17 Weeks

Today is the first day of my last semester as an undergrad at Michigan State University

It’s so crazy to look back at where I was 3.5 years ago. I was a tiny 18-year-old majoring in Biochemistry/Biotechnology with dreams of working in a lab and conducting research.

Oh, how that changed.

Fast forward to today and I’m happier, stronger, getting a degree in Dietetics with a specialization in Health Promotion and have accomplished more than I ever though possible of myself.

And the most exciting part?

I still have so far to go.

In addition to continuing to work at the Independent Living home and sitting as the Academy Liaison for my university’s Food and Nutrition Association, I am only taking two classes this semester: Medical Nutrition Therapy II and Health Psychology. I’m going to be working on an honors option for one or both of these courses.

I’m not sure what else is in store for me, but I can’t wait to find out.

In case you didn’t know, I’m on Instagram now. Follow me @ratliffe09 for some fitsporation!


May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

Wow! The past two weeks sure did go by fast. I hadn’t realized that it had been so long I guess.

Not because I am particularly busy or anything, just every day on break feels much the same as the last one. It’s half way over and I’m ready for it to be 2013 already! COME ON!

My normal schedule nowadays is wake up, gym, eat, work, sleep. Exciting, right? Oh, sure, there’s some computer and reading time thrown in there as well, but that’s the gist of it.

I’ve really gotten in to sharing pictures of my workouts on Instagram. Partly for accountability (just over 2 months until Spring Break!) and partly to try and encourage others in their workouts. I want to transform my body and my mind in this coming year, and accountability will be such an important part of that for me.

IMG_0433[1] IMG_0398[1]


I’ve had some VERY good workouts lately 🙂

And, of course, yesterday was Christmas!


I really felt like Christmas sneaked up on me this year. I didn’t even make a list!


All set for family Christmas!

I hope that everyone enjoyed their holidays! On to the New Year!

Another One Bites the Dust

Follow me on InstagramOh yeah, did I mention that I finally upgraded to an iPhone?

Finals are over! I have successfully survived another semester after a week of full-on late-night studying. I think that I’ve spent more time in the library in the past week than I have in the past 3 years of college combined. My study habits have changed so much over the years. I can no longer seriously study in my room, nor can I be alone. I need to be pretty much anywhere but my apartment and I need at least one other person around.

Anyway, my GPA is safe, as I am already 100% certain on two of my classes and 90% sure on another. My last class will be a bit of a wild card since the professor has not released our final exam scores yet and has not set the curve for the course yet, but I think that I have a fairly good idea on what it will be.

Just 7 credits and 5 months stand between me and graduating! Crazy to think that I’m here now, it seems like it’s been fast and slow all at the same time. But, I’m excited and ready to start applying to dietetic internships/graduate programs and get my career started!

Fitness-wise, I’ve been continuing to follow the Super Hero Fat Loss program by John Romaniello (Roman Fitness). I love it. It’s hard, I’m seeing progress (slowly, but surely; beginner gains appear to be a thing of the past now) and I still get in and out of the gym in under an hour.

I have also been experimenting with Intermittent Fasting.

IMG_0087[1]I could do an entire series of posts on Intermittent Fasting, and I may just do that in the future if the interest from you guys is there, but for now I’ll just leave it up to you to look in to it if you really want to.

I really like it so far, though, and am mostly just playing with my length of fasting and my feeding windows right now to see what works best for me.

I started a new job working at an independent living center in the kitchens helping serve dinner to the residents. It’s not the easiest of jobs, because it’s so fast-paced and people are impatient, but I need the experience and having a little extra money would be nice since being a TA for a college course does NOT pay the bills, let me tell ya.

I only work a couple of evenings a week, but it still allows me to go out at night if I so choose and I think that it will be flexible enough that I can take some time off here and there for things like Spring Break and possibly interviews for internships in March.

That’s pretty much everything for now! I get 3 weeks off of classes until the spring semester starts back up again. I’ll be working, sleeping, and relaxing… maybe throw some Christmas and New Years hijinks in there as well and fun with friends and family. Maybe


Capital City River Run

Happy Sunday, everyone!

This morning was the Capital City River Run. If you’re a long-time reader, you know that this is the race that I had to drop out of last year because of my hamstring injury. This year, I wanted redemption, and I feel like I got it.

I debated dropping down to the 5K so many times this past week. I really hadn’t been training very well for this race. Sure, I ran 3-4 miles twice a week in speed workouts, but the weekend long run really took a dive. The farthest I had worked myself back up to was 9 miles before I got hospitalized and had to take a break from working out.

But, I decided that I was going to give it a go, without trying to meet any particular time goal. I just wanted to finish and earn the finisher’s medal.

So, this morning I woke up early, and went with my mom to the Lansing Center for the start of the race. She ran in her first official 5K as I was running the half and I’m so proud of her! I think that she actually got 10th or 11th in her age group too!

Anyway, I lined up with the 10:00 pacing group, thinking that I could probably at least sustain that pace for the distance. Once we got started, however, it was apparent that I just wasn’t able to run that slow, and so I caught up with the 9:30 pacer and stayed with that group almost until the very end (a girl’s gotta do that last bit by herself, for herself). I think that it was just the right pace where I didn’t feel like I was killing myself to keep up, but was still challenging.

This is one of the best courses that I’ve come across. The beginning felt a little brutal, because it was pretty much 3 straight miles down Michigan Ave into the sun, but after that there was a lot of paved trail running through woods and across bridges. The shade felt amazing and it was fairly flat most of the way.

There were plenty of aid stations providing both water and Gatorade which was HIGHLY appreciated since I had forgotten my hand water bottle on the kitchen counter back at my apartment so I depended 100% on the aid stations for both water and fuel during the race. I didn’t feel bad at all at the end so I think that that’s a good sign!

I wish that I had worn a little less fabric on top, but other than that the weather was absolutely perfect for the race. And I didn’t finish in too bad of a time given my lack of preparation and otherwise unfortunate circumstances. I think that this was the largest race that I’ve ever run in, and I loved it! There was always someone running with you at your pace so you were never alone. I can’t even imagine what it’s like in big urban races like Chicago or New York City.

Time: 2:04:38
Pace: 9:30
Overall: 701/1465
Gender: 281/843
Age Group (F20-24): 36/60

Just 5 weeks until I run the Grand Rapids half! Let’s see if we can’t improve on that time, shall we?