I started messing around with it about a year ago, and the more I learn, the more excited I get to try out little projects here and there). I'm probably going overboard, but it's fun ;)

Anyway, I did a big overhaul of my Recipes page. I used to have a list of links to each of my recipes, which worked out just fine. I thought it was boring, though, and I wanted to make it a little more fun to look at. So, now it looks like this...

Recipes page layout with thumbnails

Each photo is linked to the recipe, so you just have to click on the box to view it--and this way, there are thumbnail photos for each recipe! Also, at the top, there are buttons to filter the recipes by different categories (I'm going to work on those some more, adding more categories and putting some recipes in multiple categories). So, if you click on Ham/Bacon/Pork button, for example, these (above) are the recipes that show up.

I really hope this works, otherwise I did a whole lotta work for nothing! But I am pretty proud of myself for learning how to do things like this on my own. I recently even looked into taking a class called Markup Languages at the community college, which is basically everything I've been teaching myself.

Unfortunately, there is a pre-req class to get in, and it would get expensive to take classes that I don't have a real reason for taking! So I'll just continue to try and teach myself. One of these days, I would really like to make my blog mobile friendly--however, that is an enormous project that will have to wait until I have the patience to learn about and work on it.

I'm switching over to a different ad network in a couple of weeks, which I'm super nervous about. I've used BlogHer for such a long time, but I'll be switching to AdThrive. AdThrive has great reviews among bloggers, and I've actually been thinking about the switch for two years! I've just been too nervous to actually do it. And my blogging was very sporadic in that time (it still is, for the most part).

After an analysis of my site, AdThrive told me I could make the same or more money with fewer ads. I don't love having ads on my blog, but I prefer the ads over sponsored posts and affiliate marketing (and it would be stupid of me not to monetize my blog). Anyway, I've just been trying to do some cleaning up around the blog before the switch to AdThrive.

Well! I didn't mean to ramble on about all that. I am not nearly as organized for a challenge recap this week as I was last week. I'll just write the gist, and then hopefully next week I'll try to be more organized.

Week 2 schedule:
Day 1: Stretch & Strengthen
Day 2: 2 mile easy run
Day 3: 30 minutes cross training
Day 4: 2 mile easy run + strength training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 30 minutes cross training
Day 7: 2.5 mile easy run

My cross training was just walking; this week, I'd like to get in some bike riding. I have cross training scheduled tomorrow, so I think I'll ride my bike. I am supposed to take Eli to my brother's property (Brian and Becky are building a house) and it's right next to the Metropark, so I can just bring my bike with me and go for a ride.

My running has been kind of all over the place as far as pace and heart rate and all that. I would really like to see my heart rate come down--right now, though, I can't even run at my slowest pace while keeping my heart rate where it should be (under 144).

On this run below (Day 2), I tried really hard to keep my heart rate down. While it wasn't ideal, I was happy to get it under 150 bpm--and that was at a 12:13 pace.

This next one was a simple out and back, and it feels kind of awesome to just run out for one mile and turn around. I've been running for 8 years, and I never really did 2-mile runs except for when I first started running in 2010. It's nice!

My "long run" (2.5 miles!) was actually on the treadmill. It was SO HOT and humid outside on Monday that I couldn't bear the thought of running outside. Instead, I listened to a podcast and got it done on the treadmill. I set the speed at 5.0 mph, and I didn't wear the foot pod. My heart rate was only 142 bpm, so I'm guessing that I was going slower than this says I was. 

My heart rate is almost always lower on the treadmill, though, because it just feels easier to me. It helps to have the air conditioning and a fan blowing right on me ;) 

I also did my strength training, but I didn't take pics of the cards I used. I'll try to remember to do that next week (if only for my own reference!). 

My eating was not good, and I feel like it might have scared me straight, hahaha. I've been battling the same 4 pounds for two weeks--up and down, up and down. Today, I had a really great day counting calories and it motivates me to carry that over to tomorrow. 

So, while my diet isn't what I'd hoped, I am glad that I'm sticking with this exercise plan. The discipline alone has given me more confidence and I just feel better about myself in general--I've been proactive in (slowly) getting back into shape. 

Okay, well, I was hoping to go to bed at an early hour tonight, and it's already 1:20 AM... so I'm going to end this now and get to bed! Overall, I'd say it was a good week. Just need to work on my diet now. (If I had a dollar for every time I said those words... well, I probably wouldn't be on a budget, haha!)


  1. If you contact the instructor they will probably let you sit in on the class (for free)! In my experience, instructors don't mind having people unofficially audit courses since it doesn't actually increase their workload.

    1. This is exactly what I was going to say. Most teachers will welcome this situation - it's kind of flattering and reassuring that there are people who just like to learn for the sake of learning!

  2. You should check out edX - it's a site that lets you attend university courses for free. You don't get credit for the courses, but you learn all the same material. I see html, css, and javascript courses there:

  3. Great job sticking to your exercise plan! You actually motived husband and I started about the same time you did and are committed to the 8 week challenge. We use C25k on the running days because that plan works for us. I even ordered the cards you're using and I do like that they keep it interesting and fun. Keep up the good work, Katie! And thanks for the blog, I've been a fan for years. :-)

  4. I echo the comments by "unknown" and Kelly - you may have options if you're really interested. One difficulty about unofficially sitting in on a course is security concerns - the school will want to have some idea who is/should be in each classroom in case of emergency, so don't take it personally if they don't allow you to just sit in.

  5. As an adult learner in community college you can almost always "challenge" your way into any course you want by claiming life experience. Worth a try!


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